When Did Busyness Become a Crutch?


“How’ve you been?”

“Good!  Really busy, but good!”

Honestly, that used to be my default answer pretty much any time someone asked how I was doing—even if I wasn’t all that busy.  Last week, I moved from Washington, DC to my hometown of Chicago.  In DC, I worked full-time, maintained a fairly active social life, and always made time for yoga.  I wasn’t exactly drowning in extracurricular activities, but I felt reasonably busy and was always tired at the end of the day.  I know women who work full time, have children, are active in Junior League (or other volunteer-based organizations), and run marathons.  Busy is, I suppose, in the eye of the beholder, but those women certainly seemed a whole lot busier than me—yet, I always claimed to be a busy little bee.  I did so partly out of a habit—after all, it’s boring to just answer “oh, fine” when someone asks how you’re doing—and partly because that’s what most women seem to say.

Well, no more.  Not after reading this Inc.com piece on busyness being the new status symbol.  The author of the piece draws the phenomenon back to the old adage “time is money.”  So, it stands to reason, that if you’re very busy, your time must also be very valuable (i.e., valuable in terms of dollars and cents).  The author goes on to suggest that this dynamic is beginning to shift as employers put a renewed emphasis on work quality—especially as more and more people take advantage of telecommuting and flexible work hours.  After all, just because you’re sitting at your desk doesn’t mean you’re fully immersed in official business.  I can’t be the only one who occasionally gchats with their friends during the work day…right?

Now that I’m really thinking about it, I was way busier in college than I am now/was in DC.  I was involved in my sorority and in Student Senate all four years (it should come as no surprise that I landed in DC for 8 years after graduation).  I had class during the day and then meetings until 8 or 9 at night and then would head out to, um, fraternize with friends—I’d wake up the next morning, fresh as a daisy, and do it all over again.

I guess this is all to say that, when people tell me how busy they are, I’m going to take it when a grain of salt.  Since I’m not working full time right now, I have very little business saying it myself.  Also, I’ll get more creative with my response to “How are you?”—“I’m fulfilled”, “I’m cranky”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m content,” etc.

Goodbye for meow.

Newly Discovered Snacks


I don’t love to cook–I have high hopes for developing my repertoire of recipes, but this post isn’t about cooking, it’s about snacks.  I love snacks.  Since moving to Chicago, I’ve discovered a number of delicious, healthy-ish snacks.  Here are three of my favorites and one honorable mention:


Emmy’s Coconut Vanilla Macaroons.  These aren’t macaroons as I know them–the French kind or the American kind (at least, I think of that version as distinctly American), but they are delicious.  100 calories per macaroon ans 6 grams of sugar.  I’ve really been trying to watch my sugar intake these last few months.  I can never just cut it out, I’m only human, but I do try to limit my sugar to no more than 20 grams a day.  I limit myself to no more than two macaroons in one sitting (yeah, usually…).  You can order them online or it appears Emmy’s are sold at most Starbucks and a select number of Whole Foods.



I Heart Keenwah Dark Chocolate Puffs.  I’m in the minority, but I really don’t like dark chocolate.  It’s too bitter.  There, I said it.  I Heart Keenwah Dark Puffs (with Pink Himalayan salt) are so good though–after Lake Shore Lady recommended them, I decided to give them a try.  While I don’t like dark chocolate, I do love quinoa, so I was intrigued at the idea of putting them together.  The quinoa is puffed up to be quite large and dipped in chocolate. 140 calories and 6 grams of sugar per serving (serving size is 1 oz).


Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter.  I’m really late to the party on this one, I know.  Sitting here, studying the nutrition label and it’s not exactly unhealthy, but I can’t, in good conscience, say it’s healthy either.  Even so, have I been eating it by the spoonful every six hours or so since purchasing it?  Yes, definitely.  Having a Trader Joe’s in walking distance of my new apartment will be dangerous.


Tera’s Sustained Energy Blend.  This may come as a shock to those of you who know me, but I love Muscle Milk.  Feeling a little sluggish before a yoga class?  Drink half a Muscle Milk.  Feeling depleted after a particularly tough, say, yoga class?  Drink half a Muscle Milk.  Tera’s Sustained Energy Blend is not Muscle Milk.  I’m including it here mostly because I feel good after i drink it and I know it’s really good for me.  It is by no means a tasty treat.  I’m sorry if you feel misled.  I felt misled too, but that’s my mistake.  I mean, I bought this concoction at the health club I just joined, what was I really expecting?  I don’t know, I thought it would taste more like Jamba Juice.



Goodbye for meow.

Are You Engaged? Boy, Do I Have Advice For You!


First, I’m so sorry for the delay in a post.  It’s been almost a week!  As you can imagine, it’s been quite a week with unpacking and getting settled/organized. 

We’re still not completely done, but I’d say we’re about 70-80 percent unpacked.  I swear, it’s as if our boxes somehow doubled in transit to Chicago.  Unpacking, like its colleague, Packing, is so tedious.  Instead of bore you with the details of where we put everything and how our fancy china is now stored in my bedroom closet, I wish to impart some wisdom to folks who may be reading this and are also engaged.

Look at the happy couple in that picture. So happy, so in love, and yet, so naive about all of the crap they’re going to have to haul across the country. 

Unless you love entertaining or really, truly see yourself transforming into someone who entertains, you probably don’t need 28 stemless wine glasses or 8 different kinds of juice glasses (why did I think I would need so many different styles of regular juice glasses?!?) or a thousand napkin rings. 
Now, don’t skimp on items on the registry. Nothing is more annoying than going to a couples registry 3 months before the wedding and seeing that everything has already been purchased. Stock the registry with your must-have items and even the items you’re not sure about (giant decorative bowls? Sure!) but, here comes the advice, be very willing to exchange for a gift card.  (Write a thank you note for the gift that was given though, duh.)  

I wish David and I had been more realistic about knowing which gifts we just weren’t ever going to use–either now or in the future.  An extra trip to Crate and Barrel a year and a half ago would have made for much less stuff to haul back to Chicago. 
Totally my opinion, but a few bigger ticket items that I loved were a Kitchen-Aid mixer, crock pot, and Vitamix. If these make it on to your registry and into your home, do not exchange them! Even if you think you won’t use theme, you will, I promise! 

While we’re on the topic, my favorite wedding gift was this cat statute from one of my mom’s best friends (a fellow cat lover, obviously). It’s about 15 pounds, so it doubles as a weapon in case anyone breaks in to our apartment.

Goodbye for meow. 

Moving Day


As I write this post (from my iPhone), Burrito and I are sitting on the floor on our empty apartment while David and my dad go fetch our moving truck from, this is no joke, the tow lot.

Yesterday, my dad flew to DC to help with the move. Everything, up until about 80 minutes ago, went so smoothly. Picking up the moving truck, the movers themselves were fantastic, cleaned the apartment, had pizza for dinner, and in bed by 9 0’clock. Woke up this morning at 6:30, ate some breakfast, and we’re ready to hit the road. The previous night we had secured a permit from our building to park in the alley behind the building. By 6 o’clock this morning, the moving truck had been towed. As you may know, DC got some snow last night. We were told that the snow would not interfere with our ability to park behind the building as they were spaces privately owned by the building. Well, I already told you the punch line.

The truck got towed.

Here’s hoping my dad and David make it back here in no time at all. But I fear tow lots are even worse than the DMV. Good thing I have Netflix on my phone. I’ll let y’all  know how this turns out. It’s gonna be a loooooong day…

Goodbye for meow.

UPDATE: $330 later, we’re on the road and Chicago bound!

5 Things Friday

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5 Things Friday.  Hopefully you’re spending your weekend doing something much more exciting than packing.


5. Children Invade Dad’s TV Spot.  Children are, I’m told, a blessing.  This video of a guy talking about the South Korean President’s impeachment while his kids disrupt him is too good not to share.  I love how the daughter marches into the room, followed immediately by the baby who rolls on in.


4. Lululemon Align Pants. By far my favorite yoga pants–they have a very light compression so you feel ‘held in’ rather than ‘sucked in.’  Be careful with the lighter colors though, they do show sweat.  And that’s all I’ll say on the matter.  Athleta appears to have a similar style pant, the Salutation Pant, for $20 less that I’d like to give a try.


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3. Relationship Status: Cats.  My new errand running bag and I couldn’t be happier.  I walked around the apartment last night, wearing the bag, and telling David we were no longer married because my relationship status is CATS.  I’m delightful and not at all annoying to live with.


2. Rose’s Luxury.  For my final dinner out in DC, my friends and I are going to the Michelin starred restaurant, Rose’s Luxury.  They don’t take reservations so my dear, dear friends are going to wait in line and I’ll join them once David and I are done packing for the day.  Given that people pay $25-50 for a professional line-waiter at this restaurant, not having to wait in said line is a tremendous going away gift.


1. Girl and the Goat.  One more restaurant to round things out.  My friend and my co-worker got my a gift certificate to Girl and the Goat as a going away gift.  If you live in Chicago, you’ve definitely heard of this restaurant and, even if you don’t live in Chicago you may have heard of it.  I’ve never been and based on their Open Table availability, I’ll have to wait a little while.  Items like bleu cheese sweet potato pierogies and escargot ravioli have me pretty jazzed about trying this Chicago hot spot.

Goodbye for meow.

Top 5 Worst Parts of Moving

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Less than 7 days out and the apartment is in full-on tornado mode.  The posts for the next week or so will be pretty sporadic, my apologies.

Everyone with a pulse knows that moving is stressful and moving across the country increases that stress tenfold.  I give a tip of the hat to my husband, David, as he’s really done the lion’s share of the packing thus far.  We’re at a place now where 40% of the apartment is packed up and we still have 60% left to go.  While progress has been made, there’s still a ton to do–no matter how much we pack, more stuff inevitably materializes.

Here are some of the worst parts about moving…

5. Zero Counter Space.  This is most evident in the kitchen, where endless bric-a-brac is on every inch of the counter top.  Nowhere to make my breakfast!

4. Boxes.  Boxes everywhere, as far as the eye can see.  Big boxes, little boxes, medium-sized boxes.  Full boxes, half full boxes, not yet assembled boxes.  Jerry Seinfeld was right.

3. Laundry.  We move next Tuesday, I still need clean clothes to wear.  When do I do the last load of laundry?  When do I pack up my remaining clothes?  What do I do with dirty clothes after that?  How can I live like this?!?

2. Walking Through the Door.  Since we started boxing things up over the weekend, every time I come home I’m reminded “yeah, you’re moving and this is what your life looks like now.  Now and for the foreseeable future.”  I spent so much time making the apartment look nice and now I’ll have to start all over again.  Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about, but it’s also daunting.

1. Trying to Explain Things to Burrito.  This is a challenge, because she is a cat.  She’ll have a long drive on Tuesday and I’ve tried telling her this, but it’s tough to know if she’s really hearing and understanding me.

Goodbye for meow.

Super Easy Vegan Oat ‘n’ Junk Cookies

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Calling these ‘cookies’ is maybe a little generous, but calling them oat clusters seems uncharitable to their deliciousness.

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These treats couldn’t have been any easier.  To make the basic version of these bad boys:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with tin foil
  • Mash up two ripe bananas (I used a potato masher, but you could use a fork too)
  • Mix in 1 cup of rolled oats–let them sit for 5-10 minutes (the mashed ‘naners soften up the oats)
  • This step is totally optional, but I mixed in just a tiny drop of almond extract, a shake of cinnamon, a spoonful of chia seeds, a handful of sliced almonds, and a handful of dried cranberries.  Repeat mixing.
  • Plop the dollops on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or so.  (This recipe makes about a dozen small/medium cookies)

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Blam-o, you’re done!  Now, kick back and wait for the compliments to roll in on your baking abilities…

Goodbye for meow.

5 Things Friday

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Happy Friday, everybody!   Working for the weekend, am I right?!?  At any rate, here’s some stuff…

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  1. Kind Bars.  Specifically, the maple glazed pecan and seat salt flavor.  I really have nothing more to say other than these are absolutely delicious and they only have 5 grams of sugar (which really isn’t that much, all things considered).  I eat one every day as a mid-afternoon snack.  I eat a lot of snacks.  It’s normal.

    PORTRAITS OF COURAGE A COMMANDER IN CHIEFS TRIBUTE TO AMERICAS WARRIORS, (HC)

  2. Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors by George W. Bush.  I really want this book. Look, I get that he might not be everyone’s most favorite president and that’s OK, but he was on Ellen and it was terrific and proceeds from the book go to helping post-9/11 veterans.  Can’t think of a better thing to spend $35 on.

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  3. My cat is weird.  David figured out that every time one of us turns on the stove, Burrito immediately jumps up to the top of the cupboards and it’s at least 15 degrees warmer up there.  She has her own personal steam room.  And, even better, she has cognition!  My cat is both weird and very, very smart.

  4. Relief. Such relief that my blog got a decent reception after I let my social media friends know that it existed.  Everyone was really nice and no trolls so far (I think you only get trolls once you actually have a readership…so, ya know, something to work toward).

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  5. Pilates.  As I’ve talked about (extensively), I love yoga.  But, I also love Pilates and I think the two really complement one another.  One a typical week, I do yoga 5-6 days a week and a Pilates Reformer class once a week.  Granted I’ve only been to one studio, but I think Fuse Pilates in DC is, hands down, the best.  Their Reformer classes  are awesome–it’s a great work out, but it’s not exhausting.  That said, you will definitely feel it the next day.

Goodbye for meow.

A Few of my Favorite Blogs

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But first, today is the day.  The day after Snapchat launched their IPO, I launch my blog’s IPO.  Well, not exactly.  I’m just letting Instagram/Facebook/Twitter friends know I started a blog.  I expect just as much fanfare as Snapchat.  Please direct all questions and inquiries to Burrito.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are a few of my favorite blogs:

  • The Daily Tay.  Man oh man, this is the blog I check a few times a day.  Taylor is the author and she has a terrific, self-deprecating humor.  Even though blogging does seem to be her full time job (in addition to a pretty cool apparel Etsy shop), she doesn’t take it or herself too seriously.  She has a very rambunctious and human-like Viszla named Harlow.  Even better than her blog are her Snapchats/Insta Stories.  If you’re looking for someone with a perfectly put together life who will make you feel really bad about yours, look elsewhere because, with pitch perfect wit, Taylor pokes fun (all in good fun!) at that kind of perfection.  A+ blog, highly recommend.
  • Lake Shore Lady.  Lauren seems the kind of friend you’d want to have throw you a bridal shower or a birthday party.  Her photo shoots are always top notch and her recipes look delicious (and pretty easy…I’ve never tried any, but I’ve definitely thought, “Mmm, that looks pretty good.  Oh, it has more than three ingredients?  Way over my head!”).  She’s also a yogi, which I love!
  • Sequins and Stripes.  I’ve really enjoyed following Liz’s little family these past few years.  My friend recommended this blog to me after I got engaged and Liz had just gotten married in Chicago and she suggested I check it out.  Well, her wedding was gorgeous and I’ve been following her for over two years now and it’s been really fun!  It’s mostly a fashion blog and even the stuff I’m not a huge fan of, I can still appreciate how she’s styled it.  I started following her blog right after her son was born so I kind of feel like I’ve watched him grow up which, frankly, seems really creepy.  That said, he’s a particularly adorable kid.
  • Aspiring Kennedy.  Like with Liz from Sequins and Stripes, I feel like I’ve watched Lauren’s kids grow up on Instagram and I’ve never met them…and they live 4,000 miles away in London.  Aspiring Kennedy was truly one of the very first blogs I ever read and I fell in love with Lauren and Tyler’s story and their life abroad.  The travel bug has never really bitten me, but I so enjoy watching their life and travels abroad.  And, again, really cute kids.
  • Helene in Between.  Helene and her husband recently moved from Nashville to Heidelberg, Germany so her’s is a combination travel blog and, fortunately for me, a blog about blogging.  Reading her tips have actually been enormously helpful.  She’s been blogging before blogging was a thing, so she knows a thing or two.

This is by no means a comprehensive list–these are just a few I love and have been following for a really long time.

Goodbye for meow.

This Nail Polish

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Like a lot of you, I imagine, I spend a lot of time and money getting my nails done.  Since I’m moving in less than two weeks (!!!), I’m short on time and trying to save a little money where I’m able/willing.  So, instead of manicures once a week, I’m trying to get them every other week.  I do occasionally get gel manicures, but they wreak such havoc on my nails that I have to let my nails breath after getting two or three in a row.  But, a standard manicure only lasts me about 5 days.  Well, I found the purrrrfect nail polish to get me through the weeks I don’t get manicures–Wet ‘n’ Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel.

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This stuff is terrific!  It’s only $5, but I would pay twice that.  Wet ‘n’ Wild is by no means high end and, believe me, I was surprised to find that I liked it so much.  With small touch-ups (nothing major), it lasted a full week and, I’m sure, could have gone a few more days if need be.  Needless to say, I’m very impressed.  The color above is Stay Classy–I also have Left Marooned and may treat myself to Taupe as a Joke later this week…

Goodbye for meow.