I’m an Airbnb Convert

Posted on | September 12, 2014 | 2 Comments

Our fantastic weekend in Toronto marked our inaugural airbnb stay. Being a first timer, I was nervous. I think a bad place to stay can ruin an otherwise good time and of course I do love a nice hotel. But their a certain trips when the thought of staying in an actual home is appealing. You can get to know a city in a different way. It’s also much cheaper so more moneys to spend on dining out, drinks, tickets, and the like.

We got super lucky on our first go ’round. The apartment we rented was so effing charming! I loved the actual place and the decor. The location was perfect, too. The cute neighborhood of Bellwoods as opposed to a more touristy area like downtown. Sure we still visited all the touristy spots, but it was nice to come home to something a little warmer. Of course, there are some trips when you need a hotel and room service and a cleaning lady and all that indulgent stuff. The relaxing/laying around trips call for that. And don’t get me wrong, those are some of my favorite kind of trips. But a short weekend of exploring in a new city is the perfect airbnb situation.

So I’m sold on this whole airbnb thing. Quasi-pretending you actually live in another city for a little bit is the perfect way to get to know a new place.

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Toronto Made Me Fat

Posted on | September 11, 2014 | 5 Comments

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Blame Canada! I blame you for all the poutine and the beer (my god, the beer!) and the cheese plates and the pizza with figs on it and the bbq restaurant that was so stupidly delicious and the Montreal style bagels and then some more beer for good measure and Momofuko and the make your own ice cream sandwiches and …

When visiting a new city it is important to eat and drink your way through said city with reckless abandon. So that’s exactly what I did. But I am left with a feeling that it’s time to start paying a little bit more attention to health and weight loss. I’ve let thing slip and I need to get back on the road to normalcy after this particularly decadent weekend.

Oh who am I kidding? It’s been a decadent summer. And aren’t those the very best kind?

What are your tricks for getting back on the healthy side of life? Let me guess, it does not involve a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream pressed betwixt two freshly baked cookies (one oatmeal raisin cookie and one “everything,” if you must know. And you must. And also promise me you will visit Bang Bang if you’re ever in Toronto. It’s of the utmost importance.)

Spring Break!

Posted on | September 3, 2014 | No Comments

I know Spring Break isn’t for many months and I also know that I am way too old to celebrate Spring Break but that doesn’t change the fact that I find this photo collection of 1980’s Spring Break photos oddly mesmerizing. Not just because I think we can agree that all things 80’s and Spring Break are awesome. But because even though the people pictured are 10-15 years younger than me, they still look oddly old. I don’t know that’s about. The 80’s were weird time, man. Would somebody be so kind as to pass me the beer bong?

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 Spring Break: Totally Rad Photos from the ’80s vis weather.com

The Urban Remedy Metabolism Kit: Review

Posted on | September 2, 2014 | No Comments

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Last week in the hubbub of packing and moving and all that ridiculousness, I also completed the Urban Remedy Metabolism Kit, a mail order wellness kit that includes all food and drink for a full three days. I’m trying to lose some weight so when the folks at Urban Remedy reached out to me and offered to send me a cleanse or kit to try and review, I figured it might help me jumpstart things. I am not a cleanse fan. I love a green vegetable juice but have always seen it as an extra bonus of nutrition to add to a normal diet. What can I say? Not only do I like to eat I also think the body needs actual food to function properly and juice cleanses have never figured into that. (My friend Tammy Walker, a certified health coach, just wrote about juice cleanses). Urban Remedy does seem like a great company though and I was intrigued by the Metabolism Kit.

A big box arrived Tuesday night so I was ready to start Wednesday morning. The box was packed full of three days worth of nutritious foods and drinks. Here’s a day on the Metabolism Kit:

Breakfast:
Green Berry Juice – A thick juice, more like a smoothie. Fruit and veggie based with chia and flax added. I loved how sweet, fruity and filling it was. Perfect morning drink.
Diet Spike – A “Boost” that’s added to water. Urban Remedy makes lots of varieties. The Diet Spike contains Green tea extract, resveratrol in a base of probiotics, organic alcohol and purified water. You can chug it right from the jar or pour it into a small glass of water. It did not taste good but was supposed to speed up calorie and fat calorie burning.

Morning Snack:
No Oatmeal Cookies – These were the bomb. Nutty and sweet. Only problem was I wanted lots more.
Tea – An herbal blend, tasted fine to me.

Lunch:
Spring Roll – Reminded me of a summer roll, it was pretty good. Came with a tasty dipping sauce. But didn’t seem like enough of a lunch for this big eater.
Time Machine – A very tangy lemonade of acai, fresh lemon juice, cayenne, ionized water and stevia. It’s high in antioxidants and promotes weight loss and anti-aging. I could take it or leave it.
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Afternoon Snack:
Apple
Tea
Diet Spike

Dinner:
Zen Salad - A delicious salad of kale, napa cabbage, almonds, cilantro, carrots, and sesame seeds with a cilantro sesame dressing. I loved this salad! But it could have been a bit bigger, in my humble and hungry opinion.
Glow – A tasty green juice.

– The Overall Dilly –
I would definitely recommend the Metabolism Kit if you’re looking for a quick reboot or jumpstart to healthy eating. I lost 3 pounds and it did help me reset mentally for healthy, mindful eating. I would call it a success.
Of course there were a few drawbacks. I was hungry (even hangry), a lot of the time. I’ve never been much for following rules, so I cheated. Every single day. (Day: I had an extra apple, a pear and a couple of baby carrots. Day 2: Handful of walnuts, small order of steamed veggies, extra apple. Day 3: Spinach salad with avo and a hard billed egg.) The kit instructions said no coffee or caffeine so the first day and a half I complied and I had a major headache. So I cheated. Again. On both Day 2 and Day 3 I had an almond milk iced latte. I am a coffee enthusiast and I don’t see any problem with my daily cup or two.

My only other complaint is that the apples that came in the kit were very bruised so I had to replace them. Otherwise, I would give the kit and the company high remarks. I think it’s the perfect thing to jumpstart a healthy change or a reset after a particularly indulgent weekend (i.e, Me in Atlanta RIGHT NOW).

Now tell me: have you tried a cleanse or a kit like this ever? Would you?

Read Me

Posted on | August 27, 2014 | 9 Comments

I’ve made a little rule for myself. No brand new books for awhile. It’s fairly ridiculous to pay $25+ for a hardback so I’m limiting myself to books I can get from the library, the awesome used bookstore around the corner from me or my very own collection seeing as it has expanded as of late. This is not the easiest feat for me. I do love a trip to Barnes & Noble to peruse all the new releases with their shiny cover designs. They call to me! But there’s plenty of great reads out there that I missed for one reason or another. For example, I just finished Angela’s Ashes and I’m on to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. It’s the summer of reading things 15 years late! I’m not entirely sure how I skipped over these, maybe I was busy reading an Us Weekly. Whoops.

And speaking of reading things 15 years late. Here’s a good reference list. The New Canon: 15 Modern You Should read Right Now from Qwiklit.

1. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)
2. The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen (2001)
3. The Fortress of Solitude – Jonathan Lethem (2003)
4. Gilead – Marilynne Robinson (2006)
5. White Teeth – Zadie Smith (2000)
6. The Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolaño (Published posthumously in English in 2007)
7. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (2004)
8. Joseph O’Neill – Netherland (2008)
9. Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami (2002)
10. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon (2000)
11. House of Leaves – Mark Danielewski(2000)
12. A Visit From the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan (2010)
13. Life of Pi – Yann Martel (2001)
14. Junot Diaz – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)
15. Cormac McCarthy – The Road (2006)

I’ve only read four from this list, how about you? And what’s your favorite modern classic from the last oh 10-20 years? I’m a huge memoir fan but I will ready anything if it’s great. What books do you think say “reeeeead meeeee?”

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