Well, a stay-cation. Sorta. I’m at my parents’ place, so … I’m staycationing in PA. I get five days off, of which today is the first, and I’m working out, reading books, cooking food, and relaxing.
(Read: being super, super lazy.)
What am I reading first?
A book for people with Downton withdrawal.
What did I do so far?
I visited the Sandy-torn Jersey Shore for the first time since September. It’s very upsetting to see the destruction in the homes of neighbors and friends; you don’t realize how anxious and on-edge you are until you snap at something random because you’ve been holding emotion inside. We lost everything—every single thing. From bath mats to decorations to silverware to pillows and bedspreads and bath towels and…oh, well, you know, the carpet, kitchen, appliances, countertops, couches, chairs, beds…
We’re putting it together, but slowly. It’s frustrating, but we’ll be back in it this summer, even if it’s not perfect (or close) yet. It’s still our little house.
Oh, and you know what? Cheers to me. I’m halfway done nursing school.
I swear by my Keurig, especially since the advent of those Starbucks K-cups. The convenience cannot be beat and if I happen to need a cup at 4 p.m. it takes me 30 seconds to achieve caffeinated bliss.
I usually make a full pitcher of coffee and stick it in the fridge for the week, since getting the iced coffee out of the Keurig is a little more labor-intensive (or requires a bit of fore-thought).
I got these K-cups…
Brew with a crap-ton of ice. That is the best way to describe it — you need a big thermos or glass, because as the ice melts it dilutes the coffee (which you actually want, since this formula is blended knowing it will turn into about two cups total).
So to recap this pointless post: the trick is to use a really strong K-cup that can stand to be diluted by the inevitable ice melt situation. And if you want to add some milk that is cold, or cold creamer, that will help the cooling process even more.
(And if you don’t like the idea of the ice in your coffee, make those coffee-cubes I told you about.)
One Saturday later: I was drinking vodka martinis and listening to a boisterous accordion player across from a smiley, intelligent, and interesting guy who makes me laugh and has so far treated me to two separate and very awesome dates. Soon to be a third.
But I can’t talk about that here, because that’s bad…luck.
I had a beautiful weekend, with some babysitting, some baby showering, some sunburn and some genomics studying thrown in. Three finals down, and two to go.
I was introduced to this life changing beverage:
…and got to manhandle (see: leopold’s) my sweet friend Carolyn’s 28-week baby bump.
I bought myself a treat for nurse’s week:
(makes my skin smell so nice I want to eat my own arm.)
And now here I am, Sunday night, preparing for my second-to-last final and thinking about how nice a break will feel. I get 5 glorious days off from school—a break from the 11th to the 19th with weekends added in. What will I do with myself? I’ll be so rested, so bored, so full of pleasure reading, Game of Thrones, and happy thoughts.
And then we begin again.
But not yet.
I’ve been on a lot of first and (well, fewer, but still a large number of) second dates in the last few months. They obviously haven’t been going too too well, or I would be living happily ever after by now, or…something. But the good news is that I’m not dating because I’m lonely or because I want a boyfriend. I’m dating because I like to have fun, meet new people, and by this point, I’m scarily good at it. Apparently I can fake a connection with people, since they never realize there isn’t one between us until I break it off.
I hope that didn’t sound conceited; I’m just trying to make the point that I’ve had a few experiences in the “breaking it off” phase, and I’ve been surprised at how mature people have handled things. Each time I’ve been up front and honest with people, they’ve returned that gesture with a polite, honest, and understanding response. Because don’t we all just want to be treated with a little bit of respect?
My favorite line to use—mainly because it is true—is: “I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, but unfortunately I feel more of a friendship connection than a romantic one.” It’s easy, it conveys that there is nothing personal about it, and you can’t argue with chemistry. It’s just a flat-out honest statement, no matter how hard to hear.
I can only hope that by putting out that good dating karma, someday a guy won’t blow me off or never respond to texts, and will have the courage and courtesy to do the same for me. Because, as the guy I saw last week put it: “No worries about not feeling a romantic connection…that’s why they call this dating, right? I appreciate you being upfront and honest about it. Best of luck to you too.”
Wham. That’s a pretty great guy, right there, even if he wasn’t for me.
So the Grouper was canceled, and I heard from Single Lady #2 (who went on a Grouper last week, the same day I was supposed to, but in NYC) that the 3-on-3 dynamic is kind of weird, and it might feel a bit like competition with friends if there is actually a dude in the mix who is worth fighting for. I’m still hopeful about my upcoming rescheduled one (in a few weeks), but I dont think I’ll be meeting the Lurve of My Life.
And as for the fellow with no butterflies, well, I am going to call that one DOA. He is VERY nice. He’s a sweet, good-natured guy. But he had two separate opportunities to make me laugh, and wasn’t able to come through. Conversationally, I was pulling teeth. I asked so many questions I was practically The Riddler, and he wasn’t able to think of anything to ask me in return. The only times I laughed last night were at my own (terrible) jokes. I can handle some missing qualities in the big 4 (Nice, Attractive, Smart, and Funny), but the funny one is apparently more important than I previously thought. If you can make me laugh, you can make me do anything. And it’s a quality I’m not really looking to sacrifice.
In addition to the missing qualities, there were a few deal-breakers that came up along the way that I might be willing to look past, but in combination, were just…well, deal-breakers. [If you want to know what they were, I'll tell you privately.] It’s not cool to sacrifice some of my values for the sake of “maybe he’ll capture my interest on the third date,” so I’m not going to go. After talking to many of you through blog comments, emails, and texts, I do totally believe that these elusive butterflies can spontaneously arise. But in this case, no. And that’s OK.
I can say with confidence that every person I’ve dated in the last year (and in hindsight, good lord, there have been a lot), I’ve learned a bit more about what I’m looking for and who I want to be with. From realizing I’m not interested in people shorter than I am (and, in related news, people who blatantly lie on their dating profiles), to not wanting to date someone who works 80 hours a week, to recognizing quickly a type of witty that is mean-spirited, to wanting to walk out of dates with guys who are completely self-absorbed, I think I’m getting somewhere. This dating thing is really like finding a needle in a haystack, and although my frustration is mounting, I promise myself and my future husband that I’ll keep reaching in the pile.
I’ll leave you with a sentiment from my girl C-Juice:
Juice: Someone that makes you smile and laugh is a must.
Me: WHERE IS HE.
Juice: He’s just lost. You know how men hate to ask for directions.
Hey, future huz-B? Get out a map. Come find me. I bet we’re gonna make each other laugh.
If you’re wondering why you don’t see too many food posts round these parts lately, it’s because I’ve actually been on a “diet.”
It’s mainly a rigorous exercise plan, which is rigorous in that it’s the opposite of the exercise I was doing before, which was nothing. Do you follow?
Here’s what I’m up to:
- I’m watching portions.
- I’m eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.
- I haven’t had pasta in 20 days. Not that I’m counting. [Why is quitting excess carbs so hard?]
- I’m still eating my daily oatmeal [I made it 35 days in a row!], but I’ve (almost) dropped the need to add any brown sugar. In fact, I’ve cut down on sugar all across the board: no more desserts, no more morning breads or muffins [except the bread I just made yesterday, see below, OOPS], and no more sugary Greek yogurt: plain for me, all the way.
- I’m not subscribing to anything specific, just a less is more philosophy, and one of my mom’s standby rules: “If you half it, you can have it.”
Let’s hope I can keep it up with this loaf of bread around. I took this recipe from Shopgirl and am pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. I’m definitely going to be looking for more recipes that use Greek yogurt or applesauce instead of butter.
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Just a tinge less than 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large bananas)
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray Pam in the loaf pan. Combine eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixture and beat until smooth.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until they are well combined. Add in the mashed bananas and Greek yogurt and mix. Lastly, add in the chocolate chips and stir using a wooden spoon. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a rack before slicing or eating.
As if I couldn’t love her enough, I recently discovered Amy Poehler’s social network: Smart Girls at the Party. SGATP.net.
My favorite part of the site is Ask Amy, where Amy answers the questions of teenage girls in supportive, awesome, and Amy-sweet and funny ways. This one I saw on anxiety is not only full of great advice, but features a surprise guest (and one of my personal funny girl crushes) at the end. Enjoy.
Can’t put it down.
Jodi Picoult breaks her formulaic mold and ventures to a story about the Holocaust. A real winner.
I’m on a diet and exercise regimen. It’s rough.
Especially because, oh my god, do salads suck.
I’m trying to make them more exciting. Like….oooh, a Greek one! And oh, look, a Southwest one!
Southwest Salad: lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, black beans, corn, tortilla strips, Mexican blend cheese, chopped cilantro, Southwest Ranch dressing, and sliced cooked chicken (if desired).
You know what else makes the whole exercising thing more fun?
New workout clothes!
Target carries Champion athletic clothing for cheap enough and good enough quality that it’s one of my favorite places to purchase new workout gear.
$9.99 for cheap, comfy, easy little mesh shorts:
$25 capri pants:
$12.99 Wicking V-neck Short-Sleeve Top:
$14.99 Adorable, shaped tee: