Reds, whites, sparklers or rosés?

Mr. Sweet and I enjoy bringing wine when we visit friends, but I am always overwhelmed and intimidated when I stop into my local liquor store and see rows of bottles. I never know what to buy – reds, whites, sparklers or rosés? I read labels and ask for help from the sommelier. Mr. Sweet, on the other hand, finds the funniest label and hopes for the best.

A couple of months ago I came across a blog called Brunellos Have More Fun. Whitney has helped tremendously with picking out wines for the right occasions and making me feel more comfortable in the store. She also has a wonderful Webcast called “The Crush”. Do check her out if you are interested in learning more about what you have or should be drinking.

Also, should you not want to delve into the details of wines and where they come from The New York Times has a great article on 20 Memorable Bottles for $20.

She makes us a family.

Layla sleeps in our bed every night, without fail. We often wonder if others do the same. I love how she cuddles next to us and her light purring throughout the night. She makes us a family.

I see the way that my husband acts with her. I know that one day he will make a great father.

Funny how a pet can teach you so much about yourself.

“Too-rushed-to-breathe”

Can be it be true? Are we just too busy? Is breathing even an option?

An article on The Wall Street Journal’s website disagrees. The article suggests that we actually seem to have more time on our hands then we originally realize. We claim to be swamped at work, but in reality find time to check Facebook and sneak in a Starbucks run.

The most memorable part of the article for me is:
“Ask yourself what you’d like to do with your time. Claiming to be busy relieves us of the burden of choice. But if you’re working 50 hours a week, and sleeping eight hours a night (56 per week) that leaves 62 hours for other things. That’s plenty of hours for a family life and a personal life — exercising, volunteering, sitting on the porch with the paper, plus watching TV if you like. Set goals — maybe three hours of exercise and swapping out two hours of TV for reading — and see where in your 168 hours you could make that happen.”

Kick up your feet and take a moment to think about it. You might just find that you have enough time.

Normal or just myself?

Normal or just myself?

  • Sometimes I talk to my cat. “Hey Layla, how are you today? Did you have fun while we were at work?”
  • Sometimes I think she answers me with meows.
  • When I see an incredibly attractive person my brain completely shuts off. I was having a conversation with a friend at work and a man who was a Greek god walked pass us. I couldn’t tell you what she said after that.
  • Whenever I drive past a cop on the street I am convinced he is running my plates and will pull me over for something I didn’t do.
  • I usually enjoy the company of men over women. I feel as though they understand me more.
  • I have a hard time leaving voicemails. I either leave too long of a message or completely forget what I am going to say after the beep. Yes, everyone loves silence and then a dial tone. Right? Right?
  • I hate wearing heels. I don’t think I have worn them since 1999.
Are you normal or just yourself?

Completed: #17. Become a vegetarian for a month

17. Become a vegetarian for a month

On October 1st my husband and I started a month long experiment to go meat free.  One of the main reasons we decided to do it was to simply see if we were capable.  Every month or so we like to challenge ourselves – last month was coffee free and this month meat.

Things we learned in our meat free month:

  1. Being vegetarian is not nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be.  When beginning this journey I really thought that I wouldn’t make it the full 31 days.  To my surprise it was my easier and tastier than I expected.
  2. We were highly aware of what we were eating.  No running to the local fast food spot or our favorite restaurant.  We had to think ahead and find out places we could eat that had alternatives to meat.  You would be surprised how many places didn’t.
  3. You become aware of other food choices. You find recipes and foods you never considered.
  4. Some people were not so understanding.  There were many that didn’t understand why we were just giving up meat for a month.  There were a few that were very hostile toward our challenge and insisted that we “Weren’t going to make it”.
  5. You need to listen to your body.  Part of why our bodies crave certain foods isn’t because we want them, but because of what is in them.  Our cravings were more about our bodies needing certain elements instead of actually wanting a cheeseburger.
  6. I was in the mindset that a vegetarian menu was bland and boring.  I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting it could be and how many different spices come into the equation.

All in all K and I were pleasantly surprised with our excursion.  Even though we are going to be eating meat in the future, we look forward to adding some of the recipes and foods we came upon into our everyday lives.

Regret. It’s only a six letter word. Right?

I have never been a fan of having regrets. I truly believe that things happen for a purpose and that everything will work out in the end. But, after the passing of my biological father recently it made me think of things that I have regretted. There aren’t many, but they are mine.

1. Not traveling to Europe with my best friend when I had the chance to. This is a big one. I have always wanted to travel to Europe and when I finally had the money and time in my twenties to do it I didn’t. A stupid little fight and I backed out.

2. Not finishing college. I have never been a person who liked school. I know I can still go back, but I still don’t like school. I would rather work.

3. Not saving up when I was in my 20’s. Oh man, I was making very good money and living with my parents. What did I do with my money? I bought a car that wasn’t worth it, drinks, clothing and anything else my little heart desired. At least I started a 401K plan at 19. I don’t know many others who did.

4. Watching too much television. I really need to get away from the TV. I keep saying it that I am going to cancel our cable, but in the end I always chicken out.

5. Not keeping in contact with certain people. Things happen and people change. But some friendships I miss and wish that I could reconnect.

Is there anything that you have regretted?

Monday Five Countdown

Since so much has been going on in my life right now I thought I needed a Monday Five Countdown. I need to stop with the Pity Party and be grateful for what I have.

Five Things I’m Grateful For
1. My husband. He has been so supportive the last couple of weeks. I found out some very sad news and have been dealing with some things as of late. He really has been there every step of the way. Cheering me up and making me smile.

2. A day off. Friday I took the day off to take care of some personal stuff. I was happy that I got to relax, sleep in for a bit, visit my old workmates and do a little shopping.

3. My family. For being supportive in anything I decide to do.

4. Mini trips that are schedule in the upcoming weeks. A weekend away, apple picking, visiting a winery, pear picking. Can’t wait!

5. Whole Foods. Thank goodness for this place! Ever since I have gone gluten free it has been easier to find things to eat.

Four Things I Can’t Stop Thinking About
1. The little weekend trip we’re gonna take in two weeks. We both really need to get away. Wine will flow, food will be gobbled, hot tube will be used and tears will stream with how much we have laughed. Can’t wait to see our friends!

2. Rutherford Pancake House’s gluten free pancakes. Oh Yum!

3. My test results. Blood was taken and now we wait. Ek!

4. Fall. I wish the weather would go back to the weather we had last week. Cool days and cool nights where you can open your windows and feel the breeze.

Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week
1. Look for vacation deals. We want to go to Chicago, back to San Diego and maybe schedule a trip to a tropical island in the next couple of months.

2. Start making a menu for next month. We are going meatless and I need ideas!

3. Some down time. Maybe a little relaxing, reading a book, a nap, watching a movie, having a cool drink or just taking a long walk with my husband.

Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About
1. Life. It has been pretty up and down lately with quite a few bumps. Hoping it slows down a bit.

2. Our apartment. I want to paint it, but it has been so muggy. I also want to switch things around and make it fresh again. SO far, no time and money.

One Random Thing
1. For all of October K and I are going meatless. We are doing it as a 31 day challenge just to see if we can. So far two people don’t think we are going to make it. That makes us want to do it all the more!

What’s going on with your five for today?

Oh Bread, How I miss thee.

For the last month and a half I have been on a Gluten Free Diet. It has been one of the hardest things for me to get through. A meal with a side of bread is my kryptonite – a warm roll slathered with butter or a croissant with strawberry jam. I am drooling just thinking about it.

There are things that have been happening that have lead me to this point. I was having a lot of G.I. issues for a while and thought it was “normal” since I have had stomach problems since high school. I am constantly tired. I can go home right now, crawl into bed and fall asleep till tomorrow. Joints ache and constant headaches. I am tired of it. I am tired of always feeling exhausted. Little did I know when I started this gluten free lifestyle how it would affect my life.

I have always loved food. I am a self taught baker. Anyone who comes to my house for dinner knows that there will be a dessert to follow which usually involves flour. Cakes, cookies, pies and breads are my specialty. For Christmas, I make dozens of different cookies to give out to my friends and family. If you search through this blog you will see numerous recipes that involve my now number one nemesis…flour.

I now have to brave the isles at my local supermarket to read labels and change the way I am eating and thinking. I was surprised once I took a look at the labels of the foods we have so mindless been devouring. I have realized that a lot of my favorite eateries are unable to provide me with something that I would favor. This experience has been eye opening. I now take pleasure in finding new and exciting ways to cook. K and I are pushed to find restaurants outside of our comfort zone. We are changing for the better.

I have heard that it takes 30 to 60 days to break a habit. I have seen my husband go a year without soda, just because. Now it is my turn to push away the bread basket, to listen to what my body is trying to tell me and make a better life for myself.

I am keeping my fingers crossed and the bread basket far away.