Back to Work

Ugh.  Could going back to work be any more painful after a glorious and relaxing break?  I had a wonderful vacation but 6:45 am came so early this morning.

I decided a Gingerbread Iron Woman Smoothie would be a good idea for breakfast this morning (I added some kale to it). Green smoothies that taste like cookies always make the bitter reality of going to work a little easier to swallow.

Especially when you have to get out of bed with a snuggle puppy.


An Open Letter to My Running Shoes

Dear Running Shoes,

I can understand if you have been feeling very neglected lately.  I apologize for my behavior.  I have not been a very good owner.  I promise to wear you again soon.  We have some serious holiday eating to burn off.



Christmas Cook-tacular

I finally figured out what I’m bringing for Christmas dinner.  I usually make both a main course dish and a dessert so I know there is always something I can eat.  My parents are really awesome about making sure there are things I can eat (for Thanksgiving my dad vegan-ized his stuffing…that’s love), but I like to take some of the weight off their shoulders and bring something myself.  This year I am bringing Harvest Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Yams for the main course and then Toasted Almond Butternut Squash Tart for dessert.  Not sure about the shepherd’s pie but I’ve had the tart before and it was straight bangin’.

I also have a baking date with my beautiful Sweet and Salty Tart on Sunday.  The tentative baking schedule is as follows:

Tart has a candy thermometer so I’d like to try my hand at making some brittle.  That is a pretty ambitious baking menu, we might be exhausted by the end of the day.  But there is nothing like a house filled with baking smells to get you in the mood for the holidays!

If you look very closely – you can see some tiny little puppies looking out our window wishing you a Merry Christmas!

clothes fit

Sometimes this happens.

 Thank goodness for husbands being home and being nice enough to make me breakfast.

I blame this dress:

My numerous attempts to make it not look like a mumu (moomoo?) on me have met with defeat.  One day I will be victorious, today was just not that day.


Today I give thanks for:

  • Super warm sweater tights (I might need one pair in every color for the winter)
  • The last grad class for an entire week (oh hey Thanksgiving break!)
  • Super awesome coworkers who give me angel-wing begonias for my office

I sincerely hope I don’t kill this little guy.  I just had to bury a piece of an elephant ear plant that decided not to root 😦  Who kills elephant ears?! This girl with the brown thumb.

Skin Care Revamp

Now that the colder weather is upon us it’s become glarly obvious that my current skin care routine just isn’t cutting it.  My face is feeling dry and mildly irritated after washing.  I’ve used Pro-Activ since college with great results.  It clears my face up but there are some things I’ve had a hard time over-looking lately.

“Originally, our ingredients were selected before information on ingredient sources was readily available. Now, our regulatory group is reviewing each and every ingredient to help us move toward formulations that are free of animal-derived ingredients. As a result, there are very few remaining animal-derived ingredients in our products. In addition, Proactiv products never have been and never will be tested on animals.”Pro-Activ

It’s nice to know they emphasize no animal testing but not everything is vegan.  Major frowny face.  It also contains some seriously harsh stuff.  It bleaches everything it touches.   The towels in my house all have at least one or two bleach spots from me accidentally wiping my face on them.  If that’s what happens to my towels then that can’t be good for my skin.

So my next research project is finding an awesome, effective vegan skin care routine that isn’t going to break the bank.  Here’s what I’ve been looking into so far:

  • Aveda – vegan; set includes cleanser, toner, and lotion; comes in at a whopping $74.  Ugh – that’s a lot of cabbage to shell out for my face.
  • Pratima – vegan; does not come in a set; cleanser ($18), toner ($19), and lotion ($32) comes to $69.  Still a little pricey.
  • Avalon Organics – mostly vegan (they helpfully list the products that aren’t); cleanser ($10.95), toner ($10.95), and lotion with SPF!! ($16.95) comes to about $40.  Totally do-able but is it inexpensive because it doesn’t work?
  • Lush – lists its vegan products; I’ve heard good things; the consistency of their products looks slightly odd…which might require in-person investigation.

My next phase of Operation: Skin Care Revamp will include a forray into big girl make up.  I’ve been mulling Bare Minerals over for a while…but I’m just so darn cheap!