A Facelift + A Decision

East & Homepage

Sometimes when I’m lacking in blogging inspiration (as I have recently, which has been pretty obvious, I’m sure), I get the itch to change my design. I think of it almost like rearranging a room for inspiration. So far in my blogging journey, this has worked. A fresh look helps me to get back in the game and reinvigorates my love for blogging. I’m hoping it works this time also.

I’ve been struggling recently. Struggling to figure out what direction this blog is taking and how big of a role it is going to play in my life, in my routine.

Sometimes I wonder if, after all this time, I still haven’t found my niche. I dabbled in outfit posts, rambled about my life, blogged about blogging, and wrote buzzfeed style posts. I’ve tried it all. And I’m just not sure what fits. I find it easiest to write about my life but each time I get too personal in a post I wind up feeling like a huge narcissist. Then I get embarrassed. Then I worry about how many personal details I’m putting on the internet.

I’m also fearful. Fearful that if I really shared my actual thoughts (and not just the smoothed over, politically correct nonsense I usually post), that people wouldn’t like me. That I’d rub people the wrong way. Sometimes I wish this whole blog was completely anonymous. I admire the bravery of the bloggers who boldly put hilarious, inappropriate, or unpopular opinions out there. I don’t know that I could handle the backlash. Strike that. I know I couldn’t.

But I going to try to keep going with this thing. I’m going to keep writing and keep sharing. Maybe I’ll get more brave in the process. I’m coming up on 3 years of blogging and therefore this is the hobby I have stuck with for the longest (by far). Truthfully, I love digging through my own archives, remembering moments in my life or oohing and ahhing over Archie’s puppy pictures. It preserves my thoughts, opinions, and life events in my mid-twenties. I want to keep this place. I want it to thrive.

If you have any commentary about what posts you like reading from me, I’d love the feedback. Thanks a million.

The 10 Best Almost Christmas Movies

Are you sick of Christmas yet? CAUSE I’M NOT. Naturally I’ve been spending the season by watching as many Christmas movies as possible, while mentally patting myself on the back for our fabulously decorated tree. I’ve already watched Love Actually, Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, and Miracle on 34th Street.

So when you’ve watched every Christmas classic (or when your boyfriend refuses to watch another Christmas movie because “we just watched one yesterday!”), here are some almost Christmas movies to suggest. They aren’t entirely about Christmas. But Christmas happens in them. So they count.

1. Bridget Jones’ Diary

Because nothing represents the holidays (and particularly, the holiday’s while single) better than Bridget Jones, spilling her wine while plays the invisible drums and fake belts, “All byyyyy myseeellllfffff.” And truthfully, I still don’t know what turkey curry is.

bridget_jones_singing

2. Sleepless in Seattle

The scene where Annie (Meg Ryan) is driving in her car at Christmastime, listening to Dr. Marcia Fieldstone and she asks Sam “Tell me what was so special about your wife?”

And he replies with “Well, how long is your program? Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.”

Oh gosh. Gives me chills just copying and pasting from IMDB. Well done Nora Ephron, well done.

sleepless_in_seattle_christmas

3. Diehard

Insert eye roll here. One of me and N’s longest standing household debates is whether this is or is not a Christmas movie. Since it’s set around Christmas time and is therefore KIND OF a Christmas movie, I’ll include it. We watch it every year and I just know that N loves when Hans Gruber appears and I shout PROFESSOR SNAPE!

4. Harry Potter

Oh, this isn’t a Christmas movie, you say? Five of the movies have Christmas scenes. So there.

harry_potter_christmas

5. Rent

Almost the entire film takes place between Christmas and New Year’s and if you’ve gotten enough of your fa-la-la’s in, maybe it’s time for 525,600 minutes.

6. Serendipity

I have the warm fuzzies just thinking about this movie. Christmas + Fate + Romance + New York.

serendipity christmas

7. Toy Story

Because really, isn’t Christmas about joy? And gosh, I don’t know if I can think of a more uplifting movie. Plus, that final scene on Christmas day…”It’s a PUPPY!”

8. When Harry Met Sally

I’ll admit, this is more of a New Years movie but it happens to be my favorite movie of all time. We’ll file this one under “holiday” instead of “Christmas”.

9. Little Women

If I remember correctly, there are several Christmas scenes of the March family. Plus, it’s just such a heartwarming classic.

little_women_christmas

10. You’ve Got Mail

Alright, this one is a stretch but it does have Thanksgiving and Christmas related scenes. And anyway, “I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.” STOP. I can’t.

Have any to add to this list? What Christmas (or sort of Christmas) movie can you not get through the season without?

The 20 Beers of Christmas

Christmas in our household doesn’t really start until after N’s early December birthday. Since his birthday gift had come in the mail early (and since I couldn’t not give it to him when it did), I wanted to do something a little special for the day of. I hopped on Facebook only to find my mother had shared a picture of a beer advent calendar. A Christmas countdown, of sorts. Made of beer.

Here’s what I came up with. The 20 Beers of Christmas.

Beer Christmas Countdown

Each beer is a different beer. I stopped in to Total Wines and did 4 “make your own 6-packs” and got an assortment of types of beer that I know N likes, with plenty of seasonal Christmas ales mixed in. With a couple left over, I made some subs, just in case he doesn’t like one of the beers. Add some construction paper and a countdown and TA-DA!

And that’s The 20 Beers of Christmas.

How Working In A Hospital Has Changed My Body Image

Last week I was taking the stairs up to a unit in the hospital (as I mentioned before, taking the stairs was a change I made in September and have since kept it up). Since there are two flights of stairs between every floor, it’s a doozy to get to the fourth floor. On about floor three, huffing and puffing a bit, I looked down at my legs and smiled. How amazing is it that hiking up stairs isn’t hard for me? I looked down at my legs and one foot went in front of the other, steadily climbing until I reached the fourth floor.

I didn’t look at my legs and think about the cellulite on the back of my thighs. I didn’t wonder how many calories that flight of stairs was burning. I didn’t have a single harsh thought about my body. I was grateful.

Always one of the best parts of my day.
Always one of the best parts of my day.

I see people every day whose bodies just don’t work the way they are supposed to. I honestly didn’t realize that working with people who are struggling medically each day would change my own body image so drastically. While I’ve never thought my body image was unhealthy, I think every woman has her moments where she is critical of herself. I’ve certainly had those moments. I have them a lot less now than I did before.

I can’t say that this has caused me to drastically change my habits but it has made me view my body in a different way. It’s not just this thing for me to be critical of. It’s not just about how it looks. It is capable and strong. My brain tells my fingers to move when I type. I can walk Archie 6 blocks or 16. I could do a cart-wheel right now if I wanted to. My body does what I ask it to do. How amazing.

I May Be Uncultured

I’m going to say something that is going to make me sound ridiculously uncultured and possibly a little pathetic.

On Friday night I went to a fabulous dinner with friends. The trendy restaurant was exactly what you’d expect in a slightly hipster city like Philadelphia. White subway tiles lined the walls, dim lighting, lots of industrial looking stainless steel. The bar was serving up meticulously made cocktails, the kind where things are muddled and your something-with-lemon has a beautiful curl of actual lemon in it. It had a cool vibe. Part of me already didn’t feel cool enough, the second we walked in the door.

fancy dinner

One overpriced glass of wine later and we were seated with menu’s in front of us. I glanced down, eyes scanning for vegetarian or seafood options, but soon realized that I could not pronounce half the menu and had no idea what so much of it even was. Saffron Trenette? Romesco? Confit? Saba Vinaigrette?

When N and I wind up at restaurants like this on our own, we shamelessly Google all the stuff we don’t know. It makes me secretly happy when we are both on the same, un-fancy page. In a group of friends, I quietly asked a couple of questions and went with a safe option – scallop risotto.

It’s just that sometimes in places like that, I feel uncomfortable. Not classy enough. Sure, I can use my forks in the right order. I’ve always got a napkin in my lap. But I have no desire to have a swig of wine poured for me to smell and then taste before saying yes to it. I ordered it. The answer is yes. I don’t like wondering whether my food has meat in it, simply because I don’t know what half the ingredients are. Food doesn’t have to be fancy and unpronounceable to be good.

If I was abroad and I didn’t know what the foods were on a menu, that would make sense. But sitting in a restaurant several blocks from my house and not knowing? It makes me feel uncultured and out-of-place. Or I wonder if it’s really that the restaurant is pretentious and everyone else is just as confused as I am.

As I sat there eating my slightly crunchy risotto (Is risotto supposed to be crunchy? See, these are the kinds of things I don’t know), I couldn’t help but mentally list all of the foods that I think are just as good (and not $26). I would have been just as happy with cheap Thai takeout, a cheese plate, pizza (obviously), or even a refill of the (free) bread basket.

But you know what? Even though I felt a little awkward and a little pretentious, I couldn’t really believe that this was my life. There I was, surrounded by friends and my love, laughing and chatting at a hip downtown restaurant. It was then that I realized that all the things I wanted to happen when I moved to the city had happened exactly as I wanted them to. In fact, my life recently has worked out exactly as I wanted it to. It’s weird and wonderful and a little terrifying.

So N, thank you for dinner. And thanks for being my partner on this fabulous adventure. Thai takeout tonight?