Chinese New Year 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Over the past few years, my job has given me quite a bit of exposure to Asian culture - through daily communication and some amazing trips - and I must say, it's one of my favorites. It's also wonderful to have domestic access to some of my favorite things about it here in Chicago's Chinatown. For our third annual Chinese New Year parade we enjoyed a little pre-parade dim sum and tea and had full intentions of watching the festivities from our usual spot. That is, until we spotted my company float in the lineup, said hello, and were invited on board. So we jumped at the chance and the rest is history. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

And then this little guy jumped on me when we returned home, which meant the end of productivity.
Who am I to refuse kitty cuddle time?

Have a happy week!

Cleanse Complete!

Friday, February 15, 2013


At the end of January hubby and I embarked upon our first ever cleanse. Though the idea of a system reset has always been appealing, up until this point the thought of a cleanse terrified me. There are so many options out there, many of which, in my opinion are extreme. And if there's anything I'm not all about, it's extremes. So when I noticed a friend doing this one and sharing what appeared to be normal food (!) on Instagram I picked her brain. Cut to - we ordered the supplements, picked a 10 day slot (the 2nd hardest thing about the cleanse) and planned our weekly menu. Now here we are, cleanse complete and feeling great. But let's recap a bit, shall we?

As a vegetarian my first concern was that I'd starve, feel weak and tired, or just fail. I'm not saying it's healthy, but a bulk of my "fullness" comes from breads and starches. To ease my worries and get excited we geared up with some healthy grocery shopping, and with our friend (aka cleanse coach) created a special Pinterest board with approved meals and tips to make it through.

The rules: no dairy, grains, sugars or alcohol - seems somewhat manageable. I really thought I was eating not too far from healthy. Just cutting out a few key areas. Until you realize that everything has sugar in it, everything. Whole wheat healthy looking tortilla's - sugar, organic marinara - sugar, natural peanut butter - sugar. Ugh! Sure it might not be ridiculous amounts, but I really wanted to do this right, so a label checker / homemade everything maker I became. And here's what I learned:

  • This particular cleanse includes a fiber drink for the mornings - Peaches and Cream is the best flavor. Citrus is too chunky, and whatever you do, don't let it sit  - chug it before it solidifies! 
  • The second and third day were the hardest. (Should have had more water.)
  • Sugar is in everything (did I mention that?)
  • Zucchini "pasta" is fabulous.
  • Cauliflower "mashed potatoes" are delicious.
  • Did I mention water? It's imperative. 
  • Two weeks after completion, I'm really sensitive to sugar (not a bad thing I guess.) I used to gulp a venti iced chai from Starbucks like nobody's business but those days are over. Now, my sweet treat is a small glass of almond milk and a piece of dark chocolate, more than that and it's bellyache central.
  • I really did miss wine though. And cheese. 
Before we started I had just returned from nearly a month of travel. "Road food" had taken it's toll on me and I felt completely gross. A few pounds were lost, but the ultimate goal was just to feel better, healthier, and make the grossness go away. Mission accomplished. Now I'm having a food research moment and engulfed in this book

How are you eating healthy these days? 

You Are Loved

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day today! We've talked about how I feel about it here and here so there's no need to ramble on about the meaning behind this holiday. There are many strengths and doses of love, celebrate them all today and know that you are loved.

P.S. Last year's outfit.

Shapes of Cities

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

These are pretty rad.

Regarding city decor, what are your thoughts? Is it tacky to display one town while living in another, or the other way around? I tend to feel that if I live here, I don't need to be reminded of it, but instead would rather look at a dream location (tropical island?), a past memory or a favorite travel spot but that's not saying it's wrong.

Your turn.

P.S. I do love that tiny "bean". :)

P.P.S. And I do have a CTA pillow that'd I'm still mad for.

What's your favorite color?

Friday, February 1, 2013

When I saw this chart based on a survey of favorite colors at the moment from P.S. I made this my first thought was  "duh!", of course we love green - it's the color of the year! (Although, I must say I've always been a fan.) I'm curious, does your favorite color change with the times and trends or do you stand by your crayola? When I was a kid I loved purple but now I can't say I'm a fan at all. In my adult life I love yellow!

Spill the beans, or shall I say crayon box...