Cool Things Are *Happening,* People!

I have a long history of being easily amused. Okay, so it’s actually to a ridiculous degree – as in, I’ve been known to bound out of bed on a Monday morning because I have a new kind of coffee or tea to try out. (And, considering my general enmity towards Monday mornings, this is saying a lot.)

So, considering this particular quirk, last week involved two discoveries that made things pretty awesome.

First, I found out that Starbucks is now offering coconut milk as an option for the dairy-free crowd. I’m trying to avoid dairy when I can, and soy and I just don’t jive – so I’ve been hoping and praying for aaaaaaaages that Starbies would get on board and find another non-dairy, non-soy option.

(A quick disclaimer/caveat: I know chai lattes aren’t the healthiest things in the world, so they’re not on heavy rotation in my life. However, I like to try and get them on Fridays – it’s a “Yay, self, you made it through the week!” self-care thing. I’ve also been known to do this if I’m having an exceptionally crappy day, since a chai will keep me from merely slogging through until close of business while being tired and cranky. In these circumstances, I figure the less-than-super-healthy chai latte is absolutely worth it.)

Anyways, they started offering coconut milk on February 17th, but since we had Tuesday off work on account of the snow (yaaaaaaay!) I wasn’t able to take part in the coconut milk revolution until the end of the week. But when I did? Sweet fancy Moses. In case anyone is wondering, coconut milk chai lattes are fantastic.

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As for my second awesome discovery, I was perusing this month’s InStyle magazine – which is slightly ironic, in the sense that I love fashion but a) wear really basic clothes in real life, b) more or less live in yoga pants during the weekend, and c) pretty much refuse to shop anywhere other than Marshall’s and Target – when I saw that The Limited is offering a whole line of clothes based on Olivia Pope.

YOU GUYS.

As anyone who watches Scandal knows, Liv’s wardrobe is to die for. (Side note: is anyone else sick of the Liv-n-Fitz Eternal Angst and Drama motif? Sh*t or get off the pot, you two.)

Granted, I can’t afford these threads (like I said: Target and Marshall’s 4-EVAH) – but if any of you are in the market for some new clothes and spend as much time admiring Kerry Washington’s Scandal wardrobe as I do, this is like a goldmine of awesomeness. I mean, this dress?

Scandal Dress

If I were 30 pounds thinner and psychologically able to handle the idea of spending $170 on a dress, I’d buy two of this. Not even kidding.

So, all this is to say that between the snow day, coconut milk chai, and the mere existence of an Olivia Pope line at The Limited, it was a fairly exciting week. What’s happening in your world?

All Mondays Should Involve a Two-Hour Delay {MIMM}

It finally snowed here! Well, ok, it snowed for a couple of hours (we picked up a whopping .5″, which is better than nothing) before transitioning to freezing rain.

I’d normally complain about freezing rain, because I feel like it’s the worst possible combination of weather patterns (if it’s going to be frickin’ freezing and there’s going to be precipitation, I want snow) but today it has brought us the next best thing to a snow day: a two-hour delay. I woke up at my normal time to see this beaut on the website of the office that makes the call on weather-related closures/delays:

Snow & Dismissal Procedures Current Status

Washington, DC, Area

Applies to: December 9, 2013

Status: Open – 2 hours Delayed Arrival – With Option for Unscheduled Leave or Unscheduled Telework

Huzzah! Mondays should always start with a delay, in my opinion. I’m adding it to the list of policies I’ll implement once I’m a benevolent overlord. It’ll be part of the “ease back into the workweek” plan I’d mentioned last week. All in favor, say “Aye”!

I particularly needed this delay after a busy weekend — a weekend that involved my plan to Christmas-ify the apartment. Operation: Holiday Spirit was a success, y’all.

I really wanted to get a tree, but our space for it is pretty darn small. I thought we’d have to go hunting far and wide for a small-ish tree that would fit in our apartment, but lo and behold, as we were en route to lunch on Saturday we drove right past a place that had a veritable cornucopia of small trees. Win! We picked one up yesterday, took him home, and dressed him up. I’ve named him Melvin.

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The folks at the tree stand also let me take some cast-off greens that had been cut away from other trees, so I also got my decorating on around the living room.

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And, for one of my favorite pictures, I’d like to introduce you to Wine Bottle Burqa. She was a wedding gift from a friend who’d been deployed to Afghanistan before our wedding, and she is exactly what her name implies: the exact same type of burqa approved by the Taliban, but designed to fit nicely over the necks of wine bottles. I’ve thought about doing a series of Wine Bottle Burqa still life shots throughout the year, which would depict her doing things like enjoying the springtime amidst the flowers. This is the first installment in that series: Wine Bottle Burqa gets in the holiday spirit.

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On a separate note, I slept like crap last night and am trying to gear myself up for a trip to the gym. I know I need to get ‘er done this morning, because shoddy sleep means I’ll be too wiped out this afternoon to drag myself to the gym. Oy. I clearly needed this weather delay.

And, as always, thanks to Katie for hosting MIMM — here’s to getting through Monday!

MiMM

MIMM: Cookies, a Pedi, and Continued Improvement

Good morning, everyone!

The good news: I keep feeling better and better, so I’m definitely on the mend. *Does happy dance* It’s amazing how feeling bad can make you acutely aware of — and thankful for — the times when you feel good. Every time I notice how much better I feel, I get really, really happy (and really, really grateful).

The bad news: it’s Monday. (One of my talents is stating the obvious. The other? Walking into fixed objects. As my Sunday school teacher used to say, God gave us all special gifts.)

I find that, for me at least, Mondays are a consistent source of an emotion that can only be described as “Uuuuuuuuuuuuugh.” I don’t mind the bit about getting up early — left to my own devices, I generally do that anyways — but commuting? Uuuuuuuuugh. Going to work? Uuuuuuuuuuugh. Not seeing the sun all day? Uuuuuuuuuuugh. (This gets a bajillion times worse in the winter, since that’s when I can literally go from Monday through Friday without seeing the sun. I’M GOING TO GET RICKETS, PEOPLE. RICKETS!)

I find that all my Marvelous in My Monday material comes from the weekend, and this week is no different. So, although the work weeks may suck away my will to live (third talent: use of exaggeration for dramatic effect), the weekends are comparatively fabulous! Before I dive into the weekend marvelousness, I’d like to thank the lovely Katie from Healthy Diva Eats for hosting this lovely shin-dig. Muchas gracias, mamacita! 🙂

Among the marvelous offerings this weekend were:

  • A freakin’ amaaaaaaaaaaazing strawberry Bellini I had with dinner on Friday night. This thing was sublime, people. It was sweet, light, and crisp — basically, the perfect beverage for a summer weekend.

Strawberry Bellini

  • The pedicure I finally got with my bright pink Essie polish, which I lurve. I feel about my pink nail polish the same way I that feel about my pink jacket: it might make the uber buttoned-up DC folks take me less seriously — people who wear bright colors tend to be looked upon skeptically here — but I don’t care. I’m on a mission to be unabashedly myself instead of acquiescing to DC culture (which, the longer I’m here and the older I get, the more I’ve realized is basically antithetical to every element of my personality), and this is part of that motif.

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  • I spent yesterday on a bit of a baking binge, and I whipped up some pretty fabulous GF oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies using Pamela’s GF Oatmeal Cookie mix and Enjoy Life allergen-free chocolate chunks. These babies are also dairy-free, so they’re safe for those of us upon whom lactose hates. I’m taking them to work today in order to ease the Monday grossness for everyone; although cookies don’t solve all problems (although wouldn’t it be great if they did? I can see it now: Boss is throwing a fit? Cookies! Computer crashed? Cookies! Building is on fire? Cookies!), they’ll at least make today a bit more manageable for the office crowd.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I hope everyone has a lovely Monday (well, as lovely as Mondays can be) and that the day goes by quickly!

What was the best part of your weekend?

What’s your favorite kind of cookie?

What’s the best adult beverage you’ve ever had?