An Extra Hour

Good morning, everyone! How was your weekend? Did you get some extra sleep after “falling back” for daylight savings?

I had a much-needed restful weekend, and I feel particularly well rested after moving the clocks back an hour. I always have mixed feelings about daylight savings: I haaaaate that it gets dark so early in the fall, but I love the daylights (pun intended) out of that extra hour of rest. The well-rested feeling lasts for a few days, which I adore.

By contrast, I loooooove that it stays light in the evening in the spring, but I can’t stand losing that one precious hour of rest. Similarly, it takes me a few days to re-adjust to having lost that hour, and I wind up feeling groggy and like a a really irritable zombie all week. Instead of saying “Braaaaaiiiiins,” I wind up muttering “Sleeeeeeep” as I stumble around like an insane person.

But I digress.

In both cases, I try to focus on the thing  that does make me really happy. (If we’re looking at trade-offs, I figure it can’t hurt to focus on any and all benefits.) In this case, it’s sleep. Sleep is my homie. My BFF. I love it to pieces.

I decided to milk that extra hour for all it was worth: I slept and dozed and lounged, knowing that I had extra time and didn’t need to worry about getting up and being productive. Leisure! Rest! GLORIOUS!

So, while it’s getting dark obscenely early now, I at least got to spend the day being way lazier than I normally would. And I have to admit: I really like being lazy.

Aside from my propensity to lounge around endlessly in my PJ’s, we had a lovely weekend. We hit up our favorite Indian restaurant for their lunch buffet, saw Ender’s Game — which, BTW, was awesome, and I highly recommend seeing it — and then visited one of my favorite grocery stores here (Mom’s Organic Market).

I love grocery shopping in general — I’ve loved it since I started cooking when I was in high school — but I especially love shopping at Mom’s. Mom’s, while not as economical as places like Trader Joe’s, has produce that looks so flippin’ gorgeous, it’s almost inspirational. I really think that if you could take a bona-fide vegetable hater and show them the produce at Mom’s, they’d reconsider their loathing of anything that comes from the ground. It’s heavenly.

After all that shopping, I whipped up some healthy breakfast-ish muffins. I’ve been trying to squeeze more veggies into our daily routine, and we’re both pressed for time in the mornings — so I figured this would be a good means of both saving time and giving us something healthy to snack on.

 

Gluten Free Morning Glory Muffins

While the original recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart, is already pretty healthy, I decided to up the ante on this. I used gluten-free almond and amaranth flours, replaced the sugar with agave, substituted 1/2 cup of the flour for ground flaxseeds, and substituted almond milk for skim milk. (I also nixed the oil, because the batter was plenty moist without it, and the raisins, because I really don’t like having raisins in baked goods. I’m weird like that.)

With those substitutions, these muffins are gluten- and dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and loaded with protein, fiber, and produce. I know almond flour sometimes doesn’t sit well with some Celiac tummies, so if you decide to make your own GF version, use whatever GF flour you like — I obviously haven’t run that experiment myself, but I suspect it’d work just as well.

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins (Adapted from the Martha Stewart recipe)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup GF rolled oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed

Baking time will probably depend on your oven (mine gets funky sometimes, for reasons I’ll probably never understand), but these will bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center of each comes out clean.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and that all your days are off to a marvelous start! If you’re in the mood for some more marvelousness, feel free to swing by Healthy Diva Eats, where the lovely mamacita Katie hosts a weekly link-up for Marvelous in my Monday — it helps the beginning of the week feel less painful. 🙂

MiMM MIMM #74  Family, Dinner Date, and More!

MIMM: Food and Naps

G’morning, everyone — hopefully y’all had an awesome weekend! I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend, so it was fairly low-key…which, given my grandma-status ways, was actually glorious.

I tend to feel torn about weekends: they’re basically the only opportunity I have to hang out with friends and socialize, and they’re definitely my one shot chance to clean, do laundry, and run errands.

And yet, as soon as the weekend rolls around, all I want to do is relax. I want to read, hang out in my PJ’s, commune with the couch, watch a week’s worth of DVR’ed TV, and just generally chill. Alas…

So, strangely enough, I actually wind up feeling ok about the times when I’m not feeling well and am basically forced to take it easy. This weekend was one of those times, so here’s a brief recap of a generally relaxed couple of days. It was, shall we say, Marvelous (with many thanks to Katie from Healthy Diva Eats for hosting Marvelous in My Monday)!

I started feeling gross on Saturday morning, so I spent the morning having breakfast and a leisurely cup of coffee while reading. Feeling gross wasn’t great, but the coffee and quality time with my Kindle were fantastic.

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I probably should’ve gotten up and been productive after that, but I was still incredibly tired. I don’t normally take naps — I usually feel worse after napping than I do beforehand — but Saturday was one of those times when it just couldn’t be resisted. I was stumbling around the apartment and barely able to keep my eyes open, so I decided I couldn’t resist the allure of sleep. And nap I did: a whopping 3 hours later, I finally woke up and re-joined the world of the living.

By that point it was 3 p.m., and because I have weird food cravings sometimes (side note: because fatigue and food cravings always raise a few eyebrows, let’s get this out in the open — I’m 100% sure that I’m not pregnant!), I really wanted some frozen yogurt. I managed to acquire some Pinkberry before Brandon and I went to see Iron Man 3 (which was awesome — I really can’t get enough of Robert Downey Jr.). Behold the salted caramel and strawberry deliciousness:

PinkberryYesterday I went to a lovely baby shower for one of my old roommates, who happens to be one of the funniest people I know. I can’t wait to meet her wee one, because that kiddo is going to have no choice in life but to be just as hilarious as his/her mama!

After the baby shower, I was once again totally exhausted. I didn’t nap this time (napping two days in a row would’ve made me think that I’m almost certainly dying), but Brandon and I watched TV until I felt well enough to venture out for some food. After getting dinner, we went to the grocery store that I love most in the world (even more than Trader Joe’s, which is really saying something!): Wegman’s.

And, as luck would have it, a magical thing happened during our grocery store adventure. You see, for the last 18 months, I’ve been searching fruitlessly for my favorite kind of GF veggie burger. I’ve gone to just about every grocery store in DC in hopes of finding Amy’s Sonoma Burgers, but no one out here carries them. (Of course, they’re stocked, like, everywhere back in Colorado. Le sigh.)

After over a year of searching, I’d resigned myself to the notion that Sonoma Burgers never made it out East, and that I’d just have to indulge my love of of these magical things whenever I’m visiting my parents.

As I was walking through the frozen foods section in search of frozen fruit for my smoothies, I looked up and was face-to-face with none other than my elusive but beloved Sonoma Burgers.

Y’all, I just about cried. I didn’t actually do it, but I did gasp — loudly — in shock and delight, and I did say “Omigod, omigod, omigod, I thought I’d never find these and holy crap they’re here Wegman’s is a wondrous place omigod!”

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To say that I’m unspeakably excited for lunch today would be a massive understatement. I might lose my job on account of people thinking I’ve lost my mind when I start doing a happy dance by the office microwave, but oh well — it’ll be worth it.

Tell me about your weekends: did you do anything fun and exciting, or was it a weekend of R&R?

What was your favorite part of the weekend?

MIMM: A Premium on Comfort

Good morning, lovely people — I hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Mine was fantastic, although now I’m desperate for more caffeine after a night of supremely weird dreams. (Seriously, brain, WTF? Dreams about my teeth falling out? Gross!)

Weird dreams aside, though, our weekend was awesome: we spent time with some good friends and their adorable daughter, caught up on some of the DVR backlog that accumulated while we were on our Breaking Bad marathon, I made another trip to Target (!!!!), and I gave the apartment a thorough cleaning in anticipation for a special visitor arriving tomorrow…but before I go into the details, I owe a big thank you to Katie from Healthy Diva Eats for hosting Marvelous In My Monday. Muchas gracias, mamacita!

While at Target on Sunday, I got sidetracked by approximately eleventy bajillion displays. (This is par for the course for me, since being in Target means that I have the attention span of a fruit fly.) The most notable among them were cute pajama pants, scented candles, and coffee mugs…but really, it’s Target, so the list goes on (and on and on and on).

I remarked to my friend Christie —  who had the courage to brave the masses at Target with me — that I clearly have a problem, because I’m powerless when presented with cute PJ pants, scented candles, or anything of that ilk.

Her response? “You don’t have a problem. You just place a premium on comfort.”

YES. THIS IS WHY WE’RE FRIENDS, Y’ALL.

I picked up some adorbz and insanely comfortable pajama pantalones as well as a scented candle (because, y’know, comfort) — but in an act of tremendous self-control, I resisted the urge for another coffee mug. To quote the DirecTV commercial that I love, I am epic win.

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So much comfy.

After loading up on my creature comforts, I dove into a deep clean of the apartment (I still have a few things to do tonight, but it’s mostly done). I love it when my home is clean and organized — I vividly recall waking up one morning when I was 8 years old, looking around my generally messy room, and thinking “My life would be a lot easier if I was clean and organized. I’m going to do that from now on.”

And, wouldn’t ya know, that’s exactly what I did. Since that fateful day in 1989, I’ve made my bed every day (and, in fact, am driven mildly insane by an unmade bed) and have been all about keeping my shiz in order. Mildly OCD? Maybe. But, as Gretchen Rubin so accurately noted in The Happiness Project, outer order leads to inner calm. Amen, sister soultrain. Amen.

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I love list. Not lamp. List.

This deep clean was particularly special, though, in light of a certain guest who will arrive tomorrow evening: my mom! (*Insert happy dance here*)

One of the biggest difficulties in living out East is being far away from my parents. Plane tickets between Colorado and DC aren’t cheap, which means we only get to see each other a couple of times a year — so needless to say, I’m incredibly excited to see my mama.

Me and my mom when she visited me in Israel — replete with the Dome of the Rock in the background.

One other glorious note to the weekend: the weather is finally warm enough — and, God willing, it’ll continue to stay that way — to warrant the bi-annual great clothing swap-out: the epic process in which I bring my summer clothes out of storage and find a hiding place for my winter clothes for the next 6 months or so. It’s a heck of a process, but I’m proud to say that I made it work. It took some Tetris-like rearranging in our rather miniscule closet, but I emerged victorious in the end. 🙂

I hope everyone has an awesome Monday! So, tell me:

Have you ever had weird dreams about your teeth? Do unmade beds bother you, or are you chill about it? What’s your biggest Target weakness?