1. Phew, we're through Christmas and New Year's and my birthday and we can finally stop eating, am I right? Well, I can stop eating. I'm sure you have enough will power to have stopped already. (Show-off.) Anyway, the Biggest Blogging Loser starts today, so I start my own new year too. I'm loosely doing the Whole30. I say "loosely" because I have a few (work and personal) dinner commitments I can't/refuse to cancel or suffer through drinking water at and also because I won't beat myself up over missteps or allow myself to go hungry rather than eating something non-Whole30 compliant. I'm going to try my best, I'll say, and I'm mostly just trying to use this month as a tool to become re-aware of what I eat after (so many) months of getting disconnected with that.
A couple things I'm giving up for the duration of the Biggest Blogging Loser, though, are alcohol and chocolate. I know! That's 12 long weeks without a glass of something or a slice of something, but I think I enjoyed my fair share of both over the holidays and this will be a good re-focus for me on fruits and vegetables and healthy dishes.
I was texting Holly tonight about eating wholer--and I hope she's okay if I share this--but she said to me "don't let anyone police you." This is just what I needed to hear. You put intentions out on the internet and you can feel (maybe just me?) that the internet then gets a say in those goals. So, I'm repeating those smart words to myself over and over. It's really empowering.
I'm doing my best! We'll see how it goes.
Anyway, here's my January menu, if you care to see it. (By the way, I love this template I found for 2013 monthly calendars. Maybe you'll like it too.)
(Click to enlarge!)
2. I've somehow managed to watch a ton of movies over the last couple weeks and while I'd like to sit down and write out thoughtful movie reviews for each, I never seem to have the time, so I'll quickly recap a few:
Go see Silver Linings Playbook. Oh, it's so refreshingly good! I found it funny and heartwarming and dark and romantic. Bradley Cooper just owned his particular character and Jennifer Lawrence was perfect, too, although I felt she had less to prove. She's done small, independent films and she's done The Hunger Games but she's just good, you know? You don't doubt this girl can act, and I now don't doubt that about Bradley Cooper, either. So, if you're looking for a (likely-to-be-nominated) movie to see in this particular awards' season, see this one. (Although I haven't seen some of the other awards' contenders, so maybe take actual critics' recommendations now that I think about it.)
So, I had heard a lot of buzz about The Cabin in the Woods for a while now, and I had been wanting to see it. I finally convinced Mike to watch it (with my sister and her husband) over the holidays and, wow, what am I missing? The twist was kind of in the trailer, so as not to be all that shocking. Anything beyond the trailer was...not good. It was ridiculous. It was campy but not funny (which I was told it would be!). I just didn't get the appeal, and neither did the three other people I watched it with.
We also watched Lawless over the holidays and I really enjoyed it. Sure, it's kind of violent but I can't imagine you'd go into a movie about outlaw bootleggers and be surprised by that. For the violence, you also get a healthy dose of Tom Hardy, so go ahead and give it a try.
3. This is the point in the year where I go from Holiday Mania! to Planning My Child's Birthday Party! and somehow I'm always surprised by this. It's like the holidays are a buffer for the weird feelings that Kyle turning a year older bring, and now that the holidays are over, I can properly feel all of them. I try never to let myself get too sad because I have a healthy, awesome kid. I wouldn't trade that for anything. But it's still weird, you know? He's nearly four! I sometimes just can't reconcile that. Anyway, he is nearly four and we're throwing him a dinosaur birthday party (although who knows WHERE yet because we have a very small house and he has a February birthday--one of the few notoriously cold months in Texas--meaning we can't just let the birthday guests run loose in the yard and that always makes our at-home parties feel super cramped and chaotic, but we'll figure SOMETHING out) and he is very excited about it, and I'm very excited about it, too. Four! I just don't know.
4. For Christmas, I bought myself Young House Love, and while I know they are a Very Big Blog (which bring Very Big Blog Opinions), I mainly like this book because I'm a home decor idiot. I'm bad at DIY and bad at decorating and bad at thinking of ideas while looking at my ugly walls. They broke down ideas and simple fixes all in one easy-to-reference place, and they also made it easy for me to show Mike "THIS! I WANT OUR HOUSE TO LOOK LIKE THIS!" and he understood what I meant without me fumbling through blog archives or Pinterest boards to show him photos. He's become re-inspired around our house (in part because of the things I've shown him from the book, I'd be willing to wager) and it makes it fun to dream up Home Fixes together. I love this book, really I do, and I'd recommend it to you, if you're anything like me.
5. Oh, hey, my college team won their bowl game, and I got to watch them do just that at my birthday party Friday night. That was a lot of fun.
We had a house full of Aggies, and it was a lot of fun to high-five and cheer together. I recommend watching your team win with friends, drinks, and snacks. (I just invented game-watching parties, didn't I? You're welcome!)
6. One my favorite birthday gifts was a gift card to Target. I don't really understand people who don't like getting (or giving) gift cards. You're telling me I get a piece of plastic and can buy WHATEVER I WANT from one of my favorite places with it? THANK YOU, THAT IS FABULOUS, GIVE ME THAT GIFT ALWAYS. I don't want to buy groceries or things for Kyle or anything I would already pick up at a trip to Target with this gift card. I want to get something fun and something just for me. I've been looking at a necklace for ages (that of course isn't online since the Target website is THE WORST), but if it's still there at my next trip to Target, I'm getting it. What would YOU buy if you couldn't spend it on groceries or household things or anything you'd have to buy anyway?
7. I've been trying to think of a seventh thing for too long and it's time to head to bed, so let's just end by saying I have a super stressful week at work and I'm back to cooking and working out (I'm exhausted just thinking of getting to Saturday morning) so please diffuse the stress with some fun things. What are you most looking forward to this week?