I never really considered myself as someone who was “into fitness.” That is, until I dated my last boyfriend, who didn’t give a flying fuck about being healthy or fit.
When it came to me needing time away from him to hit the gym, he would get angry. If I told him I was cooking turkey tacos, he groaned, because he didn’t appreciate healthy eats. However, I couldn’t eat his diet of Buffalo Wild Wings and pizza all the time, unless I wanted to be as big as a house.
So I tried to make things he liked to eat, but make them healthier. While my efforts went unnoticed (he was sleeping with a fat girl on the side), I’m happy to share my recipe with you, assuming your boyfriend gives a damn.
I made Bethenny Frankel’s Zesty Baked Chicken Wings from her book, The SkinnyGirl Dish. I nixed the bread crumbs, and they were still delicious, but here’s Bethenny’s recipe:
- 3 tb olive oil
- 1 tb dijon mustard
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 ts minced garlic
- 1/2 ts salt
- 1/2 ts pepper
- 1 tb lemon juice
- 1/2 ts lemon zest
- 16 chicken wings, halved at joint with tips removed
- 1 c freshly grated parmesan
- 1 1/2 c whole wheat bread crumbs
Combine the olive oil, mustard, cayenne, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and zest in a bowl until well-combined. Pour the marinade over the wings in a Ziplock bag and let them sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to 4 hours).
In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, and parsley. When the wings are done marinating, coat them in the breadcrumb mixture and place on a pan. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, rotating halfway through.
I made these with baked onion rings, and everything tasted delicious!
I can’t believe that I’ve made it until March without having a picture of my cat, Blanche, featured in this weekly spot.
One week from today, my sassy kitty will turn one (yes, I have a gift for her), although I’ve only had her for about eight months. In this short time, she’s become my companion, and has weaseled her way into my work; she was recently featured on the LSU website, and is also on the cover of my book, How I Fell, the print version.
I have been fortunate to have a cat by my side for most of my life. When I was just two years old, my parents took in a litter of kittens, with just one survivor; a calico tortie they named Lucky. Probably against her will, Lucky became my playmate, and the best secret keeper. She was my best, best pal until I was 19.
While I hurt tremendously when Lucky passed away, my family had already added a new cat to our clan. He was a cat I always wished for; a very orange, and very fat, cat that I named Orange Julius after the famous smoothie (hence my Twitter handle).
Julius was Lucky’s opposite—in your face, adventurous, and sometimes annoying. But I loved him all the same, and he moved with me to Louisiana. In July of 2012, Julius wasn’t acting his usual self. And one trip to the vet revealed that cancer had taken over. I said my final goodbyes to my beloved funny guy just a few days later, and even today, I miss him just as much.
I swore I would never get another cat. I had been blessed with two awesome ones and there was no way any other cat could compare. But after a year of being pet-free, I started to miss the company. So, I started looking online (casually) but wasn’t excited when I saw the kitties. My mom assured me I would, “Just know,” when I saw the one that was right.
A short week later, I came across a local shelter that had posted on Facebook that they had a “Golden Girls Litter,” and all of the kitties were named after characters of the show (Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, Stanley, Miles, and Sophia).
The character of Blanche Devereaux is my favorite on the show (which I love), and the kitty with her name stole my heart. She was even a calico tortie, just like Lucky. And so, after at least a month of back-and-forth with the adoption process (and money, and an interview, and a home-visit), Blanche came to live with me.
Book readers will remember that Blanche was brought into my home at the lowest point of my relationship with D. Some nights would find me curled up on the bathroom floor beside her, as I cried myself to sleep. Blanche licked the tears off my face.
Since then, our house is a much happier place—despite Blanche tearing up nearly everything she can with her very sharp claws. Regardless of how annoying she is, she is always granting me a good morning meow, and is always waiting for me at the front door when I arrive home.
And just last week, she killed her first mosquito. Given that I’m allergic to the little vampires, I’d say that’s a good friend.
While Blanche may resemble Lucky, she is very needy, wanting my attention all the time, just like J-cat did. Unfortunately, I’m not always able to give her what she wants, as I’m usually hunched behind my laptop at night. And so, she has figured out how to be near me even then—wrapping herself around it and slapping at the keys when my fingers move over them.
So, call me a cat lady, but I think I’ve got it pretty good.
Can’t get enough of my cat lady tendencies? Check out my podcast with Model Husband, Ethan Moses, as we dish on our funny cats.
We are just 17 days away from the first day of spring. Spring means wedding season, and since this is my blog, I can go ahead and say that wedding season, for the most part, sucks.
If you are single, perhaps wedding season will find you attending nuptial celebrations solo (because the married couple was too tacky to allow you a “Plus One”). Maybe you’ll be witnessing two people throw themselves into a binding agreement that really isn’t a great idea. Maybe you slept with the groom last week (wait, what, I don’t know, shut up). Maybe you’ll be a bridesmaid, and stuff yourself into a disgusting dress that you’ll sell on eBay in less than 24 hours.
What a joy! And so, I’m here with a little bit of help, or at least I hope so.
- Make a decision. Just because you were invited to a wedding doesn’t mean you have to go. Sounds mean, but it’s the truth. Same goes for engagement parties, bachelorette bashes, etc. Truthfully, it is improper for the bride and/or groom to invite the same person to more than 3 parties (outside of the wedding), so you can happily decline invitations to this clearly vain couple.
- If necessary, budget. While you don’t have to attend every party or the wedding, you DO have to send a gift for every invitation you receive (unless it’s more than 3 parties, as mentioned). So, if you’ve got a lot of engaged friends this season, you should create a budget so that wedding gifts don’t cramp your style.
- Get a hot outfit. Even if the wedding couple is doomed for divorce, watching the whole shebang can be difficult. A few years ago, I was a bridesmaid and there were tears in my eyes during the rehearsal in the chapel because I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, this may never happen for me.” Call me crazy, but a wedding stirs the emotions. So find an outfit that makes you feel confident. Treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry or a cute evening bag. Check out my wedding season wish list (links to products are below):
- Get a good date. No, I don’t mean a guy, necessarily. Take a good friend—someone you can laugh with, and rip up the dance floor with! If you’ve got a stack of invites, maybe this same friend can go to all the weddings with you, then you don’t even have to stress over it.
- Keep it classy. Smile, be happy for the couple, and have a good time! Have drinks, but don’t get hammered (there will be photo-evidence). And, no matter how hot they are, steer clear of the groomsmen. You don’t want to be THAT girl.
For the most part, my wedding seasons are over. However, I am happily attending a wedding in Chicago this summer as a “Plus One,” so if you’re in the area, hit me up, and let’s drink (cheers for being single)!My Wedding Season Wish list: OPI Brazil Collection for Spring & Summer 2014, Benefit Cosmetics Peek-A-Bright-Eyes, Steve Madden Marlenee Sandal, Insight Azuro Dress, ELF 3 Piece Lipstain Set, XOXO Long Sleeve Shirt Dress, Heirloom Finds Peach Pink Quartzite Cocktail Ring, Faux Leather Neon Envelope Clutch
My relationship with sleep has probably had just as many issues as my dating life. But while I’ve been sleeping my entire existence, I can’t tell you if sleep has always been an issue for me.
I do remember being an early riser during my high school years—waking early to allow myself enough time to shower, curl my hair, and drive to school 40 minutes before my first class just to secure a parking spot and sit in my car.
Now, I’m neither a late night owl or an early bird; probably because when I get into bed, sleep doesn’t find me like I wish it would.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve lost sleep over stress (while I’m cool on the outside, I’m usually panicking on the inside); I’ve rocked a mouth guard every night for at least 15 years because I grind my teeth; and I snore. Loud.
How have I ever had a boyfriend?
Believe it or not, I don’t consider any of those real sleeping problems. The real problems began a few years ago, when I suspected my then-boyfriend was cheating on me. I had vivid dreams of him having sex with other women.
I would try my best not to be mad at him—I knew the dreams weren’t directly his fault—but it was hard to look at him right the following day. Sometimes, I’d wake in the middle of the night from a dream, and call him, and then when I told him the dream aloud, I sounded like an idiot, we’d both have a laugh and that was the end of it.
Since he really was cheating on me, I suppose the dreams aren’t as crazy as they seem. Perhaps I’ve got a little bit of psychic in me…
When I started dating my most recent ex, I hardly slept, period. He was always getting home so late after work, or staying up until 5 am drinking, that I was constantly running on maybe an hour of juice.
Check out this Tweet I found (as proof) dated March 10, 2013. I was so tired, that I was grammatically incorrect!
When I laid next to him, I was often terrified, afraid of the things he would say (or do) to me in the middle of the night.
The first night after we broke up, I remember tucking myself into my own bed, relieved that I could get a solid chunk of sleep. Then, I was awoken mere hours later to the sound of him beating on my front door, attempting to open it with his house key, after I’d had the locks changed.
For a solid month after that, I would wake up each night around 3 am, terrified. I would double-check my locks (despite living in a high-security building), before laying wide-eyed in bed for hours.
When I’m not having relationship drama, I sometimes wake from nightmares (often involving an ocean) or open my eyes with lines of poetry in my brain that needs to get out. While recent events in the lust department have stirred my dreams in the last few weeks, in general, I can say I’m catching some ZZZzzzs—and that’s a relationship that’s important to me.
Earlier this week, one of my former blog students asked me to write a guest blog for her over at: Southern Sass. Below is my post, but give Southern Sass a visit while you’re at it! Want me to write for you? Send me an email: WittyWriter7@gmail.com
Every six weeks, the Cinemark theatre downstairs from my apartment shows a series of classic movies. The last round included some goodies—Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Groundhog Day—so I bought a pass to see all six flicks.
While my friends joined me for viewings of the first five films, I was on my own for the sixth: Sleepless in Seattle.
I love Sleepless in Seattle. I never got to see it in the theatre, as it debuted in 1993, when I was in third grade. I have always enjoyed seeing movies alone, so I bought myself some chocolate and found a good seat, near the back of the theatre.
If you’ve never seen Sleepless in Seattle, it’s definitely worth a try. Directed and written by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it is ultimately a story about love.
Hanks’ character, Sam, along with his son, Jonah, is trying to move on after his beloved wife passed away. Across the country, Annie (Ryan) is madly in love with her boring fiancé, Walter. During a drive on Christmas Eve, however, Annie hears a radio show where Jonah calls in and explains that all he wants for Christmas is for his dad to find someone. Annie finds herself a little infatuated with the story on the radio…
I won’t give away any spoilers, but you can probably guess the direction of this story. But my story isn’t about chick flick endings.
While I have always loved this movie, watching it there, on a Sunday afternoon, it struck a different chord with me. Watching Annie listen to this radio show, hearing callers and their stories, reminded me of a moment about a year ago.
You see, I’ve got many pleasures—most of them I don’t feel guilty about. One of them is listening to Delilah, the nightly syndicated song request and dedication radio show (with an estimated 8 million listeners).
Each year, she starts playing Christmas music ridiculously early. And two holiday seasons ago, I found myself falling in love, fast. We met at the gym, through mutual friends, had endless conversations—often punctuated by gasps—we just couldn’t believe we had found each other. It was the finest match I’d had until that point.
One Saturday night, he came over to my house to have dinner, drink, and play games. At random, I turned on Delilah, and she was already playing holiday songs.
“I love Christmas music!” he said. “Let’s pretend it’s Christmas!”
“Okay, so, what did you get me?” I joked. “Nothing? Typical!”
We sang along to the carols, and reminisced on our favorite holiday memories. It was perfect.
But there was one imperfection: he was already married. It was most definitely something I wasn’t proud of. I was a secret—a thing I’m used to being when it comes to dating.
Looking back, I never expected him to leave his wife. But he was damn good at dehumanizing her; which in return, made me feel less guilty. And just before the “L” word tumbled out of my mouth, he ended it, and said he wanted to work things out with his wife.
I respected that, but my heart was broken. My brain knew that I deserved better, I deserved a man I could trust, I deserved an entire partner, not half of one (as does his wife).
I needed a shoulder to cry on, so I turned to my best friend, and told her everything—I had kept it all a secret for fear of being judged. But, as good friends do, she did everything but judge me.
It was a year before I really saw or talked to the guy again. And, in case you’re curious, he still says “nothing has changed” when it comes to his marriage and that he wants out.
But this time, I didn’t take the bait. I am still not quite the woman I want to be, but I know I don’t belong in that situation. I hope both of them find what they are looking for. And as for me? The single me is much better than the secret me; I know this, for sure.
“I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?”—Sleepless in Seattle
Sunday afternoon, my friend a I took a sewing class at Jo-Ann Fabrics.
I’ve never had a huge interest in sewing, but my friend has wanted to learn for the longest time. Each Thursday night, we get together to watch Project Runway, or now, Under The Gunn, and she always says, “I wish I knew how to sew, so I could make that…”
So for Christmas, I bought her the class and all of the beginning materials. I signed up, too, so she wouldn’t have to go alone. But from Christmas, until the days leading up to the class, I noticed I was getting more and more excited about it.
My friend was right, once we learned how to sew, the possibilities were endless. And I love endless possibilities.
The class had eight students, all of us varying in age (the girl next to me was 8). Our teacher, an older woman who said she’d been sewing since high school, said she felt refreshed to see so many people in class, because she felt like sewing was a skill that people had stopped learning—yet it remains to be such a useful skill to have.
We started by learning about the tools we had purchased for class (what you see in the picture): sheers, a seam ripper, different fabrics, interfacing, pins, and measurements.
Then, we got to use the sewing machines. We learned how to get thread on the bobbin, and then learned to thread the machine. Once we started sewing, we each got to sew two straight seams (complete with a backstitch) on our fabric, along with 2 “L” shapes, a “U” shape, and 2 faux pockets.
Although it might not sound like much, we walked away from the near-3-hour class feeling like we learned a ton! We even bough several patterns that our teacher said we’d be able to make, just with the knowledge we learned that day.
I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but learning something new is such a high. Although I work at a university, higher education doesn’t always mean college. It can be a leisure course, a seminar, a training session—and I never want to stop learning.
Now the question is, how much am I going to invest in this new hobby? Anyone who knows me, and perhaps many of you readers do know me by now, you’ve gathered that free time is pretty foreign in my world. I’m lucky if I get to carve out time to sleep each night.
The only “hobby” I’ve ever invested in has been my writing; and let’s face it, from the time I wakeup, until the time I sleep, writing is in every bit of my life. Sometimes, I wakeup during the night with an idea or a poem or a headline that I have to write down before I can sleep again.
The thought of turning down an opportunity to create, though, that’s devastating. And this brings me to one of my absolute biggest fears: not having enough time, forever. I constantly worry that I won’t live long enough to read all of the books on my Amazon wish list, see the places I want to see, love the way I want to, and apparently, get a sewing machine and sew to my heart’s content!
I don’t know when I’ll get around to sewing, even though it’s on my mind. Instead, maybe I’ll just write about it for awhile—sew there!