I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding
For kicks, I googled the term “wedding stress” and the quote “I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding” popped up as one of the search results. It struck a chord with me. It’s not that I’m stressed per se, but as we approach that seven-month mark just a few weeks away, I can’t help but freak out just a teeny tiny bit. After all, six isn’t far behind, and I still don’t have a dress, and we still haven’t booked our florist. Ah! See what I mean? While I’d like to think I’ve been a mostly level-headed, easy-going bride nowhere close to -zilla territory, it’s so very easy to get caught up in the small details. When that happens, I try to remind myself that I love Brian and the wedding is really just a bonus in the bigger, better, grand scheme of our hopeful happily ever after. That helps. 

Dose of perspective aside, I see no reason why the wedding shouldn’t be awesome, and I will do my darndest to make it happen. Happy hump day!

Image via Bunch Studio, text added by yours truly. 

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Fortune Finds77
I hope this Tuesday finds you well. Here are some of my current desires and distractions. Also, Happy Hanukkah!

1. The 2014 Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. Totally on point, but I still love and want it all. (Deadspin)
2. How Mindy Lahiri Are You? I was disappointed to learn I’m only “Mindy-ish.” (BuzzFeed)
3. A fake-out international airfare-booking tip that can save you big bucks, or euros, or pesos. (Time)
4. I haven’t skied in over a decade, but Brian’s never been and is coming home with me for Christmas, so I’m giving it another go. So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the shopping in preparation for the skiing. Favorite purchase? These great socks. (Columbia Sportswear)
5. Tonight’s the first night of Hanukkah. Light up the night with this great parody of “Shake it Off.” Not only is it catchy, but it’s so well written that you actually learn quite a lot about the holiday. (YouTube)
6. If you’re in need of a great guy’s stocking stuffer, look no further. The Wallet Ninja is your answer. The creator was recently interviewed on Bloomberg Television and I loved the concept. Great gift, right? (Wallet Ninja)
7. Mesmerized by this video of an expert gift wrapper doing his thing. I’ve taken notes. (The Telegraph)
8. Caffeine-free ways to beat that midday slump. Music to my coffee-abstaining ears. (Huffington Post)

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Healthy Avocado Ranch Dip
As promised, I’m back with a recipe post. For selfish reasons, it’s a healthy one, so if you were hoping for something decadent and sweet, I’m sorry to disappoint. As you may know, I just came off of a 3-day juice cleanse (it was great and if you live in DC and are at all interested, I recommend Jrink), and in the days since, I’ve been trying to be more mindful of what I eat. Gone (for now) are my days of processed foods and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Instead, I’m making a conscious effort to eat fewer carbs and more fruits and vegetables. The fruit part I’m mastering quite easily, it’s the other two components of my new diet that I’m struggling with, but I believe I’ve found a fast track for my vegetable goal in the form of Healthy Avocado Ranch Dip. 

The idea came to me as I was thinking of what I’d have out for a visit from my friend Kate. She stopped by yesterday afternoon, two days after the end of my juice cleanse. Because the usual crackers and cheese weren’t an option, I quickly settled on cruditรฉs, but the normal fatty (and oh-so-delicious) ranch dip or ranch seasoning (MSG) wouldn’t do either. I had to step it up, and did so with a fresh, homemade, healthy ranch-inspired dip of my own. Follow along to see how I did it. 

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Hello-Kitty-iPhone-WallpaperAnyone who knows me, knows I’m unabashedly obsessed with Hello Kitty. So much so that the very first thing I did after getting my new iPhone was to search for Hello Kitty phone backgrounds. True story. Unfortunately, any excitement I had was quickly deflated when I saw the mostly pink, mostly tacky choices. Sure, I’m a huge Sanrio fanatic, but I’m also a grown woman (most of the time) and that doesn’t mean I’ll settle for just anything. So, not liking my options, I borrowed from other images and created my own set of mostly white, minimalistic lock screen and home screen images. You know, classy stuff. If you love Hello Kitty like I do, feel free to click the links and download them for your own use. It would make me so happy to know I helped other fans of Kitty White (her given name) incorporate a little more of her into their lives. I’m all about sharing the love. 

Happy Friday! 

P.S. Food posts to come next week when I’m no longer on my all-juice diet. Thanks for understanding. 

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Jrink Juices
So I’m doing a juice cleanse. I can feel your eye rolls. But I feel really good about it, I swear! 

This isn’t my first time on an all-juice diet. Back in April of last year, I did the 3-day Blueprint cleanse. It wasn’t easy (I hate ginger), but I felt really good after the fact and it was just the jumpstart I needed to take better care of myself and what I ate… until it wasn’t anymore. This time, I’m hoping the good vibes will last me a while longer now that I have a very big motivator to keep me going. 

Anyway, this time, I’ve embarked on a local juice cleanse, and have my friend Jillian to thank for the introduction to Jrink in Dupont Circle. If you’re familiar with Blueprint and its imitators, Jrink’s 3-day Beginner Reboot is very similar, except even better, and in prettier packaging to boot! The green and beet juices (the two more difficult ones to sip down) are gingerless which makes a world of difference to me. I’m sure I’m missing out on whatever health benefits ginger offers, but it’s a sacrifice I’m more than happy to make. If ginger’s your thing, Jrink’s “Not-as-Easy” Reboot’s got plenty of it. I wish you luck. 

I’m now on day 2 of my cleanse. From experience, it’s the toughest one of the three, but so far so good. I’m definitely not hungry, but man oh man does biting into a slice of cheesy pizza sound so good to me right now. I just hope it pays off, and for $155 (plus $10 for delivery, these bottles are heavy), I mean that in more ways than one. 

So what do you think? Is a juice cleanse something you’d do or am I crazy? 

Image via Jrink Juicery

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Pic Me Up - 12.9.2014
Sharing a few snapshots from the last couple of weeks. Per usual, food was the highlight. If you’re ever in Atlanta, Coast Seafood and Raw Bar in Buckhead is awesome and I highly recommend it. Happy hump day!

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