Being Spontaneous: A Healthy Blogger Weekend

Yesterday morning I hopped on the bus to DC to meet up with Coco. I’m on the bus back now (Sunday night). We had a lot of fun; I got to hang out with Coco and her husband (!). Next time Bobby will come along with me and we will go hiking and pick apples. It’s fun doing things with other married people.

Being spontaneous and being with a good friend is a great way to break out of a normal routine. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my daily regimen that I forget to stop and do something different. A weekend getaway is great for that.

A Perfect Blogger Saturday

On Saturday we walked a lot (5-6 miles). We had a yummy Malaysian lunch, we walked through Georgetown, we saw Eat, Pray, Love, and we ended the night with Vietnamese food. This is one dish from lunch (a noodly salad). I would have taken more pictures but I was too wrapped up in hanging out and good conversation!

A Blogger Inspired Sunday Breakfast

This morning we (we = Coco) made HEAB’s coconut pancakes. They were awesome. Unfortunately my stomach has been acting weird and bloaty all weekend so I wasn’t very hungry, but I did have a decent amount of these, plus some cherries. Coco said she changed the recipe slightly, but I don’t know the modifications. You will have to ask her.

We walked off breakfast by strolling through the touristy part of DC near the Whitehouse. Coco had gone running there this morning too before I woke up! (Maybe it wasn’t there… somewhere around there though. She is starting to taper for her half-marathon this weekend.) Think we did around 6 miles of walking. Walking = best way to exercise (in my opinion).

A Say Yes to Salad Lunch

Lunch was green and compost-friendly at Sweet Green (salad of romaine, edamame, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, and sauteed mushrooms with some yummy creamy dressing). Our salads came with the best bread ever, which we both finished. Sweet Green was great – everything is labeled if it’s vegan, you can compost everything (even that “plastic” cup), and the food was delicious and satisfied my salad craving. I can never get enough salad. Ever.

I am now finished with my dinner (Whole Foods prepared food) and dessert (apple and a Chinese candy from Coco) because this bus’s internet is so slow and it has taken me over an hour to write this. I guess that’s why it’s free because I would not pay for this.

I am off to sleep, or read my magazine (Women’s Health), or do some pondering. This weekend was so fun! I’m in a great mood and I can’t wait to continue my great mood this week. Upcoming…

  • Skincare (this is your last chance to ask me any specific questions! So far I am going to chat mainly about oily skin, but I am open to answering more – please comment below)
  • Exercise inspiration
  • Yoga guest post
  • Food/bread inspiration
  • (not necessarily in that order!)

What did you do this weekend? Do you have plans for Labor Day tomorrow?

I’m hoping to meet up with some more friends and spend some quality time with my husband (who I missed very much while I was in DC). Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

Best WordPress Commenting Plugins & Goal Updates

Note: This is replicating similar functionality that is built in with WordPress.COM blogs (but not .ORG). If you are self-hosting your blog using WordPress then you are .ORG (that is what I am). If you host your blog using WordPress.COM you don’t have to worry about all this because it’s built in. If you are not even using WordPress you can just skip down a few paragraphs to the updates below.

I don’t know about you, but when I comment on a blog with a question I very rarely go back to check for an answer. I like it when the blogger emails me back from the comment notification email they get in their inbox from WordPress. I also reply to nearly all my comments this way. I should really add the responses to my blog since sometimes people ask good questions that other people might want to see the answer to. So…

Best Blog Commenting Reply Plugins for WordPress

Reply to a comment on a post –> sends an email to the commenter.

First, if you don’t already have nested comments enabled, do so. It’s under Settings –> Discussion –> Enable threaded (nested) comments. This makes it so your comment replies are indented, like so:

Source.

Second, install Comment Reply Notification (search for it under Plugins –> Add New). This one sends an email to the commenter after you write a reply. You will need to go to Settings –> Comment Reply Notification and select the option that you want (I did “Anyone replies”). You can also change the format of the email that gets sent out with the reply.

Voila! Now you can have comment replies on your blog that also go to the original commenter’s email.

I will be replying a whole lot more now that I have this up and running. I’m very excited!

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August Goal Setting Update

Last week I listed out some goals that I wanted to make progress on by my birthday in mid-September.

Sleep goal. I am happy to say that I went to bed early-ish every night this last week! The latest I stayed up was on Saturday night (til about 1am) but all the other nights I was in bed around 11:30pm. I am so happy.

Fitness goals. No yoga yet, unfortunately, but lots of walking. I don’t know why I haven’t been into yoga lately. This was me doing down-dog on the lanai (balcony) on the honeymoon. I did actually do a yoga class in Hawaii; it was yoga on the beach in the early morning. (We were both morning people on the honeymoon because we didn’t really do the time change. So 6am in Hawaii was like noon in NYC. It worked.)

Music fun. Here is a lovely song by a band called Mumford & Sons. We are seeing them later this year. They are fantastic. Just wait for the chorus!

***

I will be back tomorrow with a standard healthy post. I just wanted to offer up that comment info for anyone who might find it useful, and do the goal update.

Do you have any great plugins you want to share?

Goal Setting

I’m in an ambitious mood today, so here we go. My goals for the next few weeks (I want to see at least slight changes in all these areas by mid-September… my 24th birthday):

Going to Sleep Earlier

I am not really a night owl by choice, but night after night I fall into bed at 1:30am or later, only to roll out of bed at 7am bemoaning my existence. I took a class on sleep with my friend Mel down at Brooklyn Brainery a few months ago (BB is awesome, check it out if you are in NYC) so I do know that sleeping is incredibly important!

Goal: I’m going to follow the usual tricks – 1) get up at the same time every day, 2) set a routine for night (read for 20 minutes starting at 11 to get me sleepy), and 3) do this for at least 10 days in a row to get in the habit. I think ideally you’d do more than 10 days, but that is a start.

Food Less, Live More

I want to talk about some other stuff on the blog – I like food, but it’s not good to think about it too much. Maybe this is me being more intuitive.

Goal: Blog about other stuff every week!

More Fitness Fun

Been slacking a little on fitness, but I’ve been getting in some walks. I try to do 5,000 steps a day on a low day. 10,000 is better! I usually hit that. I’d like to do some more yoga, too. It keeps me sane, even if it’s just 20 minutes a day.

Goal: 20 minutes of yoga a day 5 days a week + at least 8,000 steps a day.

More Music Fun

Sometimes I listen to a song that just makes me happy. One of my (current; there are many more) favorites is:

  • Defying Gravity – this is off of the Glee Soundtrack. Actually the entire soundtrack is mood boosting. At least it is if you are like me, and you were a music nerd back in high school 😉

Goal: find a new song every week and play piano for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Were you a music nerd? Do ya miss it? I sure do. I have an audition for a choir tomorrow night, so I’m excited to (hopefully) have that back in my life. Favorite songs?

What are your goals for the next few months?

Are you good at following through on goals, or not so much? Why do you fail or succeed?

Grilled Baby Fennel Recipe

Wedding countdown: 3 days.

This afternoon we have a special errand downtown and then my parents are going to take us to NJ along with our kitties (Bobby is heading back up for another day of work and his bachelor party…!).

While I am running around, here is a yummy seasonal (and local) recipe for you. I got baby fennel from the local section of FreshDirect’s website the other day (don’t forget about my FreshDirect coupon – 20% off) and didn’t know what to do with it. I figured grilling is always a no-fail recipe method, so that is what I did.

Baby fennel is a licorice-y veggie (though not quite as harsh as fully ripened fennel). The leaves, seeds, and roots are all edible. It’s a decent source of vitamins A and C, niacin, and potassium; it also has a little bit of calcium, iron, and of course dietary fiber. It’s popular in Italian cooking and is called “finocchio” in Italy.

Grilled Baby Fennel Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of baby fennel
  • 2-3 teaspoons peanut or olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • salt and pepper
  • (grill – or a saute pan would probably work)
  • salad dressing (optional)

Method

  1. Trim the feathery leaves off of the top of the fennel (don’t know if you want to eat these? too odd for me).
  2. Rub the fennel with the oil, salt, and pepper. Grill for 10 minutes (George is the best).
  3. (If you don’t have a grill you could just saute the leaves – with roots attached – in a pan.)
  4. Top with your salad dressing of choice – I used a creamy cilantro dressing from Trader Joe’s.

Exercise of the day: no idea yet! walking to work (1.4 miles) and probably a short calming yoga podcast.

Have you ever had baby fennel?

My Moral Fiber & I Love Muffins

“Now I think moral fiber‘s about finding that one thing you really care about. That one special thing that means more to you than anything else in the world. And when you find her, you fight for her… And maybe the stuff you do… isn’t so clean. You know what? It doesn’t matter. Because in your heart you know that the juice is worth the squeeze. That’s what moral fiber‘s all about.”

–Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch), The Girl Next Door.

I found my one special thing and I’ll fight for him forever. (Love you sweetie! Can’t believe we are getting married in 4 days.)

I also found another kind of moral fiber. (Trader Joe’s High Fiber Low Fat Organic Moral Fiber Blueberry Bran Muffins.)

These moral fiber muffins makes a delicious dessert spread with (full fat) cream cheese. Great breakfast too. I am always finding new fats to obsess over. Recently my fat of choice has been cream cheese.

Exercise of the day: walking to and from work (2.8 miles). I’m not even going to pretend I’ll have time for a 20-minute video today.

What’s your fat of choice? Do YOU have moral fiber?