Keep Calm and Coffee On

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Sometimes long weekends leave me feeling energized and relaxed,
ready to get stuff done and take on the world!

Other times they leave me with a major case of the Monday blues,
tired and exhausted and feeling like I just want to sleep the week away.

Unfortunately, today I’m feeling like the latter.

I had a great weekend. I didn’t do anything of particular interest,
but I just had a really fun San Francisco weekend.
Brunch with friends in SOMA. North Beach beer festival. Paella dinner party.
Sun and good food and friends and beer.

It wasn’t anything out of the usual, but for some reason,
it has left me feeling exhausted.

I’m grateful it’s a short week, because the only thing making my Monday blues bearable
is the fact that it’s actually Tuesday.

I have a super busy week ahead of me,
one so busy that it almost seems impossible
to get everything I need to get done in just four days,
but I’ve just got to trudge through.
Keep calm and drink coffee, right?

Because before I know it, next week will be here,
and I will be on my way to Hawaii.
I can do it!

What’s that, you say? You didn’t know I was going to Hawaii?

Well I am. Kevin and me. For a wedding in Oahu.
To say I’m excited is an understatement.

I’m sure I’ll be sharing lots of details about this soon,
but right now I’m just too tired.

I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend,
and that you’re feeling better than I am today.

Anyone else out there whose weekend left them feeling totally drained?

StephanieFebruary 19, 2013 - 9:10 am

I feel you. I’m totally exhausted today and just want to lay on the couch and watch movies. But I hold the weather more responsible than the 3-day weekend. Today is so gloomy!!
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SerenaFebruary 19, 2013 - 10:42 am

@ Stephanie – it is SO gloomy today! It’s like the weekend was a tease!

Jenn from Much to My DelightFebruary 19, 2013 - 11:09 am

Gah! So jealous you’re headed to Hawaii!! I would kill to go back there right about now. I always work on those three day weekends, so I can’t empathize with you there, but I definitely know the drained feeling…February in NYC will do that to a person. Hope you get everything you need to get done before your fun trip! Hope that will perk you right back up!

Julie / BoundFebruary 19, 2013 - 11:25 am

Yay Hawaii!! Do you have your beach reads all lined up?
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MoFebruary 19, 2013 - 11:47 am

Oooooh Hawaii! One reason I’m excited to be in California is that we’ll be that much closer to Hawaii! I’m guessing this means you’ll be out of town when we’re apartment searching though? Have such a great time!

JessicaFebruary 19, 2013 - 12:04 pm

Hawaii- what?! So jealous. We might be going in November- but that is forever away! You can make it through the week! Since the weather sucks right now, I’m ok with working! I’ve already had coffee and tea and it’s only noon!
Jessica recently posted…Sunny San Diego Weekend!

AliceFebruary 19, 2013 - 12:18 pm

Oh I’m so jealous of your trip to Hawaii!! I wish we’d had a long weekend here- instead, I started a new job and feel EXHAUSTED. Not to worry though, not long til next weekend! x
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nancy @ adore to adornFebruary 19, 2013 - 1:11 pm

say what?! Hawaii???? How amazing! I’m so envious! I have been fortunate to have gone to Hawaii twice in my lifetime, but I have never gone with my husband! I want to do that so we can share memories of the island together! =) haha. Corny eh?
Have so much fun and drink lotsa drinks for me! =D
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nicole marieFebruary 20, 2013 - 1:14 pm

totally normal to feel more tired after a long weekend. 1 more day till friday!

ps. for some reason when you comment on my blog now, i can’t respond to you from the email. i thought before i could and i don’t know what changed!

Fun Facts about Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day friends!

When I think of Presidents Day,
I rarely think of taking time to celebrate and honor the presidents of this nation,
and instead I think more about how I’m going to spend my three-day weekend.

Like most random holidays, I tend to know little about their background.
My pure joy of having an extra day off work supersedes any interest I have in the history behind the holiday.

But in an effort to become a little more educated,
I decided to do a quick Presidents Day for dummies, and share it with you here.
You can thank me later.

Fun Facts About Presidents Day


  • Presidents day was created in 1885 in order to honor our first president, Mr. George Washington, who was born on February 22nd, 1732.
  • Though commonly referred to as “Presidents Day,” its official title is still “Washington’s Birthday.”
  • Up until 1971, the holiday used to be celebrated on Mr. Washington’s actual birthday, February 22nd. In an effort to create more three-day weekends (thanks Uniform Monday Holiday Act!), it is now always celebrated on the third Monday in February.
  • Though the holiday was originally created with the sole purpose of honoring our very first president, it has now come to be viewed as day to recognize and honor all presidents, past and present.
  • The holiday is also viewed as a tribute to the Purple Heart medal, an award established by George Washington for soldiers injured in battle. The award was not actually put into effect until 1932, on what would have been Washington’s 200th birthday.
  • Today, Presidents Day is one of the biggest “sales” weekends of the year.

And there you have it.
Some background on Mr. Washington’s Birthday.

I will be spending my Presidents Day at home trying to catch up on errands and clean the house.
Super fun stuff, let me tell you!
What are you all up to?

Julie / BoundFebruary 18, 2013 - 5:57 pm

Awesome. I think everyone just assumes today is for Lincoln and Washington…tough luck, Hoover.
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Rebecca PrillFebruary 19, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Thank you for this post! I am actually a bit ashamed of myself that I didn’t give it more thought. I majored in history/education in college and I too had the day off.

Recently stumbled upon your blog and have to say that I am loving it so far :)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day lovelies!

I’m one of those annoying people that love Valentine’s day.
Even when I was single I loved it.

Granted, I’m apt to love any holiday that centers around sweets and wine,
but Valentines Day was always particularly fun for me.
I guess I just enjoy a day that celebrates love, as cheesy as that may be.

Last Valentine’s Day Kevin was out of town,
so I ended up crashing the plans of two of my best friends.
It was a blast.

Fortunately for me, Kevin is in town this year.
We are not doing anything major,
just going to a tapas restaurant in our neighborhood and snuggling with wine.
A night of good food and good wine.

Otherwise known as how I spend most of my weekends.

No matter what you’re relationship status is,
I hope you have a lovely, and loving, Valentine’s Day!

What about you?
Are you a Valentines lover or hater?
Any big plans?

nancy @ adore to adornFebruary 14, 2013 - 9:33 am

ah…I have to admit, I am not the hugest fan of V-day…but I certainly don’t hate it either. Have a great Valentine’s Day!! xo!

SerenaFebruary 14, 2013 - 9:44 am

@Nancy – Yeah, I’m cheesy like that. My love of it has definitely faded as I’ve gotten older, and I hate the crappy heart shaped chocolate boxes, etc., but I still think it’s a fun excuse to do something nice and have a good date night. And when I’ve been single, it was fun because it was always a crazy girls night.

StephanieFebruary 14, 2013 - 9:48 am

I love Valentine’s Day too! And I blogged about it myself. I’m worried that my Valentine might have to work late – so plans are still up in the air. Enjoy your night!

Julie / BoundFebruary 14, 2013 - 12:03 pm

I love it! My mom used to sneak chocolates underneath my pillow tooth-fairy style when I was little…pretty much sealed the deal.
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CourtneyFebruary 15, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Happy day after Valentine’s Day!

Our V-day sounds very similar. My boy and I went out to dinner at a new restaurant in our neighborhood, and then dessert for our favorite banana pudding at a different restaurant that we also love.

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40 day and 40 nights

As I’m sure many of you know, today is the first day of Lent.

I’m not here to write about what I’m giving up, because well, I’m not really giving up anything.
I’m a non-practicing Catholic and when it comes to religion,
my views are all over the place.

However, my Mom is Catholic, and sometimes she can be quite the riot.
She frequently sends me text messages that make no sense, but are hilarious nonetheless.
Kevin said we should start a twitter account called “Texts from Mona.”

(FYI her name is Mona Lisa. I kid you not.)

You might have seen this on my instagram already,
but the texts I received from her yesterday were too funny for me not to share here as well.

So without further, my mother, via text:


Mom Cell:  Morning sweetheart, today is “Fat Tuesday,” ie the day before Lent. 40 days & 40 nights of something you’re addicted to (love, reefer) whatever it is. :-):-)

Me: Hahaha. I’ll give up reefer! It will be easy for me.

Mom Cell: Remember when I gave up sex? Since backridden, I weigh 128 pounds! Oh my, my face is fat!!!  :-)*

Me: You are funny. I’m sure you look great.

Mom Cell: If cellulite is great, then I’m Fabulous!!

*parts of that text were edited to protect to protect the innocent.


So. A few things.

Is she implying that I should give up love? Um… wtf.

I don’t really smoke “reefer,” thus, giving it up would not exactly be a challenge.

No Mom, I don’t remember when you gave up sex.
If you ever told me that, I’m sure I blocked it from my memory.

Backridden, I think, is her new word for hurting her back and being bedridden.
She recently pulled a back muscle and hasn’t been as active as usual, apparently making her “backridden.”

My entire life my Mom has never been bigger than a size 4.
Her idea of “fat” is most people’s idea of skinny.

for context, here’s a picture:


And there you have it! Texts from my mother.

Are you giving up anything for Lent this year?


P.S. In an effort to emulate the cool bloggers, I started a formspring!
You know, because I’m sure you all just have tons of burning questions you are dying to ask me and all.

So far I’ve been asked a total of one question.
From my husband.

Patty McClainFebruary 13, 2013 - 11:03 am

You and Kevin will be happy to know I have given up all worrying for Lent. So if you hear something from me that sounds like worrying, it’s not!

KellyFebruary 13, 2013 - 12:03 pm

Oh my goodness, this was such a great post!

Sparkles and Shoes

MariaFebruary 18, 2013 - 3:25 pm

Truly grateful for that explanation of ” backridden”, as I was totally wondering if your mom was referring to some sexual position that made her skinny, but caused her face to get fat! She was talking about giving up sex, wasn’t she? This made me laugh quite a bit. En espanol, we say, “madre, solo hay una!” You only have one mother, yours is hilarious.

Sugar Baby

As I’ve written about before, I’ve been trying to get back into a healthier lifestyle for 2013 (and ideally forever on), so lately I’ve been reading a lot about health and nutrition and diets and yadda yadda yadda. I’ve been working on eating less carbs and more fruits and vegetables, and I’m proud of myself for that. Everyone has their own views on how you should be eating (paleo! south beach! gluton free! dairy is the devil! etc. etc.), but for me, I believe as long as you eat real food, from real ingredients, combined with a decent amount of veggies, you’re doing okay.

So when I saw the infographic below, I found it incredibly interesting but enormously depressing. It’s all about sugar.

Sugar sugar sugar.

And I’m sorry, but what the eff? One apple and you’ve already exceeded your suggested sugar intake for the day?

Last night I started looking up the sugar counts of some of the foods I eat most often. I usually have a turkey sandwich for lunch, but sometimes, if I want to be healthy, I’ll have a big delicious bowl of fresh fruit or a green smoothie.

But now I’m confused. I did the math, and the sandwich that I eat has barely any sugar in it (8 grams), while my fruit bowl has almost 50! However, my sandwich is swimming in carbs, while my fruit bowl is not. So what’s worse? Carbs or sugar? What is one to do? Ahhhh!

See the depressing facts for yourself:


Based on that diagram, I might as well just be eating oreos!

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AshFebruary 12, 2013 - 11:39 am

honestly, the sugar you get from whole foods is COMPLETELY different than the processed shit. i wouldn’t worry about eating those apples (: as long as you are not eating a high fat diet, you can eat all the whole foods you want- sugary or non (:

StephanieFebruary 12, 2013 - 11:58 am

Honestly, I think people tend to make a big deal out of sugar in general without looking at what else goes along with the sugar. I tend to view it the same way I view calories. There are empty calories and nutritious calories (the high calories in an oreo vs. the high calories of an avocado, for example). I think sugar is the same way – empty sugar and nutritious sugar. An apple may exceed the “recommended” sugar for the day but there are so many other great nutrients and vitamins that make it worth it. Whereas a chocolate chip cookie has little to no nutritional value and a lot of empty, useless sugar. I also think there’s a big difference between artificial sugars and sweeteners and the stuff Mother Nature included to make those foods appeal to us so we’ll eat them again and again. I think being healthy ultimately comes down to common sense and moderation. Graphs and charts can be misleading or misinformed. Eliminating entire food groups based on viewing one particular ingredient as “bad” just seems dumb to me.
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StephanieFebruary 12, 2013 - 12:02 pm

PS – I remember bringing this up with my doc because diabetes runs in our family and she told me that your brain actually needs the sugar that comes from fruits, veggies, and grains (glucose, I think). Apparently it’s the only type of fuel your brain cells can use so if you eliminate or severely restrict those types of whole, natural sugars from your diet, you’re actually doing harm to your brain and not allowing it to operate at its fullest. Obviously too much of anything is bad, but you still need at least some sugar in your diet!
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AllisonFebruary 12, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Just try to stay away from food containing high-fructose corn syrup / sweeteners. Good types of fructose and glucose are naturally found in fruits and vegetables.

I agree – “eat real food, from real ingredients, combined with a decent amount of veggies.” I’d add that if you eat regular portions, you’ll be ok!

JessicaFebruary 12, 2013 - 1:21 pm

I’m screwed then! Is this what you are going to try and give up for Lent? PS Your mom is too funny!
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Julie / BoundFebruary 12, 2013 - 2:00 pm

I’m with you on the “real foods” concept. I think the frustrating thing about this is that even carbohydrates like sandwich bread basically are sugar…just more complex. That’s why I dig the paleo concept, because most of your food intake is coming from sources (like meat and vegetables) that have no sugars at all. Aaaaaand then I can save my sugar intake for frozen yogurt. Which is not paleo in the slightest and I do not care at all. haha!
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nicole marieFebruary 13, 2013 - 10:13 am

ok there’s no way they can say that eating strawberries is worse than eating a twinkie… get serious. there’s a difference between natural sugars and processed sugars. so unless you have a sugar problem… eat those fruits away! obviously like you said everyone has their own idea of what’s healthy and iagree with you that eating the most natural foods is best