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12 days!

26 May

so i’ve been a vegetarian for approximately 12 days (this is a lifetime record, btw). have not eaten any red meat or chicken in 12 days. giving up red meat’s pretty easy because i really only like ground beef…i’m gonna miss cheeseburgers, meatballs and beef tacos. but i hate steaks, phillies and hot dogs and am not a fan of cold cuts and bacon anyways so nbd. but chicken. i LOVE chicken. i probably have eaten chicken almost everyday for years…chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, grilled chicken, bbq wings, sandwiches, chicken parm, chicken gyros, chicken salads, buff chick…you get the idea. it was kind of a bummer when i went to matthew’s diner for the first time in months and i couldn’t order the chicken fajita panini (m’s FAVE sandwich there) and when i went to panera and had to ask for the asian chicken salad..sans chicken. also kind of depressing when i think about how i won’t be able to go to white manna anytime soon and get their delicious burgers. also at work today i had to get cod instead of my usually chicken sandwich. (did not finish it..fried cod is not my favorite thing). i have to admit it has not been as hard as i thought it would be at first. i have always wanted to go vegetarian, especially after reading “skinny bitch” (yep, my dream to be one…) but never could because i’d be too tempted by yummy chicken. or even worse turkey. i love turkey. especially thanksgiving…if i make it til then i guess all i’m gunna be eating this year is stuffing and corn. fun stuff. however, going veg has given me the excuse to eat carbs and sushi..tons of yummy sushi, salmon and shrimp! ok, so i’m not REALLY a vegetarian because i still eat fish. i’m a pescatarian. but hey, gotta start somewhere! i love salmon and have been eating it a couple of times a week…hopefully i won’t get mercury poisoning. ordering seafood at restaurants = not good for my wallet. OH and cottage cheese. i’ve been eating tons and tons of cottage cheese. before you judge, try it. (i just tried it 2 months ago because my friend jeannie forced me to!) it might look un-appetizing but don’t hate before you try it because it’s delicious and has 12 g of protein or more for about an 100-calorie servings.

there’s definitely some reasons to go vegetarian including:

Eating Meat Supports Cruelty to Animals The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories. On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other confinement systems. These animals will never raise families, root in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and important to them. They won’t even get to feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. every vegetarian saves about 100 animals a year

**disclaimer** this video is disturbing, so if you don’t want to feel guilty every time you bite into a cheeseburger, don’t watch this please.

Eating Meat Is Bad for the Environment A recent United Nations report entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow concludes that eating meat is “one of the … most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” In just one example, eating meat causes almost 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined. The report concludes that the meat industry “should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.” 20 vegetarians can live off the land required by one meat eater

If You Wouldn’t Eat a Dog, You Shouldn’t Eat a Chicken Several recent studies have shown that chickens are bright animals who are able to solve complex problems, demonstrate self-control, and worry about the future. Chickens are smarter than cats and dogs and even do some things that have not yet been seen in mammals other than primates. Dr. Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and communication at Macquarie University in Australia, says, “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens and people think I’m talking about monkeys.” pigs have the intelligence of 3 year old children and can even learn to play video games.

and i’ll stop now because i’m not trying to convert people to stop eating animals considering i’ve eaten and enjoyed them for 2o years. plus i’m not sure how long i’ll last before i cave in and eat a buff chick sandwich or something. i’d like to say that i’m going to be a vegetarian for the rest of my life but that would probably be a lie since it’s not realistic at all. plus my grandma would have a heart attack if she found out i couldn’t eat her lamb anymore…she’d never understand (she’s greek.)

-Mary

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driver’s ed? what am i, sixteen?!

21 May

by the time you’re reading this post, i’ve probably already been at driving school for approximately 87 hours. you see, i’ve gotten into a little trouble with the law lately. back in march, i wrote about how excited i was to drive home from school without getting any speeding tickets on the way. i wrote: “the new york state troopers and i don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. i like to drive a little faster than the speed limit, and they don’t exactly love that. back in the day (aka a couple months ago) i got two tickets in a two month span. no bueno. i’ve since completely revamped my driving habits and am happy to say that i’ve had no mishaps thus far in 2011 (knock on wood!).”

well, that knock-on-wood didn’t exactly work for me. except this time, it was a failure to stop at a stop sign instead of a speeding ticket. i’m not going to get into the particulars of the case, but i have a (secret, obvi) issue with the sheriff in the town where our school is. i diddddd stop, just not long enough.

anyway, i hired a vvvvvvvvonderful lawyer who was able to get me a plea bargain. i received a few punishments from the court, but one of them is mandatory defensive driving school. soooo today i have class from about 7 am-12. #funtimez. i’m kind of looking forward to seeing what kind of people are in the class, as the only class i could find anywhere near me is for people who just got their licenses suspended. should be a motley crew, so i’ll be sure to report back any interesting things asap! if you want a little preview of what i might be learning, click here for a comedy animation thing of signs of road rage.

while i’m out learning boring things, here are a few pretty things for you to look at (don’t miss me toooo much):

{is CHARLOTTE posting something colorful?! gaspp! love the fun mix of colors on anna dello russo, natch}

{on a raft above rocky waters. so european. p.s. can’t wait to study abroad this fall!!!}

{i posted a pic of this crab salad stack on pinterest and it was instantly repinned by 5 people. i WILL be making this asap. la jolla crab stack- recipe here}

have a fantassssstic weekend!

xo charlotte

swizzles

18 May

swizzles is not just the name of my favorite drink (i LOVE rum swizzles– aka bermuda’s national drink). swizzles is also the name of the new fro-yo shop that just opened up in my town! i’ve been there twice already, and it’s SOO good!

my town has FINALLY gotten its act together and gotten a fro-yo shop that’s pay-per-ounce. i’m not really sure why i’m so excited about this, because i only really like the tart flavor anyway (wait- i actually like chocolate too!). it also has tons of toppings, including healthy ones!

i like to get a mix of original/tart and chocolate (but i don’t physically mix the two flavors- they stay on opposite sides of the cup to avoid cross-contamination haha). on top, i get strawberries, blackberries, coconut, and a few m+ms. it’s SOOOOOOO good! and think of it as just like eating greek yogurt with fruit- it’s practically good for you haha!

just an exciting thing that’s happened ’round here that’s signaling that summer’s coming!

xo charlotte

things i’m obsessed with right now

12 May

i am an obsessive person. no, i don’t have ocd, but once i find something i like, i get REALLY into it. but then i get bored or sick of it, and i drop it forever. like food/hobby/interest a.d.d.

for example:

  • for three months straight i ate cup noodles everyday at 3:30 pm (i do not recommend this unless you are trying to gain 15+ pounds.)
  • for the three months after that i ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday at 3:30 pm instead of cup noodles.
  • for two months straight i ran at least 4 miles everyday (i wish this DID last…)
  • once i like a song i will play it on repeat….over and over again. one night last year i downloaded the song “the freshman” and played it 70 times. in one night. no joke.
  • when i watch a tv show i have to watch all the episodes from the beginning, in a row. this is unhealthy because you end up watching 12+ hours of tv in one sitting and realized the only times you moved were to eat and pee.
  • when i find a piece of clothing i like i try to wear it as much as possible without people thinking i don’t own other clothes until i get sick of it and then i never wear it again
  • i thought i was interested in painting, went and spent over $300 at michael’s on painting supplies…and have only ever painted one painting
  • same story as above, with scrapbooking…but spent only $200.
so basically, yeah when i like something i like it alot. no matter what. so here are some of my (recent) obsessions:
 “the girl with the dragon tattoo” by stieg larsson. i just finished reading it within two days because i couldn’t put it down which resulted in two very unproductive days, where i cancelled lunch plans so i could keep reading (yeah i’m a nerd). unfortunately i probably will be anti-social til i finish the next two books in the series… i’m just about to start “the girl who played with fire.”
aloe juice. it’s juice made with aloe pulp. sounds gross (yes, aloe is used to relieve sunburns etc.) but don’t judge before you tatse it. it’s actually really sweet and refreshing and the pulp has a gummy-like texture. you can find this juice at basically any supermarket or convenience store in korea…i used to drink it at least once a day when i was on vacation there a couple of summers ago but haven’t really seen it here except for specialty asian stores. however, the other day i found out fairway (basically the same thing as wholefoods and wegmans) had it!!! i’ve had it four days in a row now…so yum.
 “the blonde salad”. which is the fashion diary of the 23-year-old girl pictured above. it’s one of my new favorite blogs. she has amazing clothes, sense of style and has now become a paid professional blogger who has even come out with her own shoe line. so jealous of her life. did i mention she’s italian and lives in milan? ohhh and i forgot to tell you she has a hot boyfriend..that bitch  wish i was her…
organic dark chocolate espresso beans. the organic just means i pay double the price, but i can’t find any that are “non-organic.” but anyway, chocolate AND coffee (two of my favorite things) in one!!!! and espresso beans are less calories than the same amount of peanuts and/or raisins making this lower-cal than chocolate covered peanuts or raisins. (1 cup of beans without chocolate is 40 calories)  this is my new mid-day afternoon snack and guess what…there’s caffeine in BOTH the espresso beans and chocolate. YAY! totally my new go-to study smack…
that feeling of empowerment and self-satisfaction  of not texting someone back. self-explanatory.
so yeah, we’ll see how long it takes til i get sick of these. hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather because i know i am :)
-Mary

best times of my life

11 May

before i grew up and had to start spending my summers doing slave labor internships, i used to go on amazing summer adventure trips. i went on three adventures cross country trips, and they were- hands down- the best experiences of my life.

i went on all of the trips with one of my best friends, lindsay. we spent our first summer in northern california, backpacking, surfing, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting. our next trip was to costa rica and belize, where we went surfing, scuba diving, whitewater rafting, sailing, and stayed on our own private island. our third and final trip was to ecuador and the galapagos (which was the coolest yet strangest place i have ever been because of the constantly shifting landscape- it goes from tropical forest to volcanos to lava-filled areas to beaches and more). this trip was community-service based, so we spent time in a village helping carry boulders out of a river and later building a communal dining/living area. we also went ziplining and whitewater rafting and snorkeling and did fun things like that!

{whitewater rafting=my favorite outdoor activity EVER!}

these trips were AMAZING! nothing else on earth is anything like them. everyone on the trips got SO unbelievably close. i am STILL friends with people from these trips, even though they happened years ago (we went on our first one SIX years ago). i also have made several friends at college because of mutual friends from these trips. these trips took me COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone. i am a little high maintenance and “particular.” in my normal life, i don’t like not showering/being dirty, having to wash out my dirty dishes with pine needles, and filtering my water with iodine. however, on these trips, i was a completely different person. these trips made me so relaxed and empowered. they showed me the person i want to be. i was always so unbelievably, blissfully happy. i never wanted to sleep or shower because i was fearful of missing out. if you are remotely near an age that is acceptable to go on a trip like this, GO! my sister is going to turkey and greece with them this summer and i am so.jealous. i would give anything to trade places with her. hopefully i can lead the trips when i’m older!

anyway, the reason i’m writing about this today is because one of my friends from costa rica and belize, preston, is coming to visit me today! he lives in chicago but is taking a little new england road trip, so he’s staying with me for the night. so excited to see him!

{photo of us from like 5 years ago}

xo charlotte

whole foodie

9 May

my mom had a few friends over for dinner tonight, so i spent a couple hours this afternoon helping her prepare for the casual get-together.

my main task was to pick up the ingredients for the dinner at whole foods. with my mom’s credit card in hand and whole foods in front of me, i went a little craycray. here are some of the highlights of my trip:

whole foods greek hummus is- hands down- the best hummus out there. sooo good when paired with this marinated feta. i just had the marinated feta for the first time last night when i made a delicious vegetable sandwich with hummus,  balsamic reduction, and the feta, of course. i also stocked up on siggi’s icelandic skyr (my favorite greek yogurt), tons of berries, whole wheat waffles, smoked salmon, almond butter, vanilla almond milk, balsamic vinaigrette, and smart water (they were out of my beloved voss for some reason). of course, i also had to pick up two of my favorite vegetarian items: dr. praeger’s california veggie burgers and chickenless nuggets.

i’ve proclaimed my love for steaz blueberry pomegranate green tea before, but i discovered this new version today at the grocery store. they’re both iced tea, but one is blueberry/pomegranate/açia and the other is peach. these two drinks do have calories, and i typically don’t drink caloric beverages (except alcohol, duhh), but i figured i’d give it a try.

look what else i found!!! by now, i think you all know that i am OBSESSED with champagne. i found this champagne sorbet today and can’t wait to give it a try! it’s low-cal, to boot! i’ll be sure to let you know how it is.

xo charlotte

¡feliz cinco de mayo!

5 May

happy cinco de mayo, everyone! cinco de mayo is such a funny holiday to me. it really isn’t all that important to mexicans because, contrary to popular belief, it is NOT mexican independence day. it just celebrates mexico’s unlikely victory at the battle of puebla.

in america, cinco de mayo is celebrated solely for the excuse to drink. like st. patrick’s day, cinco de mayo really has nothing to do with the people it’s about. i don’t have a problem with this, however, as i’m a college student and therefore think that anything is an excuse to drink. our friends popped open a bottle of whisky as soon as osama was killed, after all. i just wish WEEEE could go out instead of studying for finals. i propose that all of you who don’t have finals tomorrow put on some mexican-looking clothes, whip up some guacamole, and blend some margarita-itas.

several years ago, my friend grace from dallas told me about an amazing mexican import store called la mariposa. it has SUCH cute embroidered clothes. i’m a huge fan of embroidered mexican-inspired tops and dresses, but i usually fall in love with (have my mom buy for me and buy) super expensive joie ones. la mariposa has adorable, authentic mexican clothes (that are handmade!!!) for such great prices. here are two of my favorite tops:

la mariposa also has fun things like piñatas:

these items would make for an awesome cinco de mayo party! now all you need are food and drankz (cause what cinco de mayo party is completely without drankz?). necessity #1 is guacamole. it is verrrry easy to make, and  i consider it something everyone should have in his repertoire. for those of you who are domestically challenged, here is a recipe from the food network. also, whole foods makes a mean guacamole if you’d rather just pick some up.

i know margaritas are the standard cinco de mayo drink, and they are delish, but why not be different and make sangria?! sangria is one of my favorite drinks. you can make it with red or white wine, but my all-time favorite type of sangria is cava, or champagne, sangria, since we all know i loverlylove champagne. here‘s a recipe for cava sangria.

i hope you all have a wonderful day, no matter how you spend it.

xo charlotte