Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tradition :: The One That Never Changes

tra·di·tion – noun

an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior

Example of TRADITION

1.     One of my family’s many time-honored traditions is to have a small gathering a couple nights before Christmas, where my sister (!!!!), her boyfriend Mike, my parents, my aunt & uncle from Pennsylvania, and of course Stephanos, myself, and Nala all eat delicious foods and drink out of fancy champagne glasses and frosted mugs, open some presents, take photo and video footage, and it usually ends with a tequila shot or two and laughing so hard until we cry. It’s precious.

     Tradition. Say it. I love the way it sounds. If tradition had a color scheme, it would be red and gold, much like the gleaming bulbs on our tree. Or, it could be purple and silver, like the bulbs on my parents’ tree. Either way, it would be nothing less than radiant.

     Most families have these traditions, these parties, dinners, and holiday rituals that they follow each year. When I think of the word tradition, I feel comfortable. The word tradition ignites a warm flame inside of me reminding me that, although we are all growing older, some things never really change. We might celebrate at our house, or we might celebrate at my parents’ house. One year, we even celebrated a few days after Christmas in Pennsylvania. Some year, we might even celebrate at Jacy & Mike’s house in Tennessee. Who knows where this road of Christmas traditions will take us, but there is one thing that’s never-ever changing: the foundation of our tradition. It is built on many years of love, laughs, comfort, loyalty, incredible memories, and a beautiful family that I am so lucky to be a part of.

Our glowing tree


This is our house this year, patiently waiting for family to arrive in a few shorts weeks!

     What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Perfect Thanksgiving :: No Turkey & Some Skinny Pants

Some of you can't wait to wake up on Thanksgiving, throw your sweats on, fill your own stomach up with enough food to feed a family of 8, drink your cares away until you want to puke, and crash on the couch to watch football, all while nursing your hangover from the night before. Right?

Sounds fun, really it does. But luckily for me, there's not an abundance of Holly-vegetarian-food on holidays to make my stomach that full. That's why I don't wear sweats and/or have to worry about the button on my skinny pants popping off. You, too, can have this no-zipper busting assurance. I promise. Say NO thanks to turkey this year too, help save millions of little turkey lives and eat some healthy vegetable based foods. Remember to say thank-you for everything you have, tell lots of stories, laugh alot, be glad you're not in a Tryptophan induced coma, and join me in my dream of wearing this amazing Thanksgiving outfit all while everyone tells you how cute you are.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Weekend To Remember

     Our schedules are typically very busy, so when we have a night to do nothing, I love it. And then I blog about it. And then you read it and think, aw how cute. You're catching on, good.

     I left work on Friday and went tanning (sorry, mom) and to the bank while Stephanos went grocery shopping all by himself. What a good man. Then we both got home, cooked dinner, watched a movie, didn't drink wine because I didn't want a hangover, and fell asleep in our princess bed. How perfect. Oh, I forgot to mention that I went on a psycho-cleaning-frenzy and yelled at Stephanos for not doing the dishwasher all while I went around the house figuring out what else I could bitch about. He just smiled and knew I'd be over it soon. After I decided to stop being crazy is when we finally drifted off to dream land in our princess bed.

     On Saturday morning, Stephanos tucked me into a burrito in bed, kissed me goodbye, and he left to go golfing. I chatted on the phone with Jade and finally got out of bed, got dressed up pretty, and went to meet my mom. We went to lunch at Bertucci's where I did nothing close to eating healthy, and then we started our excursion. Errands, shopping, meeting Billy Costa & Lisa from the Matty show, snacking, taking pictures. Wait, did you see the part where I met Billy Costa? Some people might not think this is anything special, but for a girl who has been listening to Matty In The Morning every morning since forever, and been a big fan of TV Diner, I was PSYCHED. Plus, I think he had a crush on me, can't you tell?

     THEN, my mother/daughter day continued, and we went go to see a brilliantly performed play of Steel Magnolias. Who remembers that movie? The whole show was full of emotion, and as Truvy says, "my favorite emotion is laughter through tears", and this proved to be mine as well.

     Sunday came and was spent with family as well. At night, I went back to my parents' house where my mom went through a ton of her old jewlery that she wore when she was my age, and told me all the interesting stories of where she & my dad got each piece. My dad chimed in on each story with something exciting to add.  One of my favorites is a gorgeous gold pendant that opens up into a perfume bottle. How cool. As I sat there, I realized that I honestly have the coolest parents in the world. They have lived such a fun and exciting life, and all their stories come to life through the happiness in their voices as they tell them. Family is such a beautiful thing, and if you don't spend a lot of time with yours, I suggest you start now. Friends are family too, ya know :)

What did you do this weekend? 
Am I really a psycho-cleaning-freak?
Do you love Billy Costa too?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Big Decisions :: Migraines and Voting

          Once again, I spent a full day in my dark bedroom with no lights or sound this past weekend. I couldn’t even find the strength to lift my head. Hell, even if I did find the strength, it would do no good because serious waves of nausea would encompass my body. This is how my whole Sunday went, right into Monday. Lovely.
          So, along came Big Decision Number 1 – I have decided I need to make some changes in my life in order for these migraines to stop haunting me. I said to myself, “self, you are too young and busy to have these debilitating headaches. You need to fix this problem, and you need to fix it now!” So, I’m doing the only sensible thing I can think of-- eliminate certain aspects of my life that could possibly be the trigger. My doctor has recommended this path, and I’m ready to go down it. I’m starting with less of the following: alcohol, certain foods, certain smells, etc. I NEED TO FIND THE PROBLEM because I don’t want to be on a migraine pill every day of my life. If removing certain pieces of my life doesn’t work, then it’s possible I need to add some vital things to my life. I will get to the bottom of this, and my journey to a happier and healthier life shall continue.
          Big Decision Number 2 – voting. This is honestly the first time the election matters a lot to me. It’s the first time where I am truly concerned about health care, taxes, etc. I’m such an adult now! No but really, I need to stop worrying about how the election results will affect other people, and I need to stop listening to other people’s opinions. I have watched all the debates and done enough research where I can make an educated decision. I need to follow my heart and vote for who I think is best for ME and my future. Call me selfish, but I don’t care. So, today I will be making my little way down to the polls, and I will perform my civil duty. I’m so proud to be an American, and you should be too.
Do you suffer from migraines or know anyone who does? Do you know of any certain foods or drinks that could be the cause? CAN YOU HELP ME?
Are you proud to have the opportunity to go out and cast your vote today? Are you going to do what’s best for you and your future? Do you love this song? (Click here)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Living Healthy During The Holidays

Okay, since this IS a healthy living blog after all, I figured it’s time to write another post about the beautiful, meat-free, i-love-animals, kittens and whiskers, 100% perfectly healthy little world I live in. Total exaggeration. It’s not perfect. It takes hard work and motivation--every. single. day. So why do I do it? Because I can’t imagine living and eating any other way.
It’s November 1st already, and my stomach knows that all kinds of mouth-watering holiday treats are in its near future. So, I figured I’d enlighten my readers who are considering becoming a vegetarian, or to the ones who already are, how to keep yourself full, satisfied, healthy, and sane during the upcoming season. For me, being meat-free comes naturally because I find eating flesh utterly revolting. For others, it is very difficult and the meat cravings can be intense.  I’m here to help put a stop to those desires.

Making time for the gym and staying fit is what takes motivation for me. Believe me, it’s a battle between my fluffy couch/warm-cat-on-my-lap images and sweating my ass off at the gym after a long day of work, but it’s a battle that must be fought. I just remind myself that once I get home from the gym, I will be healthier, stronger, less stressed, and my mind will be clearer. These reasons alone are why the gym typically wins the fight. (I’m not saying that the cat image hasn’t won in the past, but I try to make my health come first. Sorry Nala)
Here are some tips on how to make it through the Thanksgiving and Christmas season with only having to cheat once….or twice. You can do it!

1. Each time you want to eat a piece of meat, poultry, or fish, remind yourself that there are healthier, less cruel ways to add substance to your meal. Use hearty vegetables in your pasta dishes. Substitute the stuffing that comes out of the turkey (gross! even when I ate meat, I thought this concept was repulsive) for homemade stuffing from scratch using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
2. When you aren't eating meat, you will feel and actually become lighter. There is no meat sticking to the insides of your intestines and colon, therefore you won't be suffering as many stomach aches, and who wants to get up and work out with a stomach ache? When you're feeling good all the time, you will want to continue on this path. Got my point? If you aren't feeling overly full and sick from the heavy meats you are consuming, you will be more apt to want to work out. You will have more energy, and you can put that energy to good use!

3. Cooking healthier meals for holiday parties will help with your anxiety over all the full of fat, calorie intense, sugar infused foods on the table. If you bring your own healthy (vegetarian) meals or desserts, you will know for sure that there will be delicious options to fill up your tummy. Also, you won't be in a turkey tryptophan induced coma like everyone else. You will have the energy for a brisk walk in the cool Autumn air while gorgeous leaves descend from trees and crunch under your feet, all while holding the hand of the person you love. Doesn't that image sound so enticing that you just want to reach out your arms and hug it?

4. Think of the millions of cute, little, colorful turkeys that people will save if they don't cook them this year. Imagine all the tiny turkey babies whose turkey parents will be slaughtered and put on your table all for your own sick pleasure. If you eat turkey this year, you will most likely come back in your next life as a turkey that will definitely be brutally killed and eaten for Thanksgiving, and you will absolutely have stuffing stuffed up inside your bum. Alright maybe not, but just don't do it. K?

5.  Exercise as often as you can. I know everyone has a busy schedule, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. However, if you have enough time to go to the mall and shop or stay home and watch football, you should be able to have enough time to work out. If not, you can count your laps around the mall while you shop. Build up a sweat! If you don't have a gym membership, exercise at home with videos on demand, or go for a jog outside...just watch out for black ice! If you're working out regularly, you won't feel so guilty when you indulge a little bit on yummy foods.

6. So, if you want to have a cookie, just do it. If you need a slice of pie, fine. If one beer happens to turn into six, it's okay. They are the holidays after all, but just remember that your health is the best gift you could ever have, so don't abuse your body.
These websites below have lots of vegetarian receipes that are perfect for the holiday season. Have yourself a look, and remember, your life is the only thing you have complete control over. Make it a healthy one :)