February 14, 2012
Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday. In my opinion it’s a lot of hype, expensive and, no matter what, you end up feeling envious of those rose-holding, diamond-dripping gals around you…or worse, on Facebook. Hostile? Well, when you were once dumped publicly through a “roses are red, violets are blue” poem, I feel it’s respectable to be scarred for life. Can you blame me? Aside from the Hallmark of it all and my hatred for red roses (Mike once learned that the hard way, in my defense I was PMSing…), this year has hit me harder than most in terms of how freakin’ lucky I am. That’s why, I’d like to get a little sappy for a second to thank my devoted (and honest!) food tester, encouraging workout pal, fellow sushi lover and favorite commuting buddy for all his love these past five years. Yes, I know I just rambled about how I despise February 14th but I can’t help myself right now. Together Mike and I have shared important milestones like graduations, proms, first apartments and holidays, supporting one another along the way to follow our dreams. I honestly couldn’t tell you where I’d be right now without this guy. Love ya, Schmoop!
Gosh, he’s such a trooper with me constantly snapping shots of him mid-chew. To go along with my sentimental (borderline sickening…) blabbering, I figured I’d share with you my ten favorite love songs. Add in some John Mayer and Michael Bublé and you’ve got yourself a winner. Hey, who knows…these might come in handy later on?
Precious Love by James Morrison
Thank You by Keith Urban
The Little Things by Carlos Bertonatti
To Make You Feel My Love by Mick McAuley & Winifred Horan
Nothing Fancy by Dave Barnes
Best Friend by Derek Cate
Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice
Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts
Whatever It Is by Zac Brown Band
Marry Me by Train
What’s your favorite/least favorite part of the holiday? Any horror stories you’d like to share?
Sprinkled with LOTS of Love,
December 23, 2011
Like everyone else, this week has been a crazy one. I’m back in New York for a month, interning and enjoying myself in the city before my LAST college semester begins. Tuesday was my first day back at FITNESS and it was great to see everyone again. I jumped back into everything like I never left! The commotion in Manhattan is unreal, especially outside Mike’s building (30 Rock) which is pure mayhem, but who can complain about Christmas in New York? Too bad I haven’t finished my shopping nor have I even started wrapping…
Before I head to Grand Central to catch a train home for the holidays, I wanted to blog about the tasty treats I made for everyone in the Neag School of Education’s office where I work: Peppermint Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Super easy if you’re in need of a last minute gift or have room in your cookie tin for another holiday sweet.
All you need is a big bag of mini pretzels, 11.5 oz dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips) and crushed candy canes. On a baking sheet, lay out the pretzels so they are close to one another, melt the chocolate in the microwave or double broiler and drizzle. Sprinkle the candy cane crumbles overtop and place the baking sheet in the freezer until the chocolate has hardened.
Wrap it all up and tie it with a big, pretty bow and you’re all set! I ended up dipping the leftover candy canes in the remainder of the dark chocolate. Stir into a big mug of hot cocoa for a sweet snack. They can also dress up a wrapped gift for that special someone!
Well, I need to pack up and get back to Connecticut. I have some last minute shopping and baking to do tonight!
Sprinkled with Love,
December 5, 2011
I’m pretty stressed. Final exams are next week, my 22nd birthday will be here before I know it and I have yet to figure out how I want to celebrate the occasion PLUS I have lots of Christmas shopping to still tackle. That’s why when I was contacted by psychologist and author of the upcoming Live Like a Window, Work Like A Mirror: Enlightenment and the Practice of Eternity Consciousness Mark C. Brown, Ph.D. about reversing holiday stress, I was ALL EARS! Here is what he had to say:
The ‘holiday blues’ is an urban legend. In reality, gift shopping, food preparation, decorating, anticipating special company and hearing songs of good cheer keep us focused on being happy that we are more likely to feel a bit high than noticeably low.
What can result from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, however, is a certain amount of central nervous system overload. This is just a psychophysiological reality. The good news is that, in spite of how ominous this condition might sound, it can be soothed by simply attending deliberately to something that we do automatically every second of every day – breathing.
Here’s how: Take a moment to sit in a comfortable chair with your feet up. Place your hands on your abdomen just below your rib cage, breathe normally for a few seconds, and then on your next inhalation, make sure that your abdomen pushes out against your hands. Hold that breath for a couple of beats, and when you exhale, let your whole body collapse like a rag doll. Repeat this action for several minutes and you will soon notice a very pleasant sense of serenity.
This good feeling results from rebalancing the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your brain that can readily change in a negative direction with too much stimulation, even good stimulation. Abdominal breathing is the key. Just ask any meditator, yoga practitioner or mom who used lamaze breathing in childbirth.
If you find that you like the outcome of this simple exercise, make it a frequent practice. The benefits will certainly be worth the investment of time. And if time seems in short supply with all you have to do right now, in the spirit of the season of giving, let it be a little gift you save for yourself.
Well, I don’t know about you but I feel better already. Breathe, smile and be holly jolly! I hope your Monday is a little less stressful now!
How do you alleviate holiday stress?
Sprinkled with Love,
November 9, 2010
To be honest, I am in dire need of a break. This semester has flown by and although it has had its high points, the constant go, go, go has been whipping my behind. I am really looking forward to the lovely week off UConn grants for Thanksgiving…I simply cannot wait to have some downtime to spend with my family and catch up in the kitchen. I have already started compiling a “To-Make” list and figured I would share it for those of you (Type A’s like me) who have already began planning Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not quite sure what the Cardarelli’s are doing this year but regardless I intend on running Madison’s annual Turkey Trot, cooking and partaking in the best part of this holiday: stuffing my face. That’s a given. Here are a few healthy recipes and festive ideas I anticipate taking home with me in two weeks (hopefully I get a chance to test them out before then, using my roommates as my guinea pigs…per usual):
To get the party started: Pomegranate Cosmos (Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten)
Brie and Chive Biscuits (Real Simple)
Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup (Whole Living)
Spinach and Green Apple Salad (Healthy Appetite’s Ellie Krieger)
Cauliflower with Mustard-Lemon Butter (Epicurious)
Green Beans with Ginger and Cashews (Epicurious)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter (Everday Italian’s Giada De Laurentiis)
Juniper-Brined Roast Turkey with Chanterelle Mushroom Gravy (Epicurious)
(Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a slice of apple pie.)
Deep-Dish Apple Pie (Eating Well)
YUM! I cannot wait to try these out and celebrate giving thanks by gorging myself into a food coma. Trying to not gain weight during the holidays? (Aren’t we all…) Start this year’s season off on the right foot with tips for a healthier Thanksgiving, an article I found on EatingWell.com! Have a great recipe you want to share? Leave a comment below or on Sprinkled with Love’s Facebook!
“I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the “history” I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America’s traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it’s a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all.” Ellen Orleans
Sprinkled with Love,