Have you seen Sofia Coppala’s Marie Antoinette? The movie was released to so-so (comme ci, comme ca!) reviews when it came out in 2006, but I fell in love with every lavish second and descendant detail of it. I was reminded about it today when Vulture ran a piece in defense of the film.
I love this critique of the film and it totally nails the sadness, loneliness, and teenage experience that is weaved throughout all the parties, food, and champagne. And again, those parties! I recently saw the new Great Gatsby, and the parties in that film reminded me so much of the opulent and indulgent soirees thrown by the court of France in Marie Antoinette. Seriously, wouldn’t you love to go back in time and attend the costume ball or hang out in the queen’s apartments with the rest of her clique?
The imagery in this film is amazing, as evidenced below.
I don’t own a copy of this film, but I am dying to pick it up this weekend, so I can escape into the gorgeous world that Sofia Coppola created. Also, check out Design*Sponge’s feature on living in Marie Antoinette. I love marveling at the baroque style that dominates pre-revolutionary France, but I really adore the scenes were Marie retreats to the “country” at her Petit Trianon. Maybe I need to start investigating cottages in the french countryside to rent!
In the winter of 2010, Philadelphia was bombarded with two major snowstorms back to back. Within just a few days we had 40+ inches of snow dumped on us. In the weekend that followed, I was rushing out of my house and slipped on some ice that had accumulated on my front steps due to the dripping snow melt from my roof. I fell down about three steps, and sustained a hairline break in my tibia, and an ankle fracture, where I tore the ligament that connected my tibia to my ankle bone.
It sucked. The injury required surgery to install a plate in my ankle, a cast, and some extended periods of bed rest where I was required to keep my ankle elevated above my heart. It sucked. I recovered at my parents’ house in my childhood bedroom since my doctor wouldn’t clear me to live on my own.
X-ray of my leg after surgery and what it looks like today
The only good thing to come out of this ordeal was that it inspired me to get into my kitchen.
Before injuring myself, I was eating diet frozen meals for lunch and eating takeout for dinner too often. When I did cook my meals weren’t very inspired: too big portions of stir Fry mixes from Trader Joe’s and baked boneless, skinless chicken breasts. When I was convalescing at my parent’s house, it was rare for my mother to not prepare multiple meals from scratch for dinner for my dad (vegetarian who eats fish), brother (picky meat eater), and also my grandmother that included enough for leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
Some days I couldn’t even imagine cooking for myself after a long day at work let alone for an extended family. But she made it work. If my mother could do it, why couldn’t I. So when I got home in the spring after my recuperation, I started to walk a lot as rehab for my ankle, and cook more at home. Besides walking, I wasn’t working out that much, but I was eating better and I did notice my clothes started to fit better. However, that winter I gained back, and probably more, of whatever I had lost that summer. But I did continue to eat more real food and phase out those diet lunches and quick prep meals. By the following fall when I started weight watchers, I was on the right path and ready to formally confront my weight.
I’m still working on finding the right way to eat for me while trying not to drive myself crazy It’s often hard and overwhelming at times, but I love that I cook as much as I do now. I started cleaning up my diet after I broke my ankle in the spring of 2010, addressed portion control when I started weight watchers in the fall of 2011, and in the spring of 2013, I feel like I’m finally getting into a good groove and looking forward more experimenting in the kitchen.
My favorite way to make chicken
I’ve felt kinda off all week. Still tired from the weekend, lots of rain and U.S. Open traffic making my commute messy, and I haven’t been working out. But, I had an AMAZING time on Wednesday night with my bff seeing my favorite singer songwriter, Stephen Kellogg, and it put me in the best mood.
At the Tin Angel, otherwise known as the most intimate venue in Philadelphia, He played some new songs, and so many of my favorites: Satisfied Man, In Front of the World, Such a Way, Fourth of July, Milwaukee, and a few others. Luckily, some very awesome people have already posted a few videos from the show on you tube, and I’ve been reliving this awesome night.
Milwaukee, one of the best. Period.
Thanksgiving: a new track, and so epic. It’s long, but worth the listen, Stephen kills it.
And a little comic interlude.
If you ever have a chance, please catch a Stephen Kellogg live show, it’s such a great experience. And check out his new solo album out next week. I pre-ordered the album at the show, and got a little memento with a signed message: “All Love, Future’s Bright”. Been thinking about that since the show, and it keeps making me smile.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
After a weekend of overindulging in some of the many culinary goodies that Philadelphia has to offer, I was ready for a week of eating more sensibly at home. Since the weekend was so busy, I didn’t get a chance to get to the store or prep over the weekend. But I did make a meal plan and shopping list and planned on going into work early so I could beat some of the traffic on my way home, stop at the store, and prep for the week. But an epic day long monsoon sabotaged my best laid plans by making for a much longer commute to and from work.
By the time I finally got the grocery store, I was exhausted, annoyed, headachy, and in no mode to cook that night’s dinner, let alone prep anything else for the week. But while I could have skipped the store altogether and picked up some takeout for dinner, I grabbed just the essentials, eggs, fruit, and a few items to make a super simple dinner: precut assorted veggies and pre-cooked chicken.
I would have much rather preferred to cut the veggies and cook the chicken on my own, but that’s not always realistic. So when I got home, I quickly dumped the veggies into a sauté pan with some garlic and olive oil, and after those cooked, added the chicken and tossed it with a little soy sauce and siracha. Voila, a super simple dinner that yielded enough leftovers for lunch the next day. I was happy that I make smart shortcuts yesterday, and didn’t indulge in some less healthy options.
And this morning I was super glad that I made it to the store because I had ingrediants for one of my go to breakfasts: scrambled eggs and avocado with a teeny bit of salt on top. For best results, mash the eggs and avocado together. So good!
Love this breakfast, so filling and keeps me satisfied through a hard morning workout. I use 1-2 eggs (2 weight watchers plus points each) and 1/8 to 1/4 of an avocado (1-2 weight watchers points plus). So it’s easy to adapt based on my hunger level, and comes out to a 3-6 point breakfast. I look forward to this meal so much!
With the encouragement of a very supportive friend I joined weight watchers in the Fall of 2011. She had seen results with Weight Watchers in the past and wanted to get back on the program. At this time, my weight was out of control, and I didn’t think it was something within my power to do anything about. About two years after I graduated college I went down about 2 clothing sizes due to working out regularly, and basically eating the same thing every day during the work week. Then I fell off the workout wagon, got bored of my repetitive meal plan, and got busy, stressed, lazy, etc. All the usual excuses. Then my weight steadily climbed up and up and up. I never weighed myself during this time, and exercised on and off, and eventually went up about 5 clothing sizes before my friend encouraged me to join her at weight watchers.
Fast forward about 18 months, and I have slowly lost about 38 pounds (give or take a couple), got back into a good workout routine, built up my strength, and dropped down a couple of clothing sizes.
During this journey, I’ve been experimenting, reading, and understanding how I can achieve my weight loss goals and set myself up for a lifetime of health. The most important thing I’ve learned is that there is no one size (no pun intended) fits all solution. But I do want to document my successes,
failures setbacks, and what I’ve learned both for my benefit and anyone else who may learn something from my journey.
This blog will continue to be all over the place about food, exercise, photography, shopping, and lots of other random things because that’s what I’m into, but the further along I get in my weight loss, the harder it gets. So I want to make myself more accountable for my choices, and really examine my relationship with food and exercise. Writing helps me make sense of my world, so my recent redesign applies both to the look and feel and content of this blog.
I’m looking forward to collecting my favorite recipes, formally documenting my workouts, tracking my progress more closely, and creating a living record of where I am in my life. Hopefully you’ll join me!