Friday, November 16, 2012

Coffee and Other Challenges

Hidy-Ho, cherished readers! Well, it's been LESS than a week (up top!) and I've already met with some success on the long trail to self-improvement. I started with something comfortable, something I felt I could easily control, something in which I have loads of experience: coffee. I'm working on my seventh year of gainful employment at PJ's Coffee of New Orleans, which has inspired in me a burning hatred of all coffee belonging to PJ's (excepting my heart, cold-dripped Southern Pecan) and a warm, tingly fondness for all other coffee and related paraphernalia. If iced coffee is good, I reasoned, I should buy a toddy maker. Boom, done. If iced coffee is good, how is french-pressed coffee? Amazing, is how! I have three French presses in varying sizes now. Auto-drip coffee maker? Duh, for hostessing. It's very meh. Then, one day last summer, I needed a cappuccino. I didn't want it. I had to have it. Unfortunately, I also needed to stay in my pajamas and not brush my hair, so I didn't get one. What I did do was order my DeLonghi espresso maker from Amazon! And 2 oz shot glasses! And steaming pitchers! And a silver tamper! Good gravy, y'all, was that shopping spree gratifying. It appealed to both my love of coffee and my love of retail therapy. I'm working on that too. Anyways, check out this bad boy:

Pretty bitchin', right? Hah, I knew you'd love it. Anyway, per usual, I've gotten off topic for love of my stuff (get used to that). So, for the past four years, Bonster has been imploring me to cut back on my caffeine. You drink a pot of coffee in the morning, he'd tell me, then you drink Diet Coke at lunch, then more Diet Coke at dinner, then more coffee after dinner. Where's your water??? Coffee is made with water, I'd reason, but that fact that he was: (A) that concerned (aww), and (B) not exaggerating, finally rang a bell recently, and prompted me to undertake THE GREAT COFFEE CHALLENGE OF 2012! I've spent most of my coffee-drinking life (since I was 8) kind of resenting my everyday coffee routine (dark roast and lots of it, with a splash of skim, with a 3-year long love affair with Splenda that still gives me nightmares). It's boring and kind of gross, and I will not stand for it any longer. I decided that in the spirit of self-improvement and my love of things that taste good, I can have exactly ONE cup of caffeinated beverage per day. It's almost always coffee, and here's the kicker: I can have whatever I want in it. If I want tar-thick espresso with real cream and sugar, it's mine. If I want iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk, done. The possibilities are limitless! The idea is if I have one cup per day, and have it how I want it, I'll be more satisfied and less likely to indulge in other things that I don't like as much as coffee but still eat because I live in constant fear that they'll go out of style (womp womp). So this was the first week and it was a resounding success! From Monday-Friday, I drank a range of coffee-ish things, from cafe au laits with real milk (not skim) and real sugar to espresso with SCM to black-and-white cappuccinos with loads of cinnamon. I've never been so satisfied with my coffee. AND! I've lost five pounds. What what? Do this. Do this also, do this now. It's the best minor decision I've made lately.
So! Pretty soon, get ready for some badass pictures. Bestie, Bonster, and I are answering the fact that we never get to see our friends on major holidays with A Very Cajun Fakesgiving! It's tomorrow (Saturday), the weekend before Thanksgiving, and it's basically a Bacchanalian potluck-style feast with games and a photo booth. All the food must be inventive (think traditional Thanksgiving fare with a Cajun twist), and it will inevitably become a yearly tradition. Pictures and results to come! Happy Coffee-ing!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I start again every day

Hi there! I'm Kristen, a twenty-something recent(ish) college grad who loves God, baking, my dog, my boyfriend-monster (I mean that most affectionately), hereafter to be referred to as Bonster (it was Arrested Development), my bestie, and not a whole lot else. Many months ago, I suffered some family/personal trauma too varied and painful to detail here, but suffice to say it was a valuable learning experience and has compelled me to make some severe and forward-moving life changes. Useful backstory: I am lazy. Beyond lazy. Every day I resolve to get out of bed and go exercise, and every day I laugh myself back asleep. I avoid cleaning (a thing I purport to love; HAH) like the plague, I use sloppy cliches, I wait until the last minute to do everything, and at the end of most days, I hate myself for it. I realize that, in this day and age, being lazy has been molded, manipulated, and perverted until it became something almost resembling a positive attribute (e.g. That free-spirited, curvy manic pixie dream girl is so cute and lazy; it's just part of the magic that is her! Swoon!) and I hate that. Almost as much as manic pixie dream girls (look it up). I do not like having succumbed to this state, and being that I am presently embroiled deep within the vacuous chasm of post-graduate unemployment, not counting a twice-a-week coffee shop gig, I am left with two options: continue down this lowly path of shiftless self-indulgence and lethargy as I watch the days fall away and the pounds pile on, OR move my ass in some, one, any direction and start living, removing myself from the state of pseudo-adulthood in which I am currently mired.

So, how do I do this? After a lot of introspection, I have determined that it will take small steps, gradually adding up over the course of many, many moons. I am pleased to report that I have a rock-solid support system (family, Bonster, bestie). I will expand upon my current interests and absorb other interests/activities that emanate therefrom. Example: I love baking, and I love the IDEA of baking from scratch, perfecting pie dough and the lattice-top, and having that perfect, flour-dusted nose experience, but I've never really DONE it. I've used shortcut recipes that yielded tasty results, but haven't really worked towards making it an actual talent that I could employ in real life (you know, the kind that leads to monetary compensation and a sense of accomplishment). So that's a start. Another is exercise, another is finding a job. One thing I should note is that I've never been, and probably never will be, very career-oriented. I view employment as a means to support the passions and priorities I hold nearest and dearest: travel, family, children, more baking. In a way, this makes my job search easier because the world is my oyster. I can do anything. On the flip side, it's terrifying, because where the heck do I start? That's a big one. I guess my biggest point to you is that this blog will be quite varied in content and humor, so please bear with me and stick around.

What will you get in exchange? Well, what WON'T you get?! You have the promise of an at least weekly dose of self-deprecating humor, SCADS of recipes, and the knowledge that you are helping a confused girl along her life's journey. It's important as all get-out, and I need your support. So thank you thank you thank you, readers, for reading this far, and I hope to maintain your interest with my jumbled life's best attempt at order. I'll be back soon!