Tag Archives: food glorious food

Have the Second Damn Piece of Pizza

Friday night is supposed to be Pizza Night.

You know if you eat just one slice you’re going to feel like you’re still hungry in a few minutes. Better yet, someone else at the table will forget the unspoken dining rules and take what is clearly marked as your hunk of cheesy goodness because you all know you’re splitting the bill evenly anyway, and they know if they just keep the conversation going, everyone will lose track of who had what.

Everyone except you, that is. Because you notice, and because you’ve faced this before.

You’ve fought hard, and it’s an ongoing fight, but not just against the freeloader in your friend-group. You’ve fought against the mental numbers in your head.

The number of minutes you’ll need to exercise to work off the combination of dough and cheese (and mighty fine pepperoni, if you’re lucky), which leads your brain to remember the last time you exercised and chastise yourself on it being a.) too easy or b.) not recent enough. You’re going to stare down that pizza slice growing cold and play the cards out in your head, I just know it. Others at the table are relaxing over a meal, but you’re silently bargaining with yourself that if you do this, if you indulge in the American peace offering of cheesy perfection, that you’ll be really good tomorrow. You know, like, wife-of-a-celebrity good. You’ll eat things with whole grains and vitamins that you read about in the Get-Fit-Now book you never finished, and you’ll make your own salad dressing because you also heard Ranch makes you fat, even though dipping in it is the Southern equivalent of adding salt to your food- and Oh! SALT!- you’ll cut back on that, too. And while you’re at it, you’ll hide the breakup ice cream in the back of your freezer that you haven’t finished yet- because you have decided that you can take as long as you want to get over him- when you get home, and you’ll finally go to that spin class your coworker said had the cute instructor. This slice of pizza could change your life, you swear, for the better, because it’ll be the last piece of happiness you enjoy before you swear your existence away to bikini-body-boot-camp workouts you found on the internet coupled with a juice cleanse that you scored a Groupon for. Not eating this pizza slice could be the story that you tell your girlfriends about when they say you’re looking skinny weeks from now, or the experience that puts you ahead at your next High School Reunion, or the reason that guy finally asks you out next week.

I know– it’s a lot, right? An awful lot for just a piece of pizza.

Almost too much.

You ignore the greasy triangle you claimed earlier and you try and jump back into the conversation with your friends like you didn’t just live a whole week of choices and debates in your head, but it’s exhausting.

It’s overwhelming, it’s unfair, and it’s not adding any goodness to your life, but you know what will? Dismissing everything and grabbing that slice. It’s going to be delicious, and you’re going to live another day.

What matters is that you’re just as focused on how you’re shaping up in the inside- in your gut feelings and thoughts and heart and character- just as much as you are dead-set on visualizing the way that slice will make your thighs look.

Now, I know you’ve heard this before, and I know that Sunday School lessons of ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ have been preached to death, along with body-positive speak that you chanted in Middle School health class, but you still argue with yourself before every meal. You still give in to the accusations against your particular silhouette, you still have to take a deep breath before you look in the mirror, and you still let the numbers on your clothing labels define you. There are still nights where you curse your arms in a sleeveless dress like they called you a bad name and when your mascara runs because the same dress really looked better on the mannequin. You listen to Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts” and cry every time, and that’s okay. You know that magazines are photoshopped, but you’re still filled with anger an hour after looking through a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. Accepting yourself isn’t one-and-done and you’re living proof of that, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having to remind yourself of your worth beyond the scale.

But, I do want to convince you that this whole ordeal takes time.

And, if you can spend this much thought, talent, emotion and time on one measly slice of pizza, imagine what your beautiful brain could do with a situation that matters. With a friend’s broken heart. With a passion you should pursue. With a clear look at the things that bring life.

So I guess all I’m saying, from one work-in-progress to another, is take care of yourself.


Oh, and have the second damn piece of pizza.

Get Back Up.

You will have days when no matter how you try and style it and pin it back, your hair gets caught in your lipgloss and makes you perform some weird facial acrobatics to get it out and embarrasses you in public in the process. You’ll recover, and in a few weeks you’ll let the woman with the fantastic nail art at the Sephora counter talk you into to a lipstain that lasts all day, and when its constant color really does stay on, you’ll pass this knowledge on to your girlfriends like it’s no big thing, making you the wisest of all at the next Girls’ Night.

You will have days when you don’t want to answer your phone, even if it’s a text or a call from someone you love or an adorable Snapchat of a puppy, just because technology has made you think of instant connection as too impersonal, or you’re too caught up in your own head to answer or respond. It’ll pass, and you’ll respond to each hello and request with the gusto of the 7th grade girl with a pink Motorola Razr cell phone that you used to be, and with your faith in communication restored.

You will have days that are measured in cups of coffee and productivity pep talks, and no matter how much you focus and slam down both, you won’t get anything done. You won’t organize your room, you won’t answer those job emails, you won’t get that rattle in your car fixed, and you won’t even make a dent on your to-do list. You’ll be distracted by nostalgia, by negativity, or by simply beating yourself up over lack of progress. You will fight through these time-stealers and get back to accomplishing things like you were before.

You will have days where you say sorry to everything. Days where you apologize to your dog for not taking him on a walk because it’s raining, apologize to the person behind you in line at the cash register because it took you more than 5 seconds to find that quarter you needed in your purse, or send a Facebook message to an estranged friend from elementary school to apologize for that one thing you said to them on the playground in ’94 that you haven’t been able to shake for years. You will take a deep breath, reevaluate, and realize that although it is good to be forgiving, you are not responsible for every circumstance in life.

You will have days where you need to eat everything in sight. You will shove your shame aside in drivethrus, asking for 2 drinks even though you’re eating alone so that the person working the window thinks the amount of food is for more than 1 person. You will challenge yourself to your own taco-eating contest with the intention of beating your previous college-hangover record. You will get every mix-in possible at the ice cream parlor and you will tackle a whole pizza in one sitting. Whether you’re eating for feelings or for fun, you’ll slow down and look at what you’re consuming again. You’ll remember that balance is key, and even though cheese-on-everything is a personal manta of yours, throwing in something leafy and green is important, too.

You will have days when you can’t sleep because you’re:

  • worried that he hasn’t texted you yet
  • worried about when you’ll start getting wrinkles
  • worried that space and the universe is huge and we haven’t even scratched the surface of what is out there
  • nervous that you heard something go bump in the night
  • embarrassed that you’re still afraid of monsters in your twenties
  • still singing that annoying Luke Bryan or One Direction song you swore you’d never like but now that it’s stuck in your head, you are warming up to it
  • freaking out over what tomorrow’s schedule holds and if you can back out of all your commitments at the last second
  • caffeine-fueled for no good reason
  • scrolling through your phone endlessly and cursing everyone’s instagrams that look like they’re leading a fun-filled life, while you’re already in bed with your zit cream on and retainer in
  • too busy daydreaming about your fake pinterest house while stuck laying in a cheap goodwill or ikea bedframe
  • suddenly hungry but stuck with an empty fridge
  • unsure about your own talents
  • already fearing the alarm clock in the morning

You will find rest. It might take a few days, months, naps, or medication to get you back to sleeping right, but sleeping is so important, and if you’ll put some effort behind it, you’ll be a functional, healthy human again.

You will have days where it is hard to know where to start in expressing your feelings, hard to share the hurt that’s been done to you, and hard to feel like there is a new direction for you to travel. But, even if if is not today or not in this exact place, you will recover. You will be you again, and you will not let anyone else write the next chapter to your story but your own self.

It is not the days that defeat you, but what you do to defeat them and get back up.

So very much.

Stacks of waffles with lots of syrup. Afternoons on the couch in your comfy pants, and you go ahead and press the “Play All Episodes” on the dvd menu because you don’t have anything else pressing that day. Asking for help and receiving it. The perfect shade of red lipstick that doesn’t make you look crazy or comical, but instead just works on your skin palette. A warm dog snoring on your feet and you want to move them because they are falling asleep but you don’t wanna wake him up. Gooey hot melted cheese on top of al dente pasta. When someone’s obnoxious ringtone goes off in a quiet place like the DMV or church and everyone tries to hold in laughs. Reading a bible verse or quote that sticks with you. A good haircut. Cups of coffee with the right ratio of sweetness. Sequins on everything. When the quiet person in the room gets up to sing karaoke and totally kills the high notes with finesse. Unexpected hand-written mail. Forehead kisses. Eggs and bacon. Books or movies that people told you were phenomenal, that actually live up to all the hype. A good stiff drink after a long day of stresses. Sunglasses that make you feel like a rockstar when you put them on. Making all the green lights when you really needed to be there on time. Dinner with family, even if it only lasts 15 minutes. Cinnamon toast. When the band finally takes the stage at a concert and plays that first perfect note, and you forget how much your feet hurt from waiting for them for 2 hours + soundcheck. Tall boots and patterned socks. Naps. When your stomach hurts from laughing and you can’t even remember what was so hilarious but you also can’t stop cackling. A good record on a Saturday night. Knowing when to say no and sticking to it. Old photographs that make you happy thinking about the memories, not sad that they are over. Adventures! Big headphones. Baby animals. Old friends that are on the same page even after years. New friends that click instantly. Coworkers that become friends. Even the friendships and relationships that are hard-won because they took a while to work out. Fires and s’mores. Novelty license plates. Little dates in the afternoon. Theme parks with short lines. Pretending you’re a mermaid in your bathtub even at 22 years old. Getting a second interview and doing that happy dance in your room by yourself. That really good first streeeetttchhhh in the morning when you first wake up. Hyping The Hobbit in 3D. Going to the museum and pretending the dinosaur skeletons are chasing you. Christmas music. Caramel apples. Taking the wisdom of your parents and it paying off. Singing at the top of your lungs. Acknowledging when people are nice and kind to you and telling them and appreciating them right then. Hugs. Walking to dinner. Phone calls from far away and phone calls from the next room over and conversations that you needed to have. Peanut Butter Goo Goo Clusters.

This week has been weirdly emotional. Connecticut was all over my twentysomething newsfeeds, and whatever was said, it was all still so polarizing. I have no words to write about it, no dramatic conclusion, no sweeping outpouring, except that life is small and short and so very often I forget to look around and appreciate it. I spend my time waiting on something to come, or a big career with bright lights, and I am so terribly ridiculously spoiled.  I am a little spec in this big world but I have so much to be thankful for and so much to love.

So very much.

i’m so happy i’m not even using capitalization

Likes Lately : July 2011

10 things that make this lion insanely happy

10. the ridiculous talent of this amazing girl (seriously, she’s like michael jackson, nina simone and regina spektor combined)-

9. getting my apartment all settled for the fall!

8. the forwarded emails my grandmother always sends with pictures of baby animals (ie-


7. when my blinker blinks perfectly in time to the beat of the song i am listening to on the road in my car!!!!!

6. spending multiple afternoons in the sunshine

5. boys with banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, hurdy-gurdys, accordions, and any/all slightly obscure instruments

4. living off of homemade pizza


3. watching lots of comic con panel videos and geeking out about doctor who, joss whedon directing the avengers, the new spiderman with andrew garfield & emma stone, peter jackson (as always) and various nerdy goodness

2. seeing britney spears live on the night of my 21st birthday and fulfilling a childhood dream

1. and speaking of- my best friend driving to nashville to celebrate my 21st birthday with me!!! eeek! such a good weekend, i feel so blessed to have someone that pretty much shares my brain and yes, i am stealing this picture from him!

Eat Your Heart Out, June Cleaver

(Sometimes little afternoons just write themselves into brightly-colored pleasing blog posts. This is one of those afternoons, and of course, it’s a SHAMELESS PHOTO POST!)

Honestly, in life, I think all it really takes is a little commitment to character and a smidge of red lipstick to make everything grand. So, when my lovely girlfriends and I decided to devote an afternoon to making pies, we couldn’t leave any details to make the event perfect out.

1950s Housewife attire? Check.

Vinyl records and sweet tea in fancy glasses? Check.

Apple cinnamon, key lime, cherry and pecan? Check.

Baking in heels? A nearly-almost check.

One delicious day? Most definite check.

(this is Taylor, diva and apple-slicer extraordinaire!)

(please note the heart. AW!)

(this is Kate, aka the greatest pie-making-teacher evs! she worked in a bakery, so these pies are legendary already.)

Serious question, internet–is there anything greater and more loving on this earth than pie? I could ramble on about how much a good crust is a gift from God or how on a perfect pie, each bite is like giving your mouth a warm just-what-I-needed-hug, but I’ll suffice it to say that if you don’t love pie, you’ve been doing it wrong.

Mourn the loss of a great tv show by watching Pushing Daisies and crave a slice of heaven.

Call up your grandmother and ask for a great recipe.

Or you know, if you play your cards right, time travel on back to 1955 and these fabulous housewives will make you one! Just, please…don’t call us desperate.

Caffeinated Conspiracy

It’s time to admit it- we as a society judge people based on their Starbucks orders.

  • Strawberries-and-Creme-Frappuccino-With-Extra-Whipped-Cream: If you’re over 14, don’t even try to order this baby without getting a few stares. It’s pink and fluffy…there is no excuse.
  • Tea of any kind: WARNING: YOU ARE CLASSY and someone who doesn’t need any extra caffeine because you’re considering the world’s biggest problems over this mellow cup.
  • Caramel Macchiato: Okay, okay, Sparky, did you have no originality? Everyone and their mom orders this.
  • Hot Chocolate: Are you kidding me? You held up the line for a sugar fix? We coffee elite are rolling our eyes in unison.

And of course, there’s the elusive BLACK COFFEE. BC drinkers are the hardest to pin down. What’s their motive? Are they trying to seem better than everyone else by insisting that they don’t need sugar and cream? Are they an adult with no need for excitement? Do they have taste buds?!?!

BC is a mixed message, but, giftcard in hand, I took the plunge.

Today; Starbucks; Approx 3:13 PM

Sauntering up to the cash register amidst a sea of Venti Mochas and Chocolate-syrup-based concoctions, I set out to order the most complex drink I’d ever encountered.

"Tall black coffee."

I’ll admit, I caved and got some sugar added, but I confidently said the order and instantly felt more refined. Staring out at my caffeinated peers, the effects of my soon-to-be-had drink started instantly. Look at these brainwashed consumers! Paying triple for frills and colors that I don’t need! I’m drinking the truth! I’m holding my cup up as an ambassador to living simply!

The barista who took my order approaches the pickup area.

"A tall bold?!"

I scanned the rest of the sea of patrons. Who is ordering styles of fonts in here?

"Did you have the bold?"

Suddenly the barista points to me. I walk over, high on my cloud of feeling black-coffee-betterness, smile his direction slyly and say,

"Oh no, I had the tall coffee of the day."

He rolls his eyes and then I feel it…the better-than-thou coffee tables have turned.

"Yes, this is the coffee of the day," he replies. "It's bold."

I stagger out an,

 "oh, umm...thanks!"

and hang my head as I exit quickly.

Sleeved-drink in hand, I turn back to face that green and black logo and realize that there’s no point in this coffee competition. As soon as I learn how to order something supposedly better than the rest, I’m knocked down again by the voice of reason, or this time, by the voice of a lanky blond employee who had no merriment for my mistaken order.

Starbucks-1, Kelsey-0.

But I’ll be back, Starby’s. I’ll be back with a vengeance…and probably with a silly order and extra whipped cream, cause that stuff is darn good.

Foodie, Table For 1

Maybe it’s because somewhere along the road some evil and yet also chef-like scientist infused garlic butter into my family’s DNA, but I was always raised to believe that a good meal is a big deal. Dinnertime is not a simple concept to me, and while this sounds so ridiculous when I write it out, food and the way it brings people together just might be my love language.

Okay, yes, internet, we can always make obesity speeches and talk about America’s overindulgence, but I’m not talking about eating. The typical American stereotype of eating- or a mindless consumption of mass-produced false food-byproduct- is a crime, I think. Call me a nerd, but a good meal is enjoyed, not just eaten. We’re talking flavors, textures, temperatures, spices and smells, and that’s just the tip of the tasty iceberg. Food has the capacity to be complex or simple, comforting and exotic, and of course, it’s the perfect accent to a great conversation or a fantastic evening.

Considering my resources are, well, limited as a freeloading college student, I’m not calling ahead to five-star restaurants every night (or ever, really) but even the simplest thrown-together-with-love-and-whatever-was-in-the-pantry dinners my friends and I whip up are supremely special and make me do a little happy dance at the table. Something about sharing a meal makes me sentimental, and well, last night was no exception.

Wanna cure your troubles?

Gather your good friends that laugh loudly and cute little boot glasses (!) and serve up some pesto-parmesan pasta. Easy, but oh-so-effective.