Monday, May 7, 2012

Let me tell you how much butt I kicked this weekend (and a butt-kicking OOTD) (and a thrifting sale haul)

Butt-Kicking the First: I thrifted like a champ.

My thrift store trip on Saturday was a flying success. Not only did I find a great vase for my terrarium project* (see here), but I also scored a ton of great kitchen ware!

My most treasured find, however, was this set of awesome vintage dinnerware by Taylor Smith & Taylor. I was able to find seven dinner plates and eight dessert plates in this amazing 70's floral pattern --- for only six dollars! (if you love it, you can buy a slightly larger set on Etsy here.)

A close-up of the pattern:

I'm in love! I also scored these awesome Steven by Steve Madden magenta pumps (at the same thrift store I found a miraculous replacement pair of magenta pumps a few months ago! (that story) WHAT?):

* Side note: I found these terrariums in the grocery store last night. I'm curious to know how many terrariums I need to make until this DIY thing was a financially sound decision.

Butt-Kicking the Second: I socialized like a champ.

I found myself at a large Cinco de Mayo BBQ on Saturday only to realize I did not know a single soul beyond the host.  This might not be intimidating to some of you natural social butterflies, but sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed in situations like that.

When I was in high school, I belonged to a Jewish Youth group with which I never quite fit in; I remember attending several events involving mass socialization and finding some way to stay in the bathroom for ten minutes at a time just to make myself feel less awkward (I swear, the logic made sense in my head).  I had a brief moment upon first arriving when I entertained the prospect of turning around and going home.

Anyway, I'm a long way from that girl, but sometimes she does poke her head in to see if she's once again welcome around these parts I like to call my brain. I pushed her out and jumped into the fray. I had a great time and chatted with several interesting people.

Side note: have any of you fellow Jewish girls noticed that Jewish men have a tendency to talk up their genes when trying to hit on you? I was having (what I thought was) a friendly conversation with a Jewish guy about running when all of a sudden he started telling me about how long his grandparents lived (one until 99!) and how he was sure he'd live even longer. That's when I realized he was probably hitting on me. Sad? Yes. True? Also yes.

Perhaps I'm being unfair in limiting this to Jewish this a broader male thing? Would one of my three male readers care to weigh in on this in the comments?

Butt-Kicking the Third: I played poker like a champ.

I played in a charity poker tournament yesterday (see here) and made it to the final seven out of about 70 players. At that point, we all agreed to divvy up the pot (called a "chop deal") and I will be receiving a cool ~$1400 profit.

Yeah, remember when I said I needed to save up some money to buy a folding bike?


I gotta say, big purchases are WAY more fun when other people pay for them! I get so much joy out of the fact that my iPad was won with poker winnings in Council Bluffs, Iowa that I decided to make a custom iPad case to remind me of that fact:

I have to say, having the goal of buying an expensive bike in mind helped me keep focused during the tournament. Whenever I found myself in a sticky situation, I pictured my beautiful future folding bike and asked myself what would get me closer to it. Money can feel like a nebulous goal in poker tournaments sometimes, but that bike looked crystal clear the whole way through!

My poker outfit: J.Crew factory sweater, Ann Taylor LOFT maxi skirt (awesome color, comfy, TTS or size up if between, but SUPER wrinkly) (here) (EDIT:  for an alternative, see here...thanks to Lyddie for the tip), J.Crew factory multi-bead bib necklace (here), Payless "Brash" zebra print studs (in a cute six-pack here), Michael Kors chronograph watch (similar), Payless nude flats (awesome awesome awesome) (here), Kate Spade Head In The Sand Melinda.

Butt-Kicking the Fourth: I cooked like a champ.

After doing a private victory dance in the poker room because my fancy folding bike was now a reality, I made my way to the grocery store and came home to cook not one, but TWO meals for four people. I made a quick chicken and pasta dish for my boyfriend and two of our friends (thank you, canned tomatoes and frozen spinach, which easily hid the fact that I didn't have enough chicken in the pasta).

Then, I made a cheesy quinoa casserole with mushrooms, spinach, and ham to bring to a weekly healthy lunch exchange I've been involved with.  (I adapted this recipe by adding ham and using low-fat cheese.)  A month or so ago, a reader emailed me about possibly starting a little DC-area weight watchers/healthy lunch exchange, in which each person would cook a healthy meal, divide up the dish into individual portions, and then bring it to share with others. Basically, you cook once but you get a week's worth of variety.

I emailed a few friends who were down to give this thing a shot along with me and this reader (who wishes to remain anonymous); we've had a group going for several weeks now and it's been great! Having an array of delicious, healthy meals in my work freezer has helped me avoid many empty calories for lunch or the siren call of huge, free seamless web dinners when I work late. Also, because one of the girls is gluten-free I've been learning about many of the secret sources of gluten (soy sauce and chicken broth! Who knew?) and also slightly cutting down on my own gluten intake.

Anyway, the quinoa casserole came out awesomely. I actually licked the spoon (after I finished portioning it all out). Please note that I'd already eaten dessert when said spoon was licked. It was that delicious.

Thanks for letting me excessively pat myself on the back on the Internet. It was a good weekend!

How was your weekend? Did you partake in any Mexican-inspired festivities?

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