Tuesday, September 29, 2015

But Bean, You Just Flick Them Off


So Sunday was my brother's 17th birthday, and to celebrate, I hung out with my little cousin Abby all day (I mean, isn't that how your family celebrates birthdays?). We were goofy, made AJ's cake, and then watched The Emperor's New Groove, so it was a pretty great afternoon.

That's the background story for all the pictures. Because I don't have pictures for the very important story I'm about to tell you.


Also on Sunday, at church, my youngest cousin (Caleb...he's 5) was being extra adorable. However, he was also being loud, so as church started I dragged him out from under the pew and made him sit on my lap.

After a few minutes, Grandma handed Caleb one of those mini-Hershey bars. He started unwrapping it, and offhandedly says, "these chocolates always have bugs in them."

"What?"

"These chocolates always have bugs in them." He says again. I was confused.

And sure enough, he unwraps the chocolate a wriggling, white meal-y worm is sitting right on top.

I sit, with Caleb on my lap, just staring at it as he nonchalantly flicks it on the floor.

"CALEB!" I hiss (remember...we're in church), "You can't eat that!"

"No, Bean." He says, "You just flick them off."


I took the chocolate from him and flip it over. And there's a second worm on the other side. Obviously, I took it away from him and didn't let him eat it. And obviously, he got up and got another one from Grandma.

"You open this one, Bean." He says.

And I open it. And right away, spot a third worm. I put this one away.

"Bean, I can just flick them off!" He says again. No, Caleb. We will not continue to eat the chocolate after flicking off meal worms during church.


Anyways, that was a very important story I felt should be recorded. Sorry for missing my usual Friday and Saturday posts last weekend...life is crazy, as I'm sure you all know! As always, thanks for being here.

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Knitting, and the Importance of No-Agenda Hobbies

Hand-knitted, color blocked wool cowl. Talking about knitting and the importance of having stress free, no-agenda hobbies on Young Yankee Lady.

My mom's birthday was yesterday (happy birthday! You're amazing!). I was super excited about her present, not the least because I'm usually pretty lame in the birthday-present department. But this year, I knitted her this gray and green color blocked cowl.

I used a regular knit stitch on super skinny (I'm thinking size 4?) needles. I used wool yarn, and while I hate how long it takes to make progress on skinny needles, I love the super thick knit it provides. So tight and warm! In the end, I thought the switch from gray to green was too abrupt, so I added little black x's as accents to define the change of color more. I'm really happy with how this turned out!

Here's the thing: I'm not a good knitter. I only make cowls and scarves with a basic knit stitch. I tend to make it up as I go along, and my projects are mostly based on what's in my stash. But I derive so much joy from just knitting...and not caring.

Hand-knitted, color blocked wool cowl. Talking about knitting and the importance of having stress free, no-agenda hobbies on Young Yankee Lady.

Everything that I do has a point, has a purpose, has an agenda. Skating's my love, but I'm working on it becoming a career so it's not really just 'for fun'. Yoga is fun but it's also for skating and I try to meet goals with it every week. Writing here, my main not-athletic hobby, is a great release, but I also try to take writing seriously, so I set expectations for myself. But knitting? Just. For. Fun.

I like that I get to do something with my hands while watching TV, or talking to my mom. I like that it's pretty inexpensive (especially when I commit to using stash stuff). I like that if I mess up horribly, I can unravel it and start again. I LOVE that it's a hobby easily learned in pieces; just start with a knit stitch, and the rest comes as you get more curious.

I'm a huge believer in doing what you love and reaching goals and making your life (work included!) something you enjoy doing. But I'm also starting to believe in hobbies that are just that...hobbies. With no expectations, no goals, no guilt, no stress. Just happy distractions from our true passions and priorities.

Hand-knitted, color blocked wool cowl. Talking about knitting and the importance of having stress free, no-agenda hobbies on Young Yankee Lady.

***
I'm just going to be honest and say that I'm already planning stuff for Christmas. This cooler weather gets to me.

From a thrifty standpoint, I'm hoping to knit a lot for Christmas this year, with a focus on using up stash-yarn. I'm excited to share more of what I make on the blog in the coming months! Here's my new project: a stripey scarf in pinks and green (the same green from the cowl, actually!).

Knitting, and the Importance of No-Agenda Hobbies. A post about doing something genuinely 'just for fun' on Young Yankee Lady.

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

PS-Just wanted to let you know that I'm working in my Etsy shop, The Broke Skater, again. It's mostly vintage sewing patterns, dresses, hats and accesories from my full-immersion vintage phase. Everything is priced to move and I would be so grateful if you checked it out! More stuff scheduled to go up this week.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What We Do, Not What We Have: An Ode to Cutting the Crap


I'm really starting to go all real-food, thrifty, minimalist, hippie over here. And I'm loving every minute of it.

Overall this summer, I haven't eaten so great (I bombed out on the whole 30 after two weeks).

My room has been a constant mess.

Setting up a new routine has been hard.

And we've been really, really busy....so our house is just filled with piles of junk.

And it's overwhelming. It bogs me down. I hate the digging, and the stepping over, and the shoving. I don't like forgetting what I own. I don't like having to think really hard about what I need, or where I put something, or what I'm eating because I have no idea what's in the fridge.

And it really wasn't until the past couple of weeks that I stopped and thought about it. This overwhelm, this block, is because I'm not in control of my stuff. I've allowed material things to dictate how I'm living, rather than my life dictate what I use.

And we think the answer is to clean. And we think the answer is to go on a diet. And we think the answer is to get up earlier. And we think the answer is to make more money. But it's not.

The answer is to simplify. To set off with intention, approach everything with mindfulness. To know that less is so, so often more than enough. To find that peace and contentment.

I fully realize this is all very vague and flowery. And I apologize for that. There is grit here, I promise.

Let's talk food. Did you know that most produce we consume are hybrids, specifically bred to make bigger, prettier fruits/veggies? And that because they're hybrids, most aren't capable of producing seeds that will actually germinate? There are less than five seed banks in the US with actual, heritage seeds. What we are eating is physically unable to sustain itself. Since when is that food?

While I was on the whole 30, I started eating Larabars, since they were the only 'granola bar' available to me. It took me a bit to get used to the taste, but now I'm a total convert! I love them because they are simple. The ingredients listed on their Cashew Cookie are literally dates and cashews. No exaggeration. Compare that to the Nature Valley bars I'd been eating....where the second ingredient was sugar. Larabars add no sugar or preservatives to anything. It's just food.

Let's talk stuff. I'm a chronic cleaner. I love organizing and I really like cleaning and I love sorting things out into boxes. But this week, I've turned into a lunatic. All those years of me 'organizing' were for nothing, because all I would do with my stuff is re-sort it into neat piles. I was always saving things...scraps of ribbon, old papers, clothes I wish fit me. So all I was really doing was moving stuff around, and calling it a purge!

Well this week, I was so done that I just got up and attacked my closet. The closet that, as of June, I had just re-organized.

From that closet, I filled two boxes to drop off at the thrift store. I filled a whole clean out bag from thredup. I put all of my vintage things (except three pairs of gloves) into a sell pile. I got rid of skating dresses I had for shows and only wore once because I considered them horribly ugly, but had for some reason kept for years.

Shoes before.
I discovered I had 25 pairs of shoes. That's pretty impressive seeing I wear 3 distinct pairs, max, a week. I whittled it down to 12.

I found out I have 24 blouses. I got it down to 12.

I got rid of my cranberry dress and black dress, which were so me when I was off at 8th grade and freshman dances and so...not...now.

And I hung everything back up on only one side of the closet. I can't wait to see how much space there is when I get rid of all the stuff that I'm selling!

Shoes after.
Let's talk money. I cover a lot with my paycheck, through personal choice. I want to be taking care of myself as much as possible, not just mooching off my parents. So this is not me complaining! But, like, payday comes and it's gone in a heartbeat. How am I supposed to save? How am I supposed to have money for things that matter, and pay off long term, even though they seem really expensive now?

What it means. I'm a bit jumbled (as you can tell!) but everything I've thrown out there comes back to one main point: I want my life to be about what I do, not what I have.

I should buy what I buy intentionally. I should keep what I keep intentionally. I should toss what I toss intentionally. I should consume what I consume intentionally.

And yes, sometimes the intention is just to be beautiful. I fully believe that. Sometimes you don't need an accent pillow right there...but, you need an accent pillow right there. I believe that.

But what I don't believe is that I need six. And that I should buy extras so I can swap them out every few weeks. Or save my old ones so I can re-purpose them at an indefinite time in the future for an indefinite project.

Because cutting all of that saves time. It saves energy. It begets good habits. Like maybe if I didn't have to move laundry every morning to have space to do yoga, I'd actually do yoga. And maybe the solution isn't putting my laundry away at a specific time each day...maybe it's cutting the amount of clothes I have so there's just less of it. And putting it away isn't a chore.

And, I think, they key to all of it is putting our focus at the work. I want to work hard. I want to do great work. I want to create things and do things that matter. But I need space for that. I need energy. And letting the million and one little decisions of my day bog me down...is just another way of letting my stuff control me. It keeps me from my purpose.


I want to eat real food. I want to experiment with new recipes. I want to have food that actually expires, and I want to use every last piece and not waste so much of it. I want to eat something, and not have a huge pile of trash left behind.

I want to stop sifting through my clothes for ones I like and just like my clothes. I want to stop having to think about outfits and instead just put stuff on, because I know they work. I want to stop feeling guilty every time I spend money on a new pair of pants, because I know that I'v budgeted it, and that those pants are perfect, and I'll wear them until they die.

I want to be looked at, and be seen as strong. As funny. As purposeful. As kind. As unique. I don't want to be looked at and all you see is my heavily branded bag and heavily shadowed eyes. I want to be pursing my passions...not talking about my passions. I want to be living, not existing.

I want to be real. I want to be raw. I want to cut the filler. And just be in touch.

Come be minimalist with me. We'll make paleo cookies or something.

Happy Weekend! xoxo

Friday, September 18, 2015

Phrase A Day v. 4

Phrase A Day Journal via Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Journal via Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Journal via Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Journal via Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Journal via Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Journal via Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Journal via Young Yankee Lady

Biggest takeaway from the week: we get nowhere by being discouragers. By complaining. By rolling our eyes. We need to be encouragers. Take people where they are. Love them. Laugh with them. Help them. See their best. Encouragement unlocks their best.

Also we moved into the purple cards in the stack so that's pretty exciting.

Happy Friday! xoxo

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September Saturday

From Saturday, September 12th. This was actually the first day back to the regular Saturday skating schedule, so it was a bit rocky!


6:35 AM
Wake up to a chilly morning (fall is coming!).


6:40 AM
Stumble downstairs. First thing, drink a whole glass of water. Then pour coffee and feed the cat (Bangles).


6:42 AM
Realize the sausage I need for breakfast is still frozen in the downstairs freezer, since I was too lazy to get it out the night before. Go downstairs to get it. Leave the basement door open, so Bangles comes too. Chase Bangles and bring him upstairs.

6:45 AM
Start getting ready...wash face, brush teeth, vitamins, makeup, brush hair. Search for hair clips.


7:07 AM
Make breakfast: Three scrambled eggs and sausage. Refill coffee and sit down to eat.

7:22 AM
Get dressed. Pull my coaching coat out of the closet. Pack skate bag.


7:35 AM
Head to the rink. Drive without the radio, because I really, really need quiet mornings.


8:00 AM
First one to the rink! Take my inhaler, jump rope, stretch, and off-ice jump before lacing up.

8:25 AM
Step on the ice! About 10 minutes of warm up, and then my lesson starts and we work on moves in the field. I have a half hour lesson, so I use the remaining bit of the hour-session to do freestyle.

9:25 AM
Learn to skate starts! I pull on two extra jackets and start coaching.

10:20 AM
Get off, pull off skates to stretch feet. Lace up again.

10:25 AM
Get on the ice for my second session. Focus on freestyle, run my routine twice.


11:20 AM
Get off the ice, unlace, and stretch out for a bit. Walk out to my car, intending to buy a coffee and then head home.

11:45 AM
Spend way too much time jiggling my key because I somehow locked my ignition. Ask hockey dad for help. He gets it first try. Drive straight home, do not buy coffee because I'm worried I'll lock it again if I turn the car off.


12:03 PM
Get home, make coffee. Also make lunch: nut granola with almond milk and raisins. Sit and talk to Mom.

1:10 PM
Decide that I should probably be getting ready for work. Change, wash my bangs out and style them, grab a new pen for my smock pocket, pack food.


1:35 PM
Leave for work. Eat a banana on the way.

2:00 PM 
Punch in. It's busy, so in the first hour I bag for several people, give a lot of voids, make change, jump on my own register to get the lines down, ring for someone so they can use the bathroom, and collect baskets.

5:10 PM
Head to lunch. Carrots dipped in almond butter. Go through the smocks, and discover that the new ones came in! With a size small! So I ditch the XL I've been wearing and put on my new one.

8:00 PM
Punch out. Buy almond butter and Larabars.


8:20 PM
Get home. Chill on the coach with meatballs and Netflix. Eat a yogurt. Read some blogs.


11:00 PM
Head upstairs. Get ready for bed. Clean off my bed. Journal a bit.


11:21 PM 
Lights out!

What are your September Saturdays like?

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Friday, September 11, 2015

Phrase A Day v. 3

Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady

This past week was sort of a goodbye to summer...the weather was in the 90's (whatttt??), I had a whole weekend off, and got to hang out with friends. I'm back to weekend skating starting Saturday, and there are TOI Boston tryouts on Sunday! Back to the grind, but I'm so, so ready. :)

Also, let's make sure to think and pray about 9/11 today. Let's pray that goodness will rise up and fight the evil that we know is in the world. Let's pray for those that lost their lives, and for the families they left behind. Let's pray for the people of this country, that we might always live our lives with an awareness of what's really important. And let's pray, that while we would never wish for another 9/11, we might remember (and bring back) the feeling of 9/12

Thoughtfully, xoxo

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Whole 30 First Thoughts


On the last Sunday in August, I started day 1 of the whole 30.

Honestly, I've wavered back and forth about completing one for over a year now. I'm pretty sensitive when it comes to food (not that I usually let it stop me). Dairy and fruit have never sat well with me, and anything too rich and 'unusual' (like a sauce I'm not used to) gives me horrible cramps. Honestly, most of the time I feel very bloated and uncomfortable, so much so that that was normal.

I also eat a lot. I am always hungry, but that's what comes with daily yoga/skating/cross training, plus work, plus mental energy with school and whatnot. Even prior to the Whole 30, I was trying to eat more FOOD and less BREAD, and really focusing on protein to fill me up. But my serving sizes were getting larger and larger...and I was getting hungrier and hungrier.

On top of this, I've had instances in the past where I've gotten 'the shakes' frequently. Particularly when I was a freshman (and not very good and looking at what I ate), I'd start to feel really weak if I'd eaten a lot of carbs versus a lot of protein. Honestly, I'd feel scarily faint a lot. Over the years, that's something I've really focused on and it's not reoccurred much, but it's made me be obsessive about what/when I eat.

So ANYWAYS. I wavered on the whole 30 for awhile, but I finally decided to take the leap and just go cold-turkey into it after realizing how every single thing it's supposed to fix is something I'm currently having a problem with.

I'm a little over a week into it, so I thought it'd be a good place to share some first thoughts.

Not gonna lie, it's been really depressing having to be so strict with stuff. And I like healthy food! I have only cheated once...on a mini Reese's PB at work that I put in my mouth before even thinking I wasn't supposed to have it. Woops! Other than that, the only thing I've really missed is my Greek yogurt. It's the easiest thing to buy on break at work and I just love love love the coconut Chobani! Also all the flip ones with the granola! I miss you!

One thing that's been frustrating is that I've honestly not been feeling a huge difference with cramps and such. I know it's because I've been eating more fruit and nuts than usual...but hey, what else am I supposed to eat? You can only have meat and veggies so often! I've definitely been questioning if it's worth it seeing that hasn't gone away, but it's worth sticking it out.

The thing it has helped is my perpetual hunger and energy levels. I can go so much longer without food now, and not worry so much about things. And for servings, I've actually been eating less...but everything on my plate is pure energy. None of those empty sugars! So that's really exciting.

A lot of people worry about variety on the Whole 30, and honestly, you can have plenty of variety as long as you have the time/motivation to actually cook. The hard part for me has been buying my own food, and cooking my own stuff while the family eats something else...that's not fun. But otherwise, your options are endless!

Because that's what I was most curious about, here's what I've been eating lately:

Breakfast:

3 eggs + a sausage patty. Going in, I was worried I didn't digest eggs well...but I think with everything else pretty much eliminated it's not been an issue. This is a breakfast I'll definitely be making my daily after the Whole 30.

Apple + almond butter (since I can't have peanut butter anymore, because no peanuts on the whole 30. This goes more into it.). Honestly, I've been avoiding this because (1) apples are really hard to digest and full of carbs and I'm realizing how much they mess me up in the mornings, (2) techinically my almond butter is illegal because it has sugar and I can't find a natural one, (3) my egg breakfast is much better.

Lunch:

Waldorf salad (with homemade mayo) is my favorite. Hardy, sweet, and packed with real food. Definitely a keeper.

All sorts of salads, although I've been less into these then pre-whole 30 (when I was eating them every day) because I really miss the cheese.

Dinner:

Stir fry with steak and veggies. Super great because it's literally a bowl of whatever.

Plain chicken with fresh salsa. This was something I made when my family had tortillas for dinner, and it was actually really good! Fresh and light for hot summer days.

Soups. We've been doing lots of soups lately, from chili (made with cabbage instead of beans) to super hardy chicken and veggies soup. I love them, especially for the fact that they can be dinner or much, a pot can feed you all week, and they're easy to bring to work and microwave.

Snacks:

Bananas.

Larabars. (aka lifesavers).

Baby carrots and almond butter.

Packs of nuts and dried fruit.

This granola. Minus the chocolate-ness and honey. Also, she put WAY too much coconut oil in it, so much so that I ended up heating every back up so I could melt the oil and mop it off, because it was way to oily for me to eat. But the finished version is all right, and with raisins it's a good cereal.

Peaches. They've been my go-to for night time sweet cravings.

Also, I would just like to say that I'm not being a purist. The three 'cheats' I've been having regularly are:

Chewing gum. I know it has sugar, but I'm not eating it, so.....

My almond butter. It's sort of ironic because it actually has a lot more sugar than the natural peanut butter I buy.

Almond milk. I realize I'm not supposed to have it, but I did need something and I've honestly only been making iced coffee with it and using it for granola.

Anyways, that's where I'm at right now! I'm definitely already learning a lot from this whole 30, and while I seriously considered quitting on Day 2, I think I am going to stick it out and learn what I can learn. I would certainly not eat like this full-time (by personal choice, anyways) but the re-set is certainly helpful.

So, I'm nosy. Tell me what you like to eat.

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Vision


I've been thinking about vision lately. About the need for direction and purpose, something to look forward to, something to strive for.

And I've been thinking about how most of the things I'm most proud of (my axel, my car), came from me just obsessing over them. I achieved them only after I was able to imagine them perfectly. And not just imagine what they'd look like...but imagine how they'd feel.

I never had all the details ironed out. I always had a plan, but seldom one that stayed on track and actually worked. But I had vision. I knew how something would feel...what it would help me do...and that image was perfectly clear to me.

So right now, I'm working on finding a clearer vision. Picture who I am. What I wear. How I work. What I eat for breakfast. My signature skating move. The attitudes I foster. The people I'm friends with. The adventures I go on.

I understand that visions change. But, I feel like only in the real pursuit of something can you open yourself up to a different opportunity. So whether or not that vision ends up truly being for me, I'd like to pursue it, just the same.

Happy Saturday! xoxo

Friday, September 4, 2015

Phrase A Day v. 2

phrase a day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady
phrase a day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady
phrase a day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady
phrase a day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady
phrase a day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady
phrase a day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady
phrase a day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady

I'm so excited for this weekend, guys. I've dubbed it the 'last weekend of summer'. I'm not working, skating has started on weekends yet, so tomorrow and Sunday are all about adventuring! Planning on farmer's markets, thrifting, coffee shopping, and possibly a night beach trip.

Haven't had a real day off in a while....so I'm really looking forward to this. :)

Happy Friday! xoxo

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

About August

August was about going to Boston Comic Con for the first time.


And getting this cool commission sketch from Tim Estiloz!


August was about bumping up hours at work (and training to be an assistant).

August was about falling more in love with my car.

August was about despising the heat.

August was about getting back in the groove with skating.

http://youngyankeelady.tumblr.com/post/128078086603/spin-combination-needs-a-lot-of-work-before-im

August was about making plans for the 'new' year.

August was about starting my very first Whole 30.

August was about getting back into the habit of yoga (and trying forearm headstand!!).

http://youngyankeelady.tumblr.com/post/128078476217/trying-forearm-headstand

August was about making more (and more and more) resolutions to 'be more social'.

August was about realizing how happy getting up early makes me.

August was about passing Junior Moves in the Field!

August was about realizing that I'm my own 'person'. That if I want to go on an adventure, I should get up and go. That if I want to do better, I should just be better. That if I want to start something, I need to take the first steps. For me, August was about trusting my gut more. Listening to my own head more. And following my heart more. Because no one is responsible for us in this life, but ourselves.