Today’s Happy Note: Getting not one but two packages in the mail!  One from my mother dearest and one from Naturally Nutty!

I won’t lie to you.  Seeing that Naturally Nutty package was absolutely thrilling (won two jars from Averie’s giveaway). Is it wrong to let nut butters be a thrill?

Don’t they look like two cute little friends?

I had to bust into the Vanilla Almond Butter right away.

And in the evening, I broke into the Chocolate Butter Toffee PB.  You know, just to even things out a bit.

The verdict?  Vanilla Almond Butter=Out of this world thrilling, food of the Gods.  Chocolate Butter Toffee Peanut Butter=Thrilling, but distinctly human.

At least they aren’t the only thrill in my life…

There are many other thrilling things, such as…

  • Spending my evening entering student data into endless spreadsheets.  After playing with spreadsheets at my other job all day.  Okay, confession: I actually like spreadsheets.  And data entry.  This probably makes me one of the Top Ten Most Thrilling Human Beings Ever.
  • Going on a hunt for cheap stevia.
  • Buying new tupperware.
  • Watering my basil plant.
  • Folding sports bras.
  • Deciding which of my two nice purses I should bring to work every morning.

It’s so thrilling I can hardly stand it.

Other thrilling elements of the day included running the Central Park loop.  For the 279th time.  That’s an estimate. Don’t hold me to it.  And actually it was kind of thrilling because I saw a black squirrel.  I have never seen a black squirrel in the city before.

And what isn’t thrilling about eating OIAJ while walking along Broadway on my way to work?  I think it’s pretty trend-setting.  More people should start their day that way.

Seriously, this kind of thing is hard core.  I live life on the edge.

In all seriousness though, I often worry about whether or not others perceive me as a  boring person.  I think this is the thing I least want to be seen as.  In general, I worry about other people’s perceptions too much, but I also think that they’re important.  Our sense of self should in no way be based off of others, but our friends and confidantes can give us valuable insight into our selves.  For example, my mother is always telling me that I yell too often and therefore unintentionally come across as aggressive.  This is a handy piece of information to have; it reminds me to be gentler around others, especially new people who might not know my softer side.  But other times, people’s perceptions can be totally skewed and hurtful.  Once, my grandfather was careful to loudly point out, in my presence, how “long and lean and slim” one of my cousins was.  I know that he is from a more antiquated era in which men had significant control over women’s bodies (not to mention minds) and that he didn’t mean to be hurtful.  But he was.  What other people think of us affects us deeply — sometimes I even find myself internalizing notions of myself that I don’t even believe in! I think the easiest way to navigate a world of confusing external perceptions is for us to develop strong senses of self in which we recognize the many ways in which we are beautiful.  If I don’t want to be seen as boring, I can seek out small thrills.  Just because I don’t spend my weekends at bars or on the couches of unknown men doesn’t mean my life can’t be thrilling.  I do all kinds of thrilling things: running in the mountains, kayaking lakes and rivers, climbing trees, buying exciting new accessories, wearing red.  I think that little thrills really are important.  That’s why I have adventures.    And there is absolutely a thrill in arriving at a sense of self: discovering new parts of me is ever so exciting.  Just this weekend I realized that, physically, I feel comfortable.  My problems with my body are not carved into my hips or stomach, they’re figments of my tricky little mind.  Getting to know oneself is fascinating.  Daily, I feel like I’m sifting through new piles of soil, finding new things.

Future Thrills:

  • Mountain climbing.
  • Writing a book (or several).
  • Learning a new language (I don’t know which one yet!)
  • Surfing.
  • Law school.
  • Tonight’s dessert.

Alright bloggies.  What’s thrilling in your life right now?  Future thrills?  Past thrills?

I think one of my best past thrills would be exploring Paris by myself.  I went with my mother when I was 13 and again when I was 18.  Both times I just walked endlessly around the city, climbing over bridges and smiling at cute boys in parks and drinking the best hot chocolate in the world.  I don’t speak a word of French.  When I was 13, I even went and found a hair salon and got my haircut completely on my own, using gestures to describe to the stylist what I wanted. Independence=thrilling.

See you all tomorrow!

Summer Projects and TWO Dinners

Today’s Happy Note: Chatting with my dad on the phone and getting excited to go home so that I can visit the bakery!  Is this what normal people get excited about when they get to go home?  Probably not.  But I’m a food blogger, which is mutually exclusive to normal.  And my little town has the best bakery in the entire world.  I want to have an eclair.  And an apple fritter.  I am, of course, also getting very excited to see my crazy but beautiful family!

The no good icky bad mood has lifted! Thank the Lord.  Or hormones.  Or my therapist.  I don’t know who to thank but I do know that it’s gone!  (Insert happy dance here).  I let myself sleep in today, went for a nice (ish…) run, had my favorite mid-week treat breakfast, worked, then came home and relaxed.  No obligations.  I’m really not exactly sure what my work schedule will be like in the evenings (I am working two jobs) this summer.  My guess is that it is going to be crazy busy/late on some days and really chill on others.  But after a week of coming home from work at five fifteen and having not not much to do, I know that I am in some serious need of summer “projects.”  I am not going to start any of these until I have “officially” started my summer schedule and am back in NY, which will be in two weeks.  But I’m making a list now so I can plan and keep myself entertained!

Caronae’s Super Spectacular Fun Summer Project List:

1.  Stay in touch with old friends/family members who don’t live in the city.

2. Make regular plans with school friends who are in the city.

3. Meet new blog friends!

4. Start a planter in windowsill.  I want to grow lavender and maybe some rosemary and thyme.  I would like a flowering plant, but I’m afraid a planter won’t allow its roots the room that they need.

5. Find muffin recipes.  Make said recipes.

6. Cook a few fancy dinners.

7.  Places to visit: museums, aquariums, botanical gardens.

8. Weekly yoga sesh with my cousin.

9. Learn to knit?????

10. Buy a set of pastels and use them (sidenote: I adore pastels; they are my favorite artistic tool by far).

11. Learn more about trees and (geek alert!) take walks around the city identifying different types of trees.

12. See some dance shows.

13: Library.  Books.  Read them.  Last summer I had a “reading project” in which I read as many major Russian authors as I could (Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Pushkin, etc.).  I need a similar project for this summer!  It’s actually really fun if you are a word geek like I am.

14. Expand blog.

So that’s the plan for now!  This doesn’t include everything I’ll be doing, of course (read: running), just some fun and/or new projects.  I don’t really consider running a hobby so much as a part of my life, like eating or working or writing.

What are your favorite hobbies or activities?  Anything I should add to my list?  I’m totally open to suggestions!

Exercise: I did get in my 7.5 mile run today, and it was going really well — my legs were churning pretty fast, I thought — until I had to go to the bathroom about halfway through.  Stat.  Why are public bathrooms in this city so hard to find????  I had to walk for a mile before I found one.  Ick.  I hate when a pit stop derails my run, it’s one of the more annoying things about running.  Other “interesting” things that have happened to me while running: being chased (and almost mauled) by dogs, being stopped by annoying tourists asking for directions to Columbus Circle, getting very very lost in East Harlem, becoming convinced that my mother and sister were eaten by mountain lions, and sneaking into some very sketchy woods (on many different occasions) to go to the bathroom.  Runners have interesting lives and good stories.  You should befriend one 🙂

Eats: I had my special weekday breakfast treat today: a bagel with peanut butter and sweet iced tea from the deli/bakery.  This is one of my favorite things in the world.  I used to think it was so wrong that I would let food make me happy, but life is too short not to feel happy about having your favorite foods once in a while.  I freely admit that toasted cinnamon bagels with peanut butter make me very happy indeed!

I did the whole two dinners thing again today and it worked wonderfully.  No more Hangry Caronae!!!  Yay. 🙂

Dinner #1:

Vanilla-pear protein oatmeal eaten at 5:15.

Dinner #2:

Hodgepodge salad: mesclun base with carrots, steamed broccoli, refried pinto beans, brown rice, and a 2-egg puff.  So nom nom nom nom.


Pineapple chobs with crumbled raspberry chocolate luna bar — I maintain that this is not only the best luna bar flavor but the best bar out there.  Period.  It tastes like a raspberry-infused brownie that you might get for dessert at a fancy restaurant.  For twelve dollars.  I’m  not exaggerating.

Do you have a favorite dessert? I like almost anything with chocolate, especially brownies and homemade bake goods.  I have also been known to eat Ben and Jerry’s (ahem, Phish food) straight from the pint.

Goodnight friends!  Happy almost-weekend!