CHRISTMAS! BOYS! PRESENTS!

Wait what? I got over excited about all of these things. I also found a wonderful post on Hello Giggles– if you don’t know what I am talking about, let me explain.

Hello Giggles is a site that shows you all that you need to see/read/know about the internet. I am a sucker for things that are cute and ridiculous. Hello Giggles, you are my soul mate.

I found this adorable post about what kind of boys this girl would like to find under her tree come Christmas morning. I loved it. So much in fact, that I decided to write my very own. Who knows, I’m single, feeling feisty and confident. I am unstoppable.

Does this have anything to do with running, yoga or vegan food? Not really. But perhaps I will land said hot celeb via my knowledge on a diet free of animal products or how I can finally do side crow no problem.

MERRY CHRISTMAS BOYS! WELCOME TO MY TREE… awkward.

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1. Ryan Gosling. I know, I know. How cliché am I? There are already one billion blogs dedicated to him and how hot he is. I should just try to be more obscure. Shut up. I love this man. I have loved him longer then the craze, and will love him forever. As I just read over that I became disgusted with myself. No, I don’t really love him. I just admire him from afar. Like a creeper. But that face! And his ability to act! And he can sing! AND THAT FACE.

2. Alan Rickman. Yes, it would be somewhat creepy to wake up with Severus Snape under my tree. Here is my reason for adding Alan Rickman to the list. One, the man can act. No denying that. Two, him and Emma Thompson are besties. I want to be BFF’s with Emma Thompson. Third, Sense and Sensibility. Done. OH YEAH, most importantly, I want him to read to me. All. The. Time.

3. Colin Firth- I might as well get all my british actors out of the way from the get go. I adore this man. I love him in Pride and Prejudice. I love him in Bridget Jones’ Diary. I love that he will do horribly cheesy chick flicks. And I love the greying of his hair. What can I say, I am attracted to older, british men… who knew?

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4. Joseph Gordon Levitt- Yet another trendy crush to add to the list. But come on. Third Rock from the Sun? 10 Things I Hate about You? 50/50? Need I say more? Oh yeah, he has a bitchin’ voice too. Well done.

5. Zach Galifianakis. Throwing a curve ball at ya. Everything about this man intrigues me. I think he is most likely absolutely crazy, but I dig that. I also would nestle into that beard like WHOA. Yeah, that’s right.

6. Jason Bateman-another kind of random one. But he is a good-looking older man. I feel like he would drink tea with me. I also feel like he is probably really down to earth and would read bedtime stories to children at a hospital. Where I get this opinion of him? Not sure, but I bet he is a really good dude.

7. Ira Glass- speaking of voices. Jesus christ. This guy literally rocks my world whenever I listen to his radio show. I also love his glasses. But more than anything, I would just want to sit and watch the brains that go behind This American Life. Yeah, I may use him to get connected to NPR. Whatevs.

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8. Matthew Gray Gubler- Now, I’m not even sure who this dude really is. I think he is an actor turned model? Or something? But the reason I put him on this list is because of this. Yes, I am a sucker for a man who writes poems like that about his perfect woman. And yes, I will be that woman for you– you adorable man.

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9. J. Crew Models- any of them. dressed like they are in the catalog. Done and done. This is my vain/shallow side of things.. but really, can you blame a girl?

10. Bob Dylan/Jakob Dylan/someone in the Dylan family- They are poetic. They are beautiful. They are surrounded by intrigue. They encompass what I think freedom sounds like. Jakob has eyes that reads a soul like the back of a coffee can. MMMmmmm. Talent. It turns a girl on.

So there you have it. My somewhat random, somewhat telling, somewhat AWESOME list of who I would want under my tree. Truth be told, if any one of these men were actually found curled up sleeping under my tree– I would beat them with a fire poker.

Just because that shit is creepy.

For reals.

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Yoga for Boys and Cookies… What?

First things first. Here is what I have discovered. There aren’t enough men that do yoga.

Perhaps it is the studio I practice at? Perhaps this is just a broad generalization that I am making? BUT, as far as I can tell, 85% of regular yogis are women.

Why is that?

There are a few dedicated men that I see in every class I take. Here is my second observation and broad generalization of the evening: they are all over 50. I marvel at their elegance and grace as they flip-up into head stand no big deal. These guys are the real deal. They practice regularly, and it shows. I look at them and am reminded why yoga is the best form of exercise.

But where are all the young men at? Now, I’m not looking to yoga as a way to meet my future lovah. If this happened, it would be pure magic I am sure. This man would most likely like Christmas and musicals, own a Newfoundland/Lab mix, know how to build a house, and be a farmer/rock climber/chef/pediatric surgeon.

A girl can dream.

Regardless, I want to see more young 20 somethings in yoga. Not just so the potential to meet my future lobster is there, but so the young men of the world can get limber. Boys of the world—get yourself to your nearest yoga studio and stretch yo’self. Yes, you will get a workout. Yes, you will be sore the next day. Yoga is hard. For all of those that doubt—go to a class.

Second observation/important detail of today. Christmas cookies.

Yes, I realize these two things have nothing in common, but these are the pressing matters in my life. What can I say, I am a bag of tricks.

So, this Christmas season is turning out to be the quintessential holiday season. Cutting down my tree—check. Hanging up my own Christmas lights—check. Having the most epic party ever—check. Buying soy nog, peppermint hot chocolate, candy-canes and Trader Joe’s peppermint joe joe’s—check. Sending out Christmas cards—check. SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS—check. Date for the nutcracker and ice skating—check.

And most importantly, Christmas cookie baking date with my madre—CHECK.

However, unlike last year and every year for the past five years, I can’t make my go-to cookies. My triple ginger cookies and peppermint/gooey chocolate awesomeness? All full of nasty, mucus causing animal products.

Conundrum.

Luckily, I have pinterest and my new obsession, tastespotting, which is like pinterest for FOOD. GAH! From these sites I have found what appear to be good stand ins. I hope that they don’t let me down. A vegan thanksgiving was such a hit, I might as well make vegan Christmas just as awesome sauce.

First off we will have vegan ginger cookies. If I didn’t have ginger cookies on christmas I might explode. It wouldn’t be pretty. Found this awesome recipe at Go Lightly Gourmet. Looks like a winner to me. I will report back on said cookie.

Secondly, we will be making twice-baked cantuccini heaven… um what? Yeah, it is from My New Roots—the best blog to happen to me in a LONG time… these basically are healthy biscotti with holiday thrown in. So, they are perfect.

Third I will attempt to make the Raw Chipotle Cacao Brownies.. WAIT WHAT? Found these gems off of tastespotting, and then found yet another blog to follow. Rawmazing? You had me at cacao. WHAT WILL BECOME OF ALL MY FREE TIME?!

Ambitious? But of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday baking session without all or us deciding to make three to four cookies and then thinking WTF… This shit is a lot of work!

Happy baking!

To My Future Quirkytogether

Staying on the kick of quirkyalone, I wrote a letter to the person who happens to steal my heart.

To my future Quirkyalone:

Sometimes I get grumpy. And when I say grumpy, I mean silent and kind of mean. And when I say kind of mean, I kind of turn into the sassiest mother fucker you’ve ever laid eyes on.

Sorry.

I also love my dog more then you.

Don’t take this personally. It is just that he has always been there. You haven’t. My dog and my family will probably trump you every time. I think that says something about my character. Some may call it selfishness. I call it loyalty.

I probably like musical theater too much. Don’t worry; you don’t have to like it. If you do, you get one million bonus points.

The holiday season means I want to hold your mittened hand while we get a Christmas tree. I want to drink soy nog (you can drink real eggnog I guess) and listen to Vince Guaraldi while decorating said tree. I will probably ask you to hang up the lights; I am not good at that.

I really like books. You can find me at a half price book store blowing a good portion of my paycheck. I am a firm believer in keeping books, which means I’m running out of shelf space. I imagine we will sit and read together a lot. I hope you like to read.

I am somewhat of a homebody. I have roots spread pretty wide and pretty deep into the Pacific Northwest soil. I thrive off of rainy days and endless green.

Yes, I sometimes wear flannel. Yes, I drink too much coffee. And yes, I consider hiking a favorite pastime.

I hope your home is where I am, and where I am is here.

Although I always know my home, I love to adventure.

My world is a bit brighter because I have seen places. As far north as Iceland, as far south as New Zealand—I leave behind tiny fragments of my self in each place. I hope to spread myself across the globe.

Maybe your pieces and my pieces can dance the tango in Spain.

I hope that when we end up tying the knot, we will say I Do at the top of a mountain. With hiking boots on–slightly sweaty and a bit too muddy. Our dog(s) will be there. And perhaps a banjo or two. We will keep things simple. A cooler full of beers and a few good friends.

Oh yes. Most importantly, I love my freckles—as should you.

Sincerely,

Me

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The Joy of Giving

I have figured it out. I now know how to connect yoga and christmas.

This epiphany came to me in my bed this morning. I had my day planned out down to the minute– as I do. My alarm went off at the appropriate time for my run, followed by my yoga, followed by a walk with a friend, followed by a trip to REI for a coat I have been drooling over, followed by work. You are at the edge of your seat, I can tell.

Here is what happened instead. My bed was warm. Seattle was cold. My dog’s head was on my chest, and he smells like warm potato chips (delicious). My sheets are made of fleece (literally). So I said NO, turned my alarm off and let the sound of hail lull me back to sleep for another hour.

I then had a panic attack about messing up my plans, guilt about not exercising to my full potential, and a realization that I now gained 10 pounds.

Yep, call me rational.

After my head decided to have a break down, it dawned on me. This season (this glorious, miraculous, blissful season) is all about giving. It is all about traditions, and family and being with the ones you love. A lot of time, it becomes about being one giant stress ball of anger and not being good enough.

So here is what it came down to. I rolled out my mat, put on my Adele Pandora radio station and spent some time with my sweet self. I spent 45 perfect minutes stretching how I wanted to stretch. Breathing how I wanted to breathe, and giving myself the gift of unscheduled, unplanned time. I followed this peace with a long walk in the cold, drinking coffee and having a nice conversation with a genuine person.

It was a perfect day.

Lesson learned. This season (this life) it is easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of dates and plans. It is easy to forget to give yourself gifts– to remember to slow down. My gift is yoga. Your gift may be a pint of beer and a good book. It may be a long nap under the new fleece sheets you went to buy (really, do it.)

The season of giving. To others… And yourself.

Friendsgiving

I love the holidays.

No no. You don’t get it. I LOVE the holidays. I’m annoying about it. I am the kind of person most people want to punch in the face when they think about over zealous christmas freaks. Yeah, I have six boxes full of decorations– what of it? Yeah, I start listening to holiday music on Thanksgiving. And yes, I will go to Starbucks (gasp!) and get a holiday drink in a PAPER CUP just for the seasonal drink.

Deal with it.

Here is the thing: I have never gone through a holiday season as a vegan. Vegetarian? Absolutely. As a vegetarian, I was able to eat an entire block of cheese, topped with some eggnog, swirled in some peppermint ice cream. Now, I have to search and hunt for a coffee shop that has vegan chocolate so I can get a peppermint mocha at least once. And yes, I have considered bringing my own soy nog to a barista– but I fear their judgement.

As the holidays approach, and I’m coming to terms with not enjoying my grandmas cheese platter, I am getting crafty with my vegan menus.

My friends and I just threw a Friendsgiving. 30 people crammed into my living room, drinking whipped cream flavored vodka (I did not partake), and eating an 18 pound turkey. What did I do? Well, I rallied with my three other vegan friends and made a feast of epic proportions.

Knowing we would be the odd ones out, I spent my morning at the farmers market. Making eyes at the cute market boy. I may have purchased more brussels sprouts from him then necessary, but those eyes! I can’t resist. With my tote bag full of goodies (local cranberries… what? delightful), I headed home to prepare.

Here is the menu:

Maple Glazed Tempeh, Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad, Wild Rice and Kale Salad, Broccoli Crunch Salad, Cornbread and Cranberry Compote.

I was feeling ambitious. Heidi Swanson does that to you. 101 cookbooks vegan thanksgiving menu? Yes please.

It was all perfect. The tempeh even had the turkey loving folks admitting it was delicious. (take THAT meat industry)

There is nothing better than farmers market/slaving away in the kitchen/succesful dinner parties to kick-start the holiday season.

Just a FYI– get ready for the CHRISTMAS EXPLOSION that will dominate this blog.

Think I can’t make yoga about christmas? Well sir/madam, I whole heartedly accept that challenge.