A to Z

13 Aug

Happy Monday! Hope everybody is having a great start to another week.

I spent last night watching the closing ceremony of the London Olympic games and rocking out to Spice Girls. It was so much fun to see the girls back together and was a serious childhood flashback. On a related note, if you want a fabulous 90s pop station on Pandora, try Spice Girls radio. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m serious – do it.

I also prepped some food for breakfasts and lunches this week, including baking some eggs for McMuffins and cooking up a big batch of quinoa to throw into salads and add to veggies.

This morning, I had an egg sandwich for breakfast, with a slice of fresh mozzarella and some tomato basil pasta sauce for a pizza-style sandwich. The English muffin had some casualties as a result of poor slicing on my part (I blame a dull knife!).

The rest of this morning’s blog post is inspired by a post that has been floating around the blogosphere, which I caught up to on a post of Julie’s over at Peanut Butter Fingers (she’s got a great blog, go check it out!). It’s called A to Z and the basic premise is to use each letter of the alphabet to describe something in your life that makes you happy or that you really enjoy. Capite? <– That’s the grammatically correct way to say “do you understand?” in Italian (in second person plural). Yes, I know it’s too early in the morning for such nerdisms, but I can’t help myself. I like this A-Z idea because I feel like it really reiterates one of the goals of my blog, which is to relish the day-to-day things that make life special. Anyway, without further ado, I present to you my alphabet of joy.

Alphabet of Joy

A: Arabic. I love this language because it is my dad’s native language and part of my heritage. I studied it in college and love the grammatical rules that multiply your vocabulary exponentially, once you unlock them (major linguistic nerd reference). Plus, the script is super beautiful!

B: Blogging! Even though I’m a newbie at it, having a blog has been such a nice outlet for me to talk about my day, plus show my family and friends what I’ve been up to. It’s also a great way to connect with people all over the world and find out how much I have in common with so many people. The world is small, my friends.

C: Cupcakes – I think that cupcakes are one of the world’s greatest ideas. I would love to have cupcakes at my future wedding because then you can get a ton of different kinds and have people choose their favorite! I really hope to get baking soon so I can perfect my cupcake technique and make a dent in all of the Pinterest recipes out there!

D: Dill pickles. I cannot stand the sweet pickles, but I could eat dill pickles for days! You can put them in sandwiches, chop them up in salads, or just eat them whole, like I do. My favorites are the spears that have a nice crunch to them.

E: Exercise. I was going to say eating, but I figure that would be a given. I’m going to go with exercise because it is something that is so important for everybody. It is amazing how effective daily exercise is for alleviating so many bodily issues and it can come in all different forms. Zumba, Body Pump, belly dance, and volleyball are just some of my favorite ways to get moving!

F: Foodie Pen Pals. As I explained yesterday, Foodie Pen Pals is a brilliant creation of Lindsay’s over at The Lean Green Bean. This is my first month participating, but I was just so, so excited to get my first package from my first foodie pen pal!

G: Goat cheese. Goat cheese, like most kinds of cheese, can be eaten with just about anything. One of my favorite things about it, though, is that it can be part of a dessert to tone down the sweetness. For one of my birthdays, Stef took me to a restaurant in Seattle called Lola, and we had honey goat cheese turnovers for dessert – easily on the top 5 for best dessert I’ve ever had.

H: Hot weather. I am pretty sure I was a lizard or something in another life, because I love the heat. Summer in DC has been the best because it’s in the 90s every day and I wear shorts and dresses without worrying about getting cold!

I: Ice cream. I can’t keep it in the house because I fail with portion control whenever ice cream is around. My favorite flavor is vanilla, which some call plain. I prefer classic – what doesn’t go well with vanilla???

J: Jet-setting. I am a travel nut and I love getting on planes to faraway places. Luckily, I had a chance to do plenty of jet-setting during my year in Italy, but it’s only a matter of time before the travel bug hits and I will need to go somewhere new again!

K: Kittens. I always grew up having cats around the house and when one of my cats was still a kitten, she would snuggle up under my hair at night to stay warm. Adorbz.

L: Lion King. Favorite movie of all time!

M: Movie nights. My roommates and I love to pick one night where we make yummy snacks and watch a movie. It’s a great way to spend some quality time together and watch something we have all been wanting to see!

N: New purchases. I love that excitement of buying something new and not being able to wait to use it! This can be anything from a new book to a new grocery item that called to you at the store.

O: Olympics! I am so sad that they’re over, because I didn’t get to watch very much of them, but I love watching so many amazing athletes from around the world compete on the global stage. The stories are always so inspiring and it’s wonderful to see what the human body is capable of doing.

P: Pizza. I am of the belief that pizza is just a hot, open-faced sandwich, which means you can put anything on them and it will taste good. One of my roomies is a baker and makes a mean pizza dough, so we like to have pizza parties (on movie nights) and put our own toppings on pizzas to make delicious creations.

Q: Quiet nights in. Some nights I love to go out with friends and dance the night away, but there are other nights when all I want to do is snuggle up on the couch with a movie or a good book, some snacks, and my favorite boy.

R: Reading. I am a huge bookworm and can spend whole weekends reading the day away. I recently gave in and bought a Kindle (which I have mixed feelings about – more on that later), so it has been easier than ever to tear through books back to back.

S: Stefano! My best friend and my boyfriend of almost six years. We can have fun doing just about anything together and I can always count on him for a pick-me-up hug or a laugh.

T: Tea. On cold, winter days, I can count on tea to warm me up and feel cozy, even when it’s snowing outside and all I want to do is stay in bed. My favorites are spicy, Chai-like teas, but I also love fruit teas. A big mug of tea and a good book is my favorite way to spend a cold, winter morning.

U: UpcyclingAs somebody who is on a tight budget and cares about our environment, I love it when people have great ideas to turn everyday things that would normally get thrown away into something useful. My biggest upcycling project right now is to find all sorts of uses for yogurt containers, because they don’t recycle them in Washington D.C.!

V: Volleyball. As many of you can probably guess, I am a huge fan of volleyball. I played competitively in high school and college and am still finding ways to get in as much court time as I can. I love that the USA did so well in indoor and beach volleyball this Olympics and that the sport is gaining prominence all over the country.

W: Weddings. I have been to a few weddings for close friends this year and the invitations are still coming in. I love watching two people who love each other commit to spending the rest of their lives taking care of one another. I also love the reception when everybody gets to eat yummy food and dance the night away!

I caught the bouquet at my friend Jenica’s wedding!

X: XOXO – I love kisses and hugs from my friends and family! I know I sort of cheated on this one, but x is a hard letter!

Y: Yoga. I really love how yoga relaxes me and calms me down at the end of a busy day. I don’t do it as much as I’d like, but every time I get done with a session, I feel so calm, yet energized! I prefer vinyasa yoga, but I think all types are beneficial – find one you like!

Z: Zumba! Zumba makes me so happy – I am not a very good dancer, but even I can follow along with these moves and it is just such a fun workout. For those of you that want exercise that will get your heart rate up but don’t want to feel like you’re exercising, this is a great choice! The atmosphere is energetic and the instructors are always so friendly and supportive.

WHEW! That was a long one. It’s definitely time for me to get to work. I hope everyone has a great start to your week!

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