Follow me!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A typical night in the life of a trivia host / case worker

To say my life is boring would be a lie. To say it doesn't give me a headache sometimes would also be a lie. But at least I can look back on nights like these (which is basically an almost-nightly thing, so reminiscing is hard to do when you're surrounded by more insanity, but I digress...) and appreciate them for what they are: awkward, unexpected, and usually hilarious in some sense or another.

Work all day, nothing eventful there. After work is when it got interesting as I began my transition from case worker Jordan to trivia host Jordan.

Valeted my car outside of Amici on the beautiful Federal Hill in Providence and took a short stroll. Emphasis on short because it was absolutely freezing and I have no tolerance for that. The cold and I are not friends.

The fountain in Depasquale Square

Despicable Me minion cake and some adorable Autumn-themed cakes in some random bakery
I started setting up for trivia and get a phone call from one of the clinical assistants...We had a casual conversation about how one of the staff was being attacked by someone and she could audibly hear the staff being hit with a chair. Oh, great. Funny that someone just said that particular house needs an exorcism. Real life irony.

Dinner pre-trivia, eaten in front of the Name That Tune answer sheet and what is referred to as "the cortex"
I snacked on a new-to-me flavor of Premier Protein bar I had won in a blog giveaway a few months ago. I was kind of hesitant to try yogurt peanut butter, but I brought it along with a double chocolate crunch bar from the same company. Hunger hit and my tastebuds said, "No thank you, chocolate" so I dove into the yogurt peanut crunch and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. A solid 7 out of 10 as far as bars go, and I have high standards. I just wish it was lower in sugar (10g is a lot) and sodium (410mg!). Otherwise, this bar supplies 30g of protein and only 8g of fat for only 290 calories, and it doesn't skimp on size.

Most awkward moment of the night goes to the middle-aged Polish man drinking champagne and Hennessey at the bar with who I can only presume to be his two younger brothers. I ask if he wants to play trivia. No, he says he is too dumb. Then he proceeds to tell me I am perfect because I'm so thin and Americans are fat. He asks where I'm from...Sorry to burst your bubble, dude, but I'm born and raised in RI, and I've only been overseas once for like a week. He goes on to ask how I stay so thin, if I have a boyfriend, and why I should get a Polish boyfriend. I laugh it off. 

No, my friends, the weirdness only intensifies. I try to leave to start up trivia and he grabs my hand and starts semi-carressing it as he tells me that I am just his type because he likes skinny girls. According to him, I should date him for his money. He then points to his companions and identifies them only by age and what they can offer me. The youngest one can give me love, the middle one can give me half love and half money, but this guy, the eldest of the three, can give me money. Then he tries to get me to drink champagne and Hennessey with them. I refuse. He persists in asking what I like to drink, he will buy me anything. Uhhhhh, tempting as all of this sounds, I get the hell away from that side of the bar and avoid all contact moving forward, just focusing on getting my trivia on. He blew me a kiss as he left an hour later. 

Will my life ever be normal?

I hope not.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Having an off-day

Returning to work and routine has a way of throwing me off completely. While my day was unexpectedly uneventful, I'm still feeling scattered and unfocused. I couldn't even manage holding inversions in yoga tonight due to a pounding headache. I did, however, manage to get my head to my toes--or is it my toes to my head?--in pigeon pose!
Didn't get a picture this time. Try to imagine this as a human being with an asymmetrical haircut. That's me.

And my mom dominated her split in hot yoga!
Best one yet! Go, mom!
Maybe the fact that I left my house looking like I stepped straight out of Ferris Bueller's Day Off was the problem.
The 80s called. They want their haircut and sunglasses back.
Just reliving my childhood, apparently.
I blame my parents. Hipster status, before it was even cool.
I even burned the deliciousness out of my kettlecorn. Luckily that was remedied by my addition of toppings. Someday I'll make the transition to air popped popcorn instead of chemically-laced microwave popcorn bags, but I'm an American and I like taking the easy way out.

Chocolate Protein Kettle Corn

  • One bag microwave popcorn
  • 1 T Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder of choice (I used a mix of Neocell belgian chocolate and Designer Whey chocolate sustained energy)
Prepare popcorn according to microwave instructions. Remove immediately and sprinkle the cocoa powder and protein powder into the bag while it's still hot. Close it up and shake vigorously to coat the popcorn with your toppings. Season with extra sea salt or stevia (I use NuNaturals Prebiotic granules for this) if desired. A sweet, salty, dark chocolate snack with a protein kick. This is a go-to late night snack of mine. It's so satisfying.

Try it and let me know how you like it!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vacation Success and Dreading Monday

To say this random week off from work went as I expected it to could not be farther from the truth. When work stress was at its peak in August, I wasn't able to take time off with the excessive amount of paperwork that was due and over-involvement of insane family members, so I opted to request the week of my birthday off. With no set plans, I anticipated a boring, albeit much needed mental health week, consisting of waking up to only sit around on my couch with a laptop and Hulu Plus. Not so.

Instead, I had one of the most amazing weeks of my life in recent years. It was really just about the positive energy I felt this week from every person I interacted with, with every place I visited, the beautiful fall weather, and coming to peace with some parts of myself (even if that last one proves only to be temporary). It's been a long time since things aligned themselves so perfectly, and I couldn't be happier.

Thursday night's experience at the piano bar was a blast. Half price drinks, no cover, and we actually got to see the dueling piano show...way better than my first experience on a Saturday night. In fact, we had so much fun that we may go again next Thursday for the Halloween costume competition.

I drove up to Boston on Friday to meet up with a college friend/roommate and to have lunch with my favorite professor/my idol. (Apparently I only make such trips for people who have earned two titles in my mind, lol). I hadn't seen either since graduating in 2011, so amazing does not even begin to describe my visit. Steph and I spent two hours catching up at a Starbucks by Fenway...we both agreed we can't leave two years between our next rendezvous.

I went for a late lunch with Dr. Mary Elizabeth Pope, who taught most of the writing classes I completed in my final two years at Emmanuel. I am giving her full name because she just published her first book (!!!) titled Divining Venus. It's a collection of short stories about women and relationships, and it is available on She is an unbelievably talented author and I cannot wait to read it. We attempted to have lunch at the Isabella Gardner Museum cafe, but with an hour and a half wait, we walked about a mile down Huntington Ave to Penguin Pizza per the museum's recommendation. Kind of a dumpy little place, but the service was great and the food was good; the company was even better, and that's all that mattered. Sorry about the lack of pictures, but I was too caught up in conversation to whip out my iphone and make things awkward.

When we parted ways, I had some time to waste to avoid rush hour traffic, so I took a walk to a few of my old favorite local haunts: Trader Joe's and Brookline Booksmith. It was so hard to keep from buying everything I saw. The last things I need right now are food and used books, I already have quite the collection to burn through. My (de)motivation was the mile walk back to school and the thought of carrying heavy bags. While I was in Trader Joe's, a woman randomly stopped me to comment on how stunning my haircut was and literally thanked me for walking past her because she found it that fascinating. Thanks for the compliment, lady, but chill. By the time I drove back home, I was exhausted and opted to stay in, catching up on DVR-ed TV with my mom and a glass of wine.

Saturday morning ritual of back-to-back yoga fusion and vinyasa yoga, my favorite way to kick off the weekend. I did some grocery shopping in the afternoon and out for almost-day drinks at 4:30 with two of my oldest friends. Who am I to argue when my friends are taking me out for a late birthday treat? We went to Murphy's Law, which is a pretty cool bar/restaurant with pour-your-own-draft tables. Insert lots of reminiscing, new memories, and quality conversation.

Sunday morning means two more hours of yoga first thing after waking up. I was a little sore from yesterday and class was tough today, I'm definitely going to be feeling it tomorrow. Stuffed my face when I got home, then off to Providence Place Mall. I scored a cute striped top from Banana Republic for $10 and a $17.50 dress at Francesca's for the Gatsby-themed 16th birthday party I have to DJ next Sunday night. Borderline thievery, I ain't mad.

Dinner tonight was a stand-by, effortless crockpot meal. White bean turkey chili.


  • 1lb lean ground turkey (I use 93% lean)
  • Three 15oz cans of cannellini beans, undrained
  • One 28oz can of crushed tomatoes 
  • 8-16oz chicken broth (depending on how thick you like your chili)
  • one yellow onion, roughly chopped or diced
  • chopped green chiles or jalapenos, optional
  • chopped garlic, to taste
  • black pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried cilantro, to taste
Add all ingredients to a crock pot and stir to combine. Set on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Thicken with a little guar gum or gluten-free/wheat flour if needed. 

Substitutions can easily be made depending on what's on hand. Today I used two cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of the large can of crushed and it came out fine. I like to eat mine from a giant coffee mug, seasoned liberally with hot sauce. And always steal a few extra bites with tortilla chips when storing leftovers. FYI, this makes a huge batch of chili and it freezes really well.

Currently, I'm snuggled up on my couch and watching TV after snacking on the remnants of Jif Whipped peanut butter mixed with some light Cool Whip, frozen. Totally processed and unhealthy, but I needed the extra fat and wanted something sweet. All in an effort to continuously increase my calorie intake. My mom pointed out that my sister is Barry from Meet the Goldbergs. If you don't know my sister and you watch that show, well now you do. 

Tomorrow marks the return to my mundane schedule, so posts will probably become more frequent and less eventful. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Crazy Random Happenstances

I had all intentions of blogging yesterday, of attempting to write some "get to know me" type posts to figure out my voice as a blogger...but life is tricksy and likes to remind me that it is not going to meet my expectations, for better or worse. This time, I am glad to say it has been a more pleasant series of surprises. For fear of getting my hopes up too high, however, I'm keeping a good portion of these little happenstances to myself. At least for now.

For the first time yesterday, it really felt like fall. When I left my house for yoga at 5:45am, it was 37 ° F. Holy freezing. I have since stored a pair of gloves in my car. Lesson learned.

I had a $10 birthday gift card from one of my favorite restaurants, India, on Hope Street in Providence, so I made some lunch plans with a friend and took advantage of the buffet.
Plate #1 of...oh, maybe 5. Yeah, I can eat. I had a little bit of everything offered on the buffet line. Clockwise from left: papadum, seasoned grilled veggies (my favorite), mutter mushroom curry, a tiny piece of lamb (I had to try it), and sweet & spicy mango cashew chicken. SO AMAZING.

After lunch, I went home and lazed about. I had a 1/2 peck or so of red delicious apples hanging out in the fridge that no one was going to eat, so I decided to experiment with homemade crockpot apple butter.

I cored and roughly chopped the apples, leaving the skin on, and threw them in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours and stirring whenever I happened to get up. Also in the mix was maybe 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup Swerve (xylitol sweetener), 1T cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. Then I used a hand blender to puree it all up, added a bit of guar gum to thicken it up, and cooked it partially uncovered on high for another 90 minutes or so. Happy to say it is delicious.

My friend, Katie, came by for a movie night dedicated to one of the loves of my life, Leo. So sexy.
About halfway through Revolutionary Road, Katie and I had our minds blown when we realized we actually went to high school together. Whattttttt? Especially shocking since we went to a small Catholic high school and I was the head editor of the school's lit mag, which she contributed to in her junior/my senior year. Like I said, life is tricksy. Granted, I do look entirely different from my high school self. [Insert reminiscing over martinis here.]

This morning took me on a little unexpected venture. Then an afternoon shopping trip to Bob's. 
All of this for $51! Thank you, $10 birthday reward, $10 October coupon, and 25% off for non-profit business employee event. 

Currently, I'm rushing to do some laundry before heading out to Point St. Dueling Piano bar. Spending the day in Boston tomorrow. Until next time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Awkward First Post

Hello and welcome to my blog! I've been following various healthy living blogs for a while now, and after constant offhand (and some not-so-subtle) remarks about how I have to start a blog, I finally caved. 

I guess I should start with a little about myself and what I hope to gain from blogging...

My name is Jordan. 24-years-old, English Writing and Health Psychology major, drowning in the debt I've accumulated through student loans, and attempting to better myself by undoing some personal mistakes and overcoming some things from my not-so-distant past that were entirely out of my control. Life threw me a curveball when my dad passed away in August 2010 after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer only about five months prior. Looking back, my life was pretty simple before then, and I'm so lucky to have had such a great childhood. I coped with it pretty well, but hit some roadblocks along the path that got me to this blog post today. 

Fortunately for me, I stumbled into a yoga studio in 2012 that completely changed my past experiences with yoga and I've since become addicted...Addicted to the challenge of new poses, the therapeutic atmosphere, and the incredible people I've met along the way. (Shout out to Paula Paluch, my yoga instructor at Shanti Yoga and Fitness, who is not only an inspiration but an amazing friend! I don't know where I'd be today without you!) While I'm passionate about my practice, I don't ever take myself too seriously. I have a tendency to goof off a lot during classes. Sorry, not sorry.

Outside of yoga, my life is super stressful, but I try to deal with it the best I can by focusing on the surreal experiences I have on a daily basis, joking about the bad experiences, and constantly trying to find a new job and a new creative outlet. I guess blogging can help me knock out all three at once, minus the new job thing.

Okay, so this first post ended up much longer than I intended. To sum it all up, I plan to blog about my boring-but-not-actually-so-boring life, strange interactions, fitness, recipe experiments, and my attempts to find a balance between it all. To quote Bright Eyes, "the scales always find a way to level out."