Archive for May, 2011

Some like it hot

…I don’t. Well, I kinda do. But right now, it’s too darn hot out.

Isn’t it strange how it can be 90 degrees out, yet your office’s AC has you shivering at your desk all day? I still find this so strange.

I had a pretty great weekend despite Chicago’s gloomy, wet weather. I’ll post an update with details later tonight if I can get my butt in front of the computer.

I’m trying to set up the wireless router in my teeny tiny apartment so I can use my laptop somewhere else (cough cough… my bed) besides my awkwardly small couch, but I have no idea what I’m doing. Any tech savvy readers out there?

I just looked at some of my bills for this month and almost had a heart attack. Working for free for five months really set me back, credit card wise, so I have a lot of balances to pay off that will take who knows how long. I really need to cut back on the taxis and restaurants that I always seem to throw my money at…I suck at budgeting. Major sadface.

Still need to go to the gym. It’s getting a little ridiculous at this point. Amy, I’m counting on you for some motivation…

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

May 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

I hate the dentist

Okay, not really, but I’m not the biggest fan of the dentist at the moment.

But first things first….Hi!

I hope you’re having a great Friday and are getting excited about the upcoming holiday weekend. I’m currently “working” from a coffee shop near my house (okay, so I took a teeensy little  break to pop in and say hello to y’all…sue me) for the first part of the day because I had to have an unexpected dentist appointment this morning.


hangin' out in Caribou

I had some major dental work done last week (several cavities and something called an “onlay” that involved removing half of my tooth and replacing it with some neato computer-ized replacement) and my dentist told me to pay attention to how that onlay tooth felt after a few days, because any pain meant that something was wrong and I would need to come back in. In case you were wondering what it looks like when they remove a huge chunk of your tooth, here’s a good visual…

DISCLAIMER: this is gross. Really, it’s nasty. Look away if you don’t like gross shit.

cavity being filled during a previous dental torture session/"appointment"

Yep, that’s a huge hole in my tooth. Fun, no?

Well, after the numbness and zombie drooling wore off last week (I literally could not move an entire half of my face — I looked like a stroke patient, and my eyelid was drooping. sexy.), I noticed some soreness but chalked it up to the 2-hour long procedure. Over the next few days, I noticed a slight throbbing starting to creep up, but I wondered if it was all in my mind since I tend to be a bit of a (okay, a TOTAL) hypochondriac.

After it was keeping me from falling asleep the other night, I decided to call and come in. She took one look and surely enough said, yep, I’d need a root canal.


Have I mentioned that I HATE needles? I carry a completely irrational phobia and pass out, or come close to passing out every time I get even the littlest, painless shot. Yes, I’m 24 years old and I’m a total baby about needles. Deal with it.

Anyway, she prescribed some vicodin for the pain (as needed…heh…right) and antibiotics to calm down the “angry” nerve. It’s not really hurting right now, but it was pretty wonky earlier, so I’m not sure how I’ll feel over the weekend while I’m waiting for the root canal specialist to come back from his vacation. Wish me luck?

May 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm 2 comments


Friends, I have a confession to make…

I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. That I’ve gone MIA from time to time. There’s a reason for this.

It has been..gasp…an entire month since I’ve worked out.


I could explain to you how life has been hectic and stressful (it has), with starting a new job and moving to a new apartment. I could explain how I simply feel burnt out, and couldn’t get myself excited or motivated with the usual tactics. I could even tell you about the knee pain that has been plaguing me, with the only solution being a seemingly expensive trip to the physical therapist that I simply cannot afford at the moment.

Unfortunately, these are just excuses. I haven’t exercised (vigorously) because…well, because I haven’t. I’ve chosen not to. There have certainly been days (say, the two weeks I was very sick with a nasty cold/sinus infection) where working out wouldn’t have been an option, or at least a good one, but there have been other days where I simply said, Eh, I don’t feel like it today. I’d rather watch TV and lay around the apartment.

I need to cut this shit out.

I’m running my first 5k in a few weeks, and thankfully I had been training enough beforehand where I feel I’ll still have plenty of time to do just fine, but this is the point where I need to shake some sense into my lazy ass and get it back in gear. I know a huge part of this has been feeling sorry for myself, not being able to fit in all the fun social activities brimming from every corner of Chicago in the summertime AND get my workouts in. Oh, well if I work out after work, I can’t do spontaneous things after work, like beers on the patio or concerts in the park. Well, Laura, figure it out.

I can’t lie to you — I’m freaked out. I’m worried that I’m going to continue to lose my diligence and totally suck at (or even completely bail out of) this 5k, especially after telling almost everyone I know about it. I’m worried I’m going to lose a grip on the progress I’ve made from making healthier portion and food choices, resulting in a ~10ish lb. weight loss. I’m worried I’m going to slip on a bathing suit and feel terrible about myself (again). I’m worried the lumpiness I see creeping up on my thighs is going to get worse.

I don’t like how I feel when I’m not working out, but sometimes — well, I’m a lazy piece of shit. It’s go-time, and I need to keep my eye on the prize and come up with a solution that will work with a) my tendency toward skipping workouts in order to lay on the couch or grab dinner/drinks with friends, b) my busy schedule, and c) my utter hatred of mornings/total inability to wake up early.

I have no idea how to do this. If you’ve been reading for awhile but never commented, now is the time…any and all tips, suggestions, stories or motivators are welcomed….Oh hell…PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO DO THIS, GUYS! I NEED HELP!!

Hmph. Well, that’s that :D

In other news, I’m still totally addicted to Greek yogurt. Seriously, this stuff is my crack — I go through a giant tub per week. It’s so delicious! And ya know what else is in abundance in Casa de Laura?



STRAWBERRIES. Oh. Mah. Gawd. I can’t get enough.


I had some with oatmeal the other day, but it couldn’t hold up against the creamy Fage 0% I usually roll with…There is almost always a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon, Milk + Honey Cafe Mix Granola and walnuts involved as well.

I’ve also been rolling on the salad wagon lately. Below is my unbelievably tasty mustard maple chicken atop some butter lettuce, cukes, goat cheese and Sabra roasted red pep hummus. Despite the fact that I was pretty hungry a few hours later (no carbs, maybe?), this salad was GOOD.


Today I mixed it up a bit with butter and torn-up red leaf lettuce, cukes, some pinto beans, goat cheese, baby carrots and some organic chicken breast that I slow cooked last night with thyme, TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, garlic powder and veggie broth. The chicken was insanely flavorful, and all the flavors mixed together perfectly. As a bonus, the added beans really gave this bad boy some sticking power, but because I am a fatty and seriously can’t understand how anyone can eat JUST a salad for lunch (wtf??), I swiped a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle from a friend, watered down half the can with some hot water from the Keurig, and had at it (only 70 calories! nice!). It was a perfect lunch for a wet, dreary day. I love gloomy weather from time to time, but Chicago has been testing my patience recently…

Anyway, I’m off to finish up the work day. I did some seriously ill-advised shopping last week and came home with far too many adorable dresses, so I’ll be sure to share those coming up here. Thanks for reading my nutty rant, and please do provide feedback if you have any, I’d love to hear from you!

May 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm 4 comments

Droolworthy: Sunny White Sangria

I wish I could do justice in explaining how beautiful and utterly moutherwatering this stuff looks, but you’ll just have to meander over and see for yourself at Oh She Glows. If it weren’t 52 degrees, gray and rainy, I’d be making it right now. By myself. In my studio apartment. With my cats.

May 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

A bit premature?

I hate to jump the gun, especially because I have a tendency to hop back on the bad habits bandwagon every time I see a hint of progress, but I jumped on the scale Saturday after having ignored it for weeks, and voila! I appear to be about ten pounds lighter.

I’m not sure if this may be partially due to my lack of gym time recently (aka muscle turning to mush), my crazy-busy schedule, my tiny (and therefore barely usable) kitchen or just the fact that I am eating less (both intentionally and accidentally), but I find it interesting nonetheless. A huge change has been my conscious effort to watch portion sizes. In a truly un-Laura-like fashion, I’ve been cutting my beloved hamburgers in half and taking the rest home to enjoy as another meal the next day. This is in direct conflict with the little voice in my head screaming, “Eat this entire plate of foooood!! It’s so tasty!! It will make you feel GREAT!”

Does anyone else grapple with this little voice?

(I swear I don’t have beef-induced schizophrenia.)

Great, now I really want a burger. Shouldn’t have looked up that picture…*facepalm*

Anyway, I titled this post “a bit premature” because I don’t want to get ahead of myself. This new “journey,” if you will, is all about creating small, attainable yet challenging goals for myself and achieving them one at a time. Next on my list is to get back into my exercise routine — no easy feat, considering I’ve been out of commission and permitting my extreme laziness in an effort to get over this cold. I know without a doubt that I could have been back at it several days ago, if not far earlier. I am human, however, and let it get away from me. This doesn’t mean I’ve been “bad” or that I’m an awful person…it simply means my mind and body wanted a break for awhile, took advantage of the livin’ made easy, and will need a little extra push to get back into the habits and routine that I know makes me look and feel the best.

The question is — what will this “push” be?

Still too broke to buy some cute new Lulu gear…although I’ve been eyeing this bad boy for quite some time…Not sure how I feel about calling the color “toothpaste” though :/

A few random thoughts and images to occupy your brains on this loverly Monday afternoon…

  • There is a rather interesting debate/comment thread going on over at The Frisky right now. I’ve been a reader for quite some time, and, as many other regular readers may have noticed, their content appears to be going through a transition right now. The site was bought and has been shifting writers, strategy, tone, etc., and their readers have been letting them know in the comments. The site editor, Amelia, wrote a letter from the editor to address some of these issues, and the conversation going down in the comments is really heated. If you’re a regular reader, or even if you’re not, you might want to check it out! The conversation is centering on the expectations of writers/bloggers in regards to nasty comments, criticism, constructive vs nasty, and feminism. Interesting stuff!
  • I like to make silly faces:
  • I spent a good 15 minutes last night packing my breakfast and lunch for the day. This morning, I forgot the best part — the salad! :( Sadz.
  • Tina over at Carrots ‘n Cake is doing a blogger bake sale. Even if you, like me, are not a big sweets person, I’m sure you’ll still find something to drool over — I’m eyeing the soft pretzels!
  • Before moving the other week, I caught Molly snuggling with my teddy bear. Too funny!! (insert crazy cat lady joke here)image
  • I’ve spent a day back “home” at my parents’ house the last two weekends — one for Mother’s Day, one for an ill family member (happy times, sad times). While I was waiting at the train station to head back into the city, I had a lovely view of the adjacent park and the river. Excuse the poor photo quality, but it was still lovely!
  • imageI bought some cute organic mini peppers the other day. And lots of cucumbers. That is all.


Have a great rest of your day, lovelies!!

May 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm 7 comments

Near and dear to my heart

When I was growing up, my mom spent a lot of time holed up in her bedroom, lying in her bed with the lights off and a cold towel draped over her face. I always thought she was stressed out or not feeling well, but never really understood what was going on.

The word migraine floated around a lot, but I had no idea what it meant.

She spent years — the majority of her life, actually, starting at age 13 — dealing with frequent and often debilitating migraines. Since I was too young to understand the severity of the situation (not to mention that migraines are difficult to describe and explain anyway), I shrugged it off. It’s only now that I’ve begun to understand how truly devastating this disease was for her.

Thankfully she was able to work out a combination of medication that works to hold off her migraines almost entirely. As far as I have heard from others, this is a rare thing, so I am truly thankful that she is able to function normally now, nearly pain-free. She is also incredibly grateful, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Unfortunately, my good friend Allison is still dealing with the ongoing battle of her disease. She’s incredible, hilarious and a great friend to have around (not to mention a fellow cat lady herself — hi Bosco!), so it breaks my heart to hear about the constant pain she deals with every day, as well as the huge impact it has had on her life.

As an outlet for her frustration, as well as as way to help others dealing with migraines, she has started a blog called Allison in Migraineland. At this point, I’m not too sure how many people are reading my little bloggie here, but I’m hoping that if any of you are coping with this disease, her blog may be another resource for you! She recently reviewed a few smartphone apps for tracking migraines, and also regularly discusses new treatments she tries, like biofeedback. Even if you don’t suffer from migraines, I highly recommend checking out her blog and learning about this debilitating disease that affects an estimated 30 million Americans and 18% of American women. And tell her Laura says hi!

May 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment


I didn’t charge my camera battery after I used it the last time, so it’s dead.

This is tragic, because I couldn’t show you my breakfast this morning.

It had these:

Some of this:

A little this, a little that:

But best of all, it had some of these guys. Yeah — I finally made Katie’s fudge babies! I honestly didn’t think I could pull it off, but they truly are as easy as she says. I added some vanilla extract, a quick grind of sea salt and a dab of cinnamon to mine (not to mention the *accidental* extra heap of cocoa) and they were SO GOOD. I rolled them up into tiny balls and snacked on quite a few before I had to convince myself to put them away in the fridge.

I promise I will take a picture, but for now, just daydream about how wonderful this breakfast was…I enjoyed every single bite. Immensely.

That is all.

May 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm 2 comments


So remember my embarrassingly self-indulgent sobbing fit the other night?

Well, coming into work the next day wasn’t as horrific as you’d think, because of this stuff.

Fresh cosmetics are so insanely adorable, lovely smelling and insanely fabulous that I regularly find myself lusting over them in Sephora for inappropriately long periods of time. Unfortunately, they’re also quite pricey (what in Sephora isn’t?), so I don’t purchase them as often as I’d like to, but thankfully I tried this stuff on a whim.

I have horrible undereye circles, and even though I was blessed to be spared from super puffy bags, even the slightest bit of puffiness exaggerates the crimson half moons regularly hiding out under my eyes. I know that most undereye treatments are just the winning combination of caffeine + hydration, but hey — it works for a reason, right?

This stuff isn’t magic, and it doesn’t work miracles, but if you’re regularly out or up late (check and check), have spent an evening getting intimate with your pillow and a box of kleenex (check), or just look like shit occasionally (check!), try this eye gel. I’ve gotten into the habit of dabbing a tiny bit on every morning (the bottle is itty bitty but you don’t need to use much), and I swear it takes me from looking like I’ve had 6-7 hours of sleep (dream) rather than 4-5 (reality).

I didn’t have the foresight to take some before and after shots for you (although now I’m thinking I wouldn’t want my nasty, crusty eyes on here anyway), so you’ll have to take my word for it. If you don’t trust me (hey, understandable!), head over to Sephora and chat one of the salespeople up. Often, they will give you a sample of a product you’re thinking about buying but aren’t ready to commit to just yet. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’ve built up quite a collection of “sample” perfumes of my own doing this…hey, I don’t need an entire bottle of sticky sweet vanilla perfume, but I wanted to try it!

Let me know how this stuff works for you, kittens.

May 12, 2011 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Snap: flavored coffee


Is it just me, or does this sound gross?

May 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm 2 comments

Hot & cold

I thought about posting one of those pictures that show how many tiny particles of saliva/snot explode when you sneeze, but it was a little too gross — even for me. I thought this one was a nice substitute :)

It’s finally getting warm out in Chicago (oh hey there, May) and of course, I caught a cold. As I mentioned before, I pushed myself too hard in the previous few weeks, and haven’t been eating my normal (mostly) nutritious meals, so my body just crapped out on me. I’m certain now that it’s a cold because I’m still sick, and colds have that wonderful habit of sticking around for two weeks. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to breathe/taste things/go five minutes without blowing your nose when it’s 80-something degrees outside. Bleh! I have been resting up a lot (aka not going to the gym) and sleeping in the hopes that this thing will get lost soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

BUT — in case you didn’t understand, it’s EIGHTY-SOMETHING DEGREES OUT. Hallelujah!

I’m convinced there is no better place than Chicago in the summer.

Ohhhhh, I can’t wait.

Considering the fact that I’ve been sick and tired for two weeks, I’ve still been in a pretty excellent mood most of the time. That is, until yesterday. I had a rather unsavory conversation that left a stormcloud over my head most of the day, and through the night. After being exhausted, sad and stressed out most of the day, I finally just let loose and let myself have a good cry after getting tucked into bed. It sucked, and it made me sad, but it was also somewhat cathartic. I know not everyone agrees, but sometimes it can be very therapeutic to just let yourself be sad, let out all the emotion/frustration/embarrassingly deep sobs and just cry. It needed to happen, and I’m still sad, but I’m a little more at peace now that I’ve come to peace with the fact that this specific issue is bothering me.

I’m wondering if maybe I need some yoga in my life right now? (Pardon me for saying this, but who am I?)

As if by magic (or clever scheduling, same thing), I have a massage appointment scheduled for after work and could not be more thrilled. Honestly, I rarely treat myself to massages/pedicures/etc. (I’m broke and cheap most of the time), but this time it is sorely (hah!) needed.

I just noticed I’m making a lot of bad puns here; thinking this means it’s time to wind this post down…

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say hello. I’m thrilled with my new job and mostly pleased with my new apartment, so aside from the noted issues above, life ain’t all that bad right now. I get my first paycheck Friday in ages (which, unfortunately, is already accounted for in the form of bills), so I won’t be (as) broke soon either.

Oh yeah, and did I mention it was 80 degrees out?

Have a great day, y’all :)

Up next: look out for some musings on cooking in a tiny, tiny kitchen/apartment.

May 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm 4 comments

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