Extraordinarily Exquisite

Happy 2017! I’ve been meaning to write to you for quite some time, but life has just gotten in the way! Although I adore the Christmas and New Years festivities, I love the quiet and calm of January with its resolve and renewed focus. This year I chose not to make any ambitious resolutions. Instead, I chose to dedicate this year towards constant growth. In relationships, health, and business, as well as my personal life.

As I look back on 2016, I am so grateful for the opportunities offered to me, and I’m thankful for the strength to make changes in my life. It has been far from easy, but I’ve learned that the absolute best things in life don’t come without bunches of hard work and dedication to the cause. I am excited to continue to pursue my dreams in 2017, and although I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, I also know that it will be absolutely and completely worth it.

So now, since this blog is dedicated to documenting my journey towards health, I will share with you what I ate over the holidays!
I started December out modeling for a Bay Area Photographer who is working on building her photography portfolio, since she started out in make up and hair, some of her work being seen in a woman Marcus fashion shows, Vogue Italia, and Tart Collections. More on this later, though, as it was an incredibly eye-opening experience!
Through the month of December, I took an oath that I would not have one nibble or taste of a Christmas treat until December 21st. This was easy to stick to, and starting on the 21st of December, I enjoyed one Christmas cookie each day until Christmas, for the sake of a little pleasure, but mostly nostalgia. On Christmas Eve I enjoyed delicious Indian food while avoiding naan and rice, although I did sip a Chai tea to warm up. Christmas Day was full of delicious treats, but in moderation. For breakfast I held fast to tradition in enjoying a delectable, homemade cinnamon roll, although this year I chose the smallest one, and avoided an extra dollop of icing. Christmas dinner consisted of a Prime Rib I roasted, a side of green beans, Yorkshire pudding, and my great uncle’s Creme Brûlée (my mom and I thankfully didn’t burn the house down when torching the sugar, although we did smell some burning hair after a small explosion). My mother and I went for a 3 mile walk to and from a local Mandarin Orchard, and it was a lovely time. We had great conversation, and the exercise felt amazing. Although I didn’t lose any weight over Christmas, I didn’t gain any, which I considered a win!

I enjoyed a grand New Years weekend full of friends and family, and wine and cheese. My parents generously hosted an elegant evening of wine and cheese pairing to not only celebrate the New Year, but also to celebrate my 25th Birthday, or my becoming a Quarter of a Century OLD! Through New Years weekend, I stuck mostly to plan, although I strayed twice for a slice of Seville Marnier, which, if you’ve ever tried it, you’d understand……and to my surprise, I was down 2 lbs on the scale when I weighed in on January 2nd! It must have been a fluke, because I don’t see how that was possible! In addition to several walks in between Christmas and New Years, I also went for about a 9 mile hike, so I imagine that had the most impact!
Since then, I have lost a little over another pound, which puts me well on my way to reaching my goal within the next month or two *fingers crossed*.
Tomorrow (January 13) I am off to San Francisco to celebrate my birthday with some of my closest friends, and I’m looking forward to a weekend packed chock-full of loved ones and various celebrations!

But before I leave you, I’d like to share with you the newest additions to my very sparse library (thanks to Amazon and the lovely people who gave me gift certificates):

“Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, an Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights” by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins. This is an incredibly beautiful book overflowing with words, their meanings, and their histories, completely capable of seducing me.

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“It’s a Pleasure, Sweet Treats Without Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar” by Virpi Mikkonen. A fresh and airy cookbook of tantalizing (sounding) deserts……without gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. What I hope will be a less-guilty way of satisfying my sweet tooth throughout maintenance.

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“Naturally, Delicious” by Danny Seo. Yet another cookbook of recipes for natural and healthy eating. Imagine that! This one containing some recipes that sound a little too far out for my palate, but we’ll see!

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And with that, I leave you. Take delight in the Exquisite, and have a joyful January!
XO

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