29 April 2013

meatless monday: ranch chik'n

I always imagine my Pinterest followers are perplexed when this vegetarian posts a meat meal onto her food and recipe board. What can I say? I like to keep people guessing.

Truthfully, though, one of the best ways for vegetarians to let their culinary creativity shine is when they want to figure out a way to make a meat meal meatless. Such was the case with a recipe I found for Ranch Marinated Chicken. Bonus points: I not only was able to make it vegetarian friendly but also found a clever way to add in extra protein by using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream!



Ranch Chik'n
Adapted from this recipe

Servings: 8 Serving Size: 1 Ranch Chik'n Cutlet
Calories Per Serving: 152 PointsPlus: 4


Ingredients:
2 boxes Quorn naked chik'n cutlets (8 cutlets)
2 cups Fage Total 0% plain greek yogurt
1 envelope dry ranch dip mix
juice from 1 lemon
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light, melted

Directions:
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the Fage Greek yogurt, dry ranch mix, lemon juice, soy sauce, paprika, garlic salt, and pepper. Add the eight chik'n cutlets. Seal the bag and squeeze it to make sure the chick'n cutlets get fully coated. Refrigerate overnight.

Place marinated chik'n cutlets in a large baking pan that has been lightly greased with cooking spray -- I used a 9x13 and it was a tight fit so if you have something larger use that or even multiple pans. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

The chik'n cutlets are kept frozen and leaving them in the fridge overnight will obviously defrost them a bit, but they were fine when I baked them and really absorbed the flavors of the marinade. I paired it with a sweet pea blend (veggies and mixed grains) my mom got me from Market Day but any sort of veggie or starch would be good. Could probably also make a decent chik'n salad with the cutlets as well.

Have you discovered any new super yummy recipes lately?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 April 2013

coming clean


That sums up how I have felt about blogging and pretty much all social media as of late (as anyone who follows me on Twitter has probably noticed although I've, oddly, been trying to increase my usage of Facebook and Instagram). Maybe it's the call of the sunshine or the book I'm reading or the ideas running around in my head for my book and I know it happens to all bloggers at some time or another but, I don't know.

It's like I've run out of things to say.

I know that's not true, though. I spent the week collecting plenty of interesting and relevant articles from around the web and have been able to fit runs in before work and am trying some new recipes this weekend and my 2nd 10K is less than a month away, and yet....

The reality is I'm embarrassed.

Embarrassed to admit that I've spent the past two, almost three, months not tracking or really paying attention to what I eat. Embarrassed to admit that while I'm still exercising it's not with the same enthusiasm or dedication as before. Embarrassed to admit that while I went to the film festival with a plan, I only half-heartedly stuck to it.

Embarrassed to admit I'm no longer in maintenance but weight loss mode because I've gained some of the weight back (more than 10 but less than 20).

It makes me feel like a failure and who wants to read about the journey of a failure? Who wants to read about a woman who conquered 135 pounds and is now struggling with 15?

I now weigh what I did at Thanksgiving. I'm back to being obese. I know what the scale says, that I've still lost 120 pounds, but when I look in the mirror or get dressed in the mornings I don't see it. I'm back to seeing this woman right here.

The thing is, this was the first week in about two months were I felt in control of my food choices. Like, really in control. Several days in a row. It's like I'm getting my balance on life back and at my appointment with my counselor yesterday even she remarked on the difference in my attitude and demeanor. But I can't tell y'all that because you don't know how out-of-control things have been. So instead I hide here behind my little pink plaid netbook and blog about tea.

Twice.

Last week I told Mama Marchand that I was pretty sure this was a control thing. Back in late January/early February, everything in my life seemed to implode. Both my personal and professional life were upended and I was left fighting to find my sense of gravity. So I began to act out. And, being someone with a history of disordered eating, I began to act out with food.

Initially I thought the binging was a reaction to the stress I'd been feeling about everything. But the stress was just another symptom. What I was really feeling was vulnerable. As soon as my counselor used that word I knew she was right. I can be a bit of a control freak. I like things just so. I am particular and a planner and spontaneity makes me anxious. A lot of things make me anxious (I tested at the "major anxiety" level). Not knowing really makes me anxious, so when so many things in your life are being illustrated with a big fucking question mark it's a natural reaction of mine to turn to what is familiar and comfortable. Even when my eating itself was out-of-control, the very act of eating was something I could control.

Over the past week I sort of accidentally stumbled over the realization of what my perfect, ideal life would look like. Only it's not something that is going to happen overnight and it's definitely not going to happen without a lot of motivation and action on my side. Figuring this out and -- more importantly -- taking the first steps to put myself on that path helped me regain some of that control I had been missing. I had found a bit of my balance again. Life reshifted upright.

Then, just like that, my food choices fell back in line.

I have to acknowledge that this is something I will always struggle with. This part of my journey will never go away so I have to find alternative methods to dealing with it. I can't ever always be in control of what happens to and around me. But you can like the life you're living or you can live the life you like. You can let things happen or you can make things happen. When you're sitting around waiting for life, take a moment and consider the possibility that life is waiting for you.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

24 April 2013

tea for two

I don't know if it was from all the iced green teas last week or what, but I've been on the biggest tea kick as of late. Enough that I've even managed to unintentionally cut back on coffee. Not that I drank that much anyway -- usually just 2 cups in the morning (though on the weekends that can get up to 6, easily) -- but still.

This really isn't anything new: when I was younger I was quite a fan of hot tea. Kept several flavors of Celestial Seasonings around and when I worked at Barnes & Noble I used to collect all the empty Harney & Sons tea tins (still have two of them, actually).

But then, see, I discovered coffee and, well, you know how it goes.

Right, so, it started with a single bag of Twinings Chai tea. I honestly don't remember where I picked it up, but I suspect it was from my yoga studio and somehow it ended up at work. I had forgotten all about it until cleaning out my desk at work. So, on a whim, I decided to try it.

And Oh. My. Ganesh.

Seriously. So good. So good, in fact, that I almost immediately ran over to the World Market across the shopping parking lot near work to buy not just one but two boxes: one for home and one for work. (Of course I most likely overpaid for the tea, but whatevs. It was the closest location I could think of at the time. I also discovered that World Market sells Popchips tortilla chips. You have no idea how happy this makes me as I can't seem to find them anywhere).

Paired with a 100 cal mini bag of popcorn, the chai tea makes the perfect satisfying afternoon snack at work.


It also makes an excellent appetite suppresor during those times when your brain is telling you you're hungry and you know it's lying. Plus, as hunger pains are often thirst in disguise, tea is also a natural remedy for that.

And, of course, my new Tea canister is loving it, too. I have the most random collection of single packets of tea that I get from who knows where. Probably my mom or hotels or something. Like, as I'm writing this I'm sipping some Bigelow green tea with pomegranate and I seriously have no idea how it came into my possession. But damn is it tasty. Maybe even tastier than the Twinings chai.

Maybe.

I've started this new morning routine where I wake up an hour and half or so earlier than needed to get some writing done followed by a short run before work. When I first started I had my usual coffee, but it left me too jittery for the run and I much prefer to have my coffee with my breakfast anyway.

But tea? Tea is my new best friend at 6 in the morning. Plus, as I hand write all of my first drafts, there's really nothing to make you feel like more of a writer than scribbling away in a notebook with the sun coming up sipping on some tea.

Tea or coffee?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

22 April 2013

kitchen kitsch

After about a month of very busy weekends -- owing to Sissy's bachelorette party/bridal shower weekend and the Cleveland International Film Festival -- I was so looking forward to a nice, quiet couple of days. Friday I fit in a run and Saturday was dinner with my family. And, of course, yoga that morning. Being my first class in four weeks, holy hell did it kick my ass but in that really good kind of way where your tight muscles get a much needed stretching. I also found out that my yoga instructor's mom reads my blog, which I find utterly delightful (hi, Jessica's mom!).

By the time Sunday rolled around, the weather was gorgeous and I'd had enough laziness to want to get out of the apartment for a few hours. So I decided to take advantage of Cleveland's wonderful collection of vintage shops by hitting up Sweet Lorain and Flower Child for some perusing.


Aren't these fabulous?! I'm slowly trying to give my kitchen a slightly more mod look. I've had the same Paris themed dish set, including canisters and cookie jar, for years. Like, I've owned them far longer than I've actually been using them. And while I love them and they are still in excellent condition, it feels like time for an upgrade and these bright red canisters were the perfect starting point.


I also decided my dining room needs this sideboard. It has a matching dry sink/baker's rack there on the left. I already scoped out the perfect place in my apartment, too bad both pieces are way outside my budget. (Of course, I do have that tax refund on the way.....)

And, being someone who always looks out for her friends, I made sure to let Mama Marchand know when I stumbled upon Pyrex central.


I can only imagine the look on the store owner's face when he came around the corner and saw me kneeling on the floor, snapping pictures. Luckily, instead of thinking I was a complete weirdo, he and I actually had a rather lovely conversation about the lady who is apparently the president of the local Pyrex club or something.

Both shops had some pretty fabulous excellent condition dish sets available that left me more than a little tempted (like I spotted pieces in this adorable Temporama pattern at both shops and I am utterly in love with this Franciscan Starburst pattern that I also saw). I mean, if you're gonna mod out your kitchen might as well have the original dishes to match, right?

How was your weekend? Found any of your own vintage treasures recently? Also, if you don't already follow me on Instagram, be sure to start! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

19 April 2013

my new addiction

It started Monday morning.

There have been some changes going on at my place of employment, including some employees being transferred to our other location. One of these employees was our morning receptionist, so in an effort to help out some of us have volunteered to come in an hour early once a week to watch the desk for a couple of hours until the afternoon/evening receptionist arrives.

I was clearly not thinking when they sent the sign-up schedule out, as I agreed to come in at 8am on the Monday morning following the completion of the film festival, but c'est la vie.

So driving into work I decided I wanted to stop at Starbucks for something. I'd already had coffee with my breakfast at my apartment and wasn't in the mood for my usual skinny vanilla latte, so I decided to try something new.


When it comes to the teas offered at Starbucks, I'm very familiar with them. And not just because I used to work at a cafe that served Starbucks coffee. Instead, one of my favorite drinks to order in the summer is the passion iced tea lemonade and when I worked at said cafe I pretty much lived on their iced Chai tea latte made with soy milk (trust me on this one: even if you don't drink soy milk on a regular basis, it adds the most perfect extra oomph to the Chai. Same can be said for the cinnamon dolce lattes).


But earlier in the week I decided to switch things up a bit and order the iced green tea. I got it sweetened, which means it came with the Classic syrup but I found it a little too sweet. So when I went back the next day I ordered it unsweetened. And liked it enough to get it unsweetened the following day.

Yup. I ordered a venti unsweetened iced green tea every day this week. Thank you mom for the gift card.


No, I am not driving. Yes, I may have a problem.

Of course, when it comes to unnecessary consumption of food and beverage, plain green tea is hardly on the list of most offensive items. If anything, this is an addiction that should be encouraged, as tea comes with a whole host of health benefits, green tea especially. And, if nothing else, at this rate I won't have to worry about not keeping Gold level status on my Starbucks reward card.

Are you a green tea drinker? 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 April 2013

we are all bostonians

I'm sure by now the majority of you have heard about the tragic events that took place yesterday at the 117th Boston Marathon. It's scary and terrifying to think that something as innocent as a race could end with such devastating effects.


Had this happened last year or the year before or, well, anytime other than this year I don't know if I would have felt such a personal loss. I wasn't at this race, obviously, but people from my social media circle were. I knew racers and spectators. I have friends living in the city and surrounding areas.

But more than that, I am a runner. I am part of this community. Through Twitter and Facebook, I virtually cheer my fellow brothers and sisters on at their races and they do the same for me. We champion each others successes and PRs and commiserate about hilly routes and running in snow. We are a rare breed, runners. We know that many of our family and friends don't understand why we do what we do. But they don't have to because we have our other family that does. We may not be related by blood but we share a unique passion and dedication for this sport.

Today I'm wearing my Next Step Run for Shelter race shirt in support

Since taking up running and participating in my first race, I have come to love what running brings to my life. I love the network of people I would not have otherwise met. I love the challenges I have faced and overcome. The personal strides I have made. I have also learned the significance of certain races within the running community.

Ask a runner what one race they would love to participate in and I bet many will name Boston. Because the Boston Marathon isn't like other marathons. You can't find it on a list of upcoming races and just sign up. You have to qualify. It is also the world's oldest annual marathon and comes with a well-respected and well-earned reputation.

This is a race people spend a lifetime training for. Each year it brings in tens of thousands of participants from all over the world. Like many races, it is a true celebration of health and life.

And yesterday that was taken away. Not just taken from the people of Boston, but their family and friends, wherever they may live. Taken away from all of us runners who go to our races to have fun and meet personal goals, even if we know we will never qualify. It's been taken away from runners who are training for that first race and still dreaming of crossing that first finish line. Taken away from the spectators and volunteers who give up their time to support the runners.

It's been taken away from every person -- no matter their speed, no matter their results, no matter if they race or not, no matter if they call themselves a runner or not -- who laces up those shoes and goes after it.

I know that right now wounds -- both physical and mental -- are still raw. People are reeling and trying to navigate 26.2 miles of emotions and what ifs. When left with a gaping hole like this it's natural to want to find someone to blame. But right now, we still don't know. We don't know the person(s) responsible or the motivation. While it might be easy to point fingers, that does nothing to show support for those that have been effected. Because until we know why, all we really know is that this very easily could have happened in any city, at any race. So instead of early judgement and misdirected anger, however justified, I instead urge and ask you to respect the citizens of Boston and marathon participants and fuel your emotions in another way.

Because just like any race is a celebration of health and life, this, too, is an opportunity. And right now, in the immediate aftermath, our focus should be spent celebrating the health of the survivors and the lives of the deceased.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 April 2013

dress to kill at the cleveland international film festival

Hope everyone had a fun and fantastic weekend while I was hanging out at the 37th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival! All told I saw 8 Narratives/Feature Films, 8 Documentaries, and 4 Shorts Programs. While that's a few more films than I saw last year, when it comes to film festival junkies that's on the low end of the movie-watching spectrum. If a person attends every day of the festival and watches a film during each round, they have the potential to view 75 films over the course of the festival. While that may seem rather excessive, believe me when I tell you there are many, many people up to the challenge.

Of course, now I'm falling into that post-film-festival funk. The one where I have to wait a year until I get to feel like Mary Poppins again and live in Tower City Cinemas (I also don't know who runs their social media, but the employee behind their Twitter account and I are like BFFs now).

Yesterday was not only the final day of the festival it was also t-shirt day! If you wore a shirt (or sweatshirt) from anyone of the previous festivals you were entered into a drawing to win an all-access pass to the 38th Cleveland International Film Festival.

Being the crazy and clever gal that I am, with the help of the magic of YouTube and a handful of safety pins I was able to take last year's adorable volunteer t-shirt and Macgyver it into a dress!


I got lots of compliments on it and with the leggings it was really comfortable (which is key if you plan on spending your day sitting in a movie theater seat). I was also able to take it off without having to remove the safety pins and the graphic on the front is so freaking cute I may end up wearing it as a dress again.

Then, though, once I got home again I got curious about my 2011 volunteer shirt. This is the only piece of clothing I still own from when I weighed 311 pounds. Over the past two years, it honestly never ever occurred to me to keep any of those old garments. The only reason I still have this particular one is because it's related to the film festival.


That bright orange monstrosity behind me (seriously, who picked that color?) is a 2XL and it boggles my mind that at one point in my life, not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, I actually wore that shirt. That I required a shirt that big. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.

And as much as I love having these too-big-for-me shirts and evidence of how far I've come, a gal is also inclined to want a film festival shirt that fits the way it's supposed to without requiring safety pins. So thanks to some winning luck at the Horseshoe Casino, I bought a new one. It's a long-sleeved t-shirt with a hood and because it's so awesome it's on back order because I'm a procrastinator who waited until the last day of the festival to purchase it. But for a size medium shirt that I know will still fit for the 2014 festival, I'm willing to wait.

How was your weekend? Any other Cleveland readers attend the Film Festival? See any good flicks?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 April 2013

there's no crying in baseball

It's Friday, which means I am once again off to Tower City Cinemas for the second weekend of the 37th Cleveland International Film Festival and, believe it or not, I suspect I'll be seeing just as many films this weekend as last, if not more.

Because I'm feeling all fabulously film fest-y, it was fitting that I saw this article on Men's Fitness about the  10 Greatest Movie Training Montages Ever on Wednesday as it got me thinking about some of my own favorite clips. While I'm not really that big of a sports fan in real life, I simply adore sport movies. Especially when we're supposed to be cheering for the underdog. 'Cause who doesn't love the underdog?

So while I'm off indulging in my love of independent film, I'm leaving y'all with some of my favorite sports movie clips to get you through the weekend.









What are some of your favorite sports movies?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 April 2013

running on sunshine

My favorite part about the change in seasons from winter to spring isn't the warmer weather or excuse to wear flip flops or my big ass movie star sunglasses. While I love those parts about spring and summer, the truth is I'm most excited about getting back into my pre-work running routine.

While I can and have used the treadmill before work (it was necessary to keep up with my 10K training), if I'm going to wake up early for a run, I much prefer it if it's outside. The calm quiet of an empty city, the cusp of sun as it raises itself across the back drop of the skyline. There's really nothing like it so I was so happy this past weekend when I realized that sunlight was appearing earlier and earlier and I'd be able to get back into my outdoor groove. Which is exactly what I did yesterday morning.

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That's just over two miles worth of work! Of course, looking at my splits from my Runkeeper app I didn't pace myself well: I killed that first mile (well, for me) but it wasn't a pace I could easily keep up with for the second and even while running I could tell I was slowing down. I think I was just so ecstatic to be running outside that I just burst out lightning speed and didn't think long term. Regardless, I am quite happy with the 12 minute average!



One of my goals for this summer with regards to my running is working on speed. I've tried doing speed intervals on the treadmill and man that's quite a workout. I know I have it in me to run faster than I do, as that 11 minute mile from yesterday morning proves. I just have to find a way to harness that ability of mine and put it to good use!

Do you prefer indoor or outdoor running? Any suggestions on how to build up my speed?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

08 April 2013

be prepared

This weekend was spent at Tower City Cinemas for the opening days of the 37th annual Cleveland International Film Festival. And when I say this weekend, I mean, like, pretty much the entire weekend from Friday through Sunday, seeing 12 films in all. Seriously: before I had running or yoga for self-therapy, I had CIFF. I don't really know how else to explain it.

Right, so, if you're going to spend 48-72 at a movie theater and are only at home to sleep, you need to plan and be prepared. For me, that means feeling like Mary Freaking Poppins with a big ol' totebag.



We gots my Nook (in its Vera Bradley cover) to keep me entertained between films and, of course, the Film Guide to help me decide on my next film. Having a pass means I can kind of make up my schedule as I go along, which definitely has its benefits. At this point, after two years of having a pass, I don't think I could ever go back to tickets, let alone the dreaded Stand By line.

Food, though, is the big thing. While I did eat from the food court a few times (and Caribou Coffee and Dunkin Donuts came in handy when I wanted my non-fat latte before the early morning Short Programs), I also tried to bring my own food whenever possible.



Banana and Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter for between movies and underneath is a faux Turkey sandwich with baked Cheetos for lunch. And Swedish Fish for during movies (sorry Tower City Cinemas!).



I also had my reusable water bottle from last year's film festival. Yesterday it was such a gorgeous day and I knew I wouldn't be staying super late so I actually walked over. Tower City is only about a mile away from my apartment and it filled my heart with such joy to realize spring really is just around the corner.

Of course, work starts back up today but c'est la vie. My schedule has changed slightly in that I get to leave an hour early these days, so I may try and head over Thursday night to catch an evening film and I'll probably head over early Friday morning for something. One of these days I'll take the week off from work and spend it at the Film Festival but, really, with the pass and my three day weekend I really can't complain!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 April 2013

be the applause

It is once again the most wonderful time of year here in Cleveland. No, not Christmas, but the 37th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival! I'm not volunteering this year and have a pass, so if you need me between now and Sunday evening, I'll be at one of the 12 screens at Tower City Cinemas.



The Opening Gala was Wednesday night and Papa G. and I attended where we got to watching the opening film, The Kings of Summer. This was the film I was an extra in last summer and oh yeah, baby: Mama here got some screen time. Of course, seeing as how it was filmed, like, 50 pounds ago I look a bit different these days but still. I believe the film is getting nationwide release at the end of the month so if you get a chance to see it I highly suggest it (and not just 'cause I'm in it. It's actually a good movie).

Today is my first full day and of course like a kid on Christmas I was up ridiculously early this morning. I decided to take advantage of the extra time and go for a morning run.


It's been a long time since I went running this early in the day: on the weekends I usually aim for 9 am but I today I was out there by 7. Still chilly that early but I can tell spring is just around the corner and I can't wait for summer when the sun is up early enough that I can get a couple of miles in before work!

I only planned for two miles but because of the one swing bridge I had to double back and go up and over the Detroit-Superior to get home which turned it into three miles. Of course, as I plan on spending the rest of my day in a movie theater I should probably be grateful for those extra calories burned.

Any other Clevelanders planning on attending the film festival? 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 April 2013

ursula minor

First, it should be noted that I'm, like, six months behind on this. But, in my defense, I didn't find out about it until Monday (and even then it was by accident while looking up something else Disney related). Which is surprising for several reasons. Most notably because I follow several blogs that I would have thought for sure would have been all over this. And maybe they were and I somehow missed it. Plus I am admittedly one of those people who used to go to Disney animated films specifically for the villains. Oh, yeah. At 13, I totally knew that if I was a lioness I would be all over Scar. And who really wants to be Princess Aurora with her stupid color-changing dress when you  can be Maleficent and change into a fire-breathing dragon.

© Disney

I mean, hello. I can't believe I actually have to explain myself on this one.

Now while I have a love for all things Disney villains in general, my true adoration in a specific manner is for that of Ursula the sea witch from the 1989 animated feature The Little Mermaid.

© Disney

Man. That five year span of '89 - 94 were, hands down, the best Disney years evah. I know everyone is all excited because Pixar just announced Finding Dory, but c'mon. You can't beat The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. You can't. So don't try.

Anywho.

I may have started dying my hair red because of Ariel (true story) but that finned ginger has nothing on the pure fabulousness of Ursula. So fabulous, I probably know more about her than necessary. Like the fact that her look was inspired by drag queen Divine and while she is portrayed as an octopus, Disney's budget only allowed for six tentacles, technically making her a squid. I also secretly want to name my maybe-future-daughter Ursula but I feel like that would fall under the heading of cruel and unusual.

But I think the one thing I really always loved about Ursula was the fact that she is and has always been one fierce bad-ass plus size diva (that would be the Divine in her). She also tells it like it is. Unlike other villains, she doesn't trick Ariel into anything. She lays it all out on the table about what Ariel has to do, how long she has to do it, and what will happen if she doesn't. (Okay, so maybe she neglects to mention that she'll be using Ariel's voice to trick Eric but that's a separate issue.) When it comes to pop culture icons that I want to be when I grow up, Ursula was probably the first one to make the list. And considering I was, like, 8 when The Little Mermaid came out that should tell you a little bit about me.

So, back in the fall Disney released their Villains Designer Collection which are basically vamped up versions of the women we love to hate (they also had a Princess Designer Collection a few years ago). There are coordinating nail polishes and journals and mugs and all sorts of crap you don't really need but really want. The big draw, however, are the collectible dolls.

Now, given my love of all things evil I normally would have been all over this. I used to collect Disney villain crap and Hollywood themed Barbies so this is right up my alley.

There's just one teeny tiny problem.

© Disney

Like I said: this is a teeny tiny problem. Literally.

Why? Disney? WHYYYYYYYYYYY?!?

What were you thinking? Seriously, who's genius idea was it to emaciate Ursula? Because that person has another thing comin'.  Twenty-four years ago when The Little Mermaid was released you created an empowered bold and beautiful voluptuous villain. Just watch Poor Unfortunate Souls and you know Ursula is completely comfortable with her body and that is one of the things that is so inspiring about her character. She's not a real person (obv) so clearly there was intent behind that attitude when she was developed and The Disney Store still sells items featuring her in her original form so what, exactly, was the purpose in the redesign?

It's common knowledge that big name fashion designers target straight/skinny sizes. So apparently Disney's "designer" collection has adopted that same approach. But what message does it send to little girls? How do you explain why the Ursula in the movie doesn't match the Ursula doll? Are you really going to tell a six-year-old that the character went on a diet because apparently even in the animated world thin is in? Disney gets enough, justified, flak from mothers who don't want their daughters growing up with the mentality of Prince Charming being the ultimate goal in life. Suddenly skinnifying one of their iconic villains is not helping that cause.

Now, granted, the Queen of Hearts also got a queen-sized reduction but somehow Ursula's transformation offends me more and I think it's because Ursula owned her size. She was proud of who she was and ain't nobody under the sea was going to take that away from her.

Well, I guess nobody except her creators. Is nothing sacred anymore? I mean, what's next? Trimming the fat off Miss Piggy? (I swear to goddess, Disney, if you svelte that swine....)

Had you heard of the Disney Villains Designer Dolls when they were first released? What are your thoughts on Ursula's transformation?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

01 April 2013

girls gone mild

Friday morning I had a doctor's appointment with my new primary care provider. It was for a physical and and as the office is less than two miles away from my apartment, when I woke up I was left with that age old dilemma: do I walk to and from the doctor's office or do I drive and then go for a run?

Given that it was a gorgeous day outside, I decided to walk.


It was a good thing, too, because the appointment lasted much longer than I had anticipated. I couldn't even tell you the last time I had a physical, so I had forgotten all that was involved. I didn't get any blood work done this time, so I'll have to go back for that. But everything else looked good! The time with my Nurse Practitioner also confirmed just how much I like her and how comfortable I feel around her. And since she is also able to do Women's Wellness exams, too, I signed off to have my medical records faxed over from where I had been getting those done so I can start having her do those as well.

Had I planned on going for a run after the appointment, I'm not sure I would have had the time or the inclination, since I had lots of other things that needed to be done before Sissy's bachelorette party that night!


Funny Story A: For our entire lives, people have been telling my sister and I how much we look alike but I've never seen it until this picture. In my defense, when your face is hiding under 135 pounds of excess weight and fat, it's not easy to see your true features. (And what I actually always remember being told was that I look like our dad but act like our mom while Sissy looks like our mom but acts like our dad.)

Sissy was very specific in what did and did not want at her party. She also had a bridal shower the next day so it's not like she'd want to show up hung-over or anything. Luckily, with me as her MOH she was in good hands: we had dinner at Pickwick & Frolic followed by some swanky bowling at The Corner Alley. The guest list consisted of her two bridesmaids plus some of our cousins and after a few left after the bowling, the rest of us went to another bar on E. 4th for a drink before heading home ourselves. The Bride-to-Be was in bed by midnight, but she was thrilled.

Three of us actually spent the night at a hotel near downtown Cleveland and had a lovely, lazy morning before getting ready for her shower. Although, let it be said that you know your caffeine addiction is bad when you're driving in circles around a shopping plaza, yelling at the Google Maps app on your phone because you can't figure out where the stupid Starbucks is.

True story.

But once I got my skinny vanilla latte (with an extra shot), all was right with the world and we three gals dolled ourselves up and headed to Stars Hollow for Sissy's bridal shower. It was a lovely luncheon hosted by friends of the family. There was one game, which was matching up the wedding custom with the superstition that created it. Naturally, because my head is full of the most random bits of trivia ever, I got a perfect score and, as my prize, a lovely Pansy to take home.


I don't really do flowers, but this one looks easy enough to maintain. Also, here's that random bits of trivia in action: While writing Gone With the Wind, author Margaret Mitchell had a rather important character named Pansy. Then, right before the book went to print she had a change of heart and the character was named Scarlett instead. (Can you imagine? Pansy O'Hara?)

Funny Story B: At the shower, someone from my parents' church came up to me after we'd been there for awhile and said "I was asking if you were coming and someone had to point you out to me. I didn't even recognize you!"

How was everyone else's weekend? For those that celebrate the holiday, I hope you all had a lovely Easter!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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