While thinking of a blog title, I came across the note that my youngest sister once wrote to me that said: "U stink in bold. Tomorrow you will feel like a bloated giraffe. U r so safari dazzling." I went with it. Plus "safari dazzling" sounds better than "bloated giraffe."

The rest are musings on food; wanderlust & occasional trips that satisfy it; my journey as a Zumba instructor; working in public health; life, generally. Thanks for reading!
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in Atlanta for a Walking Dead tour…I mean, for a grantee meeting #iwishthough #cdc

The dessert spread at my friend’s shower was magical. Thank goodness her parents took over that part from us bridesmaids, otherwise it wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome. The chocolate covered pretzels and graham crackers were my favorite. There was also a surprise “dessert” when the bride-to-be opened a gift that was edible underwear. Her aunt kept screaming “Oh my gosh EDIBLE UNDERWEAR??!! It was hilarious, especially because we later learned that she was the one who bought it as a gag gift.

Today I went to my childhood bff’s bridal shower, spent time with old friends and my sister who was home from college for the wknd, ate delicious chocolate covered things, went to a beer garden to hang out with new friends, was entertained on our train ride home by a group of people celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday, and enjoyed a night cap of pizza and trader joe’s vanilla bon bons. Today was a good day.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson delivered a speech on gender equality to help launch the HeForShe Campaign:

”..I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women six months ago and the more I’ve spoken about feminism, the more I have realised that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop…”

”..Men, I would like to take the opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too…”

”..Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals…”

I watched her speech on my commute home and had to fight back tears. It’s refreshing to see someone using their position of privilege and power for good. You should watch the whole thing, and then Take Action.

My friend Amanda and I went to a BYO painting class last night at Painting Lounge’s Manhattan location. I was a little nervous because the original painting looked pretty complicated, but thankfully you start with basic tracing of the picture, and the instructor guides you step by step. It was really fun, though kind of hard to simultaneously paint and keep up conversation. And I found painting to be pretty relaxing. Though I guess that could have been the beer. Either way, I can’t wait to go back!

Garlic knots snack break

*cue happy dance*

Really enjoyed these, particularly:

"Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” - Madeline L’Engle

"…People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s much easier to craft a resume than to craft a spirit." - Anna Quindlen

"To follow your life’s guidance, you may have to reassign some seemingly important things to ‘unimportant.’…" - Martha Beck 

Via A Cup of Joe

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to co-teach on a Zumba Cruise around downtown NYC and it was so much fun!! I was a little nervous because I’d never done a big event outside of my classes before, but the other instructors were fabulous (one is a fellow teacher at BellaVita) and the crowd had so much energy that my nerves were quickly replaced by a big adrenaline high. Everyone rocked it. And boat rocked us too. Occasionally we’d sort of tumble in one direction and I had to toss my planned moves out the window and just sway from side to side with the boat. Teaching sometimes felt like I was drunk at a rave haha. Not for the faint of heart but everyone just laughed and continued to dance their hearts out. Huge shout out to my family and friends who came – thanks again for your support!

I’m in an all female fantasy football league with some friends (I know, I couldn’t believe it either). The draft went something like: “what even is this website I don’t even know what I’m looking at” and “well I named my team Not My Forte so I have to get Matt Forte” (I did) and “oh look I can make a queue how nice” then later on “oh my god it’s my turn again, [Vince] what should I do??!” and “darn I probably should have picked a QB sooner?” and also my strategy was to pick people from liberal places which went well until I panicked at the end and picked up someone from Indianapolis. So far, I have completely forgotten to set my starting line up for the past two weekends. Or done anything, really, since the draft. But, it looks like I’ll end up 1-1 after this wknd which isn’t the the worst thing so I may just continue with this strategy and hope for the best.

Because it’s adorable, and I can’t sleep.

It’s never, never, never the woman’s fault. No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman. No means no. […] The one regret I have is we call it domestic violence as if it’s a domesticated cat. It is the most vicious form of violence there is, because not only the physical scars are left, the psychological scars that are left. This whole culture for so long has put the onus on the woman. What were you wearing? What did you say? What did you do to provoke? That is never the appropriate question.

He thought it’d be funny to tell me that he got me a chocolate bar but then ate it instead. Two can play that game.

Vince and I are having an excellent Labor Day weekend visiting his dad and family in Ohio. We’ve done some hiking since his dad is renting a house from someone with a lot of land. We had a relatively relaxing hike on Saturday with his dad, spending most of our time by the river. But his uncle, who’s a 70-something hiking expert, led us on a pretty tough hike this morning. We didn’t have appropriate shoes and struggled a bit going up steep hills, while he moseyed up no problem. He lives pretty much next door, and we had a lot of fun with his six dogs (and horses and chickens) when we were over for dinner last night.

But mostly we’ve been playing with his dad’s new pug puppy, Shufu! His dad is learning Chinese and the name means “comfortable” or “pleasant”. She can be crazy hyper but is SO DAMN CUTE that it doesn’t even matter. I mean, look at that face!! We’re definitely gonna miss this nutball.

Hope you’re all having a great holiday weekend!

cutest little pup! #shufuthepug (at Waite Hill, Ohio)