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With Big Dude gone for awhile, I have cunningly and secretly planned a discreet affair.  An affair with my DVR.

That little black box of deliciousness holds so much promise at the moment… Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, True Blood, Mad Men… Oh, I’m in heaven!  Laundry- what?  Blog post- huh?  I’m sorry, my attention is diverted.

Life has been so crazy lately that I conk out on the couch as soon as the house is wrapped up for the night.  I hadn’t checked the recordings in a while, so imagine my delight when I hit ‘ok’ on that magical choice ‘Browse Recordings.’

Image courtesy MyLifetime.com

How did I not know that season 8 of Project Runway had premiered?  Shows you what kind of hole I have been buried in.  Last night, after putting Little Dude to bed, I crawled between my own sheets with the remote and a bag of dried apples. (Don’t ask about the apples.  I have no explanation.  I am merely recounting the facts to set the scene for you.)  I see ‘Project Runway – And Sew it Begins’ as the first entry.  I froze, an apple poised halfway between the bag and my mouth.

Could it be?

I quickly checked the ‘aired’ date.  Yup – new episodes!  Woo hoo!  I snuggled in to watch the first round of anxiety, sleaze, elegance and tears.

Mmmmm.  This might be a good two weeks after all.

Guilt Goddess says: Life ain’t nothin’ without guilty pleasures.  Go for it, honey!

We weren’t off the train from the airport for more than half an hour and we were sitting in a booth at Burger Bar.

The ultimate guilty pleasure. Chef Hubert Keller’s brainchild, you get to pick your patty (everything from buffalo to Kobe beef to a slice of eggplant) topped with innumerable choices (the regulars like bacon and avocado, but also sauteed spinach, caramelized onions, prosciutto, or — I haven’t been brave enough to try these yet — fois gras or shaved truffles, anyone?).

Pick your bun and your fries (sweet potato all the way, baby) and then indulge.

Wash it all down with a milkshake sampler and it’s bliss. (They make shakes with Nutella. ‘Nuff said.)

I will not think about the fact that I did not exercise yesterday because I forgot to set my alarm and I got up late.

I will not think about the fact that I didn’t exercise this morning because I had to get to the airport.

I will not think about the fact that I will not be exercising the rest of the week because I will be eating my way through San Francisco.

I will just enjoy this moment!

Guilt Goddess says: Looks good, honey. Nice to see you enjoying yourself!

In my quest to get out of the house more on the weekends (instead of toiling away at laundry and cleaning up the house for 48 hours straight), I rounded up the Dudes and took them to an indie craft show in downtown Santa Ana.  The Handmade Brigade of Orange County was out in full force, selling beautifully creative handmade wares of all kinds.

I’m about as cheap as a person can get, but put me in the middle of baubles and dangles all artfully displayed at cute little booths manned by the artists and creators themselves and I turn into a Big Spender.  I’m surprised I didn’t just buy the entire contents of every booth!  I had my familiar internal debate going on:

Me:  Ooooh, pretty.  But what’s the price?  What’s my budget for today?

Guild Goddess: Check the guilt at the door, honey.  Indulge a little.

Me: I should have a budget.  What’s reasonable?  I can’t just buy everything in sight.

Guild Goddess: Yes, you can!  You’re supporting local artisans and art in your community.

Me: Well, if you put it that way… *shiny thing catches my eye*… ooooh, pretty…

Guild Goddess: That’s a girl.

Despite my inner accountant, here are some of the yummy things I picked up:

Little Dude asked me what this was. I replied, "My dog tag. If ever I'm lost, the people who find me should send me here."

I loved everything that Jennifer Causley at Jenuine Articles had to offer.  I’ve already been on her site today… I just have to find a way to justify the purchase of a few more bracelets.

I scored these hair pins for a buck apiece!

Pretty Paris, prettyparis.com, had unique vintage jewelry- fun colors, but still dainty and lady-like.  Still thinking about a pretty turquoise and yellow pendant I passed up.

This awesome succulent arrangement

Garden party succulent arragements at tinywino.com

is going on a little table in my office with this postcard I got for free (dug the frame out of a closet) from Aileen Holmes, a whimsical artist and graphic designer.

Love the motto. I'm trying my best! aileenholmes.com

I bought a buttery yellow t-shirt from Aileen, as well, from her Olivia Olive line (those pictures didn’t turn out so hot – I’m still learning!).  Vintage black and white paperdolls are screened on the shirt with blue stitching swirled around for fantasy.  I’ve already planned to wear this with a pair of dressy black shorts and my t-strap heels…

See how carried away I get?  I’m horrible.

He's going to look so cute!

Not to be outdone, Little Dude picked himself out a tie and bowtie for some wedding functions we’re attending at the end of the month.  (I unfortunately did not pick up a card from this designer as Little Dude decided to make a beeline to a dog he saw tied to a tree after handing these to me, so I can’t supply the name.  However, if you come across a really nice couple anywhere in southern california selling handmade ties & bowties in an adorable range of colors, all with velcro clasps, buy a bunch!)

And even though I felt guilty for dragging Little Dude and Big Dude to a craft show, they happily sat and ate lunch from the one and only Kogi truck (http://kogibbq.com – an experience you have to have!), followed by the most sinful cupcakes from a ‘mobile cupcakery’ called Oh For Sweets Sake (yup, cupcakes made and sold from a mobile lunch truck), http://www.ohforsweetssake.com.  Little Dude chose a mint chocolate cupcake and graciously gave me the junior mint from the top of his chocolate frosting.  Hey, anyone who puts a junior mint on top of a mound of frosting has won my heart forever.

MMMmmmm... icing.

All in all, a wonderful afternoon!

Guilt Goddess says:  The smile looks good on you, honey!  (And so does the new jewelry.)

I heard the crunch from down the hall.  I knew my friend had gotten take-out for lunch from the Mexican place around the corner, and I started to obsess about tortilla chips every time I heard a crunch from her office.  Suddenly, my own homemade lunch of grilled chicken breast and green beans didn’t seem very appetizing.  I tried giving myself a pep talk.

BRAIN: “Come on now.  You’re having a nutritious, balanced meal with lean protein, complex carbs and fresh produce.  This is good for you.”

EVIL CRAVING: “This might be good for me, but it sure isn’t doing anything to make me happy.  I want crunchy, salty chips and spicy salsa.”

BRAIN: “Do you really want to throw off your nutrition today by stuffing your face full of high-carbohydrate, greasy processed food that has little nutritional value?”

EVIL CRAVING: “I don’t want to think about all that.  I want chips.”

BRAIN: “You’ll regret it later…”

EVIL CRAVING: “CHIPS!!!!”

And so I walked the block to the restaurant, handed over $3.00, and walked back with a big paper bag of greasy chips and a vat of salsa.  It had been a really crappy week, and yes, I felt guilty for trying to make myself feel better by eating greasy food instead of actually doing something to help my emotional health.  But, you know what?  Those damn chips really hit the spot.

Guilt Goddess says: Good for you, honey!  Next time add a margarita.

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The Guilt Goddess

Giving guilt a voice one post at a time.

I am your average guilt-ridden mother of one (or 2, if I'm being honest and including my husband), trying to balance running my own business, running my household and now writing a blog. Someday I hope to have vanquished all of my myriad pangs of guilt and be living blissfully free from moment-to-moment. But, until that time, my guilt will live here.

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