My Recipe Book: Crispy Polenta Cakes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Welp. Only one month left to "officially" share recipes now that I've reached the last leg of TRFD. Rest assured, this doesn't mean that I'll ever stop sharing recipes, but I've really racked up the vegan and gluten-free ones over the past few months here. Moving forward post-TRFD, I'll label everything super clearly so no one's ever confused about what they can and cannot eat. All about that food / nutrition transparency, y'all. Now onto the food!

In a nutshell, this is where this quick 'n' easy recipe was born: I've been on the hunt for some fast food that I can make during the weeknights. When it gets busy at work, I run from the office to yoga, and by the time I get home, I'm so starving that I need something to be ready in a half-hour (or less). Generally, I really aim to take my time when cooking - because I love the process so much - but for the past few nights, getting home late has meant a lot of salads, which are easiest to create in a crunch. But I'm sick of salads! They're great for dinner every once in a while, or even for lunch throughout the week, but give me something heartier! Something filling and delicious, and something that makes you feel less like you're, well... a rabbit, for lack of a better simile.

In addition to consuming a ridiculous amount of rice and quinoa in the past few months, I've been checking out some other grain options - and that's when I remembered polenta. Polenta, just in case some of you are unfamiliar, is a corn-based food that's a bit like grits, but much thicker (and Italian). This thickness, in turn, makes it an amazing food to turn into little patties, much like crab cakes or bean burgers. Thinking about this, I reached for my sautée pan and started in on some ready-made polenta (I used one quite similar to this). And, y'all, it was perfect, creating a fast and simple dinner with the ideal amount of leftovers for the next-day lunch. Yuuum.

Crispy Polenta Cakes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
A recipe birthed by yours truly (although another amazing option is here at Half Baked Harvest). 

- 1 Roll, Ready-Made Garlic and Basil Polenta
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Two or Three Handfuls of Fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 or 2 Cups of Crimini Mushrooms, Sliced
- Avocado, Sliced
- Tomato, Chopped

1. Unwrap the polenta and cut into slices, coating in a bit of olive oil.
2. Place the remaining olive oil into a sautée pan (or iron-cast skillet) on medium heat.
3. Place the polenta slices into the sautée pan and let sit for 10 minutes or so.
4. In another pan, sautée the spinach until just wilted on medium low, but still fresh and green (I usually include a splash of olive oil). Set aside and keep warm.
5. Flip the polenta slices and let sit for another 10 minutes or so - they should be getting browned on both sides. 
6. Using the same pan from the spinach, sautée the mushrooms on medium to medium low, until rich and just a bit browned on both sides (again, I usually use some additional olive oil for this). Set aside and keep warm.
7. Once the polenta is successfully browned on both sides, remove from heat and place on plate, topping with spinach and then mushrooms.
8. Serve with sliced avocado and chopped tomatoes, and enjoy!

There are some meals that are just so simple and quick that you find yourself turning to them time and time again - add this one to your roster for sure. It's so easy to make, and even better because it's making me a bit homesick for southern grits. (As a final note, I'm 100% sure nowadays there is nothing that sautéed mushrooms don't taste good on.)

As always, let us know if you try it! Leave a comment below or e-mail us a friendly note at hippieteaparty@gmail.com. Or tweet or instagram or whatever. Be social, y'all.


Beauty Bag: Magic Glow Luminizers

You can hardly escape it in the beauty section of your favorite magazines these days: how can you get that all-important *glow*. For all the normal people of the world, this is something that can be somewhat unattainable, right? The token "rich girl skin" is achieved by spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on facial treatments, creams, oils, serums, lotions, and maybe even going that extra mile and hiring a nutritionist (or, even better, a personal chef!). You can work out regularly, you can get fillers and injections and trendy facials that will allegedly re-shape your cheekbones. And at the end of it all - after $100,000 a year and then some just spent on your skin - you're still going to be fighting the inescapable: time.

With the "no makeup" beauty trend increasing in popularity this year, a woman's skincare routine has become the epicenter of the industry. Can you go without wearing makeup? Can you get away with wearing makeup that makes it look like you're not wearing any? Can you find a way to revive your skin's cells so that you can go without actually wearing the makeup that you're so used to seeing yourself in? If you can do any of these things, you're good to go. So, the way I figure it, maybe you're born with it. Or maybe you should treat your body right. And yes, I'm all about investing in various creams, lotions, serums, and oils when necessary. But the rest of it? I'm not completely sold on trendy facials and injecting things into my face. All in all, though, if you want to get an epic *glow* that so many people are talking about, you can either invest in your skin, or... you can get a luminizer.

A luminizer, if you're not already familiar, is a term that refers to a product (liquid or powder or cream) that has flecks of shiny materials in it. This mineral dust within the luminizer is important for one reason and one reason alone: it refracts light. Luminizers, therefore, help to highlight your best features, and soften the ones you're not so much a fan of. Basically, if you want to look like you have a special photo-lighting team with you at all times (examples: Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Hudson all come to mind), just blend a small amount along your cheekbones, your brow bone, down the center of your nose, and your collarbone (any place that naturally catches the light) for a sexy, inner-light ethereal feel. Here are my favorite luminizers that will make you postpone your next facial and achieve your own epic *glow*.

1. Benefit Cosmetic High Beam Face Highlighter ($26). They call this "supermodel in a bottle," and that is no joke. It's a liquid highlighter, which means that just a tiny little bit will be enough - creating a dewy complexion that's downright angelic, reflecting light in all the right places. Especially if you are concerned with your makeup being caked onto your face, this one is easy to apply and even easier to blend. Bonus: it looks amaaazing on fair skin tones, so it's absolutely perfect for me.

2. Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color ($30). This powder comes highly recommended from a number of different makeup artists that I know - when asked about luminizers and highlighters, they all say the High Beam White palette is ideal for a light brush on top of any foundation. It has (hands down) the most amazing texture finish with a satin-looking feel to it, and will stay put all day long. In just one stroke, it adds dimension and depth with added radiance.

3. Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid ($44). A water-based highlighter, this multipurpose liquid is every bit as magical as it looks. If you're someone who hates makeup, blend it with your SPF or your moisturizer for a luminescent natural inner-lit glow. If you're into it, though, I suggest mixing a teeny bit into foundation for a soft, all-day sparkle. It has an effect that is downright angelic. The brightening it adds on the high points of the face is unbeatable.

4. Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand ($28). Wands like this one are my saving grace, y'all. This one in particular has a shea-butter base enriched with argan oil, packed with anti-aging benefits, gliding on seamlessly. Bringing out my inner radiance, this luminizer makes me look lustrous, refreshed, and full of light even when I'm feeling tired and terrible but lifting and defining. I mean, it's not named the "enlightenment" wand for nothing.

5. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer ($38). Another cult-favorite product of makeup artists everywhere, this versatile, all-natural luminizer is crafted from 100% pure coconut oil that's been meticulously sourced and centrifugal-pressed. It's also the same product that J. Crew's beauty team used to create their signature fresh-faced looks, so it has a subtlety that is perfect for hippies who want to go dewy-sweet rather than moon-princess.

Do any hippies out there use luminizers or highlighters? Any other tips to get that elusive glow? E-mail us at hippieteaparty@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.


Five Things: Podcasts You Should Be Listening To (Take Two)

Time to 'fess up: I think I have a podcast addiction. No, seriously (admitting it is the first step to recovery?). I've transitioned from watching Hulu and Netflix on all-night benders into binging on multiple podcast episodes. It seems like almost every free hour I have to myself, I think, "I could be listening to a podcast right now," before searching frantically for my phone to hook up into my Bluetooth speaker (side note: if you don't have one of these, you need one). This happens in the morning, when I'm getting ready for work; it happens at night, when I'm cooking dinner or prepping food for the next day; it even happens at yoga when I'm supposed to be focusing on meditating and releasing those thoughts. I don't think I'm the only one, though - because I saw a man on the train today with his headphones in, chuckling to himself... multiple times. And we were underground, too, so you know it had to be some sort of pre-recorded audible.

It's something about the multitasking of it all that has me hooked; I can be productive in real time and still finish my episodes so I don't miss one. It's not like Netflix where you feel like you've missed a crucial part of the plot, so you're constantly rewinding or restarting entire sections of shows and / or movies (I cannot be the only one who does this, or am I?). Here's the bottom line: you can actually get stuff done instead of wasting away! I know, I know. I just talked about taking a break and maybe not being so obsessed with productivity for a while. After all, the glorification of busy is a real thing, y'all. But, with podcasts, I'm not necessarily "busy" - I'm simply filling silence with something other than music. And expanding my mind? Learning something new? Being generally entertained? Those are pleasant little bonuses that go hand-in-hand with my newfound addiction. At least that's what I'm choosing to tell myself today.
Chaos Theory by Yanni Floros
I've already shared my top five podcasts that I cannot stop listening to (they're still on the roster, make no mistake), but over the past month or so, this list has expanded steadily. Now I have five more that I've added to my listen-load that I think you're really going to enjoy. 

1. Undisclosed, The State v. Adnan Syed. Oh man, y'all, I am so into this storyline. And by storyline I mean real-life-thing-that-is-happening. This podcast goes into all the little nooks and crannies that Serial didn't get to cover because of time. Going into all the various holes and misconceptions of the case, this is the dictionary for the larger narrative.
Best Suited For: Those of you who, like me, were embarrassingly invested in Serial.

2. This American Life. Public radio fans, rejoice! I've found the podcast just for you. Hosted by none other than Ira Glass and winning every major broadcasting award, this addicting radio-turned-podcast has weekly episodes consisting of multiple stories strung together with a theme. They're fascinating tales that people who love people will be totally engrossed in.
Best Suited For: The self-proclaimed NPR junkie who is totally into hearing about interesting people.

3. The Lively Show. Credit where credit is due: Mateline told me about this podcast (she's a secret treasure trove, I tell you). I find myself listening to Jess whenever I need some inner guidance. She's all about setting your values and getting in touch with your intuition - and she interviews some killer guests who have their own inspirational small businesses.
Best Suited For: People who refuse to read self-help books, but kind of love self-help books. It's complicated.

4. Star Talk. Another amazing radio program, now converted for podcast addicts. Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (who I know you know from Cosmos, and if you don't, watch it immediately) works to incorporate science into pop culture, interviewing special guests, talking to comedians, and - my favorite - having Bill Nye stop by from time to time. 
Best Suited For: The science / space nerd in all of us. Embrace it, you know you want to.

5. Ear Biscuits. I have to give more credit out here - Jeanette was the hippie who brought Rhett and Link into my life. These two "internetainers" are known for their inside look at other online stars, and getting them to open up about how they started, what their secret recipes for success are, and how they stay grounded after going viral. They're also super cute and have a talk show. You're welcome.
Best Suited For: YouTube enthusiasts, viral video watchers, and anyone who likes an adorable bromance.

Okay, hippies - tell me your favorite podcasts! I have an addiction I need to feed. Leave a comment below or e-mail me at hippieteaparty@gmail.com. Happy listening!


The Rabbit Food Diaries: In The Home Stretch

There are only forty days left. Forty more days of rabbit food. And it's strange (admittedly), but I'm feeling a bit sad about it. Don't get me wrong - I can't wait to be able to eat anything and everything I want to again. Having to tell someone, "I can't eat that," is probably one of the saddest sentences I've ever had to utter so many times in the past few months. But this experience has taught me an infinite amount about food, my body, and the way that family, friendships, and experiences can all be shaped by the simple act of eating. I've talked a little bit about the social implications of TRFD before; now that I've been able to settle into my vegan, gluten-free, plant-based little corner of the world, the friends who have stuck by me through this are ones that I know are wholly accepting of me - whoever it is that I need to (or decide to) become in the future. And that alone is a both a very difficult and a very necessary lesson to learn.

Have your cake; eat it, more importantly.
Whenever I have to tell people that I can't eat something they've offered to me, it usually comes partnered with the explanation of TRFD (so they know I'm not just being rude, y'all). And from that, the most frequently asked question is, "What have you learned from doing this?" Without fail, I always sort of sigh loudly when I hear this question - not because it's annoying, but because I have learned so much that it's hard to put it all into a nice, neat little box for someone to understand. One of the most important things that I've learned is how to listen to my body, and I think that's something that a lot of people take for granted and / or neglect. Not being able to consume foods that I previously would binge on - Chex Mix, wine, candy, coffee, cupcakes, fried chicken, BAGELS, just to name a few - at first, I heard my body crying out for all the junk that I was so used to putting into it. And then, as weeks went by, I started hearing other cravings. Bread, sugar, and fried foods were replaced by the unique taste of sweet potatoes. Or the crunch of cucumbers. Or the creaminess of hummus and a fresh avocado. Truthfully, it'll be weird to go back to being able to eat things that now I don't necessarily want them.  How do I explain it to someone (without being stuff or pretentious or rude) after July 1st?

I do want to reiterate that I've fully enjoyed learning how to cook, bake, and shop for food again. There's no way, after TRFD, that I can go back to the days when I didn't look at the labels to read the ingredient listings. It's crazy to me that processed and pre-packaged foods are able to hide so many ingredients without there being more awareness about it (CRAZY). From simply taking the time to read such a small little thing has reinforced in me the enjoyment of just knowing what's going into my meal, and ultimately, my body. Additives in food, whether or not they're considered technically "toxic," are still hiding in there. For the record, I don't think that anyone who eats without reading a label is willfully ignorant; I simply think that food companies (especially big ones) are not in the habit of advertising all that because it's reeeally not user-friendly reading material. All in all, there's something to be said for making your food fresh - and my body can 100% feel that change. Coupled with it, I've learned that if you want to make something, you will find a way to do it, damnit. I've made vegan and gluten-free cakes, pretzels, breads, and more! If there's a will, there's a way. You just have to get a little creative, and do a bit more intensive research. Oh, and practice never hurt anyone. Well, maybe it has in the kitchen. But you get what I'm saying. 

Socially and mentally, I feel like I'm in a much better place now than I was in January. I've started doing yoga regularly, sleeping without waking up in the middle of the night, and my anxiety levels are (strangely enough) waaay down. When I do go back to eating "normally," I've resolved that I'm going to be a lot more conscientious about continuing to keep that healthy balance of plants being a bigger part of my diet. Our bodies are only here on this earth for so long, so I want to make sure I'm taking care of mine in a way that allows it to age gracefully without the terror of fatal diseases hanging over my head. After all, when you start consuming food in a way that makes you feel clear, balanced, and good, why would you go back to eating anything else? Just needed to find a way to make that chocolate cake first. Obviously.


Day Trippin': Central Park

Now that it's finally warm out, y'all know what that means (!!!). It's the magical, mystical time of year when I crawl out of my seasonal - and somewhat depressing - hibernation and start once again exploring my surroundings. That's right - the day trips are officially back. It's been a while since I've been able to mentally work myself up to leaving the comfort of my nice, cozy apartment and going out into the world. And, because I'm still hesitant that the weather is one stray gust of wind away from dropping 20 degrees (always beware the polar vortexes that sneak up on you and take you by surprise), we stayed quite local this time, and spent a day in and around Central Park. One of my favorite places in the entirety of the Manhattan.

A classic destination, Central Park is absolutely perfect this time of year. All of the flowers and trees are in bloom, and what used to be a barren landscape blanketed with a sheet of white snow is now alive again, which hues of life-giving greens, the prettiest pinks, bright whites, vibrant yellows and beyond. There's just something about the air in Central Park - it's cleaner, nicer, more refreshing. It's almost 180 degrees different than the air that's just outside of it's walls, clogged with anxiety and second-hand smoke. Even the people in Central Park seem less like they're in a hurry and more about spending time with one another instead of their phones. The park, tucked inside a concrete jungle, is an invaluable escape from the city it's so oddly found itself surrounded by.

If you have the time, get thee to the park, y'all. Spend a day there, laying on a blanket under the canopy of nature, counting the colors of the flowers, and observing the tourists as they wave to squirrels as if they've never come across such an odd thing in their whole life. It's hilarious and oddly satisfying to witness at the same time.


What We Got Them: The Best Flowers for Mother's Day

I'm going to take a chance and leave some info here for y'all to do with what you will: you can never go wrong with flowers.

I know that there are some women out there who disagree with this sentiment, but I have this weird hunch that if they outwardly say they don't want flowers, there's some secret piece of them deep down inside where they know that if someone got them flowers, they'd be giddy instead of sour about it. Why? Because flowers are impossible to hate. They're nature's biggest pick-me-ups. They smell so fragrant and fresh, exciting a whole world of olfactory memories. The colors, too, inspire the senses and brighten up any cloudy day. Poppies, Sweet Peas, Foxgloves, Peonies, Sunflowers, and Dahlias are some of my absolute favorites. Truly, if we lived in a world without flowers, it would be a very sad world indeed.

On that note, for Mother's Day - and for any other holiday, anniversary, or event - you should always remember to bring and / or send a fresh bouquet or arrangement of flowers, please. And I don't mean the carnations you pick up at the bodega (unless it's one of those rare fancy bodegas that has row after row of fresh flowers in an array of hues and accompanying fauna; those places are just divine). Here's what you should do instead: get yourself to the flower district and pull a little something together. Or, even better, go to your local small business flower shop and buy a thought-out arrangement. These businesses (the really, really good ones, anyways) are somewhat of a dying breed, and people don't use them to their advantage. 

In the spirit of Mother's Day, I wanted to inspire y'all to create something as much as fresh flowers inspire me, so I've gathered up some good ol' fashioned flower porn for you to bask in. To all the mothers out there - we love you. May your days be full of light and joy, because you definitely deserve it.

Frolic Blog
Foxglove Florals
Design Love Fest
Ritzy Bee
TTH Blooms
Final note: I'm borderline obsessed with following local florists on the 'gram. If you know of any amazing ones that I might be missing out on, please email me and let me know - hippieteaparty@gmail.com.


My Recipe Book: Lentil Bean BBQ Burger (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

In the midst of all this craziness with The Rabbit Food Diaries (only two months left!), sometimes I crave normalcy in my diet more than anything else. I long for foods that I used to turn to for easing the stress of a long day, for comfort and for convenience. The simple and nostalgic taste of a biscuit, warm from the oven with butter smeared over it. The fatty goodness of fried chicken, paired with salty pickles on a fresh bun. It all floods over me every time I get a whiff of any little scent. Snacks as easy as a bag of Chex Mix have become totally foreign to me - and I'm not gonna to lie, I miss it. I miss it a lot.

So, when I was having an especially tough week, I found that my craving of the day was increasingly a bizarre one: all I wanted was a burger. This is a strange because those who know me can attest to the fact that I've never liked burgers - not ever. I'm in the rare grouping of people on this planet that doesn't quite understand how people can gorge themselves on these textured patties of meat. Regardless, that's what my craving was - a burger, with all the toppings, on a bread-y and delicious bun. And that's how I set out on my mission to create one that I could eat while still sticking to my TRFD rules.

Unsurprisingly, this recipe tastes nothing like a burger, which is perfect since I hate them (I'll deal with your side-eye judgement later)! On the flip, it's a great bean burger alternative with a gluten-free and vegan sesame seed bun, topped with everything that I wanted: tomato, greens, and the all-important pickles. At the end of the meal, I felt so accomplished that I thought I might be on the verge of taking over the world. "See," I thought to myself, "this whole eating-clean thing is a piece of cake." That is, until I walked by a BBQ joint the next day. You can't win 'em all, can you?

Lentil Bean BBQ Burger (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Recipe changed only slightly from one of my favorite vegan bloggers, Vegan Richa. Burger Bun recipe also found on Vegan Richa, because she's amazing and I love her. Go check her out!

For the Buns:
- 2/3 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar
- 1 Packed Quick Rise Yeast
- 1 1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Bread Mix (Bob's Red Mill, I love you.)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Flaxmeal
- 1/2 Tablespoon Potato Starch
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A Pinch of Sesame Seeds

For the Burgers:
- 2/3 Cup of Red Lentils
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1 Tablespoon BBQ Sauce (this one is the perfect vegan / gluten-free version!)
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
- 6 Baby Carrots, Chopped Small
- 1/4 Cup of Kale, Chopped Small
- 1/4 Cup of Mushrooms, Chopped Small
- 1/2 Cup of Chickpeas, Mashed
- 1/2 Medium White Onion, Chopped Small
- 2/3 Cup Broccoli Stem, Chopped Small
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, Minced
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Additional Tablespoon BBQ Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Flaxmeal
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
- 1/4 Cup Chickpea Flour
- Toppings can include, but are not limited to: Tomato Slices, Lettuce or Mixed Greens, Pickles, Vegan Cheese, Avocado, and any other condiments that suit you.

For the Buns:
1. Heat the water until it's very warm to the touch. Pour in the coconut sugar and the entire packet of quick rise yeast and stir. Set aside for approximately 10 minutes - it will start getting foamy on top when it's ready to go.
2. Combine the yeast mixture with the bread mix and stir well. I used my standing mixer for this, with a dough kneader attachment, but you can also just stir in a mixing bowl. Add into this mixture the flaxmeal, potato starch, and olive oil. If the dough ever looks dry, add water in 1/2 tablespoon increments and continue stirring. If it looks too wet, add in additional bread mix in 1/2 tablespoon increments.
3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or so. Again, I used my standing mixer because I'm obsessed with it and could never live without it.
4. Place the dough in a covered container (or just cover the mixing bowl with saran wrap) for about an hour to allow it to rise.
5. Take this dough and start to create your buns by dividing into equal parts, plopping even-sized balls onto a baking sheet. Cover loosely and let sit for another 30 to 40 minutes.
6. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
7. Top with sesame seeds, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes. You can tell when things are ready by gently tapping on top of the buns - when they sound hollow, pull those suckers out!

For the Burgers: 
1. First, cook the lentils. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water and then add to a pan (that has a lid) with water, minced garlic (about 1 to 2 cloves), salt, and BBQ sauce. Cover and cook until just tender, or about 12 minutes. Set aside.
2. Make sure all your next handful of ingredients are chopped up suuuuper small - either mince them, chop them as tiny as possible, or place them into a food processor. I like mine to be chopped (as opposed to combined fully in a processor) to add a bit more texture to the patties, but it's whatever you prefer. This includes the remaining 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, carrots, kale, mushrooms, chickpeas, onion and broccoli stem.
3. Add garlic, carrots, kale, mushrooms, chickpeas, onion and broccoli stem to a pan and dry roast them for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add dry roasted veggies to the lentils and combine.
5. Add the flaxmeal and sesame seeds to the lentil mixture and combine.
6. Add the spices, including the parsley, chili powder, paprika, garlic salt, cayenne powder, cumin powder, ground black pepper, and BBQ sauce to the lentil mixture and combine.
7. Take a moment to do the all-important taste test. Add in any additional spices you might like, as well as additional BBQ sauce or salt.
8. Add the chickpea flour into the lentil mix and form into small circles for your patties.
9. Bake these little guys for about 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees F.
10. Slice a bun and add the patty, topping it artistically with whatever you please. I used mixed greens, a tomato, and pickles... and of course, some additional BBQ sauce.

Served with lightly sautéed potato fries and paired with a TRFD-friendly BBQ sauce (I love love love this one, but I usually use this instead). Let me know if you try it out - e-mail me at hippieteaparty@gmail.com or tweet at us at @hippieteaparty. And, if there are any other suggestions you have for comfort foods that you'd like to see converted into TRFD eats, let me know! Always up for a challenge. Happy Friday, y'all!


Meow Moment

Do you ever feel like you know exactly what your pet is thinking? Maybe it's because he and I spend so much alone time together living in a one bedroom apartment, but I feel like this quite often with my cat (if you don't believe me, check out the hashtag #shepthoughts on instagram).

Without reading too much into it, Shep is so over me not being at home lately.

I feel like this is a weird thing to say about a cat. Yes, I know that as a pet he demands a certain amount of attention, regardless of the situation. And, sure, it's less intense than if I had a dog at home waiting for me to walk or take out to the fire hydrant. But sometimes, when I've had a few late nights in a row, or if I haven't been home as much as he's used to (I'm a homebody, so that's a lot), he gets grouchy. He moodily lounges around like this with a snarky look on his face that seems to say, "Oh, you're just now getting home? Where have you been all night, hmm? I hope you don't expect me to cuddle you after you kept me waiting for so long." And yes, it really does feel like my cat is kinda judging me.

In the end, though, all it takes is a head butt, a belly rub, and a few good snugs before I'm back in his good graces again. But all this cat loneliness that I'm projecting onto him makes me think I might need to adopt a friend for him. Then I realize: this is exactly how girls like me become cat ladies. It's a slippery slope.

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