a few simple moments with a side of eggs.

Once again, time has gotten a hold of me.

I twist and I turn and I try to pull free, but somehow it becomes 3 o’clock and I’m just eating lunch.  It becomes 6 o’clock and I realize that I’m eating spaghetti squash for the second night in a row.  And, somehow, it becomes 8 o’clock and I once again realize that I’m fighting a losing battle.  A losing battle that has really already been lost.

Time.  Where do you go?

I’ve learned over the years that I can’t control time.  As a little girl, I could never make Christmas morning come any faster no matter how hard I wished for it.  As a freshman in college, I could never make time go backwards for just “a little more time to study.”  And now, as I sit here in my fuzzy socks, drinking tea, and blogging I realize: Sarah, you can’t control time.

But..BUT!

There is always a “but”.  But, I can control what I do with my time.

Even on the busiest days, I need to remind myself what “slow” feels like.  What it means to feel the wind on my face.  Or a water droplet splattering against my cheek.  The sound of a mallard duck flying overhead.  Even the sound of my footsteps on the ground.  Just a few things.  A few things to settle me down and realize that I’m okay.  That despite how busy life feels, the slow things in life continue on as well.

Sigh.  This is so satisfying.

Eggs, spinach and quinoa are satisfying too (yes, together!)  Maybe it’s the fact that I finally broke away from the repetitive nature of my spaghetti squash.  Or maybe it’s because the meal felt so out of the ordinary and totally random.  A splash of surprise for an otherwise normal, busy day.

Yes.  It satisfied every tastebud. 😀

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite “simple” moments that you see or experience on a day to day basis?  If you’re not really sure, I recommend trying to seek them out tomorrow!  You’ll be surprised with what you notice. 😀

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She’s Going Overboard.

I tend to go a little overboard-–a little over the top—with most things in life.  This can be very, very good or very, very bad, depending on the situation.

Depending on what we’re talking about.

The perk of this characteristic is that when I focus on doing something—for work, school, play, etc—I do it really, really well.  There’s no wishy-washing around or getting side tracked with something else.

I stay focused.  Mentally.  Physically.  Focused.  .

The other side of this characteristic, however, is that I’m constantly overbooking myself.  Going overboard with things that “need to get done.”  Never giving myself enough time or energy to fit it all in.  In fact, to be quite honest, my calendar just isn’t quite big enough to hold all of my scribble, to-do’s, and reminders.

By the way—since we’re on this topic—have you ever noticed that “me time” is the last thing to be penciled into the calendar, if ever at all?  It makes you wonder…why??? We all need some well-deserved “me time.”  Saying that there’s just not enough time in the day is like saying there’s just not enough time to ever be with a best friend.  If that’s the case, something needs adjusting.  You deserve (and need!) the time to catch up, rewind, unfold, and breathe.

Anyways.

This week I went overboard on the bananas.

Don’t laugh.  This is totally serious stuff.  I’ve decided that the only thing worse than the thought of eating three bananas every single day—every day—is the idea of having to throw them out.  So I squeezed some “me time” into the calendar, snatched that overabundance of bananas, and baked myself a batch of muffins for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Because sometimes going overboard is a very, very good thing.

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

This is a standard old favorite muffin recipe with a few changes, here and there.  I’ve been experimenting with using honey as my sweetener of choice lately, and these muffins were practically made for such an ingredient.  So this was the first thing that I changed from the original version.  I also added in some cinnamon, doubled the vanilla, and reduced the sodium content by nixing the salt altogether.  The baking powder has plenty of sodium and I found the extra addition of salt completely unnecessary, which is oftentimes true for many muffin recipes.

I recommend making these whenever you have a big ol’ batch of overripe bananas.  They are best served warm, straight from the oven.  But, of course, they freeze well too.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. honey (or sugar)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c. mashed, very ripe banana (about 1-1/2 to 2 bananas)
  • 1-1/2 c. frozen blueberries
  1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients up to nutmeg.
  2. Whisk together next 7 ingredients up to banana in a separate bowl.
  3. Add blueberries to dry mix; stir until blueberries are coated with the flour.
  4. Add wet mix to dry mix.  Stir just until moistened (do not overmix…this toughens the final product!)
  5. Pour batter into 12-muffin pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 17-20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

QUESTION: Do you tend to overbook your calendar with to-do’s and appointments?  How do you make sure that you still get some “me time”?

I know I’m busy when…

I know I’m busy when I bounce out of bed at 5:00am on a Sunday morning, with a feeling that I’m late for something important.

I know I’m busy when a quiet movie night at home becomes the highlight of my week.

I know I’m busy when I can’t for the life of me remember what year we’re in.  How old am I again?

I know I’m busy when my calendar begins to look as if a two year old randomly scribbled a bunch of chaotic marks across the page.

I know I’m busy when I make three large salads, just so that I can have lunch already made for two more days.

I know I’m busy when I forget about the broiler.

I know I’m busy.  And yet, through it all, I know I am okay.

Because I actually kind of like early mornings, even on Sunday.  My scribbled calendar secretly makes me happy.  And larger than life salads never get old.

Oh.  Yes.  And I’m also okay with improvising.

 

QUESTION: Even when you’re in a time crunch, what is one thing that you refuse to give up? For me, it’s spending at least 15 minutes for breakfast.  And going for at least three runs or walks a week.  AND, spending at least half an hour at night to read in my book.  😀

I’m calling it a recess.

The word “Hiatus”, defined: “A temporary break.  A recess.”  Yes.  I think I could use a recess. 😉

Sometimes life pulls and prods us in every which direction.  Sometimes we must say no to some things.  Say yes to others.  Primarily, we must say yes to the things that keep us sane (i.e., running, cooking, and family) and healthy and happy

Now that I’m grueling through my final week of clinical and preparing myself for my community rotation (which starts on Monday,) you may not see a whole lot of me this week.  But know that I’m still here.  Cooking and whisking and making a mess with flour, honey, cabbage leaves and things like that.  Not all at the same time, of course.  Of course.

Yes.  Know that I am here.  Know that I am still keeping up with all of your delightful blogs.  Know that I’ll be back in full swing before you even realize that I’ve been missing.  Consider this my short-term, very temporary recess.  😉

In the meantime, keep on having fun in your kitchen—don’t be afraid to get a little messy—and I will see you all again soon! 😀

Cute story of the day:

90 year old patient: “Here, let me show you how to use my kindle.”
Me: “Okay, but technology kind of scares me.”
90 year old patient: “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.”

I think I need to get with the times. 😉

 

one, two, three…

ONE

The number of “new” breakfasts eaten this week.

(this will change tomorrow, and that’s all I’m saying)

TWO

The number of quotes that made me smile and/or reflect today.

Quote Number #1: “I love hot water.  I should have been born a tea bag.”
Nicole @ Loving Simple Moments

Quote Number #2: “We are always getting ready to live but never living.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

THREE

The number of months since my last hair cut.  And the last time I checked, the shag wasn’t really in style.

I really should get on that.

Four

The time that my alarm clock went off this morning.

Yes.  It hurt.


FIVE

The number of pre-dinner walks that I’ve gone over this past week.

Delicious.  Absolutely delicious.

SIX

The number of banana bran muffins consumed.

SEVEN

The number of larger-than-life salads consumed.

EIGHT

The current time.

Time to pull on some fuzzy socks and unwind with a good book. 😉

QUESTION: What are some NUMBERS from your past week? Three mile run?  Hanging out with your two best friends?  A one dollar jar of peanut butter?

a handful of green

I’ve been a little MIA this past week, in more areas than one.

I haven’t so much as touched the book that I’ve chosen to read during the month of March.  Aside from wearing a green scarf, I completely forgot about St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve been living off of hummus and swiss cheese sandwiches for lunch, with raw veggies, fruit and almonds for snacks.

In other words, I’ve been kind of busy.  And I really miss my kitchen.  And I think my kitchen kind of misses me.

So as soon as the day was officially “complete,” as soon as it was over, I decided to stop off at Whole Foods and see what I could conjure up for dinner.  I felt the need for something…something…

…something green.

If you’ve ever seen a bunch of bright green garden cress at the supermarket, but you’ve  had no idea what it was or what you could do with it, you are not alone.  The flavors were a complete mystery to me until today.  I had no idea how I would use the little green leaves.  If I would use the little green leaves (!?!)

But the bright, cheery little bunch was a mere $1.00.  I’ll try anything for $1.00.  Especially if it’s bright and sunny and it makes me smile.

The sign at Whole Foods explained the leaves as being smooth, soft, bright, tangy and peppery.

“Perfect for sandwiches and soups and salads,” it said.

Perfect for tonight.

The cress bared a faint resemblance to arugula, without being over the top or in your face about it.  It’s a little more subtle.

Light and soft and elegant.

And it really does lend the most wonderful, rustic charm to a hot bowl of Mushroom Soup.  I simply chopped it up and sprinkle it on top for a deliciously healthy garnish.

You could also let it wilt by throwing in a handful or two at the end of the soup’s cooking time.  It would also pair lovely with a hummus wrap and a slice of sharp cheddar.

It felt really nice to be back in the kitchen, tonight.  Chopping and dicing and stirring and eating.  Yes.  It felt good to unwind.

Have a happy Friday!

The Smile List.

 

Eight Things That Made Me Smile This Week

1. Almond butter slathered on toasted homemade bread, and served with bright, summery strawberries and some extra crunchy veggies.

A simple, rainy day lunch.

 

 

2. Eating breakfast with a view.

I love you, Paris.

 

 

3. Revving up the nerve to buy (and sautee!) a bunch of baby artichokes.

(We all *loved* them, despite the amount of work it took to eat the hearts. 😉 )

 

 

4. Looking through old drawings and paintings that I did as a kid.

I want to know why I found the need to draw a can of Chef Boyardee’s spaghetti and meatballs??? :mrgreen:

 

 

5. Making winter feel like summer.

Enjoying smoothies for breakfast.

Driving home with the car windows open (50 degrees makes this totally okay.)

Making (and eating!) summery lobster rolls, served in a toasty bun.

 

 

6. Sampling my way through 4 new chobani flavors.  Yes.  Four. New. Flavors.  The kind people over at Chobani sent me a sample of their newest releases.  It was tough work, eating my way through all of those goodies, let me tell you. 😉

Lemon. Mango. Berry and Honey-nana (made for kids!)

Honestly, I loved all of them, but my heart belongs to the Honey-nana.  The banana wasn’t too overpowering, and neither was the honey; they blended perfectly together.  I plan on stocking up.

 

 

7. My newest $5 H&M find.

This will be perfect for toting all of my big books and binders around.  And once it gets too beat up to bring out into public (because this is guarenteed to happen, whenever you mix Sarah with white colored things), it will make the perfect bag for summer’s produce markets. 😀

 

 

8. Twinings Cranberry Green Tea.

The “sweet berry aroma” is what won me over.  It almost makes me want to be up at 5 am in the morning.  Almost.

 

 

Question: What made you smile this week?

Happy Friday!

there’s always a first

Today was filled with FIRSTS.

#1: I decided to wake up 15 minutes earlier this morning, while also making my breakfast to-go

This gave me the lump sum of about 45 extra morning minutes.  I was able to blow out my hair and read and have some extra quiet time just for me.  Three things that I never seem to have quite enough time for.

3

And, in the end, breakfast didn’t need “to go” at all.  With time to spare, I threw my pre-made pb and banana sandwich into the frying pan, toasted it to the ooey gooey state of perfection, and ate it before my commute to work.  This worked out quite perfectly.

2

 

Note to self: wake up earlier, make breakfast the night before and reap the (many) rewards.

1 

#2: I ran 2 miles with a mission in mind and I enjoyed every single second.

I ran with speed.  Determination.  Excitement and enthusiasm.  And it felt good!  I normally have a really tough time with the shorter, speedier runs, but tonight, it just came natural.  I’ve already decided that I need to include more speed runs into my regular running routine!

#3: I ate breakfast twice in one day. 

 

5

Okay, okay.  You caught me.  That’s obviously not a first.   What IS a first is that I finally decided to try PB&Company’s Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter on top of my bowl of whipped banana oatmeal.  The combination was simply divine.  A little like melting dark chocolate over a warm slice of banana bread.  Luscious. 

Who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast?

6 

#4: I went against my state of normal, and ate a plate of leftovers without changing a single thing. 

Nothing.  Because, you see, some meals just aren’t meant to be messed around with.

4

  

#5: I finished all of tonight’s homework/assignments before 9:00, which gives me at least one hour to read and relax before hitting the hay.  Time to start February’s book of the month! 

Question: What is something that you’ve never done but would really, really like to do?  Aside from my bigger dreams in life (i.e., visit Paris, own a goat farm, et cetera,) I’d also like to eat my way through Boston for the day.  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.  I think I need to hit up restaurant week this year! 😀

the return of the boxed lunch

Vacation sure was nice while it lasted. 

Honestly—aside from writing an abstract on hypertension—I didn’t accomplish a whole lot during vacation, and that is just fine by me.  My brain feels well rested.  Ready to think and be used once again.

That being said, the first day back always feels a little rough.  Especially since I was starting my clinical rotation at the hospital for the first time today.  Obviously, I needed a fun lunch to feel excited about.  Something to  make getting up at 5:00am just a little bit easier. 😉

Last night, I made chef salads for the family and topped each one off with a few scoops of roasted veggies that had been drizzled and deeply caramelized with a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Sweet onions, peppers, carrots, and baby portobello mushrooms. 

I forgot how much I love this simple flavor combination.

One of the (many) things that I love about roasting vegetables, is that any extras can be incorporated into the following day’s lunches and dinners.  Breakfast, even! 

And so, roasted vegetables became my very special lunch for today.  I reheated the veggies in the cafe’s microwave, scooped them onto a whole wheat wrap from home, and finished it all off with a salty bite of feta cheese.

(p.s. As much as I love roasted veggies, the feta definitely made this meal! )

The first day back can be terribly unsettling.

What time will I eat?  Will I have the time to eat?

Where do I go?  What was that persons’ name again?  And the worst: I think I’m lost.

 But…

Yes, I had time to eat.  I’ll learn peoples’ names eventually.  And it’s impossible to get completely lost, even in an unknown hospital, because there’s always somebody around to redirect me if I look worried enough…ha! 😉 

A fun group of snacks and a tasty lunch didn’t hurt either.

Snacks included:

  • Chocolate Chip Z-Bar
  • Apple
  • Almonds mixed with fancy raisins
  • Sliced papaya

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Roasted Veggie Wrap
Serves 1-2

Roasted veggies make for a fine lunch-to-go.  Make extra during the weekend to carry you through at least the beginning of the week.  For easy lunch options, you could easily mix the veggies with brown rice and baked tofu or chicken for a complete meal.  Or serve them alongside a piece of grilled fish.  Or simple eat as-is, with roasted garbanzo beans and a dollop of gaucamole.  

Or, roll the veggies into a whole wheat wrap and top with feta cheese. 

Whichever way you serve them, roasted veggies offer you a whole lot of nutrition and a whole lot of flavor.  Enjoy! 😀

  • Mixture of your favorite vegetables, sliced to desired thickness (the thicker pieces will require longer cooking time)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • whole wheat wrap
  • feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. On a rimmed cookie sheet, toss vegetables with oil, salt and pepper.  Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Stir around.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked as desired (browning is recommended! 😀 ).
  3. Place on a whole wheat wrap, top with feta cheese and enjoy! 😀

Question: What do you do for work (or as a student)?  Do you enjoy it?

smile and carry on

Life has been kind of insane lately.

For starters, I just started my Christmas shopping today. Which, actually—to be completely honest—is a major improvement for me. 😉

And then later today—during a shopping trip with my mom—the car’s tires were apparently all wobbly (thanks to a kind woman who alerted us of this fact) which means that our shopping was cut early for a trip to the tire barn.

And then I realized that I had more homework than I first realized, after finishing up my pediatric rotation at the hospital over the past week.

But then.  Then!  I realized that we’re just two weeks away from Christmas, and it finally occurred to me that it’s no time at all to be grumpy or frazzled.  So I threw on some Pandora, helped put up the Christmas tree (the “official” decorating is tomorrow though!) and got to work making dinner.  With a smile on my face. 

Because, you know, life is just too short—just too precious—to get frazzly fried.  Besides, it’s kind of impossible to frown or feel stressed when you’re listening to “Deck the Halls” by Nat King Cole. 😉

Smile and Carry On.

(To make life even easier for everyone during the next couple of days, I loaded the baking sheet with plenty of extra veggies.  Any leftovers will be used for salads, wraps, pizzas, sauteed chicken, pureed soups, et cetera.  )

Next to whisking, dicing a bunch of fresh veggies is one of my favorite activities; one of life’s many, many, many simple pleasures.

And lucky for me, I planned on tonight’s dinner being filled with an overabundance of such diced veggies.  Roasted to nothing but caramelized perfection through the heat of the oven.  Perfect.

Time.  To.  EAT!

Smile.  Eat.  And Carry On.

Roasted Veggie Wraps

This is one of my favorite meals to make when life gets busy.  They’re super easy to make, and even easier to use as leftovers for the next couple of days.  

The wraps are delicious with any and all of your favorite veggies.  Broccoli, spinach, de-seeded tomatoes, carrots, et cetera.  No combination will fail you, I promise!  And as far as the cheese goes, I’ve made these with feta, swiss and gouda before.  It always comes out new, slightly unexpected, and wonderful.  Just have fun with it!  😀

  • a mixture of your favorite veggies, sliced and diced (I used mushrooms, peppers, and onions)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • whole wheat tortilla wraps
  • cheese
  • optional: serve with guacamole and side salads
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spray baking pan with cooking spray.  Add chopped veggies and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Place in oven for a total of 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Once there is only about 10 minutes or so left for the veggies, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add wraps and place cheese on half of the wrap.  Fold over, press down lightly and cook until the side is well browned and crispy.  Flip, lower heat and continue cooking until veggies are ready.
  4. Fill wraps with cooked veggies.  Cut in half and serve with guacamole if desired.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Christmas music…yay or nay?  A big YAY to the old classics! 😀