a lazy sunday afternoon.

You know what I love about lazy Sunday afternoons?

The fact that you can stay in your pj’s all day.

The fact that you can read or sleep or take a walk whenever you please.

The fact that there’s nothing on the to-do list except to “make a batch of whole wheat bagels.”

Okay.  If we’re being completely, 100% honest here, mom did most of the bagel work.

I really did, however, stay in my pj’s all day.  And I really did read and sleep and walk whenever I so pleased.

That’s what I love about a lazy Sunday afternoon.

(p.s. I promised Mom that I would help her taste test.  It’s tough work, but somebody has to do it.)

The bagels were beyond delicious.  And that’s the honest truth.

Whole Wheat Bagels–adapted from the original “Bernard Clayton’s Book of Breads” homemade bagel recipe, as seen on this website.

We made several variations in this recipe.  Cinnamon raisin, in which some of the dough was mixed with cinnamon and raisins before being dunked in the boiling water.  And poppyseed studded bagels.  My personal favorite, however, were the onion bagels.  They’re amazing and would make the perfect egg sandwich.

These are fun to make.  Even funner to eat.  I hope that you find yourself with some lazy Sunday afternoon so that you can stay home in your pj’s, do as you please, and have nothing on your to-do list but to “make a batch of bagels.”  Enjoy!

(p.s. Don’t let this long list of instructions scare you…bagels are quite simple to make and they’re not overly fussy.)

  • 3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten, mixed with 1 tsp water
  • Toppings of choice (raisins, poppyseed, garlic powder, dried onion flakes, etc.)
  1. Sprinkle a baking sheet with ground cornmeal.
  2. Into a mixing bowl, measure 3 cups whole wheat flour and stir in the dry ingredients.  Pour in the hot water and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.  Add the balance of the flour, a small portion at a time; stir by hand.  When the batter gets thick and heavy, lift from the bowl and place on the floured work surface.
  3. Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.  Dough should be firm and solid when pinched with the fingers.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in volume, about 1 hr.  During this period, bring the 3 qts of water to a boil in the large saucepan.  Add sugar.  Reduce heat and leave at a simmer.
  5. Turn dough onto a flour-dusted work surface and punch down with extended fingers.  Divide dough into 17 pieces.  Shape each into a ball.  Allow to relax for a few minutes before flattening with the palm of your hand.  With your thumb, press deep into the ceter of the bagel and tear the depression open with your fingers.  Place the bagels together on the work surface.
  6. Cover the bagels with wax paper and leave at room temp only until the dough is slightly raised, about 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400.
  8. The water should be simmering.  Gently lift one bagel at a time with a large skimmer and lower into the hot water, 2 or 3 at a time.  Simmer for 1 minute, turning once.  Lift out with the skimmer (or tongs), drain briefly on a towel, then place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with all bagels.
  9. Brush bagels lightly with the egg white-water glaze and sprinkle with favorite toppings.
  10. Place bagels on the baking sheet and bake on the middle oven shelf for 25-30 minutes.  When bagels are lightly brown, turn them over to complete baking.  Remove from oven when shiny and brown.
  11. Place on metal rack to cool.

Question: What do you usually do on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

Jam Filled Muffins

 

I am constantly searching for healthy breakfasts-to-go options.  Options that will carry me through those insanely busy mornings.  You know.  Those barely have time to shower, I think I’m still sleeping, my brain isn’t really functioning, kind of mornings.

Hey.  Life happens.

 

 

And so—more times than not—you’ll find me driving along in my car at 6:30am, eating an almond butter and banana sandwich (maybe toasted, maybe not) and sipping on a hot cup of green tea.  In fact, you could almost bet on it.

But then, once in a great while, I’ll find myself home alone during a lazy Sunday afternoon.  That’s when I break out the whisk and spend some quality time in my kitchen, preparing breakfasts for the week to come.

 

 

Everyone has a favorite muffin.  A favorite recipe.  (Mine happens to be the whole wheat pumpkin muffins on my recipe page, but please don’t tell all of the other muffins!)

 

 

However, jam filled muffins are a delightfully close contender.  With their sweet personality and rustic good looks, they really are impossible not to love.  I almost always have a couple sitting in my freezer, just in case.

Because you never know when those crazy mornings might come along.  I like to think that I’m completely prepared.

 

 

It should be mentioned, however, that jam filled muffins are only ever as good as the jam that fills them.

You could technically use any old jam and probably still enjoy each and every delicious bite.  However, I’ve found the best results with either (a) homemade jams and jellies, (b) Trader Joe’s raspberry jam, or (c) some other “gourmet” jam/jelly.  You want these to taste fresh.  Homemade.  Rustic and pleasant.  This is one of the few times that I become totally stuck up, refusing to buy any store-brand products. 😉

 

 

~17 minutes in the oven~

 

 

Crazy busy mornings.

A healthy breakfast to go.

And let the day begin.

 

 

Jam Filled Muffins—recipe adapted from the Eating Well Magazine

These muffins are absolutely heavenly when served warm, straight from the oven.  To reheat the next morning, simply pop them in the microwave for a good 15-20 seconds.  Any extras can be frozen for the upcoming week.

Serve with a glass of milk and a fruit for a complete, healthy breakfast-t0-go.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp. lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup blackberry, blueberry, raspberry or cherry jam (highly recommend Trader Joe’s raspberry!)
  • walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.  Add buttermilk, orange juice, oil and vanilla; whisk to blend.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened.
  4. Scoop half the batter into the prepared pan.  Drop a generous teaspoonful of jam into the center of each muffin.  Spoon on the remaining batter, filling each muffin cup completely.  Sprinkle with walnuts.
  5. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15-20 minutes.  Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.  ENJOY! 😀

 

Question: Do you ever eat breakfast on the go?  What are some of your favorites?

Six. Point. Five.

 

I can’t even begin to tell you how worried I was about this morning’s run.  Worried. What an understatement of a word, if ever there was one.

Why, you ask?

Well.  First, there was the sharp wind, which was absolutely howling.  Blowing ladders around like little wooden sticks.  Opening screen doors and then banging them shut again and again and again.  Showing no mercy.

And then there was me, in my winter running garb and sneakers, wearing big, thick mittens and a blue wool hat.  And what felt like a lofty goal of running 6.5 miles.  A feat that I haven’t accomplished since last January before my knee injury.

Worried.  Psshh.  What an understatement.


 

And yet I was surprised at how quickly everything came together.  All the old tricks that I used to use to pull me through my long runs never really left.   You know, those self motivating pep-talks.  They work like a charm!

“Three miles to the top of this hill.  You can do that!”

“Two more miles.  That’s easy.”

“The first two miles are the toughest.  Just get through this and you’ll be fine.”

“Don’t go too fast.  Hold on to some extra steam for the last hurrah.”

And then…suddenly…the run was over.

Six. Point. Five!!

 

 

I felt so proud at the end of this run.  Six and a half (pain free!) miles may as well have been a marathon.  😀

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

My Post Long-Run Rituals

1. Foam Roll

Foam rolling hurt a lot (a LOT) the first few times that I did it, but it is much, much easier now.  My physical therapist had me doing this during my knee injury last year, and it really did help with my leg and knee pains.  It’s basically like having a really affordable, deep tissue massage.

Be sure to hold those painful positions for at least several seconds!  It takes me a good 20 seconds or so to bring the foam roller from right above my knee to the upper leg.

 

 

I’ve found this position to be particularly good for any IT band issues and/or knee pains.  Using your hands and leg for balance, roll yourself from right below the hip to right above the knee.  Back and forth, really slowly, stopping in any painful positions to let the massage go deeper.

 

 

2. Ice Baths.

Yes, they help with inflammation.

Yes, they’re totally painful.

If it’s just too painful, grab a bag of ice and compress any sore, tender areas for about 10-15 minutes.  That works well too.

 

 

3. Refuel.

 

 

Try to focus on getting some carbs and protein in for refueling your body after a long run.  Milk is known as the “perfect” choice because of the carb/protein balance that it has.  But really, anything that you feel like you can tolerate will do just fine.  Toast with peanut butter.  Half a banana with peanut butter.  Crackers and cheese.  A fruit smoothie.

Some people can’t imagine eating a large meal after finishing a tough workout, while others could eat their arm off in hunger (ahem, that would be me.)  Find what foods work for you and stick with it.

 

 

For dinner tonight, Dad grilled up some burgers.

Mom made a batch of whole wheat hamburger buns.

And I made the eazy peazy, balsamic glazed onions and peppers.

Delicious.

 

 

Balsamic Glazed Onions and Peppers

This is one of my favorite toppings for steaks, poultry, and hamburgers.  You could also use it in a veggie wrap, on top of a fresh garden salad, or chopped into brown rice with tofu.  Or, you could really just grab a fork and eat it as is. 😉

The important thing is to let the balsamic vinegar completely evaporate after you’ve added it.  It’s at that point, when the onions and peppers will begin to brown and caramelize, thanks to the heat of the pan.  It’s lovely, really.  And it’s also super easy.  Enjoy!

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/2 or 1 whole green bell pepper
  • handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch thick
  • balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  1. In a nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper, and mushrooms.
  2. Continue cooking until peppers and onions are still firm but beginning to soften.  Add a healthy drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Enough to coat all the veggies.  Turn the heat to medium high and continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Continue cooking and stirring for 1-2 more minutes, or until vegetables have caramelized.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  ENJOY!

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

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY!!

 

Question: What are some ways you keep yourself motivated during a tough workout?

 

simply perfect

 

Sometimes I go a little overboard with dressing up my salad.  Just a little over the top.

Sometimes I layer it in creamy sauces and deep, rich, lively vinaigrettes. 

Sometimes I want my salad to be ready for the ball, when it really just wants to hang out with lettuce and tomato, on some casual, laid-back Friday afternoon.

 

3

 

For a girl who enjoys practicing the art of simplicity, I sure did lose sight of the simply dressed salad. 

Until tonight, of course.

 

4

 

Honey, here’s your wake up call…

 

5 

…sometimes you can’t beat simple.

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

A dash of freshly ground sea salt.

A squeeze or two of honey.
   

2  

Simple.  Perfect. 

Simply Perfect.

 

1

 

Question: What is your favorite way to dress a salad?  Vinaigrettes?  Creamy dressings?  Oil and vinegar?

weekend post: snow, shopping, and silly hats

We had our first official snowfall last night!

A fluffy white dusting covered everything from head to toe.  Oh how I love this time of the year. 

In fact, I take back everything I said about not liking the cold; this morning I felt like a little kid in a playground.  And if it absolutely must be cold outside before we can enjoy a fresh new layer of snow—if there’s absolutely no way to skirt around the issue—then I’ll take the chilly 10 degrees.  😀

I love the way the thin, crisp layer of snow crackles and crunches under my feet while I’m running. 

Music to my ears.

I’m kind of loving winter right now.  I hope this feeling lasts a long, long time. 😉

Know what else I’m loving right now?

Shopping (and eating) with mom…

…and shopping with my bestie.

There’s something special about shopping with family.  They’re not afraid to say, “ugh, I don’t like that!”  And they’re also not afraid to say, “oh my word, you look awesome!” 

I love both of these gals to bits. 😀

You probably know this by now, but we tend to shop till we drop.   Today we shopped until we dropped after dropping.  This is dangerous territory.

This is the territory where you start laughing for no apparent reason at all.  Or crying.  Whichever comes first.

This is where you try on silly hats.  Or stare at people without realizing that you’re staring at people until they start staring back. 

Yes.  Dangerous territory.

(p.s. Silly or not, I kind of wanted this hat.  Just in a bigger size. 😉 )

It was quite the successful shopping day.  I didn’t leave with any new hats, but I did find a new winter coat that was more than half the original price.  And I purchased a couple of Christmas gifts for family. 

No Christmas Eve gift shopping for me this year!

And, most importantly, we had fun. 

Yes.  It was a very successful shopping trip.

Question: Do you have snow where you live?

a day in boston

I spent the day in Boston with Pepere.

Pepere is a Canadian citizen.  But he probably knows more about American politics—American history—than most people (certainly more than me!)  With that in mind, it only made sense to bring him into Boston while marveling at the landmarks.  Indulging in some historical chit-chat.

The State Capitol!! 

(look how tiny they seem in comparison! 😀 )

I’ve learned to eat with intention.  Mindfully.  Thoughtfully.  Slowly.

But I still have troubles with walking in this way.  Sometimes I walk faster than I run.  True story.

Today, Pepere slowed me down.  He noticed the peeling roof of an old building.  He noticed that we could see the Prudential Center from the park.  He noticed that there were still leaves on the trees, where there was nothing but bare branches back at home.

I slowed down.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the entire day was watching this giant tree get trimmed and prepped.

(p.s. I promised myself that I would never talk about Christmas before Thanskgiving, but, really, who was I kidding?  I’m a kid at heart.  Any sign of Christmas makes me dance inside. :mrgreen: )

Once the clouds came out, hiding every last trace of warmth, we mutually decided that it was time to eat.

I had no idea where my Dad was taking the group, but I decided to just roll with it.  He has good restaurant sense, and I knew well enough to just sit back and trust his judgement.

We walked into a place called Kinsale, a spot not far off from from Quincy Market.  A spunky little Irish Pub, filled with warmth and charm.  I loved it upon first glance.  I loved it even more when I saw the menu.

There was literally something for everyone.  From warm and comforting pot pies, to fish & chips, to salads & sandwiches.  The menu offered a wide and varied selection, which I love. 

Dad went with a rustic beef stew.

For my own entree, I chose the Crab Cake Salad.  Ever since eating at the Top of the Hub with my sister, I have been craving a gentle, delecate crab cake.  They’re not easy to find.  Most times they’re too meaty.  Or over salted.  Or just plain flavorless.

These crab cakes weren’t exactly what I remember tasting at the Top of the Hub, but they were still delicious.  And the rest of the salad was so exciting, that I was overall really pleased with my order.  Plantain chips.  Fresh mango.  Avocado.  A zingy citrus dressing.  Delicious! 

The plantain chips were by far my favorite part of this meal!

You know how some days just go by way too fast?  That was today.

Goodbye Boston.  I’ll see you again soon.

Question: What is your favorite city/town to visit?

Weekend Highlights

SATURDAY

Some weekends are made for relaxing and doing absolutely nothing at all.

Some weekends are made for going out with friends and family and just having fun. 

Some weekends happen to include the best of both worlds. 😀

Matthew and Kelsey came down for the weekend, so we (Nicole, Nate and I) went to meet up for drinks and appetizers on Saturday night.  

Nicole and I split the Mediterranean Hummus Plate.  It was filled with feta cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh veggies.  The grilled pita chips were so perfect; flaky on the surface but warm and doughy on first bite.  Perfect.

We ended up talking most of the night away.  I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed so late, but it actually felt really good.  Especially since I’ll have available catch-up time on Monday morning (not that our bodies can truly, honestly, ever “catch up” according to the sleep experts, but I gave a big *harumph* to that idea for this weekend! 😉 ) 

SUNDAY

I’m pretty sure God knew what He was doing when He decided to give us Sunday as a day of rest.  We all deserve the break, really, and it felt wonderful to have nothing on the ol’ to-do list.  

Nothing.

Nothing but a nice long walk with the family.  

Have I ever mentioned how in love I am with the fall?  I wish it would never end. 😀

We ran across a big black cow on our walk, and he (she?) was the sweetest thing ever.  I was hoping it would follow us home, but to no avail.  I guess he must have decided that the grass was much greener on his own side of the fence. 😉

Dad treated us to dinner from our family favorite pizza shop, and we all crowded around the table to indulge in a veggie pizza.  The perfect ending for the weekend, if I do say so myself. 😀

I love busy, fun-filled Saturdays.

I love, love, love lazy Sundays.

Love. 😀

Question: What made you *smile* this weekend? 

Weekend Post: Caramelized Banana Pancakes

I often think in terms of all or nothing.  Hence the reason I like to ask you guys questions such as, “if you had to eat but one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?”  Or, “if you had to cook one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” 

You see?  All or nothing.

But maybe that’s because when I land on a recipe that I really, truly love, I can think of nothing I want more.  I’ll usually fall so deeply in love that I continue to make that certain something, over and over and over again.  Until—finally—I either tire of it or something else that’s just as wonderful comes along and takes its place.

Today I discovered caramelized banana pancakes.

 This wasn’t an e-n-t-i-r-e-l-y new discovery.  It’s not like I’ve never had a banana before (HA!)  And I’ve had more than my fair share of puffy pancakes smothered in syrup. 

But there’s something quite miraculous about the combination of a doughy, cinnamon infused pancake and caramelized bannas.  The bananas were anything but ordinary.  The heat from the pan helped them develop a delicate, crispy skin and a plump, marshmallowy center.  It is bliss.  Pure, sweet bliss.

This pancake recipe is much heartier than your standard pancake.  In fact, it reminds me very much of a muffin.  Thick, doughy, and very, very carb-y.  I foresee these becoming a regular at my breakfast table, as they quickly become a member of the all or nothing group.  😀

Caramelized Banana Pancakes
Serves 1

  • 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of ground nutmeg
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 T. rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp molasses (optional)
  • 1 banana, sliced thickly
  1. Mix together flour through oats.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine milk through molasses.  Add wet ingredients to dry and beat  just until smooth (don’t overmix).
  3. Heat a griddle to medium heat and spray well with cooking spray.  Add batter to pan and cook until browned.  Flip and cook until desired doneness (I like mine doughy on the inside!)
  4. Meanwhile, in the same pan, add the bananas and flip once browned on one side.  Cook until warmed and oozing with sweetness.
  5. ENJOY! 😀

Meanwhile—on the family front—Nicole and Nate’s brand new couch arrived today! 

It’s adorable, cozy, and super comfy to boot. 😀

So far, the cats have been behaving themselves with the new furniture addition.

Let’s hope Stitch can stay out of trouble. 😉

Question: Favorite kind of pancake?  Aside from bananas, I love, love, love a good pumpkin pancake, dabbed with butter and drizzled with maple syrup.  It may just be my favorite autumn meal. 😀

transition phase

Yesterday was all about fall.  And—if this is at all possible—I’ve become even more excited about its upcoming appearance, after reading all of your ‘fall-filled’ comments.  Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.  Bring on that cool, hoodie & jeans styled weather! 😀

But around here, we’re still in that silent transition phase.  That point where you’re not really sure if fall is just a tease, or if summer truly is on its last running stretch.  Days that offer a little bit of summer, a little bit of fall.  I like to think that this phase gives us the best of both seasons, all in one day.

With today being Labor Day and all, my family needed to celebrate.  Outdoor style.   

Any good celebration includes (1) a picnic table (or anything that allows you to eat outdoors, really…a picnic blanket would do just fine 😀 ).

(2) A grill to cook off of.  And hopefully someone who knows how to cook on one.  Let me tell you right now, I am hands off when it comes to the grill.  Too little temperature control, too much a mind of its own.   Scariness!

But then again, maybe I should add ‘master the grill’ to my bucket list?

Lastly, any good celebration involves (3) family.  The more, the merrier.  My Pepere and Nicole came to join us for good food and fun conversation. 

Mom and Nicole

One of my favorite things about cookout fare in the late summer/early fall is that it’s absolutely a-okay to grill up the meats, veggies, corn, etc. on the grill, while simultaneously turning on the indoor oven. 

These babies were baked in the oven (325 to 400—temperature was increased for timing reasons 😉 ) for a good 2 hrs.  Roasty.  Crispy.  Perfect. 

I went for a sweet potato version which went through this whole ooey, gooey, caramelization phase.  It was lovely. 😀

Let’s talk corn.

For the full experience of enjoying corn on the cob, corn must be grilled in its husk at least a few times a year.  Yes, you can boil it for decent results.  But for that really sweet, “I can’t resist your love” type of feeling, you simply need to grill it.  Just soak the corn in the husk for about 15 minutes to prevent scorching and then throw them on the grill, rotating every so often.  It takes about 15 minutes (longer or shorter depending on your desired results.)

I chose tempeh for my protein of choice today.  I’ve never been a steak girl (I know, I know…many grill masters would cry over this fact—sorry!), but tempeh and tofu are extra nice when grilled.  Using weber’s tofu method for grilling (spray a sheet of foil, plop the tofu or tempeh on the sprayed sheet, and grill for about 10 minutes, flipping once), I first basted 1/2 the block of tempeh in some Bone Suckin’ Sauce.  The sugars in the sauce helped contribute to those nice, golden markings and rich, smoky flavor.

Delicious.

And, really, no celebration is complete without my sister’s focaccia bread.  It’s quickly becoming that secret recipe which everyone begs for at every. single. family. gathering.  Summer, fall, winter, spring.  It really doesn’t matter what the season, somehow this bread always works.  Always.

The meal was considered complete when this local, last-of-the-season watermelon was brought out for dessert. 

Sweet perfection. 😀

I love the seasons’ transition phases. 

Enjoying the foods of both summer and fall.  Taking in the warmth that the summer sun still has to offer.  Enjoying a cool breeze.  Wearing a hoodie and a pair of flip flops.

*Sigh*

Life is good. 😀

Time to get organized for tomorrow’s busy day at the school!! 😀

Question: Did you celebrate Labor Day?

weekend post: my most favorite of things

Thank you all for the get well wishes!  I’m still not feeling completely myself today, but at least I was able to do everything that I had set my plans—and my heart—on doing.  I can tell that my immune system is hard at work fighting something off, and I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll be back to normal.  😀

Today was filled to the brim with a few of my most favorite of things.  It all started with an early morning walk.

And a bowl of your basic oatbran.

This bowl of creaminess was filled—and topped—with warm, sweet bananas.  With a sprinkle of walnuts and chia seeds.  Plus a drizzle of fresh maple syrup.

A short breezy morning walk + a warm, filling breakfast + a hot cup of coffee = just a few of my most favorite of things.

Next on the list: hitting up a farmers market with my sis.  My best friend (aka, Nicole from Simple Moments.) 

We ooohed and ahhhed our way through thai basil, fresh organic kale, peppery radishes, and rainbow colored heirloom tomatoes.  It was nearly impossible not to buy everything in sight.  I’m sure you understand. 😀

And I also spent some time with my fur-nephew Stitch.  He desparately needed a manicure, which is a two-woman job. 😉  Nicole held him, while I snipped away.  He’s such a sweetie-pie, and just acts all upset and hurt vs. scratching or biting.  The poor little guy gave me the saddest look, with an expression that said, “I thought you loved me.”

The post-manicure kitty treats seemed to make up for any hurt feelings. :mrgreen:

 Spending time with Nicole + spending time with Stitch + hitting up a farmers market and feeling 100% inspired to continuously eat fresh and local = just a few of my most favorite of things.

My dad is convinced that everything tastes better when it’s cooked over an open fire. 

I’m convinced that he’s right.

Dad built a gigantic tripod, complete with a chain link to attach a cooking pot. 

Dinner over an open fire.  It felt so early American.  Completely primitive.

On the menu: split pea soup!

 And crackers for dunking.

My bowl was filled, filled, filled to the brim with warmth. 

 But wait!  No campfire is complete without s’mores.  It would be so wrong not to bring out the graham crackers, the fluffy marshmallows and the dark chocolate squares.

Step 1: toast a marshmallow.

Step 2: Redo ‘Step 1’ as necessary.

Step 3: Top the toasted ‘mallow with a square of dark chocolate.

Step 4: Ooze together. 

Dad’s s’more—obviously—came out perfect.

Step 5: Enjoy.  Each.  Bite. 

Don’t be afraid to get all messy.

A campfire + Split Pea Soup cooked over a fire + ooey, gooey s’mores = a few of my most favorite of things.

Twas a deliciously wonderful Saturday.  In every sense of the word. 😀

Goodnight World!!

Question: What were a few of your favorite things about today?