goals + recipes for the week of 7/27

Happy Sunday, friends! I’m making this a quick one because it’s a busy day for me! Here are my goals for the week…

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals for this past week:
revise 25 pages of my novel-in-progress
– write 10 pages of my new play
– teach a successful weekend of Summer Writing Camp
– connect with three friends
– finish reading Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro {about 50 pages left to go}

Here are my goals for this upcoming week — keeping them simple:
– submit new play to contest
– teach a successful week of camp for Communication Academy
– finish reading Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
chocolate-chip cocoNUT bars via It’s Progression
watermelon, blackberry & mint salad via Two Peas & Their Pod
– spicy lime chicken salad via sometimes.always.never
marbled banana bread {vegan + gf} via the real-life rd
– my own mixed berry cobbler

Questions of the day:

  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

goals + recipes for the week of 7/20

Happy Sunday! I’m off soon to teach my second day of Summer Writing Camp! Yesterday went wonderfully. There’s something so special about about being in a room filled with young people lost in their imaginations, putting words down on paper. I love it!

Before I head out, here are my goals for the week…

weekly goals

Here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– revise 25 pages of my novel-in-progress
– write 10 pages of my new play
– teach a successful weekend of Summer Writing Camp
– connect with three friends
– finish reading Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
simple summertime bbq sides via Peanut Butter Fingers
chickpea, tomato, pesto & mozzarella salad via Two Peas & Their Pod
– cherry coconut flour pancakes via It’s Progression
spicy peanut noodles w/kale & edamame via The Pajama Chef
– my own butternut squash quinoa mock risotto

Questions of the day:

  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

goals + recipes for the week of 6/22

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope you’re having a great weekend. I particularly enjoyed sleeping in yesterday morning after a busy week spent teaching energetic 7- and 8-year-olds! Tomorrow I’m back at it with an even younger bunch {5- and 6-year-olds!} and while I really love teaching, I’m also soaking up as much rest as I can today! Also spending the evening with these two beautiful ladies:

annie and arianna

And yesterday I got to see another beautiful friend — Dana and I went for brunch at Sideboard and walked around downtown. Always so wonderful to see her, and especially this weekend since it’s my last one in town for a while. Next Saturday morning I’m hopping on a flight to New Orleans to see my sweetheart!

Okay, I should wrap this up and get ready for church… before I do, let’s do a quick goals recap!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from a few weeks ago:

– write ten pages
– send out two query letters/submissions
complete final student evals + certificates for Dublin classes
– read up to page 200 of new book
– go to the gym twice + yoga once
– connect with three friends
write all birthday thank-yous

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write five pages
– send out two query letters/submissions
– teach a successful week of summer camp for Communication Academy
– go to yoga twice
– connect with three friends
– get all ready for my trip to visit Allyn + Greg !!! <– can you tell I’m excited? 🙂

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
– lightened up summer fare {particularly the southwest turkey burgers + honey almond fruit dip!} via Peanut Butter Fingers
mango, strawberry & avocado arugula salad via Two Peas & Their Pod
– bbq chicken salad w/jalapeno basil ranch dressing via The Pajama Chef
– mango coconut muffins via The Pajama Chef
– my own 3-ingredient banana cookies {4-ingredient if you add peanut butter!}

Questions of the day:

  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

goals + recipes for the week of 6/1

It’s been a whirlwind past few days filled with wonderful birthday celebrations with friends and family, completing my 27 acts of kindness {thanks to all of you for your support!} and teaching a full day of Communications Academy classes yesterday, including final presentations by two classes — always sad to say goodbye to groups of students, but I’m hoping many of them will come back for courses in the fall.

me and al my birthday

Speaking of sad goodbyes, my sweetheart left yesterday for a summer internship in New Orleans … I’m so proud of him, but dang I miss him already! I’m looking forward to seeing him in a month when I fly out for a visit. Have any of you been to New Orleans before? Any recommendations for places to go and things to do when I’m there?

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
– write ten pages {didn’t quite make it to ten; sidetracked by a bad cold and my birthday celebrations}
– send out two query letters/submissions
complete final students evals + certificates
finish reading Wolf Hall
– go to the gym twice {sidetracked by my cold}
– complete my 27 random acts of kindness for my 27th birthday!

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write ten pages
– send out two query letters/submissions
– complete final student evals + certificates for Dublin classes
– read up to page 200 of new book
– go to the gym twice + yoga once
– connect with three friends
– write all birthday thank-yous

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
36 summer salads & sides via Two Peas & Their Pod
– kale quinoa salad via The Pajama Chef
– cauliflower curry chickpea stew via the real-life rd
{recipe redux} pork lo mein via The Lean Green Bean
– my own healthy chicken salad w/celery, cranberries & almonds

Questions of the day:

  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

goals + recipes for the week of 5/18

Hi friends! Hope you are having a lovely weekend! Mine has been busy with loads of good things! Yesterday I taught four writing and public speaking classes of energetic elementary schoolers, then took Bart into the city to attend an event with Allyn as part of his MBA program. I was super inspired by the smarts and passion of these graduate students, plus it was fun to spend time with my sweetheart and meet more of his friends.

This morning, I’m headed off to church, then taking my beautiful cousin Arianna out to brunch to celebrate an academic achievement award she received at school, and then hopefully squeezing in a coffee date with my friend Emy whose birthday was last week and who I haven’t seen in far too long! Later this afternoon my Grandpap is singing in a choir concert, and I’m excited to go support him along with my grandma, Aunt Mary, and cousins Bianca & Makena. Grandpap looooves to sing and it always warms my heart to see him up onstage, doing what he loves best! And then tonight I’m going to a dance party in the city with Allyn. Should be a blast!

Told you it was going to be a busy weekend around here! Before I skedaddle, it’s time for goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
– write ten pages {didn’t quite make it to ten, but did finish a short story!}
– send out three query letters/submissions
– finish midterm evals of students
– read up to page 400 in Wolf Hall {but I did get sucked into & finish The Gospel of Winter}
– go to two yoga classes
– connect with two friends

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write ten pages
– send out three query letters/submissions
– send acceptances for new young writers project
– read up to page 400 in Wolf Hall
– go to two yoga classes
– connect with two friends

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
– sweet potato & black bean mexican salad via Two Peas & Their Pod
– spring vegetable stir fry w/lemon ginger sauce via Two Peas & Their Pod
– black bean mango quinoa salad w/cilantro lime vinaigrette via the real-life rd
curried butternut squash soup w/kale & chicken via Peanut Butter Fingers {similar to this recipe and this recipe I’ve made before}
– homemade jello via It’s Progression
my own tilapia w/pineapple salsa

tilapia

Questions of the day:

  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

happy mother’s day!!! + goals for the week of 5/11

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! I feel so lucky that I get to spend part of today at home with my amazing mama. She is one of the sweetest, most kindhearted people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, and getting to grow up {and, let’s be honest, I’m still learning and growing!} with her as my mom and role model feels like winning the lottery. I love you, Mom!

me and mom balloon festival

I hope that you are getting to do something extra-special to celebrate the mothers in your life today! We are making brunch for my mom: nothing fancy, just toast, bacon, fruit salad, and her favorite scrambled eggs with veggies + potatoes. {But if you’re looking for fancy, scroll down to the end of this post for some drool-worthy brunch recipes!} Here is a post I wrote a couple years ago about trying to do little things to celebrate Mother’s Day every day.

It has truly been a fantastic weekend at home with my family and friends, celebrating my cousin Julie’s wedding! Recap post coming soon, stay tuned. 🙂

In the meantime… it’s time for goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
– write eight pages
– send out three query letters/submissions
– finish midterm evals of students
– finish reading The Kitchen God’s Wife
– go to one yoga class
– have an amazing time celebrating Julie + Chris’s wedding!

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write ten pages
– send out three query letters/submissions
– finish midterm evals of students
– read up to page 400 in Wolf Hall
– go to two yoga classes
– connect with two friends

And here are some fantastic brunch recipes:
cornmeal waffles with blackberry compote via Two Peas & Their Pod
raspberry almond scones via Two Peas & Their Pod
blueberry multigrain french toast bake via The Pajama Chef
healthy vegan banana bread via the real-life rd
sweet potato muffins via Peanut Butter Fingers
snickerdoodle bread via Chew Out Loud
my own french toast bake based on The Pioneer Woman’s recipe {I need to make this again sometime! it was ridiculously good!}

french toast

Questions of the day:

  • How are you celebrating Mother’s Day?
  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

goals + recipes for the week of 4/27

Hi friends! Happy Sunday! It feels like it’s been for.ev.er since I’ve done a goals post — I skipped last week because of Easter and my trip to Mendocino! Speaking of Easter, we never really chatted about that — how was your Easter? Mine was one of my favorite Easters ever. I spent most of the day volunteering with Allyn at a church in San Francisco, serving lunch to the homeless. The big dining room was set up like a sit-down restaurant and as volunteers our instructions were to treat clients like they were dining at a 5-star restaurant. It warmed my heart to see the bright smiles and proud postures of the clients leaving the church after the meal. I believe that the world would be a much better place if we simply treated everyone with dignity and respect. I definitely want to volunteer there again next Easter!

For Easter dinner, I missed my parents and brother, but I had a wonderful time visiting with my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. As always when we all get together, there was much laughter and storytelling. My aunt Annie hosted us all for a delicious meal of eggplant parmesan and grilled chicken, and this amazing cake whipped up by our family friend Diana. I got the recipe from her and will definitely be sharing it with you soon!

easter me and arianna

easter dessert

I finally feel like I’ve settled into my new weekend routine: waking up early on Saturday to teach four classes as part of my new job working for Communication Academy, crashing into bed exhausted but happy, and waking up on Sunday morning to head to church. {Which I’ll be doing as soon as I hit “publish” on this blog post!} Today after church I’m looking forward to getting together with my friend Michelle, who I haven’t seen for a couple weeks. And then, just like that, the weekend will already be winding down!

Before I head out… it’s time for goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from two weeks ago:
– write 12 pages
prepare for teaching & tutoring this week
– send out three query letters
– read up to page 250 of The Kitchen God’s Wife
– go to two yoga classes
– connect with three friends

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write 12 pages
– finalize travel plans for the summer
– send out three query letters
– read up to page 350 of The Kitchen God’s Wife
– go to two yoga classes
– connect with three friends

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
– chocolate banana pb smoothie via Jill @reini days
zin-zen chicken via Sarah @The Pajama Chef {originally from Rachel Ray}
– nutzo date bites via Danica @It’s Progression
– spaghetti squash w/avocado kale pesto via Whitney @sometimes.always.never
cucumber noodles w/peanut sauce via Two Peas & Their Pod

Questions of the day:

  • What was a highlight of your weekend?
  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

goals + recipes for the week of 4/6

Hi everyone! How is your weekend going? Mine has been lovely so far! Bianca came over and we baked some delicious pumpkin spice muffins. I got caught up on one of my fave TV shows, Nashville {thanks, Hulu!} Yesterday I went to morning yoga class and a women’s self-defense class. And I got to see my dear friend Michelle after she’s been out of town for three weeks! It was SO great to reunite with her.

As soon as I hit “publish” on this post, I’m heading off to morning church service, and then I’m going to the Oakland A’s game with Allyn and his family. It will be my first baseball game in forever and I’m really excited!

Before I head off for the day, it’s goals time…

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
– write 12 pages
send out newsletter {subscribe for *free* here if you want}
– go to two yoga classes
– prepare for my Steinbeck Fellowship reading {such an amazing night!}
– connect with three friends
– have a wonderful time with my mama in town! 🙂

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write 12 pages
– read 100 pages of The Kitchen God’s Wife
– go to two yoga classes
– prepare for my new teaching gig
– connect with three friends

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
cheesy mexican chicken skillet via Lindsay @The Lean Green Bean {guest-posting @Nut Butter Runner}
– oatmeal fudge bars via Sarah @The Pajama Chef
– homemade pizza using this crust recipe via Danica @It’s Progression
– edamame & black bean salad via Julie @PB Fingers
– dark chocolate + pistachio + sea-salt cookies via Two Peas & Their Pod

Questions of the morning:

  • How has your weekend been so far?
  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

grandma’s tortilla soup

As I’ve mentioned on here before, one reason I love living with my grandma is getting to spend time with her in the kitchen — she is teaching me so many wonderful recipes! {such as: curried butternut squash & apple soup / asian chicken curried salad / apple cake with brown sugar glaze … mmm!}

Today I have a new recipe to share, one of my very favorites, perfect for the drizzly weather we’ve been having here lately:

grandma tortilla soup.jpg

grandma’s tortilla soup
– 2 tsp olive oil
– 6 scallions, thinly sliced
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 cup diced tomatoes {canned or fresh}
– 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
– ½ cup chopped cilantro
– ½ tsp oregano
– ½ tsp salt
– 1 cup frozen corn kernels
– 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tsp olive oil over low heat.

2. Add half the scallions and the garlic and cook about one minute, until scallions are tender.

3. Stir in tomatoes, broth, ¼ cup cilantro, oregano, salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook ten minutes.

4. Add corn and cook another few minutes.

5. To serve, stir in tortilla chips, remaining scallions, cilantro, lime juice.

Bonus: this soup makes the house smell aaaaaamazing!! Enjoy!

tortilla soup

if you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
savory pumpkin & kale stew
crock-pot chicken & veggie stew
shrimp & sausage stew
creamy blended cauliflower & potato soup

goals + recipes for the week of 3/23

Happy Sunday, friends, and welcome to new subscribers! So happy to have you here. I’m very grateful for everyone who takes time out of their day to visit my little corner of the blogosphere. Thank you all! ❤

I had a wonderful visit with my dad and Greg … my heart is filled with love for these amazing guys! And my cheeks hurt from laughing whenever we are together. They crack me up. Here are a few of my favorite pics from their visit:

me and dad

dad and greg

me and gb

silly cousins

with my boys

They left yesterday morning, and I miss them so much! Fortunately I’m keeping busy today with good things: church this morning, then a long-overdue catch-up visit with my friend Emy {slash work-sesh at our favorite coffee shop}, then an afternoon walk with Dana, and finally dinner with my aunt Annie’s family.

But before I head off for the day, it’s time for goals!

weekly goals 
Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
– write 12 pages
submit essay to Chicken Soup for the Soul
– go to two yoga classes
finish reading through three lit journals from my AWP stash
– connect with three friends
have a wonderful visit with my dad and Greg!!

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write 12 pages
– send out newsletter
– go to two yoga classes
– finish reading through three lit journals from my AWP stash
– connect with three friends
– bake an amazing cake for Grandma’s birthday! {perhaps this one?}

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
slow-cooker chicken chile verde nachos via Two Peas & Their Pod
avocado chicken salad zucchini boats via Julie @PB Fingers
peanut butter avocado chocolate chip cookies via Whitney @sometimes.always.never
chocolatey freezer fudge via Robyn @the real-life rd

Questions of the morning:

  • How has your weekend been so far?
  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring

This post is linked up with Menu-Plan Monday.