mid-week meditation #13

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our new subscribers! {I’m especially loving Kiley’s blog, Food Friends, which I just subscribed to… I’m already eying her sweet potato & sausage skillet as a possible dinner recipe for tonight!}

Yesterday I spent the whole day with Allyn which was such a treat! We pretty much just worked side-by-side on our computers for most of the day, but it was so nice to have some company during the workday. Sometimes those ordinary “routine” days are the best, ya know? Plus, my sweetie is the best thing for my productivity because he inspires me so much! He is extremely diligent and driven, so I tend to stay seated at my computer, booty-in-chair, writing writing writing, for longer periods than I might otherwise if I was on my lonesome. {I am the queen of snack and tea breaks when I am writing on my own at home! Anyone else the same way?}

For dinner we made BBQ baked chicken + herbed wild rice + a tomato, corn, avocado salad that I threw together without a recipe. It turned out delicious!

corn avocado tomato salad

I know that photo is kinda bad, but trust me, it was a goodie! All I did was boil an ear of corn, cut the kernels off the cob, and mix it up with one diced tomato and half of an avocado. {A whole ‘cado would probably be even better, but we only had half.} Then add some salt and pepper, mix it all up, and you’ve got a great side dish. Quick, simple, healthy = three of my favorite things when it comes to cooking!

Today Allyn had to take his car into the shop for a check-up, and I had some errands to run and laundry to do, so we are back to working separately. I’m hoping to get a lot of random items that have been languishing on the old to-do list finally CHECKED OFF today. We shall see! I’ve got my workstation going on the dining room table. And a bowl of oatmeal for lunch! Sometimes you just gotta give the body what it wants, and mine wanted oatmeal. 🙂

workstation

This week’s meditation comes from one of my favorite writers, Louisa May Alcott. Whatever you are up to today, I hope these words come at a good time for you and your beautiful aspirations:

aspirations quote

 Question of the day:

  • What are your highest aspirations?

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 + meal plan for the week of 10/6

Hi, friends! How is your weekend going? I’m finally feeling settled into my new life and new routine up in northern California, so I figured it was time to bring back my weekly goals. When my life is in transition, keeping track on here of my weekly goals tends to fall to the wayside. But I do love setting weekly goals and meal plans … it keeps me feeling on-track, centered, and enthusiastic about each new week!

weekly goals

So here we go: my goals for the week of 10/6:
– write 20 pages of new material
– submit to two literary journals
– submit two fellowship applications
– sign up for the GRE exam
– phone dates with three friends
– exercise at least three times

And here are some recipes I’m hoping to try out this week:
Maple Apple Crisp with Cheddar Crust & Bacon Crumb Topping via The Pajama Chef {hope you’re loving Nashville, Sarah!}
Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cashew Chili via Wellness Today, from a link I came across on It’s Progression {thanks Danica!}
Pumpkin Pasta {will probably throw in more veggies this time around … I am loving all the squash in season now!}
Greek Yogurt Chicken via The Lean Green Bean
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies via Chew Out Loud

There you have it! Now it’s your turn: I’d love to hear about your goals and meal plans for this week!

why I make my bed every morning

made bed

I’ll be honest: making my bed used to be one of my least favorite chores. The three minutes it took to pull up the sheets, smooth the blankets and fluff the pillows seemed like a waste of time. After all, I would just mess it all up in a matter of hours when I climbed into bed that night. Also my mornings used to be so rushed that I typically wouldn’t even have three minutes to spare to make my bed. {Embarrassing, I know, but it’s the truth!}

This summer, I’ve been focusing on simplifying my life and developing healthy practices that help me slow down and enjoy this beautiful life. I’ve started doing yoga and meditating daily, drinking more smoothies, volunteering at the food pantry, and I’ve even tried out fun new exercise options like zumba!

One of the simplest things I’ve started doing every morning is — you guessed it — making my bed. I’ve realized that far from being a waste of time, it helps set a positive, productive tone for my entire day. Making my bed makes me feel organized and in charge and ready to leap into my day with a smile. Plus, this little guy likes to nap on my neatly made bed, and who could say no to that face??

murray on bed

Waking up a few minutes earlier and having a slower, more relaxed tone to the start of my day has made a world of difference! I feel calmer, more energized, and less frazzled. Making my bed is a big part of my new morning routine!

Do you make your bed every morning? What is your morning routine?