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That’s a spicy meatball-et-ground beef!

I didn't cook much when I lived with my parents. It didn't really make sense for me to; we had one kitchen, I arrived home at the same time as everyone else, and it wasn't much extra for Mom to make more dinner. Even for lunch, she still makes my Dad's lunch every day, a little extra for me was something she was happy to do.

So since I've moved out I've been doing a lot of cooking and food prep for myself. I lived alone for many years and cooked for myself, of course, but they were often simple, unhealthy meals, and there was a lot of take out during those years, too. So this is, in a lot of ways, new to me. And I've been having a blast with it.

I've started off making simple meals, simpler than would have satisfied my parents, and a lot of repeats, but things I enjoy. This recipe has been my starting point. A relatively low cal, chicken based dish, with lots of veg. I started off making it just as suggested, until I realized I knew the recipe, such as it was, by heart, and could play with it a bit. I used different spices, cooked some things for longer, used different veggies, threw a bit of olive oil into the mix, cooking some quinoa to make things last longer (though they sadly didn't help overly much, I can eat a ton of this stuff). But I started to want different things, so I moved onto roasting. Simple veggies chopped up, tossed in some olive oil and spices and threw them in the oven for a while. Put a chicken breast in and has a nice, full meal.

For lunches, I've had a lot of simple ones. Yogurt, a small jello, some carrots (pre-bagged on Sunday for grab and go!) and often some sort of main. Maybe leftovers from last night's dinner, though lately I've been working at getting more veggies into the mix. A cucumber, cut up, tossed with feta cheese and some light salad dressing, makes for a great lunch. I want to add a bit of heft to that one, though. Maybe some more cheese, or even some pre-cooked meat chopped up and mixed in. I find it doesn't always fill me up, and that is a concern.

For breakfasts, my go-to has often been these egg muffins. I tend to play with the recipe a lot, often using peppers in place of broccoli, turkey bacon in place of sausage. They're great for grab and go, of course, but it means I have to plan ahead and make time over the weekend, which is where I often fail. Otherwise I've been trying to make myself a small sandwich with some peanut butter and whole grain bread, an apple and some yogurt. A good breakfast is important, and I don't just mean that as an after school special. If I don't eat something decent and substantial during that time, I'm starving and tend to overeat at lunch, ducking out for something extra outside of what I bring.

A lot of the big thing for me is making it all as easy as possible, so I have fewer and fewer excuses to buy lunch and breakfast. I won't pretend there haven't been days I have, cause sometimes it definitely doesn't come together, but I work at it. It's a learning experience, like anything.

One tip, though? Be careful with cayenne pepper! I used it like regular pepper and had a batch of chicken and veg that made me cry every time I ate it.


Home and Confidence

I actually was intending to journal this morning, but my finger wandered over to the MarsEdit button, and here we are!

Hi. It's been a while, I know. I've been busy!

So, the move went well. And slowly. I took my time over Christmas moving things, culminating in getting the bed setup on New Year's Eve and spending that in my house. It was lonely and scary, to be frank, and I think the first time I realized what really living alone meant. But I slept in the strange bed, and the next day it wasn't quite so strange. It wasn't quite so lonely. I filled the house with music, with TV, with WoW. I set up fragrances, I baked, I cooked, I cleaned. 

Slowly, this strange place is becoming home. 

Besides that I'm changing other things, too. I'm cooking healthier meals. Bringing healthy lunches to work. I'm reaching out to people, seeing people. I'm going to the gym (though I skipped it this morning, shhhh). I'm getting to work earlier (partly because of my new train schedule) and getting more done, I find. I have more energy, and feel more confident about myself, and who I am.

My therapist spoke recently about confidence, about radiating that out, and a bit of how that confidence draws things to you. She said she could already see a change in me, and I could feel it too. I feel like good things are coming. Like I finally have my life on track, but I felt like a lot of it just happened to me. Like life just happened to me.

But she pointed out that isn't really the case. While there are obvious cases of dumb luck, for the most part the changes in my life are my decision, or because I've made a good impression on someone else, or something else I've done has put that into motion. She encouraged me not to pick that apart, but just to embrace the idea that my life is, in actuality, in my hands. In ways this is scary, since it means I am responsible. But it also means I have a say in it. I control what happens. 

And that's a good feeling.


Wine and Love: 12

5641043482 6f577b210d mBack at it after a break! Today I'm doing Wine and Love again, hosted by Suki! Here we talk about the things making us reach for the wine glass (or alcoholic beverage of choice) and the things we love this week! It's hard to keep track, I know, but do try to keep up!


  • Friends are having problems, and I'm trying to help, but I find I say the wrong thing all too often. I almost want to try and find a book on it, but I think each person is different. I just wish I could help more, that I knew what to say and do.
  • I'm failing a bit at adulting these days. It feels like the money is just slipping through my fingers, and I have no idea where it goes. I've been using Mint to track and keeping an eye on my bank account but it just all seems to slip away, and with that a lot of my goals get a little further off. I'm doing my best, but it just doesn't seem to be good enough.
  • Work gets busier and busier, with more and more things being heaped on my plate. I know largely there isn't much choice, but it still is making for some stressful days.


  • Mists of Pandaria continues to delight and entertain, which is great.
  • I've discovered an easy, healthy dish that I can cook and vary a bit in order to keep it new and interesting!
  • I've been chatting to folks on GChat more often, which has been nice, getting to know some blog folks a bit better.
  • I had a lovely second Thanksgiving with Matt and Lauren at their new house. It's looking amazing. Their family is so welcoming, and I got to do a nice mini road trip with some friends. Overall, a fantastic weekend. More of that, please.

What are you loving this week? And what's making you whine?