the big 5-0

No I’m not 50, I’m 26, but this is my FIFTIETH post people.

How in the world.

At the end of every week I think to myself, ‘What the HECK am I going to write about next week?’ and every week I think of something. I find this ridiculous, yet impressive.

Where am I going from here? You know, since I’ve had such a long blogging career so far. 😉

I’ve written a lot of lists on this blog so instead of making a list of goals for my next 50 posts I thought I’d humor you with a limerick.

there once was a girl with a blog
who wrote often about her cute dog
now it’s time for a change
more variety and range
let’s hope there’s still time for a jog


Pretty much you’ll be hearing once again about my projects that I’ve fallen off track with (volunteering, DIY, etc.) along with the topics that I talk about regularly. A little more diversity and entertainment.


I’m writing/posting at an odd time because for the past 44 hours I’ve been traveling (19 hours of flying!) to Australia. I’m sitting here at the luggage claim with a super sore butt and a completely lost sense of time but I’m excited! We’re here for a wedding but will be doing exploring as well. I’m sure I’ll do some recaps of the trip when I get back.

I’ll be gone for over a week but I hope to get you three posts per usual while I’m gone. I’m not sure if I’ll have internet but I know you’ll have at least one post to read since my sister agreed to write something for you. 🙂

I hope to come back refreshed and renewed with no jet-lag. Ha.

I’ll leave you with dog photos because i miss the girls already.

It’s nice to know Aunt Lindsay is taking care of them…

…and that she’ll spoil them well. 🙂

What warm-weather trips do you have planned? It’s so nice to get away!

yummy: curried butternut squash soup

Today it’s supposed to be 80 degrees and I’ve got a soup recipe for ya.

You’ll be sweating by the end of this post but it’ll be worth it.

I just REALLY love this soup and I want you to know about it. If I’m in the mood for soup, this is the recipe I usually reach for. It’s super easy, quick, and delicious. I think that must be Ellie Krieger’s running theme because a lot of her recipes are like that.

I’d say I’m officially on an Ellie Krieger kick since I’ve already cooked up two others found here & here. I can’t help myself.

A couple of times now since the new year I’ve laughed at my husband when he’s chopping onions and they burn his eyes. That sounds terrible but it’s a funny site to see the man ‘cry’ since he’s known to not express much. And the silly faces he makes, oh they’re great.

I shouldn’t have picked on him -> caution, rough photo ahead.

I believe in Karma and gosh darn it these onions were Brutal with a capitol B! They burned while I cried for a bit.

I even laughed out loud at myself because I deserved it.

I had to add broccoli into the mix because it was going bad and I needed to stick to #2 from my healthy changes of 2012.
Be sure to skip the broccoli when you make it though, it’s too strong of a flavor. I had to add more honey. At least I didn’t have to throw them away!

I’ve been wanting an immersion blender for years now and I finally got one a couple months ago. It’s debut was with this recipe. It’s much easier to blend in the pot than to ladle two batches of the soup into a standing blender. And at only $30 for the contraption it’s definitely worth it.

note: the soup is a lot smoother if you don’t use broccoli.

The garnish is my favorite part!

When we’d carve pumpkins growing up we would bake the seeds in the oven with a little seasoning. Butternut squash have similar seeds so I always bake them in my toaster oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper while I’m cooking. The seeds add a nice crunchy contrast to the blended soup. Here’s a recipe for the seeds if you wanted to try it out too.

The soup is creamy with a hint of honey and curry. So good!!

Crank up the A/C and dig in.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

to eat meat or not to eat meat?

That is the question.

Ever since I was little, meat has grossed me out. To this day if I chomp on an unmentionable (veiny thing or fat) I panic, start to sweat, and then either attempt to swallow or spit it out. Lately I can’t even finish the meal if that happens.

Ground up stuff on the other hand, I can take – all that nastiness is mixed together so you can’t determine what’s what! <- That statement is so ridiculous but true. An example: I had a Mexican meal last week with the best beef tacos and tamales in town. It’s located here but has a different name now just in case any Richmonders want to venture outside the city.

Meat promoting aside.

At the beginning of this year I attempted to stop eating any of it. It was fine except for when I went to eat my normal meat meals like pizza and Mexican when I’d have to rethink a bit. Obviously there are simple substitutes but it made me think! I went a couple weeks and then went back to my normal eating habits. I think going back was a combination of having to cook for myself as well as my meat eating husband and the question of ‘why?’. What’s the point of stopping if I like some of it? I thought this and I’m sure my husband did too.

This morning my blogger friend Sarah wrote a post on Polyface Farms which is a ‘green’ farm talked about in the movie Food, Inc.
She reminded me that I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for a couple weeks now so I thought I’d bite the bullet and finish it.

I’ve been meaning to watch Food, Inc. ever since it came out (four years ago!) but I’ve been too scared to do it.

You know I’m a huge animal lover (my family keeps growing and growing) so too see all that pain and suffering would be tough. Watching the movie would be a game changer because I’m not a huge meat eater to begin with.

I’m scared of becoming a vegetarian even though I have an urge to do so. Also, it’s about the cooking challenges and the judging of my reasoning by others. Very silly reasons to not watch a movie that will help me grow. I am a grownup after all, I can do it.

But I haven’t.

I know for some vegetarians it’s about how gross it is to eat flesh and for others it’s about the rights of animals. Or at least I assume these are the reasons because really, up until I started reading healthy living blogs, the only vegetarian I knew was my older sister, Amanda. Hi AMP!

After writing the above, I realize I’m a little bit of both.

So should I become one? My views on animal cruelty are quite strong but I do like to eat meat once in a while. Do I want to give up my beloved tacos and tamales? Maybe I should just make sure the product is coming from a ‘happier’ place like Polyface Farms?

I think for now, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll find a local farm and/or head to the farmer’s market on Saturday to explore my options. Maybe I’m chickening out or maybe this is what I’m supposed to do.

It’s an interesting crossroads to be in. I’ll be watching Food, Inc. this week for sure.

If you’re a vegetarian or meat eater that is particular about their vendors, what is the reasoning behind your eating habits?