NaBloPoMo, Day 30

NaBloPoMo November 2013

I’m exhausted, even though I got 8 hours of sleep.  I woke up before my alarm, somewhat on my own, although the dog was being insistent on going out.  I’ve gotten the car all packed, but want to get this out before I go, as I’ll be rolling into Chicago around 8 pm tonight, and I’m sure the last thing that I’ll want to do is write a blog post.

I really just want to lie down and, as my dad says, ‘rest my eyes’ for a few minutes.  I might just do that as it’s a long trip back, although there will be many gingerbread lattes in my future.

What I’ve learned from the last 30 days:

  1. I am not a writer, and I’m okay with that.  that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to say, but I’m not one of those people who have lovely prose.  That probably made it a bit easier, as I didn’t beat myself up for phoning it in half the time. But, I did get the job done
  2. Who knew I’d get 110+ followers in less than 30 days?  Granted, some of these were those “I’m following you because I make money at home!” kind of people, but a good number of them are real people who for some reason actually like this blog
  3. Writing a blog post takes a whole eff-load of time.  My hat is off to people who can do this regularly, and I can see why people make it their full time job.

I’ve got 11 hours on the road ahead of me, and I’m going to need to decide what my challenge for December will be.  I’m leaning towards 15 min of decluttering a day, but I have a whole mess of other habits I’d like to incorporate into my life:

  • meditating daily
  • another whole30/whole60
  • journaling daily
  • working on my social anxiety CBT
  • 80 other things, I’m sure

When I get home, I’m going to do a few days on the potato hack to reset my body from all the crap I have been feeding it this week, and then I’ll likely start up another Whole60, wrapping it around new years’ eve and into January.

I guess we’ll see what tomorrow brings…


Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts

Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts

Thanksgiving is over, but my contribution was a hit.  For those of you who may not know, my sister is vegan, so most of the dishes were vegan friendly.  We still had a beautiful turkey, courtesy of my brother-in-law and his parents.

I brought the sprouts.  My sister suggested some wacky dish with quinoa and cranberries, but I found this recipe from Claire’s favorite vegan chef, Chef Chloe for maple-roasted Brussels sprouts with toasted hazelnuts.  I recommend cutting the sprouts into quarters instead of halves as this allows for a more consistent done-ness.  Also, it helps if you go through the work of toasting the hazelnuts that you actually put them in the dish.  Oops.

The recipe couldn’t be easier, and you can even partially cook it a day ahead of time, and all you need is:

    • 1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • The directions are in the recipe above, so cook and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!


We demolished Thanksgiving. My sister put on a great spread and much fun was had with family.

Why I like staying with my mom when I visit

Mom making deviled eggs...

Mom making deviled eggs…

I know a lot of people have issues when coming home to their parents’ houses.  I used, too, as well, until I realized that a lot of these issues were me not accepting my mom for who she is, and trying to make her into something she’s not.  It also helped that we had a frank conversation where I told her I didn’t want to be treated as a guest, but more as, well, a daughter.   But now, I think we get along quite well; it’s gone from 3 days being my maximum at the house before wanting to run home, to just over a week.  I think that’s a fantastic improvement.

Granted, I watch more reality TV in the 5 days I’m here than I do the entire rest of the month.  It used to drive me crazy that she had the TV on all. the. time.  But, I threatened to buy her a pair of wireless earphones one summer, as she tends to have the volume up rather loud. When her birthday came around and I asked what she might want, she said, “Oh, I thought you were going to buy me those earphones…”  Done!  It’s actually made quite an improvement: she can listen to her shows during the day while I’m on my conference calls or watching my own TV shows.

Here are many reasons why I love staying at my mom’s:

  1. She always makes sure the heated blanket is on my bed when I come into town
  2. She has a hottub and makes sure it’s ready for when I come into town
  3. Her dog and mine get along famously, and she has a large back yard and a doggie door.  No, mom, I am still not taking your dog home with me…
  4. She always makes me deviled eggs (see above)!  Also, she just showed me a fantastic trick that may solve my incapability to peel a boiled egg: she uses a teaspoon – genius!
  5. She offers to record all my shows for me so I can watch them in my room
  6. She keeps a guest room for me (although I’m sharing it with my niece tonight)
  7. Grilled Cheese sandwiches
  8. She is always supportive of my mid day naps
  9. She always asks what kind of crazy diet [my words, not hers] I’m on now, and helps get the kitchen stocked for me
  10. She’s even gone and shopped and cooked recipes I picked out when I was in town for 48 hours
  11. Did I mention she has a hottub?

Love you, mom.

Chez Mom…

One of the best things about being at my mom’s, other than the hot tub, is that she makes spectacular grilled cheese.  I very rarely have bread in my house, and I just never think of making it.  But, when I’m here, my mom will ask what I want for lunch, and the answer always is, “Grilled Cheese and tomato soup!”  And bless her heart, she always obliges; turns out she bought two pounds of Muenster cheese at Sam’s this week, so I’m actually helping her out.  Right?

Also, if you eat your grilled cheese and don’t dip it into tomato soup, I’m not sure we can be friends.  I learned this while at summer camp, and not surprisingly, grilled cheese and tomato soup was my favorite meal there, too.  If you haven’t tried it, do.  Although, you’ll have to make it yourself, or get your own mom to do so.  Mine’s taken!

On the Road Again…

2013-11-25 15.10.11

Don’t worry, I used the dash mount…

Today was a long day of driving on a poor night’s sleep.  I woke at 3.30 am with a full bladder, and then my dog leaped onto the bed an hour later as his bed was too chilly.  This didn’t bode well, considering we were supposed to be up at 5.30 am to hit the road by 6 am.  We managed to get out on time, and didn’t even stop for coffee and breakfast until we were in Merriville, and well clear of any city traffic.

And I splurged on a Gingerbread Latte.  Holy cow, those are DELISH.  I ended up having a second one that morning, solely for the caffeine, I swear!  Sadly, when I hit the Kentucky / Tennessee border and needed gas around 3 pm, I realized I was also in the Starbucks Desert and had to settle for a McLatte.  The horror.

I’ve survived, and am now relaxing and trying to stay awake until at least 9 pm.  Then I can crash and wake up on Eastern time.  But before that, one of the major benefits of Chez Mom:  the hottub.

Heading out …


My fridge looks so sad as I prepare to head off to visit family.  And, I have no desire to pack, but that luggage isn’t going to pack itself, sadly.