Food

On People Pleasing and Personal Growth

I admit it. I’m a people pleaser. I care what people think. I take things personally. I obsess over people’s reactions to the things that I say and do. There are times when I can shake it off. I tell myself, “You do you!” or, “What people think about you is their problem!” Lady power and all that. But recently my reaction to something someone said about a choice I made caught me off guard.

I know why it did. I know why it annoyed me. But the thing is — after I took a moment to absorb the initial feeling of annoyance — for the first time possibly in my entire life, I really didn’t care what someone thought of me. This is a moment when I want to look back to fully realize this new growth. It’s a moment I’m kind of proud of and wanted to share. (It’s in moments like this that I’m grateful for this blog, the outlet it’s become, and all of you wonderful women — and a couple men — who read my ramblings.)

My life has changed a lot in the past six months. I moved across the country. I went from working exclusively from home and having people to help me run a blog and make videos, to downsizing my blog into more of a personal hobby while starting a new job at an organization that I am beyond proud to be a part of. I can’t count the number of changes in my life since moving to DC!

And I don’t know if I’ve even said this out loud, but I am the happiest I’ve been in years. And I think that’s it. That’s the reason I didn’t care what this person had to say. Because I’m happy. I feel like I’m exactly where I am supposed to be. I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I have found an incredible security in this. A security I haven’t felt since I graduated school.

There isn’t one thing I would change about my path to get here. There have been many happy days and many days when I’ve felt lost and confused. Everything I’ve done and the experiences I’ve had so far have made me who I am. They’ve brought me here.

I’ve learned what I’m good at. I’ve learned not to be crippled by my own emotions or people’s comments about my choices. And right now, I’m happy. I’m secure in my decisions. I’m secure in this moment. And dang, it feels pretty great.
I don’t really have a photo to go along with this post. But I thought I’d share a few recent pictures from a DELICIOUS outing with my new friend and neighbor to a restaurant called the Iron Rooster and some other recent snaps I’ve taken. Thanks for reading!

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Salsa Verde Soup

Long time, no write! I wish I could say I’m figuring out this whole new work-life balance. I’m not. Well, at least not for the next month. Let’s just say until March 24th, sleep will be minimal and cooking meals will be few and far between.

One strategy that has really been working for us is cooking a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week, then just reheating individual bowls every night for dinner. We’re getting a home cooked meal the whole week and it only takes a few minutes of prep before the craziness of the week ensues.

One recipe that we really love is a mash up of several recipes we’ve combined. We’ve been calling it Salsa Verde Soup. Here’s the recipe!

You Will Need:

1 16 oz. carton chicken broth

1 cup cooked, shredded chicken

1 sweet potato, cubed

2 small cans cannellini beans, rinsed

½ red onion, diced

1 ½ cups salsa verde

a pinch of minced garlic

Optional: dollop of sour cream

In a large pot, sweat the diced onion and sweet potato with a dash of olive oil until slightly browned. Add the pinch of garlic and shredded chicken. Sweat for another two minutes.

(To “sweat” chopped vegetables, simply cook them in oil or other fat over low heat in a pan with a lid in order to soften them and release the moisture inside.)

Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft.

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Dish out and enjoy with a dollop of sour cream on top!

Holiday Cheers

It’s still crazy to me that December is here. So cliche, I know. But, honestly, where did this year go?! The holidays are special for so many reasons — spending time with family, celebrating the birth of Jesus and, let’s be honest, lots of Christmas parties!

From Christmas movie viewings to ugly Christmas sweater soirees, there are so many ways to celebrate the season of good cheer with friends and family. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite Christmas party essentials!

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  • Festive Invites  We live in a world of text invites and Facebook RSVPs. But there’s something exciting about receiving an invitation in the mail. (Plus, I’m a sucker for good graphics design — thanks, Matt.) As a bridge between the two, I recently discovered Paperless Post and am in love with every one of their holiday designs.
  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters  If you work in an office, there’s an 80% chance you’ll be taking part in an ugly Christmas sweater party. And even if you don’t, the holidays are a great opportunity to spice up your wardrobe with hilarious knitwear that you can’t wear any other time. I love the sweater store. They have a huge selection and very reasonable prices.  
  • Hot chocolate bar essential.  A hot chocolate bar with topping options for guests can be a delicious centerpiece to any holiday party. I recently saw this mug on Etsy and might not be able to resist purchasing it much longer!
  • Jams.  You can’t have a party without good music. I’m pretty sure every top twenty artist does a holiday album, but I’m a purist. Nat King Cole. All. The. Way. All. The. Time.
  • Classic Christmas Movies.  There are so many great Christmas movies. From It’s a Wonderful Life to a couple of my favorites, Elf and Home Alone, sharing Christmas movies with a friend, loved ones, or just a bucket of popcorn is an absolutely lovely way to spend a December evening.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

DC Eats: Beef ‘N Bread

There are dozens of restaurants within easy walking distance of our place. One of my favorite things to do is try new restaurants (as you all know), and I thought I’d start documenting my favorite spots in our new ‘hood!

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First up, a new favorite lunch spot that is just a block away. Beef ‘N Bread is a tiny little shop that we pass by on our way to the metro stop. There are only a few stools to sit at if you opt to dine in. Most people seem to grab their food to go on a busy lunch rush. Matt and I wanted to get out of the apartment after a busy work morning so we decided to cozy up to a couple stools after placing our order. Matt loves corned beef so he went with the Penn Quarter sandwich: corned beef topped with slaw, Muenster cheese and their special Wise Sauce. I’d heard their roast beef was life changing so I ordered the Kansas City: roast beef topped with onion rings, BBQ sauce and Wise Sauce. I was looking forward to a side of mac ‘n cheese but they were out! Next time, Beef ‘N Bread. Next time.

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I was busy taking pictures while Matt took his first bite, and before he’d even finished chewing he said, “Oh. My. Gosh. This is incredible.” After my first bite, I had to agree! Everything from the bread to the meat to the sauces, the sandwiches at Beef ‘N Bread are more than worth the hype.

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It’d be easy to pass by this little shop in the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, but if you’re in the area, it’s a must!