27 Hours

Hello eaters!

Leon and I got back not too long ago from our little vacation.

We spent right around 27 hours up on the mountain. But it was 27 hours with no phone service and very little internet and plenty of puppy play time and reading and napping while it rained and grilling sausages and talking.

And it was ah-maze-ing.

I’m not yet ready to dive back into plugged-in city life, so here are a very few snapshots from the past 27 hours.

Enjoy.

A proper Southern never shows up to someone's house empty handed. So I brought hand pies. (Recipe tomorrow.)

Wildflowers are the best flowers.

Drying firewood.

Can you spot the puppy?

Wonderfully clear and perfectly crisp water.

After a lot of coaxing, we got Charlie in the river.

Charlie does not like water.

G’night eaters!

Print Works Bistro

G’day eaters!

I’m currently up at the Mountain Man house, breathing in the crisp, delicious mountain air and listening to the river below.

I have the day off tomorrow, so Leon and I decided to head up for the night and recharge a bit.

Between work and Crossfit and life and everything else I’ve been pretty stressed lately, so recharging in meaningful ways has been a top priority for me. And one of the best ways for me to recharge and feed my soul is putting on a pretty dress, sipping a liquor drink, and enjoying a really good meal complete with really good conversation.

Luckily, both Leon and I got the chance to do just that when Papa came into town last week.

M’dad and I are very similar in that we enjoy the same things when we’re both stressed, so on the recommendation of a few people since I’ve been in Greensboro, I made a reservation at Print Works Bistro.

If you know the Piedmont Triad area, Printworks is owned by the same hospitality group that owns the Proximity Hotel, Lucky 32, Green Valley Grill, and (I think) the O’Henry Hotel. From those associations alone you know it’s going to be top notch.

And it was exactly what I needed.

We started with drinks. Grey Goose martinis for Papa and I, whiskey for Leon.

I love martinis.

After a few generous sips out came bread with roasted garlic and salted butter. The garlic was the only thing that made this worth mentioning, but it’s the little extras that really set a restaurant apart.

With the bread came the fried calamari, which is basically a must-order in my family.

This time, though, we didn’t get a plate of fried squid rings. We got thick slices of lightly breaded squid swimming in a pool of extra tomato-y cocktail sauce.

Once appetizers were eaten and we each took a few more liquor-y sips, our entrees arrived. Leon ordered the filet mignon, which he said was a near perfect rare (though he did order it medium-rare). Papa got the spare ribs, which were cooked for 12 hours and completely falling off the bone.

I went with a favorite of mine — four spiced duck confit, roasted Brussels sprouts, and quinoa Provincial.

Sorry for the bad lighting. Despite the 52 floor length windows for maximum natural light, the sun went down.

Ho’m’gah!

The duck was absolutely perfect. It feel apart without being too greasy and the spices were wonderful. Sure, the Brussels sprouts and quinoa left a bit to be desired, but the duck more than made up for it.

When the server cleared our dishes and replaced them with dessert menus I was more than expecting to say “no, thank-you” and call it a night. But then a couple of things caught Papa and my eyes.

Background: Peach creme brûlée. Foreground: vanilla creme filled beignets, with local honey and chocolate sauce on the side.

And before I knew it we were finger deep in delicious, delicate, sugary desserts.

We didn’t finish the desserts, just like we didn’t finish our dinners, but that’s part of the luxury — being surrounded by abundance and not overindulging.

Yup, I left the restaurant without feeling overfull, which was like the icing on the cake. Or the last little push towards recharged.

Either way, the whole night felt ah-maze-ing. And Papa said that this was going to be our new staple restaurant when he came into town, so it looks like my battery won’t be running out anytime soon.

What do you think, eaters:

What do you do to recharge?

How do you feel about leftovers and cleaning your plate?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Scattered, Sporadic

‘Ello eaters!

All this Olympic talk I’ve been hearing has got me really missing England.

Oh, I want to go back so bad.

But that’s neither here nor there. (Actually, it is there.)

Breakfast 1:

Homemade cherry muffin with a schmear of sunflower butter.

Leon made cherry muffins the other day. With AP flour. I forgot how tender and soft things baked with not whole wheat flour can be. Maybe not the best pre-Crossfit fuel, but it was early and I wasn’t thinking clearly. Oh, and it was tasty,

Protein!

I also drank my usual pre-Crossfit (GNC chocolate egg) protein out of my ghetto blender bottle. My last blender bottle had to be thrown out after I accidentally left it dirty for a couple of days and the smell from opening it nearly killed me.

Does anyone know how to keep those things from absolutely reeking?

Crossfit:

We did “Diane”: 21-15-9, deadlifts and handstand pushups. Instead of handstand push-ups I did dumbbell presses with 20# weights.

Breakfast 2:

A slice of leftover pepper and onion pizza topped with two fried eggs and hot sauce.

The way I see it this is like the fried eggs-toast-salsa breakfast I used to eat, but more fun.

Work:

I only worked 5 hours yesterday, which felt like a dream. During work I ate a Vanilla Almond Pure Protein bar because that’s one of the only Zone-friendly bars I’ve found.

Do you know of any other Zone-friendly bars that taste good and don’t cost $2 each?

Lunch:

Does this count as lunch if I ate it at 4:30pm? The bar held me off through the rest of work, a little shopping, and a quick “it’s about to rain” walk with the pup, so I wasn’t ravenous.

Leftover tempeh curry made using Trader Joe's Thai Green Curry simmer sauce.

And in case you’re wondering, eating leftovers out of the container they’re stored in is the most dish-economical way to do it.

Dinner:

After finding a recipe for homemade chorizo in a magazine, Leon and I were all set to have our own Taco Tuesday.

"Chorizo" tacos.

Unfortunately, the recipe was nearly flavorless. How something with a ton of smoked paprika, plenty of hot Mexican chilis, and as much garlic as I put in could be that flavorless is beyond me.

Luckily, margaritas made with fresh lime juice (made with my juicer) saved the meal.

Tequilaaaaa!

And that’s it. My meals were all over the place, but I’m a busy girl. I don’t see either of those things changing anytime soon.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you have set meal times or do you eat when you can?

What’s your go to margarita recipe?

Oh, and please do hit me with those blender bottle cleaning tips and Zone-friendly bar recommendations.

G’night eaters!

Really Extra Awesome Smoothie

Hellooo eaters!

I’m feeling pretty dang jazzed today. Being #SoProductiveItHurts tends to do that to me.

FYI, you should use that hashtag. I made it up, so it’s cool.

Since I’ve been up since 5am and am a little slaphappy — wheeee — I’m going to skip the whole smooth segue way/transition thing.

I used to hate smoothies. I liked the idea of them and they sounded delicious, but I always thought I needed to chew something in order to feel satiated.

It turns out that’s not true. I just had enough time on my hands to need the excitement and action of chewing to feel satiated.

Now that I have significantly less time on my hands smoothies are awesome. Really awesome.

And well-balanced smoothies are really extra awesome.

Dang pretty.

How can you dispute anything that’s got “really extra” in front of it?

You can’t. Don’t try. Just make this smoothie.

Really Extra Awesome Smoothie

1 c mixed berries

1/5 avocado

~1/2 c torn kale

1 scant scoop (GNC 100% whey vanilla) protein

½ t chia seeds

~1 c liquid*

*I use about half soymilk and half water. You might need more liquid to get everything going, depending on your blender.

Vanilla GNC 100% Whey Protein Powder gives everything an almost cake batter taste.

Put everything in a blender, using about half the liquid at first and making sure to put the protein in after the liquid (or things will clump weird and stick to the bottom).

Blend it until everything is an even color, adding more liquid as necessary.

Stick a straw in it; you’re done.

Thick, smooth, and creamy.

Protein, fat, and carbs (balanced out to about a 2 block Zone meal).

Portable as heck.

And trust me on the whole avocado and kale-thing. It works, I promise.

Bing. Bang. Boom.

Yup, this is definitely one satiating smoothie. And if you’re feeling jazzy, try swapping the water/soymilk for iced coffee.

I think that would add a little pep to your step AND another “really” to that smoothie.

Wheeeee, indeed.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite smoothie combo?

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever added to a smoothie?

Later eaters!

Rate the Recipe: Oxygen’s Bean Burgers

G’day eaters!

Great news today — I got my stitches out!

(If you missed all the stitches and mole talk, please check out my post: PSA: Moles.)

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I got my moles removed so today I finally got to have the stitches taken out and get my COMPLETELY CLEAR pathology report.

I wasn’t all that worried, but it’s nice to know that I won’t have to go back to get more cut out. (At least not from those moles. I still have a lot more.)

And now that that stress is gone, let’s talk about another stress in my life — dinner.

Back in the day dinner wasn’t a big deal. I’d cook big meals a few times a week (usually for lunch) and then eat leftovers, so I rarely had to muster the energy to cook after a long day. Now, with the whole co-habitation thing, dinner needs to be cooked (and planned for!) every night.

Luckily, Leon loves cooking as much as I do, so I’m rarely alone in the kitchen. But I am generally alone when it comes to planning meals. And that’s the hard part.

So lately I’ve found myself relying on magazine recipes to fill in the holes between recipes I’ve thought of myself. I used to NEVER make magazine recipes and only rarely ever followed other recipes, so this is kind of a big deal to me.

And I’m discovering, as I assume most recipe-followers have before me, that just because it’s in a magazine doesn’t mean that it’s a good recipe. (Oh, and it NEVER turns out like the picture.)

I’ve talked in the past (in my recipe “I Hope You’ve Learned” Tacos) about how to spot a bad recipe and use it as inspiration, but what about those recipes that look good?

So today we’re going to play a little game I like to call “Rate the Recipe.”

Today’s recipe comes to us from the July issue of Oxygen Magazine: Bistro-Style White Bean Burgers

Don’t they look promising? Yeah, I was super jazzed to find this recipe because it 1) fulfilled one of my vegetarian meals for the week, 2) looked stupid easy to make, 3) could be made ahead off time and baked later, and 4) must be pretty healthy since the recipe was coming from a fitness magazine whose pages are chock full o’ads for supplements.

The reality of it:

  • Things took FOR-EH-VER to chop. Part of that could have been because I used Baby Bella mushrooms instead of regular Portobello, but I doubt that contributed too much.

Just a small fraction of the chopping.

  • The baking time was off. I ended up having to bake these patties for an extra 10 minutes at 350F to keep them from falling apart.
  • The measurements were not real world-compatible. I HATE recipes that leave random, small amounts of ingredients leftover. This one left less than half a can of beans, ~2/3 of a can of artichoke hearts (which I don’t even really like) and a bunch of sundried tomatoes.

This was a waste.

  • This was not all that healthy and balanced. The carbs were too high and the protein was too low. I added a second egg and I still have trouble believing that an Oxygen-style fit woman would eat this without a side of chicken breasts.

Fried eggs with a side of bean burger.

  • It was kinda tasty. All the complaining aside, this was a more than passing meal.

I would probably add more balsamic vinegar next time. (Or make a balsamic reduction without the sugar!)

And I might pulse everything in the food processor instead of chopping it.

I’d probably swap the sundried tomatoes for tomato paste.

And maybe I would do half beans and half tempeh (because it’s a dang good combination, as evidenced by these meatless balls).

And the artichoke hearts would probably get nixed because I don’t think they added anything.

I would definitely add salt and pepper.

But all in all, this wasn’t a bad burger-thing. I’d give it a 7.5/10 for taste and a 4.5/10 for the actual recipe. So take that for what it’s worth.

What do you think, eaters:

Are you a recipe-follower?

What’s your recipe pet peeve?

G’night eaters!

#SurviveOn35, Or Close To It

Hi eaters!

Long time no see, right?

(Or maybe that should read, “Long time no write?” Ahhh, homonyms!)

Anyway, a lot of things conspired on Thursday that made going out to eat with friends and then putting on a pretty dress and drinking beer in several locations a lot more appealing than blogging.

I would apologize, but I’m sure you skip out on reading here in order to go out and live it up every now and then, so I’m going to call it even.

Anywhoo, today being Sunday meant that both Leon and I were off from work and refused to do anything that we didn’t want to do. But since I’m a little weird, I went grocery shopping because the grocery store is my happy place.

Oh who am I kidding?! If you’re here than chances are the grocery store is your happy place, too.

I’m so glad you understand me.

Anywhoo once again, today while grocery shopping I got to thinking about my budget. I haven’t talked about grocery shopping or budgeting for food in a hot minute, so I figured it was high time to talk about it.

Another thing that prompted me to get talking about budgeting is this whole #SurviveOn35 thing you’ve probably seen around Twitterland.

If you’re in the dark about this, it’s a challenge thrown out by Anytime Fitness to some Fitfluential ambassadors for them to survive on just $35/week for food. (Specifically, $35/week for every adult and $20/week for every child in the household.)

$35 is the amount that people on government food stamps get each week and Anytime Fitness and Fitfluential want to show that it’s not only possible for an adult to eat 21 meals a week on $35, but that they can do it healthily.

I think that’s awesome. And the main reason that I think it’s awesome is because I used to #SurviveOn35 every single week.

That was my weekly food budget when I was a sophomore cooking in an electric wok and a microwave in my tiny dorm.

(Side note — I need to bring “offing bitches” back into my vocabulary. Click the link above and you’ll understand.)

Things have changed since then. I now have a real kitchen and live with a real boyfriend who likes to eat meat.

My grocery budget may not be as trim as it was back then, but I am happy to say that it’s not too bloated either.

For a week of food for two people, we spend roughly $80.

That’s not too far off from the government’s $70 and considering how chock full o’organics, meat, and Whole Foods our kitchen is, I don’t think it’s half bad.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a tried and true way to widdle your grocery budget, nor do I have a pattern that I follow when I’m making my shopping list. But I do have some tips, so here goes:

Only plan dinners. You can generally get away with only really planning dinners. You know what you like to eat for breakfast and lunch, so make those ingredients your staples and stock up whenever they’re on sale.

Make a quarter of your meals meatless. For every four dinners I plan at least one is meatless. A block of tofu is ~$3.50 (tempeh is slightly less) and it can feed 2-3 people.

Buy whole chickens! Leon and I buy a whole chicken and then butcher it. From a chicken we get 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 tenders, and a big carcass. Depending on the size of the chicken we often split a breast or thigh, so a single chicken can yield us up to 6 meals, plus whatever we make out of the carcass.

Plan a garbage meal. Rather than waste the bits and scraps hanging around at the end of the week, we always plan the last meal of the week as a garbage meal. That can mean throwing it all on a pizza, in a stirfry or a salad. Whatever it is, it should require AT MOST 3 specific ingredients.

Limit yourself to 2 specialty items a week. A specialty item is anything that you only need a little bit of for a recipe, namely a condiment, seasoning, or fresh herb. Everything else you buy should be things that you will use all of (or most of) in that week. And if it’s a perishable item, like fresh herbs, at least two meals should include it.

A current shopping trip.

And that’s all I’ve got for you. Besides that, my tricks include making a meal plan, not buying things off my list (unless they’re on sale shelf stable items I regularly use), and not planning on having grass-fed steak every week.

Yup, it’s all pretty basic. I wish it was more of a rocket science so it could be taught and mastered, but it’s more…instinct I guess you could call it.

Your turn, eaters:

Give me your best budgeting — for groceries and otherwise — tip.

Are any of my tips bad? If so, please correct me.

G’night eaters!

Disclaimer — I wasn’t one of the bloggers chosen by Anytime Fitness to #SurviveOn35 and blog about it. This is just my 2 cents.

WIAW: Ya Know

G’morning eaters!

Today I’m putting my money where my mouth is by going to the 6am Crossfit class and working from 9-5. Ya know, without a nap like a normal adult.

It’s going to be an interesting day.

But first, let’s talk about my interesting day yesterday.

Ya know, where I researched and wrote a 9 page paper in less than four hours without any study drugs, not like a normal college student.

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with kale and avocado, and a few slices of bread.

This wasn’t exactly Zone-tastic, but when there’s half a loaf of Leon’s homemade Italian bread chock full’o rosemary and oregano, the Zone can be damned.

Workout:

I’m an idiot and got sucked into chores and ended up missing my chance at Crossfit for the day so I went to my school gym and did a quick warm up (3 rounds of 20 mountain climbers, 10 g’mornings, 10 push-ups) and then worked on clean & jerks and back squats.

A couple of the other guys in the weight room were giving me weird looks, but they were lifting big dumbbells a few inches off the stands and then shrugging their shoulders, so I don’t really think I qualify as the weird one.

Oddly calm heart attack:

Leaving the gym I ran into a friend who’s taking a similar class as mine, taught by the same professor, but held on Monday and Wednesday (mine’s Tuesday and Thursday). She asked how I did on my final paper.

We chatted and she mentioned that her paper was due yesterday even though there’s still a class session left. I started wondering if my paper was due yesterday or Thursday, the last day of class.

I got to my car and decided that I should probably postpone my errands to go home and check the syllabus. Just in case.

And so that’s how at 1pm I found out that my 8-10 page research paper was due yesterday, not Thursday, which gave me 5 hours.

So for the next 4 hours I frantically read, wrote, and cited 9 ½ pages of hopefully not pure dribble.

5pm:

A hardboiled egg with mustard, miscellaneous tofu and veg, a slice of carrot cake.

I finished my paper by pure magic. And then, despite the fact that I felt stupid hyped up and nauseous, I ate some food.

I also grabbed some coffee on the ay to class because I knew that my slight mania would wear off quickly and then I’d be dead tired.

Dinner:

Grilled porkchop topped with cherry-fig jam-thing, and grilled squash.

I loved everything about this.

Dessert:

S'mores made with Trader Joe's cocoa almond spread instead of chocolate.

And I’d be lying if I said that one of my favorite parts of grilling wasn’t that there are usually coals hot enough to make dessert.

And then I went to bed early. Ya know, like your grandma.

What do you think, eaters:

How do you work under pressure?

What food will you ditch any diet or restriction for?

Later eaters!

Half A Carrot Cake

Hiya eaters!

I’m happy to say that I survived my 9-hour workday yesterday and the heart attack of researching and writing a 9 page paper in under 5 hours today because I originally thought it was due Thursday.

It really is a wonder I’m not more stressed more often. But now that all of that is behind me, let’s talk cake and what goes one behind the scenes computer screen.

For bloggers (and other food creators) there’s this thing called “recipe development.” This is the process from which they take an idea for a new recipe and turn it into a reality.

This process usually looks something like idea->plan->make->taste->tweak->remake->taste, with the last few steps repeating as many times as it takes to yield a successful recipe. Sometimes they hit success with the first go, other times it takes them a half dozen attempts. Either way, they generally start and finish the process with no breaks for other recipes or things like that.

I feel the need to explain this process to you because I don’t in anyway follow it.

My process is more recipe idea->plan->make->taste->write down possible tweaks and remake at a much later, undecided upon date.

My process goes like this for several reasons.

  1. I don’t have the time, money, or dishwashing ability (seriously, someone give me a dishwasher) to make and remake and remake the same recipe over and over and over.
  2. I would get so freaking bored of eating the same thing. I don’t know what other bloggers do with their failed attempts, but I hate throwing out food, so generally I eat them. And eating four batches of anything, even if it’s great, is difficult, so I don’t want to think how it would be eating four batches of mediocre food.
  3. I’m not that much of a perfectionist. Sure, I don’t post a recipe on the blog until it’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean I have to work relentlessly to get it perfect right that very second. I don’t mind taking my time.

Except when I make stupid little mistakes that could be easily fixed. And I have a bowl of leftover frosting in my fridge.

Then, I embrace the process and bake a (half) cake just days after baking the first (full) cake.

Okay, maybe that’s not quite as strict as most “recipe development” plans, but come on, who needs 1 ½ cakes in a 2 person household? Really?

It’s-Healthy-Because-It-Has-Carrots-and-Yogurt-In-It Cake

FYI — This recipe yields a whole 2-layer cake, not a half a cake.

1 2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 c AP flour

2 t baking soda

1 t salt

2 t cinnamon

½ t nutmeg

1 t ground ginger

1 c sugar

2/3 c coconut oil*

1 c minus 1 T plain yogurt**

4 eggs

3 c grated carrots

*Coconut oil is GREAT for baking (if all the other ingredients are room temperature so the oil doesn’t firm up from the cold), but any mild flavored oil, like vegetable or canola, will do.

**I used 365 brand organic low fat plain yogurt.

Mix the first six ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), mix the sugar, oil, eggs, and yogurt together. Once those are thoroughly combined, gradually mix in the dry ingredients. When everything is just barely thoroughly combined, gently fold in the carrots.

Pour the batter into two 9-inch round cake pans and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the sides have just barely begun to pull away.

Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pans and leaving them to cool completely on a wrack. Then frost with whatever cream cheese frosting you want.

I made my own, but I didn’t really measure how much milk or sugar went into it and we have a ton leftover, so I can’t tell you exactly how much of anything really.

Mmmmmnot overly sweet cream cheese frosting.

It sure was tasty, though.

And this cake, the second time through, was near perfection.

Well, less than half a cake after I sent Marisa home with a slice.

It was dense and moist and full of carrots and spice.

It wasn’t overly sweet, so you can (and I did) eat it for breakfast.

It was just plain good. And now, not even three full days after I made it, there’s only one thin slice left. There’s over a 1/3 of the original cake left. That should say something.

It says, “If you come over I’m feeding you mediocre cake.”

Your turn, eaters:

Do you make and remake a recipe until you get it perfect or take your time?

Really, who has any ideas of what I can do with 1/3 of a mediocre frosted carrot cake?

G’night eaters!

Do The Dang Thing

G’freaking’evening eaters!

I’m absolutely gushing with excitement right now and need to get it out right now.

(Yes, that means the half cake post is getting pushed back to tomorrow).

I went to Crossfit tonight. And I didn’t break!

Why is that a big deal?

#ChallengeBringsChange

Because it’s been a week since I got all stitched up.

Because in that week I haven’t done jack shit.

Because in that entire week I walked the dog for a total of 16 blocks, which is a far cry from the 20 a day I usually walk him. (Don’t worry, Leon was walking him plenty so no dogs suffered in the making of this post.)

Because I honestly didn’t think I would be able to do much of anything and really thought I would end up having to skip out somewhere between the warm-up and the WOD.

But despite all of that negative thinking and self-doubt and worrying about my stitches, I totally fucking rocked Crossfit tonight!

  • Warm up:
  • 4 rounds of 200m run, 5 (as strict as possible) pull-ups, 10 push-ups.
  • Skill:
  • 30 minutes of handstand work.
  • WOD:
  • 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 7 handstand push-ups, 12 L-hang pull-ups.

I did the warm-up as is and felt surprisingly wonderful.

I spent my half hour of handstand work actually nailing, with brilliant consistency, a real handstand. It’s the second day I’ve ever done one!

Then came the WOD.

Per my trainer’s suggestions I modified it to be 7 dumbbell presses (with 15# each), 12 jump-assist pull-ups, 12 sit-ups.

At first, I was half-assing it. I was taking my time and allowing for plenty of rest. I was worried about breaking.

But then, when I saw the 10-minute mark pass I knew I wasn’t going to break. I knew that I could — and needed to! — quit being a wimp and do the damn thing.

So I did.

In the first 10 minutes I finished 4 rounds. In the second 10 minutes I finished 6 rounds.

By the time the buzzer rang I was drenched in sweat, with chalk and torn skin on my hands, a small sweat ‘stache, and absolutely glowing with pride.

It was an awesome experience. An experience that I certainly wouldn’t have had if I was working out on my own. An experience that I absolutely needed after a week of worrying about breaking and sitting on my ass.

Now I’m not saying this is all about Crossfit or that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Crossfit, but m’gosh, the community (and my awesome coach/trainer/dude) sure as shit did help.

Okay, gushing over.

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last thing you did that surprised you?

G’night eaters!

PS — These images came from Fitfluential’s pinterest.

PPS — My 5 external stitches (because I do have a layer below the skin in each incision) come out next Monday.

My Day Off

G’evening eaters!

It feels like it’s been forever since we last talked that I actually had to check to make sure I did, in fact, blog on Thursday.

Don’t worry, I did.

Anyway, there is a good reason why I feel like so much time has passed since Thursday — I got a job!

I’ve been steadily applying for countless jobs (seriously, I lost track after 14) since May with absolutely no luck…until a couple of weeks ago.

I’m working as a sales clerk at a clothing store that’s opening in Greensboro. Construction wasn’t done on the store until Saturday, so we didn’t start work until Friday. Since then it’s been hectic and hurried as we try to get the store open as soon as possible.

Since I have pretty much wide-open availability until school starts, I don’t see my workload slowing much or at all. And that’s all fine and dandy by me. I like making money, work seems like it’ll be fun, and we’re closed on Sundays.

Yeah, it’s really pretty wonderful knowing that no matter what, no matter how long or how late I work throughout the week, I’ll always have Sunday off.

To catch up on homework.

To catch up on sleep.

To leisurely shop for groceries.

To eat pizza in bed with m’man and m’dog.

To do whatever I damn well please (which will almost never ever be the dishes) for an entire day without having to pay much attention to the clock.

Just the idea of it feels wonderfully freeing and exciting.

But, knowing myself, I have a hunch that I’ll start feeling a need to pack as much into my guaranteed free day as possible. That I’ll need to do all of the above mentioned things plus go to Crossfit and Swiffer the whole house and pre-write blog posts in order to feel like I didn’t waste my day.

But then my day just becomes another form of work, which defeats the point. So on this first employed Sunday, with the help of m’long lost friend Marisa, I practiced doing exactly what and exactly as much as I wanted.

That meant starting with brunch at Iron Hen.

A proper brunch.

There were no mini quiches or bran muffins or anything of the sort. There were also no holds bared.

So I ordered a “Morning Burger,” which is just a giant angus burger topped with a poached egg.

No. Holds. Bared.

And ate it while enjoying the scenery:

A pretty little pot of flowers.

Marisa's "Why the fuck are you taking a picture of me eating my melon thing?" face.

Then, after dropping the man off at home, Marisa and I headed downtown to browse around. Browsing around lead to a couple of purchases from Design Archives, my favorite vintage/handmade clothing and home decor store (on S Elm St, across from Natty Greene’s and the Green Bean).

A large, enameled platter that I bought because I fell in love with the handles.

A set of gold-edged dessert plates.

And because both Marisa and I both bought dessert plates, we came home and baked half a cake while watching Mr. Universe.

I’ll talk more about the half a cake tomorrow, because not long after Marisa left to go home I got a call from my boss.

Looks like I’m working from 8am-5pm tomorrow, which means the last few hours of my day have been spent catching up on homework, pre-writing blog posts, walking the dog, and doing the dishes.

Oh well. There’s always next Sunday. And the Sunday after that. And the Sunday after that.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you have one day a week that you know will always be free from obligations?

How do you feel about brunch?

G’night eaters!