It’s Been A While!

Oh hey there!

It’s been a while…over a month actually. I’ve had an interesting summer, to say the least. My pescetarian summer challenge? Went well, I ate more veggies and sushi, and had no shame about eating a tuna sandwich for dinner.

Camp was truly exhausting, my girls really kept me on my toes! As usual, one of my favorite field trips was to the Lake County Fair, where we saw goats

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Sheep ready for aerobics

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And of course, the Ferris Wheel was the group favorite ride.

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I made a few insect friends, namely a katydid on my birthday, and a cicada later that week.

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Speaking of my birthday, Adam got me the most beautiful Miyabi chef’s knife, which helped me to create a delicious papparadelle dish with tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese from our vacation to Door County.

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And about that Door County trip… Adam and I spent a gloriously uneventful 4 days in the northern Wisconsin town of Sister Bay, eating too many cherries, delicious meals, and spending time doing nothing on the shores of Lake Michgan. We took a ferry up to Washington Island, where we visited a 1920s Norwegian church and a farm museum.

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When we got back, I met up with some former campers for a little photo shoot. They wanted to surprise their parents with some good pictures of them as a group for their anniversary. I can’t believe I met these girls when they were 6!

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Finally, after the 10 weeks of camp were over, my sister and I flew off to Key West for a few days of tropical bliss. I managed to get strep and a cold, but we still had a blast.

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(at the butterfly conservatory)

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Decorated cigars, done by the chef of the amazing Havana 1 restaurant

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The remarkable sunset at The Top of La Concha

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So much blue!

There are a lot more photos on my Facebook album. Check them out here!

So now, here I sit, the day before I go into school for the first time for the 2013-2014 school year (my 11th year teaching!) wondering what the year will hold. I’m co-teaching this year, which is an adventure in itself (50 kids, 2 teachers, 1 subject!) and I’m spending time and energy working on myself. What that holds for the blog, I don’t know. If I cook or make something wonderful, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

This definitely isn’t goodbye. This is a “Thank you” for sticking with me, and a “see you soon”!

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Posted in family, friends, pasta, pescetarian summer, photography, random, travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Recently

So… I haven’t checked in as often as I thought I would. In fact, I haven’t posted since June 9! What the…

Well, I’ve been seriously busy. Camp is camp: 12 hour days, super-active girls, fun field trips, the usual.

The whole pescetarian summer is going better than I had anticipated! In addition to that, Adam and I have a “nothing fried” pledge, so we’re both feeling pretty darn good. I wish I had more fun recipes to show you, but honestly it’s been a lot of tuna salad, sushi, and salads.

I’ve done four photo shoots: one newborn (my friend John and his adorable baby girl)

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Two family shoots: One with my friend Missy (who you’ve seen here) who just had a baby, and one with my college friend Wendy, whose daughter has the most remarkable hair.

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And one maternity shoot with my friend Jodi, who is pregnant with twin boys!

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I had a fun day with my mom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and their new butterfly garden exhibit, and I got to take the most amazing photos of surreal butterflies… I can’t believe these colors exist in nature!

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So, that’s about it. Hope you’ve survived the Google Reader crumble, and that you’re still reading.

I’ll try to check in more often!

xoxo

signature

Digiprove sealThis recipe blog post has been Digiproved © 2013
Posted in Photo Gigs, photography, random | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Recently

So… I haven’t checked in as often as I thought I would. In fact, I haven’t posted since June 9! What the…

Well, I’ve been seriously busy. Camp is camp: 12 hour days, super-active girls, fun field trips, the usual.

The whole pescetarian summer is going better than I had anticipated! In addition to that, Adam and I have a “nothing fried” pledge, so we’re both feeling pretty darn good. I wish I had more fun recipes to show you, but honestly it’s been a lot of tuna salad, sushi, and salads.

I’ve done four photo shoots: one newborn (my friend John and his adorable baby girl)

Baby Katherine-029.jpg

Baby Katherine-234.jpg

Baby Katherine-073.jpg

Two family shoots: One with my friend Missy (who you’ve seen here) who just had a baby, and one with my college friend Wendy, whose daughter has the most remarkable hair.

Vallicelli Summer 2013-52.jpg

Brutt Family-198.jpg

Brutt Family-224.jpg

And one maternity shoot with my friend Jodi, who is pregnant with twin boys!

Brutt Family-349.jpg

Brutt Family-393.jpg

I had a fun day with my mom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and their new butterfly garden exhibit, and I got to take the most amazing photos of surreal butterflies… I can’t believe these colors exist in nature!

botanic-051.jpg

botanic-060.jpg

botanic-100.jpg

So, that’s about it. Hope you’ve survived the Google Reader crumble, and that you’re still reading.

I’ll try to check in more often!

xoxo

signature

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The Pescetarian Summer

First of all, thank you so much for your positive feedback on my last post. I was nervous to post it, and so many of you were so supportive…I remember why I do this. It’s the community, the friends, the sharing parts of me and my history and weirdo brain with other people who “get it.”

So yes, posts may be more sporadic, and they’ll definitely feature more healthy recipes and fewer treats. It’s probably a good thing… after all, this is “What’s for DINNER” not “What’s for DESSERT”.

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Ok, about that challenge I mentioned: I’m self-imposing a challenge for the summer. I’m going pescetarian. You know, vegetarian while still eating fish. Not Nemo, of course, but here’s my rationale:

  • Giving myself the smaller box of “no meat but fish” will require a larger intake of fruits and vegetables, which is much healthier than what I’ve been eating.
  • Fish is expensive. If I can’t afford it, I won’t eat it. That means we’ll really be eating mostly vegetarian.
  • Why not all-the-way vegetarian? Or even vegan for that matter? I love sushi, and at camp we order grilled fish from a local restaurant on Tuesdays, and that makes me happy.
  • I’m actually really excited about this, which will keep me motivated.
  • I’m forced to plan for lunches rather than relying on quick fixes. Planned, homemade lunches = healthier choices.
  • Seafood and veggies are quick to cook after a long day at camp. I can handle 6 minutes for some shrimp or veggies.

So, I’m revisiting some old favorite recipes: Black bean burgers, baked tofu, veggie-full pasta dishes, seafood stew, and of course coming up with new stuff too.

We’ll be eating black bean burgers, tuna casserole, shrimp kebabs, and spinach salads this week for dinner, and I’ve got a fun salad with apples, pears, sunflower seeds, and feta for lunches.

Anyone want to join me with their own challenge for the next 10 weeks? We can check in on Sundays, plan for the week, and share ideas!

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Posted in fish or seafood, pescetarian summer | Tagged , | 17 Comments

On Feeling Burnt Out…

I’ve been writing this blog for almost five years now, and I’m honestly amazed at how long I’ve kept it up. I figured it would be something I did for a year or so and didn’t think it would turn into something that I loved. I’ve made some truly amazing friends through blogging, and I’m by NO MEANS writing this post as an “I quit” post.

I’m just going to vent/blabber/yammer about feeling burnt out by the whole blogging thing.

I’m proud of my photography skills in current posts. Case and point:

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Same dish, five years apart. Crazy.

I’m super-proud of that photo on the right. Never mind that FoodGawker and Tastespotting claimed it had “composition” problems and was “too tight”. I love it. The world of food blogging has changed so much in the last five years. When I started, it was all about the community. Posts would go up, and within minutes, discussion would begin in the comments, with either a comment on the recipe or even just a “hope you had a great day!” comment. I loved that. I’d interact with people here and on my Facebook page, and I thrived on the community.

But here I am, five years later, with some amazingly close friends made through this blogging community, and all I feel is disdain for this little piece of internet I’ve carved out. I still love cooking and baking, and I love when I come up with new recipes…but I’m finding that I’m making things FOR the blog, as opposed to making things for me and then posting them on the blog. Does that make sense?

At first, a fun recipe that I came up with for Adam and I to enjoy as a healthy dinner would make a great blog post. Now, I’m constantly trying to come up with something new for my readers, and when I come up with something that I think is AMAZING, I get absolutely no response. Nothing. Weeks upon weeks of posts with no comments. It’s discouraging, and I know I can’t judge a post by the number of comments…but do you get what I’m saying?

The burnout feeling started about two months ago when, for the zillionth time, I started to attempt to lose weight. I found myself not making the healthiest of recipes because I’d “already posted it” or “it didn’t photograph well.” Needless to say, the weight loss attempt didn’t go all that well.

About a month ago, I started posting fun things that I did for me that I thought would make a fun blog post: the What I Love Wednesday posts, the Freebie Saturday posts, and the few photography gigs I’ve had. I crave the interaction that used to happen. Still nothing.

So here’s what I’m saying: I’m going to stop blogging for the sake of blogging. When I make something new and fantastic, I’ll post it. It might not always be food, but I think you’re all ok with that. I’ll still post Wednesday in Numbers for the Summer, and I have a self-imposed challenge I’m beginning Monday that I’ll be sure to keep you updated on.

But, I’m no longer going to make ridiculous rich recipes “for the blog” at the expense of my health, hoping that someone, somewhere will interact.

Here’s what I will be doing: I’ll still be cooking, photographing, eating, and going to fabulous restaurants. When I feel like there’s something worthy of posting, I’ll post. Wednesdays will still be things I love and number-filled, and I’ll keep up Freebie Saturdays, mostly because it’s an excuse to crochet. I’ll still make fun treats (at least one a month, thanks to Adam’s birthday present!) and if worthy, I’ll post them. No more posting to post, but rather posting when good.

I hope you choose to stick with me, but if not, I understand.

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Posted in random | Tagged | 38 Comments