Tag Archives: life

Meatless Mondays: Lentil Sloppy Joes

A couple Mondays ago, my mom told me she was tired of eating meat all the time. She wanted us to branch out from the usual rotation of recipes and takeout while also meeting my brother’s and my dietary needs (my brother and I are both living at home right now). I was elated. I love meat, but I love “rabbit food” just a little bit more. So we have instituted Meatless Mondays in our home and I am determined to see it through as long as I live here.

One thing that has made this transition easy so far (I know, it’s just one meal a week, but my parents are born-and-bred-meat-and-potatoes people) is that I help out with the cooking a lot as is. Now the extra authority is mine for the taking. Another thing that’s helped is that it’s summer, and to say my parents have green thumbs is an understatement (my dad’s a nurseryman, my mom is a natural gardener and a California native plant enthusiast). They grow tomatoes every summer along with a rotation of other fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes are my life force in the summer: I love tomato sandwiches for any meal (toast bread, spread mayo, add tomato, sprinkle with salt and pepper). And the tomatoes from our backyard are just large and gnarly enough so that one slice can cover a whole slice of bread.

But man cannot not rely on tomato sandwiches alone. So last week some friends pointed me to numerous vegan/veggie blogs and recipes. For my first official Meatless Monday meal, I made lentil sloppy joes from Post Punk Kitchen:

They were great! The next day after I came home from my internship, I microwaved the leftovers with some rice from Sunday night and it tasted even better.

Tonight, I’m making Golden Lentil Soup (with green lentils left over from sloppy joe ingredients) from Zov’s cookbook (Zov is one of our hometown celebrities here in Tustin). I’ve made this soup many times before, but never in a Crock Pot. Crossing my fingers that it goes well.

Last weekend:

Reeling from a phone call inviting me for a job interview!! + Talking about books with friends on shady patios + Pliny the Elder on tap at TBC + Veggie nachos + Malbec + Pretty sunsets + Coffee on rainy mornings + Finishing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban + Experimenting with quinoa

Bad to Good

This weekend started off pretty terribly. I was in a funk on Thursday and couldn’t get myself out. On Friday, things seemed to be improving only slightly. But after eating some Jalapenos potato tacos with a friend and shrimp louis salad with my grandma (I did a lot of eating this weekend), my world was right-side-up again.

It also helped that these guys came in the mail:

On Saturday morning I drove down to Corona Del Mar for a bonfire. I got there at 10 only to find that all of the firepits were taken. So I read my Bill Bryson book for an hour while I waited for Ryan to show up and also to see if a pit would miraculously open up for us. Nothing. We gave up, drove back to Tustin, and went to Tustin Brewing Co. before meeting with more friends for a BBQ to take place of the bonfire. I dined on sausageless Italian sausage from Trader Joe’s and tried many beers that we all got at Total Wine before the BBQ:

After all of that excitement, I needed to relax on Sunday. Instead, I went to the gym in the morning, cleaned my bathroom, and helped my mom pick out a new pair of glasses. THEN I relaxed: read lots of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, watched the sunset from my porch, and listened to music. Super perfect Sunday evening.


Today didn’t go exactly as planned. Let’s examine, 500 Days of Summer style.

Another photo from Saturday since today was uneventful. My friend Young would make such a good blogger. He took photos of everything he ate. I did not.

Expectation: Arrive at work early. Sit at desk, plug in earbuds, watch Lynda.com tutorials for the software I’m learning for my internship. Get inspired. Write.

Reality: Arrive at work early. Notice other interns have nabbed all computers available. Employees stare at me, probably wondering what I’m doing standing in the hallway. Engineer leads me to an empty cubicle. Decide to leave and work from home/somewhere with free wifi.

Expectation: Arrive at home and get super productive!

Reality: Let’s just say that I am surprised I ever got my degree through a distance education program by working from home. Next time, library.

Expectation: Go to dentist appointment at 4 PM. Come home, traumatized, nauseous, zone out in front of a screen of some type.

Reality: Go to dentist. Get along super well with hygienist. Come home, put on gym clothes. Go to gym. Come back home, sign up for Lynda.com, write this blog post.

Things I loved today:

+ my outfit + finishing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets + getting a compliment on my nail color + taking a nap + a grilled ham and cheese sandwich + sunshine + Buddy Holly – “Rave On” + feeling productive RIGHT NOW. See ya!


This has been on my mind the past couple of weeks: when I was a sophomore in college, my Interpersonal Communication professor veered from his lecture to teach our class a simple and powerful life lesson that has stuck with me for years: “Other people can’t make you happy. Only you can make you happy.”

Take this to heart. Make your own happiness, or it will be much harder to turn your life around when you are unhappy.

Today I loved:

+ waking up early again + reassuring discussions with my internship supervisor + sprouted wheat and raisin rolls with cream cheese + extra coffee (now I know why IT people love it so much) + reading and eavesdropping at my favorite coffee place + pear ginger iced tea + almost being done with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets + summer nights on my patio with wine + “Wreckage” – Jolie Holland + rose colored fingernails

What’s really happening

Good to see you again. I’m popping in here, hoping that writing this blog post will get my brain juices flowing so I can finish a proposal for my internship supervisor. Someday I hope to stop just “popping in” here. I really want to get into the habit of writing about things as they happen. Meantime, here are some updates.

1. I switched from LibraryThing to Goodreads. I feel kinda bad about it. It seems that LibraryThing is a bigger advocate of actual libraries, and I liked that the site had an organic, home-grown feel to it. But more of my friends are on Goodreads, and I really enjoy seeing what my friends are reading. So if you’re on Goodreads, don’t be a stranger!

2. I went to my first ever book club meeting. This book club is comprised of librarians and library school students in Orange County. Each month we vote on a different genre and book. August’s genre is biography and we’re reading The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant. Apparently Roald Dahl was kind of a mischievous bastard. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m having a hard time getting into this one, though.

3. I finished The Hunger Games (book #1). I wasn’t totally obsessed with it, but I really enjoyed it and I’m eager to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Also, my new mantra is “what would Katniss do?” Before I read the next two, though, I’m trying to read through the Harry Potter series. I only read the first four books as they came out…that was a long time ago. I don’t understand many Harry Potter references as I haven’t seen the movies either (well, that’s not true. I’ve seen #1 once, a long time ago). So with all this hype about HP7.2 I’m extra tired of being left out!

Peach cobbler

4. My peach cobbler recipe is up at The League of Evil Baking Librarians.

5. I joined Spotify. I’m making a monstrous summer-themed playlist and subscribing to my friends’ awesome playlists. This is the only cloud-based music player I’ve used so I don’t have much to which I can compare, but so far I really like it. Sharing music with friends (especially if you link your account to Facebook) is super easy, and that seems to be making up for the lack of discovery-related features.

6. I went on a short trip to Lone Pine, CA for Father’s day with my mom and dad. Lone Pine is this little town off the 395 that everybody passes through coming from SoCal to Mammoth. I’d never stayed there longer than a few hours, so it was interesting to see what goes on there throughout the course of the day. We ate breakfast at Alabama Hills Cafe, played 9 holes of golf at Mt. Whitney Golf Club, drank beers and read in the shade next to a creek, drove around the Alabama Hills (of which I am still astonished), ate Chinese food and called it a night (I get my earlybirdedness from my parents). Unfortunately, I was kind of in a funk through the whole trip. Going up to Mammoth/anywhere in between tends to get me really down for some reason. I’m trying to correct that…I hope to make GOOD memories there again someday.

7. I sewed a skirt.

8. Some SJSU SLIS friends and I did the Munchathon in Oak Canyon Park out by Irvine Lake. We walked the 5k course and ate at some gourmet food trucks afterward.

9. I made the tough decision to quit volunteering at the Orange County Public Libraries Irvine Heritage Park branch. I have fond memories of that place. They were my foot-in-the-door to the library world, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I just felt that it was time to move on to new adventures. So here’s to letting go and moving forward…

I think that should cover it…see you again soon!

We’ve got a heartbeat

Lovely friends, I’m still alive.

I have just been super busy with school;

Stack of books on top of a deskPeanut butter and banana sandwich next to a laptop

Enjoying the warm spring weather;

Bearded dragon in the shade

Working hard at my internship, and not getting much sleep.

Black dog sleeping on a bed

Why yes, that is my childhood stuffed animal on top of my pillows. Don’t worry, we’re pretty independent.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Manifesto for His Apprentices

1. An honest ego in a healthy body.
2. An eye to see nature
3. A heart to feel nature
4. Courage to follow nature
5. The sense of proportion (humor)
6. Appreciation of work as idea and idea as work
7. Fertility of imagination
8. Capacity for faith and rebellion
9. Disregard for commonplace (inorganic) elegance
10. Instinctive cooperation

(h/t: The Happiness Project)