Oh July! A time for family, school, and… Pictures!

Why hello there! I’m sure you were wondering where I went… or maybe not. But I’d like to think that you’ve been curious.

If you know me well, or have even read some of my past posts you might know the following:

  1. I recently became a wife.
  2. I’m a graduate student.
  3. I like to run.
  4. I love to cook.
  5. I like makeup (but you’d never know by looking at me)
  6. I work full-time.
  7. I blog in my spare time.
  8. I’m interning part time.

This summer has been very busy for me. It’s the busiest for me at work and the most time consuming for me at school with such a short semester. I love being busy, I’ll admit it, but too much business for too long really gets to me. So long story short, there’s only 168 hours in a week and I’ve had to let some things go for the summer. Unfortunately the following had to get cut:

  1. Running
  2. Cooking (lots of sandwiches, salads, and frozen Chinese food for us)
  3. Blogging
  4. …Makeup

It’s sad. I know. BUT I wanted to at least let you know what I’ve been up to this summer.

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The weekend of the 4th of July I was able to have a short weekend escape and road trip to the country to spend some time with my [new] family and [new] extended family. The weekend was filled with all the things you would expect for a weekend with family: lots of laughs, lots of food, and a few adjustments.

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I love my family and I’m grateful for every moment I get to spend with them. I’m also thankful that the folks in charge of the food knew what they were doing because who wants to have crappy food on the Fourth of July? My father-in-law killed it at the grill and my mother-in-law basically makes the best food ever (even her Brussels Spouts taste like heaven).

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I enjoyed getting to fish a little bit with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law even though we didn’t really catch anything big.

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And of course I loved getting some time with my husband away from our crazy life at home.

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I can’t wait to get back to actual cooking (and blogging, and running, and makeup) but unfortunately the semester doesn’t end until July 30th!

I promise I’m still trying to get a blog post together that touches on grocery shopping on a budget. So many of you responded and I’ve got some great data to work with!

If you have any blog post ideas please comment and share! I want to make sure I’m blogging about things you’re interested in!

See you in August!

Why I Love Food – Cooking in a World of the Forgotten Table.

Life of Pix

Life of Pix

Most of my blog posts consist of recipes, tips, or restaurant reviews, but every once in a while I like to share a little bit more of my heart.

I love cooking and I love food so much that I spend my days thinking about food. I’m sure many of you are thinking that one day all that enjoyment of food is going to catch up with me. Here’s the thing… Food means so much more to me than it does to some.

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The reason I love food so much might be because of all of the happy memories I have around what I like to call the table. The table to me is a place where you join together as a family, group of friends, or a group of strangers and share life and a meal together. This can be at a restaurant, a home, a park, or on a food tour. The important part of the table is that it’s a sacred place where you’re not rushed, and the goal is to build community and relationship while providing others with one of life’s necessities… food.

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you will understand that most of my recipes give a nod to my parents, a sibling, or my grandmother. My grandmother on my dad’s side is one of the best cooks I know. My mom filled my heart, stomach, and soul with her food. My dad and I connected in so many way as a kid, but some of my greatest memories he and I share are of him making us pancakes on a saturday morning, grilling out on a summer day, or teaching me how to make a lattice apple tart. My family, my world, revolves around the table.

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So many of my biggest accomplishments, and failures were celebrated at the table. If I got all A’s in high school my parents and I would celebrate with a night out at my favorite restaurant. When I didn’t make the cheerleading team in college my mom, dad, and I went out to dinner to celebrate because not making a team only means that there is something better out there that God has planned for me. As kids we celebrated almost every birthday, and holiday around my parent’s table eating our favorite foods, cakes, and snacks because a happy stomach makes for a happy person.

I think the concept of the table is slowly being forgotten, in a literal sense and a physical sense. We eat dinner in our living rooms in front of the TV instead of the kitchen with our families. We are in such a rush to get the kids to soccer, football, and baseball that we skip the table and drive through the fast food line. We are so focused on clean eating, gluten-free, vegan, and no fat diets that we alienate ourselves from our friends out of the desire to have a perfectly sculpted body. We have cut out dinner date nights and replaced them with Netflix nights  that are spent silently with out eyes glued to the TV. The concept of the table is so important for our bodies, but also for our souls.

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Life of Pix

I share my recipes with you because my desire for you is to live a life where you take time out to think about what you’re cooking for yourself, your friends, and your family. That’s why I don’t focus my recipes on calories, fat, or diets because every once in a while… those things shouldn’t matter. Cooking doesn’t come naturally for everyone, I understand that, but what I do understand is that no matter a person’s background, religion, struggles, passions, or schedules, they will take some time out of their day to eat. I share my recipes with you because I want you to share them with others. I want you to take time out to build community with those like you, and invite those who aren’t like you into conversation. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were over a cup of coffee, sharing a slice of cake, or sitting at my parents table. It’s never really about the food… it’s about opening your heart and yourself to someone else.

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Food impacts every part of my life. I’m a strong believer that I’m so close with my family because of the time we shared with each other around the table. I can probably count on two hands how many times we didn’t have dinner as family when I was a kid. Even though my husband and I have very different work schedules and don’t even see each other every day, my table time with him is extremely important – we make a point to have dinner together, at the table, for every meal we are able to share together. When I get together with friends I’m always sure to have at least coffee and cake around because if the person doesn’t like cake, they most likely will enjoy coffee. I’m convinced that the reason I’m so close with my family, am able to work through things with my husband, and have close relationships with my friends is because the table is what brings us together.

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Take some time out this week to share your table with someone you don’t normally share it with. That could mean inviting your sister over for dessert, meeting a friend for coffee, or sitting down as a family and eating a full meal together (no cell phones, and no distractions). I promise it might be one of the highlights of your week.

I love food… everything about it. But what I love most about food is that it’s served at the table, and the table brings people together. Imagine how different our world would be if we all shared our table just a little bit more.