A healthy version of a slow cooker chili

Let's talk about Chili. You know, the flavorful mushy stuff that fills your heart and stomach until you realize that you're so full, you can't possibly take another bite.  But you do.  And then you end up with a stomach ache.  Okay, so maybe you're a lot smarter than I am and you don't overeat, but I just can't say no to spicy goodness, topped with cheese, paired with some buttery rolls. I have to share a little something with you guys - just years ago (maybe like 3) I never even tried Chili.  That's right.  Never in my first 26 or so years did I take a bite of Chili, primarily because, well, no one makes it in Russia.  I also have never had (and probably never will) peanut butter, cereal, or bagels.  We did, however, have Pelmeni, Borsch, and caviar.  I guess with every culture you learn a little more about food - and I don't mean just the way to prepare it.  You learn about the ingredients too. I remember the first time that Jon introduced me to an artichoke and I reciprocated by showing him a pomegranate.  He's also tried to convince me to have peanut butter (not happening) and I've been trying to get him to eat a persimmon (also totally not happening). But that's not the point.  The point is that I now love Chili.  And bagels.  And cereal.  But not peanut butter. This one is packed full of all sorts of healthy stuff like turkey, celery, corn, tomatoes, and chilies.  I know you're dying to get your grubby little hands all over it. Slow cooker … [Read more...]


Week by iPhone – 30/52

Let's just jump right into it this morning, shall we? Saturday: with Jon in North Carolina for the weekend for a wedding, Peanut and I spent the weekend on our own.  We started the day off right by taking a stroll with everyone.  Peanut loves taking her puppy for a walk.  For breakfast I made us some eggs, cheese and hot dogs (totally ok in the Russian culture) and then we were off to Massachusetts to hang out with my friends.  Peanut had a blast and as did I!  At the end of the evening we said our goodbyes and headed to auntie Penny's house for a little sleepover. Sunday: Peanut and I were woken up by our silly barking dog, so the three of us ended up cuddling in bed together before getting up way too early for a Sunday morning.  The three of us took a stroll through the neighborhood and then went out for some breakfast.  A day at the beach, followed by a snack and the long drive home.  Le sigh - once again I was left to clean up the house all by my lonesome.  Side note: although I would never usually eat these totally horrible for you but delicious spicy noodle bowls, I was beat and I just didn't feel like making dinner for myself.  So noodle bowl it was.  I also tried out the new Shatter nail polish and I must say - eh.  I wasn't impressed.  Love the color though. Monday:  While I cleaned up the house after our weekend messiness, Peanut played in her room.  By herself.  Seriously - who is this big kid? Tuesday:  I got nothing.  Honestly, I don't … [Read more...]


Dear husband,

I cannot believe that it's been 5 years since that wonderful day when you said "I do" long before you were supposed to and everyone in Church laughed at your slip up.  I've never seen you turn so red - it was the cutest and sweetest moment that I will never forget because you were so eager to be married to me that you couldn't wait (even if the whole ceremony did take only 10 minutes). I'll never forget how hot that day was and how our Church's air conditioning and fans broke on the day of our wedding.  Between the heat and the rain, you would think that our wedding day would have been ruined, but somehow it all came together just perfect.  The rain stopped and the sun appeared out of nowhere at the most perfect times and we were able to spend time outside for the receiving line and our pictures.  It's as if things were just meant to be perfect for us, regardless of what mr. weather had in mind. I'll never forget how amazing it was to stand there, hand in hand, in front of all the people we love, and promise to be with one another for the rest of our lives.  Regardless of how many people were in the room, I couldn't see past your deep brown eyes.  Sure, we were young and we didn't know each other long, but we knew that we were meant to be and that's all that mattered (that, and the fact that we survived living together for over a year - that's no easy feat considering we had to share the remote). I remember the fun ride in the limo, the one that smelled like puke … [Read more...]


This, that and the other thing

Tomorrow is Jon and my 5 year anniversary.  Tonight we're packing up the kid, a few essentials and heading off to New Hampshire for a couple of days.  There is no agenda except dilly dallying through the cute little towns, popping into stores, and enjoying afternoons by the pool.  We haven't gone on a little weekend getaway in a little while and are really excited to share this one with our little Peanut.  If you're interested in checking out previous anniversary posts, here are a couple:  How I became the Queen, Anniversary post.  BlogHer is only a week away!  To date I've ordered my business cards from Moo, figured out the train schedule, and even set up a tentative schedule of the events and sessions that I plan to attend.  On the to do list is: buy clothes, buy shoes, pack, breath into brown paper back so I don't pass out from excitement and anxiety.  If you're attending BlogHer, let me know so we can meet!   BlogHer would not be possible without these wonderful folks who supported my purchase of the ticket!  A very very huge thank you to Going Small Town, Grace @ Opinionation, FauxFoodieGirl, and Melissa. This past weekend was spent with two of my BFFs and their amazing families. How adorable do they look?  Inna & Michael, also known as Peanut's God Parents, are expecting a little baby girl of their own any minute now.  I love this picture of the four of them because this will be their life in a very short time! My wonderful friends Kerry and … [Read more...]


A day at the beach

If you're wondering if that's a baby bump under that bathing suit, the answer is yes! My sister-in-law is pregnant! Jon and I are so excited that we can barely contain ourselves.  Our first niece or nephew is due in January (just a week before Peanut's due date!). … [Read more...]