i am exhausted. the weekend kicked my butt, and then some. but this week is a whole week of hanging out with friends, finishing the apartment (completely!) and getting some ME time in. i hate that phrase, but that’s what it is. it’s not that i need it or deserve a week off ~ i’m just hoping this week will kick things off on the right foot. it’s the vacation time before the crazy year starts.
so, my HAPPINESS PROJECT list for the whole summer has been to incorporate italy sarah with kansas city sarah. what a challenge! the outcome has been this:
1. a heightened desire for everything to be clean, beautiful, and beautifully functional in the house.
2. lots of new loves in the kitchen. fresh pasta! and antipasti is on the table most nights, which makes scrambling to get dinner on the table for a starving husband, a thing of the past.
3. some definite clashing with the hub, but for the best. i think we both changed from our experiences this summer, and now we’re trying to redefine our lives and personalities. shedding old, unhealthy habits, and trying not to work so damn hard. when we got married last summer, we literally jumped into a busy and stressful life, and there was hardly any time to look up from our work. that was last year. this is a new year (the school year will always be our calendar) and we are finally figuring out how much we have to slow down to fit in a great relationship like ours. not that we really need to sit across a romantic candle-lit table and stare at each other every night for hours on end. but we do need to have some tiny bit of energy left at the end of the day, so that we’re not just roommates.
4. and my biggest change: the art of the word NO. i’ve had people tell me all my life, “gurrrl, you need to learn how to say NO!” but it’s so much more than that. it’s figuring out what you can and cannot do. it’s saying no to the people who are telling you to say no, when they are the last ones who want to hear it from you. it’s setting boundaries that get trampled on over and over again. it’s hurting people’s feelings when you say you don’t want to work with them, or when you say no to a gig because they’re not paying you enough money. and the hardest NO ~ saying no to the joy of treating people to food, parties, fun. entertaining is expensive, and fattening! ha! not that i would ever refrain for caloric reasons. please! but it is expensive and time consuming. i absolutely love it, but lately, entertaining has been very draining and stressful to me.
yesterday, i made lunch for the hub and i, and two wonderful guests. one of our best friends came over, and a new friend i already adore. i stayed home from church to finish making everything because the night before, all we could do was clean this darn place. i only got a salad made. the rest had to wait till the morning. well, i overdid it. i was running around like a headless chicken, trying to get it all done. i was exhausted when they came, and i’m still exhausted today. i need to rethink what i make and how far in advance it can all be made. this is elementary ~ i just forgot and got ambitious. those lovely people at my table would have been just as happy if i had made pot roast, or grilled cheese and tomato soup.
i LOVED what i made, though. risotto with shrimp, peas and mushrooms. and i made a blinged-out version of the spinach salad with hot bacon dressing. instead of bacon, i used pancetta and it was SO GOOD. i made candied almonds with brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. they were amazing. i added the leaves of brussels sprouts to the lettuce, and strawberries, a blue cheese/feta combo, green onion, the crispy pancetta, and think that’s it. the dressing was the pancetta drippings, a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice and tons of black pepper. incredible!!! not healthy, but awesome!
for dessert, i made my old standby ~ giada’s amaretti cake. it’s a chocolate no-flour cake that has almonds in it and amaretti cookies. and orange. it’s divine.
i just didn’t do enough prep the day before. the next time i have a dinner party, something will come out of the slow cooker. that’s my new motto.
but i had a great time with my friends and my hub! and today, i clean zee dishes.