Day 0-1/34 Eastern Europe Trip

As you know… this is a diary, so get ready for DETAILS. 🙂

Last night, after a short nap, we ventured around our neighborhood, hoping to find something delicious to eat. It didn’t take long, as we’re right in the city center, just off of Andrássy út. We found a place that promised “traditional Hungarian cuisine,” and were really pleased. We got a Hungarian meat plate that came with a traditional cottage cheese, Guylás, Stuffed Peppers with boiled potatoes, and Grilled Pork with Salad. It wasn’t the best Hungarian meal I’ve ever had, but it was really good after a long day of travel. 😉

Somehow when we got back to the apartment, The Boyfriend still had energy. I pretty much passed out while he organized some of his stuff.

Today: We slept in as much as we could. We organized a little bit more, and then headed out to a restaurant we found that was recommended online, Két Szerecsen. We were able to sit outside with Bartley, and WOW, the food was incredible. We had the Parasztreggeli (Peasant Breakfast) which was: Mangalitsa sausage, mangalitsa ham, hard-boiled egg, spicy collage cheese spread (called körözött – this is my new favorite thing!), red onion, green pepper, tomato, freshly squeezed orange juice, and a cappuccino. Sooo delicious. Nagyon finom! IMG_20180616_104413

After that, we were actually already ready for some time at home and a nap. 😀 So that’s what we did! In the late afternoon, we decided we wanted to head to Parliament. We saw a park on the way, which we thought would be a nice stop for Bartley. We also sopped for another cappuccino to help with the jet-lag. The park was in Szabadság Tér. It ended up being much more of a sight than we imagined: hundreds of people had gathered around a huge screen to watch the World Cup. There were TONS of food trucks as well. We grabbed a couple Sopronis to go and snapped a few photos.


We ended up passing a monument next to a fountain. In front of the monument were many artifacts from the Post-WWII era. We were a little confused, and a Hungarian man directed us to an English article explaining what we were looking at. After reading it, we were able to go back to him and ask more questions. We were really grateful to have his insight, and that he took the time to explain to us the situation.


Next, we headed to Parliament. I’ve seen it many times, but it’s always such an amazing sight to take in. Since it’s The Boyfriend’s first visit, he disappeared for a bit to capture many photos. IMG_8586.JPG

A little girl asked if she could pet Bartley. It always breaks my heart a little so say no, but Bartley can NOT be trusted with children. Then, her dad asked if she could take a picture with us, and I was super happy to oblige. IMG_4200.JPG

On the way back to our Airbnb, we stopped back at Szabadság Tér, to us the restroom and to try some cocktails to go. We traveled a little further, realized we were hungry again, and stopped at a nearby pub. The Boyfriend had his first shot of Pálinka, and we shared a delicious fried chicken breast with apple and a side of fries. Mmm…

At this point it was time – surprise surprise – for another nap! After, we went to the closest restaurant we could find and we had a late dinner: beer, wine, watermelon soup, croquettes and duck confit.

We had big plans to enjoy the night life on a Saturday night… but jet-lag had different plans, and it had actually turned into a pretty busy day for us. We called it an early-ish night, around midnight.



3-day Weekend Fun!

School hasn’t even been back on for very long, but this three-day weekend was still welcome!

Things have been going really well. Andras and I have stuck to the Whole30. Tomorrow will be day 18! We’ve even started discussing what next month will be like. As of tonight we’re thinking we’ll keep excluding grains, soy and legumes, because we really don’t miss them, but add back in dairy (only as a seasoning), wine for me, beer for him, and a weekly cheat day. I’m finally seeing changes in my body, and it feels really good! I can’t wait to share how much I’ve lost. I’ve also noticed my skin seems much healthier, and I think I have more energy. Win!

I started two new things last week as well. #1. No coffee. GASP :0 But, I’m just too prone to anxiety, there’s really no need for it. And as long as I get 7 hours of sleep – enter item #2 – I think I’ll be fine. The first two days of trying life without coffee were welcomed with the worst headaches. By day 3, I didn’t have a headache, but I just feel sooo tired, and by day 4 I started coming out of the fog.

Work is work –  I’ve had some great days back, and some awful days back, but my routines are making everything more manageable, logistically and emotionally. My goal for the next few weeks is to be very conscious of how much I have on my plate, and to not take on too much.

Andras and I went on two movie dates this weekend. We saw Carol on Friday, and Anamolisa today. Carol was slow but beautiful, and I definitely cried. Anamolisa was really unusual, but 100% engaging, thoughtful, and many times comedic.

Obviously, I think I’ve missed too many days to get you caught up on all of my Whole30 meals, but I’ll list some of my favorites here:

Easy Roasted Vegetables + Amazing Giveaway

Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Lemon and Scallion

Days 22-23 and #Whole30 Buffalo Ranch Chicken Meatballs

And here are a couple of pictures:

almond crusted chicken tenders

Almond crusted chicken tenders with roasted carrots and boiled dutch potatoes.

buffalo ranch meatballs

Buffalo ranch meatballs over spinach and arugula mix with roasted potatoes, carrots and eggplant. Mmmm SO delicious.

I’m really grateful to have so much space in my life right now to take care of myself, and work on these routines that make room for so much more joy in my life. 2016 is getting off to a pretty fantastic start for me, but I’ll still love myself when things don’t go my way, or when I do things I’m not proud off. Be back soon!

Back to School!

The first two days back to school have gone really well! Yesterday, before the kids came back, I deep cleaned my classroom which was SO necessary and felt so great to accomplish! Today, all of my classes went really well. I have two new classes, but otherwise, I have all of the same students. I’ve also done an awesome job of sticking to my routines, and sticking to the Whole30. It’s so helpful that my husband, Andras is doing it with me this time.

None of this (short-lived, so far) success is a reflection of me as a person. Sure, I’ve done a good job, and I am proud, but I’m a fantastic person even when I don’t succeed. 🙂 And so are you!

To get you caught up on my Whole30 meals:

Day 3
Breakfast: 4 scrambled eggs with 1 shallot, 1 mini sweet pepper, and 1 clove of garlic. Black coffee.
Lunch: Spinach salad with 1 stalk of celery, 5 cherry tomatoes, and 1 Aidell’s apple/chicken sausage. For dressing, 1 tbs olive oil with sea salt and cracked pepper mixed in.
Dinner: LOOOOOVED this slow cooker recipe for tikka masala! I also made this cauliflower rice, which was super delicious and very rice-like.
Snacks: Leftover rosemary-shallot potatoes from Day 2’s dinner.

Day 4 – kinda bland – first day back at school
Breakfast: Anti-inflammatory Blueberry Smoothie, black coffee
Lunch: Uncured salami, 1 boiled egg, 2 clementines, 6 oz unsweetened applesauce
Dinner: Leftovers
Snacks throughout the day: 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, 1 banana, 1/4 raisons, 1 Aidell’s apple/chicken sausage, 1 clementine.

Day 5 – very similar except for Dinner
Breakfast: Anti-inflammatory Blueberry Smoothie, black coffee
Lunch: Uncured salami, 1 boiled egg, 2 clementines, 6 oz unsweetened applesauce
Dinner: Pork chops with garlic powder, salt, fresh rosemary, thyme and sage. Mashed potatoes (unpeeled) with shallots and garlic, and ginger green beans.
Snacks: 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, 1 banana and, 1/4 cup raisons, 1/4 cup raw almonds.

My goal is to up the protein, and lower the carbs and sugar these next few days.

Excuse any typos! I’m trying to get to bed as close to 10 as possible… The 5 AM wake up call hurts!



Whole30 – Day 1

Yesterday marked the first day of my second Whole30! I’m so excited. I completed my first whole30 November/December 2014. I lost 14 pounds, and managed to stay away from added sugar, grains, and dairy for about three additional months! However, when I started slipping, I slipped fast. The goal this time around (after completion), is to bring the food groups back in more consciously, and possibly leave some of them out for good. Here’s how Day 1 went:


Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with 1 shallot, a clove or garlic, and a mini sweet pepper. Black coffee.


Lunch: Uncured pepperoni, 4 clementines, 1 celery stalk, and homemade almond butter.

Oh, and I forgot to take a picture, but we had this One Pot Mexican Stir Fry for dinner. It was really tasty, but VERY spicy. I definitely had some almond milk on the side to try to help with the burn!

I also had 2 more clementines as a late night snack! Day 1 = success.


Ready to Detox

Wow, as you can tell from my last few posts, I have thoroughly enjoyed indulging in deliciously rich, sweet and savory foods these last few days! Mmm those mini apple pies were SO tasty! And, here’s the recipe I used for mashed potatoes today – so good!

Tomorrow is going to be a day of detox, for sure. My brother gave me a fancy blender for Christmas, so I’m going to try that out first thing in the AM. This will be my breakfast, except I’ll use almond butter in place of the protein powder.

Lunch will be an Aidell’s chicken apple sausage link, with a smaller serving of leftover potatoes, and mandarin oranges. Finally, we’ll have these pork chops for dinner with a side or sautéed green beans or broccoli. My snacks will be cottage cheese, and Skinny Pop.

And if I do a good job of sticking to all of that, I’ll have a mini apple pie at the end of the day! 🙂

Sunday is the Family Reunion, and I plan to indulge again.

Monday = Day 1 of my second Whole30. Let the detox begin.

There is more to me than food! That just appears to be the theme of my winter break so far.




So Much Sugar!

Well, I had a healthy-ish day… but there was so much sugar throughout! Today is my dad’s birthday, so I made him some cupcakes. I used this recipe

Vegan Cupcakes (not my picture)

but went for whole milk instead of almond, and reduced it down to 12 servings. I tried this vegan recipe on a whim once, and now it is my go-to cupcake recipe! I love them.

For the frosting, I used another recipe I’ve tried before. I remembered my dad raving about them, so I decided to bring it back.  Delicious, light and fluffy, strawberry frosting – perfect!

It was a busy day for cooking, so after the birthday cupcakes and frosting, I prepped the Green Bean Casserole for tomorrow. This is absolutely my favorite holiday recipe! I go ahead and put french fried onions on top too though. 😉 It’s all ready to go, so tomorrow I’ll just have to pop it in the oven!

And finally I prepped these little cuties. I assembled them – it was tricky! – and placed them in the freezer. Tomorrow when we sit down to dinner, I can pop them in the oven too. Here’s my attempt…

apple pie cookies

Apple Pie Cookies

I prefer the name mini apple pies. There’s nothing “cookie” about them!

If you celebrate, Merry Christmas! If not, I hope you have the day off and spend it exactly how you want too. Cheers!

Could it Be Christmas?

Down here in Texas, we’ve had a bit of warm front. It’s Christmas Eve Eve, and is 75 degrees! We aren’t complaining though – the warmth gives us energy. If it was cold, I’d probably just want to lay around in bed all day.

My mom isn’t much of a cook, so my dad used to cook everything around the holidays, and my mom would stumble and grumble through whatever she could bear. I’m not a great cook, but I do enjoy it. Dad’s taking care of the ham, but it looks like I’m in charge of everything else! I’ll post the recipes here after I make each dish.

First of all, to prep for the family reunion we’ll have in a few days, I tried out this recipe of mulled wine. I wasn’t too crazy about mulled wine when I lived in Hungary 2010-2011, but since returning, I crave it around the holidays. This recipe hit the spot! Next time, I’ll add an extra cinnamon stick.

Tonight, I made the first batch of many batches of these traditional sugar cookies. I need to frost them tomorrow. Right now, I feel like I’m already in a sugar coma, and I’m not too excited about all the cooking that the next couple of days is going to bring. I’ll just have to eat healthy when I have the chance, and restrain myself from snacking while I cook and bake! 🙂

Wish me luck!