Ready For Life To Start

Good afternoon, all! I hope your mornings have gone splendidly.  Mine was excellent, and I’ve already got a lot accomplished.  Like some other bloggers, I have some big news to share… not nearly as exciting as theirs, but it’s what’s best for me.  Read on!

Breakfast yesterday was excellent.  I love to taste as many things as possible, so I had my meal was both savory and sweet. I heated up an Ezekiel English muffin and topped one half with a mustard, a poached egg, and asiago cheese.  The other half had almond butter and TJ’s pumpkin butter… I think I’m going to have to stock up on this stuff!  Mmm.

Sweet and Savory English Muffin

While I got ready for work, I popped a loaf of butternut squash banana bread into the oven that I’d prepped the night before.  I was completely taken with Liz‘s version of this, but I was too impatient to wait for the recipe! (Rumor is that she will post it tomorrow.) Instead, I used Veganomicon‘s recipe for Lower Fat Banana Bread and mixed in half a can of Organic Butternut Squash Purée (available at Trader Joe’s).  I brought half a loaf to m boss at work, saved some for the house, and took a slice with me that I picked at throughout the day.  This baby is dense! For some reason, the squash seems to bring out the bread’s spices more than regular banana bread. My boss later sent me an email describing it as “BANANA FUDGE!” It was so good.

Vegan Butternut Squash Lower-Fat Banana Bread

The day before, I’d made another Veganomicon recipe (move over, Isa!) to get me through the week: Ancho-Lentil Soup with Grilled Pineapple.

Veganomicon Lentil Soup

While I didn’t make my own chili powder (I subbed in 1 tsp chili flakes) or blend half of the lentils (I prefer my soups chunky), this was divine.

Veganomicon Lentil Soup #2

I grilled up some canned pineapple slices on the George Foreman…

Grilled Pineapple

To make them transportable, I put two slices and a wedge of lime into a baggie.

Lime & Pineapple To Go!

There wasn’t too much for me to do at the office yesterday, so I left a little bit after 12.  On my way out, I noshed on two vegan carob/nut/agave “chunks of energy” that I picked up last week at the health food store.  I didn’t know if I would like them so I only got a few, but they were so good! I bought 7/$1.33, so the price is more than right.

Vegan Chunks of Energy

Although I’d lugged my heavy gym bag through two boroughs, two trains and a long walk, I decided to just head uptown to my parents’ house.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve done this before!  But I’d missed my yoga class, and I was too sore from a run and cardio class to work out any other way.

When I got home, I assembled my soup.  Jim‘s got a little competition! Meet Paula.

Lentil Face

The grilled pineapple was such a fresh twist on an old classic like lentil soup.

Pineapple bite

I loved it! I’m going to try to experiment more with sweet + savory from now on.

A little later, I snacked on a cup of Fage 0% (thanks for stocking this, Mom & Dad!) with an apple and cinnamon. Truly one of the greatest munchies around.

Fage 0%, Apple, Cinnamon

I decided to stay and have dinner with my parents… as my mom reminded me, I can’t remember the last time we all ate together.

Fall Centerpiece

Don’t you love Fall centerpieces?


Dinner was a joint effort: my dad made a fabulous Asian-inspired swordfish with basmati rice, and my mom made her famous brown sugar Brussels sprouts (just sauté cooked Brussels in butter and brown sugar).

Swordfish, Basmati, Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts

For dessert, we split three Whole Foods petit fours three ways…

Whole Foods Petits Fours

We also had squares of Côte d’Or’s dark chocolate with pistachios and sesame that my dad brought back from France.

Côte d'Or

This chocolate can be found in pretty much any supermarket and bodega in France, but don’t let that fool you! It’s AMAZING.  The chocolate is rich and smooth, and filled with the most interesting ingredients.  It’s my uncle’s favorite chocolate ever (and he’s a serious chocoholic), and my friends and I ate it all.the.time when we were in Paris.  Look how thick it is!

Côte D'Or

When I got back to my apartment, I crashed into bed, stretched my aching bones, relaxed and watched The Secret Lives of DentistsHas anyone seen this? What did you think? I love Hope Davis, and Campbell Scott always makes me think of Singles!

So, onto my news. I’ve tried to leave my work life at work, but, as you probably know, I work in a restaurant as a waitress.  I’ve worked at this particular place for the past three summers, starting in May after my sophmore year of college.  That first summer was probably the best: I felt exhilarated after finishing half of college, I met some really great people (through the restaurant), and Ari and I started dating.  Last year was fun as well; I’d just come back from a great semester in Paris and I was beginning to feel more like an adult.  This year, however, after having graduated, has been more of a reality check.  I wasn’t in school anymore, and this wasn’t just a “summer job.”  Because of the recession, business has been incredibly slow and I had nights where I came home with literally $1.   Customers treated me with unbelievable rudeness; there were two instances when I had to call the police.  I was working crazy hours and not getting any rest, crying myself to sleep more than I’d like to remember. (Ari has been so, so great throughout all of this; without him, I never would have been able to hold out this long.) I was expending all of my energy on a job that made me utterly miserable.  I haven’t been able to do what I love because I haven’t even had time to think about what that might be.  And, as silly as it sounds, I don’t want to turn still be working there when I turn 22.

So, last week, I informed the restaurant that I would be leaving the following week…. today is my last day. On the one hand, I feel bad about leaving the people that I’ve come to really enjoy spending time with.  On the other, I’d rather spend time with them in a stress-free setting.  This is what’s best for me.  It’s scary, because while I’m searching for a “real” job, I won’t be earning any income.  Lucky for me, my parents are amazing and are going to help out a little bit.  I will definitely be budgeting like a madwoman and putting my all into finding a job.  I don’t expect to find my dream job right away, but I know I have to get out of the service industry.  I have so much respect for the millions of people who work in service, retail, and manual labor.  I just can’t do it anymore.

On another happy note, I finally tracked down the Fuze Heroes For Hope photo Ilana and I took at the 5K Race For the Cure.

Fuze Heroes

Off to go make my last day my best.  Have a great Thursday 🙂


35 responses to “Ready For Life To Start

  1. All I’m sayin’ is THANK GOODNESS you tweeted this post because my google reader has gone crazy and is at zero!!! Sad!

    I am so happy all these amazing powerwomen bloggers (including you) are doing what their heart desires and changing their lives up! Life should be fun and happy, not stressful and negative 😀 Go girl go girl gooo!!!!

  2. katie, i know .exactly. how you feel – i did literally the exact same thing in april, when i had been miserable working at a restaurant until 3 AM 5 nights a week. i wish i could say i found the full-time job – it isn’t easy out there – but i have gotten some short-term freelance opportunities. i also made a huge decision about the future this week (there must be something in the air!) – there is nothing that feels better than taking control of your life. congrats on taking that step forward! 🙂

  3. that soup sounds awesome, and i love the race photo 🙂

    Good for you! you’ll find what’s right for you, and you shouldn’t have to deal with all of that stuff. I can’t wait to see what happens next 🙂

  4. southerngracesblog

    I know just how you feel…I don’t know if you remember but I had to quit my job in April (service industry) and I have been SO happy. It was hard bc I loved the people I worked with, but it was something I HAD to do. And my parents are definitely still helping me out big time. They’re so great, right? I am so happy that you made this decision because you will feel so much better!!!! Good luck job hunting, my love! You’re dream job is waiting 🙂
    Oh, and love the pumpkin centerpieces, the petit fours, and Paula 🙂

  5. Jim and Paula might make a cute couple… errr, maybe not.

    It’s awesome that you know what’s right for you and are taking steps to get there, even though it may be scary. Good luck!

    ❤ ❤

  6. I’m so happy for you! As for your passion, you’ll know it when you find it. It’s definitely out there waiting for you.

  7. good for you! it’s not worth it to stay somewhere that’s making you miserable. good luck finding something new and exciting to do!

  8. And that is a great photo of you two Superwomen!

  9. Ever since Samantha ate Petit Fours in one of the American Girl books, I’ve ALLLLLWAYS wanted to try one (or four!).

    someday my goal will be achieved.

  10. That is such a cute picture, and I’m SO happy for you. This is really a good, good call. So tomorrow, let’s hit up the free stuff!

  11. YAY! This is awesome, Katie. I know what it’s like to be doing a job that is just taking so much out of you that it’s not worth it…takes guts to make that leap and hope you land on your feet and I absolutely believe that you will find your passion. I have a feeling this is going to be awesome 😀

  12. Girl! I’m so proud of you! I quit my first job out of school with out another lined up. It was risky, but the risk to myself staying there even one more day was far greater. You have just got to go with your gut. Congratulations!

  13. Love the bread!!! 🙂

    Congratulations again, my dear!!

  14. Good for you! Why do something that makes you so stressed and unhappy? (I probably need to follow your lead!) You are so brave.

  15. Good for you for taking care of yourself! I work at Starbucks and I know how you feel with the crazy customers. It can be hard sometimes. Good thing you have Ari and your parents. Good luck with your job hunt. I’m sure you’ll have a great job in no time.

    Those energy “chunks” look so good!

  16. Congrats! I feel you on the job search front. And I also feel so so lucky to have amazing parents that are willing to help out in the interim 🙂

    PS Paula is quite the wide-eyed beauty

    PPS that bread IS banana fudge!

  17. Here’s to quitting jobs, people, relationships, whatever that just arent working for you anymore…not to mention, unhealthy for your soul,mind and spirit. Fortunately you have some help from the parentals while you job search and soul search and wait for the right thing to come along. Best of luck sweetie!

    Your nanna loaf looks amazing. And 7/$1.33 that’s the deal of the year at WF. I want one!!!

  18. I’m so glad you are leaving that hell whole. Okay, I don’t know that to be true, but I know that you haven’t seemed so happy. I hope you find what you love to do and do it! I know you will do it well!!!

  19. I kept mmming more and more through this post it was almost ridiculous! The grilled pineapple, the bread, the carob chunks, love it all!

    I’m so, so happy for you! You will find your calling and the perfect job in due time. Hang in there and don’t stress about what will happen next!! We’re all hear for you along with everyone you have in NY – good luck, girl 🙂

  20. I love brussel sprouts, but I’ve never cooked them in brown sugar. Sounds delicious.

    Good luck with finding a job! I’m sure any business would be incredibly lucky to have you on their team.

  21. I’m so glad you were able to make the decision that’s best for you. I know everything is going to work out amazingly for you:)

    This morning my school hosted a boot camp style workout and I was in charge of the playlist so one of the songs I used was American Girls and everyone went gaga over it!

    My friend always brings me those chocolate bars back from Paris and they are MIND BLOWING! I cannot believe they come from bodegas and delis. What are we doing so wrong here in the US???

  22. Oh Katie, you are soooo much more together than I was at 22. I know that there are great things ahead of you!

  23. YAY! I am glad you were able to have the courage to quit and find something you like better. A smart person (my grad school professor) once told me, “Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Good Luck!

  24. oh my gosh! GOOD NEWS GALORE 🙂
    good for you for taking that stepping stone ! so exciting, and exhilerating. Scary, Im sure.. but you can do it. and will do nothing but amazing things in your life!! I know it ! 🙂

    I need that Veganomicon cook book. asap! all your food looks super yum!

    And good job on your run 🙂

  25. Katie, I;m so happy your going to do what you really love! Good Luck with everything!

  26. I’m so proud of you girl.That industry it soooo rough, right? I cn’t wait to see what you end up doing. 🙂

  27. OMG!!! I LOVE PAULA!!! She is my favorite so far!! Also, I am very proud of you for taking the next step… you will figure out your way. I think you made the right choice.

    p.s. lets have a cooking night! I’ll wash the dishes if you cook 🙂 I WANT TO EAT YOUR FOOD. how about sunday night??

  28. I foresee some banana bread baking in my future after seeing this post…
    Good for you for getting yourself out of a nasty situation. Wishing you the best of luck!

  29. yum! asian inspired swordfish! my mom used to make something like that. do you grill it or braise it in like soy and sugar?

  30. You’ll find something that suits you! I think the most important thing is really getting out there and talking to as many people as you can–you never know when someone can help you out and hook you up with something. That’s basically how I ended up in Hawaii! Good luck!

  31. yay! i’m so hapy that you’ve finally got that place out of the way! when i met you at the summit and you mentioned your job, you didn’t sound happy. with the economy being slow and such, just by you budgeting, you’ll probably be making more and have less stress than when you were there 😉 i know you’ll find your destiny. well wait, we’re all still young so , maybe what’s right for now will do!!

  32. Hey Mama! First of all, what wonderful news!! You sound optimistic and forward-looking, and I am so glad you are getting yoursef out of an unhealthy situation. It’s so hard right now, so I’m kinda in the same job-searching boat!! (And The Boy lives in Europe and wants to show me his city! How the heck am I guna finance a trip like that?! Gotta start saving for sure.) I’ve stopped going out, NEVER go out to eat, and living at home helps loads. I’m excited for this new chapter to begin!

    Also hurray on some beautiful eats! Paula!! That soup sounds delicious, but I’m more attracted to your squash-naner bread.

    Best of luck to you my sweet Katie!! You should email me your addy so you can be part of my blogging snail-mail list! I’d love to send some your way!!


  33. GOOD FOR YOUUUUU! life is too damn short to be doing something that makes you unhappy. luckily, i have had supportive parents too, so i commend you and am so happy you are doing something for YOU!

    job searching isn’t fun (it is practically a full-time job) but employers would be fool not to hire you. what are you going into? let me know if i can help.

    have a fabulous weekend!!!!!!

  34. lilveggiepatch

    Oh, I love you. And CONGRATULATIONS, Auntie!

  35. Katie! I’m so so happy that you’re leaving behind something that has just added stress and unhappiness! You are a great girl who has a lot going for her, so I knowww you’ll get a job that you love, and hopefully soon! It’s great that your parents are going to help out, and I wish you great luck my friend 🙂

    ps- that salty/sweet combo of the grilled pineapple rings & soup sounds AMAZING!!

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