#tb: Kick it up a notch.

The following was written in 2010; nothing has been changed. Like what you’ve read? Enjoy my #tb (throwback) blog series as I count down the days until my second book, How to Make Lemonade, is released on December 2nd!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Frisky really knows the way to my heart—through the stomach. Today I was ordered to cook something. Hells yeah!

Many of you know I love to cook, bake, and…okay I like to eat, too. Some of my friends can’t cook or don’t like cooking; and I often get accused of being “too grown up” when I spend my evenings whipping up a Martha Stewart original.

Well, I certainly don’t want to seem to old, but I love cooking. And I love knowing that I can entertain for my friends and family, and one day, I’ll be able to cook something delicious for my husband and family—whoever he is (Brunette cook, looks cute in apron seeking hungry gentleman. Must look good in a baseball hat).

Anyway, I cooked a lot for my ex. He was very appreciative of it, but I did it because I love cooking and I loved him. So cooking now is a little bittersweet, but it’s not to the point that I would put it in the baggage category. Cooking will always be mine. After all, I will always be able to cook for my friends, family, and coworkers—they all appreciate it very much!

So for my task, I cooked a healthy recipe from Rachel Ray: Eggplant Stoup (cross between soup and a stew). I chopped a red onion, garlic, a red pepper, a poblano pepper, a carrot, two celery stalks, a carton of mushrooms, and two large eggplant. I put them in a pot with some olive oil, chicken stock, and a can of whole tomatoes in sauce. I finished it with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and celery seed. I let it cook and simmer for a good 30 minutes while I boiled some whole wheat pasta.

The end result was delicious! I paired my dinner with one of my favorite wines—Two Vines merlot from Washington State. I imagine the leftovers will taste even better once all the spices have a chance to marinade. Next time, I think I’ll add a thicker tomato sauce and maybe a shredded chicken or pot roast. Very tasty!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Today it was my duty to talk to my dad. Or any influential male in my life, of the non-romantic type.

I did talk to my dad, but during our chat via text, I found out he was having some emergency dental work…probably not the best time to chat it up. However, I did talk to him for a short while, and had a good laugh over a Twitter joke…

That’s right, nerdiness runs in our family.

I also contacted two of my uncles on the Phillips’ side. The point wasn’t to discuss my breakup, but just to catch up with people that I haven’t talked to in a very long while.

Talking to the men in my family makes me see that my crutch statement—all men are scum—isn’t necessarily true. There are men who are true and genuine in this world. Now, I understand my ex was not one of those people, but maybe I can work on that frozen lemon that is my heart with an idea such as this. Even the guy friends in my life I consider good; when they get screwed over by a girl, I simply write it off as her loss. I am certain they think the same about my situation…and I’m starting to, also.

I can sit and wonder what the next man in my life will be like—what he’ll look like, what kind of work he’ll do, the music he likes…I can hope for the good things he’ll do for me. But I think there is someone out there who is going to be a person so good, I couldn’t even imagine it. He will do things for me I would have never expected. And THAT, my friends, is something to be excited about.

Last month, I sent a message to a mentor I had in high school. He was a teacher at another school, who I met during a summer camp. He is a high school newspaper advisor and now a published author. It’s safe to say he taught me much of what I know about writing. Most of all, I respect him for his passion for words. It sounds really cheesy, I know, but it’s so awesome to talk with other people who have a passion for the same thing I do. We share stories and book advice—I am appreciative of people like him in my life. They remind me that although there is something to be said about love, it’s also important for my happiness to come first. And right now, writing is a big part of that.

On my drive home from work, I felt a sense of freedom. I’m starting to realize the opportunities that present themselves before me are endless. Pick up another freelance gig at a magazine? Sure. Eat strawberry ice cream at 2 am? Why not? Dance around my apartment singing with my Swiffer? Absolutely. Have a four-hour dinner with my sorority sister on a Thursday? Sign me up. Spend the weekends in Tennessee, Houston, and Mississippi? Count me in.

It isn’t like I dated someone who kept me from doing other things. It’s simply the idea that I’m free…I don’t have a schedule, unless I plan it, I don’t have many responsibilities, and hell, I’m young and hott. So there!

To all the men in my family, my mentors, and my male colleagues, thanks for looking out for me. As long as you are gentlemen in this world, I promise to have faith that good guys really DO exist. So, buh-bye blanket statements (and hello Usher dance party in my kitchen in T-minus 30 minutes)!

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