Hosting Thanksgiving (I’m still here!)

So that was quite a hiatus…I’ll admit that blogging is not a priority among the senior year scramble. Honestly I haven’t even read some of my favorite blogs in months! (PBFingers and Simply Taralynn withdrawals.)

The semester wraps up in about a week and that little light at the end of the tunnel has me fired up to get back to HOBBIES like reading that stack of books I bought over the summer, trying some of the recipes I pinned, and maybe even updating this little site here and there :) I’m honestly surprised to see that so many of you stuck around during my drought of posting. I missed you!

Back to normal, I’ll recap my *healthified* Thanksgiving. We deviated from tradition this year….my parents came to ME. For my first three years of college, I took the overnight train home for Thanksgiving two weeks before finals. It was always a little hectic and rushed. My new apartment this year is comfortable enough to have guests over (I feel so grown up!) so I invited my parents and Missy to spend the holiday weekend with me.

Before they arrived, I tried to make the apartment as festive as possible. I have an addiction to candles, so I started saving the empty glasses to refill with tea lights and festive fillers. Yay for recycling!

Thanksgiving 2014 decoration collage

I was CONVINCED that I would cook the entire Thanksgiving meal all by myself…….until I realized (or someone pointed out to me) that in order to cook a turkey, one must use their hands to remove the giblets and guts from the inside.

Well that’s not happening.

Next option?

A pre-cooked ham ;) glad we can be flexible! Our meal was rounded out with my lightened-up sweet potato casserole (no marshmallows allowed), roasted broccoli and brussels, and a corn bread stuffing that my parents brought.

Thanksgiving 2014 Dinner

Thanksgiving 2014 TableI’ll admit it isn’t as impressive-looking as last year’s Thanksgiving, but for a first attempt I’d say not bad :) Most important part was spending the day with my family! Aside from a malfunctioning can-opener, we avoided any major catastrophes. What more can you ask for.

I have to say, I was most proud of my bartending skills. I’ve discovered the simple perfection that is sangria this year. An apple cranberry sangria was a perfect afternoon cocktail for my mom and I, but I knew my dad wouldn’t be so appreciative of fruity wine to go with his football game. My mason jars were perfect for the “Fire Jolly Rancher” – sparkling apple cider with Fireball whiskey, over ice sprinkled with brown sugar. It’s a sipper!

Thanksgiving 2014 Cocktails

The night was rounded out by homemade praline pumpkin pie (and coffee, duh) with a good ole’ family movie night.

Obviously we couldn’t be sedentary too long after THAT meal so we took to the trails the next day for a hike in the gorgeous fall weather. I love that my family is as happy going on outdoor explorations as I am. Black Friday has nothing on these views:

Thanksgiving 2014 Sedona

Thanksgiving 2014 Devils Bridge

Hosting Thanksgiving was so much fun, I felt like I was playing “housewife” ;) Until reality kicked in that I have three final presentations, two research papers, and a couple finals exams in these last 7 days of school. But I missed this little online scrapbook. I’ve had so many workouts, recipes, adventures and stories that I’ve “wanted to post” and didn’t have the time. Hopefully I can play catch up over the coming winter break!

So I can’t promise that I’m back with the usual posts, but I can promise that I’m not done forever (though I thought I was for a bit.) And you know I have no shortage of cute Missy pictures: Thanksgiving 2014 MissyAs if there are any that aren’t cute… ;)

Round 3

The third installment in this year’s medical updates….

My 3rd bleomycin treatment with Dr. Berenstein was a nice excuse to experience Manhattan in October. (You can read about the treatments in my first recap here: “Continuing my Medical Journey“)

Though the timing was not ideal (I left the day after my GRE and missed 3 midterms plus a group presentation…oops!), I was fortunate enough to have understanding professors who accommodated my medical schedule. 24 hours after finishing the graduate school admissions exam, I was en route to New York City and reunited with my mom after 2 months apart.

Mom and I at WickedThe Lorelei to my Rory!

Flying over North Carolina was glorious. There were little neighborhoods nestled in the masses of thick green trees, unlike the brown grids we see flying into SoCal, Phoenix, and New York. And the Charlotte airport – it had white rocking chairs. I wanted to stay forever. White rockers in Charlotte

We made the best of Sunday with a Broadway show (Wicked!) and dinner at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain. Living on my own, I rarely ever cook meat. Maybe once a month. So I went away from my norm and got a pork chop with yummy sweet potatoes mixed with plantains and greens. I think I impressed the waiter when he came to take away an almost perfectly-clean plate ;)

Bar AmericainMonday morning meant time to check into the hospital….the actual purpose of our East Coast holiday. The typical routine proceeded. I’m under anesthesia the entire process as Dr. Berenstein monitors the facial nerves while tracking the bloodflow in the network of blood vessels. He injects small doses of bleomycin into the veins, which will kill them and their branches over the next 6 weeks. 48 hours after leaving the hospital I was headed back to school, ready to take 2 more of my midterms. No rest for the weary. :)

The night before we left New York again, my mom and I had dinner at a restaurant on the corner of our street on the Upper East Side. Couples, families and friends filled the tables around us, and the overwhelming majority were in their own little bubble, glued to their smart phone. It was a sad sight to see couples sitting across from each other, silent, faces lit up with the blue glow of their screen, thumbs numb from scrolling up and up, completely oblivious to the people right in front of them. I love the convenience of having my phone, especially for taking pictures. I check my SportsCenter alerts and my Instagram feed daily. But honestly, seeing how detached we look when our heads are pointed down towards that brick in our palm makes me more conscious about the amount of time I spend mindlessly pushing buttons.

Flying in Sunset


Central Park in October

It’s HOMECOMING WEEKEND and this sports marketing intern has some work to do. :)




Four girls at Aspen Corner (




Beautiful Fall Day (


Flagstaff Aspens in the Fall (

3 best friends in fall (


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