mm, mm! marcrumb cookies

this year phillip and i were in birmingham for thanksgiving with my family, and if anyone has spent a holiday with us, you know that our gatherings revolve around one thing:  food.  now, you might think, “sure, isn’t that everyone around this time of year?”  maybe, but we are the kind of family that talks about their next meal while they are eating their current one.  our schedules, especially holiday schedules, revolve around when the meals are planned, and i look forward to continuing that tradition with our own family some day.

but this post isn’t about me or my family.  it’s about the food, and one food in particular:  cookies!  personally i somewhat have a love-hate relationship with cookies.  i love eating them but i sometimes hate making them – it can become quite tedious, and when you have an undersized oven like us, baking cookies takes twice as long as it should.  i imagine most people feel this way, especially those who don’t consider themselves bakers.  but alas!  i did not have to break my back or burn my fingers over cookies this year because a childhood friend came to the rescue.

my friend amanda marcrum may or may not have started a cookie company this year and may or may not have named it macrumb cookies.  it’s adorable, yes!  and the only thing more adorable than the name are the cookies themselves.  i saw some of her social media posts with darling little cookies decorated with all sorts of cute shapes and lovely designs and knew i couldn’t resist supporting an old friend.  i reached out and ordered a dozen seasonal cookies for the occasion, and the day before thanksgiving amanda delivered these precious treats in person.

i squealed in delight when my mom opened the box and revealed these little treasures.  tiny corns and turkeys and leaves and pumpkins – what’s not to love?  and if you think these were too cute to eat, you are wrong.  i chomped into one of those little corns and about jumped for joy because these cookies remind me of one of my favorite types of cookies in the world:  cheryl’s cookies.  only these are the tiniest bit better because they had the most pleasant trace of almond at the end of every bite.  the cookies were a huge hit at the andrich house, and if you consider yourself a cookie lover on any level, i insist you order yourself some marcrumb cookies.  they will not disappoint!

nrw – the imperial

earlier this month we finally got around to resurrecting nrw after a brief hiatus and kicked things back off at the imperial in decatur.  eric, claire, kari, phillip, and i met up at this local spot after being inspired by good day atlanta’s coverage of the restaurant during atlanta burger week.  buck langford was lucky enough to get to meet with owner aj and try the winning mac attack burger live on camera, and it was then i knew we just had to be there.

the imperial is located in what appears to be a somewhat tucked away and quiet part of town, but when we actually got to the restaurant, it was quite alive with customers of all kinds, from families with kiddos and dogs to singles enjoying half-priced bottles of wine to friends just catching up over good food.  it really feels like a “come as you are” place.

our group was seated just inside the main entrance, which gave us a great view of each other and our surroundings.  the imperial is nice and open both inside and out on its patio.  the bar is well-stocked and would be a perfect place to belly-up for a beer, some eats, and tv watching.

after being served a few pints of local drafts, the poutine eric and claire ordered for the table arrived.  now, i don’t know about you, but i’ve never in my life heard of poutine, and to the ears it first sounds like maybe a fancy french dish, right?  wrong, lol!  no joke, i looked up what poutine is and the definition i found was “a dish of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.”  not so fancy after all!  😀  however, a dish doesn’t have to be fancy to be delicious, and that could not have been more true of the imperial’s take on this dish.  their poutine actually has pimento cheese in place of cheese curds because, you know, in the south pimento cheese is quite the staple.  and our order of poutine was even more delectable because we opted to add the diced up bacon because if you’re going to be bad, why not go all the way?

POUTINE.

in fact, eric and claire were so happy with the poutine that they ranked it first out of everything they ate that night!  in their words it was simply “AMAZING.”

claire & eric.

we hungry kids scarfed up that poutine in no time, leaving some room for our actual dinners.  making the rounds, we’ll start with kari who ordered the plain burger and topped it with cheddar cheese and bacon.  as far as a basic burger goes, she said it was very good and a “SOLID” choice for those of you who prefer to build your own burger.  all in all, she enjoyed a great meal that night.

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the wedding chronicles | decision #22

THE TABLE & SEAT ASSIGNMENTS

now that most everyone has mailed back their rsvp cards, it’s time to get crackin’ on those table and seat assignments!  i’ve been to receptions where there have been assigned seats, assigned tables, or no assignments at all, which i think covers the entire gamut of what is available.  i personally prefer at least assigned tables, because the last thing i would want for our guests is them scrambling to save a seat or fighting to add another chair to an already full table.  no one wants that kind of animalistic discord at their reception, right?  right!  especially when it is avoidable with a few simple seating charts.

it actually is working out in our favor for the reception because the venue requires that each guest have at least a table assignment and, if we so choose, a seat assignment.  how nice when things fall into place like that!  there are a few tables that will intentionally have assigned seats, but all other guests will simply be assigned to a particular table and then can choose their seat from there.  part of the reasoning behind the assigned tables is simply to keep organized.  the other part, which i like most, is that if someone doesn’t have a table assignment card and isn’t on our guest list (aka they didn’t rsvp at all or rsvp’ed “no” and then decided to make a guest appearance), then they so nicely get to stand aside and cannot enter the reception until the “authorities” get permission to let them into the ballroom.  this is why sending your rsvp in a timely manner is important, people!  we brides and grooms have a lot on our plates in these last few weeks before the big day, and the more we can do ahead of the time, the saner we will be.  so, if you’d like a spot at the dinner table, you better let us know!

anyway, now that i’m off that soapbox, the next thing to do is figure out who is going to sit where.  our guest list naturally has certain categories like immediate family, extended family, childhood friends, college friends, work friends, family friends, so on and so forth.  for many of those groups, it makes sense to potentially sit people with people they already know.  that would be easy, right?  but don’t you think that, for example, your work people see each other all the time and might like to get to know other guests at your big day?  i think so!  i certainly think the table assignments are a great opportunity to mix things up, so don’t be surprised if we seat you with someone you might not know.  now, if this doesn’t really sound like it is up your alley, please keep two things in mind.  first, it’s our wedding and we’ll seat people wherever we like.  🙂  second, you won’t be at your table all night.  dinner is only part of the party we have planned for you, so you’ll most certainly have the opportunity to visit your friends at the bar, on the dance floor, etc…at the end of it all, what we want more than anything is for our guests to have a unique, fun experience on our wedding day, and we look forward to bringing all of that to you in just 25 days.  can’t wait to see you there!

the wedding chronicles | decision #12

THE GUEST LIST

based on my wedding planning experience, i think it’s a safe thing to say that the guest list very easily goes hand-in-hand with the venue.  as such this post probably could have come much earlier in the wedding chronicles, but better late than never.  🙂  i think it’s possible to think of it this way:  either your guest list dictates your venue or your venue dictates your guest list.  do we think this assessment is fair?  in my opinion it is because if you are in love with a particular space but it only can hold 100 people, then the guest list is 100.  on the other hand if you and your fiance(e) have humongous families and you know at least 200 people will be there, well then you’re going to need a ceremony and reception site big enough to fit them all, and that requirement in and of itself may eliminate certain locations.  again, sometimes your wedding decisions can be very logical.

as far as things go for phillip and me, we do have larger families and lots of out-of-town guests but also lots of locals since the event is taking place in phillip’s hometown of peachtree city.  so me?  i’m hopeful that most of the folks who received save-the-dates (and have invitations on the way in january) will be able to join us.  for our venues we’re paying for a minimum number of guests, so if at least that many if not a few more show i’ll be quite happy.  with that being said, i have heard from other couples who are recently engaged/married a statistic that about 30% of your guests won’t be able to make it.  well that’s just too bad, right?  but it also is a fact of life and is what it is.  regardless, understanding that a certain percentage of people won’t be able to join you in your big day can sometimes cause a little uncertainty as far as choosing a location.  do you pick a place that will fit a maximum of 70% of your guest list (if we’re going off this statistic) or do you book a venue that will hold 70%+ in the wonderful event that most of your guests can come?  that decision i leave up to you.  we are okay with having a minimum and then, if necessary, paying extra if we go over that amount.  however, if that is not your style, you’ll need to be more mindful about the venue you choose.  make sense?  i think so, too.

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nam phuong – atlanta, ga

earlier in august i had picked up the local periodical creative loafing and was flipping through the pages when i came upon a story that highlighted and reviewed the best 12 wing joints in atlanta.  coined “the ultimate wing smackdown“, writers and contributors took recommendations from creative loafing loyalists to taste, savor, and ultimately decide which restaurant in the city boasts the best chicken wings.  with five criteria (including flavor, exterior texture, interior texture, value, and overall appearance) by which to evaluate, the judges trekked far and wide to, in the end, crown nam phuong the chicken wing king.

in a mostly unassuming building off buford highway, nam phuong is a spacious sit-down restaurant that, on the tuesday night we went, was quite busy with a very diverse crowd.  now, before i go on to review these chicken wings, let me say this:  buford highway is like the yellow brick road of authentic food in atlanta.  with restaurants that span cuisines from all over the world, the real foodies in this city know that la buford is the place to be, and nam phuong is a perfect fit for this reputable strip.

our group of seven was quickly seated and our water glasses were brought soon thereafter.  as i flipped among the menu’s pages, my eyes wandered around the tables near us, interested to see what other diners had ordered.  big, white ceramic bowls with steam rising out of them were most of what i saw, and even though a big helping of pho sounded tasty, i knew i would have to make a return trip for that.  this visit was for chicken wings and chicken wings only!  at least as far as i was concerned.

matt, anthony, janine, grant, eric, and claire all opted for the pho, which came out quickly and piping hot.  on a cold winter’s day, i could easily picture myself coming back here for a savory bowl of that stuff, but i waited patiently as my wings took a little longer to come out.  i took that as a good sign, hoping it meant they were being cooked to order.  🙂

thankfully i was able to keep my drooling under control once the waiter served me.  the wings were hot and covered in some kind of delicious fish sauce, and alongside was a heap of white rice and some sliced vegetables.  for about nine bucks, it looked like this “appetizer” was going to be more than enough to fill me up!

as the rest of the group happily slurped up spoonfuls of noodles and chicken and broth, i got down and dirty with my wings.  the wings were cooked in such a way that the skin was crispy but also a little tacky with the sauce that had obviously been brushed on at the right moment in the grilling process.  the sauce itself was sweet but also had a little zing at the end of each bite, so it was good i had the rice to help offset the spice.  the chicken itself was very juicy and not dry at all, and i greedily ate every single one of them!

if you’re a wing lover in any regard, i highly recommend you swing by nam phuong to give their wings a try.  this dish is a great value for what you get, the service is fast and friendly, and supporting a local joint just makes you feel good!  so, if you’ve got a hankering for something familiar but also something new, then this place is the spot for you.

viva las vegas!

this time last sunday, kiley, kari, and i were recovering from a fun couple of days out in fabulous las vegas!  besides being in desperate need of a girls’ weekend away, we also were in town to see the legendary britney spears in concert!  before we get to that, though, there are plenty of other things to share first.

after getting a good night’s sleep on thursday at kiley’s parents’ house (thanks, mr. and mrs. a!), we woke up and grabbed an energizing breakfast at craft kitchen before taking a smooth ride out east to our first tourist spot the hoover dam.  our trusty transportation for the weekend?  kiley’s dad’s souped up jeep wrangler.  how bada** do we look in this?!

a short 45-minute drive later we arrived in clark county, nv and joined the other masses of international and local visitors as we explored this american wonder.  unfortunately the dam tour was closed that day, but we had plenty of other seeing to do as we followed the roadway and sidewalks to get incredible views of lake mead, the colorado river, and the intake towers, flow gates, and spillways.

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if you ever find yourself in the area, i highly recommend making the trek to the dam.  there’s plenty of parking, plenty of fascinating information, and plenty of good photo ops to fill a few hours of your day.

something else that’s cool?  you can stand in two states at once – neat!

upon hiking back up to the car and chugging some water, we drove ourselves about an hour the other direction to check out an art installation off interstate 15 called the seven magic mountains.  designed by internationally renowned swiss artist ugo rondinone, this public installation is designed to represent the creative human presence in the desert with bursts of “form and color.”  pretty cool, right?

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one of the most fun things about visiting seven magic mountains was people-watching all the visitors who were trying to get the perfect filter-worthy photo for their social media posts.  not wanting to miss out on the entertainment, i snapped an inspiring shoot of kari against these brightly colored boulders.

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and kiley got in on the fun, too, with a model walk of her very own!

we were now in a pinch to get washed up and ready for the concert, so we hit the old dusty and headed back home.

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showered with love

last weekend our crew had the privilege of showering our close friends kyle and liz with love and gifts in anticipation of their baby girl, due in just a few short weeks!  the day was perfect with friends, family, games, delicious food, and refreshing beverages.  with kari, kyle, and phillip by my side, i learned about the key elements you must have for a successful baby shower.  in no order of importance, they are as follows:

#1 – choose a theme.  if you’re short on inspiration, asking the mom and dad to-be for decor ideas they have for the newborn’s room is a great place to start.  you don’t have to get too specific (even a color theme will do), but i’ve found a general theme of some sort helps put you in a good direction for other parts of the party you’ll be planning.  i myself am dying to throw, attend, or be given a winnie the pooh themed shower some day.  just saying!

#2 – pick out and send the invitations.  now, on this one i personally went a little overboard and designed some custom invitations on vistaprint.  i know it’s so easy these days to do electronic invites and rsvp’s, but i still think there’s lots to be said for hand-addressed envelopes with personal greetings.  but hey, maybe that’s just the old soul part of me talking.  also, it’s hard to resist invitations when they’re this cute – just look at those squishy little animal faces!

#3 – decide on the menu and beverages.  of course this part of the planning depends on the time of day and how long you expect the shower to last.  will folks already have eaten lunch and not be hungry?  do you need to fire up the grill for a cookout or will finger foods do?  regardless of how much you do/do not do, i’d recommend making/getting the mom and dad’s favorite foods if you can find out what they are.  doing so adds a personal touch and will really make them feel special.

#4 – figure out how much decorating you’ll need to do.  this one will depend greatly on the space you are using to host the event.  if you’re having a “destination” shower at a local shop or venue, there might be enough natural decor or beauty that you don’t have to do much.  or, if you have a blank slate, you might want to get creative.  of course, all of this also depends on your budget (kari was the pinterest queen on this one!), but believe me that whatever you are able to do, the parents to-be will be overwhelmed simply by the gesture of the shower itself.

#5 – get all the help you can!  putting on a baby shower might not sound like it is a lot of work, but believe me, the to-do list tends to grow quickly and kind of sneaks up on you.  knowing that, i highly encourage delegating and making the event a team effort.  that’s what fiances and husbands are for, right?

#6 – make sure you make it easy for your guests to find your house (or wherever you are hosting the shower).  for example, darling balloons that match colors of your theme, wrapped sweetly around the mailbox.  believe me, there’s nothing worse than driving circles around a strange neighborhood while squinting to read street numbers in a place you’ve never been and all the while sweating through your cute shower outfit because of the humid georgia summer.

all credit goes to phillip on this one!

#7 – i think we’d highly recommend planning for at least one game.  it’s a great way to bring the crowd together, especially if you have guests from different areas of the parents’ life (you know what i mean, work friends and then the college friends and then the high school friends and then the family).  the game doesn’t have to be complicated or even last that long, but it brings some variety to the party.

#8 – take a bundle of awkward photos of the guests of honor as they open every single gift.  and then!  upon revealing each gift, gush over them all with “ooohs” and “awws”.  i think this is actually a baby shower law, and we do not apologize for all these pictures.  🙂

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and just like that, once the tissue paper settles and the toys are toted away, you will be done throwing the baby shower of the year.  but, i have good news for you – the joy doesn’t end there.  soon enough, there will be a whole new life to be thankful for, and i suppose that’s what all of it is about after all.  🙂

#debates2016 – part deux

for those of you who are not connected with me on good ‘ole facebook, let me catch you up:  a few weeks ago before the first presidential debate, i posted “what do you think presidential candidates do before a debate?  do you think they eat their favorite foods and listen to their favorite music?  i hope so, and if it were me, it’d be raining #cheezits and #beyonce would be on full blast.”  that was part one, and part one was a hoot!  a bunch of my friends responded to this prompt and i decided to take action.  this evening i gathered all the suggested snacks and enjoyed them in the comforts of my hotel room.  cheez-its?  check.  kit-kats?  check.  cheetos?  check.  the only one i wasn’t able to get specifically were the dunkaroos suggested by courtney.  the hotel airport shops seem to not carry them!  so, in their place i had the on-the-go nutella/breadstick combo.  quite tasty, if i do say so myself!

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now, i had every intention of eating these things while actually watching the second presidential debate; however, my flight from lax to sacramento was wildly delayed.  as such, i spent those couple of hours on the plane, sipping chardonnay in first class.  i mean, if you’re going to be delayed, i suppose being delayed in first class is doable.  #freeupgrade!

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anyway.  in addition to the favorite foods part of this question, i also put together a special #debates2016 playlist on spotify.  per the suggestions of my amigos, it is a delightful mash-up of beyonce, britney spears, rihanna, marc broussard, miley cyrus, and girl talk.  girl talk was a new group to me, and i very much enjoyed their hip hop remixes in between marc’s touchy feely ballads, especially his Christmas album.  give me more of that “holy night”, marc!

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now, with one more presidential debate scheduled for wednesday, october 19th, i want to get the people involved.  i want you all to give me more of your snack and song favorites that i will happily consume and listen to in a couple weeks.  this menu is going to be of the people and for the people, just how it should be!  so, please be part of the fun and see how it all turns out!

p.s.  if anyone feels like recommending a jimmy john’s #9, i’d be just fine with that.  😀

peachtree road race 2016

(From Milo) It is an honor and privilege to write this blog/story about the 2016 Peachtree Road Race (PRR).

I’ll start at the end, then go to the beginning:  THE PEACTHREE ROAD RACE WAS A COMPLETE HOME RUN!

The Backstory.

In 2015 I was in Atlanta to watch Kyle, Kelsey, and Clark participate in the PRR.  I had never  been to or seen a 10k event.  WOW!  I was happy to be there for Kyle, Kelsey, and Clark and was amazed to see thousands of others run/walk down Peachtree Street in Atlanta.  Seeing folks my age and older running/walking got me to thinking.  Heck, if they could do this maybe I could also.

The Decision.

Shortly after the first of the year, I got to thinking and decided that I would participate in the 2016 PRR.  I told the kids and decided to start my “training.”  I was lucky; there is another member of my local YMCA who is a fitness junkie.  I told him about my decision and asked if he would help “coach” and prepare me.  Two big points here.  First, he told me to buy a new pair of “running” shoes; apparently my $12.00 Walmart special was not the proper footwear.  As my kids know, I tend to be on the thrifty side, but I went to my local sporting goods store and found a pair of running shoes that were on sale.  Second, my “coach” told me to get off of the elliptical machine I was using and told me to start on the treadmill.  I did.  OUCH.  The treadmill is a much, much different machine, using different and more muscles, so on and so forth.  The “coach” told me to put the treadmill setting on 15 (this is the steepest incline) and just start working.  I did.

2016 PRR.

Ah, the big event was finally here!

I drove from Birmingham to Atlanta the day before the PRR.  I was completed psyched!  The night before the PRR, Kari’s family hosted a group for dinner.  The dinner was terrific.  We had a private room where the food was served family-style.  Kari’s nephew and nieces were there, and we even created a brand new event, the Stark Family Green Bean Eating Contest!  Austin, Aubrey, and Kaley did a great job eating the green beans with their hands.  I’d say the event finished in a tie.  Next year I hope there will be the Stark Family Green Bean Eating Contest round #2, and we’ll get Elle and Evie in on the fun.  Stay tuned!

Maxx Gruber.  As you probably know, Kelsey’s boyfriend Phillip is a very, very talented piano player and singer.  I gave him his stage name of Maxx Gruber.  Sound of Music fans can probably figure out how I came up with this stage name.  Anyway!  Through divine intervention, a piano appeared in the private room that we had at the restaurant.  With a thunderous round of applause, Maxx Gruber, direct from his recent appearance at the Hilton in Barcelona, agreed to played a few songs.  Maxx was fabulous!  Kari’s sister-in-law Sara, with the support of several glasses of wine, joined Maxx for a few songs.  All the kids made appearances to join Maxx also.

Race Day.  I was out of my mind that race day was here.  Kelsey, Maxx, and I got up to enjoy a European-style breakfast (half an English muffin and half a banana).  We then made our way to the start of the PRR.  Cue the dramatic music!  We made our way to the start of our wave, a large group of people with approximately the same running/walking speed and skill.  Thousands and thousands of people!  People in front of us, people behind us, huge American flag.  The energy, enthusiasm, and anticipation were terrific!

Closer and closer we were approaching the start line.  I was already sweating but who cared.  Closer and closer.  The next thing I know we had crossed the starting line and were “in” the PRR.  Good news/bad news.  My training had all been uphill, and the actual PRR course is mostly downhill.  My knees and my ankles were not prepared for that, but I didn’t care!  Kelsey, Maxx, and I were in the PRR.  I then noticed many good things.  We were passing people!  We were passing people younger than me!  FYI, I was sweating even more now.  The participants and crowd along the PRR route were shouting and supporting us.  I responded by shouting out many of my classic 100+ phrases, sayings, etc…  We passed a Catholic church on the route where a priest was tossing “holy water.”  I said to him, “Come on Padre, hit me with the water!”  Such inspiration!

Luckily the temperature was warm but not oppressively hot.  A cooling, gentle breeze was also present.  Maxx surely brought this breeze with him from Barcelona.  Good for me, about 50% of the PRR course was in the shade.  While still sweating, these factors worked to our benefit.  A short time later, we were crossing the finish line.  I MADE IT!  I MADE IT!  I MADE IT!  I did the PRR.  Sharing the course with Kelsey and Maxx was great.  The other runners/walkers made it great.  The crowd supporting us throughout the course was great.

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The after-race.  I’m thinking that I set the PRR record for “ounces sweated off.”  Yeah.  I had a terrific time.  My knees and ankles were screaming for mercy, but it was all worth it.  Would I do the PRR again?  YES!

Suggestion.  if you live in or near Atlanta, you need to do the PRR.  If you have family/friends in or neat Atlanta, do the PRR as a group.  Encourage your parents to be involved – it was great.  If I can make it, anyone can!!!

A special note of thanks to Kyle, Kelsey, Kari, and Maxx for putting up with my witty banter, my sense of humor, etc…

Idea.  For 2017, maybe we could have a group of Kelsey’s blog friends join and run/walk as an entire group.  A brand “new audience!”

vegan week day 5

okay, everyone, i know you all are just on the edge of your seats, waiting to hear how #veganweek wrapped up for phillip and me.  well, to quote barry manilow (and honor his beagle named bagel), i’ll just say that “it looks like we made it.”  somehow, some way, we made it through #veganweek.

did i like all the food we ate during #veganweek?  yes, and most of it i would absolutely make it again.  the hard part about it all is that i know how delicious some of my favorite foods are, and all week i was denying myself those tasty pleasures.  i wouldn’t say those cravings were overwhelming, but it became a mental game at some point.  just one more day, one more hour, one more moment!  that’s truly what it came down to.

so, friday night arrived and we met up with a bunch of friends at a local tavern called hobnob for dinner.  i’d already taken a look at the menu before we showed up, so i knew there would be a few options.  i started off with the allagash white beer and phillip treated himself to terrapin brewery’s peach brew of the summer season, which was appropriately sweet and refreshing for the hot night outside.

hooray beer!

hooray beer!

as we gabbed and caught up with one another, it was quite a test of will whether or not i would cave in or push through one more meal for #veganweek.  i tried not to let my eyes wander to the other tables that had steaming plates full of what looked like delectable pub food piled high.  by some miracle i stuck to my commitment and ordered the veggie burger while phillip tried the piedmont burger.  now, these burgers looked delicious as the wacky waitress placed them in front of us, but the taste was a different story entirely.  after taking just one bite of the falafel patty (which itself wasn’t too bad), every bite from there on out tasted like falafel.  seriously, it was like there was no distinction of flavor among the different ingredients.  i couldn’t even finish it, which i think says something about the dish but also about my waning excitement for #veganweek.  i wish i could say phillip’s experience was better, but unfortunately it was not.  as the first meal containing meat all week, it was very unsatisfying and underwhelming.  we both even had small stomach aches afterwards!  i guess i shouldn’t be too surprised, but it made it clear to me that this five-day challenge was plenty long.

after our disappointing dinner (everyone else very much liked what they had), we all headed back to kyle and kari’s apartment for a rooftop hangout.  they’re moving later this month to a house (ooh, how adult!), so we had to gather one last time at their place.  i mean, how are we not all going to miss this view?

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we grabbed some benches around the fire pit, got that thing going, and busted out the s’mores supplies.  although it may have been ninety-something degrees out, the classic summer treat s’mores sounded like such a good idea.  and boy were they, especially as the #veganweek ending reward!

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our final celebration for #veganweek came this morning when phillip and i had brunch at the original pancake house.  man, let me tell you, i ate half of the hash and pancake specialty in record time that i got done and didn’t even really remember eating it all!  the pancakes were so fluffy and buttery, and that corned beef hash was from heaven, i swear.  i took the last bite of over-easy egg with extra crispy bacon and said to phillip, “that was insanely good.”  it was the perfect end to an exciting and interesting week.

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so, now that we made it through #vegan week, what are our final thoughts?  well, first off, the thing about eating vegan is that you really have to plan it all out.  you can’t just swing by your local mcdonald’s for a ten pack of nugs.  and you can’t just run into starbucks for your favorite latte or frappuccino.  i think that’s one of the hardest parts.  you also really have to be thoughtful about bringing food with you in case you end up in a hungry situation and won’t have quick access to something that fits your diet.

would i say i felt a physical difference?  probably not, in all honesty.  i still consumed a similar amount of food, it’s just that what i was eating was generally better for me than what i usually have.  phillip said he definitely felt more active and alert, which is something i suppose we all would like during our regular day-to-day.

i think more than anything #veganweek opened my eyes up personally to the fact that if i do want to snack between larger meals, i can do so in a healthy way.  for example, i can enjoy a ripe peach rather than a bag of chips (but don’t expect me to put down the spicy nacho doritos any time soon).

would i try #veganweek again?  probably not.  however, i do have a better understanding of that dietary lifestyle and everything that comes with it.  to those of you who have followed along all week, thank you for tuning in!  i hope our journey was entertaining and inspiring, in some way.  🙂