IN love.

Greetings from the great Hoosier State!

It’s hard to believe that this time just a month ago, I was just a week away from graduating and moving to start my new life and my new job two states away — the great unknown, or so it seemed at the time.

I’m super happy to say I am roughly 90 percent settled into my new address, give or take a few items that will be picked up on a trip to Ann Arbor’s IKEA in the not too distant future, unpacking a few boxes (pending the aforementioned furniture) and then getting a cat. I keep telling myself I can only get a cat after I become a full resident of this state and take care of the housekeeping that needs to be done: register my car, get new plates, get an Indiana license, register to vote…you get the idea. Fortunately, a lot of these items can be knocked out with most of the same paperwork, but unfortunately there’s about a million hoops that seemingly need to be jumped through. It seems daunting right now just because it isn’t done. But that’s not what I came to talk about today.

With the hours I work at my new job — which I am loving so very much, by the way — I have a lot of time in the daytime to do some cooking before going into work in the late afternoon. This, of course, also means I have a lot of time to enjoy the 723 square feet I pay for every month. Please believe me when I say I am taking full advantage of it:

Home sweet home! Endless thanks to my beautiful friend, Nicole, for sending me the cutest item that she found on holiday in Wales.

Home sweet home! Endless thanks to my beautiful friend, Nicole, for sending me the cutest item that she found on holiday in Somerset. 

 

It's a rough life, but someone's gotta live it.

It’s a rough life, but someone’s gotta live it.

Hands down, in case it wasn’t already clear, my favorite part of my apartment is my balcony — I’ve already spent countless hours sitting outside getting sunburned reading, watching a lot of movies and admiring/taking care of my herbs:

Tomato plant is finally flowering, which can only mean one thing — fresh tomatoes will soon grace my kitchen.

Tomato plant is finally flowering, which can only mean one thing — fresh tomatoes will soon grace my kitchen.

Following my Mom’s advice (she has a total green thumb), I cheated and bought plants rather than sprouting my own. They are getting HUGE: tomato, cilantro, jalapeño, basil and mint all in a line. I’ve never grown herbs before so it’s a great sense of accomplishment to see them getting tall and thick. I’ve already harvested some of my basil for a sandwich and it was delicious. I found two awesome recipes to try over the next few days, one of them using cilantro. I watered my plants this morning and couldn’t get over how awesome the cilantro was smelling. It’s grown a lot and so to give it some more space to grow — and to try a new recipe, AND to christen the beautiful Le Creuset Mariner Star French oven my parents got me for graduation, I’m trying this vegan corn chowder tonight. Panera St. Louis Bread Company has an absolutely fantastic Summer Corn Chowder which is vegetarian but, unfortunately, not vegan. After researching for months for an acceptable alternative, I’m excited to try this tonight.

I’m also going to try my hand at making falafel for the first time ever! Normally, this Greek dish is fried but I’m going to save myself the fat and grease spatters all over my kitchen by seeing how it fares in the oven. Wish me luck! I’m going to head out to Whole Foods in just a little bit to get some things that I’ll be needing. Pictures to come, to be sure.

Now that I’m finally settled in and am used to post-graduate life, I’m elated to get back to trying new vegan dishes rather than being a lazy twenty-something who still eats PB&J every day. Moreover, I’ll be celebrating my first whole year as a vegan in just over  a month! It’s time to switch some things up.

I would go on and on about how things have been with me and how much I love my job and my new state, but suffice it to say that things are going well for me. To any of my friends and family who might be reading: I miss and love you all so much and am so very blessed to have such a beautiful, supportive group of individuals in my life. Thanks for making this new journey that much sweeter for me. I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness that has been given to me and I hope one day, I can express just a fraction of the gratitude I have for each and every single one of you.

 

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