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What I’m Reading + The Best Summer Lunch

Hi there. I’m back in Charlotte where it seems that things are exactly as I left them. I had to get away because I missed my parents and also because I needed a step back. I find that I have to get out of my day-to-day reality sometimes to gain clarity on the big picture. And there are definitely some changes that I am ready to make in my big picture. The thing is that it’s hard to find the courage to make them. It’s much more comfortable to remain the same. It always reminds me of this famous Anais Nin quote.



Current mantra: BLOOM.


Back to the beach: being the sweet daughter that I am (who also had ulterior motives), I made my mom and I breakfast on Sunday morning. Plain Greek yogurt drizzled with honey and topped with raspberries, peaches and granola. My mom usually either eats cereal or the Yoplait fat free, high sugar yogurt for breakfast and I’m happy to report that she loved the plain Greek yogurt with honey and fruit!


It rained and thundered all morning. I hung out on the balcony and enjoyed the gloomy weather as I knocked out a bunch of work. Then miraculously it totally cleared up and I was blessed with three glorious hours of sun on the beach before I had to head to the airport. The Gulf of Mexico is usually crystal clear but with all this rain it’s all kinds of murky and rough right now. Did not stop me from wading in and promptly collecting a ton of seaweed in my bathing suit!


I thought I’d give you an update on what I’m reading at the moment. I am not typically a huge fan of historical fiction but my mom and grandmother both told me I had to read this book and I LOVE IT! Cannot put it down.


I came in from the beach, showered, packed and assembled the most perfect summer lunch.


Tomato sandwich with lots of real Duke’s mayo and fresh farmers market tomatoes with lots of salt. I want to eat this every day for the rest of the summer. Watermelon and peach pie on the side.


I gave my parent’s golden Sam a few last pats before leaving.


Wait, don’t leave me!


I feel like all we ever do is complain about the airlines but I would like to give recognition to Delta for amazing service this weekend. Three out of my four flights were early and the other was on time. No hassles, no issues, easy on and easy off. Also, a reservations agent changed my return flight time to get me home earlier at no charge. Awesome.

Okay, onto figuring out this blooming stuff. Have a great week.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • 1
    She Rocks Fitness July 29, 2013, 4:42 pm

    Love that word…BLOOM! I’m going to look into this book too. I’m currently reading “The Lovely Bones”. I’m so tired at night, I seriously can only keep my eyes open for 5 pages. Tomatoes and mayo are so perfect for summer! XOXO

    • 2
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:09 pm

      i only made it 3/4 of the way through the lovely bones. it’s a sad book to read! and i know the feeling. i struggle with reading at night too!

  • 3
    Emily July 29, 2013, 4:45 pm

    Thanks for posting such a though-provoking quote. It rings truer than ever today and has me all bunched up figuring out how to move forward. It’s weird getting older and having to make so many decisions, including how to keep ourselves open to growth and knowing when to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. You would think it would be fun but it is so stressful!

    • 4
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:13 pm

      emily – i totally agree and i struggle with the same things. always decisions to make!

  • 5
    Jen July 29, 2013, 5:01 pm

    That is the perfect summer lunch! I just brought home some tomatoes from the farmer’s market and all I wanted to do was slice them up and slather mayo on them. 🙂

  • 6
    Alisa July 29, 2013, 5:03 pm

    Tomato and mayo sandwiches? I thought only Harriett the Spy ate those 🙂

    Love the quote!

  • 7
    Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona July 29, 2013, 5:28 pm

    I’m looking at making some changes in my life too (I’m thinking about going back to school), and I totally agree, it’s terrifying! Though it’s scary I know making a change can also bring lots of good things too.

    • 8
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:16 pm

      i can imagine going back to school would be a hard and terrifying decision. it’s a huge time and financial investment. wishing you clarity!

  • 9
    Amanda @Fitforgloryfoundbygrace July 29, 2013, 5:41 pm

    haha that’s too funny. Currently visiting family in TN and we were just raving about that sandwich. Suggestion? Add pepper! We always eat this in the summers when we come to TN and eat my grandfathers homegrown tomatoes 🙂 I was in NC before that visiting Duke and UNC for my braniac little sister! Love that state!

    • 10
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:17 pm

      my mom added pepper to hers but i told her i was keeping it simple with just a little salt! 🙂 i’m so jealous of your grandfather’s homegrown tomatoes. sounds amazing!!!

  • 11
    Joy July 29, 2013, 5:59 pm

    You sound really revitalized. I’m glad you had such a nice trip!

    I’m going to check out that book right now. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • 12
    Jo July 29, 2013, 6:14 pm

    I love the Anais Nin quote. It’s just so hard and scary to bloom.

    • 13
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:17 pm

      i know, it really is.

  • 14
    RACHEL July 29, 2013, 6:31 pm

    Liked reading the beginning of this post. For the most part, your come across in your blog as having a pretty set routine that doesn’t change much. Don’t get me wrong, I like your blog and I read it regularly, but I’ve often wondered what the bigger picture is for you. Like what lies beyond yoga/crossfit workouts/your food. I’m eager to see what lies ahead!

    • 15
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:19 pm

      i have so many ideas around the big picture and currently trying to sort through them and decide what is best/right/feasible/sustainable/etc. definitely no interest in continuing my current routine for eternity. no thank you!

  • 16
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com July 29, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Cannot wait to read more about your journey as you figure out this “blooming stuff” 🙂
    Loved the sandwich! Yum!

  • 17
    Pam July 29, 2013, 7:17 pm

    Ready to watch the blooming!

  • 18
    Corrie Anne July 29, 2013, 7:46 pm

    The book, the sandwich, everything looks great!!! Love the bloom mantra.

  • 19
    Mary-Catherine July 29, 2013, 7:56 pm

    Such a great quote — and exactly what I needed! I’m starting my Johns Hopkins residency next week and have been feeling a lot of that fear and anxiety, but it’s such a better perspective to think about how I can bloom this next year!

    So glad you had a wonderful weekend with your family and no travel delays! I love tomato sandwiches — just so good and fresh 🙂

    Have a great week!!

    • 20
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:20 pm

      mc – GOOD LUCK! thinking of you and sending so much good stuff you way. i can only imagine that you have felt a wide spectrum of emotions as you move into this next chapter but you will create so many new experiences and relationships and learn so much!

  • 21
    Heather @ girlyeverafter July 29, 2013, 9:02 pm

    Great quote! I’m with you on the tomato sandwiches with Duke’s. Any other mayo just won’t do!

  • 22
    Christine@ Apple of My Eye July 30, 2013, 2:01 am

    Love that quote!

    Mhmm greek yogurt definitely surpasses yoplait! That right there is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts! The crunchy granola brings everything together 🙂

    Glad you had a great time- you deserve it!

  • 23
    Emily July 30, 2013, 9:46 am

    Wow those waves are AMAZING!!!

    This post came at an opportune time for me (don’t you always just seem to find someone on the internet who’s going through similar things as you?) and I’m encouraged by the quote. The problem is, I’m totally unsure of how to “Bloom” right now… I wish I just had more of an idea of where I should go… If I did, I’d go willingly.

    • 24
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:22 pm

      emily – it is so frustrating when you know you’re ready for change/to move forward but the path isn’t clear. stay true to yourself and dedicated to figuring it out. don’t force it…be open and accepting and something will become clear for you! xo

  • 25
    Angie July 30, 2013, 10:07 am

    Hi Jen. Your vacation looked like a wonderful, relaxing time! Glad you enjoyed some time with your parents and all the food looked great! This is completely off topic, but I was wondering what size you wear in Lululemon’s speed shorts. You have raved about them in the past and I don’t have a store near me. They always look so cute on you and we are about the same size.

    • 26
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:23 pm

      hey angie – i am OBSESSED with the speed shorts. i have them in multiple colors/styles. i always go with a 4. i wear a 4 in most lulu unless i want some extra room in really tight stuff and i go for a 6.

  • 27
    Erin @ Sugar Magnolia July 30, 2013, 10:17 am

    Love this post girl. You will figure it all out

    • 28
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:23 pm

      thank you and YES!

  • 29
    Lily July 30, 2013, 10:23 am

    I recently had an great experience with Delta too! Steppin’ up their game! 😉

  • 30
    Kate July 30, 2013, 11:23 am

    Beautiful mantra. Beautiful reminder! I just adore that quote. So glad you took a step away to clear your head – families and the beach are good for that. And truly hoping that you’ve been able to get back to reality feeling centered.

  • 31
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run July 30, 2013, 12:41 pm

    little envious of your beautiful summer tan 🙂

    • 32
      Jen July 30, 2013, 3:25 pm

      sunbathing is such a guilty pleasure. i do always slather 30 all over first! 😮

  • 33
    Samantha Marie August 2, 2013, 6:12 pm

    OMG your breakfast looks so tasty! I’d love some yogurt and raspberries right now. Love you pics and your blog! -Samantha

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