Southern At Heart

August 8, 2010

So I really, really love big cities. I always think I want to live in them. But my gosh, the South is just gorgeous. I would miss the slow pace of life, the flowers, grass, trees, houses.

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My flight was filled with studying and soy. Joy, that is. I tried the banana flavor. It wasn’t bad! I tried to concentrate on the flavors and I did like them, but I still don’t think these are something I would purchase regularly.

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Also had a cranberry juice and seltzer mix on the plane.

Then I found this guy at baggage claim!

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Unpacked a bit. Ashley hooked me up with the best swag of the trip! She works in the fragrance department of P&G and managed to give us a few “samples” – read full-sized perfumes. I am in LOVE with D&G’s Rose The One and also got Flora by Gucci.

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Matt poured a bit of beer for us all to enjoy with cocktail hour.

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Naughty, naughty bears!!

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It’s hard to come home from a weekend of indulgence and NOT celebrate the reunion of family. It was just a night to have a fun meal and a bit of wine. Can’t turn it down for the sake of “health” because it is healthy to be happy and wine makes me happy.

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Matt made the dinner tonight, financed by my dad.

Blackened Chicken Tacos!!

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Lettuce + Salsa + Pepper + Chicken + Avocado + Cheddar

[The plain yogurt was very much missed :( ]

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+ Grilled corn with Garlic Gold

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I made a single taco and a taco salad (my fav) with a little of everything.

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After dinner, my dad brought out some cake + cupcakes from our family friend Martin’s birthday this weekend. We all shared them around the table

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The carrot cake was AMAZING!!

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Going to hydrate and hit the sack early tonight. I’m exhausted!

First, gotta give these bears a bath and get their teeth brushed. Too much candy and honey while I’ve been gone!

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Evan Thomas August 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

That looks like one hell of a welcome home meal!
I’ve always lived in MA, but off in the less urban parts, so as much as I love having access to places like Boston, I don’t think I could live without a lawn and quiet places to walk/run


2 [email protected]:// August 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Beautiful pictures, the south looks amazing.


3 Estela @ Weekly Bite August 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I always find that I like to celebrate a little when I get home from a trip too :)

Have a great night!


4 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 8, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Oh my, those tacos look fabulous! I love the big chunks of avocado. And those cupcakes- I want to reach through the screen and just scrape off the icing :) Welcome home!


5 Heather (Heather's Dish) August 8, 2010 at 8:00 pm

wow, i love the idea of blackened chicken tacos! delicious. and i totally miss the Southern way of life…Colorado is amazing and there are a lot of similarities, but nothing beats the attitude in the south! love it!


6 Amanda @ Vegacious August 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

What a wonderful homecoming!


7 Marilou @ Mostly Healthy August 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Must be awesome to come “almost” home to a nice dinner like that :) Must be nice to see the bears as well πŸ˜‰


8 Olivia R. August 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Flora by Gucci is my signature scent! I absolutely loove it! It has such an amazing smell even hours into the day, it sort of changes as it settles on your skin.
A few weeks ago I had a dream that my mom bought me a bottle of garlic gold oil and I woke up really dissapointed that I didn’t have any. I have yet to try it!! Where can you get it?


9 Kath August 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Fun dream!! You can buy it from OpenSky – free shipping through tomorrow!


10 Caitlyn @ A Spoonful of Life August 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

It looks like bears got a little wild while you were gone! Now that momma’s back…LOL!!


11 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg August 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Welcome home! Thanks for being honest in your review of the soyjoy bar!


12 Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul August 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Never thought I could live in the south, but you make me want to try!


13 Ash Bear August 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

:) Thanks for the shout out and I’m so glad you like Rose the One! It’s quickly become my favorite as well especially for summer. I’m glad you had a safe trip back. Your view of the South is my view as well. I am focusing on enjoying NYC while I’m here because I know one day, I’ll have grass and flowers again. But, until then, you, Matt, and the bears always have a place to stay!


14 Kath August 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm

:) And you too! Come visit Cville!


15 Mom August 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

The Bears would be fine house guests, I’m sure. Their dad just lets them get a little wild around here, but I’m sure he would expect them to behave very nicely in someone else’s home.


16 Shannon (The Daily Balance) August 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

welcome home!!

It was so great to meet you and hang out at BlogHer — thanks so much again for the straight-iron, can’t WAIT to use it πŸ˜‰



17 Kath August 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm

You too Shannon!! Hope to see you again soon


18 tanyasdaily August 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm

beautiful flowers….and yummy desert!


19 holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Kath I love when the bears make an appearance! They are so friggin cute.

A big meal to celebrate with family is the best. Welcome home!


20 Mom August 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm

The men let the Bears get a little wild while we were gone. I’m just glad no one was hurt. Bocker has been telling me some scary stories. The others tried to hush him but he said, “No! I’m gong to tell Grammie the truth.”


21 Chelsey August 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm

gotta love home after a long weekend!!


22 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) August 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm

I totally agree with you about wanting to live in a big city….but knowing in the end you’d miss the south!


23 Kaci Higgins August 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Glad you made it home safely! Your whole trip looked like a dream for all nutrition lovers! :) That taco dinner spread looks so yummy, but I would miss the plain yogurt too. Gotta have the creamyness. πŸ˜‰


24 Jenn August 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I just blogged about D&G Rose The One today! I just got it over the weekend and I love it, such a pretty scent!


25 Heather August 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

ITA, I could NEVER not live in the south! I would be devestated (not to mention i SO wouldn’t fit in and people would make fun of how I talk!)


26 [email protected] August 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm

“SOJOY” actually sums up this post. especially the garden flowers. so much joy <3


27 Maggie August 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Oh, “Mom.” LOVE your comments :) So bummed to have missed you this weekend in NYC, Kath, but glad you enjoyed it!


28 Eileen August 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Great-looking reunion dinner! I do the same thing with tacos, LOL … one regular, more in a salad.

I feel like I sold the South short. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool northeasterner, and it’s very hard to break out of *this* way of life, but I think it would have been great to give another region a try for college, or a first job after college.


29 Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Those pictures made me feel like I was actually in the South!! Wonderful πŸ˜€

Oh, and I loved the pic of the “naughty” bears. Had me laughing!


30 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I really like D&G perfume but have never tried Rose The One….is it new?


31 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 8, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Glad you made home safely :) And I agree- cities are awesome but nothing beats the South’s scenery


32 Emilyeatsclean August 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Welcome home!! Glad you had a good trip! That corn on the cob looks DELIC!!!


33 rebecca lustig August 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm

mexican themed nights are the BEST nights!!


34 Erin August 8, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I love the idea of living in the South but I’m really happy where I am, just outside of Washington, DC. I think part of why I love traveling is being able to pretend to live in other cities and countries, and see what that would be like, but I’ve lived here my entire life and can’t imagine leaving.


35 Stephanie August 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I just had that beer on tap and I must say it is marvelous. It’s one of the few quads I’ve had, and its very nice and smooth.
I love seeing what beer you guys have! Does your husband one day want to start his own microbrewery?


36 Erika @ Food, Fitness, & Fun August 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm

The flowers are so pretty! You take beautiful pictures, Kath. :-)


37 Exercise and Eat August 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Agree- LOVE the South!


38 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Those flowers are gorgeous. There really is nothing like living in the South.

Seriously, the bears get me every time. Makes my day :)


39 Samantha August 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I haven’t found a way to have kasha that I like until now. Thanks for that granola recipe! Its truly scrumptious! Hard to stop munching on!


40 Samantha August 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm

p.s. Soyjoy bars are nar-nar! Eww!


41 Sarah for Real August 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Haha, you’re too cute!


42 Emily August 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Hi Kath!

I love reading your blog. I was just wondering if you could offer any advice/tips for packing lunches to bring to work. I know that back when you were working at the hospital you packed lunches. I am about to start my first “real job”, I just graduated college in May. SInce I am going to be living on my own, this whole cooking entirely for myself thing is new. I was just wondering if you had any tips for the lunch packing because I am thinking I am going to be bringing my lunch to work most days :)


43 Lisa @bakebikeblog August 8, 2010 at 10:58 pm

What gorgeous photos! I can totally see why you love it there!


44 lynn (The Actors Diet) August 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm

i wish i knew people who lived in the south to visit – i am just a tourist, but i bet growing up/living there is another experience…


45 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Awww great of Matt to meet you at baggage! I hope you had a great time :)


46 Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) August 8, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Kath, those pictures of the flowers and other shots of the yard are stunning! Your parents’ house has awesome lighting. I’d frame some of those images as gifts. πŸ˜€

Those tacos look delish!



47 Hannah August 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm

That corn looks amazing… sometimes summer feels very far away when I’m reading food blogs from the other side of the world!! Good on you for having the wine – I don’t see why a moderate amount should ever be thought of as a “bad” thing.


48 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] August 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Free perfume!! I am way jealous. I’ve been wanting to purchase Flora for months.


49 healthyteacher August 9, 2010 at 12:04 am

I took forgranted how beautiful the South is….until I moved. And, suddenly, all was brown. Oh, the desert.


50 Mama Pea August 9, 2010 at 12:37 am

Welcome “home.” You smell fantastic. :)


51 Camille August 9, 2010 at 1:06 am

The South is beautiful. It is actually one part of the country I have never been to and always wanted to see!


52 Wei-Wei August 9, 2010 at 1:46 am

Those flowers look so beautiful. Naughty naughty bears, though… πŸ˜›



53 Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 9, 2010 at 1:57 am

Such a fancy lookin meal to return home to! You must’ve been missed :)


54 jassy August 9, 2010 at 4:51 am

family meals are nice especially on a sunday :)


55 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is August 9, 2010 at 5:33 am

We had grilled corn for dinner too – love it!


56 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 9, 2010 at 6:16 am

Love taco nights with my family! They really feel like such a celebration even on a normal night! Glad you enjoyed your trip!


57 Priscilla August 9, 2010 at 7:00 am

The North is just as gorgeous Kath. Try traveling more- upstate NY, just an hour or so north of the city. Also Maine, Vermont, etc. Gives the South a run for its $.


58 Erica August 9, 2010 at 7:04 am

Agree…..I just love the South. :). I never want to leave.I am not a huge fan of those Soy Joy bars…I really want to like them but they always seem sort of ho hum to me. What a spread to come home too! A gorgeous dinner for sure. Hope you’re settling back in.


59 Priscilla August 9, 2010 at 7:06 am

And I find it fascinating how different people are! Really, whenever I go to the South (in this case, Savannah all the time) I can’t wait to get the hell out after a day or so. Nothing is as wonderful as the life, the buzz, the wonderful organism of a city to me (preferably NY ;)) Also, am happy without the giant bugs.


60 Maggie August 9, 2010 at 9:43 am

Haha, same! <3 my Manhattan home. (But I do appreciate Kath's lovely pics!)


61 sweetersalt August 9, 2010 at 7:15 am

Love making taco salads with the little leftover “nibs” of broken taco shells!


62 Priscilla August 9, 2010 at 7:15 am

On another note thaks for giving Soy Joy a try- I also have a hard time liking them but you made a good-faith effort. =)


63 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) August 9, 2010 at 7:42 am

I would miss the country life too. I love visiting a big city for all of its charm and for all that it has to offer. But give me the country, and that’s where I’m at my happiest. πŸ˜€


64 amanda August 9, 2010 at 7:54 am

Yummy dinner. I love grilled corn


65 Meg @ Be Fit Be Full August 9, 2010 at 8:00 am

“…it is healthy to be happy and wine makes me happy” LOVE IT! I miss the South, but definitely not the brutal summer heat :) Come winter I will be wishing I was back in Durham!


66 A Teenage Gourmet (Sami) August 9, 2010 at 8:03 am

You’re so kind about saying how you don’t like SoyJoy. Personally, I can not contain my hatred for them!


67 Joanne August 9, 2010 at 8:08 am

Love the flowers and I’ll take all the food. Delicious eats.
I’ve tried SoyJoy’s and can find so many better options. I recently discovered the
lemon Lara bars. To die for!


68 Lynn @ My Sweet Season August 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

Ahh I love tacos πŸ˜€ I want to have tacos 3 times a week hahaha

I can’t believe you got free perfume! So lucky! I hope you enjoy them πŸ˜€


69 Cassie @ Back to Her Roots August 9, 2010 at 8:49 am

“Can’t turn it down for the sake of β€œhealth” because it is healthy to be happy and wine makes me happy.”

Such an incredibly healthy way of life. I love it!


70 Faith August 9, 2010 at 9:09 am

I feel the same way about the South. Every time I leave for a trip (even to visit other gorgeous places), I am reminded of it’s green beauty upon our plane’s descent. You can’t beat it.


71 Allie @ CookReadRun August 9, 2010 at 9:22 am

OMG! I wear The One and love love it. I had no idea they have ROSE The One. I guess I’ll be headed to the perfume counter on my lunch break teehee. Thanks for that!

And your grilled corn looks bomb!


72 Melissa @ HerGreenLife August 9, 2010 at 9:27 am

I guess there’s no place like home :) Looks live a great healthy welcome home meal!


73 melissa August 9, 2010 at 9:36 am

Gorgeous photos! I think the secret to living in a big city is to find the little areas of lush respite. It’s not something you can do in a weekend,it takes time to find little parks and places just outside the city for easy escape–that said, I understand why not everyone wants to spend most of their time in a concrete jungle!


74 Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales August 9, 2010 at 11:31 am

Wow, it does look really beautiful there.


75 R @ August 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I love that you use Peter Rabbit plates!!


76 Vanessa August 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Hi Kath!

This is totally not related to this post..But I would love to get some suggestions from you. For work I am getting sent to NY to work for a month. Now I work in a kitchen, so yea I’m surrounded by food. I was just wondering if you had any suggestions for some good breakfast ideas or snack food that would travel well. The hotel is in not a very great area and I work long hours so the only way to get some good food would be to take a cab or the train. I know I could always eat something at the restaurant in the hotel but the idea is to save money!! I was thinking, almonds, granola bars, maybe some healthy instant oatmeal? Thanks!


77 Kath August 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm

My ideas are as good as yours. If you check back to my breakfast and lunches from January – June of this year, most of them were all packed and not refrigerated. Larabars (or homemade versions), sandwiches, dried fruit, trail mix, whole fruit, etc all work really well.


78 Sara @ August 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Those tacos look delicious! I love the South, too…as much as I dream about living in Washington state or somewhere in the Pacific NW, I know I could never really leave the South! :)


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