4th of July Round Up {2014}

I know that this is crazy delayed, but it’s finally time for that annual update of photos from the 4th! Since the parade pretty much looks the same every year, I’ll share a few other adventures instead. We were so lucky to have the hubster’s cousin and his wife drive up from Nashville to join us for the long weekend. Our visit included a 5K, a Sprecher tour, backyard games, and good times all around! So grateful for my family, my hometown, and all the amazing people in my life. What is life without your community??

IMG_4222

IMG_4229 IMG_4234  IMG_4250 IMG_4259 IMG_4260 IMG_4262

 

San Francisco #sfvugirlsweekend

Because every awesome weekend needs a hashtag.

In the last year or two, we’ve all (and by “we” I mean the very very many of us who stuck around Nashville after college) have scattered around the country a bit, with hugs and tears and promises of all of us moving back to Nashville someday and being neighbors and having babies together and all that good stuff. I really, truly truly TRULY hope that happens. But in the meantime, it’s a perfect excuse to travel around the country a bit and visit some of my favorite people.

The lovely KMiller (now an Atlanta resident) and I (now a Columbus resident) recently traveled to visit Christen (now a San Fran resident) for a most fabulous girls weekend. Never take for granted the ease of spending time with good friends, complete with snuggles, wine, and most importantly, cheese.

Adventures of the weekend included…

Katy and I renting bikes to do a little classic touristy Fisherman’s Wharf exploring…

Bike rentals.

Bike rentals.

Pretty boats!

Pretty boats!

This is my artistic lifesaver shot.

This is my artistic lifesaver shot.

Maybe, possibly, two trips to Ghirardelli Square…don’t judge us!!

Nailed it.

Nailed it.

A view of the Golden Gate from this side of things…

Picturesque.

Picturesque.

Obligatory Golden Gate Selfie!!

Obligatory Golden Gate Selfie!!

And a hike with a view of the Golden Gate from THIS side of things…

I mean.

I mean.

We might have also found a random winery. With tastings. I’m not complaining.

We found a winery...

We found a winery…

And after adventures at the Farmer’s Market and the winery, we made a snuggly homemade meal. Included is….a salad with fresh arugula, figs, goat cheese, and pears. A huge loaf of homemade bread with triple cream cheese (WHA! I know, right?). Homemade salad dressing. Fresh olive oil and herbs. And of course, wine.

Farmer's Market Meal

Farmer’s Market Meal

Yes, we all discussed the choice to wear maxi dresses on the same night…Pictured here from left to right is: Yours Truly, Christen the lovely host, and Katy, my SEC love.

Love these ladies!

Love these ladies!

If you are a lady, with lady friends, in other cities, GO VISIT THEM!! And while Columbus may not be at the top of your travel list…my door is always open to you!!

Megoirs {Happy Blogiversary!}

cropped-header1040-250.png

Hey everyone…I’m baaaaaack!! And today, on my six year blogiversary, you’ll see a bit of a makeover on the Megster Meter. For one, I’m switching up the name. After six years of pretty much the same stuff, it’s time for a little something new! The design is still pretty simple, but let’s face it…I don’t have much of a design eye, and I don’t have much disposable income to go paying someone to do it for me. So, here I am. What you see is what you get!

So Megoirs will pretty much be what you’re used to from me: recipes, crafts, health, travel, random rants, etc. I hope to add in a little bit more about the day-to-day of my life, but only when I’m feeling at least a little bit clever. Otherwise, those posts would be a tad bit boring for you.

Please stick around, comment when you feel so moved, and let me know if there is something you really like and would like to see more of. I’m here to ramble about my life please you! And if you’re bored, check out the pages listed across the top of the blog, including “start here,” “recipe box,” and “30 before 30.” Welcome back and enjoy!!

All my lovin,

Meghan

Under Construction

UNDER-CONSTRUCTION-SIGN-psd40976

Hey guys! I’m going to take a little time to work on my blog’s design, appearance, layout, etc. so I’m not going to be posting for a little while. Hopefully I’ll have it all ready to go by my SIXTH blogiversary this August. Craziness!!

In the meantime, head up to the top of my page to check out my food, crafts, photography, and other fun stuff. And definitely follow me on Instagram (@megstermeter) where I will still be posting snippits of recipes and crafts and other fun life things. Thanks for sticking around!

Much love,

Megster

When You Utterly Fail At That One Thing You’re Usually Really Good At

I suppose this is a bit of a serious post for a Friday, but it’s been a while since I dug deep into some life lessons. But when I made a cake for our anniversary that was truly a comedy of errors, it got me thinking. I pride myself on baking – it’s “that thing Meghan does” for a party, a work event, etc. It’s the thing that I would do for an income if I had any guts. So when you have a total cake disaster, you feel kind of shitty (excuse my french).

For the record, the bottom is raw.

I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say… it started with my oven being on “broil” instead of “bake” and it ended with me adding brown sugar to my butter cream icing when I ran out of powdered sugar. Aaaand it looked like this…

Yes, shut up, those are supposed to be hearts. I know.

I think we are all a little familiar with that feeling of totally sucking at something you USUALLY really pride yourself in. It started kind of young for me. I took piano lessons for 13 years, and every February in the Wisconsin snow we would trudge to some distant UW satellite location for me to compete at Federation. I would spend an entire YEAR practicing two songs over and over, hoping to earn the top score, a “Superior.” In order to earn a Gold Cup, you needed 15 points. A “Superior” earned you five points, so in theory, you could get a cup every three years. OH how we coveted the superiors and the gold cups. There was much bliss and happiness UNTIL…the year I earned an “Excellent” which only meant four points. That REALLY THROWS OFF THE GOLD CUP MATH GAME, PEOPLE! And I was devastated. In the end, it actually took pressure off the rest of the years, and in high school I played concertos too which were worth like, eight points each, and I ended up with five gold cups that are now in a box in my mom’s attic, but the POINT is that I felt miserable for “failing” at the one thing you worked your bootay off for.

3645

Let’s move on to the OTHER thing I really prided myself in during my adolescence: School. I worked hard. I worked many jobs, usually two if not three at a time. I was pretty much straight As and graduated with like a 4.2 (which seems super silly but whatever). All that hard work earned me a full ride to a top-20 school, and I was thrilled. And then I got there. And I failed. Not just once, but over and over and over. I refused to drop out of pre-med, and just kept taking the hits one after another. I’ll never remember having a meltdown during freshman Christmas break because I didn’t want to go back and take the second semester of bio, chem, and calc. I don’t know why I didn’t drop the medicine track then, but I didn’t. And it was a blow to my ego like I had never experienced. I spent the next three years working even HARDER (and eventually dropping premed – but only after practically acing organic chemistry. who does that?) and managed to graduate with a 3.0…barely. And for all that drama, I now have a master’s degree from the same school and a great career track. So wah wah, boo boo, you’re FINE, megster. Just fine.

We’re getting a little long-winded over here so let me get to my point: failing, even at things you’re usually good at, is hard. But it humbles you. And I really believe it’s made me stronger. That said, I still do feel a pang of jealousy towards people who seem to have THAT ONE THING that they rock at. I don’t think I like being a jack-of-all-trades type: Good at baking, but not the best. Good at piano, but not a natural. Good at school, but not without tons of work. Even in my career, which I enjoy, I have been really struggling for about a year: not feeling challenged in some ways but feeling far too challenged in others. Where is the balance? I am just relying on the fact that God calls us to be diligent, patient, and to trust Him. Clearly, things have worked out fine before, and they will again.

So HAVE HEART! Hang tight. If you fail, move on. If you succeed, celebrate!

Zoodles + Turkey Tomato Sauce {Paleo}

photo 4

Sorry for the iphone photos. I was feeling lazy.

I say “sauce” but really, it’s meat and tomatoes…just the way I like it :) Something about a super chunky tomatoey topping to my pasta has always made me feel at home. And these days, as I am trying to cut back on my pastas and other “evil sugars” (with only marginal success, mind you) I am all about experimenting with noodle alternatives. There is the soba noodle and the spaghetti squash noodle and the sweet potato noodle (spoodle?), and now I’ve discovered the zucchini noodle = zoodle.

zoodles

So first, the zoodle. SUPER EASY. They have fun and fancy tools out there, like this spiral slicer, which would probalby make it even easier than it already is. However, I just used a simple Julienne Peeler to create my zoodles. You can boil, steam, or stir fry these, just like any other veggie. I boiled them just to get them as tender and pasta-like as possible. You could literally do anything with these guys. Okay fine, maybe not literally, but ALMOST.

photo 3

And then, my “sauce.” This makes 4 generous servings. I learned that when you turn a zucchini into zoodles, one zucchini ends up being about a serving. So if you are really wanting 4 servings, get 4 zucchinis and thank me later.

Turkey Tomato Sauce {Paleo}

Ingredients:

1 medium onion
2 16 oz cans of diced tomatoes (Go flavorful here. I used one with garlic and basil, and one “hot” with green chilis)
1 lb lean ground turkey
salt and pepper to taste
ZOODLES!

Directions:

1. Chop your onion and saute over medium heat in a little olive oil or cooking spray until it starts to brown. Add your turkey and cook until browned (season with some salt and pepper along the way). Finally, drain your tomatoes and add to your onions and turkey. Let this all simmer a while to get the flavors melded.

2. Meanwhile, boil your zoodles (or spaghetti or whatever) and then cover them in the meaty tomatoey goodness. YUMS!

How easy is that?? A hearty yet summery meal. And honestly, the best part about spaghetti and meatballs is the meatballs, obviously, so this kind of fills that craving for you. Let me know if you try out zoodles and what you think!