Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Ever wondered how to make a day insanely long? Get yourself stuck with 21 kindergarten children who haven't been to recess since last Friday...

But anyway. I am continuing my decision to leave my thoughts on the weather out of the blog. Instead, let's chat about "obligations."

Yesterday I tweeted "Does anyone else feel like sometimes life is one obligation after another?" I received some enthusiastic "yes!" responses, so I figured others must hear me on this. I mean obviously there is the obligation of work, and all that goes around with that. However, beyond that it seems like other obligations never seem to end either.

Individually many of these obligations are fun things: wedding events (bachelorette parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, weddings themselves), parties, sporting events, etc. However, at times it can feel like entire weekends (and sometimes weeknights) can just be taken over by all of these things and we can get to Sunday thinking, did I relax at all this weekend? The answer is often times no.

Sometimes I wonder if it's particularly crazy because Eric and I tend to do things together, so spending adequate time with our families AND all our friends is bordering on impossible. I never remember being particularly overwhelmed by social obligations in high school, but back then I had just friends...not high school friends, college friends, and work friends. Nor did I have Eric's friends, all of whom I love. Plus, let's be honest with ourselves...family is not top priority for a high school student (sorry guys!) and you live with them so you see them a lot anyways.

Now I don't live with my family, so it is a top priority to see them and Eric's family. Plus I always find family time is so relaxing- I never have to wait until some ungodly hour at night to eat dinner with them (well except in California). I think Eric's family actually likes to eat even earlier than me most nights. It's fantastic. Hanging out with my or Eric's family never feels like an obligation.

Anyway, I guess my point is. I love parties and events, I do. But sometimes I am just overwhelmed by the shear number of them. I know I've said before that I need to get better at saying no. I mean, I am fine at saying no if I genuinely have something else I have to do, but if I'm completely available- how do I say no? It kinda feels rude to say no to a friend's birthday, or wedding related event. But it also feels like because we can't say no to those events, we never have time to actually spend quality time with friends. Be honest, how often do you spend quality time with anyone at your own party?

Does anyone else struggle with this? Any solutions out there? I've been told to have kids because then I'll have time for no social events. Somehow that's not quite the solution I am looking for...

On a totally different note, I made a bit of a different dinner tonight. I had leftover teriyaki tempeh and a big eggplant so I decided to make Eggplant Tempeh Tacos. I found this recipe online and I really did not follow it at all except for to use the idea for eggplant as a sub for taco shells. The reason why I didn't follow the rest of the recipe is because I didn't have the ingredients and I already had my tempeh cooked in teriyaki sauce. Otherwise, it looks delicious for another time! To make my Eggplant Tempeh Tacos, I started by peeling and slicing my eggplant nice and thin. To cook it, I just sprayed some PAM in a pan, threw in a few slices of eggplant at a time and turned them over after 1-2 minutes.

After I cooked the eggplant, I let them cool and heated up my teriyaki tempeh. Then, all I had to do was assemble the "tacos." It was pretty simple!

Fun, right?
They were pretty delicious too...although I felt like my eggplant had a hint of a bitter taste today. Does that mean I cooked it wrong? I don't know if I've ever actually cooked eggplant before...weird.
Anyway, I enjoyed these mini tacos with a side of mashed butternut squash (though not as amazing as yesterday's butternut squash raviolis!) and some extra pieces of eggplant. A little low on the carbs for me (though my tempeh is mixed with whole grains), but a filling meal nonetheless!

Have you ever tried tempeh? Do you like it? What's your favorite way to eat it?

I just tried tempeh for the first time a few weeks ago, but I am a fan now. I think I like tofu and tempeh pretty equally but tempeh is a little easier to prepare because you don't have to squeeze the water out :)

I hope we ALL see the sun tomorrow. Or even just walk outside without getting soaked...start small.


  1. I sometimes make up excuses when I just don't want to do anything with friends. Like if it's for an event, I'll go, but if someone just wants to have dinner and I'm not feeling like it, I'll just say that I can't go.

    I don't like tempeh. I wish I did. I like tofu. I feel like I should like tempeh.

  2. I think that you do just need to start learning to say no more often - maybe to less important gatherings. Besides, if you say you're busy, your not lying. You're just busy relaxing!

  3. I hear ya on the obligations thing. It's especially bad for me when I go home for a visit and try to spend time with Eric, my family, Eric's family AND all my friends. When I'm only home for 3-5 days at a time the time FLIES by because I have so many "obligations" even if they are fun ones most of the time!!

  4. I agree with the obligations. I have stuff to do, peple to see, etc. but sometimes I just want quiet and me time. I usually one night during the wknd for me and then the other for something social if I have anything planned.

    I only tried tempeh once and hates it but may have to give it another go before I write it off completely!

  5. That looks delicious AND pretty easy. What a combination!

  6. I'm actually the opposite...I have a hard time saying yes! So I've got nothin for ya....

  7. re: Garmin & splits.

    I use sport tracks software (which is freeware), not sure how you do it with the regular garmin software. If you use sport tracks I can tell you how to get it.

  8. Man, I HEAR you girl. I love my friends, but I can barely fit John in sometimes! Some days all I want to do is go home, put on my sweats, and call it a night!

  9. It's so true. Even when I am relaxing I am still thinking about all of my obligations (this is something I am working on). After one thing gets accomplished, something else comes along and gets added to my "to-do" list. Living in the moment is the key to not sressing, and actually taking time to relax. The book I always blog about "slowing Down to the Speed of Life" talks a lot about this concept.

    I LOVE your tempeh recipe. These sounds great. I have only had the TJs whole grain tempeh, but I do LOVE it, and it would probably work for the tacos!! I eat some everyday, even just randomly as a snack.

  10. I'm learning to just say no without coming up with an excuse (real or otherwise) - I don't need to justify my reasoning to anyone else! It's not easy though ...

  11. Haha, I can't help but blog about the weather. Sooorrry! :)

    I hear ya as far as obligations go. And sometimes I feel like I'm working so hard to make everyone else happy that I'm ignoring how I feel. It can be overwhelming!

  12. I could have written most of that myself! I get so overwhelmed by commitments, even when they are social and fun. And I am such a homebody at heart that I would almost always prefer an evening or weekend at home!

  13. I used to feel like I had to do every social thing I was offered. Party, coffee, brunch...I felt that if I didn't go, I would miss out! One time I went to 3 parties in 1 night. It made me so stressed out, especially since at many events like that people wouldn't even notice if you are there or not. Now that I'm older I definitely prioritize. I say "no" a lot to meeting for drinks after work short notice, but will re-schedule for a time that works better. I feel obligated to call ALL of my friends over the country, and now I try to make sure I communicate with them at least once a month. Once I accepted that I didn't have to do everything, I enjoy the time I spend more and I think my friends enjoy me more when I'm around too!

  14. I love tempeh...it is my favorite meatless dish! SO GOOD!! Better than tofu!

  15. Yep, I hear you on the obligations thing. I do think it is easier being single, though, since I don't have a whole other group of people to see... But I still have trouble balancing it. I have gotten better at saying no to people. I try to limit myself to only one social obligation during the week, and then 1-2 on the weekend. Otherwise I just end up getting stressed/overwhelmed! Sometimes it's unavoidable and weekends fill up, and they are alot of fun, but I try to have one weekend night where I have nothing going on so I can re-charge my battery

  16. I can totally understand where you are coming from with the whole obligation thing! Ugh! Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the year, etc. But as my husband tells me, 'life is about obligations'. I know that doesn't really help things, but when he says this to me, I realize that sometimes, life is not all about us and that we have to do things outside of what we want. I usually end up having a good time at whatever obligation I'm at, but I always manage to complain beforehand.

    Your eggplant taco tempeh looks so good and creative! Eggplant can be bitter if it's not salted first. Have you ever tried doing that? Just sprinkle some salt on it after you've peeled and sliced it and let it sit for about 20 min. Then, rinse off the salt and pat dry it before cooking. It will help with the bitterness factor.

  17. I feel like 99% of my life is an obligation. Sometimes I want to cut-loose and be CRAZY!

  18. You're totally right about life being a series of obligations! OMG now I'm depressed and just want to do things for myself! haha :)

    Also, the eggplant looks sooooo good! What a unique and delicious idea!


  19. I kind of love tempeh but never eat it! Thanks for posting such an innovative recipe!