the return of swag

Helloooooo Swagsters.

It’s been a while, huh? Thanks to everyone for your support during the rough time my family has recently been through. I can’t tell you enough how much that support made life easier to get through amidst a great deal of sadness. I’d prefer not to focus too much more on this, if that’s okay. We’ve all been working hard to start healing and move forward.

Allow me, instead to update you on other parts of my life. There was a lot going on at one time, and not all of it was bad!

School started!
It was a rough adjustment, given that I was still mourning my family’s loss, but I think it was very helpful to have a place to put my energy and a distraction from my sadness. I’ve quickly found that school is my happy place right now. I love being in my classes, even the ones that I would have previously considered “boring.” I think a big part of this is that I’m older, more mature and have had more experiences in life than I did the first time I was in school. I have a much greater appreciation for learning, and the opportunities that education has to offer. I’ve lived the “adult” life, paying my bills and working for a living in a job that doesn’t really allow me to reach my full potential. I am not taking college for granted this time. I see this as my chance, my opportunity to make life better.

Also, as I get older, I really see how affected our lives are by politics and by economics. As a younger adult, being still supported by my parents, it was hard to care about politics and the state of the economy. Now, as I’ve been supporting myself for half a decade, I’ve been affected by health care regulations, by the credit crunch, by decisions of elected officials. Subsequently, I find everything I’m studying, from Geography to Political Economics to be extremely relevant. Understanding the world around us in an informed, educated way is absolutely necessary. I might warn you ahead of time to expect to hear me talking about things like this more often. As much as I enjoy talking about food, exercise and personal growth, I am feeling a deepening urgency to have conversations about societal change, and to take part in it.

At any rate, I’m in love with academia, and so happy to be a part of this world today. I’m obsessed with my classes and I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more sure about what I’m doing. Economics is something I loved studying. It’s one of those things that just clicks in my brain. It’s such a dynamic field of study and can be useful in so many different fields. I’ve already decided that I want to get my master’s degree once I finish here and I’m so thrilled with a program I found that fits what I want to do to a T!

I was recently accepted as a FitFluential ambassador! I’m thrilled to be a part of this community on a more interactive scale. I’m extremely proud to be able to promote a healthy, happy, fit, vegan lifestyle to a broader audience, and I sincerely hope I will serve you and the FitFluential organization well.

Vegan Outreach!
Literally, as I was walking to the campus library to sit and give you all this update, I passed a girl who was handing out pamphlets. It turns out, she is working with Vegan Outreach and trying to organize a group of students on campus to promote the cruelty free life. I have always admired the work that Vegan Outreach does and I was so, so pleased to run into this girl and to find this grassroots movement getting started on my campus! I got her information and I’ll be emailing her today. I am extremely interested in being more of an active vegan advocate, and really hope to be an integral part of this movement growing more popular.

These are the major things going on right now, my friends.

Life’s really busy and I’m working to establish a new routine. All in all, I really believe life is headed in the right direction.

How was the end of your summer?
Tell me something exciting that’s going on in your life!



I’m sorry I haven’t been around. I have had lots of folks ask me when I’ll be posting again, and it is my intention to do so. However, right now, all my time is spent with my family. All my energy and creativity is given to prayer. My family needs me and I need to be with them.

Until I return, if I could be so selfish as to ask you, swagsters, to please keep my family, especially my sister and her unborn son, in your thoughts and prayers. We need everything positive that you have to offer us.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to support me despite my absence. It means more than you can possibly know.


tuesday like a monday

Happy Tuesday, Swagsters!

My sister put it quite well today when she said that my Tuesday looks suspiciously like a Monday. This morning I woke up, like I normally do and headed downstairs to fill up my water bottle before my morning workout. Only instead of being my usual graceful self (<– sarcasm), today I actually fell and slid my way down the stairs. In other words: Jenny go boom. Thankfully, I caught myself before I went alllllll the way down the stairs, but I still landed kind of hard. I’m gonna have a nice bruise and I have some rug burn in a rather unfortunate place.

In related news, it was a rather loud fall, and neither my boyfriend or our roommate woke up when it happened. So…. I think Life Alert may be the way for me to go moving forward. Glad I didn’t disturb anyone’s slumber though. 😉

After that little debacle, I managed a workout. This morning I did BodyRockTV’s Pumped on the Patio workout. After doing I’m All Yours yesterday, my legs were feeling it. But it was a great workout and I felt wide awake after. Despite my seriously hating the names BodyRock comes up with (although, admittedly, they have toned down the sex-factor recently, which I appreciate) I am really into their workouts as of late. They’re quick and they’re crazy hard. I’m always left gasping for breath and wondering what on earth just happened to me.

Thankfully, my workout went off without a hitch, but my good luck wouldn’t last long. I had my annual lady-doctor appointment today and I actually walked out our back door and locked it before I realized…. I was shoeless. Cute.

I was getting increasingly worried about my ability to live to see the end of Tuesday. And not without reason. Along the drive to the doctor, I discovered there was a rogue fly trapped in my car and he was on a psychotic assassination mission, his target being yours truly. I kept opening the window for him but he’d rather divebomb my head. It was scary, y’all. Especially that part where I almost swerved into oncoming traffic. :-\

I made it to my appointment though, and thankfully unharmed. I was good and safe. Until I got home, that is. Because once in the place where I should be safest, I proceeded to ram my knee into the coffee table approximately as hard as one can while just trying to walk from one end of a room to another.


I need to live in a bubble. And I may or may not be writing this post while wearing my bike helmet. At this point, I am a hazard to myself.

The truth is, I’m a tough ol’ broad and I’m really totally fine. I could tell you the world is against me today, but the way I see it, it’s just got a nice sense of humor. 😉 I took a minute to go upstairs and meditate, get my brain calm and reset. I think I’m gonna live. 🙂

So speaking of meditation. I am happy to report that I have gone forward with the goals I set yesterday. This morning I listed 3 reasons to be proud of the day I had yesterday and I got in a calming five minutes of silence both yesterday and today. I continue to feel freed by my weekend realizations and excited about things to come. There’s just a lot to look forward to.

But now… let’s talk about food.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and found this beauty:

Say whaaaaa?????

I could NOT pass this up. Is anything better than sweet and spicy? And this seemed like such an interesting spin on the flavor combo that I couldn’t pretend I didn’t simply HAVE to have it.

I was eager to give it ago and lunch was served:

Quick stir-fry!

All I did was stir fry some broccoli, carrots and tempeh and toss them in a couple tablespoons of sauce, then topped them with some cashews for extra crunch. Divine! This sauce is definitely spicy, but once it’s spread over the veggies and protein, it ends up just leaving you with a really nice kick of spice. I love how versatile it is, and I can’t wait to try it out as a salad dressing. It’s really hot here in CT right now, and a salad seems like a perfect idea to cool off. I used my oven for lunch and tonight I’d like to avoid it.

What was lunch, you ask? This monster

Smothered sweet potato

Okay this actually just looks more like a monster, but it was actually the perfect portion and left me very satisfied! I baked half a sweet potato in the oven til it was just about soft all the way through. then threw 1/2 a cup of my homemade refried beans on top with 2 T of Daiya mozz and back into the oven it went. Once the beans were heated through and the cheese was melty, I took it out of the oven, topped it with some guacamole and sriracha. I enjoyed a small green salad on the side, topped with Annie’s Lite Goddess Dressing. Delicious!

That’s all I’ve got for today, Swagsters. Keep treating yourself well, feeding yourself well and looking at life through rose colored glasses. We’re all gonna be okay!


sneak peak