Since I’m part-Greek and have to get something cut off at the dermatologist’s office at least once a year, I took Monday off to get my spots checked and to hang with my family a little.

Sunday night I stayed over and watched some Curb Your Enthusiasm while sitting on my parents’ bed surrounded by two giant dogs.

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The "attack dogs" at Christmas

This morning I started with a 30-minute swim in their pool (which went much better than Saturday’s attempt) and had breakfast with my sister at the kitchen counter—oats with flax, nectarine, and sunflower butter. I’d never had that combination before, but it was delicious. I could tell my arms were going to be pretty sore, but in a very satisfying “I just worked muscles I didn’t know I have” kind of way.

After finding out that I most likely don’t have skin cancer this time but should continue to put sunscreen on my ears, I picked up Juliaand we went to get lunch at a local cafe. She suggested the blackened tilapia salad, which came with a pile of greens, tomato, corn, and avocado. It was perfect.img 2537 - How I Spent My Day Off

We spent the afternoon running errands for my grandfather and meandering around Target. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl and from New Jersey, but there’s just something about wandering through giant suburban stores on a rainy day that’s so soothing, especially when you’re with someone you don’t get to see often enough. Talking while you wander through the aisles in search of random stuff on a list (and finding stuff not on the list) will always be one of my favorite rainy-day activities. 

Finally, we ended up back at my parents’ house, just before 14 guests were about to arrive for dinner. One of my dad’s clients is passing through town, and he had done a really good job of cleaning the house and picking up food on Sunday, but there was still salad and guacamole to make. Naturally, as everyone walked in the door, the avocado pit I’d been gently prying from the fruit flew into the air and landed with a big thud on the floor.

When one of the guys from the band saw us at work, he asked if he could help, and was excited to be set up with a knife and cutting board. If I were on the road a lot, I’d miss cooking too. My mom’s kitchen also kind of kicks ass. I think when I test the recipes for a project I’ll hopefully be able to talk about soon, I plan to do a lot of it there.

I didn’t hang around for the actual barbecue, and instead caught a slow bus back to New York. A trip that normally takes 30 minutes took almost 2 hours! When I got home, Chris suggested going to our local Mexican place, and even though I feel like I’ve had more restaurant meals than I prefer the past couple weeks, I’m glad we went. Their vegetarian enchiladas are delicious—full of veggies and the perfect amount of sauce. I also brought home the rice and beans, which will be great over greens tomorrow and topped with salsa and avocado.

I try to limit the number of times I go out to eat to once or twice per week, but some weeks it ends up being more like three or four times.  Even though I don’t really overdo it, it feels weird to have a lot of meals prepared by someone else. Being able to be flexible is an important skill to have, but I do have to talk myself out of feeling guilty. Just one of those things, I guess. At least the meals I’ve gone out for have been with people I love.

Do you have a certain number of times per week you “allow” yourself to dine out, or do you just roll with it? 

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