Well my friends, it has been a bit of a hot mess of a week – both kids came down with a stomach bug Tuesday night and… yeah.
It’s been rough for everyone. So many loads of laundry. I was feeling so incredibly grateful for our in-home laundry machines this week.
The kids have been home the whole rest of the week through today and our part time nanny has been out sick all week, too. I made it to 6am yoga today and that helped center me some, though, so there’s that.
Thankfully Matt and I haven’t gotten sick ourselves – I didn’t feel great on Wednesday but hard to tell if I was fighting it off too or just feeling like garbage because we were awake and doing laundry late at night…
Here’s hoping that everyone rebounds this weekend and that’s the last of it! Half of the school is out with the same thing – it has spread like wildfire.
Anyway, before everyone started throwing up everywhere, I went for a run on Monday morning – my first run in well over a week.
The last time I ran before that was a 9 miler in prep for the half marathon I’ve been training for, but the day after that long run I injured my hip/lower back picking a flailing Wes up at a weird angle.
My friend and I ran a little over 4 miles on Monday, and my hip and lower back situation felt good during the run – they didn’t bother me at all – but afterwards that area felt quite sore which made me nervous considering we did not run that far (compared to 13.1 miles, that is).
And then I haven’t gotten in a run since Monday with the whole sickness situation in our house. The half marathon is only a week away at this point and I’m still really not sure what to do.
I think at this point it’s unlikely I’ll run it – I feel like I could probably push through and finish it okay, but then afterwards I’m nervous that my hip/lower back would really revolt again from the strain.
It does not feel worth risking injuring myself again – my weekly fitness routine is a big part of my mental sanity, and also I want to be able to pick Wes up without worrying about tweaking something again. So, yeah. We’ll see.
It’s really disappointing but I’m grateful that my body feels pretty good again right now and I’d way rather be able to continue to do my yoga classes I love and my fun shorter runs with friends vs. pushing through for a race and risking injury again.
Anyway! In much more fun news, last week I was on a trip: I went to the Tastemaker Conference in Chicago!
Tastemaker Conference is a food blogger specific conference that has been going on since… 2017 or 2018 I think? This was my first year attending it!
It was fun to be at a conference again for the first time in many, many years. I was incredibly exhausted by the end of the days with all the nonstop stimulation and conversation, but it was fun to see some old acquaintances and to meet and network with some new friends.
(Pictured below with new friend Nancylynn at one of the event happy hours!)
I didn’t get a lot of pictures at the actual conference proper because I was busy chatting and taking it all in, but I did manage to snag pictures of my lunch each of the days!
Since I didn’t have any close friends attending the conference, for the breakfasts and lunches while there I just walked up to a random table and asked if I could join them. Luckily a lot of people came to the conference alone and were doing the same thing so I didn’t feel weird about it!
The first day we had an Asian-themed lunch that was delicious – rice, salmon, tofu, and veggies.
First day lunch buddies were LaKita, Hannah, and Laura. Really enjoyed chatting with them!
Day two was a Mediterranean style lunch that was also very yummy – orzo, salad, chicken, olives, veggies, and pita with various sauce options.
One of the big highlights of the conference, though, was the cooking class I attended on the last day before heading to the airport! This was part of Tastemaker’s optional “excursions” that are offered in addition to the conference at an extra fee.
I’m on the advisory board for Tastemaker, and while I paid my way for the regular conference fee and accommodations/travel and such, they invited those of us on the board to attend the excursions (this cooking class + a dinner the night before) for free as a thank you. I was happy to take them up on the offer!
We made 3 recipes during the cooking class, which was at a cool cooking school called The Chopping Block: cheddar and black bean empanadas, shrimp and chorizo paella, and roasted BBQ pork tenderloin with rice.
It was all delicious and it was fun to work together with my small group to make it, chatting as we went!
The empanadas were the most fun, and I was surprised by how easy they were to make as I’ve never tried to make them at home before!
We all worked together to slice the puff pastry…
To brush egg on the outer rim (so it would stick together once filled):
To fill them with the black bean mixture (which was black beans, cilantro, red pepper, garlic, cheddar, scallions, and lime juice):
To form them into half moons and then make them look pretty by pressing a fork’s tongs onto the edges to make a pattern:
And then to brush with egg again.
The last step was baking them! They came out gorgeous, huh?
The paella was gorgeous, too! I didn’t help as much with this one but still got to admire it:
Ready to feast!
One of the biggest highlights of the cooking class besides the food, though, was chatting with fellow blogger Kate!
We met at the conference the day before when she said hi and told me that she’d been a blog reader of mine for 10 years. So appreciate you reading for so long, Kate! And I loved hanging out with you while we cooked. 🙂
It was fun to totally mix up my usual routine and spend some time with fellow bloggers learning and networking. (I’m actually co-hosting a small weekend retreat with Tastemaker in May – excited about that, too!)
I missed my little family, though – it was really good to get back to them on Saturday evening. <3
Have a nice weekend, my friends, and see you back here next week!