The Secret to Motivation

The title of this blog post probably makes it seem like I’m about to divulge some sort of miracle cure for when you’re lacking motivation that I’ve acquired of my almost two full years of law school. And I really wish that that’s what it was, because I sure could use some magical motivation right about now. Unfortunately, the title is a bit misleading. Because I have yet to discover that secret.

What I have discovered, is that there just might not be such a thing as motivation. There is not mystical feeling that suddenly makes you super productive and gets you through all of the work you have ahead of you. In fact, I’m starting to learn that slogging through hard (and sometimes boring) work has less to do with motivation, and more to do with habit and routine.

What a bummer, right? Motivation sounds so positive and inspirational. Habit and routine? Not so much. Habits and routines make us think of things like brushing our teeth and taking out the trash, getting up at 7 am every morning and taking the train to school or work. There’s really nothing glamorous or exciting about habits.

The other thing about habits and routines is that they’re freakin’ hard to form. I’ve spent the last two years trying to form a workout routine – and I honestly believe the reason I don’t have one yet is because every 16 weeks my schedule changes so completely, that by the time I readjust to the new schedule and try to create a new workout routine, I have a few weeks of success before I have to start over completely.

And so day after day, I sit at my desk with what seems like endless reading assignments before me, hoping to be struck with motivation. And it never comes. Instead, I keep slogging through the painful process of forming a routine and getting through another day’s worth of reading. Its certainly not glamorous, but it gets the job done.

Advertisements

On 2L Year and Perpetually Overcommiting

They always tell rising 2Ls not to overcommit and rising 2Ls always scoff and laugh and say “I’ll figure it out!” in the midst of summer clerkships and free weekends and beautiful weather.

Then the weather gets colder and the days get shorter and you’re in the depths of your 2L year and you realize that you probably truly shouldn’t have over committed. Because writing an article for Law Journal, and editing Law Journal articles, and being on Moot Court, and taking a full course load, and tutoring a 1L legal writing class, AND working part time at the same place your clerked over the summer IS over-commiting, and it IS too much, and it WILL burn you out and you’ll be ready to call it quits mid October when you still have half a semester to go.

But the hard weeks (because there are no longer any weeks that aren’t hard) fluctuate between “impossibly difficult, I’m barely sleeping, surviving on coffee and snacks” and “ok I can sort of catch up on my reading and this week is bearable and maybe this weekend I’ll get to sleep in past 7 and do something fun.” And though you spend a chunk of your semester kicking yourself for not listening to your peers who told you not to overcommit, and for procrastinating because some days sleep, self-care, and nurturing your relationships simply have to win out over school, you also know that you wouldn’t do it any differently if you could.

There’s a reason that we’re all a bunch of type-A’s in law school, and a reason that rising 2Ls overcommit for their 2L year time and time again. And though I’m vehemently opposed to the glorification of “busy” and “stressed,” and I practice and encourage self-care (whatever that looks like for you), I’m a strong proponent of grinding hard for what you’re passionate about, and driving toward your goals.

The Last 6 Months

Its been six months since my first (and last to date) law school post, and I am now halfway through my second semester of 1L year. Part of me can’t help but look back on my first law school post and think “Aw, how sweetly naive I was!” To say that life got crazy and fast would be an understatement.

To summarize the past 6 months:

I survived my first semester of law school!

I say “barely” others say “well” – tomaytoe tomahto. It was easily the hardest thing I’d ever done up until this semester, and I very quickly had to learn to let go of my type-A obsession with getting all As. Because it just doesn’t really happen in law school.

15 nervous breakdowns.gif

– said every one of my classmates, myself included. 

I say survived because I think I underestimated just how hard law school would be. While I knew it would be academically rigorous, I wasn’t totally prepared for the full assault that it turned out to be. It truly affects you academically, emotionally, physically, and all the other -ally’s. But its also really nice to have last semester to look back to now and be able to say “you survived last semester, you can survive this semester too”

I made friends!!

For the first time in my life I am part of a group text message (both a blessing and a curse, although I’ve learned to put my phone on Do Not Disturb so that I don’t hear my phone vibrate 47 times while I’m trying to fall asleep – I wish I was exaggerating when I say 47)

This group message situation points to the fact that I’ve somehow managed to make not just one friend, not two friends but a SQUAD you guys. (A squad that I’m 98% sure would cringe at being called a squad but that’s fine, they don’t know what’s good for them!) Its been incredibly nice to start my second semester with a group of friends from the get-go, and its been cool to be able to do a lot more with people now that we’re past the awkward getting-to-know-each-other phase.

I’ve read more and worked harder than what feels like my entire academic career up through law school in the last six months! 

The workload is no joke. And I can honestly say that I have never had to work this hard at school before in my life, nor have I ever before worked so hard only to find myself in the middle-of-the-pack no-longer-extraordinary you-are-now-mediocre range. Which, admittedly, is incredibly difficult for a type-A person who, up until now, has always excelled academically. Its humbling and exhausting and sometimes, quite honestly, depressing. I had a friend describe this semester as being “in triage mode since day one” and I think it is the most accurate representation of this semester’s workload. You only have time to duct tape the hole in ship before another one pops up that requires your immediate attention.

Honey Boo Boo Juggle.gif

This is me, juggling my school work on a daily basis. Aren’t I SO good at it?

Chicago has truly started to feel like home! 

Its kind of weird adjusting to living in a huge city with a bunch of traffic and public transportation and tourists when you did a large portion of growing up in Kansas, and have never in your adult life lived somewhere with a subway and high-rises. Figuring out basics like grocery shopping and how to get to school was intimidating at first. And simply picking a restaurant to try out was exhausting with so many options. But we’ve now been here 9 months, have found our grocery store and our routines, now how to ride the “El”, have favorite restaurants and places to grab drinks, and are really truly enjoying this amazing city. I honestly believe we are forever going to be so happy that we made the decision to live in the city in our 20s.

I’m working on learning to take care of myself and prioritizing my life and health and well-being above law school! 

This one should be way easier than it is, and I’m honestly not doing as great at it as I would like to be. Its hard to find time to workout when you spend 60+ hours a week working on school work. And its honestly hard to believe how tired I am by the end of the school week. I’ve had friends say they’re more tired after a week of law school then they were as Division I college athletes after a week of rigorous practice. But I’m making an effort to drink a lot of water, get in some exercise during the week, get a full night’s sleep as regularly as possible, and take “me time” – whether its a 20 minute bubble bath, 10 minutes of reading for pleasure before bed, or a mid afternoon walk between classes to grab a coffee. I have a long way to go in managing my stress and my time and prioritizing myself, but its something I’m actively working on.

 

Ok so I know I’ve gotten into this super bad habit of hopping on my blog every now and then and just making a big list of an update of my life. To be honest, half the time I don’t even know what to write about because it feels like my life is like a boring version the movie Groundhog Day, with mostly eating and reading and going to class. Not to mention its rare for me to have time for much of anything besides school, and when I do I like to spend it with Kevi doing something fun! I’m hoping to be better about blogging once summer starts, since I should have evenings and weekends relatively free, but if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me write about please let me know!

 

What, like its hard?

On my first day of classes a little bit over three weeks ago, I sat down and pulled out my heart shaped notebook and fluffy pink pen, ready to tackle law school and dressed to the nines in my most studious looking outfit (naturally paired with a high ponytail and glasses) and silently being judged by all of my boring classmates dressed in drab sweaters hiding behind their laptops.

Me on my first day....Oh wait....

Me on my first day….Oh wait….

Ok so maybe that’s not how it happened at all. Because if you’re well-versed in some of the best comedies of the 2000s then you know I’m describing Legally Blonde aka every female 1L’s favorite movie to quote and reference (or maybe that’s just me and my friends?). To be honest though, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect, and in that sense it totally could’ve been exactly like Legally Blonde as far as I knew. I’m glad I went into it without expectations, as its totally different than anything I’ve ever experienced.

The first couple of weeks were a mix of euphoria (I did it! I’m finally here! I’m surrounded by crazy smart people with similar goals! This is great!), complete terror (Where the heck is this classroom?! What did the professor just say? I think she’s speaking Russian.  Was I supposed to write that down? What am I supposed to write down? Omg I don’t know how to take notes. This is taking me forever to read. I am NEVER going to be able to keep up. I’m going to fail out. What have I done?!), and exhaustion (Are my eyes open? Am I breathing? My alarm is going off… didn’t I just go to bed? I’m definitely working way more than 40 hours a week. Am I ever NOT doing school work?).

An accurate depiction of me most days

An accurate depiction of me most days

Now I am starting to feel like I can create some sort of routine. I’m learning that I don’t have to be studying from 9 am until 9 pm every single day. I’m learning how to time manage, how to schedule in fun time, how to set “end times” on my studying for the day and stick to them. I’m learning that just because there’s a bar review (something the law school does where an organization will plan out an outing for all of the students at a particular bar in the city every Thursday, since we don’t have classes on Fridays, to celebrate getting through another week) doesn’t mean I have to go to every single one and it doesn’t mean that not going makes me anti-social. I’m learning to disconnect from the social environment when I feel like I could be better using my time at the school finishing up some school work and to not feel bad about it. I’m learning that not everyone is going to like me or get along with me, and that’s ok. I’m learning to make new friends all over again. I’m learning that nothing is the end of the world. And I’m learning that there is always something school related that I could be working on, but I don’t always have to be working on school work. AND I’m FINALLY learning how to manage my stress-levels (although on that one I’ve barely scratched the surface!)

I still have a long way to go, and there is so much I have yet to learn (Like what the heck a fee simple really is and why there are so many kinds of one!) I still need to learn how to not completely wear myself out all week long, every single week, to where I feel like crying by the end of the week (which if you really know me very well, comes as no surprise!). And I’m still learning how to enjoy this process and not let it burn me out early. But I would say 3-ish weeks in, so far so good! I’m excited to see how the rest of the semester develops, and I’m sure this year will be one of so much growth. In the meantime I’m going to try my best to just enjoy the ride!

 

Bacon Spinach Quiche Recipe

For the longest time I’ve thought that quiche was something that was really hard to make. I mean that’s why it was so delicious right? Because it took a long time and was complicated and there was no way I could figure it out. So I enjoyed quiche that other people made, or from patisseries in France, and fulfilled my quiche cravings that way.

This last week I really wanted a quiche. And I wanted to choose what went in my quiche and when and where I could eat it (aka I didn’t want to have to leave the apartment). So I did a few Pinterest searches. And didn’t really find anything that caught my attention. But I did learn some of the basics of quiche, and decided to try to make my own recipe.

I realize its pretty ballsy to choose to make your own recipe for something that you’ve literally never made before, but it didn’t look too hard and I thought as long as I made sure the eggs cooked there was no way it could taste that bad.

And boy oh boy, it was FAR from tasting bad. In fact, my husband proclaimed it the best quiche he has ever eaten, and one of his new favorite recipes that I make. Suffice it to say, it was a hit. So here’s the recipe for our Bacon Spinach Quiche:

Bacon Spinach Quiche


The truth is that you can choose to put anything you want in quiche. I chose this mixture because quite frankly it sounded like the most delicious. That being said, for this recipe you will need:

~ 1/2 lb. of bacon 

1/2 bag of spinach

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened according to package directions (I prefer the pillsbury pie crust, or off brand equivalent, that come rolled up in a box over the ones that are already shaped like pie. I think its way better quality, but its really personal preference. You can also choose a homemade pie crust if you’re feeling ambitious)

4 eggs 

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped onion (more or less to taste)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Cut up the bacon into small, bite-sized pieces and fry. Remove from pan and let cool on a paper towel. Set aside.

2. Stir fry spinach in a little bit of olive oil until limp. Remove from pan. Chop coarsely and remove excess water by squeezing/patting dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

3. Chop about 1/4 cup’s worth of onions. Set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 375°.  You can choose to do this at the very beginning if you want, but you’ll be spending a lot of time with a hot oven that has nothing inside it.

5.  Stretch pie crust over a standard pie dish. I prefer a glass dish, but you can use any standard sized dish.

6. Spread cheese and bacon evenly in the pie crust.

7. Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl.

8. Add salt and pepper to mixture, along with spinach and onions.

9. Pour egg mixture evenly over fillings in pie crust.

10. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the quiche is set in the middle.

 And that’s all there is to it, other than enjoying!! I hope you like it as much as we did. Please let me know what you think in the comments!

Sun, Sand, Sea

As I’m sure you’ve noticed based on the past couple of posts, our lives have been pretty crazy lately. With the move, starting law school, Kevin starting a new job, etc. we’ve had a lot on our plates. Which made our beach vacation that much sweeter.

To be honest, I have been looking forward to this vacation since the moment we left the resort after our honeymoon last year. To say that I’m obsessed with this vacation spot would quite accurately summarize my feelings. I mean, what’s not to love? Beautiful white beaches, the Caribbean Sea with its perfect temperatures and lack of any crazy currents or surf, comfortable rooms, so many delicious food options, drinks galore, awesome pools, great evening shows, the list goes on and on.

So early this year Kevin and I decided that we would plan a summer vacation back to the resort as a pre-law school hurrah/anniversary trip/birthday gift to ourselves. That’s when serendipity stepped in. My parents were looking to go on a beach vacation, and they ended up being able to come with us. Kevin’s aunt and uncle were looking to go on a vacation to Mexico but had no idea where to even start, and I suggested this resort. We ended up booking a vacation one day apart. All of a sudden our little vacation for two fortuitously became a vacation for nine!

My parents, my brother, Kevin and I all arrived on Tuesday the 16th and settled in for a week of fun in the sun. The California Meyer’s followed suit the next day. We piled in everything we possibly could. There was tanning, swimming, dancing, drinking, eating, nice dinners at diverse restaurants, laying on hammocks, sailing, kayaking, a mini water park, a flow rider surfing simulator, father’s day celebration with our goofy wonderful dads, incredible evening shows that ranged from beautiful traditional Mexican dances to a battle of the sexes where we conga lined on stage to a mini circus with unreal contortionists and acrobats.

It was exhausting and fun and my most favorite vacation in a long time. You know those weird people that cry at the end of a vacation because it’s over? I’m not even ashamed to admit that was me. This vacation was everything I had been needing for the last year. A happy fulfilling routine surrounded by people I love and that love me. A place with no stress, no to-do’s, no packing, no emails to read and respond to, no school applications or summer reading lists, no phone calls to make or utilities to set up or apartment worries. Never in my life have I been more thankful for a vacation. (I guess that’s called being an adult, huh?)

Now that we’re back in the States, I’m feeling refreshed and renewed and ready to tackle all of these major life changes that are headed my way.

… Oh yeah, and I’m also feeling ready to go back to the beach ;).

          

              

Unexpected changes and learning to trust. 

Remember how the last time I blogged, I mentioned how we were packing up to move and would more than likely be moving in to our new apartment June 1st?

Yeah. It never quite works out the way you plan it does it?

Needless to say, we will NOT be moving in to our new place June 1st, since that time has come and gone. It’s been an interesting transition. We packed up our whole lives into a POD mid May and headed to Kansas to enjoy some time with friends and family while wrapping up (or what we thought was wrapping up) our apartment search. And then it all fell through. There was a moment of panic and resistance, of “No, I refuse to accept this, we said June 1st and I want June 1st!”, and of freaking out feeling unsure of how to handle the changes.

Fortunately this was quickly followed by coming to peace with the changes. We really love the apartment we will be moving in to July 1st, we couldn’t have asked for a better location, and while we had to change around some flights for our Cancun vacation and adjust the timing of the PODS arrival along with a few other details, we are actually feeling really blessed for this opportunity to enjoy a mini Kansas vacation with our big Cancun vacation smack dab in the middle of it all.

It has been quite the lesson in learning to trust, of remaining positive and optimistic, and of rolling with the punches. Our first year of marriage has been a roller coaster ride, and so clearly we had to wrap it up with a big loop-de-loop and a drop before coasting in to the loading area. We’re beyond excited to commence our lives in the big city, get the most out of it before classes start (and before winter comes!!), and enjoy this transition into a new phase of life. But man does it feel good to be home at our parents’ houses for a few weeks as we struggle through the unforeseen changes. It has been a good reminder that everything happens for a reason, and that ultimately it’s not our plan that we should be following, but God’s plan.

I feel fortunate to not only get time with my friends and family, but also time for introspection in the midst of this undertaking. It has been really helpful to have time to process the move and what all we need to do to get from point A to point B, but also to process my feelings and my attitude. I feel more capable of approaching the move, and shortly thereafter the beginning of law school, with a more positive and receptive attitude than I did even a week ago. I’m thankful for this time to decompress and fill my days with people I won’t see very often once we have moved. And amazingly enough, I’m thankful for all of the unexpected changes and surprises (yes, even the expensive ones!) we have had to deal with. They’ve been painful and frustrating, but also weirdly fulfilling in all of the opportunities for growth and learning that they have provided us. It’s an incredible indescribable (and daunting!) sensation to feel like you and your spouse can face anything with the other by your side, and I am sure this is only the beginning of many more Meyer adventures to come.

Moving.

I’m not new to the process of packing up and moving to a new home, and am convinced that anyone that gets excited about the process itself has never actually moved before. And while I’ve lived in three different countries in my lifetime, requiring huge moves each time, this is the first time I’ve ever had to pack up an entire house without my expert parents doing a lot (ok, basically all) of the work. We’ll go ahead and go with the adjective “exciting” and leave the rest of the process to your imagination.

Moving is exciting, with promises of new homes, friends, favorite restaurants, decoration opportunities, etc. It’s also terrifying. We’ve rented a POD and need to be moving in to our new place June 1st… a place that doesn’t quite exist yet. Navigating the world of apartments for rent in a city as big as Chicago is daunting, and we’re fortunate to be working with a realtor who really knows his stuff. But not even having an address to change with the post office yet requires a lot of faith and patience. I know we’ll find a great place, and we’ll have it locked down before we show up in the city. But the process of searching for an apartment, jobs, packing, and planning changes how you see the event. Suddenly this move feels very real. Its led to a lot of introspection (because I would over think everything, including a move) and its taught me a lot.

Everything is temporary. Sometimes we don’t think that’s true, and other times we don’t want it to be true. The last year and a half made for a tough season for us, struggles in seeking employment, being far away from friends and family and feeling rather alone in a town that could at times be very unfriendly, and so on. There were times when it felt like this season of life and this season of struggles would never end. And yet here we are. Ready to move on to bigger and better, to a more promising season of life. And this move has been an excellent reminder that even hard times are temporary, and they will pass and be replaced with happier times.

But not everyone is temporary. In fact, the people who really matter are very permanent fixtures in our lives. Even from 600+ miles away the love we have received (and continue to receive) this last year and a half and the support we have been offered in this big transition has been HUGE. The gratitude and love that we have for those of you that are always by our side is immense. I am so thankful that Kevin and I are blessed with families and friendships that withstand the test of time and distance.

Some things however, do not need to withstand moves and time and distance. And by that I mean the realization that we have way more stuff than we need. Packing sucks. It especially sucks when you realize how much stuff you’ve gathered in the last two-ish years, and you have to go through it all and make sure you only pack the stuff you need. We have been so fortunate to be able to afford all of our needs, and then some. But it’s also felt incredible to clean out everything we don’t use, and to donate it to those who are in need and will put it all to great use. So far we have donated five trash bags full of clothes, sheets and towels, kitchen utensils, etc. and we keep finding more. I’m excited to downsize to only the things we need/use/wear regularly to and to continue to make donations out of what we don’t.

And then there’s the biggest thing that I feel keeps getting pounded into my head and my heart. Change is good. It has been something that I have pushed against, rebelled towards, and sometimes outright refused. Change is really freaking hard. But it is also necessary, and oh so good. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way this last year or so, and I feel so ready and willing to finally begin embracing the one thing that will never change, and that is the fact that change is a constant.

Lastly, procrastinating packing feels awesome in the moment until you realize how much you have left to do. That being said, I’ll leave you with these gems and get back to work. The POD comes on Saturday, and we head back to Kansas for two weeks before moving to Chicago. So excited to see so many friends and family, and to start that big city living!

Our very-soon-to-be new home will be…

Chicago!! I have officially accepted a spot in Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s class of 2018 (now there’s a mouthful!).

To be honest, I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was to pick the school I wanted to attend in the fall. I took the LSAT twice, which tells you that my first score was not awesome. My second score was sufficient to get into good schools when paired with a good application, but it was still not one that I was super excited about. I was skeptical that I wouldn’t get in to any great schools but determined to bust my butt putting out the best application I possibly could. So I applied to every school I felt excited and passionate about, regardless of rank or what I thought my chances were of getting in. This the part where I brag a little about myself, because I am immensely proud of the work I put into my application. I spent a couple of months writing and re-writing and re-writing personal statements and diversity statements that demonstrated not only what a great student I am, but the person that I am as well. I applied to 8 different schools before Thanksgiving (and 1 in December that I still haven’t heard back from, which at this point is irrelevant). I was accepted into 6 of them, all with scholarships ranging from “that barely counts!” to a full ride, and wait listed at 2. That’s right, not a single rejection!

I have a bad habit of doubting myself when it comes to my academic abilities. Ask my parents, my best friends, my husband, or any old study buddy. I’ve always been the girl who stresses like crazy over tests, studies as hard as possible, and is still convinced that she’s going to “fail this one, I just know it, my first F ever!” Then I go and take the test…. and ace it. That was kind of what this was like, all of these positive responses from schools when I was so sure I would be lucky if I even got into one school! Suddenly I had 6 schools to choose from, all so enticing, which made for a tougher decision than I was expecting.

Ultimately Chicago had everything we wanted and needed, and after visiting Loyola in late March I knew that that’s where I am meant to be. The facilities are spectacular, their curriculum and access to clinics, internships/externships, and solid summer jobs that can lead to full-time jobs upon graduation are fabulous, the faculty is top-notch. More importantly though, students there are genuinely happy and thriving. There is a strong sense of community and purpose. Their Jesuit background supports my desire to pursue public interest work, pairing strong academics and legal expertise with compassion and empathy. You can tell that its more than just a law school but a place where everyone, students and teachers alike, wants to help each other succeed both in law and in life. Obviously your main priority while in school is the study of the law, but professors and students visibly value a work-life balance and a healthy lifestyle outside of the building. These were all important aspects of a legal education that I was looking for and am so happy to have found them at Loyola.

Beyond the school, Chicago is perfect for our young little family of 2. It’s the third biggest city in the United States and, in my opinion, the best city for a young couple looking to experience big city living without paying and arm and a leg for a shoebox-sized apartment in a sketchy part of town (no offense NYC and LA…). Its busy and thriving, has SO many food options that extend far beyond the sorry choices we have in Fort Collins, is filled with museums and other cultural experiences, has that big city lifestyle while incorporating midwestern values and attitudes, and honestly its just the bomb.com. Yes, we know the winters suck, but lets not pretend the freezing grey winters in Kansas are a walk in the park either. We couldn’t be happier to have picked such a great city to live out our 20s.

Chicago also provides incredible career opportunities for both of us, which was a big part of our decision-making process. There are so many incredible law firms and legal jobs in general that are available to Chicago law students-turned-graduates, and the Loyola alumni network is vast, involved, and readily available for networking opportunities. Chicago also offers extensive options in the design field for Kevin to really thrive. Otterbox has been a wonderful learning experience for him but we’re excited to see what other avenues of design he will be able to pursue. I know he’s going to excel and be able to accomplish so many incredible things in his career, and being in Chicago opens up so many doors for him to do so.

Lastly, being close to family was huge for us. We’ve been pretty isolated from family out here in Colorado and wanted to be as close, if not closer, to our immediate families. Fortunately, driving from Topeka to Chicago takes just as long as driving from Topeka to Fort Collins. And Chicago is a much cooler place for our parents to visit us in! Chicago also has the added benefit of having a whole network of aunts, uncles and cousins nearby. We are so psyched to be able to see the extended Meyer family on a more regular basis and no longer be so isolated.

Now its apartment hunting time! Kevin is working on his portfolio and sending out job apps and we’re hoping to move early summer. The sooner the better! So if you know of any great apartments, or websites to help with the hunt, please send them our way! So excited to be Chicago residents soon! Keep checking in, we’ll be keeping you posted as things get moving!

My new favorite recipe — aka the easiest Pad Thai ever!

Hi friends!

Its been a while since I’ve posted anything, as I’ve felt like I don’t have much to write lately. Life has been much of the same old same old, which doesn’t make for anything all that great to read. I’m working on journaling more often, on doing some more reading, and on finding some easy and delicious new recipes to add to our dinner repertoire. One of our absolute favorite foods is Thai food, specifically Pad Thai. There’s a restaurant here in town that we love to visit, we know the owner and the food is amazing. But it’s not very practical (or healthy!) to eat out frequently, so I’ve been looking for recipes to make Pad Thai at home.

Any of you that have tried to make any kind of Asian food at home know that most recipes require a slew of very specific (and oftentimes expensive) Asian ingredients that you’re not likely to use again until you decide to make that recipe again. After a lot of research and reading a lot of different recipes I was finally able to put together the Mili Pad Thai Recipe with ingredients that most have at home, or are incredibly easy and inexpensive to get! So without further ado, here’s my first recipe on this blog!

I only have a picture that I took with my phone (gotta get better at pictures for this blog!), it’s a little blurry but still so delicious!!

(serves 2) 

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons lime juice

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon of crushed red pepper (1/2 a Tablespoon if you prefer a milder Pad Thai)

6 oz. linguine (or spaghetti, or fettuccine, whatever pasta you have on hand. You can also use traditional rice noodles found in the “ethnic” aisle at your local grocery store. Kevin and I really love the Italian pasta in this dish (less expensive and doesn’t require an extra grocery trip!) but it’s obviously delicious with rice noodles too).

1 Tablespoon of oil (we use vegetable oil, you can also use corn oil or peanut oil)

12 oz. chicken, or meat of your choice, cut up into bite size pieces

About one slice of onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

peanuts, chopped or crushed

cilantro

lime wedges

1. Cook meat in a pan with a little bit of salt and pepper and set aside

2. Cook noodles. Drain and set aside. While water boils and noodles cook, begin next step.

3. Heat the lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper until the sugar is dissolved (usually right after it starts boiling). Remove from heat and strain out the crushed red pepper flakes (trust me, otherwise your sauce is going to be way too spicy and you won’t even be able to enjoy it. And this is coming from someone who loves super spicy food). Set strained sauce aside.

4. In a large pan (since everything will come together in this pan), heat oil and add onion and garlic. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the noodles, sauce and meat to the pan. Cook for a minute or two so that the meat and noodles absorb the flavor.

6. Serve. Garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and squeeze lime over it all.

7. Enjoy!!

And that’s all there is to it! Try it for yourself, pin the recipe on your Pinterest board, and come back and comment with what you think!