Hi! I'm Jelena Meisel

I'm a mom and wife based in the Rocky mountains. I love cooking, hiking and traveling.

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Weekend Notes & our Weekly Meal Plan

Jan 10, 2017

The first week and weekend of the year flew by, didn’t they? Getting back into the swing of things was somewhat tough, but I’m feeling high on life after a super productive weekend that included an interesting wine and cheese tasting, lots of reading – finished the first book of my 2017 reading list, dancing with my gals [yeah, I know, I said I danced, but it was me saying YES to opportunities], lots of sleeping, walking almost 15 miles over the three days, cooking up healthy and vibrant recipes for my weekly menu [full menu is listed below], and enjoying some extra sunshine.

10,000 Steps

This was my first weekend alone home since the Labor Day – no travel, Kiki was with her dad, all my guests were gone, and unfortunately my little sous-chef is no longer with me…so truly a ME weekend, which was rejuvenating, recharging and energizing, so freeing. If you know me, you know I love to read, but do it FAR less often than I would like. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to audio books like they are going out of style, but just sitting down and reading… I almost never do it. I have all of these amazing books (that I keep buying and there are probably about 60 books in my house as of now waiting to be read..) but when I sit down to read, something inevitably comes up and I get distracted or just fall asleep. It took me four months to finish my last book. That is just crazy compared to what it used to be for me… one week or ten days was the most it would take me to read a book.


Anyway, this weekend I decided that I was going to try something new…I read in the morning when I woke up for an hour and instead of picking up my phone to “just check the social media” I picked up the book instead throughout the day! Eureka! I finished this book, and went back and forth between these two books. It was one of the best things I did for myself this weekend.

  the-one-thing-extraordinary-results   Getting Things Done by David Allen

I also watched “Under the Tuscan Sun” movie. My mom loves loves loves the book, but is not a fan of the movie (and except the title they really don’t have much else in common), but there are some good lessons in the movie. Have you seen it? Diane Lane takes a trip to Italy to get over a nasty divorce and ends up buying a house in Tuscany. She heals her wounds by renovating the house and building beautiful friendships in her new town. It’s a feel good movie and it sent me right to my kitchen and I cooked up the storm and I wished for the whimsical garden, daydreaming of the rolling hills and sunflowers…and 5 years ago, I wanted to be Diane Lane and escape it all! I am glad I stuck around….

One of my favorite scenes is when Diane Lane’s character is complaining about the things she doesn’t have and what she’d hoped for: a baby and a wedding in the garden. Her friend points out to her that she has both: her friend and her
baby are staying with her and she just hosted the wedding in her garden.

Lesson: Sometimes what we wish for comes to us in a different package than we expect. 

Inspired by the simple and flavorful cooking, I set out to make a weekly meal plan filled with hearty wintery comfort foods.

weekly menu

Monday: Faux Mexican Rice and Avocado

Tuesday: One Pot Chicken and Rice with Carrots

Wednesday: Dinner with a Friend

Thursday: Work Thing

Friday: Farmer’s Bean and Pasta

How was your first week and weekend of the 2017?


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I believe in balancing health and happiness with lots of flavor! My hope is that you find a recipe here that becomes a new favorite and you share it with your loved ones for years to come.

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