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 and Weekly Menu

Jan 17, 2017

Someone once told me “say yes to opportunities and adventures!” so I said YES to a weekend away. Kiki’s one Christmas wish was her very own suitcase and she’s being “dying to go on a trip” so on Friday night when I told her to pack up her suitcase, her first question was “where are we flying to”…which led me to explaining to her that travel doesn’t always include an airplane and that concept was not quite clear to her until we got in the car and drove for 4 hours to Key West. let’s just say she prefers flying 🙂

We went to the Keys to support my friend J run her “Nth” marathon…this woman is a super human and a wonderful example to both me and Kiki. Her determination, strong will and hard work are absolutely superb and it was such an honor to be there at the finish line to cheer her on! Makes me want to get back to running races again and it was a great lesson for Kiki of determination and how important it is to finish whatever you start. I am not sure that Kiki got all of that, but she was quite interested in the medal and that left quite an impression on her that she wants to run one day to get the medal.

The weekend was everything I asked for and more; we enjoyed an abundance of food, laid-back charm, and beautiful scenery.  The four hour car ride with Kiki was quite smooth…we talked, we sang and decided that both of our favorite color is now ocean turquoise blue!

Key West with Kids 5

Key West with Kids 7











The views on our way down were quite spectacular! I have to admit I was nervous how she will take the ride, and packed a lot of car appropriate entertainment [coloring book, her writing agenda where she practices her sight words, iPad, small toys and snacks], but she barely needed any of them. Once we got to the island we did tons of walking [close to 20 miles], ate delicious foods, indulged in ice cream, sunsets and sunrises!

Key West with Kids 4

Key West Sunset

The island is absolute magic of pastel-hued, conch-style homes, a complete feast to the eyes. It’s an easily walkable quaint city, not really kids friendly [read: open containers, bars galore and bustling night life] but it’s easy to get around it all, and still enjoy it with a kid. And to be honest, I am not the one to shield her from life, and she is still oblivious to so much of it and I kind of just went with the flow. We did all the touristy stuff…the Duval Street, The Hemingway House, the Southernmost point buoy, Mallory Square, KW Lighthouse and Cemetery, and my favorite; endless walks on side streets, chasing roosters, and playing treasure maps with Kiki. Walking the island was somewhat challenging to Kiki…she whined a lot, and when I say a lot, I really mean A LOT…so to get her mind off of walking, J got her a map of the island and she pretended to be our tour guide!  Needless to say on our way back, Kiki slept most of the ride and I took in all the breathtaking views of the sunset and reflected on loss and love.  We are both missing our sous-chef. We talk about Brinkley all the time, and it’s so hard not having her with us. So much emptiness…

Key West with Kids

Though it was a quick weekend gateway, we returned home refreshed and eager to lace up our sneakers and get running! The first run was a hard one, but to get my mind off of the actual running, I started planning our weekly menu and until I figured out each day, I wasn’t going to stop. Somehow I finished with 3 miles under my belt…[we shall not mention the time it took me to finish those 3 miles, but I finished it]. There is absolutely no theme to this weeks menu, but rather just trying to eat the foods we already have in the fridge and the pantry since I have not made it to the grocery store….Usually my best menus are created on my runs or in a shower…

weekly menu

Monday: Chicken soup for the soul

Tuesday: Mama’s night out

Wednesday: One Pan Healthy Chicken and Veggies

 Thursday: Sausage, Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Parmesan Pasta

Friday: Turkey Sloppy Joe Nachos

Saturday: Homemade pizza party

Hope your weekend was a glorious one too and you enjoyed the extra day off…what will you be eating this week? Please share with me, I need some ideas….


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