Hi! Hope you’re having a great week and staying cool. In Little Rock, AR, where I’ve been staying with my grandparents for the past 10 days or so, it’s been HOT. Temperature highs have been 95+ while I’ve been here.
My time from 9 to 5 each weekday is spent at the law firm where I’m doing my internship, but when I’m not at work, I’ve had time to run, hang out with my grandparents, and work on some summer projects. I thought I’d fill you in on what’s been going on lately with pictures from my phone (I apologize that they aren’t the greatest quality since they’ve all been quickly snapped with my phone!)
Running has been a little tricky here since there aren’t any sidewalks either in my grandparents’ neighborhood or along the roads outside of their neighborhood. There’s a little 3/4 mile loop in their neighborhood, as well as a hilly 2 mile out-and-back stretch of road, so if I’m doing a shorter run, I’ll run some combination of those routes a couple of times.
I knew those two short routes would start to feel repetitive soon, so I asked my grandpa if there are any trails nearby. It turns out that there’s a trailhead for the Arkansas River Trail about 5 minutes away so some mornings, I’ll wake up a few minutes earlier and drive to the trail to run there instead. One morning last week, my grandpa brought his bike to the trail so he could ride while I ran.Trying to keep up with him on the bike was no joke, especially on an almost 90 degree morning. It was by far the fastest run I’ve done in a while, so I think I need to get him out there with me more often!
Because of my beach trip and long road trip, I’ve been gone from home almost 3 weeks and I’m starting to miss my family, my mom’s cooking, and of course, my dog, Gracie. My sister sent me this Snapchat picture a couple of days ago, which of course made me miss her a little extra.As much as I love Gracie, I have to admit that she’s not very cuddly. She doesn’t like being held and her favorite spots to sleep are hidden corners, but my grandparent’s dog is the complete opposite. He follows me around the house and practically jumps into my arms when I walk in the door. On my first night here, he actually hid himself in my room before I went to bed, so when my grandpa started looking for him, he couldn’t find him!Gracie’s still my #1 girl, but I’ll enjoy all of the extra snuggles I can get while I’m here.
Speaking of family, my brother (the one with the funny hat) and one of his friends started hiking the Appalachian Trail last week! My dad dropped them off to start in Georgia and he plans to hike for about a month. He’s been hiking around 8 or 9 miles per day over rough terrain. I’m living vicariously through him as I get text updates and pictures while I’m sitting in the office.Let’s see, what else has been going on? My grandparents celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary last week and they were kind enough to invite me to tag along for their celebratory dinner.
One of the young attorneys at the firm invited me over to her house for dinner on Friday night, which was a lot of fun and I especially appreciated the invitation since I obviously don’t know lots of people here yet.
On Saturday, I drove to the trails early to run and then my grandpa and I went to FOUR grocery stores– Natural Grocer, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Fresh Market.W e have a tradition of always going grocery shopping together but we might’ve gotten a little carried away this time. We didn’t really need to go to four, but we made an afternoon out of it and picked up some fun new foods to try.
We’re great shopping buddies– we’ll inevitably end up separating at some point, but there’s almost an unspoken agreement that when we’re done, we’ll find each other again in the ice cream aisle.Before coming to stay with my grandparents, I’d managed to successfully kick my daily ice cream habit and only had it a couple of times for special occasions in the prior weeks. When I arrived at their house, though, I found a freezer already stocked with 8 pints and the temptation has been too much for me to resist.
On the bright and delicious side, though, I discovered one of my very favorite new ice cream flavors– Empower Mint from Ben & Jerry’s– at Kroger. There’s a ton of fudge swirl, the brownie mix-ins are giant, and they both go perfectly with the mint ice cream.
Since I usually don’t get home from work until at least 5:30, I haven’t done lots of cooking lately. I did make a very casual dinner one night for my grandparents, which included roasted broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, and baked rosemary chicken for a simple and healthy meal.
I’ve been eating out a lot more here than I do at home, often twice per day between work lunches and dinners out with my grandparents, so I’m doing my best to make healthy choices. I’ve been on a major Greek salad kick lately and have had probably at least 4 from different restaurants since I got here. The best one yet was from lunch yesterday with my grandpa at Samantha’s Tap Room.
When the waitress mentioned how delicious their chipotle mac ‘n’ cheese is, I had to get a side to share with my grandpa and it was a good decision. I’ve been to maybe 15 restaurants so far in Little Rock, which is such a change from my routine of eating at home for every meal and going out with friends on occasion, maybe two or three times per week at the most.That’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to lately!
So tell me…
What have you been snapping pictures of lately with your phone– delicious food, a fun vacation, your cute kids?
Any simple meal combos you love? I’m all ears!
Kristy from Southern In Law says
It sounds like you have been having the most amazing time!
I loveee that you and your grandpa have a grocery shopping tradition – and i love that you find eachother in the icecream aisle, haha!
The last picture I took on my phone was of a rice cooker shop in Chinatown as I thought it was way too funny not to snap, haha!
A whole shop of rice cookers? Haha that’s too funny! I would’ve probably snapped a picture, too.
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
Aww this sounds so fun. Spending time with your grandparents is so fun.
I feel like I haven’t been taking an appropriate number of pictures lately except for when I’m recipe-testing… I need to get back on that. I love making note of random things throughout the day. I’ve been packing an egg bake and smoothie bowls for work breakfasts and big salads for work lunches, plus some snacks. My parents have agreed to later dinner times, and they help with prep work, so I’ve still been getting to cook, despite working 8-6(ish).
Your parents are sweet to eat dinner around your work schedule! And that’s great that you still get to cook, too, despite having a really full work day!
Emily @ My Healthyish Life says
Your grandparents sound so sweet! So great that you’re able to spend this time with them, too. Umm, the day going to four grocery stores sound right up my alley! 🙂
I feel like there are so few people who would voluntarily spend an afternoon going to a bunch of grocery stores, but my grandpa is so fun to wander the stores with, plus he lets me pick out anything! (And he picks up his fair share of fun items, too.)
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I love this life update! So fun to see you enjoying time with your grandparents during your internship! Especially all that ice cream 😉 😉
Sooo much ice cream over these past few days but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts until I go home again!
Carol Eiseman says
We are waiting for another healthy meal by our wonderful cook. If she stayed with us, maybe I could lose my extra weight, as well.
I’d love to make another meal for you soon!
Sarah @ BucketListTummy says
Your grandpa is so cute! That’s so cute that we rode while you ran and I can’t believe you went to 4 grocery stores! That would even wear me out!
There was much more grocery store “exploring” than grocery shopping haha. He loves letting me pick out anything so it’s really fun for me, and he always ends up with quite a few impulse buys, too!
Rebecca @ Vitamin OH! says
That’s so nice you have such a great relationship with your grandparents! I can’t blame you for having ice cream frequently when it’s that hot – I think I would melt.
I went on a walk at 9 last night after dinner and it was still 90 degrees outside! It’s unbelievable.
This post reminds me so much of the summers I spent with my grandparents. Those are some of my favorite memories <3
And girl I feel you on the heat thing. It's been 100 degrees here nearly all week and I am doing a huge baking project which means that my oven is pretty much ALWAYS on. It's not my favorie thing ever, but I guess life could be worse. I just stick my head in the fridge when I reach for the eggs for a few minutes 😉
Oh wow I bet that’s HOT but sounds like a fun project! I appreciate your creative coping mechanism 🙂
Your grandparent’s dog looks just like mine 🙂 And your grandparents are adorable. Happy anniversary to them!! I have never seen that Ben and Jerry’s flavor but it looks delicious. I’m glad you are enjoying time with them. And so cool about your brother hiking- I would LOVE to do that! Hiking is tons of fun. Have a great day liv!
I’ve been loving my grandparent’s dog/the dog who looks just like yours! So sweet and cuddly!
Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness says
I love the photo of your grandad staring at the ice cream fridge. He knows the good stuff! Ha! I am into salads lately too and make many leftovers work as salads over a bed of greens. Gracie is just too cute!
I seriously think what your brother is doing is amazing! What an adventure! Have a great weekend! 🙂
Love the idea of using leftovers as fun salad toppings! I guess it’d obviously work better for something like, say chickpea dip rather than say, lasagna, but you could probably get really creative with it! Thanks for the idea, Elsie!
Four groceries stores sound exhausting… but also right up my alley. I love that they stocked the freezer full of ice cream for you. Summertime isn’t forever, right?!
I can only imagine how grateful you will be for times like these later in life. It’s so awesome you have such involved grandparents.
Now I need to go find that Greek salad, haha!
Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves says
Loved catching up!! I laughed out loud at the part about you and your grandpa having an unspoken agreement to meet at the ice cream aisle when you’re done shopping.
Glad to hear everything is going well, Liv!
masala girl says
your grandpa sounds awesome! i cant believe he came out and rode with you, so sweet 🙂 i hopee you’re enjoying your runs! is there anything you’re doing differently with the heat? i find it so hard to run now!
also- that empower-mint ice cream. SO tempting. i’ve been looooving dark choco/mint flavors lately. ugh liv, it’d 12:20 am,, i’m in bed, and i’m craving that now. THANKS. 😉
anyyyyyways. you’re family is super cool. is your brother seriously hiking for a month?! i know you mentioned it earlier, but i didn’t realize it was that long! i hope everything is going smoothly for him too 😀
Running has gotten more challenging, for sure. The main things I’ve been doing differently are going to bed early so waking up before 7 (and before the sun!) to run doesn’t feel too bad, and also trying to stick to really shady paths.
And my brother’s hike is going well! He texted me the other day to say that he and his hiking bud saw, just a few feet away from them, a mama bear and her two cubs that were about the size of our dog! So cool.
So cool about your internship- I bet it’s hard work! Sounds like you are spending heaps of quality time with your grandparents too though which must be amazing! I am definitely enjoying being back in the same country as my family 🙂 simple meals (aka basically all I cook) usually involve frozen veggies- it really helps me get my 5+ a day and they’re soo easy!
I eat frozen peas seriously every single day at college! I love having frozen veggies around since they don’t go bad quickly and I can just pop ’em in the microwave!