After an unofficial break from the blog in July, and a much-too-short trip to the States, I’m back! We’ve been home in Vienna for almost about a week, and despite the jet lag I’m feeling super energized, inspired, and full of love after spending some precious time with family and friends in Arkansas and Texas.
Returning home after a relaxing vacation is always tough, especially those first few days. While I crave routine in my life, I still have a hard time adjusting back to my schedule after a week or two of being off. This time around, I made a few intentional changes to our ‘back from vacation’ routine and noticed a significant positive improvement in my mood and energy during our first days back. It’s a little extra work, but it’s not hard and actually makes everything a bit more painless, plus it gave me an awesome sense of accomplishment (and that always feels good!). Here’s what I did:
Before leaving, clean the apartment
My husband and I never do this. We are usually running out the door to catch a train or car, packing at the last minute and we don’t have time to think about the dirty dishes in the sink (which will now sit there for approximately 8 days. Gross, I know). This time, and for the first time, we spent the day before our flight packing and cleaning our entire apartment. I cleaned out the fridge, getting rid of anything that would absolutely not last during our absence (we did a pretty good job eating leftovers in the days before, so this wasn’t too dramatic). We also cleaned the bathroom, did lots of laundry, organized our desks and vacuumed every room. Most importantly, I made the bed before we walked out the door. Yes, this is work, but when you walk into a sparkly clean apartment, completely exhausted after being gone for two weeks, it is THE BEST FEELING.
Empty the suitcases right away
The last thing I want to do after coming home to a neatly organized apartment is wreck it with all our bags and crap we brought home with us. Within an hour of arriving home, we started opening up the suitcases, putting clean clothes where they belong, dirty clothes in the hamper, and everything else in its proper place. This kind of sucks, but if you just put on some good music and do it till it’s done; it will be over before you know it. Then you can truly relax (because you’re finally home!). If you’re feeling extra motivated, you could even start a load of laundry. 😉
Know what’s for dinner
After almost 24 hours of travel, eating crappy airport/airplane food (I’m not good at packing healthy snacks), I am always craving a good quality meal. But getting home after all that travel also means I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking. Choosing what’s for dinner ahead of time makes it much easier to stick with the plan and eat something healthy. Once our suitcases were emptied and put away, I made the grocery list and hit the store. I planned all our meals for the next three days and it felt great to restock the fridge with all the fresh fruits and veggies. While I did do some meal planning before we got home, we actually ordered take-out on our first night back (just. too. tired!). And I was craving sushi from my favorite sushi place. But thanks to the meal planning, I was ready to rumble the next day and start cooking.
Red Currant Muffins
These muffins came into existence very suddenly this week! Monday this week was my first day back at work and I was super pumped to get shit done. We needed a few more things from the store, but I didn’t want to leave my desk, so my husband offered to go for me. I gave him my grocery list, which included a few things like chicken breast, lettuce, fruit, milk and so-on. He asked me what kind of fruit I wanted and I said to just get anything that looks good or is on sale.
He brought back a huge watermelon and red currants. Turns out the watermelon was on sale and he thought the currants looked good, and they did! They were gorgeous and I immediately wanted to bake something with them. Muffins were the first thing that popped into my head and I found this great, semi-healthy recipe from PS.NY after a quick Google search. Viola, Red Currant Muffins are born. My only changes to the recipe were regular whole grain flour instead of pastry flour, the use of ghee instead of vegan butter (which means these are not vegan anymore), and I used almond milk. They are delicious! Very moist, almost cakey with little bursts of sweet-sour currants. These are a great sweet treat and still includes some healthy ingredients. My husband approved and so do I! Red currant berries are in season right now, so if you’ve never had them before go find some good ones, make these muffins, and then just enjoy the rest however you want. We’re finishing up our batch of currants by eating them raw out of the fridge. Cheers!
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