single living

Regular readers should know by now that I fail to follow the expected chronological posting order on this blog. I really would love for every post to be timely and orderly and for everything to appear on the blog as soon as it happened in real life. But for a variety of reasons, posts occur about 6-10 weeks after-the-fact, and on top of that, if there's something I'm really jazzed about (like cleansing) that just happened last week, I'll allow the "jazz topics" to trump chronological order.

After that introduction, allow me once again to backtrack a bit.

We returned to Cayman after a visit to the States in July, and less than a week later, NS flew back out again for a two-week work trip to Bermuda. We had fleeting hopes of me joining him for a long weekend, but after finding out what a hassle it is to get from Cayman to Bermuda without eating up a full day of travel, we decided to stick it out with a good, old-fashioned long-distance relationship.

It was weird to only have to make up half the bed every day.
Certainly defeats the purpose of king-sized.

NS and I hadn't spent more than a week apart from each other since he was deployed for four months during his Air Force days. That was a pretty rough patch for me back then; I was 20 years old, newly married, living alone in a somewhat-suspicious neighborhood, and was three hours away from family. And worst of all, that was the semester that I took Auditing. When it rains, it pours - am I right?

But one of the highlights from that period is that I pretty much ate only and exactly what I wanted. To be fair, N's fairly easy to cook for; he doesn't make a lot of requests, and he doesn't voice a lot of complaints. But I do try to tailor our menu to suit his man-food needs, only pushing the plant-based philosophy so far. However, when you take him out of the picture, me and my grocery list are left to our own devices.

Check out that gorgeous papaya above. We were enjoying dinner with R&M shortly before N's trip, and RL literally picked this off a tree outside for us to enjoy. N tolerates papaya. I love it. More for me!

I am by no means a vegetarian, but I like a break from meat now and again. While N was away, I made a point to seek out extra vegetables and foods that are on his "no thank you" list, like portabello mushrooms.

Aren't those some terrific earth tones? I love eating colorfully.

Pictured above is Quinoa and Spring Vegetable Pilaf from Darcy over at The Garden of Eden.

Sign me up for more food of this color!
I enjoyed the quinoa dish, although I felt it tasted a lot better within 24 hours of making it than later in the week. But the second recipe in that same blog link scored huge points with me every single day. Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I found this via Natasha at Hong Kong Housewife, and it's seriously as refreshing as it sounds. And fast to make!

I had to balance out all those savory dishes with something sweet, so I made Skinnytaste's Chewy Low Fat Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies. Basically, a dessert you can eat for breakfast.

With some chocolate chips added for extra smiles.

I wasn't the only person looking for healthy food options. S&J invited me over for a sunset-and-dinner evening, which is when SS introduced me to the Me, Redone blog. In the photo below, you can see my first taste of Sara's delightful, healthy recipes; this one is her Chilled Carrot Ginger Soup. Since even NS finds this blended soup enjoyable, I've made it several times since that evening.

But don't think that all I did was eat while he was away. No, no, don't be silly. I also did my nails and watched old movies. Like Brigadoon - an old musical featuring the likes of Cyd Charrise and Gene Kelly - my childhood movie heroes. If I was a little bolder, I'd admit that my siblings and I used to dance around the house like the greats from 1950s films. I might not know the moves to classic NKOTB hits, but I could probably sing every last note from Sound of Music. Great memories.

Thank you, Pinterest, for turning me on to
Essie's Topless and Barefoot polish - the perfect neutral shade!

Also, I made sure to catch a few sunsets after work and on the weekends. Fortunately, sunsets are gorgeous whether enjoyed alone or with someone else. And since this blog has not seen enough sunsets from 2012, I'll share a few with you here:

These Cayman sunsets are very tricky. You'll be ready to bet your bottom dollar that it's a perfectly clear horizon, with nothing blocking the sun's descent, and you feel certain that this will be the night that you'll finally see the elusive and controversial green flash. Then the invisible but pervasive haze on the horizon will foil those plans, take your bottom dollar, and leave you wondering if you should get your eye prescription updated.

However, a semi-cloudy sky does make for an interesting dusk experience.

The above two photos were taken from our beach in West Bay. The next two photos were taken from a friend's apartment in George Town - a slightly different angle on the same scene.

Doesn't this give off a northern lights effect?

What was really cool about this sunset, however, was it was the last sunset that C&R experienced as a family of two. Little did they know it at the time, but Baby A had a date at the hospital quite early the next morning.

Hmm, guess I'll have to start remembering that my new camera
doesn't have a built-in flash.

In fact, I already gave you a preview of that little bundle's photo shoot.

See. I warned you that this wasn't chronological.


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