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State-of-the-Suzlyfe and Blogiversary Foodie Giveaway


Thank you to Heather for hosting Friday Favorites! We are going to talk about me, because I’m my favorite (dripping with sarcasm). But really this is a post about gratitude so this why I’m hooking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia!

Today, I am traveling back to Chicago after 60ish amazing hours in Georgia. I hope that everyone enjoyed a filling and fulfilling Thursday, be it celebrating what is, in my mind, one of the best holidays that we Americans have, or just going to the office and trying to ignore the fact that everyone in ‘mericuh was talking about pie and cushy warmy huggy stuff. Regardless, I know that today is business as usual for many, and yet another travel day for others, so I just thank YOU for taking the time to stop by my little slice of the internet pie (you know I had to weave more pie references in there, didn’t you??).

My time here in Georgia has really been great. I talked about what Georgia means to me and my concept of “home” in my post yesterday, and thank you all so much for the comments, especially from people who I haven’t heard from before. I don’t really know why, but I but was a bit nervous to put that post out there–I felt almost like I was betraying Chicago a little bit, or setting myself up to be “proven wrong” sometime in the future, when, who knows, I might declare an undying love for Chicago as my permanent home. But if there is one thing that I hope that you all have gleaned from reading the Suzlyfe over the past year, it is that I am (or should I say, I have become) increasingly open to and welcoming of positive change in my life. I hope that Chicago proves me wrong! Make a liar out of me! But until then, I think that post will still stand.

ALLLLright. That was a bit of a tangent, and not one that I thought I was necessarily going to go on! I had really intended to use this post today to talk about the growth of the Suzlyfe over the past year, and to tell you all thank you for becoming a part of my life. But, in typical, Suz-loquaciousness, I have already racked up the word count pretty high. And what angle to take? 10 posts that I am most proud of? 10 posts that I feel got missed? 10 post that were “epic”? 10 posts that…. I thought I wrote something super duper awesome? I don’t know. I don’t feel like any of those approaches are right! And, to be perfectly honest, a) this year has been another year of tremendous growth for me, and b) I would feel almost guilty about not including certain posts over the others! Yes. apparently I feel guilt for inanimate objects and cities. No, I am not Jewish or Catholic. And yes, I can say that, as I have both Jewish and Catholic friends and relatives who regularly bemoan their sense of guilt. 

So, I wanted instead to pick a few things that I feel many people don’t know exist on the Suzlyfe (to peruse at your leisure), a few examples of my own growth over the past year, and a few things that I still would like to work on. Kind of a State-of-the-Suz(lyfe).

Pages that many people don’t know exist on Suzlyfe:

Sable Collage

Restaurant Reviews. Yup. If you are traveling to Chicago, Madison, Atlanta, NYC, and maybe even abroad, I have links to my own reviews of restaurants as well as lists of my favorite places to grub (even if the review isn’t up). If there is a resto that you are curious about but I don’t have a review, just shoot me an email (suzlyfe at gmail) and I will be happy to fill you in!

healthy holiday alternative baking staples

Recipe Page: Though I know I am not a food-blogger, I do like to have fun in the kitchen. I like to craft food that is above all delicious, but also satisfying and adaptable to various diets and sensitivities. I have experimented around with lots of different ingredients in my time in the kitchen, and I am not what you would call “fancy”–I cook for the every person and the person on a budget. All I ask is a little creativity and faith!

maple sweet potato sausage hash  suzlyfe

For example, if you are looking for ways to use up extra cranberry sauce, turkey, and pumpkin puree, and you have cottage cheese, tortillas, and salsa or tomato sauce on hand, you need to try my Chipotle Turkey Cranberry Pumpkin Enchiladas (making them with my own leftovers this weekend! Also, they freeze amazingly) or my just-posted cranberry cupcakes (perfect for any fall/winter shindig). Need a new casserole idea? How about Sweet Potato Turkeyherd’s Pie?

harvest quinoa protein bowl suzlyfe Protein bowls, brunch ideas (French Toast round up anyone?), easy go-to sauces, check it out.

Feeling lost?

Feeling lost?

I can get a little deep on the blog, and I used to refer these posts as part of the “Tough Talk” series. Now, I am a bit more organic about it. Like yesterday’s talk of home, or dealing with an absentee spouse, or that discussion of shaming, or finding a new concept of health through training and weight gain (however much), or learning how to think about concepts like regret and fear in a constructive way. I don’t claim to know everything, but I would like to think that maybe I can help someone along the way. After all, you have done the same for me.

swirlselfie 4 13

My discussion of running has obviously amped up quite a bit in the past few months as I began to get more comfortable with my marathon goal, and less scared of my body falling apart. I know that for some, this might have been a pretty big change–I talked about running a lot, then not, then again. My “Long Run” posts are pretty universal, though (or at least a portion of them). I have some where I talk explicitly about running in a technical sense, but many more that talk about the trials and tribulations of going after a goal, of feeling snakebit, and of feeling, ultimately, thankful and triumphant. I think we can all relate to that! And who could forget Running=Justin Bobby

A legitimate question.

A legitimate question.

State of the Suz:

I am, as I have now said umpteen times, so thankful for the opportunities presented me by this blog. For a long time, I read blogs and considered starting one of my own, but at the time, I was writing my graduate thesis, and yeah, I was ok with not writing any more than that. Last year, I needed something that I could call my own, something to nurture, to grow, a place to connect with others, to get my thoughts out there, and to share the nonsense that swirls around inside my gourd. Am I the best blogger out there? Do I have the most polished blog, the best recipes, fantastic photography, excellent SEO and stats, and bajillions of followers?

No. And, in fact, I believe I once read that my blog made someone feel like their eyes were bleeding. I think that we all know that I would tell them to suck it.

But I am proud of what I have created, the content, and the message. I appreciate every comment I get, and the conversations and relationships that have spawned from them. That is the most important part of this whole business to me: finding myself and finding you all. In ten years, do I even really expect people to remember this blog? I have a feeling that they likely will not. But I will. And maybe they will subconsciously incorporate one thing that they found on the Suzlyfe into the positivity of their lives, from a cooking technique, to a flavor combination, to a way to approach big decisions, to something that just still makes them laugh.

suzlyfe swim Collage

Because what is a world without laughter, without a sense of humor? Really f*cking boring, that is what. And you know #idontdoquiet.

So, even though I will have another big fitness related giveaway coming up starting Monday for the Blog Hop Giveaway, I wanted to share a few of my favorite products with you, my dear readers. There will be 2 prizes, 4 winners of this Suzlyfe Blogiversary Foodie Giveaway!:

suzlyfe blogiversary food giveaway

  • One lucky person will receive a full assortment of Jessica’s Granola (and you know how I feel about the Motor City Crunch granola).
  • Three other people will each receive a free pack of Nature Box goodies.
  • You can enter both, but I will be pick 4 different winners.

Canadian friends, listen up: Nature Box DOES ship to Canada! YOU CAN ENTER!!! For the Jessica’s Granola giveaway, unfortunately, this will only be open to US residents because of crazy shipping fees UNLESS you have an intermediary who can receive the package for you and get it to you. So, basically, you need to have a US address to receive it at, otherwise it is a no-go. I am sorry for that, but you can still win the Nature Box!

Good luck, and thank you for reading and interacting with me!

What would you like to see more of from the Suzlyfe? Less of? 

What was your best score of the week–food/shopping?

How long have you been in and around the blog world (reading or writing)?

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