Life and Living with Crohn's Disease

Life and Crohn's

Running Tips and Fitness Advice

Let's Talk Running

Coach Suz Training

Work with Me!

Friday Faves Lyfe Recipes Swirlgear

Five Favorites Friday: Valid

Bongiorno, my friends! As you read this, I am sadly in the process of leaving Pittsburgh.

You all know that I typically talk food stuffs on Fridays–recipes, #strangebutgood combinations, workplace solutions. And next week, I have in mine what I think will be a KILLER new recipe. I’ve actually had it in mind since last Friday, but knowing that I would be gone for the interior of the week meant that I decided to put it on hold until I could devote sufficient brain time to it. But I think that it will be a hit!

Because this middle of this week has been action heavy, I thought that I would take a little time off from recipes and strange but goods and simply discuss some things that just made me HAPPY this week. Parties courtesy of Clare and Heather!

five friday Collage

1) Five Favorites from the Oscars

a) Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron presenting together.

Chris+Hemsworth+86th+Annual+Academy+Awards+tRmJy5DhJJ1lHave a child together, for the sake of humanity and the human race.

b) The fact that Hemsworth and Theron are my and Alex’s Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Cards (respectively, but we both also agreed that, should the need/opportunity arise, we would not turn either down.). Also, the fact that we discussed this in the midst of the Oscars, and basically raised it simultaneously to each other without prompting. Paul Walker previously held this title. He gets a picture in memoriam.

paul walker

c) Lupita’s poise, speech, and that dress. No explanation is necessary.


Your dream is valid.

d) Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. I am not usually huge fans of theirs, but you know what? Last night, I became a big-time supporter.jl mm oscars

Their OBVIOUS genuine love for their families, their humility, and that devil-may-care-attitude–Hollywood needs this.

e) Idina’s performance of “Let it Go.” Chilling.


hahaha I just realized how bad of a pun that was.

2) Five Ingredient Favorite Salad that is No Longer Offered at One of my Favorite Restaurants

I got a rude surprise when Alex and I went to one of our fave local haunts for dinner and they had changed their menu. I typically allow this. But not when you take my 2 favorite salads off the menu. I don’t care if their are summery–you should have changed in months ago in that case.

So to preserve its memory, I am going to share the components. It is an excellent option if you want something light but tasty–Alex and I typically share this place’s FAB Sweet Potato Fries, so strategery is necessary!

—OK I Lied, let’s #RecipeFriday it up a little bit.—

Thank you, Ms. Candy!

Thank you, Ms. Candy!

5-Ingredient Thai Shrimp Salad

d4 thai shrimp saladedited

  • Poached or grilled shrimp (simply seasoned)
  • Jicama (julienned)
  • Fresh Basil and Mint
  • Shredded Cabbage and Carrots (feel free to buy slaw mix, but fresh is best)
  • Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (Would also be great with everyone’s favorite Mango Coconut Pepper dressing, gochujang, or a lighter peanut dressing/sauce.)
  • Add-on suggestions:
    • Serve on a bed of mixed greens
    • Chopped scallion
    • Crispy rice noodles
    • Red Bell Pepper
    • Sesame seeds or chopped nuts (peanuts or cashews)

3) D4 Sweet Potato Fries with Light Cinnamon-Sugar Dusting and Cucumber Chipotle Dipping Sauce

d4 sp fries2edited

They may have taken my salad, but their SP fries and dipping sauce still live on.

4) Meeting Caitlin, my trip to Pittsburgh, and all of the the things I did and ate with Caitlin. Not even worth trying to fit into 1 post, so deal with it. I will not choose a favorite moment from my trip, and you cannot make me. 

I tend to stay in my happy little bubble. But this time, I said F it, I’m going. Sure, I was employed when I bought the tickets, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t do it now, either. This step out of my box was so, so necessary. Not only to meet Caitlin and Joe and Caitlin’s brother and sleep on their couch and take up space in their bathroom and make their world revolve around me for a few days. Not only to see a new place and to walk new streets. But to do something for me and on my own again. It isn’t like I am totally dependent on Alex, or anything–I am a very independent person who like her space and in fact, demands it. But I needed to prove to myself again that I have a life that expands beyond Chicago and my worries here.

I needed a break from Chicago, from the same (awesome!) view every day. From the same gym, the same stresses. Would I have loved to have gone back to Mexico, or somewhere warm? Sure. But you know what? I would have endured any sort of weather for this trip. Was it perfect? hheeelllll no. I wish I could have run through the streets with her, both of us pain- and care-free. But it was cold and snowy. (So what else is new?) But it was raw and real and delicious and I am so, so, so unendingly glad that I decided to do it.

5) The very fact that she spur-of-the-moment asked me to come at all.

I have a tendency towards feelings of insignificance, maybe even unworthiness or ineptness. I think that was one of the aspects of waitressing that kept me at it–the chance to make someone or their night feel special, through a smile, a transformative culinary experience, or the fact that I care enough to fix something that is off. I REVELLED in those moments when I would suggest something and people would rave and tell me how amazing it was. I could be relevant, even in the smallest ways. 

My dreams are valid.

Most of all, I am grateful for friends like Caitlin, who have come into my life at a time when I didn’t know just how much I really, truly, needed them. Friends like these don’t even get a number on the list of favorites; they are the reason the list can even exist in the first place. They remind me of my own importance, my ability to contribute to the larger picture. I may never get the chance to make a huge, groundbreaking speak like Lupita, but I do matter. I will never get over the feeling of thankfulness and even surprise that people (other than just my mom) want to see me, to have me in their lives.

Not only are my dreams valid, I am valid. SO ARE YOU!

fist pump 2

What reminds you that your dreams are valid? Is it something you fight with? Or do you naturally come by a feeling that you are a force?

I know I am a presence, but I tend to forget that I can also be a force.

#SwirlOn #SwirlStrong #SwirlSisters

#SwirlOn #SwirlStrong #SwirlSisters

Previous Post Next Post

Have you read these gems?


  • Reply chasingchels

    Ok miss you just made me tear up on the bike at the gym and that is NOT OK! You are gorgeous and significant and one of the most amazing people I know, and I have treasured our two days together and will count down the days until we can raise hell together somewhere else <3

    March 7, 2014 at 7:54 am
    • Reply SuzLyfe

      It is truly hard for me to put into words how much this trip and your friendship have been/are to me. I can’t wait to see what we get into next 😀

      March 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm
  • Reply Laura

    I’m so glad you had such an amazing time and took that leap of faith! I’ve loved reading about your adventures this week!

    March 7, 2014 at 8:08 am
    • Reply SuzLyfe

      Thank you so much. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot over the past few weeks. Previously, I made these types of decisions piecemeal, but to really do it all together and to commit to it, that is a big step. And, as superficial as it might sound, the fact that I am having to monetarily invest in myself helps to keep me from backing down and out. And thank you, thank you so much for being there!

      March 7, 2014 at 6:53 pm
  • Reply pickyrunner

    I love this. I cannot wait to hear all about what you did this week. You guys are some of my favorite bloggers and as I said to Caitlin this morning, when we hang out, we’re going to do some serious damage wherever that is. Hopefully running all over town.

    March 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm
    • Reply SuzLyfe

      Aw well I (and she) both adore you. You came up many a time during our everything-under-the-sun conversations, and we both agree that a Picky Lyfe Chase is in serious need of coming to fruition. Now I need to get all the updates, as I basically fell off the face of the earth the past few days!

      March 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm
    • Reply jessielovestorun

      Ditto to everything Sarah said! I am so happy you two had such an awesome, fun & kicka$$ time : 🙂

      March 7, 2014 at 11:40 pm
      • Reply SuzLyfe

        Thank you so much. It was just one of those trips where everything fell into place 😀

        March 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge