I am currently in “single-ladies” mentality.

I didn’t fall in love to a high school sweetheart or meet my future husband in college like so many people do.  You know those movies/books where the woman has hit some age at which all her friends are getting married/having babies and she feels like she missed the turnoff awhile ago?

I feel like that’s me.  I blame media for this feeling.  I know that where I am at in life is perfectly normal but there are just some days I feel like I’ve fallen behind, that life is this sort of competition.

Yes, I know this stupid and yes, I know that where I’m at in life is just fine.  However, this feeling still exist and frankly, it sucks.Why am I telling you this?  I’ve made a decision and one that’s kind of strange for me considering I didn’t know where I was going with my life a year ago.

I’ve decided to “focus on my career.”  To see those words written down make me laugh because A.  I never thought of myself as someone who would have a “career” and B. I have too many things I love in my life to choose just one.

Yet, that’s where I am at.  I found out on Thursday that the school I am teaching at wants me to come back for one more year.  This was unexpected and actually makes me extremely happy. However, I’ve already applied to doctoral schools so I figure I might as well finish the application process and just defer a year if I get accepted thus completing a three year plan.

I like plans.

This also means I’m moving.  Right now I still live in the same house that M and I got when we moved to go back to school.  I commute an hour everyday and I’m already sick of it.

So, I got found a cute house where the owners completely renovated it.  It’s a small house where they made the dinning room into this fantastic kitchen.  My new Kitchen even has bay windows (which makes me so happy.)   The house has  a garage and the owners even said they would til me a garden for summer.  I also forgot to mention that one of my closest friends will be having a baby girl hopefully by the end of this month to which I will now be only 15 minutes away (which I am so excited about!)

I’m moving the first of the year and I can’t help but think this will the start of a new journey.  (I tend to live a very dramatic life in my own head.)  It will be the first time I have a real job and my own little house.

I’m sure you’d also like to hear about this fantastic stew.  I found this cauliflower and chickpea stew on real simple and of course, I had to turn it seasonal.  I love adding sweet potatoes into stews and chili because they add a little extra “meat” to the dish.  Plus, I’ve fallen in loved with the nutty flavor of quinoa so in my mind, this dish is perfect!

(PS… this whole moving thing may mean that post in December are a little scare.)


Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew with Quinoa

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 2 handfuls of spinach


  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly. Combine quinoa and water in a small pan, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 12 minutes. Water should be absorbed and quinoa should be tender. Set aside.
  2. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium. Add in onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir in the garlic and spices, cooking for one more minutes. Next, stir in the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and chickpeas. If you are using canned, be sure to drain and rinse the beans. Let stew cook down for 20 minutes.
  3. Finally, roughly chop spinach and stir into the stew. Continue to cook until spinach has slightly wilted, about another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Spoon half of the quinoa into a bowl and top with half of stew. This stores well and is great heated up the next day!