about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Twelve Reflections On 2012.

Unlike some years past, I’m not going to bother doing a lengthy recap of this past year.  I imagine it would go something like played with Cullen, tried new Seattle restaurants, traveled to visit family, cooked awesome local produce, repeat.  It hasn’t been a boring year by any means – just a lot more simple.  And that’s definitely not a bad thing. 

This year has brought a lot of growth to our family.  It has been one of the toughest, and yet most exhilarating years I can remember.  Here are twelve things I loved about 2012:

1.  Discovering life as a family of three (or five!).  Cullen was born in 2011, but 2012 was really his year.  We went from sleep-deprived, fumbling new parents with a confusing newborn, to a functional, working unit of three.  Being far away from loved ones has been very difficult in many ways, but it has also really strengthened our immediate family.  I think the dogs have finally accepted that Cullen is here to stay.

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2.  Strengthening my marriage.  I’ve mentioned this before, but this has probably been the toughest year of our relationship to date.  We went through a lot of big life changes, all of which came with some element of stress.  Now that we’re at the tail end of it, I can see how much stronger we’ve become.  We are not perfect, but we’re a really great team, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful partner through this incredible ride.  Watching a husband become a dad is truly precious.

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3.  Lots of travel near and far.  In February, Casey and I took Cullen to Hawaii when he was only three months old.  Looking back, we might have been insane, but despite being totally sleep deprived and nursing round the clock, we still had a blast.  It was probably our last big vacation for a long time, and we made it count.  These days, we’re saving trips and vacation days for opportunities to visit family, and I feel really lucky that we’re able to travel as much as we do.

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4.  Fifty one new recipes.  It has been a challenge to figure out how to fit cooking and recipe development into my days at home with Cullen, but I’m proud of the recipes I churned out this year.  Of course I wish there had been more, but I’d rather create fewer, better dishes than post a picture of every bowl of rice and lentils we eat.  Looking back through my recipe page, it looks like I made fifty one recipes this year.  Not bad for a new mom, struggling to find adequate daylight for photographs during the Seattle winter.  

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5.  Learning how to feed a baby (now toddler).  When I first looked into starting solids with Cullen, I felt really intimidated.  Now that I’ve made it through to the other side, I feel so confident in and excited by his meals.  This has probably been one of the bigger surprises of my year.  I hope to talk a lot more about infant and childhood nutrition and meals in the coming years, as I feel really passionate about sharing my journey in feeding a family. 

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6.  Returning to – and taking a break from – running.  I’ve written quite a bit about my rocky journey through postpartum fitness here.  In 2012 I ran two half marathons, which is actually sort of hard to believe now that I look back.  I think I jumped back into running too quickly, and set my goals too high, which ultimately had me backing off completely.  I hope next year brings better balance to this aspect of my life.

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7.  Embracing my role as a stay at home mom.  For many of Cullen’s early months, I felt really torn between my new role at home with the sudden feeling that I was behind on everything and unable to keep up with my work.  Somewhere mid-year, I had an epiphany type of realization, and decided to let go of all the pressure and expectations I had put on myself.  I am much, much happier now.  When I’m with Cullen, I focus on him 100%, and when I’m not, I focus wholeheartedly on my work and other commitments.  I’ve reorganized my schedule, focused my work, and found some childcare – all of which has helped.

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8.  Falling in love with Seattle.  We moved here in May 2011, but learning to love Seattle was a slow process.  It’s very different out here than what we were used to, and I spent the first few months here feeling very homesick and longing to move back toward family.  This year, we explored so much of the Seattle area, and I can honestly say that after a year and a half, it finally feels like home.  I feel so lucky to live somewhere so beautiful.

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9.  Exploring the Pacific Northwest.  One of the things that is strange about living here, is that I have virtually no knowledge of the surrounding areas.  Growing up in Ohio, you don’t learn much about the Pacific Northwest other than general climate and state capitals.  This is something I’d like to do even more of in 2013.  This year brought trips to Portland, exploring a few local islands, and several hikes in nearby mountains. 

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10.  Another summer with my little sister.  For the past two years in a row, my sister has come to Seattle to spend the summer with us.  It has been such an incredible gift to get to spend so much uninterrupted time with her now that we are both adults.  And I’m so glad she’s such a big part of her nephew’s life.  He adores her. 

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11.  Celebrating Cullen’s first birthday.  There have been so many wonderful moments this year, but the joy of watching my baby turn one really stands out.  It was such a fun celebration with friends and family, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. 

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12.  Watching my baby grow into a toddler.  I know I’m a big sap, and I gush about Cullen here way more than I should, but I just can’t help myself.  I knew I’d love being a mom, but I didn’t understand how all encompassing that love would feel.  He is so independent now, and he needs much less from me on a daily basis.  And while I loved his newborn snuggles, nothing gives me greater pride and happiness, than watching him run through the grass without looking back.

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It’s been a great year.  Thank you for being part of it.  Here’s to whatever comes next!

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42 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 8:21 am

Ah he looks like such a little man in the last photo! You’ve inspired me throughout the year, made me smile and brought many tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful posts and amazing recipes…my favourite of the year had to be the blackened tofu and it remains a staple! Happy New Year!

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Alyssa     at 8:26 am

I don’t comment too much but I just have to say the way you talk about your son makes me really excited to be a mom myself someday. I read so many blogs that make motherhood seem terrible (probably unintentionally but still) so thanks for pointing out the positives! Sometimes I fear I’ll have to give up blog reading entirely if I ever want to have kids. Happy New Year!

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Kelly     at 8:35 am

I don’t usually comment, but that picture of your sister and Cullen is simply wonderful. The genuine happiness is amazing and I just love everything about it – even the composition. Thank you for sharing your year with us, and I wish y’all nothing but the best for 2013!

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Janna @ RantingRose     at 8:39 am

I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and love seeing the adorable pictures of Cullen as he grows up! I also really appreciate your honesty regarding some of ups and downs happening in your life. It’s refreshing to read something so real. Wishing you a Happy 2013!

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Kevie     at 8:40 am

I just have to say that last picture of your babe is just…I can’t find a good enough word to describe it! I hope you blow it up and frame it. The colors and the serene background are beautiful. And of course, the little man in the picture is just too cute! His pose is just too funny, he already looks like a well-put-together 20 or 30 something! Great pic! Happy new year!

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Leatitia     at 8:41 am

That last picture is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! Happy New Year to you and your family!

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Kath     at 8:56 am

Such a great post! I love that first photo : )

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Angela     at 9:25 am

It has been great watching you find your stride this year. Thanks so much for all of the great healthy recipes!

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Andrea     at 9:25 am

Fabulous recap as usual! We definitely share #9 and I’ve been here 7.5 yrs! I swear sometimes I wish I could take a Washington State History class! You’ve inspired me to explore the nature side of WA.I found out that there is a small wetland park with a boardwalk trail and a lake at the end of it in my city!It’s awesome! As for missing home- I will probably never stop being a little homesick.<3 Blessings to you and your lovely little family and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Gina     at 9:28 am

He is so darn cute in that little cable knit hat! It was nice running into you three yesterday…I hope you found something yummy!

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Beks     at 9:35 am

51 recipes is great! That’s almost one a week! That’s fantastic!

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Morgan     at 9:43 am

Cullen looks like such a little, independent boy in the last picture! Adorable!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 9:43 am

I’ve been following your blog/journey for a little over a year now and you still inspire me, Emily! I’m really grateful that you share your life with us and you have this great ability to write really thought-provoking posts while at the same time being really accessible, humble, and down-to-earth, which is something I appreciate a lot. I love that last picture of Cullen! Have a happy new year’s and here’s to an even better 2013!

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Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 9:49 am

He looks so grown up in that last photo!

Glad you are finding balance and hope you continue to do so in 2013. Cheers!

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Sara Zanotto     at 9:59 am

You should venture up to Vancouver, BC, Canada. It’s beautiful up here!!!

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Kristen@Change of Pace     at 10:11 am

You really did have a great year. I’ve loved watching Cullen grow. Your recipes too ;)

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Krissy @ Make it Naked     at 10:15 am

#3! let’s do #3 again! i love all of these but i really love #10. i hope she moves close to you. as a younger sister and a new aunt i can totally relate. i look for houses closer to my sister on a daily basis. love that last picture of cullen. ridiculous cuteness is ooozing out everywhere. happy new year! xoxoxoXOXOXO

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joelle (on a pink typewriter)     at 10:25 am

That last photo of Cullen is a framer, for sure! He looks like a little model with that hat.

Can you do a post on Seattle please?? I’d love to hear more about the Pacific Northwest, as I’m planning on relocating back to the west (I’m from the southwest and have lived in D.C. for the last three years), and Seattle has piqued my interest. :-)

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Emily B     at 11:16 am

What a touching, very “real” recap. Thanks for sharing this window into your life. Wishing you & the crew a great end to 2012 and a wonderful beginning to 2013! Hugs from Houston TX

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Sara     at 11:22 am

Beautiful post! I will become a mom at the end of May and I am so excited for 2013 and to experience everything that comes with being a new mom :-) Happy Near Year, Emily! (P.S. I love your pregnancy posts. I read along week by week (even though I read them when you were pregnant) to see how it compares to where I am now.)

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Emily @ Life on Food     at 11:32 am

He has grown so much! What a great 2012 and here is to an even better 2013.

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 11:40 am

The first year was super tough on us as a couple too. It’s a struggle to find the balance between mama, daddy and spouse. But we survived and like you said, I think it made us stronger too. Can’t wait for what’s to come!

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April     at 1:10 pm

I will echo many of the comments by saying that I love how much you gush about Cullen because it makes me even more excited to be a mom someday! I also have really loved your recipes posts and hope to incorporate more veggie recipes in my diet. Happy New Year!

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Elisabeth     at 1:34 pm

Beautiful post, Emily! I would love to focus this year on a little simpler lifestyle, kind of the way your family did this year :)

Happy New Year to all of you!

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Beth Lombardi     at 1:50 pm

The clothes you put Cullen in are just so darn cute. I love it! It looks to me like you have had a great 2012, getting to settle into your new town and finding a love for it is a big deal! And of course all of Cullens milestones this year are huge too! I hope 2013 starts out wonderfully for you and your family. Enjoy!

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Shari     at 1:51 pm

Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family! :)

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afarmerinthedell.com     at 2:21 pm

Happy New Year Emily! Thank you for continuing to blog through the good times and the tough times. One of the highlights of my year was following you along on your journey as a new mom. I love your blog and always get excited when a new post is up! Cheers to a happy and healthy 2013!

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Katie @ Balanced RD     at 3:14 pm

That was a great post! Your little boy is so cute! It’s great to read about all of your life experiences :)

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Chris     at 5:31 pm

i live vancouver, BC part time. put it at the top of your list for regional exploration in 2013. between the outdoorsy culture and outrageously great vegetarian cuisine, you’d love it. mark down acorn, the naam and house of dosas for future reference.

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Joy     at 6:13 pm

I’m so glad you had such a great 2012. Your family is beautiful and I wish you and yours a wonderful 2013.

Your photos of Cullen are always so gorgeous. You catch the perfect moments with him! Your love for him comes through with each shot.

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Michelle     at 6:23 pm

Just started reading your blog and thoroughly enjoy reading about you and your family. My husband LOVED the picture of your sweet baby and the dog! Happy New Year to you and yours!

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Michelle     at 6:24 pm

I meant to say my husband and I :-)

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Amber K     at 7:36 pm

I’m impressed that you only put out recipes that are truly worth it. Quality is always better than quantity. Looks like 2012 was a great year, I hope 2013 is even better!

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amy     at 8:17 pm

I just love your blog. I had my third boy shortly after you had Cullen, and even to a ‘seasoned’ mom, your words on mothering are an inspiration. Thank you! And I grew up and went to college in Seattle – though now have made So Cal my home for 10+ years – and I love seeing a city I love through your eyes. Just … really appreciate your gift in writing.

Oh and the food!!! It’s what initially led me to your blog and I still love your recipes too. Have a fabulous new year! xo

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy     at 7:46 am

I love that last photo of Cullen! So cute!

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 10:55 am

This was definitely a year of big changes for you! I’m so glad you enjoyed 2012 so much!

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katy     at 3:44 pm

Beautiful reflections! It looks like you had a great 2012. I’m so glad you are loving the amazing PacNW!

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stacey     at 4:22 pm

Lovely photos!! thanks for all your blog posts. over the past year I have really enjoyed reading and learning from your posts. It would be so helpful for you to do a post on your grocery shopping lists..a more current one! :)

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Beth Lombardi Reply:

I would be interested to take a peak at your grocery list too!

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Caitlin     at 8:26 pm

My daughter is just a little younger than your son. I can’t wait for more posts on his meals. I need ideas!

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Coco     at 5:23 am

Most definitely a big year for your family! Here’s to another!

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Kat     at 10:43 am

I love these posts- so many accomplishments in just one year!

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