Thursday, December 14, 2017

An Easy Veggie Recipe for Eating In

Each year, millions of students head off to college, warned about the “freshman 15”. What nobody tells you about, friends, is the dreaded NEWLYWED 15. I’m kidding, of course, but gettin’ hitched and moving in with a man is a big lifestyle change! It takes some adjusting to. Since Austin and I got married in late October, we’ve been steadily approaching the coziest time of year, and snuggling while eating pizza just sounds more fun than snuggling while eating.. veggies.

But, we all have goals in life, and one of mine is to eat more veggies. SIGH. Pizza, don’t worry, you are still my first love. For this post, I’m working with Made In Cookware. In their own words, it’s “professional cookware at an amateur price.” And—hey—I think they’re right! I used the 10-inch pan to whip up one of my favorite easy, veggie-friendly recipes. (I made this dish once before on the blog, so you can find it in my ancient history archives from 2014. Aww! Here’s the link.)

In my opinion, the two best things about this frying pan are that it’s oven safe and dishwasher safe. Since it’s stainless, I won’t hesitate to throw it in the dishwasher. Usually, I like to hand wash my nonstick pots and pans, so the surface stays better longer. So, I feel like this is a “Made In” bonus! Less time washing pans; more time to make… out?

What easy veggie recipes are you making this season? Lemme know in the comments! xo.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I've Got a New Last Name (and only a few feelings)

Well, hi, friends. Ana Elliott here. And, man, does that feel weird to type!

Austin Elliott and I have only been married 31 days, but somehow it seems like a lifetime has passed in this month. We had the opportunity to take two weeks for our honeymoon in Europe, which was amazing, but it already feels like a distant dreamy memory and not the reality that we experienced just 15 or so days ago.

I'm trying to journal, journal, journal every thought, memory and feeling about our wedding and the surrounding days and events. They were all incredibly special to us, and we were so grateful to share those moments with some of our closest family and friends.

Here's a thing: Before the wedding, I had a lot of feelings about changing my last name. Any time I considered what the future would be like as Ana Elliott, Ana Pierce couldn't decide what she thought about that. I wasn't questioning the decision to marry Austin, but I was a little uncertain about whether or not I wanted to change my name. Austin was incredibly supportive, and he made it clear that he would be happy either way — whether he spent the rest of his life with Ana Pierce or Ana Elliott — because to him, it was the same person.

What's in a name? 

I decided, before the wedding, that I would change my name. Logically. In the Midwest, especially, I didn't want to cause confusion about whether or not we were married if we didn't share the same name. I think there's a different challenge for writers, sometimes, or "internet people" about a name change. My byline — that is — all the pieces I've written online and in print, were authored by Ana Pierce. I've also spent 28 years as Ana Pierce, and I've gotten to know that gal pretty well. In some ways, not changing my name felt like the feminist thing to do, and that was something always playing in the back of my mind. I talked to a few friends who were very understanding about how I felt changing my name. They cited things like this: a byline, a portfolio, an identity as Ana Pierce, and they could understand why I would want to keep that.

The closer we got to the wedding, I thought about it less and less. And since the wedding, I haven't regretted my decision at all. To be clear, I think my choice was the best for me, but I think this is a very individual matter for each marriage. But I'm excited. While it still feels a little foreign to have a *new* last name, my marriage to Austin and our future together is now more important than any life I led on my own beforehand. We're on one team now, and we've got the same-name jerseys to prove it.

I'm still not 100% sure who Ana Elliott is, but I'm excited to find out.

Full disclosure: I haven't legally changed my name yet, so... I may feel differently when they shred my old social security card. Ha!

Our wedding photos were taken by Kinsey Mhire. These are a few previews she sent us right after the big day!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I'm on a Podcast!

If you're reading this, Mom, I did it! Somebody asked me to be on a podcast!

If you're reading this and you're not my mom, my friends Shailey and Katie have a fantastic podcast called... (drumroll, please) Shailey and Katie! They're two business-owning, work-from-home moms who are laughing their way through parenthood, and they asked me to talk about my journey to self-employment (because I know nothing about parenthood 😂).

Click here if you want to hear me dish the deets on making the leap toward a full-time freelance career! While you're at it, just block off some time to listen to their other episodes because they're all so good.