Category Archives: Comin’ in Delicious

all the yummy stuff that I post? It’s going here

WARNING: Contains Nuts

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This is an optimistic blog, and I want it to stay that way, but man, I am having one of those days. Insert winey-voice here. I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning because my mood was sub-par all day. Work was blah and I didn’t have the energy to get myself to the gym come 6:00. I have always been the type that uses a good long gym session to make everything right in the world – there’s nothing like it to focus on what’s all jumbled up in your head and try to make sense of it. But it took a village to get me to the gym tonight. And to top it off, all the treadmills were taken (shocker – it’s still January) so I once again settled on the bike. I watched “King of Queens” to get me through the interval workout again, and just felt tired the whole time. Just goes to show how much my dad was right when he said “Attitude is everything”. Tomorrow, I will go to work a happier gal (albeit a colder gal ’cause Boston is expecting some snow tomorrow) and make the best out of any less-than-ideal situation that comes my way!

On my walk home from the gym, I started listening to Beyonce. She can really get me pumped up and out of any kind of terrible mood! I was walking to Whole Foods listening to “Countdown” and literally feeling like this with my sweaty hair, sneakers, and sweatpants under my big puffy jacket:

(source)

If I was braver, I would have belted out the words in the middle of the street! It was like I was her backup dancer in Single Ladies, Bootylicious, and Run the World all in one! Channeling my frustration into SMIZEing (thanks for the lessons Tyra) and stomping like a Diva is really quite effective! From there on, my night was looking up.

At Whole Foods, I got some ingredients to make this delicious dish I adapted from a recipe I found in Better Homes and Gardens. I just stir fried chicken sausage, onion, mushrooms, and spinach in a bit of olive oil while the pasta boiled, and voila! This was sooooo yummy!

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IMG_0992Yum.

Tomorrow, I’m having dinner with some very dear friends, and one new sister! (well sister-in-law-once-removed kinda). Anyways, I have salad duty, so my plan is to make a goat cheese, cranberry, and candied walnut salad. I couldn’t find any candied walnuts at Whole Food tonight, so I decided to make them myself. I found a really easy recipe using just 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 cups pecan halves. Combine them both in a pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts onto the nuts.

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They turned out great! Can’t wait to show off my skills at dinner tomorrow 🙂

Hope you’re looking at the good points in today, even though they may be small. A positive outlook can change the way your whole day goes. Find your Beyonce and get yourself happy!

Spirit Fingers!

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There should be a separate gym for people getting a membership on January 1. I get it, and I’m very happy that people make it a resolution to lose weight or get healthy in the new year, but it really crowds the gym for those of us that are there all year and I’m not big on waiting for machines. This messes up my work out plan, and I end up settling on something different than what I was looking forward to. Like today: I planned on a run but the treadmills were packed, so I decided on the bike. A little disheartened, I strapped in, lowered the seat to level “way shorter than average”, and switched the TV to “How I Met Your Mother” to keep me occupied during the next 30 minutes. Then I remembered a hardcore interval workout a friend at work had mentioned to me a while ago.

  1. Warm up for 5 minutes
  2. 8 seconds of giving it your all
  3. 12 seconds of resting pace
  4. 8 seconds at 100%
  5. 12 seconds recovering…

And so on….for 20 minutes. I did 7 minutes, and my thighs and butt were on fire! It’s such a good workout, and since the intervals are so short, the time goes by quickly. But it’s hard, my friend. HARD.

I finished up my workout Wednesday with an upper body workout I found on Pinterest. Oh Pinterest, how can you use up so much of my time with craft ideas I’ll never get to, wedding tips I’ll forget about, and 1001 ways to use a mason jar? Sometimes I actually go back to my pins and find workouts like this one. I want to “Tone it up girl!”

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A short bus ride later, I was back at home craving something healthy for dinner. I had some leftover tofu that I wanted to use, so I whipped up a simple marinade I found on Never Homemade and let the tofu chill in it while I showered. I steamed some broccoli, covered it in cheese, and after a little stir fry action with the tofu, had a meal!

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Marinade prep

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A little light reading during dinner 🙂

 

So easy, and so healthy! Feels good.

Now, after watching the classic Bring It On with Rosie, I’m just about cheered out and can’t wait to get to bed. Everyone seems to be getting sick, and I have a big weekend planned, so I’m drinking lots of water and sleeping as much as possible to keep the bug away. Stay healthy this winter!

The First of Fall

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The First of Fall

Some good looking gourds

Let’s not even mention the amount of between now and my last post. It’s embarrassing.

Welcome, Autumn! It’s been a long ~9 months without you, and finally you return with crisp, cool air, a pumpkinspice smell coming from Starbucks, and opportunities to whip out the tall boots once again. Yes, I’d say this is my favorite time of year with spring and summer a close second and third. Winter is only good until January 5. Then I’m over it and I become jealous of a bear’s ability to hibernate.

Two weekends ago now, I kicked off the change of seasons in style, starting with a barbecue in our backyard. We were celebrating the arrival of our roommate Jane (almost a month late, but better now than never!) and we invited our friends from every corner of Boston. Jane, Rosie and I started the morning off with a workout because we knew how much eating/drinking was to follow. After a trip to the grocery store and a B double E double R U N, we cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. It looked good, lemme tell ya. And look at this spread!

The Christmas tree really adds to the appeal

We made salads galore  – pasta with pesto, quinoa/veggie salad, chips of every kind, and M&Ms to top it off. Later in the night, the men manned the grill for burgers and hot dogs.

Roomies 🙂

I was glad to see so many people there, including some friends from Canada who live so close to me now! It’s crazy how two of my worlds are colliding now 🙂

Beer pong was played on my fancy travel beer pong set that I won at a Christmas party last year – definitely the right Secret Santa present for me! We also played a game of Rosie’s called Spike Ball, a combination of four square and volleyball, where you and a teammate have to spike the ball on the net to the other team, trying to make them drop/lose control of the ball. It took us a while, but it turned out to be a really fun game! Disclaimer – this game takes both hands and lots of coordination. Not for drink-holding. A night spent outside with some good friends? I’ll take it!

Sunday, after cleaning up beer bottles and nursing a slight hangover, I made my way to Meg and Dave’s for some apple picking up in Stow, MA to a farm called Sherburne Farm. It was a beautiful morning, so as you may have guessed, the farm was PACKED! I have never seen so many kids, babies, and strollers in one place – it was crazy! But as soon as we got into the apple orchard, everyone cleared out, and Meg, Dave and I could pick our apples in peace. Apples as far as the eye could see! No granny smith apples which are one of my favorites, but we got plenty of McIntosh’s, Empires, Cortlands, and Macouns. We filled our 20 pound bag of apples pretty quickly, so we explored the rest of the farm. Some cute animals for the kids (read: Brita) and a hay maze for the kids (read: Dave).

Perfect apple picking weather 

pony

Presh little pony

To end the day right, we got some homemade apple cider donuts that didn’t last very long in my apartment. There’s nothing quite like fall 🙂

Sugar covered delights

Nature Calls

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As I sit here watching Project Runway wishing I could pull off a a peplum skirt, I’m thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve posted. Almost 2 weeks have gone by, filled with many things to be happy about, and I haven’t told you guys about even one!!! Shame shame shame, Brita. I shouldn’t keep these happy things to myself – it’ll never happen again.

Let’s start with 2 weeks ago Sunday – I was on a crafty kick and wanted to get inspired. What is more inspiring than an sunny afternoon at a crafts fair in the city? Pretty much nothing. It’s called SoWa, kinda like SoHo but it’s South Washington Street in south Boston. Morgan, Katherine, and I ventured there with ideas in mind, and we were welcomed by lots of fun booths. But first, the garage we parked in inspired us to take some hipster pics.

Hipster stance? Katherine’s got one…and a tire!

We didn’t make out as well as we had hoped. Katherine was looking for furniture at a reasonable price, I was looking for awesome jewelry and scarves (it’s almost fall, as we all know), and Morgan, well Morgan being the chef that she is, was interested in the food trucks. And for good reason! We tried popcorn, honey, the BEST gingersnap cookie I’ve ever had, and locally made sandwiches for lunch.

This is where the cookie was made – and how fun is the name “Rollin’ in the Dough” for a bakery???

I’ll take them all, thanks.

Lots of local produce.

I didn’t get much of anything that stayed with me more than the few hours (if you know what I mean….) but I know I want to go back to the SoWa market before it closes at the end of October! If only just to get another one of those gingersnaps.

Most of my happy times recently have taken place outside. I want to take advantage of the beautiful weather before the winter substitutes shorts with long underwear. The weather has been pretty darn perfect too, so spending 8 hours a day inside at work has pushed me outside on the nights and weekends. Last week, I went for a longish run around the Charles River after work. Well, me and 3/4 of all of Boston – it seemed like everyone was out that night! And with good reason….

This city has my favorite skyline. Sorry NYC.

Can you get more Boston than this?? Rowing and everything!

I could run forever with a view like this.

Let’s hear it for the iPhone camera! I probably stopped about 15 times to take pictures, and maybe once because I took a wrong turn and ended up on busy road. But that aside, I found my way back after being rejuvenated with a healthy run and perfect evening views from the river.

I went south of the city to SoWa, into the heart of the city on my run, so naturally I had to go north of the city for a hike. Anna, one of my oldest friends who I know from Canada, just moved to my neck of the woods, so we got together for a jaunt in the woods. It’s strange to see her outside of camp, but I’m willing to get used to it 🙂 We took Blanche (my trusty Subaru) to the Blue Hills, about 30 minutes north of the city, to hike the Skyline Trail. Along with awesome conversation, we found some stellar views of the city from a far. Check these out!

The perfect day to be on top of a mountain.

Boston from the Blue Hills

Our trip was very impromptu and we didn’t plan it much, just followed the blue dashes on the trees until we got here which took about an hour. At the top, we asked a fellow hiker to take our picture for us and spent a good part of our time there sitting on a rock just chatting, not unlike how we spend our time in Canada. Because we didn’t know where the other side of the blue trail ended up, we decided to back track until we got back to the car. It was a good idea. I’m so glad Anna is here and that we now know a good spot to get out of the city and into the wilderness, even if only for the afternoon.

Found this along the way. John really knows how to use a knife in a tree…

There’s that kind outdoorsman now!

 

Old friends in new places 🙂

Forecast for this weekend is looking bright – I can already smell a barbecue on Saturday and potentially picking them apples on Sunday. The outdoors makes me feel productive and re-energized after a long week. With autumn palpable in the chilly air, a whole new array of activities will begin – can’t wait!!

Not-So-Laborious Day Weekend: Part 2

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The weekend festivities continue.

I got back late Saturday night from The Cape and jumped right in bed. I couldn’t even get through half of my all-time favorite movie – Shakespeare in Love – without passing out because I was so tired from a long, and exciting, day. Sunday morning came, and it was one of those mornings that called for a good run. By noon, I had run 3 miles, showered, and started driving to Morgan’s house in northern Mass. I would say that is a productive morning!

We helped prepare Morgan’s house for their first annual authentic New England lobster bake! I had never even seen one of these before so I was pretty stoked for the experience, let alone the LOBSTER! Morgan’s family did extensive research on the topic and was prepared with everyone one needs for a lobster bake. Along with a back up plan of pizza 🙂 No need for that though, because it turns out lobsters can be cooked in the ground! Who knew?

Steps to a successful lobster bake:

  1. Dig a large hole in the beach – about 3′ by 3′ – and cover the bottom with rocks.
  2. Start a large bonfire in there with a ton of dry wood and let it burn down until it’s only hot rocks and ash.
  3. Layer the lobster bake racks (wooden framed squares with wire nets in the middle) filled with food into the hot hole. We had one layer of lobsta, one layer with steamers and taters, and the top layer was corn on the cob (expertly shucked by some of the prettiest, most talented corn shuckers around).

The makings of a late summer feast

Expertly done, I do say!

And in they go! Along with some preordered seaweed.

4. Cover the racks and hole with a soaking canvas and let the hot rocks and ash cook the whole meal with steam. The trick to this is waiting, for one thing, but you can put an egg on each corner of the top rack and when it is hardboiled, the food is cooked! So neat right? Well, for 20 hungry people, it is really anti-climactic when the egg comes up still raw.

The other guests arrived and the games began! Cornhole was the main attraction that night, along with some friendly family rivalry. Rosie and I snapped a few roommate pics on the beach while we waited for dinner to cook. I can’t believe it’s already been a year! Such a crazy time, but a great time 🙂

Describes us well!

And the wicked cool lobsta was definitely worth the wait!That night, the foursome (Me Rosie Morgan and Katherine) went out to a very local yocal bar for reggae night – such a good time! I love dancing to the bouncy, rhythmic tunes of reggae. The band and the excellent weather right on the water with some local characters was the perfect way to end the night.

Monday came – the final day of summer pretty much – and we spent it allllll outside! Pancakes were on tap for breakfast that morning, of the blueberry variety, and then into our swim suits we went! Most of the day and afternoon was spent by the pool, in the pool, and around the pool. Rosie and I even had one last swim in the ocean before it closes for the winter (as in the temperatures drop below 70).

Please excuse my pile of clothes, they seem to take away from the beauty of the landscape.

Love!

One stop at Katherine’s to catch the rays at her lovely casa was the best way to end the day. And a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.

The foursome

My girl!

Thanks to sooo many people for allowing me into your homes this weekend, because I certainly had a wonderful weekend! It was the perfect way to top off the summer, and I couldn’t have asked for better friends up here in Boston 🙂 Here’s to a great fall and winter as well!

Now onto fasting this week because I ate so much over the past 4 days. Hitting the gym today!

Labor Day Weekend: Part 1

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Turns out the key to a successful blog is consistent posting…I gotta step up my game hard. Luckily, I had a really exciting long weekend, and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it 🙂 This labor day weekend was 0 parts labor, 10 parts weekend. I treated it mainly as a last HURRAH for summer 2012, so I wanted to spend the whole time outside soaking up the sun one last time.

Weekend preview!

Friday, everyone got out of work early so I decided to take advantage of the perfect afternoon with a workout on the Harvard stadium steps to give my gluteus maximus a kick in the gluteus maximus. Usually, I do the stairs with Meg and some of her friends, but I’ve never done it without anyone else to motivate me to do one more section (of which there are 37). I found myself getting tired way faster than I wanted to, and it wasn’t just because of the stifling afternoon heat. Having another person doing the workout with you is much more exciting than doing it alone. Let’s face it – workouts get tedious every once in a while, so bringing someone along heightens the fun-factor of exercise. This solo sesh was not ideal, but I still got in half the stadium (18 sections up and down), along with 30 push ups and 30 tricep dips. And since no one was in the stadium other than me, some loud self-motivation was necessary towards the last, oh, 16 sections.

At the halfway point

My real weekend started VERY early Saturday morning. While many of you were still dreaming of weekend possibilities, I woke up at 6:00am to beat the traffic to Cape Cod for a fun-filled day trip. Luckily, it was worth it because I made it to my destination in 2 hours flat without any car troubles or fist fights (Boston drivers are truly in a league of their own). A friend of Meg’s from grad school has a house on the Cape, and Meg and Dave were staying there for the weekend with her wonderful family. We got right to business as soon as I arrived – after a few local, handmade donuts, we could almost hear the beach calling our names.

We spent our morning floating on rafts playing with her three sons aged 11, 9, and 6. There is definitely a special place in heaven for the mother of 3 boys. As I never had a brother, I know nothing about boys growing up and man oh man, do they have a lot of energy! Always eating, chasing each other, and building or destroying things. They were all very well-behaved though, and I had such a good time hanging out with the little ones 🙂

Our afternoon consisted of a short nap, a long bike ride, and a delicious lunch from a local (very popular) food truck called Sunbird.  I ordered a hotdog with ketchup, while others had fish tacos or a market sandwich. YUM! The atmosphere at this place was so pleasing – colorful picnic tables, tons of potted flowers, and an awesome playlist of 60’s music blasting out of invisible speakers. We were jamming along to the Allman Brothers as we waited for our food, and I didn’t mind one bit!

A gourmet truck

For dinner, we went to another local food place called Mac’s on the Pier, known for their clam chowder. I ordered that, of course, and wasn’t disappointed. Others had fish and chips, a pork burrito (a little out of place, Meg), and fried clams. Sitting right on the water with the sail boats was the perfect way to continue my day at the Cape.

But it didn’t stop there! I decided to stay an hour or two later than I had planned in order to make the bonfire on the beach. They had gotten special permission and a permit to be able to fire up the ‘mallows on the beach, so it was a must attend event. We set up shop on the beach right before sunset. There were surfers in the water after sharks were cited in the area this week (Jaws much???) which didn’t seem like such a great idea, but definitely made for a good picture.

The highlight of the night was s’making s’mores s’on s’the s’beach. For some reason, these were a lot better than the ones I’ve had previously this summer. Maybe because it was my last one and I wanted to treasure the marshmallow-y goodness.

It’s hard to capture night landscapes on film, but instagram puts up a good effort.

I left after the sun went down and the moon began rising pink on the horizon – a gorgeous night spent on the beach! It was hard to take myself out of that situation, but duty calls back in Boston. What a great start to the weekend! More to come….

Productivity Feels Good

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Try and tell me this doesn’t bring a smile to your face!

I watched a bit of my favorite yellow sponge this weekend and just had to share. He is so happy, playful, hilarrrrrious, and squeaks when he walks. I know my sisters don’t understand it, but this little guy gets me laughing each time! Exhibit A.

Anywho, onto the other cool stuff. Sunday and Monday were very productive days, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as going to bed knowing you won for the day. I had a dentist appointment this morning; ugh, I can’t tell you how much I hate the dentist. I’ve had a billion cavities over the years, so needless to say, I went in today prepared to pay another $500 or whatever it is to get my teeth looking like new. I’m happy to report: NO CAVITIES!!! I also learned that the Crest SpinBrush Pro is a crock full of bologna. Apparently it’s not very effective because it only twists in one direction and not meant for those with the dexterity to maneuver a regular toothbrush. Goodbye, SpinBrush. Sorry Mom.

Another thing that made me happy today was biking to and from work! I finally set out some back-road routes so that I don’t have to take big roads, which makes getting the commute so much easier. Riding in traffic at 5:15pm is not ideal, but it isn’t as stressful as I thought it would be, especially because I work 2 miles from my apartment. Lucky me 🙂

This post is lacking pix – this is Boston leaving the Children’s Museum at night. That’s the Constellation something-or-other on the left, very famous.

After work, I decided to take advantage of the nice weather we have left up here in Bipolar Boston and go for a run outside. Boy, is it WAY more fun to run outside then inside! So many things to look at, surroundings to keep you on your toes (literally), and obstacles to make it interesting. I’m sure lots of people do this, but does anyone else look at their reflection in store windows as they run past?? I try to only do it when no one is around and I make it real stealth; do you think anyone actually thinks I’m window shopping while getting my sweat on? I just gotta check my stride, people! I noticed how much I did it today, especially running in a city – many, many windows are passed.

Speaking of running in the city, I see some of the strangest things. Today, the highlight was an older, rounder man sitting on a park bench reading the paper. May not sound so strange, but he was wearing a blonde wig, about shoulder length, with bangs. It was a strange combination – mustache, sunglasses, khakis, and….a wig. I giggled and congratulated myself on a great day to run outside.

I was able to squeeze in a quick filling dinner tonight before work 2.0 kicked in around 8 (to which I rode my bike as well, just sayin’). I loooove chicken sausage – they’re so easy to pair with anything, add some much needed protein to my diet, and come in really delish flaves. Not to mention that they are about 150 calories. In my grocery bag they went. To incorporate them into my meal tonight, I fried up some spinach and feta chicken sausages, red pepper, and cauliflower with only a little bit of olive oil. The flavor of the sausages really mixed well with the veggies, and I didn’t need a sauce! I topped a hefty serving of arugula with the sausage/veg mix and finished the meal off with some dried mangoes. So much in this dinner that I love!

So fresh and so clean, clean – literally

Excited for tomorrow – The roomies and I are having our last meal together! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we moved in….so much has happened for all 3 of us. I’m so lucky to have had such AWESOME roommates, and we’ll definitely miss you here, Julia! We’re growing up so quick 🙂

Finally Unstoppable

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What a busy Tuesday! Fortunately, I didn’t have the same travel woes that I did yesterday, so I got to work on time and ate my bowl of Life while doing my morning Facebooking per usual.

Until today, every time you saw me like this:

without glasses

….it meant that I was blind. I have worn glasses since the fifth grade and it has never created a problem. My sight really isn’t that bad; it all started because I couldn’t see what Mrs. Davis was writing on the board, but I really thought that no one else could either. I’ll never forget the first day with glasses – the trees had leaves, signs appeared out of nowhere with writing on them, and faces started making more sense. The need for contacts has never been so evident as it has recently. In college, I knew where I was going, so street signs were insignificant; thus I could go out without my glasses. But here in Boston, I’m lucky if I make it to the first street light without getting lost. Sight is a must. I thought, after 12 years, it was finally time to give in and get contacts.

The doctor gave me my first trial pair today! She told me before we started our learning session that she had this psychic feeling that I would be totally fine putting them in and out, so I guess that’s the vibe I’m giving people? Turns out she was right and I’m a natural contact-wearer. It took me a minute but I successfully covered my eyeballs in flimsy plastic…twice! Apparently I have a crazy astigmatism so I need special lenses that are weighted at the bottom to keep them in place and aligned correctly. It takes a little bit to get them in the right place, and my eyes are still getting used to them, but we’ll see how the week goes with them. All you contact-wearers out there: I’d love to hear any tricks of the trade you may have! It’s crazy how well I can see without glasses when I wear contacts. I feel so aerodynamic and without limits! So that’s what everyone was talking about, huh?

Meanwhile back at the farm, I mean work, I had my yearly performance evaluation. Scurry at first (are they going to talk about my recent internet searches: “how many inches is 42mm?”, “how to road trip across the country”, and “truculent definition” to name a few) but it was super helpful. I was happy to hear the good stuff and really interested in things I can improve upon. They like me, they really like me!

After work, I had dinner with Meg, Dave, and Luna – always a staple in my week. We had a particularly delicious summer meal this evening. After Meg helped me with my contacts, we got to work on dinner:

Grilled polenta stackers complete with homemade pesto, local tomatoes, and mozz. So. Flipping. Good. We also had my favorite turkey burgers made with cilantro (LOVE cilantro!) with an apricot preserve on top for a little sweetness. I mean I’m literally dreaming of this meal and it’s still sitting in my belly doing a little belly-dance (get it?!?!?!)

in all their glory

I had a cupcake for dessert, but not just any cupcake. We stopped by a cupcake stand in Meg’s neighborhood that was manned by the 3 cutest children I’ve ever seen. All siblings, all with the best freckles ever. Since Meg is gluten free and can’t eat cupcakes (sad), Dave and I both got one for a little treat after dinner. Take a look at this guy:

Talk about a trendy cupcake

This cupcake has more neon then I have in my closet. I couldn’t resist. And yes it was glorious. Thanks kids! Meg will be back to buy tomates in the fall!

Our post-dessert-TV-shows are in limbo right now: some have ended (Rizzoli and Isles) and others haven’t started back again (Glee, New Girl) so we scrounged for a good show. We landed on a Shark Week episode that aired last week. Remind me to never go in the water again.

Food for thought: I’m thinking of going on a no processed food week to see how it goes. Has anyone ever done that? Any advice??

Bike and Berry Adventures

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Oh Mondays. Mondays, Mondays, Mondays. Does the weekend really have to end? It’s always difficult to wake up on these mornings, but it must be done. I had an interesting start to the morning, actually…the bus I usually take to work was really late so I contemplated taking another bus, ran to the bus stop, missed the bus, and walked home defeated. One of the many woes of taking public transportation. I thought about taking my bike to work, but was scared about riding in the traffic because I’m still really new at it. So I sat on my bed checking the weather and waited for the next bus and got safely to work. Stressful.

Wait, did I tell you that I bought a bike?! Well I did last week! It was a bit of an impulse buy, but she’s really pretty and I think she’ll fit right in with my little family in Boston. To appease my sisters, I found an alternative way to get to and from work without using big roads and minimal left hand turns. Those are surprisingly hard when you’re almost invisible to cars. I tried it out tonight, and success! I’ll be taking advantage of the last bit of bike-riding weather, while saving the world and crushing my carbon footprint.

I think I’ll call her Ruby

I tend to name things that are important to me. Ruby for my bike, Blanche for my wonderful Subaru (behind the Rubester), Scarlet for my GPS (that was my mom’s doing but I liked it). Wow, I hope I still have friends by the end of this post….

Speaking of friends, I couldn’t get enough of them this weekend! We hit the town BOTH Friday and Saturday nights (despite my youth, it doesn’t happen that often) and had two awesome girls nights together 🙂

Contrary to popular belief, the perfect way to cure a hangover on Sundays, I have realized, is picking blackberries and then making a pie. Morgan, Katherine, Rosie and I went to an orchard in Ipswich to get some blackberries, only to realize that we’re kinda in between picking seasons and got a lot of sour berries. Did that stop us? Please…..we simply added some extra sweetness to the pie with fresh summer peaches (and a few handfuls of sugar 😉 ). Morgs is a pastry chef, so she guided our culinary adventure.

Plenty of berries for pie, lemonade, and snacking 🙂

Amazing summer colors!

Expert berry pickers

The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging on her porch chatting, napping curled up in blue quilts, creeping on dudes in boats, and taking in the view of the ocean.

Pretty much nothing was missing from this awesome day – well unless of course Johnny Depp were to ride a horse onto the beach with a big ole bag of M&Ms. But I’m sure he was busy.

Let’s keep these busy weekends coming!

Vocab and a Crunch-y Dinner

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 Thursday was a surprisingly productive day. It’s my longest day of the week because I go straight from work to work at the gym. Come 9:00, I’m finally on my way home!

1. A lot happens between my 7:45 wake up time and closing the gym. Today, I did a lot of practice GRE Verbal Reasoning problems. Take a look at my notebook that is quickly filling up with vocab words…

 

That isn’t even the half of it!

My job stress ebbs and flows throughout each quarter – in the middle, I get super busy, and days seem to fly by (this is what I like). At the very beginning and ends, however, it’s pretty slooowww (I’m in that phase right now), but luckily I have some free time to study for the GRE. It’s a more productive way of spending my time then on Pinterest. Let’s be honest: as much as I enjoy learning 101 ways to use a mason jar, it’s not going to help me in my career. I may be inundated with vocabulary in the GREs, but soon it will not be so abstruse, and I will appear trenchant with my mellifluous new way of speaking. No need for acrimoniousness.

Did I do that right? I’m still working on it…

2. Work 2.0 – the gym. I really like working at the gym because usually the people I’m stuck with for 4+ hours are fun to talk to. That’s the case on Thursdays; we always make the best of our time behind the desk and talk about the strangest things. It cracks me up!

I had some free time before work to grab some dinner, so I decided to go outside of my normal Au Bon Pain sammy or salad and go to Clover. This restaurant is pretty cruchy, as in straight from the ground, hipsterish, vegetarian, whole foods kinda place, so I was a bit skeptical. The greeting crew was really friendly and walked me through the steps and explained the dinner menu to me. I decided on this egg and eggplant pita with cucumber salad and hummus. It came with a side of tahini sauce. Don’t be alarmed by the green drink – it’s lemonade mixed with terragon.

Very skeptical right now…

Little did I know that this meal would be delicious!! The eggplant was cooked to perfection and the egg and cucumber and hummus just went sooo well together. It was full of protein, so I wasn’t hungry at all for the rest of my shift. I wasn’t really into the tahini sauce, so I stayed away from that. The whole week pita was made in the store and extremely fluffy and yummy. Even the strange lemonade was surprisingly good 🙂 I will definitely be making other stops into Clover to check out more of their ambrosial grub!!! (look at me integrating my new vocab already!)

The eggplant is soo thick!

3. Also at the gym – one of my coworkers is going to a Sugar Ray concer this weekend. That’s right – the 90s band that sang Fly . Apparently they’re still performing! Good for them! She wanted to catch up on her Sugar Ray tunes, because she hadn’t been keeping up with them for the past 20 years…(it’s still crazy to think that the 90s were 20 years ago!!) We tuned into the Sugar Ray Pandora station during our shift behind the front desk, and had such a good time listening to these throwbacks! If you love The Goo Goo Dolls “Slide”, Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”, “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve, or just about any awesome song from the 90s, then you’ll love this station! It’s definitely going to make more appearances in my headphones 🙂

4. Last, but certainly not least, I got back to my apartment tonight and immediately turned on Lifetime to watch Project Runway. I seriously love this show. This week’s challenge was making clothes out of candy. CANDY. There were licorice dresses, collars made from gummy sharks, and jelly bean laden peplums. You can’t even try to tell me that’s not awesome. You’re gunna want to see this episode.

Hope the coming weekend is grrrrrrrrrreat!