Holy Jam Packed Weekend and Friday Faves

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TGIF! I want to jump up and down and do cartwheels I’m so excited (though I don’t know how to do cartwheels). ‘Tis finally the start of my weekend, and I have lots planned. For starters, I’m going to watch The Boy’s softball game tonight. Last week they lost 26 to 4 but I’m hoping I’ll pull the goodluck charm thing on them and bring in their first win! I’ll at least bring out my best cheerleading skills. Then it’s ladies’ night by the waterfront, followed by a day of shopping and yapping away at my “Healthy Chicks” booth at Shop & Talk tomorrow.

My weekend comes to an end with going out to dinner with The Boy’s family, followed by watching his step sister swim at Harvard for the Special Olympics. Talk about a packed weekend…I hope I can fit everything in. I most definitely know I’ll need a few doses of caffeine aka extra large iced-coffees to keep me “on” all weekend.

Alright, enough about my weekend. It’s Friday and that means it’s time for my weekly Friday Faves. Here’s what’s got me giddy this week:

1. Arts ‘n’ Crafts: I was never really a fan of arts ‘n’ crafts growing up. Actually, scratch that. I was a fan; I was just terribly bad at it. My color-blind genes led me to color a tree trunk green and the leaves brown in 2nd grade art class, and in college I decided it’d be a good idea to paint my entire room bright pink which turned into one hot mess. However, lately I’ve been embracing my inner artist! I started designing and printing my own greeting cards/ post cards and even created the most adorable little wooden spoon ornaments.

[sure it's no Hallmark, but I'm gettin' there]

2. Pesto: I can’t get enough of this green miracle spread. I’ve been adding it to everything lately, from mixing it with olive oil for a fabulous salad dressing to spreading it onto my turkey wraps. This week I took the lazy girl’s way out and bought pesto at Trader Joe’s. However, I much rather prefer making my own, since it’s super easy and you can control how much oil and cheese goes into it. All you need is olive oil, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, walnuts, garlic, and some salt & pepper. I like to add more basil and less cheese than called for in the typical recipe. For starters, here’s a basic recipe from Eating Well magazine.

3. Laughing my Face Off: Last night I went to my second comedy show ever in Boston, and  hands down had one of the best nights in a while. My girlfriend bought me a ticket (what a great date), we both got dressed up and then headed over to The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square. My friend ordered a beer, I ordered a vodka-seltzer con splash of cran and the laughter began. Oh, we also ordered fried wontons and beer teriyaki (whoops). Oh well, a girl’s gotta live.

I have to say it was a phenomenal show, and I was genuinely laughing at each and every comedian’s act. Sure, some were better than other’s  but I not once had to do the whole “fake laugh”/”pretend you’re texting” bit. These people were legit. One of my top three by far was actually a friend of the girl I went with: David Fogelman. Not only did he have me crying of laughter, but he was real which I liked most about him. I will most definitely be seeing some more comedy acts in the future in this lovely city of Boston!

4. The Snooze Button: I know, it’s bad. I’ve learned to love the snooze button, something I never took advantage of before. You see, I’m still getting used to my new phone – Crackberry lover goes Droid Pro – but one thing I love about my Droid is how easy it is to shut off that darn alarm in the morning. Yesterday I snoozed for an entire 20 minutes. But whatever; as long as I’m not late for work I can snooze however long I want.

What are you jumping up and down over this week? I’d love to hear your current obsessions – please share!

Home Sweet Home and Friday Favorites

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Good evening all of my lovely blog readers! Sorry I’m so late with my Friday Favorites post, but I promise I have a good excuse. I’ve been out and about all day perusing my future neighborhood in the North End with my dad, sister and The Boy. Not only did I get to show my younger sister our super sweet new apartment (which she absolutely loved – thanks for trusting me sis!), but we also got to explore the North End. We dined at Bella Vista, browsed the waterfront, trekked to Faneuil Hall, sipped on tasty cappuccinos and gelato and walked our little butts off. It was an incredible day indeed! So yes, that’s why I haven’t been at my computer all afternoon. Oh, and after I checked out my soon-to-be-home (well, not ’til September 1st), I am now home sweet home in Connecticut for the weekend.

As for Friday Favorites, here’s what made my top 5 this week:

1. Chunky Jewelry: Ever since I became a Stylist for Stella & Dot, I’ve been really diggin’ chunky jewelry that makes a statement. Lately, I’ve been rocking an oversized gold & green flower ring and I absolutely love it. Check out more lovely Stella & Dot jewelry here or join my virtual jewelry party for even more fun with jewels!

2. Homemade Pesto: I made my own pesto the other day, and I’m sorry but it simply puts store-bought pesto to shame! Once I go homemade, I may never go back. It also tastes much better for me, as it isn’t as oily noir as fatty. I like to use a fraction of the parmesan cheese and olive oil, and load up on the good stuff: the walnuts, basil and garlic. This week I used it in lots of recipes, including a brown rice pasta dish with veggies, fresh mozzarella and herbs (recipe to be posted).

3. Coconut Oil…Lip Balm: Lately, I’ve been really into all natural…especially when it comes to my skin care. When I discovered the multiple benefits of coconut oil a while back, I’ve been trying to add it into my daily life more and more. Recently, I’ve become obsessed with using it as a light lip-balm for chapped lips. I also like to dab a little on my lips and under my eyes before bed…what an awesome moisturizer!

4. Chicken Noodle Soup: There’s nothing like homemade Chicken Noodle Soup to warm your soul. When The Boy made us a big batch on a cold, rainy Wednesday, I knew I liked him for a reason ; ) He even used brown rice noodles instead of regular for my gluten sensitivity. What a guy. It was delicious, and made his apartment smell equally delicious. In fact, it smelled so good that he recommended Yankee Candle should have “Chicken Noodle Soup” or “Grandma’s House” as a scent. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather eat my soup than sniff it.

5. Yoga: As I mentioned yesterday, I am going to really focus on adding yoga back into my everyday life. Simply one 75-minute class worked wonders on my mood, mindset, and core strength. Once or twice a week and I should be golden!

What are you raving about this week? I’d love to hear!

XoXo,


Things are Lookin Up and Friday Faves

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Happy Friday to all my lovely readers! How was your week? I’m happy to say that things (aka my mood lately) is looking up…way up. I’m beginning to realize that I am 23 years old and this is the time to enjoy life, rather than stress about things. There is a whole lot of years and stressing ahead of us, after all! When I put it that way, things like minor relationship disagreements and freaking out for not having a “real” job suddenly don’t seem to matter. It’s the important things in life that really matter, eh? When I think of it that way, I remain happy. You should try it. OK, enough of that… on to my Friday Faves!

1. Chai Tea: I’m a coffee drinker, therefore I never really dabble in tea when I go out to a cafe. But since I gave off buying coffee out for Lent, I’ve been thinking (and drinking) out of the box. The other day I had my first Chai Tea latte and it was amazing. I asked for less sugar/more milk and it was the absolute perfect pick-me-up on a rainy day.

2. Hugs: Really, there is nothing more meaningful and powerful than a simply hug. Hug away my friends!

3. Spring-y Recipes: Now that the weather is in the 50s and 60s (woo hoo) I’ve been craving my old-time favorite spring and summer recipes. In honor of spring, today I made some homemade lemonade (yes, I actually squeezed the 6 lemons all by myself), and Black Bean Mango Salsa. Recipes to come!

4. Cleaning: I don’t know what it is about this week, but I’ve been Ms. Cleaning Machine! I’m always one to stay tidy, but this week I’ve been on a roll. I even VACUUMED today, and re-arranged some of my messy desk drawers. I’m a firm believer that cleaning can help you de-stress and prioritize at times when your mind is all over the place.

5. The North End: Ever since I signed the lease for an apartment in the North End (come September 1), I can’t get enough of my future neighborhood. I’ve already been back there two times in one week! The gelato…the baked goods…the wine…the cheese…the culture…the people! Really, I am super duper ecstatic to move there!

What’s on your top 5 list this week? Hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with funny stories, good eats and happy times!

Friday Favorites: On Cheese, Cash, Running Sticks and More

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this girl knows how to rock the flower-in-the-hair look

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Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week. I know first hand that sometimes the work week can get kinda stressful (OK, reeallllyyyyy stressful), so let’s take a moment of silence to just breathe. Ahhhh… doesn’t that feel a little better? OK, enough of my corniness, but in all seriousness we need to remember to not take life too seriously and take little moments to just breathe in & out. Well, since it’s Friday you know what that means…time for my Friday favorites. Here goes:

The Stick: This bad boy saved me after my 13.1-mile half marathon on Sunday. In addition to reducing muscle soreness & stiffness (which I had plenty of), it also increases flexibility, improves strength, nurtures your muscles and speeds up recovery time. I recommend all of you ladies who run often to invest in one of these. You can purchase one for just $27.45 on Amazon.com now!

Muenster Cheese: Ever since I ate a Chicken & Muenster cheese sandwich at Serendipity in New York City, I have been daydreaming about muenster. I just HAD to pick some up at Trader Joe’s today to add to my wraps, melt on top of whole grain bread and even eat alone – so DELISH.

Flowers in My Hair: Who knew what a simple headband or flower on the side of your hair could add so much POP to a plain outfit? I’ve never gotten more compliments than when I pull the whole flower-in-the-hair look. I can’t wait ’til it gets warmer when I can actually put real flowers in my hair however.

Cash: While my new barista job stresses me out most of the time, I have to be honest: the tips are pretty darn nice. I’m one of those girls who never carries cash on me, so it’s nice to have a wallet filled with singles for once. ; )

What are your faves this week?

Friday Faves and 10 Miles!

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Happy Friday lovely readers! Hope everyone has some phenomenal events planned for the weekend. As for me, I’m heading up to our condo in NH with the fam and The Boy for a little R & R. I absolutely can’t wait…NH retreats are the absolute best.

I also have some more great news in the home front: I ran my first ever 10 miles this morning, and not only did I survive, but it felt absolutely amazing. I won’t lie; there were points I just wanted to STOP but I kept telling myself, “You Can Do It”… “Only 5 more!”… “Only 3 more” and then suddenly I was done. It amazes me that just two years ago I could barely run 3 miles. I actually bawled my eyes out during my first 5K that I ran with my dad, and now look at me. I’m like Ms. Running Machine! This just goes to show that anyone can do what they set their mind to do…you just have to work at it and stay with it.

Anywho, it’s Friday so it’s that time again for FRIDAY FAVES:

My Forerunner 305 Garmin: I made the purchase for this bad ass GPS watch two weeks ago on Amazon, and I must say I am 100% in love. I don’t know how I ever ran without it. I love that it tracks my miles, my pace and my time all in one! If I notice I’m going a little slow, I pick it up a few notches. If I’m feeling good, I sprint for a while at a 7:47 minute/mile pace. And when I see the little mile marker hit my goal, I want to cry with joy. If you are a runner, and you like running outdoors like me, I highly suggest you get one of these bad boys.

Prunes: I don’t know why, but lately I am a HUGE fan of prunes. I especially enjoy them for a post-dinner treat smothered in peanut butter. YUM.

Carbs: I’ve had a love/hate relationship with carbs in the past, but this week carbohydrates are on my good side. I’ve been extra careful about adding them into my diet and getting enough to fuel my tough workouts. When you’re running 25 to 30 miles a week, carbs should be your best friend. This week I’ve made everything from Gluten Free Oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon to pancakes and Chicken & Broccoli Spaghetti with Garlic and Parmesan.

My Snuggie: It’s been super cold in Boston these past few days, but I know I can count on my purple snuggie to warm me up. Seriously, whoever invented these things is my hero.

Spicy Tuna Roll: I don’t care that it has mayonnaise. I don’t care that it’s not the healthiest of rolls. I am utterly, completely obsessed with the Spicy Tuna Roll and that is that. I could eat 5 rolls in one sitting (no joke), but I won’t.

What are you absolutely lovin’ this week?

 
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