Easter “Cotton”tails – Jelly Beantini | Peeptini

According to my Spring Bucket List, I should be coloring Easter Eggs right now.

Those of you that have been here a while may know that it kills me to put something on a list and then not do it. Seriously, I’m two days behind already on my 30-Day Fitness Challenge and I feel like such a loser that I’m forcing myself to make them all up at once tonight. You may also know that the way to make myself feel better about this laziness almost always involves sugary, sweet things. It’s a problem. Add alcohol to the mix and suddenly I feel like we’re getting close to Intervention status. But! Will you forgive me if it’s cute and it tastes good?

Easter Cottontails

Of course these were inspired by many Pinterest pins. Would you expect any less from me?

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For the Jelly Bean-tini, I combined 1 nip of Kinky blue (I didn’t name it…) with 1 nip of flavored vodka (I used Raspberry). I added a splash of grenadine and threw in a few jelly beans for good measure.

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If you’re feeling fancy, you can rim the glass with some colored sugar.

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The Peep-tini was a bit of a spontaneous creation. I grabbed a bottle of caramel-flavored coffee creamer and added 1 nip of chocolate vodka (think Cadbury Egg).

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I added 1 drop of red food coloring to make it festive. Garnish with your favorite Peep, if you have one. I personally love all my Peeps.

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So. Have one of these, then go complete two days of missed workouts on a sugar high? Or work out first and reward myself with one of these work-out-cancelling-drinks? Which is less likely to make you shake your head at me? FINE. I’ll go color eggs.

It’s That Time Again….

…time for (cue the horror music) BATHING SUIT SEASON!!

As much as I love summer, I despise this one little part of it. Shopping for them, wearing them, washing them – it’s all a pain. But it’s necessary, and in order to make it a little more bearable this year, I’m thinking of doing something crazy.

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Pinterest keeps assaulting me with these 30-day challenges and ab workouts and why-don’t-you-look-like-this?! pins, and I don’t know if I’m just weak or easily influenced, but it’s working. I haven’t really worked out since those few weeks during my year of resolutions in 2013, and I recently cancelled my gym membership, so it’s time to get creative and try something new.

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In a way, I’m a little more motivated this year to see if I can lose 5 pounds and tone up by summer because I’ve lost between 15-17 pounds since last summer. It was almost cheating because it certainly wasn’t through any grueling workouts or health food obsession, but (in the name of full disclosure over TMI) merely because I stopped taking some medication that apparently had been packing on the pounds behind the scene. Recently, I’ve tried to be a little better about portion control and sugar intake also, so that certainly helps.

Speaking of full disclosure, here’s my starting point:

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I’m not going to set some huge goal for myself because…well, because I know myself. I will get completely overwhelmed, bored, and end up quitting halfway through. I also know that 133 is right smack dab (?) in the middle of normal for my age and height and I’m not really trying to lose much, mainly to tone up what’s sticking around. So I’ve created my own 30-day challenge drawing inspiration from those on Pinterest. If after those 30 days I’ve dropped somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 pounds, great! If I’ve toned up a little bit, greater! If not, I will be that girl on the beach rocking the one-piece bathing suit with the skirt (yeah…I own one). And that’s totally fine, because BEACH. Summer! Outside! 80 degrees!!!

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I’m planning to start my first workout on Sunday. I’ll keep you updated along the way because I find I’m much more likely to accomplish something like this if I feel like I’m being held accountable for it. Anyone with me?!

Some Very Friendly Toast

It’s no secret that Dan and I frequently like to try new restaurants, and it’s even less of a mystery that I say it that way because it sounds better than “we like to eat out. a lot.”

This past Sunday was no exception. I had been dying to try The Friendly Toast since friends had raved about it years ago, but being 25-30 min away kind of kept it off of our radar most weekends. It’s a popular place and we were warned to expect at least an hour wait. We were pleasantly surprised when we pushed through the crowd to the hostess stand and discovered it was merely 35 minutes! How is that for a lesson in relativity?

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If waiting and crowded places aren’t your thing, then I wouldn’t necessarily suggest this for a weekend breakfast, but you should know that they are not my things either and I would deal with both of them again just to have this breakfast menu in from of me one more time.

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Say what?! There was also a special of oatmeal pancakes with caramelized bananas and chocolate ganache. When we walked in (and in the weeks leading up to this visit), I had my heart set on something so sweet my teeth would bleed, so this seemed perfect. I talked myself in and out of it so many times, but in the end, I decided to abandon my sugar cravings and order the breakfast burrito instead.

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I’m not entirely sure how the neon sign in my brain that’s constantly flashing “SUGAR!Carbs!Weeee!” malfunctioned that morning, but it was one of my strongest decisions in months.

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Cell phone pictures could never do it justice, but this burrito was packed with everything wonderful (I might have even spotted a unicorn in there) and the leftovers were just as great for lunch the next day. Dan was equally happy with his omelet stuffed with meats and topped with maple sour cream.

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We’ve both declared it our new favorite breakfast spot, not just for the food, but for the playlist (Blink 182 & Green Day), the decor (very Cambridge), and yes, mostly the food.

Next time I have my eye on those King Cakes!

Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

This week? So up and down. I fully intended to have a fun DIY post earlier in the week, but when the supplies I ordered came in, they were not what I expected, so I got a refund and I’m back to square one on that. Then it was my birthday, which is obviously an up, and then it was not my birthday anymore, which is kind of a down. Today started with a flat tire, but it was a quick (although expensive!) fix, and it’s Friday and I have a fun weekend planned, so more up than down!

Shall we?

(1) I’m always the last to watch these viral videos, mostly because I have the attention span of a gnat and I can’t sit still for anything longer than a flash of light, but this one has been all over social media this past week and it caught my attention. It’s too good not to share.

Kind of reminds me of this one, which is also worth watching:

(2) I’ve talked about New England Olive Oil Company before here, but I’ve found another LOVE in Concord, MA and I’m excited to be visiting them both again this weekend. The Cheese Shop had been recommended to us by a few friends and I have no idea why it took us so long to try it. It has an old-fashioned general store feel to it and everything we’ve sampled or bought so far has been incredible. It’s more than just a cheese shop – you can also get wine, gourmet jams & spreads, chocolate, and deli sandwiches there, among other things. If you’re local (or plan to be in the area), it’s definitely worth the visit!

(3) We’ve been planning our annual vacation, which seems like it’s going to be either Montreal or Washington, D.C. While D.C seems to have more for us to do, Montreal has these incredible botanical garden sculptures that I think would be great to photograph! I mean, look at these things. Ridiculous.

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(4) Speaking of D.C, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with House of Cards lately, so you can imagine my excitement at getting to tour my State House this week as part of a networking event. I have never really been interested in politics or history before, so this is kind of a new thing for me. I played the part of Obnoxious Tourist and came home with over 150 photos and a whole lot of new fun facts.

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Those have been my ups this week, what are yours?!

Easter S’mores

I know s’mores are normally a summer thing, but do you think I’m going to argue adding a second season of marshmallow and chocolate?

As soon as I saw this idea, I knew I had to try it. I added it to my Spring Bucket List to make sure it would actually happen because if it’s on a list, it has to be done. I even tried waiting to post this until closer to Easter, but since the grocery stores have been bombarding me with Peeps, Cadbury Mini Eggs, and jelly beans since the day after Valentine’s Day, I’m actually considering this an act of restraint rather than an early holiday post.

The ingredients are simple. You will need some graham crackers,

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some Peeps of your choice (the bunnies work best because they’re flatter),

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and a chocolate bar.

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I might be cheap with my graham crackers, but I don’t mess around when it comes to chocolate.

Place one Peep and a square of chocolate on top of half a cracker.

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Put them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, but make sure to keep a close eye on it. The Peep will start to expand and you want to stop it before it explodes. Think swollen bunny that ate too many hard-boiled eggs; that’s where you want to hit “stop”. Press the other half of the graham cracker on top while the Peep and chocolate are still warm. The result = ooey gooey deliciousness with a little bit of festive, pastel sparkle!

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You could also try this with a peanut butter cup instead of chocolate. And then we would be best friends.

DIY Lip Scrub

DIY lip scrub

I’ve been wanting to do a homemade beauty treatment for some time now, but I was a little weirded out by putting food on my face or in my hair. This lip scrub is perfect because what better place is there to put food if it’s not going in your mouth? Lips are the next best thing!

I am a chapstick FAH-reak and I have a tube in every pocket, purse, or drawer, but this winter has still taken a toll on my lips. I’ve been craving a good scrub, but couldn’t handle spending the money on something I knew I could make at home for pennies.

All you need are three simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry:

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1/4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar (you can also use white)
1/2 tsp honey

I only made a small amount for myself (the above will last me 4-5 scrubs), but you can adjust the recipe accordingly if you need to.

Put all the ingredients together and stir with a toothpick until blended.

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Rub a pea-sized amount onto lips and scrub lightly. Wipe off with a wet cloth or, since it’s totally edible and delicious, lick your lips! Guess which one I chose?

I couldn’t believe how soft my lips felt after using this! It was hours before I felt like I needed to pull out my trusty lip balm, and even then my lips still felt so smooth. I’m definitely a believer and can’t wait to eat…I mean try…more make-at-home beauty treatments!

Making Monday Mornings Better, One Muffin at a Time

Sundays are the shortest days of the week, right? I’m pretty sure this has been proven somewhere. Monday through Friday are never short at all, and Saturday always feels like there is so much weekend left. Then Sunday rolls around and everything you procrastinated doing is all up in your face, but all your face wants to do is stay in bed and binge-watch House of Cards.

I did manage to get a few things done today, one of which was baking these muffins so that we have something to grab and go during the week.

I didn’t follow her recipe exactly, which can sometimes be a disaster for me, but it worked out well this time. I was out of brown sugar, so I had to use “regular” white sugar, but I lessened the amount a bit. Instead of flaxseed, I used chia seeds (cut the amount in half if you do this).

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I added some raspberries, which made them all cute and colorful.

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And instead of adding the crumb topping, I sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon sugar on the top of each muffin. Because I’m lazy. Basically, I made an almost entirely different muffin than the one in the recipe, but I’m pretty pleased with the result.

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Eating one gave me just enough fuel to finish cleaning out my closet and putting together a bag of clothes to take to the consignment store. I’m pretty psyched because while “shopping” in my closet today, I found a dress that, with just a few minor alterations, can be worn to at least one of the four weddings we have this year. A second dress still had the tags on it and, miraculously, I had saved the receipt back in November when I bought it, so I will be returning that this week to get a little extra cash for some new spring things!

And just like that, Sunday was over. But at least I get to look forward to this little guy tomorrow morning.

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Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

So I guess these Friday Favorites are becoming a thing? Maybe I will run out of them soon, but right now I still get overly excited about numerous things each week, only to promptly forget about them once a new Monday rolls around. Like that QuizUp app I couldn’t stop talking about (or playing)? I got overwhelmed with all of the requests once I asked (forced.) everyone else to install it and challenge me. I don’t think I’ve opened the app since the third day I’ve had it. This is my life.

Here we go:

(1) This dialect map quiz that Dan found somewhere. So far I don’t know of anyone that it’s been wrong about. The results for most of my local friends have been Boston, Worcester, or Providence. I got Springfield, which I attribute mainly to the fact that I refer to a foot-long sandwich as a “grinder” and not a “sub”. Maybe “tag sale” has something to do with it too? So funny the difference that 100 miles makes. Also, has anyone ever heard of ANY of those other names for a sunshower? I think they made them all up.

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(2) I’ve only gotten halfway through this list of the 100 Funniest Things in the History of the Internet, but my god. Some of these are not safe for work, mostly because you will look pretty ridiculous trying not to laugh out loud. Number 3? Hysterical. I’ve seen the videos for #18, 40, and 41 before, but I just rewatched them all and I freaking love the internet.

(3) One of my absolute favorite restaurants is opening about a mile away from my apartment! I’ve loved the baked brie at British Beer Company for years, and it’s just about the only place you can order a Fruli. Which you should. Because it’s delicious.

(4) I am SO ready for Spring. I just bought this jacket at Target and I think I’m going to wear it in place of, well, everything, for the next 3 months. I just love it so much. So much that I even took a bathroom mirror selfie this morning.

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Yeah.

BUT. Then I realized that it doesn’t have side pockets for me to put my hands, phone, etc. into and this might just be a deal breaker.

What things are you loving this week?

Feed Me, I’m Irish

Are you wearing your green today?

We’re heading out to dinner tonight so that Dan can have a traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage meal for St. Paddy’s Day. While Dan does have red hair, he’s not Irish at all, and neither one of us is Catholic, but we will take any excuse to celebrate when it comes to food. We’re heading to one of our favorite places for dinner – Supino’s – and I will most definitely be getting their baked macaroni and cheese. I’m saving my green for dessert.

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I somewhat loosely based my dessert off of this recipe that I found through…where else? Pinterest, of course. I wanted something quick, green, and minty, and this sounded like just the thing.

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Somewhere along the line, my green food coloring went missing, so I had to improvise with blue and yellow.

First, I crushed the Oreos in my food processor and ended up with a crumbly cookie mess that looked like this:

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Then I spooned a little into the bottom of each dish.

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Next, I made the chocolate pudding and added mint extract and food coloring to the vanilla.

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Then I layered the pudding on top of the cookie crumbles. The only thing left was to add a (what’s another word for “dollop” because I don’t want to use that one?) of whipped cream and sprinkled a few mini chocolate chips on top.

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Looks good enough to eat, right? Good, I’m glad you agree. Because I’ve already had a few.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! How did you celebrate?

Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

Seriously? A week went by already? What the…?

This week I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth to share a new list of things that I’m loving!

(1) You know how I’m obsessed with making lists? We have a list for everything – movies we want to see, places we want to vacation to, and restaurants we want to try. Ok, so the movie list is mostly Dan’s, but the food list is obviously my favorite. This week we tried a new restaurant that just opened across the street from our apartment – Marco’s. It was delicious! A little on the expensive side compared to what we were expecting for something that was advertised as a pizza and crepe place, but their menu is a bit more upscale than that. I had the gnocchi pesto and Dan went with spaghetti and meatballs. We split a nutella, banana, and strawberry crepe for dessert and I’m still having dreams about it at night. Definitely will be going back there.

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(2) I’m not really “loving” this, I’m just loving how absurd it is. I mean, we all know these things are photoshopped by now, right? But if you’re gonna do it, at least make me believe it! This girl looks like she swallowed a geometry text book and has angles and polygons and tangents (oh my!) popping out all over the place. I mean…no one noticed this? What I AM loving are some of the tweets at the bottom of that article – “Target Photoshop fail looks like it was done in Paint…by a 5-year-old”. Ha!

(3) What a fun idea! It’s like a Birchbox, but made specifically for you! I love getting mail, so I definitely want to participate with this, although it appears I missed the sign up for March. Bummer. I will be looking for the June sign up, and in the meantime, it looks like I need to start Instagramming more to make sure I qualify since my last pic was 2 weeks ago…

(4) This.

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It hasn’t been here all week, but it’s slowly bringing itself around again and staying past 6pm. When it finally does come back, I’m going to tie it to a chair and shackle its ankles so that it can NEVER.leave.again!

What was your favorite part of this week?

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