Archive of ‘NicNacs’ category

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.


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.


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:


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!!!

30days-page-001 (1)

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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



(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.









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

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.

dialect map

(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.



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?

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.


(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.


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?

Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

Here is a quick little list of things I’m losing my mind over this week:

This freaking app. A while back, I must have read about QuizUp somewhere and joined a mailing list for it because this week I received an email telling me the Android version of the trivia app was ready for download. There’s nothing for me to write after that last sentence because nothing has happened in my life since. Constant trivia games (they’re quick, 7-question quizzes on every topic you could imagine), challenging friends, and checking to see how many more wins I need to get The Legionary achievement bonus.

Speaking of apps, I’ve seen this one talked about a few times on Facebook this week and I’m pretty intrigued. The technology is explained a little better here. My Goodreads “to-read” shelf has over 130 books on it, and that’s only because I cleaned it out last weekend, so anything to help me read EVERY BOOK EVER is worth a shot. So crazy how you actually kind of get used to that last one the more you stare at it. Science, man.


Have you ever gotten really excited about…vinegar? It’s not something I ever would have expected to be fanatical about, but I’m so psyched that we’re heading out to New England Olive Oil Company today for a tasting. Ok, and to buy a bunch of things. You’ve probably seen their balsamic vinegars and olive oils in some of my food pictures because I use them all the time. I first discovered this place a couple of years ago and I usually grab a few bottles each time I’m there. I would definitely recommend the Aged Fig Balsamic and the White Peach Balsamic. I’ve also tried one of their olive oils and we’re heading out there today because they’ve added a line of specialty sauces and pestos. Yum!


Finally, I am obsessed with the LHCalligraphy Instagram feed. Yes, they look amazing, but click on one of the videos and watch her create something. She makes it look so easy! I think I’ve finally watched every one. It’s my new Netflix.

What things are you excited about this week?

Spring Bucket List

I swear the temperature in my apartment rose seven degrees just from designing this. I’d like to think some snow melted, too.

Spring 2014 Bucket List-page-001

The second March was on my calendar, I decided it was Spring enough. I can’t wait any longer for sunshine, green grass, and just that whole feeling of newness. What’s funny is that even though I am not a fan of birds and flowery smells, when given the choice of these versus snow and cold, suddenly I can’t wait for all that chirping outside my window. Until it actually starts. Grass is always greener, or something like that…

Speaking of grass, this bucket list is full of all the things I want to experience from now until Summer, when I’m sure a new (and much longer) bucket list will be made. Ever since last winter when I did my Holiday Bucket List, I’ve been a little obsessed. It’s just such a fun way to make sure I really enjoy everything the season has to offer. Plus, I really like lists. So, there’s that.

What’s on your list for Spring? Did I miss anything?

Longer Weekend

Thanks to a whole bunch of Presidents that I wasn’t around to vote for, I had today off, but as everyone knows, “long weekend” is one of the truest oxymorons there is. Or, untruest I guess, by definition.

Let’s start with the part where I make sense.

Friday was Valentine’s Day, so we went out for a nice dinner and then came home to watch a movie. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know this roughly translates to “added another title to my list of Movies That End with a Scene from the Back of My Eyelids.”

Saturday we went out for breakfast and to do a few errands before the big snowstorm. Which big snowstorm you ask? I have no idea, I’ve lost track. I did end up finding some mats for our bathroom floor, smoothie ingredients, and a bridesmaid dress for my sister’s upcoming wedding.


Sunday we decided to be a little adventurous and head to Twin River Casino. The “adventurous” part has to do with seeing how much secondhand smoke you can breathe in before giving up and going to the local mall instead. It was there that I finally ended my two-year long search for brown boots!


I got a great deal on them, even if I didn’t buy them with winnings from our casino adventure!

From there we drove back up to Boston to check out the Frost Bar. Because it’s not cold enough OUTside.


It is a bit expensive (and a LOT cold), but we knew going into it that it was likely a one-time thing. It was still fun to see all the sculptures and enjoy the experience, even if the glasses were made from ice and I was more than a little concerned my lips would end up stuck to them.


After that full day, we came home and said “well I’m exhausted, let’s discover that our cat needs to be taken to the emergency vet where we will stay until 1am yayyyyy!” Actually, I don’t remember saying that. This little guy was such a trooper though, and he’s feeling much better today.


To enjoy my final day off today, I met my mom for some shopping, lunch, chatting, and gelato. I bet you can’t guess which one was my favorite? Wrong! It’s my mom :)

Back to the office tomorrow, unless snowstorm #793,062 can pull through for me. How did you spend your “long” weekend?

What Are You Reading?

Another snow day for me today! My office NEVER used to close for weather, but in the last two years we have had several snow days. While I do enjoy them (not going to work, hello?!), I’ve spent a good part of the afternoon pinning things to my Pinterest vision board that make me think of summer. I’m just kind of over the snow and the cold this year. The unexpected day at home is the one good thing that comes from it, but I’m ready for the bonfires, flip flops, s’mores, and nights by the water with good company and a fruity drink.


And obviously the ice cream.

With all of this free time, I’ve also been doing a lot of reading. It’s one of my goals for 2014 to read a lot more and I have an entire Goodreads list of books that I hope will someday make their way into my hands.

I’m currently reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. I’ve read two of her other books and loved, loved, LOVED them both (Dark Places and Gone Girl), so I hope this one is just as good.


I just finished Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy, which was a book I saw for sale at this place when Dan and I did an espionage-themed adventure there. I’ve been kind of obsessed with all things CIA since binge-watching three seasons of Homeland a few weeks ago, but the book was just okay. I liked getting the inside scoop on the life of a spy and some of the things they go through in training (I would crap my pants.), but I found the author to be kind of arrogant and off-putting, and a lot of it was just her whining about the job that she originally tells you is her “dream job”. It was a quick read though, and fairly interesting.

Next I’m thinking of reading one of the Rainbow Rowell novels because the entire internet won’t shut up about them and I need to know what I’m missing. Have you read one? I will probably go with Eleanor & Park first, but Attachments sounds like it might be fun.

Another book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time is January First, but I feel like it might be a little depressing. I just love true psych stories though, especially when it’s just a little bit twisted.

So that’s my list for now. What books are you reading, or wanting to read? I need to make a list for my next snow day (Monday?!)

Let’s Play 1,825 Questions!

A few weeks ago I saw this book in a friend’s Instagram photo and I was intrigued. This was back when I was still trying to figure out whether I wanted to do weekly resolutions again (spoiler alert: nope.), and before I decided on my goals for 2014. This seemed like a fun idea that wouldn’t be too time-consuming, but would also get me through the entire year (five times!) with a small little daily project in case I missed my weekly ones.

Because I can’t just enjoy free time, I have to plan something/start a project/make a to-do list to fill it. There is probably at least one neurosis currently residing in my brain.

Anyway, I ordered a Q&A a Day journal of my own and am loving it so far! Some of the questions can get pretty deep and you find yourself needing a LOT more room, and some are just cute, simple questions like the ones below.


I keep the journal on my nightstand and have written in it every night since. It really only takes a minute or two to answer the question, but I think it’s going to be so much fun to go back and see my answers, especially five years from now!


You know, when I’m old. I’m sure I’ll be mortified by some of the answers my SO 5-years-ago self wrote down.

In case you’re wondering, waking up was rough, and what I’m obsessed with right now is organizing (post coming soon!), Homeland and the CIA (which explains the other book on my nightstand), and filing my taxes (I’m a geek.) What are you obsessed with?

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