This Week’s Menu

You’re all going to think that my blog was hacked when I say this, but I saw TWO movies this weekend. Whole ones. In the theater. And I’m still here to tell you about it!

Spiderman 2 was actually not that bad, once I could stop referring to it as Superman and making Dan want to suffocate me in my sleep. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, especially since it’s two-and-a-half hours long, but it was actually decent. Godzilla on the other hand…that felt like the full two hours and then some more two hours, followed by an additional two hours. But the 3D was neat?

I am officially the best girlfriend ever and should have no trouble dragging Dan to see The Fault in Our Stars with me.

Along with all this movie-watching comes theater food, candy, and dinners on the run. I’ve had a lot of jelly beans, pizza, ice cream, and french fries this weekend. So for the week ahead, I wanted to plan some healthier meals. Of course, I went straight to Pinterest for inspiration.

For breakfast this week, these Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Protein Muffins will be an easy, healthy option to grab on our way out the door.

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For lunch, I plan to combine these two salads into one that I can take to work and enjoy with cottage cheese, broccoli, cucumber, grapes, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds.

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One of the two dinners on the menu for the week is this Strawberry Basil Balsamic Pizza.

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The other I let Dan choose and he picked these Broccoli Parmesean Meatballs. I think these might be good with some whole wheat pasta and olive oil, or maybe a spaghetti squash.

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If we decide we need a side dish to go with our meal, these Cinnamon Vanilla Sweet Potatoes look delicious!

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And of course, I need a sweet treat to follow every.single.meal. This Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding looks great on it’s own, but I might even throw a few chocolate chips on top to make it even better.

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I’m really excited to try all of these! They all seem like healthy options without being boring or bland. What’s on your menu for the week? Have you tried any Pinterest recipes that you’ve really loved?

Quick Little Updates

With my 30 Day Fun Fitness Challenge coming to a close, I thought I would just cram the results and a whole bunch of other updates into one post. I’m all about saving the internet environment.

30 Day Fun Fitness Challenge

So this was fun. At first. But like with all things, I started to get bored towards the end and just kind of…gave up. I’m the kind of person who likes to see results. It even makes me happy to clean my bathroom and be able to see how great everything looks after, even if it’s only for five minutes. But we all know that workouts don’t yield immediate results. And I do not have patience.

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I did pretty well up until the end, only skipping two days and eventually making them up on a different day. I’ve noticed that I really do NOT like going to the apartment complex (or any) gym and would much rather work out in my living room. I also noticed that I most enjoyed the workouts that included a mix of activities, like the ones in pink. Admittedly, some of these were fairly easy and I would probably make them more challenging if I ever did this again, but I liked having a set number of things to accomplish and pushing through them before I had a chance to get bored.

In the end, I didn’t lose any weight (in fact I’m up to 134!), nor do I really feel any differently, but maybe I just needed to give it more than 30 days (ok, fine, 25)? Or stop eating cookies? I’m not sure which is the better (or worse?) option.

Spring Bucket List

This one isn’t over yet, and let’s be serious, it really has just begun. I think we’ve had maybe four actual spring-like days so far, so I’m going to be cramming a lot of these in within the last five weeks left of the season.

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You may notice that coloring Easter eggs is not crossed off. Is it acceptable to do this long after the Easter Bunny has packed up and begun his 364-day vacation from delivering baskets? I just wasn’t in the mood to make a mess of my kitchen, and then I couldn’t find a half-dozen white eggs at my grocery store, and then we decided that no one would even EAT hard-boiled eggs, yadda yadda yadda.

I’m working on my Summer Bucket List right now, but I’m not sure how practical it is to have 100+ things to do in a 93-day period (I counted.), so I’m trying to narrow that one down a little. It’s soooooo HARD. I add seven for every one I cut. Typical.

Weekly Photo Challenge

This is definitely my favorite challenge. We’re only three weeks in, but we gained a friend, so now there are three of us taking and sharing photos every week based on a changing theme. The first week’s theme was Spring:

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Followed by Architecture:

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And here’s a sneak peek at the current week, Transportation:

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That’s what’s up around here! Have any updates of your own? Leave them in the comments below along with your picks for what absolutely MUST be on a Summer Bucket List!

My Mint Green Life

Last month I went on a bit of a shopping spree and noticed a little trend when I started unloading my bags – mint green hoodie, mint jeans, mint dress, mint pajamas, mint tank. I think I was just dying for it to hurry up and please be spring already, and now that it is finally FINALLY here, I think my closet definitely looks the part.

But I can’t stop.

So here are a few more minty things on my (always-growing) list:

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(1) Sandals | ModCloth – I have a feeling I will be adding these to my shoe rack very soon. I’m also on the lookout for a pair of mint flats, maybe even with some scalloping details, but wayyyy more in my price range than these.

(2) Pillows | Kalstek Photography (via Etsy) – I think these are so pretty, but I’m not sure they would look right on my black couches. I may just have to add a new couch to the list as well…

(3) Island Spa Candle | Yankee Candle – If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m a sucker for candles. This one would smell great AND look good while doing it.

(4) Notebook | Zazzle – SO. MANY. CUTE. Notebooks. I want to write in them all! Lists upon lists upon lists! Ok, moving on.

(5) Earrings | Elisabeth Ashlie Jewelry (via Etsy) – This jewelry line is created by another blogger that I follow, Lauren Elizabeth, and I really am not lying when I say that I love almost everything in her etsy shop. It’s somehow vintagey and modern all at the same time, and the colors are all so pretty.

(6) Necklace | Anne Emma Jewelry (via Etsy) – I’ve been on the lookout for a necklace like this one. Maybe a little more jeweled, but this one would be an excellent backup plan if I don’t find that. Or, you know, buy two?

(7) Purse | DSW (via ShopStyle) – I was walking through the mall a few days ago and my purse BROKE. Just fell right off my shoulder. So this is more of a necessity than a want. Right? That’s what I’m telling myself.

(8) Phone Cover | Rove Studio (via Etsy) – I can’t. I just. So gorgeous. Please show up in my mailbox.

Also on the list – mint chocolate chip ice cream. Immediately.

Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

Haven’t done one of these in about a month! Here’s what I love this week (which will most likely be totally different next week because, hi, have you met me?)

(1) Bevcooks on Instagram – she is hysterical. She’s a food blogger turned mommy-er to a set of twins and the captions she comes up with are a riot. Literally laugh-out-loud funny. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that she has lots of good material to work with. This is one of my favorites:

"Dude you would not believe what's going on with this red boat." "Whatever, these 8 pears are blowing my mind."
“Dude you would not believe what’s going on with this red boat.” “Whatever, these 8 pears are blowing my mind.”

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(2) This Green Tea & Bamboo candle that I got at Target. I can’t find the link to it on Target’s website, which is going to be a problem for me because I need these in bulk. When I first smelled it, the scent reminded me of something and it took me DAYS of inhaling it every five seconds before I finally figured it out – a deodorant that I used to wear. I know, I know, I’m really not selling it well, but it’s such a clean, refreshing scent. If you’re in Target and you come across this, give it a good sniff. And buy me 12, please.

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(3) So by now everyone has seen the Jimmy Fallon lip sync battle with Emma Stone, right? That video set off a domino effect for me a few nights ago, and it ended three hours later with a tub of Trader Joe’s ice cream and the sad fact that I had seen every internet video in existence. Well, ok, only the ones with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake in them. First, I watched every lip sync battle (there are currently four unless you know something I don’t). Then, I watched every History of Rap (currently five), which led to every Evolution of Dance, which led to clips from their SNL appearance together, and finally ended with JT doing impressions of Jimmy on his show. Did I miss anything?

(4) Speaking of Trader Joe’s, I feel like that’s the only place we shop for food anymore. If I cooked ever, that might be different, but we really can get all we need from TJs most weeks. The thing I’ve been loving the most from our recent shopping haul is the Cranberry Almond Grain Medley. I’ve only eaten it cold so far, but their flyer suggests warming it up and eating it for breakfast in place of oatmeal, so that will be happening soon. I also love most of their frozen pizzas, especially the mini ones because I feel “healthier” when I eat just one, and their Beef-less Ground Beef, which I made insanely delicious nachos from the other night.

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What are your Friday favorites? Food, fun, or even alliteration, maybe?

Weekly Photo Challenge

I think there is something seriously wrong with me.

I get stressed out every summer because it seems like we have things to do every weekend (4 weddings this year!) and I don’t have much time to myself. They’re all fun things – birthday parties, vacations, baseball games, weddings, concerts, etc. – so I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but for someone who really values that time at home just spent being lazy and curled up with a cat and a book, it sometimes puts me in panic mode. Who is going to do all the cleaning?? All the relaxing?? All the nothing??

So what do I do? I make more plans! Commit to more things!! Me. I make them. Myself. This girl.

I will never learn.

Having a Spring Bucket List and a 30 Day Workout Challenge going on right now wasn’t enough, so now I’m part of a Weekly Photo Challenge! A friend and I decided that we need a little kick in the butt to make us get out there and take some photos. I am all for a little bit of accountability and, frankly, if I didn’t have this blog, I don’t think I would bother with those bucket lists and challenges. It’s having to commit to something publicly that keeps me motivated because I don’t want to come back to you guys and say “hey, guess what? I suck. I quit.”

So. Weekly Photo Challenge. We’re going to pick a new theme every Friday and give ourselves 1 week to take a few pictures related to that theme. Then on the following Friday, we will share our best work and pick a new theme. This first week’s theme is Spring!

Here are a few of my favorite Spring photos that I took last year. I’m hoping to be able to step up my game a little bit this year and end up with some that I like even better than these.

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Stay tuned. July’s theme might be “my couch” just to make sure that I actually get to see it for a bit…

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.