’12

It’s easy to be discouraged.  Especially in this day and age, when I feel as though comparisons exist on every level for every aspect of life.  Especially today, when a tragedy like Sandy Hook hangs in the air, asking all of us to question … well, everything.

It is easy to be discouraged.  It is much, much harder to stay encouraged.

This year has been a tough year for me.  Tougher than most, and it definitely tested my character, and who I felt I was as a human.  Which is hilarious, because I was so convinced that 2012 would be my year.  God has a sense of humor, I suppose.

This December, however, has been a bright spot, and I am grateful for all that I have enjoyed.  At the beginning of the month, the man and I headed up to his hometown, and while he and his dad headed out to hunt (not my thing, but it’s part of his family tradition) his mom and I journeyed to “Dickens of a Christmas” in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.  Wellsboro is a cute little town still sporting gas street lamps, and dozens upon dozens of vendors lined the main street, everyone dressed in period costumes, and selling their wares.  It was a really good time (I even had funnel cake!) and I was two pairs of recycled sweater mittens richer when we left.

This Santa was fantastic.  Seriously.  My picture does his suit’s details no justice at all.

 

 

And a choir!

 

 

 

December is one of those months where every weekend feels booked up, and ours are no exception.  After another week of work (bleh), we headed down to DC for a birthday party ~ the man’s oldest friend from high school”s (well, birth if we’re getting specific) son turned three, and we made the trek to celebrate.  Then back to my parents house, to pick up Lucy, and spend some time with the fam.

On Sunday, after a delicious breakfast, we headed home to unwind and relax.  Unfortunately, (please read with sarcasm) the Steelers trouncing by the Chargers was not televised but we were able to watch the Giants domination of the Saints.  Since the weather had been iffy all day, we decided to take a drive and enjoy some Christmas lights (alright, the truth is, the man thought the lights would look cool in the fog).  We discovered a legitimate Candy Cane Lane right near our house, but the true highlight were the mansions on the man’s drive to work, which were decked to the nines.  And then, as Bing Crosby crooned “White Christmas” to us (my favorite Christmas voice, and movie) John very sweetly asked me to marry him.

I, of course, said yes.  

We were able to celebrate all week, as my birthday fell on Wednesday (which I spent in NYC and got to see my bro!), and we threw our Second Annual Holiday Party (successful!) the following Saturday.  It has been a very exciting, happy week, despite the horrific and incomprehensible tragedy of Sandy Hook.

I even made my very first roast chicken!  I used a Martha Stewart recipe (which I normally would eschew for various, valid reasons) and it was amazing.  In case you are feeling up for a hearty, cold weather meal, check this out:

What you need: 

1 whole chicken

4 lemons

S & P

Red bliss potatoes

rosemary

Cherry tomatoes

Thyme

EVOO

Crumbled feta (although  Martha used blue)

Baby spinach

Mustard

1 shallot

 

What to do: 

Okay, so here’s the deal.  About a year and a half ago, I caught this episode of Martha Stewart, and she was interviewing a woman from Glamor magazine.  They were discussing a new list of recipes being published “100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know.”  I wrote down some sketchy instructions of what to do, and then never got around to making it for – as previously stated – a year and a half.  I’m going to share what I did, and I have to say, it turned out pretty well.

First, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.

Then, I emptied out the chicken, rinsed it off, and patted it dry.  I stuffed the interior with two full lemons (which I rolled on the counter to soften up), and using the remaining lemon, covered the exterior with lemon juice and a generous coating of salt & pepper.

Next up, I dropped the oven temp to 350, and put the bird in upside down for 15 minutes. During that time, I lined two cookie sheets with tin foil, and cut up the baby red bliss potatoes and the cherry (or grape ~ I’m not particular) tomatoes and spread them (separately) on each sheet.

 

After the chicken had cooked for 15 minutes, I flipped it, and cooked it another 1 hour and 45 minutes (despite Martha saying it would be 1 hr 15 mins max … oh well!).

After I flipped the chicken, I returned my concentration to the rest of the meal.  I seasoned both potatoes and tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper but used rosemary on the potatoes and thyme on the tomatoes.  I popped the potatoes into the oven when I thought that I had about 45 minutes left on the chicken (I wanted to make sure the potatoes were cooked, and the edges crispy.

Then I prepared the salad ~ which was pretty easy.  I crumbled up some feta, and tossed it with the baby spinach (and mixed greens ~ the man likes variety).  The tomatoes I added last (after the potatoes finished cooking, I put them in the oven for about 10-15 mins).  And while I was figuring out timing on everything, I made a little mustard vinaigrette ~ whisking together 1 tbsp mustard, 1/3 cup olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon and a finely diced shallot.

When the thermometer finally popped in the chicken, the man and I pulled it out and allowed it to rest for ten (ish) minutes ~ probably longer.  It helps maintain the moisture.

And we served our potatoes with a small side of sour cream (because that’s how we like it!).

All in all, it was a pretty impressive meal (to me at least!) of roast chicken, roasted rosemary potatoes, and a roasted thyme tomato salad with a mustard vinaigrette. The funniest part of it all?  The recipe for the chicken was called “Engagement Chicken” and I made mine the Friday before the man proposed.   Pretty hilarious (and, upon hearing this, he told me to stop using voodoo on him!).

I redeemed myself with dessert ~ really simple, and I promise, it will be a hit.

Apple Crescents (or, Individual Apple Pie Bites)

What you need: 

1 pkg Crescent Rolls

1 apple, cut into thin slices and tossed in lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Clove

What to do: 

1. I made a mixture of the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.

2. I spread 1 tbsp of the mixture in each of the opened crescent rolls, topped with an apple slice and rolled up.

3.  I cooked the rolls according to the package directions.  (PS.  Be prepared for clean up ~ cooked sugar is not anyone’s friend in that regard).

 

I guess you could top each with a little dollop of Cool Whip, or add some ice cream.  We enjoyed them plain, and they were delish.

And now, I must get to bed.  My eyelids are heavy, and it’s not even halfway through the week.  If I don’t get back to this space before 2013, the man, Lucy Lou and I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons, & lots of love and good wishes for the new year.  Oh, and of course, happy experimenting in the kitchen.  🙂

oh sandy

The shelves at the grocery store last night ~ I stopped in for a couple things, and didn’t realize how serious the storm was.  Yowza.

Today, the man and I are both working from home, which has been nice ~if you can use ‘nice’ during a category 1 hurricane.  Lucy was very excited at first, but halfway through the morning, she realized that we were both more interested in our computers, and she retreated to her bed to sulk.

I cannot imagine how my mother must have felt when I pulled stuff like that.  As a doggy mummy, I felt wretched.  Finally I set up on the couch, so she could snuggle up beside me.

We just heard that one of the tall ships ~ the Bounty, off the coast of North Carolina ~ has gone down. The crew was evacuated due to Sandy, and 14 are safe, while 2 are missing.  The more we addictively we watch the weather channel, the more worrying it becomes.   I’m dreading when the power finally goes out ~ it’s been predicted to be out for long periods of time.  Which makes me very anxious.

Luckily, so far all the immediate family members are okay, which makes me feel better.

On a lighter note, we had a great tailgate at PSU this weekend, despite the very disappointing loss to Ohio State.  My little bro has a Halloween addiction, so he had pumpkins and was dressed in an amazing costume ~ we also had candy and Halloween cupcake cookies (seriously ~ ah.may.zing) plus incredible pulled pork, butcher sausages and multiple other munchies.

We had additional seats for this game, so the man and I got to watch from the west side of the stadium (a rarity for me ~ we’ve been in EF/ EFU my whole life!).

My daddy, me and Richie Tenenbaum, er, my little brother.

The man and I at half time.  It was a White Out, and we were a little tired (we certainly look it!).  We managed to rally for the second half (it didn’t help PSU) and we were there to sing the Alma Mater post-game.  Bill O’Brien is a cool, classy coach.

My brother’s pumpkins … sadly, we had to leave them behind.  But they were pretty cool.  And he carved them all free-hand, which was uber impressive.  He’s a talented guy, my little bro.

 

dinner date downtown

Every once in a while, the man and I enjoy dinner on the town.  This past weekend, after the executive decision was made that I would have to run a half marathon another day (Side note: I feel a little like a 90-year-old because I’ve been having issues with my hip … it hurts!) we decided to have a date night.

We took Lucy Lou for a nice hike at Valley Green (she loves running off the leash and Valley Green has a doggy paradise) in the morning and then headed downtown to meander.  I had to stop in at work and afterwards, we just enjoyed the city on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

And then we hit up an amazing restaurant for dinner.  We went early (further cementing my 90-year-old status) but on the plus side, we got great service at a busy restaurant on a Saturday night, and we got home before Lucy decided to disown us as terrible doggy parents.

We arrived shortly after the restaurant opened, and while perusing the wine list, discovered our favorite local vineyard (previously only featured at one restaurant -now closed- in Chicago, Charlie Trotters).  Then we made the executive decision to do the Chef’s Tasting Menu.

Delish.

I won’t go into detail about each course ( two amuse-bouche, four full courses, a cheese course, dessert and a final bite) ~ but it was an incredible and worthwhile experience.

I will say that I loved the autumn spaetzel and New York Game Hen (the fourth course), the ridic Fois Gras Tart and Cranberry Compote (first full course) and the Sweet Pignoli Cookies with lemon curd perhaps a little more than the rest.  But what an experience.  Our server was equal parts friendly conversationalist and informed foodie (side note: I actually hate that word but use it here with much respect for her knowledge and enthusiasm).  We received a complimentary glass of bubbles for our Tasting Menu order as well as granola to bring home and had an incredible dinner.  I could wax poetic about it for paragraphs but I feel as though that would be extremely excessive.

Something else that was impressive to me ~ the cheese course, which consisted of three Pennsylvania cheeses, one New York and one Virginia.  Pretty locally awesome.  Loved it.

A detail that also made my heart swell?  The quote at the bottom of the menu ~ by George Eliot (considered one of the most prominent writers of the Victorian Era).

more adventures in wyoming

 

When we planned this trip, we had a couple ideas of what we wanted to see and/or do.  We didn’t even get half of it in, but we did do several things we really enjoyed.

A few highlights …

One of the most touristy places in town, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, had saddle bar stools.  I thought they were a riot.  And we each had ourselves a bottle of Moose Drool Brown Ale.  Yum.  

 

How adorable is this?  And on the other side? His little hiney hanging out that back.  The pictures aren’t very good though, because the lighting was difficult.  You will just have to imagine!

We checked out a local brewery (we tried to find a vineyard … but the only one that exists didn’t have a tasting room … bummer).  I had an amazing Sour Ale (my new obsession) and the man enjoyed a couple really tasty brews.  Well worth walking all over the quaint village of Jackson trying to find it!  We also witnessed a very beautiful moon on our way home.

 

 

 

 

We rode the Red Tram to the top of the ski slopes and, despite my paralyzing fear of heights, enjoyed the scenery, the chilly temps and the strong gusts of wind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tram, and a view backward during the ride up. 

 

The valley below. 

 

 

 

 

The man out on the platform that I couldn’t walk out to ~ I even had to enter the Tram to go back down through the out-door.  (I was literally paralyzed by fear ~ the drop off was very steep, and the wind was very strong!)

 

 

 

The Teton Village is at 6100 ft, and the Tram takes 12 and a half minutes to travel two and half miles ‘up’ to 10, 450 ft.  As I mentioned, it was chilly ~ especially as it was about 72 degrees when we hopped on the Tram at the bottom!  Luckily, I was prepared with a scarf and a jacket!

 

 

My favorite pic of us from the vacation.  Too bad there is zero scenery in it!

 

 

 

 

We saw the sun rise over the Grand Tetons, saw animal herds, and enjoyed as much of the scenery as we could.  Every day since we’ve left, I’ve wished we were still there, breathing in the fresh, dry Wyoming air, and watching the sun creep over the peaks of the mountains, the colors of the slopes changing and morphing as the sun rises in the sky.

 

Entering the park on National Park Day!

At this point, we’d already seen a few elk lazily crossing the highway in the pitch dark.  Those guys are pretty big! 

 

 

 

Another elk herd in Grand Teton National Park.  

 

Even driving is beautiful.

 

 

I know all the pictures of the mountains are probably starting to look alike, but it was just so magical.  I wish that pictures could show what we saw ~ what it felt like to look up and feel so very small.  

 

 

Saturday early morning drive ~ all bundled so we could drive with the roof off and enjoy the scenery.

Driving.  

The sun rising. 

 

 

 

More mountains as the sun came up.  Aren’t the colors incredible? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drove around Jenny Lake, and Leigh Lake and up to Signal Mountain Lodge, along the shores of Jackson Lake.  We had an amazing breakfast at the Signal Mountain Lodge (Trout Eggs Benny ~ so good); we climbed down to the bank of Jenny Lake (still hazy with smoke from fires a few weeks before we arrived) and up to the Signal Mountain Summit where we could see the mountain range and the lakes and the valley.  Everything was more beautiful than the last ~ it was constant feasting for the eyes.

Jenny Lake. 

 

 

 

 

Jenny, Leigh and Jackson Lakes are glacier lakes, so they are over 200 feet deep in places. 

 

 

 

 

The path at Signal Mountain Summit.

 

 

 

 

Another attempt at a self-pic! Crooked mountains in the background!

 

 

On Saturday evening, after all our adventuring, and another dip in the pool and hot tubs and sauna (indulgence!) we headed out to dinner by way of the park, because this little lady was determined to see a moose.  Unfortunately, we missed major moose sightings all weekend (other people were more than happy to tell us all about their sightings, which just made me more sad that we missed seeing one!).  But we did hear several bull elks bugling as the sun went down.  It was very peaceful and the man was completely enraptured.

Mr. MOOSE! Where are you? 

 

(My artistic picture of our fruit-less search for a moose.) 

 

 

Our last sunset in Wyoming.

I’m so glad we took the time to go ~ it was a part of America I’d never experienced before, and the scale of things is so unlike anything I have encountered.  I can’t wait to go back.

 

oh purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain

This past weekend, the man and I had the great pleasure of taking a little trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  It was much-needed, and absolutely breath-taking.

Sadly, pictures do not do justice to the utter gorgeous-ness of the terrain, but I am going to share some anyway, because it was such an incredible and beautiful experience.  I can’t wait to go back.

We stayed at the Snake River Lodge and Spa, which has just undergone an ownership change, so I’m not sure how much of what we saw and enjoyed at the resort will still be intact when they re-open for the ski season this winter.  Buuut, we really loved the room, with the cozy fireplace, comfy bed and steam room shower, and the pool was amazing.  I realized I hadn’t been in a pool in years, so I was very excited about it.

We arrived at mid-day on Thursday, and we went immediately to the John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row in the Grand Teton National Park.  I had been hankering to see it in person after seeing all the stunning pictures of it.

Not quite what I was expecting, but oh my goodness, the mountains!  We were on the ground for less than 20 minutes, and we’d already seen antelope, a herd of bison and the barn I’d been day-dreaming about since before we planned the trip.

Ahhh.  Bliss!

In fact, I was so in awe of the sheer beauty of the mountains, I started taking pictures at the airport.  There are no ramps to board planes at Jackson Hole, so you exit the plane and walk across the tarmac.  The entire walk, I was gushing.  So stupendous.

We upgraded our rental,  so we spent the weekend driving a four door Jeep Wrangler with the front of the roof off.  Amazing.  I felt totally indulgent the entire time.

On Friday, after a good old-fashioned country breakfast, we drove over the Teton Pass into Idaho.  I was white-knuckled the entire time (good lord that road was steep, winding and seemingly narrow!).

  A view from the top of the Teton Pass.

A scenic trail in Idaho.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was amazing the temperature difference when we stopped at the peak of the mountains (I was also grateful to take a little break and get my feet on solid ground for a minute).

The road from a distance, heading back to Wyoming. 

 

 

 

 

The mountains in Idaho.

 

 

 

 

I was obsessed with the birch trees.

 

 

 

 

 

Bundled and picture happy. 

 

 

 

 

Sunny skies. 

 

 

 

 

The Jeep, semi-topless.  😉

 

 

 

 

Isn’t my man a cutie?

 

 

 

 

On Saturday we took full advantage of National Park Day (all parks are free!) and got up before the sun to try to catch the herds of animals moving.  We saw a lot of elk, including two monster bull elks ~ gi-normous racks.  I’m not sure how those animals hold their heads up.  It was amazing to watch and to see the majesty of the park as it came to life.   Those pics will be up tomorrow!  I will say that Mr. Moose eluded us.  I guess we’ll have to go back!

 

snap shots

Back in August, before I fell off the map, the man and I took part in one of the coolest things I’ve done in awhile.

Diner En Blanc

We dressed in white, brought all our white accoutrement with us (yes, including tables and chairs and dishes and silverware and … well, you get the point) and enjoyed dinner al fresco with new friends in one of the coolest spots in Philly (to me ~ but I’m a sucker for the Ben Franklin Parkway …. and Logan Square situates you smack dab between the Philadelphia Art Museum and City Hall … gorgeous).

The restaurant generously catered for us, and we were lucky enough to have awesome dining neighbors, who shared smoked Cornish hen and lobster salad.  We shared some French sparkling rose’, so it almost equalled out (we were the big winners … the Cornish hen was ridic).

Had I had my shiznit together, I would have talked a lot about it … but I didn’t, and life has been trucking by, faster than I’ve been prepared for it.

Here’s the thing.  In July, both my mother and I (to a lesser degree) had huge health diagnosis’.  And even though I would like to be half the woman my mother is – she who soldiers on with a smile, great attitude and tons of energy to spare – I, woefully, fall far short.  It’s been tough ~ not necessarily due to my own health, but getting my brain securely around the truth about my mother’s health. Difficult, heart-breaking, scary, unknown, overwhelming, surreal … those are some of the words I can muster up in the moment.

So, a person definitely loses time when focused so singularly on something so utterly important.

On top of all that, football season started.  And football season came with baggage this year.  First, the baggage of what it means to be a Penn Stater.  Second, the baggage of living with a man whose team won the Super Bowl last year.  I totally understand that some people may read this and think … wait a second.  She is prioritizing football right up there with health issues.

No.  And yes.  No, nothing in my life is even close to being a priority like my mother. I am not going to wax lyrical, but seriously – if you have had a moment in your life like this, then you can understand the level of importance and also intensity.  Aka, unmatched. Buuuuut ….. Yes, football is a priority in my and the man’s life.  That’s who we are, that’s what we do … it’s a part of why our relationship works so well.  Mutual interests and understanding.

Additionally, Miss Lucy and I listened to part of a very interesting program on NPR a few weeks ago, and it cranked up the cogs in my brain.  Essentially (and I really wish I’d written this stuff down at the time) the program was focusing on social media, and society’s new ‘obsession’ (for lack of the correct word) with appearances.

What I mean by this is that instead of people working on who they are as people, inherently, on the inside …. we, as a society, are more concerned with how we appear to be.  Just stop and think about it for a minute.

Every picture, every status update, every blog post.  We present to the viewing virtual world the person we want to be ~ the person we want people to think we are.

Listening to the program made me stop dead and really examine what I do, and why I do it.  I had an internal battle.  “Well, of course I only share the good stuff … that’s what I’m supposed to do … focus on the positive, enjoy the good parts of my life, etc etc etc …” These were some of my thoughts.  Then I really began to mull it over… who did I want to be? What kind of impression does my writing leave of me … as a person?

Could I keep blogging?  Or was it all a charade?

Seriously.  I’m a huge overthinker.  But …. something about this line of thought really struck a chord with me.  Awhile ago, I got completely bent out of shape reading a generic criticism on twitter ~ but the criticism said pretty much what NPR said, just in a much snarkier way.

Hey, look at how great my life is ~ hey, look at the awesome things I cook ~ hey, look at my adorable dog/cat/hamster/child ~ hey, look at the cool places I go to with my super cool boyfriend/fiance/husband/soul mate ~ hey, check out my awesome perfect amazing everything  … blah blah blah.  Trust me, no one wants to see a status/tweet/instagram/blog post about the fact that I stepped in dog do-do this evening when I took Lucy out for a potty break.   It’s not cool or perfect or quirky or fun that my puppy has a sensitive digestive system and the man and I deal with her stinky ‘perfume’ and soft poos on a daily basis.  It’s slightly depressing and comes across as ‘please give me some sympathy’ if I posted pictures of my three-day IV line this summer when I had to inject myself with meds every afternoon.  But those are truths ~ those of part of my life.  And I would rather be vulnerable on here, but honest … instead of insincere and a projection of what I think I should be.

I want to always be working on who I am on the inside, who I am inherently (and trust me, there is a lot that could use some polishing … or to begin, some heavy sanding, because it could be a two (or more??) step process…).  I have a wicked temper, and I know that I don’t hide my emotions very well (I actually consciously think about this at work when I know my face looks like I-can-not-believe-you-are-saying-this-to-me and my whole body tenses … I am not proud of those moments). I also don’t want to blog because I need to ‘say’ something  … because I want to ‘project’ something about who I should/want to be or … crazy thought, am.  I want to blog the truth of my existence.

When I started this, I was learning to cook.  I’ve gotten okay in the intermittant months from them to now.  I truly enjoy being in the kitchen and preparing something for a group of people.  I think some of it boils down to what made me love the stage (quick recap, I have a degree in theatre).  I love the satisfaction of making something and receiving kudos because people enjoy it.  That’s not the most flattering thing about me ~ but it’s honest.  And I decided ~ when I opened up this blog and recommitted to it ~ that if I did nothing else, I was going to be myself.  You guys have seen that lovely quote “Better to be a first-rate version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else.”  I think that includes a second-rate version of who you think you should be.

I am who I am who I am.  And I want to try my darnedest to stay true to that.

On a lighter note…

The man and I are super in love with green juice.  Jump on that band-wagon.  It’s the bomb-diggity.

We are taking our very first vacay together next week and I am so excited I can barely concentrate.  We are hopping on a plane to Jackson Hole, WY and there are so many things we want to do, I don’t know how we are going to fit it in, or what will make the cut.

What I’m sure of? A romantic dinner with the man at the Snake River Grill (the chef was a James Beard Award nominee, the menu and wine list are ridic, and I’m super duper psyched …. my wallet is not, but just this once, I am going to ignore her protestations!).  I don’t know that I am going to be very productive until then, but I will try!  Lucy and I have a half marathon we’re training for (okay, okay, I’m the only one running ~ but Lucy keeps me company!) and work is a crazy busy machine as we approach year end.

Ah.  Life.  She’s a corker.

recap

So, last week was a pretty crazy and fun week for the man and I ~ and it was only dampened by the fact that, true to form (I have silly bad luck), my nearly brand new MacBook Pro needed not only a new battery, but a new hard drive, at the tender age of 3 months.

So I wasn’t able to blog at all, which was a huge bummer.

Because …. !!!!

Not only did we have The Chef Event last Tuesday ~ which was a ton of fun, despite being completely underwater with the constantly pouring rain (no worries ~ it was held inside!) ~ but, it was the year anniversary of Ambler Symphony’s concert at Hope Lodge.  This year, the man was able to join me, and once again we brought some yummy cheese and charcuterie from the restaurant, and two bottles of really good wine (everyone make note ~ if you haven’t tried a rose yet ~ run to the liquor store and get Charles & Charles Syrah Rose from Washington State ~ you will not be sorry!).

On Thursday ~ and I know you’re not going to believe it ~ but we had our neighbors over for dinner, and I actually cooked.  No cheating involved ~ except for the taco seasoning! 😉

We had antelope burritos with cilantro sour cream and homemade guacamole.  In general, pretty successful, although I was a little bummed out that the sour cream didn’t reflect the cilantro flavor the way I wanted it to ~ I guess there’s always next time.

On Friday (yes, I know, we’re social butterflies! ~ haha) we spent the evening enjoying FriEndsDay (a twist on WeHangsDay when Wednesday’s don’t work out) ~ and excellent grilled Orange Ruffy with mango salsa, and sides of Israeli couscous and summer squash.  We even squeezed in a fire pit ~ niiiice!

Saturday was our first weekend at home in a few weeks, so we reverted to some of our favorite things ~ a long hike with Lucy in Valley Green, and then we headed into the restaurant to do some taste-testing of nightly specials (oh, go on, twist my arm!).  After dinner, we discovered a pretty amazing beer ‘haven’ a few blocks away ~ where our bartender proceeded to instruct me on a variety of brews, and hops in general.  So incredibly knowledgeable ~ I could have sat and learned all night, but I couldn’t keep drinking beer!

Sunday was a day for us ~ I was a little under the weather, and spent most of the day cuddled on the couch with my puppy, who was very accommodating and smelling deliciously of puppy.  Have you ever seen “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”?  If you haven’t, you should.  Really enjoyable piece of cinema.

And that brings us back to Monday.  Today was comfortingly ‘boring’ in it’s normalcy.  Lucy and I did four miles this morning, and this evening, the man and I grocery shopped and did a strength-training workout before sitting down to watch Master Chef .  Ah, suburban life!

Before I sign off and climb into bed ~ I just want to send a very Happy Birthday message out to Minda.  She’s a birthday diva like me, so I hope today was a great kickstart to her summer of freedom (#teacherenvy!).  Happiest of happy, my friend.

The Great Chef’s Event

This evening, despite the weather, the man and I are headed into the city for Alex’s Lemonade Stand & the Vetri Foundation’s huge fundraising event, The Great Chef’s Event.

If I had a functioning computer, I’d upload pictures tonight and tell you all about it.  But since I don’t, that’s where we will be ~ noshing on some seriously delish eats and hobnobbing with the best and the brightest in the NYC and Philadelphia restaurant business.  My goal is to meet Tom Colicchio ~ or Joe Bastianich (not 100% sure who will actually be in attendance!).  I think Joe was there two years ago (hazy memories) but since discovering MasterChef last year, I have become a huge fan.  He’s also pretty inspirational in regards to running and healthy eating/living.  It would be a big honor to get to shake his hand.

And when I do get my computer back, I’ll add pics!  I’m super excited, because it was amazing a few years ago.  I’m sure it’s just gotten bigger and better!

 

Boston

The man and I have safely arrived home from our whirlwind trip to Boston.  We spent the majority of yesterday and today in the car, and now, we’ve flopped on the couch to enjoy a few precious moments of ‘relaxation,’ and watching the Tonys.

Hope you’re staying cool and are also relaxing … staring tomorrow, it’s back to business as usual!

We loved Boston and can’t wait to go back … pics up soon!