Flat Flat Flat


After a glorious long weekend, the witching hour arrived this morning and it was time to go back to work. Le sad. 

But life isn't without its upsides of course. I didn't have to travel and I managed to squeeze in a quick bike ride before my 8 am call.

Its times like this that I wish that smell-o-vision from the Willy Wonka movie had been invented because I wish I could share the smell of the ocean, fresh flowers, lawns, etc this morning. Like seriously.

I stopped by my bike ride in the middle of the ocean front road to take a picture and couldn't decide which was was more beautiful - north or south. Quite the conundrum. So, I figured I'll take the whole thing and stitch them together. Alas, the Droid wasn't too helpful on this but perhaps you can use your imagination.... :)

What you can't see in the faux panorama picture is all of the beautiful pink beach rose that lines the road. Since it was really windy at certain points this weekend, a few of the roses loss their bright pink petals... but still so pretty. 

Watching the grass grow


Praise the lord. It's the weekend. And it's a long one {twss}.

Not only is it a 3-day weekend, but I also don't have to travel next week. Woot woot. A few people have asked me what I'm doing this weekend .... and my answer is NOTHING. I'm quite literally going to watch the grass grow. And, I'm really excited about that. I spent a little bit of time this afternoon relaxing and reading old cooking magazines in the backyard today before venturing to the beach to watch the tide come in. True story.
A little spot of sun coming through the cloud
Gladys the cat

I'm not sure if this picture makes you a little dizzy, cause it kind of makes me a little dizzy... but I think there is something neat about it. So enjoy it... and if you don't, well then close your eyes.

Goals for the long weekend? Read 33% of my current book {Water for Elephants}, play tennis, walk on the beach, drink ice coffee, and attempt to make cake pops {yep, that's the ambitious goal}.

My "Worldly" Posessions


Nearly one year ago, I packed up my apartment and put it in storage. My original plan was to collect my worldly possessions in the fall. Then fall turned into winter, winter to spring, and then .... Yes, you guessed it. Summer. {I challenge you to try and forgo living by the beach in nice weather}

There are a few things that I've needed since they've been packed. At cold BC games, I needed my favorite hat. When we had all those snow storms I needed my snow pants. It's incredible how I managed to fill an entire moving truck with STUFF and yet I have needed very little of it.

The list of things I've missed however is a little but longer. I loved my bed with it's big fluffy comforter and bunches of pillows. I missed my bookcase that I lovingly assembled {backwards the first time.... Oops} on a Sunday afternoon with Baby Sister. I missed my tiffany lamp that my mom gave me my sophomore year of college. It was by far the best looking dorm lamp around  I missed my petite couch that was just the perfect size for me to curl up on by myself. I missed my Kitchen Aid mixer when I was making multiple batches of cookies.

But.... The other day as I was getting ready to make cookies I got really excited for one of my favorite things.... A baby blue mixing bowl from Williams-Sonoma. Blue is most certainly my favorite color {I think} but it's more just how pretty everything looks in the bowl. Sadly, I can't even find a picture of my beloved bowl... but it would be as if these two bowls got together and had babies. Yes, exactly that.

Blue Bowl - Crate & Barrel $3.95
White Pantry Batter Bowl - Williams-Sonoma $39

Le sigh :)

Until I get my pretty little hands on this bowl again, I'll keep walking on the beach, hanging out on the porches, and stretching out on my parents giant couches.

Delish Cookies


I feel as though there are very few things in life that I do better than most people.... and one of them is making my famous cookies. I guess using the word "famous" isn't totally appropriate as I haven't received any documented awards for them - but whenever I do make them, people go ca-razy for them.
The recipe was created after my 16th birthday party. I was making chocolate chip cookies and threw all of the leftover mixins from my "make your own sundae bar" into the batter. {Sidenote, if you ever throw me a surprise party even though I'm not 16 I would still like a sundae bar.} If you think I'm going to give you the recipe to my cookies, you are wrong. I'm confused by people that give away their recipes for something they make really well. Like I wouldn't expect my aunt to give me her recipe for Apple Pie or the Olive Garden to tell me how to make their breadsticks or Auntie Annies to throw me the recipe for salted pretzel sticks.

But, I will share with you my nearly fool proof method for packaging cookies. Match up two cookies that are close in size and then package the pairs together. This prevents the cookies from bumping around too much and gives them additional stability in the bag/box/container.

Here is hoping that the two lucky souls who get these cookies in the mail not only enjoy them but get them all in one piece.

Note: I really wish I had brought one of these delicious nuggets of joy with me to Pennsylvania. I could really use a cookie - especially with M&Ms and other secret tasty bits.

Gym Thoughts


Its dangerous for me to be alone with my thoughts. I start to think about life, things I need to do, things I want to do.... things I don't want to do :). I'm most frequently alone with my "thoughts" at the gym but when I'm there I'm usually doing one of two things: planning my next meal or people watching. I can say without a doubt that there is not a single intellectual thought going through my head.

Want some evidence? During a recent trip to the gym I actually wrote down what I was thinking in an empty email on my phone. Here is that list along with a few comments I've tweeted while running as well.
  • Why are combat reporters so much more attractive? For real. A little part of me wants to do a little Google Image search to compare one person in both situations.... but that same part of me is happy just being more attracted to field reporters.
  • If you aren't wearing a wedding ring, pls wear a t-shirt with your age. I don't want to waste my time watching you lift weights. I'm really bad at guessing age. I'm also not really interested in watching men lift weights but perhaps you get my point regardless. I'm 27, almost 28, and for the life of me can't tell if someone is older than me - and if so by how much - or in high school.

  • Who actually watch bowling? I need to know this. I feel like I need to look up some statistics on ESPN / Bowling coverage. People set aside time to watch other sports, people loose track of time and get caught in an endless loop of Sportscenter coverage.... but who accidentally watches hours upon hours on bowling?
  • If I have a wedgie, what us the most appropriate way to pick it while I'm running? Yes, this is me being very honest. Thankfully nobody reads this blog :)
  • Women who do zumba freak me out. Like why do you need steamers on your pants? Why does your shirt have to say zumba on it? My shirt doesn't say running? I just don't get zumba. Period. But then again, I don't like gym classes. But putting that all aside, I don't understand the special outfits for the class. Streamers on your pants? Really?
  • Doesn't count as walking at an incline if you cling to the treadmill with a death grip. I'm always entertained by women (and some men) who set the treadmill at this crazy incline .... and then hold onto for dear life while walking. Hey guys, you are cheating during your workout. Set the incline lower and actually do some more work. I'm not impressed by your incline, just as you shouldn't be impressed by my mismatched gym outfit.
  • I find fit grandmas to be intimidating at the gym. I applaud people that work hard to stay healthy - especially older people. But there are some fit grandmas at my suburban gym and I find them oddly intimidating.
  • Eye contact while exercising your hip muscles creeps me out. Especially the hip abtuctor machine. This just feels inappropriate. I like this machine as much as the next person, but really? Stare at the wall, check out your iPod/Phone/water bottle, anything. I don't look at you, so please don't look at me. BUT, please keep your eyes open... I also find closed eyes creepy. {I'm picky. Sue me}
  • Dear superfit suburban mom, is it necessary that you sprint in a sports bra and short shorts on the treadmill? Wear what you want at the gym. I really don't care. At my home gym in suburbia, there are tons of "Lululemon Mons" and frankly thanks to their constant new outfits, I never have to wonder what Lululemon's latest line looks like. BUT, this is also a "family" gym and this isn't LA or NYC or even Boston, so put on a shirt or even a crop top for all I care.
If you are looking for more rants /raves about gym behavior, just search "gym thoughts" on twitter.

Also, when I was looking for picture for this post... I found this on Pinterest. Hope I never have to buy it to motivate myself. Nothing like welcoming someone to your house, inviting them to sit on your couch, and then "telling them to go to the gym".

Mason Jars? Yes please.


There is something about mason jars that just make me happy. I think its because they remind me of coastal homes, summer, and relaxation. I saw this post on Apartment Therapy last night and immediately pinned the picture to my Pinterest board.

I'm not super creative, but I feel like the cool part about mason jars is that they are like a blank canvas. So many possibilities! Do you want to put flowers in them? fine. Do you want to drink out of it? even better.  Do you want to use it as a light? Sure why not. Plus, they are pretty cheap so you can experiment without fear of making a costly mistake.

I've used mason jars for a few things in my life: making pickles, gifting cookie dough, holding flowers. But thanks to my beloved Pinterest I have new inspiration like the pictures I included below. Can't wait for summer.

Setting the tone


Is it weird that sometimes when I'm flying I feel super high up in the air?  I would imagine that is because of the clouds. The closer they seem, the closer I feel to the ground. 

This morning in the security line at Logan airport there was a man in a suit standing near the TSA agents inspecting the boarding passes. You know how one event can set the tone for the day, good or bad? Well, this guy totally set the tone for the day. He made polite, friendly conversation with people at they passed by him. Asked if the guy behind me was going to be the inflight entertainment {he had a guitar...}. Asked the two little girls flying with their parents for their drivers licenses. They erupted in giggles they way cute little blonde girls only can. 

Yes, it was 6 am and a rainy Monday morning but the friendly guy had set the tone for the day with his friendly greetings. Even as I write this 30000 feet in the air with some guys knees in my back, I'm in a great mood :)

Note: do you ever try to figure people out that you see in your day to day travels? Like a little sliver of their life story? Well, I'm puzzled by the two preteens sitting next to me on this flight. They are both reading matching editions of the Economist - but seriously look like they are 17. The girl has blue nails.... And the PDA hasn't stopped since we got on the plane. I just wasn't aware you could play Angry Birds successfully while holding hands. Props on that. I think it's the Economist that really throws me off.... 

Sunday Dinner

One of the perks of having several roommates {this is how I refer to living at home} is that I get to cook for more than one person! Having lived at home for nearly a year now ... wow the time flies ... I've forced the family to try several new foods and most have gone off without a hitch. The day I get Mom to try an oyster will be a victory unknown to anyone else...

With avocados being in season {I think, again... I have no idea what is in season when}, Baby Sister and I wanted to incorporate it into the meal. We stumbled upon this recipe for Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa and went from there.

The recipe itself was crazy easy, although Baby Sister lost her shit a few times because of the horrible knives kept in this house. But she made it through all the tears {from the onions :)} and the meal was awesome.

I only wish I could take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Although I'm sure taking this meal through security wouldn't violate any laws, TSA might take it from me because its so delish.
marinating chicken in lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, and a bit of salt before grilling
dicing the tomatoes is a bitch with our knives
the finished product with Parmesan cous cous
We didn't really make many "modifications" to the original recipe. Just added some more tomatoes to the salsa and used parmesan cous cous instead of rice.

I can only hope my meals this week are half as good as this one. I'm pretty sure Bertuccis won't disappoint me {a Monday dinner tradition} but meals like this make me miss cooking during the week.

Sun! Finally!


 It feels as though its been raining in Boston / Philadelphia / Eastern Seaboard for an eternity. Seriously nature. Stop it. Then! Just as Baby Sister and I were drinking some coffee and planning the day, the sun broke through and it was clear as day.

We poured ourselves some coffee in to-go cups, grabbed our cameras, and hit the road. {By the road, I mean our quaint suburban coastal neighborhood...} It wasn't until we were five minutes into the walk that we realized we were sporting nearly identical outfits. Oops.

Here are a few pictures from our walk on the beach....

This one is not the best in the blog format, but I stitched a handful of pictures together to try and show how the southern end of the beach was much foggier. If you'd like to see the full picture, leave a comment and I'll post a link to it.

Double crossies for good weather tomorrow.

Bring it Gert


Source: tumblr.com via Mo on Pinterest

I saw recently that that NOAA has published the hurricane names for this coming hurricane season. I'm always intrigued by the names and the logic behind it. According to their website:
Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive given names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods. These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea.
Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. The original name lists featured only women's names. In 1979, men's names were introduced and they alternate with the women's names. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2009 list will be used again in 2015. Here is more information about the history of naming hurricanes.
The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the WMO committee (called primarily to discuss many other issues) the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.
The lists are re-cycled every six years, i.e., the 2011 list will be used again in 2017. Several names have been changed since the lists were created. Here is more information about retired hurricane names.
I took a gander through this year's names and frankly I'm excited to have some of these ones get used. Now, I know that hurricanes can be dangerous and costly and blah blah blah... but come on, its 1000% entertaining to watch the news crews get all pumped up about these storms. Living in a coastal community gives me the opportunity to watch these fools with my own eyes. Any time the wind starts to come from the east and a storm is on the radar, these characters throw on some fowl weather gear, duct tape a microphone to their hand, and let the wind try to blow them over. Its a wonder they don't just send super tiny women for the theatrics of it all.

Anyway. A few names I'm pumped about? Gert, Vince, and Tammy. Specifically Gert and Vince, I had to throw Tammy in there so the ladies wouldn't feel left out. Frankly I'm not sure if Gert is a boys name or a girls. They'll be hard pressed to avoid the Jersey Shore jokes when "Hurricane Vince" is coming. It just sounds like your twice removed Italian cousin trying to visit for the weekend at your beach house ...

I have been pining after a pair of Hunter rain boots and perhaps this coming hurricane season would be the perfect nudge.

Bring it. :)





I've never been one to know what "season" it is. Despite my love of clementines, I'm always surprised when I see them in the grocery store. I get super pumped when I see those little wooden crates packed with clementines allegedly from Spain. {I'm super skeptical about where food actually comes from. I just do not believe it to be possible that they could pick the clementines in Spain and they wouldn't get rotten before I successfully peel them in one piece}


It appears to be berry season and I'm 100% on board. I love berries. I used to be primarily a strawberry person but recently I can't get enough of the raspberries and blackberries. Downside? this is an expensive hobby. Its actually more expensive than my coffee habit. I realized this tonight as I was strolling Target for some good times. Having procured a veggie burger and fries from Elevation Burger, I decide an impulse buy on raspberries made sense. It seemed totally reasonable to me to drop $3.99 on raspberries.

However, after I polished those suckers off more quickly than a college kids with free food I realized that today alone I've dropped some pretty pennies on fruit. Ever since I've been hanging in Nowheresville Pennsylvania, I've been steadily consuming fruit at every meal. Here is a conservative  estimate:
  • $4-$5 at breakfast for cantelope/honeydew melon or assorted berries
  • $2-$3 at lunch for fruit
So on average, I'm spending say between $5-$8 a day on fruit ALONE. I don't get receipts and I pay cash at the cafeteria {another pet peeve of mine} so I can't tell you exactly. But, what am I spending on coffee?
  • $1.50 for a large coffee in the morning
  • $3.92 for a grande iced skinny vanilla latte in the afternoon.
I guess these numbers aren't too far apart but STILL, people give coffee drinkers a super hard time about how expensive their habit is. Well, my fruit habit is more expensive than my coffee habit.

Hotel Rants (but no Raves)


In life I like to think I’m not picky, I roll with the punches. I’m certainly particular, but not picky. Perhaps I’m arguing based on semantics but since I’m the one writing, I get the final say.

However, in traveling life I willingly admit that I’m picky. Its not too hard to please me, but if one thing goes wrong I’m apt to start making a list and keeping track of the faults.

Which is how we get to this post. I’m now in my fourth week of six in nowheresville, Pennsylvania and previously have been pretty happy with my hotel accommodations. I was staying at a Homewood Suites and pretty much had no complaints. Apparently other people didn’t either and this week it was booked solid. So, I headed to the Hampton Inn just down the road.  Perhaps my bad mood about this hotel was started because the parking spots were narrow or because its next to a Bob Evans, but all of my “complaints” come from my experiences in the hotel room.

5 Reasons why I hate the Hampton Inn @ Valley Forge
Sleep Timer. Despite all the time, I’ve spent in hotels I still need to fall asleep to the tv if I’m alone. As a result of this, a sleep timer on the TV makes sense. It also isn’t something that I would think is a big deal to expect. Well, this hotel only has these simple Comcast remotes which I’m onboard with in principle.  I don’t like hotel remotes for many reasons (slow to process signals, clunky, etc) but at least they come with a sleep timer. 

Weirdo Pillows… and not enough of them. There are a few upsides to hotel life and endless pillows is certainly one of them. Every time I stay at a Hilton, I request extra pillows. See the picture below for evidence comparing what I like…. Versus what I don’t like. Can you guess which one is which?
These pictures are pretty poor. But I'm sure you get the idea. Basic point? This isn’t camping. I need more than 3 dinky pillows.

Lights I can’t reach from the Bed. Every hotel is different, but as a general principle I think I should be able to reach the light switch to turn it off from the bed. At this hotel, its high enough and at an awkward angle that I have to get out of bed and reach UP to turn it off. I know I'm being picky, but I get to be picky when I live in hotels.

No water. This is snotty. I fully admit it. But, when I check into any other Hilton brand, I’m given two bottles of water. At some hotels, I sometimes get 2 bottles of water a day. I like to stay hydrated and frankly tap water in a town I don’t live in… freaks me out. Now I know that NYC tap water is phenom, so I’ll drink that. But, here in PA? No idea. I’m pretty sure after 3 days here I’m severely dehydrated. {Slightly joking… but not}

“Bravo” spelling. I hate misspellings – especially when they are on printed materials. Like, why didn’t you have two or more people read it? I have slightly more appreciation for situations where the misspelling actually leads to a real word – but when it doesn’t. No excuses. So when I noticed that the “tv guide” had Bravo misspelled, I was annoyed. Not only did the tv not have sleep timer and I didn’t feel cozy in bed, but they couldn’t even spell this one word right.

So that's my rant. I don't have any "raves" about this place, but tons of rants. It doesn't help that it's been raining the entire time that I've been here.

Things that are silly...


... mustaches. But to be clear, what I find funny about them is when they are on pretty much anything but a guy. Confused? I'm sure.

There is something just super attractive about just the right amount of facial hair on a guy. By facial hair, I mean stuff on the cheeks ... not just a mustache. Yes, that's a highly descriptive and fancy definition but you know what I'm talking about. Thankfully Pinterest helps me find pictures of things that I find funny.

I'm not sure I can pull off the faux mustache but I absolutely love people who can. I got a package of mustaches from WePay, a online payments start-up out in Silicon Valley over the Christmas break. Baby Sister snatched them right up and went to town. Scroll all the way to the bottom for shot of Baby Sister rockin' the stache.

Source: google.com via Amanda on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Kimberly on Pinterest

.... and here she is.

Cozy Rain


It's raining today in Boston... and It's foggy in Philadelphia. I just can't win weather wise :)

Rain always makes me want to do one of two things:
1) Go for a run outside
2) Stay inside and snuggle on a couch.

Often option #2 wins out. Like today, all I would like to be doing is sitting inside and working on some personal projects.... organizing? baking? coffee drinking? Sounds like a perfect day to me. I'd happily trade my Tivo for this boat/couch combo. I 1000% want to look into how I get this into my house later on in life.

Alas, I was up at 4 am to get to the airport for my flight and that couldn't be further from what I'd like to do. Upside of crazy early flights? The plane is empty. Hello legroom! Hello two tray tables! Hello overhead space! Glorious.
 I'll never get tired of taking pictures out of plane windows. Ever.

Happiness is....


Adirondack chairs.

I love Adirondack chairs.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon sitting outside, basking in the sun, and just loving on the weather. Yes, I said loving on it. It seems accurate to me.



Its been a slow process getting blog traffic from all 50 states. Thanks to a few good friends I've managed to snag some of the more difficult states (Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, etc). Until recently the only states that I was missing were Nebraska and South Dakota.

Thanks to the eTrade baby I managed to snag a visitor from Nebraska about a week ago.

Now, thanks to Google Analytics I also know that this visitor didn't really stick around for too long on the blog.... but I don't care. The person came, and that's all that matters.

Speaking of Omaha, I heard that Warren Buffet is going to Guest Star on the "The Office". Pretty excited about that. One of the highlights of my MBA career was getting to meet Warren in Fall 2009. We haven't spoken since then but I'm pretty sure, he'll invite me to the after party for "The Office".
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