Week in Pictures


Do you ever feel like your balance is just "off"? That's how I've felt this week. Just like I was off balance. 

I mean there are actual examples of this. On Monday (I think it was Monday), I fell over in the elevator unprovoked. Yes, this is 100% true. Despite being a relatively quite work week, I really cram in a lot of memorable moments. Probably memorable only to me. Of which, I of course take pictures of to send to people.

So, on this beautiful Fall Friday, I'm going to share a few of the pictures to share what my travel weeks normally consist of. Be patient, there are 12 pictures.

Monday morning. Flying over my hometown. So pretty. Love the ocean.
Monday morning. Landing in Philadelphia. The flight was twice as long as normal due to poor conditions, which they weren't lying about apparently.
 Monday morning. A Liberty Bell made out of LEGOs. Pretty much awesome. Terminal A at PHL has more things for tourists to enjoy since its the international terminal. There is also a clock made out of Yuengling bottles. Too bad its too big for a living room. I do love Yuengling.
 Meal time. I love to eat as many meals as possible from Wegmans, the grocery store. On Monday, I get this delicious salad that has dried fruit, blue cheese, apples, and cranberries. So amazing. Dear Wegmans, please infiltrate the Northeast. We would love you up here.
Rental Car Love. I've thought about doing a rental car blog post for awhile because they really make or break my week. This week my car had a sunroof.... and I love having a sunroof. I kept it open as much as possible. Even when it was raining. Yes, I guess that makes me a little bit crazy.
 Sometimes Hertz blesses me with a great rental car. This week they gave me a giant Yukon. I am but one person, but this was pretty great. Although, this car was for all intents and purposes a truck and I'm not sure I have much experience parking such a large vehicle. (Hint: I went to the back of every parking lot just to keep it easy)
 Evening Activities. There really isn't much to keep one busy and entertained in a hotel. I can only watch so much tv. So, I tend to "play" at nearby stores like Target and Lowes. One of the blogs I read, Young House Love, did a DIY framed piece using paint chips. This is my attempt for my new blue bedroom. We'll see how this goes. I'm cautiously optimistic. [Click the link to see how theirs finished up]. Another upside to blue colors, they all have fabulously nautical names. I'm a sucker for nautical.
 Customer Service is Key. It's so nice when someone learns my name. Plus, it's even better when they give me something nice. The hotel this week left a "welcome back" note in my room and a small gift certificate to Wawa.
Care Packages. I love making care packages for people. Although sometimes I will legitimately mail myself something so I won't have to check my bag. It's worth the $7 I pay in shipping. Most of these boxes however are appropriately themed seasonal care packages. Don't be upset if you didn't get one. Everyone gets one at some point. Unless, you are Baby Sister. Then you get one every time.
First time for everything. Yesterday was stressful. I was starting to feel pretty sick with a nasty cold. It was a travel day. And. I lost my wallet for about an hour. I know that doesn't sound like a long time, but when you need to get on a plane in a few hours .... it's a long time. After running around the office for a little bit, I looked down and realized I was wearing two totally different shoes. This is 100% accurate. I have no idea I was like this. At least you can see my great pedicure? In the event you like the color, it's called "Can you tapas this?" by OPI.
 Airport food. In general this just sucks but I do have my rituals. I've recently been eating at a slightly healthier establishment in Philly, but yesterday was such a whirlwind that I decided I needed Auntie Annie's. While I do love this place, I would like to understand why none of their locations seem to be able to manage inventory. They are always out of pretzel sticks... and frequently out of nuggets. Newsflash: If you aren't out of pizza pretzels or pretzel hot dogs, but you are out of the other things maybe you should rethink what you are making.

So that was my week. I'm really hoping to sedentary this weekend and kick this cold. Why? Cause I'm going on a grand adventure to Vermont next weekend! So stay tuned interwebs, there will be some fall foliage pictures coming your way.

I'm not lame (most of the time)


My little brother doesn't think I've very cool. I mean I'm fine with that. I'm 28 years old. I can take it.


I can take not knowing all the cool YouTube videos. SNL sketches. Rappers. Etc.

Things I can't take? I can't take him thinking that I'm weak. Ok, I can. But when he didn't think I could do a pull-up, I knew I could prove him wrong. Thus, that's the reason for why I mugged for the camera while I hauled myself up off the ground.

I'd like to think he was impressed, but I think he was more just surprised :)
Sidenote: Apparently there is some guy named "Deadmaus" who sells $40 t-shirts. Little Brother thought I might be his cash connection for such a purchase. I'm not buying this for several reasons. Of which, Little Brother's insane growth spurts is one. This kid has seriously grown like a whole lot. Like a whole lot. I'll just keep supplying him with Mountain Dew Voltage, Chocolate Glaze donuts, and Papa Ginos pizza.

Boots, Rain, and Flowers. Oh my.


I have a love hate relationship with rain. It's the bomb.com if you want to not feel guilty about cleaning out the Tivo in the middle of the day. It's not the bomb.com if you are interested in being active ... perhaps because you've been trapped in a cubicle all the damn day long.

One more upside? Perhaps you got the pair of Hunter boots you've been lusting over for a year. Oh? That's just me? Well, they came and I used them as much as possible this weekend. I wore them in the yard. I wore them at the BC v UMass football game. I wore them to the fabric store.
This weekend was pretty great for a combo of relaxing / being active. Despite the forecast of rain covering the weekend, I was able to take my morning walk every day and a run on Saturday and Sunday evening. Plus, I'm still thinking about how delicious that Moroccan inspired dinner was on Sunday.

I've lived in walking distance to the beach now for several years and I've never noticed so much goldenrod (at least that's what I think this is) by the beach. It's a stark contrast to the beach rose that blooms by the shore during the summer months.

On my walk home from the beach, I stopped to smell the flowers. Literally. Although I really don't think these flowers have a smell. I was more captivated by the drops of rain that were stuck to the them and hadn't yet been erased by the warmth of the day. I attempted to focus in on some of the individual rain drops but that was a bit of a fail :)

Sidenote: The last two pictures are actually of sunflowers that grow in our yard. My mom slaves over them and treats them like actual children.

Enjoy your Tuesday. Hopefully, life treats you as well as my mom treats her sunflowers.

Sunday Dinner: Crockpot Style


You know it's a good dinner when you plan to have leftovers ... And then there are none. Win.

Enter: Chicken Tagine.

I'm not totally sure what made me grab for the slow cooker recipe on Sunday, especially since it was still about 70 degrees. But I did and it was awesome. How awesome? Like burn my tongue tasting the sauce awesome. Multiple times. Another example? Little brother, who would prefer to exist solely on PopTarts and Mountain Dew Voltage, loved it.

At first glance, this seems a little complicated because there are like 6 spices, multiple steps, etc. But push all that aside, you probably already have 5 of the 6 spices in your cabinet anyway. The recipe promised a "tantalizing" Moroccan stew and it was delivered despite my desire to skip steps and modify the recipe for ease.

Step 1: be awesome. Put on your favorite jam on Spotify. Proceed to jam out in the kitchen.
Step 2: bread and brown up the chicken.
Step 3: try not to cry cutting up the onions and garlic.
Step 4: put all the business in a crock pot.
Step 5: kiss it for luck.
Step 6: hours later...... Eat it.

Yep, I simplified the steps for humor. I put the real steps in at the end along with the shopping list.

So here is how I cheated on the original William & Sonoma recipe. Cheater steps:
  • Called for bone-in chicken thighs. No thanks. I don't like bones in my meal and neither do the picky eaters I like to feed. I opted for boneless chicken tenders.
  • I was supposed to dissolve saffron in the chicken broth. Well, I was also supposed to use bones. I did neither. The house didn't have saffron and chain grocery stores don't carry it. Even if the did, I would not have used it.
  • garnish with mint? Well, I'm sure that would be nice. If I had fresh mint, I totally would have but I pretty much refuse to buy mint at the grocery store. It just seems to expensive when I know I'm not going to be able to finish it all.
  • Spicy Paprika? Really? Isn't Paprika aready spicy? No thanks. I'll just use what I have in my cabinet.

Recipe for 4 friends / family / enemies
  1. Get your skillet sizzling with some olive oil
  2. On a plate, mix up the flour, salt, and pepper. Then make the chicken roll around in the floury business. This is a great decision. Then toss those suckers in the skillet until they are lightly browned. Take the chicken bits out and put them aside.
  3. See all that tasty business in the pan? Now we are going to get it with the onions and garlic. Toss the stuff that just made you cry in that pan. Onion should be finely chopped-ish.
  4. Now it's time for spices. After the onions have been in the pan for like less than a minute, toss in the cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika and ginger. Give it a stir.
  5. After just a minute, douse those spiced up onions and garlic with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  6. Transfer the onion mixture to the crock pot. Remember that chicken that was watching you cry over the onions? Toss it in on top. Cover and set to low heat.
At this point, the meal is essentially made. I let my meal simmer for 4 hrs on low in the pot. If you used boned chicken, You might care more about cooking time. So needless to say, keep yourself busy for a few hours. I recommend Netflix or walking by the beach or reading trashy magazines.
  1. Like an hour before your hungry guests are showing up, toss in the chopped olives, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  2. Cook up some cous cous. Go with a plain or garlic flavor since you don't want to fight off all those delicious flavors you've been creating over the past few hours. I also served up some grilled bread because well, we like our carbs. Sue me.
  3. Eat it up.
I was so excited to eat this (after burning my tongue several times) that I forgot to take a "nice picture" of the finished project. Hope you enjoy my bite marks in this one.

Grocery list:
Olive oil
1.8 lbs Chicken boobs / tenders (tenders are great because they get saucier - and who doesn't want saucy chicken)
1 large Yellow onion
1.5 tsp Paprika
1.5 cups Chicken broth
1 cup Green olives
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
Salt / Pepper
Cous Cous

*can't remember the amount. Ooops. Must be my travelling brain. I'll be sure to update this on Thursday.

See Ya Summer


Oh Summer. There you go. You've just left me high and dry.

It's the first official day of Fall and I'm sitting on the couch with a warm cup of coffee. Outside, it's this odd weather mix of fog and 72 degrees and super green Fall grass. Apparently, it's going to pour rain for the next week. So I guess that means I'll be inside doing some baking, prepping for some upcoming adventures, and savoring some couch time.

As an ode to summer, here are some of my favorite snaps of the last few months:

Is 19 pictures to many? I sure hope not because I took about one million during these few months. Some of these events I've blogged about already, some I have not. So, for posterity sake I'll give a brief rundown of where/when these pictures were taken.
  1. Memorial Day at a Beach Friend's house
  2. Memorial Day at a Neighbor's House on the marsh
  3. Father's Day. Morning Beach magic.
  4. Father's Day. Bike Riding around the neighborhood.
  5. Father's Day. Sparklers in the front yard.
  6. 4th of July Fireworks at the Beach
  7. Playing in the high tide (with Dwight the dog) [link]
  8. Checking out the creatures at the beach
  9. Napa trip with MBA friends
  10. Birthday tickets to a Red Sox Game with Little Brother
  11. Union Square Farmer's Market in NYC
  12. 30th Anniversary Party for Mom and Dad [link]
  13. August Night Swimming at the beach with fireworks
  14. JJ's Ice Cream with my brother [link]
  15. Roasted tomatoes from the garden [link]
  16. Pre-Hurricane Waffles with Mom
  17. Post Irene flowers in the yard [link]
  18. Labor Day in Maine. [link] [link]
  19. September beach at home [link]
I'm so grateful that I got to spend the summer at home with my family. Yes, we all work (minus little brother) but we all lived in the same house and walked on the beach, cruised the neighborhood on our bikes, devoured bagels on Sunday mornings, and gathered around the TV to watch "Modern Family" repeats.

Oh Summer. Come back soon.

Little Bit Lost


I feel a little bit lost this week. Lost is a slightly dramatic word, but it applies none the less.

The necklace that I've worn pretty much for the last 15 months or so.... broke on Monday morning.

I'm not an "accessories person". On a consistent basis, I wear one ring and my necklace. No bangles, no scarves, no earrings. It's not that I'm against them. In fact, I wish I wore them more often. It just isn't something that I think about. I'm a simple lady, what can I say?
 Luckily for me, I take a picture of myself nearly every workday - so I know that there are very few days when I didn't have this baby around my neck. I hope you enjoy a few of these "gems" that are in my collection. I take the pictures because I think it's a great way to remember what has happened over the past month / year / season / etc. For each day, I include a caption of what happened and some of them are pretty funny if I do say so myself. 

The POD {picture of the day} is one of the my favorite things although not something that I share with many people. Currently only two people are given access to the album. Given the fact that I live a pretty digital life, this is one of the only things that I don't just give away and probably never will. It's nice to keep a little something just for me.

Meanwhile, I keep feeling like I'm missing something all week. You know that feeling I'm talking about. Weekend project? Buy a new chain for my sea glass bottle lip.

Non-Scientific Beach Observations


Minot beach looking South over the weekend

Oh hello there fall. You snuck right up on me and I'm not sure that I liked it.

On the upside, I do love my fleece.

The weather this past weekend was super nice for long neighborhood walks with coffee, which I most certainly took part in. There is something about how the beach looks right now that just makes it look like Fall. I'm not sure what happens in the ole nature / environment / world but there is no mistaking a Fall beach for a Summer beach.

One of the things I do love about Fall beaches is that they are for locals. Despite the great weather people seem to begin to hibernate and forget about that stellar body of water located nearby it seems. Oh well, more for me.

My non-scientific observation: I feel like there are less mussel shells on the beach during the Fall. Over the summer, I would snag a few mussel shells when I would pass them on the beach. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them but I feel like some great project will materialize over time.

I love me some Mussel (shells) ... and I need to paint my nails

Stars Galore


You know when you rush around so much that you almost miss something super pretty? Well apparently I've been doing that for months.

I have a whole airport routine. It's very organized and as a result, I know where everything is normally and I'm not fumbling around the house at 4 in the morning looking for things. I pack on Sunday afternoons and put my suitcase in the car at night. The last thing I want to do is haul a suitcase (albeit a light one) down the stairs in the dark.

Well, part of the routine involves unlocking my trunk before I leave the house. (For security reasons, the parking attendants at the airport garage check your trunk). Every morning, I always zip outside quick but this morning I dropped my keys. That small change in routine caused me to look around briefly and I noticed how GORGEOUS the early morning sky is.

Literally stars galore.

I'm a sucker for stars. It's one of the best things about suburban life. I've had a few very good stargazing experiences that I can remember. Peru on the Inca trail in 2008 was a great one far from home. Most recently in Maine was also quite phenomenal. So peaceful just floating on a boat, head tipped back, and trying to capture everything. I even *saw* the Milky Way. Yes, I'm sure that is a normal thing for some people but I saw it for realsies, not like when you think you've seen it but you really haven't. I saw it. And. It. Was. Awesome. I also nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw my first shooting star.

So, lesson learned. It's okay to break the routine a little bit every now and then. You may just stumble upon something beautiful that you'd been missing.

Oh. And Happy Monday
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