Making Girlfriends


I was caught off guard at work on Monday by a new friend. 

She asked me how I would describe myself. I'm not sure why I felt caught off guard by this, especially since I feel like I know myself pretty well these days.

I think I stumbled out some answer that started with fleece. Included sweatpants. And ended with the Ocean, of course. In hind sight, I realized that made me sound very lazy maybe? So I quickly added that I spent some time in Yosemite during my gap in jobs.

I think I need to work on this answer for the future. I have the answer prepared for the following respective parties:
  • employers
  • landlords
  • doctors
  • attractive boys
  • parent's friends
But, I have never "prepared" the answer for someone that I was potentially courting as a future friend.

I'm not sure what I'd really add to the fleece / sweatpants / ocean combo. Maybe that I enjoy cooking, a day at the beach, beverages that come with straws, and covering myself with blankets? I'm not sure.

I think she likes me just fine anyway. Minimal risk. She responded really well to the sweatpants line.

Image Source: via JEF on Pinterest

(not) wild weekend


There are so many things I should and could be writing about.... but I'm not feeling much like writing.

Instead, I'll just share a few pictures of the weekend with some light commentary. Deal?

Sure hope so, because nobody is here to argue with me. I could be persuaded to write more if I had a chocolate brownie, but nobody made brownies and so this is where we stand.

I assembled a bunch of furniture recently ... that I of course bought from Amazon. Notice anything about how one of these screws doesn't match the other? Don't worry I overcame that challenge with a quick trip to my favorite hardware store.
See how that lamp just isn't enough light? Ok. Maybe you can't. But, I took an adventure to West Elm to check out some lamps and maybe buy some plates. End result? Fell in love with a lamp that was out of stock (of course). I'm still hoping the lamp finds its way between these two pieces of furniture.
Took a quick night run to visit some history. Man, I love some history and I love the city at night. Win and win. 
Just a petite margarita and some nachos. Ok, a petite margarita and more than some nachos. Honesty is the best policy.

Morning walk along the harbor with baby sister. It's one of my favorite things to do. Can't wait for spring and a little bit of sun to make it even better.
Lots of chili. Bring on the meat sweats. Had a small gathering of people over on Sunday night and consumed some meat and cheese. Next best thing to sharing chili with friends? Leftovers and lots of them. Guess I'll be eating chili for a few days....
What's in this box you ask? Oh, just a beanbag chair that I bought over Christmas vacation after too much wine. Well not too much wine, but enough that I felt this was a good decision. It wasn't. So I had to carry this big box a half mile across the North End to the UPS store tonight.

Couch please.


This is actually the second time I've tried to write this post. 

The first time I sounded like a whiner. I wanted to tell you about falling during my run on Sunday, how I don't have hot water in my apartment, and how I've been sick for the past 2 days. I did also want to tell you that I took a fabulous run (my longest yet) and saw the seals at the aquarium.

But, in actuality all I really want to talk about is the following:
(1) I watched 7 hrs of Downton Abbey yesterday and I love it.
(2) I discovered a hole in my uggs.

I'd heard a lot about Downton Abbey but hadn't really gotten around to watching it. Well, I went home sick from work yesterday late morning and it seemed like the perfect activity. If you are at all a fan of Pride and Prejudice, you will love love love it. But, I've heard that its getting more positive feedback than just from P&P fans. It took me about 7 hrs to polish off the first season, and I'm super pumped to get settled in my nest of pillows for Season Two. I plan on filling my glass with grape gatorade and snuggling in nice and tight. I just need to know what happens with Mary and Matthew, the fighting between the sisters, and does Mr. Bates ever kiss Anna?!?! Seriously. I needs to know.

I also need to know what to do about my Uggs. I feel like I've taken great care of them for the past 4.5 years (wow, I didn't realize it'd been that long) and I'm bummed that I've got a hole in the toe. I guess I have an over-active hammer toe that just really wants to see the light of day? 

Instead, I'm going to try and have a relatively productive afternoon before I return to my couch immediately after work. The goal for tomorrow is to look healthier because apparently no amount of bronzer does that for me. I learned this today when someone told me that I still looked sick. Helpful right?

It's time.


one of my favorite moments. ever.

I've had the following post written since I was on the plane coming home from my grand adventure in California. So according to no degree of calculation that's like two months? 

Initially, I meant to post it a week after I got home. Then it was when I started my new job. Then it was for New Years.

So why now? Well, honestly? No real great reason, but there are a few good ones. I was talking to a friend this weekend at a bar about what I'd been up to. I hadn't seen this person since Labor Day in Maine (remember how much fun I had? hereherehere). I mentioned that I just felt like I'd been making some really good decisions recently. Yes of course, there were good days and there were not so good days. That's life. But, in general. In the course of five months or so, I have taken charge of my life. Cliche right? Whatever. This is my blog not yours. 

What are the good decisions you ask?
Signing the lease to my beloved North End apartment. I'll never forget the first time I saw it. It was terrible. But.... it had something that got me excited. I remember wearing my favorite lobster tshirt as my sister (and soon to be very close neighbor) dissected every bit of it over our first North End meal. Pizza of course. 

Moving to the North End has opened my eyes to so many different things I didn't know I could do. Example you ask? I run a lot more than I ever have before. And. Its. Winter. I love running by the Bunker Hill Monument, by the Conference Center in Southie, and stopping to see my friends the seals at the Aquarium. I also love going to every place someone recommends to me in the North End. You recommend it, and I'll go there. I believe I even said I'd go to a cigar bar this past weekend. So.... that's coming I guess.

Quitting my "corporate" job. Yes, I still work for a big-ish company but I quit the one that made me so unhappy it hurt. Literally. I now work for a company that gives me opportunity to stretch my wings and think. Plus, I can wear jeggings to work. I'm not joking. 

There were many upsides to that job besides Hilton points. I feel like I learned a lot of life lessons beyond navigating airports and how to berate people into giving me hotel upgrades. I'll forever be thankful that I made that initial decision to work for Big Blue because it was a great opportunity. But, I am more thankful for the opportunity to cook in my kitchen whenever I want (see the 52 in 52 challenge I'm up to) and snuggle in my heavenly bed with my coveted West Elm striped sheets and Hilton "Touch of Down" pillows. 

Taking my great solo adventure. This trip has had such a lasting effect on me. I'll never forget waking up early to see sunrise at Glacier Point, jumping endlessly on the beach, housing cheez-its like they are going out of style, or sleeping in my clothes one night because the hotel room was just that "special". Yeah, I left that detail out initially. Didn't need to worry/scare my parents.
everything is a little out of focus and off center. but I don't care. it was the first time I put my feet in the Pacific Ocean.

So, here is the post that I wrote on the plane trip home to Boston....

I’ve been thinking about this post for several days now. How would I sum up this grand California adventure of mine? What experiences will I have come away with? Any important life lessons?

The answer to those questions? … I’m still not sure quite honestly. Like any good experience the impact and memories will last hopefully for forever :)

One thing I do know for sure? I’m done “waiting” for things to happen. I really love moderately adventurous vacations and excursions, seeing new things, wearing my hiking boots, and drinking coffee in cool places. I think in the past few years I’ve subconsciously been hindered by not wanting to do things by myself. Not having someone to do these things with. Many of my friends are in significant relationships, tethered by work, or other such commitments. I thought about going many places but always wondered who would go with me. Now, I don’t need to wonder. I’ll just go by myself and make my own way… safely of course. There are obviously places I won’t go by myself and it would be great to have a buddy to travel with…. But life isn’t perfect and I’m not waiting for it to be anymore. I feel more empowered than I ever have before.

My personality for the last 28 years and probably for the next 70 years (yes, that means I’m planning on living to be at least 98) is that of someone who loves lists, organization, planning and anticipating the expected outcome. I won’t ever change that in principle, but this trip was the antithesis of all those traits. I planned nothing. I had no expectations. I booked flights the day I took them. It was phenomenally liberating.

I would almost say I feel liberated from all the things that held me back in the last few years. A little heavy no? But this little respite from that half life I was living was just what I needed. I wasn’t living up to my potential. I’m not completely sure what my potential is, but it was not what I was doing. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to climb to some new heights, drive the coast high above the crashing waves, put my feet in the sand, and break some bread with great friends.


Lastly. I guess I want to thank the two people that tell me they like to read what I write regularly. Kristin and Carrie. To be clear, I write for me and me alone. There is no secret hope that I get a movie deal off my broccoli and cheddar soup recipe or how I fixed my shower head. I secretly like to think that I'm slowly leaving a repository for my grandchildren to read one day. But, it is nice to know that someone reads what I write occasionally ... and I love waking up to text messages from Kristin about how she also talks to dogs like they are people

Trip Blog Posts:

Brussel Sprouts are for the cool kids


I feel like people give brussel sprouts a bad name. I think I blame tv for this actually.

But, I actually like these bad boys. I mean it doesn't hurt that I sprinkled them with truffle salt and gruyere cheese right?

Answer = no.

I've never made brussel sprouts before and they are super easy. Although I honestly didn't do much research on ways to do it. Or for that matter the best way to trim these suckers up. What can I say? I live on the edge people.

Also! I've never skillet'd up some gnocchi. Now, I'm quite sure that I didn't make this to the best possible degree, but I honestly don't care. I did it my way and it worked.

So here it goes.
  • Heat a bit o' butter in the skillet. Toss in your gnocchi. As much as you want for one person.... be your own judge. Turn them around often so they get evenly browned-ish. This should be about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Boil some water for your brussel sprouts. Once the water is all hot and bothered, toss in your trimmed and quartered sprouts. They will look oddly pretty as they dance around in that pot. It'll be great. These take like 5 minutes. I have no idea how to tell when they are done. I just waited for them to look a great shade of green and a little bit softer than before.
  • Back in your skillet. Toss in your cut up bacon. Crisp that up and get rid of nearly all the grease... but save a little teeny tiny bit of it. It'll be great flavor.
  • Now, toss your drained and cooked brussel sprouts, gnocchi, and bacon in the pan. Shake it around a bit. Add in like 1/2 tsp of truffle butter and let it melt all over the business. Also, stop salivating at how good your meal looks. Really.
  • Put all the skillet awesome-ness on a plate. Sprinkle with truffle salt - yep, we are THAT fancy tonight. Yep, I know it's a Tuesday. 
  • Almost done.... just sprinkled some shaved / grated / whatever gruyere cheese on top. I'm not the cheese police.... so use as much as you want. But if you are me, you'll remember that you are going to Miami Beach in a few months. 
But if you are also me, you probably shouldn't have put multiple types of truffle, bacon, and carb in one dish. Whatever. I'll think about cutting back on the truffles but not the bacon.

And. That's. It.

Shopping List
2 pieces of Good Bacon... and I mean it. Buy the good stuff.
Brussel Sprouts
Truffle Salt
Black truffle butter
Gruyere cheese

Mac & Cheese (and well bacon.... of course)


I have a strong love affair with mac and cheese. Specifically Kraft. Not Auntie Annie's. Not Velveta. Just Kraft. 

The Blue Box. In the event you were confused.

So, I guess it is weird slash expected that I had never made Mac & Cheese from scratch. If I have something that works, why mess with it right?

Well, I'll cut right to the chase. I made it. It was great. I will always love the Blue Box.

In true fashion, I didn't measure a lick. I feel like that is something you can really get away with here, but I guess it doesn't really help you.... in the event you wanted to make it as well. Also, my pan was a little bit smaller than your average casserole size.... so add that to the mix of issues. But, I do promise you that you will love this... and it will be great.

I started wanting to make mac & cheese several days ago. I googled. I searched. I opened books. I wanted essentially this dish but it wasn't easy to find. Thankfully, I stumbled upon the "We Heart This" version and knew from their description that I had struck gold.

I think it helped that it was super cold today. I think it also helped that on the Today Show this morning they showed me what an actual serving of cheese should look like. I can say without a doubt that I exceed that anytime I come near cheese. And, I'm sorry.... but after eating this cheesy delight, you will as well.

So, let's get to it. Remember how easy the Ginger Snaps were yesterday? Well, this is just that easy... and I guess almost easier. It's going to seem a little bit backwards the order in which you make things but trust me it makes sense in the end. 

(Step 1) Set the oven to 400 F.

(Step 2) You've got to make the creamy egg mixture first. Why? Well, you want this to be room temperature so that when you put it on the hot pasta you don't get scrambled eggs. That would be bad. So, in a bowl.... put the eggs, light cream, mustard, salt, pepper .... then whisk it up. Done.

(Step 3) and (Step 4) You can do in any order your heart desires... and maybe you only have one skillet right? So, you need to make bread crumbs and you need to make some bacon. The bread crumbs are super easy. Melt the butter in the pan. Toss in the bread crumbs. Mix them around. You want the crumbs to get a little toasty so let them hang out a bit on a low/medium heat. Contemplate life for about 3-4 minutes and you should be good.
Make the bacon however you want. I like mine a little crispy. I used 3 pieces (well 2.5, I ate some) and it was fine. Bigger pan, more bacon. Seems obvious.

(Step 5) Boil your pasta water and toss in those noodles yo. Cook them until they are al dente. Oh, and salt that water. Easy.

(Step 6) Once you've got your pasta all drained. Toss in the butter... and once it melts, get ready to put the cream mixture in. I put my pot back on the stove on low heat to help. You'll want to whisk it just a bit before you pour to make sure it's all good in there. Looks good right? Now add the cheese. Add it in little batches just to make stiring easier. Since you've got the heat on low, the cheese will melt which is perfect.
(Step 7) Add in the bacon! and for that matter anything else you want.... peas? sure why not. That's your choice not mine.

(Step 8) Put all this business in your baking dish.... and then put the bread crumbs on top. Toss in the oven for 20ish minutes.

Next thing? Eating. If you are anything like me, you'll make this. Realize how good it smells and immediately feel like you need to have people over to eat it. So, that's what I did.

I feel oddly more grown up for making this because now I can serve guests mac & cheese.... and not have it be from a box. That just doesn't seem right. Not that it'd stop me, but now I at least have a plan B.

Shopping List

Crunchy Delish Topping

1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs (find these. it's worth it. it's also not hard)
4 T. butter
1/4 tsp. salt

The Business
1lb. box of macaroni noodles 
2 eggs
14 oz. of light cream (-ish.... again, I didn't measure)
2 tsp. powdered dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 pieces of bacon
14 oz shredded sharp cheddar
8 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 c of shredded/grated whatever gruyere
8 T. unsalted butter (note: see step 4 below)

Bonus picture? Remember when I didn't have a grater for the cheese? Well, I procured one today and it was a great $4 spent. Plus, I'm pumped its not a box grater because this one is so much easier to clean. And after cooking.... I get lazy yo.

Big and Soft and Awesome (Cookies)


So, at this point... its obvious that I'm in love with the North End ... right?

If not, please re-read any post subsequent to say November 1st.

Well today is the anniversary of the Boston Molasses Disaster.... which took place in 1919. It was a very unfortunate event in which 21 people died and 150 people were injured. According to Wikipedia and North End lore, on a warm day the North End still smells of molasses. I'll be sure to let you know once the temperature gets above 50. Sidenote.... its currently about 10 degrees. Cold. Super cold.

In honor of such a historic (and unique) day, I decided to cook with molasses ... in the form of ginger snaps. A personal favorite of mine.

I feel as though people think ginger snaps are hard for some reason. I hate to ruin it for people, but they aren't. At all. But, this recipe is particularly soft and delicious. Just as promised.

I honestly think the hardest part was finding the molasses at my local Whole Foods. Finding the ground cloves was no easy feat either, especially considering it was on the top shelf and I'm slightly height deficient I guess. I guess I'm just shocked that nobody offered to help me as I repeatedly tried to reach this little gem on the top shelf. No worries folks, I'll take care of it myself.
Check out that delicious, thick molasses....  just as healthy as celery. I promise.

Anyway. This couldn't have been easier. For reals. 

So this was the recipe that I followed but it includes directions about letting things cool and sifting dry ingredients. I don't do any of those things... and these cookies were delicious... so feel free to skip those steps and just do what I did.

(Step 1) Get that oven nice and warm at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

(Step 2) Put all these dry things in a bowl together. The flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Put it to the side you won't need it for a few minutes. I literally mean a few minutes, this recipe is quick quick quick. 

(Step 3) In a bigger bowl (I used a stand mixer), cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until "light and fluffy". Then add in the egg, and add in infamous molasses (and teeny bit of water). Seriously. You've done all the hard work so far. Now? Add that dry mixture from a minute or two ago. BOOM. You have dough.

(Step 4) Make that tasty dough into some decent-ish sized balls. Then roll them into a bit of sugar. Trust me, this step is important. I know you want to just put them on that sheet and toss it in the oven. Don't be lazy. Also, smoosh them a bit. You want them to be a little flat. 

(Step 5) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. This is a little tricky cause .... the cookies are already brown. So you kinda of need to touch them to see if they are done. Looks don't do the trick. If you want them as soft as I did, you really need just like 8 minutes - or just a smidge more. It's worth it. 

I don't want to toot my own horn - but these babies are delicious. I even waited like two hours before I ate one. I didn't even have that "fresh out of the oven" bonus point situation going on. You will love these. And so will your elderly neighbors, old people love ginger snaps. 

Shopping List

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

Also, a bonus picture? I seem to have lost most of my measuring cups and all spoons during the move (and time in storage) from Brighton. So this is truly how I've been measuring. I put it in my hand and guess.


I’ve toyed a bit with resolutions in the past…. And tend to forget about them come February. Who is surprised there? Not this girl.

But this year I have two that I’m going to try and stick with:
(1) Make 52 new things I’ve never made before
(2) Send more cards in the mail

Originally, they were both “52”ers – but sometimes there just isn’t enough to mail about. I guess there anyways is… but whatever. I changed it and I’m in charge of me, so I can do that.

I’m not sure how I plan on tagging keeping track of the 52 recipes but I’ll find a way. Regardless, you can always see what I’ve made before on the “Kitchen Fun” tab above.

Thus far this year I’ve made a few things that you've seen so far... and things I'm still waiting to write about. In general, I tend to experiment a little bit each night with what I throw in some pasta or gnocchi but unless it seems worth documenting, I don’t think it counts as part of the 52. I’m sure the Interwebs would agree.

So there the are. My 2012 goals.

It's a Broccoli Party


... and you are invited.

I don't care that you didn't even want to come.

Last week I stumbled upon this blog post for Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Lovely Morning. I think I quite literally fell in love with it because of the picture of the broccoli. Is it possible to love broccoli soup but not love broccoli?

I sure hope so - because I think that's where I stand. I've always loved the savory, filling, satisfying nature of broccoli soup. But, this recipe is a bit of a lighter version. So, keep that in mind.

One of my favorite things about living in the North End is that Friday and Saturday are Market Days. There is this sizable market at Haymarket (weird to say right?) and I stock up on produce. I bring all my dollar bills (yep, singles cause I'm classy) and buy cheap onions, clementines, and the like. Its phenomenal. Then I go to Whole Foods and pronounce the price differences. "$3.99 for ONIONS. I paid A DOLLAR." Yep, just like that.


I fell in love with this soup and then bought a lot of broccoli at the market for like zero dollars. It was phenomenal. But as it turns out, I've never cooked fresh broccoli before so I had no idea how much of the "stem" you keep versus not. So I winged it. Whatever. I'm pretty sure my Irish Potato Famine ancestors would have been pissed I didn't eat the whole thing. Sorry heritage, I'll get you next week.

But, this soup is crazy easy to make. All you need is a pot and a blender. No fancy ingredients or skills.

So, let me tell you how it works... and then I'll give you a shopping list. You know the deal.

(1) In a large pot, heat olive oil and butter. Then add onions, shallots, and a bit of salt and pepper. Straight forward right? Right off the bat  your kitchen will smell awesome.

(2) Add the garlic, thyme, and tarragon if you have it. Yeah, I didn't give you measurements. Just add as much as you want. Like maybe a teaspoon or a little more? Whatever, it's just soup. Saute a few more minutes until the flavors have mixed. 

(3) While that business is getting all warm in the pot, dice up your potato. I used one big potato and wish I had use just a bit more. I like a thicker soup. So, if you like it thick... use maybe 1.5 or 2 potatoes. But essentially now add potatoes and toss around until well coated. After they start to soften a bit add the stock, and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. 

(4) Now it's broccoli time babes. So add the broccoli and cook for a few more minutes until just tender. I have no idea what that means. I essentially just had a staring contest with the pot and when I won, I figured the broccoli was tender. 

(5) Remove the pot from heat, add cream, a bit more salt if necessary, and stir.

(6) This is where it gets logistical. If you are fancy and lucky, you have an immersion blender... now use it. If you aren't, proceed to conduct a balancing act getting what is in your pot in the blender. Puree the soup until it matches the consistency you like. Oh, and add the cheddar and mustard at the same time. You have 3 hands right? Just kidding. Add the  mustard  in the pot and then you can like layer the cheese or just toss it all in. I don't care. I'm not the cheddar cheese police. 

(7) Now, pour. garnish. and eat your damn soup. 

Looks pretty good right? See those little buggers in the background? That was another (small) genius idea I had. So instead of peeling the potato, I cut off the skin into thin strips. One might even call them..... potato skins. Yep. 

So as a garnish, I tossed those suckers in some olive oil, garlic powder, tarragon, and salt. Then popped them in the oven at like 400 until the crisped up. It was awesome. Croutons would have been better for soaking in the soup, but my mini skins were awesome.

So on my wishlist post this recipe?
  • An immersion blender. So I don't have to practice not spilling multiple cups of liquid in my kitchen while making soup.
  • A box grader. I had to use my zester to grade the cheese. I'm pretty sure that isn't what anyone had it mind. But it worked-ish.

Shopping List
3 T butter
3 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 shallot, minced
Garlic minced (recipe called for 2, I put in 5... what? are you planning on seeing people?)
Some tarragon
Some thyme
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups veg stock
4-5 cups broccoli florets and stems, in smallish pieces
1/4 c cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for garnish)
1 T whole grain mustard

I ran to Southie.


I've had run a half-marathon on my bucket list for over a year. 

In fact, I have even signed up for one and then elected to not do it. Whatever. 

But, I've decided enough is enough and this bucket list item has gots to go. (Plus, it doesn't hurt that I've been doing some decent running recently... and that I actually have time to these days). So, I've just registered for the Hyannis Half-Marathon.

The kicker? It's at the end of February. So, it'll obviously be a balmy warm day. But whatever. I'm totally pumped. I've been hemming and hawing over signing up for this for a few weeks now. Yes, I've been running, but have I been running enough? Can I do this? It will be cold! But after the spastic weather Mother Nature gave us this week, I feel like I totally can. I ran when it was like 34 degrees(ish) and today I ran when it was MUCH warmer. In fact, I ran 10.5 miles.


My original goal was to run 6, then I mentally sent my mind to 8 miles. But I just kept going. And. Itwasawesomeamazingandwarm. As a slight disclaimer, I did elect to take a picture of what I saw at every mile. So that is why there are so many more "pause pins" on the map this time. I didn't reallllllly take all of those breaks but I also wasn't going to add a bazillion seconds to my times because of photography. 

Because I didn't wait for great pictures to happen, I literally took them of exactly what I saw in front of me-ish.... many of the 10 mile marker shots are lame sauce.  But here are a few that aren't of my sweating weird face:

Mile 2. Joseph Moakley Courthouse.

Mile 5. Pleasure Bay in Southie.

Mile 7. Nowheresville.

Mile 8. Downtown Boston. 

Some observations about what I saw? I found that mysterious FedEx facility in Southie that I can never seem to find in a car. I saw like a million people with dogs. Is it like a thing to have a dog in Southie? I saw someone rollerblading. ROLLERBLADING. Is this something people still do?  I have no idea.

I have this weird thing about people watching me run, so it'll probably be just me in Hyannis at the end of February and that's perfect. After all, it's *just* 13.1 miles.

I'll be starting on a killer playlist like yesterday because I'm pretty sure Kanye and Kelly Clarkson are going to need some help.

Nothing on My Schedule

Yep, that glorious looking piece of quiche is my breakfast. 

And, it's as good as it looks. I'm sitting with baby sister at one of the coffee shops in the North End, Boston Common Coffee, and we are just having some "quiet" time. It's pretty great. Plus I'm wearing one of my favorite fleeces.

Normally when I wake up on the weekend there is a list of things that I'd like to accomplish. And I want to start working on that list immediately. Today? Not so much. It's pretty awesome.

On my list? I plan on going for a good solid run (it's like super warm out) and going to Polcari's Coffee for well, coffee. I bought some Peruvian coffee there before NYE and it was really great. Other than that? I'm not sure. The world is my oyster. 

Speaking of Oysters.... Last night I grabbed some light bites at Rabia's with baby sister. We had originally attempted Neptune Oyster but had little patience for an hour wait. No thank you. I've got some sweatpants with my name on them. So instead we just saddled up to the bar at Rabia's and enjoyed ourselves some tasty goats cheese and oysters. Perfection.

Have I said yet how much I love the North End? Because I do. I really do.

Time for Seals and Sneakers


I (might) have a new favorite view.

And it's in a very unexpected location. A tourist location. And, I am not a fan of tourists.

Weird right? But it's gorgeous as you can see... and I didn't Instagram that at all (unlike I did the other day).

Since it's been bananas cold in Boston the last few days, I took advantage of the opportunity to take a mid-day run. Genius right? The sun would be out. Thus, I'd. Be. Warmer. You know it's been cold when 33 degrees feels down right balmy. 

Anyway. I pulled on my big girl warm running pants, the GAP striped hat I got in high school from a boy, and hit the ole pavement. Oh, and I put on several shirts. Since I'm afraid of looking for the seals at the aquarium in the dark.... it seemed like a natural destination for a mid-day jaunt. Purrrfect. 

I mean could these little suckers look any cuter? Answer: No.

Seriously. This last one who was like napping or something? Adorable. I almost forgot about my fear of them nibbling on my toes from Maine

More highlights from my day?
  • I "had" to stop my run twice to take pictures for tourists. I obviously stopped voluntarily. Thing is.... in Back Bay I would have been pissed. In the North End, I just find this awesome. I wonder when this feeling wears off? Probably in the spring.
  • I saw this older (read as elderly-ish) woman on my way to the Aquarium and thought "well her hair looks like an odd shade of grey". Then I saw her as I was finishing my run. Turns out, this sassy lady has a face tat. Yep. True story. According to my friend Dane, she also has a dog that she talks to like it's a person.
  • Less exciting? I was literally hit with some bread during my run. I guess it's the norm to feed the birds from your 2nd story window.
Also, I officially haven't left the North End since Monday. It's terrifyingly awesome. Today, I picked up my book from the Public Library and sipped on a latte at Boston Common Coffee. Come on that looks pretty dreamy right?

(Window) Plastic Surgery


It got cold in Boston these last few days. Very cold. So cold, I haven't run a lick. I'm going crazy.

Wearing my wool socks seems no longer enough protection against the cold. I also moderately (significantly) refuse to turn on my heat. Quick mind flash to the window sealing kit... ok, now seems like a good time right?

So it seemed appropriate that I finally applied the plastic window film to some of my windows - specifically my bedroom. It got chilly up in here yo! When I was procuring this stuff from Amazon, I knew it wouldn't be an "easy" activity but I also figured I'm not an idiot. Right? I realize that if I'm going to seal my windows for the foreseeable future, I might want them to be clean. So I whip out my "green window cleaner". This stuff is just not as good as Windex. But, my window is suitably cleaner.

Spoiler alert? Applying the film is a job for 1.5 people. Not 2. Not 1. As you well know, I am just one person.

I didn't really look for many reviews of people applying the film but I will say the 3M guidelines are very simple and leave out any additional guidance. So if you are a person that thinks even the slightest bit about the activity, 3M isn't giving you any hints.

Here's the play by play of how this went down...

Step 1: Opening the box I find some double stick tape (what are we holding together prom dresses?) and a giant amount of plastic. Oh, but the box indicates I need to bring my own tools to the party. A tape measure, scissors, and a blowdryer. So this is only a project for girls apparently....

Step 2: Directions indicate I need to cut the plastic to fit the window. So I measure the window (63 inches) and cut the plastic. Easy enough.

Step 3: Double stick tape time. Directions indicate I'm supposed to put this around the window. Done. I start on the right, then the top, then go down the left side. ROADBLOCK. The bottom seems tricky. There is like this additional part of the sill. How do I handle this? Oh, I'll look at the picture on the box. 3M conspicuously leaves the bottom of the window out. Oh, I'll check the website. SAME INFORMATION. Is there a video? No. Seems like a great opportunity guys. Just saying.

I decide to wing it on the bottom. Whatever. It's just a window. I'm not stitching up wounds on the front lines. Sidenote: I have managed to lose a sock so far because I had to pick up my scissors with my toes or fear f-ing with the double stick tape. 

Step 4: Now its the big time. I pretty seamlessly manage to get the plastic stuck to the right side of the window and the top. Pretty proud of my strategy so far. As I'm unfurling this crazy thin plastic, I start to realize my home manicure probably has left me with some jagged edges that could rip this $18 piece of plastic. Try to put my fears aside.

Step 5: The directions tell you to keep adjusting the plastic to remove wrinkles. I can't decide at what point wrinkles are acceptable. I figure this is a practice window.  Looks good to me.

Step 6: I'm supposed to use my hairdryer to remove the remaining wrinkles. Being the person that I am I wonder the following "What setting? Low v High? Does it matter that this is an "ionic" blowdryer? Should I set it to cool at any point? How close should I get? How long does this step take?". 3M's instructions? "start at the corner".

I remind myself this is the practice window. It doesn't really matter. I am however thankful for the electrical outlet smack in the middle of the wall [see the next picture]. It makes this step a lot easier.

Step 7: Admire my completed window. Go ahead guess which window is covered in plastic. I dare you.

Estimated time to completion? I have no idea. Not long enough that I cared to measure. But I can say for sure I beat out the dude on Amazon that said one window took him an hour. 
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