Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Hi friends! It's confession time! I confess that I haven't been working out. Like at all besides a few runs here and there. I'm not going to make excuses or give false promises. I just wanted to put it out there for full disclosure. I'm definitely in an off period right now. A lot of hectic things have been going on and I just haven't been making it a priority. I know I should, but I just haven't. I don't necessarily know when I will get back into the swing of things, but I will be sure to let you guys know ;)

That may be a future ten things post inspiration right there! Anyhoo, breakfast yestereday was an unpictured muffin. Lemon poppyseed to be exact. An impulse buy of course. That's the problem with being in such close proximity to a cafeteria. Yummy baked goodies. Lunch was my new usual (in Springfield anyway) of a chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce and tomato. Once again they were out of pickles so I had to settle for carrots. Carrots are great and all, but when you have the option of carrots or pickles, obviously pickles are the favorite (which is probably why they keep running out of them, but honestly, just buy more pickles). On the side I had a bag of pita chips and a disgusting Kozy Shack vanilla pudding cup. Disgusting. I literally ate three bites of this thing and threw it out. The only reason I even got it was because I went to lunch a little late and all the desserts had been picked over. It was the pudding cup or some sad looking pumpkin pie.

For dinner we went to a little Italian place in Hadley called Carmelina's.

At first glace, the decor was a little cheesy and it was surprisingly bright for an Italian restaurant. The restaurant was not large by any means but was roomy and comfortable. The waitress brought out warm scali bread to start with butter and a side of tepanade that I didn't have the courage to try. In looking over the menu, I was surprised to see that they had gluten free options on the menu, something I would have thought would be particularly rare for an italian restaurant. Bonus points for Carmelina's there.

I wasn't all that hungry and didn't think I would be able to eat a full sized entree, so instead I opted for a salad and an appetizer for my meal. I ordered the Warm Spinach Salad, which is baby spinach tossed with spiced candied walnuts, fresh blue cheese, caramelized pear, grapes, and Gorgonzola peppercorn dressing.

I was not blown away by this salad. The concept is good, but the spinach was way too salty. Some of the spinach was raw and some of it was cooked, giving the salad an inconsistent texture. The grapes and pears were probably the best thing about the salad. I most likely would not get it again. For my "entree" I ordered the appetizer of BuonaBocca, which is mozzarella pillows stuffed with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, fried and served with a lemon caper sauce and a side of cranberry relish.

The dish was good, but not great. You would never know there were sun-dried tomatoes in there as I couldn't see them or taste them. The lemon caper sauce felt wrong for the mozzarella (nor were they "pillows," more like square bars) but the cranberry relish was divine. I ate a little with the mozzarella and some just on it's own. Of course I got food envy, as my coworker ordered the chicken marsala which I thought looked fantastic, so I took a photo of that too.

Luckily my coworker cut off some for me to try and I immediately wished I had gotten it. It had a sweet smoky flavor and was delicious. The potatoes were slightly undercooked, but not so much that they weren't still really good. Even the vegetables looked delicious. For dessert, we each ordered a cannoli. Now I am normally not a fan of cannolis, but my coworkers were talking them up from this restaurant, so I figured why not?

Well they were right. As far as cannolis go, this was probably one of the best I've had. The chocolate chips were actually inside the filling and the shell was crunchy and delicious. If I ever went here again, I would definitely get the cannoli again. My other options were the other typical desserts (creme brulee, cheesecake, and tiramisu). All in all, not a bad experience, but not a great one.

What is your favorite Italian dessert?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Food and Beer and Movies, Oh My!

Hey guys, back in Springfield this week! You know I'm super excited! At least I am only here until Wednesday this week.

I had an eventful weekend, so below are just some of the highlights. The one and only meal I remembered to photograph this weekend was yesterday's breakfast. I had a bowl of yogurt, pumpkin, and granola with a side of half an english muffin with peanut butter and a few bites of banana that the boy wouldn't eat because it was too ripe. I have a cast iron stomach and the boy gets squeamish about just about anything when it comes to food. So I manned up and ate the banana for him ;)

Friday night the boy and I went out to play some pool and eat gross bar food. I won't name the place because since pool was free until 7, I'm sure the boy will want to go back there at some point. But let's just say that I will be eating before I go next time. It's really really hard to screw up bar food, but this place did a damn good job of finding ways. Anyway, after that we went home to rewatch Harry Potter 6 in preparation for seeing it yesterday at the Imax. And because we are LAME we both fell asleep on the couch half way through the movie. Apparently we got old overnight.

It was the boy's first ever trip to the Imax. I joked beforehand that seeing a movie at the Imax would ruin him for all other movies. Well that would have been true, had the movie actually been good. I know a lot of Harry Potter fans will eviscerate me for saying this, but Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows was BORING. They must have spent an hour and a half out of the over two hour movie just sitting in the woods. There was a LOT of sitting in the woods. The action parts were very good, but they were very far apart. I know that a lot of this is build up to the ultimate showdown between Harry and Voldemort, but I almost wished I had just waited for the second one to come out.

Since I'm randomly living at the movie theatre lately, Saturday afternoon I met Danielle to go see Burlesque. Scoff if you will, but I really liked it. Plus, Xtina and Cher both rule my world. I love me some divas. Apparently Danielle and I were not the only ones as there were a bunch of people in the theatre, including two older ladies who did a sort of Rockette-esque kicking dance into the theatre in an effort to mimic Burlesque dancing. It was slightly tragic, slightly cute, but very odd.

Also when I was in the movie theatre waiting for Danielle, one of the showings of Tangled sold out. Apparently this movie is HOT right now because there were a ton of very upset little kids running around. One girl actually left crying. The mother was dragging her to another movie theatre. This will pale in comparison though to when the Justin Beiber movie comes out. Yes you read that right. There is a Justin Beiber movie coming out. Can you imagine the hysteria?? Avoid the movie theatre at all costs that weekend people.

Before having to head back to Springfield, last night I randomly got a raging craving for Yardhouse all of a sudden. I had been wanting to take the boy there because I knew he would love it, and sure enough he did. I ordered my usual Avocado Swiss burger and the boy got the Pepper Jack burger, but the real star of the show was this guy.

The boy and I inspected the beer menu for quite a while before getting a recommendation from the waitress. This right here is a seasonal beer. Caramel. Or as the waitress referred to it, "christmas in a glass." Well cue the tinsel throwing because she was not exaggerating. I started out with Wachusett Blueberry because whenever I get wachusett blueberry on tap and actual blueberries are involved, I can never turn it down. I switched over to the caramel after trying a sip of the boy's though. Oh my yum. Best beer I've had in a while, possibly ever.

What's your favorite beer? Seen any good movies lately?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Let's Go to the Movies!

Happy day after Thanksgiving bloggies! The boy and I went to the movies Wednesday night (Thursday is typically date night for us, but since it was Thanksgiving, we moved date night to Wednesday). The evening started with him making stir fry for us for dinner (he's getting so much better about cooking) and then we sat down to see what time it was playing. I had voted for Love and Other Drugs and much to my surprise, he agreed to go see it. In looking up times for the movie, I saw a movie called 127 Hours that I hadn't heard of, so we watched the trailor.

I was hooked. It wasn't playing until 10:10, but I was so jazzed about it that I didn't mind waiting and staying up late. It was a holiday after all. We killed some time by going to the mall until it closed and then over to Barnes and Noble for some book browsing and coffee at Starbucks. Finally we headed over to the theatre.

The movie in a nutshell is a true story about a guy who was canyoning and had a rock fall on his arm, trapping him. 127 hours is how long he was trapped, with very little water and eventually resorting to drinking his own urine and in a final desperate attempt at staying alive, chopping his arm off with a pair of pliers and a dull knife. I happen to love survival movies (what movies don't I like actually) and I was absolutely riveted and left the theatre in awe.

The boy asked me later on if I thought there was going to be oscar buzz for James Franco and I said no, basically because it's an independent film and I hadn't even heard about it until we went to check movie times, but then I did a little googling and discovered that yes, it is in fact being talked up for the oscars. After all, there has been basically nothing that has come out this year worth even talking about besides Inception and the Social Network. So here I am trying to generate a little buzz...go see it!

Yesterday morning I made a big breakfast for the boy including chocolate chip pancakes for him and french toast for me, bacon, and orange juice. We weren't eating our big Thanksgiving meals together so I at least wanted us to have a big breakfast to share on Thanksgiving. It was my first time making chocolate chip pancakes and much like anytime with pancakes, the first one is always a "test pancake." As in, I completely mangled it :/ Well the boy wolfed them down so I assume they had to be good.

I needed just a light dinner, being it was Thanksgiving and all, so I just sliced up a sweet potato and some brussel sprouts and threw them in the oven to roast. For dessert (and some protein) I had some tofu pudding with whipped cream. Simple, but delicious.

I even managed to fit in a 2 mile run today. It was short, but I don't get to run during the day very often anymore since it gets dark so early, so I thought I would take advantage. It was a little cold, but the run felt great. I really do love running outside so much more than on the treadmill. It's unfortunate that my running suffers in the winter because of this. I have vowed to be better about it though and run 3 times a week no matter what. Since I'm getting out of work early tomorrow, I will go after work tomorrow as well and then again on Sunday.

How was your Thanksgiving? Are you participating in Black Friday?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ten Things I'm Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! In honor of Turkey Day I'm using this Ten Things Wednesday as an opportunity to name the things in my life that I'm most thankful for. A lot of other bloggers are posting recipes, how to make a turkey, pies, etc. And while I will be attempting my grandmother's fried breads as promised, I also want to stop and realize that even amongst the chaos of my life, I have a lot of good things going for me :) So in no particular order:

1. Cookies. This goes without saying. If I wasn't thankful for cookies, The Cookie Battle would never have been born. Neither would my spare tire, but that's a story for another day.

2. Love Notes. The boy has always written really good love notes and I am thankful for that because I always find them when I least expect them and they always put a smile on my face. Sometimes they don't rhyme, and sometimes they are really cheesy, but it still makes a girl feel special :)

3. My kittens. As much as I complain about what pains in the asses they are, I love them and am thankful everyday that I adopted them from my friend Marilyn. I consider myself a dog person, but these two girls have changed my life. I couldn't imagine not having them.

4. The internet for giving me the ability to stalk people that I'm not really friends with, haven't seen in years, and ex-boyfriends. Nothing makes me happy quite like knowing the intimate details of someone else's life via their status updates, profile, and facebook photos.

5. Trader Joe's. I am thankful for Trader Joe's on a daily basis because they make some of the most delicious food on earth. I could spend hours a day browsing the aisles of Trader Joe's and I read their flyer from cover to cover in rapture like it's a Dan Brown novel.

6. Really bad reality TV. Specifically shows on VH1. I Love New York, Tool Academy, Shot at Love...the list goes on and on. I have watched them all. Twice. I love me some trashy TV. There is nothing more entertaining than watching the trashiest people on earth make complete asses of themselves on TV, but do it all in the name of love. It warms my frosty heart.

7. Seasonal flavors. Pumpkin, cinnamon, lemon. I love seasonal flavored items. Specifically beer and coffee. But I also love the reappearance of pumpkin and gingerbread every fall and berries every summer. Of course, all of the flavored items also happen to be the worst things for you, but oh well, they are damn good. Chick-Fil-A chocolate peppermint milkshake anyone? Oh my yum.

8. SoapNet. Singlehandedly the best channel on TV. Seriously. How does it get any better? Reruns of 90210, the OC, and One Tree Hill???? As well as playing daily reruns of soaps (not that I need this because I DVR General Hospital everyday and I have given up on the rest of them). All they need is reruns of Dawson's and I seriously would never watch any other channel ever. The person who invented this channel should be awarded the peace prize because every nation can bond over reruns of 90.

9. Digital music. This has to be the greatest technological advance ever. For someone as obsessed with music as I am, back in the day I used to haul a CASE of cassette tapes around with me along with my yellow Sony walkman (you know those were the SHIT back in the day) and then after that, still lugging around a CD book. Now all I need to carry is my little iPod and it has every song I have on it. Any song I want at the click of a button. Thank you Apple, for making the world a better place.

10. Great friends. The cheesiest one. This one really hit home for me yesterday when I realized that over the last few traumatic years of my life, I have had a few friends that have really helped me through and I am so grateful for them. I am grateful for Danielle who has really shown me what a great friend really is (love you D) and for Briar, who has been my friend since we were little, and even though we've had our times where we lost contact for a little while, she has always been there when we found our way back (love you B). And for the rest of my friends, who literally get me through life everyday. I love you guys :)

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Heat is On

Hi bloggies. So 2 very frigid days in my house and $325 later, the heat finally works again. The numbness in my fingers and toes still hasn't totally returned though.

Breakfast yesterday was cereal. I decided to work from home yesterday since I wanted to wait for the oil man to come and assure me there was nothing wrong with my heat and fill up my oil tank. I was originally told that the oil in the tank would last until Christmas. Well, it's not even Thanksgiving so what gives? Mr. Oil Man said nothing was wrong, it was just empty and my fault for not checking the gauge. Grrrr.

I like working from home because then I can make my lunch. Of course I opted for a big mouth sandwich (I don't usually pack those just because I hate soggy sandwiches and the mustard, tomato, and avocado can make everything soggy). Cracked pepper turkey, stoneground mustard, tomatoes, and avocado on toasted whole wheat bread. YUM.

On the side I had some wheat thins and a gingerbread man. I will have you all know that I did not buy this gingerbread man. The boy drives an ambulance for a living, and apparently he looks emaciated or something because the nurses like to feed him, so he comes home with all these little snacks and cookies all the time. I try to avoid them, I even put them in a jar on a high shelf in the pantry. But this little guy was calling to me today. I always eat the head first, anyone else? There is something oddly satisfying about biting the head off of a gingerbreadman.

I made a trip over to Trader Joe's yesterday to pick up a couple of things...the fresh mild salsa for one thing. But they were out of it. This scares me. Everyone familiar with Trader Joe's knows that they rotate their products a lot, and the last time I couldn't find something I was looking for they had discontinued it. I cannot live without that salsa. I would have to resort to making my own and that is way too much vegetable chopping for this lazy girl. On the bright side, I did find this finally:

I am obsessed with the pumpkin butter which is also seasonal like this is, but for some reason, I hadn't been able to find this until now. I can't wait to try this in my oatmeal. I forgot the bacon that I had specifically went to TJ's to get since I was so upset about them not having my salsa. But coming home and watching Bailey play in the bag cheered me up a little bit.

All the expensive cat toys I have bought for them and they get more enjoyment out of a paper bag than anything. Don't you wish life was that simple?

Dinner was a random hodgepodge of things. I started out with a green monster, but I was still hungry after that, so I made some popcorn for the boy and me while we caught up on Boardwalk Empire. Then while making our lunches for tomorrow, I decided to have a piece of bread with butter. Then I finished my eating spree with two fig newtons and finally called it a night. I'm not sure why I was so snacky.

Do you ever get snacky? How do you make it stop? And do you bite the head off your gingerbread men first?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Home At Last

Happy Monday y'all. It's back to the grind.

I am home for the week instead of in Springfield (yay!) but there was a few girls who were not as happy as I was about that. For the first day I was home, I got a lot of this.

She is on my lap, but she wouldn't face me and got up when I tried to pet her. Finally yesterday when it was about naptime for me, both kittens stopped being frosty and decided to forgive me for being away so much and we all cuddled together and took a little siesta.

Can you see my feet in the picture? Cute socks, right? Bath and Body Works fuzzy socks are the best. I have about ten pairs of them and wear them all winter long. The reason I was wearing them all weekend is because I ran out of oil. What a disaster. I got home yesterday after being out all day and noticed it was chilly in the apartment. It was a cool crisp 58 degrees. So after much running around and phone calls, I discovered that if I wanted someone to make an emergency trip out, it was going to cost me $100. Otherwise I would have to wait until Monday. So I went out and bought some space heaters to keep the apartment warm for the weekend. I figure I will use them even after the oil gets replenished, just keep the temperature lower since the price of oil is so astronomical. Never a dull moment in my life, I promise you that.

After I got the space heaters going and got the apartment back to 65 degrees, I started to get ready to go out. Saturday night's destination was Rock Revolution with Danielle and Mike for Danielle's friend Ariel's birthday party. Danielle even did my hair! Here is a blurry side shot of my hair (and no I was not already drunk when I took this picture, it was just my third attempt at a picture of myself with my phone and I gave up after this one). I never ever curl my hair because let's face it, I'm way too lazy to mess around with a curling iron, but if I have someone who is willing to do my hair for me, I'm not going to say no! It came out really good, girlfriend has some talent.

Don't mind the ginormous bags under my eyes, I got almost no sleep Friday night and was hungover from a trip to Santarpios and Margaritas with the boy. I felt better that it was dark at Rock Rev and no one could see the five piece luggage set I was carrying under my eyes. Of course I had a little too much Saturday night too, but the boy put his sweet hat on and decided to wake up early and make me breakfast in bed :)

He made me two fried eggs (he has never fried an egg before, I was extremely impressed), two pieces of toast, and some applewood smoked bacon. He even went to Starbucks and got me a gingerbread latte to go with my breakfast. Am I a lucky girl or what? Breakfast was delicious. The only problem is that now I'm going to expect him to cook more often. When I said this to him, I may or may not have gotten a look of fear. I spent the rest of the day napping on the couch with my kittens, catching up on my TV shows and doing laundry.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Holidays Are Here!

Yes, that's right. The holidays are here. Christmas music is playing on the radio, everyone has turkey on the brain, and Christmas trees are popping up everywhere.

Historically, I have always liked the holidays. It has been different for me since I lost my grandmother though. I can still appreciate the holidays, but celebrating them without her delicious fried breads and the huge family meals feels empty. What I am looking forward to though, is attempting to recreate her fried breads on my own this season. Once I am successful (I have tried in the past and failed miserably), I will post the recipe and process for you guys. I promise you, if you make nothing else that I have featured on my blog, you must make these. For me, they taste like home. For you, they will taste like a slice of heaven. More on that to come ;)

Breakfast was the same, an apple and a larabar. Lunch was the same again as well, a chicken salad sandwich. For dinner tonight, we headed over to a local Italian restaurant. I am not doing an official review of it, but am planning on going back to do a more detailed review. I ordered the Ratatta, which is basically marinated chicken with eggplant, roma tomatoes, penne, and buffalo mozzarella. It was absolutely delicious. Everything about the dish was just perfect, down to the eggplant.

I didn't take a picture of dessert because quite frankly it wasn't worth taking a picture of it. I ordered the chocolate mousse. What I got was chocolate cake, that had obviously been in the refrigerator too long, with a sickeningly sweet frosting on top with a cherry as hard as a rock. The waitress came over and asked how I liked it, so I was honest and told her that I didn't like it. She explained that it was supposed to only have a thin layer of cake and she brought me a new one, which was better than the first, but still not good. A dessert has to be really bad for me not to like it you guys. You know this about me. Perhaps when I go back the second time, my dessert will be as good as my entree was.

On a side note, have any of you heard of porn in a cup? I wish someone would bring this to Boston!

Are you excited for the holidays?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten Examples of How Lazy I Am

Happy Wednesday y'all! You know what that means, it's time for Ten Things! The inspiration for today's post actually came from one of my coworkers when I made a comment to him about how damn far away he parked. Which leads to my first example of how lazy I am...

1. I park as close as possible. If this involves driving around for an hour, or stalking someone from the moment they walk out the door, I will find the closest spot available. This also applies if I find a spot that is entirely too small to fit a car...as long as I can get my door open 6 inches to get out, I am parking there. And slamming my door into the side of the vehicle who parked like a jackass, causing me to squish my car into a tiny space.

2. Under no circumstances will I take the stairs. If there is an elevator, an escalator, or a man willing to carry me nearby, I will not climb any stairs. I can do the stairstepper at the gym, but I will not voluntarily use stairs when presented with the option. And it irritates the shit out of me when I read magazines and that is always an example of how to get more activity in your day. Take the stairs! Yeah RIGHT. Climbing three flights of stairs doesn't even burn off the calories in one oreo so why the hell bother???

3. I drink straight out of the bottle like it's my job. Water, soda, even booze...I am usually too lazy to get a glass unless company is over. And even then, if we're talking about alcohol, all bets are off after a few drinks anyway. Some days, I just bring the whole bottle of soda over to the couch and then I'm set for the day. No getting up required unless it's to pee.

4. I never untie my shoes before taking them off. This is a big no-no for runners because it stretches out your shoes, thus you don't get as much support and they wear out more quickly. Conversely, if I can get them ON without untying them, even better. I was in heaven a few years back when bike shoes were in fashion and I could get away with velcro. I can't do that now unless I want to look like a third grader.

5. If my clothes are wrinkled, I through them in the dryer for 5 minutes instead of ironing. Or I just wear them wrinkled. I actually don't think my iron has been used in almost a year. And I don't own an ironing board. I know it looks sloppy and unkept having wrinkly clothes, but I just cannot bring myself to iron.

6. I consider shaving my legs in the winter to be optional. I know a lot of you ladies are with me. One of the few things I like about winter is I don't have to worry about being hair free so that I can wear shorts and skirts. Plus it saves money on shaving cream and razors. And since the decent razors cost more than my rent, that's a good chunk of change.

7.  I don't wash my hair everyday. Ladies, I cannot stress this enough. If you have not tried dry shampoo, go out right now and buy some. I literally have saved hours every week not having to wash my hair everyday. The dry shampoo does the job and to be perfectly honest, once I'm on the second day of dry shampoo, my hair looks fantastic. Sometimes laziness pays off.

8. I leave dishes in the sink until they smell or there is mold. I know this one is really disgusting, and I have improved upon it since the boy moved in with me because he doesn't really need to know how disgusting I am (even though he knows now). Unfortunately I now live in a place that doesn't have a dishwasher, but luckily the boy doesn't mind doing dishes.

9. It appears that I live in my car. If I have to bring something with me somewhere, it hardly ever makes it's way back into the house. About twice a year I clean out my car. I usually find about five pairs of shoes, a million slips of paper, random books and CDs, water bottles, etc. When I go to get out of the car and know there's something that needs to come in, 9 times out of 10 I will just say "oh I will grab it next trip." And then I never do. Some people hoard things in their house. I hoard things in my car.

10. I never try things on. And then I never return them. This is not just a lazy habit, but a costly one too. I hate trying things on in the store. It's so much effort to take your clothes off in the dressing room, put on the new clothes, take the new clothes off, put your old ones back on, and then go buy them. I just buy whatever I think looks good with the premise that I will return it if it doesn't fit. Well I usually am too lazy to return it and I either end up giving it to goodwill or forcing myself to wear it so I don't feel wasteful. Yeah, I'm lazy.

What are you lazy about?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Good morning! I have a restaurant review for you guys today, YAY! Last night we tried a barbeque place called Theodore's. It's actually known for it's blues music on Friday and Saturday nights, but it's worth it to eat there during the week as well.

The decor inside was really cool and funky. I absolutely loved it. It had a very laid back feel to it.

I am a sucker for anyplace that lets you color on the tablecloth (I'm looking at you Macaroni Grille!). I did my usual flowers and eye (for some reason I have been drawing eyes since middle school). Unfortunately I was with work people otherwise I would have pulled an immature move and drawn inappropriate things. My friend Kristen and I love doing this.

I ordered the blackened chicken sandwich with honey mustard and swiss cheese. The rub that they used on the chicken was absolutely fantastic. It was spicy, but not too spicy. Usually when I get blackened chicken I can find it a little dry, but not the case with this sandwich. The chicken was juicy and flavorful. On the side was spicy waffle fries that were delicious. The only thing missing was a dill spear.

My coworker ordered the chicken caesar salad that looked awesome, so I took a photo of this one as well.

All in all I really liked this place and would definitely go back. Next time I will get the chicken caesar salad, and I will definitely go on a weekend night to check out their blues show because I'm sure it's amazing.