Thinking vs. Doing

I have been noticeably absent from the blog world for no particular reason.  Lazy days of summer aside, I pretty much have been getting back into the swing of things with my new school year and grade level (I teach 5th grade math now) and finding a new balance with my school commitments, eating and exercise.

To quickly catch you up on what my laziness has included (and these are not excuses just tidbits of info FYI 😉 ):

I did my fair share of vacationing this summer.  First a trip to Hawaii…

Then in Old Orchard Beach, Maine for some QT with the family….

And a girls weekend in New Hampshire…

I attended some fun “events” too!

Holly’s Bachelorette

and Holly’s wedding (which was fabulous by the way).

A mini-reunion with some very old friends…

Kristin, Joe, Me, Rich, Anthony (in the back), Rich, and Chris circa 1997 (I think)

Kristin R., Chris, Me, Kristin A., Anthony, Rich 2010

I also attended “THE CONCERT OF THE CENTURY” Ray LaMontagne and David Gray….

And I don’t think I have to mention the delicious food and beverages I have allowed myself to “splurge” on…

But putting all that aside, I have truly missed my blog.

A lot…

Each and every thing I did this summer I thought about blogging about it.  (but we all know thinking and actually doing are totally separate entities though..)

I am ready to come back in a big way, however, I felt (and still do feel) my blog started to lose focus this summer.  I saw that each post was a recap of my day-to-day routine, which is NOT what I intended the blog to be because,to me, that is boring to write read about.

I guess I realized I don’t know what I want the focus of my blog to be…

so I need to refocus…..

and that is just what I am doing.

Stay tuned  🙂

~L

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A Run and a Recap

Happy Saturday folks!  It is a beautiful day out there despite all the gloom and doom forecasting we got throughout the Boston area the past few days.  Hurricane Earl turned out to be a few light, quick showers and I am OK with that!

(SOURCE)

This morning I woke up and went for a run through Charlestown, into the North End, and back. The loop was just over 3 miles and it is the first time I have run outside in a long time.  It felt good. Tough, but good.  I need to get back into hydrating before runs, especially when it is kind of warm and very sunny.

Now I am getting ready to head to Beverly for my friend Holly’s wedding tomorrow.  Jack and I decided to make a weekend out of it so we are going up this afternoon.  Our hotel is near Cape Ann and Salem so we have lots of outdoor activity options and one of my goals is to find a good fall beer to sip on a restaurant patio….any good suggestions???

Since she is getting married tomorrow I thought there would be no better time than now to recap her bachelorette party!

The Saturday before I left for Hawaii I had the pleasure of partaking in the bachelorette festivities for my friend Holly.

The picture above was from my trip to Vermont back in April.  I got to catch up with Holly and meet her fiance Rick.  They are a super cute couple!

Holly and I met my freshman year at the University of Maine, Farmington and I have some really great memories of us from all four years up there that include dinners, parties, and plenty of beer 🙂  Unfortunately digital cameras didn’t exist when I was in school (at least I didn’t have one) so I can’t post any fun old-school pics right now.

We spent the afternoon of her bachelorette at Carson Beach in Southie.  The weather was perfectly warm and super sunny.  I heart the beach, especially with a good group of girls!

While relaxing and sunning myself I sipped on a refreshing cocktail of raspberry stoli, some other kind of liquor,and a mix of juices.  It has been over a month since the party so I don’t really remember anything but the fact that it was sweet and cold.

Lunch was cold cut sammies.  I had turkey and cheese on a whole wheat bun with a whole bunch of Doritos and a pickle on the side.  We packed up and headed home to shower and get ready for the evening’s festivities.  There was a great spread of pre-dinner snacks and beverages.

There were garlic triscuts (my new fav obsession), crackers, and a few different cheeses…

Chips and salsa….

and I had a beer.

We also poured some champagne for a toast.  Problem was that bottle was put in the freezer to chill, and ended up freezing!  Yikes!  When we finally popped the cork it exploded  slushy champagne all over Lindsay’s apartment.  Not to self: don’t freeze champagne!

Lindsay, Ashley (M.O.H), Holly, Andrea

Lindsay and Ashley got her an authentic Hawaiian lei flown in from the island.  It was beautiful (and I got one just like it a few days later) and smelled so nice!

She looked so pretty with it on!  So much more her style than a devil-horned veil!

We had a couple of beers, finished the champagne and snacks, and called a couple of cabs to drive us to Marina Bay in Quincy.

We took lots of pics on our way to the restaurant

We had dinner reservations at Siro’s which is right on the docks overlooking the water.  It was a perfect summer night and it was packed so we took the table inside.

We all started with a martini.  I forget the name of the one I got but it was fruity and I definitely liked it.  I garnished it with one of the flowers that fell off Holly’s lei.

The menu included a ton of appetizers which were a large enough portion for us to have for dinner.  I split tomato and mozzarella salad with Lindsay.  It had red and yellow beef steak tomatoes with the buffalo mozzarella, and basil.  It was also drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.  It was so fresh and summer-y.

For dinner I got the beef tenderloin risotto.  I LOVE risotto.  When I make it I usually end up rolling it in breadcrumbs and putting cheese in the middle to make arancini (recipe part 1 and part 2), but keeping it as risotto and adding tender beef to the top is a novel idea 😉

This is supposed to be an appetizer!

It was delicious and now that I am thinking about it, I should try to recreate this at home!

After dinner we walked down the docks and stopped in for a couple of beers at one of the outdoor bars.  I had a couple of Bud Light drafts.  Draft beer is refreshing but very filling.

Then we headed to the Ocean Club which used to be “Waterworks”.  It is a very large, outdoor bar with cabanas, volleyball court with sand flown in from Aruba, and live music.  It is open during the day as well as the night.  When we went it wasn’t too busy, which was nice because we didn’t have to wait long for our drinks from the bar 🙂

Lots of beers were enjoyed, shots taken, and picture-taking……

It was really great to celebrate with Holly!


We had some fun when waiting for a cab too…

It was the camera taking blurry pics, not my lack of skills FYI.


T
he night was so fun and I can’t wait until tomorrow to catch up with everyone again.

Congrats Holly!

Until Later,

~L

Take a hike, or a nature walk

WARNING: This post has a lot of pictures…but smile, the post could be way worse 🙂

Saturday morning I woke up feeling refreshed.  I actually slept like a log and woke up around 9.  I always get worried when I go away that I will either sleep too long or not long enough.  I stress over what I will do if I wake up too early and hate the thought that I would hold everyone up.  Since I slept of the murphy bed (which pulls down from the living room wall) I knew that movement of the ladies would wake me!

Breakfast was pancakes.  I heart pancakes for breakfast.  Since the beginning of the summer I have been super lazy with my breakfast, often just eating an energy bar or waiting until lunch so I forgot how much I missed these babies.

Amy mixed the batter and I cooked them up.  I always cook my pancakes in butter.  I love the crispy edges they get when they cook that way.  When I was younger I used to LOVE when my dad made us pancakes because he would put chocolate chips in them.  Since I was on vacation, and had none available to me (I did contemplate adding some cookie dough), I settled for a yogurt on the side.

Stonyfield Key Lime is delicious.

After breakfast we got dressed, jumped in the cars, and cruised to our hiking spot for the day which was about 5 minutes from the resort.  The trail was a very flat, very straight, 3 mile walk to some natural water slides and pools.  I was looking forward to an easier hike than Friday’s.

Amy, Me, Andrea, Maria, Devon

The path was soooo straight.  We literally saw this for 3 miles (each way!)

We kept ourselves entertained, don’t worry!  First, we stopped and checked out a log that had fallen across the rocks in the river.

Amy is a daredevil!

Then we came across this nifty sign:

Fun!  We all immediately stopped talking to count (in our heads) how many paces were in 200ft.  I forget exactly but I want to say it was like 80-something for me.

End 200ft.....

And then we came to a bridge, which we didn’t have to cross…….

so we took a picture on the rocks in front of it.  See, we were very entertained 😉

When we got to the natural slides the sun was not out (so it was chilly) and the water wasn’t too high.  We took some time to enjoy the scenery.

I liked taking pictures of the moving water with my camera on “sport” mode.  It looks like it is still moving!

I snacked on a Dulce de Dulce Luna Bar around noon.  These are fantastically sweet and satisfying.

I built some rock piles…..

I am uber talented..don't hate

Amy did some heavy lifting…..

Devon cheered on Maria as she “slid” down a non-slippery rock….

Andrea jumped right into the very frigid water……

Everyone took turns sliding down a very steep, slippery rock…..

ok, everyone but me (yes I am a chicken) slid down that rock….I took pics!

After nature-walking 6 miles and taking so many damn pictures, I couldn’t wait for a local wine shop’s wine tasting that night!  We had eaten lunch (intentionally) in front of The Abbey Cellars after the hike Friday so that is how we found out about it.

The wine tasting featured three red wines and three white wines.  I tried all six because the pours were so small I felt like I just had to.  We tried to talk up the lady but I think she was a wine snob and referenced hundred-dollar bottles of wine several times.  I will probably never drink a glass of wine from such an expensive bottle and I am ok with that.  Free wine that night tasted like a million bucks!

Before going to bed I told Amy that I really wished we could get a couple of days of rain so I can spend a lazy Sunday doing nothing and a productive few days in my classroom.  Rain definitely makes it easier to return to school.  Famous last words because what followed was FOUR freakin’ days of rain in the Boston area.  What a waste of the last week of summer!

Anyway, we woke up Sunday to the fire alarm blasting throughout the hotel.  We got evacuated and stood in the rain (well under the awning in front) for quite sometime before they let us back in and apologized for the “false alarm”.

Girl’s weekend= a must to get through the fall/winter/spring

peace out

~L

New Hampshire: Friday Night

So you may (or may not) have noticed my disappearance in the blog world for the past few weeks.  I have no good excuses…and I am sorry if you have missed me (I have missed you 🙂 )….

Now, let’s move on….

The weekend of August 20th I went on a girls weekend in New Hampshire with some lovely ladies.  I headed up early and hike with Amy to the summit of Bald Peak, which is located on Mt. Kinsman.  It was a lovely hike, check it out here.

Friday afternoon we checked into our suite at the Rivergreen Resort, which is near Loon Mountain.  The hotel was kind of dated but the suite was H U G E!  it slept 6 people comfortably, had a separate bedroom, two bathrooms (one had a hot tub), a living room, dining room, and kitchen.  It was a great deal (scored on the site Buy With Me) at $150 for the weekend.  Each girl paid $25! (The very tiny photos below are courtesy of the hotel’s website)

I made dinner Friday night.  I like cooking so it was no big deal to me.  Of course I only cook when I have a big glass of wine to enjoy while doing it!

This was a Tuscan blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot.  It is so smooth and tasty and pairs perfectly with pasta.  If you are a red wine drinker, looking for a new fall wine, try it out!

Amy started us out with her now-famous bruschetta made with grape tomatoes, garlic powder, basil, EVOO, and crispy baked baguette slices.  We topped some with the tomato mix and mozzerella cheese and some with just cheese.

Tomato-less bruschetta is quite fancy 😉

Dinner was chicken parmesan with whole wheat pasta.  We all planned ahead and tried to bring as many of the non-perishable cooking materials we would need and headed to the store for milk, eggs, cookie dough, etc.  We remembered everything but the most important part: the breadcrumbs (fail!).  Andrea headed to the store though and saved the day….

We (or at least I) chowed until stuffed silly.  Had a couple more glasses-o-wine and decided dessert was a must.

In celebration of being in the mountains we did the most out doors-y thing we could….

we made s’mores on the stove.  YUM.

My s’more roasting technique (though usually done over open flame) is to let the marshmallow catch on fire so it is super crispy.  Then I eat the crisp part and smear the gooey part on the chocolate.

Heaven!

I forget what time we actually called it a night, but I know that after waking up at 5 to head up for the hike, and actually hiking the hike, I had a full belly and could’ve fallen asleep on my empty plate.

Next post: hike numero dos……

~L