Motivational Monday | running into the future

Monday, August 3, 2015

As I mentioned on that list of things I want to do over the summer, I want to be able to run two miles straight (without walking) again. Well, I'm not there yet... I'm not even back to one full mile yet, to be honest. I'm going for it, though! I'm working on it.

My biggest complaint when I moved out of Vermont was that running just wasn't the same anymore. I loved running on the trails, always something to look at; in New Jersey there's plenty to see throughout the little urban-suburban towns, but it's a lot of the same.

Kyle and I have been exploring running routes nearby the little apartment and I think we've finally got it down pat. There are several farms surrounding us (you know, that Garden State thing), and in a way, it's made things in that area feel a little bit more like home. Farm-land to the left of me, urban jungle to the right.

I say that it brings me back home because when I was living in Vermont, I was obviously surrounded by farms, and ran by many of them on a daily basis. Farms, open fields, bails of hay - and although I haven't seen this near me in New Jersey yet - cows and horses.

So while it isn't quite the same down here, it's definitely pushed me to get out the door a bit more. Who knows, maybe I'll hear that deep, rumbling "moo" someday soon! I guess I'll just have to keep running to find out.

Friday Findings | links loved and fabulosity shared

Friday, July 17, 2015

T.G.I.F. everyone!

This week consisted of some major organizing and cleanup, including a couple of the things on my Summer
Bucket List
. I'm happy to announce that I have at least four tomatoes growing on my little plants, and two of the four are actually changing to their sun-tanned, lovely red shade. You go little tomato plant, you're doing that thang!

  1. I wanted to share this chocolate chip cookie recipe... I baked a batch of these for work about a week ago and it's a major raver. If you're looking for some super simple and quick cookies to bake up, I definitely recommend this recipe.

  2. California is kind of going through it right now, ecologically speaking. First there's the super-severe drought, that thing about running out of water, and NASA is mapping the May 19th oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara.

  3. Looking for a twist on a classic summer cocktail? Maybe give a gin and lemonade a go... it's refreshing and delicious. While my lemonade recommendation - Santa Cruz Organics - remains the same, my gin recommendations have ebbed and flowed over time. I tried 3-Howls Navy Strength Gin while in Washington and I'm kind of really loving it. So, I mean, follow your happiness.

  4. Referring back to that summer bucket list, I've been researching the best possible plan of attack when I'm ready to take on my closet. Real Simple had some of the most straight-forward tips.

  5. I want these New Balance sneakers... and these ones. These sneakers from Adidas would be great, too... size 8. Thanks.

  6. For people in my boat, and for those in similar floatation devices around me... Ted Talks to get you through your quarter-life crisis.

  7. A lot of the time when I tell my coworkers that I'm going camping for the weekend, they'll give me that look that screams "uhh... in a tent?" Well... if you're new to camping but you want to give it a go this summer, check out the Traveling Triplets packing guide.

  8. I want to try this recipe... like... immediately.

  9. This traveling guide to tour New Orleans has lit a majorly passionate fire under my butt to get there and explore already.

  10. In case you still believe that carrot tops are toxic for you, read this... you might be surprised to find that, well, they're not.

Bright Carrot Top Pesto on Toast

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I found some super gorgeous multi-colored organic carrots at the market the other day, and I wanted to utilize the greens in some way. I had recalled my mother telling me at one point that they're toxic and that they need to be cut off from the carrot immediately... but upon further research, I found that there have been some different findings since the 2009 article in The New York Times. See: this, this, this, this, this...

Shnazzy, right? I'd read a couple of different carrot top-related recipes: pesto, soup, salads, oh my. I love pesto, but I thought it'd be fun to try something a little bit brighter.

This is a toast game-changer. I would imagine this would taste positively miraculous with a few slices of avocado on top, maybe some sauteed cherry tomatoes? I say yes to all of it... the sky is the limit.

You start with the carrot greens. I used two very loosely filled cups, probably about one cup lightly packed. Be sure to remove the greens from the stems! It's a little bit tedious, but they do have this super nice, green, earthy smell to them.

Pesto, classically made with basil, will typically use pine nuts. We're not going a classic route here, though, are we? Nope... we're going to go for some toasted walnuts. Delicious... it changes the flavor completely. I think that it's definitely a bit nuttier, and, what can I say? Maybe I'm a bit nutty, myself.

I used two large cloves of garlic, but if you're not into it (uhhh.... WHAT?) then I suppose you could limit it to one clove.

Olive oil. How much olive oil you use will change the consistency. I started off adding it by the half-teaspoon, but I'd say that I probably used about a tablespoon or more by the time I was done. If you're looking for something a bit runnier, add more olive oil. If you want to smear this on delicious, warm, comfortingly-delicious toast, then use less olive oil to make a spread.

A loosely packed 1/3 cup of fresh shredded parmigiano-reggiano makes this pesto pretty fabulous and delicious...

But the ingredient for some secret summer brightness? Lime juice. That thing about being a little bit nutty? This makes the pesto a little bit different... and it's really good. Just roll with it.

Whirr, whirr, whirr away everything in the food processor until it's reached the desired consistency. Add olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to your preferred taste.

I spread mine on some perfectly-toasted rye, and to quote my taste-tester: "mmm..."

Let me know if you've cooked with greens like this before!

The twenties are hard.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

So, I know that I haven't brought this up yet, but I turned 25 last month; on June 11th, actually. I didn't really think I'd even post about it at all, to be honest. In light of my mother's 41st birthday yesterday (I'm not going to be the rude person to post her real age on my blog), my brain was ticking away. I was laying awake, thinking about age and birthdays and all of those overwhelming thoughts about time and space...

I don't even know.

It's not that turning 25 was a rough one for me. I mean, come on - it's 25.

I think the whole thing about it is, when you're growing up, you think that by 25 you will have yourself all put together. You think that you'll know what's what in the world; that you'll have life-changing, ground-breaking experiences. You think that maybe, just maybe, you'll change some person's life and have really cool tattoos and pugs.

(Am I alone on that one?)

If there's one thing I've learned throughout my twenties, it's that I was totally wrong.

Not only am I totally wrong, but in the future, when I think that I'm right, I'll be totally wrong all over again.

Maybe it's just in this day-and-age, or maybe it's just in general - being 25 does not mean that you've totally got your life together. It doesn't mean that you're suddenly going to feel enlightened with the knowledge of your purpose in life. It doesn't mean that you're suddenly equipped to deal with confusing and frustrating social situations. It definitely doesn't mean that you're going to be financially stable (can I get a hollaaa?) and it doesn't mean that you're going to have any more direction than you did at eight.

I mean, heck, I might even have less direction than when I was eight? Do I even want to go there?

Maybe I have something to look forward to with this, though. In 13 Going On 30, the magic number was 30.

"I want to be 30, flirty, and thriving," Jenna Rink recited on the floor of her closet as she was magically covered in glitter-dust.

My mother's always insisted that her 40's were a totally magical time.

Jury's still out on that one.

SO... my conclusion and summary to all of these thoughts is this: maybe the best piece of age-related advice isn't my mother's or Jenna Rink's or anyone's for that matter. Maybe the best piece of age-related advice isn't actually meant to be age-related at all.

Maybe the best piece of advice anyone can possibly get, particularly with regard to growing up, is actually from a little fishy with one serious memory problem.

To quote Dory, just keep swimming.

Life lately...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Things have been pretty same-old lately, so I thought I'd just give you a glimpse into my day-to-day life lately! If you follow me on instagram or twitter, none of this will be new or interesting. But, I mean, that's why it's just every day life, ya know?

Kyle and I got our little patio all situated fancy... complete with some shnazzy lookin' tomato plants (they're starting to bloom now!) and a couple of taaaasty ice coffees! We actually just enjoyed a rockin' stir fry at that bistro set for dinner a couple of hours ago. I think I'm a little bit more over-the-moon about it than he is, but he's totally enjoying it too.

Scones! Peach scones, blueberry scones, strawberry scones... there's something about this amazing fresh summertime fruit. Apparently it makes me want to stick it in pastries! Everyone has been reaping the benefits of my hobby. I'm perfectly okay with that. Homegirl can't finish all these scones alone!

Aaaaaand I finished school! Now onto the big test... oof.

Don't be fooled... she may look like an angel in this picture, but Lucy has been a little trouble-maker lately. The sweet face and snuggly demeanor helps us through, but the 3:30 am wake-up call and the little nips when she wants more attention have not been appreciated.

This was the birthday cake I made for Kyle. I used a basic cake recipe from Martha Stewart and it came out delectable; I just made one little impromptu, wild adjustment. For whatever reason I mixed in an extra spoonful of cream cheese into the cake batter. Low and behold, we are left with a delicious, spongy, texturally lovely birthday cake. I think I will be tweaking the flavors to bake a similar but different birthday cake for my mother tomorrow!

I hope everyone in America enjoyed their Independence Day.

(or, if you're like Kyle, your birthday ;) !! )

It's Sunday evening and...

Monday, June 22, 2015

You know that thing that we all do sometimes? That thing where we really want to go shopping, but it just isn't in the cards right now... buying lots of new things is not only expensive, but it takes up space.

Plus, I'm pretty sure that maybe I possibly probably don't need all the things.

So instead we fill up our shopping carts online, only to hit that little [x] in the corner of the screen (or if you're like me, a little circle in the top left).

I know I'm not the only one doing this, I know you're with me on this one.

(ps: these shmexy kicks are totally on sale right now)

Ok, so I stopped myself short... only because I was distracted by some super adorable cats who were callin' my name, though!

Net-A-Porter and Sephora are a couple of my frequently hit-up websites to go on a faux-shopping-spree.

Hope everyone's Monday mornings are easy-breezy, complete with delicious coffee and comfortable clothes!