Celebrate

THE BOSTON RED SOX ARE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.

Before continuing on with this post, please start playing this video:

I love that dirty water, oh Boston you’re my home.

And then move on to this one:

Boston you know we love you madly.

OH and then this one:

Massachusetts till I die!

And last but not least- this compilation:

Blood, Sweat, Beards, baby.

Now I don’t talk about baseball in too much depth here on my blog. I mention the Red Sox and my love of them here and there- but I know this isn’t a baseball blog- that isn’t what you all signed up for.

But that being said, you are reading the blog of a true Massachusetts girl. You did sign up for THAT. I even warn you on the left side of my blog. Boston pride is unlike any other and man oh man, do I have a LOT of it. To say the Red Sox are a big part of my life would be a huge understatement. I love them more than most things and they mean the absolute world to me. I live and die by these fools.

SO OBVIOUSLY last night was AMAZING. I’m still in complete awe and disbelief. Pinch me- seriously.

I won’t get too into my emotions on this (because otherwise you’d be reading a novella)- but holy crap, guys. First off, there’s THIS TEAM. Last year- as the record shows- they were the worst (but still the best in my heart). And here they are a year later standing at NUMBER ONE. The 25 man roster is unbeilevable and John Farrell, be still my heart, is THE MAN. We beat some of the best pitching in baseball and our scrappy, well-rounded team went to take it all. Lackey? A different man. Lester? Ace. Pedroia? Needs to be named captain. Papi? MVP. Gomes- Napoli- Drew- Bogart- Victorino- Middlebrooks- Koji? Love. I can’t even. I’m getting goosebumps now just thinking about everything.ortiz

And then- there’s the Boston Marathon tragedy. This win is in honor of the struggle, perserverance, and strength of the victims and the city of Boston. It feels like just yesterday that I was writing about the Sox being in town after the marathon and hoping they could restore some normalcy to a hurting city.

To say Boston deserved this one isn’t enough. They earned it. And I could not be a happier human being. My heart swelled immensley last night and my eyes may or may not have been filled with tears…

Did you hear me yell that the Boston Red Sox are World Champions from my balcony last night? Because that happened.

This is my outfit at work today:P1020904P1020907

I’m sort of taking advantage of the fact that it’s Halloween so if anyone asks, I’m just a rabid sox fan. In reality, that’s more of a lifestyle, all the time kind of thing- but it’s nice to have an excuse to be all decked out so people around here don’t think I’m completely crazy.

Although. It’s probably a little late for that. I was screaming off my balcony last night.

Lucky for me, my coworkers are in full support of my outfit today. They could care less about the Red Sox but they all know my sick obsession. One of them even gifted me with this Red Sox bow tie. LOVE IT.P1020909

While the Red Sox are clearly what I’m all about celebrating at the moment- I’m also pretty happy for some other reasons and celebrating other wonderful things in my life:

So I think it’s safe to say that I’m on a bit of a high at the moment. Life is good.

Roll it, Kool and the Gang:

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

I Am Allowed Now

I’m not much of a baker. I am a great consumer of baked goods (maybe in the top tier, guys) but actually doing the baking part? Not really my thing. I tend to get wicked aggravated.

I think it’s because baking is much more “science” based than regular cooking- with most recipes- you really have to follow them to a T or you’re going to turn up with a mess. You can’t fudge the recipes and have success most of the time (pun intended). With regular cooking, you can ignore your recipe with reckless abandon and do your own thang and usually be okay (unless you do something really weird). Regular cooking has more flexibility. But maybe that’s just how I see things.

I think I also don’t really like baking because I’m not naturally good at it. Guilty. It’s easy to get frustrated with something that doesn’t just come to you.P1020825

These are the peanut butter, avocado, chocolate chip cookies I made a couple of weeks ago! So good!

Around this time last year, there was another reason why I wasn’t much of a baker. I was terrified of sweets. After a year of losing weight successfully in part by cutting out a lot of sweet stuff (pre-losing weight I had a RAGING sweet tooth that was totally out of control), I was so scared to start eating baked goods (cookies, breads, muffins, etc.) for fear of gaining it all back. I didn’t trust myself with these things and I hardly ever allowed myself to eat them- let alone make them myself in my own kitchen. I disregarded all the recipes I came across. I would say to myself, well that looks delicious- too bad I can’t make it (even if it was like a healthified version of something). Any dessert like thing that I did actually make at home was SUPER controlled and I was a big freak about it. Ugh. It was awful.

I have learned that restriction leads to overeating and all around bad times. Just don’t do it, guys. I can say it from experience.

It’s physically painful for me to recall an episode from when I was home for Christmas- let me paint you a picture:

Here’s Allison. She’s undereating but trying to eat more and trying to be healthy and trying to figure out her relationship with food and not really understanding what she’s doing. Her family is doing Christmas baking. She avoids eating any of the dough or ingredients while they’re baking. She knows she wants to- but doesn’t allow herself to and tells herself that she’s being good. At the end of the day, her starving self feels so crazy and after crying to her Mom about her woes and a massive food related breakdown, she quickly devours about eight cookies- all the while feeling like she can’t stop.

THAT’S what restriction does. And that’s why restriction is not cool. And that’s why I slowly but surely found a way to stop. Thank goodness.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still working on all this. We’re all a work in progress. What I realized was, avoiding the things you love is no way to go through life and its certainly not going to lead you to be healthier or help you to stop eating something. If anything- it’s going to create more problems and you’re going to be a giant mess. I certainly was. Seems like common sense, but it took me time to actually take in all this.

What I’ve come to embrace is making healthy swaps, choosing healthier alternatives here and there, and the motto everything in moderation. 

I can’t imagine not eating baked goods now. I don’t eat them everyday (hey, moderation) but I eat them and enjoy them and don’t feel guilty.P1020755I actually really really need to make these sweet potato brownies again. SO good.

I also found a way to feel in control of the situation and not let these food items control me. I make my own sweet stuff at home! This way I can be mindful of the ingredients that I’m using and feel better about what I’m eating.

Because to be honest- my sweet tooth has changed. My cravings have changed. And my desire for certain things has changed. I’ve cut a lot of sugar out of my life primarily from processed foods and little things like the sugar in my coffee- and it’s made me feel so much better. I feel more in control of my cravings, I have less headaches, my body feels better, my body performs better, and I don’t feel the need to gourge myself on things. I’m not bullshitting you- I swear I’m being truthful.

It’s part of the reason why I enjoyed all the food I was eating in Russia- especially the desserts- everything I ate was non-processed, fresh, and not overly sweet. They don’t put a crap ton of sugar in stuff and rely on natural flavors or use sweeteners like honey and fruits. It’s just different. And this is how it is in a LOT of other countries. It makes me angry thinking of where the U.S. stands on this stuff in comparison to other places. But that’s a story for another day.P1020687

These peach coconut almond muffins were da bomb!

I want to consume wholesome ingredients. That’s what it comes down to for me. They’re what make me feel my best at the end of the day. It’s a food ideology thing, a physical health thing, and a mental health thing for me. I’d rather eat something made from “real food” than some cheap processed treat.

To each their own and I’m putting absolutely no judgement on people who feel differently (I swear!), but that’s just where I’m at right now.

You just have to find a way to make things work for you.P1020885

The appearance of these White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies can be considered exhibit a for my lack of baking skills. What a mess. Still yummy though!

I am allowed now to eat and make baked goods. It seems so simple, but it really is a big deal for me to feel this way after a disatrous fall/winter last year of avoiding these things. ESPECIALLY because this is the time of year where baked goods are the most prominent and when they really shine! It’s the holiday season! (well almost- but I mean, November 1st is on Friday soooo….)

It is for all these reasons- wanting to practice my baking skills and wanting to reinforce the idea that I can bake and eat what I make and enjoy it- that I added “Bake More” to my list of “Things to do Before 2014.” It’s why I purposely made myself pin dessert/bread/baked goods recipes on pinterest to my “Must Make By the End of 2013” board.

I wasn’t going to add anything to the board since it’s initial creation last month, but I saw this recipe for homemade almond joy’s and HAD to pin it here. But actually- how good do those bad boys look?

Breaking habits and honing my skills one day at a time.

AND GO RED SOX, BABY! Even if you aren’t a fan, you know one (ME) so just show some sox love. You have no idea how frustrating it is to be here in DC away from my people- I need a raging fan base to share in my excitement! If Jennifer Garner could wear a beard on Jimmy Kimmel to support the Sox and her husband (and my boy) Ben Affleck, you all can throw on some red sox and wish my men some luck 🙂

I apologize for the language in this picture but I just have to share because it describes my thoughts all day today:

sox

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Ancient Super Grain

Warning: I talk a lot about farro in this post and then share a recipe that doesn’t even have farro in it. I’m ridiculous.

One of those questions that people tend to ask as a way to get to know someone better (you know, in like ice breakers and whatnot) is, if you could be ANYTHING in the world- what would you be? 

It’s a hard question but it really does make you look at your life and what you love. My answer? Well to be honest- my initial responses would be First Lady (my legit actual dream role), member of the Royal Family in Britain (basically, I want to trade skins with Kate Middleton), a Kardashian sister (only kind of joking), or the personal assistant to the 25-man roster of the Boston Red Sox.

Because those titles and roles aren’t necessarily tangible and I know I need to provide people with something a little more realistic- my REAL answer to that age old question is… I would like to be known as a culinary historian.

I’m sure you can guess why. Food? Love it. History? Love it. The history of people, cultures, civilizations and their connection to food- and going further- how that has shaped the world we live in today? Absolutely, totally love it.

Learning the background or story behind what I’m eating is so cool to me. I think it’s why I’m drawn to sephardic/mediterranean cooking so much- the history- it intrigues me.

Besides the fact that I’m obsessed with the texture and flavor, I know part of the reason why I have fallen in love with the grain farro is it’s wicked cool history. I spent an hour this morning reading articles about farro and it’s historical significance. Who am I?

Farro originates from the Fertile Crescent aka the CRADLE of civilization- NO BIG DEAL. you should remember learning about this special little area in all your world civilization classes- see: Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. I also can’t get over the fact that we call it farro- which is a homonym for PHARAOH- and I mean, hello Ancient Egyptians! It’s just a linguistic coincidence but I love it.

Farro eventually made it’s way over to Italy and was a staple for the Ancient Romans. The world itself, farro, is actually an italian word that was derived from Latin. The French eventually got a hold of it and made it more of a versatile grain-using it frequently in soups.

ANYWAY. The whole point of this rambling mess is that I’ve taken a big ol’ liking to farro and I think it’s pretty cool.

It’s a tasty whole grain packed with lots of solid health benefits.

I really fell for it after tasting the farro salad from Glen’s Garden Market– farro, carrots, pesto, YUM. And now over at Pleasant Pops they have a farro salad that features beets, carrots, parsley, and red wine vinegar. Obsessed.2013-10-25 12.01.59

Also featured in these photos is their romesco roasted squash sandwich aka the most amazing delicious-ness between two slices of ciabatta bread.2013-10-25 12.04.33

These recipes inspired me to create my own farro salad. Problem was… I had brown rice pasta on hand and didn’t want to spend more money and buy farro. SO I made a pasta salad with brown rice fusilli BUT it was inspired by these farro salads and ideally should be made with farro because it’s so damn good!

Allison’s Farro-less Farro Salad Serves 4P1020892

Combine:

  • 4 cups of cooked brown rice pasta OR 2 cups of cooked farro
  • 1/2 cup pesto (mine was homemade because I’m classy like that)
  • 1 bag of chopped spinach (like 8 cups I’m assuming)
  • 8 oz. of cooked beets (trader joes sells em’ steemed and peeled)
  • 16 oz. carrots (I used a bag of frozen carrots from trader joes)
  • 2 cans of beans (I used white northern beans)
  • S & P to taste

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These “parisian carrots” look like mini pumpkins and I don’t hate it one bit.P1020894P1020881

I used this Food Network recipe for pesto (I just halfed it).P1020882P1020883P1020884

Three where the ingredients weren’t mixed yet and one where everything was stirred together. Pretty fall colors, no? Four lunches for the week all ready to go. I also added an extra drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of parmesan cheese onto each serving.
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Whole grains- fiber- carbs from the pasta. Fiber and healthy goodness (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants!) from the veggies, healthy fats from the pesto, and protein from the beans. Boom.

Trader Joes has a 10-minute cook version of farro. Once I finish my bag of pasta, I will be buying the farro and making some sort of other salad-y creation.

I understand that paleo-ers are anti-grains because that’s not how the “orginal man” ate (like neanderthals) but I mean, c’mon, how can you deny the grains that made up the diets of the ancient civlizations that came before us? You know, the ones that we base SO much of our culture and society off of? I don’t know.

Food for thought I guess.

You’re all just lucky you got a post out of me today. My ability to concentrate on anything other than GAME SIX OF THE WORLD SERIES tomorrow is pretty non-existent.2013-10-24 18.57.06

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Like Buttah

title in reference to snl- for those not up on their pop culture.

Sometimes I read a recipe or have one sent to my email from one of the blogs I follow and immediately know that I need to make it. This one was one of those. I read the title in my inbox- opened it- read the ingredients- bought the ones I didn’t have- and made it in 48 hours. It’s a special club of recipes really. I was thrilled to get this one and initiate it into the club.P1020890

What made me crave this recipe and feel the need to make it asap was a combination of the cold weather and the never ending fall shenanigans that surround me (you know the drill, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin carving, apple picking, sweater/boot/scarf wearing, halloween-ing, pie making- all that jazz).

Apple Butter.

Courtesy of How Sweet It Is & THIS recipe for Small Batch Stovetop Apple Butter.

Simple, delicious, and not too sweet.P1020891

And yes, that coffee can you see is the infamous one that I cut my thumb on. Rude.P1020896

After an hour on the stove at low heat- it basically is chunky apple sauce. But then you put it in a blender or food processer- and the fine line between sauce and butter is broken. You’ve got yourself some apple butter.P1020897

Another one of the main reasons why I wanted to make this, besides being way too into fall, is the ingredient list and cooking method. It didn’t require a lot of fuss and work. I already had everything in the kitchen except for the apples. Well to be honest- I had apples but needed them for something else so I had to buy MORE apples. You can never have too many, right?

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4 apples, cider, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, sea salt. That’s it. We had the apple cider in our kitchen because we bought some at the place we went apple picking a couple weeks ago.

Anyway. Low maintenance recipes are the best- especially when they yield something tasty that will last a while. This recipe created a whole mason jar of the good stuff! Score!P1020899

The best thing about making your own “butter” is you have all the control. You can choose just how sweet you want it. I told you I recently bought pumpkin butter from Trader Joes. TOO SWEET. I have a sweet tooth- trust me- but I don’t enjoy overly sugary things and the pumpkin butter is just too much for me. I always have to cut it with something.

But not this lovely creation- I could eat it by the spoonful.

I won’t. Maybe. But I could…P1020898

Apple butter tastes good on toast, other baked goods, with yogurt, on sweet potatoes, on roasted squash, on salads, you can cook chicken or turkey in it- anything you think you’d like an apple flavor on/in- grab yourself some apple butter.

I used it on Sunday to make Will and I cute lil fall parfaits.

The layers were mashed butternut squash seasoned with cinnamon, apple butter, and greek yogurt. It would have been good topped with some granola or pecans or walnuts- something crunchy! P1020900

In other more, important news- BAH WORLD SERIES. BAH THE ENDING TO GAME THREE. BAH THE UMPS. BAH THE ENDING TO GAME FOUR. BAH JONNY GOMES. BAH GAME FIVE. BAH GET US OUT OF NATIONAL LEAGUE TERRITORY AND BACK TO BOSTON. I’m going to be one tired girl tomorrow if today is any indication of how well I can survive on little sleep. It’s a good thing it’s my last week of work here at ye old full time job so I can be a little sleepier than usual 😉

And I gotta give some love to the Patriots for cleaning up their act in the second half of yesterday’s game. Way to hustle and get it together, boys.

GO SOX and

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Starting Anew

Okay okay I’m done making everyone wait. Are you ready for the NEW JOB talk?!

Short story: I accepted a full-time position working as a Healthy Eating Specialist with Whole Foods (!!!) and my last day at my current full-time job is next Thursday.

Long story: At the beginning of the year, I sort of got it in my brain that I needed a change in my life. I was noticeably unhappy in my professional life and I was certain that I was not doing what I loved. For a long time I just let these thoughts stew in my brain as I tried to decide how I wanted to move forward. I had no idea what I wanted to do- just that I wanted something different. Plus, I was dealing with a lot of personal stuff and weight loss struggles so I didn’t really have the mental capacity to make a big career change or try and figure out the next big step in my life. I kept on working on myself while keeping my eyes peeled for other opportunities and forming relationships with people, businesses, and companies that I could see myself working for or with.

It took many more months of being unhappy and a trip to Russia (where I stereotypically rediscovered myself in a foreign country) to decide to aggresively pursue something and take serious action. I didn’t really know where to begin but I knew that I wanted to work with people and food. I didn’t care in what way- but I realized that food, sharing my love of it with others, and connecting people to it- that’s what I wanted to be doing in some way.

I mean, that’s what I’m all about- sharing my passions with others in the hopes that they too will see how great something is. That’s one of my goals with my blog! For the record, that’s what I wanted to do with my history degree- study history and then work in museums/historic sites in order to share my love of history with other people. That’s how I ended up at my current full-time job (where I ultimately grew unhappy because I ended up not really doing that here at all).

Unlike when I graduated from college and was job searching, I wanted to only apply to places that I loved and places that I felt good about. I didn’t want to just apply to anything and everything. I wanted to be picky and knew that I deserved to be picky. I didn’t want to end up in another bad situation and wanted to work somewhere that I would proud of and that fell in line with who I am as a person.

In the past three to four months, I’ve written many cover letters, updated my resume a bajillion times, gone on a handful of promising interviews, and have faced serious rejection. It has been rough. But I wanted it so bad. I started working part-time at the amazing local grocery store Glen’s and have been just hustling non-stop to figure something out. Did I just want to work multiple part-time jobs? Did I want to hold out for something full-time? Was the perfect job even out there? What on God’s Earth am I doing? Should I just suck it up and stay at my current full-time job for the safety/security?

Finally, after sifting through opportunities, one stuck with me and carried through to that final, elusive job offer.

Whole Foods offered little old me a full-time position working as a Healthy Eating Specialist and I could not be happier. I cried when my new boss called me to share the news last week and I still haven’t quite come down from the excitement of it all. I’ll be working with food and people. I cannot wait to wake up everyday knowing that I’m doing something I love for a living.

When I read the job description a couple of months ago- I thought it was a dream- it was like I had written up the perfect job description for me and posted it. It didn’t seem real. I wanted it and absolutely hated how high my hopes were for it. I feared ultimate disappointment and not getting this awesome job. I applied and went through their interview process not knowing what to expect and now- it’s CRAZY real. It’s real and it’s my new job and I am ecstatic.

Is there a rooftop that I can climb up in order to yell at the top of my lungs and share my happiness?

My main duties will include, serving as the store’s healthy eating expert, distributing educational materials and resources regarding healthy eating, acting as a spokesperson/demonstration cook for community and store events, and assisting in the training and development of other Whole Foods team members. It’s technically within their marketing department, so I will also be doing some things in regards to store signage, social media, and sales strategy. They wanted someone who had a wide range of food knowledge, experience in healthy eating- cooking- and menu planning, the ability to work independently, and someone with strong organizational and communication skills. And it looks like I’m their girl!

It’s the perfect balance of working on the floor, talking to people, doing hands on stuff AND doing behind the scenes marketing, educational, and logistical stuff. It’s something that genuinely makes me happy and something that I can get behind 110%. I know no job is perfect, but man, let me tell you how GREAT this position is.

I put my two-weeks notice in at my current full-time job Monday and I had to terminate my employment with Glen’s as well. It’s been rough sensing the disappointment and feeling like I’m letting some people down. It hasn’t been easy and there are of course drawbacks to the ultimate decision that I made. BUT at the end of the day, I’m a person who is very instinctual- I can read what my gut is telling me really well and know how to truly do what’s best for me. And I made the decision that is best for me not only right now- but for me as I move into the future and where I want to be down the road. While the sadness and disappointment has been there among coworkers, everyone has been really supportive and overall, people are just happy for me. They can tell I’m making a good decision for me and it’s been wonderful hearing over and over again how they all just want the best for me in life. It’s been really really nice in that way.

Change is insane and my life is going to be very interesting in the next month or so. Adjustments will be made and so will sacrifices. Things are being moved around and it’s always somewhat of a challenge to reacclimate to something as major as a career change. I’ve been at my current full-time job for almost two years- my hours and my time here has regulated my schedule- how I eat- how I exercise- how I plan my time- how I structure my world. And now it’s all going to change.

All that being said. I could not be happier. Saying I’m excited is like, the biggest understatement of the year. I’m thrilled. I’m nervous and slightly overwhelmed- but it’s in that butterflies in my stomach kind of way. I literally cannot wait to get started and am just so happy. Have I said I’m happy? Okay, I’m REALLY happy. One of my greatest passions in life- food- is about to be front and center in my world.

As I move forward and start my new profession, I will keep a lot of what I do in the real world and at work separate from my blog- kind of like how I’ve been with my full-time job. BUT because this blog is supposed to give you a snapshot of my life, I felt like I had to explain what I’ll be doing and the changes I’ve made recently because they are going to affect me in a big way. AND one of the things I talk about the most on here is healthy eating and now that’s what my career is centered around! Wahoo!

Anyway, thank you, readers, for dealing with vague references to job happening and major life changes for the past few months. I wanted to tell you all every single detail every single day about my job search and what was happening. It’s been affecting my life for quite some time now (the job search process is exhausting) and it’s been a killlllller to keep it all hush hush.

BUT now you know. FINALLY.

Whew.

Keep pushing toward where you want to be-

Keep trucking forward through any and all set backs-

Keep working hard to get what you deserve and

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Thumbs Up

Who has one fully functioning thumb and one thumb outta commission?

THIS GUY.TwoThumbs

With my right thumb now in permanent thumbs up mode (unable to be bent because of the wrap job I got going on), I thought I would take this opportunity to put it to good use. Here’s what I’m thumbs up-ping these days.

Thumbs up, RED SOX!

No but actually- last night’s game was straight up sad on part of the Cardinals. Wainwright and Molina watching the pop up drop in between them was just… hilarious. Almost as good as Fielder’s belly flop in the ALCS series. Almost.cardinals

One game down, three to go.fielder

Thumbs up, fall flavors!

Pumpkin, cranberries, and sweet potato are regular foods in my every day rotation and I love it with all my heart.

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I wanted pumpkin raviolis… but Trader Joes was sold out! WAH! So instead I made regular raviolis but whipped up a bechamel like sauce with canned pumpkin, milk, sage, garlic, onion, and evoo.

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make it work. if you want the recipe- let me know via email or in the comments!

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I cooked shaved brussels in the sauce and then topped the plate with bacon and parmesan cheese… it was SO GOOD.

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homemade raviolis with pumpkin sauce + project runway = happy allison

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Last night I had this great turkey pot pie from trader joes- turkey, root veggies, dried cranberries, cornbread stuffing and sauce all under a flaky crust? Yep. Thanksgiving pretty much.

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I served the pot pie with a side of sauteed kale and mushrooms. Kale is also in season right now. Maybe not as fun as pumpkin but also delicious and nutritious! Also- Trader Joes has been KILLIN it with the quality of their sliced mushrooms. They’re the perfect size and thickness. 

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I was going to make a smores like creation for dessert with sweet potato puree, chocolate, ricotta, and graham crackers but….

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I ended up throwing all those ingredients in a bowl with dried cranberries and heating it up in the microwave instead. Check out those swirls of chocolate!

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I snagged some fresh cranberries from Whole Foods and you can expect that whole container to be gone by the end of the weekend. Obsessed. I heat them up the microwave so that I can mash them up.

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I had an almost empty nut butter jar so I scrambled an egg + sweet potato puree + banana + vanilla + cinnamon + flax and put the hot mess back into the jar with heated up cranberries for breakfast this morning.

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Mmm warm, wicked tart cranberries.

 

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The whole ooey gooey jar of fall.

Thumbs up, convenience cooking!

Because I was home this past Sunday, I couldn’t do my normal meal prep routine. When I went grocery shopping- I definitely opted for convenience. I usually enjoy chopping/prepping all my own veggies but it’s been nice this week not worrying about it. I have an appreciation for prechopped onions and minced garlic in a jar. Oh and turkey pot pie from trader joes that takes twenty minutes to cook.

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Thumbs up, weather!

I got so used to having to run in the morning because it was the only time it wasn’t too hot for me to run. But now- I have to run after work because it’s the only time it’s warm enough to run! I love cold weather (fall & winter are my faves) so this week has been awesome for me. It’s still bright & sunny but it’s not outrageously hot!weather

You can’t deny how wonderful it is to experience that warm and cozy feeling indoors when you know it’s cold out. Yes the days are shorter, but the moments I have in my apartment feel that much more special and nice because it’s comforting and cozy. Warm dinners after a long day traversing in the cold just feel great. That pot pie I mentioned above? SO CLUTCH last night. And it will be just as awesome tonight post 7-mile run in the chilly weather.

I know come February I’ll be ready to ditch the layers and scarves and tights- but for now, it’s a welcome change of pace from being warm/hot/sweaty.

I can’t wait to experience the weather on non-working days and relax with Will. This is couples weather (hand holding, arms around each other, etc.) and I want my partner back from work travels, thank you very much.

Plus, I have a new long sleeve sox shirt that I’m trying to lounge around in.

Thumbs up, weekend!

Speaking of the weekend- mine starts after work today! WAHOO. And after today I only have one more week left here at my full-time job ahhhhh!

I have a lot of fun plans for the weekend that include birthday happy hours, a concert, and a reunion brunch. But I think what I’m most excited about is 1) cuddling watching baseball with Will and 2) bundling up to go on some walks with Will outside. I need some chillax time with him. We love walking to get coffee together in the early hours of weekend mornings.

ThumbsUp

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

AND GO SOX! LET’S ROCK GAME TWO TONIGHT.

I’m an Idiot

Last night my hoarding and crafting tendencies kicked me in the butt. After a lovely fall day, a beautiful six mile run through lots of crunchy leaves, and some delicious breakfast for dinner- I decided to wash out and clean a metal Russian coffee tin. You know, to repurpose it and use it to hold stuff. I wanted to be able to keep it and make it useful because it’s a cool tin, I got it in Russia, and of course it’s all in cyrillic. You know my love of all things Russian by now.

But I apparently forgot that metal cans are sharp and TOTALLY ripped open the side of my right thumb. Insert: blood everywhere, empty bandaid boxes all over the place, washcloths, gauze, sterile padding- the whole nine yards. I don’t often feel the effects of living alone, but when stuff like this happens- it becomes REALLY apparent how alone I am. Have you ever tried bandaging up a finger that’s bleeding non-stop? Trying to keep everything clean and not-messy? Trying to cut gauze with your left hand when you’ve always been a righty? Ugh last night.

I kept reminding myself that there are far worse things in life. It hurt but there are a lot more serious injuries that I could have been dealing with. I channeled my inner strong, independent woman and took care of my thumb (okay okay so there may have been a crying phone call to my Mom asking for advice BUT I digress).

Today it looks like this:2013-10-23 08.40.20Hitchhiker of the year award goes to this guy right here!

And my coworkers have convinced me to go to the doctors today just to get it checked out. Better safe than sorry. They’re right on that one. Especially when you cut yourself on an old metal tin from RUSSIA.

So I may be an idiot- but last night- after the mess- I was a hungry idiot. Whether it was the stress from the injury, me feeling sorry for myself, or just my sweet tooth kicking in… I wanted dessert. 

And a bum thumb was NAHT going to get in the way of that.

I saw this on pinterest the other day and have been dreaming about it ever since. Hello, pumpkin, chocolate, and brie grilled cheese. P1020859

PLEASE go to the page where the original recipe was posted- their pictures are GORGEOUS and will make your mouth water. Mine… sort of lackluster. JUST LOOK AT THIS PICTURE FROM THEIR SITE.

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I had one piece left of this nice whole grain bread so I just cut it in half to make a lil’ half a sandwich. I put a patting of butter on the outside of each piece, spread on some brie cheese (still leftover from our cheese and cider night– I usually don’t have a glob of brie on hand in my fridge), spread on  some pumpkin butter from Trader Joes, and a handful of dark chocolate chips.

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I personally think that TJ’s pumpkin butter is way too sweet but it worked well in this recipe. I think I’m much more of an apple butter fan- but I bought the pumpkin butter in a moment of weakness. If you don’t have any pumpkin butter- you could always use some pureed pumpkin from a can and sweeten it if you’d like with honey or brown sugar or something delactable. I think I’d like that even better actually. P1020863The dessert was amazing. Everything I wanted and more after a crazy evening.

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Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

AND GO RED SOX! GAME ONE OF THE WORLD SERIES AT FENWAY TONIGHT!