Top Sixteen of 2016

16. Turning 30. (July)

15. Buying a new car. (May)

14. Taking on more writing projects at work. (February-December)

13. A Sunday night wedding in Bellingham. (December)

12. The Lumineers concert. (June)

11. A long weekend in Portland exploring and watching Erin marry her love. (August)

10. Celebrating my sister’s 21st birthday in Leavenworth. (January)

9. Hiking old favorites and exploring new trails. (May-November)

8. Moving into our own place in Everett. (March)

7. Finding out that I’m going to be aunt again. (October)

6. Establishing healthier eating habits. (November)

5. Celebrating our first anniversary. (July)

4. A long weekend in New England with my grandparents and dear friends. (October)

3. Girls trip to Austin. (May)

2. Watching my brother and his best friend open their own bar. (February)

1. Finishing the half marathon–and training all summer long with Derek. (September)

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Two Sleeps Til Move Day

I wrote this post six months ago, a few nights before I left Boston, and then left it as a draft. I wasn’t ready to announce our move online and I wasn’t ready to share these mushy feelings. But I’m ready now.

I have aspirations of writing about the last ten months of life—because I like having this journal and because I miss writing—but I’m not going to make any promises about when I’ll find the right words. So I leave you with this…

The apartment is nearly empty; I’m sitting on the only piece of furniture we have yet to sell, our couch, and that too will be gone by the end of the night. It’s rainy and grey. I’m alone and the place is quiet, save for the sound of the rain. I find myself caught in some emotional middle ground—desperate to be back home in Seattle but not quite ready to leave Boston behind. I’ve been busy—so so busy—that I thought I might escape these feelings. But they found me (as they always do).

I’ve never experienced a love/hate relationship like the one I have for Boston. Derek and I have grown tired of the cost, the distance from our families and the lack of opportunity; but this is the place where we became a “we”.  We had some truly great experiences, overcame some really tough stuff, met a lot of wonderful people and ultimately decided we were all-in, forever and ever.

I feel like I’m coming home a completely different person. I left Seattle with a lot of things to figure out; I’m coming home as a bride-to-be with a solid start to a marketing career. I changed my diet to reflect my ethics—ethics that I hadn’t defined until after I moved. I learned what it truly means to care for my body and have developed healthier routines accordingly. I know who I am and what I want from life in ways that weren’t previously clear. I didn’t “grow-up” in Boston, but I sure did a lot of growing.

All this to say, I’m going to miss you Boston.

And to my Boston people (you know who you are): You have changed my life in radical, amazing ways and I am so thankful for each of you. Thank you for sharing your city with me. Let’s be friends forever, no matter where we live, mmkay?

Until next time,

A

Weekending

photo-1This weekend started a little early for me as I wasn’t feeling very well and left work a few hours early. I didn’t make exciting use of the extra time, though. I ended up sleeping for about 16 hours. But, thankfully, that must have been what I needed because I woke up Saturday morning feeling just fine.

It’s still pretty cold in Boston, but the sun was shining so Derek and I went for a long walk. We’re estimating that we explored about 4 miles of our neighborhood before walking ourselves over Sunset for drinks. I’ve recently decided that I love sour beers, and the Monk’s Cafe Flemish sour they had one tap was delicious. D had a big glass of Irish stout and we shared some fries (we’re fancy like that). We got home around 6, cooked dinner and watched a movie. All in all, it was a pretty awesome Saturday.

Today, we met up with Lisa for brunch at a new vegan/vegetarian restaurant that just opened in Newton. The food was good, but it is very obvious that it’s a new restaurant with a very new staff. Nothing went seriously wrong, but they have some kinks to work out in their service.

Derek and I were feeling crazy after a yummy meal, so we went to The Container Store and got our organization on. When we brought our goodies home, it started a chain reaction in which every closet was emptied and reorganized. It was kind of a disaster in here for a bit, but it was worth it. Our place looks gooood. Wish I could have you all over for dinner. But we only have two dining room chairs, so it would be a little cramped.

Now, as the days winds down, we’re both sitting at our computers dreading the terrible necessity that is Monday Morning. The good news is, next weekend is Easter. And Easter means pudding shots. Alcoholic pudding plus a family get-together is enough to get me through the week ahead. Hope you all have things to look forward to as well.

Miss you all,

A

Top Twelve of 2012

12. Finally joining the iPhone club (December)

11. Planning and executing a huge work event without any major problems (June)

10. My 1st Veganniversary (September)

9. Spending time with Chris before he moved far, far away (January)

8. Girl’s night out at Foxwoods with Laurie, Lauren, Lisa and Ashley (November)

7. Birthday trip to the beach (July)

6. A promotion at work (May)

5. Katie’s wedding (September)

4. Visiting NOLA (January)

3. Doug and Megan’s Thanksgiving visit (November)

2. Watching my sister’s graduation speech (June)

1. Moving in with Derek (July)

A Photoless Update

Hello and happy fall my friends. The weather in New England has cooled off, the leaves are changing and it’s prime time for all things cozy–my favorite time of the year. It’s startling how fast the days go by even though they are fairly routine. I really don’t have anything new or exciting to report, but I figured it was time to check in.

D and I are settling into a routine in our apartment (although I’m sufficiently jealous of his routine since he only has to set an alarm two days a week). The space suits us nicely and we’ve started to do some exploring around the neighborhood by way of weekly date nights. I wish I was home a little more–my commute consumes almost two hours each day. But I’m trying to make the best of it. I know that I promised a more complete photo tour awhile ago but the truth is, we’re still not done. After the initial rush of buying new stuff and setting up the apartment passed, we’ve lost our motivation and budget to finish up the last few details. If we ever finish, I will post a tour.

Work is pretty much the same. We’re trying to hire a part-time marketing/graphic design assistant to help out the marketing department. If we find the right person it will be great. I could definitely use the help. Plus, I’m scheduled to do some traveling for events next year so I’ll need to have someone back at the office to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Derek is hard at work studying for his comp exams. He’s also prepping to speak at conference this weekend and making plans to teach a food history course in January. He’s a busy little smarty pants–I’m so proud of him and his dedication. But also a little jealous of the books he spends so much time with. 🙂 We’ve discussed taking a short vacation after he passes his exam–any suggestions of where to go? I’m voting Italy but I don’t think D’s on board financially.

Everything else is good. I miss my friends and family back home, but I’m very excited that Doug and Mego will be spending Thanksgiving in Boston with us. (I’ve already started mentally planning the vegan menu and it’s gonna be good.)

Much love to you all,

A

What’s (barely) Cooking: Easy, No-Oven Meals

We moved into the new apartment over three weeks ago and I still haven’t turned on the oven. I really love the new space–but the high temps and humidity combined with big, bright windows and the fact that we’re on the top floor can make for a stuffy, uncomfortably warm apartment. And as much as I’d like to make some cookies or zucchini bread, I can’t justify turning on the oven and making the problem even worse. So I’d found a few super easy recipes that require very little heat and I’ve been keeping them on rotation.

Here are two of my favorites. Even better, they make good use of the delicious summer produce that I’ve been buying from a local farm.

Dinner Option 1

Falafel Salad

Shopping List
falafel balls (homemade, frozen, just-add-water version–it’s your choice. I love the frozen falafel from Trader Joe’s so that’s what I used.)
fresh salad greens
chopped avocado
sliced cucumbers
salsa
chopped almonds

Step by Step

Prepare the falafel according to the directions. Mine requires warming them in the microwave under a damp paper towel. Easy peasey.

Throw together your salad and add the falafel on top. I use salsa as a dressing because I don’t really like traditional salad dressings but you can, of course, use whatever you like or have on hand. I added some chopped almonds for a little crunch and used avocado and cucumber because it was right in front of me. Pretty much mindless, but oh-so-tasty.


Dinner Option 2

Pasta with sauteed veggies

Shopping List
whole wheat pasta
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
small white onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 medium tomato, cubed (I picked up some gorgeous yellow heirlooms from the farm stand)
olive oil
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika and nutritional yeast

Step by Step

Start your pasta. While that’s going, pour some olive oil in a pan. Toss in the onion. After a few minutes, add the garlic and zucchini. Add a little more oil if there isn’t enough to coat everything. Keep cooking until the edges of the zucchini pieces start to brown.

Hopefully by this point, your pasta is close to being done. When you’re just a minute or two from being finished, add the tomato.

Drain the pasta and toss together. Season to taste–I used salt, pepper, an Italian blend, paprika and a little nutritional yeast. Fresh herbs would have been better, but I hardly ever have any if the fridge. I want to try growing some in the windowsill but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.


So there you have it. Not the most exciting or complicated recipes. But sometimes simple is better, especially in the summer heat.

Hope life is good.

Love,
A

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