Staycation

After nearly a month of being gone every weekend (working, traveling, working & traveling, getting married, running races, etc) Ross and I had a much needed staycation  this weekend. We didn’t do much, and it.was.amazing. So amazing, I feel the need to re-cap this exciting nothingness here, just so when life gets crazy  ( I am leaving again for New York on Wednesday) I can remember and look forward to our next weekend at home.

Friday night: We had plans to go out to dinner, but Ross worked late and around 9pm we realized that it was cold and dark out (and we are really old) so we opted to stay in and watch t.v. and ordered a rustic pizza from good ol’ Papa Ginos. Apparently, one large rustic pizza is not enough for the two of us. We learned that the hard way. Luckily, there was also pumpkin beer and ice cream, so we somehow managed to survive. We started watching a new-to-us Showtime show called Masters of Sex. It was pretty good! We haven’t been especially thrilled with Homeland this season (so far), and it’s nice to have something new to look forward to Sunday nights (after the Red Sox win the World Series of course). My original plan was to watch a scary Halloween movie, but Comcast has decided to charge $3.99 for old scary movies that are usually on t.v. every other day anyway, so I refused to give in. We opted for some Halloween fun on Saturday instead.

Saturday: Easy 4 miles run to break in our new sneakers, we are both hoping to run in our new shoes next week during the NYC marathon. During the run, I made Ross stop by the Ghosts and Gravestones tour booth to ask about reservations. This is a Boston scary historical tour I have wanted to try out for a few years. It’s a little cheesy, but it was also informative and fun way to see your own city in a new way and to get in some Halloween fun without trekking to Salem (leaving town would have been against staycation rules). We got a drink at Granary Tavern ( fun spot, I definitely want to go back here for dinner!) and then did the tour. One fun fact: On a lot of old gravestones in the Boston cemeteries you will see an hourglass with wings (which replaced the popular skull with wings). The meaning of this? TIme flies. Weren’t those puritans creative?

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Sunday (today): I went to yoga, and then to Wholefoods, two of my most favorite things; I’m just a minivan (and a kid) away from being a soccer mom. At WF’s I decided to spend the rest of the day cooking. With traveling so much,and being so busy, I’m finding that despite my best efforts to continue to but healthy foods, I”m not finding time to cook, and therefore eat these foods. I promised myself the next weekend I had off I would do some food planning. And boy, did I do some planning/cooking today! I made football food for the husband (wings/nachos/pulled pork in the slow-cooker), Roasted Brussels Sprouts, concocted a homemade Chicken and rice soup, and now I’m on to pumpkin muffins. It’s almost out of control. It’s also amazing. I’m realizing that these foods aren’t the healthiest, but they are still much better and more nutritious than the fast-foods I’ve been surviving on otherwise.

Enjoy the rest of your own Sunday Funday. I’m going to keep cooking and enjoy every last second of this amazing staycation! Go Red Sox!!

Some Friday Favorites

Our Chinese New Year celebration was incredible last night! The family who throws it is a family I used to nanny for all through college. They have one daughter, who was always an amazing little kid and she is now growing up to be such an intelligent and sweet girl!

(Kata and me about 5 years ago on a beach in Sentosa Island, Singapore)

Us catching up last night at the Chinese New Year party last night

I woke up this morning feeling very excited for no reason in particular; just because it’s Friday, because I was going to yoga and looking forward to the weekend in general. That excited mood lasted until I stepped foot outside the door and was hit by cold rain and instantly wet Ugg boots (it’s what I deserve for still wearing Ugg boots I guess). My mood is definitely effected by the weather, and I’m glad I didn’t take the time to look out the window this morning or watch the news before yoga, otherwise I’m pretty sure I would have just stayed in bed all day.

I’m trying to overcome this in a way other than buying a one-way plane ticket back to Costa Rica. Yoga class with Sarah at the Beacon Hill Athletic Club was uplifting, and here are some other things I’m excited about today (other than snuggling on the couch with Mango):

-Turning my bathroom into a spa by using aromatherapy shower tablets I bought at Wholefoods yesterday

-Planning out a long run for tomorrow, I think my running weather will be back!

-Making a Quiche (anyone have a great recipe they want to share?!

-Going to CVS to print out some pictures and actually make use of all the beautiful picture frames Ross’s Mom got us for Christmas.

-Meeting up with some good friends downtown this evening.

If you need some rainy Friday cheering up, I recommend reading this hilarious, adult-only children’s book. I bought this for my sister (who is a new mom) but I think anyone who has ever had a child, who has taken care of children or even just heard other peoples stories will be able to appreciate this!

You can hear Samuel L.Jackson read it online <a href="<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CseO1XRYs9I“>”>here

Bright Sunshiny Day

It’s hard to believe just two days ago we were playing with Mango in this:

Well, there isn’t much of that white stuff around after today’s sunny 55+ degree weather! Rachel and I soaked up the sun while running around the Charles, please note that Rachel is running in only a T-shirt in January!

We took it slow and ran/walked about 5 miles. After, we stopped at Wholefoods and spent about a full hour in the body/retail shop there and between the testers and free samples, I think we managed to get away with a free full facial.

The older I get, the more self-conscious I am becoming about my skin, or rather what is happening to my skin (hello wrinkles!) I’ve never been the best about taking care of it, and I want to get into a better routine before it’s too late. As much as I wanted to purchase everything in the store, I decided that before spending a ton of money on any products I should do a little more research and shopping around. I guess that is growing up, wrinkles and practicality.

I did end up stocking up on Chobanis (on sale for a $1), and bought some great salmon for dinner. Did you know fresh salmon is good for your skin, cheaper than some facial lotions and certainly tastier.

There’s still some sunshine left, so I’m going to finish my Chobani and head out for walk #2 with Mango, then hopefully get my stretch on at yoga this evening, all this running lately has got me feeling tight!

Food for Thought

Since I was always complaining about rice and beans writing about the food I missed while in Costa Rica, I thought I would give a food update. It’s not all oysters and lobster rolls here, but it’s been fantastic just getting back to ‘normal’ eating.

Since the North End doesn’t have a very accessible grocery store, we’ve taken two trips to Trader Joe’s since being back. We always tried to stock up on the basics at Trader Joes, Wholefoods or even a Stop and Shop and then supplement from the North End convenience stores like the Golden Goose. And by ‘supplement’ I really mean splurge on beer, wine and fancy cheeses. And canolis.

I like to buy the fresh fruits and produce locally a few times a week I enjoy Haymarket Fridays and Saturdays when I have the time/energy for it!

One MAJOR difference in the diet has been the veggies! I just can’t get enough. Last night we made a veggie stir-fry with Quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten free, relatively high in protein and a great substitute for rice for those of us recovering from a year-long Latin American diet. You can read about some additional perks of Quinoa- including help from Migranes HERE

Onions, peppers and mushrooms, oh my!

and, a little Arugula flatbread pizza on the side:

To make it more well-rounded we should have added a lean protein, but I wanted to make sure I had plenty of room for just veggies. I’ll probably get over this vegetable craving eventually. Hopefully not though.

For right now, while we are waiting to fully unpack our kitchen supplies and get settled we are relying on some quick, easy and most importantly healthy meals (like frozen veggie pizzas). Do you have any recommendations for this? Favorite go-to meals for when you aren’t able to cook from scratch but want a healthy alternative? I’d love to hear them!