22.5.13

wednesday randoms, part 6

{I successfully did my first double under on Monday during CrossFit - and did them during the WOD. It only took me nine months.}

work week

I am taking off on Friday and I am so glad I have a four-day work week (and a four day weekend.) May is the only month during the year where we have a bit of a lull in our craziness at the office. It is good to be able to catch up a bit (and clean off my desk) but I also get a little bored since I have gotten used to running around like my head is chopped off and go, go, go.

Also, this was our first summer week where we can take a half hour break for lunch instead of an hour and leave at 4:30. Having that extra half hour in the evenings is wonderful!

blog reading

I am behind on blog reading. Actually, I was super behind (like two months behind) in April and now I am only a little behind. So, if you are a blogger and I have left three comments at a time on separate posts, I am sorry.

I used to read blogs every day. I am much busier with my current job which doesn't leave as much time and, even when I do have time, I usually want to spend it doing things with the husband or pup or catching up on projects. I used to almost feel guilty about it when I was behind. (A blogger who doesn't read blogs!) Is that weird? But now I am over it. Plus, a lot of the bloggers I really like I follow on instagram or twitter so I still feel very up to date on their life. 

And really, a lot of times blogs make me feel like I am not doing enough. Like I should be further along in my education or career or life. But I won't harp on that since I already pretty much explained it here. And I don't need that shiz...

emotions

I am feeling very weird lately. Like extra emotional weird. Does that make sense? 

Lately, I have been so indecisive. Like I made a somewhat major life decision a few months ago and now I am all actually maybe not. I am such a planner that when I get something in my head I usually stick with it. I don't know...

Anything random (emotional or not) to share?

21.5.13

paleo mayo and deviled eggs

I started making mayonnaise a few months ago and I can't believe I didn't try it sooner. I just couldn't justify spending the time to make it when it was only going to last a few days. But, first off, it really only takes an active five minutes. And, secondly, it actually lasts until the expiration date of your eggs so if you buy eggs with a date a month out, your mayo will last that long too. 

And it is so easy! You basically just need an egg, an acidic liquid, light tasting olive oil, and patience. For the acid, you can use lemon juice or vinegar. The Hubs isn't a fan of foods that are super lemony so I usually use cider vinegar. Also, make sure you use light tasting olive oil. The first time I made mayo, I used extra-virgin and it had a really strong EVOO taste. I didn't even use it. 

I also have had a major craving for deviled eggs! This was my first time making them with my homemade mayonnaise and they were awesome. I thought with all the summer barbecues coming up, this would be a simple recipe to share. I just need to work on my egg peeling skills before my eggs are aesthetically pleasing enough to bring to a party. I am actually eating these for breakfast this week.

PALEO MAYONNAISE

1 egg
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c. light-tasting olive oil
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt

In a blender, break egg and add vinegar. Allow the egg and vinegar to sit for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours so that they come to room temperature. 

Add the mustard, salt, and 1/4 cup of oil to the blender. Blend until the ingredients are combined. Now incorporate the rest of the oil by pouring it very very slowly while the blender is still on. Try and get the  smallest drizzle you can. This will take about 3 minutes. Resist every urge to dump "the rest" in. 

Now you can make salad dressings, sauces, and, of course, deviled eggs!

PALEO DEVILED EGGS
makes 24 halves

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
2 tsp. dijion mustard
1/3 c. paleo mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika

Slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in mixing bowl. Arrange egg whites on a plate or platter. 

Add mustard, mayo, shallot, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mash yolks with a fork and make sure to mix ingredients well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. 

Enjoy!

19.5.13

weekend: meeting up with ashley


a cloudy view from our table . . . best crab cake ever . . . two spoons for dessert . . . with ashley . . . a pickle martini
~~~~
On Friday, I got home from work and did a quick workout. Then the Hubs came home with pizza. After that, we helped the SIL drop off her car at the shop, drove her to the in-laws, and then went to Target. Exciting Friday night...

On Saturday, the Hubs got up early for work and I headed to Queenstown to meet Ashley for outlet shopping. After keeping ourselves almost within our budgets, we drove to The Narrows for lunch. If you have never been there, they have the best crab cakes. (For those of you that do a trip or two to Ocean City, it is a great place to stop on the way.) When I got back to Salisbury, I did a bit of straightening up and laundry and then headed to dinner at the Irish Penny with the Hubs and the SIL. I discovered a pickle martini which may be my new favorite drink.

Today, I did a bit of cleaning and food prep for the week. Now we are trying out a new recipe. If it is yummy, I will be sure to share. I am taking off on Friday so I am glad this week is only four days and then I have a long four day weekend!

How was your weekend?

17.5.13

francophile friday: stripes by the bay

{in arcachon}

While studying abroad in France, I visited the Bassin d'Arcachon or Arcachon Bay. It was a typical early fall day by the water - nice enough to sit on the beach but too cold to get in the water.

{view of the bay from the tallest dune in europe}

We spent the day climbing the tallest dune in Europe and then getting ice cream before heading to another beach town for some time on the sand and dinner. If I went back to Arcachon on a day like that, I would spend the day walking around town and eating cuisse de canard for dinner.

I would also make sure to sport some serious French stripes. 

What would you wear on by the bay in France?

16.5.13

whole30 postponed


{brunch with my SIL this past weekend: eggs benedict over crab cakes and asparagus, hold the muffin}

I am postponing the Whole30 I started last week. I realized that this month is full of weekends  visiting friends and friends visiting me. It just doesn't seem like the right time. And it isn't the Whole30 if you cheat.

So, I plan to just eat strict paleo during the week and not feel guilty on the weekends. Because feeling guilty about eating is never a good thing. I won't binge on the weekends but when an opportunity arises for a wonderful brunch, I won't blink and eye. (I will still be posting some yummy Whole30 meals on my instagram though.)

Besides summer is coming...

Do you have fun plans over the next month?

15.5.13

wednesday randoms, part 5

warby parker

I am absolutely in love with my new Warby Parker sunglasses. I got prescription glasses last year and they asked me if I needed prescription sunglasses. I said no, not really knowing why I would. I soon realized that I would have to choose between my glasses and sunglasses while I was driving. 

Well, I finally broke down and ordered some in April. Unfortunately, when they came, just in time for my trip, they were the right style but wrong color. I called and they sent me new ones - right style, wrong color again. The customer service rep was flabbergasted - she had seen this happen only twice before and never twice to the same person. They were really helpful and offered me a discount for the inconvenience. 

And my new sunnies were worth the wait. I think I am going to order another pair of regular glasses at some point to alternate with my current ones. The home try-on is just so convenient, the styles are great, and you get to help someone in need when you make a purchase. 

cooking

I have been cooking but nothing exciting enough to photograph and share with you. (Think grilled pork chops with green beans and grilled chicken with broccoli - very paleo.) I am hoping summer brings inspiration for new recipes. If you need some inspiration, you can always follow me on instagram

shopping

I have a short outlet trip with a friend this weekend but I am going to try sticking to my summer clothing budget. I will be instagramming all the pretty things, though, with the hashtag #thingsiwouldhaveboughtbutdidnt. So follow along or join in! 

Want to share something random?

9.5.13

in the DR

If you don't mind, I would like to share a few photos from our trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. On Saturday, after a work event I had, we headed to Philly to stay in a hotel near the airport. We got up early on Sunday and headed to the airport. We got upgraded to first class which is always fun. I had a great time reclining my seat (they practically turn into beds.) We had about a 40 minute bus ride to our resort. Once we got there, we walked around the resort a bit and did a little bit of unpacking. Then we had a drink at the bar and headed to dinner.
On Monday, we explored a bit more of the resort and just hung out on the beach.
On Tuesday, I got up early to take a few pictures on the beach. Then we took advantage of a free shopping trip about 20 minutes away. We went to a cigar and chocolate factory. I bought a few cigars and come chocolate tea. After lunch, we spent a few hours at the beach.
On Wednesday, we went on an excursion. Of course, as soon as we got on the catamaran, I found out the lens on my SLR was broken and, of course, I didn't bring my point and shoot with me or an extra lens. So I had to shoot with my camera a certain way the entire day. Luckily, I had my under water camera as well. On the catamaran, we drank rum and cokes out of mini plastic cups and learned how to Merengue. Once we got to Sanoa Island (where the first Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed) the Hubs and I got a massage and tried a cup of Mama Juana. On our way back on the speedboat, we went to a natural pool with starfish.
On Thursday, we split our time between the pool and the beach. We also went to watch some of the singers that night and did a bit of dancing. 
We headed back on Friday. It was a fun trip and it was nice to have a break. 

Do you have any fun vacations planned?

8.5.13

wednesday randoms, part 4

{lifting heavy things at CrossFit Salisbury}

crossfit

On Monday, I went back to CrossFit after two and a half weeks. After a week of vacation followed by a week of a stomach bug, I knew it was going to be tough. I told my self that since it was an 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) that I could take it easy and pace myself. I was surprised by how well I did. Maybe a little bit of rest does the body good. It feels good to be moving again though. Pretty much being in bed all last week was really starting to hurt my back. 

this week

This week kinda stinks. I think it is going to be the longest week in history. All day yesterday, I kept thinking it was Wednesday and that I was halfway though my week. Plus, this rain is really annoying. I am trying to be better about doing my hair in the mornings to be a bit more presentable and it is kind of difficult to keep that up when the wind and rain just end up making it frizzy. Why bother?

scandal

***spoiler alert*** (kind of)

Do you watch the show Scandal? Well if you don't, you should. And then we can obsessively talk about it together. I got my friend, Niki, hooked on it but I am pretty sure she thinks I am crazy with the amount I text her about it. (She and the Hubs are the only two people I know who watch it.)

And if you do watch it: Can you believe last week's episode? The Hubs and I watched it Friday after work (since it airs past our bedtime on Thursdays.) 

"Sit with me and watch me choose you. Watch me earn you." WHAT!?

Okay so Olivia and Fitz are completely dysfunctional. I knew this before but this episode really sent it home. But I want them to be together. I really do want them to work and I want her to stop fixing him and for him to stop handling her. #olitzforever

But then I kind of like Jake. (Niki thinks I am crazy and that he is definitely up to something bad.)

On Saturday, the Hubs and I were silently driving to Ocean City and, all of a sudden, I exclaim, "Cyrus is going to be SO MAD!"

The Hubs responded, "You know it is just a TV show, right?" Well, one, I love how he knew exactly what I was talking about even though it was out of the blue and, two, he clearly doesn't know who he is dealing with.  

Want to share something random?

7.5.13

guest post: how to create the perfect home bar

This post was brought to you by Ruth Hinds on behalf of Gurasu. Gurasu specialises in fine crystal products for the more discerning customer, with ranges that include crystal vases, champagne flutes and much more. After my search for the perfect bar cart, I thought this was the perfect follow-up.

If you enjoy a tipple or two, creating a bar in your home can be a great idea. After all, what would be better at the end of a long day in the office than coming back to your own little well-stocked drinking area? Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to create the perfect home bar.

Buy a good selection of glasses
It’s no good making delicious drinks if you don’t have anything to serve them from! Ideally, you should have wine glasses, short glass tumblers and tall glasses. Stocking up on these basics will mean that you always have the correct glass, regardless of what drink you’re making. Over time, you can build up a wider collection.

Stock up on necessary equipment
There are a few essentials when it comes to equipment. These include cocktail shakers, ice bags, strainers, spoons and ice cube trays. Once you’ve purchased these items, most of them will last a very long time and can be used again and again.

Choose a select few bottles of alcohol
There’s no need to have 12 varieties of every spirit imaginable in order to have a good bar. Instead, choose one good bottle of vodka, gin, tequila, rum and bourbon, plus any specific favourites that you might have. This selection will allow you to make almost any cocktail imaginable, and reduces the risk of your spirits going off while they stand unused. All you’ll need to add is a few mixers, and you’re ready to go.

Consider friends who don’t drink alcohol
Don’t forget that not everyone will want to drink alcohol when they’re visiting your home. To ensure that you can cater for all tastes, think about what you could serve that’s imaginative and won’t leave the non-drinkers feeling left out. You could mix orange and grapefruit juice together with a splash of soda, for example, to make an exciting non-alcoholic drink.

Take inspiration from a book or two
If you really want to get creative, consider buying a couple of cocktail books for inspiration. You probably already have a few favourite drinks up your sleeve that you’d like to try making, but your menu could soon get boring if you don’t have a little extra help. Mixology is a true art, and once you start reading up on the subject, you’ll find that the possibilities are endless.

Host your opening party
Now all that you need to do is open up your bar to your friends and family! Invite everyone round and sharpen your cocktail making skills with plenty of practice.

Do you have a bar in your home? What tips would you share with others who’d like to do the same?

{image via here}

5.5.13

weekend: catching up

my view when I opened my eyes saturday morning . . . my chocolate banana milkshake . . . with sig at the game . . . after the buzzer . . . a late lunch/early dinner at brew
~~~~
On Friday, after work, the Hubs and I took it easy since I was coming off of that awful stomach bug. We ordered in subs, caught up on the latest episode of Scandal and then watched Silver Linings Playbook

On Saturday, the Hubs and I went to breakfast and then I headed to campus for a quick work event. After that, I treated myself to a mini manicure. Then I came home and took a little nap - this stomach bug still has me exhausted after a half a day. The Hubs found out a college buddy of his was in Ocean City so we decided to head out there. We went to West Ocean City to go to Carrabba's for dinner and then to Dumsers for dessert. Then we headed into Ocean City to see his friend. We hung out at his brother's house for a bit and then we went to Macky's for a drink. 

This morning, since we didn't get back until a little after midnight last night, we slept until almost 10 am. Then we got up, got dressed, and grabbed a small lunch. After that, we headed to our local university, where I work, to watch the men's lacrosse team play our alma mater, the team that the Hubs was a part of in college. It was a big game - the winner would have the conference title. Our local university has won it every year (except one year a few years ago.) Well, this year we finally beat them. It was awesome. My friend, Sig, came to Salisbury with her boyfriend who works at our alma mater to watch the game. Then we headed to Brew River for an early dinner. 

Now the Hubs and I are watching All The President's Men Revisited, a new documentary by Robert Redford. I have a feeling I am going to bed early because I am beat. 

How was your weekend?

2.5.13

a summer clothing budget


I have been a little spendthrift lately. I really need to reel it in. I am not in need of new clothes and that is where a lot of my spending has been. So I am putting myself on a clothing budget for the summer - May through August. Plus, it doesn't seem as scary only doing it for four months.

I am giving myself $30 to spend each month but for May I am giving myself $60 since I already have one outlet trip planned with a friend and possibly another. Whatever I don't use one month can roll over to the next month. And I am considering "clothing" anything that I can wear - clothes, shoes, and accessories.

I really think your style is an extension of who you are so I am going to be sharing clothing items on instagram I would have bought but decided against because I either ran out of money in my budget or was waiting for something better. I will post about what I bought (and didn't) after each month.

And you can join in, even if you are not necessarily putting yourself on a budget. Just use the hashtag #thingsiwouldhaveboughtbutdidnt (yea, I know it is so clever) and tag me in your instagram picture. And this totally works with online items as well.

Want to go shopping with me?

1.5.13

wednesday randoms, part 3

{I took this about a month ago after a light snow in Ocean City, Maryland.}

sewing

I finished up my sewing class before I left for the Dominican Republic and I successfully made a tank. Now that work isn't as busy and I won't be spending about four hours of my Sunday driving to Ocean City for my sewing class, I plan to do more cooking, blogging, and start some other sewing projects I have been wanting to work on. 

wigs

Have you heard of the YouTube channel, WIGS? I am really digging it. It basically hosts original, short films and documentaries all with female leads. Each series is named after its lead female character and each episode is less than twelve minutes long.

Right now, I have only watched the first two seasons of Blue which stars Julia Stiles. Blue is a single mom who moonlights as a high-end escort. I like the raw quality of the episodes - there isn't music in the background to evoke emotion or any special effects. It just is what it is. I am excited to start on the other series.

whole30 

So my May Whole30 is starting out pretty rocky considering this stomach virus I have won't let me eat anything that isn't bread, rice or saltines without feeling nauseous (or worse.) Of course, none of those things are Whole30 approved. But I am hoping to get on track by the end of the week. I just feel so sad for all of those veggies that are just sitting in my fridge. I hope they are still good for next week. 

Want to share something random?