Friday, August 22, 2008

Restaurant Week - Summer 2008

Here in Boston we have a Restaurant Week two times a year (now, it's actually done for two weeks). These weeks give folks like me a chance to check out the fancy shmancy place for relatively "cheap". Most restaurants have a three course fixed menu (I say most because my roommates both went to a place where the regular menu was the Restaurant Week menu). Some restaurants offer lunch and dinner, while others offer one or the other. Lunches are $20.08 and dinners are $33.08 (get the .08?). Over the last two weeks I have been to four meals (three lunches and one dinner).
  • Lunch #1 - Oak Room (Copley Square) - Creamy New England clam chowder, five-ounce flat iron steak with pomme frites in a rosemary jus and individual brulee tart with seasonal fruit.
  • Lunch #2 - 33 (Back Bay) - Ursula's caesar salad, root beer braised short ribs, and summer berry pannacotta
  • Lunch #3 - Stanhope Grill (Back Bay) - Chopped salad, rosemary marinated grilled flat iron steak, and decadent chocolate brownie.
  • Dinner - Smith & Wollensky's (Back Bay) - Caesar salad, filet mignon, and chocolate cake. (This dinner is a now a tradition with Dan and Alison, usually we visit Flemings but we weren't digging the menu this time around.)

If there was ever a concern of an iron deficiency, I think I have taken care of that over the last two weeks! Now I must get to the store for some fruits & veggies!

Three Babies and a Bride

So I have completed SLACKED with posting since I returned from my hiatus, and haven't even finished my hiatus updates. Tonight seems like a great night to get caught up (even though it is a Friday and Super Diamond is in town)!

I woke up on Saturday (8/9) to emails from two different friends that they were expecting babies mid-February. Very exciting. For one friend it will be baby number 2 and for the other it will be baby number 1...Congrats to both the Satter's and the Jagger's. These two babies will join Baby C who will make his or her appearance in December. Auntie E is going to be busy!

Last Saturday (8/16) I got to celebrate my friend/classmate/co-worker Ann's upcoming wedding by going to her bridal shower thrown by her sisters. It was a great afternoon to honor Ann. A few things that I thought were great (read as "Note to Winnie" for when that day comes)...her sisters had it at a hotel, the games were voluntary, and two people helped with the gifts.
  • By having the shower at the Marriott there was room for everyone to mingle and sit down to eat. The food was all prepared for the event, they even cut the cake. Once things started to wind-down the hotel staff got a cart, loaded up gifts and took them to the car. The sisters were able to enjoy themselves and visit with the guests just as much as Ann.
  • There were two (2) games, the first was a picture board where we could guess Ann's age in each picture (12 pictures in total). The sisters "corrected" the guesses during lunch. The second "game" was wearing a clothes-pin and if you said the groom's name it could be taken by whoever you were talking too.
  • While Ann opened her gifts one sister was taking notes as to what was given and the other was making sure the bows were saved for the rehearsal dinner and putting opened gifts aside.

While the above makes it sound like the shower was rushed, it did not feel that way at all. We were there from 1-4 and the time flew by in a good way. Congrats Ann & D! Nice "crafty" work Sisters!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm back!

So my "plan" to blog everyday while I was away didn't quite happen. However, I remember very well what happened and am going to add posts below documenting my month away. My time away was GREAT and I am very relaxed and ready to start my 5th year at work. I have some new challenges ahead of me and am very EXCITED for them to start. So check out below for what has been going on with me for the last 4 weeks!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hiatus - Day 28

I get to sleep in my own bed tonight - yesssssssss!

I didn't know when this "hiatus" started that I would look forward to this day so much. Of course, it didn't go nearly as quickly as I wanted it to. I woke up for this final day of training feeling like I had been hit by a Mac truck...and I didn't even drink the night before! Must have been a sympathy hangover for all of my fellow tablemates. Training started promptly at 8am and finished at 3pm (no getting out early for us). We made our way to the train station in Newark at the same time the others made their way to Newark Airport.

Today, the new thing I learned is that there are 2 Penn Stations - Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station.

Got to the train station with plenty of time to spare only to find that the bar was closed (not my idea but an ice cold water sounded great at this point). Got onto the train headed home, keeping tabs on the progress of the flight that we could have taken. We made it home first. I later found out that they sat on the tarmac for over an hour with no air conditioning - I love the train.

Made it home to a big pile of mail - I love getting mail. The majority was junk but it was mail to sort through none the less. My bed looks fabulous and I can't wait to jump in!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hiatus - Day 27

Training Day 4 - One more night in a foreign bed and then I get to sleep in my own!

After a long day of training we have "hospitality" tonight. They advertise Wii and Guitar Hero - my thought is sweet I have never played either one. Little do I realize that Guitar Hero is played on the Wii. So after a few rounds of pool and foosball, Guitar Hero opens up. I watch a few rounds before I take a shot. Let me just say I didn't finish with a goose egg for a score, but the score wasn't that great. Definitely need more practice.

This leads me to something else, does anyone who reads this blog own a Wii and have the Wii fitness? I am contemplating getting one (only because it's subsidized by work - the fitness part, not the entire console). Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hiatus - Day 26

Training Day 3

My thoughts for today:
  • Only 2 more nights in a foreign bed
  • Only 5 more meals at this place (the foods not bad but I am ready to cook for myself)
  • Yay for Grams she gets out of rehab on Friday

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hiatus - Day 25

Training Day 2's hard to focus at training when what is taught is not specific to my industry, in fact I deal with very little of what we are discussing. I find myself thinking about what the next few weeks at work will look like, how Grams is doing and counting down the nights until I get to sleep in my own bed again. I find myself (with work applications open in the background) getting up to date on the most recent celebrity gossip instead of paying attention to what is being taught. One thing I do like about this place (that is in dirty Jersey), is the iced tea they serve outside of our classrooms. The thing that sucks is that I can't seem to find it at the grocery stores around here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Haitus - Day 24

Oh training, you are so fun. We start bright and early at 8am (and this means we have to have made it to the dining hall for breakfast before then). I go to our big group session and then haul back to the break-out rooms to get a decent seat (read as a seat towards the back in a spot where no one can see my computer screen). I sit at a table with my fellow Bostonians and we promptly name ourselves "Dirty Water" (thank-you Charles River). However, we could end up being too much for our fellow classmates and facilitators.

The rooms are nice, but I am very much looking forward to getting back to Boston and sleeping in my own bed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hiatus - Day 15

Bye bye to the Hamel's, hello quiet house...too quiet. I kind of liked the little voice of Miss S, running around in her squeeky shoes, saying "Ra Ra", "Pee", "EE", "My", "Bubbles", "Dada" and "Mama". Thank goodness I do live close enough to be able to hop on a plane to go and visit her on the occasional weekend.

Mom, Pete and I spent the day getting stuff for Grams so she would be comfortable in rehab with a few of "her" things and getting myself packed for my work trip to Tacoma.

When we took Grams her good, Pete and I helped her get all prettied up...

**Grams does not like having her picture taken, but we did it anyways.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hiatus - Day 14

Sad day - must say good by to teh C family after spending the last week and a half with them. I honestly don't remember the last time I spent so many consecutive days with my cousin - it was great! (Note to self: Must move closer so we can do this more often...maybe sometime on my turf.) I had spent the night at mom's house so I got to wake up to Miss S - so fun! We got ready and headed to Elmer's for breakfast. I visited Elmer's quite a bit as a youngster, often on a Sunday after church...or maybe that one time when mom tried to make pancakes for dinner...I won't go there, she reads this blog.

The C family showed up - yay, we get to see Boo again! She is growing up way too fast! Must say that breakfast was super fun with the girlies. They got along great - wish we could have had a few more days to play with all of them.

Said our goodbyes in the Elmer's parking lot and headed back to Mom's. I had some work to do and Miss S needed a nap (so did her mom). Mom and the Uncle headed to the hospital to get Grams loaded into her transport van and then headed to Wilsonville so they could meet her at the rehab facility. They got her settled and figured out what she would for her stay there.

Dad came and picked me up and we headed downtown to meet up with Pete once he got out of work. We wondered around checking out the shops in the Pearl District and stopped in at a bar to cool off while we were waiting. We were sitting down playing some "games" that may or may not have been gambling related, when a group of guys walked in and started playing shuffleboard. Shuffleboard? Oh yes, I too have played this game in Atlanta while at new hire training. First thought to run through my mind, they must be auditors. A while later a girl shows up, who is introduced to the group as the new summer intern and then someone pipes up, "Welcome to Deloitte!". For real? I am good.

We headed down to what used to be Mazzi's (one of the best all-time italian restaurants) and had dinner at Macadam's Bar & Grill. This bar also serves as the host to a bunch of Sun Devil alums during football season. Yay for college football!

Back to mom's for a final game of zilch with the Aunt and Uncle before they take off tomorrow for the other O state.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hiatus - Day 13

The zoo, the zoo, we're going to the zoo!

Up until this morning, the stay in Portland had been very warm - actually rather hot. This morning we woke up and it was barely 60 degrees outside - I think we all cheered a little when we saw this on the news. (I even wore a sweatshirt tied around my waist in case it was "cold".)
We arrived at the zoo fairly early and got our Dino package. (Dino's are huge this summer...did I mention there was a dino exhibit at OMSI?) The first "attraction" we went to was the 3-D simulator ride, we laughed and screamed, Miss M promptly took off her glasses (same thing happened at Disney last summer). Next was planning our way around the zoo so we could hit every attraction, which we almost did. We met up with one of M's friends after lunch and went on the train. I don't remember much of the route from when I was younger, and I definitely don't remember the parts where you are either looking at the mountain side or looking straight down to the mountain side with Highway 26 at the bottom. Luckily for me, I got to stare at the mountain side when heading back to the zoo from Washington Park (and breath again). Miss M clearly enjoyed the view much more than I did, as evidenced in the picture below.
M's friends had to leave after seeing a few more exhibits so we headed over to the Dino walk. Along the walk they had half-size to full-size replicas of different dinosaurs...very cool. Even more cool - Miss M talking ("Hi buddy!") to the ones that "talked" (aka made noises). Each time W and I giggled a little.

I got dropped off at mom's for a quiet dinner with mom, brother, Aunt, Uncle and Miss S. Headed back to the hotel to pick up my stuff so I could spend the night at mom's house.

Grams is getting better - she heads to rehab tomorrow! Way to go Grams!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hiatus - Day 12

Day 12 found Miss M in bed all!

Mom came and picked me up and I spent the day with her, Aunt, Uncle and Miss S.

Just to mix it up, here's a bulleted list of what we did:
  • Picked up lunch at a cute cafe near Grams' home
  • At lunch in Grams' apartment (mom & Uncle had some tasks to complete)
  • Played "Who's who?" with Miss S and the pictures in Grams' apartment
  • Went to Wilsonville to check out the rehab facility, yes Grams' "They're gonna make you go to rehab" (it was a nice place and didn't smell)
  • Costco run to pick up groceries for dinner (FYI - the $1.50 smoothies at the food court are awesome)
  • Mom's house to make dinner with the Aunt and Miss S (the other 2 went to the hospital)
  • Dinner - yummy pasta (whole wheat) with chicken, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, a little bit of italian dressing, black olives and cheese (parmesan and feta). So good!
  • Gift boxes - everyone got a stretchy frog, candy and a water gun (and a few other personalized trinkets)
  • Zilch - we played again, I didn't win but it was fun.

Back to the hotel for the night with M, W & Miss M.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hiatus - Day 11

Woke up in the hotel we booked at the very last-minute and headed down for some continental breakfast. I had barely finished when I was told by Miss M "Auntie Erin it's eight dot dot five nine", which translated into "It's 8:59 and the pool opens at 9:00". I was reminded again at nine dot dot zero one. I threw on my new suit that I had purchased at Wally World the night before and off we went, leaving M & W to themselves. I got to play catch in the pool...Miss M would jump off of the edge and I would catch her. She hasn't started swim lessons and didn't have her water wings with her, so I was her catcher. I got plenty of pool water up my nose which was rather unpleasant. After an hour it was time to get out of the pool (the one hour time limit had been established prior to even leaving the hotel room) and there was no push-back my Miss M - yay!

We all got ready and headed up to the hospital for a quick visit with Grams. Miss M took her kindergarten book to show Grams the progress she made through the year. We also took her a goodie box from our Rattatoille dinner party that we were going to have. Grams got a stretchy frog, some pretty kleenex and a water gun. We weren't sure if water guns were allowed in the hospital but we filled it up for her, telling her to squirt the Uncle if he got unruly. She giggled at that one. It was nice to see her out of the hospital bed and sitting in a chair. Just before we left one of mom's good friends and her mom showed up for a visit. We knew she was excited to see them when her heart rate went up!

After the hospital visit we were off to lunch with the favorite uncle, not mine but Miss M's! Headed downtown Portland for lunch at Henry's. (Here is a picture of M & Miss M in the lobby of Uncle Pete's building...M loves the big beaver!)
Miss M was feeling under the weather but was a trooper and after lunch we went to OMSI. We didn't see very much of the first exhibit before M, W & Miss M headed to their submarine tour. I had been on it before and opted to sit day+ close quarters does not = fun for me. The Aunt, Uncle and adorable cousin (Miss S) arrived just as the three finished their tour and we headed to the kid's zone. We closed it down. It was so great to see Miss M and Miss S running around together, someone has some great pictures of them holding hands...I must get a copy.

Dinner at mom's then off to another hotel for the night.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hiatus - Day 10

Got up somewhat early this morning to pack our bags for the trip to Portland. I spent most of the ride in the backseat with Miss M, which is never dull. We watched the "Bee Movie" for the second time, I opted to watch without headphones. We knew as soon as we hit Portland we were heading to the hospital to check on Grams, but had to make one quick stop in Woodburn...the outlet stores. W had a Gap giftcard that HAD to be used and I wasn't stopping her. I took Miss M so W could shop on her own (Mikee headed to the hat shop), and we did plenty of damage on our own. With Miss M's birthday coming up I let her pick out a few things (she wanted everything pink, sparkled, and the jelly shoes with heels). We also picked out an outfit for Miss S - gotta buy clothes for baby in the family. Met up with W in the check-out line where I found a few sweaters for myself. (Since I am writing this after the fact, I can tell you that the sweaters were quite popular amongst us girls at training this past week.)

Made it to the hospital mid-afternoon to check on Grams. Met up with the Aunt, Uncle and Miss S in the hallway - what a fun surprise! Miss S was cute as ever. Made it to Grams' room to check on her. She was looking better than when I saw her in the ER but was still quite pale and was on oxygen. She was still fighting the pneumonia and was either too hot or too cold. We visited for a while and had fun with the latex gloves (the Uncle showed us how he could be a chicken). After our visit we were off to mom's house for family dinner and then to a hotel for the night.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hiatus - Day 9

Time to pack up camp and head back to the city. Spent the day getting the camper cleaned, parked along the side of the house, and laundry. Our plans changed and we were no longer heading to Black Butte for the next few days, we were off to Portland. We ordered in pizza for dinner and I spent the evening with Miss M watching her favorite (so she says) movie "13 Going on 30".

Grams Update - Now the waiting game as to when she will be moved to a skilled nursing home for rehabilitation.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hiatus - Day 8

I am getting used to this camping least the way that W does it. We enjoyed the day at the farm/pond chatting, watching the kids fish (Miss M caught a few), and another BBQ for dinner. W and I opted for Gardenburgers over Elk burgers (I am not that adventurous). We opted to crash in the city this night as Mikee isn't feeling too well and the girls were heading to the Mill for a few hours of "girl time".

After dropping W's friends off at the Mill, Miss M quickly realized what was going on and did not like the fact that we (W and I) were going to be heading back to the Mill once we dropped her and Mikee off. In order to calm the upset little girl, W told her she could watch "Mean Girls" (a treat since the flick is rated PG-13). Miss M appeared satisfied with this for a short time but then piped up (from the back of the car) that instead she wanted to watch "Your Dogs ARE Gay". For real? I turned to W, with tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard, to ask what she was talking about...Legally Blonde 2. Tears are subsiding, stomach not hurting so much, and Miss M pipes up "Mom, do you know what gay means?". W and I look at eachother not knowing what will come out of this 5 year olds mouth next. W calmly replies "No, what does it mean?". Miss M is quick with her response of "It's when boy dogs wear pink". The tears start flowing again...where do kids come up with this stuff?

We head back to the Mill, listen to a few songs played by the band in the bar (not the greatest cover band I have ever seen) and then head out to play a few "games". Those games make me $200 richer and I am ready to head home, so is W so we take off.

Grams update - The family from the other "O" state has arrived and Grams remains stable.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hiatus - Day 7

Happy 4th of July!

I survived the first night of camping at the pond/farm. It wasn't really that tough as there was a toilet that flushed, a sink with running water, and we headed back to town for showers in the morning (I love W's way of camping).

We spent most of the day lounging at the pond/farm. I was able to start my new book and watched Miss M frolick with the other kids while her mom and dad were off playing paintball. W loves this picture and was pretty proud of her bruises afterwards.

We enjoyed a nice BBQ for dinner and waited for it to get dark to start the fireworks. Greg did a great job of arranging the fireworks and claims that next year he will have music. I enjoyed the show from my spot near the firepit until an unruly spark hit my leg. I quickly moved far away from the action and went to bed when they were done. The spark did not damage my jeans but drew blood...go figure.
Grams update - stable but she still can't keep her eyes open. Cell phone reception wasn't the greatest so updates were few and far between.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hiatus - Day 6

Busy day ahead of me...the task at hand...babysitting Miss M.

It really wasn't babysitting at all, W had to work and I had offered to hang with Miss M and we had some tasks that we needed to get done.

Task #1 - Cleaning of the closet. According to W, had she asked Miss M to clean her closet she would have asked for a toy to replace all of the toys that were being given away. Flashback - she did a similar activity with Super Nanny (aka my mom) when they moved and did not make such requests. We took all of the toys out from Miss M's closet and sat amongst them going through each item, filling a box and neatly organizing what remained.

Task #2 - Grocery store. We were going to be making dessert for the camping trip and had to pick up supplies. Mikee was home so he was our driver. Thanks Mikee!

Task #3 - Lunch with W. Grabbed some sandwiches from the store next door - delish.

Task #4 - Party boxes! My mom and I had decided that our dinner at BBR was going to be a Ratatouille party - only because we found a cute centerpiece and some cute gift boxes. Just going to celebrate our family vacation. Miss M was very excited to help with the boxes and was very good at keeping what was inside a secret.

Task #5 - Dessert! Miss M and I made some frozen desserts for camping which ended up tasting very good and Miss M was a great helper.

Task #6 - Clean up the "play house". This wasn't requested but it was done. The playhouse is the area under the stairs where Miss M will play for hours on end with her dolls. We got it cleaned out and set-up like a litte nursery for her dolls. Very cute.

Once the tasks were complete and we were waiting for W to get off work, I sat down to watch some TV and wait for the status update on Grams. It wasn't looking good as it was discovered that Grams had aspirated which lead to pneumonia on top of the heart attack. W and I talked and decided to stick with our original plan of camping at the pond/farm (land belonging to their friend's family). When W got home we headed to the pond/farm.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hiatus - Day 5

Three parts to this day.

Part 1 - Woke up this morning, excited to meet the two newest members of L's family.

Background information - Mom, L & D meet for coffee at a select Starbuck's, on a select day of the week, for every week during the school year. Occasionally a daughter or two or another educator join them.

Back to the meeting. We had made plans to meet for lunch at Red Robin all 8 adults and 7 children. Luckily we (mom and I) got there early and were able to secure a nice row of tables. We enjoyed our lunch and the new moms enjoyed their babies being tended to by others so they could enjoy a meal. Lunch with 7 children, the oldest two getting ready to enter the 1st grade is quite entertaining. I thanked the daughters of L & D for allowing my mom to play grandma for the time being. Such a fun group, hope we get to do it again the next time I am there.

Part 2 - After we left RR mom checked her phone to see if the uncle had called to inform us of their flight plans for the weekend, instead of a message from him, there was a message from another Michael informing us that Grams had fallen and been transported to St. Vincents. So our excitement from lunch quickly turned to worry as we did not know what to expect when we got to the hospital. We made it there rather quickly - mom was a GREAT driver in that situation. We were directed to Grams room where she was propped up in bed, hooked up to a bunch of machines, unable to keep her eyes open. I don't like hospitals and did not like seeing her like this. While I stayed in the room so mom could use the bathroom, she told me she forgot to brush her hair and her hair felt like a rat's nest - a little ER humor though she doesn't remember. I headed for the waiting area hoping Dad was around to pick me up - I did afterall have a hair appointment that I HAD to make. No dice, he was taking a walk (aka golfing). Thought to myself, this won't be too bad I can turn on my iPod and stare out the dice, iPod was still in my carry-on bag. Went outside and grabbed a free newspaper and was delighted that there were crossword and sudoku puzzles. My aunt arrived a little while later to check-in on things and also drove me to my hair appointment. Made it to the appointment in time and informed Karene to cut four inches off. Mom would have been so proud, instead she had to settle for the shot of the new do from Pete's phone and the shot of the chopped off hair from my camera when we met up a few days later.

Part 3 - After my haircut and Pete got off work, we headed to Eugene for the "kid exchange". I was heading to the coast to spend a few days with my cousin and Boo was heading to Portland to spend a few days with her dad. Eugene is the halfway mark. We met at the old standby - Applebee's to enjoy dessert, swapped luggage, and headed to our respective destinations. At this point all we knew was that Grams had actually had a heart attack at some point in the previous 48 hours. She was admitted to the hospital.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hiatus - Day 4

Big City Dining - that was on the agenda for today.

Mom and I ventured downtown to have lunch with Pete in the Big City today. Pete now works for an advertising firm in the very trendy Pearl District of Portland. Let me just tell you that this was not a place to hang out when I was growing up, in fact I believe I would lock the doors while driving through this part of town back in the day. Once we found a place to park, which ended up being a lot easier than anticipated, we found our way to his office. He met us in the lobby, that was as far as we could go, and pointed out a few interesting things about the building that are visible from the lobby. We then ventured down the street to the Deschutes Brewery for lunch. Although I didn't order them I highly recommend the sweet potato fries - very good, and a serving of vegetables in my book.

After our lunch adventure we headed back to our side of town to get ready for our dinner guests. Once again, I was cooking dinner (yes, you read that correctly). Our guests arrived and we enjoyed hearing about their recent trip, dinner, and learning a new (for me) game called zilch (also called 10,000).

Chicken Alfredo Pasta
5 1/2 oz rotini, uncooked (2 cups)
1 10 oz pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 9 oz pkg frozen cooked diced chicken breast
1 15 oz can low-fat chicken alfredo-style soup
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta and vegetables together in boiling water in a Dutch oven 10 minutes or until pasta is done and vegetables are tender.

Drain pasta and vegetables; return to Dutch oven. Add chicken and next three ingredients to pasta mixture, stirring well. Cook over low heat 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.

Yield - 6 servings

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hiatus - Day 3

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to the mall we go!

Pete had to go to work today so mom and I ventured out to the mall (we needed something to keep our minds off of missing him so much....haha). I haven't done much shopping recently, but after mom and I had a heart to heart (in the car after we found a prime parking spot) we went into to do some damage. For those of you who know me well, you know that the first spot we hit was Nordstrom's and that happened to be our only stop. I ended up with three new pairs of capris and three new tops. The tops are functional for both work and play which is nice and the capris were good to have since it was extremely warm in Portland.

We were both hungry after the serious shopping and headed out for lunch. At lunch I decided that I was going to cook dinner and called dad to invite him over. My family was pretty impressed at my dinner (I was too). After dinner the neighbors came over so we could do a toast in honor of Pete's new job (which he LOVES)! Good times.

Orange Glazed Turkey with Cranberry Rice
1 14 1/4 oz can fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 3oz pkg dried cranberries
2 cups instant rice, uncooked
1 lb turkey cutlets
1/2 cup low-sugar orange marmalade

Combine broth and cranberries in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in rice; remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add turkey, and cook 2 minutes. Turn and cook over high heat 2 minutes or until browned.
Spoon marmalade over turkey; cook, uncovered over medium heat 2 additional minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Fluff rice mixture with a fork; spoon evenly onto 4 plates, and top each serving with 2 cutlets.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hiatus - Day 2

Day 2 was spent with my dad and brother celebrating a belated Father's Day. Pete and I headed over the river early so we could take dad out for brunch. Dad had suggested one place but when we go there it was closed (good thing, it looked like a dive). We headed off on the Washington side of the Columbia River gorge to check out the brunch at Skamania Lodge. We got there with plenty of time to enjoy the Champagne Brunch - highly recommended for anyone visiting the area! After we had stuffed ourselves we headed to the car to continue our adventure up the gorge, stopping to take a few pictures on the way.

Our trip involved going over the Hood River bridge which is barely wide enough for two cars and you have a to keep the speed to 25 mph. The first time over this bridge I was less than thrilled as we were following an RV going 15 mph, however, this time there was little traffic (and Pete behind the wheel) so we got over a little quicker. Here's our view from the bridge.

Once back on the Oregon side of the river we ventured on to Dufur, the city where my dad grew up and where the O'B's originally settled. (See blog for Evelyn for more information on the family's settlement) My aunt and uncle still live in Dufur and have taken on an Extreme Home Makeover of my Grandpa's home. The last few times I have been home we have made the 2 hour trek east to check on the status of the project. The biggest change from the trip we made over Christmas was that the kitchen has been completed and is very nice. The day we were there they were working on finishing the wood floors in the new addition. We did a quick tour of the town and got back on the road to the big city.

On our way home we were treated to a HUGE storm...heavy rain, thunder and lightening! It was pretty spectacular! We stopped at the outlet stores to check out a few stores (I was in desperate need of some navy shoes for work - mission accomplished). We were able to dodge the rain on our way from the car to the stores, but getting back into the car weren't so lucky.

We made it back to Vancouver and dropped dad off. Overall, a great day spent celebrating dad - even if it was a few weeks late.

Hiatus - Day 1

The alarm went off at 4 am EST (1 am PST), I hit the snooze button a few times and managed to get out bed around 4:20, knowing I had 25 short minutes to shower and get ready for my cabbie to pick me up. Cab arrived right on time (the driver even carried my bag from the front door to the cab) and I was off on my hiatus from the East Coast for a whole month!

Arrived at the airport, made it through security and to the gate with no issues. I had timed everything so perfectly (or I was just lucky) that when I got to the gate I was able to walk right onto the plane. All was going well until the people in the row behind me arrived. It was a mom/dad/daughter combination and the girl exclaimed before even sitting down that she was nervous already...for was this girls first time flying (I am guessing she was in her 20's). She managed to do fine during take off and the bumps we hit early in the flight to Cincinnati, but once we began our decent (and the bumps picked up) she thought for sure she was going to be sick. I was very thankful she didn't get sick and that she was also continuing to her final destination on another plane.

Flight to Portland was uneventful and was reminded once again that the A-C seats are the best when flying into town because you get to see Mt. Hood right out the window. It's literally right there...very cool!

I had been warned that it was going to be a warm day - make that hot. I had dressed accordingly and was so glad because according to brother's new car it made it to triple digits. Grams and Mom accompanied brother to the airport and it was nice to see them when I landed. We headed back to "our" side of town and had some yummy salads at California Pizza Kitchen before dropping Grams back at The Home.

After being here for most of the day, here are some things that are unique to this "home" that I don't necessarily see/hear in my other "home" (in no particular order):
  • Fireworks stands
  • Areas of dense trees between cities
  • Mt. Hood (it still has snow)
  • No humidity (we have our days on the East Coast but during the summer they are few and far between)
  • 30-degree temperature drops when the sun goes down
  • Central air-conditioning
  • "Pop" (after 5 years I still can't bring myself to use the term "soda")

There were a few times today that I wish I had my camera with me to take pictures of some of the oddities but I didn't. However, the battery is no longer "exhausted" so look for pictures in the following posts. If all goes according to plan, I will write often during my hiatus.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who goes to book readings anyways?

More to follow....

Ok, it's been over a month and I never took the time to finish this post, but I am taking the time now (they are showing cycling on NBC).

Tuesday - June 24th - getting ready to leave the office knowing that the rest of the week is going to be hectic and that I leave early on Saturday morning for my hiatus. I head to Border's bookstore (it is a block away) to get some new books to read on my trip. I found one of the books I was looking for "Such a Pretty Fat", but not the other "Bright Lights, Big Ass". Asked the sales guy where I might find this particular book and he says "On her display". For real, Jen Lancaster has her own display? Turns out she is having a book reading/signing the next day.

Wednesday - June 25th - show up for work and have one of my co-workers (who is male) ask me if I ever read Jen Lancaster. For real, why are you asking me this? Turns out he had planned to meet his fiancee and her sister at the bookstore for the reading/signing after work. Co-workers is getting ready to head over to meet up with the gals and asks if I want to go, probably shouldn't there is work to do, but the partner walks in and tells me to go...don't have to tell me twice! Co-worker was kind enough to give up his seat that his fiancee had saved for me (I really think he just didn't want to have to sit in the super hot section of the bookstore to listen to some chick talk about her book). I would have never guessed that she was as funny (ok, funnier) in person than in her books.

Verdict on book readings/signings? I will definitely go to another one.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What to call this post

So a little after half-time of the basketball game on Tuesday I started thinking of what I could title this blog...I couldn't settle on just one so below are the titles I thought about and what the first few lines would be.

Title: Gotta love the morning after...
First Line: ...winning a championship...and you thought I was going to write something inappropriate. There is a silent excitement the morning after a local team winning a championship. Everyone is tired but they aren't grouchy. The trains aren't nearly as full as usual.

Title: Come on Bruins
First Line: Disclaimer - This is in now way, shape or form an endorsement of UCLA. The Bruins made it to the NHL playoffs this year, but that was about it. I think they won one game in the first round but am not too sure (don't really follow hockey). My Boston life would definitely be complete if I could say that all 4 major sports teams won a National Championship while I was living there.

Title: I love parades!
First Line: Oh yes I do, especially when they involve Duck Boats and confetti! For the fifth time in the five years that I have lived in Boston, I have been witness to the home team winning a national championship (2 by the Patriots, 2 by the Red Sox and 1 by the Celtics) not too shabby. The parade route has been pretty consistent for all 5 championships and I am proud to say that I have seen four of them. (I had to do an inventory on the day of the first Sox parade and it was gross weather so I probably wouldn't have gone anyways.) The other 4 have provided a nice break from the office, I love working in Back Bay!

Title: Falling asleep to honking horns
First Line: Yes, that is what I did in the week hours of Wednesday morning. Did I mind? Heck no - the C's won the NBA Championship by SMOKING the Lakers. (Growing up in Portland I have always had a dislike for the Lakers and was so happy to see that Boston fans feel the same way.)

So those were my thoughts over the past few days, thinking about what I wanted to write for this post. Only one more week until my 4 week hiatus from Boston - if I have to work until midnight the majority of the nights until then, it will be worth it knowing I can have a work-free vacation!

**No pictures for this post. I took my camera out to snap a few shots of the parade today only to have an exhausted battery. I did use my co-workers camera phone (he was using his blackberry) to take a picture of Big Baby - without his shirt - it's not worth posting.***

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Here on the East Coast it is officially Father's Happy Father's Day Dad! Can't wait to see you (and celebrate) in a few weeks. You will be glad to know that I booked my ticket today so I will actually be coming home...nothing like waiting until the last minute.

My dad came out to Boston to visit for a week last fall and we had a great time. On the day the above picture was taken we were both wearing pedometers and took over 15,000 steps. Yes, our feet were killing us but how can you not smile when at Fenway Park watching the Sox win? This was the first of our two trips to the Park, the second was for Game 1 of the playoffs.

Hope you have a great day dad - love ya!

Also want to wish a Happy Father's Day to my uncles, my "brother-in-law" and friends (including stranger friend Matt) who are all dads!

PS - Here's another picture from my dads trip that is now proudly hanging in my living room!

Friday, June 13, 2008

For my faithful

For my faithful readers who have been waiting for a new post since last Friday, you will have to wait a bit longer. Work is kicking my butt right now. I have been in the office 12 straight days and tomorrow will make day 13. Once I awake on Sunday I promise to post an update. In the meantime, check out this blog. There are some sad things, some funny things, some great pictures, some funny comments, and he has an awesome robot (ok, I'm not into robots but he loves his robot and loves the word awesome).

Until Sunday, if you can't be good, be good at it!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Big Girl!

Big Girl is a dear friend of mine who I often look at like a big sister, who I have known since my days at ASU. We have shared some good times and each been through some not so good times but our friendship remains.

When I think of Big Girl the following come to mind (in no particular order): "Come on Eileen", "It's a quick blow and go", diet coke, green jello, Friday night movies, Wendy's fries (with no salt, they are fresher that way), Sunny's pizza, Martini Ranch, The Gap at Trolley Square (whenever we go their I get the best deals), ASU Athletic Events

What I really admire (and what inspires me) about Big Girl are the following: her love for her family and friends, her courage and strength, her strong faith, she's a great wife and mother, and she's a cancer survivor!

Wishing you the best on your birthday Big Girl...and every day!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Brother!

Today is my little brother's (29th) birthday...the count-down to the Big 3-0 in Vegas starts now!
Over the years we have gone from siblings to friends. Even though we are living on opposite coasts we talk on the phone every day or at the very least send a text message or two. He has been there for me when things got tough and I have been able to be there for him during his tough times. Pete was able to come to Boston this spring and we had a great time checking out new places in and around the city. I am excited to see him later this month when I head to the left coast.
Hope you have a great year Pete!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mmm Monday

So I normally don't cook "fancy" meals during the week, but I found this recipe yesterday and worked from home today so I tried it out.

Ravioli and Edamame in Parmesan Sauce
Prep - 3 minutes
Cook - 7 minutes
Makes - 4 servings

1 9oz pkg whole wheat cheese ravioli (Buitoni brand)
3/4 lb frozen shelled edamame
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp ground pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating, measure remaining ingredients.

2. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Add the soybeans and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until tender. Drain the ravioli and soybeans, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

3. Return ravioli to the pot and stir in thyme. Whisk together sour cream, parmesan, pepper and reserved cooking liquid. Toss the pasta mixture with the sour cream mixture, divide among 4 bowls and serve immediately.

My comments - Should have cooked the "Dora the Explorer" (the only frozen stuff at my grocery store) edamame a little longer but it was tasty none the less.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday in Review

So I hate to brag, but I am getting pretty good at this grilling thing. I decided mid-week that this week my adventure for Sunday night dinner would be salmon and asparagus on the grill.

Note: The only fish I ever buy is the kind packed in water that some people think is chicken.

This morning I got up, started some laundry and headed off to the store to pick up the necessary ingredients...salmon, asparagus and a lemon. (I convinced the roommates that they too needed to grill something for dinner since it was already going to be heated.) After lighting the coals I decided I needed to "figure out" just how I was going to prepare my meal which ended up being pretty easy.

Asparagus...toss with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Salmon...lightly spray with olive oil, squeeze of lemon, dill, garlic powder, wrap in foil

That was it. The asparagus took about 5-7 minutes and was perfect, salmon took a little longer. Roommate K convinced me to have it with a little bit of taziki on the side. Good suggestiong!

When Roommate D was at the store today she decided that smores would be dessert of choice. The coals weren't quite hot enough so we had to bring them into the microwave but it didn't stop the three of us from getting marshmallow and chocolate all over our faces and hands.

Overall - great Sunday!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

S is for Saturday (and other things)

S is for sweats - nothing like heading out for the day in a pair of sweats (sweatpant capris to be exact)

S is for sticky - it was a humid day

S is for Starbucks - mmm...a nice green iced tea (unsweetened of course) after walking to Davis

S is for Sex - Sex and the City the movie...saw it with Old Roommate A ("ORA"). I know it didn't get rave reviews but we both thought it was pretty good. A little over 2 hours long but definitely didn't feel like it was that long.

S is for Smoothie - On our walk back to Porter ORA and I stopped for Cape Codder smoothies at Boloco...tasted so good on a humid day.

S is for Startled - Roommate K came home this evening while Roommate D and I were in the kitchen making our dinners. The neighbors were having a party and we weren't expecting her home this evening, needless to say when the screen door opened we were a bit startled.

The above S's pretty much Sum up my Saturday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm safe!

For those of you who may have seen this as breaking news, just wanted to let you know that I am safe! I live off of the Red Line and only go two stops when I take the Green Line to get to/leave work. I have checked-in with my friends who live on this branch of the Green Line and they are both safe.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For Real #1

So I spent extra time shaving my legs today so I could wear a skirt to work. It happened to be one of the windiest days (not to mention I work in a wind tunnel) and there was a MONSOON - for real? I had to stay at work for an extra hour because I had no jacket, no umbrella, and couldn't imagine walking home trying to cinch my skirt the entire time in the rain.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My long weekend in pictures

Gardening with Roommate D - she decided that our backyard needed a little color.

Grilled some chicken and veggies for dinner on Sunday recipe this week.

Our other roommate (Roommate K) had a BBQ on Friday night to celebrate the end of her school year and had purchased a "BBQ in a Bag". It was way cool, just put the bag in the grill and light both ends of the bag and wait for the coals to warm. I will definitely be doing more grilling now that I know how easy it is!

Feet up, enjoying the great weather!

My table of goodies
  • Iced tea from Dunkin Donuts w/lemon & 1 splenda
  • Keys to the house
  • Phone
  • iPod
  • Toilet paper (there is something blowing around that has my number)
  • Magazines (I am way behind...the open issue is from December...thanks busy season)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

18 years

It's been 18 years (this week) since my Gramps passed away. With this being Memorial weekend, and so close to Father's day, this is for you Gramps!

Grams and Gramps were married for 45 years after meeting in a dance class at the University of Oregon (in college dance classes were encouraged by Grams). They had four children and spent most of their time in Eugene, moving often but always within Eugene. After Gramps retired they moved to the coast. Oh how we loved to go and visit! We got to spend a week at a time during the summers just hanging with Grams and Gramps. Our visits involved lots of walks around the neighborhood and on the beach. The sign that read "Here he lies all cold and hard, the last damn dog that pooped in my yard" made us giggle every time we walked by. There were also the daily visits to the pool where we would show off our "awesome dives" (read as not-so-fancy jumps) into the pool with Gramps as our audience. We would usually get in a game of pool before heading back home. Grams and Gramps then moved to King City and we got to see them more often. Gramps played lots of golf and we got to go over for sleepovers.

Some things I vividly remember about Gramps:
-He ate shredded wheat for breakfast (always).
-He told us that if we ate the crust on the bread we would whistle better.
-As I was the only grandchild to acquire his red hair, he often said that my hair would stay red if I ate carrots. (His turned white in patches when he quit playing baseball and went into soon as I started my gig in public accounting mine started going white...I don't get it I still eat my carrots.)
-He could talk like Donald Duck (or so we thought).
-He put salt on everything!

While many memories were made while Gramps was still with us...birthdays, fishing trips, long walks on the beach, help with homework...there have also been many that he has not been part of...graduations, weddings, new grandchildren and great-granddaughters. (Boo learned at an early age to pick Gramps out of family pictures at my aunt's house and referred to him as "her daddy Bill".)

Gramps was a special man to all of us and we (especially Grams) miss him dearly!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend in Review...

Met up with Old Roommate A (ORA) on Saturday morning to catch "Made of Honor". By the time I got to the theatre the show was already 15 minutes in so we went to CVS got some drinks and snacks and sat at the "park" and chatted until the next show started (they were playing an hour apart). I am a sucker for chick flicks and this was pretty darn cute (and funny too). I can see myself buying this movie when it comes out on DVD (Mom or Dad - This is a hint for a future Birthday/Christmas gift). I think ORA and I decided that we would be seeing 3 of the 5 movies that were previewed...don't ask what they were...but they were definitely chick flicks. Next on our radar is "Sex and the City".

When we emerged from the movie there was not a cloud in the sky! ORA needed to get home as her fiance had arrived back from London while we were in the show, so I headed for a little shopping. (I was NOT ready to go home, it was way TOO nice out!) I did some damage at the Eddie Bauer Outlet and then headed to Macy's. After Macy's I hopped on the train and headed to Harvard to get some make-up and then headed home.

This morning I woke up and went to Target with one of my roommates (on the bus - Brother you can laugh now). They have decent cardigans and I needed a white one to go with my new skirt (I picked up a black one too for shiggles). Instead of heading home, we decided to go to the local hardware store for some chairs for the back porch.

I got home to find a text from ORA's fiance wanting to meet for lunch, hopped in the shower, threw on some clothes, and headed to Harvard for lunch at Border Cafe (yes, this was the second time I have been there this week). After lunch, I spent some time wandering around Harvard looking for some navy blue dice. Walked home to enjoy more of the nice weather.

Got home in time to see the Sox and the Celtics win (and miss the sprinkles that have since fallen from the sky).

Overall Rating: Fantabulous!

Sunday Night Recipe

Italian Chicken with Chickpeas

1 tbs olive oil
1 lb chicken breast tenders
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/3 cups sliced onion
1 cup green bell pepper strips
1/2 tsp bottled minced garlic
1 (15 1/2 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
Parley leaves (optional)

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Add chicken to pan, cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned.
Add onion and bell pepper, saute 4 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium.
Add garlic, chickpeas, and tomatoes; cover and cook 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
Garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings

The menu suggests serving with Greek Salad and Focaccia bread.

Per Serving
296 Calories, 6.1 g Fat, 32 g Protein, 28.2 g Carbs, 5.6 g Fiber

My thoughts/modifications: I opted for Texas Toast instead of Focaccia. No greek salad, had a HUGE salad for lunch. I am so excited that lunch for tomorrow (and the rest of the week) is already in containers in the frig. I will probably take some brown rice to toss in with the mix in lieu of bread tomorrow.


Friday, May 16, 2008

The week in review (or just really the last few days)

I haven't posted in a few days so I am going to post a few times today...this is so fun! A quick recap here - other things will be in longer posts following.

*Old Roommate A arrived back in town today for her summer internship. Tonight we went out for salads and drinks, and tomorrow we are catching "Made of Honor" before her fiance arrives back in town. Yay for another girls day and a total chick flick...will write a review tomorrow.

*Kids say the funniest things...was emailing with Chief the other day and she was telling me how her little girl is telling people that the name for Baby Chief will be dependent on eye color. Love it! For real - where do kids come up with this stuff?

*Got an email from Boo - I love getting emails from her - even though they are often just one sentence. The fact that she gets on the computer and writes to me is "asome" (a direct spelling from her most recent email to me)!

*Talked to Grams on Mothers Day (obviously) and she was telling me how she went to Bill's apartment to unbutton his shirts earlier in the week...giggle now (I sure as hell did)...she was just helping him out because his fingers don't work as well as they used to. I asked her if she realized how naughty that sounded, after my giggling of course. She's 88 and I love her dearly for who she is and the things she says (some of which are not appropriate to repeat).

Friends & Facials (and some bowling too)

I heart having business cards.
I heart fish bowls at fun establishments.
I heart dropping my business cards in the fish bowls.
I heart winning things at fun establishments.

My good luck started last summer/fall when I dropped my card in the fish bowl at Lucky Strike lanes and won a bowling party for 16. Since the original party was paid for by Big Boss Man, I figured it was only fair to use my free party for work peeps. (For the most part we all get along.) So we used our free party on St. Patrick's Day - super fun. Big Boss Man and I left the office early that day to hit up the Souvenir Store, he wanted to buy green Sox hats for everyone. Fun times were had by all and the green hats were a hit.

Fast forward to April. I had used a sample of some Origins lotion while in Ohio for my BFF's baptism that I LOVED! I returned to Boston on Sunday and Brother arrived in town on Monday. Monday evening we headed to Harvard Square for dinner so I stopped at Origins for some lotion. While paying I whipped out the card and dropped it in. Come Wednesday I get a phone call that I have won a Healthy Happy Hour for me and three friends. (Healthy Happy Hour includes facials, neck massages and make-up.) Yesterday was Happy Hour and it was GREAT! Me and my three favorite fellow GPSA-ers went to Origins for a little in-store pampering before heading to Border Cafe for some mexican food. Such a great girls night - must do it again - soon! recipe last week

Last weekend I didn't do any "new" cooking.

Instead I had a craving...for chicken sausage and tater tots...not really healthy but I don't do it that often. So Sunday night it was a store bought meal that took minimal effort, with the exception of the Fry Sauce that I mixed up for the tots. Heart you Big Girl and Yum-Yum for introducing me!

I have a recipe for this weekend and will make sure to post it if it turns out ok!


Before I hit some roadblocks last December, I was a faithful gym-goer (it's a quick 3 minute walk from my house) but this year had lacked the "get up and go" (literally and figuratively). I am starting to get back into the routine of going to the gym - no matter what time of day. Well, Gym Buddy's trainer suggested that she start going to the gym in the mornings and with that try out one of the classes she teaches. Yesterday was the chosen day for both of us to try out a Gravity class at 7am at Back Bay. For those of you familiar with where I live, it's not Back Bay, so needless to say I was on the train at 6:15 for this class. Below is a picture of the contraption we used for 50 minutes.

I'm not going to lie, the workout kicked my butt. At one point I didn't know if I was going to get sick or pass out. The trainer was super cool and totally understood, I sat out a few sets but did manage to get back into it. Today I am a little sore but can't wait to go back next week. I saw Gym Buddy after work today and she admitted that even though she was sore she was going to go back - yay!

Moral of the story: I felt great afterwards mentally and physically.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I picked these just for you, Mom!

To my Mom, Grams, Aunts, Cousins and Friends (who are moms),
These flowers are my gift to you as you celebrate this day that is meant for mothers!
I woke up today to blue skies and sunshine, so decided to take a walk around the block and find the perfect flowers to "send"!
Thinking of you a little more today than I do every day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bowling, air hockey and pedicures

The title of this blog is my excitement for the last 24 hours. I got an email mid-morning yesterday that was an invitation to a networking event (with managers and senior managers from the office) to be held at one of the local bowling alleys. I personally think I got the invite because the organizer wanted me on his team. You see, our lil' team at work has had a couple of group outings that involved bowling and I did pretty well. It has now become a joke among the group that I am a good bowler because I grew up in Oregon and there is nothing else to do out there (obviously they have never been). So at 3:45 I locked my computer up, changed into my jeans (which I had randomly thrown in my bag before leaving home), and threw on my sneakers. Bowling was from 4-6 and we managed to fit in four games (games 2 & 3 were played simultaneously on adjoining lanes).

Once our time was up I challenged the organizer to a game of air score 7-6 The EOB. Next up was a manager from the group, who was quite confident he was going to kick my a$$ score 7-1 The EOB. Third game was a senior manager who sits on our floor. The EOB had a 5-0 lead, senior manager made a comeback, when the game was 5-5 we realized the air had gone off. I don't know at what point it had gone off but it probably did when I was up. I lost steam during that fourth game and lost 7-2. Overall, not too bad. I asked them to remember my "mad air hockey skills" when it comes time for manager promotions next year.

Our weather this past week has been very nice - 70's and sunny - then rain for the weekend (go figure). It was during our nice 70 degree days that I realized how badly I needed to get my toes done. I was held back from wearing open toed shoes and was embarrassed to wear my flip-flops to and from the office (I did it anyways). So once I saw the sun start to make an appearance today, I decided today was the day. I stopped at the grocery store first to get some cash, a drink and some trashy magazines, then was off to my hour of pampering. My feet look and feel great - warm sunny days you can come back now!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Give Big (or just a little)

Through work we have quite a few opportunities to volunteer with various projects/organizations around the Boston area. This "non-client service" is recommended and is actually a factor in our year-end evaluations. A few weeks ago I got an email to help out with the United Way Today's Girls...Tomorrow's Leaders (TGTL) program and signed up to help. The TGTL program provides funding assistance to agencies providing programming that empowers girls to lead and succeed in the future by developing academic and leadership skills. We had our orientation this evening, and as a volunteer I will be reading and rating four proposals submitted by various agencies that are seeking funds from TGTL. I love that these opportunities come up through work and I am able to give back to the community. I may not be Oprah and be able to "Give Big" but I can definitely do a little something to help out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ahhh, the gym

Dear Gym,
You were nice to me today. Maybe I will come and visit you again tomorrow.

So I have been really BAD about going to the gym this year, in fact I can count the number of times I have been on one hand. Today, I hope I turned over a new leaf. The gym that I belong to is a quick jaunt from the office and there are quite a few other women that also go to "my gym" (it's an all-women's gym). This afternoon Gym Buddy and I decided that today was the day to get back in the groove so we left the office at 2:30 for the gym. After 45 minutes on the elliptical I figured I should probably hit the showers and get back to the office. Surprisingly I hadn't reached the "bored" or "tired" point which I consider pretty darn good considering my serious lapse! So after a stop at Bucks (Starbucks) for an iced green tea (unsweetened) I was on my way back to the office, refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday night dinner

So I enjoy trying new recipes on the weekends (usually Sunday) and if they turn out ok, I tend to send them in a mass email. Well...since I enjoy reading other peoples blogs I figured I would start a blog and use it to share the recipes that I enjoy. Don't worry, I will post other stuff too. (Good thing I am starting this after busy season, otherwise all you would see is "Today I worked XX hours.") Enjoy!

To start out, yesterday for lunch I made the following:

Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini

8 oz penne or ziti pasta, uncooked
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 medium zucchini, sliced
2 tbs slived ripe olives

Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta cooks, combine tomatoes and remaining three ingredients in a large skillet, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
Spoon tomato mixture over drained pasta.
4 (2-cup) servings

*My modifications: I added 1 tbs of minced garlic to the tomato mixture. Instead of spooning the mixture over the pasta I tossed it all in the pot with the drained pasta. To top it off I added 1 tbs of feta (reduced fat of course) to my 2-cup serving. Yummy!