April 24, 2015

Happening Lately.

Pollen = Beauty = Head pain.
Happening Lately.
Happy Friday, folks! I hope you have some spectacular weekend plans in the mix.
We've been dealing with some sickness up in here. Not fun. Stevie's had some kind of upper respiratory funk since he got home from Turkey, Everett got his first fever and ear infection, I got a stye on my eye... and this morning I woke up with some symptoms of what my boys have going on. Is it pollen? Is it illness? I don't know, but I'm tired of taking care of sick people and I certainly don't feel like dealing with it myself. Do I sound moody? Sorry. I probably need a nap. But just imagine that I am hobbling around like blind Quasimodo, poor Everett is draped in my arms hacking up a lung, and Stevie's in the background somewhere blowing his nose like a trumpet. We are a touch pathetic. We are so ready to be back into the swing of things. Fingers crossed that this weekend is a time that we all heal up for good. I'm ready to wear contacts again, let alone maybe some mascara. Maybe.

Since we are really boring and have nothing but sickness to report, here are a few fun links.

I so very badly really, really really want to go to this retreat.

How rad is this bag? Plus, I love Honest Co. and FEED. Just dynamite.

My gal pal sent me this stroller workout and it's revolutionary.

Crap. I happened to find THE MOST ADDICTIVE snack food and now I'm a bit obsessed.

Gonna make this cake. Be on the lookout. 

Any awesome weekend plans? We are heading to a dear old friends' wedding tomorrow night, suuuuuper excited! I love marriage!

April 23, 2015

TBT to That Time We Got Fancy in Newport, Rhode Island.

TBT to That Time We Got Fancy in Newport, Rhode Island.
I say it all sort of in jest, because we actually just took a school trip here a few years ago. Stevie was in business school and his class had an end-of-the-year formal in Newport. I didn't really know what to expect, being from the South and all, but oh. Newport. Oh.

It's a New England treasure, that's for sure.

It's not indicative of real life, that's for sure.

It's pretty ridiculous actually. And lovely. That's definitely for sure.

Go ahead and imagine a town full of Downton Abbey-esque things. Now go ahead and imagine something fancier. That's Newport.

We spent a day exploring Newport's old estates that used to house American tycoon families during their gilded-age summer holidays. The Vanderbilts, the Astors, the Wideners -  you know, they were palin' around, sharing gimlets in their bejeweled gowns and and probably throwing dollar bills into the oceans for fun and whatnot. Because you know, they were fancy like that.

The two most famous mansions in Newport are The Breakers and The Elms, so obviously we had to tour those. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to photograph inside the mansions, so I will forever have to just remember the ballroom after ballroom after sitting room after marble staircase after THOSE OCEAN VIEWS. It's almost unreal how these people lived. If you ever get the chance to boogie on up to Newport, DO IT. It's so worth the spectacular experience. And the gawking. You will probably walk around those estates with your mouth wide open, dumbfounded, like I did.

Good foliage was only the beginning.
 I mean. What are we, Europe or something?? THIS IS AMERICA. MERRRRIIICCAAA.
Imagine if that were your backyard. Just imagine.
Hmm which window shall I toss a pebble at? I think the 43rd shall do.
This photo reminds me that I need to Amazon Prime some baby gates STAT.
We lounged in the sunshine. We actually hadn't seen the light of day in a loooooong time before that trip. #bostonwinterssuck
Waaaaaaahhhhhh I miss my friends. Aren't they pretty.
Epic tree right there.
Dude huddle. They were probably discussing how to get out of touring some boring old houses.
Rich people lawn gnomes.
Oh the Memories.
We had a blast with our friends, most of whom used live a 5-minute walk from our little Cambridge apartment. These days, we are all spread across the country and the world. Now it's Facetime calls and email chains and planning trips just to have the pleasure of hanging out again. Life has changed in just a few short years.

But... (insert sweeping dramatic pause), we'll always have Newport. (<-- imagine that sentence spoken in a drawn-out accent. Something like when Phoebe met the in-laws for the first time.)

Oh wait, just a few more photos. Because this was the one time during the trip when we actually were fancy. Going to a ball and all. And I loved that dress and I'll never get to wear it again. So let me indulge. CUE GIRL MOMENT.

Stevie. Will forever remain an over-zealous youth grouper.
You can tell our camera was a bit older because of the fuzzy effect of the photos, but still. Ah the fancifulness. 

Did I make you want to go on some fancy mansion tours? Yeah me too. Now let's talk about the fact that I still live at my parents' house.

April 22, 2015

TASTE: Broccoli Apple Slaw

Broccoli Apple Slaw.
Happy Earth Day! Today I'm bringing you the latest installment in this month's roundup of unusual salads and I'm just gonna go ahead and say it - this one is a home run. Because everyone that tastes this slaw wants more! And it's composed of completely raw veggies (and a few other goodies), which is especially healthy. Woohoo! Add in some sweet and savory elements, drizzle on some good dressing, and you've got yourself and healthy healthy lunch, my friends.

- 1 package Broccoli Slaw (in the salad section of your grocery store - usually contains shredded broccoli, cabbage and carrots)
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, diced
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 cup Goat Cheese
- 1/4 cup Pecans, chopped
- Your choice of Balsamic Dressing (this one is my new favorite, you can find it at Kroger in the organic section)

1. Combine the slaw, chopped apple, cranberries, goat cheese and pecans in a mixing bowl.

2. Drizzle on your balsamic dressing.

3. Voila! I told you this one was easy!

You might find yourself making this over and over again, because it's so simple to throw together, super hearty and filling, and just plain fun. Let me know what you think!

April 20, 2015

The 2 Reasons Why You Should Run The Color Run!

The 2 Reasons Why You Should Run The Color Run!
It really shouldn't take all that much convincing. You google "the color run" and you come up with a zillion photos of peppy-looking people, pummeled with pink paint and cheesing up a storm with their besties. Who doesn't want to be one of those positively joyous souls? Happy? Laughing? PINK??! That's a good way to Saturday right there. But in case you need a bit of convincing, I've got a few reasons for you to sign up for The Color Run:

1. It truly is the happiest 5K on the planet. Well, to me anyway.
I'm not a 5K junkie, so I can't really say it's the best one ON THE PLANET (because ya know, its a big planet), but this one was seriously the most fun I've ever had at a 5K. I found myself leaping like a gazelle through the rainbow haze of powdered paint. LIKE A GAZELLE. Or like a bullfrog. There was some leaping happening. It was just so fun and happy and the music was SO POSITIVE and I found myself thinking, "why am I not running this happy all the time?!" That Color Run. They know what they're doing.

2. It's easy. Like, really really easy.
This is not a competitive race. It's not even close to the realm of competitive. Did they even time us? I don't think so. The "running a 5K" part is kind of just the action that strings together all the fun shenanigans happening. COLOR STATIONS. FLASH MOB. COORDINATED DANCING. PICTURE WITH UNICORN. These are the important moments. And the running part is just to get you from FLASH MOB to BLUE PAINT STATION to, you know, PICTURE WITH UNICORN. In other words, I saw 70-year old women walking this race. In tutus. And they were doing a fine job of it.

I was going to make a third option, but there is no need for a third option. Because, I mean, I've really said it all. THIS RACE IS FUN AND EASY. Oh, and unicorns. There's your number 3. UNICORNSSSSS.
Ready to shine.
Gosh these cuties.
See? Told you.
UNI. Now all we need is a pegacorn appearance for my life to be complete.
They might have given us some paint of our own.
My love. He shines bright like a diamond.
Sweet V in all her glory.
I might have choked a little bit. A little bit, yeah.
The happy is contagious. WE CAUGHT IT.
This one is my absolute fave. My sister and my niece, having all kinds of silly fun. PRECIOUS MOMENTS.
Gotta find time to communicate. Amidst the paint powder. And yellow faces. And - wait, MY SISTER IS PHOTOBOMBING. What exactly is she doing??
Tired little girl. But she's got hair that won't quit.
All photos courtesy of the talented Josh Hale

We ran this race last weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway with friends and family and it was seriously so so fun. And silly. And wonderful! My nieces and nephews even joined the fun and ran parts of the race with us (strolled the rest of the time, oh, the joys of being a child!) They really loved the color stations. And who wouldn't? It was like being in a Barney video or something. It was completely worth getting up early for - next time around, LET'S ALL RUN THIS THING. And by run, of course I mean eat cotton candy and prance with unicorns under a sky of rainbow powder paint.

April 16, 2015

TBT to That Time We Escaped Winter to Surf in Puerto Rico.

TBT That Time We Escaped Winter to Surf in Puerto Rico.
It was really, truly, very cold in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the unbearable month of February, which can be an almost hopeless time in that town. Not close enough to spring to believe that the warmth could ever again penetrate my paled, dry skin again. The days turned dark at 4pm. The blizzards continued to howl their wrath down upon our top-floor apartment. I would stare out the window in horror, praying to God that the weather would calm enough just so I could scamper across the street in my gigantic puffer coat to snag a bag of coffee. Forget about groceries. The dirty slush caked up on the sidewalks, making the 8-minute walk to the subway to get downtown to work almost impossible. Impassable. Inconceivable.

I needed a break. We needed a break.

For a couple of Georgia-born kids, the winter was really beginning to take it's toll. A toll on our souls.

So what did we do? We cozied up in a quilt, got on Hotwire, researched flights, and booked a couple of ridiculously cheap tickets to anywhere warm. Spring break was next week. We had. To get OUT.

And that "anywhere" turned out to be Rincon, Puerto Rico. The trip that saved our sanity in the midst of yet another torrential nor'easter blizzard.

And this was a seriously, seriously adventurous trip.

Our hunger for fun and adventure even surprised us. We hiked to mountainous waterfalls. Swam with sea turtles. Snorkled in the coral reef. SURFED FOR THE FIRST TIME. Had the raddest time with our great friends and seriously considered not getting on that return flight back to reality. It just felt so good to be surrounded by sexy Spanish accents, hot hot heat and gorgeously exotic views. Throw in the fact that we took barefoot walks on the beach every night to a little shack on the water where we watched the sun set, ate fish tacos, drank cheap margaritas and talked about LIFE, and well, we were ready to drop our anchor right there in paradise. We sat out on that beach for hours, talking about the future as if it wasn't already happening to us. As if we weren't living the dreams we had so long dreamed about. As if anything was possible.

Yes. Stevie's shirt.
Surf's up!
Hiking with friends in the tropics.
Of course there was a hidden waterfall.
Of course Stevie had to jump off the hidden waterfall. These were the days of pre-baby risk taking people.
Obligatory lip smacking photo. Because PUERTO RICO!
Yeah, Stevie wore that shirt a lot. It was like being married to Jimmy Buffet for a week.

Looking back on this trip now, I have to laugh at the incredible bliss we felt. Sometimes you can't possibly appreciate the level of adventure that you're experiencing until you step away from it, take a moment to observe it, and then step back into current life, refreshed with vision. A bit of perspective awakened. This little last-minute escapade to Puerto Rico came at a time where we needed that fresh perspective, needed a contrast, needed to see each other in a different light. Needed to see ourselves in a different light. Thank God that light was from the sun and not another halogen lamp.

Life is a little different these days. Instead of taking spontaneous adventures to sunny islands, we are taking a few hours every other week to have a quick dinner date in our sweats. It's normally fajitas at the local Mexican joint, and the margaritas aren't quite so cheap. But they taste better than ever. And I wouldn't change this season of life for anything! Because I know our adventurous days aren't just behind us, they're looming somewhere ahead, too. Those adventures are still brimming on the horizon of our hearts, waiting for us to take another dive into the joyous spontaneity. And I can feel myself readying for another season of "anything's possible!" Thanks, Puerto Rico, for giving me that bit of reprieve a few years back. And thanks for the memories, because they're living on in my head and spinning up all kinds of adventurous momentum in my heart.

Here's to ALL of our adventures. May they live on.