Friday, August 7, 2015


Me and my little ol' blog have come a long way since February 2009. For a long time this was a place where I could share my hilarious (and sometimes horrific) dating stories, to vent frustrations about the world, and to let the world know about my ridiculous (and lovable) family. I don't know that I ever had much of a following here, but it was always comforting to know that it was a safe place to share my feelings and stories. Unfortunately, as it often happens, life has gotten busy. As such, it's left me with much, much less free time, which is a good thing! It also means that I have less time (and less desire) to sit down and chronicle everything that's been going on. I don't know that I'll ever go back to blogging daily, or even close to that. But, I would like to maintain this little safe corner of the interwebs, especially as I take the next step in my life -- planning a wedding!

J2 proposed exactly two weeks ago, when we were spending the weekend at my (parents') bungalow in the Catskills -- one of my absolute favorite places in the entire world. He asked as I was eating Pistachio ice cream, because I am nothing if not an old woman in a 31 year old's body. It was a sweet, simple, and incredibly happy moment that I will always remember. I used to joke that I was going to be an old, cranky cat lady. That still may be the case, but I hope that I'm an old, cranky cat lady with j2 by my side. 

things sure have changed in the last three years

I promise to make an effort to blog more often. This is such an exciting time that I really do want to remember everything. I'm not saying that this is going to become a wedding planning site or anything like that, but I'd love to capture the sweet moments and likely planning frustrations that happen along the way. 

Here's to new beginnings!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

to the moon and back

On March 13m j2 and I celebrated our two year anniversary. In the last year we've come a long way, and experienced a lot together. I moved into j2's condo. I went from a miserable job to one that makes me happy every day. We brought home an sassy and mischievous kitten! Now it's j2's turn to start a new professional chapter. I'm happy. I love our little home. We're solid. Life is good. 

On our anniversary, we decided to get all dressed up and to go a fancy dinner at Menton. To be totally honest, I'm not much of a foodie. I mean, I really LIKE food, obviously. I'd usually just prefer to spend my money on traveling or shopping. But, this was a special occasion, the restaurant has amazing reviews, and I never pass up an opportunity to wear a dress. 

I have to say that I was blown away by our meal. It wasn't even a meal, it was a complete experience. The food, the cocktails, the waitstaff, everything was incredible. Each course was more delicious than the last. And the presentation was even better. We each ended the meal with a little Guiseppe (an amazing cocktail) and TINY MACARONS! I love love love macarons, even more when they are teeny tiny. It's the little things, folks. We walked out pleasantly stuffed, sufficiently tipsy, and with a few less bucks in the bank. It was definitely worth it. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

they say it's your birthday

Yikes, life has been way too hectic these days. I keep thinking about updating and then another work meeting comes up, or I decide to go climbing with the girls, or to dinner with j2. I need another few hours in the day, at least, to keep this baby updated.

Anyway, way back in February (the 21st, to be exact!) I turned 31. Yikes. Wowza. When did that happen? I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do -- bowling? Nah. Group dinner? I've done it. Bar crawl? Not really my scene these days. In the end I decided to combine two of my favorite things in the world: 1. wearing pajamas and 2. breakfast for dinner.

My birthday was perfect: I slept in (well, as much as I can these days), got in a run, ate a cupcake for breakfast and then prepared to host the party! I actually love playing hostess (though not so much the cleaning of the apartment beforehand!). I even had time to watch a birthday song performance by j2 and Kirby.

A video posted by j. (@kissingfrogs) on

There was so much glorious food around -- coffee cake, pancakes, egg bake, corn bread bacon muffins, and of COURSE a delicious, glorious cake. My pajamas were theme-appropriate as well -- they had macarons on them! It was such a fun, low-key evening with some of my favorite people. All in all, it was a great way to ring in 31.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

#wholelifechallenge: oh we're halfway there

I am officially halfway through the Whole Life Challenge - time is flying! I'm sort of shocked by how good I'm feeling these days. I have had a few little indulgences -- honey nut cheerios (awww yea), some homemade peppermint ice cream and apple pie during a Super Bowl party, french fries from Shake Shack, and some movie theater popcorn. What this challenge is helping me remember and realize is that treats should be just that -- something that is eaten and enjoyed occasionally. It's a mindset that I am going to try very hard to keep with me at the end of the eight weeks.

I wasn't as ambitious with my cooking as I had hoped to be, but I did try a few good recipes over the last few weeks:
  • Coconut Squares: I read in the comments that these came out dry so I followed the advice of some readers to add in a banana. In place of the chocolate chips, I included some chopped dates. I have to say -- they came out amazing. I even had a coworker try them and she loved them just as much. They have a great consistency and are plenty sweet between the dates and the ripe banana.
  • Banana Oat Smoothie: I added in some natural peanut butter because, well, why not? I made this for breakfast, so I thought I could use the added protein to keep me full through until lunch.
  • Sweet potato soup: I couldn't find a recipe that I liked so I made it up as I went along. I added in some butternut squash and ginger. After everything had been cooked, I threw it in a blender and added some coconut milk. It's delicious and I'm pretty darn proud of myself. 
  • Carrot Pumpkin Spice Muffins: These came out alright. They're REALLY dense and were kind of blah. If I were to do it again, I probably would have added some dates or raw cacao to give it a little more flavor. 
  • Overnight oats: Again, I went with my own recipe creation -- I combined coconut milk, rolled oats, plain greek yogurt, a banana, and some almond butter. Yum yum. Perfect breakfast.

  • For Valentine's Day, since we were in the midst of yet another blizzard, j2 and I decided to cook at home. We made bacon-wrapped, salsa wrapped chicken breasts. For sides we had some brussels sprouts (with some bacon because.. bacon) and cauliflower/turnip mash. No actual recipes were used because it all seemed simple enough. It was delicious, filling, and a Whole Life Challenge compliant meal!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

an exercise in gratitude

For those of you who live under a rock -- or in a place that is not perpetual winter -- Boston has been getting SLAMMED by blizzard after blizzard after blizzard after, yep, you guessed it BLIZZARD. The current storm system will drop another foot or so of snow, and that's on top of the 70 inches that we've gotten over the last three storms. I'm sure you can look on the internet to see pictures of the insanely high snow piles or reports about the embarrassing hilarity that is our public transportation system right now, so I won't go into too much detail about that. Long story short: life has been pretty miserable across the board.

The weather has really been wearing on me, on everyone. I made a conscious effort to be cheerful, and to put positive energy out into the universe (hippy dippy much?). I shoveled out a total stranger's car and as a result landed a free lunch at a nearby restaurant, and even made friends with the manager. Said stranger is also making me some baked goods as a thank you -- it was pretty much winning all around. 

I was in a pretty good mood on Wednesday morning as I started my day. I woke up early for bootcamp, went to my favorite coffee joint and made my way to the office to check in on an event that had almost been canceled due to the third blizzard. I came up on a intersection with a HUGE snowbank so I made sure to carefully inch out to try to clear the obstruction. Inched, inched, inched and then eventually I had to commit because I was pretty much in the middle of the road. I went and within a second or two, I saw a car coming on my right. All of a sudden -- CRASH -- I had collided with another car. 

I was in another car accident back in November 2013 -- a gentleman looked down to make a phone call and didn't realize that there was a red light in front of him. Between him and the stop light was my car, at a dead stop. He hit my car going about 25 mph (maybe more?) and pushed me across the intersection. Luckily neither j2 nor I was injured, but it was terrifying. The difference between the accidents was that I saw the most recent one coming. Since I had made it into the middle of the intersection, I saw the car approaching (too late) out of the corner of my eye just before the impact. Even though neither of us was going very fast, I was still very shaken up. 

Here's my beautiful, 15 month old, less than 11k miles on the odometer, still unnamed car:

not quite visible is the car leaking windshield wiper fluid and the flat tire. womp womp.
I could go on and on with a list of complaints and negatives about that day, and the stress that has followed. But, as the post title says, this is an exercise in gratitude. I am focusing on the positives, which I do believe far outweigh the negatives. Here is what I am thankful for following the accident:
  • I wasn't injured, and neither was the other driver.
  • The other driver is seriously one of the nicest people I've EVER met. She was calm in the aftermath, and it kept me totally collected while dealing with the police. Her boyfriend even drove me home after the accident so that I wouldn't have to take a cab. How often does that happen?!
  • j2 had happened to be home sick on Wednesday, so when I walked through the door, he was there to comfort me
  • I have a great insurance policy with collision coverage, and covers the cost of a rental so I had a vehicle within 24 hours of the accident
  • My friends and family are amazing -- I received so many calls, texts, and Facebook messages from everyone wishing me well and offering help if needed. 
  • My boss and coworkers were beyond sweet and supportive -- I was out on Wednesday, and then worked remotely on Thursday and received emails and texts from pretty much every person in the office wishing me well and asking if I needed rides to work, or if I needed any help on projects while I was out.
And the most important thing that I keep repeating to myself:
  • It could have been worse.