‘Toga! ‘Toga!

The second portion of my epic weekend began Saturday morning; I woke up in Kat‘s guest bedroom (I stayed over after Friday night’s concert since she lives in that area), got decked out, and hit the road with her, her husband Mike, and baby Penelope. Our destination? The race track in Saratoga…my first time there!

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Kat, Penelope, and I donned our preppiest dresses! Kat and Penelope both wore Lilly Pulitzer, because mommy and daughter simply MUST match. I wore my nicest dress, by Vineyard Vines…the one I tricked my dad into buying me since it’s Tennessee Vol orange and white 😛

And this time, Penelope did not poop on her Lilly ensemble!

And this time, Penelope did not poop on her Lilly ensemble!

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TGIF in Simsbury

A single post would have to be way too long to recap all the fun I had this past weekend, so I thought I’d spread the love between two posts, beginning with today’s retelling of this past Friday night. I spent time with people I love, and also spent $0. Gotta love it when that happens. Before the day I drove into Simsbury to have the interview for the job I currently hold, I don’t think I’d ever stepped foot (or tire?) in the town. And while a lot of the time it is very quiet and…well…a bit boring…the town sure delivered on this particular evening.

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Get your groove on!

Let me rewind back to the beginning. After a quick-and-dirty post-work gym trip (25 minutes on the StairMaster followed by upper body weights and abs) I met my parents at Millwright’s for a cocktail before the evening’s main plans. I debated whether or not I wanted to make this pre-event visit because I was nervous to order a cocktail before attending a shindig where I knew I’d be drinking wine. However, I really wanted to introduce my mom to my friends (my dad had recently done just that) at this very special restaurant…and Chris Parrot‘s cocktails are no ordinary cocktails. So I took a leap and brought my parents down to the Millwright’s Tavern!

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The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: My Last Meal

I don’t think most are interested in reading a book review unless they’ve either read the book or are definitely planning to read it. That’s why I’m such a big fan of the concept of the From Left to Write online blogger book club. Instead of writing a book review, the book is meant to serve as a writing prompt or inspiration for a post in which I can draw on and blog about my own personal experiences.

July’s book is a debut fiction novel by Elizabeth L. Silver – The Execution of Noa P. SingletonThe story switches between narration by Noa in the first person and narration by the mother of the girl Noa is in prison for killing – in the form of letters to her dead daughter. Immediately Noa is revealed as being on death row for the murder of a girl named Sarah, but we don’t know how said murder or its trial occurred. Slowly, those occurrences are revealed. However, I’m not going to write about them. I’m going to write about a topic discussed at length in one chapter of the book – the last meal.

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Farmers’ Market Sunday Funday

One of my first blog posts ever was about my finds from my first-ever trip to the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market, the best farmers’ market I have ever been to (by far). I was lucky enough to go TWICE last summer with Heather and even participated in one of their events, as a judge for a cocktail competition. This past Sunday, I made my first (and hopefully not the last) trip of the 2013 season! I could not have asked for better company – my sister Hannah, my good friend Kat, and her daughter (the famous) Penelope.

Penelope visited with my mom before we left for the market!

Penelope visited with my mom before we left for the market!

Please notice Penelope’s fabulous foodie onesie, appropriately gifted to her by Emily, Community Manager for Yelp Hartford!

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Treble in the Kitchen Guest Post

I was worried about not having time to post today. Then I realized that I did a guest post for Tara of Treble in the Kitchen (while she was away on her HONEYMOON!) and never told you all about it. I have rescued myself!

So this post is a cop-out. Please head over to my guest post on Tara’s blog and read up on my top five cocktails I’ve tried recently. Yeah, obviously I wrote about that. Restaurants making an appearance in this post include Beachland Tavern, Krust, Max Fish, and Rooftop120!

Proving Myself to…Myself

I sure hope someone catches the “Austin Powers” reference in the title…

I have the best readers in the world – thanks for your comments on yesterday’s post! I was already feeling a lot better when I published it Monday morning but I still had lingering feelings of regret that were holding on tightly. Like I wrote yesterday, time has been a huge part of making me feel better but your kind words help too. The way I spent my Saturday and Sunday evenings, post-Friday-evening-debacle, also gave myself the PROOF my mind needed to see that drinking all the drinks and spending all the dollars (I hope you caught that Alex) will not become habit and is not something I’ll keep wanting to do.

Saturday Night at Krust

Friends are the best medicine!

Friends are the best medicine!

Saturday night I had plans to attend the birthday dinner of Kelly‘s hubby Nick. I’d recommended to them one of my fave restaurants around, Krust Pizza Bar in Middletown. I have to be honest…I considered cancelling. I wanted to sit in my house and eat a salad and drink water, to punish myself for overdoing it on the alcohol the previous night. But I also knew that surrounding myself with loved ones and being a part of celebrating Nick’s special day would mean a lot to both me AND Kelly and Nick. Plus, staying in would have been letting the regret win. So I showered, put on a cute outfit, and headed out!

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R and R: Rest and Regret

I loved reading the comments on Friday’s post about Instagram media literacy! I figured many of you would be able to relate and I will be replying to the comments and continuing the discussion as soon as I can.

Major thanks again to everyone who was so supportive of my planned rest day this past Friday, from those who had tweets waiting for me before I even woke up, to those who checked in the day after. Whenever I wasn’t THINKING about not waking up to work out before or not driving to the gym after work, I felt okay. In fact (I will never not ask you guys to support me so please don’t take this the wrong way), sometimes I’d be good and not thinking about missing a workout and then I’d get a tweet or text asking me how the rest day was going, which unfortunately reminded me that I was taking one and made me feel guilty again. Catch-22!

UConn reunion: Ravi, Kelly, me, and Jeff.

UConn reunion: Ravi, Kelly, me, and Jeff.

My co-worker convinced me to pop into a Friday happy hour at a dive bar down the street from the office, because I always miss co-worker gatherings since I hit the gym after work. I figured since I wasn’t going to the gym that day, I should take advantage and stop by before I went to meet my college friends (above) for dinner and a night out. Ravi and Kelly were visiting from Long Island and Redding, CT (respectively) so that’s why I felt missing the gym and spending more time with them was important.

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Insta-Media Literacy

I want to start today’s post by wishing the happiest of happy birthdays to my dear blend Maria! I’m so thankful to have met you through blogging and cannot wait to see you in August!

Drinks at 116 Crown!

Drinks at 116 Crown!

I also have to say THANK YOU to everyone for your supportive tweets and comments regarding the rest day I’m taking today. I woke up this morning with such an urge to fit in a workout before work but your words seriously stopped me and reminded me of the commitment I made in yesterday’s post. I need to do this to prove to myself mentally that nothing bad will happen because of this rest day and I won’t become permanently lazy. That’s just as important as giving my body this physical rest.

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Three Things Thursday: A Discount, A Campaign, A Leap

Happy almost-Friday, folks. Our database and email network are both down at work today so you are definitely hearing from me. I have a few little things to talk about so I figured a fun, random post was in order.

1. Kona Kase Discount Code

I just received the July Kona Kase to review and will be sharing that eventually. I already received and reviewed the June Kase…you may recall I felt it contained more products for endurance athletes than I need (aka I need none) so I am looking forward to finding out what’s in the July box and seeing if the products are more “me”! I’m not withholding that information from you on purpose…I truly don’t know because I haven’t opened it yet. While you’re waiting for my review though, you can look at my June review and use a new discount code “GIFTSUMMER” to get $5 off your first Kase. That means $10 to try Kona Kase, which I think is a good deal given how much the products inside would probably cost separately.

2. Heather Waxman’s Kickstarter Campaign

Heather is taking a huge leap and pursuing her dream of combining her vocal talent with her desire to spread the word about the benefits of meditation. She’s started a Kickstarter campaign and needs $3,500.00 of funding by August 8 in order to create and distribute her very first meditation album, “Soul Sessions”. It will be available via digital download as well as CD, and backers can get their own copies (and more) as a thank you for donating. Even if you can only donate $5 it will help, so please take a moment to check out the video about her campaign and back it if you support it!

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Chef’s Tasting at Pond House Grille

My guest and I received a complimentary chef’s tasting for the purpose of writing this post. Beverages were not included. All thoughts and opinions about the experience are my own.

I’ve dined at Pond House Grille several times before, and enjoyed each experience. But they recently re-did their menu and I’ve been anxious to sample Chef Jordan Stein’s creative dishes for awhile now. Thankfully, Pond House invited me and a guest to come in and do just that via a special chef’s tasting, complete with an explanation of each dish by Jordan himself.

Jordan and I! I love his hat and glasses. They're his trademark!

Jordan and I! I love his hat and glasses. They’re his trademark! Please ignore the McDonald’s sign in the background ruining this photo.

I asked Jill to join me because she is a fellow foodie who will try anything (after all, we have shared worms and scorpions in the past). I knew she’d appreciate this opportunity as much as I did!

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