Category Archives: Books

What I’m Loving Lately #3

It’s time for another post where I round up what I’ve been into lately, be it recipes, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. If you missed the last two editions, you can check them out here (12/5/16) and here (6/13/17…clearly I had a significant lapse in inspiration for a bit).

Caprese Pasta Bake: This was super easy to make and came out great. I combined cooked wheat penne, mozzarella balls, chopped chicken, a can of crushed tomatoes (drained), and a container of chopped grape tomatoes in a casserole dish. Then I sprinkled shredded Parmesan and Romano cheese on top and baked it at 350 degrees. The addition of fresh basil after it was done really made it.

Booty by Brabants One Pieces: I was hesitant to order one of these because they are “one size fits most”, but was pleasantly surprised when the pineapple print one piece that I ordered fit perfectly! I ordered another bathing suit this morning too, because I can’t resist a flash sale. For those outside of Boston, Booty by Brabants is a workout gear and one piece brand from Boston fitness queen Kelly Brabants. Her Booty by Brabants workout class is dance-inspired and HARD. I can’t wait til my new suit shows up so I can get use out of it before summer ends.

My New Cheese Drawer: Apparently a lot of people had cheese drawers in their fridges growing up, but I actually didn’t like cheese as a kid (I know, I’m making up for lost time nowadays). Recently the amount of cheese in my fridge at any given time has gotten out of control, so naturally instead of buying less, I’ve allocated an entire drawer to my collection. And now I have room for so much more cheese! It’s a beautiful thing.

Cooking With Lamb: I recently tried a recipe for lamb meatball grinders from my boss (and blogging pro), Susie. They turned out great and made me wonder…why don’t I cook with lamb more often?! So this week I purchased lamb again, and used it to make some tasty Greek bowls to pack for lunch. I definitely will be doing this again, maybe with orzo next time! Does anyone have any good lamb recipes to recommend for me?

Free Red Sox Tickets: Who doesn’t love that? Jeff and I got to attend a really close (both in score and seats) game after I scored some tickets from work. It was a gorgeous nice to be at Fenway and I purchased my first ever concession from one of those guys that walks around the stands. I mean, I was excited.

Anchovies: I like the food, but I’m talking about a place. My friend Sara introduced me to her go-to spot, Anchovies in the South End, and I have been obsessed ever since. Their portions – both drink and food – are huge and well priced. Everything is insanely delicious. I even ate there twice last weekend.

Eggplant Parm!

The Handmaid’s TaleI finished the first season last month but don’t think I ever got around to mentioning the show here. I loved it and was simply hooked from the beginning. It’s definitely heavy though; I could only handle watching a couple of episodes at a time before I had to go focus on or do something, well, happier. But Elizabeth Moss is fantastic and I’m so glad that the series will go beyond one season. We’ll see how they do now that they will be expanding past the book (which I haven’t read) but I have faith that the show can continue on with its momentum and impress yet again.

Praise be, bitch.

The Senator’s Wife: I pulled this book off the library shelf when I was in need of a new read and had nothing lined up. While I’m not done with it yet, I’m about 75% of the way through and really enjoying it. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers lately so it’s been enjoyable to switch to something that I don’t necessarily feel the need to finish all in one sitting. This has been a great read-a-few-chapters-before-bed book.

That’s what I’ve been loving lately, along with the fact that today is FINALLY Friday. Does anyone else feel like this has been the longest week ever? What are you loving lately? Let me know in the comments!

5 Summer Reading Recs

Wow, I haven’t blogged in a month…my bad. These days I’ve been spending my weekends – the time I’d normally blog – either traveling or taking advantage of my apartment building’s roof deck. Now that it’s finally warm, my favorite way to spend an free afternoon here in Boston is to pack up some rosé and snacks, grab a book, and head up to the deck read…often until the book is completely finished.

Okay, there are sometimes magazines involved too.

Thanks to my recent status as a bookworm, I’ve got a pretty decent list of great books to recommend and figured I’d share them here. We’re only halfway through the summer, so there’s plenty of time to head to your local bookstore or library (I don’t get why more people don’t use the library) and pick them up!

5 Summer Reading Recommendations

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris: The second I finished Chapter 1, I knew I was going to be reading this book from start to finish. It’s a thriller about a husband and wife who seem to have the perfect marriage, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was rooting for the protagonist (the wife) the entire time, and just had to know how the story ended; the definition of a page turner.

You by Caroline Kepnes: Shoutout to my friend Jenna for recommending this to me; it was right up my alley. Stories about crazy stalkers are always interesting, but when a story is narrated from the point of view of said stalker…that’s when things get VERY interesting. Apparently this book is being made into a Lifetime movie starring Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl fame, and after you read it, I think you’ll agree with my opinion that he was a great choice for the role of Joe.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes: …is actually the sequel to You, so be sure you read that first. The only thing better than discovering an awesome new book is finding out it has a sequel!

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena: Another “do you ever really know the truth about someone” type of story, but aren’t those the most fun to read? Twists and turns popped up throughout this entire novel and constantly kept me guessing. The writing and way the story was told reminded me a bit of Gone Girl. If you liked that book, I 100% think you’ll love this one.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler: This does not at ALL fit in with the rest of the books I’m recommending, seeing as it’s not about murder, psychopaths, kidnapping, or stalkers. But it is about restaurants – or rather, working in one – so I found it completely fascinating. The main character, Tess, is a young woman who moves to NYC and gets a job as a waitress to make some money. Soon the restaurant and its staff become her family, her life, her entire world. The reader can see her getting in way too deep, but it’s happening to slowly for Tess to notice. If you’re interested in the restaurant industry or just good food and drink (the book made me crave a chilled glass of Sancerre like no other), I’d definitely suggest giving this one a read.

Those are my five favorite books of the summer so far, but I’ve definitely read more, so follow me on Goodreads if you want more book-related updates! Today I’m starting a book called Those Girls…anyone read it?

Have you read any of these books? Do you have some recommendations for me? Comment and let me know!

Weekly Wins #2

I really enjoyed writing my last Weekly Wins post, so I’m back with another one, because it’s honestly an easy way to share what I’ve been up to lately…and that’s a whole lot. Without further ado, here are some wins from this past week.

Workout Win

It’s been awhile since I set a mini fitness-related goal for myself, but last week I came up with a new one when I took Reid Eichelberger‘s TRAINxCARDIO class at Everybody Fights‘ Financial District location. What a tough workout! The routine featured moves I never do without an instructor asking me to, like jump squats and lunges, rope swings, and suspension training mountain climbers. And we all know that the workouts we hate most are usually those that are best for us. So I’ve decided to strive to sign up for one TRAINxCARDIO class per week. I think adding those kind of explosive HIIT moves to my routine will only make me stronger and, more importantly, will make me feel great.

Recipe Win

Last week I made a fantastic new recipe, Skinnytaste’s Cheeseburger Casserole. Jeff called it a “next-level American Chop-Suey”. This tasted incredible, especially leftover, and was so easy to throw together! I definitely will be making this again.

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Trade Em Up Tuesday: Spring Has Sprung!

This past weekend was spent staying put here in Boston, and that’s much needed because next weekend is the first of about five in the next month that I’ll be spending on the road. I would definitely trade that, but I wouldn’t trade the reasons I’ll be travelling. More on that in future posts, though. Here’s today’s Trade Em Up Tuesday.

I would not trade…Friday’s rest day. That’s something I hadn’t let myself do in a couple of weeks and it felt GREAT. Of course it was the only morning last week that I woke up before my alarm, feeling well rested. Funny how that works. But that just meant I had time to write Friday morning’s post.

I also wouldn’t trade rocking my new JCrew Factory necklace on Friday!

I would not trade…one of Southie’s newest restaurants, Loco. I headed there after work Friday with some girlfriends. Everyone went with refreshing Mexican restaurant style beverages to start – except me. I stuck with the old standby, bourbon. Our bartender Moira used to work at Citizen so I knew she’d be able to whip up a tasty bourbon cocktail for me! After our cocktails we all shared a bottle of sparkling rose.

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Thinking Out Loud: Blizzard of 2015

Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments on Monday’s post! It was really something I had to get out of my mind and onto virtual “paper”. I’m still struggling with those voices today, and that will be part of this post. But I’m also mixing it up, so it calls for my first Thinking Out Loud Thursday in awhile. Always a great excuse to ramble.

Link up with Amanda if you too are rambling, I mean thinking out loud, today!

1. After last week’s satisfying post-sickness gym trips, I am disappointed to say this week has not been as great. First I woke up Saturday extremely unmotivated, so I just did some yoga. The big old blizzard cancelled my favorite Monday 6pm spin class, which I was REALLY looking forward to. I did go to the gym to do the stairs and some legs/abs, but it just didn’t feel as satisfying. Then the blizzard kept the gym closed altogether on Tuesday…and there’s something about a snow day that makes working out at home seem particularly unappealing. So, I just did this She Rocks Fitness workout to tell myself I did something.

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Five Days Friday

I’ve done the whole using Five Things Friday to talk about my week thing before. But that’s OK as long as I give the post a different title, right? Today I’m breaking down my Monday through Friday – five things, five days!

Link up with Clare if you’re joining the Five Things Friday trend today!

Monday

I was so so so ready on Monday to stay in after my favorite spin class with Danielle Dee at the BSC. But work had other plans, and by the time I got to the gym (ten minutes late), all the bikes were full. It’s getting to be that time of year again! But there are a couple of bikes outside the classroom so I hopped on one of those for thirty minutes and pushed as hard as I could, followed by some abs and my latest round of PT exercises. Oh and another thing – I woke up Monday with a cold coming on. So by the time I got home post-gym – at almost 8PM – I was exhausted and SO glad I had meal prepped the day before!

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Trade Em Up Tuesday: Because It’s Not Monday

I tend to recap my weekends in the form of Marvelous In My Monday, but I didn’t feel like blogging Sunday night and yesterday was too busy. So since it’s Tuesday, this weekend recap is coming to you in the form of Trade ‘Em Up Tuesday, which I haven’t done in awhile (holy – since before I had my new job!) anyway.

I would not trade…the Friday night that I really needed. As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I felt like a big whale all day thanks to a looooong wine tasting and dinner for work the previous night. What kept me going all day was the knowledge that I’d be able to spend my evening with great people! First I met Jen at Eastern Standard for her first visit there (!!!) and we enjoyed some relaxing girl time over drinks and yummy food. Thankfully Jen agreed that the restaurant lived up to my hype and it was another nice visit of great service and spot-on cocktail recs!

My first drink – the Red Hook – a Manhattan-like cocktail. I took a sip and said “ahhh”.

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Thinking Out Loud: Twice as Nice

I’m back, twice in one week, wahoo! I’m writing this post on Wednesday night because I had enough time to cook, but decided to instead make dinner leftovers and use the extra time to a) write this and b) have a glass of NY Cabernet Sauvignon. I didn’t have anything to drink the last couple of days because the event I worked on Sunday was pretty nuts (in a very fun way). But now I’m ready to relax with my glass and think out loud.

Link up with Amanda if you too are thinking out loud today!

1. My half marathon training has officially begun! Tuesday’s aforementioned personal training session didn’t happen because the trainer had to cancel – but never called me to let me know? So I was at the gym, without a plan, and decided to kick off training this week instead of next, which is what I had planned! And I decided to get this week’s longest run done – 4 miles. I’m no fool, I know that I should savor the fact that this week’s longest run is 4 miles, and believe me I am! I did at a 9:13 pace on the treadmill, with a 1% incline. With a side of Kardashians…enough to get me through. I’ve also been following a June ab challenge I found on Facebook, and though these earlier days are pretty easy, I know by the end it will feel very hard. Just like my runs – ha! But seriously, having plans to follow has been really helpful for me. I felt like I had no direction at the gym and now I have a couple of things to follow!

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Opposite of Maybe

I received a complimentary copy of “The Opposite of Maybe”. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

I struggled with inspiration to write a post for this From Left to Write Book Club selection, Maddie Dawson‘s The Opposite of Maybe. This virtual book club is about blogging on any subject the books inspire in its members, not just blogging a review of the book. And it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it; in fact, I quite liked it. I’m just not sure what more to say.

I thought about writing about how frustrated I was with the main character Rosie’s inability to see what a childish, selfish person her “boyfriend”/baby daddy Jonathan was. But then I remembered that I’ve been in a relationship in which it took me a very long time to realize that a) we weren’t right for each other and b) that wouldn’t change. It’s really always easy to see from the outside perspective.

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Idea of Him

I received a complimentary copy of “The Idea of Him”. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

I have been a bad From Left to Write book club member lately. I either don’t have time to read the books, or I read them and end up not getting around to posting or posting late (like I am today). But I figure better late than never is definitely true, especially when I enjoyed the book so much. The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson is definitely what I’d call “fun” fiction or “beach reading”, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for just that! I had a hard time putting this one down and found myself staying up late to read it. Always the sign of a good read.

ideaofhim

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