Calling Australia, Wayback Burgers, and Salt Licorice!

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Hi guys!

What’s everyone up to this week? Can you believe it’s the LAST Wednesday of November? Guess what, tomorrow is my dad’s birthday — HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!

I am especially happy that technology exists that allows us to talk with my sister who lives in Australia! She and I use WhatsApp regularly to keep in touch and it’s awesome to be able to catch up for free.

On a random note, does anyone remember years ago when we would have to buy calling cards in order to call family that lived overseas? It was always an expense PLUS the call quality was never great (remember the crazy delays that would happen when talking?) haha! Technology sure has come a long way!

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Anyway my sister is currently working on her masters degree in Sydney and will be living in Australia for at least another year. So far she really seems to like it, and it looks like it’s all working out well for her! She took us on a tour of her office and then her apartment. We then took her on a little tour of our house — she saw it when were looking at different homes to buy, but she hasn’t seen it since we moved in. It was fun seeing more of her life and chatting. It’s hot and sunny in Australia currently! 🙂

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We had a coupon for free burgers at Wayback Burgers, and decided it was the perfect excuse to pick up burgers for dinner. We had never gotten food from Wayback before, and ended up really liking their burgers. I love discovering new places! We would never have known it was there if we hadn’t received a random coupon in the mail! Instead of fries, I opted for onion rings, which turned out to be a GREAT decision. I hadn’t had onion rings in forever and they totally hit the spot! Onion rings and ketchup is one heck of a combo. Oh, check this out — this huge “triple triple” burger sign was up in the store… apparently if you can eat one of these huge monsters in under 30 seconds (the current record) you will win free burgers for a year! How on earth someone ate this thing in 30 seconds is beyond me!

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I must have had a brainfart because I completely forgot to mention this in my thanksgiving post! Last week we picked up some fresh flowers from our grocery store. They were $6.99 ish for a small “Fall” bouquet. Super pretty! We don’t get fresh flowers often, but I always love when we do! Especially in the colder months when there’s not much going on outside in the way of greenery/flowers — they just have a way of adding something lovely to the home.

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When I got home and transferred the flowers to the vase, I felt like the arrangement was a little on the sparse side. To help fill it out, I clipped some grass from our back yard — you can see the white ish plumes of grass here:

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The grass helped to fill out the bouquet arrangement, and I ended up really liking how it turned out! Who knew grass could come to the rescue! 🙂 It made for a nice little addition to our thanksgiving ambiance. The bouquet is still going strong with no signs of wilting. Fingers crossed it will still look nice a week or two from now.

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Another photo from our weekend… we made a big brunch with my brother and sister-in-law. Pancakes, kielbasa sausage, bacon, apples, eggs, and clementines! I stuck with the pancakes and sausage –> topped with maple syrup, this is one delicious combination! I love a good weekend brunch!

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A couple days ago we popped over to Bed Bath and Beyond to get a humidifier (we had a discount card and got this one for $10 off). It took a while to find the humidifier section… We circled the entire store and it turned out it was the first section we had passed. I always feel like I can never find anything in Bed Bath & Beyond!

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Side note about the humidifier: we turn it on at night but have found that it is kind of loud. It bubbles a lot as the water is boiling and turning to steam. It’s woken both of us up overnight – not exactly ideal, but I’m sure we’ll get used to it with time. But I would like to know: is this just something we have to get used to, or are there quieter ones out there? If anyone has recommendations for quieter humidifiers, let us know!

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It turns out our Bed Bath & Beyond has a World Market inside the store! I love World Market so much, they have the coolest stuff from all over the globe. Back in Houston we used to go to our local World Market all the time, and our favorite thing to get there were these salt licorice snacks! A highschool friend of mine from Denmark introduced these to me when I was younger, and I have always been on the lookout for salt licorice ever since! I never see it in the regular grocery store, but it is WAY better than regular black licorice which I’m not a huge fan of — if you ever go to World Market, definitely check out the salt licorice!

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I don’t know about your house, but the thanksgiving leftovers are still going STRONG here! We ran out of green beans but still have a lot of turkey, stuffing, mashed & roasted potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and PIE! It’s a good thing Joel and I don’t mind eating the same thing for days on end. If we eventually need to switch things up, I have a few ideas up my sleeve for how to use leftovers.

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Oh another thing we still have leftover from thanksgiving are these Hawaiian rolls! But you know what, they aren’t going to last too much longer because we are quickly devouring them. They are way too delicious to resist!

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Have you ever tried salt licorice? Got any recommendations for quiet humidifiers? What’s your favorite brunch food? 

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Our Thanksgiving, and the Annual Black Friday Tradition!

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Hi friends!

Happy Monday! It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone. I am STILL reliving the thanksgiving memories through my photos so I thought I’d share some of them with you!

We had cheese and crackers on hand before the actual meal, as well as some raspberry preserves. Last year we had goat cheese and fig preserves on the platter too, which was lovely. This year we kept it simple with cheddar and swiss. I branched out with the crackers by getting the generic brand… they turned out to be a little crumbly. They tasted great but were a little messy on account of the crumbs. Next time I’ll stick with a tried and true cracker brand.

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We ended up doing a combination of cooking, catering, and potluck for the meal. For the catering, we got the Classic Thanksgiving meal for 12 from Whole Foods (check out their holiday meals here) which included the turkey, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. So great! All you do is place the order online and pick it up in store! I ordered the meal a week early because I heard they sell out — and I’m glad I did, because they totally ended up selling out! Whole Foods also provided some awesome instructions for reheating (ie, temps and times) which helped to simplify the whole process. We were really impressed with everything and would definitely be open to catering again!

In terms of home-cooking, we cooked a couple supplemented sides the day of, including roasted sweet potatoes and mandazis (Kenyan donuts). And as far as potluck, our friends brought over a few homemade side dishes (corn pie, brussel sprouts, carrots, bread rolls), which were all delicious! They also brought over drinks (wine, beer, and cider) and a few homemade desserts (pumpkin pie, mini pumpkin muffins). The pie coupled with vanilla ice cream was unbeatable. It all made for an INCREDIBLE feast!

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My brother (wearing the black shirt) and his wife (wearing the white sweater) came up from NYC to spend the holiday with us. They stayed a few days and made their way back to New York on Saturday night. It is always awesome to see them and spend time together. I hope they will eventually move to Connecticut at some point! Oh and side note, we set the food out on the kitchen counter so that everyone could fill their plates buffet-style. There were so many dishes that it made more sense to do it this way rather than try to fit everything on the table!

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Joel did a nice job carving the turkey! Every year he is in charge of the turkey, and has always done a nice job. We usually cook our turkey in a bag because that’s how his mom used to do it. This year since the turkey came with our Whole Foods order, we didn’t have the pressure of cooking it, which was really nice! All we needed to do was pop it into the oven to heat up (Whole Foods provides all the instructions for heating each dish). After the feast was over, he made a nice turkey soup with the bones. DELICIOUS!

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This is only the second or third time we have eaten in our actual dining room. Our house has a formal dining room and a breakfast table area next to the kitchen –> we usually eat at the breakfast table, but it was super fun to use the “real” dining room! Since there were a good number of us, I used a couple benches instead of chairs. This made it easier to fit more people at the table. I’d say the 9 of us fit pretty well around the table!

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After we finished up with the big meal, we packed up the food into containers and got everything into the fridge. It was nice having everything put away instead of letting the food sit out all day long (which is what we have done in the past! haha). Many hands made for light work and it didn’t take long to get all the leftovers put away.

We were stuffed to the gills so none of us were ready for dessert just yet. We decided to play some rousing ping pong to help work off the meal. Joel definitely won every game he played, and we all joked that we need to befriend a professional ping pong player so that Joel will meet his match!

After ping pong came PIE! 🙂 I had a mini pumpkin muffin (they were similar to mini pumpkin pies –> crust on the bottom, filling on top!) they were ridiculously yummy. My sister-in-law nailed her recipe! I also had some vanilla ice cream on the side, which of course was the absolute right decision. I was way too stuffed at that point to try any of the other pies, but each pie got amazing reviews from everyone else!

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While dessert was underway, we debated which game to play. We are huge fans of game nights (one of our holiday traditions is to get a new game every Christmas) and we all voted for “Bang!” If you have never played Bang, you definitely should get your hands on it stat! We always have fun whenever we play it.

It’s a game based in the wild west, and each person is a character. The only character that is known to the group is the sheriff, and everyone else’s character is hidden. There are outlaws, a renegade, and a couple deputies. There was a fair amount of shooting (of course) and everything else you’d expect in the wild west.

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Thanksgiving was such a fun day and we really enjoyed soaking in time with friends and family. We were utterly exhausted that evening and rolled ourselves off to bed with full bellies and happy hearts.

Over the past few years we have gone to see a movie with family on Black Friday, and it’s become such a fun little tradition. We have an incredible theater near us that is brand new — they have a crazy amount oof stellar food/drink options (Joel took advantage of the kettle corn this time around) and big comfy seats that recline.

This year we saw Justice League! Apparently it didn’t have great ratings, but we all enjoyed it anyway. I still haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, but now I am even MORE excited to see it! I love Gal Gadot and how she portrays the character.

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We’ve been enjoying all kinds of thanksgiving leftovers over here. We probably have enough to last us through the week! I feel like the food is even tastier as leftovers. My favorite thanksgiving food is stuffing and I am pretty thrilled that it is still making an appearance on my plate! I’ve seen a couple leftover pinterest recipes for turkey pot pie, so I might give that a try at some point. I guess we’ll see where the week takes us! 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to do with thanksgiving leftovers? Did you do any shopping Black Friday or Cyber Monday? What do you have going on this week? 

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What are your Black Friday traditions?

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Hi friends!

I hope everyone had an AMAZING thanksgiving yesterday! We had about 12 people over (friends and family) and had such a fun day together. Life is best when you’re with the people you love! So much good food and awesome company. I’m still buzzing from all the good vibes!

What is everyone up to today? Who is going shopping today for Black Friday? I only went Black Friday shopping one time about 13 years ago. I was in college at the time and was spending thanksgiving at my brother Ken’s house. A few other family members and friends were there too, and at some point we decided to check out the Black Friday sales.

Goodness me, let me tell you — it was a purely BONKERS experience! There were definitely great sales happening all over the place, but the mall was nuts! I’ve never been so over-stimulated in my life. The crowds were intense, Christmas music coming from every corner, and lines to checkout were so long that it would take like an hour to get to the counter. That was my only experience with braving the Black Friday crowds — MAJOR kudos to anyone gutsy enough to do it! These days we enjoy a low key post-thanksgiving day, and if any shopping happens, it is definitely online from the couch.

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Speaking of online shopping, between now and Cyber Monday we might pick up a few things online… possibly a bench to go at the foot of the bed and other random stuff. It will depend on prices. We don’t actually NEED anything urgently, we just have a couple of things we’ve been thinking about purchasing for a while. One thing we have been thinking about for a long time is small bar-height table with 2 tall chairs for the deck. It’s not an urgent thing — after all, it’ll be like 7 months before it’s warm enough to even sit outside! But who knows, it doesn’t hurt to poke around and get a sense for what’s out there.

What do you guys normally do on Black Friday? Anyone have any cool Black Friday traditions? We don’t have any “set” traditions for Black Friday, but the past few years we have gone to see a movie with family. For a while we were watching Hunger Games movies every year because the movies would come out right around thanksgiving. Last year I think we saw Arrival with Amy Adams which got mixed reviews from our family/friends (I liked it, but my brother didn’t). I think one year we also went for a hike on Black Friday. This afternoon we might see the new Justice League movie. Everyone is currently lazing around at home so we’ll see what everyone feels like doing in a few hours.

I mentioned last week that I am currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen with my book club. So far I have completed 4 chapters, and can safely say I am hugely enjoying it! Her writing style is so palatable, and I find the character’s voice very easy to follow.

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Something that may or may not happen at some point this weekend is cake-baking! This is an old photo but it’s from the same cake mix. I have a some mix that didn’t get made for thanksgiving (we were very happily inundated with pie!). We’ll see how the day progresses and whether I want to be in the kitchen hah! Is it just me or does anyone need at least a day to decompress from all things cooking-related after big holidays? Plus we still have some pie leftover, so realistically I probably won’t make this for several days yet.

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Here’s a random thing I thought I’d share: we recently organized a corner of the garage that was previously spilling over with STUFF. I am determined to have an organized…or at least semi-organized garage! When it seemed like things were getting out of hand, I went up to the attic and dragged down an old plastic storage bin with drawers. It turned out to be the perfect solution for all the random stuff that was piling up in the corner. It would be awesome to eventually get a large sturdy cabinet with shelving, but for now this is a great intermediary solution.

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I have been chomping these sweet little clementines all day! They are so easy to peel and perfectly delicious. I like to have a box of these in the house at all times. I swear I can eat like 6 in a row. How do you store your clementines? I usually just keep them on the kitchen counter — they are usually gone within a few days and I haven’t noticed any issues with them going bad before then. My friend keeps them in her fridge because she likes them cold. Do you prefer your clementines by themselves or in other foods? I have had them in salads and they add a refreshing citrusy kick. Last week Joel put some clementines in his dinner… I’ve never had clementines with pasta, kale, and chicken —  it sounded kinda weird to me hah!… but he said it was good!

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Another random photo from my office at work. I know, it’s a holiday and who wants to talk about work? haha! Fun fact: my office heats up to like 90 degrees on summer afternoons. It can be absolutely sweltering, and the building management office said they can’t do anything about it because if they turn up the AC, the offices on the other side of the building will freeze. Apparently it’s been an issue for decades (yay old buildings). About a year ago, my solution was to put these sun visors against the window! Almost the entire wall is a window, which means the sun REALLY heats things up. Having the visors up help to block the sun and prevent the office from heating up so much. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but better than nothing. I took the visors down for the cold season. I’m sure people coming into my office must wonder why I have all these sun visors stacked up!

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Anyway, that’s all from me folks, I hope you’re all enjoying this holiday weekend, and that you’ve got some super fun plans in store with your loved ones!

What are your Black Friday traditions? Are you a fan of clementines? Got any books to recommend?

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Friendsgiving, pong, and holiday decor!

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Hi guys!

Happy thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving week is in full swing around here, just like I’m sure it is where you are!

Our thanksgiving celebrations started a week early when we had friends over for Friendsgiving! It was a total blast. Everyone brought a dish to share, which made for a wide variety of delicious options!

Joel and I brought two pie selections: a pumpkin pie and a “triple berry” pie. We picked them up at a local grocery store’s bakery section, as we have been longtime fans of their baked goods… ESPECIALLY the berry pie! Both of the options were delicious, but the berry pie was the mega hit with our friends. There’s something about yummy berries and flaky buttery crust that made for the perfect combination. I think the pie disappeared in about 60 seconds. If you are ever near a ShopRite, you MUST try their berry pie. I am not exaggerating — I literally went there specifically for this pie.

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In total we had 5 different pies, cheesecake, and cookies — no shortage of dessert options! There so much food leftover that everyone left with more food than they came with (don’t ask me how that is possible hah!).

It was such a good time hanging out with everyone. My throat was sore the next day from all the talking and laughing!

Somehow with all the different dishes that everyone brought, no one brought cranberry sauce — EEK! good thing we always keep a can on hand for such occasions! Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite holiday dishes. And STUFFING!!! With cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkey, I am in heaven. Another favorite of mine is sweet potatoes (especially when they are roasted), but honestly if I had to choose between sweet potatoes and stuffing, stuffing wins hands down!

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After eating way too much, we played a couple rounds of Heads Up. One of my friends has the app on her phone so we used that instead of the board game. If you haven’t played, you really must. It is such a hilarious game.

And then after that, we played some ping pong. We mostly played doubles since there were a good number of us. We all agreed that a tournament NEEDS to happen very soon.

Speaking of ping pong, I thought I would let you know that interestingly enough, I have a decent back hand but a “meh” forehand. In tennis it is the opposite — my tennis forehand is way better than backhand. Who’da thunkit? But I guess none of that matters because I’m not great at either game hah!

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While ping pong was in full swing (very punny hah!) we got to hear a little bit of a song that one of our friends is composing. He is coming out with an album soon and it was really cool hearing the song before it is released! It sounded awesome! He’s going to do some touring when it officially comes out.

The past day or so has been fairly low key as we get ready to have family and friends over for thanksgiving day. I love having everyone together. I didn’t celebrate thanksgiving growing up because it isn’t a “thing” in Kenya, but I have fully embraced it!

While we’re discussing thanksgiving, I would like to know: what is your favorite way to prepare the turkey? We usually put the bird in an oven bag, which helps to keep it from drying out. Joel’s mom used to cook her turkey that way, so that’s where we got the idea. A friend of mine loves to brine her turkey. Also delicious!!

This year we contemplated the deep-fried turkey thing since we have all the supplies from our lobster bake. I’ve heard that deep fried turkey is ridiculously delicious –> of course you gotta be careful not to start a forest fire though! In any case, we ended up not going that route this time around, but are definitely interested for the future.

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I am still in the process of deciding what holiday decor I want to put up at home. Back in our old apartment, we put up a small (3 foot) faux tree and that’s about it. We still have that tree, so we’ll probably put it up again this year. Maybe next year we will get a real tree. I’d like to also do something with the mantle (garland?) and other spots in the house. I haven’t done a ton of decorating over the years so I’m fairly new to the whole thing. I’ve been browsing Pinterest for inspiration, which has given me a lot of cool ideas.

Over the weekend we went to 3 places in search of holiday decor: TJ Maxx, Target, and Pier 1. They all had some great options which gave us more great ideas. At TJ Maxx I saw a set of stocking hangars in the shape of snow flakes and I almost bought them until Joel pointed out that they were scratched and dinged. Bummer! Oh well. I plan to look for something like it on Amazon (here’s a similar option).

On a random note, Joel and I were in agreement that burgers and fries sounded stellar, so that is exactly what we had for lunch. It totally hit the spot! What are your thoughts on ketchup? Joel likes it on his fries but NOT on his burger. He’s a strictly mustard guy when it comes to burgers. I am a ketchup lover who puts it on fries AND burgers! I even like ketchup with my fish & chips (instead of tartar sauce) hah!

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For the rest of the day I am tying up some loose ends at work then popping over to the store to pick up last minute food items. I am sure the store is going to be totally bonkers with all of us last-minute shoppers trying to get in there!

I hope you all have an AMAZING thanksgiving tomorrow! Enjoy the delicious foods, and soaking in all that precious time with loved ones!

What’s your favorite holiday food/dish? How do you prepare your turkey? Where do you love to buy your holiday decor?  

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The very best things in life!

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Hi friends!

I hope your thanksgiving week is off to an amazing start! In the spirit of thanksgiving, I thought it would be the perfect time to discuss some things I am thankful for!

Joel

Of course I have to start with this guy! I am so very thankful for him. We met in college (many moons ago!), were friends for a year, then dated for 4 years before getting married. 10 years into marriage, I am STILL thankful that he is the person I am “doing life” with.

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Friends

I cannot express how thankful I am to have such incredible people in my life. Whether the friendships were formed waaay back in childhood or more recently, I am ridiculously blessed to know such wonderful people. I just wish we all lived closer, instead of being spread out across the country and globe! Thank goodness for things like WhatsApp and Gchat which make keeping in touch easier. But my secret plan in life is to somehow gather up all my friends so that we can live in the same city one day…

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Book club

I started a book club with several good friends, and it has been such FUN! I am super thankful that I have friends who love to read as much as I do! It is such a great time getting together, discussing books/reading, and catching up! I so appreciate all the ladies in the book club, and am excited to keep reading #allthebooks. We have a major list of books that we are working our way through (and always adding to!). Sometimes a conversation over wine and snacks is exactly what you need at the end of a long day. Our next book is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen — I just received it in the mail yesterday and am excited to dive in!

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Family

I love my family! And I’m so thankful for them. I come from a big huge ginormous family — 9 kids! Yup, there are a lot of us. Family get-togethers are always pretty crazy in the best way possible. Now that most of us are married, and several of my siblings have multiple kiddos, the family is ever growing! It is such fun to hang out with my fam – there’s just something about people who “GET”, I mean they have known you for your entire life, and somehow still manage to love you! A lot of my family live in other parts of the world (Kenya, South Africa, Netherlands, parts of Asia, Australia, etc) so we don’t often get the chance to be together. Luckily for me, I have a brother who lives just a couple hours away in NYC, so we get to see him and his wife fairly often. I wish I could round everyone up and transport them to Connecticut stat!

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Small group

We started hosting a small group (same thing as a bible study group) through our church earlier this year, and we seriously LOVE it! I’m thankful for each person in our group. They are a pretty stellar bunch! We get together at our house every week. It has truly become one of my favorite parts of the week. Sometimes the best thing is a mid-week get-together with special friends! Relatedly, I am also extremely thankful for our church, City Church in New Haven.  The vibe of the church actually reminds me a lot of our church in Houston (Sagemont) which is probably why we felt quite at home since the very beginning!

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Running

This goes without saying, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway — I am so thankful for RUNNING! I started running way back in college as a way of keeping fit since I was no long involved in sports every day the way I was in high school. I didn’t love running back then, it was just a way to stay in shape. But somewhere along the years, I discovered the magic of running. Over the years I have cycled through bouts of heavy training and light (or zero) training. But I always come back to running. I can honestly say that I feel my best when I am training consistently. I’m thankful to have found in running an outlet for stress. It is one of the ways I cope with anxiety. I’m also thankful for all the ways running is “there” for me, like never failing to give me a sense of accomplishment (even the bad runs)!

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Travel

I am thankful that we have had the opportunity to travel. We aren’t major globe-trotters (we have only taken a few overseas trips since getting married), but we hugely appreciate the travel we have gotten to do so far. One of my favorite trips was to the Grand Canyon. We were in Phoenix for a couple days for a work conference, and decided to take the drive up to the Grand Canyon and back — in the same day. It was a long drive (4 hours if I remember correctly), and the adventure was such fun! We left Phoenix at around 4am and returned that night totally exhausted. It was worth it though! The Canyon is absolutely breathtaking! Since we only got to spend a few hours there, we didn’t get a chance to do as much as we would have liked. But we did get to go on a cool tour, do lots of walking, and see the canyon from various perspectives. One day we would like to go back and do some hiking down into the canyon!

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Relaxation

What can I say, I love me some down time. I am thankful for all the times that we have been able to kick back and enjoy a relaxed moment. Joel and I appreciate a good low key day where we can just be still. Sometimes life gets so busy and it’s easy to forget to slow down. The still moments can be the most beautiful moments. I am thankful that we have had opportunities to take breaks from all the anxiety and stress of life.

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What are you thankful for today? Got some fun things planned for the week? What’s your favorite thanksgiving dish? 

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The most epic pizza, and our plans for ping pong!

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Hey there friends!

Happy Friday!!! It’s been a pretty good week around here. Tomorrow is the Yale vs Harvard football game, which is always fun. It is supposed to rain and be cold, which might impact whether I go… sitting in cold rain does not sound particularly appealing to me! Joel and one of his friends said they will go regardless of the weather, but I am not really feeling like shivering for 2 hours hah! Fingers crossed the weather stays nice!

The very first thing we must discuss is this pizza from Tonino’s. I think we have found our favorite pizza spot AND our favorite order! If you are ever in the area, just tell them this: white hawaiian, light cheese, bacon, spinach, and extra pineapple! You will not be disappointed! I add a generous amount of red pepper flakes to all my pizza. It’s the BEST!

I used to eat regular pizza (with tomato sauce) all the time and was never a huge fan. It took me forever to realize that I actually do not like tomato sauce! I mean, like fresh tomatoes just fine… but if they are cooked or in any type of red sauce, it’s a pass from me. When I realized this, I started ordering my pizza “white” –> meaning either no sauce at all, or a garlic & butter sauce depending on the restaurant. This was a total GAME CHANGER!

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After we called in our pizza order, we had a few minutes to kill before going to pick it up. We made the best decision and spent that time playing ping pong. This ping pong table was a great investment. When we were in the market for one, we looked everywhere, even Craigslist! Although there were some nearby options for sale, we didn’t have a good way of transporting a pre-owned table. And we didn’t want to shell out for a rental truck. After a lot of thinking and weighing the pros and cons, we ended up getting one from Academy. Delivery was quick and painless — they brought it right to our house with no issues. Here is their selection of ping pong tables.

We want to have a ping pong tournament with our friends one of these days. It seems like a perfect cold-weather thing to do when it’s too cold or gross to be outside. I’m not great at ping pong but I always have fun playing. Joel is way better than I am, and is always trying to do fancy tricks like spinning the ball…

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I don’t know about you, but now that we are back to being homeowners, we go to Home Depot a lot! I feel like not a week goes by without us going there… and if Joel is working on some kind of project, he’ll sometimes go multiple times per week. We should probably buy stock in Home Depot. We used to be loyal Lowes customers back when we lived near a Lowes in Houston. But now the Home Depot is much closer to home. Joel could browse Home Depot contentedly for way longer than I can. I am definitely glad he is handy around the house. It’s nice that he can take care of most things.

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I recently cleaned out our whole fridge and scrubbed it top to bottom. It was shortly after our lobster bake that I noticed an absolutely AWFUL smell coming from the fridge. I have a “super sniffer” as Joel calls it, and have a sensitive nose… but you definitely did not need a super sniffer to know something was terribly wrong!

It turns out that some of the lobster juices had spilled/dripped somewhere in the fridge. We had both wiped down the shelves multiple times in efforts to get rid of the smell, but to no avail… the smell persisted! I finally decided enough was enough and got serious about the cleaning. I took all the food out, and really got in there with #allthescrubbing. Every nook and cranny!

I also thoroughly wiped down each item before putting it back into the fridge. This is what finally worked to get rid of the smell. Thank goodness for that! Note to self, NEVER drip lobster juices anywhere in your fridge or house, because it WILL smell like death!

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When was the last time you took a peek inside a grandfather clock? We have one in our foyer, and Joel is currently working on it because one of the gears is stuck. The actual time-keeping part of the clock works fine – it is just that one of the weights below the clock isn’t dropping. I think watches and clocks are so fascinating with all the different parts that work together. This grandfather clock was handmade by a man and his son several decades ago. We bought it from him when he was downsizing in preparation for a move to Florida. We love it and feel fortunate to have it in our home.

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Any almond milk fans out there? I LOVE the stuff. I am not the biggest fan of the taste of cow’s milk. I started drinking almond milk a couple years ago and have not looked back since! It is delicious, has gobs of calcium and other nutrients, and has a much longer shelf than cow’s milk. Gone are the days of throwing out half finished containers of cow’s milk because they went bad! I usually get the “original” flavor but I know there are varieties like vanilla and unsweetened.

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I am excited for the weekend, even if it ends up being a rainy one! We plan to do a little bit of decorating around the house to get prepared to host thanksgiving. I don’t typically do a ton of decorating, but am excited to this year. It will be a fun way of getting into the holiday spirit. Feel free to recommend your favorite places to buy holiday decor!

What do you have planned for your weekend? What thanksgiving food are you looking forward to the most? What’s your favorite place to buy holiday decor?

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Keeping the cold weather at bay with warm memories!

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Hi friends!

After such warm fall temperatures, mother nature decided to bring in some MUCH cooler weather — Where I am, the last couple days that felt more like January than November! Brr… winter is coming and I’m not ready.

It’s much more pleasant to discuss memories of warmer days, right!? So let’s take a stroll down memory lane together!

Earlier this past summer, we discovered that a polo match happens every week near our house! It was a totally random discovery. We were driving one day and saw a small hand-painted sign propped on the side of the road. We couldn’t resist checking it out, and we’re so glad we did! It made for such a fun afternoon! The horses were beautiful and the day was perfection. Neither of us know anything about either team (or much about polo, really), but it was a blast to watch the players do their thing. It must take some serious hand-eye coordination to hit the ball and not fall off, while telling the horse where to go too!

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There was some divot-stomping at some point, which apparently is a polo tradition, and it was fun to participate in that. We could drive right up to the field with our vehicles, which was cool. A lot of people had their trunks propped open and were enjoying the game tailgate style. Since it was our first time, we did not know to bring anything, but next time we’ll definitely bring some drinks and snacks to enjoy while spectating. After the game, the players rode around the perimeter of the field to say hello and give high fives to spectators. Joel made sure to get in line to congratulate them!

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Another awesome memory was going to the Connecticut Open! We had tickets for the CT Open a couple years ago, but I ended up having to sit it out because I got sick (summer colds are the worst!). Since it was pretty last minute, none of our friends were available to use my ticket, so Joel ended up going by himself. He said he didn’t mind that at all, and ended up having a good time. I got to hear all about it later. When we got the chance to go again this year, we were really excited. It was such fun! Our tickets were for the day of the women’s qualifying rounds, so they mainly played in the smaller courts. There was also a huge stadium which was used for the bigger games later in the week. It was super impressive seeing all the talented women, and we enjoyed taking in all the good tennis! It was a crazy hot day, and there was no shade anywhere. Many people were smart and brought umbrellas for shade. We should have too!

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This next memory is from a couple summers ago! Joel and I met up with a few of my siblings in Port Chester and had a picnic to celebrate my brother’s birthday. We were one of the only people in the park, so it felt like we had the entire thing to ourselves. We hung out in a big gazebo and did a lot of talking and laughing the entire time. Time with family is the best! I remember that we had a bottle of wine but had forgotten to bring a cork-screw (oops!). We were trying to figure out how to get it open, and one of my brothers found this youtube video on how to open a wine bottle with a shoe. We definitely gave it a try — let’s just say it did not work, but it was fun trying haha! I can’t remember how we eventually got the wine bottle open, but somehow we managed (I think one of my brothers went to get a corkscrew from somewhere).

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Here’s a random memory… we found this super cool rug at Target a while back. I almost bought it! I love the colors, grey and whitish cream, and thought the antique’d pattern was pretty. The dimensions would be perfect for our living room. I must have stood there for 10+ minutes just thinking about whether or not to buy it (I think Joel enjoyed that part hah). In the end, we ended up not getting it because there was some question about the price — the target attendant couldn’t find the price of the rug anywhere even in the online store, and the price they settled on was based on a similar-size rug (different brand) which seemed a high. Oh well, the search continues!

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So this next memory isn’t necessarily from warmer days, but thinking about it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, so I guess it counts! Shalane’s big win! Who else watched the NYC marathon a couple weeks back? I was glued to my TV screen! Shalane’s grit gave me goose bumps. When she crossed that finish line I almost shed a tear. So happy for her! I wish more marathons were televised. I don’t know what it is but I can watch runners for hours. I also love listening to any running-related commentary. One of my favorite runners to watch is Desi Linden. Desi is always cool as a cucumber, and incredibly strategic in her running. She wasn’t competing at NYC this year though. Anyway, Joel joined me for the last part of the race, and he kept remarking that Shalane looks like a machine. I couldn’t agree more haha – she’s a beast!

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Here’s a random photo from earlier this year… the innards of a grape! When was the last time you sliced open a grape like this? We almost never cut grapes around here, they get popped into mouths whole! But Joel was collecting the seeds to plant in the garden. (We didn’t end up planting them this time around, but maybe next season will be all about grapes!). With the sun back-lighting the grape, I thought it looked kind of cool. Is it just me or do the seeds look a bit like miniature ovaries?

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Welp, I guess I outta wrap things up here. I hope you’re enjoying your day!

Have you ever watched a polo match? Ever successfully opened a bottle of wine with a shoe? Do you like watching marathons? 

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