Tiny laundry + red hot paste

Hi friends!

Over the past few days, many thank you notes have been written, leaving my hand slightly cramped but my heart very full. Our little man is already so loved and we can’t help but feel incredibly supported as we embark on this new chapter. It’s hard to imagine he will be here very soon!

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Garlic salmon, fresh veggies, and rice were happily consumed for dinner the other night. Did I ever tell you guys that due to a week of no electricity after the tornado, we had to throw out a ton of food from the fridge and freezer? I was not a happy camper about throwing out all the salmon from the freezer. Oof.

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Remember these frozen Greek yogurt bars I have been raving about these past few months? I had a few boxes of them in the freezer, and sadly I had to throw them all out too. That was uncool. I haven’t re-stocked my frozen Greek yogurt stash, but I definitely should. They are way too good.

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Remember how Grace and Will did most of the cooking over Memorial Day Weekend? I’m still thinking about their amazing food and how well they took care of us all. They left this hot chili paste in our fridge, which we are happily putting to good use. I am not sure what is in this hot stuff but it goes well with every meal and adds just the right amount of spicy kick to each bite.

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How much does gas cost where you live? I remember when we first moved to Texas back in 2006, it was back when gas prices were climbing to ridiculous heights, and we felt fortunate to live in a place where gas was still reasonable. I tell ya, that low cost of living in the south cannot be beat. Connecticut is a rather expensive place to live, which is sometimes a bummer, but the amazing summers and beautiful scenery go a long way to make up for that. πŸ™‚

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A lot of laundry has been done around here in preparation for our little guy’s arrival. I washed all of his onesies, muslin cloths, towels, swaddles, hats, etc. All that teeny tiny baby stuff is just so cute, I can’t get over it! When I see some of the itty bity newborn clothes, it blows my mind just how little it is. Although who knows, if our kiddo is even as remotely big as Joel was when he was a baby (almost 11 pounds!), our little guy might not fit into the newborn size for very long hah.

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Fun fact: it takes 10x longer to fold and put away a load of baby laundry compared to a load of adult laundry. Is it just me? Maybe I was getting distracted by the cuteness, or maybe I just need to work on my techniques for folding tiny clothing. πŸ™‚

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Sourdough pretzels came to the rescue the other night when Joel and I had a hankering for a salty snack. These things are so good. They are super duper crunchy, which means that sometimes when you bite through them, crumbs go everywhere. My favorite trick is to break them into smaller bitesize pieces when they are still in the box/bag so that the crumbs spill into the bag and not all over me. πŸ™‚

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Kristi left a few of these pre-packaged snacks in our fridge. She got them during their road trip up to Connecticut from North Carolina. I had never tried these snacks before but I am officially a fan. Each package contains 180 calories of cheese, almonds, cranberries, and sunflower seeds. I wouldn’t mind re-creating this snack many more times πŸ™‚

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This is our trusty wifi extender –> without it, the wifi signal in our bedroom is pretty weak. Having this extender makes connecting to wifi a much nicer experience at home. We have had it for over a year and it has not let us down. There was one time we had to re-set it because we got a new modem, but Joel was able to take care of that in 15 minutes flat. Not bad at all. Works like a charm!

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Kristi’s aunt and uncle who live in Connecticut gave us a big tupperware full of the most incredible pulled pork I have ever had in my life. Pulled pork isn’t something I normally gravitate to, but this might change my mind forever. I need to ask Kristi’s aunt what recipe she used so that I can make this magic happen in my kitchen on a regular basis. Yum.

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What do you think of these Kind bars? I accidentally grabbed this flavor (I thought I was grabbing the sea salt one). I prefer the classic bars to these wider/flatter ones, and when I first realized I had bought the wrong flavor, I was a little disappointed. However, these turned out to be pretty good. I keep a couple in my bag in case the hunger pangs strike, and I like that they are travel-friendly. There’s nothing worse than a melty or goopy bar in your bag on a hot day hah.

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We are approaching the time of year when Joel and I like to make lobster a part of our lives! Last year we did a backyard BBQ and lobster bake with friends and family. It was a lot of fun and we’re excited to make it an annual tradition. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again this year, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see how things go once the baby comes.

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It’s been more than a week since the baby shower and I am still thinking about Colleen’s chocolate ganache cake. I would not object if I had a big piece of this in front of me right now. It was so so so good. I am so impressed by my talented friends!

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What’s your favorite type of snack to have in the evenings? Is it just me or does it take way longer to fold baby clothes compared to adult clothes? Have you ever been to a lobster bake?Β 

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Girlfriends + what is this leaf?

Hi friends!

Welcome to Friday! Even though this has been a short week, it feels pretty great to have another weekend upon us.

My friend Lydia taught me a new way of cutting watermelon that takes about 60 seconds to slice up the entire thing. If she posted a video I’m sure it would go viral! Who wouldn’t want to learn a hack for cutting watermelon? Maybe that is just my pregnancy craving talking πŸ™‚

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When my friends were here, us gals got to go out for breakfast one morning. It was nice being able to leave the kids at home with the guys so that we could enjoy some girl-time. It’s been 16 YEARS since the 7 of us were ALL together — we have reunions every year but there always seems to be 1 or 2 people missing each time… until now! πŸ˜€ I wish from the bottom of my heart that we all lived in the same city. We had the best time at breakfast! Not only was the company top notch, the food was also pretty amazing too –> I got the “loaded waffle” with strawberries, blueberries, and banana, which I ended up splitting with Lydia (she gave me half of her veggie omelet). Quite the perfect breakfast!

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I am still drooling over these incredible cupcakes that Colleen made. She is an undeniable prodigy in the kitchen and bakes professional-level creations. Remember when she baked Jack’s cake for his 1 year birthday party? Read more about it HERE! Check out Colleen’s instagram here:Β @tuzos_portions! She also baked a pretty fantastic chocolate ganache cake (can you spot it behind the cupcakes?) which stole my heart ❀

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Grace and Will did the majority of the cooking for our group over the week/weekend and they ABSOLUTELY NAILED IT! Grace planned out all the meals and took very good care of all of us (20+ people!). We were all very much impressed by their culinary expertise. I need to be better about meal-planning – she should teach me her ways! This is just one of the dinners they prepared: Korean bulgogi, breaded chicken, steamed rice, a Korean version of gnocci, and a salad topped with raisins… yummm…

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These girls are some of my favorite people on earth. It’s hard to believe we have known each other since we were little kids. We all went to the same boarding school (I talk about the school in THIS post). I can’t wait for our little boy to be BFF’s with all of their kids πŸ™‚

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My youngest sister Kabi (she is the sister that lives in Australia) sent gifts for our baby shower but somehow they did not get opened until a few days after the shower :/ But boy am I excited about this super cool baby carrier and whale nightlightΒ — whales are so cute. I can’t decide which is cuter for baby stuff, whales or elephants. I love them both πŸ™‚

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I left the balloons from the shower up around our house to remind me of all the awesome memories. I love the colors Kristi chose for the shower! She picked mint green (or is it pastel green?), yellow, and white. I thought all the decorations were super cute and it all came together so nicely! These balloons looked nice and peppy until about halfway through the week when they started looking a bit sad and deflated. It’s a good thing the memories are forever! πŸ™‚

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By Friday there was just one balloon left standing. When Kristi and Rachel bought the balloons, the person at the store told them that these particular balloons (or maybe the helium?) would only last 4-6 hours unless they upgraded to the fancier and more expensive balloons/helium. I’m glad they didn’t upgrade because these balloons were absolutely PERFECT for at least 3 days and didn’t start looking deflated until the 4th day. πŸ™‚

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Joel has been working on prepping our garden for some new plants. He has re-structured the garden and is adding terraced rows (hence the rocks). We are a tad late on the gardening this year due to a lot of out-of-town travel and then dealing with the tornado fallout. But we’ve still got high hopes of getting some yummy veggies from our garden!

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For smallgroup last night we had planned to sit on the patio around a fire, roast smores, and have a worship night. But due to the rain we took things indoors. The discussion was refreshing per usual – I tell ya, there’s nothing like a good conversation with awesome people. After everyone left for the night, dinner involved a small cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, and relish. It was getting late and I needed some protein, and this little guy came to the rescue.

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…followed by dessert of a cupcake left over from the shower. I have a bunch of these lil beauties in my freezer just chilling (no pun intended hah) and waiting to be enjoyed over the coming weeks.

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The watermelon love is still going strong around here. My mornings are 250% better when chilled watermelon is involved. It’s funny how my cravings have evolved over the course of this pregnancy. Remember when I was ALL ABOUT cantaloupe? Then green grapes? I went from being obsessed to kinda apathetic about cantaloupes and grapes. They don’t sound amazing and they don’t sound terrible – I’m just kinda “meh” about them hah. But w.a.t.e.r.m.e.l.o.n… yes please!!!

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What kind of leaf is this? We were sitting on the patio googling leaves to figure out what kind of trees were in the woods behind our house. I think this is an elm leaf. What do you think?

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Joel found this pair of earphones in our dryer — they must have been put through the washer and dryer when my galpals did a load of laundry. You would not believe how well they cleaned my house before they left — they even washed all their sheets and towels! These headphones appear to be the only casualty — turns out they belong to Colleen. Even sadder, they are the second pair of earphones she has left at our house. Sorry Colleen! :/

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Ever accidentally put electronics in the laundry? What’s your favorite cupcake + icing combo? Got any watermelon-cutting hacks to share?Β 

A very exciting purchase + this place does not disappoint!

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Hi friends!

We’ve had a toasty couple of days here in the northeast! Temps have been in the 80’s and 90’s, with a good bit of humidity. This Kenyan/Singaporean girl who spent 8 years Texas always welcomes summer temps! I’ve been pretty happy with this long-awaited turn of events. πŸ™‚

When the inside of the house got up to 80 degrees (phew!), we knew it was time to get those air conditioning units up and running. Feels great to actuallyΒ need AC for the first time this year! I know this is probably a short-lived heat wave (temps are going back down to the 60’s next week) but we’re enjoying it while it lasts.

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Lunch involved Chipotle leftovers –> It was undeniably yummy, but ya know, I wouldn’t have complained if someone added a big dollop of guacamole right on top. You guys know I am a mega guac fan and firmly believe that guac makes everything better πŸ™‚

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It was my turn to do snacks for smallgroup last night, so I decided to grab a few muffins from our freezer. These muffins are one of the multiple outcomes of my baking streak a while back. I love that freezer foods make life so much easier. I melted some nutella and a bit of peanut butter mixed in for the icing because I didn’t feel like going to the store to get icing. Nutella has a special place in my heart –> during marathon training I used to eat a piece of bread with nutella as my post-run snack. I suppose nutella is universally delicious because everyone seemed to enjoy the muffins. πŸ™‚

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After our smallgroup pals left, I indulged in some Indian food leftovers. It was a very late dinner (11pm ish) but also a very tasty one. πŸ™‚ The perfect meal to go along with watching episodes of The Letdown on Netflix. If you haven’t already seen this show, you really must! There is only one season but I really hope they come out with a second season. πŸ™‚

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Look what arrived in the mail –> my supremely cool diaper bag! My friend Kristi who is also pregnant is getting the exact same diaper bag, and I am excited to sport our matching bellies and bags (she’s coming to visit in just a couple weeks!). The bag is made from vegan leather, feels like awesome quality, has plenty of super useful pockets, comes with a changing pad, and has lots and lots of space for all the bits and bobs that moms need to cart around.

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Since it looks like a regular backpack rather than an obvious diaper bag, I have already started using it to carry around my stuff. πŸ™‚ I can see myself using this for years to come, even when I don’t need the actual diaper function hah. I had added this diaper bag to my registry but wasn’t planning to buy it for myself. However, when the price dropped by 30% I had to seize the opportunity to get it. πŸ™‚ It also comes in a light caramel color and black, but the one that is for sale is the Dusty Rose color which I got (find it HERE)!!

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There’s nothing like a meal with a friend to brighten your day right up! Natasha and I met up at the State Street Cafe – one of our favorite spots due to their inexpensive (and extensive) menu. This place does not disappoint.

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We both ordered the Greek Gyro. Natasha got hers with a side of coleslaw –> are you a coleslaw fan? To be frank, I have never understood the appeal, but perhaps I should have more of an open mind?

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My gyro looked a little weird without lettuce –> I had them hold the lettuce on account of the recent romaine lettuce recalls. They used iceberg rather than romaine, but I really did not feel like going near any kind of lettuce at the moment. Even without lettuce, the gyro was tasty! Half of this bad boy came home with me for leftovers.

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Natasha and I split a dessert of lava cake with berries. We got it in a to go container since we didn’t think we’d be able to finish the whole thing (spoiler: we did). This dessert gets an A+ in my book. Who was the first person ever to combine chocolate and berries? That person should 100% receive an award for discovering the very best food combination.

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Natasha gifted me this Vitamin C moisturizer. She’s the sweetest! She swears by it and says she started seeing a huge difference in her skin when she started using it. Check it out HERE! Speaking of Vitamin C, the Andalou Naturals SPF 30 that I use daily on my face also contains Vitamin C and I absolutely lluurrve it. It works well by itself or under makeup, doesn’t break me out (I have the most sensitive skin on the planet), and has a high rating on the EWG website so I know the ingredients are top notch. You can find it HERE! πŸ™‚

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My pregnancy craving seems to have said goodbye to grapes and hello to WATERMELON. It’s a good thing we are approaching watermelon season because I am foreseeing piles of this stuff for breakfast on a daily basis. Joel cut one up for me last week and it was gone in 3 days. Preggo cravings are real.

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I stopped in at the store on my way home to pick up 2 of these beauties. As I was loading up my cart, I had the thought that my tum might be getting close to the size of a watermelon hah!

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I cut one right up as soon as I got home. Truth be told, it was not the most perfectly ripe (apparently I am not the best at picking out watermelon), but ya know, it was still pretty darn delicious. It filled up several of these pyrex dishes which I promptly stuck in the fridge. I’m excited for some chilled watermelon first thing tomorrow morning!

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We received this free Welcome Box from Amazon for setting up our baby registry with them. Look at all these awesome goodies πŸ™‚ I am pretty thrilled about it all and know that we will put everything to good use.

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Got any tips on how to pick out the perfect watermelon? Do you use SPF on your face/body every day? Are you a fan of guacamole too?Β  Β  Β 

*This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.

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Hello from Indy!

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Hi friends!

Hello from Indiana! We are here for a few days, but before we discuss Indy, let’s first back up to the past couple days πŸ™‚

These little balls of goodness are still making my day over here. A friend suggested putting grapes into the freezer, so that may have to be added to the to-do list –> have you tried frozen grapes? I’m not sure what to expect but I am certainly intrigued!

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Joel’s very big bowl of Sopa de Mariscos (shrimp, scallops, and tuna in a spicy broth with cilantro and onion). I’m not the biggest fan of shrimp or scallops… shrimp is one of those things I’ll eat if that’s the only thing available, but it’s not my primary go-to –> so I passed on the soup, but he very much enjoyed it.

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One of our friends works at Deep River, and he once brought over a ton of chips to a party –> that is how we first got introduced to these chips, and we can confirm: they are pretty great! Joel’s favorite flavor is jalapeno. I picked up a bag for him at our local deli.

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Anyone else an enormous fan of clementines? They are so so good, and I love that they are so easy to peel. It’s impossible to stop after having just one πŸ™‚ I feel like I regularly eat 3 or 4 at a time. Fun fact: I used to think clementines and tangerines were the same thing. They are not. Clementines > tangerines.

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Before leaving for Indiana, we had a couple meals comprising leftovers in efforts to use up random foods in our fridge. It sure feels great to not to waste or throw out perfectly good food.

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Bacon may not seem like a traditional taco ingredient, but you guys know that doesn’t stop Joel. He is quite the experimenter when it comes culinary combinations.

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Another meal aimed at using up leftovers: rice, scrambled egg, cheddar cheese, and grilled chicken, cooked in coconut oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. It turned out to be one of those “beige” meals that tasted far better than it looks πŸ™‚

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There’s nothing like getting into a pair of compression socks at 3am in preparation for a flight. My compression socks served me well during marathon training, but have since been sitting unloved in my dresser. It’s nice to put them to good use once again. I’m happy to report that this preggo gal did not have any lower-extremity swelling from the flight!

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Joel got me a pre-board pass so that I could be sure to secure an isle seat on the plane. This made it easier on me when I inevitably had to get up to use the bathroom, and it was also super handy for taking a quick walk when the ol’ legs felt restless. Side note: who knew restless leg syndrome was a pregnancy thing? I don’t get it often but when it strikes, it is not fun. I suppose I should thank my lucky stars that I haven’t had any of the dreaded leg-cramping at night –> my sister had those during her pregnancy, and she said they are the worst!

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We touched down in Indianapolis after a smooth trip. I suppose we should enjoy traveling just the two of us since those days are surely numbered! πŸ™‚ We decided that instead of doing one big babymoon, we’d do multiple smaller trips. So far we’ve hit NYC and Indy, and we have plans to head to DC, PA, and possibly Montreal too!

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Joel is an expert traveler and got us into our rental car in no time. Did I ever tell you guys about the time I was in North Carolina for work, and the rental car company ran out of regular cars so I got upgraded for free to a cherry red mustang? That was quite the fun ride πŸ™‚

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If I wasn’t currently pregnant I probably would have indulged in a glass of wine at the hotel.

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Instead, I stuck with the ice cold lemon/lime infused water. I can’t think of anything more refreshing after getting off a plane!

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This gorgeous fiddle leaf fig in the hotel lobby puts mine to shame. It is so full and glorious. I sure wish mine would plump up too, but I’m pretty sure the air at home is too cold and dry during the winter for that. I’m just glad my fiddle hasn’t called it quits yet! πŸ™‚

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A late lunch happened at Bru Burger. This is a spot that came highly recommended by a couple friends, and boy were they right πŸ™‚

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We were not disappointed! Joel’s lunch consisted of the classic Bru Burger, which came with taleggio cheese, bacon, tomato jam, caramelized onions, spring mix (he substituted this instead of chopped lettuce) and mayo. Now that’s a pretty goodlookin burger.

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After lunch we went for a nice walk to enjoy the lovely sunshine and explore some of the local sights. We came across a cool little ice cream parlor that makes the ice cream (and whatever mix-in’s you choose) right in front of you using nitrogen. I don’t know how his hands aren’t frozen!

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We split some coffee flavored ice cream –> it surely had quite the smooth and silky texture, yum! I wouldn’t mind going back for other flavor combinations the next time we are in Indy. This ice cream fueled out afternoon walking perfectly.

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Joel took some time in the evening to catch up on work and prepare for a big meeting while I got all caught up on emails.

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He felt like Japanese food for dinner so we looked up a few spots. We drove past one place, but their menu mostly included ramen (which we do love, but Joel was specifically in the mood for sushi), so we instead headed over to Naked Tchopstix.

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I briefly thought about ordering a cooked roll, but decided I was not all that hungry (the burger from lunch kept me full for the longest time!), so I stuck with a seaweed salad. It was exactly what I was hoping for, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. Joel’s choice of a “Sushi Set” was undeniably stellar –> it came with a spicy salmon roll, and one of each nagiri piece: crab, yellow tail, tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, egg, and red snapper. Yup, I cannot wait for my first post-baby spicy salmon roll!

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What are your recommendations for places to check out in Indianapolis? Have you ever had frozen grapes? What do you have going on in your week so far?Β  Β  Β  Β  Β 

*This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.

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A long overdue lobster roll!

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Hi friends!

Welcome to another Monday! I heard a rumor that it’s going to SNOW again tomorrow… I can’t say I’m over the moon about that. But you know what? It is supposed to be in the 70’s by the weekend, and THAT is some pretty welcome news πŸ™‚

My belly band arrived over the weekend, woohoo! I figured it would be good to have around for when we do hikes, longer walks, or just working out in general.Β I tried it on –> it took me a minute to get strapped in right (probably should have read the directions first haha) but once it’s on, it really does take that belly-pressure off the ol’ hips and back (find it HERE).

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Grilled chicken, broccoli, and pasta for the win! Grilled anything sounds good right now, mostly because grilling reminds me of summer. πŸ™‚

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My on-and-off relationship with beauty blenders is back on again. I love these things, they are quite the game-changer πŸ™‚

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Another oldie but goodie that I recently re-discovered: Crystal Light Lemonade! It tastes so darn refreshing, and is a nice change from plain water.

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A very pretty sunset happened while we were out running errands. I must say though, for the record, the very best sunsets in the world can be seen from the Rift Valley in Kenya. This is a fact. πŸ™‚

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I got a new bronzer from Ulta because I am out of my other one (Nars Laguna) and do not feel like dropping $40 for another one. (side note: why is makeup so expensive?). Anyway, I’ve heard good things about this Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. The first time I opened it, I caught a strong whiff of pina colada, which isn’t unpleasant but definitely got me by surprise. The scent has since grown on me –> I’ve used it a couple times and so far I’m into it (find it HERE). I added the mascara to my cart because I needed a new one and figured I’d take advantage of Ulta’s buy 1 get 1 50% off deal. So far so good! (mascara is HERE)

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While out running errands, I spotted this Fanta and was instantly reminded of the sugary orange juice I had to drink before my blood test on Friday. Spoiler: I passed the blood test! No gestational diabetes for me (phew!).

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Also spotted while out and about: this Eva NYC hair mask. I was gifted a tub of this stuff years ago in Houston and loved it! It has the most incredible scent. I used it when my hair was chemically straightened (thermal reconditioning). The straightening process was pretty harsh, which meant my locks were in need of extra moisture –> this mask helped to bring some of that hydration back. It’s good stuff.

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I feel like not a week goes by that Joel doesn’t go to Home Depot for something or other. This time we stopped by to pick up some bar oil for his chain-saw. He’s been putting it to good use on the trees that were felled by a nor’easter a couple months back. We will definitely have plenty of firewood for years to come.

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Date night attire – pregnancy edition. My regular t-shirts still fit over the belly –> I tie them at the hip so they don’t hang funny. I wore a long skirt that I’ve had for years (with leggings underneath because it was cold hah), plus an old cardigan and was good to go!

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For our date night, we went to SBC Restaurant and Beer Bar in Milford. We’ve been there once before and knew we were in for some good food and even better atmosphere. πŸ™‚

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I went with the lobster rolls and truffle fries… I haven’t had a lobster roll since last summer, and was definitely long overdue for another. I had one roll for dinner and brought the rest home for lunch the next day.

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Joel thought the carrot cake looked good for dessert so we split one. The taste was good but it was a lot more dense than I was expecting –> not my favorite cake texture, so I only had a bite. But Joel surely enjoyed it.

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We stopped in at Target to take a peek at their waffle irons. They had a couple options but we will probably end up ordering the one we want online. I’m excited to start a new waffle tradition in our household πŸ™‚

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Sunday brunch was at the State Street Cafe in North Haven. While we were there, Jamie let me use her hand lotion and I proceeded to fall head over heels in love with it –> I am 100% buying this so I can keep it with me at all times. It is super moisturizing, non-greasy, and has the most incredible chocolatey scent. Win-win-win.

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I don’t know how they get their French toast to be so perfectly FLUFFY –> do they whip the eggs? Add water to the eggs? Natasha’s theory is that they must cook it in butter. I need them to share their secrets so I can re-create this magic in my own kitchen.

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Joel went with a gyro and fries for his meal. This sparked a conversation about how to pronounce the word “gyro“. Joel and I both say “yee-roh”.

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Sunday afternoon meant a nice long walk for Joel and me. I bundled up (it was cold and windy!) and also wore my belly band. I can confirm that it is awesome. Being back on this trail reminds me of my years of marathon training. I have logged many a mile here. My longest run on this trail is 20 miles. It’s crazy to think about that kind of distance right now. I’m amazed at what the human body can do, and can’t wait to get back into a running routine again.

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On our walk, we came across some ponies, sheep, and chickens. The pony was super cute, but must not have been feeling very social that day, because it stayed in the corner and eyed us from a distance.

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When we got home, I rolled up my sleeves and got to baking! Butterscotch nutella muffins, as well as banana cream choc chip muffins. Extra batter (and there was quite a bit of it) was baked in bread pans, so we ended up with lots of muffins and breads. Our freezer is pizzacked.

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While all the baking was underway, Joel was outside man-handling piles of wooden logs, branches, twigs. What a guy.

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He was pretty excited about the muffins when he finally came inside. πŸ™‚

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What is the proper pronunciationΒ of the word “gyro”? Thoughts on how to make fluffy french toast? What do you have coming up this week?Β  Β  Β  Β Β 

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General goals + our sunny Saturday!

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Hi friends!

Welcome to the last week of January! Now that we’re almost one whole month into 2018, I would like to know: did you make any New Years resolutions, and if so, are you still sticking to your goal?

A couple years ago I made a resolution to run 2000 miles over the course of that year. Between my Garmin watch (I have the Forerunner 620 – HERE) and my training log, I have been tracking all my miles for years. I was well on my way to achieving that 2000 mile goal (I made it about 1500 miles)… then I got injured. Boo! 😦

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This year I didn’t make any specific resolutions. However, I do have some goals for life in general, one of which is to incorporate more fish into my meals. So far I’ve been sticking with this pretty well! I cook salmon about twice a week, and it has been a lovely addition to our meal rotation. πŸ™‚ Friday lunch involved salmon, black beans, brown rice, salsa, corn, bell pepper, onions, and tomato!

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Another life goal I have is to incorporate more strength training into my workouts. When I’m in marathon training, I normally do hip/glute strength exercises to support healthy running. These exercises include clam shells, single leg squats, and hip hikes, among others. When deep in training, I also faithfully stretch and foam roll (this is the roller I have). It is weird but I find it easier to stick to a strength/stretch/roll routine when I’m consistently running higher volumes. It’s a LOT harder to keep up with all the “little things” when I’m not preparing for a specific race. But I know I really need to stay on top of it, regardless of where I am training-wise.

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Looks like my favorite balega socks (similar ones here) are going to be sporting an extra hole very soon. I got these 2 years ago on sale from RunningWarehouse.com <– my absolute favorite place to buy running stuff! (they have great deals and free 2 day shipping) These are some of my most frequently worn socks, especially during winter because they come up above my ankles. I wear them ALL the darn time, so it’s no wonder they are looking a little threadbare!

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Our Friday night consisted of sweet potato, pork, steamed broccoli, and a movie (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword). We made it through 45 minutes before calling it a night. The movie was “meh” — not my cup of tea, but Joel enjoyed it. We finished it later in the weekend.

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On Saturday my friend Priscilla and her family were supposed to come over for the day (she lives in Queens) but her 7 month old came down with a fever. Poor little guy! We rescheduled their visit for February and I’m looking forward to seeing them when Edgar is all better! It was about 45 degrees (nice and mild!) so Joel and I headed outside to enjoy the lovely day. It felt great to walk around outside in the sunshine!

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Afterward we grabbed lunch at the deli. There were a ton of university students inside the deli — I think most of the group consisted of the Quinnipiac lacrosse team. I ordered a cup of chili for my lunch, and Joel got clam chowder and a roast beef sandwich. Our food took quite a while to come out (probably because it was so crowded) and the very friendly manager apologized to us for keeping us waiting. We weren’t in a hurry so we didn’t mind at all. When our meal finally arrived, the manager told us it was on the house! We weren’t expecting that in the slightest but it was a nice turn of events. πŸ™‚

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Sunday morning involved an earlier-than-usual wakeup time (or maybe it justΒ felt earlier due to staying up late finishing the rest of the King Arthur movie) and church. We stuck around for a bit afterwards chatting with various friends. Speaking of, Joel and I were laughing about how as kids we were always super impatient when our parents would take forever chatting after church (let’s goooo) but now here we are doing the very same thing lol!

We headed over to a semi-recently discovered Indian restaurant, Zaika! They have a great lunch buffet and since we arrived before their lunch rush, it was fairly quiet. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves πŸ™‚ They had a different spread on offer this time around, including a lamb curry (amazing!) and a new dessert.

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The dessert this time was Golub Jamun πŸ™‚ This sweet little treat brings back some memories! Years ago in Texas my friend Anita introduced me to the huge variety of Indian desserts… we went to this incredible sweet shop in Houston that had probably a hundred different Indian treats. Joel and I went back a couple times to sample a few and were never disappointed. I wish I could remember the name of the exact shop, but all I recall is it is on Hillcroft Avenue. Nevertheless I can VERY MUCH appreciate the deliciousness that is Golub Jamun! πŸ™‚

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There’s nothing like a refreshing glass of water! Another one of my general goals is to drink more water every day, and so far I have been doing pretty well πŸ™‚

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Question: does it count if the water is consumed with hot chocolate? hah πŸ™‚Β  My Sunday afternoon consisted of a good chunk of time with my nose buried in my book. For some reason I felt a little chilled, but a mug of hot chocolate sorted that right out. I am halfway through my book (find it HERE) and very much enjoying it! There are so many interesting themes and the characters are so rich. Strangely, the main character (the narrating voice) is the least developed as of yet because the story has mostly revolved around the grandparents and parents. It’s been an interesting thus far, so no complaints from me. I have heard that the second half of the book is mostly about the very unique main character, so I am excited about that πŸ™‚

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Joel serenaded me with a couple songs — it’s a good life πŸ™‚ Before we started dating (about 15 years ago), my friend Priscilla taught me how to play the acoustic guitar. One day she and I were in the dorm lounge where she was teaching me new chords so that I could play a song. I remember Joel randomly walked in and chatted with us. We sorta had crushes on each other at that point πŸ™‚ He grabbed a guitar and effortlessly played the song I was trying to learn, making it look way too easy. Just one of the many things I thought was pretty cool about him. Ah memories πŸ™‚

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What book are you reading? Do you play any musical instruments? Your favorite Indian dessert?

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When the weather plays nice + girls day out + steak tacos and truffle fries!

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Hey guys!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend! Our weather decided to play nice and was in the 50’s all weekend long. πŸ™‚ Super pleased about that! Also, I am pretty thrilled that the days are starting to get longer again –> the sun now sets around 5pm instead of 4pm (yippee!).

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Let’s rewind to Friday…

Joel wanted to take advantage of the ice before it melted, so he headed out to the pond for some skating and ice hockey. He’s probably the only person in Connecticut who doesn’t want it to warm up — he sure does love ice hockey!

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Friday evening we popped out to New Haven to pick up Joel’s favorite granola cereal (find itΒ HERE). He’s been a major fan of this cereal for YEARS. He likes to eat it with almond milk in the mornings. Almond milk makes everything more delicious! This is the kind of almond milk we always get. πŸ™‚

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For dinner we made this lovely french rack of pork and ate it with veggies and sweet potato. We don’t often cook pork at home, but it was pretty awesome! Joel put hot sauce on his and said it was tasty. I ate mine plain this time around but next time there might have to be some hot sauce involved! There was plenty left over, so we froze it for later πŸ™‚

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Our Friday night consisted of the latest This is Us episode. I hope this show has a good long run, because I will not be ready to say goodbye to it anytime soon. While watching it, Joel also worked on his “heat shield” in preparation for a winter camping trip with Walter. Do you love winter camping? I like to camp when it’s not freezing, so winter camping is not my thing. Joel and Walter are really psyched to get out there and sleep on the cold ground though lol πŸ™‚

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Saturday morning involved a quick trip to the store to grab (…you guessed it) CANTALOUPE! πŸ™‚ You guys know I am still squarely in the midst of this melon obsession. I’m glad our grocery store always has a serious pile in stock. What are your tips for picking the perfect melon? What’s with the ones that have all the dimples and divots? Are they a go or no go? You’d think I’d be an expert at picking melons by now, but I mostly just wing it and hope for the best. πŸ™‚

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Saturday afternoon I headed over to Powder Ridge to hang out with a few girlfriends! It was my first time going to Powder Ridge and it was fun checking out a new spot!

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A couple of the girls (Ro and Diana) wanted to go snow-tubing, while the rest of us (Bernice, Amy, and I) planned to just chill and drink hot chocolate in the lodge.

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We were lucky enough to nab the couch right in front of this cozy fire! Side note, Joel and I have talked about one day upgrading the fireplace in our house to a gas fireplace. It would be AMAZING to have the convenience of a fire at the push of a button! Another upside to gas (versus wood) is no stale campfire smell lingering in the air for days. Sitting in front of this fire at the lodge reminded me how nice it will be once we get around to doing this in our house!

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We played a round of Dutch Blitz at the lodge. Bernice just learned how to play while she was in Jamaica, and she loves it! I’m always thrilled when others enjoy Dutch Blitz as much as I do!Β  Find it HERE! <– pro tip: get the expansion pack too if you want to play with more than 4 people πŸ™‚

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Turns out talking and playing cards works up quite the appetite! We grabbed lunch at the lodge restaurant –> “Fire at the Ridge“. I got the steak tacos from the starter menu, and they were INCREDIBLE! The steak was perfectly cooked. I loved that they came with flour tortillas (I’m not a fan of corn tortillas) –> and the guacamole was perfectly seasoned! The next time I am at Powder Ridge, I will definitely be ordering these exact tacos again.

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Ro got these ridiculously delicious Parmesan Truffle fries with her meal. She let me try a few and WOWIEE, I am a convert. I know I am late to the bandwagon but oh my goodness, they were unreal! How is it possible that I’ve never had Parm Truffle fries before? I am glad I listened to Ro. She knows what she’s talking about. These fries are EVERYTHING y’all.

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While at the lodge, we heard great things about Guida’s –> a diner style restaurant that just happened to be near the lodge. On the way home, we stopped in for some ice cream πŸ™‚

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Bernice decided on the mango flavor. Ro and I sampled some of it… I can now confirm that it is indeed true: Guida’s has GREAT ice cream, folks! Next time, I will be trying their peppermint flavor πŸ™‚

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The rest of Saturday night was spent hanging out with the girls at home. We veg’d on the couch, watched a movie (Confessions of a Shopaholic), and ordered Thai delivery for a late-night dinner. I got the mango curry with tofu and it did not disappoint! πŸ™‚ I haven’t had tofu in a minute so it was a nice re-introduction to it. I also really appreciated all the veggies that were in the curry (carrots, cucumber, pineapple, onion)!

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Sunday morning involved Church at a new-to-me location. Bernice goes to the same church as us, and we decided to try out one of the church’s other locations (there are 5 across Connecticut). She has been to this location before and liked it (I did too!). She picked me up and we carpooled so that we wouldn’t have to find parking for more than one vehicle.

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After church we stopped in at the local library so that I could sign up for a card. We have lived in Connecticut for 4 years and I finally feel like an official resident now that I have my own library card. πŸ™‚ Joel got his years ago so I guess I am the only one behind on life. I am excited to take advantage of all the cool stuff our library has to offer!

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The first order of business was to find and check out our next book club read: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides! (find it HERE) Bernice checked it out too — I am happy to report that I have convinced her to join our book club. πŸ™‚

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By the time Bernice dropped me off home it was late and I was super hungry! Luckily, Ethiopian leftovers came to the rescue! I will never tire of this cuisine πŸ™‚

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Sunday concluded with hot chocolate, a cozy blanket, and the first couple chapters of Middlesex. So far so good! πŸ™‚

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Do you like winter camping? What about snow tubing or Dutch Blitz? What are your thoughts on ParmesanΒ truffle fries? Got any book recommendations for my wish list?Β 

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