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Archive for October, 2011

Lazy day, Leftovers, Halloween…

I NEEDED a lazy day…

And, I’m not talking about one of my usual ‘lazy days’ where I run errands, clean the house and sit for a few minutes in front of the tv.

Nope.

Sunday was a stay-in-pjs-and-watch-tv-all-afternoon-and-evening day.

I stitched, I watched, I ate, I drank (tea), I slept.

And, that’s about it.

I was also a bit sad- it’s always hard to see the Mer’s World Mama (and friends!) leave.  It reminds me of the great distance between Boston and MD!

Eats are really simple:

Breakfast: Same as Friday

Lunch: Thursday Dinner leftovers

Dinner: Friday Dinner Leftovers

I also nibbled on some kettle corn and some Halloween candy- we had to open the bag today, in case we got any early tricker-treaters tonight :-D

I sat in front of this for several hours:

And, I worked on this… until I finished it!

Woohoo…

I think it will be great framed for my office!

My new mantra!

Well, with that quick update, I’m going to take full advantage of my lazy day and good night’s sleep to hop on the treadmill early this AM.

Treadmill: 30 minutes, 3.5mph, 2.5 incline

I’m also going to make some time to hit the gym today.  Just a quick lift, since I know I have a packed week ahead and lots of travel in the next few weeks!

Gym (30 min):

Elliptical: 10 minute warm-up

2 sets, 15 reps each:

Leg Press, Leg Extension, Chest Pulldown, Lat Flys, Rows

Then it’s home to hand out candy!  I love Halloween!

Do you have lots of tricker treaters?  What do you think is the best and worst candy to hand out?

I love getting the chocolate assortments and letting kids pick… I always hated those peanutty ones with the black and orange wrappers- what are they called?  Ack, gross.

And, yes, we are those people that take full advantage of the three-legged greyhound to make her a peg-leg pirate!

And, on that note,

Happy Halloween!

Red Velvet, Pumpkin Madness, Red Velvet

Well, the title pretty much sums up the day, need I say more?

We started off with a great, lazy morning!  I have to admit that a few days off, has shown me exactly how worn out I am~  I’m exhausted!  I think my mom sensed that and gave me a lazy morning around the house..

So, I took that chance to try out a new recipe that I found through reading one of my favorite blogs!

Baked Red Velvet Donuts

And, they were pretty amazing.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I’m pretty sure that most donuts you buy are fried, so this was an experiment.

I thought they were great!  They were a little ‘cakier’ then I had anticipated- somewhere between a cupcake and donut.  The flavor held up great and the icing is the perfect hint of sweet for the top.

I used a mini donut pan instead of the regular sized and would recommend greasing the pan- the second batch was better than the first ;-)

Here’s the success:

Don’t they look good?  I promptly ate those two after the photo shoot!  I bought a mini donut pan a year or so ago from Amazon and had never used it- it will get a lot more use in the future!

After breakfast, we headed out for more errands.  One of our big plans for the day was to head to the MIT Glass Lab to watch them make the pumpkins for the pumpkin patch.  They were gracious enough to let me take pictures!

The first thing that surprised me about the space was how small it is- the 6 people working each shift are like dancing a ballet while carrying flaming hot sticks of dripping glass.  It was amazing to watch them work in sync (or N’sync as I just typed…)

They dipped those flaming sticks into the vat of liquid glass and then brought them over to the table right in front of us to dip them in oxidized glass chips of all different colors.  The professionals called them ‘sprinkles’ and would dip them into various combinations and them roll them into the hot glass to distribute the colors…

Then they would re-heat the glass, set it unto a mold for the ridges of the pumpkin and blow it into the desired shape and size.

After the pumpkin shape was established, they would attach a blob of glass for the stem, stretch it out and wrap it around a copper rod.

AMAZING!!

Then they break the pumpkin from the rod with a simple tap, heat the bottom where they were connected and smooth with a spoon (say that 3 times fast!).

Then the pumpkins go into a 12 hour ‘pumpkin party’ to slowly cool to room temperature…

What a great experience and thank you to the MIT Glass Lab for hosting us for a special tour!

After the tour, we headed to Cambridge Common for some food!  We were starving…

We started off with Beer Punch (lemonade, vodka, beer- don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!).

Then a spicy spinach and artichoke dip- took the picture to show you how good it was ;-)

taco salad with grilled chicken, avocado, black beans, sour cream, cheddar cheese and LOTS of greens!

Mom got the ultimate comfort food, macaroni and cheese, so I totally snagged a few bites.

Both dishes were terrific.

And, I had a total moment of weakness (and totally forgot about my breakfast!) and had a huge piece of red velvet cake for dessert.  Here’s the picture, but after the first bite, I sent it back and asked for it without that horrible  raspberry sauce.

And, on that sweet note, I’m off to have a relaxing Sunday.

I’ve now got 3 needlepoint projects in different states of ‘starts’ and I’m hoping to finish at least one today!

Maybe I will also focus on some healthy eating today, since yesterday I seemed to veer a bit off course!

Hope you have a great Sunday and stay tuned for a special guest post sometime this week!

Shopping, Shopping, Eating, Shopping


Yesterday was a great day!

Although I will admit to be a bit tired today!  Probably all the activity combined with a 40 bloodsugar in the middle of the night, that I’m having a hard time shaking even now!

Argh.

Anyway, yesterday.  We started the day by playing in our homegrown pumpkin patch…

I loved finding Lynn playing in the ‘pumpkin patch’!  We are headed to MIT’s glass blowing studio today to find out/watch how they make them…

Breakfast! Half a bagel with cream cheese, two eggs (sunny side up completely fried, Brian!), 3 strips turkey bacon… I added the bagel because I knew I would need the energy for shopping!

And, did I mention, this is not regular low-fat cream cheese, this is we-have-guests-time-to-splurge cream cheese.  Hazlenut from Panera Bread.  Amazing

Since it took so long for us to get ready we left at 11:30, I also grabbed some pretzel chips and tea for the road!

We headed to a great needlepoint shop in Wellesley (I’d heard some not so nice things about the shop, but they proved all the expectations wrong!).  Love supporting your local needlepoint/craft/book stores!

I felt a bit like I was cheating - first with my stylist, now on Needle Nicely, but it’s fun to shop at different stores- they all bring a unique perspective to the art.

There were also a few cute shops along the way that we HAD to stop into… MOM!

From there, we headed to C Bar, the test kitchen of Legal Seafoods in Legacy Place.

As the link indicates, they had the Best of Boston clam chowder in 2010 and 2011..

Yep, I’d agree!

I tried to be good (knowing we were having a party later..)

Damage:

Pumpkin Beer x2

Cup, Best of Boston Clam Chowder

Field Greens with Grilled Squid

Nibbles of: Pumpkin ravioli (AMAZING!), onion straws, oysters

Oh, did I mention the beans?  Amazing- I don’t know if they were fried, I’m guessing they were, but they were awesome!

After lunch, we hit up the usual stores:

Williams- Sonoma (lots of hand lotion,candle and gadget purchasing, espresso sampling…)

Lunette Optical (3 pairs of glasses later..)

Yankee Candle (oh yeah, who remembered the coupons!  6 FREE candles later..)

Whole Foods (does this really need an explanation?!)

While Mom and Rose took glasses shopping very seriously…

Lynn and I were impatient  patient and decided to have a little more fun…

Hmm.. And, that seems to be where the photos end for the day!

HA!  I was tired when I got home and I also enjoyed just relaxing with friends and family.

Here is a run down of the dinner party menu (and I can assure you that I ate ALL of it!):

Crock-pot Lemon Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Parmesean Quinoa (and brown rice for the less adventurous ;-) )

Chopped Salad with iceburg, tomato, onion, blue cheese, vinegrette

Asiago Cheese bread from Whole Foods (to sop up that yummy lemon white wine sauce!)

I think I’m forgetting something… oh yeah, WINE! :-)

We tried our first bottle of the Hanna Crazy Dog Vineyard Chardonnay- it was surprisingly good for a first attempt at wine making and bottling.. sounds like CHRISTMAS PRESENTS to me!

Meghan and Chris joined us for dinner (Hi, Meghan, one of my most faithful readers!) and they brought these yummy, gooey Pudding Chocolate Chip cookies.  She pointed me in the direction of the recipe, and I think I’m going to have to bake some to see if they really get the Mer’s World seal of approval…

I’m thinking it might take more than one batch.. maybe a few tweaks to the recipe and I’ll have to bake another and another and another… they were SO good!

We finished off the evening working on stitching projects!  Finally got Meghan roped in to my obsession hobby.

It was a wonderful day and evening!  I’m so happy to be able to spend time with friends and family this weekend! I was in need of re-charging my batteries and this seemed like the perfect recipe for unwinding..

Today we are off to MIT to glass pumpkinland, lots of good eats, probably more shopping.. oh, and a foot of snow.

Have a great day~

Friends, Family and SNOW!

Wow, Boston!

Really?

Snow in October?

At least it started after the Mer’s World Mama and Friends arrived!

Yesterday was a great day!  I got my paws done- they are sparkly with Ambiance and Extravagance (hopefully they will last through the wedding next weekend!).

Then, I got a haircut!  And, true confession, I cheated on my usual stylist.  I got a little ‘tude the last time I called, so I decided to check out a place a little closer to home!

What do you think?  Did they do a good job?  Also, have you ever ‘cheated’ on your regular stylist?

After my appointment, I headed to Whole Foods to pick up some last minute items!

A few last minute items for $80…argh.

Anyway, piled a box with hot bar items for lunch.  Lots of tofu, edamame, and lots of veggies!

I wasn’t sure what to serve for dinner after a long ride in the car, so I went with simple..

Broccoli and Cheese soup and make-your-own sandwiches

We got a rotisserie chicken, roast beef, corned beef and pepperoni (Brian was in charge of the ‘meats’)

I made mine with a little pesto, chicken, red onion and cheddar on a piece of asiago cheese bread…

Of course, there was red wine!

Dessert was an apple crisp.

I chopped up all my apples, added cinnamin and some agave nectar…

Topped with oatmeal, brown sugar and a little cultured butter…

Just to be decadent, I also mixed in some of the spiced pecans and almonds in the topping and the apples…

We served it piping hot with a dollap of pumpkin cream cheese spread that I made earlier..

Yummy!

Then, the real excitement started!  SNOW!

Check out these photos!  A few inches in October…

Meanwhile, there was a fight for space by the fire inside…

And, this morning, more snow!

We are off on some great adventures today!

Whole Foods, Costco, Yankee Candle, Williams Sonoma, Needlepoint shop

And, dinner with Meghan and Chris!  Whoohoo!

I think it’s time for another pot cup of coffee, prep the crock pot meal for tonight and off we go!

Have a great Friday!  I’ll be back next week with the Fit Friday Fave!

Thursday, Hissy Fits and Cleaning

Good Thursday morning!

Hope you got a good nights sleep!  I slept like a log and I needed it!

The Mer’s World Momma (and friends!) are arriving today, so I’ve been spending all my free time cleaning, tucking random things into random drawers/closets/baskets and encouraging the animals to stop shedding…

I had a crazy day at work, so the workout was quick!

20 minutes of walking @ lunchtime- quickly to avoid the raindrops!

60 minutes- cleaning, organizing, vacuuming, scrubbing

Yesterday, I didn’t take too many pictures.

Not because I didn’t want you to see what I was eating, or because I ate things that were totally wild and crazy…

More because I raced out of the house in an angry whirl of frustration over: clothes that don’t fit, pantyhose that run the MINUTE they are out of the pack, mascara that goes everywhere but your lashes and hair that flies every which way, but never curls under…

So, my food overview:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, turkey bacon, tomato and half an apple with coffee and tea ‘to-go’

Lunch: Leftover veggies/quinoa, Greek yogurt, almonds and apple

Dinner was a different story.  I calmed down considerably and put together an incredibly weird, but delicious dinner…

First, yesterday’s roasted potatoes, squash, broccoli and onions

Second, add 1/2c quinoa

Third, top with grilled chicken coated in Buffalo sauce

Add a little blue cheese and some crunchy celery, and call it a buffalo chicken bowl!

Oh, and served with a lovely red wine!

And I turned one of these into a dish of baked yumminess- with a little pumpkin pie spice, agave nectar and some oats sprinkled on top.

Brian ended the evening with a little cuddle!  How cute!

That’s yesterday’s recap!  I’m off for some ‘me’ time and to finish grocery shopping and some errands before the guests arrive!

Hope you have a great day!

Tip: Remember to take some time for yourself today!  Do something for you- doesn’t matter how big or small.  Even 3 minutes in the car with the radio blaring,

singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite song- counts!

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