CrossFit 2 St. takes on 14.5

On Saturday morning, I headed to CrossFit 2 St. in Pennsport (sister gym to CrossFit Manayunk) and cheered on some of our athletes that were taking on the last workout of the CrossFit Open, and believe me, 14.5 was a big dirty biotch. The workout was a combination of thrusters and burpee bar jump overs, and it was a burner! It was really amazing to see newer and experienced athletes attack the workout and completely push themselves to the limit. What I love most about our gyms is that no matter whether you've met the person next to you or not, you feel compelled to cheer them on and support them. See more photos from the workout (and post workout shindig) below. 


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

1. Getting to have a nice long phone call with one of my longest friends who lives back in New York. She and her husband are expecting their first baby in July and I just loved hearing about all the developments and surprises of being pregnant for the first time.

2. The first outdoor fire of the year! I headed over to a friends house last Saturday to watch some NCAA tournament games and I didn't end up watching basketball but I did end up playing a lot of drinking games and then passing our in her guest room. Plus, the stuffed mushrooms I brought over were a big hit!

3. Hungover Sunday mornings. I love sitting around with a group of people that are all feeling a bit hungover and reminiscing about the funny things that happened the night before. 

4. Hearing that the last workout of the CrossFit Open is actually something I'll be able to complete!

5. This ad which makes me chuckle every time.

6. The dud of a snow storm we had this week, I'm so happy it turned out to be nothing. I can't take another one, I really can't. *Your hear me Mother Nature?!? I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE*

7. A semi-formal dinner party with friends. I always had the idea of setting my dining table with place mats, wine glasses and candles and really having a nice sit-down dinner with people, but I've never really done it until last weekend. Plus, I made this Hawaiian Pork and it was so tasty.

8. Discovering a gourmet popcorn store near my work -- which is really a blessing and a curse. I'm going to try and bring my camera there next week to give you the inside scoop.

9. Busy work days. Although it has been a hectic week of events and lots of work to get done, I always prefer having a lot to do over having a little to do. Deadlines are a procrastinator's best friend!

10. HGTV - if there's nothing on television I can always count on HGTV to be there for me. Even though I have a tendency to yell at every couple on House Hunters... "It's just paint, you can paint over it! Why are you complaining about something you can easily change, you imbeciles!"


Lemony chicken and rice soup

This winter. This freaking winter! I wish it would go away already and never ever come back. I know everyone in the Northeast (and even the Mid-Atlantic) is feeling the same way right about now. Where the heck is spring and why wasn't it hear weeks ago? We've had a few teaser days, but I'm ready for hot, sticky, unadulterated humidity. Bring. It. On. 

In the meantime, I'll share with you the staple meal that I made all winter long to make me feel warm and cozy on even the blustery-ist of days. I really think this soup passes as a meal since it contains lots of veggies, rice and tons of chicken. Plus, since it's brightened up by the lemon I will probably continue to make this in the spring too. If it ever decides to show up. Full recipe and additional photos below. 


This is a generic brand video.

Have you seen this? It's brilliant. It's about everything and nothing at the same time. It could represent basically any Fortune 100 company's advertising methods. My colleague shared the original poem with me a while ago and loved it so much it's hanging on the bulletin board in my office as we speak. To me, it's a reminder that if you try to appeal to everyone, you connect with no one. 

"Lest you think we're a faceless entity, look at all these attractive people. Here's some of them talking and laughing. And close ups of hands passing cans to each other, in a setting that evokes community service."

But I will tell you this, I'd buy any product or service that used that baby in a bear costume in its advertising. I'm simple like that. 


Sausage, Bacon, and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

I'm always on the hunt for an easy appetizer to bring to parties or serve when I'm entertaining. Sometimes, I get in a rut and just make boat loads of bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Don't get me wrong, they're always a hit and quite yummy, but sometimes you just feel like making something new. I totally forgot about stuffed mushrooms... I used to make them a lot when I lived back in New York, and in high school I was obsessed with the stuffed mushrooms at Houlihan's. Does that place even exist anymore!? So I thought it was time to bring the stuffed mushroom back. I brought them over to a friend's house for a little NCAA basketball tournament watching party (surprise, surprise, I didn't watch any basketball, I was too busy playing drinking games.) But they were a hit and therefore will be included in the regular appetizer rotation -- you've been warned friends. Get the full recipe below.


Ten happy moments of the week

Photo by Bloomographie

1. A meal this week at Jose Enrique in Puerto Rico made it's way onto the top five meals of my life list. It was amazing!

2. This Honey Maid commercial made my week. I don't typically buy graham crackers, except for the occasional s'mores party, but I might just have to go and buy all the Honey Maids in the grocery store to show my support for more commercials like this!

3. American-style coffee. Don't get me wrong, I love Spanish coffee with its frothy steamed milk, but stopping off for a French vanilla coffee at DDs on my ride back from the airport was so yummy.

4. Lemon, chicken, and rice soup. I have been making this weekly to get through the frigid winter and I'm surprised I haven't gotten totally sick of it yet. Recipe coming soon.

5. Sleeping in my own bed. Our bedroom is a total sanctuary and it makes me feel calm and relaxed and my bed is the most comfortable place in the world. And believe it or not Puerto Rico is crazy loud compared to Philly, so I have definitely been sleeping better these past few nights.

6. Having tan lines again. It's so nice that my skin is no longer translucent. Hopefully, my sun-kissed skin sticks with me for a couple of months until I can get back on the beach. 

7. Spending some quality time with our iguana friend while on vacation. I really miss the little guy and Bry and I have been toying with the idea of getting a pet over the past few days. 

8. Feeling so mushy and lovey and blessed. I thought I would feel a little sad when I got back from vacation, and while I miss the beach, mostly I've been feeling lucky. I'm lucky that I married the wonderful man that I did, lucky that we have the means to travel to beautiful places, and lucky that we have families that love and support us and would do anything for us. 

9. Getting back to the gym. While the first workout was rough after a full week of indulgence, it felt good to get my body moving again. 

10. Starting to plan out the summer. I know it's a ways away still but it's nice to know we have our Cape May weekends booked, and my brother's high school graduation followed by a family trip to the lake for some boating action, and a few weddings. There's a lot of fun stuff coming up and I'm looking forward to it all! 


Puerto Rico, my heart's devotion

I'm so thrilled to have left beautiful views like this to come back to grey Philadelphia... NOT! Truthfully, it is good be back home again. As much as I love a good tropical vacation filled with lazy days on the beach, afternoon naps and eating dinner out every night, I missed my own bed and my regular routine. We couldn't have asked for a better vacation though. Bry's aunt and uncle were gracious hosts as always, our flights were on schedule both ways, and we had not one rain day. It sprinkled for about five minutes on our last beach day but it was a welcome break from the blazing Caribbean sun. The highlight of our trip was finding a new restaurant that we fell in love with (so much so, that we went back a second time later in the week.) See more photos from our trip and many meals below. 


Brunch fit for a king at The Good King Tavern

Boy, oh boy, do I have a great brunch spot for you to check out! The Good King Tavern opened right around the first of the year in the Bella Vista neighborhood, but this charming brasserie has only been serving brunch for about a month now. It's a total hidden gem and I'm sure that the Sunday brunch line will be around the block soon enough, but before it happens you should get over there and feast on their special brunch items, and even try out some of the regular menu items as well. 


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

1. Finding a great new brunch spot in Philadelphia. I'm going to do a write-up on it soon so I'm not giving it away just yet. 

2. This warmer weather just has everyone in a better mood. People just seem to be more friendly and chipper on the streets and that's always a good thing.

3. Getting some adorable new dresses and a romper for my vacation! I searched high and low for a cute romper last summer without any luck and when I wasn't even looking for one, I came across a cute one in TJ Maxx. Total maxxinista move. :) 

4. Last Sunday Bry and I took advantage of the warm weather and walked around the vintage shops near South St. I scored some cool vintage silverware that will be a great addition to my food photos.

5. I found a tasty new alcohol that I will definitely put to use in future cocktails. Check out this minty and chocolatey martini that I made using Chila 'Orchata. 

6. Vacation. sandy beaches. bikinis. And a bucket full of rum punch. 

7. I'm so grateful for BryGuy's amazing family. They are so good to us, from letting us crash before an early flight, to giving us rides to and from the airport and always being accommodating. I am really so blessed to have married into such a loving and giving family. 

8. Cuban sandwiches. I wait all year long to get this Cuban sandwich from the cheesiest beach bar in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. 

9. Shopping with my gal pal Ana! I usually hate shopping with other people because it stresses me out, but she was the perfect shopping buddy. We just went our separate ways in the store, met up in the dressing room to give second opinions, and checked out in record time! 

10. A clean kitchen. It just makes me so cheery when all of the counter tops are wiped down and clear of dirty dishes or other random crap. 


Review of BLT in Manayunk

I'm a burger snob. I'll be the first to admit it. I judge lots of restaurants on the quality of their ground beef, how well they can cook a medium rare burger, and the texture and density of their buns. Since it's a scientific process, I always load my burger up with the same toppings, cheddar cheese, bacon, sauteed onions, and pickles (if I have the option). That's it, it's my magical combination -- crunchy, sweet and salty. So when I saw that a new burger joint named BLT was replacing the former Agiato space on Main Street in Manayunk, I was over the moon. On a sunny Saturday I was passing through and thought, what the hay, lets give this burger a try!


Luck o' the Irish martini

Are you sick of throwing back Irish Car Bombs, pints of Guiness, or shots of Jameson on St. Patty's Day? Well I've got just the fancy cocktail that'll make your friends green with envy, and it's basically dessert too, so win-win! 

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Chila 'Orchata, and challenged to come up with a St. Patrick's day beverage featuring their delicious cinnamon cream rum. Immediately, I knew it had to be green, and since I'm a lover of any mint and chocolate combination, I decided a dessert martini was the way to go! Also, since you never know how the weather will be in mid-March, I whipped up an 'Orchata Hot Toddy too! 

Get the recipes for both cocktails below.


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

1. I attended my first networking event with local Philly bloggers this week and it was so much fun! Sometimes I don't do good in those settings where I'm forced to talk to strangers (it's always nice to have a friend as a crutch) but it really wasn't that painful. Remember this was one of my goals for the new year? Well it was such a good experience that I'm actually looking forward to the next blogger networking event! Free food and booze never hurts either.

2. Getting excited as I shop for new beachy attire for my vacation next week. Put my ass on the beach and an umbrella-drink in my hand por favor!

3. I made some delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies this week. When the sweet tooth strikes, it must be answered.

4. I really wanted to dislike Brooklyn Nine-Nine (mostly because BryGuy likes it so much) but the truth is that it's really funny and makes me laugh out loud. So there Bry, you win!

5. Speaking of the hubbers, I'm looking forward to meeting up with him for lunch today. We've both had a hectic week so it will be nice to sit down and have a yummy meal together for lunch.

6. My gym is cooler than yours. There are lots of positive vibes among athletes over the past few weeks and it just warms my heart.

7. Mid work day games of Celebrity with my awesome colleagues in the Art Department.

8. Candy Crush binging on my train rides this week! I really feel such a personal sense of accomplishment every time I beat a level. It's actually kind of pathetic that I'm including it in my ten happy moments. But ya'll know. I keeps it real.

9. Getting to bed early for the past couple of days has been magnificent.

10. I designed some pretty sweet business cards this week for this here blog. Shit is gettin' legit. I can't wait to share them with you when they arrive!


Vacation lust list

Vacation Wishlist

We are heading to Puerto Rico soon and I have a wish-list a mile long of things I'd like to buy for the warm weather. Do you do that too? Suddenly you literally have NOTHING to wear. I'm in that boat. 

I just purchased a few new wedge sandals, new Havaianas and a bathing suit last month but there are number of other things I'm on the lookout for in the next week: 

  • A beachy hat - how cool and boho do you look in a casual hat like this? 
  • New sunnies - I always admire how people look in aviators but they always look super weird on my face
  • The perfect new beach tote - it needs to hold all my shit without being the size of a mini cooper. Is that too much to ask?
  • Spray sunscreen with mega SPF - I'm more translucent than Casper over here. 
  • Summery dresses that are day and evening appropriate
  • A light-weight beach cover-up - that's not mesh or whorish, or too conservative... like a suburban mother of five. 
  • A good beach hair product with sunscreen that doesn't make my hair greasy. Is that too much to ask?!?
  • Cute flat sandals (not flip flops)
  • Brown leather heels - I like the ones pictured above. But ideally, I'd find ones with a chunky heel instead of a wedge heel 
  • A crisp white blazer. 'Nuff said. 
  • A grey jersey maxi. I'd live in this all summer. 
  • Bright jewelry like these mint studs

What's on your wish-list for summer or your next vacation? 
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