Return to Normalcy

Hi, everyone!! Sorry for the leave of absence, but a vacation was in order. For the past week, Mike & I were in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Mike’s aunt was incredibly gracious and offered to let us stay at the apartment that she has down there so that we could relax and recharge after a very hectic few months(years?). We had the most fantastic time, and I am currently on the hunt for my camera cord so that I can upload pictures to show you! Make sure to check back later today for pictures and a recipe!

–Ariel

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Better Nate Than Lever

To quote one of my favorite celebrities, Mindy Kaling, “sometimes you have to pretend it was your plan to be really emotional and not have your shit together.” I had every intention of posting regularly while I was on spring break, and simultaneously, completing a lot of my school work so that it’s no longer looming over my head. Needless to say, neither of those really happened. I am usually your stereotypical type A personality, who spends a lot of time planning and scheduling in an attempt to make the most out of my day. That being said, the past few months have been a real test to see how many punches I can roll with. I’ve been budgeting my time and making schedules, but to quote my mom, “compost happens.”

For the next few weeks (months?) I’m planning on not having a plan. Instead of getting frustrated that things aren’t going the way I anticipated, I’m going to take a chill pill (Xanax? I kid, I kid) and just tackle things as they come.

Without further ado, here are some pictures of the various (delicious!) dishes that my sister, my cousin, my mom, and I made for Passover. If you need me, I’ll be over here flying by the seat of my pants.

Matzo Toffee (Crack) Recipe

Ali & I finally made macarons

The most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever made/had

Yeah, that’s right, I made fancy strawberries for the top. Martha, call me!

Alex’s phenomenal date truffles. Recipe to come(?)

Matzo crack + Macarons = omnomnom

Winter Blues

This New York gal has got the blues. It’s fair enough to say that I think we’ve gotten our fair share of snow this winter. And with great snow, comes great shoveling…

Now, to stay on the bright side, I have to say I don’t mind shoveling, since it’s productive (yes, I need to get my car out of it’s snowy tomb) and it’s quite the workout! So we’ve had about 7 snowstorms so far (and one complete with thunder!) and we’re in the midst of an ice storm.

Check out my car, it looks sort of like an orca whale’s eye, if you look at it the right way… No? Just me?

Now, with the 18+ inches of snow we got last week, and the ice storm we’re waiting out right now, I have a hard time motivating myself to leave the comforts of my warmer-than-outside home. This hasn’t boded well for my food intake, or my fitness. So, I’ve taken to doing simple things to make better use of what’s going on outside the house and inside my body!

This is a unique opportunity for me to get extra creative with what I cook. I could whip up a batch of chile with my eyes closed under any normal circumstances, but with no onions left, and not many other supplies, I’ve had to dig into the depths of the pantry and use what may has been neglected.

Dried beans have been my savior and I’ve eaten chickpeas more ways than I can count. Luckily I find if I add enough spices, you can make anything taste gourmet. Chickpeas with chile powder, cumin, garlic, onion powder, curry powder and a can of chopped tomatoes made an excellent last minute meal.

It’s also made me realize just how much food goes to waste, even in my household where we’re extra conscience about how much we buy. There have been some eggplants sitting in the crisper (which is by far the worst place to keep food in my opinion, how easy is it to forget that it’s there?!?) so those also went into making an impromptu indian dish (see the spices above, substitute eggplant for chickpeas). Bam! Another easy meal, without even having to leave the house! Other than to de-ice the driveway for the 3rd time…

As far as indoor fitness goes, I’ve been lucky enough to have held onto an Amazon.com gift card for quite some time, and purchased myself an Xbox with Kinect!

After visiting my college roommate in upstate New York and experiencing playing around with this, I was convinced that I needed one. It gets me moving and it’s interactive, which is something I definitely need. I’m not good at doing workout videos, and I’m a little hesitant to join a class, but for some reason if it’s a game, I’m all for it!

So those are just my wintertime hibernation solutions that I’ve been using to stay well so far this winter. And even though the groundhog may not have seen his shadow and Spring is on it’s way, I have a feeling we’ve still got some more shoveling ahead of us…

 

Marissa

Ice, Ice, Baby

Happy Chanukah!

I have the most generous sister in the whole wide world. Not only does she give me endless emotional and psychological support, but she also has a positive effect on my mental capacity and my academic career. My sister gives the best advice, lets me rant and rave as much as I like, proofreads my papers, and THEN she goes and buys me an ice cream maker during finals week. I’m alternating between shrieking from delight, and being completely speechless. If that’s not love and support, I don’t know what is.

See? She even gives me physical support. Best. Sister. Ever. Thank you, Ali! ❤

 

This means you all can expect an ice cream update very soon.

Care Package

I loved getting care packages when I was at sleep-away camp and in college. My mother always thought of the best things like socks with crazy prints or stickers.

So this week I needed a little pick me up, and decided to compile a little care package to myself. Being fresh out of grad school, and not yet blessed (cursed?) with a full time job means that pick me up needed to pack a punch, but not in my wallet…

I don’t subscribe to any, so the occasional magazine is an indulgent purchase. Plus it’s the September issue of Vogue, so it’s like the thickness of at least 2 magazines for the price of 1!

Crafts! More specifically, needlepoint. I found these 2 mini nautical pieces at a tag sale this weekend. $2! That’s the kind of bargain I love.

A recipe journal to store all of my culinary adventures! While this was a little on the pricier side, around $20, it’s something I’ve been meaning to invest in for a while, and look how adorable the detail is!

Hello tiny cheese grater, oven mitt and other kitchen utensils!

Uglydoll! The perfect cuddle companion for any gal. And a free one is even better! My sister got me this little guy, and I found him while cleaning, so I decided he could go into my feel-good stuff pile.

My little care package came to about $32. Not too shabby! Both my wallet and I are feeling better already!

– Marissa

Monday’s Mantra

It’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts and anxiety. The grad school/work/internship cycle is an exhausting one, not to mention time (and money) consuming. Instead of worrying about the future (Job Market? Income? Living in a cardboard box? ACK!) , I try to focus on, as Edna Mode from The Incredibles calls it, “The Now.” Take care of as much as you can right now, and have confidence that the rest will fall into place. Some great tunes never hurt either.

http://www.ourstage.com/blog/2010/8/16/download-of-the-week-lion-of-ido

This is one of my favorite bands, and their lyrics have a tendency to put things in perspective for me. When all else fails, dancing around your living room helps, too- I can vouch for that.

–Ariel