Monday, February 20, 2017

Reminders

Let me offer some advice to everyone single AF who has recently moved: don't start dating someone almost right away. It can be wonderful and romantic and exciting to be discovering a new city with this person, forming all of these memories with him. And if it works out, that's perfect. You'll always associate places and first experiences with them. So if it doesn't-it will be so very painful. You don't have other memories to revert to when you don't want to think about your first coffee date.


As someone who has always made it a point to not allow her romantic life to take precedent over family or friends, the loneliness is also something new. In past relationships, while I spent a lot of time with my partner, I always made sure to spend just as much with my friends. However, I found I put significantly less effort into making new friends outside of work here because I could rely on the couple I already had, my dad, and the new boyfriend. These friends have been wonderful since it ended, but it's definitely not the same as having multiple groups so I always had someone to go to brunch, ice skating, the movies, or just hang out with at home. And my dad is doing his best, but the poor man hasn't had to deal with my dating life since high school. Oh, how things have changed...ha.

There are days when everything reminds me of him. The other day I was flipping through channels and stopped on a chick flick (figuring I've gotten to the point where romance doesn't immediately make me sad/angry, ha!). However, it turns out the romantic leads in the movie shared our names. Are you kidding?! A couple hours later I was listening to a podcast and one of the guests on it spoke at length about his all-time favorite movie-which I had never seen until we watched it recently. With the music, I know I'm bringing it on myself by continuing to listen to that which was meaningful to us. In the past I've stopped listening to certain artists or albums but I'm really trying not to this time. With my first boyfriend, it was Coldplay...later on the Lumineers. You can 100% figure out the timing of my relationships as they relate to what music was popular!


Because we spent so much time together, shared so many interests, and talked all. the. time. there are nearly constant reminders. I try to just frame it as immersion therapy (social worker alert!) and know that it will become less painful over time. I just can't wait for that day to come.

Any tips in the meantime? I'm all ears!

xoxoxo
Emma

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 2.18.17

Last week's five-day weekend definitely threw me for a loop-while I loved the extra time off to be lazy and also catch up on things, I certainly got off my usual schedule. I also grew in gratitude for Overdrive's digital lending library-when I can't get out to get new books, and have a lot of time on m hands, I love that I don't have to purchase everything.

Reading: Tamora Pierce. I loved her books as a pre-teen/teen, and have so enjoyed rereading them! A lot of young adult fiction is so well-written and with such excellent and exciting ideas. I will never be embarrassed at my love for it :) Tamora Pierce in particular writes fantastic and empowering characters for all ages-the Winding Circle series is geared a little younger, while the Beka Cooper trilogy is definitely for older young adults.

Listening: Gotta give another shout out to Us the Duo. Michelle and I went to their concert on Wednesday and it was AMAZING. They are the cutest couple and so talented! They essentially set up a living room onstage and clearly had so much fun performing. Another couple got engaged during one of the songs and it was just too adorable-Carissa started crying onstage when she saw it. I couldn't actually see the couple, but it was so sweet. I also couldn't resist getting a t-shirt with lyrics from the song "Goodbye Forever"...I'm curious to see how people will react to a shirt that says "you're cool but I am cooler"!


Watching: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season 2 is on Netflix! It is so fun and cute-and weirdly relatable in some ways. If you like rom-coms, clever/sarcastic comedy, plays on rom-com tropes, and music, you have got to watch it. Great for binge-watching over the long weekend!

xoxoxo
Emma

Friday, February 17, 2017

Magazine Meals: Potatoes and Greens

I love trying out new recipes, and thankfully Dad is always game. I'm getting spoiled here-it's going to be hard to stay motivated when I move out and am only cooking for myself! In the meantime, I'm enjoying making my way through many of the recipes I've saved from Real Simple, Bon Appetite, cookbooks, and other resources.

Dad always loves a hearty meal, and in the winter I definitely want to hibernate with comfort food. In this vein, I opted for Southern Living's recipe for twice-baked green potatoes. My goodness they were delicious-and reheated impressively well. When done in the oven, the skins stayed crispy-key to enjoying a baked potato! Adding greens (I went for kale, my go-to) made it feel very slightly healthier and added some needed texture and flavor.


We (ok, I) felt it needed an accompaniment of something light, crunchy, and (more) green. Bon Appetit's broccoli and brussels sprouts slaw fit the bill perfectly. I left out the anchovy, of course (vegetarian here!), and actually the olives as well-I am not a fan of the green ones, though put a dish of kalamata olives in front of me and they will be gone in a flash.

I must admit, however, by the time I finished off all the leftovers I was ready for something new-anyone who wants to come for dinner sometime just let me know! I love having guinea pigs-I mean guests :)

xoxoxo
Emma

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Galentine's Day!

Happy Galentine's Day to all my favorite ladies! 


I am so grateful to have all of you in my life, near and far. 

  

Together from the start.







Camp friends can't be beat.
You know it's a true friendship when you can pick up where you left off-5 years later.


Ohhh I miss summer and sunshine-and these lovely ladies.


Work is about a million times better when you have an amazing team.


So grateful to have have Michelle in Boston-can't wait to continue our East Coast adventures!



And my #1 poetic, noble land-mermaid: my mom. 

Wishing you all a day filled with love and friendship!

xoxoxo
Emma

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snow Daze

These snow days-resulting in a 4 day weekend-couldn't have come at a better time. I've noticed myself feeling more tired and frustrated (it's concentrated at work, but spilling over everywhere honestly), so was just saying on Tuesday that I really needed to take a day off. I'm not 100% sure of what is causing this, though I've got some ideas of contributing factors. I can't change all of them-I have to keep reminding myself that I can't make people see things my way, and sometimes trying to will just make things worse-but there are some that I'm working on.

The commute is taking its toll, so I'm apartment hunting. I've been missing my friends-it's hard to make new ones when you work till 8pm and commute almost 2 hours each way-so I'm trying to book a trip each month to visit them in their various cities, and encouraging them to come out this way as well. I'm definitely holding stress in my body, so I'm sticking to my Bar Method routine as much as possible and adding in yoga and running where I can. I'm celebrating as many things as I possibly can. I find solace and relief in cooking and baking, so I'm trying out new recipes on myself, my dad, and my coworkers. I might also be doing a little too much shopping...but if that's my worst vice right now I'm not going to beat myself up over it. At least I'm definitely getting some good deals!

when even your sticky socks are trying to pep you up...not pictured: the pom-poms on the back!


Wow, that got more serious than I'd been intending. But you know what? I'm going to leave it. I personally love to read blogs that are real, and not just all sweetness and light...though I think it's time for some of that!


The first snow day I did not leave the house other than to walk Binker-she was loving the snow! I had stocked up on Girl Scout cookies on the way home from work Wednesday in preparation, and may have opened up both boxes...and only changed from pajamas to other pajamas. I got a lot of little tasks done, but definitely still count it as a perfect lazy day.


The second snow day resulted in a trip to PVDonuts...despite our kind neighbor snow-blowing the sidewalk and much of the drive, doing the rest + walking Binker in the snow = feeling like I earned it! This was the first time I was able to walk right in and was able to order after waiting for just one person-though since I'm only one person and these are best when they're fresh, I only got two flavors: churro Nutella and Providence cream (their take on the Boston cream, made with coffee milk cream filling). Holy moly are they delicious. Every month I think I have a new favorite!


Triss and Binker are also pretty happy about our long ladies' weekend...lots of snuggles and play time!


Hope everyone has had a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend!

xoxoxo
Emma

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 2.11.17


With these couple of snow days, I've had some extra time to catch up on my stories...dare I say I've had too much Netflix?

Reading: Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I love. love. love. cookbooks. My brother got me an autographed copy of the Flour cookbook (along with a gift card to the bakery itself) for Christmas and with my new task of celebrating my coworkers' birthdays, along with needing to do some Valentine's Day baking, I've been planning out some treats to come...

Listening: Joshua Radin recently released his latest album, The Fall and, no surprise, I love it. I've been following him ever since I was in high school, when my mom had to convince me to go with her to his concert at the Ark (on a school night!). I've been to embarrassing number of his concerts in Ann Arbor, Detroit, New York, Boston, and even Berlin when I studied abroad there. But I keep going because not only is his music fantastic but so is his stage presence and performance. Do yourself a favor and check him out. 



Watching: Dad and I saw Hidden Figures and it. was. amazing. I had been meaning to go for a while, and finally got around to it. Dad had heard of it, but was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster! It really was executed so well on every level. The tragedy, of course, being not only the lack of recognition received by these women during their work, but also the continued relevance of so much of the racial tension and commentary.

Any recommendations for next week's entertainment?

xoxoxo
Emma

Friday, February 10, 2017

Eat Local: Eli's Kitchen

Last week, my dad and I made the trip to Eli's Kitchen in Warren, RI. It's only about 25 minutes away, but in Rhode Island that may as well be an hour to most people. I'm trying not to get caught in that way of thinking, and maintain my Midwest belief that it's an easy drive, but I'm getting a little lazy! I've been wanting to go to Eli's for months now and just not made it a priority...and am now kicking myself! It was amazing, from the service to the drinks to the food. It was completely satisfying for both of us, having creative and classic dishes that appeal to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. I only managed photos of my food, but rest assured, Dad devoured the clam chowder and shepherd's pie. The servers were all fantastic, and it was very fun to get to watch Eli and the other cooks prepare everything. They even tolerated-with good humor-my dad's attempt to convince everyone to join his martial arts school, the Way of the Dragon.

I had the cajun sweet potato melt, and while I had the option for dressed greens (and very much enjoyed the bite I stole from Dad), I decided to go full sweet potato by having the fries with curry salt and mango ketchup. Definitely the right choice. Accompanied by a Moscow Mule (made with a local ginger beer by Yacht Club), it was the perfect meal.


We don't often get dessert, as both of us would rather have cheese than sugar, but we couldn't resist one of the specials: a dark chocolate bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Eli was kind enough to recommend serving the sauce on the side, as I'm still (years later, ha) recovering from college whiskey-related traumas. However, I did add a very small amount to what I had and it was delicious! Of course, Dad was very happy to have the rest of it on his.



I definitely plan to go back soon...most likely for brunch, but I've got to have dinner there again too! If anyone is interested in joining me, and therefore giving me an excuse to go...just let me know :) I wish I could go for the Fat Tuesday dinner, but alas, I'll be working until my usual time of 8pm-in Boston. I'll just have to make it up with some paczki...

xoxoxo
Emma

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink: Galentine's Day Gifts

My February is going a little differently than planned, but that's not going to stop me from enjoying all things pink, red, and heart-covered! My mom and I always celebrate Valentine's Day by sending little gifts, and for the last couple years my old roommate Hannah and I threw a Galentine's Day party, obviously inspired by Parks and Recreation, complete with waffles and mimosas. This year I'll just be working both days, but I do plan to take in some tasty baked goods to celebrate. More on that to come (once I've actually decided what to make...).




I always love pink, but February gives me a special excuse to enjoy the girliest of things. I always have a wishlist going of course, but this is a chance highlight some of the sweeter things on it.

Galentine's Day 2017

I may have to celebrate Galentine's Day by treating myself...whoops!


How will you be celebrating?

xoxoxo
Emma

Hei Hei zip front jacket
anthropologie.com



Marysia Swim swim bikini bottom
matchesfashion.com


New balance footwear
newbalance.com



J Crew pink leather bag
$170 - jcrew.com


Kate spade clutch
katespade.com


Kate Spade watch
lordandtaylor.com



Anthropologie pink cap
anthropologie.com



Monday, February 6, 2017

Super Bowl LI

Now, I don't claim to be a rabid football fan...by any stretch of the imagination. I care about Michigan football (a lot) but that is due almost 100% to growing up in Ann Arbor and working at Michigania. However, you can't live or work in the Boston area and not get caught up in the excitement.  Or at least the excuse to eat delicious cheese-based treats (pretty much anything not meat is cheese) and drink beer. This year I'm breaking out of my usual assignment to bring dessert in order to make a savory thing I can actually eat. I had to still work baking in there so I'm making Half-Baked Harvest's Buffalo Cheddar Pretzel Twists with Everything Spice. O.M.G. How in the world could I pass up the cheesy goodness once I came across it? The answer is: there is no way.



Y'all need to make these immediately. I was rather intimidated, as I had never made pretzels before and it does require the whole boiling in baking soda water thing. But hey, guess what? It's not actually hard! The trickiest thing was not overdoing it on the buffalo sauce, but even the ones that looked messy going in were pretty good at the end-and they all definitely tasted delicious.

I had slightly mixed feelings about the Patriots' win-Boston friends, please don't hate me! I was rooting for them, but I couldn't quite separate Tom Brady's politics from his performance, just as I can't with musicians or artists. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt, wearing a "Make America Great Again" cap is at best thoughtless, and I have higher expectations.

I am still glad they won, if only for how much better work will be today for it. It's funny how reminiscent South Boston is of Ann Arbor when it comes to the feeling of the city depending on the success of the athletics. Thank goodness the Celtics won both games this weekend too! I actually got to go to the first half of the game on Friday with some of the kids I work with and two other staff. I had the most sports-filled weekend I've had in many years-a big change for this arts-focused girl!

baby's first NBA game


xoxoxo
Emma

P.S. There's always more to do. Take care of yourself, but keep fighting!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 2.4.17

So I'm really going to try to do this weekly-I might need y'all to help keep me on track to have it up Saturday mornings! I didn't even manage it today...but at least I'm making it not the right day, ha. Just a regular post about what I've been reading, listening to, watching...I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for more, especially books. I tend to read really fast, and I take the commuter train daily, so I require a lot of solo entertainment.

(and caffeine)

Reading: I finally finally finally am reading Jenny Lawson's second book, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things. She is brilliant and honest and a little alarming at times, all in the best way. She has struggled with anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges throughout her life, and writes about this in a relatable and funny way, without trivializing it. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it is consistent throughout all of her writing. She also has many hilarious anecdotes relating to such topics as taxidermy and the frustrations of women's clothing (where are the pockets??). As always, I linked to Amazon, but please check out and support your local bookstore if possible. You can also check out her blog-it's fantastic.

Listening: One of my favorite podcasts is back with new episodes: You Must Remember This. The tag line for it is "the lost and forgotten stories of Hollywood's first century". With each season, the creator has identified a theme, from the McCarthy era blacklists to this season's "Dead Blondes", the stories of actresses known in large part as beautiful blondes, who died in tragic ways. The first story this week was of Peg Entwistle, a stage and film actress whose death you may be more familiar with than her work.

Watching: Dad and I watch pretty much all the superhero TV shows. Supergirl was originally something of a hard sell for me, as many of the promos had framed it as far too much of a rom-com, with the perfect-except-for-being-clumsy female lead. Over time, though, it has done some awesome things, most recently the relationship between Kara's sister, Alex and the detective, Maggie. However as we watched Monday's episode and heard them call the female villain, Livewire, a "nasty woman" I couldn't help but be taken aback. This was said by the true "bad guy" of the episode, so I'm unsure of what their intent was but I cannot believe it was an accident. Melissa Benoit participated in the women's March with a brilliant sign, so there is no way that slipped past her either. I'm choosing to believe it was commentary on the complexity of our political figures, as Livewire had, in fact, been kidnapped and her powers were used against her will.

Any recommendations for commute entertainment? I am flying through Furiously Happy, so am definitely going to need another book soon!

xoxoxo
Emma

P.S. There's always more to do-even if it's just supporting J.K. Rowling in her brilliant fight against internet trolls!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Welcome to Providence!

Julia's visit this weekend was not only her first trip to Boston, but to Providence as well. As always, we ate a lot of delicious food, but we also made sure to do some walking to work it off!


We started the day with a pilgrimage to PVDonuts...and yes, it deserves that term. Because they are only open 8am-3pm (or until they sell out), you have to get there early. Both times I have gone we have waited in line for about 45 minutes-but it is worth it! Julia and I selected 5 donuts, plus the 6-pack of munchkins for a tasting with dad, his friend, and her 2 year old (we got the cereal milk flavor for her, but we all enjoyed it as well).

Creme brulee, raspberry filled, honey sea salt, brown butter Milky Way, and cereal milk...all delicious!


It's tough to say which was my favorite flavor, but this month I think the creme brûlée has to win out. They change the flavors every month, and I can't wait to try February's!


After pregaming with donuts (and talking superheroes with the donut tasting gang), Julia and I hit our next stop on the Providence Kennedy food tour: Nick's on Broadway. I try my best to bring everyone here as it some of the best seasonal and local fare to be had, but if they don't have significant patience it is not the place to go. Thankfully our donuts were able to tide us over until we were seated at the chef's counter, where we were able to watch (and listen to) all of the food being prepared. With brunch I usually opt for the adult coffee milk (a cocktail based on a classic Rhode Island beverage), but given our plans for later in the day, I figured I had better stick to fully caffeinated and nonalcoholic coffee. The frittata, potatoes, and pesto bread were all freshly made and perfectly presented. As always though, my eyes were bigger than my stomach-they made for excellent leftovers as well!



We then made our way to the RISD Museum-a staple in Providence culture, though I hadn't actually yet made it there. I have found since my NYU days that I have pattern of only engaging in the tourist-y activities until I have visitors-and then realize what I've been missing out on! There was a lovely selection of modern and classical art, including my favorite-textiles. The "Luxurious Lace" exhibit was beautiful, though I would have loved to see more.


The displays in Pendleton House were an excellent way to view these early American items in context. 


We of course took a walk through Brown's campus, and quickly ended up on Thayer Street. For those of you familiar with Ann Arbor but not Providence, it's essentially a combination of South U and State Street. For those who are not, it is a nice combination of student-type places (cheap eats and fun shops) and some nicer restaurants as well. We-ok I-did a little shopping at the secondhand store, 2nd Time Around. I mean, how was I supposed to pass up sparkly pink Kate Spade heels-with bows-at 80% off? We all know that wasn't happening!

We then headed home to get ready for dinner and our night out. I have been following the Beehive Cafe (in Bristol) on Instagram for some time and meaning to try it out, so Julia and I decided to make the drive down-it was absolutely worth it. The mushrooms on toast were delicious, though no photo could do them justice, and the kale salad was healthy and flavorful-a total win.


Two other friends joined us back at home for drinks before going out dancing-and they brought along dessert! An Oreo pudding pie and the cutest little red velvet cake to celebrate our girls' night.


While our time together was over too quickly-always!-we're already planning our next trips. Mine to Michigan, Julia's back here (in warmer weather)..and perhaps some shared travel to Denver and/or Nashville...I can't wait!

xoxoxo
Emma