Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spicy Pesto

It's been ages since I've posted a recipe.....but who's counting really? (oops!) 

Anyways, this is my go-to pesto recipe. It's from my girl Giada and it is awesome. My only change is that I use grated Parmesan instead of Asiago (personal preference really).

If you like a little heat to your meals, you have got to try this spicy pesto. The flavor from the jalapeno is perfect. 

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 red or green jalapeno, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 cups grated Parmesan (or Asiago) cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces baby spinach
3 ounces arugula
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound pasta

Blend the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, grated cheese, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth.

Add the spinach and arugula and process until well blended. With the food processor still on, slowly pour in the olive oil.

Once your pasta is cooked, combine, and enjoy! I use a vegetable peeler to add a few Parmesan shavings to my meal before enjoying. A little extra cheese certainly helps with the heat of the sauce!

Let me know if you make this. J & I certainly love it. Hope you do too!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nothing as Sweet as Heat!

Well, we didn't quite make it to the Boston Home Show this past weekend. Nor did I even make it to the gym.....But, Sunday was quite the adventure over here!

Saturday night we noticed that our heat didn't seem to be running at full steam. What great news to get during the winter in New England. By Sunday morning, it was dead. And a call to local service companies told us we'd need to pay the "emergency rate" of labor starting at $, no thank you. I can think of a lot of other things to spend $600 on....ya...

Have I told you how awesome my husband is? Seriously, the guy is amazing. The idea of fixing the issue ourselves hadn't really crossed my mind. I know nothing about plumbing or heating systems. Nothing. Apparently J does! And anything he didn't know, he researched and reviewed online. The beauty of the internet..

Anyways, before I knew it, he had assessed our situation, figured out what was wrong, and we were on our way to Home Depot to get what we needed - a new recirculating pump. Side note - who names a plumbing company Taco?

Honestly, I'm not going to tell you how to replace it because that would just be crazy. But here's what we had to do.

There are 3 condos in our building....3 water heaters, 3 gas boilers, lots and lots of pipes!

J's trying to give me a lesson on how the closed system boiler works....there are way too many pipes going in every which direction! I have no idea what each means, ask J.

And here's the jerk that decided to die on us and leave us to freeze.

We did a bit of googling to make sure we were doing the right thing. Some of the sites we used are here, here, here and here. These sites may be exceptionally basic for anyone who knows what they're doing, but basic is just what we needed!

We did end up needing to buy a hose in order to drain the system before taking the pump out. Though we have no use for a hose at our condo otherwise, I guess that's one less thing to buy down the road!

All in all, this was a pretty satisfying project. It felt really, really good to know that we were capable of fixing it ourselves. And when I say we....I really mean J. He couldn't have done it without me because it was necessary at times to have a second set of hands, but that's about it....I also did a fair amount of running up to our unit and back down to check the heat, grab water, let the dog out, etc. Living on the 3rd floor has its price I suppose, I feel like I did the stair master all day!

A few tips we came across/made sure to do/learned along the way - 
  • Turn the circuit breaker to your furnace off and turn the power switch on the furnace first!
  • Check for a valve that's shaped like a bell - most likely that means you have a fast-fill furnace. We didn't read about that at first....and spent an hour trying to figure out how to re-fill the furnace when we don't even have a hose spigot on our property...we were prepared to use the water line from our washer. But it was connected to the main water line the whole time....
  • The pump has an arrow on it. Our original pump had the arrow pointing down. We didn't even look at the new pump because we bought the same exact pump....or so we thought. Sunday night around 9 we realized the heat stopped working. J went to investigate and realized that they had changed the placement of the motor on the new pump. So even though it looked exactly the same and had the exact same part number, we had put it in upside down. And now the pipes were 130 degrees since they had been went the entire system for the night. We stuck it out for the night under our down comforter and got up extra early Monday morning to fix the pump before heading to work.

The fun part of being a homeowner I suppose! Now...if only J could learn how to vault ceilings on his own.....Kidding! Sorta...


Monday, January 28, 2013

Vaulted Ceilings

Of all of the open houses I went to last weekend with my mom, there was only one that I'm keeping on the list. Unfortunately, it needs a lot of work. J's dream of course....and lately, I'm really warming up to the idea. The possibility of updating a space to exactly what I want is very, very tempting. The downside, home improvements aren't cheap. The upside, houses that need a lot of work can be much cheaper to buy.

One idea I have on the brain lately is vaulted ceilings. The one house I currently can't stop thinking about is a 4 bed/2 bath ranch. But the basement is HUGE. And has a whole separate storage area. So, why keep the low ceilings in the living room? The attic space just doesn't seem necessary. 

If you don't currently read House*Tweaking, you should. Dana is a genius when it comes to home design and updating a space. This is definitely where my interest in vaulted ceilings stems from. Look at how much bigger a rooms looks/feels.

This is what I'm currently loving, a vaulted ceiling over the living room but leaving the dining/kitchen space alone. You still maintain the open concept, but seem to separate the rooms by the varying ceiling heights.

And if you're raising the ceiling in the living room, why not the master bedroom too? I am in love with this. And when I showed it to J, his response was, "I don't see why we couldn't do this." Whaaat. Happy, happy, happy wife. He is so on board with me lately when it comes to what I want in the next home, it's a little scary.

What do you think? Would you go through the hassle of raising ceiling height if you could? Do you think I'm just plain old crazy?

Happy Monday!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Saying Thanks

Well, we've survived another work week. Hooray! Happy Friday.

This week my company announced some really big, exciting news. And all my extra hours lately relate to it. It's been pretty demanding at times, but I'm glad I got to be involved with all that goes into selling a company. After the announcement was made and we sat through a few conference calls detailing extra information for the majority of the Company who was not involved at all, I got back to my desk to find this e-mail. It's from my CEO to about 20 non-executive people:

Well…that was easy, wasn’t it?  : )
While we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we still have a few more hurdles to clear between signing and closing, I wanted to take a moment to say a heartfelt “thanks” to everyone on this list for helping us to reach this huge milestone in the process.  I can’t even begin to calculate how many hours have been put in by all of you to get us this far.   For some folks on this list, there was the need for some extra “above and beyond” time to lend a hand.  For others, the demands have been even more extreme.  Weekends.  Nights.  Weekend nights.  Time on the road away from families.  Conference calls that dragged on so long that we may as well have been on the road away from families. 
I know that the grind has been tough but each of you has played a critical role in “making history” --- you have made it possible for us to stand here today on the cusp of launching a NEW company that will instantly be known as a global market leader in the fin-tech space.  On behalf of the future [Company X] management team, I want to thank you for that.  The rest of the world will only see the end-result…you will know the hard work that went into making it all possible. 
Ultimately [Private Equity X] is buying a TEAM and not just a set of books.   Through your efforts thus far you have let our future private equity partners see what we all know already – that we have the best team in the business.

I'm not sharing this because I need more gold stars and pats on the back, I'm sharing it because people don't say Thank You often enough anymore. It's true. And if you want to keep your employees happy, sometimes this is all it takes. My boss and I looked at each other with the biggest grins on our faces, after I picked my jaw up off the floor. They noticed our hard work. This was one of the biggest issues when I worked in public accounting and everyone acknowledged it, but almost no one did anything.

I had one manager (one, of the many managers and partners...) who would send Thank you notes with $5 gift cards in them. It was the sweetest thing and it went a long way. Everyone needs a little recognition once and awhile to keep them going. It's nice to feel appreciated.

So keep this in mind. A simple Thank You can go a long way!

Enough preaching for this week, on to what else is going on over here this weekend:

1. Tonight I am heading to the suburbs to see a friends new home. I can't wait. A night in with girlfriends, drinks, and a woodstove (it is freezing in Boston!). 

2. Working tomorrow afternoon per usual. 

3. This weekend is the Boston Home Show and Red Tag Sale. I've talked J into going Sunday. Happy wife, happy life! I can't wait. I don't expect we'll buy anything since I'm sure designer furniture at up to 60% off is still above our price range, but it will be great to see what's being offered, get information on local builders, kitchen experts, etc, get ideas of what we want in our next place....And because it's in the Seaport district, I'm sure we'll grab some grub after at one of the many great restaurants.

4. My first StitchFix is scheduled to arrive on  Monday! Get ready for a review next week.

How about you, any fun weekend plans?

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, T

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIWW: Winter Work Outfit

Happy Wednesday! I'm considering this week quite the success. I haven't worked past 8 yet, I've enjoyed a mid week glass of wine already (no, not this morning....I'm not THAT much of a lush), and I'm posting my third post this week! follows the blog schedule I set. Go me!

This post is hot off the press. As in, I wore this exact outfit to work yesterday. Yep, I realized I've been pretty lazy about my What I Wore Wednesday posts as of late. The best thing about this outfit? It is beyond affordable.

 Would you believe me if I told you that my new wool jacket was from Target? It sure is. Clearance too! Thanks Mom for picking up this steal for me! She's always got my back.

And underneath the new coat...
Don't mind the hair....yikes...going for the windblown look apparently.

Cardigan - Ann Taylor (gift from my MIL!)
Tank - TJ Maxx (probably 4 years ago...)
Black Velvet Skinnies - Target (these may be the best fitting pair of skinny jeans I lie, also clearance)
Flats - Zara
Earrings - JoJo Blings in cushion cut

This is a glass half full kind of week for me, aka it's a wow it's already Wednesday type of week. 

Have a great day!

xoxo, T

(ya, I just did that. Thinking I should always sign-off like that....thoughts??)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kitchen Storage

The other night I stumbled upon a blog post that I haven't stopped thinking about. This lightbulb went off for me and all I could think was, wow what a fantastic idea.

I can take no credit for this whatsoever. But it was too neat not to share. How to re-vamp an old hutch into useful, dare I say modern, kitchen storage. There are so many Ikea hacks today to turn plain jane Ikea furniture into built-ins, but why not take an old hutch with character and revamp it? I followed in Emily's footsteps and did I very quick craigslist search for the Boston area....omg there are hundreds. Here are a few I found for less than $200.

Here's an example of a finished product. I love it!

As I mentioned on Friday, I visited several open houses on Sunday afternoon with my mom. It was really interesting. And eye-opening. J & I have decided to work with a very limited budget in the hopes of keeping our condo, paying down school loans a little quicker, being able to travel still, etc. So many of the homes need work, some need a lot of work... I'm down for some work definitely. And like I've mentioned, J would like to totally revamp an old home. Seeing ideas like this gets me really excited to think about the possibilities of updating a space to exactly what we want.

Thank you Emily for sharing such a fantastic idea! 

Another route to go if you're feeling adventurous? Build your own rustic hutch. Um, how amazing is this? Definitely not modern, although is rustic the new modern? Who knows, but I do know that this is a fabulous piece that I would welcome into my home any day.

If you haven't heard of Ana White, I suggest you read up.  Woodworking genius! I bought her new book this fall and cannot wait to build something have J build me something!

I hope you find these ideas as inspiring as I did. Not only are older pieces of furniture made better than many pieces today, it's nice to go green and reuse something, and I'm sure the wallet doesn't mind either!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Christmas Gifts 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas is a big thing in our families. Big thing. Yes, we're getting older and it shouldn't be about the gifts, but there is something so satisfying about finding someone you care for the perfect gift. And seeing their reaction when they open it. I don't even know what to say, I feel so spoiled. Our families give damn good gifts, and boy did I hit the jackpot this year. Not one return. Everything was beyond perfect.

Here are some of the gifts I received this Christmas. I have no words other than thank you! thank you! thank you!

Patagonia Los Lobos Vest     Clarasonic Mia (in lavender!!)     West Elm Cozy Throw
Soda Stream (!!)     West Elm owl mugs     North Face ski jacket
Michael Kors crossbody bag     Lululemon gift card

Friday, January 18, 2013


Seriously, thank god it's Friday. I don't think I could deal with another weekday this week. 14 hour work days, you can go take a long walk off a short cliff.

Because I've been working non-stop, there hasn't been much else going on over here. I have so many posts ideas I want to share with you like what did we get for Christmas, my take on Pantone's color of the year (which I looove), some new recipes, what I've been wearing, a few DIY projects, etc. It will come, hopefully starting next week! Stay with me. Pleeaaase.

What's new with you?

This weekend I'll be working Saturday during the day before taking Tucker down to my parents to play with his bff Bruno. He's so excited and he doesn't even know it yet! The poor pup is not getting too much attention these days as J and I both tackle some work deadlines. No bueno.

Sunday, I have the whole day to myself! I can't believe it. So instead of just relaxing, what do I do? Make plans! You know that whole try to go with the flow on a home? Ya, there are sooo many open houses this weekend. How can I not breeze through?! Some are just eh from the photos, some sound amazing, but honestly you just never know until you walk through. J also has grand plans of doing a decent amount of work on our next home so I think of myself as the buffer. Gonna get myself a coffee and check out a handful of open houses in one of the towns we're considering. Either cross them off the list, or keep 'em and tell J he's got to check it out too. We shall see.

My recent mentality...

Yep. Get to it!

Last thing, got the best e-mail last night! After waiting several weeks, I finally got my invite to StitchFix! I cannot wait to see what arrives. Basically, you fill out a very, very detailed style profile which they use to send you clothing and accessories they think you should try. Love this idea. To give you a better picture of what I should be receiving, here's an example from a blog I enjoy reading, and where I first found out about this gem. I will definitely share what goodies I receive once my first fix comes at the end of the month. I've been loving the new products I'm getting through Birchbox so why not give it a try for clothes and accessories. Plus, my wardrobe could use a little pick me up lately, no time to shop.....I know, so sad.

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jewelry Organization

More cleaning/organizing this week!

Remember when I showed you this horrendous photo back at the end of November and told you I had something in the works...

It's here! When I wrote that post, I had picked up this fun mirrored tray at none other than Target, or Tar-jay for those of you who prefer the fancy name. I'd be included in this group...

It was the perfect size for my bureau and I've been itching for a piece of mirrored furniture for a while. This shall be my introduction.

I placed every necklace I still wear into an individual clear bag and got rid of the rest. Stud earrings stayed in their little bowl I also picked up at Tar-jay a couple years ago. I knew I wanted to get a jewelry tree for the necklaces I wear often, the more delicate ones, and the bracelets I enjoy wearing.

But I knew I didn't want one of the jewelry trees that literally looks like a tree. I knew it wouldn't be able to hold everything I wanted it to. Well, lo and behold, I posted that past blog post and jetted off to Charlotte for the weekend. During some window shopping I stumbled upon the PERFECT jewelry stand. Because I didn't want to travel with it, I quickly checked Amazon on my phone for, found it and put it in my shopping bag so I could buy it once I got home.

How great is this?! Chunkier necklaces on the top bar, dangling earrings and delicate necklaces on the middle bar, and bracelets on the bottom. Perfect.

Oddly enough, I didn't end up purchasing it through Amazon Prime. I know, right?! But, it wasn't available for Prime shipping and Amazon wanted to charge me $10 in shipping. I can't stand paying for shipping anymore. So instead, I checked the vendor's site. Though the shipping was a dollar or two more, the stand was cheaper than Amazon (that never happens). And it came in 2 days even though I paid for regular shipping. Call me impressed!

I was afraid this organization would only last a week or two before I was back to having a mess to deal with, but I'm happy to say that she looks like this daily. I come home, I take off whatever jewelry I decided to wear that day, and it goes right back on the stand.

Sadly, I don't see the stand on Umbra's site or Amazon anymore! I'm really surprised it's gone. If you're looking to organize your jewelry, this has been working great for me. It's nice to see the top of my bureau uncluttered! Being able to see almost everything daily, has me switching it up more often too.

On to the next cleaning/organization project....that would be cleaning out our storage unit in the basement over here....not as much fun as jewelry organization, that's for sure!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Deep Cleaning

One of the things I love most about our condo is the hardwood floors. The entire place has Brazilian cherry wood floors, even the bathroom. That was a new one for me which seemed strange at first, but now I love the continuity throughout the place.

We use a steam cleaner to keep the floors clean and I was using Murphy's oil and water in a spray bottle until I stumbled upon a homemade cleaner on none other than Pinterest (here). The original recipe is 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup isopropyl alcohol, a few drops liquid soap, and 10-15 drops essential oils.

We haven't bought any essential oils so I added a few drops of Murphy's Oil Soap since we already owned it. And we've been using this cleaning solution ever since. Our personal wear and tear doesn't seem to have anything on this cleaning solution. I'd certainly recommend you give it a try. It smells great too! 

On to cleaning solution #2! When we bought our condo, the kitchen appliances were all included. And we were so grateful for that! But the gas stove top was a mess. For the past 3 years I've tried everything (I thought). And nothing cleaned them. Nothing. I would soak the grates in hot soapy water for hours, scrubbed them, etc and the grates were still gross. See how gross the front burner is? Nothing worked. So embarrassing.

Pinterest did it again. Why are the grates in ziploc bags you might ask? Well, because I stumbled upon this strategy. And oh my gosh, it worked! Straight up, ammonia. We soaked the grates for more than 8 hours. Check out this grime! Again, so embarrassing!

A light scrub and rinse once they were done soaking and we've got ourselves some shiny grates! I honestly never thought we'd see the gas grates so clean. This may be the best cleaning tip I've stumbled upon yet. 

 All shiny, and like new. I am so impressed by this. 

If you try either of these cleaning solutions, let me know what you think! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Is it the Weekend Yet?

Well, I had these grand plans of sharing my first week of bootcamp with you Thursday, and some great cleaning tricks I came across for hardwood floors and gas stove grates today, but that will all need to wait until next week. Check back, the grate cleaning tip especially, is really worth it!

But work has been extremely demanding this week, leaving me with very little time to blog. Cue the tears. So instead I'll leave you with this great photo from the most recent West Elm catalog. I loved it so much I tore it out and saved it in my inspirational home design binder.


I am doing my best to relax, rebalance, and rediscover but January, you are my least favorite work month, and you are making it very hard for me to relax. Maybe I should make my resolutions in June instead...

Have a great weekend! I will be spending some time in the office before heading down to see my brother & sister-in-laws new home in the burbs. It looks so gorgeous from the pictures. And Sunday I am meeting a friend I haven't seen in ages for lunch. I can't wait to catch up!

Check back next week, I will have a few posts waiting for you. Promise.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Birchbox: December

In true Tracey fashion, this post is super late. But, not only did I take pictures of what I got the day I received it, I've been using some of the products daily too.

How pretty is this box?! 

Ok, here are the goods:
  • Juice Beauty - Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream
  • Keratase - Resistance Ciment Thermique - Protect
  • Nicole Richie Fragrance - Nicole by Nicole
  • theBalm cosmetics - Mary-Lou Manizer
  • Emily's Chocolates - Dark Chocolate Peppermint Holiday Fortune Cookie
  • $50 gift card to Rent the Runway (the catch - had to spend $125, and had to use by 2/28...)

I've never been comfortable wearing foundation or tinted moisturizer daily, until now. I am loving the Juice Beauty CC cream. I know BB cream (blemish balm cream) is all the rage right now and I haven't tried it, but CC cream (control cream)....well CC cream is taking over. The only thing about the Juice Beauty cream that you may consider the downside, it smells like grass/dirt. Very strange for a beauty product. But the upside, it uses only natural and organic ingredients. 

Also getting used daily, the Mary-Lou Manizer. I use it as a nice light, bright eye-shadow but its an illuminator so throw a tiny bit of shimmer on those cheek bones if you want. My sister and I both got the Nicole Richie perfume and both agree, that we kinda, sorta, actually really like it. It's a much warmer scent than I normally wear so great for winter. 

I'm really excited to try the Keratase product, just haven't gotten around to it yet. If you received it too, how it it??

Lastly, the chocolate was eaten within a day or two of receiving this Birchbox. Dark chocolate & peppermint? Delicious!

Thank you Birchbox for introducing me to some great new products. Job well done.

If you'd like to see my past Birchbox reviews, they can be found here: July/August, September/October, November

Interested in joining Birchbox? Here's an invite! (full disclosure - if you use my invite, yes I will earn points. But I've loved learning about new products and wouldn't invite you if I didn't think it was worth the $10/month)

Monday, January 7, 2013

DIY: Glass Coffee Table

First off - did you watch Downton Abbey last night?! I cannot wait to see what happens this season. The 2-hour season premiere on a Sunday night is making this Monday morning a bit sleepy but how could I not watch? I won't say anything else in case you've taped it or haven't caught up yet. And if you haven't watched it yet, you definitely should. The accents, the wardrobe, the storyline - so captivating.

If you've been reading this blog since I first started it last year, you may have seen me looking into some new coffee tables. Our living room is small, and the chunky coffee table we had was taking up way too much visual space.

The great thing about glass or lucite tables is that they tend to disappear from your vision. They don't take up visual space. 

Here is a great example. I fell in love with this living room from the minute I saw it and have pinned it to my "Future Living Spaces" board for the someday home. There's so much I love about this room, from the black doors and cream walls, to the hide rug, greenery and sunburst mirror. Did you even notice the coffee table at first? 

Here's another view. 
Both images via

So while I really loved the coffee tables I discussed here and here, there was something off about them. They both had a black finish. And maybe that wouldn't have been a big deal, but I really wanted something in oil rubbed bronze. That's the finish on the ceiling light above the coffee table, and we also have a dark brown leather storage ottoman not too far from it. So if I was going to spend the money on a new coffee table, I wanted it to be perfect.

Thank you craigslist for saving the day! After our kitchen table project, I was confident I could clean up a coffee table if need be. I'd casually search from time to time, and keep my eyes open for something with a glass top and metal legs. Well, she finally showed up. And for a whopping $30, it was worth a try.

Originally, the base of the table was a strange green color. So we left her in my car until we could make a trip home to give her a makeover. One can of metallic brown later, and I have to say, she looks like a million bucks.

Here's a close-up of the before and after. Crazy, right?!

Although it certainly takes up some visual space, it looks way better than what we were working with before. And is a great addition to our living room.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013: Resolutions & Goals

I know I mentioned these yesterday, but I've decided to give them their own post. You know, light a fire, ignite some motivation, and air it out as a form of accountability.


- Eat healthier: Less dairy, more fruits & vegetables, more water, less caffeine and at least one green smoothie a week. My father-in-law made me a green smoothie of kale, apple, and ginger on Christmas and it was the best thing ever. I've seriously craved it. Unfortunately, we don't have a Vitamix to blend kale to a fine oblivion....annd I may have killed our blender recently when ambitiously trying to make banana ice cream for more than 2 people. Oops! Any good blender deals out there??

- Pick up daily: I've been reading the Happiness Project and am absolutely loving it. One thing that has stuck with me so far is to spend a few minutes before bed picking up. Our condo is small. Trying to control the clutter can become overwhelming, but picking up daily is my best defense.


- Run another half marathon - Last year's half marathon was hard. Mentally & physically really. But I absolutely loved training for it. I just really hated it the day of the race. Maybe it was my cold, maybe not. Either way, it hasn't sat right with me since I crossed the finish line. I'd like to beat it this time, if that makes sense.

- Buy a car - I've been informed that my precious car is on her last leg. I've had her for the past 6+ years and absolutely love her. The thought of a car payment on a new car gives me agita (first definition- thank you my Italian family). But man are the new Explorers nice! I'm sorry, I know, such a gas guzzler. But Tucker and any future babies need space & safety!

- Fine-tune this blog - Maybe you've notice, maybe you haven't, but this blog is fairly basic. Blogger does most of the design work for me. I've learned some small coding here or there to get buttons to show up but I'd love to take this blog to the next step. I received the book Blog, Inc. for Christmas and am really excited to learn some new ideas, tips, and tricks from it. Also, I need YOU to tell me what you like, don't like. I absolutely love it when someone tells me how much they love the blog (keep it coming!) but constructive criticism is key too.

- Travel - I can't sit still, I can't stay in one place too long, and I can't stop traveling. Can't stop, won't stop. Thankfully, J doesn't seem to mind. Like I've mentioned before, we try to see a new city each year - even if it's just for a long weekend. (Have you seen this book? So neat, but I would never spend $65 on it...). I'm also really, really hoping we can get to Europe by the end of the year. This is a lofty goal I realize with everything we have coming up, but a long weekend in Paris just sounds so dreamy.

- Move - ya, I'm throwing this one out there too. I kinda, sorta, really want to move. As much as I love our condo and its ideal location, the space situation is getting to me. Yes, there are pros and cons to leaving the city but I'm pretty ready for a driveway, a yard for Tucker, an actual office for J, and a guest bedroom or two for visitors. I need more space, yo! But, I am not holding my breath on this one. I am trying really hard to go with the flow on this one, if it happens it happens. (Ok that's a total lie, I really want to be that person who can go with the flow, I'm just not. I'm a planner, and have planned down to the penny how much we'll have saved each month towards the next home.....I.can'

So there you have it, my resolutions and goals for 2013. Someone please hold me accountable to them now!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

NYE 2012

Happy New Years! Did you stay awake late enough to see the ball drop? We are getting so old.....pretty sure I was in bed by 12:35. But after 2 days of hitting the ski slopes, I was exhausted.

So, how did we spend NYE this year? At Sugarloaf Mountain. It was awesome. I am so glad we decided to get out the city this year and do something active. To be honest, we've never spent a lot of money on New Years in the past and I was definitely hesitant at first but I am sooo glad I bit the bullet and went in on a ski in/ski out condo on the mountain. How have I never stayed in one of these before?! We were so spoiled! It was so ideal to be able to ski right to the condo for lunch, to warm up. etc.

Day 1 was freezing! It snowed all day/night Saturday which was greatfor the trails, but the wind was almost unbearable. It was the first time I broke out some hand warmers in a very long time.

The picture on the left here is actually from Day 2, when we basically had the mountain to ourselves. Unbelievable, right?! The lifts opened up late on Day 2 (12/31) due to wind so it seems as though most people opted for a voucher, or just decided not to get tickets since we're talking about close to noon before any good trails opened.  Having the mountain to ourselves for 4 hours was worth every penny of the full ticket.
 View from the bottom, view from the top - both breathtaking.

I really wanted to get a picture of J and I together but that just never happened. We're both sporting our new ski/snowboard jackets we got for Christmas. Love them! And J also got me new goggles, which I looove! They have a rose tint and the sides have a design with fuchsia, just like my jacket.
You can count on 2 hands how many times J has snowboarded. So the fact that he was keeping up, and even passing me by day two (!) is nuts. And he was determined to land a jump. Color me impressed.

 Even though we could ski right to our condo, stopping by the lodge is a tradition. And with Carabassett Pale Ale's on draft, it was a must!

After 2 days of skiing/snowboarding, NYE was here! Some themes were thrown out and somehow, hunter/hunted won. So absurd. But also hilarious! Yes, that is face camouflage. I didn't have too much time to spend looking for my costume thanks to work, but my recent consignment shop visit for an ugly xmas sweater also turned up a turtleneck covered in dogs. Yep, I bought it just because. Just couldn't pass it up, and will probably wear it out anyways.

And to finish off the celebrations, hunter/animal party decor thanks to Meg, and fireworks at the mountain we were able to see from the deck at the condo.

Happy New Years! Any resolutions? I don't have any crazy resolutions really - just the usual eat healthier, work out more, make the bed daily, etc. But I do have some goals for the year that I'd like to achieve - a new car probably, a new home possibly, another half marathon, travel to somewhere new. We shall see!

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