Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Return To Blogging

Oh hey there.... it has been a REALLY LONG time since I sat down and blogged! 10 months to be exact!




Long story short is I have been working, traveling and enjoying life. I needed time to walk away from the computer and focus on life.

I think I just needed a break from bloggging, I was getting caught up in always thinking about what to write about, did I have my camera with me etc... The good news is I missed blogging!

So after a very extended break (and a new laptop) I am back!




I even went and dyed my hair! Goodbye blond hello brunette!

I plan on revamping the blog over the next few weeks and get back to what I love doing... Creating recipes and sharing reviews of the many places where I stuff my face around New England!




Like this AMAZING pork dish from Offshore Ale on Martha's Vineyard earlier this fall.

I thought in the interim I would basically share the past ten months with you all via instagram. I may have taken a break from the blog but my obsessive need to overshare via social media stayed strong!


Look forward to an upcoming recipe post that deals with all the leftovers from Thanksgiving!


Enjoy!



I sipped cocktails in the coolest library in Boston!





I ate more than my share of Rosemary Fries from Clover food truck





I took part in Fast and Furious Movie Marathons... The most epic way to spend a day off!





I traveled ALOT for work and pleasure





I ran with my family!





I rocked the photo booth at the wedding of the year....





I celebrated Oktoberfest w/ my family at Harpoon in VT





I attended work galas with friends (in $45 dress to boot!)





I tried to steal pumpkins at Scribe Winery in Sonoma Ca





I celebrated my 33rd birthday sipping nectar of the gods with friends in Napa Ca





I spent the summer eating shellfish and really embracing every bit of sunshine while it lasted!





I took to the sea...





I flew to Savannah to meet this precious snuggle bug!





I partied with sailors in my best boat shoes and VV accessories





And I brunched hard!!!

Looking back I took over 1000 pictures in 2013! This is just a sampling of the good times! It was such a great year but I am ready to get back to writing and sharing my adventures with you all!

Monday, February 25, 2013

That time I had a 4 day headache.....

Oh hey there...  remember last week when I was so excited about diving into a 2 week cleanse?  Right...  well I am still excited about the cleanse but must completely admit that I was NOT AT ALL prepared for the reality of my caffeine addiction until this past weekend.

Really! Like thought something was wrong unprepared!

I always knew I loved coffee and drank more than the average person. Usually 3-4 cups in the morning, which I thought was more due to habit over need.  It was that perfect 5 minute break in my day to get up, stretch and grab something warm. However, I didn't think it was a big deal.  I drank it black, so it didn't matter how many cups I had right?

WRONG!

It wasn't till I started weaning myself off and then going sans coffee on Friday that it really hit me!  My body is addicted, hard core to caffeine!  Since Friday I have had a headache that at times makes me want to cry.  The majorty of the time is a low "thump" in the back of my head, quietly reminding me that I am missing that morning cup.  I am consuming water and herbal tea in mass quantities trying to flush my system and somehow trick my body.  "This cup of hot tea is just like coffee" I mentally shout at myself, but my brain knows better...

Honestly the only thing keeping me from running straight to Dunkin Donuts or stealing my bosses cup of java is the reality of how truly addicted I am to caffeine.  Being this dependent and having such severe withdrawals from one thing scares the beejesus out of me!

If my body is reacting this severely to caffeine I cannot even begin to imagine what people coming off of real drugs is like.  I don't want to feel like I am a slave to coffee, I want to be able to enjoy that perfect aroma and bold taste in the morning. However, I would also love to wake up and run out the door without HAVING to make my coffee.

I am one day in on the actual cleanse and let me tell you this is already life changing.  If I am can come out of these two weeks free from hold that coffee has over me, than I will consider this entire adventure a win!

On a happier note, I am really enjoyed the rest of the transition phase of this cleanse.  Over the weekend, I drank tons of water, made healthy gluten free breakfasts sans eggs & dairy.  I even made a healthy dinner choice when out with friends Saturday night.  The cleanse is giving me the power to make the right choices.  It is already paying off too!  Since I started the transition phase last week I am down 3lbs!  Weight loss is not the major goal of this adventure but it sure is a nice side effect....

Ok, I am off now to finish my beast of a salad (kale, swiss chard, sprouts, cabbage, carrots, radishes  sprouted lentils and an olive oil/vinegar dressing).  Be sure there will also be several cups of herbal tea between now and the end of the work day!  Looking forward to heading home and making an "after school snack" of fresh juice.  Dinner tonight is carrot ginger curry soup w/ brown rice!

Have you ever battled a caffeine addiction?  How did you overcome it or are you a slave to the bold nectar of the gods?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time to Reboot - Conscious Cleanse

I know I have been very spotty in my posts the past few months.  Life has been crazy in a great way and sometimes when you are having too much fun living life you forget to sit down and write about it.


In a nutshell, I started a new job (still in shipping) that is closer to home. (AMEN for taking public transport to work!).  I have also decided to take more time for me this year.  The job change was unexpected but was a blessing in disguise.

Grateful for the fresh start! 

I was able to sit back and really answer the question, "Am I Happy With Me?"  The question was not totally.  While I loved the people and experiences at my last job, deep down I was not happy with what I was doing.  Being where I am now as given me the chance to get back to what I love...  Interacting with vessels daily.

To keep on the trend of being happy with me, I have decided to jump on the cleanse/reboot bandwagon.  Have no fear!  I AM NOT FASTING!  After reading a post from my favorite blogger Holly, (Seriously, this is the best blog out there!  Go read it! After you read this that is...) I decided that taking a few weeks to get back to the basics is exactly what I need.


Starting Monday I will begin the two week Conscious Cleanse.  This cleanse is a two week adventure where you fill your body with fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains (gluten free) and a bit of lean protein (fish, poultry and bison).  The goal is to give your system a rest, to let it repair itself.  After the two weeks you slowly reintroduce foods to see how your body reacts (sugar, caffeine, grain, dairy).  Below is straight from their site and they say it much better than me...


The Conscious Cleanse

In the 14 day journey of the Conscious Cleanse we will show you, step by step how to detoxify your body, ignite a process of deep healing, discover what food makes you feel the best, and create a sustainable way of eating that will support you on your journey to vibrant health and longevity.
Here’s the plan:
  • Step 1: Prepare for your cleanse. For 5 days before the cleanse you will begin shifting your attention to cleanse-friendly foods and away from the foods that may be slowing you down. Foods like sugar, gluten, dairy and soy. Suggestions for alternatives to these foods will be provided.
  • Step 2: Two week Conscious Cleanse. For 2 weeks you will eat whole foods like green smoothies, fresh fruits, vegetables, non-gluten grains like brown rice and quinoa, legumes, nuts, seeds, and organic lean meats.
  • Step 3: Conscious Purification. Two opportunities for deeper cleansing called “Conscious Purification” will occur on the weekends with the option of eating only fruits and vegetables, smoothies, fresh juices and broths.
  • Step 4: Reintroduction of food. Several days post-cleanse you will be guided through systematic reintroduction of foods that will help you create a personalized way of eating that supports on-going weight loss, detoxification and vibrancy.

We all know I don't eat a ton of dairy or meat now but some of the items on the list are totally making me anxious.  2 weeks without coffee, eggs, sugar, english muffins and GASP Beer!


Instead of being all freaked out I am thinking of this as a way to get back to square one.  A way to figure out once and for all what works and doesn't work with my system.

This past week I have been in the "Transition Phase" of the cleanse.  It is basically a way to physically and mentally prepare for the cleanse.  I have been eating more veggies, stocking up the kitchen with all the goodies and trying to clear out the temptations (the current box of pastries, bagels and scones in the office kitchen IS NOT HELPING). I am feeling good about this and my likeliness to succeed.  I love that I am not going to starve myself and the opportunity to try new foods/combos.  What I am not excited about is this whole giving up caffeine thing!

If you know me, you know I LOVE COFFEE!  I drink 2-4 cups a day, black but still... i can enjoy a cup of java after dinner and still sleep through the night.  This past week I have been cutting back.  I am down to one cup in the morning. In all honesty, this has been the hardest thing!  The headaches are extreme at moments, the cravings INSANE!  If this is this bad with caffeine I can not imagine what a real drug withdrawal is like!!  The good news, is it is getting better. Today is the first day I don't want to shank a stranger.... My plan is to be sans caffeine come Sunday.  I love the idea of not being a slave to coffee but will  rejoice in that first glorious cup in a few weeks from now.

Until then... bring on the smoothies, veggies and quinoa!


I am going to try and post throughout the two weeks my honest opinions of the cleanse.  Things I am loving, things I am hating and any slip ups along the way.  Hopefully two weeks from now I will be writing from a calmer (less bloated) and non-caffeine dependent mindset!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snowshoeing.. All the cool kids are doing it!

It seems that Mother Nature has decided that Spring will not come early to New England this year.  She is a fickle woman who has brought one storm after another this past month.  I have shoveled more snow this month than all last winter!  I get it lady, February is not spring... no more please!

Although the one good thing all this snow has brought is the ability to get out there and snowshoe!  I know what your thinking?

"Beth, you are summer girl, why on earth do you love snowshoeing?"

How you ask, can one summer loving parrot head learn to love the snow and cold?  Well first there is the Apres Ski style of the north.  Who wouldn't love a culture where sitting by the fire in obnoxious sweaters sipping on cocktails is encouraged!  The second and more applicable reason is snowshoeing!  I finally tried it this year and I am hooked!  I have attempted skiing and snowboarding in the past, and well... lets just say that high speeds and steep mountains are not a good combination for this baby giraffe!

But snowshoeing?  That is my speed people!  It takes my love of hiking and adds insane views and great cardio smack in the middle of winter!

In the past couple months I have gone twice!  Lets be honest, that is an achievement for this summer gal to bundle up and head out side into the cold mountain hill tops of New England!

Enjoy the photos of my two trips out ala Instagram Style:

First Time Out:  North Conway, NH 

This trip was super foggy but also in the mid-40s. A great first attempt at the sport!




Steph attempts to strap on the shoes




I felt like I was in the highlands of Scotland!



coming down this icy rocky hill was a bit of a dangerous adventure!


Second Time Out:  Killington VT ( 2 weeks later!)

This time out, my roommate and I went on a tour that included a lunch!  Much colder hike but the reward of a hot lunch and cold beer made the hike totally worth it!

I highly suggest taking the tour by the awesome people over at High Altitude Adventures  They are super nice, informative and have a heated tent where they make you lunch!  You can pop over for a day time hike or arrange a twilight hike & dinner among the stars!  I will be back for that hike!




roommates!






Can you find the bear claw marks??!?!

Thought I found big foot! Turned out it was just my "bigfoot "




Both weekends were the perfect cure to the mid-winter blues!  I am hoping to get out a few more times this winter/spring.  But Mother Nature please take note that I don't need 3 feet of snow in my backyard... I am very happy to drive to NH or VT to snowshoe... leave the snow to the mountains woman!

Do you have a winter sport that you love or just tried out?



Monday, February 4, 2013

A Pirates Life for Me?

Being a girl who loves the sea it is not a far stretch to think that at some point in my life I have considered being a pirate.  What's not to love about the dream of sailing the world, pillaging for riches, burying your treasure and drinking all the rum you can get your hook hands on.

I may not be able to fulfill most of these dreams, I doubt highly that my uncoordinated self would be very good at pillaging other ships and I am sure I would forget where I buried my treasure (due to the rum).  However, I think I can manage to stay close to the sea and drink rum, yes... I can drink rum with my toes in the sand...

Last week I came across just the rum I will have in hand when my toes are in the sand and I am singing off key one of my favorite pirate songs...  Privateer Rum!  It is a local rum made in Ipswich Ma and it is as close to perfect for a liquor as you can get people!

I was lucky enough to be invited to a Rum Pairing dinner at Grafton Street in Cambridge hosted by Privateer Rum.  The four course meal paired their amazing rum with the delicious creations from the amazing staff from Grafton Street.


This dinner was open to all but I was given a special invite as a Boston Food Blogger to give my opinion of the event (all opinions expressed below are 100% my own). Fellow blogger Rachel and I had the pleasure of sitting with the head Distiller Maggie Campbell from Privateer, her husband and Privateers Territory Manager Kofi.

To say that we had a good time is in understatement of the year!  The 5 of us laughed, stuffed our faces, sipped on sublime cocktails and busted out our versions of 90s hip hop songs...  It was a perfect Tuesday...

Pomegranate's make this cocktail healthy right?

Maggie and Kofi are so passionate about Privateer that it becomes contagious!  I learned all about how they distill the Rum and how each batch is its own distinct creation.  Maggie can tell just from sipping a cocktail which batch it is from!

Thank you Kofi & Maggie!  Such a fun night!


Duck and golden raisins...  a match made in foodie heaven!

As we sipped and noshed on the creative cocktails and entrees designed by the staff of Grafton Street I realized how naive I have been about pairing cocktails with meals.


The 3rd cocktail that made me forget it was Tuesday and a "school night"

I am usually the girl who will have a cocktail to start the night and then switch to wine during my meal.  How wrong I have been!!!  These cocktails helped pull out the savory, the spice and the citrus notes of each dish!

Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles w/ rum syrup!  Mad Genius at Grafton St!!!

A light and stormy was the perfect note to cut the creaminess of our shrimp and curry.

I may have threatened to drink this curry straight from the plate until they brought me bread to sop it up!

This final cocktail was like a warm embrace from winter!  

I could spend hours typing about the wonders of this meal...  I will save you all from my incoherant babblings of praise for both this rum and Grafton Street!  I will tell you to get out there and try this rum and head to Grafton Street for dinner!

Both will make you feel like you have been welcomed home....
Cinnamon Ice Cream people!  Need I say more?

Also, if I ever do become a full fledged pirate this rum is coming with me and so is the cook from Grafton Street! (What?! I am going to be a pirate, I need to have prisoners right?!)

Look for this label!  It is the good stuff people!