Monday, November 30, 2009

home in viking heaven

Hello my sweets, how have you been? I apologize for my blog negligence, I was simply enjoying the pleasures of home. I hope you didn't mind ;). My hometown is Valhalla, otherwise known as the heaven of the Viking warriors. It is small, it is quaint, and yes, our school mascot is a Viking. Fierce, I know. Most of the time I take advantage of it's proximity to the city, a quick train ride or drive, but this weekend I decided to stay put.
Last night that meant that my friends and I went to the train station in "the village." It's a restaurant housed in a few old train cars. I had a pumpkin ale and a vegetarian sandwich as we reminisced over high-school and the time since then. Unfortunately, I went home and fell asleep almost immediately after, missing the post-dinner fun :(.
And still I managed to sleep in ever so slightly this morning. First thing on my mind upon waking? Breakfast. I made my first pumpkin oats of the season, complete with almond milk, banana, and almond butter. 'Twas scrumptious as expected. 
Afterwards I did my yummy yoga routine. It was at this point that I came to the conclusion that I am much more flexible than Colby (the puppy) but at least he tries. Dog humor, ha, hilarious.
Following our work out, I quickly put my face up and drove to pick up the boy from the train station. I was so happy to see him, and see how beautiful the weather was!
Our first order of business was taking the dogs for a walk at Cranberry Lake. We enjoyed it almost as much as they did. Seriously, there were so excited they were practically the ones dragging walking us.
Then we went to Jean-Jacques, my favorite French café located appropriately in the town of Pleasantville. I had the usual - an avocado wrap with tomato, lettuce, and sprouts.
I can't believe I have never taken him there before! My friends and I always meet here for late-night coffee or brunch or anything really because it's so gosh darn cute. Where's your usual friend & foodie hangout when you're home?
Being as it was his first time, it's no surprise that he could not resist the pastry display.
And try he did, an almond croissant to be exact (good choice, my love). He was raving about it, but just to confirm (I'm all about accuracy) I had a few amazing bites of my own too.
How could I not love all things French? I mean, really.
Fast-forward about five hours through a grocery shopping run, and a boy to medical school drop-off, and I was back home again for dinner. A personal highlight for me was the veggie loaf. 
Our table spread also included a spinach salad, sausages (ick) and whole-wheat pasta. I don't know if you've picked up on this yet, but my family and I are big into Italian food. It probably has a lot to do with Valhalla and the surrounding towns, there are enough authentic Italian restaurants and bakeries to make anyone's head spin.
Oh. And there was wine. I never remember this being a habit in my house when I was younger, but ever since I've become "of age" my dad always insists on it. Who I am I to complain? ;)
For dessert I helped myself to homemade pumpkin butter with pears and apples. My mom's sweet friend made a delicious batch for us and it has been very much appreciated. I'm not sure about her secret recipe, but I found a great bloggie alternative.
And that leads us to now, some down time with the fam before I head back to Syracuse tomorrow. This is a photo of Marie in our school store about four years ago, I spoke with her for an hour on skype last night. I miss her so much, it's as if not a day has passed since we were sharing a room! Even though I won't be visiting her City of Lights any time soon :( I will be back in the Big Apple come next weekend. Miss Leslie and I have big karaoke plans ;) more details to come.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

a thanksgiving to remember

Once upon time, in a city not too far away, the sun came up on an American holiday. Manhattan was suddenly quiet and peaceful yet festive and inviting. Two girls jumped out of bed, got themselves ready, and hopped on the train with a city destination in mind. They arrived promptly at their aunt's apartment at 8 a.m. to a table already set for dinner.
And still there were things to be done. Their three young cousins were awake but still in their pajamas and they hadn't eaten breakfast yet. Come to think of it, neither had the girls...
One girl ate a Pop-Tart she had packed with her, while another sat down and ate oatmeal with their grandmother. She enjoyed it, for sure, but she was distracted by the whereabouts of a much-anticipated blogging guest. They had never met but, of course, knew all about each other for that is how the blogosphere works :).
Following a few hiccups of public transportation, the two were united, and immediately jumped on the subway to see the Thanksgiving day parade with her family. But alas the reunion was impossible. The two bloggies only had each other and they were more than fine with that. I mean really, who needs a gorgeous terrace serving brunch and champagne?
They saw bits and pieces of the parade in the true NYC fashion, from the busy and crowded street, being pushed left and right amongst impatient children and adults as freaky balloons and unidentifiable floats cruised down the block. And through all the confusion, they began to bond.
Haha, and the good times continued! They returned to her aunt's apartment shortly after it ended. Being the first ones there, they helped her aunt prepare: by watching the dog show, unsuccessfully finding a coat rack, and finally, running out on a turkey baster mission. No window wiper spray or failed rock band could stop the dynamic duo.
Shortly upon their return, they were rewarded with appetizers galore. They snacked on spanish cheeses, chorizo, French bread, crackers, hummus, crudités, chips and salsa. 
And if those few bites here and there hadn't been enough, the baked brie was eventually served topped with a homemade cranberry chutney and sliced almonds. So what if the better healthful and environmentally-kind eating habits were temporarily ignored? It was amazing, they were in cheesy bliss.
Then with their first glasses of wine in hand the two socialized. The visiting blogalicious beauty met every one, from her grandmother to her brother to her aunt & mom's friend from high school. How bold she felt to introduce Kailey to her crazy family ;).
Before they knew it, it was turkey time! Obviously in the symbolic not literal sense :).
There was quite the spread with salads and cruciferous veggies with the yummiest of spices,
traditional stuffing with meat, and that without for the veg-heads, 
fresh sautéed green beans with garlic, 
marshmallow yams, and last but not least, cranberry sauce.
They helped themselves to colorful plates of goodness and acorn squash made an appearance. 
Every one ate well and spent time chatting between bites. By this time, the two bloggies had covered the hottest of topics: nutritious food, boys, nightlife memories, their universities, expectant futures and gossip from the blog world. Satisfied with themselves, they moved on to digesting through play, with a painfully long game of Monopoly.
In between, however, there was a short break for dessert. A warm apple pie was served, 
with a cheesecake (of which was left untouched except for the decorative fresh fruit on the outside).

Strong coffee was enjoyed by some, while others opted for tea.
Then rainbow cookies made their debut alongside vegan cookies with a creamy chocolate center.
It all ended as wonderfully as it began, food fun, family, and friends, especially of the snackface kind, made for an unforgettable holiday. They were tired not stuffed and never quite did discover who was the Monopoly real estate mogul was (although Ivanka came close) but each one was oh so thankful. And they lived happily ever after. 

The end... at least for now ;).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

american tradition with a new twist

Hello my dears! I hope your holiday (if celebrated) was spectacular! Mine certainly was, (a plus of actually being in the states,) and especially so because of a very special guest. So much fun, food, family, and friends... can you find my new one in this photo?
I don't have a chance to review all the wonderful festivities of the day so I'll just leave you with that ;). And a reminder to send me your info, if you haven't already, for the Bloggie Secret Santa, today's the last day. I'm on my way to visit the boy, wishing you a happy Black Friday and weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

be thankful

Good morning! Are you a Bloggie Secret Santa yet? I don't have much time to chat because I've got to finish up a project, stop by my last class, and get on the road. Why so busy you ask? Oh, well, I'm just, going home... I finally made it to Thanksgiving break baby! Until then though :) I thought I'd pop in with a festive dose of gratitude!
I am thankful for my friends, both old and new. Some may now live apart, we may have separate lives but we always prioritize time spent together. A few days ago, before I drove one of them to their airport, all three of my best friends from freshman year went our for appeThaizing. The meal and the company was scrumptious. I feel lucky to know so much love, including that from the boy :).
I am thankful for bloggies. Yesterday I received a card from my sweet little loverbug, Gliding Clam. You are too wonderful, girl, expect something your way very soon! Speaking of ladies in blogland, I am going to be spending my American holiday with another very special one. I'm so glad to be a part of such a wonderful community, I appreciate each one of you oh so very much.
I am thankful to be young. I stayed in and caught up on work for most of this past weekend but on Saturday night my roommate, her friend from home, and I all went downtown to Daisy Dukes. Neither of us rode the bull but we did bump into more old and new friends, in addition to enjoying free drinks from generous strangers ;).
I am thankful to have a healthy body and mind. Unfortunately I was unable to sign up for this session at the CNY Yoga Center (won't be able to get my money's worth since I'm spending so much time at home in the next month) but these DVDs have been amazing. I just love the way I feel afterwards, yoga never fails to center me. Oh and I finally got a headstand!
I am thankful for my family. Last Friday, I met my graduated friend Laura downtown at the Black Olive. We spent a lot of time talking about our not-entirely-perfect situations at home. You'd think it'd be a little sad, but no, it was liberating. My family is certainly not perfect, but we are real, and we love each other and I can't wait to see them tonight.
I am thankful for my opportunities. Not only do I have a chance to try discounted SprouTofu burgers ;) but I will be interning at Fitness magazine for the second time this upcoming winter break. I may not have a plan for the future but I have faith in the fact that it will work out, and in the mean time, I will continue to believe, to do, and to experience... What about you?

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."  -Melody Beatti

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

lighten the mood

Hello my darlings. How the hell have you been? :) I'm not sure how I'm doing. I had an amazing weekend, one of the best this year... and then Monday came with friend stuff and school stuff. I'm not personally on bad terms with anyone, but there are quite a few people close to me that are going through tough times right now. Oh, the ironic contrast. I just happen to be one of those people who are ridiculously empathetic. It makes me who I am.
Can we just pretend it's Thursday night again? Alright, great. I went to a pre-bar with a best friend, had an early night but socialized sufficiently.
Or maybe go back to Friday evening? The boy got into Syracuse around 4:30 and we immediately drove over to get him a haircut. He was beyond scruffy and needed it :) even though I did kind of like it. I ate a late Panera lunch while I waited.
Then it was formal time! We went back to my house and got ready alongside the other 39 girls and their dates. Obviously not all in the same room ;). And soon enough, it was time to go. We boarded the bus and took pictures on our 20-minute commute.
You saw my formal outfit didn't you? I wore the dress to a wedding last year (still love it's color and the way it fits), hair was natural, minimal jewelery, and little peep-toe platform heels. FYI: I took this picture just to show you, ha, always thinking about the blog.
Everyone looked so pretty! I'd like to re-live it again: We partied and danced hard (ha, so much fun) and ate lightly. That last part was probably the only downer, I was pretty hungry all night...
which means I woke up beyond starving the next morning. Luckily, the boy, my roommate and her friend went out to brunch. I promptly ordered an omelette with spinach, broccoli, feta, whole-wheat toast on the side, and a big cup of coffee.
Our location was eggplant an adorable little breakfast spot in East Syracuse. I love this place, the food is delicious, (not too greasy, not too expensive), and I'd go there every morning if I could.
Mmm, hash browns too. Scratch whatever I said before, I wish it was Saturday morning again.