Adventures in cooking: Blueberry Breakfast Bars

March 23rd, 2014

photo

Spring has arrived and with it, a renewed interest in healthy eating and exercise. I’ve been trying to vary my workout routine day by day, with Zumba and Pilates and I’ve even decided to devote one day a week to running. I have never ever liked to run or jog, but I know it can have a really great impact the body, so I’m willing to give it a go.

Along with (almost) daily workouts, I’ve been more mindful of what I eat. So far, the best thing for me is to have a smoothie or something small for dinner while eating good things during the day. Who wants to work out after they’ve eaten a heavy meal? Not me. My biggest problem is breakfast because I never feel like I have enough time to make anything good. This means I either don’t eat or I grab Starbies, which isn’t bad, but it’s not something I should have every day. The Kitchn posted their Cooking Cure for the Spring, which helps readers get to know what they’re eating and inspires them to try some new things. While I haven’t kept up with the entire program, I’ve been bookmarking bits and pieces. A few breakfast/energy ideas came up, and this one seemed pretty tasty to me: Blueberry Breakfast Bars.

The recipe is really simple, with yummy blueberries and whole wheat flour. I loved the way they turned out! My main issue was figuring out how to store them properly, since I was the only one at home who was eating them. Still, making these bars was quick and easy. If you’re looking for something to shake up your breakfast routine, give these a try!

IMG_8422

IMG_8428

IMG_8430

IMG_8435

Recipe: Blueberry Breakfast Bars (c/o The Kitchn)

What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Any ideas for on-the-go meal?

Follow on Bloglovin

Because some days, you just have to talk about Tony Stark…

March 20th, 2014

IMG_8419

Some days are tough.
Some days I get disrespected and run down by life, by work, by the universe.
Some days I just can’t get to work on time.
Some days I have cursing bouts way before 8 a.m.
Some days I get sneezed on.
Some days I don’t have time for Starbucks.
Some days I get kicked and punched (hard) by little ones who, despite their anger, really just need my help.
Some days life sucks.

But some days I get to sleep until 5 a.m.
And some days I get to shower, blow out my hair, and finish getting ready just in time.
And some days I grab a mini breakfast at home.
And some days there’s no traffic.
And some days I get to school with a huge smile on my face.
And some days I’m greeted by hugs.
And some days my kids do what they’re supposed to be doing during work time.
And some days I get to research “how to make clay” with eager children.
And some days I listen to their conversations and hear things like, “Oh, that was so kind of you.”
And some days I get to have long and meaningful conversations about Tony Stark and the Avengers and how superheroes are the absolute best.

So, some days are pretty darn good.

Follow on Bloglovin

Days go by…

March 10th, 2014

IMG_8065

Boy, do they ever. February was over before I knew it and now we’re already nine days into March. So crazy. This weekend has been a quiet affair. Steven’s grandmother passed away earlier in the week, so he is in Iowa with his family. It’s a strange privilege to experience a little bit of this with him. I wish I could be in Iowa, but we talked a lot before he left and have been texting back and forth. All I want is to be a support and a source of happiness, so that’s what I’m trying to do. This whole thing has definitely made me think of my grandma Zoraida even more than I already do and how much I miss her. The death of a loved one is at once a very common experience and still something unique and individual, since everyone responds in different ways. Still, as sad as it is for someone to pass on, it’s beautiful, too. After almost three years of missing my grandma, I’ve found that I’m slightly less angry and more at peace with everything. It’s also interesting to think that when my grandma was in the hospital, I received a text from Steven with a little message of support. Little did I know that only a few months later, he would become a permanent fixture in my life.

So, February. After having a week off, I headed back to work with my 26 little weirdos (I say this with all of the affection in the universe). We had a big state visit to deal with (hello, people deciding if your school will sink or swim!), but the kids did well. The only downside is that we were stuck in the building almost all week. Last Friday we went out, despite some frigid temps, because we just couldn’t take it anymore. Thank goodness that spring is making a comeback.

IMG_8246

Last weekend, was all about my hometown besties. On Friday evening we celebrated my birthday with dinner and drinks at Blockheads, which is my favorite place for margaritas. Since Friday evenings are a deathtrap at all NYC dining locations, we had a long wait. My friend Liddy complained enough that we got a free round of drinks and some money towards the bill! It pays to be aggressive. After two margaritas and a celebratory shot of tequila, dinner is a little fuzzy, but I do know that there was a lot of laughter, great music, and I was officially asked to be a bridesmaid! Thank you for giving me a whole year to get in shape, Tina Banana. Gotta figure out how I’m going to rock that sari.
IMG_8283

IMG_8272

IMG_8262

On Sunday, we all gathered for an impromptu sleepover/Academy Awards/going away celebration for my friend, Joanne, who was heading to Rio to teach English. (Not so fun fact, she got there on Wednesday and by Friday, she had been robbed at knifepoint in a park. Scary, scary. Thankfully, she’s okay.) It was so special to have all of that quality time together. Wine. Thai food. Baked treats. Happiness.

IMG_8284

This weekend, I worked on report cards, slept, and stayed as quiet as possible. I had some play time with Mason and enjoyed every single bit of warmth and sunshine we were afforded. This winter has been brutal, so all tiny bits of spring–even the loud ass birds that live in my attic and on the tree outside of my bedroom–were totally appreciated.

What about you? How is everyone enjoying this burst of pre-spring weather? ♥

Follow on Bloglovin

Staycation Vacation

February 23rd, 2014

IMG_8172
A week ago I was sitting in bed, feeling miserably sick, but excited about the days to come. NYC public schools had a week off and I had all sorts of marvelous plans to share. Well, that post was never completed, but the mental list remained and I’m happy to say that I accomplished most of what I had set out to do for this week. Mainly: Relax and spend time with the people (and puppy) I love.
IMG_8135

We celebrated Valentine’s Day in our own style (pizza and beer) and on Sunday I celebrated my birthday early with the parental units and Steven. My favorite part was the ice cream cake, which has been my birthday treat of choice since I was a child. Don’t mess with perfection.

IMG_8126

IMG_8128

IMG_8129

Monday was my actual birthday, so I treated myself to a gel manicure and a mini shopping spree. Unfortunately, it was President’s Day, which meant that the mall was packed and the lines for the register were incredibly long. Boo. I still managed to pick up a few great things, including this Aztec print hoodie that Emmett from Hippie Lace featured on her blog not too long ago. Definitely my favorite purchase! I spent the evening with Steven’s family. His brother and sister-in-law made a delicious meal complete with cupcakes and really sweet birthday gifts. (I can’t wait to try out my new nail kit, guys!) My future in laws got me the Humans of New York book, which was the most exciting thing ever.

IMG_8145

IMG_8151

The rest of the week was spent with my boys. We ran errands with my grandma, walked around my favorite little town, ate yummy food, and worked on our guest list. I wanted to create a tentative list so we can establish a reasonable budget and help narrow down some venues that we may want to visit in upcoming months. Steven, that nifty man of mine, created a spreadsheet with all of the important information for the venues. Good thing I’m marrying him.

IMG_8230

500e0aa4967211e39f7d12fefc9790e3_8

On Friday we visited one of my besties in the city and hit up a favorite spot of mine, Alice’s Tea Cup. It’s an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant with three locations (chapters) in New York City. Their scones are impeccable and the tea list is extensive. My mouth was watering all day thinking about my Lapsang Souchong Chicken Sandwich (herbed goat cheese and apples, guys!!!) and it did not disappoint. We were totally full by the time we walked out of there, but we made one more stop at Kiehl’s, so I could pick up some goodies for myself.

IMG_8214

IMG_8215

IMG_8219

We spent the evening watching The Librarian (hilarious and adorable), drinking wine, and eating Macarons. Win? SO MUCH WIN. My brother came down from college today to work on a sculpture for one of his classes and we caught up and had breakfast before his work began.

IMG_8225

Right now it definitely feels like I’m on the wrong end of this vacation business, but it had to end some time. I’m hoping that my kids are well rested and wishing that the rest of this year goes smoothly for all of us. I’m excited for days to come, warmer weather, and more wedding planning and dreams of summer. I can’t wait. ♥

Do you guys do anything special this weekend? What have you been up to?

Follow on Bloglovin

Things have changed for me…

February 8th, 2014

Photo 17

I suck at goodbyes. I hate them. I think they’re stupid and final and gross. I’m all about avoidance at all costs, so when my friend Blanca got sick around the time of her goodbye dinner this week, I was almost relieved. Almost.

Blanca is moving to the Netherlands today, for a wonderful job and her wonderful love and I’m so happy for her, but it’s really hard to think that she’s not going to be here anymore. I saw her at a concert before I ever actually met her (uh…at another concert) and I got to know her online. It’s not as creepy as it sounds (Livejournal users, unite!). We became quick friends–instant connection–and spent the next few years hanging out, loving music, talking, and creating a wonderful friendship. She was with me when I got my first tattoo (and listened to me agonize over it for months before that) and has always been a supporter of me stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new.

We haven’t been able to see each other as often recently, but at least I had the knowledge that she was only an hour car ride away if I ever needed her. We had some really amazing and important times together, loving the hell out of the hippies in Hair and the bass player in Muse. She’s someone who I think just gets me and it’s important to have people like that in your life.

She and I have discussed this before, but Blanca is a litmus test for how I judge other people. That maybe doesn’t make sense, but in my head it’s totally clear. What I mean is that Blanca is the nicest, kindest, coolest, most fashionable, chill, funny, and wonderful person ever…and so if you don’t like her, something is clearly wrong with you…and maybe we shouldn’t be friends. I’ll miss not having her around, but I’m thankful for every fantastic moment we shared. Thankful for long talks and for helping me understand what this cuddling business is all about. Thankful for every show we ever saw. Thankful for someone who helped me figure out who I am. Thankful for soccer. Thankful for inappropriate comments. Thankful for supremely ridiculous texting marathons. Thankful for my “side eye” buddy. Thankful for everything I would never thank her for in a public blog post.

Blanca, I love you and I’m so excited that you’re creating a new life for yourself. I will miss you more than you know. ♥

(Keep in touch, or I will hunt you down. I better see you on House Hunters International soon.)

Follow on Bloglovin