Monday, October 28, 2013

Birthday Dinner + Heather and Randle visit Boston!

September marked another birthday. My sweet sis heather and fiance Randle came the weekend before and we celebrated by hanging out all over Boston. We had a lovely candlelight dinner in Boston's Italian district, way too many cannolis, went on a duck tour, hit Newport, RI for a day, and also went to Martha's Vineyard for a day trip. It was a fun birthday I will remember for a while. I hope they come back soon!

Birthday dinner! We ate at the tastiest tapas restaurant in Cambridge.

View from The Breakers, in Newport, RI.

We went to Newport, RI and toured some of the mansions. 

This place was so much like Downton Abbey!

They got engaged while visiting Boston!

I love this girl.

Menu Monday: Soup + Halloween Food!

I am working from home all week -- so let the cooking begin! It is starting to get pretty chilly here in Boston, so when I began meal planning it was all about the soup!

Here is what is on the docket:

Monday: Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup  - Just ate a bowl. This is going on my frequent rotation!

Tuesday: Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps - My fave lettuce wrap recipe. I frequently eat just the filling sans lettuce.

Wednesday: Potato and Leek Soup - One of my all time favorite soups. 

Thursday: Halloween! We are having a get together and will be making lots of appetizers. We will be making meatballs, brain cupcakes, and maybe a 7 layer dip? I also may make these delicious oreo pumpkin cheesecake bars again.

What are you eating this week? I am still addicted to Plan to Eat and use that as my one stop shop for planning, cooking, and shopping lists.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My fun Family!

A great one I had to share from my parents 50th birthday this summer. So grateful for all they have, and continue to do for me.

Tips for Travelling from a Frequent Flyer

As some of you know, I have been “on the road again” for a while (*cue cheesy music*).  I have been traveling for an out of town assignment in Little Rock, AR and am travelling back and forth between there and Boston at least three weeks a month. This should be wrapping up in a few months. I am bummed to be away from John, but grateful to have a good job. It is also really great that John is from LR so instead of twiddling my thumbs in a hotel room most nights I have been hanging with family. In fact, I have been staying with family instead of at a hotel and it has made such a difference.
But - my feelings about traveling again aside, I thought I should finally write a post on travel tips since I get more air time than your average joe. I also regard myself as an expert packer even among my travelling peers.  So without further ado, below is some of my best advice you should consider when hitting the road.
1.       Just Go Lighter. You can do it. You don’t need your entire wardrobe in your suitcase. I feel like most people have the tendency to over pack, and it is just a pain. It is more to carry, more to wash later and more to deal with in general. Heaven Forbid you really ruin something and are in need of clothing, you could always go to a store and get something. In 3 years of heavy travel, I have only had to hit the store for emergency clothes twice.
2.       Don’t be afraid to re-wear certain pieces. My average week’s packing is as follows:
a.       1 sweater or jacket (I wear on the plane)
b.      1 light scarf I wear on the plane (doubles as a blanket when the plane is freezing)
c.       1 pair of slacks and/or 1 skirt
d.      1 blouse per day
e.      1 pair of casual clothes
So generally I re-wear my sweater, scarf and pants/skirt throughout the week.  Seriously people, who really wears a different pair of pants every day? I am not that person.*
3.       Wear similar colors that week so you can use the same color shoes and accessories. I I usually do 1 pair of heels and 1 pair of flats which I wear on the plane. I also throw some non-bulky casual shoes and maybe gym shoes in if I am feeling motivated.
4.       Wear your heaviest/clunkiest/largest item the day your travel. If I bring gym shoes, these are the item.
5.       If you travel frequently, have a separate copy of most toiletries so they can just stay in your luggage. I also keep my makeup in an easy container for using at home or on the road.
6.       Carry on if at all possible! You save a lot of time since you don’t have to get to the airport as early and you don’t have to wait around afterwards.
At the Airport
1.       It will be OKAY. Even if something unexpected happens..
2.       It is not the airlines fault. Most of the time. But be patient with them anyway.
3.       Get there with appropriate time. I usually only arrive at the airport 1 hour prior to my flight, but it depends on your airport and time of day.
General Recommendations
1.       Always keep a snack in your bag. Being way too hungry can lead to bad airport food choices.
2.       Wear layers while traveling. Temperatures vary a ton on the plane (frigid cold to the a/c is out) so you need to be flexible.
3.       Smile and thank those who work in the travel industry. They see millions of people a day who don’t do this. This will help you when you least expect it.

*I am also not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination.
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