At 3:06 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16, my adorable nephew Michael Leon was born!
Side note: Look at all that hair!!
He weighed a whopping 9.6 pounds, which is crazy considering Fabio’s sister Diane is so tiny.
Mom, dad, and baby are all doing well, and I’m hoping I’ll get to meet this little cutie over the weekend!
Congratulations, Diane and Alex!
(Some photos “with Michael” from the wedding :). )
I’m going to keep the rest of this week’s highlights short since I spent my Thursday night at Sibarita eating delicious Bolivian food with Fabio’s cousin Ligia and her boyfriend Sean instead of taking time to really sit down and blog.
It was a fun night with a much-needed margarita after a tough week at work. Cheers!
Some other quick highlights from the week: We had an amazing salad for dinner on Monday night complete with grilled nectarines, sweet corn, goat cheese, chicken sausage, mixed greens, and arugula.
I am loving summer produce right now!
We also had some chicken burgers with a side salad, which also came out delicious. Yum!
And after visiting Aunt CC and Uncle Steve in Otis last weekend, I enjoyed some of the homemade lemon biscotti they sent me home with in my coffee! It wasn’t an every day treat this week, but it was an almost every day one. 🙂
And I will leave you with this fun sign that I saw in the entrance of Next Phase Studio where I completed a fun bootcamp workout this week:
“Can we be your happy place?” Why yes, yes you can! 🙂
The end. Happy Friday!
Question of the day: For those of you with nieces and nephews, tell me how old they are!
We decided to end our trip with a stop in Ko Samui, one of the beautiful islands off the southeast coast of Thailand (FYI – we picked the east coast because we read it was supposed to be less rainy in June). And while I truly enjoyed every moment of learning about Thai culture and exploring new places, there is something so calming about plopping in a chair on the sand and just soaking up the sun to the sound of the waves.
And, in addition to spending some time relaxing in the sun, we enjoyed the most romantic dinner of our trip in Ko Samui. In fact, it might have been the most romantic dinner we’ve ever had!
When we arrived at Ozo, our Ko Samui hotel in Chaweng Beach, Fabio wasted no time in asking the concierge for dinner recommendations. Thankfully she recommended Six Senses’ Dining on the Rocks restaurant as one of the places we had to visit during sunset, and I’m so incredibly thankful that she did.
We took a cab from our hotel to the Six Senses luxury resort, and then took a golf cart up to their Dining on the Rocks restaurant. Before we headed up to the main part of the restaurant, we were whisked onto a patio just in time to watch the sun set over the ocean.
Our table was right along the edge of the patio so we were treated to an amazing view!
With the mountains in the distance and the beautiful ocean in front of us, this wound up being one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen! It didn’t hurt that I was so relaxed and happy about spending a romantic evening with my husband. And you can’t see our faces here because of the sun, but I promise you we are grinning ear to ear.
As soon as we sat down, we ordered two glasses of champagne. Cheers to a honeymoon in paradise!
After the sun had gone down, we headed up to the main part of the restaurant where we’d eat an amazing meal.
It was still beautiful up there, but we were facing slightly away from the sun so I’m glad we enjoyed happy hour on the smaller patio first.
Instead, we got to take in beautiful views of the ocean!
(With more champagne, obviously.)
The meal itself was also amazing! I started off with some prawn and sea bass ceviche with “sweet potato sheets” which was delicious and refreshing, especially since it was pretty hot out.
For my entree, I enjoyed the scallops! Fabio got a steak, and we also shared a few side dishes.
Dessert was probably my favorite dish – I got the mango yogurt roll which was a mix of the most perfectly ripe mango and frozen yogurt. Yum!!
This restaurant is not cheap by any means – in fact it was the most expensive meal we had during our trip – but it was so romantic and relaxing and so perfect for a honeymoon. I loved every second!
Question of the day: What’s the most romantic dinner you’ve ever had?
This past weekend, Fabio, Jack, and I drove up to Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s house in Otis, Massachusetts (in the Berkshires) for a weekend of fun in the sun! We were joined by my friends Hana and Britt, which made the trip extra amazing.
Here are some scenes from the weekend, with a few notes of commentary here and there. 🙂
We hit the road on Thursday evening after work!
After a long car ride, we arrived in Otis to quite the welcome spread!
We stayed up until around 4 a.m. before throwing in the towel. We were exhausted.
We recently bought this life vest for Jack so we don’t have to worry about him when he jumps off the kayak or paddle board in the middle of the lake. It worked perfectly!
Steve took Jack on his kayak, and the rest of us used the stand-up paddle boards. Poor Fabio had to work on Friday so he stayed at the house, and Britt didn’t arrive until Friday evening. (That pesky day job.)
But the rest of us had fun!
After paddle boarding, we hung out in the back yard enjoying the sunshine and playing lots of lawn games.
Jack wanted to join us in playing bocce. 🙂
Steve was on cocktail duty and made us some amazing concoctions!
Later in the afternoon, the sky began to look a little ominous so we moved our games inside. Steve showed us how to play Gobblet, and we were all instantly addicted.
Once Britt arrived, it was dinner time!
We called it a night around 1 a.m. after playing lots more board games. We were pooped!
Saturday morning started off pretty gray and cold, so we huddled inside and went through our wedding pictures together! Then we made a stop at the farmer’s market.
Lunch featured wraps on the deck, and then we headed off for a four-mile hike!
Which of course, meant more swimming for Jack.
The sun was fully out by the time we got back to the house, so we put on our swimsuits and headed over to the lake.
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the house playing lots and lots more games.
The games didn’t stop when the sun went down – night time bocce, kan-jam, and badminton for the win!
We finished up the evening sitting around the fire pit and called it a night around 1:45 a.m. (Dinner was also in there somewhere, but I was too busy having fun to take any pics!)
We stuck around for breakfast on Sunday before packing up to head home.
It was a long drive, but the fun weekend was worth it!
Hey friends! I’m dropping by today with six random things that are on my mind. 🙂
1. We are heading out of town again this weekend, this time for another fun weekend getaway up at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s place in Otis, MA. It’s a long, 6.5 hour drive, but it’s always so fun once we get up there. We have a couple of friends joining us this time, so I wanted to bring a couple of treats up with us so CC and Steve don’t spend the whole weekend slaving away over food. I wound up making this Mediterranean Farro Salad and this Lemon Blueberry Bread. The lemon blueberry bread in particular looks amazing, and I can’t wait to dig into it! Woohooo!! Otis weekends are the best.
2. Our wedding pictures are ready!!!!! Eeek!! I got the email from our photographer in the middle of the work day, and it was all I could do not to tear through them right away. Luckily I waited until I got home so Fabio and I could enjoy going through them together. They came out so beautifully and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them all! I’m thinking I’ll wait until Shutterfly or one of those sites has a sale, and then I’ll make some albums for family and order a few prints. Any recommendations? Here’s one sneak peek for you guys…
3. And now that our wedding pictures are ready, I can get working on the wedding blog recaps! I still have one last honeymoon post to write, and then I’ll dive into all things wedding. It was such a fun, magical weekend, and I want to make sure I capture it all perfectly! It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to share it with you all.
4. Speaking of blog posts, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time to sit down and write here on CET. Work and life have both been really busy, and I’ve always wanted writing in this space to be something I look forward to doing, or get to do, and I don’t ever want it to feel like an obligation. Some days I think, “Oh man, I have to get a blog post up today,” and then I think, “Wait, I don’t have to do anything.” I’m not planning on changing my posting schedule drastically or anything like that, but I wanted to let you guys know how I was feeling and just give you a heads up that some days there might be a post, and some days there might not. That’s just sort of how life is working out for me right now.
5. We didn’t make it to the grocery store last weekend, so our dinners have sort of been all over the place. We used up a lot of random produce we had in the fridge from last week, and I’ve made a bunch of weird thrown-together meals that actually came out pretty tasty. Last night, for example, I made us a pasta dish with leftover roasted carrots, corn salad, and Peruvian chicken, and somehow it all tasted great together once I mixed up a random dressing to tie it all together. Hey, whatever works!
6. Workouts have been pretty good so far this week, with a short run on Monday, a spin class at FlyWheel on Tuesday, a sculpt class at CorePower yoga on Wednesday, and a bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club planned for tomorrow (it’s Wednesday as I write this). Plus I’m sure I’ll probably get in some fun activities this weekend in Otis as well!
Aaaaand there you have it – six random thoughts in my head this morning. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!
Question of the day: What’s your dinner go-to when you haven’t been to the grocery store?
Hi there! How was your weekend? Hopefully it was the perfect mix of productive, fun, and relaxing, which is how mine unfolded. Let’s take a look!
After work on Friday, Fabio and I met up with a few of our friends for dinner at Baby Wale in DC. Two of our good friends Andy and Cullen were in town from LA, and we definitely wanted to see them while they were here! Our friends Jon and Liz are close with Andy and Cullen too, so we figured a group dinner in DC would be a good idea.
I had never been to Baby Wale before but it had a great atmosphere and the food was tasty yet affordable! I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a perfectly dressed side salad, and a couple of tasty cocktails. It was a really fun night and so great to catch up with everyone!
Saturday did not start off on the best note for me. Fabio headed off to golf with a friend early in the morning, while I stayed behind and cleaned the entire house. We’re talking vacuuming, dusting, window-washing, tub-scrubbing, toilet-cleaning – the whole nine yards. When Fabio called me after golf saying he was on his way home, I got irrationally mad since he’d been outside enjoying the beautiful weather while I cleaned everything by myself. I kept thinking about how I could have been sitting outside at a coffee shop or taking a yoga class, but instead I was stuck inside scrubbing.
Having a clean house just isn’t something that Fabio cares about, but it’s something that’s important to me. Since this wound up upsetting me more than it should have (and this is definitely not the first time this has happened), I think it’s time to invest in some kind of cleaning service so I’m not spending hours on a Saturday morning cleaning by myself. If any of you have any tips for hiring a cleaning service (or dealing with husbands who don’t care about a clean house…), I’d love to hear them!
After Fabio arrived home, we both hopped in the car and sat in two hours of traffic (again, not the best start to the day) before finally arriving at my grandparents’ house in the Chesapeake Bay where we planned to spend the rest of the weekend. As soon as we arrived, my bad mood lifted.
Just walking to the dock and looking out at the water made me feel so much better.
And as soon as we dropped our stuff off, it was time for a boat ride! My dad, sister, cousin, and uncle had arrived at my grandparents’ house earlier in the day, and we were all eager to get out on the water.
Fabio even brought some beers along for our ride. Cheers!
The water was pretty choppy on Saturday, and the waves splashed me multiple times. Apparently I should have put my bathing suit on!
After boating around for a while, we stopped into a restaurant on Kent Island for happy hour drinks, and Fabio and I each got a “Kent Narrows Crush” which was delicious and so refreshing. Then it was time to head back to the house!
Back at the house, my grandpa made us a couple of Old Fashioned cocktails, which are definitely his specialty. The one I had was really strong, especially when added to the beer and the Kent Narrows Crush I had already had. 😉
So it’s safe to say that we enjoyed a fun happy hour at home with my family! 😉
A while later we all started to feel hungry, so we headed over to Adam’s Grille for dinner. I got a chopped chicken salad which was huge! I only wound up finishing about half of it.
My dad, sister, cousin, and uncle all left after dinner, but Fabio and I headed back to my grandparents’ house to spend the night. By the time we returned from dinner it was 10:30 p.m., and I didn’t last long at all before calling it a night.
Sunday was another beautiful day at the Bay!
Fabio and I enjoyed a leisurely morning with my grandparents (we even checked out the new IHOP in their town, which was fun and definitely delicious) before it was time for golf! Fabio and my grandparents had an early afternoon tee time, and while I could have gone to the pool by myself, I decided to drive around on the golf carts with them and watch their game.
Fabio has been trying to get me to play golf with him for years, but it just doesn’t seem like it would be something I’d like. My hand-eye coordination is pretty terrible, and I just know I’d get so frustrated. I did have a fun time hanging around with everyone on the course though, so maybe I’ll give it a try one day?
After 9 holes of golf, we headed back to the house and packed up our stuff to head back home. We had such a wonderful weekend at the Bay with my grandparents, and it felt like a mini vacation. I am always so grateful when we get to spend this kind of quality time with them. 🙂
We sat in some beach traffic on the way home and got back to the house at around 6:30. Now we’ve unpacked our bags and are waiting for Game of Thrones to start! (As usual, it’s Sunday night as I type this.) I can’t wait to see what happens on the show this week!
Question(s) of the day: Do you have any cleaning tips for me? If you use a cleaning service, how often do they come? Would you/do you play golf?
Hello there! Happy Friday! Did you have a good week? Mine was a busy one and included lots of good workouts and good food! Let’s take a look.
On Monday, I took Jack for a very short run (only about a mile). I wound up getting home from Fire Island pretty late and thought sleeping in sounded better than setting an early alarm. I still wanted to get some movement though, so a one-mile run did the trick.
On Tuesday, I joined my favorite workout buddy Anne for a class at Next Phase Studio via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $40 off!). We wound up being the only two people in the class, so we got a custom workout. Sweet! Our class incorporated a ton of moves on the TRX – I always forget how many things you can do on there – and then we went through two interval circuits and a cooldown/stretch.
It was a good one, and my upper body was pretty sore afterward.
On Wednesday, I went for another one-mile run with Jack and then dropped him off at home before running over to the track at Washington Lee High School. I ran a couple of laps on the track – sprinting the straights and running the curves – and then ran the bleachers. I ran up and down the stairs on both sets of bleachers and then ran home.
This was a great workout because it was free, got me outside in the sunshine, and didn’t take too long!
While running up and down the bleachers was certainly tough, I actually felt way more winded after the sprints on the track. I really pushed myself, and I was definitely feeling it after.
On Thursday, I joined Anne and our other friend Kathleen for a workout at Urban Athletic Club! This week we tried out the Glover Park location to switch things up (and we liked the instructor who was teaching there better than the one at the Georgetown location that day).
The focus of the class was on strength, and we completed a bunch of intervals where we didn’t worry about speed and instead tried to push ourselves with heavier weights. It was a good one!
Tomorrow (it’s Thursday as I type this), I’m not sure what exactly my workout plan is. I’ve looked up a couple of classes but haven’t signed up for any yet, which likely means I will set my alarm early, hit snooze, and then wind up going on a run with Jack instead. Ha! Whatever it is, I’m definitely planning on getting some movement into my morning.
Fabio and I enjoyed lots of tasty dinners this week thanks to a Sun Basket subscription! Since I knew I would be getting home from the beach late on Sunday, I signed up for Sun Basket in advance and was so happy to get a delivery of ingredients on my door step on Monday afternoon.
If you’ve never tried Sun Basket, it’s the same concept as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, but with slightly healthier recipes. You can choose from options like paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, or lean and clean, which is the option we chose.
Here are the tasty meals we had this week!
Asian noodle salad with jammy eggs: This one was delicious and had so many fresh veggies! Fabio doused his in sriracha which made it extra tasty. (I wanted to be able to taste the fresh veggies and the dressing, so I skipped the sriracha but had a bite of his which was definitely yummy.)
Spiced lamb patties with warm carrot salad: This dish! Ah! It was so flavorful and delicious, and I can’t wait to recreate it on my own. It was also really comforting with the warm veggies and toasted almonds in the salad. Yummmm. This one might have been my favorite of the three.
Chicken salad lettuce cups: This was another really tasty dish with chicken, green beans, new potatoes, and scallions. The dressing was a really yummy mustard, lemon, tarragon situation, which I loved. Actually, maybe this one was my favorite? Ha.
So good! Overall I really liked Sun Basket and would definitely order it again.
Oh and one last thing I have to mention: I want to give a big thank you to Giant for sending me a box of their new limited edition salted caramel products! I’m so excited to try the salted caramel pancake mix, and I’ve already put quite a big dent in this bag of salted caramel chocolates. #sorrynotsorry
Keep an eye out for these products at your local Giant!
Alright friends, that’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Question of the day: How often do you order meal services like Blue Apron or Sun Basket?
I already told you about the main things we did in Chiang Mai, namely visiting wats and walking with elephants, so today I thought I would tell you about some of the other fun things we did in the city.
1. Drink pandan leaf (bai toey) tea. Fabio and I were greeted with this refreshing welcome drink at almost every nice establishment we visited (hotels, spas, etc.), and it was always served icy cold in cute little tin cups.
It’s hard to explain what this tea tasted like, but it was sweet, lemony, and so refreshing after being out in the hot and humid Thai climate.
Fabio and I actually found some of these tin cups at a local market in Chiang Mai and wound up buying them as souvenirs! We’re going to try to recreate this drink at home the next time we have guests over — it was such a nice way to be welcomed to a new place!
2. Get a massage. Massage places can be found all over Thailand and compared to massage places in the U.S., they are incredibly affordable. Fabio and I each got one-hour aromatherapy massages at Phurin Thai Spa in Chiang Mai for about $20!
There are also plenty of places that are cheaper than this one, but we wanted to pay a little more for an upscale spa experience. Plus, it was still just $20!! Take me back!
Note: When selecting a massage place, make sure the women out front look like real masseuses and aren’t wearing clothes that are too skimpy, or you might wind up in the wrong kind of establishment. 😉
3. Go to a fish spa. Being the tourists that we were, Fabio and I had to try out a fish spa, which is one of those places where you drop your feet into the water and little fish eat your dead skin.
Thank you to the nice lady from Chicago who offered to take this picture for us!
Fish spas are everywhere in Chiang Mai, and when selecting one, you’ll want to make sure it looks clean and is registered with the Thai government or else you could be at risk for a nasty infection. Yikes! The spa we picked looked clean and had official-looking signage on the door (it was in Thai so we couldn’t read it, but it looked ok), so we gave it a shot. It cost about 200 baht ($6) for a 20-minute session, so Fabio and I paid the fee and dunked our feet in the tank.
It was SUCH a weird experience and tickled like crazy. It was really hard not to pull my feet out and squirm away from the fish!
Even though it was a really weird feeling, I would definitely recommend this as something you must try when in Thailand.
4. Eat khao soi, preferably with a view of the river. Khao soi is a traditional northern Thai noodle soup that’s made with a coconut/curry broth. It is incredibly delicious and comes with crunchy noodles on top.
We first tried khao soi at the Riverside Bar & Restaurant outside the Old City in Chiang Mai, and we were treated to lovely views of the water in addition to our tasty soup.
Side note: Why do the Thai people like spicy soup when the climate is so hot??
I was lucky enough to have khao soi again at a no-frills, more traditional (read: less touristy) restaurant called Aroon Rai that I had read about online.
I really liked both versions of khao soi, and I am now on the hunt to find a place in the U.S. that serves it!
Note: iced coffee is also a huge thing in Thailand and is available everywhere, so we had a lot of iced coffee with our meals.
5. Check out the night bazaar. Fabio and I had read a lot about the night bazaar in Chiang Mai, and it did not disappoint! The streets are full of vendors selling everything under the sun, and the shops are open super late. We wound up buying some cool souvenirs for our family and friends, including some one-of-a-kind art!
Tip: If you see a painting you like at the bazaar but it’s too big or not the right size, you can ask the artist to make you a different size painting and pick it up a day or two later.
There’s also a really cool open area near the night bazaar with live music where you can grab a beer or a cocktail bucket and enjoy the evening outside.
Or if you’re not feeling a cocktail, you can get some rolled ice cream! I got a Kit-Kat, banana, and vanilla ice cream mixture, and it was as fun to watch them make it as it was to eat.
6. Check out the bars. The night life in Chiang Mai is pretty great, and there’s something for everyone!
If you want a rowdy, college-type of bar scene, check out Zoe in Yellow. There you’ll find blasting music, strobe lights, cheap cocktail buckets, and lots of drunk, young people. We went with two of our good friends who happened to be in Chiang Mai at the same time as us, Brian and Daria, so we had a good time, but I don’t think we would have enjoyed ourselves that much if it was just the two of us. We were feeling a little old for this crowd!
One place we did really enjoy going to though was the Jazz Bar by the North Gate of the Old City. We watched a couple of different bands play and had a good time sitting around and enjoying the live music.
7. Go to a cooking class. This was something that lots of people recommended that we do, and I’m so glad we did! After reading lots of reviews on Trip Advisor, I made a reservation with Asia Scenic Cooking School before we arrived in Thailand, and Fabio and I had a ton of fun cooking Thai dishes one night.
We got to make a stir fry, spring rolls, soup, and a curry dish, and each of us got to choose which ones we wanted to make.
We also got to put on silly hats and take a trip to the local Thai market (this is where we found our tin cups!).
I could have easily bought more at the market, and am now regretting that I didn’t purchase these soup packets. We had so much good Thai soup on our trip!
The market was really cool because there weren’t a lot of tourists there even though it was in the heart of the Old City. It was down a small road that wouldn’t have been easy to stumble upon, so I’m so glad we went with the cooking class!
Then it was cooking time!
Making the curries took a lot of work – we had to chop all the ingredients really finely and then pound them for while using a mortar and pistil.
Eventually it was time to eat!
All in all, we had a really fantastic time in Chiang Mai, and it was probably my favorite city that we visited during our trip. There’s just so much to do and see, but it still doesn’t feel like a crazy busy city. We loved it!
Question(s) of the day: What’s your favorite Thai food? Would you let fish eat dead skin off your feet?