May 262015
 

Hi friends! By the time you read this, I will be on my way to Jamaica for a fun Caribbean vacation with Fabio’s family (and if you’re reading this after 10:30 am ET, I’ll already be there!). As you may remember, Fabio’s sister Diane is getting married this Friday, and I will be a bridesmaid for the first time. I can’t wait!

While I’m gone I’ll have a few posts for you, and I may try to check in from Jamaica if the wi-fi is good, but don’t expect too much from me this week. It is vacation after all!

In the meantime, let me tell you about my Memorial Day weekend! First, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the real point of this holiday. Yes, the BBQs and time at the beach and pool are wonderful, but none of it would be possible without those men and women who fight to keep our country free. To all our armed forces out there, thank you for all that you do!

And now for my weekend recap!

Friday

After work on Friday, Fabio and took Jack to the dog park.

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The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately, and we haven’t wanted to waste a minute of it.

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Since Fabio and I are heading out on vacation and we are also moving as soon as we get back (ahh!), we have been trying to get rid of as much food as possible. Well I guess we’ve been successful because there’s literally nothing to eat in our kitchen right now (ok I’m exaggerating, we have peanut butter).

For dinner on Friday we decided to stop by Taylor Gourmet where I picked up a delicious chicken salad with polenta croutons. Polenta croutons!

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Delicious! (Jack was obviously interested too…)

After dinner, our friends Megan and JR came over to help us pack for the big move!

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They’re the best. 🙂

We wound up having a ton of beer and random alcohol to get rid of, so they gladly helped us finish it off. I mean come on, you really can’t pack such a small amount of Fireball can you? 😉

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Packing up all our stuff was may more fun with friends to help and a little alcohol buzz. I think we should always pack up our stuff like this. 😉

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Jack kisses for JR!

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And then Jack kisses for Megan! Haha, Jack is such a ham.

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Overall it was a really fun (but still productive) evening! What a fun night!

Saturday

Saturday was a pretty lame day all things considered. Fabio and I got a lot more packing done – both for our move and for Jamaica – and ran a bunch of errands including picking up my bridesmaid’s dress and his groomsmen’s pants from the tailor.

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Not the most exciting day ever, but it had to happen! At least now we are (somewhat) closer to being ready to move.

Sunday

Luckily Sunday was a lot more fun! We started off the day with a class at Edge Yoga, which is always fantastic. Fabio even came along with me and although he said it was really hard (especially the abs!), he really liked the class. I’m so glad I got him in there before we move!

After yoga we showered up and then hopped in the car to head to my grandparents’ house on the Chesapeake Bay!

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As soon as we arrived I felt like I was on vacation. There’s just something about their big back yard and porch that screams relaxation. I love it here!

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Soon after we arrived, Fabio and I helped blow up the tube that we would use to cruise around in the bay. You know it’s summer when the tube comes out!

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Ahhh. Livin’ the dream. 🙂

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Soon it was time to hop on the boat, and sadly we had to leave all three black labs (Jack, my dad’s dog, and my grandparents’ dog) behind. See ya’ later pups!

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Then it was tube time! I’m not sure why my little sister looks so grumpy here; I promise, she loved it!

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Ready?

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Go!!

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Ahh! We wound up getting so wet, haha. The water was pretty cold, but it was a hot day so it felt great. I love tubing!

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Happy sisters. 🙂

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After our boat ride we enjoyed snacks on the deck and played some lawn games.

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Such a fun summer day!

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While we played, I sipped on a delicious pina colada. It was worth every sugary alcoholic calorie.

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Then Fabio got the grill going and we all enjoyed a mix of hot dogs, cheeseburgers, grilled asparagus, potato salad, corn, and deviled eggs. I helped myself to a little bit of everything!

We ate our dinner while the sun set over the bay, and I just could not get over how beautiful everything was.

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Grandma and Grandpa, can I come live with you?? Your home is too gorgeous!

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Ahh I could get used to this.

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After dinner we all watched American Sniper, which seemed appropriate for Memorial Day. I may or may not have fallen asleep on the couch during the movie (I had seen it already), before eventually moving up to the guest bedroom upstairs. Playing in the sun all day is hard work!

Monday

Memorial Day was another fun day! When we woke up the boys (Fabio, my dad, and my grandpa) went golfing, and my sister and I went on a nice bike ride. Then we took the dogs on a long walk, and helped my grandma fill up her bird houses. By that time the boys were done and it was time to head home to (try to) avoid the beach traffic.

We were pretty successful, and by the time we got home I quickly finished packing for Jamaica before heading off to get a mani/pedi for our trip! Now I’m catching up with you fine people, and soon we are going to drop off Jack with our friend James who is watching him for the week. I’m going to miss him a ton, but I know we will have a great vacation!

Talk to you guys soon!

Question of the day: What makes you think of summer?

 Posted by on May 26, 2015
May 272014
 

Hi friends! I’m back after a nice and relaxing three-day weekend 🙂 I’m also starting my compressed summer work schedule this week, which means I work 45 minutes longer each day and then get to take every other Friday off. This Friday happens to be my first Friday off, so I’m looking at a three day week! Woohoo! Just one more thing I love about my new job!

Anyway, my Memorial Day weekend was just wonderful and I took a lot of pictures so I wanted to share them with you. Here are some of my highlights from the weekend!

Saturday

My Memorial Day weekend kicked off with a 3 mile run with Jack into Georgetown before I showered up and got ready for brunch in DC. My good friend Kristen was in town from NYC this weekend, so on Saturday we met up with her and her boyfriend Mark for brunch at Ted’s Bulletin. I wound up getting an omelet with spinach, mushrooms and cheese, which also came with my choice of breakfast meat (turkey sausage) and hash browns. Yum! The food was great but the company was even better. I missed Kristen and was so happy we were able to catch up!

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After brunch, Fabio and I packed up our stuff and headed to my grandparents’ house where my dad, stepmom, and sister were already congregating for the weekend. My grandparents’ house is right on the Chesapeake Bay, and I’m so glad we waited to leave until later in the day because there was no beach traffic on the bridge. On Memorial Day Weekend that is a pretty amazing feat!

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Once we arrived we cracked open a beer and had some fun playing with the dogs outside.

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Jack almost dropped his ball in the water about 100 times. I still don’t know how he managed to keep it on the dock.

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Then we took the dogs to the little beach area to swim!

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Obviously they had a blast.

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Me and my sister!!

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Best buds.

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My little guy 🙂

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After taking the dogs back to the house for a quick bath, we took the boat out for the first ride of the season!

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The weather was perfect- about 75 degrees.

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Look at this little munchkin- she’s going to be in 4th grade next year!!

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Also check out these pictures of ospreys in their nest.

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As soon as I went in for a close up, the mama bird flew off! The picture wound up pretty cool, I think.

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It was a beautiful day on the bay!

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I offered to cook dinner for everyone since I rarely get the opportunity to use a real-life grill (#apartmentproblems), so I wound up making these Key West Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, which were phenomenal. On the side we had grilled asparagus and homemade potato wedges. They were really tasty and I think everyone enjoyed them! My dad, stepmom, and sister are not adventurous eaters at all, so I was thrilled when they gobbled up every last bite of the marinated chicken and mango salsa 🙂 Win!

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I also wanted to try out something fun for dessert, so I set up little stations for these grilled s’more banana packets. They are very easy (and fun!) to make, so they were also a big hit.

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To make the banana s’mores packets, all you do is peel back one section of the banana, scoop out about 1/3 of the banana (and either save it or eat it right away) and then stuff the banana with your favorite toppings (we used chocolate chunks, peanut butter chips, and marshmallows).

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Then place the peel back on top of the banana and wrap it in foil to seal it up tight. Everyone’s banana packets wound up looking so funny that I just had to take a picture. Mine is the one shaped like a backwards “C” 🙂

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Then you pop these onto the grill or into the oven at 350 degrees for about 12-13 minutes. The banana gets nice and soft and all the toppings melt beautifully. Here’s the end result!

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Yum!!! They were really easy to make and came out tasting so-so-so-good. I have a feeling this recipe will resurface often here on the blog!

Sunday

Sunday morning started off with another 3 mile run with Jack, this time around my grandparents’ neighborhood. It was another perfect day and I really enjoyed my views of the water as I ran.

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There’s nothing better than starting the day with a (sweaty) run!

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After showering up, we all headed out for breakfast and then ran some quick errands. Before long we were back at the house and it was time to go fishing! We are no fishing experts but Fabio helped us get the poles ready to go.

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We dropped anchor and cast our poles into the water and then waited. And waited. And waited. No one even got a nibble! It was ok though because the views, music, beer, and good company made up for the lack of fish.

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Once we gave up on our fishing idea we boated around a little more and then came back to the house. Ahhh. I just love it here.

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We set up a volley ball/badminton net and spent the rest of the afternoon playing around!

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I’m pretty terrible at volleyball (especially when there are only 2 people on a team!!) but it was still a lot of fun.

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Here I go!

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My sister played with us too!

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We spent the rest of Sunday hanging out around the house with my grandparents and then going out to dinner. It was so nice!

Monday

On Monday morning Fabio and I packed up our stuff and said our goodbyes to my grandparents and my dad, stepmom, and sister. We made a quick pit stop by the outlets (necessary) before we drove over to my mom’s house for another BBQ! Fabio had to help my stepdad build the coop for the chickens, which meant I got to hang out with my mom by the pool 🙂

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It was pretty hot out so we jumped right in- another first of the season!

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After swimming and laying out for a while it was time for an early dinner/late lunch. Once again my mom outdid herself with the meal. Everything was beautiful and delicious.

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All in all it was a perfect Memorial Day Weekend!

Questions of the day: Have you ever gone fishing?

 

 Posted by on May 27, 2014
May 282012
 

Hey everyone! Happy Memorial Day to you all! I hope everyone had a great weekend; mine was awesome and I truly had a blast, but I’m so happy to be home. There were definitely a ton of unhealthy decisions this weekend (lots of booze-drinking and fried-food-eating) and I can’t wait to get back on track.

Friday morning I headed over to Britt’s house and we hit the road at about 8 am. Traffic wasn’t too bad so we made it to the beach by around noon. Luckily our rooms were ready so we were able to get right in and unpack our stuff. Our hotel was on the bay side and we had a nice little walk-out porch. Check out the view!

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Our New York friends got there before us so we quickly got changed and headed to the beach!

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Hi Britt! Hi Vic!

After a few hours at the beach, we relocated to a bar called Bottle & Cork which had a really great band playing 90’s music. We ran into a ton of our friends from college at the bar and had a really great time dancing.

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Later that night, my friends headed to another bar called the Rusty Rudder, where apparently my dad used to hang out in college, but Britt was feeling so hot so we stayed in. It wound up being a great decision since we had already had such a long day and still had the whole weekend ahead of us. We needed the sleep!

The next day we planned to take a bus to Seacrets with all of our friends from college! Our buses embarked for Ocean City around 10:30 am and we quickly arrived.

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When we got inside it was packed and there were literally thousands of people there. I saw friends I knew from college, high school, and work. It was crazy! Seacrets is a really fun bar because it’s on the beach and there are tables in the water. It was definitely a fun day. When we got home around 6 we “napped” which turned into us all waking up at midnight and being unable to fall back asleep. This wound up being one of my favorite parts of the weekend because we just sat around chatting and watching crappy late-night TV and ordering a pizza. It was great to just be able to sit and catch up with the girls!

The next day we went to another bar on the beach and saw more friends from college. I wound up seeing these three Labradors swimming in the water near the bar, so what did I decide to? I jumped in the bay and swam with them. Like, literally, they swam to me and I was hugging them in the water. This was obviously an alcohol-induced decision and later on I realized how silly I must have looked swimming around with the dogs. Ha! Oops.

There was also a photo shoot with the Megans:

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And one with me and Lauren (pre-bay frolicking):

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It sure was a fun day!

This morning Megan, Lauren, and I left the beach pretty early because Megan had to work this evening. It was hard leaving the beach when the rest of my friends were staying for the day, but it was totally worth it to be able to come home and get everything organized. This afternoon I was able to clean the apartment, unpack, and do some laundry. Now I am ready to tackle the week ahead!

So, how was everyone else’s weekend? Mine was fun but definitely not relaxing at all. I need a vacation from my vacation haha!

Update on 6/1/12: My friend Catrina sent me this beautiful group picture of all of us from Sunday. Here’s the whole crew!

Bottom row from left to right: Britt, Catrina, and Emily

Middle row from left to right: Megan M, Kristen, Jess, and me

Top row from left to right: Megan C, Lauren, and Vic

Love you all!

 Posted by on May 28, 2012
May 222012
 

Last night I went shopping with my friend Britt to pick up a few more items for our Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza. I know I mentioned it to you guys briefly, but allow me to give you all the full run down of details. Friday morning around 7:00 am, I will skip my morning workout in order to head over to Britt’s house (which is right by the dog park, only a mile away) where we will embark with our other friends Jess, Megan, Lauren, and Turk (nickname) to Dewey Beach, DE. There we will meet up with our New York friends, Kristen, Megan, Catrina, and Victoria. We will be there from Friday through Monday and will be hanging out on the beach with a ton of people we know from college. A lot of my coworkers will also be there, so it’s going to be a ton of fun!

Although Fabio is not coming with me on this trip (he is going up to NY for a friend’s graduation party and is taking care of Jack), he is planning to do a similar trip with his friends in July which should be a good time. It’s important to have our separate friend time after all!

Dewey Beach is located right in between Ocean City, MD and Bethany Beach, DE. Ocean City is known as more of a hangout for high school kids and Bethany is more for families. Dewey, however, is basically a bar town on the beach and we will be having fun all weekend. We will also be venturing into Ocean City on Saturday via a large bus that is taking us to Seacrets, a huge bar in the water on the bay. Can’t wait!

Seacrets, Ocean City, MD

Source

Anyway, by the time I got home from shopping with Britt, it was already 9:00 so I quickly made dinner. By the time I was done it was too late to blog, but I snapped some pictures so I could share this awesome recipe with you guys today. But, first things first….

Workout

Yesterday’s workout was another good one. I have been loving waking up early to run with Jack and then jumping into an Insanity DVD. It’s so amazing how the warm-ups kick my butt every day even though I’ve done them a million times. It is pretty much guaranteed that I will be drenched in sweat by the end, no matter what. I love it!

After Insanity I spent about 5 minutes doing some extra ab exercises (I do have to be in a bikini on Friday, after all) and then hopped in the shower to begin my day. It was a great workout, as usual!

Recipe

When I got home from shopping last night I was pooped! I wanted something quick and easy for dinner that would be filling and comforting. I looked in the cupboard to see what I was working with and I saw two sweet potatoes that I knew needed to be used soon. I looked through the recipe list I keep on my phone and saw a recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen for twice-baked sweet potatoes with feta. I had made this recipe back in the fall and remembered loving it, so I decided to give it another go! Here’s how it came together.

First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Then I washed two sweet potatoes and cut off the pointy ends. Using a fork, I poked holes all over the potatoes and microwaved them using the baked potato setting until they were soft (about 8 minutes for two).

While the potatoes were “baking,” I started getting together the filling. First I mixed feta (I used fat free), goat cheese (I used chevre), garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, and olive oil together in a small bowl. Then I julienned (basically chopped, see video here) a few basil leaves into long strips and mixed them in with the cheese mixture.

Kalyn’s original recipe suggests letting this come together in the fridge for about an hour, but I didn’t have time so I nixed this step 😉

Once the sweet potatoes were done cooking, I sliced them down the middle and removed the insides to a separate bowl. Be careful, they are hot!

Then I took ¾ of the cheese mixture and mixed it up with the insides of the sweet potato until everything was well combined. I then put the cheesy insides back into the potato skins.

Then I divided the remaining cheese and sprinkled it on top of the potatoes.

Then I baked the potatoes for about 10 minutes until the cheese started to get bubbly.

I served these potatoes with a small piece of grilled chicken and some asparagus.

Yum! This weeknight meal was so easy and delicious! I loved the flavor of the sweet potatoes with the salty, garlicy, cheese. You must try this!

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed With Feta, Goat Cheese, & Basil (Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

Serves two

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1 oz. of crumbled feta (fat free)
  • 1 oz. of crumbled goat cheese (could omit and double the feta)
  • 1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 6-7 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash potatoes and cut off pointy ends, if desired. Poke all over with a fork. Microwave on baked potato setting, or for about 4 minutes per potato, until a fork enters potatoes easily.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, mix together feta, goat cheese, garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a separate bowl. Julienne basil leaves and add them to the cheese mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. When potatoes are cooked, slice in half and use a spoon to remove sweet potato insides to a separate bowl. Mix ¾ of cheese mixture in with sweet potato insides.
  4. Place cheesy sweet potato insides back into potato skins and top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

This recipe was simple and delicious and made the perfect weeknight side dish. I love mixing sweet and salty flavors, so this one was right up my alley. Yum!

So, do you guys like sweet potatoes? During Thanksgiving I like them in a casserole topped with marshmallows, but during the rest of the year I like them to be paired with savory flavors. So good!

By the way, I am looking for someone to guest post on my blog on Sunday while I am at the beach. I will be able to post on Friday and Monday, but if anyone wants to write a guest post for me on Sunday, I’d appreciate it! Send me an email at chelseaeatstreats@gmail.com if you’re interested!

 Posted by on May 22, 2012