A Very Full Snowy Day Off

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One benefit of working in the school system is having delays and snow days. I normally have only one session of preschool on Fridays, so I’m done at 11am every week, which is fantastic! What’s even better is that since we had a delayed opening, I didn’t have to go in at all today. Cue the happy dance and snow day fun!

I have always loved the snow and looked forward to snow days. My brother and I always partook in the old wives’ tale that if you sleep with a spoon under your pillow and wear your pajamas inside-out, then you’d cause a snow day to happen. It never failed and I definitely believed I possessed magical powers, but I digress. We would wake up and meekly walk down the stairs praying that our mother would greet us with those ever-so-beautiful words: “No school today!” Once we were certain that we were off the hook from a day of boring classes, we would get to work early gearing up, grabbing our sleds, and heading to the neighborhood park, which had, what seemed at the time, a MASSIVE hill. We would play outside till we couldn’t feel our hands, then we’d head home, put our soaked clothing on the radiator, and make cups of hot chocolate, because what else would we do?! Even now when I wake up and hear that I have a delay, I still get that childhood excitement of not having to go into school, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop getting that feeling.

I got the call at 5 this morning that there was a delay. I promptly turned off all ~6~ of the alarms I had set and immediately fell back asleep. I was able to sleep in till 9:30 which felt like a luxury and allowed me to wake up refreshed and energized, which I haven’t felt in quite a while. After having my morning cup of coffee, I put on a warm and cozy outfit and went out into the cold to shovel the driveway. My plan was to take advantage of having the day off to get outside and enjoy the beautiful day rather than staying in and watching movies, which was definitely an option! I chose to save the snuggling up and netflixing all day for tomorrow’s storm!

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Having the day off meant I was able to go back to my hometown for a lunch date with my mom and grandmother at this adorable little breakfast/lunch place called the Tea Kettle. We were able to catch up and chat over multiple cups of coffee. You know you have a problem when they bring the entire pot over for you and refill it more than once! I grew up right on the water and wanted to stop by the sound for a quick (keyword: quick… It was painfully cold and windy!) walk on the beach while I was there. It’s amazing how peaceful the beaches are in the winter; water’s calm and quiet, and there’s not a soul around. This is why the winter used to be my favorite time of year in our little seaside town, which tripled in population once the summer months rolled around.

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In staying accountable to my New Year’s resolutions, I made sure to save time to take my dog for a walk. We aren’t able to take long walks in the snow because he gets cold pretty quickly, but we try for what we can. I need to get him some of those dog snow booties, which he would probably hate even more than the cold, haha! I live fairly close to a nice walking area in Middletown, so we headed there and walked for about a half an hour at dusk. I typically like walking in general, but I especially enjoy going in the snow. I delight in how the snow muffles the sounds of the outdoors and the way the reflection off the snow makes the world seem so bright, even with grey skies and the sun going down.

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Once we were back in from our walk, I curled up in a soft blanket, turned on some Debussy, and grabbed my book to enjoy some afternoon reading. After having a busy morning, I needed some time to decompress, and thaw out! Dedicating time daily to reading  was one of my New Year’s resolutions and I have surprised myself by actually keeping up with it so far! I am almost done with the books that I just bought, so if anyone has any good suggestions of winter reads, let me know!

Keeping up with the trend of my busy day, I couldn’t just stop there! My boyfriend works at a local brewery, so after dinner I made my way down there for a brew and to visit with him and his coworkers. Naturally, I had to finish off my snowy day sipping on a cup of an indulgent s’mores hot chocolate while working on a puzzle that has been keeping me busy (read:frustrated) for the last week, and watching Woody Allen’s Cafe society. I hope you’ve all stayed safe and warm in this snow!

XX

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Post Holiday Veggie Sandwiches

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I can’t seem to get enough of light, fresh foods and citrus during the weeks following the holidays. Perhaps that has something to do with the large amount of cookies I consume during Christmas.. oops! One of my favorite things to make is these vegetable sandwiches. These sandwiches are a lifesaver for me any time I feel like my body needs a break from heavy, bloat-inducing foods. I typically crave hearty meals in the winter time and even though these are packed with veggies, the artisan bread gives it a nutty and wholesome taste which still leaves me feeling satisfied.

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I think the best part of these is how beautifully colorful they are. They do say you should eat the rainbow, and I’d say we are getting pretty darn close to that here! In order to integrate my citrus cravings, I chose to top off these sandwiches with a creamy, tangy lemon dressing (recipe below) which I threw together with some ingredients I had already lying around.

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What you’ll need:

  • Artisan Bread (this is the kind I like using, but obviously it’s up to you if you’d rather use a different kind. Just be sure to use something sturdy enough to hold all of the veggies!)
  • Red onion
  • Beets- I use the pre-cooked, packaged ones to make life a little easier 😉
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Matchstick carrots

I start out by cutting the veggies into thin slices. I then lightly toast the bread, and while it’s toasting, I remove the avocado from the skin and mash it with a fork in a bowl. Once the bread is finished, I spread the mashed avocado on as my first layer. This acts as a sort of glue for the next few veggies and helps the sandwich from falling apart.

Next, I continue to add layers of veggies in no particular order, although, I do tend to be picky about not having two same-colored vegetables adjacent to each other, haha. My trick for keeping this sandwich manageable for eating  and not ending up wearing half of it, is to keep each layer of vegetables fairly thin. Trust me, I know from experience! After all of the veggies are on, I spread a generous layer of dressing on the top slice of bread. Then, it’s ready to eat. Simple as that! This sandwich is plenty satisfying on its own for me, but I also enjoy pairing it with a tomato bisque when its colder out and I’m hankering for something warm.

Tangy lemon dressing: 

  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Zest from half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until combined.

The dressing will last sealed in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Depending on the size of sandwich I am making, I usually end up with plenty of veggies leftover, which I store together in a container, and either make another sandwich or throw them all together with some lettuce for a big, fresh salad the next day!

The beauty of these sandwiches is that you can use any variety of veggies according to what you have available locally and what is fresh during each season. In the summer, I love loading these with alfalfa sprouts, or using butternut squash in the fall. There are no set rules, just suggestions! So get creative and enjoy!

XX

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New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year, lovelies! This year has been an interesting one for me, and I think I am safe in assuming it’s been interesting for many of you as well. This year started out with me graduating college, changing my career path multiple times just to end up where I started, and working 4 different jobs. Thank God for supportive friends and family! Stepping into 2017 I feel like over the past few months I have made serious decisions about how I want to live my life including what’s really important and what my ultimate goals are. I spent this New Years with my amazing boyfriend and (while recovering from nye) took some time to reflect on what I really want to change for this new year in order to make advancements towards those goals. 

Now, I considered making my New Year’s resolution to lose weight because I am definitely not immune to those dreaded holiday calories, but then I thought about how many people say they want to lose weight for the new year, go to the gym a few times, and forget about it. I know from my own experience I’ve made that resolution for the past 5 years, at least, and it has never produced the results I wanted. This year my new years resolution is not to lose weight but to be overall healthier in my mind and body, because who doesn’t need that! And if I happen to lose a couple pounds along the way, hey, I’m certainly not going to complain!

So you may ask, “How are you planning to be healthier, Erin?” Well, I’m quite glad you asked! I have considered the main areas in my life that I’ve noticed need a little more attention in order to be well and listed out 5 things I will be focusing on:

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The first part to my resolution is to drink more water. I am HORRIBLE about drinking enough water and even worse about buying myself cheap water bottles and breaking them or leaving them in my car for months at a time. Last week, I went to the store and found a good quality, slightly more expensive glass water bottle. I figure that since I spent more money on it I will be less likely to leave it in my car.. let’s hope that actually works. On a typical work day I will grab a plastic bottle of water on my way out the door and that will be it till the evening. I know, I know, my inner eco-conscience has been nagging me about the waste that is produced by those daily plastic water bottles, too. I’ve read that a person should be consuming a half ounce to one full ounce of water per pound they weigh, so realistically my daily goal will be to refill my water bottle 4 times per day and not resort back to my wasteful plastic water bottle ways.

2.

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The second part of my resolution caters to my mental health. I am 100% the kind of person who worries about little things and dwells on the bad. I will be writing down at least one positive thing daily in this cute little journal. For example, my first entry this year was: “I had a fantastic New Years! I am incredibly thankful for the life I have and the people I’ve chosen to be in it.” Short and sweet. In the past I have been slightly ambitious in journalling and I end up writing one super long emotional entry and then forget about it for the next six months or so. My intention is to focus on the good and try to find the little bits of positive in every day. So I will be keeping this journal and a pen in my nightstand so I will have no excuse not to write at least a brief sentence every night before bed.

3.

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The next part in resolving to have a healthier new year is to make reading more of a priority in my daily schedule. I have always found it hard to find time to really sit down and read, which is frankly quite sad. I shamefully admit that I am a huge Netflix junkie and tend to get absorbed into a show and will binge watch episodes, resulting in late nights and very poor sleeping patterns, which in return makes working with 3 year olds early in the morning quite painful. I will be dedicating one hour per night to reading in order to calm my brain for the day and to gain more knowledge about the world around me.

4.

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The fourth aspect I will be focusing on is taking time to walk my dog, Maestro. My dog loves going out and deserves to be taken on longer walks much more often. I will be taking him for a walk and the occasional run more regularly during the week depending on the weather (thanks, New England). I think of this like a double edged sword; it will be beneficial for both him and me to get out in the fresh air for some quality exercise.

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The final part of my resolution is to start and *fingers crossed* keep up with this blog. If you know me, you know that I am constantly trying out new recipes, crafting things, decorating, etc., and for a long time I have wanted to document those adventures besides just posting a picture on social media. In the past I’ve considered a blog but was cautious about others’ opinions on my writing, however, I am at the point in life in which I figure if I want to do something then I am going to go for it! So here it is, I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more! 

I wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year!

XX