Twenty Eight

Today is my 28th birthday.

Headshot

I honestly feel that I wrote this post just yesterday for my 27th.  I re-read it on Thursday night and it really hit home for me.  Last year at this time I was going through a lot of personal things, all while moving in with a boy for the first time, starting my new position at my full-time job, and taking on a new part-time position at the Y.  I remember being so excited for all that change, but slowly realizing that all that change was actually too much for me to handle at once.  I would probably say I spent the majority of 27 working, wondering, and just trying to stay afloat.  My “me” time and social life definitely suffered, but I think it was a small price to pay because when I look back on the year I realize that I have done so much.  I finally learned how to manage and work through my stress and anxiety issues.  That alone was huge for me.  I rid myself of toxic friendships and surrounded myself instead with people I genuinely wanted to be around.  Working so much also allowed me to save up some money, but more importantly working so much also let me do some soul-searching.  I discovered what I love to do, what I thought I loved to do, what I want to do and what I don’t want to do.  And of course I don’t have ALL the answers, and I probably never will, but I can confidently say that going into 28 I finally feel satisfied with where I am in both my career and personal life.  And I feel happy with who I am.

salad club lunch

Kennebunkport

Teaching

Summer Shanty - Me & Tony

Summer Shanty - Mom & Dad

Katrina's 28th Birthday

I do have some new life updates to share with you guys, and today seems like a good day to share!  Effective Monday 9/9 I am no longer going to be in the group exercise coordinator position at the Y.  The healthy living department has done some re-shuffling, so to speak, and all my responsibilities are transitioning to Lauren who has a full-time coordinator position there.  At first I was a little upset about this, because I have put so much effort, time, energy, etc. into my role at the Y in the past year, and I think I did a pretty damn good job!  But the more I think about it the more I’m okay with it.  Things with the wellness program at work are in full swing and I need to put 100% into that to make it the success I want it to be.  Also, all the time spent on going through Y emails, submitting payroll, updating the schedule, and so on will free up so much time for me.  I will still be teaching my classes at the Y (no worries!), but I’m excited to spend more time enhancing this blog, seeing friends and family that I don’t get to see enough, spending time with Tim, personal training here and there, and trying new fitness classes around the city.

The Studio Empower

CrossFit workout

Also in the fall I will be auditing the wellness coaching class that I took last year but never completed.  After getting my personal training certification last March, I registered for the Wellcoaches 18 week health and wellness coach training program.  I completed all the classes I need for the program, but I never followed through on certifying.  This was partly because of my full-time career switch – since I would be working in wellness, getting this certification so quickly was no longer a priority for me.   But it was also because I didn’t have enough time to dedicate toward studying and preparing for the tests.  That being said, I am paying a small audit fee to do the classes over again starting in September, and then I hope to certify sometime before summer 2015.  I am excited to add “wellness coach” to my list of certifications.

To celebrate 28, Tim and I are heading to the beach today and will be going out for dinner and drinks later tonight.  I celebrated with friends last night and had a great time.  I feel lucky to have so many good friends in my life.  And I’ll be doing a family dinner next week once my brother is back in town.

All that being said, I’m excited for these changes to come.  And I’m excited to see what 28 has in store for me.

Ali's Pictures - Jumping

A Sunday at SOWA Open Market

One of the things on my summer bucket list has been to check out the SOWA Open Market in the South End.  The market includes three main sections: a food truck market with trucks galore, a farmer’s market with tons of fresh produce and foodie items, and a vendor’s market with local folks selling their crafts, jewelry, and more.  Since it was my turn to plan a date day for Tim and I, I decided it was time for us to go.  Tim is seriously OBSESSED with food trucks so I knew he would love it.  This Sunday we hopped on the red line and headed over to the Broadway area to check it out!

SoWa Sundays

On our train ride there we talked about wanting to try as many food trucks as possible.  We came up with a strategy so we wouldn’t get too full too soon.  We decided our plan of attack would be as follows:

  • Get something small to start at the food trucks
  • Then check out the farmer’s market
  • Then go back to the food trucks for something else
  • Then check out the vintage market
  • Then go back to the food trucks for dessert

Totally genius, if I do say so myself.  You can’t stuff up from the get go!  Planned digestion time is the key.

Anyways, like I said, the food trucks were up first.

SoWa Open Market

After browsing through all the trucks (and reading every single menu), we decided to get fish tacos from the Baja Taco Truck first.  We were definitely impressed with how fresh the pico de gallo was and happy with our first food truck choice.

SOWA Open Market After we finished our tacos, we browsed through the farmer’s market.  There were so many things to look at, from fresh produce to unique foodie items.

SOWA Farmer's Market

It was really hard not to buy everything in sight, but we did decide to stock up on some plums and nectarines for the week.  We tried a new kind of plum too, mango tango!  We also decided to buy the funky looking squash you can see in the pictures.  We learned that it’s called pattypan squash, but I decided to call it alien squash instead.  How could we NOT buy some for a fun dinner this week?

SOWA Farmer's Market

Again, it was really hard to not buy everything in sight, but we limited ourselves to two other foodie purchases.  Grilled peach and basil ravioli pasta from Valicenti Organico, and some spicy (wasn’t too spicy for me!) summer mango chutney from a company called Wozz.  Can’t wait to enjoy both of these!

SOWA Farmer's Market

After the farmer’s market, we went back to the food trucks!  For our second round, Tim opted for the caprese sandwich from The Dining Car, and I got the magical kale salad (kale with a poached egg) from the Mei Mei Street Kitchen.

The Dining Car

Mei Mei Street Kitchen

Totally normal to eat our lunch on the ground, right?!

Next up were all the vendors.  We had fun strolling through, but we didn’t buy anything.

Sowa Vintage Market

Finally, we finished our time at SOWA back at the food trucks for dessert.  Originally I wanted a huge ice cream sandwich (they have trucks now where you can pick your cookie flavor AND ice cream flavor), but I was hot and thirsty so I ended up getting lemon sorbet instead.

Lemon sorbet at SOWA

Tim, however, still went with his original ice cream sandwich craving from The Cookie Monstah truck.  M&M cookies with peanut butter chocolate chunk ice cream in the middle.  I swear he’s not a five-year old?

cookie monstah truck

At this point, we were full and had seen everything so we headed out.  Little did I know that my friend Bridget and my friend Mary were both there at the very same time we were!  So sad.  We took the red line back to Harvard and once we realized our bus wasn’t coming for a bit, we decided that we could make room for roof deck drinks.

Roofdeck Daedalus

A mojito for Tim, and red sangria for me!  We enjoyed these on the roof deck of Daedalus, a hidden gem in Harvard Square.

daedalus

It was a perfect Sunday!  SOWA is open every Sunday from 10-4 starting in May and ending in October, which means you can still get a trip in this fall!  I just might even go again.

Local readers, have you ever been to SOWA before?  Anyone else have something like this where you live?

Happy Friday, friends!

Weekly Eats {Week of Salads & First Birthday Present}

Hey, hey, hey.

Last week I opened my first birthday present! It was from Dawn at work, and it was food related.  Clearly it needed to make it into my Weekly Eats post.

Dawn's Birthday Present

Organic Spanish red wine (can’t wait to drink this), organic blue agave from Trader Joe’s (can’t wait to bake with this), and Dawn’s homemade trail mix (can’t wait ate this already).  Thank you, Dawn, for my fun treats!

We nicknamed the rest of last week “The Week of Salads.”  That probably sounds super boring, but hey, not every week can be super exciting.  Plus there were a couple of new recipes in the mix.  I can’t remember the exact days of when we ate what, but here was our line up:

Grilled shrimp “nicoise” salad…

Grilled Shrimp Nicoise Salad

Grilled eggplant and tomato salad with feta…

Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Tuna salad…

Tuna on Salad

Whole Foods salad buckets made it into the lineup too.  Does anyone else feel like when they go to the Whole Foods salad bar they end up with the most random stuff just thrown together?  That’s why I call them buckets.

Whole Foods Salad

Whole Foods Salad

Anyways, one of the salads was from a dinner date with some of the gym gals after last week’s free CrossFit class.  The other is from when I went back on Friday before going out with my home friends.  Normally I don’t buy so much food out during the week, but unfortunately our planned chicken meal for the end of the week didn’t end up happening because our chicken went bad.  And we just didn’t feel like heading out to get more.

The chicken going bad also spurred a spontaneous dinner date at Fiorella’s on Thursday night.  Fiorella’s caprese salad, how I love you.  (Jess Dock! I always think of you when I eat this.)

Fiorella's Caprese Salad

I also ordered lemon chicken that night, but didn’t snap a pic.  That’s about it for noteworthy eats last week!

This week our meal plan is looking something like this:

Dinners

  • Sunday – Farro stuffed patty pan squash
  • Monday – Repeat of the grilled shrimp nicoise salad
  • Tuesday – Leftover shrimp salad
  • Wednesday – White eggplant over wheat pasta with tomato sauce
  • Thursday – Out to dinner with Slesh
  • Friday – Either quinoa or dinner somewhere before birthday outing with friends
  • Saturday – Birthday dinner with Tim

Lunches

  • Sunday – SOWA Open Market deliciousness
  • Monday – Random salad with leftover ingredients from the fridge
  • Tuesday – Leftover farro and veggies from Monday’s patty pan squash
  • Wednesday – Southwestern sweet potato salad
  • Thursday – Leftover sweet potato salad
  • Friday – have the day off, TBD
  • Saturday – birthday TBD

Can’t wait to recap our experience at SOWA Open Market for you guys!

What’s the best salad you’ve eaten lately?  Any Whole Foods salad bar junkies out there?  Anything exciting on your meal plan this week?