Life Lately {September and October 2014}

It’s been a while since I’ve done a life update post, huh? It’s been since August, to be exact.

Life Lately

I don’t know about you, but I welcomed fall with wide open arms this year. Like I mentioned in my new newsletter that went out last week, I was happy to embrace the new season because it meant things were slowing down a bit from all the craziness that the summer brought. The first week of September was spent off from work. We spent the first half of the week celebrating my birthday, checking out potential wedding venues, and enjoying some time at home. We spent the second half of the week up north in one of our favorite places, Maine!

Maine Vacation: Cape Porpoise

When we got home from our vacation, we immediately were back into wedding mode, as we needed to make a decision within a week about our wedding venue. We were really torn between Atlantica in Cohasset for an ocean front wedding and Zorvino’s in NH for a rustic winery wedding. The second weekend in September we actually did a second visit back up to Zorvino’s just to make sure we had all our questions answered, and the return visit really clinched it for us. So that’s that! Our wedding date is set for Sunday, September 20th of next year at Zorvino’s!

Zorvino's

We are really excited about our venue, but I am just so relieved that the venue researching part of the process is over. Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying other parts of the planning, but the venue hunt simply wasn’t one of them. I feel guilty saying that because everyone and their mom and second cousin once removed felt the need to remind me about how AMAZING all of that should have been, but you know what? Trying to coordinate viewing a bunch of places all over the state between the hours of 8 and 4 during the week and keep it all straight actually wasn’t that amazing to me. I’m way more excited now that we have our venue and church selected and can think about more exciting things like who is going to lead the Greek dancing circles, what color I want my bridesmaids to wear, and what our signature drinks should be. Right?!

Zorvino's

Other mentionable September happenings include apple picking,

Apple Picking 2014

attending the annual WWCMA conference for work,

WWCMA 2014 Conference

going to a sweetgreen passport class called Barre & Bites with Liz,

sweetgreen barre & bites

and much more of THIS than I’ve been able to do in a really long time:

Tea on the Couch

There were also a couple of nights out to dinner with friends. I saw Allison for dinner at Seasons 52 in Burlington one night, and I met up with Bridget, Slesh, and Trina at a restaurant called Forum downtown. However, I’d say one of the main highlights of September was one of my bestie’s weddings! Holy moly, talk about an amazing fun weekend in NYC celebrating Erica and Chris. One of the best weddings I’ve ever been to, and just for the record, Tim and I figured out we’ve been to 23 in 3 years. So I think we are pretty good wedding judgers!

Erica & Chris: NYC Wedding

October was here before we even knew it, and I kicked off the month by hosting my really fun event at Athleta. Another one is in the works, so make sure to sign up for my newsletter to get early bird signup privileges and sneak peek details!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

Tim was away for a bachelor party the first weekend of the month, so I used the time to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen a long time. I did dinner with my friend Erin at Isabella Restaurant and was able to get together spontaneously with some of the gym girls at Solea for sangria and tapas too. After we did dinner that night, I hung with Ashley at her house for awhile just catching up and drinking cider.

The week Tim got back, I was supposed to go to the October New Balance Girls Night Out event, but since we were still sharing a car at this point, it was impossible to get downtown. I was bummed to miss it, but Tim did get a new Altima, and we didn’t go broke (or start hating each other) in the process.

Other beginning of October things included a date night to see The Lion King (my birthday present, with dinner at Harvard Gardens first),

The Lion King

Tim’s godson’s christening,

Wes's Baptism

a random Tuesday night sleepover/gym friend get together at Ashley’s house when Jen was back in the states,

Jen's Visit: Tuesday Night Sleepover

and wedding dress shopping! I went first to David’s Bridal in Danvers to get a better idea of what type of style I was going for. I had no clue going into it whether I wanted satin versus lace, strapless versus not, etc. so that really helped. I brought my mom, MOH (Slesh), and bridesmaid (and seamstress!) Shannon with me, and they were all awesome throughout the whole process.

Wedding Dress Shopping

I went dress shopping again the following week, this time with my mom and Shannon again, but my Uncle Chris came along too. This trip I found the gown! I can’t wait for you guys to see it, but I suppose you’ll have to wait a year, huh?

Wedding: Gown

October’s last few weeks were spent celebrating our five year anniversary (dinner at Harvest in Harvard Square + drinks at Beat Hotel — HIGHLY recommend both),

Five Year Anniversary

spontaneously going to Harvest Fest 2014 in Somerville (SO many fun beers and food samples!),

Somerville Harvest Fest 2014

running the Oak Square OAKtoberfest 5k and post race brunching,

OAKtoberfest 5k Race & Taste: Family

Cook Restaurant

getting my monthly deep tissue massage (I signed up for a wellness package),

Massage Envy

celebrating my friend Jen’s birthday with the gym girls,

Gym Friends at Jen's

Gym Friends Food

going to Tim’s cousin’s birthday party, my friend Johnny’s housewarming party, and Patrice and Brian’s beautiful wedding!

Patrice & Brian's Wedding

We rounded up the month by heading back up to Zorvino’s for our meet the vendors night, and finally, hosting Halloween! We were lame this year and didn’t require anyone to wear a costume. What we did require was everyone bring a seasonal craft beer so we could have a little tasting. It was fun!

Halloween 2014

Lots of good stuff going on outside of work lately!

–Let’s chat–
Tell me about the highlights of September and October? What stood out to you the most? I want to know what you’ve been up to! What are you looking forward to in November?

I am looking forward to a free Saturday and Sunday next weekend after we attend wedding #7 of 8 this year on Friday night! I am also excited for Thanksgiving. Slesh is hosting Friendsgiving again this year, AND Tim and I figured out how to spend the holiday with both of our families.

Have a great day, you guys!

Apple Picking: Meal and Snack Ideas to Use Up Apples

Tim and I have gone apple picking every single year that we’ve been together. We went during year one, and over the years it has become one of our favorite fall traditions.

Apple Picking 2013

Apple Picking 2012

Apple Picking 2011

We’ll switch up what orchard we go to, but I’d say we primarily stick with Smolak Farms in Andover, Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, and Shelburne Farm in Stow. This year we actually split our apple picking excursion between both Honey Pot Hill and Shelburne, since they are 5 minutes away from each other. We did all our picking at Honey Pot first. After we finished picking apples, we wanted a little snack, but the line was SO long for apple cider donuts that we decided to drive down the street to Shelburne instead. Shelburne Farm has my favorite little farm stand store and food options anyways, so it worked out perfectly!

Apple Picking 2014

For the record, that’s pumpkin ice cream you see me eating there. So delicious! We left the farm with cheese, apple cider, some pumpkins for the house, and some pumpkin fudge to have as a treat during the week.

Like most people do when they go apple picking, we had a ton of apples to use up over the next few weeks. We tried to get creative with meals and snacks so our apples wouldn’t go to waste, and I thought it would make for a fun blog post.

Apple Picking: Tips For Using Up Apples

I’m all for having an apple as a snack or cutting one up and eating it with some nut butter spread on top, but here are some meal and snack ideas to keep things interesting:

Roasted pork with caramelized apples

Roasted Pork with Caramelized Apples

Ground turkey stuffed apples

Ground Turkey Stuffed Apples

Apple and quinoa stuffed acorn squash

Apple and quinoa stuffed acorn squash

Apple and almond quinoa salad

Apple almond quinoa salad

Kale and apple salads. The picture below shows pears, which we also picked during our apple picking day! We’ve also been getting both apples and pears in our CSA too, and a go to salad format for us is greens (kale, lettuce, etc.) + grain (quinoa, barley, farro) + fruit (chopped apples or pears) + nuts (slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans) + cheese (feta, goat, etc.). I just didn’t have a picture to share of my apple version.

Kale + Pear Salad

Grain free apple cinnamon chia muffins

Grain free apple cinnamon muffins

Lightened up apple crisp

Lightened up apple crisp

Crock pot apple cinnamon oatmeal. My favorite mix-ins are either dried cranberries or raisins and walnuts!

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Apple cinnamon protein pancakes

apple cinnamon protein pancakes

Apple pie smoothies. To make these, I threw 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 apple (peeled, cored, and sliced), 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 cup kale, and a handful of ice in the blender. If you make this, you might have to add water as needed to mix it all up. It looks disgusting, but I promise it doesn’t taste like it looks! Good post workout snack.

Apple Pie Smoothie

–Let’s chat–
Did you go apple picking this year? What did you make with the apples you picked? Local readers, what is your go to apple orchard?

Here are some more apple recipe ideas from the past, even though we didn’t make these with this year’s apple batch!

Columbus Day Weekend 2013

Hello!  It’s back to the grind today, but first before I dive into my day I want to recap the weekend for you guys.  There’s lots of fun stuff that I want to share!

Friday Night

Tim and I met Bridget and Dave for dinner and drinks at Society on High near South Station.  My verdict on this bar is that they have phenomenal drinks but really overrated food.  I ordered a fall veggie salad to start, and it was super oily.  And we were excited to get a flatbread, but we thought it was too cheesy and definitely too salty.

Society

It’s always disappointing to spend money on something you could have made better yourself, but I quickly forgot about our food woes after a couple of cocktails.  The four of us then headed over to Stoddards, where we ordered fun fall beers.  That place is quickly becoming one of my favorite Boston bars.  Their bevvie selection is just awesome.  Around 11:30 we got Erica’s text that she and Chris had arrived at South Station, so we met them and got one last drink at The Corner Pub, a complete dive bar which was perfect for the last drink of the night.

Me Bridget

Erica Me Bridge

Saturday

After sleeping in, Erica and I met up with Slesh and her sister for bridesmaid dress shopping!  This is my first time being in a wedding since my super cool 11 year self was a junior bridesmaid in Auntie Paula’s wedding, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the experience was super easy.  We were in and out in about two hours, and we found a dress that we all liked and felt comfortable in right away.  After shopping, Erica and I were hungry so we met up with Bridge for a quick bite at Athan’s Bakery in Brighton, and then it was time for the “party for the party” at Slesh and Will’s.

Slesh and Will were throwing this party for everyone involved in their wedding day in some way, but of course the girls and I wanted to come up with a few twists of our own to add.  Erica created a fun game to play that she named “Popped the Question.”  For anyone looking for engagement party or shower games, listen up!  Ahead of time we asked Slesh and Will to each answer ten questions about the other person.  At the party, we asked each of them how they thought the other answered the question, but to find out the original answer, you had to pop a balloon.  We hid the answers in the balloons ahead of time and got everyone involved by having a “Team Slesh” and a “Team Will,” and everyone took turns popping the balloon.  We also went all out with the “Popped the Question” theme and brought ring pops, blow pops, tootsie pops, popcorn, pop chips, and champagne to pop the bottle.

Party for the party Everyone had so much fun, and it was nice to get to know everyone else in the party ahead of time.  Thanks to Slesh and Will for hosting a great night!

Sunday

We slept in again (Bridget, I totally went back to bed after bringing you to get your car!) and lounged around with Chris and Erica until it was time to drop them back off at South Station.  The rest of the day/night was spent cleaning the apartment, going for a run and doing a strength workout, grocery shopping, and getting Week 3 of Fall Into Fitness together.  Oh yeah, and watching Homeland of course.  I’m happy Homeland is back, but this season isn’t “catching” me so far.  I’m waiting though!

Monday

Finally, I was so happy to have yesterday off from work for an “extra” day.  I woke up early to bring my car in for an oil change and work out, and then I had to get some reading done for my wellness coaching class at noon.  After class, Tim and I headed out to Stowe for a late afternoon apple picking stint.  We went to  Shelburne Farm, and there were surprisingly a ton of apples left on the trees for this late in the season.

Apple Picking 2013

We picked our peck of apples, then headed to the apple store where we bought a gallon of apple cider, split an apple, ham, and cheese wrap, and splurged on a cup of apple crisp.

Shelburne Farm Food

Finally, we wrapped up our day with a walk around Walden Pond before heading home.

Walden Pond

It was a perfect fall day and a great way to wrap up the long weekend.

What did you guys do this weekend?  Did you have yesterday off?  Anything fun you want to share?