Monthly Archives: October 2016

El Morro

October 26, 2016

travel

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Guys. I am so behind. I’ve traveled to some really fun places this past year but I’m so behind in sharing. Truth be told, I didn’t even finish posting the rest of L.A…. and that was in January! Maybe I’ll do a flashback post.. idk, haven’t worked it out yet. Stay tuned. ANYWAY. Look! I went to Puerto Rico! It was fun and colorful and adventurous and here’s what I did first…

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We stayed in Viejo San Juan, which is like the Orlando of the island: touristy and colorful. It’s totally walkable which is exactly what we did our first morning. We walked to El Morro, a national historic site located at the edge of the island. It makes for a beautiful photo opp, and it was free and relatively vacant, so you know I was all about it.

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This type of history is not exactly my cuppa tea, but from what I gather, Columbus landed on PR, claimed it for Spain, later the Dutch wanted in on the action but didn’t last, the British invaded somewhere along the way, and after the Spanish-American War, the U.S. took control of it. It was partially restored and used to monitor the surrounding waters in WWI and WWII, and the surrounding lawn was converted to a golf course.

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We climbed to the top for the gorgeous views. I’m not sure if you can tell, but my knees are totally wobbly here. Anything for that vacay shot…

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I didn’t anticipate such a hilly lanscape in Puerto Rico but it adds to the character and beauty of the island. We returned to the El Morro area a few days later and the lawn was filled with families flying colorful kites. It was a really cool sight to see.

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Stay tuned, I still have brightly colored buildings, blue cobblestone and a rainforest to show you! Xx

summer music / 3

October 18, 2016

entertainment / life / weekend

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My last hurrah of the summer music scene was a Blink-182 concert in Tampa. I went back to the same venue where I saw Dashboard, this time in celebration of my sister’s birthday. Blink always brings back amazing memories (like wearing out Take Off Your Pants and Jacket on my Discman during a family vacation to Key West).

Funny story: All-American Rejects and A Day to Remember opened the show, but we got stuck in an hour-long traffic jam trying to exit the highway for the venue. I guess the show was more popular than we had anticipated. My sister really only wanted to see A Day to Remember, she didn’t care about the other bands, and as the minutes were ticking by and we were not moving, all I could think about is that we were missing the only band she wanted to see ON HER BIRTHDAY. We pull into the venue and run from our car like bats outta hell. As we we’re walking up, I hear Swing, Swing playing. All-American Rejects opened the show and ADTR hadn’t played yet! I was so relieved we didn’t miss her band. We hightailed it to our seats just in time and the rest of the night was on cruise control.

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I was somewhat heart-broken to learn that the original three members had broken up and singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge had been replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. DeLonge’s distinctive voice was missed, but the new Blink’s new album, California, which they played a lot of at the show, was on brand and sounded fantastic. Obv, I took some liberties with my iPhone concert photos..

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Favorites of California include: Bored to Death, She’s Out of Her Mind, and Kings of the Weekend

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The stage effects were better than any I had seen all summer. Jumping right out of the gate, the band came on stage, flaming “FUCK” a blazing, and flashed album art by Lichtenstein-esque street artist D*Face on a huge screen in the background. The encore and my favorite, Dammit, ended with a big burst of confetti that caught the stage lights perfectly.

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It was a lot of fun, and the perfect ending to my summer concert series. There’s something about summer that makes me nostalgic and happy in general. Maybe it’s the way the sun feels the same every year, or the fact that loud rock music played outdoors takes me back to the same state of mind, no matter how old I get. Whatever it is, it feels like a little piece of magic, and I’m glad I got to feel it again this year.

For other show recaps and playlists, check out: Weezer, Panic! at the Disco!, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness | Dashboard Confessional x 2

Part Two: Williamsburg

October 12, 2016

travel / weekend

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Day two of my Virginia adventure took me to Williamsburg to visit my oldest friend (not in age, but in relationship). Leigh and I have been friends since freshman year of high school. I think we bonded over a mutual love for Celebrity Jeopardy and mutual hate for pep rallies and school spirit in general.

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I didn’t want to arrive empty-handed to Leigh’s so I popped in Sugar Shack on my way out of town for a few sweets. Oh-mah-gah. I grabbed blueberry donut holes to snack on while driving to Williamsburg and I still dream about how fresh and delicious they were. Coupled with a big cup of dark roast coffee, and I was in heaven. They had so many fun donut flavors to choose from, so I highly recommend this place if you have an opportunity to pop in one of their many locations. (They’re in Florida!)

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Leigh, her husband, Ben, and daughter Harper lived in Williamsburg and since my visit, they’ve welcomed baby Caroline and moved back to Florida.  They were gracious enough to show me around Williamsburg so after getting settled, Leigh, Harper and I took to the streets and explored America’s second oldest college campus, William & Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg.

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We walked around and caught up on life, all the while feeling sorry for the kids who’s parents took them on an educational vacation instead of to Disney. We made it to a cute cafe where I almost had a panic attack when tasked with pushing Ms. Harper and her stroller out of the door by myself. I don’t know how people do it. There were chairs, and people and maneuvering and I literally wanted to say “Make way! Lady with a baby!”. It was seriously only 10 feet but it was easily the most difficult thing I did that day. Fortunately, Harper was all smiles and oblivious to my panic sweat.

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Our next stop was Jamestown Settlement. It was pretty cool, even though the weather had turned chilly and misty. Nevertheless, we saw some cool old stuff, walked around, and chatted. Some of my favorite things.

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For dinner, Leigh, Ben, Harper and I ate at Dog Street Pub, the cutest little gastropub in Williamsburg. They have an extensive beer list (always a win), delicious food, and a bustling atmosphere. The building itself used to be a bank and remnants of its history can be seen in the classically shaped windows and marble floors.

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The next morning, I left a very gray Williamsburg early to drive back to Florida. Per the recommendation of my hosts, I took the ferry across the James River as a scenic alternative to going back the way I came. I was grateful I had an opportunity to visit with friends, even if it was a short stay, and that they were kind enough to welcome me into their home. Of course, I’m even happier they’ve moved back to Florida so I can bug them on the regular now.

 

 

healthy chicken meatballs

October 10, 2016

food

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Free time has been nonexistent around here lately, so my apologies for (once again) for my absence. BUT! This recipe is kind of perfect for those with no time to spare. I actually made these healthy chicken meatballs while my facial mask was drying and decided to snap a few photos on my phone for this post. Multitasking: check. This recipe makes four servings so I make it on Sundays and reheat for dinner during the week. Also, this recipe is low-carb, low-sugar, low-fat and therefore, low-guilt. I don’t think comfort food gets much better than this…

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Chop spinach and wilt over medium heat on the stove. Drain any excess water from the spinach. While it cools, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×12 baking dish with cooking spray. Dice a whole red onion.

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