So today I thought I’d take a step back from food and focus on a few life updates!
Love is all around. And I’m glad I have my camera to capture it. Two of my best friends got married in December. (Congrats to them!) And their wedding was beautiful. I love weddings. A newlywed myself, I am one of those that notices and appreciates all the details…and also tries to get pictures of everything! In a nutshell, I love love. And I love capturing special moments on film. Taking pictures of food is fabulous, but it’s the people that shape our memories and our lives…there’s just something so magical in capturing fleeting but precious moments.
Speaking of love…I’m a bridesmaid! And obviously ecstatic. One of the bridesmaids in my wedding, a very near and dear friend of mine, is getting married in July (what a perfect month to get married in, I must say!) I’m so so so happy and excited and honored to be a part of her special day. She’s getting married at our alma mater (Assumption College), and I cannot wait to see a marriage ceremony in that lovely chapel. The bride has had a very trying and tiring year, but she’s the strongest woman I know. She’s rounded the corner with her battle, and is now on that bright and shining pathway towards an utterly blissful and breathtaking day. I consider myself lucky and blessed to be able to be by her side for it.
I must also mention that yet ANOTHER one of my best friends is getting married that same day in July. (Love is very contagious!) So so sad to miss her special day, but will be there in spirit and all her special events leading up to it!
You absolutely must go to Claytime if you live in Massachusetts. I went with the bride-to-be a few months ago. Basically, Claytime is an adorable paint-your-own-pottery shop. You can go in, pick any piece of pottery they have (including plates, mugs, bowls, vases, platters, and kids’ ceramics, too, like piggy banks), pick your paints, and paint away! They then glaze it and fire it and a week later, you pick up a beautiful new piece for your kitchen or home! On weekends they let you BYOB, so you can reserve a table with a big group of friends and go wild I hear there are also Paint Bars like this around Boston, but instead you paint a mock-up of a famous painting — and I’m dying to try one out.
You also must go to Tasca in Brighton. Best. Tapas. Ever. I went here to celebrate some fabulous February birthdays. Make a reservation, though. They are very loved and well respected, so the little restaurant is jam packed on the weekends. I would’ve written a review for the blog, but…I was distracted by the great food and better company. Sometimes you need to put your camera away for a day and enjoy every sight and sound around you with your eyes and ears, not that glass lens. (OK….except for that one pic I took of their delicious sangria…there aren’t any more! )
Karaoke. Specifically at Elephant and Castle downtown. A lot of people don’t know I like singing. Even more don’t know that I’m capable of carrying a tune. I sang in choirs all through high school and college and still haven’t gotten around to joining one where I live. So to make up for the lack of singing in my life (besides the occasional kitchen and shower singing), sometimes me and another singing pal of mine go to karaoke downtown. It’s so much fun. There’s no pressure. And singing in front of buzzed/drunken strangers is an ego booster — they think you sound great no matter what!
Wow, winter. Yeah. It’s been snowing a lot. This translates to me hibernating in my apartment for most of the time. This is good in a lot of ways, though. For the February blizzard, I made that spectacular slow cooker roasted chicken. The next weekend I baked and slow cooked some beans. I’ve been making tons of chilis and stews, too. In a nutshell, Chris and I are acting like bears. Getting fat for the winter , but spending a lot of time together, which is wonderful for us because of his extremely busy law school schedule.
Valentine’s Day happened, and though Chris and I don’t typically do much for it, I surprised him with a steak dinner, complete with champagne, hydrangeas (our wedding flowers), and mini peanut butter cakes for dessert… Le sigh. I really really love being domestic. Being a working woman (at a women’s center nonetheless), I sometimes feel weird saying that the things that make me happiest are homey things, but it’s true. I voiced this to Chris, who said to me in return, “Isn’t being a feminist all about standing up for what you love to do? If you love being home and being domestic, don’t be shy about it.”
I’m going to be an Aunt! x 2! My sister and my sister-in-law are both expecting new additions to their families in May. (yay May babies!!) I’m beyond excited. It’s crazy that my siblings and I are all grown up…and married…and having babies. It seems like we were just babies ourselves. But, the next generation begins! And oh goodness, I’m going to spoil those kids rotten with baked goods
The knee is improving. Remember that thing? Ick. I did physical therapy for it until it maxed out with my insurance…aka I went twice a week for two straight months. What have I learned from this knee injury? a.) Don’t ever fall on top of yourself while doing an exercise video. b.) The knee is the most complicated joint in the body to fix. c.) Knee braces are hideous. I’m on the last leg of improvement (no pun intended). Without the physical therapy, I’m on my own now for strengthening my quad muscles to get my knee back on track where it’s supposed to be. (Did you know that my quad muscle actually shut down ?? So essentially other muscles that weren’t supposed to be working to control my knee were, hence the pain.) Thankfully, my physical therapist is very optimistic. She’s encouraging me to try workout videos again and not to be afraid of the exercises I was doing before I was injured, but to do them cautiously and carefully. She’s assured me that I will be able to do jumping jacks and high intensity cardio again. (Yes!) It’s been a long road to recovery with this injury, but finally, finally, finally, I am seeing the light at the end.
Game of Thrones is amazing. I am not the type to like gore of any kind in films and shows, but for some reason, I’m OK with it in Game of Thrones. Maybe it’s because I can’t get enough of Tyrion Lanniester.
Also in the hibernating months I’ve been watching a lot of Stargate Universe, The West Wing, and most recently, Freaks and Geeks. (Thank you Netflix).
Impress everyone with Paint By Numbers. I am not capable of painting a masterpiece freehand, but I am capable of painting by number! And then impressing everyone who comes over when I tell them the painting on the wall was in fact painted by me. I’ve started a new one, and usually do them in the winter months. Perfect for snowy, Netflix kind of days while sipping tea.
I’m growing. Not the thigh kind of growing, thank God In many different ways. First, the blog is growing. Thanks to the Secret Recipe Club, and other amazing bloggers and commenters, my network and community is growing. I love reading your blogs and recipes, and hopefully you all love reading mine! As always, my goal with this blog is to provide people with easy and delicious recipes. If I can make them, anyone can.
Mentally I’m growing too. In all the 25 years of my life I’ve struggled with the question, “What do I want to be when I’m grown up?” I never knew. I never had a specific or certain dream. At least, I never thought I did. Now that I am grown up, I’ve realized that most of my dreams have come true. I’ve met and married the love of my life. I have amazing and supportive family and friends. And I’m doing what I love. What specifically? — Everything! I write, cook, bake, take pictures. I use my hands. I get creative. I have a great job.
What I’ve come to realize when I feel stuck is that life is constantly changing and we must continually adapt. I have not chosen a career path that ties me down to one genre for the rest of my life — like doctor, lawyer, teacher. Those are for many, but not for me. I’ve chosen the one that allows me to grow new branches how often or how little I want and need.
For now, that’s just right.