Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ten Memorable Moments from 2013

I can’t believe 2013 is coming to an end!  My dad has always said the older you get the quicker time passes.  It’s a little bit scary, which is why I try to remind myself every single day to live in the present and not to rush things.  Kind of fitting that this was the fortune I got from Yoga this weekend.

There is more to life than increasing it’s speed – Mahatma Gandhi.

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2013 was a whirl wind of a year for me.  I moved out of Boston, changed careers, went on vacations, jumped out of a plane again, and had many “firsts” in my relationship.  It was definitely a year I will look back at and think to myself, yup that was a pretty monumental one.

Here are my Ten Memorable Moments from 2013

Skiing in Maine

I absolutely love the atmosphere and vibe of a cozy ski weekend away. In February my friend Maura invited Andy , me, my best friend, and her boyfriend up to her lake house in Maine.  We had the perfect weekend of skiing (Andy’s first time!), Maine lobster, and wine and games around the fire.

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The Boston Marathon

When I think back to this day it still seems so surreal.  If you live in Boston, Marathon Monday is one that is always celebrated.  We have had a tradition for the past few years that includes going to the Red Sox game in the morning and then watching the end of the marathon in Kenmore Square.  This year we got up on the Green Monster!  It was right before I was moving away and was turning out to be the perfect Marathon Monday.  Then we started hearing the chatter that there were “car bombs” at the finish line.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  I could write a whole post on this…but I will just say that witnessing a city go through what Boston did on April 15th, 2013 makes you see things differently.  I never witnessed a city come together the way Boston did that week.  Boston Strong!

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Cancun

This was mine and Andy’s first vacation together.  We went to Cancun for my birthday weekend which is also Cinco de Mayo.  It was the perfect relaxing beach vacation.  My favorite part was our trip to Isla Mujeres and swimming with dolphins!  You can also read my re-cap.

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Moving from Boston back to Connecticut

This was definitely a bittersweet moment this year.  I lived in Boston for four years after college, I “grew up” in Boston, and will always have a special place for this city.  I knew it was time to be closer to my family, friends, and Andy and start a new chapter.  Although Connecticut is home I will always miss certain things about Boston!

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Skydiving in Newport, Rhode Island

I had been skydiving before in Maine with my best friend but decided to buy this for Andy for his birthday.  It was an awesome weekend full of lounging on the beach, great food, and jumping out of the smallest place I have ever seen with the best view I will ever get of Newport! I wrote a re-cap a few weeks ago too about why you should go sky-diving too!

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I Started this Blog!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for four months!  I’ve tried to start blogs before but never stuck with it.  I guess I was ready this time!  I’ve really enjoyed blogging even though I wish I had more time to dedicate towards it.  With that said I really hope to make some major improvements to it in 2014!

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I nailed a head stand away from the wall!

A year ago I definitely need to be against a wall.  Now I can hold it for almost a minute!

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I can get up into a handstand!

Although I still need a wall, this was a huge accomplishment.  I used to try to do kick ups in yoga class and thought I would never get up there.  I have a lot of work to do in terms of straightening my banana back and not using the wall.  But it’s a start!

Ta-da!

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San Francisco!

Andy and I took a trip to San Francisco in September.  Although, I had already been here before I absolutely loved this trip.  San Fran is definitely one of my favorite cities.  It has everything I love…views, good food, and wine country!

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Making the decision to go to Yoga Teacher Training

Yes, I have decided to embark on a new journey and attend yoga teacher training.  It’s been something I’ve thought about for a while now and well….I’m not getting any younger am I?! I am so excited for this journey (and a little nervous too).  I start in January so stay tuned!

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I hope everyone ends 2013 in an amazing way and is ready for a beautiful New Year!

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Paleo Coffee and Cocoa Rubbed Brisket in a Crock Pot

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone’s enjoying their non-routine, wacky schedules these past few days.  It’s so weird having Christmas and New Years smack, dab in the middle of the week.  But I guess it gave everyone a good amount of time off!  I took last Monday off and have tomorrow and Tuesday off as well.  I can get used to 5 day weekends!

For Christmas my mom gave me a crock pot.  I used to share a crock pot with my best friend and roommate, but when I moved out of Boston I left it with her so I was so excited to get my own!

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For my first crockpot meal I decided to do a slow cooked brisket.  I searched and searched the web for ideas that were easy and simple.  To be honest it was hard to find a paleo / primal friendly recipe that was also easy.  I would have loved to try a barbecue version but it seems making a paleo friendly barbecue sauce requires a lot of ingredients.

I settled on this Coffee and Cocoa Rubbed Brisket that I found on Our Full Plate and The Paleo Drummer.  It sounded really different and interesting, but both bloggers seemed to absolutely love it…

Well it did not disappoint!  I actually left the rub on for two days (because of change of plans) and then cooked it in the crock pot for about 9 hours.  It came out so tender and tasty!

Paleo Coffee and Cocoa Rubbed Brisket in a Crock Pot

  • 3 lb brisket
  • ⅓ cup of ground coffee
  • 1½ tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups of Coconut Milk.  I used Pure Silk’s unsweetened version because I couldn’t find canned.

Combine coffee, cumin, salt, and cocoa powder.  Throw the rub in a big bowl or container.  Place your brisket in the spices and rub it into the meat.  I let mine sit for two days but I am sure it would be fine without so much time.  To cook I poured the coconut milk into the crock pot and then the brisket (fatty side up) on top.  I cooked it on low for 9 hours.  It came out dee-licious!

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Italian Christmas vs. Irish Christmas

Alright, I figure I still have a few days left to write about Christmas right?  Okay, good.  I had a great Christmas; ate a little too much, drank a little too much, but I love spending this time of year with my family doing just that!

Christmas Eve was spent at my Dad’s house, the Italian side of the family.  Christmas Day was spent with my Mom’s side of the family, the Irish side.  I absolutely love both celebrations but it’s funny how different they are!

Have a look in pictures and decide for yourself.

Italian Christmas Eve

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The table…so pretty!

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My Step-Mom makes the most delicious cinnamon sugar roasted pecans.  I told her she should market and sell them!

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Appetizers consisted of veggies and dip, hummus, artichoke dip, cold seafood salad, and crackers with this amazing nut crusted cheese ball that my grandma makes.

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First course was spaghetti with the option of fish sauce or marinara sauce, crabs, meatballs, and sausage.

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I was trying to be good at this point.  My grandma’s meatballs are my absolute favorite!

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Dad grilled all of those juicy filets! He marinates them in teriyaki for a while that they get so tender.

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Okay, drumroll please.  Stuffed lobster tails…they are to die for.  I just started eating these a few years ago.  I can’t believe I missed out for so long!

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The main course spread.

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Irish Christmas Day

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Christmas morning at my Mom’s.  She goes a little crazy with the stockings!

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My aunt made cheese and bacon toasts.

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The table.

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Lots of meat and potatoes!

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My plate consisted of turkey, ham, scalloped potatoes, sweet mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, carrots, and a broccoli and chicken bake.

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Of course I had to end the day with an Irish Coffee!

So yes, I over-indulged a bit for Christmas!  But the best part is that I can get right back on track because I know how and how much better I will feel for it.

What was your favorite dish you ate for Christmas?

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