Three years ago I could barely boil water. Determined to be a kick ass wife who not only watched football, but who could make a mean meal anytime, I taught myself how to cook. Now I write recipes, sample local eats & blog about it all!

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The Pantry
Tuesday
Apr222014

Tea + Thrones

I'll be back in later this week with an Easter weekend recap, but wanted to pop in today and say hi!



We had a nice three day weekend and it was brought down only slightly by the appearance of a sinus infection for me, in all of its glory. I've been sipping tea and popping Advil cold & sinus like it's my job, and it seems like today may finally be a turning point. While I'm still feeling foggy and stuffy, last night was the first in a few in which I could actually breathe slightly through my nose, causing less overnight wake ups due to severe dry mouth.

It's pretty. And sexy.



Meanwhile, I'm excited to power through this week because on Sunday morning, I leave for Charleston with my mom and sisters for a long overdue girls weekend and to belatedly celebrate my mom's birthday. I'm so thankful that I'll be healthy and ready to shine by then (here's hoping!). And so in The Great Shoe Saga of 2014, I've been ordering shoes like mad to find the perfect chic yet walkable pair for the trip. I'll keep you posted as to what I land on.

We've actually got a lot coming up over the next few weeks (or months, actually!), including Shaun's birthday next week. Any suggestions for some great guy gifts?

Lastly, are you all caught up on Game of Thrones? We caught up last night and all I can say is...wow! I don't know where this season is leading us, but I was happy to say buh-bye to a certain someone...though I'm really concerned over who's going to take the fall for this one...leave your thoughts in the comments! Entertainment Weekly has all kinds of GoT goodies, if you're interested.

Tuesday
Apr152014

What do you spend money on during the week?

Since I've made a concerted effort to bring my lunch 4 out of 5 days per week, I noticed a considerable uptick in the fullness of my wallet (and bank account). I've certainly gone through phases of buying lunch and that can add up to $10 (or usually more in NYC) a pop. Once I realized that I was easily spending a jaw-dropping $50/week on lunch alone, I got myself back in line.

Without that major daily expense, I realized that I don't really spend much money during the week. My one splurge?

Usually I spend on hot coffee, not iced, but this is the photo I had...this was a particular treat yesterday since it was super warm and amazing outside!

Coffee!

For a long while, I had even reined this expenditure in and would drink office coffee 4 of 5 days per week, allowing myself a glorious medium Dunkin Donuts hazelnut coffee on Fridays only.

Well, times have changed a little and now I find it really hard to resist my morning fix, especially since I walk right past it everyday on the way to work.



All told, I'm out about $11/week. Not exactly a drop in the bucket when you extrapolate over a month ($44) or a year ($572), but I'd happily forego a day of ordering in lunch per week to cover my weekly java fix.

Outside of that, there's not much to speak of. I have been tallying a serious online shopping habit as we begin to redecorate our apartment and occasionally I'll stop off after work to pick up a couple of dinner fixins or a bottle of wine if it's been a really trying day. And of course, I have daily commuting costs but since I purchase one 40-ride card at a time to ride the Path (totally just $1.90 per ride...less than my daily coffee!), it doesn't feel like a daily wallet-opening expense.

What about you? Do you find that you spend a lot of money during the week? Or do you save and splurge on the weekend?

I find that I spend a bit more on the weekends since we are often on the go and tend to order dinner in or pick up food while out and about!

Monday
Apr142014

fEaster

Thanks for all of your suggestions on footwear after Friday's post. I'm sorry to report that I wore my new high top Converse for most of the weekend and today my feet are killing me...please send help!

I love holiday weeks.
The streets are quiet, the trains are empty and there's excitement in the air!

This weekend, we celebrated Easter a week early with my side of the family...or as I'm lovingly calling it, fEaster (as in fake Easter). The whole family (minus a few) gathered at my aunt's house for a long day of eating, beveraging, scavenger hunting and, well, more eating.

 

Saturday was absolute perfection in the weather department and it was so refreshing to just be outdoors after such a long and trying winter, especially at their house in western Jerz. So much open air and land, it sometimes makes me wonder why I love city living...



Though this wasn't Penelope's first Easter celebration, it was the first in which she kinda sorta figured out hunting for Easter eggs. And by that, I mean we laid a bunch in the grass for her to pick up and immediately devour their contents.


My aunt prepped such a sweet mini egg hunt for her, filling up patterned plastic eggs with special toddler-friendly treats. Among them were animal crackers, gerber nuggets filled with blueberry jam, and Penelope's favorite, yogurt melts.

Penelope soon realized that not all of the eggs were created equal and proceeded to open and pour out the animal cracker and nugget filled eggs. She'd drop them right in the grass and then hunt for more of the yogurt melt variety. Once she found any of those eggs, she proceeded to immediately devour the melts on the spot.



She also had to fend off fun with Jake, my aunt's French bulldog, and one of the sweetest dogs around. He wasn't raised around kids or babies, but he is so calm and gentle around Penelope and she loves feeding (or fake feeding) him and trying to do 'gentle' while petting him. #penelopelovesjake #getthiskidadog

In the end, this pretty much summed up Penelope's day:

We also celebrated my cousin Alyson's birthday...




And dined on lots of Eastery treats, like these cutie bunny and chick cupcakes that she made:



Along with a bunny Peeps cake that my mom made:



Since my life is sadly no longer condusive to baking (sniffle), I picked up this Ube Overload cake from a bakery in my neighborhood. So Eastery, right? And so yummy to boot.

 

It was a great day and we were all completely spent by the time we arrived home late Saturday evening. I'm still recovering today, and am also excited that we still have actual Easter to look forward to this coming weekend!

Have a great week, everyone!

Happy Passover to those who are celebrating this week!

 

How did you spend your weekend?