HEY! Do you remember me? Once upon a time, I had a blog, and then apparently dropped off the face of the earth. WELL, I'm back to brief you on everything I haven't been doing for the past 11 days! For being the shortest month of the year, I feel as though it has been the LONGEST one to get through, what's up with that!? It still isn't over! That's okay though, I'm a winter lover and will take these days any day! I left off talking about my ski trip to Vermont, oh Vermont, I love you...

For Valentine's day (ya know, almost two weeks ago), L and I kept it simple this year and indulged in some heart shaped pancakes, and then went crazy with some heart and lobster shaped sugar cookies. I once again used my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe which calls for...

1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder.

1 - Preheat oven to 350 F
2 - Mix the butter and sugar together until it is creamy
3 - Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract
4 - In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder and flour. Slowly add to the wet ingredients while still mixing.
5 - Divide the dough into two batches. Roll one dough ball out (about 1/4 inch thick) onto floured parchment paper.
6 - Punch out your cookies using your favorite cookie cutters and then place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7 - Bake 6 - 8 minutes and let cool completely before frosting and decorating. 

We did our own number with the frosting by mixing together powdered sugar, vanilla, food coloring and milk. 

I think Boston might be done getting dumped on with snow. Aside from the random snow hour that we get every here and there, it's starting to warm up and people are beginning to dig their cars out of the piles!

I just finished up day 24 of P90X3, and it definitely has me feeling stronger than ever. The first two weeks, I was eating whatever I wanted and wasn't feeling/seeing much progress. I'm now following the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan and have noticed a huge difference. It's all about portion control, and since your actual workout is only about 30% of the effort, and nutrition is the rest it has really helped me out! Basically the nutrition plan I have been following requires less carbs, and more protein. I am waiting on the edge of my seat for my Shakeology to arrive! I have all these fun recipes to try out like Shakeology balls or these Shakeology bites ... and they're good for you too!! I'll continue to post updates as I work through the program!!

 What's your weekend looking like!!?

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Mountain Time

Happy Valentine's Day (yester-yesterday), friends!

As stated in my last post, I took last week off to spend some much needed mountain time with my wonderful family on our favorite mountain in New England. We have been coming to Okemo way before I can even remember to get our ski fix in and relax in one of Vermont's quaintest towns! 

We arrived midday on Saturday so instead of buying a half day ticket, we broke out our snowshoes and hiked our butts halfway up the mountain. I guess I underestimated how exhausting snow shoeing up a mountain would be because I was shedding layers left and right. There was definitely some tripping, slipping and falling business going on, but we made it back down the mountain and were able to take a mandatory picture in front of the ski lion!

In November, Okemo installed a new ski lift, the Sunburst Six, that seats six, has heated seats AND a bright orange shield that protects you from the elements. It is SO comfortable! I'm especially loving the bright orange pop of color that it brings to the white mountain. A couple of the rides up the shield was completely frosted over from the never ending wind and snow making it impossible to see out, you had to make your best judgement as to when you thought the shield would go up (automatically... fancy stuff, people) and you would be at the top. 

The conditions on the mountain were like none other last weekend. Day 1 was freezing cold. I was thankful for the Summit Lodge and the hot cocoa/ cookie break that day because my toes were breaking off one by one. It was really busy (as expected, hello Sunday!) but we were lucky to get a ton of great runs in. We got a big ole pile of snow Sunday night (and Monday) which left us with fresh, fluffy, powdery snow for us to shred up. We stuck to the South face of the mountain (a personal favorite) for a majority of the day and then wondered over to Jackson Gore for the rest of the day. Tuesday was groomed a little, however they did leave a little powder for people to play on, and I managed to make it to the waffle cabin to nosh on a chocolate covered waffle to wrap up the trip. SO GOOD.

 AND what's an Okemo trip without a squinty eyed chocolate covered waffle cabin picture!?

I would say staying slope side, inhaling chocolate covered waffles, getting a great leg workout from all of the powder snow, skiing with 17 other family members from all over the country, eating great food, and getting tons of snow made for another great ski trip for the books! I'm already counting down the days until next years trip!
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We're Spoiled

We're getting spoiled over here in New England! Every week we are getting dumped on with several feet of snow allowing us to indulge in all of those fun arctic shenanigans that NE is known for. There is snow that is taller than me... I'm 5'7", people!

As I type I am on a train ride back into Boston from Vermont to get back into my daily jive and work, even though Boston is strongly suggesting that people stay OUT of the city so that they can attempt to clean the streets. They're working hard, they really are... there is just no more space to put the snow except for the river which is a big no no. Monday and Tuesday had everything cancelled once again which was absolutely fine with me as I was slope side with my beloved family, eating up this amazing snowstorm. We had our annual ski trip at Okemo mountain where we ate, slept and dreamed snow. The first day of skiing was FAH-reezing, the second day was right during the storm so we had tons of fluffy, clean snow that we shredded up, and the third was a bright, sunny and fair weather ski day. More to come.  

Other than the snow, us New Englanders also have the beautiful Pats victory to celebrate. I was biting my nails during the fourth quarter, but was proud to see them pull it off, as expected! The parade was pushed back a day to last Wednesday and they had the ducks out with the team to celebrate. Props to some of these Pats fans... they were out at 5 in the morning scoping out a place to camp out for the parade. In the snow. In the cold. 

How super accurate is this chart? I know that it's spot on with myself and my two sisters. I'll give you a hint... I'm a middle child!

I started my p90X a week ago so I've been staying busy with that. It probably wasn't the smartest idea starting it right before we went to the ski house and pigged out all day and night, but I started and I'm feeling sore and that's all that matters. My least favorite workout thus far is the yoga (mainly because I can't do ANY of the poses), and my favorite has got to be the agility. Combined with the soreness from P90X AND the amazing leg workout from skiing, I'm unable to move... it's great!

I hope everyone has a great Valentines Day tomorrow! I'll be stopping by with an Okemo post!
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Thursday Thoughts

This week flew by in the blink of a second! I don't know if it was the snow days, or easy work days... but I can't believe it's Thursday! Here's to Thursday and everything I'm thinking about right now!

 + With the several inches feet of snow on the ground, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to go scoop a pile of snow off of the roof deck to make this delicious treat.

+ I've been putting it off for the past 6 months, but I've finally started investing some time and money into putting some frames on the wall like this or this.

+ I'm already over our navy blue nightstands from Target. I'm eying these guys from Wayfair. EXCEPT... I'm going to avoid that close to $300 price tag per nightstand and attempt to build them myself (In two or three years when I have a garage or workshop of some sort)!

+ My favorite pallet project of the week goes to this accent wall! I want it!!

+ I want to buy these magnets made of my Instagram pictures, but I have no idea what I'd stick them to? Maybe frame out a sheet of metal and hang it on the wall to stick them to?

+ I started following Naomi's blog (Love Taza) and I absolutely love it and her life. Family of 5 living in a 2 BR NYC apartment doing all things awesome, loving life. Not to mention, all of the pictures she uses on the blog and that are on Instagram are flawless. Oh yea... that's where I got the magnetic inspiration from too! ^ 

+ I saw the Super Bowl commercial for Go Daddy, which made me sad cry while the one for Budweiser once again had me happy crying. I'm pretty sure they pulled the Go Daddy one.
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I honestly can't imagine living anywhere that doesn't snow... it is my element. 

Yesterday, we were spoiled rotten with a snow day and over two feet of snow! 
The day started early Tuesday morning when we were watching the news and decided to go check out the beginning of the storm. We ventured around the North End and eventually found the CNN news crew over at the Christopher Columbus Park. After our 1 AM stroll through the neighborhood, we bunkered down into our heated bed and woke up 8 hours later to a winter wonderland! We had some snow day french toast and then bundled up to go play!

We spent a huge chunk of the day running around in the snow all over the city. We ended up at Boston Common where people were setting up jumps on hills and boarding over them, as well as sledding down the hills using boxes and trays and cross country skiing through the streets. We also found a handful of happy pups playing on the swan pond in the public garden, and a ton of news crews hanging out by the state house. New England loves this stuff. 

When we were hiking back to the North End we started to starve and were crossing our fingers hoping there would be a sandwich shop or something open to quench our hunger. We turn the corner and BAM, Vito's (our go to bar) was open and packed! We were luckily able to score some seats and ordered out usual eats... grilled cheese and tacos. Stopping at Vito's made me feel like I was taking a ski break and heading into the lodge for lunch. Snow gear everywhere, and beers in everyone's hands. Except for me, I went for my favorite sunny drink because I think I'm in Florida? Afterwards we crawled home and drank up some hot, hot chocolate and took naps because we're apparently old and can't hang anymore. 

Side note... L and I are loving that new "Hack My Life" show... we're learning so much!

 Yay for snow days! 
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Apartment Updates

I realized the other day that my "home tour" pictures were from the very first day and month that we moved in, so I found myself determined to get some updated pictures up for ya. Not a WHOLE lot has changed, but enough for it to not look like a college dorm room. We got rid of a few pieces of furniture like this chair and this wardrobe and bought all new rugs, and pieces for each room. Without further adieu, here's a quick tour! (AND hopefully these pics will make it up to the "home tour" tab as well... we'll see how productive I am today on my SNOW DAY!

Our kitchen/living/dining multi-purpose room is very open concept like it was in our last apartment which makes it convenient for lounging around and having everyone in the same place.

At this point, all of our furniture is the "screw it together yourself" furniture due to the difficulty of moving it up and down three flights of stairs. We scored a killer deal on our jute rugs from Rugs USA, bought some floating shelves from IKEA which we decorated with acadia wood frames. Our little accent table and TV stand were from Target, and out futon was something that we reused from our old apartment that we threw a cover over to blend it into our color scheme a little better. We would like to get some frames hung on the wall, however that's something that I've been dancing with for awhile.

The other half of our "multipurpose" room is the kitchenette area which consists of our table and "bar cart". I would love to get some new chairs for that table, but I think that that is going to have to be something that wait until we have a little more space. 

Our bedroom "theme" is very crisp and clean with white furniture and bright accents. Our bureaus are from IKEA and our nightstands are from Target as well... and that mirror... IKEA. I love that store. Once again we scored our rug from Rugs USA and please don't mind our Christmas sheets... I'm still stuck in December with all of this beautiful snow!

Right off of our bedroom is a bathroom which I really don't think you guys would care to see... and we also have a smaller room/office on the back end of the apartment which is currently my Monica Geller closet... will have to share pictures later. It's an eclectic mix of extra furniture, clothes and boxes. 

 We did end up getting a handful of snow last night as predicted and are spoiled rotten with a snow day today! Everything is closed and people are cross country skiing through the streets of the North End, and sledding where they can. 

Last night L and I chased down the CNN news crew and now I'm off to go spend the rest of my day playing the in the snow, drinking hot cocoa, and making snow ice cream! 

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It's Supposed to Snow

I woke up this morning to choppers buzzing above the area only to remember that today was the Pats rally at City Hall Plaza. Had I had my face on and the energy and motivation to venture on a 5 minute walk over, I would have loved to go see Tom Brady being worshipped by thousands of Bostonians, however my lazy arse had errands to run and an apartment to clean. #solame

We're supposed to be getting some snow tonight and tomorrow, so I ran around today dropping stuff off at the post office, picking up groceries and doing my laundry. All of this productive activity made me anxious to clean, so I deep cleaned the apartment, took some updated pictures of the place (cause they're the same from the first month that we moved in over 6 months ago) and then threw some cookies in the oven. I'm starting to get excited for Valentine's Day! Heart shaped everything my friends. 

With this blizzard that is supposed to be hitting the Northeast tonight, I have already received emails from NSTAR (my electric company), my landlord, both my jobs are closed for tomorrow, MBTA service is closed for tomorrow as is my Physics class, and the shelves were cleared at CVS. I guess this storm is going to be something.

...because this is the most snow that we have had thus far...

In other news, my face has been glued to Lifetime movies these days. They're so cheesy, but they suck you in so bad. I watched four the other day, in a row. You know what I could have been doing that night? I could've been eating at Bricco where JLaw was the other day. Why do I always miss out on this kind of stuff!?

Oh, and I once again walked into my vain cat staring at herself in the mirror. This show is all about her.

We're all snuggled up noshing on cookies and hot cocoa waiting for a blizzard... this city needs some snow!
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