A LOVEly Weekend

I’ll admit it – I like Valentine’s Day. I like any holiday that celebrates love – how can you not? I consider it a day to celebrate ALL love – love of your family, friends, significant others, etc. That’s how I was brought up (yes, my parents still send me a Valentine’s Day card and I send my brother one!) and I LOVE it.

That being said, I’m not one of those people who expects to celebrate myself all weekend long – with Christmas in late December and my birthday being in late January, there’s hardly a reason for me to expect any gifts, a big celebration, etc. BUT I do enjoy celebrating in other ways … like good food, good company, good drinks and well – goodness all around! Luckily, that’s how the weekend turned out.

Friday night was cold and snowy, so B and I decided to stay in, watch the Interview, and get takeout Vietnamese to eat with our new chopsticks we’d bought in Vietnam.

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Saturday morning I woke up somewhat early to get in a little treadmill and elliptical action at the gym. I had thought about doing the Chili Bowl 5k (last year, B and I ran it after doing a 9 mile training run) but the weather was cold, super windy (20+mph winds), and snowy so I was happy to stay inside and run while B slept. And of course the elliptical and treadmill helped me work up a hunger for brunch! That’s right, B and I went to Phuel for brunch – I got my favorite (granola, fruit, yogurt and honey) and B got his standard order – banana chocolate chip pancakes.

B and his pancakes. He's probably thinking "Please take the picture so I can eat these soon"

B and his pancakes. He’s probably thinking “Please take the picture so I can eat these soon”

Glorious homemade granola. Not quite as good as my mom's recipe - but the closest thing here :)

Glorious homemade granola. Not quite as good as my mom’s recipe – but the closest thing here 🙂

After brunch it was time to get in some of our weekly shopping at the West Side Market. We picked up some treats too – a cannoli for the night’s dessert. We had plans to cook a homemade Italian dinner and I of course wanted my favorite Italian dessert.

So many types of cannoli!

So many types of cannoli!

After the Market, B stopped in Hingetown for a coffee/tea stop. I decided to try a new tea at Cleveland Tea Revival – not my standard Ginger or Ginger Turmeric – and I wasn’t disappointed. Their Shark Week Tea may be a new favorite of mine.

Shark Week tea. I just googled what that meant and whoops! I'll still drink it.

Shark Week tea. I just googled what that meant and whoops! I’ll still drink it.

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We also were able to stop off at Gallucci’s to pick up some supplies for dinner. I wish I had taken a photo of my cart – Gallucci’s is like Target to me. I go there with the full intent to buy 3-4 things and come out with 10+ items.

I <3 Gallucci's - and not just for their wine.

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For dinner, B and I prepared an Italian feast together. My favorite way to spend the night! We prepared homemade pasta, sauce and chicken cutlets. With some bubbly and cheese and meat as an appetizer and I was in heaven.

love me some cheese!!!

love me some cheese!!!

Pasta making experts.

Pasta making experts.

Prosecco and crystal. Because why not?

Prosecco and crystal. Because why not?

I love going out to dinner – don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something about spending the time making a meal together – B and I made the pasta and chicken together, so instead of having a 1-2 hour meal at a restaurant, it turned into a whole evening activity. And it was delicious!

Dinner.

Dinner.

The pistachio cannoli from the West Side Market

The pistachio cannoli from the West Side Market – and homemade limoncello

Sunday was another COLD day. And I’m talking super cold – I woke up to -1 degree temps with 15mph winds meaning it “felt like -25”. So of course B and I decided it would be a great day for a “Lazy Sunday.” Which for me meant doing as very little as possible – but enough so that I wouldn’t get bored. I decided to play it safe and run inside again, bringing this week’s mileage to 36!

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After the workout, I wanted to do some meal prep for the week. I roasted a chicken (usually B’s job), sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and acorn squash.

A bit of meal prep

A bit of meal prep

Then it was time for dinner with B’s family. We were celebrating my niece’s birthday (can’t believe she’s SIX!).

my contribution to the dinner - salad!

my contribution to the dinner – salad!

The gorgeous red velvet birthday cake B's mom made

The gorgeous red velvet birthday cake B’s mom made

blowing out the candles!

blowing out the candles!

We go over there almost every week, but this week was special not only for the birthday but it was also a goodbye dinner for B’s brother. He’s is traveling abroad to Germany so we had a big family meal before he leaves this week. I’m so jealous – I loved studying abroad and hope he has as much fun as I did!

A throwback to my days in Ecuador - at a futbol game!

A throwback to my days in Ecuador – at a futbol game!

Some questions for you:

  • Love or hate Valentine’s Day?
  • Did you study abroad?  If not, where do you wish you would have visited?
  • What’s your favorite type of meal to prepare?

 

Thankful Thursday: For Family

My brother graduated this week from college. My brother, whom I remember being born (we’re 7 years apart) is graduating from college. How does that make me feel?

It makes me feel so grateful, lucky and so thankful to have such an incredible family. So for this Thankful Thursday (perhaps my first one?) I want to thank my family. Warning – a short sappy post follows.

Greg and me at his high school graduation

Greg and me at his high school graduation

So thank you to my brother — I’m so proud of him – for all he’s achieved in college and beyond … and so excited for him – to start this next chapter of his life, because we all know that life out of college is not easy, but the challenges it presents us really makes us who we are. Despite being nearly a decade younger than I am, there are so many ways in which I look up to him and am inspired by all that he does.

7 years apart - Greg at my college graduation

7 years apart – Greg at my college graduation

And of course my parents – for always supporting me and my brother, despite how difficult our decisions have been for them. It is thanks to them that my brother and I are who we are today. I could write a post all about how thankful I am for them – and I know I’ve done it somewhat before – so this post will end with that.

This year - my brother's graduation

This year – my brother’s graduation. We all look the same, right?

Hope you’re all having as much of a great week as I am and are feeling thankful today as well.

Some questions for you:

  • What are you thankful for?
  • Any graduations coming up or just happen? Congrats!
  • What day of the week was your graduation on? Mine was on a Monday – Greg’s was on a Tuesday and Wednesday!
  • Where is your alma mater? Do you stay involved? Boston College – Go Eagles! Not as much as I’d like to -B and I are both part of the local alumni association but we haven’t done much with the group in some time.