Weekend

Out to Dinner [MIMM #28]

Hey there! Monday is upon us once again, which for me means it’s time to fill out more job applications. I have to vent for a second – I do my best work when I am out of my house, my room, etc. At school, there were at least five different coffee shops I could go to to get into the zone. Now, I’m home, and there are no coffee shops less than twenty minutes away from me (I’m not in downtown Pitt or something; we live in a suburb). What’s a girl to do!?

On Friday, I ended up heading out to work with my mom because there’s a Panera down the street from her. I set up shop and got to work. It didn’t hurt that she then bought me lunch 😉

There’s a lot more marvelous to share about my weekend, today! A lot of the marvelous comes from delicious dinners out with friends. Thanks to Katie for hosting MIMM.

I had plans Friday night to grab dinner at Burgatory (a pretty cool Pittsburgh chain) at their new location with Kaitlyn. Unfortunately, when we got to the restaurant, the wait was OVER 2 HOURS. UM excuse me? Their burgers are good, but we decided the 80 people in line ahead of us could enjoy them for the evening, especially after I called a different location to see what the wait time was and rudely addressed and hung up on!

Instead, we headed to Mad Mex since Kaitlyn hadn’t been there before, anyway. I got a glass of white sangria to sip on that was pretty good as well as chips and salsa to start. Kaitlyn and I always seem to go to Mexican restaurants! For our meals, we both got quesadillas. They were fabulous and veggie-filled.

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On Saturday, I had to work for a few hours. Directly after, I had to see my brother off to his junior prom! I won’t lie – I teared up a bit when I saw him in his suit. He looked so grown up. Luckily I was wearing my sunglasses, so no one saw the tears.

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Later, I drove down to the city to meet up with Erin and Cassie for dinner at a cute little Thai place called Smiling Banana Leaf. It was wonderful to see Erin again! These meet-ups will have to happen more often now that I’m home for good. We forgot to take a picture all-together. Oops!

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For my meal, I had the green curry. I really love my Thai to be spicy, so I got a 7 on their spice scale even though Cassie mentioned that their spice levels were on the hotter side. It was a really tasty curry with lots of vegetables, but I was definitely sweating a bit as I ate! My mouth was on fire (I guess in a good way, though!).

Sunday was full of lots of relaxing and movie-watching with my mom! Just the way I like it.

Questions of the Day:
>> How spicy do you like your food to be? 
>> What’s the longest you would wait at a restaurant? 

Meeting the Maven: Toronto, Canada

This past weekend, I traveled to the Great North with Cassie to meet the Maven. Davida, Cassie and myself have been planning this trip for a while, so I was pretty darn excited to meet her! My family might have thought I was a little crazy to go to a different country and stay with someone who I met online, but whatever. It’s the 21st century, people.

So: Canada. It was my first time there, and I couldn’t have asked for a better, more welcoming experience. I have to say that Davida and her boyfriend are absolutely the most wonderful hosts. They made sure Cassie and I had everything we needed and were (not that this is a surprise, I guess) well-fed. One of the things I was anticipating most was trying out Davida’s food in-person. How could you not be pumped to try The Healthy Maven’s recipes cooked by the Maven herself? I’m going to include more about that in my Wednesday post, but for now I will preface it with she is as talented in the kitchen as her delicious pictures would lead you to believe.

Friday night, Cassie and I arrived fairly late in the evening thanks to a later start and some traffic we hadn’t anticipated. Davida cooked us up some dinner and then some of their friends came over for a bit. We hoped to go out on the town for a bit, but our plan got derailed when the place Davida wanted to go was closed. Regardless, we still had a lot of fun and went to bed pretty late!

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The next day was a whirlwind! Almost as soon as we woke up, we grabbed some coffee and headed out to St. Lawrence Market, which was a huge indoor marketplace where you could find everything from Artisan mustards (Cassie loved that – I think she tried almost every flavor. We’re both having a mustard moment) to fresh meats and fish. It reminded me of North Market in Columbus.

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After the market, we took a street car (super cool that they have street cars) to meet up with Sam for lunch! My actual lunch experience wasn’t that great, but it didn’t get in the way of enjoying talking with Sam, Cassie and Davida. Sam is so nice, and I wish she didn’t live so far away! I can’t wait to get together with her again.

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We walked around for a bit after lunch and shopped a bit. We stopped in a beautiful park for a while, and I enjoyed the Toronto people watching. The city seems really active and alive, so the park was packed.

By the time we got back to Davida’s apartment, I was hungry and tired, so we snacked a bit and relaxed before heading out to dinner and a movie. Believe me, I will gush about dinner on Wednesday. We ended up seeing Divergent, which I’d already seen, but I didn’t mind watching a second time. If you aren’t happy watching Theo James on-screen then there’s something wrong with you.

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Sunday morning, Davida made us pancakes to fuel us up for yoga. I’m pretty sure Cassie’s and my main request was to go to a yoga studio, and Davida delivered once again. I want to give YYoga a big thanks for a relaxing and powerful complimentary power class. I was impressed by the facilities – they were unlike anything I’ve seen around Pittsburgh thus far. They offered freshly brewed tea, had stunning washrooms and shower rooms, a sauna and several beautiful and modern classrooms.

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After class, Cassie and I packed up our things and headed back to the states (but not before a 40 minute detour to the Lululemon outlet – typical). Toronto is a vibrant and healthy city, so I’m sending a huge thank you (THANK YOU!) to Davida for being a great host and tour guide. Remember Davs, Pittsburgh is only a five hour drive away 😉

All the photos above are courtesy of Davida and Cassie. Thanks for helping a girl with no fancy camera out.

Question of the Day:
>> Have you ever been to Toronto? What’d ya think?
>> What do you think the healthiest city you’ve visited is?

Alternative Easter Weekend [MIMM #27]

Hello there! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that if you celebrated Easter it was a good holiday for you. This year Easter was a little different for me – for the first time ever I wasn’t home with my family. I was feeling pretty sad about all of that on Friday evening, but the weekend definitely picked up after that. To my surprise, my alternative Easter weekend was actually marvelous (except that I kept forgetting yesterday was a holiday)…!

Thanks to Katie for hosting MIMM.

On Saturday after the farmer’s marketing, I went hiking around different places in Athens with Kaitlyn! This is called Strouds. The lake views were so beautiful!

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Kaitlyn and I were dead-set on finding this other place called Bong Hill (don’t ask about the name) that supposedly has a great view of Athens. The first time we attempted to find it, we drove way too far past the trail opening. Thankfully a friend steered up in the right direction, but we still ended up climbing the wrong path. It was so steep at first! We encountered this cool rock I have to show you. I think it’s known as Witches Hill.

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We walked a little to the left and discovered we were in kind of the right place, so we kept walking and eventually wound up in our original destination. It did not disappoint. Happy faces!

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Then I tried to take my first panoramic photo ever. So fancy.

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Anyway, that’s the lovely Athens, OH from above. Hiking all day made me really hungry and kind of sunburnt only on one arm, which was unfortunate, but what fortunate was that we had a dinner date planned for none other than Casa. Margaritas, chips, salsa, guac, and quesadillas for both of us!

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On Sunday morning, I woke up to find Easter eggs hidden for me by my roommates. I always hunt eggs in the morning with my brother, so I’d been telling them how I was sad about not doing it this year. They hid them in the best places: coffee pot, Brita filter, microwave, blender – all places I use regularly. They also put one up in our fire alarm because they always set it off. I cracked up (hehe no pun intended).

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Kellie and I went to church, and later in the day we took a really long walk in the sunshine.

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And finally, in the evening, we dyed Easter eggs!

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This is my pride and joy. I call it “fade to yellow.” So original.

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Let’s hope this week is just as marvelous as the weekend!

Questions of the Day:
>> How do you usually dye eggs (if you do)? Solid, glitter, rainbow, etc.? 
>> Favorite hiking setting? Lake, mountain, flat ground?