Snowbound

So, have you seen the weather up in Boston lately? Yeah…we have snow. Kind of a lot. Whoo blizzards! We got between 2-3 feed over about 36 hours. Maybe it’s the winter baby in me, but I always love a good storm. Everything gets all quiet and sparkly and cozy.

Another perk of the storm – I had to work from home for two days. Sometimes it’s just really nice to work with my slippers on and a big cup of tea next to me. Plus, the week is almost over, and I have fun plans for the weekend. Here’s hoping the rest of the week zooms by!

 

 

Winter Weekend

On Friday Teddy and I had some friends over for a relaxing evening. I made another crockpot meal on Thursday night (this time a lovely chili recipe from my mother) and it was so great to come home to the smell in my kitchen! It also took a lot of the pressure off having friends over on a Friday – I could relax instead of getting right into the kitchen when I got home. I also made some fresh biscuits to go with the chili.

We enjoyed a lovely evening of dinner, wine, and quite a few games of Settlers of Catan. We are officially addicted! It was really nice to stay in on a Friday, though – more relaxing, and much less expensive.

Saturday

On Saturday morning we awoke to a winter wonderland – it snowed quite a bit overnight. It looked so pretty! We had a very lazy morning and stayed in bed reading for quite a while. I’m addicted to my current book, and it was nice to spend a while relaxing in bed. Teddy spoiled me by making a lovely breakfast for us, and then we spent a while catching up on Top Chef. This season is set in Boston, so it’s been really fun to scope the restaurant scene in our area through the show. I made some great progress on my next knitting adventure, so again, it was great to spend time together relaxing.

In the afternoon we were both feeling a bit cooped up and wanted to see Cambridge covered in snow. We took a nice long walk around the neighborhood before doing a few errands. We came home and finished the leftovers of chili and biscuits for a quick and easy dinner.

On Saturday evening we headed to a friends house for another board game night. We’ve been doing that a lot lately, but it’s such a great winter activity! Cheap, easy, and a great way to spend some time.

The walk over to this friend’s house is about 30 minutes, and Cambridge was looking like a beautiful winter wonderland! It was lightly snowing still, everything was all twinkling and just looked so cozy. Cambridge sure looks beautiful in snow. Then again, I really like the winter, particularly when I don’t have to be driving. It wasn’t too cold, and it was just so beautiful.

Anyway, at the friend’s house we played Endeavor, a game involving maps, colonialism, and a little bit of slavery. Once you get going it really picks up, but it was a bit complicated to learn. I ended up not losing (YAY!) and would totally play it again. Another one to add to the list of potential gifts for Teddy!

Sunday

On Sunday morning I did my usual errands, but I didn’t make it out for a run. That’s the only bad thing about the snow – the sidewalks were looking pretty treacherous! Instead I took a nice walk and worked on some knitting in bed. I’ll take it!

Teddy and I spent the afternoon planning for an upcoming trip, and later I chatted with my parents. I ended the evening having dinner with some friends, and doing some meal prep for the next few days. It looks like we’re in for a huge snow storm, so I’m getting ready to hunker down!

Do anything exciting this weekend?

A long weekend in upstate New York

This weekend I headed out to Ithaca, NY to visit my sister! She and her boyfriend, Collin, live in a great house in a tiny town called Newfiled, just outside of Ithaca. Teddy and I left work a bit early on Friday to make the 6ish hour drive. By the time we landed I was very ready for bed! After a quick cup of tea and a chat, we headed to sleep.

Saturday

Anne and Collin are known for their fantastic breakfasts, so Teddy and I woke up ready to dig in! Unsurprisingly, they didn’t disappoint. To get things started, we made lattes. Yep, Anne and Collin have a super fancy bean grinder, an espresso maker, and even a milk frother. They take their coffee very seriously!

The lattes held us over nicely while we made the rest of our feast: fresh squeezed orange juice (yes, they have a juicer), fried eggs, gourmet sausage for the non-veggies, bananas, and more fresh coffee. Like I said, they’re basically pros. It was an awesome way to start the day!

Our next adventure took us to a local mountain, Greek Peak Resort. They have an awesome Nordic Center where we spent quite a few hours enjoying the beautiful weather and exploring the area on cross country skis. I used to go cross country skiing quite a bit when I was younger, but haven’t been for years, and Teddy had never been. Luckily the trails were pretty friendly and Anne and Collin are great teachers. We had a blast gliding around for a few hours and enjoying the sunshine before heading back home.

After we cleaned up a bit, we headed to downtown Ithaca to try a new restaurant. Coltivare is associated with a local culinary school so it’s run by the students. I feel great about supporting such a wonderful mission, and the food was outstanding! We started with a surprisingly tasty grilled lettuce appetizer, I enjoyed a risotto with saffron and mushrooms which really hit the spot after a cold day outside. We all shared a lovely bottle of wine, and to finish the meal I enjoyed a fresh sugar doughnut with coffee gelatto. It was all phenomenal! I could have rolled home I was so full, but man it was amazing.

On Saturday we played the first of what became many games of Settlers of Catan. Do you know this game? It was really easy to learn and we quickly got really sucked in!

Sunday

On Sunday morning we headed out for a lovely brunch at the Carriage House – known for having the best brunch in Ithaca! After enjoying one of the best omelets I’ve had in recent memory, we wandered around the shops downtown. Anne knows them all really well, so while the guys grabbed some groceries and explored the ice shelf (very exciting stuff…) we dropped by a few stores. Unfortunately my favorite used craft supply store wasn’t open, but we poked into a great sewing store that I loved! Very inspiring.

Our afternoon consisted of a few more games of Settlers of Catan before making another lovely feast for dinner. This time we did mashed cauliflower, excellent grilled tuna (yes, Collin grills year-round even though we were in upstate New York – he is dedicated), a huge salad and roasted green beans. Phew! It was another huge and extremely lovely meal, all topped off with a few bottles of fancy beer that Teddy and I brought to share. We watched Garden State while we ate, and all agreed it was a thoroughly confusing movie, but the soundtrack was great!

On Monday after one more great breakfast Teddy and I hit the road again to head back to Massachusetts. Unfortunately it was a fast visit, but Anne and Collin always show us a great time when we head out! Hopefully we’ll be able to head out sometime in the spring!

Where has the week gone?

Ever have one of those weeks where you don’t know what happened to the time, but there isn’t any of it left? This week is one of those weeks.

I have a busy weekend on the books. I’m very excited, but it means that I have seemingly far less time to get things done, and that’s lead to a bit of frenzy now that the weekend in approaching!

On Tuesday I tutor a lovely local high school student, and after that headed over to the library. They didn’t have the book I was looking for, and I ended up spending far more time that I anticipated browsing the stacks. I ended up coming home with Behind Beautiful Forevers, and so far it has been extremely compelling. I’ll be sure to give more detail when I’m done with it!

On Wednesday evening Teddy and I did our typical programming lesson – I’m trying to keep my programming skills fresh, and Teddy wants to learn some new languages. We went to our favorite local cafe, and by the time we came home I had just enough time to get my things together for the next day before I crashed into bed.

In lieu of my typical Thursday night knitting, I decided to stay home and get some errands done. I think it’s finally time to take my Christmas tree down. End of an era – it’s lasted far longer than I expected!

This post is a bit scattered, but to suffice to say things have been hectic, but in a good way.

Any plans for the upcoming (maybe long) weekend?

A new geography project

I have decided to undertake a new project in an effort to better understand our world: learn a few facts about each and every country of the world.

 

I’ve always loved geography, and have a strong love for maps (you should see the walls of my room!). In addition, Vexillology (the study of flags) is of great interest to me. I think it combines my excitement about demography, history and wanderlust into one great big excited-about-the-world package.

Anyway, the goal is simple: to learn a little bit about each country of the world – it’s history, the population, it’s political structure, where to find it on a map, and of course, it’s flag. Why? Because why not. I want to be a better citizen of this world, and this is the first step.

In case you’re wondering, I’ll be using this list to base my project off of. It’s nothing political, we’re just going to stick with the crowd sourcing model. And just to throw you off a little, we’re going from the bottom, up. See you tomorrow, Zimbabwe!

An Evening at the Symphony

On Saturday evening Teddy and I had the pleasure of attending a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra! The tickets were originally a Christmas gift to Teddy’s parents, but unfortunately they got sick at the last minute. Instead, my roommate was able to attend! As a professional pianist, she appreciates the symphony so we were thrilled to go with another music lover.

Conductor Andris Nelsons

 

It wasn’t too long ago that I was at Symphony Hall to hear the Handle and Haydn Society perform and, as always, the hall was looking beautiful. I love the acoustics, and an excuse to get all dressed up and have a classy evening – perfect!

The program for the evening included Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Haydn’s Symphony No. 90 and Strauss’ Don Quixote. I have to admit that I enjoyed the first two pieces much more than the last – Strauss can get a bit funky sometimes. I didn’t help that I’m not familiar enough with the story of Don Quixote to appreciate the nuanced ways that the piece blends with the story. I do always love an tasteful wind machine appearance though, so I enjoyed the Strauss for that!

Symphony Hall

My favorite piece of the evening was certainly the Brahms. I particularly love the variation that begins the piece – so beautiful! However, perhaps the most memorable part of the evening was during the last movement of the Haydn piece. There was a deceptive cadence so effective that a small portion of the audience began clapping! It was awkward to say the least. I’ve never seen that happen before. To make it even more entertaining, the program notes specifically mention that cadence and how convincing it is. Clearly there was a large part of the audience that was fooled!

Ultimately we had a lovely evening, and I’d highly recommend an evening at the symphony in Boston if you ever have the chance!

Restaurant Review: Area Four

Have you heard of Area Four? It’s a super popular restaurant in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge. I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately, so when we were looking for a place to have dinner on New Years Eve, Area Four seemed like the perfect choice. The verdict? Decent.

We went with a group of 6 people, and all of us agreed that the inside space was very cool. The bar area was comfortable, there were loads of windows, and the tables were on cool sliding bars so were very convertible.

All of the hype around the restaurant focused on the pizza and the excellent beer selection. While the drink selection was nice, I wasn’t super blown away with the options. I enjoyed a nice double IPA, and our friends all tried interesting drinks. Overall it was good, but not incredible. I was unfortunately a bit disappointed with the vegetarian options for pizza, so decided to go with the mac and cheese for my main meal. It was very good, but again didn’t blow me away. Everyone else enjoyed various pizzas, and all of them looked very good. I’ve heard that the crust is particularly special, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to try any.

Ultimately I wasn’t super happy paying as much as I did for a beer and mac and cheese! While the vibe of the restaurant was fun, and it was a great place to go with quite a few people, I don’t think I’d make an effort to go back any time soon. I’m glad I went, though!