Friday: The Sweet Life Edition

Sitting down to write this post, I realized it will be the last edition of Friday Favorites for July. August lurks just around the corner — and before we know it, summer will end, fall will be here, then the holidays, and just behind them, 2015. It does feel sort of strange to think that it's already more than halfway through the year, but for the first year in a long time, I'm realizing that I actually find things to be moving at a steady pace. Months aren't dragging along like they did in college, or whizzing by in the blink of an eye like they have been in the years since. I guess life is finally starting to just be what it is, ya know? Settling into a routine of change, if that makes any sense. No? Okay, we'll talk about it another day.

Thinking back on everything that's happened in 2014, and especially everything that's happened since my birthday, I feel really happy to say that 25 has really been a wonderful year so far for me, and certainly the best one in many, many years. Though that's all a post for another day, let me just say that while I'm narrowing it down to just five below, there are so, so many things that are making me smile these days — despite the job and apartment stress, believe it or not! Life is sweet when you let it be.
image via
1. Sunday night the new boo {I'm working on a formal nickname, gimme some time} and I trotted over to the Rutgers Agricultural Center and took a stroll through the gardens, peeped in on a wedding happening there, and then hung out with some goats. {I almost made a tacky joke about something something kidding something, but I didn't, you're welcome.} We capped it off with some Italian food and getting-to-know-you-better, don't-have-to-ask-for-them-now kisses. Name one thing better than that combo. Seriously, I'll wait...
{You can throw things at me if you want, I totally understand. If it were anyone other than me behind these obnoxious displays of affection, I'd be nauseous too.}

2. I had a "moment" on Monday. See, I'm moving out of my apartment that I've called home for the last two years at the end of next month. And in spite of/because of the fact that I found my current place's posting, met the landlord, looked at the place, met the roomie, forked over all my cash and signed a lease in the space of about eight days, I would ideally like to know where I'm moving too with a liiiittle more time to spare this time around. Problem is, most landlords are still trying to lease for August and there just isn't a whole lot to be found.

So on Monday, in my panicked state, I went to look at a place a few blocks away — I told you a bit about this the other day. And while I at first had an oh-my-god-never-gonna-find-a-place-gonna-be-homeless freakout, I went for a run, cleared my head, and realized... I have plenty of time. And I have enough on my plate right now to reasonably set this house-hunt aside at least until after August 1, and just generally calm my shit down. It's been a pretty nice week since then.

3. The pile of deadlines and To Do's that I've been trying to crawl out from under all week has, no surprise, roughed up my training schedule a bit this week. I had to skip one run altogether, and rearrange a couple to accommodate my jam-packed weekend and a long run. I almost gave myself permission to skip last night's run as I worked to get edits done on Feather stories {you're gonna love 'em!}, but I decided I needed a break instead. About a mile into what should have been a simple-pimple, know-this-route-like-the-back-of-my-hand four-miler, I had to stop. Like, full-on stop. My left leg was acting like an asshole, to put it simply, and I thought about turning back around and calling it quits, justifying to myself that I just didn't want to risk injury.

Six months ago, that's exactly what I would have done. I would have hobbled on home, sat in an ice or Epsom salt bath and said that was all I could have done. But last night I gave myself a break, sat down, gave my shin and calf a 3-minute massage, and then beasted the next three miles. Yeah, it's like that, leg! Boom. I'm so cheesy, I'm terribly sorry. The point is, it was one of those moments that reminds me why I'm training for a half marathon, and why I laced up last night in the first place.

4. Generally, I cook for a couple of days at a time. I come from a big, food-obsessed Italian family — we don't know anything about cooking for one. Or portions. Or putting down the garlic. Anyway, I tend to cook about 3-4 times a week, making enough for a couple of lunches and dinners, and always have a couple of things to rotate with. Last night one of the dishes I tossed together was a super-duper simple new potato and green bean salad {that I didn't take any pictures of, but you can find a similar recipe for the look of it here}. It's a favorite this week not only because it is a delish, easy dish, but because it always reminds me of my grandmother whenever I or anyone, really, makes it. She had hundreds of specialties that she painstakingly prepared for us — the bow cookies, homemade sauce, meat and sweet pies at Easter, I could go on for ages — yet this little chilled side is still special to me. I really couldn't even tell you why, but as I chopped the potatoes and sliced red onion, I thought of her like I do everyday and felt a bit of comfort. As we approach the one-year anniversary of her passing, which is just weeks away now, any thought of her that brings a smile to my face rather than a tear is one I'll call a big winner for the time being.

{Our recipe — all measurements are eyeballed but feel free to use Paula's quantities if you'd like: 1. Chop potatoes into even chunks; boil til fork tender. 2. Cook green beans to al dente, shock in ice water when done. 3. Slice about half a red onion. 4. Begin to chill beans and potatoes, then combine all in a large mixing bowl. 5. Add enough olive oil to coat the mixture. Shake in salt, pepper, and dill to taste. If you're like me, shake on a little garlic powder too. 6. Serve chilled and bring as a cheap and easy side to every BBQ you're invited to for the rest of the summer.}

5. Sushi dinner date. Yum & yum.

And the smiles don't stop all weekend: Balloon Fest, a hike at a beautiful falls, hangs with the new boo thang AND I don't have to have Sunday Night Dread because who's off on Monday? This gal. {I'll be doing laundry and working on side projects, but whatever. Let me have this.}

Oh and psst — I've got another post up on the Feather Magazine editors' blog, Ruffled Feathers, today! 
I know you want to sneak a peek at what I've been doing elsewhere. :)

What was your favorite thing about this week? And what kind of fun are you up to this weekend??
Linking up with Amanda ++ Whitney ++ Lauren


  1. ohhh but why no more friday faves? seriously though, I think the same way you do 'well summer is almost over, then it will be fall and then christmas' except i keep going 'and we'll all be dead soon' terribly morbid of me.
    anywho! i love all the tacky and corny and cheesy things! the new boo / boo thang is a perfectly good nickname, i propose it sticks lol! balloon fest? fun! that sucks your leg was being lame, but go you for continuing the run! i haven't run all week (there goes my bet with KC) but I think - I think! - I can run tomorrow. We shall see. Might get up in the am.

  2. Sushi dinner dates are the best! Happy happy Friday!

  3. I absolutely love you Sunday night - it was perfect!! I dont even want to think about how fast the year is flying by - like now that we're older time just literally flies!! Your weekend plans sounds amazing - we'll be having sushi too - always a given for me though lol! Happy Weekend!

  4. I cannot believe it is the last friday in July. Seriously, I can't handle the way this year is flying by. So happy you're having a great time with boo thang! I'm with Kristen, I propose it sticks!!

  5. I am craving sushi like really bad!
    I kinda gave up this morning, my hip is really bothering me so I walked instead of ran the 3.5 miles this morning now I feel guilty.

  6. I like can seriously feel your positive energy and happiness as I read this post :-) Definitely can tell this was a great week for you and love hearing about the new guy!

  7. GAH so jealous of your three-day weekend! And Balloon Fest?! I want to go!! That sounds so awesome. :D

  8. I miss Jersey balloon fests waaaahhhhh !!! Also I love that you go from calling him "new boo" to "boo thang" I refer to B as "the boy" or "my guy" or "ass" and he refers to me as "the girl" or "that one" or "you with the face". If that gives you any inspiration.

  9. I love that song. Do you live near Rutgers in New Brunswick? My bf works at Rutgers! And I wanna go to the Balloon Festival! Have a great time!

  10. That moment when you want to quit during a run, but then you don't, because you realize what a badass you are....priceless! Have a great weekend, love!

  11. Balloon fest? That sounds so fun! And I'm all about not utting down the garlic. Bring it on!

  12. Number one makes me soooo happy and boo is a great nickname!!! You'll find the apt soon!


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