30 November 2010

Eat Your Veggies {Untraditionally Of Course!}

Despite the decade plus one of my life that I went vegetarian {my mom eventually guilted me into the whole "you're not getting enough protein" bit and I agreed to start eating chicken again. Breaded chicken...} I don't feel like I eat enough veggies. It's not that I don't like them - in fact, there are only very few I dislike, I just feel like I don't buy many, and the ones I do buy go bad quickly. And let's face it - it's way easier to just boil water for pasta.

With that in mind, I went for a pasta & veggie combo, but not the type you'd expect. I first tasted butternut squash sauce with gnocchi at a fundraising event with my mom. I can't even remember which restaurant brought it, I just remember going back for seconds. and thirds. and maybe even fourths. Later while cruising around online for recipes {I only pretend like I'm a master in the kitchen} I found this one for the sauce! I'm not exaggerating when I say it's so easy I can do it. I left out the salt {which I do with every recipe because I find I don't need it} but followed the rest of the recipe as instructed.

{Bonus Fact: all the ingredients are from my beloved Trader Joes}

{Getting steamy!}

{I admit - this part was a little weird}

{Gnocchi are done! Perfect timing!}

{Enjoy! Wine is not optional :) }


20 November 2010

Inspiration on Wheels

While I'm embarrassed that my own city can't boast this, I'm also very inspired..

As someone who has just recently given up having a car, this video really resonates with me. My reason for doing so wasn't largely environmental - it was more that I hardly used my car, it was expensive to keep, and to say parking in Boston is a drag would be the understatement of the century. I am delighted, though, with the environmental impact it has had, and the amount of exercise I'm now getting just by walking.

During the warmer months, I had a 3 mile roundtrip walking commute to work, which took me through the beautiful public garden and commons. Now with the dark nights and the cold, I've finally given in to taking the T, but I still feel good about my decision.

It has proven difficult to see friends, almost all of whom live outside the city. A few live near enough to the train that I can still commute, but for many, visiting them at home is almost impossible. I have grocery stores within walking distance, but to purchase furniture or other heavy items, I need to make arrangements beforehand.

Having a bicycle wouldn't completely eliminate these problems, but it would certainly make getting around easier and less time-consuming. However, I feel that riding a bike around Boston with the awful drivers {I can talk - I was one of them} honestly isn't safe. I've seen the attitude that motorists give to cyclists, and instead of respecting their decision, there is -as the video says- a feeling of two different species. There have been some changes around the city recently, with a bike lane painted onto Commonwealth Ave, but I still don't think my skills/senses are acute enough to get around safely.

I would love to see a movement towards Copenhagen's view on bicycling, for the environmental benefits, the health benefits, and a general respect and kindness towards others.

video borrowed from The City Mouse

13 November 2010


My generation is living during a very unique time. Growing up, I played outside. I had Barbie, Lite Bright, and Legos. My toys required creativity and interaction on my part, and I only spent time on the couch when I was home sick from school. The greatest “technology” of my youth was found in toys like Teddy Ruxbin, Alfie, and the Easy Bake Oven.

I used to have to carry change around for Payphones, and on more than one occasion, I had call my mom Collect. When being dropped off at the movie theatre, I had to run inside and ask what time the movie was getting out, and then actually LOOK for my parents' car. When shopping at the mall, we had to FIND each other if we split up in the same store. It seems like the dark ages, but it was really just a decade ago.

Text messaging happened in high school, and I've sadly never looked back. Now it's possible to have an entire meal {with special instructions, no less} delivered to my apartment without speaking on the phone. Despite my job as an executive assistant, I hate answering the phone. To me, it's a little like being caught off-guard. A text message or email you can answer while multi-tasking, answer later, or ignore entirely. A phone call crashes in on your day and demands your full attention.

Facebook has seemingly eliminated even the need for interaction at all. I see about 10% of my friends list on a regular basis, and many people I'd turn down a dark alley at night to avoid talking to – but still track their life through photos. This situation happened a few weeks ago: I was walking back to work from a coffee break, and realized I was walking behind a girl I had danced with for years. I mean literally, I saw this girl in a leotard and tights 5 hours a day, 5 days a week for 8 years. Evolutionarily speaking, shouldn't my first instinct be to run up to her and say hi? To greet her with a big smile and ask how she has been and what she's up to? Thanks to technology, I know not only where she lives and works, but also what she had for breakfast this morning. Instead of approaching her, I walked about 10 feet behind her {it figures she was walking in the EXACT same direction of my building} all the while praying she didn't turn around and see me. It was such a strange feeling, then. What was I avoiding? An awkward exchange? Nothing to say to each other? Old fashioned human contact?

For a social network, it sure has changed the way we communicate, though it doesn't seem for the better. I envy foreign cultures for their close-knit families, and their ability to invite friends over without any special occasion, but upon close inspection, there's nothing really stopping me from following suit. Not physically, at least.