Friday Favorites 3.10.17

RAINBOW ROLLS

Since moving from NYC, my sushi consumption has been limited. Austin’s Japanese restaurants were super expensive and there wasn’t really any cheap sushi available, plus it’s not the BF’s favorite. In Charlotte, we’ve found a couple spots that are much more affordable but also the grocery store has some pretty legit, fresh sushi that’s well-priced. Rainbow Rolls are my favorite because they’re California Rolls (everyone’s favorite) with sashimi draped on top! So it’s filling and you get a little taste of everything plus all the nutritional benefits. And since I love spice, I load up on wasabi!

THERAPY

Seriously, everyone should be assigned a therapist at birth. It would solve so many issues in the world.

ONERX.COM

Guys, this may change your life. My doctor wrote me a prescription a couple of weeks ago for a particular kind of infection that was in my ear. It normally comes in a cream, but since it had to go in my ear, I needed the solution version (which is always more expensive). My insurance covered absolutely none of this prescription- which left me to cover the $73 cost. This awesome pharmacy tech told me about GoodRX which is an app that helps you find the lowest local prices for your prescriptions. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the one I needed BUT in searching around for similar services I stumbled upon OneRX.com and THEY had it. So you basically get a prescription card that looks like your insurance card (I have no clue how they make money) and my prescription all of a sudden dropped down to $26. No joke. After doing basically nothing. So check this website out the next time your doctor prescribes you something. It’s totally worth it! (On the same note, if you have pets, check out 1800petmeds.com for their medicines instead of going through your vet- it’s normally much cheaper and you can find coupons). I will be doing this again, as I know my scalp solution for my seborrheic dermatitis is expensive and I wish I had known about this last year!!

LIFE HACKS

I am always down for a good life hack or two. One that I’ve learned that is super useful: you can freeze tomato paste! I never use the whole little can and always felt so wasteful letting it mold, but you can freeze it and not feel bad! You can also freeze buttermilk which is also super useful as I never use a whole container of it at one time, and again, hate  being wasteful. Other life hacks that I learned recently that I can’t wait to put into use: use old magazines to keep your boots upright, use an old plastic clip hanger to hang your printed-out recipes in front of your face, use Rain-X on your glass shower drawers, and dispose of grease in aluminum foil on a pan until it hardens- then just crumple up and throw away!

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Wine it up

My legs are still sore and I woke up to the wonders of being a woman so, needless to say, the gym was not happening for me today. I have very few weekend plans so I will be hitting it hard then! It’s tough getting back in shape huh?

So remember when I told you guys yesterday to eat chocolate and I was your favorite person EVER?? Well, guess what. I’m about to continue being your favorite person ever! Because my trick for you today is to drink wine.

How is this a “trick” you ask? Because if you’re anything like me you can down a bottle in a night like no one’s business and when people consider it a feat, you’re confused- that’s just Friday night! No, this is where, once again, willpower comes into play.

Women who drink a glass or two of RED wine a day are less likely to be overweight. So, already some ground rules:

  • Do not chug.
  • Do not pair with ice cream. This is not a Bridget Jones movie. (Although COMBINING the two every once in a while might be fun.)
  • Do not replace food with wine. We are not in college anymore. We do not want to die.
  • Do exercise moderation. This is always hardest for me because during the week, sure, fine I can have one or two glasses, but Friday night rolls around and that goes out the window. So I am going to try REALLY hard for this one and will need your support!

And that’s really what this comes down to. Restricting your wine consumption to a glass of wine every night is once again an exercise in moderation. It teaches you that you can treat yourself and still see results. It feeds a craving so you don’t go overboard and start slugging back margaritas. Wine is also rich in antioxidants- it can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure (again, when used in moderation). Digesting alcohol also requires your body to burn calories since we have less of the enzyme that helps with that (that’s why your boyfriend can drink as much as you and you get drunk and he doesn’t). But it (like chocolate) still has calories- about 125 in a 5 oz pour (it should hit slightly below the widest point in the glass to give you room to swirl). And drinking too much has been linked to increased rates of breast cancer (sorry to be a Debbie, but just trying to give you the facts!)

Now, if you’re like me 5 years ago, you don’t like red. Hopefully you’re out of the only Moscato and Riesling stage of super sweet white wines, but if you are still only drinking Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite) and Pinot Grigio, try Pinot Noir. It’s light and fruity and definitely not as heavy as a Cabernet Sauvignon. I also find that drinking red slows my consumption of wine as it’s less “chuggable” and I feel its effects faster.

So, if you’re looking to drop 10 pounds for your sister’s wedding next month- this may not be the trick for you. But if you’re looking for a healthy LIFESTYLE that is something that works within your actual LIFE- then cheers! I’ll be having a nice glass of red along with my TGIT TV tonight.

Yesterday’s food journal:

Breakfast: Oatmeal made with almond milk, topped with ground flax, strawberries, and mixed nuts

1 mug of coffee

Mid-morning snack: Banana & peanut butter

Lunch: Normal lunch salad

Mug of green tea

Mid-afternoon snack: Apple, sliced turkey*, and string cheese

Dinner- roasted broccoli & baked tilapia seasoned with smoked paprika and garlic salt

2 squares of dark chocolate

1 zeppole (4 inch deep fried dough ball) filled with ricotta cheese & Nutella**

*I felt like such an idiot after planning a meat-free dinner for Ash Wednesday and then accidentally eating turkey without even thinking about it. Didn’t even realize it until HOURS later.

**My sweet boyfriend was at a business dinner at an Italian restaurant and brought me home dessert- how could I say no!? There are 4 more sitting in our fridge…

 

Write down what you eat

Hello beauties! How was lunch today? You did pack your own right?? 🙂

I am feeling so fresh today because I got my hair cut and highlighted last night. Does anyone else feel like they are invincible after a good haircut? I’m trying to channel Kristin Cavallari pre-brood of three but my hair is still in the growing out phase so it’s more Carrie Underwood when she decided to go short. I can’t stop running my hands through it! I love that fresh-cut feel.

I am also feeling fresh because I’m finally getting this on-going ear issue I’ve had for the past few weeks under control! Like most things in life, you will not appreciate your hearing until you lose it in one ear and are in horrendous pain for days on end. No matter how healthy you think you’re being, sometimes things just happen. Health insurance to the rescue! Speaking of health…

Today, we are going to talk about keeping a food journal. People who log what they eat, lose more weight. It’s that simple.

I keep a small notebook beside my bed, because I’m old-fashioned like that. Before I turn off the lights, I write down everything I ate that day. There are also tons of apps you can use or just use the Notes section of your phone.  The less you eat and the more basic and clean the foods you eat are, the easier it will be to keep track. It also holds you accountable- if you don’t want to write down that you ate 2 pastries and an extra snack bar or two from the office kitchen, then don’t eat them! Simple as that. You can go back and see clear patterns in your eating that may help you get to the root of an issue you may be having around food or weight loss. So, start trying this trick today and see how it affects your eating habits.

I’ll share with you my food journal if you share with me yours!

Yesterday’s food journal entry:
Half cup of (black) coffee before the gym

Post-gym breakfast- Two scrambled eggs with hot sauce and 12 oz unsweetened almond milk with a scoop of vanilla protein powder

Cup of black coffee once in the office

Late morning snack- Low-fat plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and ground flaxseed

Lunch- Standard lunch salad (see last post!)

Cup of green tea

Late afternoon snack- Granny Smith apple & 2 oz of sliced turkey (no nitrites or nitrates added)

1 glass of Pinot Grigio at the salon

Dinner- 1 serving of Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole I prepped Sunday night. Recipe here. 

Slow-cookers are saviors for busy nights like last night where I went straight from work to my hair appointment then had to pick up a prescription. Since I didn’t cook dinner Sunday night, this allowed my BF to have dinner ready before I got home and then I could dive in as soon as I got home as well. I made a few healthy tweaks to that recipe:

  • only used 15 instead of 20 corn tortillas
  • made my own taco seasoning 
  • reduced fat cheese
  • garnished with low-fat plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream

We’ll have the leftovers tonight then since tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, we’ll be going meat free tomorrow. Speaking of, it’s Fat Tuesday! We celebrated early with dinner at an awesome Cajun restaurant in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte, Cajun Queen on Friday night. They have a Groupon running right now too that’s a great deal. Honestly, it was a “fat night” and set the tone for a “fat weekend” and that is what I’m trying to move away from. Now that I know their portion sizes, I can plan better. Just because it’s Fat Tuesday doesn’t mean you need to go ALL out- you can still eat your King Cake and lose weight too!

Are you celebrating Fat Tuesday? Are you giving anything up for Lent? Instead of giving something up, I’m committing myself to something- this blog! I am promising to write a post every day of Lent and I need you to hold me to it!

xo

 

 

 

Back at it

The last time I wrote a blog post was November of 2015- I was just back from visiting Charlotte for the weekend, basically to decide if my boyfriend and I were going to move there or not the following fall. Well, here we are almost 1.5 years later and we have settled in to Charlotte. We moved into a corporate housing apartment in Uptown in September, right before Labor Day Weekend, then mid-October, closed on a house in the Belmont neighborhood next to Plaza Midwood. We are adjusting to being home owners (the dog has become the best adjusted as she gets to reap the backyard rewards and doesn’t worry about such trivial matters such as gutter guards and pest control).

I want to start up the blog again but I feel blocked. I am feeling passionless. I took a job as an executive assistant at a small commercial real estate company and it’s less than stimulating. I’m currently making moves towards residential real estate but that’s still a couple of months off. When I ask myself what would I do if school and money were no object, my honest answer is work in nutrition and health- either coaching people who need weight loss help or educating lower-income neighborhoods on proper nutrition for themselves and their families.

For the past twenty years, I have digested with a fervor every health and fitness magazine or article or blog I could get my hands on. As a young dancer, it made sense. When I gave up dance in college and gained some weight, it made more sense. My weight yo-yo’ed in school as I juggled drinking way too much alcohol in college with finally discovering the kitchen and cooking healthy dinners. Looking back on senior year Spring Break pictures, I looked amazing- then I remember the sleepless nights due to the caffeine weight loss pills I was taking and the two-a-day workouts my schedule allowed for. It wasn’t healthy and it’s certainly not feasible for a 20-something working girl.

NYC didn’t help things. I couldn’t afford a gym so my workouts were sporadic depending on if it was nice enough out for a run or if my roommate was home so I could do a work-out DVD. The drinking continued, the office treats were plentiful and while I cooked at home, the lack of exercise was not enough to balance it out.

Then in October of 2014, I went through a break-up. To be fair, it wasn’t a particularly bad break-up. We had only been dating a few months and I had a feeling this one wasn’t going to work out. But instead of going into my “whole bottle of wine and pint of ice cream and bag of popcorn and plate of nachos” routine that I normally did when I was depressed, especially about a boy, I lost my appetite. And I found SoulCycle. And the rest was history.

That time totally reset my metabolism. And I was determined to not get back to where I was. At my worst, I was 145-150 pounds (I’m 5’9″). And while that is not obese by any means, I had grown up with a 6 pack and a ballerina body. It was a significant change. Now, when I creep up to 135- that means I’ve gone off the rails. On a normal day, I am 130-132. I posted a picture in December of 2015 at the BF’s holiday party and people were RAVING about how I looked- old co-workers were asking me for work-out tips and it was my most-liked photo at that point. It was a huge confidence boost. And I want to continue that (actually just get back to that- SoulCycle and a spray tan do wonders).

I still go through rough times with my body. Moving to Austin and being around all that heavy BBQ and Tex-Mex plus living with a boy who didn’t really love vegetarian meals PLUS being too stressed and consumed with my job to not work out was a huge hit to my waistline. But a quick 10 day cleanse reset me and I was back on the wagon. Moving after we closed on the house was a hit too- I lost our apartment gym, started a new job and we left for a 9 day carb-fest in France shortly thereafter. Then was the slippery November/December slide- my birthday, Thanksgiving, BF’s birthday, Christmas and New Year’s plus traveling.

After we returned from Florida for New Year’s (where for the first time since I was a toddler did I wear a one-piece because I refused to wear a bikini in my current state next to BF’s Brazilian should-be-a-supermodel sister-in-law), it was reset time. But my budget didn’t allow for any fancy cleanses or juices. This was just about cutting down, clean eating, and working out. And for the last two months, I’ve felt great. Even when we had visitors in January, I stuck to my healthy habits. But the last couple of weeks, where we hosted two weekends in a row plus stress-eating and a voracious sweet tooth, has me feeling off-track. I know to continue this as a LIFESTYLE the older I get, the  more committed I need to be.

That’s where this blog comes in. I am not trained in nutrition or dietetics or personal training or health coaching. But I do my research. And I know what works for me. And I am here to not only reinforce that for my own life, but also to help anyone else that is struggling and feels judged by personal trainers or nutritionists who have never gone on a 2 day eating binge. It happens. Let’s grow a community. Let’s support each other.

My Instagram is full of the fun things I eat when I am treating myself. (Please note those are not live posted. I do not eat out 4 days in a row on average. I just save up the pictures and post when I feel like it. Shadow revealed!) But I want this blog to be about the other side of life. The “sad desk lunch” side. (But we’re going to make it happy desk lunches!).

If you’re in, comment, share, like, love, let me know you’re following along!

Charlotte Weekend Getaway

The BF and I just got back from 3 days in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a really good weekend- and we got to explore a lot of the city (it’s pretty compact). We went with a big group of the BF’s coworkers and their plus one’s. One of my good friends from college, my sorority big, also lives there and it was her birthday weekend too! Can’t beat that timing.

We arrived super early Friday and explored the neighborhoods of NoDa and Plaza Midwood. NoDa is trying to be like SoHo- it’s Charlotte’s arts district with music venues and a few breweries. We got lunch at this unassuming bodega- but it had the most amazing sandwiches. We had heard about this London broil sandwich called the “G-Man G-Wich” which is only served on Fridays (lucky us!) and it did not disappoint.

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G-Man G-Wich with locally brewed kombucha (Lenny’s also brews beer!)

Then we walked around the neighborhood (which didn’t take very long) but it was kind of dead since most people were at work. We walked from the main drag down a little bit and stopped at the famous Amelie’s bakery for dessert- a pecan pie tartlet and salted caramel brownie. The cafe itself is pretty crazy- it’s a mash-up of vintage French and Parisian finds hung up all over the walls. Definitely a must-visit even if the line is too long to get anything.

Then we hopped over to the Plaza Midwood area and walked around for a bit- popping into some open places like Moxie Mercantile, Common Market, soon-to-open Legion Brewing, and Workman’s Friend, a new bar. It’s a little bit more established than the NoDa area. We finished up with a couple beers at Pint Central (which also apparently has awesome cocktails).

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A local watering hole

That evening our group headed to the South End neighborhood which is just a light rail ride away from Uptown (what they call their Downtown). We took a shuttle to the Sycamore Brewery, which was pretty cool- a bonfire, live music, and lots of dogs inside and out. Also, for 6:30 on a Friday it was crazy busy! Definitely a happening spot in that area. After some time there, we headed to dinner at The Liberty Restaurant. Despite my decent entree, the appetizers were less than appealing. I think we would only return to try their burger which apparently is one of the best in the city. Afterwards, we headed over to two cool bars in Plaza Midwood- Twenty-Two (which is an art gallery/wine bar combo and very chill) and Soul Gastrolounge (much more upbeat and trendy- and the food smelled divine). We will definitely be returning for dinner there in the future.

Saturday morning, we started the day with a bus tour around Charlotte and explored a lot of the upscale neighborhoods as well as all throughout Uptown. Later in the afternoon, we checked out a couple of the breweries in NoDa (Heist Brewery which was very energetic with lots of brunchers and sports fans and Free Range which was very chill).

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Aerial daytime view of Charlotte

That night we headed out for a fancy dinner at 5Church in Uptown. We didn’t get cocktails, which they’re known for, but we did have fantastic wine and a great meal- we snacked on black bean hummus with crisps and mini thin crust bacon pizzas with fromage blanc. My three course meal started with tomato soup topped with crispy fried goat cheese, then filet mignon with potatoes and a shallot jus, and ended with a s’mores trifle that had the most decadent chocolate brownie you can imagine. I couldn’t even finish my entree, let alone my dessert!

Despite being so full, we soldiered on to check out a couple other cocktail bars in the city. The first was The Punch Room on top of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, home of the #1 mixologist in Charlotte. As soon as you walk in the hotel, you’re stunned by the beauty and swankiness, then you head up to the 15th floor. The bar has only 37 seats and no standing is allowed. It reminds you of country club’s cigar room- all leather and modern shapes. They brought us cups of their gin-based “punch of the day” then we ordered cocktails- I got a Pisco Sour (I had dozens when I studied abroad in Chile) and it came out very well. I can’t say the BF was thrilled with his Old Fashioned but his old roommate who joined us enjoyed his boozy choice. I do have to say the costs of the drinks are prohibitively expensive- I lived in New York for over three years and I have been to maybe one bar there that was on par with these prices. It’s fun for the experience once, but I can’t say we will be returning again, mostly because of the cost.

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We headed over to the Hyatt for another rooftop cocktail bar- this one is called Fahrenheit. It was very crowded and due to a miscommunication between downstairs security and the bouncers upstairs, we waited for no reason down in the lobby for about 10 minutes. Once we finally got up there, it was a fight for the bartender’s attention. All three of us ordered cocktails, but he didn’t have all the ingredients to make the ones the guys had requested (strike 2). After we all had drinks in hand, we headed out to the terrace which gives a spectacular view of the skyline and also has a long gas fireplace strip to keep you warm.

We capped off the night meeting up with my old college friend who was having her birthday party at an Irish pub then headed over to Dandelion Market which apparently has good food, but eating was not on the agenda at that time. Avoid if you are averse to the college crowd and dancing like you’re back in high school, because that’s pretty much what that scene is. Even if you are out of your early 20s and composed, the bouncers and manager will still disrespect you like you are just another one of the rowdy post-grads.

Exhausted, we headed home. The next day we had time for brunch- a classic southern meal at The Asbury inside The Dunhill Hotel. We split homemade biscuits that came out in a little cast iron skillet and then I got the chicken and waffles and he got the chicken biscuit sandwich. We headed over to the other side of Uptown to check out his friend’s new apartment (which was awesome- the pool has private cabanas with TVs and refrigerators and overlooks the ballpark) then headed home!

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We capped off the weekend with one last splurge meal at Santorini Cafe in Austin. I’m always in the mood for Greek and their gyros are the best I’ve had. They have a ton of outdoor seating as well as a ping pong table, cornhole, and even plastic bikes and ride-along toys for kids. Definitely going to go back with a group and get some wine to relax and hang out.

All in all, I definitely recommend checking out Charlotte- and since it’s such a growing city it’ll only get better with time. It can be easily explored in a few days and if you have longer you can venture outside the city limits to the mountains or beach. It was also a great time of year because we liked experiencing the fall foliage- something we don’t really get down here in Austin 🙂 Did I miss anything that we have to check out the next time we’re there? Let me know!

VOX Table review

VOX Table is a new American small plates restaurant & cocktail bar on South Lamar. The inside is modern with high ceilings and the inventive menu has distinctive French and Spanish influence. This is where we decided to spend our 1st anniversary dinner.

Thanks to OpenTable & the “Notes” section, we were greeted with glasses of a very yummy rosè. Our waiter was the best- friendly, personable, interesting and very knowledgeable (Winston- request him before he whirls out of Austin!) and gave us great recommendations.

We started with the charred baby carrots and even though the BF doesn’t like carrots, this changed his tune. They were roasted with brown figs and a housemade ricotta, seasoned with lemon verbena and aged balsamic and topped with toasted pepitas. Then we got the most popular dish- the smoked hamachi pipette. The pipette holds a coconut soy vinaigrette and skewers the hamachi, tomato raisins, pickled cucumber and Thai chili. It was even more delicious than the hype made it to be.

Hamachi pipettes
Hamachi pipettes

Since I’m a big seafood person we also got the red crab with crispy Brussels sprouts, asparagus, radish, and egg crumble over a yuzu pudding smeared on the plate and brioche croutons. The crab was fresh and sweet- I could have buried my face into a whole bowl of it.

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Equally outstanding were the calamari noodles with roasted corn, smoked tomatoes, Spanish chorizo, chili oil and corn nuts. The calarmari is sliced into noodle-like strands. It was the most inventive presentation I’ve ever seen of calamari.

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Since the BF is a big meat fan we got both the braised oxtail dish and the shortrib dish. The oxtail wasn’t overly impressive for either of us- while incredibly tender (fall-off-the-bone tender), the flavor didn’t compare to the shortrib, which came with potato churros- a savory take on the normally sweet Mexican dessert. And they were phenomenal.

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Shortrib

After a meal like that, we couldn’t pass up dessert. We got the foie gras & strawberries- two crispy brioche crackers dolloped with foie gras butter, strawberry marmalade and tarragon cream. Wowza.

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Our drinks were lovely too- after the rosè, I got a hand on the pump cocktail- I couldn’t stop smelling my rosemary garnish.

The hostess was even nice enough to take a picture of us on our way out. It was a memorable experience and I thank VOX Table for it.

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Housewarming!

As another weekend starts, I am finally able to recap the last one. It’s a vicious cycle.

Last weekend was a good one. Friday night was spent watching Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (finally a movie I’ve seen that the BF hasn’t!) and then Saturday we got breakfast tacos at El Chilito before prepping for the event du jour- our housewarming party!

Our housewarming was basically an excuse to show off our new digs to all of the BF’s friends- and to cook even though I knew most people would be coming from dinner. I made watermelon cups with feta and mint (they were a little hard to scoop out without destroying the cube and tasted a little bit meh) and chocolate vodka soaked strawberries (which were a big hit).

Watermelon with feta and mint Chocolate vodka soaked strawberries

But the biggest hit (and something I would highly recommend making) was the Carolina peach sangria. It was polished off by the end of the night- and I doubled the recipe!

Sangria

The biggest bummer was that since our apartment’s management office hadn’t put us in the call-box yet (after 3 requests) the BF kept running up and down escorting guests into the building. But all in all, it was a great night and we ended up at Violet Crown Social Club with their $4 frozen creamsicle drinks (delicious).

Check the napkins (Charming Charlie’s)

Sunday, we got brunch at Arturo’s Bakery & Cafe- a hidden gem on UT’s campus that has delicious migas and eggs benedict (and I will be back to try their French toast!) Then we stumbled upon the BarkHappy Charity Doggy Ice Cream Social right next to our apartment! It was an event benefiting Austin Pets Alive! and Service Dogs Inc. For only $10 per person there was free craft beer (which made the BF happy), a dog ice cream eating contest (which Moxie did not participate in but she did enjoy the free dog ice cream from Amy’s Ice Cream), a K9 agility course, free dog treat buffet, free nail trimming, games, raffles, food trucks, a photo booth, temporary dog tattoos and more! Of course the amount of people and Moxie’s patience limited the amount of things we could do but all in all it was a cool event.

Happy about the grass

Since the humans didn’t get any ice cream, we stopped by Lick for the first time. I got a delicious two scooper of PB&J and Pecans n Cream. Both were to die for but a little icy. I’m eager to get back to try more flavors.

Not sure when I've been more Insta-basic
Not sure when I’ve been more Insta-basic

Posting tomorrow the review of VOX Table where we went for our anniversary. (Spoiler alert: it’s amazing!)

Settling In ATX

Needless to say, I’m overdue for a post. But I can’t say the last couple of weeks haven’t been difficult.

Two weeks ago, my saint of a father drove up a 16 foot Penske moving truck from Baltimore to NYC and professional moving helpers (shout out to Feel Good to move- they’re amazing!) transferred everything I had packed up in my apartment into the truck in AN HOUR. Then my boyfriend, my dog, and I hit the road; destination: Austin, TX.

New lives starting
New lives starting

The drive was nerve-wracking at first- BF drove the whole whole way so he had to get acclimated to the size of the truck and guide it through the Lincoln Tunnel and all the tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike. The total trip took 31 hours (approximately 25 hours of driving plus stops), 2 Burger King stops, 2 bacon, egg & cheeses each, 1 Subway stop, and 1 Sonic stop. We stopped in Nashville the first night at an Aloft Hotel (they’re dog-friendly and don’t charge any extra fees plus BF could use Starwood points!) and the second night we made it to our apartment. Since the bed was too far in the back of the truck, we ended up sleeping on the floor- not comfortable, but cheaper!

Sunset in Tennessee
Sunset in Tennessee
First night problems
First night problems

After a few breakfast tacos, Monday was disastrous- the moving helpers met us at BF’s old apartment to move his stuff into the and then move everything into the new place. It took them 2.5 hours and they broke an ottoman. It was really disappointing at how slow and inefficient they were and they were very unapologetic about any damage. Definitely won’t be calling Sunwest Moving again. Since we had totally missed lunch, we woofed down a pizza from Spartan Pizza- definitely a dangerous thing to have close by because it was delicious.

Tuesday was mostly unpacking (plus a trip to Shake Shack- so I was pretty confident I had gained 6 pounds by this point). Wednesday, BF went back to work and I could feel like myself again- went to the grocery store so I could cook healthy meals, continued unpacking, got to the gym, arranged for Moxie’s dog walker, made a trip to the drugstore.

First home-cooked meal in the new place! With complementary wine glasses.
First home-cooked meal in the new place! With complementary wine glasses.

Thursday, I was back at the office and Friday kicked off Labor Day weekend- I spent my half day off from work with the cable/internet technician. We had it installed on Tuesday and had been having issues ever since. It’s now 12 days from the installation, we’ve had 6 techs come out, and I am still greeted with blinking red lights on the modem. We are both incredibly annoying and frustrated- and frankly, at a loss for what to do.

Labor Day Weekend was exhausting- a mix of fun and new apartment things. Rainey Street, farmer’s market, brunch at Taverna, Hops & Grain brewery, Art of the Brew, several home stores, BF’s family bbq, and more unpacking and organizing – but, as of Wednesday, we finally are done! Patio furniture is put together, wall art is hung, and even decorative towels have been bought.

Moxie's first ATX brunch
Moxie’s first ATX brunch

Now if only the damn Internet would work…

These diary-like posts will stop soon and more fun cooking & lifestyle posts will be up next! Can’t wait to finally get a roll on this thing.

Took a bite out of the Big Apple

This weekend I bid adieu to the city that I have called home for 3.5 years. The city where dreams are born and even bigger dreams are made. The city where I came an adolescent and leave an adult. New York City.

Hell's Kitchen

That’s right- after many break-ups, several roommates, a few jobs, too many late nights & empty bottles of wine, lots of tears and even more laughs- I am  going to [pay people to] load up a 16 foot moving truck and [have my poor boyfriend] drive down to Austin with my 4 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (this will take 2.5 days if anyone is curious).

Moxie

Never in a million years did I think I would move off of the East Coast- but love has a funny way of making you do things you never thought you would. And after a year of long-distance dating, I am saying “NO MORE!”

Will I miss NYC? Of course! I currently live in the culinary capital of the country that holds more new discoveries that even a lifetime here can’t uncover. I can walk almost anywhere, see a Broadway show whenever [my wallet and] I please, and party until 4 AM (then find a 24 hour diner).

But to be perfectly honest, after all this time, I want to punch the slow-walking tourists in the face, desperately desire a car to do mundane errands, would really like to not have rent be the sole reason for my bankruptcy, and sadly, at 25, I can no longer club until 4 AM, down a slice of pizza, and be functional the next day.

So the next chapter- Austin, Texas & living with a significant other. I created this blog to chronicle my journey and adjustment. It will be a place for me to discuss everything and anything- podcasts I’m listening to, outfit & beauty advice, decorating, styling, & entertaining in my new apartment, recipes & restaurant reviews, travel tips, and exercise regimes. But the list is never ending!

If you would like to follow along, hop on the train! And any Southern Belles- give me some advice/tips! 4 days until lift-off!