Beach Bum.

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Just a few shots (one including my strange looking toes) from a drive to Hampton Beach I took this past Sunday afternoon. When I wasn’t perusing the surfboards, the shoes, and the bohemian style tops at Cinnamon Rainbows (my favorite surf shop), I was perched on one of the concrete walls by the water- taking in the sound of the waves, the salty air, and the sun on my face. Heavenly.


Also, it’s not so much a “Quick Eats” recipe post, but I just wanted to share that I absolutely love cooking the above-pictured spinach penne, chicken, and vegetables dish. It’s delicious, good for you- and so easy and fast to make.

You just need:

One package/box of spinach penne pasta

1/2 pound of chicken (cut into pieces)

1 thinly sliced yellow squash

A handful of fresh snap pea pods

And as much broccoli as you want.

While you’re boiling the spinach pasta, you simply sauté the cut chicken pieces, the thinly sliced pieces of yellow squash, the snap pea pods, and the broccoli in some olive oil until everything is cooked and crisp.

Strain the pasta, mix all the ingrediants together into your sauté pan, and voilà!

The dish I prepared was served with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and garlic toast.

So yummy.

Pomp and Circumstance (and Cupcakes!)

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It’s weird to think that it’s been nearly a decade since I graduated high school. I was only recently reminded of this fact when one of my old friends invited me to join an online group consisting of the majority of my graduating glass so that we could better plan our impending 10-year reunion. Of course, my first reaction was to curl up into the fetal position  and sob nostalgic tears over how quickly time flies and how much older I’ve gotten, but it’s actually kind of cool to see how the people I used to spend almost every single day with for years have changed, what they’re up to, where they are, etc. High school wasn’t exactly a walk in the park all the time (I don’t think it really is for anyone- and whoever tells you that high school is the greatest years of your life are full of shit), but I did have some good times and made some good memories.

It was my cousin Paige’s turn to begin her post-high school journey this past Sunday when she graduated with high honors and a few scholarships under her belt for when she attends a prestigious university this Fall. Paige is like a sister to me. My parents had helped take care of her since she was a baby (and while I was still pretty young myself) while her own parents worked tirelessly, and there wasn’t a weekend getaway or vacation she didn’t come on with us. Homework assignments, sleepovers, family triumphs and tragedies, boy problems (mine a little more complex since I’m older)- Paige and I have stayed close through it all- and I am so, so unbelievably proud of her for all she’s accomplished so far and all the good she will further bring to the world as she continues her education and moves forward with her goals and aspirations.

I was honored to attend her ceremony and see her get her diploma after four years of very, very hard work.

On Saturday, pre-graduation, her and I ran a few errands for her “HIGH SCHOOL IS FINALLY OVER!” party in a couple of weeks, including a stop, per her request, to order a few dozen cupcakes at Aunty Ellen’s Creative Confections in Leominster, which was a bit of a drive for me, but totally worth it once we arrived. Not only was the bakery very cute, but the staff were so friendly- and the cupcakes were delicious (we sampled the Boston cream and cannoli ones and OH MY GOD)- and carefully decorated.

I snapped those photos above of the half-dozen we ended up picking up for the ride home, which, as you can probably imagine, are now long gone.