Thursday, April 29, 2010

We got the apartment!

We are so happy! It's an adorable 2 bedroom apartment in a house built in the 1920's in Gloucester, MA. It's in the Rocky Neck neighborhood, which is my favorite neighborhood in Gloucester, hands down. I was pushing so hard to live around here and we got it! Since the building is almost 100 years old, it's an older apartment. But it has all hardwood floors, decks, and the location is unbeatable! And the spare bedroom will be perfect for couchsurfers, friends and family.
Sorry for the awful pictures. They're from the realtor.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh my gosh! Puerto Rico!

In less than two weeks, my friend Kendra and I depart for San Juan, Puerto Rico! We are staying at The Beach House Hotel and I am DYING at how gorgeous it is. From the hotel rooms, to the lounge, cabanas and restaurant... I am speechless. But I can definitely tell why it is considered Puerto Rico's chic-est boutique hotel. Also, it is reasonably priced because we are going during the off season! Kudos to Kenda's mom on finding this place for us..

We are staying here for 3 nights, out of the 4 we are in PR. Our last night we are renting a tent and sleeping on the beach. How awesome does that sound?!

Also planned: exploring the caves in Camuy, ziplining through the El Yunque rainforest and being babes. Duh.

I can't express enough how excited I am to go. I could REALLY use a vacation. I think the last one I took was to Spain back in September! I wish Peter could come, but I think it will be nice to just get away with Kendra. Plus we're headed to Ecuador for a few weeks in August and September.

I love Peter, but I also love that we are both really independent people and have our own lives outside of each other. I would hate being one of those couples that don't have any friends and just hang out with each other and no one else all the time. I think it's healthy for us to maintain everything we have going on in our lives, even if we don't both enjoy them. For example, Peter will never crochet with me, but I probably will never go hiking for 3 days straight in the middle of the winter either. Summer? Sure, but not in January!

Also, we put in an application for an apartment, so progress is being made with finding us a new home! We won't have as nice of views as we do in Dogtown Commons, but Rocky Neck is the cutest little arts section. It's America's first art colony, and we will be right there. Plus it's about half a mile from a yarn shop that also stocks the cutest buttons as well. I hope we get the apartment! We should be finding out any day now. I can't wait to get in there and paint!

Monday, April 19, 2010

bushnell park, hartford

Last week I surprised Pete with a quick getaway in Connecticut. For over a week beforehand, I was giving him tiny clues about what we were doing and where it would be. He had no idea! But this past Friday, I finally revealed that he would be meeting me in Bushnell Park, which is in Hartford. We drank tea, blew bubbles, and watched the fish in the pond.

I was so bummed the carousel was not open yet! If it was warmer, I'd have made us a picnic and ride those old horses over and over.

After the park, I found out about Evan's passing. We went back to the hotel and I cried. He cuddled me and we drank champagne. I needed to relax.
We had dinner at an Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant called Abyssinian that he didn't like so much, but I thought was alright. I was looking forward to it because of the wonderful reviews on Yelp, but it didn't live up to my expectations. I maintain that West Philadelphia's Ethiopian food places are way better. Dahlak, please!
I'm still a bit of a mess, but I am trying my best to keep on. Pete has been intrinsic with this process. I love him dearly for it, and many other things too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

RIP Evan

You will be missed by all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Awhile ago, I started to crochet a blanket for Pete and me. It looked like this after about two weeks:

And now it looks like this!

I'm proud of myself. Hopefully it'll be ready for the next Massachusetts winter... If I'm lucky! It's width fits across a queen sized bed, with the edges hanging over about a foot or so on each side. I've been crocheting single crochets with a skip for 25 rows, then I do a double crochet with a skip for 5 rows. Right now I'm in the middle of the third row of double crochets, for the second time. Again, I'm using green Impeccable Yarn from Michael's and blue Red Heart Eco-Ways Recycled Yarn. So far I've used 2 balls of blue and I'm on my fourth ball of green. I have about a billion more balls in these colors. I hope I have enough to finish it!
Often, I find myself making amigurumis and granny squares to break the monotony, but I've been in a big ole' blanket kick lately. Hopefully I'll get back into the 'rumi's soon. I made another bluebird body and he's dying to get some eyes and other body parts!
Also I've been tossing around the idea of crocheting moccasins. This yarn shop I love in Newburyport has the slipper soles for them and I think they would be so cute!

Monday, April 12, 2010

highlights from easter weekend!

I forgot my camera most of the weekend, but here are some of my favorites, from the ones I did take..
Here we are in Weehawken, NJ. This is about 1 block from where my parents live.

My super (un)patriotic boyfriend...

He kept saying "USA! NUMBER 1!!!"

Backyard beverages, with the dogs.

His favorite son, Benjamin Franklin.

Strawberry jalepeño mojitos!

Peter and I are heading to Ecuador this August and are so excited! We went to Union City to check out this Ecuadorian grocery store and picked up some snacks.

And here I am whining that he drank all of my juice box. I'm such a brat.

I think he's so handsome.... <3

Our favorite Indian restaurant in all of the world!
(We haven't been to India yet, so this is just so far.)
It's called Sapthagiri and all vegetarian. The house special is Chole Bhatura. It's amazing! I recommend it to anyone that goes there.

Our appetizer spread:

Pete illustrating how his chole bhatura is larger than his head.

We also did some family stuff, but mostly sleeping, walking, eating, and movies. I want that weekend right now, so badly!

I do have a sweet little trip with him planned soon... just a quick, close by getaway. I'll update about it after it happens, so I don't ruin the surprise!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Things I love

I love opening up my Mac's photobooth and finding pictures Peter took of himself with his favorite little babe.

I love it when I actually do my hair and put it into curls.

I also love the juxtaposition of the short hair, freshly cut, next to it.

I love my best friend, and our crackin' out crochet sessions.

I love our granny squares too :)

And I love her daughter, my favorite babe, and possibly the only babe I love.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A post of it's own for this photo...

This is my favorite photo of Pete and myself, to date.
So happy! Pete took it this weekend, and I put it through a filter and I'm smitten with it.
I really have nothing else to say... I'm busy being in love!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday's Menu: Chickpeas

Our favorite food is probably chickpeas. I think we consume it on a daily basis, usually in hummus form. Sometimes roasted and seasoned, sometimes in soup. Regardless of the way, it finds its way into our bodies a lot. There's always cans of it hanging out in the cupboards.
We make hummus a lot, but I think my new favorite way to eat it is in stew form. I found a recipe for an Ethiopian-Style Chickpea Stew from Whole Foods and adjusted it a little bit, to add more veggies and flavor.

You need these spices: paprika, allspice, cardamom, clove, coriander, ginger, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper.
You need these veggies: chickpeas, onion, carrots, garlic, potatoes & whatever else you think might be good! I also added green peppers, mushrooms and peas.
You need these liquids: vegetable broth, tomato paste & extra virgin olive oil. Pete and I made our own broth, but you can definitely buy some from the store. It makes it much easier.

Amount wise?
Use your judgement with the spices. Most of my friends hate that I never measure anything out, because when they ask for the recipe, I always say "to taste" when it comes to that. You know, start out small, then go big! I always add TONS of heat to my recipes, which I am sure most people would not love. I do a lot of tasting throughout my cooking to make sure it's how I like it. I'd say start with abut 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of each.
I used 2 cans of chickpeas, 1 onion, 1 pepper, 1 small can of tomato paste, a few taters, carrots, cloves of garlic, tons of mushrooms (I love them...) and a bunch of veggie broth. Everything chop-able, chop into bite sized chunks. Garlic and onions should be finely chopped.

First things first, lightly oil a pan, roast the chickpeas for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees F in the stove. While this is happening, on high, boil the potatoes and carrots.
Also simultaneously, in another pot, a BIG one, on medium, heat the rest of the oil in a really big pot and add the garlic, onions, and peppers. Cook until they're tender. Stir in the tomato paste and small amounts of each spice. (You can always add more when you get a feeling for the taste. Cardamom is my favorite spice, so I always add a lot of that.)
Don't forget to keep an eye on the potatoes and carrots too! When they're about halfway cooked, drain them and save them to add to your big pot.
After a few minutes, put in the broth, chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and peas. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so it becomes a simmer. Do some tasting, add more spices to taste. About 20 minutes after you reduce the heat, everything will be cooked through and the stew is edible, but it's best to let it cook for awhile longer so that the sauce thickens and all the veggies become tender.
Serve with bread and enjoy! Or if you're like Pete and me, in a sourdough bread bowl. They make everything taste more awesome. We use the bread machine he got me for my birthday all the time. Hot fresh baked bread! So perfect.

It's exotic!
It feeds you for days!
It's delicious!
It's vegan!
It's Ethiopian chickpea stew!

(Next time I'll try to take more photos.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! Or Passover..

Spring has sprung, for sure.

Ben and I are going outside to enjoy this good weather! It's too gorgeous to be inside.
Hope you all get outside and appreciate today.