Around These Parts

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One of my favorite parts about having a blog is the ability to look back on important moments, lessons and accomplishments in my life. I love reliving PRs, travel adventures, and holidays simply by reading my past posts.  I think that my favorite thing to look back on, however, is the everyday details.  Isn’t this why “a day in the life” posts are so popular in the blog-o-sphere.  We want to see and share how we live our lives – both in the big pictures and the small details.

I’ve been doing a great job of capturing everyday moments with my camera lately, but not-so-great a job of sharing these moments post-capture.  There’s no time like the present, right?  Here’s a look at what’s been going on around here during the month of May.

When we eat treats [in this case, burgers and watermelon slices!], Benson eats treats, too. [In this case, catnip flavored crunchy ones.]

I got new glasses.  They are bigger than my old glasses.  I like them. I did not, however, enjoy my eye doctor appointment.  Shudder.

Post 15K refueling included [but not limited to] apple juice and a delicious uber-simple smoothie: bananas, cherry juice, and my favorite post-run protein powder [more on that very soon!].

Tried a new-to-me tea at work one afternoon when I felt the dreaded 3:00 PM need for a nap creep on.  It was caffeine free, but the sweet and spicy flavor combo excited my taste buds and somehow seemed to trick my body and mind awake.

I am pretty sure it was either Laura or Julie who sent me this tea – both ladies are so good at sharing their tea goods with me that I’ve forgotten which one! Thanks for all the tea swapping, friends! We should start a blogger/reader tea swap or something.

One of my favorite places to work at the apartment: the back porch table.  This day included many necessary working accessories such as my calendar, water, blackberry, several of my favorite pen, a to-do list I no doubt ignored, and yes! – a bowl of ice cream.

Benson also seems to love when I work outside.  He’s always near by on the railing, bird watching or plotting his next foolish prank.

The goal is to take a few moments before the start of every work day to read from either of these books; Good Morning!, which I shared about before when speaking of passions, by Brook Noel was a gift from the wonderful Kelly and Living Juicy from SARK is a book I’ve relied on for years. [you can find both in the THS aStore]

I don’t always remember to take the time each morning, but I truly think the days I take the time to focus my thoughts in a positive place at the start of my work hours helps me. My attitude set on the correct path for the day makes me a more pleasant and productive person. I’m a fan.

I received this vanilla nut extract as a gift this winter and finally put it to use when I made French toast earlier this month.  I had purchased a loaf of French bread to accompany a picnic dinner one evening and barely made a dent.  I knew we were in for a treat a few days later and set the remaining loaf aside.  When I came across the extract while organizing my baking cabinet, I felt the universe may be writing my brunch menu and I’m so glad it did.  I topped my stack of slices with crushed mixed nuts and real maple syrup.  Divinity on a fork.

I’ve started putting all my coins in this old growler.  I want to fill it up, cash it in, and do something unexpected, yet reasonable.

The day or two following a hard race, I generally give myself the go-ahead to purchase and drink ANY sort of tea, juice, or water I want in an effort to force myself to make hydration a priority.  The day after the 15K, I brought a bag full of beverage choices to work with me and proceeded to enjoy four throughout the day.  This Sweet Leaf Green Tea with mint & honey was a new-to-me choice from the corner store the night before.  I’m a big fan! [also – shocking! In this photo my desk is a mess and I’m working on a to-do list or two!]

I sent in a huge pile of Box Tops to Lodi Elementary. [< read that post to find out why I collect & send them to Wisconsin when I live in New York!]  A few local friends and readers have started to collect their Box Tops and give them to me to send to add to my own envelope I send to Lo-town.  All I can say about that is: AWESOME.

I walked home from work over an hour before the pre-Memorial Day parade was to take place in Scotia and people were already out and about finding their own perfect seats.  It was my favorite walk home of the year: lots of puppies, smiling neighbors and that community feeling I love so much about this little village [which reminds me so much of Lodi, Wisconsin, by the way!]

Let’s be honest, though –the group of friends who had gathered on the porch of the corner pub had the best seats, and brews, in town.  Smartest neighbors I have, right there.


Oh my word, I’ve been obsessed with fresh cut pineapple this month.  They’ve been on sale for $2 bucks and change at our local market, and I’ve enjoyed the cutting into chunks whilst listening to podcasts process four times this month.

I took my second trip of the season to Jumpin’ Jacks – the local legendary drive-in burger and ice cream joint of wonders.  I decided a few weeks ago that the next time I was there I would branch out and try something beyond my “normal” veggie burger with coleslaw on top [practicing what I learned my golden year, no doubt] and I did so with a grilled chicken sandwich [and twister fries, of course!]  I ordered it plain but added my favorite sweet pepper relish to it at the table.  Not bad, but next time I’m adding cooked onions and coleslaw to the top, too.

[PS – local readers: I just saw on the website that Jumpin Jacks has online ordering for pick-up! How crazy cool is that?]

Jumpin' Jack's Drive-in on Urbanspoon


Spring Clean-Up day at the Bridge Division.  This year we added more plants to the patio garden [including some delicious herbs. I’m v. excited to pesto the basil!!], another sunflower garden, lots of yard work and water-sealed our picnic tables.  I was on the water-sealing team with my friends Kristine and Jennifer.  And the cook-out enjoying team with everybody.

Memorial Day weekend was a four day J. Watt’s Barista House remodeling extravaganza.  As most DIY projects, what we expected to finish in about 40 hours ended up taking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than that.  Nicholas and Kirian were a kick but painting team, clearly.

Everyday when I get home from work, I spend a few minutes with Benson no matter what my evenings plans have in store.  Sometimes we take a 10 minute cuddle & cat nap before I start writing.  Others we play in the living room while listening to a podcast before I head out on a run.  In this photo I had just returned home from our Spring Clean Up day at work and found Benson in hot pursuit of a fly on the back porch.  Those are what I call his panther eyes.


Late night bubble blowing going on at the apartment.  Benson liked chasing the bubbles but was all sorts of confused when they disappeared into thin air all-magic-like.

Tried this refreshing beverage tonight after searching for it for DAYS. [visited 5 locations, called 6 others.]  Michelob Ultra Lite Cider.  Crisp and light and a full review coming very soon.

What everyday things have you experienced this month?

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13 thoughts on “Around These Parts

  1. Joy

    First LOVE the new glasses
    Second is totally join a blogger tea swap ESP since my answer to your question is – I’ve been starting every day with a cup of tea and often ending the day with one as well

  2. Emily @ Relishments

    I love this post–maybe someday Relishments will have something similar, although I rarely remember to take pictures of anything that isn’t food.

    A blogger tea swap is basically the best idea I’ve ever heard. Why didn’t I think of that?
    Emily @ Relishments recently posted..Food in Jars Book Signing

  3. sarah @ sarah learns

    i love this! 🙂 i have so many things to comment on now though.

    first, i love the new glasses! you look great.
    second, i would so be in on that tea exchange. i keep cutting myself off from buying it, and then somehow a new tea finds its way home with me after every shopping trip!
    third, we put our spare change in a growler too! we have a separate one for quarters that i cannot WAIT to fill & cash in! 🙂
    fourth and finally, i need to get some bubbles! jake would either be confused and adorable because of them or scared and adorable. either way, i think it would be a win!
    sarah @ sarah learns recently posted..may foodie penpals

  4. Kelly

    1) Love the new glasses 🙂
    2) Your photography continues to get better and better!! I especially love the photo of the growler with change, and also the burger meal photo!
    3) Benson could be Miss Kitty’s son. He looks SO much like her….only kitten sized:)
    4) I second (third? fourth?) the tea swap idea.
    5) I feel like there should be a fifth comment, but I can’t think of anything else to say.
    Kelly recently posted..May Foodie Penpals!

  5. Danielle

    I think my change may be in a very similar growler 🙂 We add our change to it and then cash it in before big trips to pay for some of the fun. The growlers hold a surprising amount!

    Love the glasses too!
    Danielle recently posted..Baby J is 5 Months!

  6. Jenn

    A tea swap is such a great idea! I am trying to drink tea instead of coffee these days due to the huge amount of cream and sugar my coffee requires. But the only one that so far compares to coffee is Tazo awake. I’d love to expand my options! That beer sounds sooo good! I love Michelob. Have you tried the Michelob Ulta Amber yet? So much flavor for a light beer!

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