Loving Lately

 Posted by at 6:00 am  review
Jul 242015

“This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds as part of my participation in the Blue Diamond Tastemakers Program. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Lately I’ve been loving my own version of summer adventure.  Let’ call it an anti-adventure…lazy summer evenings on the back porch!  I’ve needed a break from the EXCITEMENT of unexpected “adventures” these days and am fully embracing the slow-down and sit-back attitude this month.

When Megan came to Scotia for part of her summer vacation, I took the opportunity to stay-cation all weekend long.  Long talks about the future, catching up on the present, and laughing as we shared stories about the past, it was my favorite kind of relaxation with one of my very best friends.  We took a lot of time on the back porch, both just the two of us and with other friends, too. 


Megan’s first night in town my friend Tia joined us as we started the celebration with local butter smeared upon bakery rolls and some tastemaker freebie goodness: Blue Diamond Almonds in two of my most favorite seasonings they offer – Roasted Salted and Low Sodium Lightly Salted.  It was the perfect low-key and casual snack for our low-key and casual summer weekend kick-off. [I keep a can of the Low Sodium Lightly Salted in my office desk drawer at all times for mid-work day snacking. My serious-favorite for keeping hunger, and mid-day sugar cravings, at bay.


Lately I’ve been loving spending time with the cats.  Benson spent a week in emergency treatment earlier this summer [speaking of unexpected adventures…]  I really thought we were going to have to put him down at least four times during a two week period of time and am so thrilled about the progress he’s made since first returning from the hospital.  [The bottom photo of him is very recent, which shows him looking like himself again!]  When Benson first came home Trouble seemed a bit ticked to not be flying solo anymore, but after a couple of weeks things seem to have returned to normal.


Lately I’ve been loving simple, inexpensive Starbucks indulgences.  It had been quite a while since my last trip to Starbucks when we decided to stop in during a day of running work errands in Albany a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks to gift cards located in my wallet, we treated ourselves to summery Frappuchino flavors and when I saw the above pictured Frappuchino Sugar Cookie, I couldn’t resist the cuteness in pairing it with my beverage.  It was perfectly sweet, and the chocolate icing was a nice addition to a traditional sugar cookie with vanilla frosting. 

After the great in-store experience, when I found Starbucks Iced Coffee bottles on sale buy one get one free AND happened to have a coupon for the same product, I pulled out some quarters and got 2 bottles for 50 cents total!  WINNING! I got one bottle each of the vanilla and caramel; both were sweet and smooth.  I definitely want to try the unflavored version of bottled iced coffee, too.  I think I would prefer a bit less sweetness in my coffee and removing the flavor may give me just that.


Lately I’ve been loving to take the time to document the time I spend with this guy.  Recently we noted that we don’t have very many photos – selfies or those taken by friends – of ourselves together and I’ve been trying to take a few seconds to stop what we’re doing in our normal day-to-day lives and capture the moment every so often.  Nick and I recently passed our four year anniversary and it’s really fun to create a collection of memories of how we’re living our life these days.

Lately I’ve been loving this Pilot Elite commerical. Every time it comes on the screen while I’m watching Hulu+, I’m all smiles. And maybe I take it as an opportunity for a bit of a sing-a-long, too.

Last Week Listens

 Posted by at 3:50 pm  review
Dec 302012

It’s been a very podcasty last few days. I loaded up my IPod with a fresh playlist to listen to while traveling back to New York from Dallas very early Thursday morning. You’ll notice I tried to fit in every Holiday episode I could to listen to before 2013 in an effort to wrap up the Christmasness in a nice little 2012 bow.  Here’s what I’ve listened to in the few days.


  1. Kumail Nanjiani and Becky Reams – Dining with Doug and Karen
    Listened to: Thursday morning, while on the plane from Dallas to Newark.
  2. The Hobbit and The Habit of Storing Your Stuff – NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour
    Listened to: Thursday morning, while on the plane from Dallas to Newark
    Worth noting: I was in and out of the Hobbit talk, but was really interested in the talk about digital vs. physical entertainment and the storage of such.
  3. 21 – Soulmated! – Totally Married
    Listened to: Thursday morning, while walking through Newark
  4. Ep 52 – Happy Holidays – The Because Show
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while seated at gate C 136, with a Jamba Juice in hand
    Worth noting: The Because Show is one of my favorite shows – if you’re not listening to it yet, give it a try.
  5. Elna Baker: A Mexican Morman Christmas – The Moth Podcast
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while waiting to and boarding the plane at Newark.
    Worth noting: A laugh out loud-able story. I’d actually heard this story on another podcast before, but it’s so hilarious I deemed it worth another listen.
  6. 22 – “Suck” Them! – Totally Married
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while waiting for the plane to be weighed and measured, for the flight crew to inform us we were too heavy to fly [thanks Christmas pie!], and through the arrangements being made of United bribing two people to get off the flight.
  7. Josh and Ross 12/18/12 – Joss and Ross
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while in the air from Newark to Albany, grocery shopping and the putting away of groceries, and while doing the dishes.
    Worth noting: This is the first episode of the Joss and Ross show I’ve listened to, and I’m so happy I came across it.  If you’re a fan of Chelsea Lately, I’d suggest trying this one out.  Ross Matthews is my favorite person in the land of Chelsea, and he and Josh are really entertaining bouncing off of one another. A+ comedy conversation.
  8. 23 – Xmas Eve Cat Poop! – Totally Married 
    Listened to: Thursday night, while unpacking all of the bags I managed to fly home from Dallas with.
  9. #482: Lights, Camera, Christmas! – This American Life
    Listened to: Friday morning, while on a[nother] trip to the grocery store and prepping the ingredients I would need the next day for Nick’s birthday celebration. And doing the dishes again.
    Worth noting: So many great Christmas stories.  As you would expect from This American Life
  10. 24 – Confessional! – Totally Married
    Listened to: Friday afternoon, while cleaning the bathroom, opening the mail, and taking out the trash in the snow.
    Worth noting: Elizabeth opens up and shares from her heart. I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Laime for a while now, and her “confessional” gives me such an appreciation for Totally Married, where she and her husband, Andy, share their lives and experiences and advice with listeners.
  11. The Moth Radio Hour: Episode 1010 – The Moth Podcast
    Listened to: Friday afternoon, while baking shortbread and making banana cream pie.
    Worth noting: I plan to listen to the Radio Hour online every week now.
  12. Judd Apatow – The Nerdist
    Listened to: Friday evening, while wrapping a few gifts for friends, cleaning off the kitchen table [which has become a ridiculous catch all of any and all things], and playing fetch with Benson.
  13. Catherine Smyka & Lisa Schuldt: StorySLAM Favorites – The Moth Podcast
    Listened to: Friday night, while doing the dishes, sweeping the kitchen and folding some laundry.
    Worth noting: Great story telling sharing bits about being human. Heart warming. Worth a listen.
  14. Approaching Ira Glass – True Story
    Listened to: Saturday morning, while making a latte and cutting veggies into dipper sizes. and doing some dishes. again.
    Worth noting: Another great story telling podcast.  This was the first episode of True Story I’ve listened to; happily subscribed.
  15. Sarah Silverman & Andy Windak – Dining with Doug and Karen
    Listened to: Saturday late morning, while making breakfast pizza and setting out the donut bites.
    Worth noting: I really love that my favorite podcast worlds are coming together. [Andy [from The Table Set podcast by Homefries] on a Nerdist podcast hosted by my favorite comedian, Doug Benson.  It’s a pop culture love fest in my ears!]
  16. Carly Craig – The JV Club
    Listened to: Saturday afternoon, while preparing buffalo chicken dip, and setting out the snacks.
  17. Mike Birbiglia – You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes
    Listened to: Sunday morning, while organizing photos and files on my computer.
  18. Holiday Stores 2 – RISK! 
    Listened to: Sunday morning, while cleaning up the party mess and making scrambled egg muffins. and doing the dishes. again.

Coming up through my ear buds, I’m giving some new shows a try and spending some time catching up from my “Podcast for Later Listing” list – my holding place for podcasts when I get really far behind clearing out the queue.  I’m also super excited to finally listen to the 12 Guests of Xmas III episode of Doug Loves Movies.  [I’ve been saving it so Nick and I can listen together.]


What podcast have you been listening to lately?

Dec 202012

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a post from Eat & Sip in the City about City Dining Cards for Boston. I found the cards super impressive, and sent out a tweet sharing so.

A couple of days later, I received an email from City Dining Cards alerting me of their offering a CDNY Deck, too!  I was stoked! When they asked if I wanted to review a copy on THS, I couldn’t pass it up; I was way too intrigued!

Once I received my city dining cards in the mail, I knew that this little deck was a perfect gift to give to some of my local friends this holiday season.  Here are the top 5 reasons I think city dining cards make an awesome gift!


1. The price for what you get.  The CDNY deck is currently only $20 and contains fifty $10 off coupons, plus two bonus coupons.


2. It’s a gift that encourages activity and experience.   Here’s how they work: there is one card for each of CDNY establishments, each for $10 off your purchase of $30 or more.  That’s $500 in savings if you use the entire deck. 

I personally think this deck is an awesome idea for weekly date nights! There are 52 cards total – why not work your way through the deck, one card a week with your significant other or a group of friends?  Seems like a perfect equation to me!


3. The variety in the deck. The deck contains places I’ve been meaning to go to since I’ve moved here, old favorites I’ve been to several times, and some places I’ve never even heard of before.  All of the restaurants are local – no big box chains, and cuisines and price points of every kind are covered.  I also love that this deck covers the entire CDNY area, including one tavern in the little old village of Scotia, walking distance from THS HQ.


4. The wild cards. Free loaf of bread at Bountiful Bread and a free baked good from my favorite CO-OP, Honest Weight.


5. Last but certainly not least: the purchase of the deck of cards helps to support a local charity: 5% of all proceeds goes to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.


City Dining Cards are available for CDNY, Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Providence, Rochester, Syracuse and BuffaloBuffalo also has a cocktail edition deck, which looks MIGHTY fun as a gift for a 21st birthday, don’t you think?