Twosday XC

 Posted by at 6:00 am  Twosday
Sep 022014

Coming to Television this Fall Sitcoms I am Excited to See Soon

  1. Cristela. I’m a fan of Cristela Alonzo’s comedy so much so that I follow the brilliant woman on Instagram.  I’ve been eagerly following along her journey of being picked up and creation over the past months and look forward to watching!
  2. A to Z. I like projects that chronicle a relationship or event from beginning to end, and this show promises to do just that.  I dig the cast, which includes the Mother and my Guardian Angel Fred. [POINTS! for anyone who knows all two three references.]

Coming to Television this Fall Dramas I am Excited to See Soon

  1. How to Get Away with Murder. I’m a total fool for the new Thursday night with all Shonda Rhimes, as a dear fan of both Greys and Scandal. I’ve been watching the promos with the trio of leading ladies chatting with Shonda on large couches you’ll expect to see in their character’s living rooms later this year.  This show is a legal thriller with a law school twist and I can’t wait to see what drama comes to campus.
  2. Forever.  After falling in love with Crossing Jordan during some major binge watching earlier this summer, I’m all about giving another medical examiner character a try.  The supporting cast are all folks I’ve come to love in other roles so I’m really hoping this one impresses and stays around for a while.

twosdaybooks2 Coming this Fall Books I was Stoked to Read About in Entertainment Weekly

  1. Choose Your Own Autobiography – Neil Patrick Harris.  Of course NPH shares his life in an exciting, refreshing way.
  2. Belzhar – Meg Wolitzer. The Interestings was the best book I read in 2013, and I haven’t read anything since to take the title of “favorite recent fiction.”  I was so happy to see that another Meg Wolitzer read is launching at the end of September.

Returning this Fall Shows I’m Totally Looking Forward to the Season Premiere

  1. Parenthood. I’ve missed it. And though this is the last season, I’m oh so ready to spend some emotional time with the family I’d most want to become a part of….other than the Cosbys.
  2. The Mindy Project. I’m really excited to see how well the writers handle Mindy and Danny actually being together.  I love the comedy chemistry between the two!


Realized During the Great Book Clean Out at THS HQ

  1. I have SO many books that I have no intention of rereading [or for some, ever reading] taking up so much space in my apartment.
  2. The collection of titles in the “no longer needed” piles tell a very interesting story about my life.  I could lay out the books in a timeline of my life, easily.

What I’m Doing with ALL the Books

  1. Holding a book sale. YEP.  Funds are really tight around these parts lately, and selling off some of this collection could really help cover some life-costs.
  2. Filling the Little Free Library nearby with a small selection of favorite neighborhood friendly reads.


Favorite Items in the Vitality VoxBox
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

  1. Pure Leaf Sweet Tea. I’ve had the Pure Leaf Not Too Sweet Honey Green Tea before [love!] but this was the first time I had the Sweet Tea variety.  Verdict: It tastes like Southeast Texas memories – a delicious afternoon treat.  I would definitely try it again, and love that there are currently ten total flavors to try from this brand. I’ll be making some Pure Leaf popsicles with the next bottle I buy!
  2. Softlips Cube in Vanilla Bean. I’m on the hunt for the Fresh Mint variety! Softlips was a favorite in middle school and high school.  I remember collecting the classic thin tubes and applying the product constantly throughout the school day.

Reasons I Totally Dig the Softlips Cube

  1. I like when my lip products come with a bit of sun protection, and these cubes come with SPF 15.
  2. It makes my lips feel soft and hydrated, thanks to the Shea Butter added to the formula to restore moisture. I like keeping the cube under my computer monitor and using it a couple of times throughout the work day.

Did you write your own Twosday post? Link it up below!


Twosday LXXXIX

 Posted by at 6:00 am  Twosday
Aug 262014

Dinner Locations in Schenectady I Want to Get Back to ASAP

  1. Marotta’s Bar-Risto.  I had such a great experience the first time I went, from the classicly-beautiful touch of decoration on my drink to the de-flippin-licious Tortellini Marotta. I’m dreaming of that eggplant, sausage, broccoli and sun dried tomato party dancing in the marsala pesto cream sauce.  My mouth is literally watering as I imagine that dish! Must get back there ASAP!
  2. The Van Dyke. It’s one of my FAVORITE spots in Schenectady, and I haven’t been in far too long.  I especially enjoy when we take a trip on Wednesday evenings, when appetizers are half price during happy hour.  We’ve made quite a few trips for work over the years to enjoy a dinner of shared starters – our favorites include the dip trio [I love the buffalo chicken, spinach artichoke and zesty guacamole!], mozzarella and pepperjack bites [the melba sauce is PERFECT], and the Olive & Cheese platter, which is my #1 favorite appetizer in all of Schenectady. Especially when enjoyed with my favorite Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka and soda – the Van Dyke is one of the only places I can find nearby which stocks it, and I like it 100 times better than Absolute Ruby Red. Plus, since the Van Dyke brews their own beer right on site and always has a long list of drafts flowing, my beer-drinking friends are always quite happy, too.

Dinner Locations in Schenectady on my CDNY Bucket List I Haven’t Tried Yet

  1. Zen Fusion Lounge. I basically just want to eat my way through the menu.  Apparently Zen hosts Trivia Night on Wednesday – let’s build a team and make our way through the sushi and mojito menus over time! Who’s in?
  2. Tara Kitchen. I keep hearing awesome reviews of this place, which is known for it’s Moroccan cuisine.  I’ve never gone out for Moroccan before and though I would have NO idea what to order, I’d love to step out of my comfort zone and try something completely new to me from this menu.


Schenectady Walking Tours in My Favorite Neighborhoods

  1. Stockade Historic District Cell Phone Walking Tour. I haven’t done this tour yet, but I’m planning to set a date to go this fall! [and locals want to join me?]  The Stockade was designated New York State’s first Historic District and is FULL of history – including some PRESIDENTIAL!!!
  2. GE Realty Plot Tour.  I’ve done this tour with a brochure and really loved getting to know a bit about the history of Schenectady.  The GE Realty Plot was originally an undeveloped area owned by Union College which was sold to GE in the late 1800’s to help the college pay off a debt. Executives at GE divided the land, laid out streets and built houses.  Each home was required to meet a minimum lot size and house value and two of the house were the first fully electric houses in the country which GE used as models.

Instagram Accounts to Follow for More Fun Stuff to Do In and Know About the Place Once Known as “The City that Lights and Hauls the World”

  1. LongLiveSchenectady
  2. SchenectadyDoesntSuck


Summer Fruits I Just Won’t Quit

  1. Plums! Is it just me, or do these little globes of deliciousness seem to be extra plentiful this year? ALL the varieties of plums have been on sale a lot lately at our local markets and I am taking full advantage. Just a great mid-day sweet treat, usually paired with almonds or cheese for a protein boost, too.
  2. Do these Outshine Bars count? I bought a variety pack of the outshine fruit bars in strawberry, wildberry and lime as a cool me down treat for after hot summer runs, and now I’m dreaming of a freezer FULL of them. I’ve had [and LOVED!] the creamy coconut fruit bars several times before and I’m especially excited to try the fruit and VEGGIE bars ASAP – look at all the flavors they offer!  There isn’t one of the list I don’t want to try! They ALL sound delicious: Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars

Easy Ways I’m Getting Veggies in My Body

  1. Low Sodium V8.  On days when it gets to be 3:00 and I realize I haven’t had one serving of veggies for the day yet, I add a serving of the vegetable juice to my afternoon snack.
  2. Using canned veggies in weeknight meals.  On days I run after work, the last thing I want to do after stretching and showering is spend a good chunk of my evening cooking.  I enjoy my time in the kitchen, but it does still feel like work to me. [but maybe that’s just because I’m making a mess that needs to be cleaned?]
    Canned veggies are so convenient because there is little to no prep work, not to mention – you can shop sales and get great deals to stock up your pantry!  The American Dietetic Association noted in a statement released in January 2006 that “canned …vegetables are good substitutes for fresh produce and sometimes maybe healthier.” The statement further indicated that canned tomatoes, corn, and carrots provide higher amounts of antioxidants than the fresh variety as a result of the canning process. [this and other information found here: Vegetable Debate: Fresh, Frozen or Canned?]



Easy Weeknight Dinners Made Using Dos Mamacitas Taco Meat

  1. Breakfast Burritos. With scrambled cheesy eggs, frozen Trader Joe’s hash browns, and cheese.  I added a bit of my favorite barbeque sauce to mine for a flavor BOOM. Brinner for the win!
  2. Oven Quesadillas.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees while cooking and prepping your fillings of choice.
    Brush one tortilla with oil and place on baking sheet, oil side down.
    Layer cheese, other fillings of choice, and more cheese atop the tortilla.
    Brush another tortilla with oil and place atop the pile, oil side up.
    Bake in the oven until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
    Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes before serving.  Easily slicable with a pizza cutter!

Oven Quesadilla Fillings of Choice

  1. Peppers & Onions. I’ve been going the uber-easy route and using the frozen mix from the grocery store.  It takes 2-3 minutes to stir fry the already chopped pieces of onions and peppers, with none of the additional time to slice, chop and clean to get there.  I’m much more likely to add these veggies to a meal on a weeknight having the prep work already done for me.
  2. Pineapple Salsa.  I added a generous spoonful of the jar currently in the fridge.  It added an awesome sweetness to the meal.  Highly recommended.



 Posted by at 6:00 am  Twosday
Aug 192014

New Habits I’m Starting for My Own Good

  1. Tea with TED. I’m using my morning solo time to watch a TED talk [I recently downloaded dozens of them through the Podcasts app on my iPad from TED and TEDhealth.] and have a cup of tea before starting my day. 
  2. Journaling.  That’s the second part of my morning solo time; just a few minutes of journaling.  I haven’t been in a regular writing practice in a long time and setting aside just a couple of minutes a morning is helping to ignite something new in me. 

Kitchen Items I’ve Been Using Oh-So-Often

  1. Ninja Ultima Blender. I’ve been making smoothies for breakfast or post-run refuel and am so thankful that this tool is in our kitchen. [I received mine as a gift from Ninja at the 2013 HLS.]  I can’t get over how well it blends EVERYTHING I put into my smoothies – the power is really impressive.  I love the individual cup feature so much, too! Easy to make and take with me to the office for a breakfast on the go.
  2. Sesame Oil. It’s my favorite ingredient at the moment because just a tiny bit brings SO MUCH FLAVOR to whatever I’m making.  Whether adding a couple drops to a marinade or using a teaspoon for stir frying veggies and proteins, the little bottle of sesame oil in my fridge is such a powerhouse.  My favorite dish to use the oil is using up leftover rice and veggies from a week of dinners to make stove top fried rice on the weekend!


Recently Discovered Songza Playlists of Awesome

  1. Singing in the Rain: Upbeat showtunes from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.
  2. C’mon, Get Happy! “Sometimes all you need is a rousing song to get yourself out of a rut.”

Summer Music Purchases I’m Still Majorly Enjoying

  1. Okay Go’s Upside Out EPThe Writings on the Wall is so good that I had to snag the EP.
  2. The Fault in Our Stars Soundtrack.  Even though I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. Yep.


Ways I’ve Been Taking Time for Self-Care on the Weekends

  1. Drawing, coloring, doodling, and letting my fingers do whatever the heck they want with my favorite art supplies. It feels good to just be free without a plan.
  2. Meal Planning. Taking the time to organize my meals for the week ahead really helps me to feel organized and prepared for the week ahead.  I allow for flexibility, but having a list and plan written out lets us avoid the “what do you want for dinner?” debate that often ends in neither one of us wanting to make a final decision.  I’ve been keeping one shelf of my pantry dedicated to ingredients I will need during the week, which I organize and fill as I writing out the meal plan on the calendar. This extra step is a great way to make sure I have everything I need or alert me if a stop to the store will be in order.

On the Meal Plan this Week

  1. Lots of Breakfast for Dinner.  Which is NEVER a bad thing in our home! Pancakes, sausage, scrambles, hash – so much goodness!
  2. BBQ Chicken Pasta. I’m making some substitutions to a recent Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese we tried and am sure our favorite BBQ sauce will work so well as a swap for the wing sauce!


New Blue Diamond Almond Honey Roasted Flavors I’ve Recently Been Sent to Review for the Blue Diamond Tastemakers Program

  1. Honey Roasted Vanilla
  2. Honey Roasted Chipotle

Impromptu Recipes I Created this Weekend Using the “BeeCause We Care” Almonds
check back Thursday for recipes!

  1. Chipotle Trail Mix
  2. Coconut Vanilla Pancakes