A Little Christmas Recap + Some Links I Love

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and that you had a very merry Christmas if you celebrate! 

I had an absolutely amazing Christmas. It was so, so nice to be home with my parents and all three of my older brothers. We haven’t all been home together in quite some time, so there was nothing more I wanted this holiday season than lots of quality fam time.

I feel so happy and blessed that we could all be together because my family is truly the greatest gift. As much as I love the Christmas cheer, music, baking, treats, shopping for presents, coziness, and excitement of the holiday season, my favorite thing about Christmas time is being with my loved ones. There’s seriously nothing better.

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Clearly not the most recent picture, but it was too cute not to share – haha!

To kick off the holiday weekend, we went to Christmas Eve mass and then had our usual Christmas Eve lasagna dinner (and fun yankee swap) at my aunt’s house, which is a tradition we’ve had for years.

Continue reading “A Little Christmas Recap + Some Links I Love”

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

I saw (and really enjoyed reading!) this questionnaire on Tina and Julie‘s blogs and I figured that it’s time I share a little bit more about myself on here!

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This questionnaire has 25 pretty random prompts, and I am almost positive you guys don’t know most of these things about me. But you will now!

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me…Until Now!

1. I’m happiest when… I’m with my family and friends.

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2. …Especially if it… involves relaxing on a boat or the beach, enjoying amazing food, or experiencing new things!

3. I’ve always wanted to… go to a taping of Ellen. Still a dream 🙂

4. My family and I… love to joke around, go out to dinner, and support each other in all that we do!

5. I was a terrible… soccer player. I played (for one season) when I was 5 and all I remember is that at the last practice, I peed my pants in the middle of the field because I didn’t want to go to the porta-potty by myself. Also, one time I let the ball go right past me and straight into the goal because I was waving to my mom. Yep, I was MVP. I’m glad I tried it though because I learned (and my parents quickly saw for themselves) that any sport involving a ball is not my forte.

6. My first job (besides babysitting) was… as a hostess at a local Italian restaurant. I got paid a full 10 bucks an hour plus tips and got free dinner after my shift – not a bad gig for a 16 year old!

7. I could probably definitely eat… ice-cream everyday. In fact, I pretty much do.

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Sorry I got a little carried away there… You drooling yet?

8. I stole… ummm all I can think of is a few t-shirts from my brothers’ drawers when I was in my ‘sporty’ phase in 5th grade.

9. I was born on the same day as… my uncle. And (I just looked this up) Jessica Alba’s husband, Cash Warren (woohoo).

Funny story about birthdays though – two of my three brothers were born on April 22nd (4 years apart), which is also one of my cousin’s birthdays. And my other brother was born on April 27th, so there were many shared birthday parties for them!

Three boys, 2 years between each, all born in April, all with blue eyes…3 years later, in January, came me, a brown-eyed girl. Talk about the black sheep!

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It’s too bad we don’t look (or pose…) like that anymore.

10. My all-time favorite film is… oh gosh, I can never choose favorites… maybe Parent Trap? But to be honest, I like almost every romance, comedy, or chick flick that I see – I’m not a tough critic when it comes to movies.

11. I do a pretty mean… British accent. One summer my friend and I went on vacation together and spoke in accents whenever we were in public (only when we weren’t with my parents because there was no way they were going to attempt to play along…that would’ve been a dead giveaway). I’m sure we fooled no one, but it was our tween-age idea of fun!

12. I’m still mad… I quit taking piano and guitar lessons. I started piano lessons in 2nd grade and quit after about a year because my teacher made me sing along… In school I played violin in 4th grade, then flute from 5th – 8th (both of which I’m not too mad I stopped playing). In 6th grade I took guitar lessons outside of school, but I quit once dance started taking over my life in 7th grade (I danced from ages 3-14).

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I’m so mad I quit piano and guitar because I absolutely love music, and playing one (or both!) of those instruments is a hobby I wish I could have. I’ve tried to pick the guitar back up every now and then, but I end up getting frustrated when my little hands won’t stretch to get my fingers where they need to be. I just need more patience, really. Oh well…

13. I met my husband… HAHA funny one. I’m still in college, and probably pretty far from getting married (although I’d love to one day!!). I’ve been single since last July and am in no rush to meet my husband. That said, I’m definitely ready to have a boyfriend again, so I’m open to whatever is meant to happen.

14. I always knew I wanted… to be a mom. But seeing as I don’t want that to happen without first being able to answer number 13, I’ll go with to study abroad. And that’s why I’m going to (in 22 days) (EEEEK!).

15. I’m not afraid to… try anything (within reason) once! That’s the attitude I’m trying to have as I go into my study abroad adventure this Fall!

16. I make the best… eggs. Haha trust me, I make more than just the microwave variety and I also am slowly learning how to cook and bake many things, but as a college kid, I have a lot to learn. I absolutely love being in the kitchen, experimenting with different ingredients, and trying new recipes as well as learning my family’s classics. Cooking and baking are definitely passions of mine, I just need much more practice (and time)!

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17. I have almost no… hand-eye coordination when it comes to sports. I cannot catch/kick/throw a ball to save my life. Refer to number 5….

18. I always cry when… I watch the movie A Walk to Remember. Oh and Marley and Me. Aka almost any movie with a sad/deep/emotional ending.

19. I’m a… Connecticutian (Connecticutter? Yeah, I don’t know…), but I’m also a Bostonian because I go to BC. I love being both!!

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20. I’ve spent 20 years (I guess technically 18 since I’m in college, but I’m home in the summers) in the same house. My family moved into our current home about two years before I was born, and my parents aren’t planning on moving any time soon. I am more than okay with that because I love my home sweet home.

21. I wish my folks… the best (oh gosh, that sounds like I’m leaving them, which I am not. Well I guess I am for the semester, but you get my point). I love them so much and my brothers and I owe everything to them, so I pray every day that they stay healthy and happy 🙂

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with… a boy in my kindergarten class. I thought we were going to get married. I also was in love with dance and figure skating.

23. I believe if everyone… learned to love one another and treat others with respect, the world would be a better place.

(source)

24. I can’t stand… when people hover over me. Whether I’m studying, writing, eating, packing, whatever it may be, I hate when people stand over me/ watch me/ look over my shoulder if we’re not actually having a conversation as this happens. I also can’t stand…super slow walkers on campus between classes. I appreciate the fact that maybe they’re just soaking it all in or enjoying nice weather, but if I have a class to be getting to, pick up the pace or get out of my way! (Woah, did I just say that?)

25. Whenever… Keeping Up with the Kardashians is on, I’ll watch it. Yep, I said it.

Less Than 48 Hours Later… (Escape to the Cape – Part 2)

Hi guys! Happy Hump Day!

I feel like it’s been ages since we last spoke

It’s been much longer than I anticipated because I did end up going back to the Cape on Thursday night, and unfortunately we had no internet.

Instagram @ fuelingfab
Instagram @ fuelingfab

I actually wrote an entire Thinking Out Loud post last Thursday in the car, thinking I would hit publish as soon as we got to the hotel.

Wellp that wasn’t exactly possible when we had no internet. The hotel ‘had wifi’ but for some reason it didn’t work, at least not in our room..

I was a little extremely frustrated at first, but then I decided to fully embrace a much needed break from technology. I didn’t use my laptop once and I only used my phone to text (and to Instagram one pic) when we were at restaurants and places where there was service. I have to admit, it was really nice to step away from the internet and social media for a couple days and just focus on my family and enjoying our little vacation.

Anywho, most of the post I wrote on Thursday is still relevant so I’ll probably edit and publish it tomorrow. Since today is Wednesday and all and I have tons of food pics, I think that calls for another WIAW, hosted by Jenn of course!

First of all, you may be wondering why I headed back to Cape Cod less than 48 hours after I returned home from there…

I got back from Chatham last Tuesday at about 8pm, worked Wednesday and then Thursday from 7am to 1. After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to give someone else my on-call shift Friday so I could head back to the Cape with my parents on Thursday afternoon. They had made these plans to go a while back, and since a few of my college friends were possibly going to be in Chatham, my goal was to at least see one of them.

Going into it, I knew that even if I didn’t end up seeing my friends, the quality family time was needed, especially since I’ll be leaving for Europe in less than a month.


After I got off work Thursday, I did a quick run and some arms, then repacked my bag (that I had basically left packed from Tuesday, just swapped out some outfits and such).

We arrived in the Cape Cod town of Yarmouth around 7pm and went right to The Skipper Restaurant & Chowder House. We had to wait an hour to be seated, but we didn’t mind!

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I started with a few spoonfuls of my mom’s chowdah, which was super thick (and tasty).

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For my meal, I ordered the ‘Grilled Scallop Salad’ which was fantastic. The cranberries and poppyseed dressing were just the right amount of sweetness to balance the salty scallops. I also had a piece of cornbread alongside my salad which tasted like dessert, so obviously I loved it.

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We ate every bite of our meals, but there was no question about whether I would get ice cream from Skipper’s Icecream counter…

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I chose the ‘Sea Salt Caramel with Walnuts’ which had some surprise chocolate caramel cups in it! I learned quite the valuable lesson by eating this ice-cream -> I don’t love plain walnuts… I guess I only like the candy-coated variety. That said, I loved everything else in this bowl of goodness that I enjoyed later on at the hotel (and I still ate all the walnuts – gotta get those healthy fats ;))

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On Friday I woke up and ate a quick breakfast before heading out for a run (while my parents walked). I had some greek yogurt, a pear, and a bit of s’mores coffee pre 5 mile run, then a protein bar afterwards. Nothing too exciting, but it got the job done!

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There was not a single cloud in the sky and our hotel was right on the water, so we quickly changed into our swimsuits, bathed in sunscreen, packed some lunch, and headed to the beach!

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Instagram @ fuelingfab
Toes in the sand = Best feeling ever.
Toes in the sand = Best feeling ever.

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We relaxed in our chairs for a couple of hours before my mom and I took a walk along the water. When we returned, we were more than ready for lunch!

I packed a pb banana wrap, a white nectarine, and a kind bar.

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Around 3:00 we decided to head back up to the hotel to lounge by the pool.

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Clearly it was rough day..

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For snack I had a gala apple with the rest of my pb + some almonds.

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Around 4:30 I took a much needed shower and then we headed to Hyannis for dinner!

We parked our car and then walked around in search of the perfect place to eat. We came across The Black Cat Tavern where we were told it would be an hour wait. I had plans to meet up with one of my roommates (the same one I saw last week!) at 7:45 for an a Capella concert, so we said thanks anyway. As we started walking away, the hostess stopped us and said they could actually seat us right thenScore!

I chose the ‘Oven Roasted Pistachio Encrusted Salmon’ which was cooked to perfection and served on top of the most delectable orange honey glaze and creamy fruit risotto. I ate every last morsel and even used a piece of crusty bread to soak up all the delicious remnants. It was dee-lish.

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We finished dinner right around 7:30 so I made it just in time to catch the Hyannis Sound concert with one of my college besties and her mom (while my parents explored town and went to ice cream, awww).

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If you are ever in Cape Cod in the summer and you like good music, cute boys in Vineyard Vines, and/or having fun, you need to see one of their shows. Click here for all the info (and to listen to some of their amazing music!)

(source)
(source)

After the incredible show, we drove to my friend’s condo in Chatham where I was spending the night. On the way back we stopped for, what else, ice-cream!

I chose the ‘Purple Cow’ which was black raspberry with white and dark chocolate chunks. Yum!

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We stayed up giggling like middle-schoolers and chatting away before calling it a night around 1:30.

It was a long but fabulous day!


On Saturday morning we woke up at 8:30, ate some cereal and fruit, then headed out for an easy run around downtown Chatham!

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It was pretty humid out, and the pool was calling our names when we got back!

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We were bummed we couldn’t see our other roommates (one had an early ferry ride to Nantucket, so the timing didn’t quite work out, and another ended up having to go to New Jersey), but we had a blast and were thankful just to see each other again!

My parents picked me up at 11:45 and as soon as we arrived back at our hotel, we got set for the beach.

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It was pretty windy and the sun was going in and out of the clouds, so after about an hour I had to drape a towel over me as I ate my lunch (which was the same as Friday’s).

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In an attempt to escape the sea breeze, we headed to the pool shortly after.

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Around 4:00 it started to sprinkle, so I headed in for a shower before mass and dinner with my parents.

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^ Lilly Pulitzer + some serious tan lines

After church we went to The Waterfront at Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis.

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I chose the ‘Sweet Salad’ which was a ginormous bowl of fruit over a bed of lettuce with seasoned shrimp. I thought it could have been tastier with spinach instead of romaine and iceberg lettuce, but the fruit and dressing were great and the shrimp was even better!

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The sun was setting outside the window, which was an absolutely perfect way to end a yummy summer meal.

We then drove to Harwich Port to walk around for a bit before it got dark.

As we drove back to the hotel, we were on the lookout for a good ice cream spot. We saw tons on our way, but most were super crowded, so we decided to just head back to Skipper’s Icecream.

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I got ‘Lobster Tracks’ which was vanilla ice-cream with a thick fudge swirl (oh my gosh), and red white-chocolate caramel cups. It was to die for. Definitely my favorite flavor of this trip!

20140730-003454-2094333.jpg That would be a massive fudge chunk. Yep.

^ That second photo is a massive fudge chunk. Aka a bite of heaven.

I went to sleep very happy (and very full) that night.


I got up at 7:45 on Sunday and went straight out the door for another 5 mile run. When I got back I stretched and sipped some coffee out by the pool, soaking up one last bit of sunny Cape Cod.

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Once my parents were all set, we packed up, checked out, and headed to Hyannis for brunch at The SunnySide Restaurant.

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We grabbed a table outside and enjoyed some breakfast while people-watching and recapping our awesome mini vacation!

I got a blueberry pancake and an over-easy egg. Once I saw my moms wheat toast and jam, I wish I had gotten eggs and toast instead of the pancake, but I was craving pancakes all weekend, so it had to be done!

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We hit the road around noon, just as storm clouds rolled in and the skies opened up. Perfect timing!

Because Cape traffic can get a little crazy on Sunday afternoons, it took about 4 hours to get home, so a light lunch was needed in the car around 3:00.

I whipped out an undocumented nectarine and then topped a wheat wrap with pb and banana (while we were in motion, hence the horrendous presentation).

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Plus an apple and more pb as soon as we got home!

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In the summer, my parents usually throw something on the grill and we have a nice Sunday dinner with my older brothers, but since we didn’t get home until after 4:00 and were in no mood to cook, we ordered takeout around 7:00.

I got my fave Cosi salad (the Peruvian Palm). No pistachio-encrusted salmon or waterfront dining, but I still liked it!

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It was such an amazing long weekend with my family (and a friend!). I’m so glad I decided to take work off to spend that time with my parents. I’m going to miss them so much when I’m abroad, so this was the perfect trip for us. Plus, the beach and food weren’t too shabby either…

Once again, thanks for enduring another photo dump/ rambling post from me! I hope you enjoyed reading it because I loved writing it.

Have a great rest of your Hump Day, and a fabulous rest of the week 🙂

I’ll see ya back here soon with some Thursday Thoughts, a ‘how to pack‘ post, and much, much more!

xo’s

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PS – Don’t forget, my Twitter and Instagram handles (as well as Pinterest) are now @fuelingfab (which will possibly be my new blog title!). Your input on my blog name (once I go self-hosted) is still much appreciated 🙂


Questions of the day:

  1. Have you gone anywhere fun this summer?
  2. Do you have any end-of-summer plans coming up?
  3. What is your all-time favorite ice-cream flavor?

And in case you missed them, here are some of my more recent posts…