48 Hours Unplugged

I’ve never experienced the feeling of time slowing down until last week.

I had the privilege of spending a few days in (relatively) upstate New York with two of my best friends, Fiona and Rachel. Fiona was so generous as to let us stay at her 106-year-old (!!) summer house, located in a secluded yet beautiful town.

Monday

On Monday, Fiona and Rachel drove down from Boston to my house. I cooked us a little rather large din din of caprese chicken + spicy pork chops + roasted broccoli (which was epic, not gonna lie) + avocado toast. Lots of leftovers for the ‘rents!

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plus avocado toast!

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beautiful food, even more beautiful people

I also made them one of my favorite recipes of all time— Amanda’s banana bread mug cake. Alongside some of Emily’s delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cookies + glasses o’ milk!

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Tuesday

After spending a night at Fiona’s house, we ate breakfast and then drove up to her summer house on Tuesday afternoon.

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made some banana oatmeal for the ladies

Rachel DJ’d in the car, and it was a classic grooves-mobile fest with backseat dancing and off-pitch sing-alongs.

And in no time, we arrived at the summer house!

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Fiona calls it her “heaven on earth”, and I can 100% see why she does. There may not have been any cell service or wifi, but there were crystal clear waters, breathtaking views, and foliage for dayzzzz.

We were only at her summer house for 2.5 days, but it felt like we were there for a week. Fiona did warn us that time slows down at this place, but I didn’t believe her until I experienced it.

Look at how cute it is!

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When we arrived, Fiona gave us a tour of the grounds, and then we went into town to buy groceries for the next few days.

The ONE stressor I had during the trip was when I got a call from my job (which I start today) about a form that I never received via email but that I needed to fill out, sign, and send by the next morning. It was actually a miracle that we were in town getting groceries when I got that call, because if we were back at the summer house, I never would have known because there’s no service there. Thank God for smart phones, because I was able to access my email, fill out the form, sign it digitally, and send it back in time.

Anyway.

Chips, salsa, PB&J’s and salads for lunch!

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Followed by a lovely little hike to the waterfall.

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self-timing it on a waterfall

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UGH so cool.

The rest of the night involved reading, playing Clue, eating chili (that Fiona’s mom made and sent up with us!) and s’mores!

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Chili and fires in the summer? Ya. ‘Twas pretty chilly up there actually (plus no heat). Rachel saved our cold butts with her fire-making skills. So Midwestern.

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*ding*

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I made “fluffernutter” s’mores with peanut butter instead of chocolate — 10/10 recommend

We snuggled into our beds by 10:30 pm (!!!). After some girl chat, we fell asleep to the sound of a legit babbling brook that flows by her house. People pay good money for that sound!

Rachel and I could not stop saying, “This is a dream. This is out of a novel.”

Wednesday

In an effort to gain feeling in my frozen feet in the morning, I went outside for some moves by the babbling brook. I did Jess’ lean legs workout (with some modifications).

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I still couldn’t feel my feet after I finished the workout. They were ice cubes.

Nothing a good breakfast can’t fix though! Pancakes for breakfast!

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We made buttermilk pancakes from a mix (added chocolate chips and/or banana) and ate them with a slew of toppings (peanut butter with the richest full fat vanilla Greek yogurt for me) and glasses o’ milk in cute mason jars. Eaten out on the porch. DREAMZ I TELL YOU.

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After breakfast, we spotted beavers, played Sequence, did each others’ hair, tanned on the deck, and plunged ourselves into the freezing cold river as per Fiona’s tradition.

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so cold, so exhilarating

We had a late lunch of tacos with all the works.

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Followed by more reading, relaxing, and probably some napping. We decided on movie night with s’mores for dinner.

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“You look like a frog.” – Rachel

We did a double feature of The Notebook and Hairspray. It was my first time watching both! (I know, I know. I’m only an eon behind on watching The Notebook.)

Thursday

Our last day at the summer house started with leftover pancakes…

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…cleaning, packing, reading (I finished The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis— also 10/10 recommend!), hiking…

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photos cannot do this view justice

…and a farewell to the summer house (for now!).

Back at Fiona’s house (and back to 432872 notifications on our phones), we ate a light dinner. Then Fiona took us to Bellvale Farms Creamery, aka the most incredible ice cream place of all time.

First of all, the drive to this place was beautiful. Secondly, we passed by the actual Bellvale Farm (like, we basically said hi to the cows that made the milk in our ice cream).

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Thirdly, their ice cream flavors were excellent. I had “Calf Trax” (vanilla ice cream with peanut butter swirl and mini peanut butter cups) + cookies ‘n’ cream in a waffle cone. No words. Fourthly, this is the view right outside their doors:

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I won’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the summer.

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Rachel and I are gonna make sure Fiona gets engaged at this spot.

Our night ended with watching The Intern (such a sweet movie!) and deep chats.

Friday

I think I’m allergic to Fiona’s cat (whose meows sound like a whining human) because I scratched my eye so hard in my sleep that I woke up with my eye half shut and swollen. Whoops.

I made us some more oatmeal and then we headed out for some tennis! Fiona is actually good at tennis, Rachel can hold a good volley, and I spent most of my time fetching the tennis balls that I hit out of the court.

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For our last meal together, we went to Fiona’s favorite local Mexican restaurant. We shared guac to start, and I ordered a chicken and a vegetable taco.

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fabulous

I am beyond grateful to have spent such a rejuvenating and beautiful week with two of my best friends. Thank you so much again, Fiona. ♥︎ I miss you both already!

Something valuable I learned from those 48 hours unplugged is that, truly, you have so much time when you’re not always on your phone/playing music/checking emails. I was able to focus on one task at a time, reflect, and do a lot without the distraction of technology. I’ll keep all this in mind as I start work today (I’ll talk more about that later!) and continue on with my life.

So tell me:

Have you ever spent an extended amount of time in a place with no service?

What was the best thing you did last week?

Do you have a special place where you like can retreat? 

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Strawberries and Cream for Wimbledon

Jury duty day #2 is ahead of me today!

I added the exclamation point for motivation and positive vibes, because I’m so not looking forward to it. It’s a blessing and a curse to be young and open minded. Mostly a blessing though.

I wish I could tell you guys about the case, but alas, I would be tracked down and killed if I shared anything. (Joking about getting killed, but seriously, I cannot share!)

In other news, Wimbledon (one of the grand slam tennis tournaments) is happening. I haven’t been watching, but I plan on catching as many matches as possible from here on out. I love watching tennis. I’ve never even played, but it’s one of the only sports I actually enjoy watching (others include gymnastics, figure skating, hockey [in person at Boston University only], and soccer [World Cup only…I’m a fake fan]).

I’ve been to the US Open for tennis before, but I think it would be amazing to attend Wimbledon for two reasons:

1) It’s in England.

2) Strawberries and cream is the signature food to eat at the event.

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According to this website, the recipe for Wimbledon strawberries and cream is super simple: strawberries with sweet, soft-peaked whipped cream. Classic England being classy.

Today I have a more substantial version of strawberries and cream for you in the form of a smooooothie.

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A company called MyProtein kindly sent me a bag of their strawberries and cream protein powder to try, along with a mega jar (40 oz/2.5 lb!) of peanut butter (the way to my heart).

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Funny enough, MyProtein is the biggest sports nutrition brand in the UK and Europe. It’s slowly growing in the United States though! In addition to protein powders and nut butters, they sell protein cookies, bars, oats, and supplements.

Now, I am definitely not one to use amino acid supplements or anything like that at all right now (they kinda scare me, tbh). I mostly just use protein powder to make foods like Arman’s cake batter oatmeal, Gina’s cookie dough cereal, energy balls, or substantial smoothies— like this one! Protein powder helps to add calories and satiety to my smoothies.

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The strawberries and cream protein powder is sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. However, it does have quite an artificial flavor. Think Nesquick strawberry milk or Starbucks’ strawberry cream frappuccino. Luckily, I love that flavor, so this was good stuff. Also, the addition of real strawberries to the smoothie helps to liven up the strawberry flavor a bit.

Strawberries and Cream Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 c. milk (the fattier the better!)
  • 4-5 fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop strawberries and cream protein powder*
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Blend, baby, blend.

*Can sub vanilla protein powder, just add a couple more strawberries.

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Of course, if you’re not into protein powder, you could always just do strawberries with vanilla ice cream too, which is what I ate last night 🙂

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Along with a whole lot of drippings from the newly opened and stirred MyProtein peanut butter:

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The verdict? DELICIOUS. It is 100% peanuts, just how I like it (although I’m wondering if it’s lightly salted, because it tastes just as good as salted peanut butter!). All the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness.

I would compare the taste of this peanut butter to Trader Joe’s natural pb, Teddie’s, or Costco natural pb. Maybe a combination of all three.

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waterfall of pb fell off the side of the jar as this photo was taken

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PSA/BREAKING NEWS: If you mix vanilla ice cream with some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (key!), it tastes like EGGNOG. Oh my goodness.

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I’m so excited about this. Eggnog in summer form.

So tell me:

What is your favorite sport to watch? Do you like watching tennis?

Have you ever eaten strawberries and cream (in any form)?

Will you try this eggnog ice cream life hack!?

Disclaimer: MyProtein sent me the protein powder and peanut butter for a review in return. All opinions and content are my own.

WIAW: If I Played a Sport…

I was watching the US Open last night–Duval vs. Stosur–and I must say, I love watching tennis. It’s really the only sport I enjoy watching. I always tell people that if I could learn to play any sport, I would choose tennis, and it’s not just because the ladies wear the cutest outfits. The athleticism, the excitement, and everything about it just appeals to me! My family and I have had our fair share of tennis events actually:

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{2007} Meeting Pete Sampras at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. (Little nugget me, when I was ACTUALLY 11 years old.)

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{2010} US Open

It’s funny because no one in my immediate family even plays tennis. We just like it!

Well anyway, the main focus of this post is the food! Thanks, Jenn for hosting WIAW as always! This is more of a sample of my recent eats. Some you may have already seen some of these meals on my posts from this week, but some are new. Nevertheless, here ’tis:

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Breakfast

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Kath’s whipped banana oats with sunflower seed butter and cereal on top for crunch

Lunch

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Grilled “Free Bird” Chicken Breast Sandwich with basil, mozzarella, sauteed onions, and tomato aioli on sun-dried tomato bread. From the lunch date with my dance friend last week! YUM.

Snacks

..included:

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Raw energy bars, green grapes, and lots of unpictured yogurt bowls!

Dinner

This dinner was the bomb. A compilation of some of my favorite foods on one plate! Even Ben walked by and said, “Wow that looks good,” to which I replied, “You want someeeeee!” But he had already finished his dinner. Too bad, so sad. Next time, bro!

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Avocado toast, caprese (LOVE), and chicken.

Late Snacks

..included:

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Protein smoothies!

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This thing is tiny, but it is perfect for a light dessert! 

Happy Wednesday!

So tell me: Do you like tennis? If you could learn to play a new sport, what would it be? What have you been eating this week?