I don’t know why but drinking a large cup of hot cocoa before bed makes me incredibly happy. Just one of my newfound obsessions. Other things I’m into lately consist of cinnamon roasted almonds, smiling at everyone I see, working out to this song, and avoiding traffic at all times. At one point this week I was contemplating buying a bus so I could ride the shoulder. It was the only solution I could think of until I discovered the DC Metro. Good news: since I won’t be purchasing a bus, you are still safe on the road.
Besides that I’ve been mega busy! Meeting fabulous new friends, working out at 5am (it has to be done), and working on my 23 things list. I’ve got a couple checked off.
It’s restaurant week in DC as well, which means I finally got to experience lobster for the first time. Baklava too! Finally the world makes sense to me.
…I went on a date too. But that’s a different story for a different time.
We’re here to focus on Burgers people. Simply good and totally dreamy! I’m just looking out for you.
I’m finally in DC for good.
I made it here yesterday afternoon after about 20 hours worth of driving. I did stop in both Chicago and Pittsburgh overnight. It was quite a drive. I do have to say that Maryland and Virginia are incredibly beautiful states.
I simply adore Chicago though. It has everything a girl could want: Michigan Avenue, deep-dish pizza, cute men, and the Navy Pier. Hello romance waiting to happen! It’s my mission to get back there soon.
The moment is finally here. It’s time to say goodbye to Minnesota for good.
Eating Teddy Grahams is a bit comparable to leaving home really. Bittersweet. I can’t think of any other way to describe it.
Teddy Grahams are adorable, and yet so delicious! Even though devouring their cute little bear bodies is a little devastating, the incredible taste and satisfaction makes it all worth it.
Okay so that’s a stretch, but you get what I mean right? I’m completely weird.
Welcome to the New Year. Another new beginning! Sure to be the start of something wonderful.
Did the sunrise look different this morning? Was your day a little brighter? I bet you looked good.
I woke up, threw my sunglasses on, and put my hair in a messy ponytail. I worked out and it felt phenomenal. I chowed down on veggie stir fry for lunch then came home and made a pineapple upside down gingerbread pumpkin cake. I listened to Florence and the Machine and danced like a mad woman while mixing it all together. Seriously caramelized pineapple, pumpkin and gingerbread. Let’s be real… that cake could make anyone fall in love.
I served it warm, topped it with real whip cream and gave it to someone special. At least I hope they felt special, because damn that cake was incredible.
Simply put, I’m smiling like I’ve never smiled before. I’m quite ready for an extraordinary 2012, how about you?
The cookies are gone.
The pie has been eaten.
The Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread can no longer be made into french toast for breakfast. Tragic!
Now that the holidays are almost over, we’ve got to get our skinny on. Let’s get obsessed with oats, nuts, and fruit!
Granola is the picture of health, right?
Before we put our skinny jeans on, let’s laugh over Christmas stories.
It’s my special day today. Twenty-three years ago my parents didn’t know what to name me.
They finally settled on Monique Noella.
It’s feminine version of my Grandfather’s name. He’s a pretty cool guy!
Noella, is a combination of Noel in the spirit of Christmas, and Ella, my great grandmother’s name.
Just some birthday facts.
This past year has been completely amazing! To make the next year just as great, I’ve thought up 23 new things to do.
23 things to add a little more spice in my life.
Take a look at my list.
1. Remind myself that it’s okay to be a kid sometimes and bake more things with excessive frosting and sprinkles. Watch out, donuts are next.
2. Take a vacation with my best girl friends. Asians, Gingers, and Blondes have way too much fun. Obviously.
3. Buy a stranger coffee everyday for a week. It might just make someone’s day. Plus, it’s good karma.
4. Become a Yoga instructor. Namaste.
5. Go to a baseball game. Drink beer and eat a ballpark hot dog. I don’t drink beer or eat beef, so this will be new!
6. Bungee jump! This scares me like no other. Thinking about it is making me sweat.
7. Go camping! Like real camping. But only if I get to make these babies.
8. Start a food business. I’m not sure how I’ll find time for this… but it’s my dream.
9. Be active everyday somehow. I say power shopping counts!
10. Take the train to New York or Boston all by myself. Visit amazing friends from Australia. I miss you all.
11. Meet someone who has been on Top Chef. I’m leaning towards Spike or those cute twin brothers.
12. Bake a unique banana bread every month for someone new. Totes best idea ever.
13. Go see Beauty and the Beast 3D. This is serious!
14. Try every new cereal that comes out. Multigrain Peanut Butter Cheerios… I love you.
15. Stay up all night and watch the sun come up at least 10 times. Preferably on an exotic beach or mountain.
16. Go out and pretend I’m turning twenty-one again. Great idea. Period.
17. Try karaoke again. Even though I know I’ll more than likely be awful at it.
18. Have conversations with random people everywhere I go. Listen to their experiences. Learn from their stories.
20. Read at least 17 books. Find something unique, don’t read everything on the bestseller list.
21. Go to the ballet. Watching Black Swan doesn’t count.
22. Order dessert more! Life is short and should be sweet. I know you agree.
23. Look around, smile, and genuinely appreciate everything in my life. Every single day.
This birthday girl is happy. It’s been a phenomenal year full of opportunities. The older I get, the wiser I become.
I’m excited to be 23 and to see what the next year brings.
May you live all the days of your life.
As always, thanks for reading.
You know why I really love the holiday season? Parties!
Eating obscene amounts of Hors d’oeuvres and matching my nail polish to my lipstick is completely normal.
Dressing up in things that sparkle and sipping chocolate peppermint beverages make cold nights divine.
Eating cookies for dinner? You bet!
I’ve been to three holiday parties in the past week. Not to mention several breakfasts and lunches with my co-workers. I love the fact that these people know how to eat! Our brunch the other day consisted of Dunkin’ Donuts (I even got the pumpkin one!), cinnamon-peach whole wheat French toast (totes good), apple filled croissants, sausage egg bake, and three different types of breakfast burritos.
It won’t be long until I’m putting sweets in the office kitchen. In the meantime, I’ll continue to eat my co-workers peanut M&M’s out of her automatic candy dispenser. I’ve decided I want an automatic cinnamon roll dispenser.
Another thing that lights up my holiday season: Pie. Creamy, sweet, crunchy, dreamy, fruity, nutty, warm, chocolatey! Pie can be all things.
Pie + Booze? Oh my. Let’s devour it! Read more.
It’s Christmas shopping time and I haven’t even gone yet! I’ve got lists to make and things to do. I need to stop dyeing my hair and get serious about my holiday shopping strategy. Standing in line just isn’t my thing. I’m also traveling for the next week, so I need to get it together soon!
In order to be successful in my shopping endeavors, I’ve got to resist the urge to bake pies and buy adorable baking pans for myself.
I know you know what I’m talking about.
Being busy has its perks. Like drinking too many vanilla lattes and making really awesome pies late at night. My creativity is buzzing all day. I love being engrossed with a long to-do list. I enjoy being barely able to pencil a hair appointment in. I don’t know what to do with myself if I don’t have an activity, or something pressing. I actually need to stop checking my Blackberry while driving.
Throwing it into the backseat might be the only solution.
I have to remind myself that a little relaxing is good sometimes. A girl needs some time to herself.
Did you know that baking to relieve stress is called ‘stressbaking’? You can find it on Urbandictionary. It’s totally real and happens a lot to me! Another great stress reliever is yoga. I actually went to a yoga sculpt class tonight. You do yoga with weights in a heated room with lots of lunges, squats and sexy ab moves. It was perfect because I think I finally sweated out half the pie I ate the last week. Hehe.