Monday, January 27, 2014

10 Reasons Why I Could Never Be On The Bachelor

Watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette is my guilty pleasure every Monday night. I like to believe that it is possible for the contestants to find love on the show and while I don't think it is guaranteed to happen each time, it's entertaining to watch their journey...emphasis on their journey. Because as much as I like watching the girls and guys dress to impress and "open up" to win someone's heart, I could never be on the show myself. Here's why:

[1.] I've heard that the camera adds 10 pounds so I can only imagine how many pounds a video camera adds. No way to do the photo shopping necessary for all of the bikini scenes with a TV episode and I'm not interested in starving myself for the months leading up to filming. 

[2.] I have a real job (whether I like it or not) so no "free spirit," "dog lover," or "former NBA dancer" professions for me. What does free spirit even mean? Why are the dog lover and her dog allowed to stay? What does the former dancer do now besides probably have a rich baby daddy?

[3.] I don't own nearly enough cocktail dresses to attend all of the rose ceremonies...assuming I'd make it past the first night...and I don't care to own that many.

[4.] I can't walk in heels and I probably never will be able to. Although, it might be entertaining to watch me stumble around the mansion for an episode or two I think I'd ultimately be a hazard.

[5.] I just can't talk about sex or "grown sexy" like Catherine did last night on the Bachelor Wedding without immediately blushing. My cheeks turn the color of my [red] hair...and stay that way for another half hour before I start to recover. 

[6.] I hate drama. And girls = drama. I'm way too passive aggressive to give in to a physical altercation or the show's desire for hair pulling and crying. 

[7.] I don't drink that much but I think I'd drink too much on the show. I can't handle large group situations and as a result, I think I'd end up being the shy girl quietly sipping wine in the corner who eventually gets wasted without realizing what happened. 

[8.] The whole sharing a guy thing and watching him be shared with your "friends" just doesn't sound all too appealing. Enough said.

[9.] Group dates. Talk about my idea of hell. So many people, so much drama, conflict and likely bikinis. I don't want to have to accidentally step on someone's toes in my high heels (it really would be an accident since I can't walk in them) to get 5 minutes to talk to the guy. I'll pass.

[10.] Then there's the whole me not actually being single factor...

That being said, I will still be tuned in tonight to watch Juan Pablo break a few more hearts and will be tweeting my commentary here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Angel Hair Pasta Recipe

Brussels sprouts are one of the most underrated vegetables out there. They're delicious when seasoned and roasted on their own but throw in bacon and angel hair wheat pasta and what's not to love?! I decided to combine these three ingredients to make an easy dinner this week.


Brussels Sprouts
Bacon or Pancetta
Wheat Angel Hair Pasta
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1. Coarsely chop 4-5 strips of bacon. I cut the pieces to be about the size of a quarter since the bacon will shrink up and I didn't want it to get lost in the pasta. Similarly, rinse the brussels sprouts and chop them or throw them in a food processor so they are a shredded texture.

2. Heat oil in a saute pan and add the bacon pieces to cook. Flip the chunks after several minutes and allow the bacon to start to crisp up. As the bacon cooks, bring water with a pinch of salt to a boil.

3. Add the angel hair pasta to the boiling water and cook according to directions on the box. At the same time, drain the grease from the bacon and then add the shredded brussels sprouts, minced garlic and salt & pepper to the pan. Saute for several minutes to allow the brussels sprouts to soften a bit and heat through.

4. Add the brussels sprouts and bacon mixture to the drained pasta. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into the pot and stir. Mix in a generous amount of shredded parmesan cheese and let it melt into the pasta slightly.

5. Serve to someone who's hungry :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Learned Something New (About Winter) Tuesday

I'm writing this post as I look out the window at snow beginning to coat the roads of Boston. This winter has been a roller coaster of high and low temperatures and each snow accumulation of over 6 inches has sent the city into a panic. Since public transportation rarely shuts down, though, I find myself skating down the sidewalks on the way home each time it snows. I own about 5 different pairs of boots to combat the snowy weather yet it seems I never remember to dress appropriately. 

In the past, I have found that my best friend during the winter is salt. I coat my parking spot and the surrounding area with it. I dump it on the steps to my apartment building and I sprinkle it along the stretch of pavement from my building door to the parking lot. One of my favorite sounds of winter is the crackle of ice instantly melting as a result of the salt I just poured out. 

BUT, this winter, I learned that salt becomes ineffective for melting ice & snow at a certain temperature. Maybe I'm late to the chemistry party but this is news to me. According to How Stuff Works, road salt works by lowering the freezing/melting point of water but if the surface temperature is lower than 15 degrees (F) it won't have much of an effect. This is because the solid salt cannot penetrate the solid ice to start the melting process. Wah! Additionally, it's not great for the environment to have so much salt seeping into the ground and water.

As the temperature drops over the next couple of months, try these alternatives to help with traction:

1. Sand. It's cheap. It doesn't stain your boots with the white water stains and it's easy to find. Once everything dries, too, you can easily sweep it up and it won't harm the environment.

2. Old fashioned elbow grease. Shovel as often as you can and that will make the shoveling easier and less daunting. You won't need salt if your walkway/parking spot is constantly cleared. 

3. Ashes. Because they absorb sunlight, the ashes will quickly melt ice. Since you can't just buy ash, you have to be lucky enough to have a fireplace or wood burning stove in your home. (Wishful thinking for me right now).

4. EcoTraction. This product offers better traction than sand but as you can guess from the name, it seems more geared toward traction than actual melting. It's made of granular volcanic material and is relatively inexpensive.

Stay warm & stay safe!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blogger Confessions: I Learned Something New Tuesday...About Myself

I've been tagged by Lindsay over at Wedding Rings to Teething Rings for a blogging confession and Q&A! 

When did you first start blogging and why? 
I first started blogging in August 2013 after having a "why the h*ck* not" moment. I decided to stop making excuses for not giving certain things a try and decided to take the plunge. I've always enjoyed writing and blogging seemed like a good place to start. 
So this happened...

Have you had any past online presence?
Other than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram &

When did you become serious about your blog? 
Define serious. I blog more for myself and my own sanity (which I take very seriously) than anything else. In terms of consistently posting and working on more of a theme, then I'd say it's been a new year's resolution for 2014. 

What was your first blog post?
A rant on why life's too short to ask "why?" rather than "why not?" which will enlighten you here

What have been your biggest challenges blogging? 
Thinking of new ideas for posts and then actually finding the time to try all of the recipes and DIY projects that I want to write about.

What is the most rewarding thing about blogging? 
Every time someone 'Likes' a post on Facebook or comments on a post I get excited knowing that maybe I've helped someone plan a meal or inspired them in some way. 

What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?  
When I see something on another blog that I want to incorporate on mine but I can't figure out the technical aspect. I spend a lot of time Googling.  

What is your lasting inspiration or motivation? 
Whenever I ask myself if it's worth continuing, I just ask myself "Why Not?"

What is your blogging dirty little secret? 
It's not a secret if I tell you.

What is your current goal as a blogger? 
Ultimately, I'd love to have the blog grow and use it as a tool to get a job in a different industry.

Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise? 
I've come to the realization that I really like taking pictures...even if it is just with my iPhone at this point. I'd like to ultimately get a nice camera and learn more about photography.

Thanks for tagging me, Lindsay! Now I'm tagging Lacey at Was it a Good Idea..., and Emily at The Wonderful World of Miss Emily Wright.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Portobello With Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

A turkey burger with sweet potato fries has pretty much become a staple when I'm planning my meals out. I'm always looking for something new to add to my repertoire, though, and I felt inspired after watching an episode of The Chew at the gym where they made a "portobello blue cheese sandwich." I thought I'd make my own version and I liked this recipe because it didn't involve exact measurements of ingredients. I also left out the bun since that's always the first thing to get cut from my budget and diet.

What You Need: 
1 Portobello Mushroom
1 Small Onion
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Goat Cheese
Salt and Pepper

What You Do:

1. Scrape the gills out of the under side of the portobello mushroom cap. The gills are the dark brown, wispy "stuff" for lack of a better word seen below. I made sure that the stem was trimmed down but did not remove it - it cooked down just fine for me. 

2. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar in the mushroom and spread it around. I made a few shallow cuts into the mushroom to help it marinate and absorb the oil and vinegar more easily. Then, season it with salt and pepper.

3. Cook on medium heat uncovered for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the caramelized onions and goat cheese to the underside of the mushroom and cover. Add a splash of water so that the immediate steam helps melt the cheese quickly.

5. Uncover and serve.

I didn't have any arugula when I made this but I would recommend topping with some greens and serving with a side of roasted brussels sprouts. You could also use a toasted bun to make it a real burger wannabe!

*For the caramelized onions, saute thinly sliced onions in a pan with oil over medium-high heat. As they soften and become translucent in color, add a pinch of sugar so that they caramelize nicely.

Do you have any alternatives to standard burgers? Please share!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How To Save [More] Money

At the beginning of every year, well, more like every month, I tell myself that I am going to save more money than the last. And while I like to think I'm financially conservative, it seems that I'm always counting the days until my next paycheck.

I started thinking about everything that I spend money on and came up with these ideas to help me save more. I think they'll work for you, too!

1. Stop buying coffee. Probably something you've heard before but it's effective whether you're buying coffee at Starbucks or a local coffee shop. I spend $2.75 five mornings a week on coffee and I'd save over $700 if I just made a cup at my office.

2. Unsubscribe from all store emails. If you're like me, your inbox is flooded with email offers from stores like J.Crew, the Gap and even CVS. The sales always sound so great that I feel like I'd be crazy not to take advantage of them so by unsubscribing you will remove the temptation.

3. Stop online shopping. It'll save you the extra $5-$10 you spend on shipping for each order. Usually the same sales you were seeing via email also run at the stores so next time just go to the Gap for the new shirt you wanted.

4. Plan out your meals each week. Planning a menu & making a list of needed items will keep you from buying unnecessary things and keep you on budget.

5. Buy store brands. Oftentimes when you're buying a name brand you're paying for just that - the name. Buying the generic, store brand costs less but tastes the same.

6. Get a library card. And stop paying for things you can get for free. I use my Kindle all of the time and many libraries now offer e-books to rent online - you don't even need to go to the library to check them out. So many books at my fingertips, so little time!

7. Stop buying lunch and start brown bagging it. In Boston, sandwiches and salads cost upwards of $9. If you shop smart, you could spend $9 on lunch for the week if you make your sandwich at home. 

8. Take public transportation. Better yet, walk as much as you can. It will always be cheaper than a cab.

9. Use Groupon, LivingSocial, LevelUp, etc. If you're treating yourself, check deal sites to see if there are any great offers that will save you up to 50% on a dinner out. Groupon and LivingSocial offer great savings and LevelUp is a mobile app that rewards you with credits when you reach a certain spending threshold. (Click here for a $5 LevelUp credit for new users)

10. Ask for discounts and fees to be waived. It never hurts to just ask. My gym membership had a high sign up fee but I asked if there was any way to have it waived. They in turn asked me if I had health insurance or an MBTA card and because I did they were able to waive it. All I had to do was ask!

I recommend using a site like Mint to help you keep track of your spending. It lets you categorize your spending and you will see just what your Achilles heel is when it comes to money. My USAA credit card does all of this for me and it's really eye opening! 

Let me know what your strategy to save is!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Learned Something New Tuesday

This is hopefully the first of many Tuesdays to come where I share something new that I've learned recently. I was thinking about what I wanted to share on the blog and I realized we're all constantly learning something new every single day - even if we don't think it seems significant. What might not be significant to you could be eye opening for someone else (and vice versa) so we should all share. So let me start...

I recently learned how to shorten URLs using sites such as and I created a free account with bitly (I purely chose it because it was a more attractive site than TinyURL) in order to reap the statistical benefits but no account is necessary. Simply go to bitly, enter your URL at the top of the page and click submit. You will instantly have a shortened version and stats showing how many clicks your link receives.  

Since I tend to be rather wordy - in posts and post titles - shortening URLs has been helpful for me when I post links to Facebook and Twitter. The bitly version makes it easy to share and more manageable although I'll admit that it also makes it difficult to identify before clicking on it.

My account also reports data such as the number of clicks, when and where the link was clicked and the geographic location of that user. Pretty cool! I haven't been using it long enough to really get into detail but I'm excited to keep learning about it.

I'm really curious, though....and please feel free to leave your answers in the comments!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quick and Easy Scallop Appetizer

Last week, I made a quick & easy appetizer to share with friends. I wanted something simple but elegant since it was to kick off New Year's Eve so I decided to take a page - or in this case recipe - straight out of my mom's (cook)book. The result was a delicious scallop appetizer served on a baguette and seasoned with dill.

What you need: 

1/2 lb. Fresh Scallops
5 oz. Shredded Swiss Cheese
1 Baguette

What you do:

1. Rinse the scallops and coarsely chop them up into small pieces.

2. In a bowl, mix the scallops with a large spoonful of mayo, the shredded swiss cheese and a pinch of dill. It should be tuna consistency when you're done mixing.

3. Cut the baguette into thin slices (about 1/2 an inch thick) and evenly spread the slices out on a cookie sheet.

4. Spoon a good size scoop of the mixture onto each baguette slice laid out on the cookie sheet.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

6. Once 15 minutes is up, garnish each with a sprinkle of shredded swiss and dill and pop under the broiler for another minute to crisp up the top of each.

My boyfriend couldn't even keep his hands off long enough for me to take a picture! Hope you enjoy and let me know how yours come out!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Getting Real With Resolutions For The New Year

So now that my waistline is a bit thicker from all of the Christmas cookies and my wallet a bit thinner from so much shopping, I think it's a perfect time to sit down and think about some resolutions for the new year. In the past, I've written them down on paper, never shared them with a soul and ultimately lost that piece of paper by the end of the year. I'm trying something new here by sharing with all of you so I can really hold myself accountable...and can't blame anything on losing a list.

When I sat down and thought about it, the majority of my resolutions for the new year seemed to be centered around the following quote.

Sure I still want to lose a few pounds & not that I'm scared of doing things but sometimes I think that fear can stop us in our tracks. Here are a few on my list: 

1. Travel more. I have a list a mile long of places near & far that I want to visit and while I'm not scared of the travel aspect I can talk myself out of it for various reasons. I'm afraid that I'll spend more money than anticipated and won't have as much in my savings or that I'll run out of vacation days and miss out on something else that comes up. Whatever the fear, they're not good reasons. I'm young, healthy and don't have anyone but myself to care for so now's the time for more travel.

2. Stop comparing my life to others'. I find it easy to see where someone else is at in life and compare mine to theirs. Sometimes I'm happy with the comparison, sometimes I'm afraid that I'll never stack up or accomplish the same milestones. In 2014, I can't measure my life against others' because really, it's like comparing apples to oranges. What might be good for someone else in that moment might not be good for me and I can't be afraid of doing things just for myself. 

3. Join a team or take a class. I'm not in college anymore but there are still so many different options out there to play a sport or explore an interest. I can't be afraid to try something new or to commit to a group for a period of time because I just might have the time of my life or meet some amazing people in the process.

4. Be more vocal. In all aspects of my life - at work, with friends, among family. No one is going to think my ideas are crazy or stupid and if they do, I can't be afraid to cut ties. I hate conflict & will usually do anything I can to avoid it but this year I need to stop fearing it so I can resolve issues & ultimately have more fun.

So there's my short, text heavy list of resolutions for 2014. You can hold me to fact, please do! What are yours for the new year? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back on 2013 to Look Forward to 2014

As I started to make a list of New Year's resolutions and things I'd like to accomplish in 2014, I found it impossible to do without first looking back on everything that happened in 2013. Getting personal, I thought I'd share a few:

January: I rang in the New Year with my favorite guy and some friends in Boston.

February: A month full of snow. From blizzard Nemo dumping feet of snow on Boston to traveling up to Maine for a weekend with friends, snow was definitely the theme.

March: St. Patty's Day came and went and I had the chance to catch up and celebrate our heritage with a great friend from college!

April: The Boston Marathon bombings happened and the city banded together to help those in need. Being at the Red Sox game after they caught the pair was a priceless, emotional experience.

May: Ended the month on a high note traveling to Paris, France with the BF. Tried escargot, drank lots of wine and saw all of the sights.

June: On the tail end of the trip, spent the first few days of June in Rome gorging on food & each day not coming any closer to learning how to navigate the city on foot.

July: Spent several lazy summer weekends on the Cape swimming, kayaking & grilling.

 August: Spent a perfect weekend on Nantucket with friends and can't wait to go back to the island next summer. I, the least animal loving person, held a teacup pig for the first (and probably the last) time after a friend bought one in August. And finally, Why Not? Not Why was born.

September: Ventured back to Holy Cross for some tailgating and the Holy Cross homecoming football game.

October: Celebrated the wedding of one of the sweetest couples I know and got to see another part of the country with my bf.

November: Annual turkey trot and Thanksgiving on the Cape with my cousin from California and great neighbors.

December: The most wonderful time of year. I took a lot of time off from work and enjoyed the holidays with loved ones. To end the year, I watched Holy Cross hockey play in a Frozen Fenway game.

What did you do in 2013? Hope everyone had a great year and can now look forward to 2014!