cupake tasting recap: the best things in life are sweet

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a cupcake tasting with Boston Bloggers. This was actually my first time taking part in one of their activities and couldn’t think of a better event to go to. The cupcake tasting was at Sweet Cupcakes in their back bay location. I’ve been there once before a couple of years ago and I remembered it being super yummy so I was excited to go. The event started with an introduction from the owner who gave us a little run down on the history of the company, these were some of the things that stood out to me:

– they prefer to use natural flavoring and colors which is why many of their cupcakes look very monotone (with a few exceptions, one being the red velvet)
– all of their cupcakes are hand-made
– they use a signature double dollop swirl for the frosting
– they have responded to trends in the industry by incorporating cupcakes are gluten-free and even have treats for dogs!
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Irish coffee was being served by the two girls that worked there that evening and they also had full-sized cupcakes that were cut into piece (like a cappuccino cupcake and a Guinness cake with Bailey’s frosting) in addition to mini cupcakes with a variety of flavors. They were all delicious but my favorite was the red velvet.
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The best part was being told I could try anything from the case {anything?! O_O}. I thought the ones in the case were off limit but with a huge decision upon me I decided to use a lifeline. The girl behind the case helped me narrow it down and suggested the hot chocolate cupcake is the best option for chocolate lovers so I went with that… it didn’t disappoint! This one had chocolate cake with a ganache center and an airy frosting that came with a red straw, adding to the cute factor. They provided me with a box so I took this one home with me.
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At Sweet they don’t make the cupcakes on location but instead get them delivered from their Hyde Park bakery. They order enough cupcakes so that they have around 50 cupcakes at the end of the day so even the last customer would have options and anything else left over the staff gets to keep. Considering this was the case I’m surprised that they didn’t allow us to take the cupcakes home… just a few minutes after I got a box another girl wasn’t allowed to take one with her (I’m guessing the one I got was an oversight from their end). Since it was a “tasting” we had to eat it on location but since it was already the end of the day and assuming that every night they have 30+ cupcakes left over what’s one day without the staff being able to take the cupcakes home? Oh well… we did also got a nice bag with treats that included a hand written note from them which was a nice touch. I can confirm that they were all delicious ;)
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2 super easy ways to make a valentine’s day inspired meal

valentine's day oatshappy valentine’s day!
It’s the day of love. Yes, the day where flowers are over priced and chocolates sell by the boxes. Personally I don’t like getting flowers on days like this because, well, it’s the “easy” thing to do and I’ll pass on the carb-centric, heart-shaped chocolates. But I’m not high maintenance either, a simple dinner would do just fine. So, wanna know how to make a valentine’s day inspired meal? simple:
1. use heart shapes
2. use the color red

Looks like I just nailed it with my oats :). Perhaps I’m being a little facetious but if you want a real and useful list head on over to Heather’s post from Better With Veggies, 14 ways to say I love you. There’s also one more way, the 15th way is via a blog post for the world to see. On that note… baby, I love you!

you’re one workout away from a good mood

Week 1 Resultsone down, eleven to go
In my initial post I mentioned that I will be following Nike’s training plan. So here is the first week’s plan and results. All of the runs so far have been indoors and since I want the Nike+ Running app to track my runs I have to hold the phone in my hands in order for it to track and record my speed/distance. This is super annoying and I can’t believe Nike hasn’t made it compatible with their shoe sensor. I’ve looked into it and you can only use the shoe sensor with the Nike+ iPod app… if someone knows something I don’t please let me know! In the meantime, come on Nike, get with the program!

warm up
Week 1 is designed as the “warm up” week and the fact that I didn’t have to run more than 4 miles was nice. I actually surprised myself in being able to keep a steady pace throughout the length of the runs with minimal walking. In fact, on the first day I completed the 3 miles without stopping, not even once… holy. cow. boy was that tough. For all you running snobs don’t roll your eyes at me, I’m no runner. In fact, the day that I completed 4 miles the Nike+ Running app congratulated me for the longest run yet and although the app only has a history of runs going back to a of couple weeks Kenne reminded me that it was, in fact pretty accurate. Running is not exactly my choice of exercise so now that I think about it, she was totally right, that was my longest run. I just need to take it one day at a time; a half marathon sounds daunting but all I can do is stick to the plan… so far so good.

crossfit noob
Since this is a fitness post I figured I’ll squeeze this in. On Saturday I went to a crossfit class at Reebok Crossfit Back Bay which was sponsored by City Sports and therefore, completely free :). And since I like free stuff and I’ve been meaning to try it, I jumped on it like white on rice. Just like a lot of other aspects of my life, I’m probably behind the curve here but this was my first time (I know crossfit has been all the rave recently). Although the class is 1 hour long the intense workout portion is probably 15-20 minutes. Since the class was free it was probably intended to provide a lot more instruction and overview of what cross fit is about so it may have been structured differently (not sure but I can only speak to my experience). I got to the class a few minutes late but I tried to integrate myself as quickly as I could. I was completely flustered, lost and confused but I was able to hide it or at least I think I did. After some warm up exercises, the next 20 minutes or so were filled with instructions of the different exercises on proper form followed by the workout of the day (i.e. WOD) and ended with a little overview of why they love crossfit and why I should too. It wasn’t bad but I would still like straight up body building :).

It was a good day overall, after crossfit I went to the gym with Dave and smashed my 4 mile run to finish up the first week of this half marathon training, 11 weeks to go.
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run, bermary, run!

runners worldthere’s something chasing me!
wait, there isn’t? then why am I running? Today marks the first day of my 12 week training for Nike’s Women Half Marathon. I have a few things going on right now; I just started a new project at work, school started about two weeks ago, I’m in the midst of studying for the PMP exam, and now I have to start training to for this half marathon. Nothing I haven’t done before so put on your big girl panties and get to it. I’ll try to make a weekly post on my progress while I train for my very first half marathon, here we go! You got this…
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cheers to the new year

new year new goals oh, that rhymed! So, with the new year upon us I decided I wanted to write down a few goals. This year has been good to me and I know next year will be even better. These are my top five major goals for the upcoming year… but this is not even half of the things I want to do, I have so many more! I want to continue focusing on my health and fitness, explore my interests and hobbies (cooking, blogging, photography, volunteering, etc.), travel as much as I can, and continue to grow and nurture my personal relationships (family, friends, and boyfriend).

In the past few weeks I’ve also been working on another list, so here it is my 30 before 30… so many goals, so little time! Continue reading

restaurant month recap

It’s December already! time is sure going fast. In my very first post I noted that I unofficially named November my restaurant month. The plan was to go to a different restaurant for my date nights with Dave. Since a lot of our dinners prior to this included a lot of homemade dinners I thought it would be a good idea to switch it up and use this as an excuse to indulge in all the things I’ve been craving (while still being a good girl during the week! {although, that’s debatable}). Five weekends… five restaurants!
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keep calm and give thanks

Thanksgiving in exactly one more day… so exciting! I have a few recipes I’ll be making this week (and they all incorporate my favorite fall foods); sweet potato casserole, pumpkin trifle and the cranberry almond quinoa. For my sanity, I’m just gonna give in to the fact that I will be stuffing my face with naughty yummy foods this entire week; I have friendsgiving event today (Wednesday), thanksgiving with the fam on Thursday, date night with Dave on Friday, and high school reunion on Saturday. This just means I’ll have to be on my A-game for all of December {well, up until christmas}.

wicked smaht
Last week I had to go to NY for training. On my way there, we had to wait about 20 minutes on the runway due to some inexplicable air “traffic” issues. Why in the world there’s traffic in the air is beyond me but we did get a gorgeous skyline view of Boston. I’m a huge city girl and although I don’t live and breathe the city life I like that I’m so close to it. I’m not in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of being in the city but I live close enough that I can still enjoy all it has to offer. I don’t have to contemplate whether or not its worth heading into the city because it’s literally 10 minutes away!
Boston
I heart you Boston.

kenne cooks a special dinner
If there’s one thing you should know about the bestie Kenne is that she loves shrimp. She’s semi obsessed with it, there’s probably 3 bags of shrimp in the freezer at this very moment and they’re are all hers. She cooks with if often and during my bikini prep I witness and smelled [#nocaloriesinsmelling #dontjudgeme] her delicious cooking. She promised me (or more like I demanded) that she make it for me after the competition was over. This is what she made for me, coconut shrimp and tilapia with wild/brown rice. It came out so good! Now I just need to have her cook for me again… do I need to do another competition? cause I’ll do it! ok, I’m kidding… well maybe.

ShrimpTilapiaDinner

instant transformation
How about that for a transformation? Sometimes even I amaze myself… from work to gym clothes in a jiffy. Sneakers are on and hair is pulled up, it’s time to get swole! ok, but seriously now that I’m working from home I don’t have to worry about carrying a gym bag so this doesn’t happen as often. There were so many times I forgot to bring a hair tie, or my socks, or even worse my sports bra!

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