weekend things.

Cocktails outside with my noodle.

My new favorite sushi roll.

Paloma in CT.

Friday I went to my parents' house and had cocktails with my dad--my mom has been spending a lot of time in Western Mass. with her family because my grandmother is sick and my dad has been flying solo at I make sure to go over there often and annoy him. We got takeout, and I'm obsessed with the sushi roll I ordered--it had shrimp tempura on the inside and mango on the outside: the perfect combo of savory and sweet.

Saturday Olive and I headed down to CT to see my BFF from law school and her family. They just bought a new house that's incredible, and we had a great time catching up over happy hour specials at The North House -- there was plenty of wine and corn dogs to go around. It was also great to spend time with her little one and I can't believe how fast time is flying (I feel like he was just a newborn). I headed back home Sunday morning and was wiped so I took a two hour nap...then had steak and wedge salads with my dad. It was a perfectly indulgent weekend, and I was sad to see it end!


sleepy tea.

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When it comes to sleep, I think I've finally figured out that I need at least 8 hours--less than that or more than 9 I'm groggy and a mess. (I will never, ever be someone who can hop out of bed after sleeping 4 hours and function). But recently I found that I was having issues falling asleep--even when I stayed up past my usual bedtime of 10:00. Stress was definitely a factor and I knew I needed to do something, so I tried taking melatonin pills and they did absolutely nothing. I really didn't want to go down the road of taking other conventional sleep aids because I'm a wimp and I was scared I'd never be able to fall asleep without them (see also: sleep eating).

On a whim, while at my favorite local grocery store I picked up The Republic of Tea's get some zzz's tea, and while I've never been a big tea drinker, it's safe to say I'm a convert. I don't drink it every night, but on the nights when I'm having trouble unwinding it's been super helpful (and I don't know if it's the actual tea that's doing it or my mind being tricked into being tired since I know I'm drinking something that is supposed to make me sleepy, but regardless, it's been a lifesaver). A couple of sips is all it takes and I feel infinitely more relaxed.

I'm curious--are there any other tea converts out there? Are there brands I should try?


weekend things.

Pasta party of one.

Margarita sister time.

Kickoff to cherry dip season.

This weekend was a good one. Friday night was completely low-key: it was rainy and gross and all I wanted to do was stuff my face with pasta so that's exactly what I did. I was still without a car so I ordered takeout, finished season two of "The Leftovers" on HBO and called it a night early. It was perfect.

Saturday morning my sister drove me to the dealer to get my new wheels--I was really bummed after my recent accident because I truly loved my old wagon, but so far I'm digging my new SUV. It's great to be able to do basic things like go to the grocery store and post office without hitching a ride. That afternoon we ran a couple of errands and went to our favorite watering hole for drinks and snacks. I had the short rib tacos and they were so, so good--completely hit the spot.

On Saturday my grandparents came over to my parents' house for brunch (eggs benedict on waffles and copious amounts of wine) and it was really great to see them and catch up. I ended up staying at my parents for dinner (after venturing out for ice cream) and went to bed early. Hopefully I'll be getting some serious runs in this week because all of this over indulging/imbibing has not been good for my waistline situation.

Here's to a good week!


I fell in love...

...with Monterrey, Mexico.

View of the city of Monterrey from Chipinque Ecological Park.

Cathedral at sunset in Santiago.

Former jumping field/current garden.
Ivy-covered hay barn.

Authentic breakfast of concha (Mexican sweet bread) y café.

Post riding lesson (so hot and sore).

Some souvenirs that I can't wait to break out once the temperature warms. 
I just got back from a quick 3-day jaunt to Monterrey to visit my aunt, and I can honestly say I have never had a place affect me the way that it did. I was completely unprepared to fall in love with the city, and that's exactly what happened. All of the people I met were incredibly nice, the views of the Sierra Madre are insane, I was surrounded by horses (my aunt is a trainer) and the food was delicious.

It was so great to spend one-on-one time with my aunt: I usually get to see her once or twice a year (despite being a major city, there are no direct flights from Boston to Monterrey and takes a full day of travel to get there from New England), and it was such a treat to talk and catch up with her. Her house is incredible (high ceilings, tile floors, gorgeous gardens and the cutest dogs) and she's a truly generous and supportive person.

I came back Sunday physically tired but mentally refreshed and recharged to make some changes and try new things. And true confessions: there's a huge part of me that wants to pack my bags and Olive and head back down on a more permanent basis. I love High Street House and being so close to my family in MA, but despite the quick trip, I also felt at home in Monterrey. It's definitely something to think about.