Two Lives, One Lifestyle

The Cottage by Katie
July 2, 2010, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Family, Holidays, Home, Katie

Every year for my whole life, and some of my mom’s childhood as well, we’ve gone to “The Cottage” for the 4th of July weekend.  My mom’s childhood friend Mary is one of 9 kids.  Mary’s parents built the cottage on Lake Ontario many years ago and every year, her whole family comes, plus our family, and my Aunt Laurie and her family, and tons of friends.  Since we clearly can’t fit everyone in the cottage, we bring tents.


(I love the sun set reflecting on the tree branches.)


As kids, we played all day- swimming, softball, capture the flag, board games, everything.  Now we still play a lot but also appreciate the vacation time and some adult beverages.


I’ve missed a 4th at the cottage twice before: once I was in Ireland and it barely phased me. The next time I was in Boulder for a research internship and cried when everyone called me.  This year, I’m currently unemployed/ job-hunting and figured the $400 plane ticket wasn’t my best financial decision.


The first night, adults get to go out to dinner.  Once we were finally 21, my cousin Sean and Mary’s son (practically a cousin) Alex got to join in.  Usually Caitlin is a part of this fab group but I don’t know where she was here. All of our birthdays are within in a few months.

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It’s nothing too fancy but the distinction of “kid” and “adult” is always significant, right?

The next few days are filled with relaxation and sun and softball.  And guitar playing and trampoline jumping. Except for the times when there are micro-bursts (mini lake hurricanes).

Tent trying to stand up to the wind.


Some nicer days.


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And water balloon launching..

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I used to work at a restaurant on the lake and people are constantly calling it the ocean.  We can’t see across to Canada of course, but really? You’re in upstate NY!

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Later in the day, we gather at the “Ring of Fire.”  As you can see, it’s an intense fire of citronella candles.

By day (I swear my step-sister Pix isn’t even drinking there, but she looks totally hung-over).

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The Ring of Fire involves sitting in a circle for hours to chat and sip beverages, sing (which always comes down to Irish drinking songs late at night), and generally have fun.

And by night:

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“Oh Bobbayyyy”



I literally have hundreds of sunset pictures from the cottage.  Another great nighttime pastime.



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Hi, Canada!

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If it’s not too windy, we’ll have a beach campfire.

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This is what happens much later; afterhours at the campfire.

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On whichever day we officially celebrate the fourth, there are even more traditions.

I never thought to take a picture of the food table in the past, but everyone brings a dish to pass and then the regular grilling items are grilled.  There are at least 20 or 30 different foods and desserts to choose from so you better choose wisely.

Later, the cottage-next-door sets up an ice cream sundae making station. There is always a nice tape of cheesy American tunes going too.

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And once the sun goes down, the fireworks begin.

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And then more quality family and friend time.

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I’m going to walk away from my computer now because I’m about to make a really bad impulse purchase.

Do you have any traditions you just hate to miss?  I never realized how strong my attachment was to all the family fun until I moved far away!

My First St. Pat’s Corned Beef and Cabbage by Katie
March 17, 2010, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Dinner, Holidays, Katie

After 3 days of barely having an appetite, I [probably more than] made up for it today.   My bowl of oats was smaller than usual and topped with some granola and PB & J.   What a fun twist on a classic.


I didn’t bring my camera to lunch- a sandwich and beer in St. Pat’s celebration.  Lunchtime beer is such a mistake, I was so sleepy after that.   The 70* weather was gorgeous though!!

After working, I stopped at Great Harvest for (still warm) Irish Soda Bread.  After eating way too many “just one more piece” pieces I finally froze the rest of the bread.  Fresh bread is so hard to resist!


Too bad it wasn’t that filling.  Since dinner wouldn’t be ready until at least 7, I snacked on the rest of my Noosa, adding some protein granola and PB for extra staying power.



For dinner, I made corned beef and cabbage of course.  This was my first attempt away from home and it turned out okay.  Matt and Jorge seemed to really like it but it wasn’t like my moms ;).

After rubbing the (2.5 lb) corned beef with some brown sugar, I covered it in 8 oz. of Guinness + some extra water + foil.  This is how we made it over the weekend and it is goooood.


When I pulled it out of the oven to check it out after 2.5 hours (at 300*), the Guinness and carmelized sugar scents were prominent.  If it wasn’t also filled with fatty bubbles, I may have eaten a spoonful of the “sauce.” Okay, I definitely just grossed out some vegetarians somewhere.   Here are some veggies to make up for it.  I used a little of the roasting juices and more Guinness.  After an hour at 250*, the vegetables were not softened so I put them into a saucepan to boil.



Finished product- tender and juicy:


After dinner, I had a bit of Coconut Milk cookie dough ice cream.  I really do not like how prominent the coconut flavor is but unless it’s spoiled or really inedible, I refuse to throw it out. This pint has taken me more than a month to eat- that’s a first.

Did you eat any Irish foods or drinks tonight?! If you didn’t see the recaps by Kelli and I, most of my celebrating took place this weekend with my family.

Two Lives, One St. Patricks Day by Kelli
March 15, 2010, 5:57 am
Filed under: Dinner, Food, Holidays, Kelli, Races, Run, Workout

Hi All!  So you all know by now where the heck I have been and why I have not been posting.  I was in Rochester, NY visiting Katie and her family for St. Pats weekend!  Katie has always talked about her wonderful memories of her St. Patrick’s day celebrations with her family and I was SO excited to be able to join this year!  I can’t believe I have not seen Katie since October (Bucknell homecoming)!  It was a nice treat to get to see her 🙂

Thursday was a VERY exciting day.  Besides being my last day at work for the week it was also the day I became a HOME OWNER!  YES, the seller’s of the brick, two-story, cape we loved in Manchester accepted out offer to buy their house 🙂  Below I put a few pics from the listing.  We have yet to get in there and take our own pictures.  I am THRILLED!  We close in the middle of MAY!

The outside of the house.  They have let the shrubs get pretty overgrown so I am excited to get in that yard and clean it up a bit.

The kitchen!  I am so excited to shop for fun bar stools!

The living room.  There is a beautiful bay window at the front that looks into the front yard.  I would like to turn it into a window seat 🙂  Perfect for sitting at with a lap top and blogging!

So there is our house!  There is A LOT to do in the coming weeks.  Give our notice with the apartment, find a good bank for our mortgage, and start organizing so we can pack!  PHEW!

After the excitement of Thursday I could barely sleep that night!  I was also so excited to be heading to Katie’s house the next day!  I woke up nice and early Friday morning, packed up, went to gym for a quick work out, showered at  the gym and was on the road!  It is about a 5 1/2 hour drive from central CT to Rochester. To speed up the drive I decided to go to Cracker Barrel for some books on DVD.  I chose “While My Sister Sleeps” and “Visions of White”.  Between both drives I got all the way through “While My Sister Sleeps” and am excited to finish “Visions in White” this week on my commute 🙂

When I got to Katie’s I was SOO excited!!!  Her Mom’s two friends were staying for the weekend too.  We enjoyed a fun dinner of home-made mac and cheese and AMAZING eggplant!!!  SO GOOD!!!

After dinner is was time to get busy with some chop chop!  Katie’s family was having about 30 people over after tha parade the next day so there were lots of veggies to chop!!

The next day we got up around 8 to get ready for the race and the parade!

At the start line!

I was really happy with how the race went.  Although the weather was not ideal (cold and rainy) it was still a lot of fun!  I lost Katie and her sister pretty quickly.  They are both much faster than me, and I did not want to burn out.  My goal time was 55 minutes, so around 11 minute miles.  I ended up finishing in 54 minutes and 30 seconds!  I averaged a 10:54 minute/mile.  I was very very happy about this!!!

After the race it was time for the parade!!!

After the parade we headed back to Katie’s house for FOOD!  Corned beef, cabbage, and lots and lots of extras!

Gorgeous cookies and a blurry Bailey’s cake!  How did I not take pictures of the corned beef?  Probably all those irish beverages!

By 10PM most of us looked like this…

And it was time to get in bed 🙂

Sunday morning (after a lovely corned beef hash breakfast) I started my 5 1/2 hour drive home.  I was pretty excited to see the hubby after being away from him for almost 3 days!  I got home at 5 PM and was in bed asleep by 7!  I was really tired and Stephen said I should just get in bed, and he thought I would be able to sleep through the night.  He was right!!!  I woke up to his alarm at 5:30 this morning and could not believe I slept for almost 11 hours STRAIGHT!  Without waking up once!  After my shock wore off I made a wonderful green monster…

1 cup almond milk, lots of spinach, 1/2 cup oats, 1 nanner, and 1 scoop protein powder.  DELICIOUS!

Well its time to get back to the routine.  Work and spinning tonight 🙂  Followed by some quality time with the hubby 🙂

Lovely Monday by Kelli
February 15, 2010, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Elliptical, Holidays, Kelli, Marathon, Mushrooms, P90X, Spinning

Hey all 🙂  I hope you had a wonderful Presidents day!  For those of you who had the day off, I hope you made the most of it!

I started out the morning with one of my egg and spinach breakfast burritos!  Yum!  I had a very busy day ahead of me and knew I would need the energy!

I also went grocery shopping this AM (which was awesome because there was NO ONE in the grocery store on a Monday morning!).  Today was a cross train day for the marathon training so I did the Core Synergistics P90X DVD and went to a noon time spin class at my gym.  This DVD is still so hard!  I have done it at least 5 times now and each time it still challenges me!  Yay!  The spin class was also awesome because it was very empty!  Apparently not a  lot of people had off today!  The class was only 40 minutes long so I went to my apartment gym afterward for some elliptical action.  I was psyched because there was a “16 and Pregnant” marathon on MTV (and no I am not too old to enjoy the fine, fine MTV reality show) which helped my workout fly by.  Things unfortunately got awkward when Farrah was giving birth and an older gentleman walked in to get on the treadmill.  Me+ older man stranger+ TV birth scene with a 16 year old= AWKWARD!  I had no idea what to do.  So I hopped off the elliptical, gave him the remote, and headed home.  Horrible!

After I headed home I made a pancake!  I decided to make something I wouldn’t normally have time to make at lunch!  At pancake with a little blueberry jam and walnuts.  Too die for 🙂

The rest of the afternoon was awesome and relaxing.  Facial and a few hours spent at Barnes and Noble proved to be a winning combination.

For dinner I made this recipe from Cooking Light.  It turned out amazing!  The beef was flavorful, the sauce was perfect, and the mushrooms were the perfect touch.  I added some roasted red potatoes and green beans and you have a great Monday night meal 🙂

I hope everyone had a wonderful Monday!!!

New Years Dinner At Yaba’s by Kelli
January 5, 2010, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Holidays, Kelli, Restaurant, Vacation

This new years eve was absolutely incredible.  Stephen’s grandparents reserved a large table for the whole family for the entire night.  We ate dinner around 9PM and enjoyed lots (in other words, WAY too many) fun drinks and danced to the DJ!  The DJ was awesome.  She played different songs from the past decade and was really talented.  Now, on to the important part…  the food!

First course…  the “ugly” salad

Representing PA with some great Yeungling!!

My main course.  Half a maine lobster filled with crab meat.  O.M.G. It was good.

The carnivore’s main course.  Beef Tenderloin.

Dessert.  Berries with coconut whipped cream.

The whole fam!!

Happy 2010 everyone!!!

Hotel Pool Bar by Kelli
December 31, 2009, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Beer, Bread, Food, Holidays, Kelli

Stephen and I just spent the last 3 hours at the hotel pool bar in the sun.  I had a delicious margarita and two glasses of this “special” punch that was being made by the bar tender for the party they were having later tonight.  It was called “WIKI PUNCH” and consisted of dark rum, spiced rum, and some fruit juice.  Needless to say, I am tipsy.  Whenever I am tipsy I tend to have a 200 lbs woman come out of my consious (who I have now named “FRIGG”) who demands butter and cheese (maybe Frigg and Rachels 300lbs inner gay man could be friends?) .  She also likes to smash things such as potted plants and pumpkins and ejoys dancing to song such as ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’.  She first made an appearance in college, and Katie became quite fond of her.  I often hate her in the morning and vow that she will never make another appearance.  But alas, she always does.  And I always welcome her. 

Have a happy new year everyone!  I am sure I will be able to write about the adventures of Frigg tomorrow!!

Christmas Recap by Katie
December 26, 2009, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Cookies, Dinner, Holidays

Christmas morning started off with a tradition: sausage pancakes.  Brown a package of breakfast sausage, add it to the pancake batter, and cook up some ‘cakes.  The savory sausage is perfectly complemented by real maple syrup.

My Uncle Pat made a Bloody Mary mix that was very good but I’m not the biggest fan.  Everyone gets so excited for these drinks so I want to like them and always try them.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I got a new camera!  Can you tell by the picture quality??  After doing Christmas morning at my mom and step-dad’s, my siblings and I went over to my dad’s house.  There were plenty of appetizers like dip in a rye bread bowl, deviled eggs, and brie.  There was also shrimp and sliced fruit but no pictures!

For dinner, we had ham..

After dinner, there were cookies from an Italian Bakery.  I had one filled with raspberry jam!

All in all, a very wonderful day :).

This morning, I had a small breakfast.   My stomach has not been happy with all my eats lately, I’m sure if it’s the dairy or what. I wasn’t very hungry after all that rich food yesterday.

After breakfast, I had my hair dyed back closer to natural (brown) and chopped short! I will have to do a picture later! Tonight, I am heading to Corning, NY where I went to high school to see a bunch of friends for dinner and drinks. Have a good night!