Month in Review: March 2017

Destinations Visited

Pittsburgh, PA

Cleveland, OH

Favorite Destination of the Month

Pittsburgh. After all the miles and stress of February, it was awesome to just stay put at home for all but one weekend of the month. In fact, I would have been very happy never to leave Pittsburgh at all, but a friend needed help moving and when I’m available to help, I help.

Best Travel Moments

Seeing Beauty and the Beast. I’m one of those Millenials at the just the perfect age to love animated Belle and Emma Watson equally and fiercely. So when I found out Emma Watson would be playing Belle in the new movie, it was as if all my childhood dreams had come true. My two major fictional idols (Belle and Hermione) were going to become a beautiful mashup for me to love as an adult! I had very high expectations for this movie and they were met. It was magical. I haven’t enjoyed going to a movie that much in a very long time.

Dinner and dancing at Hofbrauhaus Cleveland. After helping my friend move, we all went out to the Hofbrauhaus for dinner and drinks. The music, food, and beer were excellent. I spent the evening dancing the night away with my friend Donnie and the rest joined us from time to time but mostly enjoyed watching us make a spectacle of ourselves (along with about 1/3 of the people in the place!) – it was so freeing to let loose among friends.

Pizza at Mercurio’s. We have a wonderful Neapolitan pizza place in my neighborhood. Whenever Kevin and I get to reminiscing about our time in Naples, we crave the pizzas so delicious that we both adore them without cheese. The Pizza Marinara is a staple on menus in Napoli even though it’s just dough, tomato sauce, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mercurio’s does the best version of Pizza Marinara we’ve found anywhere outside of Naples. Plus, they have tons of other great combos the include their made-in-house mozzarella cheese. Last time I had the olive and Kevin had the mushroom. So delicious. I’m ready to go back already!

Worst Travel Moments

Greyhound. I will never understand why the bus drivers just treat everyone like crap across the board. I’ve traveled with Greyhound dozens of times and I’ve only had one nice driver. Megabus, could you bring back the Pittsburgh to Cleveland route please??

Going to the ER to get a CT of my sinuses. My sinus infection that I got in February stuck around well into March and at one point the pain in my face was so bad I wound up in the ER. I was so worried I had an abscess in my sinus cavity. But luckily, I don’t! It’s “just” TMJ disorder that had been mild before but was aggravated by the inflammation from my sinus infection. I spent a couple days taking Percocet and then discovered that craniosacral massage successfully relieves the TMJ pain. I wish it hadn’t taken an ER visit to figure this out, but I feel very healthy now and the TMJ disorder is mild again so…yay!

Favorite Travel Tool

My favorite travel tool this month is actually a travel hack for coming home after a trip with no energy for meal prep or grocery shopping: Blue Apron. I scheduled my Blue Apron box to arrive the day I got home and it covered dinners for three nights. For me, that’s plenty of time to get my meal prep act together but also rest after travel and only worry over the laundry. Meal prep is something I enjoy, but there are certain times when it’s just a chore and I’d rather skip those times. Having dinner taken care of was wonderful! And the meals were pretty good too. We got three meals and loved two: Italian Cod Stew and Chicken with French Lentils. The Mushroom Miso Burgers were just okay. I kept the Italian Cod Stew recipe to make again because it was so tasty!

Since Kevin and I eat the same things week after week for breakfast and lunch that requires no prep and we always have extra stuff around so Blue Apron really cured my post-trip meal prep burnout. In April, I’ll also be trying Hello Fresh, which offers a similar service.

Favorite New Food

My favorite food this month is just a new recipe using my favorite breakfast superfoods protein powder. Here’s the recipe:

Irish Cream Shakeology

Blend the following ingredients until thick and creamy:

1 scoop cafe latte Shakeology
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cocoa or 1 square dark chocolate
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ice

 

Fitness Accomplishments

I resumed my marathon training plan! The marathon is only one month away and since I’m so behind in training I will be walking this one instead of running it. But I’m really proud of myself for committing to walking. It would have been so easy to just quit.

In any fitness endeavor, it is essential to have a really strong why if you want to succeed. My why couldn’t be any stronger for this marathon because I’m also committed to raising funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF). The fundraiser is tied to the marathon and while I might quit on a race I would never quit on fundraising for CCF.

Kevin and Gimli have been crazy supportive. Thanks guys!

Blog Posts I Loved

Thrillable Hours: Lebawit Lily Girma, Author and Photographer

 

The Worst Books I’ve Ever Read

 

Is Cooking at Sea the Hardest Place to be a Chef?

 

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