CONNECTED!

Guys, I FINALLY scrounged up enough cash to buy a new computer! I’m writing this from my brand new MacBook Pro! I’ve wanted a Mac for years, since I first went to college actually, so I’m basically in geeky heaven right now.  I will finally be able to blog more regularly seeing as I won’t be sharing a computer with my entire family any more.

I digress.

August was a pretty good month for me, all things considered. I’ll give you a quick TL;DR of my life at the moment.

Last year, Freddy won a smoker at a fundraiser that he organized for one of his fellow firefighters. He finally busted it out two weeks ago, and the results were beyond amazing.

Smoking meat takes a long time, but oh my god, the brisket he smoked was out of this world. I’m not really a big red meat or pork person generally, but I really loved the brisket and even the pork shoulder. Not to mention spending all that time with my friends was great.  We’re all in different directions so it’s great when everyone is all in one place.

Last weekend, I went to my cousin Matthew’s eighth birthday party. It’s so weird to see him and Andrew grow up. In some respect I’ll always see them as babies, but they are both so grown up right now! I had a great time spending time with my family and seeing some extended family members I typically only see on holidays.

Finally, work has been busy-good. I’ve been going on six week site visits for our July cohort of VISTAs. The purpose of the site visit is to make sure the VISTAs are doing well at work and in life. I have a list of questions I ask them and I get to look at their office space, etc.

My function is to act as a support system for the VISTAs throughout their year of service, so the site visits are a really good way to get to know the VISTAs on a one-to-one basis.  I’ve always enjoyed the mentoring aspect of the job’s I’ve had (coughkimballcough), so the site visits were pretty fun for me.  I am not their supervisor, so I don’t have authority over the day -to-day aspects of their jobs, but I am there to help troubleshoot and ensure that their service years go smoothly.

Speaking of work, I’m off to Leader training in Chicago on Tuesday! My supervisor, who had the Leader gig before me, says that Leader Training is a lot more professional-development focused than regular VISTA PSO, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve also never been to Chicago, and as a VISTA, I don’t really make enough money to travel extensively. All in all, it should be a good time.

ALSO: I got my business cards last week. I was promised cards last year but never got them (and let me just tell you, giving people your contact info on index cards or post-it notes doesn’t feel very classy or professional), so I was stupid excited to actually get some. Now, I don’t know how I’m going to use them all in a year….

I’m going back to the start

So I’m back from a great weekend! My wonderful friend Tina was on the East Coast this weekend, so Sarah, Meghan, and I all met up with her in Worcester! We spent some time hanging out on the Holy Cross campus and reminiscing about our HC days.

There have been so many changes on campus in the year since we graduated! HC got rid of a set of rickety old stairs that my friends and I dubbed “the creepy stairs” and replaced them with a classy cement (I think) staircase complete with benches. The Hogan quad also got a major upgrade.

Say what you will, but Holy Cross has probably the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen.

 I didn’t really take too many pictures of the campus after graduation, so I aggressively Instagrammed the hell out of everything I saw.  I just love showing off my alma mater!

Afterwords, we got Vietnamese! I had pho for the first time, and now I’m obsessed. Luckily for me,  Wallingford recently got a Vietnamese restaurant!

Finally,  only a few days after our visit, Father Brooks, the President Emeritus of the College, passed away. Father Brooks was instrumental in shaping Holy Cross into the school it is today.  He led the way in integrating the school when many other voices were against him, and played a huge part in the school going coed.  Journalist Diane Brady even wrote Fraternity about several black men Father Brooks personally recruited and mentored at Holy Cross, including Clarence Thomas,  Stanley Grayson, Ted Wells, Ed Jones, and Eddie Jenkins. The book is a great read even if you’re not a Holy Cross alum, because Brady showed the school for what it was back in the day, warts and all.

Without Father Brooks,  many of my classmates definitely would not have had the experience we had at Holy Cross.  I never had the pleasure of meeting or taking a class with Father Brooks, but he played a huge role in developing Holy Cross into the amazing Jesuit liberal arts college it is today.

Black bean & mango quinoa salad

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NOM!

I made an amazing quinoa salad this weekend thanks to Eclectic Recipes!

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped fine
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Cook quinoa according to package directions with water. Add all other ingredients to a large bowl. When quinoa is cooked, add to large bowl and stir to combine. Let set for about 15 minutes before serving so that the flavors can combine.

I did make a couple changes to the recipe as written. I cooked the quinoa with chicken stock,used some roasted red peppers instead of fresh pepper, and mixed some red and white quinoa together.  I also added a couple cloves of garlic to the chicken stock because I am obsessed with garlic.

All in all, the end result was BANGIN’. Even my mom liked it and she hates quinoa.  I’ve had leftovers for lunch for the past two days and I’m still not tired of it.

back to the real world

So vacation is over and I’m back to the office!

All in all, last week was a much needed break. I got to spend some time with my friends from home, which was awesome because I’m usually too tired/cranky to hang out after work.

On the Saturday before Memorial Day my friend Alysha had a meat party at her house. We cooked all types of meat over an open flame and enjoyed some brews.  Nothing beats good friends and a warm fire.

This past weekend I went camping FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME on Cape Cod with some of my friends from Holy Cross/the HCGTMB.  I’ve decided that I’m not much of a wilderness/camping kind of girl, but I had a great time hanging out with some wonderful people that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  I met up with my friends Lindsey and Meghan in Harvard, Mass, and then we drove up to BC to pick up our friend Brian.

Johan Santana got the first no hitter in Mets history, after 50 years and over 8,000 games! Unfortunately for me, I was camping with no TV access, and surrounded by Red Sox fans who didn’t understand how exciting this was for a poor old Mets fan like me. I’m so happy that Johan was the one who finally got it! He’s a true class act and an awesome Met.

Unfortunately, we got hit by a huge rain storm on Saturday. We made the best of it by going candle pin bowling.  I was a little disappointed that we didn’t encounter the Cape Cod Bear (the black bear that swam across the Cape Cod canal and has been wandering around the Cape ever since), but all in all, I had fun.

I also got a bit of reading and pool time in last week

Now, back to reality…

I am an Instagram Addict