Sunday, October 30, 2011

Washington DC

Another part of my East Coast Living and Travels!

I have been visiting the District ever since I was 16.  My brother worked in DC, so I always loved our visits.  He taught me a lot, and since he has a great memory like I do, he always remembers where he took me, and the best place to get amazing food.  I have been to Old Ebbitts about 4 times in the past two months, mostly because we went there.  It is also the go to place for my good friend E and I to go visit our former boss. 

I went to these restaurants with one of my good friends.  Loved them.  Great Italian at Il Canale, and Union Pub is like home..on the East Coast!

Il Canale.  Amazing food!

Union Pub.  Bears Mecca in DC. 

Union Pub

Go Hawks!

Oh Corey Crawford...

I am not sure when my next trip to DC will be since I am in Newport now, but I love it there, and have some amazing friends there. 

Pot Roast

I am in Rhode Island.  It got cold this weekend, and almost snowed, so I figured it was perfect for a crock pot recipe! 
I went out to buy a crock pot..and then looked for recipes online.  I kind of combined a few into one..and it turned out beautifully!

Pot Roast
Level: Easy
Time: Prep 15 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients: 1 pot roast (3-5 lbs)
                   sun dried tomatoes in oil (I used some bruscetta) (about 3 tablespoons)
                   whole mushrooms (entire container)
                   light Italian dressing (about half a bottle)

That is it.  I browned the pot roast meat on both sides, and placed it in the crock pot.  I covered it with some sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and dressing.  I cooked the roast for about 6 hours.  It was amazing!  Very tender and tasty.

I paired the pot roast with mashed potatoes, steamed veggies with cheese, red wine, and apple pie for dessert.  Perfect for a cold, windy Newport, RI day.  And for catching up with friends!  I swear this recipe will not disappoint!  I would have included a photo, but it disappeared. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Maria High School

I read in the local Chicago newspaper, the Chicago Suntimes, that my beloved alma mater is scheduled to close in 2013.  I am deeply saddened, but not shocked by this news. 

Maria High School Article

This school was established by the sisters of St. Casimir on the south side of Chicago over 100 years ago.  My older sister went here, and it was a great school.  Picking a high school was tough for me.  I wanted to go to St. Ignatius, but my parents couldn't afford it.  I do not regret the choice I made to go to Maria.  The slogan there was "The right size, the right mix, the right choice".  I wholeheartedly believe that.  Each class had 300 students, it was diverse, and I got the best education possible there.  The school is in the Marquette Park neighborhood in Chicago, and a few years ago, the CTA shut down various bus lines that went to the school.  This had enrollment go from over 1000 students, to just 200-300.  There is also a neighborhood hospital right next door to the school, Holy Cross.  I believe if this bus didn't get shut down, the school would still be thriving.  My classmates came from all over the city.  I was fortunate that my brother drove me to school every day, but I took 3 buses home.  15 minute drive in a car, 1.5 hour bus ride home.  Worth every minute.

I learned some excellent life lessons here.  I also met some of my best friends at this school.  I can't even do my 4 years justice in just one blog post.  The smells from the Nabisco factory..smelling Vanilla Wafers while waiting for lunch, post practice food at Huck Finn, school dances...the list goes on.  I will have to post again in the future about this.  A Catholic education is something that is near and dear to my heart, and something that I will provide to my children in the future (if I have kids!!)

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have moved 3 times in 3 months.  I have not watched TV since October 7th.  And I can honestly say, I don't miss it.  I kind of miss the news, etc..but I just look it up online.  I had to move, settle in a new house/city/job, and start school right away.  I took my first exam today, and I can honestly say I am happy I didn't have a tv around to interfere with studying.  I did well on the exam, and I hope I don't go crazy not watching NCIS, etc etc all the time.  I didn't want to get cable while I was in Rhode Island because I am only here until May.  That is a lot of money for cable when I will be in school or studying most of the time.  Then I move again.  I am debating still on NETFLIX..we shall see if I go down that road or just use the REDBOX when I really just want to unwind and watch a movie. 

I found this website while I was thinking about how I have almost gone an entire month without a TV.  It has a lot of interesting facts about tv viewing, etc. 

I have noticed I have slept more, worked out more, read more books, and cleaned the house more without the distractions of a tv. 

Let's hope this pattern of productivity continues!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mexican Salad

Mexican Salad

Level: Easy
Time: 5-10 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients: Salad greens of your choice
                  1 small can of corn
                  1 can of black beans
                  1 can of garbanzo beans
                  a few tablespoons of chipotle ranch dressing
                  tortilla strips to garnish (I used Fresh Gourmet Tri Color Tortilla Strips)

I rinsed the 3 cans of corn, black beans, and garbanzo beans, and mixed them together.  I added them to the greens.  I mixed in the salad dressing and tortilla strips to garnish. 

This salad comes in around 300 total calories, and is protein heavy with the black beans and garbanzo beans.  You can add grilled chicken strips for a more hearty salad.  I paired this with a Smart Ones quesadilla to make a 500 calorie dinner.  Definitely love this.  So simple and tasty!
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Night Sky

Last night, I went to dinner with a good friend, and we met up with some of her friends afterwards.  As we left their house, we noticed something.  The sky.  How clear it was.  The stars.  Honestly, it was amazing.  We all just kind of stopped, and looked up, appreciating the beauty.  It may sound silly, but it was breathtaking.  That is something you don't see in a big city..


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 7 and 8..

Day 7

My brother and I took Bella for a walk, and explored The Point while Mike slept in.  I woke him up nicely when we got back so I could cook everyone some breakfast.  It was raining on and off that day, so we drove to the Brick Market Mall and walked around.  Many nice stores there, and up and down Thames Street.  We ducked in Speakeasy to get away from a downpour, and enjoyed a pint of Pumpkin ale.  It was just what we needed.  We then continued to Bowen's Wharf, and ended up getting some chowder at the Black Pearl.  Great chowder.  We shopped a bit after, and noticed that they can and sell the stuff.  Who wants me to ship them some chowder??  We continued to wander and shop, and stumbled upon The White Horse Tavern.  The sign said "Oldest in America".  We had to see if this was the case, so we enjoyed a pint of Guiness there.  Yes, it is the oldest bar in America.  Pretty awesome.  We went home and relaxed, talked, and then headed out to dinner at the Fifth Element.  We shared some mussels, which were made much differently that what I am used to.  Amazing nevertheless.  I had redfish and arugula salad for dinner.  Yum!  I want to come back here, too.  Most of the nice restaurants in Newport have a few appetizer selections, a few salads, and a few dinner entrees.  I like this because it guarantees fresh food, and it is easy to decide what I want!

Day 8

I had to take my brother back early to the airport today.  After that, I slept for an hour, and we went to the Hungry Monkey for a small breakfast.  My friend recommended it.  So good!  We relaxed for a bit at the house, and then headed to Bowen's Wharf for the seafood festival.  I wasn't feeling too well, so we came home and I slept until we had dinner with a dear friend of mine and her family.  We went to Anthony's.  Great for group dining.  The stuffies were amazing!
Mike had to leave the next day which was sad..but we had an amazing week together.  So happy to see him again!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Days 5 and 6

Day 5

Today I went for another nice run, and checked into work.  It was nice to get some initial paperwork done.  Mike and I went to a few stores, like PETCO, to stock up on food for Bella.  We stopped at the Brick Market Mall to get some sandwiches at the Italian market.  They were amazing!  We went home, took a nap, and headed out to the Breakers and to the Cliff Walk.  It was a bit overcast and rainy that day, but the tour of the Breakers was just as amazing as the last time I was there.  After the Cliff Walk, we headed to Scales and Shells.  I had the most amazing broiled scallops!  Highly recommend this place!

About to start our tour of The Breakers!

The Breakers

Amazing back yard!

Mike and I in the back of the Breakers!

Cliff Walk


True Cliff Walking..
Day 6

My youngest brother was visiting today to bring my Bella back to me!  He had some horrible flight delays, and other drama with the airlines.  This gave Mike and I some time to see some more sights.  He had never been wine tasting before, so we head to the Newport Vineyards.  Good choice!  I really enjoyed the Rochambeau and the Rising Tide.  We ate at the cafe next door, and headed up to Providence.  I needed to go shopping before we got my brother and Bella.  I have noticed one thing about Rhode Island, and it is that streets signs are not always placed...well...appropriately.  I feel like I am guessing most of the time when I am driving.  No fun. 
We got Bella safe and sound, and all 4 of us went back to Newport.  She travelled so well, which made me happy.  She had a long day, too.  After we got her settled at the house, we headed out for the traditional Thursday evening at the Officers Club.  Lobster Night!  Lobster and veggies at a great price.  I have never actually prepped my own lobster before, so it was a fun experience.  We then came home and talked for a while at my kitchen table.  I have the best table in this house.  Perfect for warm conversation!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 3 and 4..

Day 3

I got up very early to go run, and then go into work to check in.  I was greeted by a former Iwo Jima Sailor and a former Porter Sailor, both who work at my school now.  It was nice to see some familiar faces.  I then rushed home to change, and go to Providence to pick up Mike from the airport.  It was so good to see him!  It had been 2 months, which seemed like forever.  We drove back to Newport, and walked around the area.  We walked all up and down Thames Street, and had some drinks and lunch at O'Briens.  I would go there again for drinks, because they do have an amazing bar.  The food wasn't the best, but I would go back in the spring just to enjoy their outdoor patio.  We continued to explore Thames Street, and headed back to my place.  We relaxed for a bit, and then changed to head out to Buskers to Bear Down and watch the Bears game. 

Thames Street

Bearing Down, Newport Style!

Day 4

Moving day.  We woke up early, I made us breakfast, and we waited for the movers to come.  We met them at my storage unit, and had them move about 10 boxes into my house.  I must have my winter coats and sweaters!  After the fastest Navy moving experience to date, I made a nice lunch.  Then we unpacked some boxes and relaxed a bit.  We decided tonight would be perfect for a date I suggested a romantic sunset walk and dinner.  I am glad he went along with my plan!  We walked along the pier, sat in the park on a bench, and watched the waves and the sunset.  It was nice to just relax.  The sunset was blocked by some ominous clouds, so we left a bit early and went to Celtica for a drink before our dinner reservation.  We had dinner at Rhumbline.  It is a nice little house on Bridge Street.  We had an amazing dinner here.  Mike had the Veal Osso Bucco, and I had Pork Tenderloin.  This has to have been the best meal I have had in months.  So amazing!  I can't wait to have another date night here!

Walk on the pier..

Sun setting over Goat Island
More fun to be continued..

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My first few days in Newport!

Day 1

I left Dahlgren, VA around 6 am to start my drive to Rhode Island.  I was so happy to leave, but sad to leave my friends in VA.  It was amazing driving up 95, seeing states and cities I have never been to.  I can't wait to go to NYC for a weekend.  I have been all around the world, but I have never been there! I got to Rhode Island around 3pm, and met my realtor.  She gave me the keys to my castle, and showed me around.  It is a beautiful B&B, and I have the first floor for Bella and I.  It is perfect for my time here in school.  Great location, nice yard, and cozy.  After I unpacked my car, I walked around The Point, which is where I live.  It is a historic neighborhood, with many homes dating back to the Revolutionary War, including mine.  I took some photos, and went to an Irish Pub, Buskers, for dinner.  It was a busy day, being Columbus day weekend, and a quick dinner at the pub was just what I needed.  I then walked around the area, and wandered into The Ball and Claw.  Beautiful store with coastal goodies and gorgeous hand carved furniture. 

Day 2

I woke up and immediately started to get the house in order, room by room.  I had visitors coming, so I needed to ensure the house was organized, bedding was clean, etc.  I then went grocery shopping, and hit up the Walmart and the Stop N Shop.  The Walmart wasn't that impressive, rather small than what I am used to, and not 24 hours.  The Stop N Shop trip was a success, and I started to stock up my fridge and pantry.  I went to brunch later in the day with a friend of mine from Great Lakes.  We had some breakfast burritos at the Salvation Cafe.  Very trendy, and amazing food. I am looking forward to more brunch outings there!  After brunch I got my paperwork in order, and prepped for Monday.  I wanted to check into work, and prep for my boyfriends arrival to Newport!!

To be continued..for more food updates, and adventure..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip

One of my good friends has made this for me a few times recently, and I decided to make it on my own.

Level: Easy
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:  1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened            
                   1 bottle of hot sauce (I used Franks Red Hot Sauce, add to taste)
                   1-2 cans of white premium canned chicken
                   tortilla chips or crackers

I mixed the cream cheese and chicken together in a saucepan, and added the hot sauce to taste.  I used about 1/4 of a 12 oz bottle.  My guy doesn't like spicy food, so I didn't add much for him.  Normally, I would have used much more.  This recipe is super simple, and I love to make it for company!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Ocean State

I have officially lived in Rhode Island for about 1 week.  It has been pretty incredible so far.  I have seen a lot, but mostly felt like I ate my way through Newport this past week.  That is what happens when you have visitors! 

I have walked around a lot, and now even more with Bella.  My youngest brother brought her to Newport Thursday afternoon.  She is definitely loving the walks, the backyard, and even saw the ocean for the first time.  She just watched the waves and contemplated jumping in.  The water is cold, so there is no way I was letting her!  Many of the photos have the Newport Bridge in the background.  You can read about it here.
Sunset walk on The Point

Goat Island is across the water..

Newport Bridge..or the Pell Bridge

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Recipes!

I have come up with a new challenge for myself.  Now that I am in Newport, and have a fabulous kitchen, I will try 1 new recipe a week.  I also have some friends I really want to have over, so we can catch up, so this is perfect!  I am going to try some recipes I have been dying to try, as well as some that get me out of my comfort zone with cooking.  Stay tuned...


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hello Rhode Island!

I have arrived in Newport, RI.  I moved here Saturday, and it has been busy ever since.  Unpacking, walking around the new neighborhood, shopping, eating amazing seafood, etc. 

I get my puppy dog back today!  I will have to write more later, and post photos of the great week I have had so far. 


On a separate note, Happy Birthday to the Navy!  I will be celebrating tonight!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye Virginia...helllooo Rhode Island!

I will be moving once again this weekend, from Virginia to Rhode Island.  I am excited because I am going to see my guy, getting my dog back, and starting part 2 of my 3 part adventure.  I will be so happy when my class is finished tomorrow. 

I can't wait to cook again, have a place to call my own, and be out of the barracks.  Just having a kitchen, a yard,! 

Plus, I can't wait for all the adventures that I have waiting for me in New England!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fredericksburg Battlefield

I knew that I had to do a tourist day in Fredericksburg at least once while I lived in Northern Virginia.  It was an amazing day.  I spent the day on my own, and I took a trolley tour of the town.  The tour guide was a sprightly, entertaining retiree.  His jokes and sense of humor made the tour so much fun!  I decided to retrack some of the tour, to take pictures.  After I walked around the town, I went to the Battlefield and the Sunken Road to explore on my own. 

Visitors Center

Notice the Cannonball.  Still there!

Slave auction block.

Mary Washington's Home.

The Sunken Road

Angel of Mayre's Heights.

Self Portrait.  Must have 1.


Field artillery

I loved walking around on the Battlefield on my own.  I have developed a love of these sacred grounds over the years.  I have seen Verdun, Normandy, Pearl Harbor, and countless others. Visiting these places makes me appreciate history, and the sacrifices those fallen soldiers made.