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Third Times the Charm

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I felt like I needed to write something, since it’s been very quiet here for a while. When I launched this blog it was a way for me to share recipes that I love. It was so much fun putting everything together, taking mediocre photos, and sharing stories. But I started to feel restricted, so I re-branded. And I’m feeling like the re-brand was a bit half-assed to be completely honest, and I was getting bored. I was sort of walking in circles trying to figure out the best direction to go. I work full time as well, so I want to focus spare energy on something that I’m excited about and it was becoming a struggle.

The thing is, I’m tired. I’m tired of just sharing recipes, I’m tired of trying to get the “perfect” shot. I want so much more for this space. We’re not perfect, but we have fun together, individually, but more importantly honestly. So it got me thinking, if I want more for this space, how about making this space more. Duh! After talking to my husband, we agreed to take a leap and take this on as a family. Giving us a chance to share more about us individually, and together. My husband is into gaming and grilling and guy things. I’m into gardening, and cooking, and knitting and sewing, my son is a silly 4 year old who loves to review toys for us, and get in the kitchen and just have fun! I always ask myself, what DO you want to do when you grow up? I know I want to enjoy the little time I have with my family, write (almost literally) our story and share it with people who are interested. I want to celebrate the things that make us unique, maybe boring at times, but hopefully relatable to other people out there.

So, we are going to rebrand again. Third times the charm! If you follow me on social media, you might have seen me use the hashtag “Growing Up Morales”. Well…..Drum roll……  this is going to be our new brand! The blog, maybe a vlog, and definitely a whole lot of fun. We will have our separate spaces where we can share our interests but also document us “growing up” as a family. I hate the term growing old, although truly what happens, I prefer the concept of always growing up – personally, literally, as individuals and together. There will be a little of everything on here, so I hope that you come back to check it out. We do not have an official date in mind to official reveal everything, but we will share when we do! Follow me on social media as Live Everyday Fresh and follow us at #growingupmorales.

Earth Day 2018

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Earth Day! Such an important day to celebrate. This year, Anthony’s teacher dedicated a week to learning about taking care of where we live. It’s all he talked about and I was super proud. His teacher does a phenomenal job teaching awareness, kindness, and taking care of the planet. All things that are super important! We kicked off our Earth Day celebration on Saturday. We spent a good amount of time outside in the afternoon. It’s been terrible weather here, like many places, so when we saw that glow outside, we ran out there to take advantage. Dare I say the Spring like weather has FINALLY made its return!

This year, I wanted to focus my Earth Day post on something special that we, as a family, are changing to make a difference right in our own yard. About two years ago, we had to remove a gigantic maple tree from our backyard. It was the saddest day because I absolutely loved that tree. We would sit under it, it provided so much shade, and then it provided carpenter ants. The tree was infested and it was losing its integrity. One good storm and it would have come down anyway. But, last year, we decided to replace the one tree with about a dozen fruit trees and some fruit bushes. We also planted a few lilac bushes and some other greenery. This year the focus has been on expanding our garden. Welcome Morales Family Farm! I feel like we could feed a community with what we are planting. Which is fantastic. I am beyond thrilled that my husband is getting into it this year as well. Usually it’s me planning it out, but this year it’s a family affair. I love Farm to table but there is nothing like yard to table. I love being able to go outside and pick right from our yard. It also tastes better. When I would cut up cucumbers for my son he would always ask “is this from our yard?” We even grew watermelon that was so sweet. Anthony would never eat it until we grew our own. Then he wouldn’t stop. There are other ways to garden, even if you do not have a ton of space. Urban gardens, container gardens, even an herb garden is a great place to start!

 

Boston Love

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I have lived in Massachusetts my entire life. I LOVE New England. There is something about the Boston spirit that makes me proud to live in this state. To start, we have awesome spots teams – if that is your thing. We do love the Bruins. Education is a main theme, hello Harvard, MIT….just to name drop a couple. But there is also so much history and culture here (have I mentioned the accent yet?). Whether you’re living near the Common, near the Back Bay, Cambridge, the North End, or Fenway (Go Sox!) there is always something going on. Farmer’s Markets, outdoor entertainment, New England Sea Aquarium, The Science Museum….. Shake Shack. Being a food blogger, my preference for spots to visit revolves heavily around the food scene. Boston is certainly not lacking in that, at all. Whether you are planning your next trip to Boston or looking to relocate, you need to check out Boston Real Estate.

 

Even though I’m from Massachusetts, I always feel like a tourist when I’m there. I love walking through Faneuil Hall or through Quincy Market. But I also love that when you walk outside, every neighborhood has its own personality. One of my favorite spots to visit is around the Financial District. Milk Street is home to dozens of fantastic restaurants, but my absolute favorite is Granary Tavern. We always have the best meal. When you are done, you can walk right across the street to the New England Aquarium. You can take a Harbor cruise, a Duck Tour, or just walk through the Waterfront Park. It’s truly a beautiful spot in the city. Also, not to be missed is Kane’s Donuts. Seriously, one look at their Instagram feed and you are going to want all the donuts. All walking distance from each other you can burn calories while you take in the scenery!

 

Boston’s Back Bay is another favorite spot of mine. Home to the Boston Public Garden, which also touches the theatre district. It’s full of awesome spots to shop. The Prudential Center, Copley Place, to name a couple. Again, so many food options here. The Prudential Center is home to the somewhat new Eataly Boston. The mecca for Italian gastronomy. Cue angelic sounds here!  Whether you are looking to dine out, or take some delicious treats home, it’s a spot to hit. They have so many counters featuring goodies of all kinds.  Another favorite is Saltie Girl Seafood Bar. If you like seafood, fun cocktails, and an awesome vibe, then you have to go here. The menu is nothing short of fabulous.

 

South Boston is a historic spot that is thriving. It’s great for young professionals, with money. But it’s a favorite of mine. I love the atmosphere. You’ve got beachfront and history all tied up into this up and coming place. Because I’m a foodie, if you are looking for a spot to get literally the best brunch, then you need to visit Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant. Not too far from there is Capo and Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar. All very highly recommended.

 

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January Favs

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Late last year, I had relaunched my blog. I did this to really open up the content opportunities, so I could share more than just food. Today I am looking beyond the kitchen and sharing some of the other things that I am digging this month. Yea, I said digging. This list is in no particular order.

  1. The Crown: Talk about drama…. I am in LOVE with this Netflix series. I am honestly not sure why it took me until season 2 to watch this. Literally every person I talked to, recommended it. If that’s not an obvious sign, I’m not sure what is. So, I started to watch it while I had some time off at the end of the year. Oh.My.God. It’s fantastic. I highly highly recommend it.
  2. Smitten Kitchen Everyday: You have likely noticed that a lot of my recipes are from Smitten Kitchen, for a VERY good reason. They are fantastic! I got myself the book as a birthday gift to myself, because I’m impatient and cannot wait to get these things as gifts. I just about dogeared every page because each recipe was something new and exciting that I absolutely cannot wait to try. I recommend her blog to anyone interested in cooking. I love her writing style and her relaxed approach to recipes. Sure, some may have a bunch of steps, but it’s relatable and they are delicious.
  3. Schitts Creek: If I had to rank my favs, this would be number one. It’s an absolute must. This show is unbelievably funny. A colleague had recommended it, and basically anything with Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara in it, I am down to watch. The entire cast is amazing, and so talented. The episodes get better every time you watch them, so I recommend watching repeatedly. There are so many laugh out loud moments and I am so glad this was recommended to me. I feel obligated to share the wealth. It’s just too funny to miss.
  4. Wax and Wool: If you are looking for an amazing candle…. This is your place to go. I live in Massachusetts where the Yankee Candle flagship store is not far from my office. Maybe by default, it would seem like I have a preference, but honestly, it’s rare that I find a scent there that I can burn without a headache. When I was pregnant I had this wicked aversion to fragrances. Anything too perfumey would cause the worst headache and make me nauseous. Like French fries, this is one pregnancy thing I have not been able to kick. I had seen these on a fellow bloggers site. She was running a promo so I bought a couple. I thought, worst case scenario I can gift the unused ones and it won’t be a total loss. But, I didn’t need to. Finally, I found a candle that I can burn with literally no issues. They smell AMAZING!
  5. Only Love Today: I get all the feels when I think about this book. I’m part way through and still would recommend it to anyone looking for that reminder to be present now. For me, I get very caught up in basically everything. It’s partly my anxiety, but partly my not being able to say no. I let the insignificant things get the best of me, and really put less focus on what’s important. Just the other day, I was feeling overwhelmed and my son came over to me to explain something. At first my heart was racing like I don’t have time for this, but I sat down on the floor and gave him my undivided attention. Listening him explain to me whatever it was literally melted away my anxiety and I thought, this is exactly what this books message is. It’s perfection.
  6. Girlboss Podcast: Women who have made their mark?! Love it!! This podcast has been on every commute to work. It’s so inspiring and motivating. Definitely worth a listen.
  7. Blanket Scarves: Ok, when you are living in below zero temps for a few weeks, you are going to want to wrap yourself in one of these too. It doesn’t help when the part of the office where I sit feels like the outside temps at times. It has been to the bone cold and these scarves have been a wardrobe must. Nothing beats being cozy all day!
  8. Wine All the Time: I love this book. Almost enough said! If you want to learn more about wine, without being a d!ck about it, then this is your book. And yes, I did say that. The book covers this too, but there are so many people out there that talk a big wine game without really knowing about wine. This gives you upper hand knowledge without making you the worst.
  9. Fresh Lip Treatment: Just like a blanket scarf, lip treatment is super important particularly when your face becomes an ice cube as soon as you leave the house. Fresh is one of my favorites. I love the light tint, though I tend to layer it on, so it’s more than a tint, but it works. It’s also great to wear over other lip color or under gloss.

HEY LOOK, KIDS, THERE’S BIG BEN, AND THERE’S PARLIAMENT

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National Lampoon’s European Vacation is one of my favorite movies. I had it in the back of my mind during my recent trip to Europe. My sister and I always compare our family to the Griswold’s. Every time we take a family trip, anywhere, something silly happens. Although this trip was for work, I carried on the tradition. The week was packed. We were in London, Geneva, Zurich, Milan, and Munich.

London was great, after I got through the anxiety of having no sleep and finding out my son had got the stomach bug. It felt like literally everything I was worried about happening that week, happened. It was my first time away from my son for so long. I have to admit I was dreading that part the most. I’m anxious when I’m hone and he gets sick, but being so far away, was terrible. But, he was fine, my husband did great. The day was full of meetings, but the best part was the last meeting of the day. We were in Shepherd’s Market at L’ETO. I got what was literally the best iced tea I’ve ever had. The café was the perfect vibe and I was totally in my element. If I could have spent all day there, I would have.

We left for Geneva that evening and arrived late. I will say, the hotel situation on Sunday night was not great. I was absolutely exhausted, but Geneva did not disappoint. The hotel was beautiful and if you are ever in Geneva and are looking for a great place to stay. I loved Switzerland. It was so beautiful. Our time in Geneva was short, but I loved being there. Even if it was just for a day.

That afternoon we traveled to Zurich. We stay at Motel One, which is super funky.  We found an awesome spot to grab dinner and I would highly recommend. Di Gioia Cafe is a small spot with amazing food. An absolute must while you are there is Sprungli. Literally the best chocolate. Zurich is absolutely stunning. It’s so picturesque and lovely. Absolutely lovely. I could have stayed there the rest of the week. But, you know, heading to Milan next was an “ok you twisted my arm, I’ll leave” moment. We took a train from Zurich to Milan. The view, some of which is pictured below, is breathtaking. I wish I could have gotten better shots, but it’s so hard from the train. If you are ever traveling to Italy, definitely go for the train.

Milan, I mean what can I even say about Milan. It was certainly a highlight of the trip. The landscape is so beautiful and the food. It’s every foodies dream. Sometimes when I travel I like to play it safe and eat things that are normal for me, but this trip I let go a bit. I had venison in Geneva, a lot of raw fish in Milan, and a traditional meal in Oktoberfest. All of which did not disappoint. But back to Milan. There are so many things to take pictures of while you’re there. I was fairly isolated to the inner circle of the city, but even that was plenty to keep me occupied for the short time I had. I would love to go back and visit again.

The last stop of the trip was Munich. We attended Oktoberfest which I have to admit I Was nervous about yet pleasantly surprised. I was out of my element, for sure, but I was ok with that. With the week starting out so stressful, I just sort of let myself let go of that for a bit and just relax and take it all in. We got to wear the traditional dress, and get the full experience. Honestly, I think it’s something you would want to experience at least once. I’m glad it’s checked off the bucket list. The trip was great but I’m so happy to be home and get back into the normal groove. I will be posting some fun recipes this week so be sure to stop back!