coffee

MasterChef: Coffee & Tag Team

It’s the top 7 home cooks in the kitchen this week on MasterChef and they are trying to be the top 6.  What’s standing in between each of them an that distinction?  Oh, a Mystery Box Challenge.  They pull away their boxes to reveal a cup of coffee.  These Mystery Boxes have gotten very symbolic, eh?

The home cooks get an hour to create a dish out of something we are very used to drinking, but perhapys not eating.  Many of the home cooks wisely choose to skew sweet.  The top three dishes are:

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Derrick with his beautiful blue eyes and arms caramel latte panna cotta, Hetal with her chocolate coffee cake, and Nick with his vanilla coffee pound cake.  Nick wins the advantage for the episode and his first Mystery Box Challenge!

Despite the win, Nick isn’t choosing what his fellow home cooks have to make.  Gordon, Graham, and Christina have done the picking.  Nick gets the free pass into the top 6 and the ability to form the teams for the challenge.  They home cooks will work in pairs to recreate the summer appetizer platter put before them.  It includes chicken wings, shrimp skewers, chips and guac, sliders, pigs in blankets, and oh yeah, did we mention it’s the tag team challenge?  The home cooks will be tagging in and out to create one platter, together.  Nick is particularly strategic in forming the team of Stephen & Derrick, though they are perhaps the two strongest home cooks… they don’t enjoy each other.  Another strategic choice comes in the form of pairing Tommy & Katrina, who have bashed heads before.  This leaves Claudia and Hetal together.

As expected, Stephen & Derrick are an explosive combination.  Stephen does A LOT of frantic yelling and they make me nervous altogether.  It’s also stressful to watch Tommy & Katrina, where again we have Katrina yelling a lot at Tommy and Tommy telling her to stop yelling at him.  Things are relatively calm for Claudia & Hetal, who seem to work together fairly well.  When the final minutes tick away, we see Derrick complete his team’s platter at the buzzer and it looks perfect!

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Derrick & Stephen prove they are a force to be reckoned with, despite working against each other and Gordon mocking they way they yelled.  Despite the smooth sailing, Hetal and Claudia did not fair so well.  Their platter is a mess, and for some reason there are burnt mushrooms everywhere.  The shrimp is raw.  It’s a pretty similar story for Tommy and Katrina, for whom the judges can barely find anything positive to say.

Derrick & Stephen earns their safety easily, and pop up to the balcony as champions.  Hetal and Claudia have just a tiny advantage over Katrina & Tommy, and also find themselves safe.  Katrina gets saved, and Tommy is sent home.

He exits in supreme Tommy fashion, and it is glorious.  You do you, Tommy!  We’ll miss you.

So, at this point, I’m Team Derrick.  Who you all cheering for?!

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May by Day

Since June is barely even days away, it’s time to share my May instagrams!

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[1] I can’t believe how different the weather was in the beginning of the month!  At least I got to debut my Banana Republic dachshund sweater. [2] My youngest cousin made her First Communion!  Here’s my family all dressed up. [3] I bought my first ever pair of Jacks!  They’re Nicole, platinum & gold. [4] I did a 5k walk for my cousin’s company through Forest Hills Cemetery, which was spellbindingly beautiful! [5] Selfies were taken in my signature camo jacket. [6] My ModCloth jewelry arrived!  Did you guess right? [7] Memorial Day weekend brought my triumphant return to the Ocean State!  Here are some Rhode Island things. [8] The beach house got all dressed up for a new season. [9] And I even got started on my tan!

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

What summer fun do you have planned for June?!

Marching On…

Happy April!  It’s got to be spring now, right?  There will be no April Fool-ing you here today– just an insta-recap of the month we just left!

March started out slow for my instagram game, but before the mont was over, I had so many awesome shots to chose from!  I’m sharing 9, as usual, that signify some of the cool stuff I did last month.

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[1] March started with the oddest flower delivery of all time– this arrangement was sent to me by UPS as an apology for a customer service faux pas! [2] I enjoyed a couple of restaurant week dinners.  Here’s my delicious dessert from dinner at Tapeo with Celina and Elissa. [3] I have been mildly obsessed with the tiramisu latte at Starbucks.  [4] I shopped a lot!  I wasn’t in the mood to buy clothes in the cold weather, but I did pick up some pretty make-up items [5] I played a lot of Nintendo 3DS!  This should come as a surprise to no one.  I’ve been trading pokémon with my friend, Tim, which has made the experience so much better. [6] I won an instagram contest with this picture from a barre class at Simply Barre in Southie, hosted by Elissa! [7] I battled more cold weather.  Boston will just not let up! [8] My new Hunter boots arrived!  There is a whole saga behind this, but the short version is: my beloved Hunters bit the dust after the worst winter ever.  Customer service did me a little bit of a solid and helped me get a new pair to love! [9] I took some selfies.  Again, this should come as a surprise to no one.

Farewell February

I’m not going to lie, I’m super happy this month is over.  February was a lot of indoor living, slush and sadness.

This month has buried Boston in snow and everyone’s seasonal depression has gotten worse. I feel like I’ve been super productive lately, but all of my progress is overshadowed by the little annoyances that have crept in… I’m ready for some changes, and a new month sounds like a good way to start!

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(1) Cheering the Patriots to victory in the suburbs with a blanket of snow already on the ground. (2) And then the storms came. Here’s Juno! (3) Cupcakes + coffee, super healthy breakfast on a snow day. (4) …Did I mention we got a lot of snow in Boston? (5) Got my hair done and vowed to be blonde forever. (6) I spent Valentine’s Day watching the Pokémon VCG regionals in St. Louis! (7) Majora’s Mask 3D came out!  This is one of my favorite games ever, so it’s great to have it portable. (8) I ate all of these macarons in one day, oops!  I’d love to try to bake some soon. (9) After 5 PM and it’s still almost light?  This is progress.

Are you looking forward to March as much as I am?

Tell me something good that you just can’t wait for!

Belated Birthday in Beacon Hill

At this point, my birthday was over a week ago… 10 days to be exact!  On the day itself, I celebrated by going to dinner with my family.  This weekend, my friend’s threw me a little birthday brunch to ring in my next year.  It snowed heavily in Boston on Saturday morning, and by the time we left the streets were slick with slush.  Still, I shuffled through Beacon Hill with a belly full of brunch, bag full of gifts, and heart full of thanks. Here’s my belated birthday recap! IMG_6919 [1] My brother got me a record player for my birthday! [2] He got my Taylor Swift’s 1989 as my first record. This is also the year I was born!  [3] My friend Julia got me this adorable iphone case featuring a dachshund drinking Starbucks and a nautical monogram wine tumbler! [4] My dear friend Stacie sent me these adorable dachshund magnets!  Are you sensing a theme? [5] My first selfie of age 26.  Eep. [6] Beacon Hill Bistro where I dined with my sweet friends Carissa, Kelsey, Chelsea, Sarah, and Elaina. [7] Poached eggs with hollandaise is my absolute favorite! [8] Carissa made me a cross-stitch Piplup! [9] Kelsey bought me these awesome Edward Gorey Tarot cards while we browsed the paper shops on Charles St.  My friends just get me. A sincere thank you to everyone who made me feel so special as I entered the latter half of my twenties.  It was a wonderful birthday and I sure hope that sets the precedent for the year!  And happy birthday to my fellow Capricorns!

Christmas Vacation Haul

As I’ve been saying, I took a bit of time off around Christmas to have a nice, long vacation. I got to enjoy the holiday in upstate New York with my family and I got to come back home, play video games (stayed tuned for ORAS progress tomorrow!) and of course, shop! I wanted to share with some of the new things I brought home!

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Top Row: Santa Baby

Mom & Dad got me this classic Omega timepiece for Christmas/my birthday, which is fast approaching! | My awesome parents also searched far & wide for this Martha Stewart dachshund pillow! I’m obsessed with dachshunds. | Martha Steward does me good every Christmas. You know you’re old when you’re psyched to unwrap mixing bowls!

Middle Row: Nicole Spends Money

Every relative is supporting my coffee habit this year. I’m swimming in Starbucks gift cards! | I picked up Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl at B&N last week. I guess this is officially my first read of 2015! | I gave in and started my Amiibo collection last week with the purchase of Pikachu & Kirby!

Bottom Row: Always Accessorize

My brother got me the Alex & Ani skeleton key earrings from the Providence Collection! I’d wanted these so badly! | When he ordered them for me, these Sacred Stud Anchors came up under “you may also like.” He thought I would also like and got them for me too! And I really do! | I bought myself a FitBit Flex on New Year’s Eve. It’s taken me a while to be able to fasten it on myself and to get it to track my sleep, but now that I’ve figured it out, I really like it!

 

What did you get for the holidays?