Monday Eats

Different kind of Monday. We moved into a new office space at work today! It wasn’t quite done this morning so I worked from the comfort of my couch. Somehow I’m infinitely more focused and productive if I start working right away. Made an extra delicious breakfast while I worked. Oatmeal with anything and everything I could find in it!

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The new office space is just one floor down from where we are currently but somehow the views seem to be even better. Brooklyn Bridge in one window, Manhattan Bridge in the other and a clear view of World Trade. Kinda crazy.

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Dinner was Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup. It turned out quite well. Tasted even more delicious than it looked and was just what I’ve been craving for weeks now. I mostly followed the recipe – didn’t blend the ingredients (because I don’t have a food processor) and did vegetable broth instead of chicken.

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My bowl of noodles didn’t quite live up to the photo on the blog where I found it.. but not too shabby for a Monday night and no food styling! The hardest part always seems to be having the right ingredients on hand and actually starting to cook. After that it’s easy & delicious.

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Summer Eats

There has been a whole lot of cooking going on this summer both at work and home.

Forgot to share this next photo in the post about my trip to Maryland. On the last night Mom asked what I wanted for dinner. In my typical, “i can’t decide” fashion I started listing things I wanted: enchiladas, tacos, beans, guacamole, corn, etc. Turns out she whipped them all up. Vegetarian enchiladas with roasted corn, pico de gallo, guacamole and a mango slaw. So so tasty. Thanks mom 🙂 Being indecisive is pretty tasty. 

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I’ve been working on some secret summer projects at work – we have a new client which means lots and lots of pasta! My day to day work life lately has consisted of grocery shopping, cooking, and photographing the food. 

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Jon brought me surprise flowers one night when i got back from Maryland – guess I was gone for a while! I was outside in the park enjoying one of the many summer concerts they have (this one was Barenaked Ladies and Guster) and he showed up with flowers and gelato! They made for a good breakfast backdrop for a while. 

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This was a failed recipe. Jon and I made guacamole pesto stuffed mushrooms. The idea of them was delicious but the recipe called for entirely too much garlic. Yuck.

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Tried making wheatberries one night. They’re definitely a lot chewier than I expected but worked well to have on hand for multiple meals! Added tomatoes, chick peas, parsley, olive oil and parmesan to this one. 

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The UX intern for the summer’s mom brought in cupcake/cookie type things. So tasty.

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Jon and I attempted black bean burgers one afternoon. We got in the habit over the summer of cooking on Sunday afternoons. Very relaxing way to end the weekend. This go around was spicy black bean burgers with avocado on little tiny rolls. Cute and tasty!

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For one of the Carrot-versaries at work, I made brownies with raw cookie dough on top – don’t worry it was a recipe without the egg. I didn’t want to be responsible for a company of 50+ people getting food poisoning! They were time consuming but seemed to work out well!

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The theme of most nights at home was vegetables! Somehow this one week I ended up with SO MANY. Roasted some corn, made some kale salad and lots of the extra eggplant and peppers were made into ratatouille. 

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We occasionally have BBQ’s at work and are asked to bring something in. This summer BBQ included pulled pork (and a veggie option of chili on chips) along with a huge number of pasta salads, regular salads and desserts!

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Huge summer salad!

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Jon and I made brunch one morning – scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes and mimosas. The rest of the ingredients weren’t pictured because we have bad cooking timing and got hungry. 

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The Weekend of Cooking

Lazy Sunday morning involving reading, coffee and church. It was luckily much cooler (finally!) due to the rain from the night before which made a walk through the neighborhood pretty nice. Stopped by the Farmer’s Market outside of church for some fresh peaches.

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Headed up to Astoria afterwards to make an early dinner. Jon had a recipe in mind – his Grandma’s blueberry dessert that he remembered having each time they had fresh blueberries around. With 20 lbs of blueberries among us, it seemed like the perfect time to try it.

I set to work doing the job that I can do best… smashing things. A meat tenderizer is a good tool for the job, right?

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Probably not the definition of healthy desserts but it was fantastically tasty and fun to make. It also motivated us to start a secret side project so look out for that in a month or so!

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Dinner was slightly less photogenic – wraps with sauteed mushrooms, spinach and feta. The wraps themselves kind of busted apart so that was rather unappetizing looking but delicious anyway. We cooked up some of his grandma’s green beans that came fresh from their garden to go along with every thing. Also on the menu was a homemade lemon ginger soda. A few weeks ago we went to this vietnamese place for the first time and Jon had the drink there. It was so delicious that we both agreed that we had to figure out how to make it. Whether or not it was an exact replica, it was really good.

It was our first weekend ever since I moved to NYC that we didn’t go out to eat for anything – not even coffee! A welcomed change and fun to be forced to come up with things to cook.

Ended the weekend with some soda up on the roof while we watched the sunset. Seriously so cool. I can’t get over how amazing the view is from up there, even after having been up there many times now.

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Recent Eats + A Monday Morning

I got the pictures together for this blog post a few weeks ago but then never proceeded to do anything with them. Today presented just the story to accompany the food!

As luck would have it, our fridge broke this morning and I spent the morning tossing out food (thanks Aunt Barb for the voice in my head saying ITS WARM TOSS IT OUT! good thing I didn’t have quite as much effort put into any of the food I lost though). After throwing out almost everything, I loaded up the few things that could be saved into a bag and brought them to work with me. Nothing like carrying 2 heavy bags (of watermelon, blueberries, tomatoes and zucchini) on the subway to make you feel like a pack mule.

Not to mention the grocery bag handle with the bad food broke on the way down to the trash. And it was rainy today so I had to figure out how to maneuver with the heavy bags, umbrella and subway card mix. Oh, and a laptop on my back. Yay NYC.

I sat down on the train and was feeling super frustrated and annoyed with the way my Monday morning was starting off only to sit next to a guy and his 1.5ish year old kid. Said kid (although quite cute) started screaming bloody murder for the next 5 stops. And the train stayed extra long in one of the stations just so my ear drums got to experience it fully. The guy refused to pick up his kid, soothe him in any way or even really acknowledge that he was screaming. The rest of the train and I exchanged some looks. Thanks, Monday.

But then…

I saw this woman approach where we were sitting (the man, myself and screaming child). She stood close by for a bit just looking at the two of them and I could tell she was really trying to hold back something. A few seconds later she walked up and knelt down next to the kid and proceeded to talk to the guy. It was seriously the sweetest thing, although took a huge amount of courage because the guy could have been really rude back. She kept telling him, please just pick your child up, hold him and love him and he’ll be comforted. The guy refused (although rather nicely) and said it was inconvenient because he was getting off in a few stops and said that his kid always did this (yeah… kid’s cry). The woman stayed with him for a while longer and found out that apparently the guy was a single dad and was struggling. Right before he got off the train she leaned in and said, just promise me that you’ll hold him and show him love. At that moment the kid stopped crying.

Gah. Humanity. It’s amazing.

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In less touching news, here are a few things I’ve been making recently. Pasta with homemade weird kale/spinach/cashew pesto. It’s weird, I don’t really recommend it.

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It made for a pretty dinner though. Sautéed some onions, roasted some asparagus and voila, weeknight dinner.

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Some even I went to a while back gave me a free chobani sample at their SoHo location. I was out grabbing something for Jon’s birthday present in the area and thought I’d stop in. I got a chocolate and pistachio mix. Seriously so good! I have a feeling I’m going to be making quite a few trips there.

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Also in food news, each Wednesday we donate food to the NYC Food Bank (From Carrot & Farmigo). The committee that I co-chair is actually heading up the donations so we get to lug around 50 lb bags of potatoes every Wednesday. Sometimes we recruit guys to help – that’s the UX intern for the summer.

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Of course there have been many more undocumented things in the middle but summer food mostly consists of pita, hummus and salad. And my recently discovered obsession with Bubble Tea.

Also, in case you missed it I’m slowly catching up on June and just posted the blog for my Penn State/Central PA Trip. Still working on a few more – these were those posts that I promised last week, oops!

 

Cooking Adventures: Stuffed Artichoke

Relaxing Saturday evening included kitchen reorganization and a whole lot of cooking. I had a lot of Farmigo vegetables leftover from last week and since I’m leaving on Wednesday morning, I figured this weekend was the best time to use them up. There’s also something to be said about a slow evening in the kitchen.

No particular recipes in mind but I wanted to tackle the artichoke and use up the rhubarb.

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Stuffed the artichoke with a mixture that included whole wheat bread crumbs, parmesan and pecorino romano cheese, salt/pepper, vegetable oil and parsley. Steamed it in a pot of water on the stove for almost an hour.

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While that was cooking I tackled the mushrooms – super easy. Drizzled them in olive oil, salt/pepper and fresh basil. Roasted some leftover lonely carrots as well. That all was basically an effort to clear out the fridge.

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The artichoke came out really well! Much better than I expected and super easy so I’ll definitely be eating it again soon. It was also super filling despite not having a lot inside so I only ended up eating half and the rest will be lunch tomorrow. Two of the mushrooms and leftover carrots are also going to be making their way into meals tomorrow and Monday! Yay planning.

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While all of that was cooking I whipped up a quick strawberry rhubarb crisp with fresh fruit also from Farmigo. It turned out really well! I made an apple crisp a while back and it seemed to turn out dry but even without following a recipe this time, I was impressed!

Enjoying dinner while watching Silver Linings Playbook from Netflix & working on some slides for the conference I’m going to next Wednesday. More on that later! A much needed relaxing day in Brooklyn – my first in weeks!

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The Artichoke

Thursday after work 15 Carrots all headed to the Financial District for a 5k run for the American Heart Association. Unfortunately it was the hottest day in NYC so far this year – 92 degrees is NOT, in fact, fun running weather. When we arrived there the race was absolutely packed so it took a bit to get up to the front and get started (ie. sweating before you even started). Absolutely gorgeous race course right through the lower part of Manhattan – right under the World Trade Center, down to the tip of the island and then ended along the Hudson looking towards Jersey City (hi Eric & David!). It was a fun run despite the fact that I had to walk some of it – better luck next time. But I finished! We all went out for celebratory beers at a bar afterwards. Sounds like this is going to be a yearly Carrot event so I have another year to train for the next!

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Friday came super early this week (or so it felt) due to having Monday off. Headed to Midtown after work to meet up with Jon. I was feel generally discombobulated and annoyed with the number of people around so I plopped down on a bench outside to wait. Soon after a lady walked up to me and pointed to her camera and then herself – indicating she wanted her photo taken. I figured she was a tourist so I quickly took a few shots of her. Instead of leaving she sat down on the bench next to me and began (in broken english) telling me that she was visiting NYC (clearly). I discovered it was her first time in the US and she was from China along with a tour group that was apparently doing a huge cross country tour of all of our major cities (LA, DC, NYC, Hawaii, etc.). She stayed around for about 10 minutes telling me about other countries she’d been to and telling me how much NYC was like Shanghai and that I should visit. The conversation involved a lot of me asking a question and her responding to something totally different but it worked out! Soon she spotted someone she knew across the street and darted off. Thanks for the small bit of community NYC 🙂

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Eventually met up with Jon and we headed down to 23rd street (Flatiron District) for cheap tacos and dinner in Madison Square Park (mom & dad, that’s the one with the cool rope art installation). Hung around that area for a while before heading to get a drink at this dive bar down the street – full NYC date night experience. Ended the night back in Madison Square Park looking at Shake Shack and the Empire State building in the background! Jon headed to Hershey this weekend to see his family so I’m on my own for the weekend!

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After saying goodbye to Jon I swung by Trader Joe’s because it was just down the street. Picked up some frozen fruit for smoothies & a impulse purchase – an artichoke! Turned out to be the best impulse ever because while I was waiting in line the lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder to ask how you cook artichokes. I confessed that I usually buy them in a jar so I really had no idea and that I was using it as an experiment. Soon enough the lady next to us in the other line chimed in with directions of how to prepare it and what to eat it with (along with detailed nutrition facts). The lady behind her also joined the conversation and before I knew it there were 6 of us standing around talking about the artichoke in my hand. Best purchase ever. One of the people noticed I had a RISD bag and said that since I was clearly a designer if cooking it didn’t work out I could always turn it into a nice center piece! By the time I got up to the register I was laughing and the cashier said “sounds like someone had a good Friday!”

It’s those little moments that make NYC great.

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Started Saturday morning off early with a yoga class in DUMBO with Casey. Walked up to Brooklyn Heights afterwards for breakfast at a place called Siggy’s – super delicious tofu scramble! Walked Casey to the train before parting ways and I continued walking to fit in a bit more exploring. There was a middle eastern grocery store I’ve been interested in trying out for a while so I walked to Atlantic Ave. It was seriously so cool! Filled with bulk food items, so much cheese, coffee and the best part was.. everything was so cheap! Even by not NYC standards. I got a bag of pita for 85 cents! Picked up some dried strawberries and two varieties of hummus (Kalamata Olive & Feta Cheese Hummus + Zaatar Hummus).

Stopped in a kitchen supply store just because it looked cool – ended up getting in a conversation with the store owner for a bit. Apparently the theme of the weekend is talking to strangers.

Walked further down Court Street to Cafe Pedlar a new coffee shop I’ve also been wanting to try out. Sat down for a bit to catch up on email and drink iced coffee – it’s HOT out today!

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Eventually ended up back at home all hot and sweaty (and no AC) so a shower and strategic fan positioning was in order. Spending the rest of the afternoon catching up on blogging, listening to music, reading the NYTimes and eating strawberries from Farmigo! Definitely a good Saturday so far!

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Side Projects

I’ve taken on some side projects that include turning my apartment into a jungle, growing my own herbs and eating enormous amounts of vegetables.

After getting an herb container garden last summer from Aunt Barb, I’ve started collecting plants. It got to the point where I was getting a new one almost every week. There’s probably some addicts meeting for this…

This past weekend as I was walking out of church there is a farmers market that comes around every Sunday so I stopped by to check it out. And came home with 3 new plants. I KNOW, I’m working on my problem.. Next week.

But then I needed soil to plant my new plants. Plus new pots. So I dragged Jon along. And then I ended up buying arugula seeds and he got some plants of his own. Between us, we’d have a jungle. Finally got all of my plants into their new homes and I’ve obsessively been checking my seeds for any signs of growth (there are none).

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New herb plants means fresh basil and parsley on my pasta for dinner. Yum!

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And spring means an awesome selection of vegetables at the CSA I belong to through work. I’ve been bringing home huge quantities of veggies each Wednesday and coming up with all sorts of new ways to use them. Most recently I tried Swiss Chard wraps. The inside was couscous with caramelized onions, garlic, dried cranberries and feta. I wrapped each one up like a little burrito and then baked them. Super tasty and something I’d definitely try again. I’ll post more pictures of it once I get those from Jon. He approved and even asked to eat the leftovers the next day so I think it was a success!

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Tomorrow is Wednesday which means I have a whole new selection of veggies coming my way. This week includes spinach, boston lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, tomatos and ramps! I have a recipe in mind for those so stay tuned!

Metro North

Ever since I moved to NYC there has been a running to-do list. Actually it was created before I moved here. Hello, my name is Emily and I have a problem with overplanning.

But one of the items on it said “Metro North.” No exact details along with it just the fact that we would hop a metro north train and head, well… north.

We’ve been waiting all winter for it to finally get warm enough to spend an entire day outdoors. It actually almost didn’t even happen because Jon got called into work. And then that got switched to Sunday.

So on Saturday morning we made it! Woke up early and packed a picnic lunch before heading off to Grand Central Station. It took about 10 minutes of looking at google maps to pick which train stop had the biggest green space within walking distance of it and we bought tickets to head there. Ended up picking Croton-Harmon, Jon would like credit for being the one to spot it. It turned out to be perfect!

It was a quick 30 minute walk from the train station into the main part of the park (405 acres of woods, grass and nature!)

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Gorgeous sunny day and even though it was a bit chilly it was nothing that jackets and a fleece picnic blanket couldn’t fix. Spent some time under a tree overlooking the Hudson eating lunch.

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Then packed up and wandering further into the park where we found a nature center & nature trails that wound their way through the woods. Absolutely stunning views all around, the pictures don’t do it justice.

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Finally settled in a spot along the other side of the park in the grass to fit in some New York Times reading and laying around. Such a fantastic, relaxing way to spend a Saturday. It will definitely be a reoccurring trip. Neither one of us was ready to pack up and leave when the time rolled around but we had dinner plans.

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Made it back into the city after a quick 40 minute train ride and headed down to the Lower East Side for dinner with a bunch of RIT friends. A few friends were in town visiting so it was an excuse to all get together to hang out. Ended up having the most amazing veggie burger – probably top on my list if not number 1. It was almost like eating a falafel on a bun with tzatziki sauce, onions, sprouts and tomatoes. So incredible good and good company along with it! A much, much needed Saturday. Finally ended the night with a walk through Soho with Jon before heading to the subway. I was more than ready to crawl in bed by the time I got home.

All Kinds of Busy

I’m back! Kind of.

Life has spiraled into all kinds of busy. Staying later at work, freelancing during any open night hours, traveling places on the weekends, attending sweet after work events. Busy! It’s been good but my room and plants are begging for a bit more attention.

These pictures are so old now (2+ weeks) so I won’t even try to date them. Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to:

Working on a project that required an early morning walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Project won’t launch for a while so I can’t share just yet but it’s exciting! And pretty awesome that we can just hop on the bridge in less than a 10 minute walk from the office.

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Attended a friend’s performance at a little bar/restaurant in Astoria a few weeks back. Fun to have an entire place filled with people that I knew! photo 2-3

 

Sunday morning brunch date with Jon at Omonia cafe – the makers of the My Big Fat Greek Wedding cake.

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Walk through Central Park on one of the first warm days of spring! Absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to wander back through now that more flowers/leaves are out.

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Espresso & cappuccino date with Jon. Weekend tradition. We pretend to be fancy.

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Ride on the East River Ferry from LIC to DUMBO to attend the first Smorgasbord (food festival) of the season! photo 5-1

 

First lunch outside with a bunch of Carrots. Seriously this view is a 3 minute walk from the office!!photo 2

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Food from the above mentioned Smorgasbord festival. Tofu taco.

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And delicious teriyaki balls which Jon and I split.

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We had a pretty major leak in the bathroom. Which was discovered at 7 am. And wasn’t fixed for three days. There’s always something!photo 3

 

View of my walk to work – complete with giant inflatable rats that are protesting something (asbestos). photo 4

 

Cauliflower soup that I made one night when Jon came over (his request!) along with parmesan crisps. We were inspired by that soup that I had on our anniversary.

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Views from the East River Ferry.

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Took an after work run down to the lake in Prospect Park on one of the first warm days. Such a good way to end the day! photo 5

 

There have been many more things since then so I’ll attempt to catch up to speed this week and hopefully get back into the blogging groove. This past weekend I was in Hershey, PA with Jon for his best friend’s wedding. So nice to escape the city for a bit, even if it was only 2 days. Took the 5am train back yesterday morning (which meant a 4 am wake up for us all, oops!). I made it to work on time but it made for a very, very sleepy me by the time 4pm rolled around. Luckily this week has been insanely busy so far with new projects and meetings so I have no time to be tired. Thank you caffeine!

Easter & Springtime In Brooklyn

Started off Easter morning with a four mile loop around prospect park. Loving the warm (or relatively warm) spring weather lately.

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Headed off for Easter Sunday at the park slope church a few blocks away. It’s actually only my second time there despite having attended the life group with some girls from there for a few weeks now. Definitely like meeting more people who live in my immediate area. Went out to brunch afterwards with some friends around Atlantic ave which rounded out the walking for the day to 8 miles. Yikes! My feet were more than ready for a break when I got back.

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Jon got back from North Carolina on Monday so I headed to queens on Monday night to see him! (& his roommates cat max)

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Other events this week have included freelance design work, enjoying sunny walks home from work, after work welcome drinks for new coworkers, and cooking delicious and random dinners (big kid spaghetti with canned tomatoes, homegrown basil & goat cheese).

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Seriously cannot believe that tomorrow is Friday. Keeping pretty busy at work which makes the days fly by. I’ve been working on one big project for the past month or so, can’t wait to finally release more information about it sometime soon!

Apologies for the updates that have been few and far between. Still finding the balance between work, freelance, exploring NYC and staying sane!