Running Forward

Little Things

This week has been crazy- my family received some not-so-happy news, so it was quite stressful to say the least. I’ll report more on that later, though. For now I want to post about some of the small things I’m loving about my new life. 

The train

Yes, my two hour commute is a pain in the butt but I’m really beginning to love my daily train rides. Every morning I leave the quiet house near 6:45 and am almost always greeted by the neighborhood herd of deer. I arrive at the train station just as the sun is rising and join my fellow commuters for a peaceful ride through New Jersey. We pass beautiful rivers, lakes, and fields before we reach the industrial town of Newark. The train ride home is not nearly as peaceful, but it’s quite amusing. Last week an Asian man sitting near me did a full blown yoga/meditation session complete with having to unbutton his pants in order to sit cross-legged. Another time I sat right across from a huge teenage boy snoring like nobody’s business while everyone stared on trying to hold back their bursts of laughter. I’m at the point now where I can actually help newcomers at the station and feel comfortable train hopping from other destinations. 

 

Coffee

Getting up early every morning is taking its toll. It takes all of my power and strength to keep my eyes open throughout the first few hours of my workday. Thank goodness for coffee and tea. 

 

Snow

Yes, I’m the wide-eyed Southerner that oohs and ahs every time I see a snowflake while the locals around me simply moan. I can’t help it- the snow is freaking beautiful! The landscape looks like it’s been covered in thick marshmallow cream after a good snow storm. Getting to experience Winter Storm Nemo was quite fun for someone like me!

 

Puffy Coats

All throughout my childhood my parents begged me to buy a puffy coat. I abhorred them and made fun of their unflattering effects whenever I saw an unfortunate person wearing one. When I moved here I discovered that everyone owned a puffy coat, and they wore them! So, of course I gave in and now I’m in love. It’s warm, it has lots of fun pockets, the collar is silky and soft, and it’s black- the official color of New York. 

 

That’s all for now. I’m ready for the weekend! 

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Bring it on!

My life has changed so much this past month that I’m becoming immune to new things. Not really, but let’s just go with it, okay? So, after finally getting into a good routine I find an apartment in Hoboken where I can stay until June. Woo! I know it’s only three months, but it gives me plenty of time to become acquainted with the area and to look for a more permanent situation. So, tomorrow my cousin and I are packing up a car and moving some stuff in. Next weekend I’ll actually move myself in. Perhaps the biggest perk of my move: not having a two hour commute anymore! The morning commute isn’t that bad since it’s peaceful and I’m a morning person, but the afternoon is a killer. I leave the office at 5:30 pm and get home anywhere between 7:15 and 7:45 pm, depending on which train I can catch. At least I finally started using the gym at work this past week, so I was able to just come home and crash. My new commute will only be around 30 minutes each way, so I’m pretty psyched to say the least.

   Now, allow me to tell you about my morning commute yesterday! It sounds crazy, but was actually pretty fun. I hopped onto my usual 7:12 am train headed to Secaucus Junction just like I do every day. But, a few stops later the conductor announced that it was now a “local” and would be making every single stop along the way. Nooooo!!!!!!! My office only offers one shuttle from Secaucus in the morning and it leaves at 8:20 sharp. I immediately called the driver and asked how  long he could wait, but he told me to stay on the train and catch the shuttle at Penn Station. Go to the city?! No problem! So, I stayed on the train and hopped off when it reached Penn Station. At this point it was already close to 9 am, the time I’m normally in the office getting my first cup of coffee. So, I wait outside for the shuttle and realize how much I love the city. It’s chaotic, it’s loud, and there’s always a homeless man yelling obscenities in the background, but it’s for me. I easily found the shuttle and joined my coworkers for the remainder of my commute. The traffic was horrendous, though, so we didn’t get into the office until 10 am! At least my boss was out of town, so I didn’t have too much to work on. But, what a morning! 

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Some Sugar for Your Sugar

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, which means….another year dateless. Haha! But that’s okay because my life has been crazy lately. The less drama the better. However, I still love the beautiful pinks and reds and the fun surprises that usually happen throughout the day. In fact, last Valentine’s Day I found out that I officially got the Food Network internship. I have a full time job this year, so I’ve been busy baking some treats for my office. Deciding which things to make was quite difficult, but I finally landed on two; Valentine’s Rice Krispie Treats and Chocolate Sugar Cookies with a Chocolate Caramel Filling.

 

Valentine's Day Treats

Valentine’s Rice Krispie Treats

3 tbsp butter

1 bag mini marshmallows

3 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

3 cups Kix (Berry kind)

White Chocolate Chips

Cherry Cordial Valentine M&Ms

Start by melting the butter in a large pot, then adding the marshmallows. Stir every few moments until the mixture is more liquified. Once ready, remove the pot from heat and add the cereal. To make it easier to stir, I added two cups at a time. Once the cereal is incorporated, add the white chocolate chips and M&Ms. Quickly spread out the mixture onto a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. The parchment paper makes clean up so simple. Let cool out on the counter, then simply slice when ready.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with a Chocolate Caramel Filling

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1.5 tbsp egg beaters

1/2 tbsp milk

1.5 cups flour

3/8 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/5 tbsp cocoa powder

chocolate chips

caramel bits

Start by creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding the egg and milk. Once fully combined, add the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Wrap the dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once ready to prep the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 and get creative. For a filling I melted chocolate chips and caramel bits to create a chocolate caramel center. You could also use jam to create a fruit-filled center. Since I made the cookies for Valentine’s Day I cut out heart shapes and filled them with the chocolate caramel mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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Finding Nemo

If you’ve seen the news within the past couple days you know that Winter Storm Nemo made a visit to this area. Long Island got hit pretty bad, but my part of New Jersey got a piece of the action too. It all started on Thursday when my coworkers began freaking out at the end of the day because our office was supposed to be hit pretty hard. I even ended up staying home on Friday because the weather was already looking funky at 6 am when I woke up. My aunt and uncle were driving to Vermont on Friday morning, so they didn’t want to risk having me get stuck at work with no form of transportation to get home. Just after lunch time I heard from a coworker that everyone had been sent home and the office had been empty and slow all day. Definitely made me feel better about missing out.

So, I ended up running, then my cousin’s friends came over and taught me how to play Settlers of Catan. What a fun game! One of the guy’s family repeatedly called him telling him to come home because of the weather, so we took a break to go outside as soon as the game ended. Snow! The roads still didn’t look bad, but the snow was falling hard. Of course, I made them take some pics of me in my first snowstorm.

 

2.8.133 2.8.138

Once my initial excitement level descended we went back into the basement for a quick game of Mario Party. Remember that game from N64?! It used to be my favorite one to rent every time I went to Blockbuster. I dominated the game and took home first place. The boys left, so Eddie and I watched some TV. In the middle of a Jeopardy episode another one of his friends came and stayed with us the rest of the night. I love being with my cousins since they’re so social. It really helps me out since I don’t know many people in this part of Jersey. Most of my friends live in the city, so hopefully I’ll find a place closer to them soon. For now, I’m a Jersey girl!

Now, back to the snow: I woke up early on Saturday and ran to the window. To my delight, I was rewarded with one of the thickest blankets of snow I’ve ever seen! It looked as if everything outside was covered in a fluffy layer of marshmallow cream. When the wind blew the snow around it gave the illusion of glitter swirling through the air. Beautiful!

 

Nemo2 Nemo3 Nemo5

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First Week of Work

Today marks the end of my first week of work! I love my office, love my coworkers, and can’t wait to really get busy. You may be wondering why I’m posting about the end of the work week before 8 am on a Friday, but the big blizzard heading my way kept me home. My office is pretty far north, so transportation is an issue when there’s a chance of the roads and trains being affected. Honestly, I’m so excited to experience my first big winter storm! I’m sure the excitement over snowy weather will wear off soon enough, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it for now. I’m also pretty pumped to be going back to Vermont next weekend. There’s just so much to look forward to! 

   I’m loving life with my cousins, but need to find a place closer to work to cut down on my commute time. I literally had no free time this week and struggled to work out at all. Luckily, I ended up working out after work on Tuesday and Wednesday and will have time to do something every day this weekend. Let’s just say I don’t see any big races happening soon in my future. 

   To end the post I’ll include some pics from my trip to Vermont last weekend. It was beautiful and so relaxing! 

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