Happy National Margarita Day!

pug-margarita

I am smack dab in the middle of stretch of 4-in-a-row which has left me very little time to get some content together – so this post is gonna be short, but sweet. In light of it being National Margarita Day, below you will find my all-time favorite recipe for “beer”-garitas! I was introduced to them several years ago by a great friend who’s husband has a knack for making delicious libations and I was immediately hooked.

If you’re like me and you have trouble stomaching a margarita made with so much sour mix your face puckers after taking a sip. Or worse, one that is so sugary you can feel your teeth rotting as you drink it, then this is the recipe for you!

These margaritas are delicious and great for entertaining because they are even tastier when made in a big batch. The carbonation of the beer gives the tequila an extra kick and the added soda water helps to cut the acidity of the limeade without sacrificing taste.  Also, they are super easy and require only a few ingredients – no standing in line at the store juggling four different bottles of liquor and breaking your wallet at the same time.

So as I head back to work for night #3 of 4, please do me a favor and celebrate National Margarita Day by indulging in one two for me. Cheers!

Warning – these go down very easy and can hit you all of a sudden. Example: one minute you are enjoying them over casual conversation with your best girlfriends. And the next minute you are helping your friend to the guest bedroom (where she remained for two days until her mother came to pick her up) as she swears to you that she spontaneously developed vertigo. Moral of the story: don’t be like my friends. Drink responsibly, folks.

 

Recipe for “beer”-garitas:

Ingredients:
2 bottles of Corona Light
Tequila
One can of frozen limeade
Soda water
Ice

Combine the Corona Light and limeade in a medium pitcher. Fill the empty limeade can with tequila, add it to the pitcher and gently stir with a wooden spoon. Add a little soda water (to taste) and serve on the rocks with a salted rim. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Coming Home – Why I Love My Hometown

As you know from my Super Bowl 50 post, I spent the majority of Super Bowl weekend down at my Dad’s house in the town I grew up in. I always love going home and I’m down there frequently for events such as birthday dinners, wedding/baby showers, girl’s night with my high school friends or to simply take my Memere to lunch. However, on Super Bowl Sunday morning, I found myself with nothing to do until kick-off.  At first, I felt a pang of loneliness. But I didn’t want to go down that road and I caught myself before I did.

It’s times like this that force me to face the fact that I am, indeed, alone. Not in the sense that I have nobody to turn to and I am some sort-of abandoned person without friends or family who care about me. Actually, it’s quite the opposite! But the following is true: I do not currently have a significant other to consult before making plans for the day. I don’t own a pet nor have I yet birthed a child that requires me to plan ahead and put their needs before my own. Therefore, the only person I have to worry about is myself. Upon recognizing this freedom (a freedom that I know some of my friends would kill for!), I decided to embrace it. “I have nothing to do.” And I got excited!

First off, I decided I would indulge myself in a ‘Chippi’ from Mirasol’s – the funky, line-out-the-door-no-matter-what-time-of-day-you-go coffee shop. Despite the fact that its caloric value might resemble that of an entire meal, it is soooo worth it as a treat when I’m in town! Next, I had been long over due for a new pair of clogs for work. So, I ventured up the road to Harve’s Shoe Box – the very same shoe store my parent’s took me to get my first pair of shoes when I was a child. While I love Target and amazon.com as much as the next person, one of the things I love about being home is being able to support the small, local businesses. I also appreciate seeing a familiar face.

After trying on what felt like every Dansko the store had to offer, I finally decided on a pair and headed over to the register. While I was cashing out, a woman looked up at me and smiled. After a couple seconds, I realized it was Mrs. B, a super friendly, outgoing woman who had been a very active member of my elementary school’s PTA. As I paid, we chatted about the goings-on in town and our thoughts on what the town should do with the old, abandoned building that used to be the elementary school where Mrs. B and I knew each other from.  After catching up, we politely said our goodbyes and she hollered after me, “Say hello to your mom for me!”

Ouch.

For anyone who has lost a loved one, you know that some days it’s very easy to talk about it and other days it’s as fresh as the day you lost them. Naturally, that Sunday was one of those immediate-tears-in-the-eyes kind of days and Mrs. B’s face dropped. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know.” I apologized for getting all choked up and with a big hug, she said, “It’s ok. I lost my dad and some days it just hits you harder than others.” I was able to quickly compose myself and again, said goodbye. But not without feeling incredibly thankful for that hug. A hug from another mother. A mother who just so happened to know my mother. From the prime of her mothering days. I couldn’t have gotten that anywhere else. And this is why I love coming home.

Ugh, so after that, I was very much in need of a good, stiff drink. And I knew exactly where to find it: my friend Sarah’s house. This is another reason why I love my hometown. Several of my high school friends have returned back to Dartmouth to raise their own families and Sarah is one of them. Side note: the thought of my friend’s children making similar memories in the same incredible town that we did just melts my little heart to pieces, but I could write an entire post on that alone! Any who, Sarah is one of those friends who has made Dartmouth her home again and I know her door is always open to me. I called her up, said I would be there in 5 and when I walked in, she was ready with Patron on ice. (Well really it was vodka. Vodka on ice. With soda. But Patron on ice sounded way more literary to me. And by literary, I mean in the literal street-cred kind of way.)

After a couple of heartfelt life discussions over cocktails, my heart felt better and I was ready to head back to my dad’s just in time for kick-off. I decided to take the scenic route back and enjoy all that my little hometown has to offer.

IMG_0084

It’s true that I don’t know how much longer it will just be me. But right now, being single without children certainly has it’s perks. On that Sunday, I became a little more o.k. with it. And I owe it all to my beloved hometown.

Weekend Wrap-Up: It Was A Cold One!

Hi guys! Have you all thawed out from that arctic cold yet? It was brutal! I worked the entire weekend, and I did so with the most amazing group of nurses. We laughed, we cried, we indulged in Valentine’s treats, we played the new Adele album on repeat (more to come on that!)…oh, and we provided exceptional nursing care with a smile🙂

I had intentions of re-capping the weekend in a bit more detail than that. However, I had a bit of a car debacle yesterday morning which required an emergency visit to the Nissan dealership, that cut into my sleep time, which made me late for a gender reveal party last evening and left absolutely no time to get a post together. Alright, here’s exactly what happened:

After working three night shifts in a row,  a night shift nurse can never get out to their car and pull out of that parking garage fast enough. So after rolling down my window to swipe my badge that let’s me out of the garage, I was hit with the ultimate ‘it’s-Monday-morning-and-I-can’t-wait-to-get-into-my-bed’ buzz killer. My driver’s side window would not roll back up.

This had happened to me last winter as well. On cold mornings, the window would be slow going back up and then as the car warmed up it would eventually crawl closed. This time was different. It wouldn’t even budge. Did I mention it was 4 degrees out yesterday morning?

I evaluated my options and decided to drive straight to the Nissan dealership (all 15 miles & 21 minutes of it) with the window down.

cold-weather-driving

After arriving, the Nissan employees were less impressed with my “emergency” than I was and after walking into the PACKED waiting room, I knew I was going to be there much longer then I had planned. You see, this is one (of the many!) problems of being a nurse and working an odd schedule – you forget ordinary things like Monday holidays. Yesterday was President’s Day. Of course, all of the 9-to-5-ers had the day off and used the opportunity to schedule routine maintenance on their vehicle. Ugh.

I took one of the last seats in the waiting room filled with customers who looked just as annoyed as I’m sure I did. I was cold. I was tired. And now I had to sit in a confined space with a television blasting CNN surrounded by a bunch of unhappy, coughing, talking-way-too-loud-for-8am patrons. I attempted to defrost myself but it actually never happened. Yours truly sat in the waiting room with the above pictured get-up on for the entire 3-hours my car was being serviced. Hood included.

All-in-all it wasn’t so bad. I made it out of there with a fully functioning window roller-upper for just $53. I managed to get a much-needed car wash on the way home. And I can say I’ve finally defrosted. Happy Tuesday y’all!

TGIF: Valentine’s Weekend

Happy Friday! I hope everyone is looking forward to a relaxing weekend with lots of INSIDE plans because hot damn, it’s gonna get reeeeeeal cold out there! Personally, it feels quite fitting that we are expecting such bitter, freezing temperatures on this Valentine’s weekend because it’s much like the sentiments of my heart surrounding this holiday…cold, frigid and frozen. Oh, er, I mean, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! <insert smiley, heart-eyed emoji here>

In all seriousness and in keeping with my February promise to heal my heart (AND avoid being a bitter asshole about love), I thought I would focus on some love of the non-romantic, non-lovey-dovey variety. And I couldn’t think of a better place to start than with this beautiful soul who exuded nothing but love and kindness, all-the-damn-time.

Darcy elizabeth

jackie-darcy-new-years

“There’s no reason not to be nice to people.” – Darcy

Darce, you were the absolute epitome of what it means to ‘have a heart’. I can’t believe it has been a year since you’ve been gone, taken way too soon for reasons none of us will ever know or even begin to understand. I think about you, your smile, your kind words and your funny stories nearly every day. I know you are right there beside me when I choose to be “nice to people” and during those times, I am proud to carry on your legacy. Thank you for showing us all how to show a little bit of love to each other on the daily. You are missed beyond belief.❤

National donor day

national-donor-day

Image via

Continuing the theme of love, it’s a well known fact that Valentine’s Day is always celebrated February 14th. However, this Sunday, February 14th is also National Donor Day. Organ donation is a topic that is so near and dear to my heart – both from a professional standpoint as well as my personal experience with my mom. There are so many people waiting for life-saving organ transplantation and the shortage is real. On Sunday, spread the word and encourage your friends and family to be organ donors. For more information or if you’re ready to give the gift of life, learn how you can sign-up, here.

attention: boston singles

Ok, this 100% goes against my promise to avoid reminding myself (and all two of you who are reading this!) how single I am this Valentine’s Day. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this week my city was named the number one place to find love according to a study commissioned by the real estate site, Zillow. I couldn’t let Valentine’s Day go by without throwing out a little hope for all of you, ahem, I mean us single Bostonians! And if you haven’t found love in the city by Saturday night, I’ve taken care of that too. Here’s a list of 12 romantic wines you can indulge in while sitting on the couch watching Bridget Jone’s Diary for the um-teenth time. Ain’t no shame in that game.

love yourself

Finally, leave it to Beiber to release a relationship-gone-wrong song prior to Valentine’s. However, I’ve really been digging this tune lately and certainly not for it’s f-you sentiments. Truth be told, I didn’t realize it was a break-up song until I googled the complete lyrics. Love Yourself had caught my attention on the radio because of the acoustic sound (very un-Beiber) and the words “you should go and love yourself”, that are repeated throughout the chorus. Sometimes, we all (present company INcluded) need a little reminder to love ourselves. So, way to go, Beibs. Thank you for that.

 

Happy❤ day, all!

Chinese-New-Year

Happy Chinese New Year!

Monday was the official start to the Chinese/Lunar New Year! I was informed of this by my Vietnamese nail tech, Tina (yes, she falls into the stereotype & yes, she is unapologetically fabulous) when I visited for a manicure on Saturday.  When asked about her plans, Tina indulged me. Since the holiday officially fell on the Monday and she would be working, her and her family were planning on celebrating with dinner on Sunday evening instead. Despite our cultural differences, as a nurse, shuffling holiday plans around due to work schedules was something I could totally relate to. I sympathized with her and wished her a “Happy New Year” on my way out, hoping that this was the appropriate thing to do.

On my walk home, I realized the only thought I had when I heard the words ‘Chinese New Year’ was to make sure I avoided downtown Chinatown in Boston as they usually celebrate with a well-attended parade that ties up traffic and crowds the T (much like the St. Patrick’s Day parade that paralyzes the streets of Southie). So when I got home, I did a little research into it (when I say ‘research’ I mean that I googled it) and I thought I’d share  a few of the things I learned:

  • Prior to the start of the New Year, families clean their homes in order to get rid of bad fortune from the prior year and welcome in good luck. But brooms and dust pans need to be put away before the start of the celebrations so that any incoming good luck cannot be swept away.
  • Unlike our New Year, the Chinese New Year isn’t just celebrated on the Eve/Day of the new lunar calendar year. It is actually a festival lasting fifteen days with each day having a different significance and ritual.
  • The dinner that Tina referred to celebrating on Sunday night with her family is the biggest event of the Chinese New Year. It’s referred to as the ‘reunion dinner’ and is comparable to Thanksgiving dinner here in the U.S. The meal traditionally includes dumplings, chicken and pork.
  • Rather than exchanging gifts, red envelopes are often exchanged between established married couples to younger non-married members of the family and children. More specifically, an even amount of money is usually given as odd amounts of money are associated with money that is given at funerals. Even more specifically, the number 8 is thought to be very lucky because it is the homophone for “wealth”. Therefore, $8 is a common amount of money to be exchanged, although amounts can range from a few dollars to several hundred.
  • The Chinese New Year is usually rung in with fireworks and firecrackers with the idea being that the loud noises will scare away evil spirits and allow the New Year to begin without any misfortune.

For me, the most familiar aspect of the Chinese New Year is that for years growing up I heard it promoted on American news programs and announced as “the Year of the <insert animal here>”. Different from the the western zodiac signs where each of the 12 months of the year are assigned a different symbol (ex. Leo, Cancer, Scorpio, etc.), the Chinese zodiac assigns one animal (ex. ox, rabbit, dragon, etc.) to each year and rotates those animals every 12 years.

Personally, I’m not big into the zodiac signs. But I know my sign and I check my horoscope pretty regularly so was super curious and found it quite fun to read about. That is until…I realized I was born in the Year of the Rat. Ew, gross. Why couldn’t I have been born in the Year of the Dog? I love dogs! Or the Year of the Dragon? That’s fierce! Alright, truth be told, I’m still really interested, but I’m not super pumped to share my ‘Year of the Rat’ information on my match.com profile…even if the characteristics (kind, smart and lovely) do suit me. Whether or not you give a s*** about this kind of stuff, have a little fun and check out your sign here to see if you were born in a year associated with an animal you can relate to!

Regardless, let’s welcome 2016: the Year of the Monkey! If you know you’ll be welcoming a child this year (and if not, I suggest you reassess because the monkey is a pretty cool sign and you’ll have to wait anther 12 years for it to come around again!) you might be excited to know that they could have Monkey-esque qualities that include: being intelligent, witty, curious and playful. If I’ve peaked your interest and you want to read more about the Year of the Monkey as it pertains to your personal Chinese zodiac sign, I highly recommend this site.

Ultimately, I am a huge fan of the many traditions my family and I maintain every year. And after learning a little bit more about it, I now have so much more respect for the traditions associated with the Chinese New Year (p.s. I also learned that it’s perfectly normal to wish someone “Happy New Year”). Take home point: I’m 100%, all-for promoting a tradition that welcomes wealth, prosperity and good fortune. Or one that gives us a fun way to introduce our single friends to random strangers: “Hey, did you know Jackie was born in the Year of the Rat?” I can’t wait to hear that one.

monkey-new-year

Image via