Back At It

Well, hello there, long lost friends!

In the past couple of months I have had a couple friends mention “Are you still running and eating sweets? I used to enjoy reading your blog!” and I have been inspired to share my life with you all again! To answer that question- of course I am still running and feeding my raging sweet tooth regularly 😉

To those of you who may be new readers, I originally decided to start a blog a few years back because I have moved so often and thought it would be a fun way to stay connected to friends and family all over the country. For background, I have lived in Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Washington, Georgia, Virginia, and now Massachusetts again!

It has been quite some time since I have posted on here… I believe we are closing in on nearly two years. I made the decision to take a blogging hiatus when I began my post-bacc dental hygiene program shortly after moving to Massachusetts. It became apparent early on that free time is not something I would have in abundance. Additionally, writing about studying constantly and completing clinical requirements for a year and a half wouldn’t exactly be the most exciting thing to read. Since then, my life has changed pretty dramatically. On December 5 of 2015, Paul asked me to marry him and I became the happiest girl in the world. I completed my degree in dental hygiene in December of 2016 and officially became a Registered Dental Hygienist after passing a series of board exams, beginning my career. Paul and I got married on May 20 of this year and we have started our happily ever after together as Mr. & Mrs. Norvell. It has been an exciting time to say the least!

I figure instead of trying to make up for two years of missed time, I will jump right into where I am right now and start here! This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with two of my best friends from dental hygiene school, Flavia and Eliane.

FRIDAY NIGHT

On Friday night, Eli and I arrived at Flavia’s beautiful new house with all of the ingredients for a homemade pizza night! Paul and I have been on a bit of a homemade pizza kick since his sister and niece got us an early bridal shower gift of a pizza stone and the Williams Sonoma Pizza Night cookbook back in April. I have been a little bit obsessed with their recipe for whole wheat pizza dough and whipped up a batch that afternoon to bring with me. Lately, I have been making homemade sauce from various recipes in my beloved cookbook as well, but ran out of time on Friday… from the jar it is! (Homemade is a million times better, FYI) We ended up making two pizzas: one with marinara sauce, a cheddar cheese blend, seasoned ground beef, green bell peppers, and onions. The second pizza was made with marinara sauce, an italian cheese blend, copious dollops of ricotta, and fresh basil straight from Flavia’s garden.

 

The finished pizzas turned out very well and were both a hit! Following dinner, Flavia’s sweet husband, Sam, began a fire for us in their backyard fire pit and we broke out all of the necessary materials for s’mores!

 

We made a few s’mores with Reese’s (my favorite candy!), but I must say, I think I’m a bit of a s’mores purist. The chocolate did not melt as well as it does with the classic Hershey’s milk chocolate bar and I missed the goodness of the melty chocolate. That being said, they were still a delicious treat! After spending time catching up around the bonfire, it was time to get some rest for our beach day on Saturday!

SATURDAY

Alarms were set to head to the beach nice and early. We were successful in getting to “Second Beach” in Newport, Rhode Island before the crowds. It was a beautiful day for relaxing with friends!

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Second Beach, Newport, RI

After about 5 hours or so on the beach, we packed up to spend some time downtown in Newport. We drove around and admired the Gilded Age mansions from the outside for a bit before parking and walking down to sightsee and grab some ice cream! I was blown away by the beautiful flowers blooming all over Newport and couldn’t help but take pictures of several.

 

Aren’t they gorgeous? When Paul and I finally buy a house, you better believe I will be planting hydrangeas all over the place! I have always loved them, so much so that white hydrangeas were one of the flower types that made up my wedding floral arrangements and bouquets!

Newport, Rhode Island is such a cute little maritime town. Paul and I visited twice last year and I highly recommend it as a place to check out if visiting New England. We actually signed up for the Amica Newport Half-Marathon a few weeks ago and I am looking forward to a scenic race in October! We are in week 3 of training, but more on that another day.

Flavia, Eli, and I had a great time wandering around and chatting!

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Newport

Eventually, it was time to say our goodbyes and for Eli and I to head back to Worcester. There is something to be said for strong friendships and prioritizing time with your friends. Sometimes it can be a challenge to make schedules align, but it is always so worth it.

SUNDAY

Sundays are when Paul and I almost always do our grocery shopping and any other random errand running for the week. We did our usual Sunday routine, with the addition of running 6 miles together in the morning since our long Saturday run was postponed due to my day in Newport. Gotta get those miles in! When we finished running and shopping, I made a loaf of banana bread with 3 over-ripe bananas we had in our fruit bowl.

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It was delicious, especially served warm with a smear of cream cheese on top. Can’t beat it!

That about sums up my weekend! I will aim to blog once a week from here on out, but we will see how everything goes. If you have any requests for future posts, don’t hesitate to ask! I will talk to you again soon (not in two years again…)

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Friday, Friday

Happy Friday!

THE DRIVE THAT WOULDN’T END

Yesterday afternoon I had to drive my sister {Kayla} back to college. She recently had back surgery and was recuperating at home for a few days. Her school is about an hour and forty-five minutes away from our house. I figured I would be able to make it back before the gym class and I would be able to go {since I’m pathetic and was too scared to venture downstairs yesterday morning}.

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Bye Kayla!

Well… unfortunately traffic got the best of me. What should have been a 3:30-4 hour drive turned into a 5+ hour drive. I was listening to different radio traffic updates and Atlanta traffic was majorly backed up and they had no likely reason. Just several small accidents. Needless to say, I finally arrived home and missed the class. Sad day 😦

WORKOUT

This morning got off to a good start with a little time in the gym! I began with 30 minutes on the elliptical to get my blood flowing and muscles warmed up, followed by the BodyPump class! I’m not sure why, but the class was absolutely packed today. I don’t think another person could have squeezed in if they wanted to. Maybe I’m just getting spoiled by attending the early morning class that is so spacious and wonderful. Regardless, it was still great!

CRANIMALS {Crazy Animals}

Our pets seem to be a little confused. Here are a few pictures to better illustrate what I mean…

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Miss Lola

Lola seems to think she is human. She would be heart-broken if she ever found out she is a dog!

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Bailey

Bailey seems to think she is a dog. The cat water bowls do not suffice… she wants the dog water! Always.

LUNCH

My lunch was a thrown-together masterpiece this afternoon. We have embarrassingly little food to work with right now and I am being forced to be creative when it comes to mealtime lately. Today, I had the brilliant idea to make a “tortilla pizza.” I think the recipe goes without explaining, but I used a single tortilla, spread a thin layer of sauce on top, lightly sprinkled garlic and onion powder over the sauce {I don’t think jarred sauces ever have enough flavor}, and covered the sauce with shredded cheese. I used an Italian blend cheese as well as sharp cheddar because, well, it’s what we had. My toppings of choice consisted of cup up pieces of deli ham and some bell pepper chunks. I put the oven on the high broil setting and had it in there as long as it took the cheese to melt completely. Easy peasy {and cheesy}! I was pleased with my efforts!

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Tortilla Pizza

It was actually really good! The only thing I would do differently next time would be to bake the tortilla first for a minute or two to firm it up. Otherwise, this is a great thing to make when in a food bind 🙂

Have a fantastic weekend!