Category Archives: kitchen sink salad

Back to the Basics!

     Dairy-free for five days and already my skin is looking so much better. Crap. Obviously I’m happy that my skin is clearing up, but DAMN am I gonna miss my gelato!

I am SO thankful they carry dairy-free sorbets and soy options!
I tried a little variation for breakfast yesterday – MIGAS! I snagged this recipe from Jenna, cut it in half and substituted baked blue corn tortilla chips for regular fried, and shallots for onions.
No cheese, but it was still pretty good!
Green Monstas and Kitchen Sink Salads are back with a vengeance! This one had half a bag of mixed greens, 1/2 of a zucchini sauteed with herbes de provnce, 1/2 a cup of lentils, 1/2 a chopped bell pepper and 1/2 a can of yellowfin tuna in olive oil (the oil drained out, obviously).
I’ve missed these!
The hikes are back as well! Went on an INTENSE one this morning to enjoy the beautiful 68 degree day and now I’m full of happy endorphins!
     Today is bottling day!!! I’ll be sipping some good brews while I bottle my beer (the official name will be posted when I pour the first glass), and then cooking up an amazing meal with my new cookbook from Williams Sonoma! Tomorrow is BREWING DAY!!! I’m heading up the coast to brew with some of my boys from college. 
Have I mentioned how very awesome my life is?
😀

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Filed under beer, bottling, dairy-free, green monsta, hiking, home brewing, Jenna Weber, kitchen sink salad, Migas, Paciugo, sorbet, strawberry balsamic sorbet, Williams Sonoma

Dreams of a New Year!

     Happy New Year! Now that I have my resolutions securely down and written in stone (or in a really pretty notebook), I’m ready to share! FIRST though, I’d like to share some of the “Morning After” quotes that I heard at work today:
1. “Did anyone else wake up miles from their house and not know how they got there?”
2. “Anyone have a great story about last night?” “I do, but I can’t share it…”
3. (In reference to someone’s bruised cheek and split lip) “What happened to your face?” “I don’t know yet. I’m waiting for someone to text me and tell me.”

Yep. Happy New Year.

     NOW for my resolutions!
1. Only try NEW beers when out – unless from a local brewery, like Ladyface, Island Brewing Company, etc… Gotta support the local breweries!
Bonus points if I try beer that scares the CRAP out of me – haha, get it? Weasel Crap Beer!
2. Spend more time with family and friends.
My GORGEOUS parents!
The lovely Tanya.
Serenading Dan.
Sleepy Malachi – who is being lame and flying off to France for six freaking months.
Sweethearts Jenny and Boa.
Grayson the Thoughtful.
Beautiful Allie.
Plus TONS more. It’s a year to focus on what’s really important – the people in my life.
3. Get back outdoors and HIKE!
4. Eat more vegetables, whole grains and olive oil!
Kitchen Sink Salad contains all of this!
5. Quit my retail job.
Seriously, it’s hazardous to my health!
I know I said I was putting in my two weeks notice last week, but I chickened out when I told my sweet coworker and saw the look on her face. I’m such a people-pleaser.
6. Travel more!
Stormy Arizona deserts.
Bee parts.
Me on the road = Ecastatic!
7. Drink more Monstas!
Cuz they’re DELICIOUS! And good for me. And stuffs…
8. Spend more time in the kitchen.
And spend more time out back, with this amazing view!
I need to get back into my apron and start cooking, STAT!
9. Attend more blogger meetups!
Need I say more? No, no I do not.
10. Join the Homebrewers Association, as well as the local homebrew club, and BREW IT UP!
Beer is good! Beer is good! Beer is good! And stuff!
(Lyrics from an actual song)
11. Start my new website and blog. That’s right, I’ll be heading up an actual website this year, as well as changing the name of my blog! I’m hoping the transition will be easy for you, but there’s still some time to get used to the idea before I officially move. EXCITED!!!

     There you have it – a sampling of my resolutions! I have a few more, but decided that twenty feet of pictures was probably more than people could handle as it is. I hope you had a blessed beginning to your new year, and that you’re as excited for what’s to come as I am!
Happy New Year! Let’s make it worthwhile!

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Filed under Arizona, beer, blogger meet-up, friends, green monster, hiking, homebrewing, Island Brewing Company, kitchen sink salad, Ladyface, Morning after, NEW WEBSITE, New Year, retail, Weasel Crap Beer

Hanging with Celebrities!

     The Monstas are back!!!

Or they were yesterday! This baby had 5 cups of spinach, 1/2 a banana, 1/3 a cup of soymilk, 1/2 cup of frozen berries, 1 lemon and a splash of vanilla extract.
I followed up with a green lunch. I had a big Kitchen Sink Salad with 1/2 a bag of mixed baby greens, 1 sauteed zucchini, 1/2 a container of egg white salad, 1/2 a cup of warmed lentils and 1/2 of a red bell pepper.
     Today didn’t start the same. I had a hot boiled egg and had to run out the door to work an early shift. I bailed out after four hours so I could go to an audition in Valley Village, then went to meet up with Dan for lunch.
Hi, Dan!
We went to Miceli’s on Ventura Blvd.
LOVED the Chianti decor!
We split a FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!! Has anyone ever heard of that? I hadn’t, and neither had our waiter, but he had a lot of fun running around the restaurant yelling, “Fire in the hole!!!” and coming up to our table after we were served asking, “how do you like the fire in your holes?”
Very mature.
It was dark in there, hence the blurry pic. A FIRE IN THE HOLE has pepperoni, jalapeno and pineapple. I think I have a new favorite pizza!
     After lunch I met up with Tanya at Starbucks on Ventura Blvd. If you ever want to see the most beautiful, narcissistic people in the world, there’s where you should go! I walked past the three outside tables, all occupied by gorgeous humans reading highlighted scripts, and into the cafe where there were at least a dozen people all working on screenplays on their computers. I totally blended in in my baggy sweatshirt, flip flops and jeans that have washed to shreds. Totally…
     I had a tall soy chai and Tanya (now a vegan and looking AH-MAY-ZING!) had a decaf tea. We spent a while catching up, then headed over to Urban Outfitters to do some shopping and stumbled upon not only one, but TWO ridiculously successful actors.
(who is just as adorable in person)
I recognized them, but I’m not one to let them know! Gotta let those actors have their peace after a long day on set. Sigh, I’m not jealous at all…
     It’s a crazy, small world out there in the big city! As for me, I’m off to another big city – Tempe, Arizona! I’m back on the clock for my artsy job and I’ll be at the Tempe Festival of the Arts from December 3rd through December 5th! If there are any ASU students out there, come visit! I’m right on your main street! As for YOU, prepare yourself for another onslaught of creative pictures of creative arts!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Filed under ASU, audition, FIRE IN THE HOLE, green monster, kitchen sink salad, Melissa Joan Hart, Miceli's, Modern Family, pizza, Sarah Hyland, Starbucks, Tempe Festival of the Arts, Urban Outfitters

Weasel Crap Beer?!?

     I woke up this morning, put on my gym clothes and was on the elliptical at the gym before my brain registered what was happening. 45 minutes at level 9 – I was dying! It was awesome.

I refueled with a slice of Great Harvest Whole Grain bread with peanut butter and some of Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter! This apple butter is ah-may-zing!
     I went to the library to pick up a book for my road trip tomorrey. I finished “The Girl Who Played With Fire” this morning and wanted more! I had a hold on the final book in the trilogy, but it won’t be in for another month, so I splurged and RENTED the next book, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” for a whole dollar! I think a buck for a week is worth it, plus it supports my local library, which I would die without.
After all the book renting, I needed a big Kitchen Sink Salad to replenish my energy. This had 1/2 a bag of mixed greens, 1/2 of a chopped bell pepper, 1/2 cup egg white salad, 1/2 cup steamed lentils, 1/2 of a zucchini sauteed with herbes de provence and 1/2 of an avocado with a light balsamic dressing. Many halves make a HUGE salad!
     Since it’s my last night at home for a few days, I went out to a local wine shop to pick up some fancy brews. I found the FANCIEST of fancy beers!
Let me tell you about this beer. Mikkeller Geek Brunch Weasel beer is brewed with the most expensive coffee in the world. This coffee is made by feeding weasels coffee berries. The berries go through their digestive tract and come out the other end, where they’re brewed into coffee: yes, the coffee beans are crapped out by said weasels. This coffee was added into this beer, which was then stamped with a $15.99 price for 15oz. 
Sorry to disappoint you, but I didn’t have the guts to try it…yet. With a 7 hour road trip ahead of me tomorrow, it just didn’t seem like a good risk to take.
Next time!
After the search for beer, MORE refueling was needed! We ordered in thai food, because lunch yesterday just wasn’t enough! We split tom kha gai, pad ke mao, pad thai and pineapple fried brown rice. All the dishes had meat in them, which I avoided. 
Luckily, even though I didn’t get the Weasel Crap Beer, I found plenty to try!
Oh beer, how much I’ve missed you!
First up: The Midas Touch! This one was a sweet pale ale, brewed with honey, muscat grapes and saffron. I’m not a huge fan of sweet beers, but this one had enough hops to keep me happy. I won’t be getting this one again, but I’d definitely recommend it to any wine lovers out there! You’ll love the sweet honey undertones!
     I’d love to write more, but I have to finish packing for the long drive to Scottsdale, Arizona tomorrow for my new job! Woohoo! I’ll repeat for any new readers: I’ll be at the Carefree Fine Arts and Wine Festival from November 5th-7th, working at one of the artist’s booths! 
Anyone in the Scottsdale/Carefree area want to meet up??

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Filed under beer, cranberry apple butter, Dogfish Head, Great Harvest, gym, kitchen sink salad, Midas Touch, Mikkeller Geek Brunch Weasel, thai food, Trader Joe's, Weasel Crap Beer

Spicy-Sweet Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Exercise of the day: 45 minutes on the elliptical at level 8, and heart rate between 163-174. I did 30 woodchopper core weights, a crapload of sit-ups on an exercise ball and rolled out my IT bands again whilst trying not to tear up. Will the pain EVER stop? Stupid IT bands.

I went to the pumpkin patch today to pick up a big ole gourd to butcher.

So many pumpkins!
There was a petting zoo at one end…
with a fluffy chicken-y thing. I thought this was a dog at first before I saw its head.
     Turns out the pumpkins at the patch were ridiculously overpriced, and there was no haggling, so I headed home and made a fancy Kitchen Sink Salad.
Special ingredient – half of a deliciously ripe avocado! Yum, fat!
     I headed to Albertson’s to pick up a reasonably priced pumpkin.
At the patch, a pumpkin this size cost $14. I got it for $5.13. Oh yeah!
GUTS!
I don’t need newspaper – I’m a pro!
I started to carve “welcome home” for my roommates who are both returning from their trips tomorrow, but got tired after “welcome.” Now I just seem accommodating and friendly to everyone.
Don’t be fooled.
I also picked up some decor gourds. See how festive I am?
     I didn’t let those seeds go to waste though, don’t worry!

Spicy-Sweet Roasted Squash Seeds

Serves 2-4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Misc Pre-preparable
These crispy squash seeds are a perfect blend of sweet and spice, and make a wonderful snack on an autumn day, or a tasty garnish for warm soups.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rinsed squash seeds (I used butternut squash, but any type will do (ie. pumpkin, etc.))
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Step 2
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients.
Step 3
Spread the seeds in an even layer on a foil-covered baking sheet spritzed with olive oil.
Step 4
Bake the seeds for 20-30 minutes (your preference of crisp), stirring halfway.
I like mine really crispy!
Store them in a tupperware and snack away! These have MAJOR bite to them, so carry a bottle of water and Kleenex!
One of my free samples! I’m on a roll!

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Filed under elliptical, gourd, gym, kitchen sink salad, Kleenex, pumpkin carving, pumpkin patch, pumpkin seeds, recipe

My WHAT has MSG???

     Exercise of the day: 45 minutes on the elliptical at level 8. My heart rate was between 170-177 the entire way and I was drenched. It was awesome. I also did 30 tricep dips and 30 pullups, followed by insanely painful rolling of my IT bands. It hurt, but hurt less than last time!

     Now are you ready for something gross? I did a pantry/fridge clean. In the vein of The French Don’t Diet, I decided to compile everything from my fridge and pantry that contained any chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, added vitamins (we should get enough from our daily food sources) or food dyes. You ready for the outcome?

Holy. Crap.
     Let’s go through what we have here – ketchup (high fructose corn syrup), pickles (Yellow #5), powdered gravy mix and taco seasonings (corn syrup solids), bread crumbs (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil), oatmeal pancake mix (corn syrup solids), protein pasta (thiamine mononitrate added to replace what’s lost in processing), vegetable broth (monosodium glutamate aka MSG!). GAG. Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Now for the fridge. Ugh.
     Parmesan cheese (cellulose powder), pickles (yellow #5 again), ketchup and barbecue sauce (high fructose corn syrup), whipped cream (hydrogenated vegetable oil AND high fructose corn syrup), and so on and so forth. This shelf was jam packed with stuff to get rid of. The rest of my fridge? Pretty much empty. All that’s left is spinach, mixed greens, lentils, all natural peanut butter, tahini, celery, bell peppers, homemade hummus, hot sauce and whole grain mustard – I can live with that!
     After the pantry and fridge cleanse, I threw together a body and soul cleansing salad with what remained.
A Kitchen Sink Salad to trump all salads! This had half a bag of mixed greens, 2 organic zucchinis sauteed with herbes de provence, egg white salad, a yellow bell pepper, lentils and a dressing of whole grain mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Hey! I can pronounce every ingredient above!
     After all this, I feel good! I can’t wait to see how I feel after a week of eating clean, with no added chemicals, dyes or unnecessary added vitamins. I’ll get my vitamins straight from the source, thank you very much! From now on I’m sticking to foods that contain ingredients that I know, can pronounce, and don’t shudder when I think of putting it into my body. 
The best news? Gelato is all natural, baby!

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Filed under added chemicals, fridge cleanse, gelato, ketchup, kitchen sink salad, monosodium glutamate, MSG, The French Don't Diet, Yellow 6

Swollen-Faced Puppy!

     I got some good news last night: I booked that audition I had on Monday! I’m still waiting on all the info, but what I know as of now is that it’s b-roll footage (the footage of what goes on while the spokesperson is talking) for a commercial. That’s all I’ll share for now until I know that I’m not crossing any lines! I film on Sunday :-D.

     Today I woke up bright and early and went to the gym! I spent 35 minutes doing cardio on the elliptical (HR at 170 or above the whole time! Not sure if that’s healthy or maybe the reader was broken?) and then did some pull-ups and core weights. I finished up with a foam roller on my IT bands which hurt so bad I teared up! Foam roller is no longer my best friend – it’s more of a necessary evil.

I refueled with a mug of unsweetened jasmine green tea and a Halloween Monsta!
     I was about to head out the door for work when I saw this:
Swollen-faced Buddha!
     The entire right side of her face was swollen to high heaven and I, the spazz that I am, freaked out and thought that she’d been bitten by an evil deadly poisonous spider and that after her face had finished swelling, her throat would close up and she would die. I called into work telling them I’d be late and kept an eye on the pooch waiting for the telltale signs of her imminent death so I could take her to the vet. She promptly went over to her food bowl and devoured its contents, then brought her bone over to me to play. I went to work.
     Work was work. Boring and long and long and boring. I came home at lunch to make sure that the Buddha was still alive (she was), had some leftover chana masala and forced myself back to finish the final hours at work. When I got home, I realized that I had a leftover sweet potato that needed to be used up, so I made more fries!
I peeled and chopped up a small sweet potato then tossed it with olive oil and garlic salt and baked it at 450 degrees for about fifteen minutes, flipping halfway though.
I also finished up the leftover lettuce, lentils and egg white salad that was in the fridge. Kitchen Sink Salads make me happy!
     I have tomorrey off so I’ll be making some butternut squash and apple soup and grilling some salmon while reading “The Girl Who Played with Fire” (book number two in the “Dragon Tattoo” series) and sipping tea. My life is hard!
Any recipes you’ve wanted to try but haven’t had the time to? Maybe I can test a recipe tomorrow or Friday for you 🙂 I need a challenge!
(Preferably not a SUPER expensive challenge!)

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Filed under audition, booked, Buddha, chana masala, gym, Halloween Monster, jasmine green tea, kitchen sink salad, sweet potato fries, The Girl who Played with Fire

A New Journey!

     I’m trying something new for the next two weeks. Let’s see if you can figure it out…

Friday’s lunch…
Today’s lunch.
Friday’s post-dinner snack…
Today’s post-dinner snack.
That would be roasted seaweed. I’m not a fan.
     I didn’t give you many hints because I didn’t take enough pictures over the past few days, so I’ll just tell you: I’ve decided to become pescetarian for the following two weeks. Why, you ask? I really don’t know myself. All I know is that my body is fed up with the crappy eating as of late, and I’m ready for a jolt back into health. I’ve also cut out coffee (waaaaaah!) and alcohol (except for one night I have planned with friends) for a little extra cleanse. 
     For another extra boost, I joined the local gym for a month, and finally feel like I’m in a healthy mindset again! YOU READY FOR THIS?
     I’ll show you how I prepare for two weeks (if not more) of vegetarianism/pescetarianism. 
Seared ahi and avocado salad to prepare my body for the future.
A BIGASS burger topped with bacon, avocado and white cheddar with a huge side of sweet potato fries to bid a farewell to all things meat. Sniff.
DEVOUR!
Have you ever eaten something so good you wanted to cry? That’s what’s happening here.
SO GOOD!
     I’m off to sip some chamomile tea and try to race through my book, “The Lost Girls” to try and finish it before it’s due in three days. I only have three hundred and forty pages (!!!) left. Yikes. Audition tomorrey followed by hanging with Malachi and then work at night. It’s going to be a busy day!

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Filed under burgers, Chimay Grande Reserve, kitchen sink salad, pescetarianism, roasted seaweed, seared ahi, sweet potato fries, The Lost Girls, vegetarianism

Ladyface Date Night!

     Today, I had one goal in mind when I woke up: HAPPY HOUR DATE NIGHT! In preparation for such fantastical wonderment, I centered my day around it. It’s all about balance, baby!

My Monsta had SIX cups of spinach, 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened soymilk, 1/2 of a banana, 3 sprigs of fresh asparagus, 1/2 of a lemon and 1/2 of a lime, and 1/2 of a cup of frozen blueberries. POWERMONSTA!!!!
     I had four teeny-tiny hours at work today. I arrived with a big mug of coffee in my hand and a smile on my face. After those four hours, I left with an empty mug and a scowl. Grrr on you, retail!
I refueled with a mini-Kitchen Sink Salad. This had half of a bag of chopped lettuce, 1/4 of a chopped bell pepper, 1/2 of a cup of lentils and 1/2 of a carton of egg white salad. Just enough to tide me over until dinner, and just enough health to cancel out what comes next!
We went to Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie (What is a brasserie? I’m too lazy/exhausted to look it up!) for happy hour. This was my first time being here, and most definitely not my last!
The fermentation process takes place in the middle of the restaurant! Next time I go here, I will most definitely ask for a tour of the brewery! And employment! If only I lived closer…
First things first: We got the Picture City Porter. This beer has a strong scent of coffee and a mild taste of chocolate. It’s very rich, but has only a small amount of carbonation. Aaaah, beer, I’ve missed you!
We split a pitcher. It was somewhat awesome.
After checking out the bar menu, we couldn’t agree on the type of pommes frites to get, so I ordered the garlic and herb with garlic mayo, and he got the Harissa spice. The garlic and herb fries were AMAZING! He ended up not being a fan of the Harissa spice (“They’re too spicy! I thought they’d taste smoky!”) and demolished the remains of my fries. Rawr.
The sliders came next. We got them medium-well (NOOOO SALMONELLA!!!!), and they came on the most fluffy, delicate little buns I’ve ever had. When I start working there, I’ll tell you what they actually consist of :).
We also got an order of bruschetta. I was trying to have an open mind, but I definitely do NOT enjoy eating fungi, and only recently began enjoying having tomatoes on my burgers, so these were a fail for me. Plus, the toasted bread almost chipped my tooth. Boo.
Obviously, the only way to make my teeth feel better was to have another beer. They were all out of their ambers, so I settled for what the waiter recommended: Big Daddy IPA by Speakeasy. Apparently, Speakeasy is out of Boulder, CO: my old hometown. As soon as I heard that, I was sold. This beer is ridiculously hoppy, which I’m finally growing to appreciate and respect, and tasted like the holidays – a bit like pine, as weird as that sounds… It’s similar to Hoptober by New Belgium, yet was mellow enough that I wasn’t pursing my lips in pain after every sip. I guess I’m learning!
This picture is solely for my friend, Malachi. A giraffe, and a carafe. You’re welcome.
After a few hours and three beers on my part, we ended up with this amazing and completely unnecessary piece of bread pudding. Okay, that was a lie. It was TOTALLY necessary! This bread pudding was luscious and decadent and full of cinnamon, brandy, and love. It tasted like Cinnabon on crack. In a good way.
     Now, it’s only 9:45pm and I am completely tuckered-out. Starting happy hour at 4pm can do that to you, I guess. Enjoy the visual attack of delicious pictures, and I shall go pass out with visions of bread pudding swirling and twirling through my head. Tomorrey morning shall be greeted with a hike!
Where’s your favorite place for happy hour?

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Filed under beer, Bread pudding, date night, green monster, kitchen sink salad, Ladyface Ale Companie, Picture City Porter, pommes frites, sliders

Too. Much. Gelato!

     Today, I may have gone a little overboard. And by a little, I mean COMPLETELY. I visited Menchie’s for lunch.

I got a miniscule amount of tart frozen yogurt with some dark chocolate chips, strawberries, and one small square of brownie.
For dinner, I got a small gelato: Brown-sugar waffle-cone and amaretto chocolate chip. It was awesome. My stomach hurt – so good. Pain after this much dairy is good, right??
     Don’t worry, though! I balanced it out with a midday Monster!
This had 2 cups of spinach, 1/2 of a cup of blueberries, 1/4 of a frozen banana, 1 lime, 2 sprigs of asparagus and unsweetened soymilk. This helped balance me. Slightly…
     I kind of failed on the pictures today, so here’s a small recap of yesterday!
PEACH PIE MONSTA! I’ve found my new obsession. I had the usual ingredients in this, then threw in a ripe peach and a teaspoon of cinnamon. It’s like taking a bite out of autumn!
I had a Kitchen Sink Salad for lunch with half a bag of chopped lettuce, 1/2 of a carton of egg white salad, 1/2 of a cup of lentils, and 1/2 of a chopped red bell pepper. I love me the KSS!
This was lunch yesterday at work. I had a mini-spicy tuna roll with avocado. I ate this outside, all by myself. Apparently it was too cold for everyone else! It was a chilly 60 degrees, and I enjoyed the dark clouds and the cold breeze until I had to recede back into my dark retail dungeon.
     I had a few hours of work tonight, then came home to have a glass of red wine and watch my new obsession, “Nikita“! Yes, I know that it’s “Alias 2.0”, but I’m always okay with watching girls kicking ass. Plus, Shane West is on it. Le sigh :).
     Now it’s ridiculously late considering I have to work tomorrey at 8:30am, so I should probably go pass out. 

Apparently I need to have a pottery giveaway! I’ll think of something and post it in the next few days 🙂

Also, has anyone watched Nikita? What are your favorite guilty-pleasure TV shows?

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Filed under gelato, green monster, kitchen sink salad, Nikita, sushi, work