On Moving.

I moved out.

That sounds so dramatic, right?  Conjures up all sorts of story lines and skepticism of family issues.  But in reality, I’m just a 23-year-old grad student who was sick of her hour and a half commute to school 4 days a week.  I love my parents and living with them is wonderful most of the time, but I needed a change in a big way.  So I made one.

You might remember when I panicked last semester and had a meltdown, but eventually came around to the idea that I actually kind of enjoy getting my Master’s Degree.  But the commute had to go, friends.  I know there are people out there who have much longer commutes than I do, and they are very strong people.  I am simply not one of them.

Back at the beginning of October, I began searching BU’s website for possible apartments close to my college.  The only one that fell into my price range (AKA cheap) and desired location was a 4-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom, 3rd floor walk-up a little less than a mile away from BU’s College of Communications.  I went to check it out, fell in love with it, and found myself signing a lease for my first big-girl place a few months later.

Now, I am unpacked (for the most part) and already loving life outside of Lynn, MA.  I have 3 roommates, a good-sized room, still plenty of space to cook and a 3-minute walk to the gym.

I heart my new kitchen. That's my new crockpot already taking up space on the counter.

And while I’m only in here until the end of May, when I have to gear up for my summer in London (still more details to come!), I find it very cool to say that “my apartment in Boston” is the best loan money I’ve spent so far.

No, sadly, Boyfriend is not my roommate.. yet. But the ribbon/clothespin photo idea is courtesy of my cousin Ali.

Not sure what that says about the actual degree I’m working so hard for, but it’s the little things, like my very large schedule board, that make me happy.

What? You mean everyone doesn't have a huge bulletin board dedicated to their daily routine? I don't understand. And yes, the shiny black and silver things on my bookcase ARE pom-poms. Don't judge.

I want to know: Did you love your first real home-away-from-home?  Was it super expensive or was the price just right? How do you feel about my crazy bulletin board?  What craft on Pinterest can I add to my room decor?

So much to talk about..

First of all, I’ve been gone again for way too long.. almost a month, which for a blogger is almost completely unacceptable.  I will try to make up for lost time.

Barcelona was amazing.  I indulged in all of the food I intended on trying – patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy sauce), gelato of all flavors (twice a day.. literally: nutella, straciatella, brownie, sweet biscuit, tiramisu) I could not get enough of the stuff.  I think I should open my own gelato francise here in America -I would make so much money.  Sangria and red wine were staples – by the bottle or the jug.  I only had paella one but it was so flavorful and satisfying, filled with chicken and saffron and shrimp (that unfortunately still had the eyes on it..) that I found bliss instantly.

Even the plane ride there and back was incredible; I definitely know why people splurge for the internation Business class.  The second we sat down, I was handed a glass of champagne.  To follow, as much wine as I wanted and a three course dinner. PLUS, a two course snack later and rolls with delicious, creamy German butter. 

Needless to say, I’ve been dieting ever since, but doing very well. (A full 13 pounds down at least!) 

To bring us up to date, I’ve still been experimenting with appetizers for my family.  The mushroom tartlets didn’t go over as well as I hoped but my mom and dad LOVED the spinach-mozzarella balls I made them.  They just need to be a bit smaller, those were huge suckers.  I’m going to give a lemon-rosemary chicken skewer the old try next.

I’ve also been trying to cook things other than the same chicken every night.  Last night, I took a recipe by Robin Miller and spiced it up by adding a few things here and there, throwing it in the crockpot and letting it go for 5 hours on high.  It was like autumn on a plate – apples, onions, chicken, rosemary, creamy soup and a bit of salt and pepper.  I’ll post the recipe in my Tried & True section because it definitely deserves to be there.

Tonight, I’m thinking fish.  Any suggestions?