Lately

To say that life has changed a lot since my last post would be…entirely accurate.  I’ve been so excited to share all the goings-on around here for awhile, and am seizing a somewhat-freer afternoon to sit down and type it all out.

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{my favorite (and cheesiest) bulletin board}

First things first- I am LOVING my new teaching job.  My coworkers are kind and helpful, my students are adorable and eager to learn (so far..we’ll see how true this is once the back-to-school “honeymoon” is over!), and the school building itself is brand new and gorgeous.  I’m still settling into my classroom and getting to know the everyday routines and rhythms of the school, and I’m bracing myself for the inevitable craze of October, when all of the real work and learning will begin.  I would be outright lying if I said I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed with planning curriculum, setting up grades, and all of the other lovely things a first-timer teacher needs to build from scratch.  However, I am very lucky to be teaching in my school, and I grow more grateful by the day that I wound up where I did.

In other news, T and I have finally made the move to Nashua!  I’m actually a bit surprised by how quickly we’ve settled in to such a drastically different place.  We’ve been here for about two weeks now, and I can happily report that we are officially unpacked!  However, even though our stuff is no longer in boxes, I have yet to find just the right place for everything.  I have some decorating/crafting projects planned for this fall and winter that I’m pretty excited about, including vamping up our dresser-turned-bar, and I think these will add those final touches that the new place is still missing.

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dresser turned bar

 

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desk digs

 I haven’t been able to explore much of our new city yet, but I’m deeply intrigued by a few spots in the downtown area that I’m sure we’ll be getting to soon.

Until next time xx

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Raw Pad Thai

With summer and all of its humidity in full swing here in Boston, I’ve been scrambling to come up with some lighter, yet still satisfying dinners that don’t require much interaction with the stove or oven.  After perusing my cookbooks and Pinterest without much luck, I finally stumbled across this recipe for a raw pad thai dish from one of my all time favorite vegan blogs, “Oh She Glows.”  This dish delivered on everything I was looking for: it was simple to prepare, it tasted delicious, and I got to steer clear of the stove.  While I used “Oh She Glows” creator Angela Liddon’s recipe as an inspiration and a base line, I made a couple very minor adjustments based on personal preference and, full disclosure, needing to creatively replace a few items I forgot to buy at the grocery store.  You can find the original recipe here, or follow along with my very minimally tweaked method below.  Either way, do yourself a favor and give it a try!

Raw Pad Thai( originally found on Oh She Glows)

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 2 carrots, cut into strips with a peeler
  • 1 cup edamame, thawed
  • 1 pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • Small handful of almonds, chopped in a food processor

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons each of:
    • Lime juice (takes 1 lime)
    • Water
    • Soy Sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Method

  1. Spiralize/slice/prep all of your veggies and mix together in a bowl.  The only major changes I made from the original recipe were to omit the cabbage (never really been a fan) and seeds (I totally forgot to buy them.)  To make up for the missing seeds and add a little crunch to this salad, I ended up grinding some raw almonds as a topping and it was DELICIOUS.  
  2. Toss all of your sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor (or whip by hand), and blend until smooth.  The only change I made to my sauce was to add more almond butter to make it a little thicker than the original.  To be honest I’ll probably add a bit more to my next batch, since my sauce was still a bit too watery for my liking.
  3. Pour your dressing over the salad and enjoy!
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check those colors!
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get in my belly

What have you been cooking lately? Know of any good food blogs I should check out? I’d LOVE to hear!

Boho Spaces

Hello all! With our upcoming move to Nashua creeping ever closer, I have home decor on the brain…like a lot.  I’m so excited to move into the new place and start the settling in process.  While we won’t be there for about another month, I’ve been obsessing brainstorming how I want to make the space look and feel.  I want our new apartment’s style to strike a balance between cozy and stylish, and so I took to Pinterest to start gathering some ideas.

It wasn’t long before I started noticing a trend in my “Round the House” Pinterest board.  I found myself being drawn to rooms with tons of color and texture, plenty of plants, unique knick knacks, and vintage furniture.  In short, the realization dawned that all of the looks I loved were pretty heavily lace with Bohemian style.  The rooms that inspired me most seemed to exhibit the perfect blends of comfort and style, color and coziness, usefulness and edginess.  Basically, I cannot wait to get into our new apartment and experiment with our new space to give it that funky, cozy, unique, and colorful Bohemian vibe I’m going for.  In the meantime, feel free to join me in crushing hard on and gaining inspiration from these gorgeous homes*.

boho 2
source here
boho 3
source here
boho 1
source here

To see what else I’m pinning, feel free to check out my Pinterest.  What’s inspiring you lately? Have any good home decor tips? I’d love to hear 🙂

 

*While I originally found all of these looks on Pinterest, I’ve credited their original sources (to the best of my knowledge) beneath each photo.

 

Lately…Boston Edition

With the summer being as busy as it’s been around here, I was so happy that T and I both had last Friday off.  We want to soak up as much of Boston as we can before our move to Nashua, so we decided to invite my younger cousin Kayla up for a day of sightseeing in the city.  We hiked rode the elevator  to the 50th floor of the Prudential Center to see the gorgeous views from the Skywalk Observatory, moseyed along Newbury Street, and stopped for lunch at the Trident Cafe (which is also a very cool and well-stocked bookstore).  While Kayla’s visit was short and sweet, it was the perfect way to spend a precious free day**.

What have you been up to lately? I’d love to hear 🙂

-Ashley-

 

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boston from the top
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trying to find my neighborhood
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fenway
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don’t look down
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view from the top
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i’m cheesin, and kayla is too cool for me (obviously)
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paparazzi moment
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strollin down newbury street
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another view of the pru

**My outfit details: dress available here

Happy Things

Hello, hello! Seeing as my summer school job starts next week, I’ve been doing my best to enjoy the last long, lazy week I’ll have for awhile.  I spent tons of time reading, catching up on errands, and heading out into the gorgeous summer weather as much as possible.  Luckily, I was also able to sneak a quick trip back to my hometown to visit my parents too!  While I could only stay for one night, I was able to take my dad to the Dark Horse Tavern for his birthday dinner, teach my mom about Snapchat (evidence to follow), and cuddle with Jax.  My parents even surprised me with a GORGEOUS peridot bracelet as a belated graduation present!  You guys…I cried when I opened it. I wasn’t kidding when I said that I cry really easily!

After being pampered by a great last week of June, I am more than ready to welcome July with lots of 4th of July celebrations this weekend!  I’ll catch ya back here next week- happy weekend to you!

 

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Recipe sneak peek
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Keeping it colorful
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A new friend

 

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Momma and me

Lately + Power Kale Bowl

Hello! I KNOW I’ve been away for awhile, and I am so sorry for my absence.  Life got a little crazy over the past month or two, and I decided to take a break from this space so I could focus on other (mostly awesome) things that were happening in my life.  Now that the dust has settled a bit and I can finally breathe,  I am so happy to dive back into ‘have heart’ with a renewed sense of energy.  Which brings me to a few announcements that I am SO HAPPY to share with you!

First up…I am OFFICIALLY a licensed teacher and survivor of graduate school.  I have to say, it feels damn good to see my teaching license number pop up on my education profile page, and I cannot wait to frame my diploma!

Secondly, I’ll be putting said license and diploma to good use in my very own classroom! I am so so relieved and excited to announce that I will be teaching 5th grade English Language Arts this fall.  I admit, I’m feeling a little nervous about this next step in my career, but I am already in love with my new school and cannot wait to meet all of my new students. Wish me luck!

And lastly…you might recall from this post that T and I are moving.  Well, long story short, that post was written a bit prematurely, and we ended up losing that particular apartment to another applicant (Boston real estate is a cut throat monster basically).  As disappointed as we were initially, our loss turned into luck, and we were able to find a gorgeous little condo that we absolutely fell in love with.  We’ve crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s, and this time our move is offish.  The twist?  Our new place is in Nashua, NH (read: NOT Boston).  While a part of me is a wee bit heart broken about leaving the city, I’m feeling overall really really good about the move, and I’m looking forward to exploring and settling into a new place with T. Oh, and we’re allowed to have dogs there, so stay tuned for my adoption of 1,000 puppies.

That pretty much sums up all of the big news around here.  It feels so good to be back, and I’m looking forward to getting back into my flow here at ‘have heart’ and reconnect with the blogging world.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get to the good stuff…lunch.  When summer arrives and the days grow hot, I tend to stick to cold salads for lunch.  They’re just so easy, and can be pretty refreshing on humid days.  However, they can also get a little boring, which never makes for a satisfying meal.  In the spirit of spicing up my favorite summer lunch meal, I fooled around in the kitchen a bit to come up with this little number: The Kale Power Bowl.  It does require a bit more prep work to make, so I suggest planning ahead the night before if you want to pack this bad boy for lunch.

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Power Kale Bowl

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil, 1/2- 1 TBSP
  • Yellow onion, 1/2 c. diced
  • Mushrooms, 3-4 diced
  • Broccoli, roughly 7 spears
  • Lentils, 1/2 c. dry
  • Firm tofu, 1/5 block
  • Roma tomato, diced
  • Kale, 5 leaves roughly chopped
  • Parsley, 1 small handful chopped
  • Avocado, 1/4 diced
  • Balsamic vinegar, roughly 1 TBSP
  • Olive oil, roughly 1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder

Method:

1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions. Set aside.

2. While the lentils are cooking,  warm the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add the diced onion, mushrooms, and broccoli, along with salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

3. In the meantime, dice your chunk of tofu on a cutting board.  Then, with a fork, mash the cubes of tofu flat in order to “scramble” it.  Add the scrambled tofu to the pan, and add a dash more salt, pepper, as well as garlic powder.  Sauté on medium heat until tofu is warmed through and has started to brown.

4. While your lentils and scramble are cooking, prepare the salad bed.  In a large bowl, toss the kale and parsley until mixed.  Add the diced avocado, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to the greens.  Gently massage the “dressing” into the leaves, until the avocado has mashed and the vinegar and oil are spread evenly.

5. Top your salad bed with the scramble, lentils, and raw diced veggies of your choosing.  I opted for tomatoes and marinated olives, but the beauty of this dish is that you can get playful with your veggies!

This recipe is very relaxed.  When I was assembling this salad, I didn’t really measure anything, and sort of tossed ingredients together in the hope that they tasted good.  I can personally attest that this particular combination was filling and delicious, but I encourage you to experiment with your own combinations!  And, please do share them if you try this dish out 🙂

Until next time!

Hello, May (and Way of Gray)

I might be a day late, but I still cannot believe that May is already here! I’m still waiting for Mother Nature to bestow sunny days and May flowers on Boston, but the promise of summer creeping ever closer is pulling me through!

Before I introduce my new goal for this month, I need to come clean about my April goal.  To be brief, I flopped.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I had a really hard time remembering to drink water regularly throughout the day, and I found myself often realizing around dinnertime that I’d barely drunk any all day.  Needless to say, I’m a little bummed with myself for being so flaky with my goal; however, this month did help me realize that gallon or not, I do not drink nearly enough water.  Moving forward, I aim to be better about this habit in general, and will reach for it more often then I have.

That being said, I am so excited and READY for my May goal: to work up a sweat a minimum of five days a week.  I’ve been making it a point recently to wake up early a few mornings a week to get a workout in, but this month I want to focus on upping the ante when it comes to physical fitness.  Since my current schedule leaves precious little time for me to get to the gym, I decided to find an alternative workout program that I could do at home with nothing else but myself and a yoga mat.

My mind immediately jumped to Sophie Gray, a personal trainer and nutritionist.  I currently own two of her HIIT programs (which are crazy hard and sadly no longer available on her site), but I decided to check out her page to see if she had any new offerings.  After perusing her site, I decided to purchase her new  Love Yourself* program, which is available via eBook complete with video links to each workout.  The program has a convenient schedule of 4 workouts/wk, which stretch across the span of 3 months.  While the initial week or two look to be on the easier side, the intensity of the sessions increases throughout the program, which I am so looking forward to.  I’ve been a huge fan of Sophie’s HIIT routines in the past, and I’m excited to dive into her new program to see what it has to offer!

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image here

In addition to my four mornings of HIIT, I want to incorporate running, yoga, and weight-lifting workouts into my 5th day each week, mostly to prevent myself from getting too bored.  By the end of this month, I hope to feel stronger, leaner, and more passionate about fitness.  And hey, it wouldn’t hurt to feel more confident in summer clothes, right?

What have you been doing to get your body moving? I’d love to hear 🙂

My Morning Routine

For reasons unknown, I have always loved waking up early in the morning.  There’s something so satisfying about greeting the day when most of the world is still asleep, and knowing that I have a good chunk of time to myself before I leave the apartment.  Over the past few months, I’ve been establishing a morning routine that pushes me to use that extra time to get myself ready to tackle the rest of my day. Full disclaimer:  I don’t have it down to an exact science, and it definitely doesn’t happen every day.  However, on the mornings that I do rise and grind, I’ve noticed that for the rest of the day I’m more productive, have more energy, and feel genuinely much happier.  What’s not to love about that?

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image credit

I’ve really been loving this routine, and I do think that the early wake-up call is 100% worth it.  And so, without further ado, here she is:

1) 4:00~4:15 AM: Wake up and drink a glass of water!  I’m always thirsty when I wake up, and I find a cold glass of water perks me right up first thing in the morning.  PS- I KNOW that this is incredibly early, but since I need to be out of the house by 6:30 AM to be at work on time, there’s no other way around this wakeup time if I want a couple hours to myself at the beginning of the day.

2) 4:15-4:20:  Water in hand, I like to head straight to my desk and jot down something that I’m grateful for or looking forward to in my gratitude journal.  This small act takes all of five minutes, and truly helps set a positive tone for the rest of my day.

3) 4:20-4:30: Write my to-do list in my Erin Condren planner.  Even though I often add more items to this list as the day goes on, I feel more prepared to tackle the day if I have a rough roadmap of what I need to accomplish beforehand.

4) 4:30~5:15ish: Sweat session.  Since most of my afternoons are jam packed with class, homework, or errands and chores, if I want to work out, it needs to happen in the morning.  I’ve recently been LOVING this HIIT (high intensity interval training) program from Way of Gray.  I will not lie…they’re hard, but I always feel amazing afterwards.

5) 5:15-6:15: Shower, get dressed, apply makeup, etc.  I try to squeeze in another glass or two of water during this “get ready” time.

6) 6:15-6:30: Make coffee, a green smoothie, pack my lunch, and GO!

What does your morning routine look like? Any tips to make waking up easier? I’d love to hear!

Happy Things

Hello! It’s been a little over a week since my last post (sorry!)  My school district had our April vacation last week, and to be honest I just needed the time to unplug.  I tackled no to-do lists, slept in, hosted a clothing swap with some girlfriends , and caught up on a few shows I’ve been neglecting (read: I feel bad making T watch them with me).  My staycation was relaxing and glorious, and left me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the end of my LAST SEMESTER OF GRADUATE SCHOOL!!!

I do have a couple of fun posts coming up later this week, but in the meantime, here are some things that have brought a smile to my face lately.

celtics
{nearly court-side at the Celtics game}
maddie
{maddie cat being snuggly}

Luckily, April vacation kicked off with a Red Sox game on Marathon Monday! It was so fun to be in the middle of all the excitement on one of the first truly beautiful spring days here in Boston.

fenway
{fenway!}
grading
{grading papers in the sun}
margz
{a marg for me, a marg for you}
cheese board
{cheeseboard: complete with options for vegans and vegetarians (and cheese-loving omnivores)}
clothes swap
{swappin}

I’m happy to say that the clothes swap was a success! I scored some really great pieces, made a ton of room in my closet, and was still able to donate some good quality items that no one wanted by the end of the night.  Win-win-win!

What have you been up to lately? I’d love to hear!

Think of Brighter Days: Girls Weekend in NoHo!!!

We all know how much I love a good girls’ weekend, and this past one was no exception!  A few months ago Barefoot Truth, a band my girlfriends and I have loved since college, announced that they were playing a one-night-only reunion show in Northampton.  Naturally, we took advantage of the show and planned a reminiscent weekend getaway in our old stomping grounds so that we could attend the concert, catch up with each other’s lives, and eat embarrassing amounts of food.  Win, win, win.

We stayed in the best air bnb, went for a morning hike, grubbed out on some tapas, and jammed out to Barefoot Truth’s show (which was incredible per usual, despite a fire alarm delay!)  I was terrible at taking pictures throughout the weekend, and some of these are stolen from my girlfriends, but they’ll just have to do!

trail
trail blazin
silly
gotta have a silly one
nice
selfie stick city
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a tamer trail
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view from the top of mt. sugarloaf
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proud hikers
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jammin

What did you do this weekend? I’d love to hear!