Slamming your thumb in the car door…

I highly recommend that you DO NOT do what is listed in the title of this post. My thumb is throbbing right now and typing without using your thumb, while possible, is quite uncomfortable.

How did I come about injuring my thumb? Simple. I was rushing and absentmindedly shut my thumb on my right hand into my car door as I arrived at work. Now to avoid completely horrifying you, I will not post photos. Thankfully I didn’t completely shut the door so that it latched and locked, but I did shut it hard enough that my right hand thumb has been out of commission for the day.

What happens when you show people what you just did to your thumb? Well there were a variety of reactions. Most began with the “Oww!” and “That looks horrendous!”  Then it was followed mostly by “Oh my, you are gonna have to drill a hole in that nail to let the blood out.”  Yes, a lovely pool of blood was collecting under my nail and making all sorts of shapes throughout the day. Sorry if you don’t like reading about blood, but again that is why I posted no photos.

Now most people know that when a child falls you shouldn’t panic and react because that is what sets fear into them most of the time and causes them to panic and cry.  This continues into adulthood people! As everyone overreacted to my thumb incident I began to panic more and more. For most of my work day I sat there staring at my thumb honestly expecting it to shrivel up and fall off unless I cut a big whole into my nail bed. Oh and did I mention everyone telling me I’m going to lose my nail completely? Yeah all of this helped so much.

Well guess what? That didn’t happen. Here’s what has happened: its sore, sensitive, and looks like crap.  If I put pressure on it…well I just am trying not to do that. However against my better judgement I made a little hole with a pin into my nail bed. It bled a little and the pressure feels slightly better but that big ugly blotch is still there.

Let me clarify here so no one gets all bent out of shape: I appreciate all of the input people gave me today. I just don’t think people scaring the crap out of me really helped the situation.  So really all I’m getting at is that if someone hurts themselves and you react to them – do it gently people! Most of us are just big kids who want people to calm us down when we get hurt.

So far my thumb nail is still here and I can still type, just slightly slower and more gently than I did before. Here’s hoping it heals with no problems and I don’t have to become left handed.

End rant. Goodnight world!

Surviving the corporate takeover.

As I said in my previous post, I apologize for neglecting you for the past three months. School full time and work full time will drain every ounce of spare moments you have as well as your energy to make your brain function. So here I am with a little over two weeks until the next semester starts so let me catch you up.

First of all, I finished my first semester towards my masters degree in journalism.  Although it was trying at times, I really enjoy being back in school! (As my niece would say, I’m not a geek I’m an intellectual badass.)  Now I don’t want to brag but I did get all A’s in my classes which means my grade point average is a 4.0.  Not bad for my first semester back in school after six years! My social life may have suffered but I kicked some academic butt.

Secondly, I went back to work full time as I said way back in September.  Since then we have been going through a buy out from the corporate office (we were an affiliate before).  It was nerve-racking because corporate couldn’t offer us jobs until we were no longer affiliate employees.  So on December 30 the sale happened, we went home from work, and waited all New Years weekend to find out our fate. Now we were all pretty sure that we would have jobs, but nothing seems guaranteed in this world anymore. So needless to say when we gathered for the corporate welcome meeting this past Tuesday at 7:30 A.M. we were all slightly edgy.

Guess what happened? We all still have jobs. Just like we’d thought but stressed about for quite awhile. The benefits are great, the pay is the same, and I’m personally going to be doing something entirely different than what my job function was before. I welcome the change with open arms! I’m just happy to have a job.  Plus it will be fun to learn some new duties of the office.

Is everyone happy? Of course not. No one ever is. There are the typical people there who were complaining before about everything and are still complaining now. Honestly they will probably be complaining until the day they drop dead. It truly amazes me how people play the victim in life and don’t take responsibility for their own actions. It’s your life people – if you aren’t happy do something to improve it!

I don’t know who said it, but I once heard that the only thing constant is change. It’s the truth. People hate change. They like routine. I like it too.  However I know that change is going to happen and all  you can do is accept the changes and adapt to them, or figure out a way to change your life around it to be happier. I’m trying to have a new attitude toward change. Change can be a good thing! It’s all how you choose to look at it.  So if you are encountering a change in your life, attack that b*tch! You can conquer anything!

Enough positive ranting for now. As always, thanks for reading!

Yama Zakura – Northborough, MA

I know – its been too long since I’ve posted anything and I’m sorry! School, work, and the holidays kicked my butt. I’m going to do my best to blog as much between now and the beginning of next semester, I promise! (If anyone at all even cares.)  Here’s a little restaurant review I’ve been meaning to post!

My husband and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on September 6, 2011.  Being that we both love food and drinks, it is quickly becoming our tradition that we go out somewhere really fantastic to eat in honor of our special day.  This year we chose to go out for sake and sushi and ended up at Yama Zakura.

Yama Zakura is located at 369 West Main Street in Northboro, in a little plaza that doesn’t look like much from the outside. Once you step in the restaurant though you wouldn’t even know you were in the suburbs.  The restaurant expanded not long ago, opening up the place and creating a whole new atmosphere.  The decor is modern yet cozy with the lighting keeping the place casual yet sophisticated. Honestly I felt like I was in an establishment in Boston, not Northborough.



















Now on to the reason we went to this establishment – sake and sushi!! Let me sum it up in this way – My husband said he will have difficulty going any other sushi place because all others pale in comparison to Yama Zakura.  We started with some edamame – a staple in any sushi outing if you ask me. Then for the main event we ordered four rolls – the rainbow, the Jennifer, the good life, and the volcano.  The Jennifer roll was one of the most delicious sushi rolls I’ve ever eaten!! Consisting of tempura sweet potato, avocado, cucumber, and topped with sweet potato, avocado, panko and Zakura sauce, this roll was an explosion of flavor that has yet to leave my mind or taste buds! The good life was a little roll of heaven with spicy tuna (I’m a raw tuna addict), and cucumber wrapped in more tuna and topped with panko, tobiko, and Zakura sauce. The rainbow and volcano, two common rolls my husband loves, were both fresh and delightful!











We both had sake and Sapporo to wash down the delicious fish but opted for no dessert because honestly we were both so full I don’t think we could’ve fit anything else in! The bill was high but for two things of sake a piece, two appetizers, and four rolls I wouldn’t expect any less. Plus for sushi this good I was willing to pay!! The waitstaff was on their game and while the restaurant noise carried it didn’t bother me or force me to scream to speak to my husband.

If you are a sushi lover and haven’t tried Yama Zakura in Northborough yet I strongly suggest you plan a night out. There’s a reason that Anna, the owner, has been voted best chef by the readers of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette the last two years! Run, don’t walk, to Yama Zakura. I wouldn’t steer you in the wrong direction!

Life update: back to work & back to school!

I’m sorry. I’ve been neglecting you. It wasn’t intentional. Life has just gotten pretty hectic in the past couple of weeks. But I’m back! Here for your entertainment or the cure to your boredom. What has kept me so rudely absent? Here goes…

First off, I was accepted to the masters program for Mass Media & Journalism at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. The whole program is online and I am attending full time, which is 3 classes. I’m really very excited to be doing this. I love to learn and have truly missed going to school since I graduated back in 2005! So its taking me a bit to adjust but I’m loving it. First week in and I feel good.

Second, I’m going back to work. Full time. At the company that I was laid off from back in February, prompting me to start this little blog. So unfortunately for those who were my cohorts in the land of unemployment, I will no longer be posting about being unemployed.  I got the call the other day that a girl wasn’t working out and they wanted me back. I already knew the job and the people, plus its going back to the same hours, pay, etc… You can’t go wrong with that. In this day & age when you have this kind of opportunity you have to take it.

Will I be giving up blogging? I think not. I really love this little world of mine on the web. Is anyone reading it? Who knows. In my mind there are a ton of you and you cling to every word I say. So lets just go with that.

It may take some time for me to learn to balance work, school, my love for food and the blog but have no fear! We will continue on. There will be more food reviews because, lets face it, a girls gotta eat! Till next time my cyber friends, I bid you adieu.

Bob & Timmy’s Legendary Pizza – Providence RI

Pizza. What’s not to love.  Carbs, gooey cheese, and I’ll even acknowledge the veggie portion of the tomato sauce. While I love the traditional cheese pizza as much as anyone, I also love to try different varieties of pies. So when I saw an episode of Man vs. Food that showed off Bob & Timmy’s Legendary Pizza I hightailed it on down there from Central Massachusetts to see just how legendary it was.

Bob & Timmy’s is located at 32 Spruce Street in Providence, RI.  It is nestled in the quaint area known as Federal Hill. With an over abundance of restaurants to choose from it may seem like a difficult decision on where to eat. I can tell you one thing though – if you want friendliness, a cool atmosphere, and GREAT pizza then you want to head to Bob & Timmy’s.

The big deal about the pizza here is that it is thin crust and grilled on an open wood fire. The result is phenomenal. The crust is thin and upon first sight of the pizza we didn’t think we would be able to pick it up without all the toppings falling off. We were wrong. The crust was crispy and held the whole pie together perfectly!

One of the pies they are most famous for is the Spinach & Mushroom pie. It consists of sauteed mushrooms, spinach, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan, Romano and Feta cheese. Now, if you are like me, the idea of the Feta throws you off immediately. Having said that – just ignore that there is Feta on it and get this pizza. The combination of the cheese flavors with the spinach & mushrooms bursts in your mouth awakening all of your senses.

We also tried the grilled chicken pizza – grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, pomodoro sauce, Parmesan, Romano and Gorgonzola cheeses topped with parsley.  Equally as good as the spinach pie, this one really made my mouth happy. I’m a huge fan of pomodoro sauce and this one was fresh and tangy. The combination of cheeses again is an art that Bob & Timmy’s has mastered – they know just the right ones to top a pie with that compliment all the ingredients.

If you are indecisive (as my husband and I were this night) you can get a pie half & half. Pick two pizzas and they’ll make half of each. Does it get better than that?

The restaurant serves beer & wine and they have an excellent little patio on the side that is shaded by trees and provides a nice al fresco experience. If you like to people watch while enjoying delicious food then this is the place to sit. The inside was clean but small and it can get crowded by the front door if there is a wait. The servers were friendly and the patrons were too! We ended up chatting with a couple of people we were sitting beside.

Prices were very reasonable for the quality of the food. We had a total of four beers, a house salad (that was gigantic), and the half & half pizza and with tip our total came to $50. Plus we went home with some pizza – lunch for the next day!

The place packs them in so if you want to go and not have a wait I suggest getting there between 4 & 5. When we left around 7 the line was out the door for a table! Overall this restaurant exceeded my expectations. You can’t go wrong when you receive service with a genuine smile and food that jolts your tastebuds back from the dead. We left with a happy belly and a feeling of contentment – nothing wrong with that.

Nice weather and no money do not go well together.

Its a beautiful day here in Massachusetts. Sunny, high 70’s, no humidity – windows are wide open & there is a gorgeous breeze coming through. This weather makes me happy. However I’m also going insane because of it.

This weather makes me want to go out & do things – especially eat on a patio somewhere and have cocktails. That is one of my favorite things in the world to do. Sit outside, order some really good grub, and have an adult beverage. Is there anything better in the world? Its the little pleasures in life that get you through day to day.

Now lets throw a new twist into the nice weather situation – I have no money. I’ve been on unemployment for 5 months. I work part time and that definitely helps but I still have no money. With all the monthly bills and the past fun that I’ve had I have recently had to face reality – its time to tighten up the financial belt.

I got used to being able to do whatever I wanted when I was financially stable. I could go out to eat & spend a lot because I had a good paying job PLUS a part time gig. You couldn’t beat that. Now its entirely different. There is no surplus of money pouring in. So my weekly allowance that let me eat, drink, and be merry has no shriveled down to next to nothing.

So as I sit here debating in my mind if I can spend the $40 on going out to eat, I also try to convince myself that I’m ok with staying in and making dinner. I CAN have a cocktail at home and have it still be satisfying. Yes, I live in a condo building but I can cook & then take it downstairs to the small concrete patio we have. Its not quite the same as being waited on at a restaurant but who cares, right?

Sigh. I just keep telling myself I don’t need to go out & spend my money because the bottom line is, well, I don’t! I have things in the future that need my money more than some restaurant. Truthfully, most of what I cook at home is better than some restaurants food anyways. So as much as I love going out, tonight I’m just going to stay in.

Although I may have to go grab a frozen yogurt at the new place down the street…hey I can’t quit everything cold turkey! 🙂 Happy Thursday everyone!

Back to School (and I don’t mean the Rodney Dangerfield movie)

So what does one do when they feel trapped in their own life? I am feeling the ropes getting tighter around me as I search for work and try to find some sort of direction for their life path. So I did what any unemployed, college educated person would do – I applied to go back to school.

I know what some people are probably thinking – she has a Bachelors degree and can’t find a job. What is another degree going to do? Well first off, it will give me a sense of purpose in my life. Right now I work 2 days a week. I can’t find a full time job and believe me, I’m trying. If I have classes and work to do I think it will give my time the structure that I need. I need a schedule. I thrive on having too much to do, it’s when I am at my best.

Secondly, I love school. I didn’t when I was in high school but something changed when I went to college. Probably the fact that I was paying for it myself. Yet in all truth, I just loved learning new things. I was in control of the classes I was taking. I could study subjects that interested me. It was like a whole new world that I could explore! I loved the first week of classes. Getting new books & supplies.  Meeting new people in classes. All of it was a bit of a rush for me. Call me a dork or a nerd…whatever you want, I still loved it!

So the option of going back for my masters has provided a little spark in my life that seemed to be missing these past few months. I have that giddy, back to school feeling in my stomach. Most kids dread the month of August because they know school is only a few weeks away. I’m basking in it!

So here I am. 34, application to school submitted, and waiting for my acceptance. I have a few more things to submit to the school so that I can have my application fully processed but I’m working on those as we speak. I feel alive again. I feel like I’m putting a purpose back in my everyday life. I feel alive again. It may just be what I need to kick my ass back into the high geared overachiever that it used to be.

A job search conundrum: do you take a cut in pay?

Sorry I haven’t been around much. July was a crazy month. Busy at the cafe, busy social calendar, and still on that inevitable search for the perfect job. During the last month I came across an issue that seems to be happening to a lot of unemployed people – finding a job that seems great but is a decrease in pay.

I read an article quite awhile ago when the unemployment rate was at its highest. It talked about what people were doing to find work and also discussed how many people were finding that they were overqualified for many positions and that they couldn’t find employment at the same rate of pay they had before.  For people who are barely scraping by, how do you take a job that means you will actually be making less money each week?

That’s something I stumbled upon recently. There was a job opportunity I was going to apply for. I knew someone that worked there and they were going to recommend me for the position. It seemed like a great place to work from the description I received. Not my ideal career move, but a job. Then the discussion of pay came up. The rate was $7 less an hour than what I was making before. Not to mention the fact that it was an hour commute each way and would cost me at least $70 a week in gas to get back & forth (public transportation wasn’t an option).

My husband and I went over all the pros & cons. In the end, it just didn’t make sense financially for me to even apply. We figured out that I would be making almost $200 a week less than I am currently making on unemployment and with my part time work. That just seemed insane.

As I pondered this situation I found myself wondering how many others out there are experiencing the same issue. I mean, we need to survive. Thankfully there is an unemployment program that allows us to have money while searching for a new job. Yet what happens when the only jobs you are finding are less money than you were making? It’s a hard reality to face but one that is inevitable for most.

So as if the job search wasn’t hard enough, you now have to take into account the fact that you may not be making what you were before. Time to tighten up that budget! Its just the way of the economy at this point. Things are getting better but still aren’t where they should be. So you just may have to suck it up and if you get a job opportunity that’s less of a salary, just take it. Within reason of course. Clearly the situation I was presented with wasn’t one I could even take into consideration. So I continue on my quest for employment. Applying everywhere and anywhere and hoping that when that opportunity comes along that it will give me enough pay to still survive.

College graduate turned Barista

Times are tough these days. It seems I just keep stumbling more & more upon people who are unemployed. I thought this economy was getting better? From my eyes I can’t see it yet. So what does one do when they are on unemployment and that amount of money isn’t enough? Its simple…you turn to part time work.

So here I am – a 34 year old Barista at a cafe. You can call me a Barista, but really I’m just a slave to the food industry. My cafe makes coffees, smoothies & food. Its not rocket science but let me tell you something – some days its the hardest job I’ve ever had.

I have days where its easy and all the customers are great. Then you have days where everything just goes wrong and you think some of these people are going to throw their 180 degree lattes in your face. It can go either way. Its the bad days when I take a moment to think of that Bachelor of Science degree that hangs so perfectly on my wall (its staring at me as I type this blog and I know its judging me for ranting instead of job searching).

I schlep drinks & lunches to make ends meat. I deal with crabby people whose coffee just isn’t perfect. I get the demeaning looks from kids younger than me because I’m an adult serving them their expensive smoothies. Is this what I have become? A college graduate, once with hopes and dreams of getting a professional job, turned into a food & beverage server? (Thank God my Bachelor’s degree can’t see me at the cafe. I wouldn’t want the judgemental glares from it.)

The answer to the question above is quite simple – HELL NO! I am still that professional person. A proud college graduate who knows that one day I will find a new full time job that I enjoy and will allow me to leave my coffee grinding days behind. Right now I’m a barista, living my life and thanking my lucky stars that I have part time employment because many people don’t even have that. Its not a dream job but I can go to work a few days a week and interact with people. I’d probably be losing my mind if I didn’t have that. You also never know – working at this cafe might provide me with a networking opportunity I may not have had otherwise. Maybe this place could lead me to my next full time gig. Life is funny that way sometimes.

**I just want to take a moment and make sure I let everyone know – in no way am I trying to look down on anyone for being a barista & working in the food industry. I applaud you for all of the hard work you do. I don’t know how anyone does this work full time. It amazes me the people that slave away to places like this 40-60 hours a week. Those people are much stronger mentally & physically than I will ever be!  These words above stem from my own feelings working as a barista & from having paid a ginormous amount of money for an education that isn’t being put to use right now.**

End Rant 🙂

PT Brooklyn

I love Italian food. I could eat pasta every day of the week. And don’t even get me started about my obsession with basil (I seriously eat the leaves on their own). So when my sister told me about this quaint little Italian restaurant that she found where she lives, I knew I had to have her take me there when I went to visit. Consider this my love letter to PT.

PT is located at 331 Bedford St. in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. As a bonus, you can walk down Bedford and browse the funky little shops they have which will help you work up an appetite! We walked into the restaurant, past a few tables right by the open windows, and down a couple of steps into the establishment. I immediately fell in love the with place (and all without seeing the menu yet)! Its dimly lit with small candles on each table & the bar. The tables are all a dark wood which fits in nicely with the rest of the place. There is a brick walll and a fireplace that has tiny Christmas lights lit in it. The bar is sleek & clean and very inviting.  You really can’t help but feel at home in this establishment.

So lets discuss the most important thing – the FOOD! All I can really say is OH MY GOD. I don’t think I will ever have Italian this good, unless I actually decide to hop a flight to Italy. The meal always starts with imported, organic goat cheese flown in from Italy. You also get a basket of bread & seasoned oil, along with these wafer crisp, almost potato chip like things that I have yet to ask about but I should because they are addicting! Between the cheese & bread, I could easily fill up quickly on just that and wine.

I’ve actually eaten at PT 3 times in the past 3 months (yes, I visit NY as often as possible)!  Each time I’ve had something different and each time I’ve been completely floored by the excellence of the food. On my first visit I had the rigatoni bolognese. I’m picky about my sauce and this did not disappoint. The sauce had a nice zest and you could tell the meat was very fresh! This isn’t sauce that sits around for months on end. I’ve also had the spaghetti pomodoro, which comes with fresh mozzarella & fresh basil (refer back to the first paragraph and know my excitement of this feature). Perfect dish and I ate the whole thing, leaving satisfied but not feeling disgustingly full! Last dish I tried was the tagliolini all’emiliana – a nice homemade pasta with ham, peas, parmigiano & a cream sauce. It is so rich and creamy with flavor exploding on your taste buds from the first bite to the last!

I’ve also had the caprese salad and the calamari. Both excellent starters that will not disappoint. If you save room for dessert, make sure you get the tiramisu. It is one of the BEST tiramisu’s I’ve had…period. The sweet flavor isn’t overbearing and I believe they use something other than lady fingers in their recipe. Its light & fluffy yet decadent with that lovely espresso soaked kick. Trust me…get the tiramisu when you go.

The food, the service, the ambience – you couldn’t ask for a better place to eat. I am taking my husband there in a few weeks for his first time. I almost feel guilty that I’ve eaten there three times without him. With food that good though I can try to erase that guilt though.