Category Archives: Family

Dinner With Dad

Hello my friends, I am loving this sunny weather today, despite it being Sunday….

Last night I had a dinner date with my dad in Northampton 😀 My dad Jim, only lives about 50 minutes from my school, so meeting up with him is fairly easy as neither of us have to travel too far. I had not seen him in awhile so I was very excited about my Saturday night plans, as opposed to my usual ones that involve staying in!

After driving around for literally 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot, I finally SNAGGED one and met up with my dad right at 7:00. We were dining at my favorite restaurant in Northampton, Osaka! Japanese food is among my favorites when I go out to eat so I was psyched we decided on there.

Osaka specializes in creating amazing sushi rolls and they also have hibachi for party and group gatherings. I have tested a number of sushi restaurants in the area, and this is by far my favorite one with the food always tasting so fresh!

We started the meal with miso soup and edamame



Then it was time for the main part of the meal, Sushi of course!

I am all about the raw stuff when it comes to sushi, so I ordered a combination plate of various kinds of sushi and sashimi and it also came with a california roll. This was so so delicious, fresh, and simply great! All of the flavors were very distinct for each type of fish, I think the salmon was my favorite!

My dad ordered the Volcano Roll, “tuna, white tuna, salmon, yellowtail and king crab with chef’s special sauce on the side.” I didn’t try any of his but he said it was fabulous as well. Overall it was a great time, this restaurant never disappoints me!

After we walked around Northampton for awhile, checking out some of the shops that were still open and continuing to catch up. At one point we stopped in a cute shop so my dad could pick out a particular night gown she liked from this place. It was quite fun trying to choose one, especially when my dad was holding up four different “girly” nightgowns at once trying to decide 😀

Looks like the right fit right? :p

I had such a nice evening with my dad, catching up and simply enjoying each others company. At the end of the night we both wondered why we don’t do this more often, and there is no reason why! So I am looking forward to more dinner dates with my dad quite soon. I love him so much and am thankful to have such a close relationship with him!

Confession: I got back to my room around 9:30 and thought about going out for maybe .5 seconds and realized how much I didn’t want to. I was having similar feelings like last week 😦 For one thing, I was tired from the lack of sleep I had gotten the night before, and I just was not up for it. Also though, eating has to play a role in my decision to not go out. I was pretty full from dinner and the idea of changing into an outfit that would show off (in my mind) my “bloated” stomach was something I was not in the mood for. And so these issues strike again, I am so looking forward to them GOING AWAY!

Sorry to end on that negative note, I had to confess to it though!

Well it is Sunday after all, so I must complete some homework. I am also working on a very important post for later today. I hope everyone has a productive/relaxing/whatever ya need to do- day!

See ya’ll later 🙂


Filed under Confession, Family, Favorite Foods, Restaurant Review

The Scariest April Fool's Joke Ever

Hello friends!

I can’t believe it’s April already! I am surely NOT complaining because this means we are getting closer and closer to the wonders of summer! I. can’t. wait!

Also, Happy April Fool’s Day! I’m not much of a jokester (that’s a word) myself but have had a few played on me in the past. They have usually been humurous, fun to laugh at and such. However, I can remember one April Fool’s joke my mom played on me when I was around 10 years old that has left me scarred! Mom, if you are reading this, you already know what I am referring to! 😀

I have a fairly intense fear of bugs. Not all kinds though- butterflies, dragonflies, fluffy bumblebees, lady bugs- are OKAY, not in large quantities though and definitely NOT near me at all! The worse kinds though, are centipedes, earwigs, spiders, slugs, alright you get the point, any kind of bug that is disgusting and creepy-crawly. I know rationally, I am about a million times larger than these “creatures” and could very easily squash them like a bug 🙂 but try telling that to me when I see one- on the ceiling while I am about to go to sleep, crawling across my floor, suddenly in front of my face when I am in the shower….AHHHHH! I am getting goose bumps just thinking about this!

Back to the story: so morning (on April Fool’s) I came downstairs to finish getting ready for school and have my mom brush/put up my hair for the day. I remember distinctly I was in the kitchen with my step dad and step sister. While she was doing this, she suddenly exclaimed, “Oh my GOD Tessa! You have a HUGE bug in your hair! Wow everyone, come look at this!”

Well I’m sure you can imagine I didn’t handle this very well. Basically I went into immediate hysterics/sobbing/crying unctrollably, until my mom could calm me down long enough to tell me she was joking. HA! She felt terrible about distressing me so much of course, and to this day, I sometimes bring it up to give her, if she is mad at me or were joking around, for a little poke of reminder muahaha

Although I can laugh about it now, I think I will be forever traumatized from that. It certainly did not help my bug fear which has only intensified to this day!

Question: Has anyone ever had a note-worthy joke played on them? Or have you completed a good one? I would love to hear stories!


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Filed under Family

Fun Sayings and Thoughts on Lunch

As I was sitting in my 4:00 class today, the kid that was sitting next to me reminded me of a few favorite quotes and sayings I use on a daily basis. This may sounds weird, but I have realized I have several particular things that I say to my mom, my best friend Danielle, brothers and a few other people and also say that in a strange way…does that make any sense? haha perhaps not! 🙂

Back to class, so this guy next to me kept doing a loud and obnoxious yawn every few minutes, shuffling his feet and feeling the need to deeply sigh. I tried ignoring him and listening to the professor, but the antsy moves were “Grinding My Gears!” <— I love that one, “you know what really grinds my gears?” or “this really grinds my gears!” Yeah you get it, it’s surely a fun way to express frustration!

Another one, “tickles my/your fancy?” At dinner tonight, Danielle exclaimed that the ice cream she was eating was tasty, so I asked her, “Does it tickle your fancy!?” Also what we both like to do is call each other the strangest…err.. pet names while texting. For example (in a text), “Good morning, shnookums, pumpkin cheesecake pie, honey blossom, cherry pie in my eye, dearest, lovely lady, sexy lady, pretty lady….” I could go on but shall spare you! 😀 She is such a good friend and we are constantly “On the Prowl” aka searching for guys, “big game hunting” all referring to the hunt for a man! Ha!

This is a one I used often during this past cold, freeing-death winter, “I’m freezing my tits off!” Not sure where that one came from, but it always produces a chuckle and gets your point across.

My brothers names are Russell and Tucker. When I say hi to Russell or write an email/text to him, I address him as “Ruski” and I’m “Teski” With Tucker it can be a number of things, “T-Money, Tutter, Tucky, T-Mon…” Sometimes I am simply, “sister” 🙂

Well if you read that whole thing, I hope you don’t think I am completely nuts. Do you have any fun/quirky sayings you exchange with family and friends?

I also wanted to mention my lunch today. I really like to have at least one huge salad per day to get in lots of veggies and I really do enjoy them. As I have been recovering, my salads have gotten even more delicious! The one day was especially loaded, and it gave me plenty of fuel for that midterm I had (errr, didn’t go so well :-/) Fondly referred to as a “salad beast” and contained:

  • Spinach
  • Tons of tomatoes (love)
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumbers
  • Heaping scoop of cottage cheese
  • Sunflower seeds, have to get those fats in!
  • Kidney beans
  • Ketchup <– I use this as dressing for my salad. I love ketchup and on a salad= magical combination, give it a try sometime!

I also had a nice side of fruit: grapes and honeydew!

<– Salad bar at my favorite dining hall

This was my first time taking pictures of my food and public and it definitely made me feel a bit weird! I tried to snap a pic as quickly as possible (hence lame pictures) but am going to work on my photo skills.

I can honestly say I enjoy the food here at school! UMASS has really come a long way with promoting healthier options, such as ones that are lower fat, less sodium, grown locally, and there are several vegan and vegetarian options. The salad bar is my favorite and there is always fresh fruit available, bananas, apples, grapes, various berries, watermelon, honey dew, cantaloupe and pineapple. The fried and fatty foods and desserts are still there, but people really have options and have to make choices for themselves to choose items that are better for them. It is all about balance, something I need to continue telling myself!

The school is really working to improve the health status among the students. Besides providing nutritionally balanced foods, they also have several opportunities that provide education on healthier foods and fitness. For example, the Dining Services are hosting a 5k this Saturday, the “Dash and Dine” to raise money and get people moving! It is for the school and community so anyone can participate. I plan to run with a friend and I’m psyched!

As a Public Health major, seeing the work that UMASS does shows there is hope for the future, and the weight issues our country is experiencing can he overcome.

Phew! This post turned out much longer than I anticipated! But once I start writing, it doesn’t stop, like word vomit! (another gross fun phrase :D)

Anyone in school, how is the food there? Or work/offices? Are balanced foods available?


Filed under College Tips, Family, Favorite Foods, Friends, Funny, Lunch, Public Health, School, UMASS

Under the Influence…of the Blogging World!

I apologize for the corny title but it works with this post!

Alas, it is my last night home for Spring Break and I am returning to school tomorrow :(. I know once I’m there and settled in, I will be glad to be back, it’s just hard to leave the comforts of home. But I suppose I can’t stay in LaLa Land forever!

I am packing tonight, to avoid rushing around in the morning, and I as I was packing food to bring back, I look at my recent buys.


Prior to reading healthy-living blogs, it is safe to say I had not head of ONE of these items (well the cereal I suppose, but I did not yet know the amazing-ness of Trader Joe’s!)

Chia seeds? Like a Chia pet right?! Uhh sorta. Wait a second, almonds can be made into liquid AND a peanut butter-like consistance?! Whoa there.

I have bought these items over time and have enjoyed them all! I have even turned my picky mom (love you MA!) onto some of the items. One of her favorite combos is a sweet potato with Sunflower Butter…YUM! Prior to reading blogs, oatmeal=yucky mush, and seeds were for planting, not eating.

I have to admit that Overnight Oats in a Jar are one of my favorites, I pay 10 dollars for nut butters, I made gluten-free eats, I eat like the Greeks (greek yogurt :p), so many ideas I adapted from others and enjoy in my daily life. Kath’s blog was one of the first one I ever read, I give her tons of credit for making me like oatmeal!

What has the blog world introduced to you? Any great products or recipes? Please share!

*I remember I asked my mom one time if she would pick me up some bread from Whole Foods. She answered with, “that exploding grain stuff right?” (Referring to sprouted bread) Made me laugh. 😀






Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Family, Favorite Foods, Nut Butter, Trader Joes

Workout and Brownies

A strange combination, no? Hehe well I did a workout first thing this morning and then went onto the baking portion of my day, remember, it’s important to refuel and chocolate is certainly nutritious :p.

My mom works out at a personal training studio and she has a few guest passes for a free session. I used one today, and had an appointment with a trainer at 8:30 with a two other women. At this place, a trainer works with the group for 30 minutes, guiding people in exercises such as planks, tricep/bicep/shoulder work, lunges, squats, moves on the bosu, abdominal work, and several other moves. There is a timer within in the studio that tells the exerciser to work for 45 seconds, with a 15 second rest for 4 reps on the given exercise.

Let me tell you, some of the exercises certainly whipped my butt! I do a lot of core work, to improve my running speed, but by the fourth set of planks, balancing on one leg and one arm, my muscles were seriously shakin. At the end of the 30 minutes, I hopped on one of the treadmills to do some interval work. When I first began running, I was so slow and barely could run more than a mile at a time without feeling like I would literally pass out. I diligently kept up with this new sport, and have slowly built up my miles and speed (read more about my running journey in the pages section!).

I found that adding intervals and focusing on speed work has really improved my times in races and during regular runs. I used to run mile repeats around 7:50 and now can do 4x 1 mile repeat with an average pace of 6:15….a huge improvement! Intervals are very challenging, but help to boost your metabolism, build up speed, endurance and so many other benefits. This style of training is also great because it can be performed on any machine, or with any exercise– elliptical, bike, speed walking, strength training with cardio blasts such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees and butt kicks (plyometrics).

For my treadmill workout I ran for 30 minutes, with one- minute pickups at 9.1 mph and a two and a half minute recovery at 7.9 speed. I also set the treadmill at an incline of 2% to simulate outside running. I was so tired at the end of this and it is safe to say that I was a sweaty beast! But it felt great and know it will help my speed in the future.

Once I stretched, I walked home and refueled with a bowl of oatmeal with a banana and Justin’s Maple Almond Butter– my absolute favorite kind!

Next, BAKING! My mom is a labor and delivery nurse at local hospital and works with a fantastic group of other nurses. Ever since she began working there, I have been baking different recipes for them to try and they report back with their reviews. My recipes are usually based off of another recipe I find, such as the one I made today. I located this one at Jessica’s Blog- How Sweet It Is, which has amazing recipes, difficult workouts, and her writing is hilarious and the pictures are gorgeous, check it out!

I chose the Better Than Crack Brownies, but substituted pecans for salted peanuts, white chocolate peanut butter for the regular peanut butter and used a Duncan Hines brownie recipe. Sometimes I make desserts from scratch, but today I wasn’t feeling it!

In my humble opinion they turned out delicious and my mom and her friends at work agreed! Make these if you are looking for a very decadent, addicting, chocolate dessert/snack!

This afternoon I am babysitting for three kids, and prepping dinner for them as well. Have a nice rest of the day!

About running, has anyone incorporated interval training into their workouts, and if so, have you noticed a difference in how you feel such as your speed and endurance?

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Family, Fitness, Running