Somerville Livin', PVD Workin'

Cooking, Crafting, and Life

Changes March 2, 2014

Filed under: Work — sarahinpvd @ 9:26 pm

The soundtrack to Disney’s movie “Frozen” has been stuck in my head for WEEKS. I would be more embarrassed but it’s just SO catchy. I’ve firmly convinced myself that if this movie/soundtrack doesn’t make you go “awwwww” at least once, you have a heart of stone. Who doesn’t love Idina Menzel’s amazing girl power ballads?

Although this blog is really supposed to be about cooking or crafting, as a colleague put it: “Sometimes, life just creeps in.” Well, life is about to creep into this blog big time right now!

So, life:

  1. I took an introductory acting class! It met once a week for 5 weeks, 2.5 hours each time. And, it was hard! The improv exercises were the hardest – it’s difficult to think quickly on your feet. My final assignment for the class was to do the opening scene from the social network – the one where Mark Zuckerberg gets dumped by his girlfriend. It was great fun and I have no idea if I’m any good but I’m hoping to get involved in some short play festivals!
  2. New job – longer commute but this one pays more and is a step up in terms of position/management so I think that’s a fair trade-0ff. I only started 3 weeks ago and so far, it’s been great! I do love the people I work with which is so important.
  3. I’m taking an archaeology class through Coursera. The class is taught by Susan Alcock of the Joukowsky Institute at Brown and I’m already behind but the first unit has been awesome. My favorite professor at Brown (Laurel Bestock) gave a short guest lecture for the first class. And there’s a city archaeology lab in Boston that you can go visit and get involved on a volunteer basis. An activity when the weather is warmer perhaps?
  4. BAHAMAS – I just returned from an amazing 1 week trip to San Salvador Island in the Bahamas and it was fantastic. It was with Club Med (like my trip to Cancun last winter) and it was great. No complaints besides the sand fleas (which I didn’t even know existed until this week). Ahhhh if only I could go back… the weather was so beautiful, the food fantastic, and the people so friendly.

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That New Apartment Smell January 21, 2014

Filed under: Cooking,Running — sarahinpvd @ 9:15 pm

Forgot to post this (real date was September 8)… I’m real good at this bloggin’ stuff.

Apartment Updates: Still no couch, and most likely no couch for a month. Sadly this means that any housewarming festivities will have to wait until October. Also, sadly enough, no decor is up yet and we more boxes lying around than I thought we did. I think Dan and I have reached the point where if we don’t earnestly start addressing the last 15% of our stuff, it’ll keep sitting in boxes, gathering dust and taking up space, for the rest of our year-long lease. The good part, at least, is that we have more space than we know what to do with! And, I’m loving this apartment the longer I stay in it!

Ninja Edit #1: COUCH YAY! We also had our housewarming party in October which made me feel popular 🙂 Our decorations are up and we probably have about 10% of our stuff remaining in boxes? All in all, a success I’d say.

Cooking Updates: 

  1. Honey & Soy Porkchops: I tried to make this recipe, which you may notice is actually called “sticky honey & soy porkchops”. Unfortunately my sauce just wasn’t up to being sticky.  It turned out just fine though! The porkchops are accompanied by a bed of lettuce, quinoa (out of a box), and microwave-steamed broccoli.

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  1. Smoked Salmon on Bagels: Okay okay, so this isn’t really a “cooking” update since it didn’t require any cooking on our parts but I thought I would post it anyway! Dan and I got some awesomely delicious local strawberries so I made an equally awesomely delicious smoothie with plain yogurt, fresh strawberries, and frozen blackberries, mangoes, and peaches. I got some bagels (Blueberry and Everything) from Bruegger’s, a convenient 0.6 miles away from the apartment, and to that we added some salad greens, chive and onion cream cheese and smoked salmon. I couldn’t resist posting this because we ended up eating breakfast on our little balcony, which I absolutely adore.

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Ninja Edit #2: Edited to include pictures.

Exercise Updates: 

  1. I went running for the first time in about 6 weeks this morning. Just a 2 mile run but I did a little bit of exploring and found the Somerville Community Path! I only went to Davis but apparently it goes past Davis and all the way to Alewife – an adventure for another day. I think I really need to start exploring the neighborhood, it’s all a blur to me, and I should really familiarize myself with my surroundings.

Ninja Edit #3: Note to self, stop being so lazy in the wintertime.


Sarah in Somerville Cooks Curry September 6, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 7:02 pm

As y’all probably heard from other venues (a la Facebook most likely), I am now a Somerville resident! But still working in Providence! “Sarah in Somerville but still working in Providence” doesn’t have a nice ring to it so I’m stickin’ with “Sarah in Somerville” for now.

More pictures of the apartment to come when we’ve put up the decor/hung up some pictures but here’s a teaser:

The Move: A picture of the “to-be-loaded” truck. What you see on the grass doesn’t even include the furniture! The truck ended up being the perfect size, and by the perfect size, I mean I’m not sure how much more stuff we could have squeezed in there.

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The Desk: Thank you to Riz for the wonderfully Ikea desk to which I added some even more stereotypical Ikea drawers. To combat the Ikea-ness, I tried to add some personality a la some knit bunnies, a picture of the Van Wickle gates, a Kinder Surprise toy, and my zombie, affectionately named “Marcel”.

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The Curry: Yes it came in a jar and yes, it was delicious. I added red peppers, mushrooms, chicken, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and onion. Served on a white and brown rice mix.

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On a completely unrelated note, I’ve decided to name my car “Topher”, inspired by Gina’s car “L’il Mikey”.


Catch-Up Post #2 (Things) August 18, 2013

Filed under: Traveling — sarahinpvd @ 7:33 pm

In rough chronological order:

1. Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular 2012 – Roger Williams Zoo

“Dr. Jones, Dr. Jones!”

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2. Baked by Melissa – NYC

Novelty items, they were good but not quite worth that hefty NYC price tag. I do love the way they look.

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3. Club Med – Cancun in January

My first, real-life 20-something vacation. Dan and I (and his parents) went for a week in the middle of January and it was incredible. Beautiful weather, beautiful resort, beautiful people (haha – I’m not actually joking… the GOs were statistically significantly better-looking than the general population).

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4. Then one month later – my car buried under snow. Sometimes I wonder why I live in New England…

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5. Matt & Kim and Passion Pit in Boston

When I informed my brother that I had gone to see Passion Pit, he responded, rather sarcastically, with “My friends went to go see that concert Sarah – you’re too old for those groups!”

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6. San Francisco

I have family in San Jose and my cousin was getting married so I took the opportunity to also visit San Francisco. I had been there for a very short day trip before but this was my first real trip – complete with touristy things galore (ex. cable cars) and some of the most delicious food ever (ex. Dim Sum). Dan will tell you that I keep telling him to apply to grad school in California. San Francisco, albeit an incredibly expensive city, is now one my favorite places. The people in the picture are also some of my favorite people. 🙂

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7. Pentatonix at Lupo’s, Providence

One of my favorite a cappella groups. They were awesome live. I can’t decide who my favorite person is: either the beat boxing cello player or the bassist. Will “The Sing-Off” ever come back?

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8. L’il Bro Graduating!

Look at him all spiffy in his bowtie. I’m helping him move into his dorm at George Washington University this Saturday. You can’t tell in this photo since I look like a dud but I’m incredibly proud 🙂

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9. Cape Cod

New life goal: become an oceanographer/egyptologist/symbologist.

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10: #POLO

The whitest thing I’ve ever done.

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The last 3 posts pretty accurately sum up my life in the past few months.


Catch-Up Post #1 (Food)

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 6:55 pm

Okay, I’m taking advantage of my blog-writing mood. This is Part 1 of my attempt to document the past 6 months.

So I made some food:

1. Thit Kho Tau (at least this is what my mom calls it) – Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs

It didn’t quite taste like my Mom’s cooking… but it was close enough (here’s a recipe). Probably because I’m not great at cooking but also probably because I didn’t add any MSG. Not because I am against MSG but because I don’t have any. MSG is a natural by-product of the soy-sauce production process so suck it. Here’s an article on MSG which explains why haters can suck it. On a related tangent – Providence is home to a restaurant with a Momofuku disciple (North) and it’s one of my new favorite places to eat! 

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2. Spaghetti with meatballs (stuffed with mozzarella!) with Kate

I’m not the biggest fan of spaghetti and meatballs but this was a simple meal and plus, it had mozzarella, how could I resist?

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3. (Sarah had a random craving for) blueberry muffins.

For a quickie recipe – they didn’t taste half bad. I’m looking forward to actually baking in my new kitchen though! Once Dan lets me get a doughnut pan, be on the lookout for baked doughnut pictures!

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4. Cooking with Dan and Chris: Brown rice and quinoa from a box, pork chops, and roasted brussels sprouts with bacon.

One word – delicious.

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5. Itsuka and Sarah wanted buffalo chicken pizza.

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6. Ma Po Tofu

This is one of mine (and Dan’s) favorite go-to recipes. It’ll definitely be a staple once we move in together – along with Spicy Chicken Rigatoni!

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7. Accidentally eating vegetarian – veggie burger on an english muffin with avocado and sweet potato fries.

The veggie burgers were from Trader Joe’s, my review – decent.

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8. [Ninja Edit]: Spring rolls

One of the few Vietnamese dishes I know how to make!

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9. Last, but certainly not least in my heart, my dearest bok choy plant: Johann Sebastian Bok (kudos to Dan for the name). Here’s his progression from humble plant sitting on my desk at the office (I got him at a RI event at the State House) to monster plant in Dan’s Mom’s garden, to sitting in a kitchen, being prepped for cooking.

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Next – things I’ve done, places I’ve traveled, and events I’ve attended in the past 6 months.


End of Summer Musings

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahinpvd @ 6:06 pm

[Note: I started this post in March… typical.]

1. Sarah in PVD will be Sarah in Boston/Somerville (not quite as catchy) in September!  Actually, hopefully August 30th.

Leaving aside the blog name logistics, the ever-present parental disapproval, and the work travel, I’m excited. I am a little nervous, and by a little, I mean moderately nervous, to leave Providence. It’s hard to leave a city that I’ve grown to love during the past 6 years, a city where I met amazing people, ate a lot of delicious food (and expanded my culinary appetite), and most importantly, a city and a school that helped me grow into my own.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to move to Somerville but to borrow a phrase from Dan, I fear change! Somerville does sound pretty awesome – for example, they have a “Somerville welcome packet” and a bike path. And I won’t be lacking in food options – we’re close to Porter and Davis Squares. Also, Bonchon is a stone’s throw away (if a stone’s throw means 2 miles) – korean fried chicken wings all day, eer day!

2. I very much need to start finishing projects and accomplishing goals.

As y’all know, I have this tendency to go through “phases”. I get super excited about something, do it intensely for a few days, and then get bored and move on to something else. This means that I have many, many unfinished projects. Sometimes, they eventually get finished (ex. my Winnie-the-Pooh latch hook kit) but most of the time they remain unfinished (ex. my attempt at Harry Potter fanfiction – no, you cannot see it, it will remain under wraps). This blog is a PRIME example of this personality tendency – I go through long phases where I don’t update and then I update frequently for a few weeks (repeat cycle). The content is another great example – remember that list of things I wanted to do?

Maybe I should prioritize, first up – be consistent with is my exercise schedule. I’m usually good for a few weeks and then I lapse. I let work get the best of me and I almost always choose more sleep/lazing around over exercise. Let’s be real – when it comes to exercise or the Mindy Project, I’m going to choose the Mindy Project…laughing really hard is an ab workout right?

I also added a few other projects to my “list of things to do” – volunteering, taking an acting class, finishing my puzzle… what can I say, I have lofty goals and aspirations. If I can even get one of these things done, I’ll be happy. On that note, I did start taking some online courses on Coursera – and in typical Sarah fashion, I’m already behind.

3. On a side note – if y’all are wondering why I chose to cut my hair. I was inspired by the Mindy Project. And it’s awesome – not sure I’ll go back to longer hair anytime soon.

4. On a blog logistics note, I think I’m going to take this blog out of the crafting/cooking realm and change it to a “what’s going on in Sarah’s life” blog with cooking and crafting sprinkled throughout. I’ll have to think about rebranding it though – I guess I’ll leave the URL (Sarah in PVD) – I don’t think I can change this and besides that, part of me will always be in PVD – metaphorically and physically since I’ll still be working here.

5. On another note, in case anyone was interested in what I actually work on – this article by Dylan Scott from Governing Magazine is incredibly accurate. For reference, I’m on the data and evaluation team but did not partake in the migraine medicine… I am, however, guilty of the half-eaten salad.

THE END. Sorry for the incredibly long post. It’s way overdue.


Sarah in PVD is officially going to Boston (Somerville)! June 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahinpvd @ 9:42 pm

I’m not sure what to do about this blog yet… Suggestions? I suppose the first suggestion is blog regularly instead of blogging once every few months…