Good morning! I started this post on Sunday morning while I was sipping hot coffee enjoying a quiet morning, but it accidentally got deleted. I'm thriving.
Fun fact, even though you might already know this: my first cup of coffee of the day has to be HOT. It's a high of 91 degrees today but I will always insist that my first cup is piping hot. If I drink any coffee later in the day, it can be (and most likely will be) iced. We know I'm weird. I'm also the girl who drinks orange juice out of coffee mugs. I don't get it.
Anyway, I've seen these kinds of posts floating around on the interwebs and think they're a fun way of writing without really needing a concrete topic. And since the world is a flaming dumpster right now, I'm going to write about things that make me smile!
1. Dog Beaches!
I had heard of dog beaches before, but had never been to one. I can't believe it's taken us 3 years to take Maggie to a dog beach! she's never seen the ocean, which it so sad to me. Of course, we knew she would be terrified at first of the waves, but I was super confident she's warm up to it. And I was right! We drove to Longport Dog Beach on a Saturday morning; it was still a little chilly, there were only about 10 other people there (and all socially distant!) and she ended playing fetch in and out of the water for a full hour. Of course, if we threw her toy past her liking, I was the one who had to go into the freezing water (in my regular clothes lol) and get it out. So, we both had fun playing fetch.
Well, any seafood really. But after the dog beach we had our hearts set on stopping to pick up seafood to take home with us. God I wish I lived near the ocean. Anyway. We picked up some clams casino for an appetizer (which were literally the size of my hand!) and 50 clams to steam. Holy mackerel, I could eat clams every day, I love them so much. We steamed them and made a simple sauce of white wine, butter, garlic, and parsley. And of course dipped bread into all that juicy goodness. My mouth is watering goodbye. (Oh, and yes. We ate every single clam)
3. Old Photos
A few weeks ago I went to visit my mom (who was also self-quarantined) and my grandpa had been bringing over BAGFULS of photos for me to look at. I mean, hundreds of photos, all hard copy, many of them blurry. But there are some GEMS. There are some of my Gram when she was in this dance group called "The Irish Washboard Ladies," where they had intricately decorated aprons and hats and would do all sorts of dances and jigs at different events with all the classic Irish hits playing. I spent hours looking at them all. This one also has me thinking, could I still rock overalls?
4. Drinking coffee on a back porch
This is so simple, and yes I complained about how quiet it was in the Poconos all my life, and even when I was there it was hard to sleep because it was so peacefully quiet. But there's nothing that can beat having morning coffee on a back porch before the heat of the day sets in and the only noise you can hear is birds chirping. Philly sure doesn't have that. And drinking out of my Gram's mug made it even better.
5. Potato Pancakes
They're not called hashbrowns in NEPA! Well, if you get them at a church bazaar or at Harvey's Lake, they're not. They're potato pancakes, and they're God's gift to this earth. Absolutely nothing beats eating one of these fresh. They're greasy, fluffy on the inside, perfectly crisp on the outside, and they will bring joy to even the crappiest day you're having. I hadn't had them in years, and boy they lived up to my memory.
6. Homemade Pizza
The first time we ventured out of the apartment in months was when we visited the farmer's market in Rittenhouse Square. We got homemade pickles, and this incredible blend of mushrooms that we knew had to be made into omelettes and a pizza. We made a white pizza with a cheese and garlic white sauce, smothered it with sauteed mushrooms and shallots, then topped with mozz and gruyere cheese. Good lord.
7. The Sopranos
I'm a little late to this, but managed to avoid spoilers for 20 years! So I count that as a win. Patrick started this before I did, but I've started to catch up with him. I can see why this is a classic! It's a LOT of television, but I love seeing why it's considered one of the greatest t.v. shows, and seeing how the filming style is so different back then. Also I still can't remember more than 5 characters' names.
8. Exploring our Neighborhood
Another super simple thing, but I like trying to find different routes to walk Maggie (preferably shaded). She gets tired pretty quickly in the heat, so we tend to mosey along shaded streets while she sniffs trees and I find beautiful flowers or crazy intricate fences in the neighborhood. It makes working from home manageable. I don't know what I would do without our afternoon walks.
9. Working from Home
Ever since I've started working, I've always daydreamed about working from home lol. Such a silly daydream. But the freedom I have to take a walk during the day, or just getting to play with Maggie, and even taking breaks to talk to Patrick, they make me realize I don't really like being in a cubicle. I'm really embracing this while we have it available to us, even if it's during a crazy, crappy pandemic.
10. Somebody Feed Phil
I JUST found this on Netflix and my life has changed for the better. If it wasn't clear already, I love food. But watching someone who genuinely loves to explore the world and eat with fun people and his family and show the love that goes into making the food, that's my absolute jam. Phil Rosenthal, who created Everybody Loves Raymond, is so adorably funny, animated, and truthfully just makes me smile and want to be a more positive person every day. Patrick doesn't trust him quite as much haha. He also highlights the cities he visits, not just showing the food, but the people that bring the city to life, and it had me borderline tearing up. So cute, and it makes me want to travel even more.