Archive | April, 2016

Life Lately

28 Apr

Happy Thursday guys! I hope you’re all having an excellent week. Mine has been a little hectic as softball has officially begun and we are desperately trying not to fall behind on the house stuff but I’m plugging along. Today I figured I would share a mishmash of different things including some recent eats and a couple of house updates!

I have been loving taking walks lately, both long and short, at home and on lunch at work. The neighborhood that we moved to has some killer hills and I’ve locked down a great 3-mile route that really does a number on my legs. I’m also enjoying my early morning walks in the center of town when I’m working from home and on the weekends too!

morning walk 2

This morning’s 7am walk.. Complete with a Daybreak nonfat blanc

We have been eating out quite a bit due to the house still being in the unpacking/pre-kitchen remodel stage but we have been using our grill and crockpot quite a bit and sandwiches have been a frequent occurrence. Luckily our eating out has been supplemented with gift cards that I’ve hoarded for a while and coupons so it really hasn’t been too expensive. Breakfasts and lunches have been consistently made at home which is good.

krust pizza update

Pizza from the always delicious Krust

Steak salad

Steak salad at home with all of the toppings I could find in the fridge

pbj breakfast

Today’s breakfast: PB, banana & raspberry spread with a side of cantaloupe 

Our couch has FINALLY arrived! It was on back order for a while but it was finally delivered this past Saturday morning and we love it! I’ve been picking up little decor items here and there (Homegoods, I love you) to work towards getting the living room finished. (couch purchased: here. Pillows: TJ Maxx. Tray: Hobby Lobby)

couch

Our bedroom is basically finished with just a few paint touch-ups and some picture hanging left to go. I am absolutely obsessed with how it came out and I never want to get out of bed (but is that really different from ever before?). (Bed: here. Comforter set: Macy’s (no longer available). Curtains, Laundry baskets: TJ Maxx.)

bedroom

nightstands

I love our nightstands from Christmas Tree Shop! 

I’m doing a new exercise program that our town is offering from now until the beginning of June. It’s called “Do a 180, Move!” and its provided by the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce. The program offers over 150 fitness classes at different gyms, yoga studios, etc in town. The classes offered range from spinning, yoga, boot camp, dance, tennis, running groups, swimming, walking and much more! For Glastonbury town residents who are non-members of the Chamber, the cost is only $40 and I’m already signed up for 12 of the classes. My first class is a boot camp tomorrow morning and I’m very excited!

That’s all I have for you guys today but stayed tuned for a recap soon of a fabulous event that I attended a couple of weeks ago at the always wonderful Rooftop 120. Have a wonderful rest of your week and weekend too!

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Foodie Friday: Firehouse Subs

15 Apr

For this week being a week after vacation, I’m honestly surprised at how quickly it went by. I guess that’s probably due to the endless amount of unpacking and all of the other busy things that we have going on. I’m excited for the day when I get to sit back and relax for a bit but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying the chaos.

This past Wednesday, I attended a media dinner at the brand new Firehouse Subs located in Glastonbury, CT. Firehouse Subs describes themselves as a fast-casual brand with locations in 44 states and the Glastonbury location is their first CT location. The owner of the CT location is Jeff, who previously worked for Coca-Cola in Florida and he delivered quite a bit to Firehouse Subs, became familiar with the brand, and decided to move back home to CT to open his own franchise.

I believe that one of the many things which sets Firehouse Subs apart from the rest of your typical chain sandwich restaurants is their focus on giving back to local first responders. As many of you may know, my husband is a volunteer firefighter and his department is already seeing HUGE benefits from this great restaurant. In fact, their foundation has donated over $18 million to 1400 departments across the country, not just fire department but police departments, EMS, and schools too!.

Firehouse subs mural

The founders, Chris Sorensen & Robin Sorensen, came from a family with a history of police and fire service, and they had a goal to provide hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service and a dedication to public safety. This is what led them to form Firehouse Subs and was able to bring the brand to where it is today.

We had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Robin on Wednesday and learn all about Firehouse Subs as a brand and to also try four different subs that they offer. It was great to hear how the business started with just one location back in 1994 and how it has grown to what it is today.

Firehouse robin

The first sub that we tried was their #1 seller, the Hook and Ladder (turkey breast, ham & cheese). I was definitely able to see why this was the favorite as it was full of flavor and was very juicy. They pride themselves on using higher quality meat (and more meat) than their competitors while also staying right around the same price point.

Firehouse hook and ladder

We were also able to try the Italian (salami, pepperoni, ham & cheese), which was my personal favorite, probably because of the seasoning which was used. I’m not a big fan of Italian food but I love the seasoning used on Italian subs. They also put mayo on almost all of their subs which helps to add even more flavor. 

Firehouse Italian

The last two subs we tried were the New York Steamer (corned beef brisket, pastrami & cheese) and the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket (beef brisket & cheddar). The New York Steamer uses hickory wood to cook the meat (so much flavor!) and the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar uses Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce which is one of my favorites.

Firehouse steamer

Firehouse brisket

The food was absolutely incredible and it feels good to support a business that gives back to the local community, especially something that is so important to us personally.

I highly encourage that you stop by for a sub and support your local first responders. Also, if you are a first responder, you get a free drink! The Glastonbury location even has a ton of Glastonbury Fire Department memorabilia including a picture of our best friend Kevin with his grandfather when he was little!

Firehouse kevy

Let me know what you guys think if you do try Firehouse Subs. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

GIV Coffee – Canton, CT

13 Apr

Happy Wednesday all! I have had quite the hiatus from blogging as of late, mainly due to the move and the wonderful vacation we took this past week. I will have more to come on both of those things later on this week (I hope). Today I’m here to tell you guys all about Giv Coffee, which is located in Canton, CT. I had the pleasure of attending a blogger event hosted by Giv at the amazing Hartford Baking Company last month (I know, I know, but better late than never).

Giv Coffee is a coffee roaster (& cafe) with a huge focus on producing both a perfect cup of coffee along with giving back to the community. It’s because of this that I believe Giv is truly the best type of local business to support. We were able to meet with Jeff & Emily, the founders and owners of Giv, to learn all about the coffee roasting process and the differences between the French Press and Cemex brewing methods. Hartford Baking Company also provided some excellent baked goods to stave off that mid afternoon hunger we were all experiencing.

giv HBC treats

We were able to try two different flavors of beans, Celso Garcia Organic from Oaxaca, Mexico and Dos Montoyas from Columbia, Urrau. Both coffees were brewed using the French Press method, which allows more of the fats of the bean into the coffee as well as the Cemex method which did not provide as much of a full body due to having more of a filter.

Giv 2 kinds of coffee

giv coffee grounds

They also taught us that there is no need to have any type of special equipment at home to brew great coffee and it is possible to do it using just a Ball jar, a coffee filter, hot water and the coffee, of course. This method was probably my favorite as it was the most simplistic but had excellent flavor! I definitely learned that the different methods of brewing coffee can produce drastically different results.

giv coffee pour

giv coffee mason jar

I enjoyed each of the coffees that was served to us but if I had to pick a favorite, I would go with the French Press method of the Celso Garcia Organic because I love dark, rich coffee and this one had an delicious hint of chocolate too. I think that the Cemex method would work for anyone who likes their coffee less strong tasting but still with good flavor.

giv coffee types

giv coffee types 2

Giv Coffee also places a huge emphasis on giving back to the community as they use fairly traded beans, and they donate $2 from each bag of coffee sold to charity. I can’t wait for the next time I am in Canton as I definitely plan to visit and enjoy an excellent cup of coffee that I know comes from an excellent source.

Giv is located at 194 Albany Turnpike in Canton, CT and their hours are Monday-Friday 6am-6pm and Saturday 8am-6pm and they are closed on Sundays.

I received the tasting and baked goods mentioned above complimentary. They were given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own.