Healing

It was 6-2, 5-0 as I walked back to the baseline. All at once my eyes filled with tears. Not because I was about to win, but because I never thought that this, this circumstance right here, would ever be able to happen. I gathered myself together to finish the last game of my second collegiate tennis match. My first match was 5 years ago before every aspect of what I have ever known would be tested and tried.  Dreams were left to die, and new ones formed.

Lots of people know, but some don’t.  5 years ago today I went to an on-campus event my freshman year of college and someone thoughtlessly threw a huge sports cooler that hit me on the head. My friends didn’t see it happen, but I was told it came from the balcony. I had a traumatic brain injury and was told I had 2 contusions on the top of my head...

Read More

Blank Slate Tea

I love doing new things, checking new places out, and going where I’ve never been. 

Today is all about tea. 

My friend Julia found this cafe online and we made a day of it!  

IMG_5060.JPG

What to order? MATCHA MATCHA MATCHA!

From 3-5 each day is matcha hour! 

Their unique selections are delicious, as is their regular Matcha! 

We got the iced version because it was so warm outside.  

IMG_5056.JPG
IMG_5059.JPG
IMG_5061.JPG
IMG_5057.JPG
IMG_5066.JPG

Let’s talk about the DECOR. I recently came across the instagram page @accidentallywesanderson and just love their pictures. Wes Anderson is a director you may have heard of who created Darjeeling Limited, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and other movies. 

He uses creative colors to make such a unique experience. I love the artistic nature of his work. 

Walking into Blank Slate Tea was like walking into a Wes Anderson set. The creative colors, the wallpaper, the chairs, the tables, the light fixtures, everything flows together in such a unique way.  

A splash of retro while serving modern cuisine.  

IMG_5062.JPG
IMG_5063.JPG
IMG_5067.JPG

The food is great, and its such a fun place to visit - I highly recommend!

 

- Jenna 

Drive-in movies!

IMG_3900.JPG

In our family we have these things called “Birthday Party Weekends” and they’re the BEST. You generally get two of these if your birthday is mid-week and if it’s on a weekend, well then, you usually get two as well.  

This past weekend was Cara’s big “Birthday Party Weekend” and it was Matt and I’s job to make it nothing short of spectacular.  

I mapped out two plans for Cara to choose from. She chose Coney Island Pizza and the Drive in Theater.  

The reason we chose Coney Islans Pizza in Riverdale is (bc it’s AMAZING duh... but also) it’s right on our way to Warwick! It was a perfect and fun dinner to have right in the back of our car. 

IMG_3903.JPG

Dogs are welcome at the theater which is awesome! What’s not so awesome is that a bigger dog tried to attack our sweet Teddy Freddy.... But we rescued him and snuggled him the rest of the time. 

The movie was Christopher Robin based on Winnie the Pooh, a childhood favorite of mine. 

I sat there totally content  in the trunk of my car with the best people ever.  We took in all of the sights and smells of summer. It was something I wish I could bottle up and save for a cold rainy day in January.  

IMG_3901.JPG

Get there at least an hour  EARLY and make a night out of it! The movies generally do not start u til 8:45 bc the sun has to go down, so settle in and have some fun. Being some games! And have a blast!

Some things we were glad we brought were big coushion pillows to rest on when we put the seats down, blankets, and battery-operated stringed lights. The stringed lights just added the cutest warmth and decoration to our setup. Also bring BUG SPRAY! I personally did not use it, but Cara and Matt both really needed it. 

IMG_3896.JPG

Lastly, if you’re going to go, go with your favorite people - it make it even more fun :) 

 It was a great “Birthday Party Weekend” adventure, something she had always wanted to do!

- Jenna  

First Time Apple Picking

“What?? You’re lying…”

“No, I’m not, I’ve never been apple picking before”

“Well you won’t be able to say that much longer!”

We grabbed our sherpas to stay warm, and we were off. 

IMG_1718 (1).JPG

Ochs Orchard, in Warwick, NY.  Blue sky, crisp autumn air, and the promise of apples lingered in our minds as we passed beautiful lakes and hills decorated with autumn color.  Even though Julia is from the beautiful mountains of upstate New York, I had the pleasure of taking her apple picking for the first time.  We passed some fresh vegetables on our way up the mountain and we began to smell one of my favorite fall aromas - fresh apples!  I told her that one of the first “tricks” is to not go for the first couple rows of apples because they get picked over the most.  Even though excitement almost made listening to this “trick” too difficult to follow, we persevered up the mountain.  When we got to the top, we were in awe.  Not only can rows of beautiful apple trees be seen, but the expanse went for miles with hills and fields.   Fall foliage had just begun, and the crisp air filled our lungs.  The apples at the top were AMAZING and we were so happy we had persevered and did not fill our bag with the first apples we saw at the bottom.  We caught up on life, laughed, and ate our way through the rows of trees.  We stayed over an hour past closing time (oops!!) and the people working at the orchard were so gracious and did not even give us a bad look as we realized they were waiting for us and the sun had gone down.  

IMG_1721.JPG

 

The best part about apple picking is the apple recipes you get go make afterwards! Check out a new recipe by yours truly :)

 

- Jenna 

IMG_1717.JPG
IMG_1720.JPG
IMG_1719.JPG
IMG_1722.JPG
IMG_1725.JPG
IMG_1731.JPG
IMG_1688.JPG

 

Recipe! (makes two)

GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE! With so many dietary restrictions people have nowadays, it feels so good to make something lots of people can enjoy and still feel good! 

 

Ingredients:

- 4 large apples

- 1/2 cup brown sugar

- 2 tbsp almond flour

- 2 tbsp butter or “Good Life” butter substitute (I used Good Life)

- 2 and 1/2 tsp apple pie spice

- 1/2 tsp (or a dash) or cinnamon

- 1 tbsp water

 

For the topping:

- 1/2 cup Quaker oats (you can use Quaker gluten-free oats)

- 1/4 packed brown sugar

- 1and 1/2 tbsp butter or Good Life

(simply hand-mix these ingredients together)

 

How to make: Set oven to 350 degrees.

Wash the four apples and choose two that the ingredients will go into.  Hollow out two of the apples and cut the other apples into medium-sized pieces.  Place the cut apples as well as the contents of what was hollowed out into a saucepan with a lid.  Put the burner on medium and begin to add ingredients one at a time (do not add almond flour yet) stirring after each addition.  Bring the heat to low and place lid on top.  Wait a few minutes for the liquids on the bottom to begin boil.  The apples should release some of their juice and mix with the other ingredients.  Add the almond flour.  You do not want a “soupy” mixture, adding almond flour and/or a little sugar will help thicken it depending on the consistency.  You also do want some liquid so the apples do not burn, you may need to add more butter or a little bit of water in that case.  Wait for apples mixture to boil.  

Take your hollowed out apples and place them on a oven-safe baking dish.  Divide the hot apple mixture between the two apples.  Crumble the topping onto the apples and place in the oven for about 10minutes or until the apple mixture begins to bubble and the hollowed-out apples begin to bubble some.  

Take out of oven and enjoy! SERVE WARM

IMG_1700.JPG