In a Nutshell: Up in the air, down in Florida and a Golden Birthday

The Salted Cookie In a Nutshell April 5, 2016

It’s been way too long since my last In a Nutshell recap post. Like over two months ago. Sheesh. That means I’ve taken at least 16 flights between my last post and this recap. Hopefully you at least follow me on Instagram so you can see all of the exciting things that I do on a daily basis. Like … take photos out the window of airplanes. Or eat toast for breakfast in Florida. Riveting stuff here people. But with no further adieu let me recap the highlights of the past two months, starting from where we left off in January.

My parents came down to visit me in Orlando at the beginning of February, which was a triple treat because 1) I got to hang out with my parents for the weekend 2) We were in the happiest place on earth and 3) I did not have to deal with any snow flight delays for one weekend. If you know anything about me, you know I come from a family of Disney fanatics. I’ve been carrying around an excel-printed out itinerary in my ninja turtles fanny pack since 1986. Here’s a Shaw-family selfie before heading to whatever park was on the itinerary that day.


The one thing that kills me every Monday (aside from the early morning wakeup to get to the airport) is riding the monorail at the Orlando airport and NOT heading for the Disney Magical Express bus. But instead heading to pick up my rental car and go to work. No complaints though because there’s no shortage of people willing to visit me down in Orlando. I just planned out the itinerary for the Shaw sister Disney vacation over Memorial day. I can’t remember anything else I did in February to be honest. According to my phone, it was basically a whole lot of this either chasing the sun rising or setting at 30,000 feet.


Next up was a long overdue photoshoot for the blog. When I did the Cake Boss Baking campaign back in January I needed to provide a headshot and there was no way I was sending in my awkward LinkedIn corporate headshot, so I had to use a Facebook photo. Luckily my friends (and former coworkers) Allie and Gabby coordinated one of the designers (Meredith) at the company I used to work at to come to my kitchen and take some headshots. And they came out AH-MAZING.


Seriously, these photos look like they should be used for my first cookbook, right? Professional help was needed to get my hair in decent shape, but I could not be more psyched for how these shots came out!


I’m thinking we’ll use this one for the back cover of the book. I won’t divulge the things that Gabby and Allie were shouting out from behind Meredith (the photographer) in order to get a genuine smile out of me and not my awkward corporate headshot smile.

The Salted Cooke In a Nutshell April 2016

And then it was St. Patricks day in South Boston. A day that when I was 24 and first moved to Southie was always super psyched about because I lived right on the parade route. Now, you just feel like a prisoner because you can’t move your car and all the young hooligans are out drinking in the streets starting at 9am. But that makes for a perfect excuse for an afternoon Netflix marathon, so I can’t really complain. My friend Ashley and I have been running the 5k on St. Patricks day for the past few years. We always make a plan to wear green and then both show up dressed like ninjas. The race is LITERALLY uphill BOTH ways. Four giant hills as you run up and down East and West Broadway. It was also FREEZING this year, so I really earned my Fuller House Netflix marathon.


The weekend after that was Easter, and most importantly my adorable perfect nephew’s first Easter! I flew from Orlando into Westchester, NY to head up to my parents in Connecticut for Easter weekend. We also celebrate my birthday and Skip’s birthday (which is officially tomorrow) on Easter weekend. My nephew is starting to eat solid foods, which I never knew could be so exciting. Who knew feeding a baby mushed up sweet potatoes could be so fun?


And while running large digital transformations and ecommerce implementations might be more of the marketable skills listed on my resume, I think I need to add “Master of Peek-a-Boo” to my LinkedIn profile, because, not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty good at getting some baby giggles with my mad peek a boo skills using nothing but a napkin and my crazy face.


I also did a LOT of baking this year for Easter recipes. I was trying to get ahead of the game for once and finally post recipes far enough in advance that people had time to bake them before the holiday. And lots of mini egg recipes this year since I cannot have an open bag in my house. The Cadbury Mini Egg Magic Bars were by far the most popular recipe, but the Carrot Cupcakes and Cadbury Mini Egg Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies were big hits too.

Cadbury Mini Egg Magic Bars

And then I took a train back to Boston on Easter Sunday to swap my clothes out before flying back to Orlando on Monday morning. Yes, it’s exhausting. But that’s my normal.  At least Florida is warm. And there’s no shortage of different foodie spots to try. My coworker Allie discovered this great spot called First Watch that has a delicious and fresh breakfast menu. It’s a nice way to start your day before heading to the office and getting sucked into back to back meeting craziness. I’m personally in love with their avocado toast.


And of course, balance is everything in life. Sometimes you start your day with protein bars and healthy fats to have energy for the gym, and sometimes your day ends hoarding half-price Easter candy at Walgreens. That’s balance. Allie was extra psyched for some half priced Peeps last week!


And then I turned 31 on the 31st. My golden birthday. Celebrated on an airplane flying home in 60mph winds on Thursday night (with an extra 45 minutes circling over Logan, thanks mother nature). I felt really old when I realized this picture was taken 30 years ago!


But I did get to celebrate with my coworkers during the week. Wednesday night my team and I had a mini golf competition at my favorite course right outside of the entrance to Disney World – Pirates Cove. We used to play here as kids, and there is a Pirates Cove down in Cape Cod that I’ve probably played at least 50 times in my life. So that was a blast. And we went into Universal Studios on Thursday afternoon for a team lunch at Mythos, which was really delicious.

Friday night I met up with my friends Bridget, Matt and Matt to see Judah and the Lion in concert in Cambridge. If you like Imagine Dragons then you would LOVE this band. We saw them as an opener act for Ben Rector at the House of Blues back in the fall and immediately went in search of when we could see them again in Boston.


And then on Saturday I continued the birthday celebrations with a group of friends for a birthday party similar to how I rang in the big 1-0 many years ago: candlepin bowling and pizza. There’s this spot right on East Broadway in Southie called the South Boston Bowlarama and it’s ghetto, cash only and AMAZING. We had so much fun last night being terrible bowlers before heading to Pastoral in Fort Point for some pizza. TSC_In_a_Nutshell_Golden_Birthday

And that’s it, in a nutshell! I’m going to get better at posting shorter updates more often and have a few new ideas up my sleeve for some other types of posts, so stay tuned. I’m heading back to Florida tomorrow morning (pending another freak snowstorm in the forecast, wtf Mother Nature??!) and then Thursday night am heading to the West Coast for the Indulge Conference. I went last year and had so much fun at my first food blogger conference and I am really psyched to go back to Portland and eat my way through the city and meet other bloggers (like The Baker Mama, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Andie Mitchell). Then my friends Caitlin and Katie are meeting me in Portland for our annual April girl’s trip, and we’re heading to Seattle for a few days to hit all the tourist spots. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!