Earth Hour and Earring Jackets

Earth Hour is at 8:30 pm (local time) tonight! The World Wildlife Fund has sponsored this global initiative since 2008. Hundreds of towns and cities in hundreds of countries participate to bring awareness to the issue of climate change.

If you haven’t participated before, it’s easy! Just turn off your lights for an hour tonight. I try to act in an environmentally friendly way daily, but this annual event serves as a time for me to unplug and be grateful to live in a first-world country, where I can access electricity 24 hours a day.  I also take the time to think about how I can reduce my carbon footprint.

So that’s that.

Earring jackets! I didn’t know of their existence until a week or two ago. I like to find ways to change my appearance during birthday list time. I still mourn the fact that my ear rejected cartilage piercing years ago. I kept it in for almost two years and it never fully healed.

So I got the idea to buy a cute ear cuff this year. Off to Etsy I went and I stumbled across earring jackets. What could be cuter than a jacket for your earring??










These earrings are a little too big for my ears, but you get the idea. I’ll probably buy some ear cuffs too, but I am more excited about the jackets. Had anyone else heard of earring jackets before?


Time for Dessert

I tried Indian pudding the other day. It’s a dessert native to New England, so it was fitting that I tried it at Durgin-Park, one of the city’s oldest restaurants.

Indian pudding with vanilla ice cream on top









I loved this dessert because (A) I love molasses. Note that one needs to feel strong affection for molasses in order to enjoy this dessert. (B) It has the consistency of CoCo Wheats!!

My family ate CoCo Wheats for breakfast throughout my childhood. It’s basically chocolate grits and it’s so good.

I relived my childhood again thanks to another dessert, which I baked from scratch today.








Behold the Chinese marble cookie. I probably ate one of these per week for at least a few years during my youth. Wegmans, our grocery store, had a “cookie club” for kids: a free cookie to enjoy while following your parents down aisle after aisle. There is still a cookie club today, but chocolate chip is the only type available.

Eventually I aged out of the program and the Chinese marble cookie disappeared from the bakery. But I never truly forgot about this cookie. I’ve thought about it off and on over the years. Something finally stuck this year and I searched for a recipe. I found this one (thanks, Monster Sweet Tooth) and made it today.

I guess I love this cookie because of the nostalgia tied to it. The two sticks of butter I used probably has something to do with it too. The flavor is not strong; there’s a little vanilla extract, almond extract, and unsweetened chocolate.

I will never be without these cookies again. What a comforting thought.




Feeling Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m celebrating with a Shamrock shake, green Peeps, and some Cranberries.

This shake is totally worth the 600 calories.
This shake is totally worth the 600 calories.











I feel a little more legit about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day since discovering that I have a few Irish ancestors. According to AncestryDNA, I am 4 percent Irish!

I couldn’t help but feel 100 percent Irish at the Dropkick Murphys concert that I attended last week. This band was founded almost 20 years ago in Boston and bills itself as “Celt punk.” For as long as I can remember, the band has played multiple shows in Boston around St. Patrick’s Day. I decided that this would be the year that I put Dropkick Murphys on my birthday list.

I only knew one song going into it and I couldn’t make out any of the lyrics to any other songs, but I had a blast. Punk music with bagpipes, flutes, and young Irish step dancers = impossible not to have fun.

Courtesy of Linda
Courtesy of Linda









And at the end of the show, they invited fans to come up on stage. Party time!

Courtesy of Linda
Courtesy of Linda









I checked off another item last week: Visit the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum. Dallin was a sculptor who lived and worked in Arlington, Massachusetts, for more than 40 years. The museum docent, a sweet man in his 70s, told us stories about Dallin and his work as we made our way through four small rooms. Dallin was very talented and I enjoyed learning about his career.








So that leaves me with 22 things left on the birthday list. April and May will be busy!







After being out of touch for nine years, eBay and I have been reacquainted.

It all started over some lotion. I discovered Crabtree and Evelyn’s Iris scent a few years ago. It’s expensive, so I have treated myself to a bottle of the lotion a couple of times per year. When I started a new bottle about a month ago, I decided that I love it so much that I just have to wear it all the time.

Then I learned that the scent was discontinued.

Really?? I took to the Internet in hopes of finding a few bottles through a beauty shop. And there was eBay. I felt kind of silly about buying $160 worth of lotion all at once, so I settled for $80.








After the lotion purchase, I decided to check on Dancing Hamsters while I was there. My mom and I unearthed my collection from storage at her house during the holidays, so they’ve been on my mind again.

I found this:










OMFG. A hot water bottle and a cane??

Things have been quiet on the birthday list front. I watched Unforgiven recently (#98 on the AFI Top 100 movie list). The plot and acting were just fine, but there was too much gunfire for me.

I stayed at a nice hotel in Portland over the weekend and tried a steam room for the first time. The room got so steamy I could not see a thing and it was so disorienting! I felt like I was trapped in the middle of a cloud. After a few moments of sheer panic, I was able to marvel at the sensation of being trapped in a cloud.

Tomorrow night I’m seeing the Dropkick Murphys for the first time. I only know one of their songs. But they are a Boston institution, so the time has come to experience Celtic punk firsthand…





Ls and Qs

Only five more bars left on the A–Z list so I’m right on track.

I had hot pot for the first time at a hot spot a couple of weeks ago: Q Restaurant.










I’m not sure what I ordered, but it was good! The waiter placed a huge metal bowl of orange broth and vegetables on a hot plate in the middle of the table and delivered different sauces, brown rice, and a platter of paper-thin slices of chicken.

After throwing in the chicken and letting it cook for a minute or so, I could either scoop it all out and eat it as soup or strain out the broth and eat the chicken and veggies over the brown rice. It was fun to have two options.

I tried Asahi beer, a nice Japanese lager.

I swear that there were Japanese beer in this glass.
I swear that there was Japanese beer in this glass.











The place was packed with huge groups of young Asian tourists, which made for a vibrant atmosphere.

I had some seriously good Italian food at Lucca last week.








It’s very unassuming from the outside, and it’s dark and cozy inside. I tried an IPA from a brewery I’ve never heard of, called Uinta. I don’t know if I’ve ever met an IPA I didn’t like.








The arancini of the day (with crabmeat) was divine, as were the meatballs and a light salad. I will return for the $5 draft specials and the arancini!

So which letters are left, you ask? E, U, V, X, Y. Yep.