topping our to do list

Lechonera Mota, Santo Domingo, DR

When we traveled down to the Dominican Republic, eating lechon, the country’s iconic roast pig, was at the top of our to-do list. After watching the DR episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, we even knew the place we wanted to eat it at. However, when we asked our concierge for directions to the lechonera Tony visited on his show, he sent us to a completely different restaurant. But his mistake worked in our favor as Lechonera Mota was a few blocks from our hotel, not too crowded, and served a wide variety of amazing preparations of pork! Here’s a look…

Run by a lovely family who warmly welcomed us in for a late lunch, all of Mota’s pigs have been roasted in these same handmade ovens for the last 60 years…

Just look at that crispy skin!! Lovely, isn’t it?

Plates of pork…

Started with a flaky empanada…

Then it was on to this amazing braided pork in a spiced sauce. I apologize for not remembering the name of the dish…

The main event was the luscious lechon, which we watch them pull part by hand in front of us…

Accompanied by traditional red beans and rice, of course…

My El Presidente beer wrapped in newspaper stands by Mota’s homemade hot sauce…

Lechonera Mota was our introduction to Dominican cuisine, and after this meal, we knew we’d be eating well on this vacation!


Calle Pina

Santo Domingo 10208

Dominican Republic


Our First Home :)

I’m so excited to share these photos with y’all! From start to finish the whole home buying process was simultaneously very frustrating and very rewarding experience for us. In the beginning we were faced with numerous disappointments, which eventually lead us to the path of new construction. It was a long wait, and I wasn’t always so patient, but in the end it was 100% worth it. We LOVE our new space and I hope you guys like it too, though don’t judge me on our complete lack of furniture and decor… we’re taking our time with that stuff :)

One of the hardest parts of building a brand new home was choosing all of the materials. Obviously we didn’t get to see a finished product– we were just choosing based off of small swatches and example photos. Talk about nerve wracking! In the end I adore everything we chose. My favorite detail on the outside are definitely the craftsman style stacked stone columns… We had to pay extra for those, ha! Another detail I love, which you can’t really tell in the photo because of the lighting, are the dark green shutters and matching front door. 

When you enter, this is what you see. We went with a super open floor plan– the living room, dining room, and kitchen are all one giant room. This is something that really drew us to newer homes, as many older ones tend to have much more separated spaces. 

Immediately to the left of the front door is what we are going to use as my office. Please note the impressive office furniture, lol. I’m using our old kitchen table as a desk and I have my chair on a yoga mat so I don’t scratch up the hardwoods– the eventual plan for this space involve a big floor run, a giant work table, and plenty of shelving for my artsy stuff. 

Next is the kitchen, my absolute favorite space :) The cabinets are definitely something people will either love or hate– I personally love the kind of unfinished look they have, and think they will balance nicely with all of our black/dark toned furniture. I also love the way they ended up pairing with the grey granite and backsplash. The island is TO DIE FOR and I love the gigantic sink. The green ladder obviously ties the entire room together :)

Other views of the living room/dining room areas. Like I said before, I love how open it all is and also like how the big windows give us TONS of natural light. Just outside of the dining room windows is our porch and backyard. I LOVE OUR VIEW!! The big porch is perfect for some outdoor furniture and a grill and I have a feeling it’ll become my new favorite spot once we get it all situated out there. 

Just off the main area is the master bedroom. Please ignore our pathetic looking bed, it is literally just a box spring and a mattress sitting on the ground. Buying a real bed is near the top of our to do list… We are also not quite done painting this room yet, ha. My favorite thing about our room? SEPARATE WALK IN CLOSETS. I never have to look at my husband’s disorganization ever again… ;)

Next is the master bathroom, which will ALSO be painted to match the bedroom… eventually. That tub y’all, I have taken a bath every weekend since we’ve been here. Perfect for post run recovery. The toilet is in it’s own little closet, you can see the door in the corner of the second photo there. It’s nice because Scott or I can have total potty privacy without closing up the entire bathroom in the morning. 

If we come back to the front door and turn to the right, you’ll come to a hallway with the three other bedrooms, the laundry room, a second full bath, and the entrance to the garage. None of that is very interesting as they are all basically empty rooms full of clutter and boxes, ha, so no photos of those spaces. 

And that’s pretty much all there is to it! I am having so much fun slowly picking furniture and stuff out, especially for fun places like my office and our back porch. I have no doubt I’ll be sharing more photos of that process on here as well. Hope you all enjoyed a little peek in to our first place, if you’re ever in Alabama we have plenty of room… :)

anonymous asked:

What are the odds of standby tickets getting you into the show? I'm coming to NY from out of town and seeing the Tonight Show is at the very top of our to-do wish list! Me and my mom are basically the biggest Jimmy Fallon fans out there and we're slowly losing hope :( We can basically quote full episodes 😜 Haha We aren't above begging for any extra tickets there might be! :) Also, we won't be around in time for trenchcoat tickets! :( I hope there is some way we can get into the TN Show!Thanks!

Wish there was a standard rule, but honestly it totally varies! Sometimes the line doesn’t start until 7am and we’re able to let 50 people in. Sometimes people start lining up the night before and we just don’t have any extra seats.

That said, we LOVE when some of standby gets in so we try to make that happen as much as possible. It’s definitely worth a shot! 

Here’s more info on tickets: FAQ: How To Get Tickets To The Tonight Show 

Hope that helps! - Marina

December Goals.

Confession time: 2014 hasn’t been the best year for me health and fitness wise. I got burnt out from running, I started the prerequisites for grad school, I moved in with my boyfriend, and I really just haven’t been able to find a happy and healthy balance. 

All of this being said, I’ve gained a couple pounds and feel a little fluffy. 

December 1st, 2013: 177.2 pounds. 
December 1st, 2014 (1 year later): 184.2 pounds. 

I’ve been maintaining right at about 180, however, I’m up over 10lbs since I finished whole30. Between traveling and going back to normal eating, it was bound to happen. At least I’m not going to bed with a hungry belly anymore… That was probably the worst part about the program. 

Anyway, GOALS FOR DECEMBER. Better late than never. 

  • Workout 3x a week. That’s all I’m asking. 
  • Print new recipes and MAKE THEM. 
  • Deep clean our room/the basement. 
  • Stay on top of my to-do list. 
  • Look into getting my sub-license and decide if I’m going to actually do it or not. 
  • Register for a race or two in 2015. 
  • Finish Christmas shopping. 

I miss the days where I would run 8 miles and then still have enough energy to lift or go to a yoga class. I miss the way I felt about myself and my constant desire to take workout selfies. One of my friends recently went on a run when she didn’t want to. She’d set out for 5 miles, but after thinking about me, she ran further than she’s ever ran before… 10.5 miles! I want to continue being an inspiration/motivator to the people around me, and it needs to start again right meow.