My Life in Boston

mostly about food, but also about sneakers, make-up…and now, my kid

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2018 Dorchester Chili Cook-Off

We always try to keep an eye out for the next Dorchester Chili Cook-Off. It’s one of our favorite chili fests. Last year was great and this year did not disappoint.

Held again at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 103 in Dorchester, there were so many tasty hits. I just wish we’d had a better plan of attack, i.e. share the chili first instead of getting our own. Our guts were bursting by the end.


Pork and venison chili with pork rinds, mango salsa, cheese, and cornbread. It was different, but delicious still because most recipes that veer away from the original end up being too far off. This one was really good.


This was a bright tasting chili by Lower Mills Tavern / Chef Colton. It reminded me of a carnitas with salsa verde. It was topped with cheese, sour cream and…fried grasshoppers.


Some good, solid chili topped with guacamole, cheese and sour cream. The guac really made a difference. I’m gonna start doing this myself.


Macarons! They were so pretty and so delicious! We actually made a beeline to this first because they go fast. Strawberry, pistachio, vanilla, and lemon flavors by Sweet Life & Bakery.

We can’t wait for next year when we’ll have the baby strapped onto us while we make the rounds.

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: The Diet (Part 2)

Although I’ve been able to keep my blood glucose numbers well below the 140 mg/dL range, I just couldn’t seem to do it for my morning fast testing. I tried eating different variations of food and quantity (i.e., raw almonds, apple with peanut butter, a slice of whole wheat bread with hummus, and etc.) the night before but nothing worked to keep it below 90 mg/dL.


My doctor saw the struggle and started me on glyburide. Actually, she gave me the option of pill or insulin shot. Since there was no way in hell I was going to be injecting myself, I chose the pill option.

So now, I take one pill a day, right before I go to bed. So far, it has been working. The rest of the time I’m able to control my blood sugar levels through diet although…I’m not gonna lie, it gets tough at times. I have had a Shake Shack for dinner one night and some Burger King here and there which have blown my numbers way up for a meal. I beat myself over it when I see the numbers, but I am only human.

Gestational diabetes sucks, but it could be a lot worse.

Nike Air Max 90

My new favorite shoes – the Nike Air Max 90 – arrived the other day. They look so pretty! And even though I already have a bajillion pairs of black & white sneakers, I couldn’t resist adding another pair to the “collection.”

I love walking around the city in these things.

Imma basic bitch, what can I say?

Lebanese Food at Shawarma Falafel

My go-to spot for falafel, shawarma and/or roll-ups when in the Downtown Crossing area has to be Shawarma Falafel, which also happens to be a shop or two down from Sam LaGrassa’s sandwich shop.

The people are super nice and the food is delicious. I usually order a plate special, but since I’m under strict orders to chill it with the rice, I opted for a chicken shawarma roll-up combo instead.


The combo came with French fries and a drink and was under $10. Had I known that they stuffed French fries into the roll-up, I would’ve skipped the fries.

It was super yummy especially with the addition of garlic butter and pickles.

Shawarma Falafel
26 Province Street
Boston, MA 02108

World Famous Sandwiches at Sam LaGrassa’s

I have lived in Boston all my life and it wasn’t until the other day that I experienced the sandwich deliciousness of Sam LaGrassa’s.

The Mister and I happened to be in the area and decided to give Sam LaGrassa’s a shot. I’ve only every heard amazing things about the place as well as the fact that it gets jam-packed.

We got there a little before noon and already there was a line. We chose to split the Pastrami Corned Beef Combo which has Rumanian pastrami and “fresh from the pot” corned beef with swiss cheese, russian dressing and cole slaw served on light rye with a pickle for $13.95.


It’s a great sandwich, tender and mild. I’d probably opt for the coleslaw on the side next time only because the coleslaw did overpower the flavor of the meats a bit.

I would definitely try to hit them up before the noon lunch crowd because the line can get long and you might not be able to find a seat.

Sam LaGrassa’s
44 Province St.
Boston, MA 02108
(right in Downtown Crossing)

I Heart E.L.F. Lipsticks

Ever since I came back from my Arizona trip, my lips have needed some serious moisturizing. I don’t even know if wearing matte liquid lipsticks in Arizona is even possible. The few times I put it on it felt as if the dry Arizona air just sucked everything out of my lips. I’ve never had lips that chapped before.

Anyhow, since then, I’ve been wearing more regular lipsticks. The ones that I’ve been wearing on the daily? E.L.F. Velvet Matte lipsticks. They ARE amazing and cost only $3 – I even got one of them for $1 when it went on clearance at Target the other day!


My favorite colors? Blushing Brown and Ruby Red. I still haven’t tried out the Moisturizing lipstick in Ravishing Rose because I’ve just been wearing the other two day in and day out.

My only one complaint is that there is a sweet taste to them, which can be off-putting when you’re eating something savory. Other than that, these are the ones I have on my person at all times.

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: The Diet (Part 1)

Up until I failed my blood glucose tests, I thought I had free reign to indulge in carbs. So, I started eating more bread, baked goods, chocolate – a lot of hot chocolate with marshmallows – and even started baking bread.

I cut all that out as soon as I found out I’d failed. It wasn’t too hard for me since I’d limited my carb intake prior to pregnancy. And, it worked. My blood glucose levels came out well below the recommended max number of 140 mg/dL – except for my fasting blood sugar level before breakfast. For some reason, I kept testing in the high 90s when it should be no more than 90 mg/dL.

Enter my date with the nutritionist.

I just wasn’t eating enough and/or the right combination of foods for my bedtime snack, which I needed to eat whether I was hungry or not. She also instructed me that I needed some carbs for each meal and showed me the best choices and, most importantly, the appropriate serving size and amount.

For example, I can still eat that banana, but I can only eat half at one time. And, if I do eat that banana then I need to pair it with some protein to slow down the impact of the sugar being released.

Since then, I’ve figured out my ideal bedtime snack – absolutely no carbs, but a mixture of raw nuts and protein. By keeping a log of my numbers and what foods I was eating at specific meals, it was easy to figure out what was working and what wasn’t.

Feel free to download my Gestational Diabetes Log Google Sheet I created to keep track of everything including carb counts to hit (although, yours may be different from mine so definitely check with your nutritionist).

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: Testing

When I first found out that I’d failed my 3-hour blood glucose test, I was crushed. I was further crushed when the nurse told me that I’d have to test my blood sugar on the daily – four times a day to be exact.

But, after the nurse showed me how easy it would be, it wasn’t so bad anymore. Don’t get me wrong. It still takes me a second or two to prepare myself mentally to press the button to prick my finger, but I get it done.  Really, it doesn’t hurt…much.

After having done this for the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.


What you’ll need to carry:

  1. The OneTouch carrying case. It holds the device, test strips, lancers and has a pocket to store either alcohol wipes or cotton balls.
  2. Testing strips. Make sure you have plenty available. I’ve mis-tested a few times and have had to use new ones. What you want to do is insert a strip with the 3 bars at the end facing up into the device to properly test.
  3. An empty case. Any case will do – a plastic container, Altoid tin or, in my case, a Nudestix cosmetic tin to store all the used lancers and test strips. You do not want to store them in the carrying case. I did that in the beginning and accidentally stuck my finger with an exposed lancer. That was not pleasant.
  4. Lancers. These are the needles. You’ll insert one into the testing device and then twist the top off to reveal the needle – keep the top because you’ll be “capping” the used needle with it.
  5. Alcohol wipes or cotton balls with a separate squeeze/travel-size bottle filled with alcohol. You just want to make sure the area you’re going to poke is clean.
  6. Tester + lancer (inserted). My tester is set to 3 but it goes all the way up to 7. This indicates how deep the prick will be. Anything less than 3 probably won’t puncture enough to draw blood. You want to make sure that after you’ve inserted a lancer that you pull back on the switch until you hear a click so that it’s ready.
  7. OneTouch device. My nurse set the device up for me, but all you really have to do is insert a test strip in and wait until it tells you that it’s ready. Once ready, you can test your blood.

How to do it:

I was told by my OB/GYN to take the test an hour after my last bite. However, the nutritionist was of the belief that it should be one hour after my first bite of food. Given that it may take up to an hour for me to eat sometimes, I’m continuing with the one hour after my last bite.

  1. Wipe area with alcohol. You want to aim for the side of your finger and not directly on your finger tip so that it’s less painful – there are more nerve endings on your finger tip vs the side.
  2. Massage from the bottom of your finger up to get the blood going.
  3. Insert lancer into testing device. Place cap back on, pull switch back until you hear a click, and press the button to prick your chosen finger.
  4. Squeeze enough blood out.
  5. Place testing strip with the 3 bars at the end face up into the OneTouch device. Wait for the device to be ready and then dip your blood onto the strip.
  6. To remove the lancer from the tester, pull both switches down and then push up. Record your number and you’re done until the next time

Where to do it:

The first time I had to test myself out and about, I wasn’t sure where was an appropriate place. The bathroom? But that’s kind of gross. In the end, I did a poll and people said my work desk was fine as long as I disposed of everything responsibly. Hence, carrying a tin case to store all the used needles and testing strips.

I will say that the hardest part is when I’m at the gym, a restaurant or bar. I’ve gotten the hang of my diet more or less so I make sure I’m not loading up on carb heavy food when I’m eating out. This way I can get away without having to find a place/remember to hit the timer to test.

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