Lovin’ My New Neighborhood

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

I am absolutely loving my new neighborhood! :mrgreen: I’m so glad that we decided to move into the city– it makes me feel alive!

House hunting was great and all, but putting an offer in on a house so far outside the city, totally freaked Mal and me out! I guess we’re just not ready to “settle down” yet.

The “Essentials”

After moving another load of our stuff into our new apartment last, we stopped at the grocery store to grab the “essentials.” Here’s what Mal and I considered must-haves:

  • Oats
  • Soy milk
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Salad greens
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Bread
  • Coffee
  • Canned tuna
  • Cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Kettle Backyard BBQ chips

We’re planning a BIG shopping this weekend, but these few groceries should hold us over for a couple of days. What do you consider your grocery “essentials”?


For lunch, I made a simple salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumber, almond slices, and topped it with Claire’s delicious relish.


Last night, between packing and unpacking, Mal and I ordered a cheese pizza from one of the pizza places in the area. It wasn’t the best pizza I’ve ever eaten (it was super greasy!), but I also wasn’t expecting something gourmet. Mal and I were hungry and it did the trick!


We had lots of leftovers, so I paired my salad with a cold slice.


A little while later, I munched on a ProBar. I like this flavor a lot– very fruity!


After lunch, I took MP (Murphy Pug) for a 45 minute walk around our neighborhood. Between strangers stopping to say ‘hello’ to Murphy and him sniffing everything in sight, we only walked about 3 blocks and back! It tough to take this pup for a walk!

Cafe Arpeggio

Even though I’ve made the hot coffee “switch” for the season, today’s especially beautiful weather called for an iced coffee. I stopped into Café Arpeggio to grab one.



Caf̩ Arpeggio is super cute! They had a great selection of yummy foodsРhomemade ice cream, sandwiches, soups, freshly baked pastries, and gourmet coffee. I have a feeling that I will become a regular there!



Dollar Stores Finds

I also popped into the local dollar store to pick up some household items. Maybe I’m weird, but I LOVE dollar stores! Of course, most sell a lot of junk, but certain products are such a steal! I spent less than $10 for all of this stuff! Sweet!


The final leg of moving happens tonight! We just need to move our couches, bed, wardrobe, and some random odds and ends. We’re so close!



  1. I would LOVE to live in a city. We have a nice home in a small town with a VERY small downtown. We would have to completely relocate to be in a city. Enjoy your neighborhood!

  2. I agree there’s no better place to live than IN a city. I don’t know why “settling down” is considered moving to the burbs. Stay in the city and enjoy the museums, nightlife, food, theater and all other culture the burbs can’t give you.

  3. We bought a house last summer in Salt Lake City. Luckily, SLC isn’t too big, just the right size for enough to do and not crazy traffic, etc. Plus we have the mountains so we can always get away!

    Some of our essentials are: skim milk, apples, oats, yogurt-we make our own, whole wheat bread-we make our own, or sandwich thins, cereal, salad makings-lettuce, veggies, etc., seasonal fruit, cottage cheese, and turkey and cheese-for hubs sandwiches.

  4. Love your new neighborhood, and good luck. My grocery essentials would be Organic Milk, yogurt, Oatmeal, atleast 3 types of fruits, wheat bread, eggs, Tomatos, onions, and frozen mixed vegetables. These are my must haves.

  5. Aw I miss Southie! I love Cafe Arpeggio! Is Amsterdam Cafe still there? Where West Broadway turns into East Broadway…they have delicious and HUGE wraps (two meals at least!!)

  6. The pics from the places around your neighborhood look so awesome! What a fun place to discover new spots.

    I also love dollar stores. Yep, tons of junk, but always great for cleaning stuff and little things (post-its, lightbulbs, etc.)

    My grocery essentials are pretty similar to yours: oats, fresh produce (bananas and stuff to make salads ALWAYS), hummus, dried beans, canned tomatoes, raw nuts, and one snack food for fun munching. Lately it’s been Food Should Taste Good chips – so addictive!

  7. Grocery store essentials are about the same as yours, you can make a lot of different meals with that list!
    Have fun moving the rest of your stuff tonight!

  8. I didn’t like living in a city at first, but after 2+ years in NYC I LOVE it! I enjoy being able to take long walks, sample fun restaurants/cafes, and use public transportation.
    I also really enjoy grocery shopping – great question.My essentials: coffee, milk, plain yogurt, apples, bananas, ww bread, peanut butter, carrots, and COOKIES!

  9. I think my essentials would be eggs, some kind of nut butter, spinach, bananas, cans of black beans and chickpeas, cheese, and some sort of bread or wrap. I LOVE dollar stores. I thought they were cool as a kid and I love them even more as an adult.

  10. It’s great that you have a little coffee shop right near your new place. I love having cafes within walking distance. I loved living in downtown Chicago for that very reason. My grocery store essentials would be bottled water, bread, peanut butter, fruit, milk, cereal, deli meat, cheese, and whatever I need to make a salad.

  11. How exciting that your almost done unpacking. its gotta be such a relief! Essentials for me include veggies, fruit, cereal, yogurt, pitas, lunch meat. basically anything you can assemble for lunches!

  12. It is so nice being able to walk everywhere living in the city – glad you like your new neighborhood! I lived in Southie in 2004 but it has changed so much since then – I feel like there are so many new places to check out in the neighborhood!

  13. Congratulations on your new place!

    My essentials are:
    coffee, whole-grain bread, almond butter, dark chocolate, berries, bananas, spinach, fiber bars, cereal, oats, sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, and pasta…I could survive for quite a while with just those essentials.

  14. My staples are Fage 2%, whipped cottage cheese, wild salmon, canned tuna, oats, almond butter, dried beans, raw almonds and walnuts, and whatever fruits and veggies are in season locally–typically have 5-7 different kinds of veggies on hand and 1-2 kinds of fruits. These items are always stocked in my house.

  15. My essentials are spinach, fruit (apples, bananas, melons, plums or kiwis), carrots, cucumbers, peppers, Greek Yogurt, Larabars, and some sort of snack item.

  16. I have been itching to move to NYC for a while now. I know what you mean about feeling so alive in a city. It is just great.

    My must haves: carrots, kale, lemons, lettuce!, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, bell peppers, raw dark chocolate

  17. Greasy pizza is kind of a moving necessity. I think when we moved last year, we ate at least 2 during the entire weekend.

    My food essentials are eggs, salsa, hummus, spinach, bananas, english muffins, yogurt and usually something sweet.

  18. so glad you like your new ‘hood! i’m actually going to be in boston over t’giving and wanted to ask your advice – we’re staying at the doubletree downtown; any places you definitely recommend near there?

  19. Your not alone in your love of dollar stores; they are the only place I buy hand soap and tissues. My essentials are really similar to yours, with the addition of greek yogurt that I eat everyday. Got to get in that protein. 😉

  20. Welcome to city living! Aren’t you glad that you trusted your instinct and continued renting and living in the city versus buying a house and living far outside it? Sometimes, you just gotta go with your gut! I know so many people that live in Southie. Everyone loves it. Don’t forget to try out Amrhein’s – they have great food!

  21. Café Arpeggio looks adorable! I love discovering cool new coffee shops. So happy for you and your new big city apartment. I contemplated moving to San Francisco for a while, but never made the leap. Good for you for going with your gut and jumping into city life. Enjoy it!

  22. I love Cafe Arpeggio too – they have tons of yummy vegetarian sandwiches, and their egg and cheese sandwiches are really good. For pizza, I would recommend Broadway’s Best or L Street Diner, that’s where I always go. They’re probably the best of the vast array of greasy pizza places in Southie 🙂

  23. Tina,

    I think it is sooo funny you mention that you LOVE the dollar stores… I do too! My husband laughs because he always asks if I will be heading to the dollar store when I say I am out of the following items..

    Renolyds wrapped pre cut strips
    Saran Wrap
    Zipper Lunch Bags-which we reuse
    Fake Woolite which I <3
    Mechanical Pencils for class, work ect
    Cellophane for gifts, wrapping paper, ribbons, 50 cent cards
    Disposable paper cups for coffee if I am on the go

    Happy Shopping,

  24. Isn’t city living the best?! I don’t know if I will ever want to live in the burbs. . .
    Love Arpeggio! Such a fun area!
    Our staples are:
    Fage 0% or TJ’s Greek style yogurt
    organic skim milk
    vanilla or cappucino soy milk
    Tostitos lime chips (my biggest weakness EVER!)
    some sort of strong cheese
    if at Trader Joe’s, Abrazo del Toro wine 🙂

    Probably lots of other stuff but I won’t bore you all!

  25. Apparently Pug’s are sniffers. J’s pug back home took like twenty minutes to not even make it one block… forever!!!! But he was so cute and worth it!


  26. M.P.! I love that. I would consider our essentials to be: yogurt, bananas, cheese, crackers, eggs, spinach and almond butter. We can get by with very little if we have to.

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