Review: Shut Up and Eat {Toms River, New Jersey}

by Cate on September 18, 2014

Consistently voted “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” in New Jersey, and rightfully so, Shut Up and Eat, a kitschy restaurant in Toms River, New Jersey is well worth a visit. Just do it on an empty stomach.

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“You go in,” Madeline said, pushing her brother forward.

“No. YOU go in,” Nick said, trying to swap places with her.

“I’ll go in, sheesh,” I said, opening the door.

Given the restaurant was called Shut Up and Eat, I understand their hesitation. I mean, really. We had no idea what to expect.

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As soon as we opened the door, we were greeted with a rush of nostalgia. Or, ok, I was, since the kids probably didn’t recognize a lot of the old memorabilia that adorned the interior of the restaurant. There is a corner in the front that is a small area for kids to play with old-fashioned toys, a counter seating area and the most adorable 1950s style mismatched tables and chairs throughout.

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We were greeted with a friendly hello as soon as we walked in, and were led to a table in the back.

“You were here yesterday, weren’t you?” the employee asked.

“Yes,” I said, “Good eye!”

His mom owns the restaurant and he was there the day before with his wife, setting up for the next day’s breakfast service. A google search of the restaurant shows them open through dinner time when, in fact, they aren’t (they close at 3:30 pm). If you wear pajamas (must be a set with a matching top and bottom), you get 13% off your tab, so we had arrived the evening before, in our pajamas, for dinner.

Now I can save you that embarrassment.

They’re only open for breakfast and lunch.

Despite what Google says. [click to continue…]

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In Which I Go Back to School

by Cate on September 17, 2014

I have only a handful of regrets in my life, but the one that seems to haunt me the most is not going to college. I started, registering for two classes at a local college after I graduated high school, and then, a few years later, I completed a Business Management program at the same school. But then, it just wasn’t the right time for me. And while it has remained a regret ever since, I still believe that if my heart wasn’t in it, it would have been a waste of money and time to go back then. At the time, I felt like I was making the right decision.

While you can absolutely, positively can succeed without a college degree, and I have done well, there’s no denying that having the degree just gives you more options. Period.

Now all these years later, the lack of a degree is something I have thought about constantly. A friend described it as “something unrest within my soul,” and she couldn’t have been more spot on. The question I kept coming back to was “how would getting my degree now change my end game?”  Because if I was going to get a degree and just keep the current job I have, what’s the point? What would it change? What would make it worth it to go back now? I knew I wanted to get the degree, but the question was what kind of degree? And what would I do with it after I got it?

Slowly over the past six months or so, I have really tried to hone in on how it could alter the future for me. What I could potentially do with the degree. How the end game would change.

And then finally I had the answers. Surprisingly, my biggest moment of clarity came after a conversation with Nick. And once I got to that place, the rest all of the sudden seemed easy. Or the easiest it’s going to be over the next few years.

I contacted my high school to get my transcripts. And contacted the college where I completed the Business Management program, which thankfully earned me additional college credits.

And applied to go back to school back in the Spring.

I started last month, and honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of myself.

[click to continue…]

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Recipe: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

September 15, 2014

A one dish pasta chicken casserole that will warm you up from the inside out. Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti was on the menu last week and was a hit all around. This recipe made exactly six adults and ten kids happy. And if you’re at all familiar with cooking for anyone other than yourself and […]

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Weekend Photos in Review

September 14, 2014

Print it!

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Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake

September 9, 2014

Super moist chocolate layer cake that is simple to make and full of fudgy goodness. Chocolate cake is not a hard sell. Two layers of fudgy cake, separated by a thin layer of frosting. And then the entire thing is smeared with chocolate buttercream. My resident chocoholic was clamoring to lick the bowl when I […]

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