A tale of two birthdays


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Somehow it has been over a year since my last post here, though it has definitely been quite the whirlwind with just over a year in Austin and nearly a year of business school under my belt!  I won't even attempt a massive catch up because there is just too much, but we had a moment last night that really made me realize what a difference a year makes.

Yesterday was Greg's 29th birthday.  We celebrated his 28th birthday just 8 days after moving from DC to Austin and we knew almost no one here.  I had not started school yet and we were both working at home so it was just the two of us in our little rental guest house in Hyde Park.

There was definitely a strong sense of adventure with the two us starting over in a new place and a new year but it was also a tad lonely.  Fast forward to last night, exactly a year later, we were able to muster a group of 8 wonderful friends on a Tuesday night for an impromptu celebration at one of our favorite bars.

29 + crazy-eyed girlfriend
Silly party hats, a surprisingly delicious grocery store cake, tons of candles and terrific draft beers made for a pretty fantastic night, but the best part was looking down the long table at a handful of the amazing people that have come into our lives over the last year. I felt so lucky to have people to sing with and to celebrate this amazing guy of mine.  Austin has been very good to us so far.

Happy, happy birthday Greg!  I love you so very much and can't wait to see where this next year takes us!

Oh hello there!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's been awhile since I've been here and I must say that I have genuinely missed this little space to collect some thoughts and happenings each week.  It has been a busy few months here as we prep for our big move to Austin, TX, which is now quickly upon us.  The big push to get things out of the apartment happens this weekend so our apartment looks like this:

Our lease technically doesn't end until July 12th, but because we will be out at my family's farm for a long weekend next week and up in Connecticut for our dear friends' wedding the weekend after (HA! craziest summer ever) it's officially go-time.

Both Greg and I have lived in the DC area since graduating from college so this rapidly approaching change definitely involves a mix of emotions.  We are both thrilled about the idea of exploring a new place and making new friends and I am really looking forward to beginning my studies at the end of August.  However, we also have so many wonderful friends (and family) here and we are very, very sad to leave them behind.  Luckily it seems that Austin is a city a lot of people have a travel crush on, both because of the climate and the music scene, so we are counting on having frequent visitors to our new home to help ease that feeling.

I promise to report back soon with tales from our travels and our halfway-across-the-country move.   I am so excited to share about our adventures as we take on a new city starting in July!

Go-to Lunch: The Perfect Soft Boiled Egg


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Since I started my current job last summer I have been working from home 3 to 4 days a week.  It took me awhile to get in a groove with my lunch routine but I have finally got it mostly down.  One of my favorites tricks is the key to the perfect soft boiled egg, which I first discovered courtesy of Hither & Thither.

I have always loved poached eggs and can never get them right at home.  While this is not exactly the same, it yields a similarly wonderful soft yolk and the method is so quick and easy. 

It is perfect for topping pasta, a frisee salad, a mess of black beans, a bowl of rice or really anything that could benefit from a runny egg yolk (which is almost everything in my opinion). An egg also adds the perfect hit of protein and texture to transform something light and simple into a meal.

Most often, I just throw one on top of a slice of buttered wheat toast with salt, pepper and a little hot sauce.  When I plan ahead and have an avocado or some slow-roasted tomatoes to throw in the mix it is all the better. I hope you'll give this a try at any hour of the day when you have six and a half minutes to spare.  If you do, I'm confident you'll find even more excuses to top dishes with the incredible, edible egg!

Chocolate Covered Clementines with Chili Salt


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hello there friends! All of the sudden it is March and I somehow let the whole month of February slide by without a single post.  It was a bit of crazy one as we are figuring out next steps with a big move this summer.  February was also the homestretch of planning a bridal shower in my hometown for my best friend from high school, the lovely Katie.

I have been a bridesmaid several times but this is my first time as a maid of honor. It has definitely been a much greater responsibility but also one I'm so happy to take on.  I stressed over a million little details but thankfully was able to relax on the actual day. We had such a fun group of ladies and most importantly, the bride-to-be was thrilled.  I definitely plan to share more details at some point but I thought I'd start with a little recipe I discovered while brainstorming for the dessert tray.

I came across the link to this recipe for chocolate covered clementines in a round up on The Kitchn and was immediately sold both on looks and ease of preparation. It is barely a recipe given its simplicity but here are a few notes on how I threw it together because I just can't help myself:
  • I used about 6 clementines for a total of 48 dipped segments.  Depending on the number of people you are making this for you can easily make more or less, though I must warn you that these are highly addictive and surprisingly light so they do go quickly.
  • My mom had a big chunk of dark chocolate in her fridge that she donated to this cause so I don't know the exact amount of chocolate to recommend.  I would expect that two bars of 70% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate, a baking aisle standard, would get the job done.
  • I definitely recommend tempering the chocolate, particularly if you are making these the night before and will be storing them in the fridge.  Tempering the chocolate keeps it from developing that icky gray color when chilled and also gives it a nice shiny quality. I had never tempered chocolate before and used this tutorial to help me on my way.
  • For the chili salt, I just mixed a couple tablespoons of flaky salt (pink Himalayan in this case though any will do) with a few pinches of cayenne pepper. I thought it provided just the right kick and would recommend it over the hunks of salt and red pepper flakes shown in the original recipe.  The sprinkling of chili salt is definitely what takes this to the next level so don't even think about skipping it.
  • If you are preparing these the night before, be sure to cover the plate in plastic wrap before storing it in the fridge to keep the little segments from drying out.
Who would have thought anyone could have such detailed notes on something as simple as chocolate dipped oranges?! These really are so easy to make and will definitely be a go-to in my entertaining arsenal moving forward.  They manage to be juicy, sweet, salty and spicy all in one little bite and I can't recommend them more highly.  

One more day until the weekend - I hope your weeks are all going well!

Hook 'Em!


Monday, January 28, 2013

I'll be back with a roundup of the past weekend later this week but I wanted to share some exciting news on the business school front first - I found out early Friday morning that I was accepted to the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin! To say I'm excited would be a serious understatement.  Not only is it an amazing program, but the City of Austin itself is incredible and I feel so fortunate to have this as an option for next year.

We're still anxiously awaiting word from UC Berkeley (due this Friday) so please keep your fingers crossed for me on that front, but until then, Hook 'Em Horns!


Birthday Brunch, Barack Obama, and Baby


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sometime this year I will get back to posting about things other than weekend reports, but given how crazy work has been over the last couple weeks almost all the fun stuff is happening on the weekends anyway.  This past weekend my littlest brother, Chad, was in town to celebrate his 17th birthday.  "Littlest brother" is actually a significant misnomer these days as he is now the biggest of the four of us at just over 6 feet...

Where did this "man" come from???
He got into town late Friday evening and we had a laid back night consisting of pizza, trashy reality TV and a couple pints of Ben & Jerry's. Russ also came to spend the night, which made us especially miss Kauri to round out the sibling sleepover. Saturday morning we hosted a brunch birthday party for Chad at our apartment.  Katie, Ben, our adopted Norwegian sister, Rosa, and Greg's parents all came over to celebrate.  Katie has known Chad since he was flirting with her from his car seat, so his age (and sheer size) blows her mind almost as much as it blows mine.  I love the laid back vibe of brunch parties and this one turned out especially well.  The star of the menu was definitely the monkey bread birthday cake pictured above.  It was so over-the-top decadent that I got chills.  Every bite is like the best gooey piece of a cinnamon roll...dangerous.

Taken from the roof deck off our gym during Obama's Inaugural Address
Saturday night we grabbed burgers and went to see Silver Linings Playbook, which I highly recommend to anyone who has not seen it yet.  It is equal parts tough, funny and sweet with amazing performances from the entire cast that left me quite misty at the end.  On Sunday, we popped Chad across the Key Bridge to meet the Georgetown crew coach (woohoo!) and then headed down to Chinatown to hang with Russ and meet his new pet hedgehog, Quilliam, before Chad's train.  Sadly I did not manage to snap a picture of my little nephew but I assure you that he is as silly and cute as he sounds.  As always, Chad's trip flew by way too quickly, but it was a joy to have him in town for the short time we did.  

Four years ago, his birthday present was attending Barack Obama's first Inauguration in person.  We got up at 4:30 a.m. to make it to the Mall along with 1.8 million other people.  I would not trade that memory and experience with my brother for anything, but I will say that I was content to watch this year's ceremony on television from a treadmill.  I thought it was very moving (I am a sucker for democracy in action as previously discussed) and can we talk about Kelly Clarkson? Girlfriend nailed it.

Little love bug
I wrapped up the weekend with a visit to the newest member of Greg's extended family: Baby Northe.  Hard to think of a better way to end a busy weekend than snuggling a newborn and toasting his arrival with family. 

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and that this short week is kicking off well!

The weekend


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Friday was one of those unexpectedly fun nights that you just can't plan for.  Early in the day I had asked Russ what he was up to since Greg and I kind of had an itch to go out and he pointed us in the direction of the Knocks show at the 9:30 Club. Greg and were back and forth all day and my afternoon ended up being crazy stressful.  I was on the verge of losing my nerve when he texted to say that not only were we going, but so were our friends Brian, Emily and Russ (another Russ, not my brother), and that everyone was convening at our house for drinks beforehand. I am very happy that I rallied.

9:30 Club delivers again!
The show itself was a lot of fun and sold out shortly after we bought tickets.   The Knocks are very dance-y, so with a packed house the energy in there was pretty amazing.  Ironically, after inspiring this adventure, my brother did not manage to score himself a ticket. Luckily, we managed to track him down post-concert at Nellie's, which is a gay sport bar with an amazing roof deck right by the club.  It was great to meet up with him for even that little bit and unwind after the show.  From there we headed to Ben's Chili Bowl, which is pretty much a must when out in that neighborhood, and is also where I managed to capture my favorite picture of Greg so far in 2013:

My love
Armed with a chili half-smoke, an order of chili cheese fries and a slice of chocolate cake for good measure, we headed home to enjoy our late night feast.  Needless to say, Saturday morning was a little rough in our household...

Completely shifting gears, I did managed to polish myself up in time for an afternoon tea date with Katie at the Mandarin Oriental's Empress Lounge.  It was completely lovely and a very relaxing, pleasantly indulgent way to pass the afternoon.  We chose the option that came with a glass of Veuve Clicquot as well as tea and were very pleased on all fronts.  Definitely something to do again.

Bubbles, passion fruit tiramisu, delicious little cucumber sandwiches...need I say more?
Saturday night was necessarily laid back and just what we needed.  We curled up on the couch in pajamas with Chinese takeout and watched some of the best playoff football I can remember seeing.  I cannot wait for this weekend's games.  Adding to the cozy vibe, a thick layer of fog rolled in on Saturday night and stayed for the entire day on Sunday.

Sunday morning
Sunday was a catch up day on multiple fronts, and as usual I was sad to see the weekend fly by so quickly, especially one this fun.  I hope you all had fantastic weekends as well and that the week is off to a good start!

happy little lark All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger