Friday, October 30, 2009

From Two to Three

I’m an Auntie!

Well, I do already have a niece and a nephew, but I’m happy to announce that my beautiful best friend and her husband welcomed a gorgeous baby girl into their lives last night. I can’t wait to meet little Gracie over Christmas!

It was wonderful to be able to surprise Best Friend in Nebraska last weekend and spend a couple of days just the two of us before baby came. I just can’t believe I missed Gracie’s birth by only two days!

Congratulations Friends!

Poco's Grill in Portsmouth

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So Good to Be Home

Last post, I made a list of happy things that did take place this past weekend. Minus the football win. *tear*

But the happiest part was that I wasn't in town for any of those things. Instead, I drove 1200 miles to Nebraska.


It was 60 hours of perfection.

Friday, October 23, 2009

This Weekend . .

I have four friends running in the Marine Corps Marathon.
My friend C is making a delicious carb-packed 'specialty' dinner.
J and her boyfriend are celebrating their birthdays . . on the same day! So cute.
I'm having a sleepover.
It's not supposed to rain {like last weekend}.
I think we'll win our football game.

So many reasons to be happy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday Brunch

This past weekend, it was back to the Eastern Market neighborhood I went to enjoy Sunday brunch at a Belgian restaurant. I am in love with Belga Cafe. Truly. I want to go every weekend. I think my new perfect weekend involves Eastern Market, fresh flowers, delicious produce, and brunch at Belga.

I did a bad job of snapping pictures, but sometimes it's more important to just enjoy the people you're with. Hopefully I didn't weird out the visiting San Diegans I was dining with by snapping too many pictures of our food.

How could I not capture the memory of green eggs {and no ham}?


The flavored eggs were served with fresh herbs, Belgian cheese, melted spinach, herb pesto, an English muffin, and bacon. Basically amazing!

I didn't get a very great picture of my dish, and although it wasn't as pretty to look at, I'd order it again in a hearbeat. A cornbread waffle, pulled pork, a fried egg, and avocado.


And a crepe with Nutella and bananas was shared amongst our group.

As we wandered back through the Market before heading home, I picked up some fresh flowers and a collection of matted D.C. photographs capturing the four seasons in this city.

I don't know if I could love this place more.

Monday, October 19, 2009

T Minus 11 Days

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Not even close.

Dressing up has always seemed like more of a chore than anything else, and last year was proof that I like to put minimal effort into my costume. Erin Andrews needed three props: an ESPN microphone, credentials, and blonde clip-in hair extensions.


Erin Andrews en espanol

Well, minus the sombrero. I was covering a game in espanol?

Anyway . .

This year I'm attending two parties, one for free and the other for not even close to free, so far from free that I almost cried when I bought my ticket. It better be fun!

Needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to forking over even more dough on a costume on top of my ticket.

That's when I thought of Tink. My friend's costume from the year before. The cutest Tinkerbell costume ever. And FREE!

Now Halloween can't get here soon enough. See, I'm practicing my Tinkerbell hair already.

Photo 1

Friday, October 16, 2009

Going Cruising

Tonight I met up with some fellow cruisers, thirty-five other friends and friends of friends who will join me in setting sail on the Caribbean less than four weeks from today. Somehow I've only recently begun to get excited, due in part to the list I made of all the reasons why:

Unlimited soft serve

A chance to wear the new summer dress I didn't wear this summer

Sun, sun, sun


Water slides

Plenty of dance partners

The Miami sandwich, staying there before and after the cruise

Leaving town for an entire week

Flip flops, not boots!

Some kind of fun excursion

I think it's going to be fun!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cracking Crabs


"Do you like to get your hands dirty?"

That's what my friend's boyfriend asked me. And I said yes.

But then I got a little grossed out when we cracked crabs for dinner the other night. Old Bay all over my hands and yucky crab parts that you aren't supposed to eat right next to the ones you are {like the finger-like things that are the lungs and the mustard-y part that . . I don't even want to know}.

It was a lot of work, but the delicious Maryland crab meat was worth it.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Very Fall Weekend

It is always nice having a visitor . . even if productivity takes a plunge.

This weekend, my high school friend Shae was in town – her fourth visit in three years! I feel so blessed to have seen her so often these past few years, despite our living on two separate coasts. Although much of her time was devoted to work, we were still able to enjoy ourselves . . and in some very appropriate ways, given our shared love for Mexican food and shopping.

We managed to eat Mexican food three days in a row – Mexican, Salvadorian and Tex-Mex to be exact. That’s a lot of chips and salsa and margaritas.

Mmmm, pupusas, a stuffed flatbread. Mine was filled with cheese and pork.


We also managed to get into a little bit of trouble at the Barney’s and Saks outlets. Oops.

Pumpkins were picked up at a stand along the road, and pumpkin patch cupcakes with cream cheese frosting were made to end the long weekend.



I only wish it had been longer.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Two Things


Simba Sue* and I would like to say two things:

GO BIG RED! {She's a huge Husker fan like me and super stoked we beat Missouri last night. You should see her Blackshirts scarf.}



*Simba is the shih tzu of my good Nebraska friends, a married couple that lives just blocks away. I love house-sitting when they're out of town, mainly because Simba and I are best buds . . and also because their house is so cozy and full of large televisions, good food, and a bed you never want to roll out of.

This weekend I've passed the house-sitting duties on to my lucky roommate. I have a guest in town from L.A., so I'll be playing hostess in my new home.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wine Night


The Girl and I made plans to catch up over vino last week, and although I'd never say I needed a glass {because it's simply not true}, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't counting down the hours until that wine was in my hand. "It's going to feel like FALL tonight!" she informed me, and I knew she'd be bundled appropriately when I saw her, wool jacket and all. I, on the other hand, got by with just a sheer cardigan and light pants. The weather was perfect for both.


And so was the setting. We found ourselves relaxing at Argia's with a back patio all to ourselves.


We shared a basket of bread, a bottle of Pinot Grigio, white pizza, and a delicious arugula salad with fennel, currants, tomatoes, parm and lemon-thyme vinaigrette.


Oh yes, and this peanut butter ice cream ball inevitably followed . .


Welcome, Fall.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Banana Bread

This past weekend didn't look much like most weekends do, but it was perfect in every way.

I wasn't social Friday night, and I wasn't social Saturday night. I loved it.

I was able to focus on cleaning, going through papers and boxes I still haven't unpacked, and baking.

For the past two years I've been attempting to recreate the moistest banana bread I've ever eaten. It truly has been a goal of mine. After a guy named James brought this masterpiece to a 2007 Super Bowl party {I hid the extra loaf in my pantry and ate the entire thing myself; it was that good}, I hounded him for the recipe, and it took me a few months to get it.


But the recipe never turned out the way he'd made it, and I was convinced he'd intentionally left something out. I tried a few variations on my own, but finally threw up my hands and knew I needed to try a different recipe.

I googled "MOIST banana bread", and made a list of new recipes to try.

This weekend I tried not the "extra moist" recipe or "super moist", but simply "Moist Banana Bread", a list of ingredients in which buttermilk is clearly the MVP.

I got out the Kitchen Aid, which makes baking a million times more enjoyable, and mixed the ingredients just as the recipe said. This should be obvious, but following directions to a T is hard work for me.


But all my hard work paid off. The bread came out delicious and moist, easily a 2nd place winner to the Super Bowl loaf. Even my colleagues raved about it at work today.

This doesn't mean I won't try other recipes, ones with sour cream and unbleached flour in the hopes that I might find something even more moist, but it does mean that I feel confident enough to share this recipe with you. You'll love it.


3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. bananas (3)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk

Cream butter and sugar. Blend in mashed bananas. Add well-beaten eggs and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternating with buttermilk. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes (but I began checking at 50 minutes). Makes 2 loaves (8 x4).

p.s. I also made Whoorl's recommended heavenly pumpkin brownies with cream cheese frosting. They were a big hit, as well.

Eastern Market

It makes me sad to think that I've lived in D.C. for over 3 years, and I've never been to Eastern Market. Well, I went once on a Sunday to the flea market, but it was nothing like a Saturday morning.


I love the Capitol Hill neighborhood and could've just happily strolled through the streets without ever making it to my destination.






But my roommates and I made it to the Market with all its jewelry, flowers, fruit, paintings, and more.







And the fruit was so delicious! I wanted to take it all home. New kinds of pears and peaches I'd never even heard of.


We eventually wandered inside the South Hall where more food and flowers were found. Fresh meats and cheeses and seafood . . and pastries, too!




My roommate Katie couldn't resist the cannolis.


And I couldn't resist the adorable puppy we found outside! I think it's half Bichon, half Shihtzu, and I think I might want one someday.


We then moved along to the flea market where a couple of treasures were waiting for me.


Like this lovely pink chair that I will most definitely reupholster.


And these bright red shades that look so amazing on! {I didn't actually take these home.}


The roomies and I were having fun.


But we were getting hungry. And Katie's crepe suggestions sounded perfect!



I couldn't decide between a healthy veggie crepe . . or a treat . .

s'mores crepe

So I went with the s'more crepe.

Fortunately Lyn let me have a bit of hers, too.


Eastern Market is now one of my favorite things to do, and I can't wait to go again soon.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

"I Know I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"

Several months ago, when I learned U2 would make a stop in the D.C. area, I knew I wanted to go. The problem came in finding someone to go with. No one wanted to pay the money . . and truth be told, neither did I. The idea of shelling out a wad of cash for a band I’d seen twice before for FREE just didn’t sit well with me. So I kept my money in the bank and hoped I’d once again meet a boy who’d take me. {Being honest here.}

No such luck.

And then came the day of the concert, September 29th. The facebook posts were too much to handle. “I can’t wait to see U2 tonight!” x 20 it seemed, and I learned that a large group of former colleagues were going together.

By 3pm, I was trolling Craigslist for a ticket of my own.

By 4pm, I was walking outside my office, cash in hand, to get my ticket from a stranger who had pulled up to the curb.

By 5pm, I was on my way to tailgate with friends before the show.

And by 8pm, I was standing on the field at FedEx, surrounded by 80,000 fans.

And oh was it worth it! Perhaps not as good as the last tour I’d seen {performance-wise}, but totally worth it. Screaming, dancing, singing to some of the greatest rock music ever played.

And I’ve been listening to U2 non-stop ever since.

If you haven’t bought their newest CD, do it! It is fantastic and some are saying it’s their best since “Achtung Baby”. I wouldn’t consider myself an obsessed fan, but I love good music, and this certainly qualifies.