Hellloo! (echo: hello0o helloo hello). Anyone still reading this thing? Ha. I don’t truly know where to begin. Full disclaimer- the back-to-blogging nerves after being gone for three-ish months are in full force. The last… More
Hello and welcome to the first unique installment of Friday Favorites: Shameless Series where I share my slightly embarrassing (& admittedly basic) obsessions with ya!
- This Coffee Mug. When I arrived in New Orleans, I realized I packed every essential kitchen utensil, except for the most essential… a coffee mug. So I went to a nearby Target to get my groceries and grabbed this one below. It is maybe the most basic thing I own (outside of this blog), but oh wow, oh boy, does it bring me joy!
2. TikTok. UPDATE: Okay- when I originally published this post I included tiktok. Obviously a lot has changed since this post, and I have since deleted the app off my phone.
3. Listen to Your Heart. My feelings are still pretty ambivalent with this show (much like the actual contestants’ feelings for one other). But overall, I’m livin’ for the dram’, livin’ for the music, and livin’ for the cringe-factor.
4. Applesauce on the Go. I’m pretty sure these were created with toddlers in mind, but they are quick sugar and easy to eat when I have to scarf somethin’ down fast. I also stocked up on goldfish and currently have a mean craving for some gushers. Does this mean I’m regressing? It’s quite possible.
5. Dadsaysjokes on Insta. Contrary to popular belief in the day of TikTok, Instagram does still exist, and if you dust off the ol’ app from time to time, you may as well follow this gem of an account. Without a doubt, you will find some all-stair jokes 😉
Do you have any shameless Friday Faves?
A fellow blogger and dear friend of mine, Hunida, writes posts where she pulls her favorite quotes from the recent books she has read. I always love reading the quotes she chooses and she has inspired me to do one of my own posts.
You may recognize the title since Little Fires Everywhere is now a show on Hulu based upon the novel by Celeste Ng. I think I have a particular affinity for this book because I grew up near where the story takes place. She mentions various places, restaurants, suburbs that I have a very personal connection to in various ways. She also has a brief portion of the book located in San Francisco. So am I bias toward this book? Yes, objectively I would say so. However, her writing was what captivated me the most, I admired her perspective and portrayal of her characters that resonated in a visceral, nearly Freudian, manner.
I tried to find a way to sum up the story, but there is no great way that captures the intricacies of the tale at hand: I’ll say this- it’s about two families and their children. The story explores the depths of relationships, ethics, pride, desire, choices, regret and youth.
I have been watching the Hulu series, although I am a bit behind. The one thing that does not translate to the screen is the brilliance of Celeste Ng’s writing. The story seemed to be changed slightly in order to create more of a visually dramatic effect where the book rolls you through the various tumultuous emotions you inevitably experience in a much more placated manner. The beauty of her writing almost provides a sense of awe that cushions the intensity of coming to grips with your own lived experiences being mirrored vaguely through the layered plot- at least it felt this way for me.
So without further adieu, I hope to highlight some of the absolute genius that is the author Celeste Ng. Of course, without context it will be difficult to truly appreciate the words in all their glory- but hopefully this lends a taste.
“At that moment Moody had a sudden clear understanding of what had already happened that morning: his life had been divided into a before and an after, and we would always be comparing the two”
“She could see the similarities between the two lonely children, even more clearly than they could: the same sensitive personalities lurking inside both of them, the same bookish wisdom layered over a deep naïveté.”
“But the thing about portraits is, you need to show people the way they want to be seen. And I prefer to show people as I see them. So in the end I’d probably just frustrate us both”.
“Peters felt a brief pang of irritation at their youth, their frivolity, their ease.”
“I don’t have a plan, I’m afraid,” she said lifting the knife again. “But then no one really does, no matter what they say”.
“Everything she thought she’d forgotten- her body remembered on a cellular level”.
“Though she could never quite articulate it this way, resentment began to sheathe concern. ANGER IS FEAR’S BODYGUARD…”.
“…she found everything had nuance; everything had an unrevealed side or unexplored depths. Everything was worth looking at more closely”.
“…one day crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in a fog so dense she could hear, but not see…The fog mirrored her state of mind so perfectly she felt as if she was walking through her own brain: a haze of formless, pervasive emotion, nothing she could grasp, but full of looming thoughts that appeared from nowhere, startling her, then receded into whiteness again before she was even sure what she had seen.”
“Parents, she thought, learned to survive touching their children less and less…It was like training yourself to live on the smell of an apple alone, when what you really wanted was to devour it, to sink your teeth into it and consume it, seeds, core, and all”
“It terrifies you. That you missed out on something. That you gave up something you didn’t know you wanted”
“All her life she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry an ember for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame: a reminder of light and goodness that would never-could never- set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity.”
“She didn’t care, Mrs. Richardson realized, what people thought of her. In a way, that made her dangerous.”
Hellllo. How’s it kickin’? It is currently 3:24 AM, and I am feeling a-ok! I am trying to stay up to 5 am today, gonna have breakfast, hit the hay and then get up at 2ish. Side note- the last few weeks I have been having the weirdest dreams. I can’t remember them much, but I was talking to another nurse who said she was too. We had nearly the same dream one night about a tornado. How odd is that?
We made it at the tail end of their happy hour, so almost all our dishes were discounted. We started with their focaccia bread with rosemary + garlic, warm olives, extra virgin olive oil. I mean…. jus’ look at this beauty!
We also split a cheese board with some sharp and delicious cheeses.
We also tried the beets and barrata with roasted baby beets, frisee, creamy mozzarella, pistachio, mint, and smoked citrus vinaigrette. This was actually one of my favorites we had that evening. The combination of all the ingredients was delightful.
Now for the absolute star of the show- the mushroom truffle pizza!!! ‘Nough said.
We had such a wonderful time chatting. I cannot wait for when we can hangout again ❤️ (Also, if you’re in Austin- gusto is still delivering)
February 29th Austin walk pics:
March 2nd– time to study for a big exam. I went to Barrett’s Coffee Roasters per the suggestion of some established locals. The coffee was perfect, the staff was super friendly, plenty of seating was available, and it was quiet and comfortable to get lotsa studying done.
Austin from another view since I took a different walk that evening than usual 🙂
March 3rd I started the day with some chia seed, PB and yogurt toast with a bit of granola. I’ve noticed if I add chia seeds to my breakfast I tend to stay full longer. I will say they trigger my trypophobia a little, but worth it for the tasty nutrients.
Clearly I was on a toast kick because on March 4th I had toast with chocolate almonds, raspberries and peanut butter.
In the evening I made us mahi-mahi burgers from TJ’s (really good!) with wild rice and a mushroom medley.
More of Austin as spring was springing on March 5th.
On March 6th I noticed a new mural going up downtown. It was pretty amazing to watch the painters working on their each individual section- and they were working fast!
While out on a long run on March 7th for marathon training I saw this mural at the base of one of the power towers. At first I was thinking “how cute!”, but then upon looking closer it’s in memory of those affected by cancer. Very special and touching. I just love the little hidden gems amongst the city.
I went pretty far out and discovered an awesome new running trail along the lake. It was cool to see the city in the distance around different turns.
Below was the mural by the end of the day (March 7th)…Yes, they painted this whole thing in just a couple days- how?! Artists astound me.
Below is the summary of my run.
I was worried about my stamina since I hadn’t taken training very seriously up to that point. But this run felt great and confirmed I’d be okay at least finishing the race even if it wasn’t as fast as my qualifying time. Obviously, Boston (scheduled about a week ago) did not happen. It’s definitely a bummer that it’s postponed, but I am extremely thankful it’s not cancelled entirely. I am going to do my best to make it in September and re-train before then. For now, I’m letting my body rest a bit. Running is a passion and a form of therapy for me, but the intensity of it has taken a toll. The older I get, the more I feel it too. Right now I’m doing alternatives to running like walking, pilates and super short HITT routines to get the heart rate up. It hasn’t been easy putting running on hold especially with the increased stress of late, but I can tell that my body is appreciating the rest. Hopefully I can come back stronger and healthier than ever this summer when I retrain!
Question for you:
- I have yet to try the whipped coffee trend, but it looks yummy. Have you tried it? What do you think if so?
Hi, friends! I don’t think my last post showed up in reader since I reverted it from drafts. If you’re at all interested here it is! Jumpin’ on in to the next recap. It’s 1:00 am, only have to make it four more hours before I’ll allow myself go to sleep (staying on that night shift schedule).
February 9th we had a major cravin’ for some Via313 pizza. I think it’s officially my favorite pizza I’ve ever had.
The crust is what makes it! It’s got that lightly burnt cheese flavor, and oh mahhhh gooodnesss is it good 😋
On February 12th I took some time to organize the products in my bathroom cabinet as a study break. I used my top drawer to put all the products I want to use up first! It’s fun and satisfying to use up all those little samples too.
February 14th was Valentine’s Day. We spent the day sending cheesy Valentine’s Day gifs to each other, ha-ha. DJ 10000% does this to humor me, literally. He knows a good pun is my love language.
We were glad we celebrated Valentine’s Day with a dinner out the week before because we both were pretty overwhelmed with school work on actual Valentine’s Day weekend. But we did enjoy some scrumptious Baked By Melissa mini cupcakes 🧁💕 Mary Berry would approve!
On February 15th I went on my usual nature walk.
Due to all the rain we had been having the grass was a beautifully lush green.
February 15th we had another craving for Via 313. I’m thankful they are still delivering. Might be my first meal when I get back to Austin!
February 17th was national Cafe Au Lait day!! Kori let me know and I ran over to get one from Starbucks to celebrate (the one at Starbucks is called a misto) ☕️
Also, more turtle and sunset pics from that day 🙂
February 19th was my Aunt’s Bday so we chatted on the phone for a bit in the morning 🙂 In the afternoon I did major grocery trip then made a crockpot Greek chicken for DJ to have for the week (and to freeze some). I tried a little bite- it had a delicately light flavor- it was quite nice! And I served it with some rice. Didn’t mean to rhyme, but it happens time to time.
Another kick we have been on is trying allll the different type of vegan burgers to try to find our favorite. I actually think Trader Joe’s might have the winnner winner non-chicken dinner. It used to be Beyond Meat’s, but when we had them back-to-back, TJ’s may have won out by a hair. We’ll have to do a round 2 to confirm.
February 22nd I started the day with some delicious avocado toast before getting to studying. Below are pics of me procrastinating said studying by giving my toast a photo shoot. #adayinthelife
February 23rd was Church followed by a brunch at South Congress Cafe.
They brought out some complimentary cornbread muffins to start the meal. Anytime free carbs are involved, I’m already a fan!
The main dish I wanted to try here was their sweet potato beignets- they were better than I even imagined, Absolutely delish.
DJ ordered their croque madam with a brioche bun, niman ranch ham, gruyere, mornay sauce, sunny side up farm fresh egg, and house cut french fries. All a bunch of words that translate to super yummy.
I ordered their massive egg white veggie omelette with a potato pancake that was ohhh so tasty.
As we were leaving, we stumbled upon this spectacle. It’s one of those things that I wasn’t sure what we were watching, but also couldn’t look away, lol. Gotta admire the creativity!
Question for you:
- Any good books you’ve read lately? I am almost done with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, then reading Educated!
Heyyya! How are y’all doing? Lil’ update- I am currently in New Orleans working on a Covid-19 unit. I’m working nights and have this evening off, so I’m looking forward to just catching up on reading and writing posts. I also just wrapped up watching Listen To Your Heart. Can I just say- cringe central?! If you’re watching, we must discuss. Anywho- this is the post I initially published a couple weeks ago, but put back into drafts to publish the Easter post. But here it is again! Deja Vu, eh?! Hope you are well <3 Okey dokey- off to the recap.
Written back in early March: Hi, all!! I am currently at the beginning of my spring break and in my happy place- here, writing. On January 16th I had my first clinical as a Family Nurse Practitioner student. It’s just wild seeing how much I’ve learned in a short time of being there. Kind of like being a new nurse, I am dealing with having to give myself grace for not doing everything perfectly the first time- but I’m there to learn and that’s what I’m doing. I love it.
On January 27th I stumbled upon this piece of wisdom that I’ve thought about often since. It was a great reminder <3
On February 1st we were having a hankerin’ for some good authentic Indian food- and we found just the spot. Taj Palace is located a little tucked away off the freeway, a hidden gem.
It wasn’t overly crowded, had a nice calm and beautiful ambiance and kind staff.
We tried their bread basket with aloo paratha, onion kulcha and naan. If you haven’t had Indian breads, you have to. They are a carb-lover’s dream. DJ ordered their traditional curry with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, spices and condiments and I had the goan fish curry with mahi mahi fish cooked in a spicy sauce with coconut. We also added on a side of veggies that were ah-may-zing!! Everything was terrific. Gosh, writing this is making me crave it again!
Thanks for reading!
Question for you:
- What is your lockdown snack of choice?
Hi all! Pulling this one back from drafts as well! Have a great week 🙂
It’s hard to believe we’re already at the third on campus intensive recap!
On February 5th we had our first day. We were given Panera for breakfast! I had a yummy egg white sandwich and some fruit on the side. It was so nice to see all my frans in person. (edited to add: that sentence hits home a little extra right now, haha).
In the evening I worked on some homework and then ordered this delicious mediterranean bowl with falafel, pumpkin hummus and tons of veggies from Happy and Hale. I do not know what it is about being in Durham, but I absolutely crave mediterranean food every time I’m there. I think it’s probably because it was my first ever meal there.
I also watched Bachelor while I enjoyed this bowl.
I read some Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine before going to sleep. “Intriguing” is the word I would use to describe this book- I am fascinated by the character of Eleanor and the author’s writing. I’m still only about halfway through, but I usually get in a few pages before falling asleep.
February 6th was day #2! It was an extremely rainy day, so I didn’t get as many pics or time walking around campus like I usually do.
After wrapping up the educational part of the day, a group of us gathered together and all went to the giftshop to get waterproof ponchos. Fash-un. After, we trekked through the rain to the Campus Pub to grab a beer and just catch-up on life in general before going to support the women’s basketball team in a home game. PS. My roots had no chill in this pic- But I love that we all took this pic together. (Edited to add- you could say I was ahead of the quarantine trends with this hair 😉 )
When we arrived they were giving out free wings and spirit towels!
Game time!!! It was an absolute blast.
After, we were all beyond hungry. We decided to go to Local 22, the cutest little restaurant in Durham! Durham is known as being a great food city, but I would have had no idea if I hadn’t gone there for school. This is my favorite restaurant I’ve tried there yet! There are soo many items on their menu I want to try, so I’ll have to return. Thinking for graduation this would be a great place to take the fam.
I could not resist their sweet potato fries- and I would say these are like chic-fil-a waffle fries, but sweet potato form. They were a crispy, french-fry dream.
I also ordered their beet salad with a mix of golden beets and goat cheese. Gosh, this was tasty. I have a really hard time resisting this salad when it’s on the menu. I also had a bite of the mushroom truffle pizza – I may need to get that myself next time I return because yummmmm.
After dinner I snuck in some marathon training. (Cue the womp womp)
Considering the late night training meant I woke up super hungry! I loaded up with a chocolate croissant, fruit, yogurt and oats.
This was the last day of our on campus and before everyone went their separate ways we met at It’s a Southern Thing!
I loved this little message on the receipt! I couldn’t help but take a pic. It’s the little things.
I didn’t have too much to eat at It’s a Southern Thing since I was still quite full from lunch when we went, but when I returned to the hotel I ran a bit, then was ready to chow. I ordered from my tried and true Mediterra. This time I tried their tabouleh wrap. I can practically taste it. Their pita is especially pillowy and I ate up that whole thing in no time flat.
Overall, it was a phenomenal on campus intensive. I learned quite a bit and was able to practice some challenging skills, which was very helpful. My favorite part was just seeing my peers and hanging out all together.
February 8th time to head home! I had some yogurt and Belvita with Starbucks, my go-to airport brekky.
It was a crazy travel day with changing flights and quite a bit of chaos, but finally I made it back. DJ and I hadn’t been able to spend much time together during that month, so we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day a week early at the Roaring Fork downtown!
This is an Austin classic. Immediately I was blown away by the beautiful decor and the faux antler chandeliers.
But the real star of the show was the food. Get ready y’all. This was all just mind-blowingly good.
First up- complimentary jalapeno corn muffins. I had to stop myself from eating the whole basket to leave room from everything else.
We also had to try their lamb chop fondue. It is “the” item to try. It is made with a white wine fondue, chile-pecan Bread, and roasted butternut squash. I’m not big on meat, as you probably know, but I had to know what all the hype was about. And ho-ly-cow. OUTRAGEOUSLY TASTY. I want to compile a list of “must try” dishes in Austin, and this is going on it.
My main dish I was eager to try was their…. wait for it…. green chile mac and cheese. Not sure I can ever have regular mac and cheese again (lol, jk, but it was extra-good!). And they had the breadcrumbs!
Another side we tried was their Mexican street corn- this was awesome too!
DJ ordered their filet too. He said it was delicious, but not necessarily on the level of the lamb fondue.
We just loved this place! Can’t speak of it highly enough.
Question for you:
- What is something you are looking forward to this week? (Even if it’s the next episode in a show you’re watching or a Zoom call with a friend!)
*There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. I receive a small percentage of purchases made with no additional cost to you. All opinions and ideas are my own**
Happy Easter, friends!!! He has risen!!!
I hope you are having a beautiful day making memories with your family even though it may look a bit different than usual <3
I had a post scheduled to be released last night, but quickly sent it back to drafts (so, if you receive that e-mail but don’t find the post, that’s why). I wanted this post today to only point to Jesus. This morning I was listening to two worship songs on a loop. The first has been my favorite since I can remember- it is a classic, but never seems to lose the power of its words. The second one played a pivotal role in bringing me back to my faith when I was going through a lot of uncertainty and feeling lost. I hope you find encouragement, hope and peace through them this Sunday.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Don’t be alarmed, he said. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:6)
Hi, friends! I wrote this a couple months back and forgot about it in my drafts!- Lucky is a restaurant near and dear to me in Austin. Currently they have stopped all services including food delivery- I am dreaming of when they will open back up. This trip to Lucky was a special memory for me too! As always, I pray you all are safe and healthy- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. ❤️
Hey all! Welcome welcome to my second time at Lucky Robot which took place on January 27th. I didn’t think anything could top our last time at Lucky, but mannn oh man, we were in for a treat!! This time around we decided to try out their happy hour. This includes half price off all cool apps and select bites on the menu between $3-$5.
Oh!!! I almost forgot to mention: My mom joined me this time since she was in town for work! It was my first time taking her on a “food shoot” with me, so tons of fun to show her that side of “operations” 😉 air quotes galore, ha!
First up we tried the Kanpachi Serrano with asian pear, coconut water ponzu and red curry oil. This was extremely refreshing and the coconut flavor was so beautifully contrasted with the hint of curry oil. I also loved the jicama- it added a nice texture to the entire dish and added to the refreshing experience of it all. Jicama is one of those things that I always enjoy at restaurants, but never think of buying myself at the store. I may have to sometime and try to get creative with it!
We also couldn’t resist getting their crisped brussels sprouts with lemongrass soy. These were delicious, but very sweet!
Off their small bites menu we tried the namazu maki with unagi style BBQ catafish, sesame, house pickles and lemongrass soy. It was okay, but with all the other awesome sushi rolls on their menu I’d recommend passing this one up and going for something else!
Another ATX food blogger recommended trying the karaage kama, which is a spicy hoisin glazed fried fish collar, togarashi, ponzu and lemon. I will try just about anything; this was no exception, but I had noo idea what to expect! It ended up being one of our favorites on the table. I would compare this dish to fried chicken, but it’s fish. Yum!
Now for a couple dishes not on the happy hour menu, but we had to try! …. First up- Maguro sashimi (tuna sashimi). This was great sashimi- super filling and tasty.
Now for my favorite dish of all- the tiger eye with smoked salmon, avocado, serrano, goat cheese, english cucumber, sesame, and pank togarashi. I will sing the praises of this roll to anyone that will listen! This is easily one of my favorite sushi rolls I’ve ever had- the goat cheese is what made it. As soon as Lucky opens back up, this is the first dish I’m ordering!
We left practically nothing left on the table. It was all absolutely delicious!
Thank you so much for having us, Lucky!!
After, we went back to my apartment and watched Bachelor together while eating ice cream. It was such a great evening!
Question for you:
- What’s your favorite meal lately?
I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend <3
Hi, everyone- Wow, a lot has changed since my last post, published only about ten days ago. It feels a bit odd to even be blogging right now, but I know we have to also hold onto the things that bring joy and normalcy in the midst of so much uncertainty. I’m thankful for this platform of connection in a time when most of us probably feel somewhat isolated. I won’t say too much more about everything going on with the virus right now- you all are inundated with it, but I will say I pray you are all safe and healthy. I also implore you to stay home if you aren’t already. Last, if you are feeling anxious during this weird time, I do want to share a verse that always encourages and comforts me in any difficult season:
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah: 41:10)
Writing these posts is therapeutic for me, and it helps me find the beauty in the most stressful of days. I hope it provides you a fun little escape too or provides some distraction.
In the BEST of news and the absolute highlight of our week, month, year, etc…. My sister-in-law had her baby last weekend! We have a new healthy, beautiful baby boy in the fam <3 We’re sad, of course, that we can’t just jump on a flight to meet him, but that will be priority #1 when it’s safe again.
Now, continuing this recap from the last post…
January 12th we went to Church and then after went to a restaurant called High Note for a little birthday brunch! P.S. We’ll be on that church streaming train tomorrow. I’m so thankful we live in a day of technology where that is possible!
Walking in the door of the restaurant, I immediately was drawn to their fun palm-themed wallpaper.
But everywhere you turned it seemed the decor took a different direction- yet, it all worked together in a fun and mesmerizing way. I was trying to absorb every detail!
After being seated at one of their gorgeous deep blue booths with a marble table, we scanned the mouth-watering menu. First, we ordered their dip trio with fire roasted salsa, edamame, and cashew queso. It was good, but we probably wouldn’t order again. The “queso” wasn’t so much of a queso, but rather more of a savory vegan dip (in queso you were wondering).
Now onto the stuff we loved! DJ ordered their breakfast sandwich with soft boiled eggs, seasonal greens, tomato confit, herbed hot sauce, cashew aioli and ciabatta bread. I loved this!! I actually preferred DJ’s to my own choice, so he
didn’t have a choice kindly shared.
I ordered their vegan cuban panini with braised tofu, peppered beet, whole grain mustard, charred pickled vegetable, cashew aioli and grilled sourdough. This was great, don’t get me wrong- but compared to that breakfast sammy there was no competition! Still a great option for those that are strictly vegan.
I took a quick shot of their patio as we were walking out, but it was closed since it was pretty chilly that day. It’d be fun to come back in nicer weather and sit out there one day.
On Monday the 13th, my actual birthday, I went to Starbucks and plopped down to get my studying done while enjoying a cafe au lait. The sweet barista wrote happy birthday on my cup!
I also enjoyed the sweetest gift of Baked By Melissa treats! These are my favorite little cupcakes in the world!
These macarons were also ohhhh sooo tasty. I actually didn’t think I liked macarons all that much because the ones I’ve had in the past were a little dry- but these redeemed macarons for me. Talk about a great treat with coffee or tea!! I dare say I liked them as much as the cupcakes themselves!
January 14th was more of a study day too. Jan 15th more of the same, but I did see this natural marvel as I was on my walk on Ladybird Trail! Have you ever seen so many turtles in one place?! The cranes were somewhat majestic too with the way they were glowing in the sun.
The same walk I spotted this white squirrel- a rare sighting fur-sure, hehe!
Questions for you:
- What is one highlight/good thing from this week in spite of all that’s happening?
- What’s the most interesting creature you have spotted in its natural habitat?
So, I’m breaking all the rules right now and sippin’ on a cup of joe past 4 pm. Why? Because it was Daylight Savings this week, which is easily one of the most aggressively exhausting days of the year. How does one hour trip ya up that much? Also, let’s talk about how it was also International Women’s Day on the shortest day of the year… what’s up with that?! (P.S. Shout oooout to every.single.woman out there!). Also… reason #2 for having coffee past 4 pm….. *DRUM ROLL*…. it’s our spriiiing break!
Somehow, someway we both have a somewhat less intense “spring break” that actually overlaps! With grad school, I’ve always used the “breaks” to get ahead or catch up on work, but this time around I actually can afford to take a couple days off?! What is that madness! I do still have an assignment or two, but overall I can catch up on sleep and spend some time with my guy <3 I also scheduled in a few restaurant food shoots!
In addition to all the above, something I’m particularly excited to do these next couple of days is catch up on some bloggin’ :’) So without further adieu, I’m transporting us back a decade (and you thought those jokes were over, tehe).
On December 31, 2019, I made this naan panini with the garlic naan from Trader Joe’s for lunch! Highly recommend trying out paninis with it! Mmmmm mmmmm!
That evening, to celebrate New Years Eve, we first went up to the rooftop bar of an apartment complex! These views!!!!
We had a dinner planned at an Italian spot on SoCo. Wellllll, I missed the part where it was only a special prixe fixe dinner for NYE (I thought they’d have the regular menu still). This restaurant is usually extremely reasonably priced, but this night it was about $100 a person.
I thought maybe I needed to go back to the eye doctor when I saw this! Upon this realization, we cancelled our reservation. I will say, they were incredibly gracious about the cancellation, especially with it being last minute.
So, we were standing on SoCo around about 9:00 pm with no dinner plans, extremely hungry (AKA Me: HANGRY, DJ: cool as a cucumber with no emotional reactions determined by his level of hunger, ever). We contemplated what to do- I had done a major grocery store trip that day, so I thought we could cook at home… but we were both so looking forward to a night out on the town together. I went to Open Table, and La Volpe located downtown was the first restaurant that popped up. It’s a newer restaurant in Austin, but had great ratings, so we took a chance on it. We hopped across the bridge and made it in at about 9:30 pm.
We stepped inside and were mesmerized by the decor. It’s kind of hard to pin exactly what this restaurant is like— it seems to be inspired by 20s old-fashioned-chic meets modern eclectic (does that make any sense?? Probably not).
We sat out on their patio and were surprised it wasn’t poppin’ more given the cozy ambiance.
^And this is how not to use Portrait Mode, friends!
We ordered a few different dishes, most of which we shared. They had an array of chef selected menu items you could pick and choose from for the evening.
I was cravin’ something green to start, so I had their house mixed salad with their balsamic vinaigrette (I think?). Gee, good thing I took a picture of the menu to actually confirm what we ordered, hah- who put me in charge? Anywhooo, the leafy greens were pretty basic, as you can probably tell, but I did rave about the dressing. If they sold it in a bottle, I’d probably stock up on some!
Next, we tried their squid ink pasta with I thiiiink grilled swordfish. It was yummy, but probably my least favorite of all the dishes, surprisingly!
The dish below was a mushroom risotto. YUM! So much flavor.
And lastly, our favorite dish, the blue crab gnocchi. Goodness gracious, I need to have this again!
They even brought out some complimentary champagne. It was a beautiful dinner and we were both pretty happy the original plan fell through. This is definitely a new favorite spot in town of ours. It’ll be a local favorite in no time too, I have no doubt.
We officially rang in the New Year at home, asleep, per usual 😆
January 1st was a day of cleaning/getting everything in order for the year ahead! January 2nd I went to get my car taken in for maintenance, and while I waited I walked over to The Meteor Cafe on South Congress.
I’ve passed by this place countless times, but this was my first time popping in.
It was a great, relaxed vibe- they even had a little shop fully equipped with biking gear.
The food on display was catching my eye! Next time I’m gonna try one of their flatbread slices.
I wasn’t initially planning on ordering any food, but when I saw the lemon curd kouign-amann I couldn’t resist!
I also ordered a cafe au lait with almond milk. The combo…. can’t dream of anything better.
The Kouignn Amann was yummy and perfectly flaky. But. Still not on B. Patisserie’s level in SF 😉
On January 3rd I worked on getting ready for the next semester. When going for a walk I realized they painted the bread blue! Do y’all remember from this post?
January 4th was a real treat! DJ and I went to Antonelli’s, a local cheese shop, for their “date night” cheesy experience.
Soo… this is not just any cheese shop. This is THE cheese shop. It has been voted as one of the top cheese shops in America.
As soon as I saw these signs I knew I would love this place <3
They also had some very education artwork as well!
Below on the right is the menu for our date night. If you decide to order any of the cheeses you try you just circle the form to the left.
Wow oh wow. Some of the best darn cheese of all time. It was the kind of thing where you just wanted to savor each and every bite. They also had pass around marinated olives and bread. Gotta have the fixin’s! I think my favorite of the cheeses was their blue cheese (Roquefort), but it was all tasty.
They even brought out a little array of desserts- some gingerbread (my favorite), dried apricots, caramels and sea salt dark chocolate (yum!).
Questions for you:
- What’s your favorite kind of cheese?