Monday, August 31, 2009

Green Acres

I had a really good time on the farm this weekend. We relaxed, grilled, swam (in both a pool and a creek that we hiked to), rode 4 -wheelers, played Bocce Ball and Apples to Apples, watched movies, and shot empty cans and skeet (clay pigeons). It was definitely nice to get away from the city for a little while and hang out with my friends.
Jon's family's farm is so nice. It's in McComb, Ms, which isn't that far from my old home town- that part of the state is really pretty and quite rural. The property used to be an old town and it was very interesting to have Jon show us around saying "This building used to be a school house, and this used to be the general store." Now there is a big house, a pool, several fields for cows (which you can see in the picture of my dear boyfriend), horses, ponies, and mule; and a pecan orchard. The property is also home to at least 4 dogs and 4 cats. My favorite was a little Brussels Griphon named Sammy who was the friendliest little guy ever. He also looked like a gremlin and we all wanted to take him home with us.
Of course we brought lots of tasty food with us. Some of the highlights for me were the big boule of roasted garlic bread that Sarah picked up, and some pineapple mint juice she got from Beaucoup Nola. I'm officially adding Beaucoup Nola to my list of delicious healthy things b/c they specialize in making snowballs using fresh fruit juice rather than sugary syrup. Their juices are so fresh and delicious! I particularly like the pineapple mint and the mango chile. For this trip, we paired the pineapple mint with some Costa Rican rum (that Steph and my friend Shelby brought me when they went to Costa Rica this spring) which was incredibly refreshing.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend getaway!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Petit Dessert

Tonight I used my new Petit Pear Casserole Dish (a birthday present from my dear boyfriend's brother and brother's girlfriend) to make a peach crumble. I followed the same recipe as my semi-healthy blackberry crumble, but substituted frozen peach slices for the blackberries. I also topped it with Hagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream. It was divine! And of course, the dish is so cute that I had to take pictures. (You can also see my pretty table mats that my parents got me for my birthday in these pics.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

We're Ready for Our Close Up, Mr. DeMille

Bernie and Hereaux got to ride in my new car for the first time today. Of course, they would have preferred their inaugural voyage to be to somewhere other than the Vet/Groomer, but they look awfully cute with their much needed haircuts. Bernie, for those of you who have yet to meet my little doggies, is the dark salt n' pepper doggie on the left, and Hereaux (pronounced "Hero") is the silver doggie on the right. They are both Miniature Schnauzers. I am loving their little checked scarves. Very dapper, boys. :)

Looking Forward

I have a lot of things to look forward to in the next few weeks. This coming weekend, I have a haircut, and then a Coolinary dinner at The Pelican Club on Friday.
On Saturday, a group of us are going to Monroe, La to our friend Jon's family's farm. We're going to swim, barbecue, ride 4 wheelers (and maybe horses), and do some serious relaxing.
The next weekend I am attending a secret event for a family member who shall remain nameless, then running in the Crescent Connection Road Race on Sunday. It's 4 miles across the Crescent City Connection Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River and connects New Orleans to the West Bank. This will likely be the last time I race in my current running shoes b/c they are getting pretty old.
Finally, my friends and I are starting a book club! Our first book is going to be "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie." I plan to post my thoughts on all of the books I read for the club, so feel free to follow along and let me know what you think of the books!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm probably crazy

I've officially started training for a half marathon (aka 13.1 miles). And by officially, I mean I've made a training plan and put it in my google calendar. I am tentatively planning to run a half marathon on Dec. 20th, but if I don't feel ready, I'm going to wait and run the half marathon portion of the Mardi Gras Marathon in February.
This week was my official start to training, but it didn't feel real until I did my first long run (6 miles) this morning. I was planning to run 5 miles and maybe do 6 if I felt good- and it went really well. Of course, I got a nice break in the middle of my run b/c I had to wait for a train to go by so I could cross the railroad tracks and run up by the river, which may be where the energy to do 6 miles came from.
Right now, 13 miles feels incredibly daunting when I think about it, but I remember feeling the same way about 6 miles. Running 6 miles reminds me of how far I've come and gives me confidence that I can make it to 13! I am also really happy about having something to work towards b/c my workouts have been feeling a little mundane lately since I don't really have to train for the 5K races I've been running lately (I run further than that during my normal runs) and my Pilates teacher stopped teaching at the JCC. (Note to self, look into a new yoga place soon).
At any rate, I had a good run, then promptly went home, ate, showered, and took a nap. As a result, I feel pretty good (I usually have a problem with being wiped out for the rest of the day after a long run). Aside from that today, I have gotten frozen yogurt (1/2 cake batter and half cookies and cream with blackberries, crumbled oreos, and caramel sauce- sounds strange but tastes amazing) with my friend Sarah, and picked up some goodies to take to my friend Anne's house tonight and to Steph's house tomorrow. (I'm trying to stay out of my dear boyfriend's hair while he studies.) Right now I'm finishing up a bowl of cereal (I'm also looking forward to eating lots of food to fuel my runs!) and then heading to Anne's.
The picture, by the way, is of the cat looking crazy. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wonderful Birthday

I have certainly been a negligent blogger this week- given that my birthday was Sat. and I haven't blogged in nearly a week. Oops!
I was planning to download some pictures of everything, but I keep putting it off- so I will go ahead and write the entry then hopefully put some pictures up soon. (Edited to add- here's a picture of my birthday breakfast! I'll spare you the ones of me with both presents and terrible bed hair!) I've just been lazy this week!
My birthday weekend was awesome.
Friday night, my dear boyfriend and I met our friends Jon and Sarah at Dos Jefes Cigar Bar. Besides having lots of cigars, Dos Jefes features tasty drinks, live music on the weekends, and a very nice patio. We sat outside and I drank Prosecco, which I love. At midnight, everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me. :)
I woke up several times Saturday morning, starting at about 6:30 but kept making myself go back to sleep since I went to bed a 2 am. I finally got out of bed around 9:30. I'd noticed on Friday that there were two presents in the fridge, so I was eager to find out what they were. The first present was a bottle of Prosecco and 3 fresh white peaches. My dear boyfriend proceeded to puree a peach and make bellini's with it! The second present in the fridge was a delicious chocolate cake from Sucre. Best. Breakfast. Ever.
Of course, I had even more presents to open from my dear boyfriend and from his and my family members- because I am such a lucky girl!
My parents gave me lots of books and some beautiful navy blue woven placemats for my table.
My aunt sent me a really pretty copper wind chime that is shaped like a butterfly for my porch.
My dear boyfriend's brother (and his girlfriend) sent me a beautiful Le Creuset Petit Pear Casserole Dish.
My dear boyfriend's parents gave me a watermeter cover necklace (the watermeter cover is my favorite New Orleans symbol) and the Patagonia trench coat I blogged about last month!
My dear boyfriend also gave me two lovely bottles of Pinot Noir from Hopper's, my favorite Wine Shop (I'm currently enjoying the Frederic Magnien Pinot Noir- it's very tasty!), a pair of Lululemon yoga pants, and a Garmin Forerunner 305!
Like I said, I am a lucky, lucky girl. :)
After breakfast, I went to lunch at Little Tokyo with my girlfriends- Sarah, Steph, Ashley and Anne. We then went to the mall. I got some fairly mundane necessities- a bra, a polo shirt, and soap- but I also got a very cute top by Charlotte Ronson and a wide brown belt to wear over it at JC Penney's of all places. The I heart Ronson colaboration she's doing with Penney's is super cute and *very* affordable.
After shopping, I went home and got all dressed up to go out to dinner. My dear boyfriend and I went to Gautreau's and it was delicious! I had the gnocci with jumbo lump crab appetizer, the strawberry and spinach salad, the crisp duck breast, and the Creme Sophia. It was so good- especially the gnocci and the Creme Sophia.
After dinner we met up with Sarah, Jon, Steph, Ashley, and Anne at The Columns for drinks. Bedtime was again around 2am.
On Sunday, it was time to actually get organized. I tidied the house, bought groceries, and went to visit my friend Bonnie who is moving to California this week. She gave me lots of fresh rosemary, basil, eggplants, and jalapeno peppers from her garden. (Thus far this week I've made pesto, dried the rosemary, baked the eggplants, and used some of the jalapeno in cornbread.) It was nice to see Bonnie and her hubby Gabe before they move because I am really going to miss them!
All in all my birthday weekend was spent having fun with the people I care about and that made it really wonderful! It was a great way to start out my 28th year.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Best Thursday Ever

I just got a box of 12 gorgeous chocolate covered strawberries from my dear boyfriend's dear parents. It's a great early birthday present and a wonderful surprise at work! I ate two immediately. So good!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

At long last

I finally got my new car! Like I said before, it is a dark gray 2010 Subaru Forester. I had to go to Mobile to get it, which actually worked out well because I had a nice long drive to get used to it. I really like it!! It is smaller than my Explorer but honestly feels just as roomy inside. It also feels really smooth and stable on the road, and the seats are incredibly comfortable- all in all I am very happy so far. :)
It still feels kind of surreal. I had my Explorer for ten and a half years and I was very attached to it. But it wasn't going to last forever, or even much longer, so I am glad I was able to take advantage of Cash for Clunkers. I wouldn't have purchased a new car without that incentive, but I am certainly happy that I was able to get a new one. (Love the new car smell!)
I am really proud of myself for buying my first car as an adult because I was really nervous about car shopping and dealing with salespeople. But I did it and it is finally over!
Of course, I took before and after pictures!

With my now dearly departed Explorer (not gonna lie- I apologized to it before I left the dealership)

My new car!!!!! (P.S. Aren't the crepe myrtles at my parent's house pretty?)

Now that I am done driving for the day, I am celebrating with a glass of champagne. Cheers!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Early Birthday

Okay I am going to Mobile tomorrow morning to buy my Forester!!! I am really happy that this process will be over soon and I will have a new car. I'm actually going to get a dark grey 2010 (the point higher interest rate is offset by the fact that this one is a bit less than the 2009 I could get and the fact that I'm getting $4500 from Cash for Clunkers.) Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will have my new car!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A year in review

This morning as I was driving to work (sans radio) I was thinking about everything I've done as a 27 year old woman. I realized what a great year it's been for me! Here are a few of the things I've accomplished:

1. Wrote my first novel
2. Continued to work at a job I love
3. Went to Maine (and did a lot of traveling in general)
4. Continued to live happily with my boyfriend (and pets)
5. Ran my first (of many) race which was further than I have ever run
6. Got into really good shape
8. Started a new blog

And I still have a week left! Who know's what else I'll get done? (*cough* get a car Tuesday hopefully *cough*) :)

Updated on (8/11/09)- I did get a car before I turned 28!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where to Eat in New Orleans to Impress Someone

I got a request today regarding a place to eat in New Orleans to impress a "high-falutin'" lawyer from out of town.

I think that in terms of both the quality of the food (and service) and the formality of the restaurant, you can't go wrong with Restaurant August.

Stella is another extremely fancy place to eat. The food is decadent and they are currently featuring a caviar menu. I haven't been here in a couple of years, but I recall that the service was very good and the ambiance was lovely.

If you want to adhere to a classic New Orleans restaurant, I'd suggest Commander's Palace. It's a classic for a reason.

10 Days

I am turning 28 next Saturday. My birthday plans include an afternoon of sushi and shopping with my girlfriends then dinner at Gautreau's with my dear boyfriend. Now all I have to do is decide what dress I want to wear to dinner! (That may be decided while shopping, actually. Hehe!)

In car news, I'm waiting for my title to arrive in the mail. After that, because I now plan to buy my Forester through a dealer in Alabama, I have to wait until my registration has been issued for a year (that would be on August 11), despite the fact that my registration says I've owned my car since 2003. I can't blame the dealer though, for wanting to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed before submitting to Cash to Clunkers to make sure they'll get their money back from the government. So since it looks like CtC will be funded again this week (go, Senate, go!) I am planning/hoping/praying to get a new vehicle sometime next week. I'll keep you all posted.