Taking Back My Twenties

Birthday Weekend

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 | 2 comments

I had a fabulous birthday weekend – feels like each year gets better! Since the real day fell on a Saturday, Matt planned the day. I told him I wanted to relax and eat cake!

First, I took Matt to my favorite gym class at Equinox, and then we showered and headed out on foot for cupcakes. We stopped at two different bakeries and acquired 5 cupcakes for the evening. We also ducked into a fun salad place for lunch and did a little shopping at boutiques.

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After lunch, we got a couples massage! The experience was fantastic because we got a cold stone facial, foot scrub, and hot stone massage too! It was heavenly, and one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever received. Then we headed down to Bishop Arts for dinner at the very famous Lucia. We got in off the waiting list only hours before dinner. It was fate!

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We grabbed cocktails at Stock and Barrel before dinner – this was a lovely twist on a bourbon sour made with passion fruit.

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We kicked off dinner with a bottle of Argentinian wine – Lucia is Italian, but I couldn’t resist this recommendation by our waitress (and I believe it was a collaboration between two winemakers). Side note: the service was phenomenal! And, oh my goodness, the olives!!

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We ordered two of the foie gras stuffed prunes – who can resist a $1 menu item? I thought I had gotten adventure-some enough for foie gras, but no! I hated it and washed the bite down with wine:)

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Our first plate was pork belly with pear and gorgonzola – this was divine, and a generous portion!

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Next up, some sort of Italian pork with sautéed mushrooms – also delish.

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We ordered two small pastas: the squash risotto with rabbit meatballs and brussels (above) and an interestingly shaped pasta with squab ragu (below). Both were perfect and rivaled the meals we had in Italy!

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The real star of the night was the braised lamb with red pepper, cilantro, and an olive tapenade. The meat melted together with the sauces and it was seriously a top ten entree.

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Despite the cupcakes waiting at home, we had to try the Italian donuts with squash and caramel!

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Clearly, the meal was superb! And the restaurant is so romantic:) I’m already dying to go back!

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We ended the weekend festivities with Sunday brunch with some friends at Vagabond. We had [more] donuts – these were basically apple-stuffed fried dough!

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I had a grilled cheese benedict, but I also shared Matt’s burger and it was great! I hear Vagabond is quickly becoming famous for it.

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Thanks to Matt and my lovely friends and family for a wonderful birthday!

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Thoughts from a Thursday

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 | 2 comments

Current obsession edition:

1. I go through a chip and hummus combo every few weeks – right now it’s these pumpkin crisps with jalapeño and cilantro Hope Hummus.

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2. I got a new iPod after my nano from college stopped keeping a charge. It was a tiny one that couldn’t hold all of my songs at once. I put a bunch of old country music on the new one and I’m enjoying driving around with the windows, down pretending I’m in high school.

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3. Kath introduced me to this foundation a few months again and I just love it. It took a while for me to get used to it because I think my skin was addicted to Clinique, but now I’m really happy with the color and moisture.

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4. This weather. I know some people like to get right to boots and coats, but 70’s are just fine with me. Plus, when temps have been in the 100’s forever and ever, 70 feels pretty darn cold.

5. The stuffed squash at Origin Kitchen – this may been the best vegetarian dish I’ve ever had. Matt and I were both in love with it when we had it last Saturday night. Acorn squash, crispy kale, wheatberries, pomegranate, and a walnut syrup….

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6. Entering my 30th year. My 29th is this weekend, and I’m in a good place at this age. There have been so many transitions in my 20’s – grad school, moving for Matt to go to grad school, getting married, moving for Matt’s career opportunity, and a long, frustrating job search. But for the first time in a while, I’m just living my life, going to work every day, and not gearing up for any major change (knock on wood:))

Happy weekend!

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Allens do Dallas

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 | 1 comment

Well hello!

I had a lovely weekend hosting my in-laws from the far away land of Maryland! We kicked off the stay-cation with dinner at Lockhart BBQ down in the Bishop Arts section of Dallas. This place is famous and we’ve had it on our list for a year. I loved the brisket, ribs, and baked beans, I just wasn’t a fan of the sauce. I had my second pumpkin beer of the season too.

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Matt’s parents love beer, and our friend was celebrating his birthday at Peticolas Brewery, so Saturday was filled with beer! We ate more brisket in taco form, enjoyed cupcakes, and chatted for a couple of hours.

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I also got to catch up with my good friend Sara who was in Dallas for the weekend!

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Saturday night, we took Matt’s parents downtown to CBD Provisions. We had the best cornbread with caramel butter!

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Matt and I shared pimento toast with sausage and arugula,

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and these giant shrimp and grits. I also had a absolutely divine bourbon drink that I would go back to CBD just to order!

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Sunday, we enjoyed a leisurely brunch and walk, and a nice afternoon at the Nasher Sculpture Garden – there was a really neat exhibit featuring special architectural projects by British designer Thomas Heatherwick.

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So that was the weekend! Oh, and the weather was simply perfect.

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Thanks to the Allens for the fun-filled weekend!

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