Taking Back My Twenties

Thoughts from a Thursday

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 | 14 comments

-My car broke down at 5:55am on Monday morning. What a start to the week!

-I went to the grand opening of the J Crew in my neighborhood – the food was excellent, but everything was $89 or $98. When did sweaters and shirts become so expensive?

-Matt and I tried a new restaurant: Scotch & Sausage. Most of the dogs are $6 – $8 and the fries are amazing – giant and crunchy on the outside. Loved it!

IMG_20140912_213457.jpg

-We also tried a Spanish tapas place, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t like pork belly! It was fried and drizzled with chocolate, but too rich. Sounds enticing, right?

IMG_6078.JPG

-I led a parent presentation on student success tonight. I was super nervous beforehand, but was surprised at how at-ease I felt once I got started.

-Since I’ve started working in a nut-free environment, I actually think my cravings for peanut butter have decreased. I just ordered Nikiki’s Cake Batter Coconut Butter and can’t wait to try it!

-I think something is biting me at night. Could I have brought home bed bugs from Turkey?

Read More

Life in Order

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 | 2 comments

I’m about 4 weeks into work and I’m finally starting to breathe. It’s been both wonderful and challenging to create my role – I have so much flexibility yet there are so many questions and things to figure out along the way. I’m really trying to get some organizational systems in place to make my job easier down the road. Simple things like trying to figure out how I want to organize my spreadsheets of students and if I want to take meeting notes and student updates on my iPad versus pen and paper have been challenging because I keep going back and forth and need to just decide! I used to rely on a planner, but I’m trying to use an electronic calendar now. Despite the little things, I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished in just a few weeks and I’m so happy to be using the knowledge I gained in grad school. It’s slowly coming back to me and now I’m in the swing of things. I’m still feeling so lucky to be working in such a supportive and creative environment. After so much uncertainty over the last year, I can’t tell you how good it feels to know I’m in the right place.

IMG_6059.JPG

IMG_6060.JPG

I’ve had lots of fun weekends this summer, so last weekend was dedicated to getting organized. After being out of town and putting everything on the back burner since starting work, I really needed to get my life in order. I’ve never been so excited to sleep until 7:30, eat nut butter, and go to bootcamp on a Saturday morning! Oh how life has changed in the past couple of years. I also cleaned, did laundry, roasted vegetables, filed receipts, organized my tangle of jewelry, and paid the bills. Saturday night, we grabbed dinner at the bar across the street with friends and spent hours talking. Matt and I split a few things, including a huge, juicy pimento and bacon burger. I feel rejuvenated!

IMG_6061.jpg

See ya.

Read More

Sonoma Photo Dump

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 | 3 comments

Hello!

How is it Thursday again? The work weeks are already flying by! We had our open house tonight – lots of nervous parents and lots of questions. And man, people sure dress to the nines for open houses these days:)

IMG_5985.JPG

But on to the fun stuff. We were lucky enough to get to spend Labor Day weekend in wine country. My sister and I have been planning this trip for well over a year – I can’t believe it’s come and gone already. Kath and her husband are Sonoma experts, so we were glad to have them show us the ropes!

IMG_5987.JPG

We rented a wonderful little house near the Sonoma Square, complete with a backyard and hot tub. I wish we had been able to spend more time grilling in the chilly (!) temperatures, but it was a short trip and were busy tasting pinots and zins!

IMG_5982.JPG

On our first day, we headed straight from the airport to Sausalito for lunch. The bay breeze were soo incredible – I miss water when I’m in Dallas. Then we ventured on to Lagunitas for beer! What a cool spot. I ordered a kombucha since I was the DD for the day, but I had a few sips of IPA.]

IMG_5989.jpg IMG_5992.jpg

For dinner, we walked to the famous Girl and the Fig, where I had a lovely fig bourbon drink. We shared a cheese plate, and Matt and I ordered pork belly and quail.

IMG_5993.JPG

I didn’t snag pictures of our dessert and port, but everything was wonderful.

IMG_5994.JPG

Our second day was spent in the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys with a picnic mid-day.

IMG_5996.JPG

Chalk Hill was one of my favorite wineries of the trip!

IMG_5995.JPG

IMG_6000.jpg IMG_5999.jpg

IMG_6009.JPG

We made our way to Healdsburg and ended at the La Crema tasting room – another favorite in terms of wine!

IMG_6011.JPG

We killed some time shopping for dessert and walking around the square and then landed at Chalkboard for dinner. Oh my goodness – this was amazing.

IMG_6016.JPG

I think we ordered 10 small plates?

IMG_6019.jpg

Highlights were the pork belly cheddar biscuits, the beef sliders topped with short rib, and the crab tater tots.

IMG_6017.JPG

Saturday was a big day because we did a wine tour – I would highly recommend Dean from Woody’s Wine Tours!

IMG_6022.jpg
IMG_6025.jpg
The highlight of the day was definitely a lunch at the owner of Montemaggiore’s home!!! When Dean told us he’d be arranging for lunch at a winery, I had no idea it would be a private tasting with incredible views in someone’s home. Boy, were we spoiled!!
IMG_6028.JPG
IMG_6029.JPG

IMG_6030.JPG
IMG_6037.jpg

IMG_6038.JPG
At the end of the day, we ventured to a pub for a casual dinner.
We were a little tired of drinking by Sunday, so we took it easy and just visited two wineries before retiring to the house! William Hill over in Napa and was another favorite because of the views!

IMG_6044.JPG
IMG_6043.jpg
IMG_6045.JPG
We had one last dinner in the town of Sonoma at La Salette. It was Portuguese and the food was delicious! I had a stuffed pork tenderloin paired with a Sonoma red!!
IMG_6057.JPG
We bought ten bottles of wine while we were there and I can’t wait to drink them over the next few years and think of this special vacation!

IMG_6042.JPG
It was the trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful that we were all able to go together. And a very special thank you to my parents who took care of little Mazen (my nephew) so that we could make it happen!

Read More