Taking Back My Twenties

Gatherings

Rustic Beer Saturday & Sundown on Sunday

Posted on Mar 24, 2014 | 1 comment

Pizza and wine is becoming a Friday favorite! We opened a local bottle that we received from a friend. It was light and spicy.

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I threw together a pizza with leftovers from our pineapple crockpot chicken along with sheep’s manchego, spicy bbq sauce, and cilantro. Pizza is always good. And we watched Rent because I had never seen it! I was impressed Matt knew many of the songs:)

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Saturday we hit up bootcamp and made a hearty lunch in preparation for some beer drinkin. We were supposed to attend a crawfish boil, but because of the weather, the gathering turned into a visit to Community Brewing. We had been once before, and this time they had a new bar area and many more choices. I accidentally drank all three pints, and after hours of conversation, we decided to go in search of dinner. It was a lovely afternoon and I made new friends in addition to catching up with newish old ones.

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We wanted something low-key, so we walked to the Rustic for Texas homestyle cookin.

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They had a great beer list, but I decided on a pricky pear margarita in honor of our trip to AZ (but really because I was tired of beer!).

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We shared two apps and a burger. Above, the cactus fritters (soo good), and below, the smoked catfish and crackers.

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The burger was a bit dry, but I loved the bun and the green chilies that were served with it. The mashed sweet potatoes were amazing!

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We rarely get dessert in restaurants, and were def. not planning to order one on Saturday, but then I saw this go by….

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A giant peanut butter pie – who can resist?

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I usually get to the grocery store on Friday or Saturday, but didn’t make it this week, so we decided brunch was in order on Sunday. We went to Sundown on Granada, which is officially my new favorite brunch spot! It’s on the hippy side and has incredible vegetarian and vegan options. We had been once before, but only sat at the bar for apps. I started with the vegan green drink made with kale, bananas, berries, cucumbers, mint, agave, and it really hit the spot.

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We definitely only needed one brunch entree, but I had no idea they were gonna be so big! I had their version of a vegan benedict, which was swiss chard, sweet potato hash, chipotle-avocado sauce, and fire roasted salsa, over a housemade quinoa burger. I’ve been a bit disappointed in quinoa burgers lately, but this one was full of flavor (and giant).

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Matt’s benedict was ridiculously good too, and consisted of Shiner brisket and bbq hollandaise over whole wheat molasses toast. I was in a definite food coma after this brunch, but it was good for grocery shopping afterwards because I stuck to my list exactly. And good fuel for the week! I’m working three days and have yet another interview. Hope yall had a good Monday! Adios.

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Vegas

Posted on Mar 17, 2014 | 14 comments

Vegas is intense! I can’t believe how many people were there – I arrived and was like, oh, this is where everybody has been all these years!

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I got to our hotel just as the sun was setting on Friday night! I was the last to arrive and it was glorious to walk into a hotel room of friends! My friend Emily was our host for the weekend and she did an amazing job planning everything and getting us on lists so we could skip the lines and the cover charges! She also works for the Las Vegas Sands, so we got a ridiculously low rate at the Palazzo.

We listened to an epic playlist while getting ready and then headed to the lobby for dinner at SushiSamba. I’m not a sushi person, so I never would have picked this on my own, but it was amazing!

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We had wonderful service, excellent cocktails, and delicious food!

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Highlights included the fried plantains and the sea bass skewers!

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And a complimentary cocktail tower!

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After dinner, we headed across the street to the XS club at the Wynn.

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The club was giant and had an awesome outdoor area.

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I had no idea it was going to happen, but David Guetta appeared as the DJ at 2am!!

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He was awesome, and we made our way to the pit to get a better look!

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Most of us east and central time zone people couldn’t sleep in so we grabbed green juice, hit the gym, and got some lunch at the pool. It was a little too chilly for bathing suits, but I enjoyed a nap under a towel in the wonderful sunshine.

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Saturday evening we got all dolled up for our second night on the town (I definitely could not have handled a third night!).

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Our destination was the Cosmopolitan hotel, where we had drinks in the Chandelier bar. Bourbon for me!

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We had dinner at a fantastic restaurant called Rose.Rabbit.Lie at the Cosmopolitan. The menu was all small plates, so we shared a bunch of dishes, and every single thing I tried was phenomenal. The above brussels sprouts with crispy chicken skin were maybe the best I’ve ever had. The coolest part about dinner though, was that our table was backstage and we dined while a show was happening on the other side of the wall. All the performers would come through the dining room, warm-up with a small act/performance, and then enter the stage door.

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We saw so many interesting things, like this upsidedown man!

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Our main event for the night was the Marquee nightclub. One of Emily’s [INCREDIBLY generous] friends got a table for us! It was wonderful to be able to have drinks (and water!!) right there and be able to sit and relax if we wanted too.

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We spent a large portion of the night debating if the man in the black suit in the left-ish part of the picture was Paul Rudd. If it wasn’t, he was an exact look alike!

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We had [too much] champagne and I loved the girls with sparkers who would bring out the bottles. They even changed outfits each time!

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Needless to say, it was a magical night!

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We ended the trip with brunch at Bouchon Bistro.

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I enjoyed a spiced doughnut and a glorious corned beef hash in honor of St. Patrick’s day. I was super impressed with the food in Las Vegas, and I told matt we are going back just to eat.

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A gigantic thank you to my friend Emily for totally spoiling us and bringing us all together!!!

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Birthday Party + Couch Weekend

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 | 9 comments

This weekend involved both partying and resting. I made tons of cupcakes on Friday! Half were for my friend Liz’s birthday party, and half were for the Duke/UNC watch party we were supposed to attend.

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I made strawberry buttercream, but used too much strawberry – the flavor was great, but these melted under the patio heater later on. This has happened to me before so I should have known to be careful! Next time I might try freeze dried strawberries.

I hosted a paloma pre-game party before Liz’s birthday dinner at Mesomaya. I’d never made palomas before (they are pretty simple), but I thought they turned out well. I have way too much tequila left over though!

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A group of about 15 of us enjoyed dinner on the patio of Mesomaya. I ordered an avocado margarita, which was fabulous! Dinner was lots of guac and a delicious ceviche salad. I really liked Mesomaya (especially the cute courtyard), and I want to go back to try more entrees!

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After dinner and messy cupcakes, we moved on to the Ritz bar and enjoyed the outdoor fireplace. We ended our night at the Loon – I think the birthday girl had fun!

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My weekend snapshots end there because I spent the rest of the weekend on the couch:( Matt came home from a business trip and was pretty sick with some kind of stomach bug, so we just relaxed at home. Poor guy. We didn’t make it to the watch party on Saturday night, but I sent my cupcakes with a friend and we cheered Duke on at home. I enjoyed a beer while Matt sipped on a homemade sports drink concoction. I also made soup, although Matt couldn’t really eat it, so I’m eating all the leftovers. So that’s that.

Hope some of you got to enjoy the warmer temperatures and you all survived springing forward:)

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Key West Reunion

Posted on Feb 17, 2014 | 34 comments

What a whirlwind week! I went down to Florida for some family time! My sister‘s mother-in-law rented a house in Key West and was kind enough to invite me to come stay with them for a couple of days. My parents came too, so it was a rare chance for everyone to hang out (we missed Matt though!!). The weather was wonderful and we had a blast exploring Duval St., snorkeling, eating seafood, and splashing around in the hot tub. Some snaps:

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An awesome tree:

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The original four:

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Conch fritters and fresh mango!

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The crazy cat man and his trained cats:

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Appetizer hoping for Valentines day

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Wine that I loved from our honeymoon:

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I came home on Saturday evening just in time to catch two of my college friends visiting Dallas! We had an epic girls night complete with cocktails, dinner at Mesero Miguel, dancing at The Dram, and a loong Sunday brunch.

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The past week has been ridiculously fun, and I’m so thankful I was able to spend time with both family and friends. I’m pretty excited for a quiet week with lots of sleep and salad.

Talk soon.

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Grub, Origin, & Football

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 | 8 comments

Lots and lots of good eats and fun with friends with weekend! Friday was warm and beautiful outside, so I met my friend Liz and her new pug (!) for a drink on the patio at Common Table just as the sun was setting. I love dusk!

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I had a hearty brown ale. Matt met up with us, and after saying goodbye to Liz, we continued on to dinner at new burger bar. Grub is in a bit of a random location in the bottom of an office building, but it’s cheap and the menu looked great, so I wanted to give it a try.

I can highly recommend the burgers and the service, although I would skip the four dollar rita next time – tasted like mellow yellow with no trace of tequila!

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Matt and I shared the Texas luau burger, which was topped with braised pulled pork, a grilled pineapple slice, jalapeños, and teriyaki & BBQ sauce, as well as the Ahi tuna burger with sprouts, arugula, pickled ginger, and wasabi-teriyaki dressing. Both were fantastic!
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Saturday involved my usual bootcamp class, laundry, watching the [sad] Duke game with Duke friends, and a wonderful date at Origin Kitchen. I had heard great things about the coffee shop/healthy cafe turned restaurant and was excited to try it. I ordered an interesting Zinfandel, but there was a great cocktail and beer list as well. We started off with the wild caught salmon belly bloody mary ceviche! This was awesome, especially since I finally like bloody marys.
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The menu was great and we had a hard time deciding, so we ordered the mussels in white wine as well.

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We shared the pork tenderloin entree and it was heaven. The pork was served with a mango and cranberry chutney over sweet potato hash with giant grilled plantains. I think this was one of the best entrees I’ve ever had!!
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On the side, we had a warm shaved brussels salad with toasted walnuts and mustard poppy seed vinaigrette.
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I’ve declared Origin my new favorite neighborhood eatery!
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We were invited to a Superbowl party on Sunday, so I obviously baked. I made cookie cups because I’m so obsessed with Earth Balance butter cream. I also made a mexican inspired quinoa salad to add something healthy-ish to the buffet. It was not a hit, but the cups were.
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Our friends had a ridiculous set-up, so I spent the evening in this recliner:)

Hope yall had a good one too. See ya.

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Weekend of Friends

Posted on Jan 13, 2014 | 3 comments

Yo,
How’s it going out there?
I had a rejuvenating weekend here in Dallas. We had temperatures in the 70′s and I got that feeling that spring is coming! It made me want to clean the house and shop, but then I remembered it was January and I did neither of those things.
I had a girls date night with my friend Liz on Friday and we tried a new-to-me restaurant called La Duni. It’s a Latin cafe and the prices are so reasonable for the quality of the food. We had mojitos and malbec, and then I had this wonderful mahi entree with fried plantains and garlic rice
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We met Matt for beers afterwards and ending up staying up too late talking! It was my favorite kind of night.
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Matt and I did bootcamp at the gym on Saturday morning and then took a stroll to enjoy the weather and look in some stores. I made the mistake of wearing flip flops and got blisters because I haven’t worn them in months:( We stayed in and cooked for friends on Saturday night – they have a one-year-old, so it’s easier to cook at their house and I made apple pork chops, sweet potatoes, and brussels. It was nice to have a low key evening and it didn’t feel like staying in since we weren’t at home.
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Sunday was a funday of sorts because we celebrated our friends’ engagement with brunch at Sangria. We sat on the patio for two hours drinking bloody marys and catching up with the group. I ordered breakfast tacos with egg and chorizo – they were enjoyable enough, but not anything special. I had dish envy for Matt’s spicy hash.
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The weekend ended with bbq salmon and Golden Globe watching with friends who live in our building.
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It was lovely to spend so much time catching up with different friend groups this weekend! I neglected the apartment a bit, so I need to do some cleaning and get myself organized again. Hope yall had a good one.
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