Taking Back My Twenties

Travel

A Lovely Thanksgiving

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 | 1 comment

I had a wonderful week in Maryland. It was so great, in fact, that I didn’t take many pictures. But you guys all know what Thanksgiving food looks like – we had the full spread of turkey and delicious sides, plus pumpkin pie. And a tasty prosecco after some quality autumn beers.

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I got to see my parents on Friday – they drove up to Annapolis and we spent a blustery day walking around by the water, looking in shops, and eating seafood. We tried a new restaurant called Blackwall Hitch, where we had crab dip, crab pizza, and shrimp and grits.

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Saturday night, Matt’s parents took us into DC and we tried an amazing Argentinean restaurant called Rural Society. The food was really different and we had fun tasting a bunch of plates paired with carmenere. And there was malbec butter! I wonder if this is what the food in Argentina really tastes like…

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It’s back to the grind, but only for 3 weeks. Christmas break is on the horizon and rest + healthy eating is in full swing!

Adios.

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Hello from MD

Posted on Nov 26, 2014 | 2 comments

We have a dreary, rainy day here at Matt’s house, and the rain is expected to turn to snow! I had planned to post my weekend recap, but forgot to bring my camera cord.

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I have the whole week off of work [beyond amazing], so I first went to Baltimore to visit my grandmother! I met my sister and my mom there and we had a nice time drinking manhattans, catching up, entertaining Mazen, and shopping!

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Today, I arrived at Matt’s house and I’m truly relaxing. The whole family is working from home except for me, so I’m just doing quiet computer things and lounging, with a break to go to Body Pump with Matt’s mom soon!

I have ten million things to be thankful for tomorrow, and at the top of my list is my job and family. I hope you have a fabulous turkey day!

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Ame & Lulu Gym Bag

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 | 5 comments

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence Central for Ame & Lulu. I received product samples to facilitate my review.”

Since staring my new job, I’ve been going to a few 6 am classes each week. I don’t mind getting up as much as I mind showering at the gym. But, I’m starting to get used to it, and I bought double of some of my products so that I can keep them packed. However, I didn’t have a good gym bag. And just when I was browsing the internets for something, I was presented with the opportunity to try an Ame and Lulu bag! I went to the website right away to make sure they were cute. And they are! There are all types of colorful and classic patterns and there are a bunch of different travel assessoriess to match.

I hadn’t heard of the company before, but the founder, Amye Kurson, created the brand in 2003 because she wanted more stylish accessories that could be used for sports (shes’s an avid golfer) as well as a day of shopping or grabbing drinks with friends.

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For my tote, I chose the Wish black and green pattern because the black will match almost anything and the pop of green makes it more fun.

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The bag is called the Easy Tote, and I also got the Key Pouch and the Essentials Insert to go with. I’ve been putting jewelry in the Key Pouch and using the Essentials Insert for things like deodorant, extra hair ties, and dry shampoo. Now I want the Makeup Bag too!

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The bag is very roomy and well constructed and has a large interior pocket with zipper. I can easily fit my shoes and outfit for the day, running or spinning shoes, makeup bag, and shower stuff inside and there’s still room! The only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t zip closed (it snaps). I like bags that zip for travel.

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Overall, I’d definitely recommend Ame and Lulu based on the bag and accessories I received – there are so many cute patterns and the bags can be used for so much more than just the gym. Packing my bag the night before and having all the products I use at home with me in the locker room has made it just a bit easier to get out of bed in the mornings and get to the gym.

You guys can get 25% at Ame and Lulu! Use code love25. Enjoy!

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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:)

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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!

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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!

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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.]

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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I think we ordered 10 small plates?

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

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

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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!!
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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!

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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!!
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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!

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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!

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Last Chance for Year of Surprises!

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 | 0 comments

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central Consulting for Marriott Rewards. I received Marriott Points to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Hi Guys,

Remember my other posts about the Marriott Rewards® program and Year of Surprises? Well, this is the last of a series of 3 posts because the third nomination period ends August 31st!

If you’re just tuning it, Marriott Rewards is celebrating its 30th birthday by throwing surprise parties for people who deserve to be celebrated. Whether it’s your parents’ golden anniversary or your best friend’s graduation from a PhD program, I bet you can come up with someone or something to celebrate!

When I first heard about the contest, I know I was curious to see the winners and their parties. Marriott Rewards has already announced 8 winners from the first two nomination periods and you can see videos of the surprise parties online.

Check out this video – the bride had to miss her wedding because she had brain surgery and then a stroke, so a friend nominated her and Marriott Rewards surprised her with an engagement party once she was back on her feet!!

Nominations are reviewed based on creativity, uniqueness, and feasibility of the party. You don’t have to be a Marriott Rewards member to submit a nomination, but I highly recommend the program! You can sign up for the Marriott Rewards program online at Marriott.com/rewards. And don’t forget to enter at yearofsurprises.com – if you want to know more about how it works, you can find the rules at yearofsurprises.com/rules.

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To NC and Back

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 | 1 comment

Hello! I’m back from a quick trip to NC! The timing couldn’t have been worse for this wedding, but I couldn’t bare to miss the opportunity to see friends and family. I flew in late Friday and back on Sunday. I got to see both my sister and Mazen and my parents for Friday dinner! We hit up Tyler’s in our old stomping ground in Durham. I enjoyed a beer and a pork belly sandwich before heading over to the welcome party for the wedding.

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The wedding was held at the beautiful Duke gardens. It was a hot day, but it felt soo much cooler than Dallas and I loved it.

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The bride looked stunning in a fitted lace dress and the gardens made for a beautiful backdrop.

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My bff’s from high school were all therel!!

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We enjoyed drinks on the patio and then moved inside for a lovely dinner and dancing.

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The food was so fresh! Apparently the NC trout had been caught that morning and the pistachio chicken was hot off a charcoal grill.

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We danced for hours and popsicles were passed around the dance floor – what a great idea! I had a salted caramel pop that was excellent.

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Sunday morning, I had a long brunch with my parents at Foster’s in Durham. It was an awesome weekend until my flight was cancelled on Sunday. I was re-routed through Pittsburgh where I spent 6 hours in the airport before I finally made it back to Dallas at 2am. Arg. Needless to say, I’m happy to be home and ready for a week of good night’s sleep. I’m so excited to meet the students this week! Adios.

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