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.
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!
We grabbed cocktails at Stock and Barrel before dinner – this was a lovely twist on a bourbon sour made with passion fruit.
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!!
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:)
Our first plate was pork belly with pear and gorgonzola – this was divine, and a generous portion!
Next up, some sort of Italian pork with sautéed mushrooms – also delish.
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!
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.
Despite the cupcakes waiting at home, we had to try the Italian donuts with squash and caramel!
Clearly, the meal was superb! And the restaurant is so romantic:) I’m already dying to go back!
We ended the weekend festivities with Sunday brunch with some friends at Vagabond. We had [more] donuts – these were basically apple-stuffed fried dough!
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.
Thanks to Matt and my lovely friends and family for a wonderful birthday!Read More
How’s it going out there?
Matt and I had a wonderful anniversary celebration – we had dinner at the famous Fearings (out of this world) and the enjoyed the top layer of our wedding cake afterwards.
It was a little beat up from riding to Texas in a cooler for 3 days, but it somehow survived. I think we were too full to appreciate it right after dinner, but boy did in taste good the next day!
This week has been a good one – I picked up an extra shift at work and attempted a few new recipes to pack for lunches. And I made more banana bread because the muffins make the most incredible snack with nut butter.
Last night, Matt and I went to see Belle – it was a beautiful movie! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good love story and I really enjoyed it. Any other good ones? I’d def. like to see Don Draper in a different role….
And now it’s time for another weekend. I don’t have a thing planned and I like it that way.Read More
-Saturday is my one year anniversary! It’s been a wonderful year of marriage:) I just keep thinking about all the things that were happening at this time last year and I wish I could relive it all. At least some of this is still in the freezer!!!!!
-To celebrate, we’re combining our wedding anniversary with Matt’s 30th and taking a big trip!
-I have enough yoga classes under my belt now that I’m starting to relax and really enjoy it. I get giddy on Thursdays just thinking about going. I never thought I’d say that!!
-I finally got around to starting a new book! I go through periods of tv and novels and I know reading is a better activity before bedtime.
-Currently, my favorite lunch entree: corn tortillas slathered in avocado with scrambled eggs topped with cilantro and hot sauce. Gosh I love eating.
Can someone tell me how it’s the weekend again? I never remember time moving this fast.
I got to spend Easter with the family! I headed to my sister’s house in Charlottesville, VA, and both my parents and Matt’s parents came from their states to join us!
No visit with my brother-in-law is complete without a beer tasting! Kanz brews his own beer and is always interested in feedback/discussion. We kicked off the weekend by comparing two different years of barleywine with the Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine. All were delicious!
My mom and dad are pretty incredible grandparents to little Mazen and offered to take over the parenting responsibilities so the four of us could enjoy dinner on the town.
We walked to Bang! on the Charlottesville mall – it felt freezing to my Texas blood and I wore a wool coat and scarf:)
We sat at the bar while we waited for a table – I sipped on a cocktail made with bourbon and lemongrass simple syrup – delicious!
I think we ordered nine small plates for the four of us. I won’t bore you with descriptions of all of them, but my absolute favorites were the pork spring rolls,
the Thai beef with soba noodles, bok choy, and cilantro sauce,
the sesame tuna,
and the tempura haricot vert!
On Saturday, I went to a crazy athletic conditioning class with my sister – it was hard, but pretty similar to my regular Saturday morning class, and I felt incredible afterwards!
Matt, my parents, and I headed out to the countryside for some wine tasting mid-morning. I think we all have our eyes closed in this picture. We met Matt’s parents at Barboursville and enjoyed tasting some great Virginia wines.
And a picnic!
Great Harvest sandwiches, crab chips from Maryland, and a dry riesling made for the perfect lunch.
Saturday afternoon, we all retired to my sister’s giant yard for bocce ball and conversation.
Our hosts cooked an awesome spread of pulled pork, beet salad, mushroom and pea risotto, and Virginia rolls fresh from the bakery!
But some of us were most excited for dessert!
Cupcakes, peanut butter fudge, and chocolate truffles rounded out Easter dinner, and I went to bed stuffed.
We all gathered on Sunday morning for brunch, and then it was back to the airport to start the long trip home:(
Hope yall got to relax this weekend too, if you celebrate the holiday. It’s always sad saying goodbye, but there’s lots going on here this week! Positive vibes are always welcome if you want to send them my way:)Read More
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with travel. And not just the actual vacation – I adore travel planning and picking the hotel. So when I was approached about the opportunity to be a Marriott Rewards® Ambassador, I was pumped and applied right away! I’ll be posting two more times over the next six months as part of the program.
If you aren’t familiar with Marriott Rewards, it’s a free hotel rewards program that allows members to redeem points for hotel stays, flights, exclusive events, and shopping. Members also earn status and enjoy benefits such as priority check-in and complimentary room upgrades (you can sign up and learn more at the Marriott Rewards Enrollment Page: Marriott.com/rewards). Matt already participates in the program because he travels quite a bit for work. He researched a couple of different programs and chose Marriott Rewards because you can earn and redeem points at 3,700 properties around the world and because it’s been voted “Program of the Year” 6 years in a row! We already redeemed points for a completely free stay when we were in New Orleans over New Year’s!
This year, Marriott Rewards is celebrating its 30th birthday with a Year of Surprises. I love the idea that there are a million reasons to celebrate. I mean, I probably celebrate something small every day. My favorite way to celebrate big events, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries is obviously through food, and my family pretty much celebrates everything with cake! I’ve never had a surprise party though (I’m such a planner, I think Matt is afraid to try). I did surprise Matt with airline tickets to Miami once! Anyway, Marriott Rewards is looking for memorable and unique ideas for surprise parties, and you can nominate anyone you think deserves to be celebrated at yearofsurprises.com. I bet it’s a lot easier to pull off a surprise party when someone else is doing the hard work! For more details on the contest, visit the Year of Surprises Official Rules at yearofsurprises.com/rules.
Have you ever pulled off a surprise party for someone else or been successfully surprised? I kinda want to plan one now!Read More