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
We’re officially en route to Knoxville, Tennessee! On my last night in NC, I got to attend the lovely wedding of my good friend Brooke at the Carolina Inn in Chapel HIll. It was a nice evening for an outdoor ceremony because the sun had retreated behind the clouds. I loved that champagne was served right before the ceremony because we all mingled and got the party started before the ceremony:)
Brooke looked gorgeous and you could tell that the bride and groom were very much in love.
All my high school friends reunited!
The reception was held in a beautiful ballroom with a neat checkered floor and giant flower arrangements. It was very elegant.
Of course there was cake a lots of dancing!
I had the pleasure of attending two baby showers this weekend!
Don’t ya just love shower food?!
This was like a nutty pineapple carrot cake combo involving cream cheese and buttercream!!!!
Cheers to [one of the] lovely moms-to-be:)
The second shower on Sunday had fabulous food too! Both showers were gender-neutral, which meant lots of yellows and greens.
After Saturday’s shower, Matt and I grabbed pizza with friends at Pizzeria Toro.
We shared the asparagus salad and a spicy clam pizza – I can’t believe I’m going to Italy next month – this meal made me soooo excited!
After we said good night to our friends, we couldn’t resist a drink at Mateo Tapas (my very favorite in Durham). We have so few free weekends left here! So even though we had just finished dinner, we ordered the blue cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates because they are heavenly.
What a nice weekend! And after today’s shower, I had my second-to-last fitting, so my dress is just about ready to be picked up. Yay!Read More
Guys, I had the most wonderful weekend!
My bridal shower was so lovely I nearly cried.
It was hosted by three of my mom’s close friends, who have watched me grow up:)
They prepared a beautiful spread of food, sangria, and pear punch!
Although everyone knows cake is my true love.
Strawberry in the middle!
I think my favorite part of the shower was a newly-wed game that the hosts had put together with Matt’s input. I did pretty well, but was stumped on a few of the questions.
Opening gifts was pretty fun too!
I hope the guests had fun too – I think Mazen loved being around so many ladies…
The shower was only the highlight of the weekend – I also got to spend tons of quality time with family and friends. I’m sad it’s all over, but so thankful to the hosts for such a sweet shower.