Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Family"

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.

IMG_5941.JPG

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.

IMG_5947.jpg

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

IMG_5950.JPG

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

IMG_5957.jpg  

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

IMG_5944.JPG

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

IMG_5963.JPG  

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.

IMG_20140817_124054.jpg

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.

Read More

A Weekend in NC

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 | 10 comments

I had a wonderful trip east! It was so nice to be back in NC and see so many family members and friends. I visited my grandma in Baltimore first, where I met up with my mom. We did some shopping and lots of eating. I was even able to see Matt’s mom who drove up and joined us for dinner!

IMG_20140612_173437.jpg 20140611_193253.jpg      

On Friday, I headed down to NC to my childhood best friend’s wedding.

IMG_5443.JPG

After a year, it felt so good to be home, and it was nice timing with father’s day!

IMG_5447.JPG

The wedding was out on a farm and the scenery was just beautiful. The ceremony was in a meadow and then there was dinner and dancing in a restored barn.

IMG_5470.JPG

IMG_5450.JPG

IMG_5462.JPG

The bride did a wonderful job with all the little details!

IMG_5463.JPG

The ceremony was very romantic and there were many sniffling guests.

IMG_5467.JPG

I got to catch up with most of my high school friends throughout the evening – hadn’t see these girls since my wedding last year:(

IMG_5471.JPG

There was an incredible dessert bar!!! I tried about five things and all were delish. I took a piece of carrot cake to go and it was divine:)

IMG_5458.JPG

My sister was able time come home on Sunday, so we all went out for a grand father’s day bbq brunch at the new Pit in Durham!!

IMG_5477.JPG

The food was incredible and made me really miss NC style bbq! Mr. Mazen showed off his perfect table manners by carefully buttering his biscuit – too cute!

IMG_5479.JPG

A belated happy father’s day to my dad, my new father-in-law, and all the dads out there!

Read More

Heading Home + Dirty Products

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 | 11 comments

It’s a short week for me because I’m heading to Baltimore to visit my grandma tomorrow! After that, I’m traveling home to NC for a wedding. It will be the first time I’ve gone home since I moved to Texas, so I’m pretty excited. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I’m pumped to see family and do some celebrating with friends.

IMG_9397.JPG

I wanted to post about cleaning up my beauty routine because I think it’s an interesting topic. Since reading this post on my sister’s blog and this blog, I’ve been trying to clean up my products. And boy is it hard! Partly because it’s difficult to find affordable products and partly because switching products means breakouts and bad hair days in the process. I also didn’t want to switch everything at once, because that would simply be too expensive, so I’ve been slowly trying samples of things. I made the mistake of trying a bunch of stuff at once, and my skin got really irritated and dry, and then I didn’t know which thing was causing the problem! Same with greasy hair (my hair is just blah in general these days – might be time for a big cut).

Anyway, this is what I’m using as of now:

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – I’m liking this so far, although it stings my face at times, so I’ve started using it every other day.

Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser – Love this!

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Lotion – I’m still having some dry skin, but I think I like this. My skin craves my old Aveeno some days and I give in and put a little on the dry spots.

Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Blush (Leigh) – I like this a lot so far, although it might be a bit rosy for me – there are lots of colors though.

Acure Moisture Repair Shampoo and Triple Moisture Repairing Conditioner – I love the price point for these ($8.99) and love that I can get it at Whole Foods. I really like the conditioner, although it only feels like it’s working when I comb though my hair in the shower. I’m not crazy about the shampoo, simply because I think my hair looks dull when I use it. And I’m not a fan of the smell!

Finding a better shampoo and a foundation with sunscreen are next on my list.

I’d would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!!!

PS: here’s a Paula’s Choice referral link if you want to get $10 off – I used my sister’s link to buy my first samples and that’s how I got hooked!

Read More

East Coast Easter

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 | 10 comments

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!

IMG_5098.JPG

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!

IMG_5099.JPG

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.

IMG_5102.JPG

We walked to Bang! on the Charlottesville mall – it felt freezing to my Texas blood and I wore a wool coat and scarf:)

IMG_5105.JPG

We sat at the bar while we waited for a table – I sipped on a cocktail made with bourbon and lemongrass simple syrup – delicious!

IMG_5111.JPG

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,

IMG_5116.JPG

the Thai beef with soba noodles, bok choy, and cilantro sauce,

IMG_5121.JPG

the sesame tuna,

IMG_5126.JPG

and the tempura haricot vert!

IMG_5125.JPG

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!

IMG_5128.JPG

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.

IMG_5131.JPG

And a picnic!

IMG_5129.JPG

Great Harvest sandwiches, crab chips from Maryland, and a dry riesling made for the perfect lunch.

IMG_5130.JPG

IMG_5145.JPG

Saturday afternoon, we all retired to my sister’s giant yard for bocce ball and conversation.

IMG_5137.JPG

Our hosts cooked an awesome spread of pulled pork, beet salad, mushroom and pea risotto, and Virginia rolls fresh from the bakery!

IMG_5146.JPG

But some of us were most excited for dessert!

IMG_5155.JPG

Cupcakes, peanut butter fudge, and chocolate truffles rounded out Easter dinner, and I went to bed stuffed.

IMG_5160.JPG

We all gathered on Sunday morning for brunch, and then it was back to the airport to start the long trip home:(

Foodblog-6508.jpg

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

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:

IMG_20140215_155313.jpg

IMG_4633.JPG

An awesome tree:

IMG_4657.JPG

IMG_4628.JPG

IMG_4632.JPG

The original four:

IMG_4634.JPG

IMG_4643.JPG

Conch fritters and fresh mango!

IMG_4645.JPG

IMG_4649.JPG

IMG_4652.JPG

IMG_20140214_181247.jpg

The crazy cat man and his trained cats:

IMG_4668.JPG

IMG_4670.JPG

Appetizer hoping for Valentines day

IMG_4671.JPG

Wine that I loved from our honeymoon:

IMG_4675.JPG

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.

20140216_142237.jpg

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.

Read More