Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Family"

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!

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


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


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.




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


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


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:(


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:)


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!!


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!


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

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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.


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!

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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!


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:)

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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:



An awesome tree:




The original four:



Conch fritters and fresh mango!





The crazy cat man and his trained cats:



Appetizer hoping for Valentines day


Wine that I loved from our honeymoon:


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.


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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Christmas in Dallas

Posted on Dec 28, 2013 | 10 comments

Hosting Christmas in Dallas was a blast, but boy am I exhausted. Matt’s parents and sister and my parents and sister, husband, and family were all here!! Everyone arrived on Christmas Eve, so I prepped a big spread of food in the townhouse where they were staying. We were up late eating appetizers and drinking beer, hot apple cider, and egg nog (I thought the almond kind was pretty good with bourbon!). I made bbq pork shoulder in the crockpot for the main course along with cornbread and quinoa salad. For dessert, we had an ice cream sundae bar and some of the goodies I baked.







Christmas morning, we had mimosas and french toast and then opened presents. We did a gift exchange this year instead of buying gifts for everyone, and I think it worked out really well!


We hosted Christmas dinner in our apartment, and made all the usuals: maple glazed ham (my first, and it turned out fabulously), corn pudding, pineapple sweet potato casserole, bacon green beans, cinnamon apples, and rolls. I made the casseroles ahead of time and then everyone came over for cocktail hour and helped with the rest of the cooking so I didn’t have to do all the work:)


Mazen stayed busy with snacks.




I made a chocolate bourbon pecan pie and a peppermint ice cream pie for dessert!


The two days after Christmas were filled with more beer drinking and hanging out in Dallas.


We went bowling at a cool vintage alley in the design district.



And we took our siblings out for craft cocktails at a neighborhood bar called The Standard Pour.


We also had awesome weather and fit in some nice walks. Our last night ended with pomegranate margaritas and a trip to The Common Table for a wonderful dinner.


I was so sad to see everyone go today, but just thrilled that they made the trip to Dallas to spend Christmas with us! Matt has the whole next week off from work, so we decided to drive down to New Orleans for a New Year’s road trip. I’ve got to push through this sleepiness and pack my bags so we can hit the road in the morning! Hope yall had as merry a Christmas as I did!!

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