Book Share and Farewell

I’m forgoing the usual cocktail submission to formally say goodbye to one of my favorite shows. Tonight is the series finale of 30 Rock. I started watching this hilarity in law school when I very badly needed to laugh and it has been a weekly companion since then. I heart Liz Lemon, liberal and all (and sometimes I fantasize that Jack is my real boss). It’s been a good run, TGS. You will be missed!

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If you are not ready to say goodbye:

  1. Relive some of the greatness
  2. Give the gift of Liz Lemon
  3. Love the politics of it all
  4. Talk the talk of the Rock

Because of 30 Rock, I also just read Tina Fey’s autobiography, Bossypants, which was EXCELLENT. I read it on a trip and was doubled over laughing on the plane. I laughed out loud at least every other page. She is just so absurd. Break up the monotony and read it!

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[1], [2]

P.S. I love Pinterest and I love 30 Rock, but this is weird

 

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Traveling Tuesdays: Chief World Explorer

A really good friend of mine is working for the up and coming travel site Jauntaroo, which is pretty awesome and getting better everyday. My favorite feature is their “Been There/Want to Go” buttons. Its a great way to keep track of your adventures and make a plan for that lengthy bucket list.  That’s not all – this spring they are selecting someone to be their Chief World Explorer for the next year making a whopping $100,000. I mean I like being an attorney, but getting paid to travel the world sounds WAY better. Check out the site and keep an eye on the Chief World Explorer offering set to roll out this Spring. Life’s too short. Get to exploring.

I’m Baaack

Well hello. I felt like Cousin Eddie should get a little post-holiday love. Its been a rough couple of months, but there have been several diamonds in the rough that have kept me moving. We were witness to some of our best friends tying the knot, attended some birthday bashes and Christmas soirees, did a little fine dining, spent lots of good quality time with our families for the holidays and recharged a bit. 2013 is not promising to be an easy year, but the blog is sporting a new look thanks to my favorite graphic designer and I’m feeling energized and positive about what is in the pipeline. The house needs some sprucing, the friends need some attention and I’m needing a little creative outlet, so stay tuned for some of these posts and many more the next couple of months:

(1) The Frias Wedding Bash; (2) Michelle and Rob’s Beautiful Day; (3) A Little Dallas Dining Love; (4) Grey’s Very Own Circus; (5) Steamboat Music Fest 2013 and much much more.

P.S. Today is the one year anniversary of the blog. Thanks for reading!

Thirsty Thursday: Irish Coffee

For a brief moment we had 30°F weather here and it gave us a chance to finally break out the Jameson’s for a little cold-weather cocktail. The Husband has spent the better part of the last two years perfecting his Irish Coffee recipe and he has it down to an art. It (and a little Redbox action) makes for a great little date night in.


The Real Irish’s Irish Coffee

  1. First, preheat your proper Irish coffee mug, with hot water and then dump the water after a few seconds. (We picked this method up in Doolin!)
  2. Fill the glass with freshly brewed coffee until it is about three quarters of the way filled.
  3. Stir in a heaping spoonful of light brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like it.
  4. Add a shot of Jameson’s or any other favorite Irish whiskey. Stir again.
  5. Whip up some heavy whipping cream until you have a thick consistency that you can dollop on top. You can refrigerate the left over whipped cream for a couple of days.
  6. Drizzle Creme de Menthe on top and enjoy!

Finally Fall

Well October was supposed to be our “slow” month, but we don’t do slow very well, so I am way way behind on posts. I was, however, finally able to decorate for fall. Just in time for Turkey Day…

Also, the ever-amazing Kathryn recycled her wedding centerpieces and made these amazing wreaths (one of which now proudly hangs on my door).

In Texas, our seasons are like a roller coaster – it went from 80 to 30 degrees here in one week. But, that is not stopping me from appreciating all of the autumn goodness out there. Checkout all of this fall love:

Interior Inspiration: Ginger Jars

Kathryn, my own personal style maven, has me completely lusting after a vignette of ginger jars. She has a perfectly curated guestroom with a dresser full of these beauties. I feel like these classic blue and white urns are a staple for a traditional home. I even love the use of them in prints or pillows. This is definitely my next flea market/estate sale/antique store target.

Kathryn’s Ginger Jar Perfection

From a cute shop in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District

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P.S. Check out Kathryn’s teal living room here.

Go Vote!

Civic Duty – Check! (notice I used the word DUTY)

Election Day is my third favorite day of the year (closely behind my birthday and Christmas) and I just got back from casting my ballot for this super important election. This isn’t just a big year because of the Presidential election. There are tons of important U.S. Senate and local races too, so get out there and vote!

Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite electable goods and some articles and links for your political perusal:

  1. Romney’s hilarious speech at Al Smith’s Dinner. (Obama’s was pretty funny too).
  2. Jimmy Kimmel’s inquiry into the First Lady debate is hilarious and embarrassing all at the same time
  3. A good primer on the biggest foreign policy issues of the day.
  4. This is a little dated in news terms, but its a great piece on the top 50 politicos to watch.
  5. A political Tweet poet. She has got some serious rhyming skills.
  6. I have to take Ezra Klein with a grain of salt, but he makes some great points. I think what Romney brings to the table is exciting.
  7. Dear Powers at Be, I want to be an election attorney. Have JD, will travel. Sincerely, Katy

Daily Candy hunted down some of the cutest RW&B wares around – check out their list:

West Elm is even getting in the spirit – Check out the Dallas store [Photo from @nikkirap]:

Which Wich Sandwiches taking a poll:

Traveling Tuesdays: New Orleans

The Husband just got back from a weekend in NOLA for a bachelor party, which he simply stated was “crazy.” This reminded me that I never posted about my amazing bachelorette party in the land of ragin’ Cajuns. My sister was the best MOH ever and arranged a weekend in New Orleans with 10 of my closest friends. It is super flattering to have 11 people agree to drive or fly 5+ hours to spend the weekend with you and it is even more fun to have your 11 favorite people together in one of the “craziest” cities ever. We were there for less than 48 hours, but we made a dent. I will say though, this will not be my best travel post – due to a mixture of adult beverages and a whirlwind weekend its a little blurry.

My NOLA favorites: THE FOOD, the street music, the libations and some quality time with the entire crew.

The cute invites Kayla ordered:

The Food and Drink:
Does anyone remember where we ate Friday night? We changed it at the last minute and I cannot think of the name of it. But, if I do, I will share because it was delicious. My friends are some classy ladies, but they know how to get messy. We all got down with crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage and other creole delicacies. Plus, they poured us high-ball sized shots. It was a great place for a big group and a late dinner (which isn’t useful information if I can’t think of the name!!).

Some of us were suffering more than others on Saturday, so our group split up for brunch, lunch and shopping. One group checked out the renowned brunch at Court of Two Sisters and said it was everything they expected and more. The atmosphere sounded amazing with a big open courtyard and perfect 70 degree weather. The rest of us headed to the Royal House Oyster House where we had some bloody marys, mimosas, oysters and and peel ‘n eat shrimp to get us back on track.

That afternoon we stopped at Cafe du Monde for their famous beignets. The line was atrocious, but my ever loyal and cunning friends (Martha) some how skipped the line and had the sugary, fluffy pastries in-hand in 5 minutes flat. They were amazing and I still crave them.
Saturday night we had one of the best meals ever at Broussard’s. We put on the cocktail dresses and stilettos and wined and dined the right way. I think we sampled almost everything on the menu and the wine was SO good. Plus, a great meal gave us the stamina to take on Bourbon Street.

The Bars: These are a little fuzzy, but we of course hit the highlights: (1) Hurricanes and Sing-a-longs at Pat O’Briens; (2) Syringe shots and hand grenades at Tropical Isle; (3) Dancing at Gold Mine; and much much more.

The Fun: We stayed at the Royal St. Charles Hotel, which was super affordable and a great location (at the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets). The rooms were alright – nothing fancy and pretty small, but were clean and accommodating (they happily and successfully split the rooms on 11 different credit cards). When we were not eating or drinking (which was like never), we explored the beautiful French Quarter. We had our tarot cards read in Jackson Square (my fortune teller was so good she predicted that something very good was about to happen in my love life – I’m sure the diamond ring and group of 10 girls had nothing to do with it); ducked into a ton of cute boutiques and art stores (I really miss shopping with Michelle); explored the beautiful Cathedral; listened to the street bands and stopped off at Big Easy Daiquiris for a daytime daiquiri.

Thanks to all these wonderful friends for making that weekend so memorable. Who wants to go back?!

[Images that aren’t mine or my friends: 1/2/3]

 

September Recap

What the what? How is it already the middle of October. September was crazy, and since so many neat things went on and this is the first time I’ve had to sit down and write out a post, I wanted to do a little September Recap (even though October is more halfway over).

(1) First, I had a birthday. It was strongly suggested to the Husband that he get me these for my birthday:

But instead, he got me this robotic vacuum, which has seriously changed my life. Neato is pricey, but worth every penny. I can watch him work for hours.

(2) Then we took a girls’ trip to Charleston, SC to celebrate Michelle’s impending nuptials – check out our travels here and here.

(3) I spent a week with my brother and the rest of the family. Update on Luke: he is responding wonderfully to treatment and has been able to go back to school- lots of answered prayers. We are doing Light the Night at the end of October to remember and honor all those who fight this horrible disease – check it out in your area.

(4) Kathryn threw a stellar housewarming fiesta. Her house was decked out in beautiful bright colors, the margaritas were flowing and the food was fabulous. It was the perfect wind down after the bad week before. Oh! I also found these adorable serving spoons adorned with the ever-hospitable pineapple when I was in South Carolina. They were too cute of a housewarming gift to pass up.

(5) The next weekend we went to see a wonderful performance of Grease at Casa Manana on Friday night. Fort Worth is lucky to have such a neat little theater (or I’m just easily impressed). Then we threw a couple’s shower for Juan and Joanna. The theme was Monograms and Margaritas and we had entirely too much fun.

(6) Then, Mom, Kayla and I hiked it up to Oklahoma City and found Sister a wedding date, wedding venue and a wedding dress in 24 hours. Kayla’s dress is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and we had a wonderful girls’ day out with Colby’s mom and sister.

October is off to a similar start with a trip to Boston already under our belts, a weekend shooting guns in the big N and a NOLA trip and tailgating this past weekend so stay tuned.

Also, here is a little round-up of some of my favorite sitings around the World Wide Web:

  1. Love this homage to September’s sapphire.
  2. I want to be Tory’s best friend.
  3. I feel bad because of #2, but Tory’s ex-husband has a kind of fabulous line of clothing, accessories and housewares that I have somehow never heard of.
  4. The packaging of Cisthene’s Rain Cleanser even looks refreshing.
  5. This wisteria makes me want to move to Japan.
  6. Love this list and the idea of a family book club.
  7. I love this blog post about getting out of a rut.

Traveling Tuesdays: San Francisco

Earlier this summer my parents went to San Francisco and Napa Valley with my Aunt and Uncle and had a ridiculously fun time. I was so jealous of their stories that I asked my dad to write up a little blurb about his trip.

So here is my first ever guest blogger and my dear-old dad, Rusty:

Hello all! I am thrilled to get to share our trip with you because we had a blast. San Francisco is a mythical place with spectacular views, world-class dining, first-rate mixology and a free spirit. Though we weren’t here long, we went with the philosophy that we can sleep when we’re home and squeezed as much in as possible. We spent three nights in San Francisco at the famed Westin St. Francis on Powell Street. Their famous Clock Bar serves some excellent artisan cocktails and the cable car comes right to the front door on its track down to the Fisherman’s wharf. We then just explored the sites and took in the amazing culinary scene.

The food:

Our first evening we had dinner at Gary Danko, the deservedly #1 rated restaurant in San Francisco. For two hours we were dazzled by a five-course tasting menu, wine pairings and a deluxe cheese cart with 18 different cheeses.

A friend of my brother and sister-in-law treated us to another gourmet adventure with lunch at Scala’s Bistro in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. We tried the bistro burger and the pork loin and then we met Tim Nugent, the Bravo TV celebrity pastry chef. He brought us a dessert sampler to try that included his famous panna cotta and his perfected peach gelato.

If that wasn’t enough, that evening we went for seafood at Farallon Restaurant beginning with Happy Hour at the Jelly Fish Lounge for $6 appetizer/cocktail combos and then the main course in the amazing underwater-feel atmosphere. The grilled Hawaiian Ono was just what the doctor ordered.

The next day we ventured out to the Ferry Building, which is a foodie’s paradise. Though, be sure to go before 5pm because many of the restaurants and stores close it up at 6pm. We tried the macaroons at Miette Patisserie and then had dinner at Chef Phan’s esteemed Slanted Door. I sampled the caramelized shrimp, barbequed ribs and the prime rib paired with Castalonia blonde ale and it was awesome. The main dish was only complimented by the cherry pie and Red-Jasmine tea. I will definitely be revisiting the Ferry Building to try out some of other temptations like the Cowgirl Creamery, Acme Bread, Hog Island Oyster Co. and Lula Petite Brownies just to name a few.

Finally, we couldn’t leave San Francisco without going to Ocean Beach to enjoy a fabulous Sunday Brunch at the famed Cliff House. We sipped on bottomless Wycliff bubbly as a harp serenaded us in the background. It rounded out a pretty great trip.

Sight-seeing musts:

  1. The flowers and view of Lombard Street – the most crooked street in the world;
  2. A ride on the cable cars;
  3. Ghirardelli Square for a brownie fudge sundae or an Irish Coffee in Buena Vista Bar;
  4. Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch at the Crab House, sourdough from Boudin’s Bakery, salt water taffy from Pier 29, and t-shirts and souvenirs;
  5. Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park;
  6. Presidio Park and Beach;
  7. Japanese Tea Park and the Conservatory of Flowers; and
  8. The view from Coit Tower’s.

Other Fun:

  • We caught a matinee production of Les Miserables at the Orpheum Theater that moved us deeply.
  • I have a personal goal to attend every dueling piano bar in America, or at least try, and Johnny Foley’s Irish House did not disappoint. This made for a very-fun filled night of sing-alongs and cocktails.
  • We also checked out the home of the Beat Generation and flower-power at the corner of Haight-Ashbury. We grabbed a breakfast burrito and coffee at Squat and Gobble and explored the eccentric neighborhood.
  • We walked through the North Beach District, which is San Francisco’s version of Little Italy, peppered with pizzerias and trattorias. Vesuvio Café is a great bar in the heart of the city.

 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my Napa Valley post next week.

– Rusty