Photo Review – 2.8.2015

Evanston Beach

Hey there, from the other side of Chicago’s 5th largest blizzard. A week ago today, on Super Bowl Sunday, we got a hefty 19 inches of snowfall, and somehow… magically… that snow didn’t dominate my week. Maybe it was the friends who still swarmed our apartment Sunday evening, ready for football and beer. Or the new work project that meant I had to get through the heaps of snow, no matter that everything else was shut down. Or most likely, it was our beautiful 39-and-sunny end to the week that got Michael and I out of the house yesterday. Either way, my week was (you know it) goodIn photos… Continue reading

Hey there, from Chicago

Boots in Snow

I feel like I should be bracing myself for winter: That’s what everyone else told me to do. Brace myself for the times I won’t be able to leave the apartment and for the times I’ll be so miserable, I’ll wish I hadn’t moved here. Better yet! Brace myself for the months everyone gets fat under their floppy winter clothes. I wonder when these things will happen, because things here so far have been… good.

I know, I know. I hesitate using that word: good. Good is reserved for something you don’t like, but are being polite about. Good is often meaningless, said when you’d rather get through the conversation than truly be heard.

And despite that, good is how Chicago has been. Happy? I’m not bursting. Terrible? Certainly not. Not sad and not joyous, although I’ve felt all of these descriptors at one point or another. Moving has been… good.

And rather than provide a catch-up essay on the details (though highlights include Michael and I moved in together!; We live in the suburbs :/; Finding girlfriends is like dating! and I’ve got some pretty sweet resolutions for 2015), here’s the visual version… Continue reading

Photo Review: 5.4.2014

Hey, Spring. You and I are usually on good terms. I always thought we had a good thing going: You give me warm air and long evenings, and I… well, now that I come to think about it, this may have been a pretty one-sided relationship. But c’mon, no need to ramp up the allergies. Please? Pretty please?
Okay. Now that’s settled, here are the past few weeks, in photos…

Chicago’s answer to the Texas bluebonnet

A visit to Evanston, IL: The upper 50s temperatures had me breaking out my leather jacket, but the Northwestern undergrads were using the occasion to break out their shorts and tank tops. Isn’t relativity amazing?

Banana maple pancakes. Woof.

newspaper flowers

“Spicy Zzolmen” at Oiistar – very much like bibimbap

The most amazing dish: portobello mushroom pan fried in reduced soy sauce – definitely on my list of dishes to recreate. Mmm!

my cute boyfriend

easy, pleasing place setting

evening jog through the hood

spring plantlings

In an effort to use the ingredients in my fridge before I grocery shop, I whipped up a soba noodle dish with seaweed, cashews, Korean spices and fried egg. It was delish!

Daddy bought me champagne flutes!

pancakes this morning

Perry was tickled that I approved so heartily of this tattoo he got on his 70th birthday.

wedding, string lights

Have a great week!

Photo Review: 4.6.2014

Who’s excited for Game of Thrones tonight?! I don’t know about you, but I’m all team Khaleesi. In celebration of the premier of Season 4, Michael said we are going to cook traditional Eastros food… I think that really just means a nice bottle of wine. :)
The last few weeks, in photos…

I did my first pedal party with a group of coworkers. For $45 a person, we pedaled our way through three hours’ worth of bars around Midtown Houston. It was SUPER fun, and my favorite stop was Mongoose versus Cobra, a German-style bar with these amazing pretzels.
Even though it’s still rainy and a little chilly here, the wildflowers have really sprung. It’s illegal to pick them, but I bought this bunch at last weekend’s farmer’s market trip. 

I bought a bike! Last year, Michael got a ton of use out of his bike, and it made me really sad that I was never able to join him. I vowed that this year I’d buy one, so I made true on that promise last weekend. I’ve already gone on a few rides and, besides the soreness on my bum, it’s been great.

breaking in my bike at the Bayou City Art Fest 

my beauty, next to Michael’s

One of my best friends moved across the country on Wednesday. Just before that we celebrated his 27th together… Ray, you will be missed!

hbd

Bluebonnet season never ceases to amaze me.

Do you see it? The perfect spiderweb? It was so complete and impressive I couldn’t take it down… though that will probably change soon.

Michael and I made sushi! Super easy… all about buying quality fish.

Enjoy GoT tonight, and have a great week!

Jackson Hole & Roatan

Hey! It’s been a minute. I’ve got to admit, I’ve been feeling pretty languorous lately. It started when work slowed down in early March, and was exacerbated by my blissful 10-day vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Roatan, Honduras. I kind of just didn’t feel like doing anything, you know?  Here are the trips, in photos…

Jackson sunset

When Michael and I started dating he introduced me to skiing. After four trips over the last three years I’m finally on blues!

tumble

lunch break = frickles

the summit – which I did not ski down

taking the tram back to the base
…and then on to Honduras, where I spent five days with my friend Ray and his family. Sunshine and humidity were the perfect cure for my chapped lips.

giant glass o’ wine + beach

These sunsets!

lots of this

A baggage snafu meant I only brought a purse to Honduras – no worries, though: I had the essentials in my bag (read: passport and swimsuit) and bought this dress by the side of the road.

clear blue

Hot dogs or legs?

Photo Review: 3.9.2014

I feel like I start every one of these posts out with a comment on the weather, or the season. This time I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. The last three weeks, in photos…

bloody

I think it’s time to admit… I’m not a concert person.

Celebratory glass of wine for finishing a year-long project an hour or so early. Well deserved.

fire pit

photo booth

best breakfast: blackberries, goat cheese, fried duck egg on arugula and toast

“green” smoothie

flowers

I got my bird back!

thick drops

morning sunlight

afternoon jog

new mug, breakfast-time

Have a great week!

Photo Review: 2.16.2014

Look at that sunset. Is spring near? It felt like it for the first time in weeks the other day, when I snapped this shot. I know it’s still cold in the Northeast, but in the South we’re coming out of our cold snap, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I’ve come to realize over the years that good weather (read: sunny and hot) is incredibly important for my mood and overall happiness. So (selfishly!) here’s to this trend continuing. And the last two weeks, in photos…

Sautéing farmer’s market veggies in butter, sambal oelek, and red curry paste. Delicious and spicy!

Fruit cleanse success! My dinner all three nights of the cleanse.

I bought my first long dress. I was worried that a long dress would make me look like I was going to prom, but ended up finding this sleek, black and shear BCBG thing. I loooooove it and it is soooo up my alley!

With a touch of red for the Heartball.

Smoothie season – Michael turned me on to my new favorite Jamba Juice flavor (banana berry).

The blue screen of death. Not what you want to see when you have a busy day ahead.

I went for a run twice this week! (And yes, that means I did less – oops, far less – than my prescribed 6-days-a-week of yoga per the 40 Days program.) The weather was so beautiful Friday I just had to get out into it.  Without a dog to walk, running is my excuse.

short weather shorts weather shorts weather shorts weather

Which one doesn’t belong? (p.s. Whole Foods started selling these and my unrefined palate thinks they’re actually totally great.)

Valentine’s Day dinner! This is Michael’s second meal as head chef ever, and he did a fantastic job on this grilled tuna and asparagus.

And what Valentine’s Day would be complete without an assortment of our favorite chocolates?

espresso

My first green smoothie – delicious!

The most manageable food diary ever

At various points in my life, I’ve tried to keep a food diary.  This practice is consistently recommended as a way to be conscious about what we eat, but I’ve never been able to do it.  There’s something about carrying a tiny notebook around with me and pausing at the start of every meal — Just one sec! What’s in this soup? — to record what I’m about to intake that’s just not fun or manageable.  It inevitably lasts for all of about half a day before I throw my hands up and call the project a loss.

So I’m doing it with a camera instead, and the results have been surprisingly awesome.  I get all the benefits — pausing for a second before I inhale my food, and having a record of it afterwards — by doing something I like to do anyway: take pictures.  And when I don’t want to take a picture of what I’m about to eat, it’s a self-check.

Over the next three days, as part of the 40 Days program, I’ll be entering into a three-day “fruit feast.”  For those of you who have been reading this blog from the beginning, you’ll know that I tried this last year with pretty terrible results.  I gave up the feast — in which you only eat fruit — after one day, citing a raging headache as my downfall.

Tomorrow, with the other 40-days yogis at my back, I’m hoping to last this one all the way through.  And with the knowledge that you’re actually supposed to get a headache after the first day — I’m told it’s a signal your body is being detoxed — I think I’ll be able to hold strong, using my electronic food diary as a record of my achievement. Yes, I’m skeptical of the benefits.  But you know what?  That’s okay.

Onward!