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Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date

Since T and I have been dating since high school, we never really went on a first date.   We had classes together and crushed on each other, and ended up making out in the woods during a drunken field party behind his house.  Who would have thought that we’d eventually get married.  One of these days I need to tell you the whole story of how we got together.  It’s really quite special.

If money and traveling were no option, my perfect first date would be to spend the day strolling through Paris.  After seeing the city, we’d back a picnic with fresh baguettes, cheese, wine and chocolate and have a picnic in the grass by the Eiffel tower, where we’d watch the sun set and the stars come out.

How amazingly romantic would that be?  🙂

Woo-hoo, I’m actually posting something.

Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.

My giant cupcake and me

I took this picture of myself yesterday after I finished my lunch.  There is this cute little coffee place by my office that also sells lunch items, so we swung by to get some takeout.  At the register, I was lured in by a plate of delicious looking cupcakes.  Turns out they were Gigi’s Cupcakes, so I had to get one.

I chose Carmel Sugar Mama and was it ever tasty.  My only complaint is that there is so much icing on these little guys.  It looks so pretty, but I always feel bad wasting it. The cupcake did help brighten my afternoon, especially since I felt like I was coming down with something (scratchy throat and headache).

After work, I swung by Target to get some household items and stumbled across some cute shirts on sale, so I ended up buying them too! 🙂 When I was finished shopping, T and I decided to grab Korean BBQ tacos from our favorite little place by our house.  They are amazing!

Hankook Tacos - Crispy Shrimp Taco and Special Buffalo Chicken Taco

We ended the evening by watching Date Night.  If you haven’t seen it, I totally recommend it.  It’s hilarious.  We were laughing so hard.  At one point I was almost in tears!

Hello bloggy woggy, sorry I’ve neglected you.

Can you believe the holiday season is practically upon us?  I don’t know about you, but it drives me insane when I see Christmas decorations out before Halloween.  The retail industry has taken some of the magic out of the holiday by making it all about gift buying.  Before you know it, Christmas trees will start popping up in July.  Anyways…

Here are some random thoughts and ramblings.

Halloween has come and gone.  JD and I threw another successful Spooktacular.  I can’t believe this was our fourth one!  T and I went with a 20s theme for our costumes and dressed as a flapper and a gangster.  I’m not going to lie, but I thought we looked really cute!

My 28th birthday is on Monday, and I will officially be in the back end of my late 20s.  It’s crazy to think about.  I was flipping through a photo album last night and stumbled across some old photos of Little S and me, and we were so young.  Then I found ones of T and me, and we were such babies.  It’s funny to see how much or little you’ve changed over the years.

~

In honor of my birthday, T and I are making a weekend trip to Asheville.  I am really excited.  We will see leaves, stay in a cute B&B, go out to a nice dinner, and just have an all around amazing time.  I. Can’t. Wait.

~

Since I will be out of town on my actual birthday, I’m getting together with some family and friends on Friday night for a birthday dinner.  We are going to Abattoir, and I can’t wait to check out the menu.  I’ve heard a lot of really great things about the restaurant, and T and I have been meaning to go for quite some time now.  I’m glad we’ll finally get to experience it with friends and family.

~

I swear I’m not a total birthday whore, but we are also going to see Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo next Tuesday.  Every review I’ve read about it says that the show is amazing.  I love that Cirque always happens to make a stop in Atlanta right around my birthday.  It’s so convenient.

~

After three years of growing out my hair, I finally decided to cut it shorter again.  I like the convenience of having long hair and being able to pull it up easily, but I like the way short, layered hair looks on me.  My hair is just too fine and thin for it to look stunning long.

2-year anniversary dinner - hair at its longest

New shorter hair

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And finally…you all know how much I like to cook.  Well, the other night I was chopping up some parsley for the spaghetti we were making and thinking to myself, I have pretty awesome knife skills, when the worst possible thing happened.  I sliced into my finger, pretty badly.  I cut into the side of my finger, then sliced through the nail.  Yeah, I know.  It was not pretty.  My poor left hand and arm keeps bearing the brunt of my knife-related injuries.  The worst part of it all, I had just honed the blade, so it was extra sharp.  My poor little finger.  So much for getting a birthday manicure this weekend…

I almost cut half of the nail right off =(

Dear T,

Two years ago today, I remember waking up with butterflies in my stomach and looking over to watch you sleep a few more minutes.  This was our last morning as two separate people, fiancés.  Later that day, we would be united and become a family, forever and always.

It’s sort of weird when I think about how much time has passed since we got married.  It feels like it was just yesterday when we were sitting in our dining room enjoying a romantic meal, and you dropped down on one knee to propose.  We were both so happy and crying tears of joy.  Now it has been two years since we exchanged our vows.

We’ve been through good times and bad.  We’ve fought hard, but loved harder still.  Everyday I think about how lucky I am to have you in my life, and I am so glad my family moved to New York 11 years ago so we could meet.

We’ve known each other for so long and been through so many milestones, and I can’t wait to see where the next steps take us.

Happy anniversary babe!  Love you!

Last night, T and I went to the Fox Theater to see Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour, and it was hilarious.  The tickets were a birthday present to T from my parents and me (unfortunately we waited way too long to order tickets, so we had to fork over the big bucks to get the tickets on Stub Hub, but I’m so glad we did!).

I wasn’t quite sure exactly where we would be sitting when I ordered them, but I knew we’d be pretty far back.  Well, we were in the very last row of the theater, but at least we were closer to the middle than the sides.   Unfortunately, it was like 95 degrees in Atlanta yesterday, and apparently the AC doesn’t like to blow its frosty goodness up to the poor people in the last row.  We were dying up there – it seriously felt like we were sitting outside.  Luckily Conan’s hilarity distracted us from the heat.

I never realized that the Atlanta show was the last stop of the tour, so I feel like everyone was putting in all they had so they could end the tour with a bang!  The night started off with Reggie Watts, who is the master of voices,  sounds and kooky songs.  I couldn’t figure out which of his “voices” was actually they way he really spoke – they were all that good.  He was a good choice to get everyone revved up for Conan.

When Conan came on stage, everyone went insane.  He hyped up Atlanta a lot (and he better since we are the home of the TBS HQ – maybe that means we’ll be seeing him around these parts more often?).  Conan had us all dying with laughter with his jokes, his songs (I never realized just how musically talented he was – he’s a real rock star), his crazy props (the inflate-a-bat was my favorite), and of course, the Chuck Norris lever  (“I don’t think Walker (Texas Ranger) has the authority to go around dropping the AIDS bomb on kids.”).

I was so glad to see some of his Late Show regulars and characters as well – Andy Richter, LaBamba (I love that guy), Triumph, and The Masturbating Bear.  Some of Atlanta’s own also made it on stage to help pull the Chuck Norris lever – Evander Holyfield (so awkward, yet so funny) and Jack McBrayer (from 30 Rock).  We were also all stoked when Conan ran through the aisles, playing the guitar and giving high fives during the finale of the show.  He made it to the bottom half of the balcony – we could see him fairly clearly from our seats! 🙂

I totally had a brainfart before we left the house, or I would have brought my camera so I could have taken some pictures.   We were so far up that the pictures I took on my cell didn’t really come out.

There was one major annoying thing that took place (besides the heat) at the show though.  A few rows ahead of us were three people – two girls and a guy that were absolutely hammered.  The guy maintained composure; the girls not so much – let’s call them Wastey Face and Drunktard.  At one point, someone was trying to walk back to his seat with drinks in his hand.  As he was stepping over Wastey Face (she couldn’t be bothered to stand to let him by), some of his drink sloshed out of the cup and landed on her bare leg and sandal (it’s not like it ruined anything).  She freaked out and would not stop bitching and yelling about it. It was obviously an accident so get over it.  At one point after the spill, she and Drunktard went to the bathroom so she could clean up.  Instead of going quietly, she was bitching and yelling the whole way.  It was so annoying because Reggie was on stage and her whining was drowning him out.

At some point when Conan was on stage, she had another freak out and was standing behind the last row, where T and I were sitting, and was literally screaming to Drunktard about how someone had pissed her off.  This went on for at least a couple of minutes and was so distracting.  Finally I couldn’t deal with it anymore and I turned around and told them to shut the fuck up and sit down. This got them quieted down and they eventually sat back down.  Later into the show, I noticed Wastey Face completed passed out cold – like draped across the seat next to her.  I was so glad.  If you can’t handle your booze, don’t go out in public and be a nuisance to everyone else!  I wonder how they got her out of there…

I’m super excited that T and I were able to go see Conan live, and we can’t wait  till his show gets started on TBS!  Did any of you get to go to any of his shows?

Our little five-day trip to New York was a blast.  We managed to do some fun things with both family and friends and got to see everyone we wanted to at least a couple of times.  I always like going up when it’s not Christmas because everyone is so busy doing the family thing that it’s hard to spend time with all of our friends.  Plus the weather is so much nicer in May, especially this year.

We got to T’s parents’ house right at midnight on Wednesday/Thursday, which wasn’t too bad.  Of course right when we walked through the door, we were greeted with an array of wine, which we sat up drinking with the family until 4 a.m.  It was fun to chat up with his parents and little brothers and catch up.

Thursday morning we woke up and decided to go eat lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, which has such a beautiful campus.  If only I’d known how much I’d love cooking when I had lived up there, maybe I would have considered attending school there.  We went to Al Forno, the casual Italian restaurant for pizza.  Since there was an open kitchen, we could watch the chef preparing our gourmet pies.  I opted for the Parma-Tomato, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Arugula pizza, and it was delicious!  The crust was so light and airy and the toppings offered the perfect combination of savory and spicy.

After lunch, we decided to hit up the Walkway over the Hudson, which T’s dad has been trying to get us on since it opened.  We really didn’t want to go when we up there in the winter because we figured it would be cold and miserable.  It was a niceish day when we went, but of course when we were halfway across, a storm started blowing in so it got really dark and windy.  Since the weather was looking kind of sketchy, we decided to only go halfway across.  It was really cool to be up there and be able to see for miles in both directions.  I’d definitely go there to walk if I lived up there – the breeze is refreshing and the view is amazing.

Notice my hair from the wind?

On Friday, we went to the Yankees game.  We rented a van and gathered 13 of our friends and family and piled in for the two-hour trek to the city.  When we first got on the road, the van started sputtering and bucking, then the check engine light came on.  Everyone was worried we wouldn’t make it down to the city, so we ended up having to switch out the van.  An hour after our planned departure time, we were on the road.  Unfortunately, the AC didn’t really work too well, so we had to make the whole trip with the windows down.  Luckily we had some drinkies to make the ride a little smoother.

We tailgated for a little while before heading into the game.  Since there were so many of us, we’d gotten seats in the bleacher section.  We were all laughing and having a good time when one of T’s bros stepped on a ketchup packet and it sprayed about 30 people (one ketchup package did quite some damage).  People were pissed, there was almost a brawl, and the whole section was chanting “throw out the asshole.”  Yeah, it was awesome – of course I missed all of the drama because I was in the bathroom and only returned to see the aftermath.  Since people were pissy, and we weren’t 100% invested in the game, I took Ketchup Bro to the car where we had a couple of beers and bonded while we waited for everyone to get out of the game.

Happy at the game before the ketchup explosion

Saturday was T’s dad’s birthday, so we hung out on the patio with some cocktails.  At one point T’s dad brought out his guitar and played for a while.  This inspired T to bust out his old sax and try to play a little too.  Unfortunately neither one of us really remembered how to read music, so he wasn’t too successful, but we had a great time.

Later that night we tried a new place for dinner – Stephano’s Ristorante.  It was this teeny, tiny little restaurant and it was pretty crammed with people.  The food was good, but the portions were gigantic.  I almost had a heart attack when they brought out my single serving of zuppa de pesce that looked like it could feed a family of four!  They had to box my leftovers in a catering foil pan, that’s how much was left!

My leftovers seriously weighed like 10 pounds

Sunday was pretty chill.  We went to brunch at this place we’d never been to – Shadows on the Hudson – for T’s uncle’s birthday.  We sat on the patio and had a nice view of the Hudson while we stuffed our faces.  Then we spent the afternoon visiting with his mom’s parents and brother and sister.  Later that night, we had our friends over for a goodbye barbecue, where T and I prepared the food.  Not to toot my own horn, but people were raving about our food.

Sadly on Monday we had to fly back to head back to work.  We had a late afternoon flight, so we were hoping that we’d be able to get back to Atlanta at a decent time and hang out with friends.  That was wishful thinking…apparently there were crazy thunderstorms all up and down the east coast, so we were severely delayed.  We sat on the plane for about 2 hours before we were able to take off.  It was a really annoying way to end an otherwise amazing trip.

And in honor of such a New Yorkie post, I wanted to share a picture that I took this weekend during a party that JD hosted – I’m totally channeling my inner guidette!

Check out our big hair, fake nails, and smoky eyes!

Thanks to T, I had an extremely short week last week.  We were off Thursday, Friday, and Monday of Memorial Day weekend because of our trip to New York.  It was a whirlwind few days, but it was a lot of fun.  Then I had this past Friday off because T was getting Lasik.

Let me tell you, that was an interesting experience.  Friday morning, JD and I (she was nice enough to come to keep me company) dropped T off at the eye center and decided to grab some lunch while he was prepped for the surgery.  Of course we had impeccable timing and made it back right as he was headed into the operating room.  My poor baby looked a little nervous and twitchy as he was waiting for things to get started, but he kept his cool.

As JD and I were sitting there chatting, wondering if we were going to be able to actually see what was happening with his eyes, the doctor walked by and let us know that we could watch the whole thing on the TV that was situated in the operating room.  We were excited and a little skeeved out by the idea of seeing lasers shoot into T’s eyes, but of course we watched anyway (btw – you can’t actually see the lasers shooting into his eyes).

The whole experience was short, about 15 minutes long from start to finish, and slightly creepy.  He opted to go the completely machined route instead of having the doctor cut his cornea open because he thought there was less room for error this way.  After his corneal flap was detached, the doctor folded it down so the laser could be shot into his cornea to reshape it.  After the laser, the doctor flipped the flap back up there and smoothed it into place.  The whole cornea removal and replacing process was so bizarre.  In case you are curious, a cornea-less eyeball looks very melon-like in texture.

When the surgery was done, one of the nurses walked him across the room and had T read the clock and he was able to.  And it was literally only a few minutes after the surgery.  I was impressed at how quickly the whole process went down.  We had to sit around for about 30-45 minutes after the surgery before we could go home, just so the doctor could make sure everything was fine with his eyes.

The doctor told him it would be best to go home and nap for at least four hours to give his eyes a chance to rest and heal, but of course he wasn’t able to fall asleep.  Being the trooper he was, he just hung out with us with his eyes closed during that time.  This meant he needed some assistance to get around the house, but after a while he was able to do it alone.  Around 5:30 that night, he was finally able to open his eyes.  It was so cute because he was so happy and emotional about being able to see unassisted for the first time in 15 years.

So far, everything is good. During his follow up appointment, the doctor said everything was healing nicely and all looked well.

I’m so happy for my baby and his new special eyes.

Well, well.  Apparently I’m a blogging machine today! I’m about to have a 5-day weekend, which will be spent in New York, visiting friends, going to a Yankees game, and eating and drinking like champs.  I. Can’t. Wait!  Mentally I have checked out (sorry work), but I still have to get through today and tomorrow.  But I had the urge to write some posts on my lunch break, so by God I am doing it.

Friday night, T and I decided to go on a date night.  It’d been a minute since the two of us had gone out for dinner alone, so we thought it would be a nice way to start the weekend.  A few weekends ago, we’d been watching Chef’s vs. City All Star Atlanta.  One of the first stops on the show was Holeman & Finch Public House, which both T and I had been hearing great things about.  Catching a glimpse of the inside of the place during the show inspired us to get our butts there.  The show highlighted their famous house-made burger (they only make 24 a night and start serving them at 10 p.m.), but T and I were intrigued by the rest of the offal-centric (aka, the parts you don’t normally think to eat) menu.

Being German, means that I have been exposed to some more odd foods in my lifetime, so I guess you could say I’m slightly adventurous when it comes to certain foods, and the older I get, the more experimental I’ve become.

The place is very intimate and they don’t take reservations, so I’d recommend getting there early.  We arrived around 7:45 and were seated right away.  When you walk in, you are greeted by a glass-enclosed kitchen so you can see the chefs doing what they do best – making some damn tasty dishes!  We were seated by the window, which is great since we love to people watch!

As soon as we settled in, we dove right into the menu.  The dishes are served tapas-style, so they are great for sharing and it means you can sample a variety of items.  While we were perusing our options, we ordered some cocktails.  I opted for the Cloak and Swagger, a mixture of aviation gin, canton ginger liqueur, lemon juice + angostura bitters. It was a very refreshing and summery cocktail, perfect for a hot day.  T chose the the angora sweater, which is a mixture of myer’s platinum rum, campari, dolin blanc vermouth, fresh ginger, orange juice + peychauds bitters.  His had a bit of a bitter bite to it, which is not my style, but he really enjoyed it.

After careful consideration, we decided on four dishes – two from the Plates section and two from the Parts section.  We started the meal with the pot of chicken pate with honey/apple cider jelly and toast, and it was to die for.  It was so rich, creamy and flavorful.  We seriously could have eaten 10 of those little pots!  Following that, we were brought the hand chopped steak tartare with a farm egg, house-made creole mustard, and shoestring potatoes.  To be honest, I was a little skeptical about the tartare.  I’d never eaten it and was curious as to how tasty raw steak could really be.  Let me tell you something, I loved it.  It sort of reminded me of sushi texture-wise, and it had such an amazing flavor – it was creamy yet packed a little bit of a bite from the mustard, and the shoestring potatoes added a nice crunch.  I really enjoyed it.

For the second half of our meal, we ordered the griddled pork belly with anson mills grits and chow chow, and the gratin of marrow with parsley salad and country bread.  Both of these dishes were delicious, but I liked the first two items much better.  I am a huge fan of bone marrow and have been eating it for years before it was the hot new thing to try, and the marrow we had here was different from any other kind I’ve eaten before.  This seemed a little more gelatinous than I was used to, but it still had a great flavor.  The pork belly was tasty, but I have to say that I liked Kevin’s at Woodfire Grill a little bit more.  But the grits were amazing; so creamy and rich.  Yum!

If you are ever in Atlanta and feel adventurous, I’d definitely recommend Holeman & Finch.  T and I are planning to make a return visit with my parents one day to sample the whole pig’s head and of course try the famous burger!

I was going to mention our Saturday food adventures in honor of my mom’s birthday, but I just realized that I wrote quite the novel.  So, I guess I’ll save it for another day.

I may or may not post tomorrow before jetting up to Po-town for a weekend of fun with friends and T’s family.  If I don’t get a chance to write, I’ll see you on the flip side lovelies! 🙂

I am so thrilled that spring is finally here!  I am so over the cold and damp weather we’ve had this year so far.  BTW 2010, I’m not impressed.  The 10 day outlook is marvelous – 70s all around.  I can’t wait to spend the weekend outside, soaking up the sun and basking in spring’s glory.

That’s why I was annoyed as hell when I went to bed last night, and my throat was scratchy.  By the time I woke up this morning, it really hurt.  And as the day progresses, it keeps getting a little worse.  Add in an achy neck and a headache, and I’m in tip-top shape over here.  I’m sure by the time I get home tonight, I will just collapse onto the couch in a sniffly, whiny mess.

Normally I try to look on the brighter side of being sick, namely meaning that I may end up with a day off to veg at home while trying to recover, but this time around it’s just hard.  We’re going to see Third Eye Blind tomorrow night, and I really don’t want to bail because I’m sick (plus I already bought the $30 ticket…).

Friday night, T and I are planning on going to Abattoir for his early birthday dinner with just the two of us.  It’s Atlanta’s answer to whole-animal cuisine and is very meat centric, so I definitely don’t want to be sick and have to postpone it.  Saturday, we are going to my parents for Easter and will be celebrating T’s actual birthday with a family fondue dinner – noms – and I’m sure copious amounts of German beer will be consumed!

My co-worker had a cold last week (which is who I’m assuming I may have caught it from because I hung out with both her and her roommate last week, and they both had it) and said there was only one really bad day – fever, aches, chills – but then she felt better and has just been coughing and stuffy.  If that’s all it is, I’m pretty sure I can deal with it.  But fingers crossed that it doesn’t get that far.  Now excuse me as I go chug some Airborne.

Oh and by the way, Chelsea Handler was awesome!  She and Heather McDonald had everyone cracking up and howling with laughter.  I know the tickets aren’t cheap, but if you have the chance to go, do it!  Seriously.  No ifs, ands or buts.

And speaking of comedy, Conan O’Brien is coming to Atlanta in June, and T and I want to go.  I was planning on getting him tickets as his birthday present.  The only thing stopping me is that tickets appear to be sold out – lame.  This means we’ll have to get them off Stubhub or from scalpers, and they will be way more expensive (and they aren’t cheap to begin with).  It really annoys me how people are allowed to buy up a ton of tickets, then jack the prices way up and sell them.  Scalpers, why don’t you go get a real job and leave the tickets for the fans who actually want to see the show and aren’t trying to make a quick buck?  Hate…

On Thursday night, T and I decided to venture out to Buckhead to go to dinner.  Since it was Buckhead Restaurant Week, we opted to try out Tom Colicchio’s Craft.  We were both excited to dine at the Top Chef judge’s Atlanta hot-spot.  The restaurant is located in the heart of Buckhead, surrounded by high-rise office buildings and condos.  Upon entering in the glass front doors, you are immediately greeted by the smell of  a wood burning oven – I don’t know about you, but I just love that smell.

We were seated in the upstairs dining room, right by the staircase, which is always a fun spot because both T and I like to people watch.  The decor was classy and chic, featuring lots of warm wood accents, large windows, and unique lighting – individual filament light bulbs that gave off just the perfect amount of glow.   We were both starving, so we jumped right into perusing the menu to find the perfect meal for our date night.  Of course we both immediately found dishes that we were dying to try, so the discounted restaurant week menu went right out the window.  We started off our meal with cocktails – T with his standard dirty martini and me with a Sunshine Squeeze #1, a tasty blend of vodka, fresh ginger, cane syrup and fresh lemon and lime juice.  This is definitely the perfect springtime or summer cocktail, and I will totally try to recreate it at home on of these days!

We decided it would be best to share an appetizer and each order an entrée and a side since the food is served to share if you’d like.  T really wanted to sample the Veal Sweetbreads, so I agreed.  I was a little nervous about eating them, since I’ve only had them one other time, but I am so glad we did (you just can’t think about what you’re eating, and you’ll be A-Okay).  They were delicious!  T and I agreed that they were our favorite item of our dinner.  They were served in a sweet and tangy sauce with kumquats in it as well.  It was the perfect blend of sweet and savory, and I could seriously eat them once a week!

For our main meal, T opted to have the Colorado Lamb Loin & Shoulder and the Winter Squash & Pancetta Risotto, while I went with the Muscovy Duck Breast & Confit Leg and the Gnocchi.  If I could have a do-over, I would do it here.  The confit leg was delicious, but I wasn’t 100 percent in love with the duck breast.  It was cooked medium, which was a little weird for me since I’ve only ever eaten duck well-done.  If I could go back, I would ask for it to be cooked well.  The texture of the breast was a little rubbery since it was medium, which I had a hard time getting over.  I loved the flavor of the seasoning and sauce, but I just couldn’t get past the texture and the fact that it wasn’t well-done.  T’s lamb was really delicious and the medium cooking temperature was perfect for his dish.  I also think it would have been better if we’d have chosen one veggie and one starch, instead of two starches for our sides.  T’s risotto was really rich and delicious.  The gnocchi was so soft and pillowy, but I would have liked them to be a little saltier and saucier.

My duck with the risotto and gnocchi

T’s lamb, gnocchi and risotto

Overall, we both really enjoyed ourselves and the food (even though the price tag was a bit of a killer).  I think we’ll go back one of these days to try some of the other tasty morsels on the menu.  Maybe we’ll even venture to Craftbar, located downstairs, for some more casual and delicious dining.

Have you eaten anywhere amazing lately?

**Keep your eyes peeled – in the next few weeks, this little blog will be hosting its very first giveaway!  Details to come…**

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