Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Redesign

More and more I am getting a feel for what I want to happen and represent me in this little space of mine. Thanks  so much to Lauren from teach pray love design for whipping this up in no time. She was a pleasure to work with and her prices are phenomenal.  She took my vision and made it even better. As I am inept at anything design related and need all the help I can get. As in...All the help.

My phone has been acting all a fool lately and not letting me comment on a lot of blogs. As soon as we get back to Carolina,  my stalking of you all will commence.

And on a side note...I woke up to snow this morning.  What in the ever loving hell, Boston? !?! It is April.  Just no!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Food Trip Continues

On Sunday we woke up early and headed down for breakfast. And for $17, the buffet was well worth it for what they packed in. Plus, all the tazo tea my heart desired. Mid way through the meal I noticed our server looking at me somewhat strangely and after he left and Tony came back from the restroom...I learned that my hair was full of whip cream. What can I was some good stuff. 

We left Easton and headed to a small harbor town of St. Michaels. Another sweet location and so full of vibrant colors and shops. We stopped by the maritime museum for a few quick minutes before heading over to the shops and I hit the jackpot. Our first stop was American Holiday and I was instantly enamored with all the great finds and then I found a book about a murder mystery that takes place in St. Michaels and what do you know, the author was in the shop. Day (and probably week made) After buying the book and chatting for a few minutes we headed to the sister store, Knotty Living. They also had the cutest "dog bar" at lots of shops, where they had treats and water for your pups. I can't wait to write about the book and author!

I have an entire post for this enchanting place, but that is for another day. After a quick cafe stop, we were back en route for Boston. and after taking the bay bridge coming off 301 and running into Sunday traffic, we sat. and sat. and sat some more before deciding that we had to get the h out of dodge and took the next exit and meandered our way through Jersey on all backroads. But before we took the exit, I snapped this picture of an old barn off the turnpike. From the window of our car and on my phone. Funny how it was one of my favorite shots all weekend. and no editing. none, except a small cropping of the lock on his car door;) I just love the rusty colors against the blue sky.

Our backroad experience let us stop off in Princeton, which I haven't been to in years and I took so many photos as it is one of the most picturesque towns/campuses there is. And of course, we grabbed a quick bite at the Italian market next to campus. One of the best chicken parms I have ever had. and they had a jar of nutella the size of a big baby. I wanted to grab it and run. I didn't. And I am still remiss.

Finally, at ten, we arrived in Sharon. Also known as the number 1 small town in America. When money magazine released their rankings last year...I wanted to scream, My husband's pride for his town needed no help;) haha

Monday, April 14, 2014

Eating Our Way Up the East Coast

literally;) well, ok...but almost. We left Raleigh on Friday and headed up for Richmond. We had originally planned to have a weekend with my family for my nephew's baseball tournament, but it was cancelled. Since we had planned to leave for Boston on Sunday, we decided to go ahead with our trip anyways.

The fun part was that we decided to forgo our second night in Richmond and play all of Saturday by ear. What a great decision and you have no idea how much we fit into that one afternoon! I plan on putting a few of the stops into posts of their own, but for is a drive by idea of our weekend!

On the first night, we just grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Savory Grain in Richmond. Their perogies filled with Vermont cheddar were to die for. and their cocktails were insanely delicious. maybe two of the best I have had in a really long time and they used so many Virginia ingredients and ciders, beers, wines and even spirits. Loved it. Go Virginia, Go;)

Saturday we woke up and left our sweet hotel, The Linden Row Inn. Edgar Allan Poe played in the gardens here when he was a boy. History nerd! Then ,before we headed on our way, and after several tries for brunch and the restaurants either being closed or packed, we headed over to Shockoe bottom and the Urban Farmhouse. I love the structure of this place and the ambiance. Usually I am a big fan of their food, but my french toast was nothing to write home about(but apparently enough to write down here, huh) but their mimosas are yum and for whatever reason, the ice makes it better. Normally I would frown upon ice in my mimosa, not here!

Then we got on the road and made the decision that no matter where we ended up, we would find it off the beaten path and not take 95 on the way to Boston. First up was  a Vineyard we spotted in the Northern Neck area of Virgina, Oak Crest. We loved one of their red blends and after grabbing a glass and a bottle for later, back on the road we were. making a quick pit stop in Colonial Beach and this house (the blue and yellow one) which was where Alexander Graham Bell once lived! It is now a bed and breakfast. 

At this point, we made Annapolis our destination and continued on 301/50 and after I screamed that I saw a Carvel, we made a pit stop for a cone and in less than half an hour, we were in Annapolis. Which is one of the most beautiful capital cites you can imagine. And as much as we wanted to stay the night, there was a famous croquet match that takes place between the Naval Academy and nearby St. Johns...and after two hours of dealing with the rudest and drunkest people I have ever dealt with outside of a frat party, we left and headed elsewhere. 

Here is where I can happily say how this turned into an amazing adventure and I may have found my new favorite town! We ended up in Easton, MD and to be as small as it is, the shops and restaurants and the arts in general are incredible. We had fantastic dinner and drinks again. this time at Docs, thanks to the recommendations of Miss Kristin! We stayed at the sweetest hotel, The Tidewater Inn. The porch was enough to lure me in and I was completely done in by the fan in the room. More hotels should do this!

And wow, that was just Saturday and this has become entirely too long to also post about Sunday, so I will finish it off tomorrow. How was your weekend? Any special plans?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pollen...Get To Going

Being as how Raleigh is coined the "City of Oaks" and all, pollen is a familiar foe to most of us that live here.  For me, it is usually in the form of a lovely greenish yellow covering on my car and the ground for a good few months. For others, it is the sign that breathing is very much a privilege and not always a right. And that just ain't... right.

I haven't had allergies(other than food) for over 25 years. This past week my body determined that I had been breathing easy for far too long and set out to remedy this. The symptoms came out of nowhere and, at first, I thought I was getting sick. I was coughing a weird cough but no other symptoms and then when I woke up on Tuesday, my throat felt like I had swallowed battery acid. The last time I remembered that excruciating of  pain was when I had my tonsils removed.  I headed straight for the doctor and a few minutes in they mention how swollen my tonsils were...

This is where I remind you about how I said I already had my tonsils out... I looked at the doctor and told her that we had a bigger problem than my throat as I didn't realize regeneration was a possibility. She did a double take and looked again. At this point I wanted my other doctor. You know, the one who has some semblance of what tonsils look like. But I digress...

It was determined my allergies are back and with a vengeance. Eff that. I have spent all winter wishing it away for the glorious blue skies and flowers blooming everywhere. Luckily, other than my throat and an intermittent hacking cough, mine was a mild case. Let me take this moment to grieve with all of you that are severe allergy sufferers. How do you guys even deal with it? I honestly pity you. 

So this week my confessions are to hating pollen and allergies. But, not Spring. I love everything about spring and I can't imagine having to fear it. So rather than complaining about my short lived plight...I am going to  offer virtual hugs to those of you that are completely done in by the layer of green, dust death. I would invite you to visit me, but you won't be safe until June. No wonder so many of you crave the rain showers. I get it now. I really get it! and I am so sorry! I have a new appreciation for those of you who suffer for months. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hosting With The Mosting

We love hosting and after a a hiatus because of pesky sicknesses or travel, we were finally able to work all of our schedules out. Last year, some couples that we hang out with all decided to host neighborhood dinners. Each couple would rotate on a monthly basis. It is a nice way to get to see each other and enjoy different foods...and the bonus is that it is within walking distance. Wine is even better this way;) And since we hosted this go round, I was gifted with a some of my favorite flowers! Thanks again, Tharina!

Even now that a few couples have moved, we all still participate and have invited a few new couples to the crew and it is a cross town dinner group. I love any excuse to cook and recently, so does Tony. I am not sure about how it works for you guys...but multiple cooks in a kitchen can be a war in the making. I have lots of girl nights that I get to whip up meals in the kitchen for and I decided it was only fair to let him take charge this time. He decided on making a bolognese from scratch and I was given the task of making meatballs. It was my first time, but I handled it alright. A few of them didn't make it from the pan and fell apart on their way to the sauce. Rude.

But the funny part about Tony is that he goes all out. He grabs the drink bucket, has 5 types of beer, different sodas and a plethora of coffee. He poured everyone wine when their glasses were empty, kept the beers coming. Set up an entire table of appetizers and had candles burning. This is what you get from a 6'5 former football player.  My reign of hostest once again was overtaken, then he began cleaning and I decided he could have the honors, fair and square. Cooking, all day, every, no thanks!

In his defense, he gets his desire to feed everyone in sight fair and square. He is half Italian and half Lebanese. They are known for a few things, wine and food are somewhat up there. The only problem when he gets hold of the kitchen, he usually cooks enough to feed 15 families when there are 8 of us. This is why my bum has grown exponentially these past few years. Somebody save me.

Do any of you guys have a neighborhood dinner club? One of my favortie nights each month. I really want to start a game night soon. That is one of my loves. But if you beat're not welcome back.