Weekend Things & My 29th Birthday

Today is my actual birthday but it’s felt like my birthday since last Thursday because since then, I’ve gotten a new car (!), had dinner at Linger (!), enjoyed a backyard movie night (!) and picnicked at City Park Jazz (!).  And all big exciting happenings aside, there’s also been like a million smaller things that have just made me feel extremely happy.  The end of 28 was simply amazing, so here’s to an equally lovely start to 29!

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Hi, here’s me looking like my happiest self because I’m now in possession of a brand new Subaru Crosstrek!  Mainly I’m excited about the touchscreen audio system, the backup camera, the all-wheel drive, the seat warmers, the moon roof, the new car smell.  So basically everything 🙂  I’m also the last person in the family to drive a Subaru, so it’s been a long time coming!

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Friday night, we headed to Linger for a birthday dinner.  I only made the reservation like 3 months ago, don’t worry about it.  Debated going to El Five again but the dinner menu at Linger looked so good (an entire bao bun section, guys!) and of all the Edible Beats restaurants, it just has the most special place in my heart.

Sort of wished our food hadn’t come out so fast because we were in and out in less than an hour and it made me feel like the whole experience was rushed but NO COMPLAINTS about the food because that India Cone Salad was an incredible compilation of flavors/textures (and most importantly, it involved HALOUMI CHEESE ♥), the two buns were unique and delicious and I made a last minute decision to order the (unpictured) lamb kabobs instead of the pork because: LAMB.

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Let me tell you about Saturday, because it was a perfect day.  We woke up, had breakfast and some ease-into-the-morning time, then hopped on our bikes and made our way to the Farmers’ Market.  Not going to lie, by the time we got there it was A) SO HOT and B) SO CROWDED.  So while my #1 thought was “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” I’m going to focus on the fact that I got out with peaches, shishitos, cherry tomatoes and a mini pie.

We were seriously debating fitting in a trip to the MCA but it has come to my attention that I am what my sister refers to as “an overbooker,” and honestly, it did sound kind of nice to just chill out at home and do mostly nothing, so that’s what we did.  There was lunch in the backyard, lots of reading time, garden gazing, a real leisurely trip to the grocery store, even a nap!  Who am I??  Also, please know our doggy had to have two teeth removed last week and I know we should feel bad for him, but he looks so silly without those two teeth!

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We made our fav broccoli tacos for dinner and without that trip to the MCA, I even had plenty of time to make tortillas!  It rained while we were cooking and I was sad because it seemed like any outdoor evening plans were off the table but the storm was in and out and actually made it the perfect temperature for dinner al fresco and backyard movie night.  My heart was so so happy as we settled into the hammock with out pup, popcorn and pillows.  Watched The Usual Suspects and don’t think I didn’t have serious misgivings about watching a Kevin Spacey movie.  Still, the story was good and the end of Scary Movie makes so much more sense now 😛

Perfect night ♥

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We got up Sunday for a 5-mile run and it was seriously hot already at 7:30 AM, ugh!  Afterward, Joey went to get us iced coffee and I used the rest of the challah to make more French toast.  We left the bread out over night so it could dry out a bit and it turned out to be our best batch yet!  Some time later, Joey headed outside to do whatever it is he does out there mow the lawn and I stayed inside to make Cobb salads and then I decided we should paint the Little Free Library (!!!!!) my parents gave me for my birthday.  I was like “are these the spontaneous decisions people who haven’t pre-booked every minute of their weekend do?!”  It’s a pretty sky blue now and all it needs is white trim, some stencil work, oh and that putting it into the ground part.

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Spent the evening at City Park Jazz and it was perfect!  Well except the brief wind scare when we first got there and the fact that we forgot plates and Joey’s Yeti koozie, but it all still felt perfect to me.  We gave serious consideration to each and every one of those jams/mustards and decided the red pepper jelly, blue cheese herb mustard and wild Main blueberry were the best.  Shared that teensy blueberry-lemon pie for dessert then scooted out so we could be home in time to watch Big Brother and read in bed.

If today is even half as good as this entire weekend was, I’ll call it a monumental success.  And considering I already opened the best presents from Joey and Andi this morning and we have plans to watch The Big Lebowski at Film on the Rocks tonight, I have every reason to believe it will be ♥

The 3rd of July

Right now, my brain is a jumble of thoughts like, “wait, what day is it??”  “Which member of the family has a teeth cleaning today??”  “Will I have this headache forever??”  “Were the past three days real or just a perfect dream??”  We spent two days in a tiny house village and it was the most entertaining!  Bobby and Becca got married and the wedding was SO perfect!   The 4th of July was low key, with spur of the moment dessert plans and our dog didn’t give a $&!% about firework noises.  So despite how discombobulated I feel, everything is actually very fine and good.

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The wedding was in Lyons, so Joey and I decided to make a mini-vacation of it and spend a few nights up there.  We headed up Monday night, where we proceeded to check into our tiny house and were SO delighted by it!  I think we’d been there all of two minutes when I proclaimed “I live here now!”  In all seriousness, staying here was the most fun… but only for two nights 😛

Afterwards, we walked to dinner.  We had our hearts SET on this taqueria for WEEKS but found out that morning that it’s closed on Mondays!  WHY?!  But it was okay because Oskar Blues was our back up and despite it’s mediocre star rating on Yelp, it was actually really great.  I loved my beer and the fish tacos were perfectly fried and had an amazing buttermilk sauce.  Only acted slightly like children when we got back to our tiny house but to be fair, any space with a ladder, is a space not to take yourself too seriously in.

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Saturday morning, we walked over to The Stone Cup and had an impressive-for-a-coffee-shop breakfast of Huevos Rancheros x2 then did a little bit of exploring at the LaVern M. Johnson Park.  That water was FRIGID, but it was very hot outside and we could not bear the thought of walking all the way back to our village so we forded the river, like the true adventurers we are.  We also walked into town so Joey could eat a triple scoop of ice cream (“you only let me have three scoops yesterday!” is a real thing he said to me the next day…) but mostly the day was really low-key and I even finished Order of the Phoenix and moved onto Half-Blood Prince!

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The wedding started at 4 PM and what can I say except that it was PERFECT ♥  So well organized, so pretty (The Lyons Farmette is just lovely!) and just so full of love.  Not to be too sappy, but witnessing this couple’s love for each other and all their family and friends’ love for them was truly incredible.  I felt so honored to be a part of it and just so happy for the two of them.  Also drank approximately 50 glasses of wine, danced to Backstreet Boys, petted an alpaca and just had thee most fun.

Also, Marriage Advice: Find someone who wants to act a fool on the dance floor as much as you do!

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Honestly, this 4th of July felt so weird!  Everyone on was out celebrating and I just felt like “but the big celebration was yesterday!”  Our 4th of July felt like a haphazardly thrown together afterthought, but that being said, it was actually really great.  A couple of weeks ago I was considering prepping some ribs ahead of time so we could grill but then Joey told me he’d round up a few meal options and we could just decide day-of what we felt like.  HE’S A GODSEND.

We ended up feeling like pizza so, after picking up breakfast burritos for the road, retrieving Andi from my parents, inspecting our garden (snap peas looking good!) and resting for a bit, we headed to Whole Foods for pizza ingredients and made the spontaneous decision to try no-churn ice cream for dessert.  It all turned out even better than expected!  We did one red sauce/mozzarella/roasted garlic/black olive/basil pizza and one olive oil/mozzarella/fig/goat cheese/arugula/walnut pizza (+ shishitos grilled to perfection) and I loved both so much.  Plus, the ice cream turned out SO GOOD.  It was MEGA-CREAMY and we threw some peppermint extract (1 teaspoon) and mini chocolate chips in.  This feels life-changing!  Also, our neighbors set off fireworks late into the night but Andi didn’t even lift his head at any of them.  THANK GOD.

I hope you all had the best 4th of July but for me, it was all about the 3rd 🙂