4th of July Snapshots

Another 4th of July Weekend has come and gone and I am legitimately sad.  Say it ain’t so!  Somehow it managed to feel both sooo long and way too short, jam-packed and delightfully relaxing, filled with friend/family time but also with time for just Joey and I.  I absolutely adore that long weekends give you time to pretty much do it all.  All the things that make your heart happy, your belly full and your life fulfilled.

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We ditched out of work a bit early on Friday so we could make a liquor store run, clean the beer brewing equipment and mix up some spinach-turkey burgers before Bobby and Becca came over for the First Ever Beer Collaboration event!  Bobby wanted to try brewing on a bigger scale and we wanted to try all-grain brewing, so it was a good tradeoff for everyone.  Also, Huni got to have a puppy play date with their dog Louie so it was a win all around.  I’m super excited to see how the beer turns out.  It’s already fermenting away in the basement!

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Saturday morning, we woke up, walked to grab iced coffee, spotted some cute little fuchsia orchids and made pancakes.  Er, I made pancakes while Joey and Huni relaxed on the couch.  I know that sounds like a pretty routine weekend morning, but seriously this is all it takes for me to feel all the happiness.  Afterwards, we biked to the Farmers’ Market, bought some shishito peppers and heirloom tomatoes and even ran into Kate!

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The big event of the afternoon was a surprise birthday party for my brother!  He was so genuinely shocked and appreciative and I was like “why am I so short?!” was so happy to be part of a celebration for one of my favorite people in the whole world.  My sister-in-law is so amazing to have put this perfect little party together.  Love them both!

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Post-“SURPRISE!” there was food, presents, cake, blue tongues and backyard fireworks, naturally.  My nephew was so into lighting those little fireworks and can you blame him?  Even I was like “I’m buying some of those on the way home!”  My brother & clan are road tripping to California this week and I’m so excited for them.  Gonna be too much fun!

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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hardcore looking forward to Sunday and a day without ANY plans.  I took myself on a run, met Joey (and Huni) for coffee, walked home and ate breakfast.  Then we made our way to the backyard to do some serious work.  We cleaned out this little garden bed, planted some flowers, ripped out all the weeds and dead grass along our fence line and planted some pumpkins, watermelons and squash there instead.  I tried to get Huni to help but she decided to nap in the garden instead.

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In case you doubted Joey and I’s commitment to becoming a dorky married couple, we now share a mutual enjoyment in inspecting our vegetable garden.  And we are also mutually overjoyed with how well things are going!  Do you even see that baby bell pepp??  Also, that’s kale that we grew from seeds!!  I had basically zero expectations of those seeds so when those teensy leaves popped up, I freaked.  We’re bonding on a whole new level, ha!

P.S. We also replaced the ugly old bamboo covering on our fence with some ugly new bamboo and I totally tripped over a pile of tree branches in the middle of that process.  I bruised my knee up and Bunny wouldn’t even clean my wound with her magic dog saliva.  So mean! 😛

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Afterwards, we cleaned ourselves up, made a quick run to the grocery, marinated some lamb (but more on that in a minute) and then Joey was all “let’s have happy hour in the backyard” and set out beers and books for us.  God, I love that perfect human so much.  He also declared it date night and took me to dinner at this new spot, The Pig & The Sprout.  The space is lovely and the menu has a little bit of everything (with one side dedicated to meaty things and one side dedicated to veggie things) so I was instantly impressed.  The brisket poutine had us booth swooning (I believe Joey’s exact words were “gravy is my homeboy!”) and I really liked my tofu French Dip.  More of this place, please!

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Monday — the actual 4th of July — involved a lazy morning and more yard clean up.  We got both our front AND our backyard looking all spic and span and I was so impressed/excited.  Now all we need is a new fence some string lights and it’s gonna be a beautiful backyard oasis!  We rewarded ourselves — and celebrated America — with some grilled lamb!  Cooking Light did this little piece on throwing a backyard BBQ and it inspired me to try making lamb for the first time ever.  We picked up a leg of lamb from Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, covered it in a rub and let it sit overnight, then grilled and marinated it and it turned out PERFECT.  Seriously, I was blown away.  Complete with three dipping sauces and some homemade flatbread, we had the most perfect meal.

I also attempted this icebox cake and my mascarpone totally curdled 😦  But Joey pretended not to notice and ate two pieces anyway.

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Even though this weekend involved so so many good things, my favorite part was lighting this sparkler.  I told Joey this was all I really wanted to do all weekend and he went out and bought sparklers just for me.  SO MUCH HAPPINESS ♥♥♥  In other news, my neighbors set off fireworks until 1 AM and I was none too amused.  Neither was Bunny, who had her first close range fireworks experience, and quickly realized she was NOT a fan.

What did you do this 4th of July Weekend?!

Weekend Things

THIS WEEKEND:

Friday breakfast date on the patio at Port Side.

Co-worker birthday treats.  Got a request that it be a healthy treat, so strawbs and dark chocolate peanut butter it was!

Ditching work early to go grocery shopping, as one does.  Right?…

Repeating “they’re shishito peppers” to the cashier at least 10 times.

Pizza, beer and best friend time with Josh and Hannah (WHO IS NOW A REGISTERED NURSE!!!!!).

Little Man, because if your BFFs have never been, it’s your duty to show them the way.

Saturday breakfast in the backyard followed by a bike ride to the Farmers’ Market, a new summer ritual that I’m madly in love with.

Family picnic at City Park for my niece’s birthday.  SHE’S FIVE — when did that happen?!

Backyard beers + outdoor movie night = my heart is so happy!

Sunday morning run, followed by iced coffee and lots of reading on my porch swing.

Father’s Day lunch & my third Gose of the weekend  — don’t judge!

Food prep for the week (iced coffee, pickled veggies, “Power Salads,” the best slider buns), before GoT and all the fist pumping I did through the entire thing.  That episode was maybe a little predictable but also SO SO SATISFYING. 

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Little Man’s got pride!

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It’s official — Space Junky is tied with Salted Oreo for best flavor ever at Little Man.

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You didn’t think I’d waste all the bottoms of the strawberries from Friday, did you??

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Def did not wake up at 2 AM to strain this iced coffee.

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Bánh Mí sliders coming later this week!

So now it’s Monday (sad face) but it’s also the first (official) day of summer (MAJOR HAPPY FACE) and this weekend was a good (albeit HOT) one, so no complaints from this girl.  Plus I’ve got a hair appointment, yoga, planter box preparations, Big Brother (!!!) and happy hour plans with my mother-in-law on the agenda for this week.  Gonna be a good one ♥