Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Julia Childs Kitchen

One of my favorite things to do while in DC is to walk around the National Mall and see the monuments.  I get a true sense of pride in remembering our past, America's accomplishments and missteps. 

This past weekend was suppose to be the unveiling of a new monument dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.   The ceremonies ended up being canceled due to the impending hurricane but the monument still stood in all its glory.

The entrance is between two stones; it is to show MLK coming out of the mountain. The whole area was very powerful.  Even though the ceremonies were canceled some of the speakers came out to see and great people.  We saw Rev. Jesse Jackson looking at some of the famous quotes engraved in a semi circle around the main monument.

This was one of the main things I wanted to see during this trip and I am so glad we got to see it.

We got to do some more walking before the rain broke out.  I saw another new area on the far side dedicated to Roosevelt.  FDR brought America through some hard times and it is sickening to see the similarities in some things today with the economy.  I wish some of our Representatives and Senators would take a walk through there. They might learn a thing or two.

My favorite spot though of this trip was in the American History Museum.  We got to see the First Ladies gowns, the original American flag, and JULIA CHILDS KITCHEN.  I have never been in  this museum and was so happy to make it during this trip.

I cannot think of a better way to weather a hurricane than in the museums lining the National Mall.  We easily got from one to the next without getting to wet.  The Air and Space Museum had so many full airplanes inside.  I couldn't help but wonder about what this would have been like in the earthquake.

And finally for Mr. J we had to make a stop at the Natural History Museum. He is a sucker for the animals, especially the African safari animals. One day we will be able to see the real thing but for now this will have to do.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tied to Mr. J

It was one year and one day ago, Mr. J and I tied the knot.  (Yes, I am a bit behind with the hurricane and all.) 

I cannot believe how fast time has flown by and all of the wonderful things we accomplished together as a married couple.  

I cannot wait to see what the future holds.  Love you!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cajun Food: Acadiana

It was my brother's job to book our meals for the weekend.  I think he felt the weight of this job knowing that Mr. J and I are pretty critical when it comes to our food.  Really though, I was just happy I didn't have to make the decisions.  I was never really worried though.  Friday, after saying by to my friends we headed to Acadiana.  The story is that one day while reading the paper my brother noted that Jay-Z and Beyonce were in town and had dinner at Acadiana.  Not too long after, my brother and his wife just happened to stroll by.  After glancing at the menu, they decided they wanted to try it too. The meal turned out to be wonderful and so it was top on the list for us.

I must thank Jay-Z and Beyonce for enlightening us because it was amazing.  Again, we decided to do the sharing method of ordering. We ended up with 6 appetizers that were passed around the table and 5 entrees.  The above picture was my appetizer, Charbroiled oysters.  The oysters were topped with Parmesan cheese and butter, then broiled. They were ab-so-lute-ly delicious!  It also came with a hunk of bread to sop up all of the melted butter at the bottom of the pan.

My entree was the seafood gumbo.  There was so much seafood, jumbo lump crab, shrimp, crawfish, oysters, redfish, and mahatma rice.  Of course okra was in the mix as well.  The flavor was so good and spicy I had trouble trying the other dishes because I didn't want to ruin the taste in my mouth.

Some of the other entrees included fried catfish and blackened beef tenderloin.  Have you ever seen such a pretty plate of fried fish? Two people ended up getting the tenderloin because it was served with parmesan gnocchi, spring onions, english peas, honey mushrooms, and charred onion relish.  The gnocchi won them over.

We finished the meal off with french market beignets.  They were great, truly melt in your mouth fried dough. 

I could go on and on about how great this meal and total evening was.   They was also an abundance of fancy cocktails and drinks.  This would be a great place for a unique happy hour. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Its official

We are officially stuck in DC through Sunday.  Everything has been canceled and there is no way to get back short of renting a car this very seconding and heading out.  One-way car rentals are the absolutely last resort.  Plus I heard on the news that all of the bridges over the Hudson close when the winds get over a certain MPH speed.  I am not a huge bridge fan to begin with. It doesn't sound like much fun to be a a very high bridge when there are strong winds.  I think we will wait it out.

We started out yesterday in Georgetown.  We are actually staying in Arlington so it was just a quick walk over the bridge to get to Georgetown.  We had hoped to go on the Canal boats but there was a crack in the hull and it was closed.

We did go on a beautiful walk.  I definitely could live in a little townhouse down here.  I loved watching this little duck.  He couldn't decide if he wanted to go for a swim or not.

After doing a little walking tour all over the Georgetown area we stopped for lunch at Le Pain Quotidien.  Five of us each got something different.  We all sampled and it was great.  I think the theme for the weekend could be sharing. 

There was no way to leave Georgetown without stopping at Georgetown Cupcakes.  I love them to death and was dying to share the experience with my family.  The line was actually not that bad.  I have seen pictures of it stretching so far you couldn't see the end.

Hint: If you know you are going to be in town, order in advance.  All you have to do is place the order before 8pm the night before. You can order any flavor, any amount.  You can walk right in to pick them up.  I am not going to lie, you feel pretty good going to the front of the line.

We got an assortment of our favorite flavors, including coconut, lava fudge and red velvet.

In case you didn't know, the best way to eat a cupcake is to cut it in have horizontally and make sandwich. It the optimum ratio of cake to frosting in every bit.  Yum!

Before dinner, I was able to meet up with some friends for drinks.  The rain made us change our outdoors plans but a good time was had by all!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fridays 5: Websites

It seems like a long time since I have done a true Friday 5. But here I am back with a bang. At least I hope so for your sake.

1. Better Homes and Garden: Sometimes I need a break from life, or maybe just my current life.  I like to dream about life in a house I own. With a yard.  And a garden.  Until then I have Better Homes and Garden.

2. Etsy: Another dream I have is about being crafty.  If you have never visited Etsy it is a compilation of people across the world who make just about anything you can imagine.  I wish I could DIY for all of the fabulous things I see on this site. Instead, I just purchase. 

3. foodgawker: I am sure many of you know about this site.  I love to waste spend hours looking at all of the beautiful food.  It makes me hungry.  I love it!

4. My Body Gallery: I just learned of this website and love the concept.  It is a gallery of photos submitted by real woman.  You take a picture of yourself (they block out your face) and post your height, weight, and size.  The is to help women see what truly is normal in this media skinny obsessed world.

5. Pottery Barn:  I know I just posted about my addiction to Crate and Barrel but I must say once I own a house that addiction is going to morph over to Pottery Barn.  I love looking at all of the classic furniture pieces.  I have this thing for dressers and cabinets.

There you have it. These are the websites I am sweet to right now. Check them out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Waiting for what is to come...

I have been waiting for this weekend for a long time.  Mr. J and I are off tonight to DC.  I get to visit my brother and his wife before they go off overseas again for 2 years.  I also get to visit my parents who are in town for a while.  And finally, I get to see some of my best friends.  I cannot wait!

What I can wait for is this hurricane that seems to be determined to make a mess of the whole eastern coast.  I am afraid I will have to deal with it in DC on Saturday and then follow it up the coast on Sunday. 
I am not one to get over panicked about events like these.  I guess I kind of think what will happen will happen.  But coming home to a no power apartment without water just doesn't sound enjoyable to me.  Wal-mart was already sold out of all water this morning.  I quickly ran to the grocery store to score 3 gallons of water and a few Gatorades for Mr. J.   I hope if we do lose power this will be enough to get us through.  This mini vacation is not off to a great start!

Let's just pray that the storm weakens and no one and nothing gets hurt during this natural mess!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Crate and Barrel Addiction

It was good to hear yesterday that so many people have some garbage pains.  In my perfect world, I would have a nice little closet or mud room out of sight.  It would have three pretty containers for trash, returnable bottles, and recyclable paper.  Of course, I would also have a compost pot in the kitchen.  I will keep on dreaming for a while.

Now on to today's topic at hand.  I suppose we all have our little "things" where we tend to go overboard.  Mr. J has a couple. Three to be exact.  He likes shoes.  What man needs this many brown shoes?  And that is not all of them.

He also has golf.  Yep that is two golf bags you see.  And some fishing poles in the corner. 

There are also fishing poles  in other various locations throughout the apartment.  Let's just say I am counting down the days as fast as he is for a man cave.  I understand the concept of a whole set of golf clubs.  Each club has a different function depending on how you want to hit a ball.  I am still waiting to understand the need for 5 plus fishing poles.  That's down from over 10 though.  Let's not get started on the number of reels he has accumulated.

Yes, I rag on my husband for these tendencies.  He likes to compare them to my purse habit.  I do confess I like expensive bags, however, I argue that I buy a new bag maybe once a year but sometimes its two or three between a purchase.  Fishing equipment in our household is much more common. 

Really, though, I have some other addictions that far outdo my purses.  Mainly, Crate and Barrel.  It is a good thing one is not close to me...a nice hour drive to get to the closest store.  And I hate paying for shipping so even online I will only make a buy when there is some deal going on with free shipping.  Well, there is a deal right now and I just couldn't help myself.

We don't need mugs.  I have a cabinet full of mugs, so many it is hard to make them all fit.  But check out these cute little cups.  I couldn't resist.  Plus, they are shades of blue so well it was fate.

Then, there were the kitchen utensils.  You can never have too many spatulas and flippers (yep, that is the correct name.)  We might have had some problems in the past where certain materials were left on things a bit too long and melting ensued. 

Then, there was the dish towels.  How cute are these!  Again there were pretty blues.  But also the veggies.  They make me smile so therefore they are a good thing. 

I also recently received a gift wrapped in a dish towel.  It was so beautiful and you got a little some thing extra for the gift.  I am thinking this is a great idea for Christmas....No Trash sounds like a win win for me!

There you have it. I have an addiction to Crate and Barrel.  Do you think they have a 12 step program for this?  Mr. J, I promise to cut back my random purchases at Crate and Barrel if you say no more fishing poles for the rest of the year.  Deal?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Nightmare

This sadly is my reality the last few days. 

The truth is, this scene is a nightmare to me.  I am a clean freak.  Not only do I think our garbage can is gross and desperately needs a cover, Mr. J we tend to build mountains around the trash can on all things that will not fit neatly inside.  What gave me the nightmares recently though is the pizza box and take out containers galore.  I don't know what happened the past few days but we ended up going out and ordering out way too much!

To make matters worse, yesterday I drove to Albany and back.  That is 6 hours in a car.  Lucky for me I was up at 6am and still managed a nightly work out.  Mr. J also had a meeting in Albany later in the day.  Funny with our travels where we end up.  We were actually only in Albany at the same time for about an hour.  I was leaving as he was arriving. 

The solution to all of the travel and take out woes...a diet of lots of fruit and veggies!



The green monster this morning was made up of this

1 banana
1 1/2 cups packed spinach
1 c coconut milk (The Silk brand is my new favorite!)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 small peach
4 ice cubes

Topped with a few strawberries and a bit of granola and I am good to go for the day.  Thank goodness too because I have 7 hours worth of financial training today.  Sounds like fun right?  It will actually be a lot more fun than it sounds but 7 hours of training on pretty much anything but cooking is hard to take.

What are your plans for this glorious Tuesday?

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