Happy New Year long lost bloggies! I know I've been MIA lately...it's been tough keeping up with writing/reading blogs and I've actually considered closing up shop. No worries (for any of you still reading!), I'm not ready to do that just yet :)
Lots of changes have been taking place over here and I've been neglecting my kitchen. A lot. I've been exploring a lot of fun new restaurants, but I'm ashamed to admit that I've been Yelping more than blogging about them. Have you had a chance to check out the reviews?
I'm also trying really hard to take breaks from technology. You know, turn off the computer, TV, iPhone, etc. Sometimes you just need to do it.
So, what else has the beans been up to while neglecting the blog?
I've gotten really into reading lately. I used to read a lot as a kid (so much that I'd fall asleep with books in my bed every night) and now I find myself going through waves where I zoom through books. This recent wave has me reading a ton of fiction...which is new for me. I tend to lean more toward non-fiction (mostly memoirs), but these novels are a nice way to escape from reality.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
I really enjoyed the way this book was structured. I liked that each chapter gave you a new perspective on the situation as it introduced a new character. What I did not like - I felt like it left me hanging at the end. I kinda wanted more from a couple of the characters.
One Day by David Nicholls
It took awhile for me to get into the book, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. It's easy to get wrapped up in the bumpy relationship between the two main characters. Have you ever seen A Lot Like Love (if you haven't, just wait for it to come on FX or something)? That's what this book reminded me of at certain points. That and City of Angels. Random, I know.
Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
I picked this book up at the airport after watching the o so sappy TV movie (o yes, yes I did). It was a nice sappy read, but not as moving as I had hoped. I got a little misty watching the movie and hoped that the book would have me boohooing. Notsomuch.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
I'm only about halfway through and I really like the book so far! Not only does it explore the forbidden relationship of two teenagers during the war, but it also touches upon the strained relationship the main character Henry has with his father in 1942 and with his own son later on in life.
Traveling and Celebrating
It seemed wrong to head east for a long weekend, so I decided to spend a whole 11 days out there! My east coast tour began in Long Island for our annual family Christmas Eve celebration. Jamie drove up and we cleaned up in yankee swap:
I started out with a shake weight, but thankfully that got stolen by an unsuspecting tot and I walked away with a sandwich maker. LOVE! Do you have any idea how long I've wanted one of these? Insta hot pocket!
Christmas day was a blur, followed by a major white out!
O yes, hey snow storm! So instead of visiting friends in NYC, we stuck it out in the 'burbs and picked up some clothes for Mr. Bear
went into Lego overload
and reunited with a few friends
Not too bad for a snow day :)
We had plans to head to NJ the next day, but woke up to just over 1 foot of snow! Eeek! Good thing I bought some galoshes and snow pants the day before ;) Hooray for snow fun!
Roads were clear the next day so we began the journey to Manassas. The 10 hour journey. That should have only taken 5.5 hours. Awesome.
The next day we explored glamorous Manassas followed by a day trip to DC (still can't believe we had to get a hotel room) and then I closed out my trip with a stop in Alexandria and Fredericksburg. Whew. Whirlwind tour! So happy to see everyone though.
Pre-holiday week, I met up with friends and snacked at some fun spots in the city. Full reviews are on Yelp, but I'll leave you with names: Mamacita (tasty Mexican tapas), First Crush (fun wines and comfort food), Zero Zero (fancy pizza and pasta). They're worth checking out!
During the holiday week, I was determined to visit certain eateries I've been craving since I moved. On the list:
Southern style pho - I haven't found any noteworthy southern style pho yet in SF so I really wanted some Pho 75. Unfortunately that is way far from Manassas. Enter, Pho 234. It'll do.
Potbelly - I miss you Chicken Salad w/hot peppers!
Not pictured because I was just too hungry - Peruvian rotisserie chicken. Not quite EPR, but Super Chicken was Super YUMMY!
Yogging & Biking
Yeah, it's reduced to jogging. :( I'm slowly getting back into things, but I'm super cautious and it's really frustrating. Going from a minimum of 5 miles to maxing out at 2 is rough. Jamie and I did a run on the battlefield over the holiday week and it was a great change of scenery.
What I didn't expect was how exhausted I felt during the run. Ech.
Just a few new bottles:
Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Rose - I was nervous this sparkling rose would be too sweet, but it was a very nice balance of dry and sweet! I tried to find a bottle for New Year's Eve, but failed.
Altos Malbec 2009 - Cousin brought this to Christmas Eve dinner and it was pretty good...then again, I've never really had a malbec I didn't like.
Finca Sophenia Malbec 2008 - I really liked this one. They were pouring this as the happy hour red at Vermillion and it was pretty bold at first, but enjoyable. Definitely looking out for this one.
Got to cooking at Jamie's place for New Year's Eve. Lots of fun mini treats:
Wieners in blankets
a bunch of mini flatbread pizzas (a bbq chicken, plain, veggie, pepperoni)
and a HOLEY CARVEL CAKE!
Happy birthday, here's a gaping hole in your ice cream cake!
How did you close out 2010/ring in the new year?