Well friends, I made up for the prior weekend’s purposeful antisocial agenda by emerging from my cocoon as a full-fledged social butterfly this weekend. Celebrating a friend’s birthday at The Foundry, treating Lydia’s cousin to a one-night version of the Dallas Experience (drinks overlooking the skyline at NYLO followed by
late-night early morning Velvet Taco), hot dogs behind home plate at a Rangers game, North Park shopping and a Teavana splurge followed by Rusty Tacos with a visiting Fort Worth friend, Sunday brunch with Lydia and our loverly friends…whew.
I’ve also recently become a tad addicted to Instagram as of late so you can even see the discrepancy for yourselves.
Which leads me to the below recipe, found at Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats. It was pretty delicious while, like all things gluten-free/vegan baking, pretty trial and error. For example, I subbed Bob’s Red Mill baking flour for her flour blend in an effort to be financially and time efficient (read: cheap and lazy). This led to more of a cupcake-like batter consistency than cookie-like, resulting in a first round of very flat, wide wanna-be “scones.” Using only about 2/3’s of the called for coconut milk and adding in a little more flour definitely helped the next time around!
- 1 3/4 cups Sarah’s gluten free flour blend (Or in my case, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter, chilled
- 1/2 cup So Delicious unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (For me: 1/3 cup)
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (Even more is better!)
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons So Delicious barista style coconut milk french vanilla coffee creamer
They ended up being a pretty big brunch success, and testing two batches means I get to start my mornings all week long with baked sweetness I can actually eat. We also enjoyed White Peach Gin Fizz cocktails, which fit my gin phase and peach craving quite nicely. So nicely in fact, that I forgot to take a picture in all the excitement of actually drinking them so you’ll just have to take my word for it or try the recipe out for yourselves…
When life’s ends start feeling a little harder to keep tied together and work me is feeling extremely overloaded, I fall into a pattern of wishing away the week and pushing all my hopes for crossing off personal to do’s to the weekend. This might be a great coping mechanism for some work-life balance if I actually used my weekends to do those things…but majority of the time, my weekends look more like an exercise in laziness and procrastination to make up for all the work-related drive and productivity. Essentially, I crash.
Don’t get me wrong, my weekends start with Super Yoga Palace and include plenty of fun with as many of my favorite people as I can get, so it’s not like I’m completely useless. But those pesky life administration tasks like responding to my jury duty request and returning the Walmart goods that have been sitting in my room for over a month just don’t seem as important when I actually have time to do them. Case in point, my house.
My roommate and I came into the new place with a lot of big ideas and quite a clear vision for the welcoming, stylish place we would create. Somewhere along the way we reached a “liveable enough” stage, though, and never quite got around to some of the more ambitious projects that include making a bar cart, turning a ridiculously heavy wrought iron table top into wall decor and hemming curtains.
DIY is just not naturally in my DNA, even though I love the idea of it. But after another gratifying yoga practice followed by a delicious brunch at Sundown at Granada and seeing Girl Most Likely with my sister, I’m ready to branch out a little and turn on the focus. My reward? A long overdue housewarming party next month!
While I’m figuring out the difference between flat and satin paint, I highly encourage you to watch this clip from Girl Most Likely. The movie had its pros and cons overall, but this scene alone is a strong candidate for the ‘best things I have ever seen’ list. You’re welcome.
I am currently under going a strategic effort to eat healthier in my day to day life. Sometimes I am totes down for gorging on some pancakes from Company Cafe because I know I have the calorie space that day, but other times I need to opt for the granola and fresh fruit. This is starting to become fairly easy because I notice such a change in my body and how I feel when I eat better versus when I over eat and fill up on crap. It’s also especially easy because I simply can’t afford to eat out all the time so there’s way less opportunity for temptation. But as I mentioned in my last, this was a busy weekend. I ate out for virtually every meal. EVERY MEAL. And what I realized is how expensive it is to eat healthy. This pisses me off.
Now I realize I have no right to be angry. I’m aware that everyone knows it can be expensive to eat healthy. You can get a whole meal of grease at McDonalds for like a penny, versus packing your lunch full of pricey veggies, fruits and hard boiled eggs (plus these take time to prepare – obnoxious) OR paying $15 for a decent salad.
Since I was very aware I would be eating out so much that weekend, I was armed and ready to fight against tempting fatty foods full of sugar and cellulite. Saturday morning, post the boyfriend’s triathlon, we stopped at a breakfast place and I had to say no to the 900 calorie eggs benedict (sometimes I really hate when restaurants post the calorie counts…) and yes to the oatmeal with fresh fruit. Granted, it was delicious. But I refused to even look at my boyfriend’s hollandaise sauce for fear of drooling all over his heavenly plate. The oatmeal was an $9 event, my boyfreind’s eggs benedict was $8. Just a few hours later, I was at brunch for my roommate’s birthday at Cedars Social. Yet another place chock full of delicious menu items. The French Toast was begging me to order it. It teased me with its hot maple syrup and fluffiness. I managed to mumble to the waiter that I’d have the fruit plate and two egg whites on the side. A meal that cost me $14 but was significantly smaller and less complicated than all the other menu items. The French Toast was $10, for example.
I guess what I am getting at is that I HATE that eating healthy is so expensive. To me, the hard part was just making the healthy choice and fighting my eternal sugar cravings. But now, in addition, I have to consider the economic effects of eating healthy when I eat out. Even now when I go to the grocery store and load up on fruits and veggies, my grocery bill comes to an easy $60 without even trying. So I eat healthy, lose weight, but then can’t afford to treat myself to a new dress to celebrate my good eating habits. Where is the justice in that? For now, I’ll settle for a good Vogue or Cosmo to get me through these trying times [ha]. But my credit card is just not as happy with my diet change as my yoga practice (and my yoga pants) is.
I’m off this weekend for a jam packed weekend of triathlons (watching, let’s be clear here), two brunches, a birthday and a wedding! The gifts are all wrapped, my bag is fully packed with my selfish need to overpack for every occasion, my toiletries are laid out so I don’t forget my deodorant, and Westley’s all set up to spend the weekend with his grandparents. My sunglasses are even securely stored in my car so I don’t get completely blinded on the two and a half hour drive north.
I’m pretty excited to head up to Norman, Oklahoma [boomer sooner, baby]. I feel like I haven’t stopped by the alma mater for a visit in quite a long time. I just love that school. My boyfriend isn’t a big fan of the small Oklahoma town and thinks it’s kind of silly, so I fully intend on setting him straight. No, I’m not a big football fan but by God it’s just a gorgeous campus! There’s just no way you can drive down a community street towards campus and not want to be one of the students lugging their laptops towards their summer
jail classroom. The bonus is I get to see an old college friend marry her best friend on our favorite campus. How lovely! I’ll even been shacking in a hotel room this go around. I’m just so mid-twenties [ha].
I’m also hoping to head a little north and check out the damage in Moore. I’m not totally sure how I’ll react when I see the destruction, I think it’ll be hard to handle. I don’t think I’ve quite wrapped my head around what happened to my second home. The miles upon miles layered on top of miles is surely going to be overwhelming.
I hope you have a great weekend! If you’re enjoying this not so hot Texas Summer right now, soak it up. I feel like we’re on the verge of a meltdown.
I never really thought June would arrive. It’s so been so far away for so long that I assumed it would take another year or so for that pesky calendar to get around to it. Despite my resistance and by some twist of fate, here we are. June. June 4th in fact. I celebrated the end of May pretty fantastically packed with brunches, doggie dates, prosecco, mambo taxis, boyfriend time and present shopping. Which is really setting the right tune for June. June is busy busy and so expensive. My poor little credit card is not going to be happy with me after all the birthdays, brunches, wedding gifts, doggie care and travel expenses. You can thank me latter, BOA.
I’m also making some adjustments to my workout routine. As it turns out I am a pansy and anything above 83 degrees is too hot for me to get a good 6 mile run in – especially with that ferocious Texas sun beating down on my back and my dog’s black fur. And waiting till 8 or 9 PM to go running isn’t the best strategy for a good night sleep or a decent dinnertime. So I’m trying my absolute best to become a morning runner. It’s so hard. Like..guys..so hard. First off I can’t breathe in the mornings. My lungs are tight and don’t allow me to get a good breathe going. And then there’s the whole “this is so early and my bed feels like an absolute cloud” part of it that is a wee challenge to get around.
Monday was my first go at it and I loved it. It was so cool and crisp in the morning, there was hardly any traffic and I felt energized the rest of the day. But the real best part? I spent yesterday evening reading, cleaning and lounging – I even cooked a dinner that was more than a protein shake. Hell, I even read while I walked my dog – no small feat I might add. I’m still working out some kinks to the ol’ work out routine, but I am really enjoying getting my workouts done early. By 9 AM I already feel so accomplished and I am able to focus better while I’m at work. It’s also opening up my afternoons to be able to focus on a bit more on toning on my running days with some ab work, pushups and lunges.
So anyhoo, I am trying to welcome June in with energized open arms. It will be an exciting, tiring, expensive, draining and super fun month. Thank goodness for caffeine.
It’s a special day at Finding Tiffany’s…Lydia’s birthday! We celebrated with a perfect brunch at a new place for us, The Common Table. Covered patio, light breeze, friends, cheap mimosas and classic, well-plated entrees – that’s what I call a recipe for perfection. It’s actually amazing we haven’t been there before, as it turns out this affordably delicious patio and my go-to free parking for a night out in Uptown is one and the same (just don’t go stealing my spot now that I shared my secret!).
Now we’re off for birthday manicures. Sigh…don’t you just hate when celebrating someone’s birthday is such an imposition?
I’ve had quite the delicious weekend. It began with a birthday dinner on Friday, the boyfriend and parents meet and greet on Saturday, and an amazing brunch today. I was so terribly spoiled. Although I did a terrible job of taking any photos while I ate, I feel a need to divulge my #foodporn adventures nonetheless. I also had the added bonus of great company for each meal – see what I mean? So spoiled.
For the Friday birthday, we went to Lark on the Park.
We started with a few bottles of Prosecco before diving into our meals. I had the Wild Mushrooms House-made Pappardelle spinach, creme fraiche and Parmasan. It was so amazing. The pasta is homemade and thick. Lark also specializes in supporting local artist and has 6 huge chalkboards that feature selected artist. Every few months new artists and their work are selected, and the chalkboards are changed up. It has a very urban and modern feel to it, with relatively high prices to match. In fact, as an added bonus, the birthday girl had a piece of work up on the wall!
On Saturday the parents and the boyfriend went to Farnatchis.
Farnatchi’s is a family favorite. Whenever my parents are in downtown around dinner time, this is where they go. The place is small so there is usually just one or two fulltime waitstaff. My parents visited here so frequently that they got to know the waitress and she remembered their orders and name. The new waiter of the restaurant is also super friendly and good hearted. Which only adds to the positive experience. The food was heaven. I had the lemon chicken special and never looked back. The chicken was so tender and went delightfully well with the cabernet my parents brought. Not to mention, the family and the boyfriend got a long great- phew.
Sunday afternoon my amiga and I went to Odd Fellows in the Bishops Arts District.
When we put our names on the list, they told us it would be an hour. But a girl at one of the galleries assured us it was going to be well worth our wait. She wasn’t kidding. First off, this place is adorable. My roommate and Sarah have both raved about this place, so my expectations were high and were easily met if not exceeded! I had the eggs benedict. Oh. My. God. Luckily it was 2 PM and the only thing that was in my stomach was a 9 AM banana, so I had no problem fitting that whole plate into my tum tum (not that this is ever a problem for me if we’re being honest). The food was so amazing, that I enjoyed a fantastic food coma upon my return to my bed.
Now I am fully aware this doesn’t exactly go along with my dedication to the diet. But don’t you worry, I made up for my binges on my other meals and work outs. Who can turn down amazing food? Not this girl.
One of my “semi-near future life goals” was to create more, and another related goal involved getting a camera and actually using it. While you’ve probably noticed from recent posts that I’ve indeed gotten the camera and actually started using it, there’s a huge difference between playing around and happening to get some decent shots with actually knowing what the heck is happening in my camera to get said shot. Luckily, I have a friend who was willing to lend some photography knowledge, so I spent my Saturday learning the difference between ISO, aperture and shutter time – just a couple basic slr settings.
I then headed over to my neighbor, NYLO, with my new-found knowledge. NYLO is a hotel and rooftop bar that opened up in South Dallas a couple months back, with an infinity pool that rumor has it, is going to be open to the public in the summer. Before you get all excited by their sign for an old-fashioned soda bar and tell all your friends about it as you picture how much fun you’re going to have sipping on all sorts of root beer float-esque drinks (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything), I might as well be the one to burst your bubble…it turns out “SODA” actually stands for South Dallas. Not actual soda.
Despite this minor disappointment, however, my earlier explorations also resulted in a delicious prosecco (of course) cocktail with a friend, so I knew this was going to be just the sort of space I felt right at home in. It also helped that their music selection is fantastic. It was like someone had stolen my favorite Pandora station. The kicker was stumbling across their brunch menu this time around. Ah, a good brunch….they found my Achilles heel.
On the bright side, this can only help me further accomplish my other earlier goal to brunch more.
Can we all just agree that today was the shortest Saturday ever? I can’t believe the day’s nearly over. It’s been grey and misty in Dallas today, the kind of day where you just have no choice but to pull up the covers and and sleep in. Of course, one of the side affects of turning into an adult is now “sleeping in” only gets to me to about 9:30 a.m. tops.
I fought off a near-debilitating combination of laziness and boredom to find some comfy clothes and brave the Texas ‘cold’ for a working brunch. Now cozied back up in my apartment, I may be making a trip downstairs soon for some prosecco to keep me company for a night in with Project Re:Brief, a documentary pictured above about how a couple advertising professionals revisited their most iconic ads from the sixties to create engaging digital campaigns for today’s world. I might even go really crazy and throw in some Netflix. Look out, Dallas…
Today also solidified my previous suspicions that Company Cafe is my favorite brunch restaurant in Dallas. At some point I’ll have to branch out and try out the rest of the menu, but so far their pancakes, brisket tacos, breakfast tacos, gravy and as of today, french toast sticks are all amazing. And it’s all natural and gluten-free! Not just gluten-free, but great tasting and gluten-free, which is easier said than done. My post allergy-diagnosed diet is having me live wheat-less for a little while, so this is particularly good news for my carb-starved soul. Don’t worry, I’m no food critic and I know it, so you don’t have to fear some elaborate, overly descriptive story a la Yelp-style is going to ensue. Just know it’s amazing, and you should go. Plus, you’re supporting local farms and food suppliers, many dedicated to great social causes like Impact Foods, a gluten-free granola company that donates food packs to children for every bad of granola sold. Food that tastes good, makes you feel good and does good…how can you say no to that? (Plus, all their servers at both locations have always been nice, helpful and down to earth. Okay, okay…I’ll try to stop raving now.)
P.S. Lucia was amazing. I’ve fully bought into the hard-to-grab reservation process and high price tag after last night’s meal. Go there, too.
I have had the kind of work week that makes me incredulous that my job is actually considered a job. I got to go to digital media conference in Dallas for two days, which basically means I got to learn (yes!), hear different perspectives on the industry I love and meet new people. For an introvert, it’s amazing how exhilarating it is to walk up alone to a circle of people I’ve never seen before and not only make unawkward conversation (always a win), but also some new friends.
It’s given me a much needed refresher on work life this week and reminded me that I’m lucky to be where I am right now, even though I don’t always remember that. Maybe I’m an optimist (okay, I know I’m an optimist) but when I think back on the different phases of my life so far, no matter how much I struggled or thrived during them, my rose-colored glasses are definitely on. I don’t usually think, “wow this sucked” or “I regret doing this or doing it this way;” for the most part I think, “I’m so grateful for that time because ___.” It helps shift my perspective to tell myself how I’m going to look back on this time of my life and really appreciate it…so I better be appreciating it now!
Feeling ‘free’ has been a bit of a theme for me this week, as you might pick up on from my pinning spree below. These photographs and quotes have been reminding me to take a deep breath, rest a little then get out there and embrace life. I’ve been in a resting phase for a little while now, trying to avoid too many social plans, etc. Now I’m just ready for all that the very busy month of February has planned for me, starting with this weekend: Valentine’s/couples dinner at the very hard to reserve Lucia in Bishop Arts (!), freelance work and celebrating life with friends at a big post-church brunch. Can it just be Friday afternoon already?