Monday, February 6, 2012

weekend happenings, etc

super bowl
Me playing with stickers and coloring books with a three year old during the Super Bowl, which is WAY more fun than watching the game! 
(Photo by Larry)

This weekend was full of friends (both old and new!) and a feast of delicious food (none of which I had to cook myself)! Perfection!

I've been having such fun hanging out with blogger friends lately. Back in September, I first met with a group of local bloggers and since then have had brunches, cookie swaps, and trips to the theater with these girls. Last week I had lunch with Sarah (and the adorable Kate!) at Sweet Leaf in Vienna, and whenever I talk to Sarah I'm amazed at how similar our thoughts are about the struggles of having an alternative career and attempting to work/freelance from home.

On Saturday, I got to meet up with a second group of local bloggers. I'd really been looking forward to meeting Jane of The Borrowed Abode and she organized a blogger coffee date at Caffe Amouri in Vienna. Jane is the owner of Janery - an amazing Etsy shop chock full of beautiful pillows, sunglass sweaters, and dog beds, all sewn by Jane herself. She is also an animal lover and blogs about some incredible DIY/home improvement/decorating projects - what's not to love?! In addition to Jane, and Sarah and Lauren (who I already knew from previous blogger dates), I was introduced to the ladies behind some other local blogs that I didn't even know existed: Steffanie (the owner of Old Town Suds), Christina, Kimberly, Michelle, and Toya (the owner of New Family Naturals). So fun to meet so many other women who are small business owners!

blogger meet-up at Caffe Amouri in Vienna
Jane (seated in green), then standing left to right: Sarah, Lauren, Steffanie, me, Michelle, Kimberly, Christina. Not pictured: Toya. 

On Friday Larry stayed home with a sinus infection. Here's what we accomplished that day: a trip to Urgent Care, dinner at 5 pm, a trip to the grocery store. Next stop: the nursing home. Seriously, we are going to be awesome senior citz one day. Oh, what an exciting life we live!

We followed that up with a ridiculous amount of beer consumption on Sunday. What else is Super Bowl Sunday good for? Funny commercials, delicious food, and lots of beer! A friend of ours spends several days beforehand cooking up an incredible gourmet feast for game day. Behold - homemade guacamole (perhaps my favorite food on earth!), salsa, and chips. Potato and chicken taquitos. Lamb tacos. Brown butter brownies, macaroons, and lace cookies. 

I ate approximately 30 pounds of food before exploding. So good!

super bowl feast
Super Bowl feast.
(Photo by Larry)

In other news:

* I'm loving Vienna lately and have been there three times in the past week. (Yes, I realize Vienna is only 5 miles away from my house, but for some reason I rarely head in that direction.) In addition to blogger dates at Sweet Leaf and Caffe Amouri, Larry and I had dinner at Pure Pasty on Friday night. (If you're not familiar with a pasty, it is a savory filled pie - the British version of an empanada. And they are delicious!) My next stop in Vienna? Plush Gelato. After spending a semester in Italy, finding some comparable gelato in the U.S. has been one of my life missions. Who wants to meet me for a cup of stracciatella at Plush and compare it to the gelato of my college days in Florence?

* Watching a disturbing movie (The House of Sand and Fog) and reading an anxiety-inducing book (Unbroken) does not lead to a good night's sleep. I should clarify that I am loving Unbroken, but the atrocities of WWII (plane crashes, being lost at sea, sharks, Japanese POW camps) is stressful!

* Banjo reached into my grocery bag the other day and ever-so-gently removed a block of bleu cheese with his teeth and started making off with it. What is it with my dogs and their expensive taste? Gravy snatched a hunk of bleu cheese from a wine and cheese party we hosted a few years ago. Jerks!

* Just discovered The Hike Guy. I am especially in love with his amazing hiking journals and the fact that his Twitter profile states that he is "constantly mistaken for a bear." Awesome. I'm ready to pack up and head out into the wilderness now!


Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

SO many things to say about your post. I'll make a list.

1. It was So awesome to finally meet you in person! I feel like I didn't get to chat with you enough, and we need to talk about your art, so maybe we can meet up for a coffee or cocktail sometime soon. Or maybe blue cheese and wine. (See comment #4)

2. The superbowl is way better when enjoyed with alternate entertainment, like small adorable kids. :)

3. Plush is tasty but I feel like they're overpriced.

4. Your dog Gravy clearly has good taste. Have you ever had wine from Linden? They make a killer bottle of ice wine that pairs perfectly with blue cheese. Yum.

5. I need to check out THe Hike Guy. I have not done enough hiking in th elast two years, and I need to get back out there. For heaven's sake - my license plate used to be "HiknDogs" which means hiking with dogs, not "hick and dogs" (Although Ryan thinks it's the latter).

6. This might be the longest, most random comment ever.

Christina @ The Scrappy Housewife said...

It was so good to meet you last weekend. I hope we can all get together again sometime. Also, dogs wearing sunglasses? I love it.

Lauren Margaret said...

Gelato? I'm seriously considering changing from drinks to a gelato date! ;)

Jillian said...

Hi there, awesome stuff! I've been reading your blog a bit and I love your etsy shop. I've been trying to find other bloggers in the NoVA area- I would love to meet up with some you sometime! Also- I looove gelato too and I'm always on the hunt for authentic gelato- I spent a year studying in Rome. Where did you study? I hardly ever find others who studied in Italy!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Hi Jillian - Thanks for stopping by. I spent a semester studying architecture in Florence. (And a summer semester in Spain.) Would love to meet - please join us at our next blogger meet-up!