Monday, July 25, 2011


A little over a week ago I celebrated another birthday. I wasn't very excited in the months preceding this one, but I've eased into my new age. I just remind myself that I'm not as old as Henry and never will be. ;)

The first event of my special day was birthday lunch at the flagship Whole Foods. I had some great "comfort food," Whole Foods style: chicken casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and wheatberries. Oh yeah, and I drank this delicious, monster blood orange Italian soda. (Not all at once though; I rationed it throughout my birthday weekend.)

It was so hot up there on that patio, but I don't think you can tell by the picture.
That night Henry and I had dinner at Chez Zee for the first time. To be honest, I chose this restaurant based on a Yelp recommendation of their fried pickles, and we were pretty disappointed. The pickles were sliced so thinly that they were just like eating pickle-flavored potato chips. Salty and sad. The entrees were pretty good, but it was hard to recover from the dissatisfaction of the appetizer.

Afterwards we went to Ulta, Old Navy, and another Whole Foods store for some light shopping. It was a low-key day to be sure, but that's what I wanted. Last year I had a dinner party with lots of friends, and it was a lot of fun. This year I wasn't feeling up to the fanfare.

Late that night my parents arrived at our apartment ready for good food and family time. The next day we had TacoDeli tacos for breakfast, and then Mom, Henry, and I went shopping at DSW and Target. Later that afternoon we met my niece and nephews and their significant others for an early dinner at Trudy's (Mmm, stuffed avocado), and then we saw Midnight in Paris at the Violet Crown. Cute movie that the whole family (especially my dad!) liked at a hip, artsy downtown theater.

On Sunday we cut into my cake. It was exactly what I wanted: lemon chiffon with strawberry/lemon filling.

Courtesy of Kerbey Lane Bakery
 Henry and I added the citrusy slices to the top ourselves. Got the idea here (via Design Mom).

It was a good birthday. Twenty-six isn't so bad.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Fourths

I. We spent the Fourth of July in Houston with my parents, my oldest sister, Henry's brother, our sister-in-law, and our sweet and very calm baby nephew.

Oh, almost forgot. In our way into town, we also stopped for my two year old second cousin's birthday party. It was fun seeing my aunt and cousins.
J with the helicopter toy we bought for her.
 On Monday we stuffed ourselves silly with all kinds of grilled goodness (Meatless Monday was an afterthought that day...). That night we watched a free concert they have every year in my hometown.
Johnny Dee and the Rocket 88s

My dad loves this band. They do covers of music from the 1950s and 60s. Once their show was over, it was time for fireworks. Henry took about 50 pictures of fireworks, and for the first time ever, they actually look pretty good. It makes it hard to choose a favorite, so here's a few.

II. Yesterday was our fourth wedding anniversary. I can't believe it's been four years already, but those first two years that we spent finishing school were kind of crazy. It's been a great four years though. Henry truly is my best friend, and every day of my life is blessed with him in it. Marriage is everything I hoped it could be and more.

So last night after Henry got home from work, we set up our tripod and tried to get some nice anniversary photos. Technically speaking, they aren't the greatest, but I still like them.

 We went to dinner last night at Jasper's. It was a good restaurant for an anniversary because it wasn't too crowded, the food was really good, and it had that fancy, special occasion feel without being stuffy.
We ordered Thai chicken wantons with sweet mango chile sauce.
And baked potato salad. Really good, but rich.
 And we split the Texas Peach Barbecued Pork Tenderloin entree. Also very good.

For dessert we attempted this huge trio: rocky road ice cream sandwich, vanilla dessert toast, and dark chocolate molten cake with dulce de leche. Oh my goodness. We almost finished all of it. Almost.

Good dinner. Now it's time for me to pack up once again for another trip to Houston and New Orleans this weekend. Ah, summer. I still like you and the adventure you bring.