birthday

The Worst Food Photo I Have Ever Taken

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Last night my family celebrated my mom’s birthday at El Parador, an old favorite Mexican restaurant. I wasn’t really in the mood to take photos (dark lighting), though I can say everything was excellent. I loved the fish special I ordered—light but just the right amount of spicy. It’s also hard to beat their guacamole.

One thing I will never come around to, though, is flan. I just…can’t. It could be, objectively, the best flan in the world and I would still want no part in that. However, I’m in the minority, there, so it was included in the celebratory dessert portion of the evening. My mom asked me to take a photo of that and the tres leches cake. Because I am a stunning food photographer, both shots came out spectacularly bad. I think the flan shot, however,  wins for Worst Food Photo I Have Ever Taken:IMG_4624

I love my sister for telling it like it is. At 10:45 she texted me to say, “Your flan picture looks like a big areola.” And there you have it.

Speaking of winning, I still have my Christmas tree up because I keep forgetting to take it down. I’ve been a busy lady, what can I say?

Do you like flan?  Have you ever taken a really bad photo? 

When Bad Lighting Happens to Good Food

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IMG_4608I don’t know about you, but I am so happy it’s Friday. I was starting to get really sick of eating lunch while working on nutrition notes at my desk. I think I have taken my 30-minute lunch break exactly twice in the eight months I’ve worked at this particular job. At least the food has been good. I was reminded of an old favorite I need to make again soon: tortellini soup.

Luckily, this weekend involves social plans for edible things like drinks, brunch, a birthday dinner for my mom, and even a cookie exchange. Who ever thought I would learn to not take the concept of eating while not having to type for granted?

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

What I Ate Wednesday # 141

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This December feels much busier than last year! Where is the time going?  What I Ate Wednesday? As always, many thanks to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party—hop on over there to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

Since I don’t feel like I’ve shown you a work day in a while, how about I share a few highlights from early this week? Behold…

  • Breakfast: Pumpkin cranberry oats in a nearly-empty peanut butter jar Tuesday morning
  • Lunch: Leftover tempeh & mushroom stir-fry over greens with other veggies mixed in
  • Random: Tuesday there was cake to celebrate my birthday and a co-worker’s upcoming marriage. Because two cakes is probably not in the budget, there was a universal cake.
  • Snack: Greek yogurt with cranberry sauce and cereal Monday
  • Dinner: An ahí tuna salad while in a restaurant with my family
  • Snack: Ugly but satisfying cottage cheese with a drizzle of maple syrup before bed

Is your December really busy too this year? What’s on the menu this week? 

What I Ate Wednesday #139: Birthday Edition

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Happy Wednesday. I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful week so far. Ready for a little birthday-themed What I Ate Wednesday? As always, many thanks to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party. Take a visit to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

I don’t know about you, but over the years, my birthdays have been so different from one another. Last year was a lot of fun, and the year before was nice and relaxing. 25 was just kind of sad and bizarre—I knew I wanted some big changes to happen, and I knew those changes were not going to be easy—even if I made it sound all sunshine & vegan rainbows in my post about it. If memory serves, 24 was objectively lame, but surprisingly, I didn’t even mention it on ye olde blog. Haha that means it must have been pretty awful! I do have to say that it was a real trip for me to go back in time and see how this site has evolved over the years!

This year started with an early hot yoga class with my mom. Part of me was annoyed that the instructor (who opened the class by rapping—I kid you not) kept picking on me, but I told myself that her comments were intended to be helpful, not hurtful.  I actually managed to surprise myself a few times with poses I’d never been able to get into before, so hey.

After getting packed up and ready, my mom and I headed into the city, where we grabbed lunch at Le Pain Quotidien and then set about working on a few things around my apartment—hanging pictures and a couple wind chimes and brainstorming some ways for me to rearrange the furniture to improve the flow of energy. I know, I know, but I think that stuff can make a huge difference!

A little later, we met up with my dad and sister for dinner at The Smith, where we enjoyed a lot of delicious food and drink. My dad got a kick out of the fact that I have a favorite bourbon. My dad barely drinks at all, but he thought it was so hilarious, he said that if I got a bourbon he would get a shot of tequila. So that happened. At the end of the meal, they actually got away with telling the server to put a candle in the cake. And a lollipop—nothing says, “You’re getting old, kid” like a glorified bank lollipop.

After dinner, my sister and I hit up the sale at Urban Outfitters and went to a concert. It was the perfect way to spend my birthday this year. And here’s the reason d’être of this post: what I ate.

  • Breakfast: Made some pumpkin cranberry oatmeal at my parents’…and poured it into a too-small bowl. Whoops!
  • Snack: Leftover squash & greens 
  • Lunch: My mom and I split two salads: one was the quinoa tabouleh, and the other was a smoked salmon one—so good!
  • Snack: Split this chia pod with my mom. It was new to both of us, and we agreed it was delicious!
  • Dinner: Started with prosecco, oysters, and fried calamari with marinara; For my main course I enjoyed filet mignon with salad and some of the brussels sprouts we ordered for the table. Oh, and bourbon. I like mine neat.
  • Dessert: A few bites of this delicious chocolate cake. I also tasted the toffee pudding (I think that’s what it was) my sister ordered.

All in all, it was a really good day, complete with delicious food.

What’s been your favorite birthday so far? 

New Month, New Year

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Good morning and happy first day of December! seahorse ornament

Yesterday, after helping me hang some wind chimes in my apartment, my mom helped me set up the little Christmas tree—this time with a couple ornaments. Later, after dinner with our parents, my sister and I went to a concert, which was a great way to spend my birthday. birthday cake

So cheers to a new month and a new year!

Merry Revolution to Me

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My birthday totally snuck up on me this year. The “oh s***” moment came yesterday while I was out for lunch with a friend I’ve known since, technically, nursery school, and we were talking about weird it is that all our friends are married and the ways in which we are and are not dreading our high school reunion.

“Oh s***,” I said, and smacked the table. “Tomorrow’s my birthday. F***.”

And then I joined the cookie-baking party that had been underway at my aunt’s house since 1 pm. I drank a glass of port and spaced out for a moment as I watched everybody work from the recipes they’ve treasured since “before Black Friday,” as my mom said—plus some awesome newer recipes they’ve added to the roster over the years. IMG_4085

I remember going to Cookie Baking day as a little kid, then as a pre-teen, a teenager…I’m sure I went when I was in college, but I’m drawing a momentary blank. And now I’m the age my mother was when she had her second child. If I feel old, I should take a moment to acknowledge my parents and shut my mouth about that one.

My mom loves to torture us with this picture
My mom loves to torture us with this picture

I have to admit, the past year was not at all what I expected, but in many ways, much better than I could have anticipated. From getting my license and my Masters,  to learning how to crack open my own damn lobster—and that McNuggets in bed is a deal-breaker for me (long story)—27 was a game-changer. I’m eager to see what this next year has in store.

I have some exciting things in the works that I’m looking forward to sharing with you along the way. If nothing else, cheers to that : )

David Bowie asks Iman if they should just do lasagna again

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Happy Saturday. Hope you get as much a kick out of this story as I did. Good god, I love The Onion. Rock legends and supermodels gotta eat too.

Speaking of David Bowie, birthday karaoke (can’t believe my little sister is 26) is on the horizon. This song may or may not be totally my fault.

What are you up to this weekend?