Love Letters {#FoodPorn Edition}

Aug 29, 2014

A lot has happened in my mouth since I lasted updated this thing we call a blawg.
Aside from the fact that I've had thirteen cavities filled, I've also been stuffing my face with some pretty great things.
I'm just going to write one all-encompassing letter to these foods, because any more than one letter to food would just be plain weird.
Dear all of the wonderful eats my mouth has had the privilege of experiencing lately,
Thanks for existing and thanks for the cavities.
I had the most excellent lemon poppyseed pancakes at Whiskey Cake.
. . . topped with maple cream and blueberry compote.
I finally experienced that magic that is a Rainier cherry.
I hope that right now you are judging me for just now learning that they existed.
Josh spoiled me with an authentic American breakfast for the Fourth of July.
I came across my Portland coffee crush, Stumptown, at a local grocery store.
Hallelujah, praise the Lort! 
I was finally brave enough to order the Fluffernutter from the kid's menu at East Hampton Sandwich Co.
A sandwich makes a perfectly suitable dessert, right?
I got pretty darn creative with some popsicles this summer.
The pups approved.
These shrimp and goat cheese crepes from our weekend trip to New Orleans might just win the award for my favorite meal of 2014.
I think I also my have found my all time favorite Moscow Mule (at TruFire Kitchen and Bar).
The secret ingredient: blueberries. 
Another random, stressful Sprinkles ice cream combination for the win:
Smore's ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies
I also got a salted oatmeal cornflake cookie for a snack later that day and immediately regretted not sandwiching the smokes ice cream between that. 
Of all the times we've been to HopDoddy, I've never once tried a shake.
I recently divulged in the salted caramel shake and melted in the ooey gooey, custardy perfection of it all.
My brother Michael has been begging us to try Smoke for the last few months.
He finally convinced us this weekend and we think we have found our new all-time favorite Dallas brunch spot.
Pictured above: 
Pulled whole hog bbq eggs benedict with goat cheese potato cakes and cheese grits casserole.
Last week's homemade dinner:
The cheeeeesiest chicken and spinach frittata with a sweet potato crust.
It was damn good.
I don't think I've ever cursed on this blog before, but that meal was worth a curse.

It's the best.

First comes love, then comes marriage...

Aug 27, 2014

Then comes a house, of course ;)
Our apartment lease is up soon, so we've been on the hunt for a real live house over the last few weeks. 
It's hard to believe we've been in a teeny apartment for almost two years. 
This year I am on call over Christmas, and I'm dreading not being able to spend it with our families in Louisiana.
My goal was to be in a new place of our own for our first Christmas with just us two.
Oh and we've been craving a place large enough to hold a king size bed.
That's not too much to ask, right?
Two dogs + two humans + one queen size bed.
In this whole house-hunting process, our only problem was finding the "perfect" home that we could both agree on.
I'm anti suburbia and I insisted on a non-brick home in an actual neighborhood.
With trees.
Josh insisted on a brick suburbia house.
I know, I'm just as shocked as you are.
A few weeks ago my parents came to town and we came up with a list of homes we wanted to go check out. 
I don't know why we even bothered with a list, because we fell in love with the first one we looked at.
The HardiePlank siding, the carriage style doors on the two car garage, the mega yard for the pups, the insanely gorgeous kitchen with grey subway tile.
. . . but mainly the master closet!
Everyone around here has been all like "It's a buyer's market! Don't get too attached! Houses sell the day they are listed!"
Silly me. 
I got attached.
Some stranger who obviously didn't care about my attachment issues made an offer on our dream home and the house was quickly under contract.
I cried one miniature tear, and then we found out that the builders of that home had just finished a somewhat smaller, cheaper version:
We ultimately became attached (again)
Even though it had a one car garage, smaller backyard, and the master bathroom didn't have a bathtub (no bathtub!?!) we convinced ourselves it was the one.
It was cheaper and fit well within our budget.
Before we committed, we looked around town a bit more to make sure this was exactly what we wanted.
I fell in love an "old" home (Josh's words, not mine) in the most cozy neighborhood with a great yard and a perfect kitchen.
 Josh hated it.
It was too old for him. 
He fell in love with a new home in a subdivision.
I hated it.
It was solid brick.
In his defense, it did have the world's greatest kitchen.
In memory of the ones (plural) that got away, I want to commemorate them for some of my favorite details.
R.I.P you oh-so-perfect homes (that Josh hated).
This breakfast nook:
This porch:
 This sink:
 This tub:
(Although I'm fairly certain this house was haunted)
After a slight breakdown or two a few more tears, we realized that the only home we had ever agreed on was the bungalow.
He loved that it was new, and I loved that it looked older, but was still in a cozy, non-cookie-cutter neighborhood.
We made an offer and to our surprise it was accepted! 
We felt like we had won.
The battle was over.
We got a house!
Little did our young naïve selves know, we still had a few more steps in the process.
The inspection happened next, and we realized that the "yard" that the builders had sodded and even installed an in-ground sprinkler system into would not in fact be our "yard".
The property line of this house ended 15 feet short of the neighbors back fence, which virtually cut the yard in half.
To put some really crappy great value brand icing on our magnificent cake, there was a dead tree in that plot of land that was a slight breeze away from falling into the neighbors yard and totaling their eclectic collection of "vintage" cars.
After talking with the builders, our realtor, and a lawyer or two, we ultimately decided that the legal battle was not something we should tackle and we withdrew our offer.
We were both surprisingly very depressed about it. 
We had so many plans.
We had begun to buy furniture and thanks to some peer pressure we had already decided where our two Christmas trees would go.
I cried only a few more tears (I didn't have many left after all this nonsense) and thankfully I had lots of moral support and wonderful friends and family to remind me that God has a plan and things have a way of working out if they are meant to be.
Also, just because your offer is accepted doesn't mean the house is yours.
Lessons learned.
Little did we know, the current offer on our first "house crush" (sage green bungalow with two car garage and mega yard, pictured above) was only a contingency offer (with a secret knock-out clause).
Interpretation: These potential buyers were basically "holding" the house until they could sell the house they were currently living in. 
If someone came along and gave a good offer that the builder liked, then the potential buyers would have a certain time frame to front the money so they could get the house.
Long story short, we made an offer and at 5:00pm Wednesday we found out it was accepted!
The other bidders bowed out gracefully.
We won!
I'm half way over the moon and I'm halfway terrified to be over the moon because of what happened last time.
I do find it pretty fantastic though that we ultimately got our first "house crush".
We still have a few hoops to jump through, like another inspection and finalizing the loan, before it is officially ours, so I'm going to try my best to not get my hopes up in the meantime.
. . . but isn't it THE cutest?
Over the last few weeks Josh and I have been repetitively slapped in the face by adulthood. 
We usually spend each Labor Day weekend in Seattle then camping out at The Gorge in Washington.
This year will be our first year to miss out of the fun.
I've dreaded the day where we had to say no to travel for the sake of saving up money for grown-up things.
Although it is somewhat nauseating, that time has officially come, and I must say I'm not all that sad about.
Bring it on, adulthood.

Tunesday: Sylvan Esso "Coffee"

Aug 26, 2014

Today I wrote seven blog posts that I doubt I ever get around to posting.
I'm the worst, right?
I haven't been able to get this song out of my head lately, so I felt the need to blog about it instead.

Strange video.
Incredible song.
I dare you to take it off of repeat.

Happy Fourth Birthday Charlie!

Aug 22, 2014

Today is our sweet pup's fourth birthday.
He's practically a grandpa now, right?
Charlie has had quite the eventful year.
His oh so perfect spoiled rotten only child world was slightly rocked when we added another setter to the mix.
Charlie's parents had another litter this year and we were able to get a biological sister for King Charles.
Six months later and I think he still resents us.
In true big brother form, he's a guhhhhreat wrastler though.
Here's a little recap of Charlie's fourth year:
Probably the highlight of Charlie's year was his Halloween costume:
The Irish Settler
He was quite the Bingo competitor.
He facetimed me while I was away for my first work trip.
Do you see a tear? I think that's a tear.
He continues to stalk the heck out of our neighborhood rabbits.
We took him back up to Arkansas for a weekend getaway.
Three years later and you can hardly tell a difference, right?
He posed ever so eloquently in front of our Christmas tree.
He helped us survive our first ice storm.
He snuggled up hard like he had the flu or something.
He attempted to dominate the center console on all roadtrips.
He thoroughly inspected our new record player contraption.
He became a genuine gangster.
He refused to let us take our Christmas tree down until February.
He met, and absolutely hated, our new neighbor pup, Rufio.
Which should have been a slight red flag for us.
He used is elbows the only way elbows should be used.
He continued to believe that if he wasn't making eye contact then he couldn't hear anything being said.
He dominated Supermarket Sweep.
He thoroughly enjoyed his last few moments being an only child and not being harassed, annoyed, or chewed on.
He got to reunite with his dad and mom in Mississippi.
They never sat still long enough for me to get a decent photo, but I snapped this one of his dad, Rhett.
They look nearly identical!
He became a big brother!
Call me crazy, but I kinda just assumed that Charlie would basically train Molly to pee outside, not bark at the neighbors, and to .
Not sure what I was smoking.
Kind of funny how we used to think Charlie was sooooo wild and crazy and bad, now all of a sudden with Molly in the picture he is the most calm, laid back, perfect angel of a pup in the world.
Charlie proudly showed off his 'ol stompin grounds, the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, to Molly recently.
He felt so cool, we could tell.
After living 3.5 years as a fluffy little, free-spirited, ungroomed pup, we finally caved a gave him a haircut.
He's still coming to terms with it.
Just recently he got to go back to Georgia and run 3098409283 laps around Josh's dads yard, but this time he had the company of two babes, Molly and Lucy.
Today we spoiled Charlie with a pupcake and as many walks as his little heart desired.
As a former "not a dog person" I'm still amazed how much love I have in my heart for this silly pup.
We are pretty darn thankful to have him in our life.
Check out these links to see Charlie's first, second, and third birthdays!
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