Monday, June 30, 2014

the perfect lunch plate

now, this might be surprising, but it turns out there isn't a chipotle, or a chop't, or even (god forbid) a subway within about 100 miles of our village. i know, right? what do people eat for lunch??

the thought of cooking a third meal along with breakfast and dinner every day seemed really overwhelming.  not to mention, lunch time falls right around the start of my work day, so i'm usually already set up on my laptop for the day. so instead, i've perfected the quick cold lunch plate. and i'm about to let you in on the secret.

ok, it's not really a secret (anymore).

a little cold rotisserie chicken (we buy about two of them a week); some roasted, salted almonds and olives with herbs; some chopped carrots and cucumber; a little dab of local mustard to dip it all in; and some incredibly juicy and perfectly ripe cherries for a little dessert. 

so that's the basic template, and it has protein, fat, and veggies to keep me full til dinner time. not super into cold chicken? try some prosciutto wrapped melon, or a slice of ham to change things up. add some cherry tomatoes or an apple and almond butter. the beauty of this bad boy is that it's all about what's in the fridge, and not about prepping and cooking a super fancy meal. note: if dairy and gluten doesn't make you feel like death, then some cheese and crackers would sure fit in awfully well.

et voila!

oh, and if you happen to have a macaron or two or ten laying around to snack on once you're done, that certainly can't hurt. sadly, they never last long enough around here for a picture. someday. maybe. probably not. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

feeling a little homesick...

i've been missing nyc like crazy the last few days. yes, we're in this beautiful french village, and yes, we're on this amazing adventure and i cannot WAIT to get to la, but it feels like we're kind of in this purgatory here.

this weekend, all i wanted to do was go back to our routine when we lived in new york. wake up in our apartment, go to yoga or for a run in the park, enjoy a long, leisurely brunch, walk around, go grocery shopping at whole foods, meet friends for a drink or dinner... i'm just missing normal, little things. things like:

sunsets in central park, looking at the west side.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

a walking tour of semur-en-auxois

last thursday, while blake's parents were still here, we took a stroll from the village's main square that the tourism office recommends. it was about three miles, and it hits all of the major sites in semur-en-auxois. it also basically confirms the fact that we are living in a fairytale. a fairytale with a disappointing lack of kale and unsweetened almond milk, but a fairytale nonetheless.

here's some of what we saw! it's a lot like the upper east side of new york, as you can see... and by a lot like, i mean nothing like. still can't believe this is where we get to hang out for another three weeks!

Friday, June 27, 2014

five on friday: bbq season

of all the little luxuries that come from not living in a 500 square foot box in the sky, having a backyard with a grill is pretty high on the list. we've been using ours here just about every night, and it's the easiest way in the world to make dinner. chop some veggies, marinate some meat, throw it all together, et voila! leaves a lot more time for wine-sipping and garden-watering... you know, the finer things in life. linking up with lauren for high five for friday, here are five go-tos that we've loved making!

1. lemon chicken

this recipe was a mainstay back in nyc just on the stovetop, but it easily translates to the grill. the marinade keeps the chicken so juicy and it's really bright and fresh.

2. skirt steak with chimichurri

i'd like to have a gallon of this sauce in the fridge to put on everything forever and ever. it is amazing on scrambled eggs and just about anything else you can think of. oh, and skirt steak of course. we've figured out how to order skirt steak at the butcher now (after a few false starts), so this will be on the menu many evenings to come.

3. apricot mustard grilled pork tenderloin

ok, there are literally three ingredients to this recipe and it is DELISH. one modification i made was using a spice rub on the tenderloin (this one worked great), just to add a little extra oomph. highly recommend making this one asap! we had it with grilled zucchini, peppers, and cherry tomatoes.

4. grilled green beans

or, shall we say, haricots vert? i'm loving that french green beans which are $10 a pound in the states are cheap and plentiful here. we've been eating a ton of them! this is my new favorite way to fix them - the shallots and the garlic really add a nice kick, especially with a little bit of char from the bbq.

5. grilled sweet potatoes

i love sweet potatoes in just about any and every form ever, and this are super quick and easy. oh, and yummy too.

i'm in the market for any other good recipes you might have up your sleeve, so please share!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

this time last year...

my mom, sister, blake, and i were in helena, montana bidding farewell to a very special guy: my grandpa.

don't let anyone else know, but he always told me i was his favorite.

i miss him every day, and love this picture of us. i'm raising a maple bar and a cup of mcdonald's coffee to him (well, it's more like an eclair and an espresso, but close enough).

what's on my kindle?

for all of the gross downsides (like rats and pee smell and garbage, etc.), the nyc subway really is an amazing way to get around. i already miss it! ok, not yet. but i think i will someday. one of the best things about riding the train is all of the reading that i got done. i am a pretty voracious reader, and always have my kindle with me... you never know when a few minutes of peace and quiet will present themselves to get a little further in your book. anyways, i wanted to share what i've been reading lately, in case you're looking for a new read!

read it: americanah, by chimamanda ngozi adichie

i LOVED this book. it's about a nigerian-born woman who is living in america, and returns to nigeria after a relationship gone wrong. it turns into a really sweet romance, and it's a fascinating look at nigerian culture (which i admittedly knew next to nothing about before reading this). i give it a hearty endorsement. 

i mean, it was ok: the vacationers, by emma staub

if you're in the market for an easy, fluffy read, then by all means, this book is definitely worth a look. i read it pretty quickly, but didn't find myself particularly enjoying any of the characters, and it wraps up in a really neat and tidy way, which kind of drives me nuts. but it is perfect for a summer or beach read!

true story: i am an historical fiction nut. i went through a good six months of reading nothing but world war II era stories. try getting off the subway and walking into work in the morning after a heart wrenching story about concentration camps. i don't know what i was thinking, that's a terrible idea. anyways. this one did not scratch that itch at all. it feels like it's trying too hard, and i couldn't get into the story at all. disclaimer: i only got about halfway through, maybe the second half is way better? meh. 

what are you reading and loving these days?

Monday, June 23, 2014

our weekend was: the tourist edition

happy monday! all of the days are starting to blend together a little bit here, as the only thing that really distinguishes the weekend is that i'm NOT at my computer in the afternoon and evening to work. this was our first weekend here on our own, and here's what we got up to:

did a little sightseeing in the neighborhood. no biggie.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

guess what i did...

this was me at about 11:45am on sunday, february 16th, 2014 in austin, texas.

about ten minutes prior to that photo being taken, i had just crossed the finish line of my first marathon. and about 30 seconds after that photo was taken, i said, "nope. never again."

realness: at mile 20 (yes, the wall IS real), i hobbled to a portapotty, sat down on it for 10 minutes, and cried while i called blake. i really, honestly, didn't think i could finish. SIX MORE MILES?? are you kidding me? that was a whole hour more of running. well, at that point, everything hurt, and i was run/walking (and moan/crying). in a story we will tell our grandchildren, still on a seahawks super bowl winning high, blake told me to hustle like russell (wilson). yes, russell wilson, the quarterback for the seattle seahawks, who was chosen in like the 8 millionth round of the draft and then went on to win blah de blah blah. but hilariously, it worked. i DID hustle like russell. or at least i tried. and i crossed that damn finish line. and i got my medal and i got my t-shirt. and i vowed that i was one and done. nope. no more. i'll stick to half-marathons, thankyouverymuch.

but guess what i just did.

i just signed up to run it again in 2015. 

glutton for pain? maybe. perfectionist? absolutely. 

you see, all i could think about after the race was, "i wonder how i could train better/faster/harder and beat my time..."

and here we are. about 8 months out, and i've been on a running break for about a month at this point. i guess it's time to lace up and start pounding out those miles. i WILL beat my time. 

the best part is that this time around, i don't need to worry about doing 16, 18, and 20 miles in the snow, which was the story of my training during the winter from hell. it started snowing in october and didn't end until april. there were lots of faces like this made when i would wake up to run in the morning and there was snow. 

hooray for endless summers and lots of great training days ahead in LA!

yes, it's nuts. but here we go... austin, i'm coming for you!

Friday, June 20, 2014

five on friday: life in burgundy so far

wait a second, how has it been a whole week since the last time i posted? wow! we have had our hands full getting settled here in burgundy, where we'll be hanging out for the next few weeks. for today's link-up (with april, natasha, darci, and christina), i thought i'd do a list of five things that i'm loving about our summer homestead.

1. there's a friggin cherry tree.

it is a 180 degree turn from our city apartment to be living a few kilometers outside of a village of 4600 people, with at least an acre or two of gardens and orchards. we are quickly learning the ins and outs of taking care of such an operation (blake has become the chief waterer, which is quite the daily task). but one of the many bonuses is that we arrived right in the middle of cherry season. oh, you'd like a few cherries to snack on? let me just climb the ladder and pick some instead of taking the subway to whole foods and paying $10 a pound for them.

2. this sweet pup

this is dylan! she's the reason we're here, taking care of her while her parents are in the states for a few weeks. she's the sweetest, gentlest, most sensitive dog i've ever met, and i adore her. she is mostly low maintenance, except for the fact that twice a day, we drive her across the village to a park so she can poop in her preferred spot. this is not a joke. also, she speaks three languages, so she's smarter than both of us.

3. working. with a view.

i'm back on the clock these days, but working from noon-ish to 9pm-ish, so that i can catch up with my east coast clients and colleagues. big fan of that schedule, and an even bigger fan of this view. parking myself on the patio, soaking up some sun, and getting so much done in those hours before everyone else is awake is kind of a dream come true. also, no subways to deal with. and i haven't put on make-up in a week.

4. allez les bleus!

so i'm a HUGE world cup fan. growing up in germany, it's taken very, very seriously, and i am pretty torn between rooting for germany and the us (god help me when they play next week). now, of course, we also have to cheer for france! tonight, they play switzerland at 9pm, so we're going to ride bikes down to the village, set up camp in the brasserie, and have some local wine while we shout "allez les bleus" with a terrible french accent.

5. one more trip to paris

it's only an hour-long train ride away, and i am daydreaming about spending one more night in paris before we head to the airport. i totally fell in love with the marais, the neighborhood we stayed in, and all i want is one more evening spent with a bottle of wine in a sidewalk cafe eating steak frites. merci beaucoup!

blake's parents are coming to visit this weekend for a few days, so i'm excited to explore more of burgundy! and i'm excited to be posting more, now that we're here and settled.

bon weekend a tous!

Friday, June 13, 2014

five on friday: paris pics

i'm beginning to think we might not leave paris... we've really adapted to a tres french schedule:

wake up late, leisurely stroll to a cafe for a croissant et cappuccino, sit in the sun for an hour, continue strolling until we're hungry again, find another cafe to drink a glass of sancerre and eat a baguette avec jambon et fromage, then hit a patisserie for a macaron and some creme caramel to eat by the river, come home and take a late afternoon nap, then finally head out for some steak frites and another three hours of people-watching and wine-drinking until hitting the hay around midnight. it's ideal and it's how i want to spend every day for the rest of my life. ok, maybe for the rest of the summer.

for this week's five on friday, here are five of my fave pics from the last few days here in the city of lights!

eiffel tower selfie zomggg

handstands across europe: the tour continues

seen on a bridge

at the luxembourg gardens (#bighairdontcare)

paris peonies. swoon.

one more day, then we're off to burgundy for the rest of the summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

paris, je t'aime!

we woke up this morning in the most adorable teeny tiny 3rd floor flat in the marais and i still can't quite believe this is real life. we got a bit of wandering in last night, and once i figure out how to cook us some breakfast in the world's smallest kitchen, we're headed off to see what we can see (and eat and drink everything along the way).

a few pics from last night's beautiful sunset along the seine. pinch me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

europe: one week in

so we've officially been on the road for one week today, and have checked london and two places in germany off our list. right now, we're in heidelberg, which is where i went to high school, and it's been so fun to walk down memory lane here! we are packing up this morning and heading to the train  station - next on our list, paris! can't wait to get there. i fully intend on doing more in-depth recap posts for each of our stops, but with spotty internet and temperatures in the 90s (while staying in an air conditioner-less apartment), my heart and attention span just aren't in it quite yet. for now, a few pics to tide us over.

(note how we've really upped our selfie game from london to heidelberg. i think we'll really crush some paris selfies...)

trafalgar square

the few minutes of sun we had in london

big ben!

blake's first german summer beer

the castle in heidelberg (where i had my prom!)

did you see the castle? it's right there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

i'll take you to foggy london town

hello from across the pond! we arrived in london yesterday morning after an emotionally-fraught (for some of us) farewell to nyc. after a quick nap and shower at our home base in notting hill, we headed out on foot to explore!

it was mostly foggy and drizzly (obviously), but we got a few peeks of sun. we covered most of notting hill, kensington gardens, hyde park, and then finished the night with a turkish meal in marylebone. excited for day two with more than four hours of sleep under our belts.

Monday, June 2, 2014

goodbye to all that

"I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later — because I did not belong there, did not come from there — but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month." 

Joan Didion, "Goodbye to All That"