New Orleans: Land of the Open Container

I’m back! And I had so much fun that my body didn’t know what to do with itself and I ended up catching a cold. Boo…

I found my old camera with a cracked screen while I was packing so I actually have some photos to share. We couldn’t preview them or even see what we were taking a picture of most of the time, so I’m pretty impressed that we got so many decent photos.

This is us riding the streetcar (I pretended to drive and was apparently SUPER happy about it):

This is us eating lunch:

This is us enjoying Lake Pontchartrain:

And this is us spending our last evening together at their local bar:

Some of other things we did that lack photographic evidence:

  • Played Uno at a couple bars
  • Walked the streets with beers/daiquiris/mixed drinks in our hands (not all at once, though)
  • Piled on the bed and watched funny Youtube videos
  • Enjoyed the BEST chocolate cake ever (thanks for baking it Mego)
  • Listened to some live jazz
  • Acquired a greater appreciation for Parks and Rec
  • Shopped the boutiques near their house (Doug sat this one out)
  • Visited Doug at his bar
  • Sang Tenacious D while we walked the neighborhood

You see? It was an amazing trip. I was so bummed to come back to real life and back to work. But that’s what being a grown-up is all about. Now I’m left counting down the days until Doug and Mego come visit me. I’m serious you two, start planning.

Love,

A

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See Ya Lata Chris (and Three Sleeps til NOLA)

I dropped Chris off at the airport shuttle this morning. It was so great to see him. He ended up spending two weekends with me–and the week in between in New Jersey and New York visiting other friends. It worked out perfectly because I worked late every night last week and I would have been absolutely no fun if I had been responsible for entertaining him.

On the 7th we spent the day in Boston; we tasted beer at Sam Adams (if you get a postcard from us, please realize that we were a few beers in when we wrote it); walked around Boston Common and drank some more at Cheers. The weather was beautiful- sunny and much warmer than it should have been for January in Boston. On the 8th we drove up the Cape, stopping at some state parks along the way, and ended our adventure in Provincetown, which seemed like it would have been a cool place except that it pretty much shuts down during the off-season.

This past weekend I had previously committed to dog sitting for Aunty Sharon and Uncle B, so we stayed in Connecticut. Saturday we drove south and visited Groton and New London. We walked the trails at Bluff Point State Park and toured the inside of a submarine at the Submarine Force Museum. Both were pretty neat–and free. We cooked a yummy meal at my Aunt’s and settled in with the pups for a lazy evening. The lazy evening extended into the next day as it was too cold to do much of anything (serious props to Chris for running in 8 degree weather). Aunty Sharon and Uncle B took us out for Mexican food then we came back to my apartment and hung out til bedtime.

Now I’m back at work for three days. On Thursday I’m off to New Orleans for some long over-due time with Doug, Mego and Katie K. The weather report is showing temps at least 40 degrees warmer than what we’ve got going on in Mass. I may even bust out the shorts and sandals. Weird.

Hope you’re well (and warm),
A

Honey Face

Now that I’m paying more attention to the foods I put in my body, I’ve started to become more aware of the stuff I’m using on my body. I don’t like the idea of using chemical-ridden products on my skin. Plus, I’ve struggled with acne for several years so I hoped that going all-natural would help clear my skin. I did some research and came up with a new skin care routine:

Morning-

Apply a small amount of raw honey (think dime-sized) to wet hands and smooth over face. Let it sit for 5-10 (if you have the time) and then rinse with warm water. I was surprised at how easily the honey rinses off. And it’s not nearly as sticky as I expected (but that’s why I apply with wet hands—the water cuts the stickiness).

Night-

Start by rinsing your face with warm water. (I wear eye makeup every day so I try to rinse as much off as possible before washing my face.) Then pour a small amount of raw honey into your palm and top with a couple shakes of baking soda. Stir the two together and then gently rub onto your face in circular motions. Rinse with warm water. If your eye makeup isn’t completely washed off, then use a tiny bit of olive oil on a cotton pad to remove what’s left. Finish by toning with diluted apple cider vinegar (3 parts water, 1 part vinegar). The vinegar removes any traces of baking soda that would otherwise dry out your skin. It kinda smells (Derek hates it) but it is really good for your skin so I’m willing to deal.

It’s been over two months and my skin has never looked better. And I’m saving money because I always have these ingredients on hand, so I’m not paying extra for fancy face wash. If you’re looking for a natural way to wash your face or have blemishes that don’t respond well to store-bought treatments, I highly recommend this method.

2012 is Here

2011 is gone. I’m naming it “The Year of Playing Grown-Up and Realizing It’s No Fun.” I took my first career-like job and I moved into my very own apartment. Turns out… I’m not really into a cubicle work-life and I’d rather live with Derek than be alone. But I did make some great new friends, changed to a plant-based and spend a lot of time with my family. So I’m counting it as a win.

To ring in the New Year (and celebrate our third anniversary), Derek spent the afternoon in Boston. Then we met our friends Lisa and Jim for dinner and drinks in Watertown. We drove home before midnight (so that we wouldn’t be on the road with drunks) and opened a bottle of champagne. I managed to stay up just long enough to see the clock strike 12:00 and then promptly fell asleep on the couch.

I thought life would slow down after the holidays. But that’s just not the case. In 4 days my long-lost friend Chris is coming to visit me. I haven’t seen him since I moved away so I’m super excited. And then in 2 1/2 weeks, I’m flying to New Orleans to see Doug, Mego and Katie. Pretty great start to the new year, huh?

This year, I’m resolving to live in the moment. I need to find a better balance between making plans for the future and enjoying the present. How ’bout you? Any resolutions?

Hope you had a lovely New Year.

Love,

A

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