Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BIG changes

Hello all! I've been a little quiet these past few days, but I've been up to a lot of fun things, including a friendscation to Lake Chautauqua! Besides some relaxing downtime, I've had three MAJOR developments in my life:

1. I became a founding partner at She In The CLE, a blogger collective focussed on providing a platform for previously unheard voices, for discovering previously undiscovered blogs and providing a forum for existing bloggers to discuss topics that may not fit their existing blog niche. I've been contributing some lifestyle pieces over at She In The CLE, including the start of a fun, enlightening series, that is definitely on the short list of top 10 favorite blog-related things I've ever done!

2. I became a licensed spin instructor in late July and will be teaching my first ever spin class next week! You may recall that my 2015 goals including getting back into the swing of blogging becoming a spin instructor, and for the first time EVER, I will end 2015 having successfully completed both goals! No resolution regrets for me!!!!

3. This blog is being revamped. I hinted at changes a few months ago, and IT. IS. HAPPENING. NOW. And honestly, I couldn't be more excited!! My blog will now be housed at so please bookmark it! My focus will now be on affordable luxury, with fun things to do, see and taste around Cleveland continuing to make regular appearances. And of course, Bombay Taxi, my e-commerce store focussed on limited edition, affordable luxury will launch this fall! I hope you will continue to follow my blog at its new home!

All things said and done, its been a busy and productive summer, and I'm looking forward to everything that comes next!!

XO, and see you soon over at Bombay Taxi

Monday, August 24, 2015

Columbus Eats: Hot Chicken Takeover

Nick and I were in Columbus this past weekend, celebrating his cousin Michelle's wedding to her now-husband Matt. We wanted to check out some Columbus restaurants, and the minute I asked my friend Jeff for a recommendation, he threw out Hot Chicken Takeover.

For the uninitiated, Hot Chicken Takeover is Nashville-style fried chicken. And if you're wondering what that is, basically, the chicken is brined for over 18 hours, fried, tossed in spices, and fried again. It comes in four categories: Cold (mild), Warm (medium), Hot (and it is HOT) , and Holy (which I'm not brave enough to try).

Hot Chicken Takeover started as a kick-starter funded food truck, and then expanded to a restaurant at the North Market. Their hours are typically 11am - 3pm, but they only make a set number of pieces, and judging by the line at 10:50 am on a Sunday, I highly doubt they can ever stay open the whole time with running out. I had heard rumors about the high sell-out risk, and Nick and I found ourselves in the line at 10:40 am-- by some miracle, we were the second people in line!!

By 10:50 am the line was wrapped around the second floor, and when the doors opened at 11:00 am, the line was snaking all the way around the restaurant. The restaurant itself is pretty bare bones, but it fits. Fried chicken is simple food, and the simple decor makes sure the focus stays right where it should be-- on that chicken.

Nick ordered the Warm meal and I chose the Hot meal. The slaw was a delicious vinegar based mix of cabbage, carrots and onions - delicious and refreshing. The mac n cheese was creamy and cheesy, and I definitely needed it to cool off my mouth after the hot chicken. And the chicken? This is probably THE BEST fried chicken I've ever eaten, and I've eaten a lot of really good fried chicken. Hot Chicken Takeover uses organic chicken from local farms, and the quality and time taken to brine definitely make a difference. The hot was HOT- perfect for my palette honed on Indian spices. I had a runny nose and the BIGGEST smile on my face. So did it live up to the hype? F*** YES!!!

By the time we left around 11:20, there were plenty of people similarly enjoying their chicken. The whole restaurant smelled like comfort food -- and everyone looked really happy too!

So in closing, I highly recommend Hot Chicken Takeover the next time you're in Columbus (assuming that you're not vegan or vegetarian of course). You may have to wait in line, but I promise its worth it!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CLE Shops: Freddy Hill Design

This past weekend, I was invited to tour the Freddy Hill Design studio in Lakewood, just a few minutes from my house. If you're not aware of the brand, Freddy Hill Design creates one-of-a-kind, handcrafted furniture and home accessories, as well as leather goods, and being the bag fanatic that I am, there's no way I was going to pass up this invitation!

So, Saturday morning, I made my way to the studio to meet with Nina Kocan, who works with Freddy and actually designs and creates their leather bags and accessories. Nina's degree is in education and art, and she joined Freddy a couple of years ago seeking a career that would let her explore her creative side and work with her hands. She initially started as Freddy's apprentice, creating furniture-- the bag line was a result of an experiment into an upholstery line, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Freddy Hill Design line of bags and leather goods is created completely in Lakewood, by hand, from locally sourced materials. Everything from the leather (that comes from a local tannery), to the vintage brass details, to the logo, are all created and sourced right here in Northeast Ohio. Which is really pretty amazing if you think about it.

The bag line has a heavy focus on totes, which fall into primarily three categories: raw leather (these are unlined and feature an interior leather pocket), the regular totes (lined with cotton lining, featuring 2 pockets and a zippered pocket, as well as a leather and brass keyring), and the hair-on-hide totes, which I absolutely LUUUUURVE!

These hair-on-hide totes are really quite amazing-- they are hand painted, and like the regular totes, feature a cotton lining, two interior pockets, a zippered pocket, a leather and brass key ring, magnetic closure and brass details. The bag has a really amazing texture, and like all natural leather, will last a long time and wear absolutely beautifully. Nina was gracious enough to gift me my very own hair-on-hide tote, which I've been carrying around all week. The bag has attracted a lot of attention and compliments!!

You can check out the Freddy Hill Design line of bags online, or at local boutiques like LINGG.

I know I didn't spend a lot of time talking about Freddy's furniture line, but it is really beautiful-- I encourage you to take a look at the collection online, at his studio, or on Instagram!

Disclosure: As I mentioned before, I was gifted one of the hair-on-hide totes that you see in the picture above. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. I absolutely LUUUUURVE supporting talented designers and artists, and I thank you for allowing me this platform to support their work! XO

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Reads: Exploring the world of the Super Rich

I have been reading a LOT lately. Nick and I have been spending a lot of evenings hanging out on our front porch with a glass of wine, and I've been using the lull in TV season to catch up on some fun reading. My taste in books leans toward fiction, although I do reach for the occasional biography or fashion book here and there. One of my favorite books this summer is actually a sequel to a book I read last year, so I wanted to talk about both.

I first read Crazy Rich Asians last year. It tells the story of economics profession Rachel Chu who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young for a wedding, and to meet Nick's family. Rachel  doesn't know that Nick's family is in the top 1% of wealthiest people in the WHOLE WORLD.  What follows is a fun family saga and peek into what it must be like to have unimaginable wealth. This is a super fun read for any lover of fashion and travel: lots and lots of designer name drops, and the book takes you from NYC to Singapore to Hong Kong and London and Paris.

China Rich Girlfriend, released earlier this summer, is the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians. Rachel and Nick are back, and so are a host of new characters. This books stands alone, but it does make references to the earlier book, so I recommend reading both. They are such fun reads that it really won't take a lot of time to get through them. I can't talk about plot too much without giving away plot points from the first book, but lets just say that the sequel is even more wild than the original! Perfect summer reads!!!

So what are you reading this summer? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

CLE Eats: Alley Cat

My obsession with oysters is well documented. Naturally, Nick and I just HAD to go try out Alley Cat with our friends Dave and Jessi (Jessi, like me is similarly obsessed with oysters). Located on the east bank of the Flats, Alley Cat is part of the Flats revival. The restaurant is located right on the boardwalk, and there were plenty of people docking their boats and walking in for dinner. The restaurant has huge garage doors, so when they are open, you feel like you're outside, even when you're actually indoors. There are also two outdoor patios, so in short, lots of room to sit. That said, I still recommend reservations!  The day we went, the restaurant was less than a week old, so the slight service issues were to be expected. The food however, was impeccable (with one exception). Between the four of us, we ordered the following:

Clam Chowder: probably the best clam chowder I've ever tasted
Ceviche: absolutely delicious
Beef Tartare: sadly this was disappointing 
Peel-N-Eat Shrimp: this was a warm dish, served in a buttery sauce-- so, so good
Shrimp Stuffed Peppers: spicy! but I couldn't stop eating it. It burned so good!
A dozen oysters: we ordered the Standish Shore, Wianno and Misty Point. The Misty Point were my favorite
Grilled Octopus: smoky and delicious
Lobster roll: Now, its been a few years since I ate one in New England, but this was v. good
Chili Braised Beef: I didn't try this one, but Dave really liked it
Rice Custard Creme Brûlée: This has the texture of rice pudding, NOT creme brûlée, so adjust expectations accordingly

There were cocktails and wine involved (naturally), and the four of us basically had to be wheeled out since we ate SO. MUCH.

Overall, the food was really good, and I know the service will get better with time and experience. With the amazing lakeside views and fun atmosphere, I know I will be back very very soon!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Finding The Right Foundation Garments

Foundation garments: The key to make sure your clothes fit well and look good on you. In layman's terms, underwear. However, the sad truth is that somewhere between 60-85% of women (based on the study) are wearing the wrong size. And, I am ashamed to admit, I am was one of those people.

While I understand the concept and importance of the right bra, the truth is bra shopping SUCKS. It is basically the WORST! And if you go to a big box undergarment retailer (ahem, Victorias Secret), they almost ALWAYS get the size wrong. Now you could go into a specialty store or Nordstrom, but UGH, who wants to go shopping for BRAS?!

A few weeks ago, I reached my limit with a particularly ill-fitting bra that was causing all sorts of issues with my shirt. Enter a well-timed Facebook ad for True & Co, promising a perfect fit and easy and free returns --- what did I have to lose?! I clicked through…

True & Co. starts your experience with a set of 15 quick questions about your current bra, no measuring tape necessary.

Once you've completed the survey (and signed up for a 10% off coupon (YAY!), they assign your boobs into categories based on your boob shape, not just size. And then, you're off to the races with your recommendations. Now anyone who has been bra shopping knows that no two brands are alike. A 34C in one brand is definitely NOT the same as a 34C across another. True & Co has figured out all the differences, so they suggest sizes that are brand specific. I quickly ordered 2, and waited.

A few days later, they arrived. I tried them on with baited breath (in the comfort of my own well-lit bedroom), and they fit. PERFECTLY! The quality is great (they are well known brands like Wacoal, Spanx and the like) and they come in basic and fun colors and textures. I've ordered more bras, and I wish I could tell you about the return policy, but they've all been so great that I haven't had to return a single one!

If you feel like your bra could fit better (maybe you feel like the straps are digging in, or there's a gap, or you have back fat bulges, or you've had a change in weight), I strongly recommend you take the True & Co survey. It will take you no more than 2 minutes (I promise), and will give you an idea of your perfect bra size. Even if you decide not to buy, at the very least, you will be armed with good information for your future bra purchases.

Who knows, maybe you will find the right bra that just makes your clothes look a little better, and make you even more polished and gorgeous than you already are!

Good luck, and treat your boobs right!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Feels Like Vegas: FWD Day + NightClub

This past Friday, Cleveland welcomed its very first day and night club: FWD. Pronounced Forward, the club (as its name suggests) is open both during the day and at night so you can pretend that you're in Vegas and party all day.

Built on the east bank of the Flats, using shipping containers as focal points of its decor, FWD has a very open vibe. Nick and I stopped by on Sunday afternoon to briefly check it out.

My initial observations:

1. The space: Its not that big, but the layout gives the illusion of a lot of space. Lots of white distressed wood, and metal. The shipping containers and the bridges surrounding the property make for some amazing Instagram pics. The location on the water, and the amazing summer Cuyahoga sunsets make this worth visiting for that reason alone. That said, there is practically NO SHADE AT ALL. I wilt in the sun (for real, I break into a rash) so I absolutely could NOT spend all day there. Very bad things would happen to me. I'm told they're working on fixing this.

2. The music: Very dancy, very enjoyable, very Vegas. FWD has a selection of rotating guest DJs, and for the brief time I was there, I really did get into the music.

3. The dress code: I have not figured this out yet. Granted, I was there early in the afternoon, and there weren't too many people there yet, but the dress code was a mix of cute sundresses, some dress shorts, one woman in a bikini + stilettos. The bar staff (mostly women) are in bikini tops and skirts/ bottoms + coverups, but it seems like anything goes. Guys were mostly in shorts/linen pants.

4. The drinks:  You can order cocktails at the bar, but the credit card machine was glitching while we were there, and not having any cash, we didn't try any cocktails. If you want to sit at any of the spots pictures above, you need bottle service, which runs at $250-$300 for a bottle of vodka (as an example). You can reserve a space online, and if you're planning a visit on a Friday or Saturday night, they highly recommend making one in advance. They're experimenting with some minimums on very busy nights, but its all a work in progress for now. Remember that it only opened on Friday.

5. The pool: Yes, there is a pool. It is currently membership only, roped off, with a few cabana type loungers around it. It will be filled this week. I believe membership is $1300/year. Keep in mind that FWD is a seasonal space, so obviously you won't be able to access this in the dead of winter.

Overall, this is a great space and a new concept for Cleveland. I'm curious to see how the membership pool concept flies. I'm also very interested in getting together a group of friends and visiting for a night on the town! Who's with me?!

PS: Since I shamelessly used Tinashe's song as the title for my blog, I feel like I also need to share the song with you. Sing along.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recipe: Spicy Indian Kidney Beans aka Rajmah

One of my favorite things about food is that different regions have variations on cuisine. The same is true for Indian food. One of my favorite Indian meals is Rajmah and rice: aka spicy kidney beans served over basmati rice. Unfortunately, I hadn't had a lot of luck finding a good recipe, until I came across Anupy Singla's book, The Indian Slow Cooker.

The following is my recipe for Rajmah, adapted from hers- this recipe makes 10 cups
3 cups dried red kidney beans. DO NOT used the canned stuff- it will change up the flavor and texture.
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
3 finger-hot/serrano chiles (I used 2, and it was really quite spicy. You can omit these if you prefer)
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon red chile powder
1 tablespoon salt (you can always add more to taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
9 cups water
1/2- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Put everything except the cilantro in a slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 11 hours. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves (if you can find them). Use an immersion blender for 2-3 quick blasts to break up some of the beans. Serve over basmati rice, garnished with cilantro (be generous with the cilantro- it really adds to the flavor.)


Monday, July 27, 2015

Scenes from my Weekend: The Birthday Edition

I celebrated my birthday this past Friday, and as one should do, I turned it into a celebratory weekend. Nick got me some gorgeous roses and my favorite La Marca Prosecco as part of my birthday present. The other part involves a photo shoot with pet photographer extraordinaire Greg Murray.

Friday evening we got dressed up and headed out to dinner at new-to-me restaurant Trentina.

If you haven't been to Trentina yet, I highly recommend a visit. The decor is a gorgeous white + black + gold combination-- I wanted to move in. The space is pretty small and intimate- only 30 or so tables, and the experience is intimate to match. 

The food is truly exceptional. We saw General Manager, Larder Master, and Wild Food Forager  Jeremy Umansky speak at TedxCLE, and we excited to try some of the innovative creations from Trentina. Trentina's food is focussed on the northern Italian region of Trentino; the restaurant offers a 12-course, 3- hour, tasting menu experience, as well as an a la carte menu. Nick and I went the a la carte route, and it was spectacular. From the charcuterie board, to the crudo, the amazing house made pastas and pizza's, our meal was flawless. After dinner, Jeremy graciously escorted us on a tour of the kitchen and the larder, where he is working on some really interesting creations for the restaurant.

Saturday morning, the weather was so perfect that it was time for Beach Day part deux. 

Unfortunately, I misjudged the amount of sunblock necessary, and left with a slight burn on the back of my arms and the tops of my thighs. Oops. and Ouch.

Sunday, I did something truly amazing for me. For the very first time ever, I'm on target to complete a real New Year's Resolution by the end of the year. I became a licensed spin instructor!!! I am so excited to find my instructor gig (I have a pretty good idea of where I will be starting off), and really hone my skills as a ride DJ and coach!

It was a fitting end to a great weekend. Naturally we had to top it off with some delicious ice-cream and churros. 

This week is going to be a little weird for me: Tuesday I'm having surgery to fix my deviated septum, so I'm going to be a little out of it for the rest of the week. Don't worry though, I have some posts planned, so keep coming back to visit! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beach Day Essentials

Cleveland has no shortage of beaches. Whether you're east side or west side, there's are a series of options. My personal favorite (mainly because it is SO close to my home) is Edgewater Beach. This past weekend, I spent the day at the beach with Nick, Lisa, and Sean, and we had an absolute blast. I think I may have sighed with happiness and said "This is the life you guys" at least a dozen times. And it really was. Warm sunshine, cool breeze, no sharks….. it was so awesome that we're going to do it again.

So, as we approach another beach-worthy weekend, I wanted to round up my Top 5 Beach Day essentials:
1. A fun beach towel: The key here is that the towel is long enough that your feet aren't in the sand. Actually, for good measure I would probably recommend two: one to lay on and the other to dry off. Or a combo beach blanket + beach towel.
2. A cooler: You will get hungry, or thirsty, and you might as well take your own supplies. I prefer the cooler totes because they're just easier to carry. Ever try wheeling a hard sided big cooler in the sand? Its not fun.
3. Jams: You are going to want some music, but you don't want something that gets obnoxiously loud that your beach neighbors give you death stares. The Jambox is the perfect solution- it comes in two sizes, is extremely portable, and generates surprisingly high quality sound.
4. Sunblock: Usually, I'm under an umbrella, but I'm also a slave to sunblock. Just say no to skin cancer and wrinkles.

beach essentials

GANT beach towel

COOLA Suncare sun care

5. And last, but certainly not least, your friends: friends always make beach day that much more fun!!

Hope you have a lovely weekend sticking your toes in the sand!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

CLE Eats: Flaming Ice Cube

One of my favorite things about working is downtown Cleveland is the wide variety of lunch options. Now, I don't eat out every day, but when I do, I have some favorites. And then sometimes, I prefer to just explore. Last week, my friend Erika and I explored Flaming Ice Cube on Public Square.

Flaming Ice Cube has been around for a while, and offers a vegan menu. I might have lost you at vegan, but I urge you to hang on until the end of the post. I'm certainly not vegan, but if vegan food tastes so good, then I could definitely do it.

We started off with the cucumber detox smoothie. With cucumber, pineapple, apple juice, cilantro and kale, this was a perfectly refreshing summer smoothie. I could almost feel my body absorbing nutrients and detoxing.

Next up, I ordered the Asian Vegetable wrap -- this was delicious and filled with finely cut veggies. It was quite literally steaming with each bite-- so so good. The peanut sauce was TDF-  I could drink it. The side salad was a little too salty, but I just skipped it.

And finally, because I was feeling so VIRTUOUS after my vegan lunch, we decided to indulge in some vegan molten chocolate cake. Oh. My. God. This was as good, if not better, than a lot of non-vegan cakes. This was definitely the moment where I realized that if push ever came to shove, I could definitely be vegan (at least for a short period of time).

So, if you've been wanting to try vegan food, or are even remotely curious, I recommend Flaming Ice Cube. Its the kind of vegan meal I imagine Bey and Jay eat when they do their 22-day Revolution Vegan Diet. So go ahead, channel Bey and Jay. You know you want to.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Explore CLE: The Orchestra at Blossom

This past weekend, Nick and I joined our fellow Circle members for The Cleveland Orchestra's kickoff to summer at Blossom Music Center. Nick and I really don't like driving, but lucky for us, the Circle had taken care of this problem by providing its members with a bus that drove us from Severance Hall to Blossom. Once at Blossom, we were treated to a yummy barbecue dinner and Great Lakes beer, after which we all made our way to the lawn to enjoy the show. 

It was a beautiful summer night, and as you can see, it was a packed house to listen to the Orchestra perform Beethoven's Ninth.

As always with the Cleveland Orchestra it was a great show, but since it was at Blossom, it was a very different experience, and one I highly recommend. However, if you are an Orchestra at Blossom newbie (as I was), here are five things you should know:
1. Blossom is WAY more casual than Severance Hall. This is an all ages event, so you can take your kids. There were a few parents who had even brought a change of clothes, so the kids were in pjs about half way through!
2. Unlike most concerts at Blossom, you can take coolers into the Orchestra shows. Which means you can bring in your own food AND wine
3. The ground can get a little wet as the sun goes down, so you definitely want a picnic blanket, ideally one with the water resistant backing
4. It can also get a little chilly after sunset, so an extra blanket or cardigan or hoodie is a good idea
5. Take bug spray

We had such a great time at Blossom that we're already planning our next visit. The lawn tickets are an incredible bargain at $26/each, and there are some really fun performances coming this season. A great way to experience our world-renowned Orchestra in a super casual setting!

Disclosure: I serve on the Board of Directors of The Circle. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. That being said, I LUUUUURVE The Circle-- it is absolutely the BEST value for money for a young professional in Cleveland. $20/month gives you 2 tickets in a household (even if you're single, you should get the double and take a friend!), which includes 12 events per year, at least 6 of which are concerts. Circle Members also get a 20% discount on classical concerts, and most important, the members themselves are fun and welcoming! Additional details available here

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cooling off Mumbai Style

Mumbai is oppressively hot for about 9 months of the year. There's a brief respite in January and February during the "winter" and then briefly during the monsoon. But otherwise, it is HOT. And cooling off is a bit of a city-wide obsession. There are all kinds of remedies for cooling foods (there's an ayurvedic theory about some foods that cause heat in the body while others are cooling) -- in fact, juicing has been a trend for decades!

There's a very famous juice spot in Mumbai called the Haji Ali Juice Center - everyone in the city knows exactly where it is. My favorite part about it is that like a lot of juice spots in the city, you can wait in your car, and someone will come take your order and bring your juice right to you! You never have to leave the air-conditioned comfort of your vehicle if you don't want to!

I've never had one of these cream dishes these guys are talking about, but their juices are great!

One of my favorite juices is watermelon juice, and while mine doesn't taste like the one at Haji Ali Juice Center, its delicious nonetheless.

Here's my recipe:
Half a watermelon, cubed
A generous handful of mint
Blend, and pour over ice.
And then, and this is the special Mumbai bit, top with a half a teaspoon of Chaat Masala. Chaat Masala is a mixture of spices that result in a salty, slightly tart flavor. A great balance to the sweetness of the watermelon. Its available on Amazon, and also at your neighborhood Indian grocer!

Here's a look at the finished product!

So as our temperatures start to climb this summer, try a little watermelon juice with a slight Mumbai twist!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Scenes From my Weekend: The July 4th edition

How is it July already? While I'm very happy that summer is firmly here, this year is going a little too fast. Did you have a good 4th weekend? Nick and I both had the day off Friday, so we really enjoyed our long weekend!

Thursday marked 11 years since Nick and I got married. Yes, we were very young, but I think we were both very mature for our age, and very clear on our expectations of each other, which is why I think we've worked so well! I don't necessarily advocate marrying young, but I do advocate being realistic about who you are, and who your partner is, and not expecting either to change. If you're in a relationship where you argue a lot while you're dating, odds are you're going to do the same when you're married. The act of marriage doesn't change a relationship-- I think its important to remember that before you take the leap.

And with that, I'm done with my Dr. Phil moment. This is one of my favorite pictures of Nick and I from a photo shoot we did a couple of years ago. Thursday evening, we headed over to Alexa & Chris' housewarming party, where I ate myself silly, enjoyed a lot of prosecco, and obsessed over Megan's necklace (below). 

After sleeping in Friday morning, Nick and I took the pups to Nano Brew for some patio time and lunch. The patio was recently re-opened after a major renovation and it looks great! Clair and Webster were on their best behavior, and got lots of petting and love from our server and tables nearby, and they even got a few treats.

Friday evening, we headed off to Charity & Ben's to celebrate baby Max's first birthday.  I didn't get any pictures of the birthday boy (shockingly I had my phone put away most of the evening), but I did manage to snag this pic of Nick holding Penny (he doesn't hold a lot of babies-- this was a momentous occasion.)

Saturday, it was time to work off Max's delicious birthday cake with a challenging 45 minute ride at Harness Cycle. Chill Pop Shop was on hand giving away delicious popsicles-- who am I to say no to such yumminess?

Nick brought the pups up to Hingetown to meet me for coffee and breakfast at Rising Star

Sweaty cuddles and selfies later, we were off to the dog park for some playtime. Clair is terrified of fireworks, and our whole goal for the day was to get her as tired as possible so that combined with anti-anxiety meds, she would just sleep through all the noise.

Post dog-park, it was porch-time in the neighborhood. My drink of choice a lovely dry rose--- perfect for a summer day!

I had the most AMAZING July 4th meal of crawfish etouffee, ribs, and mac-n-cheese.

We didn't exactly go see fireworks per se, but we could see plenty of them from our neighbor's front porch. And best of all, Clair and Webster did mostly sleep through them all!

Sunday was recover day = lots of lazing around, watching The Spoils of Babylon (such a weird, ridiculous show), and napping on the couch. Sunday evening Nick and I finally got around to celebrating our anniversary with some crab legs at Salmon Dave's

Overall,  a lovely 3-day weekend, the started and ended with us celebrating 11 years of marriage!