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As the rain was falling here in NYC, I made a pretty last minute call to head to NC for warmer weather, fried chicken, family….. and puppies. That’s right, my parents have not one, but two puppies. Miniature Australian shepherds. Yes, they “make those”.

Meet Indy (for Indiana Jones, obviously) and Percy (L to R)-

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My mom even made my favorite-generally-reserved-for-Christmas-morning cheese souffle. Yes.

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It was a wonderful break from the hullabaloo that endears me to the city in the first place, but this is an example of what happiness looks like:

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“The Paris Wife”

My book club recently read, “The Paris Wife” and very exactly as predicted in the prologue,

“I don’t want to say, Keep watch for the girl who will come along and ruin everything, but she’s coming anyway, set on her course in a gorgeous chipmunk coat and fine shoes, her sleek brown hair bobbed so close to her well-made head she’ll seem like a pretty otter in my kitchen.”

And so she was right – the story is of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. First of four, so of course, they didn’t live happily ever after. Each page you feel it coming but you try to forget it and root for them anyway.

All in all, I would say the book is a pretty good read… but it is hard to put aside the fact that you know on page one that it doesn’t end well. The actual ending for Hadley is actually a bit gratifying, but with so many books out there… I don’t think I would recommend picking this one up… there are just too many great ones out there!

What did you think? Did you love it even though you knew the ending?

Happy Anniversary!

On Cinco de Mayo, Hewitt and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary – I meant to get these pictures up sooner, but in the same way the last year has flown by, the last week or so has too. So I’m a bit late – but at least we celebrated on time even if I recap  later. We were lucky enough to head to Puerto Rico for a quick weekend getaway… and goodness, was the view perfect.

Check this out –

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And also, my most successful use of the panoramic feature on my camera yet:

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Smiley and a wee bit sunburned!

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And sad to be heading back to the city so soon, but grateful for a few nights away filled with sunshine.

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In true travel to and from NYC fashion – our flight on Sunday was delayed, so we had a decadent and romantic meal in the San Juan airport. And since our frozen wedding cake is in a freezer in North Carolina, I improvised with some Molly’s Cupcakes. Which I recommend if you’re in the neighborhood!

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(The “Cookie Monster” was my favorite flavor.)

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Here’s to many more years together – pretty pumped to take on the world together.

The Kindle

For Christmas, Hewitt gave me a Kindle in my grab bag / Happy Birthday bag of gifts. And I love my Kindle, but sometimes I’m conflicted about it.

I love books, so for a long time, I didn’t even want a Kindle. I actually never even asked for it. But when my carry on is weighed down by approximately three 800 page books before our honeymoon… I think Hewitt knew my book habits did not make for sustainable travel.

Kindle Pros

It is light. It is small and easy to travel with. (These are obvious benefits.)

I think I might actually read faster on it for some reason – this is unsubstantiated because I don’t know how I would justify this claim, but it seems the pages melt away more quickly.

I can read the Kindle on the treadmill. I’ve always tried to flip through a book or magazine on the elliptical, but only the Kindle allows you to increase the font size so it’s legible while actually running, and it doesn’t require any form of book holder/page holding down device. It lays flat.

The books costs a bit less.

I feel pretty appropriate reading The New Digital Age on it.

It prevents me from filling our apartment to the brim with books.

Kindle Cons

It isn’t a real, traditional book.

I would remember when a character was introduced or an event occurred based on the thickness / page number. I could refer back to passages or confusing sections as needed pretty easily. I haven’t figured out how to do this with the Kindle. The highlighting feature would only work if I knew in advance that I would want to remember something later… and this isn’t always the case!

It prevents me from filling our apartment to the brim with books.

Overall– I love having a Kindle. It was a great gift I could probably have never managed to bring myself to ask for or buy on principle. But I love having it.

And when we have a bigger apartment or home, I’ll probably have to buy some of the e-books I’ve been reading to fill the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves I’m dreaming of…

Chicken Parm Baked Quinoa…with a kick!

A few weeks ago I made this chicken parm baked quinoa… and it was delish +  seemingly healthy.

I decided to dial up the spicy kick a bit and ordered “fire roasted” tomatoes with green chiles (not a great photo!) instead of just plain diced tomatoes.

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I also added extra cracked red pepper and some diced jalapeno into the tomato sauce before mixing…

DSC02433Those were my minor changes/additions to the recipe, and you can check out the original recipe here: Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan.

And it came out of the oven wonderfully!

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I served it with a light spinach salad with olive oil and salt+pepper, and it was great. We loved the jalapeno and green chiles in the diced tomatoes – Hewitt loves spicy food, and I have learned to like it a lot more than I used to. It’s just a nice change to a typical chicken and tomato sauce dish.

Glorious Azaleas

Last weekend when we went to NC for a wedding, I was practically stopped in my tracks by a plant I used to take for granted… the azalea bush!

Sure, I saw them on TV during the Masters, but only when I saw them in person did I realize – we definitely don’t have azalea bushes in New York. Not in the village. Not in Central Park (that I have seen)… in general, we don’t have them.

I love the seasonal potted plants and all, and we have some amazing flower shops that I love to look in on, but this azalea…

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