Brunchin’ Book Club – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time @ Bearnaise

It’s been a while since I did a brunch and Book Club review, partially because it’s been hosted at people’s homes, but mostly because I’ve only read a couple of the selections so far this year.  May was my month to host, so I picked a book that’s been on my To Read shelf for quite some time.

book cover The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

I picked up a copy of this book about a year and a half ago and certainly intended to read it before now.  I first became aware of the book through all of the press the play adaptation was getting in England. So when I saw a copy for 2 bucks at the used book store, I snatched it up.

While I didn’t hate the book, I wasn’t fond of it either.  I did enjoy reading someting written from the first person perspective of a character who has a disorder and does not see the world in the same way that I see it.  I also really enjoyed some of the asides Christopher goes on throughout the book as I, too, go on seemingly random tangents from time to time.  But I expected somewhat of a mystery novel, only to have the mystery solved about two-thirds of the way through the book.  There is also a lot of random math problems and solutions, complete with diagrams.  As a person who really only enjoys using math to find out how much cheaper something is going to be at Bloomies during the Friends and Family Sale, I disliked this aspect of the book.  I found it to be incredibly distracting.  Overall, I felt the novel was lacking a strong plot throughout, and it really annoyed me because I wanted to like the book. 2.5 stars.

Béarnaise

bearnaise exterior

48 hours later, and I am still undecided if I liked Béarnaise or not. The food was phenomenal, the service was pretty awful.  It’s really a shame, because I love Spike Mendelsohn’s other restaurants and was hoping I would be able to add his more upscale sit down restaurant to places I frequent.

I had reservations for 4 at 12:30p for brunch.  My party was not large, nor did we have any special requests.  I arrived 10 minutes early for my reservation, so I obviously didn’t mind waiting, but was eventually sat 15 minutes after my party should have been.  It took another 10 minutes for the waiter to come over and take our beverage orders.  After delivering our drink orders, the waiter took our brunch orders at 1pm.  Our food was finally delivered at 1:50pm, after other diners who sat after us had finished eating their meals.  My party ordered 3 omelets and steak and eggs among us.  The only explaination I could come up with for the delay was our farm fresh eggs were straight out of the chicken.  After we were finished eating, it then took another 30 minutes to get the check.  My brunch was almost 3 hours long, and not on purpose. DC is a brunch town, bearnaise menuand while I definitely enjoy a 3 hour brunch from time to time, it’s by choice, and it usually comes with bottomless mimosas (which are an option at Béarnaise, but not one I chose on Sunday).

Despite the service being poor, the food was definitely worth the wait. Not that I want to wait that long for eggs and fries. Anyway, I ordered the Croissant Sandwich.  The menu says that it was supposed to come with a Petite Salad, but my plate came with Frites.  I can’t say I’m overly upset about this, because while salad is better for me, frites taste significantly better.  I wish I had a picture of the actual food for you, but I was hangry by the time the plate was set in front of me that I began inhaling it. Soz.  The sandwich was tasty, the croissant buttery and crispy, the eggs light and fluffy, and it had bacon.  Bacon can cover up a multitude of sins. But the frites. Oh. My. God. The. Frites. I can’t even describe how amazing they were, and if you don’t mind potentially waiting an hour between when your food is ordered and when it’s delivered, the frites are worth visiting the restaurant for.

kitten selfieMiss Lizzie is my reading companion.

101 in 1001

I love lists.  Packing lists, shopping lists, wardrobe inventory lists, any kind of list.  There is something therapeutic about writing out a list. I am fairly new to Mackenzie Horan’s blog, Design Darling, but when I saw her post regarding 101 in 1001, I knew it was something I wanted to do. It’s good to have goals, both short and long term. And writing them down somewhere, anywhere, is the first step to completing them!

101 things in 1001 days

Start Date: May 15, 2014
End Date: Feb 9, 2017

Personal (27)
1.  Do a gallery wall
2.  Move to a more affordable apartment
3.  Get reading chair reupholstered
4.  Purchase matching set of dishes
5.  Purchase a new computer
6.  Buy a new comforter bed set
7.  Pay off all CC debt
8.  Make a $150+ donation to a good friend’s cause
9.  Go one month without shopping
10.  Put $10 into savings for each goal completed
11.  Purchase a monogrammed leather tote
12.  Purchase blog domain
13.  Redesign blog
14.  Do an about me page for blog
15.  Treat myself to a spa day
16.  Pay for a stranger’s order behind me at a restaurant
17.  Make a will
18.  Journal experiences as I complete this list
19.  Splurge on a pair of shoes ($200+)
20.  Get a DSLR camera and…
21.  Learn how to use it and then…
22.  Take more pictures
23.  Turn those t-shirts into a t-shirt quilt
24.  Make a cleaning schedule & stick to it for 3 months
25.  Unsubscribe from undesirable email listings
26.  Purchase a classic handbag in a non-neutral color, probably red.
27.  Complete an Instagram photo challenge

Professional (5)
28.  Receive an Outstanding rating
29.  Plan and attend a work conference
30.  Participate in a special project
31.  Take 3 training courses
32.  Update my resume

Health (9)
33.  Try acupuncture
34.  Run a 5k
35.  Run a 10k
36.  Run a half marathon (DC Nike Women’s Half)
37.  Exercise 3x a week for one month
38.  Log food/exercise on My Fitness Pal for 30 consecutive days
39.  Try Spin
40.  Try Barre
41.  Find out my blood type

Entertainment & Culture (18)
42. Read the 5 Jane Austen novels I haven’t read
43.  Read 5 non-Jane Austen classic novels
44.  Read 5 biographies
45.  Go to Wrestlemania
46.  See Tinie Tempah in concert
47.  See Banks in concert
48.  Complete the AFI Top 100 Films list (original list)
49.  See 3 new Broadway shows (at least one actually on Broadway)
50.  Go to the ballet
51.  Take my mom to a show
52.  Become a Kennedy Center member
53.  See three new-release movies in theaters on opening night
54.  Reread the entire Harry Potter series
55.  Watch 15 TED talks
56.  Throw an Oscars viewing party
57.  Go to the theater by myself
58.  Attend a stand-up comedy show
59.  Attend a book tour

Soccer (5)
60. Attend all USMNT home matches for the 2016 Centennial Copa America
61.  Visit 2 new MLS stadiums
62.  See a LFC match at Anfield
63.  See LFC play Stateside
64.  See a random soccer match in another country

Travel (12)
65. Purchase grown up matching luggage – hardsided
66.  Go to Disney World
67.  Go to Harry Potter World
68.  Travel to 4 new countries
69.  Travel to a new continent
70.  Visit Gina/Bro & SIL in Austin
71.  See Jane get married in England
72.  Take a girlfriends trip
73.  Have macaroons at Ladurée in NYC
74.  Visit a brewery in another country
75.  Travel First class (plane or train)
76.  Visit Bro/SIL/Neice in Hilton Head, SC

DC Chillin’ (10)
77. Try 10 new to me restaurants
78.  Walk a lap around the National Mall
79.  Tour the Capitol
80.  Go to the Air & Space Museum
81.  Watch a sunrise
82.  Take double decker bus tour around the city
83.  Go to a Wizards game
84.  Sit in the lower bowl at a Washington Capitals game
85.  Take a staycation in the city
86.  Spend a day (window) shopping in Georgetown

Just For Funsies (15)
87.  Get a tattoo (have it picked out, just waiting until after Brazil)
88.  Take a UMUC course
89.  Have a Buy Whatever I Want LFC shopping spree
90.  Have an “Unplug” day (no internet/tv/phone)
91.  Invest in an All Purpose winter coat/purge the rest
92.  Organize my iTunes
93.  Send out Xmas cards one year
94.  Send my mom flowers just cuz
95.  Organize my photos
96.  Learn to knit in the round
97.  Re #96: knit a hat
98.  Leave a 100% tip for exceptional service
99.  Take an iPhone photography class
100.  Buy a new, BIGGER TV
101.  Make 10 recipes from Pinterest

See the 101 in 1001 Page for current updates!

A Potential LFC Shopping Spree

Last week I mentioned I had a list of LFC items I wanted that was separate from my regular wardrobe wants and needs.  Between the fact that it’s expensive to ship from England, and the fact that, for the most part, the stuff available from the LFC website is obnoxiously tacky, I’m fairly selective with my Liverpool purchases.  However, there are some items that have made their way to my list and have survived several weekly Wants List edits, so I figure these are items I really actually want.  This was supposed to be a “We won the league!” shopping spree, but unfortunately we couldn’t pull it off this year :( Silver lining? I won’t be spending an extra $30 for BPL patches on the jerseys now! Read More

Wardrobe Wants & “Needs”

Let’s start off with being 100% honest with each other.  I don’t “need” any of the items below.  None of them. This list also does not include my separate Liverpool FC Wants & Needs list, which I will address next week. 

Last week, in my post The Great Closet Audit of 2014, I went on and on about how I had way to many clothes, and needed to pare down in a major way.  And while that’s true, it also showed me where I had holes in my wardrobe.  I now have a comprehensive list of items made up that I feel will fill these holes and set up a complete wardrobe.

USA BombPop Jersey (Update: ordered!)

 

With the World Cup less than 6 weeks away, this is obviously the most important item on the list.  Nothing screams “MURICA!! like the new USMNT “BombPop” Away Jersey.  I’m usually blaahhhhh on the USA jerseys, last year’s Centennial jersey aside (I have two of those), but I love this one. It’s bold, but simple, my favorite kind of jersey.  I’m planning to get my nickname in Portuguese on the back of this one, which a few friends are also doing, so that will be tons of fun. Read More

On Repeat

So Addicted – Tinie Tempah ft. Bei Maejor

I literally listened to this song for 2 weeks straight.  On my commute to and from work, while I was getting ready in the AM, while I was cooking dinner, while I was blog writin’.  And if I was driving somewhere, I was doing it with the windows down and this song blasting.  Not only is it kinda sweet, but the chorus is so dang catchy.  Plus, I love that Tinie raps in a British accent.

Fancy – Iggy Azalea ft. Charlie XCX

Ahhhhhh, I love this Clueless inspired video! It’s just too much fun.  I think talented women rappers are hard to come by, and I am still on the fence about Iggy.  However, this song is too catchy to be ignored.  Shout out to Jimmy Fallow who brought it to my attention when he performed it in Lipsync Wars with Emma Stone.

Goddess – Banks

When Liverpool striker, and my future husband*, Daniel Sturridge tweets that I should do something, I’m going to do it. Now, this would be strange if the song was terrible, but I actually legit love this song. It’s been on constant repeat since I downloaded it. And when I get paid tomorrow, I’m going to pre-order up her album, because her voice is amazing and I love her vibe.

I'm right here, Danny!!

I’m right here, Danny!!

* I’d like to state for the record that I am not cray, and I do not actually believe Daniel Sturridge and I are going to end up married.

Partition – Beyonce

When Bey released her surprise album in December, I downloaded it immediately and this song was the one I learned all the works to first.  If you want to put a little extra sass in your step, this will take care of that.

Cabaret – Justin Timberlake ft. Drake

While I’m not a huge fan of 20/20 Experience Part 2 as an album, I absolutely love this song.  So much so that when he performed part of it at his DC concert in February, I legit squealed.  Drake’s verse is one of my favorite verses on a song in the past few years, and I’m not even a Drake fan.  I have no idea how 7 of his songs are currently in the Top 25 Most Played songs on my iPod.

 

The Great Closet Audit of 2014

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post,  I spent some time 6 to 7 hours this past weekend doing an in depth inventory of all my clothes.  It got Ugly. With a capital U.

Background

When I owned my condo in the ‘burbs of DC, I owned enough clothes to fill up the 2 walking closets I had in my condo, plus a very large suitcase filled with stuff I “wasn’t wearing.”  When I was preparing to move downtown last July into an apartment less than half the size of my condo, the first thing that went was all of the clothes I didn’t “need.”  I thought I had done really well, because all my clothes now fit in my very large suitcase and my minuscule closet in my 500sqft studio.  Fast forward to the new year and I break my ankle and spend my recovery time at my parents’ house in Delaware.  After living with 3 pairs of pants, 6 tee shirts, a hoody, a pullover fleece, a few pairs of socks and underwear, 3 bras, and one shoe for two and a half months, coming home to my full wardrobe was overwhelming. I had all of these fun clothes I should be excited to wear, and instead I seriously contemplated becoming that girl who wears leggings as pants 5 days a week. On top of that, I had to buy NEW clothes, because I had lost enough weight that I was swimming in my pants and work tops.  As I was in the process of sorting, washing, drying, ironing, and hanging all my new purchases, I began to wonder why my minuscule closet was so full after getting rid of at least half of my wardrobe last year. I am a big fan of Debbie Roes’ blog, Recovering Shopaholic, as I too am a (probably relapsed) shopaholic, and last week I was reading through some of her archived posts while eating lunch at my desk.  As I was reading the post The Cold, Hard Facts: What I Have, I realized I have no idea what I have. And so I cleared on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and completed a full, in-depth inventory of my wardrobe. Read More

Back On My Feet!

2014-03-23 16.53.07

I didn’t let a broken ankle keep me from heading to Toronto for the first away match of the season!

HI GUYS! I’m back! It’s been a trying 4 months, but I’m finally caught back up to where I need to be in life, and feel I have the time and energy to dedicate to blogging again! So what have I been up to the past few months while recovering from a fractured ankle and surgery you may ask.  Well let me tell you!

More Surgery

After having surgery in January, and beginning my recovery, a CAT scan revealed bone fragments in my joint that could prevent me from making a full recovery, or cause me a lot of pain when I was back to 100% weight baring and walking full-time.  Not wanting to chance having to get surgery later in the year, possibly messing with Brazil (yes, that’s still happening), I decided to go ahead and get the surgery.  I was already sitting on my butt recovering anyway, so why not just add another 10 days to the recovery.  The bone fragments they took out were HUGE, and one even looked like a shark’s tooth.  I didn’t get to keep them, but my surgeon is the bomb dot com and sent me a photo of them.  I’ll hold it dear forever and ever.

Physical Therapy

I have been going to PT twice a week since I moved back from temporary residence in Slower Lower Delaware.  I love my PTherapist, and even though I am pretty sure she’s evil with the way she tortures me, I have a lot of fun when I am there.  I’ve worked with multiple therapists and aides, and all are wonderful.  One is even going to (attempt to) teach me samba so I can shimmy and shake my way to a Brazilian Husband.

Replacing My Wardrobe

One of the unexpected side effects of my surgery and recovery is I unintentionally lost 15-20 pounds.  While this is great for my health, and my self-esteem, it’s been awful for my bank account.  In addition to having to pay for PT, and cabs or parking because I couldn’t take public transportation until recently, I am also having to shell out dolla dolla billz for pants that aren’t two sizes too big and shirts that I am not swimming in.  I also had to give away over 60% of my shoe collection and I am trying to replace that as needs come up. This entire ordeal has led me to do a closet audit, which you will read about later this week.

Knitting

I knit, like, 20 items while laid up.  My poor friends and family had to graciously accept the end products that I foisted on them.  This has slowed down a little bit as I have been involved in a lot of other stuff since coming back to DC.  However, I have a Christmas Gift schedule to write-up and then I’ll be getting back to it.

LIVERPOOL!

OMG, how amazing has this season been?  To be challenging for the Premier League in April is something we haven’t done in my time as a LFC supporter, and this season has been wonderful.  The fella look like they are having fun, are playing sassy football, and there has been minimal off-field drama to distract from the play on the pitch.  While I always watched matches the past few years, I’ve totally fallen in love with my team again. I’ve so enjoyed watching the matches, and watching some videos on LFCTV Go before bed, and just enjoying watching the Premier League this season.

Teleworking

This is probably the main culprit as to why I haven’t been blogging at all in the past 4 months. Or even really thought about blogging. I know, I’m terrible.  But when you are sitting at a computer in bed all day, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at a computer another hour longer and type so more.  No, I wanted to move out to the couch in the living room and watch Friends from 3-5pm every afternoon. Even thought I’ve seen the entire series. Four times.  Constant teleworking is awful, and I know now I am not meant to be a work from home 24/7 type of person. I like seeing people, getting dressed up each day, and getting out of my apartment.

Brazil Planning

Because I do not abuse my leave (the occasional “just need a day so I don’t kill someone” type of day) and have a management staff that let me telework as part of my recovery process, I still have enough leave to take my Brazil trip, with vacation days to spare. We’ve had two Brazil Planning Dinners (one of which was really just an excuse to go to Fogo de Chao with our group) and I’ve been researching and planning non-stop.  I’m even taking a Portuguese class with my friends as prep.  So I’ll know how to ask where the bathroom is, and where can I find an attractive single man, and so on and so forth.

So how has everyone been?!?!