I took the suggestion of Brown Eyed Baker and made these moist, fluffy, chocolatey cupcakes. I didn't have any vanilla extract left over for the frosting, but that so didn't matter. They were heaven. And aren't the little white chocolate hearts cute? I just melted some bark and drizzled the shapes on waxed paper and let set. I delivered a plate to my nice new neighbors and we're devouring the rest.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
As my daughter nears the one year mark, I feel a need to document some of the things I've felt since her birth. At a time in my life that I felt I truly knew who I was and what I wanted in and out of my life, the birth of my child, and returning to work, have flipped me upside down. I never knew I could love so fully or feel so vulnerable. I've got a handle on things, but it's been a journey and it's constantly changing.
My list of worries and concerns in no typical order:
- Do I advocate for her as best as I can?
- Am I neglecting my husband?
- Am I neglecting myself?
- How do I balance mother and wife and what is left of me anyways?
- Is my relationship coming second, when I always swore it would come first?
- Why, when I love my daughter and cherish the moments with her, do I actually look forward to alone time?
- Should I feel guilty about all these questions?
- When this should be (and is) the happiest and most rewarding time in my life, why do I find myself smiling less?
- Would she be behind if I stayed at home?
- Does she get the attention she needs and deserves (both at home and daycare)?
- Am I falling behind in my career because I've settled into a non-demanding and uncreative position? Should I care that I might be?
- Why can't I just let her be who she is and not fret over every little thing she may behind on?
- Should I feel bad that I look forward to going to work at the end of the weekend?
- Should I feel bad that I'm looking forward to giving up breastfeeding?
- Why don't I take care of myself the way I used to?
- Do I feed her as much variety as I could/should?
- Does she get what she needs from me?
- Is any or some of how I've felt even remotely normal?
Since becoming a Northern Durhamite a couple of weeks ago, I've become painfully aware of our limited takeout options within a 4-5 mile radius. Don't get me wrong, we like living further out, but I do miss the plethora of options I had being closer to city center. Where we are now, we have several options for fast food, sandwiches, mexican and take-out chinese, but that's it.
Driving home this weekend I noticed a sign for a new retaurant next to Chik-fil-a in the old Bull City Deli building (prior to that I think it was a Schlotzsky's). I was intrigued and not two days later read the restaurant opening report at Carpe Durham. Last night, I dropped in to grab some take out. I noticed the signs advertising a take out window, but didn't see it set up just yet.
The decor is nice; a peachy stucco interior, filled with booths, soft Italian music playing. The lighting is soft, but bright enough to see your food. It felt very much like a family Italian restaurant to me. It's run by an Italian family and all the staff that I encountered was extremely friendly (especially Karen the bartender). While sitting at the bar, waiting for my food, I could hear only Italian being spoken in the kitchen – a good sign.
There are many vegetarian options and a lot of eggplant dishes, if that's your thing. For dinner, it's mostly pasta, brick oven pizza, panini, seafood and chicken. They also have a nice selection of salads. If you're a beefeater, this isn't the place for you. I found the pasta options to be priced kind of high for it not being freshly made pasta, but they do have a "make your own" section where you can customize pasta and sauce and add on homemade sausage or meatballs (not available last night).
I selected "Pasta Della Nonna" which was fettucine with ham and mushrooms in a tomato cream sauce. For the hubby, I ordered spaghetti with pesto and sausage. I tacked on two side salads with the house Basil-Chianti vinaigrette (for an extra
The food was great. Everything was well seasoned. The pasta was cooked perfectly. The only complaint I have was portion size. The pasta dishes were definitely entree size, but not enough to have leftovers for lunch (which is what I'm used to from the nearby Pomodoro). The salads were honestly really pitiful for
$3.50$3.25. 5-6 pieces of cut up romaine, 4 slices of olive and cherry tomato, some red onion, a few pieces of roasted red pepper, a couple of baked pizza dough squares and a slice of cucumber. This isn't local organic produce or anything so I really expected more lettuce for the price. The ingredients were great, as was the dressing.
We'll definitely go back, but probably for lunch or perhaps a special occasion. I'm curious about the pizza. The little breadsticks that came with the entrees were nice and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I can't see dropping $40 for take-out (entrees and salads only) on a regular basis. I think Pop's definitely has them beat for dinner (food and selection).
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Life has been busy.
We survived the holidays and had fun celebrating them for the first time with our rapidly growing baby girl. We've enjoyed watching her accomplish milestones and at the same time have been saddened by how quickly she's becoming a girl, and not so much of a baby anymore. Oh and did I mention she decided to get mobile exactly 2 weeks before we had to pick up everything and move?!
We decided to try to sell our house after much encouragement from our phenomenal realtor/friend. Much to our surprise, it was under contract in 2.5 weeks, the week of Christmas nonetheless. It was a pleasure to pass our family's first home on to a couple who truly fell in love with it. I know they'll take good care of it. We bought a bigger home, in a quieter area with more land. Though I miss being so close to downtown, we hardly ever actually dine at restaurants and it's just as easy to live the extra 10 minutes away and grab takeout on the way home for date night. Oh and have I mentioned the quiet? No bass-thumping, lawn-parking neighbors to speak of. Our first weekend in our new home we were greeted by our next door neighbors with a plate of homemade cupcakes, and our neighbors across the street offering to shovel our driveway. Niiiiiiiiice.
Last weekend we settled in more, hanging things on the wall and even getting out to do a little shopping. Our new home feels like home and I think life is beginning to slow to an almost manageable pace again.
I am attempting to further my photography passion (and hopefully make a little extra money) by doing portraits. I've got a studio space in the new house complete with lighting and backdrops. If you need some photos taken, consider using me!! There are plenty of photos on this blog, but if you'd like to view a few samples, you can do so here.