field trip to the nc farmers’ market

As I mentioned, we spent Sunday morning at the State Farmers’ Market, where, shockingly, I’d never been. As an avid cook, I knew I would love the selection of unique farm-fresh ingredients. And nothing beats a Saturday morning strolling through the market- it reminds me of my childhood, when my mom and I would wake up at 6am on Saturday to go to the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. I would always get a smoky red tea sample and a big chocolate chip cookie ūüôā

My first time at the State Farmers’ Market Restaurant. It was a cute atmosphere with great service {the servers wear overalls!} but I wasn’t blown away by the food

 Clearly our family loves half-and-half. The restaurant should use half-and-half quarts instead of the individual packages. Much more environmentally friendly!
¬†Haha, typical North Carolina…the Battle of Tobacco Road
 The whole place was full of fun, kitschy decor
¬†Herb section of the farmers’ market
Just thought this looked cool ūüôā
 My new hydrangea- my favorite flower besides peonies and daisies
¬†My dad’s housewarming gift for me: cilantro, basil, parsley, and dill plants. Grant total? $13! Very worth it

Though I didn’t love the restaurant’s food, it was decently priced, so I would go back for a pre-shopping brunch. It was also nice to have a giant cup of carry-out coffee to bring with me through the market on such a chilly day!

I also picked up spring onions and a pint of strawberries in addition to the flowers and herbs, which were both gifts from my dad. Potted herbs are such a good investment {if you can call $13 an investment}. A package of chopped basil is almost $3 at the grocery store, while a plant- which continually produces fresh herbs- is just $3.25.

I can’t wait to go back to the farmers’ market to load up on ingredients. I may also stop by Earp’s Seafood Market, which is a renowned hole-in-the-wall seafood store on South Saunders, on the way home!

dc trip recap

Like I said before, my trip up to DC last week was everything I wanted…and more ūüôā

We ate a lot of sushi {at Nooshi and Sushi Go Round in Chinatown}

Drank bottomless mimosas and enjoyed the buffet at The Front Page in Dupont Circle

We saw Safe House at the Georgetown Movie Theatre

We spent time at the Dupont farmers’ market

Napa cabbage
Rainbow chard {see my rainbow frittata recipe, which has rainbow chard in it!}

Marinara sauce from one of the farms

And further up in Dupont…

To Dolcezza {where I tried the sea salt gelato- amazing}

And Lou Lou for cheap earrings ūüôā

We also watched The Proposal, ate fajitas and drank margaritas at Los Cuates, enjoyed dinner at Clyde’s, and got a cupcake from Baked & Wired {and then forgot to eat it!}.

Just a few of the trip highlights! It was fantastic to spend Thursday and Friday hopping from one office to another {we have offices all over Chinatown, as well as near the White House}. I met tons of coworkers who I’ve only gchatted with, so it was great to put names to faces. I also sought out valuable recruiting advice from several of my coworkers {one recommended two books- I’ll highlight those in another post}. And spending time with my amigas is always boatloads of fun ūüôā

Photo Credits  1, 2, 3

“thanks for beautifying the bahamas, ladies”

Welcome aboard the Carnival Fantasy!

"Wanna build a sandcastle?" "I've got a better idea"

"I mean, first I got a hickey from a stingray! And then I got to gut a fish!"

"First we're going to hit the beach...and then we're going to hit another beach"

"Atlantis? As in the lost continent?"

bahama, come on pretty mama

You know why I don’t mind this icky, cold weather? Because on Wednesday I will be here:

{Charleston}

Then on this:

{A Carnival cruise}

En route to here:

{The Bahamas}

P.S. Pinterest is a bad place to find ugly pictures because there’s always a positive spin on things. If you type in “cold weather,” you just get results for cute winter clothing and ways to fend off the winter blues. Boooo haha.

1) Source: Uploaded by user via anslee on Pinterest
2) Source: google.com via Clinton on Pinterest
3) Source: google.com via Samantha on Pinterest
4) Source: classy-in-the-city.tumblr.com via Fred on Pinterest
5) Source: google.com via Heather on Pinterest

ain’t no city like new orleans

The Crescent City. Basin Street Blues. City Beneath the Sea. The Big Easy. The Confederacy of Dunces. Ramblin’ Man. The City that Care Forgot.¬†

After watching this music video (which I love!), I got a wave of missing good ole NOLA, where I spent six weeks in the summer of 2009. I went there twice on Alternative Breaks too; each time I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Musician’s Village.

credit: hungryheretic.com

A favorite for lunch breaks while at the Habitat worksite

credit: unknown

The ever-famous beignets and cafe at Cafe du Monde

credit: nolapic.com

The St. Charles Streetcar, which I rode from my house in Uptown to the French Quarter on regular basis

credit: unknown

The best burger in the world!

credit: unknown

What stay in New Orleans is complete without a stop (or five) to Bourbon Street?!

credit: cnet.com

I remember the first time I drove through the Lower Ninth Ward and saw the affected areas. We all craned our necks to see the lettering marked on the doors of destroyed houses- letters that designated whether bodies had been found inside. And once we found them, an eerie feeling would wash over us. Yes, we were tourists- outsiders coming through a neighborhood we had no real connection to. But we then spent hour and days working on reconstruction efforts, so our desire to understand the area we were working in was, in my opinion, both essential and admirable.

New Orleans has an almost mystical quality about it; it’s unlike any other city I’ve been in. It’s an interesting place that I can’t wait to visit again but one where I don’t see myself ever living. The dichotomy between the beauty and destruction lends it a strange, intriguing, inexplicable, romantic, unsettling quality. I want to spend more time understanding the culture, but I also see parts of a culture which I am unsure of. Regardless of my mixed emotions toward the city, I always- without fail- feel a tinge of nostalgia when I see images or songs about it.