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Back in Action

And I’m back! I promise that last weekend was the end of the intermittent blogging and I’m now returning to regular posting. As you all know (because I told you in every single post last week), the past two weeks have been insane with house closing, moving, traveling, unpacking and preparing for weekend guests. We are finally at a point where the constant work is done and we can just kind of move at our own pace now. There is still tons to do (especially in the yard – yikes – waiting on my parents to visit to create a plan of attack) but it’s very livable and starting to feel like home.

Lots of fun (and indulgent) eats last weekend and tons of fun and quality time with our friends Cristen and Graham and their super cute 1-year-old daughter, Camille. This is going to be a marathon post to cover the whole weekend.

Friday night we grilled and hung out on the patio all evening. Exactly what I needed to unwind from the crazy week. The boys grilled steaks (and mahi for me).

The girls made salads and roasted asparagus and potatoes.

A simple and delicious dinner. Then we got into the homemade Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. Mmm…

Cristen wanted to try my oatmeal Saturday morning for breakfast. She requested banana oats. I cooked a big pot of oats for Cristen, Camille and me to share. Into the pot went oats, Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Hot Cereal, milk, water, banana, pinch salt, cinnamon, raisins and chia seeds. I was so excited that Camille love her oats (did not put chia seeds in hers) and cleaned her plate. And with only banana to sweeten the oats. Success!

Here are our bowls topped with Crofter’s and Justin’s Maple Almond Butter – ready to be devoured!

I planned on making Saturday a rest day but Cristen wanted to go on a walk after breakfast. I was more than willing to oblige so we took Bob and Camille out for a serious hilly power walk around the neighborhood. We covered 2.3 miles in about 40ish minutes. Cristen does not stroll! I was sweating!

After showers and a driving tour of Charlotte, we hit up Crisp for lunch. Crisp was voted the “Best Lunch in Charlotte” by Creative Loafing and I wanted to give it a try. I had the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich (Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Zucchini, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Basil, Balsamic Reduction) and while it was good, it didn’t leave me craving a return trip. Disappointing. Maybe I should have stuck with a salad – what they’re known for?

We met up with the guys at Amelie’s for an afternoon treat.Cristen and I split a Lemon Raspberry Tart. It was unbelievably good.

The guys both ordered Amelie’s famous Salted Caramel Brownie. I had a small bite of Brandon’s and I now understand why they are famous for them. Wow, wow, wow! (And check out The Pioneer Woman’s recent post on Amelie’s pastries. Very cool!) Camille sampled the Salted Caramel Brownie too. She was a fan.

We also split a big pot of French pressed coffee that was deliciously strong and the perfect accompaniment to our treats. I pretty much can’t wait to make a return trip to Amelie’s. I’m going to try to hold off until my mom visits in a few weeks. I know she’ll love it!

We headed home to enjoy the beautiful afternoon and played yard games and had cocktails. (I warned you that it was an indulgent weekend!)

Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner. Cristen and Graham requested sushi since they live in a small town where it’s not accessible. (I would cry!) We thought Nikko would be a fun sushi choice since it’s close to Uptown and has a fun scene. Sadly, I forgot my camera but here are some pictures I quickly shot on my BlackBerry. We started out with a Seaweed Salad.

And then lots of sushi! It was incredible – great quality and super tasty. Cristen and Graham loved their dinner!

After Nikko, we headed Uptown for drinks. We decided to check out the newly renovated RiRa. We were able to grab a table and had a couple of drinks. Service was great. (If you’re wondering about baby Camille, she was at our house with Brandon’s sister. She kindly agreed to babysit so we could go out.)

Sunday morning I made Mother’s Day brunch for Cristen! Overnight Baked French Toast, fresh fruit, turkey sausage and thick cut bacon. The French Toast was a hit, as always. Try this recipe if you’re looking for an easy breakfast when you have guests!

They hit the road back to Georgia shortly after brunch. I had grand plans of running and hot yoga but after a quick run with Sullie, I was majorly lacking the energy and motivation to go to yoga. And you know my dedication to the Sunday afternoon hot yoga ritual, I was just exhausted and skipped it. I ended up bathing Sullie, hanging out outside and working on Bakin’ and Eggs. I had a snack of hot tea and vanilla yogurt, Earth Fare’s Tahitian Vanilla Granola and a little bit of trail mix.

Last night we went to Brandon’s parents house to celebrate Mother’s Day with his family. Again, I forgot my camera (where was my head?) so I snapped a couple shots on my phone. Salad with pears, blue cheese, dried cranberries and walnuts.

And potatoes, asparagus, crab legs and steak. I had potatoes, asparagus, a couple crab legs and bread. Dessert was unpictured key lime pie.

After a long clean up session, we finally left my in law’s and came home and crashed since I was worn out and had an early wake up call to teach BodyPump this morning.

Recap of today coming later. This post is too long already! Hope y’all had a great weekend and enjoyed Mother’s Day!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • abby May 11, 2010, 9:22 am

    I stumbled upon your blog through the nest and have been reading for a couple weeks – love the recipes, you’re giving me great new meal ideas! This is a really random question, but where are your dishes from? I’m looking for new ones and I love their antique look. Maybe they are actually antique? Thanks!

    • Jen May 11, 2010, 10:04 am

      Hi Abby! Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. My dishes are Vietri. They sell them in some of the bigger department stores and specialty shops. We registered for them for our every day china when we got married. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend them. They are pretty expensive for every day and chip very easily. We’ve heard a lot of other people have had problems with chipping and they market them as being dishwasher/microwave safe. I have seen similar styles recently so you should be able to find something that’s not Vietri. Some of our other friends have Juliska. You might want to check that out. Good luck!

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