Archive for January, 2008

and now……Alex’s Spaghetti Sauce Faux Pas!

Some of you may remember a recent post where Alex did this. Last night Alex did the above! A meatball fell as well but Alex cleaned it up before I made it to the scene of the crime with camera in tow :-)

January 31, 2008 at 4:29 am 4 comments

I GOT IT!!!!!

Great news! My mom called me at the end of the day today to let me know that I got my Apostille and my brand new Birth Certificate!!! Finally, seriously…this took a month to sort out. Going back and forth with Embassies/Consulates/State Departments and I don’t know who else. Anyway, I really don’t know why it was so fast because last I heard was that it was supposed to take 2-4 weeks. I guess it pays to be painfully nice with people. I’m sending Janell, the lady who helped me out, a very nice thank you note! EEEE! Now we have to get our birth certificates translated into Italian and then we’ll be able to make our trip to the Italian Consulate in Houston for our Atto Nottorio (a certificate stating that we can get married in Italy)!

I’m so happy right now… was a day filled with good news, I love those days!

January 29, 2008 at 12:21 am 1 comment

Sometimes you just have to be brave and say…

…”One avocado margarita please!” And that’s exactly what I did (a little nervously) Friday night when Alex and I checked out Curras, a Mexican restaurant that offers Interior Mexican cuisine along with Tex Mex for the more faint of heart.

Alex was told to check out this place by a coworker who is “veryAustin” as Alex puts it. We “mapquested” it and set out in the Honda Fit. After getting lost and turnaround a bit we realized that it was much easier to find than we had anticipated. After pulling into the “dive-like” restaurant from the outside we realized that it was very popular with locals as the parking lot was filled and we ended up parking on a side street instead. There was about a 20 minute wait when we walked in so we decided to wait at the bar.

Before coming we had both read reviews of the food/drinks and had seen that their specialty rita was one involving avocado. Intrigued I asked the guys next to me who had just ordered it what their thoughts were and was assured that, “well they love it, and there are bits of cilantro in it.” Hmmm…..”ok, I’ll give it a shot!” $7.95 and 1 sip later I was liking it. It was quirky and fun….very Austin :-) However, after about the 3rd sip I demoted it to an avocado-like milkshake because of how thick it was and felt that it would probably go better with some chips and queso once we sat down. Which it did…….final thoughts: I’m glad I tried it, but will stick with a frozen strawberry/mango rita next time!

Okay, so that was my drink experience there. My food experience was way more positive in that it is now my favorite new Mexican food discovery in town. I’m usually weary of “authentic” Mexican food because I’m so used to my good ole Tex Mex. I’ve tried several other authentic Mexican restaurants in town that I dubbed as boring and forgettable.

I took our waitor, Mateo’s, recommendation and ordered the Carnitas for my entree. Get this, it’s pulled pork marinated in Coke, Milk, and OJ……gross sounding, delicious tasting. The pulled pork came with my choice of beans (charros with bacon of course), rice (which was the best rice I’ve ever had at a Mexican restaurant), an avocado salad, and this kick ass sauce that topped the carnitas tacos which I wrapped in red corn tortillas. There was so much food leftover on my plate that Alex ate the rest of my meal for dinner tonight.

Alex ordered the Mole Enchiladas with ground beef…….I tasted and we both put our stamp of “Best Mole Ever” on them. It was so rich, tart, and flavorful. Basically the place rocked. And their north location is no more than 5 min. from our apartment. We’ll be back soon…..I’m dying to try their Chile Relleno and Tres Leches!

So here’s to being bold and brave and trying what others recommend :-)

January 28, 2008 at 1:23 am 7 comments

Being Productive Rocks

Last night before coming home from work I was in one of those moods where I was dreading coming home and doing the piles of dishes, laundry, making dinner, and going to work out. I was tired and basically wanted to do…..well nothing. However, upon walking through the door I snapped into “Crazy Eryn Productive” mode and got it all done within a few hours…….and I even filed my taxes. Well actually, Alex filed my taxes and I watched and ran around and brought him the necessary paperwork needed. So horray :-)

And as for going to the gym, I just made myself…because at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone has ever said, “Man, I wish I hadn’t gone to the gym today!” It just makes you feel so much better….mentally and physically!

Today I think marked the day as almost a week without sunshine. Maybe I’m over exaggerating…….just a teensy bit. But it’s been miserable outside…….disgusting is a better word. Rainy/drizzly and cold cold cold. I’ve spent probably no more than 1 hour total outside for the past five days.

Now to a more “sunny” topic. Alex and I are in the last phase of planning our trip to Italy for April and May. We’re currently looking for living accommodations for when we’re in Napoli for 2 1/2 days and Rome for 3 1/2 days. First we’ll be in Naples from May 3rd-5th, Alex had the idea of checking where Samantha Brown recommended to stay (travel channel gal)….of course she recommended a more expensive hotel…..see here. But it is going to be our honeymoon and we do deserve to treat ourselves! I’m thinking we may go through with it and just say “yes” since Naples is such a chaotic city as it is and we’ll just want to relax after pounding the pavement for two days.

And in Rome, my other half, helped me find this apartment. Very reasonably priced and right by or in (not sure) Campo dei Fiori…..meaning “field of flowers” in Italian. Supposedly we trekked past this lovely spot on our last art history trip to Rome but since we were in a mad dash to see every historical monument in three days I “somehow” missed it. One of the reasons why I’m looking forward to going to all of these places on our own accord and taking our time and seeing what we WANT to see.

When asked by Brian what I look forward to the most about being back in my “homeland” I said I simply just want to BE there. Allow the culture, smells, atmosphere, people, language just wrap itself around me for three weeks. Ever since leaving in December 04 I’ve done nothing but long to go back. Not a day passes that I don’t wish I was there…and sadly am jealous when I hear of other people going and just wish it were me instead…I will soon VERY SOON have that chance!!!

Another thing I mentioned to Brian that I want to partake in is go into a family owned Trattoria, sit down, and tell the owner/chef to bring us whatever they recommend for all five courses. I never did this the last time…..even though I was there for so long. It never even occurred to me, I would simply open a menu and order an antipasto, primi, secondo, and dessert (a cue that I was probably going to establishments that were too touristy). I’m sure I’ll do that a good amount of times when I go back this next time…..but I want that ONE experience that I can refer to in years to come about that cute little place tucked behind an alley where I fell in love with the sense of taste all over again and wondered why I didn’t always treat my taste buds with such delight.

…..and I’ve gotten carried away talking about food, esp. considering that my stomach’s been in a funk ever since consuming a plate of Lebonese food at lunch.

Once the booking for living accommodations in Italy is final I’ll let you guys know what we decided on!

January 25, 2008 at 11:59 pm 3 comments

Don’t Worry, Be Happy…….right?

Basically today I found out that I wasted almost two weeks of precious paperwork processing time and a good deal of money for nothing. I sent a document to an office that we were told to by two individuals and the office sent it back saying it was the WRONG office. When we call the office they “say” we’re supposed to send it to we get an obnoxiously long voice recording that never has a living, breathing human to answer questions, only a recording that doesn’t answer my question because it’s too particular.

Tonight Alex was my rock and called a lot of individuals in D.C. that were obviously trained by monkeys and really didn’t get far at all with them. Although I did enjoy listening to him tell a lady that she was useless over the phone. Anywho, I can tell that this next week will be filled with a lot more senseless phone calls and moments where I want to pull out my hair because no one has answers for me.

Because Alex was born in the U.S. this part of the paperwork process was cake for him but soooo hard for me because I was born overseas. I remember hurdles similar to these when I was preparing to study abroad in Florence in ’04. Where I had to overcome a heap of extra paperwork and roadblocks because I was an out of state student wanting to study abroad.

In any case, I’m sure it’ll all work out, I’m just hoping for the crappy part to be over soon and hoping for answers this next week. For now, I’m truly appreciative of all Alex has been doing to help me with this……apparently I need to become more persistent and demand answers, rather than just taking it.

Alright, enough of that…..peh*

(that’s me spitting)

This past weekend our family cheered on the Giants as they actually won the NFC Championships. Watching the game was brutal as it was in Greenbay and the game temperature was -4 by the end with a windchill of -24. WHAT?!?! And what kills me is watching the majority of the Packers and a good number of the Giants not even wearing long sleeve shirts under their jerseys! How does that work? I don’t understand how they don’t literally freeze to death, I realize that they’re being active and that helps keep them warm, but still. I muscles can hardly function in anything under 50 degrees. hmmm, don’t get it!

However, GO GIANTS….we were sooo souped that they won, considering that my dad is the biggest Giants fan this side of the Mississippi. Watching the game with him was like watching it with a child having temper tantrums, it was very….entertaining.

Looking forward to the Superbowl in the next few weeks, hopefully the Giants will be able to edge out the Patriots (sorry Barnesy), despite their perfect record this season.

January 23, 2008 at 2:08 am 4 comments

I’ve finally narrowed it down!

My latest discovery I think categorizes me of somewhat of a grown-up….well I think so at least! I’ve finally figured what my favorite type of wine is. The one that I always go back to and never lets me down. I know I usually love all that is Italian, but Rieslings are primarily German, sometimes French or Austrian…..and sometimes northern Italian.

At restaurants, dinner parties, and when I’m simply buying wine to have around the apartment I consistently am drawn to this wine’s fruity yet sophisticated taste. If you haven’t given this type of wine a shot, definitely DO :-) I recommend pairing it with mild fruits (such as pears, apples, or strawberries), cheese (such has pecorino, parmesan, or gorgonzola drizzled with honey) and pastas with white sauces, and of course white fish.

Alright, enough with the Food Network jargon.

I’m looking forward to this weekend, but because of the gloomy/craptastic weather outside the window it’s hard to be enthusiastic. It’s just so cold and rainy, bleh. I was telling Alex the other night how I long for 70s and 80s again and he warned me not to worry because we’ll soon enough have about 9 months worth of that as well as triple digits come summer. So I guess I’ll wait patiently!

Because Alex and I (me especially) like to make things difficult for ourselves we fell in LOVE hard with a certain place setting that will soon be discontinued. Of course! They’re from Crate & Barrel, and as we’re registered for them we’re thinking that we may just go ahead and buy a set of 4 place settings ourselves to ensure that we get our hands on them. That will allow family/friends to get us the remaining set of 4 place settings so in the end we’ll have 8. Fingers crossed!

January 18, 2008 at 8:21 pm 4 comments

Package of Delight

Two nights ago I received a long awaited package from my Maid of Honor (or BW-Best Woman as we call it) Alec. I knew the package had been sent but didn’t know it would be so quick. Thanks for sending it priority BW!

I got the package slip in my mailbox and raced to the apartment office to pick it up. The package was HUGE……excitement levels rise! Because I was on my way to work out I carried it to the gym attached to the office and opened it amongst two other people that were on the treadmills and who look over with jealous eyes.

The contents of the package blew away all expectations and I am now deeming it, “best package ever!”

Alright, back to normalcy….I just had to gush a little. And flaunt my appreciate one more time.

Also two nights ago was a news report that was so stereotypical Texan that I had to write a post about it. Apparently a bull made its way into a NW Austin neighborhood (we were in the same neighborhood for a housewarming party just weeks ago) and ran around resident’s yards anxiously trying to find its way back. I feel for the bull in this scenario, seriously how traumatized it must have been with news cameras, police, and onlookers chasing it around. Anyway, the bull was taken into captivity and no one was harmed. He’s sure to wind up in someone’s hamburger shortly.

January 17, 2008 at 5:41 pm 4 comments

Television 2night

Anybody else out there excited about tonight’s premiere of this season’s American Idol? Alex and I are very excited for the “good stuff.” We are not excited for the 4-5 weeks of the auditions where they air hundreds of Idol hopefuls making complete fools of themselves. Some of them doing it on purpose to get some TV time and some who actually think they’re good.

We really just want to see the talented peeps that can carry a note and make me smile without realizing it. I noticed a few years ago that while watching someone dance, sing, or just doing something fantastic I’ll know it’s good if I start smiling without knowing it. This happens a lot during Idol…..EEEEE!

Also coming up is the season premiere of Lost on January 31st. Really it feels like it’s been a year and a half since Lost was last airing new episodes. I guess keeping fans waiting can be a good marketing tact sometimes but now I think it’s gotten to the point where we’re so used to living without it that if it were cancelled it wouldn’t be THAT big of a deal. I barely remember what happened in the season finale…..except that it was the best season finale I’ve ever seen. I was so used to everything not going “my way” when it came to the show that when everything happened the way I wanted it to……it blew me away and, well, satisfied me :-)

January 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm 2 comments

The dress is GO!

This past Friday my mom and I ventured over to Alfred Angelo’s bridal store on my lunch break in hopes to put an end to the dress shopping. Fortunately, we found that the sales people there were a lot less pushy at this shop than at David’s Bridal and I was able to take my time in each dress and wasn’t hounded by store clerks with fake, superficial comments like, “Oh, you look gorgeous” or “that dress was made for you!” type comments. We soon after decided on the second dress I tried and decided to call it a day. *sorry can’t give any dress details as Alex reads this blog. If you’re interested let me know and I’ll send you a pic of the dress.

I’m relieved, as is my mom, to check that “To Do” item off the list.

On Saturday Alex and I went out to eat and to an Austin Toro’s basketball game at the Austin Convention Center with our neighbors. For dinner we went to Guero’s, an Austin original known for their affordable happy hour prices, margaritas, and live music. Since it was chilly we sat indoors even though a band was playing outside. Alex and I both had their No.1 combination plate that featured, chips, queso, guacamole, a beef tamale, the El Pastor taco, your choice of enchilada, rice and beans. It was a lot of food…..and while it was good….it definitely didn’t meet our expectations. I feel that it’s more of a touristy eatery rather than a local favorite. I dunno…..maybe it was just us, but I’ve heard similar reactions from other Austinites. I still stand firm with Chuy’s and Matt’s El Rancho as favorites while Alex prefers Trudy’s.

January 14, 2008 at 7:54 pm 3 comments

Alex’s Pasta Faux Pas

This is what happened when Alex tried to be helpful tonight. I couldn’t help but explode in hysterics.

January 11, 2008 at 2:18 am 5 comments

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