Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Quick Takes III

Look! I'm actually writing one of these things on a Friday!!
(Cause furloughs are over so I have to work these days again- Yay/Boo/IDK).

1. 4Runner!
Yep we did it. We bought me a new car last Saturday. A 2011 Toyota 4Runner. Shes huge compared to my VW, but Shes so pretty- Im thinking about naming her Persephone; M always jokes around around and calls me "Calliope, Goddess of the Storm Chariot"- so I thought I should give her the name of a Greek Goddess. My brother and I were laughing cause we both now have toyotas... and they're the same color. M is in LOVE with it. I think he was more excited about me buying it, and to show it off to everyone than I was.

2.  Caterer and DJ
More wedding vendor shopping this weekend! We've found a Caterer that can do exactly what we want for the rehearsal and reception within our price range, we just have to meet with them and make sure they match up with our expectations. Same with the DJ- gotta make sure his style meshes with our own and that he can fit well with the type of music we want and the style of our event. As long as everything goes well Sunday it means I've really only got the florist left in terms of vendors to hire! So excited that the big stuff is finally coming together and soon we can focus on the fun little details!

3. Mothers
Our mothers are driving us crazy. They're trying to figure out what to wear for the wedding, but keep asking us what the other person is wearing. His mom doesn't want to step on my mom's toes by being dressed fancier, but my mom wants them to be dressed similarly in terms of formality so she wants to know what his mom is thinking about wearing. UGH!

A Typical Conversation:
"should I wear this one, or that one?
I have a grey one, but should I match the bridal party a little or not? 
I don't want to look TOO different ... if I don't match.
is green ok?"

So yea. Driving Us Crazy! Seriously- How do you people handle your mothers!? Or were you lucky and just had nice normal decisive/opinionated women in your family!?

4. Engagement Pictures!
Next Friday! So excited to work with Megan Vaughn to do our pictures. The one thing we have planned is to do some pictures while playing pool. Like These beautiful pictures by Jason Kaczorowski.
Other than that.... Maybe some pictures on a patio, or with some cool city scapes? Megan sent me this yesterday- which is gorgeous. I have no idea where in the city it is though... Although M is more familiar with Richmond so maybe he does.

5. Chapel Veils
So I bought my first chapel veil and received it in the mail a couple days ago. Its beautiful burgundy lace with dots and a nice floral-ish (but not too floral) border. Handmade by a lovely woman in Canada.


We attend the Latin version of the Mass (aka Tridentine) at either Saint John the Beloved in McLean VA or Saint Josephs in Richmond VA, and the large majority of women at both Parishes from young girls to teenagers to women and mothers all the way to the elderly wear chapel veils for Mass. It is traditional for women to veil because their hair is something of vanity, and in the presence of God our focus should be on Him instead of how we look. Im really nervous about wearing it though. Are people going to say something about it or ask me why i suddenly decided to wear one? Are they going to think its weird cause the large majority wear white or black?
I guess the truth of the matter is that I shouldnt care. Most women in our parishes wear them, and everything Ive read says they do actually make you feel more reverent and more focused on the Liturgy. So nerves or not, I am going to start wearing a veil to Mass starting this Sunday. 

Kinda funny that I was considering not wearing a veil for my wedding- considering we're having a full Mass, but wanted to start wearing one for Sunday Mass. (I have since decided I am going to wear one for the wedding).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Being an Adult: Cars

So Ive always liked cars. I enjoy speeding and windy roads and lots of wind in your face.
Hence the fact that for the last 6 years I have owned sports cars.

After a boring high school and college lethargy in old 4 cylinder sedans with lots of miles I finally got to upgrade as a college graduation present!
My choices were a "new" used car, or I take my mothers car and she got a new car. I went with option 2 because well- my mother drove an adorable 2.5 door sporty looking 2002 Saturn SC1.
SO pretty!

Well tragedy befell my pretty little car on the Memorial day Holiday of 2009 less than 3 years after I official took possession.
So I took that opportunity to advance my fast and fun obsession. I could finally afford to buy myself something decently nice and I ran with it. All the way to my first choice (In my opinion the only choice). A hard-top convertible with a nice little 2.0L turbo. My Beautiful Roxie the 2007 Volkswagen Eos.

I Love my VW*. I even managed to pay her off a year and a half early.
* I love her when shes not having issues, being involved in hit-and-runs or being stolen.

MBM and I are getting Married early next year. And we want kids. Since we'll be 30 and 31 the month after we get married, were not really gonna wait all that long to start. And while I joke that Ill have to put the top down on my convertible to get a car seat into it, reviews online say they dont fit correctly or safely in the back seat because of the design. And VW wants me to put almost $2K into this car within 6 months.

So it seems my sports car days may need to be over for the meantime? Being an adult apparently means having a car that you can fit children in safely (and that would be a little safer if God forbid I had a major accident).
Good thing I also like Trucks and SUVs. I can justify giving up the convertible- but not the speed. Goodbye Turbo (and the premium gas and synthetic oil you require) Hello V6!

Car shopping starts this afternoon! Any Advice??

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Local Restaurants- Part 2. Palladio + Our Engagement

Palladio Restaurant is part of Barboursville Vineyard in Barboursville Virginia. The restaurant being named after Andrea Palladio who greatly influenced the design of the family's estate. Set in idyllic central Virginia and surrounded by lush rolling hills it makes for a beautiful peaceful get away. I'm lucky to say I grew up in the same county that plays host to this beautiful locale along with many others such as President James Madison's Montpelier and The Inn at Willow Grove.

June 21st 2013. MBM and I had planned to each take off a half day and meet in Fredericksburg VA, we had tickets to a dinner theater that he had bought me for my birthday back in April. Earlier that week he asked me if I could take the whole day off, and we'd make a day off it and head to the vineyard for wine tasting and lunch and a nice walk around the ruins. I had an inkling something was up, but dismissed it because he had been talking about not having alot of savings recently, so he must have just wanted to go all out for my late birthday celebration.
Our reservation was for noon (the earliest they open for lunch) so we showed up around 11 and got started with the wine tasting. (we figured that was the best idea since we still had to drive 20 minutes back to my parents and then 30 more to the theater). We only got through the whites and blush but even with that- he found a favorite in the Sauvignon blanc and I found two that I loved: A lightly oaked Chardonnay- I usually hate oaky chardonnay but this was beautiful; just a hint of that warmth from the wood in a wonderfully light wine, and the Blush- which is unlike any blush I've ever had; a warm, dry more red taste rather than the overly sweet taste of most wines in this category. But alas we never got to the reds. It was time for our lunch reservation. (we plan to go back in the near future to finish our tasting).
We decided to go all out and get the four-course lunch, the hard part was deciding what to get for each course. We ordered a bottle of MBMs favorite Sauvignon Blanc and were surprised with a glass of their new Brut to start. Apparently theyre not allowed to call it Champagne because they do not use typical grapes from the Champagne province in France. I have to say I have NEVER liked champagne unless it was served in a mimosa or a bellini until I tasted their Brut. I don't even know how to describe it other than just saying its light and bubbly and delicious! 

I apologize for not remembering all of what MBM had for lunch. Ill include my dishes and what I remember of his though.

Appetizer: Me- Seared Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Puree, Honey and Microgreens. My scallops were cooked perfectly with not a grain of sand to be found and a beautiful rich seafood flavor, the only bit of crunch came from the microgreens that were surprisingly peppery and contrasted nicely with the honey and fava bean. My first time eating both fava beans and microgreens- big thumbs up to both. Him- Assorted Charcurterie with accompanying condiments. He couldn't stop raving about the meats; three types of prosciutto and two types of pate including beef, duck and pork- each with its own condiment ranging from from infused mustard to apricot preserves.

First Course: Me- Potato Gnocchi with Braised Goat and Cheese Crisps. Oh My gosh- Goat is my new favorite meat. Another thing I had never had before I decided to take a chance. It. Was. Amazing. A little gamey (which personally I like) and incredibly tender- the broth warmed your soul and the gnocchi were perfect little pillows of potato which contrasted beautifully with the crisps.The only downside was picking out diced pickled red onion because of my intense hatred of onion, but it did not detract from my love of the dish at all.

Second Course: Me- Pork Cheeks in Gravy with Pea Puree and Caramelized Carrots, Topped with Crispy Potato Straws. As I told MBM, those potato straws need to be patented and sold in stores everywhere. They're like potato chips but like a billion times better! Never before had I eaten something that sounded as weird as Pork Cheeks. But I am so glad I was taking chances this day- they are all the things you love about pork but better. They are beyond tender- in the way that a well cooked Pot Roast is tender, it just falls apart with your fork. If you could manage to get a bit of everything onto your fork for a bite, it was pure heaven. (Well I don't know about with the carrots... I don't like carrots either).

Dessert: Tiramisu. Me- When tiramisu is on the menu- is there any other choice!? Coffee and Cocoa powder and marscapone with dollops of vanilla and raspberry sauce on the plate to dab each bit into. Beautiful, and with the ability to make the taste slightly different from one to the next, Love. Him- Creme Brulee with Madeleines and coffee. Creme Brulee is his go to dessert as much as mine is Tiramisu. He said it was fantastic- creamy with the perfect bit of crunch from the caramelized top.

After lunch we went for a walk up to the ruins of the old Barbour family mansion and then through the field and woods behind it (Star marks the spot!!). It was then that he started rambling. Talking about everything we've done together over the past year and a half plus. He was quite nervous which was cute, and I finally clued in that I had been right in the beginning- something was up! When he dropped down to one knee I was shocked and overwhelmed by emotion. Maybe it's cliche but I couldn't help it- one hand flew to cover my mouth as it hung open in disbelief and the tears began to well up in my eyes. I didn't start crying right away- because I was giggling slightly at his inability to get the ring out of his pocket. Following that was an enthusiastic yes, and a good deal of hugging and kissing, and of course staring at my ring in happiness and shock. He did a wonderful job surprising me and the ring is exactly what I wanted. I am blessed to have him as my fiance and to be planning a life with the most wonderful man I have ever met.