The perfect itinerary when family comes to town

Alex's dad, step-mom, and brother came to visit us this past weekend, our first visitors since we moved to Boulder in November. We queued up, if I may say, a great weekend for the five of us, and here it is: 

Our 3-day Boulder Itinerary

Friday: drinks at Rayback, dinner at the Med, music at License No. 1.

Saturday: hiking crawl to various spots like Chautauqua, NCAR, Flagstaff Summit, stroll down Pearl Street, a stop at Boulder's finest dispensary (their idea, not ours), dinner at Sherpa's, music at the Post.

Sunday: breakfast at our place (we made shakshuka), and a chill afternoon of Mario Kart, the movies, and relaxing.

The air was chilly, but the sun was warm, so we were able to spend a good amount of time outside. Not a bad weekend.

What I'm baking

I made baklava last week, and it came out so well! I used this recipe from Natasha's Kitchen, for a sweeter, honey-infused flavor. I added a little extra cloves and nutmeg, too. I also used the tips from this YouTube video, including the proportion of phyllo dough to filling. It came out great and was surprisingly quick to pull together.

What I'm reading

I am almost finished with Ryan Holiday's Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue. It's about Peter Thiel's nearly decade-long effort to take down Gawker after they outed him in a blog post. The story definitely promises on intrigue and conspiracy—it's tough to believe the lengths Thiel went to in order to disarm a website. I wasn't crazy about Ryan Holiday's style of writing. He harks back a few times to often to Machiavelli and ancient Rome, really trying to drive in that conspiracy angle. 

What I'm watching

We saw Isle of Dogs, the new Wes Anderson movie. It's my favorite one to date.

 Hiking around NCAR with the fam

Hiking around NCAR with the fam

Bikes, Plated, and Travel

 Okay, byeee. Taken at  Tabernash, Colorado .

Okay, byeee.
Taken at Tabernash, Colorado.

Whoops.

Sometimes new projects have a rocky start, and I’m going to be nice to myself and consider this blog one of those projects. I’ve been entrenched in a time-consuming project at work and a prolonged interview process outside of it (more to come soon), but now I have more time on my hands and want to get back into these posts! I so enjoyed reading over the past two posts I wrote—I love having a record of what I’ve done and the projects I’ve worked on. So without further ado, here’s my (multi-)weekly digest:

What I'm reading

I fell a bit behind my read-one-book-per-week goal, so I’ve been trying to make up for it the past few weeks. I read Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In,” “Spoonbenders” by Daryl Gregory, and “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel.

I know there are a lot of ~ feels ~ out there about “Lean In,” but I thought Sheryl did have some good nuggets of practical advice, at least for women in professional, traditional career tracks. One thing I found interesting was Sheryl’s recommendation of “thinking personally, acting globally.” In practice, this could mean prefacing a negotiating conversation by saying something like, “Women in general are often paid less than men.” She argues that saying this makes your ask not just about yourself, but about all women. I’ve never done this but curious how it would play out in practice.

On the totally other end of the spectrum, “Station Eleven” is a massively enjoying read about a traveling Shakespeare acting and orchestral group 15 years into a post-apocalyptic future where 99.9% of the world’s population has been wiped out. Happy reading!

What I'm cooking

I did decide to splurge on Plated and am loving it so far. The service has vastly improved since I first tried it in 2014. Most recently, I made Vietnamese beef meatballs and shepherd’s pie, both of which were easy and delicious.

Where I’m going

I’ve been traveling a bucketload recently. Since I last posted in January, I’ve spent weekends in New York, Chicago, San Diego, and a few places in Colorado—Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, and Tabernash. Now that the weather is getting nicer here (albeit with the random days of snow mixed in with sunshine, still trying to figure out Colorado weather), I think we’ll be staying put more. 

 Scenes from our trip to San Diego

Scenes from our trip to San Diego

What I’m baking

We’ve been terrible about celebrating the holidays this year (see travel above), but I did make a batch of funfetti macaroons for Passover. I used too many sprinkles and they came out pink but were delicious all the same. I followed Molly Yeh’s recipe.

What I’m buying

I got a bike! After much deliberation, I landed on an Electra commuter bike and I am in love with it.

This Weekend

It's been a busy one! We went to a podcast taping called Shut Up & Listen at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver Friday night, went back into Denver for lunch with a friend today, karaoke tonight, and hopefully a whole lot of relaxing tomorrow.

Food is on my mind

boulder.jpg

This is going to be a short post today. In my efforts this week to get more and more plugged into the Boulder community, I'm heading to Design Hours' Pitch Masters event. Here's the promo line: "Five of Boulder's most creative minds will channel their inner Don Draper to see who can give the best two-minute pitch—on a surprise topic. Could be PB&J Sandwiches. Could be about Ron Swanson. Or maybe even kombucha." I mean, how could I not?? 

This week Alex and I generally have been trying to get better plugged in. I joined a coworking space, we met up with a friend's friend, and we both signed up for a bunch of Meetups. 

What I'm reading

I'm skimming Big Magic by Liz Gilbert as quickly as I can before the book club I want to join meets on Saturday. I'm really not a fan of self-help/inspo books, but she just described a chance encounter with Ann Patchett, which, from my last post, you know I LOVE, so I'm open to giving this another chance.

What I'm baking

Chai tea cupcakes! They came out so well, I'm pleased. Recipe in Kim Laidlaw's Dessert of the Day: 365 recipes for every day of the year.

cupcake.jpg

The splurge I'm considering

Thinking about joining a meal plan again. I've done them before, but it didn't make sense in New York when we lived above a grocery store. Now that we're a drive away from the nearest grocery store, having groceries shipped straight to our door sounds a lot more tempting.

Till next time!

Starting 2018 off with a whisper

Hello! After many months (years, really) of thinking about whether or not to write about my personal life, I've decided to take the plunge. At 6:45 in the morning. Because I can't sleep. And a few things that finally convinced me in the end:

  1. Ever since I changed careers from reporting to design, I miss writing in my day to day. I figured writing about my life would help satisfy that itch. (I'll miss the editing that usually followed, but oh well.)
  2. Buzzfeed taught me that list-making is a form to be reckoned with
  3. It's a new year! Which means new things! I didn't actually make resolutions this year (instead I wrote down a few words and thoughts that I plan to refer to every few weeks to keep me checked), but starting something like this fits right in line with what I want to focus on in 2018.
  4. I've had a lot of Big Life Changes this past year, and I wish I did a better job of chronicling my thoughts throughout. In the past few months alone, I got married to my college sweetheart, left my home of five years in New York City to move to Boulder, and moved into my first-ever-actual-real-life house (a rental, but still!)

So it's time, it's finally time. To keep it easy for me (and to ensure I don't give up after like two posts) , I'm going to commit to writing once a week, maybe Thursdays or Sundays, and keep as much in true list form as possible! 

So here goes...

What I'm cooking

Settling into a new house is daunting. There's so much to move and rearrange and organize and put together, cooking is the last thing on my mind. But Boulder doesn't have the plethora of delivery options that New York City does, and I got my fill of eating out on our honeymoon last month, so I made sure to carve out time to make two recipes from Bon Appetit's The Feel Good Food Plan! The first was Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa and the other was Confetti Rice with Chicken in Spicy Garlic Broth. The latter especially was easy and comfort food-y and will definitely find its place in my meal rotation.

 Crispy chicken thighs, photo by Alex Lau of Bon Appetit

Crispy chicken thighs, photo by Alex Lau of Bon Appetit

 Confetti rice with chicken, photo by Alex Lau of Bon Appetit

Confetti rice with chicken, photo by Alex Lau of Bon Appetit

What I'm baking

I picked up chai tea from Boulder's own Ku Cha House of Tea, and plan to make chai tea cupcakes with honey cream frosting from one of my cookbooks. I haven't actually done this yet, but MLK day tomorrow is forecasting snow, so I figured baking cupcakes with a fire in the background is the thing to do.

What I'm reading

I've become obsessed with Ann Patchett after reading State of Wonder (murder, mysteries, the Amazon, fertility, this book is crazy in the best way), and just finished Commonwealth.

What I'm watching

Though it makes me ACHE for New York, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is so charming. Plus it's a good antidote to Stranger Things, which I'm finally getting around to watching with Alex.

What I'm buying

Groceries and furniture (*waves bye to paycheck*). I still can't get over how there are no lines at the Trader Joe's in Boulder. I mean, I've waited in line to get inside of Trader Joe's in Manhattan. As a result I've been frequenting Trader Joe's more often than I care to admit. We've also gotten a few awesome pieces of furniture, which I'll write about more later.

What I'm doing this weekend

Hurrah, we have three days off! We're still settling into our new home, so yesterday we did errands, turned flat boxes into furniture, opened registry gifts, and made a fire at night and roasted s'mores. Today we're planning to drive up to Estes Park to do a little light hiking, and put together more furniture. I really have to get started on our wedding thank you notes, plus get the process going for changing my name across my social and professional networks (why are there no good online resources on this?), and I have a little design work to do as well, but those are all Monday things. Plus chai cupcakes. Those are also Monday things.

Happy weekend! *wave*