Friday, February 29, 2008

i've got nothing!

Well my week was boring. I spent time working, working out and going to class (but not learning very much.) This was the hardest week of the semester! This was the week before spring break. I AM NOW OFFICIALLY ON SPRING BREAK! (Although I have no exciting plans for the coming week.)

My only excitement for the week was the road trip to Nashville. I went to see Regina Spektor at the Ryman auditorium. In November four of us (Gigi, Sally, Brandon and I) drove all the way to Nashville to find out that Regina was in the Hospital (an inner ear infection) and would not be performing. The show was rescheduled for a few weeks later, sadly Regina was still sick. So the show was FINALLY rescheduled for this Wednesday.

The three of us (Sally had to abandon the concert after the original cancellation) went to the concert. We had such a great time. If you don't know Regina Spektor's music you should look her up. She honestly brought tears to my eyes! It was also fun hanging out with Gigi, she was a wonderful front-seat passenger and kept me awake the whole 3 hour drive.

I did something new and exciting last week... I took a belly dancing class. I felt absolutely ridiculous! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! The best part: it burns about 4oo calories an hour. I trust you to keep this a secret.

My Friday night was pretty uneventful, which is why I'm writing on my blog. Brandon came over, we cooked frozen food and watched TV.... Sorry this was all I had to report, like I said: I've got nothing!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

ah... sweet love, and food!

Well, Valentine's day happened... and it was a wonderful second heart day with Brandon. We had dinner at Napa Cafe', it was a very nice restaurant. He gave me the most awesome set of three paintings. Pictures don't do them justice, so you'll just have to come over to see them. It was such a cool and thoughtful gift, once again he's great! (Yes, I'm gushing.)

Food is a hobby of mine. I love to eat and cook. I actually went to the gym tonight and listened to Bon Appetit's podcast while I worked out. (I'm absolutely pathetic.) Ive been trying to eat a bit healthier lately (sort of a mid February resolution) so I've gotten creative in the kitchen. Here's a new recipe I made up Tuesday night, it really isn't too super inventive, but I liked it. (And it was super low in calories and high in protein, which I really need since I'm a vegetarian.)

Black Bean and Corn Soup (the name is really a work in progress.)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 small bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese, all for garnish

Saute the garlic, onions, and pepper in a soup pot (one with a lid) for approximately 5 minutes, or until slightly browned. Add the beans, corn, and Rotel (do not drain the liquid, you may want to rinse the corn etc. but replace the liquid with water.) You may want to add up to one extra can of water if soup looks too dry. (Vegetable stock could be an alternative to water, I just didn't have any, adjust the salt accordingly.) Bring these ingredients to a boil, stirring CONSTANTLY for 4-5 minutes. Reduce to a simmer. Add the cumin, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. I mashed up some of the beans with the spoon, it makes the soup even heartier. Garnish the soup with lime wedges (they add a great flavor without ANY calories) sour cream or cheese. I also thought some tortilla chips would be a nice touch, although this soup doesn't need anything extra!

This is super healthy. I estimated approximately 185 calories per cup of soup, sans the garnishes. Brandon liked it, and so did I. Let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't forget to buy a subway map, and other lessons I learned in New York (almost two months later.)

Even though we returned from our trip on January 3rd, I though I would take this time to share the top 10 lessons I learned on our trip to New York.

10. Sleep before travel. I'm an idiot. I thought it would be OK to have 4 hours of sleep before embarking on one of the busiest trips of my life! As a result B and I were so tired that we ended up eating pizza in my room on our first night in New York.
9. Pigeons are terrifying! They are ridiculous, you give them a bite of your cupcake and they attack! This is me running away scared.
8. It is perfectly OK to steal culinary advice from Sex and the City. Yes I'm a follower. I heard about the Magnolia Bakery from Sex and the City (a show which I don't agree with, but admit I'm a fan.) They were seriously the best cupcakes I've ever eaten! I tried to recreate them at home, not a good idea. Here are the originals, aren't they beautiful?

7. It is perfectly OK to plan a trip based solely on food. We ate some of the best food in the world, and planned the trip around where we would eat. The massive amounts of walking kept me from gaining 800 pounds! We discovered Caffe Reggio, so good!

6. jetBlue is a great airline, and I highly recommend them, just saying.

5. Caitlyn loses any bit of a southern accent when in NY. I guess I just don't want to sound like a tourist.

4. One can have a fun and exciting trip to New York without visiting a single tourist trap! (As long as you don't consider the Met a tourist trap.) Even though this was Brandon's first trip to NY, he didn't want to go see the Statue of Liberty with the other 10 million tourists (another reason why he's great!)

3. I love museums. We spent an entire morning at the Met (the metropolitan museum of art)... We had so much fun!

2. Although Getting lost with your boyfriend can be fun, buy a map. In my effort to avoid the dreaded "tourist" look I said, "oh we don't need a map." Bad bad bad idea! I guess if we can survive getting terribly lost in New York City, and oh did we get lost, we can survive anything!

1. New York is the best city in the world.... and I will live there some day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

That's right I haven't posted since before Christmas...

So I guess I should write a sort of "catch up" post.

December: Christmas was wonderful. It was my first Orthodox Nativity. Christmas eve was a super busy day. It began with a morning Liturgy. The following afternoon was spent making yummy curried devilled eggs for the Nativity feast and getting ready for the Manning Family Christmas Extravaganza.

That evening Brandon and I loaded up the Saturn and drove to my Grandparent's house in NW TN. We had a wonderful time hanging out with my fam. This was my very first Christmas to show up with a significant other, and I think it went pretty well.

We had to leave the gathering early to head back to Memphis. We had to make it to our Nativity Liturgy that night. The liturgy went late into the night and the following feast went even later!

The next day was amazing and fun, I had a great time with my family and with Brandon's family. I got two of the coolest armchairs from Santa, tons of awesome stuff from Brandon's family, including a crepe maker, creme brulee kit, and canvases (for my artistic endeavors.) And from Brandon.......... I got a travel book for New York........

Oh and he also gave me A TRIP TO NEW YORK!!!!! It was pretty much the best Christmas present ever! My travel agent, er boyfriend, had planned a trip for the two of us to my favorite city in the world. No worries everyone, we had separate rooms on different floors.

But on to the rest of the "catch up." The next week after Christmas was a blur.

January: Before I knew it it was New Year's eve. Brandon and I celebrated a very anticlimactic countdown to the new year. We celebrated in the car, and basically missed the countdown. We ended up at his house eating grilled cheese and drinking champagne, pathetic huh?

The next day we had such a great time hanging out at the Chushman New Year's Extravaganza! We had such a great time, and I truly understand why Margaret told me it was "New Year's Heaven."

That night we left my house around 1am to drive to Nashville to catch our 6am flight. Then we flew to NY, it was so much fun! I won't bore you with the details right now, I'm pretty sure Ive bored my readers with enough details for the time being. I'll write a boring trip to NY post later.