Welcome to my blog. My blogging journey began about in August 2009 as a photo-a-day blog which has since transitioned to combine my love of good food and photography. Today, using as many local and fresh ingredients as we can, my boyfriend and myself spend time researching recipes, making our own adaptations, cooking, taking photos, eating, and finally reflecting on all or part of the above listed process here. I hope you take the time to not only read and look at our photos, but please cook some of the recipes yourself. You are invited and encourage to leave feedback as we continue our culinary journey!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I made a really great pork roast for dinner. That's right, a pork roast. I feel like when you reach the point when you are cooking pork roast for dinner-that is the point when you truly become an adult. Throughout college, students "cook" meals like mac 'n cheese, Ramen, and then later move on to a variety of pastas with simple sauces. But now--I cook pork roasts. I am an adult.

I suppose I've been an adult for awhile now. I'm closer to 30 than to 20. For the last year, I've been managing every penny of my budget-saving just enough so that I have enough money to meet my basic needs. I'm about to open a retirement account. A retirement account! That's insane!

My pork roast consisted of: the pork (of course), baby carrots, cauliflower, and a special sauce all thrown together in my crock pot. I love crock pots-but yet, another thing that only adults need and use.

Maybe this is also an adult fascination, but I find myself in love with food. It doesn't matter what type: healthy, greasy, international, american...I like it all...and I like to learn to cook it all. Next week I will make a tofu and potato yellow curry.

And no, I didn't take any photos of the pork roast. But trust me, its tasty.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday, September 29

Kitten Love

Monday, September 28 2009

Finally a 3 day weekend and a day off work. My beau and I took a trip to the National Archives so I could see the Declaration of Independence and other historic documents. I figured that I should stop making excuses and use the day off to go.

Sunday, September 27 2009

Finally, a sunny day in DC, at least for a few hours. This past Sunday was the Latino Festival in Mount Pleasant. The parade is the most impressive part of the day. What strikes me most about these photos is how colorful and festive the outfits are.

During the parade (which lasts about two hours) South and Central American countries are represented by musicians, dancers, and people walking in the streets. Children of all ages participate in the parade, as well as the very elderly. For these few hours on a Sunday afternoon I sat back and watched the parade participants and onlookers celebrate their culture and customs which are too often ignored and forgotten.

Saturday, September 26 2009

A rainy Saturday afternoon. A Peruvian BBQ at Nico's. A visiting boyfriend. A fantastic, relaxing Saturday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I've been bad about the photos this week. Things have been crazy and I have a lot of projects in my new apartment. Our internet is finally up and that is fantastic. Next projects: figure out something to do with my bike (hang it in the main hall) and get a cable splitter to run the cable into my room.

Last night I volunteered at the Homeless Children's Playtime Project. It was my first night and something I plan on continuing to do at least every other week. I have no photo, because sometimes photos aren't appropriate. The kids are all 8 and under and living in a shelter. They're a bit wild and don't quite understand the concept of following rules, but as long as I can get through the two hours working with them without having anyone gravely injured, I figure I'm doing a pretty good job. Last night we had a freeze dance party, played with play-dough, and read The Little Mermaid. At the end of the night, the kids snuggled up against me and feel asleep in my lap while I read them stories. Again..for the safety of the kids, no photos were taken. I'll try to be better about the photos in the upcoming weeks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flooded by Negativity

In a fast paced city, its easy to get upset when things aren't going our way. To explain how things have been for me for the last few weeks, I will describe the things that went wrong with my day.

I get up for a 4 hour (2 hours one way) drive in a car to meet with a state senator. Get to my zipcar and GASP it isn't there. Zipcar takes 30 minutes to find me a new vehicle which means that although I speed all the way to the meeting, I was still 15 minutes late.

I got home approx. 2pm and needed to take a few things for the Salvation Army. Also had some work to do so needed to have internet. So, I went to Salvation Army and then yogurt place to use the internet. Their internet was out, so I moved on to location two. Their internet was also out so I moved to location 3. Not to mention that I had to buy something at all three places in order to use the internet that wasn't functioning. Frustrating.

And, I feel like thats how things have gone for the past few weeks. Just, small things, but all gone wrong. So here is my new motto: think positively. My negative attitude is affecting my emotions, and also my friends who surround me. I need to focus on the good in life instead of the bad, and get over it if something doesn't go my way. Time to stop being angry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MS Activist and I meeting with Senator Holtzman in the middle of nowhere Virginia.

The second photo shows what the drive was like through the mountains.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

This photo explains why I've been MIA. I moved to a new place and we don't have internet hooked up until Wednesday. So, I'm out for the evening mooching internet at Pan Lourdes Cafe. Although I'd rather have internet at home, the discovery of this cafe is wonderful. I bought a Snapple and a wonderful sweet Mexican Empanada for $2.04. Seriously?! That is so cheap.

Not having internet has been hard. On one hand, its nice to try to do other things and be outside of the house rather than sitting on the computer at work all day and coming home and again, sitting on the computer all night. However, not having internet has caused a couple stressful situations when I haven't been able to look up directions and needed them. Also, in my relationship. Being in a long distance relationship I will tell you first hand-INTERNET IS CRUCIAL. I am relieved that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and on Wednesday we will once again be able to surf the net, but not having access has really been a strain. But, I suppose it makes me thankful for what I do have--thank you Skype, for your existence. Also, I'm glad that I've learned to have a life outside of my computer. :)

For those of you who have not seen me around, don't take it personally. Things have been crazy. Tonight is the one and only night this week that I came home straight from work, every other night I have someplace to be---and that is pretty typical lately. I'm looking forward to a lovely weekend with the boy-I have no plans as of yet and want to keep it that way. But for now, I must remain in this busy world of running from one thing to the next, trying frantically to keep up with my to do list both at work and at home.

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

A Sunday afternoon tennis match. Living my past. (photo 1)

Sam, trying to be sneaky and crawl through my desk. But, he's too huge and gets stuck. Poor, stupid Sam.

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at the Ama Tu Vida Campaign with fellow MS Activists concerned with outreach to the Latino Population. (top 2 photos)

Celebrating the fact that it is SATURDAY with my fellow friends at Marx Cafe for Spanish Rock night. (bottom photo)

Friday, September 18, 2009

A cold, dreary day at the Capital.

Thursday, September 17th 2009

I took no photo today. I do remember, though, that there was something I wanted to take a photo of. I was on the bus on the way home after a long day (and long week) at work. I small a mother get on the bus with her 3 or 4 year old sun. He sat on her lap and just laughed and laughed and laughed the entire bus ride home. His laughter and smile was so genuine, and his mother seemed young, lively, and also happy to just be in that moment with him. I wanted to take the photo but didn't have the guts to interrupt that intimate moment between mother and son...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DC Voters Rights! A trip to the DC City Council.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Cat attack. Since Maggie snuck up behind Sam and took a huge nip at his tail, Sam takes revenge.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm moved. Since I have no internet in the new place and I paid for a cupcake merely to use the internet connection, I may as well make use of my time and make an update.

My new place is great...much smaller, but cozy and colorful. And, the cats (Sam and Maggie) are adorable.

I'm feeling a higher than normal amount of stress this week which is due to getting things set up after the move, selling my belongings that I no longer need, working late Tuesday, Wednesday, and also working Saturday, and trying to see friends that I haven't seen in awhile. Saturday I have plans to go Salsa dancing, I've been so insanely busy that I haven't been able to go salsa dancing in ages.

Also, I've been reflecting a lot on my year in DC. I've been here one year. Wow. I still love Chicago, but I also love DC. I've been thinking a lot about how its really taken one full year here to get my life where I wanted it. After one year, I'm finally taking Pilates classes and looking into joining the local gym. I'm volunteering on Thursday nights...these are the things that were my goals. So, what did I do in the past year? Adjust, I suppose.

Alright, I suppose I have to go now to play with the cats and get ready for a work call happening in about an hour.

Monday, September 14 2009

With the move, I inherited two cats. Maggie really likes my computer.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The move. We're taking apart my bed. John is supervising.

Saturday, September 12 2009

Free Opera at the Nat's Stadium. Okay, so it was freezing but still enjoyable!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

At least there's such thing as comfort food on a dark, dreary, lonely Friday afternoon...

Thursday September 10th, 2009

Thursday afternoon. Free beer. 5-6. Awesome

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Right before my Pilates class kicked my ass...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Fantastic Sushi at Current with a great girlfriend.

I'm all caught up now, and assuming that my internet doesn't fail me again I imagine that I'll keep posting close to everyday. 24 hours is a long time, and I think its a good thing to look back and realize that days aren't lost--at least one thing I've done everyday has been memorable.

Monday, September 7, 2009 (Labor Day)

A beautiful walk in the Japanese Gardens with my lovely boyfriend.

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

A beautiful Chicago evening which included the Chicago Jazz Festival and a walk around Millennium Park.

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Finally Chicago! A lazy summer afternoon at The Point on the South Side, and an evening trip to the North for some jazz music.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Its nice when you have an office BBQ to take up your last hour of work on a Friday afternoon.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

A trip to Trader Joe's during lunch...I only purchased organic ketchup, mustard, and relish for an office BBQ.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another trip down to Capital Hill. I found a nice retreat behind one of the House Office Buildings.

I have not forgotten about you...

Blog, don't be lonely, I haven't forgotten that you exist, I merely haven't had internet in my home for the past 9 days...but I still have a photo to share for every day I didn't post here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Internet is restored...

Sunday: Walk to Mr. Yogato. I just want to travel everywhere...

Monday: I'm just too tired to do anything but sit on my front porch...

Tuesday: Beautiful day on Capital Hill.
I think my blog will need to take a break, and its for no lack of photos. Ironically, I have taken a photo everyday. Sunday, Monday, and today (Tuesday) all need a photo. However, my internet has been very intermittant at home and I haven't been picking up enough of a signal to post the photos...will post when the internet is back up.