Archive for January 2014

New York City in Photos - Part II

As promised, I wanted to share a few more photos from our anniversary trip to New York last week. Considering another polar vortex had hit the city during our visit, we took in more museums than expected. I fear Keith might have already reached his limit for art exhibits for 2014.

We visited two of the essentials - the Met and MoMA, but we also took in the Morgan Library and Museum.  The Morgan Library began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, the father of J.P. Morgan. It was one of those delightful discoveries all because we wanted to stay inside as much as possible.

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New York City in Photos - Part I

As the snow started to fall in New York, Keith and I were hustling to Penn Station for our return back to the District on Saturday. We agreed that we'll plan our future anniversary trips for some place south, where we won't be faced with polar vortexes. 

I am embarrassed to admit that this trip was my first time visiting the city. Despite the bone chilling temperatures, it was a memorable trip filled with some great adventures and wonderful meals.
Here are a few photos I managed to take without removing my gloves. 

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3rd Anniversary

Via The Emerics
Three years ago Keith and I said "I do" in Las Vegas. We didn't take a honeymoon right after our ceremony. Instead, we've taken on a better tradition - each year for our anniversary we take a little vacation. This year we're in New York City. If only we had the foresight to know there would be another polar vortex during our visit. Regardless, I'm super excited and cannot wait to share photos with you when we return.

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Friday Cocktails: Bourbon Sidecar

Whenever I walk into a classy bar, I opt for a bourbon sidecar. The sidecar exudes timeless class in the form of a cocktail. Think of it as the little black dress of cocktails. I love this cocktail so much that Keith and I had a bourbon sidecar toast at our wedding instead of the traditional champagne.

Like any of the classic cocktails, the origins of a sidecar is a little murky. The most famous of the stories features an anonymous American army capital who liked to ride in a motorcycle sidecar invented it during the 1920s in Paris. Others will have you believe is was developed during WWI in London. And there's yet another story of it being developed in New Orleans. Depending on which story you follow, it is traditionally made with equal parts brandy or cognac, an orange liqueur and lemon juice.  Although, the portions have also been found to vary.

My version pays tribute to my favorite cocktail base - bourbon. I stick with the equal parts of bourbon, orange liqueur, and take advantage of meyer lemons which are in now easily available in the grocery store. I hope this becomes one of your go to classics.

Bourbon Sidecar
Makes one cocktail

2 oz. bourbon
2 oz. Cointreau (Or other orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec)
2 oz. Meyer lemon juice

Cut a wedge of lemon and rim your cocktail glass with superfine sugar. Allow the sugar rim to dry while you make your cocktail. In a shaker filled with ice, add your bourbon, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.


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Book Review: Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

When I first moved to the District, I worked with a boss that believed in knowing the people working for him and how to ensure  team harmony. There were days I thought this was complete B.S. and some days where I could see the value. One of the exercises, he had the group participate in was Myers Briggs. The results came back and I was classified as a INTJ. After discussing the results, the group was convinced as was I to a certain extent that I was an "E" or an extrovert.

Well, looking forward to today and almost seven years later and I believe I fall more in line with the "I" label associated with being an introvert. Working in my current field has even highlighted it more for me, so I was excited to read "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain.

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts? They're the folks that prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create, but dislike self-promotion; who prefer working alone over working in teams.

As I read that paragraph on the back cover of the book, I found myself nodding along. Everything stated resonated with me and I found it rang even more true after working with my current employer for the last couple of years. I wanted to learn more about what me makes me tick and how to deal with the extroverts in my current work environment.

"Quiet" helped with that. This is a well researched book that provides just enough of the human touch so you can connect and fully understand the concepts discussed. Ms. Cain provides you with tips and ideas as to how you can stay true to your quiet self while living in a loud world.

My only gripe with the book was the final chapter - "How to Cultivate Quiet Kids in a World That Can't Hear Them." I think this distracted from the book as a whole. As a person without children, she distracted from what I thought could have been a strong finish. I was put off by the transition to parenthood and lack of a real conclusion. While the topic is important, it would have been better as a separate book. I'm sure there is plenty of research to support it and could have been a nice follow-up.

Despite my disappointment with the book's end, I highly recommend taking the time to read "Quiet." It's helped me better understand myself and how to better work with folks at the office.

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Happy 2014!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and the new year has gotten off to a lovely start. I can't believe we're almost to the half-way point for January already. The time to discuss resolutions and whatnot has passed. Instead, I wanted to share my three goals for 2014.

  1. Have friends and/or family over for dinner at least once a month. This may mean a simple weeknight meal consisting of a robust antipasti plate or it may involve a Saturday night dinner party where I try out a new recipe or two from the cookbook library. Regardless, I want to cook more and share those meals with the ones I love.
  2. Take more photos. Keith and I have spent many conversations about finding a hobby. I think one of my hobbies is going to involve my camera and capturing more memories. To help hold me to this, I'm planning to start a series here picking up on what so many other bloggers do called Silent Sundays. I want to share a photo that captures what the week held or maybe that day, but you'll see at least one photo sharing a quiet piece of our life. 
  3. Find a new job that bring me fulfillment. Near the middle of December, I learned the department at my current firm is going through a reorganization and as a result will leave me without a position come the start of the second quarter. (Yes, this explains for some of the silence.) After thinking about it for a bit, I want to stay in my current field. And I want to do a measured search that lands me at a new place where the culture and work-life balance is just as good of a fit as the work matching my skills. 
  4. Bonus! Live a healthier lifestyle. I'm in marketing folks, so you had to expect a bonus goal. We've talked before about wanting to be healthier. Well, this year Keith is on board as well. We refuse to use the dreaded "D" of diet, but instead plan to eat more whole foods during the week and only on weekends cheat. It also means more exercise. Back in my 20s, hitting the gym and lifting weights every morning worked for me. Now that I'm maturing, I don't find that as rewarding. Expect to hear about my trial runs of various classes, etc. To start, I've signed up for Power Yoga classes at the studio close to home. Hopefully, that will help me find something I love and enjoy while also taking me a little closer to the goal. If not, on to the next option.
So, folks, what do you have planned for 2014? Anyone want to join us for dinner? 

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