the wedding of the century

My bestest pally Lydia got married! It was a blast. When your best friend gets married, at least in my experience, it is so so confusing and so so amazing at the same time. I kept looking over and being like “I am at a wedding! There is a beautiful bride in a wedding dress! This is so pleasant!” and then doing a double take and like “Oh @#%* that girl in the wedding dress is Lydia! My best friend since I was 14!”

I got a plus one to the wedding and I brought along my sister Malindi. She is, by far, the best wedding date in the history of wedding dates.


Malindi was basically a guest member of the wedding party (at a certain point, Lydia just opted to pull her in for the photos). While we did various official wedding tasks she just took care of every little random detail that people hadn’t thought of (negotiating a bigger room with the hotel staff, setting up the pre-wedding hangout decor, picking up the Indian food, etc.) She also served as the motivator during the epic glamorizing session pre-wedding, selecting sweet jams and dancing enthusiastically.

But let’s rewind a bit in time. Malindi and I hopped on a plane at RDU (our mom, because she is a fantastic human being, gave us her airline miles for free) and arrived Thursday mid-afternoon to Chicago, where Lydia and Brian live. From O’Hare, we hopped in a shuttle up north to Lake Forest, where the wedding was held. The venue was Elawa Farm, and it was DOPE.

We began with the rehearsal- already verklempt.


Then we had a super boss rehearsal dinner! I love getting to go to the rehearsal dinner for a wedding. Smaller crowd, actually getting to talk to people in depth. Much more my introvert speed. Lydia’s grandma was a really epic lady and it was particularly a treat to get to meet her.

Check out this tasty, uber summery menu:


We started with little crostini which were SO GOOD.


One with hummus and fresh tomaters, one with cheese and mushrooms and then more cheese (the mushrooms were SO SO GOOD)


Then for my appetizer I opted for the salad which was just perfect and fresh and pretty.


Then I had the salmon, which was perrrfectly cooked. And the broth and veggies underneath it were delicious too- the fresh summer corn gave such a wonderful pop.


Sorbet for dessert. GORGEY color. It was, I wanna say, raspberry and blood orange?


The next day, Friday, we did various activities around town (including mani-pedis while watching the Olympics, a super fun way to spend an hour).

Then because there were so many out of towners, Lydia and Brian invited everyone to a casual hangout in a park. Lydia’s stepdad had a whole vision for the stereo system and Victoria saved the day and made it happen. (Fun fact: many of Lydia and Brian’s college friend are past/current circus members. They have mad acrobatic and juggling skills!)


Decor was super cute. There were tasty treats.


So the mani pedis early in the day were really just a foreshadowing of the INTENSE GIRLINESS THAT WAS TO COME. Girliest 24 hours of my life. SO FUN.

    • Mani pedis
    • After the barbecue, Lydia and Malindi and I shared a hotel room and ordered some Indian food which we ate in bed (!). Then we put on face masks (!) and watched Bridesmaids (!!)
    • Then we went on a secret early errand which definitely wasn’t to Victoria’s Secret
    • Then it was hair and makeup time! Oh my gosh it was so so fun! As yall have gathered from the tone of this blog, I am pretty low key when it comes to putting effort into my personal appearance and I do my hair and makeup maybe twice a year, and never very elaborately. WELL, the makeup lady was a GENIUS. She said the goal was basically like Photoshop in real life and mission accomplished! She AIRBRUSHED makeup onto our face which was cool and weird and I was thinking would be uncomfortable but was in fact like having a small fan gently blowing cool air on your face. And it was great because I looked like MYSELF (freckles!) but BETTER (sexy eyelashes, wider set eyes). Don’t have formal photos from the wedding yet but a bonus of the individual false eyelashes she put on was that they lasted for a few days so I was back to being my messy self except with GORGEOUS eyelashes! I stared at them at every opportunity.
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    • Then it was to the hair genius. I said “Iunno, I’ve never had my hair done fancier than a blowout. Here’s what my dress looks like. Do whatever you want.” IT WAS SPECTACULAR. Shoutout to Malindi for getting a picture. When I took out at the end of the night I found NINETEEN hairpins.


Okay so once the girliness had concluded it was time for the wedding itself. I was actually the maid of honor (!!!) so I was rather busy for the ceremony. No pictures yet, hopefully there will be some good ones once the formal pics have arrived.

The ceremony was lovely though. They blended traditions, since Lydia was raised Methodist and Brian was raised Jewish. Lydia’s pastor from home flew out to officiate and she was adorable- at the last minute to surprise Brian they decided to include the breaking of the glass at the end of the ceremony, as happens in Jewish weddings. And during the ceremony the pastor talked a little bit about the reasons for the breaking of the glass. And then later at the reception some of us mentioned how nice it was to include that and she was like, “As a feminist, I could not have included the part in the ceremony if it was at all referring to the loss of virginity, but it wasn’t, so it was okay.” HAHAHAHA LOVE IT.

I would call my performance as the maid of honor mixed, since I forgot the groom’s ring back at the hotel (wince) and then after my toast I went to hug the happy couple and my hug with Lydia the bride went fine but then I went to hug Brian the groom and dumped champagne down the back of his suit (cringe). But, it was enormously meaningful for me to celebrate my very best friend and the love and happiness she has found with Brian. So hoefully they forgive me for my performance.

As for the reception, it was super excellent. The weather literally could not have been more perfect so everything was outdoors/open air barns and things.


And for some odd/excellent reason, the farm where they got married had a nature center so mid-reception you could go visit the bobcat (!) and various birds of prey and gators and things. The bobcat was loving life and napping like a boss.


And there were also little walking paths among the gardens which were just GORGEY.


The food was great (I had gotten to read the various catering menu proposals prior to the wedding which was like fantasy football but actually fun!) The style of their reception was also I think just how it should be: there was no formal sit down dinner with assigned seats, just various tasty passed apps and then stations to go and get food. Then you could sit down at a table with whoever you liked and/or hop around from table to table.

A cheese section is always a great idea:


Of the stations, the make your own crepe was my favorite. I got one with ratatouille and ricotta cheese that was like… everything. My life.


Lydia really loves cake and I knew the cake portion of the evening would be a highlight. Credit to one of Lydia and Brian’s other friends for posting this picture of the two of them on Facebook… it makes my heart go all soft.

lydia and brian cut the cake

They had THREE kinds of cake: unpictured bourbon chocolate, basic white cake with berries, and LEMON THYME CAKE which was honestly one of the best things I have ever tasted. All the cake was exemplary (and had really good frosting, not the usual weird formal stuff that looks good but tastes crappy) but the lemon thyme one was the stuff dreams are made of.


And then it was time for some sweet party jams.

The evening began with a super cute band.Lydia and Brian did their first dance to a jazzy cover of Got To Get You Into My Life by the Beatles. The lead singer also sung songs in French and looked like an old time movie star. She was dreamy.

Then to pick up the tempo after the band was gone and get everyone DANCING, Lydia and I made the dancing playlist (a SUPER fun activity) and it was just really really excellent because of course it was. We really only played like three or four new-ish songs including the always excellent Cheap Thrills by Sia. Nostalgia was the major element. We tried to keep the music vaguely thematic for the wedding (though we made an exception for Dancing On My Own by Robyn, because it’s such a great song, even though it’s about a breakup).


  • The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson
  • Waiting for Tonight, Jennifer Lopez
  • Hey Ya, Outkast
  • LoveFool (!)
  • Bailamos, by Enrique Iglesias (Malindi and I did a passionate duet on this one and people seemed tickled at our sisterly bond)

Here are some pictures that reflect the awesomeness of both the playlist and of my friendship with Lydia.

more singing with lydia singing with lydia

The night zoomed by (I know all the brides and grooms say that but I also observed that as a member of the wedding party). I tried to get out of my comfort zone and go around greeting people because it seemed like a good maid-of-honor-y thing to do. The bugs were eating everyone alive so I also took it upon myself to be the circulator of the bug spray (along with everything else in the world, the wedding planner- the most astonishingly capable woman I have ever met- had an ample stock of insect repellent in her giant pack).

And then it was sendoff time! Lydia told me the photographers would be gone by this point so to be sure to get some good photos and I mean not to brag but I DELIVERED.


Brian reaching out to his mom…❤ so sweet.

So that was it, the best wedding ever! And I will have backyard flowers that will remind me of the magic of that evening!


the end of the internship

The end of my internship didn’t feel super crazy in the moment but did a little bit in retrospect. Mainly because it was my third moving experience in many months. Not moving meaning emotional. Moving meaning “moving sh** between places”. Moving some of my stuff down to Wilmington, coming up to Carrboro from Wilmington to move the rest of my stuff from my old apartment to my new house, then moving the stuff I’d moved down to Wilmington back to Carrboro. Oh and I’ll be doing this again in two weeks when I move yet again to Winston Salem for my fall internship (further discussed in the end of this post)

Oh, moving. I am a real freezer hoarder so for me one of the things most annoying about moving is trying to forbid myself to buy new groceries and instead make my way through the freezer stash.

Newman’s white pizza, Trader Joe’s buttery basil cauliflower


I can only kvetch a little bit about the moving I did back and forth between home and Wilmington, because living at the beach for the summer is something everyone should get a chance to do at least once in their lives. It is exquisite.

I maintained my habit of taking a walk on the beach ~2-3 times a week. It was super amazing.

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I had a typical route I took that led me to the upper end of the Wrightsville Beach strip and back again (a total of ~ 5 miles!) but one day I parked in a different place and mixed up my route and ended up at the other end of the strip and that was beautiful too!

Not just because dimey surfers crossed in front of my camera just when I took the picture😉


I had more beach visitors- Colton (in the center, looking like an idiot with his hot dog) and his boyf James (in the back) and their crazy friend Kendra (crazy in a good way). Here we are being so cool at Costco.


We basically just ate and vegetated by the water all weekend.

On Sunday we went to an all you can eat breakfast place called Boca Bay. It was all right but I probably wouldn’t go back because their buffet was overly reliant on various kinds of white bread and baked goods and not enough other things, IMO. For example, I found fruit but it was sort of hidden!

First course: a wee fruit bowl, a blintz, lox ‘n toppings, a mushroom croissant (not very good, only ate the mushroom part), eggs Florentine.


Second course: MORE BLINTZ! They were really good. A bit of biscuit and gravy. A bit of a frittata muffin. As you can see, this was not a colorful plate🙂


Shockingly, this wee bit of yogurt/granola/fruit satisfied my urge for dessert (probably because I was already *@#%&@#ing full)


That gluttony powered me through a very intense workout at the gym. And then (have you noticed how I’ve discussed several meals in a row eaten out? So much for cleaning out the fridge!) I got a green smoothie for a late dinner.


Here are some absurd pictures for you!

We had something called trauma rounds, which are designed to be an interdisciplinary gathering where people from different professions of the hospital hear an expert on a particular health condition to learn to better treat patients. WELL. The one I went to was on snake bites. So okay, relevant, right? North Carolina has venomous snakes! However, the presenter was not a doctor or a surgeon or a maker of anti venom… it was a guy from the Serpentarium, the weird snake zoo in Wilmington. Just this RANDOM DUDE, talking about how he’s been bitten a bunch of times by poisonous snakes (!) and how you shouldn’t do a fasciotomy because it doesn’t do anything, just give them anti venom and “something good for the pain, I really liked Dilaudid”, and then he just pulls out what were basically large tupperwares with DANGEROUS VENEMOUS SNAKES INSIDE and just pulled them out and let them WANDER AROUND ON THE STAGE in this little auditorium where rounds were.



And they always say they’re more scared of you than you are of them but in the case of at least the water moccasin and the timber rattlesnake that was NOT true- they were PISSED and DEFINITELY JUST WANTED TO BITE SOMEONE. Which was particularly disconcerting when they’d go shooting off the stage and INTO THE AUDIENCE, basically inches away from where people were sitting in the first row. It was madness! Hospitals are so intensely preoccupied with safety, and THIS was allowed?! Just ridiculous.



(water moccasin)


Timber rattlesnake, VERY angry and VERY venemous. He said comparable to a cobra.


I also had fun watching the convention and teaching my coworkers about the incredible articles that The Onion publishes about Joe Biden. I’m going to miss them real bad.


The night before my last day of my internship I took one last dreamy beach walk. Low tide continues to be the coolest.


I was smack dab in the middle of two converging tides – see one coming in from the left and one from the right? I think when those tides go out that’s what makes a rip tide… so I was glad to be walking on the beach, rather than swimming in the water. I have a healthy respect for rip tides.


My last day I got a WONDERFUL surprise from the RDs.


Debbie Dietitian= an amusing, old-fashioned term for the cliche Type A, kiss-ass, neurotic, health obsessed, volunteering for any task, uptight, perfectionist, generally annoying dietitian. Fortunately none of my colleagues are Debbie Dietitians (though I saw a LOT of Debbies at my nutrition conference last year). I think really the fact that we concluded my nutrition internship with donuts demonstrates that!

A delivery from Wake and Bake, where I went with my pals when they visited. Many delicious, nutritious choices!


I had the key lime, *swoon*


My life has not slowed down AT ALL since the last week of my internship and I’m feeling my usual state of being excited and overwhelmed at the same time. A few things:

MY FRIEND IS IN THE OLYMPICS. Read all about here here. She got first place in some kind of race this morning. I tried to watch her in one of her heats- I was even at home in Virginia, where there was a TV with CABLE!- but American television does not deign to air Canadians, I guess.

My life is much less exciting. However, since my internship ended I:

  • have finally finished properly moving into my new place in Carrboro.
  • have taken my pregnant cat to finish the rest of her pregnancy and childrearing in the safety of my mother’s home in Virginia. I also got to visit with my mom😉
  • welcomed my friends Kyle and Shaylen to town- yeah that’s right I am continuing to get ALL THE PEOPLE to move to the Triangle of North Carolina what whattt. So far I have gotten:
    • my friends Dan and Bethany and their bambino
    • my sister
    • my cousin
    • my aunt (well fine she followed her daughter, my cousin, but I can still take credit)
    • Kyle and Shaylen
  • am flying to Chicago this afternoon to be the MAID OF HONOR in my BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING! I’m going to try to post some pictures- since I’m going to have my hair and makeup professionally done (!) I will probably be at my personal maximum level of attractiveness and will want to preserve images for posterity. There will be many celebrations/shenanigans/tasty eats leading up to the big day.
  • am starting my advanced internship next week- have I posted about this? Anyway, I’ll be doing ten weeks in the NICU at a hospital in Winston Salem. Look out tiny babies! Ileana’s coming to fatten you up with good nutrition!

planned (cat) parenthood

So there was the cat, barefoot and pregnant on the kitchen floor.


I was in denial about it for awhile. I thought Lola had just been gaining weight where she’d been taken care of at my friends’ house since they’d been spoiling her and feeding her a full 5.5 ounce can of Science Diet each day.

Then I went another two weeks without seeing her and came to the uncomfortable conclusion that she wasn’t gaining weight all over, and her big belly did not look like there was fat in it, swinging adorably side to side like is seen in fattie catties. No, her belly looked distinctly round and firm and like it contained kittens, not fat.

Moreover, her little nip nips looked increasingly prominent and ready for lactating. She was eating around the clock. My little Lola cat was pregnant.

So first I stayed up late freaking out and texting with my sister. I was barely able to deal with having one single adult cat. I had had friends watch her while I was finishing up my summer internship, my plan for the fall internship was to come home on the weekends and have an automatic feeder set up during the weeks, and pay my sister to come check on the cat/scoop the kitty litter/open a can of wet food mid-work week. It was kind of a messy plan, but I was making it work because I loved my little meow meow.


I also did some googling about cat pregnancy. I had brought the cat into my home five and a half weeks before this, so she was at least that many weeks along in what would be a eight to nine week gestation.

The next day I called my vet. Ironically, I had scheduled to have the cat spayed that week.

I felt like a frantic pregnant teen at Planned Parenthood (#IStandWithPlannedParenthood), spilling out the whole story.

“I am a responsible person! I get my pets fixed! This cat just CAME to me, she was living in the parking lot of my apartment complex, she needed a home! I kept her in! She must’ve been a little bit pregnant when I adopted her!”

Then the guilt and agonizing.

“I didn’t know she was pregnant. She didn’t look pregnant when I last brought her in! I got her VACCINATED. I gave her a DEWORMER. Is she pregnant with creepy little fish kittens?!”

The vet let me know that yes, technically she could still spay the cat (catbortion?!) but that it would be a much higher risk surgery for the cat (and implicit in this was OH ALSO SUPER EXPENSIVE PROBABLY)

She said the dewormer and the rabies vaccine (dead virus) were NBD for a pregnant cat. The distemper shot probably shouldn’t’ve been given to her, but there was nothing to do about that now, and hopefully the kittens would be fine.

Then she gave me some kind reassurance that cats are actually really low maintenance parents. Lola just needed a safe little nest somewhere dark and soft, and ideally something in which to contain the blind little kittens so that mama could come and go but the little babies wouldn’t be wandering around the house. Lola would take care of the rest. Much less work than puppies.

So I hung up, and briefed my sister, then talked to my mom (because this is what you do when you contend with an unwanted pregnancy and are scared out of your wits).

And then something incredible happened. My mom offered to take in the pregnant cat!

I shared this with my sister (who’s in the dialog box on the left).

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Thank you mom, for being a really solid Christian. (“It is that time of year”= this time of year Orthodox Christians honor Mary the mother of Jesus, for whom my mother Maria is named!)

Okay so we had a safe haven for my little unwed kitty mother. Next step was actually getting to my mom- fortunately, I already had a trip scheduled and my sister one was jonesing to be home and two was eager to help with cat transport, and was able to make things work with her job schedule, so she came along too.

I am sure there have been worse road trips in the history of road trips, but that was… a bad one. My surprisingly strong cat (she is only eight pounds!) managed to rip through the mesh in the cat carrier and escaped into the car, and it all just continued to go downhill from there. It was a fairly horrific five hours of travel for everyone involved.

Praise be we made it through stupid DC traffic and to my mama’s house. I got Lola situated in my room with food, water, her bed, her litter box, etc. Just when I thought I was done with what felt like a fairly continual anxiety attack, my poor, sweet, innocent Sheila cat (family pet, living at my mom’s house) comes in my room to say hi to me and unbeknownst to her almost walks directly into Lola, who is pregnant, stressed, in an unfamiliar place, and eating a meal. So Lola completely lost her *@#%. SO THAT WENT REALLY HORRIBLY FOR EVERYONE TOO.

Today I am wracked with guilt as I feel that I am making life miserable for EVERYONE- my mom, my sister, Sheila, Lola, the yet-to-be-born kittens.

I’m also (unfairly) annoyed with Lola, who’s been acting like a little bit of a basket case since arriving at my mom’s house, unsurprisingly since I’ve had her living in like four different homes in the past two months as I’ve hidden her in student housing, dumped her at my friends’ place for awhile (with their high strung daschund), finally got her settled in my new place only to uproot her again. She’s pregnant and does not deserve this stress! She is fundamentally a sweet cat who is dealing with a lot of nonsense right now and just wants a sense of security and stability to safely deliver her babies!

Basically, your words of encouragement and offers of support and wisdom in this difficult matter would be appreciated.

almost the end

I was going to write one post about the last few weeks of my internship and then I realized that the post would have been about 50 photos and 10,000 words long. SO. I’m splitting it up into Almost The End and The Actual End. There was lots of soaking up memories.

Proving that I know nothing about tides, what I thought was low tide then just got lower, and I got to have more tide pool adventures on my post-work beach walks.


The water was exceptionally clear, and I got to do a lot of watching for little fishies.


The problem was that I’d walk along the little sandbar, between the crashing waves (Ocean Part 1) and the tidepools (Ocean Part 2), but then the little sandbar would get a little lower and I’d realize I was thigh-deep, holding a purse with my expensive phone, and unsure if I took the next step if I’d be totally submerged. So then I’d backtrack until there was a clear path through Ocean Part 2 to get to Actual Shore and then loop back.



If I had just worn a swimsuit and not brought my phone this would not have been an issue, but there would also not be these lovely photos!

Here is someone demonstrating the Wading Between Ocean One and Ocean Two technique.


So incredible, right! Like the Bahamas! Except in North Carolina!


It must be scary having tiny kids at real beaches with waves and things so this was kind of perfect for those families.

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In my last weeks down in Wilmington I had to go back and forth back up to Carrboro to check in on this little rascal.



Myra and Alex continue to be amazing friends and I continue to owe them. So I took them to brunch! We went to Elmos, a Carrboro institution that somehow they had not experienced for brunch?! There’s always a wait since everyone and their mama (JK, actually everyone and their CHILD, it is packed with yuppie parents and their bambinos) goes there for brunch.

Alex got red velvet pancakes (!) and requested extra whipped cream (!) and then he put butter on top of that (!!!!) Oh plus bacon on the side hahahahaha.


Myra was also team Whipped Cream.


I went savory and got my faaaaaaavorite thing that they only sometimes have as a special. Behold, the Cowboy Eggs.


  • Jalapeno cornbread
  • Veggie chili with a bunch of cheese melted on top
  • fresh corn
  • scrambled eggs
  • fresh tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream

I think historically the avocado is included but since there’s a shortage (?! where’ve I been?!) I had to order it on the side and pay extra.

I also was dealing with some stupid stuff at home, including pulling my dryer out from the wall into the middle of the kitchen (yes, my dryer is in the middle of my kitchen, isn’t yours?) and inspecting the vent to describe its contents to my landlady. The dryer has been broken since July 1st (since the first time we tried it after moving in- the landlady made a big show of staying at the house before we moved in and assuring us everything was good and we arrived to a horrific cockroach infestation, two leaking faucets, and a broken dryer- lovely). Tomorrow is August 1st, and finally someone is coming to LOOK at it. ANYWAY.


Here’s another cute picture of the cat, to show that I have a happy life and really have no cause for complaint whatsoever.

Photo on 7-17-16 at 2.00 PM #2

And good news for my sister- she has a new house and it has the cutest porch in the land! Here is her boyfriend’s dog, Billie Jean, on squirrel patrol.


That weekend I was up in Carrboro, I went to a cookout with some of my classmates that Zach and Jaclyn were nice enough to host.

As usual, it was a feast. I brought chocolate chip oatmeal bars, in the right foreground.


This is a thing: jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, then grilled. Whoooooa.


I had about 1/2 a pound of guacamole and 1/2 a pan of chocolate chip oatmeal bars as we were chatting, but I still put away most of this too:

And then of course I had to have dessert. Nate, someone I hope the world never changes, is a boss baker, and kind of improvised this tart based on one from his favorite thing ever, the Great British Baking Show.


It had poppy seed crust (!) lemon filling and fresh blueberries. MMMMM.


Then I went back to Wilmington and wrapped up my adventures. More to come!

buddies at the beach

Everyone should really come visit me at the beach because it is quite fun.

I had quite the crew come and visit me over the weekend a few weeks ago. First Sam arrived late Friday night (we both worked a full day and then she drove across the state from Charlotte to meet me). We walked around downtown and got ice cream and then we both admitted we were kind of wiped and were okay with turning in early. Were getting ready for bed and she said “We can have pillow talk after we turn the lights out, right?” and it was just like the girly slumber parties of my youth🙂 A real advantage of my student housing having two single beds in each room.

Then Saturday morning Claire and Nate arrived to join us too. We immediately proceeded to Kure Beach to eat some seafood. Claire and I split this seafood platter which was perfect for variety and deliciousness. Fried flounder and oysters, sweet potato fries, and grilled asparagus. Unpictured was the free hush puppies our waitress brought the table❤


Then we got our beach on! Some of the other people from our program who had planned on coming canceled because of the weather, but though it remained cloudy didn’t actually rain while we were on the beach. And the clouds helped prevent sunburn and gave the whole day a kind of dreamy aura.


I actually SWAM, out in deep water, for the first time in recent memory. Something about being with a big group of friends made me less petrified of sharks than I usually am, hahaha. Kure Beach has pretty intense waves so I’m calling it a workout!


There was also frisbee-ing. I somehow ended up in a position where I was downhill from everyone else and when they overshot (which was fairly frequent, since it was a pretty windy day) I’d have to sprint to keep the frisbee from going out to sea. Yet another workout!

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Sam showed off some gymnastics


Claire and I did our best Ted Cruz Goes to the Beach faces. I missed this girl and our silliness!


Nate made terrible old man puns the whole day so we made him pose in front of this sign.


Then Sam hit the road back to Charlotte to get in one productive day for the weekend, and Claire, Nate and I proceeded to Indochine, which I’d heard all my coworkers/everyone who lives in Wilmington rave about. It was FAR beyond what I thought it would be.

You pull up and it seems like kind of a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but then you’re confused because the parking lot is massive and totally packed. You go through the front door, take a pager (there’s always a long wait!) and then go outside, where you get astounded by all the incredibleness as it just keeps going and going and going!


Here’s Claire and Nate being adorable and posing by the koi pond.


We had about an hour’s wait, so we got some appetizers and sat at the tiki bar.


Then we were seated, indoors, which turned out to be fortunate since the sky opened up and just started pourrrrring rain. The indoors was really cool too- it was clear the owner has a real eye for detail, and there was no corner of the place that didn’t have some cool, unique piece of decor.


Though indoors, we did have a window seat, and for some bizarre reason this BEAUTIFUL man came up to the front porch of the restaurant and ripped off his shirt and stood there shirtless as the rain fell behind him whattttttt?! Nate rolled his eyes as my and Claire’s jaws both dropped to the floor. So WHO KNOWS what you can encounter at this magical restaurant?!

Everyone got a tasty little cabbage slaw with peanuts on top to start off the meal.


Then our entrees came and we all shared some VERY tasty treats. I’ll let Claire’s snapchat screenshot tell the story (don’t I look beautiful?!)


Drunken noodles with tofu, green curry with scallops (the most delicious!), and yellow curry with all kinds of exotic vegetables. The portions were ENORMOUS so this satisfied us for several meals.

We all collapsed into food comas and slept comfortably til the next day. At that point, we were greeted by Zach, Jaclyn, and their doglet Lemon, who drove down for a daytrip. Zachlyn both really love donuts (well and the rest of us don’t hate them either) so our next destination was Wake and Bake, in Carolina Beach. Their selection is COLOSSAL. And they had donut holes to sample while you waited in the (sizeable) line, which was super legit of them. And the guy who helped us was hilarious and (as you’ll see) gave us the most MASSIVE fritter possible.


We got a dozen to go and then preceded to Fort Fisher (the only beach that allows dogs).

We sat in their lovely picnic area and chowed down. Since there were four of us indoors making the selection (Zach took one for the team and minded the dog outside) we each picked out three flavors.



First in the left column, there’s a Butterfinger and two Samoas. Then in the next column, there’s some sort of ridiculous chocolate caramel thing, a key lime pie, and a Reeses peanut butter cup. The next column, an espresso, another key lime pie, and a “Carolina Sand” which was cinnamon sugary. Then in that column furthest to the right is a creme brulee (with crunchy sugar on top!), another espresso, and a red velvet.

The general consensus was that the Reese’s was great but just TOO MUCH. It sort of lost its identity as a donut with the rich filling and the multiple glazes and the peanut butter cup topping. The key lime and Samoa were both EXCELLENT. The cake donuts were good and I wish they had more of them (I am team cake donut, COME AT ME). And the espresso ones were just a bit of a yawn, just because the others were more exciting in comparison.

Also, because we are millenials, everyone took a bazillion pictures.

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Oh and also, if that wasn’t quit enough fat and sugar, we also got the most enormous blueberry fritter in the world.


Then it was time to get our beach on. We began with a walk in a vain attempt to lower our blood sugars a bit. Lemon was not quite sure about the ocean.


She was sure that she enjoyed digging holes in the sand.

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SUCH a fun weekend. I really think everyone should take the opportunity to live at the beach for the summer at least once in their life.

summer is delicious

It’s super unfair how much I benefit from Myra’s work stress. The more crazy things are in her neverending fight against evil Duke Energy (she’s an attorney for Southern Environmental Law Center) the more she works out the tension by preparing delicious foodstuffs for family and friends. I AM SO LUCKY. DID I MENTION SHE’S WATCHING MY CAT TOO?!



It started with the waffle iron, as many great meals do at Myra and Alex’s. They got pizza dough, topped it with a hefty coating of parmesan cheese, and cooked it in the waffle iron til the dough was puffy and the parmesan was browned and crispy and smelling like heaven.

Then Myra gilded the lily by cooking fresh mozzarella in olive oil and topping the crispy parmesan layer with a gooey mozzarella layer.


For nutrition or something, veggies also went on. Lovely roasted squash. Also unpictured corn and caramelized onions. And a basil garnish.


And again, because the more stressful work is, the more ambitious Myra’s cooking, there was also a soup. I don’t know what it was but I seriously embarrassed myself moaning and groaning for the first twenty seconds or so of eating this soup. It was just PERFECT. Chilled cucumber soup with Greek yogurt. Like really really creamy and amazing tzaziki, but… on another plane?


At their cute table. As always, Myra’s portions were generous. As mostly always, I passed off a chunk of my meal to Alex, and he ate it with gusto.


My contribution was pretty puny in comparison- I brought a bottle of wine and covered the dessert department with break and bake cookies (which were actually really delicious- they involved chocolate, salted caramel and pecans), and muffin tops (which were made by starting my mom’s recipe for banana bread, panicking that I had no leavening, throwing in an egg, picking some fresh blackberries from my yard (!!) and adding those, and converting it into muffin tops).


My contribution seems particularly inadequate when you hear the latest Lola the Cat update: SHE HAS WORMS. I know this because after I dropped her with Myra and Alex to care for her they announced she had started throwing up worms in their home aaaaaaaaagh. So I decided the best way to deal with this was to send them a gift basket. “Sorry I loaned you a wormy cat, here are some chocolate covered pretzels and treats!”


More tasty goodness- a birthday brunch for Malindi, my now 25 YEAR OLD baby sister! Malindi’s boyf Eric joined us, as did my roomie Alli (another June birthday girl!)

We went to Guglhupf, always exquisite. It was kind of dripping with rain when we arrived but we decided to chance it and sit outdoors, (semi) sheltered. Coffeeeeeee! (Well, Malindi the birthday girl got a chai latte).


I had analysis paralysis for quite awhile regarding the menu but ultimately opted for the mushroom and Gruyere omelet. It was almost comically cheesy- I’d cut myself a piece and lift it, and cheese would trail for six inches beyond my fork. QUITE delicious.


I also ordered a fig and almond scone for sharesies. That was a good choice as well!

So a bit of my home cooking: you’ll recall that the last time I was home I saw Alli eating bread and butter and tomatoes and I was jealous so I went off and bought mozzarella and tomatoes and had a lot of bread and caprese salad action.

BUT THE URGE PERSISTED. So then I went to Harris Teeter and got some of their whole wheat pizza dough (which was EXCELLENT!) and topped it with:

  • more of the fresh mozzarella
  • packaged lite alfredo dressing (the tackiest part of this, I promise!)
  • fresh tomatoes
  • fresh basil (added at the end)

I cranked up the oven in my student housing apartment as hot as it could go (which, uh, was NOT very hot- I noticed that underneath one of the burners on the stove there is a rather large opening DIRECTLY INTO THE INSIDE OF THE OVEN. There is absolutely no way that is safe, first of all, but also it means I can’t get the oven especially hot. C’est la vie.

Anyway, it turned out gorgeous.


By far my best homemade pizza to date. It produced some really glamorous work lunches too.

And stillllllll I thought just in case I should probably have some more carby cheesy tomatoey goodness. So I cooked up some pasta, added more of that lite alfredo sauce (and really I was unfair to disparage it because it was pretty tasty and highly convenient and I’m not allowing myself to buy milk anymore because I just don’t consume it at a fast enough rate and end up throwing it away or making weird milky things I don’t want and throwing them away so I might as well buy a premade white sauce), and added, again, tomato and basil. All I need in this summer, friends.


And because experiences as well as foods can be delicious, a few beach shots, because I just feel that I ought to include them in all of my posts about this fabulous beach summer.

The tide is REALLY low right now and there are all kinds of exciting tide pools in which to wander about.


It’s like, from the deep water going inland, first there’s the ocean, then moving inward there’s the mini beach where you can walk around, then moving closer to land somehow there’s more ocean. Like, ocean take two. And some of the tide pools are like a couple of feet deep, as shown by the dude wading through the center of the picture! And then after ocean take two there’s the real beach.


Also cool marks are left behind on my fave spot at the end of the beach.


And lovely sunsets over where the wild birdies nest.


Finally in delicious experiences, two of my favorite people, my Auntie Jeanie and my Uncle Tim, came to see me in Wilmington. It was SO GREAT.

  • Duh we did more walking on the beach
  • Duh we ate more delicious food
  • Jeanie and I psychoanalyzed our relatives because we’re wise and practically have psychology degrees just from… experiencing some of our family members
  • Tim made some truly awful puns for our amusement (we encountered a motel on Carolina Beach called “Wanda Inn”. Say it out loud. In a Southern accent. Then groannnnnn)
  • Jeanie and I were talking about how we spell our name. Because our last name starts with V and we’re constantly trying to give people hints how to spell it correctly and not with a B or a Z (this is particularly necessary over the phone). My grandmother (slash Jeanie’s mom) would say V as in Victor. I’ve recently taken to saying V as in Vegetable. But we got into this hysterical round of coming up with other possibilities, and Jeanie swears to me that one time she was in my grandparents’ retirement community and was having to spell it out and went “V as in Virgin”. I really wish I had been there. We are both going to keep each other posted about when we can work “V as in Vulva” into a conversation teeheeheeheehee.
  • We also listened to a really great beach thunderstorm while sitting cozily in their bed and breakfast and doing a PUZZLE! (I was also hanging out with them there because Jeanie had practically force fed me margaritas and I wasn’t competent to drive yet!)
  • I got to feel some hope because Jeanie and Tim didn’t get together til later in life and they are really just so cute and hilarious together. They’ve got some quality love that is comforting to witness. #relationshipgoals


visit with mama

I was going to blog and then the world made me so sad and I didn’t know how to write about it. I have things going for me that (unfairly) other people don’t to help me cope with the sadness in this world:

  • I am interning at a hospital and get to do  job that actually feels meaningful most days. Like, I get to feel like I help people. It helps with the crippling feelings of helplessness. (<<< those sentences need a thesaurus but you know what I mean). It’s absolutely a privilege to have a job that’s meaningful and provides personal fulfillment. I have  been blessed to have obtained the education (and had the money to get the education) to allow me to do so.
  • I get to go do my deep thinking by the ocean, which is beautiful and peaceful
  • I can always call my mom, who is wise and comforting.

I feel generally gross opining about the state of the world online. I am a privileged white girl. I don’t get it.

So I try to do my thing in the hospital. And I try to do good. And hopefully this blog is a nice benign distraction from the sadness in the world?

Also, maybe some of my mom’s wisdom and comfort will soak through the screen to yall. So here are some pictures from the last time I saw my mom- she came down to Wilmington to see me!

She arrived and after everyone got settled in we went and had dinner downtown by the river. French food, wine, and a killer view.


Then back to the bed and breakfast. Clyde was our buddy in the lobby. Clyde used to have a lady friend (Bonnie, naturally) but she is now in birdie heaven, but Clyde remains.




Clyde, like all birds, is quite the little… excreter. The proprietors of the bed and breakfast have observed that Clyde’s… excretion has been somewhat prophetic in the past. They lay out newspapers with pictures of the presidential candidates in his… bathroom area and see who he chooses to… mark.

And he is really good at it!


Clyde, you’d better keep doing what you’re doing, champ.

Other activities included getting massages (!) and going to the aquarium. It was lovvvvvvvely. They have a little butterfly pavilion. It’s flippin hot but the butterflies are beautiful and you really get a front row view.


And all the other sea creatures are amazing too, of course.


Two of my favorites, jellies and seahorses.


My mom took pictures of me throughout our weekend, most of which were too derpy to post (I then taught my mom the word derpy) but here I am in action.


Is it macabre going from an aquarium to a seafood lunch? Iunno. We did it anyway. I lovvvvvvve soft shell crab! (And french fries too, hahaha. It’s funny, I never enjoy classy restaurant fries as much as I enjoy cheapo crinkle cut fries).


Then we went to my favorite, most deserted beach. Big waves, so a little scary for swimming, but beautiful for walking. Lots of swooping pelicans. Here’s my mom looking adorable.


VERY EXCITING. Sea turtle nest!


More seafood- we had a casual dinner at Dock Street Oyster bar. My mom’s squid was quite inventive looking so I snapped a pic.


Then we got more ice cream. We went to Kilwin’s twice in the same weekend, because vacation (or I suppose staycation in my case). I got the same combo both times, because if it aint broke don’t fix it: half peanut butter pie, half smore. Swoon!