Tuesday, September 30, 2014

i was born a house cat

it's the last day of september. how did we get here already? 

it really is fall already. the leaves are changing, and there's a stretch of trees i drive under to get to work that just showers my car in little golden leaves, like some sort of autumn snowglobe. and, while i'm constantly struggling with living in the present - since i'm typically planning at least three months in advance - this october thru december stretch is my favorite time of the year and i am going to make myself slow down and enjoy it.

this past weekend officially kicked off fall for me. my sisters came back into town for the weekend and our hometown applefest (there are so many festivals in small-town america), and mostly we relaxed and did fall things. FALL THINGS, my fave!

there was a pizza party on friday night with ghost cookies and hocus pocus. littlest sister's boyfriend had not seen it (say what?!?!), but he's also from canada and hadn't eaten a hamburger until last year (seriously), so it's an uphill battle.

and then i woke up early saturday to go bargain shopping with everyone. i scored a vintage coach purse for $7.50. i am so proud of this achievement that if it makes its way into my obit in like, 150 years, i will not even be mad. please someone put it right after "she graduated from law school."

and then, applefest! all of the apple-y goodness.
there were caramel apples with these hams, and maybe some fritters that i squirreled away for breakfast. 

and apples in pure form, pulled by tractors, natch.
and cider.

and i sat and watched the crowds thin and the sun start to go down and it was peaceful and nice and all the kinds of things you'd want your little midwest hometown to be.

also, if you don't know where i live by the end of this post, then you're a terrible stalker.
chipping away at anonymity here, yikes.

Monday, September 22, 2014

summer's beginning to give up her fight

it's fall time! also, the end of another successful weekend, and the start of a new week. yawn.

a little part of me is just bouncing from one weekend to the next. i have had so many weekend plans lately and i spend all this time in the car and out and about and then, come monday, i am somehow more tired than i was on friday afternoon and then a stressful week happens and aaaahhhh. lots of fun things happening, so i can't complain too much, but i would maybe just like a weekend of cat napping on the couch with the windows open.

but, this was not in the cards for this past weekend because: oktoberfest!!

i have never been to oktoberfest in cincinnati, but this was the weekend to fix that. boyfriend and i went down on saturday afternoon and bopped around the beer tents before meeting up with my entire extended family, basically, for the miami/uc football game.

we started out at one of the sam adams beer tents, which was right next to fountain square, and also: a beer stein-holding competition, because of course. i guess most of the competitors competed for a spot in this in the past couple of weeks, but because cincinnati is home to the lachey brothers, they just get to walk on in, which they did.

fun fact: the announcer was telling the crowd to calm the heck down because "nick and drew will be out in a little bit," and i was immediately like: the lacheys, boyfriend. they are close. and he said: who? are they from here? and his cincinnati card was revoked because EVERYONE in this area knows somebody who knows somebody who saw nick lachey at kings island one time / knows that they're from here.

anyhow, here is my creeper crowd shot of nick lachey. short people problems. in case you were really curious, drew was out before nick and cheered for nick, and nick looked like he was over it, but i think he also made it to the final three?

and then we walked away and navigated the crowds and tried beers and i found one i really liked, but i can't remember what it was called. i'll put this here as a reminder to me to ask boyfriend what it was.

and then sausages! schmidt's came down from columbus and boyfriend was super excited. i actually spent three years driving to columbus to see that guy and never ate at schmidt's, even though it was right down the road from his apartment and is a sausage institution, from what i can gather. so we ate sausages! and drank beer! and generally reveled in our heritage! and i wrote a whole paragraph about eating sausages without making an obscene joke! (bitte)

after, then we glided over to the stadium and i got to hug my dad and sisters and cousin and aunt + uncle, and grandma and it was awesome, and then i bumped into my college roommate and it was a good time all around. miami lost (obviously), but it was a good game and such a good, good time.

sunday was more football (bengals!) and chores and things and now i'm looking ahead to another busy week and jam-packed few weekends, but -- here we go, autumn, here we go!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

in the holes of my sweater

is it feeling like fall yet where you are?

we've had the most perfect, pre-fall weather around here lately. cool mornings and evenings, with a little chill hanging around during the day. i am probably like every other girl out there right now with her fall agenda: apples! pumpkin picking! it's the great pumpkin! football! hocus pocus! bonfires! nationwide, boyfriends are rolling their eyes and sucking it up (or, loving it?) for the next month, probably spiking their cider behind their girlfriend's back. 

whatever; fall is the best, haterz. 

this past weekend, boyfriend and i had big plans to go to the renaissance festival, which was tentatively on my fall checklist. we got halfway there, stopped for lunch at the cutest little cafe, and then nixed our afternoon plans in favor of perusing the little town and some "hiking." i don't know if we actually "hike" in the most literal sense of the word - i think we just walk around outside. i know that's basically what hiking is, but i don't think we're extreme enough to go around and tell people "yeah, you know, we went hiking this weekend." although, we started going over the summer and it's nice to walk the paths and chat. anyhow, we explored caesar's creek over the weekend, which was a new place for us.

was i super happy to do it in my mocs and jeans? probably not. and, we climbed at least 200 billion stairs that were built into the side of a gorge. even though i kind of had a mini-meltdown on what was definitely a level 5 path (because feelings, y'all, and also steps), i loved it and the day was beautiful and all that jazz. 

and after we hike-walked a bunch, we went and got tacos and watched a really terrible chick flick (my boss's daughter) which, i just found out, got an 8% rating on rotten tomatoes. hilariously horrible.

i've been doing other things too besides being faux healthy. i just haven't been blogging about them - sometimes they're too boring, or too personal, or i was too lazy, or i just didn't take any pictures and walls of text just aren't as much fun or something. but, here was a blog post about "hiking," so you all can think i'm terribly well-rounded, even though most of the time i'm sitting behind a desk or binging orange is the new black.

the end.


also, thank you all for being as excited about tacos as i am. (see: previous post). i suppose i can eat more tacos in the name of blogging/science/FREEDOM.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

and getting caught in the rain // taqueria mercado

today is a day for desk-dreaming of sunny places and spicy food. 

because i am freezing, in august.

woke up this morning to lightning and storms before jetting off to court. in and out of rainstorms. around noon, i decided i'd drive home right quick - hometown perks - and change into something less wet/grab lunch. and then, halfway there, my fan belt slipped off and there was no more driving for me. i pulled over and started walking in the direction of my neighbor's auto repair shop (in my court dress and heels and just pouring, pouring rain) and they said they'd go get my car and then got their son to drive me back to work. you guys. what a crummy thing, but what good people.

so, i spent the afternoon shivering under the ac vents at my desk.

and now i've been sitting here and drying out and contemplating what will surely be a serious endeavor. i am starting a blog series! like, today. this is it! it will be super highbrow and very educational and i will impress you all with my thoughts about world events and feminist ramblings about the anaconda video.

just kidding. it's really about tacos. 

i kind of think tacos might be the best food in existence. they are so delicious. you can put anything inside those little tortillas, and there is a good chance the results could be spectacular. when i was just starting college, i went on a mission trip to ensenada, mexico and one day the nice, old lady at the church took me to the fish market. we picked out the fish, and then we took it to the kitchen, and group of ladies pounded out tortillas and fried this fish and put some slaw on there and i was like, i'm going to stop trying to get to heaven, because this is it. (hey-o. that is super sacrilegious, sorry.)

and then, i came back to the united states and spent a few days trying to make quesadillas for breakfast before i gave up, because nothing was the same.

all of this to say...i have been on the lookout for the best fish tacos for a while now. and before, this was only something that really boyfriend and my family were in on, but congratulations all of my five readers, now you can follow along too. 

and, without further ado, here is the inaugural post on my very serious quest to find delicious tacos in the midwest.

who... boyfriend took me. a friend told him it was awesome, and boyfriend told me because he's nice/his parents raised him right. 

what... good things come in threes: my sisters, the wisemen, and the high school musical trilogy. similarly, i went with a holy trinity of tacos. shrimp, fish, and steak. 

when... august 17, 2014.

where... taqueria mercado. it's in a little strip just down the road from jungle jim's, ohio people. 

why... because, tacos. 

taco thoughts... oh. my. gosh. first thing first: these were crazy delicious. i will definitely be going back. second thing: the shrimp and fish tacos had a pico on them and they will clear your sinuses right up because - jalapeno seeds. proceed with caution. third: the fish taco was good, but i like the baja style the best. but, i ate it last and by the time i got there my tastebuds were basically shot. (see above: jalapeno seeds) fourth: the tortillas were fantastic. whoever made those knew what they were doing, because the tortilla is just as crucial as the taco components.

ambience... this was legit. i loved it. some people would probably be timid about this place, but i was all for it. bonus: our server! when i asked him if i should get toppings, he said that the tacos come the way people eat them in mexico. a little pico, onions, cilantro, healthy slice of lime. he said he'd never eaten a taco with sour cream and cheese until he came to america. go us! 

final score... 4 jalapeno slices for the heat those seafood tacos were serving, and i like spicy. 5 ¡olés! for that shrimp taco, because it was the best shrimp taco ever. like, 3 ¡olés! for the fish taco, probably? 5 ¡olés! for overall experience. The food was crazy good, prices were reasonable, and whoever was picking the jukebox songs was winning at playlist mixing. 

in summary... go there.


that's it. place one.

look for more? or, skim these posts in the future because they are totally ridiculous and self-serving, as most blog things are. i can't wait to get zero comments on this post. 

peace out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

because it is kathleen kelly

boyfriend started back to work today - he teaches - so we capped off his last summer break weekend with a Saturday adventure time. we drove a whole 45 minutes to YELLOW SPRINGS, home of ohio's fabulous free-thinkers, where everyone is fifty shades of fantastic. we lunched, we breezed through shops of flowing tunics and bangles, we strolled through a book sale, contemplated buying pottery, and we were going to go hiking/walking but it started to rain so we were going to get ice cream, but we got to Young's Dairy and the line was soooooooo long that boyfriend said is this ice cream worth it? because, there is a brewery tour in fifteen minutes and, just like that, a decision was made.

whether or not beer > ice cream is open for debate, but on saturday it was. yellow springs brewery = best decision.

fun fact: yellow springs brewery opened in 2013. it doesn't bottle and distribute (yet), but sends kegs to some restaurants and operates a taproom with a great vibe. if you're ever in the area, you should go try it out.

we took a tour from a high school english teacher/brew guy who told us stories about how some of their beers were named, and how IPAs were invented, and that yeast is really tiny microorganisms that each sugar and it was all really interesting and by the end I was getting excited to taste what this was all about.

the skies had finally cleared by this time, so we set up camp on the back patio and giggled (me), shared shady eyes with my camera (him), and sipped flights (both). we sat there and watched everyone with their cool style and artsy friends and boyfriend said that the town felt welcoming and it was fun seeing everyone just have their own groove and i thought, yes, yellow springs, you rock on, coolest little town in ohio.

and THEN, something amazing happened. the most yellow springs thing of all yellow springs things.

we were sitting there, on the patio, which overlooked the ohio bike path. and we both glanced over to someone strolling by. and, we waited for a few seconds, just kind of processing, and the person keeps walking, and then Boyfriend whispers to me: holy shit. was that dave chappelle? and i whisper back: i think so, and then other people on the patio started whispering the same thoughts, and it was definitive.

once i started thinking about it, the more excellent it became. eye contact was made. tipsy me made eye contact with dave chappelle, who definitely performed in nyc last month and had kanye as a special guest, who has for sure hung out with jay-z and beyonce, so i guess what i'm getting at here is that i am now like, three degrees of eye-contact away from the queen b herself; praise beysus!

also, he was in you've got mail, only one of the greatest movies of all time. i don't know if this is better than the degrees-of-beyonce-eye-contact game i was just playing, but probably, in case you're wondering just how much power nora ephron rom-coms have in my life. (answer: a lot)

all of this was wonderful. but, we had one more stop to make; everyone you ever meet who has gone to yellow springs talks about ha ha pizza. so, dinner pizza happened and it was great too, just like everything else had been that day.  

and that is the story of our day in yellow springs.

the end.

Monday, July 28, 2014

worn by the weather and the waves

Summer as we know it is stretching its legs for its last little bit. These next few weeks and weekends are precious - the last lazy, hot moments before bags are packed and school bells start ringing. This past weekend, my family decided to take a last-minute day trip up to Lake Erie before everyone goes their separate ways here this fall. So, on Saturday at 7am, we were all in the car (snoozing) while Dad navigated us north.

We had never been, but I almost could not believe we were still in Ohio. Have you been to Lake Erie before? It is beautiful! Although, at one point, I told the car that we had driven three hours to look at the same scenery we had back home (corn, so much corn); but then, magic! The cornfields opened up and we were in a world of pastels and little wooden shutters and a lapping lake and sandy beaches and it just didn't feel like Ohio at all. We didn't have a plan, but ultimately decided to bop between Port Clinton and Lakeside. (Put-In-Bay, I'm coming for you another day!)

We picnicked under Marblehead Lighthouse and walked along the beach at a park down the road. Lake Erie is the shallowest of the lakes, and my sisters and I decided to walk out as far as we could - we got out to a little rocky island before we turned back, further than anyone in swimsuits! When the rain clouds popped up, we stopped by a local winery to sip, and then headed for dinner at a little joint that sold lake fish. I've been on a search for the best fish taco, so I tried the tacos at Jolly Roger's - were they the best? No. But, they were good. We sat on the patio and all through the meal my little sister had been eyeing the flock of seagulls swarming around the parking lot. As I left, she threw the pieces of her dinner roll at me and, for a brief moment, I lived the horror of a Hitchcock movie. Tippi Hedren, I got you girl. Birds are straight-up terrifying.

We drove home in the rain and listened to good music, which is the best way to end a day trip. Lake Erie, you guys. If you live in the Midwest, get thee to a lake and relax. Let me know how it goes. (you'll love it)

Friday, July 18, 2014

it's five o'clock somewhere

Oh, this week. What a week. It was beautiful, with cool temperatures and open windows and billowy curtains that made me wish that maybe it was fall already, because i love fall. But, then I stop by the farmer's market and pick up corn on the cob and cherry tomatoes and I think ehhhh, i can wait a little.

It was a beautiful week, although was heavy on some stress. I was in bed on Monday morning when I heard was told that my dad had been in a car accident (he's fine, thank goodness!), and the week just kept going from there. It was just one of those weeks where all the spheres in your life are just a little messy, but you put on your Christmas Pandora station (in July!) and stop by Starbucks and power through.

I did get to counter some of the mess this week with plenty of good company. I met a great group of Cinci blogging ladies on Tuesday, spent Wednesday hiking through Sharon Woods with Boyfriend, and then met up with one of my hometown buddies for margs on Thursday at our favorite local Mexican place - where we always get mistaken for sisters. The best.

Anyhow, I mostly crept through the week wailing my life is shamblyyyyy, but I will say this - I hit a proud little work milestone near the start of the week in that I worked through something for a client so effortlessly that I almost couldn't believe it. Sometimes, I get so frustrated in being a 20-something trying to sort through all these new, adult things and a new, adult career that I forget to put things in perspective and don't celebrate the small things, but - it was a good moment! Hang in there, 20-somethings.

Rambling, so much rambling. I've got nothing left to talk about it. It's FRIDAY and work is OVER and byyyyyye.