Yeah, so it’s been a while…Again…Oops!

I have no excuses this time; well, I have a few, but no good ones. I’ve written my thesis, my first, first-author paper is officially e-published (and will be old-school published in the April 11 edition of JBC), and I’ve been applying to jobs like it’s my job (part time, granted, there are only so many new openings every week). I’m also addicted to the gym, barre specifically, and am slowly developing a thing for yoga. I love the stretching and the challenge of tricky poses, but I’m still not so sure about the whole hot and sweaty thing—at my first real hot vinyasa class yesterday, I looked like I’d jumped in a pool about 20 minutes in. I can’t even imagine what Bikram would be like; pretty sure I’d either pass out or drown by the end of class.

Patrick and I finally had a chance to visit some of the new local restaurants I’ve been dying to try!  Ironically enough, both have been featured on How Chow this week. We had our Friday group happy hour at White Oak Tavern last week. I was counting down the days till they open early this year, and was so happy to finally make it there. I was surprised at how empty the bar was during happy hour, but the food was tasty, and the drinks even better. I tried one of their signature cocktails, a caramel apple mule (pretty sure all their signature drinks run $8.25-ish and, unfortunately, none are included in HH pricing), and it was delicious, as was the stout chess pie I tried in honor of pie day. Everyone enjoyed their food, and I’m definitely looking forward to a trip back, especially as they shift their seasonal menu to feature spring and summer produce.

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We also finally made it to Le Comptoir at the new Petit Louis in Columbia. We visited Petit Louis for Valentine’s Day dinner, but have been meaning to try the pastries and coffee at the attached Comptoir for a while. Luckily nice weather allowed for a run around the lake, a perfect preface to a breakfast of French pastries. While we loved everything we tried (pain au chocolate, a lemon poppy seed tea cake, and a tropical fruit gateaux that tasted like Tahiti), and the café au lait may have been the best coffee Patrick and I have ever tried, it will not become a regular spot for us. Our bill for 4 fairly small pastries and 2 coffees came to nearly $30, and while I can appreciate the impeccable quality behind the pricing, we know we can get a better value (i.e. a larger quantity at only a slightly lower quality, and much better price) elsewhere.

I’m planning to be back tomorrow with a Friday Faves post (assuming I survive my 2nd hot vinyasa class! I should start hydrating now…) and maybe a few more updates before the weekend!

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Moving Forward!

So, I’ve been a bad blogger– I abandoned my blog when things got busy. Oops! The good news is, I’m back! The wedding was amazing, the trip to Bora Bora and Moorea was even better, and I’ve been back to writing and analyzing data for a few months now.

I’ve finally started seriously looking for a job, and as many resources as there may be on the internet for “alternative” careers for PhD’s, it’s certainly not easy to actually find them, and to present myself as qualified when I do.  In the hopes that my efforts will be helpful to others looking for a similar career path, I’m thinking about making a bunch of my upcoming posts about my job hunt, and how things work out!

The awesome corollary to my job search is that I’m finally starting work on my thesis! I might not be able to defend until the end of the year, but all that really stands between me and a PhD are the submission of two (maybe three) papers and written thesis (and successful defense)!


Sunday Thoughts

It’s been a busy week, but I got nearly everything I wanted to accomplish taken care of! Here’s to hoping this next week will be equally productive!

1. I rejoined Pinterest last weekend (the first time I tried I joined via my Facebook ID and being defaulted to following FB friends and stuff weirded me out a bit), and it’s been moderately addicting. Lucky, way less addicting than the 40-some odd blogs I already read!

2. Wedding invites are in the mail! It’s such a relief to have them done. I know 3+ months out is a bit early to be sending them, but I’m hoping this will be enough time to remind out of towners to plan travel and RSVP by our earlier than usual deadline. I’m still a grad student– I’ve got lots going on that isn’t wedding planning, so I need all the time I can get!

3. Last week was restaurant week in Pittsburgh, and Patrick and I finally made it to Meat and Potatoes! The restaurant week menu the day we went was definitely designed for someone with a huge appetite: sweet potato soup (that even my sweet potato hating fiancé loved), pork ribs with fried gouda grits, a southern style bbq pork butt, and bread pudding (also including sweet potatoes somewhere, though neither Patrick nor I could find them). I brought home half my serving of ribs and my entire dessert, and can barely finish just the dessert tonight! Delicious, but so much food! Shame we probably won’t get to go back; we had a great time!

4. We also mad it to see Zero Dark Thirty this weekend. I was worried that the build-up to the actual mission would be super boring, but it definitely wasn’t; this movie is as well made as it’s hyped up to be, so definitely go see it if you get a chance! Now we just have to make it to see Silver Linings Playbook!

5. The weather man just said weather Tuesday is supposed to be 14* for the high and 7* for the low. So much for another mild winter…. I hope I remember my gloves this week. Maybe I’ll get to go home before it’s dark? That’s not too much to ask when I’m working an extra long day on MLK Jr Day, right?

Have a great week everyone!


Sunday Thoughts

I know, it’s been a while—what kind of blogger are you if you leave over a month between entries? Not a very good one I’d imagine, so I suppose it’s a good thing I’m just getting started.

Lots of bloggers seem to have an entry every week where they post a random collection of thoughts. It’s pretty great really: no matter what you’ve got at least one fairly easy blog entry to put up every week! Without fail, here’s what’s been going on in my mind lately:

1. I made my own variation of this meat pie yesterday, subbing out all the recommended meats for a pound and a quarter of ground turkey. It was delicious. The girls over at Spoon Fork Bacon really know what they’re doing. Also, no matter how tempting it is, wait until the pie has cooled before cutting into it, otherwise it will ooze all over and you’ll end up with a messy pile of filling and crumbs on your plate. Delicious, but messy.

2. Honeymoon to Tahiti is booked!!!! Patrick and I are super excited, and I’ve wasted a ridiculous amount of time on Trip Advisor and travel blogs trying to figure out all the things to do and where to eat while we’re there. We almost decided against it, because most deals are crazy expensive, but we managed to track one down that was semi-reasonable, and we figure we might as well splurge for this once in a lifetime trip. Now, to begin ordering sunscreen in bulk!

3. I’ve been watching the Golden Globes, and apparently I also need to start watching Girls. I guess I have yet another set of HBO DVDs to add to my Netflix list.

4. Speaking of the Globes. I have been seriously enjoying Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as hosts. Their opening monologue definitely made me LOL. I just wish they could have a bit more of a mid-show monologue to kind of keep the ball rolling, though Sacha Baron Cohen had an amusing bit in there. If Tina and Amy don’t return next year, maybe that’ll count as his audition?

5. So happy Downton Abbey is back! I’m looking forward to plenty of juicy 1920s British intrigue over the next few weeks. I only wish all these British tv shows had proper, full-length seasons (I’m looking at you Sherlock). Ten episodes does not count as a full season, and three makes a mini-series, not a proper tv show!

That’s all I’ve got for today! It’ll probably be a full week until I post again, since the plan is to finally work on paper outlines this week (yay!), which means I should be dedicating all writing energy to that. Until then!


Hello World

I’ve been following cooking, healthy living and wedding blogs (among others) for well over a year now, and decided it was finally time for me to jump into the blogosphere and start my own.

It will definitely be a while before I’ve quite figured out my blog-identity, but in the meantime, what better to share with the world than my life as I write scientific papers, finish my PhD, and plan my wedding!

While I don’t have any expectations for this blog to make it big like some of my favorites have (I’m looking at you, Caitlin, Gina, Tina, Meghann, and Jessica), I hope I can use this little piece of the internet to share some of my favorite things with anyone interested. If I even have the impact on one reader that all those bloggers have had on me, I’ll be one happy blogger.

That’s all I’ve got for now; here’s to a great run!