I can’t promise that this blog will turn into one of those blogs that you go to for recipes. Step-by-step photos and instructions – I’m just not there yet. Not sure that I ever will be. There are so many blogs out there that do it so well already, don’t you agree? What I can promise is that I will beautifully photograph and vaguely explain the things that my Boo makes for me. Ya see, she’s the cook in the family. A very legit, very meat-centered cook. It’s one of the reasons that I fell in love with her. Girl has a palate! When we’re lucky enough to have a weekend off together, delicious and creative meals happen. Enter: Cloud Eggs. I believe that the technical term is Poached Scrambled but that doesn’t sound very technical to me. Some sort of elegant French name would serve much better, but I digress. Last weekend Holly made us poached scrambled eggs on toast using this method. When made this way, the eggs have the consistency of burrata cheese. Soft, moist, super duper light. How I would imagine a cloud made of eggs would feel, essentially. She layered some butter, triple crème brie and heirloom tomatoes on a thick slice of sourdough then topped it with the cloud eggs. Sprinkle some paprika, sea salt and chopped parsley to finish, bingbangboom you’re good to go! Bellissimo! *Italian finger kiss*
A few months back we went on a double date with some friends of ours to the St. George Distillery in Alameda. The place is located in an old naval air station hangar. The view from the hangar across the Bay was spectacular! The entire SF skyline was on display. This was one of the better tours that I’ve been on. Not only because the location and facilities were beautiful but because our tour guide was that perfect combination of cool + witty + know-it-all. She wasn’t the least bit phased by the cocktail geek questions that we threw her way. Immediately after the tour we were lead to the main room for a tasting. We got to sample their most popular products which were gin, brandy, bourbon, vodka and absinthe. Up until very recently, Hangar 1 vodka was distilled and distributed through St. George but it was sold to another company shortly before our visit. We really dug their absinthe and brandy products, even took some home. I’m not quite sure how to put this into words, but as a consumer it’s easy to build a…what shall we call it…. allegiance-effect (?) when you learn so much about a product before ever trying it for yourself. You know everything about it; the artistry and hard work that goes into creating it. You share the passion of those that make it their business to get it right. So when you finally try the product I feel like it makes you love it more. You feel almost loyal to this product. You want to love it. I’ve experience this one other time at a Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica. *Shout out to Don Juan Coffee! Overall, we loved the variety and the flavor of St. George’s spirits. Impressing bev-snob’s like us ain’t easy. Cheers!
A couple of weekends ago Holly and I drove 4 hours out of the city to Lake Tahoe. We were looking for a little bit of r&r. We stayed at the Squaw Valley Resort and it was perfect. So perfect and serene, in fact, that I didn’t take my camera out once. However, on our way home we drove over to King’s Beach to walk around the town, grab some coffee and dip our toes into the lake. The clarity of the water and the warmth of the sun were something else. We didn’t want to leave. So. Dang. Beautiful.
Sunday was an easy day. We brunched, we napped, we did laundry and Holly was patient enough to snap these shots of me. Isn’t she a doll? Our relationship has actually come a long way from the days of me forcing her to photograph me and micromanaging her while she does it. Holly doesn’t like taking photos. Wonder why?
For our breezy Sunday I threw a chambray shirt over a basic black dress. Topped it off with a beige-y fedora and red lips. When wearing so many neutrals one can never forget the red lips! I’ve always had a “thang” for dainty jewelry which is why I had to have this necklace when I saw it on Pinterest. The first of many jewelry items with the letter “H.” Whether you assumed that the “H” stands for Holly or for the word Homo, you’d be right. I’ll give points for both.
Hope your Sunday was just as swell.
NO, not those kinds of family jewels. I’m talking about a lady’s kind of family jewels; the real “heirloom” type of stuff. I’m talking about my beautiful engagement ring. Yes, yes. Read this in a southern accent for emphasis: SHE DONE GOOOOODD! The picture above was taken in our car about 15 minutes after Holly popped the question. While I hope to share the story (and photos!) of the proposal some day this post is all about the bling. My ring is a 3.6 carat asscher cut green-tea sapphire in a white gold pave diamond band. It’s unique, it’s timeless, it’s more than I could have ever imagined! Although I love the sparkle of a traditional diamond engagement ring, I knew that it wasn’t for me. There’s plenty of time for diamonds later on in life right? *wink* Getting back to my original point – this ring is the first piece of fine jewelry that I’ve ever received. Before Holly got down on her knee and gave this to me I would daydream about wearing it. Now that I wear it daily I daydream about my future daughter or daughter-in-law wearing it and adoring it as much as I do. Although, in true negative-nancy fashion, the thought occurred to me that maybe my style of jewelry won’t be so popular with the future generations. What if nobody likes it? What if none of the Birrell-Jackson women care to wear it? Will they throw it in the casket while my coffin descends? What kind of wet blanket has these types of thoughts just because she prefers a non-traditional engagement ring? *points to self* I wonder if any other woman has had silly thoughts like these before? No? Okay. I’ll put my paranoia to bed for tonight. Besides, I’ve got at least another 70 some-odd years to marvel at this beautiful & meaningful jewel on my finger. I love you, Holly. Thank you.
The last leg of our Southern Summer Roadtrip was spent with Holly’s family in Columbus, OH. We all met up at her sister’s home in the Short North area of Columbus. Her parents drove all the way from Pittsburgh and her grandparents from Toledo; just for a few hour visit. There was a lot to celebrate that day. Birthdays, an engagement, and a safe return from a trip overseas. Spending time with Holly’s family over the last few years has taught me a lot about what family actually is. I can’t express enough how grateful (and relieved) I am to be marrying into such a high energy, entertaining and tight-knit group of people. We really do have fun. So truly grateful. AND EXCITED.
The Future Mrs. Mya L. Birrell-Jackson
Music City 4th of July. Indeed. Lemme just say this – Nashville knows how to put on a fireworks show! As you can tell from Holly’s expression, the show blew our minds. Not only was it a whopping 27 minutes long, but it even had a fake-out finale! Which sorta equals 2 finales, an extra just for good measure. Beautifully choreographed and spectacular. The pictures can’t really do it justice and I’m sorry for that. Take note, northern states. This is how it’s done!
Below are the 5 things that H and I love to do the most:
Two of those things are not like the others. If it’s not obvious already, we live to eat and drink. Sometimes the simplest of pleasures can be the most profound. Nashville was a vacation for us in more than one way, and by that I mean that we ate everything FRIED. Fried food is not our usual forte but being in TN was the perfect exception. Fries with everything! Bacon lardons! That’s the true meaning of “vacation” to us. The food was naughty but phenomenal. Rock on, Nashville. Rock on.
More photos of us playing “tourist” in Nashville. While we wandered around Downtown we perused every statue, read every plaque and stopped frequently to smell the flowers. In Printer’s Alley we ducked into a little blues joint for some soup & whiskey. I would imagine that that’s what New Orleans looks and feels like. Even the garbage bins were cute and clever!
Although I wasn’t originally thrilled to hear that we would be staying at a Sheraton in Nashville I conceded that this is what happens sometimes when you “name your own price” on Priceline. Note to cheapasses such as myself: that’s the entire point; you don’t get to choose. Looking back, it’s funny that we ended up loving the Sheraton and disliking The Peabody (which cost us twice as much!). The Sheraton Nashville was perfectly geared to aging hipsters like us. It was clean, stylish, had an amazing bar program, was in a spectacular location and had a super friendly staff.
*No, I am not being paid for this endorsement…I just really loved the place!