Birthday Festivities, Part 2

Yesterday was the second of a three to four day birthday celebration for Maren! It will (most likely) be concluded on Friday after her party. It really should be called your “birthday week”. Or month. Anyway. We went out for sushi at Utage, one of our favorite places in Athens.
You can’t have a birthday dinner without a saki bomb! The waitresses even made us do the chant.
Am I the only one who thinks sushi is automatically more fun when it comes in a boat??
Me and Andy went with a more boring option and shared four rolls. But it was still delicious, and you never leave Utage without being uncomfortably full! I swear they were extra good this time.

Birthday Festivities, Part 1

I woke up with a sore throat and a stuffy nose on Friday morning, but there was no way I could pass up going out to celebrate Maren’s birthday. We had an amazing time but, as I knew I would, I felt horrible when I woke up yesterday. Today my head is doing much better while my throat is worse. Oh well, it was worth it, and I’ll be back on my feet again in a couple days.

After dinner at 5 guys and a couple hot drinks at Manhattan, we headed over to the Globe. Maren and Lauren knew the bartender there which meant delicious, fruity drinks at a greatly reduced price.
Oh, and this is what happens when a bartender gives red roses to three tipsy girls. We have a ton of similar pictures, but I doubt you’ll find them quite as funny as we did, hehe.
Andy and Bret kept us company and made sure we got home safely. We ended the night with way too much taco bell and a private dance party in Maren’s living room. Ah, when can we do this again?!
Now I just need to get better before this weekend, when the actual birthday party is!

Mardi Gras Birthday Party

Yesterday was Joe’s surprise birthday party – and also Mardi Gras. So Maria and Kristen combined them both into a big surprise party. The food and dessert was all from Louisiana, though, since that’s where Joe’s from. I think we ended up being 12 people, and I definitely had a great time.

Waiting for the birthday boy to get here. Turns out it was only the neighbors walking up the stairs.
There was so much delicious food – they were all Louisiana specialties, like gumbo and Jambalaya.
Here’s the Jambalaya me and Andy made. I had never tried it before, but I loved it! It’s spicy and delicious, with chicken, shrimp and Andouille sausage. I’m going to post the recipe later tonight.
And for dessert there was King cake (another thing I’d never heard of before). It was sweet and tasted a bit like cinnamon – very good. I first thought they were joking when they says there was supposed to be a “baby” inside the cake (a tiny plastic one). And apparently whoever gets it has to bring the cake for next years party. We didn’t find it until we had eaten the whole thing!

Girls Night Out

This night has somehow been over two weeks in the making – because timing has sucked in 2013. But we’re already making up for it, because next Thursday is game night, hehe. Anyway, it was a fun night that included a very good looking guy giving Maren a coaster with his number on it. Does that really happen outside of movies? Because it should.

Btw, The Brindle is possibly Highwire’s best drink. A delicious, tart raspberry lemonade. I’m in love.
And tonight was also freezing. I guess that’s what I get for “complaining” about the weather being strangely warm just a couple days ago. So I went with layers – black, red, scarf, leggings, and boots.

2013 Resolutions

So, I don’t usually take new year’s resolutions very seriously, but I still think it’s a neat idea. I like the idea of striving to improve and promising to be a better version of yourself in the year to come. After all, if you’ve put some serious thought into your resolutions, following them can only make you happier. That’s at least true for me. I’m not happy when things stay the same for too long, or when I don’t feel like I’m motivated. And what better way to keep me motivated and on track then to post my resolutions online for everyone to see? Haha.

2012 was an amazing year, but with a little effort I think we can make 2013 just as good!

  1. Keep Working Out. I’m really happy with my progress in 2012, so I really just want to keep it up. And now that I have an elliptical at home I really have no excuse to be lazy. So my goal is to work out about 4 times a week, unless I’m sick, traveling, or extremely busy.
  2. Keep Traveling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many new places as I did last year, and it was amazing! Our honeymoon was a big part of that (and we won’t be repeating that any time soon), but I want to keep going on weekend trips even if it’s just to Atlanta. And we’re already planning on a road trip through Florida when spring break comes along.
  3. Try to Eat Healthy During Weekdays. This is the one resolution that I’m the most likely to break! I love my fast food, chocolate, and potato chips. But from now on I’m going to limit it as much as possible. Saturdays and Sundays are for movie nights and snacks, any other day is for trying out new healthy and delicious recipes – and sharing them with all of you!
  4. Be More Social. Last spring was extremely busy with school and I hardly ever had time to hang out with friends. And when I finally did have some time off I would rather just curl up on the couch and watch a movie with Andy. In the long run this didn’t exactly make me very happy. However, during fall I put much more of an effort into being social, and it was a much better semester!
  5. Make Plans. We will be staying in Athens until Andy is done with his PhD, which is at least another year and a half, but after that I haven’t the faintest idea what I want to do. So this might sound a little silly, but one of my resolutions is to put some serious thought into what I want to do with my life. Where do I want to live, where do I want to work, and what is going to make me happy in the long run? Because right now I have no idea.
  6. Keep in Touch! I’m probably not the only one who is bad at this. When your life gets busy and you have a hundred things to think about, you tend to forget about the friends and family you haven’t talked to in forever. Sitting down to write a letter might not be the first thing on your mind, but it means so much to the one receiving it. I am lucky to have great friends back in Norway, and every time we meet it seems like no time at all has gone by. But I would love to know more about their day-to-day life when I’m not around. So this year I am going to write more emails, letters, facebook messages, and texts to all the people I care about. And I hope you’ll join me!

Here is one of my happiest moments from 2012. It’s a tough one to beat, but I’m already wondering which moments are going to stay with me from 2013.

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe the new year is already here – 2012 went by way too fast! We celebrated last new years eve with my friends back in Norway, and I missed them all a lot tonight. Here are a few of last year’s pictures before I completely pass out. I hope 2013 is even better than last year! (Although it was an amazing year, so it will be very hard to top it.)

Christmas Party

I had too much fun earlier today to update the blog, but since the world didn’t end after all (who would have known?) I suppose I’ll just do it now instead. Today (well, yesterday by now) was the Talian family’s open house Christmas party. It started at 5:30 and everyone could show up whenever they wanted throughout the night.

This was the dining room table about 30 minutes before everything was ready – the ham and barbecue was still missing. There was more food than you could imagine, and every time I walked by there was more of it instead of less since people kept bringing their own dishes! I helped myself to about three big servings in a 6 hour period, and I already want more just from looking at this picture!
There were so many people there for the first few hours that you could hardly even move through the house, but the mood was great and everyone had a fun time. I got to meet several friends of the family.
IMG_4771Then the mandatory Christmas tree pictures. This is my lovely brother and siter-in-law, by the way.
And, on a random note, I just really love the back of this blouse! Open back and lace ❤