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Our dear friends are expecting twins in only a few short weeks. Our babies will be born within weeks of each other, and it has been such a treat to be pregnant together. Because the twin’s mama is the tiniest tot on the planet, she has been placed on bed rest until the babies make their appearance.

So, on Thursday night, Brad and I brought some dinner to their house to hang out and catch up while chowing down on a sausage and goat cheese macaroni bake. Because of the bed rest, our friends weren’t able to use their Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra tickets. So, we were the lucky beneficiaries.

On Saturday night, the main man and I

headed to Cincinnati’s Historic Music Hall.

Music Hall is easily one of the city’s most beautiful landmarks. It was built in 1878, and it is such an experience to sit in the hall and think about all of the people who have sat in the seats and enjoyed the performing arts in one way or another over all of the 100+ years of this hall’s existence.

This is what you walk into as you come in the front doors:

(iPhone photo)

And here is the symphony warming up (our neighbor is in the back row- he is a percussionist):

And check out this chandelier. It is massive, and sparkly, and breathtaking. And it weighs a mere 2 tons!

The domed center of the hall is an oil painting that is original to the hall. It depicts the Allegory of the Arts.

The evening was delightful.

After the show, we stopped off at Senate, a gourmet street food restaurant in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati.

Senate has the best appetizer in the city.

Poutine fries. Oh my.

Crispy french fries smothered in soft and salty cheese curd, braised short ribs, and a gravy sauce.

(Again, the iPhone photo- I promise it looked better in real life!)

Fuh-get-about-it. Poutine fries make my life.

I ordered a lemonade to drink, and our server brought over a raspberry infused lemonade in a martini glass for me. It was the prettiest pink mocktail I have ever seen. Delicious to boot!

So, last night I decided I would try to recreate the Berry Lemon Mocktail.

And guess what? I’m pretty sure I succeeded.

And so today, I shall share the recipe with ya. And I will encourage you to throw in some booze if you imbibe at all. Because while this mocktail is delightful… lets be honest, a cocktail is WAY Better.

I think this recipe will end up making about 4 drinks.

Start with 1 cup of berries. I happened to have both blackberries and raspberries, so I threw them both into the glass.

Now add 1/2 cup of sugar.

And you are done!!

Drink up!

OK, not really.

Get out your muddler. Do you have a muddler? Randomly, I do. And this may have been the first time I have ever used it. If you don’t have a muddler, use a spoon or fork and mash the berries and sugar together.

Keep mashing.

Until it looks like this.

Now, let those berries and the sugar sit together and hang out. Get to know one another. For about 10 minutes.

While the berries and sugar get acquainted, let’s squeeze some lemons.

I used 3 lemons to procure 1 cup of lemon juice.

Get out a pitcher and a strainer.

And pour your berry mixture in.

Seeds = bad.

Sweet seedless berry juice = good.

On

And 1 1/4 cup of water.

Mix it up.

Looking pretty and pink!

Now, get out a glass. Fill it about half way with your berry and lemon juice mixture.

I actually am a weirdo and enjoy having seeds in my drink, so I threw in a spoonful of the seeds from the strainer.

You can certainly skip this step.

Now fill your glass to the top with seltzer water. It adds a bubble and a sparkle.

Top off your drink with a whole berry or two along with a sprig of mint.

Yum-a-lum-a-ding-dong!!

I think this would taste pretty delicious with a generous splash of vodka or tequila or rum.

So have at it!

The drink of the spring!

Happy Monday Peeps!

XO,

Leah

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Yesterday was the long-awaited day.

Adele’s new album came out, and let me tell you… it does not disappoint. I’m listening to it as I write this, and I go from bopping in my seat to almost shedding a tear.

Her voice. Man.

It actually sounds eerily similar to my voice when I’m in the car by myself.

Or not.

In all seriousness, her voice is powerful and beautiful and emotion evoking. The girl has pipes, and she knows how to use them.

I heart her.

I highly, highly recommend that you spend a hard earned $10 and buy this album immediately.

You are welcome.

Next up on this Happy Hump Day… the Easter treat aisle in the grocery store:

Now, I know that the candy is not the point of Easter.

However, I would like to thank the fine folks at Kroger for putting out these pastel wonders earlier and earlier in the year.

I picked myself up a bag of the Dark m&ms. Help me now.

And I picked up my Mr. a bag of the Sweet Tart Jelly Beans. These are also good; however, I will warn you that the yellow jelly bean has a bit of a rosemary taste.

And it is not good.

Can we take a sidebar here to talk about Hershey’s Kisses? When on earth did they come up with the 75 varieties that are now available?

I’m not complaining.

At all.

Just wondering.

One year it was Kisses and Hugs.

The next year it was caramel and coconut and peppermint and every other flavor under the sun.

Finally on this wonderful Wednesday, I bring you some more roasty toasty vegetables.

I had some green beans (stem end trimmed), about 1/2 bunch of asparagus, some baby red potatoes, and a shallot thinly sliced.

Sweet Mother Mary.

Preheat your oven to 400.

Want to know something random? When I look at 400, I pronounce it in my head as four-hundy.

Not four hundred.

Four-hundy is just more fun.

Glad we can agree on that.

Can we also agree that roasting vegetables is the hands-down best way to prepare them? Especially in the winter?

We can.

Perfect.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop it into the oven for 15-20 min.

You know, you are looking for browned, caramelized goodness.

I served up my roasty vegetables (topped with a bit of shredded parm reg, of course) with a chunk of crusty garlic bread and some SIMPLE spicy cioppino (seafood stew).

Stop back tomorrow for the cioppino recipe.

It is delish to the max times 5000.

And that, my friends, wraps up my Hump Day treasures for ya.

Make it a good one.

XO,

Leah

On my recent girl’s weekend, we made crafts… and lots of them! I have already ranted and raved about craft time with some of my favorite people, so you are spared from more of my dribbling on.

I thought today, in honor of Thursday, I would show you how to make those super nifty vinyl record bowls.

They are a snap.

I have some pictures, but please remember the pics were taken with my iPhone- so they aren’t the highest quality.

Visit your local record shop or thrift store. Pick out an album that you like, and bring it on home.

Set your oven to 220.

You need to find 2 oven save bowls to help you mold your record as it begins to melt.

One bowl should be significantly smaller than the other. You place your small bowl face down on a sheet pan. Place your record on top of the small bowl. Then place your larger bowl on top of that.

Put the whole set up in the oven, and turn on your oven light.

You’ll see the plastic of the record eventually start to soften and bend.

You may need to intervene with tongs or an oven-mitted hand to help the top/larger bowl help mould the bowl with ease.

Once the record has slumped over the smaller bowl, pull the whole kit and caboodle out of the oven. Can you see the record peeking out from the white bowl beneath?

Let it cool for a moment, then lift off the larger bowl.

At this point, you will have a second or two to quickly shape or alter the record bowl before it cools completely.

And that is it!!

I would recommend buying a few extras because it may take a time or two to get it just right.

Also, I would recommend buying vinyl records and a record player for your home. I’m telling you that nothing feels warmer and cozier than vinyl playing while you read, eat dinner, chat, whatever!

Brad’s all time favorite album is Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. If you don’t know this album, you are living a life deprived.

Happy crafting!

XO,

Leah

I was in college in the late nineties.

And *NSYNC was all of the rage.

My junior year I lived in my sorority house with 60 some other girls.

And many of these girls had a problem.

Obsession.

With this guy.

And yes, that is what he looked like during said obsession.

While living in the sorority house, I had two fabulous roommates.

I’ll call them Molly and Meghan.

Well, because those are their names.

In our room, we watched one of three things before we fell asleep before bed each night:

1. Tommy Boy- I seriously know every line

2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation- Again, every line.

OR 3. *NSYNC’s Madison Square Garden Concert

Every moment of that video has a memory attached to it from that year.

This is the clip that really got Molly and Meghan going:

And then there was this one that my friend Anne would dance to- if I ever get myself a scanner, I’ll share some pictures of those moves with you.

This clip also influenced a Greek Week Airbands Legendary Performance. I’m certain I’m not biased in anyway.

She could do the moves at least as well as Lance.

Lets face it… Lance wasn’t the best dancer.

True?

Yes.

Just watching these videos, I’m dying laughing all while recalling the sweet dance moves. It makes me nostalgic for that time and that room. I would love to go back for just one more night of college-aged fun and debauchery. Grateful for those memories.

Now, I liked *NSYNC, but my real Justin crush started when this video came out:

For the premiere event of Cry Me a River, a group of us gathered around a community TV and had a mini heart attack with every frame of this video.

Lets all take a moment to remember when Justin was the jam.

And when he was making music.

Go back to the music Justy.

Please.

For me. And Molly. And Meghan.

Not going to lie.

That video still gives me the quiver.

Have a good day all of my dearly beloved friends!

XO,

Leah

I hate the writing in the Twilight books.

But, somehow I loved (OK, maybe I was obsessed with) the series.

I loathe a raw mushroom.

But, cook them up, and Sweet Sassy.

Hearing the song “Hang on Sloopy” on the car radio makes me want to change the channel (sorry OSU fans).

But, hearing the song at a wedding… look out dance floor.

One of my favorite places on earth is Rocky Fork Lake.

But, I have an irrational fear of lake fish so I never get in.

I’m pretty sure this is what I would run into, so I think my fear is justified.

Truth be told, I don’t know what is scarier… the man or the fish.

That’s all.

Thank you and good morning,

Leah

This past week, I was in California.

L.A. to be exact.

Well, Compton to be more exact.

Yes, my work sent me to Compton.

The trip was lovely. Good work, good food, and a quick trip to the beach.

I’ve been humming some California Love by Tupac to myself since I hopped on the plane on Wednesday. Then, when I searched for the song on YouTube, I was taken on a serious trip down memory lane with my buddy Mr. Pac.

He hit the scene when I was in middle school and he stuck around through high school. I have so many memories linked to some of these songs.

I can vividly remember being at my friend Jenni’s (she seriously threw the best parties in high school) crushing on someone that I think eventually ended up doing some jail time, swimming, chowing down on pounds of candy, and maybe sipping on some fancy fruity wine coolers.

Seriously, if you are my age… see if these songs take you back.

As a side note, the lyrics aren’t safe for work or kids.

Why am I suddenly craving Boone’s Farm?

Happy Listening,

L to the W

These guys help me while I’m on the treadmill. I get worn out, and they pick me back up. Plus, I have a little crush on the lead singer.

These guys give one helluva show. Perhaps the best I have ever seen live. I heart them so much.

If you read Brad’s blog, you know Mumford is amazing.

La-Di-Da,

Leah

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