Happy weekend!

Well, the Royal Wedding was all I could have hoped for and more (the dress! the choir! the coaches!). I loved it all, and it was even better with tea, scones, finger sandwiches, and running commentary from the peanut gallery (aka our couch). I am ready for the weekend! What are you all up to, lovely readers? Tomorrow is CM's opening night, which is sold out (yay! but boo! I wanted to go). If the weather's nice on Sunday, I think we'll ride bikes to the zoo. I'm ready to see it when I'm in no danger of freezing.

In the meantime...

Jillian will always be my #1, but at the moment I'm addicted to Tracy Anderson. You can find lots of her workouts on YouTube—I swear my abs look better after doing this one TWICE. CM concurs.

Oh, the pretty.

Have you tried Martha Stewart's Grocery Bag feature? She gives you ideas for weekly menus, and then a printable grocery list for each one! I like the look of this one.

We discovered a new store in our neighborhood tonight, and ended up buying up vases, candle holders, and sweet little wood bowls to hold our rings on our bedside tables. I can't find pictures of any of those on their website, but look at these adorable animal cups!

I know you probably haven't looked at it in forever, but I'm just about caught up with my 365 project, and I'd love you to check out my latest photos. I'm 114 photos in!

Here's a picture of a gorgeous breakfast I had the other day at Haas & Haas. Isn't it beautiful? The little dishes hold honey and chopped chives, respectively.

Wills and Kate (plus LMB)

Soooo... will you be watching the Royal Wedding tomorrow?  I know for most of you, doing so would mean an EXTREMELY early wake-up time, and although I am quite excited about it, I am probably not 4am excited. I am, however, definitely 12 noon excited, which is when the wedding will begin Vienna time.

I'm having a couple girlfriends over for tea, finger sandwiches, and scones while we switch back and forth between CNN and BBC (and maybe an Austrian channel or two for Deutsch practice). I'm thinking of wearing a dress, and I will not be wearing a hat ONLY because the ones I own are either made of stretchy wool or have the names of baseball teams emblazoned on them.

I've been reading lots of trivia about the wedding, as have you. (If you say you haven't, I will call you a liar. Or maybe you don't have internet. But then how are you reading this blog? No, the only explanation is that you're lying.) I especially enjoyed this article about British weddings, which happens to be written by a friend of mine from elementary school. I'm fascinated that British bridesmaids are generally children. That must make for some awkward bachelorette parties.

I'm looking forward to the dress, the crowds, and the general spectacle of the thing. Plus, I've been wondering what to do with that extra £20 million we've got floating around in the wedding budget, so I'll be taking notes, of course.

Image via Notonthehighstreet.com

Wedding Wednesday

I've discovered a new loophole for daytime drinking, besides the obvious ones (brunch, tailgating, cruises). It's tasting wines for your wedding reception, an activity I didn't know existed before today and now count among my favorites. Actually, wedding planning in general has magically become something I love to do, now that people are beginning to RSVP and most of the big decisions have been made. It also helps that I swore off reading wedding blogs cold turkey (there are currently 388 wedding-related posts languishing in my Google Reader), because for some reason I was feeling overwhelmed by them.

Today's meeting at our reception venue went exceedingly well, and I don't think that's just the wine talking. I'm saving most of the wedding plans to share with you after it's all over (July 9th is the big day, by the way), at which point you'll be inundated with every little detail and many many pictures, but I will say our reception is being held at a restaurant around the corner from our apartment. Our meeting was with the manager and the head chef, and they were so flexible and accommodating that I left completely elated. They've prepared an incredible menu for us of food that promises to be more delicious and more exciting than any wedding food I've ever had, and on top of that, if somebody doesn't see anything they like, the chef will just, you know, make something else, no big deal. Oh, and they'll set the tables however we want, and they'll organize the flowers, and they'll load our favorite music into their sound system, and there's a piano there, and outdoor and indoor spaces, and we can stay as long as we want, and come any time beforehand to decorate. Also, they trust us, I guess, so they don't need a deposit (a strange and fascinating policy that seems to be held by most of the people we're dealing with about the wedding).

Oh, and when we asked about a fish they had on our wedding menu (that we've never had before), the chef took us back to the kitchen to show it to us, and it was so fresh it was still wriggling when he picked it up.

Yeah, I'm pretty excited.

Frohe Ostern!

It's been a nonstop, four-day vacation over here in Wien. CM had Friday through Monday off from work, so I've been pretending that his only job is to hang out with and entertain me. It's been going well. We've balanced indoor time of the lazy afternoon movie-watching variety with adventurous exploration time consisting of long walks (and a bike ride!) around parts of the city we don't know as well.

Yesterday we had friends over for Easter brunch, for which I made Mama Bossy's Braided Loaf (delicious as ever) and Smitten Kitchen's Spinach and Egg Strata (RECOMMEND). We bought good dark bread from our favorite bakery and laid out an assortment of cheeses, meats, spreads, and veggies. Nobody left hungry. I think this is my new favorite way to host brunch—one hot dish that can be prepared the night before, and everything else bought at the market. Oh, and our friend Laus will need to always be invited, because he makes the very best crispy bacon, and bacon is a must for brunch.

Since it's our first Easter here, we didn't know quite what to expect, but it turns out Austria does the usual basket/bunny routine. I even saw jelly beans in the store alongside the many chocolate eggs. I did take pictures of the few special holiday things that made it into our apartment.

Bunny buns from our bakery. The crunchy sugary ears were especially delicious.

Bunny cookies. Not nearly as yummy as they looked, sadly.

Our grocery store carried these dyed eggs in the case with the other eggs. I medium-boiled them to eat in cups at brunch. I couldn't remember ever seeing these in an American grocery store, but I love them!

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter!


Today I'm

LOVING my 6€ H&M sunglasses. I lost my signature green sunglasses somewhere around the end of last summer, and I haven't been able to bring myself to replace them. Until we got to Vegas, that is, where the sun was so bright I complained pretty much constantly about my lack of proper eyewear. I found the perfect pair at H&M yesterday! And, if I lose these ones, I won't be heartbroken because they were cheap cheap cheap.

CRAVING gelato. Non-stop. Except that CM tells me we're on a diet to be hot for the wedding, and he's "keeping me honest" by not caving into my Acme anvil-sized hints about stopping at every Zanoni & Zanoni we pass. My favorite thing to order at German ice cream cafés of my youth was the Spaghettieis, vanilla ice cream made to look like spaghetti, with strawberry sauce (marinara) and coconut or almonds (parmesan) on top. I'm obviously MUCH too sophisticated for that now (ahem), but maybe I'll sneak away this week for a cone when CM's at work.

Burggarten, Monday, 6:30pm

The problem with a 365 project (yes, I'm still doing that, if you can believe it) is the potential it has to take all joy and fun out of photography. You lug your camera around all day in the hopes of being inspired, and then all of a sudden you're on your way home at 11pm and you realize you haven't taken a picture yet that day. It's cold and windy, you're tired of photographing your same old neighborhood, and you settle for yet another half-hearted iPhone snap with a shake of the Hipstamatic app. Or (and maybe this is even worse), something catches your eye and you ARE inspired, so you take a few shots, decide at least one will be good enough, and then you immediately turn off your photographer's eye because you've already gotten your shot for the day. And before you know it, it's been a month since you really enjoyed being behind the lens.

If you're lucky, just when you get to that point, a change of season and a change of scenery will intervene, and you'll end up wandering through the Burggarten just before sunset to inconspicuously photograph strangers with your telephoto lens. And you'll remember why you started the project in the first place, to document this charmed year in your charmed life.

You'll walk away full to bursting with inspiration, and you won't be able to stop the sappy feelings that wash over you, like a deep love for the breadth of human experiences going on in just one park on just one night, and a desire to become both the young couple helping their toddler take her first steps, and the old couple sitting together on a park bench in companionable conversation.

You might even go back for more the very next evening.


Today I'm

LOVING the apple and fennel salad from Jaleo in DC. No, we're not there, but I found the recipe and made it tonight, and it was fab (even if I haven't quite mastered the art of the mandolin slicer). I served it with good bread, Spanish cheeses, and a pile of Serrano ham. It's going to be the perfect go-to on days too hot for the oven.

CRAVING a belt to go with my bicycle dress. I'm planning to wear it for our engagement photo shoot(!) next week, and it needs a little extra something. Every single belt I own is black, apparently, so it's time for a new one. Any recommendations? I'll be wearing these new shoes that I picked up at DSW while we were in Vegas.

Right place, right time

One of the best weeks in recent memory ended with an epic journey: from Vegas to Chicago, 4 hours in the Hilton at the airport, from Chicago to New York, 4 hours wandering bleary-eyed through Manhattan, New York to Vienna, and what felt like 4 hours of dragging our suitcases home from the airport (but was actually more like 1 hour). Let me say, we are very happy to be home. I get to stay here about 3 weeks this time, but I'm settling in like it's my job.

I'm home in Vienna at just the exactly right time. Our week in Vegas was hot hot hot (not that we cared, as the sun did nothing to detract from our enjoyment of our adorable niece, whose picture you will all be tiring of soon, I think), and our few hours in New York coincided with ugly, cold, wet, MISERABLE weather. We actually left and went to JFK early, just so we could get out of the mess.

Vienna, on the other hand, is like an advertisement for itself, all tulips and blooming trees and sunshine. Everyone's out enjoying the weather, and all the good things about this city are even better. The parks! The benches! The outdoor cafés! The gelato! It would be hard not to be in a good mood, despite the jet lag and the all-over body soreness.

So, I won't be wasting nearly so much time sleeping as I usually do. Instad I'll be spending as much time outside as possible, reading on park benches, exploring on a Citybike, taking long walks with CM, and throwing our windows wide open.

Spring in Vienna. What could be better?

Oh, and LOOK!

Happy happy weekend!

I'm gearing up for the weekend in a big way, are you? Tomorrow's the HD Broadcast of Comte Ory (get thee to a movie theater!), and by the time it's over, CM will be here! We're seeing Mike Birbiglia tomorrow night, and then getting on a plane Sunday morning to go meet our beautiful new niece. So many exciting things happening, I don't even know what I'm most looking forward to. Oh, wait. Yes I do. I GET TO SEE CAMERAMAN TOMORROW!!!!!


Just in case you won't be spending your weekend mooning around gazing lovingly into your fiancé's eyes like I will, here are some links:

The talented Shanna Murray makes a monthly calendar for your computer desktop. April's is gorgeous.

I'm very excited about the Houston Ballet's new building, right across the street from the Opera.

I am completely in love with the new blog London vs. Paris. Such beautiful images.

This week I watched The Man Who Knew Too Much with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day. Have you seen it? I loved it!

Have you ever had uni? It's sea urchin, and it's my new favorite thing to order in sushi restaurants. It tastes like nothing else I've ever eaten. Try it!

While I was home in Oregon with my folks, I took dozens of pictures of their extremely photogenic cats. This is Goldie. In a box.

Hope your weekend is filled with reunions, laughter, and outdoor cafe seating! xoxo LMB

Bossy Book Club

Since the show opened, I've had far more of this lovely thing called time. Also energy. I've been experimenting with various ways of using up said time and energy, and what's been appealing to me the most lately has been reading, preferably while eating soup. (One advantage a Kindle has over a regular book is that soup can very easily be cleaned off the screen. I'm not even joking.) I've read a few books recently that I have adored, and I thought you might like to know about them so that you can read them, too.

Just Kids by Patti Smith
I'll be honest with you, I wasn't completely clear on who Patti Smith was when I started reading this book. I had a hazy "rock legend" impression of her, and a quick perusal of her Wikipedia site revealed that I had actually heard some of her songs, but I wasn't driven to read her book because of a great love of her music or anything. A friend I trust recommended the book, so I bought it. And just loved it. I was inspired by how generous Smith was to the people she wrote about, and so forgiving to all who have crossed her path. She's also a simply beautiful writer. Read this, I think you'll be inspired, too. Also, here is a picture of her at Comte Ory opening. How cool is that?

Spousonomics by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson
This book sounds like it's going to be dry and boring; it's all about using economics theories to improve every aspect of your marriage. It turned out to be completely engaging, fascinating, and most of all, funny. Also, we (CM read it too) learned things that will have actual practical applications in our marriage, like how to divide household chores, and how to, er, keep the passion alive, if you know what I mean. You can also learn lots on the Spousonomics blog.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
Oh, I love memoirs. I will probably never write one, due to my happy, uneventful childhood and subsequent happy, uneventful adulthood (also because I have a terrible memory and never kept a journal), but reading them gives me great joy. And this is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. The storytelling is gripping and the pacing is impeccable. I want to visit the author's restaurant, but mostly I just want to be best friends with her. (Gabrielle, call me.)

What books have you enjoyed lately? I'm always taking suggestions.

Incidentally, I think I can cross off a list item!

89. Get in the habit of reading non-fiction.

Happy weekend!

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but you won't catch me hibernating this weekend. Tonight I'm seeing the final dress rehearsal of a new Broadway show, tomorrow's Comte Ory #3 (speaking of which, have you bought your HD tickets for April 9th yet?), and Sunday I'm hearing Die Schöne Müllerin at Alice Tully Hall. It's my last full weekend in New York until the fall! What do you have planned?

Besides checking out these links, that is:

The third issue of Matchbook is here! I'm officially obsessed. And be sure to check out their Tumblr in between issues.

My camera travels in style in this bag (in black). Now I'm craving this one so my laptop doesn't feel left out.

What do you think about the new nytimes.com paywall? I'm reserving judgment (but hoping the price goes down).

I always love WWII movies, and I heartily recommend the Dutch film Winter in Wartime. See it if it's playing near you.

I've watched this video at least once a day this week. (You're welcome.)

CM gets here a week from tomorrow, and I can hardly breathe from waiting impatiently. He's been working hard on our wedding website, and he put together a gallery of photos of us. I love this one, and it seems appropriate now that baseball season has officially started.

Hope your weekend is filled with sunshine, negronis, and brunch with people you love! xoxo LMB


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