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The set up was beautiful!
Long time no write! So, it's been a while and things have been beyond hectic and I'm so glad that it's settling out a bit and I'm really ready to get back to writing. Brent's 40th surprise party and trip were a total success and I'll get the post up about Belize soon but for now I'm ready to tell you about a great experience I had a while back at Beet's Cafe! I took a cooking class there that I had auctioned on while at the Umlauf Garden party which I posted about here (an awesome event by the way).  I can't remember the exact name of the class but it was basically an intro class into raw cooking.  I don't eat an exclusively raw diet but I do enjoy the food and how it makes me feel, so wanted to learn a few techniques.
 
 
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I look like I'm a pro at least.
Well, lately I've decided/ been pushed a little into the sport of golf. It only makes sense as I'm taking over the running of mine and Brent's business, Eye Caddie. So since I need to know a bit more about the sport I've acquired some clubs, got some super cute golf outfits, and the all important pink golf shoes and I'm ready to go. Timing worked out perfectly because Young Executives partnered with Grey Rock and had a special golfing event Friday night.  Young Execs got to play some golf at a special rate and then head to the clubhouse for some live music, food, and drinks.
 
 
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One of my favorite wedding pictures.
Brent and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary last Friday and had so much fun! Since my blog is kind of like my diary you all are going to be exposed to it, like it or not! If you want to see the wedding, click here.
So first of all we agreed to not exchange presents this year. Brent kept asking over and over to make sure I didn't even get him a card and I didn't because I thought we had agreed. Needless to say that he sent me a beautiful bouquet of tulips to my work, which are my favorite flower of all time. Getting the flowers to me ended up being a bit of a fiasco...
 
 
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Mike (Left), Jonathan (Center), Rachel (Right)
The day after our excellent dining experience at Charlie Trotter's, which I posted about here, we were treated, compliments of Chef Trotter, to a lunch at Trotter's To Go. We were beyond delighted to continue in our Chicago adventure and taste more of what Charlie's team had to offer. We were given an address and told what time to be there and we had no idea what to expect. I knew a little about Trotter's To Go and expected maybe a picnic lunch packed for us to take to the park... what a silly girl I am sometimes.
 
 
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A Chef, Brent, Laura, Charlie Trotter
I am no doubt the luckiest girl in the world.. at least in terms of the husband I ended up marrying. So, oh, about four years ago I read this book called Lessons in Service by Charlie Trotter. My GM at Eddie V's requested I read it since I was delving into a new career as a restaurant manager.  I started reading the book and simply became enthralled by it. I loved this man Charlie! I loved his concept on food, how he treated his employees, the importance of a great diner experience, and most importantly his desire to give back to his community. I simply can't capture all of my feelings about his concepts in words, you really just have to read the book. Whether you are a "foodie" or not, I highly recommend it. I would literally get off work at 3am and come home excited to read a few more chapters before dozing off.  It was amazing.
After reading his book I desperately wanted to go eat at Chef Trotter's restaurant and discussed with Brent my excitement and hopes, but oh, where to begin? In  learning about his restaurant, Charlie Trotter's, I knew I would have to plan out pretty far in advance to ever eat there, for two reasons: 1) It is expensive and 2) some people literally make their reservations years in advance. I truly desired to go but as with some goals in life, the memory faded as I was engulfed in my own fast-paced restaurant life.  I never totally forgot about that dream but in going back to work for the State, it wasn't exactly something my "public heath" feel good job could afford.
 
 
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Pickled beets with goat cheese, chives, and candied pecans. Catering source, unknown but it was delish.
Last week I had my first opportunity to attend the annual Umlauf Sculpture Garden Party. It was beautiful. I had actually never even been to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden before and I can't believe I've waited this long to go. After attending this event I can completely see the draw in holding your wedding there. The backdrop, during this time of year, is a lush green garden with a delightfully gurgling stream running through to a beautiful pond. Pepper in a few statues and an amazing, romantic setting is complete. In regards to the party, it is often compared to La Dolce Vita. I've attended both now and I have to say that the Umlauf event is my new favorite. La Dolce Vita, though a highly regarded event, is just a little too busy and the Garden Party was a bit more intimate, which I truly enjoyed. Both are truly lovely though. Now, on to the nibbles....
 
 
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Gerber Daisies for Baby G's shower! (I bought them but the G correlation was unintentional. Does this mean I subconsciously smart? Hmm, maybe.)
My day started late, and once it started it didn't stop!  Family "G" is having a baby and a delightful baby shower was held at Blue Dahlia. (I've talked about Blue Dahlia before here and here.)  This was a perfect setting for a small gathering and we sat in the back courtyard. I enjoyed that the shower was intimate enough that it gave me a chance to meet new people and catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a while. There was only one activity and it was really cute. We all painted on onesies for the baby and it was a great way for some to let out there creative juices. My onesie resulted in nothing but a big, green, G. Perfect for my caliber of painting talent (another unintentional G correlation on my part G for green, I'm a subconscious g-g-genius I tell you!)
 
 
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Birthday dinner #1
Well, due to bad weather and flight cancellations, Brent and I did not make it to NYC for my birthday weekend. By an amazing act from a higher power, we were refunded for both my non-refundable plane ticket and our seemingly non-refundable Broadway tickets to go see Wicked.
While I was initially disappointed, I think it all worked out for the best given the yucky weather in New York and my Texas girl inability to really deal with 20 degree weather.
All that being said.. the picture below shows how my weekend started and how Brent more than salvaged the weekend!
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Mile 18 and look at the confident, beaming smile!
My friend Lupe ran the Austin ATT marathon this year. I'm just so unbelievably proud of her and the fact that she trained for this on her own and did so great! The most I have ever run is a half marathon and Lupe's great accomplishment has inspired me, once again, to attempt the feat. Did you know that less than 1 percent of the population completes a marathon? Go Lupe!
 
 
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I went to my first honest to goodness pig show last week in San Antonio. My nephew, Nick, is in high school and came to town to show is pig so I thought it would be a good opportunity to spend some time with my family and see what this FFA business was all about. 
This was quite an experience for me to say the least. I felt I was walking into this event with all the knowledge I needed since I watch Toddlers and Tiaras and I figured this was no different than a people beauty pageant, except for the fact that it was pigs. For the most part, I was right, but I didn't take into consideration that you should watch where you step and I quickly learned that nine west boots + pig poop = unhappy Laura Louise Lane. Within minutes of my arrival I stepped in a small pile and ran out of the pig pen squealing just like all the other little piggies trying to get out!