Celebrations + Obessions

Hi friends! It's been a while, no? Looks like I've already broken two of my goals for 2011: Blog at least three times weekly and get down to my goal weight by April 1st. But, like any not-so-self-aware girl would, I've got excuses for both:

1. As for the weight, I'm in training for my second half marathon, and I simply do not lose weight during training. Reasons for the lack of weight loss are that running more makes you more hungry (duh). Also, I've all but dropped my strength-training routine while in half-mary training, and having less muscle means I'm burning fewer calories at rest than I normally am. I mean, I'm only like two pounds away from my goal weight right now, so I'm not worried. I'd rather focus on increasing my speed and endurance than losing a couple vanity pounds. Running first, weight loss second.

2. As for the lack of blog posts, I have had an incredibly busy seven days! Last Thursday I hopped a plane to Ohio, where I spent the weekend visiting family and celebrating my friend Lauren's bachelorette party. I also celebrated my 26th birthday (or as I call it, the downward slope to 30) on Monday in the best way possible: At the Milwaukee Brewers' Opening Day! I love baseball and I love the Brewers, so this was the perfect way to celebrate.... even though they lost.

So, I mean, cut me some slack, folks. I'm an old lady now thats I'm 26, and I'll be back on target soon.

As I mentioned above, I spent a few days in Ohio over the weekend. I was able to see my family and all my girlfriends from college, so I was one happy girl. My friend's bachelorette party was in Columbus, where I lived for a year right after college. I had mixed feelings driving into the city, because I had both great and not-so-great memories there, but once I arrived in the Short North district, I felt instantly happy to be back.

Columbus' Short North is a totally hip, completely "me" neighborhood. It reminds me a little of Milwaukee's East Side, or even the neighborhood where I'll be moving to next month: Bay View. It's lined with eclectic boutique shops, so many awesome antique/vintage stores, delicious restaurants and ultra-cool bars. I wish I would have taken advantage of that scene a lot more while I lived there!

The Short North is also home to one of the Columbus restaurants I've missed the most since my move (...almost THREE years ago!): Northstar Cafe. I used to frequent that place a lot in my day, and not only does it have some of the best vegetarian fare I've tried, but just some of the freshest, tastiest food, period. Plus, it happens to be owned by someone from my hometown, so that's a great bonus! My hands-down favorite thing on Northstar Cafe's menu is their Sweet Basil Burrito. I've craved that thing since the day I left, so I had to make a stop to eat one before I met up with the girls.

This behemoth of a burrito is served with crisp tortilla chips and super-fresh salsa. I used to be able to polish it all off in one sitting, but it took me a total of three days to take down this bad boy last weekend (And, yes, I ate almost half of it about 5 seconds after I got back in my car).
The tortilla is stuffed to the gills with rice, caramelized onions, sweet red pepper, lettuce a creamy basil pesto and either tofu or chicken - on Friday, I chose tofu. It was a good choice.

After experiencing the bliss of Northstar's Sweet Basil Burrito once again, I went for a walk around the neighborhood. Right next door to the restaurant is one of the cutest little home-goods boutiques I have ever been in: Old World New Home. This place is like someone took a peak at my Pinterest boards and opened a store based exactly on what I love. Essentially, it's like an Anthropologie home shop, but cheaper and more authentic. I was in love, but so, so sad that I flew to Ohio so I couldn't take anything home with me to our new house. But luckily, I was filled with a ton of inspiration, and could easily recreate a lot of what I saw myself - more DIY projects!

Here are just a few things I spotted that I was lusting after (please don't mind the poor-quality iPhone photos):
[Uhhh.... don't mind my finger in the shot, here. DERP.]

[Probably my favorite item in the store - but SOLD. Drat!!]

[Totally stealing this wooden-window-frame-and-fabric  idea]
[The mirrored door, the old trunk, the floor lamp and even that green chandelier in the reflection - love!]

[This amazing buffet would look perfect in our "French" room]

[Farm tables get me EVERY time. So does anything in that beautiful teal color. Swooning over the entire tablescape.]
Sigh.... the store was so perfectly shabby chic and eclectic. 100% my cup of tea. Can someone PLEASE open a place like this in Milwaukee???

I will spare you the down-and-dirty details about the rest of the weekend (what happens in Columbus stays in Columbus - isn't that how it goes??) but rest assured it was a blast, I was exhausted on the plane ride home and it was so amazing to see the girls again - I miss them so much!

So, the rest of this month and next is so incredibly full of fun things I'll try my hardest to keep you all updated on all of them. Spring is always the busiest time of year for me, and just add buying a house to the list, and you can guess just how frantic things will be the next few weeks.... in a good way! :)

Have you moved from somewhere and miss something special where you used to live? What's your favorite thing in your old stomping grounds?

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