Croissants and Morning Buns

Greetings from L.A.! Oops, I mean Wisconsin. With the fabulous run of 65+ degree days and abundant sunshine we’ve been enjoying, I’ve forgotten both which month and which state I’m living in. The practical part of me knows that we’re due for at least one more snowstorm before spring arrives. The rest of me is perfectly happy to ignore the calendar and pull out the flip flops.

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with one of these little C’est La Vie posts, a little series where I share life happenings and fun finds that, for one reason or another, don’t make it into my regular recipe posts. When I reflected on the past few weeks, a clear theme emerged: how blessed I am by the relationships I’ve formed here in Milwaukee.

When we moved to Milwaukee, me working alone from home, I was scared of being lonely. Now, two and a half years later, I can’t imagine my life without the wonderful friends I’ve made since we arrived. From quality time with girlfriends, to assembling silent auction items with a volunteer group, to book club, to the party of eight that gathered at our house for a dinner party on Saturday night, the moments I shared with friends over the past week filled my heart with joy and gratitude. From new girlfriends, to old college friends, to the guy who wrote this post, I have so many relationships for which to be thankful.

I’m also thankful for one man who left my life far too soon, my dad. If he were still alive, today would be his 56th birthday. We lost him suddenly almost 11 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. I like to think that he is able to see glimpses of (and maybe even has played a role in) the joy I’ve found, especially the past year.

Whew. That was a WAY LONG intro to what this post is usually about: fun new things I’m loving and think that you will too! Thanks for bearing with me. Here’s what has my attention lately.

Most popular recipe on my site right now: Strawberry Oatmeal Bars.

Favorite recipe I’ve made lately: Everything we ate on Saturday night! Ben and I cooked dinner for eight, and it was an all–Ina Garten menu. Her recipes are my go-to for dinner parties because they turn out well every time. We served Brisket with Onions and Leeks and Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes from Cooking for Jeffrey and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta from Foolproof. This was my first-ever time cooking brisket (milestone!), and it was??.

Upcoming recipe I’m most excited to share: Guinness Brownies.

On this week’s dinner menu: All things leftover brisket. The 7 pounds we roasted on Saturday turned out to be a little overzealous. This post had a few great ideas. Brisket grilled cheese? Brisket tacos? Brisket bruschetta? So many tasty possibilities.

Smitten with: This ridiculously adorable stapler. I’m going to start stapling things, just so I have an excuse to get one!

Also: This baking pan. So unnecessary, yet so pretty. This one is super cute too.

Cannot stop singing: This song, to the extent that the smartly dressed woman who pulled up beside me at a red light in her equally smart sedan gaped openly, then started giggling. What can I say? When the moment calls for an all-out car karaoke session, I answer.

Reading: Sweet Salt Air. It’s easy, sweet, and girly so far. I also just finished the audio version of Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo and really enjoyed it, especially since Amy narrates it herself. Disclaimer: if you aren’t a fan of Amy’s rather…informal sense of humor, then I wouldn’t recommend this book. If you already like her humor, you’ll likely enjoy this too.

Splurged on: A NEW DESK CHAIR. I cannot even express how happy this purchase (maybe investment is a better word?) is making me. It felt lavish to be spendy on a chair, but after months of dealing with hip and back pain, I knew I needed an upgrade.

Wearing: This shirt, for pretty much any occasion. I have it in burgundy and may order a second (or third) color. It’s comfy, flattering, and easy to dress up or down.

Eating: Croissants (and crepes and anything else on the menu) at this new Milwaukee French cafe. I went for brunch with the girls this weekend, and it revived a pastry addiction I haven’t experienced so strongly since we were in Paris. Yesterday, under the guise of running errands, I picked up the midday snack pictured at the top of this post.

Geeking out over: The dynamic pairing of two of my favorite nerds, Bill Nye and Alton Brown.

Missing: My loving dad. Today and every day. Happy Birthday!