so long 2012..

2111-O-St.-Condo-Street-View

What a year.  For me, 2012 had some good and some bad.

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Pepperoni-rolls
 
Every year, a flurry of baking and frying occurs at my parent's house the days before Christmas.
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raleigh guide

Shop-eat-drink-raleigh
Thirteen years ago, I moved to Washington, DC from Raleigh, NC.  I had just returned from living in Spain for a year.   I found Raleigh frustrating.  There wasn't a walkable downtown and there weren't many unique restaurants and bars.

Things have certainly changed!  Over the holidays, I had the opportunity to enjoy some of the new (to me) places that populate the NC capital.  

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riveting rooms

Mantel-xmas-2012
As I type, the kitchen has been commandeered by my Uncle and Dad.  They are knee deep in Christmas Eve party prep:  making pepperoni rolls, breading the fish to fry, making lasagna and squid soup. I'm in the living room..out of the way.  

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latest and greatest

Latest-and-greatest-decemeber

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the coffee bar

Tcb
On Monday, I was meeting clients to complete a final walk through and I stumbled upon a new coffee shop.

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novel novels

Novel-novels-decemeber

I can't resist a historical romance.  They're easy to read, you learn something (get your mind out of the gutter!) and they're highly entertaining.

I first read the Outlander series when I was in high school.  I've taken to re-reading them whenever I can't find something decent to read.  Claire and Jaime, the protagonists, are engaging and likable.  I always want to see what sort of adventures they're having.  There's time travel, war, life in the French court under Louis, and immigration to the colonies.  I rarely re-read anything but these novels charm me again and again.

Shadowy Horses, the latest from Susanna Kearsley, is another engaging novel. Set in the Scottish borderlands, it's about the discovery of the resting place of the legendary Ninth Roman Legion.  It's a mix of archaeology, history, romance, suspense and a little super natural.  It's immediately absorbing.

 

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riveting rooms

Straw wreath

I finally found this years inspiration for decorating my parent's house.  How adorable is this wreath made out of straws?   It's a DIY project which scares me a little.  I'm wondering if it's going to be one of those projects that 5 minutes into it, I'm going to say "WHY did I think this was a good idea?"  But it's so striking I can't resist giving it a whirl!
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friday favorites

Holiday-mart
I'm so happy it's Friday.  This week has been busy. There's been a lot of running around, holiday parties and work.  All good things but I'm ready for the weekend. Even though the weekend means more work!  

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‘hood happenings

Hood-happenings-dec
links and photos top to bottom: Daily Candy DC, CJDC, POP, Borderstan

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Brownies
When I saw this recipe on Cup of Joe, I immediately pinned it.  I'm obsessed with salted caramel.  It's the perfect flavor combo: salty and sweet.  I love salted caramel ice cream, I buy them by the handful from the Cork Market, and I've never sampled a chocolate salted caramel bar that I didn't enjoy.  I made these brownies for my Dirty Santa party and they were a huge hit.  They are delicious, easy and people will think you're a master baker.

A tiny secret:  you can make this with a brownie box mix and get the same results!   

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dirty santa

Dirty-santa
Every year, my girlfriends and I have a "Dirty Santa" party.  What's that, you say? A nefarious party with a foul mouthed santa?  Nope..nothing that tantalizing.  It's just a funny name for a gift exchange.  

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