Monday, September 30, 2013

my sort-of unplugged weekend

This post is going to be full of Houston food stuff, so if you are neither from Houston nor a lover of interesting food, scroll down a ways for my thoughts on being kind-of unplugged this weekend (also, what are you doing here? Kidding.)

So I attempted to be unplugged from the time I left work on Friday through the weekend. My rules to myself were pretty loose: I just wanted to get away from having my phone in my hand every free second. In the first ten minutes of the experiment, I noticed a building near my office had been painted and wondered where to look after giving the homeless guy on the corner a polite half smile while waiting at a red light. Also my friend texted me a pic of her and Zachary Levi in NYC and I wanted to check his twitter to see what he was doing there but I didn't let myself (I asked her and apparently he is starring in a play there that is great. Any other Chuck fans?). So I was missing social media already.

There's a pastry chef working in Houston who sells all of his interestingly-flavored ice creams to upscale restaurants in the area. His business is called Cloud 10 Creamery. Well, he opened a shop last week so naturally we had to be among the first to try it after work on Friday. It was fantastic. I took pictures but could not tweet them. I got a cup with cafe sua da, toasted rice, and nutella with marshmallows (my favorite was the cafe sua da); Andrew got a banana split that had nutella powder. It was a magical powder that tasted like nutella. There was also jam and magic shell in it and honestly, I just need to get it into my life again. Luckily for Bre we were texting Friday and I told her about it so she experienced it this weekend, too. I know because I still checked Instagram. I am looking for any excuse to go back and try the maple butter flavor, so Houston friends, who needs an ice cream fix? The shop was small but really cute, the soundtrack was louder top 40 songs, the staff was generous with samples, and the prices were definitely reasonable for ice cream shop ice cream.

Can you see all that awesome Nutella powder? No words...

On Saturday, I needed to get myself back on track, fitness-wise. I got to the gym just as BodyPump was about to begin. I had always been too nervous to try it but I felt like I should and have heard it was a great workout. I walked in and two really nice women helped me get out everything I would need and set up a bar for me with 5 lbs on each side since I told them I didn't lift weights regularly. It was the first day of this class (each class is done for three months before they switch it up), so songs and some of the moves were new to everyone. I made it through the class pretty well and wished I had pushed myself farther with heavier weights. Then four hours later my arms felt heavy and on Sunday, it hurt to sit down. So I would say it was an awesome workout. I will definitely try it again!

We had plans to go to dinner Saturday night at Oxheart. If you have been reading for any amount of time, then you're probably thinking "Again??" and honestly, I was too, but it isn't the #1 restaurant in Houston for nothing (read about previous trips here and here). I got the four course garden (vegetarian) menu with wine pairings and Andrew got the seven course tasting menu without wine. Our waitress is the same one who has been with us the past two times and recognizes us by now. She let Andrew try two of the wines that came with his meal at no charge. I like to think it's because we are good customers but really, I think it's because Oxheart is that great of a place. My Thai-spiced potato dish and Andrew's chicken guinea hen with crispy chicken skin and creme fraiche wrapped in squash were my favorite dishes of the night (I went into this weird laugh-almost-cry thing when I took a bite. It was so good I didn't know how to react!). We had a great time. This is the kind of restaurant where the tables are really close together and you can hear your neighbors' conversations and both tables talked about the Book of Manning special that was on ESPN last week. We of course watched it and wanted to chime in but used our manners and didn't. Pretty funny coincidence, though.

New potatoes under those leaves with Thai spices and yogurt sauce | Roasted and fried okra with pimento sauce | oyster mushroom "stew" with sauerkraut (also on tasting menu) | sourdough muffins (shared) | chocolate layer cake with pear gelee

Muscadine grapes with jelly and bay leaf | Eggplant with smoked avocado and crunchy quinoa | all you need to know is that there is three egg sauce and I would like to bathe in it | best bite: described above | pancake with beef fat served with roasted butternut squash | peach tart with frozen peach mousse

Sunday was a bum day and it was perfect. Since I was home, I gave into the temptation of social media. Preceding about 11 a.m. Sunday, I had only kept up with Instagram, mostly while brushing my teeth. I perused Twitter one night before bed, but stopped after a few minutes and didn't make myself catch up as I am normally inclined to do. I tried to make a conscious effort to skim over tweets from entities that weren't important at that moment (I had no desire to go out and catch up with any food trucks, for example, so I skipped those). And before I picked up my phone, I thought twice about it. Had I touched it in the past fifteen minutes? If yes, then I tried to do something else. I was really able to see that I use it as a crutch and I am not taking enough time in my own head. It was nice to be away, but I missed the community and interaction that comes naturally with being connected. It just makes me think twice, that's all. It was something I needed to do for me and I'm glad I did. I definitely recommend a short break if you are ever feeling the same way.

Now, how about that Breaking Bad finale? I thought it was fantastic - I like my finales all neatly tied up in the end, personally!

Linking up with Sami and Leeann!


  1. I did not stay on top of FB like I normally do this weekend. I kept up regularly with IG. Twitter I normally forget about so that's nothing new!

    That ice cream looks AMAZING.

    Fabulous job at Body Pump!

  2. I have greatly reduced my use of social media this year. I realized how much of it was unnecessary. My Twitter friends will get through their evening without hearing what I ordered at a restaurant. Same with Instagram - do I really need to photograph every little thing in the hopes of getting a few "hearts"?

  3. I could always use an ice cream fix! I've been nervous to try body pump too! Mainly because I just need someone to go with me the first time and then I'll know what to do after that so good for you for trying it out!

  4. Me and Gabby loved our ice cream so much we couldn't even stop to take pictures. All I have is the cloud 10 signage and the sign of the nutella ice cream. They had just made the waffle cones. Omg omg omg. They were making some ice cream sandwiches too that I can't wait to try. So glad we swapped numbers for texting :)

  5. All of these different food combos sound so interesting! And that is awesome about the free wine :) I'm drooling over your icecream pictures too, haha! I try to stay unplugged over the weekend too. But, this weekend I was pretty bad with re-tweeting emergency kitten pictures. Haha!

  6. Food...Yummy...Is it lunchtime yet? Sometimes unplugging, even just a little, is a great break!

  7. I think I need Nutella powder in my life!

    Isn't it amazing how much you notice when you are not on your phone? I was talking to a friend of mine about this, and you miss so much when you are on your phone always. Although, waiting has become a whole lot easier with all of the stuff you can do on your phone!

  8. cograts on going unplugged! i need to follow your lead. also, i want that magical nutella powder.

  9. Nutella powder, say what?! All that food sounds great! It is good to unplug even if it is more so just spending less time on it.

  10. Wow! All of that food and the ice cream looks and sounds like heaven. I need to try Oxheart next time I'm in Screwston. LOL Eggplant with smoked avocado? Um yes.
    We are bad at Eavesdropping too and we sat very close to other people this weekend as well!

    Glad you unplugged a bit, but also glad you still enjoyed Instagram. It's my fave! :)

  11. Yay for unplugging! And even bigger yay for that meal. I'm still not sure that I'm adventurous enough for Oxheart, but I want to be!!

  12. I look at my phone when homeless people beg at the lights, too. It's so uncomfortable. I'm so very curious about that ice cream place, I really want to try it! And very proud of your unplugged weekend. It was kinda weird to check Twitter and not see anything from you! And way to go on body pump. That class will do wonders. My mom did it regularly for a while and was in the best shape!

  13. I am totally down for an ice cream trip! I saw that on Bre's instagram and now I'm dying to go! Let's plan it!

  14. Yay - you unplugged and I feel like I need to now. I've wondered what it would feel like if I unplugged after 5pm each day for a week? It's gross to think of how much I am on a computer. Boo me.

    The food looks delicious! Yummm.

  15. I need to unplug too girl. Great job for being back on the fitness. I love all of the pictures, especially Eggplant with smoked avocado and crunchy quinoa - that is a way to have the best of both worlds, delicious and healthy!


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