29 April 2009


i am officially declaring hump day "what's cooking wednesdays", or wcw for short.  as i posted about {a lot} last week, i am trying really hard to make myself a homecooked meal at least once a week {preferably twice a week}.  this is not only to save a little cash in this crap-tastic economy, but because it's healthier and generally a helluva lot tastier than anything the restaurants around here can whip up.  so wcw starts today.  {p.s. i realize that the following does not involve cooking a meal for me, per se, but deal with it.} 

once a month at work, someone brings in some sort of dessert and our office gathers around the upstairs conference table to celebrate all of the co-workers' birthdays during that month. i volunteered to bake for the month of may, which means in a little over a week, i have got to wow the colleagues.

the problem is, i'm having trouble deciding between three recipes. this is where you come in. i need your votes on which nom nom to make. or, if you think all of these are tote grody, by all means, chime in with a recipe of your own liking. here are the current candidates and my reasoning for/against each:

whew say that five times fast! i heart the flavor combination of lemon and blueberry and i have THE most adorable bundt cake pan that makes the cake look like a sunflower. it also got great reviews. that said, i'm not sure this is a crowd-pleaser...people tend to like frosting.

i heart coconut. i heart lime. i heart cupcakes. so going strictly based on what i like to eat, these are the frontrunners. it just seems so summery! but i worry about people not liking coconut...

another flava-flav combo that i heart. but there are people in our office who don't like chocolate {weirdos}.

so what are your thoughts? i'm leaning towards the cupcakes out of selfishness, but i could use an outside opinion. any other suggestions? help me!!

28 April 2009

where have you been all my life?!

so i realize that this post admits that i am severely stuck in the 20th century when it comes to underpinnings, but so be it.

i have never really cared that much about underwear...panties, to be specific {you will NEVER hear me use that word again. it creeps me out}. i am very teeny with big boobs, so most of my underpinnings attention has been focused on finding the perfect bra. while i am still on the hunt, i have found one or two that do the job quite nicely. so i figured it was time to head south and find something equally pretty and functional for the other half of my underwear-wearing needs.

as luck would have it, i won a pair of hanky pankys at a bridal shower a few weeks ago. they were the prize for my embarrassing knowledge of celebrity couple gossip. i'm not proud of it, but at least it comes in handy sometimes :) anyhoo, this morning is the first time wearing them. and i am in LOVE!

why have i never purchased these before? i've heard other people talk about them, but i guess i always thought my trusty vicki's secret undies did their job. WRONG. hanky pankys are better. and worth their almost $20 price tag. they are so comfy and zexxy! i will be heading to my local lingerie store and stocking up ASAP. if you are like me and yet to make this discovery, i encourage you to purchase your first pair, post haste!!
on a separate note, i am apologizing in advance for what will be my lack of posts this week. i am extremely busy at work. i promise to be back in full force next week, hopefully with a drawer full of $100 worth of new undies :)

happy tuesday, chickadees!

24 April 2009

let the fun begin!!!

le squeal! i am so excited that i am squirming in my seat!! this afternoon i leave for that paradise that is charlottesville, virginia and my alma mater, THE university. tomorrow is that most glorious of college holidays, the foxfield races, and so, dear readers, i offer you a weekend preview, in pictures. try not to be jealous. tomorrow i will be:

watching this {maybe}

drinking {a lot} of this

feasting on this

wearing this {so much cuter in person, i swear}

and enjoying this.

i hope your weekend plans hold half as much fun as mine do. happy friday, chickadees!

23 April 2009

aaaah, spring

so i complain about my strange work schedule to anyone who will listen, but this time of year, i secretly really enjoy it. i work sundays 5-9pm {that part i will ALWAYS hate}, monday-thursday 1-9pm, and friday 8:30-1pm. in addition to the fact that my weekend starts early always a plus, i love my monday-thursday schedule because it allows me to take advantage of two things i love:

a) a quiet office and
b) mornings!

i get soooo much more work done on my crazy schedule, because i'm not constantly dealing with a barrage of phone calls, e-mails, and visits from co-workers and students. also, i don't have to listen to/deal with/look at tg. bonus! i get 3-4 hours alone in my office every night and it goes by so quickly. also, i can online shop and play web sudoku without fear of my boss coming in behind me and surprising me.

i am also one of those super annoying, perky morning people. an ex-boyfriend who i've remained close friends with and i still believe that the underlying reason we couldn't make it work is that he is basically a vampire and doesn't really become functional about 2pm, whereas i am up by 5:30am, ready to roll. with crazy schedule, i can wake up early, do a work-out, take the puppy boy for a walk, make myself a nice breakfast AND lunch, and laze about the house or in the yard until 1pm.
or do what i did today: catch up on movies. i joined the year 2009 and finally watched slumdog millionaire. i'm no film critic, so i can't speak to whether or not it deserved all those oscars, but i loved this little movie. i'm not sure i'll ever watch it again, because the abject poverty those children live in is very real and very upsetting, but it was worth sitting through it for the last 30 seconds of the movie. when he kisses her scar, i. MELTED. literally, just became a crying pool of yoga pants and self-tanner. have y'all seen it? what did you think?
happy college friday, buttercups!

22 April 2009

how could i forget?!

in my new hair product fervor, i completely forgot it's earth day! since there is a bleeding heart liberal dirt hippie carefully hidden beneath my j.crew blonde faux straight hair exterior, this is an exciting holiday {not really on the excitement part, but i like an excuse to celebrate. mini chile relleno casseroles and albarino tonight! par-tay!}

in honor of earth day, instead of boring you with anecdotes about all the things i do to stop global warming and shrink my carbon footprint, i thought i would share some pretty pictures :) these are the lovely azaleas in my parents' yard. they just bloomed this weekend, and as you can see, my daddy has quite the green thumb. yet another sign that spring is here!

a retraction

i would like to extend my apologies to the hair gods i bitched about yesterday. it turns out that this new smoothing creme is actually quite good. it made my hair super soft and i'm sure i'm the only one who will notice this it made my hair look more naturally i just rolled out of bed looking this fabulous straight, as opposed to my normal faux beat into submission straight. maybe they're trying to throw me a bone? either way, i can't stop touching my hair today because it's so shiny and soft!

i'm still mourning the loss of thermasilk, though. don't think you're back in my good graces just yet, hair gods. figure out a way to make keratase a) cost less and b) be sold somewhere closer than an hour of lexington and we will be in business.


21 April 2009

dear hair gods,

it is apparent that you hate me. first off, you cursed me with naturally curly hair. not pretty sjp, emmy rossum, nicole kidman curls. white trash, limp, frizzy curls. nice. it seemed like you felt bad about that since you blessed me with a beautiful platinum blonde color, but alas, that started to turn more of a mousy straw blonde halfway through college. so yeah...thanks for the hundreds of dollars i spend every other month to return to my childhood color.

but lately, you've taken it WAY too far. it took me YEARS to perfect my hair routine...searching for the right shamp and conditioner, the perfect product, and investing in insanely expensive hairdryers and straighteners...but i finally had it down pat. so i thought. first off, you took thermasilk off the shelves. i had been obsessed ever since an allure editor said that after testing dozens of expensive shamps and conditioner, this was the best. it smelled so nummy and made my hair so pretty and soft, especially given the obscene amount of abuse i give it with my previously mentioned expensive heat-using equipment.

i'm STILL looking for a new shamp and conditioner to love, but nothing has come close.

and now....oh, you went too far. you have taken my john frieda frizz ease straight ahead straightening spray off the market. you replaced it with a 'smoothing creme'. wtf? i don't want that!! i want my spray back!! i drove to THREE different places this afternoon looking for that precious silver bottle and it was nowhere to be found. i am now TERRIFIED that tomorrow morning when i do my hair, it will be confused and puff up as a result.

so, hair gods, it is on like donkey kong. you will not beat me. i WILL find the perfect shamp, conditioner, and now straightening product. you may have won the battle, but i will win the war.

20 April 2009

i'm on a roll!

a cooking roll, that is.

one of the things {among many} that i'm trying to be better at is not eating out as much. it's not that i don't enjoy it...i'm a major foodie and dining at great restaurants is one of life's greatest pleasures at least in my book. but here in teeny tiny lexington, there are no restaurants that can be considered great and only two or three that can be considered good. and those two or three restaurants are a bit too pricey for daily dining, so i always end up getting take out from some place depressing and unhealthy like ruby tuesday's. blech. since i would much rather have a tiny waistline and spend the money on these beauties, i've decided to cook more.

my current plan is to make one to two recipes per week. that usually makes enough food for me to have dinner at least two-three weeknights. i normally end up out of town or going out with friends on the weekend. last week it was my nummy thai food. tonight it was this bit of yumminess. i used tilapia instead of flounder, since flounder isn't a sustainable seafood. i made angel hair pasta instead of rice, because i don't like plain rice. and i roasted asparagus instead of spinach. i honestly could not tell that this was a lightened version of a piccata sauce. it was that good. it made enough sauce and pasta for about three servings, so i'll saute my other tilapia filet tomorrow for round two.

now if only i can conquer my chronic boring lunches....i will pretty much be perfect.

happy monday!

17 April 2009

protests, be damned!

so i realize this makes me sound like a totally superficial, western hemisphere brat but oh well. all these headlines about the protests in thailand have given me a serious craving for thai food. since i live in a teeny town and the nearest thai restaurant is a good 65 miles away, i took matters into my own hands.

my first attempt at making homemade thai food was last year and it was a DISASTER. i used a rachael ray recipe and i should've known better. i can't stand her and her moronic abbrevs {evoo, sammies, etc.}, so why should her food be any different?  this time i picked a chef whose smokin’ hot bod recipes i really love: dave lieberman.  i made his spicy coconut shrimp with mango salsa and lime jasmine rice. nom nom {bonus points if you know what that's from}.  plus i had enough leftover for two lunches. bonus!

enjoy your sexy jewish chef fix and happy weekend, chickadees!

16 April 2009

neVer forgeT

You see signs like that all around the area I live in, but if you are from SW VA or in any way connected with the VA Tech community, you don't need a sign to jog your memory.

The morning of April 16, 2007 was like any other day at UVA. Beautiful weather. As I walked out the door that morning, one of my housemates mentioned that there had been a shooting on a Virginia college campus. Neither of us were particularly worried. We would've known by then if the shooting was at our own school, and the news just said that there had been some injuries. I went on my way to class.

About an hour later, my cell phone started ringing like crazy. I excused myself from class when I saw that all of the calls were from my dad, which was unusual. I called him back and all he said was, "Is Joe OK?" I had no clue who or what he was talking about. He asked if I had heard about the shooting. I said yes...C had said something about it this morning but we didn't think it was a big deal. He got very quiet. My dad, a very proud graduate of Virginia Tech, cried for the first time in front of me. Through his tears, he told me that a gunman had locked himself in a classroom building and opened fire. We didn't know how many and we didn't know who.

I know that for everyone in the country, this news in and of itself was tragic and terrifying enough. For me, it was even worse. I grew up in a town about 45 minutes outside of Blacksburg. At least 60% of my high school went on to Virginia Tech. Almost all of my high school friends and many childhood friends were students there. Including my childhood best friend/college housemate's little brother, Joe.

The rest of the day is a blur. I didn't make it back to my classroom until later that night to collect my bags. I immediately went home and started making phone calls, e-mails, Facebook searches....anything I could think of. Slowly I started to hear back from people letting me know they were OK. But as the day went on, I still hadn't heard from my housemate. I will never forget that feeling of helplessness. Finally she walked in the door that night. She obviously knew what I was thinking, because all she said was, "he's OK." We both collapsed on the couch and started sobbing.

There are very few friends who weren't directly affected. One friend's dad was killed, another lost a sister. One of the guys who was murdered had been baptized by my grandfather. One friend who grew up in Blacksburg didn't come back to school for the rest of the year. That kind of tragedy was too much to comprehend. Even now, two years later, I have a hard time writing this. So many precious lives were lost that day and to such senseless evil.

Last week, they reopened Norris Hall. It will house a Center for Peace and be the headquarters for a new major/minor offering in conflict resolution. My dad doesn't like to talk about 4.16.07, but he e-mailed me an article about the reopened Norris Hall. All he said was, "this is as it should be."

Please keep the friends and family of the 32 killed, as well as the entire VT community, in your thoughts and prayers today.

11 April 2009

Happy Easter!!

I received this card via e-mail from my aunt Mary Margaret. MM is as big a Bama belle as they come. She drives a big ole white Cadillac, just like her mama, my beloved 90 year old Aunt Faye, and she lives for Auburn football, dirty jokes, and sangria.

I'll be spending Easter weekend in West Virginia with my wacktastic family, including my cousin in from Scotland! Hope your weekend is filled with spring weather and Easter joy!

09 April 2009

Hi, my name is Belle...

...and I'm an interior-aholic.

It started out innocently enough. I just wanted to (re)decorate my bedroom. So I was browsing one of my favorite bloggers because I always think her rooms look so pretty. Which is how I discovered Tobi Fairley. Love, love, LOVE her! Can you say OBSESSED? Le sigh....if only I had limitless wealth and her number on speed dial. It's like my fantasy home(s).per-fec-tion.

Then I found Erin Gates through Tobi Fairley. Her blog, Elements of Style, has become my heroin. I seriously cannot stop clicking. I make it through a few posts, and then I have to click on all of the links in her posts, and then 5 hours has gone by. She is my interior design doppelganger {and in Boston!! My fave city!!}
umm...so needless to say, my bedroom decorating has taken on a life of its own. the walls are painted. the new window treatments arrived yesterday. I am selling a kidney saving my money to buy the new {queen sized!!} mattress and headboard I picked out. They are so yummy. And still agonizing over bedding choices. Don't even get me started on my plans for the living room and guest bedroom...my wallet will start yelling at me.

Happy Thursday, lovelies!!

Lou Lou, where are you??

Lou Lou in Lilly, my love, you have gone missing!!  I missed out on you going private and I miss reading your blog.  Send me an invite?  scg2b@virginia.edu

08 April 2009

Bloggy Goodness


*Sweet Tea Diary's birthday bonanza
*Making Lemonade From Lemon's FIRST giveaway


06 April 2009

it's the little things...

this is sad. the highlight of my monday was....yes, that's right....sponges. NEW sponges, to be specific. our kitchen at work has, for the longest time, been the best evidence of our cheap economically-minded director. we had the nastiest, dirtiest, germiest sponges EVER. which was a major problem for me, since i like to bring my lunch from home and i like clean dishes. so imagine my delight to discover not one, but two, brightly colored hot pink and orange! it's like they picked them just for me sponges sitting next to a brand new bottle of detergent at the sink today. joie pure. i need to get out of this small town....i think it's starting to get to me...

in other news....GO HEELS!! make the ACC proud!!

05 April 2009


Like pretty much everything in my life, I am uber-picky about candles.  I loathe Yankee Candles...if I want my house to smell like birthday cake, I'll bake a birthday cake and leave the oven open.  And I hate those cutesy pictures on the jars, too.

I like my candles clean and simple.  Nothing to heavily perfumed and i like a plain, glass container with zero graphics.  

While browsing around Williams-Sonoma, I stumbled up their new essential oils collection and this thing of beauty:
OMG I am OBSESSED.  The basil-scented candle is AHHHHmazing.  I bought multiples because I don't live near a WS and was terrified of running out.  I burn these from the moment I get home from work til the moment I hit they hay.  Drop what you are doing and purchase immediately.  You will not be sorry.

03 April 2009

What-so What-al?

I have been a bad blogger, but I promise I have a good excuse. Here's my story. Fasten your seatbelts no pun intended. It's a long one:

So I had to go the doctor on Tuesday for a procedure to remove some precancerous cells {no worries, I'm healthy now}. My mom of course freaked out when I mentioned the word precancer so she insisted on coming to town for the day to come to the doctor with me. So off we go to the doctor. They do the procedure, wildly uncomfortable, but not really painful. No shots, no sedative, nothing like that. My doctor warns me there might be some mild cramping, tells me to take some Advil, and we're done. So I thought....

I get in the car, start it up, and pull out of the parking lot. I'm feeling fine, talking to my mom about where to go to lunch. All of a sudden it hits me: MAJOR cramp. We're talking the most intense pain I've ever felt. I tell my mom that I think I need her to drive and we look for a place to pull over as we're sitting at the traffic light. All of a sudden I get a very familiar feeling and tell my mom I'm going to pass out. That's the last thing I remember.

The next thing I know, I come to and I have no earthly clue what's going on. I'm in my car with my head on the steering wheel. I look up and all I see are branches. I can hear my mom talking and lots of sirens. So I did what any rash, sane person would do and started sobbing hysterically. At this point, my mom and the EMTs explain to me that I passed out behind the wheel of my car. My mom, stunt driver extrodinaire, grabbed the steering wheel and maneuvered us away from a) the front porch of a nursing home where old people were sunning themselves, b) oncoming traffic, and c) a telephone pole. We ended up in a tree/bush in someone's front yard. I get taken to the ER for my first documented case of vasovagal syncope. Which basically means I am a total wimp at the doctor's office. I always pass out around needles, but this is the first time it has been pain-related. So after a lot of poking and prodding and more hysterical sobbing from me, I was released from the hospital with this little tidbit: I'm not allowed to drive to/from the doctor by myself anymore, even for a check-up. Woot.

So I'm OK minus a whopping case of whiplash. My car is....driveable, but has to go to the body shop tonight for a helluva ton of cosmetic work. The bumper is literally sitting in my back seat. Oh, did I mention the people who own the front yard we landed in are TERRIBLE? They have been harassing my mom and I via telephone, even though I have told them several times that my insurance has their information and will be in touch.

So I'm feeling very lucky to be alive and walking and talking without any permanent damage and so blessed to have a mom who is super cool under pressure. I'm also really thrilled to have a car insurance agent who has worked with my family for 15 years and takes care of me {for a price, of course}.

That's why I've been so MIA. Apologies! I have lots of posts to catch up on in my Reader, so if you get an onslaught of comments from me this weekend, now you know why :) Happy Friday, lovelies!