28 January 2010

the one in which hell freezes over

because i found a vera bradley pattern that i {gasp!} actually like.

remember this post? yeah, i still hate the stuff. but ummm....have i mentioned my obsessive love of toile? i saw someone carrying this pattern {imperial toile} the other day and freaked. out. this is the exact color scheme/graphic pattern of my bedroom. it is shockingly chic, especially coming from the maker of quilted fugliness seen the world over.

you will never, i repeat NEVER, catch me carrying any tote or purse-like item made from this stuff. {why would you when there is this or this to aspire to?} but i am now scouring ebay for some of the more subtle items {i.e. the hard sunglass case, the cosmetic cases, and some of the desk accessories}.

chinoiserie dreams!

27 January 2010

what's cooking wednesdays: the nyc edition

hi all! hope you had a lovely week! i had a great trip to nyc, albeit way too short {i unexpectedly left a few days early. nbd, i'll be back soon!} y'all were too sweet with all of your recommendations of things to see and do and EAT in the city. mcw sent me a TON of awesome places...i just wish i had had time to eat at all of them! darling alice insisted i go to momofuku's new bakery, milk, and try the crack pie and/or compost cookie. apparently anderson cooper is on the crack pie train {see below video at around 3:50} and we ALL know how i feel about him.

sadly, i didn't make it to the bakery {at the top of next trip's to do list}, but i did find a recipe for crack pie {which is actually a shaker sugar pie}. i haven't made one yet, so don't hold me to it, but i'm planning on whipping one up this weekend to see what all the fuss is about. i have a feeling i, too, will be addicted to crack when all is said and done.

shaker sugar pie:
1 unbacked 9-inch pie shell
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 pound butter
pinch of nutmeg
powdered sugar {for dusting}

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. thoroughly mix the flour and sugar and spread evenly in the bottom of the pie shell. pour the cream and vanilla over the flour mixture. slice the butter into 12-16 pieces and distribute evenly over top of the mixture. sprinkle with nutmeg. bake for 40-45 minutes or until firm {note: several recipe reviews have said it takes closer to 60 minutes. i'll report back with my findings.} dust the top of the pie with powdered sugar when cool.

happy hump day!

20 January 2010

what's cooking wednesdays

i should be somewhere in the sky right now on my way to nyc {ah, the joys of scheduled posts}!

i meant to post this recipe AGES ago. several of you requested the cheese straw recipe i use for my homemade office christmas presents. i use this paula deen recipe, but i normally double the amount of cayenne pepper and i try to use the best cheddar i can find since it's the premiere ingredient. i don't recommend making these without a cookie press {i've tried and the results are just not as attractive}. it can take a little while to get the hang of these, but they are SO delicious and always a big hit.

try making these to serve at your next cocktail party. very little effort and so much better than any kind you can buy in a box.

bon appetit!

18 January 2010

country mouse in the big city

hi ladies!! hope y'all had a lovely weekend. i had one of the best weekends i've had in a long time. friday night was dinner with a few friends, which turned into drinks and desserts with even more friends. saturday was chick-fil-a {nom nom!} and j.crew clearance store bargain hunting with a group of gal-pals. i won't even tell you the deals we got because it will make you pea green with envy! saturday night was a home-cooked meal {seriously, y'all, this is one of the yummiest recipes ever}, champy, and kill bill: vol. 2 with friend k. and sunday the puppy boy let me sleep in {this NEVER happens} and then i cleaned the entire house, wrote all of my thank-you notes, and packed for my trip to...

NYC!! i'm leaving wednesday. this trip is part-business, part-pleasure. i'm working wednesday night, all day thursday, and have a working lunch friday and then it is all pleasure from there. one of the besties lives in NYC so we'll be spending friday evening and all day saturday together before i head home on sunday.

so this is where y'all come in. i've asked this before on here, but i've added a few more followers since then, so i thought i'd ask again. several things, actually.

a) i will be on my own for meals for lunch + dinner on wednesday and breakfast on thursday + friday. any recommendations of yummy places to go {i'm staying in midtown, but i'm willing to venture slightly up or downtown}? please keep in mind that these tabs get turned in to my place of gainful employment so let's not go with any bank-breaking suggestions.

b) smartypants bestie lives uptown {she's in grad school at columbia}. brunch recommendations for saturday and/or sunday?

c) i have already found the best cupcakes in nyc. now i'm on a hunt for the best french macarons. help!

d) completely selfish. i may have some downtime on wednesday, thursday, and/or friday in between appointments and bestie getting out of classes. any nyc bloggers want to meet up for coffee or something?

thanks in advance and happy monday!

15 January 2010

frugalista friday!

first off, this week i am doing so much better than last week! let's compare:
*last thursday night consisted of eight tequila shots in two hours, followed by much vomiting and crying. this thursday night consisted of homemade soup, hot cocoa, and the opening chapters of anna karenina.
*last friday night consisted of a wendy's caloriefest, bridget jones's diary viewing, and more crying. this friday night will consist of dinner with a friend to plan a 30th birthday dinner for another friend and long-overdue christmas thank-you notes and house cleaning.

i have worn make-up every day for the past two weeks and not once in that time have i resorted to a ponytail. my hair has been squeaky clean and perfectly coiffed every day. still hurting, still healing, but moving in the right direction. some shoe shopping with a tomorrow and homecooked dinner and champy with k tomorrow night, and i might even be almost as good as new.

and now on to the main event! today is our first installment of frugalista friday, aka my attempt to keep myself on the path straight and narrow on the way to being debt-free. here is the moment of embarassing, {semi}truth. i have $5,559.32 of credit card debt. {i say semitruth because i'm not including my student loans or my car since they're fixed debt and they'll be paid off in time}. i'm working on my own version of the dave ramsey plan, combined with some stuff i found on oprah. here's my plan:
*pay off my bank visa. i currently owe $733.37 on this card. i made my first big payment on it at the beginning of this month. at the rate i'm going {$250/month}, it should be paid off no later than the first of april.
*build up my emergency fund. for now the goal is just to get it to $500, which i should be able to do no later than the first of may {i'm planning on putting any money i get back from taxes toward this and i already put $7.50/week in savings}. eventually the goal is to get this up to at least 3 months of living expenses, but baby steps!
*next comes the j.crew card. i currently owe $1,172.64. this one i hope to have paid off by early october, paying approximately $50/month between now and building up the emergency fund, and then going to $300/month until it's paid off.
*we'll deal with the devil card when we get there.

so, ladies, i need your help! words of advice and support. if i'm blogging about buying some new outfit or something, tell me to STOP. ask questions, let me know what's worked {and not worked} for you. other ways you are cutting costs or saving money. i am all ears. these frugalista friday posts won't always be exciting, but it's what i need to do, so thanks for hanging in there with me!

happy weekend, loves!

14 January 2010

wednesday's child is full of woe...

....or in this case, thursday's child.

it is 9:30 am. so far today, i have:

*fallen down a flight of stairs
*cleaned up dog poop
*burned my hand and my tongue on my breakfast
*chased my car through the parking lot {it somehow knocked itself into drive from park. please tell me how this happens when no one is in the car?!}
*driven an hour to get clean laundry {long story}

i am seeing a very large glass of wine in my future tonight.

stay tuned for tomorrow's first installment of frugalista friday!

07 January 2010

santa! i know him!

yesterday was a good day. lots accomplished at work, plans for a trip to nyc falling into place, lots of sweet comments from my bloggy friends. and then i couldn't fall asleep last night. and then when i did fall asleep, i had a bad dream about the ex. gross. and then when i went to get dressed, i found a hole in the bottom of my go-to grey wool turtleneck sweater dress {the FIRST grown-up work clothing item i ever bought}. awesome. today is not off on the right foot.
so in an attempt to cheer myself up, i thought i'd share with y'all the highlights of my christmas loot, tangible reminders that despite ole what's-his-name, i have awesome family and friends who buy me cool stuff. for today at least, money can buy me love.

i'm sure you're thinking, why the hell would you want a paper shredder for christmas? well, because i have a lot of paper to shred and i'd rather spend my money on shoes, so my grandma bought one for me. ladies, you want some break-up therapy? turn this sucker on and go to town, preferably with some angry music in the background. it's been very cathartic. and makes my life a little less clutter-free.

couldn't put this book down. it's not exactly award-winning material, but it was a compelling story and i loved the characters.

i flipping LOVE fancy nancy. it is literally like a glimpse into my childhood. it's kind of terrifying. my mom knew i would love this christmas book on my coffee table.

ok, so i'm a bit of a perfume whore and snob. i loooove perfumes, but normally only go for chanel or ysl. but honestly, i would buy poop if reese witherspoon put her name on it and look how pretty the bottle is! it also smells pretty amazing.
soooo excited about these. functional, black, chic, perfect.

quite the addition to my cookbook collection. i'm shopping for a new bookshelf as we speak because i am officially out of room!

this may be my fave gift. i have wanted a wusthof for ages, but couldn't bring myself to pay that much for a knife. my mom got it for me with a new bamboo cutting board, and i'm pretty much obsessed. i'm chopping onions for kicks at this point. {on that note, i really need to get a hobby}.

06 January 2010


the best way to mend a broken heart is time and girlfriends. ~gwyneth

well, it's finally done and over with. after a long and painful three weeks, it is officially over with the beau and me. time for the healing and moving forward to begin.

one thing i have learned in the past few weeks is that i am beyond blessed with an amazing group of friends. women get such a bad rap for being catty and petty and jealous, but i have seen nothing of that. my sister allowed me to play the taylor swift you're not sorry-csi remix {seriously...best break-up song. EVER.} at full blast on repeat for two hours in the car. friend k has practically been an on-call therapist, complete with hours of me on the phone saying "i just don't get it" over and over and over. high school bestie {who is also recently single} was my partner-in-crime for a NYE of sweats, male-bashing, champers, and pizza. my two college besties call and/or text every morning, noon, and night on the dot to check for updates and to make sure i'm doing ok. everyone has been so supportive and understanding.

and then all of YOU! i have been completely bowled over by your sweet words of support. e-mails, comments, you name it...y'all have come out of the woodwork for someone you don't even know and i can't tell you how helpful that has been for me. i've had several e-mails/comments for gals who are going through the same thing, and in a weird way, it's nice to know i'm not the only one going through this. strength in numbers, ladies!

so thank you. thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my broken little heart. although i will still be blasting tay swizzle and living on a diet of peanut butter captain crunch and diet coke for the forseeable future, i'm going to try to limit the number of woe is me posts. i'm working on getting my shit together {yesterday was the first time in two weeks i even bothered to put make-up on or style my hair. yeah.} and i promise to be back in the next day or two with some very belated posts on my christmas loot and new year's resolutions.

happy hump day!