31 January 2012

How Charming!

all images from amazon.com

I've recently become enamored with the idea of getting a charm bracelet, and I do NOT mean one of those Pandora charm bracelets.  I just love the idea of a wrist full of jangling, dangling charms to remind you of trips taken, memories made, and milestones celebrated.

I was feeling like maybe I'm a little late to the game, like you're supposed to start collecting charms as a child, but then Camilla gave Princess Shinylocks a charm bracelet as a wedding gift.  If the Duchess of Perfection can wear a charm bracelet as an adult, then so can I.

What do you think? Should I go for it?  Do any of you have charm bracelets? Do tell!

30 January 2012

Menu Monday

It's been awhile since I did a Menu Monday, but it doesn't mean that we haven't been meal planning.  Here's what we were munching on last week:

And of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  We really liked these, especially M.  Next time, I would season the patties with some salt, pepper, and a little Worcestershire sauce; I thought they were a little bland.

 This was SOOOO good.  Even M, who claims to not like quinoa, had two servings.  I honestly thought this was BETTER than the original broccoli-rice casserole.  It's just perfect cozy winter comfort food. 

 Another home run recipe from Gina.  I've always been afraid to make meatballs, since M is Italian and worships his mother's meatballs.  But this recipe is so different from hers that I knew I had to give it a shot.  HUGE success.  M ate multiple servings and had the leftover for lunch.  I liked that the meatballs stayed really moist and the sauce was perfectly seasoned.  I have a feeling this is going to become a regular for us...

Bon appetit!

27 January 2012

My New Favorite Lunch

Y'all.  Seriously.  You need to make these noodles IMMEDIATELY.  I made these to go along with a ginger-poached salmon for dinner last week.  The salmon was meh; the noodles were insane!  

The recipe was just ridiculously fast and easy and it made enough for M and I to both have a full serving with dinner, plus enough for me to eat on for lunch for 2-3 days in a row.  I'm thinking they would be extra delicious with some diced cucumber and scallions thrown in for a little green...

Claire Robinson's Chilled Peanut Soba Noodles

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 1/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Add a generous amount of salt and stir in the noodles.  Cook according to package instructions; drain and rinse well under cold running water.

Meanwhile, whisk the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce and chili sauce in a large bowl until smooth. Add the drained noodles, and with tongs, toss until coated with the dressing. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Note: If chilling noodles, toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons water to loosen them before serving.

26 January 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day por moi

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

I know it's not quite February, but all of the pretty pink goodness going on at Target right now has got me in a Valentine's Day mood.

Honey, if you're reading this, I would like any and all of the above come February 14th.  Please and thank you.

I also wouldn't mind...

A box of truffles from the Cocoa Mill

A beautiful arrangement from The Floral Studio

And this gorgeous letterpress calligraphy card from Parrott Design Studio.

25 January 2012

The Jockeys of Vanity Fair

Ever since I read Heather of Habitually Chic's fantastic post on Louisville interior designer Lee W. Robinson's store, I have been chomping at the bit over this jockey print.  It is the perfect wall accessory for my dream British-meets-Southern living room.  I had to investigate.

After a bit of sleuthing, I quickly found that I'm not the only enthusiast. The jockeys were originally published in Vanity Fair, a British weekly magazine, over the span of 30 years in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.  A full-page caricature of some contemporary celebrity, athlete, politician, or other notable appeared in most issues.  These caricatures are the lasting legacy of Vanity Fair.  Produced by a collection of artists from all over the world, many of the originals can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Nowadays, it appears there are many collectors and enthusiasts of the Vanity Fair caricatures.  There are polo players, judges, criminals {!}, and foxhunters {my second favorite group}. Best of all, they're actually easy to find and quite affordable.  The best resource is The Vanity Fair Print Company.  They deal in original prints and have an incredible selection.  The problem now is trying to narrow down which prints I want.  They're all so colorful and quirky!

24 January 2012


Our weekend was...

parmesan truffle fries from the fox's den tavern

sleeping hound dog in the library of the home where we stayed.

the most unique arnold palmer i've ever seen in my life at julien's.

a saturday breakfast treat from home farm store.

We had such a wonderful weekend in idyllic Middleburg.  Cozy, fireside dinners.  Delicious, Southern breakfasts.  And the most delightful company in our hosts and fellow weekend guests.  I highly recommend a trip.  It's only an hour away from D.C., but it's a different world.

23 January 2012

Picture Perfect

*My blog got a makeover! If you're in Google Reader, click out to see the gorgeous blog design by Marina at Penny Lane Designs.  I can't say enough wonderful things about working with her, and I'm so thrilled with the new look!*

M and I spent the weekend in Middleburg at a cozy B&B.  Middleburg is such a charming little town, with the most incredible restaurants and vineyards and shops.  Being in a place like that is SO inspirational that I couldn't help but want to document it all.  Only problem?

We don't have a camera.  Well, technically, we have 2 cameras.  But mine is a college-era relic {and I'm celebrating my 5th reunion this year} with a busted screen.  Battle scar from a fraternity formal.  M's camera works, except the drive for the memory card is corrupt.  So we can't actually store any of the pictures it takes.  We're taking all of these fun trips and making all of these wonderful memories with no way to record any of it.

So the time has come for us to purchase one.  But there are SO many options out there.  I don't want a DSLR.  That will come in time, but right now, it's just not the best option for us.  Here are the current contenders:

At this point, the top 2 contenders are the Panasonic and the Canon S95. 

Martha {if you have to ask "Martha who?", we're probably not friends anymore} raves about the Canon G12 and says it's a great blogger's camera, but since a lot of the reason I don't want a DSLR is the size, the G12 doesn't offer enough size downgrade to tempt me. 

Same deal with the Nikon.  The size is just a bit too bulky for what I'm looking for.  But it's the only Nikon in the bunch, and I've always only used Nikon.  I'm a little scared to brand deviate.

Which leaves us with the top 2.  And I am having the hardest time picking!  They're about the same price-wise.  The Canon is a little smaller and it was also recommended by Martha.  It looks like they both take lovely pictures.  And I love the slightly retro stylings of the Panasonic.

So, dear readers, which do you recommend?  Do any of you have one of these cameras?  Do you love it? Hate it?  Recommend something altogether different?  I consider a good camera an investment, so I want to make the right choice.  Help!

20 January 2012

Crazy Fabric Lady

As one of my 2012 goals is to get our condo pretty-fied, I've been looking at all sorts of different fabrics recently.  What started out as a hunt to find the perfect oversized gingham to use for bedroom curtains turned into an hours-long session on the Thibaut website that ended with me trying to figure out a way to wallpaper and reupholster every surface.

The Netherlands Check in Wheat is exactly what I was looking for.



  And I'm thinking either the Geranium or Hydrangea pattern would be fabulous for our guest bedroom, a la this Meg Braff-designed room.


Carnival.  Isn't this the most charming toile for a child's room?  It also comes in pink and in green.

Wolverhampton would be perfect for a custom dog bed for my Jake.

 Equestrian.  Very similar to the elusive Schumacher Tally-Ho.

 Oriental Toile.  Fun fact: this is the wallpaper in the downstairs guest bathroom at the Robert E. Lee President's Home at Washington and Lee University.

Which one is your favorite?

19 January 2012


Our wedding was a fantastic excuse to drool over lovely paper products, and we were so thrilled with our beautiful save-the-dates and invitations from Ashley at Lemon and Lavender.

Now that the wedding is over {insert sad face}, I've decided that my new monogram is theeeee perfect excuse to indulge my love for pretty paper.  I'd love to have some gorgeous, grown-up, but slightly quirky personal stationery.  The only problem is that there is so much loveliness to choose from!

I could go the pretty, girly route:

Or the classic:

Or I could indulge my love of all things hunt club/horse and hound/Garden and Gun:

And of course, I'll have to have a custom calligraphy return address stamp to tie everything together

Which one{s} would you choose?