29 April 2010

major eye candy

i am beyond swamped at work for the rest of the week {and weekend}, so i thought i'd just share a few droolworth images, courtesy of the april 2010 issue of traditional home.

the home of young san francisco couple anna and mason morfit and their adorable tots...basically my dream home.  dining room in de gournay, office in imperial trellis, daughter's bedroom in quadrille paradise backgroud.  not a room in the house i don't adore AND their guest bath is done in my all-time favorite wallpaper, Scalamandre Zebra, {prominently feautred in margot née gwynnie's room in the royal tenenbaums and in kate spade's bathroom}.  le sigh.  wants it.

all photos courtesy of the amazing design firm massucco warner miller

28 April 2010

what's cooking wednesdays: the food of coachella

this is the first of several coachella recaps and in honor of what's cooking wednesdays, i figured i'd start with the food!  i ate like a fat kid off of a celery binge while we were there.  let's start with the obvious: in-and-out burger.  truth be told, i would have been happy as a clam to eat all of my meals here for the duration of the trip.  it pains me that i have to travel so far for the goodness that is an animal-style cheesburger, fries, and a neopolitan shake.  so, so, so yummy.  mmmm....i miss it already. 

hello, lover.

what was i saying? oh yes, so then you have the coachella food itself.  i was actually pretty impressed with the food selection there.  yes, there was PLENTY of your run-of-the mill gyros, pizza, french fries, etc.  and of course it was all obscenely overpriced {i paid $4 for a lukewarm bottle of diet coke. low point.}  but there was also some really delicious and different festival offerings {at least, different from the festival food i've ever had}.  let's start with dessert, shall we?

i heart cinnamon.

the churros were EVERYWHERE.  granted, not the best in the world, but wow, did these really hit the spot! fried dough, cinnamon, sugar...i don't want to live in a world where that's not a perfect combo.

friend k had a different experience with the crepes, one that involved a fat guy who she sat next to trying to kiss her.  fortunately my crepe experience was awesome and grope-free.  nutella crepes are high on my not-so-short list of foods to be served at my last meal.  there was a lot of groaning going on while i downed one of these puppies.  i also really enjoyed the girl in line behind me, and i quote, god, these people do NOT know how to make authentic crepes.  umm...babe, we're in the middle of a desert. they're making these things out of the back of a van for people who have been on drugs for 72 hours, if not their entire lives. did you really expect an authentic parisien culinary experience?!

still waiting for the sugar coma from all of these bad boys to kick in...

this gets the MVP of coachella award for me.  the stands for these were as ubiquitous as the churro stands, but it wasn't until halfway through day 2 when we realized that they had people walking around selling these out of portable coolers. jackpot.  there is NOTHING better than frozen solid lemonade when you are 75,000 people-deep in the 90+ degree desert sunshine.  absolute lifesaver.

not pictured, the grilled corn on the cob stand was like the holy grail of coachella.  it was the next to last stand in the food tents across from the smallest, furthest-distance stages.  being spotted with grilled corn on the cob made you an instant celebrity.  we stopped counting the number of people who literally stopped and pointed at me and yelled corn! and ran off in search.  and so worth it.  they had a little stand with different hot sauces and seasoned salts and parmesan cheese and they would dip it in butter for you. 

and i have to mention the yummers indian food stand, cowboys and turbans.  the chicken tikka naanwich was INSANE.  unfortch, that was the day i forgot my gum, so i tasted like curry for the rest of the day.  they also had these amazing-looking masala cheese fries that i heard wonderful things about, but the line was always way too long so i never got a taste.  sad face.

moral of the story:  brings lots of cash and your fatpants to coachella.  the prices are high, the choices are many, and most all of it is pretty darn amaze-balls.

my sister and i took an extra day after coachella to spend in santa monica before heading back east. since we were sick of eating overpriced, gutbusting festival food, we went to the sweetest, yummiest little outdoor french bistro on the promenade, monsieur marcel.  the sister got the salade de chevre chaud which was UNREAL and i will definitely be recreating at home, and i had a classic salade nicoise with the most perfectly cooked tuna i have had in a long time, washed down with a half-priced {gotta love happy hour!} glass of white burgundy.  the dessert list was so tempting, but we're both pinkberry freaks and those are hard to come by in our neck of the woods so we saved the sweets for some fro-yo.  a perfect way to end our wonderful trip!

stay tuned for more adventures in the desert...

27 April 2010


i have had pizza for breakfast the past three mornings in a row.  i am kind of grossed out, but kind of loving it in a college-throwback kind of way.  except then i remember that time in college when i got a little chubby.  not loving that.

back to oatmeal and fresh berries tomorrow, kiddos.

26 April 2010

does anyone actually buy this?!

so as i was whiling away some free time this weekend, i was thumbing through the skymall catalog i stole from one of the legs of my return flight from california.  and i stumbled across this...

ummm....really?  is this necessary?  someone has maybe been watching meet the parents one too many times?  there is just something so american about thinking, hmmm...i've got an extra 50 bucks lying around.  should i save it or train my cat to use the toilet?  definitely option b.  i am stuck somewhere between horror and hysterics.  i'm leaning towards hysterics because i can see my dad ordering this during a late-night infomercial as a last-ditch effort to get their geriatric cat {who he is convinced is out to ruin his life...and floors} to stop peeing all over the place.

please tell me i'm not the only one who is completely fascinated by this invention.  and please tell me one of you has tried this.  i would {not so} secretly love to know if this works.

25 April 2010


my boys are the acc champs in lax and tennis!  job well done, m'dears!

23 April 2010

aw, shucks!

time to acknowledge some bloggy love!

i was so excited to see that i won a sweet little giveaway from sweet new blogger same sweet girl.  i got a purse-size bottle of bath and body works' orange sapphire lotion {a new scent to me and it is HEAVENLY!} and the cutest little nail file.  both are now happily residing in my office desk drawer o' goodies, making sure that my hands are looking their best from 9 to 5.

molly lou gifts and smart and sassy with sprinkles bestowed the happy 101 award {gee, thanks! the feeling is mutual}so now i have to list 10 things that i make me happy:

1. the puppy boy.  this little dude is the light of my life.  he is so laid back and sweet and always up for snuggling and sunbathing and long, sunny walks by the creek.  when i was crying over the new boy, he literally hopped on the bed and licked away my tears.  which of course made me cry even harder.  he just knows when his mommy needs him :)

2. hot dogs.  spare me the lectures on how they are basically mystery meat and how terrible they are for you, because i do not care.  to me, they are the world's most perfect food. as a true connoisseur, i can tell you that 7 eleven has the best.  although any hot dog eaten at a sporting event is hard to beat.  major, major yum.

3. shoes.  you should see my closet.  i have to keep out-of-season shoes in storage because there is just no room.  there's hardly enough room for the in-season shoes.  i can't help myself.  a beautiful shoe is like a work of art to me, and i feel it's my duty to be a patron of the arts.  i may not be able to afford a lovely cy twombly for my home, but i can  make sure that my tootsies are always aesthetically-pleasing!

4. nature.  in any form.  i just love to be outdoors.  so much of my childhood was spent camping or playing tennis or running around my grandmother's beach house or through my grandfather's garden or practically living poolside in the summer and that love has carried over into adulthood.  if i see a particularly inviting patch of grass, i HAVE to take my shoes off to walk barefoot.  if i see a crunchy-looking leaf, i will go out of my way to step on it.  if the sun is out, i get major ants in my pants to figure out a way to be in it all day.  hiking, fishing, running, swimming, or just sitting and soaking it in, i heart the great outdoors.

5. my family.  i am obscenely close to my parents and my little sister.  i talk to my mom and/or dad on the phone at least once a day and my thumb is permanently BBMing the sis.  their advice and opinions are the most important to me in the world and i would do absolutely anything for them.  they are my best friends and my support system.  my mom still does my laundry {i know...pitiful} and my dad still puts together all of my ikea purchases.  my sister and i are as different as night and day in so many regards, but it doesn't matter.  we have the exact same worldview and sense of humor and it's hard to stop us when we're together.  love them.

6. my friends.  they are freaking awesome.  seriously, i sit around at our monday night girls' nights and i am completely in awe of the amazing women in my life.  they are smart and beautiful and funny and unique and supportive and caring.  i have struggled with female relationships my entire life because i spent my formative years as a catty, backstabbing cheerleader and my only girlfriends were the same way as me.  not really the building blocks for healthy friendships. but i am finally in a place where i have amazing friends, both male and female, and i am beyond blessed.

7. sparkling wine.  champagne, cava, prosecco, whatever.  i will order it.  i actually prefer prosecco above all others and i don't do sweet wines, but there are few things i enjoy more than a glass of bubbles.  i get weird looks when i order it at bars, although my friends are used to it now.  it's delicious, it's different, it doesn't cost more {and often costs less!} than a cocktail {and BONUS has less calories}, and it makes an ordinary night feel a little bit special.

8. cheese.  oh man, i really heart cheese.  i can't say enough about it.  tillamook cheddar, brunet, brie, chevre, blues {i'm a gorgonzola girl}, a perfect parmesan....and all of the lesser known cheese as well.  i don't discriminate.  i am more of a soft cheese than a hard cheese kinda gal, but that's never stopped me before.  mmmm....now i'm hungry!

9. nesting.  decorating my house, cleaning {i can't be the only weirdo who enjoys this...right?!}, cooking, just laying on the couch catching up on my DVR, organizing my home office...wow, ok i'm starting to sounds like a 1950's housewife!  but i truly enjoy these things.  i love being at home, i love making my home a beautiful and comfortable place, and i love opening up my home to other people.  even in high school, i wasn't the girl to go out to parties.  i was the girl who was inviting everyone over for cook-outs and backyard croquet tournaments.  i am 24 going on 65.  and i am totally ok with it!

10. blogging.  when i started this blog in january 2009, i had no clue what i was getting into.  i didn't think anyone would want to read about my little life and now i'm at almost 200 followers.  insane.  i've made some wonderful real-life friends through blogging and countless other bloggy friends who i hope will one-day be real-life friends!  it's also been therapeutic for me in so many ways...to look back over the last year of my life and have this active journal is amazing and such a learning experience.  i am so glad to be a part of this wonderful community!

i'm supposed to pass this on to 10 bloggers, but i've pretty much seen it on everyone's blog, so if you haven't done it yet, here's your chance because i love ALL of your blogs!  also, apologies if i'm forgetting to acknowledge any awards.  i am SO bad at these things, but i do appreciate it :)

and last, but not least, i have to thank my darling blog swap partner, black labs and lilly, for my ADORABLE spring package! it was patiently awaiting my return from cali, and it was worth the wait.  i got the sweetest lilly travel mug {perfect for making my jasmine green tea addicition portable}, lilly notepad, and the lilly animal crackers {which you can bet your bottom dollar are nowhere to be found here in small town, va}. i also got two teeny little plant kits {zinnia and sunflower...loves it!} that i can't wait to put out on my stoop {i hate that word...stoop...it sounds weird} and cute little post-its.  thank you SO much! i just love it all. i hope you liked the items you've received so far, and the rest of your package is on its way :)

22 April 2010

home again, home again

hello, my loves!  i am back in small town, va after a MARVELOUS trip to california.  i have a trip review post planned for later this week and i have several blog awards from sweet bloggy friends that i need to acknowledge and pass on, but today i just wanted to take care of a few housekeeping items.

first off, a million of you asked where this magical j.crew clearance store is.  the answer is in lynchburg, virginia and there are actually two locations.  the original clearance store is still located at the j.crew warehouse on millrace road.  the second clearance store is located in a little planned neighborhood about a mile away, but i can't remember the name of the street or neighborhood.  i just know how to get there...my car pretty much runs on autopilot to these stores.  if you're ever driving through central virginia, it is a must-see {the stores, not lynchburg}. i wore the cashmere sweater with the pixie pants and my target knock-off jack rogers to our last junior league provisional meeting last week and it was too darling.

second, a MASSIVE thank-you to sweet miss trish.  she posted the most gorgeous letterpress print in her wordless wednesday post about her middle name and searched the interwebs hi and lo to find the source after i mentioned how much i loved it.  she found the print available for purchase and it's already on its way home to me.  i cannot wait to frame this and hang in my bedroom.  tres sweet.

also, a huge thank-you to those of you for your suggestions on the monogrammed bridal shower gift.  i loved the idea of a vanity tray and while looking around, i found this insanely well-priced engraved jewelry box.  it's ordered and hopefully {but doubtfully} will be here in time for the shower.  i'll probably be wrapping a picture of it and delivering it in person when it arrives, but either way, i think it's going to be perfect.  hard to go wrong with such a classic.  i wish i could buy the bride all of your suggestions, but it certainly helped me add a few things to my wants-it list!

lastly, thank you to all of you for your sweet and supportive comments about the new boy.  after two very long nights of intense conversation, we are staying together for the time being.  what happened was largely based on a misunderstanding, and while still hurtful, it changes things quite a bit.  that story is another post for another time, but long story short, we both really like each other and both like spending time together and we're going to stick with that and see where it goes.

i hope y'all had wonderful weeks.  i have about a bazillion posts in my google reader to catch up on!

19 April 2010

help me!

i am in desperate need of your help.  i have a bridal shower to attend very soon.  it's a monogram-themed shower and i was assigned the bedroom.  to be perfectly honest, i cannot afford to purchase the monogrammed pillow shams they are registered for at pottery barn.  i think sheets are WAY too personal to purchase for someone and once they're monogrammed, they wouldn't be returnable if she doesn't like the color or thread count or something.  and i would like to avoid anything home decor-ish as the bride-to-be is involved in interior design and is quite ahem discerning {read: incredibly picky} in her taste.

so this is where your expertise comes in.  i need something that fits into the assigned room of bedroom, can be monogrammed, and doesn't cost more than 50 bucks.  if it's not too much to ask, i would also like for it to be a gift for the bride, not for the couple.  it's her shower, after all, and i'll be buying them a gift as a couple for the actual wedding in june.

ok, you have your challenge.  now go to work and help a girl out! can't wait to see what you suggest...

16 April 2010

her serene highness

i feel it's a bit cliche to say it, but grace kelly is really and truly my be all-end all style icon.  i know a lot of gals prefer audrey, and no offense to that gorgeous gamine {i'll always have a soft spot for funny face and breakfast at tiffany's}, but nothing makes me happier than princess grace.

i spent part of my tres fab easter sunday at home watching high society with the parentals.  grace kelly, bing crosby, frank sinatra.  major swoon.  the only movie by her serene highness that tops high society is to catch a thief.  cary grant, major bling, the french riviera.  le sigh.  a movie i will NEVER tire of.  so i thought i'd visit some of my favorite scenes and images provided by the often imitated, never duplicated, completely divine grace kelly.

le sigh.  couldn't you just die? absolute perfection.

happy friday, lambs!

14 April 2010

saturday trip to mecca

as you read this, i should be somewhere in the sky on my way to palm springs!

one of the biggest perks of living in small town, va is that i'm only about an hour's drive away from mecca, aka the j.crew clearance store.  j.crew's shipping headquarters is located in our little neck of the woods and they have these two little gems where they sell items that are brand-new featured in the current catalog for majorly discounted prices.  there are various reasons why they choose to sell them in the clearance store instead of restocking them, but i've been told the main reason is that's it's not cost-effective for them to repackage the items.   whatever the reason, it adds up to major savings por moi!  take a look at the goods i scooped up on saturday:

the ladder-stitch cashmere sweater in neon rose, currently selling for $89.99 on the website.

the pippa patent peep-toes in grey, currently selling for $149.99 on the website.

the pixie pants, currently selling for $88 on the website.

the stretch twill minnie pants {my absolute obession in life} in wild blackberry, currently selling for $79.50 on the website.

and the most darling little black cotton-blend trapeze shell {embellished with a sprinkingly of black "jewels} that i can't find on the website, but as a long-time j.crew shopper, i would guesstimate retails for around $50 or $60.

grand total?  $146, including tax.  for all of that.  less than what just the shoes are selling for right now!  and everything is in pristene condition.

moral of the story:  y'all need to come visit me and i will take you on the shopping excursion of a lifetime.

13 April 2010

bon voyage!

signing off for a week in palm springs.  i've got a few scheduled posts up my sleeve while i'm away, but my computer access will be {deliberately} limited, so TTFN {ta ta for now}!

12 April 2010

weekend recap

recipe for the perfect saturday

hi lovelies!  i hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  mine was an absolute delight.  small town, va has a drive-in movie theatre and this past weekend was opening weekend for summer 2010.  it shows a double-feature every weekend {runs in reverse order on sunday nights} and is SO much fun!  this week, the blind side was showing {LOVED it!}and since two of my friends and i STILL hadn't seen it, we piled into violet the volvo and headed to the show.  we had every intention of staying for the second flick {it's complicated}, but we were all about to fall asleep, so we just called it a night.  i'm getting old.

saturday saw a successful j.crew shopping trip {more on that later} and a chick-fil-a diet arnold palmer.  throw in a pedicure {OPI Cajun Shrimp}, blue skies, sunshine, and dinner with my parents and their UK business partners at one of my all-time favorite restaurants and you have the makings of a perfect day.  not to worry, QBS, i peppered them with questions about the hopefully impending royal wedding.  their main concern is whether or not they'll get the day off work like we did when charley and di were hitched. i promised to wear a hat and gloves while i watch the wedding, even it's in the wee morning hours from my living room couch.

sunday was go, go, go as i am trying to get packed and ready for...COACHELLA! {socal bloggy friends, will any of y'all be there?  yes? let's try to meet up, even if only for a hug!} i cannot believe i'm leaving on wednesday for palm springs.  i am so excited to go back and see my uncle and spend time with my sister and friend K and hear some AMAZING music {whilst tanning myself into oblivion}, but i have a to-do list as long as my arm to take care of before i can hit the road.  fortunately got most of my preliminary packing done yesterday, so i just have to remember to throw in those last-minute toiletries and actually get everything into the car.  now if only i can remember to drop off the dry-cleaning, mail wedding RSVP's and blog swap packages, take care of a zillion things at the office, attend a junior league meeting with these yummies in tow, and get the puppy boy in the care of his grandparents by tomorrow at 6pm, i'll be all set :)

wish me luck!

09 April 2010

a question of utmost importance

actually...two questions.

so i am saving up for a lovely little handbag purchase, more commonly known as the louis vuitton speedy.  the first question is to all you speedy owners: do i get the 30 or the 35?  i think the decision will be pretty obvious to me in person, but i would still like some input.  i carry a lot of stuff around, so on the one hand, i think the 35 is the smart choice.  on the other hand, i've heard that unless you keep it completely full all of the time, the shape doesn't look very nice.  in which case, i think the 30 is the smart decision.  thoughts?

and then the REALLY big question:  the damier azur or the damier ebene? i absolutely will not get the monogram.  i say this in no offense to those of you who own items in the monogram, but it's just a tad logo-heavy for my tastes. j'adore the damier.  the ebene is certainly the more classic/traditional of the two, but the azur has really been calling out to me lately.  but i do think the ebene is more likely to stand the test of time.

so, ladies, what are we thinking?


note: yes, i do still have credit card debt that i am still diligently working on paying off and making good progress.  i'm not planning on going out and buying this bag today, even if that were logistically possible.  but i need to have an endpoint, a reward to focus on, if you will, for when i pay off my first two cards.  a little congrats! you did it/the end is in sight! present.  not to worry...i am not abandoning my dedebting goals for a purse.  pinky swear.

08 April 2010

q & a, part deux

ms. mindless said...

what is your absolute favorite outfit? summer AND winter. Accessories too.

This is a tough one. I’m not sure how specific to be because choosing a favorite outfit is like choosing a favorite child…or vodka. Also, I SUCK at Polyvore, so that doesn’t help. And let me clarify by saying i am just NOT an accessories person.  I wish I was, but I'm just not good at it.  I see other girls in their cute earrings and necklaces and belts and then I get all pouty and grumpy becase I think, now why couldn't I think of that?! Friend K made it a New Year's resolution to wear more accessories, and I'm thinking she was on to something.  Practice makes perfect.

Hmmm….In the summer, I would have to say….I got one of the ruffle sleeveless pique polo dresses in orange from J.Crew last summer that I have love, love, loved and absolutely worn into the ground. I’ll dress it up with a hot pink pashmina, gold gladiators, and my standard round diamond studs, or just thrown on some rainbows. It’s SOOOOOO comfortable and it’s just the right combination of sweet, sassy, and sexy. Plus I always get loads of compliments when I wear it!

Is it cheating to say in the winter my favorite outfit is a sweatshirt with yoga pants and my crazy fur boots? I kid….but, no, seriously? That’s probably it. I really really hate winter dressing. Like a lot. I have no talent for layering, I do not enjoy wearing pants, and I never feel warm enough in tights and skirts. That said, I freaking LOVE coats. A lot. So that’s my answer. A hooded sweatshirt, some Lululemons, my crazy fur boots, and a really lovely cashmere coat. And my trusty diamond studs. And my locket. Tres chic, no?

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I love these! I want to know what your absolute dream job is and are you doing anything close to that? And what kind of car do you drive?

Good one! I honestly don’t know exactly what my dream job is yet, but I think I’m getting pretty close. I’ve always wanted to be in the nonprofit world, which I am now, but I would prefer to be in the historical home/museum/art museum world {what I studied in college and am crazy passionate about} instead of the education world, where I am now. So basically I would like to advance up the job ladder in the same position I currently hold, but in a slightly different field. That all said, I am beyond blessed with my current work environment. I work with some AMAZING people, my boss is one of my best friends, and despite some of the inevitable bureaucratic red tape, we have a very supportive and efficient infrastructure, from top to bottom. Not too many people can say that about their first jobs, so I feel very lucky.

I drive a 2006 silver Volvo S40, sunroof, black leather interior. Her name is Violet. I love her madly. I will drive her until she is dead. Which, fingers crossed, is a very long time from now.

anonymous prep said...

What's your favorite book? If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?

Favorite book is a toss-up between Jane Eyre and Undaunted Courage. Nothing else comes close. Jane Eyre was recommended to me by a beloved high school teacher and I loved it every bit as much as she thought I would; I even wrote one of my college admissions essay on it. I was an American History major in college and I worship at the throne of Stephen Ambrose. Undaunted Courage continually blows my mind. Seriously…read it sometime and try to wrap your mind around the amazingness of the Louisiana Purchase and the Corps of Discovery.

As for vacation, Greece. Or Paris. I’ve never been to either {unless you count layovers at DeGaulle} and would go in a heartbeat. I would also love to go on an African safari, but I have internal struggle issues about taking extravagant vacations anywhere in Africa {my grandmother spent 6 months working in Uganda as a nurse and ever since, I feel like my time and money would be better spent going there and doing something productive.} But I also really pink puffy heart LOVE elephants and lions {I’m a Leo!}. I would also really really really like to go back to Italy. I spent a few weeks there in high school and it was wonderful, but I had ZERO appreciation for the amazing works of art and architecture and history I was seeing. Would really like to do that over again.

Little Pink Magnolia said...

How about, what is your ideal way to spend a saturday? Also, what are your favorite things to cook and/or eat?

Favorite way to spend a Saturday:  First off, it would have to be one of those days in early spring or late summer where it's that lovely crisp 75ish degree weather, blue skies, sunshine, lots of green.  Love those.  Would begin with the puppy boy letting me sleep past 8am {he's ready to roll no later than 7:30, even on the weekends}.  Then we would head out to the front porch with a book and a cup of green tea for me and a big stick for the puppy boy and just enjoy the morning for awhile.  This would be followed by the best brunch in town: a McDonald's Egg McMuffin and large Diet Coke, lite ice.  Judge all you want...I'm working with limited options here.  And Egg McMuffins are seriously tasty.  Then a nice long walk for the puppy boy with friend K and her doggie on our local nature trail.  Spend the afternoon wandering around the antique shops and all the cute boutiques downtown.  Lay out and nap in the sun.  Cook a leisurely dinner, complete with lots of vino.  And then hang out with the crew...generally at someone's house...drinking beer, making s'mores, listening to music, and just having fun!

It’s funny….my favorite things to cook are totally different from my favorite things to eat. I love to cook stews and soups and pot roasts and risottos. I think the whole chopping and stirring and simmering for a long time is very comforting and therapeutic. I also like the idea of preparing something warm and hearty. But I’m take it or leave it when it comes to eating those things. I don’t dislike them, but they’re not at the top of my list. I also love, love, love to bake but I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, so I give away most of what I make. I am anal to a fault, so the whole exact measurement part of baking really appeals to me. And the results are so pretty! And homemade baked goods always make people happy.

My favorite things to eat are….I don’t know how to explain it other than summer food or composed foods. Simple Southern or Italian food. Just really fresh antipasto basically. A good caprese salad, smoked salmon tartines, prosciutto and melon, tomato sandwiches, composed salads, sushi, cold soba noodles….stuff like that. Very fresh, very low maintenance, very yummy.

this was fun!  thanks to everyone who asked questions and i hope y'all have enjoyed getting to know the belle a little bit better!

07 April 2010

what's cooking wednesday: the new york times edition

i'm about 99.9% certain i have posted the link to this goldmine before, but it's so darn wonderful that it's worth repeating.  now that it's once again 85+ degrees here in small town, va every day {note: this is NOT a complaint}, it's time to revisit. this was an article published in the nyt last july and i became a woman on a mission...a mission to make and destroy every single one of these delicious-looking {sounding?} salads.  i failed.  but i don't give up so easily...i will be trying again this summer.  join in the fun! you and your bikini figure will not be disappointed.  allow me to suggest starting with the following:

number one, number seven, number thirteen, number twenty seven {can't recommend this one enough.  i eat it greedily and usually burn myself on the eggplant}, number thirty eight, number sixty three, and number seventy six.

i also feel it's wholly appropriate to wash any of these babies down with a nice glass of white or rose or bubbles.  these salads are so responsible that it seems ok to throw in a naught bit of midday drinking.  not that an irresponsible lunch has ever stopped me, but that's another story for another time.

bon appetit, darlings!

q & a, part 1

MCW said...

If you had to eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life which one would it be?

Oh God, this one is giving me heart palpitations. Only one?! Umm…so many choices. Sonic, Chick-Fil-A come to mind for good old fast food. Snake River Grill makes me unbelievably happy. All those great college food joints….Bodo’s, Take It Away, Café Europa, Continental Divide, Petit Pois. Yum. And I’ve been lucky to eat at many wonderful restaurants in my life…L’Atelier Joel Rubichon, Bouchon, several Daniel Boulud outposts {just to drop a few names}, and they’ve all been divine. But if I have to only choose one, Duner’s. Best kept secret in the C’Ville area. I have never had anything short of perfection there and the atmosphere is great. Unpretentious and cozy, but you know everyone there is a pretty serious foodie.

Suburban Princess said...

How are you enjoying AK? I kept hoping the train would come with the turn of every page! I was so excited to read it when Oprah had it for her book club but omg I couldnt get through it!

Hahahaha I laughed out loud at this question! Maybe I’m just too stupid to understand Tolstoy, but this book is taking me FOREVER. I am bored out of my mind most of the time., but I am determined to finish it because I am a total snob and need to be able to say I’ve read all of the classics. But I’m with you…jump in front of the train already!

icing on the cake said...

What are your best go to recipes? And, what are your three favorite cookbooks?

For a quick dinner with lots of leftovers, Ina Garten’s Bowties and Broccoli {I prefer to use fusilli}. To impress company in less than 15 minutes, Giada’s Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze. For anything that requires baked goods, Southern Living’s Coconut Cupcakes. All-time favorite is my personal recipe for couscous salad, born one day when cleaning out the fridge:

Cook a box of couscous {flavored or unflavored…doesn’t matter} in chicken stock and a wee bit of butter. Let cool a bit. Toss in crumbled feta cheese, chopped cucumber, chopped red onion, chopped tomato, salt, pepper, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Put in fridge. It gets better every day it sits. It is sooooooooooo good. It’s also really cheap and can be made to feed a crowd.

Favorite cookbook is Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris. I’m obsessed with her to begin with, but there is not a bad or difficult recipe in this book. I adore this kind of French bistro food. So simple, but so elegant. And so yummy!

Red and White Preppy said...

Who is this new boy? I need details, missy ;)

I won’t go into too many details here, as I’m pretty guarded about my personal relationships. He is technically a colleague, although not really. He’s my age. We met at a bar, where I was downing mucho tequila shots in order to recover from the last boy. He’s not a quote-unquote good guy, but he makes me laugh and this is the least neurotic I think I’ve ever been in a relationship. He’s also fun to look at. We’ll see where it goes. I am cautiously optimistic, but mainly just trying to take it a day at a time.

sorry i'm just now getting around to answering these!  stay tuned tomorrow for the conclusion.  happy hump day!

06 April 2010

what did the easter bunny bring me?

an easter miracle in the form of this handsome fella returning home.  i tried to tell my pops that it was a bad idea to let him run off leash in a wide open space, but nooooo, nobody listens to me.  as if i know what's best for my own puppy boy. pshaw.  at least he looked cute while making a run for it.

a basket full of goodies, courtesy of my mama.  you'll see nestled amongst the plastic grass the newly re-released animated alice in wonderland {a gem, if you ask me}, a chocolate bunny {because it's easter and you kind of have to}, prunes {don't ask...they're like candy to me}, cadbury mini eggs {they're like crack cocaine to me}, orbit mint mojito gum {mojito = sold}, a kroger gift card {because my mom is very practical}, and cleverly hidden in one of the eggs, a gift certificate for a pedicure {self-explanatory}.  nice job, easter bunny.

and more meds! yes, friends, we are going on week four of the sinus infection from hell.  the doctor called in the big guns, aka prednisone, last night.  i am not-so-patiently awaiting the results of the FOURTH medicine i've been put on in as many weeks.  pretty sure at this point you could sell my body to science.  le sigh.  i would really like to not cough anymore.

so what did he bring you?

05 April 2010

monday giggles

i shudder just having this on my blog, even in jest.

hi lovelies!  hope y'all had a wonderful easter weekend!  mine was just peachy {minus 10 minutes of sheer terror when the puppy boy got off leach and decided to run free around an industrial park}.  i am swampy mcswamped here at the office this morning, but i had to share this little chuckle.  my little sis and i have an ongoing competition as to who can spot the trashiest ed hardy gear {i know....not much of a competition}.  past winners include an ed hardy bedazzled crunk cup, spied on the shelves of t.j. maxx and a las-vegas limited edition airbrushed ed hardy trucker hat.  absolute gems.  so when i spotted this post on one of my all-time favorite websites, i busted out laughing and immediately passed it on to her.

so true...

04 April 2010

hoppy easter!

how darling are these vintage easter cards?

Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne,
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of Him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o'er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a scepter sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
and round his pierced feet
fair flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
throughout eternity.

02 April 2010

o happy day!

no joke, this is exactly what my house looks like right now.

well if yesterday was any indication, this should be a good weekend.  i'm not sure how much i've discussed this on here, but i am incredibly close to my paternal grandmother.  her name is dorothy {dot} and my whole life i have been called dot jr.  not only do i look exactly like her {the only thing i got from my mom's side are the big boobs} but we have almost identical personalities.  she is the person in this world i admire the most.  she is well-educated and well-travelled and kind and smart and funny and stylish and i could go on and on.  at 84, she has more zest for living than many 24-year olds i know.  she is constantly remodeling her house, reading books, hosting international students, hosting dinner parties, and driving all over the country to visit friends and family.  the other day she called us to see how our weekends were and casually mentioned she had just gotten back from a helicopter ride.  hilarious.  i wrote my college application essay on her.  she is, in my eyes, a complete rock-star.

for my 20th birthday, she gave me my two most cherished possessions.  her engagment ring {which is now appraised, insured, and locked away in a box until some nice boy decides to place it on my finger} and her locket.  her locket isn't much in terms of dollar value, but it is priceless.  she and each of her three sisters received them for christmas 1937.  they were gold-plated and engraved with their initials.  of the four sisters, my grandmother was the only one who kept her locket into adulthood.  the rest were lost.  it's really a beautiful locket, but the best part is that inside there is a picture of my devastatingly handsome grandfather in his world war II army uniform.  i never met my grandfather.  he died the year before i was born.  i grew being told how much he would have loved taking me out for ice cream and fishing, about how he lit up a room whenever he walked in, about how wonderful he was.  whenever anyone asks who i could have dinner with living or dead, he is always my answer.

this fall, i thought i lost my locket.  the last time i remembered having it was in california, but my uncle couldn't find it anywhere in his house.  i contacted boys i had dated over the summer, random people whose houses i had gone to cook-outs at, and everywhere in between.  no luck.  to say i was devastated is an understatement.  i had always planned to wear this locket at my wedding as my something old.  i had given up hope of ever finding it.

weirdly enough, when we were in wyoming, i kept having dreams about finding the necklace.  then yesterday i was going through my big work purse/tote and for some reason shoved my hand down into one of the tiny pockets that i never put anything in.  lo and behold, there is my locket.  the chain was quite tangled but after some dedicated wrestling, it is now unkinked and back on my neck.  what a lovely way to start my weekend!

tonight is farmer's market and homemade spring risotto {which recipe do you think?  ina or giada?} with friend k.  tomorrow is sunshine and the bull and oyster fest in town with the girls.  sunday is home for easter service and brunch with the parentals.  i hope you darlings have a wonderful weekend!  what are your plans?