29 June 2012

Friday Favorites

Today's Friday Favorites is dedicated to one of my very favorite holidays: the Fourth of July!

I'm working with Amanda on another little project and discovered these fabulous Fourth of July freebies.  You just have to "like" her Facebook page.   All the things!!

My favorite cherry pie:  I use this recipe with this crust.   Yes, it takes a bit more effort to make a crust from scratch than using Pillsbury's.  Yes, it takes a bit more effort to make the pie filling from scratch instead of the canned "cherry pie filling".  But one bite of this pie and I guarantee you that allllll that effort is worth it.

A lovely little red and white Hamptons hideaway.  I NEED that chair.

American Girl

American Girl by gesshoo featuring striped flats

How cute is Michelle Williams?  Inspired by this post, I made a sweet little Fourth of July outfit that's perfect for a cookout and fireworks.

My blog crush, Jenny Steffens Hobick, has conveniently rounded up all of her Fourth of July posts in one place.  There are menus, recipes, table settings, and all sorts of inspirational eye-candy goodness.

What are your plans for the Fourth?

28 June 2012

Room to Outfit Inspiration

Remember this room I posted about a few weeks ago?  I seriously cannot get it out of my head.

And then I saw this dress at J.Crew and realized not only can I recreate this room, but I can wear it too!

Ginger Jar Inspired

Ginger Jar Inspired by gesshoo featuring leather sandals  

I think this outfit would be so perfect to wear to a sweet garden wedding or bridal shower.  Since I have no sweet garden event to attend this summer, I'll just wear this around the house for Food Network marathons.  What do you think?

26 June 2012

Summer Bargains

Three recent bargains I had to share with y'all:
I snagged this dress on major clearance at Belk. Retails for $94, currently on sale for $27.  Note that the website lists the "designer" as Donna Morgan, but it's actually ND New Directions.  I'm thinking this will be tres cute with my gold gladiators and some turquoise earrings.

I've always worn J.Crew's vintage v-neck tees, but I've been kind of disappointed in them.  Several of them have gotten large holes in them after just a few wears and washes, and the ones that have held up have stretched out over time so that they don't fit as well as they initially did.  And I'm not saying over the course of a few years.  We're talking over just a month or two.  And these are for tees that cost almost $30.

As of yet, these Old Navy tees don't come in nearly as nice of a color selection, but I think the fit is MUCH better.  And if you buy 2 or more, they're only $7.50 each. 

We are big Bullfrog fans in my family, and M goes through a bottle of sunscreen a week during the summer.  This stuff normally retails for $9.99.  Tar-jay has it on sale for $7.99 this week and around the lid of each bottle is a manufacturer's coupon for an automatic additional $1 off.  Plus if you're a Shopkick user, there's a Target mobile coupon for another $2 off.

Happy shopping!

25 June 2012

Menu Monday

Last week was unintentionally very hectic.  My car died on Monday evening while M was still out of town for work, which meant I spent a lot of time Tuesday and Wednesday going back and forth between the car shop and Enterprise.  So sadly, this means only two recipes for y'all this week.  Single tear.

Chicken and Feta Tabbouleh {Cooking Light April 2009}
 I don't know why I've always been intimidated by the idea of making tabbouleh, because this was basically foolproof.  The only change I might make is a little less parsley {I thought the flavor was too overwhelming} and cooking the bulgur wheat in chicken stock instead of water.  Otherwise, this is THE perfect summer meal.  Light and healthy and ultra refreshing.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi {Cooking Light March 2009}
Meh.  Not bad. Not great.  I thought it was pretty bland.  I think this will probably get ditched.  There are lots of other healthy and quick shrimp dishes that are much better {see last week's shrimp alfredo}.

Bon appetit!

19 June 2012

My Birfday

I don't know about you, but around these parts, we celebrate birthMONTHS.  And by we, I mean I. And my mama.  {I can feel the eyerolls coming from the general directions of my father and husband's desks.}  And since my birthmonth kicks off in a mere 43 days {but who's counting?}, I thought I'd start leaving some ever-so-subtle wishlist hints for my nearest and dearest here on the ole blog.  Today, we start with the big guns.
I would just adore another David Yurman cable to keep my current one company.  In either the February birthstone {get it, M? So that I have one with mine and one with yours? I am being SO GENEROUS to keep you in mind whilst birthday shopping for myself} or the buckle clasp.  Because it reminds me of that pony I never got as a child.
Or we could take a trip to the Hermes store during our Boston jaunt to check out my long-desired H bracelet and to see if the TPM size is an urban legend or dream-come-true for this tiny-wristed gal.

 Or if you are feeling extra romantical, we could stroll on over to the Louis Vuitton store {my research tells me there is one near our hotel} and I could decide once and for all if I want the Neverfull MM or the PM.

 Welp, that should be plenty of food for thought for now. 
What's on your current wishlist?

18 June 2012

Menu Monday

 I unofficially declared last week the week of Cooking Light September 2011.  I didn't notice that all but one of the recipes I pulled out of my binder were from the exact same magazine.  Whoops. 

Fish en Papillote {Laura Calder French Food at Home}

Stir-fried Chinese Egg Noodles {Cooking Light September 2011}
Another one of those meals that meets our favorite criteria: super easy to make and super easy to clean up.  My grocery store is not cosmopolitan enough to sell Chinese egg noodles, so I used refrigerated fresh linguine.  I also used 2 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce instead of chile paste.

Buffalo Chicken Thighs {Cooking Light September 2011}
 Let's just put it this way:  I'll be making this for M the next time I want him to "surprise" me with a gift that comes in a little orange box.  M LOVES buffalo wings; they're probably his favorite food.  I made smashed potatoes by mixing smashed, boiled redskin potatoes with 2 teaspoons of ranch dressing mix and a container of Greek yogurt.  I thought he was going to start licking his plate.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo {Cooking Light September 2011}
My only complaint about this meal is that it's one of those dishes that requires perfect timing, and that's not really how I cook.   I should've started heating the pasta water much sooner than I did, but that was my fault.  Oh well.  It still turned out very tasty.  M said it was even good cold the next day for lunch.

Bon appetit!

15 June 2012

Friday Favorites

So I recently discovered Bailey's blog, Peppermint Bliss, {I know, where on earth have I been?!}, and I am completely enamored with this budget kitchen idea.  So incredibly chic.

I pretty much love everything on Snippet & Ink {especially since they featured our wedding!}, but I am REALLY loving this Blue Gingham inspiration board.  I would've loved to have had a spring picnic wedding and this is pretty much perfection.

My love for Campari cannot be overstated.  It's a bit of an acquired taste, but for me, it's an obsession.  Whilst perusing restaurant options for our forthcoming trip to Boston, I stumbled upon this delightful cocktail from Island Creek Oyster Bar:
The Bicyclette - Campari, St. Germain, Bubbly.
Now how incredible does that sound?!

Someone please buy these lamps for me.

And these, please.

Happy weekend!

14 June 2012

Man Shades

After Tuesday's post, I don't want y'all to think that I'm not trying to fluff up M with some spit and polish; I totally am.  Current victories include exorcising his closet of the A.C. Slater jeans and his old man orthopedic dress shoes; his requesting a pair of Sperrys with no encouragement from me; and the fact that he now owns 4 Brooks Brothers items.  Progress, people.  Progress.

Next on the list are sunglasses.  Here are his current sunglasses:
Like, this exact same pair.

I've always thought they were a wee bit Zack Morris {in keeping with the Saved by the Bell analogy}, but I had bigger battles to fight so I kind of let it be.  Then a few weeks ago a few of his buddies were giving him a hard time about them and I saw my window of opportunity.  Because if your heterosexual male friends are ragging on your shades, it's time to step up yo' game.

He has requested no aviators and no Wayfarers.  So here is what I have come up with:

The Orvis ones are my favorite, but methinks M is going to be more into the first pair. I had to include the Ray-Bans because they're the ones Don Draper wears. Rawr.  And the Persols are classics.

What do you think?  Which ones are your favorite?  Any more suggestions?

13 June 2012

The Kate Effect, Part ???

I'm in the market for some nude pumps, so obvi the Duchess of Perfection was the first source I consulted.  During a People magazine reading one of our marathon text convos {we are sister wives, after all}, she just raved about her LK Bennett Sledge pumps.  Says she wears them allllllllll the time.

 And while I do think they would be a terrific investment, her clothing budget is just a smidge more generous than mine, so I am forced to look elsewhere for more wallet-friendly options. I'm such a plebe.

Here are the contenders.  I need your opinions and feedback, s'il vous plait

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Which ones do we think?  I'm back and forth between the first two pairs, but I think they're all worthy of consideration. 

12 June 2012

Gifts for Dudes

The Dude Gift Guide
I have never, ever done a gift guide on here before, mainly because so many other bloggers do them and do them much better than I would.


Every gift guide I see for men makes me want to pull my hair out.  Because every gift guide for men seems to assume that you have an ultra-dapper/stylish/hipster/quirky husband/brother/father/significant other.  And I do not.  I have no men in my life {at least not the men I buy gifts for} who fall into this category.  If I bought my husband a pair of horn-rimmed glasses or a faux bois iPhone cover or a tweed blazer + plaid bow tie combo, he would look at me like I had lost my ever-loving mind.

And yet every single gift guide I see for men has these things and these things only.  Where are the gift guides for guys who like to drink Budweiser and watch football and don't really know what faux bois is? 

I give you the Dude Gift Guide.  You're welcome.

1. Orvis Golf Sweatshirt
This is what we got my father-in-law for Father's Day.  He is an avid golfer and plays year-round, so we thought this would be nice and cozy for him during his fall/winter/early spring rounds.
2. Set of Personalized Golf Balls
We got these for my father-in-law for his birthday this year; we had them made with his monogram and the year "2012" on the second line.
3. Orvis Battenkill Hanging Travel Kit
My dad and my husband both travel a lot for work.  My dad has had a Battenkill travel kit since I was in the 6th grade and it's still going strong.  I've been building M's collection of Battenkill luggage since our first Christmas together and I think this may be the next addition.
4. Suntory Yamazaki 12 yr single malt whisky
My daddy loves scotch, bourbon, and whiskey and he enjoys trying different varieties.  This Japanese scotch was recommended by Martha Stewart Living.
5. Collegiate Tervis Tumbler
We are big Tervis Tumbler fans at our house. You absolutely cannot go wrong with these.  I put one with the Maryland state flag in M's stocking this year and he loves it.
6. "A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello"
My daddy is also a big-time gardener.  When I was at UVA, he used to love to visit Monticello and look at the gardens.  This new book from the head gardener at Monticello is right up his ally. 
7. Rare Bird Alert: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
One of M's favorite bands.  We've seen them live a few times and actually had this album, but he left it in a rental car.  If your man likes bluegrass and/or the incredibly multi-talented Steve Martin, you'll want to pick this up for him.  
8. Barbour Beaufort Jacket
I love mine.  Dad loves his.  I want to get one for M this year.  They really are the best.
9. Ted's Butcher Block Bacon of the Month Club
This gift is a HUGE hit in our family.  I've purchased it for my dad twice and my parents bought it for M for his birthday last year.  The product is incredible and it's such a fun novelty gift.
10. Weber 22.5-Inch One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill
What man doesn't love to grill?  My husband is a charcoal snob and this grill is high on his list of wants.  Plus, it's the same one that my girl Ina uses; how bad can that be?
11. Tickets to see his favorite baseball team
Pretty self-explanatory. All the men in my life love sporting events of any kind.

What do you think?  Are the men in your life Dapper Dans or are they more The Dude?  What else would you add to this gift guide?

11 June 2012

Menu Monday

Lots of goodies for you this week.  Enjoy!

We both really enjoyed this meal.  I made it with haddock, since our grocery store doesn't sell sustainable flounder.  I used yellow bell pepper, because I don't really like green bell pepper.  Otherwise, no adjustments.  It was tasty and it met our weeknight repeat requirements: super easy to make and super easy to clean up.

Orange and Balsamic Chicken {Everyday Food November 2010}
 So I liked this. A lot.  But M LOVED it.  As in, could not stop raving about it and declared that it would be on the list of his last meal choices.  I think I've served the guy too many boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  A chicken thigh with bone-in, skin-on apparently sends him over the top these days.

Meh.  This was average, at best.  I added a splash of white wine and some roasted grape tomatoes so there would be some sort of a sauce, and even that didn't add much flavor.  M enjoyed the leftovers heated up with some marinara sauce, but I just was not into this at all.  

Grilled Garden Wrap {Iowa Girl Eats}
I absolutely loved this.  Super fresh and easy and tasty.  I didn't miss the meat at all.  M, on the other hand...well, he doesn't really like cream cheese in the first place, so that didn't help.  He did say that with the addition of some grilled chicken and the subtraction of the cream cheese he thought he would like it.  But I'm not big on fixing two basically separate meals for two people, so this recipe will go in my "Single Nights" file. Yum.

taken on Instagram.  Come follow me! @belleonheels

Speaking of "Single Nights" recipes.  M was at his brother's bachelor party this weekend, which gave me a chance to bust out the goat cheese, my secret lover.  M HATES goat cheese and I could eat it with a spoon 3 meals a day.  I heart it, big time.  This meal was just all sorts of happiness-inducing por moi.  

Bon appetit!