Friday, October 29, 2010

So I bought a cropped top...

Top: Urban Outfitters
Skirt and earrings: F21
It's true; see the above for proof!
I know, I know, first the long skirt, then the cropped top...what's next?  I'm doing everything girls under 6' shouldn't!  The day that I bought this top was the same day I bought the skirt I wore a couple weeks ago, and was just feeling courageous and experimental.  The shirt was a sale find, and I didn't even try it on before buying.  It's just that I have a lot of high-waisted skirts, and I got tired of tucking all of my tops into the waistline.  The print is easy to match with anything, it's super soft, and I can't help liking the cropped top a lot!
I also love these earrings!!  They're just fun and make any outfit pop.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Casa Shelton-Diego, Pt. 1

A lot of people have asked why we moved; could you say no to these living rooms views?  That's the park where we can take Mia for her daily walks.
This is the view from the dining room window.  Those towers in the back are the National Cathedral!  It's so gorgeous to eat breakfast in the morning and watch the fall colors come in.
Our mantel's a little bare, but we're going to get a mirror cut to go into the frame (it's a flea market find; John Paul painted it black).  The gas fireplace works with the flip of a switch!  I love the clean white and turquoise accents against the neutral wall, and Mia's new toy basket fits perfectly into a nook between the fireplace and built-in bookcase.
The new kitchen is a bit smaller, but has the same amenities (gas stovetop, great fridge, marble countertops) as the last one, plus these great glass cabinets!  It's encouraged us to get fun colors to punch up the white cabinets, like new latte bowls from Anthropologie in yellow and red (hey, my man's Spanish, what can I say?).
I have to post this, because it's my favorite new thing we've bought for our home.  John Paul needed a new dresser, and we both fell for this mid-century "gentleman's dresser" from Hunted House in Logan Circle.  It's in tip-top shape, and is a great compliment to my Heywood Wakefield dresser that my dad refinished years ago and has moved with me from Florida to DC!
Somewhere in the apartment, John Paul's other loafer is weeping from loneliness.
Ok, maybe the office needs a little work.  It's a process!
I love looking out the window and seeing my little family on the corner.  Hi Mia and John Paul!
More pictures to come soon, along with the story of moving our 92-inch couch into the smaller living room.  We're very lucky to have such generous and helpful friends in the city!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Roasted Chicken

Do you have a crock pot?  If you do and you're like me, you love it.  Looooove it.  I pick up something, throw it in, turn the pot on high and eat dinner eight hours later.  Crock pots are perfect for people who work and love simple meals!
All we did was buy a whole chicken, skin on and everything, some carrots and onions, and various seasonings.   There are a few steps to this, but it couldn't possibly be easier!  The chicken comes out juicy and incredibly tender, and the carrots and onions are soft and tasty.  It's a great fall meal!

Roasted Chicken in a Crock Pot
1 whole chicken, bag of gross stuff removed from the cavity
1 c. chicken broth
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into thick coins
1 onion, thickly cut 
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 tsp. of the following: saffron, paprika, pepper, coarse salt
Throw everything into a crock pot.  Turn onto high for 8-10 hours, and cover.  After however many hours, serve with white rice and eat up!
John Paul actually made this, but I did have an integral hand in eating it.  Does that count?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Perfect Saturday

Jacket: Anthropologie
Scarf: Gift from Mom!
Tank: F21
Jeans: Gap
Ballet flats: Gap
Necklace: Vintage
Oh, I love Saturdays!  John Paul and I spent our day walking around Georgetown, checking out the new public library, drinking cappuccinos at Patisserie Poupon, and eating chocolate/bacon bars.  What the what?!  The only thing that could have made the day better was if I could have found a way to eat free Baked and Wired cupcakes.

What's that you say? I did? At the Georgetown Library? Well, then...I guess I had the perfect Saturday. 
I'll put up a couple of pictures of the new place later this week; it's really looking great!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest Blogger Goes Rogue!

Sure you think that Abbi is fashionable now - but she came by it honestly, she's always been particular about what she wore.    Granted, when she was young I got had some control over what she had on  - but she has always had a definite idea of what she wanted to wear.  Sometimes it was dictated by having to match her sister or cousins!  When I questioned her choice of long pink cotton prom-type dress and high-tops on the way out to high school one day, she accused me of "not letting her express her individuality".  And I have to say - I am glad I held my tongue (most of the time anyway) and let her be creative - she does have a certain flair for fashion!  I love you Abbi!

Tomorrow Abbi gets her internet back and she takes back over her blog - but Haley and I have had fun being her guest bloggers and we are honored (aren't we Haley?) that she trusted us enough to fill in for her!

Abby and Haley in matching nighties, courtesy of Grandmas in NC!
Abbi has always like pockets and Haley has always loved her big sister.

Summer Jean and Abbi getting married - I think?!

Big bows were the style and dig the balloons in my hair!

Singing in the rain - Abbi still loves raincoats - she wants to look cute in any weather.

Check out that whale sprout hair do and giant cow on her sweater.

The year of matching Christmas outfits - they were cute!

 This is what EVERY librarian was wearing on "The Hill" that day.  And somehow Abbi made it look good!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ceasar Salad

     My eyes were opened to the intricacies of a good Caesar salad by our mom's best friend, Sari.  Rather than just tossing lettuce into a bowl and pouring dressing over it, she showed me how to make a paste of garlic cloves and anchovies and smear it around the bowl before adding the lettuce so that each bite of salad would have that same bite of garlic and salt of anchovy.  The salad dressing is from Martha Stewart's Good Food Fast (a book so popular in our family, it is commonly known as "the bible").  The recipe suggests adding anchovies to the dressing, but I omitted them because they're used in the actual salad.  The way you interpret this recipe is really up to you: if you like garlic, add more garlic, if you like anchovies, add more anchovies.  One thing I beg of you, however, is to use fresh-ground black pepper; there really is no substitute for the subtle heat of coarse ground pepper and using pre-ground pepper just does not do justice to this spice. 
     I made this particular salad for my weekly dinner at Aunt Nesi's.  I didn't add as many anchovies as I would have liked (I have a strange fondness for canned, cured fish), but the salad ended up being a perfect compliment to the hot wings that Nesi made for dinner, a way to cool down our mouths after eating copious amounts of spicy deliciousness.  One tip for this salad is to microwave the lemons before slicing and juicing them; they will yield a lot more juice. 

     For Salad:
Romaine Lettuce
Garlic Cloves
Anchovies (I prefer flat fillets packed in olive oil, but rolled fillets with capers are equally delicious)
Parmesan Cheese (to garnish)
Black Pepper
     For Dressing:
Lemon Juice
Low-fat Mayonnaise
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Black Pepper

To prepare dressing, combine equal parts lemon juice, mayonnaise, and Parmesan cheese in a blender.  Add one garlic clove.  Blend until smooth.  Add black pepper to taste. 

To prepare salad, smash 3 anchovies and 2 large garlic cloves into a paste in the bottom of a salad bowl using any flat-bottomed glass.  Tear a piece of lettuce and use it to smear the paste all around the bottom and sides of the bowl.  Leave that piece of lettuce in the bowl, and cut and add the remaining lettuce.  Squeeze the juice of one half of a lemon over the lettuce. Mix the salad to more evenly distribute the anchovy-garlic paste, garnish with Parmesan cheese and black pepper.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Olives or Dinosaur Eggs?

To channel Abbi......

Earrings:  Macy's
Sweater: Gap
Skirt: Sampson & Delilah
Shoes:  Ecco

So....I wasn't going to do a fashion post - but after I bought this skirt I changed my mind.  We have a FANTASTIC Farmer's Market here in Urbana, Illinois.  They have produce, meat, cheese, baked goods and they also have some lovely handmade items.  I have been going by the Sampson & Delilah ( booth for two years now and finally made the plunge to get a skirt from her - LOVE IT!  Her stuff is adorable; she even has a skirt with bacon and eggs on it!  She appliques on skirts, jackets and such and has a really great quirky sense of style. The skirt fits perfectly, is just the right length and is SO much fun!  I wore it Monday (which some of you know was my birthday) and it just seemed to make the day more festive.

I did have a question, though...since it has olives on it (which immediately makes me think MARTINI), is it appropriate to wear in the children's department of a public library?  I mentioned this to a colleague and he said he thought they were dinosaur eggs!  Problem solved - when I wear my skirt to work, those round green things are dinosaur eggs, when I wear it out with adults, they are martini olives!

The shoes are librarian shoes fo' sho' - but they are cute, and most importantly comfy. While living in Bethesda, with no car I might add, I came around to the comfy shoe philosophy.  I judged my shoe purchases on the whether I thought I could walk to dinner in them or not.  These passed the test!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gonna Have To Face It - I'm Addicted To Hummus!

When trying to decide what recipe to make for my big debut as a blogger, several ideas when through my head - dessert, soup (one of my favorite things to make), martini (we'll save that for the next time Abbi asks me to fill in for her) or hummus - yes, hummus!  We love hummus at the Fegley house and it is ALWAYS in the refrigerator.  Brent used to buy his hummus - blah!  I could make it and it would be healthier (less sodium), less expensive and of course, taste better.  We mix it up sometimes and make it with olives or sprouts, by my favorite is roasted red pepper hummus.  In Bethesda we had lovely neighbors from Jordan; Nadine told me to throw away my hummus recipe, she would teach me how to make hummus.  I went over her apartment one day and we made hummus by taste - tasting along the way to make sure it how we wanted it.  Her mother suggested, okay... she insisted, that it was best to start with dried beans, that you soak and boil to ready them.  Readying the garbanzo beans is a bit of a pain but worth it because of all the sodium added to canned beans, which you want to avoid.  Soak the dried beans overnight in water, then boil for at least an hour to soften - I use a cock pot and put them on at least 1/2 a day.

Now some people like their hummus smooth (that would be me) and some people like it a bit chunky - but when you make it yourself you can have it however you wish.  Remember to add small amounts of liquid as you go - you can always add more, but you can't take it out and nobody likes hummus that runs off your pretzel, cracker, pita or whatever else you choose to eat it with.

I actually wrote the recipe down while I was making it - but really feel free to make it your own.

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups prepared garbanzo beans (either from a can or soaked and boiled)
2 cloves of peeled garlic - more if you like garlic
1/4 of a 16 oz. jar of roasted red peppers
dash of cayenne pepper
coarse ground pepper to taste
pinch of salt

Save some of the water you used to boil the garbanzo beans - add sparely to thin out the hummus as you make it.

Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor to the texture you like it - easy as that!

We love to eat this with Snyder's Onion and Pumpernickel pretzels or on a sandwich with sprouts and tomatoes.

Side note:  In our family we call garbanzo beans, butt beans - they do look like little butts, don't they?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Romeo and Juliet

Abbi said, "You could write a blog post about a book you've read recently!"  Trouble is, I am taking 2 literature classes this semester, so most of my reading is being done against my will.  So, I started browsing my bookshelf to remind myself about books that have meant something to me, ones that have changed my life.  The book, it turns out, was in the car; I rarely go anywhere without it (you never know when you'll be stuck in a waiting room for hours), and it bears the scars of its travels.  The cover is bent, the spine is cracked right in half and dangerously close to coming completely un-attached, most pages are either dog-eared or contain underlining, and someone spilled a rather large cup of coffee on it. It is my absolute favorite book.
Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers who take their lives.  It's a terribly tragic story, full of civil war and accidental deaths.  Thankfully, my life has lacked all of the tragedy and most of the drama of this play, but I have found so many poignant and applicable ideas in its pages.  Every time I must leave my boyfriend (we do long distance), I recall Romeo's simple "Can I go forward when my heart is here?"  When I find myself rushing through a task, I remember Friar Laurence's "Wisely and slow.  They stumble that run fast".  And how else could you explain some behavior other than, "Young men's love then lies/ Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes"?        
Shakespeare (as everyone has been told) truly does have a masterful way with words, whether he is comparing kissing to praying or describing Romeo's reaction to his banishment: "with his own tears made drunk".  I have never failed to find myself inspired after even a single page in this play, and relish the way the words flow together in such a beautiful way.  On top of all of that, Shakespeare even writes in iambic pentameter: 10 syllables per line.  Now that is serious skill. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mommi!

I won't say exactly how many years ago the blessed event happened, but 40-some-odd years ago, our Mommi was born!  Hooray!  So, in honor of her birthday, I have assembled a list of 5 things you should know about Lora Fegley:

1. She plays a mean game of croquet (and is also totally adorable with a sweater slung over her shoulders).

2. If you mix Greek music and hand-made instruments, she is a dancing machine.

3. She could have been a world-famous surfer...

4. ...but she decided instead to go to school and set a really really good example for her daughters.

5. She loves (loves!) Publix subs.

6. She is the best best best Mommi ever.  Abbi and I are are so lucky to have her as a fantastic role model of everything that a woman should be: kind, funny, understanding, and strong. 
Oh, and a good dancer.

Yes, I realize that was 6 things, but really, how can you sum up a woman like her with only 5??

Friday, October 15, 2010


John Paul and I have lived at our wonderful apartment for a little over two years, and it's been pretty good to us.  We have a great kitchen, surround sound came with, and a massive living room.  However, we've never felt like it's our home, more like a very nice hotel that we're fortunate enough to spend all of our time in.  A silly complaint, but the truth nonetheless.
Today we're moving into a slightly smaller, but way homier, condo just a few blocks from our current building.  It has beautiful views of Georgetown and the National Cathedral, built-in bookcases, and amazing light!  Mia's a little nervous about all the boxes crowding our current place, so she'll be glad to settle into the new location, and we're so excited about moving!  It's great to be moving onto something else, and we're hoping to stay in the new condo for the next several years.
So that means that I won't have the Internet for the next week or so.  Have no fear, though; I've called in some favors and will have some great guest bloggers sharing their own wonderful recipes, book recommendations, and maybe even an outfit or two.  I know you'll love them, and it'll be awesome to get some new ideas from them!  Fingers crossed, I'll be back on October 25.  Until then, enjoy yourselves!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cozy Komi

Dress: Loehmann's find!
Leggings: Gap
Shoes: Nine West
Scarf: Gift from Mom (organic cotton and wonderful!)
Clutch: H&M
My man's birthday was 10.10.10!  What a wonderful date for a wonderful man; I honestly can't imagine how lame my life would be if he wasn't born 25 years ago.  His parents visited over the weekend, and we went out to dinner at the best restaurant in DC.  Komi is certifiably mind-blowingly delicious; the chef has won numerous awards, it's been listed in tons of magazines and publications, and it's the only place where I'll eat the sardines.  If that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does.  Find out more about it at Washingtonian.
This outfit does double-duty: it's high-waisted, so I can stuff my face with perfectly prepared goat and suckling pig, and it's gorgeous, so I still look good for a celebratory dinner.  The nude of the dress is a great match for the anchor of black shoes and leggings (hey, it was chilly), and easy to cap off with a scarf.  I felt great, and even better after a three-hour wining and dining experience.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Into the Forest

Something about post-apocalyptic novels are just incredibly intriguing to me.  I wonder how I would deal in a world unpopulated by massive amounts of people and what the atmosphere would be like, and like to believe that I'm picking up tips and advice on how to live in an unknown world when I read books like Into the Forest.
Jean Hegland's 1996 novel takes place in an unnamed time, so it could be now or the future. Nell and Eva are two sisters who live 32 miles from the closest town, in a Northern California forest, when life as they know it changes.  Over the course of a few months, gas and food supplies dwindle, people die from new strains of the flu, and power eventually completely goes out.  Nell, the 17-year old protagonist, chronicles the events of her life in her journal: the death of her mother from cancer before the world collapses around them, Eva's attempts to cling to her past life by dancing without music for hours on end, her father's traumatic death in the fall after everything changes.  After the sisters are left on their own, they have to figure out a way to live in the forest, a place their mother warned them about as children.  Despite the bitter winter, dwindling food supplies, and the darkest of humanity, the two girls succeed in drawing out what the forest has to offer in terms of food, and solace.  The worst of what they endure is simply being secluded, and having to lean on each other for everything.
This book came very highly recommended, and I'm so very glad I finally picked it up and read it.  The story is not only beautifully told, but entirely believable.  Nell and Eva are definitely sisters who fight and make up, love each other fiercely, and try to eke out their own individual lives, even when their needs are so intertwined.  The story of how these girls come to make the forest their home, and the trials they face in simply surviving, make for a wonderfully engaging novel.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Short Girl in a Long Skirt

Tank Top: Gap
Skirt: H&M
Sandals: Nine West
Necklace: Vintage
Everyone around me seems to be taking fashion risks: Haley's wearing strapless jumpsuits, Summer's buying leggings and tunics, even John Paul is buying pleated pants!  I can't just be left in the courage dust, so I scooped this skirt up on a shopping dare from myself.  It's actually pretty flattering, making me look a little taller because of the super-high waist, and I love the muted colors. 
I can see myself wearing this to holiday parties, coffee dates, Sunday afternoon walks....for its' first outing, though, the skirt and I went to lunch with the Diego family. I even got a compliment or two! High fives for doing something different!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cocoa Banana Muffins

This plate perfectly describes these muffins!  They're slightly chocolatey from the cocoa powder (no actual chocolate used), super moist from the bananas and yogurt, and tastefully sweet.  As in, yes, they're a bit desserty, but total acceptable breakfast food. 
I think I might be officially over the chocolate and banana combination for the time being... although this recipe could bring me back.

Cocoa Banana Muffins (adapted from Nick Malgieri's The Modern Baker, 2008)
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 medium very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
1/2 c. Greek yogurt or sour cream
12 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and mix well.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together mashed bananas and yogurt/sour cream.
3. Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well mixed, and a little lightened in color (about 1 min.). Beat in eggs one at a time, beating smooth after each.
4. Decrease mixer speed to low and beat in 1/2 flour mixture, then 1/2 banana mixture. Repeat until everything is mixed and tastes good when you stick your finger in to test (yes, you should definitely not skip this step).
5. Divide batter equally among muffin pans either greased or fitted with cupcake liners.
6. Bake until they are well risen and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack then eat up!