Thursday, September 22, 2011


 Scarf and cardigan: Gap
Belt: H&M
Pants: Anthropologie
Oxfords: Aldo
These pants do strange things to me; they are the most unflattering things I own.  They're all the things short people should stay away from: cuffed, flood-length, pleated.  Yet it never fails that I get compliments every time I put them on!
 John Paul doesn't quite understand this phenomenon, but I know that it's a girl thing.  We understand that the best pieces of clothing doesn't always make the most sense.  We know that if pants are comfortable, if they fit with a certain aesthetic, if they're $20 at Anthropologie, we have to buy them. 
Wearing these pants is basically saying, "I don't have to wear a skirt and super-high heels to be feminine."  Wasn't it Marilyn Monroe who said, "Your clothes should be tight enough to show you're a woman, but loose enough to show you're a lady"?  I'll take my fashion cues from her every once in a while. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New to me

TGFN.  Thank goodness for Netflix.
John Paul is an Apple addict, and we bought the new Apple TV right when it came out.  It's a handy little device that allows you to rent movies and TV shows, as well as stream video content from youtube and...Netflix!  We don't have cable, so this is how we catch up on our favorite shows.  Well, this and Hulu.
Each month, I pay the streaming fee and we have access to HUNDREDS of television shows and movies.  Old  (Cheers, The Dick van Dyke Show) and new (Pushing Daisies, Battlestar Galactica).  Good (The Cosby Show, Party Down) and bad (Laguna Beach, The Hills).  I love it!  Here are some of the shows I get all couch-potato for:
The Cosby Show
I didn't grow up watching the Huxtable's family antics (it stopped airing when I was 6, so I don't know how much I could have appreciate it anyway), but really wish I had.  Clair and Cliff have a great, honest relationship, and their kids aren't super crazy; the whole show feels relate-able and familiar.  I'm about halfway through the first season, and was soooo glad when JP told me that the theme song changes each year.  I skipped ahead a bit, and love the 6th season opener best!

Oh, this show is dangerous.  I can already picture a marathon viewing the next weekend JP goes out of town.  FNL just finished its fifth and final season, although it always had a problem keeping viewers and switched networks after the second season (from NBC to DirecTV).  Although I can understand why some people might not be super into it, the acting is superb, with characters you feel for right from the pilot episode.  Yes, the focus is on football, but it's more about the relationships between the characters, especially coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tami, who I already think have one of the most realistic marriages on TV.
Oh, I resisted Battlestar.  John Paul has tried on three separate occasions to get me into the show, and it finally stuck once I realized we could just watch it anytime on Netflix.  The sci-fi fan in me rejoices with everything about this: great character development, epic plot (Cylons basically killed all but 50,000 humans, and they are trying to eke out a democratic existence in space while they search for a new home), romance, suspense, action, political intrigue...yes, yes, it aired on Sci-Fi (SyFy?  I don't have cable these days, so don't know these newfangled network names), but don't let that stop you from checking it out. I just started the fourth season and am DYING to know how this story ends! 
Party Down is seriously making me fall in love with Adam Scott.  He plays Henry, a guy who is well-known for some beer commercials from a few years ago and hasn't had any luck as an actor since.  His old friend, Ron, gives him a job at a party catering company, where Henry acts as a bartender.  Each episode focuses on a different event, and each of the two seasons is only 10 episodes long (so it won't take too long to get through the series).  It's a completely ridiculous show, with heaps of sarcasm, nudity, drug use, and language (Mom, I'm warning you now).  However, all of the characters are trying to break into the acting business but continue catering because...perhaps they like it.  I think the moral of this show is to not judge unconventional careers.  That's pretty deep for a 30 minute sitcom.

What have you been watching lately? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rustic Pasta

Remember when I told you there would be some vegan recipes on this blog following the cleanse I did?  Well, during that 3-day juicing, I read Alicia Silverstone's (yes, from Clueless) book, The Kind Diet, which is about sticking with a vegan and/or macrobiotic diet.  Half of it goes into why she's a vegan and the research behind sticking with a meatless and dairy-less diet, and the other half is full of recipes with lots of veggies, salads, and whole grains.
The first one that caught my eye was this rustic pasta dish.  It combines soy sauce and marinara sauce, caramelized onions and sauteed cabbage, and celery cooked so long it's softened to a consistency even I can't resist.  The flavors are perfectly complementary: salty soy with tangy tomato and sweetened onions.  Yum-my!
I used whole wheat rotini pasta, and 1/2 cup of marinara instead of 5-6 Tbsp.  Also, a whole head of cabbage wouldn't fit in the skillet, so I could only use half a head.  Trust me, it was enough!
This recipe made 5 servings, enough for two and a half meals for JP and I.  After we finished our bowlfuls, he looked at me and said, "Who was skeptical when you said vegan meal?  This guy.  And who's satisfied?  This guy!"  It must be good!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Strange Case of Origami Yoga

First of all, how sci-fi-tastic is this cover?  I love the paper Yoda with a real lightsaber; just gets you in the right mindset for reading this juvenile fiction book by Tom Angleberger.
Tommy, a 6th grader, just wants to know if Origami Yoda is real or not.  His weird, kind of loser friend, Dwight, starts wearing a paper Yoda on his finger one day, which should just make him seem even more weird.  Instead, Origami Yoda starts giving pretty sound advice to all of the students in his class about how to solve the mysteries of dancing with girls, confessing a mistake to a teacher, or facing bullies.  How can Origami Yoda be so wise when Dwight is such a strange kid?  Should the rest of the 6th grade class take the advice seriously?  And why in the world would is the Twist so important?
Each chapter is written from a different perspective; students share their Yoda experiences, and Tommy adds his two cents at the end of the stories.  It's a fun way of incorporating a variety of voices into the narrative, and giving each character its own personality.  There are great doodles throughout, as well as asides from Tommy's friends.
As soon as I put this book down, John Paul picked it up and enjoyed it too!  It's really about kids learning to be social and step outside of their comfort zones a bit, and that's always fun to be reminded of. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Parking Garage Model

Shirt: Gap (birthday gift from Katrina!)
Belt: J.Crew
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Nine West
Bracelets: random gifts from Grandma in North Carolina, Brent, and Mom!
I wore this outfit to start of my work week, and got so many compliments!  I love the color of this top, the pinky nudish mauve-iness of it.  It's a great compliment to the dotty textured gray skirt, which is a little big now and has more of a paper bag waist than usual.
Man, look at that hair!  It's getting so long, I can barely stand it.  At least it finally got trimmed this weekend, and is shiny, healthy and split-end-free!
Watch out, world!  I've got a great outfit, a great haircut, and an alien green manicure- this girl is unstoppable.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BluePrint Cleanse

This weekend I did a juice cleanse.  I can already feel some judgment from typing that, so let me explain why a girl who loves food deeply voluntarily chose to drink all of her nutrients for three days.  Get ready for a long post!
A couple weekends ago, John Paul and I went to a dinner party.  Well, he went for dinner while I ran some errands, and got there in time for some dessert and wine.  At the dinner part, he ate such a huge hunk of steak that it made him sick the next morning.  On the other hand, I had a small, meatless dinner and woke up feeling fine.  Something's weird there...I started thinking about my body, and how great a mostly plant-based diet makes me feel great, whereas a very meaty meal completely zaps my energy.  I'd also been feeling really overwhelmed with wedding and social stuff, and I needed to get back to my center.
Some of the food blogs I read had tried a BluePrint Cleanse for a long weekend, and I figured Why not?  I had some birthday money to help pay for it (totally not cheap), and would use this weekend to not focus on my food cravings and what people wanted to do; I would just drink what they sent me, what my body needed to energize itself, and make me time a priority.  (It helped that John Paul was out of town on business.)
Before starting the cleanse, BPC recommends that you pre-cleanse.  This means that for 3-4 days beforehand, cut out meat, dairy, caffeine, and no grains the day before.  I ate lots of salads and fruit, along with some quinoa and brown rice.  Already I felt really good; sleeping really well and feeling great about what I was putting into my body.  The picture above is my last meal: spinach, avocado, and red onion with lemon juice and pepper.  Simple and tasty.
On Thursday afternoon, my juices arrived in a cardboard box with lots of ice packets.  I put them right into the fridge; this is what I would grab when I got hungry over the weekend.  Six juices per day for three days.  Before you start thinking I'm going to pass out from lack of nutrients (my mom called a few times to make sure I was still among the living), let me tell you that each day is full of 20 lbs. of fruits and veggies. 

I did the Renovation cleanse, which had 2 green smoothies (kale, apple, lemon, etc.), and 4 other juices which you drink in a specific order.  Start of the day and lunch on green juice, and then sip on the others 2-3 hours apart from each other.
This one was perfect for a mid-morning pick-me-up: pineapple apple mint.  Sweet and refreshing.
No. 5 was a little tangy, with beet, apple, ginger...this was basically dinner, and it hit the spot. 
This cashew milk was dessert: water, cashews, agave, cinnamon and vanilla.  I was so sad to drink my last one on Sunday night!  It was perfectly sweet and filling to tide me over until morning. 
I'm happy to report that I had tons of energy this weekend!  Summer and I went on a 4.5 mile walk on  Friday, Mia and I jogged 3.5 miles on Saturday, and I did an intense yoga class Sunday morning.  I slept deeply, no headaches, no fatigue...just lots of time to relax and do my own little projects.  
Monday, it was back to the real world and real food.  I'm not craving brownies and burgers, just brown rice and arugula.  I know I'll be back to baking soon, but I'll be looking into healthier ways to sate those sweet cravings, and you  might see some vegan recipes on here (sorry, Aunt Nesi!) among desserts and chilis.  All in all, a great experience, though definitely an indulgence.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Things that make me happy...

New beauty splurges: F21 nail polishes and Daisy by Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh roll-on.  (I've already used the green and silver; so fun!)
Used book purchases from the DCPL city-wide sale last Thursday.  Old copies of Joy of Cooking, The Audobon Society Book of Wildflowers,  Bridget Jones' Diary, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle...all less than $3.  I love libraries!
John Paul's homemade tortillas.  Holy bananas, these were sooo good.  (I should confess that this pic is from last week...but it still makes me happy!)
What I did this weekend.  Check back tomorrow for more details...

Friday, September 9, 2011

House Tour

Can I take you on a little house tour?  A few things have changed since the last time I showed you our little abode.
My very patient fiance shrugged his shoulders and kissed my cheek when I brought home yet another owl.  This one is from West Elm, and I absolutely adore him.  His name is Winfred.
Our new(ish) runner.  It's difficult to find a rug that both JP and I like, but this one is awesome!  Plush and bohemian without being stuffy.  I especially love the colors.  Hi to our original owl holding the umbrellas, Humphrey!
We moved the bookshelves that were acting as our bedside tables.  The desk on my side is a gift from my wonderful father; I sanded off the old paint and updated it with this blue.  It pops, no?
JP is using an old trunk that also has some of our linens inside.
The bookshelves are now inside of the office, and we actually have lots of books on them!  What a novel (ha!) idea.
We put some of our books in the office, freeing up the shelves in the living room.  It does look less crowded, but I'm not sure if I'm as crazy about the silver accents between the books.  We'll see if it grows on me.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blueberry Boy Bait

How could you pass up something with a name like Blueberry Boy Bait?  A couple weekends ago, JP and I were invited to a large-ish dinner party at a friend's house, and it was honestly too hot to bake a cake.  Or cookies (the idea of doing batch after batch of baking in a hot kitchen made me feel sweaty).  Brownies always seem a bit heavy for the summer, with dense, bitter dark chocolate, and I wasn't feel brave enough for a pie.  While scanning through Smitten Kitchen, I came across this wonderfully-named dessert with blueberry (I had some frozen in my freezer) treat.  No special ingredients needed, and I figured we could all use some boy bait in our lives.
I've got to say, this dessert is exactly what the name implies.  They're perfectly sweet, not cloying, and there's a slight crust on top, courtesy of some sugar and cinnamon.  I had no leftovers, and everyone loved how cute they looked with the little signs on top!  Not too fancy, but not boxed, either, this dessert was just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

I played my first round of golf!  Ok, I'm truly awful at it, but there's no where to go from here but up.

I wandered around Barnes and Noble for new cookbooks.  Do I have a problem?
My baby girl and my boo cuddling on the couch.  I love them.
We took some pictures with my phone.
Also saw some awesome, albeit very different, movies.  The Debt was incredibly tense, and we had a lot of discussion after.  Our Idiot Brother was such a great, fun, feel-good film; I really think you should see it if your faith in people is waning.

I ate the most fun cupcake I've ever laid eyes on.

Friday, September 2, 2011


This book was hysterical.  Laughing until I cried, rolling around on the floor, unable to breathe, funny.  Tina Fey's kind-of memoir doesn't cover anything truly ground-breaking, but she explains her rise to comedy heavy-hitter via Tina Fey impersonations, friendly but bitchy gays from high school,  YMCA receptionist in Chicago, and Second City improvisor.  On the way, she covers her horrible honeymoon, the first years of 30 Rock, a very brief description of how she got that infamous scar, an afternoon spent with Monica Lewinsky, why she hired the people she did for her TV show, and being a powerful woman in comedy.  I call it a "kind-of" memoir because there are essays about being female in a male-dominated workplace and fake letters to the Internet (among others).  And that cover...
Although there aren't heaps on adventure in Bossypants, I couldn't put it down.  And, somehow, I appreciated Tina Fey even more after reading it.  How is that possible?  I thought I couldn't like her more.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Well, we painted our guest bathroom together.  And lived to tell the tale.
Our guest bathroom has needed a touch-up since we moved in last October; a handyman painted a corner the wrong color when fixing a baseboard, and it's bugged me for months!  
The nice thing about the room is that there's a huge mirror spanning most of one wall, and lots of lights above the mirror, resulting in a room that looks much bigger than it actually is.  Thanks to the forethought of the first guy who lived there, it's one of those special cases where it can handle being painted a really dark color.  So we went for it: espresso brown.  Or chocolate.  Whatever.  JP and I were pretty excited about it.
But first, we had to tape off the borders (using Frog Tape) and prime the walls.  We did that one weekend, and finished the paint job last weekend, when we had more time to devote to two coats of paint.
Let me say, I'm very impressed with the visual knockout of the new color.  It really gives the room some much-needed depth, and the marble countertops now pop against the walls, rather than blend in.  
The best part is that JP and I survived a house project together!  No raised voices, no issues with techniques.. he even let me listen to Katy Perry and Adele while we painted.  Now that's a good man.
How do you like this shot of us in our comfy clothes?  We like to hang out at home in our bum clothes; please, withhold any judgment.