Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Sleep-in


Shug and I were so lucky to have dinner and drinks with friends we haven't seen in eons,
aka since the wedding!

I had the most amazing scallops.

I'm still thinking about them.

Hope your Sunday is lazy!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finally!

What are your plans for the weekend?
I hope it's not to blizzard-y where you are!

I'm going to pretend there's a blizzard here
and hole up to finally watch Coco Before Chanel,
make soup,
and wear stretchy pants.

What are your plans and do they involve pants with an elastic waistband?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Replacement Killers


I've been in love with these Swedish Hasbeens Jodhpur Boots in black for awhile.

Unfortunately they cost 2495 kroner.

That's $325 in 'Merican.

So, I tried to find a worthy replacement in the "clog that will change your life" department and stumbled across these.


Not exactly a boot, not exactly black, not exactly Hasbeens, but hey,
I'm a student and don't have luxury of a "cost-per-wear"
breakdown right now.

I found these little cuties at JessJamesJake on Etsy.

Fine little replacements, indeed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Perspective.


I had a quick conversation with a dear friend the other day that has had the horror of growing up beside me for almost half of my life. He's seen me through a few different shades of hair, at least eleventeen different style changes, 2 study abroads, leaning how to wakeboard, 27 medical school rejections, 9 roomates, a broken heart, a trip to Vegas, 4 moves, countless debaucherous anecdotes, one boston terrier, finding my soulmate, 1 wedding, and 3 college degrees. We discussed my impending birthday and how crazy it is to be a certifiable "adult." As my thirties bear down on me, I'm weirdly calm about it.

I used to hatehatehate my birthday. On the cusp of turning 13, I opted for a pragmatic 12b. Even as a kid, I knew things got a lot more complicated when you were a teenager. I'd gotten really good at being a kid, I didn't want to give all of that up just because I had an ides of March birthday. So 12b I was for a good six months.

When I was 15, I managed to crash a car on the driving range mere weeks before the liberation my 16th birthday would have allowed with a driver's license. Aside from the shame exacted from everyone at school knowing I crashed a car in the school parking lot, I was a little relieved that the responsibility to maneuver 2 tons of metal down a windy mountain canyon each day had been delayed. I was still figuring out how to be a teenager, I wasn't ready to steer yet.

My 21st birthday, looked forward to by so many, found me driving my good-intentioned and quite inebriated roommates home after a single cranberry and vodka. My celebratory night on the town turned into an obligatory designated driver evening. And that was ok with me. I knew wasn't ready for the teeth of young adulthood. I quietly transitioned into my twenties. Mindful and terrified.

Now, with thirty staring me down like a mean girl at the mall, I find myself uncompelled to smooth my hair and reapply my Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers. I'm happy with the self-worth I've mined out of years and miles of muck and uncertainty. I finally feel comfortable in my own skin and my strong, amazing body. My need to dodge and tarry the oncoming years has dissolved into a comfortable state of acceptance and gratitude. I get to wake up every day. I get another opportunity to say "thank you," "I love you," and "I'm important."

I get the luxury of hindsight and perspective. And that is only possible with time.

Photo from 1999!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

On the heels of yesterday's post touting how imperative it is try to eat vegetarian a few nights a week, I wanted to get a recipe up that is supremely easy (and microwave-free;)). All you need to prepare these perfect, delicious, and visually stunning cups is for the earth to make them and you just cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and 30 minutes later relish in Mother Nature's amazing work. How easy is that?

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 2 with extra stuffing for tomorrow's lunches
Ingredients:
One acorn squash, cut in half with the seeds scraped out
Extra virgin olive oil
4-5 new or red potatoes, scrubbed clean and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
Few pinches of dried rubbed sage
Pinch of saffron
1 bay leaf left whole
1 can vegan/vegetarian gluten free cream of mushroom soup*
1 cup rinsed quinoa
1 cup frozen peas
1 squirt Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Freshly ground black pepper
Few slivers of Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while you wrestle with the squash. Squirt a little of the extra virgin olive oil on a cookie sheet and place the squash cut side down and place in the oven. Let bake for 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife.

While your squash is baking, bring 1 cup of quinoa to a boil with 2 cups of water. Reduce to a simmer and cover. In a large saucepan, saute the potatoes in some olive oil. Once they start to soften add the onions. Season with the sage, bay leaf, saffron, Bragg's, and pepper. The quinoa should be close to being finished, so keep an eye on it!

Once the potatoes are tender, throw in the cup of frozen peas and the can of cream of mushroom soup. Once well combined add the quinoa. Mix until well incorporated and the peas are hot. Give it a taste and add more Bragg's and pepper if needed. Take out the bay leaf. Remove your squash from the oven, turn them over and fill with your delicious stuffing. Top with Parmesan if wanted and sit back and pat yourself on the back. You are actively helping the planet!

*Healthy Valley makes a great gluten free Cream of Mushroom soup! It's not as thick as the mushroom soup you may know and love, but it is organic and the flavor is much better in my opinion!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vegan Feast


AND it was gluten-free to boot! How'd the engaged lovebirds, Supermodel and Shug's BBF, handle this feat? Well, first off, they had to invite two of the most awesomest peeps in the universe over for dinner, *ahem* that would be us...don't laugh, we are awesome, ok, maybe not THE awesomest, but we hang out with people that could very well be considered "the -est" on many fronts, the engaged lovebirds, for example.

Then, they had to finish reading a veryimportantbook, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Not only has Supermodel touted this as a life-changer, BBF has gone from fast-food carnivore and carnitas taco-stand regular to 90% vegan. Yup, folks, that's no meat, no dairy, no honey, no refined sugar. Sound positively Puritanical? It's not.

The lovebirds made us an amazing dinner complete with gluten-free pasta with an almond cauliflower pesto, broiled tomatoes with a garlicy topping, and (for the glutens) a sauteed mushroom bruschetta that had been rubbed with fresh garlic cloves and olive oil. Vegan chocolate chip cookies rounded out the night.

Is your mouth watering yet?

They whipped this meal up while also preparing their week's worth of dinners. Multi-tasking and planning has allowed them to free themselves of the comforts of a microwave. They use their stove and oven to prepare their food and remain more connected to the process that went into making their delicious, healthy fare. While their move to whole, healthy foods may seem extreme to some, I think it's a conscientious and responsible decision. Take a look at a few of these facts if everyone in the U.S. ate vegetarian, not vegan, for JUST ONE DAY would conserve:
  • 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months
  • 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year
  • 70 million gallons of gas -- enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare
  • 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware
  • 33 tons of antibiotics kept out of our water supply and environment
The very best statistic is this: if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. How easy it that to start making a difference?

If we aren't ready to go vegan, maybe we can be ready to eat vegetarian just one or two days a week. Shug and I are already trying to reach that goal and honestly we've been compelled to cut the meat and dairy out more...Do you have any ways you've been cutting back and conserving?

*Thanks to huntingforporkchops for the post inspiration and veggie stats here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Boston Terrier Art




These portraits are so austere and hilarious.

I may need one.

By Brian Rubenacker.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm already married and all, but...


...Holy hell I love this Lanvin wedding dress!

It's two pieces, the top rings in at $600...not too bad,
BUT the skirt, is $3200...

Yeouch.

In comparison to a Vera Wang or a Monique Lhuillier,
this dress is a downright bargain and totally worth the investment because...

5 words:

LANVIN
ON
YOUR
WEDDING
DAY.

Lovely ladies that are getting hitched this summer, this is your warning.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Naptime Yet?

Whew!

Has it been a crazy week or is it just me?

I wanna take a four hour snoozer,
but that's gonna have to wait until I retire.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

I have homework, homework, homework!

And maybe a nap...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic Fever


Did you get to see Lindsey Vonn win the gold medal in the women's downhill last night? It brought a tear to my eye! She battled through injury to win by almost half a second! That's years in the downhill world!

She is the most decorated skier from the U.S., but hadn't captured a medal at any Olympic Games until yesterday.

When she saw her hubby at the bottom of the slope and started crying, THAT is what the Games are all about...Gah! I lurve the Olympics!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vs.


I know I shouldn't have expected anything less for Superbowl advertising, but I REFUSE to believe that love of football and misogyny are mutually exclusive.

What do you think? It seems men only have to be "civilized" to get a fast car. I hate that this commercial makes men seem so one-dimensional and spineless...

P.S. F-bomb alert at the end of the female's commercial...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dreaming in Cabinets




I hope you get the day off today!

I'm frittering my day away browsing sites like Design*Sponge
for ideas on how to redo our kitchen.

Shug and I lucked out this last year when we purchased our house
and received the 8G tax credit for doing so!

I know that is costs some major moolah to remodel,
so I'm taking suggestions on how to make ends meet and still have a quality finished product.

The "quality finished product" being our kitchen.

Please submit suggestions below.

xo.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yours Truly Presents: The Morning Benders "Excuses" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.



Here's a little romance ditty. I hope your day is sweet! xo

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Font Nerd Cookie Cutters





How do you make your cookies even MORE perfect?

Use the PERFECT font (aka Helvetica) cookie cutters.

Shug want's me to make a batch rightnow.


They aren't for sale, but were made by artist Beverly Hsu.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Weekend!


Do you get a three-day weekend?

I hope so.

I hope you are doing something fun with someone you love!

xo.

Awesome Valentine from AbleandGame.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happiest Birthday...!

Today is my Dad's birthday!
I think he and my mumma are going to celebrate
by:
  • playing his new Wii game
  • catching up on DVRed episodes of this
  • eating sour pickles and bison at Ted's
  • shooting some clay pigeons with his new skeet rifle
I wish I could be there to celebrate with the funniest, sweetest, hardest-working man I know!
Happy birthday, I love ya!
xo

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Paraben-Free Update


A few weeks ago, I embarked on an adventure. I aspired to rid my house of all cosmetics, lotions, soaps, scrubs, and potions that had parabens in them. Little did I know that everything, I mean EVERYthing, has parabens in them!

Most of my spendy makeup I splurged on for the wedding, yep, has em'. My favorite of all favorite cleansers, that is touted by dermatologists as the BEST, has em' too. Even Shug's favorite local heat and serve enchiladas have them in it!!!

So, instead of the huge overhaul I had planned, I've been phasing the house over bit by bit. It's been a tedious process. You know why products have parabens in them? Because it makes them work better! Case in point, in search of a paraben-free mascara, I tried Physician's Formula Organic Wear. Aside from the fact that I smelled like honey all day (the smell really never went away), I had raccoon eyes by lunchtime.

Some products I've tried are actually better than products I've been using with parabens. Two products I've fallen hard for have been Korres Lip Butter and just extra virgin coconut oil. The lip butter is pretty self-explanatory, but the coconut oil is amazing! I've been using it as a moisturizer for my face and body, on the ends of my hair, as an oil-cleanser for my face, and to cook with. I know I sound like a crazy hippie, but this stuff has a million uses!

If you have any paraben-free products you love, let me know!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentines




How cute are these sewn Valentines?
Cuore's Etsy shop is stocked with cards for any type of animal lover!

Of course, I'm partial to the Boston Terrier Valentine...

Monday, February 8, 2010

A book for the reading pile: Middlesex

A few years ago, under prompting from Bestest Best and Oprah, I tried to start Middlesex. I must not have been feeling as fortified as one should to read of metaphorical, literal, and cultural genocides. I threw in the towel a mere hundred pages in.

I regretted it.

Last week, at the urgings of my abominable cold, I tucked into my couch and started Middlesex from the beginning. I was so happy I did.

I don't want to give too much away about the characters or the plot, but I will say you will be pulling for characters and their horrific actions with irreparable consequences just a few chapters in.

The nature of straddling two worlds is explored in depth in this book: the Old World vs. the New World, Eurocentric "Americanism" vs. Hellenic assimilation, gender roles vs. biological sex classification, incestuous love vs. forced pair bonding, and being a man vs. being a woman vs. being both. Um, LOTS was covered in this amazing multi-generational story.

The beauty of Jeffery Eugenides's writing had the pages turning at a rate unnoticed to me. I was so compelled to keep on with Calliope's journey...and her grandparents', and her parents' journeys, I was shocked when I had reached the last page.

I truly believe Middlesex will become a modern classic. It traces the history of a young country along with the mutation of a human gene, passed from generation to generation - the only remnant of a rich heritage so quickly forgotten in the name of homogeneity...the American way.


Also, thanks to Kenzie for the post on the benefits of reading the printed word. I hope to never live in a world without books.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lights




I thought this industrial chandelier by PhDConceptions is pretty darn cool looking.

I think it would look amazing over a dining or kitchen table!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mociun






I am dreaming in jewelry today.

Can you tell?

All these beauts are from mociun.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekend Ready.

I've never been happier to see a weekend in a while!
(And, no, it's not because it's the Superbowl on Sunday!)

It won't even be that restful of a weekend,
but sometimes it's nice to just leave a stressful week behind!

I'm going to a psychology conference all day on Saturday,
what are your plans for the weekend??

xo

Photo by Shug.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trying Something New

Last night a former coworker and good friend, Grace, stopped by to discuss her new logo design with Shug. She needs a logo for her coffee shop that will be opening in a little over a month. It was just a few weeks ago that she and I worked our last shift together at the coffee shop where I am still employed. Grace had been at the shop for about seven years.

Words can't describe how proud I am of her! Lately, I've been beginning to feel the pressures of adulthood and the realization that many things are NOT possible if I just put my mind to them...I'm not complaining about this fact, just recognizing that I never will become a surgeon or physician; a life goal that I finally retired after years of rejection letters, a depleted bank account, and the selfishness of living a life where I can be present with my loved ones. I also will never be a rock star, but we needn't delve into my "woulda-coulda-shoulda" list...!

What I am so very proud of is Grace's ability to stick to her dream, her tenacity through all of the tar and cement and sludge that settles in as we near certifiable "adulthood." We both have worked for small businesses our entire lives, but always for men. Now Grace will be a female business-owner where the stats say it's still 300 men to 1 woman. I admire her so much for uprooting herself from her comfort zone, her routine, her everyday life to dream big. I admire her because she is strong, brave, and a little bit crazy.

I'm going to take Grace's jump into business ownership as a lesson and an inspiration: even if some dreams may not be attainable any more, there are still new ones that can be created.

So, New Decade, let's try something new...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Birthday Present


Shug got a Blackbird for his b-day!

I love that it looks vintage and uses *gasp* film...

I think I may have to borrow it just a little,
but Shug has to load the film.

I still can't get it right.

Monday, February 1, 2010

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