Friday, April 29, 2011

Daydreaming About Vacations

Every once in a while I like to pop over to the Kate Spade website and browse around.  I can't actually afford anything, but a little Friday afternoon swoon never hurt a girl.

Doesn't this screen shot make you want to set sail on a fabulous sunny vacation?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Savory Dessert: Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

We have an out of town guest coming to town tomorrow and I'm planning an intimate dinner for four on Friday.  Yesterday I got a wild hare up my ass and decided in addition to lamb shanks and a certain potato dish I found irresistible,  I should also include a dessert.

Ok Ill be honest: I was also looking for an excuse to bust out the new ice cream maker I got at a recent bridal shower.

There's no question what the dessert should be: salted caramel ice cream.  My special fella loves caramel.  I mean he LOVES it.  Our guest of honor (like myself) is a salt-fiend.  It's the perfect compromise.

A quick google search brought me to David Lebovitz, who is unarguably an authority on ice cream and all things delicious.  He's also a fantastic writer, and I respect the hell out of him for that.  I decided his recipe is my best bet.

I'm currently halfway through the process, and though the recipe isn't difficult, it is a process.  The custard took a lot of babying and is currently chilling, as is my ice cream maker.  Both need a minimum eight-hour chill before the next step, so it's a good thing I read the recipe last night.  I also prefer firmer ice cream, so giving it more time in the freezer is important to me.

In the end, I hope to have smooth rich caramel ice cream with salty toffee crackles sprinkled throughout.  I'll keep you posted.

Update:  We had this on Friday night and it was everything I'd hoped it would be... and more!  I'm going to have to keep myself from making this ALL THE TIME because it's just so wonderful.  I'd balloon within a month!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I'm Wearing - Making the Most of It

Those of you who read my other blog know I've been running to work a few days a week, gearing up for May when I release the parking spot I have been leasing in my office's garage.

The plan is to run each way, which gives me a great workout when I'd normally just be sitting on my ass in my car dealing with road rage.  It won't be a piece of cake, but I think it's the best (and cheapest!) solution out there.  I'm trying to lose that last 15 lbs, and I get to do one of my favorite things: multitask!

Running to work takes some planning ahead.  I have to champion a 400-foot hillclimb between point A and point B, so I really don't like to carry stuff on my back -- discovered this one the hard way.  This means I throw a bunch of similar looking things into a bag that will all work with one pair of shoes, the same sweater, and maybe a belt, and drop the bag off at the office over the weekend and just hope to heck it all matches.

This week is a combo of driving and running, so I put together three outfits (that I don't have to iron) to make the most of what I've got.  When I say I put these outfits together, what I really mean is I was frantically running around the apartment Monday morning grabbing anything that was nearby.  Luckily, I keep my clothes pretty basic, because as I have said before, I look stupid in trendy clothes.  Really wishing for some black tights right now, though.  Note to self...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Recap: New Toys (Part 1)

On Saturday four wonderful women threw me a bridal shower.  The theme was "Setting the Table."  The guests included family and friends of my mother's; I have a great family and I love my mom's girlfriends, so it was a really fun time.  In addition to some beautiful linens, dishes, and other hostessing items, I also got a stack of cards full of personal words of wisdom from each of the ladies.  It was such a great afternoon.

Well, I couldn't wait to play with my new toys, so I immediately put together an intimate afternoon luncheon for the next day.

(my aunt Terri carried that table cloth with her back from her trip to India earlier this year)

I served a simple lunch of lemon roasted chicken with rosemary potatoes, a green herby salad with pears and a champagne dijon vinaigrette, and a raw vegan spumone cake for dessert

I'm pretty proud of that chicken.  It was golden and crispy on the outside, and oh so moist on the inside.

Chicken is kind of my specialty.

And we had a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free guest so the whole meal addressed those concerns, including the spumone cake.

I adapted the recipe from the My New Roots raw cashew cake, and is a pretty successful vegan version of spumone ice cream.  The three layers are chocolate pecan, pistachio vanilla, and almond cherry.  The only change I think I'd make is adding more cherries to the top layer.  Even so, I really enjoyed it as is.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Online Shopping Made Dangerously User-Friendly

Hi there.  Have y'all heard of a little thing called  Unfortunately, it's fabulous.  It's an automated personal shopper that surveys you on what you like, and then presents you with options... and then more options... and then more.

I'm obsessed.

Here's a little glimpse of what I just set up for myself:

My store front:

My saved items:

Then they take it a step further:

I'm trying not to waste too much time on this, but it's so much fun!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Just Gotta Say...

I need to say this: looking through Dwell Magazine makes me shudder, and not in the good way.  I want to like it, but the pretense dripping from every well-staged photograph of yet another minimalist abode makes me want to punch someone.

This, however, makes me happy:

Tuesday Morning Serenade - Schuyler Fisk

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Longtime Love: Botanical Prints

I really really love botanical prints.  A lot.

image from

image from BrigidsFancy

I'm discovering I'm more drawn to fruits.

image from

I do love flower prints too, especially if they include the root structure.

I think when I'm rich I'm going to have a whole wall of large framed botanical prints.  I'll sit and stare at it all day.

One more:


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sewing Update: Baby Quilt Delivered!

Saturday afternoon I went to a baby shower for my cousin Katie, hosted by her sister in law.  It was a beautiful shower.  Everything was pink for a baby girl.

Growing up, Katie was always like a big sister to me; we both lived in Seattle, went to the same grade school and high school, and spent big family holidays attached at the hip.  It's nice to have a girl cousin close in age.

(yep, I'm pretty sure those are matching hats)

Since she and her husband announced they are expecting their first baby, I knew I wanted to give her something special - something handmade for the occasion.  A quilt, naturally.

I've been very into pennant flags recently, and a subtle carnival theme sounded fun.  The wide gray and white stripes reference the old timey circus tents without being too literal, and the rest is pretty on-the-surface.  I think it turned out great.  The flags are interactive, being only attached at the top edge.  They will fray slightly over time, giving it a nice worn in look.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but I embroidered a loopy little string on the fly-away balloon.  Super cute.

Stay tuned for more baby quilt goodness - this will be quite the year for babies among my friends and family!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shoe Intrigue - Tibor

So I'm poking around on for fun on Friday afternoon when I come across this shoe:  the Tibor.  I can't stop looking at them.  I kind of want them, even though they are bordering between fabulous and absurd.  These little pretties also come in black and brown, but I really only would want white.  What do you think?  Love 'em or hate 'em?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Daydreaming About My Bedroom

I've been browsing the catalogs that came in the mail today.  If I won a shopping spree at West Elm, this is pretty much what my bedroom would look like