It’s been awhile since I have actually taken a book out and read it…a book other than 50 Shades of Grey that is. Maybe it’s the cold weather and warm blankets that are putting me in a more scholarly mood.
I forgot how much I like books and adding to my collection. There is just something about holding a hard cover book and smelling the pages that a kindle or iPad just can replace. Sorry hubs, my book hoarding continues with these new additions:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I am a sucker for aristocratic stories. Now that this is a movie with Miss Kiera Knightley I want to read the book before the movie. Now lets see if I can get through all these pages.
By Invitation Only: How we Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shopped
Gilt is a nonstop inspiration board for me. I love the story, I love their model, and I love the way they present their ideas from the goofy tech side of Gilt http://tech.gilt.com/ to they way they update the look and feel of their site. Oh and high end fashion is involved – enough said
Quiet by Susan Cain
I had the chance to listen to Susan speak at a conference i attended in Boston a few months ago, and the power this quiet little introvert brought was amazing. I came back sharing ideas and advocating to make our offices more conducive to all types introverts and extroverts! I can’t wait to read this.
I am so excited about my husbands new website design at zingsale.com (price alert service for when things go on sale at Amazon) so make sure to check it out!
Oh and I got all 3 books, hardcover and new, for $18…thanks babe!
Living and working in the city is fabulous. Walking around the city is not.
I always thought living in the city would be a nonstop sex in the city episode filled with fancy shoes, taking private cars and taxis, reservations at the best restaurants, and always looking perfectly coifed. This almost never happens….
Instead what does happen is:
- messy hair (due to wind)
- the need to be layered up (thank you random 15 degree temperature drops)
- constantly waiting for cabs
- 2 hour long restaurant waits with no reservation
- your fancy heels get stuck in drain pipes or scraped up while walking on the pavement
- that aroma that lets you know you are in the Tenderloin and need to skidaddle - – hipsters riding their hipster bikes, while wearing their hipster clothes and their hipster practical shoes (and for a split second you contemplate biking)
- trying to find that app you downloaded that promises prompt taxi or car service
So what makes this fun and what shines light at the end of the tunnel, are cute, comfortable (eek did I really just say comfortable and shoes in the same sentence) flats. Yes, flats have now become an essential requirement in my closet!
So here is my roundup. My pick of favorite flats that are chic appropriate, fashion inspired and comfortable for being that city girl. All the classic flats a girl must have that arent too expensive so you won’t cry when you wear them down
Red Valentino - Quilted Leather Ballet Flats
2. Classic Black with an edge
Melter by Steven
$85 And look they are on sale at the Nordstrom Half Yearly!
If you must go with Tory Burch then at least go for metallic…Gold is my favorite
Tory Burch Reva Ballet Flat
4. Don’t want black AND beige
London Sole Beige Leather Quilt with Black toecap
5. Bright Colored
Repetto’s are soft, comfortable and come in fabulous colors!
BB patent-leather ballet flats
6. & 7. Skulls or regal
Skulls - Alexander McQueen
Regal - Miu Miu
London Soles - I love the Henrietta in Leopard Prints
I am in love with Gilt Group today. It’s a lazy day and we are watching back to back episodes of Kidnapped. Love that show! Anyhow here is what I have come across…Now I just need to find a way to rationalize me buying these
Buying a loft or any other type of property is frustrating, EXPENSIVE and amazingly awesome After spending ridiculous amounts of money on rent, the Hubs and I decided to put that $ towards something and actually buy our own place. After looking at over 30 properties, placing several offers, getting outbid by kids from Twitter and Facebook, and competing with cash offers, we finally found our slice of San Francisco.
Thanks to our amazing realtor Lisa Fuller, we couldnt have done this without her.
Isn’t the new Casa Garlotta pretty
We spent 10 minutes looking at this place and the majority of the time was spent on the patio…
How often do you see an outdoor space this BIG in the city! We knew we HAD to have it!
The bathrooms are extremly small and there is NO closet space but our bedroom is nice and open so we’ll make do just fine
Now we get to make this all our own and decorate it how we want
I have been on a 4 month hiatus and now I’m back. I decided to make this post my NYE post
I dont typically make resolutions or proceed in the new year, with the thought that something grand and different will happen, i just go. But I had a moment recently. You know that moment when you think oh shit – I have to have a life change and it has to happen now.
You would think this moment would happen walking down the isle, graduating college, moving to a new city, but no. My moment happened sitting spread eagle at my doctors office and him telling me I needed to get healthy. I hate the gyno.
So this brings me to my NYE post six months into the “new year”
Here is my reflection:
- Celebrated my first year of marriage on May 30th
- Gained 15 lbs (yikes)
- I have outrageous blood pressure
- Bought a house
- Found an amazing job
- Lost a few loved ones
Wow what a year. It’s been inspirational, it’s been scary, it’s been happy, it’s been sad but most importantly it’s been the best year of my life (maybe that’s why I have high blood pressure now
Thank you Pinterest for giving me a new addiction! While perusing Pinterest I came across this fantastic blog called “your cup of cake” and it is such a delicious looking site! My heart stopped when I came across these blueberry/lemon cupcakes I just had to make them!
Not only does my house smell amazing but this recipe yielded enough cupcakes that my work will get some too!
PS: I left a few without frosting and just heated them up for morning coffee break!
Lemon Blueberry Cakes:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 ½ cups flour
¼ cup corn starch
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk
1 ¾ cups blueberries + 2 tb flour
Lemon Blueberry Buttercream:
1 cup butter
¼ cup blueberries
3 teaspoons lemon juice
3 ½ -4 ½ cups powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners (yields about 32).
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl.
3. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, being sure to let fully incorporate before adding the next. Careful not to over beat.
4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Sift if needed to get out lumps.
5. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.
6. Add about 1/3 of your dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, then buttermilk mixture, then 1/3 dry, sour cream, then final 1/3 dry. Making sure to let the ingredients fully combine before adding the next.
7. In another bowl, lightly toss (fresh or frozen) blueberries in 2 tb flour, then fold into batter.
8. Fill liners about ¾ full and bake for 16-22 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
9. Buttercream: Beat butter for 3 minutes. (If using frozen blueberries, microwave to room temperate.) Mash blueberries and then push through a strainer to remove all skins and clumps. Add blueberry juice and lemon juice to butter and add powdered sugar. Adjust consistency as necessary. (Add more lemon juice, blueberry juice or milk to make thinner, or more powdered sugar to thicken.)
10. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with a fresh blueberry. I also added a few sprinkles
This weekend I cooked for an army! Ok so it was only the husband but the amount of food was massive and we will be eating left overs for awhile!
I wish I could say that all of the recipes were 100% mine but they arent. I take a recipe and add my own zest to it, but I cant take all the credit. Here are all the recipes and some pics to my weekend cook fest
I got this recipe from the man I have a crush on – Anthony Bourdain. This recipe is so simple and sooooo good! Make it! Now!
A large slab of meat…just ask the butcher for good “stew meat” and they will either have a bunch of meat nicely cut into cubes or they will point you in the right direction…3-4lbs works
Salt and pepper
A few dashes of olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 large pinch of flour
a large jug of cheap burgundy – I mean cheap
6 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic clove
5-7 sprigs of thyme
a few fresh bay leafs
A little chopped flat parsley
- Cut the meat into 1.5 inch cubes (if not pre cut) Season the meat with salt and pepper.
- In the Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the meat, in batches – NOT ALL AT ONCE! – and sear on all sides until it is well browned (not gray). You dump too much meat in the pot at the same time and you’ll overcrowd it; cool the thing down and you won’t get good color. Sear the meat a little at a time, removing it and setting it aside as it finishes.
- When all the meat is a nice, dark brown color and has been set aside, add the onions to the pot. Lower the heat to medium high until the onions are soft and golden brown (about 10 minutes).
- Sprinkle the flour over them. Continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add about 2 cups of red wine. Naturally, you want to scrape up all that really good fond from the bottom of the pot with your wooden spoon. Bring thewine to a boil.
- Return the meat to the pot and add the carrots, garlic, and Thyme, Garlic Salt and Bay leas. Add just enough water so that the liquid covers the meat by one third – meaning you want a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 2 parts meat. This is a stew, so you want plenty of liquid, even after it cooks down and reduces. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and let cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender (break-apart-with-a-fork tender).
- You should pay attention to the dish, meaning to check it every 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the meat is not sticking or, God forbid, scorching. I like to add more red wine and water as needed – dont be afraid to add and trust your instincts…You should also skim off any foam or scum or oil collecting on the surface, using a large spoon or ladle. When done, remove and discard the Thyme and Bay leafs, add the chopped parsley to the pot, and serve.
Really Smooth Mashed Potatoes with Buttermilk
5-6 Russet Potatoes – peeled and quarted
1 cup of warm Buttermilk (more if needed)
1/2 cup of butter
Salt and Pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the quartered potatoes. Once the potatoes are really soft (15-20 min) take them out and set aside. To get my potatoes really creamy I put the potatoes in a fine grain sieve and used a muddler to smash the potatoes – it worked brilliantly! I then put the potatoes in my kitchen aid mixer and added salt and pepper and a little bit of the warm buttermilk. Put the mixer on and continue to add more buttermilk and salt and pepper until your desired consistency and taste!
***PUT THE POTATOES IN A BOWL AND THEN POUR YOUR BEEF BOURGUIGNON OVER. ENJOY***