Friday, March 30, 2012

Looking Passed It All

Sometimes days are hard; sometimes weeks are hard.  This has been a hard week. 

When I'm low, usually all I have to do is look at Anthony and I'm cheered up (I guess I'm marrying the right person!).  He's been in Indiana for work since Tuesday and it'll be so nice to see him on Sunday.  And I'm happy that the weekend is finally here.  I'm planning to meet up with an old friend (and roommate!) in New York for a gossip-filled lunch, see my future mother-in-law for dinner and then celebrate my grandmother's 80th(!) birthday with my family.  I'm trying not to let all the recent yuckiness and frustration get in the way of enjoying all of the wonderful things around me.

Have a wonderful weekend, loves. xo

P.S. Daffodils make me happy. 

Image from Bridal Musings via Laura Murray Photography

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cookbooks Galore

There are so many great-looking cookbooks that have been recently published and even though I know most of them would wind up on a shelf barely opened but once a year, I still want them all.  Some of my favorites:

 Pie It Forward by Gesine Bullock-Prado: I have Bullock-Prado's Sugar Baby book and I love it.  This one looks just as good.

Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson: This is such a great food blog that I just know that this will be a fantastic cookbook.

Cupcakes, Cookies and Pie, Oh My! by Karen Tack: This book is from the Hello, Cupcake! people and I have fallen in love with the sheep cupcakes covered in marshmallows.

Marshmallow Madness! by Shauna Sever: I've wanted to make marshmallows for a while but the stickiness factor has always deterred me.  This cookbook features so many varieties of the fluffy treat and I kind of want to make them all.

Hello, Jell-o! by Victoria Belanger: Although Jello grosses me out a bit, how kick-ass would it be to make miniature versions of fruit out of this jiggly substance?

Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson: This cookbook doesn't even come out until August 2012, but it's filled with recipes that were popular in the 1950's aka 'vintage.' I'm a sucker for nostalgia and classic desserts.

Do any of these cookbooks look good to you? Am I the only collector of cookbooks?

Friday, March 23, 2012


It's amazing how just a few pictures can sum up an entire week.  Well, some of the week, like when we weren't working or sleeping, which leaves very little time to do anything worth sharing. 

The Girl Scout cookies that I ordered two months ago finally arrived.  Now that I have them, I kind of wish I ordered more to freeze.

At JoAnn Fabrics, I bought stuff for our wedding (the giant 'C' and 'A') and for Easter cards (the orange felt).  Plus, I had a killer coupon that I finally got to use. 

I've been eating Healthy Choice meals for lunch while at work about three times a week.  I think that there was a mistake when these boxes went to the printer; shouldn't it be 'NEW' not 'NOW' in the left corner? Or is Healthy Choice forcefully telling people to buy, like 'NOW?'"

We're going to a St. Patrick's Day parade this weekend and I'm bringing brownies with whiskey aka Irish Brownies.  Anthony had to go to the liquor store and buy mini bottles for me since we definitely don't have a large supply of whiskey in the apartment. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Any big plans? Any small plans? Sometimes having no plans is the best. xo

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Everything's Better with Popcorn...

We went to the movies last night to see 21 Jump Street, and I'm going to be honest here: it was much better than I thought it would be.  It's a buddy comedy, and not so much a big-screen version of Law & Order like I thought it would be (although there is a crazy chase scene at the end).  It doesn't hurt that Channing Tatum is extremely good-looking; he and Jonah Hill make a good team on-screen. Next time, we won't eat dinner right before the show so we can get some of that horribly unhealthy movie theater popcorn to snack on. 

I also just finished watching An Affair to Remember, which I can't believe I've never seen in its entirety.  It was enjoyable for sure, but I found that I either loved parts of it or hated parts of it.  I didn't like the end, but I loved the entire first half when they were on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.  I've seen Sleepless in Seattle over 100 times and finally, I'm able to see the similarities between the two films.  One thing is for certain though: Cary Grant's appeal has not faded.  He is still dreamy on the big screen.

I'd love to see Jeff Who Lives At Home this weekend.  Seen any good movies lately (legitimate question, not a pick-up line)?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Getting to the Bottom of Macarons

Truth: I've never tasted a macaron.  You know the ones that I'm talking about, those beautiful round treats that come in every color imaginable and are displayed in front windows of French bakeries.  In fact, for the longest time, I thought they were coconut patty-type treats (those are apparently a different type of macaron, aka macaroon).  According to this Martha Stewart recipe, they mainly consist of sugar, egg whites and almond flour.  Sounds too easy for such a beautiful result, right?

Macarons are the 'newish' thing in New York City, and even though I've seen them at a bunch of different places, I love the ones from the Macaron Parlour.  They are so cheerful and the flavors are really interesting (I'd love the try the 'smores or tiramisu variety).  The Macaron Parlour is opening up a shop on St. Mark's Place this summer but until then, their goods can be found at the Hester Street Fair, Lily O'Brien's or even on Etsy.  The next time I'm in the city, I'm going to track down one of these macarons and try them for myself.

Images courtesy of Macaron Parlour

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Remember the Time We Pretended to be Rangers Fans?

Anthony and I went to a NY Rangers hockey game last night with friends.  I'd never been to Madison Square Garden, and I'd never been to a Rangers game since Anthony is a huge Islanders fan and I've become one too since we have been together.  New York City was crazy because of St. Patrick's Day, but we had a great time (and yes, we cheered for the home team, which kind of hurt a little). 

Our seats were awesome.  We were in the front row of the mezzanine where the seats are cushioned and there were televisions right in front of us so that we could watch the replays.  I shared beer with Anthony (so deliciously cold) and we chowed on popcorn.  Also, Cuba Gooding Jr. was in the arena and hyped up the fans during the second and third period. 

Final thoughts: I wish the home team won, and I wish there were a few more fights on the ice, although the crowd was pretty rowdy itself.  And I forgot how much I like the smell of an ice rink.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  What did everyone do for St. Patrick's Day?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Color Me Fair Orchid

When I was fifteen years old, it was mandatory to attend a full-day retreat before I made my confirmation so on a warm September Saturday, I joined 30 other teenagers in the basement of an old Catholic school to listen to a group of college kids discuss religion.  Although a lot of the talk that day was about God, I mainly remember the activities that they made us do so that we could "find" ourselves. If we didn't know who we truly were, how could we figure out what our special relationship with God was, according to the instructors?  (Stay with me here because I'm going somewhere with this).

One of the exercises we did was to pick one crayon from a box of hundreds that best represented ourselves.  I took this task very seriously, sorting through the colors much longer than everyone else, finally deciding on a pale tan crayon.  Kind of beige, kind of boring, completely inconspicuous.  Then, we had to say in front of everyone why we chose that color and why it represents us.  The only thing I could say when it was my turn was, "It doesn't stand out, light brown is ordinary.  It just blends in with the other colors."  Everyone stared at me.  How telling is that of my teenage self?

I like to think I've grown since then.  I'm not as shy, but I'm never going to be the outgoing one or the life of the party.  I finally think I'm okay with that.

So when I looked at this Colorstrology site (sponsored by Pantone), I was happy to see that based on my birthday, Fair Orchid is my color.  According to my birthday color:

Yes, I think this describes me better than that light tan crayon that I picked out almost fifteen years ago.  Even though this is just the result of a silly colorstrology/astrology reading, I really identify with the description.  I'm proud to be Fair Orchid.

What about you? Find out what your birthday color is and let me know if you think it matches your actual personality.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pretty = Polka Dots

There's nothing like warmer weather to remind me of how shabby my wardrobe actually is. Spring means that it's almost time to put away the pilly cardigans and worn corduroys and switch over to lightweight, pretty clothes. And for me, pretty equals polka dots. Check out a few of my favorite finds for the upcoming season. 

Flats from Madewell

Sunny Clutch Wallet from Target

Tank top from Gap

Dress from Modcloth

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reluctantly Springing Ahead

Right now, it's 8:29pm, and it feels like it's only 5:30pm. Damn daylight savings.  This weekend flew by, like every other one lately, but it wasn't without some highlights.

  • On Friday night, I brought home pizza (Lent = no meat on Fridays) and Anthony and I ate on the couch together, recapping our weeks since we hadn't seen each other for more than a few hours since last weekend.  It was a great way to end horribly hectic weeks.
  • I finished a book that I started reading just a few days ago because I was so anxious to see what happened at the end.  Real Life and Liars by Kristina Riggle was quick and fun, and put me in the mood for summer beach reading.
  • I took Anthony to the Connecticut Bridal Expo this morning.  I never pictured myself as someone who would attend one of these events (Anthony was pretty excited about the cake samples), and even though I'm happy we went, I don't think I'll be attending another one any time soon.  Also, it was disturbing that there were several plastic surgery booths at this bridal fair.  Whatever happened to marrying for love and embracing our loved ones for better or worse, frown lines and all?

I hope you all had lovely weekends.  On deck for this week is some wedding planning along with a hockey game at MSG on Saturday!  I'm wishing you all happy Mondays, my dearies! xo

Image courtesy of Bridal Guide (totally crushing on these lanterns and twinkles lights!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

AltSummit Class: Round One

So in January, I realized that all of the blogs that I read were posting about AltSummit, with accompanying pictures of adorable ladies, cute hair buns, awesome photobooths and glittery decorations.  Where were they and why wasn't I there too?

It turns out that AltSummit is a conference held in Utah, which is for bloggers and social media peeps.  And I wanted to attend every class on the itinerary.  Growing readership?  Creative content?  Every session sounded wonderful, and I was envious of everyone there and their fabulous wardrobes (totally a reason I can't go to AltSummit anyway: I'll never look half as lovely as any of the attendees there and will stick out like a sore thumb, in the worst way). 

Great news, though: AltSummit started offering online classes, one-hour webinars taught by popular bloggers who are more than willing to share lots of blogging wisdom for a very low fee.  Yesterday was my first class, and I really enjoyed learning about "Bringing Home the Bacon When Your Blog Isn't Huge" with Melanie Blodgett of You Are My Fave.  She was honest and extremely sweet, and so willing to help that she provided her email address several times for leftover questions.  I definitely think I will take another one of these classes in the future.

My blog isn't large, nor does it have a huge following, but I really love it.  I post about things that I think are important or fun or exciting (sometimes all three!) and my favorite part is that it's all mine.  I closed out of Melanie's class yesterday and was extremely inspired to writewritewrite.  Mission accomplished. 

Alt logo courtesy of Altitude Design Summit blog

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


My feet and fingers are so cold tonight that all I want to do is wrap my hands around a huge mug of cocoa, preferably some from City Bakery, and close my eyes.  I think it'll be an early night for me so that I can get under the covers and watch Friends re-runs in bed.

Photo courtesy of Mad Park News and City Bakery

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Big Food Week

Let's get down to the important things that happened last week before this new week begins, shall we?  I know this makes me sound like a sad foodie, but two of my favorite places made pretty big announcements.  In the midst of a few of the blah-ist days ever, these little things really made me excited.

Next fall, the wonderful Shake Shack will open a new location about two blocks from my office in New Haven.  There are no words to describe how excited I am about the prospect of walking there during lunch to get a shake.  I mean, it won't be a daily event or anything but it's nice to think that the trip there and back will at least burn some of the calories gained from the delicious liquid treat. 

And then the bakery, Sprinkles, installed an ATM that dispenses cupcakes at its Los Angeles location.  Cupcakes! Out of a machine at any time of the day! What a great idea, except that there aren't any Sprinkles around here.  I guess that I just love the idea of an adorable little snack popping out of a slot at 2am.

Not too shabby at all.  Now, I'm almost ready for tomorrow.  Happy Sunday night!

Photo courtesy of Sprinkles/Facebook page

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reason #102 That I'm Tired of Renting

In addition to waiting for landlords to make repairs and worrying about rent going up every year, one major reason that I wish we didn't rent our apartment is so that I could paint the rooms a color other than white or eggshell (I'd also love a tub and not a shower stall, but that's another story).  I think that if we could, I'd paint the bedroom walls a shade of light peach and then paint the ceiling with this chevron pattern in gray, which was featured on Design*Sponge today.  For now, I'll put it in the "Ideas for Later" folder and just admire the loveliness of these photos. 

Photos courtesy of Design*Sponge