Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Make It Melt

I know melts are just fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, but I really love them, like I could have them for lunch and dinner every day for months and not get sick of them.  Almost anything taste good when it's pressed between two pieces of deliciously buttered bread and warmed to the perfect temperature.  The melts we had for dinner the other night had honey ham, honey mustard and two(!) kinds of cheese on a rye-pumpernickel swirl bread.

It's almost like the sandwich is trying to hypnotize you into believing it's going to be the most delicious thing you've ever tasted.  No worries, I didn't need convincing. xo

Monday, August 27, 2012

Movie Monday: Rom-Com Comparisons

We had a Netflix movie sitting on our television stand since December.  December. In case you're wondering, the DVD inside the red envelope was The Way We Were.  I don't know why we waited so long to watch it, but I do know that when I popped it in the mailbox to return it, I felt relieved.  We can finally get a new movie.  I don't have to feel badly every month because I'm paying for a service that we don't really use.  I am obviously the ideal Netflix customer.

But here's the important part:  I liked the movie.  I'm on a bit of a 1960's/1970's kick lately (The Graduate, Barefoot in the Park, The Good-Bye Girl) but these movies tell stories differently than movies today.  The people who wrote The Way We Were really trusted that their viewers were somewhat informed, somewhat intelligent, somewhat invested.  It's about love in a confusing time, which is made even more confusing when politics are mixed in.  The characters are majorly flawed, and mistakes are made, but the film confronts that head-on.  It's worth mentioning though that if this movie was made today, the end would have been very different due to society expectations and film industry pressures for happy endings.

This weekend, we also saw Friends With Benefits and found ourselves comparing it with other recent romantic comedies that we've seen lately.  It was one of the best romantic comedies we've seen in a while, mainly because it was romantic but not in a mushy way, and comedic but in a smart, snappy way.  There were lots of pop culture references, the dialogue was realistic and, if I'm being honest here, the stars, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, are adorable.  Friends With Benefits trusted that its viewers would get and enjoy the fun, yippy conversations and the darker, less-fun family situations.  It's kind of like The Way We Were with a happy ending, if you'll allow me to majorly oversimplify.

Anyway, I can't wait for the next movie on our queue to arrive and to share more Movie Mondays with you. I hope you all had wonderful weekends! xo

Friday, August 24, 2012

Makeshift Pizza Night

I know that I'm not the only one who has come home from work, opened the refrigerator and stared in wondering, "What am I going to make for dinner?"  This happens to me about two nights per week, and last night, instead of making the usual "big salads" with lots of croutons (by the way, big salads always makes me think of Seinfeld!), I assessed the contents of the fridge and created my own concoction.

We always have an abundance of flour tortillas and I still had some fresh purple peppers from this weekend's farmer's market.  With a jar of sauce (I know, I know, homemade is always better but ehh...) and some cheese, a tasty dinner was made very quickly.

The best part about this meal is that you can improvise.  For instance, I thought I had mozzarella but I really only had half a bag of shredded sharp cheddar.  My tortilla pizza was still delicious despite the change-up.  And don't forget to add your favorite toppings.  I only put on onions and peppers but some bacon or mushrooms would have been great too.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and then drizzle olive oil over the foil. 

2. Place two flour tortillas on the cookie sheet.  Cover tops of tortillas with tomato sauce, leaving about half an inch unsauced around the rim. 

3. Generously sprinkle with black pepper, garlic powder, and grated cheese.  If you would like additional toppings, add them now.  Then, cover with shredded cheese. 

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Edges will be brown and crispy, and the cheese will be completely melted. 

Tip: It's a good idea to serve this pizza with a side salad so that the pizzas can cool off while you eat your bowl of leafy greens. This tortilla-tomato sauce concoction heats up like molten lava.

Enjoy! xo

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Breakfast, Now With Crunch Berries

Today was the first Sunday in months that I didn't have to get up at dawn to meet someone or do something for someone.  I celebrated by making a huge pot of coffee and pouring a large bowl of Captain Crunch cereal. 

This was much better than the last time I had Captain Crunch.  A few months ago, I accidentally bought a box without crunch berries.  I cannot express how disappointed I was when I saw that I had an entire bowl full of yellow rectangles.  The berries really make all the difference.  xo

P.S. I've been craving rice krispie treats so I made a batch this afternoon and somehow messed them up.  They are hard and brittle, and I can't believe I ruined the easiest non-bake dessert recipe out there.  I rule.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Farmer's Market Finds

I came home from the farmer's market today with this interesting selection:

I'd never seen purple peppers and I love how they look like small eggplants.  I'd also never seen yellowish-white tomatoes before and I couldn't help but buy a couple.  The cucumber was just an impulse buy. xo

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Love is in the Air

I always cry at weddings, and I know I'm not the only one.  Anthony and I were both in the bridal party of a wedding this weekend, and yes, we both teared up at the rehearsal dinner and the church.  The last three days were crazy, jammed-packed and exhausting, but they were filled with love and that's what really mattered.

Here we are in our bridal party outfits, Anthony in a James Bond tux,
 me in a two-piece, Malibu blue, one-shouldered get-up.  Also, I have this really cute
side french braid thing happening, which was being held in by 36 bobby pins.

Here's the ballroom the night before the wedding.  The party potential is palpable.

How adorable are these blowfish hanging from the ceiling at the nail salon?

Congrats to the happy couple, Mike and Annie! It's hard to believe that the next wedding Anthony and I will attend will be our own.  There's so much still to do, but I just can't wait until April. xo

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eternal Anthropologie Love

I'm not a huge shopper but there are a few stores that I just love.  At a visit to Anthropologie this weekend, I realized that I liked almost everything in the store, especially the kitchen section.  In fact, if someone offered to buy me one of every item that the company sells, I would gladly accept.  There was a latte bowl in a perfect shade of gray that I couldn't stop admiring, gorgeous drinking glasses with colored rims and a copy of the new cookbook Vintage Cakes.  There were headbands, adorable bookmark stickies, a floral comforter...I don't know how I made it out without buying anything (although it might have something to do with this wedding we're having in eight months...).

And the store was so beautifully decorated, too.  The merchandise was sectioned off and arranged in really interesting and creative displays.  Even the windows made it seem like you were entering a french cafe.

What store is your favorite? And can you limit your purchases if you have to? xo

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Way Things Were

Everyone has heard of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum and, of course, MOMA, in New York City. These are all great museums and more than worth the visit, but they are only a few of the dozens of museums that call the city home.  There are so many smaller and lesser-known collections that are really fun and interesting, and that offer different experiences from a regular art or history museum.

At the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side, my friend Shannon and I took an afternoon "Irish Outsiders" tour.  It's important to mention that the weather was not really cooperating with our day of exploration.  It was almost 100 degrees and extremely humid.  Our particular tour required us to walk up to the fourth floor, and the Tenements are not air-conditioned.  Despite the heat, we both learned so much and would visit again in a heartbeat to take a different tour (there are four or five to choose from and they run all day).

So what makes this museum so special? It's pretty darn authentic.  The tours take visitors through a tenement that was built in the late 1800's where real families lived in cramped 350 square foot apartments.  The rooms haven't been refurbished so that you can get a real sense of what they were like all those years ago.  This particular building was in use for at least 60 years until the early twentieth century and the living conditions were horrible: no running water, shared outhouses, no electricity, unsafe conditions and rampant disease.  There was intense discrimination against the Irish Catholics who were rushing into America, and poverty was a real problem in this overpopulated area of New York.  Just hearing from our guide, Ruth, about the trash-filled streets and the constant permeating stench provided a major reality check.

New York doesn't want to forget the past.  The city embraces its rich history by celebrating and sharing it, and that's just one more reason why I love this great place.

P.S. I just love this fan that we were given at the start of the tour.  Such a perfect gift that got a lot of use...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Must See: "Celeste and Jesse Forever"

Have you seen this trailer for the movie, "Celeste and Jesse Forever"? Rashida Jones, who I've loved since her time on The Office, co-wrote and is co-starring in this film and I can't wait to see it.  I especially love that she wanted a role that was different and not the typical 'best friend' character like she normally plays so she wrote a screenplay herself.  What a great example on how to be proactive, right? If you see it this weekend, report back and let me know what you think. xo

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

So Far Up

Have you ever been to the top of the Empire State Building? I always wrote it off as a tourist trap, an expensive elevator ride to the top of a very tall building, but after I spent some time up there last week, it's easy to see why it's one of the most popular attractions in New York City.

When my friend and I finally got to the 102nd floor, which is the highest level visitors can access, the view was breathtaking.  When we looked straight ahead, only the bright blue sky and clouds were in front of us.  Below, the taxis and the pedestrians and the rivers looked so small; everything seemed like it was moving in slow-motion.  Even the skyscrapers, which tower above when you walk beside them, looked like your normal, run-of-the-mill buildings.  It was beautiful.

Looking down, I felt small.  And I felt overwhelmingly human, in the best way possible.  We are all such tiny parts of this huge world.  Watching one of the greatest cities in the world from a height of 1,250 feet reminded me of that very quickly.  It's amazing what a difference perspective can make.

Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park

I can't believe how tiny the Statue of Liberty looks

The sky was just crazy gorgeous