Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fairway Fieldtrip

I know that buying groceries isn't supposed to be glamorous, but you might think differently after a visit to a store like Fairway.

After lunch with friends last week, Anthony and I stopped into the nearby Fairway grocery store. It's new-ish, which mainly means it's new to us. The aisles are filled with gourmet selections in every category (there were like twenty-five types of rice, all with gorgeous packaging), making this market seem almost like a department store. Yes, I'll say it: this is the Bergdorf Goodman of food shopping.

I wanted one of everything. Those sacks of specialty flour? The wall of bins fills with freshly-made bagels and bialys and flagels (a flat bagel concoction)? The gigantic section of mushrooms, and only mushrooms? These people who opened this store thought of everything.

So even though I can't afford to shop at Fairway regularly, it's kind of fun to visit every once in a while. We bought just a few things but what we did purchase was more than worth it. The vanilla-almond coffee is fantastic, especially since it was freshly ground, and I would whole-heartedly recommend the fresh baguettes.  Also, I'd like to one day move into the store's cheese section, if that gives you any idea of how lovely it is. There were seven varieties of Havarti. I think that says everything you need to know. xo

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Starting the Week with a Never-Ending Cold

Anthony and I share everything. Last week, he was sick and this week, it's my turn. Although, if I was really being honest, everyone in my office has been sick so I guess I actually am sharing with all my co-workers as well. What a generous bunch we all are.

When you feel like you're living in a virus-infested cloud, time seems to stop, or at least slow down. It's only Tuesday but the weekend feels like it was ten years ago. I can't recall much of what I did except for this awesome checkerboard cake I made for my father's birthday. This project was advanced beyond my baking skill set but I still managed to make a super-impressive dessert. Just imagine how much better it would have been if my head hadn't been pounding.

Now, I'm headed back to the couch for a little more rest before I go back to work tomorrow.  Hopefully, you're making it through the week happy and healthy. xo

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's All in the Details

I've started to organize our wedding photos, making prints and photobooks for our friends and family. It feels so weird to mail people a stack of photos since everything is digital now but I know I would be thrilled to receive prints from a friend so I keep sending them out. When you attend a wedding, you pose for an unbelievable amount of pictures and never see the results so it's been awesome to share these memories with our loved ones.

Our photographers captured every little part of our day in April. The random shots that I loved the most were the ones of our gift table and the tables. I spent a lot of time (too much, I will admit now) painting the table number frames and making our guest book, but from the photos, it looks like these personal touches really turned the venue room from generic into a fitting location for our event.

The unofficial theme for our wedding was chalkboards. I used them as table numbers and as signs on the gift table and sweetheart table. 

I actually made this envelope box for my bridal shower and decided to use it for the wedding as well. It's a modern take on a wedding cake using square cardboard hat boxes.

It's kind of 80's but we had matchbooks made up with our names and wedding date. They are adorable and I'm happy there were a bunch leftover so we can use them in the future.

I used our engagement photos to create the guest book. Bonus: because our guests tucked the little cards into envelopes, their messages were kept private until we read them the next day.

Our favors were small glass jars of candies in navy and pink. I made the labels and then used gold baker's twine to secure the tags.

There were a few other things that I wanted to do but at the end, I ran out of time. Our dinner was a buffet, and I planned to write the menu on a framed chalkboard so I could place it on an easel at the start of the line but the project never came together. Also, our reception venue didn't allow place cards but I used them at the rehearsal dinner instead. No one knew that I was planning on these things so they weren't missed at all.

The details are what made our wedding different from everyone else's wedding--our DJ sucked (he forgot our names several times throughout the night, among many other things), but I'll always cherish those few seconds after our first dance ended and the next song began. Anthony and I chose to morph right into "Tongue-Tied" by GroupLove and didn't tell anyone; it was mostly because we wanted that communal happy feeling right after the official 'first' stiff slow dance. Our guests didn't expect the upbeat transition but it definitely got everyone on the dance floor right away. And Anthony and I were able to dance carefree in the middle of all our favorite people.

Our guests might not remember any of these things, but they are surely the things that I remember. As of now, our envelope box, cake topper and guest book are displayed in our apartment and hopefully, we'll keep them out for a while. Anthony and I will never forget our wedding day but I love how all of these momentos remind us of it daily. xo

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Scoop

How convenient is it that on the day I was planning to post about our visit to UCONN's Dairy Bar, I came across this article which names the University's ice cream parlor one of the best in the country? It only took me two years to get up to Storrs but, seriously, it was so worth it.

Yes, this is the cone that I ordered, with the required rainbow sprinkles (I have standards). I don't think I've ever ordered a waffle cone but they were freshly-made and I couldn't imagine a better time to go all out.  Despite the hole in the tip of my cone, it was one of the best desserts I've had in a really long time.  I highly recommend the Jonathan Supreme and the Toasted Almond Amaretto, but since all of the ice cream is made from fresh milk, cream and other ingredients, I'm sure all of the flavors are just as delicious.  With its chill vibe and plenty of outdoor seating (good for summer, not a selling point in winter, obvs), this would be a perfect 'last stop' on a Connecticut food crawl.

I forgot how beautiful the University of Connecticut campus is. It's changed so much since the last time I visited but it's a great place to walk around and enjoy a late summer day. On this particular Saturday, there was such a wonderful mix of students and local families exploring the grounds and, of course, stopping for Dairy Bar ice cream. xo

Sidenote: For lunch beforehand, Anthony and I met our friend at Corey's Catsup and Mustard in Manchester.  I enjoyed my burger but the real stand-outs were the french fries and accompanying dipping sauces. We shared a couple of orders and still didn't finish them all. And when they say 'Garlic Parmesan Fries,' they really mean it. The coating was beyond impressive.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekend Reads


Short weeks always seem like the longest weeks, no? Yesterday, my day started with logging in to pay my credit card and finding a bunch of fraudulent charges in my account. I was less than pleased, especially when I was told my credit card had to be cancelled. Perhaps that's just the price I have to pay for living in a technology-driven world (I ironically state as I blog about this incident).

Anyway, today I had to put on a cardigan on my way to work because it was a bit chilly and that made me happy. And I'm gearing up for a bachelorette party tomorrow that's entitled "Sex on the Table: Aphrodisiac Cooking."  As long as they don't feed me raw oysters, I'm set.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep thinking about a visit to Bantam Bagels to try these amazing-looking bagel ball concoctions. Four of them equal a whole bagel. Let's just grab an entire box and eat a casual breakfast in the park one Sunday.

And now, some of my favorite links from the week. Have a lovely weekend! xo

  • The new panda at the National Zoo is a girl. How cute is she going to look with little bows in her fur? Cute enough to make me want to jump on a train and visit, that's for sure.
  • Splitsider featured comedy in television and movies for the fall. I'm really excited for some of these. 
  •  I want all of the products featured in this DailyCandy slideshow about drugstore beauty must-haves. I wish CVS let you try things out before you buy them though.
  • Once is going to be at the Shubert in New Haven next year. I predict now that we will wait way too long to purchase tickets but will then snag really good, inexpensive ones last-minute. Optimism is my friend sometimes.

Photo of bagel balls courtesy of Bantam Bagels

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Report: How I Spent My Summer

It's the Wednesday after Labor Day and there's Halloween candy at the grocery store already so it's obviously the perfect time to recap the summer. The season seemed to rush by.  I wish we had barbecued more and we never did get to play mini-golf, but autumn might just be the perfect time to do all that.

Some highlights from the last few months:
So, not bad. Also, I feel like every food blogger had a 'Popsicle Week' this summer. Are ice pops the new thing? I'm still stuck on s'mores. xo

Photo from our weekend in New Hampshire; we took a quick rode into Maine for lunch.