Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Your Nighttime Dose of Muppets

How can anyone look at these photos and not be happy? Muppets are so much like real people to me that I forget that there's actually a person crouching down with his arm up a furry puppet. And this, my dears, is your Tuesday night dose of Muppets. xo

Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Recap

This weekend was the antithesis of glamorous. We helped my grandfather in his garden, we got Dairy Queen, I cleaned and organized our kitchen cabinets. Anthony had a few friends over on Sunday so I went out to run errands solo. And for dinner, we grilled on our little balcony.  It was the calmest two days I think I've ever had.

I finally got my margarita, frozen and mango-flavored.

My grandfather has a killer garden this year.

There's actually an ear of corn in there, per my brother.

The jalapenos are spherical as they grow. I can't wait to taste them.

Below view of huge sunflowers.

Enjoying Dairy Queen on a hot summer night with the person that you love
 is what dreams are made of.

In case you were wondering, decent shish kabobs can be made on a mini camp grill.

Some of that zen carried over into today, although I'm sure the feeling will be fleeting. Also, I'm really craving s'mores and a round of mini golf. Let's try to do something about that soon. I hope you enjoyed your weekends. Happy Monday! xo

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weekend Reads


This week had that 'lazy summer' feel to it: long days, warm nights, an unquenchable thirst for slightly sour lemonade, and true lack of focus, at least for me.  

We don't have a pool or even a backyard, but as soon as summer hits, all I want to do is throw some kind of outdoor party. I want to make big bowls of fresh salsa and homemade guacamole and string up twinkle lights. Oh, and that blender we have but never use? I want that thing to be whizzing all night with slushy margaritas.

So my goal is to have a margarita this weekend, even if we don't make it ourselves. The rest of our plans include some furniture assembly, a little bit of grocery shopping and maybe a stop in my hometown at the annual Savin Rock Fest on the water. I also have this grand idea of making an official 'Summer' bulletin board list, although it might just be an excuse to use the blackboard paint I bought two years ago.  There's no shame in a healthy love of crafts.

I'm wishing lovely weekends for you all.  Here's a quick round-up of a few of my favorites reads from the week. Stay cool, dears! xo

  • This NPR story about Green Houses instead of nursing homes for the elderly really struck a chord in me.

Beautiful photo above courtesy of Bits of Pretty blog

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Daria, My Cartoon Hero

Do you remember the MTV show, Daria?  Nah nah nah nah naaaahhh...

I don't mind admitting that I watched way too much Daria while in high school and college. I still like to believe that if Daria was a real person, we'd be friends. I mean, I hate volleyball too, and I think Trent is ultra hot.  It's over a decade later and I'm still quoting the episode when they all go to the mega mall on a field trip (shrinkage and doodads, right?).

I just wish this trailer was real. A live-action movie of one of my favorite shows? Dream come true. In any event, Aubrey Plaza has mastered Daria's voice and it's super impressive. Now, excuse me. It's time for some Sick Sad World...

Via Bust 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Weekend Recap: Love and Marriage

I love weddings. Have I ever mentioned that? This weekend, Anthony and I attended our first wedding as a married couple and it was a lovely night of celebrating with friends, drinking champagne and dancing on a full dance floor.  The bride and groom were beautiful and just so in love.  I must say that it's so much easier to be carefree when it isn't your own wedding, and I know that from experience now.  I've never had such a wonderful time with my husband; I feel like I fall in love with him more and more every day, and Saturday night was no exception. 

And yes, I did cry. It's always the toasts that push me over.

The country club was sprawling; I had to resist the urge to walk around on the golf course. I also really wanted to lounge in one of these Adirondack chairs (did I mention it was hot outside?) but I thought it might be frowned upon since I was in a fancy dress at a very fancy place.  The men weren't even allowed to untuck their shirts, forget about undoing their ties. It was kind of a sweat fest.

But we totally rocked Table 12.  Oh, and we did a pretty good job at the sundae bar too. 

There's nothing better than a twirly, whirly summer wedding. xo

Friday, July 19, 2013

Weekend Reads

Happy Friday! If you made it through the week without melting to death or drowning in your own sweat, congratulations! I'm a cold-weather girl so when the weather is this hot, it's almost hard to remember a time when it wasn't sweltering. Man, I miss my scarves.

So it seems like this week's theme was 'Just Make It Through--You Can Do It!' Other than full, busy days at the office, I feel like the only thing I did was concentrate on not sticking to the couch. I did put in a long day of jury duty on Wednesday though; they picked for eight cases and I somehow emerged free at the end of the day.  Sitting in a room full of strangers for hours was a real experience. It's worth noting that most people were wearing clothes to court that I wouldn't wear out of my apartment. Tie-dyed shirts? See-through yoga pants? I'd hate to see what they think is appropriate to wear to a funeral.

I hope you have wonderful plans for the weekend--we're headed to a country-club wedding tomorrow night. Yay for celebrating love (Dear Lord, I hope the venue is air-conditioned). If you are looking for some reading material, here are some of my favorite reads from the week.  Stay cool, my lovelies! xo

  • REI has this awesome diagram detailing the assembly process of a s'more. I'm officially on the lookout for a campfire.

Photo of asperatus clouds over New Zealand via NASA Astronomy site

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Reading: 'The Middlesteins' by Jami Attenberg

I finished Jami Attenberg's 'The Middlesteins' last week and I'm still thinking about the book. It ended abruptly for me, but that's only because I wanted more of the story, not because it wasn't a natural stopping place. I loved the way she wrote about her characters in the present while bringing in important things from the past and the future.  And most importantly, the book was extremely honest, which I really appreciated as a reader/writer who tries to be very rational in my own real life dealings.

Nothing in 'The Middlesteins' was sugar-coated except maybe for some of Edie's unhealthy snacks (oh yeah, see what I did there?)  The story rotates around Edie, the Middlestein matriarch who is slowly killing herself with a food addiction. With all of the essays I've seen around lately on likeable characters in fiction, I can honestly report that I didn't really like any of the main characters, meaning that I don't want to be best friends with any of them. But they were all flawed and rounded-out in wonderful ways, and I felt like I was reading about actual humans, people who exact in the same world that I do. People are not perfect; it isn't fun to write about problem-less characters.

Every single person in the book reminded me of someone that I know or used to know. I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing but Attenberg's beautiful writing made me want to keep reading about the Middlestein family. xo

Photo courtesy of Attenberg's Tumblr account. Such an awesome display in Amsterdam.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend Recap: Nada Edition

I did not take one photo this entire weekend. There were very few visually-stimulating moments in the last few days, but we did manage to make it through without completely melting. Other than attending a bridal shower for a dear college friend, the highlight was realizing that I acquired five new cookbooks in the past month.

A few were birthday presents.  The Giada book was given to my mother-in-law as a gift and she didn't think she'd use it and passed it along to me. And I won the Baked: Explorations cookbook from Culture Cheese magazine (woot!).  Just looking at the stack makes me immeasurably happy. xo

Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekend Reading

I feel like we should all get prizes for making it through this week. I have no idea why the past five days were so insane but a new week is almost here and for that, I'm thankful. Every year, I find that the weeks after July 4th become a whirlwind. There are lots of weddings and bridal showers and new babies already. Summer always seems like the official season of celebration.

I hope you all have lovely weekends planned. My one desire for Sunday is to go to the movies; I don't even really care what we see but I so want to sit in a dark theater and watch a good film.  Keep cool and if you are looking for some reading material, here are a few of my favorite links from this week. xo
  • I made these Peanut Butter Oat cookies from Serious Eats the other night and brought the batch to the hospital when we went to see family friends who just had a baby.  I skipped the buttercream and didn't sandwich the cookies, but on their own, they are light and kind of crispy. And since they have oats in them and no butter, I kept telling people that they were healthy.*  
  •  Martha Stewart has this #BestSummerEver checklist that I am obsessing over. It makes me want to catch fireflies and eat s'mores every night.
  • My mouth is watering from this round-up of great Chinese food restaurants in New York. Anyone up for a daytrip?

*I don't think that the exclusion of butter made these cookies healthy since the recipe called for a cup of peanut butter but no one seemed to mind much.

Photo courtesy of 100layercakelet

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend Recap: Fireworks, Birthdays and Extreme Heat

Fireworks, birthdays and heat are three words that truly describe this weekend.

Thursday was spent celebrating my best friend's birthday, her fiance's birthday and, of course, America's birthday. How adorable is this red, white and blue pom-pom garland?

Could Charlie the Mastiff be any cuter? He's actually trying to hide behind this bush.

Spotted at Target: Pillsbury Key Lime box cake mix. This was one impulse buy I couldn't pass up.

Saturday was my birthday and we met friends in the city for brunch. Afterward, we all headed up to MoMA to see the Rain Room exhibit, but the museum was super crowded and we were only able to observe from an area off to the side.  The effect of the rain falling from the ceiling is amazing, creating tiny prisms with every drop. There are sensors above that shut off the water when someone is below just that area so basically, you are standing in the rain but aren't getting wet. What a wonderful concept with an almost magical result, although I would never have waited two hours to actually experience the exhibit myself.

(Note to MoMA: you should seriously consider limiting the amount of time visitors have in the Rain Room. There was a group of ten people just standing there for twenty minutes talking about dinner plans. The rest of the time they were taking and re-taking pictures on their iPhones. The same group was there when we went in and was still there when we left. Everyone deserves a chance but without limits, people take advantage.  That is all.)

I will readily admit that these photos truly don't do justice to the beauty of the rain and the rainbow effect as the spotlight hits the sheets of water.

Finally, in order to cool off after spending the entire day at my grandparents' sweltering house, Anthony and I celebrated my birthday by sitting in our air-conditioned bedroom eating Crumbs cupcakes and watching Friends reruns. It was a perfect ending to one of the best birthdays that I've celebrated in the last ten years or so.

This photo below is from Wednesday night's fireworks display in Stratford. The bursts are always so beautiful in the sky but I can never fully capture that with a camera. This gives you a pretty good idea of the show though.

I hope you all had wonderful, relaxing, patriotic, popsicle-filled weekends. xo

Friday, July 5, 2013

Weekend Reading

Welcome to the holiday weekend, my friends! Most people had today off and celebrated with a four-day weekend, but I was at work, answering emails in my extremely quiet office.  The last few days have been so humid so we're doing our best to stay cool with our little air conditioner in our bedroom. Plus, my birthday is tomorrow, and it's one of my least favorite days of the year.  Our plan is to head into the city and just have a nice day in empty Manhattan. I have high hopes for the year ahead; then again, I try to be optimistic as possible. And if you're looking for some reading material, below are links to some of my favorite things this week. xo

Design Crush shared this unbelievable round-up featuring 108 recipes for ice creams and sorbets. I've never made ice cream before but if anything is going to make me try, it's this collection. Nom nom.

I want to make a gazillion of these Instagram-Poloroid magnets, cover our fridge with them and then hand them out to all of our friends.

This recipe for buttermilk cornbread looks great but the accompanying bacon-lime-chili butter looks even better.

This whale sprinkler is beyond kickass. I wish we had a backyard.

All twenty-five of these books are being added to my must-read list. What are you reading right now?

Photo courtesy of Gray Malin, who's aerial photos of parks in New York and Chicago are breathtaking; via honestlywtf

Monday, July 1, 2013

One of Those Mondays

You know those Mondays when you just can't stop thinking about your great weekend? That's today for me. #wemissyouportsmouth #letsmakeitayearlything

Photo of Anthony's lobster roll from Barnacle Billy's in Ogunquit, Maine