7.31.2011

jinx, you owe me a coke pt. 2

My sister created this for me out of the Frank O'Hara poem. She's a clever little gem. Definitely going to frame it and hang it in my apartment. Now I want a sip of soda pop.

sunday spark

"To want what we have and take what we're given with grace."
-Don Henley

7.30.2011

jinx, you owe me a coke

I guess I'm in a lovey dovey mood today, which is why I'm posting one of my favorite love poems. It mixes romance and art. The sweetness of it just melts my little heart.
Note to readers: write a gal somethin' like this and you've got her.



HAVING A COKE WITH YOU

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse


it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it


-Frank O'Hara


[click on images for sources]

7.29.2011

ink + wit

Little paper trinkets and simple words really make this gal smile. I think it's the simplicity of a piece of paper that can really turn someone's day around, whether it's an invitation or a note, that make it special. I found and fell hard for INK + WIT, an illustrative paper goods company. Its designer, Tara Hogan, creates these simple designs that only bring out the positive, the warm fuzzies, the grin on a face.

With a plethora of notecards, prints, invitations, recipe cards, gift wrap, and stamp sets to choose from, you're sure to brighten someone's day. Heck, why not brighten your own? Get to shopping (and brightening) here.

Giraffes? You know I'm obviously an instant fan of these invites.
These notecards are too precious to pass up.
Paris and pups. What else do you need in a stamp set?
Why not make the wrapping just as special as what's inside?

A perfect notecard for the parents.

dreamy

The past few nights I've drifted off to sleep and dreamt solely of shoes. I realize there isn't a whole lot of depth to these sleepy encounters, but at least they aren't nightmares. I also realize that I may have a slight obsession with pumps, wedges, booties, sneaks, and sandals. I'm starting to miss the good nights of smooching the likes of Alexander Skarsgård and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, traveling to made-up places, and flying with a bit of pixie dust. In order to get the good ol' days/dreams back, I figured a blog post on shoes may do the trick. Perhaps piles of pictures of drool-worthy shoes will get them out of my brain and onto my blog, where they will stay.




[click on images for sources]

7.27.2011

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Magic Ink
I don't go anywhere without a cat eye, which is why liquid eyeliner is an essential in my makeup drawer. I've tried quite a few, but have found my favorite. Benefit's Magic Ink Jet-Black Liquid Eyeliner goes on smoothly and with precision for those with a steady hand. Practice makes perfect!

2. Everything's Fine
As if I haven't mentioned them enough ("everything's fine" post and "anythin' but a slump" post), I can't stop listening to The Summer Set's new album. Track 7 is on repeat for my life right now. Get it!

3. Neighbor pals
One of my best friends, Stephanie is moving upstairs from me in my apartment complex. I can hardly wait until she is all settled in. I can't wait for her housewarming festivities this weekend. I also can't wait for movie and wine nights, pool time, and cooking din-dins together. Maybe I will even borrow a cup of sugar.

7.26.2011

sweet tooth

We all get cravings for something yummy in our tummies. I typically crave salty over sweet. Goldfish, tortilla chips, crackers, anything crunchy with sodium is fair game. Lately my taste buds have had a change of heart, though. I've been craving ice cream, cake, and candies. Food Network has plenty of delectable desserts that aren't loaded in calories. Get bakin'...


Ingredients

Shortcakes:
·       1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·       3 tablespoons sugar
·       1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·       1/2 teaspoon salt
·       3 tablespoons cold (salted) butter, cut into small pieces
·       1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
·       1 large egg, slightly beaten
·       1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
·       1 tablespoon sliced almonds
·        
·       Filling
·       4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
·       2 to 3 tablespoons sugar (depending on the ripeness of the berries)
·       2 teaspoons grated orange zest
·       1 tablespoon orange juice
·       2 tablespoons 0 percent or 2 percent fat Greek yogurt per serving, for garnish
·       Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray

Shortcakes: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse meal.
Whisk together 1/2 cup buttermilk, the egg, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and lightly mix with your hands just until the dough just comes together. Do not over mix. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With lightly floured hands, gently pat the dough into a 7-inch round about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 8 equal sized wedges. Space the shortcakes evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Filling: Combine the strawberries, sugar, zest, and juice in a large bowl. Let stand until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is syrupy, about 15 minutes.
Split the shortcakes. Place the bottom halves of the shortcakes on plates and top evenly with the strawberry mixture and the yogurt. Cover with tops of the shortcakes. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if using.

Calories? 215 per serving. Yields 8 servings.

Ingredients

1 cup dried pitted dates, 4-ounces, chopped
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
2 tablespoons reduced-fat or no-stir natural chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 full sheets whole wheat graham crackers, finely ground, about 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, not instant
Cooking spray
For coating: unsweetened coconut flakes, crushed graham crackers, finely chopped peanuts, low-fat granola, about 1/2 cup of each, optional


Directions

1. Combine the dates, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat breaking up any large pieces of dates with a spoon, until the mixture resembles a thick paste, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder, butter and salt until evenly combined. Stir in the graham crackers and oats. Remove from heat.
2. Lightly mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. Drop level tablespoons of the cookie mixture onto the prepared pan. Refrigerate until just chilled and set, about 20 minutes.
3. Put desired optional toppings in small bowls. Roll each cookie in desired topping and flatten slightly into a plump disk. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.


Calories? 67 per cookie. Yields 24 cookies.


Ingredients

·       2 cups all-purpose flour
·       1 1/3 cups sugar
·       2 teaspoons baking powder
·       1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·       1/4 teaspoon cardamom
·       3/4 teaspoon fine salt
·       2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
·       1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
·       1/2 cup boiling water
·       1 tablespoon vanilla extract
·       1 cup lowfat (2 percent) Greek-style yogurt
·       1/2 cup 1 percent lowfat milk
·       1/3 cup canola oil
·       1 large egg
·       1 large egg white
·       1/3 cup currants, soaked in hot water for 1 minute, drained
·       1/2 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
·       Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the cocoa and espresso powder in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, egg, and egg white in a large bowl; stir in the cocoa mixture until blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in the currants and chopped chocolate.
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake in the center of the oven until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a baking rack to cool completely. Dust generously with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Calories? 180 per serving. Yields 24 servings.



crazy for navy

I've become a bit smitten with the color navy lately. It's a perfect shade for Fall, which is quickly approaching. Just because Summer is ending doesn't mean we have to throw out all the colors we've come to love wearing. I think this shade of blue can be worn as a neutral. Here is some eye candy...


1. Roan Wedges by Betsey Johnson
2. Pyramid Metal Tip Clutch by ASOS
3. Conversational Print Oblong Scarf by Cooperative
4. 811 Mid-Rise Skinny Leg by J Brand
5. Blazer by H&M
6. Black 'n Blue Shirtdress by Nasty Gal

7.24.2011

wakin' up in vegas

The four best friends that anyone could have are home safely from Vegas. Let's re-cap...

We were incredibly antsy on the drive there, but playing some good tunes and scarfing down some In-N-Out Burger helped. Wearing our high heels into the fast food joint in Kingman earned us our fair share of strange looks. We found it appropriate to wear them for a road trip to Vegas.
We arrived at Planet Hollywood to find we got the Batman Forever room. Good movie choice. Much better than the last time I stayed there and had the Alien room. It wasn't comforting going to bed with a picture of it peering down at me.We didn't stay in the room long. Instead, we made some cocktails, headed to the casino, and tried our hands at penny slots, Roulette, and Blackjack. Stephanie had quite a bit of luck! 
We headed to Gallery Nightclub that night, where we made friends with an Aussie doorman (and former Thunder from Down Under performer. Heehee!). He took a liking to us and gave us a table with bottle service for free. Score! We danced the night away.
The next day we headed to MGM Grand for the Wet Republic pool party. We swam around, drank some cocktails, and made friends with a group of Brits. They were celebrating a Bachelor party and invited us to their cabana. Finally, some shade! We were getting a bit toasty in the sun.For dinner, my mom surprised us with a pre-paid dinner at the yummy Mexican restaurant, Yolos. She's a real gem! We enjoyed some delicious enchiladas and flautas. Thanks, mom. From all of us! The rest of the night we spent trying our hand at gambling. I was more so of an observer, until a nice gentleman from the Greenbay Packers taught me a bit about Blackjack.
The day we chowed down at the buffet. We were in a serious food coma, so we took the rest of the day pretty easy. At night we put on our best dresses and headed to Tao Nightclub. We were all super excited because the Kardashians were there celebrating Kim's bachelorette party. Us girls were in awe of how pretty they are in person! It looked like she had a great time and so did we.
Today we sadly packed up our belongings and began the long trek home. Sadly, I missed our exit (oops!), which led us another way home, through Prescott. We enjoyed the scenery at least. In the end, my mistake came in handy because the highway we were supposed to take was full of traffic. I guess things do happen for a reason.

Mind you, this version of the trip is the PG version because really...what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. All in all, we gained a lot of inside jokes, stories, and a closer friendship on this trip. I love my friends so very much, along with the memories we created.

sunday spark

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.”
-Flora Whittemore

7.21.2011

33 ways...

I found this while perusing the BLDG 25 blog today. What a great way to remind us of the little things in life. As if there weren't enough reasons to love Free People, they have a blog that gives us inspiration for our everyday life as we parade around in their clothes.


I love #2, #13, #20, and #29...and all the others, of course. Heck, why not make our own lists?

7.20.2011

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Vegas
Sometimes the gals just need a get-away, which is why we are venturing to Sin City tomorrow. With great hotel deals and a lucky weekend off work, we're packing our highest heels, sparkliest mini dresses, and bubbly...'Cause we're the four best friends that anyone could have.

2. Glitter
Lots and lots of glitter is required for a trip to Vegas. Luckily from previous trips, I've stocked up on sequin, sparkle, and glimmer. My suitcase is going to be a shimmery mess. Look at these beauts that are packed and ready. Dorothy would be envious.

3. Good friends
A trip wouldn't be complete without the essentials: friends. I'm lucky to have amazing girls in my life. They are there for me through and through, and did I mention how outrageously fun they are? Vegas does not know what's about to hit it.

7.19.2011

anythin' but a slump

I've been anxiously waiting to hear the finished album from my wonderful and talented friends of The Summer Set. I had only heard little snippets of their songs on a car stereo while crammed into the backseat with them. Now, their completed songs are finally sitting pretty in my iTunes library and I couldn't be more happy for them.

We got to see and hear a little bit about the making of their sophomore album in my "everything's fine" post. Their hard work has created something that brings a smile to my ears. Each song is incredibly unique and so much different than any of their previous. I highly recommend purchasing Everything's Fine.

Currently, they are away on the Friday is Forever tour with We the Kings, The Downtown Fiction, Hot Chelle Rae, and Action Item . Go get your tickets!

I miss them dearly. They are the most down-to-earth folks you could come across. Get home safe to AZ, loves.

7.18.2011

lose it in lululemon

Working out has become a way of life. You read about my personal struggle with shedding some pounds in my "i used to be fat" post. Since then, I swore to stay healthy by leading an active lifestyle. I no longer dread hopping on the cardio equipment and am exploring new ways of exercise with dance classes and Bikram yoga.

Whether I'm running on the treadmill, shaking it in Zumba, or twisting myself into a pretzel, I still want to look good. I read somewhere that Kelly Osbourne, who is such a weight loss inspiration, wears a bit of makeup to the gym or a flattering workout outfit because it makes her feel good and pushes her to work harder. I think this is a great idea!

Lululemon has just the right gear for me to smile and feel confident through my workout. Their clothing is extremely comfortable and shows off the body you've been working towards. Here are some items I've been wantin'...


1. Hot Yoga Hobo. This bag is huge! It can hold everything from water bottles to large purses to shoes. It's perfect to tote around your gear.
2. Speed Short. Comfy for long runs! The comfy waist band holds your tummy in, but is super soft.
3. Astro Pant. Love the color block look!
4. Braided Headband. Stays on your head no matter what you're doing. Just what I need for yoga.
5. Scoop Neck Tank. This would be great for a Zumba class.
6. Running Cuff. Great for when I go on walks with Charlie and don't want to carry my mess of keys.
7. Deep V Bra. Flattering and practical!

go-go gadget

As you know, I love spending time in the kitchen. Whether I'm baking a sweet treat or whipping up a dinner, I enjoy piling ingredients on the counter and seeing where they take me. One of my favorite stores is Williams-Sonoma. I can spend hours in there looking at all the kitchenware, recipe books, and delicious mixes. It's difficult to solely window shop with my tight budget, but a girl can dream. Here are some gadgets I wish cluttered up my cabinets and counters.
Zoku Quick Pop Maker. I love popsicles! They are the perfect, cool Summer treat. When I saw I could make my own frozen pop in seven minutes, I fell in love.

Gift Cakelet Pan. This cake pan makes dainty little present for any occasion, and they are edible. Even better! I bet frosting these little treats is so much fun.

KitchenAid Pasta Press Attachment. I could eat pasta like it's my job. Unfortunately, it's not the best thing for me. So, when I do cook up an Italian dish, I want it to be perfectly delectable. With this little gadget I can make my own noodles. Different flavors, shapes, and sizes! YUM!


Stuffed Hamburger Press. When I get cravings for something tasty, my mind drifts to a hunky cheeseburger. When I saw I could stuff my burger patty with whatever I want, I pretty much drooled.

Crustless Heart Sandwich Press. I don't mind eating crust. I love ever last bite of carbs I can get, but that changed when I saw this sweet cut-out. This will give my lunches a little heart.
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