Sunday, March 27, 2011

What I love about this Sunday

1. This photo of my love that I found while we went through old photographs at his parents house. (Not to mention that we also had homemade pho for dinner...if you haven't had it, look it up and find the nearest restaurant asap)

2. Weeping Willow trees are my favorite. The ones in our apartment complex are just beginning to bloom and they are bright yellow and gorgeous in contrast to the blue sky right now.

3. Warmer weather means more play time outside for Honey, which means shes happier... Tired and happy Honey on a Sunday.

4. We have a new friend, we haven't named him yet. Any ideas?

5. And if you live in DC you know what this means... Spring time baby. There are only a few cherry blossoms blooming in my apartment complex right now, but just you wait... a couple more weeks and they will be everywhere.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Lobster Truck

One of the things I really miss about working in DC (I now work outside of the city closer to the airport) are the food trucks. There was a cupcake truck that I loved. I could follow them on twitter, find their next location, and go for a lunch break cupcake stroll.  There was a "Sauca" truck that parked outside my building every Wednesday that had the best spicy Mexican fish tacos and there even was talk of a "Marconi and Cheese" truck coming soon.

Now, I just read in my latest Bon Appetite magazine that there is a lobster truck in DC that serves one of the "Six Best Lobster Rolls Across the US." As you can imagine, I am really disappointed that I can no longer venture out to try it myself.... (deep sigh). But, this post is for my friends who still work on Capitol Hill or in the business districts and can find out where this amazing "Red Hook Lobster Truck" is and try one for me. Apparently they get their lobster from Maine everyweek to serve it fresh to Washingtonians. 

As for me... now I have to find a lobster roll somewhere else in the area as soon as possible. Any one else craving one now too? Sorry. 

(Photo from because I can't get to the truck... sad face)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

I've been so good about not making sweets... I even gave up candy for lent and haven't cheated once! But today is my co-worker Brian's birthday and I had to make an exception. They told me Brian really likes orange flavored things. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due... My adorable boyfriend suggested the creamsicle flavor. Good idea babe. 

These were really easy, and are surprisingly light.

*One box orange flavored cake (prepared as the box directs) *Two cups heavy whipping cream *1/2 cup powdered sugar *Two oranges for garnish (why not try candy orange slices instead?!)
Makes about two dozen cupcakes
After you prepare the cupcakes, whip the heavy cream until it becomes light and fluffy, slowly adding the powdered sugar while you mix until you get your desired sweetness. By using whipped cream instead of frosting you get the flavors of a creamsicle rather than orange cake. Slice orange quarters for garnish. (Keep them refrigerated before you serve them, the cream is delicate and will melt easily)

I love how fresh and bright they are! Now if only the sun would come out...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Step One: Apartment to Cute "Cottage" Make Over

Remember my "Little Cottage Living Room" post and the light green-ish room with the pink flowers we all fell in love with? I've completed step one (starting off small) in my living room make over, and actually learned a few lessons in the process. For the first part of the transformation I went to Michaels and bought bright pink silk flowers to add that pop of color I loved so much. I spent about $20.00 total.

*3 bunches of deep pink/magenta silk carnations (Be particular about the flower you choose. The perks of silk flowers are that they last forever but silk lilies can look cheap)
*One glass vase
*One bag of clear glossy glass "chunks" to hold the flowers in place

I trimmed the stems of the silk flowers and and poured enough glass into the vase to hold them steady. They had a gorgeous variety of  "glass chunks" and glass marbles. My first instinct was to pick up light blue glass to bring out the light blue and turquoise accents that were also in the room I am trying to duplicate, but then the cardinal rule of re-decorating came into my mind. Less is more. 
If you notice the pink flowers are the ONLY thing that is pink in the room we all liked so much. Be careful not to over "accent" your room with the colors you love. Stick with neutrals and just lightly accent.

Below is my work is progress.

(NEXT:  find olive green or brown damask print throw pillows to duplicate the patterned chairs, switch out a few lamps with something more antique looking. I need curtains and I may spray paint my black frames with an antique gold. I also have been dreaming of a faux sheep skin throw for our ottoman.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Different Kind of St. Patrick's Day

Next year on St. Patty's Day I hope I am drinking a Pina-Colada at 9am on a beach somewhere in Jamaica with my love. But this year, just to try something different, it's healthy Green Smoothies.
*1 Banana *10 White grapes *1 Green apple *1 Kiwi *1/2 cup lemonade *1/2 cup whole leaf spinach

Blend ingredients for 30 seconds until smooth and drink immediately. I won't lie, it's not delicious but it's not gross either. Drink it as fast as possible while thinking of your new purple bikini.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Simple and Perfect Caprese

It's a known fact that if caprese salad (pronounced Ka-Pray-Zay) is on the menu, Michelle is ordering it. It's light, flavorful and filling. Come on now -- a salad that is 50% cheese -- how can you go wrong? There are so many variations but this simple, classic Italian recipe is how my family makes it and is my favorite. 

*fresh tomatoes *fresh mozzarella (buffalo is best if you can find it)  *fresh basil *extra virgin olive oil *fresh cracked salt and pepper *balsamic vinegar drizzle (optional)

Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella as thin as you can. Place slices on top of each other, tomato then mozzarella then tomato then mozzarella and so on. Chop up your fresh basil and sprinkle on top. Drizzle on olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

"The Bachelor" Finale Essentials

I admit it, I've been watching "The Bachelor" since my sophomore year in college (2002). I've watched almost every single season, I only missed the season with this guy (did anyone watch that one?) I'm a complete Bachelor and Bachelorette junkie. I even watch "The Bachelor Pad" and read the spoilers online.

The truth is I actually like Mondays when The Bachelor is on *gasp* so last nights finale was bittersweet for me. Back to boring, depressing, 'I have five whole days until the weekend starts' Monday. I said goodbye to my favorite show last night with my girlfriends and our "girls night in" essentials.

Cupcakes! Coconut, Banana, and Guinness Irish Creme for St. Patty's day. YUM.  Maggie picked them up for us from Hello Cupcake. They were better than Red Velvet or any other cupcake shop I have tasted so far. They weren't giant gobs of sugar with more sugar frosting. We are thinking of a "cupcake hop." There are so many cupcake places in the area why not have a cupcake tasting event? P.S. Maggie put out carrot sticks in case we wanted those instead... she's so funny.

We did our nails! I recently found my long lost friend the "white pencil" With light pink polish (I used Essie Happily Ever After) and a white pencil under your nails you have a perfectly natural (and fail proof) French manicure.

The regal and girlie as can be Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Scarlett O'Hara was there to sit on our laps and love us. (I can't wait for her and Honey's play date. I hope Honey behaves, she likes to rough house with the boys and might be too wild for sweet Scarlett).

And of course we had each other to talk about the clothes (Emily's awful final gown!),the tears and if Brad and Emily will really work out. This is Maggie. Check out her blog here, it's one of my favorites!

Now starts The Bachelorette countdown. What do you think of Ashley H as the new Bachelorette? May 23rd is when Mondays will be bearable again.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Little "Cottage" Living Room

I've been struggling while attempting to redecorating our small living room recently. I can't seem to come up with a cohesive overall look. I find little pieces I like here and there (flowers in vases or candles) and then change my mind because one doesn't work with another.

If you find yourself at a stand still in your decorating plans first find the style that suits you best, then find photos of rooms you like (I looked here and browsed the "cottage" section)then find the common theme in each room you liked.

I need to not be afraid to mismatch patterns on pillows and rugs.The stripe and damask print really works here. I also like the red accents (note they even carry into the kitchen), as well as the use of brown through out with the bamboo shades...

Here I like the splash of pink from the flowers and how well it works with the patterned chairs. Perhaps a similar patterned throw pillow with bright pink accent flowers would go well next to our dark espresso ladder shelves and light olive green couch.

Do I have a thing for neutral colors and then bright flowers or what? I love the curtains here as well, and the large painting really pops and makes the room seem less stuffy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Save These Dresses!

There are two reason I feel like I shouldn't start buying Spring clothes yet. The first and most important is that I just made the biggest purchase of my life. I bought a brand spanking new car! A black 2011 KIA Optima with a beige interior and navigation. I'm in love. Isn't she pretty!?

So until I get used to what kind of flexibility I have in my budget after my new car payment, I should really hold off.

The other reason is because every year I start to buy warm weather clothes before it is actually warm out and then the excitement of wearing them when it actually is warm has worn off. This post is simply a reminder to myself of what to buy when it's time! Save these dresses!

1. Polka Dot Dress $45 - Gold Cup Horse Race in May with a big hat!
2. Mesh Beaded Dress $360 - Top Shop Extravagant Easter dress
3. Circle Plaid Dress $128 - Jessica Simpson Collection Work wear
4. 2in1 by Wal G $70 - Top Shop Work wear
5. Bella Dress by Motel $96 - Top Shop Sunday Funday at a Vineyard
6. Color Block Dress by Love $68 - Top Shop Work wear
7. Knitted Cream Pointelle Dress $90 - Top Shop Anniversary Dinner
8. Tie Dyed Maxi $49.50 - First night at the Georgetown Water Front

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Low Calorie, Low Carb Strawberry "Cheesecake"

Okay so it's not really cheesecake, but if you are a cheesecake fanatic (like my boyfriend) this is an amazing low calorie, low carbohydrate option that invokes all the same flavor profiles as a decadent New York cheesecake topped with strawberries. 

*12 strawberries *1 packet splenda (or half a teaspoon) *2 tablespoons marscapone
-- Just 200 Calories --
1. Slice strawberries in halves or quarters.
2. In a separate bowl add 1 packet splenda to 2 tables spoons of marscapone and mix.
3. Add strawberries and enjoy!

I think next time I may sweeten the marscapone and then just place the strawberries on top and not mix them together. This way I can choose how much cheese goes with each bite.

Nick and I got a new patio set from his grandparents last week and we love it! (I took my strawberries and marscapone out there this morning for these photos)  When I park my car and look up at our apartment and see the lovely wooden navy blue table and chairs I'm impressed with how "adult" we have become. I can't wait for it to warm up so I can enjoy my coffee outside in the morning or eat dinner alfresco with my love.
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