Saturday

Farewell, 2011.

Is there a more perfect color combo than gray and mustard, unless it's red and mustard?

Why not pile them both on for maximum enjoyment?
glasses: Warby Parker "Finn"
v-neck: American Apparel
cardigan: Target
skirt: Gap
tights: old, no tag and no idea
shoes: Seychelles, via eBay

The lipstick is L'Oreal "Target Red" and quite possibly my favorite red ever. The tie in with Target just make it that much more apt.



I'll be back tomorrow with my New Year's resolutions.

Friday

Redesigning

YAY! All the design changes are posted. Before, I had a wordpress template on a blogger platform and that was making Disqus go crazy. THEN, when I was in editing the html, I somehow erased my whole template (sob!), and it turned to an icky green blogger one.

So this was the way to go. There's still some tweaks I want to make, like re-doing that tiny header, but it can wait. 

Hope you like it. Commenting should be a lot easier from now on.

Topher liked it so much he combed his hair for our walk today. 



Tuesday

Pink

Yesterday, both Bear and I had unexpectedly great days at work. Things came together on a big project and made a previously unreachable seeming goal much more achievable. Bear also had some great moments. We decided a spontaneous date night was in order, so we went out to a local spot with live music. 

The other great thing was that I finally got to go to the chiropractor, so my back is doing much better. I think that showed in my sartorial choice---bright and girlie again instead of the dark neutrals of last week. 

earrings: Target
dress: Anthropologie, via eBay
belt: Target
shoes: Lulu's (bought with giftcard won at TXSCC)


And heels of course. 

Sunday

Low

I had lunch with a friend today and she told me about dressing "high church", which would be lots of jewelry, a dress, heels, maybe a hat. 

I told her this outfit would be "low church". Jorts make anything casual. 

sunglasses: Target
top: Gap Body
jorts: J. Crew
gladiators: Steve Madden

Friday

Flats

This dress was almost a return, but the husband made a good case for keeping it. I'm excited to pair it with boots this fall. Meanwhile, I'm worried I might not make it back to heels for New York Fashion Week.

Yes, my back is still acting up. Or out. I've apologized for all the slouching, but it's having none of it. 

dress: J. Crew
belt: Target
bag: H&M
shoes: Target
bracelet: Forever 21



Hope everyone on the East Coast is staying safe.

Thursday

Issues

The past 24 hours haven't been the greatest. I have done something to my back that has resulted in severe back pain radiating down my left side. The good news is, the chiropractor can see me Monday. The bad news is, that's four days from now. 

Since I'll be re-cooperating from my couch this weekend, I decided to fix some blog kinks and upload Disqus for commenting. It's still not functioning fully perfectly. From what I can tell, you can see the Disqus comments on the individual posts, but not from the main page. Just wanted to let you know that I'm aware of it. Please pardon the dust. 


t-shirt: Target
skirt: J. Crew
oxfords: Steve Madden


Honestly, this isn't the greatest manicure I've ever done, but I wanted to show the color. Essie describes it as "a striking deep gray-green" but on me, it looked much more gray, verging on black. 

Wednesday

Poser

Silk top: Thrifted, Savers
Skirt: Thrifted, Salvation Army
Belt: Old Navy
Shoes: Thrifted, Buffalo Exchange


Confession: I feel weird in front of the camera. 

"Just do what all the other bloggers do," Bear said.

So I did this. Head down, turned to the side, holding my arm. 


And then things *really* started to get weird. 

animator gif

We'll have to keeping working on it. 

Are you comfortable in front of the camera? Do you have go-to poses?

Tuesday

Golden

Husband Bear had a meeting last night, and so wasn't able to take photos until this morning. 

"When do I need to get up?" he asked.

"Well, the Golden hour ends at 7:04 a.m." I said.

Combine fury with resignedness and that was the look I got in reply. He did however, tell me this morning I looked good before he had even gotten out of bed. Or opened his eyes. 

top: Anthro
jeans: Gap
shoes: Target
bracelets: Target, F21


He's now safely back in bed. His schedule changes starting tomorrow, and instead of going to work at 10, he'll be starting his work day at 7:30. 


We can do this every day. 

Monday

Studly

A studded tee and flats cancels out that silk floral skirt, right? Because I'm totally working the "tough" pose here. In fact, I wore this to ride the Harley and raise some total heck. Or I went to church. 

tee: Target
skirt: Anthropologie via thrift
flats: Target

 I am clearly comfortable with posing here. Although in my defense, this was right after I noticed our neighbors outside watching me pose. I couldn't help but feel awkward. 

Shoulder studs detail. 
I work in our church nursery in the 18 month class, and one of the little boys was totally enthralled with these sparkly studs on my shoulders. They were almost as big a hit as blowing bubbles. 

Sunday

Shoespiration.

Have you ever regretted NOT buying a clothing item? I rarely do, but this pair of shoes has been my white whale. I remember seeing them at Target when they were for sale and passing them by for another CV pair--which I also like---and then seeing them again on sale for half price and again not purchasing because my clothing budget for the month was shot. 

And then everyone and their dog in bloggy land bought these shoes. And they taunted me. I would put together outfits in my head and know these shoes would make it perfect, but then remember, "Oh, yeah, I probably bought a magazine instead. Stupid decision!"

I mean, look at them. Hello gorgeous.

(Pretend that carpet is vacuumed.)

I've been searching for these shoes for long time, finally finding them on ebay for the original price. And this week, they arrived!

And I realized something. I am *that* woman. The one who will think about a lost pair of shoes for a year and a half like a lost love. And then dance around my living room like a total idiot when they finally arrive. 

 striped tee: thrifted
skirt: j. crew
shoes: cynthia vincent for target
watch: forever 21
bracelet: target

 My handsome assistant, Topher. 


Tuesday

Fuh.

So, I'm in a bit of a blogging funk. It's darn hot out and that's generally slowing all sense of ambition down to a level of -2 anyway. Plus, who can possibly cook now? I'm running out of ideas that don't require the stove or oven.

Also contributing is that I recently found a food blog called "Becoming Lola" that's doing anything I'm doing here WAY better. (I won't even go into the S&M "model" who goes by Lola Darling whose Facebook states "Yes, I am a witch." If you came here looking for her...um...sorry.)

All to say, I'm wondering if a name change is in order. It's nothing I would do today, as I'd like to see the funk lift a bit before I make any decisions, but that's just what I'm pondering.

Friday

Dinner 7/5

This may well be the easiest dinner of all time, short of take out. Bear said that it heated up well for leftovers the next day, and all of his co-workers commented on how good his lunch smelled and that his wife "must be a really good cook."

If only they knew.

I would definitely recommend using a seasoned chicken sausage* and be sure to steer clear of turkey sausage, as it definitely has a taste reminiscent of hot dog. You don't want it be THAT easy, do you?


Roasted Chicken Sausage and Potatoes
(adapted from Martha's Everyday Food blog)


Ingredients:
1 pound smoked chicken sausage
1 pound potatoes (I used about 3 regular baking potatoes)
1 T fresh rosemary
2 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut sausage into 1-inch pieces and potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle rosemary over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper throughly. Toss to coat and spread evenly. 

2. Roast 30-35 minutes, tossing occasionally until potatoes are tender and sausage is browned. 


*Is sausage a funny word, or is it just me? 

Dinner 7/2

I'm a bit behind on posting, but thought I'd share this recipe with you, as the Husbear said it was his favorite dinner so far. 
That means, to a Sicilian, it beat homemade spaghetti and meatballs. The significance of this cannot be overstated.
This wasn't the most heart-healthy meal, but, we so rarely eat fried things or heavy cream that I felt ok about the splurge. The chicken, thanks to the Sriracha, has a great spicy taste to it, without being overpoweringly spicy.


 Kickin' Fried Chicken

ingredients:
1/2 a chicken (or 4 various pieces)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 t paprika
1 t cayenne
pepper
2 cups buttermilk*
2 T Sriracha
3-4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1/2 T rosemary

*Because we're on a limited budget, and buttermilk isn't something to just keep on hand, I use the powdered buttermilk you can find in the baking aisle. It's a great alternative. 

1. Put the chicken in a large mixing bowl and completely cover with water. Add 2 t salt to the water and allow the saltwater to brine the chicken overnight. 

2. Mix well the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

3. In another mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and Sriracha. Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Drain the chicken and pat it dry. Dredge in the flour mixture, then dip into the buttermilk mixture.



 Dredge again in the flour, making sure that each piece is completely covered in the flour. 


5. Put about 3 inches of oil into a large cooking pot. Add the remaining herbs and garlic and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil comes to 350 degrees, it's ready. It would be helpful if you have a thermometer for this. I don't. So I guessed. 


6. Slowly drop the chicken into the oil and fry until golden brown, turning once. (Mine took about 18 minutes, but that may have been because the oil wasn't warm. Keep an eye on it!)


7. When the chicken is done, take out with skimmer or long-handled tongs, shake off excess oil and lay on paper towels until all the chicken is done cooking. 


To go with the fried chicken, I roasted sweet corn in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes in the husk. Once it was done, we just peeled back the husk and tied it in a knot. 

I also did some mashed potatoes, but realized I have no recipe to make mashed potatoes. I've used marscapone, buttermilk, heavy cream and sour cream to mix them up, just usually whatever I have on hand. This time, I used heavy cream and butter. 

Just call me Paula Deen. 


Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday

Dinner 7/6

Asian Chicken with Satay Sauce

Last night, I got home about an hour late, and was dreading making dinner. I just wanted a foot-rub and a glass of wine, mmkay? But...the Bear gets growly if I don't feed him. This dish has, in just a few weeks, become a go-to for an easy meal. Last night would have marked its third appearance, so I dressed it up again with an easy satay sauce. 


Oriental Chicken
Make a marinade for 1 lb chicken using 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, 1 T ginger (fresh, not powder), 1 T garlic and some Sriracha to taste. Marinate overnight, or just 30 minutes, depending on how well you plan ahead. 

Over medium-high heat, pour 1 T olive oil into a medium-sized skillet. Place chicken (but not marinade!) in the skillet and  pour 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/4 cup water into skillet. Cover and cook completely, making sure to flip halfway through. The soy and water will sort of steam the chicken, and keeping it covered will keep it from drying out. 

Satay Sauce
ingrediants:
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used Naturally More.)
3 T lime juice
3 T water
1 T ginger
1 T garlic
1/4 t salt
1 T brown sugar
Sriracha to taste

Combine ingredients, using more or less water to make thicker or thinner. 

Serve with steamed broccoli or green beans and rice. Serves 2. 

Monday

Dinner 6/27

Tuscan Salmon with Orzo
(via epicurious.com)

When Bear and I were dating, he told me--on several occasions--that he didn't eat "anything that used to swim". But on our honeymoon, he tried (and liked!) several dishes, from red snapper to shrimp. I decided to try again, telling him salmon was one of our week's meals. He surprised me by asking for it tonight. (Maybe he was just trying to get it out of the way?)

Either way, I loved this dish. The onion and rosemary flavored the orzo well, leaving it a crisp contrast to the salmon and tomato topping. I added my favorite spinach to the plate as well, just to beef up the nutrients.

I sort of halved the recipe, using just two salmon fillets, but making a large amount of orzo to have leftovers. Several comments on the site mention using more herbs than the recipe called for. And I used dried herbs rather than fresh. Because you know, sometimes your imaginary herb garden just isn't producing like it should.


ingredients
6 oz orzo
2 t olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, divided
1 T fresh chopped rosemary
4 salmon fillets, skin on
1/4 cup plus 1 t fresh basil
1/4 t salt
black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 pint grape tomatoes 
(Note: I used regular garden tomatoes, freshly picked from our neighbor's garden)
1/4 c pitted kalamata olives, sliced
2 T fresh parsley


preparation
Cook orzo as directed until al dente.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 1/2 c onion and rosemary until onion softens, about 9 minutes. Combine with drained orzo. 

Season salmon with 1 t basil, salt and pepper. Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook salmon until golden, 5-ish min per side, flesh side down first. 

Set aside. 

Add garlic and remaining onion to skillet. Cook until soft, about 2 min. 

Add tomatoes and olives, cook until tomatoes break up, about 3 min. Remove skillet from heat, stir in remaining basil and parsley. 

Realize you forgot the olives. Tell your husband, who states that he hates olives. Realize trying fish is a big step for him and don't press your luck. 
Sorry, olives.

While the onions/tomatoes did their thing, I whipped up my super easy spinach. I used to think I HATED spinach, but realized after trying this recipe that I just hate canned spinach. There is a big difference. I call this garlic braised spinach. That's probably not right, but it sounds good, huh?

Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic. 

Add several handfuls of spinach, piling up over the skillet. It will cook down. 

Stir, making sure all the spinach cooks evenly, until it's significantly wilted, about 5 minutes. 


Voila! A fish the Mr. will actually eat! 

Saturday

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I made this for breakfast this morning, to break in our new oven.

(Photo via Food Network)


The favors of the lemony cake coupled with blueberries and the slightly crunchy streusel was delicious. Ina Garten can do no wrong.

Friday

Friday Love

So, on Fridays, I like to list things I love. The number is completely arbitrary. This week, let's go with 8.

1. Netflix dates with the Husbear. We're getting pretty into "Pushing Daisies" and "24". I love Chuck and Olive!




2. Homemade ice cream. Bear's sister got us an ice cream maker as a wedding gift, and, ahem, I've been using it A LOT.

(Sidenote: I would die if I ever got this. Want one SO bad!)


3. Rustic headboards. We have NO bedroom furniture, save a mattress (and we're borrowing that!), so it's fun to think of starting from scratch. This is my dream headboard, but now I'm convinced that, using this tutorial, we can make one!




4. Finally having our dog, Topher, back with us. Because of moving around and not being settled, he's been living with relatives, but he's back! (Pics to come!)

5. Poached eggs. For snacks, breakfast...there's really no bad time to eat a poached egg.



6. Ombre. I know, I know. I'm late to this party. I just got ombre highlights a few weeks ago and LOVE them. I see a lot of opportunities for it in fashion, beauty and home design and am hoping to incorporate a few ideas!

( This is pretty much what our humble living room aspires to. And the curtains would be an easy DIY.)

(I, and my hair, look EXACTLY like this.)

7. Risotto. I think I could eat risotto all day. With poached eggs on top. :)

(Photo and recipe from "The Pioneer Woman")

8. Nail art. Not the tacky yuck stuff, but fun designs.


(via "Cupcakes and Cashmere")



(Wanna see more of what I love? Follow me on Pinterest!)