Monthly Archives: January 2011

Winter Wonderland

So, it’s safe to say that I’m already more than just a little sick of the cold weather in New York. We’ve had record amounts of snow accumulation in the past few weeks, which makes simple things like getting from my apartment to the subway a bit of a challenge. But then I realize how pretty the snow flurries look outside my window, or see this HUGE snowman that someone on my street builds every time there’s a storm, and I’m thankful that I live in a city where we have distinctive seasons. Here’s hoping that you’re keeping warm, wherever you are!

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Sunday Steppin’: Jeffrey Campbell Tick Fab Distressed Wedge

Arguably, my favorite pair of Spring/Summer shoes in my closet is a pair of natural-colored leather high-heel Maryjanes by Jeffrey Campbell. They are the absolute perfect pair of casual heels and completely comfortable, but they make my legs look 5 miles long. I’m not sure what it is with Jeffrey Campbell and their ability to create really awesome Spring/Summer shoes,  but I’ve got my eye on three pairs right now. This one, a variation on the popular Tick style, is my absolute favorite.

Ironically, the leather is the same color as the pair that I already own and love. But what really does it for me is this amazing woven heel, which reminds me of those little loom kits that I had as a kid that you could weave potholders with, remember?

Right now, I can only seem to find these babies on Singer22.com for $150. Ah, if only I could afford to splurge a little on shoes right now! I’ll be keeping an eye on them for sure!

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Avocado and Bean Salad

This Avocado and Bean Salad is a current obsession of mine — they make it at our local grocery store and sell it for $7.99/lb, so I thought I’d buy my own ingredients and recreate it at home! It’s really simple to make and can serve as a side dish to a meal, or you can eat a big bowl of it for a more than sufficient lunch. As many of my self-created recipes go, this one doesn’t really have measurements, so you could easily alter this to include more of the stuff you love and less of what you don’t.

Avocado and Bean Salad

  • 1 Small bag mesclun mix
  • 1 cup red kidney beans
  • 1 cup white cannellini beans
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into strips
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • Juice from 1 medium lime
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients and enjoy! Simple, right?

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Chelsea Market

Sometimes you really need a long weekend, and I felt that this past one was completely deserved. Not that it’s been that long since the holidays gave us some time off, but those days tend not to be terribly relaxing. On Sunday, I took a long-overdue trip down to one of my favorite foodie havens: Chelsea Market. I was in search of some loaf pans so that I could test out the dough hook on my brand-new KitchenAid mixer (a Christmas gift from my boyfriend!). Chelsea Market has a great kitchen supply store that stocks pretty much any kind of pot, pan, utensil or gadget that you could ever need in your kitchen.

Chelsea Market is set in the original NBC building — and no, that’s not NBC as in the television network. It’s actually the National Biscuit Company, aka the creator of Oreos and Mallomars! The building is teeming with charm and history, from the exterior which has gone largely untouched to the interior that mixes the functionality of retail space with true artistry.

And that’s not even to mention THE FOOD! So many tasty bakeries and specialty shops to choose from, it can really make your head spin. I’d highly suggest a visit to any foodie — The Food Network offices are also up above the retail space, so who knows? Maybe if you’re lucky a producer will sense your culinary talent as you browse spices at the Thai Market.

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3 Spring Styles to Try

If you haven’t yet seen the blog The Man Repeller, I’d highly suggest that you go check it out. I feel as though this blogger has finally put a name to an ailment that millions of women suffer from: wearing a trendy outfit that men just DON’T GET, or even are totally repelled by. I mean, let’s face it… women tend to dress for one another rather than to impress men. I was so happy to realize that I’m not the only one whose sartorial dreams have been crushed when a boyfriend wrinkles up his nose and says, “you look nice… but why are the sleeves so puffy?” They are puffy because it LOOKS CUTE AND NORMAL SLEEVES ARE BORING. Why must I explain this every time?

With all of this said, I’ve decided to pull out a few ideas for spring that I’d really love to try, whether the men in my life approve or not.

Colorful Trousers — I’m definitely a skirts and dresses kind of girl during the warmer months because they are girly and comfortable. Lately though, I can’t get enough of structured-looking trousers in fun colors. This fun blue pair from ASOS might be a nice transition pair to other colors (orange? pastels?)


Cropped Top — Spending the majority of my childhood in the 90s gives me an instant shudder down my spine when I think of cropped tops (and visible thongs under low-rider jeans, and butterfly tattoos, amongst other things). However, I’ve seen some really adorable cropped light sweaters styled over longer tops that look really sweet without showing all the skin, like this H&M sweater in the February issue of Lucky Magazine (Photo: Anne Menke).

Bright Accessories — In the past, I’ve never been terribly interested in accessories in general. I recently had an epiphany when I realized how drastically accessories can spice up a plain outfit though. I love super colorful accessories that have a fun, not-so-serious feel to them. Right now, I’m working on a DIY project to make my own version of this Proenza Schouler necklace that I found on Honestly WTF.

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Eggplant-Tomato Ragu and Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa has become one of my favorite alternatives to rice as a side dish. I’ve heard it called a “super grain” because of all the fantastic amino acids and protein you absorb when you eat it, but I just love the taste — really flavorful and nutty on its own, and even better when cooked with a light chicken broth instead of water.

This recipe is one of my favorites as of late, and while it might just contradict the health benefit of quinoa (you fry the quinoa cakes!) it is a really hearty and delicious meal. It combines some of my favorite flavors like eggplant and roasted red peppers with a creamy finish of mozzarella cheese.

Everything about this recipe is incredibly simple — just toss the eggplant, tomato, red pepper and other ragu ingredients into a skillet and let it simmer together! I think 1.5lbs of eggplant is a lot for this recipe… I’d just use a medium-large eggplant and call it a day! Also, don’t be discouraged if your quinoa cakes fall apart a bit in the frying pan. Once the cake starts to split, there is no saving it — just try to keep it from crumbling! You’ll never know that your quinoa cake is in pieces once it is smothered in eggplant ragu!

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In the New Year

2010 was a pretty great year overall for me — I saw many of my goals come to fruition, spent some quality time with my family and friends, and got to try on a “magnificent specimen” of a mustache (and if that doesn’t make a fantastic year — well, friends… I don’t know what does).

I’ve never really been one for resolutions, but after having a successful 2010, I want to continue that trend in 2011. Here’s what I’m looking to accomplish this year:

1. Blog more. I love having a venue for expression, and I’m really going to work at keeping this thing updated with tasty recipes and fun photos all year.

2. Make our spare bedroom functional. Roomie and I pay a pretty unbelievable price for a three bedroom apartment in New York, but until now we haven’t made great use of our spare room — what’s the use? It’s my goal to turn it into a functional guest room/dressing room/hang out room/etc. this year (suggestions on how to use a teeny-tiny spare room are welcomed!).

3. Master a new yoga pose. Fortunately, I already have a decent diet and exercise regime so I don’t need to re-motivate myself on that front. I do yoga at least twice a week, and I’d love to work on a new inversion, like a forearm stand!

4. Sew more often. I used to sew in high school, but cramped dorm rooms forced me to go on hiatus during college. I made one skirt recently that posed a number of challenges because I’m a little out of practice… not only do you get new clothes when you sew, but I’m also convinced that it sharpens your critical thinking skills (and forces you to exercise patience from time to time!)

5. Save more money to travel. I’m so fortunate to be employed and to work a job that I love, but the reality of student loan payments is still hitting me hard. I’m tightening up my budget wherever I can to save money for travel this year — it’s no secret that travel is a passion of mine, but there is no way around the fact that it is just plain expensive! I’m making a conscious effort to cross at least one destination off of my travel dream list this year.

6. Make more “me” time. Sometimes I think that my life is similar to that of a 9-year-old with parents who force him to play every sport and practice every instrument — I’m terribly over-scheduled. I like to structure my time in order to get a lot accomplished, but this year I’m going to make it a point to schedule at least one block of “nothing” time into each week. You know, so I can read a book, or go shopping, or even update this blog!

What are your goals this year?

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