"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner




Friday, July 30, 2010

retail therapy

TGIF + payday + tax-free weekend = YAY!

What are y’all going to buy this weekend? I wish I could find a romper like the one Kimmy has (and look as awesome as she does in it). I am going out to Flowood tomorrow to get a Gigi's Cupcake and hopefully another tax-free treat (or two) for myself. Cannot wait!

Don’t spend too much time outside this weekend, I hear it’s going to be hot. What’s that? We live in the South, and it’s always hot in July? How could I forget. But if you do have to get outside, it might be a good idea to have one of these in tow.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* New perfume. Any suggestions?

* A cowboy hat for the beach. Just because it’s hot, humid and windy doesn’t mean I don’t want to be cute.

* These Mary Janes. Blue or tan, I don’t care. I just want them.

* New fingernail polish. I love essie Turquoise & Caicos.

* Some book recommendations. And please don’t say The Help.

What’s your wish?

Monday, July 26, 2010

reading and eating - both fun activities

Hola, readers! I hope everyone had a most enjoyable weekend. Kell and I worked in the yard (some) until I almost passed out because of the heat and the thorns on my blackberry vine. I really loathe yard work.

What better way to recover from being outside in the blazing heat and crippling humidity than to be inside reading? I’ve finished Plain Truth, and I really liked it. I’ve been fascinated by the Amish for years, especially after seeing the movie Witness years ago, and this book was like a teeny window into that world. Like all things Jodi Picoult, there are very well-developed characters, a driving plotline and multiple sides to the story. The twist at the end was less twisty than I would have liked, but still overall a very good read. If you’ve never read any of Picoult’s stuff, I definitely recommend it. I give this one an A.

I’m now reading Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. For those of you that know me, you know that I love psychology. This book was written by a psychologist, a nosy one at that, who studies people based on their dorm rooms, homes, offices and general surroundings. Let this be a warning to you: next time I come to your house or stop by your desk, I’ll be snooping. Get ready.

Now, changing the subject completely: I did have some success with a couple of new recipes that I think you will enjoy! Sometimes I like to try new recipes without telling Kell – some are successful, some are not. But here are a couple I made this weekend that got his thumbs-up…

Crash Hot Potatoes (recipe and photo from The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen website)
12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.
On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.
With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
** My variation: I used cooking spray on the pan and just drizzled olive oil on the top. I deleted the herbs and added some WW cheese and a few bacon bits to make them more Kell-friendly. And of course, you can make however many potatoes you want – it doesn’t have to be 12; I made 6 for both of us, and it was plenty.

And for dessert…

Banana Bourbon Bread Pudding (recipe and photo from Joy the Baker)
10 slices of white bread, toasted and sliced in half diagonally
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar (brown sugar would also be great)
generous pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon banana extract
2 bananas, sliced on the bias (it’s just cuter)
2 Tablespoon granulated sugar, for topping
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.
Lightly toast 10 slices of white bread and butter each slice. Cut each slice of bread in half diagonally. Layer bread slices in pan, butter side up so that the bread tips are pointing upwards.
In a small sauce pan, heat the milk and sugar just until the sugar is dissolved.
Whip the eggs and pour the warmed milk mixture over the eggs while whisking the eggs thoroughly.
Add bourbon and banana extract. Pour the custard over the bread slices. Add banana slices to the bread pudding, placing them in between the bread slices and deep into the custard. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the custard is set. Remove from the oven and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Serves 8.
** My variation: I didn’t have banana extract, so I used 3 bananas (you could also use vanilla extract if you wanted to). Kell and I love bananas, and we could have had more… I also added about ½ - ¾ cup of white chocolate chips! Kell even commented on how pretty it was!

Have a great week, friends! Thanks for reading me!

Friday, July 23, 2010

all hail...

The mighty Rice Krispy Treat!

If your childhood was anything like mine, it was sweetened by many of these at every school party, birthday function and playdate. Of course, any I ate had to be made by someone other than my mom because, self-admittedly, hers were like rocks. Still to this day, she can’t get the marshmallow-to-cereal ratio nailed down. And if memory serves me correctly, my dearest Laura I’ve-always-been-good-at-stirring-things-yet-somehow-managed-to-mess-up-jello Tomlinson had some problems with the recipe, too. Well, there are few things I can do successfully in the kitchen, but I can make a Rice Krispy Treat. So there.

Rice Krispies + marshmallow + butter. What’s not to love, I ask you? And per Kell’s request, I’ve been known to just leave the deliciousness in the mixing bowl so he could eat it with a spoon. But I digress…

I’ve posted a few delicious dishes about the RKT before. I made some with white chocolate in the shape of hearts for Valentine’s Day one year, and thanks to Joy the Baker, I’ve been known to put peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge on top of some to make what I affectionately call “devil bars” because well, they’re the devil. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered these

Which led to these
And well, I just don’t think I can handle these
So in case you were in need of some delicious weekend inspiration, consider yourself inspired.
Have a sweet weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* A Dyson fan. Wait, they don’t even call it a fan, do they? “Air Multiplier.” Pardon me.

* Beach Trip #3! T minus 21 days.

* That my office piped in Pandora during the day. And I’d want to pick the station.

* Boot weather. And I want some new ones… (of course)

* That Kell wanted some TOMS as much as I want him to have some.

What’s your wish?

Monday, July 19, 2010

opa!

Check out this awesome mini-documentary by Nina and Sarah who just happen to work in my office and just happen to be pretty cool.

What are you having for lunch? How 'bout Bill's?

Bill's Greek Tavern from Barefoot Workshops on Vimeo.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That for once, I could pick what's on sale.

* That I'd written this post by my friend and favorite SPQ, Carol Puckett. CP, I agree with every single word.

*For football season to hurry up and get here! Not for the sport part, of course, but for the tailgating.

* This coffee table. Y'all have no idea how badly we need one, and this one is so unique!

* A cute romper. Although I'm not sure I wouldn't look like an Oompa Loompa in it...

What's your wish?

(For you early morning readers, I apologize for the incomplete list. I swear my blog had a virus. It's since been cured. xoxo)

Friday, July 9, 2010

update...

TGIF!

If you’re reading this Friday morning, I hope I’m laying by the pool at the lovely Beau Rivage on the even lovelier Mississippi Gulf Coast (which is open for business, might I add. Come and eat and buy some stuff!). If you’re reading this Friday afternoon, I hope I’m either at the outlet mall on the Coast or at Forever 21 in Hattiesburg. Anytime after that, I don’t know where I’ll be.

Feels like a long time since I’ve really sat down to blog about an actual topic that’s not a recipe or a wish or a holiday. It’s about time I get back in the saddle, don’t you think? Let’s start with a book review, shall we?

My love for Jen Lancaster has never been a secret on this blog. The adoration began with Bitter is the New Black, and has continued through Bright Lights, Big Ass, Such a Pretty Fat and Pretty in Plaid (my personal favorite). And of course I follow her on Twitter and read her blog regularly. That said, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I recently finished My Fair Lazy, Jen’s “culture-up manifesto” that inspires her to visit restaurants with international flair, eat stinky cheese, attend theatre productions and the opera and even read up on poetry. And as in most of her books, hilarities ensue. So now that you’ve got the gist of it, I shall say this: this was my least favorite of her books. When I was reading it (and certainly laughing, mind you), I couldn’t help but think, “she wanted to write another book, and this was the only thing she could come up with.” That said, I still recommend her to anyone and everyone that likes to giggle and doesn’t mind a little peppering of colorful language, but I wonder if I weren’t (pseudo) friends with her if I would find it so funny. I give it a B+. Still a very respectable grade and one I would have been happy to receive in calculus in the 12th grade. And it did make me want to read some classic novels and good poetry again.

On to what I’m reading now: Plain Truth. Ever since Claire recommended My Sister’s Keeper to me a couple of years ago, I have loved everything I’ve read by Jodi Picoult. She has an amazing knack for shedding light on both sides of an ethics debate, especially in ones where I thought I’d formed a solid opinion. As of right now, I’m about a third of the way through the book, and this one is really great. It takes place on an Amish farm where a just-born baby has been found dead, and the main suspect is an 18-year-old girl who claims to have never had the baby, much less “relations.” I’m totally enthralled, and that’s all I’m going to say about that…

Next subject. Few things make me happier than a really good food blog; especially one with recipes that look fantastic and totally do-able. Thanks to this post from A Cup of Jo, I’ve found Framed, a website with endless recipes, each with gorgeous pictures to match. Not to mention the author has tons of great blogs that SHE follows, too – JACKPOT! – through which I happen to come across this little dandy: Greek Black-eyed Peas Salad. Eating is fun.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* One of these fanciful FreyaArt prints. I love the lettering, and I have very much love for this particular one (heffalumps!).

* Some of this Chocolate Pecan Cobbler. With Caramel Whipped Cream? I don’t think I can handle it.

* Air conditioning in my house. Yes, it’s out again, and no, I’m still not doing well.

* A new purse. Mine has seen better days, but I’m digging this one. Do you like?

* A Nutella Caramel Hazlenut Brownie. Can you tell I’m starving?

What’s your wish?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

let freedom ring!

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
- President John F. Kennedy

Friday, July 2, 2010

happy holiday weekend!

Friends, what are your plans this extra-long Independence Day weekend? I'm heading north to Starkvegas to see sweet baby Barrett, and I cannot wait to squeeze him. If I couldn't play with a baby, the next best thing would probably be to hang out in this hammock with a lemonade.

Happy relaxing!


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