Monday, August 31, 2009

It was the real deal: almost-fall weather. I know I seem obsessed--but I really strongly dislike summer and hot weather, so cool mornings and high temps of 79 degrees are literal music to my ears (and other senses that perceive temperature).

This weekend was 100% relaxing.

Tumbling Shoals flea market:

[clever use of old blue Ball jars...fill em with buttons!]

Enjoying coffee on this lovely porch:

Jonny "never looked better" ...

Fun on the boat with the Burkes:

But we missed Red:

I have a sun/windburned face, thus no pictures of moi. We made a very nice pork tenderloin/asparagus dinner on Saturday night, but no pics of such.

See you next weekend, house?

Posts this week (hopefully): before-and-after bedroom shelf, jewels we picked up over the weekend, The Red Chair (finally!)

Odds & Ends: NOT "odds & ins"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

[I extremely dislike when people type "odds and ins" instead of "odds and ends." Watch yourself, my friends.]

Saturday was mucho fun--really my kind of day. Started at Brother Juniper's for breakfast w/the whole family, then we moved on to an estate sale!

Got the beautiful books below--French Poems by Jenkins (almost Je-r-kins)!

Then we moved on to Sheffield's and made the trek out to Collierville... [Martha and Dudley had a lot of success, see here.]

Picked up these little jewels...

...and this guy (we always had Oreos out of these when I was growing up...my mom has this exact tin!)

Finished with delicious meal at the Long Leaf homestead.

Then, last night I made whole-wheat blueberry muffins.

I messed up the streusel, but they are still pretty darn good. There is all whole-wheat flour in them...not a lick of white flour. (Thanks, Margie, for posting the recipe!) Jesse and I had them this morning, toasted with honey and SmartBalance.

[bowl o' goodness]

[pre-oven and sans streusel. whoops! didn't know they were supposed to have the streusel on before baking. idiot.]

[our Beta fish watched me...]

[the finished product--please excuse the poor quality photo, I forgot to take a real picture.]

Blue Jean Gourmet / Hummus (yay hummus!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A few of you/a lot of you (I don't know?) may have wandered over to Blue Jean Gourmet (link on right), my friend and fellow turkey Nishta's new-ish food blog whose delightful recipes, witty anecdotes, and beautiful photographs have been a more-than-welcome addition to my Google Reader.

Although I enjoy reading many food blogs--not my main blog "vice," if you will, but steady enjoyment nonetheless--I seldom actually venture to the store to buy the ingredients involved in these beautiful recipes I stumble across. And I am not yet enough of a grown-up to just have a ton of ingredients on-hand (but thank you, Nishta, for the grocery guide on your site, how helpful!).

So last week, we were having friends over, and I thought, what a perfect time to try to make my own hummus. And oh yeah, Nishta posted a delicious and feasible-looking recipe with not too many scary ingredients.

Plus, my dear friend Erin had just recently been telling me how delicious and easy and fun it was to make your own hummus. And it's hummus--I love hummus. (So does my dear husband--always a plus.)

Without further ado:

[photo by Sonya Cuellar]

(full recipe here)

(I used my Cuisinart.)

1 16 oz. can (approx. 2 cups) chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans (yes i used canned)
2 T tahini a.k.a tahina/tahine (had to go to Fresh Market for this)
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (oops, I used minced from the fridge)
1 t salt (I decreased the salt b/c used canned chickpeas)
½ tsp. ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon (used a real lemon, actually)
½ cup water, more if needed
¼ cup olive oil

Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor or blender. Process until smooth, adding water as needed until desired texture is reached. (I probably did about 1/4 cup water at first and it was fine, but just see what thickness you like.) Check the hummus’ taste and add extra garlic, salt, or cumin accordingly. Finally, with the processor or blender running, pour in olive oil.

I served it with cut celery, carrots, and toasted some gyro bread that I sliced up into wedges. YUM!

I have now made this twice! Once you buy the jar of tahine, the other ingredients are cheap and easy to come by. It's DEFINITELY cheaper than buying containers of hummus (and more tasty, in my opinion). Also, I don't know how fast it goes bad because we've eaten every drop of it so quickly!

Thanks, Nishta! I will definitely venture to the store more often to try out your goodies (the granola and the fruit salad both look divine).

Be sure to check out her beautiful blog and yummy recipes.

Identity Crisis?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yesterday, Martha and I were strolling through the mall, having just made an exchange at the Gap, and discussing how much we love wearing cardigans recently. Since it's summer-almost-fall, and our offices are often chilly, they present themselves to be the perfect apparel addition to whatever outfit we seem to put together.

We both love reading jenloveskev, where Jen posts her "style files" several times a week and where she got the pieces she's wearing. She is a very [skilled] thrifty shopper.

During our discussion of cardigans, I mentioned how Jen seems to find random/cute items from American Eagle, and how awesome that is since we both quit shopping there around 1999. Maybe we had been too close-minded?

So I say, maybe we should walk past and look in the window and see if there's anything promising? Martha says, I don't know if I can do it but ok, but we have to make sure there aren't eagles on everything and no one sees us.

We peer in the window and see a mildly cute short-sleeve cardigan (no eagles on it anywhere), and look around to see if anyone we know is walking by. The coast was clear, so we venture in.

There, on one of the front tables, is this absolute gem:

How freaking cute is this? Are you kidding me? No eagles on it, no "Rugby" stitching or jersey numbers or faux school crests anywhere.

Sheepish and embarrassed, Martha and I traipse to the register where she buys the yellow one (pictured) and I buy the grey one (couldn't find a picture but it's grey with white polka dots).

As we walk out, I say, "I think I'm having an identity crisis."

...wearing today with this:

[shirt from BR]


[love these pants from Gap]

oops. Martha told me not to tell anyone of the cardigan's origin.

Cooking Casualty

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sometimes I hate me. Poor little Silpat.

I'm an idiot.

We had the Reasons over for dinner last night and I made this "Summer Fruit something-or-other" with peaches and strawberries. Its presentation was lovely, but it is not the tastiest thing ever made, imo.

I baked it on my beloved Silpat baking sheet/mat/thing, and it came out nicely browned; but the galette was too floppy to transfer from pan to platter. So I thought, no big deal, I'll just serve from the pan, using my also-beloved Cutco spatula spreader [image below]. IDIOT!

(By the way, when I googled "cutco spatula spreader" on Google images, a photo of Katie Holmes came up on the first results page...what?)

Cutco, as usual, "came through"--and not just in the cutting sense. It went through the Silpat Santa brought me last year!


I made a really good salad

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

...and we ate every bit of it. so there are no pictures.

(inspired by my pal Laura S.)


1. "Spring Mix" lettuce bag (reminds me of those salads at Davis-Kidd)
2. sliced strawberries, about 6-7 big ones
3. thinly sliced Granny Smith Apple
4. Golden Raisins
5. crumbled feta
6. rotisserie chicken, shredded (we gave a small piece to Red, but this doesn't make him a beggar because he didn't really ask for it)
7. poppyseed dressing (couldn't find low-fat or "lite" so we just went for it)

Items 1+2+3+4+5+6+7=delicious

This print is nice, too.

[print from beauchamping on etsy, via black eiffel]

whoops / giveaway results + Sharpie pen

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So my first giveaway attempt was a complete disaster. I thought I had read and entered enough blog giveaways to come up with a creative one on my own. Obviously, this was not the case. Martha answered it correctly first, and then everyone could read the right answer, and then what's the point, other than good clean fun?

That said, I apologize. I'll try to come up with something that makes a little more logistical sense next time.

Next on the agenda...The Winner has been chosen through a highly scientific process. Said scientific entries below:

Then Leanne drew for me:

And now, ladies and gentleman, the winner is...

Congratulations Laura! (And congrats on your first week of having a blog. I know your contributions will be fantastic.) We know each other, so we'll email and decide which gift tags you want.

Also included with the gift tags is a Sharpie pen! My new obsession! I have been writing with one since Tuesday morning, and I am totally in love.

Thanks to all of you who played. I promise I will try harder next time.

water water everywhere, and not a drop to drink

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

[The beloved Water Cup--Christmas gift from my dear friend Kate]

I guess one way to describe my level of Gross-Tolerance would be multi-faceted. I never eat food dropped on the floor. I prefer to not share straws. I DESPISE going barefoot, even in my own home. (The thought of accidentally stepping in something wet, whether with bare or sock feet, is beyond unbearable.) However, I don’t mind bugs of any kind, but rodents completely give me the willies.

So the following may or may not be rather surprising.

I have had the same water bottle on my desk at work since November 26, 2007. See photo below. That is over a year and a half. That is exactly 20 months and 17 days.

Its use is simple: refill mechanism. Its only purpose has ever been to refill a water cup full of ice. Of course during this span of time, the water cups are changed out, thrown away, or run through the dishwasher.

But the water bottle has always remained the same. My reasoning that this was/is acceptable is that no human mouth has ever touched the spout of this bottle. It has only EVER been refilled with water and is regularly rinsed out with hot water.

Still, the time has probably come. I did not want to, heaven forbid, purchase another water bottle to replace this one. In general, I think the concept of water bottles is pretty stupid. Especially if you live in Memphis [artesian wells, holla]. And I needed a bottle which had never touched human lips. The Ole Dasani bottle holds 20 oz. Its replacement holds a mere 16 oz. I am going to try to make do. (See replacement below)

My morning work routine includes:
1. Acquiring coffee (2 cups maximum with hazelnut creamer)—we bring our own Dunkin’ Donuts and brew at Beth’s desk
2. Washing out my water cup (and coffee cup), filling the water cup to the brim with ice, then water
3. Refilling the water bottle
4. Sitting down and drinking the water cup until it needs to be refilled with water from the water bottle.
5. During bathroom breaks, refill the water bottle and/or the water cup with ice/water as needed.

My buddies at work are going to be SO proud...

***First ever giveaway on this blog (nestled at the bottom of an unsuspecting post)
I will randomly choose a comment that correctly identifies the source of the post title and visits my etsy shop...and that person will get a free set of 24 enclosure gift tags from my etsy shop!

Currently Reading...

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote.

And I'm absolutely in love with his writing style so far. Mid-century, matter-of-fact, unromanticized but still creepy...it's the best way to read about something terrifying.

After this, I want to watch the movie Capote. Has anyone seen or read either of these?

In the Market for a Cookie Jar?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

There are many many options.

Let's start with ceramic... [here and here]

Or maybe these pretty glass vintage ones... [here and here]

Maybe you have a hankering for eating cookies from Tin Man's head, or being able to see the cookie you're reaching for? [here and here]

Or maybe you want to eat out of something shaped like another kind of food? [here and here]

There's always a wise ole owl (but he may tell you to keep your hands out!) [here]

I love cookie jars (and of course their contents)!

A Petite Rant: Drive-Through Post Office

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Let me say first that I am not a habitually prepared person. Some could (and even have) call(ed) me forgetful. Yet there is one trait prized by my DH and his kinfolk (I have observed this over these past several years of marital bliss), and it is that of preparedness. It is from this acknowledgement--and striving for improvement in such--that I commence this rant.

Observation made on Saturday morning in the drive-through mailbox drop-off line:

WHY and HOW can people not be ready when it's their turn to drop their mail in the mailbox slot? What have you been doing at home, where you gathered said mail? Did you put off all preparation until the drive-through, waiting to fold, address, stamp, and return address your outgoing mail items?

This makes absolutely no sense to me. This isn't the bank line, where you may have to endorse a check, get a deposit slip prepared, or even get out your drivers license from your wallet It's just not so much of a spur-of-the-moment errand.

This is mail. It. Goes. In. The. Slot.

Please be ready when you go through the drive-through mailbox. And if not, then by gosh pull up to the farthest one so the rest of us can drop in our fully-prepared correspondence and don't be angry when we pull around you to exit.

After all, we came prepared.

(does this vex anyone else?)

My Little Corner of the World

Monday, August 03, 2009

Just for kicks... thought you may enjoy seeing my cube.

AND the fantasy football trophy from last year, proudly displayed:

How was I able to take these pictures, might you ask? YES I GOT AN IPHONE! yippee!!!! (see previous post where I waxed poetic on why I "needed" one.) I have been a good girl.
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