Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blahg

I came across the Blah,Blah,Blahg blog today, and it is one of my favorites that I have come to peruse. She has an wonderfully witty way with words (say that 10 times fast), and features some truly inspiring images, projects, and ideas! I look forward to continuing to follow along.

Oh, and there are a ton of super adorable animal photos throughout her posts (like the one above), which I of course love!

Wine Recommendation

One of my very favorite wines is a Casel Garcia from Portugal. It is probably a better summer wine than winter, so my timing is a bit off (but hey - the sun is shining somewhere right?!).

My friend Alex and I used to drink this out on the patio under the sun while grilling up some delicious foods. It is light enough to go with just about everything, and it has a nice effervescence to it - and it is under $10!

The best part of all (for all you suckers like me) is the gorgeous label - it is dark blue with a delicate lace pattern covering it. Two thumbs up from me!

Cutie Pies

Loves it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I have recently started becoming a 'connoisseur' of delicious Manhattans (well...and by that I mean I drink a lot of them). I love the way the harsh edge of bourboun is rounded off by the addition of vermouth (plus a dash of sweetness from a cherry or cherry bitters). I am planning on setting up a little bar area in my apartment this week, so I can't wait to get my hands dirty trying to perfect my own blend. In perusing the ever beautiful gourmet magazine's website (tear), I came across this recipe for the classic concoction:

Perfect Bourbon Manhattans
Makes2 drinks

* Active time:5 min
* Start to finish:5 min

When this classic cocktail was invented, in the late 1800s, it called for rye. Here, bourbon gets to be the star, and the combination of sweet and dry vermouth makes our version “perfect.”

* 4 oz (1/2 cup) bourbon
* 1 oz (2 tablespoons) sweet vermouth
* 1 oz (2 tablespoons) dry vermouth
* 2 dashes Angostura bitters

maraschino cherries

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with cracked ice, then add all ingredients and shake or stir well. Strain into 2 chilled Martini glasses.

Wardrobe Addition

I recently ordered this jacket online (mine is black). While I was definitely hoping for it to be more of a pea-coat fabric, I still love the double layered cotton/sweatshirt material that it is. I am always on the search for super comfortable clothes that still look stylish - and I think this counts.

Quince Paste

YUM! I just found this recipe on the Delicious Days blog for quince paste/jam. I have been served petite wedges of this at wine bars with plates of cheese and have loved it, but I never thought about actually making it. I cannot believe how easy it is, and what a great thing to serve at a get-together with some stinky manchego or goat cheese. It would also make a great little gift for a wine or cheese lover in your life! The recipe is below (only two ingredients!):

Wash, peel, core quinces, then chop coarsely and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the quinces and boil covered for about 30 minutes or until fruit is very soft. Remove excess water and weight.

Process the fruit until very smooth either with a regular or a handheld blender. Add an equal amount (see step 1) of sugar and combine with fruit pulp in the same pot.

Cook, stirring over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the quince paste thickens and has a deep orange color. This will take round about 60-90 minutes.

Transfer cooked paste to a parchment paper lined and lightly greased pan (mine was about 20×20cm/8×8″) and spread paste flat. Place in oven at low heat (50°C/120°F) with the fan on for an hour or so to aid the drying process.

To serve (with cheese): Cut into small wedges or squares. To store: Wrap in foil and keep in fridge.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

To All A Good Night

I am off to San Diego tomorrow for Christmas vacation! Ed's parents live there, so we will be staying with them. I can't wait to feel 70 degree weather, and to spend time with his family. I definitely will NOT miss the blistering Chicago winter, but I will miss my friends and family here. I hope everyone has a safe and cheerful holiday this week!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Something's Gotta Give

The first time I saw the movie "Something's Gotta Give' (with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson) a few years ago, I have dreamt about her house in the Hamptons. Little did I realize it is one of the most popular movie sets of all time (of course)! The single element that always has stood out and remained in my mind is that oversized blue and white striped rug.

The sophisticated yet beach-y 'home' was designed by Jon Hutman and Beth Rubino. I am not sure what made me think of it again, but when I looked it up today, I got hundreds of posts about it, not to mention articles about people who attempted to copy the look! Obviously I am not alone in my love for the casual yet elegant setting.

Oh Doggy

So I think my adorable dog is now suffering from separation anxiety when I leave her. According to Ed, she sat by the door all evening last night when I went shopping...even though he was home! And she always stands (not lays) outside the bathroom door whenever I am in there. I am definitely worried about leaving her for a week in a few days. I don't want her to think I abandoned her! Time for some anti-panic training. Poor girl. :(

Warm Weather Holiday!

This year (for the first time ever) I will be traveling for Christmas. I am going to San Diego to visit my boyfriend's family. I cannot wait to leave this frigid climate for a more temperate one as well as share in their holiday traditions!

I am hoping to skate on this intriguing ice rink by the beach (located at the beautiful and historic Hotel Del Coronado):

Monday, December 14, 2009


For my boyfriend's niece's one year birthday last week, we gave her a photo shoot. My friend Erica came over to their house and shot some gorgeous photos! She is wonderful at shooting babies. Check out her website, and a sample of the images of Miss Izzie!:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I am feeling lazy this morning after some holiday festivities last night. I need to get up the motivation to take my dog for a walk - even though it is cold and wet outside. First...I must have coffee.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fancy Free

I went shopping with my friend Kim today for first interview clothes (fingers crossed). She ended up with a very smart black suit and these fabulous black pumps by Kenneth Cole. They are great because they have a little shine to them (which makes them great for upcoming holiday parties) but are a sensible shape with comfort features (perfect for out-on-the-town business meetings). Loves it.

Chanel No. 5

Have you seen the new Chanel No. 5 commercial with Audrey Tautou? I keep wishing that instead of just a commercial that it is a preview for a full length movie. It is so glamorous and romantic. Ugh. That shot where she is taking the picture of the boat and her hair is blowing in the wind. Stunning. It makes me want to plan a train trip. I want to be her.


My dear friend just got accepted to do his rotation for medical school in Puerto Rico (his number one choice was somewhere in the Caribbean). He has twin boys under two years old - two of the most beautiful children you have ever seen. He is currently working on raising funds to be able to start this new assignment by selling prints of some gorgeous photos that he has taken on his travels. Here are a few of my favorites:

Check the entire collection out here or email him Only $50. Great idea for a holiday gift!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Flannel Nightshirt

I bought an adorable flannel nightshirt this evening (what is it about holiday shopping that I usually buy more stuff for myself than I do gifts...). Regardless, while I don't think I will look quite as stylish as this, I think I will get a ton of use out of it. I can't wait to cozy up in its softness with a mug of hot chocolate!

Woodland Tablescape

I love love love this tablescape. I adore the soft and serene color scheme - and check out how cute the birds perches in the branches are. Plus, the vases are short enough and the branches spare enough that you can still see the people across from you with ease! I think this is the epitome of casual elegance.

Picture from Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This movie looks so good. Every shot looks visually beautiful. Apparently it will come out some time in 2010. I can't wait.

Watch the whole trailer. It is worth it. I love the last 20 seconds.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let Me Count The Ways...

Jonathan Adler, how I love thee...

Great Gift Idea

I think at only $15 (!!!) this is a great gift idea for someone who either has everything or that you don't know that well or clients, etc...You can get it at Anthropologie (of course).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Miss Maya

I adopted a dog last weekend!!! Her name is Maya and (needless to say) I am head over heels in love with her. She is so darling and has the sweetest personality. I could post pictures all day, but I will spare everyone. These are a couple that my best friend Lauren shot when I brought her by to visit a couple days ago. I mean really - look at that face!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chicago French Market!

I am so excited for the new year-round indoor French Market that opened here in Chicago yesterday!!! It sounds like there are a ton of great vendors participating. I can't wait to check it out!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Faux Eiffel Tower

The view from out the window in front of my desk is a smokestack way in the distance. I pretend it is the Eiffel Tower - I know it is a stretch but I do what I can...


French chef Daniel Boulud is one of the leaders in the culinary world, and I am obsessed with the interior design as well as the concept of one of his newest spots - DBGB - located in Manhattan. It was designed by Thomas Schlesser who also designed a few of my absolute favorite spots here in Chicago (The Publican, Violet Hour, and Avec). It is beautifully rustic and industrial rolled into one. Apparently many of the pots and pans and items lining the floor to ceiling shelves were donated by various world famous chefs such as Thomas Keller (of the famed French Laundry in California). So gorgeous! The menu primarily focuses on house-made sausages and unique craft beers. The goel of this restaurant is to be part French brasserie part American tavern. I think this power-house of a team pulled it off beautifully. I can't wait to visit!