Friday, September 30, 2011

Working for the Weekend

It's Friday everyone!  Isn't that just the most wonderful news!  I've got high hopes for the weekend ahead and I don't think it's gonna disappoint.  I hope yours is just as lovely.  Enjoy the links and lets meet back here Monday morning, capisce?

Yesterday was National Coffee Day...which reminded me to do my part and sign up for this.  You should sign up, too!

Happy mail.  Genius.

A little cheesy but also kind of brilliant.

I must say...I thoroughly enjoy this blog.

Sometimes I want things.  This is one of those times.

This Saturday's agenda.  Can't wait!

Fun activity or a waste of time?  Jury's still out.  I, for one, would give it a try!

Office supply lovers unite!  P.S. Feel free to sign me up for this.

That should be me.

Seriously the best ice cream I've ever had.  Ever.
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Q and A: Anniversary Present

If there's one thing that gets me pumped up for the day, it's the chance to answer a reader question!  It's one of my favorite parts of this gig.  Here's one I got just the other day:

I am in a dilemma and could use some creative words of advice. I am approaching my one year wedding anniversary in October, my dilemma being I want to give my husband something special and I’m stuck as to what to get him. We are going to FL and will be doing a special dinner but I wanted to add a little something else. He is not a jewelry guy, very laid back. So my selections I feel are narrowed down a lot. Do you have any recommendations or can you suggest anything else I could do to make it special?

Well first of all, Happy Anniversary!  While I don't have a lot of experience in anniversary present shopping, I want to say you've come to the right place.  What I lack in relationship history I make up for in sheer present-giving people gifts they love is one of my great joys in life. :)

I definitely get your dilemma- whereas we're easily pacified by a sweet card and anything sparkly, boys are tricky to buy for...especially when it comes to sentimental holidays.  I think anniversary presents in particular are always sweeter when they're something you both enjoy or can do together...that way they're not just a celebration of your husband, they're a celebration of your relationship.  Think about your common interests but since the present is for him, try and steer clear of things he tolerates for your sake and lean towards things he's enthusiastic about (that goes without saying, of course, but if he's the sweet husband I suspect he is this might require a little intuition).  Here are a few options to consider.

1. For the Connoisseur - I love this idea...give your husband three bottles of wine- one to open for this year's anniversary, one for your five year anniversary and one for when you hit the big 1-0.  Make sure the five and ten year bottles are known for aging well- check out this guide if you need some help picking them out.

2. For the Academic - Oh to find a guy that loves museums.  Be still my heart.  If you were lucky enough to snag one, consider buying a one year membership.  If you live near a big city, you'll have lot of, natural history (yay dinosaurs!), science- pick an area that interests him and you'll always have a fun activity or date night on deck.

3. For the Sports Fanatic - Treat him to tickets to go see his favorite team.  Even if sports aren't your favorite, be enthusiastic!  It'll be fun!

4. For the Candy Lover - Admit it, we're not the only ones with a sweet tooth.  At the end of the day, you just want to give him something he'll enjoy and if what he enjoys is chocolate...well...I say more power to him.  The mushy message might be a bit much but hey- why not?  It's sweet on many levels. :)

5. For the...well...I'm just going to say it...Nerd - This custom-made comic book cover (your faces and names) is perfect for the husband who loves superheroes, Star Wars or has expressed any interest in one day attending Comic Con.  From the Big Bang Theory candidate to the ironic Urban Outfitters wearing nerd, this one is a gem.

6. For the Board Gamer - If your beau is always up for game night, try this customize-able Monopoly-esque board game.  It lets you use your own photos and captions to make the game totally personalized.  Cool concept, right?

7. For the Movie Critic - Two word: Netflix subscription.

8. For the Coffee Addict - These custom made mugs are sweet and surprisingly guy-friendly to behold.  Sure, they're a bit sappy (see what I did there?), but they're a one of a kind piece and a really special gesture.  

Good luck on your hunt!  Anyone else have a question?  Shoot me an e-mail here and I'll try my darndest to help!

The Foodie Files

So we all know I have a problem with excessive celebration but I just...can' myself.  When good things happen, I think we should acknowledge and revel in them.  It turns little victories into lifelong memories and forces everyone involved to recognize the moment they're in- whatever that moment might be.  So yes, I will bring you coffee when the nightmare week you were dreading is finally over...I will bake you a cake when you ace that test or get an amazing performance review at work.  You say you're getting a raise?  Well, I'm thinking that calls for brownies.  Because if a form of celebratory acknowledgement greater than a tasty treat exists, I've certainly never heard of it.  That being said, my cousin Jess is getting a new car tomorrow! (Yay!)  Now...when you celebrate as much as we do, you've gotta start getting creative, so I tried something totally new: cake batter rice krispie treats.  Yes.  That's right.  Cake batter...and Rice Krispies.  With extra sprinkles.  Trust me on this- it's happiness on a napkin.

3 TBS butter
10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
3/4 cup dry Funfetti cake mix
6 cups rice krispies cereal
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until they melt completely (takes longer than you'd think, so be patient).  

Stir in your cake mix, then remove from heat.  Add cereal and stir, stir, stir.  Throw in your desired amount of sprinkles and stir some more.  

Press into a greased baking dish (8" or 9" works best) and throw a few more sprinkles on top for good measure.  After about 30 minutes it's safe to cut into squares and serve.  I'm telling you- this recipe is going in my secret weapon arsenal...there were rave reviews coming from every direction.  As celebratory snacks go, this one is a winner.  And believe me...I eat a lot of celebratory snacks.  I would know.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lady in Red

I go through lots of color crushes- yesterday it was coral, today it's saddle, tomorrow it could be anything from blush to marigold yellow- but the one color I always adore is red.  It's my constant...a BFF in a sea of color acquaintances.  I came across these pictures here and there over the course of the last month and finally couldn't help but share them.  Love, love, love everything about the dresses/pictures/styling/I could go on.  Especially the color.  They're seriously gorgeous, right?

Mirror, Mirror

Well, I did it again.  Purple and tan, purple and tan.  I just can't get enough of that color palate, I guess!  This particular outfit is one of my all time favorite Mirror, Mirrors- it's got an iconic feel to it and I'd rock it in a millisecond.  What do you think?!  

1. Coralie Black Bag, Badgley Mischka $375  2. Wool Cape, Bruuns Bazaar $273  3. Cropped Wide Leg Pants, Yves Saint Laurent $1,190  4. Drapy Top, Graumann $163  5. Cortina Cuff, Giles & Brother $185  6. Petal Gold Bangle, Giles & Brother $36  7. Voyeur Earrings, CC SKYE $150  8. Sasha Sunglasses, House of Harlow 1960 $149  9. Blair Wedge, Madison Harding $249.99
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Table for Twelve: Fancy Shmancy Dinner Party

I'm gonna shoot straight with you here- if ever there was a totally do-able Table for Twelve, this would be it.  Which doesn't exactly thrill me.  My favorite parties are a little more...aspirational, but while this particular shindig wasn't our most over-the-top, it was classy, sharp and an all around great time.  So that makes me happy.  I'm always looking for a good excuse to wear a fancy dress, and this party made that possible.  So that makes me happy, too.  Since this was the fourth party we threw in two days (true story) the operative words were simple but elegant.  Luckily, my parents' house provided a perfect setting and my Mom and Aunt Sandi's birthdays gave us a great excuse to celebrate.  And celebrate we did.  Since our family is more King Size than anything else, we had to get creative in our table arrangements.  It was a bit of a tight squeeze, but I thought it came together really beautifully.  

With the exception of a few signature items (my Dad's world famous salad, for example) we had the meal catered through Wegmans.  The menu included chicken, beef tenderloin, baked ziti, and assorted salad and vegetables.  Though I'm usually hesitant to give up control of the food I have to admit, it made the evening substantially easier.

If there's anything I learned while orchestrating this party, it's that sometimes sweet, simple and gimmick free can still make for a beautiful evening.  Now seriously, is my family photogenic or what?

For more information on this party or any other Table for Twelve (Garden Tea Party, Pool Party, Sugary Sweet Goodbye PartyPicnic in the Park, Royal Wedding, Breakfast at Tiffany'sValentine's Day)  or to find out about Design-Muse's party planning services, contact me here.  

Get It Together: Circle Takes the Square

1. Modo Pendant Chandelier, Matter Matters $1,350  2. Format Orange Tray, CB2 $39.95  3. Marimekko Rasymatto Bowl, Safari Living $35  4. Huh? Pillow, CB2 $49.95  5. 111 Navy Chair, MoMA Store $245
Monday, September 26, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011

Working for the Weekend

Happy 'only a few more hours 'til the weekend'!  What's on the agenda party people?  I, for one, have a super cool Pirates and Mermaids themed 4th birthday celebration to attend (which I'm actually quite pumped about...seriously, any excuse to dress up and I'm taking it).  I'll tweet a picture of my getup so be on the lookout (@designmuseblog if you're not already following).  Enjoy the links, have fun this weekend and stay out of trouble!

A love story.

Re-doing a room/house?  This is a great idea...very helpful.

Was introduced to these lovely ladies when they opened for Ray Lamontagne this past week.  Impressive.

Need this.  And an appropriate drawer.

Totally out of my mind crazy about this.  Might dream about it tonight.

I appreciate this on a level you probably don't understand.  It's a very exclusive club...

Something to look forward to October 6th.

Need a good laugh?  If you have an extra 21 minutes 14 seconds you can have like...30.

Wanna be on TV?

She's cool.
Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Foodie Files

Although I generally consider it autumn once the calendar strikes September 1st, tomorrow is the first official day of fall.  I love summer and I'm sad to see it slip away, but the time has come to wave bye here's my peace offering to the new season: chili.  And darn good chili if I don't say so myself.  Although this wasn't exactly something we grew up eating, I've learned to appreciate it over the last few years.  I doubled the meat and halved the beans of my cousin's recipe...but other than that, left it pretty intact.  And she's a real southerner, so it's a recipe you can trust. :)

2 shallot cloves, diced
2lbs ground turkey
4 14oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 can dark kidney beans, drained
1 can light kidney beans, drained
1 packet chili spices
2 tsp crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown shallots in extra virgin olive oil, then add meat.  Be sure not to over handle the turkey or it will essentially turn to mush.  Once meat is browned, drain it and season with chili spices.  

Add tomatoes, beans, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  

Simmer for 20 minutes and serve with sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese.

Happy Thoughts

Here's bit of food for your soul, from me to you.  This goes out to whoever needs to hear it today (don't we all, at one point or another?). :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

Of all the fall color trends, I think the tan and purple combo is my favorite.  I threw a little jade in there to make things more interesting still.  Love how it all came together!

1. Sunbright Cloisonne Drop Earrings, Anthropologie $68  2. Jade Rings, Etsy $12  3. Butternut Forget Me Dress, ModCloth $49.99  4. Lilakai Scarf, Anthropologie $175  5. Fionnah Pumps, Jessica Simpson $98  6. Pastel Pop Bangles, Forever 21 $4.80

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Le Louvre

These pictures are ridiculous.  So beautiful, so classy, so ridiculously awesome I can hardly stand it.  I found the first one a little while ago...when I found the second- well, first of all, I gasped- secondly, I knew I had to post them ASAP.  At some point, I'm gonna get my behind to Paris and re-create this little snapshot.  I'll let you know how it works out. :)

Photos Via: SvpplyTumblr
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Get It Together: Gentleman's Parlor

1. Mini Potted Echeveria, Target  2. Round Horn Bowls, Jayson Home & Garden $14-$36  3. Papier-Mache Animal Sculpture, West Elm $129-$149  4. Luxe Chair in New Furniture, Crate&Barrel $1,019  5. Forest Floor Decorative Vintage Bottle Vase, Target $14.99  6. Freeman Mirror, Jayson Home $185  7. Atwood Nightstand, Crate&Barrel $599

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Oh, Oh It's Magic!

It a storyline straight out of a movie- an anonymous book lover leaves delicate paper sculptures in libraries across Edinburgh, Scotland.  It seems they after another and no one- not staff, security, or the general public- can find a trace of the artist.  I love everything about this story, but mostly the fact that it's true.  There's mystery and magic, and it's a real honest to goodness piece of news.  That's awesome.  To whoever the artist is- good for you!  I hope your reverse heists continue for as long as your little heart desires.  Check out these beautiful works of art- I included where they were discovered and the note left behind.  Lovely, don't you think?

Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011

Working for the Weekend

I'm running out the door to get to Grace Bonney's Design*Sponge at Home book signing party in Philly (which I'm super pumped about), but before I left I wanted to make sure I got these links up!  Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you Monday!

So you weren't able to make it to NYC for Fashion Week, huh?  That's okay.  Here's what you missed...

There's a really good chance I'm the last person in the world to discover this site.  But it's so, so neat.

An adorable way to remember milestones.

What's the only thing better than one diamond ring?

Oh my goodness, someday I'm gonna be the coolest Mom ever...

I kind of want to be friends with these people.

This made me laugh.

Love foodie blogs.  Love 'em.

This is one stylish chickadee.

If I had a hope chest, I'd be stocking up right about now.  Waaay too adorable.

It's a.....?!

Now that it's "Facebook official", I'm so excited to share some exciting news!  One of my sweet cousins is expecting a baby!  We're all just... over the moon.  I've already insisted on heading up the nursery design and shower planning committees so I've been a baby Googling fiend as of late.  One of the ideas I kept running into (again and again and again) was the concept of a "gender reveal party".  Apparently they're all the rage these days.  And I've gotta say...there are some cute ideas out there.  Most parties had the parents-to-be finding out right alongside their guests!  There was lots of cake involved (have the doctor seal the ultrasound photo and take it straight to a baker- tell them to make the icing blue or pink depending on the gender, then cut the cake for the big reveal!)  a few balloons (give the ultrasound to a close family member and have them fill a box with pink or blue the box for the big reveal!), and various cookies and cakes (you get how this works, right?).  A few particularly smart party planners served only foods the soon-to-be-mama was craving, while others let friends and family cast their vote for gender and names.  Overall, the concept is adorable- don't you think!?  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Foodie Files

In an effort to give me a hand when I'm running low on Foodie Files, my gorgeous mother started taking pictures of her meals.  As we flipped through a few weeks worth of feasts last night I found myself totally psyched and bummed out at the same time.  Happy because I get to share some awesome recipes with you...sad because I sometimes (inexplicably) forget what an amazing cook my Mom is and I hate the fact that I live so far away from her.  And her food.  But mostly her.  Anyway- this picture jumped out at me and I just had to share it with you.  It's such a simple recipe but so delicious!

4 Delmonico cut steaks
2 TBS butter
1 large vidalia onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Fresh Sage
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash the meat, paper towel dry and salt & pepper on both sides.  Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a large roasting pan and place the steaks in.  Add onions, garlic, sage, rosemary & thyme.  Add butter and broil at 450 degrees.  For medium meat, cook until an internal thermometer reads 125-130 degrees, about 10 minutes each side.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

I'm trying a little experiment today- instead of arranging an outfit on empty space I've arranged one on...well, me.  While posing for pictures isn't exactly my cup of tea, I had a special reason to orchestrate this little shoot.  I actually won this dress at an event during Fashion Week and promised LuLu's, the amazing online boutique it came from, that I'd send them a picture of their fab frock being put to good use.  I decided to style it two different is more casual and fun, the other is dressy and refined.  It's such a gorgeous dress and I'm so pumped to wear it out and about!  What do you guys think?!

Dress: Lulus, Shirt: Forever 21, Necklaces: H&MCharming Charlie, Vintage,  Rings: Forever 21, Bracelet: Forever 21, Earrings: Vintage, Jacket: Vintage, Shoes: Steve Madden

Missoni for Target

I know, I know- the whole world is exhausted with hearing about Missoni for Target.  I totally get it.  But I can't help myself because I love it!  I hit up not one but two Targets yesterday and was equal parts amazed and horrified by the events of the morning.  My Mom and I walked into the first store no less than 15 minutes after it opened and there were already swarms of women sweeping through like locusts. People were screaming "Just put it in the cart!  We'll sort it when we get home!" and literally wiping the shelves clean.  It was astounding.  The reason we went so early was to snag a particular blanket I had my eye on, which of course the locusts gobbled up in the 15 minutes before I walked in the door.  Unfortunately, it wasn't at the other Target either.  But you know what was?  Alllll the items below.  This, dear friends, was the bounty we reaped.  From what I understand the collection sold out much faster than anyone was expecting, but drop by Target as soon as you possibly can to see if any of the remnants are still there!  Best of luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Get It Together: Boho Groove

1. Number Boxes, Jayson Home & Garden $12 each  2. Wire Dome Pendant, Terrain $298  3. Happiness is a Cup of Coffee & a Really Good Book Mug, Amazon $9.99  4. Odette Sofette, Jayson Home & Garden $1,450  5. Solidago Rug, Anthropologie $78-$1,098  6. Boucle Wire Shop Baskets, Jayson Home & Garden $98-$125  7. Raw Wood Carved Side Table, West Elm $199
Monday, September 12, 2011

Books & Books

As much as I adore the idea of iPads, Kindles, e-magazines and the like, I'm an old fashioned paper and ink girl to the core.  My official stance on the state of the world is this: technology- good, death of print- bad.  Especially as it relates to the crumbling bookstore scene.  I don't just love the bookstore, I need it.  It's my happy place.  I went on a Barnes & Noble adventure last night and could've wandered around for days!  I added an impossibly large number of books to my 'must read' much so that I had to write down the titles and do a bit of research to decide where to start.  After reading a few reviews and doing my fair share of research (there's just nothing worse than reading a discouraging, poorly written, or otherwise bad book...I do what I've gotta do to avoid them), the titles below rose to the top.  I can't wait to go back and buy them!  Have you read any?  Heard of any?  Put any on your 'must read' list, too?    

1. Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me, Ian Morgan Cron $10.87  2. Through the Language Glass, Guy Deutscher $10.96  3. Blood, Bones & Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton $14.77  4. I Knew You'd Be Lovely, Alethea Black $11.20  5. This is a Book, Demetri Martin $14.69  6. The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton $12.24

Design Musings

Friday, September 9, 2011

Working for the Weekend

Happiest of Fridays to you and yours.  I'm heading to NYC this afternoon to catch the last of the Fashion Week madness- it's gonna be a zoo so wish me luck.  Hope your day is so splendid you don't even know what to do with yourself.  Enjoy the weekend links and I'll see you Monday!

I've decided I want one of these...any ideas on what coordinates I should use?

Awww...look how cute and itty bitty they are...

I'll probably do this when I have kids.  Or maybe next week.  Whichever comes first.

I've been trying to phase my ears in over the last few months (don't ask).  You'll know the process is complete when you see me rocking this 'do.

Even the couple that has everything doesn't have this...what a cool anniversary present.

So pumped about this!  Everyone put it on their calendars!

Now is the time to strategize...what will you buy?  When will you arrive?  How will you beat the competition?  Come September 13, it's every man for himself....

Like the Chinese Zodiac except more awesome.

No way is this legit...

When I get back to Nashville, I'm getting serious about this.  Who's with me?!
Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Foodie Files

Since football season is upon us, I decided to test kitchen a couple game day finger foods.  I plan on cheering my Philadelphia Eagles all the way to the Superbowl this year, so I know I'm gonna need a roster of winning recipes to go along with our championship season.  I have no idea what possessed me to try buffalo chicken egg rolls, but I'm thrilled I did because they turned out extra delicious.  I added a little bit of complexity (yes...complex buffalo chicken egg rolls...who would've thunk...) by marinading them in BBQ sauce and forgoing the conventional blue cheese for gorgonzola.  It was a touchdown, if you will.

3 chicken breasts, cubed
9oz Stubbs Original BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce
Gorgonzola cheese
1 package Egg Roll Wraps
Salt and Pepper to taste
Serve with a side of blue cheese dressing for dipping

Marinade cubed chicken in BBQ sauce for 20-30 minutes, then discard excess sauce.  Saute until chicken is cooked through and place in a medium sized bowl.  Mix chicken with buffalo sauce and set aside. 

Arrange egg roll wrapper like a diamond, and place cheese, celery and chicken in the center.  Use water to moisten the edges and begin wrapping, starting with bringing the corner closest to you over the chicken, then folding the sides like an envelope.

Take the corner farthest from you and wrap it around to the other side of the egg roll, creating some tension in the process.

Coat the bottom of a frying pan generously with oil and heat over medium high.  You'll know the oil is ready when a drop of water makes it sizzle.  Place the egg rolls into the oil with the fold facing down, cooking and flipping until all sides are a crispy, beautiful golden brown.

Design By Number

When it comes just aren't my thing.  I'm no good at crunching them, memorizing them or understanding their problems.  Throw a little design in the mix, however, and it's on like Donkey Kong.  Here's a few examples of numbers I'd welcome into my life with open arms (especially those Lulu Frost gosh, I'm obsessed) they are stylin', don't you think?

Number Rings, Lulu Frost $440 each Number Mugs, Takuya Hoshiko Oval Keychains, Jayson Home & Garden $15 each Number Painting, Pottery Barn Aiden Gray Wire Baskets, Layla Grayce $413 set of 5
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

Last week's Mirror, Mirror centered around a cute tank top...this weeks features a full out sweater.  A little weird, I know.  But you know what else is weird?  Last week's temperature was in the mid 90's and this week it's barely 60.  Barely 60!  For those of you cheering about this sudden drop...well...I just don't have much to say except we're not friends at the moment.  Once the rain chills out I may feel better about the situation but I'm not making any promises.  At any rate, if there was a silver lining to this sudden disappearance of sunshine, it would be that it's allowed me to jump right into the fall trends...including but not limited to these fun, bright pants!  They're like sun therapy in a trouser (take that dreary, icky, overcast sky).

1. Floating Chrysalis Cowlneck, Anthropologie $118  2. Cropped Twill Pants, Etro $580  3. Still Life Bag, Anthropologie $398  4. Cortina Cuff, Giles & Brother $185  5. Saber Skull Ring, Monserat De Lucca $84  6. Chloe Stud Earrings, Gorjana $35  7. Vail Suede Wedge Pumps, Michael Kors $195

Origami En Masse

I'm back in Jersey Jers for a few days with meetings, consultations and a little bit of New York Fashion Week on the agenda.  If all goes according to plan (and even if it doesn't, really) it's gonna be a great week.  I'm feeling pretty darn pumped!  While I'm in town, I'm hoping to bang out a plan for my up and coming bedroom re-design.  My Tennessee fortress of solitude is in desperate need of some TLC and as soon as I return, it's gonna get it.  That being said, I've had some crazy brainstorming sessions over the last few days/weeks/months.  Due to space, logistics and- in some cases- the degree of sheer insanity involved, some of my fun ideas just won't be coming to fruition...which is okay, cause I still get to share them here!  I hadn't totally thought this little gem through, but the gist of it involved origami.  Lots and lots of origami (so random).  Here's a few images from my idea board...even though the concept didn't make the cut for this particular project, I haven't panned the idea all together.  It's fun, right?!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Get It Together: Must Love Dogs

1. Ball Light Large w/ Flex, Matter $750  2. Scott Lifshutz Dog Daze Pillow Cover, West Elm $29  3. Photobooth Dogs, Amazon $10.69  4. Medium Truro Gold Candlestick, Michael Wainwright $105  5. Metis Chair, Matter $1,370  6. Black and White Spotted Pillow, Store03 $50  7. Ludhyana Throw, CB2 $129

Lawn Games

I may or may not have googled "What is Labor Day all about?" yesterday...partly because I enjoy a good piece of trivia (Labor Day was signed into law in 1894 by Grover Cleveland and is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and case you were wondering) but mostly because it seems it's real function is to unofficially usher summer far, far away.  And I'm afraid I have to take issue with that.  Exchange my sandals for one Monday off?  Anyone else feel like they're getting a bad deal here?  Regardless, these pretty (and fun!) lawn games have me especially inspired to soak up every last moment summer has to offer.  And, with the possible exception of the pumpkin spice latte I plan on enjoying later this afternoon, that's exactly what I'll do. :) 

Monday, September 5, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011

Working For The Weekend

All things considered, this week wasn't nearly as horrible as it could've been.  While the whole re-building process isn't exactly a blast (my hard drive crashed last Friday, in case you have no clue what I'm referring to) it's allowed me to start a new organizational system.  So that's a plus.  And even though it's crazy inconvenient, there's something about a totally fresh start that's refreshing (can you tell I'm trying really hard to be positive?) :).  The next few weeks are gonna keep getting better and better and this weekend is going to be fantastic.  Rest up and enjoy the links below and I'll see you Monday morning!

My brother's CD was released this past week!  Get it here (seriously, go get it.  It's outrageously good).  Also, I'm gonna need those of you in the greater Nashville area to come hang out with me at their show tomorrow (9/3) at Rocketown.  Details here.  

Are you a Matchbook Girl?  Their September issue came out yesterday- give it a looksee and decide!

Designer cupcakes.  For real.           

When it's a liiiiitle more autumn-y out, I'm gonna curl up with this.

This is good news.  Really, really good news.

I've thought about this no less than 5 times a day for the last week.  Gonna have to make it soon.

Sweet idea for a wedding band.

Two birds, one stone.  I like it.

Finally got around to reading the book my Pastor wrote.  Can't say enough good things about it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Foodie Files

I often find my best meals come from my most indecisive moments.  For example, as I stood in the grocery store the other day gathering ingredients, I kept repeating (I want to say to myself but it could've very well have been out loud) "Alfredo or Pesto?  Alfredo or Pesto?".  After awhile, it just sounded like "Alfredo Pesto", and that's the route I went.  And it was delicious.

4 chicken breasts, cubed
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Locatelli cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup pesto
1 lb Farfalle pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Set lightly salted water in a large pot to boil.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add flour, mixing until thick to create a roux.

Pour in heavy cream and milk, then add cheese, pesto and salt and pepper.

Once your water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook according to package instructions.  Saute chicken in a separate pan, then toss it all together for a tasty, tasty treat.