Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ruffles, Pearls and so on

Thanks for all the cheesy gooey Mac & Cheese recommendations. Mr. P approved whole heartily and is going to get cracking.

I'm finally taking lunch and am so in need of a break. I have been reading awful ridiculous code language all morning. It's a long story and it's works so I don't want to get into it, but sufficed to say, my frustration level and temper are getting a little high. I was strong armed by the planning director to sit on this horrid committee which begins tonight. Hence why I'm reading this stuff. To further my woes I just ate rice cakes and a banana for lunch. Isn't that a depressing lunch? I think so.

However, before we all start pitying me too much there is a bright spot to my day. My outfit. I so wish I could show you all a picture of my gorgeous pink silk ruffled tank I am wearing. Sadly, I can not find a picture of it anywhere online. I got it on clearance at J. Crew, because really I only buy anything at J. Crew which is on a major clearance. It is brightening my day. I'm wearing it with slim black slacks, a long black shall cardigan, a long pearl necklace and pearl earrings. Working late at dreadful meetings is never quite as bad when you can wear pink, pearls, and ruffles all in the same day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Need Your Help

Mr. P loves Mac and Cheese. I usually don't make it because I can't eat it and I'm not a huge fan of making things I can't eat these days. So last night I had to work really late I picked up all the ingredients for Mr. P and printed off an Alton Brown Recipe so Mr. P could make himself mac and cheese for dinner. Mr. P is learning to cook, but that is a whole different story for a different day. I thought he would be thrilled and delighted at the wonderful homemade mac and cheese. I thought wrong.

It wasn't quite right. It wasn't thick and gooey enough, it shouldn't have bread crumbs, why was there a bay leaf and paprika, and so on. It sounds to me what he wants is kraft. He assures me it's not. He wants to make homemade mac that is like kraft but cheesier and better.

So I need ideas, recipes, family secrets concerning mac and cheese, ideas, please send them my way and it will be much appreciated.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fashion Staples

I love to shop. We all know this. But this year I am trying to be more purposeful about my shopping. In the past I would just follow sales and pick up pieces at random. I would get new clothes fairly frequently but I never had the staples. I had nothing to wear because although I’d bought a few shirts I still did not have a basic black tee, or the right skinny jeans, or a nice rain coat. You get the picture. This year I made a list of the classic and trendy pieces I’m in need of and bit by bit I have been focusing my shopping on those things. I have to say now that Ihave acquired some of these staples from my list getting dressed is getting easier everyday. So here are my fashion staples that I now can’t live without:

Over sized Sunglasses

Oh how I love my over sized sunglasses. My husband HATES them but that's besides the point. I got them at forever 21 and paid $3 for them. Yet they are wonderful. image found here

Trench coat

This is most recent purchase and I'm in love with it. I have been wanting a trench coat for years, actually since I was 14 years old and first saw this:

It is just so classic. I recently read somewhere that if you put on a classic trench coat and over sized sunglasses you instantly add glamour to whatever else you are wearing. I think I agree. images found here and here

Skinny Jeans

I have had skinny jeans since college but never the right skinny jeans. Finally with my Christmas money I splurged on lucky brand skinny jeans and I am so glad I did. I LOVE these jeans. Skinny jeans are the best cut for me because I am really short and they make my legs look instantly longer without the bother of heals. image found here

Colorful scarves

This summer while we were in San Fransisco my sister and I hit the jackpot on scarves. We found a whole in the wall closet in china town selling gorgeous pashmina scarves in many colors for $3 each. We both got many of them and now they are such a staple. Plain jeans and a tee boring, but with a bright scarf and big sunglasses it's an outfit! image found here

Lip gloss

I really like make up. Eye make up and lip gloss are my favorite. And since eye makeup can take some time and effort it's usually lip gloss that I grab at 7am when I have to run out for eggs. I have three favorite lip glosses right now. 1. Clinique long last glosswear in sunset, this is a more neutral shimmery color for everyday 2. Sonia Kashuk ultra sheer lip gloss in fairy, this is a great pale pink, really summery and light 3. L'Oreal paris clour riche lip gloss in soft wine, this has more color than the other two and is nice for going out if I dont' feel like red. image from clinique

Riding boots

I have blogged about my riding boots before and how much I love them. They are especially wonderful in our rainy wet climate. Perfect for rainy cold days when flats are no good but you don't want to wear converse. image from Ralph Lauren

Boyfriend Cardigan

This is another new purchase. It's really great with leggings and dresses up jeans and a tee on a Saturday afternoon. If I have to run errands early Saturday I throw on this with a scarf with my black lounge pants and I don't feel like I'm out in my PJ's. image from the Gap

Black Audrey Hepburn pants

This was my first fashion staple purchase, actually gift. My Mom got me these from the Gap way back in 2005. I don't know what I'm going to do when they wear out. I love these pants. They are great for when you don't want jeans but you also don't want heals and you really don't want a skirt. A predicament I seem to be in a lot.

So now I wan to know, what are your fashion staples?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grey hair, a cute baby and some serious concerns

My friend Jessica emailed me these two pictures which she took on Sunday at church. I am holding our friend JoAnna's baby Jed. Isn't he cute!

The first picture is nice you can see baby Jed's stylish hat and shoes.

Then there is the second picture. Looking at this picture I am concerned.

First, I am horrified at how low cut my shirt appears. I promise when I left the house for church that morning it was not that low cut. I would never leave the house in anything that low cut. Was I just not paying attention? Was I blinded by the ruffles and flower (I how I love J Crew!)? Or maybe holding the baby pulled it down? I'm not sure what's going on but regardless it's very troubling.

Second, look at my hair! There definitely appear to be multiple grey hairs on my head! If you click on the picture it blows up and it is even more evident. I am 24 years old. I'm sorry but that seems far to young to have noticeable grey hairs in a picture this size. I told Jessica she must examine my head to determine the state of my grey hairs.

Regardless of my concern, isn't baby Jed adorable. You can see his little personality emerging under his stylin' hat! It's almost enough to make me want to have a baby this very instant. But then he begins to cry and I assure you the spell is broken. I hand him off to his Mama and remember to thankful for all the sleep I get in life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

This and That

Last week I got home from a late meeting to find my husband bathing his duck decoys in the bath tub. I wish I had a picture because it would be so funny! My step father gave him to bags of decoys that had been in the attic for years. In case you don't know, duck decoys are plastic duck replicas. That are attacked to a string and when you duck hunting you send out the decoys to draw the ducks closer.

Has anyone see the movie Valentines Day? I kinda want to see it but I can't tell if it's going to be good or bad.

I was sick last week and while I was home sick I read Dear John. I have to say honestly that I was disappointed. I'm still going to see the movie but there were some parts of the story I really didn't like.

We had a very nice Valentines Day. After church we had lunch with a bunch of friends. Then Mr. P wanted to go watch ducks at the ponds near our house. Because I can't really eat in a restaurant we stayed home and made grilled pork chops and Jamie Oliver's delicious fennel risotto. What did you do for Valentines day?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A good weekend read

Hello again! I have been such a bad blogger. I was out of town all weekend and then things have been a little crazy since I came home. My weekend was nice. First I went to the coast which was beautiful. Then Mr. P and I were some of the adult chaperone's for the youth snow trip for our church youth group. I was the designated indoor chaperone so I got to spend most of the weekend curled up by the fire reading a wonderful book, The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan.

I started this book Saturday morning and finished it Sunday night. It was really fascinating. It tells the stories of a Chinese/American woman taking care of her aging mother, her Mother's and grandmother's stories growing up in China. It's an amazing story and once you get into it you can't put it down.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today I am...

Cooking this delicious Texas Red Chili for our friend David's Super Bowl Party

Packing my LL Bean Tote bag

Heading to the Oregon Coast with Jess and our Step Mother

Happy Weekend Everyone!

*chili image from Martha Stewart
*LL Bean tote bags found Here
*Image of Florence Coast Line comes from Here

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

rain, rain, go away, come again another day...

After our nice and sunny Sunday the rain has returned with a vengeance. It’s been horribly cold and rainy all week. But I’m comforted as I write this by a piping hot bowl of spicy Mexican chorizo stew. This is one of my favorite recipes that I have invented. It is such a life saver for a cold and icky evening. When I am cold while I’m making dinner I tend to make foods way spicier. And if I’m cold when I get home from work I go straight for my standby of hot and spicy recipes. This recipe is also great because it hardly takes any time but it tastes like it’s been simmering away for hours. It also boasts one of my absolute favorite ingredients: Chorizo. I wish I had a picture to share but my camera batteries are dead and I keep forgetting to charge them.

Spicy Mexican Chorizo Stew

16 oz of Mexican Chorizo*
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 4 oz can of mild green chilies
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp of cayenne or 1 TB of red Tabasco optional
2 cans black beans drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can full of water
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Rice to serve, optional

Heat olive oil in heavy dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and peppers. Sauté until begin veggies begin to brown. While those are browning peel the casings off the chorizo and slice into bit sized pieces. Add the chorizo to pan. When the chorizo just starts to brown, add cumin, salt and pepper. Very important: at this point do not drain the fat from the pan. It isn’t a lot of fat and all that fat is coating the vegetables and infusing the soup with lots of yummy spices and flavor. Go easy on the salt because the chorizo has salt. Cook 30 seconds or so. Add the tomatoes, chilies, beans and a can full of water. Then add bay leaf, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. After 15 minutes all the flavors will meld and you can taste the soup. If you want it spicier add Tabasco or cayenne. I prefer the Tabasco. You can also add more salt at this point if need be. You can serve by itself with bread or tortillas or over rice.

*You want to make sure you get a Mexican Chorizo and not a Baque Chorizo for this recipe. The Mexican Chorizo has a lot more flavor and really makes this dish. You don't have to peel the casings. It really depends on the chorizo you buy. But if you do the chorizo will break up into the stew more.

What is your favorite food on a cold and rainy day?

Monday, February 1, 2010

A perfectly lovely weekend and some yummy recipes

I am in such a good mood this Monday because I had a lovely weekend. To begin with it was a three day weekend for me. Friday I slept in and then went on a really long walk along the river. Then I cleaned house. That afternoon Mr. P convinced me to tag along with him as he scouted duck hunting sites. We cooked fresh snapper for dinner. This was another new invented recipe for me and turned out really well.

Fresh Snapper with sauteed veggies

1 lb of fresh red snapper
1 pt of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
6 button mushrooms
1 bag of fresh baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
olive oil

Season snapper with salt and pepper. Slice mushrooms and chop 2 cloves garlic. Heat olive oil into two skillets, one to med-high and the other to med. Add 1 Tb of butter to each skillet. To the med heat one add tomatoes and mushrooms. In the other add fish. Cook fish for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once mushrooms are browned add garlic. Saute one minutes. Add spinach, salt and pepper. Serve fish on bed of veggies.

Saturday Mr. P left at the crack of dawn to go hunting with his friend Isaiah. I woke up at a much more reasonable hour and went on a wonderful jog with my brother. Then Isaiah's wife, my friend, JoAnna came over for breakfast with their wonderfully sweet baby boy, Jed. Saturday night a bunch of friends congregated for dinner at our house then we had another Brothers & Sisters marathon.

Sunday the sun came out and it was gorgeous out. After church JoAnna and I decided to take Jed out for a walk in the sunshine, the guys joined us and we had such a great time outside in the warm sun without coats and scarves. Then we ate my all time favorite soup for dinner, Jamie Oliver squash soup. So yummy!!!

I hope everyone else had a great weekend too--I can't believe it's already February!