Thursday, January 31, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook.

Over the weekend we saw Silver Linings Playbook, which I had high hopes for thanks to the all the glowing reviews and Oscar nominations it's received. Happily, it was even better than I expected: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were wonderful, and I found myself tearing up several times throughout the movie (and I'm not a movie-cryer). Silver Linings Playbook focuses very closely on mental illness and how we deal with it—whether we struggle with it or someone we know does—and as someone with a history of bipolar disorder on both sides of my family, it was gratifying to see the disease being taken seriously and treated with sensitivity and honesty. If you haven't already, definitely go see it. Thumbs-up from both me and ACS, who I'm pretty sure was afraid this movie was going to be a terribly saccharine romantic comedy but who kept saying how much he enjoyed it after it was over.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A house in the forest.

There are days, weeks, months when I love being surrounded by hustle and bustle, always busy, always going or coming. But then there are other times when I fantasize about what life might be like if I lived in a house like this, in a snowy forest: Sparse, clean, simple, just me and my books and my future dog and maybe my laptop (or maybe not). I think I'm happiest somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, but the latter sure can be tempting.

Photos by Wemer Huthmacher

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Matcha latte.

Over the past year or so, I've come to really love tea. I've always enjoyed a cup of green tea with honey, and a chai tea or chai tea latte is often the perfect afternoon pick-me-up when coffee seems like it might be too much.  Then, a few weeks ago—after coming down with bronchitis, ugh—I began adding a cup of decaffeinated black tea with a tiny splash of half-and-half and a swirl of honey to my nighttime routine. During this time of year, especially, it's warming and soothing and I really like it.

So I was intrigued when, in the February issue of Bon Appetit, I saw a recipe for a matcha latte made with almond milk and water. And this week, I picked up some matcha—green tea powder—at Whole Foods (um, not cheap, FYI) and tried my hand at the recipe. I'm happy to report that it's really delicious—the green tea flavor is even more intense than in a cup of green tea from a bag, and the almond milk adds just the right amount of creaminess. I add a little bit of agave nectar, too, like the recipe suggests, and it's perfect. Since it's caffeinated, I probably won't be drinking this at night, but I'd love to start waking up early enough to relax with a cup of it before I head work in the mornings.

Here's the recipe, if you'd like to try it yourself.

P.S. This hibiscus-ginger warmer from Bellocq on Design*Sponge looks great, too. Yay, tea!

Photo by Christina Holmes for Bon Appetit, February 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bangle brigade.

Atlantic-Pacific is my favorite personal fashion blog—I love the way Blair combines colors and textures, and almost every piece of clothing she blogs about is one that I look at and think, "Wow, I wish I owned that, too." (Sometimes that feeling drives me nuts; in this case it doesn't for some reason.) Over the past few months, I've become a bit more comfortable with own style and the style I aspire to have, at least when it comes to dressing nicely for work and social events (let's not get into my weekend look; it could stand to be improved; my boyfriend refers to one of my shirts as my "Sunday stripes"). But I've been kind of averse to the idea of adding lots of accessories. I love the look of an armful of bangles or a big, chunky necklace (or several layered necklaces), though, and so I think this year I'm going to embrace that and try to pile on more accessories. Blair is kind of a master at this, as you can see above, so I've posted three of my favorite photos for inspiration.

In 2013, we will accessorize.

P.S. These Atlantic-Pacific photos were shot in Sarasota, at the Ringling Museum—how fun!

Friday, January 25, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy weekend, everyone! I'm not going to lie: This week has been kind of crazy, and I'm really glad to see the weekend arrive. ACS and I have basically decided that we're going to order a pizza tonight and spend the evening holed up together, only going outside if we actually have to. It sounds pretty perfect, if you ask me.

At some point this weekend we're also going to go see a movie—my vote is for Silver Linings Playbook, which I keep hearing is so great. Have you seen it? What did you think?

I'll see you back here on Monday, but until then, here are a few links for your reading pleasure:

Modern love/old love. This is so sweet. (Do you read the NYT's "Modern Love" column? It's wonderful.) (The New York Times)

I read this (old-ish) profile of The Pioneer Woman in The New Yorker, and it's pretty interesting. Do you read her blog? I don't, but I sometimes catch her cooking show... (The New Yorker)

And finally: A gilded banana. Just because. (Boing Boing)

Have a great weekend. xoxo

Photo: My own, of an old-school Mini in the Whole Foods parking lot. That parking lot is basically the worst one in Sarasota, but sometimes you see something charming in it, like this. Also, my next car? Totally a Mini. Aren't they sweet?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A song for Thursday.

Loving this song: "Stars," by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Such a beautiful version of the song, and man, does that girl have a voice.

(Thanks for the heads up, Karey.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


So as I mentioned on Friday, my mom and I are taking a little trip to Charleston, S.C., soon, and I am so excited I could squeal. So far the only thing on the docket is dinner at Husk the night we arrive, and my mouth is already watering. I've also been poring over Olivia's beautiful blog and her gorgeous photographs of Charleston, like the one above.

It's funny: During my senior year of college, everyone I met asked me where I wanted to live after graduation, and my response was always three words, spoken without hesitation: "New York City." But one day I gave that same response to a good friend, who in turn cocked his head, looked directly at me, and replied, "You know, I don't see you in New York. I see you somewhere in the South, somewhere like Charleston."

My 22-year-old, NYC-loving heart was insulted by that—did he not think I could make it in the city?!—and refused to acknowledge the idea that maybe New York really wasn't the right place for me. I'm pretty sure I tossed my ponytail and responded with a haughty, "No way! Charleston? Never."

Of course, these days—after spending almost seven years in Sarasota, which is not exactly the Deep South (too many snowbirds/transplants) but which is definitely not the Northeast—I've changed my tune, and I often think of that little exchange between my friend and me. While I'm still not sure Florida is my home for the long haul, I know that my desire to live in NYC has passed*, and I've come to really enjoy living in the part of the country that I do. I love Sarasota; I'd also move to Savannah or Charleston or New Orleans in a heartbeat. Turns out I really do like abundant sunshine and Southern accents. Who knew?

*This is, of course, provided that Martha Stewart Omnimedia or Bon Appetit magazine don't come a-knockin'. (Call me if you want to, Martha. We're best friends, remember?)

Photo by Olivia 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Short Giraffe.

My friend Leigh just opened up the sweetest little bakery in downtown Sarasota: The Short Giraffe, featuring  her own mouthwatering mini desserts and confections. I've been a fan of Leigh's baking ever since she let me try one of her dessert shooters when she was shooting this feature for The Everygirl a few months ago; since then, I've also sampled her cookie cups, cupcakes, brown butter Rice Krispie treats and—maybe my favorite—her salted caramel shortbread. Leigh's branding is perfection (yellow and gray! That giraffe!) and her treats are seriously tasty; if you're local or happen to be visiting, get thee to her shop immediately. She's at 1247 First St., West Unit, Sarasota.

P.S. Last week she had peanut butter bourbon bacon chip cookies and Bailey's Irish Cream pumpkin tortes on the menu. Come on.

P.P.S. Leigh also serves coffee and espresso—notably a cupcake latte, which I'm holding above and which is delicious.

Photos: My own.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bridal shower inspiration: Colorful ribbon.

My best friend Kate is getting married in April and her sister-in-law and I are in the process of planning her bridal shower. Kate's probably the least-fussy person I know, and she's the opposite of a bridezilla, so I'm excited about the free reign we have for her shower. I'm planning on making most of the desserts and decorations myself, which means I've been pinning inspiration photos like a madwomanand I just love this dessert bar featured in Southern Weddings magazine. Ribbons and sparkly paper cake-toppers: So sweet.

P.S. See the rest of the wedding here.

Photo by Brooke Images 

Friday, January 18, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, friends! We made it to the weekend—yay! What are your plans for the next few days? I'm going to whip up my famous coconut cake for a friend tonight (and tomorrow, since it takes two days), work on organizing my apartment, read my new book—This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz, one of my favorite authors—and enjoy the cold front we're having (sweater and boot weather, yay!).

And some other exciting news: My mom and I are planning a trip to Charleston at the end of the month, and I would love any recommendations you might have for things to see, do and eat. We're 95 percent on our hotel, so we're good there, but I haven't been to Charleston in years (and even then it was only briefly), and I don't think my mom ever has. So yes, any tips are much appreciated. I'm really looking forward to this trip; the last vacation Mom and I took was to Savannah a year and a half ago, and it was a blast.

Oh, and last but not least, here are three good reads from around the web, if you're interested:

10 books to read now that Girls is back. (The Millions)

10 varying reactions to Jodie Foster's Golden Globes speech. I like Frank Bruni's best. (Vanity Fair)

The end of courtship? (An interesting read on modern-day dating by Joanna's husband Alex Williams.) (The New York Times)

Happy weekend! See you back here on Monday. xoxo

Camellia photo: My own.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Making some changes.

So, I decided that last Friday was the last day that I'll be drinking one of my beloved Starbucks vanilla spice lattes on the regular, one of the several reasons being that I prefer to eat my calories, not drink them, and whipped cream is probably not something I need to be ingesting as often as I have been. Plus, I can put those five bucks toward something more fun, right?

The thing is, I generally need some sort of non-water caffeinated beverage in the afternoon. So, inspired by my friend and co-worker Hannah, I've decided hot tea is the answer, and starting Monday I began resisting the urge to traipse to Starbucks after lunch and instead started making a cup of green tea at my desk (in a pretty mug, because a pretty mug makes everything taste even better, right?). Hooray for health benefits (antioxidants, woo!) and no coffee jitters in the late afternoon (double woo! One time I drank a huge cup of strong coffee at, like, 5 p.m. after not having eaten a snack all afternoon, then stopped at the grocery store, and I swear I vibrated through the aisles. It was not pretty).

But there's more. I've also decided I'm going to (try to) eliminate artificial sweeteners from what I'm consuming, too. For the past couple of months, I've been dumping a packet of Sweet 'n' Low into my morning coffee because it gives me just the amount of sweetness I want without the calories. (I also drink the occasional Diet Coke, usually on the weekends, which never fails to make me crave real sugar immediately afterward.) But we all know that artificial sweeteners aren't good for you, so I'm switching to agave nectar, which I already love and which has a low glycemic index and comes from an actual plant. And when that's not available, I'm just going drink my iced tea or whatever plain. I don't even mind it without the sweetener, I've just gotten so used to having it in there, you know?

So, yes. Making a few changes (so far, so good) and hoping to stick to them. Have you guys done anything like this lately? If so, please share—I'd love to hear.

P.S. This is not to say that I'm not going to have the occasional fancy latte or Coke Slurpee. Treats are still good, you know. Hee.

Photo originally from this post, one of my favorites I've ever written.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snapshots from St. Augustine.

We spent the weekend in St. Augustine, one of my favorite places in the world and one that, over the past year and a half, has become increasingly special to me. So today I thought I'd share some photos from what was a beautiful two days, if you'd like to see.

From top to bottom: We found teacup mecca while antiquing/thrifting; pretty wall decorations at St. Augustine Paper Co., the cutest little paper shop; white lights forever in the park; cafe lights in a pretty courtyard; the biggest koi fish ever; lovely light in the eclectic Lightner Museum; and a waterview from the top of the Bridge of Lions on a perfect, springlike day.

All photos via my Instagram.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Parmesan cheese with honey.

Well, hello, new favorite snack. Have you ever tried drizzling a little honey over a chunk of Parmesan cheese? It is delicious—the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

P.S. My favorite honey.

Photo via

Monday, January 14, 2013

Shannon Kirsten paper goods.

Loving this beautiful wedding paper suite by local illustrator, photographer and stylist Shannon Kirsten. The lavender is such a soothing, refreshing and kind of unexpected color, and the hand-painted lettering is so pretty.

Shop here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, friends! What are your plans for the weekend? I'm heading north tonight for a little last-minute getaway with ACS, and I'm really looking forward to it since January's shaping up to be a busy month so far (which, truthfully, is just how I like it). We're going to one of my favorite spots in Florida, so I'll be sure to post pictures on Instagram, if you'd like to follow along.

And if you're in the mood for some reading, here are three links from around the web for you:

Shameless self-promotion: I interviewed Walter Isaacson (he of the Steve Jobs biography, but also so much more) for work this week, and he was so great to talk with; his resume is amazing. (Sarasota magazine)

The Apartment Therapy "January Cure" has me intrigued, especially since one of my 2013/before-I-turn-30 goals is to get my house in shape. Are any of you doing it? Thoughts so far? (Apartment Therapy)

A place where (300 and counting) cats run free, and the sweet story of one woman's unconditional love for animals. (The New York Times)

Have a happy January weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday! xoxo

Photo: My own. Coasters from Rifle Paper Co., monogrammed mug (my favorite) from Anthroplogie.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Before and after: Pottery Barn cabinet.

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that I am really not a crafty person. I know what I like, but I'm not great at making it myself. This year, though, one of my goals is to make my home a place I really enjoy spending time, and part of that means getting rid of some of the cheap-o furniture I've collected since becoming an apartment-dweller almost seven years ago and purchasing some I really like and will want to keep for a long time. Buh-bye, rickety Target bistro table; sayonara, clawed-up Urban Outfitters chair (and by the way, thanks for that, cats).

But I should clarify that I don't plan on spending hundreds of dollars on new furniture. Sarasota is a thrifter's gold mine; my friend Kate has found Hermes scarves, Tory Burch tops and Jimmy Choo shoes at our Goodwills, and estate sales and consignment stores are consistently awesome here. And after this past weekend, when ACS and I* gave an old cabinet of mine a makeover, I'm welcoming the idea of transforming something so-so into something awesome with a coat of paint and some elbow grease.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bike love.

How sweet are these images from the new Free People catalog? They make me want to put on a dress, buy a basket for my bike and fill it with flowers. I'd take that balloon bouquet, too. So pretty.

Via Refinery29

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Baked! Puffed pancakes (aka Dutch babies).

Have you ever made puffed pancakes, or Dutch babies? I love them. They are so easy to make, they taste so good (the flavor is kind of like a crepe and a pancake got married) and they are so fun to watch as they puff up in the oven. Even better: The customization options are endless. You can top Dutch babies with butter and maple syrup, like you would a traditional pancake; or confectioners' sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice; or slices of fresh strawberries and bananas (my fave)—whatever your little heart desires.

New Year's Day (and my mild hangover, ahem) seemed like the perfect excuse for a lazy breakfast filled with these pillowy treats, so I whipped up a batch and was so glad I did. Here's my recipe, which is a mish-mash of a bunch of others I've seen online, in case you want to make a Dutch baby yourself:

2 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
Dash of salt
Dash of cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is preheating, melt butter in a nine-inch cake pan, glass pie plate or cast-iron skillet. Remove from oven when butter is melted.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Pour batter into the pan with the melted butter and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until pancake has puffed and the edges begin to turn golden brown. Serve immediately with the topping of your choice. Makes one pancake.

Photo: My own.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Do you guys watch the show Homeland? You probably all do and I'm totally late to the party, but my boss lent me her copy of season one and I had to blog about it because I watched the entire thing this weekend. Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a bipolar CIA agent who's trying to prove that Damian Lewis' character, Marine sergeant Nick Brody, was corrupted during his time as a prisoner of war and is now working for an Al Queda cell that's plotting an attack on the U.S. Danes and Lewis are both great; so is Mandy Patinkin, who plays Carrie's mentor and is such a sympathetic character that I kept wanting to reach through my TV and give him a hug. If you don't watch and you're into this sort of show, you should totally get your hands on the DVDs.

What shows have you been loving lately?

P.S. If you're watching Homeland at 2 a.m., you know, hypothetically speaking, you might have some odd dreams about being a CIA agent yourself afterward. I'm just saying.

Friday, January 4, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, friends—we made it to the first weekend of 2013! I keep feeling like it's Wednesday, not Friday, so to constantly be surprised when I remember that I'm, oh, eight hours away from another two days off is pretty great.

And I don't know about you, but I plan on laying low for the next couple of days—sleeping in, getting things in order around the house, grocery shopping and doing some cooking for the week on Sunday, etc. The weather is supposed to be mild (you can't beat Florida temperatures at this time of year) so getting in some outdoor time is on the agenda, too. What about you?

I have some fun stuff to share with you next week—I did a real-live home-improvement project (with a lot of help from ACS) last weekend and I can't wait to show you the results, plus I actually baked something over the weekend and we visited the coolest place ever on Tuesday after our bridge walk—but for now, here are three fun links for your weekend reading pleasure:

I'm not a Miami girl and never have been—it's just too much for me, if that makes sense—but I liked reading Rick Bragg's portrait of the city. (Garden & Gun)

10 food trends for 2013 (I'm all about artisanal soft-serve). (The New York Times)

And finally, Anne's New Year's post may have been my favorite of all the ones I read this week. (I love reading others' New Year's resolutions. Do you, too, or am I just crazy?) (The City Sage)

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday. xoxo

Photo by Carin Olsson

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Oh, Inkkit: You are making my sparkle-happy, metallic-loving little heart go pitter patter.

Shop: here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In 2013.

2013, I'm really glad to see you. After a festive New Year's Eve with friends spent listening to music and watching the famous pineapple drop in downtown Sarasota, I spent New Year's Day walking the Ringling Bridge with ACS, exploring a local shop I'd long wanted to visit, cooking a homemade dinner and thinking about what I want for myself for the year ahead.

See, 2013 is also the year I turn 30 (eek!). And while I know age is just a number and you're as young or old as you feel and all that, 30 is—pretty undeniably—a milestone. So below is a running list of things I want to do or accomplish this year—one that I'll update as I think of more things to add to it. If you'd like to read it, it's after the jump—if not, that's cool; you can check back here tomorrow for some sparkly goodness from a favorite new Etsy shop.