Thursday, September 30, 2010


 Don’t worry about anything; 
instead, pray about everything. 

Tell God what you need, 
and thank him for all he has done. 

Then you will experience God’s peace, 
which exceeds anything we can understand.

His peace will guard your hearts and minds 
as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

It is so easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated when things don't go our way. Or when we have a lot on our plates. Or when we don't have a definite plan to follow. 

But his mercies are new every morning. And today I woke up with this verse in my mind and God's peace in my heart. It is easy to wish that God's plans were the same as mine, but in the long run I have found that He usually has much better ideas than I could ever imagine. (At least he hasn't let me down yet, and I don't see that happening anytime in the future.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


"Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone." 
-Don Draper, Mad Men

I watched this clip from Mad Men in one of my classes last week and I was struck by how true it is. (You should watch it if you haven't seen it... I don't watch Mad Men but I got a little misty-eyed... it's always embarrassing when you are emotionally affected by a video used during a group presentation...) 

Oh nostalgia...

Most people will agree that I am painfully nostalgic. Practically to a fault. I over-romanticize everything and I am excessively sentimental. I often joke that when I am a mother I will cry the day my kids learn to tie their shoes or tell me they don't need help my help going to the bathroom anymore. In reality, I will probably be more than grateful that I am done wiping bottoms and that the days of tangled laces are a thing of the past, but for now I cherish the thought that I will look at most motherly tasks with particular fondness. (Ok, maybe not wiping bottoms so much)

Rainy days like today always have a way of taking my nostalgia to new heights. Things of old that I am longing for now? An afternoon nap on the bus ride home from school and a big pot of my mom's spaghetti sauce simmering away on the stove.   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


 I have always longed to be the kind of cook who can just go in the kitchen and create. I strive to be able to take an amalgamation of ingredients and turn it into something beautiful and delicious. But I get overwhelmed and my Type A personality craves direction, so I always pander to recipes, preferably ones with pictures. That was until last week. Finally, I did it. I created something. Without a recipe. Without some sort of guide to follow. I just created. And it was delightful.

I started with some orzo, cooked al dente, and added some chopped baby spinach, diced tomatoes, pesto, and mozzarella pearls. I topped it off with some ground pepper and parmesan. (Ok, so it was basically a hybrid of a Caresse salad)   

It was ready in a flash and so easy. A drizzle of balsamic would have been a lovelt touch but we were hungry and that whole hierarchy of needs takes over. We were so hungry, in fact, that I didn't even think to take a picture. But I will definitely be doing more "creating" in the future. It was strangely exhilerating and rewarding. Kind of how I think bungee jumping or sky diving would feel, but with food, so that makes it 100 times better.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Borrowing the phrase from John Mayer, today has certainly been "the kind of morning that lasts all afternoon, just stuck inside the gloom."

Mondays are always tough after a fabulous weekend away. And this morning proved to be particularly challenging considering the prefect pitter-patter of rain on my window and the gloomy, grey skies. I finally roused around 10:30 and made my first steaming bowl of oatmeal of the season. On the agenda for today? Some studying, a review session, unpacking to the tunes of James Morrison and John Legend, and maybe some tomato soup and a grilled cheese on organic oatmeal bread from Trader Joe's (hmm... it is beginning to look like I'm on a bit of an oatmeal kick... see here.) 

But first I want to revel in the glory of a wonderful weekend. Here are a few highlights from the trip (photos compliments of Jordan... our resident photog)
Ready to hit the road!
We hiked to Paul's Creek
Then got cleaned up and went to Wintergreen Winery for a little tasting!
After the tasting we sat at a cute picnic table by the creek, had a glass of wine, took way to many pictures, and giggled like we always do when we're together. Katie and Brit had Viognier, but Jordan and I opted for the mulled apple wine. It was delicious and perfect for a fall day (maybe that is why we finished our glasses first?) In fact, we ended up purchasing 5 bottles of the yummy stuff!
The next day began with apple picking at the beautiful Carter Mountain Orchard
It proved to be a bit more laborious than we expected, but we left with some lovely Golden Delicious and Jonagold apples! 
We worked up an appetite and couldn't pass up Christian's pizza. This time mine had pesto, spinach, broccoli, and ricotta cheese... everything good in the world!
 We topped it off with Splendora's gelato (as always!)
We spent the rest of the day shopping and we all walked away with some great finds!
Unfortunately, these hats did not make the final cut, but I am tempted to order one online...
We hated to leave, but I look forward to traveling again with these beautiful, inspiring women. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guilt-free Friday!

Well my little sweet potatoes, mountain weekend is upon us. From apple picking to wine tasting to shopping downtown Charlottesville, I'm looking forward to everything good in the world with some of my favorite ladies. I hope your weekend is fabulous too! 

Until next time...

Hey, it's ok...

to plan your outfit around the boots. or the scarf. or the sweater. but never the weather.

if you think completing a project, finishing a paper, or surviving an exam justifies eating carbs topped with carbs and a side of carbs.  

to have an unabashed affinity for all things pumpkin. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oatmeal Pancakes

This morning I begged my sweet boy for a breakfast date, and even though he had so much homework to finish by 2, he obliged. Breakfast is one of my most favorite things to cook and I have been longing to try something different. I decided on Oatmeal Pancakes. Interestingly enough, I reached this conclusion at approximately 8:45am. Not wanting to run to the store, I had to improvise a bit but I am absolutely thrilled with the results! Here is my recipe for some delicious, homemade, moderately healthy oatmeal pancakes!
He get's a little impatient whenever food is involved...

Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
splash of half and half
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup egg substitute

Combine in a food processor or a blender. Let rest for about 5 minutes. Get cooking!
Those nice little bubbles are pancakese for, "Flip me, flip me!"

Alternatives: Of course, blueberries would be a lovely addition, or any fruit for that matter. Even more so, I am always a fan of chocolate chips in pancakes. Whole wheat flour would probably be lovely too, as I tend to prefer the taste. The original recipe called for buttermilk, which I did not have on hand so I opted for skim milk with a splash of half and half. I'm sure buttermilk would be delightful, but skim is a little more figure friendly. I threw in a dash of cinnamon, because I mean hey, what do I not put cinnamon in? And maybe next time I'll add a little brown sugar too? The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pinot for the People

At this risk of sounding like a total lush and undoubtedly warranting concerned calls from apprehensive relatives I will preface this post with the following:

I am not a raging alcoholic. I am 21. And I enjoy the occasional glass of wine. Or two.

Having turned 21 just a few short weeks ago, I am rather new to the wonderful world of wine. Although I do not know very much about it, I have enjoyed figuring out my preferences. Last week I tried Mark West Pinot Noir and it is thoroughly delightful. The makers "... are dedicated to the proposition the real pinot should not have to cost more than the meal you're having it with." So, as a college student, this affordable vintage is perfect. I'm not yet familiar with all the tasting notes, but I would describe it as feisty and fruity without being too rich. It is a versatile red that doesn't overpower a meal and can go well with just about anything!

Monday, September 20, 2010


This time of year is the awkward puberty phase of the seasons. Wednesday marks the official start of fall, but today the high in good old Wilmington is 94. Gradually mornings have started getting moderately cooler, but afternoons still resemble sub-Saharan conditions. It leaves me feeling understandably conflicted. I'm burning the pumpkin spice candle at both ends, but there is just something unnatural about making pot roast when I feel like a pot roast myself! 

Regardless, I have been craving this and I have vowed to make it to commemorate the first day that temperatures stay below 80 (and the 10 day outlook doesn't look very promising.) 

Update to follow. 

From The Confused Homemaker (isn't the name of that blog just the best?)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

flashing lightslightslights

My styles tends to stay pretty understated... most of the time. But lately I have been dying for sequins and the old Hollywood glamor they impart on any outfit. 
Images: 1 2 3 4 5
Glitzy, festive pieces like this are always on my mind around the holidays, but I might not be able to hold out for Christmas to incorporate these:
Forever 21 sequin top Don't you love the knot detail on the back?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guilt-free Friday!

Well kittens, can you believe it is Friday? I thought this weekend would never come. I'm so thankful for a little down time after a crazy week. Particularly excited for a weekend with nothing on the agenda! I hope to spend some of the time trying out some fall-inspired recipes that I didn't get around to last weekend and undoubtedly drinking too much coffee. I hope you have a relaxing weekend too!

Hey it's ok...

if you thought Bobby Flay was total potential husband material until you saw his fingernails... bitten to the quick. Deal Breaker.

to be a lifetime member of the Clean Plate Club. 

to throw caution to the wind whenever sequins are involved. Or chocolate.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

girl date

Jordan and I had a fabulous date last Wednesday. We always joke that we would make the BEST boyfriends... except for the "boy"part. The day started with manicures at Ki Spa in Wilmington. Next, we grabbed a quick lunch (salads and Chicken Florentine pizza... on wheat!) We spent most of the late afternoon browsing blogger and having girl talk and then we had to go to class (I know, right?) But we finished off the night with a delicious dinner... lobster tails! I cooked, of course. :)

Let's talk nail polish.

Ki Spa uses Zoya, which I was excited to try for the first time. I decided on "Kelly" one of their new shades for fall.
It is a delightfully moody, mysterious, elephant grey. (It did turn out a little darker than I expected, though.) 

Jordan and I were happy with Zoya, but I think we remain OPI girls at heart. In fact, Jordan proceeded to purchase two new hues Friday. Btw, be sure to check us out on "Faces of Addiction: OPI Edition" along with our adorable roommate Britney. We are total nail polish junkies. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My boyfriend is pretty stylish, in an old-man sort of way (I can say that because he is a self-described old man at heart.) He always wears timeless, classic pieces that are always perfectly tailored (or Taylor-ed... ha!) and my friends tell me all the time that he looks like a J. Crew model... sooo dreamy. 

I'm pretty classic too, and we usually agree on matters of style until recently....


One afternoon I casually mentioned an adorable military hat I have been pining over. He didn't seem to share my sentiments. His response: "I like baseball hats." 

...I do too. And I like puppies. But this hat...?
..."Eh... not really." 

All at once, my dreams came crashing down. It wasn't just the hat, it was the whole scene I had already imagined. It was a cool, crisp Saturday morning in October. My tangled tresses would be tastefully tucked into my adorable cap. I'd pair the beauty with perfectly slouchy boyfriend jeans and a casual, cozy sweater, polishing off the look with some aviators as if to say "This local celeb is going incognito today." And we would peruse all the stands at our local farmers market while I sipped my grande nonfat latte.

But no. Boyfriend like baseball caps. So until he reconsiders I'll be hitting the batting cages and trying out for the UNCW club softball team.
I promise I won't look as sloppy as Lindsay!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Well, have you seen the latest addition to the gawkerverse? First was foodgawker, and craftgawker, and then weddinggawker... and now... dwellinggawker! Let me just say, I am obsessed. How major is this library?
My darling boy and I just adore books, especially old ones. How fun would it be to display them in a library like this? Oh and that piano! Lovely... makes me wish my repertoire included more than "Chopsticks." 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Falling for...


Only the most fabulous season of the year. I woke up Friday morning and was greeted by that cool, familiar breeze that always whispers a warning of great things to come.

Apples, pumpkins, sweaters, and scarves. Candles, cashmere, falling leaves, a glowing fireplace, and the imminent holiday season. I love it all.

In honor of the momentous occasion, I promptly purchased these adorable slouchy boots.

They are practically perfect for stomping through piles and piles of crunchy leaves. And I just adore the red zipper up the back.

And when my darling boyfriend picked me up for church this morning guess what he brought...
A steaming, delicious pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. I guess he knows the way to this girl's heart is caffeine. 

Next order of business? I plan on making this delicious apple galette as soon as possible.

Until my apartment is flooded with the beautiful aroma of this tasty little tart I have burning these scent-sational candles around the clock.
Sexy Cinnamon by Trapp Private Gardens
and Cinn-ister by Yankee Candle Company

And last but certainly not least: Mountain Fever. There is absolutely no place more beautiful this time of year (or any time of year, for that matter) than the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am dying to get up there. Fortunately, I have Girls Weekend at Wintergreen to look forward to. On our agenda? A wine tasting at a local vineyard, shopping, lots of great food, and maybe a little hiking (if Britney and I can drag the other girls along!)

What bounty does the harvest season have in store for you?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guilt-free Friday!

Well cupcakes, another weekend is upon us! Looking forward to meeting Elton and Barbara Cooke of Called to Serve tonight. The rest of the weekend will probably consist of homework, but I'm hoping to squeeze in a little autumn-inspired baking! Hope your weekend is awFALLy great too. 

Until next time...

Hey it's ok...

To believe that acing your personal finance test justifies a mini shopping spree

To celebrate your whole birthweek. or birthmonth. or year...

To get nervous knots in your tummy every time you watch "Top Chef" (reruns included)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

for the love of all that's frozen...

I would have a lot more respect for Ben and Jerry’s if they would just accept the fact that no person in their right mind would eat a pint of their frozen goodness in 4 sittings. Ok, strike that. No person in their right mind would buy a pint of the little temptress in the first place. You buy Ben and Jerry’s because you’re NOT in your right mind. You’re emotionally vulnerable and unstable. Blame it on the whoremones, boy problems, work/school-related stress, or any combination of the above. You buy Ben and Jerry’s because it is the only thing that makes sense in your delusional mind.

Insult to injury is the fact that you obviously aren’t capable of making a rational decision (why else would you be buying ice cream) and to make matters worse you are now forced to decide between Mud Pie, Chocolate Macadamia, Chubby Hubby, and My Chihuahua Bites (wait... I think that last one might be an OPI). Anyways… you get the picture. The bottom line is that all you want is to drown you sorrows in a sea of chocolate and now you are forced to choose between the chocolate ice cream with a coffee liqueur swirl and the chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. You have obviously ruled out Chubby Hubby because a. chubby is the LAST thing you are going to worry about at a time like this and b. it only serves to further remind you of the boy who is absolutely NOT hubby material who drove you to this madness in the first place. So, the most rational choice is Mud Pie because I mean hey if the chocolate doesn’t do the trick the Bailey’s absolutely will.

I highly recommend taking a spoon to the grocery store with you, because when that little Jezebel is riding shotgun and you still have a 5 minute drive home you could end up doing questionable things while waiting for that darn light to turn green. I mean I’m not going to judge you for eating it with your hands, but the guy sitting beside you at the intersection might not be so understanding.

Once you have downed the thing in what always seems to be record time, the sorrow you felt over your miserable love life, your absurd professor, or the Mt. Vesuvius on your forehead is NOTHING compared to the disgust you feel over inhaling enough ice cream to feed the average American family. 
4 servings in 18.6 seconds? That’s nothing to be ashamed of; you may have actually qualified to sign with the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). Kobayashi would be proud. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


One of my best friends, Jeremy, always comes up with the BEST gift ideas. If he wasn't so darn good at accounting he really could go into business. He recently gave his parents the most fabulous 25th anniversary present and I just had to share.

First he got this:
The Margaritaville Blender

Then he gave them this:
Cuervo Silver... for their silver anniversary!

And this:
Cuervo Gold... to help them make it to their golden anniversary!

Isn't that just precious?

Coming up this week... birthday a full-fledged recap!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Birthday... the boy who always knows how to make me laugh, will call my bluff but still thinks I'm cute when I'm bs-ing, and pretends not to notice when I eat all of the oreo pieces out of the milkshakes we share. I wouldn't want to share a birthday (or a milkshake) with anyone else.
Today is your day. Have your cake and eat it too.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

boyfriend jeans

I will admit, I was rather reluctant when I first spotted the boyfriend jeans trend. I have a small frame and with that comes the gift of being not so well endowed. Usually I don't mind this so much, like when I don't feel like wearing a bra (i.e. 99% of the time) or when I want to run 8 miles without getting hit in the face. But other times it can be a little disconcerting. Prime example: when I want to wear boyish pieces... and NOT be mistaken for a boy. My long hair and girly accessories usually do the trick though, so I am diving into boyfriend jeans head first (well, feet first if we are being literal)

After seeing this post over at Pretty Pleased this morning, I am dying for cooler temperatures so I can break mine out (the walk across campus is just too much for jeans when the high still reaches the mid-90s)
And the original inspiration from Pretty Pleased! Love these by Zara! And isn't this look so effortlessly adorable?

In the mean time, these boyfriend-inspired shorts will have to hold me over.


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