It's 11:44 pm. and I just returned home to my parents house after abdominal surgery. It's been a long, rough couple of days, and it is reassuring to know that tonight I get to fall asleep in a my own bed, and can sleep without worrying about having to drag my IV pole to the bathroom at 3 in the morning should I need to go.

Since it's late and I'm wiped, I'm going to call it a day with this one measly post. But before I sign off, a shout out is in order: to my awesome nurse Cassie - who I had 2 nights in a row. I had a string of sub-par day nurses, but Cassie was fabulous. Thanks for making my hospital stay bearable!


Green on Green

You know I love glassybaby. This vase is featured on their website, can't wait until these babies hit the market. I love the green on green look, it is quintessential Spring.

Cookies in Bloom

Stumped for what to get your mom for mother's day? Fortunately my mom is easy to please and has an incredible sense of humor, so I might just go with this cookie bouquet, with the especially dorky tag-line "I love you like no udder mudder!" Yes, complete with a herd of cows.
Ba dum bum.
If your mom is a little more traditional, try this one, "If Mothers Were Flowers, I'd Pick You." It definitely makes a statement. And after it's been artfully displayed on the kitchen table for everyone to see, the sugar cookies are literally good enough to eat.

Rolling Hills

Check it out - the cast of The Hills graces the cover of Rolling Stone magazine this month. Whoever said reality TV was just a phase was seriously mistaken.

Mystery Ingredient

I have been directed to stay home and rest until my health improves, and as such, I have many more hours in the day to blog. My day now revolves around reading, watching good/bad TV, and surfing the blog scene. I've been dutifully browsing around for lovely little things to post for my loyal viewers...

To start it off...TRIVIA.
Anyone ever heard of the ingredient salsify?

Yeah, me neither. But after reading this recipe. Risotto with black salsify and gorgonzola...Mmm, I'm willing to try it!



Once again on the lookout for frog-inspired decor for my mom for Mother's Day. I came across this brass doorbell ornament at Restoration Hardware. Thought it be clever if when put to use, a "ribbit" sound replaced the traditional ding-dong ringer. I'll look into it...

Sew in Love

Show off your passion for the needle and thread with this dainty thimble charm necklace. Neck candy never looked so good.


Always a Bridesmaid...

This coming Tuesday, April 29th, this year's greatest chick flick 27 Dresses hits the shelves on DVD. Yes, I am a sucker for wedding movies, but this one was especially entertaining, particularly the montage where forever bridesmaid, Katherine Heigl models her eclectic collection of bridesmaid attire. Honestly it's worth renting even if you only watch the movie for that scene alone. Who knows, this movie might be inspiration enough for that quirky bride-to-be looking to have a crazy, themed wedding!


Write That on the Chalkboard!

Who said chalkboards were just for school? (Actually, most schools don't even use chalkboards anymore, white boards are becoming the norm...). I was first introduced to this chalkboard-in-the-home concept a year or so ago, when I attended a bridal shower at a colleague's home. Her family I knew was artistically inclined, and to indulge their creative juices, they had painted an entire wall of the family kitchen, floor to ceiling with chalkboard paint. When we arrived for the party, the wall had been transformed into a lion's den. The wall was marked by a playful, full-maned lion, ready to pounce. It was such a personal touch to add to such a communal space, I immediately thought the idea was ingenious!

In addition to the art, was a small calendar, and day-to-day routine reminders, "buy eggs," "baseball practice at 3:30," allowing this wall to also act as a functional schedule. Martha Stewart echoes this idea, even giving some tips on how to make your own custom chalkboard paint. Try it in your home! image/marthastewart

Feeling Beachy

With summer just around the corner, I'm getting pumped to hit the beach. However, with our temperamental Seattle weather, the summer sun might be a ways out. I guess in the mean time, Once Upon a Cupcake's festive creations might be my ticket to ensure a sunny disposition.


Here Comes the Bride

Wedding season anyone? My first bridal shower of 2008 is just 'round the corner, and I found the perfect gift. While cruising Sephora I came across this Philosophy gift-set, appropriately titled "The Bridal Party." Inside are three luxurious shower gel/body washes befitting of the bride-to-be, affectionately named 'wedding cake,' 'bubbly,' and 'bridal bouquet.' And in case you're curious (as I was) - the scents are clean and refreshing. In particular, "wedding cake" which is not nearly as sugary smelling as it sounds.

Running at $30 for the set, this makes an ideal shower gift. With all of the usual registry items the bride is sure to receive, I thought this would be a fun way for the bride to indulge in some pampering before the big day.


Guilty Pleasure

Yes...thats right, Gossip Girl. Gossip Girl is a fledgling TV series, reemerging after the writer's strike with a vengeance. One of my younger sisters actually first introduced me to Gossip Girl, via the original idea - a popular book series (consider it a racier version of the Sweet Valley High books). The show - loosely based upon the book series - is edgy, entertaining, and boasts a cast of beautiful people wearing glamorous clothes.

I'm beginning to think maybe it's a nostalgic notion. I consider Gossip Girl to be a guilty Monday-night pleasure, perhaps because it reminds me of the plot thickening drama, lust, and lies of retired favorite - Beverly Hills, 90210.


A little spice

Believe it or not, I had never sampled true Indian food until last Saturday. I went with a friend to a local Indian restaurant, and we ordered a few of the staple dishes, my favorite of which was chicken tikki masala, a creamy tomato curry served over rice. A little recipe hunting, and turns out...it's not too hard to make at home.

Chicken Tikki Masala

1 cup plain yogurt
2 TB lemon juice
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. ground pepper
2 t. ground red pepper or less
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 piece (1-inch long) ginger, minced

1 TB unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic minced
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. paprika
1 t. garam masala
1/2 t. salt
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix marinade, pour over chicken cubes and let marinate for an hour or so. Cook chicken cubes on skewers on the grill outdoors or a Foreman grill indoors.
For sauce, melt butter on medium heat, add garlic, cook one minute. Stir in coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala and salt. Stir in tomato sauce. Let simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add in the cooked chicken cubes and sprinkle in cilantro. Serve over rice.


Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! For all of you who consider yourselves environmentally aware, but lack the ambition to routinely petition for your cause, here's your chance to do your part... In honor of Earth Day, I propose sending one of these cards to a friend. In lieu of the typical greeting card catchphrase "miss you," or "thinking of you," pay it forward with a little love for the penguins, and do your part against global warming. Keep this going green mantra moving!

Can you tell I'm a teacher?


Photogenic Pooch

Meet Erin Vey: dog photographer extraordinaire! I came across this Seattle photographer via Daily Candy. Ideal for that canine lover who invests in flair for their beloved pooch...A portfolio of candid prints would definitely complete that subtle tribute to the unparalleled member of the brood - the family dog.


In Case You're In the Market For...

A Saturday night conversation between friends about cloaks vs. capes as uniform clothing in the British public school system prompted me to do some googling, and see how common Harry Potter-esque attire is in English grammar schools...

My detective work proved interesting results. A Google search of "capes" revealed this - the Brooklyn Superhero Supply - you may think I'm kidding, but this store is for real. ..For all you aspiring Supermen and She-Ra's out there, apparently this your go-to place to stock up on supplies - when too many days and nights of crime-fighting, rescuing damsels in distress, and saving-babies-from-burning-buildings wear and tear at your costume.

Thought it was too hilarious to pass up.

Walk Like An Egyptian

I have 3 friends who have visited Egypt in the last month - granted 1 went for work, and 2 for pleasure...but still! I never thought of Egypt as a place I'd add to my list of places-to-see... but captivating blog entries and photos from my friends' travels are slowly enticing me to look East for my next big vacation abroad.

I guess part of the appeal is that the lifestyle, dress, architecture and pace of Egypt is so removed from my own life. I can only imagine what it would be like to take in these glorious sites in person, Cairo, Alexandria, Giza, Luxor... - I'm beginning to think this East African locale might slowly be climbing my list...

Anyone want to go to Egypt soon?


Peonies Please

Peonies are one of my favorite things about Spring. They are one of those flower breeds that always appears in bloom, even when just budding. I bought a gorgeous bouquet of peonies and sunflowers at Trader Joe's a few days ago for $4.99, and they've been brightening up my kitchen window all week!


You can't go wrong with Michael Cera

Newly out on DVD, I know what I'm renting this weekend! If you haven't seen it...HILARIOUS! I highly recommend it.


Cake & Ice Cream

Throw out those boring clear tacks, these will surely sweeten up your bulletin board. Cake and ice cream pushpins - almost good enough to eat!


I never got into the reality TV show Real Housewives of Orange County - as many of my friends did. But a few Saturdays ago, I was bored and what do you know - a Real Housewives of New York City marathon was playing on BRAVO. I watched an episode, and then another, and another, and was hooked.

The finale of the 1st season was Tuesday. Oh the drama of the NYC housewives!


To Wedge Or Not to Wedge?

My June bridesmaid turn is rapidly approaching, and our lovely bride Baillie just informed us bridesmaids that the aisle we will be walking down is grass. Given what an important day this is for my friend, I'd hate to wear high heels that continually get stuck as I'm walking down the aisle - which would not only be annoying for me, but would ultimately prolong the bride's anticipated entrance (not good).

So my question to my readers is: to wedge or not to wedge? Our dresses are black and Baillie has graciously given us free reign on shoe selection. Anyone have experience walking elegantly in heels on grass? I'm looking for any help I can get: suggestions, recommendations, anything. Pretty please!
Check out the shoes the bride herself is wearing under her white dress. Pretty snazzy, and not only are they super cute, but they double as her something blue!


Bangin' Bangs

I've jumped on the bandwagon and got bangs! I'm not usually too adventurous when it comes to my hair, but my Las Vegas trip was a worthy excuse for a new haircut, and I took the plunge. Doubting I can pull it off as well as these stylish celebs, but I am enjoying my new do! image/stylefrizz


Off to Las Vegas for a quick getaway of fun and sun! Have a great weekend!



Anthropologie is one of the catalogs I look forward to getting in the mail. Their clothes are always seasonally chic and gorgeous (though outrageously expensive), and their photo shoots are effortlessly exquisite time after time.

I usually circle about 5-6 items in the catalog that I love at first glance. More often than not I end up recycling the catalog. However, on occasion, after I've made it into the store, searched high and low for those 5-6 pieces I've been eyeing, and and tried them on, I end up liking maybe 1, (if I'm lucky)... Then it becomes a dilemma between me and my wallet - to buy the shirt thats a little out of my price range, but oh-so-cute? Or pass up and wish I'd purchased it when I see it on someone else weeks later...

If Anthropologie clothes came at Forever 21 prices, I'd be in heaven!



May is a popular month for Madonna! Not only has she snagged the latest covers of Elle and the Green Issue of Vanity Fair, but her hot new single with Justin Timberlake is topping the charts! While I don't consider myself a huge Madonna fan, I do give her props for her ability to transform and morph into a whole new image every few years, and still be a trendsetter!

Of her two covers, I think I'd go with Elle. Based on the internet summaries, Elle seems to hone in more on Madonna's "style and substance," while VF focuses more on Madonna's controversial adoption of David from Malawi. Take your pick!

Prints & Patterns

When it comes to decorating, I tend to prefer solid, bold colors in my living space rather than funky or unique prints. Having said that...I find that I am loving the diversity of prints, color, and patterns in Pottery Barn's latest ad campaign featuring summer trends. This featured home is bright, vibrant, and full of light, with a summer chic yet beachy feel.


Flirty Birds

Even birds flirt, who knew? What a perfect, flirty card to send to that special someone.


Tech TLC

While it's not the top of my priority list, my laptop could definitely use a little TLC, or even a makeover while we're at it... Leave to to talented engraver Joe Mansfield to actaully make that thought a reality...call him the "engraving expert" if you will, as he dabbles in beautifying through design, ipods, laptops...basically any gadget that need a little sprucing up - he's your man! images/engraveyourtech

Big & Carrie

Spotted! Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth in Central Park shooting for the upcoming May 2008 Big & Carrie spread in Vogue by famed fashion photographer Annie Leibowitz. Oh, SATC producers are so clever, a photo shoot preview to entice fans into seeing the Sex & the City movie? As if we weren't going to see it anyway!