Celebrate! Today is the day, starting at midnight last night, the long awaited SATC movie is now in theaters. Can't wait to hear everyone's review, please share!


Choice, Choices, and More Choices

Anyone remember the time when kids passed notes that read "check YES if you like her, check NO if you don't?" Well that time has come again...Paper + Cup has designed a card series ideal for the choosy person who either can't decide on the perfect card, or simply doesn't have the time to personalize. Maximize your sending options with these choice notes.

A quick way to send a celebratory congrats, a crushworthy comment, or a do-not-call request, pick your poison!images/paper+cup

My Evening

First and foremost. The 2-hour LOST season 4 Finale. My fellow LOSTy's are I are gathering at a friend's "hatch" to watch this special event on the projector screen. SO EXCITED!!


Cover Me

I love when classic reads are revamped by new, unfamiliar covers. Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead is one of my absolute favorite books. I first read this gem in high school, and have read it at least 2 or 3 times since. Urban Outfitters is now carrying this sweet read in stores, a classic novel revitalized by a charming new retro inspired cover.


I've Been Tagged

It seems I have been tagged by an old high school pal of mine, Sara of the delightful blog Miss Jane...

Here Goes Nothing!

What was I doing 10 years ago
I was a freshman in high school...just learning how to drive, guarding my learner's permit like it was my J-O-B, stressing over the fact that every day was a free dress day (speaking as someone who had come from the consistency of a a black-watch plaid skirt & cardigan uniform for 4 years prior), routinely singing Ookii-Nataiko with Okada Sensei, attaining a Varsity letter in track, and crashing and burning with various crushes...

5 things on my to-do list today
(1) Rearrange my furniture, trying to make that new IKEA dresser mesh seamlessly into my living room.
(2) Fine tune my lesson plan for tomorrow.

(3) Email parents about our upcoming field trip.
(4) Return this heinous dress I bought online, online shopping is so hit or miss!

(5) Making dinner

Snacks I enjoy
Chips + guacamole, gummy cherries, dark chocolate, & French fries.

Things I would do if I was a billionaire
Travel EVERYWHERE I could before getting burnt out from traveling. My current travel-lust destinations are Machu Picchu-Peru, Tokyo-Japan, Galway/Dingle/Dublin-Ireland, and
Curacao-Caribbean... (among others)

Places I have lived
Southern California and Seattle (& surrounding area)

People I want to know more about
I *Heart* You& DeeDee
...tag, you're it!

One More Week!

Sexy shots from Annie Leibovitz's May Vogue photo shoot of Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth. Countdown 'til the movie - 7 days! Woot woot!

Color Me Beautiful

Last night was the all-school science fair at my elementary school. The student participation was fantastic, and parent/teacher/student turn out to view the experiments was superb. I was incredibly proud of my class which had almost 100% participation! One of the experiments I thought could transfer to a home decor project was dying carnations with food coloring. Not only is it an effective experiment using dependent and independent variables, but the results were aesthetically pleasing as well!


Breakfast for Dinner

I have always been a fan of breakfast for dinner. Pancakes, French toast, hash browns, omelets, you name it! Breakfast-for-dinner was an almost weekly staple at my house growing up. Now looking back I think it my mom's impromptu decisions to serve breakfast for dinner were truly an opportunity for her to take a night off, while her kids happily ate smiley faced pancakes. If you're craving breakfast for dinner, here's a recipe to try: pop-up pancakes with strawberry-banana compote...Mmm, they look absolutely delish!


Lovely Glow

Lovely little lanterns. If I had a deck or a patio, I would invest in a few odd sized lanterns such as these, to illuminate a warm, summer evening. These Restoration Hardware lanterns are unique in that they hold pillar candles, so you truly get that warm glow from your centerpiece.

New Trend?

The jumper. Essentially shorts + attached fabric suspenders, marketed as a convenient look that I find reminiscent of skipping hotscotch on the playground - i.e. not a look for adults. However...this little number appeared among others in the Urban Outfitters spring online catalog.

I've heard reference of the skort returning (gasp!), and I'm alarmed that the jumper might be following suit. I'm afraid if I ever did indulge in this trend, I would be the clothing twin of at least a handful of my female students. While I might think I was employing a sense of fashion, I have no doubt I'd be fabulously outdone by my 7 & 8-year olds. Who is with me?


For Each Bloom

These vases for individual blooms are certainly stylish. I'll take the one with peonies for my new mahogany end table!


Closet Wanted

The Gossip Girl finale was such a tease. In a nutshell, directors took every preexisting couple, shuffled, and dealt out new pairings who we assume will stand the test of time (which in this world is equivalent to the summer). Not much was settled, or accomplished, or even discussed really...but the fashion was great! Check out Serena's maid o'honor dress, pretty sweet (minus the ruffles), and Blair was looking angelically pretty in pink. Wouldn't it be nice to wake up to a closet like this? You know you love it. XOXO.


Hats Off

Check out Sarah Jessica Parker's crazy hat from the London premiere of Sex & the City. Is it just me, or does it look like she's sporting a pineapple on her head.


Living Lamps

I went to IKEA this weekend in search of some cheap apartment furniture. Of course this is an afternoon event as it takes at least an hour to navigate the elaborate maze of furnishings, lighting, and decor. I find that I'm always surprised at some of the random things IKEA has for sale. Take this organic lamp for example, it appears to be more of an illuminating creature than a household brightener.


Print Portrait

John Clark's etsy shop is characterized by the tag line "All books should have pictures." His prints certainly deliver. I'm intrigued by the personality in these inky black portraits. I'd be curious to find out if the text is chosen at random, or if there is some underlying significance.


Feeling Like Summer

Today was an absolutely GORGEOUS day in Seattle. After our Tuesday field trip to the Port of Seattle that resulted in torrential downpour, today definitely felt like a deserved good-weather day. 82 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, throngs of people out and about, just one of those days that makes me remember why I live here.

Have a happy weekend!


The Rumors are True

TWINS - it's true!! Wanted costar Jack Black spills the beans on Brad and Angelina's newest additions. Looks like the Jolie-Pitt clan is becoming iconic as the modern day, world-traveling, multi-cultural Brady Bunch.


Chalkin' it Up

Regardless of what type of party you're at, there is usually some sort of beverage tracking system in place. In college tracking typically appears in the form of sharpie'd names on keg cups or even a distinguishing beer cozy. Post college this may eventually morph - into the seemingly more mature - holiday charms on wine stems.

Until now.
Meet the chalkboard coaster.
Changing the way we drink, what will they think of next?


Baseball Country

With baseball season is in full swing, and team loyalties running high as the season heats up, I thought this map was an interesting representation of fan distribution. State lines don't apply here...welcome to baseball country! See where the majority of fans congregate and how far the loyalties stretch - literally, we're talking hundreds of miles!

Personally I'm a Mariner's fan, as are most Seattle dwellers...except for my sisters. My two younger sisters traded their hometown favorite when they moved back East, jumping on the bandwagon of über-enemies, Red Sox and Yankees. Now there's a duel to be had if I ever saw one!


Ahoy Ireland!

I just watched the movie, "P.S. I Love You," now out on DVD, starring Hilary Swank and sexy Scotsman Gerard Butler (Irishman in the film). P.S. follows fresh-faced widow Holly (Swank), as she struggles to cope with the untimely death of her energetic husband Gerry (Butler). Filmed through a series of flashbacks to the couples meeting, courtship, and life together, past meets present through a series of letters Gerry writes for his wife to open after his death. Touching and emotional, this movie is definitely not for the faint of heart.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie when Holly and her friends return to the place she and Gerry first met - Ireland! The landscapes are lush, green, and absolutely breathtaking. This movie, the jovial pub scene, and the Irish accents are motivation enough for me to plan a vacation to the home of my ancestors! Anyone want to join me?


Sex and the City fever is in the air, I can feel it! That and Ms. Carrie Bradshaw is giving interviews all over town. No worries, I'll keep 'em coming, here's the latest exclusive from Premiere magazine.


First Daughter Weds

Thank you to Sara for reminding me of the latest White House news. One of George's twin girls, Jenna Bush married Henry Hager at the family's ranch in Crawford, Texas on Saturday, May 10th. First-daughter Jenna opted for a small, private affair rather than the publicity nightmare of a White House wedding.
Apparently the duo will be forever immortalized in Crawford souvenir shops from here on out. The Times reported souvenir mugs of the happy couple are already for sale in Crawford, Texas stores.


Save the Date

My fridge is currently home to many a "Save-the-Date" wedding card reminder. With many couples breaking with tradition and sending out less formal save-the-date holiday cards and postcards, brides and grooms alike are taking the extra time to ensure their reminder makes a statement!

This is where the idea of a map o'the wedding day comes in. Ideal for a destination wedding or a even a locale shindig. Out-of-towners and locals alike will undoubtedly benefit from a visual illustration of the wedding weekend itinerary. Check out this darling Save-the-Date postcard by Lucky Orchid Wedding.

Garden Delight

When I think of a watering can, I picture a yellow plastic bucket stashed beside a coiled garden hose. However apparently times have changed, and this little piggy here, is indeed a copper watering can from Smith & Hawken.

With all of the effort my mom has recently invested into her backyard, I thought it only fitting that I celebrate her success with an eye-catching watering can that can only serve to enhance the thriving flora and fauna she's already cultivated. I had hoped there'd be a frog watering can, but the options were limited to pigs, roosters, and squirrels. The squirrel is definitely noteworthy, he was my runner-up.images/smith&hawken

Miss Manhattan

Sarah Jessica Parker talks about life, love, and growing up celebrity in this month's New York Magazine. SJP dishes what would say if she could have a few words with her alter-ego "Carrie Bradshaw," and what she really thinks about becoming the poster girl for the New Manhattan.And just in case you've forgotten to keep track...19 days til the movie hits theaters!!! I can hardly contain my excitement!!


Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! My mom is actually out of town for her special day, but traditionally on Mother's Day morn we wake up, have a cup of joe and a slice of coffee cake before gathering the troops and heading out for brunch with family.

Historically speaking, we make the delicious crumbly-topped coffee cake recipe à la our friend Brenda, but with my mom being gone I'm opting to try out a new recipe à la Martha Stewart.

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Serves 10 to 12

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6 ounces ( 3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter

5 Meyer lemons, cut into paper-thin slices, ends discarded
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from 4 to 5 lemons)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice

Make the streusel: Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into the flour mixture until small to medium clumps form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).

Make the cake: Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute. Drain, and repeat. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch angel food cake pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest with a mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream.

Spoon 1/2 of the batter evenly into cake pan. Arrange 1/2 of the lemon slices in a single layer over the batter. Spread remaining batter evenly over the top. Cover with the remaining lemon slices in a single layer. Sprinkle the chilled streusel evenly over the batter.

Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and remove outer ring. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the center tube. Slide 2 wide spatulas between the bottom of the cake and the pan, and lift cake to remove from the center tube. Let cool completely on rack.

Make the glaze: Just before serving, stir together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake, letting excess drip down the sides. Let glaze set before slicing, about 5 minutes. (Cake can be stored for up to 3 days. The lemon flavor will intensify with time.)

Helpful Hint
Mildly acidic Meyer lemons are available from late fall through early spring. For the rind to soften and sweeten sufficiently during baking or roasting, slice the lemon to near-transparent thinness. A mandoline, a handheld slicer, or a sharp knife and a steady hand will do the trick.

Light it Up

You know I love lanterns. Light up a friend's day by sending them a little note on this personalized lantern-light stationary.


An American Girl in Paris

Spotted! Gossip Girl vixen-turned-sweetheart Serena van der Woodsen (a.k.a. Blake Lively) glamming it up in the City of Light - solo! This blond bombshell takes Paris by storm sans her flock of très beau costars for an upcoming spread in Vanity Fair. Voici à la fille de bavardage!

Hurry Up

Love this Coach key chain. Perfect for the friend that's always running late, give them a tangible reminder to pick up the pace!


Cupcake Bites

Last Sunday, my mom, aunt, grandma and I had a "Quatro-de-Mayo" cupcake sampling party. My mom invested in a tiered cupcake tree for the upcoming bridal shower we are co-hosting, and we decided that before we stack it full of treats, we ought to sample the various cupcake varieties, to ensure our guests have a the sweetest experience possible.

I've mentioned locale Seattle cupcake phenomenon Cupcake Royale in posts past, but when it comes to me and cupcakes, Red Velvet takes the cake. However, at our sampling, we did encounter a few new flavors that might give good ol' Red a run for their money; including Carrot Cake, Dreamsicle, and most surprising of all, Lavender! Yes indeed, CR swears that lavender buds are mixed right in the the buttercream frosting.

With our menu solidified, I'll be sure to keep you posted on which flavor is deemed the shower favorite.


You're Screwed!


Sound familiar?To the rescue is comes...SCREWED. Yep, that's their name. Save this bad boy for the day when nothing goes as planned, you're frustrated, you're stressed, you're tired, and the last thing you need from that nerve-abating glass of wine is for the cork to break...

Relax...(take a deep breath) and pull out that bottle of SCREWED wine (which you remember to save for a day just like this). And in case you're worrying that something else might go awry, relish in the convenience of the corkscrew-free bottle, unSCREW the cap, and think "Wow, just when I thought I couldn't get anything right, this made my day a teeny-tiny bit easier... (Sigh).


From My Shower to Yours

This weekend's bridal shower was punctuated by a favor...from the bride! After the games had been played, the food eaten, and the gifts unwrapped, we received a favor from the bride.

Each favor was a bar of goat milk soap scented by the Philosophy perfume "Amazing Grace." Each bar had impeccable presentation, tied up in a pale pink organza bag with a small note of origin. The bride's tag-line to accompany the gift was perfection, "From my shower to yours." Literally.


The Return of Tom

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Risky Business, Tom Cruise returns to the Oprah show, his first appearance since the notorious couch-jumping incident of 2005.

The 2-day event began Friday when Oprah interviewed Cruise in an intimate setting at his Telluride estate. Catch up with the Tom and Oprah's conversation Friday, or just tune in Monday at 4pm for conclusion to the Cruise chronicles. Let's hope he leaves the couch-jumping out this time around... images/npr/oprah