Friday, October 29, 2010

Wingardium Leviosa!

Warning: many dog photos ahead. He's the only thing I can take decent photos of these days.

Ok, so those of you who read this regularly know that I've been contemplating a Halloween costume for the dog. I wanted to buy the Yoda costume with the front legs but it didn't look too comfortable and I kept reading mixed reviews (yes, I know he won't wear it that long anyway but still). Instead I stocked up on $25 of felt and other craft items from Joann Fabrics and came up with?

Harry Potter.

I get these moments of craftiness (b/c believe me I am not crafty). I started with the glasses because that is what really sets harry potter  (hairy pawter? LOLOL) a part from the other wizards. Without the rest of the 'fit he looks kinda hipster, doesn't he?
Just like the rest of us, he falls asleep reading. LOLOL. 

The glasses are made of black pipe cleaners. The Hogwarts cape and Gryffindor scarf are made of your usual craft felt, which I find very useful for projects like these! More pics after the jump :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sephora's Online Friends & Family Discount

What will you buy? This is bad news bears for me!!

Use FF2010 for 20% off your online purchase at through November 3rd! 

Hm. I'm starting to see the holiday / sparkles / New Year's Eve party theme in ads. Already! It was 70F here in New York yesterday. Not sure how holiday-y that feels. 

Set your VCRs: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

On TONIGHT at 8PM on ABC (and rerunning Friday night if you miss it).

I love the Charlie Brown holiday specials. I look forward to them every year. It reminds me of when my dad used to record them on tape for us so we could rewatch them. It's the Great Pumpkin was first shown in the 1960s!
It's getting me all excited for Halloween. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I'm not really good at baking. When I do bake, I need a box mix. I craved chewy chocolate cookies the other day. Rather than finding a real recipe, I found one that modifies brownie mix with flour to make essentially thin brownies with my favorite part - the crunchy edge.

Here's what you need:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Chicken About Chicken

My last venture into chicken wasn't terrible. It cooked well and stayed tasty. I wanted to step it up and do roast chicken but I didn't want to use the oven for 1.5 hours like many recipes require. I found a different recipe that roasted chicken breasts on a cookie sheet for 35 minutes. So I figured, if I put separate pieces into a roasting dish then maybe it'd take 35-45 min? I was wrong.

I should have known something would go wrong when all the chicken at Whole Foods came in 5 lbs no less. I wanted something closer to 3 lbs - just enough to feed us and not too thick for cooking. My roasting dish ended being super crowded. But first the successful part...
Can't mess up vegetables
Roasting Veggies
I did a round of brussels sprouts first. The edges turned crispy and yum in 35 minutes. The second pan was yellow squash slices, mushrooms, and onion wedges. The  squash and mushrooms roasted up in no time. The mushrooms were tasty morsels of mushroom goodness.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Twilight For First Graders

WoohoO! It’s Halloween this week! I’m still working on Buddy’s mystery costume. Some of you already know what my plan is but we’ll see if I can complete it! 

Anyway, I was walking home from the subway last week and saw this at the Mystery Book Store. 

For seriously though
Dick and Jane and … Vampires? Really??! I’m baffled. I remember reading Dick & Jane in first grade but none with vampires. Apparently it's a new reader in the Dick and Jane style.

Look how scary that vampire is! I’m really curious what this story is about. Might be worth a trip to the Mystery Book Store this week.

You're It! I'm Slow.

Both XOXO, C  at Classically Modern Nest and Ali over at His Birdie's Nest recently tagged me in the Internet's playground game of Blog Tag. I'm slow to respond but you all are about to find out a lot about me...

XOXO, C asks: list 7 things that you may not know about me

1. I have a birthmark on my (right?) buttock. It's shaped like the UK. I've been self-conscious about it since I was a wee tot but now embrace it (b/c what else would I do about it?)

2. If I wasn't in "finance," I'd want to have my own puppet show like Shari Lewis with Lamb Chop's Play Along. It would be about three dogs and a moose, unlikely but fast friends.

3. Back in 1993, I had the hugest crush on Jeremy Jordan. Do you even know who he is? He had one single (back when they had singles) on the first generation of 90210. He might have been the high school popular guy on Never Been Kissed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

J.Crew Outerwear

J.Crew is having a 20% off outerwear promo!

Remember this navy coat with gold buttons I was eyeing? I tried it on in the store and give it a thumbs down. First, the navy was violet/purple and second, the collar was narrow (for what I wanted). It's a great basic peacoat if you're looking for one. I'm a fan of their stadium cloth coats.

Moving on...there is this green number that intrigues me. What do you think? Too green? It also comes in a really cute retro orange. But I already have my red lady coat from a previous season.

Here's how it looks on the model. I think it's not styled in the most flattering way on her and actually looks better buttoned up on the mannequin above. Maybe that means it's not a good coat to wear opened.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Treats for the Apartment

Look! I bought stuff.

I took advantage of Crate & Barrel's annual Free Shipping promotion and ordered a bunch of semi-useless semi-useful stuff for the apartment. Take a look see:

1. Useful - Savannah Charcoal Rug Runner. The previous one had been chewed on, peed on, and maybe even pooped on by Buddy. The cleaning lady (Yes, we have one. It's so worth it to avoid fights with the hubs) didn't like it b/c it'd get caught in the vacuum and now is all misshapen. Everyone will be happier now.

2. Useless - Woof Dog Bowls. Let's face it, I bought these b/c they're cute and under the guise of keeping the dog bowls clean and in rotation. (They also have "meow" ones for kitties!)

3. Useless - Gallon-size Glass Jars. Our kitchen counter is already pretty crowded. No need for more stuff. Again, under the guise of "for snacks" and "for dog food." Mm hm.

4. Use...ful? - End grain Chopping Block. It's pretty and I didn't have one on our registry. Reason for this one? Wood blocks are better for our new fancy knives. HA! I'm so good at rationalizing my spending. Edit: I really like this board. It's easier to cut on and has lots of space. 
All images from Crate & Barrel. So obvi, since my kitchen doesn't look amazing in the least bit.
Alright! I'm half useful and half useless. Also in our shipment was the Sloane Leaning Bookcase...currently unassembled in the living room. That's a post for another day.

What's your latest and greatest home purchase?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Big Friendly Giant

I've been looking for some good books to read lately. I just finished the Twilight series which was pure awesomeness in a guilty pleasure sort of way. So many times when I go to the bookstore I buy a new book or a classic and read about 15 pages before I lose interest (and my money). Why can't they make books as good as the ones I loved to read when I was a kid? One of my absolute favorites was this one:
Roald Dahl's The BFG. This book came out in 1982 and my 4th grade teacher read it to our class in 1989. After that, I was hooked on Roald Dahl books including Matilda, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, James & the Giant Peach, etc. etc.

I'd recommend reading The BFG if you haven't already. There are words like "frobscottle" (soda pop), "whizzpoppers" (farts), "snozzcumbers" (bitter squash-like veggie). It's a book to love. Buy it here on

Last week I joined the "Book Buddies" program at work where we're assigned a 3rd grader and a book. We'll read the book and write letters like pen pals to each other. I'm super excited. I can't wait to see what the book is.

What's your favorite childhood book?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Salty Ginger Scallion Chicken

Two things happened the other weekend:
1. I craved some Chinese home cooking
2. I realized that I don't know how to cook chicken. Like, at all.

What better way to spend Sunday night than to combine #1 and #2 into a dinner and call it a day? Coming off our Chinese wedding banquet reminded me of one of my favorite banquet dishes, salty chicken. Sounds kinda weird, huh? But it's the tastemaker sauce that makes it a fave.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm a Halloweenie.

I'm a weenie when it comes to Halloween. I'm not creative and I feel silly dressed up because my costume is never good enough (in first grade I wore my Cinderella mask upside down in a para. However, this year is our first Halloween with Buddy. And he absolutely needs to dress up! This is New York! If you're not in a costume on Halloween, stay home! (which is what I normally do).

After spending a few hours browsing my dog costume options, here are some of the more entertaining ones. Not sure if Buddy's got a costume here but it was fun to look! Those dog models look so sad though. Or maybe just defeated.
World's Saddest Pug

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Night Dinner Brain Fart

Mm, that sounds like a good recipe doesn't it? How about Mushroom Rice with Baby Bok Choy?

Better. At least literal. It's Monday. It's raining. It's blah. I planned on walking home in the way of Chipotle and picking myself up a Fajita Chicken Bowl (which is like 1,000 calories!) Instead, I had to stay late at work (boo) AND I found out the Mr. would be coming home for dinner too...that is, expecting a real meal (or ordering take out) v. my usual grazing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

He's Draining My Retirement Savings

Buddy had a spa appointment yesterday. That includes a full bath, hair cut, and mani/pedi. He usually lets his fur grow 8 weeks between cuts (really? I only get my hair cut 3 times a year). This time we went 11 weeks...maybe that's a little too long because he was starting to look kinda shaggy/running into things because of the hair in his eyes (jk).

The Before:

Happily Fluffily
The After:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

One Ticket To Grown-up-ville

My "decor" situation in the living room currently looks like this:

Not good. My apartment is organized in piles. Piles of magazines, piles of mail, piles of things to file, piles of nice gifts from our wedding guest. In one of those white bags in the corner is a very nice and elegant Tiffany vase that would look silly anywhere in our apartment because we have nowhere to showcase our nice thing(s?). Not only do we have this one nice thing now, but we also have all these photo frames and piles of books with no home but shopping bags and the floor (like the cable box, oh geez).

I have decided enough is enough and want to buy a pair of these ladder shelves:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Having a Lace Moment

I usually poo poo lace. It walks a fine line between delicate and pretty and grandma's doily. I thought maybe I'd have a lace moment with my wedding dress but then ended up choosing something that was more typical me. Now it's fall and I find myself having a craving for the richer fabric.
Shoshanna has a short shift paired with see-through sleeves in one of my favorite underrated color combos navy and black.
Shoshanna Lace Boatneck
Since I am on the topic, let's peruse some others. This one is pretty similar to the first one but the all black fabric makes it look heavier.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Come Here, My Pretty

I was bad. I was in the Union Square area having brunch with a friend. I stopped by Sephora on the way back to the subway. Look at my goodies:

I had intended on buying just *1* thing. The NARS sheer lip treatment (posted here). To be fair, I only purchased one other item and the third was a freebie (ok, so it's because I'm spent enough to earn a freebie). I got the lip, eye, and skin covered in this trip.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's Pasta Night!!

We're fans of carbs in this house. Pasta being one of the faves. This week, it was time to up the ante on Friday Night Dinners (i.e. not ordering in) and try an indulgent pasta. I adapted our version from a Penne Vodka recipe. Since I left out the vodka and some other steps, I'll call it Chunky Creamy Tomato Penne. Not attractive sounding at all. But still tasty.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Miss You, Do You Miss Me Too?

My scarf, that is. She's been missing a total of 3 weeks now ever since sometime after we got back from the honeymoon. Look how happy we were together just a year ago:

It's still too early to mourn but I've already looked a few times in the usual places. I bought a new scarf today on a whim to try and make myself feel better.