Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weekend Recap--sorority style

So my weekend in DC was amazing! I love seeing old friends and catching up with what everyone is doing and how their post college lives are going. My body may still be recovering from the large quantities of alcohol imbibed or the very late hours kept but it was sooo worth it. A few rounds of superlatives, shopping sprees, my first! dirty martini, and hours of laughter were just what I needed. Friday night we were low key and went out to dinner in DC and came back for pjs and superlatives (to be explained later). Saturday was really busy, we did the American History museum--hello first ladies and Julia Child's kitchen, then we ate lunch at this delicious spot, http://www.chefgeoff.com/, and shopped around Georgetown for a while. After going home to change and relax for a while, we went back out to Georgetown for dinner and bars. Sunday we had brunch at the Eastern market and shopped around all of the vendors for a few hours--it was such a beautiful weekend, though it felt more like October than almost December! I also miss having all of my girlfriends so close but we'll definitely be reunioning again soon.

I'm ready for Thanksgiving break--though I can't believe it's already here! I seriously need a few days off of work to relax and regroup. We went out to pick up the Thanksgiving wine yesterday and I'm planning on making this for the big day:

Barefoot Contessa's Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits, delicious!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beer Me

Headed to DC to hang with my sorority ladies! I lived in the sorority house with all these girls for a year and it was hands down my favorite year at UVA. We'll be reunioning, college style, in every great bar and restaurant in DC. I can't wait! There will be lots of this:

Margaritas will be had by all!

Does anyone know about the superlatives card game? It is amazing--

Shopping in Georgetown!

And in the words of Andy Bernard, "I forgot to tell you the plan for this Saturday. You, me, bar, beers, buzzed. Wings, shots, drunk! Waitresses - hot! Football, Cornell-Hofstra, slaughter! Then quick nap at my place, then we hit the tizzown."

Almost time to hit the tizzown~!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Be random like it's your job

Thoughts this week:

Why did I have a dream about my friend marrying her boyfriend...in a kroger...in the produce section? Does that not mean something, I hope to god, or does it? I'm not sure I want to know...

Why is the weather making me want to quit working out while simultaneously willing me to drink more? Not good.

Dear ladies at Ann Taylor,
I want to thank you for your 30% friends and family discount this week, however, is it really necessary to kick my boyfriend out of the dressing room area b/c other ladies "might be uncomfortable", really?

I'd like to be finished with my Christmas shopping...right now, instead of not having begun yet.

Super steathly boyfriends should not ask you your ring size...randomly...in the middle of a totally unrelated conversation. Don't all guys know to take your ring and size it?--ok but in his defense I would freak out! if I thought I lost my college ring that I wear every day.

And lastly, is it Friday yet? then it'll be time to crack open those margaritas and party with my sorority sisters, like we're still in college-style

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Tables

Setting the table for Thanksgiving dinner usually falls to me every year. I really like putting together a pretty table that everyone can enjoy for a few hours. We do thanksgiving at my parents house and they have a limited selection of, I'll just say table props, so I've been looking up lots of different ideas as I don't know what I have to work with. I like to use, and can always find, natural elements like leaves or fruit. The pottery barn website has a great inspiration center that gives ideas on centerpieces and tablescapes (ugh--I really hate the word tablescape, but moving on!). Here are a few pics I found for inspiration:

Love the texture on these...(from PB)


I can definitely handle this! It's soo pretty and simple. (PB)

I love the idea of wrapping the candles with leaves and sprinkling them on the table.

Love! the white pumpkins, though I won't be trying to whittle them into candle holders...I'm just not that crafty, helloooo fire hazard.

Only 5 more (work) days until Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Recap

Hi all! Hope you had a great weekend. Ours was super busy with Bryan taking the GMAT early Saturday morning then driving up to Annapolis for a family dinner. His dad just retired from the airlines so they did a big dinner honoring all of the pilots. It was great to see lots of B's family, aunts, cousins, family friends etc. Though it was a short trip we tried to squeeze all we could out of it by stopping at IKEA for some much needed household goods. It was the day of the curtain, and will probably be the month of the curtain if I can't get motivated to finish. We bought the hemmable kind with basic black rods. I've never hung anything except some picture frames so this should be an adventure. I'd love any advice! I'm also planning to read up at the amazing! website, Young House Love. If you haven't visited this blog before it's a definite must for any young homeowner, or do it yourselfer (aparently I'm making up words today). When I first stumbled across YHL I spent hours, days! looking at all of the projects and dreaming of beautifying our apt.
So this week will be filled with IKEA installations, delicious everyday italian recipes, and trying to get back into the gym routine!

8 (work) days until Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pot Roast Deliciousness

Last night I ventured into the land of cooking meat...like big hunks of meat. I'd always wanted to make a pot roast--my grandma makes the most delicious one ever--so I decided to give it a whirl. I'm not into long or complicated recipes, not that this one is especially hard, however it does take some time. There's nothing I hate more than spending 2 hours and extra dollars to make a dish that doesn't turn out well. I was a very happy girl last night as this roast was totally worth it. All the vegetables simmer to make a great sauce and the meat is soo good. I used a 2.5 pound roast and halved the recipe below. Ina Garten, I don't know what I'd do without you (this is from her back to basics cookbook).

1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Good olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.

Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth (I used my handheld blender for this and it was way easier and without the mess). Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I kind of want this...

Here’s one roaring fire that isn’t a huge bother to get started. Simply slip this DVD into your laptop and place the virtual flames on an end table.

Find it here: Plasmavironments fireplace DVD, $15, plasmawindow.com.

Also happy veteran's day to all of our military men and women! Thank you for all that you do.

Monday, November 9, 2009

J Crew Outlet Finds

Here are a few of the things I picked up this weekend (and I will not be shopping again for a while!):

Merino turtleneck sweater in light berry, love this color--it's soo pretty

Heirloom flora earrings, hopefully these will help me stray from my standard pearls

Kelsey ruffle top, love this ruffle blouse, perfect for layering

Alpaca long shawl cardigan in fawn, this sweater is really cozy and perfect for fall

Crystal libretto necklace, this is so sparkly and beautiful with a classic white shirt

Matchstick jean in indigo, great dark jean with flats

Weekend Recap

I decided to go home this weekend to visit the family, and give B a quiet house for studying. The weather was beautiful, judging from the rays of sunlight streaming in through the J Crew outlet windows ;-) kidding but I might have done some serious damage on that front. Friday night we ordered chinese--yum! and watched Animal House which I had never seen in its entirety. I feel like being a member of the Greek system makes you appreciate the movie even more, oh the frats.

Saturday my sister and I went to the J Crew outlet and then sat through the Penn State game half watching and half cringing/turning the channel at every opportunity. My Dad went MIA, of course, as he does during all Penn State football games--literally gone for 4 hours when we found him in his car in the driveway listening to the game, hah. Sunday was beautiful and we took a long walk on my old high school cross country course--I can't believe I ever ran 6 miles a day for cross country and then indoor track season. My hometown is also called the "hill city" for a reason...brutal for a runner, well a runner who doesn't like running.

Being home for the weekend was relaxed and fun and I can't wait until Thanksgiving. My parents were asking if Reagan would be making the trip with us--if you've ever been with a cat in the car a lot of them make this horrible crying sound and Reagan belts it out as if she's in serious pain. I know she'd rather be with us than alone at home but I know she's going to cry for 2 hours straight.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gmats and Charlie Brown

With all of the studying going on in our house over the past few months, I've officially become a GMAT widow. Bry has been studying more and more with the test coming up next weekend. I won't kid you, I do enjoy watching Say yes to the Dress without extra boy judgment, but I can't wait! until it's over. We've been thinking about moving for a while now and it just seems like the right time. I'm leaning towards North Carolina but anything is possible! When I first started looking at colleges I wanted to move far away--do something different, and somehow I ended up an hour from home. Then as I was looking for jobs I really! wanted to move to Boston--and then I ended up two hours from home. I like being so close to my family but I feel like now is the time to branch out and make a big change while we're not tied down at all. I'm sure I'll be asking all you lovely readers about city recommendations as we start to look at schools!

It's also time to dust off the Christmas cds! I make myself wait until November to break out the Christmas music every year. My favorites include Charlie Brown Christmas, absolute favorite of all time, and the London Symphony Orchesta Christmas, great classical christmas music.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

50th post party!

I was just thinking about a way to legitimize buying this necklace on jcrew.com. I love! it and have been eyeing it since it came out months ago. The price has finally come down and I'm debating about whether to wait and try to find one on Ebay which might be cheaper or spring for the one online (and they have free shipping that ends today). Does celebrating my 50th post count? What do you think?

Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a great halloween! We were pretty low key this year going to a costume party on Friday night and then out to dinner Saturday for restaurant week. Our costumes turned out pretty well, courtesy of Target--I'm sure my rosette witch hat will come in handy again. I also put eye liner on Bry, which he thought looked weird and then rubbed off which gave him this creepy black eye look. I also tried to find Hocus Pocus all day Saturday and Sunday but with no luck. It was rainy all weekend so not much occurred except football watching, candy eating, and cleaning the house.

It's also election day, wow I can't believe it's already November--

Everyone remember to go vote today!!