Monday, January 31, 2011

wintery mixing

Another winter storm warning for this evening means the frozen slush on my sidewalk might never melt, but something about this picture from Downtownfrombehind makes the whole idea of more wet stuff from the sky seem sort of romantic.

This is a gem of a blog - featuring New York's creative class all shot, you guessed it, from behind.




Don't Mondays always come so fast? We had a fantastic weekend with D.'s family in town celebrating his dad's 60th birthday with two days in a row spent taking in all that the Newseum had to offer, nights out to dinner at Cava and Bistrot du Coin and a little dinner with friends at our place last night, complete with a chocolate dessert that I have dubbed sloppy cake.

All in all a great weekend.

The family is here until Tuesday which leaves enough time for another dinner out tonight where we'll finally try Indique in Cleveland Park - Rasika was booked solid, and of course a very special D.C. landmark tour tomorrow. We're looking forward to that one.

How was your weekend? Anything fun?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wedding: Reception

After all of the emotion of the ceremony it was incredible to depart the church and head to the biggest party of our lives. While we cruised through the alley ways and parking garages of LoDo to get shots of the wedding party, the rest of our guests enjoyed cocktails and snacks at Mile High Station.

We hit the dance floor immediately on arrival for our first dance to Ben Folds 'The Luckiest' performed and played by our incredibly talented groomsman, Jordan.  The dance not nearly as impressive as it appears in this photo - contained some very special not-so-serious moves.

After some dancing we sat down along with 175 of our closest friends for a family-style dinner of meat and potatoes provided by Catering by Design.

The food was delicious, simple and unfussy. As soon as people started to pass the platters we knew we had made the right decision going for a communal meal.

During dinner we were treated to toasts from loved family and friends from throughout the pages of our lives, some we'd known forever, others, just a few years. Some old, one very young - each gave us an incredible gift by standing up and sharing their love on a day that for us, was all about that love.

After dinner our incredible 8-piece Motown band, 8trac M.E. accompanied our father/daughter, mother/son twirl around the dance floor with La Vie en Rose.... and then it was time to really dance.

8Trac M.E. was one of the very best wedding decisions we made, and a great story. We spotted them about six months out for the wedding, devoured every sample track on their site and decided that they might be the very best wedding band ever. A quick inquiry was met with the sad reality that vocalist and band leader, Chantel, was re-locating to NY - and as a result 8Trac would not be playing the Denver wedding circuit in the foreseeable future.

Fast forward a few more months and a lot more looking, including heavy consideration of a Beatles cover band. We couldn't take it, nobody could compare and we knew it. When it comes to live music, half as good for half the money isn't really a deal we could settle for. So we tried again. Confessed our love to Chantel, and guess what? She said yes! A plane ticket to Denver and the band was back together, rocking our socks off all night at the reception.

We didn't spend the whole night on the dance floor - we had a few other things to attend to, like signing our marriage license (thanks witnesses) and cutting our delicious four-tiered buttercream confection from Das Meyer Pastry Chalet. Guests also spent a bit of time in the photo booth and rocking out upstairs in the Rockband room.

I tossed the bouquet to an enthusiastic bunch of bridesmaids and was delighted when my sister made the catch.  D. sent the garter flying to a less enthusiastic bunch of bachelors. Then it was back to dancing.

As clichéd as it may be - Shout was the hit of the night. Jordan treated us to a little bit of Prince and then we closed out the night with a personal favorite: Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

And how could the evening have gotten any better? Sparklers, that's how.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dior Haute Couture S/S '11

Incredible 50's style fashion from Dior - spotted on La Feem

Photos: Huffington Post


True dat.

spotted on Pinterest from Dan Meth

P.S. - I had to ask D. if I was cool enough to say 'true dat,' he suggested 'true is that' might be more my speed.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

tea time

From Flickr user Zsolt Kudar

The weather in D.C. today is positively dreary, slushy, snowy, damp and cold. It's afternoons like these that I'm desperately in need of a warm cuppa.

Having married a Brit - there's plenty of passion for tea in this house, but it typically comes during a lazy weekend morning in a pot of asaam with milk and sugar.

For afternoons I want something a little more flowery and fragrant, but sometimes it's hard to try new teas. Nothing is worse than picking up a whole box only to try one cup and pitch the whole thing out - I'm looking at you Tazo Vanilla Rooibus.

So here are a few of my favorites, I hope you'll share some of yours to add some variety to my gray day tea time.

Marco Polo by Mariage Fréres - Available at Dean and Deluca

Paris tea by Harney & Sons - available online from Harney & Sons

Numi Monkey King Jasmine Green Tea - available at most grocery stores

Tazo Joy Tea from Starbucks - I'm not sure if they still carry it :(

As mentioned in my gift guide - Aveda Comfort Tea - perfect before bed

One of my other favorite teas ever is the sadly discontinued Golden Honey Darjeeling from Celestial Seasonings, I managed to snag a case before they disappeared entirely and I'm still enjoying it.

So tea drinkers? Any favorites?

solar system

Solar System desktop light

Love these adorable solar system illustrations from Anneka Tran - You can download various wallpaper sizes over on her flickr.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Steak of the Union

Anita & Philibert
Anita and Philbert by petite Chose on Flickr
We'll be having people round tonight for some steak, potatoes and the biggest televised political event short of election day - our nerd superbowl (without great commercials), the SOTU.

Will you be watching? What do you think of everyone sitting together? I hope it results in a confused mess of stand-up sit-down for all involved.

Which cabinet secretary won't attend? Which chief justice will sneer?

See, so much fun. And if this isn't enough, please see the below suggestions from Politico on hosting your very own SOTU drinking game. Although nothing can top this suggestions from the Huffington Post last year:

"If Nancy Pelosi claps like a seal, take one shot. If Nancy Pelosi turns into a seal STOP DRINKING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!"

From Politico:

To spice things up, some fun-loving politicos play drinking games to make the speech more enjoyable. Here’s what some local SOTU-watchers have suggested as rules for this evening’s festivities:

“All calls for bipartisanship should be responded to with a fart in Joe Lieberman’s general direction.” — GQ’s Ana Marie Cox

“Every time Dennis Kucinich wedges himself into the TV frame with the president, drink. And if Joe Wilson is in the same shot, finish your drink.” — ABC News’s Rick Klein

“Every time the network feed cuts to McConnell or Boehner NOT standing or clapping [drink]. If you want to stay sober, [drink] every time either is seen smiling.” — Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman

“Every time the camera pans to show Sen. McCain’s grimace, drink! Long shot: If Speaker Boehner cries, dabs his eyes, reaches for the handkerchief, CHUG!” — Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart

“Every time the cameras linger on Scott Brown, you have to kiss the person next to you and take a drink. When Obama says ‘Let me be clear,’ it’s OK to take a bathroom break. TOTUS malfunction: tequila.” — Washington Examiner’s Julie Mason (TOTUS = teleprompter)

"Any time Michelle Obama is mentioned, you have to chug a lite beer."— Mother Jones's David Corn (A nod to the first lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative.)

"If you recognize a congressional staffer on the House floor — buy a round. If you see a member sleeping —buy the person to your left a shot. If there is an unprovoked outburst — finish the beer of the person to your right." — Amos Snead, FamousDC editor and Story Partners principal

"Every time Sheila Jackson Lee leans out into the center aisle for a handshake or a kiss, drink."—FishbowlDC editor Betsy Rothstein

"[Drink] Every time the president says 'Let us … ' and not in the ‘Peter Rabbit’ sense. Of course, if the first lady has gotten her hands on the speech and real lettuce (organic) has found its way in, [take] two shots of filtered spring water heirloom potato boutique vodka." — The Week/Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson

"For those who don't need to get up early in the morning and want to do some drinking, I recommend having a swig every time Obama has a euphemism for spending ... like 'investment.'" — Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist

"Start with three extra-strength Tylenol and then drink every time President Obama says ‘change,’ ‘challenge,’ ‘prosperity’ or ‘hope’ and drink twice for everyone wearing purple." —Writer and “Potomac Fever” associate producer Susanna Quinn.

I hope you aren't offended by this momentary display of politics and drinking habits. We'll be back to cookies and clothing tomorrow.

be brave

Saw this over on A Cup of Jo yesterday - as someone who met her husband because she slipped a note under his door to let him know he was hot without ever having spoken to one another - take a chance, at worst it changes nothing, at best, everything :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you'll ever need


For reals, these cookies are insanely good. The product of our boredom on Saturday night and a worthwhile accomplishment for a weekend where little else was accomplished.

I've never really bothered to mess with chocolate chip cookie recipes - the one on the back of the nestle bag has always been good enough, besides, I eat most of the cookies in dough form or when piping hot out of the oven, so who cares if the few stragglers are kind of crispy and flat the following day.

These cookies had me at first glance when perusing All Recipes - the secret ingredient of instant vanilla pudding didn't hurt either.

The dough was incredibly delicious - they were heavenly hot from the oven. The next day I cracked open the tupperware for an afternoon snack and they were soft and chewy- total perfection.


The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER - Modified from Debbi Borsick on

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cups butter, softened
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate (chips or chunks) can add more
1 cups chopped pecans - can add more, or none at all

Mix flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, or in the bowl of your mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla pudding mix (we're talking just the powder) and beat until incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla - mix.

Gradually add in flour mixture, beating just until combined, but careful not to overmix.

Fold in chips and nuts by hand.


Sample dough, generously.

Drop small balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet - using parchment or silpat is a great idea, however. Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Centers will feel soft, but don't worry they will be done.


Allow to cool - or eat several while still warm. Store in an airtight container for future snacking.


high hopes

I can hardly believe my eyes - could it be that our prayers of being able to sit down without being self-conscious have been answered? Has the era of peeking panties finally passed?

Higher-waisted jeans are cropping up everywhere for spring. So now the only question is going to be skinny?

Urban Outfitters Cigarette Jeans in Dark Blue and True Blue

Or Wide??