29 May 2012

nailed it no. 7

i was seriously half way (ok maybe more like a quarter of the way) through my neon nails when i remembered that it is tuesday, tuesday before wednesday, wednesday the day i have an interview i've been anticipating for way too long.  i couldn't possibly have neon nails for such an interview.  i mean really, the whole navy/white/totally preppy and clean look i've been planning IS NOT going to work with neon nails.  so instead i'm hitting up the perfect summer red, clambake.  yup.  another simple, but awesome, manicure for me.

japanese maple.

 we've got this weird tree in our front yard that turns bright pink towards the end of summer but is fairly lackluster for the rest of it's days.  when we were first trying to tame our out of control teeny tiny front yard i begged mas to let me dig it up and plant a japanese maple.  japanese maples are just soooooo dc.  and plus, i grew up with a few in my back yard, i've a soft spot.

he said no.  we had a healthy tree, why trash it?  well i'll tell you why ...

i mean, the geisha?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  you are perfection.  and hana matoi, well i think you're pretty stellar as well.

23 May 2012


oh my god, could it get any better?


{wren x vivier, but please don't buy them all, i need time to figure out where i'm getting the dollars for my very own}

22 May 2012

nailed it no. 6

i gotta say the nail art, while fun, isn't totally and completely my style.  i like to do it every once in a while, but honestly i can't remember the last time i had a solid color on all ten fingers, and that gets to me, in a weird you shouldn't be thinking about your nails so often kind of way.  from now on i'm going to start sprinkling in a few of my most favorite every day colors.  it too will be fun, i promise, there are some really good colors out there these days.

let's start with sand tropez by essie.  i used to be an absolute nut for essie's jazz, like went through an entire bottle in a summer, but after that summer it became hard to find and sand tropez popped up in places like target.  so i just kind of switched.  next week i'll add a bit of color to the mix, but for now, i'm completely content with a nude nail (and a flannel shirt, because summer is coming and it won't be long before it gets put back in the closet, even though it is a summer weight flannel).

21 May 2012

summer dresses.

every year around this time i begin to mourn the loss of my jeans.  which is funny because i don't consider myself one of those people that loves their jeans, turns out, i do.  also it turns out that i really love them.  i want to always wear them.  always.  but at the same time i am not a fan of over heating and dc in the summer equals overheating when wearing jeans.  it is stupid hot here.  stupid hot.

which leads me to the summer dress search.  i've a few in my closet that have lasted me for forever but mostly i find that my tastes change on a yearly basis when it comes to dresses.  this is frustrating because i find myself wanting to spend a cool five thousand dollars on light and airy swathes of cloth when my budget is approximately thirty seven.

this year i want tunics and relatively shapeless.  also, apparently, navy.  done am i with those elastic cinched waists* and belts**.  though if eastern market this weekend was any indication of what is to come i'm in the minority because everyone was wearing a big ol' giant belt with their skimpy little summer dress.  oh dc, why, WHY?


* i am fully aware that the madewell dress has an elastic cinched waist, i'm giving myself one, old habits die hard
** i've never really liked the super wide belts with dresses even when they were super popular ... three years ago

17 May 2012

getting there / bedding.

right now our bedding is all stripey and yellow edged.  right now i find myself wanting something that is not stripey and yellow edged.  right now i want this bedding.

also right now blogger is driving me crazy and i'm having problems uploading images.

15 May 2012

two favorite things.

we've been in dc now for just about eleven months.  of those eleven months mas has been away for work for six of them - or something stupid like that.  poor kid.  sometimes we'll be walking down a street that is three blocks away from home and he'll be lost until he spies a street sign.  no seriously, that happened.

we make the most of the time that he is here (fighting over the best burger, attempting to redo some part of the house, etc) and i'm finding dc to be quite hospitable when navigating solo, or with frances.  it is so weird to think about where we were just one year ago.  things were different, our lives were different.

it's not been the easiest of times, mas and i have had some of the worst fights of our relationship since living here, but we've also had some of the best days.  and together we are figuring it all out ... and eating ourselves silly.  you guys the food in this city is dangerously good.  something we weren't exactly expecting.

but after nearly a year i find that my two most favorite things have stayed the same, which for a creature of habit, is maybe not so weird?  they are:

1.  walking around the capitol.  it happens daily and i'm still not sick of it.  i wonder when, if ever, the awe will be wiped off my face as i look up.


2.    good stuff eatery ... my FAVORITE burger place in the city.

this move has been good for so many reasons.  i'm so happy that after only a year i can already see that.

ps - i totally screwed up my nails this week, but here's hoping i figure it out by next!  it promises to be good ... i think.

14 May 2012

corn cookies.

ok, ok, ok, this is my second recipe (in as many weeks?) from milk bar.  but what can i say?  i see a kindred spirit in christina tosi.  i mean, it's like she's gotten inside my head and taken all of my guilty sweet pleasures and turned them into some kind of mind blowing reality.  and for one of the best cookie recipes ever here we go :


a few notes to start

1.  tosi highly recommends using plugrá butter and i gotta say i don't disagree.  i first made these with the butter i had in my fridge, and then went to the store, bought the plugrá and decided it would always and forever be the butter we used for our cookies.

2.  if you don't have corn flour (or can't find it) you can substitute it with 40 g (1/4 c) of regular flour and 8 g (4t) of freeze dried corn powder.  i've done it both ways, and the corn flour is most definitely the way to go.  try to find it, it is absolutely worth it.

3.  freeze dried corn.  ok so you go to whole foods and buy this.  i put the whole bag into my food processor and grind it all up at once, you won't use it all, but you'll be ahead of the game for the next time you make these cookies, and trust me there will be a next time.

4.  grams vs. cups  i wasn't exactly a kitchen scale kind of person until i started obsessing over the tosi recipes.  and now i'm pretty die hard.  i use my scale at least three times a day (coffee, baking, etc) so if you don't have one and can't justify the expense, send me an email, we can chat.  i've included the non-weight measurements as well, just in case.


225 g (2 sticks)  room-temperature butter
300 g (1 1/2 c) sugar
1 egg
225 g (1 1/3 c)  all-purpose flour
65 g (2/3 c) freeze-dried corn powder
45 g (1/4 c) corn flour
3 g (3/4 t) baking powder
1.5 g (1/4 t) baking soda
6 g (1 1/2 t) kosher salt


combine butter and sugar in a mixer with the paddle attached and cream them on medium-high for 2-3 minutes.  they should turn fluffy and pale yellow.  scrape down the sides of the bowl.

with the mixer at a lower speed, add the egg.  increase the speed to medium-high again and start a timer for 8 minutes.  mix and mix and mix.  the mixture will become pale, almost white, and the will almost double in volume.

after you timer goes off, turn the speed down to low and add the dry ingredients.  i'm pretty bad at adding while mixing so i tend not to do it.  i turn the mixer off, add a third, turn the mixer on for about 5 seconds and repeat until all ingredients are just combined.  you must be careful to not over mix.  it will really change this cookie.  i know it sounds silly, but it is perhaps the most important thing to remember ... do not over mix!

take a big bowl, something that will be able to hole 18 - 24 round balls, and put it on the counter.

start balling your dough.  i use a bigger spoon, like a soup spoon to aid the process, but technically you are supposed to us a 2 3/4 oz ice cream scoop.  the choice is yours.

after you make your first dough ball, place it in that big bowl.  then repeat until all of your dough is resting quietly in said bowl.  (i will sometimes just throw these into a freezer safe storage container, mostly because i like to always have corn cookies in the freezer, but also because if i cook off the entire batch i will eat the entire batch.  that is no good.  so i save about half of the dough balls, maybe more and eat them throughout the month)

place the bowl/storage container in the freezer for at least and hour.  i've never skipped this step, but apparently if you do you will get giant melt balls instead of cookies.  something about the amount of butter ... it needs to be cold going into the oven in order for the cookies to maintain their shape.

wait an hour .....  it's hard, i know.

pre-heat your oven to 350

place cookies on cookie sheet, just like any other, they will spread as they flatten, so don't have them touching.

cook for 18 minutes -OR- until their edges start to brown.  i cook mine for 15 minutes, because i like them a touch underdone and my oven runs a tad hot.  the brown edges are the key, you don't want any other brown other than the edges.

eat.  and eat again.  these cookies are so beyond delicious it's ridiculous.

recipe by christina tosi from the second issue of lucky peach, but it's also in the milk bar cookbook and i'm sure around the internets.

10 May 2012

getting there // master bath


calling the interior of these four walls a master bath is a bit of a stretch, but it is the only bath in the house with a shower, and it is upstairs ... so i guess that means it counts.

we didn't do much, it's such a tiny space you can't really, but we did paint, yay white! and added a few shelves (ikea ribba shelves UPSIDE DOWN, best idea ever), a snazzy shower curtain (west elm, though not on their site) and a not lame towel rack (so important).  also we replaced our hot water heater.  this was by far the biggest upgrade of the entire house - quality of life wise.  we had a total of three minutes of hot water when we first moved in.  then sometime in february we decided it was too cold to not have a hot shower.  new water heater = best investment EVER.  we can now sit in the shower forever.  i frequently come out pink skinned.  it is wonderful.


maybe one day kind of soon we'll replace the sink and the pathetic piece of carpentry it's sitting on.  maybe one day not so soon we'll add an actual master bath.  until then i'm basking in the white walled brightness and it's all pretty ok.

ps - sea salt soap, it's the best ever.  both mas and i are deeply, madly in love.  i'd highly recommend it.

08 May 2012

nailed it no. 5

so last week was busy, there was travelling and family time and eating more than i can even think about right now.  there was stress and shopping and a butterflies in my stomach for more than 16 hours (that is the worst, and also a little bit of the best).  there were life changing events and then there was fog and 45 degrees in chicago.

there was also the seeing of some pretty fluttery numbers by dvf that left me more than just a little bit in love with pastels.

all of that being said, my nails today are a little lackluster,  and a touch juvenile ... maybe because this is the way i would paint my nails in high school?  alternating nails and colors.  never forgetting the GLITTER.  seriously if i could pile up all of the glitter i used in high school, particularly glitter polish, jesus, i could refinish our floors.

next week i'm exploring the wonders of gold leaf, watch out, but for now, you get 1. essie's mint candy apple, 2. essie's tart deco and 3. butter's the full monty (a very good gold glitter might i add).  also, gold sparkly pinkies are awesome.

01 May 2012

nailed it no. 4

i have to say this one scared me a little bit.  it just seemed so intense, so complicated.  turns out, it is semi-complicated, but not exactly hard.  in fact it's pretty easy.

what you will need :

- dark base coat, i used a metallic blue (essie midnight cami) because it seemed appropriate
- glitter (opi for sephora spark-tacular)
- white (deborah lippmann amazing grace),
- a smattering of etc colors.  this time around i used essie's luxedo, mint candy apple and chinchilly.  but really it's totally up to you.  the only recommendation i have is a mix of dark and light.  this helps create the depth of your galaxy.
- makeup sponge

what you will do :

1. base coat, clear
2. two coats of your dark base coat
3. one coat of glitter.  i used the glitter very sparingly as i didn't want to be glitter CRAZY, it's a fine line, that glittery one.
4. i went ahead a did a layer of my quick dry clear top coat here, but that's up to you.
5. sponge on white
6. sponge on etc colors, alternating lights and darks, and don't stress.  it's a random process made better if you just let go of your more particular tendencies.
7. one more coat of glitter, here and there.  i only used the second glitter coat on a few nails due to that fine line mentioned above.
8. final quick dry top coat.
9. clean up cuticles if necessary.

a few notes :

- i used the same makeup sponge for all colors.  they blend on your nail anyhow so there is no point in creating more waste.

- the glitter i used was big chunky multi-colored glitter.  it also happens to by my most favorite glitter polish ever.  but you can use anything so long as it is the big/chunky variety.