improvised artichoke dip

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I hate it when I really crave something particular, and come to find out that I don't have the ingredients to make it. A couple years ago, I had a serious craving for spinach artichoke dip. But never having made spinach artichoke dip before, not to add the fact that I had no spinach... kind of a problem. So I examined the contents of my pantry and ended up with this easy, quick, delicious dip. It's been a staple ever since.

Hot + Cheesy Artichoke Dip

Drain and chop a can of artichoke hearts (not the marinated ones, just plain).
Mix with 1 small can diced green chiles [for a little kick], 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup of parmesan, and season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper.
Bake in a small crock or an oven safe bowl at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until it is nice and bubbly.
Serve with some pita chips or a chunk of crusty sourdough.

For being improvised, this dip is one you will be making again and again.

drinking pink

Monday, June 10, 2013

It sure has been hot around these parts. This past weekend got up to 109 degrees [yowza!] and you better believe that I spent my time in the pool and under the a/c.

[Sipping rosé at a recent wine dinner]

There is nothing I enjoy drinking more than a chilled glass of rosé when it's blistering hot. But sadly, rosé has kind of a bad rap. It looks like a girly drink with it's beautiful salmon hue... but don't be fooled by this book's cover- it is dry and despite being made from primarily red grapes, has a much lighter and crisper note. It is refreshing like a white wine with some characteristics of a red as well.

[One of my favorites from L'Aventure in Paso Robles.]

It's the perfect warm weather wine: pairs nicely with summer's greatest food fare, it's fruit-forward with notes of strawberry and watermelon, and it's often a great price [ranging from around $10 to $25].

Cheers to summertime, friends.

some tv talk

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tonight, I say goodbye to my beloved TV show. Those who know me, know that my all-time favorite show is... The Office.

Yes, I have been involved in this TV relationship since it first aired in 2005 and continue to tune in each and every Thursday evening. Upon meeting my husband, I was excited to find out he too loved this quirky "mockumentary". And so, the last 4 years we have watched together, week in and week out. I can't help but talk [to anyone and everyone!] about my feelings on where it is at. It's as if these characters have become my family after eight years!

Jim + Pam [or Jam as I like to refer to them] are, without a doubt, my favorite TV couple.

Their story is so relatable and imperfect that I sometimes forget that it isn't real. The wedding episode is one I frequently go back and watch, and embarrassingly cry during- every. single. time.

The Office is funny, sarcastic, and heartfelt... and I will miss it terribly. But, I am excited to see how these brilliant writers tie it all up this evening.

Jam will surely live on in syndication.

PS- if you haven't already, watch this video of my love, I mean John Krasinski, lip-syncing on Jimmy Fallon. swoooon.

PPS- 59 reasons we're going to miss The Office... awesome.

make a splash

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Swim season is almost upon us and I am in need of a new suit. I am a modest gal but do appreciate that they are making adorable one piece swimwear these days! I remember when the only one pieces were the Baywatch speedos... and as retro as those may be, not very flattering unless you are Pamela Anderson. Below are a few of my current loves...

1- The LBD of swimsuits, this classic Anthropologie Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Maillot is ridiculously flattering. Retro-inspired but still feels modern and sexy with the front cut out. This is a suit that will surely turn heads.

2- J Crew has been hitting the mark for a few years now and their swimwear is proof. The entire line is great- clean lines and sleek- but there is something about the simple Stripe Bandeau Tank that I enjoy. Would look great with an orangey-red lipstick! [This one is my go to.]

3- This floral beauty is the Ted Baker London 'Marra' One Piece Swimsuit via Nordstrom. I just love it. The bright print on the white suit is super summery and the bandeau neck line is oh so sweet. Makes me want to drink something with a little umbrella on a sandy beach somewhere. 

4- Victoria's Secret is known to make flattering swimwear and the Beach Sexy Ruffle One Piece is no exception. Flirty and fresh, this suit will be on trend for many seasons.

5- Total vintage perfection. The Esther Williams Hibiscus One Piece via ModCloth. Flattering on every body type with it's low cut legs, halter top and ruching across the front. This one screams Key West to me.

Any of these would be perfect this summer [but I am leaning toward 2 or 3]!

famous floor plans

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

HAD to share this with you. Spanish artist, Inake Aliste Lizarralde, rocks my socks. 90's TV fans like myself, take a good look at these apartment layouts... look familiar?? 
How bout this one?
Give up??

1st set= Monica and Rachel + Joey and Chandler's NYC apartments.
2nd= Ms. Carrie Bradshaw's home sweet home.
3rd= Jerry Seinfeld's place.

Love the detail and accuracy! So fun.

couch hunting

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our current couches are extremely comfortable and also a little sentimental, since I have had them since my first apartment and have moved them around the city with me. However, the plush [read: over-stuffed] chocolate brown could use an update. I have been searching for something a little more sleek and modern to match our mid-century house but it also must be cozy and inviting. These are a few of my current contenders...

This retro beauty is an amazing shade of turquoise and I love the detail of the wooden legs. It looks like it just stepped out of Don Draper's apartment and would certainly require a well stocked bar nearby! It's extra long to stretch out on and could really brighten up our living room!

With clean lines and a classic tweed fabric, I love the contemporary look of this sofa. The almost denim color would work well with so many different patterns and accessories and I feel that this is a couch that would stand the test of time. The Crate & Barrel Davis sofa is beautifully simple. 

One King's Lane is a new obsession of mine. They are kind of like an online sample sale that is open to the public. With deeply discounted [up to 70% off!] luxury items, they list their unique products for 72 hours, although they often sell out before that period ends! I adore the Nathan Turner Whitby Sofa so much, with it's convenient castor legs and lovely velvety fabric, the question is whether it will be available when we are ready to buy! [Ps- they sell more than just furniture... you must check them out!]

West Elm is an interior design haven. And I adore their Crosby sofa! Some retro flair with the tufted cushions, slim arms, and peg legs but modern with very deep seats and a chunky burlap-colored fabric. I feel that this would be a perfect compromise for my love of vintage and my husband's favor of modern and clean design!

being inspired online

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sorry for the recent absence but sometimes I go through phases where I really just feel uninspired. Cooking dinner, getting dressed, blogging... just feels forced. I'm sure this happens to us all at certain times but when I really need a boost of inspiration, I tend to look three places:

Obviously Pinterest is out of control. Search: anything! and you are lost for hours. My favorite part of Pinterest is following the people who inspire me the most. I feel like I can get in to their heads a little bit and that definitely makes me feel inspired. Just a few of my favorite pinners include: Naomi Davis, Emily Henderson, Victoria Smith, and Kate Arends.

inspiring me to: eat clean, use more whole grains, step outside my cooking comfort zone

inspiring me to: plan more gatherings, be more organized in the kitchen, use what's already in my pantry

inspiring me to: focus on pretty details, live colorfully, eat more sweets :)

inspiring me to: make family dinner a priority, plan and shop smarter

I began reading blogs in 2005. I think this may have been right before everyone began blogging because I remember it being pretty new to me. The first blog I ever read was 101 Cookbooks. Heidi was making delicious whole foods and I followed along earnestly! I loved the idea of having a little corner of the internet to share your favorite things, may they be recipes, clothing, crafts, or design with whoever chose to read along. Well to this day I continue to be inspired by bloggers. I have my faves, who I feel have become like close friends just from letting me in to a piece of their life, but I thoroughly enjoy discovering new bloggers as well! The above blogs are a few that I look to for inspiration and that never seem to disappoint. [101 Cookbooks, The Kitchn, Oh Joy, Dinner: A Love Story)

I've said it before, however, She Reads Truth is a total inspiration. Just in general. It makes feel grateful and loved. It's good for the mind and soul. And when I can't make one more interesting meal, be bothered to change out of my sweat pants, or have any sort of energy to do much of anything... it makes me feel inspired.

What inspires you?

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