Monday, February 27

Dinner at Tria

On Sunday, three fantastic friends came to visit and we all enjoyed a particularly tasty meal at Philadelphia's Tria: a wine, cheese, and beer cafe. Sunday is a great day to go because they have their "Sunday School" specials - showcasing one wine, one cheese, and one beer all at half price. We each started the meal off with a drink (wine for the ladies, beer for Ryan) and then went through the menu from there. Here's a look at what we ate (photos courtesy of my friend Amy, since I still feel awkward snapping photos in restaurants):


We all shared the appetizers and cheeses, then each ordered salads or sandwiches to finish off the meal, and left the restaurant feeling stuffed, in a very satisfying way. (Want specifics? I ordered the Chateau Musar white wine, the lamb sausage, the Hooligan cheese, St. Feuillien Triple Belgian beer, and the beet & goat cheese salad.) I definitely recommend stopping by Tria if you're ever in the Philly area - the atmosphere was comfortable and the staff was quirky and super knowledgeable. We also had the pleasure of sitting at the bar where we could watch them put the food together right in front of us.

That's what's good in the neighborhood!

Friday, February 24

Mid-Week Weekend

This week, Thursday was our weekend - aka, our day off together. Since we usually only get one day off together per week (if we're lucky), we try to make the most of it. Yesterday was one of those days.

I started the day off the best way that I know how - by making cookies! Shawn sometimes brings me home some leftover peanut butter chips and mini m&ms from work, so I tossed those into the batter this time, along with some oats. Lately, I've been straying from my tried-and-true chocolate chip cookie recipe and switching up various elements of it to see how it changes the outcome. This time I used a mix of bread flour and all-purpose flour, since I've heard that makes for chewier cookies. I also like to change the ratio of brown sugar to white sugar, also for chewier cookies. The addition of oats tends to make the cookies not spread as much, so that's why these look so tiny!


After the cookies came out of the oven, we walked down to our local movie theatre (it's less than half a mile up the road - how awesome is that?!) and saw our first movie in over three years: The Secret World of Arrietty. I'm glad it was just as beautiful as expected because it would have been a huge disappointment to break our three year no-theatre streak for a bad movie. We're both big fans of Miyazaki's animated films and this one definitely didn't disappoint.

Aside from the movie though, the highlight of yesterday was that I made my very first hard crusted bread loaf! A few weeks ago my mother found me this beautiful Le Creuset dutch oven that was just dying to have a loaf of bread baked in it. Well, Mom, I finally used it!



One of my favorite bakers/bloggers, Joy The Baker, posted a recipe for Spicy Garlic Bread and it looked and sounded far too good, so of course I just had to make it. Here's (some of) what goes into a spicy garlic loaf:


My loaf didn't turn out quite as pretty as hers, but dammit, it was just as tasty as I was hoping it would be! Also, I don't think it looks too bad for a first attempt! I just have to work on my smoothing & kneading skills... also, the loaf explodes in the oven! Look at how much bigger it is coming out than it was going in! (I'm sorry if that just sounds like a terrible dirty joke - keep it clean, folks!)


We enjoyed it with a chicken caesar salad for dinner (homemade bread and homemade dressing, that's just how we roll). There's nothing better than a simple meal with lots of garlic and fresh herbs and greens. At this rate, we could open up our own restaurant soon! ;)



...now for something completely different, here's a peek at what we had for dinner Wednesday night:


Tasty tasty burgers. But not just any burgers; these had cheese and onions sprinkled throughout. We're fancy like that; you should know this by now! Also, I seriously can't wait until we have a grill. Burgers on the stovetop just don't compare.

Have an amazing weekend!



PS. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who left me feedback on the sandals post. It was much appreciated. The general consensus were the Merrell Hennas, which as much as I love, I'm going to hold off on buying for now. I just can't fathom spending that much on sandals, no matter how amazing they are. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they go on sale some time over the next few months. In the mean time, my mom actually found the Simple sandals in purple on another website. I think those can hold me over until the Merrells go on sale :)

Wednesday, February 22

Help! I Can't Decide!

With warmer weather just around the corner, and the ever-expanding amount of skirts in my closet, I'm on the market for some new sandals. I love the comfort of my Birkenstocks but I'd like to find a just-as-comfy pair of sandals that are slightly less... hippie-esque. I've been doing a little online shopping but I'm a terrible decision maker and just can't choose between these:



1. Merrell Henna
2. Merrell Barefoot Spirit Wrap
3. Big Buddha Kind
4. Simple Teetoe

I really like the bold print on the Big Buddha sandals but I feel as though it might be a bit much for every-day wear. Plus, I'm not familiar with the brand so I don't know how comfortable/supportive they are.

Simple, on the other hand, is my favorite brand for sneakers so I can only imagine the sandals are just as comfortable; I'm just not sold on the particular style (they only have white left). Scratch that. Apparently they've sold out since I wrote this post on Saturday....

My favorites from the bunch are the Merrell sandals. My only hesitations are that - 1. I can't decide between the two, and 2. they're much more expensive. I do realize that although it's a lot of money up front, Merrell shoes are ultimately worth it, and I'd be wearing them for years to come. I also feel like I'd be able to wear either pair pretty much constantly, without worrying about discomfort.


And yes, upon further reflection I do realize these all look fairly hippie-esque too. What can I say? I'm bohemian at heart. Or at least on my feet...
Which ones do you like? Would you drop some money on Merrell sandals?

Monday, February 20

Thrifted Finds

A few months ago I found out about a Salvation Army thrift store nearby. I was told that they had a rather large selection of quality things at affordable prices, including clothes, furniture, and assorted home goods.

The first time I went they actually had an organ(!) which I took a picture of for Shawn. If we had the space for it in our apartment I would not have hesitated to buy it. I didn't end up getting the organ, but I did find this wool Anthropologie sweater for a mere five dollars!

Since then, I've been making a point to go there every few weeks and scope out the newest selections... I've been getting much better at finding brand-name items.



On my latest trip I made quite a few finds: an Alfani silk skirt, a patterned Banana Republic pencil skirt, a colorful striped Lands End button-up shirt, a Kenneth Cole blazer for nights out, and a cotton military-inspired coat for when the weather warms up.



The Kenneth Cole blazer was a steal! As in, I paid for it, but I feel like someone other than me definitely lost money on that deal. It appears to never have been worn, since the original tags are still on there. Lets see... I saved $103.00 on that blazer! My mother would be proud; she's the best bargain shopper I know. Thus, I learned from the best. The blazer is actually a touch too large for me, but at that price, I don't mind getting it tailored some time down the line.



And don't worry, I always browse the men's aisles too. Where do you think Shawn gets all his old man shirts from? They have so many colorful summer plaids, but I stick to blues and greens for him. I never thought I'd be the sort of woman who dresses her man, but shhhh... I think he appreciates it ;)

Happy thrifting!

Sunday, February 19

Some Squirrels For Your Sunday



Actually, this Sunday it's just one squirrel and some spring flowers.
Spotted on our Saturday afternoon walk.


Saturday, February 18

Thai Curry and Some Arrangements



Well, I think it's pretty clear what I mean by thai curry... the picture above totally does it justice.

Shawn hadn't made a curry in a really long time so I snuck in a request for some on Thursday while we were doing our grocery shopping. He hit the nail on the head this time around; seriously, this was the best homemade thai chicken curry yet! Usually we forget an ingredient or two, like peanuts or potatoes... but this one had everything, and it was absolutely delicious with just the right amount of heat. I wish we could send you all some through the internet... too bad all you get is a picture!



After our curry feast and an episode of How I Met Your Mother (my new favorite show!), Shawn felt motivated to move some things around in the bedroom. Neither one of us has been sleeping well as of late, so we thought a small change might be nice. We basically swapped the bed and the tv/instrument walls. It makes the whole room flow just a little bit better.

The major difference is that we swapped our sides of the bed too. Shawn now sleeps on the door side and I'm sleeping on the window side, which is perfect for me because I'm like a freakin' furnace at night so now I can be on the cooler side of the room. Small changes, big difference.




More curry for you!


Friday, February 17

Fun Finds Friday #4



DIY tea bags, made extra adorable. I'd love to try my hand at this some time.
via





Bill Murray on a five dollar bill. My boss showed this to me the other day; the funny thing is that it really does look like Bill Murray, but it also closely resembles one of my co-workers.
via





My sister posted this on my Facebook wall... with our love for squirrels, it's just too good not to share. Except, now Shawn wants a stuffed squirrel in squirrel armor... where would we even put that?!
via





I came across this vintage name bracelet that says Toni on it, but to me it really looks like it says Fart... I kinda want to buy it. (Edit: PS... I totally just bought it!)
via





Despite the accumulating amount of recipes I keep wanting to try that require one, I still haven't purchased a food processor. Joy The Baker comes to the rescue again with a recipe that tempts me with the flavors of Nutella, but without the need of a food processor. I must try this!
via





One of my customers actually told me about this staircase that some parents made entirely out of legos for their child's room. I grew up playing with legos, but never to this extent. It's definitely worth a look!
via



Happy Friday!


Wednesday, February 15

A Few Days of Instagram



(a very zen gnome at Home Goods / unicorn chocolates / brownies with an oreo surprise / macaroni and cheese with broccoli and bread crumbs / valentines day dinner: chicken wings and cheesesteak / valentines day dessert: chocolate covered pretzels - it's all I asked for and Shawn happily delivered!)

We keep things simple over here.

Tuesday, February 14

Oh, hey...



We don't 'celebrate', considering it's pretty much a Hallmark holiday and neither one of us needs an excuse to say "I love you" or to buy each other chocolate... but I figured I'd say it anyway, since, you know, we love YOU guys! ....and we definitely don't say that often enough.


Sunday, February 12

Why I should never drive to work on Sundays


So when this happens...




...the best way to lift your spirits is to make funny faces at yourself in your dark living room, right?




I'd make funny faces at Shawn, but he's at work right now so that's proving to be a little more difficult.

Man, I really despise parking lots and Sunday drivers.
Now I have to deal with this shit.
After an awesome three-day weekend, too.
Ughhh.

Friday, February 10

A Few Days of Instagram



(my home try-on frames from Warby Parker arrived on Thursday / perfecting the sausage, egg, & cheese / Shawn enjoys a good Boston Creme / dog treats under way / more donuts from the local Amish market / I can make a killer grilled cheese)


I have three days off in a row for the first time in... well, a very long time. I managed to gain an extra day this week because a coworker owed me a favor (ie. a shift in exchange for another). Lucky for me, Shawn has two of those three days off as well!

We spent Thursday running errands, like picking up groceries (donuts included), going to the post office, and doing the laundry, because our life is just glamorous like that. Friday I'll be taking a solo trip out to New Jersey to visit my family and some friends while Shawn is hard at work. And we've made no definite plans for Saturday, but I'm trying to convince Shawn to take a trip to the local Salvation Army with me... they have lots of old man shirts there that he'll like.

Oh, and yes, the blog has had a new look as of Thursday afternoon as well. It's probably the quickest layout I've put together so far, and I'm very pleased with the outcome. You know me though... I'll probably change it again in a few months.

Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, February 6

Hot Chocolate Love



Putting some love into a hot chocolate like it's my job....
...oh wait, it totally is my job!


The other day, I made a lovely latte for a lovely woman. It was my best heart-art yet! (But I didn't get a picture because it wouldn't have been right to make her wait for her latte...) When she saw it, her eyes grew wide and she exclaimed "Oh, how beautiful! Did you know that I'm a heart specialist?" I did not know that; but it was seemingly appropriate that she would get my best heart yet :)

Sunday, February 5

Superbowl Sunday


(image credit)

Yep, we're doing the American thing and watching the Superbowl today!

Shawn's the real football fan, but oddly enough, this year I've grown to like it too...

(We're rooting for the Giants, of course!)


Saturday, February 4

Having Fun With Photos

I recently came across PuglyPixel.com and downloaded a bunch of her free photoshop art. She has lots of fun things to jazz up photographs and blog layouts. So on my sick day I spent a little time playing around with things... here's a look at what we've been eating lately:




pasta carbonara // homemade pizza with salad





homemade chicken parmesan sandwiches // grilled turkey & cheese sandwich with chips


Yummy!


Friday, February 3

Sick Day



Trying to fight a cold that I felt coming on earlier in the week but didn't do anything about....
I spent my only day off this week drinking orange juice, chamomile tea, CVS' equivalent of dayquil, and watching multiple episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, The League, and United States of Tara.

Aside from the cold, it wasn't a bad day off at all.


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