Saturday, February 26, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...

I am such a movie buff.  I love going to the movies.  I love renting movies.  I love talking about movies.  I think I secretly wish I was in the movies.  So, awards season is my favorite!  I had some girls over and made yummy snacks for the Golden Globes, which did not disappoint.  Now for the Academy Awards, the Superbowl of award season, we are going to a fabulous Oscar party.

We went last year, and it is so fun.  The Belcourt Theatre is just cool in general.  It has such a hip, retro vibe.  This party is the perfect combination of relaxed glam.  So aside from the party, let's focus on the bigger picture (pun intended).  Who do you think will win?  I tried to see most of the films nominated and definitely have some favorites.  Here are the nominations with those I think should win in bold and those that will win italicized.

Best Picture

Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem
Jeff Bridges
Jesse Eisenberg
Colin Firth
James Franco

Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening
Nicole Kidman
Jennifer Lawrence
Natalie Portman
Michelle Williams


Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale
John Hawkins
Jeremy Renner
Mark Ruffalo
Geoffrey Rush

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams
Helena Bonham Carter
Melissa Leo
Hailee Steinfeld
Jacki Weaver

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Oh to get married the same man of course!  I say this because I am in love with Anthropologie's new wedding line, BHLDN.  Don't get me wrong, there is a certain bride to which BHLDN appeals, but I just so love all the looks.  They debuted on Valentine's Day, and if you have not yet checked out the line, do so at  For you former brides out there, you know the price point is not bad at all, and check out the fabulous accessories and bridesmaid dresses.  Pass along to any bride-to-be you may know.

I simply loved my wedding dress.  It was classic and timeless.  But oh to do it again, I would definitely pick one of these. 

This is my fav!  I am such a sucker for sequins!

Their hair adornments are my favorite though.  So fun!

I love that they share such beautiful poetry as well.  I'll leave you with these sweet, simple words.

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

Emily Dickinson
"I taste a liquor never brewed"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trip to LA

What a fun weekend we spent in Louisiana catching up with family!  B and I had so much fun playing with our precious nephews, Ben and Asher.  Just wanted to share these pics...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Forget You Not Valentine

I hope you all enjoyed the day of love!  I know I did. :)  I love receiving valentines in the mail and even more so love sending them.  I am a little frustrated though with the postal system as I have heard not all of my valentines made it to their recipients in time.  Oh well...hopefully they will be there today. 

So this year I told B instead of buying each other gifts, let's make something homemade (I was secretly hoping he would write me a song.  How vain am I?).  I saw the perfect idea for him in a magazine and was so excited to execute. 

He loved it!  I filled it with trinkets from different trips and pictures from way back when as well as a gift card.  Sadly, my husband did not stick to our deal, so no new song.  Fortunately though he got me a little something I have been eyeing for some time now, so he did good. :)  After our little gift exchange it was time for a little bubbly!  We had the Sofia when we visited Coppola this summer. Yum!

Next up, the meal.  I was a little nervous trying two new recipes, but they were fabulous!  I should have known you can never go wrong with recipes from Claire Robinson.  Love her!  Check out the recipes below.

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 4 to 6 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Blend the tarragon with bread crumbs, salt and pepper, to taste, in a food processor, pulsing in the dill last. Remove and stir in just enough melted butter to create the consistency of wet sand.
Pat the salmon dry and season on all sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan and sear the salmon, flesh side down, over medium- high heat, about 2 minutes. Do not crowd pan. Flip and top each fillet with the herb/crumb mixture. Put the pan in the oven and bake until the fish flakes with a fork. About 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter and serve immediately.
Twice Baked Rosemary Blue Potato Mash
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups crumbled blue cheese (recommended: Shropshire blue)
Butter a 6 to 8 cup shallow baking dish.
In a small saucepan, heat the butter, garlic, rosemary and pepper, to taste, until the butter is melted. Allow it to sit over very low heat to infuse flavors and keep hot while cooking the potatoes.
In a large pot, add the potatoes, cover with water and add a heavy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Immediately drain the potatoes and then put them back into hot pot over very low heat, to dry thoroughly. Next, pass them through a food mill over a bowl. If you don't have a food mill, you can hand mash or use a ricer.
Preheat the oven broiler.
Remove the smashed garlic from warm butter and whisk in about 1 cup of the blue cheese. By hand, mix the cheese sauce into the potatoes and season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Spread into the prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is golden and melting, about 3 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and serve.
So all in all, a fabulous Valentine's Day.  As good as the food, libations and giftage were, the highlight for me was afterwards just sitting around singing and listening to the man I love play the guitar.  I don't know if our neighbors would agree though. :)  Our rendition of Cee Lo Green and Gwyenth's Forget You did get a little loud...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Target Trap

We've all said it before...'What is it about Target?  I can't get out of there for under $100!'  Well apparently B and I can barely get out of there for under $300. :(  On our way home from church we decided to pop into Target for three things: dog food, mascara and coffee.  Sadly, we fell into the Target trap.  I blame this gorgeous weather.  Upon entering the trap we ventured over to the sunglasses section where B found a hip pair of aviators he felt he needed since his other ones were destroyed at a Vandy tailgate.  I of course in the meantime am over looking at all the new spring shoes.  Found two different pairs I felt I could not live without and tossed them in the cart.  'Ok, let's stay focused,' B says, as we make our way through the trap.  Don't worry the next section we pass is Games and Electronics.  B remembers how much he has been dying for the new Bond game for Wii, and we turn in just to simply check it out.  Next thing we know, it's in the cart (we justified that purchase with his Christmas money he has never spent). Well then I remember tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I have been busy planning our meal but forgot about treats to take to work.  Into the cart goes the ingredients for sugar cookies.  Well of course as I'm thinking about baking and cooking I remember how much I have been wanting a grill pan for some new recipes I've found.  Pick it up, says B! :)  Well now we're starting to work up an appetite, so into the cart goes a frozen pizza for lunch, some lean cuisines and granola bars that were on sale (so of course we stocked up with five boxes...we are so pathetic!).  So at this point our three items we actually came in for are not even in the cart.  We quickly grab those with blinders on in hopes to get out as fast as we can, but alas as I'm getting the mascara, B decides he really should whiten his teeth. ;)  So, now we have the whole Crest whitestrips kit complete with fluoride enhanced whitening toothpaste in our cart.  The grand total...$279.02.  Wow, we caved and fell once again into the Target trap!  Better luck next time...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Yes, I am well aware that it is February 10th and not January 1st (i.e. resolutions are probably not the most timely topic).  I am sure most people resolved to go to the gym more and that lasted all of one visit to the Y (sadly I am referring to myself), but this year I tried to think of some more realistic, tangible and productive resolutions.  For example, I resolved to read more (I just finished The Help), journal more (I'm averaging two to three entries a week) and cook more.  Well, in my case, cook.  Now don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of baking and decorating sweet treats, but when it comes to cooking, not so much.  Maybe I'm too busy or maybe I'm just lazy.  For whatever reason though, I was starting to recognize my inability.  B and I would be invited over to friends' homes, and they would put out this elaborate, gourmet spread.  Then when the time came to return the favor, said friends were invited over to our place for frozen lasagna (yes, I actually did make that once for our small group) or B's crock pot chili, which is a big fan favorite, but notice who is the chef.  So, 2011...The year I conquer my fear of cooking!  Now, I'm not one to brag, but in this case, here goes...I'm not too bad.  I'm actually pretty good!  And the funny thing is, I'm really loving it!  I get excited to find new recipes, go grocery shopping, even make meat!  I must give credit where credit is due, and I owe this new love of cooking to my parents who gave the best Christmas gift...The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook.  This cookbook is fabulous!  It only uses ingredients found at TJ's.  Check out our new top faves:

Shrimp on Polenta Pillows with Spinach Salad

Spicy Shrimp and Potatoes with Roasted Green Beans

Maple Dijon Chicken and Israeli Couscous with Pom Seeds and Pistachios