Monday, August 29, 2011

On Kale

Even with school back in sess, I am still spending time in the kitchen.  That time is very important to me. So here is the story: I never used to eat kale.  Years have gone by without kale ever making it on the shopping list.  Now that is bad since I feel I have bought (or have grown) every veggie known to man at some point in my life. Kale is a  different type of green.  You cannot just throw it into a salad bowl, chop some other veggies to accompany it, and have an edible meal.  That just does not happen with kale.  However, kale is not hard.  It just needs a little extra care.  It needs a massage. Yep, kale needs to be touched

How I handle my kale: 
First, I rinse it.  Then, I de-spine it, meaning, I take out that thick backbone structure that it has holding up its leafy leaves.  Then I toss it into a bowl and ground some sea salt over it and add a splash of olive oil.  Then: massage.  I knead the kale.  This causes the dark, leafy green to shrink a little.  It takes in the flavors of the olive oil and becomes much more tender and palatable.  You can eat just like so, but I like to embellish it.  

My latest kale salad included the salt and the olive oil (and of course the massage), but then I tossed in some freshly steamed brown rice, a mix of quinoa, some shredded carrot, some pinto beans, a dash of lemon herb dressing, and a warmed corn tortilla.  I made enough for lunch tomorrow since kale holds up remarkably well, even when dressed (think opposite of soggy lettuce the morning after).  Go green. Go dark, leafy green!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On the Staple to My Wardrobe

I live for blazers.  They can make practically any outfit look professional.  When I head to class these days, I simply refine a summer outfit by draping a blazer on my shoulders. VoilĂ ! I am transformed from a wild child to a graduate student who is taken seriously.  Even when I pair a blazer with my tribal print shorts (like I did yesterday), I feel professional and well-dressed.  You should try it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

On What I Will Hold Onto

Tomorrow night at this time I will be in class. Yes, class. Summer is over. Ho Hum---but I promise you, I promise you, I will keep the fun of summer in my life despite the impending circumstances (aka the last year of earning my Masters degree).  I will have to give up somethings.  I will have to give up my fine routine of swilling wine every night, my tendency to not wear pants anywhere anymore, and my leisurely afternoons of a little yoga, a long walk, and whatever I feel like I should be doing (and I mean whatever in the loosest sense of the word possible).

However, be forewarned, I will not give up many, many things that bring me great pleasure.  
Among them: 
fashion magazines
massive amounts of running
mornings of coffee, blogging, emailing, and being lame (and maybe stalkerish) on Facebook
grocery shopping multiple times per week 

So if you have a bout of the Back to School Blues (as I have had all week) remember to chow down on some corn on the cob, hop on your bike, let down your hair, and do something dangerous and irrational.  If you need some help coming up with something call me (I will most likely suggest you go streaking).  Let's keep the sweet summer alive.
Yes, she is wearing a backpack. No, she is not on her way to school!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Why My Parents Don't Call

Every summer my parents leave CT and drive for 1,000 miles to our home away from home on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.  During this time, I NEVER hear from them. NEVER. I joke about this as if I was an abandoned child, but face it, I am 26 and pretty happy my parents are active, traveling together, and forgetting about their grown children for a few weeks out of the year.  They are fixing up our log cabin, sailing, eating lobster and ice cream, and exploring. That's pretty cool. Way to go Mom & Dad, but can you at least send your long lost daughter a postcard?

On Lemon Tahini

I bounce from one culinary obsession the next.  Right now my palate is loving lemon tahini dressing. I made this salad days ago and find myself still thinking about it. 
What it takes:
Mixed greens
Sliced radishes
Shredded summer squash (aka yellow squash)
Steamed and halved green beens
Chopped baby carrots 
& a smathering of Lemon Tahini Dressing
Try it. You'll like it. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On What I Flea'd.

Sundays are always well spent at the flea market (especially the one at the Rose Bowl, it is HUGE). When you are not looking for something, you find everything. I happened upon many, many treasures and have spent the whole night art and crafting because of it. 
My big purchase:
I know there is a lot going on in this picture, however, the focus is the yellow shelving. I bought this a few hours ago and already it has made itself useful! The basket hanging on the left is new too. Perfect for the farmer's market.
My token treasures:
I love vintage printed glasses. These Libby glasses have barn scenes on them and are so perfect for the red in my kitchen.

These blocks were a few bucks (like two smackers). I like the letter Y and I always call my house "the nest".
This framed embroidery is adorable and is now hanging next to my bed. 

I bought a misc bag of lace for about 5 dollah. Time for some art projects. I will be sure to post what I make. (That is if my ideas turn into a success!)
Happy Sunday all! Hope you had it good!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On Making the Switch

From this

To this
With school soon to be back in session, I will eventually need to trade my tribal prints for animal prints or so I was told by Vogue, Vanity, and a few of my favorite fashion blogs. My woven Peruvian shoulder bag will need to be traded in for the more academic looking leather messenger.  My beaded Apache sandals will be forgone for leopard print flats.  My turquoise jewelry will be replaced with pearls and professional looking studs. My printed shorts will be swapped for jeans and trouser pants.  My cropped tees for blazers and shirts that can be tucked in. Ray Ban Sunglasses for my specs so that I can see the professor. I will carry around my MacBook rather than my bikini and sunblock.  

However, all is not lost. I can return to my summery hippy clothes on the weekend.  Lucky for me fall never really sets in here in Los Angeles.  I get to cheat all year long. I can wear shorts and skirts in the winter.  Ripped jeans and bare feet whenever I feel like it. Seasonal dressing is more symbolic than it is for practical purposes.  I will take full advantage and keep my tribal garb handy. Oh, and my summery maxi dresses are here to stay. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Days that Were Long and Full

I rode the train. I wrote postcards. I saw an old friend. I didn't shower much. I didn't pack a hairbrush. I wore spandex and sports bras (or a bathing suit). I sweated. I hiked. I ran. I ate grilled food. I drank beers. I met people. I went on walks. I extended my stay. I saw a late night movie. I got dirty, really dirty. I jumped into a river. I went barefoot. I got rained on. I smiled. I laughed. It was summer. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On What I Souvenir

I might be one of the last people on this Earth that buys postcards, writes them, and mails them to her friends when traveling but that is besides the point. I have a new traveling habit.  I go to the local coffee shop which I find with a dose of Yelp help and other various up-to-date tourist tools and I purchase a mug as well as drink something caffeinated.  
My rationale:
1. I drink coffee and tea daily and I like mugs. 
2. This souvenir is more practical (and less tacky) than snow globes.  It doesn't snow in most of the destinations that I have visited this summer and yet snow globes are a major tourist take-away. How odd. 
3. I am not one for shot glasses (I don't drink liquor, only wine and beer) or weird spoons (I am not a spoon collector), or tee shirts (I already have too many). 
However, I can be a klutz in the kitch (I dropped a half cooked pancake on the floor the other day, yep a pancake, batter everywhere) so having a few extra mugs to throw around is the perfect reminder of where I have been.  
This summer's collection includes: 
Sorry this mug was upside down in the drying rack when I took the picture which is evidence that it is well used!

This souvenir was a gift from the MK when I was away for a wedding in Central California (see previous post). 

This mug is from Capital Hill in Seattle. Bought on a rainy day when I was jittery from my second morning latte. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On The Best Wedding Ever

This past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of accompanying my boyfriend to his college town for a wedding weekend. It could have been ok, amusing, nice, but instead it was wonderful. First of all, MK's college town is San Luis Obispo.  It was my first time there, but it satisfied all of the criteria that which constitutes a nice place (according to yours truly) --- an abundance of running trails, an array of restaurants, a comfortable social scene.  It was easy to walk around in the downtown, had ample access to the great outdoors and supplied really good coffee.  I'll consider the good wine an added bonus.

The location was just the beginning. The weather is another side story of what couldn't have been a better weekend away. The day of the wedding the clouds were thick. It was gray. Almost dismal. As the day worn on and our sleepiness wore off, the sun shot through the grey and by the time I arrived at the country club a warm, sunny afternoon glow had set in. 

MK was in the wedding. Normally, the girlfriend of a groomsman is like anxious or bored or socially awkward, but I was totally fine.  All of his friends took me under their wing and kept my company while my boyfriend looked hot in a suit during the ceremony.  

Now the ceremony. . . the venue was superb. Greeeeen lawn. The greenest of green. BRIGHT sky. Breathtaking views.  One of the most genuine and utterly-in-love couples that I have had the pleasure of meeting shared their  vows to one another in this picture perfect setting. Original, self-authored love vows. Like from the heart. Handwritten on loose leaf paper kind of situation. Touching. Sincere. True. 

The ceremony gave way to cocktail hour and dinner and dancing and everything, everything, everything went off without a hitch. The Best Man gave a speech worthy of some kind of award.  The centerpieces on the table would have made Martha Stewart (and people with better taste and manners than her) massively jealous.  From the place tags for the seats, to the pears which were perfectly placed, to the flowers in the boutonnieres, to the cardboard CD holder with the photo printed wedding favor, to the gift bag given to us as we arrived in our hotel room. . . everything, everything, everything was so thoughtful and genuine and original. Love is the only thing I know that would be the driving force behind such a finely crafted event.  

Weddings leave some to zit ridden faces, horrible stockpiles of fuschia bridemaids' dresses that cost $300.00, angry parents, uncomfortable guests, dry cake. . . the list goes on and on. . . but to me, this wedding left me feeling inspired. Inspired to be as loving and genuine as the bride and groom that were behind July 30th's union. 

Did I mention there was a Sunday brunch? and they served mimosas and croissants and I was in heaven and not even feeling hung over?

Wait, did I mention there was a photo booth? 

Monday, August 1, 2011

On The Others

Lovely readers, 

Don't you worry about me. I haven't been blog averse. I have been just the opposite. It may seem as if it has been a long time since my last correspondence, but lately my weekends have been spent away and my free time at home has been spent (among other things, of course) perusing other blogs. Yes, others. Among my favorites:  might just be my go to blog with my morning cup of coffee and my NYTimes. 

In light of this posting, just don't forget about me here at Shish Boom!