Sunday, July 31, 2011

Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake

Today we celebrated M's birthday with a family cookout. The menu included frosty margaritas, grilled corn on the cob, sausage and pepper sandwiches, farmer's market tomatoes, and of course a chocolate birthday cake! I used this recipe, and although it was time consuming, it was fun to make and a major hit with the whole fam! Plus, I can now cross another item off of my summer bucket list.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wonders of WaterFire

One of the best parts about summers in Providence (in my opinion) is WaterFire. It's a unique, free event that takes place in Waterplace park with lots of local food vendors and live entertainment. We walked around for a while tonight, and my favorite part by far was the park decorated with illuminated blue stars. They were so magical and looked like they were suspended in midair. I can't wait to go again next month!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Funk

I'm usually dying for the weekend by the time Wednesday rolls around, but today might be the first time I'd prefer to skip right to Saturday afternoon. The reason? I started off the morning with having blood work done and I have to go into work tomorrow morning. Yes, on a Saturday! Boo-hoo. At least it can only get better from here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yan-Yan = Yum-Yum

These little dippers are my new favorite after-school treat. They're like Dunk-a-Roos (whoa, blast from the past!) for adults, but with little trivia bits printed on the dipping sticks. I'm kind of obsessed with them. Why are treats from Singapore so much more exciting than domestic ones?!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birthday Love

{flashback photo from a frigid Redskins game in 2009}

Happy "Larry Bird" Birthday to my partner in crime, the photo-dodging, makes me laugh 'til I cry, silly-serious, supportive, loving, infamous M. I heart you-lots.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cuban Revolution

Tonight was double date night with M and his little brother! It was spent at one of our favorite Cuban restaurants and we were finally introduced to his new girlfriend. It was a great way to spend the eve of his birthday and I can't wait to continue the celebration tomorrow.

Weekend Snapshots: Newport

New favorite snack: Trader Joe's organic gummy bears.

Morning mani with Essie's Borrowed + Blue.

Breakfast lately: cinnamon raison Ezekiel toast + fresh blueberries.

Toll booth before crossing into Newport.

Gorgeous sunset over the bay.

Twinkling bridge lights at dusk.

Blood orange margarita at Perro Salado.

My favorite piece of jewelry--a diamond Greek key ring I bought myself eight years ago.

Flower arrangements outside at Asterisk.

Mango Pinkberry, courtesy of Tiane's groupie pass!

This weekend was spent meeting a friend's adorable new baby boy, trying a new Mexican restaurant in Newport, shopping the Nordstrom anniversary sale, and watching more of Gossip Girl (season two). M and I kicked off a week full of his birthday celebrations starting with dinner and drinks outside in Newport. I just have to get through another week and a half of work before a week of vacation, too!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today Was a Fairytale

No, actually it was just a Monday, and a very typical Monday at that. It's so tough to get back into the work routine after such a fun, relaxing weekend. Luckily, a little sparkle can help ease the transition. I added a glittery Deborah Lippmann topcoat to my Essie manicure from the weekend to jazz things up a bit.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pre-Fall Shopping

With temps steadily in the hundreds this past week, it's pretty tough to think about the boots, sweaters, and layering that come with fall fashion, but Nordstrom eases the transition with its annual Anniversary Sale. It's always one of my favorite parts of July because the fall merchandise goes on pre-sale and you can get a sense of what's going to be hot for the upcoming season. I managed to snatch up a pair of boots and a cognac-colored pair of wedges that I can start wearing now. I'm hoping to go back once more before the sale ends next Sunday! Are you looking forward to wearing any fashion trends come fall?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventures in Newport

Crossing the Newport bridge en route to a fun-filled date night!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Frozen Dinners

Temps over 100 degrees call for Trader's Joe's tart froyo + blueberries + a honey drizzle for every meal. I can't even think about turning my oven on in this sauna.

I still love summer, though.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cute 'n' Comfy

Espadrilles are one of my favorite summer perks. These sparkly wedges by Aldo are so comfortable I could literally wear them all day without uttering even the smallest complaint. I just wish they could be worn all year long. Sadly, it's not possible here in New England. Open toes and snow don't mix well, which means I have to enjoy wearing them while I can!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Get Your Grill On

Even weeknights in the summertime are fun!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It All Ends

I just got home from watching the final installment of the Harry Potter series. Although I'm sad that there won't be any more books or films (for now), I appreciate how well the final cut turned out. I think the ending was satisfying and definitely did the book justice. What do you think? If you've read the Harry Potter series, were you pleased with the ending?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Deep Freeze

My new Karen Walker sunnies arrived from Shopbop today. The best word I can think of to desribe them is 'architectural' because they're very angular and flat. I love the tortoiseshell frames, but I'm not sure if the harsh angles work with my face. I'm going to have to think about these for a couple of days. They look so good on other people (as evidenced by this and this)!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekend Snapshots: Local Lovin'

Newest obsession: taking Instagram photos of clouds. So pretty.

Sweet William flowers at the farmer's market.

Pretty purple eggplants.

A cheery bunch of sunflowers.

Garlic scapes.

Tomatoes, nectarines, and raspberries that I brought home.

My staple summer beverage: iced cafe au lait.

A dark cherry beer that I tried while out with friends on Friday night. It wasn't bad for a non-beer drinker like me.

Homemade grilled peach and prosciutto pizza with mozzarella and garlic scape pesto.

More clouds. I love the colors.

I can't help but love summer for the sole reason that the days are super long, allowing more time to enjoy them. This weekend was packed with trips to the farmer's market, froyo runs, finally fixing the grill, scouting out fall fashion trends at the Nordstrom pre-sale, a fun restaurant week date night, testing some new recipes, and plenty of downtime spent reading my new book. How was your weekend?


I'm excited to finally be stocked up on some new summer reading material. I can't wait to start The Hunger Games. I've heard great things about it, but was slightly surprised to find it in the young adult section of the book store. Guess we'll see how it goes!

What's on your summer reading list?

P.S. Does anyone else remember the Book-It reading incentive program from elementary school? I remember one of the prizes was being able to get a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut, which was so awesome!

The Mysterious Garlic Scape

Last weekend, I wandered around my local farmer's market, sipping an iced coffee and picking out loads of fresh produce, berries, and cheeses. One particular stand had what appeared to be thin, curlicued scallions, sold individually. When I asked about them, the nice lady behind the table informed me that they were garlic scapes. Hmm...I had never seen or heard of such a thing. As soon as I got home, I did a little research so that I would be more prepared next time. This article was the most helpful (and it didn't hurt that it comes from my old local paper!).

Fast forward to yesterday morning, when I marched back over to the same stand and purchased 8 garlic scapes to turn into garlic scape pesto. Not just any ol' pesto. The most flavorful and delicious garlic scape pesto ever. It's tangy and nutty and bursting with fresh onion-y garlic flavor and I can't wait to spread it on everything in sight. I used the simple recipe from the above article and you better believe I'll be buying more of those babies next weekend for round two. I want to make a big batch and freeze it because the season for scapes is so short (usually only through mid-July).

fresh garlic scapes straight from the farmer's market

taking a spin in the food processor with toasted walnuts and parmesan cheese

finished product slathered on hearty wheat toast with fresh cracked pepper

I strongly urge you to track down some garlic scapes and try this recipe. They're also supposed to be good sauteed in an omelette, stirred into scrambled eggs, or simply roasted in the oven. Let me know if you try them!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Bit of Bubbly

I just got back from a lovely date night downtown. M and I visited Tazza and sampled their restaurant week menu. Highlights for me included a seared tuna dish served on top of crispy rice and wilted greens and a homemade linguine with clams and pesto. Everything was delicious and we had fun catching up with one of our favorite bartenders in the city. I think sparkling cava is my new favorite summer drink: crisp and refreshing, but not overly sweet. I'm also enamored by their stemless champagne flutes.
What have you been up to this weekend?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

I almost died when I saw this mirror at Anthropologie this afternoon. It's so funky and unique that I wanted it to be mine right there on the spot. In fact, I can think of at least three great places to hang it in my apartment right now. The only thing that's stopping me? Oh, just the $400+ price tag. I know. Insane. I'm planning on spending the weekend dreaming up ways to recreate it with my own little DIY. I'm more than open to suggestions!

I'd also like to point out that this is something that would fit in perfectly at my parents' house, which makes me feel like waving a little white surrender flag around. When I was growing up, I always thought my parents had the weirdest taste in antiques and old junk. Now, I've really grown to appreciate their sense of style and some of it may have rubbed off on me just a little. Ok, mom, you win again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Al Fresco Dining in My Neighborhood

When it's 75 degrees with zero humidity in the middle of July, dining al fresco is pretty much the only way to go. That's exactly how I spent tonight out on Hope Street. It was the perfect temperature for sitting outside, enjoying a glass of wine and a Greek salad, and of course chatting up my company. I hope the weather holds like this through the weekend. I'm really enjoying summertime!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Taste of Summer

My favorite thing to buy at the farmer's market during the summer is a ripe, juicy tomato. They just seem to taste more tomato-y when they're sourced locally. I like to enjoy them simply sliced and served alone with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, but they're even better when sandwiched between lettuce and crisp bacon on a BLT.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Someone's Got a Little Problem

Don't judge. It's just that good. I might have to go again tomorrow, too!

Weekend Snapshots: Around Town

Lots of fresh flowers spotted at the farmer's market.

DIY supplies: colorful clay + embroidery thread.

Neon clay bangles worn to a backyard bbq.

Early stages of a teeny friendship bracelet.

Homemade zucchini bread.

Date night on Thayer Street. Go see this movie if you haven't already. Seriously, go. It made me miss Paris.

Long line during the grand opening weekend at Pinkberry in Garden City.

My watermelon + original swirl.

Sunset and illuminated clouds.

Another great summer weekend is in the books! I'm looking forward to lots more in the next few weeks (including a beach day!) and tons of visitors coming in August.

I love summer.