What's Cooking Wednesday: Ina Garten's Easy Tzatziki

In January, I stated that this year, I wanted to be the year that I cooked more and finally settled on an exercise program.  Well, it's almost August, and both goals are still very much a work in progress.  However, I'm determined that there are still a few months to salvage all this, and I thought I'd start a new little series on Wednesday about things that I've cooked.  Some may be successes and others failures, but I think this little series might help me put in some more effort. 

Let's start with what I made on Sunday night, Ina Garten's Tzatziki. This recipe had been tempting me when I received one of Ina's cookbooks, but I hadn't made it until now, because I knew it was something that the husband wouldn't like.  However, knowing that the husband would be on a business trip the first part of this week, I decided to go ahead and give this recipe a try.  I'm so glad I did because it's really delicious and pretty easy even for a novice cook like me!   Now, I realize that this doesn't constitute a meal, but it is a really tasty appetizer, and the next time I have to bring something or host a meal, I'm definitely going to make this. It packs a lot of flavor and you can make it ahead of time, which is always really important to me!

Sprucing up the Closet

My wedding shoes on display. I love how the wrapping paper matched the box.
If I'm being completely honest with myself, our bedroom closet is never going to look but so good.  We have fluorescent lighting, and the built in shelves desperately need painting.  We also just have to store a lot of stuff in that space. We're storing a dresser in there which is useful, but it means I can't hang up my dresses (which drives me crazy).  Last weekend I tried to make the closet a bit better, but I didn't get anywhere.  This weekend, while at Home Goods, I found some gold and pink wrapping paper.  I have to admit that I might have gone a little overboard, but I ended up lining the back of my side of the closet and two of the shelves.  It's super girly and gaudy, so I'm not sure if I'll keep it up for very long, but it only cost $2.99.  At the very least, it kept me entertained while the husband was stuck working all day Saturday.
Here's a little tray I also picked up at Home Goods.  I've been wanting something like that for awhile now.

The two shelves all lined.  It is a lot of pink, but I like it for now. I was just using the same boxes and bins I had previously.
A shot of the back of the closet.  I love this little votive I picked up from C. Wonder for a few dollars.
I know it's definitely over the top, but I think it will be fun for a few weeks (if the husband can tolerate it that long).  He's definitely a saint!

Summer Baseball

By now, I think it's pretty apparent that one thing that the husband and I love about living in the D.C. area are the Nationals games.  It really is such a fun activity for us and we've gone quite a bit since we've moved up here.  However, our tickets are always in the "nose bleed" section and never really break the bank.  Well, the husband called me in the middle of the day last week and wanted to know if I'd like to go to a baseball game as part of one of his firm's activities.  I couldn't say yes fast enough.  Once we got to our seats, I was excited because we were really close to the field.  This was our view. It certainly looks a lot different!
Apparently, our seats were part of the "President's Club", which meant a very nice complimentary buffet, drinks, and an amazing dessert selection which included mini key lime pies and ice cream.   The desserts were very impressive, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't take a picture of the display.  I was seriously like a kid in a candy store.  The Nats ended up losing, but it was still a great experience (probably because of my sugar high...or the wine).  Certainly different from our usual nights at the game! Afterwards, we could see and hear through glass the post-game interview with the manager.

 Unfortunately, the mood wasn't very jovial because of the loss, but it was still quite the night for me!

Wednesday's Wants: White

Currently, I'm craving white.  It is calming, clean and seems refreshing in this summer heat.  After many discussions with the husband, I was finally allowed to have white towels last April (hurray!).  We have lots of beige ones and green ones, but I could always go with another set of towels.  I love the texture on these from Jonathan Adler's line at JCP. 
I also think the jars on our counter could use an upgrade.  I think these from Target would do quite nicely.
And finally, I adore these vases from C.Wonder.  They've been out for a long time, and I wish they'd go on sale!
I'm also thinking about finally organizing all of our spices by getting a spice rack, but I think that would mean I'd have to start cooking more.  What are you wishing for lately?

Signing up for a 10k

I'm definitely the person that everyone is lapping in this quote, but last week the husband, my sister, and I signed up for a 10k.  Now, I know that for a normal person, this is not something that requires training, but for me, I needed to start getting ready.  I've been trying this whole year to get better at exercising regularly, but it still hasn't been sticking as well as I'd like.  However, now that we've signed up for a 10k, I feel that I have a sense of purpose and I want to go run.  I push myself much harder than I've ever done previously.  Who knew that just signing up for a race could be so motivating? Of course, I still have a long way to go, but I'm amazed at how much my attitude has changed. 

Weekend Recap: Belle and Sebastian Concert

This week is certainly flying by!  The husband and I went to go see Belle and Sebastian on Friday night after work, and it was fun to go out to a concert.  The husband is a bigger fan than I am, but I still had a great time.  We've had a lot of rain lately, and I was relieved to find out a few hours before the concert that our tickets were standing near the stage under a roof. 
Here's me at the beginning of the concert, super relieved that I wouldn't be spending the evening in the pouring rain.
On Saturday, I spent the morning frantically cleaning before the husband's dad and godfather came over to visit.  (Anybody else ever go into a cleaning frenzy before the in-laws arrive?)  We went to the Building Museum, and had lunch at Taylor Gourmet, which I thought was pretty good. To be honest, I was just glad that I didn't have to cook! We spent the rest of the day visiting and just relaxing.  All in all, I think it was a great visit, even though we didn't do anything spectacular.  I hope your week is going well!

Happy Friday!

Via
Phew!  We've almost made it through this week!  Did it seem long to anyone else?  The husband and I are looking forward to going to a concert this evening, and then we will be hosting his dad for the rest of the weekend.  We're looking forward to going to Washington DC's Building Museum and maybe the pirate exhibit at the National Geographic Museum, and I'm hoping we can check out a few restaurants around the area.  I always get excited when people come to visit, because it's an excuse to try new restaurants. What are you up to this weekend?

Monograms!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to visit C. Wonder in NYC.  It's a bit ironic, because they also have a store in Tysons, which isn't that far from me.  I love C. Wonder's bright colors and monograms.  I didn't buy anything, but of course, I was tempted! I loved these napkins in our wedding colors.  I think I might have to buy those anyways, even though I already have a ridiculous amount of paper plates and napkins already. 
I also love these monogrammed cutting boards.  They are smaller in real life, which I think is actually nicer.  I think they would be a great hostess gift, or maybe I'll just have to pick up one for myself.
What's been catching your eye?  As always, I'm obsessed with monograms.  Have you ever checked out For Chic Sake's website?  It is a printable monogram heaven!

NYC Recap

As I mentioned, the husband and I spent part of last weekend in NYC, and it was fun to see another city.  We stayed at The London Hotel for one night, and it was so nice.  I know this sounds crazy, but I loved the bathroom tile and all the marble.  It was really luxurious, especially compared to our little apartment! 
The husband's work had an event at the MoMa, so we were able to walk through part of the museum and see some of the paintings.  Even though neither of us really know very much about art, it's still really fascinating.  They opened up the Sculpture Garden for us too, and it was nice to walk around that area too.

While the husband was at work on Friday, I spent my time on my own exploring SoHo.  Even though there are plenty of stores in DC, it's rare to have a few hours with nothing else to do besides shop. I couldn't believe how busy Broadway was in the middle of a work day.  That evening, the husband and I went to a little Italian place for dinner, which was quaint.
We also trekked down to Times Square.  It was quite happening!
I find the people dressed up in costumes really fascinating.
On Saturday, we decided to check out Central Park.  Neither of us had ever been, but it's such a powerful icon, that it was funny to "recognize" different parts of the park from various movies, ads, and pictures.


After walking around for a few hours, we hopped on the train back to DC.  We enjoyed our time in NYC, but it was definitely good to go home too! What do you love best about NYC? It's definitely makes DC look like a sleepy little town in comparison.

Getting Ready for the Fourth!

So, the night before I left for Florida, I managed to spray paint this little table.  I'd been talking to the husband about doing it for literally months (umm, maybe even a year), but it took me that long to work up the courage to get it painted. I think I was only brave enough to do it because he was away on a business trip and there was no one to talk me out of it.  I'd never spray painted anything before, and I was terrified of how it would turn out, but I think the table is much improved.  It was a five dollar yard sale hand-me-down from the husband's dad, and was in pretty rough shape.  I striped down the top,  and I think it looks like it belongs now.

While in Florida, I also found these little lanterns and rug at Ikea with my parents, and I absolutely love both purchases. You can't see from the picture, but the lanterns have little stars on them. So now, here is the view of our balcony from our bedroom.
I wish I had a before picture, but just trust me that the painting of the table and the new pillows have really perked the space up.  After the winter, our little balcony had really just become a place for castoffs (that's how the other pillows, table and futon got out there in the first place!).  I think we are ready to sit outside and enjoy the fireworks on the Fourth of July!