Five for Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!  I've been lacking in inspiration, but here are my five for Friday!

1. I've mostly kept up with my exercise program for the month of January (as long as I go tonight or Saturday!).  Not that it was terribly ambitious, but still it's progress.  The system that really helps me is having a copy of the calendar on the fridge and then I give myself a little check mark after I've gone. 
2. I finished reading The Age of Innocence this week.  I used to be a big reader, but now I've gotten really lazy and I just check out Pinterest, and blogs at night (that is if I'm not rotting my brain by watching TV).  Thanks to my handy Kindle, I am able to read in bed just as lazily as I'd do anything else, so I decided to actually start reading again.
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3. Skiing!  The husband loves to ski, so we are going to try to go on Saturday.  I've only been skiing once as an adult and it was awful.  I was terrified of the ski lift, and I literally only made it down the hill once.  However, I think I need to just be brave and I'm going to try really, really hard.  So let's hope it's not going to be like the Bridget Jone's version of skiing.  (Because it was seriously like that last time minus the pregnancy scare or the cute outfit).
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4. My MIL's birthday is on Sunday, so we were able to get a package sent to her this week.  I know it's not a huge accomplishment, but sometimes even simple things seem hard for me, and I was relieved to get this sent off on time!
We're giving her some jewelry, The Butler, candles, pj pants, some wine and a little chocolate!
Isn't this little bottle of wine cute?  I got it at World Market and thought it was adorable.
5. And related to gifts, I pulled together this gift for my friend who was turning 30 on Monday.  I was inspired by this post that I found on Pinterest, and used that as inspiration. I collected different gifts that were supposed to be activities that you do when you are a kid, and the idea is that the basket is supposed to make you feel young at heart.  So I picked jewelry for "play dress up", bath salts and bubbles for "take a bubble bath", a make up case, nail polish and Sephora gift card for "give yourself a makeover", a VS giftcard for "have a slumber party" and the last gift is a bottle of wine that says"when all else fails, have a drink!" It wasn't as creative as I would have liked, but I tried. The husband also helped me pick up some Georgetown Cupcakes, so all in all, I think it was festive.
Here are the gifts with the labels

And here is everything all packed up!
What are you looking forward to this weekend?  Whatever your plans, I hope you all have a lovely little break!

What's Cooking Wednesday: Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata

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A family friend gave me a Williams and Sonoma vegetarian cookbook for Christmas, and I decided that it would be a fun book to cook out of. One of the first recipes I decided to try is this red pepper and goat cheese frittata.   While it's not my most favorite dish in the world, I like that it's mainly vegetables and eggs with a little goat cheese, so it seems rather low carb. (Of course eating it with a bagel kind of defeats that purpose, but you can't win them all.)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Cook the vegetables
In a heavy 10-inch ovenproof fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Prepare the frittata
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, oregano, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables evenly in the pan and pour in the egg mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, without stirring, until the edges begin to look set, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully lift up the edges of the frittata and let the uncooked eggs flow underneath. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the eggs are almost set on top, 5 to 8 minutes more.

Finish the frittata
While the frittata is cooking, preheat a broiler. Sprinkle the frittata with the cheese and place under the broiler. Broil until the top is set and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Cut the frittata into large wedges and serve directly from the pan. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).

Five for Friday!

With MLK weekend and a snow day, this week ended up being pretty short (which is always a treat).  Here are my five for Friday!

1. I saw this video on A Cup of Jo, and I'm intrigued. I think I might make this a new goal of mine in the next few months.

2. I'll admit that I am having a bit of a crisis when it comes to clothes/style.  I'm feeling so old with my 30th birthday coming up, and I probably shouldn't be wearing sparkly yoga pants, but these were fairly inexpensive and come in different lengths.
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3. I made this quick little print for our apartment.  I've seen all the "state art" lately, but I wanted to personalize it a bit.  My dad always says "It's a beautiful day in the commonwealth of Virginia", so I thought that it would be fun to add to our entry way.
4. Even though won't be purchasing this dress from J.Crew's factory store, isn't it lovely?
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5. A project that the husband was working on wrapped up, so I'm hoping that will mean I can spend a little bit of time with him this weekend.  I'm also looking forward to celebrating a good friend's birthday, so I think we will be celebrating with a little bubbly!

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I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Some January Sales!

Even though, I'm usually exhausted from all the shopping and spending from Christmas, January is really the best time to shop.  I stopped by Banana Republic last weekend to do a few last returns, and I ended picking up a few things.  The first thing that caught my eye was this tank in a bright pink.  I think it will look really cute this summer paired with my black polka dot shorts.  And, if I decide that the bow is too much, I can always just layer it with a cardigan.
I also found this pink dress on sale at Banana Republic for a mere $32.99.  Before Christmas, I actually had tried it on and was thinking about buying it, but decided against it. I tried it on again, and I couldn't pass it up.  Even though the dress isn't forgiving as I'd like, I still love it. I'm hoping to wear this for Valentine's Day or for my birthday. (Perhaps this will motivate me to go a little harder on the treadmill, which is never a bad thing).

My last new purchase is from the Loft.  While I haven't found much there lately, I picked up this skirt for only $15, and I think it will be great to wear to work for the rest of winter and next fall.
Have you found any nice pieces during all the January sales?

What's Cooking Wednesday: Pioneer Womans Buffalo Chicken Bites

Buffalo Chicken Bites!
For Christmas, the husband's aunt gave me a copy of The Pioneer Woman's cookbook, A Year of Holidays, so I decided to try a few of her recipes.  The husband loves chicken wings, which led me to her buffalo chicken bites (recipe can be found here). 

Appropriately, this recipe is supposed to be made for the Super Bowl, and for my football loving husband, I figured I couldn't go wrong.  The recipe was pretty easy to make, and I think that they turned out pretty well.  The husband ended up eating all of them over the course of two days, so that's always a good sign.  However, when I asked if I should make them again, he seemed ambivalent.  I guess it's just hard to compete with Kraft's BBQ glaze Shake and Bake (seriously)!

Weekend Recap!

This weekend I went to visit my parents while the husband was away on a business trip.  It was so good to see them (and my brother and his wife too)!  While at home, my mom attempted to teach me how to sew, which was really exciting for me.  We worked on throw pillows, so it was a pretty easy project.  I love how just adding a few different textiles can update your space.
It's kind of hard to see the patterns because of my poor photography skills, but trust me that they are there in real life!
Sunday and Monday were pretty low-key, as the husband still had lots of work and I was catching up with errands and cleaning, but we did take a brief walk to some nearby shopping and saw this beautiful sky.
How was your weekend? 

Five for Friday!

I have to admit that I'm just thankful to have made it through this week and I'm looking forward to the weekend. Even though this week hasn't been as productive as I would have liked, here are my five for Friday! 

1. Sprucing up the apartment - Yesterday, I picked up some more fabric to make throw pillows with.  I was really excited because I had purchased some fabric in August, but just recently decided that we needed a few more patterns.  I was excited that they still had fabric that went nicely with our original pattern.
2. C. Wonder's sale -I could just see this monogrammed pillow in our house (but I don't think the husband would like it one bit, so I refrained).
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3. Clearing out some clutter -   I managed to get rid of quite a bit of junk underneath my side of the bed.  I have to admit that I hoard magazines, so on Sunday I sat down and went through them.  While I got rid of a lot of them, I kept a few.  I saw pictures of this and this apartment, and just couldn't get over how beautiful they are.

4. In the spirit of eliminating clutter, I sold two of my textbooks on Amazon from the graduate class I took last semester.  I posted the books on Sunday, and I was pleased that both of them have been sold and shipped by Friday!  The husband helped me with the process, but I couldn't believe how easy it was.

5.. Fresh flowers - I finally picked up a new orchid.  I know that I go through these every few months, but I still enjoy having a living plant in the apartment. Plus, the one's from Trader Joe's was only 10 dollars, so I feel that it's not a horrible investment.
What are your weekend plans? The husband is stuck in Chicago for work until late Saturday night, so I'm actually going to drive down to visit my parents for a day.  I think it will be fun to get out of the city and I'm hoping that my mom might give me a sewing lesson or two (so I can make those new throw pillows)!

New Year's Resolutions - Better Late than Never!

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I know that January is almost half way over, but I took a lot of time to think about my resolutions this year. Basically, I feel like there are so many changes that I want to make, and it's hard to pick just one thing, which is why in the past, I come up with abstract goals that I never accomplish. This year, I'm focusing on short term goals and then I'll re-evaluate.  In the next three months there are a few things that I'd like to accomplish.

1. Figure out a make up routine that works for me - I'm getting older and my skin isn't getting any better.  My face is dry and I still suffer from zits (seriously).  In the next weekend or two, I'm stopping by Sephora and I'm going to try some different products.

2. Purge my closet- I have a lot of clothes that I either need to start wearing or get rid of. I want to go through everything and donate anything that doesn't fit or I don't like anymore.

3. Spruce up the apartment- We've been in our current place for over two years, and I'd like to thoroughly clean everything, donate at least 10 things, and re-organize underneath our bed.

4. Exercise 4 times a week.  I know that this is a very modest goal, but it's achievable and something I can realistically maintain. If I accomplished this goal, that would also be something I'd be happy with.

5. Lose 4 pounds each month- Obviously, this relates to goal number 4, but I want diet to be just as much of a focus this year as exercise. I actually think that by breaking down the weight loss into smaller chunks, it will be more manageable.

6. Get some cute lounge/casual clothes. The clothes that I wear around the house I've had for years and they definitely need an update.  While I don't want to spend too much, I want to make an effort.

So those are some short term goals for January, February and March! What are your resolutions?


Five for Friday: A Trip to the Outlets!

This week has flown by, and I'm looking forward to the weekend!  I'd really like to do some major cleaning around the apartment, but most likely the husband and I will just decide to hang out. He's going to Chicago at the end of next week, so I can always do some major cleaning then. 

Here are some goodies that I picked up on a trip to the outlets over the break. I specifically went hoping to find a few things for a friend's birthday at the end of this month, and the outlets didn't disappoint! First up, I found this ring for her! It was super reasonably priced ($11),and I think it's adorable.
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I also found these earrings.
And I plan on putting them in this makeup case (she loves gold).
I picked up this Crabtree & Evelyn lotion set as a last minute gift for the husband's aunt.  The pomegranate scent is divine!
 Finally, I bought this little pouch for myself.  It is the perfect size for my Kindle and charger.  I felt a little bit bad about picking up something for me when shopping for others, but I really love it.
Have you done any January sales shopping?  I find that prices are really good this time of year, but I'm so exhausted from all the excursiveness at Christmas that it's hard to get but too excited. I hope you have a great weekend!

A Parisian Birthday Gift

In honor of one of my friend's birthday last Friday, I made her a little box inspired with all things French.  She really loves Paris, so I thought she would enjoy it.  Here is what I came up with!
French magnets, two books, an Eifel tower wine stopper, soaps and lotion, an "oui" necklace", a striped shirt, a framed print and a macaron card
I packaged everything in a Paris box and then also brought her some macarons on a pretty little platter.  All in all, I thought her little gift turned out great and she really liked it.

I'm afraid when it comes to gifts I usually end up buying little things, probably because they are more fun to buy. Do you ever do theme gifts?  For another friend's birthday in January I plan on doing a theme, so I seem to really enjoy them.



A Belated Christmas Recap!

I'll admit that I'm still getting back into the swing of things after all the holidays.  I hope that everyone enjoyed lots of time with family and friends!  We were able to spend Christmas with my family, which was really special for me. Christmas Eve, we went to the service together and then I picked up the husband at the train station. My brother and sister-in-law hosted us for Christmas Day dinner and lots of game nights.  We gave  them Cranium for Christmas, and I really can't remember laughing as hard as I did while playing. Overall, it was just a really relaxing and fun time.  I think that this Christmas was exactly what everyone in my family needed. With everyone's work schedules, just being together is such a treat.

I did get quite a few presents, though!  My FIL gifted me with this sweater from C. Wonder. 
I also got these cocktail napkins and a decorative plate, both of which I really like.  Apparently, Santa reads my blog and so all of my gifts were things that I'd been wanting for awhile. 

The husband got me this sweater from Old Navy.  I'm excited to wear it on the weekends.
My sister got me a really cute cosmetic bag and lots of bath soaps. 
 I'm afraid that I got quite a bit considering we weren't supposed to be doing gifts this year! 


Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!  I'm easing back into this week, but wanted to wish all of you a very happy 2014!  The husband and I celebrated with some fondue and champagne.  We are always low-key for New Year's, which is absolutely perfect for me with all the excitement with Christmas.  We also made sure to eat our black-eyed peas and collard greens.  Does anyone else follow this tradition?  However you are celebrating, I hope you're enjoying the day!