Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Melt your heart

Nothing says spring is sososo close like Upper East Side perfectly tended tulips making an appearance. As much as I love my current apartment, I can't wait till I live in a place where I can let my grandma tendencies come out full-force and have a garden (which I can knit in and have book club meetings too. Siiiiiiigh). I also can't wait till I have one of these little guys to frolic in the garden:
In the mean time if anyone -Mom- needs an Easter gift idea for me this could hold me over. Or the puppy...either one.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"I say that the true artist-seer the heavenly fool who can and does produce beauty, is mainly dazzled to death by his own scruples, the blending shapes and colors of his own sacred human conscience"

Tuesdays are my Saturday. Usually my day consists of sleeping in, sitting around the apartment for a bit, Girls Inc., and then some sort of night activity. However this Tuesday Nina had the day off too, so we decided to spend the morning at Urban Vintage reading, eating parfaits, drinking coffee/apple pear cider, and devouring AMAZING peanut butter cup cookies. It was a lovely morning and made me nostalgic over "studying" in coffee shops nearly everyday after class in college

More along the lines of what getting coffee actually meant:

More not studying at coffee shops. This was also the first time my very good friend Heather and I ever hung out :) We look like such babies/shiny (Milledgeville in August is tons of fun):

Nina actually got some work done. Keeping with my habits, I think I read half a chapter of my books tops:

Monday, March 28, 2011

"I see you colorful, I see you in the trees, I see you spiritful, you're in the breeze"

Today it was even colder and even windier than it has been since winter reemerged and all I can think about it how I can't wait to be able to wear these dresses and get some use out of this book:


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lost Chicago pictures pt.2: oldies

A little blurry, but I LOVE my Aunt Debbie's wedding dress.

Wylies and a Maclaren: Aunt Debbie, my great-grandmother Nana, Sue Sue, my mom, and surprised baby me:

Chunky little nugget (and quite stylish) 3 year old me:

Present day Pilar and me at Southport:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lost Chicago pictures pt.1: relaxing at Sue Sue's

Sue Sue has an original Picasso sketch. I'm obsessed with it. She got it as a gift from a friend who bought it on a street in Paris when Picasso was still living and not a big deal yet. Also, these twin beds were mine in elementary school for a while. My family trades furniture a lot if you haven't picked up on that yet.

The Picasso up close:

I somehow had never really sat down and read a New Yorker, so while everyone else was organizing closets, I did:

Friday, March 25, 2011

The sweet part of the city

Whenever I go out in Brooklyn I tend to migrate to one of two locations: either Ft. Green, which is a twenty minute or so walk from my apartment or I take the G (ugh) a few stops to Williamsburg. This particular Friday called for Williamsburg, specifically Alligator Lounge, one of our go-to bars given that you get a free mini pizza with every drink and there's a bearded bartender who will do pirouettes if you ask nicely. Afterwards, we ventured to Velvet Lounge which supposedly has a jazz band on Friday nights. It turned out to be completely empty with no jazz band, but we got girly cocktails (with the exception of the only male who got the very manly and serious Brooklyn) and the friendly Australian bartender put jazz on the speakers for us. A halfway success.

Nina's espresso martini and my Palm Beach:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stand still, look pretty

My great-grandmother was an artist and as a result my parents' have a good deal of her artwork in their house. Growing up, this painting lived in our dining room and out of all of her pieces I have always liked this dark, mysterious, slightly ridiculous, caped man the best. A few years ago my mom gave the painting to my Aunt Debbie on loan with the promise that whenever I was ready it was all mine, i.e my most recent trip to Chicago. I think it will be a good contribution to my still bare-walled living room, plus it's nice to have a little part of my old Atlanta house here with me. 

Some more of her paintings aaaand my dad and his friend, Mr. Kim, lounging in the same exact pose:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Little golden age

New York has been cooooold this week. There was a small glimpse of spring around St. Patty's Day and now it is the dead of winter again, apparently. I'm tired of any cold weather related pictures and since all I did today was just go to work and come home and watch obsessive amounts of 30 Rock, I would much rather reflect on my summer of being outdoors working at Camp Woodmont. My good friend Katie worked there the summer before me and gushed about it for a good half a year, making me deicide that being a camp counselor would be the perfect solution to being newly graduated and unemployed. It was a perfect summer. I made some wonderful friends, spent my time off lounging around blue holes, fell in love with Chattanooga and have never been so tan in my entire life. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week off

I had a quiet picture taking past week due to needing a new memory card...I walk by a Best Buy almost every day and for some reason taking 10 minutes and running in was very difficult. Not too much happened though. I made some delicious sweet potato biscuits that are even better when made into a veggie sausage and cheese sandwich. I discovered that my apartment has a slight mouse problem (I'm only ok admitting this because I've been assured by numerous people that it is a building problem and not actually me) and learned the best way to capture them is to just take the trash bag out of the can, so when they climb in they get stuck and then barricading their entrance, i.e. the closet with an open washer attachment hole and the trash can...surprise, surprise. Kenny suggested drowning them once caught, but they looked so pathetic huddled together and staring up at me that I just carried the whole can outside and dumped them in the trash out there. It was a successful battle against NYC wilderness, minus not having a tucked away place for the trash can anymore. I went on a cleaning supply buying binge, due to the end of the mouse incident. I hung out with the same people as always and had Mexican food and huge frozen margaritas outside on the prettiest almost spring night at Caliente Cab with my new friend/co-worker Jackie. I read a terrifying article from Refinery29. Annnd in the middle of writing all this found out that my college roommate/friend got in to vet school and that one of my very best friends is coming to visit in early summer (yay tax returns)! Not a bad low-key week at all. Also, I had a pleasant walk around downtown Brooklyn on my way from Girls Inc. to Target and remembered that I haven't been to BAM since I saw Edward Scissorhands the ballet when I was visiting back in 2007. Hopefully my upcoming guest will want to catch a movie or a show there!

For those wondering: 
Sweet Potato Biscuits 

1 pound sweet potatoes or yam (1 large one is usually sufficient)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled), cut into small pieces
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prick the sweet potato and bake until soft (about 1 can also do this more quickly in a microwave). Once the sweet potato has cooled, scoop the flesh from the skin and pass through a food mill, ricer, or sieve. You should have about 1 3/4 cups puree.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter (or use your fingers) until it resembles a coarse meal. Mix milk with sweet potato puree and add it to the other ingredients. Mix dough, just to incorporate (I use my hands). If the dough is really sticky, add a touch more flour. Turn dough out into floured surface and knead a few times. Pat out to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass. We make ours small, about 2 inches in diameter. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Place in preheated oven and cook until risen and slightly brown, about 12 minutes (longer for larger biscuits). Serve warm. 

Yield: about 20 small-size biscuits

*I have absolutely no clue where I got this recipe from. Most likely my favorite food blog Framed Cooks

Monday, March 14, 2011

"I'm so blessed to have spent that time with my family and the friends I love, with my short life I have met so many people I deeply care for"

While I was in Chicago I stumbled across some old photos at Sue Sue's house. The first one is my great-grandparents.
Me with my great-grandmother...a few years later.
My great-grandfather. Can you tell he's Scottish?
Great-grandfather's fraternity. He's in the top row, second from the left. They all look awfully old and serious. 
Sue Sue, age 18
My parents' wedding announcement. Can you tell it was the 80s?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I spent the whole entire day in the Minneapolis airport. It was horrible. While I did not take a picture of her, know that I sat next to a woman for a good five hours with a mullet and a bedazzled shirt depicting the New York City skyline. I also ate a bag of stale Cheez-its...that is absolutely all that happened. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hey Nelson Algren. Hey William Butler Yeats

When I said before that all I do when I go to Chicago is eat a ton and shop a ton, I really wasn't kidding. On Saturday Pilar, Debbie, and I shopped all morning (I got a $160 cashmere cardigan for $30!!) and then met up with everyone else for lunch at Mity Nice in Water Tower Place.  It was a very lovely last day and trip in general :)
Aunt Debbie, Sue Sue, and my mom
Me, Aunt Jan, and Pilar (who we decided looks more like my sister than Britt)

Friday, March 11, 2011

All things go, all things go

After a morning of more lounging, Friday's main event was a late lunch at Southport, a restaurant with bowling lanes right around the corner from my Aunt Debbie's house. I go here every time I visit, but somehow always just eat and never bowl. The lane area is cute and retro though and I actually kind of like bowling, maybe next trip we'll actually do it:

Aunt Debbie and my mom. There was a good one of Pilar and me too, but I forgot to get it off the memory card, which I was borrowing from Nina who is currently out of'll show up here sometime soon though!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NYC to Chicago

One of my very favorite cities to visit is Chicago. My grandmother (Sue Sue), Aunt Debbie, Uncle Raul, and cousin Pilar all live there and I always eat a ton, shop a ton, and have a wonderful time whenever I go. This trip my mom and other grandmother (Aunt Jan...she was "too young" to be a grandmother when I was born) came as well with the purpose of helping Sue Sue clean out her closet. I chose to read while the majority of the cleaning was going on...Augie is testing my patience these days, page 300 and still nothing monumental, clearly it's going to be that type of book, but Bellow's writing style really is great.  
Before the cleaning began though, Jan, my mother, and I all met up at the airport and took a cab to meet Sue Sue and Pilar at Joe's, which was delicious and had a surprising amount of veggie options for a seafood and steak place. After eating we went straight to Sue Sue's condo, which has the absolute best view of Lake Michigan, and spent the rest of the night lounging around in food comas. 
My mom's new grey hair.
Sue Sue's cat, Bubie (sp?), lounged with us too. Side note: I have never been and will never be a cat person, but this one is pretty ok.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Woodley, Bunny, & Hornby

I've been avoiding getting my hair cut in New York for quite some time now. Obviously there are a variety of options that are much, much better than most places in Atlanta, but I was horribly attached to my previous hair lady (Jessica Dorman at Dada...go see her!) and was having trouble coming to terms with finding someone new. I finally sucked it up though and made an appointment with Tommy at Woodley & Bunny and loved him! My hair is perfectly layered and my bangs are just the way I like he was super nice and the salon is cute and conveniently located. 
 Something I've yet to completely master in NY is timing my arrival to things with the subway. I'm always either 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late. The later applied to this situation, so along with snapping pictures while the desk lady wasn't looking *, I took a break from my current novel and read Nick Hornby's collection of essays from The Believer in which he discusses the books he buys every month and the books he actually reads. I've gotten some very good suggestions (I can't wait to read Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc), but in general I just enjoy his writing style and it was a nice break from Augie's interesting, but seemingly plotless life. 

*I always think it's a little odd and uncomfortable when people take pictures in non-normal picture taking circumstances. I suppose quickly taking pictures while someone isn't looking is a little odd too, but whatever, I don't think she caught on and I had time to kill while waiting. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brooklyn we go hard

This is my street. It's main highlights are having more bodegas than necessary and a Chase bank that reminds me daily that there are not any Wells Fargos in Brooklyn. But, the buildings are pretty in a dilapidated sort of way, there's a grocery store that's good for the basics right across the street and overall it has more charm than most people (including me before I moved here) give Bed-Stuy credit for.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

...Timing isn't my strong suit

No picture for Saturday. Kenny and I went to go see The King's was just as great as everyone (and the Oscars) have said.

Here's my favorite song this week instead:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hello blackbird, hello starling, winter's over be my darling

As you can tell from the snow on the ground this picture wasn't actually taken on Friday, buuuuuut I did walk by it again Friday night, as I do every time I go to visit Aly. I think it's supposed to be street art, or maybe decoration for the restaurant it's by, not quite sure, but it's always there and it always reminds me of how I can't wait for summer time bike rides. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thanksgiving in March

I ended up making the stuffing with some of yesterday's cornbread. It was delicious...I highly recommend it, but possibly closer to November. Also, note how my spices/baking supplies shelf (the middle one) compares to the rest. This is 100% motivation to keep up my cooking habits.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I understand. I'm responsible now too. Just look at my groceries

Every now and then, i.e. usually on my days off when I have the time to think about it, I go through stages of being a super domestic responsible adult. Today was one of those days and I expressed it by washing my sheets, cleaning the kitchen and making cornbread, which turned out AMAZING and not dry at all...recipe below. I also decided to start a recipe book for my new "be a functioning adult by cooking more often" life goal. It's hand-written because despite enjoying having a blog I do like things to be on actual paper most of the time (Kindles...ugh).
Annnnnd the cherry on top of my mature and productive day: I got to use my stylish kitchen wear Matryoshka measuring cups given to me by two of my very favorite people from college and life in general, Heather and Katie, who are rumored to possibly make an appearance in Brooklyn this summer :)

The cornbread is actually from a Thanksgiving green apple stuffing recipe that I may or may not continue making tomorrow. It's been forever since I bookmarked it, but I'm pretty sure it came from the wonderful little blog 3191 miles apart, which also has a beautiful quarterly magazine I've been meaning to subscribe to.

Gluten-Free Apple-Pecan Cornbread Stuffing

Instead of toasting the cornbread, you can spread out the pieces on a baking sheet and let them sit on your counter top overnight, uncovered, to dry out.
Double Corn Cornbread:
1 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup cornmeal, preferably medium grind
1 cup store-bought gluten-free flour blend
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup corn kernels (from about 1 ear of corn)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 cups Double Corn Cornbread (see recipe below), toasted and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried herb blend, such as McCormick Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Prepare the cornbread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 4 1/2-inch by 8 1/2-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vinegar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the milk mixture, eggs and oil until just blended; fold in the corn kernels. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
2. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
3. Prepare the stuffing. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8-inch square pan with olive oil. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about five minutes; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
4. In a large bowl, toss together the onion mixture, cornbread, apple and herb blend. Transfer to the prepared pan. Scatter the pecans on top and cover with foil; bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil; bake until crispy and golden, about 20 minutes more.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.