Wednesday, November 30, 2011


thanksgiving in ocean city was full of love and laughter. the skies were a constant blue and the beach was peaceful. one of the many highlights of the trip is the cook-off competition (iron-chef style). the winner of the previous year picks a single ingredient that must be the essence of the dish. i happened to win last year (the ingredient was velveeta, and i made mac and cheese deep dish pizza), so for this year's competition i chose cool ranch doritos! there is one judge who looks at color, presentation, taste, etc. i think this is such a fun tradition and i'm so thankful i was able to be a part of it for the 2nd year in a row. 

if you're wondering about the winning dish - there was a tie! the cool ranch fried pickles and the cool ranch crab cake took first! they were sooo good. the cool ranch turkey burger took second, and my cool ranch shmorgishbord took third!

{jalepeno poppers, tempura shrimp, turkey burger, crab cake, cheese ball, fried pickes, bologna sandwich, and shmorgishbord - all with cool ranch doritos!}

can't wait to find out next year's ingredient on november 1, 2012!

what is the highlight of your thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


one of my favorite dishes to eat in the winter - besides meatloaf - is pho. if you aren't familiar with pho, it's a vietnamese noodle soup usually served with beef or chicken. i always go for beef. the soup includes noodles made from rice, and often served with vietnamese basil, mint, lime, onion, and bean sprouts.

northern va/dc is covered with pho restaurants. when i first moved here i had never heard of pho, nor had i ever tried vietnamese food. but the population here is quite grand and you can find a restaurant almost on every corner. it wasn't long before i stumbled into one.

this past sunday boyfriend and i were really craving some but didn't feel like putting on real clothes to walk across the street to our favorite restaurant (lazy, much?). so we decided to make our own. we were completely unsure with how it was going to turn out, but a short 25 minutes later and we were extremely pleased!!

have you ever tried making pho or other types of vietnamese food?
i'd love to hear about it! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

my instagram weekend {16}.

today, i'm linking up with a {little} dash of ash and giving you a glimpse into my thanksgiving weekend! i hope you all had a very loving and delicious holiday. mine couldn't have been more perfect (well, maybe if my parents were there - missed you guys!). thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. it's all about being with the people you love and being thankful for what you have. and pumpkin pie. thanksgiving is also about the pumpkin pie. mmmm.

this was the second year where i joined boyfriend's family at their family reunion in ocean city, maryland. the weather was beyond gorgeous, reaching 70 degrees! i even dipped my feet in the ocean! oh, it was perfect. we spent 4 days laughing, eating, playing games (shuffle board, apples to apples and scrabble), and eating some more. can't wait for next year!

what better way than to spend thanksgiving at the beach, and actually be able to enjoy the beach!? i'm so thankful for my friends, family, health and boyfriend.

oh, and if you're wondering what the two food pics are:
1. chocolate chip pie. i made it for the very first time. and it was amazeballs. recipe found here. SO EASY TO MAKE!
(the picture is actually right before it went in the oven so it's not supposed to look all gooey)

2. antipasto. this dish is a holiday tradition of mine and boyfriend decided to take on the challenge. and he did a mighty good job. 2 hours of rolling italian meats and chopping veggies and cheeses. yum, yum, yum.

so how was your thanksgiving weekend?
what are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

three things.

three things i'm loving:

my home - washington, dc

bringing back my name necklace - circa 1998.
very 'carrie bradshaw' of me

baking cakes. from a box. for no reason...

and licking the batter.

would that be three or four things i'm loving right now?

oh, well. i can't think straight because i'm currently en route to ocean city, md where i'll be spending thanksgiving with boyfriend's family. on the beach. i'll be there until sunday and i can't wait! this will be my second thanksgiving with them and although i'll be missing my family dearly, i am thankful to be spending it with my second family :)

hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

my big fat greek dinner.

i was craving tzatziki sauce so we made greek for dinner the other night. my dream is eat my way through greece. as well as every other country. but man, do i love me some greek food.

all you'll need is:

 pita pockets, shredded lettuce, onions, tzatziki sauce and marinated chicken.

marinate the chicken in lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, oregeno, and olive oil.
slather the inside of your pita pocket with tzatziki sauce (we bought ours from trader joe's).
put in your chicken and onions. then top with shredded lettuce.

bam. bam. chicken. wam.
yup, i just made that up.
okay, bye.

Monday, November 21, 2011

instagram weekend {15}.

happy monday, lovelies! and happy turkey week! i can't believe thanksgiving is this week. where has this year gone? once this week is over, it's just a hop, skip and jump away from christmas and then the new year! wowzas.

anyways, boyfriend and i had a super relaxing weekend, with a few celebrations thrown in (i completed my first week at the new position, he started his new job today and my niece turned two yesterday!).

we started friday night off with a trip to the new trader joe's that just opened up down the street (!!!) - pumpkin bread mix and an advent calendar were obvious purchases. the lovely lauren recommended the pumpkin bread mix and i can't wait to make it tonight!! we then came home and had a dance party to some 90's hits - nirvana and mariah carey. oh yes. and then ate a bunch of cheese and fruit, and washed it down with some pinot grigio. all purchased from TJ's. obvi.

saturday afternoon was pretty busy - but we closed it out with a dinner and a movie. we ate greasy burgers, fries and milkshakes at brgr shack and caught ides of march in the theater. ryan even though we were stuffed from dinner, we couldn't go to the movies and NOT get popcorn. #truefattiesinaction

sunday was spent with family and picking up a few more diy projects. a naked wreath currently hangs on our door waiting to be covered with holiday goodies. i also picked up some cheap-o ribbon at the craft store and clothes pins. added those two together and i got myself a fancy little holiday card holder.

how was your weekend?!

p.s. thanks for a {little} dash of ash for hosting this fun link-up every monday! i always love checking out other instagram weekends! be sure to go check them out here!

Friday, November 18, 2011

i am jungle glam.

okay, before you say anything i know i'm like 30 years late on {av}'s jungle glam friday's fancies post, but i have my reasons. reasons that i won't bore you with (you're welcome). just know that my post is here, and i couldn't be more excited.

the jungle glam collection from lilly pulitzer is amazeballs. i want every single piece. the gorgeous prints and bold colors would be a wonderful addition to my closet.

this dress is beyond. the color is beautiful, the criss-cross pattern is subtle, but doesn't go unnoticed. and the full length zipper in the back is a sweet surprise. i would wear this every day. and paired with these shoes brings the entire thing together. i love a good wedge.

and this necklace. can we pause for a moment and just take it in. i don't even think i need to explain why i picked this. it's perfection.

okay and finally. when browsing the accessories i instantly spoted this clutch (!!!!) and basically fell to the floor with glee. not only is it a fabulous gold, but O.M.G! it has elephant hardware! an elephant!! my dream clutch. although this would be an instant staple in my wardrobe (if you know me you know that i LOVE elephants), i wanted to choose a bolder color for this look since the rest of the accessories are gold. so this navy clutch is perfect. the lace detail on the front is lovely and the change up in color adds a bit of unexpected.

i hope you enjoyed my Lilly Pulitzer look!
i had so much fun putting this together. if you'd like to put one together for a chance to win some Lilly loot, head on over to {av}'s blog, {long distance loving}.

have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

vertical cities.

i love etsy. i mean who doesn't? just like pinterest, i find myself browsing etsy for hours. my most recent purchase was this amazing print by karen o'leary. her prints are so unique and unlike anything i've ever seen before. she uses vertical lines to depict city streets and they are so accurate - it's amazing!

we got the washington, dc print (where we live) and now we also want to get the san francisco print (our favorite city). be sure to check out her etsy shop - you won't be disappointed!

now we have a great hallway print!
p.s. that frame was only $1! i love thrift finds :)

what are some of your favorite etsy finds?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

beat this, pottery barn.

a few months ago- as i was perusing through my pottery barn catalog- i began obsessing over this picture.


i wanted everything in it. that chair. that desk. those french doors. and that gallery wall. oh, that gallery wall.
i guess you can say we were bitten by the "diy" bug after this little diy project and wanted to dive right in to something else. we realized that even though we can't make that chair. or that desk, we could definitely recreate that gallery wall! we've been collecting frames from all over (thrift stores, target, etc.) to use for a fun project. thus began the process...

we went to home depot and found these which we thought we could use for the knobs like you see in that picture. we went with two different shapes. just because we're cool like that.
 (they were only about $2 each and they are actually used for fence posts! home depot rocks!)

we already had the other material at home from previous projects - such as twine, sand paper and stainer. these puppies were about to receive a makeover.

1. sand the knobs down until they are nice and smooth.

2. stain the knobs with two coats of brown stainer (or your color of choice)
*no, i did not really sand on my carpet. i'm not that dirty.
3. once knobs are dry, screw in the wall (the knobs we picked out actually worked perfectly for this because they already came with screws in them!)

4. tie your twine into a loop, attach to the back of your picture frames and hang from knobs

so there you have it. we decided to frame pictures of our travels throughout the years:
china (him)
san francisco (us)
charleston, sc (us)
salzburg (me)

boyfriend and i have such a passion for traveling and dream of one day just quitting our 9-5 jobs and traveling the world together. until then we will continue to decorate our itsy-bitsy apartment in all our travel memorabilia, and continue to dream.

i know our gallery wall is tiny, but it's a work-in-progress. we could have gone to pottery barn and spent $5847297 on two knobs and some picture frame - but our diy project only cost us around $30 (including all the frames, stainer, twine and knobs). not too shabby. we love the end result and how it gives our room a more complete and rustic-like look. i would love to add some colorful frames to the wall and spice it up a bit, but i also don't want it to be too overwhelming. any suggestions? i would love to hear them!

so, what do you think? 
what's your favorite way to display pictures?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

winter beauty.

today i'm linking up with the beautiful marissa over at the boot to share with you a few of my winter beauty tips.

overall my beauty regimen is pretty simple, so please don't think i'm some sort of expert in products. i don't use hair product and i don't own a lot of make-up. i try to limit blowdrying my hair to every few days and i don't concoct face masks out of food in my refrigerator (i'd rather just eat the food). but i do have a few items and tips which i think you'll find helpful.

1. phyto phytolactum + intelligent shampoo:
i get extremely dry skin. legs, face, feet, and especially my scalp. yup, it's gross. this shampoo does wonders. i only use it twice a week and it helps so much! it doesn't leave my hair oily and it always feels light.
2. manicure kit:
i'm not one for salon manicures (my nails always chip!), so an at home kit is essential.  
i don't go anywhere without this lip balm. not only does it cure my chapped lips, but it adds a great color that looks great all day long! 
4. sephora by opi:
painting your nails during the winter is a great way to add a little something extra to your outfit, even if you're just lounging in some sweatpants. i always find that my mood brightens just a bit more when i use a fun color. this top coat by opi,
 "only gold for me" would be great for the holidays! 
5. yes to cucumbers hydrating lotion:
i just found this organic product last month, and it's already become my new obsession. i can't get enough of it! my face always feels smooth and is never dry or oily. it smells great too!

like marissa said, the universe really doesn't want us to look good in the winter. not only do we have to worry about our skin, but the weather plays with our wardrobe too. don't get me wrong, i would take lounging on the couch drinking hot chocolate over going out in the snow any day. but sometimes i need a remedy for cabin feature - and sprucing up my wardrobe is one of them. here are a few items that i'm dying to pick up:

this gorgeous wool coat would be a lovely addition to my winter closet.
2. moccasins:
you always want a warm (and cute) pair of slippers in the winter! these are perfect.
3. motorcycle boots:
do i even need to explain my reasoning here? to die.
i was never a huge fan of leather gloves, but over the last few months they've been growing on me. especially this pair which would go perfect with the motorcycle boots!

i hoped you enjoyed my tips on how to feel fresh and well put together during those dreary winter days.

what are your beauty tips for the winter? i'd love to hear them!

Monday, November 14, 2011

instagram weekend {14}.

started the weekend with some delicious thai food...

wearing a comfy scarf.
(scarf from random shop in san francisco)

soaked up the gorgeous weather (60 degrees!) on saturday and took a stroll around dc...
(chinatown, newseum, capitol building)

and finally stopped by this magic burger joint to fill our bellies.
(good stuff eatery - restaurant owned by spike mendelsohn of top chef. this place is a-mazing)

finally, we closed out the weekend wearing sweats (naturally), watching football, and cooking some homemade chili & cornbread.

sometimes there is nothing better than spending the day being a tourist in your own city. i've lived in dc for 3.5 years, and it never ceases to amaze me.

and sometimes, there is nothing better than indulging in thai food, greasy burgers and french fries, and homemade chili and cornbread all within 48 hours. did i mention we also had pepperoni pizza for dinner on saturday?


what did you end up doing this weekend?


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