15 May 2010

Sign Here

I have a new signature fragrance. For life.

I've never been a huge perfume girl, and usually have about 4-5 kicking around that I rotate through depending on my mood or M.O.. This all changed this past Easter, when MB's mom gave me Chloe for Easter. One spritz and I was done for. I've never experienced such a perfectly balanced scent in my 24 years. It has the clean, light scent that I seek out, with an underline of something deep and sultry. It's perfect for work or play, and people seem to notice it on me, which I love.

I do still have a few other favorites for going out at night...

.. but something tells me Chloe will be around for a VERY long time.

10 May 2010

Guac the Guac

It's no secret that I love avocados. Or that I'm a disaster in the kitchen. So what better way to combine the two than with my new favorite lunch: Homemade Guacamole!

I think I originally started with a recipe, but over time I began to run out of certain ingredients {okay, laziness set in} and it has been pared down to this simple mix:

1 Avocado {learn how to pick perfect avocados here}
1 T of lime juice
Few shakes of Onion Powder
Few shakes of Fresh Ground Pepper

I'm sorry for the vague measurements, it's actually one of my hugest pet peeves while I'm trying to follow a recipe, but I've found that exact measurements don't really matter here, and it's really easy to taste as you go. Because Guacamole tends to brown quickly, I eat it right after making it. If you are preparing it ahead of time, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is tightly over the guacamole, leaving no air between.

{All the Ingredients}
{Cube the Avocado then flip it into a bowl}
{Mash the cubes with a fork until it's a creamy texture - some lumps add character ;) }
{Squeeze in the lime juice and mix}
{Add some onion powder & fresh ground pepper and mix}
{Add some chips & enjoy}

08 May 2010


I went to Kimball Farm for ice cream with my Mom today. It was warm, sunny, and completely grounding. In the midst of crap life happens to be dumping on me at the moment, I find it hard to revel in the simple things, which is hugely disturbing to me because it used to come so naturally. Today was not the case, and over few words and a vanilla heath bar crunch ice cream, we had a perfect moment.

I remember coming here all the time when I was younger, especially on hot summer evenings when the air was almost as sticky as your hands got from your melting ice cream. It's funny because I thought everything would look smaller, considering I hadn't been in years, but the ice creams are as big as I had remembered!

There were some other changes made, though. The animals used to roam around freely, and I can distinctly remember a goat chewing on my mom's purse strap one evening. It was always a huge draw over the other ice cream places in town. My sister and I would beg my parents for quarters for the machines that would dispense a handful of pellets for the goats to eat. This time around, the goats were safely behind a fence, with a sign asking people not to touch the animals, per board of health. The only soul wandering around was a big rooster. It seems that in an attempt to "protect" people, we're also taking away happy experiences, and moments to reflect on with a smile. All I can say is, I'm glad I grew up when I did!

{The lone ranger, I mean, rooster}
{But a beautiful day nonetheless!}

06 May 2010

Banana Bread Cupcakes??

It's no secret that I'm not much help in the kitchen. Quite the contrary really. Our kitchen graveyard holds:

-two red wine glasses
-one champagne flute
-one plate
-one round cutting board {which my boyfriend still hasn't forgiven me for..}

But what I lack in culinary skill, I make up for in attempts at baking! Faced with a few browning bananas {which MB purposely didn't eat} I decided to work some magic. I used a recipe from Flour, an adorable Boston-based bakery.

Not without making my own substitutions, though. Instead of using baking soda {the only box in our kitchen was open and in the fridge and I CERTAINLY wasn't going to use from that} I used baking powder and tripled the amount, according to a conversion I found online. I also halved the entire recipe, mostly because there was a lone egg in my fridge, and the recipe called for 2. Finally, I used a muffin pan since I don't have a bread pan. With a smaller yield, I was able to cut the cooking time down to 20 minutes. One last suggestion? Don't whisk the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes - we have better things to do with our time! Use a food processor or small blender instead.

The result? I was very careful not to overcook them, as it happened last time I made Banana Bread with a different recipe and it tasted very dry. They didn't turn the deep brown color I normally associate with Banana Bread, but I attribute that to the baking powder. I am no kitchen guru, so I could be completely wrong, but I think that's what also gave them the cupcake texture/taste. The baking powder DOES change the flavor a little, so they aren't as banana-y as I would have liked, but overall I did still enjoy them and in a pinch, they were VERY easy to whip up!

{All the Ingredients}


{Batter Up!}

{Not as dark as I had expected, but they sure smelled great!}

{Banana Bread Cupcakes! No frosting required!}

05 May 2010

Doesn't Add Up...

There are 6 floors in my building, with a little over 100 units altogether. Only 8 units in the entire building have decks, all of which I can see from my 4th floor window. If it has been 70+ degrees every day so far this week, why has NO ONE used their deck at all?!?

I'm thinking of tying together all my tights from the winter and constructing a bridge across, who's with me? I'll be playing chill music, grilling veggie burgers, and serving red wine until well after the sun goes down.

03 May 2010


I did not create this picture or this saying, but I feel a strong connection to it. This phrase has been getting me through the day lately, and while I'm waiting for all my pieces to fall into place, it has been a source of strength for me to keep on.

{Having amazing friends doesn't hurt either.}

02 May 2010

Double, Double Toil and Trouble..

..Fire burn and cauldren bubble.

It isn't so random of a phrase, considering my past 36 hours. I live in Boston, which since yesterday afternoon has been under a "Boil Water Order." A huge water pipe about 10ft in diameter burst in a local community, and our water supply is contaminated. So until further notice, we must boil all tap water used to drink, brush teeth, or wash hands. Officials say the water is safe to bathe in, but I must say I was entirely creeped out while showering today. I was having total deja vu about Charlotte's shower in Mexico in SATC the movie.

This experience has definitely inspired some serious thinking on my part. As I was using a measuring cup to scoop already-boiled water out of a huge pasta pot in my fridge, I couldn't help but feel like I was transported back a couple hundred years when boiling water was a necessity. I instantly remembered that I would also have been without fridge, but it was a funny realization nonetheless. Also, it has made me keenly aware of how much water I use on a daily basis. When faced with a situation like this, one can't help but think of third world countries where clean water is a scarce luxury, not something we let run down the drain while we asses our facial wrinkles in the bathroom mirror. Measuring out the water to use while washing my hands and brushing my teeth has really opened up my eyes.

It's strange to be in the midst of a "crisis," not knowing when or how it's going to end. At this moment, the pipe has been repaired, and back up water supplies have been activated, but the water sill needs to be tested before it's declared fit for consumption. Things do seem to be moving quickly though, and there's talk of having water by Wednesday, if not sooner.

There are things occurring though, that are somewhat chilling. I'm sure everyone has seen video of Haiti shortly after their earthquakes, where people are pillaging shops, breaking windows, stealing from others.. We almost just shrug it off as an uncivilized, "third world country," thing. However even in Boston, MA, stores are raising the price of water, and consumers are getting into physical battles over water supplies, {if the store hasn't run out yet.} It doesn't give one much faith to see people in the most powerful country, in arguably one of the most educated states, resorting to such primitive behavior.

Me, I'm taking from the experience what I can. Although I'll be VERY happy when I'm only boiling water for tea, and can go back to washing my hands the traditional way.

01 May 2010

The Art of Avocados

Every Sunday, or almost, my boyfriend and I go to his mom's apartment for dinner. This woman is an incredible cook {which, so far as I can tell, is a genetic trait.} What I look most forward to every time, though, is her salad. More specifically - the avocados in her salad.

My boyfriend is fortunate enough to have grown up in Southern California, which instantly makes him foreign {read: attractive} to me. His mother grew up on an avocado farm, and says the quality of avocados carried in today’s grocery stores are comparable the ones their dogs used to eat off the ground.

My own adventure in eating avocados, although short-lived, hasn’t gone so well so far. I started a few years ago after reading an article about how to easily cut calories. The recipe was for chocolate chip cookies, and looking back now, I can clearly see the best way to cut calories there would have been to omit the cookies from my diet altogether. Hindsight, you bitch. The recipe called for half an avocado to substitute for half the butter. My experience with avocados being as limited as it was, I definitely didn’t wait until it was ripe enough. Instead of a butter-like mush, I ended up with a bunch of chopped green bits that stuck out of my cookies even more noticeably than my chocolate chips. The cookies tasted exactly the same, and the added benefit was that no one accepted my offer to try them – more for me!

I later graduated to guacamole {wait… this green stuff is made from my new favorite fruit??} and other yummy foods. I now try to top my bagel every morning with freshly sliced avocados. The problem I’ve been running into though, is cutting through the tough green skins to reveal a brown, overripe fruit. I discussed this with my boyfriend’s mom, while simultaneously praising her salad for the umpteenth time. She then revealed to me a secret, which I’m going to pass on to you. The trick to buying avocados is to make sure the part where the fruit was attached to the tree, or the “nub” {scientific term} is still intact. If that piece falls off, the fruit will rot before it ripens. Leaving that piece on, however, yields the most ripe, most delicious fruit I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. And if they ripen before you need them, simply put them in the fridge! I’m only glad she gave me this information during the “still trying to impress her phase,” where I still have no problem saying, “You’re right.”

For Stellar Avocados:

Buy fruit from your favorite grocer {ahem Trader Joe's} with nub intact.

Let it sit out for a few days until the skin turns a deep brown color and it's slightly soft to the touch. {If you aren't using it immediately after it ripens, put it in the fridge!}

Cut the ripe avocado in half lengthwise.

And Enjoy! To remove the pit, strike it with the knife holding it parallel to the fruit, then pull the pit away from the fruit.