Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!!!!

Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Favorite Thing #96 - J.Crew Merino Turtlenecks

This has been a favorite thing of mine for several years. I love the J.Crew Merino Turtleneck Sweaters. They are sooo soft, warm and perfect for winter weather. What I like best about these sweaters is they can be worn to work with a pair of nice dress pants or suit or dress it down with a pair of jeans. Merino wool is a 14-gauge knit. There is rib trim at neck, cuffs and hem. Right now these sweaters are part of J.Crew's final sale and on priced at $29.99. Great price and there are lots of fun colors to pick from. I have collected many colors over the years - orange, black, green, sea foam green, and white.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Scrippsmas!!!

This weekend my husband and I celebrated Scrippsmas...yes Scrippsmas. It occurs every year the weekend before Christmas. My husband and I, his two brothers and wives, and now my little niece get together and celebrate Christmas together. We started this tradition four years ago because every other year we celebrate Christmas with the wives families and this allows us to celebrate with each other every year. This year was at our home. And I of course made Favorite Thing #58 - Sopapilla Cheesecake.

It was a wonderful day and I thought I would share some of my favorite gifts - both which would make great gift ideas for those last minute Christmas shoppers or an upcoming birthday, housewarming, etc. Stirrings Cocktail Connoisseur Set
I love this gift because it is the perfect sampling of drink mixers. Each bottle is 4 oz. and there are eight different types. It includes some of my favorites like Apple and Cosmos and also ones that I've wanted to try Pear and Peach Bellini. Here's a list:

Another favorite gift is another water bottle!!! This one is from Klean Kanteen. This was the perfect gift because I decided I really needed two water bottles because when I have one in dishwasher I need another to use. This one is made of recycled stainless steel and keeps my water cold for a long time. I got the 27oz which is the perfect size! Here's a description from the Klean Kanteen website -

Like every Klean Kanteen, the 27 oz bottles is made of 100% recyclable, high-quality, food-grade, stainless steel so it doesn't need a special lining like some other metal bottles. It's completely BPA-free and won't leach toxins or funky flavors into your water, juice, smoothie, or drink of choice. Plus it weighs only 8 oz and is incredibly durable, so you can reuse it for years.

The large-mouth design allows you to pour in big stuff like ice cubes, and makes cleaning your Klean Kanteen as simple as washing it with mild soap and warm water or throwing it in the dishwasher. Yet the slim design fits into just about any cup holder or Kanteen® bike cage. Day after day, year after year, your Klean Kanteen will keep your drinks fresh, crisp and clean tasting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great New Recipe - Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Another great recipe from Real Simple - Homemade Macaroni and Cheese. I found this recipe thanks to my sister-in-law Aimee. It's super easy and soooo good. I will say it is NOT HEALTHY and I recommend this as a side dish not as a meal.

1 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups whole milk
3 1/2 cups (about 14 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar

Heat oven to 400° F. Butter a casserole or 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Cook the macaroni until almost tender but still firm, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley (if using), oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper; set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stirring constantly, add the flour and cook for 3 minutes; the mixture will clump together. Still stirring constantly, add the milk slowly. Cook for 7 minutes. Add the Cheddar and the remaining salt and cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the macaroni and combine. Transfer to the baking dish and top with the bread crumb mixture. Bake until golden and bubbling slightly around the edges, about 25 minutes.

Tip: You can vary the flavor of the bread crumbs by using a different herb, such as thyme or oregano. Or minimalists can choose to omit it.

To Freeze: Make the bread-crumb mixture and place it in a resealable freezer bag. Assemble (but do not bake) the casserole. Cover tightly with two layers of aluminum foil. Store both for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over it. Cover and heat in a 350° F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and heat until bubbling, about 20 minutes more.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

CALORIES 809.64; FAT 43.31g (sat 22.34g); CHOLESTEROL 101.74mg; CALCIUM 687.14mg; CARBOHYDRATE 72.96g; SODIUM 1030.58mg; PROTEIN 31.42mg; FIBER 3.01g; IRON 3.89mg

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Love Hate Relationship with Cosi

I would love to call Cosi one of my favorite things but I can't because we have a love hate relationship. I love their squagels (bagels that are square), sandwiches, salads, and of course their bread...I LOVE THEIR BREAD. The reason why I can't put Cosi down as a favorite thing is every time I go in there I have a bad experience. There are two things that really bother me about Cosi -

1. Bagel selection in the morning is horrible. Probably 8 out of 10 times I go to Cosi in the morning for a bagel they don't have what I want and the slection is so minimal. It's not that I am there at 10 am so its whatever is left, I usually get there around 8:30-9:00 and there are hardly any choices.

2. Their customer service sucks! They are not personable in fact most of the interactions I have had have been very rude. It is usually an unplesant experience when I am ordering food.

If it wasn't for the good food then I probably not be eating there. But lucky for you Cosi I do love your sandwiches so I will continue to get squagels and sandwiches.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Favorite Thing #95 - Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas and one of the things I love about Christmas are traditions. My family and I have lots of them. Some new, some old and I treasure all of them.

Since meeting my husband I have a new family with new traditions. They include:
  • A Holiday Dinner with all of our friends and my husband and I have been planning this for the past four holiday seasons. Each year we pick a Friday night, a great restaurant and get all of our friends together for food, drinks, and fun. It's so great to get everyone together.
  • Scrippsmas - This is the annual dinner and gift exchange with my brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and now my niece. It happens on a Saturday or Sunday night before Christmas. Each year we rotate homes and we have a nice home cooked dinner and exchange gifts. We started doing this about four years ago because each holiday we rotate family's for Christmas so this tradition guarantees that we will get together for Christmas.
  • Ornaments - I started this tradition a couple years ago with the Scripps siblings and spouses (my husbands' side). Each Christmas I give each of them an ornament that represents them.
  • Decorating the Tree - I love decorating the tree with my husband. We started a tradition that any place we go together we get an ornament. It's so fun to go through them and remember the memories of our travels.
And some of my old traditions that I treasure include:
  • Christmas Eve - Every year we go to my mom's parents house and have a huge Portugeese feast cooked by my grandmother, exchange gifts with my mom's side of the family (each gift read by my grandfather), family picture, and rice pudding for dessert.
  • Kitchen Gift - For the past 10 or so years I have been giving each woman in my family a fun kitchen gift. This tradition started on whim one year when my dad and I picked one out. It was such a hit we started doing it every year. Now than I have moved out of the house and am on my own I continue the tradition.
  • Christmas Day - There are so many things I enjoy about Christmas Day - waking up to a roaring fire, bloody mary's w/ my dad, opening gifts, seeing my dad's side of the family, and of course my mom's cooking.
What are some of your favorite traditions?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guest Favorite Thing - Mimi's Chocolate Pie - 8"

This guest post comes from my dear friend Margaret. It is one of her favorite things ever this time of year: her grandmother's chocolate pie. She says its super easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser.


1 scant cup sugar
3T flour
2T coca
pinch salt
3 eggs, separated (keep egg yolks)
1 large can evaporated milk
1t. butter
1t. vanilla
1 baked pie shell (just use the pre-made Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts and follow those directions)


First, bake your pie crust.

1. Mix sugar, flour and cocoa together with a whisk.
2. Stir in enough milk to dissolve powder.
3. Beat in egg yolks and the rest of the milk.
4. Cook in saucepan on medium heat -- stirring until it thickens (should be smooth - no lumps!) Cut off the heat.
5. Add butter and vanilla and mix it together.
6. Pour into baked pie shell.
7. Top with cool whip or whipping cream.

If you want to make a meringue for the topping (either is good!):

1. Whip 2 egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar.
2. Add 4 Tablespoons of sugar - slowly - as you whip it together.
3. Bake this at 350 until the peaks of the meringue lightly brown. (about 5 - 10 minutes)

**As a general rule you use 2T sugar for every egg white you use. If you increase the amount of egg, proceed accordingly.

Favorite Thing #94 - Nashelle Initial Charm Necklace

This favorite thing was a gift from my husband - Nashelle Initial Charm Necklace from South Moon Under. He got this for me as a you are working really hard at work and deserve something nice. At the time I was traveling a lot and so it was nice to wear something around my neck that he gave me. This necklace is simple and goes with any outfit. It features two circle charms, one with your initial and one with a stamped star. Chain measures approximately 17" long and charm diameter is 5/8". Below is an up close picture of the necklace.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Favorite Thing #93 - Crate and Barrel

I love love love love love Crate and Barrel. It is definitely my FAVORITE home store. I have been in their store a lot recently because we have been decorating our home and also buying Christmas presents. Below are some of my recent favorite purchases:

Red Berry Wreath (on sale!)
Linden Tablecloth in Olive (on sale!)
Photo Coasters (Christmas Gift for someone and on sale!)
12 Days of Christmas Ornaments
Genesis Rug (on sale!)
Kiran Rug (on sale!)
Holiday Guest Towels

There are sooo many great things there I could go on and on...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Favorite Thing #92 - Upright Plastic Bag Holder

This favorite thing was something we got off our registry and I LOVE it - Upright Plastic Bag Holder. We use this to store all of the plastic bags we get from the grocery store. I use reusable grocery bags but never have enough space so I always end up getting plastic bags too. I reuse them as the garbage bag liners in all the garbage cans in my bathrooms. This container is the PERFECT place to store them. It keeps them in one neat and organized place. I have not been able to find them at Target but have found them at Crate and Barrel and The Container Store.

Favorite Thing #91 - Apples to Apples

With the holidays here I thought this favorite thing would be a perfect post because its a great family game. Apples to Apples is such a fun game and great to play with family and friends. It's as easy as comparing apples to apples all you do is open the box, deal the cards, and you're ready to play. All you have to do is select the card from your hand that you think is best described by a card played by the judge. Right now it is available for $19.99. Here's a description from Amazon:

The name of the game is a play on the phrase "apples to oranges," and the game is about making comparisons between different things. General game play is as follows: players are dealt red cards which have a noun printed on them, and the judge (a different player in each turn) draws a green card on which an adjective is printed and places it for all players to see. Each player then chooses a red card they are holding that they think best describes the green card. The judge then decides which adjective she likes best.

The fun is in the variety of unexpected comparisons people make, sometimes apt, funny, creative, or simply absurd. For example: people might match "Awkward" with "Oil Spills," "My First Kiss," "Dandruff," and "Gold Chains. " Or: "Painful" with "High School Reunions" and "Regis Philben. " Strategy comes into play since, because each player takes turns being the judge, you begin to pick up on the preferences of each player and tailor your choices accordingly.

Players can also try variations on the basic game play. For example, instead of choosing the most apt comparison, players might try choosing the red card that is least like the green one. These variations keep the game fresh and interesting every time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Favorite Thing #90 - Vera Bradley Large Duffel

Since the holiday seasons are here and a lot of us will be doing traveling I thought I would share this favorite thing - Vera Bradley Large Duffel. I LOVE this bag! It's the perfect size for a weekend away. It has long handles and loads of room. It's also perfect as a carry on for your next flight. This also makes a great gift this holiday. There are so many great patterns. One of my favorites featured above is Cambridge.

Bag Dimensions - 22" x 11½" x 11½" – 15" strap drop
Suggested Retail Price: $80

Monday, November 24, 2008

Favorite Thing #89 - Ornament Organization

Sorry that I have been so MIA this past couple of weeks. Things have been crazy busy! Anyway I am back and hope to be posting regularly. This favorite thing is perfect for the upcoming holidays. Anyone that knows me, knows I am an an organizational nut and this favorite thing is the perfect example of that - Ornament Organizer (and I am going to feature two of them)!
The first one is for your larger ornaments, especially your ornament balls. There are three levels of storage and each level has a compartment for each individual ornament. It keeps them organized and protected. The second one I also use for ornaments. These are more for the small, flat ornaments. Again it's a stacking system with several levels. It keeps your ornaments organized and protected. Definitely helps save space and keeps your Christmas stuff organized. I got both of these at Target but you can also find them online.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Favorite Thing #88 - Autumn Hill's 2006 Merlot

A couple of weekends ago I went down to Virgina with some girlfriends to explore some wineries. One of the wineries we stopped at was Autumn Hill Vineyards. It's a small, quaint place that was in the middle of nowhere. I picked up a bottle of their Merlot because I really enjoyed the tasting (I'm normally not a fan of Merlot). I opened the bottle to have a glass or two when I got home from a long business trip. I enjoyed it so much I almost finished the bottle. It's also reasonably priced at $16/bottle. For those of you that can't visit the vineyard you can buy it at their online shop.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Favorite Thing #87 - "Flirt" Jeans by Old Navy

I discovered this favorite thing thanks to Allie at My Wadrobe Today. She swears by these jeans and they were on sale for $20 so I thought I would check them out. They came in the mail while I was out of town and I finally got to try them on Friday when I got home. It was love at first wear!!! Normally I wear jeans that are way over priced but we are trying to save money so instead of spending over $100 on jeans I spent $20 and I love them! Old Navy's Flirt jeans are amazing and they are soooo cheap. There is a another perk to them - normally I have to get my jeans altered because I am so short but with Old Navy's "short" style they fit me perfectly! Woo Hoo! I would definitely recommend these. They are the perfect jeans for casual or a night out on the town. And they are still on sale right now for $20. Can't beat that!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Favorite Thing #86 - Sally Scripps' Famous Pierogi Casserole

This is an amazing dish! My mother-in-law makes this all the time for her sons and have gotten her daughters-in-law hooked on it. It's very easy to make but also VERY unhealthy...but sooo good.

3 sticks of butter (I know...I said it wasn't healthy)

8-9 medium potatoes

3 medium onions

1 lb. Velveeta Cheese

1 lb. bowtie noodles

Cook potatoes like you would for mashed potatoes. Cook bowtie pasta as directed on box. Saute onions in one stick of butter (again...I told you it wasn't healthy). Mash the potatoes using one stick of butter and 3/4 of Velveeta.
Spray 9x13 pan with Pam or other cooking spray (I use Favorite Thing #4 - Misto filled with olive oil)

Put the cooked bowtie pasta in bowl and butter with one stick of butter.
Layer 9x13 with noodles, then layer with mashed potatoes. Spread onion mixture on top of potatoes. Put the rest of Velveeta in small cubes on top of onions.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Favorite Thing - Sale Alert

A version of the Hobo clutch that I love (favorite thing #39) is now on sale at Nordstrom. The Hobo International Double Frame Patent Clutch is on sale for $63.90. Below is some information about the purse. Happy Shopping!

Crinkled patent leather creates a two-sided design, perfectly proportioned for traveling light. On the inside, one side has a zipper pocket and the other has two slip pockets and six credit card slots.
  • Snap closure on both sides; single magnetic closure in the middle.
  • Center interior ID window; three credit card slots; zip pocket.
  • Black-and-white checked or polka dot lining.
  • Leather.
  • By Hobo International; imported

Gift Idea Friday - Graphic Body Suits

As many of you know my niece, Fiona Josephine was born on Sunday... I thought it very fitting that this gift idea be a gift that I have given her - Graphic Body Suits from Baby Gap.
They are sooo precious and I really have to stop buying so many. I have a whole batch for my other niece or nephew for March. The bodysuits can range anywhere from $11.00-$16.50. I try and hold out and buy them when they are on sale. When they go on sale you can usually get them for under $10.00. Below are some of my favorites right now -
Apple of Daddy's Eye - $5.99
(also available in Apple of Mommy's Eye)

"Nuts for You" - $4.99

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guest Favorite Thing - DirectTV's NFL Sunday Ticket

This guest post comes from my husband...

Anyone who knows me would agree that I am an enormous sports fan. All sports. Football, baseball, hockey, you name it. And those same people would have the same answer to the question "who is Mikey's favorite sports team?" Although I've got loyalties and love for a team in every sport, the answer, without hesitation, is the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers. One problem: I DON'T LIVE IN PITTSBURGH ANYMORE" Now, I'm not here to complain to all of you and moan about my problems (if you really want to know, just ask my wife). I am here to offer a solution to anyone who may be in a similar situation. With that I bring you the GREATEST INVENTION IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND: DirectTV's NFL Sunday Ticket.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you now have the, the right to watch EVERY NFL GAME there is to offer. No more missing a moment of your favorite team's season. Plus, for you Fantasy Football fans out there, you have access to all of your squad's players. I am in 3 different league's and let me tell you, this service transforms every Sunday into a sports fan's Utopia. But wait.....there's more. For an additional fee, you can get SuperFan.

This lil' piece of heaven gives you the RedZone Channel which automatically switches from game to game, assuring that you don't miss any touchdowns or big plays from around the league. You simply set the remote down and let the TV do all of the work. You also get the GameMix Channel. This shows you eight....yes, eight games at once. When you want to focus in on a particular one, you simply click on it and are there. You also get Player Tracker which allows you to identify up to 18 players on your Fantasty Football teams and throughout the day, no matter what game you are watching, you will receive scrolling updates on how your team is doing.

I'll leave you all with this. My wife and I subscribe to DirectTV for one reason: The NFL Sunday Ticket. Sure we get a bunch of other stuff....blah blah blah. But this service has changed my life. Just ask my wife. Right honey??? Don't you love watching football for 12 straight hours?? I'll take that silence to mean "yes."

Oh,and one more thing.....GO STEELERS!!!!!

What another blogger loves...

I am traveling for work this week so its difficult for me to post. Here is a favorite thing from one of my favorite blogs - My Wardrobe Today. She loves Zappos! In relation to this post, there was a segment on Oprah with the Zappos CEO who's salary is under $40,000 a year. Gotta love that!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Favorite Thing #84 - Oversize Scrolled-Link Bracelet

This is a recent buy for me. I have had my eye on this bracelet for awhile and it finally went on sale - Oversize Scrolled Link Bracelet by J.Crew. Right now its on sale for $39.99 (was originally $69). It pairs perfectly with my gold filigree earrings when I don't want to wear my bangles. I've also worn it to work with simple gold ball earrings. It's a chunky bracelet and is much bigger than it actually appears in the picture. Here's a description from the J.Crew website -
An even bigger, even bolder version of our original scrolled-link bracelet, with romantic curlicues of rich-yellow 24K gold-plated brass. Signature spring clasp closure. Import. Length: 7 1/4".

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wine under $10

The wine store I visit often - - sent me an email about 10 wines under $10 so I wanted to post it for all the readers that love wine like me. I haven't had a chance to check any of them out because I just stocked up on wine from a weekend winery trip (I will be posting about that later this week). Also check out my friend Steve's blog - Steve's Tasting Notes - for some other wines under $10.

    This Cabernet Sauvignon has an intense ruby red color with aromas and flavors of ripe blackcurrant, red pepper, mint, chocolate and vanilla hints. The fruit and tannins are perfectly balanced to give a wine of excellent structure making it ideal for grilled meats, game, pasta or pizza. Only from South America will you find a Cabernet of this quality for this price. The definition of a great value Cabernet.
    - Wine Enthusiast 88 Pts

  • MAN VINTNERS CHENIN BLANC 2008, SOUTH AFRICA $9.99 On Sale - $8.98
    Even better than the delicious 2007 vintage! Tropical fruits, melons, what's not to love? It is a light-hearted and floral wine, with nice melon and kiwi flavors that bounce through the finish. This wine has a unique delicious tangy character that goes well with a lot of food and makes for an excellent aperitif. Tropical fruit, guava and melon aromas, crisp and bold sweet citrus backed by refreshing acidity and minerality characteristic of their coastal vineyards. An excellent wine to go with most poultry, fish and salad dishes. A fabulous aperitif. Serve chilled.
    - Wine Spectator Best Buy

  • BIG RED MONSTER RED WINE N/V, CAL $12.99 On Sale - $9.98
    This luscious red table wine has a relatively high alcohol content - and it gets better from there. Its aroma is mild and fruity, with some spice mixed in. The label recommends that the wine be allowed to breathe for 30 minutes before drinking and we agree that The Big Red Monster needs some air to achieve its potential. Its flavor is fruit forward, with plenty of black cherry and plum and well-structured tannins. This wine falls into the "crowd pleaser" category as well as being very accessible to those who aren't wine snobs. Despite it's higher alcohol content, The Big Red Monster goes down easily, and if you are serving it to guests you'll find yourself refilling their glasses often.

  • TERRAI GARNACHA 2007, SPAIN $11.99 On Sale - $8.98
    This is a delicious wine! Tasting like a village Cotes du Rhone, this purple-hued wine has aromas of kirsch and garrigue, ripe cherry and jammy red currant flavors, and enough structure to last for 3-5 years. This wine deftly reveals both elegance and power that only the Spanards can do with Granacha. This is a delicious Spanish gem at an unbelievable low price. A great value for a top-rated wine.
    - Wine Enthusiast 89 Pts

    Cousiño's Riesling is fermented to dryness to allow its bright, distinctive fruit to shine through. The succulent flavors begin with melon and citrus fruit and continue with apple, orange peel and a hint of ginger. Rich and well-balanced, this wine pairs well with Asian dishes, white meat, and vegetable curries. All Riesling and no wood, it has subtle floral aromas with nougat back notes. The flavors are crisp, juicy and dry, showing citrus, green apple and tropical fruit notes. The touch of bitterness in the finish is the kind of grace note that says this wine needs food."
    - Wine Review Online 90 Pts

  • DI LENARDO PINOT GRIGIO FRUILI 2007, ITALY $12.99 On Sale - $9.98
    Wow -- our favorite house white wine on sale for under $10. This is an outstanding example of a delicious Italian Pinot Grigio. This dry white from Northern Italy is a very refreshing style of Pinot Grigio. It offers aromas of mineral and citrus fruit, in the mouth it has a hint of spritz to give a squeaky clean finish. Great by itself or with seafood. As good as Pinot Grigio's twice its price.
    - IWC 89 Pts

  • BEAULIEU PICPOUL DE PINET 2007, FRANCE $9.99 On Sale - $8.98
    Always a great value, the new vintage of Beaulieu Picpoul is super fresh and bursting with aromas of exotic lime and citrus. This delicious white wine delivers luscious mouthfuls of round, spicy fruit. According to Robert Parker, this has been a perennial BEST BUY selection from an excellent cooperative in the Languedoc.

    France's answer to Mendoza! Although this wine hails from Malbec's home in Southwest France, noted Cahors producer Georges Vigouroux has made it in a style approaching new world. It was vinified traditionally, with a long fermentation, to aid in tannin extraction. Pleasant berry aromas, full-bodied with ripe tannins and great fruit concentration. This easy-drinking Malbec is great with red meats, grilled chicken.
    - Wine Enthusiast 89 Pts

  • DOM LES ONDINES COTES DU RHONE 2007, FRANCE $11.99 On Sale - $8.98
    Can you believe a delicious Cote Deu Rhone for this price? A youthful, exuberant red wine with lots of red fruit tastes and an extremely smooth feel in your mouth. This is a fun wine for a party or for everyday drinking, and would serve well with hamburgers and barbequed chicken. A Finewine staff bargain pick that we highly recommend!

  • DOM DES TERRISSES GAILLAC BLANC 2007, FRANCE $12.99 On Sale - $9.98
    Deliciously refreshing, dry, white with a twist of honey and apple and peach. Made from two local grapes with Sauvignon Blanc. This is a wonderful flavorful white that bridges Bordeaux Graves and Mediterrean whites. A bit more body than Bordeaux and less weight than the Southern whites. So delicious and wonderful. A great bargain.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Favorite Thing #83 - Pumpkin Seeds

October means Halloween, candy, fall weather, pumpkin carving, and a new favorite thing - pumpkin seeds! Last year, my husband and I started a tradition with our friends Lisa and Lee and we pick a weekend in late October, buy pumpkins, carve them, have dinner and then bake pumpkin seeds. I had never had pumpkin seeds until last year and now I am hooked. They are really easy to make. While you are carving your pumpkin just place the seeds in a separate bowl. Clean the seeds and place them on greased baking sheet (I just use my Misto and spray it with olive oil) then spray the seeds (again I use the Misto or you can use Pam) , salt them a little bit and bake them in the oven at 300 degrees for approx. 1 hour. About half way through you should flip the seeds. Take them out of the oven and then they are ready to eat. It makes the perfect snack. Thanks to Lisa's mom for telling us how to bake the seeds. Here is a picture of our second annual pumpkin carving.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Tag :)

Thanks to KT of KT's Sassy Blog for the tag and her shout out to Sopapilla Cheesecake. I am going to pass the love on to some of my favorite blogs -

1. My Wardrobe Today - You were one of the first blogs I started tracking and have helped bring attention to my blog.

2. Make It Fabulous - Because of you I know about Belk! Thank You!

3. Cute on the Cheap - Thanks for all great cheap fashion ideas!

4. Wardrobe Oxygen - Because one of Allie's blog's isn't enough!

5. Unclutterer - You help me keep my life organized and one of these days I am going to submit my hide-away desk for Workspace of the Week.

6. Everyday I Write the Book - Always gives great suggestions on the next book I should read.

Favorite Thing #82 - Camelbak Water Bottle

This favorite thing is a recent obsession of mine - Camelbak Water Bottle. I got sick of spending all this money on bottled water (especially since I have a built in water filter in my fridge) and any of the other water bottles I had used int he past ended up smelling after a few uses so I thought I would try something new. And this water bottle is AMAZING. I take it everywhere I go. I started drinking a lot more water and haven't bought a bottle of water in weeks! This particular bottle is a 24 oz bottle that is made of a BPA-Free Material. It comes in a variety of colors. I have the orange one. It is available at most sports and outdoor stores and also on Amazon. Right now its available for $7.95 on Amazon. There are also "sport" and larger verisions available.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Favorite Thing #81 - Lipstick Jungle

I started watching this favorite thing one lazy Saturday last year when I was sick on the couch and there happen to be a marathon. Well I immediately got hooked on Lipstick Jungle and highly recommend it. I love this show because it follows a similar premise to Sex and the City but with a different twist. The show is based on the best-selling book (which I need to still read) by Candace Bushnell (same person behind Sex and the City). It follows "three high-powered friends as they weather the ups and downs of lives lived at the top of their game." There is the Wendy the movie executive (played by Brooke Shields) who tries to balance family and career, Nico (played by Kim Raver) is editor-in-chief of a hot fashion magazine, and free-spirited fashion designer Victory (plated by Lindsey Price) who wants to find Mr. Right.

I definitely recommend catching up on old episodes and and then set your DVR for Wednesday nights at 10pm.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I got my first tag!!!!

Allie at My Wardrobe Today tagged me about my favorites, so here it goes...

1. Clothes Shop - There are so many that I love but J.Crew and Banana Republic definitely top the list. I rarely buy things full price at these stores because they go on sale so frequently.

2. Furniture Shop - Target and Crate and Barrel are the two predominate stores that are featured in our home. I am a big believer in mixing some expensive and inexpensive pieces for a chic home.3. Sweet - Right now I am obsessed with Peanut M&M's!

4. City - Washington D.C. and Chicago - The place I live and the place I frequent the most

5. Drink - Wine - red or white - just depends on the mood I'm in and the temperature outside

6. Music - I have a very eclectic collection of music but my favorite would be Dave Matthews Band

7. TV Series - My DVR is full of shows that I tape but if I had to pick a few favorites they would be Gossip Girl, Lipstick Jungle, Project Runway, and Desperate Housewives.

8. Film - Pretty Woman is by far my fav!

9. Workout - Running, Body Pump and Body Attack at Golds Gym

10. Pastries - I'm not a big pastry eater but if I had to pick - Croissant

11. Coffee - Pumpkin Spice Latte!!!!

Favorite Thing #80 - Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

As we are well into football season (E-A-G-L-E-S...EAGLES) this favorite thing is perfect - Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip. I'm not exactly sure how I came about this recipe...a friend of a friend I think but its the perfect dip for game day or game night! It's super easy. So easy that my husband can make it and usually is the one making it. Be warned this is NOT healthy at all! See recipe below:

2 cans (10 oz) white chunk chicken

3/4 cup of hot wing sauce

2 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese

1 cup ranch dressing

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Bag of Fritos to serve...or whatever you desire

Drain the chicken well, mix chicken and hot sauce on stove top until hot. Add cream cheese, ranch dressing and cheddar cheese. Once mix thoroughly. Serve up with Fritos or whatever you want.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Favorite Thing #79 - Enzo Angiolini Svieta Black Pumps

I recently updated my pumps for work and fell in love with this favorite thing - Enzo Angiolini Svieta pumps. I wanted to go a little different from what I traditionally buy - basic black pointed toe. These are still classic with a pointed toe but are a little higher than I usually get for work (3 inches) and they are patent leather. The point is a little shorter than what I usually buy (see below).
I spent a little more money on these than I normally do ($99) but I know that they will last for a few years. And if you order these from Piperlime they will ship for free. I am a big fan of Enzo shoes. These are the second ones that I blogged about. I previously blogged about the peep toe pumps.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great Buy - Black Ruffle Dress from Target

This weekend my husband and I were in Chicago for a wedding. And the day of the wedding my friend Jill wanted a new dress to wear. We were on a mission and only had an hour to find her one. We stopped at Marshall's and Old Navy - no luck and then hit up Target where we found the perfect dress - Black Sleeveless Ruffle Dress by Xhilaration. It fit her perfectly and the best part it was only $19.99!!! The above picture does not do the dress justice so here's a pic of the two of from that night:

Here are some details about the dress from

• Create a Classic Silhouette with this Pretty Chiffon Baby-Doll Dress
• Classic Fit
• Sleeveless Cut, Round Neck, Decorative Ruffled Collar
• Zipper Closure
• Made of 100% Polyester; Tumble Dry Low, Machine Wash Cold
• Above-the-Knee, Tiered Ruffle Skirt, Tiered

Monday, October 13, 2008

Favorite Thing #78 - OPI's We'll Always Have Paris

Again another favorite thing from OPI's France Collection. I just tried this polish and it was instant love - We'll Always Have Paris. This color has the purple hue that I Think I Can Can has but has a little more red to it. Another perfect fall color. I really love this collection from OPI and so far I am two for two. I'm not the only one that's fallen in love so has The Fashionable Housewife.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Great New Recipe - Chicken with Corn and Edamame

Last week I came home from a business trip to a candle lit dinner cooked by my husband. He made the most amazing chicken dish. it was from a recipe that I had cut out of Real Simple magazine. It was so delicious and healthy. The chicken was so moist and flavorful. And you know it had to be easy since my husband made it. The above picture is what the meal actually looked like when I got home.

Sautéed Chicken with Corn and Edamame

4 ounces sliced bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from 2 ears) or frozen

Heat oven to 400° F.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard the drippings. Wipe out the skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking dish and roast until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the edamame and corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Break the bacon into pieces and add them to the skillet. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper. Spoon onto individual plates and serve with the chicken.

Shortcut: Omit the bacon to save time and cut fat.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 259(38% from fat); FAT 11g (sat 1g); CHOLESTEROL 23mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21g; SODIUM 489mg; PROTEIN 18g; FIBER 7g; SUGAR 9g

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Favorite Thing #77 - Tilia Malbec Wine

For me with the fall weather comes red wine. One of my new favorites is the Tilia Malbec. It's a great red from Argentina. I'm not a wine connoisseur (yet) but according to The Wine Merchant "the mouthfeel is big and juicy, with dark fruit flavors, a touch of bitter chocolate and cinnamon from light oak aging. This finish is soft and lush with ripe, velvety tannins." The best thing about this wine is its very affordable. I've seen it online at several different places for under $10!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Favorite Thing #76 - Rue La La

This is my newest shopping obsession (thank you Ann) - Rue La La. Is an invitation-only online boutique where designers hold private sales for a brief window of time (usually two-three days). Merchandise is significantly discounted and sells out very quickly. The online boutiques are a variety of designers, both men and women's clothes, accessories, and home goods.

Membership is free but its by invitation-only. If you are interested just send me an email or leave a comment with your information and I will send you the invite. Once you are a member you can send the invite to friends and earn yourself Rue La La credit. When each new friend joins and places their first order you receive a $10 Rue La La Credit.

So far I've bought two things - a Penguin hoodie for my hubby (originally $90 bought for $39) and a pair of James Jeans for myself (originally over $100 bought for $59).

Happy Shopping!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Favorite Thing #75 - Gold Filigree Earrings

This is a must have in any woman's accessory closet - gold filigree earrings. They can always enhance your outfit either a day at work or a night out on the town. I own several different pairs that are several different styles. Here are a few that I own from South Moon Under

Tudor Jewelry Plated Large

These are fun and big and the perfect accessory to dress that night out on the town outfit! Tudor Jewelry Plated Small

These are smaller than the ones above. They are very versatile - perfect to dress up an outfit for work or for night out. They are just enough to make your outfit pop.

Tudor Jewelry Double Small

This is the smallest of the three and the most dainty. These are perfect for just a little something to add to your outfit.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gift Idea Friday - Monogrammed Bibs

As many of you know I am going to be an aunt TWICE and I am so excited that I am spoiling them both already. We have Fiona being born end of October, beginning of November and Baby Scripps (or Baby E) being born middle of March. So you will see lots of great gift idea posts for babies in the weeks to come.

The first one is one of my favorites. I found a woman (Annemarie) who does a fantastic job with monogrammed bibs. She sells her products through Etsy (an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade - thank you Chandra). You pick the color, thread the monogramming is, font, and what you want it to say. Her bibs are $5 for $25 and you get one free! These make the perfect baby shower or welcome baby gift.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Favorite Thing #74 - Gossip Girl

My husband and I are obsessed with this show (sorry hunnie the secret's out). Gossip Girl is a guilty pleasure that I got hooked on last year thanks to my good friend Lisa. The premise of this series is about the lives of "Manhattan's Elite" - prep school teens on Manhattan's Upper East Side. There is lots of sex, drugs, drinking, drama - everything you need for a TV dram. The show is completely unrealistic but will have you addicted after the first few minutes. The show airs on Monday nights @ 8pm on the CW. For those of you that missed season one catch up on iTunes. For you existing fans - xoxo Gossip Girl!! :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Favorite Thing #73 - Leila, the eyebrow wax goddess!

I can't call this a favorite thing because she is a person - Leila the eyebrow wax goddess! She has been sculpting my eyebrows for the past four years (thanks to Rebecca for recommending her) and I won't let anyone else touch them. She does an amazing job with my unruly brows (and trust me they can get out of hand). Leila has a small salon in Arlington, VA located at 2200 Wilson Blvd. She recently changed the name from Haircut Plus to Leila Color Salon. In addition to my eyebrows she also does an amazing job with color and cuts! Give her a call for your next hair or waxing need - 703-524-1816 and tell her Christina recommeded her. At this time she only accepts cash or checks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Favorite Thing #72 - Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Another favorite by Jodi Picoult - Change of Heart is her newest release and as always is a book I couldn't put down. She writes the book again from different character's perspectives which i love but in this book the switches were sudden so it took some getting used to. This book touches on several morality issues that will definitely get you thinking. And a warning for my friend Lisa - this book will probably make you cry.

Other bloggers that loved the book as well - muzbeecrazy, Rockin' Teen Reads, vagabondprofessor

...and others that didn't Nerd.Again.

Here's a summary from "Picoult bangs out another ripped-from-the-zeitgeist winner, this time examining a condemned inmate's desire to be an organ donor. Freelance carpenter Shay Bourne was sentenced to death for killing a little girl, Elizabeth Nealon, and her cop stepfather. Eleven years after the murders, Elizabeth's sister, Claire, needs a heart transplant, and Shay volunteers, which complicates the state's execution plans. Meanwhile, death row has been the scene of some odd events since Shay's arrival—an AIDS victim goes into remission, an inmate's pet bird dies and is brought back to life, wine flows from the water faucets. The author brings other compelling elements to an already complex plot line: the priest who serves as Shay's spiritual adviser was on the jury that sentenced him; Shay's ACLU representative, Maggie Bloom, balances her professional moxie with her negative self-image and difficult relationship with her mother. Picoult moves the story along with lively debates about prisoner rights and religion, while plumbing the depths of mother-daughter relationships and examining the literal and metaphorical meanings of having heart. The point-of-view switches are abrupt, but this is a small flaw in an impressive book."


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