Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekend Five Favorites- Burberry Kisses, Ethical Fashion, Korean Cooking

Dear Darling,

     Happy weekend! I found a few things that I couldn't wait to tell you about. Yes, I've been trying to spend less, in my pursuit of a minimalist life. But, I've found that as I've gotten older, I enjoy these types of little splurges so much more than going out to dinners, movies or events. I guess we all have our priorities at different stages of life. Our current stage being couch potato bobbleheads... how was your dinner? Yes dear. How do you like this lipstick? Yes dear. You still breathing over there? Yes dear. Boring to some, but my current prescription for a lovely, low-stress life.

     What have been some of your favorites lately? I do hope I hear from you soon down below in the comments. It's been far too long since we've written, and I've missed you.

Sincerely Yours,


1. You + Me- Rose Ave. // I can't stop listening to this album, and it has become my favorite get-ready-with-me music all week. I'll be honest, I didn't think I'd ever buy a record past the 90's, but I'm excited to see that artists are now putting their music on vinyl. Because vinyl always sounds better. 

When I heard that Pink was part of this collaboration, I was intrigued. And then excited to find it has a completely unique style. And unlike many of the records of the 80's, side B is just as good as side A. A few of my favorites songs are From a Closet in Norway, Gently and Love Gone Wrong.

2. Rise and Shine Earrings from Paisley and Sparrow // Great products... with a purpose! Not to mention I'm in love with their cute logo. These earrings are so unique and fun. And the peachy-pink color livens up summery outfits, plus makes my face seem to glow. These will also be great in the colder months- especially nice paired with a black turtleneck and scarf. 

These earrings are handcrafted at a fair trade artisan cooperative in India. I love supporting companies that focus on sustainable business, fair trade, ethical fashion, and helping to empower women.

3. Rose Pink Kisses Lipstick by Burberry // I can't say enough good things about this lipstick formula, and will go as far as to say that these Kisses lipsticks have replaced all other lipstick in my collection- even my Chanel. I first tried out Pomegranate Pink and it's gorgeous. But I'm also thrilled with this more nudey my-lips-but-better pink. Something I'll likely reach for most days. 

There's something magical about this formula and how it has just enough shine and moisturizes almost like a chapstick. Yet offers a buildable opaque color. Perfect for an everyday look, or with a smokey eye. (Full review on 4 colors coming soon).

4. Bluebird Corkscrew by Boston Warehouse // Not much to say about this except that it's so darn cute. My previous wine opener finally bit the dust, so I opted for one that was more unique and interesting. It works great, was less than $10, and each time I use it, it makes me smile.

5. Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes by Robin Ha // Genius... pure genius. I've been wanting to learn more about Korean cooking this last year, but I've had a hard time figuring it all out. Gochujang? Kimchi? And what is with all those side dishes? 

Well, Robin explains it all in the most creative way... and one that really fits in line with the way I learn. All in a comic book?! Lots of fun comics and recipes- this is the kind of book that I read cover to cover in a weekend- and did. Maybe Robin will team up with chefs specializing in other cuisines and she can do comic book cookbooks on other types of food in the future. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Love's Lunchbox #1- Curry Chicken and Blueberry Salad Pita

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Dear Darling,

     I hope this morning finds you well. I'm up early, partly because of Ocean's internal 6:15 am alarm clock. An alarm that if not answered, will stand firm whining and pawing at the mattress until I finally roll out of bed and we hobble down our four flights of stairs. And partly because one of my favorite things is packing my love's lunch and seeing him off to work each morning.

     If I'm lucky, Ocean does his business quickly. And if I'm even luckier, I'm greeted by a good morning sky from God. This morning was one of His especially glowy smiles. The last bits of pinks yearning to remain orange, but quickly fading away into the powder blue sky.

     I've been packing lunches for coming up on 25 years now, and let's just say that turkey sandwiches don't hold the appeal that they used to. Dry. Boring. Blah. So I pulled out a few old cookbooks and found a recipe for Curry Chicken Salad. I adjusted it a bit to fit our tastes, and we both found it delicious. I was delighted, as I wasn't sure I really like curry. Thought it might be great for your next day trip with the family, too.

     Do you have any favorite lunchbox recipes, or ideas to share? I do hope that I hear from you soon down below in the comments. It's been far too long since we've corresponded, and I've missed you.

Sincerely Yours,


Curry Chicken and Blueberry Salad Pita

Adapted from Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking
Serves 4

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Roaming Local Review- Brooklyn (Artisan Food Subscription Box)


I've tried many food subscription boxes over the years, but I'm just going to put it out there... this one is the best, by far.

Over the holidays I was contacted by Roaming Local asking if I wanted to review their new artisan food subscription box, and I was hesitant. I've received many boxes in the past (some for review, and many that I bought) and while they were nice, they just weren't memorable. And the ones that I paid for, I didn't end up renewing the next month. Mediocre food that was often sample-sized or full of ingredients that I didn't want to eat. And boxes that just didn't have any "heart." But, I agreed to try it, especially after finding out that this box's theme was from Brooklyn, and I'm glad I did.

Roaming Local is a bi-monthly artisan pantry and specialty food box that includes 6 full-size food items. Each month they choose a new city to highlight, and pick products that are made there (YAY local!) The boxes are $59 bi-monthly, including shipping. And if you use the code FIRST40, you can get your first box for $40. They also offer discounted rates if you sign up for more than one box at a time. The next box ships in February 2016, and I can't wait to find out which city will be next.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Creole Shredded Zucchini with Feta

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It's officially Spring here in the South. 

The leaves are finally back on the trees, providing shelter for the Mamma birds and their new babies. The color is in full force with bushes sprouting out pinks, reds and bright blooms in yellows. And pollen blankets the city, my car... my dog. Making me realize more than ever, that the pain of 5 years of allergy shots far outweighs the fact that I've not had one sniff, one sneeze, or even one red, itchy eye since we landed in the South 17 years ago.

Spring. A time that still makes my heart sing, not just because of the beauty, but also because of the fresh produce. Strawberry stands begging you to pull off Southern back roads and stay for awhile. Corn, 10 for a dollar. And the abundance... or overabundance of one of my favorite vegetables- zucchini.

So, if you know me, you know I love, and rely on roasting vegetables. Especially throughout the cooler Fall, and all too often dreary Winter. But, when the temperatures rise, I look for other creative ways to prepare the bounties of the South.

I first read about shredding zucchini from Julia Child, and I played around with it from there. Adding a bit of flair with the Creole flavors. And some feta cheese to cut the spice and add some creamy goodness.

This dish has quickly become our mainstay side dish. Simple ingredients. Quick on preparation and cleanup. Plus healthy and addictively delicious.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Roasted Veggie and Chickpea Picatta Pasta #Vegan


I'm totally into beans now. I'm not sure why I've never made them more of a centerpiece in my meals, because I've always loved the taste, texture, and the fact that they're such an inexpensive protein.

And this last week, I've been having beans just about every day, and you know what? I've felt better than I have in years. I've felt fuller, more satisfied, and had more energy... from beans? Yes, plain and simple canned beans.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Chicken Salad Lettuce Leaf Wraps with Roasted New Potatoes, Fennel and Olives #WeekdaySupper


I feel like I'm constantly learning about food and flavors and how to put them all together.  In fact, I thirst for that knowledge... which is good for me, and not so good for my husband.  As I'd channel surf back and forth between Food Network and Cooking Channel every. waking. hour. if I could.

But recently, I heard something that was one of those culinary light bulb moments.  Something that was so simple, yet so profound... that I can't seem to get it out of my mind.  Like one of those songs that get stuck in your head from the 80's.  Like Zanadu, or Whip It... or This Little Light of Mine.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Salmon and Strawberry Spinach Salad with Kentucky Maple Vinaigrette #SundaySupper


There are a few places that will always remain my favorite places on Earth.  Places that I could visit again and again, and each time, feel like I'm home.  One is back home in Santa Barbara- Alice Keck Park.  The second in Paris- Place de Vosges.  And another, here in Raleigh.  The Raleigh Rose Garden.