Friday! Hurray! Hurray! Errr.. I mean Saturday.

via historiful.tumblr.com

Yes, apparently while I was in a flu-induces haze, I forgot to post this, even though I had it READY to go for Friday. Blergh.

Happy Friday!

I’m finally feeling a little better! How are you doing? Do you have any big weekend plans?

Yesterday Brendan and I went to Princeton New Jersey (which is such an amazing place).  We got this really amazing olive oil and strawberry balsamic at Carter & Cavero: Old World Oil Company, and visited a kitchen gadget  store called Kitchen Kapers.  It was so much fun being there, in this beyond charming college town, just the two of us focusing on each other.  It is wonderful being out together, and to feeling like we did those first few months of being together.

Here we are at Carter & Cavero:

Here I am tasting all of the delicious balsamic vinaigrettes.

There was such a huge selection of oils and vinaigrettes, we had a hard time picking our favorites.  In the end we got Truffle Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (so wonderful), Strawberry balsamic, Garlic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Tuscan herb Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, and Frantoio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil… Needless to say, we won’t be needing EVOO any time soon!

Also, here are somethings that I’ve been eyeing all week:

A la Patricia Blanchet

These shoes are awesome.  I’ve been wanting to find a pair similar to this for a few years, but nothing really spoke to me like these do.

via House of Turquoise

I love the look of driftwood. Whenever I see a cool drift wood piece it makes me want to learn carpentry so that I could have the ability to make furniture with pieces of awesome wood like the piece above.

via flickr

Brendan would never let me do this, and I’m not sure I would, but it’s pretty cool, right?

Smitten Kitchen’s Porch Swing sounds truly sumptuous.  Now that the weather is getting warming, I see myself having many a gin based cocktail on balmy New Jersey nights. Yum.

Once again, I pay homage to that glorious hue Kelly Green.  This room, designed by Christina Murphy is to die for.  Brendan and I both thought this was such a great look.  Maybe we will replicate it someday.. : )

And I’ll leave you with the sage advice of Ronald Swanson:

Have a stellar weekend! May all your dreams come true.

xoxo,

Katie

What’s Cookin’?:The Post in Which Brendan Cooks for me

It all started with a nice chunk of pancetta.

You wouldn’t think that a piece of cured and salted pork could inspire such excitement; but at our house it does.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara was the second dish that Brendan ever made for me.  Coming from a family of fairly conservative eaters, I had never heard of carbonara, and when he asked me if I wanted it for dinner, after an internal struggle to seem like I knew what the heck he was talking about, I nodded and smiled and pleased sounds. “I’ll just do a google search later,” I told myself… Of course I didn’t…

I was surprised when he pulled out this little chunk of red  cured meat, marbled with fat. “Does it taste good? Probably,” I said to myself, “Look at all the fat, that has to taste good…”

That first night, as I do every time he makes this, I watched him prepare the meal.

He carefully sliced up the pancetta.  One of the things I like best about Brendan is how intentional he is.  This is a man with a plan. Who says what he means, and is careful with me, and everything that he does.  Slicing up pancetta is no different. Look at it. Doesn’t it look good?

Garlic. Not very romantic, but so delicious.  One of the first things that I brought and left at Brendan’s was a  toothbrush.

The aroma of the pancetta sizzling in a pan, freshly seasoned by garlic is one of my favorites.

Mmmm. Salty, cheesy richness.  This dish is so bad for you, but if you only make it occasionally, it’s not so bad.

I love it when Brendan cooks for me.  It makes me feel cared for, and brings me back to the first time we ever had this together. Sitting side by side, critiquing the meal, talking about what we would do different, then never writing it down.

I love this routine we have. I love us…

ElleBee Photography

ElleBee Photography

ElleBee Photography

ElleBee Photography

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. I hope you are with people you love, and take a minute to  not only show some love to somebody (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife…Cat); but to also love yourself.

Wish me luck on my Valentine’s Day meal.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Decorating Blues

A couple of nights ago my adorable beagle ate a chunk out of my coffee table/tv stand (Coffee table/tv stand? We’re poor, what do you want from us?)

Yes, Dexter the Dog, remember him?

Yes, this guy.  Don’t be fooled by his adorable-sleepy state, he is a murderer of furniture.

Here’s the damage:

I spent a week sanding it down priming it, and painting it.  This was my first major furniture project, and it makes me so sad that I can’t repair it.  I wanted to scream I was so angry, mostly at myself for having lost track of him long enough for him to gnaw on my table like a raw-hide bone.  Sometimes I forget that we’ve only had Dexter a few months, and expect him to be good, when I should be expecting him to be looking for trouble. Le sigh, I am so sad (use your thickest french accent for that, everyone).

It really bums me out that this had to happen right before my friends come into town to see our house for the first time.  Oh well, at least Callie and Steph are two very non-judgmental people.  I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if our house was fully decorated.  When we moved here we had very little in the way of furniture, and nothing that could be considered decorative.  It makes me sad that the only piece of furniture that I really loved is gonzo. My walls are basically blank, and our space is not personalized yet.  It makes me wish that our friends were going to be coming later rather than later this month..But honestly, I am clinging to their coming here, like a life line. It’s pretty lonely out here, so it will be nice to see people I know and love, that love me too…

Anyway, moving on to the next Unfortunate Event.

Remember this?

We went to Thrift Village last night, and Brendan finally admitted that he didn’t like it. At first he said that it was fine, and let’s get it, but I could see that he didn’t want to get it.

Outside I was like this:

Inside I was like this:

Yep.

I keep on telling myself that it was good that we didn’t get it, because Brendan would have been unhappy with the purchase.  I listened  to my partner, even though I really didn’t like what he had to say.  I guess this is what happens when you and your partner has different aesthetics. Brendan likes a very unadorned modern feel, whereas I like a little more decoration Mid-Century kind of feel. It is so frustrating decorating a house when your husband has opinions, lol.

So those are my unfortunate events, and now I’m down a coffee table, and my house is still pretty blah. Oh well. I’ll have to find more DIY projects to make my house less blah… Hopefully Brendan will sign off on them.

Compromise is good. My parents house is pretty, but I don’t see my mother in it at all. My dad’s aesthetic comes through more clearly than hers, and it is sad to think that they couldn’t find middle ground. I have found thus far that finding the middle ground is difficult, but it could mean the difference between having an argument, and both of us feeling satisfied with what we have jointly chosen.

Gah. I still wish that it was dictatorship as far as decorating goes, but that’s not healthy, when the other person has feelings about it.

That’s all.

xoxo,

Katie

She’s Crafty: The Post in Which She Paints a Picture.

Almost all our walls are blank. I have pictures, and Brendan has beautiful Chinese scrolls that he got when he studied abroad in China, but still our walls are mostly blank.  I have been wanting to print some of our wedding pictures out to hang on the walls, but we never seem to get around to it. I don’t know about Brendan, but I didn’t really want to buy impersonal prints that could be found on hotel walls and call it art.

That’s why when I saw this picture, I knew that I had to recreate it.

This is such a simple and honest picture.  Not only is it so true, but it’s also a lyric from our song, “Home,” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros.

We both loved the song when we heard it, and felt that it was true for us. Especially now that we are so far away from home, this song means more.  The funny thing is that my best friend Stephanie, who was our amazing DJ at our wedding played this song for us as we were getting ready to leave our wedding, without of ever having a discussion about how we loved “Home.”

I cried the whole way to the place we stayed on our wedding night.  Happy tears, but leaving home tears too. We flew out to New Jersey the next morning.

So far away from home and everything that was familiar and comfortable.  But Brendan is here, and we fill our home with laughter and love, and are making new memories.  I can honestly say that I do feel at home here, because Brendan is here. Brendan is my home.

Cheeeeeeeesy but so true.

So anyway, I’m going to find a nice piece of wood, sand it, spray paint it black, and stencil in the words and hang it in spot where I can look at it every day.

I hope to do this craft after I’m finished with my duvet- which will be in a couple of days probably.

xoxo,

Katie

Valentine’s Day Planning Pt. 1: The Food

Howdy,

Can you believe that it’s almost February?  This month has just blown by, and now i’m starting to think about Valentines Day. This year will our first Valentines Day as a married couple; and I want to make it special. I have always put a lot of thought into our Valentines Day meal, spent hours de-veining shrimp, practiced making souffles (Wait… I thought it would be fluffier), surfed the web for what seemed like days to find the perfect chocolate dessert, the best veg, the most romantic meals…

*Sigh* I love planning, but sometimes it’s a bit of a hassle. That’s why this year when I saw that epicurious.com had made a Romantic Menu Planner that asks you a series of questions and then provides you with a wonderful meal plan.

When I took the quiz, my ideal match was:

Crabmeat, Apple, and Mango Salad on Cumin Apple Chips as our first course.

Maine Lobster with Wild Mushrooms and Rosemary Vapor…Rosemary vapor? Yes please! Look at that gorgeous dish.

As a dessert, they suggested I make  a Deconstructed Black Forest Cake… Fancy, right?

But I was thinking about making Lemon and White Chocolate Mousse Parfaits with Strawberries.  The mousse is so much lighter… Look at how pretty they are!

And you can’t forget the wine! I will be pairing it with a delicious Chardonnay- probably a nice California wine I was thinking 2009 Hess Select Chardonnay (that only I will drink, because BB doesn’t like wine… Maybe I could find a good beer to pair with lobster- more on possible beers later… Which I know nothing about. I think I’ll have to ask my brother who is a genius as far a brewing and beer goes).

I think that this is going to be our best Valentine’s Day yet! Tune in tomorrow for my next installment of Valentines Day Planning as I talk about Valentines Day inspired duds. : )

What are your plans for Valentines day?

xoxo,

Katie

Reasons Why I Want My Husband and I to Take Dance Lessons

I will be honest with you.  My dance skills are almost non-existant.  I never really felt at home on the dance floor.  Of course I love to dance at home in private, and even in public, but I’m more like Elaine

Than Cyd (bt dubs, the dance sequence with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charice is one of my all time favorites)..

Despite my lack of fluidity I still have always wanted to be able to actually dance.  I took a salsa class with my Mom last year and we loved it.  We danced with each other and practiced our moves  together and had a good time.  Naturally after Brendan proposed to me I thought it would be a nice thing for us to take dance lessons for our first dance instead of awkwardly swaying in place to the beat of the music- something I definitely did at high school dances.

So B and I took five dance lessons and had so much fun- but I have to say the pressure of preparing to dance in front of everyone you know at event where there would be video evidence of the  number was a tad bit stressful.  Or, I suppose I should say that it was stressful for me because I can be perhaps at times a little….errr.. obnoxiously Type A at times, and so it was hard for me to let go and have fun toward the end of our lessons.  When I was able to relax we had such  a good time. I loved being able to learn something together and work together to make it happen. So that’s why I want to take dance lessons with Brendan… That and I am mildly obsessed with Gene Kelly, I mean seriously, look at this man go:

Would I love to reinact this dance scene? Yes, yes I would.  I was totally enthralled the first time I saw this movie.  Gene Kelly is so masculine and strong. Wonderful.  There is something undeniably sexy about this dance, and I want to do be able to dance like that, dang it.

So there you have it. I’m not sure how convincing my argument is, and something tells me showing Brendan my “American in Paris” clip and explaining to him why I heart Gene Kelly won’t work… Maybe I’ll stick with the whole bonding together time  thing and leave Gene (yes, we are on a first name basis) out of it.

xoxo

Katie

Meet my Family

I figured that it was time for you to meet my family officially.  We are a small family, just myself, Brendan my husband, and Dexter the Dog. Here we are below:

Before Brendan and I got married (three and half months ago) and moved to New Jersey, I made him promise me that we would get a puppy, so that I wouldn’t miss my parent’s dog quite so much.  We found Dex through SOS Beagle Rescue, a great non-profit that operates out of Southern NJ, Alabama and Tennessee.  We could not have been luckier with Dexter, he has been a source of great joy and entertainment.

Look at that face!!

This dog is such a little love. Very playful, loving, and naughty in the extreme.

Here is an example of how naughty this dog is:

  Poor Dexter, I guess he can’t resist my rain boots…After being fussed at, he moved on to Brendan’s flip flops… The beagle loves shoes- yet another characteristic that let’s me know that he fits in well here.

Dexy is the best dog ever, you should come over and pet him- you will agree. You don’t live in New Jersey? I’m very sorry for you. He is the best.

Brendan is an Economics professor at a local college in South Jersey, and is so far loving his job, which he just started four months ago.  He is an exceedingly excellent educator who cares about his students- even as he yells at them to really learn how to graph.  He has the best sense of humor, and can always make me laugh. He is kind, generous, and helps me take myself a little less seriously. He’s my best friend.

Brendan and I met in college as he was finishing his Ph.D. and I was an undergrad.  I will share our love story some other time, but suffice to say, we became friends, and after a few years of friendship, and after telling him, “no,” a few times, our relationship grew and flourished into a beautiful love story. There is nothing quite so wonderful as falling asleep at night holding hands with your best friend.

Here is a picture from our wedding.  In case you are wondering, these pictures were taken by Lauren Button of ElleBee Photography .  If you live in the Southwest, Arizona area and need pictures, Lauren is your girl!

And this is me, Katie. I am a lover of fashion, film, and cooking. I love 1960’s french pop, and La Nouvelle Vauge. I am tad bit obsessed with Pinterest, and I love surfing the interwebs for beautiful things.  I love Anthropologie, and anthropology. I spent the last five years of my life in college soaking up information on Native Americans of the Southwest, evolutionary forces that shaped women’s bodies, and have a deep and abiding love for Greek and Roman art and architecture.  I’m the kind of person who cries (just a little bit) when I see something beautiful, and often laughs at inappropriate things.  Love The Smiths, and indie films…That is me in a nutshell.

Tell me about yourself? I’d love to meet you, too. : )

xoxo,

Katie