Monday, April 11, 2011

Listed: Back!

Anyone still out there?  I hope my absence hasn’t caused too many to remove my blog from their blog list!  The past three weeks have been some of the busiest I have ever had.  New job...moved cities… several events… and just got back from the best wedding season kickoff in Charleston, SC!!

Just a little update:  I am now working/living in Houston, TX, but still have the same job with the same company.  Since I am from Houston, moving here has not been much of adjustment at all.  Was a little hesitant at first, but all in all, I haven’t lived here as a post-grad and I’m very excited to learn all that Houston has to offer!!  First day of work is tomorrow…eeekkk! 

This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching my good friend Ashley marry her high school sweetheart in Charleston, SC.  Charleston = amazing.  Great food, awesome shopping, charming architecture, rich history… definitely add it to your Places I Want to Visit list.  A weekend was not long enough by any means!  Having only scratched the surface, I have bumped Charleston to the top of my PIWtV list.  My travel buddy Lindsey and I did a great job of making the most of our visit and I will dish all about it later this week!

Traveling to Charleston was not a walk in the park.  With many hours spent in the air or in various airports I am so thankful I finally decided to visit  I spent HOURS on this site.  Searching for art, jewelry, antiques, you name it!  I already have several “favorites.”  If you haven’t ever visited I strongly suggest you take a look.  Maybe I am way behind and this site is old news but I can’t wait to get some of these prints I ordered:

Once I get them I am going to go on a hunt to find some neat frames and piece together my esty collection.  Here is the link to some of my favorites! 

So glad to be back!  Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Listed: Hey Babycakes!

My younger sister is off to NYC this morning and I am uber jealous.  I spent a summer in the Big Apple and had a blast!  Still a place I could easily relocate to!  It is just full of amazing places to eat, has the best shopping, is so culturally saturated, has an amazing arts scene… you all know these things!  I love visiting!  My friend Berry lives there currently and a few years back during a post Shopsin’s brunch she took us to Babycakes Bakery.  I was in LOVE!  They use the best ingredients and offer vegan and gluten free baked goods.  De-Lish!  I think I got one of everything just to try!  They came out with a cookbook a little while ago (I had it preordered) and I have loved cooking out of it! 

 Over the weekend I had some downtime and decided to make my sister some muffins to get her geared up for her trip!  I was short coconut oil so I had to improvise!  I replaced coconut oil with ¼ cup of Grapeseed oil and half of a small applesauce.  Doing this actually cuts back on the fat/saturated fat and they tasted great!  (not that I don’t like coconut oil!)

2 cups Spelt Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut oil (Grape seed oil/ applesauce)
2/3 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup rice milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
2/3 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the oil, agave nectar, rice milk, vanilla and lemon extract to the dry ingredients, and stir until the batter is smooth. Using a plastic spatula, gently fold in the blueberries just until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

This is what the batter looked like prior to adding the blueberries.  Almost "runny."

Ta-Da!  Breakfast of Champions!  Next time I will add more blueberries!

I also enjoy their blog!  Sister, if you are reading this... I know they deliver and I know you know where I live...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Listed: Break a Sweet

One week down.  No processed carbs!  Still a ways to go…and for some unfortunate reason, I have developed a little sweet tooth in place of my carbo fetish.  In an attempt to avoid the potential of sabotaging my clean eating streak, I set out to discover some new and different sweet food items to curb my cravings.  I aimed to find something different so that whatever it was, it would be something new to me…actually a treat!  I had two successful purchases from a trip to Whole Foods this weekend that I would like to share.

The first was my discovery of the Kiwi berry! 

You can eat them just like grapes but they provide just a little more…leaving you satisfied after eating them!  Pretty cute, right?

Another thing I found was these Power of Fruit Bars.  They are all fruit with no preservative and hit the spot when you crave something sweet!  Even their nutrition label says, “… And nothing else. No added sugar, color or preservatives. None. Zero. Zilch.”  A totally guilt-free treat… score.

I tried the All Fruit… can’t wait to try the Berry Banana and the Tropical!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Listed: Coming Soon...

I want to apologize for the lack of consistency in my posts!  There are several days I don’t even log on to my computer.  Today is another busy day but I wanted to preview a few things I planned to write about next week.  First, I have been invited to an overwhelming amount of wedding showers already and its only March!  I love the events but with so many, I have been at a loss when it comes to what to give.  I always refer to the couple’s registry but sometimes there just aren’t affordable options left or I don’t want to be the one with the “boring” gift.  I have thought of a few ideas to solve this problem.  At one of the showers I attended this year the bride was gifted a popcorn maker.  It didn’t strike me as a great gift idea until I tried the popcorn.  To get a visual, this is what I am talking about:

Its only $30 or so from Crate & Barrel which is a perfect price!  Package that bad boy up with a sack-o-kernels and you have a fun and different kitchen gadget to gift to the couple.  I plan to purchase one myself this weekend and play around with cooking options.  I plan to figure out a few solid recipes for the popcorn maker that I could print out on cute paper and attach to the gift in order to add a personal touch!  (already on the grocery list: cinnamon, pink salt, truffle oil…. the possibilities are endless!)  I will update next week with the results!

I also plan to hit the kitchen this weekend while I’m in Houston.  (so much easier to cook when I have the amenities of my parents kitchen!)  So expect some recipes and how tos in the near future! 

As for a touch tunes moments… call me a pop princess because I’m hooked on these two jayamzzz:

And as for a laugh, this came up when I Googled TGIF images: 



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Listed: Fasting

I attended the same small private school K-12 grade.  It was not Catholic so Lent was not something I ever learned about.  In fact, I can distinctly remember when I first learned about it.  One Wednesday during my freshmen year at UT, I was walking to class and noticed that some girl clearly did not look in the mirror when she rolled out of bed because she had a dark smeared gray something or another across her forehead. As seen on Joe Biden here:

I remember thinking that was funny but that’s about it.  Then I made my way to the Pi Phi house for Mexican lunch and my friends that are twins had the same smudged substance on their foreheads!  Completely ignorant, I decided to let them know about the mess they had on their faces.  They both looked at me like I had told them I believe in aliens.  “Uhh, its Ash Wednesday???”  I think I tried to play it cool as any new freshman would and then immediately researched this “Ash Wednesday” when I got to my computer.  Pretty classic story for someone that grew up in a very small bubble.  So to get things straight:

Lent in the Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. Lent is a time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Conventionally, it is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. The forty days represent the time that, according to the Bible, Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan. There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance.

Since I became educated on the religious holiday I have participated each year.  This year I have decided to fast from all things that come from a box or bag (pertaining to food) if is in within my power.  I am sure I will have a few cases were its simply not avoidable but I would really like to try to eat as clean as possible and when I crave certain things I will be reminded to focus on a few things of importance to me at this point in my life.  Sooo for now, bye-bye pita chips. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Listed: Swamped

Yet another event tonight!  If you live in Dallas, please come!!  Here is the invitation:

NM Downtown just picked up Jonathan Bash’s debut collection and tonight it hits the floor.  The designer himself will be here for the launch and a give quick presentation for attendees.  He has always wanted to sell in Neiman Marcus and is so excited about tonight!  Should be a great event!

Another person that is busy is none other than the star of my last post, Gwyneth.  When I opened her email today I saw that it was short and I was a little bummed.  Then I read it.  Take a look! 

YAY!!  Another round of Glee!  Can’t wait to see what songs she remakes!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Listed: G Money

Gweneth is all over the place these days and I LOVE it.  I know I have already confessed my love of her to you all but I now feel the need to back it up.  I think if I could be anyone in life it would be her.  With an actress for a mother and famous producer as a father, Gwyneth was destined to be in the entertainment industry.  I say entertainment industry because she has touched pretty much all the bases.  Actress, singer, reality tv star, rock star wife, famous blogger, the list goes on and on.  She learned Spanish when she lived in Spain at age 15 while studying abroad.  How cool is that?  So to cut to the chase, here are a few reasons she is my celeb wannabe. 

She stared in two of my favorite movies of all time:

Gave us one of my favorite love songs:  Cruisin’ – duet with Huey Lewis

Endorsed a book that changed the way I eat:

Is also obsessed with Jay-Z.

We share the same obsession with Jay-Z as she recently noted at the Oscar’s (while looking wonderful in Calvin Klein).  She even got to join him on stage once…what a birthday gift.

Gwyneth Paltrow duets with Jay-Z
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has made a surprise appearance with rap legend Jay-Z at London's Royal Albert Hall.
The star of Shakespeare in Love and Proof sang the chorus of Song Cry from the rapper's classic Blueprint album. "She was a bit nervous but her performance was really excellent," says 1Xtra DJ G Money, who was at the gig. Other onstage guests included Paltrow's husband, Chris Martin, Beyonce and rap star Nas. It was the first hip-hop gig to take place in the Royal Albert Hall. "It was an historic event," said G Money. "We were in the same seats that you've seen at the Proms. It was amazing." Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, was backed by a 25-piece orchestra and a DJ for his set. Surprise performance Chris Martin duetted on an untitled song from the rapper's new album, and added vocals to another track from Blueprint, called Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love). The Coldplay star's performance had been rumoured before the concert, but his wife's appearance was more of a surprise. "People were like: 'Who is this chick that's in the spotlight?'" said G Money. "Then Jay-Z said: 'I want people to wish a happy birthday to my good friend Gwyneth Paltrow'. "Everyone was like: 'Are you for real?'"

Put that Spanish to use when she filmed: Spain…on the Road Again were she got to travel around Spain with Iron Chef Mario Batali, NY Times food writer Mark Bittman and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols (funny last name).  Each episode featured a new region of Spain’s culinary scene.  D R E A M. 

Naturally I am crazy about her blog which encourages readers to 'nourish the inner aspect.'  If you don’t receive the emails, sign up today!

She is married to the lead singer of Coldplay.  ‘Nuff said.

Is a Gleek which lead to this…

(A cover of an all time favorite song of mine, Umbrella by Rihanna.)

Which lead to this…

(Please tell me you saw this.  If not, Google Gwyneth at the Grammy's 2011)

Honestly, the list goes on so heads up for another post about G Money, but I actually have to get to work today!