Friday, December 18, 2009

45 minutes to go...

and i'll be heading to the aeroport and getting on a plane to Madrid!
mauricio's sister tells us it's snowing there, here's some proof:

hopefully i'll find time to write about our adventures, stay tuned.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

last macaron post for a while.

funny thing- after everyone's excitement about the silly little cookies, there was a write-up in the Globe yesterday about the cookbook! such a funny coincidence.
(click for a larger version)

catching up on mags

i had a stack THIS " " big on my desk, so today i finally made it through. this page will be my spring wardrobe inspiration. i love black and white, and clear jewelry, and polka dots! and blazers, and stripes! yes yes and yes!
(click to view a larger version)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

macarons, take trois et quatre

my best batch yet-
i made them for our holiday party tonight.
chocolate and pistachio, although the chocolate came out absolutely perfect. and the pistachio, maybe a 6 out of 10?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

macarons, take deux!

try two was a success! my meringue was a little bit thicker, my patience was a little bit, well, present? does that count?

i started out with just plain vanilla, i want to master the technique and then move on to fancy flavors and colors and fillings. these will be filled with caramel. right now, the un-paired cookies are waiting for their mates in a tin on my kitchen counter. hopefully no sneaky fingers have made their way into the tin yet...

the beautiful, puffy, glistening meringue:

almond flour mixed with egg whites:

cookies piped out into perfect circles, resting and drying before baking:

the little guys, beautifully baked and brown and cooling:

caramel filling bubbling on the stove:

spinach chickpea shitake soup

i made it again. it's a once-a-month tradition once the cold weather hits. main ingredients include: veggie broth, brown rice, Shitakes, fresh baby spinach, chickpeas, onion, garlic.

saute finely chopped onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. add sliced shitakes and minced garlic. cook until mushroom is wilty. add 4 cups broth and 2 cups water, cook to boil. add can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. add 1 cup cooked brown rice. add 1 bag spinach, broken up. cook until spinach wilts. add 1/2 tsp rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. serve with fresh parmesan on top. eat! yum.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I did a freelance project this month. A favorite co-worker of mine moved away a while back, off to Texas to support her husband while he went to grad school. She works at a fair trade company and thought of me when the owners decided they needed to hire a design consultant to help them with their handbag assortment.

The project was fun- I basically dug through a big box of fair trade bags, gave my opinion on them, did a bunch of trend and color research online, and put it all in a cool bound presentation book to send off to them. I only worked on it for about 2 weekends- 8.5 hours total. Not too long, but long enough to remember why I'm not self employed anymore! Plus, finding the motivation to work AFTER work is hard work! work work work!

I had the most fun putting the book together. I didn't want to just staple a bunch of printouts together (I needed to look legit, yo!), so I made a cool cover, used recycled cardboard (actually, file folders that I cut up and resized), made cool tabs dividing the different sections, used rub-on letters and vinyl stick-on letters instead of writing by hand, and made a custom cd-holder on the back cover to hold a cd of all the files of images. I had it bound at Office Max for less than $2.50!

the cover:

the tabs:

the text:

rub on letters for titles:

fold out trend pages:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

zero 7

we had our second visit to the house of blues on saturday night, marking my second live showing of zero 7. it wasn't until we had our redbull and beer in hand, (un)comfortably leaning against an iron railing that i decided to look at our tickets and realizing that they said "right balcony". we quickly scuttled over to the door girl, and asked what that meant. we got ushered up to the third (?!) floor, seated on the right side where NO ONE else was sitting for 75% of the evening. and enjoyed the show from an oscillating club chair. sweet.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ombre nails

i'm a little obsessed with nail polish. i'm comfortable admitting to it. i just HAD to have the $125 set of rescue beauty lounge polishes last year for christmas.
everytime i go to ULTA i can't say no to the newest Essie colors or buy 2, get 1 sales. Pastels, darks, purples, i love them all !

when i saw these ombre nails, i fell in love. i even bought a cheapo palette to mix my own colors in! i just need to buy some nice opaque white and some extra brushes and my painting experiment will be good to go.

i even love these multi colored nails. i did this once, with shades of yellow and orange. it was a little extreme, and i only left it on for a day or two. but these colors? Love love love! totally not juvenile at all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

le french macaron

oui oui.

i've been admiring these little cuties ever since spying them in a super cute candy shop in san francisco last spring. pastel colors, four ingredients, wrapped up cute, who could resist, really?

yesterday while perusing the always jaw-droppingly amazing Anthro at the burlington mall, i spied this book: i <3 macarons

this evening, after brunch at soffra (again!) with emily, working on my freelance job, doing laundry, making dinner, making more candles, i decided to try my hand at the macaron! don't confuse this with the macaroon, mon amie. see here

the result? a definite fail. but, the book says it'll take more than one try to get it right. i haven't lost hope! the batter is delicious :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


mauricio and i are slightly obsessed with ethnic grocery stores. or maybe i am? and i drag him along? really? anyway, we heard about this new korean grocery store that opened in burlington. at first i couldn't believe it was any good. burlington? of all places? so on a rainy saturday night, we grabbed the tom tom and a couple reusuable shopping bags and typed in the address. and got lost. but ended up finding it ! it's right behind the plaza with market basket and old navy. it was SO crowded, finding a parking space was a challenge in itself. my master parking skills got us in quickly, and my mouth pretty much dropped to the floor. it was an amazing store. huge, nicely organized, every single asian grocery item i could ever want, EVER. our shopping highlights included: three kinds of mushrooms, jumbo udon, three kinds of mochi, seeing like 25 kinds of whole fresh fish. it was amazing. definitely going back soon.

if there's a pot big enough...

over the weekend, after talking about it all summer long, we finally had a shrimp boil. it's a great concept; a perfect one pot meal. it's all about timing: add some cajun spices. then the potatos, then the corn, then the veggies, then the meat, then the eggs, then the shrimpies. then viola! everything is cooked, you drain, you eat! it's so fun, hands-on, delicious, and totally healthy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

fun in the park

it was a lazy sunday afternoon, warm and mushy from the rain. the dog (and the humans) needed to stretch her(his) legs. so we walked to the park!

my two favorite bums.

(click on this for the larger version! i swear, it's worth it)

sewing and more sewing

reupholstering is 95% done. i just need an hour or two more to do some finish work.

NOW: action shots! staple gun! glue! oh boy! get excited! or get scared (of my hair). your choice.

candle making

so we channel martha stewart's creativity in our free time. most recent project? candle making! i could go into the details, but i don't want to bore you. let's just say it involved about $75 worth of supplies from the art store, a silicone rubber mold inside of a PVC pipe, and soy wax. so far, we've made three.

the candle was molded after a piece of driftwood we found on the beach in provicetown last winter on one of our first vacations together.

(this is me holding the mold open. see the cool detail??)

busy weekends

weekends seem to come by so quickly... they usually last a long time, feel much longer than 48 hours, and end leaving me with a sense of accomplishment. lately, we've been doing so many fun things! new things! eating different things!

we finally tried Berryline in harvard square. i think z enjoyed it the most. very tart, just like plain yogurt.(it's ok that the three of us shared a spoon, right?)

browsing used books.

making cutouts in the crazy colored leaves.

new fall boots.

breakfast at soffra: pistascio croissant, almond pastry, homemade greek yogurt with grano and preserves.

first attempt at cooking clams: with fuscilli (jerry), shrimp, little necks and watercress. steamy and delicious. and a big success!
RECIPE: fuscilli with clams
boil pasta.
in separate large covered skillet, boil one bottle of clam juice with several coarsely chopped cloves of garlic. once boiled, place clams in juice and cover. clams are cooked once they open. add fresh thyme and marjoram. add sauteed shrimp. add watercress. cover pot until watercress wilts. add cooked pasta. mix all together. eat!

moving out

i daydream about what my new apartment will look like. the colors i will paint the walls, the cool carpets i will buy, my big dining room table that will have craft and art projects spread out on it when i'm not having friends or family over for delicious homecooked meals. i'm a little obsessed with design blogs and snapping screenshots of my favorite room layouts and furniture designs. ack. when am i moving? who the heck knows. a girl can dream, can't she?