Friday, June 30, 2006

things that make you go...


i definitely remember owning these sometime in the mid-80s.

ankle zippers? really?? ugh. just one more in what i'm sure will be a long series of rants about the fall lines.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

love this!

a lovely fellow blogger (and fellow cupcake lover) linked me this pic - i am in LOVE!!

cupcakes shaped like ice cream cones - genius! it's my two favorite things in fabulous is that?! :)

in case you love it as much as i do, you can buy the pan from one of my favorite places on earth - williams sonoma.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

fall trends

okay, can i just say that i pretty much HATE everything that i'm seeing about the new looks for fall? honestly - leggings, booties and skinny jeans???? um, no. no, no, no! (picture me stomping my feet and screaming)

i just got the new shop etc. magazine in the mail (a fabulous mag, by the way, in case anyone is in the market), and am just cringing. i mean, honestly - were leggings really that flattering the first time around? and one of my biggest pet peeves in life is boots that are so short that you can see the top....

marc jacobs: really? sweater boots?? and a sweater DRESS? noooo, marc, no. say it isn't so.

and chanel: honestly, i expect more from you than these horrid white sock/boot fiascos....what were you thinking??

it's going to be a loooong fall season.


so lately, i've been a little obsessed with cupcakes. but who can blame me?? they're just SO yummy :) and a little too pretty to make for yourself, if you ask me. my latest find is teacake bakery, which i must tell you makes some truly fabulous specimens (try the lemon cream cheese cupcake - OMG).

anyway, i bring it up because, in wandering around the net today, i came across a recipe for basic yellow cupcakes from the king of all cupcakeries - magnolia bakery (in NYC). and, being the horrible plagarizing beast that i am, here you go:

Magnolia Cupcakes (makes 12)

For the Cakes:

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self-raising flour
½ + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

For the Buttercream Frosting:

1 stick butter
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cupcakes:
Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake papers. Preheat the oven to 175 C/350 F.
Cream the butter for a couple of minutes alone first, just to make sure it's adequately soft. Add the sugar in three additions, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, one by one, again beating well after each one has been added.

Mix the two types of flour together. Then add the flour in four additions, alternating with the milk and vanilla extract in three additions. Divide the batter between the 12 waiting muffins cups, then bake for 20-22 minutes.

Leave to cool completely, before frosting.

For the frosting:
Place butter, 2 cups icing sugar, ½ cup of milk and the vanilla extract in a free-standing mixer (or you can beat it by hand I suppose!) and beat on medium-low speed. Add the rest of the icing sugar until you reach a desired consistency - I only used three cups in total. If you want, you can color the icing - that's like half the fun of these!! And of course, you can use sprinkles to your hearts content!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

quote of the day....

from my darling husband:

"you know, if everyone would just do what made them happy, instead of worrying about what made other people happy, the world would be a much happier place."

i had to laugh...i guess it's a good thing he doesn't work for the UN or anything :)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

sooo tired

sorry i've been MIA for a few days - this week has been inSANE. fortunately, i've had a pretty relaxing weekend. and i managed to buy myself two (very needed) new suits at neiman marcus this afternoon, so that's exciting.

just found this very cool link - fellow chick lit fans will probably enjoy it :) lots of reviews of pretty much every chick lit book out there. since they're a guilty pleasure, i try not to buy too many, so this might help me limit the field.

i'm actually in the middle of "baby proof" by emily giffin right now. oh, and by "in the middle of," i mean "i'm too cheap to buy the hardback, so i just read it every time we go to borders for coffee". anyway...for those of you that don't know me that well, my hubs and i are very committed and proud DINKs, and the plot of this novel deals pretty closely with what i think both of our secret fears are :) so, can't wait to see how it comes out!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

santa fe.....are you you swear you won't forget me.....

LOL - you get 10 points if you can tell me where this post's title comes from.

i'm in santa fe today - a 24-hour trip to meet with the friends & family of a client who passed away last month. it's the saddest part of my job, really....i love being able to help people, especially when they're facing a terminal illness or something else. but it's really hard to get close with a client and then lose them - especially when you have to spend all this time with their loved ones, and basically hold their hands while they cry about their loss. very depressing.

plus (on a less depressing note), it's DAMN hot here. 100+ today...yuck. pretty cool place to visit, though. i'd never been to new mexico - it looks just like i expected it to, though. in fact, i was expecting less adobe & red clay....i figured it was just one of those exaggerations you hear, like how everyone in texas wears a cowboy hat (or is that one true as well?). but seriously - almost every house i saw was adobe. weird.

can't wait to get home.

Monday, June 19, 2006

no way, stuff!

so how exciting is this? a couple of months ago, i saw these lovelies in a magazine and decided to order them.

lucky me, they were on sale. not lucky for me, it turned out they were completely out of my size. woe was me. so i emailed back and told them to please keep me on some sort of waiting list, and if they were to re-stock them, to let me know because i still really liked them.

well, today, i got an email from the president of the company, thanking me for my loyalty and offering me ANY shoe they make...for free! yes, really! talk about a kid in a candy store :) fortunately, they only make a few styles that i really like, so i finally settled on these very businesslike and grown-up heels:

how exciting! i feel like my shoe karma has really come full-circle :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

confession: i am secretly addicted to food TV

yes, it's true. i spend way too much time watching 'celebrity' chefs make food, and dreaming of how fabulous it would be to just have the ingredients for all of these dishes right at my fingertips. i wish i had a staff to shop, chop and put everything in those cute little prep bowls so all i had to do was combine, bake and eat.

anyway, just finished watching an episode of everyday italian (even though giada is really getting a bit too perky for me), and i know what i'm making for dinner next week: grilled swordfish with citrus pesto

4 (6-ounce) swordfish steaks
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Citrus pesto:
1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush both sides of the swordfish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the swordfish about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for a 1-inch thick fillet.

Blend the basil, pine nuts, garlic, zests, juices, salt, and pepper in a food processor until the mixture is finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan.

Transfer the grilled swordfish to serving plates, top with the citrus pesto, and serve.

YUM! now if i can just talk myself down from making barefoot contessa's chocolate truffles.

Friday, June 16, 2006

sticking it to the man...

well, i won my tax case! very exciting. i wasn't even supposed to find out for another 60 days, but apparently, i rock enough that the judge actually said to the IRS attorney after we'd finished arguing the case: "i'm sorry, but i just don't understand your position. it sounds to me like [insert my argument from my case here]." he then proceeded to "strongly recommend" to the IRS that they request a recess to discuss a settlement with me.

BOO-YAH!!!! (hmm...yep, still too white to get away with saying that)

so anyway, after much hemming & hawing (which i found baffling, given that the judge had basically just told them they were going to lose), they conceded.

i might have even felt bad for the other attorney, too, if she hadn't been such a complete witch from day one....honestly, i swear she was taking it personally that i had claimed these deductions. i think she was just bitter because i'm cuter than her. apparently, my mom tried to thank her as we left, and the attorney wouldn't even speak to her.....HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAAA!

in the words of mick jagger and my favorite uncle, "Under my thumb/The girl who once pushed me around....the change has come/She's under my thumb"

Monday, June 12, 2006

words cannot begin.....

warning...tirade about to commence

recently, the hubs talked me into upgrading our satellite dish to the "extra channels" package...ostensibly because he wanted the 'national geographic' channel. great, whatever - you can have all the 'dog whisperer' you can handle. as we're surfing through our new and improved (?) channel guide, i came across this:

oh, it's real. it's an actual show, on an actual (albeit not terribly famous) cable network.

and just in case i thought i was the only one, there's an article on their home page, aptly titled "what the %&!*? is pants-off-dance-off?".

if that's not disturbing enough, the woman whose 'performance' we stumbled across was a MOTHER OF FIVE. and we can't figure out why kids these days are so screwed up.

i need a drink.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

stupid taxes

i have spent all day (not to mention a large chunk of the last 6 months) dealing with the fact that i have to be in tax court tomorrow...because i'm being audited. let me just tell you how much i love the IRS right now.

but, i do have to share one funny tirade from a case i'm reading. it's a dissent from the 9th circuit, which for those who don't know, is the federal circuit court that encompasses california. they're the ones that usually hand out the wacky opinions that no other circuit agrees with - and i love them for it. anyway, the judge writing this dissent is berating the IRS for disallowing a taxpayer's claim for deductions just because the taxpayer was living at home. my favorite line: "Leave it to the IRS to turn a family reunion into a taxable event."


let's hope the judge tomorrow has a sense of humor :(

Saturday, June 10, 2006


damn neiman marcus sale - what are they DOING to me???

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thought of the Day

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” -Drew Carey

c/o a lovely lady from the nest.

Love of the day: Michael Kors Boots

well, since yesterday was serious, i think it's only fair that today be entirely trivial :)

lately, michael kors and marc jacobs have become two of my new favorite people...well, really, i stare at them in awe from a distance. but, lucky girl that i am, i just got this as a bonus for a huge project we just completed at work:

another view

sigh! i love it.

not that we'd expect such a fabulous new acquisition to curb the shopping beast :) natch, i know already what my next obsession will be - these amazing KORS boots. to be honest, i almost never wear boots, so it seems like a frivolous purchase. but then again, i know if i had these, i'd change my mind and wear boots all the time!

aren't they just gorgeous?? not too cowboy, but they can definitely go casual. and the heel dresses them up just enough to go out on the town. sooo pretty :)

If you too become obsessed, you can find The Boots at Saks, just as you might expect.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

book thoughts: the kite runner

so, since part of my goal with this blog is to keep track of the books i've read (i'm notorious for forgetting the ending of a book....which does come in handy 6 months later when you have nothing new to read!), i may as well start off with this. on a trip to boston last week, i started and finished (in two plane rides) "the kite runner" by khaled hosseini.

to be honest, i hadn't expected to love it...i bought it because i had heard from so many friends whose opinions i trust that it was a fabulous read, but every time i'd picked it up at the bookstore, i just hadn't been that excited about it. but about 50 pages into it, everything changed. i haven't been this impressed by a novel since "the house of the spirits" by isabel allende, which is now one of my 'all-time favorites.' the perspective is really amazing...authors from the middle east are rare, and those that are able to convey such an honest portrait of their culture (including the ugly parts) are even more so.

i definitely didn't get a 'warm & fuzzy' feeling from "the kite runner" fact, i'm still nauseated when i think about some of the pieces of the story that have stayed with me. but the fact that the story has stayed with me, in such dramatic detail, is telling in and of itself - i can't imagine someone putting this book down and truly 'walking away' from its message. my only regret is that it didn't leave me with any real feeling of hope or resolution...but maybe that was the point.

PS - when i link to books in this blog, you'll find i'm linking to indy bookstores. everyone knows how to search for a title on hopefully some of you will enjoy a chance to check out some of the smaller booksellers that are out there.

sites of the week

now that my affinity for is waning, i've had to find other daily distractions to keep me busy online while i'm supposed to be working. my new favorites:

nedandshell - this site does a great job of finding things i wouldn't have stumbled across in my own internet travels, and their "weekly dose" has all kinds of great deals.

stylebakery - great gift guides, and again, lots of fun things i wouldn't find on my own. - whoever is writing this site entertains me to no end. occasionally, i get the itch for some completely superficial celebrity gossip, and this guy has it in spades.

reesycakes - you know, i have to say that i used to rely almost exclusively on for my online discounts. they're still good, but reesycakes is great!

enjoy! :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

welcome to my blog....

...prepare to be fascinated.

kidding, of course. i'm actually starting this blog because my husband keeps mentioning what a lovely blogger i'd make. personally, i think it's his way of telling me to get a new audience for my random babbling, but let's assume the best, shall we?

my motivation for starting this little blogdom is slightly less pure - i wanted (1) a place to gush about books i read, since i haven't found a book club in my new suburban 'hood; and (2) a place to gush about fabulous things i find to buy - which are nearly always online and too expensive. and yes, i think an outlet for my 'random thoughts' is probably not the worst idea my husband has ever had.