Archive for Feb 2013

February 25, 2013 House of Cards

house of cards final poster 691x1024 House of Cards

Are you watching House of Cards?!  After the debacle that was Lilyhammer, I didn’t think much of this new offering from Netflix.  I’m usually one for sticking to what you know, and was pretty sure that Netflix was going to go down.  But, Holy.Crap.  It’s smart, it’s interesting, it’s creative and it’s ranking up there with the HBO shows that I have come to adore.  The relationships are complicated, the interiors are so classic and I want to wear almost everything that Claire Underwood puts on her amazing body.  And lucky for us, they released all thirteen episodes at once, so I can stuff in three an evening before falling asleep.  Seriously, go watch it.


I only read books that Jess recommends to me.  Because she knows me well, knows what I might like and has never steered me wrong.  She has me reading a super dark and heavy book that she has assured me will change my entire life.  My reward for all this life altering heaviness will be Miss Buncle’s Book, which she promises will pull me out of the dumps and back to a happy medium!

images Flipping Pages: Miss Buncles Book


Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson

I was so delighted to discover this book, which was originally published in the 1930′s. I think it’d be the perfect gateway for those who want to get started on Austen, Dickens, Eliot, Gaskell and all the other great British classics you never read in high school. First, it takes place in the 20th century, so we’re not going so far back as to be a shock to the system. Cars and telephones exist, but people still have maids, they take the train into “town” and they invite each other for tea. Second, it’s just so much darn fun. By the end, you’ll feel confident and anxious to read some more popular Classics.

Miss Buncle’s Book is basically charm book-ified. Miss Buncle, of the title, has lived in the same tiny English village all her life. Her income isn’t quite what it used to be, so she writes a book in the hopes of making some extra cash. She doesn’t feel quite creative enough to invent a world in which to set it, so the book is about her village and all its inhabitants, though she’s changed all the names. When it’s published under the name John Smith, her little book causes such a ruckus among her neighbors, who immediately recognize themselves in the barely-disguised characters and set out to find the author hiding within the village. I found myself laughing the whole way through at the insane lengths her neighbors go to smoke out the traitor, all the while underestimating poor Miss Buncle. This book is guaranteed to brighten a winter weekend, which is roughly how long it’ll take to breeze through the pages!

Happy Reading,


February 21, 2013 Basil Hazel

Never in my life did I imagine that I would love a dog so much. Those sad eyes get me every.single.time.

Valentines 0003 Basil Hazel

February 18, 2013 Traveling Hearts Society


Our very first trip was to Palm Springs.  Amanda wanted to check out The Ace Hotel, and invited a few friends, who invited a few friends.  We didn’t really know each other.  And to be honest, the idea of spending a few days in the desert with strangers was pretty terrifying.  It was 107 degrees that July.  We couldn’t move from the pool during the day and we’re piled on a few beds in the evenings.  Cocktails in hand, hummus & potato chips in our bellies.  We bonded and  The Traveling Hearts Society was born.  These wonderful ladies have become my co-workers, my inspiration and some of my very best friends.  I have no idea where I’d be without them!

And this year, we’re back to the beginning, the place where it all began!  We’ve rented a house in Palm Springs and I can’t wait to lounge by the pool, sip a few cocktails and reunite with these incredible ladies.  I look forward to this trip with these women for six months.   If you want to see what we’re up to, take a look here!

PS Traveling Hearts Society

A frame from that wonderful first trip, from Heather.


February 15, 2013 Banana Pudding


When I was in college I used to get really bad charlie horses in my calves.  They’d wake me up in the middle of the night and I’d be in so much pain.  A bit of 3 a.m. stretching would always do the trick, but they were far from enjoyable.  I’d read somewhere that bananas would help, so I’d drink a banana milkshake from Cook Out on a pretty regular basis, you know, for my legs.

And while I’m not getting the charlie horses anymore, I’ll eat this pudding forever.  You know, just in case.  This banana pudding from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook is just so wonderful!  So absolutely delicious.  Go ahead.  Try it! Jess made it for Natalie’s baby shower last weekend (photos coming soon!) and it was such a hit.  And fortunately for me, Jess made so much of it that I’ve been eating all.week.long.  I’m so happy that they’re already in individual servings, so I can’t go too far overboard.


Banana Pudding 1 Banana Pudding

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

16 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups ice cold water

Small box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix

3 cups heavy whipping cream

Box Nilla Wafers

4 sliced bananas

1.  In the bowl of a mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk and water for about a minute.  Add the pudding mix and beat for about two more minutes.  Transfer to a smaller bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.  You want the mixture to be extremely firm.

2.  In a large bowl on medium speed, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pudding mixture until fully combined and no streaks of pudding are visible. Mix in the bananas.

3.  In individual jars, divide pudding and top with crushed vanilla wafers.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 8 hours before serving.

It’s Valentines Day!  Which, for me, usually means a few extra kisses and a delicious cocktail (or two!)  This year I’ll be sipping on one of these, inspired by the most delicious treat Chris surprised me with on my long run today, Trader Joes’ Powerberries. These little nuggets of deliciousness are addictive. And amazing. And such a perfect treat!

This cocktail is so super delicious, a wonderful balance of sweet & sour with a hint of chocolate.  A perfect Valentine’s Day treat.  Enjoy!

Valentines 0002 Chocolate Covered Raspberry Cocktails

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Cocktails

2 part Gin

1 part Meyer Lemon Juice

1 part Le Sirop de Monin Raspberry

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters


Directions:  Mix gin, lemon juice & raspberry syrup in a shaker with ice.  Strain into glass, add bitters to taste.

February 7, 2013 January Film


One of my resolutions for the year was to shoot more film.  At least one roll a month.   And on January 31, I realized I hadn’t even touched my film cameras yet.   So, I loaded a roll and shot just a bit around my house.  Decided it would be the first “theme” of the roll-a-month challenge!  So, here you are…
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February 1, 2013 The Juice Cleanse

BakmanCondo 1 The Juice Cleanse

No matter how much I think I’m not going to overeat over the holidays, I tend to eat, well, everything.  All the things.   Sweets and savories alike!  And then come January, I feel gross.  And the scale is so angry at me!  I’ve always wanted to try a juice cleanse, and this seemed like as good a day as any to jump right in!   Three days of nothing but juice.  No chewing of any sort for three whole days.   I was prepared to be so hungry that I was going to fail miserably.  I had events to go to all week, and I braced myself to eat entire cheese plates at said events.  But none of that happened and it was AMAZING!

Well, OK, that word may be a teeny bit strong.  It was better than I expected and I will definitely be doing it again!   I feel strong & clear & healthy.  I was never super hungry, but I never felt completely full… and that was a bit annoying.  And on the third day, I was a little bit coocoo.  But the flat tummy and the glowing skin was well worth it!   I used The Real Juice company and was super happy with them!  The juices were delivered early, along with a little cooler and ice packs for taking the juices on the go.  They were all tasty and a few had pretty unique flavors!   And when I had an issue, their customer service was incredible and I even got a follow up email to make sure I was doing just fine.   The only change I would make is that it’s the same six juices everyday.  A little bit of variety would be nice, espeically after the third day of a liquid diet.  But, I hear that it’s in the works and that’s super exciting!

So, if you’re thinking of it, I would highly recommend it!   Good luck!