Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide!

This year, Christmas is going to be all about the baby. We're making handmade and edible gifts, as usual, but I still love to virtually window shop this time of year. Here are some of my favorite shops:

1. Etsy!!! I can't say enough about Etsy! I could spend hours on this site, especially in the Treasury section.
hand warmers
Jupiter Tee
Fire Plushie
2. MoMA Store. Modern design for every facet of your life.
Banksy Note Cards
Pig Cooking Lid
BLOC Watch
Fruit Rattles
3. Fishseddie.com.  Super cool housewares!
Bicycle Mug
Intervention-ware Mug
Rest in Grease Spoonrest
4. Plasticland.  Kitch and Retro Clothing and Accessories.
Weirdo Noir book
Snake Charmer Tee
Ray Gun Ornaments
Thanks for Being Stamp
5. The Monster Company.  This site just has some wonderful movie memorabilia.
Labrynth Door Knockers
6. Think Geek. Anything and everything for that special nerd in your life.
Desktop Carnivorous Plant
Caffeine Molecule Necklace
Baby Cthulhu Tee
There are many more to choose from, but this is a good start. Happy shopping!

Tomato Soup

Lately I've been obsessed with Tomato Soup. I've lost all taste for Campbell's, so I had to improvise. Luckily Short Pump Town Center has a Nordstrom Cafe, who makes the world's best Tomato Soup. Unfortunately, it's five dollars a bowl, which is not bad if you are a normal person and not a pregnant soup-sucking machine. It's becoming an expensive addiction. I've decided that it's time for me to buckle down and make my own soup.

Today I made a small batch of my standby recipe, one that I adapted from Cook's Illustrated. It's thick, tangy, and easy to make. Here's the original recipe:

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion , chopped medium (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • pinch hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 large slices good-quality sandwich bread , crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives 

Instructions

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain. Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

 

2. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add 1 tablespoon oil and process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup and oil. Rinse out Dutch oven and return soup to pot. Stir in chicken broth and brandy (if using). Return soup to boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup in individual bowls. Sprinkle each portion with pepper and chives and drizzle with olive oil.


When I make this soup, I usually use an immersion blender instead of a blender, and add a little sour cream in the bowl.



Today's batch was delicious as always, but not what I wanted. If you've ever been pregnant you'll know that no matter how good something is, it's never going to take the place of something you can't stop thinking about. I want my Nordstrom soup.  


After eating more than my fill of not-what-I-want soup, I found a recipe online for a recipe that is supposed to be super close to Nordstom's. I think I'll wait until next week to try it, but I'll definitely post about how it turns out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Flutters.

Today, we had our first prenatal appointment. Everything went incredibly well. Everything's healthy and happy. The heartbeat was good, though it's simply fast flutters at this point. The baby's legs were wiggling and we could even see the umbilical cord! It's amazing that something the size of a grape can move me so deeply.
9wks, 4days

Baby's upside down now, so the big bit on the bottom is the head. We've heard that it looks like Kermit the frog, a chocolate bunny, and a gummy bear. I think it looks a little like Hypnotoad.
Think about it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We're at Kidney Bean.

I was going to wait until I got an ultrasound picture to post about the baby, but that's just too long to wait. We are going to have a baby. At the moment, I'm 8 weeks along, which means the baby is about the size of a kidney bean and looks something like this:

Eeesh! I'm sure he/she will be way cuter in May.

While this surprise addition seems like it will take my focus away from my original plan for this blog, a girl's still gotta eat, work, and live. This means many posts about the nursery, not to mention creative ways to not end up in the poor house (Where is this "poor house", anyway? I should get directions, just in case.) with a baby and 3 cats.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Shorty.

I've had it with my hair. I've tried to grow it long, but the stringy, limp mess I'm left with doesn't cut it for a salon professional. It's time to chop it again.
In honor of my new haircut, here's a post of some of my boy-short favorites.









Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grateful.

63 hours (and counting) without power. I've been through my fair share of hurricanes, and losing power has always been part of the deal. Thankfully, we have usable water, and that it's warm enough outside to suffer the occasional cold shower.
It makes me remember the folks that have been through ten times what we have this week. I remind myself that I have a house at which to lose power in the first place. I could go on and on about how bored I am, but in reality, I am so lucky. Tomorrow I will go back to work, power or not, and I am grateful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaken.

Holy crap, I just experienced my first earthquake.

(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City.
The quake sent hundreds of people spilling into the street a block from the White House, with other buildings evacuated in North Carolina and tremors felt as far away as New York City.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was 3.7 miles deep. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. The quake was in Mineral, Va., in Louisa County.


WTF Salons.

Seriously, WTF? I love the weird salons that pop up when I search for inspiration. Let's see what we can find today, shall we?

First, there's Pimps & Pinups. There's very little connection between Pimps and Pinups in real life, but we can pretend.  Stay classy, New York.


Next, we have Sexy Scissors in Austin, TX. Unfortunately, this fine establishment has closed, but it was basically a Hooter's with haircuts! You can still find them on Yelp here.
I actually really like the aesthetic of this next one. Chainsaw Massacre Salon is in Victoria, Australia. How ballsy is that name?!

Oh, Japan. You make all my bubblegum dreams come true.
It's a Hello Kitty Hair Salon!!!

Australia picks up where Austin left off with Hot Cuts!

 
Ahhhahahaha!
 Anyone who's ever had a hair splinter would think twice before cutting hair topless.

Savannah has the Nerd angle covered with Color Geek Salon.
I was pretty down with this one until this guy showed up...

French maids anyone?
Moesham in Tokyo has them.

That's all for today. I'll leave you with a classic Hair WTF. It's not a salon, but it'll do.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Etsy Finds: Cicada Edition

Cicada Cuff
Cicada Pendant
Bracelet
Gocco Notebook
Mother of Pearl Necklace
Jewelry Box
Tile Pendant
Photo Print
Silver Wing Earrings
Bakelite Necklace
Collage Ring

Stuff I Did.

I finally got some pictures back from the shoot for Cowgirl Electra. Enjoy!



If given more time to work (it was late one night and I had to work the next morning), there would be more than just one style, but I'm pleased with the one that we did. We were going for a messy Victorian feel.
The photos are by Tony Hall. His work is awesome. You can find more of his work at anthonyhallphoto.com.