Happy Sundry Sunday

Weekend adventures in menus, bargain hunting, fashion, and vitamins. Finished book and found some great sayings. Sharing …..

Menus

Each week is more kookadoodledoo than the last so it is necessary for me to cook on Sunday. Here’s what’s on the menu for next week:

  • Portobella mushrooms stuffed with three cheeses and topped with pancetta
  • Collard greens, slightly braised in garlic, lemon olive oil, and chicken stock, topped with prosciutto
  • Chicken fillets, stuffed with pesto cream cheese, then wrapped in turkey bacon
  • Tuna nicoise pasta salad
  • Potato chips, Fritos, Peeps and caffeine (requires no cooking)

Bargain Hunting

Less than $50, including pashmina. Rah!

After donating most of my closet to Goodwill, I was in a bit of a pickle re: upcoming events. But I am a determined lass (long in the tooth for a lass, but determined). Some of bargains above might go with my favorite bargains below:

Maxi colorblock dress, $78, huge scarf/wrap, $6

Needed yet another outfit, so while at work at Cheeky Vintage, I found a severely cool short black top from who knows where. Then I put it with a Chartreuse raw silk tea-length skirt from the closet of a Parisian or it was made in Paris – whatever! It’s smashing! The photo below does not do the skirt color justice – it is outstanding!

Aucon de vos affaires, mes amis

Vitamins

My dad has been having more back issues, bless his bones. Saint ShayShay suggested Pantothenic acid, which is a big fat word for B5. She swears it unclenched her neck and made her dad jump up and dance a jig after a skiing injury. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR MOUTH WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR. That being said, the best price for B5 was at Whole Foods!?! There’s also a whole thing going on (so late to this party) about taking collagen in the form of gelatin pills; supposedly, this activity provides good hair, strong nails and less rickety joints/joint pain. Gelatin (see Knox Unflavored Gelatin), by definition, is made from the proteins derived from the bones and skin of animals (not a veggie situation). All the info I could find said no animals were killed for gelatin. Jury’s out, as far as I am concerned. I mean, the animals weren’t alive when the proteins were derived. Need to take ADHD vitamin and keep nose out of this.

Rules of Civility

Finished this and have changed my mind. Maybe. After finishingThe Paris Wife, set in the 1920’s, it was hard for me to jump into Rules‘ Manhattan of 1938. Places so different, themes so similar … jazz, art, and lots of booze. Please put more emphasis on first two; these books are very good.

Favorite New Sayings

Last Friday, OneKingsLane.com featured all sorts of art. One section, Typography & Letterpress, caught my eye. Word art. These were my favorites:

“The only zen you find at the top of the mountain is the zen you bring up there.”

“Breathe in the future, Breathe out the past.”

“I do believe there is time for another adventure.”

“Go and wake up your luck.”

Off to shake up my luck. It’s already awake.

Later.

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Blame it on Eve

I’m talking about clothing. While I wouldn’t call Eve a style icon, her curiosity and that damn apple did present us with the need to “cover up”. Don’t know who decided to make dressing an art form, but God bless him/her/them.

Did you know that any clothing over 20 years old is considered vintage? I didn’t, but am all over vintage clothing for a number of reasons. First and foremost …..

My Grandmother

My grandmother was born with style. I think this photo is 1930’s but her outfit looks like Norma Kamali was around at that time. Luckily, I have some of my grandmother’s jackets and other accoutrement which I wear frequently. Because it was so well made and way cool. I LOVE vintage clothing. The fabrics, the craftmanship … oh, I feel a case of the vapors coming on.

Before I take to my fainting couch, I must tell you why I’m double lucky regarding vintage. My city has the very best treasure chest of vintage clothing, shoes, hats, handbags, and other accessories in this hemisphere. IN ONE SPOT! Cheeky Vintage! Just the name makes me swoon.

The owners of Cheeky Vintage, Denise and Tina, are brilliant and have a serious love and eye for vintage perfection. But don’t just take my word for it; Lucky Magazine calls Cheeky one of the country’s best vintage stores. And the positive press goes on and on. Go to cheekyvintage.com to drool.

Chanel, anyone?

Treasure Chest

Just fainted.

Later.

Randamonium: Lovely Words & Crazy Curves

I’m a sponge. That is my new career of choice, in this interim between paying positions. Each day brings new ideas, different opinions and the notion that I have a whole lot of learning left to do. This “career” is a luxury and will not last forever. Have been reading quite a bit and some powerful words have literally taken my breath away. Three greats and a snark, to be specific.

  • Have not been a fan of Christopher Hitchens. Ever. Until this morning. His column in the current issue of Vanity Fair is true, and brave, exquisite, and terrifying. I read it twice, and I know I will read it again and again, making copies and passing them to friends. “The Topic of Canceris the header; he has been thrown a very ugly curve ball which he describes in a way that is so simple, so human, so beautiful. I’m rooting for you, Hitch!
  • Started Laura Munson’s This Is Not The Story You Think It Is…” last night. After reading the first page, I knew she’d hit it out of the park and into the next county. This is her memoir and it has me entranced, involved, so much of what she has to say is so well communicated, so amazingly thoughtful, well, I’m halfway through (thanks to a three-hour power outage this afternoon) and I have only torn myself away from this treasure to write this post. She’s got a keen sense of humor, always a plus for me. At the moment, there is one line she wrote that I cannot get out of my mind; it made me feel good, “…Sometimes taking care of yourself means letting yourself be misunderstood…” . More later, but borrow or buy this book. ASAP. It is that good.
  • Rooting through one pile of books, I came upon “Labor Day”  by Joyce Maynard. The most memorable lines in this book, for me, describe loneliness perfectly. She writes, “…you are like one of those ceramic hedgehogs with the plants growing on it that the person who bought it forgot to water. You are like a hamster nobody remembered to feed”. Powerful stuff.
  • Snark On: VF also has an excerpt from “True Prep” by Lisa Birnbach. This is the “update” to her book, “The Official Preppy Handbook”. When she was writing the first book, somehow she got me on the phone. She was very persuasive and I was very young. Her book had a section on “prepster hot spots for each night of the week” for a number of cities. She needed the scoop for my city. RIGHT THAT MINUTE. So, I gave it to her. Bought the book when it was published. And there was all the info I gave her. When I write a book, I hope I acknowledge any and everyone who helped me. Just sayin’. And no, I won’t be reading this latest publication.

The curvy randamonium refers to my daily adventure quest and observations. Anything new, different, ironic:

  •  Last night, my Cooking Partner and I grilled Portobello mushrooms (marinated beforehand with olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and a dash of Worcestershire). Divine.
  • Found 17 gifts today (birthdays, Christmas, layoffs) and didn’t spend $150. These are good gifts, too. Am patting self on back because I’m a great “finder”.  Hey, maybe a new career ……
  • Cooper the dog may get me booted from my home. He is obstinate and determined to do his thing wherever he wants. He always chooses the same place:

Meh!

Later.

Tasty Treasures & Kick-Ass Paper: Oh, the Places I Go

My new agenda includes going on an adventure each day. Obviously, adventures can be simple or far-flung.  Am keeping it simple for now. There are a number of farmer’s markets in my city. So, my plan for this morning was to go to one, then meander wherever the wind blew me. What a great morning!

It was about a ten-minute drive to the market. Little white tents dot the area behind a vibrant shopping behemoth. Under those tents are treats galore! With fans blowing and the tents sheltering vendors and shoppers from the sun, I actually felt comfortable even though it was 9:30 am and already 90-degrees. Live music added to the happy ambience here. Love that! Because I could have a deep conversation with a tree, I spent my time wandering from vendor to vendor, asking questions and hearing stories. Very cool, very peaceful, everything local. Purchases include:

Market Loot

  • Two lovely Portobello mushrooms (am open to any recipe ideas)
  • A sweet round globe of a watermelon (if I were a fruit, I would be a watermelon)
  • Six organic oatmeal/cranberry cookies baked by a Brit with an Australian accent
  • One plastic bear of Orange Blossom honey (my tea will be very happy)
  • One jar of incredible skin balm called “Awakening” by Forrest Glynn Botanicals; the creator is a delightful woman and her products are “Tested on Friends. Not Animals”

There were so many beautiful vegetables, homemade cheeses, marshmallows, and prepared meals by traveling chefs… well, I just had to say, “Stop the Madness” to myself. I can go back next Saturday. Or go to a new market. Or walk a lobster.  Next stop: bookstore.

I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Books are my crack. I am an addict. “My name is Izziedarling and I am a book freak”. No apologies. So excited to score two out of the four book I now own.  Have been after One Day by David Nicholls for months. Same story for Laura Munson’s memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is … A Season of Unlikely Happiness. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Stumbled upon The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise by Julia Stuart; this looks great … an eccentric tale about a Beefeater living in the Tower of London. Good Grief by Lolly Winston is not new, but it was in the bargain section so …..sold!  This is an “aha” moment for me; when I know not where I am headed, I used to purchase self-help books. In search of answers. Which I never found. And hated the books because they could not do the impossible. May not be sure of my next step, but I haven’t bought a single self-help book. This is an epic win on my journey. Rah me.  Next stop: cupcake shop.

You better be good......

Oh my! There is a paper store right next to the cupcake place. I love and respect paper more than some people I know. Paper Source did not disappoint. Found so many great items, but had to exercise some self-control. So I bought Karma Checks. I can’t wait to use them. Advertised as “60 checks to keep the world in balance”, these come in a little checkbook holder – good/bad karma – 30 each! Examples: Bad karma – “for being aggressively passive-aggressive”, Good karma – “For demonstrating an advanced degree of friendship”. Sold! Walked next door to purchase sweets.

These are pretty; I suck at photography

The cupcake mecca is Sprinkles. Am here because eldest daughter told me about it AND they have key lime cupcakes through the end of the month. While I could care less about klc, I know this flavor will make my cooking partner do a happy dance. Because I don’t want him to have to dance alone, I chose a banana cupcake and a chocolate marshmallow confection. I love sweet endings.

Now I’m brewing tea for my Orange Blossom honey. And trying to decide which adult beverage goes with a cupcake dinner. And making a list of potential karma check recipients. And liking this multi-tasking adventure ….

Later.

Eat A Peach: Travel Treasures

Fresh! Fresh! Fresh!

Whenever I hear the phrase, “Eat a peach”, I know someone somewhere is going  all Allman Brothers on me. While running up and down the roads of Central Texas last week, I listened to KLBJ whenever I could. Classic rock … AC/DC, Foghat, Rush,  Uriah Heep, ZZ, Steve Miller Band. Wasn’t listening because of the music – the disc jockeys were the entertainment. “Dude” this and “Man” that; perhaps the peace pipe was moving concentrically around the room. Sort of a “back of van with Jeff Spicoli and surfer dudes headed to a concert” situation. The broadcast cut out on me when one DJ was musing on how many home runs Babe Ruth could have logged had he been on rowdy powder.  But I digress. The real purpose here is to show off the treasures I found. 

Fred peaches are the BEST! (see photo). This time of year, there are fresh peach stands all around Fredericksburg, Texas. They are sweet and juicy and delicious… just peachy! It may be against the law if you DON’T stop and buy a bag full. Yum factor, $5. 

"Tramp" lamp found in Bandera

This beauty may be the best bargain I’ve ever found. We stopped at one of those huge, musty warehouses advertising “Antiques” in Bandera. I snagged this puppy for $7. Seven Dollars! It has to be rewired but SEVEN DOLLARS? 

My sentiments, exactly

Ok, so it’s just a coaster. But the message is awesome. Wish I’d thought of it. About $3 at The Busy Bee, somewhere between Bastrop and Columbus. 

More Bee buzz .....

I love this. A new mantra! No wonder I’m unemployed.  Can I put “silly” as a strength on my resume? 

Sadie, Sadie, Overbite Lady

Actually Sadie belongs to Austin Ann but she is so adorable I had to snap her photo. Don’t tell her, but her parents and siblings are show dogs; she was punted from the circuit due to an overbite issue. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, right? Sadie the Sheltie, priceless! 

Another Busy Bee find

Helmet is a MUST. The word “cute” icks me sideways. Don’t need a manicure, but I do have a free pedicure certificate here somewhere … let’s see …. found it! Sign I sort of like, $3-ish. 

Goals of day: ignore all responsibilities, try to dial in KLBJ, eat a peach, get back to my addictions- Angry Birds and Words With Friends.  Better get moving …. 

Later.

Food for Thought

Carb Love

Food. 

 There are those of us who can be oh-so-peculiar about our likes and dislikes when it comes to this subject.  Our finicky food preferences can make life interesting and/or hideous. 

Consider planning a dinner party for eight.  It wouldn’t be unusual to have a guest list loaded with picky eaters… maybe a vegan, a vegetarian, a cheese-hater, a couple of meat-and-potatoes guys rounded out by a few of what the late author Laurie Colwin called, “O-positives for hostesses”.  The only solution to this menu nightmare is to have your dinner party at a restaurant where the professionals are trained to take the heat. 

I am freaky about food.  I behave at dinner parties because Momma taught me to mind my manners.  But she would tell you I’m way weird about all things comestible. Oh well.  My personal rules for wandering around a plate, in no special order, appear below.

  • I am scared of animal skin – won’t wear it or eat it.  Turkey and chicken are fine IF there is no skin, white meat only and totally cooked.
  • Turkey sandwiches must be accompanied by Fritos.
  • Pigs.  I’ve got a problem with pigs.  When I was very young and visiting my grandparents on their farm, I witnessed  a pig execution.  Obviously it scarred me, gastronomically speaking. So I only like pigs that are alive.  I did feed my kids turkey bacon and all was well, until they went to my mom and squealed for pig bacon.  Which they love.  Just got an email from Miss Peach; she washed down some pig knuckles with massive amounts of beer in Munich.  I am still gagging at the thought.  Pork rinds and pig’s feet belong on their owners. Gak.
  • Am terrified of frogs so I see no reason to eat their legs, even if they are dead. 
  • I love sweet tea and strong coffee.  And yes, I am high-strung.
  • A rather straightforward dinner plate is fine by me.  You know, a bit of this, some of that. 
  • I despise the word “supper” … it’s so …. it’s so … peppy and creepy.
  • Like most any vegetable raw – only eat cooked spinach, asparagus, and green beans.  Exception:  yams. Yuck. And green peas. Bleck. 
  • If I could, I would outlaw scrambled eggs.  The smell, the texture, the EVERYTHING about them makes me ill. Had a roommate in college whose entire culinary repertoire consisted of scrambled eggs.  Karma is a bitch.
  • I love poached eggs.  Go figure.
  • Chicken salad is delicious just as long as I don’t come across any of those white, crunchy tendon things. Just grossed myself right on out when looking for proper name of tendons.  Didn’t find it but did find the word pygostyle which would be chicken buttocks (what?) and people eat them (WHAT?). Chicken.
  • I love fruit – all fruit.
  • Am not a fan of sweet-n-sour anything.  Don’t like my entree to be confused with dessert.
  • I always order french fries when I order a salad.  Always.
  • Probably don’t even need to say that animal innards do not pass these lips.
  • Love homemade Green Goddess dressing, almond anything, oatmeal, most soups, and all carbs.
  • My Food Hall of Shame includes:  jalapenos stuffed with tuna and the vilified orange marshmallow Circus Peanuts.  Am sentimental about Jack in the Box tacos (my first fast food).

Obviously, I’m not  a member of the Clean Plate Club.  But I love to cook.  Which brings up another aspect of food … cooking.  There are actually people who debate whether talent in the kitchen is genetic or acquired.  Not my battle.  I have friends whose cooking rivals that of the best professional chefs and, on the flip side, there are those whose only culinary talent is stirring up trouble.  But that would be a tale for another day.

Later.

Yee Haaaaaaa

My Life in Fabric: Week II - lovely colors with curves and loops; Pindler&Pindler: Marrakech

Another really good weekend … LOVE when that happens.  Really.  You cannot know how much I appreciate good weekends.  And, I’ll take a good week whenever available as well.  Who wouldn’t?
  • Paid the bills.  Not usually considered even a pleasant activity, but these days, just having the ability to do so makes me really happy.
  • Baked exquisite Swedish Visiting Cake (see Almond Ecstasy post).  Ate almost entire cake in one day.  Headed to Dress Barn and/or Omar the Tentmaker for something to wear to work tomorrow. So worth it.

Sweet, sweet, sweet ... love flowers and someone sweet knows it!

  •  Went to see “Date Night” on Date Night.  Laughed and laughed. Then headed off to eat my weight in crawfish.  See Omar the Tentmaker ASAP.
  • Signed yet another neighborhood petition.  I live on Renegade Row in my townhouse community; a number of us will sign any petition that has the potential to ruffle the feathers of our maintenance company.  Instead of maintaining our homes and security, the company focuses on the important things … like harassing the homeowners who pay for maintenance which is practically non-existant.  This particular petition was circulated by a homeowner who likes to put festive inflatable things in her yard … Easter bunny, Santa, that kind of stuff.  She’s received a nasty letter claiming her two-story pink bunny was offensive and NOT appropriate for our area.  Sheesh, it’s not like she’s landscaping with blow up sex dolls.  When presented with a huge petition supporting her inflations at upcoming board meeting, perhaps said company will get a clue about what it was hired to do and maybe, oh, I don’t know, fix some roofs, throw a little paint here and there, hammer some stuff. Rebellion is empowering!
  • Am well aware I take crooked, not so great photos posted here, but just the fact that I can do it is huge to me.
  • Had a great little emailarama with Lady Di, citizen of the world and Martha’s Vineyard.  We are going to hit Breadmaking 101 full force at MV in June. Can’t wait.
  • Miss Peach paid for her upcoming European tour.  She has worked her ass off to do this.  Proud moment.  College Girl may have snagged an internship at a music management company for the summer.  Yes!
  • And last, but certainly not least, Cowgirl has put yet another MS 150 behind her.  Woo Hoo.

ENOUGH about me, how about you?

Happy week.

Later.