Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Couple Christmas Photos

I forgot to say it, but better late than never, right? Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you all have had wonderful celebrations so far full of fun, festivities, family and friends. I snapped a couple photos from this year's Christmas that I thought were kinda interesting.

Firstly, check out the madness near my office. I work near (read right smack in the middle of) a shopping center, so when Christmas time hits, my co-workers and I are trapped in the office and forced to explore the local eateries within walking distance. Why? You may ask. Well, because around the holidays, our parking lot turns into this:

The mad race for a parking space

This is the view from my's actually kinda amusing to watch the shopper-stalkers (you know, the cars that follow people leaving stores in hopes of taking over their space when they leave) and the cars that literally fight over a space. Ahh...the madness of last-minute Xmas shopping.

Here's an up close shot of my family's Christmas tree:

German shepherd tree ornament

My mom decided to go with a turquoise Martha Stewart-esque theme this year, in lieu of the normal assortment of handmade ornaments from my sister and I's childhood. It looked really nice, especially with this lovely German shepherd in the tree. It represents our dog, Teddy, who unfortunately passed away almost 2 years ago. He was our only dog, and we really miss him, so the ornament was a nice sentiment for all of us.

I have lots of other pictures of presents and all that fun junk, but these photos are a bit representational of a different side of Christmas...and...I dunno...just interesting I guess.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Food Day

Every year, my company has a Food Day, usually around Christmas time, and everyone brings in a different dish - storebought or homemade. Needless to say, it's a delicious day of stuffing your face with yummy treats and all-day grazing over any leftovers

I was super happy to see my taco ring, a la Pampered Chef, fly off the table in record speed.

At the end of lunch time, there was one lonely piece, which I was going to wrap up for my sweetheart to take care of after work. But, when I went back to collect my scraps, the lone piece had been accounted for, and all I had were lettuce strips and crumbs...not such a bad thing...the worst is when your food is still sitting there at the end.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No Accent For Me!

Ha! I tried to tell you guys I didn't have a southern's further proof:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The Inland North
North Central
The Northeast
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

How bout you? Any accent?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Bday Sis

My sister just turned may think I'd take her out to the hippest bar/club in town and try to get her drunk...but I didn''s not really her thing. Instead, I decided to cook her dinner and my fiance took us all out for dessert.

I made chicken parmesan and linguine alfredo. Yes, I said "linguine" alfredo. I's a bit bizarre, but I wanted to take some help from the store on dinner, while still having fresh pasta, and they just didn't have fettucini...oh tasted about the same. My sister really seemed to enjoy it, and that's all that matters :)

The three of us had a nice relaxing dinner together...Gen X (or is it Y now) style on the coffee table. This may be partyly to do with the fact that I have, unfortunately, covered the entire dining room table with craft supplies (you may recognize it in the learning to sew post), as I'm prepping for a huge 3 day craft show in G-Vegas. Ok, ok, so I've basically covered the entire apartment in craft supplies, but the show is the first weekend of December, so I'm almost done...phew! Things have just been so crazy...I've been swamped and been half going insane, but I think I'm gonna make it. *crossing fingers*

Last night, I stayed up till midnight packaging items for shipment and printing labels. Last night was only the 2nd night I've used the online postage printing software, and since I'm Type-A and pretty paranoid, I worked very slowly and carefully, so as to ensure less chance of error. We'll see how it works...the whole dropping packages off in the mail kinda scares me, but I know that one package I've shipped this method has arrived safely, so I'm feeling pretty good about it...


Did I just jinx myself? Doh!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Re-learning to Sew

Yep, that's I think sewing is almost like one of those weird hobbies or riding a bike. You never really forget how to do just kind of...comes back to you.

I remember, vaguely, creating little pillows and other hand-woven goods when I was younger...I made a lot in my fiber arts class back in high school...that was a fun class! I actually still have some of my creations at my parent's house. They were little fabric-based creations of a kid with a wild imagination...pillows embellished with a multitude of yarns, buttons, and other interesting finds. Those were the days...

I asked my mom for a sewing machine several years ago. I asked her and didn't rush out to buy one b/c she loves her QVC shopping and enjoys finding the good deals and neat options on QVC TV. Well, she purchased a sewing machine for me about 3 years ago, but I never had time to use it...then, I didn't have the space (when I lived in the 2 bedroom townhome w/ 3 people). But now, I have a craft room and all the space I need to get my craftin' on for real! I am re-learning how to sew now, and I'm having a blast! Just like hopping back onto a bike, the art of sewing is coming back to me. Instincts kick in, telling me how to thread the machine, how to fill a bobbin...that I have to backstitch when I start and end...things I just know w/o having to read a book, though I have purchased a couple for inspiration.

I love doing all kinds of crafty things, so here's another fun hobby to add to the list. I can't wait to start making lovely creations, and don't worry...if you keep reading this blog or designing sass, you'll be the first to see them!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Brown Sugar Shortbread

Among other things, I'm trying to (re) learn how to bake. I've been semi-obsessed with the Food Network, really since childhood, but especially the past couple years. I'm pretty picky about my food, so it kinda goes with the saying, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." I don't mean that I dislike other people's cooking...but if I'm in the mood for Chicken Parmesan and fettucini alfredo, why should I waste a ton of money at Olive Garden when I can make it at home? I mean, a trip to Olive Garden is almost always nice...I freakin love the place, but sometimes it's nice to be able to enjoy that kind of meal in the comfort of your home and with the satisfaction of knowing that you made it.

I've been cooking pretty steadily for the last couple years...basically since I graduated college. One thing that I haven't practiced in forever is baking...I thought I'd give it a whirl this weekend:

Brown Sugar Shortbread
a la Pampered Chef

It came out pretty good, but I forgot how dry shortbread was...I did manage to make a quick powdered sugar glaze that I drizzled over the slices as they were served...gave them a little kick...yummy!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What's Wrong With Me?

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." ~Henri Bergson

Today I subscribed to Martha Steward Living. I sat there, staring at my computer screen, wondering, am I really about to subscribe to Martha Stewart Living? What's wrong with me? I don't get Martha, I get Cosmo, Lucky, Glamour...

I remember one time in college, when I had moved from the dorms to an apartment, I did something...maybe I cooked, or I ironed something...I can't remember...but what I do remember is how my friends remarked, "Oh my gosh...look at domesticated Diana!" Hmmm...domesticated? I think I've always been "domesticated." Even back in middle school, my favorite TV shows were FoodTV and HGTV. I've always loved cooking, crafting, garage-saling, and other stereotypically "domesticated" things. And yet, it was almost as though that person took a step back in college to let a different person develop, and now those two entities are growing together. I've taken up garage-saling again. I run a jewelry business, so I do crafty stuff all the time. I've started evening out my TV time with Style and The Food Network and HGTV. My mom bought me a sewing machine, so I'm trying to re-teach myself to sew. It's weird and refreshing all at once, sort of like when you revisit your parents house after you've moved's unfamiliar and comfortable at the same time.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Linguine With Shrimp Scampi

Oh Food Network, how do I love thee?

I love weekends that I can wake up late, keep my comfy, cottony PJ's on and sit in front of my couch and watch Food Network and make jewelry. Give me a cup of coffee...maybe a bacon, eg,g and cheese bagel from Bruegger's, and I'm a happy camper. Every once in awhile, I stumble upon a recipe that becomes a staple in my home. This is one of them:

It's Linguine with shrimp scampi, and not only is it delicious and relatively healthy, it's pretty darn easy to make. There aren't a lot of ingrediants to it, so that helps keep things simple, but the food is cooked over medium low heat, which means that things don't really burn all that easily. I first made this meal a couple months ago, and we must have had this half a dozen times already since then. Oh, and it's not too expensive to boot!

Click here for the recipe

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunrise, Sunrise, Looks Like Morning In Your Eyes

Last week, I woke up at my usual 6 AM for my hour long car ride to work (don't worry, it's supposed to be temporary). As I headed north through the early morning and slowly lightening sky, I was pleasantly surprised when I turned east to stop by the bagel shop I visit once a week for breakfast. The most gorgeous, peachy pink sky was ablaze with sunlight. It made the fact that I had to wake up so early that day just a little bit better.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Tree or a Home?

I took these pictures in the parking lot next to the tennis courts where I take lessons about once a week. The weather has been great lately - perfect tennis weather. I played yesterday and today - today was much better. Tuesday was almost too hot. I kept looking at the shady spot next to the court, under a large oak tree, and wishing I could just sit down for a couple minutes and sip on some is what I had yesterday and today. But, I couldn't look weak in front of my tennis coach! He didn't even seem to notice the heat at all, so I couldn't let it get to me!

On the way out, I noticed this tree (see below). It had cute little berries (at least I think they were berries) in yellows and reds. I guess it's just that time of year where berries replace flowers. Either way, I ask...

A tree?

Or a home?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Miami Cuisine - Bistec Anyone?

One of my favorite experiences from my trip to Miami was eating at an authentic Cuban restaurant. We checked out one in the Coral Gables area that was super nice, and our friend/"tour guide" (hehe...jk) that we were visiting is actually Cuban herself, so she was able to help us order the best items on the menu. We started the meal with deep fried plantain chips with a garlic/oil dip and yuka...umm...somethings with a creamy basil (I think it was) dipping sauce. For my entree, I had the Bistec de Palomilla, which I instantly fell in love with. It's an extremely flat piece of steak, seasoned with garlic and lime juice, sauteed till it's juuuuust right. It's served with rice, black beans, and a minced onion/parsley mixture, and a side of pan-fried, sweetened plantains. It was sooo good! To top the meal off, we had a "coffee with milk." Now, I know that sounds simple, but it's not just brewed coffee with milk poured in it. It's actually sort of like a mini cafe latte with twice the caffeine and slightly sweetened. It was also delicious...the whole meal was really.

Anywho, the other night, I don't know what caught me, but I decided to try to recreate my fab meal from Miami.

My attempt at Bistec de Palomilla - it would have been better with a better cut of meat, but ah well...

My meal wouldn't have been complete without the fried plantains! A girl's gotta have her dessert!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Miami Mystery?

Anyone know where this is?

It's in the same area where you may see this:

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Floral Teapot Set

I went garage-saling yesterday. I used to do it a lot with my mom when I lived at home - through middle school and high school - especially when I was really into HGTV. During college, I kinda forgot about it, but I've decided to pick the hobby back up to see what I can find. They say most of Rachael Ray's plates, platters, etc are actually vintage, so I'm interested to see what kind of wonderful discoveries I can make.

Yesterday, I picked up this super cute tea set for only $5! Yes, only $5. I read the bottom, and the set is apparently made in France...maybe I'll google it later to see if it's worth anything, but I just really like how pretty it is.

My original idea for garage-saling was to find cute, vintage plateware for entertaining, but some seem like they may have been made for looking at only. I'm still deciding for this set if I'll simply display it or actually put it to good use with my friends and family. What do you think?

Miami - South Beach

My SO and I went to Miami a couple weeks ago, so of course, we had to take a trip to South Beach. The weather was beautiful, the beach was warm with a light breeze, and the water was so soothing! Here's some pictures:

A look at the strip from the beach - this was on the end of South Beach where there was a bit less art-deco style - I loved the white sand, the blue skies and the blue-green water!

A seagull watches the beach-goers

Another seagull people-watching - these seagulls are quite the voyeurs, n'est-ce pas?

My favorite scene from the beach was a random flower someone has stuck into the sand. At first glance, and from pretty far away, it almost seemed to be growing there (which of course makes no sense). Maybe there was a wedding on the beach?

Hmmm...maybe it's time for a change of scenery? I could move to Miami...maybe? No? Ok...hehe. Not right now at least ;)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Beautiful and Tasty

My SO and I love to go to this local sushi restaurant called RuSan's. It's actually a chain - I think they have at least 6 different locations, mainly (if not all) in the southeast.

We stopped by a couple weeks ago, but I didn't post about it because I was still working on the template, but I had to take pictures of the entrees when they came out...they were so beautiful! I had yoga earlier that night, and I'm not sure what it is, but it just seems appropriate that sushi makes a great dinner after a nice workout...maybe because it's so light?

My choice - Olympic 5 Ring

Pearl Harbor

Falling Leaves

I got a new version of Photoshop, so I decided to try to draw something to see if I could make anything remotely pretty. Since fall is here, I decided to do an autumn-esque scene:

Falling Leaves

I can't wait for the leaves to start turning! I live in the southeast and I love to visit the Blue Ridge during fall - the trees make the mountains look alive with color. The weather is nice - not too hot, not too cold - and there usually aren't very many bugs out!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I love my friends' pets!

I'm such a dog person! I love visiting my friends who have doggies...I live in an apartment, so I can't get my own, and my family's german shephard died almost 2 years ago :( I miss my Teddy...

Recently, I visited my friend in SC...she has an adorable, playful puppy

Isn't she cute?

I said her name just before taking this shot...she cocked her head like she was trying to understand adorable!

You Had Me at Pink

I went with my boyfriend to one of his co-worker's weddings recently and fell in love with their simple, yet elegant, table settings. No flowers - just candles, ribbons, and lots of pink.

You had me at pink...

Great Greek Sweets!

I love Greek food...especially Greek desserts, so whenever the Greek festival happens in our town, you know I'm there filling up on as many sweets as I can possibly eat. Here's the collection my boyfriend and I gathered at the festival a couple weeks ago:


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Intro to living the Bourgeois-Chic life

I’m a perfectionist. I can’t help it…I really think I must have been born a perfectionist. Even since I was a child, everything had to be done perfectly. I swear this is my best and worst trait.

Best - because nothing is ever done half ass with me…I just can’t bring myself to settle. Worst – because nothing is ever good enough. It’s like a constant feeling of wanting what you can’t have - just when things seem perfect, suddenly they’re not.

Yet, while things are so imperfect, I can’t help but think of situations of other people…heck, other countries where things are so much worse. It’s about this time I feel guilty for being as blessed as I am. This is the cycle – highs and lows – feelings of perfection, then feelings of imperfection, then feelings of guilt for ever taking for granted the things I have today. Stupid perfectionism!

I’d like this blog to serve as a reminder to myself that I do live a pretty chic life. I hope for this to be a way to look at the brighter side of things and to help me appreciate even the little everyday happenings that are so often overlooked. Instead of looking at the things that are “imperfect,” I’d really like to use this blog to show the things that are perfect in my life. And not the “perfect” that is defined in the dictionary, but the “perfect” that is defined by me. Sorta like the quote, “You’re not looking for the perfect person, you’re looking for the person who is perfect for you” (same premise).

I’d also like to dedicate this blog to anyone who’s ever touched my life, because without you, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you.