Thursday, December 22, 2011

our very first happy little christmas tree

this year we bought our first christmas tree! (live of course. we don't really have the space to keep a fake on for 50 weeks a year. and plus, real ones just smell soooo good!)

i was very excited since the last christmas tree i had was a 6 foot potted palm tree in my dorm room. yup. classy, i know.

all this shopping was very exciting for me: the tree stand, tree blanket, giant lights, candy canes, and of course, a tree!

we went to the boys scouts, but they were only open in the afternoon. so we went to home depot where they had a bunch more trees for much cheaper. love saving $$$.

tree stand assembled. took us like 7 minutes. (we should be smarter than that with all the student loans we're paying back ;P )

cleared a spot in the living room for the tree. (yes, my living room is once again rearranged.)

our tree! we named him Fraiser. since of course he is a fraiser fir. we are very original when it come to naming things. 

ta-da! there he is! it's about 6 1/2 feet tall and plenty big for the space it's in. tree skirt from target: $5.

with lights! i love the big colored lights i bought this year. i may buy another strand for next year.

so far we have a couple ornaments on the tree (that were an early christmas gift), some cinnabun candy canes and a bunch of gifts on the tree. i love how simple it is. 

it smells delicious. 

happy christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

e a t a l y. mario batali's little market.

ok guys, so I promise not to blog about food for a while.....after this post, that is.

 I cannot resist sharing with you some crazy supermarket pictures with you. what?!!??? supermarket pictures??? 

 if you haven't heard of it (and don't smack yourself, i just heard of it recently too) mr. mario batali (aka the famous chef who wears orange crocs all. the. time.), has opened up this mega market  in nyc. it's called
e a t a l y and their slogan is "we eat what we sell and we sell what we eat." basically it's this like 20,000 square foot market. 

it's divided into sections. produce. pastas. meats. sandwiches. coffees. gelato. breads. chocolates. desserts.

and in each of those sections, there's a mini-restaurant. so you see the food. and you can:

1) either buy it and figure out what to do with it
2) have chefs make you food with the items in that particular section.

for instance: in the pasta section (where they sell both fresh and dried pasta) you can buy some like you do at the regular grocery OR, you can sit down in that area and have them make you a pasta dish. 

sounds pretty simple, right? 

well, each section of the store has it's own complete menu. that's like 20 different menus. woah.

so needless to say, if you are hungry for good food, go to eataly.

but be prepared. it is crowded. and not just "it's crowded like every other nyc store" its like SUPER crowded. but cool, so kinda evens out. maybe.

ok, enough chit-chat. here's the eye candy:

cheese and sausages.

 a little view of some meats.

and fish below.

coffee and espressos. 

some fresh pastas.

preparing some dishes in the vegetable section

some fruits and veggies.

some sweets.

 one of the entrances. there are like 5 different entrances to this place.

 we didn't end up eating here because it was super-de-duper crowded. but on our next trip we will definitely be eating here. until then, i need a snack......

Thursday, December 8, 2011

::it's the little things:: random lovlies

linking with lindsay from aisle to aloha with little things that made our week. 

a surprise gift from a friend (and blog reader!) i adore penzeys spices. if you've never checked this place out (and you love to cook) go look it up! they have a store in our town but also online. specialty spices that are aaaammmmaaazzzinnngggg. you get my drift.

getting some vacay time with K-man in the big city. anyone know where we were standing when i took this pict? ;)

oh, and speaking of K-man. i love him. he is so random. and awesome. (and doesn't know i'm writing this) :)

 we went to go see Hugo in 3-D! it was so good. so was the book, of course.

 christmas time! and over the top decorations. 

a yummy turkey. that cooked in record time.

a husband who can successfully wield 2 knives at a time. while wearing an apron. 

a little home away from home. we'll see you soon again, nyc. 
until then,

happy weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

wiww: lincoln center

welcome to wiww or what-i-wore-wednesday. it's where lazy people like me try not to be lazy and get out of our unflattering, boring comfy clothes and put some effort into our appearance. it's actually an awesome little blogging party over at The Pleated Poppy Blog where hundreds of women are joining in on the fun.

i'd have to say, being accountable for what i look like has really made me think about what i put on. am i wearing it just because it's the first thing i see in my closet? and do i realize other people must look at me? it should not pain them to do this.

this week i only have one picture (boo for me!). it's one of my favorite outfits now :)
oh, and please excuse the pose. i was going for excited. or dramatic. or something else.

scarf: gift
plum blazer: ann taylor loft
cashmere top: gift
black leggings: old (so?)
riding boots: marshalls
flower and feather headband: my s h o p
purse: target

if you're wondering what the weird and slightly awkward smiles are in this picture, it's because this happened:
scene: we're taking crazy jumping pictures in lincoln center, nyc.
karl, with camera: "jump higher!"
jess: "really? did you get one good one at least?"
(stranger and french man approaches)
strange man with accent: "Oh hello!!! i take picture for you!"
jess and karl: "um, ok"
s.m.w.accent: walks around looking at the camera screen: "we go over this way. ok, i get fountain in background. ok, that picture no good. to many people behind. ok, one more. ok, move to ze left again. ok, now to ze right. ok. not bad. one more. ok!!! this one good. bye-bye."

gotta love it. and i do. 

yummy power-juice: the swamp tastes good. (odwalla knock-off)

despite my joking title, this really is some seriously good stuff. not only good for you, but also delicious tasting. i submit that anybody doing a blind test taste for this would think they were drinking a pink strawberry-banana smoothie. 

i started thinking more about healthy food when someone who came across my blog emailed me. they are developing an App to help people eat better food, exercise more, and live healthier life styles.  (and they wanted my opinion on it! tooooootally flattered, by the way)  aaanyways, that got me thinking: wouldn't it be better to eat healthier if healthy food tasted delicious? 

i can't claim any brilliance for this recipe. my mom is the one who makes this stuff all the time. i'm pretty sure i don't eat nearly as enough veggies as i should. i am also pretty sure that to get the most nutrition out of fruits/veggies, they should be eaten raw.

and in this case. drunk.

this drink is yummy. not doubt about it. but it also makes me feel more energetic. on days where i'm so busy that i forget to make a vegetable side dish or grab a salad, i drink this stuff. 
oh, and plus i'm pretty sure that if you buy this at the store as a Odwalla Superfood drink, it's like $3 (on sale) for a single serving. totally not cool.

let's break the cost of this drink down. for a full blender full we have:

10 frozen strawberries .75 cents
1 frozen banana .19 cents
1/2 bunch of organic kale .50 cents (i bought it on sale at whole foods for .99 cents/lb)
1  1/2 cups of juice .75 cents
4 ice cubes: free
total: $2.19 for a full blender

I added a bit more juice, ice and kale after this. So this really does make a full blender-full.

make sure you have an empty bottle to store it in. I used some of this juice in the drink and then just poured my finished product in.

gather your ingredients:
10ish strawberries, whole
1 frozen banana, peeled
1 1/2 cups of any juice (i usually use apple)
4 or so ice cubes 
3 large handfuls of raw kale leaves (no stems!)

put everything in the blender. start it on low and then work it up to high. you'll have to stop it a couple times to stir the ingredients around. after everything has broken down pretty small, put the blender on high and let it go for a couple minutes. you really want the kale leaves to break down so you can't see little pieces in the drink.

it will be a little frothy. that's ok, it's just from being swirled around so much.

pour into your container and enjoy! 

remember that you can always alter this recipe: you can add carrots and/or celery, fresh apples, frozen grapes. it's a great base to customize to your own tastes!

oh and p.s.  happy birthday to the best mom ever. you still look like my sister. or so the tell me ;)

p.p.s. thanks for *still* letting me borrow your clothes :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Medieval Times, m'lords and ladies!

well i haven't found my camera uploader thingy, but i can't stay away from blogging too long without any personal pictures. so. we're doing things the dinosaur way. i have lots of fun posts with lots of pictures coming up so i hope you'll keep coming over often!

on our last trip le big city, aka new york, we stopped over in jersey to go to medieval times-somewhere i've been wanting to go for like 3 years. we finally go to go and i was sooo excited. (can you tell?)

it's a huge 'castle' with an arena where they have a cool jousting festival and feast. you can smell the horses when you drive up to the parking lot. it's so cool! (can you tell i didn't grow up around big animals???)

the ceiling is painted with really cool designs.

you arrive 1 hour before the dinner/show and they have a large room/s with (of course) stuff to buy, face painting, music and a little "knighting ceremony" (which, of course again, you have to pay for)
hey, i think i found my knight in shining armor! (oh wait, he's not for sale)

 after an hour, you go into the arena and sit down at your color section. you are assigned a certain color knight to cheer for. we were with the yellow guy. who was pretty good.


 the food is finally brought out in courses starting with a tomato bisque and garlic bread. you must drink the soup and eat with your hands. no utensils. (although some people in the blue section at table 8 brought their own and were publicly denounced by the king) lol.
yup, a 1/2 chicken. to eat with your bare hands. 

 let the games begin! there was jousting, sword fighting, and some other horse-related activities. so. cool.

we had such a good time! we cheered and booed and yelled and acted like crazy people. a much needed change of pace from our usual busy lives :)

have you done something fun (whether big or little) with your husband/boyfriend lately? If so, I'd love to hear about it. we're always looking for fun things to do!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Schnipper's Quality Kitchen and Levain's Bakery

 this past week we were blessed to have a little (and much needed) vacation. so off to new  york city we went! we always have a blast there and got to spend some time visiting my mom. all in all, good stuff.

warning: you may become hungry. i am a lover of food and some images below may be disturbing to your stomach. i suggest grabbing a snack before scrolling below ;)

here we go:

 We almost always go to Schnippers, near Times Square.  They have the best sloppy joes. FYI, Bobby Flay did one of his Throwdown shows here and lost. The food they serve is THAT good. I also recommend getting a chocolate malt. It's delicious. And unlike other malts. I don't like chocolate and I don't like malts but I like the Ghiradelli Chocolate malts at Schnippers. Menu items are from $7-9.

we got to stay in an awesome little apartment. (it used to be josh brolin's apt. years ago) we had a perfect view of the soldiers and sailors memorial from our windows.

The famous Levain's double dark chocolate cookie. If sweets are your thing, stop by this bakery. It's tucked away on a side street, but it's worth searching out. Here's the link: It's on the upper west side. Cookies are around $4-5 each and they also have good coffee (hot or iced) and milk for very reasonable prices. 

happy friday everyone!