Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It's been a while since I've been excited about Halloween but this year I think it is going to be SUPER fun. Chapel Hill is known for its Halloween celebration. The streets are all closed downtown and then the weirdos come out. Should be a total spectacle. I'm going to be Baby Spice with the 4 other Spice Girls. Epic. 

I went to a party on Saturday and went as Christina Aguilera from Burlesque. Here is the evidence:  

I also had some fun fishnets and red satin heels on. This was the first time I wore a wig and it was awesome!

Love this song from Burlesque:

Happy Halloween!! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

the most delicious tomato soup

Considering that I have been eating this tomato soup the last 4 days and haven't gotten sick of it yet, I figured I should share the recipe. I made it for my first soup party of the season and forgot how much it makes so I had lots of leftovers. You may want to half the recipe for 4-6 servings. 

I love this soup so much I want to kiss it :) 

Adapted from Serious Eats' Nordstrom Tomato Basil Soup


serves 8-10
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
  • 3 28-ounce cans whole peeled Roma tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 pint heavy cream (sometimes I use less, just add it, taste, add more.) 
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper (optional) 


  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add carrots and onion and cook until beginning to soften, 10 minutes, then add basil and garlic and cook until vegetables are completely soft, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes.
  3. After allowing soup to cool somewhat, purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, doing so in batches if necessary. (I just stick an immersion blender into the pot and it does the job too with less mess.)
  4. Stir in cream little by little over over low heat, until desired texture is reached and soup is just heated through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper and serve warm. (Sometimes I add garlic powder as well to round out the flavors.)

    This is great served with garlic bread.

    Bon appetite! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the romance of mr. darcy

Ever since the wedding I've been feeling romantic. I LOVE this quote from Pride and Prejudice:

Mr. Darcy: Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment. I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you... I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family's expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony.

Elizabeth Bennet: I don't understand.

Mr. Darcy: I love you.

Monday, October 24, 2011

going to the chapel

My baby sister got married this weekend!!! It was such a magical few days filled with love of the couple and of our families. I'm so excited to have a brother! Everything was absolutely perfect. 

"Family, last time I checked, are a group of people who give you love" - Stephen Kellogg

Saturday, October 15, 2011

dc meets nc

I walked into a bar where a man in a blue shirt and pink bow tie checked my name off the list. There were deep leather couches, more men in bow ties shaking signature cocktails behind a giant oak bar, and it was crowded enough to feel festive but not too loud to talk. Women were in dresses, men in pressed shirts with the sleeves comfortably rolled up to the elbows.

Was I in DC? It sure felt like it. 

But no, I was at the Crunkleton in Chapel Hill. I think I have found my new favorite bar. 
Perhaps it was the company, some new friends I am making, but I was just totally taken with the vibe. I had a cocktail made from gin, Saint Germaine, cucumber and lime. It tasted like summer with a smoothness to it that most cocktails don't have. 

There are plenty of dive bars in the area that are great to wear jeans to and have a microbrew, but this place just felt special. It felt like an event, not just getting drinks. Totally fabulous. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

raise your glass

I have never had more spontaneously happy moments than during the 2 months of living in North Carolina thus far. This place is magical with all its friendly people, amazing night life, and socially conscious community. 


Thursday, October 13, 2011

flick chicks

Ps- You have to check out this article in the New Yorker about Chick Flick Archetype characters. 


"The Woman Who Works in an Art Gallery:
How many freakin’ art galleries are out there? Are people buying visual art on a daily basis? This posh/smart/classy profession is a favorite in movies. It’s in the same realm as kindergarten teacher or children’s-book illustrator in terms of accessibility: guys don’t really get it, but it is likable and nonthreatening...The Gallery Worker character is the rare female movie archetype that has a male counterpart. Whenever you meet a handsome, charming, successful man in a romantic comedy, the heroine’s friend always says the same thing: “He’s really successful. He’s”—say it with me—“an architect!

All the Charlotte Yorks and Ted Mosbys out there are high-fiving each other right now.

my girl tonight

I just saw Jon McLaughlin a few weeks ago and have been listening to his cd Forever If Ever. It's pretty darn great. 

I'm mentioning this because I just realized one of the songs is perfect for a wedding. With my sister's next weekend it just had me in tears. For those of you like Annie, who are planning a wedding, perhaps you may want to add it to your playlist for the night? 

My Girl Tonight lyrics

Monday, October 10, 2011

bride to be!

This weekend we celebrated my sister's upcoming nuptials. (2 weeks!) She's in the middle, with one of her awesome bridesmaids on the left. Don't we look so fancy? 

I hardly get to see my baby sister, so having 24 hours with her was awesome. She's going to be a beautiful bride. I will be crying all day. I know it. 


Friday, October 7, 2011

eat, pray, love

I have a tendency of reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert any time I am going through a major change in my life. I read it for the first time when I moved to Spain when I was 22-years old. Now that I am going through another transition it feels appropriate to pick it up again. I always feel comforted by her words. Because as human beings, I think what we really want is not to feel alone in this world. What better feeling than to sit with someone and think "you get me"? 

Here are some of my favorite Eat, Pray, Love quotes: 

This was my moment to look for the kind of healing and peace that can only come from solitude.

It's for the best. I know it is. I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet to come surprises. 

You've got some serious control issues...You're a powerful woman and you're used to getting what you want out of life and you didn't get what you wanted in your last few relationships and its got you all jammed up. Your husband didn't behave the way you wanted and David didn't either. Life didn't go your way for once. And nothing pisses off a control freak more than life not goin' her way.

Do you think any of us know what were doing? Do you think there's any ways humans can love each other without complication?...It's still two human beings trying to get along so its going to become complicated. And love is always complicated. But still humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we tried for something.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


“I’m not going to mislead anybody. Politics is really hard. And it is harder for women. There’s a double standard, and you can’t complain about it. You just have to accept it, and be smart enough to navigate it. And you have to have a pretty tough skin. To paraphrase a favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: If a woman wants to be in politics, she has to have the skin of a rhinoceros. Most men who go into politics just think they’re great. They believe they can do anything. Most young women, not only in politics but in most areas, are more cautious and more likely to say, ‘Could I really do this? Am I good enough?’ I was talking to a friend and very successful businessman the other day, and he said, ‘The thing that still annoys me more than anything is that I see all these young women who are so much more capable than they allow themselves to believe. And I see so many young men who are so much less capable but who believe they are God’s gift to the world.’ I would just say to women: Try it! Put your foot in the pond and see if you want to swim.” -- Hillary Clinton

Monday, October 3, 2011

mmm tostada

Over the weekend I made this tostada recipe twice that I came up with and was overjoyed each time, so I figured I should share it with you. I am not one to cook really with measurements, but perhaps you can follow?

Ingredients: (this is cooking for one, but you could replicate it however many times you need.)

2 whole wheat tortillas 
Shredded cheddar cheese
Trader Joes Roasted Tomato salsa (Or Salsa verde) 
Refried black beans 
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Sautéed peppers and onions

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F
2. On a cookie sheet place one tortilla. Sprinkle shredded cheese on tortilla and top it with second tortilla. 
3. Spread refried black beans on top of the second tortilla. Place tray into the oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is melty between and beans are hot. 
4. While the tortilla is heating in a frying pan sauté diced peppers and onions in a bit of olive oil.
5. Take tortillas out of the oven and top with peppers and onions, salsa, and avocado or guacamole. Slice in quarters. Bon appetite! 

The whole process takes about 10-15 minutes. It is a quick and delicious dinner! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

i love this crazy, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life

Yesterday was probably one of the best days since I have moved to North Carolina. I slept in, had a lazy morning, then went out to participate in a school of public health field day. I met lots of new friends, got to run around and play for a while like a kid, and enjoy the weather. Afterwards, I went to a potluck for the first meeting of the new Chapel Hill chapter of Dining for Women. It's a pretty cool thing, you gather once a month, everyone brings a dish, and you donate what you'd normally spend out on dinner and the money goes to a featured organization of the month. Everyone brought something delicious and it felt great to give back a little. I'd definitely recommend starting one of your own! 

Afterwards, I went out to this little town called Saxapahaw to see the Lizzy Ross Band. She was like a cross between Miranda Lambert and Regina Spektor. It was a total blast dancing around with a few friends like fools. Also, the venue- phenomenal. I have never walked into a place before and thought, this is where I'd have my wedding. I had that feeling! (I know, boyfriend first, but a girl can dream.) Just such a cool interesting place! 

It was such a stellar day. I am loving North Carolina!