Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beagle Karma

Last winter, I was buying some cards from this Etsy artist and picked up this print on a whim because I thought it was cute.

I pulled it out after I got Millie and I think it was a prediction of the future. Not only does the beagle in the picture look like her, but the artist's name written on the back is Millie too!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Vintage Affair

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff is pretty typical chick-lit- the main characters are likeable and the story is pleasantly predictable with the requisite few cringe-inducing moments thrown in (mostly related to a gross May-December relationship). Overall, it's no better or worse than any of these kinds of books.

What made me enjoy it, though, is the twist that the heroine owns a vintage clothing shop in London. The story is full of references to different vintage designers and descriptions of clothing styles and fashions eras. All of those details are what makes this book. It left me with the desire to own a vintage clothing shop or, if that's not as fun and easy as this book makes it seem, then to at least go shopping in a vintage clothing shop.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Ballerina Project

I recently found out about The Ballerina Project through a link on A Cup of Jo. It's a photographer who takes pictures of ballerinas in unexpected or iconic city places. Here are a few of my favorites:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Devil in the White City

I've been wanting to read The Devil in the White City for ages. It's one of those books that everyone raves about and that has jacket blurbs touting that it's nonfiction that reads like fiction. It didn't quite live up to all that hype for me, but it was still one of the most readable nonfiction books I've read.

Set in the late 1800's, it tells the parallel stories of the architect who planned and built the Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer who lured his victims from innocent out-of-towners who came to Chicago for the fair. The serial killer half of the book is very creepy and macabre, and has a similar feel as The Alienist. On the World's Fair half, I found it pretty fascinating that they spent years building a massive, temporary, Disney Land-like place, ran it for six months, and then closed it down. All in all, a very interesting book.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What's Millie Up To?

I know you've been wondering, so here are some pictures of what Millie's been doing lately.

She loves her stuffed cupcake toy (no surprise there).

She takes a little taste with her tongue...

...then goes in for a big bite.

She loves going for walks.

After a vigorous lap around the park, her tongue miraculously grows as long as her whole face and flaps out the side of her mouth.

After all that, she loves to sleep on anything soft and cushy.

Sometimes she just likes to sit and think, with her hind legs curled in front of her like a little Buddha.

And she loves to go for bike rides!

(Just kidding! I didn't actually ride the bike with her in the basket, but she's so small that I couldn't resist posing her in it. I'll try not to become the Anne Geddes of dogs.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Etsy Alerts

It's been a little while since I've done any serious Etsy browsing, but I recently came across a couple of really unique jewelry items.

First are these pen necklaces:

They're usable pens hung from a long gold chain that were inspired by one worn by Joan on Mad Men.

It would be handy to wear one of these around the office. I could also picture them worn with a fall cardigan and a tweed skirt.

Then I came across these bracelets:

At first I thought they were just interesting bangles, but then I read the description and realized that they're made from vintage bone china teacups. I just love that!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nigella's Key Lime Pie

This is a Nigella recipe that I first made a long time ago. I decided to give it another try now that limes are my new favorite thing.

It's no-bake and super-easy. You use graham crackers and butter to make the crust (or just but a pre-made one like I did; it's even easier and probably better than homemade). For the filling you beat together a can of sweetened condensed milk, some heavy cream, and the juice and zest of four limes. That's it. Just fill the crust and let it chill.

The filling comes out tasting like a light, refreshing, delicious custard. It was a huge hit- the perfect summer dessert.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sad Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender is weird in all the ways that it's good for a book to be weird. It's about a girl who can taste the emotions of the cook in all of the food that she eats. Kind of like Like Water for Chocolate, only less blatantly mystical.

I wasn't crazy about this book during the first few chapters. It seemed like the author was trying too hard to create an aura of melancholy around the main character. I must have gotten used to it at some point, though, because I ended up enjoying the book. Throughout the story, the girl's unusual "talent" for tasting things leads to revelations about other secrets and hidden "talents" of her family. It's pretty dark and ambiguous, but intriguing for the most part.

On a side note, the recipe mentioned in the title is a lemon layer cake with chocolate frosting. Sounds like a weird combination, but one that could potentially be good. I may have to look for a recipe to try.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yes, Another Cupcake Post

After yesterday's surprising news, I thought I'd go back to a topic that's tried and true for me: cupcakes. On Sunday my parents and I took Millie to visit my grandmother and brought a box of mini cupcakes from Sweet in Hoboken with us.

The mini size was great. Not only are they a little more guilt free than full size cupcakes, but they gave us a chance to try a lot of different flavors. I still think that their vanilla is just so-so, but their chocolate one was really good. My two favorites from this box were the chocolate peanut butter and the fluffer nut, which was vanilla cake topped with peanut butter frosting, topped with a dollop of marshmallow fluff.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Introducing Millie

Surprise! I adopted a dog yesterday! Meet Millie, a two-year-old petite little beagle girl who was rescued from a high kill shelter in West Virginia.

The adoption happened so quickly that it came as a bit of a surprise to me too. I'd been thinking that I would get a dog sometime in the next year or so, and had been occasionally browsing the beagles up for adoption on I saw Millie listed earlier this week and thought she was adorable, but never imagined that I would own her by the weekend. Then on Friday night, I found out the the rescue group she was with (ironically named Cattitudes) was having an adoption fair at a Petco about an hour away. It seemed like too good a chance to pass up.

When I saw her at the store, I couldn't believe how tiny she is for a fully grown dog! She's only 14 pounds and just about 11 inches high (beagles usually come in 13 or 15 inch varieties). She is such a sweetie. I knew she was the dog for me after one walk around the Petco.

So far, Millie's been a very good girl. She's calm during car rides, goes to the bathroom outside, and sleeps through the night. (She might just need a little work on sitting and staying.) She seems to like to cuddle, although she didn't have a lot of time this weekend, between chasing birds and squirrels during her walks and playing with her cousin Petey (a beagle mix) at my aunt's house. After so much excitement, it's a good thing she likes to curl up and sleep in her bed.


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