Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Introducing Ms. Brown!

There's been some hype over the last couple weeks over the newest character that M&M's would be introducing into their crew. The announcement was originally slated for a muchly anticipated Superbowl commercial.

It seems that a lot of advertisers cannot wait for Superbowl Sunday to unveil their new commercials (like CR-V's Ferris Bueller ad and Volkswagen's "The Bark Side"), so we all are getting an early peek at Ms. Brown from her big unveiling at the Times Square M&M's store.

I already adore her! I love that she has great glasses:


And her gloves? They're Judith Ripka:


What do you think of Ms. Brown? Do you have a favorite M&M character?

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal is healthy and a great thing to have for breakfast, which makes oatmeal cookies healthy and also a good breakfast food, yes?

Greg loves oatmeal cookies, and he loves them absolutely packed with oats and with no raisins. I love oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips (really I love most anything with chocolate chips) This cookie is a hybrid of both of our tastes. The dough is incredibly dense due to all the oatiness, I like to mix this dough with the paddle attachment of my Kitchenaid instead of by hand because I don't think my arms could take it.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup vanilla sugar (can also use plain white granulated)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture. Once incorporated start adding in the oats. I keep adding oats until it looks as though the dough cannot take anymore. Finally, add in the chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoons of dough onto silpat lined (or greased) cookie sheets (I actually like to roll them and flatten them slightly into little pucks so they all look uniform when done). Bake for 10 minutes



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Friday, January 27, 2012

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am being featured by Madeline on Food, Fitness, and Family. If you have a chance, please stop by her awesome blog and check out my entry on hooping for exercise (it's super fun!). And if you have wandered over here from Food, Fitness, and Family, welcome!


Any fun plans this weekend?

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cliche Free Valentine's Day at Fab.com

Fab is an awesome sample sale site that has some really different offerings. Lots of different housewares, jewelry and kitchen items. They are currently hosting a "Guide to a Cliche Free V-day" pop up shop full of awesome out of the ordinary gifts for your Valentine.

Here are some of my favorites:

puregoodies box of toffee with flavors like maple bacon espresso and white ginger lime  $17


rough diamond necklace $122.50


heart print $18


simple t-shirt $11.25

mixtape pendant $68

bow tie mug $18

Not a member of fab.com? Click here to join now!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thai Style Peanut Noodles

This is one of Greg's very favorite meals, he loves anything with peanut butter and anything spicy (he adds more chili oil and chili flakes to his own dish of it to make it hotter too), so it's really a perfect combo for him. You can adjust the spice level by toning down the chili oil and flakes, but I think these amounts give a nice little kick.


Thai Style Peanut Noodles
1 lb Boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced (you can really use any type of meat or protein you like, it all tastes delicious)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs
any vegetables you have on hand/want to add (bean sprouts and peapods are a couple of my faves to add to this)
1 12 oz box noodles (I generally use Annie Chun's chow mein noodles)
Sauce:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2/3 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili oil
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup ground peanuts

Cook noodles according to package instructions.

Mix together all sauce ingredients and set aside.

In a wok, cook chicken pieces until no longer pink, add chopped onion and cook until almost translucent. Move chicken and onion to the side to make a clear area on the bottom of the wok. Add eggs, scramble and cook through, then mix the chicken and onion back in. Add noodles and sauce, toss to combine.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar Nominations!


This year's Oscar nominations were just announced. You can view the full list on the official Academy Awards website. I haven't seen a lot of the nominations, but I still enjoy watching the Awards, and now I have some new titles to look in to for my Netflix queue.

Here are some of the top categories:

Best Picture

  • "The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
  • "The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
  • "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer
  • "The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
  • "Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
  • "Midnight in ParisLetty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  • "Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
  • "The Tree of Life" Nominees to be determined
  • "War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Directing

  • "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
  • "The Descendants" Alexander Payne
  • "Hugo" Martin Scorsese
  • "Midnight in Paris" Woody Allen
  • "The Tree of Life" Terrence Malick

Animated Feature Film

  • "A Cat in Paris" Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • "Chico & Rita" Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • "Kung Fu Panda 2" Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • "Puss in Boots" Chris Miller
  • "Rango" Gore Verbinski

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Demián Bichir in "A Better Life"
  • George Clooney in "The Descendants"
  • Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
  • Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
  • Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
  • Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
  • Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
  • Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
  • Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
  • Viola Davis in "The Help"
  • Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
  • Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"
  • Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"
  • Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
  • Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
  • Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
  • Octavia Spencer in "The Help"

Costume Design

  • "Anonymous" Lisy Christl
  • "The Artist" Mark Bridges
  • "Hugo" Sandy Powell
  • "Jane Eyre" Michael O'Connor
  • "W.E." Arianne Phillips

Music (Original Song)

  • "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
  • "Real in Rio" from "Rio" Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • "The Artist" Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • "Bridesmaids" Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • "Margin Call" Written by J.C. Chandor
  • "Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen
  • "A Separation" Written by Asghar Farhadi

What do you think, have you seen many of the movies, do you think something was overlooked? Do you watch the Oscars?
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Etsy love: Valentine's Day Cards

Cards are my favorite parts of holidays, I love finding the perfect card and writing the perfect something inside. I love unique cards, and etsy has loads of them. Here are some great options for the object of your affection this year:


geek love card from maddesign

multilingual i love you heart card from LaBelleVieDesign

dino-mite card from ThePaperMenagerie

my lobster card from ddots (such a great Friends reference)

peanut butter and jelly card from HappyDappyBits

you're my favorite... (husband, wife, boyfriend, bed hog and more) card by JulieAnnArt

Valentine's Day gift guides:
For Anyone

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Have a cozy weekend!

Happy Friday! We got our first bit of snow last night (though only a couple inches) and are expecting more tomorrow, which I am really excited about. I have never grown out of loving snow (as long as I don't have to drive in it, which is easy when living in a city). I'm looking forward to a relaxing and cozy weekend around the city.

Tonight Greg and I are going out to Sel de la Terre (I've been wanting to try it for so long) for dinner to celebrate my recent raise at work (yay!). Tomorrow evening we are going to a bon voyage party at Jimmy's for one of our friends who is leaving for Nepal next week and will be gone for a few months.


What are you all up to this weekend? Do you have snow where you are? What's your favorite way to spend a snowy day?

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recycling a Christmas Tree

I have been coming across multiple articles about old Christmas trees being donated to zoos all over (England, Germany and California to name a few) for animals to play with (and many of the animals eat the trees too). It's the most phenomenal idea! I know it's after the fact now, but definitely something to keep in mind for next year.

Aren't these pictures amazing?





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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thin No Rise Pizza Crust

My first homemade pizza; I feel so accomplished! I have a list of different crust recipes I'd like to try, but for my first one I went with a really simple no rise crust (due to a busy day and not wanting to wait longer for dinner) And it turned out really nicely, very crisp and thin.

Topping wise I did a BBQ chicken pizza, as that is always a go-to of Greg's and mine when we're out. I used BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's is our absolute fave), mozzarella, mild cheddar, fresh corn, scallions and grilled chicken breast. It was incredibly tasty

Thin No Rise Pizza Crust (recipe from Fleischmann's)
1 3/4 - 2 1/2 cups of flour
1 envelope pizza yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm (about 120-130 degrees F)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cornmeal

Preheat oven to 425. If using a pizza stone, preheat that as well

Put salt, sugar, 1 cup of flour and yeast in a bowl. Add oil and water and stir until well combined.  Slowly add 3/4 cup more flour to the mixture until dough starts to come into a sticky ball.

Turn ball out onto floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour as you go to get the right texture.

Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza peel (I used a cookie sheet as a makeshift pizza peel without too much difficulty) or into a pizza pan if you aren't using a pizza stone. Stretch, pull and press dough into a 12 inch circle on the peel or pan. Add sauce, cheese and toppings and then bake for about 20 minutes.



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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Valentine's Gift Guide Part 1: For Her

I love having a holiday or an event to look forward to! With Valentine's Day just under month away, I thought I'd do another series of gift guides for some cute things to give someone you love for Valentine's Day. First up are gifts for the girls!


Old Navy always has adorable lounge-wear, and what makes me love it more is when it is themed for holidays. This year they have a couple different heart print poplin pants, I love this pair with stripes. $12



Williams-Sonoma has a great assortment of treats available this Valentine's Day. I am loving the X and O S'mores, made of dark and milk chocolate covered graham crackers and filled with vanilla marshmallow in adorable X and O shapes! $24.95


Hanky Panky seriously makes the best underwear ever; super comfortable, available in tons of colors and definitely sexy. They'll even dress up of their signature lace thongs as a rose for your valentine. How adorable is that? $25


NARS does an amazing job at creating universally flattering colors. I love this gold flecked rosy-plum shade in their ever handy product; The Multiple, and its name is 'G-Spot' $39


The Tiffany & Co. Notes I Love You Ring is so simple and lovely. What a perfect way to express the perfect sentiment. $125


See more Valentine's Day gift ideas:
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Year Long Photo


Isn't this photo cool? It's the Toronto skyline and was taken over the course of a year by a pinhole camera.  Michael Chrisman sets up pinhole cameras and leaves them in places over long periods of time to get these dreamy images. The streaks in the sky are from the sun rising and setting over the year. 

I'm just in love with it, and would love to get a copy framed in my apartment. I was psyched to find that there are prints available for sale on etsy. Read more about Michael and his process here

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday (the 13th! Are you superstitious?) everyone! After all the short weeks and breaks due to the holidays, this week seemed to take forever to get through. But with great reward as this weekend will be a long three day weekend for Martin Luther King Day.

Today is my mother in law's birthday so we will be driving down to visit and take her out to dinner tonight (restaurant still to be decided).

Also on the agenda this weekend will be my first foray into pizza making (from scratch, that is) my back-ordered pizza stone finally arrived and I am so excited to make my own pizza. I definitely want to make a BBQ chicken pizza. Or maybe a classic cheese. What is your favorite pizza?

And lastly, Beauty and the Beast is being re-released into theatres as of today, and I couldn't be more excited to see this movie on the big screen again! Lucky has put together some stylish outfits for a modern day Belle.


What are your weekend plans?

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cupcakegate

Have you all been following Cupcakegate? I caught wind of it through the bon appetit blog, and have found several articles about the TSA banning someone's cupcake in a jar that they wanted to bring on the plane with them. It's been really funny/interesting to follow the chain of events about it.

The main reason is was taken away from the passenger was due to the amount of icing (categorized as a gel by the TSA) that falls under the 'liquid' categorization and didn't adhere to 3-1-1 standards. The odd thing is that these cupcakes cleared on one leg of the trip (from my home airport of Boston Logan), but not the other.

cupcake comparison photo via consumertraveler.com

I know I would be totally bummed to lose out on one of these beauties. I have to say that I love this cupcake in a jar concept, it looks absurdly delicious and the packaging couldn't be sweeter (I'm a sucker for a mason jar). I'm psyched to know that these are produced right here in Massachusetts at Wicked Good Cupcakes, which I will have to try out very soon. Maybe a 3.4 ounce jarred cupcake is in order for travels? They could name it 'Cupcakegate'!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January Giveaway: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters

Good morning! Time for this month's giveaway :-)

My dear friend Tina recently reviewed Revlon's new ColorBurst Lip Butters, and I was intrigued and had to try them immediately. I am now completely hooked on them and want to share the love. One of you will win a pack of four lip butters. They are perfect for hydration and color in the winter and your lips will be perfect by Valentine's Day!


To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget below, if you are already following my blog or Twitter account, be sure to create a new entry, as you will not be automatically entered.  a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Stories Behind Hollywood Studio Logos

I came across this really interesting article on Neatorama that explains how different Hollywood studios got their logos as well as the evolution of their icons over time. Who is the boy on the moon at Dreamworks? And why a lion for MGM?


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Monday, January 9, 2012

Bread Machine Brioche Rolls

I love brioche, it is rich and buttery with a really lovely crust and a tender crumb. When we were in France on our honeymoon, there was delicious brioche everywhere we went (some places had rolls of it filled with nutella, it was heaven), and I ate it everyday. Since getting on my bread making kick, I knew I'd have to conquer this delicious bread.

This is not a first week of a new year friendly recipe (i.e. not keeping in line with get healthy resolutions). But it is delicious. And they're small, so what can it hurt, really?

Dough:
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons water
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoon sized pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Egg wash:
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water

Place all ingredients in bread machine according to the manufacturer's instructions and set to the dough cycle.

After dough cycle ends, remove dough to lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for ten minutes. After rest, cut dough into 12 equal pieces (or you can make one large brioche instead of individual rolls). To form brioche rolls, cut 1/4 off of each piece of dough (these small pieces will create the 'topknot' on the brioche). Place and lightly press each large piece of dough into your brioche molds (or large muffin tins), then use your fingers to make a 'well' in the center of each. Roll the small pieces of dough into teardrop shapes and place one (small side down) into each 'well'. Loosely cover the brioche and put in the fridge for at least two hours (and it can be left overnight).

After cold rise, let rolls rise at room temperature for 45-60 minutes or until almost doubled. Brush with egg wash and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.



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Friday, January 6, 2012

American Eagle Earbud Earmuffs

American Eagle has created the best cold weather accessory ever. They are super soft (faux fur), super adorable and super warm earmuffs with earbuds built in! These earbud earmuffs are making my winter a lot cozier, and the best part (besides getting a lot of compliments for my awesome winter wear) is that they're on sale now for just $14.99

this is the pair I have, but they come in lots of colors and patterns

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Rouxbe Online Cooking School

Around the holidays, Rue La La had a sale that included a voucher for a six month membership to the Rouxbe Cooking School, which is an online video cooking school. The concept seemed really interesting so I decided to give it a go. I waited to activate my membership until after the new year, since I knew I wouldn't have much time to play on the site until then. But now I am having so much fun with it, it's reminding me how much I liked taking online classes during college and working at my own pace

There are so many different lessons on the site! Everything from knife technique to pasta making and even plating. I'm really enjoying looking through everything. Each lesson is broken down into goals, the video, practice, a quiz and also has a discussion section for questions, tips and anything else.


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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jason Wu for Target

The next designer collaboration at Target is by Jason Wu and it is due out on February 5th with prices points between $19.99 and $59.99. I am hoping that obtaining pieces from the collection won't be such an epic fiasco the way that the Missoni line was.

Some first images of the collection are starting to trickle out, and I am really liking the look of it and would love some of the dresses to wear this spring and summer.

ETA: The full look book has been posted by Lucky, check out everything that will be available.

My collection for Target embodies my signature aesthetic of feminine sophistication, with a mischievous nod to the 1960s” 
-Jason Wu





What do you all think? Anything speaking to you from this collaboration?
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How we ended 2011

On Saturday, Greg and I decided to spend the last day of 2011 by taking a day trip to New Hampshire to visit Fun Spot, the largest arcade in the world. Greg had been there for a friend's bachelor party before and had been raving about it ever since then, but this was my first time there. Needless to say, it was amazing.

Along the way we stopped at Rocky's Famous Burgers. We had seen it on the Phantom Gourmet ( which is a New England restaurant review show) recently and couldn't not check it out, and it was absolutely amazing. The fries were hand cut and fried to order with the perfect amount of salt and pepper on them.

My burger - 'The Lexi' - pepper jack, tomato, lettuce, guac, bacon and chipoltle sauce

tokens

games as far as the eye can see

my personal fave, skee ball

Addams Family pinball

old school mario brothers machine
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