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March 31, 2010

Oprah v. Ellen

Since college, I have been involved in an epic war of words with one of my best friends over a very controversial subject: Who is better, Oprah or Ellen? I can still remember the day it started, when she wandered into my dorm room where I was watching Oprah and she boldly proclaimed "Oprah is so full of herself."  My jaw dropped and I my eyes widened in disbelief (Let us not forget that I am the girl who woke up at 3:30 in the morning and stood in the same spot for upwards of 8 hours to see Oprah). Thus began a two hour argument on the pros and cons of each. A fight that has now carried on for years.

Yesterday I went out to my mailbox to find a letter from my dear friend and was instantly excited as I typically am when I see something that does not resemble a bill. I tore it open and this is what I found:

I like how she highlighted it, just for emphasis.  Ridiculous.

I am now planning my revenge.  I am thinking about blowing up a poster sized picture of the O Magazine cover that featured Ellen and Oprah and having it super glued to my friend's wall.  Why hasn't Ellen had Oprah on her magazine cover? Oh that's right BECAUSE ELLEN DOESN'T HAVE A MAGAZINE.

*For the record I really like The Ellen Show, I just think Oprah is better. Far better. Infinitely better.


March 29, 2010

Steak Sandwich

Last weekend I tried Pioneer Woman's "Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich." During my first attempt I made some tactical errors, all of which were remedied the next day with leftovers. The recipe itself is really easy, consisting primarily of tenderized round steak (which I have never cooked with before), onions, and spices. However, I ignored her suggestion for deli style rolls and instead bought hamburger buns. Wrong. Hamburger buns are not sturdy enough and this is one juicy sandwich.  My error made things rather messy. Second, apparently her husband is not a huge fan of cheese so she doesn't include that in her recipe (although at the end, at least her in her cookbook, she says you can add it). This sandwich needs cheese, any cheese, but my preference was provolone.

The first day we had this sandwich it was good, but the next day with the correct bun and cheese it was heaven.

You can find the recipe for this sandwich HERE.


March 28, 2010

Sunday Post

Did you all hear about the women who successfully sued her husband's mistress for nine million dollars? Pretty interesting case that raises a lot of questions.  Head on over to Seven Dames a Week and read my Sunday Post Sexy Mistresses Beware and tell me what you think!


March 25, 2010


I am an intrepid music lover. If a song has a good harmony or beat I can dance around to I am in love. I spent a good five years of my life singing in choirs, performing at local fairs and events, and swooning over the thought of going professional.  In the end, I chose a career that is, shall we say, a little more realistic, but it doesn't stop me from belting out a good tune every now and then. If I can sing along, I like it.  Which is really where my love for country music started.  I love the tune, I love the harmonies, and I love that I can always sing along.  Sure, the songs are often simple and about everyday life but that is why I love each and every one of them.  Plus as all country music lovers know...there is nothing more precious then those moments where you are driving and one of your favorite songs comes on the radio and you can just turn it up and sing along.

Here is some current country songs you can find me singing in my car...

- Lady Antebellum- I Can't Take My Eyes of You and American Honey
- Zac Brown Band- Highway 20 Ride
- Miranda Lambert- White Liar
- Carrie Underwood- Quitter

How do you all feel about country music? Any favorite songs/bands I am missing?


March 22, 2010

New Lamps

This weekend I broke down and bought some new bedside lamps. I have been all about black and white Damask print recently (can you tell by my blog background?), and when I saw these I knew I had to have them.

Our old bedside lamp consisted of (on Dan's side) a desk lamp that had no light bulb and (on my side) a red lamp that was 3 years old, cracked up the side, and sparked every time I plugged it in. We are lucky I did not cause a fire.

I really agonize over home decor decisions, but every time I walk in our room and see them I smile. So I know I made the right choice.

You can buy these lamps HERE....and trust me, you are going to die at the price. What a steal!


March 20, 2010

Indulge Me

I have a sick habit of taking before and after pictures of Toby's haircuts. Don't believe me? Go here, here, here, and oh, here.

Toby gets his hair cut short for a variety of reasons.  First, its much cooler for him.  Second, his hair gets ratty and he hates to be brushed.  Third, he smells bad when his hair gets long. Fourth, and really the primary reason, he hates getting his hair cut, and for me the whole experience is really traumatizing. I would imagine it is similar to taking your oldest child to their first day of preschool and having them cling with panic to you while screaming "MOMMY DON'T LEAVE ME."  Plus when he gets home he hides under the bed for days.  Breaks my little heart.

This experience was so much better. Previously I had taken Toby to Pet Smart but the last time they CUT him and didn't TELL me and the would got INFECTED. So I had to find a new groomer.  This time I took Toby to where we take Kadira for doggy daycare and as per usual they were fantastic.  

Toby Before
(I believe they said "he looks like a little gremlin" upon entering the groomers.)

Toby After

I typically like his muzzle a little shorter, but Dan is begging me not to cut it myself. I have a tendency to just start cutting Toby's hair and leaving it a bit....shall we say...uneven. We'll see if I can hold out. Toby, on the other hand, is just happy to be able to see again.


March 19, 2010

Massive Free Designer Shoe Sale

Okay, the title of my post was a little completely deceiving, but I knew if titled this post what I wanted to title it, "A Girls Guide to Basketball," half of you would click "read" and move on.  Hear me out.

Little known fact: I love college basketball. LOVE IT. I went to undergrad and law school and Gonzaga in Spokane, WA...a school known entirely for their basketball team (in large part because we don't have a football team). The entire culture and every weekend was completely centered around the school's basketball team, and that is where my love for basketball began. You could not leave the school without some understanding and enjoyment of the sport, but for me (and a lot of people) it sparked much more then that. It created an obsession. When I graduated and went out into the world I was perplexed when I met people (mostly girls) who were NOT college basketball fans. Now I understand this sentiment, I feel similar about college football, but college basketball is different. College basketball is BETTER. Here are my top ten reasons why you should be a college basketball fan, plus some helpful tips on how you can fake your way through the tournament.


It has the fastest pace, it requires a ridiculous level of athleticism, and it doesn't have the stop-go-stop-go issues that you find in football or baseball. Furthermore, everything can change in an instant so you never want to look away.


You either went to a college that is in the tournament, or you live in a geographic location of a team that is in the tournament.  If you don't know who to root for, just root for one of them. Still don't know who to root for? Just root for Gonzaga.  Gonzaga was the Cinderella team of the 1999 tournament and everybody loves Gonzaga because its a small school that always feels like the underdog, and who doesn't love the underdog?


Even if you don't have a favorite team, you can have just as much fun rooting against teams!  Root against the team your friends root for, root against the team your family roots for, or just root against Duke.  Duke is a college basketball program God. They consistently do well in the tournament and since it is a little cliche to be a Duke fan unless you went to school there, rooting against Duke is your best bet.


I cannot tell you how many times I have been in an interview and the conversation got shifted to college basketball.  Luckily, I have a healthy understanding of the sport.  I know that I got at least three job offers in my life for being able to bullshit for over a half hour about college basketball.  Also, if the conversation ever shifts to college football I make sure to shift it back by saying things like "I am more of a college basketball fan myself..." Crisis averted.  Plus if you already have a job, there is likely going to be an office pool...and you can't be the only one who doesn't enter the office pool. 


Even if you know nothing about the teams, you should still fill out a bracket.  Nothing is more fun then being the girl who knows nothing about basketball but ends up winning the bracket. Pick it based on mascots, pick it based on colors, close your eyes and pick....its still fun to see how your bracket ends ups. Plus it gives you a purpose in watching games. I don't know about you, but I can't watch a game just to "watch a game."  I have to have a purpose, a team to root for.  I don't follow or care about 99.9% of the teams in the tournament, but when I pick a team to win in my bracket I become their biggest fan.


I really have absolutely no idea what Dan and I would do the entire month of March if I didn't like basketball.  We would probably eat dinner in silence or I would be bored out of my mind while he yammered on about his bracket and the latest bullshit call.  Lucky for me, I can take part in the yammering and its much more fun. But even if your husband/boyfriend/significant other doesn't care about college basketball the way we do, someone you care about likely does and you will have to listen to it anyway, so you might as well minimally educate yourself and take part in the conversation.


We all like movies like The Blind Side and Remember the Titans, right? Well college basketball has those stories EVERY YEAR.  Every single year there is a team that is ranked low, barely made the tournament, who just comes in and dominates everybody with no warning.  Nothing is more fun then watching teams peak at the tournament.  Plus, the great thing about college basketball is that everybody has a chance to win the national championships. It is not like college football where the teams who play for the national championship are determined almost entirely by politics and not talent (I am a Boise State fan, therefore I am bitter).  If your team wins their regional tournament, they get to go to nationals, and it is 100% a battle of talent.  THAT is always fun to watch.


As my friend Caitlin so eloquently put it...March can be a ho-hum month.  If you don't watch March Madness, what else are you going to do? 


You know, the girl who thinks sports are "boring" and "hates them."  Nobody likes that girl. You don't even have to like basketball, I can respect that, it might not be your sport.  For example, I don't really like college football. Primarily because I hate how the bowl games are set up. I still watch, I still know who are playing in the games, but I don't really live and breath for college football.  You might be the same way about college basketball, that is okay, but don't be the girl who hates everything. Saying you don't like sports is saying you don't care about politics.  If I may be so makes you seem a little shallow and out of touch. So just TRY to like college basketball, or at least find a sport you can like. 


Okay, even if you still hate college basketball and even if you still are not going to watch it there is a high likelihood that you are going to be stuck in a conversation at some point over the next two weeks that surrounds the tournament.  I asked Dan to provide you with the five catch phrases you can use to impress whoever you are with. 

A. "Man, Florida State really does have the #1 defense in the country this year." (You can say this while watching the Gonzaga game tonight!)

B. "Purdue was a completely different team before they lost their leading scorer."

C. "Here's a fun fact, did you know this is the first year since 1974 that both North Carolina and Indiana are not in the tournament?" (This is a good one you can drop in any conversation!)

D. "If Syracuse keeps playing like this, Jim Bohiem might become the oldest coach ever to win a national championship." (only say this if Syracuse is winning.)

E. "Man this years tournament is much better then last year. We already had three overtime games where as last year there was only two the entire tournament!"

If you take one thing away from this whole entire post, let it be this.  Tonight at 7:10 Eastern Time Gonzaga is playing Florida State in the first round.  This is not a great match-up for at this time just pause...for a brief moment....and send positive thoughts to the Gonzaga Bulldogs.


March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday...

We have the same nervous smile...

He is also where I got all of my stellar dance moves....

Happy Birthday Dad!


March 16, 2010

Lemon Greek Chicken

Here's another great (and healthy!) dish I tried via Emily (who also suggested the amazing chicken kiev!) 

-2 lemons, divided
-1/2 cup olive oil
-4 large garlic gloves, pressed
-2-3 tsp dried oregano leaves
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-4 chicken breasts
-8 petite red potatoes
-1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
-1 medium red onion, cut into 1 inch wedges
-8 ounces whole mushrooms (The mushrooms were our favorite part! I will consider adding more next time!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Zest one lemon to measure 1 1/2 tbsp zest. Juice lemon to measure 2 tbsp juice. Combine zest, juice, oil, pressed garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Place chicken on glass baking dish (the largest one you have...this makes a lot of food!). Brush chicken with portion of the lemon juice mixture.

4. Cut potatoes in half or into small, bite size pieces. Cut bell pepper into 1-inch strips, cut strips in half. Cut onion into 1-inch wedges. Thinly slice remaining lemon. Combine potatoes, bell pepper, onion, lemon slices, and mushrooms with remaining lemon juice mixture in mixing bowl; toss to coat.

5. Arrange vegetables around chicken on pan. Bake 30-40 minutes hour or until chicken and is no longer pink in center, brushing chicken and vegetables with pan juices after 30 minutes.

*The original recipe called for bone in chicken breast, baked at 400 degrees, for an hour.  I am not a big fan of bone in chicken so I used boneless chicken breast.  Probably suffered a little on the taste side...but at least I wasn't biting down on little bits of chicken bone all through dinner!

**The original recipe derives from The Pampered Chef


March 15, 2010


This is Emily (we assume, as per tag on her collar).  We found her running across the road dodging cars on a busy street near our house.  Not being able to ever ignore a lost dog we pulled over and brought her home.  She was the sweetest pup in the entire world. She didn't jump. She didn't bark.  She just wanted to be petted. Oh yes, and some water.

Tragically, we were able to track down her owners who made us walk her home and didn't even thank us upon her return.  I swear on my life if I see her loose ever again I just might "forget" where she lives and keep her for my very own. 


March 14, 2010

Sunday Post

Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to read my rant post on the 3 laws I would like to see instituted in the U.S.


March 13, 2010

Homemade Lasagna

When I was studying abroad in London I lived in this 17 story high rise full of dorm rooms where international students from all around the world piled in and learned to live together. Every floor had a kitchen, and that was where we would gather every night. We would laugh, drink, eat, and stare in shock at all the people in the hotel across the street that walked around in the buff without drawing the curtains.

It was there that I first learned of the glory of homemade lasagna. Two Brits, Matt and Emma, would cook up a batch and we would all feast on their homemade meal. It came to be known as "Matt and Emma's London Lasagna" and I made them write it down before I left in hopes that I could recreate it when I returned to the states.  I haven't made it in years, and when I pulled out the recipe this past Thursday it was incomprehensible. No measurements, just directions like "cheese, then add meat, put in noodles, cook for awhile." Okay so maybe not THAT bad, but close. So I asked my mom for her recipe, looked up Betty Crocker's, and remembered what I liked about Matt and Emma's. The result? Pretty damn good, I am not going to lie...


-1 pound ground beef
-1 medium white onion, finely chopped
-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
-3 tbs. parsley, chopped
-1 tbs. basil leaves, chopped
-1 tsp. sugar
-1 tbs. oregano leaves, chopped
-1 14.5 ox can of whole tomatoes, undrained
-1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
-8 lasagna noodles (I only used 6, but it depends on the size of your pan)
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  In 10 inch skillet, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain.

3. Stir in parsley, basil, oregano, sugar, tomatoes (breaking up the whole tomato with a fork), and tomato sauce. Heat to boiling, stir occasionally, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

4. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.

5. In a small bowl mozzarella and cheddar, add a little of the parmesan.  

6. In an ungreased 12 x 9 inch glass baking dish spread 2 cups of sauce of the bottom of the pan. Cover with noodles.  Add half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers, end with cheese mixture.  Finish off with parmisean on top.

7. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. 


March 12, 2010

Final Cake and Weekend Links

I have to share with you all the finished cake product.  Dan came home yesterday after consulting with a master baker (his Mom) and decided that the best route to frost the cake was to dump frosting over it instead of trying to spread the pre-made stuff he had initially bought.  So he stirred and stirred and created this fabulous frosting concoction that he proceeded to dumb in its entirety all over the cake.  The frosting cascaded down the cake and onto the plate....filled the plate...and dribbled all over the counter. It was adorable and pretty much delicious because I could eat frosting on its own and be perfectly content....and there was lots and lots of frosting.

Birthday cakes don't have any calories, right?

Now on to your Weekend Links!

-Thanks so much for everybody's feedback on my game night post, Catch Phrase and Apples to Apples were the runaway winners but ya'll had some great ideas for other games in case they already had those two.  Thank you!

-My newly engaged friends Maureen (who also writes with me on Seven Dames) and Tony are going on a walk...a long walk...and its the coolest thing I have ever seen.  Check out their project HERE

-Melissa Jill always does amazing wedding photography, but what I really loved about THIS wedding was how they set up their ceremony.  Scroll down to check it out! 

-Does Jasmine Star come off super cool in THIS video? THAT IS BECAUSE SHE IS.

-I am a huge Sara Bareilles groupie and I didn't even know this song existed! I have been listening to it nonstop and you can too HERE.

-Um. THIS video is amazing. Thank you Elefantitas Alegrags. It would have been been my video of the week if everybody didn't already read her blog and see it already.

-I am in love with this house for many reasons, mainly idea #4. (Young House Love).

-When I get brave enough to try and cook a fish recipe I think I will try this salmon recipe first. (Bon Bon Rose Girls).

-Speaking of yummy dishes...hello chicken picatta! (Pioneer Women).

And this weeks video comes from my brother Ryan...and it is amazing.  I now present to you the Handsome Man's Club....


March 11, 2010

Takes the Cake

Today is my 26th Birthday.

Not to be a Debbie Downer but I'll a little "eh" about my birthday this year. I always vowed that I would never be a women who cared about her age, but it is not really about the number, per say. I mean after all 26 is not old at all. It is more about leaving my early twenties. It kind of freaks me out. Like, shit, I really have to grow up now.

Also this is my first birthday where I haven't been in school. The joy of having a March 11th birthday is that your birthday is always during Spring Break. Thus I have always been somewhere super badass for my birthday. Washington D.C., Florida Keys, New York, San Francisco, London, and Seattle. Coupled with the fact that my heart is aching for a vacation in the sun, its a weird feeling to not be traveling on my birthday, let alone having it on a work day.

That being said my husband has been particularly fabulous today. I did not get to bed until about 1:00 AM last night because I was staying up late working on a project. Shortly after I fell asleep I heard him get up, but I had no concept of the time so I assumed it was his usual 4:30 call time. When I woke up this morning I found a chocolate cake cooling on the kitchen counter with a note begging me not to touch it because it fell apart and he was attempting to glue it back together with frosting.

Yes, Dan had woken up at 3:30 in the morning to bake a cake for me before he went to work. To make this gesture even more incredible this was his first attempt at cake baking. I am pretty sure its hands down the funniest, potentially sweetest thing he has ever done for me. It takes the proverbial cake....


March 10, 2010

Orange Teriyaki Beef with Noodles

Adapted from good ol' Betty Crocker

This recipe had all the components of a great dinner- inexpensive, took less then 20 minutes to cook, was delicious, AND low fat! Plus it was fun and different then what we normally have for dinner. Enjoy!

-1 lb. beef boneless sirloin, cut into thin strips
-1 can (14 oz) beef broth
-1/4 cup teriyaki stir-fry sauce (I used Kikkoman Teriyanki Base and Glaze with Honey and Pineapple- it was perfection!)
-2 tablespoons orange marmalade
-Dash of ground red pepper (cayenne)
-2 cups of uncooked fine egg noodles.

1. Spray 12 inch skillet with cooking spray, cook beef in skillet over medium heat 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown. Remove beef from skillet and keep warm.
2. In same skillet, mix broth, stir fry sauce, marmalade, and red pepper.  Heat to boiling.  Stir in noodles. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for five minutes or until noodles are tender.
3. Stir in beef.  Cook uncovered 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.

7 done! 17 to go! 


March 9, 2010

Game Night Help

My best friend is getting married this summer and I am the MOH.  This, in my mind, means everything I do has to be perfect.  She has a themed engagement party in the coming weeks where everybody is getting the couple "first" gifts. I was assigned to get them a gift for "their first game night."

Can I get some help on what I should get the happy couple? What are your favorite games to play on "game nights"?


March 7, 2010


 In my opinion...
Vera Farmiga from "Up in the Air" in Marchesa

Runner Up

Penelope Cruz
Donna Karan


Wine Prints

You know me and my love for wine decor. Its not necessarily the emphasis on the wine that I love but rather the colors in wine pieces make me so happy. I like vibrant, bold, and while watching the red carpet I did some Etsy computer shopping...

by Claudia Kay Photo


Rob Eastman


Amelia Kay




March 5, 2010

Weekend Linkage

As of today I have officially been sick for a week.  It is one of the most annoying and terrible illnesses I have ever had in my life.  Not bad enough to go to the doctor, not good enough to make me feel like doing anything other then lay in bed and watch Bethany verbally bitch slap the Countess on the premiere of Real Housewives New York.  As a result of feeling terrible I have been drinking my fair share of tea to sooth my fiery throat.  While in London I became a card carrying tea drinker (which should not be confused with being a member of the TEA PARTY nonononono), but when I got back to the States I slowly found myself slipping back to my coffee drinking ways.  I am embracing the tea experience this time around, and have decided to officially replace a non-caffeinated cup of tea over a cup of coffee everyday.  Notice how I had to pull out the old school "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" first year law school mug because its the only one not stained with coffee smell.

Now on to your Weekend Links!

-What can I say? I am a sucker for ladybugs and puppies. (Cute Overload).

-Corporette recently did a great feature on the things to think about when you have a skype interview.  In this economy, a lot of companies are not flying you out for an in-person interview and rather electing to conduct the interview via skype.  I was THIS CLOSE to having to do one, but luckily I was able to do it in person instead. (Corporette).

-Damn! Jessica Strickland is one lucky women as she got one hell of a baby shower. (Jessica Strickland Photography).

-My parents got Dan a wine aerator for Christmas and he is obsessed.  Every single glass of wine that man drinks has to go through the aerator, and if I get him a glass and don't put it through he always can tell.  Ours is one glass at a time, but we might have to consider buying this whole bottle aerator for when guests visit. (Design Milk).

-This banana bread recipe looks amazing! (Elizabeth Anne Living).

-I was really, really touched by this very personal account of what is going on Haiti. (Amelia Lyon Photography).

-I loved this tutorial on how to line the inside of your dresser.  So smart! (Young House Love).

-Tam, over at Tam's Thoughts, did a great piece on THESE adorable aprons from Anthro. Must have NOW!

-Ever get sick of people asking you questions they could just google themselves? Well here's a new server just for you. (Thanks Ryan!)

And the video of the week is this incredibly creative music video by OK GO that dooce featured on her blog yesterday.


March 3, 2010

Country Style Chicken Kiev

Since I started this little cooking project I have tried a ton of great recipes, all of which I would recommend. I do, however, have a couple that I really, really love - and this recipe is going to be put on my REALLY REALLY love list. My friend Emily is quite the cook, and recently sent me over some of her favorites. I decided to try this recipe for Country Style Chicken Kiev as my first undertaking and we about died. Not only is it delicious and easy to make, it filled the house with the best aroma ever. If you try one new recipe in the coming weeks- make it this one.

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbls parmesan cheese
1 tsp EACH basil and oregano (or 2 tsp Italian Seasoning)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Melt butter.
3. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan, and spices.
4. Dip chicken in butter then in bread crumbs.
5. Place in greased baking dish.  Bake 50-60 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, add wine and green onions to reserved butter.
7. Pour over chicken and cook 5 more minutes.

DELICIOUS! Thanks Emily!


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