Monday, October 31, 2011

Hallowins.

Win #1- Docs have prescribed me something to hopefully help with my crazy migraines.

Win #2- Party on Friday at the amazing Woodward's place, where Joseph was a laid-off Chippendale's dancer in a tux made of trash bags and I was a tightrope walker.



But let's face it: the real winner is Heidi Klum, who pulled out all the stops (per usual) to bring us her most terrifying costume yet. We all remember her as the snake in the apple (Original Sin) in 2006:


the Hindu goddess Kali in 2008:


the Raven in 2009:


and the red robot creature/thing last year:


And this year she was a skinless human being. Yes, you read that right. Evidence:


She was actually draped in a white sheet and wheeled into the party on a stretcher:


From behind:

Photos from everywhere on the Internet, including my favorite: Go Fug Yourself

In. Sane. If I had multiple thousands of dollars to spend on a Halloween costume I assume I'd go all out, too, but this? Wow. I'm simultaneously impressed, terrified, and jealous.

So have a happy, happy Halloween, dearest readers! I'm so excited to have trick or treaters tonight! Go go gadget fun size Kit Kats!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday!

Oh wow, this week. Um, wow.

I just. Yeah.

Please watch this. It is one of the best things I have ever seen, and is courtesy of my awesome coworker over at Oh Hey, What's Up?



I love you all like a shell loves lint, and I hope you have a glorious Halloween weekend filled with empty calories, stupidly fun costumes, and manageable hangovers.

Back to it Monday!

Tweet tweet!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tomatoes and basil and soup, oh my!

A little housegirlfriendery on the agenda for today, because I made some killer tomato basil soup for dinner last night. I found the recipe on the absolutely amazing Spoon Fork Bacon blog, which is replete with stunning food photography and insanely delectable recipes. Girlfriends over there really know how to make a person drool.

Photos from Spoon Fork Bacon as I don't have a camera phone.

mid-way through cooking

aaaand recipe! I changed it very slightly, as you'll see if you compare my recipe to the one on SFB:

Creamy Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup
makes 12 big ladel-fulls

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup ½ & ½

garnish:

fried basil
goat cheese, crumbled.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Spread tomato halves onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast tomatoes for about 1 hour.
4. While tomatoes are in the oven, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
5. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the garlic and thyme and sauté for another 5 minutes.
7. Add crushed tomatoes, basils and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Stir the mixture and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
9. Pour broth and roasted tomatoes into the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Continue to simmer soup, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
11. Carefully pour soup into a blender and blend until smooth. I used my immersion blender instead. Highly recommend.
12. Pour soup back into the pot and stir in the cream until fully incorporated.
13. Simmer the soup for 3 minutes before ladling into bowls.
14. Top each soup with a sprinkle of goat cheese and fried basil and serve hot.


If you don't have an immersion blender, how have you been living?? Here's a link to the one I have (and love): Cuisinart! I've had it for years and it still works like a charm. It also still works like an immersion blender, so that's a win-win.

end result. For shiz, you guys, for shiz.

I served it with a simple baked breaded chicken for ultimate filling goodness. You'll see that I used 1/2 and 1/2 instead of the heavy cream, and so the whole pot only has about 1650 calories (about 300 calories per nice-sized bowl). Please to enjoy!

Plus we are getting a cold front tonight in Austin, so you're basically obligated to make soup. LCaL insists!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I hope you aren't sick of hearing about the house...

but if so, too bad! mwahahaha. I'm going to be way worse when we buy a house next year. Just warning you.

Aaaaanyhow, today is the last post on the house for a few days, I promise. But I did say I'd show you the before photos, so here they are! These are from during / right after the movers were finishing up. Also, I took them on Joseph's phone camera, so I apologize that they aren't the best quality.

First of all, welcome to our house! Like so:

Not really a "before" shot. We will probably still have that mat in the "after" house.

Here is a view looking into the house from the front door. First room is living room, next is dining, then behind that is the kitchen.

Pretty Pergo

Into dining from living...

This has the beautiful original hardwoods. *swoon*.

Into kitchen from guest bedroom / room o' random schtuff:

It's a little bigger than it looks here. What I would give to remodel it!!

Guest room / room o' random schtuff:

Original hardwoods again. Yay!

Into the master from the bathroom (skipped photographing the bathroom; it was too small to get a good shot):

Back to Pergo.

And for fun, a shot from the dining into the living / front of the house:



There's also a washroom at the back of the house off of the guest bedroom with a helluva slanted floor. It's seriously kind of hilarious how banked it is. We could probably have a drunk laundry competition or something in it, though! I'll get to finalizing the basic rules.

Also, yesterday and today they came to put trees in our front and back yards! Yay trees!

Oh, and Aerial is happy, too. See?

Oh hai there!

It already looks much different (read: better) than these photos, but I still need at least a week to get it properly fluffed for human consumption. 

I'll let you know when she's ready to be unveiled; thanks for sticking by me while I'm all house-self-centered!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Stay tuned...

For tomorrow I have some "before" pictures of our new place!

For now I just have this:

DVF at Neiman's


Think it's too dressy for the housewarming?* I think it's fun, if bathrobe-y and only meant for those over 5'9" tall.

*don't worry. That is a rhetorical question.

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Occupy Hyde Park!

I'm sure these are repeat pictures for most of you, but I have to share on LCaL also. We got the keys to our new house yesterday! Leasing, not buying.

The house is awesome. Like, whoa, this beautiful charming Hyde Park house is AWESOME!

Here's a sneak peak at the front, alá dreamy boyfriend:


and alá nerdy bird girl:



Isn't it perfect?? Imagine it with a patio glider (we've already started researching them. I'm going to drink a glass of wine SO hard on that porch), some hanging plants, and maybe a couple little topiaries on those small platforms.

Last night we took some measurements, dropped off most of our art and other framed things, sat on the porch for a bit just loving the neighborhood and the weather, and then had a lovely dinner at Mother's, which we can totally walk to. It was wonderful even despite my slowly subsiding migraine, and I can't wait to have all of our stuff officially moved in tomorrow!

I'll be taking before, during, and after photos, so be prepared to be inundated with cottage-y goodness.

So much love to you all; here's to a beautiful weekend! Extra lotsa love to the unparalleled Jane K., whose birthday is tomorrow! I'm constantly in awe of her genuine, thoughtful, and kind self, and I have so much gratitude for the world for making her a part of my life. Go, Jane, go!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On migraines.

Hello my loves. Sorry for a super short post today; I get these debilitating hemiplegic migraines where I can't see, talk, type, read, or move my right arm really for hours. The aura is finally subsiding slightly, but I still feel like this:

AFLAÅ´ÒˆHFLAIWHEFLIAEWFHLIAWEHFLHIAE

If someone would please start a fund to buy me this dress in a size 0 I would really appreciate it:


I don't think I can convey how much I love it.

How about this: I'll even pay for a third of it!

Deal?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

3.5 Days Until the Move. + Beyoncé!

Let's have a moment of silence for the brand new shirt I accidentally put in the dryer last night.

And now, let's forget that later I'm going to spend hours wrapping dishes in bubble wrap, and let's jam to this funky uplifting beat from the queen of all sorts of hip-hop and hip-hop-related-fashion, Beyoncé.



I'm not usually a huge fan of her music, but this video is so old school cool that I can't help but rock out.

I think I'll throw on this Dolce jacket,

Yours for the low price of 2 months rent!

a sexy little pair of sheer stripey briefs,

and these sensible dancin' Chucks:

and cut myself a rockin' glam rug.

Plus that outfit would making packing up the kitchen WAY more fun, don't you agree?




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The reason you come to Austin....

weather-wise, at least, is for a day like today! If you don't happen to be in our fair city (you poor thing! Why aren't you here?), let me just tell you: it's around 70 degrees, sunny, a little breezy, and just generally perfect. Sigh. Look, I'm even wearing long sleeves!

See?

Here I sit, in my leetle cubicle, staring out my window being jealous of the frolicking blue jays. I try, to no avail, to convince my boss that rolling down grassy hills on a day like today is much more important than making books. At lunchtime I shall drive around for an hour with the windows down and Stars up to get a bit of a gorgeous weather fix.

As it gets cooler I just want to eat soup every single day. I know I don't usually post about food, but I made this last night and it was totally delicious. Joseph loved it, too.

At Epicurious

Chicken and Chickpea Stew. Recipe like so (I put it here because I modified it a smidge. Original at the link above):

·       3/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
·       1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
·       salt
·       black pepper
·       garlic powder
·       1 tablespoon olive oil
·       1 large sweet onion, chopped
·       3-4 large cloves garlic, chopped
·       2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
·       1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
·       1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
·       1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
·       1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
·       1-2 cups chicken broth
·       1 yellow or green zucchini, chopped
·       couple of giant handfuls fresh spinach
·       3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
·       fresh shaved Parmesan cheese





Cook couscous as directed on package. Season chicken with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken, turning once, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate, and cut into large chunks. Cook onion in same skillet (you may need a little more oil or some cooking spray), stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add spinach, cook 2 more minutes until wilty. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, cumin and cinnamon; cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Return chicken to skillet; add chickpeas, broth, zucchini, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Serve stew over couscous. Garnish with cilantro and fresh parm.



and enjoy! In case you care, I also added up the calories. The whole dish has about 1200 calories (w/o the Parm), and the couscous is 480 cals. So eat up! Filling, healthy, and oh-so-delish.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Packing. and Pink.

I don't know if I can properly convey how much I loathe packing and moving. To make it more bearable I made a little schedule yesterday breaking down the rooms into different days, but I still get sweaty palms just thinking about our terrifying guest closet that's on the agenda for today and tomorrow. I don't think you understand the magnitude of the guest closet clean out challenge. This closet is haunting my dreams, you guys. There isn't a boogie man in the closet; the closet is the boogie man.

Aaaaanyways, Saturday and yesterday I worked for about 4 hours each; I cleaned out my closet, packed up all our books, dvd's, and some breakable tchotchkes, and started consolidating throw pillows and lamps (things I have way too many of).

I know I know, major first world problems, the hatreds of packing and moving and whatnot. But the point of my lame and whiny story is that I will probably be a very bad blogger this week. I am tres sad to admit this, but it is true. I have all these great ideas but my brain is all full of packing dread, so I'm chanting "Hyde Park house! Hyde Park house!" repeatedly and pretending like this will magically happen:

But I'd use less pink, obvs.

without my having to unpack a thing. Or buy all new furniture. 

Oh my. Just looking at that pink is making me temporarily happier. Look at this one, too!

Both images from Cottage Living

Ok, that's what I needed. YAY MOVING INTO A HOUSE! Thanks for standing by me, readers! It'll all be worth it in the end and you'll get your LCaL back post haste, I promise. In the meantime, if anyone has any tips for not wanting to punch myself in the face every time I think about packing, please do send them my way.

Love!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Glitter or DIE!

Only kidding! I just wanted to make it dark so that it went along with Halloween.

Geez, I am REALLY all about Halloween this week, aren't I?

Anyhow, check out these fun, Glitter Thursday appropriate Halloween decorations!

From Horchow, super rad sparkly skulls, for the gothic ballerina in all of us:


J'adore. I also adore these, also from Horchow:


In fact, I think I will buy those right now and use them all year round with some pretty gold tapers in them. Win!

And if I have any time in between unpacking when we move (NEXT WEEKEND), then I am definitely going to be crafting some of these:

at Good Housekeeping (dot com)

Halloween + Glitter = Swoon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beginnings!

A couple of my most trusted advisors (you know who you are) and I were discussing how the season change to Fall brings a certain sense of restlessness with it. An itch that has nothing to do with wool sweaters seems to set in, and all of a sudden you want to take a big trip or move to a different city or leave your job (or all of the above!). Do you all experience that, too? I like the feeling; it's like big, yet to be determined things are coming my way (hopefully good ones). I'm slightly less restless than I have been in the past because I DO have a big change on the horizon: moving! I dropped off our deposit and first rent check today and picked up our lease, and I cannot tell you how pumped I am to be moving out of an apartment and into a house. Not to mention a house that is in walking/biking distance of so much wonderful Austin goodness! Farewell, 360 bridge! I shall not miss your stupid superfluous stoplights on my commute!

My parents are also working on new beginnings. Their contractor has said they can almost certainly have the new place in Bastrop by next Thanksgiving! As I said I would keep you abreast (heehee. breast) of the Bastrop progress, I present to you:

pictures of the clean-up! And my parents' RV that is their temporary Bastrop "cabin" while construction takes place.

Rubble about to be cleared away.

Class.


Mama Pajama. We may lose some trees but luckily we get to keep her.

Photos courtesy of John Navar, M.D.

It's pretty bleak, and more of those trees will have to be taken down, but we're still really excited to see the new place start coming up.

So, any big changes on your horizons? I know my lovely long-time friend Genelle just got engaged, so congratulations to you, Gen!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trick or treat!

I. Love. Halloween. Everything about it! It's fall and the weather finally starts turning colder in Austin, dressing up is one of my favorite things to do, and there is always pumpkin ale at the parties.
Yes, I love Halloween. And I may or may not have a mermaid tail arriving in the mail sometime this week, which I am going to doctor up with some seashells and make amazing (hopefully). It's going to be fintastic! (waa waaaa)

Also, Joseph noted that since we will be in a house in Hyde Park by Halloween, we get to buy candy and play along with the trick-or-treaters! THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. Growing up, trick or treating was an epic event (as I'm sure it was with all of you). My best friend's dad had a convertible, and we would all pile in it in our costumes and feel like the coolest Spice Girls/Poodle Skirt Girls/etc. around. Then I'd get home and mom would make me triple-check that none of my candy had needles or looked like it had been roofied or anything. Do people actually do that? Poison little kids' candy just for kicks? Yes, mother, I'm sure that all the upper class housewives in South Shores stash their heroin needles in bags of fun-size Kit Kats.

Anyhow. So I've been thinking about treat bags, and found a few that I had to share!

You know I can't resist the too-cute-for-words Owl Treat Bag from Pottery Barn:


Although the Girl Monster Treat Bag is adorable as well!


Keeping up the girly trend is this quilted strawberry bag found on Etsy:


It just makes me giggle! Too cute.

And Old Navy has a good ole jack-o-lantern for the more classically-minded.


I hate to be 25 and be all "back in my day we didn't have it this good!", but I swear I remember using a plastic H-E-B bag more often than not. Maybe I'll buy myself that owl and go trick-or-treating by my lonesome come October 31. Would that be cute-pathetic or just pathetic-pathetic?

Bring on the candy! Maybe I'll even eat a tiny Snickers without checking the wrapping first. Now THAT'S scary.





Monday, October 10, 2011

Makeovers?

So I was a little bored with the pink stripes, and wanted to make LCaL a little more stylish. First I tried an aqua/brown damask kind of combo, but I think I'm really liking this sleek look. I feel like it helps showcase the blog material better and is tres chic. But more important than my feelings are my readers' feelings!

So what do you all think? You like? Or you miss zee pink?

Happy Monday! Here's a pretty blue chandelier I stumbled upon:

at Nicky Cornell

Yay!

Friday, October 7, 2011

On libraries.

Finally, Friday! And it RAINED this morning, can you believe it? I stood on my balcony for about 10 minutes (I mean, uh...the traffic was terrible and that's why I was late to work) just watching the water fall. It was a beautiful way to start the day, and while it was energizing in an awesome-life-force kind of way, it also really made me want to keep my robe on all day and hibernate in a library for eight hours.

Thus: home libraries! This first one from David Kaihoi needs to 86 the television, but is both cozy and bright, which is sometimes hard to achieve:

Suggested pairing: Northanger Abbey

In the colder months you could throw a deep shag rug down for extra insulation (and floor napping).

This mahogany paneled library by Markham Roberts has traditional elements mixed with some eclectic touches to keep it in vogue.

Suggested pairing: A Dirty Job

The dark brown and amber hues make the teal lamp bases really stand out, and the mixing of the colors makes the room year-round appropriate. Not that I don't like a fall/winter library year-round, of course. Cozy is never NOT in style when it comes to home decor. See this Alessandra Branca design for proof:

Suggested pairing: The Woman in White

Oh. I want it.

I also wouldn't argue with this gem, also by Markham Roberts:

Suggested pairing: The Satanic Verses

I just think that libraries should be dark and cozy (or dark-ish and cozy, like #1), don't you? If I'm going to hibernate and get completely engrossed in a book I want just enough light to read by, squishy cushions, and mahogany.

I plan on having very few plans this weekend, which means hopefully reading at least 2 books, picking up some boxes at Home Depot to start the packing process, and drinking large vats of coffee.

Have a wonderful weekend! Here's to hibernation, literation, and napination!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday: Time to Shine!

Even though it SO feels like Friday, I have resigned myself to the fact that it is, in fact, only Thursday. Le sigh. But that means I get to post about shiny things, and I am nothing if not a magpie (I'd also like to count the times on LCaL that I say "I am nothing if not a...").

Today on the daily Gilt Group email they featured a home decor company called Shine by S.H.O., which features really lovely pieces that range from vintage to modern and have a multi-cultural feel. They are not sparkly, but the brand name convinced me they had a place on a Thursday blog post. The designer, Susan Hornbeak Ortiz, has a Masters in Fine Arts* in Sculpture and Installation, and it shows in her work.

I instantly fell in love with the collection when I saw velvet and tufted, á la this Yves Sofa:


It's comfy, it's cool, and it looks both fancy and a little dilapidated (a lot like some of the Hyde Park houses we ogled while looking for a lease).

The Manhattan Sofa has my name on it as well:



Especially in that color! I love the circle detailing that looks a little like giant buttons along the base. 

What do you say we take a closer gander at that chandelier?

In neutrals:

Here

And in brilliant teal!

So pretty!

It's like a necklace for your ceiling. The color is jewel-tone enough to not yell at you, but would definitely add a pop of whoa to any room.

Staying on that color palette we have the Marbella Buffet:




They tell different stories but are both characterized by their super simple shapes and functionality.

And in closing, I present to you the Morocco Accent Table, complete with Thursday-appropriate shiny studs!


I'll have two please to use as night stands.

And one of everything else, while we're fake spending all the money!


*Joseph calls MFA programs mother f*'in ARTS programs. Love.