Monday, February 28, 2011


Last night we watched Man On Wire instead of the Academy Awards.  Such a long and drawn out award show (aren't they all).  None the less I'm totally interested in what everyone was wearing.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Photo Credit:
Jason Merritt  John Shearer • Steve Granitz  John Shearer
Mila in Elie Saab • Andrew in a classic tux and bow tie • Gwyneth in Calvin Klein • Amy in  L’Wren Scott

And now to my absolute favorites!  Cate Blanchett's gown was just stunning.  It is totally different but so lovely and she wears it very well.  My second fav is Mandy Moore's gown... if I were to go back in time to my wedding dress shopping days I'm pretty sure I'd pick this gown.  So beautiful!

Photo Credit:
Frazer Harrison  Kevork Djansezian
Cate in Givenchy Couture • Mandy in Monique Lhuillier

To see more Oscar fashion click here!


Saturday, February 26, 2011


This morning, lets say late morning as I got started around 10:45, I decided it would be a good idea to make doughnut holes.  Once I set my mind on something I can't seem to let it go... drives Mr. D crazy.  Who makes doughnuts for lunch!?  I've made doughnuts with my mom a couple of years ago but she has all the right equipment so I searched for a super simple recipe... and Google chatted her a bunch of questions.

By 11:30 we had some super fresh homemade doughnut holes.  Delish!  Now this is a truly simple recipe with fantastic results.

I modified the recipe that I found here to make...

Cinnamon Sugary Buttermilk Doughnut Holes

1/3 c. sugar (plus more to coat)
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Oil for frying


In a bowl mix some sugar and cinnamon to coat your doughnut holes, set aside.  

Combine all ingredients until just moistened.  Fill a deep pot, about 3/4" full with oil.  Heat oil to 375°.  Oil your hands and a spoon and roll the sticky dough into about 1/2" to 3/4" balls (they will puff up when fried).  Place balls into hot oil and cook until golden.  Flip and finish other side until nice and golden.  Place doughnut holes on a plate lined with paper towels.  Let drain for just a few seconds and roll in your cinnamon sugar mixture.  

Eat warm and enjoy!


Thursday, February 24, 2011


Another song that gets stuck in my head.  I heart... and could listen to it over and over!  I love Matt Costa's voice.  This song is pretty poppy sounding but his most recent album has this vintage quality to it (Beatles vibe maybe?).  Anyways, hope you enjoy.

(p.s. I recently watched Get Him to the Greek and I like it!  Definitely not as funny one of my all time fav's Forgetting Sarah Marshall but had some pretty good laugh out loud - raunchy humor - funny moments.)  


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I'm loving this piece of outdoor furniture!  A human bird house / hammock / lounger... really neat-o!  I can just hear the birds chirping and feel a slight breeze, while taking a little nap in the back yard.  

Not so sure I'm up for being suspended above a creek but hey, to each their own!

And I love this idea.  I could see this at a fancy resort with servers delivering cocktails in pineapples with umbrellas in them.

Speaking of pineapples... I think I'll go have a snack!

(Photo credit:  Not sure who took these photos but the company who makes these is named Dedon and this lounger can be found here!)


Monday, February 21, 2011


A few years ago (after many cocktails with a couple friend of ours) I took to calling Valentine's Day our "Day of Love".  Totally ridiculous but still so much less commercial than V-Day! Typically we don't really do anything big for this holiday... we seem to buy things when we want them and lets be honest... shouldn't you show that you love others every time you see them?  I mean a daily supply of diamond earrings and bracelets would be nice but not exactly fiscally responsible (if diamonds are your thing). But this year I really wanted to something sweet for my love.  And the quickest way to a mans heart is his stomach right?  So I planned a fantastic dinner.

I had informed Mr. D of our dinner plans but he didn't know the menu.  It was planned for Monday, February 14th but like you read earlier... something came up and my time was a bit consumed with other things.  And cooking all day long wasn't exactly possible.  The menu was as follows...

Handcrafted Mushroom Ravioli with a Roasted Tomato Coulis
Roasted Asparagus with a Pistachio Yogurt Sauce (I served the asparagus warm...)
Buttery Bread Sticks and Aioli (Totally skeptical of eating raw eggs... YUM... and no food poisoning!)
     and for desert
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Chocolate Gelato

Can I just say that it was fantastic!!!!  Everything was made from scratch and I will also say that it took for freaking ever!  I think I cooked from 8:00 in the morning to close to 8:00 at night.  I took a mini break to eat a hot dog for lunch and I did forget one crucial desert ingredient at the store so we took a break to walk to the market.  Mr. D was on kitty patrol keeping them occupied so he was pretty clueless as to what was going on.  I think at one point he guessed I was making some sort of Indian dish... so it was fun I was able to keep him guessing.  By the time I needed to make the ravioli I had printed off the recipe and he was super hungry!  We were both ready to eat the food as we had been smelling all of the yummy flavors all day.  It really was so good and we even had some left overs to munch on the next day.  And we have desert for the rest of the week for sure... the gelato is TO DIE FOR!  It has the best recipe so if you are looking for a chocolate sweet treat and you have an ice cream maker... this is the recipe to try.


I wish I could have taken process photos of the whole thing but that would have just been way too much to handle!

So when you cook all day... do you want to eat the goodness or are you just sick of looking at it?



Sorry about the lack of blogging!  I have an adorable excuse and it involves two of the sweetest kittens!

Mr. D and I have adopted two kittens.  We found a great 'no kill' shelter really close to our condo.  They have a great facility where the kitties and puppies have their own rooms instead of being locked in cages.  The kitties are separated by age and temperament and get to roam free playing and lounging in baskets and on wall shelves or in sun spots (yep they get natural light through the front windows!).  They screen every person who wants to adopt, which some may find intrusive but I think it's a fantastic idea (you must bring every person who lives in your household to meet the animal).  It's really a great place and I am proud to have adopted from such them.  They have a great group of volunteers and staff and I'm just so envious and proud of what they are doing.  According to the PAWS Chicago website, in 2011 around 4,400 homeless pets will be adopted from their facility. And since their founding in 1997 the annual amount of euthanized homeless cats and dogs in Chicago has dropped by over 50 percent... keep it up PAWS!

Our kittens have been spayed/neutered, micro-chipped and were handled by loving pet people.

So they have been keeping me busy the past week... big time.  Oh how I forgot what it was like to have crazy animals in the house.  But it really is wonderful and they've brought a smile to both of our faces.

Please meet Luna (who is about 5-1/2 months and about 5 lbs) and Grizz (who is around 5 months and about 3-1/2 lbs).

Luna (aka Loony Tune cause she is insane) has definitely established that she is the big sister.  She will hunt Grizz like he is a bird!  We are still trying to get them accustomed to one another but I think we are about there.  She is super playful and loves to climb things.  She also loves to bury herself under the covers... crazy!  We got Luna on Sunday the 13th.  

Grizz is our sweet little guy (aka Grizzy Poo).  He is a small little man but I have a feeling he will grow to be a nice and healthy kitty because he's got a great appetite.  He is so sweet and loves to play with string.  He gets mad that his big sister gets him so easily but he's snuck up on her a few times so she will take him seriously.  Grizz was welcomed to the family on Wednesday the 16th.  


Thursday, February 10, 2011


For some reason this song reminds me of summer time and warmer weather. Something I'm wishing for right now! I don't know that I've ever been this cold while not on top of a big ol' Colorado mountain. Well, enjoy the music... I cannot believe it's Thursday! Where does the time go?

I know, the video is a little weird... what can I say.

Did I mention that it is cold and wished I was walking around Chicago's busy summertime streets finding fantastic deals on vintage furniture and artwork, stopping to pet sweet puppies here and there all while giggling at Mr. D's witty remarks about all the 'hipsters' in the neighborhood?   I picture myself wearing this gorgeous yellow sculpted blouse and belt from Anthropologie... paired with skinny jeans and boots.  'Cause that's what the kids are wearing these days!

Yes... I'm going to turn up the heat in the house... 


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Hello, my friends call me V and I am addicted to sweets.

Yesterday (while making a delicious dinner of stuffed peppers and chorizo), I decided it was time to make Raspberry Marshmallows.  YUM!  The last few months have definitely been defined by the many batches of marshmallows that I've made (successfully I might add!) and well, it's time to switch it up a bit.  Raspberry was just the flavor!  I found the recipe from the Not So Humble Pie Blog.  My success in the marshmallow world is all thanks to Martha's no-nonsense recipe which can be found here.  It is seriously so simple and the perfect little sweet treat!

I had some time before Mr. D got home so I decided to get everything out and get the process started.  I am a habitual skimmer when it comes to reading recipes.  Which often leads to some pretty thoughtful solutions to problems that could have been avoided if I'd have actually read the short recipe.  I had one little problem that arose from my skimming and it has to do with that little rascal know as a raspberry seed.  They are sneaky little suckers and can be really annoying when stuck in your teeth!

To see more of the process and MacGyver like solutions (that may or may not work)...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Image taken from Wikipedia 

Don't ask me why... or how... but I found this List of spells in Harry Potter, awesome!  We are pretty big fans over here so no making fun!

Expelliarmus, the disarming charm is my least favorite... they use it all the time and it never seems to work that well for any of them.  Let's mix it up Harry!  Voldemort totally knows that is your go-to...

It's so funny what you can find out there on the interweb.


Monday, February 7, 2011


A Christmas appetizer my mother-in-law and I put together.  Yum!

Cooking is something I've come to really enjoy.  I seem to cook every day... which is great but this requires a good amount of planning and a weekly grocery shopping trip that sometimes becomes a chore.  Here are a few things that I love about grocery shopping (could easily be turned around to being things I despise about our weekly shopping trips but I like to keep things positive).

  • Fresh Produce (I'm looking forward to frequenting farmers markets when they start up and possibly enrolling in a CSA this spring/summer!)
  • Sunday mornings (When there aren't a ton of people out and about.)
  • Fruit Juice Samples (One word... Dynamo!)
  • Sugary Treats (aka impulse shopping)
  • Well behaved children in carts (Sorry my mama friends... I'll probably be cursed with wild and crazy children who want to take over the grocery store for this one.)
  • Random songs you haven't heard in years (like... The Whispers Rock Steady or maybe Phil Collins Easy Lover)
  • New products that catch my eye (Thank you Trader Joe's for all those yummy... and easy... sauces!)
  • Mini shopping carts (Target would be a much friendlier place to me if they had the option of mini vs jumbo.)
  • Self check out and friendly TJ's cashiers (We typically go to Trader Joe's... they are super nice there  but I have a soft spot for self check out... so simple and quick!)

Are there things that you've learned to love about grocery shopping?  Or is it the bane of your week?



St. Louis Love Gocco Art Print by Art Shark Designs
I am really liking these city prints.  They are so cute!  There are quite a few cities represented but not nearly all of them.  I wonder if the artist would do a particular city if you requested?  So this one is of St. Louis... obviously!  Kiener Plaza?  Kind of a weird selection of view but hey... I like that it's different than the standard view from across the river.  This would be a great gift for the one you love...

You can find more city prints on Art Shark Design's Etsy site, here.


Friday, February 4, 2011


After a successful attempt at cinnamon rolls (admittedly with significant help from my mother), last Friday I thought it would be fitting to tackle the monkey bread recipe I found. Mr. D has occasionally over the years brought up how much, as a child, he liked the monkey bread his mother made.  So that was the plan!

Here is the recipe we started with... I spied it on Brown Eyed Baker.

Now I'm just going to follow this with some pretty images... things started off strong!  We mixed the the ingredients as directed until the dough came together and looked smooth. The electric mixer really works wonders!

Then you want to kneed the dough for about 5-ish minutes on a lightly floured surface.

In a lightly greased bowl you want to roll your ball in the oil so it is just slightly coated and you are going to cover with a towel an place in a warm spot.  This is where the yeast works it's magic.  Come back in and hour and a half or so and if all goes well it will grow to double it's size.

So now you want to pat down the dough into an 8"x8" square and divide the dough in to 64 one inch balls.  This is where my smarts come in!  I suggest you use a sharp pizza cutter.  This worked wonders for me and all the dough was cut in a matter of seconds! You can make a quick guide by lightly rolling over the dough and making an indention and then go over it again with a little more pressure and it's done!  No fuss! 

Roll these squares in to one inch balls.

So now we've got our melted butter and our cinnamon sugar goodness all ready.  And we've also got our 'bundt' pan all buttered. What you will do is dip the dough balls in the butter and let any excess drip off.  Roll the dough in the sugar mixture and align them in the pan.  Just keep stacking until they are ready to go.  Since we did all of this on Friday night and we were cooking on Saturday morning I covered the pan with plastic and put in the fridge until the morning. 

In the morning I got up and started the oven.  I made a quick powder sugar frosting (which you can find here) and got the monkey bread out of the fridge.  As soon as the oven was all heated in they go!  

The smell of all of that cinnamon and sugar and baking dough fills the air.  It's really heavenly!  It came out looking fantastic.  And I was so ready to eat.  But I knew... I need to wait.  To see the final product you've got to read more!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


And it's cold out.  Although that has nothing to do with this post.  I just like the song. Enjoy.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I generally despise snow.  But this snowfall was really cool!  Thunder, lighting and 3rd largest snow on record.  This morning we decided to venture out before it was all plowed. Here are some of our findings (lots of things were buried).

The sun is now out and the sky is blue... clear views all the way downtown.  Bring on spring!!!

Hopefully you and yours are safe and sound!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Photography: Sloan Photographers but found on Green Wedding Shoes Blog, here.

I really, really love weddings... and wedding planning.  And I think that this guestbook idea is fantastic!  What an adorable idea.  It would be great if you could draw the tree yourself. Then your guests just put their fingerprints on the tree and sign their names.  Family can be the roots of the tree possibly?  I love the colors of this one but you would use the colors that coordinate with your wedding.

You provide a little sign guiding your guests on what to do and have some wet towelettes there to get the ink off of their fingers.  Then it's time to party!  I just love it!

If you love this idea but are really uncomfortable drawing a tree... have no fear!  You can find some great prints on etsy... here, here or here!

(Oh how I'd love to be planning a wedding right now... any takers!?)