Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Fever

Can't remember where I got this--been saved on my dashboard for over a month.

It's the weekend and I don't know about you, but I'm done.  If I had this set up within arm's reach I would load it up and head off to the beach.  Where are those sticks anyway? This has pretty much been the week from hell and while I realize it's better to stick with sweetness and light here in blogland, I'm not one to beat around the bush.  Rather than carrying on I think I'll just crawl back between the sheets and try to recuperate from life, flu and every other disaster that struck this week.

Here's to boozy ice pops from the Zoku, much needed pep talks with my bests, hanging off the couch watching Felicity (happy place) and finally getting the laundry done (death to slip covers).  How about you?

Have a happy weekend!  Hopefully I'll see you back on Monday with some spring in my step.  Thanks especially for all your kind words this week--it sure helps to have some banter from the horizontal.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Currently Considering

If you've fallen ill in summer then I don't have to tell you how uncomfortable it is.  The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the ice cream truck is singing its tune in the wind...and you're laid out flat in bed.  Possibly whimpering. Yesterday I woke up feeling super dizzy and just plain under the weather.  Instead of listening to my body I thought I'd give vacuuming a try--not the best idea when you can't stand up straight. Moments later I was back in bed moderately worse for the wear.

Here's the thing about being sick:  there's still technology.  It whispers to you from every corner:  turn on the tv, you want a smoothie (blender in the kitchen), maybe someone sent you a text message, and the worst:  hey why don't you just shop online for, oh, 3 hours.  As a result of doing just that I have found myself in a bit of a pinch--how to make room and have the budget for all of the following?

And yes, I realize I have been bit by the cheetah/leopard bug.  I think it's what landed me in the horizontal in the first place.  Conspiracy theory!

CC #2

1. Isabel Marant - Sleeveless Leopard Blouse (less expensive version at Forever 21) Thanks for the heads up!
2. Current/Elliott - Leopard Skinny Stiletto Jeans (also here in case your size is gone)
3. Crochet Dress - This picture does not do it justice and you can get 30% off here (also in black)
4. 3.1 Phillip Lim - Quilted Leather Shorts (less expensive + on sale version here!)
5. Sam Edelman - Alvin Smoking Loafer (also $10 cheaper here
6. Rebecca Minkoff - Clutch (also here in case it sells out because I think it could -- beautiful)
7. Dolce Vita Jamison Booties (and you can get 30% off those too, which I may or may not have done)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten-Free Version)

Last week I got the nicest email from a lady who thanked me for including gluten-free recipes on the blog.  She was gracious and kind and relieved to find things that tasted "just the same" as items baked with regular wheat flour.  Truth be told I felt a little guilty--prior to last week I haven't really been posting a lot of gluten-free recipes.  It's easy for me, now 4 or 5 years in, to forget what a jungle it is to maneuver learning you have Celiac Disease or are gluten intolerant.  Very quickly you realize your limitations for homemade pizza crust, bread, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, pasta and the list goes on.

It has been wonderful to watch the shelves at Whole Foods and Sprouts fill with gluten-free options over the past year or so, in particular.  I can't help but think what a relief it must be to people in the early stages of diagnosis--especially those with young children who really want to be like all the other kids eating birthday cake or sandwiches.  Victory on the gluten-free front!

That being said, baking at home is still something I like to partake in--not only is it healthy, but also therapeutic.  Yesterday was just another in what's become a string of stressful days.  The first thing that popped into my head upon opening my eyes was carrot cake.  By mid-day I was fighting a losing battle. Truth:  gluten-free cakes aren't easy to make.  The flour concoctions can be tricky and you want that cake to rise.  I mean nothing is worse than a cake that sinks in the middle (believe me I've been there more than once since this journey began).  Throwing caution to the wind I poured over recipes before morphing several into one I hoped would work, crossed fingers and set out.

Voila friends--victory indeed!

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Recipe
3          eggs
1C       grapeseed oil (you can use vegetable just as easily)
1-3/4C sugar
1tsp      vanilla
1tsp      salt
2tsp      baking powder
2tsp      baking soda
1tsp      cinnamon
2C        flour (Gluten-Free Blend here) + 1tsp xanthan gum
3C        grated carrots
1C        chopped pecans (optional)

*preheat oven to 350 degrees
1.   Mix xanthan gum into flour and combine with salt, baking powder, baking sold and cinnamon.  Set aside.
2.  Combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla, mix until smooth.
3. Stir in flour a little at a time until just blended.  Do not over mix gluten-free batters.
4. Stir in carrots and pecans.
5. Pour into greased 9x13 or 8 inch springform pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

I put this cake into the oven and crossed my fingers so tight!! It drooped just a tiny bit in the center because I didn't let my oven preheat enough, but it wasn't noticeable to anyone but me so I just flipped the cake over to ice.
~Fresh out of oven~
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2C    butter
8oz.     cream cheese
2C       confectioner's sugar
1C       coconut

Mix first two ingredients, slowly add the confectioner's sugar blending after each addition, add coconut and stir to finish before icing your well-cooled cake.

Hello massive cake platter from Target dating back 5 years.  
You never know when things are going to come in handy.  
Some of the best $14 I ever spent--has a big glass dome to lower over as well.
You can find a similar one here.

Happy Tuesday people.  Let's eat cake!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lace Blazer Creates Convert

If I told you how long I have been staring at this blazer you may or may not think I had been hypnotized.  In the past week alone it was gazed upon no less than 10 times per day *cue 'Too Much Time on My Hands*, yet for one reason or another I just couldn't pull the trigger.  In all honesty lace has not crossed my mind much since Madonna was, ahem, much younger--and even then I was more enthralled with the piles of bracelets climbing her arms.  Lately however I'm kinda transfixed.

Cut to scene and there I was on Friday night indulging in the weekly ritual of margaritas and chicken tacos with my friend Kelly who proceeded to use dirty words like, oh, Forever 21 right at the table.  I'm just going to out myself:  I haven't been in Forever 21 in 9 years.  Yes you read that right.  Everyone goes on and on about Forever 21 and all I'm thinking is, 'I turned *cough* 25 last year so that one is out of the question."  Well friends, I would like to formally announce that as of Saturday at approximately 12:30pm PST I am now 21 again and it is feeling pretty good.

Kelly coerced me to a monstrosity of a Forever 21 that resembled a mini department store.  She's very sneaky too--after 15 minutes she had to depart, abandoning me in a sea of what appeared to be 7 million females between the ages of 10 and 52.  Is this post littered with numbers or what? Anyway, 2.5 HOURS later I emerged with stars in my eyes, hair still in my head AND a jackpot of finds in my bag, not the least of which was an amazing version of that lace blazer I had been stalking.  Examine the evidence:
~Forever 21-Blazer (not on site yet, but similar here), Free People-Romper (tank version here), 
Current/Elliott-Boyfriend Jeans, Steve Madden-Ruffled Leather/Wood Heel (last year?)
Yep.  That's the look of a giddy woman.  
Drunk on lace and savings, if you will.
There she is close-up.  I'm normally an extra small but this came in small through large, 
and I purchased a large to give it a boxier feel.  Rolling up the sleeves
worked perfectly and voila! 
  And on that note:  a big shout out to Forever 21 for making my lace blazer dreams come true.

Everything that happened before and most of what occurred after this purchase completely sucked (except the bbq with my friends you know who you are), but the blazer helped to ease the pain just a little.  Suffice it to say I will be returning to this mecca for further investigation.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Limoncello Lemonade

aka Heaven on Earth

Yesterday, after having peeled into the restaurant for a quick *sarcasm* round of cocktail sampling, I found myself in the midst of a wine tasting extravaganza (post to follow) that lasted approximately 5 hours.  Suffice it to say I left home in the early afternoon and returned well after dark.  Oh the stories that get tossed around during Happy Hour.  Who knew?

I've led such a sheltered life.

Just in time for the weekend the Chef mixed up one of his newer cocktails to hit the menu.  This is, by far and away, the best adult lemonade I've had yet---and I'm an adult lemonade connoisseur.  I even have a lemon rind crown around here somewhere...  For those of you not within commuting distance to the restaurant I present the recipe and implore you to shake one or two of these up for yourselves in the very near future.  Tweet me when you do and let's do a 'Cheers!' over the internets.

2 oz.    Tito's Vodka (substitute your favorite if Tito's is not on hand)
3/4 oz. Caravella Limoncello
1 oz.    simple syrup
7/8 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
4-5       mint leaves

Drop mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and cover with ice.  Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously.  Pour into rocks glass and garnish with a lemon wheel.

It really is as simple as that.  If you love lemonade you will be over the moon for this one.  And now I must be off.  Seeing as approximately zero got accomplished yesterday I've got an exciting *yawn* day of work and laundry ahead of me.  Good thing I've got the cocktail shaker on hand.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Save, Save Some More, or Splurge?

My love of Isabel Marant is no mystery.  I've sung her praises on the blog and beyond to anyone who would listen.  I even scored a leather vest of hers once at, oh, 70% off resulting in me not sleeping for a week due to sheer elation.  It may or may not rest comfortably with me nightly in bed.

In the spring when I first spotted Kate Bosworth and Katie (sorry Tom she'll never be just Kate to me) Holmes in Isabel Marant's Dicker booties my heart skipped 10 beats.  I knew they would cost a pretty penny (at least to my wallet) and that I would likely not be able to land a pair as her hottest items aren't always so accessible.  Imagine the shock and awe that took place when I spotted this very Dicker bootie recently in Barneys.  Internal mayhem ensued.
Glorious aren't they?
And only $615 + tax.  

Now I realize that there are people out there with money to burn on shoes but, sadly, I'm not one of them. *Cue 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'*

So now for the good news.  A month or so ago I was out and about when I spotted a very similar bootie for a fraction of the cost.  Feast your eyes on this:
Looks really similar, right?   
Check them here -- did you pass out at the price difference?

I get a lot of comments about my Joie booties (seen here) that are now completely sold out, so I was super excited to be able to find another affordable version to share with you.  You name it:  with dresses, leggings, shorts--these are great to have in your shoe arsenal.  If you're looking for an even better deal and don't care about real leather then brace yourself for what's coming next:

Um hel-loooo!! 
Get yours here at less than $35!

It's a great day at the bird.  Shoes that won't break the bank are on the way (even though I still love the ones that do break the bank) and there's only one day left til Friday.

So spill it--are you going to grab a pair of either of the less expensive versions? I think I'm going to lose my beans and get the grey pair.  At that price, why not? Yahoooo!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Black and Blue

The title of this post sounds so ominous.  Nope--just the story of an LBD and a favorite denim shirt.

Yesterday was a race from the moment I opened my eyes until the time I hit the couch just in time to catch Teen Mom (cue the tears over Catelynn's fear of Brandon & Teresa cutting off contact with Carly).  Being busy without scary demands is a good feeling.  Unfortunately it wasn't so great when I reached over to turn on the straight iron only to realize 10 minutes later the thing had crossed over to the great hair appliance factory in the sky.  Why me?  Cut to scene and there I was racing out the door minutes later with a somewhat fuzzed out head of hair and a bag containing various outfit changes to last the day...miraculously I was only 10 minutes late to the first meeting.  Think screeeeech.

It should be noted that cleaning out the closet can yield many a forgotten treasure.  Case in point the little black dress in this post.  I picked it up more than a few years ago and have only worn it once or twice because it always gets lost beneath a hanging jacket.  Imagine my excitement upon rediscovering it this past Saturday.  We're in this weird weather pattern right now:  fogged in for the morning, blazing hot for the afternoon and then fogged in and cold for the evening.  I'm not ready to kiss summer goodbye so am working dresses and shorts to the maximum opting for light layers overtop that can easily be tossed aside once it warms up.  Second case in point:  the denim shirt.  Everyone laughed and called me a cowboy when I picked it up at Martin+Osa (RIP) a couple years ago.  Laughs on you suckahs (ie. friends who teased and read this blog)!  The denim shirt is back with a vengeance and I'm here to claim my rightful seat on the denim shirt throne.  On a serious note:  two wardrobe essentials paired together for chic and easy. You really can't go wrong.
~Details:  Martin+Osa Denim Shirt (similar, similar), Free People-LBD, Shoes-Swedish Hasbeens~
~Rebecca Minkoff Studded Rocker (here with silver studs), 
on the left:  Rosa's friendship bracelets + Seventh Door cuff + Melinda Maria Link Oxidized Ring
on the right:  Made With Love bracelets (on sale!)
Quite possibly the best shoes I've ever invested in.  
There is a reason SJP consistently wears them in many different versions and colors.
This is what we call the "out in the parking lot next to the restaurant hurry up before any 
customers spot us" shot.  Complete with hysterical laughing.

And now let us carry on toward the weekend.  Only two days to go...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vanilla Roasted Peaches with Raspberries

Leave it to Martha Stewart to come through in a pinch.  There I was.  On the verge of a breakdown.  You know, because I didn't feel like taking on the task of mastering homemade gluten-free pie crust in order to conjure up a peach pie.  Peaches.  They just might be my favorite summer fruit.  Or at least my favorite at this very moment.

Anyway. I've gotten back on the wagon of cooking at home since the the Chef went back to work and my favorite neighborhood sushi joint (that was always packed!) closed down.  This has been the summer of extreme change:  me not working much, Chef back to working a lot, Grayce passing away unexpectedly -- doesn't sound like much, but when the day-to-day routine has been altered to even this extent a simple thing like rolling up to the local sushi place and seeing the windows papered over causes a jolt to the system.  A lump in the throat.  Something else I can't go back to.  Gotta keep moving forward.

In the spirit of doing just that I decided to seize the summer day and indulge in a doable peach dessert that wouldn't have me experimenting with flour mixtures by the light of the silvery moon.  I happened upon Martha's peach desserts and hit the jackpot.  This recipe took less than an hour start to finish, and was the perfect follow up to a grilled turkey, bacon, avocado burger.  May summer never end.

Ingredients--*I halved this recipe as reflected in the pictures.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and scraped, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 firm, ripe peaches (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total), halved and pitted
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 package (5 to 6 ounces) raspberries


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large, shallow baking dish, combine butter, lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla bean (seeds and pod). Add peaches, and turn to coat with butter mixture; arrange, cut side down, in a single layer.
    I hadn't used vanilla bean prior to today and it was so easy to work with.
    Here is a portion split lengthwise.  
    The recipe requires you to scrape out the inside of the bean, 
    then add scraping + bean to the butter, lemon, sugar mixture that will coat the peaches. 
  2. Roast until peaches are tender and cooking liquid is syrupy, 15 to 25 minutes, brushing with cooking liquid halfway through. Serve peaches (warm or at room temperature) with ice cream and raspberries; drizzle with cooking liquid.
    Not the best lighting because this is how we do it at the bird:  real time.
    It was about 8pm, so light of the dining room table is what we've got here.

    The vanilla and lemon are subtle, yet just the perfect amount to get a hint of their flavor and enrich the taste of the roasted peaches and fresh raspberries.  This dessert would be great to share amongst a couple of people after dinner over coffee or tea.

    Thanks Martha!

    Oh and by the way:  I managed to escape watching The Bachelor Pad.  Victory is mine!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Simple Sunday

I don't know about you, but Sunday is one of my favorite days.  It's a day of no set agenda, fly by the seat of your pants, lounge in the sun (or on the couch) and relish the moments as they pass.  Yesterday we were about to go our separate ways for the day when the Chef decided to take a late lunch outside his own restaurant just after opening.  Impromptu lunch date? Um, okay! Mid-day margarita? Count me in.

While weeding out the closet on Saturday for late summer/early fall planning, I came across my pink blazer (last seen here) immediately deciding it has not had enough play on the blog.  This is one of those purchases I keep at the forefront of my mind--saw it, left it behind and later had to track it down 15 ways from Thursday to eventually find one in my size.  *Note to self: get it when you see it and take it back if you change your mind thereby avoiding my size is no longer available-itis.*    I tossed it on with a pair of my go-to Current/Elliott shorts (thanks Gilt Groupe), a simple white t-shirt and a pair of Converse sneakers.  It's true what they say:  simple is best.  It was a great lunch outfit, but carried me throughout the day as well.  Recipe for success!

~Outfit details:  H&M-Blazer (similar herehere, here), James Perse-T-shirt, 
Current/Elliott- Boyfriend Shorts (here and here)
Old Stud Handmade-Belt, Converse-Sneakers, Spitfire-Sunglasses (similar)~
Pink Blazer-Check!
Piles of my fave jewelry--Check!
Rings:  Dean Davidson (similar in smoky topaz), Melinda Maria Link Oxidized
Bracelets: Leather--Motif56 and PANYC, Friendships c/o Rosa Loves DC
Wind in my hair-check!

Spill it--how was your weekend? I spent Saturday with a butterfly while overhearing the guys next door talk about dating in a scene straight out of Swingers.  Delightful!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Zoku Your Way Into the Weekend

It's confession time here at the bird:  I've fallen in love with the Zoku (get yours here and prepare for greatness) and am pondering a raw food diet.  Despite the  fact that the middle and end of that sentence may be true, they are not necessarily intertwined.  I am in love with the Zoku.  You know how people say something is better than sliced bread?  Well this thing really is.  I picked it up a couple weeks ago after staring at it for over a year, and am so impressed.  Let's just say that thus far I've consumed several different versions of 'boozy ice pops' aka how to make it through the Real Housewives of New York City Reunion shows...abstinence aside, of course.

This week has been filled with many challenges, but the Zoku has been here for me.  This morning I got up in a particularly chipper mood, zipped into the kitchen, made some white peach juice and proceeded to create the Peachy Keen pop.  White peach juice, a swig of vodka (but not too much or it won't freeze) and a slice of peach.  Suffice it to say the result was marvelously tasty and did not stick to the inside of the Zoku maker like, say, the strawberry limeade version that almost resulted in Carrie going to the rehab. 

I know what you're saying...there's a bite missing off the top of that ice pop.  Very astute dear readers!  Upon arriving back at home from an impromptu brunch with the Chef I yanked the ice pops out of the freezer and immediately proceeded to take a bite out of one when I realized, 'you have not taken a picture Carrie!!'  Cut to scene (2 hours later) and here I am post nail salon with the brightest pink nails I've ever sported reporting to you.  Assessment:  Zoku for President.  Or at least ambassador for world peace.

Stay tuned for other Zoku ice pop creations in the upcoming days.  We're supposed to have a week of 80+ degree days here in SoCal, so you know what that means?  No turning on the oven under any circumstances leaving mad room for Zoku flavor mania.  Maybe I should have purchased the version with 3 ice pop slots...HAPPY FRIDAY!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Flashes of Fall

I was talking to my mom on the phone whilst gathering the mail the other day, and inadvertently set the stack to the side only to later discover the holy grail had arrived.  That's what we here at the bird refer to as the latest Anthropologie and Free People catalogues.  No matter how e-oriented society might become I still like the feel of a magazine or book in my hands.  I like to be able to touch the paper, hold a picture up to my eyes to take a closer look--sometimes even just smell the pages, one of my favorite scents ever.

Even though we're in the heat of summer and I'm totally loving it, there is that age old training that kicks in at this time of year:  Back to School.  Instinctively my mind will begin to think of corduroy, button down shirts, blazers, plaid, pleated skirts, sweater vests and leather coats--even though I've been out of school for a few *cough* years now.  For a brief moment today I let myself peruse the Anthropologie catalogue and begin pondering my fall wardrobe.  Anthro does such an incredible job with their catalogues and this one is no exception.  Its pages are laced with hints of the past and beautiful vintage-esque clothing, both of which are right up my alley these days.  Sometimes I swear their people are reading my mind.

Here are just a few images that are really speaking to me from this month's catalogue:
I love everything about this picture.  From the way her hair is styled (love squared) to the 
beautiful blouse and skirt.  At first glance I actually thought the skirt was sequined
and it got me incredibly excited for this duo...perhaps it was just what I wanted to see.
Note to self:  keep eyes peeled for sequined pencil skirt.  Does this exist?
Speaking of sequins examine this dress
If I can make it two weeks without jumping off my wallet for this mother it'll be a miracle.
And don't even get me started on that little handknit shrug.
I'm not sure what I want more:  the wallpaper or the skirt.  
It hits below the knee and is wispy and gorgeous for fall...
for all you lucky people who actually get to experience a real fall season.

Have you given any thought to fall or are you still with me in summer?  I'm doing my best to linger here, but the onslaught of fall catalogues 2011 sure isn't making it easy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Bachelorette Final Recap: Thank God It's Over

First of all I would just like to say, "MISS CLEO IN THE HOUSE" -- she picked JP.


Like we all didn't see that one coming.  Anyone still with me?

Now don't get all bitter if you haven't seen the disastrous ending yet.  Think of it this way:  I'm sparing you the pain, the hair pulling out, the screaming at the tv, that 14th cocktail just to make it through.  Wait a second....

Anyway, here's a quick recap of the most disgusting finale ever.  For the record, and you can quote me on this one, "Ashley has zero class".  Thank you

Tonight began with Ashley being reunited with her family who had flown in to Fiji.  First thing I notice: Ashley's mother looks like she belongs on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (one can only hope this occurs) and Ashley's sister is littered with tats.  Sleeves and the whole nine yards!!

Why the hell wasn't SHE the Bachelorette?? 
She actually has a brain.

Two seconds later Ashley is going on about her journey (gag) during which time she proclaims she's in love.  We know you are.  You've been in love since you met Bentley.  What they mean is are you in love with anyone currently?  Sorry I couldn't resist.  The stepdad says he knew it would happen and some other chatter goes on, but I'm still staring at the sister.  Remember I didn't watch the Brad debacle season so this is my first go round with the fam and her sister looks like a hardcore biznatch.  I'm hoping she comes  unglued and rips Ashley a new one.  

Five minutes of rambling and Ashley goes to retrieve JP.  Since the episode started she's been going on and on about how she has no reservations about JP meeting her family, they're going to love him, he's going to fit right in and la de da de da.  Well of course that means a sh*tstorm's brewing and its name is Ashley's sister.  JP and Ashley meet on the beach, he's wearing his Sunday best, she's got clothing on, it's a miracle.  They stroll up to the fam, niceties are exchanged, he's all weird and awkward, the sister isn't having it. Why wasn't anyone wearing sunglasses in that glaring heat?  Moments later they sit down to lunch, the sister starts with the tough (what-ever) questions--the first of which is 'JP do you make her laugh?' Ashley Bachelorette jumps in and says she makes herself laugh.

Um, okay.  

A big ol' red flag goes up for the sister who later pulls both Ashley and JP aside separately to tell them she doesn't think they're right for each other.  Ashley proceeds to immediately bawl her head off like a 2 year old.  JP gets thrown on the bbq of the sister's interrogation where she tells him she does not see him with her sister and there's nothing he can do to change her mind.  Priceless.  She all but calls him a cradle robbing loser.  He was stuttering and stumbling and damn near crying like a baby.  The sister is tough--no amount of his pathetic doe eyes are going to win her over. SNIP SNIP JP.  He later pours on the whining to Ashley, she admits she's a people pleaser, he freaks out, she needs time to come to a decision, he mouths off that he thought she had already come to a decision.  Slow ya roll there buddy boy, there's someone else in the equation and he doesn't have insecurity issues.  Ashley walks off down the beach while JP storms off in the opposite direction.  He's not asking her to marry him if this keeps up! *cough cough yeah right*

Next day breaks and Ashley is a hot mess.  She's clearly not been taking her pills for the past few days, the bags under her eyes are down to her knees, no one's supporting her and she calls her sister a b*tch.  That makes for classy television there Ashley.  Not that she'd care seeing as she's been running around all over the world for 2 months with her a** hanging out of t-shirts she claims are dresses.  Anyway, the sister hit the nail on the head the previous day when she told Ashley point blank that going with her gut, ahem:

uh, yeah

clearly hasn't been working for her and I'm left with the obvious:  the sister's been reading my blog.  She all but screams at her:  Intuition is dead Ashley Bachelorette!! You don't have any intuition or you wouldn't have thought Bentley gave a rip about you.  Intuition shmintuition. This JP is not right for you and your definition of "support" is me telling you he's great and good luck with your decision.  Well guess what sister fool?  I'm here to tell you he's not the one.  DEAL WITH IT (or the consequences of going against my advice).  The sister's been married before, she knows how to spot one that's not "a winner" if you know what I mean.  It falls on deaf ears.

Before you know it Ben arrives.  I'm willing to bet she's wearing Depends as she goes out to meet him.  She's terrified her sister won't like anyone and how on earth is she going to be an adult and make her own decisions?  Dental assistant school hasn't taught her squat!! Fortunately for her, Ben goes in and wins the family over immediately.  He is just the right blend of nervous and confident, cracks great jokes, clearly loves her and even talks in the crazy dog voice for the family who, you can see, think he is rad.  The sister's beaming ear to ear.  I'll even say I noticed a clear difference in Ashley with Ben and her fam vs. JP and her fam.  She's WAY more relaxed, at ease and happy with Ben.  

She's going to live to regret letting this one get away.
Good luck with Mr. Hammer & Nails

Summary:  the sister grills Ben and he passes with flying colors. Despite being younger than JP he is clearly more mature, well-mannered and just overall a better fit for Ashley.  Later as she and Ben depart for the day she is visibly relieved the family likes him, he thinks it was a clear sign they're meant to be, and I'm now more certain than ever damn Ashley is going to squish the guy.  Next day for their final date he is going to tell her he loves her.  First they go on a helicopter ride, then she takes him to an outdoor healing mudbath where they strip to swimsuits and rub mud all over each other, she taking particular note to stuff her hand in her own top and give him a free show.  As I said, ho.  They kiss and float around, it's idyllic. He's going to spill it tonight, which indeed he does do after telling her he's asked and received her family's blessing to ask her to marry him.  It's romantic, sentimental and just all around beautiful.  Until she sprawls out on the bed, wraps her legs around him and sucks his face off giving zero indication she will not be choosing him over JP.

Back to JP it's time for his last date:  all I remember is him whining some more about her sister won't give him a chance and is so judgmental (high pitched voice for effect).  *CRINGE*  Ashley is grateful for her sister's questioning so they can really think it over.  He doesn't need to think it over, he wants it all to be over so they can be together.  In a desperate attempt he tells her he loves her before he completely bites the dust and, as we've seen all season, she takes pity on the underdog.


Later in his room, he gives her a scrapbook of some picture of the two of them plus a note that says 'baby' at the end, and they can fill up the book if she picks him.  Spare me.  These two are a couple of babies.  

In the worst ending in Bachelorette history, we see Ben and JP each pick out rings for Ashley.  Ben tells Neil Lane it's the real deal and she's the one.  JP's just not sure aka is it over yet?  Did I win, Neil?  Or will my ex-girlfriend back at home still be laughing at me for pining away over her for the past 3+ years (true story look it up).  Ben is confident--in all the time he has spent with Ashley she has given him zero indication she is not in love with him.  He is looking forward to spending the rest of his life with her.  He lost his dad, but now today she will be a new and welcome member to his family.  It's heartbreaking.  We know what's coming.  She said, "I'm letting a guy go who is not going to see it coming." Meaning she knows exactly what she has been doing this entire time.  I'm pissed mad.

Ben meets her in the driftwood circle, says the nicest things to her, gets down on one knee (SHE LETS HIM GET DOWN ON ONE KNEE) and proposes while she stands there in silence and leaves him down there for a good 10 seconds.  No exaggeration.  She is disgusting.  If I thought she was bad before, I really had no idea just how bad she really is.  My assessment:  This woman has great need for attention and Ben is a catch she never otherwise could have caught.  He, in her eyes, is the not so safe bet so she's going with JP the insecure.  Good luck with that, Asslee.

Ben does not go out peacefully.  He is hurt and angry and walks away.  She tries to tell him he's smart and great (yawwwwwn Ashley.  seriously you have zero ideas on how to relate to people!!) he rips her and tells her not to sugarcoat it.  Good things don't end well and bugger off (in not so many words).  He drops a couple eff bombs in the interview and with good reason:  he had NO CLUE she was not in love with him!! She is a despicable little brat.  They send him off the island in a boat only one step up from a dingy that floats on by Ashley who is right back in the driftwood circle waiting for JP who is flying over.  ABC HAS ZERO CLASS AND TASTE.

Cut to scene:  she chooses JP and then calls him baby while they run out into the water where she gathers her dress and gives us one parting a** shot before the curtain drops.  

One word:  DISMAL

After the Final Rose summary:  Chris Harrison wears a rug, Ben F to this day has no idea when she decided it wasn't him, he asks, she avoids the question and never gives an honest answer, he remarks that he walked away with his dignity, it flies over her head that he's implying she left with ZERO DIGNITY (I still think she never arrived with any so there was nowhere but down for her) while the audience claps and claps.  She's wearing such a short skirt they have to position the flowers on the table not to give us a shot of her a** or God only knows what else.  JP comes out in the worst pair of shoes I've ever seen and NO SOCKS.  All I can think of is sweaty, smelly feet while the sister rolls up and fakes that she likes him.  She doesn't and she's going to be right.  He's insecure as the day is long and all but says the sister sucked it for telling the truth--he didn't appreciate the way she did it.  Wah wah wah.  Ashley's moving to NYC and they're getting an apartment.  He makes sure it's known they'll be celebrating Hanukkah.  Oh yes, this is going to be real interesting.  

Where's Ben F.?  Are you out there Ben F?  I know you watched this season and are now thanking your lucky stars (and wine bottles) you did not end up with this mess known as Asslee.  We're right there with you!! Narrow escape my friend, but a glorious one at that.

Bachelorette recaps over and out.  Whew!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Seeking Comfort in the Comfortable

I want to thank each and every one of you who left a comment, sent an email, text, tweet, smoke signal or otherwise when you saw the post on Grayce (pr. Graycee for those who asked) last week.  Your kind words have genuinely helped ease our pain.

I managed to leave the house a couple times in the past several days for dinner with close friends.  Confession:  leaving my sweats and blanket behind was no easy feat.  Comfort is key these days, so prepare to see some hot mess up here on the blog.  I don't know about you, but whenever anything happens that rattles me to the core I subconsciously reach for things that make me feel safe.  Suddenly I'm surrounded by dark chocolate, jalapenos, bacon, fringe, blanket, soft old t-shirts and Current/Elliott denim.  Who's with me?  When the Chef coerced me out of the house yesterday afternoon I found myself closet diving and emerging with my fab Minnetonka boots that had somehow been left in the dust.  Silver lining, I guess.

Speaking of silver lining:  last night the bar was quiet at the Chef's place so I asked if my friend and I could watch the Bachelorette Men Tell All.  I immediately start ripping on Ryan P and lo and behold one of the bartenders knows him.  JACKPOT!! Fact finding mission commences...
~Outfit details:  Tank Farm T-Shirt, Current/Elliott Shorts, Old Stud Handmade Belt, 
Anthro Sunglasses, Free People Fringe Legwarmers (in 90 degrees), Minnetonka Boots c/o Langston's~
Dug from the abyss known as my arsenal of t-shirts, this Tankfarm ration holds many a fond memory.
Gorgeous yellow and turquoise friendship bracelets from the amazingly talented
Rosa @ Rosa loves DC.  They've been glued to my wrist since I opened the package last week.
Talk to me.  Fringe leg warmers inside fringe boots.  In August. 
Almost as good as a visit from Mom.
Not sure why, just like this one.  Blame it on the fringe blowing in the breeze.

As it is when someone passes away, all the days go by in a haze.  It's like the mind knows what happened but the heart can't quite accept it, and so begins the dipping of the toe into the waters of grief until we're fully submerged and can embrace it.  This is the worst.  You are all totally right--our pets are our family and when something tragic happens to them it is okay and normal to experience a deep level of sadness.  Thanks for jumping in the boat with us.  Sharing here with all of you and receiving such kind responses brought a lot of comfort to both me and the Chef, and we are very grateful to you.  Grayce was our top girl and we'll never stop missing her.  It's just not the same with out her. 

I hope you'll bear with me if my posts aren't as regular as usual for the next while.  xo ~Carrie


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