Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles

I've been lunging around the house for the past week anticipating the arrival of a pair of sequined skinny pants purchased in a spur of the moment click of the mouse.  It would only figure that during this time Danielle and I got to chatting about Udi's gluten-free snickerdoodles and this led to the cheapskate in me (uh, $7 for a little package of cookies = not happening) lunging into the kitchen to see if mastering a version of these cookies could be a possibility.  In a word:  victory!

After searching the internets, I discovered this raved about recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  The only substitution was a one-for-one of my favorite gluten-free flour blend (listed below) in place of the regular flour and ta-da.  Truth be told there was a bit of trepidation taking on this recipe because any cookie or cake of a pale variety in the gluten-free world can be tricksy (Lord of the Rings residue after marathoning all weekend), but this went off without a hitch.  Examine the evidence:

Chill the dough for at least an hour to make sure it can be rolled into little balls and then dipped
in a sugar/cinnamon combo before being placed on a cookie sheet.
I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper because, well, I'm a freak that values 
my Williams-Sonoma cookie sheets and doesn't want them scratched up.  Confession.
They cracked on top and were cake-like in the middle just like the recipe made with
regular wheat flour.  I love it when these things work out.

Here is the gluten-free flour blend so you don't have to click back:

Gluten-free Flour Blend
*I use this blend in place of regular flour in a one by one substitution for cookies, pancakes - you name it.  This will make a large batch of the Flour Blend that can also be stored and used for future.*

1C        Brown Rice Flour
1 1/4C  White Rice Flour
1/4C     Potato Starch Flour
2/3C     Tapioca Starch Flour
3/4C     Sweet Rice Flour
1/3C     Corn Starch
2tsp      Xanthan or Guar Gum

And now I must get back to lunging and squatting away seeing as the pants arrived this afternoon and it is officially time for Operation Sequin Skinny Pants.  Please enjoy the cookies and have one for me...I managed to eat approximately 20 of them over the span of 3 days before releasing the remainder to the Chef.  They're that good.  If you try them let me know how they work out--would love to hear what you think!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Ultimate Escape

This weekend may have gone down as a massive fail on the blogger front due to approximately zero photos taken, unless you count the instagram of the pumpkin pie sliders taken in the wee hours Sunday morning, but in every other way it was a total win.  We hauled it to Laguna on Thanksgiving for dinner at the Chef's uncle's place where we listened to crazy stories, ate and drank... until I had to get cut off after spilling water all over the table upon hearing how the uncle used to work at a burger joint in his teens where they snotted in the burgers of particularly rude customers.  The next time you hear a burger employee holler, 'we need a SPECIAL' I highly recommend you immediately vacate the building and find another establishment.

I purchased zipola on Black Friday (victory!) and didn't even get out of bed until 5pm as a result of sleeping, Felicity marathon, Lord of the Rings extravaganza and more sleeping.  Did you hear about the mayhem that ensued at a Walmart here in SoCal?  Some lunatic woman pepper sprayed herself a path to the Xboxes leaving 20 sets of burning eyes in her wake.  Really lady? Really?? And people wonder why I refuse to leave the house.  There's something about Black Friday that has become so distasteful.  People camping out 5 days in advance, stampeding each other for crap they don't need and consuming en masse.  It's kind of gross.

The rest of the weekend went by in a blur of Elf, more Felicity, visits with friends, a closet purge and lazing about on the couch for hours on end.  Somewhere in there I finally managed to leave the house for margaritas and a mini dance-off, but that was it.  Yesterday when tossing out the Bed Bath and Beyond catalog I noticed something I might actually feel like buying:

If I had a Wii this inflatable car might be set up in my living room right now.
Given the hysteria taking place in stores over the next 30 days, however, I will be remaining at home in a mace-free zone, eyeballs and hair safely in my head.  

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Did you take your life into your own hands on Black Friday?  I want the mad details.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This or That: Fisherman Knits

I'm in the market to update my closet with a couple of sweaters for winter, and have 
always been a fan of this style.  Isabel Marant's version is a real beauty, but at a whopping 
(at least for my budget) $775 there's basically no chance of that mother landing in my 
closet anytime soon.  The other day I was out shopping when Alexa Chung's version caught my eye.
It looks pretty close, is cut to hit just at the hip and has a bit of a shrunken fit like so many of 
the cable knits that are out now.  I do believe that was a rhyme.  I scooped up Alexa's version and think 
it'll be cute with shorts and tights or denim and boots.   

What do you think?  Go big or go home?
ps-Madewell has up to 30% off online starting today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Twilight Breaking Dawn: Innocence is Dead

Remember this Edward and Bella?  Well kiss it goodbye.  

On Saturday I ventured out to see a matinee of Twilight:  Breaking Dawn.
And yes I am admitting it despite being moderately horrified.
I've never read the books and only caught the other movies when they hit HBO, but
 found them pretty entertaining despite the cheese factor.  Okay because of the cheese factor.
That being said I was completely caught off guard when Edward decided to chew
the baby out of Bella's womb during childbirth.  I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.
I mean I get that it was a super strength baby and all, but really??
It's been 36 hours since the movie ended and I'm still jacked up.

Did you catch it this weekend?  Thoughts?
And what on earth with the blood shakes?  Gagging.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Man-ize Your Pad

Yesterday I was perusing Gilt Group (read:  screwing around during a conference call) when 
I saw this picture out of the corner of my eye.  Steve McQueen.  Sitting there
all nonchalant, talking on the telephone, cat head calling out to the cat ladies.  
As a cat lover (yes I just used the word cat 3x in close proximity) I'm slightly 
mortified by the skin on the floor, but the overall vibe of the room is pretty spectacular.
This photo was used as an example of how to incorporate masculine elements into your space.

Note to self:  back to scouring flea markets.  

ps-I recently read that McQueen was supposed to be at the Polanski/Tate residence 
on the night Manson and his crazies committed that mass murder.  What a mix of emotions
he must have went through upon learning of the deaths of his friends.  Life is crazy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When All Else Fails Just Wear His Shirt

It's Tuesday night and I'm sitting here wrapped in a blanket listening to the new downstairs neighbors hammer and drill away at the walls at, oh, 10pm.  I just can't win.  Irony struck once again today when I hauled out the vacuum to get my clean on thinking I'd be all productive when, apparently, it blew out the pilot light on the heater.  California:  home of the annoying wall heater.  This is the price you pay if you want to live in a place that has character and doesn't resemble a human filing cabinet.

Note to self:  stock up on sweaters and blankets. Or just stay away from the vacuum?

Why am I not lighting the pilot myself, you ask?  Let's just say I could write a series of short stories on negative experiences with gas (and not the kind that comes from eating beans).  Suffice it to say I once witnessed a man from the gas company come flying out of the floor unit with his pant legs in flames after hearing a very loud bang.  Imagine me beating a stranger with a tea towel.  True story.  Shortly thereafter I discovered 18 months of lethargy was due to a lit-tle carbon monoxide drip that had slowly been killing me.  One of many I've got in my pocket, friends.

How did I get off on this rabbit trail? Can't remember and now have zero segue into an outfit.  Well I do have a coat on, so let's go with that.

On Sunday I hauled out a Mike & Chris (now defunct) leather hoodie I picked up a few years ago on HauteLook.  Prepare for screams from fashion diehards as I confess it's worn primarily with sweats and a t-shirt.  Another true story.  It's a uniform I can't live without:  James Perse sweats pulled up to the knee + one of his t's + the hoodie + flip flops = grocery store, post office, Home Goods, bank errands.  We keep it real over here at the bird.  This means we tell the truth about what we're really wearing daily. And by we I mean me.  *loses it*

For Sunday dinner I managed to amp it up (insert sarcasm) with Current/Elliott denim leggings, one of the Chef's t-shirts and my faithful Joie military boots.  You will note that Sunday's lid resembled a rat's nest.  All I could think about was getting to the Mexican place for margaritas.  My bad.

The whole purpose behind this thing was to say I've basically swiped this t-shirt from the Chef.  After pouring over the closet looking for a shirt I looked down and decided to just wear what I had on which, coincidentally, may or may not have been what I wore to bed the night before?  Can't quite recall, but it would help in carrying on with my whole pajama theme.  HAHAHA!!

ps--if you like the hoodie here's one the former CEO of Mike & Chris has out now. They're really great jackets.

Gotta jet! Chelsea Settles is on! New addiction.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Blur

Saturday found us in a mess of wind, rain and slow a** drivers as a storm rolled 
through Southern California.  We had to meet the designers at the restaurant
rather early (read: before noon which is like 6am to me--sad but true), so I rolled out
of bed and tossed on a grandpa sweater, a pair of jeans and some trusty boots.
Why did I ever leave Seattle again?  

Sample of one of the presentation boards they put together for us.  
After watching this stuff on tv for so many years it's been fun and interesting to watch
these people work their magic to come up with the coolest ideas.
What we have is a bare demo'd room at present, so we're pretty excited to see how it
all comes together. I'll share pictures when it's all finished!

On a random note:  I passed out on the couch pretty early on Friday night only to awake to 
this hot mess staring me in the face around 3am.  
Do the words 'stay out of the water' mean nothing anymore??!?
Disney's Oceans was on and, as someone who is a member of the JAWS generation,
the shark parts hit just a lit-tle too close to home.  Dry land people.  Dry land!!
Needless to say I sat there riveted for the last half of the movie.  
Think deer in the headlights.

You'll notice Instagram has once again dominated the Saturday activities.  Perhaps I'll pull it together enough to locate my real camera at some point this week.  Niiiiiiiice.  Blame it on all the naps I needed to take and movies I needed to watch this weekend. Ha!  What were you up to?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cut a Rug

Last night after the restaurant closed The Chef and I got into a little dance-off.  
I'm not exactly sure who won, but I may or may not have pulled out a few of these moves.   
Every once in awhile you just need to throw caution to the wind and arrive home to the sprinklers going off 
and the neighbors getting up for work.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'll Buy What I Want Thanks. And I'll Wear It, Too.

Cat's in the corner having a snore and I'm trying to pick what to write.  I'm exhausted.  We're all exhausted.  It's Thursday.  Yawwwwwn.

On a bright note I managed to make it outside yesterday and even combed my hair.  Sticking to my apparel conviction of soft, cozy clothes in warm colors I threw on a slip dress. layered a cashmere thermal over top and finished with a military jacket.  I'll never forget buying this jacket at J.Crew in Santa Monica.  The sales guy tried pretty hard to talk me out of it:  it's too big, he said, you're drowwwwning in it.  This was a few years ago before military really made a significant comeback, and I wasn't listening to anything he had to say.  Dude, you're wearing tighter pants than I ever have.  Issues.  Anyway it's one of those purchases I've never regretted and has saved me from multiple 'I don't have anything to wear' moments, making it worth its weight in gold.  

Confession:  I've added a few more lounge pieces to my closet as of late (ahem slip dress) and have been wearing them layered in the outdoors. Yep you read it here first: I'm cavorting about in things that are technically pj's.  No one is any the wiser and I get more than a few compliments.  The way I see it as long as I'm not going to the store in footie pajamas I think we'll all survive. 

~Outfit:  J.Crew-Military Jacket, James Perse-Cotton/Cashmere Thermal
Slip Dress-Pure & Good, Loeffler Randall-Boots, Anthropologie-Sunglasses~
Bracelets:  Motif 56 (here and here), PANYC (similar), and Rosa Loves DC Turquoise Friendship
Necklace:  PANYC

Like that last one?  Imagine someone doing the basketball shuffle all around you while you're trying to walk.  That's the Chef!  He totally gets into the picture thing: lays on the ground, runs around behind trees, cars, garbage cans--you name it, and then when it's all over starts a super crazy shuffle for one last one.  It's freaking hysterical!! 

PS-is anyone else watching Chelsea Settles on MTV?  So good!  Maybe you can catch up this weekend while you're hanging off the couch.  There I go projecting again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Not Really a DIY, But as Close As I'm Going to Get

Late day post today, friends.  Remember last week when I posted those inspiration pics on how I'm hoping to cozy up my place a little? (see here).  Well I realized that the common denominators in those pictures were the color white and fuzzy rugs.  White is my favorite for interiors.  White and wood and leather.  It's a sickness.

Anyway.   As a result of being a primo customer at Martin+Osa I was able to purchase a pair of custom leather chairs when they closed.  See exhibit Before.  I love these babies.  As a denim aficionado the adjustable arms remind me of belts and are particularly dear to me.  They've even retained remnants of that wonderful M+O store smell.  Sigh.  Oh Martin+Osa: how I miss you.  Back to the matter at hand.  On Saturday I decided to take my life in my own hands aka go to Ikea in the middle of the afternoon (damn fool) to scoop up a few more sheepskin rugs.  At the time I did not know I would be flinging them haphazardly over one of my leather chairs, but ta-da!  Gotta say I'm pretty happy with the outcome.  In fact giddy may be a fair description of how I feel when walking by the guest bedroom and peeking in.

Why the guest bedroom you ask?  I can't say for sure, but there is something 'official' about that room.  It gets the warmest afternoon light and is the perfect place to cuddle up and read a book--and the chair just compounds that feeling.  You'll notice I've not shown the rest of the room?  That's because Operation:  Bedding, Draperies and Floor Covering are still underway.  Wish me luck!

Note:  It's been some time since I perused an Ikea on a Saturday afternoon.  If you are like me I have a piece of advice.  SELF CHECK-OUT.  All the other inconsiderate patrons wait in the standard check-out lines while their ignorant family members shop it up and then JUST as you're about to be the next person in line you'll notice their cell phones light up.  Suddenly it's like a swarm of bees as all the family members come flying out of nowhere and there are now 14 people in front of you instead of just the nice granny and her daughter who were posing as one transaction.  True story.  Did not have a happy ending for the Ikea checker either.  The End.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adding Time

Yesterday I found myself wishing that we could add an hour to our day everyday. Then I realized that would likely mean another hour of work each day and quickly nixed the idea, but it was fun while it lasted.  Sunday morning we awoke to a steady rain and chilly temperatures.  Pardon me while I sink back under the covers after racing down the hall to start the kettle for morning tea.  The Chef had a leisurely surprise date day planned for us and all I had to do was decide what to wear.  Good thing I made that plan last week, right? HA!

After a light snack we set out for LA to take in a lengthy brunch at one of our old fave spots.  Why is it that afternoon cocktails taste particularly divine on the weekend?  And why do you suppose it is that time seems to move so much more quickly when you're doing just what you'd like to?  Things to ponder now that Monday is upon us yet again.  Oh to be mid-afternoon yesterday...the work week still in the distance, crisp breeze in my hair, warm movie theatre calling our names.

  Rainy morning gave way to clear skies by early afternoon.
Short lived.
Perfect weather for lounging the day away over a menu of favorites.
Closed out the day with warm rays in the cool air.  
It's officially sweater weather!

Last night we caught Martha Marcy May Marlene starring Elizabeth Olsen (Mary Kate and Ashley's sister in case you're unaware).  All I can say is:  mind-bender.  I don't want to give it away, but highly recommend that you see it if you haven't already.  It's an intense story and the acting is really good.  I left the theatre feeling disturbed, somewhat bewildered and with wheels turning.  Perfect movie if you're in the mood for something a little darker.

Confession:  My workload is super demanding right now and it's tough for me to blog daily + work 10+ hours + find some sort of balance so if you're still reading along I appreciate you hanging in there with me.  If I don't return comments daily it's not because I don't care, and wanted to be sure to mention that.  I am still visiting your blogs, but can't always comment as often as I'd like.  Being a grown-up is not all it's cracked up to be...bills. Argh.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Winds are Blowing

I've decided to basically wave the bird to most of the 80's and 90's fashions littering up stores at present.  Not all, but most.  You know I've been going off about what's available, or shall I say unavailable, for awhile and I'm pretty much over myself and my inability to get motivated to get dressed.  I mean let's face it: sweats and a t-shirt can only last so long, even for me (totally lying to myself).  One day last week I saw a pile of clothes lying on my bed--all soft tones--and it donned on me:  just wear what you want already.  Quit your friggin' whining and make a plan.  So here's the beginning of my plan:  soft fabrics in warm colors, loungy dresses, cushy sweaters, mixed with denim and boots.  That's all I've got so far, but at least I'm no longer in my pj's staring into the closet in a trance.

This weekend I did some window shopping and hit a few jackpots, one in particular at Madewell (I go through phases where I seriously love everything in that store).   Very rarely is there ever a dress left in my size once sale hits, but this time I was in luck.  Eventually I'll get to wear it with the scarf and some otk striggings, but this time the scarf only made it through the pictures before the 80 degree weather sent it flying into the back of the car as we sped off.  I can't complain too much -- it'll be cold all winter so might as well enjoy it while it lasts!

Exhibit A: le scarf.
Exhibit B:  the fall outfit complete with scarf.
Boots--rediscovered during a closet dive last year.  Sometimes it pays to hang onto things.
Sans scarf displaying one of my fave Melinda Maria necklaces (here in gold).
~Details:  J.Crew-Denim Jacket, Madewell-Dress, Cordani-Boots, Tolani-Scarf~

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Updating Your Space

I spend an inordinate amount of time at home because I work here, and that makes things tough on a lot of different levels.  For instance it's Wednesday and I will not leave the house yet again today due to insane workload.  Even though I may be confined to my office, I still like to emerge at end of day and feel refreshed.  That can be difficult when I'm still in the same space, in the same sweats I may or may not have rolled out of bed in in the morning, with the same tossed up lid.

Often this really is the case, so I've made some adjustments recently to help break up my day a little.  For instance I've adopted a work wardrobe for around the house that is not entirely sweats, I take tea breaks in the morning and afternoon where I at least sit on the deck for 10 or 15 minutes, and am now considering how to make a few changes/additions/furniture moves around the house to help keep it fresh.

These peaceful rooms are right up my alley.  Here's hoping I can figure out a way to incorporate their vibe into my place.   I could really use some ommmmmmmm in my life right about now.
Might be able to work all day and night in this space.
But if not, would be happy to retire in a bedroom like this one.  sigh
Fluff.  White fluff.  My favorite.

How do you give your living spaces simple updates to keep them fresh and comfy?  Thoughts especially welcome due to brain drain on the work front.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Haiku Winner!

Sorry this post is so late in the day...STILL at work, but wanted to give you the 411 on the Haiku book.

Our winner is Allison Kennedy.
It seems the stars aligned given the date she described in her comment. 
Allison, I'll send you an email to get your address.  
May the book light your way...haha! Congrats!


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