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New York, New York
I enjoy simple things: solitude, cheap sheet cake, and sunlight. I also believe that white is, in fact, a color. Bring me fresh flowers and we can be friends.

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April 29, 2011

Fettuccine you can afford to eat

Do yourself a favor.

{shirataki noodles}
Pick this up next time you're at the grocery store.
 I get mine at Fairway.  Its an amazing pasta substitute -- mostly because it's not pasta.  Tofu Shirataki is made from Konnyau root (from the yam family) and tofu and is extremely similar to pasta.  The only difference is that it's only 20 calories per 4 oz serving, has 3 grams of carbs per serving, no cholesterol, sugar, gluten, or dairy. Its maaaagic pasta.

I usually throw this into vegetable broth when I am lazy and craving some Ramen, but I saw this Hungry Girl recipe for "Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo" (ha) and thought, "I used to LOVE fettuccine".... until one day my mom informed me I might as well be eating a plate of pasta tossed in lard with a hint of garlic. Buzz. Kill. 

I obviously altered the recipe to my liking, but you can make it work with whatever you have in the fridge.

Ingredients:
1 package of fettuccine shaped Shirataki noodles
Green Zucchini
1 wedge of Light Swiss Laughing Cow cheese
Onion
Parmesan cheese
Fresh Garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper

I will warn you that Shirataki noodles do NOT smell good, and are a little bit slimy in consistency.  The noodles are packaged in a fishy-smelling liquid, and need to be thoroughly rinsed and dried.  If you don't like the slimy-ness, just add a little corn starch to dry up the noodles.


{rinse well}


 
{sautee}


 
{indulge}



Cheesy Heaven!
April 27, 2011

Mid-Week Chuckle

Discovered this at 5:18 today in a disorganized closet at work. Needless to say, I laughed my way out the door.



I would like to applaud whoever did this on their great organizational skills and extreme productivity. Time well spent. Bravo.


Sorry for the blur, but I was trying to be stealth with my phone..
April 26, 2011

Green Monster

I am not, nor do I think I will ever be vegan, but ever since I discovered the blog Oh She Glows and all the vegan recipes (including my favorite sweet potato and black bean salad recipe) posted by Angela Liddon, I've been hooked on Green Monster smoothies. You can visit the Green Monster Movement website for some recipe ideas, but making up your own concoction as you go is my favorite thing to do. 

I was so surprised at how tasty and naturally sweet these smoothies are.  I never really expected leafy greens to blend so well.  I wake up an hour earlier than I have to just so I can sit around and eat my breakfast, but a green monster is the perfect thing for mornings when I sleep in a bit too long and need to grab something on the go.  I just pour it into a travel mug and I'm ready!

{ingregients}






{blend}



{blend until smooth}




{heaven in a glass}


I should probably learn how to take visually appealing pictures of food...

My favorite smoothie:
1 cup vanilla almond milk
ice
1 cup baby spinach
1 pear
1 ripe banana
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
honey


I promise if you make it once you will make one every day!
April 25, 2011

Anemone

My jewelery collection has gotten pretty bland lately.  I used to have a ton of weird stuff until I started getting real jewelery for birthdays and graduations and felt obligated to wear them all the time.  I was looking for a new cuff to add to my rotation when I came across Anemone's shop on Etsy.









She is based in Israel and all of her pieces are handmade and feature clean and natural shapes.  Something I could definitely wear with anything.

The Cleopatra cuff is my favorite. 

Thoughts?









April 22, 2011

Furniture Friday

A couple of weeks ago, I told my friends I didn't want to spend a weekend at our alma mater because I didn't want to spend the money on a hotel in the hood. This would have probably costed me about $30 max.

Instead, I spent the weekend at home with my mother.  I should have known better because by the time I got back to the city on Friday, I had spent over $1000, and had no new clothes OR shoes to show for it. 

I do have this to show for it:










I'll call it a sideboard. We saw it at Homegoods and were both obsessed. It's made out of metal and really pretty heavy but it was the perfect size  for the wall across from my dinner table!

The story sounds really happy, but getting this thing into my apartment was not so easy.  Homegoods does not deliver furniture, so my mom and dad tried to do me a favor and fit it into an SUV, but were not so successful.  The sideboard is BIG. It measures 76" x 20" x 31".

After a few angry words about thinking about how I am going to get furniture into my apartment before I purchase it (did I mention I bought a couch that wouldn't fit through my doorway?), my dad left it up to me to figure it out. 
I'd like to say I rose to the challege.

Enter the Craig's List Killer.
He wasn't a killer--but he could have been. I found a random guy with a van to deliver the sideboard.  All I had was faith in humanity and a nice employee at Homegoods who took down his information incase he took my beautiful sideboard and never showed up at my door.

Stats:
Sideboard (+tax): $641.99
Craigs List Killer: $100
Porter's tip: $20
TOTAL: $761.99

Depending on who you are, you might think this is a steal for a sturdy, well-made piece of furniture. I personally cringe over the thoughts of what I could have bought and where I could have gone with that money, but I really love it and have some great ideas on how to decorate it.

All I can say is whoever I marry better like it, because it's a lifetime investment.


April 21, 2011

Fresh Flowers or Food?

Fresh flowers. Every time.
I am still trying to figure out where I can get some fresh flowers in NYC without spending half my grocery money.  Seriously, somebody help me out.  I usually buy my flowers at Trader Joe's while I'm grocery shopping, and they're pretty reasonably priced (for NYC).  I think a bunch of ranunculus go for $5.99.  Granted, they're usually already opened and don't last more than three or four days.

I got to TJ's late this week and the flower selection was pretty wiped out, so I was left with my "flowering branches" from last week.  In reality, they're not "flowering branches" but more like sticks I could have gathered outside FO FREE. 

On Saturday in the pouring rain I got the itch for flowers and ran to the closest corner bodega to pick some up. I grabbed some quickly because it was raining, and anyone who knows me knows I get an insta-afro in the rain.







They look really pretty, don't they?  I mean they're pretty, but I know how to use my aperture settings and I snapped these pictures Sunday morning with good light. I actually hate them now because Saturday night I was catching up on my blogs and read a post on Heart of Light about how she "splurged" on THREE bouquets of ranunculus and spent $9.00!!

I beg you to GUESS how much I spent at the stupid corner bodega for 8 STEMS (yes, I counted them after I read her post).

$8.00!! I spent $1 on every weed of a flower in the measly bouquet that was too small to go in my regular mason jar.  I almost want to bring them back. What do you think the policy is on returning fresh flowers to a corner bodega?

Seriously considering getting a Tax ID number as a florist so I can get some wholesale deals..
April 20, 2011

Cake Pops

This is the last glorious dessert I baked before I went home for a weekend and my mother staged an intervention to point out that my tendency to bake desserts for no specific reason could be directly correlated to my rounding face and muffin top.  But that's what moms are for - apathetically pointing out when you're getting past "plump" and encouraging you to spend hundreds of dollars on furniture, right? Right.

If I had to choose a last dessert, this would have been it anyway. These cake pops are AMAZING simply because they combine my favorite things: cheap frosting and boxed cake. We may not have executed them properly, and the sticks may not have stayed on, but it doesn't matter... you don't eat the stick anyway, duh.

I found the recipe on Vanilla Sugar while drooling over some other treats. Ours didn't exactly look as cute, but they tasted absolutely phenomenal.

 {bake a regular cake}


 {get messy and mash the frosting and cake together}

 {form munchkin sized balls}


{dip the sticks into chocolate and stick halfway into the cake balls}


{prepare your toppings}


 {sprinkles, nerds, and coconut}


{do your thing}


{cake pop portrait #1}


{cake pop portrait #2}

Glorious.
April 19, 2011

Vanity at a Vanity

I don't think I knew what a vanity was before I met my BFF Caitie in college. She's so vain, she needed a table specifically to stare at herself. JK, because she always looked clean and I didn't, so I need one now too (Hi CH I love you!). My apartment has a little nook between my so-called bedroom and my bathroom that the floor plan labeled a "dressing closet". Not sure what that's supposed to mean, but I made it my vanity nook. I spend approximately 4 minutes sitting there in the morning putting on makeup and about 15 minutes trying (and usually failing) to do something presentable with the dirty lion's mane that keeps growing on my head.

The nook measures 35" wide by 28" deep and I spent weeks looking for a little table to fit in there. I finally found a decently plain table from a furniture dealer on eBay that fit my under $200 budget.  I can't say I love it, but since I moved in, the nook has looked like this:

{before}

Don't mind the gross floor, I'm taking care of that soon- Lumber Liquidators to the rescue! 

Basically the nook looked like a 4th grader's dress up table, which it kind of is because I don't know how to apply makeup, but I'm trying to be mature here.  So, like most 24 year olds living in Manhattan, I spent Saturday night watching Erin Brockovich on Lifetime, spray painting an old mirror, and disassembling a vanity table.


{placement - note Julia Roberts in the reflection}

With the ugly mini mirror and space sucking drawers removed from the table, the nook already looked bigger and less cluttered. I measured where the center of the wall was and the appropriate height of the mirror on the wall so that I could still stare at myself while sitting at the vanity.  Then, I got to spray painting with some high gloss white spray paint (with all the windows open, of course).


{white mirror}

I'm so happy with the result! It's feels airy and light and I have a lot more tabletop space.  I eventually will figure how how to organize my stuff so it doesn't look as messy, but that's not the point of this post.


{please my SICK chandelier I snagged at the flea market last spring for $80}


I had initially planned on painting the table and reupholstering the stool. I'm not sure what changes I'll make, because I haven't come up with the perfect idea yet, but some new knobs are definitely in order.
April 18, 2011

Room of the Day

I like anything that makes a statement in a space.


I can't remember where I grabbed this picture from but that mirror RULEZ (so do those chesterfield sofas - a personal favorite). 

My question is: how did that thing fit through the door?  I'm sure the fact that that question comes to mind makes my parents very happy (hi mom and dad!), as there is an enormous antique couch sitting in the middle of their living room in Jersey because I realized it wouldnt fit through the doorway of my apartment.... after I already bought it.

Oops. My B. 
Sometimes you just have to learn things the hard way right?? 

Light Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

These muffins are so moist and rich and are only 142 calories!


I made them one night after dinner to satisfy a sweet tooth.  I ended up freezing them and bringing one to work with me as a treat during the day!

I followed this recipe, but replaced the buttermilk with nonfat plain yogurt and used whole wheat flour.

Ingredients:
low fat cream cheese
butter
sugar
vanilla extract
eggs
flour
baking powder
baking soda
salt
non-fat plain yogurt
fresh or frozen raspberries
chopped walnuts












So good!
April 15, 2011

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

Holy cow! This stuff is good. I don't mean its "kind-of-healthy-so-I'll-eat-it-and-pretend-I'm-satisfied-because-I-know-I-should-be" good, I mean "I-ate-this-for-lunch-and-dinner-the-last-two-days-and-will-continue-for-the-next-two-days" good.



The best part about the recipe is that all the ingredients are staples that I always have in my kitchen, so I never have to go to the store when I crave it!

Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
3 sweet potatoes
onion
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
2 garlic cloves
lime juice
cumin
black beans
avocado
cilantro

*I altered the original recipe by reducing the amount of olive oil and adding avocado!

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. After sprinkling with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper,  bake chopped sweet potato and onion for 30 minutes.  I like to toss the vegetables halfway through to make sure they cook evenly.  If they haven't cooked in 30 minutes, I'll toss again and bake a little longer until the sweet potato is tender and slightly browned around the edges.

2. While the veggies are baking, mince two cloves of garlic, and mix in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, kosher salt, 3-4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, minced cilantro, and cumin to taste. 

3. Strain 1 can of black beans and rinse.  Mix black beans and 1 chopped avocado into the dressing in a large bowl. 

4. Once veggies are baked and cooled, mix them into the large bowl and mix.

Serve warm right away, and then put the rest into a Tupperware for lunch the next day, it tastes great cold too!

 The salad is starchy enough to leave you full and hold you over for hours.  It's savory and hits the spot every time. I can't tell when I will get tired of eating it twice a day every day, but the end does not look very near.

Seriously, why didn't anyone tell me about cumin earlier?  I blame my dad.  Although an amazing cook, he NEVER shares his secrets, even with me! Any time you ask what is in a dish, his answer is "nothing, salt and pepper". Clearly, this is not true. After spending months cooking my dishes with only salt and pepper, my taste buds are exposed to a whole new world. I see an obsession with spices happening, fast.
April 8, 2011

Lately

A glimpse into my latest inspirations!


Love the statement this oversized mirror makes in a small space.



I'm totally bedazzling my old pair of black jeans the next chance I get.  I just need a bedazzler. Can you still buy one of those? Or was that a one hit wonder circa Christmas 1992?
 

Two of my favorite things: white and animal heads.



I love cupcakes. I don't even think they're the best tasting dessert; they're just so charming. Here's why!



So many things I love are going on in this room: exposed brick, natural wood floor, white, bright light, bold pops of color, ceiling beams, and a glitzy chandelier.  I love how the space is industrial and lofty but the decor is so.... pink. When did I turn so girly?



Got to get to a Home Depot A.S.A.P. I want to make a ton of these.



Can't wait to add my own recipe to The Green Monster Movement! Check it out - you'll be hooked.


The contrast in style between in the mirrors and the table is so appealing.  Those keys make me happy too.  I'm keeping my eyes open at the flea market for a wire basket for the top of my new side table (that I will share once it is actually IN my apartment!)


My missing closet staple: a light and easy gingham button down.



I love the idea of a bar cart and I want one in my apartment even though it’s only me and I don’t have a need for that much liquor. Maybe more people will come visit??


Happy Friday!