I'm not really into Reality TV shows but Hell's Kitchen is one I've really gotten into. The show starts with a group of cooks divided into teams and they have to do dinner service at Gordon Ramsay 's Hell's Kitchen. Things get really intense. Chef Ramsay demands excellence and all the while he's yelling, cussing, throwing food, and throwing cooks out of the kitchen. Ramsay is an amazing Chef and even though he loves to scream and yell, cooking with him is an honor...which is why these poor people subject themselves to this stuff. Teams that win get amazing prizes, spa days, helicopter rides, knife and pots and pans sets, while the losers get to clean and prep kitchens, pick up litter off the side of the road, and other wonderful things like that. The last cook standing gets to be head chef at an amazing restaraunt. Last year's winner, Dave Levey , got to head the Araxi Restaurant during the 2010 Winter Olympics. This season's winner will head the Savoy Grill in London. Watch a 2 hour show tonight on Fox 8EST/7Central.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Antique malls, flea markets, and second hand shops have the greatest finds. If you have any sort of taste for vintage style, these places will become your best friends. Find a great antique mall and it'll be your go to place if you want to find some inexpensive accessories and knickknacks for your home, if you need a place to spend a rainy or snowy day, or if you just want to go wander around for some inspiration or alone time. Good Juju is an amazing market full of great finds from all eras. Unfortunately, it's only open the first weekend of the month, Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, and Sunday 12pm-4pm. It is such a fun place but, since its only open for a short time, there is often a crowd so get there early! Located in the West Bottoms at 1412 W. 12th street, get there this weekend for some great finds! Vintage Market is located in Zona Rosa and is open seven days a week. Its a little more girly but also has great prices and amazing finds. Jewelry, clothing, furniture, pictures, tons of great stuff and girly fun! Parkville Antique Mall is a hidden treasure, located in English Landing Center, right by the park, you can spend a whole day in this place. Really great deals and tons of booths, if you haven't been there check it out. I found some great stuff to furnish my new apartment! River Market Antique Mall is another place you could get lost in. Four floors of stuff to rummage around in, you will be thoroughly worn out after a trip here. Shopping second hand is great. The stuff you find is higher quality than anything made today, you won't end up with the same stuff that all your friends have because its totally unique, and its a form of recycling, instead of buying new stuff made from new materials, you are finding great stuff that already has a story and life behind it.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Everyone has movies that they watch over and over again. These movies are the "chick flick" movies that I discovered when I was a teenager and really spoke to me. I love to watch these movies on snowy winter days, days when I want to hide out and knit, I like to play them in the background while I clean the house, or just when I have alone time and want to hang out by myself. Fried Green Tomatoes , based on the novel by Fannie Flagg starring Jessica Tandy , Kathy Bates , Mary Stuart Masterson , and Mary Louise Parker , is an awesome story about best friends, finding yourself, and family. While it is kind of a chick flick, it still has a really good story, a murder mystery, and a loving community in the 1920s south. It is sad yet joyful and so inspiring. Foxfire is one of Angelina Jolie's first movies, released in 1996 and loosely based on Joyce Carol Oats novel by the same name, this movie is about a sort of sisterhood bond between a group of girls who beat up a teacher who sexually harasses female students. It has a great 90s Grunge soundtrack and also stars Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and supermodel Jenny Shimizu. I think this movie genuinely changed my life. Angelina Jolie's character hitches rides from town to town and thinks for herself. I wouldn't have been the same pain in the ass teenager without this movie! How To Make an American Quilt stars Winona Ryder (I miss her, why'd she have to steal those damn socks?!), Maya Angelou , Ellen Burstyn , and Anne Bancroft . This movie is about a group of women in a quilting circle who advise Winona Ryder, who is about to get married, about being true to herself. They each share their stories about finding their soul mates. It is sad, real, lovely, and funny. If there are any of these movies you haven't seen, add them to your queue!
I grew up with the Toy Story movies and when I heard they were making a third one, I got really excited! I went to see it last night and it was just as great as the other two. It was hilarious, bittersweet, and a little heartbreaking. It made me want to go home and hug the teddy bear I've had for 24 years.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I'm honestly almost speechless when I try to talk about Led Zeppelin because I love them so much. I don't really know exactly what it is, because it's such a mix of everything. That amazing voice, that incredible guitar. Amazing and Incredible shouldn't even be words to describe them because they do not even approach how great Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are together. I can't really say what my favorite song by them is, but I must confess I get cravings to hear When The Levee Breaks like some get cravings for Thai Food. Sometimes I feel like I cannot live another day until I hear that song again. I just listened to it four times in a row. There is something that happens when I hear Led Zeppelin. I cannot sit still, my heart starts fluttering, the music is so electrifying, so creative and unique, and so full of passion, its almost as if I have to stop what I'm doing no matter what so I can appreciate the song that's playing. I don't know if there ever has been or ever will be as great of a rock band than Led Zeppelin. This may sound really cheesy, but my one of the best things I've heard about Led Zeppelin came from That 70's Show . Someone asked Hyde why he always wore a Led Zeppelin T-shirt and he replied "If God didn't want me to wear this t-shirt so much, he wouldn't have made them rock so hard." Amen.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I think I could maybe live off smoothies. KC Juice is one place I love to go for really good ones, made with real fruit. They have quite a large menu, but I seem to always go for the Triathlon, a great mix of mango, raspberry, and peach, among others. They also offer chocolaty flavors, coffee flavors, and vegetable juices. Add a shot of wheatgrass to your juice or smoothie. If you buy a 24 oz smoothie, they give a 10% discount to students, Westport merchants, people who work in the health field, and those with memberships to the gym or health clubs. They are located at 4141 Pennsylvania Ave. in the Westport district of Kansas City, go grab a smoothie for a great summer lunch! Also, become a fan on facebook!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Its the first official day of summer. For me, and most of us who live in the United States, summer starts on Memorial Day. For ancient civilizations all over the world, today is the day! Here's a picture of Stonehenge, the ancient monument where people in England gather to celebrate summer and winter solstices. The longest day of the year, June 21st is the day for all kinds of festivals, bonfires, courting rituals, flower gathering, and other spiritual and fun activities. So go outside, strip down naked, and dance around the bonfire...or, just get together with some friends, make some sangria and toast to wonderful summer!
photo credit: Andrew Dunn
Friday, June 18, 2010
Last night I walked down the street to chocolatier Christopher Elbow 's new ice cream shop. Quite possibly the most interestingly delicious treat I've had...well, possibly ever. With unique flavors that are great on their own or mixed with different combinations, I know I will be a regular there this summer. Last night I sampled a Basil-Lime which was like a party in my mouth but, I decided on a combination of French Lavender and Goat Cheese with Wildflower Honey. That's right, goat cheese in ice cream. I think I died and went to heaven. As someone who would put goat cheese on everything, even I wouldn't have thought to make it into ice cream. They have some other great flavors. Chris sampled Peanut Butter and Jelly but decided on Salty Pretzel with Vietnamese Cinnamon. There is also Cilantro Pineapple, Caramelized Banana, and Sweet Corn among others. Located at 4960 Main Street, just south of the Plaza (hey, that's right next door to Spin!) Come and see me, get some delicious pizza, and head next door to try these amazing ice cream flavors!
picture via: Ink www.inkkc.com
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I love etsy but, my friend shared this link with me today and I was dying laughing with every click of my mouse. Regretsy highlights the wacky stuff that winds up on etsy that just doesn't make much sense. They call it "DIY meets WTF." April Winchell actually has made a compilation in book form to showcase some of these creations. The blog is really where its at!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I love Martha Stewart . My mom is wonderful and keeps renewing my subscription every year for Christmas. Martha's website is awesome too. So many great ideas for decorating, baking, gardening, and organizing. I really want to make these, tye-dye pops. try the recipe!
Blending yogurt with lemon juice results in an airy mixture that is more delicious when frozen. If fruit is not ripe, add 1/2 cup orange juice to the puree.
Blackberry Tie-Dye Pops
Makes 1 dozen 1/2-cup pops
9 ounces (1 1/2 pints) blackberries
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
32 ounces low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
1. Place 7 1/2 ounces blackberries in a food processor. Process until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve into a glass measure. (You should have 1/2 cup puree.) Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice; set aside.
2. Blend yogurt with remaining tablespoon lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
3. Layer each 1/3-cup pop mold with yogurt and puree, adding rest of berries along the way. Swirl mixtures together with knife.
4. Let freeze 25 minutes, then insert wooden pop sticks halfway and freeze overnight. Pops will keep, frozen, for at least 3 weeks.
Plum or Raspberry Tie-Dye Pops
Makes 1 dozen 1/2-cup pops
1 pound black or red plums, pits removed, cut into pieces, or 3 pints raspberries
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
32 ounces low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
1. Place plums or 2 1/2 pints raspberries in blender or food processor. Pulse briefly, then puree until nearly liquid, about 1 minute.
For plum pops: pass puree through large-mesh sieve to remove skin.
For raspberry pops: Pass puree through a very fine sieve to remove seeds; you should end up with 1/2 cup. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
2. Blend yogurt with remaining tablespoon lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
3. Layer each 1/3-cup pop mold with yogurt and puree, adding rest of raspberries along the way. Swirl mixtures together with knife.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
If you have any interest in literature, theather, or just sitting in a park on a warm summer evening, you should check out the Mid America Shakespeare Festival right here in Kansas City. Every year actors come out and perform one of Shakespeare's plays for a few weeks over the summer. This year they are putting on Richard III from June 15 (that's tonight!)-July 3 in Southmoreland Park (that's right across Cleaver Blvd. from the Nelson-Atkins art museum.) Purchase reserved seats for $20 or bring a blanket and sit on the fringes for free. There are snacks and drinks for sale at the park or bring a picnic and make a night of free fun! visit www.kcshakes.org for more information.
Monday, June 14, 2010
I saw these rings on etsy today and i thought they were really cute. stackable initial rings made by Tinahdee ! You could wear one for yourself, your honey, your kids, or if your name is short enough, you could even spell it out! She has lots of other beautiful rings and bracelets in her shop. check it out!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I don't know how many people know this but, bananas are the saints of the fruit family. Bananas are full of tons of important vitamins like A, B complex, Riboflavin, Niacin, and of course Potassium. Its also full of protein and good carbs. Surprisingly, Bananas will help cure many ailments from Anemia to Hangovers to Morning Sickness to Ulcers. Have heartburn? eat a banana! Have PMS? eat a banana! you can even rub the inside of the banana skin on a mosquito bite and it will reduce the swelling and irritation. This wonder-fruit is inexpensive, delicious, and good in any kind of smoothy. If you want to learn more about bananas and their benefits or recipes that include them, visit bananas.com ! Here's to bananas!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I'm a bit of a dork and, I will admit that there are a lot of books aimed at teens that I really love at the age of 27. With all the adult hype over the Twilight series and such, I know I'm not alone. I really love these books, the Girlosophy series that are written by Anthea Paul. So far there are nine books in the series (four of which I own) and they are all full of good advice, real girls and women, true stories, and wonderfully colorful pictures. My favorite is A Soul Survival Kit but they have some other great titles including The Love Survival Kit, How To Write Your Own Life, Real Girls Eat, and The Oracle, among others. I wish I would have had books like these when I was 15 because they do not just scratch the surface. They give actually useful information, advice, and inspiration that stems from a soul level. Paul wants girls to focus on what is real, feeling comfortable in their own skin instead of finding the right bag to carry with the right shoes. At any age, Girlosophy is one to live by.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I found this recipe for an Air Mail Cocktail and I think it sounds unbelievably refreshing and delicious. I wish I was sitting by the pool sipping one right now.
chilled wine glass
2 ounces Mount Gay Special Reserve White Rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounces honey syrup*
2 to 3 ounces well chilled sparkling wine, such as Prosecco
Add the rum, lime juice and honey syrup to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Pour into wine glass and top with sparkling wine.
With all the orange foundation, black eyeliner, and gloppy mascara out there, natural looking make up is something I celebrate. Women look so much better when they wash their faces clean and apply just a little mascara, some moisturizer, and lipgloss. In the summer months who really wants all that makeup on anyway? I find I sweat most of mine off during the day no matter what brand I wear. This month in Real Simple , they have a great tutorial on how to apply barely there makeup. Lets all take a tip from Kate Winslet, who was voted Ultimate Natural Beauty , beating out Audrey Hepburn who held that title for decades. Less Is More.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Since I went to Italy and saw everyone and their mom riding around on scooters, motorcycles, and the like, I've had Vespa on the brain. I really want one but, I'm a poor college student about to move into a new apartment so, I have to save my money for deposits and rent instead. So sad because I can imagine buzzing around Kansas City on one of these, saving money on gas, reducing my carbon emissions, and looking really freakin' cool. Don't you love the scene in Roman Holiday when Audrey Hepburn gets Gregory Peck on the back of that Vespa and they're zooming around Rome like crazy? Love it. Someday....someday.
Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I didn't hear about this brand until today. I got this great catalog from Athleta in my mailbox for the first time (some people think their junk mail, I adore catalogs) and I've looked at it about seven times already. Created by the Gap Corporation, this sportswear is amazing! They have everything from dresses and skirts to yoga wear to runner's wear to bathing suites designed for surfers. Not only are their clothes really cute with great designs, their models make me want to get off my butt (which I've been sitting on way too much) and go running, or play tennis, or go swimming, or learn to surf, or go for a bike ride, or do some yoga, or hike a trail...the list goes on and on. No skinny models here, you can tell these chicks are active and they look genuinely happy. While I'm trying to curb my spending right now, I'm having a lot of fun looking through this catalog.
correction 6/8/2010: It was brought to my attention that Athleta was not created by The Gap corporation but was bought by them about a year ago. Thanks for the info!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Lately I've been on the look out for great vintage rhinestone clip on earrings. Luckily, they can be found at a lot of flea markets. I bought my first pair for $6 at an antique store in Weston, Missouri and found two other pair for great prices too (one pair was only $4!) I like stuff like this because they can really glam up otherwise blah outfits, (I like to wear mine with a simple black t-shirt, cute jeans and flats) or they add a great touch when you're dressed to the nines.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I was born in the wrong era. There really aren't really any celebrities these days that I crush on. Maybe its from all those years growing up watching old TV shows, but I prefer men from the 1960s and before. There is a certain j'ne sais quoi from these men that makes my heart flutter still. I can't even say anything about this picture of Paul Newman...just savor it. Gregory Peck as well, he may be the most gorgeous man who ever lived. Roman Holiday was the first movie I saw him in and I didn't want to get up once because I couldn't take my eyes off of him. The young Dick Van Dyke has been a crush for me since I was about 10. For me, he has the whole package, funny, a good dancer, charming, dresses well, and he was so sweet to Laura on the Dick Van Dyke Show. While there are other actors out there who may be sex symbols for this generation, these guys were beyond that. Classy, cool, charming, and talented, they just don't make 'em like that anymore.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Everyone should read Wendy Shalit's book The Good Girl Revolution. It is a refreshing take on modern feminism shown from a totally new angle. Shalit's book explores how modesty is the new rebellion for young women. While Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus are dancing on stripper poles for their 12 year old audiences, these real life girls are combating the sexualized image of women in a truly original way. Being the "bad girl" isn't a big deal anymore, its being wholesome and setting high standards that's genuinely shocking. Shalit interviews girls and young women ages 12 to 28 and the results are a breath of fresh air. Check this out at your local library and visit her blog. It truly is the revolution we've needed.
Friday, June 4, 2010
I burn, then I peel, then I'm back to being white again. I was lucky enough to be on a boat twice in two weeks after not setting foot on one in about two years. Unfortunately, both times I didn't slather enough sunscreen on and have been recovering from pretty brutal burns for the last week or so. So now I'm obsessed not only with sunscreen (bought some Aveeno SPF 70 the other day) but with finding a great floppy hat to wear as well. I like all four of these, and I'll probably just end up with a plain one like the one on top I found on the J. Crew website but I'm also digging this stripped one from American Eagle . I like the simple detail as well, but this last one is just drop dead gorgeous and if I had $165 to drop on a hat, I'd spend it in a heartbeat on this bottom one, also from J. Crew. It might look great to have a tan but, for me its next to impossible plus the whole lines, wrinkles, and skin cancer thing really makes having a tan a lot less glam. These hats are definitely more alluring.
I don't know what its like where you live but here in the middle of the country we're experiencing our first summer sweltering heat wave. It is unbearable already and all I can think about is laying by the pool, swimming in the lake, and sipping some tasty summer beverage (Gin and Tonics anyone?) I am so happy that these vintage inspired bathing suites are so easy to find now. I fell in love with this top one from Anthropologie , it reminds me of 1930s Atlantic City, the next one you can order from Mod Cloth and is so 1950s pin-up. The third is from J. Crew and i love the color, such a modern take on the vintage classic. You can find tons of high waisted two pieces, one piece suites with boy cut legs or hip-covering ruching. These suites are classic, modest yet sexy, and you'll be totally comfortable wearing them in front of your boyfriend's parents.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
While I was over in Italy, one of the highlights of my trip was staying at this gorgeous apartmen t. Located just outside of the wonderful town of Pontassieve in Tuscany, this place was exactly what I was looking for. It was just outside Florence and we rode the train into Florence one day. We had planned on going again but loved this place so much we decided to hang out here instead. I found it on homeaway and it was everything I hoped for. The apartment we rented is one of five on the property. This building was a watchtower that was built in the 16th century, it overlooks vineyards, olive tree groves, and the town, nestled between the mountains. I stayed in the studio apartment which was the perfect size, it had a bed, a bathroom with a great shower (which was well appreciated after hostel showers, train rides, and dragging my suitcase all over town), a small kitchenette, and a terrace with a wonderful view. I absolutely loved the town itself too, if you don't mind walking you can get to the town in about 45 minutes or less (we did stop to take lots of pictures.) We felt truly immersed in Italian culture, we were the only tourists there, we hung out outside the cafe on the square and watched as the kids got out of school, the people got off work, and the old men gathered to talk and watch the bike races inside. Everyone was very friendly and we really enjoyed our time there. Jane, the lovely woman who owns the property with her husband was a wonderful host and went out of her way to make us feel comfortable. She has the sweetest daughter, Vita, who was a joy to talk to and Peggy the cat, who made appearances and really made me feel at home. If you get the chance to go to Tuscany, this is the place to stay, wonderfully priced, homey and clean, you'll never want to leave!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I am lucky enough to have a family who built a cabin by Lake Okoboj i in northwestern Iowa. My Grandpa, uncles, and some friends of the family all put in a lot of time and muscle to build our well loved cabin. Although not all of us get up there as much as we'd like, anytime we're there we have the best time. For Grandma's birthday that's where we held the festivities. We went out on the boat, grilled out, and had all the fun you'd expect to have on the lake. Anyone who hasn't been there needs to go, the Lakes are all very clean, they have a great amusement park, Arnolds Park , which boasts The Legend, a wooden roller coaster built in 1927 which is still going strong, a super fun log ride, lots of shopping and you can take a ride on the Queen II, which tours the lakes and looks like an old time steam boat. There are also golf courses, mini-golf, tons of flea markets to scavenge on rainy days, and concerts in the park. If you live anywhere in the midwest, or really anywhere at all, you have to experience the wonder that is Okoboji. You'll want to try and figure out how you can stay all summer.