February 28, 2010

I feel you in my heart and I don't even know you...

I'm loving the song Nineteen from Canadian band Tegan and Sara

Hope you enjoy and thanks, as per usual, goes to my husband for introducing me to the band.


February 26, 2010

Woot Its the Weekend!!!

I'm so excited (as always) that its finally the weekend! I love weekends, especially when I haven't been traveling all week because I actually have energy to do things :)

Tonight we are going out to dinner with some friends. We may go to to our favorite casual burger and fries place Sunset on our old college campus. The fries here are ridiculous and come in regular, cajun, sour cream and onion (my favorite) and I believe with cheese. Or we may stay classy and try some very highly rated Venezuelan food at Orinoco in Brookline Village. Apparently the mojitos are incredible.

Tomorrow we are going to brunch with some of my husbands fellow residents at a local Jamaica Plain restaurant I've never tried, Sorella's. I guess our plans are kinda revolving around food so far. At night we're going to meet up with some of my coworkers (who my husband will finally meet after me working with them for over a year) at Red Sky in Fanueil Hall. I've never been so I don't know what to expect. Also I haven't gone out in ages so lets see how late I can stay up. I seriously fell asleep pre-10pm last night. How sad am I?

Sunday the husband is working so who knows what I'll be up to. Most likely lounging in my PJ's all day and doing some work as well.

Since I've been working from home all day and have had HGTV on in the background I'll leave with you with this bedroom that I can't stop thinking about.

image via decor8

Isn't that bed and netting dreamy? I also love the fireplace

What are your weekend plans?

February 25, 2010

you're not invited to my birthday party

I used to say that phrase a lot when I was a kid and a friend or one of my brothers had upset me. It was the ultimate threat back then. Haha. Its interesting as we grow older and go from kids to high school to college and then beyond how friendships change. I feel even more shifts now as people are getting married or having kids.

I've been disappointed by friendships in the past as I am sure everyone has at some point in life. I got an email from Goop about a "Friendship Divorce" today and it really made me think. The subject was around this statement:
What do you do when you realize that although you may have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don't like a friend anymore? That, after time spent with this person, you feel drained, empty, belittled or insulted. My father always used to tell me that, ‘you can't make new old friends.’ How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better or if you are better off without them?
My favorite quotes from the article are:

In essence, our friends are the life-affirming fountain from which we drink. Good friends fill us up with warmth, honesty and a sense of well-being. If you feel drained, empty, belittled and insulted by a friend you should acknowledge that this is diminishing your life experience and not enhancing it. In this case, I would move away from this person, honor whatever good you did get from them in the past, and move toward those friends in life that only want to help light your way! - Dr. Karen Binder-Brynes, Psychologist
“Old friends” and “true friends” are not necessarily identical. Old friends have stood the test of time; true friends are timeless. True friends may have been in your life since your childhood or they may have shown up only yesterday, but it’s from the quality of the heart that you know them, not the number of years you’ve logged together. - Cynthia Bourgeault, Priest
Assess your friendships. If they are supporting you in your growth and change, then cherish them. If they diminish you, then you diminish them. But, once again, a friend is always a friend. Though they may no longer be a constant presence in your life nevertheless if there is an opportunity to help you should, always be open, for true friendship never ends. - Michael Berg, Kabbalah scholar and author.
I value my friendships a lot and I guess somewhere along the line I've expected the same in return. That doesn't really mean daily phone calls or always having to see each other all the time (most of my best friends live all across the nation). In fact, I sort of loathe talking on the phone and I'm super flaky about returning calls. For me, the test is when I know I can contact a friend if I really needed them (not matter how long its been), and they would be there. Reliable, understanding and willing to listen. I have definitely had friendships end, change or just diminish over time. Its always the most shocking when it happens over something random, or they behave in a way that finally lets you see their truly personality. Its so draining and depressing and I have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about and festering over lost friendships.

I don't have many friends in Boston and its been a huge change for me. After I finished school, where I was constantly surrounded by friends, and started working I felt so alone. I was traveling 5 days a week and all my friends had moved all of the place. Its taken years and I've done a lot of growing up but now I actually cherish my alone time. Although maybe its bad that I'm becoming more of a hermit and I am so used to spending a Friday night in my PJs watching TV alone or with my husband. I'm just used to my social interactions being email, gchat, facebook, text messaging, etc. Blogging (weddingbee in particular) has allowed me to build friendships with people I haven't even actually met before.

I digress and I'm not really sure what I am trying to say. Just that my ideas of what a friend should be have changed over the years and that although I am always looking to create new friendships, I am happy with my core group of friends I've developed over the past 28 years.

Have you ended a friendship or relationship that at some point meant an incredible amount to you? What's your philosophy on friends? Any advice? For some reason, this has come up multiple times in my life so I love hearing stories and advice on this.

And because I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy, here are some of my favorite girls. Ignore the fact that 90% of them are with Indian outfits on - there just have been a lot of weddings in the past few years :)


February 23, 2010

Succulent Wall

I would love to make this succulent art!

Unfortunately I have the anti green thumb and kill pretty much all plants I bring into our apartment. Even succulents! Aren't they supposed to be virtually impossible to kill? Makes me worried about my ability to care for a pet or a human...


Music Find: Joanna Newsom

Idiscovered Joanna Newsom on NPR music and I really love her music so far. I've only listened to a few songs but I'm hooked. Her lyrics are smart, witty and beautifully written with intricate and well thought instrumentation. Her voice is ethereal, folksy and really captivating. She's a harpist, pianist and singer/songwriter from California and definitely worth a listen.

I tried the song Baby Bird first following NPR's recommendation...

But I really love this one too...

If you are interested, you can listen to the full album by going to the NPR article or below:



February 21, 2010

More Soup for you!

Potato and Leek to be specific.

I apologize for being so quiet and not writing much lately. Work and life have just been a little crazy.

So I guess I'm on some kind of soup kick since the last recipe I posted was for tomato soup. I found this soup recipe via Design*Sponge from the In The Kitchen With series. Giao Trac writes a blog called kiss my spatula with many wonderful homemade recipes. Here's Design*Sponge's background on Giao Trac:

"About Giao: Though Giao began her career as a management consultant for Fortune 500 clients, she’s always had a deep love for good design, and for good food. After pouring blood, sweat and tears into a two year design and remodel, Giao stepped foot into her new kitchen and never left. She began recreating her own version of restaurant favorites and whipping up homemade supermarket staples from scratch. Why go out to buy soy milk, goat cheese, baguettes, hummus, mustard or ketchup when you can make them in the comforts of home? Her food is simple, seasonal, local and organic whenever possible. She’s transferred her passion of interior design into web design and photography –with an etsy store and web design shop in the works, so stay tuned. Until then, she chronicles her homemade culinary adventures at Kiss My Spatula."

Umm homemade soy milk and mustard? Holy impressive. I figured I had check it out and noticed that many of her recipes are simple and easy to follow. I decided to try out her Market Day Potato and Leek Soup recipe and it was REALLY simple and really delicious.

Here's her recipe (I've noticed my minor changes):


  • 1 lb fresh leeks (I wasn't sure how much 1 lb was so I chopped all 3 stalks of my leeks. That's just too much leek. I ended up setting aside about 1/3 of my bowl. Not sure what I'm gonna do with those leeks just yet)
  • 1-1 1/2 lbs potatoes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups organic chicken stock (I used vegetable stock for my vegetarian husband)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • plain yogurt
  • parsley or chives


The two main ingredients - potato and leek
Lots of Leeks (crappy pictures from my phone)

Halve the white portions of the leeks lengthwise and rinse under cold running water. Clean thoroughly. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside. Prepare bouquet garni by placing bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme together in a small piece of cheesecloth. Bundle and tie with string. Set aside.
(I didn't have cheesecloth so I used these disposable tea bags that you can buy from Sur La Table. I just doubled the tea bags up and it worked just fine.)

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved bouquet garni, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart.

Remove the bouquet garni. Working in small batches, puree the soup in a blender. Secure lid tightly and place towel over lid for extra protection. (I just used my handy dandy hand immersion blender. It works great and you don't have to wash the entire giant blender afterwards.) Stir in milk and adjust to taste. (I added much a decent amount more salt and some chili powder to add a little kick). Serve immediately with a big dollop of yogurt and chopped parsley/chives (I forgot the parsley/chives so it didn't look as pretty but was still really delicious).

The soup simmering on the stove (pre hand blender)

The soup. I didn't take a picture of mine cause my camera phone was full. Plus this turned out way prettier than mine :)

I paired the soup with some Pillsbury biscuits (yeah I'm classy like that) and I think dinner was a big hit.

The recipe was really easy to follow and it took me very little time to prepare. I think I'm definitely going to have to test some more kiss my spatula recipes this month.

Any recipes you are want to share?


February 15, 2010

i just want things to work properly too!

For the past two years we've been using a little hand vacuum to keep our carpets clean. We have mostly hardwood floors so we thought it wouldn't be an issue. Well our little hand vacuum couldn't handle the copious amounts of hair that I shed and just kinda died on us. So yesterday I went to Macy's and used some of our wedding giftcards to buy us a...Dyson!

I got theDC25 All Floors Vacuum. Its pretty lightweight and the ball design really does make it easier to maneuver. I've been wanting one for ages but the price just seemed way too steep. They were on sale at Macy's for president's day weekend though ($400 versus $500) and I got an additional 10% discount from my old wedding registry!

Sweet sweet Dyson. This thing works wonders and sucked up an entire cylinder worth of disgusting dirt. I was freaked out and amazed at the same time.

If you can spare $400 get one! They are incredible!

*This isn't a paid endorsement (I wish it was though!)


February 12, 2010

excited for the weekend! (accurate but lame title post sorry)

I'm so happy its the weekend for so many reasons....

Lost! I'm obsessed. In a serious lapse of judgement (which happens often lately) I decided to start watching Lost. There are 23-25 one hour episodes in a season and 5 seasons! I'm ridiculous. I'm on season 3 if that tells you anything about how many Netflix Lost episodes I've watched.
To be fair though, I do other things when I'm watching them but I'll admit I have a problem.

Also, we are going to fancy romantic valentines day dinner at L'Espalier in Boston. This restaurant has amazing French food with an emphasis on New England ingredients. They have a vegetarian menu that tastes incredible (which is a big deal for high end restaurants) and the best cheese board I've ever tasted. They actually have a cheese program and fromager! I love me some cheese and their cheese is a mind blowing experience. It is crazy expensive so I'm excited for our rare little treat.

I bought tulips just for the heck of it at Trader Joes this week and they brighten up my day every time I see them. I love buying myself flowers. The pictures were taken with my phone so excuse the quality and the empty thing of sugar (me and my cookie baking).

And finally I convinced my husband to help me paint the kitchen this weekend and finally get some artwork on the walls of our "dining room". I'm thinking about a rich gold color to compliment the mocha color in our living room

Colors are Benjamin Moore

Any fun weekend plans?


February 10, 2010

dinner for a snowy day

It was supposed to snow a lot in Boston so I thought I'd make the classic cold day meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese. It didn't end up snowing much but I wasn't about to change my dinner menu. Oh and I threw in a side of chocolate chip cookies just because I'm awesome/gross like that.

I used this recipe from Michael Chiarello which was pretty easy to follow. I don't even like tomato soup but I really liked this recipe. If you leave the cream out and go lighter on the oil (3/4 of a cup is excessive) then the recipe is pretty healthy.

  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I didn't use this much oil - it just seemed like too much)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I used vegetable broth instead)
  • 1 bay leaf (I didn't use this)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional (I used cream and it was really good but did add a lot of richness to the recipe)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using (I simmered for about 45 minutes since I had time before our friends came over and I think this helped the flavors come out even more). Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

I've never used a hand held blender like this and it was AWESOME! I want to use this amazing little gadget a lot more now.

For the grilled cheese:


  • Loaf of sourdough
  • Butter (to butter bread and coat pan)
  • Cheese - any kind you want. I used pepperjack and cheddar.
I know everyone knows how to make grilled cheese but for the hell of it I'll write directions. Slice the loaf of sourdough and butter one side of each slice. Cut the cheese (ha ha) into slices and place between two slices of bread (on the non buttered side).

Heat a skillet with butter (med-high) and grill sandwiches. I pressed the sandwiches down with another skillet just to help the cheese melt a little.
For the cookies I used the classic tollhouse recipe.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I didn’t use any nuts this time)


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Hope you are staying warm!

*All images via flickr (click on the links below pictures for sources)


February 9, 2010

chocolate, cookie dough and champagne photo shoot

Sarah Rhoads Photographers are photographers (husband and wife) based out of Seattle and they are uber talented. They have one of my all time favorite photography blogs and create art that is thoughtful and unique. Tall or short, fat or skinny, human or landscape - they really find beauty in all the subjects they capture. I fell in love with photography blogs while planning my wedding. Their site has remained on my reading list because they cover so much more than weddings.

I saw this on their blog today and started drooling immediately. I mean combine their actual art with candy, chocolate and baked goods and you have perfection.

Oh and did you see that cute polka dot apron?! Adorable.

*all pictures via Sarah Rhoads Blog


February 8, 2010

Charmi and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Sorry I've been a bad blogger this week. I didn't even come close to my 5 blog posts/week goal this last week. Lets see what have I been up to...

Travel. A LOT of travel. Its out of control. Here's my horror story that made me feel like a way less sexy version of George Clooney in Up in the Air.

He's so attractive. Even when he looks like he does below...

Two weeks ago I went out to California to work as per usual. I left Boston at 6am (so had to get up around 3:45am) and got to San Francisco at 10:30am. From there I had a 12:30pm flight to LA for a meeting at 3:30pm. It was a big deal that I made this meeting in LA because I missed the last one and it caused all sorts of chaos.

Of course the flight was delayed and didn't leave SF until about 2:20pm. Oh and it was one of those little airplanes that needs to be weight balanced and is all kinds of scary to be in. I landed at 3:20pm, ran to the car rental place and I'm waiting in line to leave the lot. This rental car check out lady was the slowest and most annoying person ever. She kept dropping things and shuffling through papers and the entire time I'm tapping my fingers on the steering wheel like the asshole that I am and telling her I'm really late and NEED to leave. I was ready to get out of the car and kill her. I contained myself and when I finally got out of the lot, I drove 100mph to get to the meeting and made it only 5 minutes late. It felt like a miracle that I made it and I figured things were all good again.

After the meeting, I booked it back to the airport to make it back to SF because I had a meeting in Napa, CA the next morning at 8am. I check in and the airline counter lady asks to verify my ID. I'm start looking...and looking. No ID. I'm kinda panicking and then I remember that in my psycho rental car rage I threw my license on the car seat and forgot it there. Perfect. Just perfect.

The lady at the airline counter is not sweating this at all though. She tells me its no big deal and that I will be able to get through with my credit card. Say what? I tried to argue but then she said it was the last flight to SF that night and I couldn't miss it. I was just too tired to fight it. I went to security and showed them my work ID and credit card and they let me through! CRAZY and extremely disturbing.

After I got through security, I called the rental car company and had them overnight ship my ID to my hotel in Napa. Then I called my husband who was in shock over the security line and ID situation. He swears because I'm a young girl and if he pulled that they would have full body frisked him and locked him up. I guess his perma 5 o'clock shadow, dark skin and unruly hair wouldn't have helped him in my situation. Anyway, I digress...(yes the story continues but its almost over I promise).

So I get on the flight, completely pass out and wake up all disoriented in SF. I get to my second rental car place of the day and they upgrade me to this brand new pimped out SUV. I'm thinking my luck really is turning around. Then I get to the agent to show them my ID.... OH RIGHT! My STUPID ID. I tell him I don't have it. I promise I'll get it tomorrow. My eyes are watering which just makes him nervous. He doesn't want me crying in front of him so he calls his manager and tries to muster a sorry little smile. I wait for about 10 minutes and the manager finally shows up. She's actually being nice and says she will let me go but just has to look up my license number in the system. I start to feel entitled relief. I mean I've rented at this company twice a month, every single month for four years. I figured they would definitely cut me a break.

I was so wrong. The manager comes back and says they absolutely won't let me take the car without a license on my person. I pretty much just lose it at this point. I've been up for about 24 hours and I cannot stop crying. The manager starts to feel bad for me and keeps telling me that someone will drive me back to the airport and I can take a shuttle or cab. A freaking cab to Napa which is about 80 miles away.

So eventually some rental car dude drives me to the airport while I'm still crying. He really doesn't know what to make of me and is trying to say comforting things but I can't get it together. After I was dropped off I ended up calling for some private car to drive me to Napa. Big pimpin' style except I was anything but that at this point.
$250 later I get to my hotel, sit in my bed and feel relieved. Then I realize that I have a big meeting in less than 7 hours, still have work to do and have to get back on a f*ing plane in three days.

So that's part of why I've been a bad blogger. And a bad wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc.

Okay I'll stop whining now :) If you actually read all that, I apologize for my verbal diarrhea and my sorry grammar skills. I promise I'll get back to a more happy post tomorrow :)


February 1, 2010

Highlights: Yay or Nay?

I've been dying for a change but too scared to actually chop my hair super short (a la posh spice). I think my face/cheeks are too fat for it. So I spent three hours in the salon today on my day off getting highlights put in. I wanted subtle brown highlights. They ended up brown but I am not sure that they are subtle. Husband and BFF like the new hair style but I'm still not sure. It looks different in natural light and in indoor light (looks crazy bright to me indoors).

What do you think? Keep in mind in the pre-picture I was wearing make-up, all dressed up and it was taken by a non camera phone.



Looks super blonde/light brown here!

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