Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Hangover

So it begins..the can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it post-holiday slump...I'm trying to think of things to look forward to but being as my NYE plans haven't solidified, I'm coming up empty!

In the meantime, I'm going to sit around and gaze lovingly at my new toys...

Kate Spade Minka  Sorry, you can't get my pretty green anymore....

Moxie Bluetooth Showerhead by Kohler  So you can rock out in the shower with your iphone tunes...I used it this morning and it was glorious

Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy 36MM  Classing it up just a little bit, folks...

Nine West Tip-Top Knee High Boot Thank I can replace the pair that no longer has a heel..

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Did I Not Know About This?

flask bangle

Cynthia Rowley's Flask Bangle. $225.  Currently not available but supposedly there's a wait list.  It's kind of amazing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Quicksand

What the heck does "book quicksand" mean, you say?  It's my new phrase to describe the timeline of how I got to be pretty in-over-my-head in books right now.

One day I'm putting down a book discussion book thinking "hey! I don't have anything specific lined up! I can read whatever I want! Probably for the entire holiday! I just finished that Library Journal book so I won't get one from them for a while!".  So I walk over to my trusty bookshelf full of books I haven't gotten around to reading and I pull out one of the most entertaining, non-brain-needing books I can find.  I tuck myself in bed and let myself get gobbled up in trash.  It's glorious.

Fast forward approximately 36 hours and I've gotten a notice from LJ that they're sending me a 2nd book to review in less than a month (due on the 4th! who is dealing with this over 2 holidays?!?! that's just mean), the new Oprah pick came in on the holdshelf for me and needs to be read in 7 days (I need to know what's going on with Miss O's books when I get asked 900 times how I liked them), and I realize that I probably need to start my library book discussion book that I need to lead on the 11th..And need I mention that my copy of Hunk for the Holidays came in and is begging to be read before Christmas?? Should I have admitted that? Probably not...but if I'm going to be in charge of buying romance books for the library, I should probably pick one up every once in a while...

Anyway, I'm now slightly the book quicksand, if you will....

Here's my list for the next couple weeks!

 (my initial entertaining read that I've had to abandon for the time being)

 (Oprah's book club choice that I'll be powering through..and am currently enjoying!)

 (My library book discussion book for the 11th)

 (My 2nd LJ book this month which is due on the 4th..just came in the mail today)

 (My steamy romance waiting to be guiltily enjoyed)

 (The other random book I started and need to finish)

There are a number of other books from the library that are currently sitting at my house with no start date in sight...

I think my brain is actually shutting down...Wish me luck!

*Side note- my first Library Journal book this month was Everything Was Good-Bye by Gurjinder Basran and it was FANTASTIC! I highly recommend it to start your 2013 reading!

*Extra side note- I just realized if I manage to finish all of this by the 11th, I'll have read 2,016 pages.  The Clover House is officially the longest at 432p.  Yikes!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Best Buddies Take 2

I blogged about these guys a little over a year ago.  They never cease to amuse me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No, You Don't Have To Take Your Shoes Off

Ricotta-and-Fontina-Stuffed Shells with Fennel and Radicchio

I'm getting ready to host my first real adult dinner party this weekend.  I mean, I've definitely hosted bbq's and parties with lots of appetizers but never a sit down fancy dinner.  I'm a little bit nervous that I'm going to screw something up or just be too much of a ball of cooking stress...I mean, the key rule of dinner parties is that you're supposed to have most everything done by the time people get there right? and have drinks ready so you're just like handing people drinks at the door?  I'm pretty sure I'm required to put people's coats on the bed too...  I don't know..I think I heard something along those lines..I probably need a butler...I haven't even started to think about my playlist..luckily, my awesome friend Peter has a website called The Mixcast that has AMAZING music mixes for FREE! So I'm pretty sure I'll be relying on him to set the mood..

But what I DO know, is that I'll be making the most amazing stuffed shells ever.  And I already feel fancy just  thinking about it.  I got the recipe from my favorite food mag, Food and Wine, and I've made them once before.

Ricotta and Fontina Stuffed Shells with Fennel and Raddichio

I also suggest using their "best ever marinara" recipe too. It's included in the recipe above.

Anyone have any good dinner party tips for me? Things like "Hey, Madeline, don't drink a bottle of wine before the guests get there" or "Maybe its ok if Andy doesn't wear white gloves when handing people drinks"?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

I Can't Even Pretend

(I don't know who to credit this image to but I found it on this blog)

I don't pretend to be a history buff.  When it comes to historical battles and wars, if it wasn't included in a Ben Affleck movie, I probably don't know anything about it.  But I read the book Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson a few years ago and LOVED it.

(go buy it or get it from your library immediately!)

It's a nonfiction story about a group of divers who found the wreckage of a WWII German U-boat off the coast of New Jersey.  There were no government records of a boat ever being near the area and certainly no records of one sinking.  The men spent years attempting to gather enough information about the boat to identify it and be able to provide information to the families of its crew.  The story is absolutely fascinating and reads like an excellent documentary.  You simply don't need to be a history/war buff to enjoy this book. Although, if you are anything like me, you'll find yourself simultaneously intrigued and totally freaked out by submarines afterwards.

There's a cool Nova sight about it HERE btw.

That being said, ever since finishing this book, I've been really interested in stories about wreckage from WWII and it's retrieval.  This morning, I was excited to read in the Chicago Tribune that a WWII fighter plane had been pulled from the Waukegan Harbor, not even 15 miles from my home! From what I've read, it doesn't have quite as exciting as a background that the U-boat from Shadow Divers had, but I think it's very cool anyway.

Check out the story HERE 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bottoms Up!

While Grain Belt is one of my favorite Minnesota beers, the friendly folks at First We Feast have compiled a list of the best beers from every state that makes a different choice.  It's a good choice too.

Best Brews from each of the 50 States

Drink up!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

True Words

(from Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash)

If you're anything like me, you love getting a letter but probably aren't great about writing them.  You might like to read a diary (not your own..yikes, that's just a lousy never sound smart or romantic in your own diary..or at least I don't) but skip out on writing in your own.  I got a One Word A Day journal for my birthday and I've written approximately one word every other month.  It may be added to my New Year's resolution list...

If this is you, then you're going to LOVE this website.  Letters of Note is an amazing site filled with letters from celebrities, scientists, mothers, athletes, authors, musicians, and more...Some of them are laugh out loud funny, some are the dagger of words you always wish you could throw, and some will bring tears to your eyes.  The bottom line is you need to set aside an evening to read every word.

My personal favorites are the the letters that Johnny Cash wrote to June (one of them is above), a response from a writer of Will and Grace to a despicable religious organization, and the letter from Fiona Apple about her dying dog.

Letters of Note