Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nisbet Plantation

Much to my happy surprise yesterday, our beloved honeymoon destination was the travel destination of the day, via DailyCandy! Not many people have heard of Nevis, (including myself... that is, until we stepped on the plane!) but I thought I'd take a minute to share a couple pics of this sweet sugar plantation-turned-resort deep in the heart of the British West Indies: The Nisbet Plantation. If you're in the market for a honeymoon or special vacay... I couldn't give more enthusiastic recs :) The Nisbet even has a cute blog so you can see what they're up to!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Hopefully Apple's new iPad device is so awesome that everyone can look past its less-than-thought-through name... don't you think so??

I think it's okay for me to say because I'm a self-proclaimed Apple junkie... MacBook, iPhone, iPod, Video iPod (yep... remember those? Circa 2002, I think), iPod Shuffle...

Final thoughts on the iPad: Bad name aside, it still seems fun and I totally want one!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Right Place, Right Time

I've you've ever shopped with me, then you probably know that I am pretty obsessed with finding bargains. Over the years, I've collected a nice little stash of marked-down merch.

Honestly, it happens the most frequently for me with purses. My best example is my black Miu Miu chevron purse with gold hardware:

I found it slightly damaged at Horchow finale, so it was seriously marked down and I snatched it up for a less than 1/10 of it's original price tag of $1,300 (on top of that, all sale items were an extra 20% off that weekend!). The best part is, I had it repaired back to its original state for about $6. A worthwhile investment, I'd say.

Just last weekend, I had similar luck at one of my other favorite stores, Marshalls. I scored a pair of black Theory cropped pants for $20. Read 'em and weep, that's t-w-e-n-t-y doll-hairs. Original price? $216. Black pants don't photograph too well, so just use your imagination on this one!

Prior awesome Marshalls purchases of mine include 2 pairs of 7forallmankind jeans (both under $80), and a gorgeous DVF luncheon dress (about $65... and nothing needing alterations, might I add, so we'll call that cash in the bank, too).

 It's weird to start going through your photos to find pictures of a particular garment... above, the pink/red DVF, and below, the 7's.

Even on housewares, I've found some steals. One I'm most proud of is the salad dishes/pasta bowls for our everyday china (V&B Cellini):

I found these on Craigslist listed at 6/$20. I obviously couldn't believe my eyes because they retail at $37 each under normal circumstances. I was skeptical, but as it turns out, the deal was legit. I met a liquidator (Hubby came with, just in case!) in town to make the trade. For just $40 I added an entire set of salad dishes (12) to our collection. If paying full retail, I would have spent more than $400!

You can see why bargains thrill me, I'm sure :)

So let this be a little recession encouragement (are we still in the 2009 recession?). It's all about watching and waiting, I've learned. I do a lot of shopping without buying. I'm willing to forfeit instant gratification, and during my wait, I study the market and rarely purchase until I'm sure I've exhausted every option. A labor of love, I'll call it. I've found that almost always, you really can find a better deal without compromising what you really like.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This is the way we shop for groceries

Over the past year and a half, Hubby and I have developed a pretty streamlined grocery list and shopping method.

We buy for the week, and prep our protein that same day. A pretty typical weekly menu for us includes:

Fajita night
chicken, tortillas, cheese, onions, bell pepper, sour cream, salsa

Pork Tenderloin
pork tenderlion, roasted veggies, instant cous-cous

Dinner out at one of our fave local enchilada places

Pasta and Wine
pasta, jarred sauce (we doctor ours up with onion, garlic, s&p, red pepper flakes and ground beef or bison)

Chicken/Fish and Potatoes
chicken or fish, mashed potatoes, steamed greens

Date Night
(sometimes this is a great night to make a more labor intensive special recipe... more prep time with a day off of work)

Take-out we can relax before the next big week!

Obviously, that particular menu is not permanent, but knowing generally what we have time for helps us when we shop. We mix up proteins based on what is on sale so we can have variety in our diet. You can streamline your list too by....

...sticking to the main grocery shopping tenets: 

  • think ahead - how many nights are you eating at home this week? 
  • bring a list - nothing fancy here... just write down the stuff you're out of 
  • be easy - don't try too hard to develop recipes while you shop. If you're shopping for two, think of it this way... four nights of dinner to cook? that's four lbs of protein, four different veggies, and four starches. Simplicity!
  • add it up - keep track of your grabs on your phone's calculator - Hubby helps me recognize when my several $1-grabs start adding up to.... a lot!
  • cook special with ease - if you are in the mood to make a special recipe, plan ahead and write down the ingredients so you don't have to guess or stress at the store
Once you really get the hang, you'll find it easier to vary your menu with new proteins, new veggies and new starches to introduce your family to different flavor profiles. You'll always have this simple nights-in : amount-of-stuff-to-buy ratio. Bliss.

For added ease, try prepping your food right when you get home to save yourself even more time during the week. Anything that you won't eat in the next two days should be frozen. Rank foods by heartyness to decide when you'll eat them (can't freeze clams, so we'll have those Monday... ground beef for our pasta can be frozen for a while, so we'll have that Friday, etc...). Trim your proteins, seal tightly and store in the freezer until the night before you want to cook (fajitas on Thursday night? move your chicken to the fridge before bed on Wednesday night).

*Don't you want the recipe for that?! It's Hubby's famous Pasta Bolognese. I'll see if I can divulge his secrets sometime soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

On your to-do list this weekend...

Pick up a Magic Eraser.

Have you used one of these things? You won't be sorry. I grabbed a couple at the grocery store last weekend in preparation for my post-holidays deep clean, and now I feel like we got a new kitchen and bathroom! The tub at our apartment... well, we're not sure what it's made out of, but we're pretty positive it's not porcelain, but rather some kind of plastic (????) - and therefore super hard to keep clean. My Magic Eraser was the first thing that's worked.

Did I mention I love to clean?! I always have, I just can't help it!

Dixie was also happy with the result:

Hooray for the weekend :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

I just have to share the deliciousness of a tasty enchilada feast we ate recently at The Shed in Santa Fe, NM:

Stacked cheese enchiladas with spicy red sauce + 1 rocks margarita with salt made for a delicious mid-day treat with the fam:

We love enchiladas so much that we often make our own. As I've mentioned before, my family has deep roots in El Paso, so my love for all foods Mexican comes easily. My Grandmother's enchiladas are world famous, and often serve as the basis for comparison with every new recipe I try.

The batch below was inspired by some homemade  Hatch chile sauce given to Hubby by a family straight out of Hatch, NM.

First, we fried the tortillas (corn, of course) quickly, filled with cheese/chopped onion and rolled up tight - watch your fingers... they get super hot!

Next, we sauced and cheesed 'em:

Finally, we popped the enchies into the oven at 400 for roughly 10-12 minutes... Once perfectly bubby, we served immediately with our favorite sides. You can choose anything, but for us, that means refried beans, shredded lettuce (to bite the heat), and, most importantly, a fried egg:


Sounds delish, but are you looking for a healthier alternative? Modify our method and use your savvy nutrition skills... skip frying the tortillas, fill with shredded chicken and smother in green chile sauce. You can serve black beans and corn salsa on the side. A healthy, but delicious variation that's sure to satiate the craving when you've got the enchilada itch.

Pretty Sperrys

I was browsing and came across this delightful sight:

I love a good Sperry Top-Sider - in "gold/platinum" - just too good to be true! But alas, it is too good to be true... just when I thought it must be a J.Crew exclusive, I discovered that Nordstrom sells the same exact shoe for about $15 less... happy shopping!

Also, should I be admitting this?

I tried on some:
(yes.... jeggings... start the mockery now!)

And kind of liked them...yikes! Trust me, I was super surprised - didn't see that one coming! Still pondering an official purchase :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

So we own a deep fryer...

Can you believe it? It's kind of like... the opposite of most people's New Year's Resolutions...

Here she is:

Hubby had been dying to have one, but I had not been so keen on the idea myself.... that is, until it came time to choose Christmas gifts for Hubby. I knew what I had to do.  I found this little guy at Macy's and it's really no bigger than our toaster (not that we keep it out on the counter, but when we pull it out, it takes up minimal space).

Hubby got to work immediately:

 Hand-cut fries were the perfect complement to Hubby's famous bleu cheese and caramelized onion burgers:

 Really.... I should buck up and get a real camera - but hopefully you get the idea:

Hubby even made some delish salty potato chips... 

 Overall, I'm enjoying the benefits of the deep fryer more than I'd like to admit - happy frying!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Best Foot Forward

I decided it was time to be a big girl and get some weather appropriate footwear.

For rainy days:

 For chilly days:

You know, I have not always been a fan of the Ugg (I have noticed that a few others are also coming around to the Ugg side). In fact, at one time, I would have considered myself a strict anti-Ugger. I don't know exactly what it was, but one day it just hit me - man would I be warm if my feet were in some Uggs instead of these silly ballet flats when its 19 degrees outside!

Tired of my constantly frozen feet, I went ahead and snatched up this pair on sale (!) during Last Call clearance. Ahhh, I love a good sale. But more importantly, I can't wait to be warm and toasty when FedEx delivers my sanity at the end of the week. Hopefully Dallas winter won't be over by then :)

Future Uggs to purchases (hopefully) include, but are not limited to:



As for the Hunters, it looks like I'll have to fork over the full price, so I'm still deciding which color to pick....





Kind of loving the high-gloss pea green :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails