Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flowers After Hours: Haute-House Garden

One of the most wonderful things about living in Uptown is the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  Ever since I was a little girl, my school field trips would include a guided tour around the museum.  Now as an adult, I still enjoy walking into a world filled with beautiful art and visual education. They have many fun events throughout the year, and I try to attend as many as I can.  This past week they kicked off their annual "Art in Bloom" show with a special reception called "Flowers after Hours: Haute-House Garden." This featured local fashion designers who created pieces inspired by floral arrangements around the museum, and displayed their work in a runway show.  The event was a great success, attracting many different types of stylists, designers, and art lovers alike. It was interesting to mingle with such creative people and discuss their ideas and inspirations. As always, I find myself motivated to continue my creative passions and perhaps pick up an extra bouquet of flowers next time I'm at the store.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cake in a Pie Pan

Usually when the weather turns warmer, I find myself coming up with excuses to have parties and other random get togethers.  It's really just an excuse for me to cook and bake, and not eat everything myself.  This past weekend I wanted to do a little baking for Sunday night dinner, and found this recipe in one of my new cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa 'How Easy is That?' by Ina Garten. A cake in a pie pan?! It was way too intriguing to pass up. As I began to gather my ingredients, I realized that fresh cranberries are not available this time of year.  Since I couldn't decide between cherries or blueberries, I made two cakes instead, one with blueberries, one with cherries. The end result was a wonderful and easy desert that satisfied my sweet tooth and my itch to bake.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Luck be a lady...

In case you haven't already heard, it's out with the old and in with the new at Mall of America.  Not that I didn't love Bloomingdales, but it's time Minnesota caught up with the rest of the world, and get some great retail stores in the supposed "Mall of America."  I am excited and downright giddy to announce that MOA will now have four new stores in replace of the Bloomingdales location:  Zara, Topshop, Madewell, and Tory Burch.  To say I am happier than a bird with a french fry, is an understatement.  My trips to MOA are going to dramatically increase to the point where I should look into a reserving a spot in the parking lot.  To prepare properly for this special occasion, I have been online window shopping again, and picked out some items I will hope to find in the new stores.  Here are some of my favorites.
This Topshop dress will be perfect at weddings this summer.

A Madewell llama necklace.  Need I say more?

I like the idea of a Tory Burch clutch instead of a large tote during weekend.

A must have Zara hat.
The new Madewell platforms for the summer.  Walking in these will be a cinch.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday Night Dinner

Even though Sunday night always comes too fast after a short weekend, I always look forward to a traditional Sunday night dinner at my parent's house.  However, due to busy schedules, we decided to have dinner at my twin sister's apartment instead.  She impressed us with a huge feast of sweet potato gnocchi, flank steak, roasted asparagus, and salad.  To say it was delicious is an understatement.  Annie has spent many nights working her gnocchi recipe, and I have to say, it's pretty extraordinary.  When I asked for the recipe, she replied like any Italian would, and could not give me exact measurements.  Annie's recipe includes 2 sweet potatoes, about 10oz of ricotta, 1.5 cups of flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Follow instructions on a traditional gnocchi recipe to put  it together. 
There is nothing more comforting than cooking in the kitchen with your best friend, drinking wine, and putting home-cooked Italian food on the table.  It allows me to re-focus on what is important in life, catch up with my family, and just spend time together.  I cherish these Sunday nights, knowing that I will carry on this tradition with my own family someday. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Online Window Shopping

After a long holiday weekend, I always have a hard time on Mondays getting back into the swing of things.  To say the least, it was not my most productive day.  I did, however, have a chance to do some online window shopping.  This is the act of spending a lot of money mentally, but not actually buying anything.  I am trying to be good about spending (although the impulsive bicycle purchase last week did not help), and only buy things that are necessary.  However, I am extremely clever in coming up with excuses when I shop, so I have a feeling some of these favorites might end up in a package at my doorstep.  Here are a few things that get me through Manic Mondays.  

Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Top Coat.  Aside from Shellac, nothing has dried my nails so quickly. 

Such a cute colorful wallet.  

This dress just speaks springtime.  Hopefully the weather will be warm enough to wear it soon. 

Sunnies.  Can you ever have too many?

My new bicycle should be shipping this week.  I can't wait to see if it comes assembled (fingers crossed please)!