Sunday, June 27, 2010

A peek across the globe

I stumbled across a gem -- the kind I wish I'd known about long ago.

The United Nation's Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has an amazing Flickr account with photos of all the places they have workers on-the-ground, either for long-term projects or for emergencies, such as earthquakes. There's also plenty of pictures of Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie to go around, as you might imagine.

Looking through album after album I felt this great urge to get out there --- wherever I'm needed most at this moment -- and help. These images force you to think about the amount of suffering so many are going through right now. Suddenly, whatever your own personal woes may be -- important as they are -- don't see so top-of-mind any longer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From the shore

I'm not a jewelry fan. I can appreciate it in a glass case or on a friend, but I rarely ever wear any myself. That's why I was surprised at my reaction to these gorgeous wooden and shell necklaces. Too bad there's no more of where these came from...seems appropriate luck.

Asparagus pizza

After trying out the "Chop-chop salad" last night, I've fallen back in love with everything green. There was a moment when we parted over an indulgent weekend on Seabrook Island with family and while hanging out with friends for a few days in Chicago. Lots of eating out that didn't result in the federal government's serving requirements for fruits and veggies.

Sometimes, though, you need a break from the things you love most to remember why you were hooked on them to begin with, right?

This is why I'm excited to try out Smitten Kitchen's asparagus pizza recipe this weekend. Vace, in Cleveland Park, has great pizza dough, and the markets are bursting with asparagus, so it seems like it's the perfect time for this dish. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, June 21, 2010


We had the chance to enjoy a few days in the Windy City last weekend while visiting old friends. The last two times I'd been to Chicago were far too short for me to get a sense of the town. This time around, though, I really fell in love with the place (in the summer, that is).

Chicago has great shopping and restaurants just like NYC, but it also has gorgeous Lake Michigan just a 20-30 minute drive away. And most importantly, many of the people you meet are actually from Illinois. That's an important distinction.

There's nothing wrong with leaving your hometown and settling in a new city, but there's something special about being in the middle of an urban center full of people who are extremely proud of where they're from. I love that.

These images represent many of the things I loved best about our experience in CHI -- Pequod's deep dish pizza, a snazzy beach bag for a day at the lake, delicious trout at a great BYOB restaurant and a day Cubs game. A big thanks to Stephanie for making it so special.

A new summer salad

Speaking of Chicago, while at O'Hare yesterday I picked up Elle Decor for a little home decorating inspiration. I didn't expect to find the perfect summer recipe. Voila -- "Chop-chop Salad" -- romaine, avocado, red pepper, carrot, watermelon and ginger-sesame dressing. Honestly, leave what you want and take out what you don't have laying around, but please don't ignore the dressing. That's usually the best part if done right. Check it out (and it's worth noting that the mayo isn't necessary).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is it almost too cool?

I don't know so I defer to you guys. It's definitely not my style but I complete appreciate the unique layout and the stunning views it offers.

(via seesaw)

Italian bakery & restaurant coming to 14th

My mouth is already watering. Between Posto, Cork Wine Bar & Market and now a new Italian bakery and restaurant, 14th Street NW is quickly becoming my new home away from home.

Check out what 14th and You learned about the new establishment, set to arrive later this year.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Frugal renovations

So you want to renovate your kitchen but you don't want to spend a lot of money. What you've got isn't bad, it's just worn out and boring-looking.

You've got a lot of other house projects that are in much more dire straits but given that you're a big cook and the kitchen is where you spend a lot of your time, you're antsy for a change. That being said, the renovation costs would have to be really low.

So how do you do it?

Well, how about a little inspiration for starters. A Country Farmhouse took a fairly ugly kitchen and turned it into something they can smile about with the help of some clever thinking. The owners bought three long slabs of butcher block from IKEA (cost: $240 total) and stained them to give off a lovely rich hue. Brilliant, right? I'm contemplating doing the same now in the coming months.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A painter and a tractor driver

My old pal Jenna pointed out the lovely watercolor work of artist Katherine Sandoz and I'm now the artist's latest fan. Her bio makes her sound like the sort of person you'd love to get to know.

Katherine lives in Savannah, where she paints in a barn built by her husband. When she's not creating amazing abstract landscapes like these, she's fond of riding her John Deere tractor.

Don't you want to meet her??