Cause I’m easy…I’m easy like Easter Sunday morning.

Happy Easter everyone!

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I hope everyone enjoyed their day and weekend (especially if you had a glorious three-day weekend). I celebrated my holiday at the church of great food and sleeping in. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for Nutella Stuffed French Toast that I came across in the cookbook, The Comfort Table, for a couple of months now. The recipe is super easy, so easy in fact, you don’t even really need a recipe.  There are a million different variations of the recipe that you can find online as well and decide for yourself exactly how you want to put your own spin on the dish.

For those who may not know, Nutella is amazing. Some would call it a little taste of heaven. Other call it sex in a bottle. No matter the term of endearment you call this amazing hazelnut spread, we can all agree that it has pretty much changed our lives and we look at those who ask “what’s Nutella?” with shock and disdain. It is not chocolate. It is not peanut butter. It is a hazelnut spread with cocoa and it is delightful.

Anywho, on to the “recipe” for Nutella Stuffed French Toast. This is how I made my lovely Easter brunch, taking bits and pieces from several recipes and editing to my own tastes (this makes 2 ‘sandwiches’).

4 slices of italian bread (if you have challah bread, this is recommended, also Texas Toast would work great as well)

2 eggs

a little milk (I didn’t measure, sorry. Most recipes called for about 3/4 cups, but they also called for more eggs and bread. I just eyeballed it and did a little less than I thought I needed)

Nutella

cinnamon sugar

syrup

powdered sugar

cinnamon sticks (for garnish)

make a 2 sandwiches with the bread and Nutella. lay the sandwiches in a separate dish or pan for soaking.


whisk the eggs, milk and cinnamon & sugar in bowl

pour the egg mixture on the sandwiches being sure to cover both sides completely while not overly soaking. *at this point i sprinkled a little more cinnamon & sugar on the soaked bread


fry sandwiches in a large pan (or skillet) over medium to high heat until both sides are golden crisp and Nutella is melted

pour on the syrup, sprinkle the powdered sugar and garnish with cinnamon


This was delicious! After I took my first bite, I said “Oh my!”. Literally. Out loud. I don’t believe I have ever been compelled to use the phrase “oh my!” before in my life. It is sort of like saying “that’s phat”, it never occurred to me that those words should ever leave my mouth. But that is what good food will do to you; it will make you say down home phrases like “oh my” with a regional accent you try desperately to never inherit.

The only thing that would have made this meal any better, is if I had champagne to put in my orange juice…and if I was sharing this meal with Audrey, my Nutella partner in crime as I was not able to tackle both sandwiches on my own.

above picture: me (on left), Audrey. New York City, Summer 2008.

Walking home from work through Union Square Greenmarket? Check. Stop by Trader Joes for some challah bread? Check. Sitting on the couch, windows open letting in the summer breeze and city sounds while we digress on the days drama? Check, check. 🙂


When I grow up

I want to be my friend Amanda.

Last weekend I went to visit my friend Amanda in Longview, Texas while her husband was on a boys only fishing/kayaking/something else that boys do trip. I left Friday from San Antonio and roughly seven hours later arrived at her truly adorable home in East Texas. As you may know, I am somewhat obsessed with design blogs and when I read them I can’t help but day dream of my future self with my future husband living our future lives. Design blogs are the kind of things that bring out the most girly all-I-wanna-do-is-get-married-and-make-lots-of-babies side of me. Little did I know that one of my dearest friends was living this fantasy of mine (minus the making lots of babies part).

Like a total creeper, I totally took picture of my friends home, a beautiful work in progress and asked if I could share them here in hopes that anyone who reads will be just as inspired as I was.

Their kitchen is adorable! Amanda’s husband Jim did it all himself, the cabinets and the concrete countertops. And I don’t mean he went to Home Depot and picked out cabinets that he assembled himself, he constructed these himself. I couldn’t believe it when Amanda told me that. “Well he had sketch” was her response. Oh ok, well now that you mention that, I guess you are right, anyone can just draw a picture and whip up a kitchen too. Note to self: my future husband is gonna need to be able to do stuff like that too. If he can’t already, I will send him for a weekend woodworking camp with my dad and Amanda’s husband. No exceptions. They are going to put in glass and shelves in the cabinets and then they will be complete. Awesome job guys! I also love the cute welcome board, so sweet and typical Amanda. If I am not mistaken, that is the same blackboard from their wedding in November…

This entryway is amazing. Amanda has such a great eye for things, besides having impeccable taste, she does a great job of mixing high and low and new and old together. The chair at the desk she got for under $10 dollars at a garage sale or something.

LOVE this living room! Their home is a sort of mid-century ranch style and they do a great job of mixing in vintage inspired furniture and accessories with modern and contemporary fixtures. Also what I love about their home is that it really is their home–you can see Amanda and Jim everywhere in the artwork, the furniture and the construction. And to me, that is what makes a house a home. The chair in the center of the photo? Yea, Jim made that. The awesome coffee table? From an old doctor’s office, I think she said they got it at a flea market. My favorite part? The floating display above the green chair. This was made by Jim as a gift to Amanda (I want to say for Christmas), they both agreed they would only spend a certain amount on each other for Christmas and so he used his budget to create an amazing piece of art. I like it because obviously it is personal to both of them, but also it is practical, it creates a nice separation between the entryway and the living room but doesn’t take up too much visual space thus leaving the area still feeling very open and inviting.

So there you have it, what an adorable home! It was so lovely of Amanda to invite me over for a weekend getaway and it is always a wonderful time being with her and seeing her family in nearby Pittsburg, Texas. I truly love roadtrips and spending time lazily exploring small towns and it is the icing on the cake when I get to be with wonderful company. Thanks Amanda for a wonderful weekend and I look forward to my next visit!

Goldilocks and the Bathroom Paint…

Holy Mother! Deciding a paint color is hard! I would consider myself a fairly decisive person. At the very least, I am certainly opinionated so you would think that deciding on a color for my bathroom would be second nature. Well, not quite. Yesterday I went to Home Depot and picked up a couple of paint samples to put up on the walls but that only left me more confused. Note the “tropical” themed light switch and you will understand why this room was in need of a serious makeover. No disrespect to the previous decorator, but kitschy isn’t really my thing.

Then today at Lowes, I got three more samples.

Yay! And we have a winner! Everyone, I would like to introduce you to “Mint Whisper”. I would also like to thank the other contestants for being the best colors they could possibly be but just not quite right for my spa inspired bathroom. Tropical Spray, Aqua Sparkle, Tropical Lagoon and True Turquoise: solid effort guys, solid effort.

I am super excited that I found the perfect paint color. It was exactly what I had in mind. It’s like a cross between that Tiffany blue and a seafoam green and perfectly spa like. I just can’t wait!

Inspiration: Typographic Art

I am kind of obsessed with typography artwork right now. It reminds me of being in college and seeing my friend Amanda work on her graphic design projects. I love art and the simplicity of words and how they are arranged can be so interesting and make your interior space look unique. Plus as a young person without the kind of income to invest in major art pieces, it is a great way to get something that is different from the stuff your friends have but not put a dent in your bank account. The pictures are some of my favorite pieces that I have seen and have definitely provided some inspiration for my decorating plans!

I LOVE this! This is a perfect example of why I love this type (no pun intended) of artwork. This is the geographic shape of Brooklyn and its neighborhoods displayed in such a fun and creative way. The artist has other cities in the collection including Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles. There are also two other works of The Heart and The Brain. Check out Ork Posters for the full collection and to order. This Brooklyn screen print is only $27 and if you get the poster version, its $19! Unbelievable.

This I saw on the blog Sparrow\’s Nest and it comes from the Etsy site Lyrics and Quotes. You can customize and put lyrics of your favorite songs or your favorite quotes into these unique pieces of wall art. Love it. Also makes a great gift—like the grown up’s answer to the mix tape. Maybe give it to your significant other with “your song” on it. Or as an anniversary for your spouse with the song you danced to at your wedding. Or maybe just to a friend with the lyrics to their favorite song. The options are endless.

Hello! Bonjour! Hola! How many ways can you say hello? Jennifer Ramos did a great job with this! I just love how the english word “hello” is displayed in gray throughout the other languages. So great! She also has a piece that does the same thing with the word love. I think this is great for an entryway or living room and would be amazing in an office too. Her blog MadeByGirl is a daily visit for me, check out her new home office, I LOVE it!

Home Shopping

No, not the corny television home shopping, I mean shopping in your house. Going through old clothes, that linen closet that somehow manages to hide dozens of treasures. Digging through boxes in the garage and uncovering gems that you forgot all about. These are a few of my favorite things.

I was searching through the garage for the shower curtain from my old apartment. I lived in my apartment for almost a year before I found the perfect chocolate brown, understated yet chic shower curtain that wasn’t absurdly overpriced (as shower curtains often are). I finally found it and it made all the difference in my old bathroom. Now that I have taken residence in my parents house, I am re-doing my old bathroom and need that darn shower curtain! The colors will be that perfect, spa blue (ladies you know exactly the color I am talking about) offset by my chocolate brown shower curtain and dark wood cabinets. Sadly, the shower curtain remains M.I.A. however, I did find (or rediscover) these treasures so all is certainly not lost:

Among these amazing items are ballet slippers (so amazing no explanation is necessary); my radio with iPod docking station and CD player; my brother’s knockoff Rayban sunglasses (shh don’t tell! I’m just gonna hold onto them for now and keep them in a safe place…like on my face); small wooden crates and glass jar that will find a home in my bathroom makeover; candlesticks (gifts from a friend that since moving from my apartment haven’t found a home, but I now have a great idea for them!); wicker storage basket; and the greatest overnight bag EVER! Seriously, I love that faux croc skin duffle and I always get compliments on it when I travel (shh don’t tell anyone it was a gift with purchase at Bath and Body Works like four years ago). And last but not least, bubbles. These were actually not with my stuff in the garage, but were part of what appeared to be a go-to supply of bubbles. I grabbed a bottle because honestly, today I was having a bad day which was the nail on the coffin of a pretty crappy week and I just felt like blowing bubbles. A perfectly grown-up way of coping with stress, I know.

Do you have a library card?

Well, you should. Let me tell you, I love the library. I owe this love of la bibliotheque to my mother and my fond memories of spending the afternoon getting lost in books at the local library with her and my brother. My mother always tried to instill a love of learning and entertainment that was not measured in terms of its monetary value but of its life value. I did fall out of like with the library during my teenage years because as a teenager in the U.S., anything “free” is a euphemism for “lame”. It was not until I graduated college that I appreciated all the wonderful things that the local library offers. In fact, it seems as if the poor economy made all of us find again and appreciate the little things in life. The joys of dinner parties at home versus bottle service downtown. Watching classic movies for free versus $10 for the latest Hollywood atrocity (is it just me, or have movies sucked a lot lately?). Anyway, I kinda got on a tangent there. Let me hop off my “simple life” soapbox.

Here are just a few of my latest treasures from my local branch of the San Antonio Public Library.

Books: Generation A, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (highly recommend this book), Outliers (eh, I thought it was overrated) The Comfort Table (cookbook), Lost and Philosophy

DVDs: Away We Go, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Sicko, Lost (seasons 3 and 4)

CDs: (yes, you can get CDs at the library…for free): Brett Dennen (amazing folk artist I found via Pandora radio)

Also, I am on the waiting list for these other items. When my turn comes up, I just go to my nearest branch and pick it up. For free (unless you consider the lesson of patience a small price to pay):

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Food Inc. (documentary), The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel, The September Issue (the Vogue documentary which I actually paid money for and would do again, but nonetheless, it is at my library for free).

My daydream in pictures.

Lately I have had an overwhelming desire to be domesticated. Ok, that sounds like I’m some sort of exotic animal. What I mean is I have been thinking a lot about getting married and having a baby. I have heard that this is a direct result of watching Away We Go over and over again. I daydream about myself married (to John Krasinski of course) and living a super cute, casually chic J. Crewesque life in Austin where we live in a traditional bungalow style home that was recently renovated and is now energy efficient and we do things like send our kids to montessori schools and take volunteer vacations where we spend half our time building schools for Thai orphans and the other half lounging on the beaches of Phi Phi Don. I don’t know if guys do this sort of thing at all, but I wouldn’t go so far to say its a girl thing either. When I talked to my best friend about “those days when you just dream of being married with children”, she seemed to think I was smoking crack. Anyway, maybe after she sees my fantasy life in pictures she will understand….

 

  

 

 

 

 

*sigh* I can’t wait until the day that J.Crew starts making maternity wear and designing home furnishings and textiles. Then all of my dreams really will come true. Also, I’m gonna need horses just wandering about freely during my effortlessly chic outdoor wedding. If horses aren’t available, we can hire stand ins. Also, I imagine if John and I were to procreate, that our child would look something like that adorable J.Crew kids model. *sigh*