Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snozzberry? No, Wheatberry

I have always wanted to try cooking wheat berries, those chewy little grainy bits in the Kashi meals and other healthy, organicy, trendy delights. We were at the farmer's market a few weeks ago looking for bulk quinoa and found hard winter wheat, which looked like the same thing, even though a quick google search right there in the aisle did nothing to confirm my guess. Anyway, yes, they are the same thing
and I made this delicious recipe this week, found on Enjoy!

Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

1 cup wheat berries, soaked overnight
1/2 cup raw wild rice
2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries (I tried to find some without added sugar with no luck)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
small amount of red onion, minced, to taste
3 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs honey
1 tbs Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Cook wheat berries for about and hour and then check them and stop or continue cooking based on how hard or soft you like them. I stopped at an hour, I like texture. Cook wild rice according to package directions, usually about 45 minutes. Combine the two grains in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey and mustard, add salt and pepper. Pour over the grain mixture and toss to coat. Then add the cranberries, pecans, onion and parsley and give it a final toss.

I have made a similar salad/stuffing at Thanksgiving using dried apricots instead of cranberries and I bet that would be good in this recipe, too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guess what?

My alphabet monogram paintings will soon be available in the coolest baby boutique in Atlanta! I stopped in there today to get a gift for a shower and just blurted out to the owner what I do and she loved the images I had on my phone. I wasn't planning to talk about it today, but the opportunity sort of presented itself so I took it. Yes, I was in running clothes, no I didn't have an actual sample, just a tiny screen and some snapshots... Something I've learned that I think is very valuable is that conditions don't have to be absolutely perfect for progress to be made. I used to just skip a workout if I didn't have a full hour and a hardcore workout planned. Now, I just squeeze in a walk where I can. At the office I wouldn't bother starting a project until I had a totally free afternoon, and we all know how often that happens. So I started working bit by bit and am amazed at what gets done. I had myself convinced that I couldn't even talk to stores until I had an iPad and several samples, press kit, business cards, etc and I am sure all of that won't happen for months. What a great testament to the powers of just going for it and confidence (yes, even if you're sort of faking it).

I am so excited about this, the store carries all kinds of cool brands (Dwell Studio, BlaBla, little nest...) and I am so honored and flattered to be associated with them. I'll post on that project soon!

This weekend is kicking off with a Korean BBQ dinner party, baby shower tomorrow followed by dinner with friends and then church and date night Sunday. Hopefully there will also be healthy doses of downtime. Have a great weekend! Life is good.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

to summarize:

This text exchange from this morning pretty much sums up everything that is going on in our lives right now.

T : I am buying a pillow, it is $57. (decorating)

B : A camping pillow? (camping)

T : No, for the house. (It's all about the house)

B : Is the ceiling jealous because the floor gets pillows? (Brett's passive aggressive way of poo pooing a $60 pillow purchase)

T : No, but the porch is sad because it only has one pillow and feels lopsided. (Me justifying spending. If our budget had a house psychotherapy bucket, this would go in it)

B : We have a pillow on the porch? (clueless as usual)

T : Yes - pay attention, husband! (actually I am glad he doesn't notice, makes it easier to sneak in new stuff)

B : I guess this means we need to use the porch more. (Agreed)

T : We will now that is is cooler. (thank god)

B : True, maybe we could grill some kale and beans. (haha, we are trying to eat less meat)

T : I hear grilled quinoa is lovely, too. (hmm, maybe a quinoa log or something?)

Monday, September 13, 2010


All-that-excess at Forever 21...

will minimalism be back? I like layering and jeweling and overdoing just as much as the next girl, but really, what happened to less being more? Looking back through personal photos from the past few years, I witness the overdressing trend evolve. A photo of me from 5 years ago wearing a then-very-chunky necklace and bracelet looks oh-so-demure and understated now, when at the time I thought I was pushing it. I think we have gradually given ourselves permission to be more and more self indulgent, owning not one or two nice bags but twelve - and well, let's not talk about shoes. Accessories and clothing are so low cost now that they almost seem disposable. I think sometimes about the boxes of my grandmother's costume jewelry I used to play with as a little girl (and would KILL to have now, alas) and how it took her a lifetime to amass such a collection. Then I think that my granddaughter's dress-up drawer is almost fully funded now and I am scarcely out of my twenties. Something is a little off...

The same really is true with product design in general. Walk Target. Everything is "designed." Kitchen sponges are purply patterned, air fresheners are meant to be smelled and seen. And then there's the bevy of dishwashing liquid in overdone scents like ylang ylang and persimmon pomegranate. All of this is meant to give the shopper more choice, and more opportunity to showcase their individuality, but through utilitarian objects? Good industrial design is one thing, I have a huge appreciation for a well designed fork or a chair with some character, but when it comes to products that should be tucked away anyway? Not so sure. Is this a reaction to the economy being tough and therefore bringing small affordable treats to the marketplace, making every day objects feel luxurious? Same with the influx of cheap-o but cool accessories? I suppose I get that, sometimes a little boost is what you need, I guess it's about balance. It's a catch 22: I like that there are affordable, fashionable options out there, but I hate that it seems to encourage excess consumption. It is mind boggling to think about how much stuff is designed, manufactured, ordered, shipped to a distribution center, shipped to retailers, shipped to consumers, re-shipped as gifts, returned, re-gifted and eventually thrown out.

I cleaned out my closet this weekend and realized how much crap clothing I have bought in the last couple years... How many wrap cardigans from Target and H&M can one girl have? Seven, the correct answer is seven. So, this fall I am going to try to focus on fewer, better pieces and really think before I spend or bring something home. Not just because I want to look sleeker, simpler or more modern, but frankly we are running out of space chez moi. Maybe I'll even end up with a few real heirlooms in the process for my sure-to-be adorable granddaughters.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

another shoe giveaway...

A couple weeks ago I went to a painting class with some girlfriends. I admit it pained me to pay someone to teach me how to make "art", but I had not seen some of these girls in a while, and, there were frou frou drinks and lots of laughs involved. So now I have this cute, pink, girly painting that really doesn't fit into my home's decor. At all. Anyone want it? Perhaps for a daughter's room? A fabulous walk-in closet? A fun powder room? To re-gift? Please let me know, I will be happy to send it to you.

When I got home from the class late Friday night, Brett was like,"Um, that's really nice, T. Yeah, Good job..." It wasn't until the next day when it came up in conversation that he realized in these classes, everyone paints the exact same thing :) In order for me to really be inspired to paint a single pink shoe on a fluffy cloud background, there would need to be something extra frou in the drinks...

Thursday, September 9, 2010


And who doesn't love free? Kate Spade has a free playlist waiting for you to promote their new perfume, Twirl. It is a cute mix, go get it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This weekend we...

Did what any super cool 30 something couple does on a Friday night and went to see Jonathan Franzen give a reading from his new book, Freedom, remarking that we were thankfully still among the youngest people in the audience at a geeky, bookish event. People asked questions just to ask questions and at times it was awkward. He said something interesting about taking comfort in things that are managed by adults/experts, like real newspapers vs wikipedia. I appreciated that insight.

Got up early and drove to Tennessee to go white water rafting and mountain biking. Our friends said their cabin was the first right past the paved driveway on Calvender Road. Paved. Not. We probably should've taken the truck instead of the Jetta since a steeply inclined, deeply rutted, gravel covered hill was a fair match for German engineering. But we made it. Sunday morning we left them and went to Ellijay, GA for our first Patagonia training hike. I didn't have all 45 pounds in my bag for this hike, but it still gave an idea of what the extra bulk might be like. Not too bad. I felt like we were so badass, hiking through the wilderness on a trail called Bear Creek (ooh, scary) until we met a couple of three year olds and their grandpa skipping along the trail, and a lady with a baby in a weird ropy sling wearing flip flops.

Refueled at the restaurant that is the real reason anyone goes to North Georgia, Colonel Pooles BBQ. I think it's where Republicans go to die. We stuck out a little as we were not A. dressed in church clothes and B. obese. But it is some dang good food and they have a pig mobile.

Spent the remainder of Sunday packing away the camping gear til next time, making a pizza with all the left over veggies in the fridge, getting the mountain washed off the car, and watching Sherlock Holmes. That is a crazy movie made by some talented people. Except for Rachael McAdams' hair and makeup.

Made a huge brunch on Monday, I painted and made good use of the remote's Previous Channel button toggling between the US Open and a Hoarders marathon. Then Brett tried to coach me on not looking like I was "chasing seagulls" when trying to catch a ball. We have joined an adult kickball league and I don't know what the HELL I was thinking. I am horrible at team sports and I know this about myself! I guess I thought it wouldn't be too competitive. People in their 30s should not care who wins a kickball game played in a park on a Tuesday night in cheap, scratchy t-shirts, followed by cheap, scratchy beer, but they do. I am giving it a few games before I quit, thus spending lovely weekend afternoons, that are meant to be devoted to sitting quietly by the pool, trying to avoid ridicule. Feeling a David Sedaris moment coming on. Oh, and we also decided it is ridiculous when you ask someone what they did yesterday and they start with, "Got up..."

Capped off the holiday weekend with Mad Men (yes I know we had sworn it off, but we caved and have been watching on iTunes). I have been disappointed with Mad Men this season, I think if I had started watching it now I would never understand why people love this show. But the season is SLOWLY gaining speed and DD is as hunky as ever. Now I need a few more days off...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I didn't consult the archives, but I think July was my most prolific blog month ever. August? Not so much. I do have lots to say, report, post, etc. but no time to do it properly slash thoughtfully. So, until then, I leave you with a wine review.

Thumbs Up for Santa Ema Chilean Merlot 2007. Mmmmmm...