Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 SAG Awards Fashion Recap

I have to be honest and say that I was pretty disappointed with the majority of the outfit choices at last night's Screen Actors Guild Awards.

These were some of my least favorites. 
 L to R: Winona Ryder, Kim Kardashian, Jane Lynch
I did not really care for any of these choices.  The white on Winona Ryder looked far too young for my taste.  The awkward detailing on Kim Kardashian made her boobs look kind of lopsided and weird and Jane Lynch's dress is just really wrong for her. The middle part is so puffy! 

Mila Kunis chose a beautiful Alexander McQueen dress.  This was such a departure from Mila's Golden Globes look and both were great on her.  It reminded me a lot of Mrs. O's recent state dinner choice, also by McQueen. 

Here are some of my top choices.
L to R: Claire Danes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jane Krakowski, Tina Fey
 I thought all these ladies did a great job- Jane Krakowski, especially. 

But, my favorite of the evening was Annette Bening.
This picture of her face is probably not the most flattering, but I think the dress is so beautiful on her.  She just looks like she was enjoying herself and celebrating her role. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Green Hummus Recipe

If you are looking to add more vegetables and high-protein foods to your diet, this hummus is perfect for you! 
I adapted this recipe from an original I found here, but I really have changed it quite a bit.  When I made it the first time, I followed the original recipe relatively closely.  I have to say, the sesame flavor from the Tahini was completely overpowering.  This time, I toned down the Tahini and played up the other flavors.

3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (adjust to taste)
1 1/4 cup chickpeas (you may know these as garbanzo beans)
1 1/4 cup cooked edamame (shelled)
2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas can

Begin by cooking the edamame according to the package directions.  Be sure to cool the edamame under cool running water and set aside. 
(Note: You will have extra edamame left over from the package.)

Peel 3 cloves of garlic and put them in a food processor.  Pulse until minced.

Next, add three cups of fresh spinach to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
(You can, of course, use thawed frozen spinach for this if you do not have fresh spinach.  In this case, use 1 cup, or 8 ounces.)

Add the zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon to the food processor.  Then, add salt, chili flakes and tahini.

Drain can of chickpeas over a bowl (this is so you can save some of the liquid that the chickpeas come in).  Add 1 1/4 cup of drained chickpeas to the food processor and then, using the "chop" button, mix all ingredients together until well incorporated.

Add 1 1/4 cup of edamame to the mixture, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons juice from chickpeas.   Mix everything in the food processor until you have a smooth paste.

Serve with crackers, pita bread, carrots or other chopped veggies.

Note: this makes a relatively thick hummus.  If you prefer a more traditional, liquid hummus,  add more juice from the chickpeas or more olive oil.  Be conscientious when adding olive oil, as this and the tahini are the main sources of any fat in the dish.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Frugal Finds Friday: SPF 50 Moisturizer

I've blogged before about how much I love Bobbi Brown products, and I really do.  When this moisturizer first came out, I was so excited. I am very fair skinned and there is a history of skin cancer in my family, so wearing SPF on a daily basis is highly important to me. 

This moisturizer is great, but it is also $38 a bottle.  Now, the bottle lasts quite a while, but it is still pricey, and I don't see much of a "brightening" difference.

This is a great drug store alternative.  
This is only $13.99 and you can get it at any drug store.  I'm sure you could also find it at Target or Walmart.  I feel like this provides just as much moisture to my skin as the more expensive version, and it is much more affordable.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Nook for Students

Not only can you buy books without having to go to a store (big bonus for me... since Barnes & Noble or Target is kind of far away), but you can download said books practically instantly.

Well, recently I've taken advantage of another feature of the Nook- downloading PDFs.

This is the Nook charger that comes with the device when you purchase it. It works sort of like an Apple product- the charger's cord has a USB connection on one end, so all you have to do is connect the Nook to your computer using this cord.

I absolutely love this feature. Using my Mac, I can drag PDFs to my Nook and they download in seconds.  It is so much easier to read on the Nook for a long period of time than it is to read from my computer screen. And frankly, I spend enough time on the computer as it is. It is also much more portable- I can toss the Nook in my backpack or purse and take it with me just as I would with a book.

Best of all? I don't have to waste time, money, paper & ink printing out the NUMEROUS PDFs that are assigned in each of my classes to read each week.
Sorry about the orb from the flash!
One tip I have for those who want to do this is to name your PDF files in a way that makes sense to you.   For example, I name mine using the date the reading is assigned + the name of the document used on the syllabus.  This makes it easy for me to spot what I'm looking for in the "My Documents" folder of my Nook.  I'm sure you could even organize your files further and use multiple folders, but I haven't felt the need to explore that option yet. 

So just in case you are on the fence about e-readers- here's another great plus for you, especially if you are a student! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Poem by Eliza

I like to snooze.

I sometimes pout.

I get really excited when it's time to go out.

I like to sniff the concrete. 

But most of all I love when Katelyn gives me a treat.

The end.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is another great recipe from Skinny Taste.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups grated zucchini (1 medium)
Baking spray

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk eggs, sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate in another large bowl until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. 

Fold in zucchini and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake the loaves 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto rack and cool completely.

This recipe makes 16 slices of bread- 2 loaves of 8 slices, each.  If you are into Weight Watchers, this bread is 4 points per slice.
One thing I really like about this bread is that the recipe makes 2 loaves.  Since I am just one person, this gave me a great opportunity to give a loaf away to a friend!  And also, it makes your house smell ah-mazing! 

UPDATE:  from experience, I think this bread tastes much better once it has cooled completely.  Slightly warm, the taste was a bit off to me. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

D.C. Restaurant Week Reviews

I got to visit two new restaurants this week during D.C. Restaurant Week.

[Note: I didn't take any pictures myself, so all these images were found via Google Images.]

The first restaurant I went to was Jaleo.
Jaleo is a José Andrés restaurant, so I was expecting really great things. I won't bore you with how much I love his other restaurant, Oyamel.

The food at Jaleo did not disappoint.  I went with a group of 5 and we were seated very quickly and then enjoyed sharing a variety of our dishes with each other.  
For the restaurant week price of $20.11, we got 4 courses, including dessert.  The main dish I had, scallops with clementines and a pumpkin sauce, was really good.  For dessert I tried something a little out of the box and ordered the cheese ice cream.  It was really good and different, but I don't think I would order it again.  The other dishes were very tasty, too.  And by the way, the service was really great.

The second place I tried was Bistro D'Oc
Bistro D'Oc is located right across the street from Ford's Theatre.  The food was really reasonably priced for my opinion.  I ended up ordering from the regular brunch menu instead of the restaurant week menu.  I had a croque madame.
It was as good as this one looks.  I would definitely recommend Bistro D'oc for a good, quiet brunch meal.  It was nice to go to a place that wasn't filled to the rafters for once.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

These Boots are Made for Walkin'

Do you have issues with the fit of most boots?
I do.  For me, it is because my calves are wider than most.  For some people, they have this problem for the opposite reason- because their calves are more narrow than others. 

Well, I have a solution for you!
Duo is a company based out of the UK.  Even so, they have a great shipping rate to the US of $20.
I am really wanting these right now! 
They have boots in over 20 different calf sizes!  Right now they are having a great sale.  If you can get lucky and find a boot you like in your size, buy it!  The sale prices are great!  The non-sale prices are reasonable for boots, but definitely something best saved and planned for. 

I've had this problem with trying to find a good pair of rain/ snow boots, too.  I absolutely love the look of classic Hunter Wellies.

Even Mrs. Smith likes them.
The problem with classic Hunters is that they are notoriously narrow in the calf.  

But, on a recent trip to Nordstrom, I found a solution to this too. 
Hunter Brixen Boots for Women
I definitely still prefer the look of classic Hunters, but these are more functional for me.  They look cute when paired with skinny jeans and a chunky sweater or scarf.  And the best/ most important part is, they have really good traction.  And for someone who walks everywhere and still has to get to class and walk Eliza no matter the weather, that is really important! 
I'm still trying to figure out how I will wear these in the rain come spring or summer.  If you have thoughts, let me know! 

UPDATE: Not one, but TWO of the grommets on my Hunter Brixen Boots broke recently.  Needless to say, I am not pleased with the quality (or lack of) that I have experienced with Hunter so far. I could understand if these boots were less expensive, but they were definitely a splurge for me!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Frugal Finds Friday: Party Dress

My friend Kathryn is currently on the hunt for a long party dress, so today I am posting some frugal options that I've found that may work for her.

From Asos for $32.36!!

This one, also from Asos for $49.13, is reminiscent of Anne Hathaway's recent Golden Globes choice. 

This option from Macy's is marked down to $119 from $188.

Good luck in your dress hunt, Kathryn! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Show Us Your Singles: Emily in Nola

Today at Kelly's Korner, Kelly is hosting a "Show Us Your Singles" party.

In that spirit, meet my friend, Emily.
Emily is single girl who lives in the New Orleans, Louisiana area.
She recently graduated from LSU and is in her early twenties.  In undergrad, Emily was very involved in our sorority and in Student Government.  
Emily now works in politics and is very enthusiastic about supporting candidates and causes she believes in!  She is particularly passionate about law and social justice. 
Emily is very friendly and can literally make conversation about almost anything!  
In her free time, she enjoys reading style blogs, indulging in the occasional episode of MTV's Teen Mom (I'm pretty sure we ALL watch that show!) and trying out new recipes and crafty projects. 
Emily also loves dogs and hopes to one day adopt a Welsh Corgi!
So precious! 
If you know someone who might be compatible with Emily, please let me know by emailing me at  I hope I will get to pass on some eligible bachelor's information to her! 

P.S. Don't miss my post from earlier today about two fashionable First Ladies! 

They've Got Style

Today marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s inauguration. 
Google is always so good to remind us of such things.
And when I think of President Kennedy, I cannot help but think of his wife.  Of course, Mrs. Kennedy remains a style icon in our country even today. 

Mrs. Obama is another one of my favorite women with style.  Her choices are classic and modern at the same time, and you can tell she always likes what she wears and dresses for herself more than for others. 
If you like her fashions as well, make sure to check out this site, which features her outfit choices and designers. 
The photo in the top left-hand corner is from last night's state dinner.  I think Mrs. Obama looks so lovely. She always has an air of such grace and confidence. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deal Alert!

Living Social is offering a $20 amazon gift card today, and it can be purchased for $10!

That's like free money, people!  

I thought I would share this since so many of my blog readers are students, and I know a lot of us purchase textbooks through amazon.

(Just FYI- This deal is only good through 8:00 AM tomorrow.)

Winter 2011 Reading List

 I'm not really into New Year's Resolutions, but I am trying this year to be more conscientious about using what I have- this includes reading some books currently sitting on my shelves before buying anything else.

So, with that spirit, here is my current reading list:
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
I bought this on my nook before the holiday and tried to read some of it on the plane ride home.  It made me sob and I'm pretty sure I got no more than 30 pages into it.  Like, I sobbed very, very badly.  So I stopped reading it on the plane (because sobbing in front of strangers is slightly embarrassing).  I haven't picked it back up yet because I know the rest of it will be very emotional, but I want to get through it this winter.

Le Divorce & Le Mariage by Diane Johnson
I bought these at a book sale last year and I've been wanting to read them for a while.  I loved the movie Le Divorce and so far I really like the book.  It has some great and funny observations about the French, which I miss from reading French books & articles during undergrad.

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
I started reading this last spring and for some reason, I put it down and didn't finish it, so I want to get back to this one too.

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee
This is another one that I'm actually almost done with but need to finish.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Class Divided

I am not a frequent watcher of Oprah anymore, but I decided to tune in yesterday for her special episode on race discussions that have happened over time on her show.  There were many clips, including footage from a show that she did on the verdict of the OJ Simpson Trial. Since I was really too young to remember that, it was really powerful for me to see parts of that show.  

Another series of footage she showed was from an episode on race in which the audience members (unknowingly) participated in an experiment on discrimination.  The experiment was led by Jane Elliott, who first did the same experiment with her third grade class in 1968.

Jane Elliott documented her experiment on discrimination in "A Class Divided."  It is streamable online from PBS. If you have never watched it, I highly recommend it.  Watching it was very powerful for me and I know other people feel the same way.

I hope the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will continue to live on in our country.  I hope that years from now when my children have a day off of school to celebrate his birthday, they will understand all that he did for this country and all the people that he inspired.

"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve."- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Restaurant Week in D.C.

Here's a great heads-up for all who live in the D.C. area and enjoy dining out:
Its Restaurant Week in D.C.!  
It runs through the 23, although some restaurants are extending the specials until the next week as well.

You can get all the details here, but here's a quick recap:

Over 200 restaurants in the DC area are participating in Restaurant week.
You can purchase tickets for lunch or dinner.
Lunch is $20.11 for a three course prix-fixe menu.
Dinner is $35.11 for a three course prix-fixe menu.
This is such a great way to get a fancy meal without the fancy bill.

I'm planning to try a new restaurant with a friend, but if you are looking for recommendations, the following restaurants are fantastic:
(Sorry, you knew I would say it! This is my favorite DC eatery by far.)

(They have this amazing eggplant appetizer thing.)

Georgia Brown's 
(Pretty decent "soul food.") 

(Not my absolute favorite, but still good.)

Art & Soul
(Oh my gosh- get the hocakes, if they have them!)

Happy Eating! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Favorite Fashion Moments from the 2011 Golden Globes

Did you watch the red carpet show for the Golden Globes?  Like many girls, I love watching the awards shows and the pre-show red carpet arrivals.

Here are some of my favorites:
This green is so vivid and beautiful.  And could her waist be any smaller? Sheesh.

Oh my goodness.  This dress and her perfect skin.  The dress is just gorgeous. I do wish she looked like she was having a better time at the award show tonight and on the carpet, but we can all understand going through something and not feeling up to your best. 

I thought Piper Perabo looked so beautiful and graceful.  And her hair is the perfect sleek ponytail.

Mila Kunis looks amazing in this emerald stunner.  Emerald is one of my favorite colors, anyway, so I was so glad to see it on two beautiful stars tonight.

Eva Longoria looks so beautiful and understated.  I thought this dress was a little old for her at first, but the back is just gorgeous and gives this dress so much personality. 

I think Kyra Sedgwick looks great in this bold color.  I always admire women who can pull off unusual colors like this one.

I absolutely love this look on Amber Riley.  It is age appropriate and shimmery and fun.  She looks fantastic!

I'm not over the moon about this look from Julia Stiles (although I do like it) but HER HAIR!  I just think it looks so pretty and feminine. 

This dress on Kelly Osbourne is perfection.  I love the unexpected pop of nude fabric.  She looks incredible.

And finally... here is my absolute favorite:
Anne Hathaway always gets it right (or should I say... Rachel Zoe always gets it right for Anne- haha).  This dress hits her in all the right places and she just looks so amazing!  My favorite of the night by far!