Archive for July, 2010

I need this:


I may have even needed it yesterday.


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I’m not at all ashamed to say that a little bit of retail therapy goes a long way with me. It used to be that I’d need A LOT of retail therapy in order to get that tingly ‘it’s all going to be okay’ feeling back. Now, it’s more along the lines of “Wow, I found this pack of pens for $2 – I feel great!” I’ve come a long way. I blame it on living with a man who’s on a budget most of the time. I’m not complaining.

With that being said, I know of some people who head straight for the clothes. While I am a HUGE clothes horse, I don’t gravitate that direction so often anymore. I think it’s mostly because I live in constant fear that my clothes aren’t going to fit after a few months anyway. Although, lately, that’s not been issue since I’ve been on the Arizona mesa of all plateaus. That’s another tangent for another day, I’m afraid. Lately, clothes have not been my go-to retail therapy MO. Shoes haven’t been either. Make-up? Not so much.

You’re probably asking yourself what else there could possible be after I’ve removed all of the usual suspects from the list. Well, here it is. My feel better indulgence in the retail arena has become…


I’m not even kidding. How could I make this stuff up? It begs you to ask yourself why anyone would gravitate toward cookbooks as a way to feel better about life. Especially a life that has, as of late, been almost devoid of vacation time due to unexpected incidents at work and now involves a canceled road trip with my girlfriends due to a necessary weekend’s worth of bringing work home with me/going into the office. What makes me think that cooking – or even finding the time to cook! – is going to be ideal?

The answer is I don’t know. I also don’t care. The bottom line is that I felt oodles better yesterday after I stepped into the local bookstore and sat down with Giada. I oohed and ahhed for almost 30 minutes before I walked to the counter and bought myself a $32.50 cookbook detailing everyday pastas.

The $2.99 markdown of “Yummy Potatoes” was just a bonus buy on the way out. What girl doesn’t need to know 65 ways to cook potatoes that involve heavy cream, cheese and an inch-deep swimming puddle of butter?

So, I’m adding another two cookbooks to my already dangerously out of control cookbook shelf in my already lacking counter space kitchen. I think I might be an addict. I might need to stop referring to it as retail therapy all together. I might just want to call it cookbook therapy. It’d be so much  more to the point.

I may need help.

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I’m trying to be a frugal bride. Frugal by necessity if you will. My girls and I will be test piloting a number of DIY projects that, if successful, I will be incorporating into my wedding. For instance, I’ve begun the great hunt for vintage brooches. I’ll be making my bouquet out of them. My mother has provided me with some of my great grandmother’s costume brooches, and I’m on my way to flea market shopping in the next few weeks. I’m also looking to incorporate my love for reading/writing into the ceremony via my bridesmaids’ “flowers.” We’ll be attempting to perfect making flowers out of the pages of novels. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely beautiful when it’s all said and done. If I can manage it, most of our “flowers” are going to not be flowers at all. Too much money on something too temporary.

Despite my inclination to make things rather than buy them, the planning of my wedding budget still gives me pause from time to time. Okay, maybe I freak out a little bit. It’s all the little unknown costs. The waiting for people to get back to us that really makes our heads spin. In all reality, I think it’s going to turn out just fine and dandy. Right now, I’m just freaking out unnecessarily. It’s what I do. It’s a part of who I am.

Two things to share though.

One, I think everyone, even those not getting hitched, should read and enjoy Offbeat Bride. It just makes me so happy to see people doing things their way. You can visit http://www.offbeatbride.com to find out what I mean.

I also found my wedding colors via Eat, Drink, Chic. The downloadable vintage gift tags inspired me, and I’m turning the summery cornflower blue and vibrant yellow tag into the focal point for our wedding colors. I’m quite excited. Check out the “Foodless & Fabulous” section to find the link to this lovely little number. It inspires me. Truly.

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After my extended absence due to engagement and birthday shenanigans, I am back. I am breathing a huge sigh of relief because it’s very important to me that I am back. If nothing else, I need to use this creative outlet to keep myself balanced as I move forward this summer.

Between crazy days at work with my new position, a packed personal calendar, and wedding planning, I have a full plate. I’m going to look at blogging as a means to keep me sane and bring some stability to my otherwise obnoxious schedule.

With that being said, I hope that you’ll forgive me when I start talking wedding here. I so know that I am going to do so that I am creating a wedding talk category. I’ll try to stay as focused on food and food-related items as I can, but it’s inevitable that my wedding planning is going to roll over into my blogging. I plan to make it as enjoyable as possible.

I think it’s time for a gardening update, though.

My strawberry plant it producing the wee-est strawberries ever. They don’t get much bigger than this before the ants that have invaded the outdoors start to attack. I’ve had a handful of delicious little bites over the course of the last few weeks, but mostly this plant has ended up being decorative more than anything. I’m okay with that.

Our tomato plants are covered in buds and tiny tomatoes like the one above. They’re also weighed down with green behemoths that I hope will turn yellow the orange then red soon enough. I’m tired of buying tomatoes!

My banana peppers are by far doing the best out of the whole garden. They are plentiful. They are ripe. They are overtaking my refrigerator, and I must find a good pickled banana pepper recipe ASAP. If you have suggestions, pile them on. I need all the help I can get!

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