Archive for March, 2010

March 15, 2010

For the new bride

(all photos this post courtesy of the inimitable Yvonne Wong, who blows my mind every day with her talent)

Something must be in the air these days…all of my friends are getting engaged! It’s wonderful. It makes me bubble with happiness…and a teensy bit of jealousy that they’re just starting the wonderful whirlwind that is planning a wedding.

Typically when I get the squealing I’M ENGAAAAAAAAAAGED! call from a girlfriend, I have two pieces of advice:

1. Don’t take any advice from anyone right now.

2. If and when people start asking you for details about the wedding (especially sensitive stuff like “Who are your bridesmaids going to be?!”), say, “I’m just so excited to be engaged that I haven’t thought that far ahead yet!”

And then I send them ma’blogs. Ma weddin’ blogs. This is an ever-changing list of the wedding-related blogs that I find most inspiring, as well as the name of the shop where I bought my dress because my experience there was so wonderful. Here’s a copy of a “for the new bride” email I just sent this evening, to the fantastic new fiancee of Dave’s best college bud:

okay, this is the mother of all DIY wedding blogs…but it will suck your life:

and THEN! you have to look at this one because it’s about once a day and very pretty:
and THEN! if you look closely, you’ll see a couple you know featured on this one (a few weeks ago, I think):
and this one is pretty quirky, but there are some total gems:
here’s my photographer:
and here’s my invitation designer:
and then this one always made me drool:
and this one:
and then this one has a lot of good seattle resources:
oh, and here’s my awesome videographer:

…okay. that should do you for now. also, i got my dress (for cheap!) at I Do Bridal in Wallingford. if you can resist the siren call of couture, you should consider looking at La Belle Elaine’s near downtown because they have a runway in the middle of the store and it’s the ultimate trying-on experience. just be prepared to have to turn down the kate moss lookalike who is your salesgirl.

See? Aren’t I a nice new-bride-email-sender? You can’t even TELL that there’s a tiny, petulant voice in my head screaming LET ME PLAN ANOTHER WEDDING SO I CAN HAVE ANOTHER PRINCESS DAY! RIGHT NOWWWWWWWWWWW!!! The good news is that the tiny voice is the reason I’m able to listen for hours on end to the brides in my life – I’m living vicariously through them, and will absorb every little detail they want to share about wedding planning. I even have thoughts on which nude-color thong underwear looks best under ivory organza.

How do you guys respond when the ladies in your life take the giant leap into matrimonial planning?

March 8, 2010

First blush of spring

…you see how I made that pun? Get it? Because this is a post about my blush, and it’s almost spring? I am ridiculously clever.

Anyway, I didn’t actually take these photos with the intent of writing a makeup post – in fact, blush and concealer are just about the only cosmetics I’m wearing here. If you read Baxter’s Modern Life, you’ve already seen these images. And, really, how can you even LOOK at my face with the bundle of cute I happen to be holding in these pictures? I know. It’s hard to avert your eyes.

But I digress. For fair-skinned broads like me, good blush is hard to find. Too bright and I end up looking like a trollop; too brown and I look dirty; too purple and I look sickly…but the right color can work miracles. Suddenly I’m glowing, and my eyes look brighter, and my teeth are whiter (which is hard because I drink about four Diet Dr. Peppers a day).

The trouble is that many blushes have pigments in them that are bad for acne-prone skin. And mineral blushes tend to be wayyyyy too pigmented for my blindingly white skin. But Jane Iredale makes a color, Copper Wind, that works miracles for moi. In the compact, it looks too brown, but the warm hue to it is actually what makes it work so well. In the summer, it brings out any color I already have from the sun (yeah, right, if you call off-white a color) and in the winter it livens me up without making me look like I’m going to a Jersey Shore audition.

Do any of you have amazing blush that you’d like to share? Bueller? Was anyone else bored by the Oscars? Bueller?

March 5, 2010

Real Simple

Dudes. This recipe is amazing…and it’s easy, AND it’s even a little bit fun if you have a 6-foot-4-inch sous chef in the kitchen with you. Oh, and did I mention that it’s cool-looking? That’s a very important test of a recipe’s value. The only drawback is that the name – Hasselback Potatoes – is one letter away from sharing a name with a very annoying television personality…but we won’t talk about that, will we?

My dear friend Lindsey told me about this Swedish version of baked potatoes. Those Swedes…they’re onto something.

So here’s what you need to know:


  • Potatoes. However many you want, in any size (the ones I used were about 2-inches in diameter)
  • Garlic – one clove per potato
  • Butter – maybe 3 tablespoons per baking sheet?
  • Olive oil – some glugs. Sorry. I should really measure things.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper – some sprinkles

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon moutard (that’s mustard for you non-French-speakers)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place a potato on a large wooden spoon and cut into it at 2mm intervals. The spoon should stop your knife from cutting all the way through the potato, but if it doesn’t then you’ll just have to be very careful. Use the 80-dollar mandolin you got for your wedding (or your expert thin-slicing skillz) and slice fresh garlic – I had about one clove per potato. Insert the slices of garlic between the cuts in your potatoes.

Melt some butter (I had about 3 tablespoons for this whole sheet) and brush it onto the taters. Then drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop the whole shebang into a 425-degree oven. I baked these little guys for about 30 minutes, but if you have bigger potatoes then you might need to leave ’em in for 40-45 minutes. Take them out when the tops are brown and a little crispy, and the center is soft.

To prepare the yogurt sauce, just stir all of the ingredients together. Simple.

Serve hot, with a dollop of sauce, and sprinkle some extra chopped chives on top. Prepare for your guests to be all impressed and grovelly about your talent in the kitchen.

Some variations that I plan on trying: sweet potatoes with brown sugar and cinnamon; new potatoes with sundried tomatoes, basil, and tzatziki sauce; white potatoes with vidalia onions, turkey bacon, and goat cheese sprinkles; russet potatoes with cumin, paprika, turmeric, and masala sauce…maybe even some sort of root veggie that isn’t even a potato! God. I don’t even know where to begin.

March 1, 2010

Feeling like a good cry this morning?

Get the tissues before you watch this.