Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kale & Green Apple Salad

I admittedly jumped on the Kale bandwagon rather late.  I first tried it years ago during a rowing potluck (of course rower moms are first to find healthy power foods) and absolutely despised it. I stayed away from it ever since... until I tried the Kale Salad at Yardbird over the holidays in Miami.  The salad was divine - the perfect combination of crispy, tangy, and sweet.  I highly recommend it if you ever pop by.

I've since been making this Yardbird inspired salad for lunch and dinner:
Kale | Green Apples | Dried Cranberries | Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese | Honey Mustard Yogurt Dressing

Has anyone else discovered any kale recipes worth a change of heart?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Soundtrack Sunday: Vampire Weekend Returns

With one short tweet, this week Vampire Weekend officially announced the release of their newest album will be May 7th.  This indie, preppy, afro-pop-inspired band that formed at Columbia University made its way onto the scene with Oxford Comma and Mansard Roof in 2007/2008.  The entire first eponymously-named album so quintessentially represented those summers and evoke memories of lounging lakeside with friends, barbecuing on my lawn at university, and driving in my volvo with my windows down, sunroof open, shades on, and iced coffee in hand.

The release of their second album, Contra, coincided with the year I graduated with my first university degree and spent my summer working at Emily Post.  That summer I first met KH (another fellow Emily Post intern), who is to this day one of my best friends.  That summer we discovered our mutual love for etiquette (pardon my nerdiness), similar random music tastes (she's still one of the only other people I know who love Jens Lekmen), and identical passionately-workaholic tendencies.  Each time I hear Giving Up the Gun, or Holiday, I'm instantly brought back to our times exploring Vermont, fawning over the Mad Men Season 4 premiere, and tasting our way through Burlington's gourmet sandwiches (seriously, there's an epidemic of phenomenal sandwiches).

Watch Giving Up the Gun for a few glimpses of Joe Jonas, Lil' Jon, and Jake Gyllenhaal (my personal favorite...). It's simple, it's clever, and aesthetically beautiful.

I'm ever so excited for the release of the newest album and the many memories that are sure to be forever formed with Vampire Weekend as my summer soundtrack.

Here's to counting down to warmer days and long-awaited music!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Soundtrack Sunday: Girls Gone Musical

If you haven't stumbled upon Songza yet, I insist you scoot on over to the site or download the app asap!  It's such a great music service, allowing you to choose music based on your current mood or activity.  We don't get access to Pandora up here, so this has quickly become my new go-to music source for when I need tunes to power my workday, workout, or housework.

There are countless fabulous playlists made, some even by big names such as Rachel Zoe, DVF, and now HBO.  In honor of the start of the 2nd season of Girls, HBO created a playlist based on each character.

Here are the descriptions for each:

The Marnie mix is right up my alley (naturally), keeping me trucking through early mornings with the likes of Robyn, Santigold, Scissor Sisters, and Dragonette. 

For a fun throwback to silly high school dances or a great way to end a friday afternoon and lead into the weekend, catch the Shoshanna mix's Britney, Spice Girls, and Maroon5 beats.

Check it out and find your own Girls music personality!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Fab Friday: All Prep-ped For Winter

It's official.  Winter is here.  This displaced Floridan is NOT happy (don't be fooled by my red-lipped smile). The temperature truly started dipping down today, and every piece of exposed skin felt it on my trek to the office.  Thank goodness plaid is a go-to in winter fashions.

My Fab Friday Winter Must-haves: Wool trench - London Fog | Tartan scarf - J Crew (similar) | Mittens - HBC Collection (similar) | Tartan earmuffs - J Crew (similar) | Red tights - H&M (similar) | Duck Boots - L.L. Bean | Wayfarers - Ray-ban (similar) | Thermos - Jack Spade | Plaid Bag - Tommy Hilfiger (similar)

Wishing you a wonderful, warm winter weekend!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chronicles of an Awkward 20-Something

I confess, I am not a smooth talker.  I stumble on words, talk too much, and use words that apparently require a dictionary to decipher (I've even used "copacetic" in Skype conversations).  I'm not graceful or perfectly put-together. I trip all the time, get raccoon eyes from my waterproof makeup every afternoon, and actually have been that person with toilet paper hanging out of her pants (happened to me on a 5-mile run during my rowing days.... and no one told me!). The stories are endless, as are my expectations of more awkward situations to come.

Through years of embarrassment I've learned how to laugh at myself.  I've learned to not take myself too seriously.  I may not be perfect, despite striving to be, and that's okay!  But I make people laugh like no other and even giggle myself silly when my unfortunate moments do occur (and they occur frequently).  

Earlier today my coworkers and I swapped childhood stories... a few embarrassing stories later I was asked if I ever considered writing a memoir to chronicle the countless accidents, parental scarrings, and slips of the tongue that have turned me into the walking punch-line and overly-endearing 20-something I am today.

On that note, I've decided to share some of these stories (and those that will undoubtedly happen in the future) in the hopes that I can help others learn to giggle at their own mishaps.  And maybe you'll all learn a little more about me in the process.

Beware.... shameful stories lie ahead...


Monday, January 14, 2013

Miami Musings

This post may be long overdue, but I'd still like to share some of my favorite parts of South Beach.  I'm ever so fortunate that my parents have a teeny place near the beach.  It makes winters in Canada much more bearable when I can occasionally escape to my old Sunshine State.

Although I grew up in Orlando, after a couple trips down to Miami, I must admit it makes for a much more fun winter escape.  I find that Orlando can be difficult to experience fully without having a car.  Everything is very spread out.  At least in South Beach almost everything is found within a short (or long) walk.

Can't beat a view like this after a stressful few months of work!

I love walking along the beach and seeing the collection of umbrellas and booths from each hotel. Salmon pink, orange and white stripes, light turquoise - you can experience an entire rainbow!

Each guard tower on the beach is unique.  This one just seems so quintessentially beachy. 

 My dad walked along the entire beach and snapped a photo of each tower.  I didn't quite have his dedication.  Perhaps in time.

Of course South Beach is famous for its architecture.  It's hard to miss the striking Art Deco designs.  Clean cut details, bright colors, bronzed and gilded novelties - the architecture fantastically exemplifies a vibrant, lively, and indulgent neighborhood. 

South Point Park provides beautiful views of the ocean and the many cruise ships drifting off on their adventures.  My dad and I rented Deco Bikes (pay by the hour, pick up and drop off bikes all along South Beach, highly recommended!) and explored from South Point, all the way to the end of the boardwalk.  Each time I visit I discover wonderful new places to take a rest and enjoy the view. 

Hey there!

One of my favorite things about South Beach is Lincoln Road.  It's apparently one of the top pedestrian roads in America, and it's easy to see why!  It's chock full of delicious restaurants (this is Books and Books, my favorite! Can't pass up their famous fried fish sandwich!) and both charming small and big name stores (I may or may not have made several visits to J. Crew and Madewell...), and absolutely comes alive with people from all over the world.  There are also darling markets that pop up on the weekends.  I highly recommend the antique market - so many great finds, from postcards to furniture, and jewelry to books.  

I was smitten with this napkin ring from Yardbird! It's a delicious southern-style restaurant with one of the best kale salads I have ever had!  The staff were also incredibly kind and accommodating to my vegetarian needs, although our waiter was a bit shocked at the request to leave the bacon out of our brunch dishes.  

Why hello beauties.....  Of course no trip is complete without a meal at Joe's Stone Crab.  While the restaurant can set you back a mighty hefty penny, its Take Away establishment has an amazing selection at more reasonable prices.  Their crabcake sandwich was delish!

Does anyone else have any South Beach favorites that I've missed?  I'm always looking for new discoveries!