Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Macaron Fail

A few weeks back, Margaret and I attempted to make French macarons. She has successfully made them at least once before, and I had never had one! (Technically still have never had one...but we'll get to that).

First step was to find a recipe. We found one via the ever helpful Google search and set to work! We decided to make the cookies with green coloring, and make a white chocolate raspberry filling. It called for "high quality raspberry jam," but all we had was Smuckers...that's high quality, right?


Making the meringue was actually pretty fun. Once it was made, I did all the folding and whatnot :) I'm sure you've picked up from the title that the cookies didn't turn out. I don't know what we did wrong. Apparently macarons are super finicky, and hey this was my first time!

There they sit...while we still had hope that they would turn out. The filling was DELICIOUS! I basically just peeled the weird remnants of cookies off the paper and dipped them into the filling. It was pretty tasty. I'd love to try making them again sometime, but it was a pretty time consuming venture. I just hope Margaret will try again with me! I need the moral support with these things...

Monday, February 27, 2012


We have a nice little tradition around the office, where we go out to lunch for everyone's birthday. This past week we went out for Tim's birthday (he's our news and media relations guy). He decided he wanted to try this new place in town called Hadley's, which is just right down the road from the office. It's a locally owned restaurant that the owner is planning on franchising eventually. I think the concept is Southern fast food or something like that.

The day we planned to go turned out to be a gorgeous day, so several of us decided to walk...a preemptive strike, if you will.

It was a relatively pleasant experience. The food didn't wow me, but there were some interesting things to choose from on the menu, and the staff was very friendly. The place itself seemed really well thought-out and designed, so I appreciated that. I notice that a lot of local places don't put any time into their branding, and it bothers me.

The walls were plastered with Southern phrases, and while that is quite cheesy, I did find myself laughing at some of the phrases that I hear people say often. Of course they mis-punctuated y'all. IT'S A CONTRACTION FOR YOU ALL NOT YA ALL! Everyone reading this please take's y'all, not ya'll. Ok, now that that's over... let's move on.

I haven't been sticking to my healthy lifestyle as much as I usually do. I guess you go through ups and downs with everything, but my nutrition has been at a major down lately. I definitely allow myself splurges, but it ceases to be a splurge when it's every other day. ANYWAY, I got a slawburger with sweet potato fries and unsweet tea. What's a slawburger? Exactly what it sounds like. I love slaw...on anything. I wish mayonnaise wasn't so fatty, because I would be happy just slathering slaw on everything.

I don't think this will become a regular stop for me...especially since I don't make a habit of eating out, but I do think that you should give it a try if you're local!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Windblown Look Gone Bad

It's been windy y'all! I mean WIIIINNNNDYYY. You know that crazy whooshing sound it makes when it blows by a window? It's doing that constantly right now, and it's kind of terrifying. I feel like the building is going to start swaying any minute. Yesterday, I helped out with a photo shoot for our graphic designer. Our regular photographer is at a conference, so I stepped up to bat. We did most of the shots inside, but then decided to try to get some outdoors. Let's just say it was not a success. We did get a couple that work, but since almost everyone in the shoot had some amount of hair on their head, they were looking a little windblown...and not in the cool sexy way.

I was not even playing...a huge gust of wind came and blew me off the rock I was standing on.

 This is why I'm learning to sew... I'm tired of trampling all of my nice pants that are too long!

I'm actually scared to brush my hair after all that. I just wore it wavy today so I wouldn't have's going to be brutal when I do. Do any of you have long hair? I have found that Redken Anti Snap works pretty well in decreasing tangles, but I still usually have a ton to brush out. I'm just really lucky I don't have a tender scalp! When I was in high school I really wanted my hair to be as long as Rachel's in Friends (this season), and I think I surpassed that. Someday I'm going to cut this mop off, but for now, I guess I do enjoy having long hair, you know...for the windblown look.

I thrifted this sweater last weekend and it's GREAT! The texture is so neat, and I love a good navy basic. I wore it with the fun belt I got from Sarah Louise, because I thought the colors looked nice together. I'm kind of a huge fan of gold with any outfit..

sweater- thrifted (I love the texture!!)
pants, earrings- Express
shoes- Old Navy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Josh and Courtney

A few weeks back a couple that I work with asked me to take some portraits of them to announce their adoption plans. I had to keep it hush hush for a few days though, to give them plenty of time to tell everyone. Courtney had so many great ideas for the shoot, and we have a lot of fun shooting on a nice overcast day! This was a first for me as far as portraits go. I thought it was such a cute idea to take pictures to accompany an adoption announcement. They can also use them when they're doing all the applications and whatnot (I have no idea how all that works, but I know they send in pictures at some point).

She's from Alabama, he's a very big Union University fan

I can't wait to meet the child that they adopt! I know they are both going to be just amazing parents, so that is one blessed child.

Monday, February 20, 2012

400th post: Neon Lights and Broken Toes

Guess what, you guys?! This is my 400th post! I can't believe that I've got 400 blog posts in this, how time flies. It makes me feel so special that you folks have kept coming back even after 400 of my ramblings. Thank you from the bottom of my big 'ole Southern-girl heart!

shirt, pants, necklace: Express
jacket: Walmart (!)
purse: thrifted
watch: Urban Outfitters
left shoe: Marshall's
right shoe: Convenient Care, a steal at $20. 

This was the very first outfit shoot that Margaret and I did together. She just asked me that morning if I wanted to do a shoot right after work, and since I wasn't wearing sweat clothes, I figured why not! This was during that time that I was wearing a post-op shoe for my broken toe, and I thought maybe I could start a trend. 

Post-surgery shoes are all the rage right now, didn't you know? Did I even tell you guys about my broken toe? I don't remember...and I'm way too lazy to look back in the archive, so I'll just tell you anyway. It all started with a pretty mild game of office kickball. The OUC (our office) was dominating, and I was IN.THE.GROOVE. No way was I NOT going to sprint all out between the bases that were dangerously close to the wall (you see where this is going...) So I left second as fast as I could go, and planted my foot on third. Of course if you don't want to get tagged out, you have to leave your foot on third, and thus stop the motion of the rest of your body without leaving the base. My method of stopping myself in this instance was to slam into the nearby wall. Awesome.

It's been about a month now, and the toe only bothers me if I wear tight shoes. Luckily it was only really bad for a few days, and I was mostly walking normally after about a week. So that's my story! Riveting, right?

Thanks for sticking with me, through thick and thin, for 400 posts! I love you guys!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red Rosettes and Feathers

The other day I got an email from Maria over on Little Tree Vintage that I had won one of her giveaways! I had entered to win an adorable hair rosette and pair of earrings from this adorable Etsy shop called Rissy Roo's. They were both red, and I really don't have enough red in my wardrobe so I was really excited to win. Both pieces arrived this morning (mailman was on top of things!) and they are SO DARN CUTE.

I tried using the live view function on my camera (most DSLRs don't have this) so I could take the pictures in the mirror. It's so hard! You have to manually focus and hold it still, plus I had my ten million pound 100mm lens on there (ok it's not that heavy, but it's bulky). Oh well...blogger problems.

Also, pardon the t-shirt. My plans for a photo shoot today got postponed because we're expecting bad weather, so I haven't gotten gussied up today. It's nice to get stuff done around the house for once. My bathroom is nice and clean, Dudley's liter box is fresh, and I had time to cook myself a delicious lunch! I had baked bay scallops with pesto and onion served over angel hair case you want to know what a delicious lunch is for me :) I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Giveaway on The Citybirds Nest

My friend CB is doing a huge giveaway over on her blog The Citybirds Nest, and I've offered up one of my prints to be won by some lucky duck. Head on over there and check it out if you want. There are several other amazing prizes up for grabs. I especially love the little fox with the scarf print.

Good luck! The giveaway ends February 29th so HURRY.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photo shoot Wardrobe: Westwin

Abby and I are planning our next photo shoot together after a pretty long hiatus. Our last one was quite a while back so I've been anxious to get out and do another one. I think it's really important to keep doing your own personal projects when you're out "in the real world." It helps not to have any kind of obligation attached to a project. If this flops no one will know the difference! that I've told you all about it, I guess I'm obligated to present something of quality :) ...but still, you get the picture.

We're getting all the clothing for the shoot from this great boutique called Westwin. I was thrilled to have a one stop shop to get the wardrobe, and on top of that the folks there are great to work with! We walked around with Marley (hope I spelled that right), and she showed us some of her favorites. It was really hard not choose because there were so many great pieces! I ended up with a lot of neutrals and pale pink/purple. I am going to try to add a little more color with some of my own accessories. It was so much fun to walk around and pull things for the shoot, and Abby even shopped for herself a little (how could you not?!)

 Marley and Abby

(Shimmery jeans I picked out for the shoot. THEY ARE REVERSIBLE! I was kind of blown away by that.)

Those are just a couple of the things that I picked out. You'll have to wait a bit to see the rest! Seriously, Saturday can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Roses are White with Pink Tips

shirt- H&M
cardigan, pants, necklace- Express
shoes- BCBGeneration
Earrings- gift from Rhett

Ok, they do look red in the picture, but in reality, the roses are white with pink tips...and they're so pretty! Rhett was a sweetheart and sent them to me at work today. He said he was going to pick me some daffodils (my favorite flower), but our cold weather has killed them for now. It's the thought that counts! I can't wait to get these home and put them in one of my milk glass vases. They're going to look so good. Almost good enough to eat...

Don't worry, I won't really eat them.

I'm posting this last picture for two reasons. 1.) Those pearl earrings are some that Rhett gave me a few years ago. At this point I don't remember what it was for, but I THINK it was Christmas. I like to wear them on special days like Valentine's and our anniversary. I think they're just perfect. 2.) This is how I've been wearing my hair all the time, and I actually like it. I usually am so fed up with my hair just being ALL OVER THE PLACE, but with the twist it stays out of my seat belt, out of my food, and out of my face. It's awesome. 

I hope you're all having a fantastic Valentine's Day! I want to take a moment and say that I love you...all of you...everyone that reads this blog. Everyone deserves to be loved, and I hope that all of you feel loved on this special day.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pastel like a Macaron

Remember how I told you that Margaret and I were going to be taking outfit photos for each other? Well here's one of those outfits for you! Not long before these were taken we had tried (and failed) to make some French macarons, and strangely enough we made the cookies green and the filling pink. Apparently I channeled those colors in this outfit.

"Margaret, you can't see the color of my shirt with my jacket tied! Let me flash you!"

I'm apparently not great at normal poses. I always weed those out and keep the silly ones to post. This was my first time wearing these gorgeous earrings from Tree & Kimball on Etsy. I'm part of a great team on Etsy called Curation Nation, and we had a secret santa gift exchange over the holidays. Well these earrings were my gift from my very sweet secret santa. I couldn't be happier! I love the color, and they are so bold and fun to wear. I thought they went great with my toned down outfit...I'm not one to stick to muted tones. 

 freckle city!

shirt- Forever 21 (forever ago)
jacket- vintage from BrownBagVintage
pants, sunglasses- Express
earrings- Tree & Kimball