Thursday, October 30, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
If I had to pick a shopping theme for October, it would have to be BASICS. Everything I got could fall into that category! This was also the first month of the quarter, with a lower-than-ever total budget, so I was hoping to pace myself well given the big sales coming in November/December. I spent a little more than I'd hoped to, but I love everything I got. I even returned some things that didn't work out, which is something I used to be really bad about.
- Old Navy Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt in Blue/Green Plaid (originally $27, paid $19): This reminded me of a J. Crew shirt that I missed out on buying. I am thinking fall now, so I wanted a great layering piece that also kept me warm! I love how soft it is, and that the Old Navy tops I bought were an additional 30% off!
- Old Navy Quilted Zip-Front Vest in Blackjack (originally $35, paid $25): I wanted to jump on board the vest wagon, but in a safe way... black is very safe! This fit well, and I see it as a great layering piece. I like some of the herringbone vests out there, but I don't think I'd wear them as much as a black basic for now. This vest was worn twice in one weekend already!
- Old Navy Sweetheart Boot-Cut Jeans in New Rinse (originally $30, paid $22): The only jeans in my closet are skinny jeans, because I've gotten rid of pairs that didn't fit anymore. Since I am in between sizes, I prefer to pay for a cheaper (but good!) pair of in-between jeans like these. I love the dark rinse and thick denim. They'll be well-worn this fall.
- eShakti Retro Poplin Shirtdress in Loden green (originally $70, paid $35 including shipping): I know... eShakti. And this dress that I already have in chambray. But the chambray is my favorite everyday dress that yields tons of compliments, perfect for work and play, and this green color felt like another way I could wear it frequently. I had $30 in eShakti gift coupons/codes, then received a 25% off code from them to boot. I'd considered a more unique dress, but given I want to be able to wear it more as a classic piece, I opted for this instead.
- Payless Flats (originally $85 total for three pairs, paid $45 w/tax): All my flats come from Payless. Period. I wear them for about a year or so, until they smell bad and I want to toss them. So every year I get some new basic flats and toss the old ones. I just can't justify spending more money on flats when the American Eagle line there is so comfy and I know every pair will fit well without issue. This round, I got the Bayley Twist flat in cognac, Cent Penny flat in black, and the Boulevard Brogue in black. I'll wear them all to bits! They were on sale plus 20% off and free shipping.
- MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Saffiano Leather Crossbody in Luggage (originally $148, paid $70 with tax): I've been looking for a brown cross-body bag, but I wasn't finding one in the price range I liked. I randomly was searching, and this bag popped up on the MK site listed at $64... what?! I thought it might have been an error, but I snatched it up anyways because it was perfect and a STEAL! There are card pockets on the inside too.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
We are thrilled to announce our first ever Instagram takeover as we run #pumpkinfest tomorrow! Stay tuned to our feed here and on Twitter as #franklintn Instagrammers @aubreyland325 and @cammcb0607 take over our accounts and highlight their favorite #fall features of Pumpkinfest tomorrow! #fall #autumn #leaves #TagsForLikes #falltime #season #seasons #instafall #instagood #TFLers #instaautumn #photooftheday #leaf #foliage #colorful #orange #red #autumnweather #fallweather #natureA photo posted by Heritage Foundation Franklin (@historicfranklin) on
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I've been divorced now for almost four years. And in that time, I went from feeling like a pariah to one of many good, normal people who experience this personal life-changer. I've seen more and more of my friends go through this awful thing, and seeing their so-called friends (and even family) make them feel worse is infuriating to me. But then I realized, maybe people just don't know how to react when someone is going through this. It's AWKWARD.
So I decided to post a few tips here on how NOT to act when your friend's getting a divorce... and a few things you ought to do.
|So your friend's getting divorced... and you don't know what to do? AWKWARD.|
So I decided to post a few tips here on how NOT to act when your friend's getting a divorce... and a few things you ought to do.
- DON'T assume fault or salacious storylines. There are three sides to every divorce: his, hers, and the truth. (Note: I'm for marriage equality, so feel free to substitute pronouns.) The reality is, divorces don't always happen because someone cheated, someone was abusive, etc. They happen for the same reason that any other breakup happens... it's just that there's a legal contract, social construct, and more that makes it that much worse.
- DON'T feel entitled to the details. When I got divorced, acquaintances on Facebook (as in, people I haven't talked to in forever) sent me messages to ask why my relationship status changed, or why my name changed. Um, seriously? If you're just a casual observer of someone's life on social media (as in, the most interaction you have is "liking" their photos or saying Happy Birthday once a year), you are NOT entitled to know the details of your so-called friend's divorce. And even if you are a good friend, realize that you will never know everything that happened, and that's okay. It's your job to be a friend, not soak up all the juicy gossip. She'll tell you what she wants you to know, when she's ready.
- DON'T act like it's contagious. Divorce is not a literal plague. So if you're married, don't cut your friend off because you're scared her reality could become yours. Seriously, there are people who cut out divorced friends because it casts a new light on their own imperfect relationship. The only one who can break your marriage is you and your spouse.. You don't have to feel weird inviting her to things you'd normally invite her to, because she's the SAME PERSON. No need to be afraid, or wear a HAZMAT suit.
|It's not ebola, people.|
- DON'T disparage her ex. Well, not too much anyways. Commiserate with her, but don't blast her ex to the point that she would never see you in the same light if they reconcile. It's been known to happen. Also, she'll wonder why the heck you never said anything about how much you hated him before they married! It's fun to jump on the hater bandwagon, but she's the only one who is allowed talk *real* trash about him.
- DON'T judge when she starts dating again, no matter how soon. A divorce is not a death. There is no required mourning period. I learned from divorcing, and witnessing my friends' divorces, that whether you wait a year or a month to start dating again, it's going to be "too soon" in someone's (irrelevant) opinion. Guess what? Everyone is different... and while she may only be divorced a month, she probably hasn't felt like she's been in a healthy relationship for even longer. You don't get to judge. Also, don't set her up (especially with your husband's last, weird single friend) unless she asks you to... she's not desperate, she's just divorced.
|THIS is what your last single friend looks like to me. Don't set me up.|
I know I've listed a lot of things that you shouldn't do when your friend is divorcing... but there are also things you SHOULD do. Or at least, these are things that I appreciated and try to do for my own friends.
- DO... date your friend. You know how when you're part of a couple, you look forward to Valentine's Day, birthdays, etc. celebrations with your loved one? Suddenly, your friend no longer has that significant other around to take care of those things anymore. So make an effort to make her smile, and "date" your friend. Go to dinner, a movie, to a winery, send flowers, thoughtful things like that... In many cases, your friendship predates your own marriage or relationship. She deserves a little love from you.
|It's time for sisterhood and friendship!|
- DO... realize that this is about HER, and not about YOU. If you're worried about awkwardness around your friend, seeing her ex in public, people associating you with her divorce, and other stupid things, guess what? She feels 1000x worse than you! You do NOT get to be more upset than she is! Period! Don't make this your own drama.
- DO... recognize that this is devastating for her, and she may not be herself for awhile. Forgive her (within reason) for being a bad friend for a while. Don't get offended when she doesn't "like" all your happy Facebook posts. She'll come around, but it takes time. In my opinion, divorce feels like an amputation: a part of you that you thought you'd always have is suddenly gone, and there's a lot of pain and even phantom limb sensations about it. It's awful... but you get used to the loss after a while.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Union Common, located in Midtown, was not on my radar whatsoever... and they've been open for two months! My friends MM and MC met up with me for dinner, but when we got to Sinema (sans reservation) we were told the wait was 3.5 hours. Seriously! I'm sure I'll try Sinema another time, but it kind of stinks that they save *zero* flex tables for walk-ins; I like restaurants to have a friendly mix.
We called Union Common, and they set a reservation for us in 30 minutes, perfect time to get to midtown from where we were. We valeted my car at the restaurant and walked into the space. It had a real art deco vibe to me, from the decor to the menus. It wasn't jam-packed with people, which surprised us at first, so we didn't know what to expect.
My friends ordered cocktails (which were good, but had a bit too much ice!) and we perused the menu. There are LOTS of shareables on the menu, which was great for our foodie crew. MM and MC are more adventurous than I am, so it made for a really great experience for this junior foodie! We decided to order a few small plates to start.
First up was one of my favorites of the whole meal, the Crispy Duck. The duck was nestled on polenta and parmesan with some delicious cornbread crackling. I really, really enjoyed this dish. There was lots of crunch and flavor. We scraped the dish clean!
The other starter dish we indulged in was Roasted Bone Marrow. It had a pickled garnish on top and was served with mustard and toast. They gave us tiny spoons that were very helpful in scooping the marrow out of the bone. It was excellent! Bone marrow might sound bizarre, but if you're a meat-lover, this is just a truly awesome thing to try.
|Roasted Bone Marrow|
For our main dish, we ordered the smaller Dry-Aged Ribeye, which is supposedly aged 50 days. We had it medium-rare, and they served it for us as medallions so we could share more easily. It was very good. In fact, my MM said that the meal was better than Kayne Prime, a Nashville steakhouse I've got on my wishlist.
|Dry-Aged Ribeye & Brussels Sprouts|
On impulse, we also ordered ANOTHER small plate: Nashville Hot Sweetbreads. They came fried, like popcorn chicken, with a great buttermilk dressing. Yup, I tasted some offal! And honestly, this batch tasted like Buffalo chicken fried sweetbreads, in a really great way. MC told me the texture was still similar to other sweetbreads she'd had, so I felt particularly proud to try it.
|Nashville Hot Sweetbread|
While my friends are savory fans, I saved some room for something sweet. I chose the Banana Foster Bread Pudding, because I am on a bread pudding ROLL lately. It was served with a bourbon whiskey ice cream, which was a great complement to the dish. Everyone tried some!
|Banana Foster Bread Pudding|
I sincerely hope I get a chance to come back, as the waitstaff was great to boot! They need an extra valet or two (especially on a Friday night, people!) but I'm glad the service is available. You need to try this place!
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
|Rose Gold Sparkle|
|White & Pink Tint Tips (Short)|
|Icy Taupe Polka|
Monday, October 13, 2014
Food & Wine is my favorite magazine, and their November issue featured a recipe I just felt compelled to attempt: Apple Sharlotka. Basically, it's a Russian apple cake, though for me it felt like a lovely upside-down pie of sorts.
The prep was pretty easy. Peeling and slicing apples was the most challenging part. Then it was some batter-making and arranging it all in a springform pan, allowing the batter poured over the top to sink in through the apples. In hindsight, I should have let the batter drip through a bit more, but I was so excited to get it into the oven!
There was definitely some waiting involved... it bakes for an hour! And then you have to let it cool a bit before opening the pan. But once you do, and you add the powdered sugar, it sure looks beautiful! Dan and I both liked the taste; I added a little whipped cream to mine. It's not overly sweet, and the apples make it tart. Not bad for a first attempt, eh?
Apple Sharlotka by Chef Matt Danko
from Food & Wine
- 4 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and side of an 8-inch springform pan.
- In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the almond extract and the remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. Gently fold in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
- Spread the apples in the prepared pan in an even layer, then pour the batter evenly over them. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the batter to sink in a little.
- Bake the sharlotka for about 1 hour, until it is golden and crisp on top and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 15 minutes. Unmold and transfer to a serving platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Or maybe more like this?
Overall, I was disappointed in sisterhood that day.
How would you have handled the situation? Would you tell a stranger that her underwear was showing like that to save them? I know I would... and I have!
Labels: My Life in GIFs