Monday, November 15, 2010

My 2010 Reads

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella
Journey to Ithaca by Anita Desai
God of Small Things by Arundati Roy*
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough*
While I Was Gone by Sue Miller*
My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins*
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig*
House of Daughters by Sarah-Kate Lynch

Started but didn’t finish:
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
Half the Sky by Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

* Best books I read this year!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fig Love

Look at this delicious cheese and fig plate we made a few weeks ago. Isn't it gorgeous? Yum!

Fall in Virginia

Today we finally walked up to the Alexandria Mason's Temple and took in the view.

Rally for Sanity

Last weekend we braved the crowds on the Metro and Rallied for Sanity. It was insane.

Then we carved two awesome pumpkins and toasted some delicious pumpkin seeds.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

P-P-P-Pumpkin Face

Every Halloween, the Creative Services group I work with puts on a pumpkin contest. Teams of designers brainstorm and paint (or glue props on) pumpkins. Then we allow the entire company to vote and bid on the pumpkins. This year we raised more than $100 for Breathe Deep DC and LUNGevity. Here are the entries. Which one is your favorite?

P-P-P-Pumpkin Face

Mustache O'Lantern


Pumpkin 1, Level 1


(all photos by colleague)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Breathe Deep DC 2010

I'm designing all the collateral for Breathe Deep DC again this year. Here's an awesome video of our celebrity spokes-superhero filmed by one of my colleagues.

Click here to donate to my team for Breathe Deep DC.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Impromptu 10k

I stopped into my local running store on Saturday to find they were doing the packet pick-up for a 10k on Sunday to benefit prostate cancer research. Spur of the moment, my husband and I decided to sign up and run the next day. It was a great day for a race, just a light sprinkle and much cooler than it's been on the East Coast in weeks. The course was fun and I finished 12th in my division! Pretty good for my first 10k. There is one benefit to getting older...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Uttapam, Idli, Parantha, Lassi

I realized I really didn't post that much about my trip to India last Spring. I'll have to post some more pictures/stories of our adventure soon. In the meantime, I'm remembering how incredible the food was! Reminisce with me.

North Indian Breakfast:

South Indian Breakfast:

Indian Moonshine. I was pretty sure we were going to go blind from drinking this (literally). I barely took a sip. We had to leave the cap unscrewed, lest the bottle explode...

Monochromatic feast. Incidentally I'm wearing a shirt that matches my meal. Helpful when eating without utensils.
South Indian lunch:
Buhkara. The only time I ate meat in India. Okay, the only time except for the notorious chicken sandwich which gave me Delhi Belly and made me give up meat for six weeks. (Not so hard after being a vegetarian for 18 years.)

I do have to say the Indian desserts were not to my taste. Here are three gelatinous confections.

My beloved Palace Heights menu. We stayed at this hotel and ate at this restaurant many times! This was our last meal in India. Sigh.

Edvard Munch

Went to see a small collection of prints by Edvard Munch at the National Gallery the other day. I just love this space!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Salad Days

When my husband first moved to DC (back when he was just my bf, not my husband) he rented a tiny room with shaggy blue carpet and a threadbare bedspread in a musty old house, with an eccentric, and mildly racist landlord, P, who had two black standard poodles. When I would come to visit, we were at a loss for what to eat. The kitchen was pretty much off limits. One, because it was filthy and hadn't been remodeled, or possibly cleaned, since the house was built in say, 1879. And two, and more importantly, because of the chance of an awkward encounter with the landlord. Or the Poodles. And since we were in upper NW DC and car-less, we might as well have been in suburban Kansas with the dearth of food options at our disposal.

So we would walk more than a mile up the hill to Whole Foods and get salads from the salad bar and a pint of ice cream. Then we'd take it back to the house, race up the stairs to avoid uncomfortable chit-chat with P and the Poodles, and have a picnic on the bed beneath the ugly oil painting of a ship being lost at sea.

Last Friday we had salads from Whole Foods for old times sake. Only this time we drove the Volvo Zip Car to the Whole Foods near our house, strolled around buying other organic goodies, and came back to the privacy of our own apartment to enjoy our feast. How times have changed.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Just finished reading this book, and wow, what an ending. I'll definitely be thinking about this story for awhile and pondering what parts of it were true and what were the author's imagination. Always a wonder when you're reading historical fiction. Sadly, the conclusion was a fact even if I really wished it hadn't turned out that way.

Reading the book reminded me that earlier this summer I visited a local Frank Lloyd Wright house here in Virginia, the Pope-Leighy House. Dubbed Usonian by Frank, these houses were what he envisioned for the "everyman." Slated to be demolished to make way for Route 66, the house was saved and moved to the current site. The exterior of the house does not impress, at first. But the minute you enter and sit down in the living space, you feel like you're wrapped in a warm sock surrounded by nature. A cocoon.

There is no doubt Frank was eccentric. A true artist. He didn't believe in closets. Or screens. And he called the tiny kitchen with no cabinets "the workspace." The house has no engineering or insulation. Also, he felt the carport should not have a car parked in it. It was only for dropping off and unloading and then parking elsewhere—so as not to throw off the aesthetic of the house. And if you lived in one of Frank's houses you could bet he might show up at any moment to visit. So don't leave the car parked out front or risk his wrath!

But the house was beautiful and really does have the effect he wanted. I'd live in one, if I could do without the closets. Which I really couldn't. Isn't it a shame that this didn't catch on and instead the landscape is covered in McMansions?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pint Coozy

B is out of town, so thought it would be a great time to break out the pint coozy I got last year in Vermont. How fun is this? Spoon: check! Coozy: check! Just add a pint of your favorite flavor!

Positive: The coozy covers the fat content on the label and your hand doesn't get cold.
The coozy covers the fat content on the label and your hand doesn't get cold. So you just keep eating and eating and regret it in the morning.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Homemade Pop Tarts

Last weekend, I met up with some friends for brunch at Ted's Bulletin, a new diner on Capitol Hill. The breakfast was so-so, just fried eggs and bacon in too much butter, but ohmigosh, the homemade pop tarts and s'more milkshakes were delish. (Yes, I had a milkshake at breakfast.) The pop tarts in particular were light and flaky with fresh strawberry jam filling, layered with creamy frosting, and a generous coating of fresh rainbow jimmies. Not the most well rounded healthy breakfast, I know, but definitely worth going back for.

Photos from here: Ted's Bulletin.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

More Maine Memories

We did more in Maine than just eat lobster rolls. We hiked, biked, explored and ate some other things too. Here are some of the highlights.

We arrived after dark at our cabin at Beloins and had no idea what to expect. But we woke up to this:

And couldn't be any closer to the water without being on a boat. I wanted to stay a month:

We explored the Camden area:

Then we went to Bar Harbor and stayed at the Yellow House:

Ate popovers on the lawn at the Jordan Pond House restaurant in Acadia National Park:

Rented the last four bikes in Bar Harbor, after an obscenely giant cruise ship appeared one morning and nearly thwarted our plans by booking up almost every bike in town:

Picked up a delicious picnic for our bike ride on the Acadia Carriage Roads at the Morning Glory Bakery. An army of clone granola girls made delicious sandwiches here. We ordered Laila and Ralphy, grilled veggies/goat cheese and curry chicken salad respectively:

After riding all over the park, we chomped our 'licious sammies overlooking this view:

Overall, we toured many stunning views and vistas all over Camden and Mt Desert Island and went home relaxed, exhausted...and full.