CSA for the Win!

In my attempt to be greener (seriously), eat healthier, and really just become a member of my cute little town, I joined a CSA for the month. This is big – I’ve never really been a Farmer’s Market person, and I’m also pretty predictable in the vegetable aisle. But what the hell, might as well try new things, right?

So far, it’s been pretty cool. Every Monday night, I get an email telling me what veggies I’ll pick up the next day. The email gives a short update on the farm as well as a recommended recipe or two. The first week, I had a friend in town, and the “Scarlet Queen Red Turnips” turned into a salad.  Amazing.  These weirdo turnips have been in every box since then (week 3 and counting), and I’ve made the salad two more times – it’s good stuff.  Then again, if you put feta and lemon on anything, I’ll think it’s good stuff.

Tonight, I got ambitious.  My fridge was full of veggies and I decided I wanted coconut rice.  I used to live overseas, and there was an Asian restaurant that made the most AMAZING coconut rice.  I would go there, and order some random curry dish just to get the coconut rice.  For some reason, I hadn’t tried to recreate it at home yet – so tonight was the night.  I ran off to the grocery store for a few more essentials, and discovered that my Whole Foods doesn’t stock a pre made green curry sauce.  I know Trader Joe’s does, but the nearest one is not very near.  So anyway, I stood in the Asian food aisle and googled “Easy green curry”…and came up with one that was pretty much coconut milk, veggie stock, and green curry paste.  Sold.

So, coconut rice happened.  And the easy curry sauce happened (not quite as flavorful as I would’ve liked…maybe I skimped on the curry sauce?).  And CSA veggies just ended up in the pan – sweet potato, some random white turnip, young onions, kale and red pepper.  I’m a fan.  And now I have leftovers for the next few days!

And I’m sure the rest of this week’s CSA veggies will be tossed in salads…and the kale will be tossed in smoothies.  One can only get creative so often.

Green Veggie Curry and Coconut Rice

Olive Oil

I had no idea what good olive oil was until I tasted it.  There is no going back.  I have been spoiled forever!

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of spending several days in Crete.  Aside from the gorgeous ocean views, the beautiful weather and the amazing food, there was one standout – the Olive Oil.  Oh man.  Every restaurant served fresh bread with carafes of olive oil, and it was SO good.  I bought two bottles to bring home, but I should’ve bought cases.  I’m probably going to have to start shipping it from Greece.

Packing. Or actually, thinking about packing.

I leave for ENGLAND in 2 weeks!! How crazy excited am I?  So excited, but starting to stress about packing.  I’m traveling with a friend, and we will be wandering the country (all the way from London to Edinburgh, Scotland, and back!) so packing light is a must.  Which scares me.

 

My darling friend suggested we go the backpack route…yikes.  For two weeks? I’m not sure I can handle that.  She has a point though.  We haven’t decided for sure yet (and neither one of us ACTUALLY owns a backpacking backpack…probably running out of time for that one), so my fallback plan is a carry-on sized roller suitcase with either my North Face backpack or my Lo and Son’s O.G. bag.  I, of course, want to be that super classy traveler who breezes through the airport with Ray Ban aviators on and a cute bag in tow…but who are we kidding the backpack is probably the best option.

 

As for what to bring…I think I have narrowed myself down to 4 pairs of shoes – 2 ” black Calvin Klein wedges (I’m headed to a Bachelorette party in London, gotta have <practical> heels!!), black ballet flats (AGL’s?), cute sneakers (supergas), and a pair of flip flops.

 

Clothes wise…so far, I have a super cute dress for the Bachelorette, and I’m definitely bringing my curvy Loft jean capris…and I have a few tops picked out.  Yikes.  What else am I going to wear for 2 weeks?!? I’m thinking a comfy maxi dress for the plane ride.  Other than that, I am starting from scratch!

 

Here’s to packing!

Travel

In my 28 years, I have already traveled around the world.  Literally.  All the way around it.  I love to to see new places.  I love to just BE in new places.  I also love returning to old favorites.  I see the world differently now than I used to.  When I was younger – high school age, maybe – I thought the rest of the world was so different.  So….foreign! (For lack of a better word).  And, it’s true.  But the one thing I have noticed in my travels is that the rest of the world really isn’t all that different from the place I call home.

No matter where you are, the skies are blue, sunsets are gorgeous, the night sky is a mystery, and the ocean goes on forever.  Nature is the great equalizer.  Sure, the desert is a little…brown.  And sandy.  And tropical locations have a few more palm trees than I’m used to.  But, it is comforting to look up at the sky and know it’s the same sky I see back home.

Image

Sunset over Souda Bay, Crete. Photograph by Annie.

Bloggin’ it?

So, I have made the decision to start blogging more regularly.  Yay! I’m excited to share more of my interests with you!

Things to look forward to:

– travel! I have traveled all over the world already this year (or at least, a few continents), and I’ll be writing about my experiences and sharing photos

– food.  Definitely a category in itself.  Come along for the ride as I explore new recipes and cleaner eating habits (I say this after I *just* finished a bowl of Ramen…in my defense, I have a cold, and it sounded good!)

– home decorating. One of my passions – I love finding great deals and rearranging my furniture.  I don’t claim to be any good at it, but I’ll let photos do the talking ;).

– favorites.  This covers all kinds of stuff – clothes, makeup, products, stores, gym classes, you name it, I’ll talk about it.

Home Improvement

A while back, I decided to do SOMETHING home improvement related every day.  I was sick of just putting off projects and waiting for “free time” which I never found.  I decided I would do something daily, however small it was.  I haven’t quite kept up with that, but I’ve definitely been keeping up with the spirit…so here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

I fell in LOVE with black interior doors (thank you, blogs and pinterest).  And what’s paint? So, yesterday, after hitting the gym, I stopped by Sherwin Williams and picked up a (huge) sample size of the one paint color I’d kept reading about – SW Tricorn Black.  Then I painted my coat closet door.  Success.  LOVE IT.  So I painted the inside of my front door.  LOVE IT EVEN MORE! I stopped there (other weekend things to do, of course), but now I am DYING to paint the rest of my interior doors black.  The entrance way, which leads into the living room/dining room only has those two doors in it, so it looks cohesive enough for me to leave it and be happy for a bit – but right beyond them are the laundry room, 1/2 bath, garage, and master bedroom doors – so that’s going to be a fun day of painting (sometime soon!!).

I have a few college girlfriends coming in next weekend, so that has also motivated me to clean and reorganize and…style.  Hanging curtains in the spare bedroom, shuffling things around on shelves, etc.  I also need to do some paint touch up on the master bedroom ceiling – thanks to a craaazy rainstorm last week, some water got in through the stove vent (I think?) and created a little puddle in the ceiling.  Oh to be a homeowner.

Favorite Things from 2012

In no particular order:

1.  Hanging with my underage cousins at family holiday meals and ordering Shirley Temples by the pitcher.

2. Black nail polish.  It’s probably SO 5 years ago, but it’s my go-to color.

3. My new Rebecca Minkoff Wallet-On-A-Chain (courtesy of TJMaxx, of course).  It’s brilliant – a cross-body bag with a detachable chain – wallet or clutch – that is big enough to hold all of my wallet essentials plus an iPhone, lip gloss, and keys.

4. Chocolate-covered Graham Crackers from Whole Foods.  Enough said.

5. Whole Foods.  There is a new one in my town, and I’m in love.

6. Paint and Wine classes.  This girl is NOT an artist…but I managed to pull out a pretty decent “Starry Night” in a few hours, and it encouraged me to tackle some more DIY artwork.

7. Hummus.  Quite possibly my favorite food group. I love it homemade, from a swanky food store, or from a back alley in the Middle East.  The back alley Middle Eastern hummus probably being the best.

8. Hawaii.  I’m not even a huge beach/bathingsuit/sun girl, I just love wandering Waikiki in a sundress and drinking Lava Flows on the back porch at Duke’s.

9. Zella athletic gear. Comfiest and warmest hoodie ever.

10. Calvin Klein 2″ black wedges – I have finally my perfect shoe.

Happy New Year!