Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bonnie Tsang Photography

I read (or shall I say peruse?) a lot of photography blogs and I think I've just found my favorite! Bonnie Tsang is a Los Angeles-based photographer with an amazing talent and a really lovely, soft style. These are only a few of my favorites, so definitely head over to her website to see more!

Something's Not Right

Last year, in July, my grandmother would stop by the office/garage everyday on her way out of the neighborhood. This was normal. She complained about feeling badly and forgetting things. This was not. We would say, "Annie, it's normal, you're getting older. Are you taking your Aricept everyday?" She was insistent that it wasn't just that. She would get riled up and say,"There's something wrong with me!" At the time, we just thought it was a normal, inevitable progression. But she knew something wasn't right.

It wasn't until 2 months later, right after her 81st birthday, around Labor Day, that we found out something wasn't right. She was a breast cancer survivor, in remission for 2 years, but last year it metstasized to her brain. She wasn't forgetting things because she was getting old, she was forgetting things because there was an intruder. And she knew it. And we doubted her. I replay that in my head sometimes and wish I hadn't brushed away her fears like they were unimportant.

I am going to write more about Annie in a few weeks - part 2 of my Tale of Two Grandmas. Today, I wanted to make a point that we should all pay attention to our bodies. If you feel that something isn't right, take care of it. Trust yourself.

Lately, I've been forgetting strange things. Which toothbrush is mine. My dad's cell phone number. My address. Today, I flashed my brights when I was trying to turn on my windshield wipers. I'm not assuming I have a brain tumor, but something is wrong. Maybe it's as simple as stress or lack of sleep, but those are still important things that can affect my quality of life.

I'll be fine. But that's because I'm going to start paying attention and acting on what I feel. Like my yoga teacher, Sharkee, used to say, "Listen to your body; it will tell you everything you need to know."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkins, Gourds, Squash and... Eggplant?

I am NOT a holiday decorator. No santas or reindeer or red and green EVERYWHERE. ...But, I totally have a soft spot for FALL decorations. No on turkeys, yes on pumpkins. No on pilgrim hats, yes on ferns and branches in large glass containers.

This scene from Cote de Texas is my favorite so far this year. I love how the pumpkins are shades of citron and chartreuse and how simple the whole setup is.

This shot from Country Living is perfect if only for the variety of squash shown: The Baby Boo. Cutest name ever. The faint orange tones in the pumpkins actually work surprisingly well with this light blue urn. Those might be really colors for a fall wedding...

I don't think I've blogged about it yet but green apples are my favorite "look" in the whole world. So, naturally, I'm drawn to this photo of a Green Apple Gourd from Country Living. Unfortunately, according to our friends at CL, it's inedible.

This Thursday, when I go to my farmer's market, I'll have to keep an eye out for some squash to try out these lovely recipes I've been stockpiling this last week:

Summer Squash Ribbons with Lemon and Parmesan{from Real Simple}

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 10m
Total Time: 10m
1 1/2 pounds summer squash and zucchini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved (3/4 cup)
kosher salt and pepper

1.Cut the squash and zucchini into long, thin strips using a vegetable peeler (discard the seedy cores). Place in a large bowl.
2.Add the oil, lemon juice, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Zucchini, White Bean and Leek Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 large leeks, thoroughly rinsed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
3 zucchini, diced
7 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 15 oz. cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. basil leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp. good-quality olive oil
12 – 15 large croutons
Parmesan cheese for grating

Stir the basil and 3 tbsp. olive oil together and set aside.

Set a large pot over medium heat. Once it’s hot, heat the olive oil. Add the leeks and saute for about 7 minutes, or until soft and beginning to brown. Add the zucchini, garlic and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender, but not mushy.

Add the beans, then transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree. Return the soup to the pot and add the vinegar and smoked paprika. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with croutons, a drizzle of basil oil and a dusting of Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Enjoy with a big salad or half sandwich.

Rustic Eggplant Grilled Pizza

*Eggplants are not technically in the squash family, but I think they should be!*

Makes 2 small pizzas
•1 eggplant – ¼” thick slices
•extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
•2 cloves garlic – minced
•Italian seasonings
•Parmesan – freshly grated – or use a combination of cheeses
•1 large tomato – sliced thinly

Heat grill to a temp that will leave grill marks on your veggies. Brush eggplant slices with EVOO and cook on grill flipping once the other side has grill marks. Length of time varies for each grill so please keep a watchful eye. This whole process shouldn’t take very long, unless of course you are using my grill. Once the eggplant is cooked, remove from grill and set aside.
Shape your dough so that it is thin and will fit on your grill. Brush the grill with a little EVOO to prevent sticking and lay dough right on the grilling service. Flip once grill marks appear and brush dough with EVOO, garlic, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Then layer eggplant, tomatoes, and cheese. Cover the pizzas and cook until cheese has melted.

Scenes From My Dream Wedding...

These pictures from Once Wed are exactly what I picture in my head when I daydream about my wedding. The softness of the light, the old books and brightly colored vases as decorations, the bucolic setting.


Unfortunately, I don't have a note for where I got this picture, but it's definitely not mine. I adore this dress. The bow above the small of her back, the polka dot overlayer (is that pointelle?).

Same love here with the dots detail. I also like the idea of wearing bright, non-satiny shoes underneath your dress. Photo from Once Wed.

Another feature at my fantasy outdoor wedding - lawn games! From Once Wed.

How about hula hoops?

The next few pictures are from Snazzy Jazzy and are the perfect inspirations for what I want. Why pay for sterile white china when I can use beautiful plates I like? Snazzy Jazzy also recommends giving them away/using them as favors afterwards:

Here’s an idea: At the end of a buffet table stack your mismatched china, with a sign that reads:
“In honor of this delightful occasion and its grand atmosphere, please devour your food on some eclectic and fine china. If you find you have enjoyed the experience, or simply love the plate, feel free to take it home with you.”

Below via Country Living.

Below via Edyta Szyszlo.

Another important part of my vision of this imaginary day are the clear glass beverage containers. I love the idea of serving strawberry lemonade with lemon slices and strawberry bits floating around. I'm not a fan of iced tea, but I can appreciate that others are. Maybe some root beer, cream soda and Fresca, as well?

Monday, September 28, 2009

We Gonna Last Forever

Tom Petty.. that voice takes me back. To high school, to the friend who was probably a "bad" girl but who was a great friend to me. We used to sit in her backyard, our feet dangling into the pool, listening to Tom Petty and talking about boys. I can't find the original music video with the embedding enabled, but this is a great live version anyway. And he shows he's still got it!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

True Blood

My friends Mike and Sarah have gotten me hooked onto True Blood. They already watched the first season so I started watching halfway through the second with them and it's so addictive. Those directors have an uncanny ability to choose the worst possible moment to roll the credits. Which makes me watch another and another and another. And now, I've seen the last 6 episodes of the second season and the first episode of the first season and I need to fill in the gaps :) I hope you guys have a lovely Sunday!

No Words Necessary

Via: Live Internet

Organizing Fun!!

So, today has been a very productive day here in the Kate & Oli household. I was looking through my stamps this morning and I realized that it was time to find a smarter way to store my acrylic stamps. As you can see, I previously stored ALL of my stamps in this jumbled container. Aside from the fact that my wood stamps don't even FIT in this container, I also had acrylic stamps just thrown in - not very smart.

After doing some research (here, here and here), I decided that the best route for me was to use binders and sheet protectors. I went to Office Depot and bought a box of regular sheet protectors, two 2"binders, and a set of baseball card sheet protectors.

I got them home, unpacked them and realized I spent $40 and probably could have spent a lot less. So, I left again and went to the 99 cent store and found photo sheet protectors in packs of 10. I bought 6 of those and will be taking the box of sheet protectors back probably.

Back to the house, where I put it all together into something like this:

Sorry for all the pictures, but I wanted to show that I am able to put many different size stamps in those photo sheet protectors.

After I did all this, Michael's had the gall to send me an email with a coupon and since I now had room for more clear stamps, I headed out to see what I could find. Unfortunately, the coupon doesn't start until tomorrow, but fortunately, they were having a great sale today! Tons of Martha Stewart items were on sale, so I stocked up. I don't normally buy solid cardstock, but these 2 packets were only $1.99. The bandanna pack (something I've long loved the look of) was only $2.99.

The clear stamps were all from the dollar section and the others were all 40% off!

Then, I saw these. They are packs of vintage-looking animal alphabet flashcards. I love the look and was struck by the possibilities: give as gifts, frame as art, use in my cards...

On the way home from Michael's, I stopped by Target for milk (and more craft supplies) and walked out with a gallon of non-fat and the below items:

Everything but the K & Company cards and the Inkadinkado stamps is from the dollar section!
Once I got home with all my treasures, I helped Jonathan choose an outfit for his date tonight, had a glass of my newly-bought milk and finished off my latest heirloom tomatoes from Farm Fresh To You.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sneak Peek

Here is your sneak peek for a post coming later this evening (after I watch as many episodes of True Blood as I can!):

Check back later for details and descriptions!
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