Favorite Things

Five Savory Fall Soups

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Are you like me?  Is the first question you ask when you sit down at a restaurant, "What’s your soup of the day?"  That’s always my first question, especially when it’s cold outside.   I’m a soup lover, a lover of soup.  A super soupy lover.

Sunday was our first rain of the season.  After my mad dash in my pajamas to drag the outdoor cushions into the garage, I smelled that smell.  You know the one:  First Rain.  That first rain of the season that makes the earth smell so good you wish someone bottled it.  There’s got to be a candle somewhere called "First Rain", anyone know where I can get it?   In my world, rain goes hand in hand with hearty soup.

There’s this Italian restaurant in my town that makes the best minestrone soup I’ve ever had.  When I was a working girl, and felt myself coming down with a sore throat, I would phone in an order of a large minestrone and pick it up on my way home from work.  It always brought me back to life and saved me from the impending ailment.  In fact, my husband and I joke that this restaurant’s minestrone is so good, it can cure anything.  So I set my sights on capturing the same flavor at home, and this quick and easy version certainly tastes just like it.

Personally, what I love about this minestrone is there is no pasta in the recipe.  Even with my Italian grandmother’s blood pulsing through my veins, I’ve finally come to terms with the absolute fact that I’d rather skip those mini shell pastas in my minestrone.  And I must have rich tomato flavor.  And white beans.  And hearty fresh squash.  And fresh shaved parmesan.  And crusty bread.  Nuff said.

#1: Tasty Thirty Minute Minestrone

minestrone with bread

   

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Anthropologie Styling

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I like to pop into my local Anthropologie every season, usually for their amazing furniture knobs, but always for the eclectic styling of the store’s display artists. 

Apparently, every Anthropologie store has its own Installation Artist that is given a theme from headquarters, but is allowed their own carte blanche interpretation ~ or so the sales clerk told me.  I have no idea if this is true, but if it is, it sounds like a dream job.  I can only imagine how fun it must be to push the artistic envelope and challenge yourself to ‘style’ outside the box with merchandise as fun as that found at Anthropologie

Strings of multiples make a huge impact on display, whether it’s falling leaves in the main clothing display room. . . 

leaves strung in store

. . . or paint dipped clothespins in the dressing area.

clothespins at anthro

 

Embellish a set of basic beads with a fabric flower and you have instant modern style.

flower trim necklace

 

This is a favorite.  I love the pairing of the elegant wallpaper with the rustic wood crates and pallet. 

 

crates on wall

 

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Nephews

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I don’t think I’ve ever been this tired in my life.  My brother and sister-in-law deposited their three children on my doorstep last Friday.  Grinning ear to ear, they promptly departed, and didn’t return to pick up their darlings until this past Tuesday afternoon. 

I’m totally wiped.  I’m completely beat.  And I bow to any Mom with more than two children in their custody, especially if they are rambunctious adolescent boys.  

 

sugar snakeThat said, I do declare I love being an Auntie.  To me, being an Auntie must be like being a grandparent. 

I get to spoil them with treats and delight in their mischief, then happily hand them over to their parents at day’s end.  Now that I enjoy.

There’s a local novelty sweet shop they beg me to visit.  Call me irresponsible, but I indulge them. 

There they buy very boyish treats like monster gummy snakes.  I marvel how they possibly digest them, even if snacked on over the course of a weekend.  

 

My nephews live for harmless pranks to play on obliging older cousins.  

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