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Mini break.

January 13, 2011

Spent a few nights at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, MI. Nice hotel, I must say. My guy was in town for work this week so I took a mini vacation to go stay with him. Dinner out three nights in a row, full breakfast, wine with work associates at the lobby bar… it was nice.

Today is back to life. Home, food, working out, and a new book. The Monster of Florence. Sounds intriging. True story. Anyone else read it? Thoughts?

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The Brighton Belt.

December 19, 2010

Every once in a while you need to buy a new accessory or piece of clothing to spice up the other options in your closet.  I seem to have an issue with this “once in a while” concept, as I love shopping and adding new things to my clothing repertoire.  My new favorite is this black leather belt with a silver buckle in the center, by Brighton.

Winter Essentials.

December 15, 2010

Winter is in full swing, and my skin is definitely feeling it.  These favorites never go below half full before I purchase more this time of year.

  1. Burt’s Bees, Honey Lip Balm, $3
  2. Burt’s Bees, Almond Beeswax Hand Creme, $9
  3. Eucerin, Plus Smoothing Essentials, $11.49
  4. L’Occitane, Organic Pure Shea Butter, $39

Chocolate Raspberry Liqueur Truffles

December 15, 2010

I found this recipe from the lovely Barefoot Contessa.  After watching her cook for hours and hours on end, I decided to actually try one of the recipes myself.  With the holidays right around the corner, these seemed perfect.  I was a little nervous at first, as I’ve never made truffles before, but they turned out quite nice – with the perfect creamy consistency you’d expect from this delectable dessert!

White Chocolate Truffles

2 tablespoons heavy cream
7 ounces good white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (but I put in Raspberry Liqueur instead, yum!)

1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Make ‘Em

Place the cream in a heat-proof bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cook until heated through. Using a wire whisk, slowly stir the white chocolate into the warm cream until completely melted. Whisk in the liqueur and vanilla. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until pliable but firm enough to scoop.

With 2 teaspoons, make dollops of the chocolate mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until firm enough to roll into rough spheres.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water.

Drizzle the melted bittersweet chocolate over 10 of the truffles. Roll the remaining truffles in the chopped nuts. Chill until ready to serve.

Holiday playlist.

December 10, 2010

Is it really December 10th already?

Here are [5] songs that I am loving this holiday season:

  • Lenka – All My Bells Are Ringing
  • Colbie Callait – Mistletoe
  • Joni Mitchell – River
  • Paul Kelly – Who’s Gonna Make the Gravy?
  • Wham – Last Christmas

Like a Cloud.

December 8, 2010

I will tell you, and all my friends will tell you too, I am not a girl who enjoys winter.  Well, maybe a little.  I adore Christmas, holiday music, and the pretty landscapes snow can produce… but aside from that, the biting cold, the icy roads, the lack of feeling in my fingers and toes; all that I could do without.

However, the winter season does bring another joy, and that is getting all bundled up in a coat and big fluffy mittens.  This year I needed a new winter coat.  The only one in my closet that currently fits is a long, belted, sleek coat which is much better suited for going out and about on the town, not for running errands and the daily grind, although I do love getting dressed up in it anyway.  I found this adorable Michael Kors down-filled dream while looking for something totally different (isn’t that the way it always goes?), and I couldn’t be happier.  It comes in a petite size so it fits me perfectly, is a gorgeous hunter green color, and the pillow neck is both stylish and functional for wrapping your neck in warmth in any scarf of your choosing.

While no piece of clothing can make me like or look forward to winter, I think this coat will ease my numb limbs as I make my way through ’til Spring.

The Santa Express.

December 7, 2010

This weekend I am heading to Chicago and it has me thinking if I’ll be lucky enough to catch a ride on the Santa Express.  I was in the city a few weeks ago and caught two rides on it – very surprising, as it only runs on one track at a time, and it only one train out of the several hundred running at any given time.

It was a little breath of fresh air.  In a big city where people and life is usually on speed twenty, everyone slowed down to a slower pace to soak it in and enjoy the moment and the magic.  Santa on his sleigh, carolers singing Christmas songs, CTA workers passing out candy canes, passengers taking pictures and chatting about their surroundings, kids smiling at the elves.  Can you ask for more at this time of year?