Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Day

Leap day has always been a fun, weird phenomenon to me. Doesn't it just amaze you that every four years we actually have an extra day? A whole 24 hours of time that just happens to appear on our calendar. All of those times we long, beg, plead for a few more minutes in our day and never get it. Well here it is. On a Wednesday. In February. In the middle of winter.


So, what are you going to do on this extra day of fun?

I'll tell you what my Ferris Bueller of a brother is doing: he is soaking up the sun in California. Apparently he is on a "work trip."

Yeah right.

And in the meantime, I had a slumber party with his adorable offspring at my mom's house. It just seemed like the thing to do on a Tuesday night. Pizza was involved, naturally. And so were nine of his favorite stuffed animals. NINE. And I know all of their names: Herder, Honey, Dup the Pup (my personal fave), Cucumber, Shadow, Aurora, Clifford (on loan from school), Brownie and Foxy.

Apparently I need a social life.

Help me.

Regardless of the nine extra guests, waking up to see Noah's face was pretty awesome. That rarely happens in my world. And he even shared his bacon with me. How can this not be a good day?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Brain

My brain feels like a big bowl of oatmeal today. The old fashioned kind, not the swanky instant kind. I am completely void of all swank today. So a list is definitely in order. It's the only way anything will make sense.

1. My hair is very poofy for some reason. VERY. I look like I invested in Aqua Net or something.

2. I got my new passport in the mail. I have a love/hate relationship with it already. I love it because it gives me freedom to explore new places and return to some of my favorites. I hate it because I have to memorize a new number and I don't have all the cool stamps I used to. Plus, my face looks orange. I have never been orange a day in my life. I am usually fairly pasty.

3. I went to the D Bar with my good friend Sara on Friday.

It was amazing. If you live in Denver, you should definitely go. We got to sit at the bar and watch the pastry chef work his magic. He truly is an artist. We both ordered baked mac and cheese (Sara got hers with lobster!) and then we both had various forms of chocolate for dessert.

Exhibit A:  Cake and shake

Exhibit B: Salted caramel boat of chocolate goodness and some other yummy things.

4. I did at least 50 lunges, along with 30 dead lifts and 25 split squats on Saturday and I can barely move anything below my waist.  My quads scream at me anytime I think about moving. And heaven forbid I drop anything. I am thinking it will just have to stay there and I'll come back on Wednesday when my muscles don't feel like slabs of marble.

5. I am wearing a blazer today. I love blazers. They solve most fashion problems. Don't you agree? Maybe not? I don't know.

6. Is it March yet? It should be.

7.  My dad's hearing is one week from today. I know so many of you are praying. You rock. And thank you.

8. I did not get out of my pajamas yesterday. Total bliss.

And...that's all I've got. I hope your Monday brain is more of the instant kind of oatmeal.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Recipe Round-Up: Pineapple Empanadas

"Nuggets of Latino Love," that's what I call these beauties. They are flaky and soft and full of sweet, rich flavor. They are absolutely to-die-for with a hot cup of coffee. And best yet, they are super simple to make.

I recently made a batch for a party my mom was hosting. I told her I would be her caterer if she would let me make these for her guests. I mean, who doesn't want soft, buttery dough wrapped around sweet, warm pineapple puree with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top? My thoughts exactly.

By the end of the evening, these love nuggets were completely consumed. This is proof that they are great for parties. But they are also great for slow, Saturday mornings when you can eat a couple or nine with your morning joe. I love how versatile they can be.

So let me show you how to whip these up!

Start with pineapple juice (from a can) and corn starch. Add them both to a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Then add the sugar and stir until it begins to boil, thickening as it heats.

After a few minutes, it should look like this: thick and creamy.

Next up: add the pineapple. Usually I add crushed pineapple, but today I only had chunks. If you use larger pieces, you will want to cut them up or use a mixer to break them apart.

Set this aside to cool. Your filling is finito!

SIDE NOTE: You can make any filling that floats your boat! Cherry, apple, peach, you name it! I have even used dark chocolate. And yes, it was fabulous.

Now, let's make the dough. This dough is amazing and do you know why? Because it is full of butter AND cream cheese. Oh yes it is.

Start with room temperature cream cheese and butter. Make sure they are soft otherwise your dough will not come together. Once the cream cheese and butter are mixed, add flour and a pinch of salt. Form together with your hands and knead on the counter top for 1 minute.

Form the kneaded dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Set it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Once your dough is chilled, grab a round cookie cutter (I use a 2 1/2" diameter juice glass because I am classy), your rolling pin and flour. Sprinkle the counter and the rolling pin with flour to ensure the dough doesn't stick.

Then roll it right on out. I keep my dough a little thicker than a pie crust.

Then just cut away! Any left over dough can be rolled out again and cut until all the dough is used. This should make about 32 circles, depending on the thickness of your dough and the size of your cutter.

SIDE NOTE: You can make these much larger if you choose. Hand pies are all the rage right now.

Place the dough rounds on a greased cookie sheet and fill with 1 teaspoon of pineapple puree. Oh baby.

Fold them over, like so.

And crimp the edges with a fork. Be sure to include both layers of dough otherwise your pineapple will ooze out.

For the topping, beat one egg white in a bowl and combine sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Brush the tops with the egg white and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. This extra touch sends these empanadas over the top! Trust me on this.

Then pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. Try not to drool and stare at them while they bake.

Once the timer goes off, these babies are ready! They will come out of the oven warm, flaky and delicious. You will not be able to eat just one! And the crunchy sugar and cinnamon on top is the perfect compliment to the soft dough and juicy pineapple.

Is anyone else hungry now?

Pile on plate and share. Or not. Your choice.
Either way, make a batch this weekend.

Pineapple Empanadas
Modified from William's Sonoma "Mexico" Cookbook
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
pinch of salt

Pineapple filling:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 Tbsp corn starch
3 Tbsp sugar
8 oz. can crushed pineapple

1 egg white, beaten
sugar and cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 375-degrees and grease a baking sheet. To make the dough, in a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead for about 1 minute, then form into a ball. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

To make the filling, whisk the pineapple juice and corn starch together in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the corn starch is dissolved. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes quite thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed pineapple. Let cool.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until about 1/4 in thick. Cut in 3-inch rounds (or smaller, if desired). Place on baking sheet and drop about 1 tsp. filling in the center of each round. Fold one side over the filling, seal tightly with your fingers, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Brush the tops with the beaten egg white, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Serve warm. To store, keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Purple Country

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am headed to Tunisia next month!  I will be visiting our Associates, projects and partner organizations. I have never been before (wahoo! a new passport stamp) but I have heard that it is a beautiful country, full of history and culture, and I really can't wait to go. My neck pillow and jar of peanut butter are waiting to be packed.

I am also secretly hoping I can ride a camel.

However, I know there are some who may not be familiar with the exact location of Tunisia. I admit, I had never even noticed it on the map until I began working at my current job. So, ponder no longer, here it is:

Do you see it? It is purple, just south of Italy, between Algeria and Libya. It almost looks like New Jersey, except they speak with different accents.

In my attempt to be more familiar with it before I land, I have found some little/widely known facts about this beautiful place:

  • The following movies have been filmed in Tunisia: The English Patient, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (Episodes I, II, III, and IV), Jesus of Nazareth, and Monty Python's Life of Brian.
    • I am going to personally request a tour of the sets. They'll probably just point me towards the desert.
  • If you are invited to a Tunisian's home, a gift of pastries, nuts, fruit, candy or flowers is expected.
    • I vote pastries. You can't go wrong.
  • The family is the most significant unit in Tunisian life and plays an important role in all social relations.
    • I can relate to this. I mean, have you met any of my 48,291 cousins?
  • Tunisia is one of Africa's top tourist destinations with over 5 million tourists each year.
    • I love being a tourist but I promise, no white tennis shoes.
  • Tunisia has been to the World Cup finals four times.
    • What is the World Cup? Is that soccer?
  • The official language is Arabic but French is widely used.
    • How well do you think Spanish will go over?
  • The Tunisian scorpion can live without food or water for an entire year, survive the desert heat and being frozen and has strong resistence to nuclear radiation.
    • I guess that old age is the only thing that can kill them. Let's pray that I only run into geriatric scorpions.
So, if you have any more fun or interesting facts about this place, feel free to pass them along. Or if you have been before, give me the scoop on how not to embarrass myself or my country. Consider it your patriotic duty.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Salted Caramel Cheat Day

Yesterday was my cheat day. Every other day I try to be good and eat my organic spinach and hummus and lentils and avoid all types of sugar. But on the seventh day, there is no piece of chocolate or slice of pizza that is safe. For example, I started the day with pumpkin pancakes and bacon and ended it with cheesy garlic knots.

A total and complete success.

However, I still hadn't had my weeks worth of desserts yet and I wasn't sure what sounded good. So as I was strolling the aisles of Target yesterday, I happened upon this:

And I knew right then that my world was complete.

SWEET. MERCY. This stuff is what ice cream should taste like, and it is especially good with a large spoon while you are standing over the kitchen sink. I am pretty sure you could drench an old shoe in salted caramel and it would taste amazing.

There is still quite a bit left so I hid it in my freezer so I won't see it taunting me all week. But if you get a chance and you are in desperate need of something absolutely delectable, run to your nearest grocery store and dive right in. You may even want to bring your own spoon so you can eat it in the parking lot. There is no shame when it comes to this ice cream.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Moves

I got to see this guy today:

He is doing great!

When we pulled up, we had Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy blaring on the radio and I'm pretty sure my dad did a few dance moves I have never seen before. I love when this happens.

They may limit his freedom but they can never take away his rhythm.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Global FC

Hello world!

That's right, I am talking to the ENTIRE WORLD right now because apparently there are 17 people out there who checked this blog yesterday who do not live in the United States of America.


I know, I can't believe it either.

This is a snapshot of  yesterday's audience around 1:00 pm. I am completely amazed that anyone besides my 36,970 cousins and my mom read this blog. And now I have wonderful people who probably mistakenly googled something relating to real cowgirls or real problems with frustration and they stumbled upon me. I am sorry. I am sure speed limit signs saying "17 1/2" were not what you were looking for, especially since your country probably uses kilometers.

But welcome aboard, nonetheless!

So, I am going to give a shout out to the six people in Russia. Здравствуйте! (that means "hello." I hope.) I have never been to your country but I hope you are staying warm right now!

And then there is Chile. Hola Chile! I almost studied abroad in your beautiful country while in graduate school. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. However, I may use my frequent flyer miles to see you.

And hello Romania! I actually have a wonderful, darling, fabulous friend in Romania right now. I bet she checked the website three times just to make me feel loved. HELLO SWEET FRIEND! I miss you tons.

And let's all say hello to India. I work with quite a few people in India and they are stupendous. Thanks for following along, peeps!

And then there is Brazil. Gearing up for Mardi Gras, are we? Have fun and stay safe!

Greetings to the Czech Republic! You are on my list of places to visit. I hope to meet you soon.

And to the one person in Great Britain: Hello! I am really excited for your summer Olympics.

Finally, to all those in the wonderful US of A: I like you a lot. Each one of you.

Happy Friday, world!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Seventeen and a Half

On my way home from work yesterday, I swung by Target, otherwise known as the Store of Awesomeness. As I was turning in off of the side street, I saw this sign, and it made me whip a u-turn so I could take a picture of it:

I know there is a glare, but the speed limit sign says "17 1/2."  WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN??Since when did we start adding halves to our speed limits? Have I missed some new driving trend? Is this part of the Green Movement? Are people actually driving a half of a mile per hour? And why is it 17? WHO DRIVES 17?

Obviously this has me worked up. If you have any explanations, please help me out. Heaven forbid any of us get a ticket for going .532098432 over the speed limit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Aren't You Glad World War I Is Over?

People. I have a new TV love.

It's imported. And a bit dated. But it is magical in its own stuffy, aristocratic sort of way.

I'm talking Downton Abbey and I am totally hooked. TOTALLY. HOOKED.

Have you watched it? Are you addicted? Do you love it or are you bored? If you are bored than I invite you to watch it with me on my iPad (yes, we will have to cuddle) because I will be happy to point out to you all of the drama and intrigue that make this a Masterpiece classic!

First off, the British are an angsty lot. I love the tension between tradition and innovation. This is what drives the show along. Like my mom said, this is almost a British version of Fiddler on the Roof. Oh, if only it were a musical!

The storyline of Matthew and Mary is so fabulous. She started out so prideful and arrogant but now we are beginning to see her softer side, the side that loves Matthew more than she loves herself. Yet they are destined to be apart. Oh, the heartache.

And don't you love that Sybil is running away with an Irishman? I do so love the Irish.

And then there's Carson. Steady, faithful, voice-of-reason Carson. He is the anchor of the show. And I am so glad he is not going to live with Mary and her sneaky fiancé.

The rest of the servants are wonderful as well. Don't you just long for the day when Mr. Baits is no longer plagued by his demented dead ex-wife? Give the man a break, people!

Don't even get me started on Lord Grantham getting all kissy face with the maid. Oh ugh. Seriously.

And then there is poor Edith. Poor, middle child, not-quite-sure-where-her-place-is-in-life, Edith. Her love life is beyond tragic. And it doesn't help that she is socially awkward and sometimes forgetable. But I have a feeling that she has a great storyline to come.

And finally, let's talk about Granny (Maggie Smith). She is perfection. Her one-liners are priceless and her spunk and superiority keep the entire family in line.

So, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Perhaps you have never seen the show or maybe you've memorized each episode and recite it to your co-workers on a daily basis. I don't know. But this show deserves a good discussion so bring it on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Day

I seriously love Valentine's Day. Really, I do. And yes, I know that I am single.

Actually, I probably love Valentine's Day more because I am single. This day is completely void of expectations. The times when I have been dating someone on Valentine's day were almost always colossal disappointments. And I realize I may be partially to blame. Apparently he did not understand me when I said "Oh, just surprise me with lots of things about love and hearts and chocolate and make it special but don't go overboard. And remember, this is one of my most favorite holidays."

Like I said, I am partially to blame.

So, today I am without expectations.

And that is why when my friend Lizz showed up with a a big bunch of floating red hearts it made me almost do a cartwheel in my office (but I wore a skirt today and no one really needs to see that). She is so thoughtful and fabulous.

I am actually quite easy to please when I don't have my own list of demands.

Happy Love Day to you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rockin' the Fedora

I bought a fedora the other day, not knowing if I could really pull it off. However, I am finding, like with most things, it's all about the confidence.

What new thing have you rocked lately?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Breakfast

Peanut butter toast with honey + fruit + hot coffee + sunshine = breakfast perfection.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Nine, Nueve, Nove, Neuf, 9

Hello all! I am sorry I didn't post yesterday, you may or may not have noticed. But I have come to the brutal realization that my life really isn't that exciting/interesting/motivational/emotionally-charged, thus a picture a day is quite impossible at this point. Unless you want to see repeated pictures of my shoe collection.


Last night was definitely picture-worthy.

Last night our Women's Group celebrated our ninth anniversary! That is just flat-out crazy.

I am not in this picture for a number of reasons: 1. I don't think the iPhone camera has a timer, 2. My hair looked really bad, 3. My hair looked really bad.

Oh, I love these girls. This year we added two sweet baby boys and now we have two sweet baby girls on the way. We have taken some stellar trips, moved a few times, bought a home, thought of buying a home, switched jobs, gone out on bad dates and eaten lots and lots of fondue.

It amazes me that we still get together every other Thursday. Our lives are all so different, consumed with a variety of tasks, responsibilities and people, yet we all do our best to see each other whenever those Thursdays roll around.

I feel like we are just now hitting our stride, becoming comfortable with who we are. Perhaps it's because we are all now officially in our 30's. Or perhaps we have just grown up and realized we each fill a role, and each role is needed.

These girls are quite spectacular.

And I can't wait to see where we will be in nine years from now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dear Betty Crocker

Dear Betty Crocker,
You don't know me. I am just some girl who likes to bake. And you, well you were voted the second most popular woman in 1946, right behind Eleanor Roosevelt, so I am thinking we don't run in the same circles.

Anyway, I have been meaning to write this to you for some time. I want to thank you for introducing me to the art of baked goods, otherwise known as my reason for living. My first recipe of yours were your chocolate chip cookies and I still think they are the best chocolate chip cookies in the entire world. I even have the recipe memorized. True story.

The first time I made them, I was seven, and neither my life nor my thighs have been the same since. My best friend Amy and I made a double batch every time we got together. We learned how to measure things because of you. We learned how to pre-heat an oven because of you. I even attempted a one-handed egg cracking because of you. It was an epic fail, but the cookies still turned out alright...maybe a bit on the crunchy side.

You opened up my world to glossy chocolate frosting. You helped me to tackle the perfect pie crust. You introduced me to the best brownie recipe these lips have ever tasted. There really is no way to properly thank you for these go-to recipes that I use so often. If you have stock in Spanx then at least I can repay you a little.

Your cookbook has been in my parents house since before I was born. Your pages are torn and wrinkled, the favorite recipes are clearly marked, and hand-written notes are scattered about on how to compensate for the high altitude. And there is probably enough cookie dough between the pages to bake a dozen right now.

So, thank you for your inspiration. Thanks for your degree in Home Economics. Thanks for teaching me my favorite way to decompress and show others that I love them. And thanks for having enough business savvy to make your brand a household name and your cookbook a kitchen staple. You have made my life sweeter.

Yours truly,
A very fluffy FC

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MOH: Vegas Style

This is my friend Lizz.

She is funny and spontaneous and fantastic.

And she is also getting married. In her hometown of Las Vegas. And I am her Maid of Honor.

You guys, this takes the MOH duties to a whole other level. I mean, we are talking exponential. I feel like I need to wear something sparkly just to write about it. I should even buy stock in a Bedazzler.

Actually, what I should do is just hire myself out as a MOH. I promise you, I can arrange flowers and wrangle groomsmen with the best of them.

As we all know, being a MOH is serious business. You have to be tough. You have to be flexible. You have to find a way to pull off a wedding in 10 days. You know, just in case your darling little sister decides to do something like that. Thankfully, Lizz's wedding isn't until June 1 so we have a few more days to plan.

However, I have a fabulous team of bridesmaids to pull this whole event together. It takes a posse to marry off our sweet Lizzy. And in return, Lizz has promised us that we do not have to wear rhinestone jumpsuits to her wedding. I admit, I am a bit disappointed in this.

So, if you have any pointers on how to help pull off a wedding in a Vegas, please let me know. Just keep it PG and legal.

Thank you very much.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Today's snapshot-o-life comes from none other than my big brother. He and his incredibly cute offspring hit the slopes recently and managed to capture the experience on film. On digital film (is that a thing?). On his digital phone:

I could literally suck the cheeks right off of that kid, even if he did remind me today that I am still the fifth most beautiful girl in the world. Why, of all the things he has learned in his six years of life, does he still remember that?

Good grief. I guess he keeps me humble.

But he does look rather dashing in those goggles, don't you think?

Circular Rings of Heavenly Goodness

So, pretend I posted this on Sunday. As I mentioned before, chaos was running amuck over the weekend and I couldn't get my blog to publish new and exciting material.

It's like there is a conspiracy against me or something.

Yesterday, my mom and I headed to the large metropolis that is known as Alamosa to hang out with my dad and to see how the greeters at Walmart were doing. All are well, just in case you are wondering.

However, before we headed south, we made a quick stop at Krispy Kreme, a.k.a. the Make of Circular Rings of Heavenly Goodness. To be honest, I never eat donuts. I just don't think about them too much. But we knew this would be a great treat to bring my dad and so instead of ordering two for him, we decided that a dozen seemed more reasonable. I mean, who doesn't need to eat fried dough drenched in sugar for an eight-hour car ride?


Don't judge, people.

Resistance is futile when your car smells like warm heaven and you've got nothing but snow and asphalt stretched out in front of you. And let me tell you, they did not disappoint. There are few things in this life quite as wonderful as fried, sugary bread rings with a hot cup of coffee.

And yes, we did leave a few for my dad.

Digging Out

So, pretend I posted this on Saturday.

I am trying to post a picture each day for the month of February but for some reason BlogPress would not connect to my mom's server which would not connect to the large satellites circling the earth which would not connect to the Millennium Falcon. Signals were getting crossed, chaos was reigning across the universe, and the Force was weakening. Or something like that.

Anyway, this post is for my aunt Dedra who lives in the great state of West Virginia and had heard about the Blizzard of the Century. For the record, yes, it really did snow. A lot.

Exhibit A: My car.

Also for the record (I am not sure which "record" this is), I just now moved it today. As in Monday.

And now, here is a guest photo from my fabulous friend Mandy. She makes a mean peanut butter pie and has unbelievably cute children:

Even little people are having to dig their way out of this one.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Glorious Snow Day

You guys, it is here. The snow, the wind, the cold, they all arrived. And guess what? It is LITERALLY the blizzard of the century because the last time Denver saw a storm like this in the month of February, it was 1912.

Who knew the weatherman could be so accurate?

Everything in Denver seems to be shut down. And I am still in my flannel pajamas soaking up every minute of it. Last night I went home to an empty house and realized that if it snows like they are saying it will, I could be stuck in my house for TWO WHOLE DAYS without human interaction or a television to watch.That is an extrovert's worst nightmare. So I loaded up and headed to my mom's to mooch off of her cable and enjoy her hot coffee waiting for me when I woke up. Moms are awesome like that.

Here is a view from her back porch:

That's a foot of snow with another 9-12" on the way today. It truly is glorious. I think I was made for snow days. And so were these:

They are getting me through this storm. Well, them and playing Words with Friends with my mom who is sitting right next to me on the couch. Technology has taken board games and family interaction to a whole new level...or low, whichever.

Happy Friday, peeps!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hunkering Down

If you live in the state of Colorado you know that the BLIZZARD OF THE CENTURY is heading our way. Of course every major snow storm is known as the "blizzard of the century" because even our weather is based on viewer ratings.

If you were to look out my window, you would never know what is looming on the horizon:

But Mother Nature/El Niño/Normal Winter weather likes to play tricks on us.

At first, we were supposed to get 6-12" of snow. That is just enough to make rush hour a total nightmare and for you to be forced to wear your snow boots with your pencil skirt. Not my favorite.


Now we are scheduled to get 12-24" of snow by Friday afternoon. People, that is a significant difference! We're talking "I need to stock up on brownie mixes and hit Red Box and fill my tank up with gas" kind of difference. We're in full-blown "hunker down" mode around here...or at least I am, anyway.

And to be honest, I love to hunker down. There is something so exciting about it, especially if that involves me wearing my pajamas all day.

You can tell people are getting a little anxious. They are saying things like "I need to buy some flares in case I slide off the road" and "I need to go to Costco to buy a gallon-sized can of soup." It's serious business, this hunkering down.

So for now, on this deceptively warm, sunny February afternoon, we are all just waiting for this monster to roll into town. If it is the storm of the century, what will you do? Bake some cookies? Watch a movie or four? Read a good book? Ski out of your front door?

And for those of you who don't live in Colorado, feel free to hunker down with us anyway. Vicarious hunkering down totally counts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FC Snapshot: The Birthday Girl

It's February, people! It's the month that has the unnecessary "r" in the middle that makes spelling it in the second grade extremely difficult. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

I love this month. I love it because of Valentine's Day. I love it because it is short and leap year gives it attitude. I love it because next month is March which means we are only a few weeks away from spring which is the beginning of all things new and wonderful and warm.

Let's all just breathe this month in.

So, for the next 29 days, I am going to give you a snapshot of the various things, people, culinary excursions, fashion choices and random objects that come into my life. A picture a day...or more like an Instagram a day since that is my all-time favorite iPhone app ever.

And if you have a picture that rocks your world, send it to me and I'll post it on here for you. Like a picture-swapping party. I would love it! I would love to see a snapshot of your day too!

So for today, I am celebrating one of my most favorite people. She's lovely. She's kind. She's sassy. She's been my friend through rain and shine, good hair days and bad, one random trip to Las Vegas and lots and lots of late-night talks.

She's Melanie. And today is her birthday.

Look how fabulous she is.

We took time out of our days to go to tea. And I had a salad that had an entire artichoke in it. And some quinoa. And garbanzo beans. It was heavenly. And then we split a cookie that could be the best cookie I have ever eaten. I must get the recipe to share with you.

I love this place. I would love to own a shop just like it where I could make cupcakes and trifles and sell pretty things and wear fabulous shoes. And I would name that fabulous cookie after Melanie. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Happiest of birthdays, sweet, wonderful friend!