Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Caprese Crazy

I have a new favorite salad that's fresh as can be. Dac had this craving for a Caprese salad (he admits that's weird), so we went to the Farmer's Market to pick up the super simple ingredients. It's just the perfect summer afternoon treat.

We just bought a few beautiful heirloom tomatoes, some basil, a ball of fresh mozarella from the Italian deli in the market, and some balsamic vinegar. The prep couldn't be easier - easier than the normal salad, really. Just cut nice thick slices of the tomato, followed by nice thick slices of mozarella.

Then sprinkle some basil and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top! We also put some sea salt, and Dac added olive oil to his. We chopped up our basil because big pieces are too powerful to me. I don't even know if this is all the right stuff for an actual Caprese salad, but I don't even want to look it up because this was so delicious!

So that's all it takes for some crazy Caprese. Something I will be making a whole lot more of this summer. Still want to try these guys for a party:



Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Chair to Rule Them All

(I wrote a few posts before Nora came along, here's one:)

Last summer, I found a cool shop on Etsy that refinished furniture using gorgeous fabrics and finishes: House of Pemberley.  (You can get more info on the shop here.)  They had some things I liked, but not EXACTLY what I wanted, so I messaged the shop owner, Kimber - she's wonderful to work with!  I picked out a chair from her inventory of furniture to "makeover" and picked the fabric and paint and she made my chair dreams come true.  Here's the chair:

Isn't it awesome?!  It makes me way more happy than a chair probably should.  The fabric is Lee Jofa Groundworks "La Fiorentina" in wine & magenta.  And shipping is free on furniture!  (They ship using Greyhound, so it did take a while, but it eventually made it, in perfect condition!)  She also makes great pillows out of any fabric (including designer fabrics that are to-the-trade only).  She made these for me (well, she made 2 of the patterned pillow - the yellows are from Crate & Barrel):

And they are so great!  They really make our Ikea couch something special.  One of my super-fav bloggers, Jenny of MFAMB had Kimber make her a headboard for her daughter's room, and it is amazing.

So...great etsy shop, I love custom furniture!  Wish I had the chops to do something like this myself.  Anyone else out there love a chair as much as I do?  Refinish any furniture on your own?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If you've never run a 5k...

And I wouldn't have said this before this past weekend, but... you're missing out. I've never understood the hype, but I just ran my first one and it was pretty fun to beat a bunch of other people and get a free t-shirt.

Plus, I look pretty legit, right?

It's probably the neon pink shirt I decided to wear. This was at the very beginning. Dac is next to me in this pic, but right about that moment he took off and left me in the dust (understandably so).

I do have to take a moment to brag though, that I ran it in under 30 minutes (exactly 1 second under). That's probably not impressive to most people, but I didn't even run a full three miles in the one week I spent trying to prepare. Wouldn't exactly say I'm a runner.

My work was a sponsor for the event, so Dac and I weren't the only crazies I know getting up at 5:30am on a Saturday to run. That was the other great thing I discovered about 5k's. Not only was my team cheering each other on, but random people cheer you on throughout. They'll yell things like "yeah, you go #144!" You feel pretty special. I put my arms up in victory as I crossed the finish line. No joke.

We missed the Color Run in KC, which I'm bummed about... but I'm sure we'll be signing up for another one soon. I want to do one at night (do they do those?) so I can sing "Run this town tonight" while I'm running. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Little Homes

Not to be confused with Lil Homey... who I can now proudly call Nora Jayne! She is the best, and it kills me to not be able to hang out with her - but Katie has been doing a great job sending picture texts!
She clearly already knows how cool her aunt is:

OK, so I may have forced that onesie on her - and she looks kind of mad wearing it. But Katie swears that's because of the flash. Also note that I'm not the only one trying to sell Nora on something with her clothing... those UNC socks really complete the look.

The other big (not nearly as amazing or important) thing happening in my life right now (other than my new job, which rules), is the house hunt. Dac and I found an amazing realtor through a friend who I dare say reminds me a lot of Reese Witherspoon, and we have spent hours for the past three days with her looking at house after house. I was naive in thinking it would be easy to find an amazing house in our price range. We've been going for the cute, older homes with character - but they are all much smaller, and less charming, than they look in the pictures. Last night we went to a house that had not one but TWO gigantic spiders in the bathtub... and one in the sink. Awesome. So far there has been at least one pretty big deal breaker with each one (the spiders weren't even it in that house).

I mean - and I'm sure I've said this before - where are the houses that look like these...

1  / 2  / 3  /  / 5

Not in our price range is where they are. Pinterest has totally tainted my perspective. We seem to be looking at a rapid pace though, and I do feel like we're making progress and getting closer. And, now that I'm thinking more realistically, I'm already coming up with lots of ways to transform whatever space we can afford.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. We have "busy" excuses galore (especially Katie for obvious reasons) but we'll get back in the swing of things here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lil Homey is Home!

I am so excited to announce the arrival of Nora Jayne Wendel!

She was born last Monday on July 9, 2012 at 4:46pm.  She weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 20 1/2 " long.  I'll probably share her "birth story" later, but generally, it was a pretty easy delivery.   We were shocked when the doctor announced around 4:15pm that she was coming soon and even he was surprised that "soon" was 30 minutes later.  The whole thing was very surreal.  Surreal, amazing, and perfect, just like Nora.

We chose the name Nora after lots of hemming and hawing, but once we settled on it, we both realized how much we love it.  Obviously, her middle name is in honor of her wonderful Aunt Jayne!  We know Nora will look up to her and love her like crazy, plus, it's just a cool name.

The past week has been a blur, and we are loving it.  Henry and I have realized that we have a very different life now, and as he said a couple days ago "I don't want my old life back."  We feel so incredibly lucky and are so thankful for our sweet baby.

This blog may become baby fest 2012 for a bit (forever?) and there will be many more updates and photos - here are just a couple of my favorites from the past week:

Welcome home, Nora...we love you so much!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sorry for our Silence

Speech bubble cheers on a stick via Sarah Q Happy Booths on Etsy.

We'll be taking a brief pause for the rest of this week and part of next. Lil homie's due date is this Saturday, and we're all just too excited to think about anything else!

Next time you hear from us, there will be a new family member to introduce... this is the best thing ever.  Anyone have guesses for her name? Dac already guessed Henrietta or Wendy - I think it's safe to say it will be neither of those.

Stay cool (literally and figuratively) and we'll see you soon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Guest POSTIN in the HOUSE 2Nite!!!

Two things are happening this week in KC.  Jayne is having her first "real" week of work (last week was all orientation) and America is about to have another Bday.  In honor of the first event I am guest blogging for her so she can look for things to hang in her new cubicle.  For the second thing I submit for the internet's viewing pleasure the greatest local fireworks commercial in the history of rap music and google maps.  If you don't know anything about Kansas City or where in this fine metropolis one can purchase fireworks, your problems are solved.

(Yes there is thirty seconds of black following the thirty seconds of commercial - don't worry about that, all television commercials this epic do that, so that you can have time to absorb what you just witnessed.)

Turn Right, Turn Right, Fireworks!
Good luck not singing this forever, you're welcome.

For the rest of the country, keep your eyes peeled for a new Wendel this week.  Rumor has it Katie is gonna have that baby and we will finally get to find out what name they decided on.  I am pulling for Wendy Wendel or possibly Henrietta Wendel.  I'm good either way.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Breakfast Dessert: The New Way to Lose Weight

A while ago, I posted my obsession with this Kate Spade bag:

Sold out in stores, but you can find it on ebay.
And I am happy to report that I received the bag as a birthday present in March!  It has been fun to carry, I get lots of comments from strangers.  My favorite was an elderly gentleman who said "Gosh, I haven't had cake for breakfast in years - I think I need to do something about that!"  At one of my (many, many) trips to the doctor, the doc saw the bag and said "You know, the problem with cake is that it has no nutritional value..." It took me a minute to convince him that I was not eating cake for breakfast (at least not on a regular basis.)  While I will occasionally enjoy leftover cake for breakfast, I really think the phrase is more a state of mind - every day is a celebration!

But perhaps I should make it a regular thing?  Henry sent me this article last Friday: "Dessert at Breakfast May Help You Lose Weight."  Ha!  The study found that a group of dieters who let themselves indulge in a little "breakfast dessert" didn't feel deprived throughout the day and ended up losing more weight in the end than the group who did not get dessert with breakfast.  I like the concept, not sure how easy it would be to put the fork down at the right time.  What do y'all think?

I think you shouldn't feel bad about that red, white, and blue cupcake you had for breakfast this morning - it's good for you! :)