IKEA: Tetris For Grown-Ups

I’ve been reluctant to share some good news on here for fear of jinxing myself with bad joojoo, but…we sold our house and are moving to the 21701 this Friday! Hurrah!

The new house is different. Smaller. Requiring of a major trip to IKEA.

[In case you were curious, that right there is (1) kitchen island, (2) office chairs, (2) kitchen chairs, (1) bookcase w/ baskets, (1) bed frame, and (2) desks.]

Since I’ve been old enough to carry a box I’ve moved over 15 times. Steve has moved once, but (as far as I’m concerned) is a walking furniture assembly professional.

So yea, we got this.

And we’re really excited.

Well, we will be once all these stupid boxes are packed.

Hope you all had a great weekend!



This Is What I Know

True friends get genuinely excited when you try on wedding dresses.

True friends chase you down the sidewalk with napkins to dry your overwhelmed and anxious tears.

But most importantly, true friends don’t care if you double dip in the sweet Thai chili sauce.

Occasionally, the right words escape me. Right now is one of those times, but let me try my best:

Today I danced, with fervor, in the true meaning of friendship.

Thanks to you all for making this seemingly imperfect day turn out so perfectly.

I love you forever and ever and ever. And ever.

Or at least until our faces get chewed off in the Zombie Apocalypse.

Oh, and a special ‘thank you’ to my fantastic mother – who, for reasons I might never understand, will do just about anything to make me feel special, loved, and happy.

Love, Brit

You know we make salsa, right?

We didn’t get invited to any Memorial Day cookouts this year. Not one!

You all know we make salsa, right??

But in all honesty, it was actually quite nice not having anything to do. It gave us an extra weekend day to catch up on to-do lists, go grocery shopping, return all those wedding-related emails, read magazines, and unintentionally nap.

Which, by the way, is so much better than its intentional counterpart.

And then at one point, out of pure laziness coupled with intense hunger, we ate cereal for dinner.

I hope you had a great time playing cornhole and drinking on boats yesterday!

But seriously. Salsa. We make it.


A working girl needs her own space.

I’m currently in the process of designing my new, very own work space. And let me tell you, it’s about time. I work from home a few times a month, and while the make-shift kitchen-table-desk gets the job done (literally), I think this is an important step for me professionally.

Mostly, I just wanted new stuff. And then to decorate with it.

So far, I’ve bought a new desk from IKEA, a shelving unit, a “visitors” chair, and these prints from Etsy shop Flapperdoodle (I love this shop, check it out):

[I matted and framed both prints for less than $20]

Either below or above the prints I plan to hang curtain wire with metal clothes pins for various paper-made things like greeting cards, all those wedding and baby reminders/announcements, and pictures of my awesome dog, etc.

I’m quite excited about all of this, can you tell?

Now come help me put all this damn furniture together.

– Brit, working girl WITH an office

What I’m Reading

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Set during a remarkable time, the same period as Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises, Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife brilliantly captures the voice and heart of Hadley Hemingway as she struggles with her roles as a woman—wife, lover, muse, friend, and mother—and tries to find her place in the intoxicating and tumultuous world of Paris in the twenties. (Random House)

Images via Google

This would be a great book for those of you who are, say, hot off a two week dominatrix binge with Christian Grey. The Paris Wife is romantic, ominous, and beautifully written.

So, for today:

Step 1: Buy this book.

Step 2: Find a pool.

Step 3: Shake your fist at the sky and ask, “Where did spring go?”

Step 4: Enjoy the day, but you know, always remember why you have it…

Reading is always good for the mind (even if it is NYT best selling smut porn).


Tri-Color Quinoa

Tri-color quinoa is like green and orange bowtie pasta. It doesn’t necessarily taste that different, but it sure is pretty.

Ever since I (finally) got a handle on making quinoa I’ve been preparing it in batches on a weekly basis. It’s perfect for lunches, cold or hot, and actually helps with that 2:30 in the afternoon slump. Everyone suffers from that, right? Ok, good.

In the meantime, a compilation of my (mostly food-related) favorite things from the Internet as of late:

Making lists and discovering an emerging theme is like therapy…

So, wine and dessert it is. Awesome.

P.S. I really enjoyed this article about the psychology of eating animals. Explaining why I don’t eat meat to people is still incredibly difficult for me – mostly because I’m terrified of coming off preachy. But, there it is, in all it’s well-written glory if you care to read it for yourself.

I hope you are having a better-than-average Wednesday. Come on, long weekend.


Houston According to my iPhone

I volunteered to fill in for our meeting planner at one of our company conferences in Houston this past week. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this half of my job, this means a lot of answering questions (“When is lunch? Where is the bathroom? Do you notify my manager if I leave early?”), checking in on receptions and lunches, sitting at a registration desk, and constantly complaining about the room temperature.

While not always the case, this particular trip involved a lot of alone time. And as one might expect, it got quite lonely. I travel more than a few times a year, but usually with several co-workers, and often to spectacular cities like Las Vegas, Chicago, and Nashville, just to name a few.

Nothing against Houston (I didn’t venture out of my 3 block comfort zone at all, in its defense), but they sure do enjoy themselves some steakhouses.

Anyway, this is my trip, in sporadic Instagram fashion.

You can just tell he missed me, can’t you?

Oh, and in case you were curious:

For all their angus talk, I did nom on a delicious veggie burger while in Texas.

Hope you all had a nice little weekend yourselves.

Although my weekend was cut a bit short due to travel, it turned out rather lovely. But that could be the buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote my awesome dude made me tonight for dinner talking.


Instagramification: Homesick

I’ve been in Houston since Tuesday afternoon. I have enjoyed 0 sun, 3 apocalyptic work-related meltdowns, 2 mango margaritas, and 1 melon and mint mojito. In short, I’m breaking even.

I’ve been documenting little bits and pieces throughout my stay here in Houston, but these gems are from the days before I left.

And the first block is completely food-related.

  1. There is something about the shape of a pasta that sometimes makes it especially appealing. This would be one of those times.
  2. We got a lemonade. He got two straws. He is 11 and no longer into sharing germs with me. *Tear.
  3. For the small fortune of $11-$15, you too can enjoy the Whole Foods salad bar for lunch. Whatever, it’s worth it.
  4. Plantains made the right way, with a side of sour cream.
  5. Illy iced coffee with a side of insulin.
  6. Bucatini pasta is probably my favorite kind of pasta. It’s essentially fat spaghetti with a hole in the middle. I call it “Hotel Pasta” because I only ever seem to see it when I travel, but alas, I found it at Juliet’s Italian Market downtown. See #9 for the perfect application.
  7. Illy iced coffee, without a side of insulin.
  8. Plantain Chips (1 plantain sliced very thin): 450 degrees, toss with olive oil, cinnamon, and a little nutmeg. Bake 10 minutes, flip. Bake another 10 minutes.
  9. Garlicky pasta with broccoli rabe.
  1. I got my eye on that concert uke right there. I set a goal for myself to learn two more songs before I can buy it.
  2. Girl’s Day: Nails, lunch, shopping, and drinks. “Nails” is why we are holding (me specifically) our hands as such, in case you were confused.
  3. See that guy behind Steve? See that knife? We hate that guy. I’m surprised you can’t hear his loud stupid mouth through the picture.
  4. Washburn.
  5. Washburne.
  6. My mama got me this little number. I like to send her pictures of me draped in all the things she buys me. It makes us both happy. Being the only daughter suits me.
  7. More awkward hands with beautiful nails.
  8. Let’s just get this out of the way: Yes, I sleep with a stuffed animal. His name is Pita the Cheetah. But more importantly, how cute is my dog?
  9. Hey, it can get sunny on the metro…

I’m a touch homesick, but this has been fun – and even a little bit helpful.


Kitchen Nemesis Defeated: Quinoa

I’d like to admit something: I’m terrible at cooking quinoa.

Well, at least I used to be. I would often overcook it, then overcompensate by turning it into quinoa cakes (which, by the way, are amazing and long overdue for us).

But there is so much more to quinoa that I was desperate to explore: salad, stir-fry, and pilafs for starters. It’s a must-know grain for vegetarians and vegans, so naturally I was feeling the pinch. The failure!

The absolute maddening sensation of failure.

Is this getting dramatic?

So a few weeks ago the Mister and I set out to crack the quinoa mystery. It took three tries, and ended in this:

Now, your standard quinoa recipe will treat the grain like it’s friends, rice, and couscous. Mistake NUMERO UNO.

Quinoa, as we came to find out, requires the attention of risotto, and the constant taste-testing of soup.

If you have quinoa down to a science, disregard this recipe – but if the magical properties of quinoa have escaped you up to this point, please try it. Because it’s nutty and crunchy, full of protein, and so good for you it’s offensive.

This won’t be entirely shocking, but my genius approach to cooking quinoa came from my How To Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook. (I’ve convinced at least two people to buy it, Bittman. And I bought it for my mom for Mother’sDay. How about some recognition?)

Perfect Quinoa:

  1. Put 1 cup rinses quinoa in a medium-sized saucepan and fill with water until the water is a little less than an inch over the quinoa
  2. Add a pinch of salt
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Immediately turn down to a simmer/low, stirring regularly
  5. Keep an eye on the quinoa until it is the texture you desire, tastes right, or all the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes)

P.S. It’s pronounced “keen-wah.” I won’t even tell you how I used to think it was pronounced. Even if it will make you feel better about yourself.

Enjoy! And please let me know if you give it a try. I’d love to know if it worked for you too.

– Brit

Mother’s Day: Eastern Market

Have you ever been to Eastern Market in Washington D.C.? It’s a smorgasbord of jewelry, food, art, tchotchkes, furniture, clothing, and more (it also has it’s very own metro stop). I myself like to go at least once a year, and no matter how hard I fight it, the temperature is always north of 80 degrees every time. I only mention this because every time I go I say to myself, “This would be a lot of fun in say, September.” And then I kind of never go back.

During this particular trip, I:

  • Tasted the most amazing, buttery buffalo mozzarella. Like hands down, the best I’ve ever had. I don’t even have a picture of it – that good.
  • Found a pink hat. Put on a pink hat. Realized I had too much hair (and fashion sense) for said hat.
  • Almost bought pickles out of a barrel.
  • Inhaled a strawberry, banana, and Nutella crepe.
  • reveled at an entire table of antique salt & pepper shakers, but did not buy any.
  • Waited 45 minutes for a metro train. Weekend D.C. Metro is the worst.

A lot of my fun revolves around food. Off the cuff lists always help me come to that realization.

But most importantly, Mama had fun.

And if you were a good little offspring too, you’re tired as all get-out from showing your mama a good day as well.

(click on kid with the aviator sunglasses for slideshow)

-Brit, “my mom once brought a cutting board (with knife), artisanal cheeses, and grapes into a movie theatre so my brother and I wouldn’t eat junk food.”

I bet almost none of you can say that.

Happy Mother’s Day!