50 Women Game Changers in Food: Dorothy Hamilton (Week 17)

In 2011, Gourmet released their list of the 50 Women Game Changers in Food. I stumbled on this entirely by accident. One week a couple of months ago, I was meal planning, and didn’t have access to my Ina Garten cookbooks. So, I googled the recipe I was looking for and found it on a blog that was making its way through the list (she’s number 39… I’m a little disgruntled that Rachael Ray is higher up than she is). I was inspired to do the same. I need to challenge myself more in the kitchen, and I thought this would be an excellent way to do so.  As I’ve been planning for this, I’ve been flipping through cookbooks, checking out websites and buying new equipment, and I’m excited. I’m also really looking forward to learning more about these game changing women, and introducing myself to recipes I’ve never cooked before.

(And since this entire year-long project will be all recipes I’ve never made before, I can’t promise that everything will turn out the way I want it to. But whether a dish is a winner or an epic fail, I’m going to be completely honest about it.)

Week 17 brings us to Dorothy Hamilton.

There isn’t a lot of biographical information to be found about her. I know she has degrees from multiple universities, including NYU and Harvard, but, the most important thing is to know that in 1984, after spending time abroad, she established the French Culinary Institute in New York. The French Culinary Institute eventually became the International Culinary Center. The Institute boasts Julia Child as a lifelong patron of the school, includes chefs such as Jacques Pepin & Jose Andres (among many others) as deans. Alumni includes Bobby Flay.

She is also a former Chairmen of the Board for the James Beard Foundation, and host of A Chef’s Story on PBS

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This recipe I’m going to share isn’t her recipe, because, well, she isn’t a chef. I thought about buying the textbook/cookbook her students use, and preparing something from that. But, like most textbooks, it was crazy expensive. So, what’s a blogger to do? Make a recipe I think she would enjoy.

2015-04-16 03.20.30In this article, she mentions that her favorite meal would include freshly made strawberry ice cream for dessert:

For dessert I’d either have a seasonal fruit tart; one of the best I’ve ever had is oranges sliced really thin with the rind still on, but cooked down a little bit, into a crispy buttery tart. Or ice cream freshly made in an ice cream machine, from super-ripe strawberries.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy an ice cream machine, and since strawberries are in season and so delicious right now, I went with it. This ice cream was incredibly easy to make. For my first time, I wanted one that was egg free, and pretty much fool proof. Not only was it easy to make, but it was so, so delicious. It tastes so fresh & authentic. It actually tastes like strawberries, not the artificial flavor you’re used to with strawberry ice cream.

2015-04-16 03.19.44Strawberry Ice Cream
(Recipe originally found here.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of strawberries, rinsed & roughly chopped
  • 3/4 C. of granulated sugar
  • 1 t. of vodka (optional)
  • 1 C. of heavy cream
  • 1 C. of sour cream
  • 1/2 t. of lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine the berries, sugar, & vodka in a mixing bowl. Let hand out for an hour.
  2. Transfer the berry mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the heavy cream, sour cream and lemon juice, and pulse until smooth, with some chunks of strawberry remaining. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for an hour.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream machine, following the manufacturers instructions.

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What I’m Loving Wednesday: The Birthday Edition

I’m turning 32 in a few weeks. Scary, huh? I now have the parody of Taylor Swift’s “22” going through my head.

Anyways… if there was a birthday Santa, here are the things I would hope that he would bring me this year.

1) Le Creuset Cast-Iron Rectangular Skinny Grill in Matte Navy.

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2) This necklace from Noonday. _CWP6010-z

3) My cheapo immersion blender that I’ve had for ages finally bit the dust, so I’d love this Cuisinart one2e39c51f5066facabe16158ca07b171c

4. This Kate Spade cross body bag is adorable. And I love the pink so much. 73e73b2a0b1eedf2f34c273bef9cdb3d

5. I love this mid-century ring holder from West Elm. 80ca1ebc9b9f58e31ad20671de26e192

6. I need these shoes like whoa. Seriously. How cute are these? (I’m a size 7.5)89da60a962e5216d040cd73284f69d53

7. Of course I want this shirt. And I want it in purple, and a medium. 961cd8417acd2c05b6b519bb2c6c5f02

8. I love this apothecary bottle & candle stand. I have something similar that my in-laws gave me for Christmas, and this would be great along with it. It would provide nice symmetry, without being too matchy-matchy. 1544510d65e6deffa450ea13f3f521ab

9. I love this pineapple candle from West Elm! And the container is so pretty! I could put all kinds of little things in it once the candle is gone. b7fb6f1b4b7412ca40d8e54a182289e8

10. I need a Le Creuset skillet, and I adore the new amethyst color. da1e202cc6989252fe91f4c96b743ab7

 

Deployment Bucket List

I’m a horrible Air Force wife, FYI. I’m a control freak, and thanks to the Air Force, I have very little control over my own life. Which makes me bitter. I’m also the biggest worrier you’ll ever meet in your life. I never worry about anything bad happening to Graham while he’s deployed. I worry about plane crashes on his way to a deployment. Which is unfortunate, because once he gets to wherever he’s going, I have this worry in the back of my head that we’ll make it through a six month deployment and die in a plane crash on the way home. I know I’m making all of this harder on myself, but I can’t help it. It’s where my mind instantly goes.

The constant worry & fear of something bad happening is why I have to stay constantly busy while he’s gone. I want to plan out my time so that the only time I’m sitting around doing nothing is while I’m Skyping with him. Other than that much too short pocket of time, I have to keep myself busy. And I know it’s going to be harder this time than it has been for previous deployments. For starters, we’re in an apartment and not a house. There are no home renovation projects to focus on like I did for the first one. The second deployment, Hermione was a puppy and needed a LOT of attention. We walked about 5-7 miles every night, which took up a big chunk of my time. She’ll be four in November, so she doesn’t have the energy level she used to, so she doesn’t demand as much. Although, I am still going to plan on walking her as much as I can.

G has been gone for a little over a week now. And I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish while we’re apart. Here’s what I’ve come up with… \Most of these things should help with the whole staying busy thing… Fingers crossed that this summer flies by!

1. Change up my hair. I’m thinking about either cutting it all off & going with a super short/pixie style cut, or growing it out and dying it purple (aubergine, technically). But we’ll see. As much as I want to dye my hair purple, the summer is a bad time to do it, since I plan on being out by the pool or at the beach for a lot of it. And if I do it in the fall, I’ll have purple hair for our Christmas card photos. So… We’ll see.

2. Successfully complete a Whole30. I started this two days after G left, which was probably a bad time, since I can’t console myself with wine & chocolate, but oh well. I don’t want to waste anytime achieving the goals I have set for this deployment. I’ve been considering this for over a year, and it’s time I do it.

3. Lose 30 lbs. This is always on my deployment bucket list. The first year, I lost 17. The next year, I lost 10. Unfortunately when Graham gets home, and the date nights commence, I always gain it back. Hopefully that won’t happen this time, and the next time he deploys I can leave this off of my bucket list. While I am hopeful I’ll lose a few pounds during the Whole30 (most of the people I know have lost between 8-10), I’m hoping that after the Whole30 I’ll crave sweets less, and make better food choices overall, which will make the losing 30 pounds easier.

4. Continue to be social. I’m an introvert by nature, so I have no problem being alone. But we’ve made good friends here, and I don’t want to retreat back into my shell while though G is gone. My goal is to do something social at least once a week.

5. Purge my closet of everything I will never wear again. I have so much crap, but wear the same things over and over. I need to seriously purge. And then go shopping & buy things I really like. I need to buy more grown up clothes that are suitable for a 30+ year old. It’s time to end the days of wearing nothing but jeans and t-shirts from Target & the Gap. This includes the lingerie drawer, as well. All I ever wear are sports bras. I need to fancy things up a bit. I’m sure there are nicer bras out there that are still comfortable.

6. Cultivate my own interests. I’m taking a photography class with my friend, Susan. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot in the class, but my main goal? To take my camera off of “P” mode once and for all! I’d also really like to take a sewing class. I have two sewing machines and don’t know how to use either of them. I’m not wanting to be a bad ass seamstress or anything, I just want to learn the basics… like how to thread the stupid bobbin.

7. Read the complete works of Jane Austen. I bought an anthology of her books about 5 years ago, and I’ve never gotten past page 7. I know Pride & Prejudice isn’t exactly beach reading, but oh well. I’d like to read at least one book every week, but finishing this one needs to happen.

8. Read, save recipes & ideas, and throw away all of the magazines I’ve been saving. I’m not sure how I ended up with subscriptions for Better Homes & Gardens, and Bon Appetit magazines, but I did. And I never read any of them, so I have about 25 magazines, still in their plastic wrappers, sitting in a closet. I found them a couple of weeks ago when I was reorganizing our junk room closet, and they just have to go.

9. SAVE MONEY. G and I usually save a good bit of money when he’s deployed. While he’s deployed, he makes a little bit extra, but we also save money from having the service on his cell phone turned off, not having to pay for gas for his car, not going out on dates every week, and only grocery shopping for one. We have debt to pay off, and we’re still going back and forth on whether or not to buy a house next year.

50 Women Game Changers in Food: Maida Heatter (Week 16)

In 2011, Gourmet released their list of the 50 Women Game Changers in Food. I stumbled on this entirely by accident. One week a couple of months ago, I was meal planning, and didn’t have access to my Ina Garten cookbooks. So, I googled the recipe I was looking for and found it on a blog that was making its way through the list (she’s number 39… I’m a little disgruntled that Rachael Ray is higher up than she is). I was inspired to do the same. I need to challenge myself more in the kitchen, and I thought this would be an excellent way to do so.  As I’ve been planning for this, I’ve been flipping through cookbooks, checking out websites and buying new equipment, and I’m excited. I’m also really looking forward to learning more about these game changing women, and introducing myself to recipes I’ve never cooked before.

(And since this entire year-long project will be all recipes I’ve never made before, I can’t promise that everything will turn out the way I want it to. But whether a dish is a winner or an epic fail, I’m going to be completely honest about it.)

Week 16 brings us to Maida Heatter.

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Maida Heatter ( – Present), like many other women on this list, never set out to have a career in the food industry. She never went to culinary school, or trained with any great chefs. She went graduated from the Pratt Institute with a degree in fashion illustration. She was successful with her work in illustrating, but left that when her hand worked silver jewelry became a success, and her jewelry, along with hand painted ties & scarves began to be carried by Macy’s. She moved to Miami Beach in the 1940’s, where she met & married  an airline pilot names Ralph Daniels.

Eventually, Maida began urging her husband to find a job that didn’t require as much travel. They, along with friend Gabriel Heatter, decided to open a cafe in Miami Beach, which eventually grew into a full service restaurant. Maida gave up jewelry making to cook full time for the restaurant, which lead to her first encounter with Craig Claiborne. In 1968, the Republican National Party held it’s national convention, and in honor of the Republican Party, she put several dishes made of elephant meat on the menu. No one actually ate any elephant, but it created a media frenzy for the restaurant, and drew the attention of Craig Claiborne, the food editor of the New York Times. He left the restaurant raving about her desserts & suggested that she author a cookbook. Her first cookbook, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts was published in 1974.

I think Maida is one of the most likeable women I’ve encountered on this list so far, and I LOVE this quote about her from Saveur magazine:

Maida’s goal is a perfect dessert every time—and she wants those who follow her recipes to achieve the same end. If the recipe doesn’t deliver, she wants to know why. A stranger from the Miami area once looked Maida up in the phone book and called her for help with a recipe that she just couldn’t make work. “I may have been crazy, but I invited her over to show her how to make it.” (It turned out that the lady had been using margarine instead of butter and omitting the sugar, Maida recalls—still sounding a bit annoyed.) On another occasion, the New York Times test kitchen was having problems with one of her pound cake recipes. “I told Ralph about it, and next thing I knew, we were on a plane on our way to New York. We wanted to make sure that recipe worked.”

When the Saveur Kitchen team called Maida about a problem it was having with her polka dot cheesecake recipe—the top of our version kept cracking—she offered succinct advice: “Don’t overbeat your eggs.” She also told us exactly how deep the water in the bain-marie should be (one and a half inches). A new cheesecake went into the oven. Just as it was due to come out, the phone rang. It was Maida. “She wanted to make sure we didn’t overbake the cake,” explains Kelly Kochendorfer, director of the Saveur Kitchen.

I purchased one of her books for this project, and honestly I was intimidated by it. There were so many steps, and she’s incredibly precise. I wish I had read up on her before hand, I may have been less intimidated, and more appreciative of the work that goes into her desserts.

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I’m obsessed with blueberry muffins. It’s gotten bad. Every time I stop at a grocery store to pick up… well, anything, I end up buying a muffin. I even get muffins anytime I go inside the gas station across the street from my office. I love them. I can’t get enough.

But, as much as I love the huge, bakery muffins from Harris Teeter, Kroger, Farm Fresh, Wawa, Seven-Eleven, etc…, I know they’re really, really bad for me. So, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect homemade blueberry muffin. These weren’t perfect (I think the fact that the super cheap liners I used stuck to them really bad annoyed me so much it lessened my enjoyment), but they were really, really good. The flavor was excellent, and the texture was wonderful.
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Maida Heatter’s Blueberry Muffins
(Recipe from Maida Heatter’s Cakes (pp. 295-296))

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Arrange a baking rack to the middle position of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash the blueberries in cold water, and spread them out over paper towels to dry thoroughly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Gently mix in the berries, being careful not to break them.
  4. In a seperate mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg, and then add in the melted butter, milk, and lemon zest.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir very gently for a few seconds. Be very careful not to overmix – stir until the dry ingredients are barely moistened. The batter should be lumpy.
  6. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Cool in pan for 2-3 minutes, before moving to a cooling rack.
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The Saddest Weekend.

This was simultaneously the longest & the shortest weekend of my life. G was supposed to deploy on April 20th, but Friday morning he found out that, thanks to someone’s clerical error, he was leaving on Saturday, April 11… the very next day. We had so much planned for those 10 days we lost, and to say I was devastated is the understatement of the century. There were about 10 restaurants I wanted to check out, we wanted to take Hermione to the Outer Banks, and to the mountains for a hike. We wanted to spend countless hours cuddling on the couch, watching movies, making homemade croissants, and so many other things. Instead, thanks to someone’s error, we had 30 hours.

I was heartbroken. Devastated. And so, so angry. I’m so tired of other people’s screw ups taking things from us. First it was his re-enlistment bonus (we’re talking a LOT of money…), and now it’s those precious 10 days. I cried more than I think I ever have. I tried to pull myself together before he got home so we could try to enjoy the little time we had left.

We went to the mall and picked up a few things he needed, and then we checked off one of the items on our list: a sushi date at Kero.

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Everything was amazing as usual. One of the rolls was called the Easter 2015 roll, and it had a honey-wasabi sauce on it. The sauce was light and sweet, with a slow burning heat. It was absolutely delicious.

We wanted to maximize our time together, but I had cried so much I needed at least a little sleep. So, we took a three hour nap, got up at 3:30am. We spent some time curled up together, talking, and just being together. Once we got out of bed, he started packing, and after a while, he took a break and we went to get breakfast. After breakfast, we went back to the apartment, grabbed Hermione and went for a walk.

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Every year we take a photo with a sign for how many years it’s been. This year we had to take our photo 12 days early. Neither of us were happy about that…

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After Yorktown, we headed home so he could finish packing. And so I could cry some more. And then some more after that. I swear, I cried more this weekend than I have in my entire life. Including the times I’ve been dumped. After he finished packing, we curled up together again until it was time to leave. I swear, the clock started moving at a supernatural speed, and before we knew it, it was time to head to base. We hung out for a while (they took ten days from me, I was determined to wait it out as long as I could), and then we had a tearful goodbye right before he got on the bus. I cried more on the way home, then proceeded to spend about 2 hours in a Lush bath with a very large margarita.

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The first day, I didn’t do a whole lot. I mostly spent the entire day on the couch, watching How I Met Your Mother & Frasier. I did go out and buy a new iPod. I bought a 32 gig iPod Touch, and I love it. It’s nice finally having some space free on my phone, and finally being able to have all of my music on a device. It was a pretty depressing day, not just for me, but for the furry ones too. This is the 3rd deployment for Buddy, the 2nd for Hermione, and the 1st for Charlotte. Charlotte is honestly indifferent. Hermione is incredibly depressed. Buddy is incredibly tuned in to how I’m feeling. He was super affectionate, and didn’t leave my side all day.

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Monday was a beautiful day. The one bright spot in a very wet & dreary week long forecast. So, Hermione and I went on a long walk in Yorktown. It was exactly what we both needed. It got a lot hotter than I was expecting, so I let her off the leash for a quick dip in the river. She loves the water so much. 

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I’m hoping the weather gives us a little bit of a break for the rest of the week, so Hermione and I can get out more. She’s not taking this very well, and is really depressed. Seeing her so said is breaking my heart. I think I’m going to put him on speaker phone and let him Skype with her for a few minutes next time he calls. I hope that will help.

And in the mean time, if you guys could keep G in your thoughts/prayers, I would appreciate it.

50 Women Game Changers in Food: Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins (Week 15)

In 2011, Gourmet released their list of the 50 Women Game Changers in Food. I stumbled on this entirely by accident. One week a couple of months ago, I was meal planning, and didn’t have access to my Ina Garten cookbooks. So, I googled the recipe I was looking for and found it on a blog that was making its way through the list (she’s number 39… I’m a little disgruntled that Rachael Ray is higher up than she is). I was inspired to do the same. I need to challenge myself more in the kitchen, and I thought this would be an excellent way to do so.  As I’ve been planning for this, I’ve been flipping through cookbooks, checking out websites and buying new equipment, and I’m excited. I’m also really looking forward to learning more about these game changing women, and introducing myself to recipes I’ve never cooked before.

(And since this entire year-long project will be all recipes I’ve never made before, I can’t promise that everything will turn out the way I want it to. But whether a dish is a winner or an epic fail, I’m going to be completely honest about it.)

Week 15 brings us to Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins.

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Sheila Lukins (November 18, 1942 – August 30, 2009) was born in Connecticut and attended NYU, obtaining a degree in art education. After graduation, she moved to Europe to work in graohic design, and ended up studying at Le Cordon Bleu in London, and then working with Michelin star chefs in France. In 1977, she returned to New York, and opened the Silver Palate with business partner Julee Rosso. Besides running the successful gourmet food store, they also published several cookbooks together, including: The Silver Palate Cookbook, which broke sales records in it’s first year. In 1986, she replaced Julia Child as the food editor for Parade Magazine, and in 1988, she & Julee went their seperate ways, and the Silver Palate was sold. She continued to publish cookbooks on her own, despite suffering a severe cerebral hemorrage in 1991. In 2007, Sheila & Julee reunited to publish a 25th anniversary copy of the Silver Palate Cookbook. In 2009, Sheila was diagnosed with brain cancer. She passed away three months later.

Julee Rosso was born in Michigan in . She graduated from Michigan State with a Bachelors in French, History & Education. She moved to New York two days after graduation, and after turning down a job with the CIA, she began a career in marketing. It was thanks to her work in advertising that she met Sheila, a struggling caterer. She hired her to cater a press breakfast, and the two instantly became friends. In 1976, Julee brought up the idea of opening a store. Sheila was reluctant at first, but Julee managed to talk her into it. After their partnership ended in 1988, Julee remarried and moved back to Michigan. She also continued to write cookbooks, but they were met with mixed reviews, and accusations of plagarism. Julee currently owns the Wickwood Inn, a boutique hotel in Saugatuck, Michigan.

The Silver Palate changed the way New Yorkers (and Americans) ate. Their store provided “high end takeout”. The shop provided delicious, high quality food to people who desired it, but had little time to produce it, and it also influenced the types of foods people were serving. At a time when people entertained serving French classics like duck à l’orange, Sheila & Julee introduced them to foods with big flavors, created with accessible ingredients & modest techniques.

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Potato-Cheese Soup
(Recipe adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook, p. 60)

Ingredients:

  • 4 T. of butter
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of peeled, chopped carrots (about 4 carrots)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1.5 lbs. of potatoes, peeled & chopped (2 large potatoes)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

    1. Melt the butter in a large dutch over medium-low heat. Add carrots & onions, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
    2. Add stock & potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
    3. Puree the soup. You can either put half of the soup in a food processor, puree it, and add it back to the pot. Or, you can use an immersion blender and puree some of the soup in the pot.
    4. Fold in the cheese, stirring till melted, and parsley, and salt & pepper to taste.

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What I’m Loving Wednesday

It’s Wednesday! And if I’m being completely honest, what I’m REALLY loving is that tomorrow is my last day of work for over a week!

But I’m loving this stuff too.

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This Mid-Century Modern dresser I found on Craigslist (apparently it’s been sold since I wrote this). It’s located in Richmond, and since it’s already gorgeous and doesn’t need any TLC, it’s more than I’m willing to spend, but how pretty is this? It’s been on CL for over a month, and every time I scroll past it, I sigh & think about how much I want it. They’re asking $370 for it, which I do think is a really good price, and I’m in love with the color. That peachy-coral color is so pretty, and would looks so pretty as a pop of color in an all navy & white room. I’m definitely on the hunt for another MCM dresser to refinish while Graham is away, and (as long as it’s already been painted), I’d love to paint it a bright color like this one.

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I finally got tired of the stainless steel fridge & it’s lack of functionality. Yes, it does it’s job and keeps stuff cold. But it always looks dirty, and you can’t use magnets on it. So I constantly had each weeks menu washi taped to it. Then, thanks to Pinterest, I started using dry erase markers on it. But unfortunately, after cleaning the fridge with the stainless steel cleaner, the marker would no longer stay on it. So, I went to Michael’s, found a sheet of what is basically chalkboard contact paper (sorry, I can’t find a link to it on their website), stuck it on the fridge and bam. Problem solved. They included a few pieces of chalk with it, which work fine, but I bought some chalkboard markers and use those. They come off really well with a magic eraser, and once it’s dry, it’s ready for the next weeks meals!

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These little fruit bars from Trader Joe’s are SO good! They’re basically a grown up, more substantial fruit roll up. And they’re pretty inexpensive, only $0.99 each. I buy a few every time I go in there (which is every few days…) and keep them in my purse, my desk at work, and the console of my car for snacking emergencies. And the ingredient list? Nothing scary & unpronounceable: Apple Puree Concentrate, Apple and Pear and Elderberry and Strawberry and Lemon Juice Concentrates, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Citrus Pectin, Natural Flavor, Apple Fiber. 

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Last year I discovered the wonder that is the maxi dress. I bought three, and two maxi skirts within a one month period. Someone described them as a dressier version of yoga pants, and that is such an accurate description. And I LOVE this maxi dress from Old Navy. I actually bought it last weekend, and I love it. I love that it’s not crazy long (all of my Target maxi dresses drag the floor, which is super annoying), it’s super soft, and insanely comfortable.

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I love this whale tail ring holder from West Elm. I have a little ring dish on my nightstand already, but it was actually a gift from my ex, so I hate putting my wedding rings in it. It’s very, very pretty and was handmade by his aunt, so I felt bad throwing it away when I purged everything else back in 2008. All this time I’ve never really thought about it, but I’ve recently began taking my rings off when I sleep, and it just feels wrong to me (is that insane?). So, I think this whale tail needs to make it’s way to my nightstand.