It's bananas

Photos from Mint

Oh my gosh, yum, I want to make and eat this banana amaretto cake immediately. The lovely and genius Ellie from Mint posted the recipe, how-to instructions and step-by-step pictures for it today, and I want to run out and get the ingredients immediately. Doesn't it look delish (even this pic of just the bottom layer)?:

The best bit is that it's made from a store-bought angel-food cake, so the major legwork is done for you. That means that this recipe is something even I can handle (and no need to watch the super-creepy Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade to figure it out). I'm not sure if I can wait for the next holiday or major occasion to make this - I might make it this weekend (if not tonight!).

Yum! Head over to Mint for a downloadable recipe card for this cake. Thanks, Ellie (and your Aunt Anita too!).

Say cheese, Barack!

I don't know whether this is impressive or scary:

Barack Obama's amazingly consistent smile from Eric Spiegelman.

Jeesh, Michelle's jumping all over the place, but Obama just stands there, perfectly poised, throughout. Has he been replaced with a wax figure and he was actually out shooting some hoops while these were being taken? 130 photos, 1 smile, 1 pose. You try that. Whew.

Sigg water bottles: busted for BPAs

Evidently, chucking your Nalgene bottles for (supposedly) BPA-free alternatives like SIGG bottles is no longer good enough. The Swiss maker of SIGG has admitted that the interior lining of their aluminum bottles does indeed contain BPAs (which are unhealthy plastic compounds that can be leached into your drinking water). Looks like it's time to find yet another alternative to hold your water.

I'd love these lovelies for my house (ahem...great gift idea!), but since glass isn't the best for toting around town, I might check out the Kor One Hydration Vessel. Isn't it purty?:

I could definitely take that with me to Bikram.

I've also heard the Klean Kanteen is a good stainless steel option:

Anyone have any thoughts on BPA-free water bottles? Do you like the Kor or Klean Kanteen options? Any others I missed?

Thanks to Talk Like A Gentleman for the heads-up on SIGG's use of BPAs.


Bikram class count: 10

Photo from Veer

Hooray! I've officially made it to my 10th class! It took me a bit longer than the recommended 10 days (10 classes in 10 days? Sounds nice in fantasy land!), but I've done it in 15, so I'm still pretty happy. Looking forward to classes 11-20!

(I promise I'm done with the class counting on here for now. Thanks for bearing with me while I cheered myself on for this first stretch!)

Fortune tellers

Oh So Beautiful Paper featured these fold-your-own fortune tellers from Pop + Shorty and I couldn't resist sharing them. How fun would these be for a bachelorette party (as something silly to do in the cab or bar) or as party favors at a casual shindig? Pop + Shorty's online store also has lots of other great products from cards to buttons, so it's definitely a site to check out.

The P+S fortune tellers reminded me of the ones my friend Sara and I made back in April for the engagement party we threw for our friends. We made our fortune tellers out of old sailing charts to continue the nautical theme of the party. We wrote on a few of the fortune tellers, then let the guests customize the rest. Here are a few photos of our fortune tellers (or "cootie-catchers" as Sara called them in middle school):

The table where we set up the pre-made fortune tellers, along with pens to fill out the blank ones (and write in the guest book!).

The lovely Kate playing Vanna White / cootie-catcher master of ceremonies.

Very easy and surprisingly fun, too!

Sea painting

Photo found on Desire to Inspire, from Patrice Cowan Bevans

The bedding and some of the furniture choices in this room are a bit...mature...for my taste, but I am absolutely enamored with the painting above the bed. Just looking at it makes me want to curl up under a blanket and take a nap or serenely rest for the night. The lamps are pretty chic too (I have very similar ones in my house!). I only wish I knew who painted it. Anyone?


Hats off

Photo by Rodney Smith

Just wanted to post this frothy little image I found while poking around in Rodney Smith's gorgeous photography archives. I wish people wore hats more often. Perhaps one day I'll get to go to a horse race or derby of some sort where I can wear a giant hat and a lovely dress like this one. When is the Kentucky Derby again?

Community (alternately titled "fall tv is enticing...")

Talk Like A Gentleman posted this awesome clip from the new show Community. I haven't watched it (we're desperately trying to limit the tv-watching, despite all the new fall shows and the ever-addictive DVR!) but after this clip, I might need to tune in to NBC sometime. I should know better: with Chevy Chase, Joel McHale from The Soup and the guy from The Hangover and Knocked Up, how could it not be hilarious? Check out this clip (what can I say? I love beat-boxing and rhyming things with "Cameron Diaz"):

The verdict is still out for me since I haven't actually seen the show, but it's looking promising. And I swear NBC is not paying me to post this. :)

Motivation on a Monday

This seems very appropriate for a Monday.

Getting a bit of a late start today after a great weekend and thought this next find seemed just right for a Monday morn. How cute is this illustration from Mary Kate McDevitt's Etsy shop? At only $5, it would be great for a little office decor or just a bright daily reminder somewhere in your house. I know I could certainly use seeing this sentiment every now and again (and isn't it so true?).

Originally seen on Oh So Beautiful Paper.

Funny side story: we have a magnetic notepad on our fridge with to-do items and little reminders written on there for B and me. Sometime in the past year, one of our houseguests (unbeknownst to us) added in his or her own list item. A few weeks ago, I glanced at the list and noticed the addition. Our fancies-themselves-funny guest had anonymously added in this to-do item exactly as follows:

Cross off list item

Pretty funny. Whoever you are (Mike C?), thanks for a laugh.


Have a great weekend!

Photo found on Mary Ruffle

I've been a bad blogger today - my apologies! My excuse is that I've been running around all day doing some last-minute things for lovely B's birthday, plus picking him up from his office for a quick birthday lunch. I am excited to celebrate his birthday properly tonight before we head out of town tomorrow morning. What about you? Any good plans this weekend? I hope everyone enjoys the two days off and takes some time to relax and recharge. I promise to be back on Monday with fresh posts. See you then!


Dreamy treehouses

Caroline posted a photo of this gorgeous treehouse on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho where she went over Labor Day Weekend. The treehouse not only has a kitchen, bathroom, loft and fits a king-size bed, but also overlooks the lake. I could definitely stay in a place like that!

Here are some other amazing treehouses I found from around the blogosphere:

Built from salvaged items by Dan Phillips/Phoenix Commotion, as seen in the NYT

From Amazon Treehouses

Atlanta treehouse as seen in Country Home

The Eagle's Nest from Cookie Magazine, designed by Stiles Designs

Hollin & Eric's gorgeous treehouse wedding, photographed by Ben Blood

Treetop mansion seen on Frangipane

I phone home (alternately titled "iPhone potential home screen")

It would be fair to say that my adorable boyfriend is somewhat of an....iPhone dork (and that's putting it nicely). I think he would pee his pants if you could actually configure your home screen to look like these mock-ups from Geoff Teehan.

Pretty cool, huh? Perhaps Apple will take note...


Protect Insurance Companies PSA (farce)

Even Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm are getting in on the health care debate:

Protect Insurance Companies PSA from Will Ferrell

Jane the Pink Robot

Jane the pink robot is adorable! Design Mom (who is awesome) posted a link to this earlier. As she noted, you just hit the "play" triangle and then any letter on your keyboard. It's very cute. (Make sure you listen to the sound too.)

Evidently Jane wanted to go to Ikea:

Update: Evidently so many people followed the link from Design Mom's site that Jane the pink robot has exceeded its bandwidth. Hopefully it will be up again soon so you can check it out for yourself.

Update to the update: It's back up, so head over there and enjoy!

Paul Smith Evian water bottles

With all this Bikram I've been doing (okay, only seven classes so far, but it feels like it's been forever, and it's seven classes in nine days!), I've been chugging water like it's my job. I've been looking for a big container to hold it - since I had to refill a standard cup, like, 10 times in a day - and I've been trying not to use plastic water bottles. The Nalgene and Sigg containers we have all get too hot in the Bikram studio, so I need something new. I want either a liter bottle of some sort or these adorable glass containers that I blogged about a while ago.

Enter the new Evian bottle by Paul Smith. The Dieline featured it and I love the vibrant colors and fun stripes. Check it out:

The five-bottle collection went up for pre-sale on Evian's website yesterday, and will be available in select stores beginning in November 2009. I want one!


David Pearson book covers

Lovely imagery of David Pearson's work, as seen on RIFLE. The green and gray is such a nice combo and dp's designs are impressively varied.

The Cove dolphin documentary

B heard about a documentary called The Cove on NPR recently and sent it to me. It's in the same vein as Whale Wars, but focuses on the annual trapping and killing of dolphins in Japan. I can't believe there's something as appalling as this happening and it's been kept so under wraps.

The movie works to expose the killing of thousands of dolphins in a small town in Japan called Taiji. Fishermen there corral and capture dolphins during an annual hunting season that goes from Sept. to March. The best of the captured dolphins are sold off to aquariums and marinas for a high price (up to $150,000), and the rest - about 2,000 dolphins a year - are slaughtered, "often ending up as food for human consumption, despite high mercury levels."

Taiji's fishing community keeps the cove where all this happens closely guarded and the film crew was banned from recording anything around the premises. Therefore, spy-like tactics were employed to get the footage. Cameras hidden in fake aquatic rocks (created by George Lucas' studio nonetheless), camouflage, experienced divers - this was no normal movie shoot. The film crew called themselves "an Ocean's Eleven-style team." Diver Mandy-Rae Cruikshank used her underwater-breathing techniques so she could plant the underwater cameras (she's the one in the photo above). One of the saddest scenes I read about came from one of her experiences: "Weeks before the mission, we see her watch a bleeding dolphin that somehow escaped the cove as it fights the tide and slowly expires in the waves; as she weeps, Taiji fishermen point at her and laugh."

The movie won the Audience Award at the Sundance Festival and at several other festivals. Here's a trailer for the documentary:

The movie's website has information about where it's playing (sadly not in Annapolis - hopefully it will be out on DVD soon) and more info on how you can get involved. Please do share this story with your friends - I'm just so saddened to read about this continual slaughtering of dolphins and whales in Japan.

Surprise rainbow cake

I saw this cake the other day on The White Balloon and just loved the thought of it. It's so white and clean on the outside - can you imagine serving it, with it looking so pristine, and then cutting into it to find that gorgeous rainbow colors? How fun!

(If only I had even an iota of the patience required to make a cake like this. I'm guessing you have to make all six layers separately and them assemble them. Yeah right. I do love the photo though!)


Temptation by marshmallow

Jo posted this video by Steve V, which shows kids trying to avoid the temptation of eating a marshmallow. It's based on the classic willpower experiment, where a professor gives the kids one marshmallow and tells them if they wait to eat it until he returns, they will get another marshmallow (meaning they'd get two total, vs. the one they had already). This is too funny not to check out, especially on a Monday:

(I wonder if I'd have made it through the wait or gone right for it...)

Picnic bouquet

I'm having a hard time remembering that summer is officially over (although the 44 degree weather this Saturday night certainly helped clue me in), and this recent "DIY picnic-style bouquet" post from Design*Sponge only kept me in that summer spirit. The photos are so absolutely gorgeous that I wanted to post them regardless of the waning season.

Click here for step-by-step instructions (with pics!) on how to make this yourself.

And even though I'm sure they intended the bouquet for a wedding, I would love to bring flowers that beautiful along on a picnic with B, maybe for something like this:

Photo from Celeste

Le sigh. Perhaps we'll get to enjoy one last picnic before the warm weather is fully gone.

Real World DC invades Annapolis

Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Ours was spent celebrating our anniversary, though I thought I'd share an interesting occurrence from Friday night.

I had completely forgotten they were filming The Real World DC until Friday night when a bunch of kids walked into Sly Fox, a bar in Annapolis, with a film crew and slew of sound people (who proceeded to stand outside of the outdoor bar, half-hidden behind the fences, oddly). We later heard that the RWDC kids had been kicked out of Acme earlier in the night. They were pretty mellow at Sly Fox - we kind of forgot they were there after about 5 minutes - and if anything they just looked way young. In case you're interested, this is the house they're living in on Dupont Circle:


I wonder if I'll be on the show, in the background with my face blurred out. Woohoo! My 1.2 seconds of reality tv non-fame!

Consequently, I just found out that the Real Housewives of DC is also in production right now. Who knew? Ick.


Have a great weekend!

Photo by Candice Stringham

I've already mentioned that today is our anniversary, so I'm looking forward to celebrating that with B tonight. We also have an end-of-season party for B's baseball team tomorrow, and a slew of errands to get caught up on. Otherwise, I'm just looking forward to a nice weekend (and maybe some more Bikram). Hope you have a fabulous one as well! See you Monday...

6 years and counting...

Photo from Le Love

Today is the six-year anniversary of the craziness that is me and B. :) I won't get all shmooshy about it, but I wanted to put at least a little *ding* on here (a mini love note to B, if you will) to note the occasion. I can't believe it's been six years! Happy anniversary, babe - I love you! xoxo -r.

Every man's dream

My lovely boyfriend B's birthday is coming up next week and I've been wracking my brain trying to think of the perfect gift for him. I had one in mind, but it looks like it's going to be a no-go (more deets later), so I've been searching for alternatives. B isn't too huge into birthdays and I know he'll be happy with whatever, but of course I want to make him feel as special as possible since he deserves a day all about him.

With that being said, what dude wouldn't be super-siked with something that would make him feel like the king of the castle every day? Enter from stage left: the world's dorkiest remote.

The Magical Kymera Wand (shown above) is a remote control that can be used on "almost every piece of modern home entertainment apparatus." It has no buttons, but instead can learn up to 13 different infrared codes from existing remote controls; the user then makes up gestures for the wand controls. So, if you want to change to the next channel, you could simply flick your wrist to the right. Up the volume, flick your wrist up.

How hilarious is that? I think I would fall over laughing if I walked in one day and B was sitting on the couch flicking through the channels with a wand. (Wait a second, that's kind of what I see when I come home and he's playing Madden Football on Wii. Hmm...)

So what do you think? Is it a winner birthday gift for my man-friend? He'll just have to wait and see until next week....

Wand originally seen on Talk Like A Gentleman.



Being that it was 78 degrees here yesterday, I know it's not quite fall yet. I'm not ready for turtlenecks and boots, not for October and definitely not for Halloween. But the stores and websites just keep telling me it's time. Everywhere I look I see pumpkins, skulls and jumbo bags of candy. Therefore, I blame the mass-market for this Gothic-y inspiration that's overcome me today. I am loving these Halloween decorations:

Photos from: Martha Stewart, Wiley Valentine, Prometheus Springs (as seen on Wiley Valentine), Sunset Magazine and Pottery Barn (x2).

And in case you want to get a bit classy with it, here are some less ghouly options:

Beautiful pumpkin and pomegranate centerpiece (can you even get pomegranates in the grocery store?) from Sunset Magazine:

And a nice alternative to your crooked-y smile Jack-o-lantern, these adorable carved pumpkin house numbers (also from Sunset Magazine, but different article) would look awesome if you had a porch this nice:

And last, who doesn't love a little shiny pumpkin action (from Pottery Barn of course)?

So, without further ado, bring on the crackly leaves underfoot, the fun white pumpkins, and best of all, the scads of candy!