XOXO, Valentine’s Day Card Round Up

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! It might just a Hallmark Holiday but what’s so terrible about a day dedicated to telling the people you love that you love them?

In grade school, we all made cards for the entire class but I’ve gotten away from that, only giving my now husband-to-be a card. This year, I’m switching it up, I’m going to send cards to also give cards to my family. I tell them I love them often but sometimes it’s nice to see it written down. Not to mention, it’s so fun to get snail mail that isn’t a bill or credit card offer.

I’ll probably just run to Target or the Hallmark store this week but here are few cards I found and loved.

(Click image to be directed to source)

Fill in the Blank from Minted

 

Minted You're A Hit

What A Hit from Minted

 

Je T'aime from tinyprints

 

I can't believe... from someecards

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Book Review: The Marriage Plot

First we meet Madeleine, an Austen-obsessed English major writing her thesis about the marriage plot found in english novels. At the beginning of The Marriage Plot, she is waking up the morning of her college gradation with a raging hangover and is late to meet her parents for breakfast. At breakfast we meet Mitchell, an old “friend” of Madeleine’s, who is sorely in love with her and believes they are soul mates despite the fact they are not on speaking terms. Later we meet Leonard, the brilliant but troubled guy Madeleine has dated during her senior year. The novel follows the love triangle throughout their first year out of college while also providing a look into the history of their college days.

As I was reading The Marriage Plot I constantly went back on forth as to whether or not I liked each of the three main characters. Some of their actions I applauded, others I did not. But regardless of if I liked them or not, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Madeleine, Mitchell and Leonard are very well-developed and you can’t help but want to find out what happens to them. This wasn’t a favorite of mine but I did enjoy it and would recommend it if you are looking for an interesting read.

 

Saturday Night Rouge

On Saturday night, I found myself dining alone in South Norwalk. Random, I know. Ben and I were headed to a birthday party and when we got to the door of the club (yes, club), guess who didn’t have their ID? This girl!

Ben went to the party and I snuck into a wine bar a few doors down. I don’t often dine alone and if I do, I at least have a book. Not this time. Just me. And well, my iPhone.

So, at Rouge Wine Bar, I grabbed a seat at the bar. I ordered a diet coke (no ID = no wine), lamp lollipops, and truffle fries. Aside from the truffle fries needed just a little more truffle I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a cute little wine bar and a nice snack, er meal.

I’m looking forward to heading back to Norwalk for a real meal and a big glass of red wine.

truffle fries

lamb lollipops

5 Things I Can’t Live Without – Winter Edition

Everyone has a few things that they cannot live without. Okay, that might be a little dramatic but these are some of the beauty items I currently have with me at all times and why:

5 Things - Winter

1. Kate Spade Twirl – I received a sample in my first birtchbox and went through it pretty quickly. Santa was kind enough to put the roller ball version in my stocking. It’s now my go-to scent.

2. Smith’s Rosebud Salve in Minted Rose – When my lips are chapped I am not a happy camper so I always have Rosebud to the rescue. I prefer the Minter Rose flavor to the original only because I love mint scented lip gloss.

3. Nail Polish – Any dark Essie or OPI color will do, I love them all. And ever since this happened, I always want my nails to look perfect.

4. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream – I may or may not be addicted to this stuff. It has a light, refreshing scent and sinks into my skin very quickly.

5. Pop-up brush – Between winter static and windy walks to work, I brush my approximately three dozen times a day. I wish I were joking. This thing is a lifesaver, or least hair saver.

 

Friday Things

Another week gone by and now another weekend (finally!). Even though I had MLK Day off, this week felt long. This weekend we’ll be looking at even more wedding venues and enjoying the snow that’s headed our way. Here are a few things I stumbled upon this week…

…some inspiration for a newspaper themed wedding here. (also pictured above)

…how do I choose between making the “World’s Best Mac & Cheese” or “Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese“?

…currently reading Rules of Civility. Only a handful of chapters in but I’m already hooked to the story and the characters.

…I don’t really need a new bag but that doesn’t mean I don’t really want this DVF.

Easy Dinner: Mini Pulled Pork Sandwiches

As much as I love to cook, sometimes it’s just too much to whip up a whole meal after a long day at work. Last night, I was planning on making an enchilada casserole but I just wasn’t up for it. Instead, I made these:

Mini Pulled Pork Sandwiches

You only need three ingredients:

  • 6 – 8 Mini burger buns
  • Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced into small squares
  • Trader Joe’s BBQ pulled pork
And it only takes five steps:
  1. Slice the buns and broil them on low until they are lightly golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, microwave Trader Joe’s BBQ pulled pork following instructions on box.
  3. Remove buns from oven. On the bottom half of the bun pile on as much pulled pork as you’d like, on the top place 2 or 3 mini slices of cheese.
  4. Broil on high for 2 minutes
  5. Put sandwiches together and eat! Enjoy!

Dumps From a Truck

Working in Times Square doesn’t give one many enjoyable lunch options. It has your usual suspects: Hale & Hearty, Chop’t, Pax, and Pret a Manger. And, of course, your office cafeteria if you are so lucky.

I bring my own lunch (and breakfast and snacks) almost everyday. With the except of most Fridays. Friday were for trekking a few blocks uptown to the Rickshaw Dumpling truck. Until the NYPD continued to kick the truck out of it’s parking spot. Just another day in the Great New York Food Truck War.

After weeks without  yummy steamed dumplings you can imagine my surprise when I spotted the Rickshaw Kiosk in the middle of Times Square. Literally in the middle of Broadway between 42nd and 43rd streets. Seconds from my office.

True story: I was their first customer at the kiosk. At least that’s what they told me.

Keeping with tradition, every Friday I treat myself to dumplings and a salad from Rickshaw. The vegetarian edamame dumplings are my go-to but the chicken & thai basil are a close second choice.

Rickshaw is great stop if you find yourself in hungry in Times Square. Rickshaw Dumpling Bar also has locations on Lexington (at 45th Street) and in Flatiron. You can also follow them on twitter to find out where the dumpling truck is stationed every day.

Book Review: Maine

I not a huge fan of long book reviews that give too much away. I like a short, sweet, to-the-point review that gives me some insight into the plot. So, that said, any book reviews I post here will be short and sweet. Oh, and I set a goal on GoodReads to read 75 books this year so get ready!

Onto the book!

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

Like her first novel (Commencement), Maine follows the lives of four female characters. But instead of best friends, they are family. Alice, the matriarch of the Kelleher family, spends her summer’s at the family home in Maine. Summers at the house used to mean the whole family was together. Now, the Kelleher children follow a strict schedule and take turns visiting the house and their mother.

But this summer, possibly their last in Maine, Kathleen (Alice’s daughter) Maggie (Alice’s granddaughter) and Ann Marie (Alice’s daughter-in-law) find themselves together at the summer house. Each chapter is told through the voice of a different woman. They tell the story of the summer but also the story of their lives. Family drama, tragedies, and struggles have played a huge role in their lives and made them who they are.

What I loved most about the book was reading one chapter and forming opinions of the other characters, just to get to the next chapter and learn the other side of the story. Changing everything I thought about them.

Sound intriguing? Definitely pick it up!

Fun fact: Sullivan contributes to someecards!

Tuesday Tunes: Heart Skips a Beat

Sometimes you need a feel good song to walk down the street to. One that makes you want to skip across 42nd Street on your way to work like you’re in a musical.

I really wish life was a musical. And that I could sing like a Broadway star. Or at least am American Idol finalist.

Anyway, Lenka’s Heart Skips a Beat is putting a little skip in my step this week. Maybe it’ll put some in yours too!

How cute is this video?