Thursday, October 8, 2009

you had me at backstreet boys.

via little brown pen

i'm pretty sure i have no choice but to listen to my best of nysnc & the bsb playlist now. i should enjoy having an office to myself, right?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

best ever.

the best cookbook i ever bought was most definitely the weekend baker. it contains my favorite recipe for biscuits and scones... which i make all the time. it also contains recipes for delicious things i don't make quite as often but enjoy just as much. like these double decker brownie/chocolate chip cookie combos. and this pretzel crusted lemon chiffon pie. i could go on and on.

what's really great though is the way the cookbook is organized. it's all about baking in stages. the author recognizes that not everyone has time to bake. or at least they don't think they do. but by breaking up your recipe into a few days work, pretty much anyone can find time to bake.

if you're looking for a cookbook to add to your collection, or if you're just getting started baking and want something that will help you get started with some basics... pick up the weekend baker.

tonight i'm making the lovely buttermilk biscuits, because they're the perfect side to this delicious soup.

buttermilk biscuits

1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 T very cold, unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
3/4 c buttermilk

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Whisk until well blended. With a pastry blender or 2 table knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the pieces are no larger than peas. Add the buttermilk and gently toss with a rubber spatula just until the dough comes together.

Dump the shaggy dough onto a work surface- no need to flour the surface. Gently press the dough into a thick rectangle about 6x4 inches. Using a large, sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal squares. Arrange the squares on a cookie sheet spacing them about 3 inches apart.

Bake until puffed and light brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp. ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

inching my way back.

i am inching my way back to this blog. i don't know how i know that, but my room is cleaner than it has been in months. so clearly, things are changing. and if i don't have that mess to tinker with, i think i can turn my attention back here.

yesterday, i went to the beach. it was windy and cold and awesome. i love the smell of lake michigan. i love how when we turned around we could see the sand blowing across the beach like i imagine it does in the dessert. it was like the wind was pushing us forward. it all seemed sorta magical.

on the way to and from the beach, my friend and i listened to a fine frenzy. today i downloaded the cd and it was like reliving the whole night. perfect autumn music.

Monday, September 14, 2009

this was a good day because...

so i realize i'm getting away from the point of the blog a bit, but some things need to be noted. and good days fall on that list.

+ today included a lunchtime trip to target that cost way too much but found me cute dresses and belts and a bright yellow purse... not to mention reese's pumpkins.

+ i made a delicious dinner and ate it at my very own table, while reading entertainment weekly's fall tv preview.

+ comcast is installing cable and dvr on wednesday.

+ the cw continues to provide not so classy but oh so enjoyable drama... via vampire diaries and 90210.

+ good things are happening to people i love.

+ i'm checking things off my list.

+ who can complain about the lovely summer weather we've been having this fall?

and now the day is done. here's hoping for more good days to come.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

had the best day.


-breakfast with a dear friend who doesn't live quite as close as she used to.

-watching the spartans win big- live from spartan stadium. my first msu football game did not disappoint. and nothing beats a trip to the dairy store on a hot afternoon.

go green, go white... here's hoping the rest of fall is just as awesome.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

today i'm loving....

barnes & noble's new "pick me up" feature. because i need them to make it easier for me to buy books.

the new ingrid michaelson cd is out today!

the gap's new premium jeans are just as amazing as they want you to think they are. try a pair on, you won't be sorry.

click here. do you see that yellow belt, with the blue sweater? love it.

happy tuesday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

loving the rain.

going to the farmer's market in the middle of a thunderstorm is quite an adventure. thank goodness for tarps. and for kind people who urge you not to get struck by lightning as you purchase their raspberries. but when you haven't been to the farmer's market in three weeks you'll do anything for those raspberries.

plus if marie can handle a rainy farmer's market, then so can i.

love rainy saturdays.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

what i'm loving this week.

sorry to have abandoned my blog. know that i think of you often, but have yet to figure out how to turn those thoughts into actions.

here's a little collection of loveliness to make up for my absence.
a super hot photo shoot from vanity fair. honestly, i have tried to get into mad men and failed. but it's hard to deny the appeal of jon hamm. (via simply photo)

molly irwin's 100 reasons to love summer album. words cannot describe how much i love this. it just might inspire me to scrapbook. (via ali edwards & elise blaha)

the good life for less video series

simple lovely's fashion confession.

the stripey goodness in this collection from smoky alice (via simplesong)

can't believe how long ago it feels like i was here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


back from vacation. back from the land of the sparkling lake. back to reality.

many blogs to catch up on. but first a shower and some food.

it's good to be home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


while at the library recently, i picked up an interesting set of essays called rereadings. in each essay a writer revisits a book they have loved. having always enjoyed rereading, for the sake of pleasure more than to gain new insight from the text, i am excited to dig into the book. not long after discovering rereadings, i came across an article in newsweek on the pleasures of rereading. in explaining why he finds pleasure in rereading the same books time and again, author David Gates writes: "They fill me with the voices of people I know, thousands of them—many times the number in that old Dickens print—the real and the imagined, the living and the dead. Heaven may be like this eventually, but why wait around when it's right here, right now?"

some might say that rereading is a waste of time, especially when there are so many books out there to still be enjoyed. but Gates states that rereading is tantomount to finding a piece of heaven here on earth. in some ways, i agree with him. for awhile i would reread the nanny diairies each summer. in one way i was reconnecting with characters i had come to love over time... like a little reunion with old friends. at the same time i was also connecting them to my life that summer. a life that had changed since the last time i cracked open those pages. each summer i brought a new perspective to the story, simply because i was in a new place in my life. for me that's just one of the benefits of rereading. i'll be honest though, sometimes rereading fails me. i try to reconnect with a book i loved the first time i read it... but the magic is lost. sometimes you just can't go back.

so do you believe in rereading? if so, what do you reread? i'd love to hear about your favorite books.

Monday, July 13, 2009

a peak inside j.crew.

pretty j.crew dresses, perfect for summer

winter, spring, summer or fall... every season is perfection when you're dressed in j.crew. okay maybe that's a bit over the top, but everyone loves j.crew today. i've loved the store, known for its classic fashions, since i bought my perfect sky blue high school graduation dress there nearly ten years ago... needless to say i'm glad to see it getting the love it deserves.

already this week i've had the pleasure of finding two articles on the people responsible for j.crew's current resurgance in popularity. via a tweet from simple|pretty i found this piece from cbs sunday morning on ceo Mickey Drexler. i love this quote: "a special color, a special this, that creates a detail... so, you know, it's a small detail, but everything we do is a detail." while i think you can see this in just about all their clothing, this season's floral trend has gone above and beyond. from the silk embroidery on this t-shirt to the lovely corsage detailing the shoulder of this tee... each piece has that extra something that really elevates your look.

and my lovely friend elicia was kind enough to email me this piece from the huffington post on creative director, jenna lyons. jenna's picks are something i look forward to each month. i enjoy seeing how she combines elements and appreciate her details on those certain items we all just must buy.

peaking behind the scenes of j.crew... what a great way to start the week.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

too busy living life.

today i was too busy living life to blog. a random stop to check in with a friend turned into a night of celebrating. celebrating new beginnings with raspberry mojitos and martinis... gelato in the backyard... and of course a game of loaded questions.

i had great plans for today's post... but they will have to wait for another day.

a few links for the night-
demo from ingrid michaelson that i'm loving.
collection of great links from marta.
inspiration for bike riders everywhere.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

a favorite peek into the daily lives of others.

habit is a simple collection of daily photos collected by various women to reflect the habits of their daily life. in their welcome the creators share that-

in some small way, we are hoping to capture the collective life of a community of women who are artists and writers, photographers and bloggers, mothers and sisters and daughters and granddaughters, and thinkers and seers and wonderers.

i definitely believe that they achieve this goal. i enjoy seeing the collection each morning pop up in my google reader. it inspires me to capture a bit more my own daily habits. as this quote suggests, there is certainly something to be celebrated in these moments that make up our life.

Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.
Gertrude Stein

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

have an hour? read a story.

apparently harper perennial has declared this the summer of the short story. i'm assuming this has something do with the fact that all year long they have been celebrating the short story on their site- fifty-two stories. the introduction reads:

This year we're celebrating the thriving art of the story by sharing a new one every week: most of them new, a few of them classics, from authors you know and some you don't, each of them treasurable in its language or wit or human insight. And we'd love to have you join us! Watch this space and enjoy.

as is mentioned by pop candy, short stories are perfect for summer reading. i love to take a nice collection to the beach. you feel like you're actually able to accomplish something between chattering with friends and pausing to dip your feet in the lake. i have fond memories of reading through this alice munro set a few summers ago in traverse city.

be sure to check out the stories they've added so far this year. and in case you aren't inspired yet, this quote by neil gaiman is sure to do the trick.
A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick- a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.

a picture is worth a 1000 words.

on the tenth day of each month, husband and wife team David and Hannah put into practice the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words. Hannah provides the picture and David provides the words. each piece is a lovely morsel of art that i devour and savor until the next month roles along. i am looking forward to checking out their latest creation on friday. until then, be sure to check out their archives.

Monday, July 6, 2009

style on a budget.

great quote found via isuwannee via jill's tumblr

like everyone else during these "difficult economic times," i'm always looking for the latest on how to have great style with a virtually non-existent clothing budget. one of the perks of the recession is the number of style-saavy, spend-thrifty blogs that have emerged. a recent discovery (thanks to jackie of sweetie pie pumpkin noodle) is the blog - the good life for less. jill's style minded blog has many great features, but my favorite is her good LOOK for less posts. like her recent set for jennifer from nashville, jill has a knack for finding clothes to fit your budget. but she takes it one step further by showing you multiple outfits that can be made from the pieces she selects. the real key to having great style on a budget is making use of what you already own. jill's blog is the perfect inspiration for those looking to mix up their wardrobe this summer. be sure to check out her side project - 100 inspirations for even more great fashion advice.

one final plus about the fabulous good life for less... jill's located in west michigan. always fun to find a local who's doing awesome stuff online.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

ode to the indie.

via a cup of jo via oh

truer words have never been sung. if you enjoy a good indie film, be sure to check this out.

away we go.

i pretty much love going to the movies. i'd probably go every weekend if i could. the more movies you see, and this feels especially probable in the summer, the less likely it seems that one will really stick with you. there is something about away we go that has stuck with me.

from the very first scene (a highly awkward sexual scene that ensures you will never watch this movie with your parents), i knew i would not forget this movie. but it was more than the experience of a few awkward moments when my own morals clashed with that of the characters... it was the story that struck a chord with me. it made me think about home, about change, about why we make the choices we make... i love walking out of a movie and having something to chew on with my viewing companion.

i also love a good laugh until you cry moment... and this movie was not without one of those. combine that with the super great soundtrack and i can't help but recommend this movie.* in fact, please won't you take me with you this weekend?

*however, if you have a sensitive conscience to things of a sexual nature or repeated usage of the f-word i'd avoid this film.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

new favorite recipe.

nothing complements the abundance of greens available at the farmer's market like a nice simple vinaigrette dressing. this recipe from the barefoot contessa has quickly become a staple in my meal planning since i found it a few weeks ago online. as it would turn out it's actually in the barefoot contessa family style, which i've owned for quite a while... but i digress.

here is the recipe.
(note: champagne vinegar is out of my budget so i substitute it with a little balsamic.)

raising foodies.

While I may not be raising children, Joslyn's original blog Simple Lovely has been a favorite of mine for a long time. And cooking is pretty much my favorite pasttime, so the lack of a child to cook for was no reason not to check out her new venture "Raising Foodies." I love the concept of mindfully crafting the meal experience for your family. Apparently all parents must accept that their children are born with an intense love for chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese... but this doesn't mean you're forced to a life of hiding spinach in your child's brownies. Despite the fact that the failures seem to outweigh the successes, Joslyn tirelessly offers her children the opportunity to enjoy food of all kinds. I've certainly enjoyed following along with their journey.

The best part of the experience has been trying the teriffic recipes Joslyn shares on a near daily basis. I was instantly won over by the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Last weekend I baked my second batch of the cookies while also trying the cheese straws (I modified them a bit, omiting the red pepper and cutting them into squares instead of straws). No surprise, this recipe was just as delicious.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

interior inspiration.

i tend to believe that our homes reflect who we are. i consider it the highest compliment that someone feels "at home" in my living space. i want my friends to know where the glasses are, to feel free to put their feet up on the couch, to enjoy their stay.

in attempting to create the kind of space that elicits these feelings, i have found inspiration in many places. one site that provides weekly inspiration (in many areas) is bliss. each tuesday mrs. french posts her happy place- the blissful inspiration of the week. i have found many of my favorite interior shots via these posts. hopefully you can find something of your own to delight in.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

re-launching "according to jackie"

some days it seems not a conversation goes by where i don't mention my latest internet find. from a great new recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to a great source for party planning tips, the internet abounds with goodness that i'm dying to share with others. and that's what "according to jackie" aims to do... share the goods. in the past this has been a place with a scattered purpose. in the future, you can expect a more focused approach and consistent updates. i appreciate you stopping by. here's to new beginnings.