Simple Herbs

Real Simple recently had a feature on inexpensive home updates. Their idea for an indoor herb garden was great!

You’ve got them — stacked up under the sink, probably — so make use of them. Plant small potted herbs in vessels of various heights (add a layer of pebbles at the bottom of each for drainage). Wrap them in a heavy-stock paper, secure with twine, and label.

This is definitely on my to-do list in the near future!

Wedding Wednesday: Colors

Has anyone seen the color wheel on Elegant Bride's website? I realized pretty quickly that most wedding magazines are a waste of money, but I did find a yellow and navy blue feature in this one that I really like. I went to their website and- ta-da- a virtual color wheel where you can spin to see different combinations. I'm going to be honest here: while I understand and appreciate that the "wedding colors" give continuity, I also think it's pretty silly that my best friends have to match the tables. Despite that, the color wheel is a little bit mesmerizing and I imagine it could be useful in other contexts. Robin's Egg, Pearl, and Silver? Ooo, pretty! Magenta, Violet, and Orange? Hmm, maybe a bit adventurous. Etc etc etc. What did I think about before the engagement?


With all the warnings about plastic storage containers that are floating around, I am seriously considering investing in some glass alternatives. These examples, from Crate and Barrel, are very affordable.

Wedding Wednesday: DIY Flowers

Crafting your own bouquet? Yay or nay?

Pretty Paper!

As much as I love the new stationery I ordered from The Paper Cafe, I was really impressed by the customer service. I received both an official email confirmation and a personal email from someone on staff- how great is that? I can't wait for the cards to arrive in the mail- I'm taking advantage of my still monogrammable name (my new last name will be of the Irish variety- O'---- very tricky indeed for monogramming!).

Wedding Wednesday: I'm Engaged!

I have to say that as much as I thought I expected it, and as much as I thought I would know how I would feel...I didn't. I was in such shock! My fiance (still weird!) has basically been working non-stop since then, but my mother and I have really narrowed down our venue options. I feel like I can't do anything else until that is settled and, needless to say, I want to get that finished so I can start the wedding shoe shopping! (I have always been more excited about my shoes than my dress!) I suppose we have easy Wedding Wednesday posts until then, but for now I leave you with a wonderful surprise from our waiter at The Plaza's Oak Room (read my review of it here).

Congratulations are in Order!

Best wishes on your engagement, Lauren!

Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

Beef short ribs are one of my favorites, but they are a bit pricey so it is always a treat when we make them at home. When I saw them on sale at the store this weekend, I immediate snagged a pack. I love to slow cook them in the crock pot until they are so tender they fall off the bone. In search of a recipe that used items I already had in the house, I modified a Cooking Light recipe and came up with this below. It was fabulous light version of a winter comfort-meal, and was even better when served over these low fat horseradish mashed potatoes.

Balsamic Short Ribs in the Crock Pot
4 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed
Kosher or seasoned salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups chopped red or white onion
1/4 cup minced garlic
2.5 cups low-salt beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 can diced tomato
Salt and pepper ribs and brown them in pan sprayed with cooking spray about 10 min total. Mix the rest of ingredients in crock pot, and put short ribs in after browning. Set crock pot to high, cover, and cook for 4 hours or until done.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
3/4 cup low-fat or fat-free milk
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To prepare mashed potatoes, place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Combine potatoes, milk, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mash potato mixture with a potato masher. Serve with ribs and cooking liquid.


Wedding Wednesday: If a tree falls...

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a noise? Housework is something no one notices unless it is not done. I am trying to get to something here...if certain wedding "traditions" do not happen, does anyone notice? Or even care if they do notice? Have you ever been to a wedding where you left and realized the reception didn't include [fill in the blank]? As weddings become more personalized and DIY, I wonder if some of the big wedding traditions will fall by the wayside. What do you think?

(Personally, I loathe and have always loathed the bouquet toss,-even when I was 22 and had only had to participate in it once. My favorite scene EVER from Sex and the City is when the group lets the bouquet fall at their feet. If I never went to another wedding with a bouquet toss, I wouldn't mind one bit. Or even notice.)

Winter Whites

Apparently I am the only person in the free world who didn’t know that January was the time for White Sales. However, my inbox is a daily reminder that every store under the sun is discounting linens for bed and bath, among other exciting things.

Now is definitely the time to start thinking about your plans for 2009 and stocking up on what you need. Revamping a bedroom? Remodeling a Bathroom? Have towels or sheets that need replacing?

Below are a few of our favorites that have popped up in our email this week…


Williams-Sonoma Home

Garnet Hill

Restoration Hardware

Happy Shopping!