the birk is back.

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I'm really not sure how I feel about this: the Birkenstock is back (in J.Crew, no less). Now, on one hand, I'm all for nostalgia: I rocked Birkenstocks in my quasi-"skater" stage back in the mid-90's (both the sandal and clog version) and there is no doubt they were beyond comfortable.

However, would I rock them today? I am completely on the fence (a fair-weather Birkenstock-wearer, if you will). They honestly might be too hippy-dippy for my current wardrobe.

I'm very interested to know: would you wear Birkenstocks in 2014?


weekend recap {in bullets}.

I took zero pictures this weekend, so I implore you: use your imagination.

  • Friday night was my usual sushi extravaganza, and it was divine. After eating said sushi, I suffered from an intense and glamorous allergy attack which resulted in an early bedtime (however, since I am now 32, I've decided that what might be considered "embarrassingly early" is now"age-appropriate" so I went with it. And also, let's be serious: I don't care and sleep is my favorite.)

  • Saturday included a haircut, some couch time, and a comfort-food related dinner plus "The Dark Knight Rises"--yes, I am two years late. But, Christian Bale is timeless (#newsiesforever #patrickbatemaniloveyouaslongasyoudontkillme).

  • Sunday included a trip to IKEA with my mom, a wine/tear filled lunch (because I can't contain my emotions in public places) and an absolutely divine (yet seasonably inappropriate) dinner. The recipe is coming your way later this week.

  • Here's to a fabulous Monday.



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I seriously had the best time this weekend, and I have all sorts of fabulous things to say about it, but work is crazy. My boss is on vacation, I have added responsibilities (in addition to the temporary, vacation-related responsibilities) and by the time I get home all I want to do is watch Bravo for an hour and go to bed ridiculously early with my small four-legged companion.

Olive doesn't mind: she's wiped, too (no doubt sleeping all day creates its own special form of exhaustion).

Substance and a birthday recap will follow.


happy {long and birthday} weekend to me.

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I have tomorrow off from work and I'm heading up to Maine to run a 10k--followed by ushering in the big 3-2 with my family and celebrating Easter.

Wishing you the happiest of weekends!


sleeping cute.


I'm slowly trying to rid my dresser drawers of the old boxers and t-shirts I usually sleep in and incorporate some cuter pieces. Pants are completely out of the question because I get so hot when I sleep. It's gross. Surprisingly, I've had a ton of luck finding cute sleepwear like the items above from...Target! I'm a big fan of the Gilligan & O'Malley line. I was able to get the tank, chemise, and shorts for under $50--very Anthro-esque for a fraction of the price.


baby on board.

Don't fret, the baby is not growing in my womb--it's in my sister-in-law's! This will be the first grandchild/baby for the family, so we are all aflutter and ready to spoil this baby rotten upon its arrival in August. Here's what's on my baby radar (my babe-dar, if you will):

baby on board.

1. / 2. 3. / 4.  / 5. / 6. / 7.  


life lately.

"Oh Joy" for Target cake topper for a certain someone's birthday on Saturday.
Yes, that certain someone is me.

Olive refuses to/can't go down the stairs at my parents' house. After an unusual period of silence while I was sitting at the kitchen table, I found her at the top waiting for someone to transport her down.

Looking forward to reading this while I'm flying to the Midwest for work today.


highlight of my week.

This week, for the first time since last November, I was finally able to go horseback riding outside. The snow has melted in the outdoor arena, and while it was a little bit chilly and windy up on the hill, it made such a difference. I think the horses were happier, my fellow riders and I were finally able to do a little jumping, and I didn't leave my lesson covered in dust from the indoor. It was definitely a high point, and I can't wait for this warmer weather to continue.

Happy weekend!


truffle mac and cheese.

To know me is to know my obsession with truffles. Recently, another one of my obsessions, Stonewall Kitchen, launched a line of truffle-related products and during my last trip to Maine I scooped up the truffle marinara (to die for), truffle aioli (I haven't opened this yet because I know I will eat the entire jar in one sitting) and of course, truffle oil.

And everyone knows when life hands you truffle oil, you make truffle mac and cheese, so that's exactly what I did:

I used this recipe, with a couple of tweaks in italics:

What you need:
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. elbow macaroni
2 tsp. truffle oil* (um, what is this, amateur hour? there is such a thing as not enough truffles, and I think 2 teaspoons is it: I added 3 tablespoons for truffle-licious flavor. No regrets.)
4 Tbs. butter, plus more for greasing
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika* (I used regular paprika)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese* (not enough cheese)
1 1/2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese* (again, not enough--I think you need more for sprinkling on top)
2 Tbs. minced chives
* I also added breadcrumbs to the top before baking (Italian, but I think panko would be delish)

What you do:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. While the pasta is still warm, drizzle with the truffle oil and stir well.

Add the butter to the saucepan and melt it over medium-high heat. Add the flour, paprika and mustard and cook, stirring well, until no visible flour remains, 1-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, half-and-half, and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking frequently to smooth out any lumps, for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add a pinch of pepper and 1 cup each of the Gruyere and Cheddar. Stir until smooth.

Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni, add the chives and mix well. Transfer to the prepared dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly, 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

It was delicious, and I would totally make it again.


guest post: my sister, mer.

Everyone, I would like to introduce you to my younger (and wiser) sister, Mer. Mer, take it away!

This is Mer on her wedding day last year in Jamaica. 

Thanks, HMC. I was so excited when my sister asked me to write a guest post on her fabulous blog. I knew she wouldn't just let me take the reins and chat about anything I want (in which case I would probably just show pics of my dogs and cocktails) and so I'm going to let you in on a significant lifestyle change I have recently made: becoming a vegetarian (pescetarian).

Right around Ash Wednesday, I was shown some very disturbing videos about the conditions of many 'farms' from around the country. This, paired with my discovery of Esther the Wonder Pig, made me decide to stop eating meat for Lent. Now, I'm barely a practicing Episcopalian so everyone thought it was pretty funny that I even wanted to give anything up-- and it's well known that I LOVE bacon. However, I made a decision and I wanted to stick with it despite the naysayers. It has turned out to be so much easier than I ever could have imagined! Not only am I eating more of the things that I already knew I loved, like avocados and portobellos and other veggies, I am so much more aware of what I'm putting into my body and the nutrients I need which I was previously getting from meat. I've never been one to drink a cup of milk, but I've discovered almond milk and have been enjoying several servings a day. I'm also eating more tofu and fish, and have even started taking vitamins (the adult gummy kind, of course).

{ via Esther's Instagram}

I hadn't really missed meat until this past weekend, when my sister got wings that looked absolutely delicious and when I was (slightly) hungover Sunday morning and knew bacon would help solve the problem. That said, this whole lifestyle shift will definitely go way beyond Easter. I will never try to push this on anyone and I can be around people who are eating meat. I also don't think I'm 'clean-eating' and still love diet coke and nachos and other things that I should probably stay away from. I've been following a gluten-free diet for almost 8 years since the unfortunate discovery of a wheat allergy, so I'm used to having to pay attention to the ingredients of everything I eat-- but this has somehow made me realize that as I get older (30 this year womp womp), I need to take better care of myself and this one body I have. I consider myself a runner and have even noticed that I feel stronger and healthier when I'm hitting the pavement.

I'm not saying I'll never have meat again, but if I do, it will only from known sources, like the local farms near my home. And that's all for now.

Good job, Mer Mer!


let's do this, monday.

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I had such a fun, jam-packed weekend: there were delicious meals and a sleepover with my sis, a tasty lunch with my mom, and a "True Detective" marathon. I stayed up way too late last night watching the last episode and eating cake (for some reason I had a hankering and I made an entire sheet cake to enjoy by myself). I was kind of freaked out (by the show, not the cake), but I highly recommend if you haven't seen it yet!



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Ahhhh Friday, I'm so happy to see you. Truthfully, the past couple of weeks have flown by: I started a new project at work that is keeping me busy (and not overly stressed) which is a very nice change. The snow is finally melting, I can take Olive for long walks without her dragging me to the door due the cold, and I started running again--things are on a much overdue upswing.

On tap this weekend: a sister sleepover and helping my riding instructor at her barn.

Happy weekend!


ch-ch-ch-chia (seed pudding).

From a young age, my taste in pudding has been comparable to that of a 95-year old woman. I live for pistachio and butterscotch and tapioca and rice varieties.

When the chia craze hit the scene, I of course was drawn to one particular method of preparing this fiber powerhouse--in pudding form!

I initially used this recipe, and I was not amused. It was not nearly sweet enough. And yes, I understand that chia seed pudding is supposed to be a healthy variation of pudding, but in my book, pudding is pudding and requires some sweetness.

For round two, instead of using plain greek yogurt and unsweetened almond milk I went with vanilla bean greek yogurt and sweetened almond milk. And it was tasty! Topped with some fresh strawberries I had myself a healthy morning snack to get me over the 11:00 hump.


this or that: movie edition.

this or that: movie edition.

This weekend I finally got around to watching two of the most buzzed about movies of 2013 (I'm super on top of things like that). I must admit, I much preferred "The Wolf of Wall Street" over "American Hustle". I don't know if it was a plot thing or what, but I thoroughly enjoyed the antics of Leo & Co. over Bradley Cooper and his menagerie.

I'm curious to know: did you prefer one movie over the other?


the bbq chicken salad that wasn't.

I am admittedly not a salad girl. It's once in a blue moon that I'll order a salad at a restaurant, especially one as a main course. The only time I ever really had salad phases were 1) in high school when I was obsessed with Applebee's Shrimp Caesar Salad (I didn't know any better) and 2) in law school when my friend S. and I would regularly hit up the Cheesecake Factory for their BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. Basically, I wouldn't eat salad without fried shrimp or onion strings coupled with a heavy dressing.

I'm sad to say my taste in salad has not evolved in the manner I had hoped, and I still love the marriage of veggies and BBQ sauce. So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this recipe via the ol' Pinterest:

This salad recipe is DELICIOUS. As a replacement for my beloved BBQ chicken, you roast cauliflower in the oven for 7 minutes, brush it with BBQ sauce and then put it back in the oven for 3 more minutes. Combined with avocado, red onion, carrots, black beans, corn (which I forgot) and ranch dressing, you're left with a tasty southwestern salad that seriously fills you up.