ring the alarm*

*yes, I admit to having a fair amount of Beyoncé on my iPod. Hush. Don't pretend like you didn't jump up to dance when "Single Ladies" came on.

Unrelated to Ms. Sasha Fierce: gorgeous jewels that I covet. I've been wearing a lot of cocktail rings lately (cheap baubles entice me!), and though these could be "cheap" to some people, I tend not to spend much on jewelry, so they qualify as "major splurge" to me.

But truly, how gorgeous and amazing are these Carlee Santarelli lace rings?
Why yes, I am a magpie.


true blue

It's a little more demure than normal, I suppose- the dress is the main component of my Lucille Ball Halloween costume, after all- but the parents are visiting this weekend and I'd really rather not get into a passive-aggressive conversation about the appropriate amount of leg and/or cleavage to show.

Blue wrap dress, Forever 21; belt and camisole so no one is inadvertently
exposed to any untoward cleavage, Target; shoes, Kenneth Cole.

I'm going to have to retire the "stop dressing like an undergrad" tag soon enough, as I will be scooting away from college campuses in the v near future. "You're inching closer to 30, so make an effort", perhaps? "Grown-up drag"? "If you wore it to a rave in 2000, please don't wear it again"?


fashion plates

...literally, in fact.
I ran across Style de Vie this weekend, and although I fear that the lack of listed prices means, as it always does, that I cannot afford this, I'm eyeing the following. Seriously, how charming and lovely would these be to have framed and decorating my new Chicago apartment?

These were the fancy fashion mag/streetstyle outfit shots of their day, and I so desperately want to open my closet and find that amazing green dress inside.


misty watercolor mem'ries of the way we wore

You know, sometimes you just don't want to wear a bra. Especially on days when it's 86+ degrees outside, and another layer of fabric sounds like a terrible idea. Today was that day, and so I thought "braless solution... halter top!"

Halter top, The Limited; sailor-front pencil skirt, H&M;
Urban Outfitters heels; the normal assortment of jewelry.

This halter top may be the oldest item of clothing on regular rotation in my closet. (I also have a disgusting but ridiculously comfortable grey t-shirt that's worn through to nearly the point of transparency, but that's now a gym-only t-shirt.)

My sister gave me this shirt for my high school graduation in 2000. She was off at college already, and had access to The Limited, which was a moderately fancy store in my mind- the nearest mall with such stores was two hours away, and it was reserved for once-yearly school shopping trips. Plus, she knew that a low-cut halter top was exactly the type of thing that the parents would disapprove of, but could not force me to return if it were to come as a gift.
I used to knot the back of this halter up so it was less low-cut (the strap is a solid loop, not a tie), but that impulse passed around the time I figured out how to wrangle breasts. I've worn this shirt for ten summers- even rescuing it from the clutches of a college friend who "borrowed" it for five months and then claimed that she should keep it, as she thought it looked better on her.
Thanks, Lalida, for the best summer shirt I own. And thanks for not letting Mom and Dad throw it out.


millions of peaches, peaches for me

I stopped by Findlay Market yesterday, and was immediately seduced by the gigantic basket of Georgia peaches for $1.50/lb. Since embarking on the cleaning-out-the-cupboards quest, I realized that I was eating my way to scurvy, and that fruit needed to happen in the very near future, lest I become a malnourished sailor.

I've already eaten all the ripe peaches, but between yesterday's D-Day programs on NPR and the bowl of peaches on the counter, I've been thinking about my grandparents, and about how I only see them once or twice a year and that's not enough, and about my grandma's amazing peach pie. The crust on this is so, so good, and so, so easy. (No, it's not fancy. But it is so pleasingly Midwestern and delicious and sometimes that's exactly perfect.)

Grandma's Fresh Peach Pie


1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tbls. milk
1 tbls. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil

Combine flour, sugar and salt. Mix oil and milk; stir into flour mixture. (It will be crumbly). Press into pie pan and bake til golden brown. Grandma left no temperature or time instructions here, so just wing it.


1 c. water
1 c. sugar
2 tbls. cornstarch
3 tbls. dry orange or peach Jello
3 c. sliced fresh peaches

Combine water, sugar, and cornstarch, and cook over medium-low heat until clear. Add dry jello. When cool and slightly thick, pour over the sliced peaches. Mix well, and add this filling to the pre-baked pie crust. Serve with whipped cream. This will keep several days without getting soggy.



(I hate the existence of the "loungewear" category, actually. But "fabulous thing I swan about that house in" isn't quite as pithy.)

Yesterday was my last day of classes for grad school- and my last day of school ever, as what Ph.D desire I may have once had has been stomped out of my brain by visions of being able to read for pleasure and entertainment once more, and not for endless analysis.
What might have been a riotous celebration of completion turned into an anticlimactic dinner of burgers and poor service, as we were all in zombie mode by 9:00. I came home, fell into bed before midnight, and didn't wake until 10 this morning. To mark the occasion of my first day of freedom, my "wearing today" is this- and nothing short of an emergency* will make me leave the house and put on actual clothes.

*(Well, ok, I did briefly put on clothes to run to the office and send a fax v quickly to my potential future landlord, but that almost counts: a prevent-self-from-being-homeless emergency.)

Vintage kimono, Etsy.
Triumphant "hells yeah!" hands, two master's degrees in two years.



With an upcoming move looming, I'm on a quest to clean out my cupboards and refrigerator over the next four weeks so eliminate the need to move any food from Cincinnati to Chicago. Although a friend claims that my half-empty cupboards are better-stocked than her full kitchen, this is probably untrue. Here, a complete list of every foodstuff I possess, minus condiments and booze:

3 cups dried cranberry beans
brown rice
1 lg can crushed tomatoes
1 box chicken broth
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup pine nuts
a bunch of whole-wheat flour I'll never use before it goes rancid
giant container of panko bread crumbs
bag of brown sugar
1 cup espresso beans

5 eggs
the dregs of a bottle of cherries soaked in sweet vermouth
a few almond-stuffed green olives
1 quart skim milk
1 1/2 sticks butter

4 chicken andouille sausages
1/2 gallon bean broth
1 huge bag of green beans
1 dozen frozen scallops
1 bag roasted corn kernels
1 bag shredded spinach
a fist-sized lump of pâte brisée
2 small corn tortillas
handful of meyer lemon zest

Current plans: make chicken sausage/white bean/tomato/brown rice soup, eat this for weeks; eat scallops w roasted corn on tortillas; wrangle lemon zest and almonds into some sort of tart with the pâte brisée dough; make cappuccinos each morning until I run out of milk or espresso. Ignore the bag of spinach and shove it further into the freezer.

Update: it is a week later, and I'm down to brown rice, canned crushed tomatoes, 5 eggs, pine nuts, panko bread crumbs, brown sugar, olives, 2 cups of skim milk that expire tomorrow, 1 stick of butter, 4 cups of frozen roasted corn, a bag of spinach, a lime I found in the crisper drawer, and some meyer lemon zest. I'm going to starve to death, aren't I?



Do I need any more shoes?
Well, no. I am half-shuddering in anticipation of what the reaction will be when the parents visit for graduation next week and peek inside my closet to see um, three or four dozen pairs of shoes. Suddenly, their questions as to where all those student loans went will be answered.

But. Are these not the loveliest wedges ever made? Truly, they are. I may already own three pairs of ankle-strap peep-toes, but those are flats, and that's a completely different thing.

Right? Yes.
Damn it, Marais, I do not have the funds to keep falling in love, and yet you keep seducing me.