I’ve been worried about friends of mine back home from the past life.

I’d been friends with each of them separately before they had gotten married to each other. When everything hit the fan with my relationship over a year ago, the female half of that seemingly unstoppable duo revealed that they had been having issues and seeing a marriage counselor. And it seemed as though everything was working out for them.

Now it looks like it might not have been enough. I’m waiting to find out exactly what’s going on, but the female half has been hiding out. I hope I’m jumping to conclusions, but that’s exactly what I was doing when we first seperated.

The “wasband” and I haven’t had much reason to converse lately. I’m glad that things have been very civil–almost pleasant–when we have had to though.  Some tax documents showed up at my old address recently and he was nice enough to mail them to me, along with some old photos I had left behind, without me even having to ask.

I figured that deserved a thank you.

And even though I knew better, I did it. I asked about my our  friends and that I was concerned and feeling helpless because I’m so far out of the loop and not really able to be there for them right now. Wasband claimed not to know anything but mentioned he would be more observant when he was with the male half.

The next thing he said has been in the back of my mind all day. “If (female half) is going off to perceived “greener pastures” and he can’t stop it…I’m certain he knows his friends are here for him.”

I had no reason to assume that was what was going on. But he instantly turned their story into ours. All that niceness felt like it had really been for nothing–had he just been waiting for the opportune moment to rub my face in it again? That he had won. That he had (and probably still plays) the victim card to all the friends and family we used to share. That he still doesn’t think he had any blame in why “us” failed.

Sometimes I think that’s all I want. For him to wake up one day and realize it took two. And yes, that includes him. I think about how much growing I have crammed into one year. How I’m sure I have cried more in this short time span than the rest of my life combined. All the endless hours over-analyzing what happened and why it did…

Then I look at him and I wonder–how much more hell does he need to go through before he get’s there?

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just before going in the oven...

I love re-discovering recipes you forgot you made. This is one I got from the lovely Giada and is such a perfect weekday dinner. (Or perfect for when you are cooking for others and want it to look like you slaved away over it.)

I’ve tried it with fresh, just from the market salmon and the frozen variety. Obviously, fresh is way better, but frozen was still pretty darn good! *Just a note–make sure to get the salmon fillets with the skin already off. It’s a complete pain in the ass to do yourself.*

Salmon Baked in Foil

  • 4 (5 ounces each) salmon fillets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

These are the ingredients from Giada’s recipe. Mine are slightly different. I prefer using plum or roma tomatoes–they are more meaty and less juicy and (in my humble opinion) more flavorful. If you are going to used canned, I would suggest using a more expensive, higher quality canned tomato.

And when it comes to herbs, using fresh ones really makes all the difference. (This spring I will finally be getting around to planting my very first herb garden to save money. But, when I buy them fresh I make sure I have a list of foods I can make with them that week–so I don’t find them a month later dried up in the back of my fridge.)I also like to mince some fresh garlic to go into the tomato mixture.

The way Giada cooks them below is the exact way I cook them:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle salmon with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir the tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

Place a salmon fillet, oiled side down, atop a sheet of foil. Wrap the ends of the foil to form a spiral shape. Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely; seal the packets closed. Place the foil packet on a heavy large baking sheet. Repeat until all of the salmon have been individually wrapped in foil and placed on the baking sheet. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve.


comfort food.

31Jan10

best comfort food ever.

Nobody should have to work on Sundays.

Sundays are for sleeping in, reading the paper over coffee, eating comfort food and watching Lifetime movies on the couch.

I’m always changing around my baked mac & cheese recipe a little each time I make it. The base recipe is from the all-time great Patti Labelle “Over the Rainbow” recipe. But I never really follow it exactly because I always have different ingredients on hand. Today I used cream cheese and some creme fraiche I had in the fridge and it turned out great.

Sunday Baked Macaroni & Cheese

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of noodles (I prefer large rigatoni noodles)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 16oz (two packages) of shredded cheese (whatever kind you like)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of creme fraiche
  • 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the vegetable oil, then the noodles. It’s important to make sure you only cook the noodles until they are al dente, otherwise they will be mushy in your finished product. After they’ve cooked, drain and return to the pot.

Next you melt the butter and stir into the noodles. In a separate bowl, your shredded cheeses. To the noodles, add the half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cream cheese, eggs and salt and pepper. Transfer to the cooking dish. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and dot with the remaining one tablespoon of butter. This is where I also dot with the creme fraiche.

It bakes for about 35 minutes until it’s bubbling and the tops of the noodles have browned just a little. And voila. Instant food coma.


masochism.

30Jan10

they said it was going to snow. and it finally did. and work was cancelled on account of ice. i do love south carolina.

Life was so much simpler before the invent of all this social media stalking.

That being said, the (semi) new Facebook privacy settings make it all the more frustrating for me. This is because I am a social media masochist.

Why do I do it? I have a perfectly great Saturday to myself, folding laundry and making some homemade potato broccoli soup, when I do it. I “check up” on a few randoms from my past life even though I know it will feel like an instant kick to the stomach.

And of course, I save him for last.

The thing that gets to me about these new privacy settings is that people knowingly tease you with the information they allow you to see. In my case for instance, they will allow you to see each and every photo they or their friends upload (like the one with “pre-official divorce late night text message girl’s” arm around him), but they won’t let you see what their relationship status is.

Inquiring minds (mine) need to know! Maybe if I could just know, then it would be one more burden off my mind….or would it just end up being the addition of a whole new, heavier one?


When I first saw the previews for “Julie & Julia” I didn’t think I would like it. I was so wrong. I finally got an afternoon alone to watch it and now have a whole new list of recipes added to my to-do list. (Hollandaise sauce and steamed artichokes are on the menu for tomorrow.)

A part of the movie that was so absolutely true was when Amy Adam’s character is talking about how everything is better with butter. (Real butter.) This past week I had to try out this recipe from Smitten Kitchen to see what all the fuss was about for myself. The secret ingredient that makes this amazing sauce? Butter, of course.

I made it with just the three ingredients (canned tomatoes, butter and an onion) and it was awesome. Even the boyfriend, who I feared would scoff at a pasta sauce with no meat, was in awe of how good something so simple tasted. Nothing was wasted–we even took the onion out and smeared it on toasted bread crisps. I highly suggest you try the recipe–you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry!


home. decor.

23Jan10

Now is not the time for me to be feeling artsy and obsessing over home decor ideas. (Like these amazing butterfly art pieces by Lacey Terrell.)

There have been all sorts of issues with the rental house and everything has just snowballed over the past couple of weeks. I miss my deep purple painted foyer, chocolate brown kitchen, shopping for throw pillows and table runners… I miss going home to something that is really my own. One day in the not-so-distant future I know I’ll have all of that again though…and better this time =)


from anthropologie's janaury catalog

from apartment therapy's 5 DIY ideas to steal from anthropologie's janaury catalog 🙂

I’ve been looking through all my pictures from Paris a few years ago quite a bit lately. There is so much of that city and culture that I miss. Everything seemed so effortless.

Anthropologie’s January catalog captured that feeling so perfectly. (I’m in love with the belted trench coat.) Then I came to find that one of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy, devoted a post to decor ideas inspired by the Janaury catalog.

 


foggy.

17Jan10

There’s nothing quite like that feeling you get when you see a family member is calling you and instantly you know what it’s about. Your insides flop and you all of a sudden feel quite alert but caught off guard all at once. That’s how my Sunday morning started. My dad called to inform me that my grandfather was back in the hospital. That it’s gotten bad the past few weeks and they don’t really know what new thing is wrong yet.

I’ve been in a fog since getting off the phone. I feel empty and achy and everything hurts. Being in my office (let alone having two more days at this job) is the last place I want to be.

I’ve been blissfully ignorant seven hundred miles away from home, continuing to choose to not deal with things that need to be addressed and won’t just go away, while my grandfather has progressively gotten worse. I have so much pent up bitterness towards my past life and the people in it. But all of that just feels like selfishness when something like this happens.

A big part of me just wants to hop on a plane and go back home. But to what?  To a family who feels I have turned my back on the way they raised me and in return have cut me out of their lives? I wish in sitautions like this that nothing else mattered and that family truly came first.


$65 for a simple trim? In Greenville?

Really?

It’s been over four months and I am still trying to find a new stylist.  

(Guys have it so easy!)

i'm loving miranda kerr's hair in this picture.


my favorite tomato basil soup from trio in downtown greenville. the window seats are the best spots to people watch!

I was having a perfect Saturday morning.

Woke up early and went to my very first yoga class at North Main Yoga. (I have muscles I didn’t even knew existed hurting today, but I’m in love! Can’t believe I’ve been a yoga virgin this long!) Then S and I headed over to Trio to indulge my tomato basil soup addiction. And to do something we’d been long procrastinating….our budgets.

Last week I was offered a position as marketing director at this amazing property in the heart of downtown Greenville. I went back and forth about it because I do love where I’m at now…but in the end I accepted it because it made more financial sense.

Even with the new position, where I’m making a little more money and saving quite a bit in gas, I still am barely making ends meet. I don’t get it. How do people have the extra money to save for buying a house, taking a trip, having kids? Sitting down and taking a good hard look at my budget made me realize I don’t really even have the extra money to be spending on clothes and nights out.

So we’re looking into ways to fix our finances. For the next 21 days we won’t be spending any money on going out to eat, which has been our biggest money zapper. I’m also looking into finding a credit card with 0% interest to transfer all my balances to. And then really crack down on paying it off.

Any suggestions that have worked for you? Or books or sites that have helped you with your budget?