Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend {recap}

{artillery shells, courtesy of Aaron M. & the LaVista fireworks stand}
On Saturday we had a great family get together at my sister & bf's house. My parents came up from Iowa to join the 3 siblings & their significant others. We had a fabulous dinner, plenty of wine & cocktails, & a late night fireworks show.
Here are some pictures of our fun little event!

{the boys all working away in the kitchen}

{salads, steaks, fries, baguettes...we had it all}

{see the 2 little red things? parachutes!}

{screaming bees}
Later on we met up with some friends to celebrate a birthday, which is where the giant cupcake was photographed. We even presented it with a flaming sparkler, but sadly my camera's battery did not make it that late in the evening.

{the giant cupcake in all it's glory...Conor is overwhelmed}
Sunday was spent recovering & relaxing. Afterall, there's another B I G weekend heading our way. Hope you had a fun weekend & are looking forward to the 4th of July!

Friday, June 26, 2009

{C'est le Week-end}

{a little bit of Bastille day, Van Buskirk-style}
It's Friday! I've been quite absent this week due to a statistics final that ate my soul. B U T, it's over. Forever. Moving on.

Friday means weekend. Yay, right?! Tomorrow my family is celebrating Bastille Day or Fête Nationale,{which is actually the 14th of July} since we missed getting together last weekend for Father's Day.

via skylighters
{I'm thinking sparklers are in order. This looks good, no?}
This means Steak Entrecôte {no steak pictured, for those veggies out there}, wine, & perhaps a little singing of "La Marseillaise"? Conor is particularly excited for this part, not kidding. I'm also making a giant cupcake - stay tuned, I will be sure to post it in all it's glory.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hot {Hot} Heat

Um, is this for real?
Why can't we just have normal weather in Nebraska? The forecast actually says to "Stay indoors. A/C is a must. Avoid the sun." What?!

Gross. I simply cannot blog in this weather. Please enjoy the following ice cream {mmm, ice cream} photos courtesy of the lovely Martha Stewart.

It would possibly be tolerable if it wasn't for the damn humidity.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vacation {Roadtrip, really}

{proof of the Iowa/Minnesota border...& no, we are not staying here...}
I'm from Iowa. Apparently, Minnesota is right above Iowa. I've never actually been there. Not unless you count changing planes in Minneapolis. Well, worry not! I'm going this weekend.

{...we're staying here, at the Graves 601}
Why, you may ask? A few reasons. My sister's boyfriend is a professional disc golfer. He's playing a tournament there. AKA our excuse to get to shop at IKEA, H&M, & so on. We don't have these makers of mass produced stuff in Omaha. So this is a pretty exciting excursion for us.

{wind turbines in Iowa & Swedish Dala Horses in Minnesota}
And I must pay homage to the exciting roadside attractions awaiting us along the way.
Have a great weekend, whatever you do!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

{RHNJ} Finale Time!

That's right, everyone! Tonight is the last night to head over to Noël Marie to chat online {9pm Central} about the ridiculousness of these ladies. Grab a cocktail, some attitude & come visit!

And, I promise we'll get to see some table flipping.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bake Sale {Party}

{from Vogue Girl Korea}
My sister, some friends & I were chatting about bake sales the other night. When I was in 4-H {whatever, I'm from Iowa}, one could bake something, have said item judged, then sell item at a bake sale. It was awesome. My best friend, Charles, once bought a huge plate of my cream cheese {think, wedding} mints & promptly ate them.
I think he regretted this decision later on the ferris wheel...

{from Elle Magazine}
To get to my point...
wouldn't a Garden Party-Bake Sale be absolutely delightful? I think this needs to go on my list of Party To-Dos ASAP.

{from Vogue Girl Korea}
Now, if only I knew it would look as lovely as these photos...

Friday, June 12, 2009

{Lettuce Wraps}

I made the most delish chicken & cashew lettuce wraps the other night. Not gonna lie. They were super fresh, really easy to make, & there was plenty left over for Conor's lunch the next day.

{dinner on a leaf}
I got the recipe from Real Simple magazine {their recipes!}. Try them this week, they're great!

Chicken & Cashews in Lettuce Cups
from Real Simple Magazine
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1 small head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
Combine soy sauce & honey in small bowl, set aside.
Heat oil in skillet over med.-high heat. Season chicken w/pepper & cook until it begins to brown.
Lower heat to medium & stir in garlic & ginger.
Add scallions & cook for 1 minute. Stir in water chestnuts & 1/2 soy sauce mixture. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cashews & serve in lettuce cups.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

{Summer} Reading

I know you're all gettin' yer read on, at least, I hope you are. I'm currently switching between silly beach reads & statistics texts, myself.

I get most of my books from the library or Amazon. In fact, Amazon can be such a good deal lately that it's almost always my choice. Just today I received a book I spent a whopping $.80 on! Yes, eighty CENTS. I paid $3.99 in shipping for a grand total of $4.79 for a brand new hardback book. I was pretty happy about this, as I read these "novels" summer after summer.

So, got any recommendations for me?
I'm pretty sure I'll breeze through these guys before summer comes to an end...

Friday, June 5, 2009

{Summer Weekend}

I summer weekends.
There's always so much going never have to worry about being bored.
For instance
, this weekend is packed full of events.
A tour of homes tomorrow afternoon featuring my brother,
Christopher, & his wife, Jessica's lovely house...

{think of a lawn game, I'm sure it will be there...}
A birthday BBQ, horseshoe, & bocce party tomorrow as well...

{Image from here}
{I read something about tractor games & can only hope...}
& a small town celebration of our friend's bank's 125th Anniversary.
{That was a mouthful.}
Oh, & I must not forget to frost the strawberry cupcakes I baked yesterday. They are currently naked & abandoned in my kitchen...

Any fun weekend plans out there?
If so, have lots of fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

{Shopping Cart}

I'm sure lots of you are like go online weekly {or daily!} to your favorite stores & load up the shopping cart with all your dream purchases. Well, here's some of the items currently hanging out in my many carts...
{she's dreamy, ha}
Flapper Feathered Headband at Fred Flare. Bird.

{I like ruffles}
Ruffle Front Silk Dress from Nordstrom. Love the color!

Red satin pumps from Zappos. Mmm, bows.
{sleepy time}
Kissing Pleat bedding from Target. I desperately need this. No, really.

{I have a Sephora addiction}
DDF Wrinkle Resist + Pore Minimizer {Moisturizer} & Dior Replenishing Lipcolour in Rita Beige. Total splurge items, but totally awesome items, as well.

{pretty in black}
Old Navy eyelet-trim sundress. One can never have too many sundresses.
They're all I wear in the summer.

Your turn to share, what's in your cart{s}?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

{Real Housewives LiveBlog Event}

Come over to Noël Marie tonight at 9pm CST to join us for a LiveBlog event. Every Tuesday we have some drinks & cattily chat online about the show. It's lots of fun, come check it out.
I may be a little late tonight due to statistics class!

Grab a cocktail & I'll see you there!

Vodka {for Dinner}

...sauce, that is. Just last night Con & I had a craving for some pasta & vodka sauce. I was too lazy to find a recipe, so we made one up while drinking martinis. And I must say, it was kinda awesome. Super easy as well. Your friends will be impressed, it's that good.

{our huge portions, that we totally finished}
Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce
from Piper & Conor
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage {this is already seasoned by the grocer - you can use reg. pork or chicken sausage, but may need to add more seasoning to spice it up a bit!}
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 2/3 cup vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh julienned basil
  • fresh shredded Parmesan
At some point while cooking sauce, boil water & cook pasta - penne is best...can be set aside in strainer {make sure to run water over to prevent over-cooking} until sauce is ready to be served.

Brown sausage over medium/high heat, add onion & garlic and cook until onion starts to brown & soften.
Add crushed tomatoes & cook down for about one martini {10-15 minutes}.
Add vodka & allow to simmer for another cocktail.
Toss in cream, butter, & salt and continue simmering to desired consistency.
Serve sauce over pasta with fresh Parmesan & basil sprinkled on top.

{we served our pasta w/New Age wine, a semi-sparkling, light summery white}
While cooking, Conor & I went out on the balcony, had some cocktails, watched a storm blow in, & caught about 10-15 minutes of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."

Needless to say, this is a recipe that can be easily ignored while simmering throughout the various steps. Just don't get things too hot, or you'll have a mess on your hands.

{storm's a brewin' at Mutual of Omaha}
The best part of this recipe? You end up with most of a bottle of vodka that you are totally forced to drink later.

Monday, June 1, 2009

{Garage Sales}

Summer = Garage Sales.

This past weekend my mom came up to Omaha to hit up some g-sales. Honestly, I think they're a lot of work - lots of digging around in odds & ends to find one or two gems. But, I did find some. Everyone did, actually. My mom got a couple great end tables & my sister-in-law Jessica got a fab chair & lamp + a few other items. Here are my finds!

{my poor pic-taking abilities}
My loot: a huge picture frame {will be painted & art-ed}, 2 smaller bamboo frames {will def. be replacing the pics}, 2 lattice-edged milk glass plates, 4 glass coffee glasses w/silver handles, & a round lazy-susan topped table!

{close-up of mugs & plates}
Most of my finds are going to be reworked in some way.
I'll keep you updated on the progress!
{Sorry for the awful pics, I can't seem to get it together today!}