Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall Style

Some fall styles I've been drooling over and would like to incorporate into my personal wardrobe/style this fall.

Navy, Kelly green, cute loafers / Camel, mint, & polka dots
via , via

Some fun collars/blouses

I don't know what it is about this hair style but I find myself going back to it time and again. Even pinned it twice without realizing it! (minus the blonde for me)

Mmm boyfriend jeans. 
I snagged a pair of matchstick jeans at the J.Crew factory last weekend on sale, went up one side, cuffed the bottoms and there you have it.

Two tone boots. Or a pair of cognac colored would do too.

Loving these Essie colors.
 via, via

I recently snagged myself a gold Michael Kors watch, toothpick & matchstick jeans at the J.Crew outlet and a few new cardigans for fall. Now on to find new boots & loafers, some fun nail polish, and maybe a new haircut. Do I dare??

What's on your fall shopping list? 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tid Bits

Things I appreciate this week - 

Beautiful flowers to cheer-up my day

My best batch of peanut-butter banana ice cream yet. 

Snuggling with this fella while J was away for work. 
PS - like the new mirror I finally hung up? I think I have had this sunburst mirror for a year already...whoops.

It's the little things really.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun Fact Friday

I don't really have much to say today. But boy am I glad it's Friday. Anyone else exhausted from this week? Let's recap shall we?

1. J & I refinanced our condo Monday (finally). Finally, is our fault too. Man is there a lot of paper work for a refi and between our recent vaca and just plain ole' being busy, it kind of took the back burner. Plus, I felt like I was re-buying our place at closing. Which, yes, technically we were but I did not expect to sign the same stack of papers we did at our original purchase. #handcrampage

2. And speaking of purchases, J&A closed on their first home this week (I shouldn't even say first, more like forever home)!! I am so excited for them. Their place is ah-mazing. Maybe when I get down to visit later this year I'll talk Jackie into a house crashing session a la Young House Love style. If you've never checked out that blog before sorry I'm not sorry you are now officially obsessed like the rest of us.

3. Tuesday night I had a group of friends over for dinner to catch up. We have friends in town for the week from Colorado and I figured, why go out to eat when I can cook and we can relax and catch up. The best part about this dinner? These are sets of friends who have truly become family. And every time we have the opportunity to see them I say the same thing to J, I really hope we can raise our children like they are raising theirs. I'm fairly certain that their 4 year old daughter has better manners than I do. And don't be fooled, raising a child with good manners takes hard work. I am in awe every.single.time.

4. This weekend I am heading home for my first big DIY project for our home. I have recruited my mom to help me on this one. I had a long conversation about home decor with my sister the other day and we both agreed that in hindsight, we now realize just how much my mom did for our home growing up.  She is so handy! And she certainly has a good eye for design too. I'm not revealing too much yet. Because if it fails miserably, I hope you forget about this measly little paragraph. And if it's a major success, you better believe it'll have its own post once it's done.

5. One of the best parts about going home now is letting Tucker run around like a mad man in the backyard. I really, really think he was depressed the last time we got back to the condo from being home. He has soo much freedom when we visit either sets of parents. And certainly acts like he's king of the yard every time (even if that includes digging a few holes...sorry mom). Maybe this is me justifying my obsession with real estate and my recent obsession with finding our next home. But maybe he really is depressed. Looks like I need to ramp up my house hunting.

6. Sunday I have some retail therapy with old roommates planned. I am in desperate need of this - shopping & girl time. I.can't.wait. I may or may not have made myself a little shopping list of what I least we're hitting the outlets!

And I thought I didn't have much to say...whoops. Don't think I named this blog Talkative for nothing. Have a fun weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Recent Eats

Nothing too crazy over here lately. Just trying to get back into eating healthy since getting back from our trip.

Some recent eats I would highly recommend...

Tried my first Kombucha finally. There's a great health food store we stop by from time to time when we're home visiting the families. A recent trip was a must. Gotta get our booties back into shape and eating right.

I ran in and stocked up on raw oats, About Time protein powder (it's the best!), almonds, pop chips, the list goes on. J wasn't feeling all that great so he asked me to grab him a coconut water. Well lo and behold, Kombucha was also in the fridge. As I'm reading the side of the bottle I see that one of the probiotics listed is the ONE probiotic we were trying to find in pill format after coming home from Morocco with a few stomach issues. Go figure!

I really did not know what to expect before trying the Kombucha. First mistake - do NOT shake it! oops. It is fermented tea and there for it is fizzy. Because of the fermentation J and I agreed it had a slight beer taste to it. And it was not nearly as sweet as I was afraid it would be. All in all, I will certainly try one again.

Like I mentioned above, we had a few issues after coming home from Morocco. Who knows how it happened but J ended up a lot sicker than I was, read antibiotics were a must. Just because J couldn't eat didn't mean I was going to starve.

Cajun swordfish and my new obsession - salad with grapes, blue cheese and walnuts.

And my best new find. All natural banana ice cream! Read that - 1 ingredient, bananas. Yup, that simple. The sweet craving hit hard the other night. But we had no sweet treats in the house. I must have seen this on pinterest or something, because I grabbed the computer googled banana ice cream and as they say, the rest is history.

Thank you The Nourishing Gourmet for an incredibly easy recipe. I threw 3 bananas in the freezer the minute I finished reading the recipe. 4 hours later (if that) the bananas were frozen and ready to go.

I used our blender, threw in a few splashes of almond milk to get things moving, a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and let it whirl. Annd, nothing happened. ha. Note to self, you're not making a smoothie Trace. I opened up the blender used a spoon to move the bananas around, cut them up, mash them a little bit, and then turned the blender back on, on a lower setting. I probably repeated this process twice more and after that it swirled into this beautiful design.

It was delicious! Seriously, so pleasantly surprised. J loved it too. You better believe I put a swirl of chocolate syrup on top of mine.

We've since made this again but used bananas that weren't as ripe and chocolate versus peanut butter. The ice cream will taste similar to the bananas you use. We liked the riper bananas much better.

Next I think I shall try peanut butter-banana-chocolate. Watch out! Things are getting wild over here.

Any new recipes you'd care to share? Help a girl out!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Souk Shopping!

Last Morocco post. I promise!

What is a trip to Marrakech without visiting the Souks?! The Souk is the open air marketplace where local goods are sold. Spices, leather products, pottery, rugs, scarves, shoes, herbs, you name it.

Dried fruits, nuts, the best orange juice in the world

Snake charmer! Gah! I did NOT get close to these guys.

I wanted one of these lamps so bad. The light patterns they give off are sooo beautiful. Some day I'll get myself one.

These shoes were everywhere! J thought we should get some, just because. This did not happen. ha.

 I may have talked my way into a leather pouf though. :)

 Whittling wood with his feet!!! Ridiculous.

Watch out! New goods coming through. 

The reason we didn't get ourselves a Moroccan lamp was because.... we bought a new rug! The rugs were so beautiful. You couldn't help but admire the talent. I didn't even need to bat my eyes at J, he was on the same page. I'll post pictures once we've put it out. I'm not ready to let Tucker lie all over it just yet.

 Spices were everywhere. Such pretty colors.

And lastly, the pottery. There were so many choices. No two exactly alike, making it so hard to choose.

So, ya....we did some shopping. And we had SO much fun doing so. It's all about the bartering and J loved it. I don't think J has ever LOVED shopping before. If I can find a way to work a game into every shopping trip, I am golden. Any ideas?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Table Talk

Well, the weddings are done and our big trip for the year is now but a memory. What next? Relax? Yeah right.

We've decided it's time to replace our dining table. We've been using a bar height table J has had since college. It's a great table, in fine condition and fairly large. It's just not the right table for our condo.

So of course I've been doing my fair share on online browsing. We've decided on a round pedestal table to start. And have just been looking for a deal since.

And then I saw this picture this weekend. And my mind is made:

Round pedestal. Colored chairs. Bench seating.

Let the shopping/diy'ing begin!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Morocco: Eats

Ah, yes. What the heck did we eat over there?!

I wish I could tell you we got our daily fruit and vegetable seems the idea of salad was foreign.


But, the local dishes we ate were fantastic. The cuisine focused on meat for the most part. Tagine to be exact. No matter where you went, you could find tagine on the menu. The name tagine comes from the pot the meal is cooked in. Seasoned meat, oil, garlic, and vegetables are placed within a heavy clay bakeware and slow cooked until the meat is extremely tender.

Our very first meal in Morocco was lamb tagine. And it was delicious. After being picked up at the airport, our driver stopped at a local restaurant outside the city limits of Marrakech so that we could grab a bite to eat. He ordered for us thankfully, and before we knew it, we were eating one of our best meals during the trip.

 Glass bottle soda is the most refreshing by far. Gulped this bad boy down.

Voila. Lamb Tagine.

This tajine had plenty of onions, peppers, and prunes. The meat was incredibly tender. It seemed so indulgent to be eating such a flavorful meal, with lamb, for lunch. But boy did we enjoy it!

Our first meal at the resort. Ugh we were so full from our lamb tagine earlier that day. We decided to split a meal, and attempt to get our fill of veggies. Couscous with seven vegetable. Don't ask me which seven...

We travel allll the way to Africa and this is the beer they have?! Geesh. Only J would find Budweiser. Real story - they ran out of the local beer we ordered and brought us this. Of all beers, they bring us J's favorite American brew.

A little breakfast grub. Breakfast was by far the hardest meal for me. There was a daily buffet. But the prepared foods consisted of what I woud consider lunch or dinner - hot soup, roasted vegetables, chicken and mushrooms in a cream sauce, meat, cheese, olives, etc.

They always had croissants, some fruit, yogurt. So I ate way more than my fair share of croissants during our vacation. In fact, I want one now. J was more daring and tried the brunch items. 

 My one, non Moroccan meal I caved and ordered one night. Sole stuffed with shrimp and sautéed VEGETABLES (wahoo) on the side. 

Our stay at the resort included a Moroccan cooking class. We made Moroccan salad, chicken tagine, and oranges with cinnamon. I would forget to photograph the main meal.... But yes this is the appetizer and dessert. And YES we made those tomato roses! Expect more of those at my dinner parties. I'm so fancy.

After our fancy resort Moroccan food, it was off to Marrakech! Oh myyy....the fresh squeezed orange juice was to die for. And for less than 50 cents a glass, we hit up these food stalls often. So refreshing in the 100 degree plus weather.

You couldn't walk five feet without seeing a table selling these fruits. And people eating them on the spot. Any clue what they are??? scroll down..

Prickly pear! And let me tell you, it was delicious!! Though this photo of J makes you think otherwise ha. We were taken off guard with this tasting. We hired a personal guide our first day in Marrakech, which was a GREAT decision. We learned sooo much about the history, the people, the religion, etc. And he took us to areas of the city we would not have visited otherwise. And he had us taste things, like prickly pear from a street vendor, that I would have never had the courage to try on my own.

And we tried fresh figs. Our guide was buying some to take home and talked the vendor into letting us try some. I love figs. But let me tell you, fresh Moroccan figs were AMAZING. So sweet and fresh. 

We were able to try both the white and black figs. I preferred the white ones, a little fresher/sweeter tasting to me. J didn't have a real preference. I'm not sure I've ever seen white figs in the states before though... I am now on the lookout. Let me know if you see them!

Just like the plaza was filled with orange juice stalls during the day, it came alive with food stalls at night. Rows of food vendors, yelling at you to eat at their food, and serving the exact same thing as everyone else. ha. So we gave it a try.

No surprise there, we were each given a loaf of bread to eat before even eating. We were so tired from walking around all day with our guide, hot from the heat, and probably a little dehydrated. The idea of salty, spicy meat and potatoes was just not what I wanted at the time.

So we stuck to veggie kebobs, olives, Moroccan salad, and calamari. The seating was long benches, J sitting across from me, locals sitting on both sides. So I decided to put my camara away once food was served.

And lastly, our Riad provided breakfast daily. The bowl front and center was for coffee. We had no idea what to do the first morning. Until we realized nothing was coming out that we'd need the bowl for, aaand we had no coffee mugs. Welp, coffee bowl it is then! The three mini bowls in the center housed butter, honey, and a fig jam. For the mound of bread they brought us. That we ate. Yikes. We did make sure to drink the OJ they brought us. 

During the trip I was telling J that I cannot think of another time in my life that I drank orange juice 7 days straight. I was just not an OJ kid. Give me cran or apple juice any day and I was content. But the orange juice over there was so unbelievably fresh. No tanginess. 


Oh Madrid. How I missed thee! We made our way around Plaza Mayor and Sol, hitting up a pub here or there. Best part about getting drinks in Madrid? The tapas!

Mmm, Spanish red wine. Remember the Spanish wine tasting J gave me for christmas?

Ahh, cafe con leche. We really enjoyed cafe au laits this trip, every morning. I am now obsessed. I'll be ordering mistos at Starbucks and cafe au laits everywhere else this fall for sure.

And lastly, what is a trip to Madrid without ham (jamon)?! Wow, I didn't realize how much I missed it. Yes, we were total tourists and went to the Museo del Jamon (Ham Museum) for bocadillo de jamon y queso (Serrano ham and Manchego Cheese sandwiches) to-go. And brought them to the airport with us! #bestdecisionever

And I made J take a picture of me with the first jamon y queso I grabbed before even getting to Morocco. What? It's been 6 years! I was a little excited...

So that's that. Yes, we probably gained 10 pounds. But we loved eating the local cuisine. Hmm where to next? :)

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