26 February, 2010

A Houseguest Cometh

Town & Country published a piece on houseguest etiquette just in time for me to descend upon my parents again in Mexico...

Arrive and leave on the days and at the times that you initially promised.

Barring anymore airport closing blizzards this time around I plan to leave Ixtapa on the date and at the exact time that my itinerary shows. I also plan to pack closed toe shoes just in case of knee deep drifts upon my return to the states...

Try to fit in with the host's schedule, or let him or her know beforehand what your plans are.

A little bit of this...

And, a whooole lotta that.

Bring your host a nice gift. (Alternatively, may I add, you can send a gift afterward, once you have seen the house and have gotten a sense of the host's taste.)

My personal assistant made sure to stock me up with some good Belgian chocolates for gifting and I also plan on smuggling a few cheeses and some much sought after Viva paper towels in my checked baggage.

If you have special dietary requirements, bring your own food or politely let your host know what they are prior to your visit.

Arriving prepared. Although, haven't quite ironed out the weight logistics of traveling with a weeks worth of Diet Coke. I just know that Mexican Coke Light has hidden calories....

If you are staying for a few days, take your host out for lunch or dinner.

Breakfast at Soliedos on my P90Xhaustion cheat day for more pancakes dripping in pecan laden maple syrup and Emilios for tequila and shrimp brick oven pizza?

Either share the cost of or pay for events that you (the visitor) suggested.

Hmmm, how to convince my Mom the beach massages are her idea???

Write a nice, personal thank-you note when you return home (not a quick email from the office).

Well, I spent 20 minutes climbing over the mountain of stuff in our storage unit this past weekend in a vain attempt to unearth my Crane stationary wardrobe. I may have to spell out my "thank you" on the counter top in Belgian truffles...

I have not, however, figured out how I'm gonna splain my stowaway...

Kindness of my Mom and Dad who I'm sure are getting a little weary after three months of a revolving guest door. Don't fret, I'll just be taking my tan quietly and leaving...XXOO

25 February, 2010

Celeb And Pseudo Celeb Playlists

I get desperate for new tunes to distract me during long runs and am forever on the lookout for celeb playlists to lift from...

This week I struck gold with Tory Burch's playlist from her Bryant Park runway show...

And, Kelly Ripa's workout favs...

Sinnerman - Nina Simone (Felix Da Housecat remix)
Morning After Dark - Timbaland (featuring Nelly Furtado)
Diva - Beyonce (Karmatronic Club remix)
The One - Mary J. Blige (featuring Drake)
Naturally - Selina Gomez
Imma Be - Black Eyed Peas
Jump - Flo Rida (featuring Nelly Furtado)
Jump - Madonna (Extended remix)
Celebration - Madonna (Oakenfold remix)
Brokeback Mountain Theme - Gustavo Santaolalla & Gabriel & Dresden (The Wings remix)

Then, just when my inbox started to overflow with iTunes receipts, looky what arrived in the mail for me...

My own personal playlist kindness of a most thoughtful Meg Carter!

Perf for the South of the Border runs I have planned for next week (she purred)...

I feel just like a psuedo celeb. Now if I could only figure out how to work this stinkin Garmin running watch I'd be set...

Kindness of Meg Carter who may now add spinmaster extraordinaire to her bio...XXOO

24 February, 2010

Pig-adillos Don't Discriminate

Last week, while I was still riding my Westminster Dog Show high (give it up for the terrier group!), Meg from Pigtown Design blog debuted her handmade Martha Stewart Pig-adillo doggie toy...

Her spokes terrier Pinky giving Billie Mays a run for his money...

And, a more sedate Connor called in for the glamour shots and closeups...

I'm dying cuz I don't have a doggie anymore giving me an excuse for my own Pig-adillo...

Buuut, there is a famous face, that I may or may not stalk, and I happen to know he likes a lil sumptin sumptin for snuggling....

But, no cause for feline discrimination here. Equality and Pig-adillos for all!

Kindness of Meg Fairfax Fielding at Pigtown Design who is being très bashful about marketing her lovely designs made from her extraordinary fabric collection. Maybe an overwhelming response will be a push in the strong arm direction. Also, to the blog where I lifted the doggie cartoon; excuse my forgetfulness and expose yourself for some much deserved credit...XXOO

Extra kindness of Tricia at Luminosity blog for revealing herrself as the source of the cartoon and graciously overlooking my lifting of it...XXOO

23 February, 2010

Gossip Tag

The "gossip tag" Housewife Bliss in London bestowed on me this morning couldn't have come at a more perfect time. This was day one of P90Xhaustion and me and my weary arms need to retire très early tonight. Merci Housewife Bliss, merci...

Where were you five years ago?

Five years ago this month, a newly engaged Babe and I were having a sunset cocktail at Sandy Lane in Barbados. He was halfway through his first year of UVA School of Medicine and I was living the Nanny Diaries...

What is on your to-do list today?

5 times infinity of pull ups and push ups...

Followed by The Bachelor Tells All tonight and this...

What five snacks do you enjoy?

I'm an all or nothing kind of girl so I don't really differentiate between snacks and meals. It's either pretzels and Diet Coke or as much of the foods listed below that make me go absolutely nuts...

  • Fish Filet (I refuuuse to call it the Filet O Fish)
  • oysters
  • tuna fish
  • chocolate anything
  • salmon/lobster/crabs
What 5 places have you lived?

  • Cottage at Littlefield the Farmington in C'ville, VA
  • Talbot YMCA in Easton, MD (spent more than enough time in THAT pool to qualify)
  • Georgetown in Washington, DC and now the Fairfax in DC
  • Ocean City, MD, Fenwick Island, DE, Ocean City, MD, Fenwick Island, DE....
  • Salisbury, MD but dangerously close to the Hebron zip code
A peeksie in our Cottage at Littlefield window...

What 5 things would you do if a billionaire?
ya mean when???

  • Take care of everyone in our immediate families
  • Get our Templeton a kidney transplant
  • Establish a foundation to help pay off Medical School loans
  • Donate tons to help billionaire Gary Michelson with his Found Animals organization
  • Annnd....
Get that lil Gin Lane cottage...

Kindness of Housewife Bliss for thinking of me thus freeing up plenty of time for relaxation and recuperation. Now if I could just lift my arms to wash my face and brush my teeth...XXOO

22 February, 2010

Can Ya Spare A Kidney Mister?

Can't a guy in kidney failure lay on a heat grate for warmth without being hassled?

There is a downside to having such a witty Mummy and Daddy...

Good thing I'm such a good sport. The best of the best actually...

Kindness of our most beloved Tatsie Boots who deals with needles, pills and bad tasting liquid meds being forced down his throat daily with nary a complaint. Yup, they broke the brave mold after then fashioned our special boy...XXOO

19 February, 2010

Sinchy English Monarchy

Babe has a team in India that assists him with documents, I have my sister Genevieve. So as part of my due diligence, prior to seeing The Young Victoria, I was boning up on the history of English Monarchs. Being the good assistant that she is, Genny unearthed this Royal crutch to help me keep them straight forever more...

Sung to the tune of Good King Wenceslaus...

Willie Willie Harry Stee

Harry Dick John Harry three;

One two three Neds, Richard two

Harrys four five six....then who?

Edwards four five, Dick the bad,

Harrys (twain), Ned six (the lad);

Mary, Bessie, James you ken,

Then Charlie, Charlie, James again...

Will and Mary, Anna Gloria,

Georges four, Will four Victoria;

Edward seven next, and then

Came George the fifth in nineteen ten;

Ned the eighth soon abdicated

Then George six was coronated;

After which Elizabeth

And that's all folks until her death.

Kindness of Genevieve who will be receiving a "very strong" this coming review cycle. This makes up for her inability to put my tea bags and honey back on the proper shelf after each use...XXOO

18 February, 2010

Method Movie Watching

My father has been recommending the movie Bottle Shock to me ever since hearing a firsthand account of the true story while in Napa and I finally got around to renting it...

Natch, I felt obligated to run out and get myself a bottle of the film's star, Chateau Montelena to indeed verify the hoopla surrounding the chardonnay most famous for winning the white wine section of the historic "Judgement of Paris" wine competition. Hoopla verified...

ps...good for washing down Compost Cookies!

Kindness of my Dad for circuitously leading me to my new fav Chardonnay. We'll keep the price on the down low or else "Bottle Shock" will turn to "sticker shock" where Babe is concerned...XXOO

17 February, 2010

Momofuku's Compost Cookies

Anderson Cooper has been talking up the Compost Cookies and Crack Pie from Momofuku's Milk Bar for months on Regis and Kelly. I've gotten so worked up over the thought of their yumminess that I don't know where I'm gonna run to first the next time I'm in NYC; Calypso or the Milk Bar?

Thank goodness Kelly took on the Compost Cookie recipe assignment just in time for me to whip up a batch for Babe (read myself) for Valentines...

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients
(I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips, dark chocolate Raisinettes, Rollos and Cocoa Krispies)
1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods
(I used mini Goldfish, Ritz, and Fritos)

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars, and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 seconds just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 seconds until they evenly mix into the dough.

Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan.

Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.

DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

Heat the conventional oven to 400°. (350° in a convection oven)

When the oven reads 400°, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheet pan a minimum of 4" apart in any direction.

Bake 9-11 minutes. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.

At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

Yield: 15 6oz cookies and theee best dough eveeerrr...

Kindness of Anderson and Kelly for Sunday's detox shakes and the severe penance I will be paying all week at the gym for my cookie dough indulging. My guilt has led me to fall victim to the P90X infomercial...XXOO

16 February, 2010

Fenwick Island Mountaineer And Explorer George Washington Rockefeller

Sunday morning, pioneer man Pilge ventured out to tackle uncharted (and undusted) territory...

A witness reported seeing the ascent which went from Camp I, the counter top, to Camp II, North Face of the fridge, to the peak atop the cabinets...

Knowing the oxygen was limited at this elevation...

He made the most of his time at the beach house summit...

He had dreamed of this moment for months...

Mapping the expedition...

Dreaming of this moment of triumph...

But, they say you start to loose brain cells at this elevation and your decision making becomes hindered. Especially if your Sherpa's distracted with the documentation, mistakes will be made...

And, you may end up with a busted lip on your way back down. But, battle scars are worth their weight in lesson learned gold...

At least for an hour anyway...

Kindness of Daddy for boning up on his Pilgie catching skills in the future so Mummy doesn't have to choke back tears when the descent goes awry...XXOO

15 February, 2010

Happy President's Day To Me

Technically, it is a collective birthday of sorts. And, birthdays usually involve gifts...

And, although Christopher Columbus has his own day in October and was not a president, he does qualify as an historical figure. And, if no one's around to accept the gesture of a gift...

I'm just saying...

Kindness of our great country's pioneering fathers. If I give credit to any of the ones still living I lose my excuse to accept on "behalf of"...XXOO

12 February, 2010

This Valentine's Dedication Goes Out To Queen Bee Swain

Just in time for Valentines, Katie at Queen Bee Swain bestowed upon me the "Sweet Heart Tag" requesting the story of how Babe and I met and fell in love. Well Katie, if you met Babe, the "how" portion of the question would become a moot point...

It was my first day as Crew Chief of Crew 8 on the Ocean City Beach Patrol. I sent down to the guard on my right to come sit my radio while I went to lunch. When he approached my stand I thought to myself, "who is this goofball?", just as he was thinking to himself, "who is this lady with braces?"... (me seated in the center, Babe seated in front of me and the rest of our Crew)

Day two, while pulled back in pouring rain, I opened our initial conversation with the question, "if money was no object, what car would you buy?". Weeelll turns out, that question is music to a guy's ears. Fortunately, his answer, 1998 Porsche 911 Twin Turbo, was music to mine. We became fast friends... (moi in the blue, Babe second from left and the crew goofing around post competition)

When you spend a couple summers, in nothing but a bathing suit, guarding one of the most treacherous stretches of beach in town, you really come to know a person. And, I think we saw in each other kindred drives, desires and faith. Plus, he is theee funniest person I have ever met in my life! I think my abs were so insane during that time from all the laughing we did... (me seated in blue, Babe second in from the right and the rest of our Crew 8 family)

And, even though I'm frequently in the doghouse for my less than conservative spending and, he's Oscar to my Felix, the laughter has remained a constant...

We've weathered long distance, a significant age difference, Medical School annnd my brief moment of insanity when I decided to test drive being a brunette...

And, just like Kelly Ripa has her tattoo to remind her of a not so brilliant decision, I have my wedding pics. Luckily for me, the best choice I ever made supersedes the not so attractive one...

Kindness of Queen Bee Swain who deserves a Sweet Heart Tag herself. Who doesn't love her? And, Babe for being the best Valentine a gal could ever wish for...XXOO