Wednesday, April 20, 2011

stocking up at asos

i had the pleasure of spending last weekend in vegas with my bff katie and her hubs warren. katie wore the cutest dress ever from asos and reminded me how much i like asos' selection. i decided to order up a few to see if any make the cut and find a home in my closet. here's what i'm expecting from the mailman in the next two weeks...

below: pleated long sleeve shift dress, $71.72 on sale for $35.86

below: frill sleeve swing dress, $53.79

below: antique style beaded embellished layered dress, $75.31

below: armor swing dress, $98.62

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

like going home vegas

now living in a place where h&m doesn't exist, any time i go anywhere where there IS an h&m, i make it a point to make a visit. nick and i spent last weekend in vegas and my last trip was quite a fruitful one -- not only did we win big playing craps but i'm also psyched by the goodies i brought home from h&m. i've already thrown away all of the tags so the prices are ballparks...

below: orange and white striped beach bag, $25

below: tiered maxi dress, $60

below: black romper, $40

below: scallop edge sheer cream blazer, $60

Monday, April 18, 2011

life keeps happening

there have been some crazy goings-on around the doyle household lately, which somewhat explains the absence of blogging lately.

while i've been working some INSANE hours (IN. SANE.), doing some fun traveling on the weekends, running around for appointments and prepping some visitors, we also came home from vegas last weekend to a dog with an eye infection and a crazy huge cut on his leg. we took him to the 24 hour vet hospital and he had to undergo anesthesia and came out with three sutures. we got his stitches out over the weekend and unfortunately he wasn't ready yet...and it popped back open! we had to take him back in for 8 staples in his leg and now he's wearing a cone for two weeks. poor guy. cover your eyes if you get queasy, it's kinda gross...

in the realm of good news, the garden has also been growing like crazy. the weather here in austin has been unbelievable, and the roses and vegetables are loving it. nick's green thumb is awesome and we've been enjoying tons of fresh veggies all week. it's amazing how much better stuff tastes when it comes straight out of your backyard.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

outfit in action: gaga for peter pan shorts

last night i pretended to be a little monster and went to see lady gaga with my friend andrea. while i can't call myself a huge fan, this was one of the most entertaining shows i've seen in a long time. maybe it was because we were able to sneak down to the floor for the encore, or maybe it was because i have a secret love for "bad romance." either way, i was psyched to wear my new peter pan shorts (as nick calls them) for the day at work, dinner and drinks at local restaurant vivo, and to the frank erwin center for lady gaga. i was definitely the most conservatively dressed in the joint. i guess that's what happens when you go from the office to gaga - and you're 31 years old. oh, i also bought these shorts in white. love. and you get to see these shoes in action!

below: she was born this way, bitches.

below: proof of me being under dressed. or over dressed. no, she's not peeing. she's resting.

below: gaga and the fame monster

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

recipes: cinnamon buns

my work friend amber makes a mean dessert. i mean, any dessert. i decided to take one from her book (literally) and borrow her bread baker's apprentice cookbook, and make cinnamon buns.

i spent a few hours on sunday making this recipe, and although the dough took me two tries (i forgot an ingredient, wtf), i'd say they were a huge success. in fact, i'm eating one as i type and i'd go so far as to say they kick pillsbury's ass.

6 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
5 1/2 tbsp shortening or unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp lemon extract or grated zest
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon)

1. cream together the sugar, salt and shortening on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a larger metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand). whip in the egg and lemon extract until smooth. then add the flour, yeast, and milk. mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately ten minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supply, tacky but not sticky. you may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

2. ferment at room temperature for approximately two hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

3. mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 x 12. don't roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump.

4. sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. with the seam side down, cut the dough into 8-12 even pieces about 1 3/4 inch thick.

5. place the buns about 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.

6. preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack in the middle shelf.

7. bake the cinnamon buns for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. cool the buns for about 10 minutes before covering with icing (recipe below).

now, being the pillsbury officionado that i am, i decided to google a recipe for the icing just like the one that comes in the little plastic cup with the pop-cardboard-cinnamon-bun things, and here's the secret behind the magic:

2 cups confectioners sugar
2-3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

mix together (adding heavy cream or confectioners sugar appropriately to get the consistency you want) and spoon over warm buns.

uh-may-zing. thank you, bread baker's apprentice.

Monday, April 4, 2011

guest blogger: korie's san tan-tonio

what's better than a guest post to kick off my return from hiatus? :) - annie


Loving the new OPI Texas collection. Tried the San it! Def will do this one again sometime.

back in business

hey guys! sincere apologies for last week's unannounced/unexplained hiatus from the blog. i had a sudden family emergency back in baltimore last weekend and didn't feel up to tackling blog posts at all last week. i'm also buried in emails, so if you've written me and i haven't responded, it's nothing personal. i'll get back to you as soon as i dig out, i promise. however, i am back this week and ready to roll - with some good recipes and fashionable finds coming your way.

nick and i spent the weekend doing some really fun things - thursday night was the AMP party at ACL live where nick and i stayed up way past our bedtime so we could dance it up with ghostland observatory, friday night was a coworker's birthday party followed by cold war kids at stubbs, saturday was a bit of shopping at one of my favorite austin boutiques fab'rik, the lonestar roundup out at the expo center, drinks at perla's and dinner at vince young steakhouse, and yesterday was breakfast at torchy's, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, about 600 loads of laundry and dinner with our neighbor at hut's. and through all of that, i didn't take a single photo to share with you guys. bad blogger. bad.

in other news, emilio is once again becoming an escape artist from the backyard. rather than climb the chain link fence like he did last time, he's now squirreling in between two fences, shimmy-ing his way through 10 yards of fence to freedom. makes me nervous that he's gonna get hurt. thank you to our neighbors for keeping an eye out for him until we figure out a permanent solution.

thanks again for being patient with me during last week's hiatus. i'm back in biz.