my wish list for vacation

i have so many awesome trips planned this summer - sandestin, orlando, orange county, atlanta, fort walton, and las vegas (hopefully!) - that i'm itching to shop for. here's what's on my wish list:

the romper:

i love these! this falls under my mom's "should have saved those 25 years ago" category. because of my height, sometimes i look like a giant baby in a onesie, but ella moss makes a long romper - perfect for tall girls!  you can find this one at bloomingdales (ella moss, $132).

the plastic watch:
i adore my white plastic watch. it goes with everything, it's carefree, and it makes anyone look tan! toy makes a beautiful watch - but you can find knock-offs in most boutiques. you can find this one at saks (toy watches, $295).

the panama hat:
j.crew has done it again. this hat is an instant classic - the look of a fedora with a timeless, casual edge. i tried this on in j.crew's the beach store in sandestin and fell in love instantly. they offer two colors - the one above looks fabulous on my dark hair. you can find this in any j.crew store (j.crew, $58).

the boho bikini:
a little bit surfer girl, a touch bohemian, a missoni look-a-like - this bikini covers all the bases. billabong classifies this bikini under "must-haves" - and i couldn't agree more. it's sold in separates available in s, m, l. the top's called isabella and matches the dana bottoms. you can get it in select stores, billabong stores, and online (billabong, isabella $38, dana $39.50).

happy summer shopping!


summer reading list

when i was a kid, my best friend and i used to ride our bikes to the library weekly (if not multiple times) searching for books to fill our summer days. i'm not talking a small bike ride either - it was at least 4 miles each way. we would spend HOURS exploring the shelves, searching for a sweet valley high book we hadn't read four times yet. 

we would load our books into bags, load bags onto handlebars, and carefully strike a balance that would carry us home. i know my love of reading goes wayyyy back, but i know my love of summer reading is tied to those trips.

after completing my first year of graduate school, i was beyond ready to start my summer reading. my chosen material may have matured over the years - but my giddy excitement remains the same. some of the books i'd been saving, some of them just caught my eye, and some of them had been calling my name for almost a year now. finally - i can read what i want, when i want, however i want.

here's what's in store:
1. Loose Girl, Kerry Cohen
2. This is Why You're Fat, Jackie Warner
3. Wasted, Marya Hornbacher
4. Spoken from the Heart, Laura Bush
5. One Fifth Avenue, Candace Bushnell
6. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Chuck Klosterman

the list will be much longer as time goes on, but this is a good start. i've already finished Loose Girl (which was shocking and gripping and wonderful) and will post a review later on. as i read each book, i'll share my thoughts. happy summer reading!


new earthfare store!

being from Dallas, i'm used to having practically everything at my fingertips. especially speciality food stores. whole foods, trader joes, and other smaller, local healthfood stores seemed to adhere to walgreen's old adage, "one on every corner."

when I moved to alabama, no large healthfood stores existed in the state. what was a girl to do?! finally, a whole foods opened in time for me to move to huntsville. again, no healthfood stores. you can imagine my delight when a friend told me about an earthfare opening only a few miles from my home. i perused their website, getting familiar with the store and their philosophies while it was being built.

yesterday, it opened! i visited the store first thing this morning - so excited to see everything first that i had to fight the urge to plow over patrons with my cute little buggy. 

this store is FABULOUS! the bulk section is to die for. nuts, granolas, oats, flours, dried fruit, candies, spices - you name it, it's in bulk section. i got raw walnuts, sesame oat bran sticks, and roasted soybeans. 

perhaps the best part of this store is the bargains. typically, weekly deals at healthfood stores bring the prices down to barely affordable. but at earthfare, i couldn't believe how reasonable the weekly deals were. i got two bags of eatsmart naturals snacks (by snyder's) for $3.99. plus, they accept manufacturer's coupons, so I saved another $1 off that purchase. whole pineapples were only $1.97 and bananas were just $.59/pound. 

the delightful atmosphere, healthful food philosophy, great prices, and the fresh, bright produce will keep me coming back again and again. 

photo courtesy of earthfare's website.


super yummy no bake protein bars

yesterday, i conquered protein bars!

throughout my boyfriend and my relationship, we've consumed about a dump-truck load's worth of protein bars. chocolate chip, cookie-dough, chocolate peanut butter, chewy, chunky, chalky - you name it - we've tried it.

we both weight train - and consuming protein is a large part of that. however, i've become more concerned recently about what we're put into our bodies. after reading some of the labels on said protein bars and choking on 24-letter words i can't pronounce, i decided to venture into the kitchen and give it a whirl. 

i decided to try a recipe from Oxygen magazine (one of my favs!). here's the recipe (with a few of my own variations):

1 1/2 cups dry oatmeal
2 scoops of chocolate whey protein 
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp wheat germ 
1 cup dry, non-fat milk (powdered)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter 
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Spray an 8x8 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Mix dry ingredients (through dry milk) in a large bowl. Mix well.
3. Add wet ingredients. Mix well. I use a silicone spatula and my hands to fold the mixture - it will be sticky and thick!
4. Place spoonfuls of mixture on the bottom of glass dish (covering entire dish). Use spatula to press down evenly.
5. Press wax paper onto protein bars, covering tightly. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours.
6. Cut into 9 squares and wrap each separately in cling wrap.
7. Keep refrigerated.

these bars are super good. they aren't especially sweet, but taste great. they're also really filling - perfect for pre- or post-workout.

According to Oxygen, the nutrition facts are: Calories: 260; Total fat: 7 g; Saturated fat: 1 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 23 mg; Sodium: 125 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 34 g; Sugar: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; and Protein: 15 g. However, I omitted dried fruit, so the carb and sugar count is probably less than described. 


an idea...as always

i'm full of ideas. really. i practically live in my own head. i can't even begin to tell you how many books i've written. except i haven't actually written them. i've thought them. on a walk today with my faithful puppy, deep in thought, i decided i should really write some of my thoughts down. i think i may be running out of room up there. so here goes.