Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

I love ice cream. I LOVE ICE CREAM! There. I said it. It's true. I love the rich, creamy, cold yumminess of a great scoop of ice cream. I love Ben and I love Jerry. And if there is an heir to the Haagan Daz throne, is he single and can I sign up to be Mrs. Haagan Daz? Up here in Unpreppy Upstate NY, there are lots of darling little ice cream stands. Many even make their own ice cream. Boutique ice cream, if you will. My favorite place up here is Moxie's. Way out in the middle of nowhere country. You wait in line for 20-30 minutes. But you need that much time to decide which creative recipe you want to try. On Monday we went for the first time this season and I tried Banana Blueberry. OMG! To die for! I love that the woman who owns the stand does this for fun. She is a teacher overseas. But her family has owned the stand for generations and she comes back every spring (it is really still spring up here) and summer to make ice cream for the masses (OK- not masses by most standards- but there are truly always lines of people waiting for that perfect scoop) because she really loves it. Her recipes change daily. And she makes what she feels like making. So if you like something- get it now or you may never see it again. She is an ice cream artist, if there is such a thing.

But for those nights when I face the fact that I will be in several upcoming weddings (including one for my sorority little sister, J, in Hawaii), I have found a suitable substitution. OK, so nothing is "just as good" as the real thing. But these Edy's Fruit Bars are a solid second place. They come in the best flavors (my favs are coconut (3 g fat) and strawberry (ZERO fat!!)) and are the perfect size (I like the bars but could not get that picture to come out well so you are looking at the pops). And what's more- the fact that I am even eating ice cream and frozen fruit bars means that it is warm-even HOT- up here. Ding dong, the snow is gone. I am loving every sunny, warm moment of summer after our seemingly endless winter!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bargain Black Hole

Why is it that when I go to Target for a few items, I walk out with a few zillion items that I didn't even know I "needed" until Target kindly showed them to me? Why?

Today I ran into Target for exactly two items. Two. Toilet paper and toothpaste. That's all that I needed and I fully intended to just run in and run out. I have done it before so I know that it is possible to run in and run out. It is not urban myth. But oh, it is so hard to do sometimes. In general, I am not even a superstore shopper. I avoid Kmart and despise Walmart. But Tar-jay is different. It is just so fun in there.

So what gets me lately is that darn dollar section right when you walk in. It is always full of colorful crap that I just can't pass up at the bargain $1 price. Then I get it home and try to remember to return it- not because I need the $3 back but because I really do not need more junk at home. I am an organization freak who is still somehow always fighting a pile of random clutter.

But today I really did find my version of gold in the dollar bins. Super cute cards! I am a complete stationary addict. I have been as long as I can remember. I love stores like Papyrus and Crane's- they just suck me in and sell me boxes of pretty cards that I just can't live without. My dear friend E and I once stumbled upon a Papyrus outlet in Maryland one time. Not only was it an outlet but they were having a sale. Here is how the conversation went...

Store girl: All those boxes are $1

Us: EVERYTHING on this table is only $1 (gasping realizing that the boxes are all originally between $15 and $30)?!!!

Store girl: Yes (not at all amused by us)

Us: How much are these boxes (now over at a different section of the store)? Are these on sale, too?

Store girl: They are a dollar (even less amused by us)

Us: What about this box (still we are not getting about a double blonde moment!)?

Store girl: Everything in the store is a dollar (annoyed she even has to talk to us)

Us: What about the bags and ribbons and paper? OMG is it all on sale too (very very excited at even the thought)?!

Store girl: (huffs) Yes, everything in the store is $1 (very annoyed now that she has to both re-answer our question and pause her phone convo w her friend)

Us: (walking to the store entrance where we can see two other girls asking the same questions to themselves) EVERYTHING IN HERE IS ONLY $1!

E and I walked out with bags (plural) of stationary, gift bags, ribbons, and who knows what else! To this day, that is one of the coolest, unexpected shopping experiences. It really is all about the small things in life!

But I Target.....well just look at the picture. They have the most adorable birthday, baby, bridal and other random cards. They are colorful and dimensional and only $1! I do actually use cards and stationary A LOT. OK, so I will never use all of the paper that I own. But I mail cards and letters and notes to friends and family all the time. It's just one of "my things" in life I guess. But I love knowing that I am sending someone something that is purely pleasure to open. Oh, and what is cool is that I have several girlfriends who love stationary as much as I do. My best friend even has her own little (but rapidly growing) custom stationary business- her work is amazing!

So bottom line is that I walked in for TP and toothpaste and walked out with a bathing suit (I am going to HI for a wedding so that was totally justified....or so I am telling myself), two tops, a pair of capri pants (that I need like a hole in the head. Capri pants are one of my clothing addictions!), TP and a zillion fun cards. Totally forgot the toothpaste!

I will be sure to go to the drugstore tomorrow for the toothpaste- I am avoiding Target at all costs. It is a bargain black hole- just sucks me in and shows me things I "need."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shoes Make a Great Gift!

One of my dearest friends, E, is getting married to a wonderful man this summer. E and I became the closest of friends living on the Hill in DC. We were always out and about going to museums, shopping, working on our many Junior League committees, shopping, finding new restaurants, shopping, and just exploring our great city. My point is that we walked a LOT.

So a few weeks ago I found this adorable pair of driving loafers in a cute little store. They are bright and fun and the logo looks identical to Lilly. They had my name all over them! So of course I brought them home with me. I love them- soooo comfortable!

Then I got to thinking, E needs these too. But while I do love sending random gifts to my girlfriends, these felt like they needed an actual occasion to be given. Her bridal shower! I rarely give shower gifts (bridal or baby) from a registry, thinking it is more fun to give something creative and often include a made-by-me component. But for the life of me. I could not figure out how to spin a pair of shoes into a bridal shower present.

It hit me- they are the PERFECT gift from me to E. They represent not only our history as friends, but also the comfort a bride needs during the last few crazy planning months. I wrote a great note and insisted that our friend, B, who was attending in person and brought my gift for me, make sure that E read the card before opening the gift. It was sweet and sentimental and it was a hit! I also made a belt and headband to coordinate- a fun touch I thought.

I know, it still doesn't make much sense at a bridal shower. But it is just so us, Preppy Pink Crocodile and E! She loved it! And I loved being able to give her something different and special in preparation for her Big Day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

All Choked Up

Two random things today to tell you that are not at all related to each other...

First- this is what I had for dinner last night. The most ginormous artichoke ever! I saw it in the grocery store and gasped when I realized it was the normal artichoke price of about $2. I included my best Vana White imperssion as I hold it to show you just how humongo it was.

Artichokes have been one of my favorite foods since childhood. When I was given a dinner choice I would pick things like steamed artichokes, Cornish hens, acorn squash, or roast pork with veggies. Don't get me wrong, I also have a major sweet tooth. But as an adult I look back and laugh at my very un-kid-like favorite foods. (side note to parents out there who have kids begging for sugar cereals. When I was about 5 I begged my mother to buy me "Strawberry Shortcake" cereal because I loved the doll so much. I begged and begged and begged. So she said, if I buy it for you, you have to promise you will eat it. Oh I PROMISE I said. She finally bought it and OMG it was disgusting! So terrible!! And she made me eat it every morning for an entire week. You better believe I ate my Cheerios without a single complaint after that!)

But I digress... So about 3 years ago a friend enlightened me to the fact that one can steam an artichoke in the microwave in just minutes. All my life I have spent what felt like forever steaming the suckers on the stove top. I don't use my microwave for much other than heating up the occasional leftover but this is the single best use ever for one in my opinion. Just 5 minutes for the small ones. Yumo-o!!

Second- this is part of an email my bestie in GA sent to me today. Of course we went back and forth listing our pet peeves but I thought y'all would get a kick out of her initial email. What are your dress code pet peeves?
...can we just discuss "age-approriate" clothing for a minute here?... this is a totaly blog-worthy subject but i think some of my "friends" might be offended. ok so i'm at a deli grabbing a sammich at lunch and this lady comes in... prob in her 50's. very attractive, cute hairstyle... slim figure but curvy. ok she's wearing some kind of stylish jeans - which are fine - not too over the top trendy, but then on top she has this blousy printed spaghetti strap number. kind of the peasanty look - it fell to her lower hip (not tight are anything) - but it just was NOT age appropriate. and it's not like i can say she physically looked bad in it or it was ill-fitting, but it was just too "young" looking on her. it seriously looked like she went through her 25 yr old daughter's wardrobe.
and then there are the over 30 belly bearing women. I find this a bit repulsive. I know your belly is firm and looks great and good for you! but a middrift bearing top? you have two kids... gimme a break! Honestly I think anyone out of college shouldn't be bearing the middrift... (I honestly don't like the look period, but...) Didn't witness this one today but a couple of my coworkers posted pics from a concert they went to the other night.. both are in their early 30's and yes, they look great, but seriously... you don't have to bear it all to look hot.
anyway.... that's my pet peeve of the day! feel free to elaborate or address another one!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Preppy Fresh and Clean

It's the time of year I find myself searching for that perfect gift for recent graduates and friends just making a change to new cities. Does an 18 year old really need a pen that will get lost or another silver picture frame? Probably not- though I do love an engraved silver frame myself. So my favorite easy to embellish gift is a set of towels. Perfect for a dorm room, new apartment or first house.

This is so easy, it is embarrassing. I used two ribbons, the stripe ribbon is 7/8" and the second solid ribbon is 1 3/8". Simply measure the ribbon about 1" longer than the width of the towel. Sew the 7/8" ribbon onto the 1 3/8" ribbon. I sewed on both sides and down two stripes to be sure it was extra secure. Then pin the now 1 3/8" ribbon onto the slightly indented section of the towel. Start sewing about 1" down on one of the long sides of the ribbon. This allows for the ribbon to shift and prevents those annoying bumpies. Sew down, across, up and across. I then sewed on top of that again because a towel will likely take a lot of stress in and out of the wash frequently.

If you have an embroidery machine, it would be darling with a monogram. But even without, I think it is pretty darn cutie. And totally practical too! Use different colored towels and ribbons to personalize it to his and her own taste. It would be adorable too in college colors for those about to leave for their first year of school away from home.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This is using my full name....

Your Preppy Name Is...
Elbridge Brinsley Ingram the ThirdBut most people know you as Muffy
This is using the nickname that I go by most of the time (seriously, I have friends who don't even really know what my full name is even though my nickname is initials)...
Your Preppy Name Is...
Holbrook Olney Abercrombie the FifthBut most people know you as Cricket

Pretty Plate

Like many, I have this thing about my plate of food looking pretty. I love to see a beautiful plate of rich colors and textures. My theory is that food that looks good is good for me. Now, this also contributes to my ever-expanding waistline but that is a topic for another day I think.

We have only recently been graced with heat up here in the far northeast. So until a week ago, all of my dinners were cooked in the oven as usual. But now that we are able to keep the windows open and eat on the deck, I am all about the fun salads and sandwiches and dips. And the bonus is that I have leftovers for my lunch.

The other day I made my favorite chicken salad recipe. It is an adaptation from one in a Junior League of Washington cookbook. It is so yummy - a must for a summer meal when you just can't bring yourself to heat up the kitchen with the oven.

Curry Chicken Salad

*2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and chopped into large chunks (use leftovers if you have them. I never do so I just season with salt and pepper and cook with a little EVOO spray)
*2-3 celery stalks, chopped
*3-4 green onions, chopped
*1/2 cup golden raisins
*1/2 cup chopped cashews
*1/2 ripe cantaloupe, chopped into large chunks
*1/2 cup sour cream (I prefer fat free but use your favorite)
*1/2 cup mayo (again, I prefer fat free but use your favorite)
*1/2 cup mango curry
*salt and pepper to taste

Chop, mix and enjoy. I love it in a pita pocket with mixed greens, but any bread will certainly be a yummy addition to this delish summer salad.

This is actually best if you make it ahead of time and let the flavors marry in the fridge for a while, even overnight if you are that ahead of schedule.

This was my lunch today. Isn't it just pretty enough to eat?

Preppy Pink Crocodile

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

I have read several blogs, including Sharp Lily, about these green flats living in a box at my neighborhood Payless shoe store. And as a lover of all things pink and green, you know I ran over there to see for myself. When I lived in DC, my dear friend E and I would occassionally pop into the Payless store next G Street Fabrics, my most favorite fabric store EVER! But I digress... So I would say about once a year or so I will visit a Payless store and leave with a box of random fun shoes that I wear once and feel ok about considering the minor cost involved. So inside my store the other day I found not one, but TWO pairs of cute green flats. But I thought that they were both very uncomfortable on my feet. I also then remembered that I already own a fabulous pair of kelly green pointy toe kitten heels that I bought several years ago that I LOVE. But since I was already in the store, I might as well play dress up....right?

Well I hit the cheap-o shoe jackpot! I found this cute pink pair for a whoping $8! Now it is true that you get what you pay for. The sole of the pink shoe is very very thin and I would never make it on a day I was doing a ton of walking for hours on end. But they are adorable and comfortable for running a few errands or going to weekend meetings. The gold shoes look so cute with jeans and the black flats look just like ballet toe shoes. I feel like a prancy ballerina when I wear them. And what girl doesn't want to feel prancy now and then?! I have worn all three pairs already and have received masses of compliments on each pair.

I also find it hilarious that when given a sweet compliment, I get a little squeamish and almost apologize. I say something silly like, "oh no, I bought them for $15 at Payless. I don't normally go to Payless but...." As if I did something wrong. I always catch myself saying such things after the fact and laugh. I mean, they are what the are. They are cheap shoes that will last a single season. But they are cute and fun and because of the price I can buy out the store and not feel guilty.

Oh, did I mention that because of a buy one get the second half off sale, my total for the three pairs of shoes was ....(drum roll please!)..... $35!

Happy Shoe Shopping!
Preppy Pink Crocodile

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Welcome to my blog...

I have no idea why I feel the need to fit this into my daily activities. But I just recently discovered blogs and I am obsessed. I love seeing all of the fun project ideas, recipes and just general daily chatter that is out there. I love all of the pink and green ladies who love pearls, monograms, college sororities, southern style and entertaining.

I love all things pink and green, Lilly, polo shirts with popped collars, monograms, ribbon belts, colorful fabric, and my very cute and preppy puppy.

This will either prove to be a successful obsession on my end or a brief fling with a new toy, so to speak. But either way, I hope to share with everyone, who has unknowingly shared so much with me already, my own take in being crafty, an entertainer, and a girl trying to bring a little pretty southern flair to my most un-preppy northern city.

Preppy Pink Crocodile


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