Wednesday, June 30, 2010

cupcake craze continues

While out grabbing lunch, I spotted a new food cart in downtown Richmond- Sweet Melissa's Cupcakes. An adorable girl (presumably Melissa) was working the cart, though she bashfully refused to be photographed. She's just opened shop though has sold out most days. I should have asked what hours she's around, but you can catch these cupcakes on E. Main at 12th across from Quiznos.

At $2.25, the cupcakes aren't cheap, but compare to most specialty cupcake shops. Melissa had four varieties on sale, and a list of seven on the menu she sent with me to distribute in my office (sorry, it's just two of us here!) A glass dome covers the dislay cupcakes while the ones for sale are individually boxed in plastic take-out containers. (Bonus: free tupperware!)

I got the classic chocolate cupcake, and it managed to avoid the mistakes of many cupcakeries (yes, I just coined that word.) The cake was moist and tasted homemade. The icing was soft and not overly sweet (chocolate buttercream.) If I had gotten more than one, I would have tried the 'Humingbird' cake with cream cheese frosting.

Sorry I didn't get a closeup of the treats, my battery died after the first picture. Anyone else in Richmond tried these yet? Thoughts?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

guilt-y purchase

Just ordered these from Design History, on sale at I really hope they fit correctly; I'm a bit nervous about the romper. I ordered it a size up because things that fit too snug around my waist are not flattering. The dress is a much more forgiving cut, so it should work great (fingers crossed!) Each was $45, about 60% off the original listing. The gray dress will be a summer constant, because right now it's too hot for clothes. Only bad part is they won't come for 8-12 days!

Gilt is an invite-only, free website that lists a few designers a day and has fantastic deals. Often the clothes are still a bit out of my budget (a $600 dress for $200 is still $200) but there have been some great deals and the clothes are often fun to look at even if I can't afford them.

Think you may want to sign up for Gilt? Use this code! (It gives me credit if you end up buying anything, so I'll love you forever.)

quick pic: hands across the sand

[Hands Across the Sand: Virginia Beach]
Part of nationwide protest of offshore drilling.
More images here. More information here.

quick pic: mail

[Old mailboxes at the 2nd St Post Office.]

Saturday, June 26, 2010

sister dinner date

Lately Richmond has exploded with woodfired pizza places. For the full breakdown, check out RVAFoodie's pizza quest. Of course, the day before he posts, I end up with my little sister at Stuzzi. Pizza just seemed like the perfect sisters meal and I wanted a place to sit down, relax and have a glass of wine. We split an appetizer, salad, pizza and dessert. Overall we had a great meal, though with the burst of new pizza joints Stuzzi will have to work to shine above the rest (and I do plan to visit the rest!)

[Potato and proscutto croquettes]
My sister decided it tasted like "fried mashed potatoes with proscutto" which is pretty accurate, and accurately describes the deliciousness. However, at $6 for 4, they are rather pricey and the proscutto is not well destributed. My first bite was full of a giant piece but the rest of the croquettes had only one or two very small pieces.

[Arugula with shaved Parmesan]
Solid salad, but missing something. It may have just been fresh ground pepper or a bit more balsamic in the dressing but lacked the pop of an excellent basic salad.

[Cotto ham pizza]
This is where Stuzzi shined. Great woodfired crust, excellent cheese. The ham was good though could have used a bit more (or maybe I was just sad not to have a spicy pepperoni.) The pizza is very soft on bottom so we sort of folded it in half, but perpendicular to New York syle.

Best Italian dessert ever? Possibly. This isn't the style of tartufo my grandmother insisted we eat in Rome, but it was quite tasty. My sister and I avoided the cherry and enjoyed the ice cream and chocolate crust.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

puerto rico: architecture pt 1: old san juan

I don't have much to caption each of these with since most of just random buildings, but I hope this gives you a bit of a the feel of Old San Juan. It's a very small area, perfect for walking in an afternoon, and feels very European with just a hint of the Caribbean.

music of the day: jenny and johnny

I love Jenny Lewis. Love Rilo Kiley, love her collaboration with the Watson Twins, love her solo album so have been looking forward to hearing her newest work with Johnny Rice, recorded as "Jenny and Johnny." Luckily one song, "Scissor Runner" is available
for download now- for free!

it's in a book

Check out these shirts featuring iconic book covers, from Out of Print (viaReady-Made blogs.) As a bibliophile and cover art junkie, I love the idea. I think some of the cover art works out better as a tshirt than others. Some screams "book cover!" while others are an interesting graphic statement on their own. Still, at $28 the tshirts aren't unreasonably priced and Out of Print donates one book to a community in need in Africa through their partner Books for Africa. (You knew I had to link that, right?)

I loved the Catcher in the Rye and love the choice of this cover for a shirt. Would I feel like a phony wearing it? Since I've read the book dozens of times, definitely not.

Fahrenheit 451 is another favorite of mine. My copy didn't have this image, I'm pretty sure if was more minimal but I'm guessing this was the original cover. It's a solid choice for the tshirt because it's interesting but clearly reads as the book cover. The "read and destroy" seals the image for me.

Walden just doesn't excite me as a tshirt. It looks like "I loved the book Walden so I bought a shirt with it on the cover. Period." Blah.

When I first read on Ready-Made about this company, I knew there was one cover that I would have to buy the shirt of if it was available. Sadly, Out of Print has the Fitzgerald above (a very nice shirt) but not the one I'm obsessed with.

I love the Great Gatsby but I fell in love with the cover before I read the book. While reading, I frequently closed the book to study the cover for connections. In fact, I wrote a paper in 10th grade about the connections between the colors/images on the cover and the story itself. In Puerto Rico, I saw someone with just the woman from the cover tattooed on his arm and immediately recognized the image (and accosted him but he was glad to discuss his favorite piece of literature.)

The cover art was commissioned while the book was being written and the artist didn't have the whole book to read. After the cover art was done, Fitzgerald saw it and liked it so much that he "wrote it into the book."

Out of Print, please make a Great Gatsby shirt!

Monday, June 21, 2010

salute to the white dog

I had never been to The White Dog, but when @RVAFoodie coordinated a Twitter meetup to support The White Dog in their last week of existance I knew I wanted to check it out. Jason (aka RVAFoodie) has made several great recommendations for me in the past and I knew this wouldn't disappoint. The White Dog did have a good casual vibe (minus one elderly man hitting on my baby sister) and I could see myself hanging out there with a friend or a group. We ended up with a free batch of catfish fingers that were quite tasty but I wasn't sad not to have discovered The White Dog earlier until my sister suggested we get dessert. Heaven!

[Bread pudding.]
The best I ever had.

[Chocolate ganache.]
As rich as the center of a truffle. With foamy whipped cream and hidden strawberry syrup.

Somehow despite the three of us at my table having eaten a full dinner and dessert prior to arrival then the catfish fingers, we managed to get through both desserts. We had been served an extra, unordered bread pudding but we gave it to Jason to return the favor.

The White Dog is open through Saturday so check it out!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

farmers market morning

[Vintage Chevy truck- love!]

[My sister!]

I really like this outfit. The skirt is from Tulle and I was in love with it forever before finally getting it. I just got the tank from Target, part of my recent obsession with stripes and nautical inspired details. I paired it with my current favorite necklace and yellow strappy sandals.

[I did her hair!]

[Lemon blueberry popsicle]

[Fruit for cobbler and eating by the river]

waiting at the train station

I love trains.
I wish we still had bustling train travel with ladies carrying hat boxes and dining cars with white table clothes.

Sadly, nowadays trains are almost as expensive as planes and never run on time. Which means that when waiting for my little sister to arrive I had a lot of time to wait around. So I took pictures.

My new favorite necklace.
Made from a vintage necklace, pin and tassel from another vintage necklace.

Friday, June 11, 2010

puerto rico: flora and fauna

[Unknown flowers]

All over Vieques there were semi-wild horses.
Their owners would ride them when they needed them, but otherwise they would roam free.

[Sting ray]
We watched a fisherman catch this sting ray. Typically sting ray is eaten in Puerto Rico, but he let this one free.

Conch is also a specialty, though I wasn't a big fan the one time I tried it. I did bring an empty conch shell I found on the beach to my little sister for a graduation present.

[Hermit crab]

[Crab claw]
What amazing colors!

Chegui chased this crab so I could get a good picture. It mostly just looks really goofy.

Somehow the colors of everything in Puerto Rico were more amazing than we have here.

These chickens lived near our guesthouse and like the horses just kind of wandered around.

[Sculpted palm tree in San Juan.]