Saturday, May 16, 2009

Are you betting on the ponies today?

I am! I'm definitely betting on Rachel Alexandra since she's not only the fav, but also shares mi nombre... :). Here I am at the "mudbug" otb in Chicago. Sketchy, huh? :)

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, May 9, 2009

In line at Stanley's

Officially the best and least expensive produce market in the city!

Posted by ShoZu

Friday, May 8, 2009

Skinny Girl Margarita Party!

Told you I'm obsessed with eating healthy lately. I had a couple of girlfriends over for dinner on Saturday, and we had a fab time! Everyone had some Skinny Girl Margaritas, courtesy of my favorite Real Housewife of New York, Bethenny (prob. butchered the spelling. Sorry!).

Isn't it so much fun to throw a dinner party? I love setting the scene, but I'm just learning how, as evidenced by my "beginners" set-up on the bar. I did love the colors, though, and had to share. What is your favorite drink to serve at a dinner party?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring has sprung!

This is right outside our buildings front door! I'm feeling all twitterpated!

Posted by ShoZu

Did he do it??

Ok, so Kate can definitely be a wench, but with the responsibility of 8 kids hanging over her head, I can definitely understand how being a little blunt becomes part of your personality. Regardless, I absolutely LOVE watching that show. I love watching the kids, and I'm so sad to think of the possibility that Kate and Jon would divorce! Kate seems to be one of those chicks who won't stick around if her man is a cheater, so I hope its not true. :( So.... do you think he did it?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Also obsessing over flowers in the house lately!

Isn't this a pretty way for your home to say "hi" when you walk in the door? :)

Posted by ShoZu

What I'm obsessing about these days

Does anyone feel that every time they discover something new it becomes an obsession for a while? I feel like my obsessions change often, and these days I'm obsessing about the following:

1. My new iPhone! The apps are INCREDIBLE! I downloaded one called "Lose it", and it allows me to keep track of my calorie intake and excercise output each day. REALLY easy, too - it already has most foods in it's system, and its really easy to add specific foods that aren't in there, like "Trader Joes Greek Pizza" for instance. It also tells you exactly how many calories you need to consume to meet whatever your goals are. I want to lose about 6 pounds, and I want to do it at a rate of 1/2 a pound a week, which means I can eat exactly 1,683 calories a day! SO fun and easy.

1.5 A natural spin off, due in part to the iPhone is a renewed motivation in terms of diet and excercise. As my wedding approached, I discovered that I really could lose weight by changing my diet, and now that I've gained it all back, I'm really motivated to get back to that wedding weight. This time, however, I'm also adding in excercise (I was too busy when planning my wedding to exercise and lost all the weight by not eating much).

2. (HEALTHY) Cooking and cleaning! My husband and I did a HUGE spring clean two weeks ago, and I'm trying my hardest to keep it up! It does not come naturally to me. :) Ask my Mom and all my former roommates. (By the way, I also downloaded the Epicurious app on my iPhone - it has all the same recipies as their website, and you can also make shopping lists directly from their recipe!) My major malfunction lately is that I clean the kitchen BEFORE I make dinner, and then I get too tired to clean it after. It's a vicious cycle.

so what are your current obsessions? Do you do this too? Become obsessed with one or two things in your life?
P.S. Funny pic, huh? ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jen Lancaster's new book due out today! Get it while its hot!

Ok, so its always going to be hot - I mean, get it while its hot off the presses! :)

It is no secret that I have a platonic girl-crush on Jen Lancaster. You can read my previous reviews of her books HERE and HERE. I CAN'T WAIT to pick up the latest - "Pretty in Plaid", and YOU should too! Trust me, you're gonna love her.

Just got an IPhone!

This is my first mobile post... From my spare bedroom. I'm really venturing out of my little bubble here! Do any of you have the iPhone? What is your favorite app?

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Our living room

Hi gang - been spending a lot of time decorating and perfecting lately. I'm going to post some pics and I want YOU to tell me what YOU would do to our apartment! Only catch is: you can only add to it, you can't take anything away. :) This way, we'll get some awesome decorating tips from a whole bunch of creative minds! Feel free to blog about this on your blogs so that you can add pics, etc - just be sure to leave a link in the comments! Thanks, and go nuts!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


1. BookWormz hit 100 sales on April 22! Congrats NotNessie and Shhh - I'm Reading! Please shoot me an email with your choices of BookWormz and address - pick anything in my store with the exception of Couture pieces and the "Flags of Our Fathers BookWorm"! :) My email address is

2. Went to see Britney Spears last night with some girlfriends! It was a good show, but I saw her Onyx Hotel tour and I have to say it was better. Her costumes were amazing, though, and the opening by Perez Hilton was so fab. :) My husband called me when we were on our way to the arena and sang "Ooops, I'm the oldest one there", which made me giggle. Surprisingly, my 30 year old girlfriends and I were NOT the oldest ones there (okay, so the older ones were moms. To teenagers... KIDDING), and there were lots of groups of girls around our age. I think if a single guy wanted to meet girls, there may be no better place than a Britney concert.

3. I took today and tomorrow off. Just for the heck of it. :) Off to enjoy! Talk to you all soon! xoxo

Saturday, April 25, 2009

off to get my nails did

:) Sorry I've been neglecting my lil blog - I've been a VERY busy girl. This morning I'm going to get a mani/peddie with some of my girlfriends and then out to lunch, but I PROMISE this weekend I'll do some updating. I have a special announcement to make, so stay tuned! Hopefully my nails do not look this... artistic... when I'm done!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

pretty spring Tulips

Just love this bouquet - I put it together at Crate and Barrel (they have a flower section in the one I go to), and I just think it is so simple and sweet and spring-like! :) Hope you enjoy like I do! :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Book Review - Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster

(note, the full name of the novel is as follows, but if you'd like to buy it, you can just look for "Such a Pretty Fat" haha)

"Such a Pretty Fat - One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big" or "Why Pie Is Not the Answer" by Jen Lancaster - 5!!!!

Rating Scale: 1 – Didn’t Finish. 2 – Meh. 3 – Kept my interest, but probably wouldn’t read again. 4 – Would Recommend. 5 – LOVED IT! Added it to my list of favorites!

"Such a Pretty Fat" by Jen Lancaster absolutely lived up to my expectations. I've read a few of Jen Lancaster's books, and I laugh out loud on pretty much every page. This can be very embarrassing when you're in public, and it can also keep your husband up at night when you're reading and he's trying to go to sleep. :) You've been warned.

"Such a Pretty Fat" is a memoir about Jen's struggle to lose weight. Let me clarify - Jen is incredibly self-confident (as she should be! She's totally fabulous - I got to meet her at a book club in Chicago once. Loved her. If this were a Lancaster book, this aside would be a footnote at the bottom of the page haha) and while searching for her next book topic, decided to submit an idea to her publishing house for a book that documented her personal weight loss journey. If she didn't have to write about it, she wouldn't have felt it was necessary, because she knows how totally awesome she is as documented in the following: "My teeth are superwhite, my hair is bouncy, and if I saw me on the street, I'd totally think I was cute. If I were single, guys would want to date me because I wouldn't be the kind of pain in the ass who orders the lobster, takes a bite, and declares herself full. Clean-plate club, baby!" (p. 77). That's what you love about Jen, as you live through this gruelling, but ultimately triumphant, weight loss struggle. You just can't help but fall in love with her honest, quirky observations and experiences.

I think I also loved this book (and all Jen's books) because it takes place in my city - Chicago. I completely relate to her stories about public transportation (like the one where her adorable husband gets spit on by a homeless lady on the "El", which is our version of the subway, or the stories of people-watching in weird neighborhoods with her husband when they go to get gelato). Jen is a master at making the scene come alive, and as I read this book, I found myself involuntarily shouting "YES! I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!" while laughing hard enough to make milk (ok, wine) come out of my nose.

Here are a few of my favorite passages:

(after explaining that she hated her recent trip to New York and being told she couldn't really blame the city for her bad trip) "Fair enough. However, this was the first time I didn't come home wanting to move there afterward. Loving New York has been such a constant in my life that the trip was weird. It's like I've had a crush on New York for years, and we finally hook up and I find out he still reads comic books, has skid-marked undies, and smells like summer sausage." (p. 185)

(talking about how her husband's closet is perfectly organized) "I bet he'd never shove his dirty wedding dress in a garbage bag and stuff it on a shelf in the back of his closet for five years until he just now remembered he should probably get it cleaned." (p. 177) (ummmmmmmmmm - awwwkwaaaarddddd......)

Honestly, there are so many passages that are hysterical. I can personally relate to these two, so they really stood out for me, but I can almost promise you'll end up in giggles every time you open this book. Overall, the theme of this book is that even though we all have things we can work on, we should be happy to be ourselves, and we should work towards being the best version of ourselves possible. I highly recommend this book - a lighthearted read with a great underlying message.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Celebrity baby name or computer virus - can you tell the difference?

Click HERE to find out!

What to do with a sick husband?

I've never had one before. He has a cough and the chills, and since I've never had a sick husband before, I'm not quite sure what to do with him. I'm forcing lots of liquids down, but he's just not cooperating...

*****fine print - this is not actually my husband. I googled "sick" and this is what came up. Awesome huh? :) The article that came attached explains that this is a bodybuilder named HUGO and that he wasn't feeling well and was debating whether or not to work out. Looks like someone needs to get to the gym to me... I mean, how out of shape can one man BE? ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Look into your crystal ball...

So I have 94 sales on ETSY right now. I'm going to run a contest for my blog readers - if you correctly predict the date of my 100th sale, I'll send you a free BookWorm! So warm up your crystal ball and get crackin on a guess, ok? Just post a comment below with your guess and your email address! Good luck!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Any Recessionistas out there?

You might want to check out Stuff Under Twenty - A Blog for Recessionistas. They're an a - dorable little duo that posts affordable products for home, to wear, to use and to impress your friends with. :) Coincidentally, they are also currently featuring my Hounds of Baskerville BookWorm, which is pretty fabulous. ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009


My first outfit created on! Enjoy - all sorts of shopping fun without the buyer's remorse!

Just a reminder

You can find a beautiful surprise in the most unexpected of places. :)

Give it a watch - I almost cried the first time I saw it. The looks on the judges faces are truly priceless. Sorry, I couldn't find an embedded link, so you'll have to click to see it. The surprise comes about 2 or 3 minutes in...

Book Review - "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult

"Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult - 4

Rating Scale: 1 – Didn’t Finish. 2 – Meh. 3 – Kept my interest, but probably wouldn’t read again. 4 – Would Recommend. 5 – LOVED IT! Added it to my list of favorites!

I struggled with the rating scale on this one. I'm not sure if it is possible to "love" a book like this. Like "Still Alice", it was pretty tough to read. I have to say, I've never read a poorly written Picoult book. She's one of those authors that has a gift for words, and also a drive and professionalism that shows in the VAST amount of research that appears throughout her novels. Given those factors, I can't responsibly say it wasn't a good book, because it was an EXCELLENT book. I just probably wouldn't read it again, because it was so incredibly sad on so many levels.

"Handle With Care" is about a family with a little girl who was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. It is a disease that very few people have, but it causes the bones of the victims to break at almost any moment - from turning over in bed to bumping a leg on a couch. Obviously, the story is also about the effect that this disease has on the family. The teenage sister struggles with self-image and feelings of jealousy and abandonment. The parents' marriage takes a dark turn as the Mother explores a lawsuit that, if won, would change the family's financial situation dramatically. In addition to the family's struggles, "Handle With Care" explores the moral dilemma of whether or not to sue the family doctor (and the Mother's best friend) for "wrongful birth", which essentially means that the parents would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy if they would have known about their daughter's disease in time.

One of the signature features of a Picoult book is the exploration of all sides of a moral dilemma. Each of her novels explores a different issue, but instead of presenting only one arguement for or against, Picoult manages to lay out the moral landscape from a birds-eye-view, thus allowing you to draw your own conclusions of which side is right and which is wrong. "Handle With Care" left me unable to decide what I would have done if I were in this Mother's position. On one hand, I can understand why she would want to change her family's dire financial situation (if for no other reason than to provide a better future for her disabled daughter), but on the other hand, I don't think it is right to essentially lie (she had to say she wished her daughter was never born) in order to win a lawsuit.

Not only was it difficult to read about the pain and difficulties this poor little girl has to go through every day, but as a newlywed, I found it truly heartbreaking to read about the marital difficulties that this poor couple dealt with. As the reader, you can see that both parents love each other deeply, but they can't agree on a fundamental moral issue. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake them. Because of these painful issues, I have a tough time telling people to read the book. It harbors so much sadness and so much reality that it isn't able to provide the "escape" that I treasure so much in my reading travels. On the other hand, I would absolutely NOT discourage you from reading this wonderful novel. Just read it with the understanding that it will probably make you cry.

For a quick read about the book signing I went to for "Handle With Care", just click HERE!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tea at the Drake - PINKY'S OUT!

This has been a SUPER busy weekend, and SO much fun! I'm sad it is ending tonight at midnight. I feel like Cinderalla. Let me give you the rundown...

Friday night I was feeling the culinary itch, so I decided to try a recipe I read about on a blog last week (sorry, I can't remember which blog!!) for spinach gnocchi, which turned into a bit of a debacle. It took me about three pounds of butter and cheese, two hefty glasses of cabernet and 4 hours. The sauce was pretty excellent, but the gnocchi just wasn't quite right... We ate it anyway, but it was definitely not my best kitchen performance... :)

Saturday was SO much fun! My girlfriends and I threw a joint baby shower for two of our best friends at the Drake in Chicago! It was a library-themed shower, so we got them Bukushuns (bookends that look like fluffy pillows!) that you see above for the group gift, and each got them a children's book to go with them. Since they're both having little boys, I got them "Where the Wild Things Are", because, well, it's awesome! Favors were candy and Book Plates, and in general, it was all pretty fabulous. How can you go wrong with tea at the Drake? Here are some pics of our fabulous shower. Don't you love the flower arrangements we chose for them? haha
Then Saturday night we went out with some friends - Mexican dinner (fajitas, guac and margaritas - um - YUM!) first, then some random loungy bar called Crimson, where we had a GREAT time drinking too much Effen vodka (my drink of choice? Vodka, soda, lime. Easy, breezy, low in calories haha) and rubbing the walls, which featured FLOCKED wallpaper! So fun! It was a 30th birthday celebration, so after Crimson we somehow ended up in a limo to our next bar, where my hubby and I wisely decided to duck out before it was taken to the next level. :)

Today, EASTER celebration with family - my husband has a HUGE family (like, oh, 30 people), and we had a great time playing with the kids and eating Easter breakfast, snacks, lunch and more snacks. :)

Phew - see, told you it was a long weekend! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

WOOT - gotta love my fellow bloggers!

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted - my boss was in town, and it was a very busy week! I'm so lucky to have blogger friends like you - I just wanted to give a shout out!

So for those of you who LOVE to read, both books and plentiful blog posts, I highly recommend that you follow THE BOOK RESORT! She is a BookWorm fan, and she's posted the nicest review of her BookWormz HERE - you should definitely give it a peek! I love that she reviews just the kinds of books that are so fun to read (Twighlight anyone?), and she is a super active member of the blogging community. She leaves lots of comments which make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! :)

The second blog recommendation I have today is KEEP THIS ON THE DL! She's an American living in Italy, and is currently giving away two BookWormz HERE! First, we're very grateful that she's ok after that horrible earthquake in Italy, and second, she's MORE than ok, since yesterday was her 25th BIRTHDAY!!! :) She writes book reviews and funny, cute little tidbits about her life.

Check these two awesome bloggers out today - I don't think you'll regret it! :) This weekend should be a very busy one for me (helping to host a baby shower, 30th birthday dinner and Easter!), but I'm REALLY going to try to get the "Handle With Care" review up! Ok, have a great day, all! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

SeekingDesigners Press Release about MOI???

Check it out - I think it looks FAB! :) Click Here to Ch-Ch-Check it out!

Spring cleaning

You know what I've discovered about myself? I've discovered that the activities I enjoy the most in life are those that make a mess. Delicious dinner for my husband and I? HUGE mess. Making BookWormz? Won't even go into it. Entertaining friends and family? Dishes for days.

The problem is that I do NOT enjoy cleaning. Cleaning and I are not good friends. I enjoy a clean house tremendously, but the huge process that it takes to get it clean...makes me want to crawl into a hole and cover myself up with the mounds of dirty laundry sure to be strewn about the floor. Here are a couple of pictures of the BookWorm factory (a.k.a. - our dining room table), please don't judge me.

How am I ever going to make friends with cleaning? We've been frienimies my whole life! I hate cleaning, but I love the results. What to do with myself? Oh, before you suggest it - a housecleaning service is out of the question - I'd rather spend my benjamins on ribbon, any day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wii, Eating Healthy and Other Random Topics

My right arm is currently throbbing just a little from a particularly rousing laser fight with my husband on Wii. At first, he was kicking my rear, but by the end of the match, I dominated, as is my birthright. We just got the wii yesterday, and so far, it's a lot of fun! It's not quite as addicting as I thought it would be, but that turns out to be a good thing, as I have about 7% of a normal person's willpower.

In other news - I am try try trying to eat healthier in preparation for bathing suit :) Seeing as how I can rarely motivate myself enough to get to the gym more often than once every 6 to 8 days, I figure my only chance at fitting in to last summer's clothes is to eat like a rabbit. Breakfast was 0% fat greek yogurt topped with fresh mango, blueberries and almonds (YUM - if only all healthy food was this delicious - pictured below, just before I ate it all up), and lunch was a delicious Quinoa salad with lemon, cucumber, olive oil and other such delicious roughage. Anyone have a favorite healthy recipe???

Also, I promised to share the name and location of the ONLY current place you can buy BookWormz retail .... drumroll please....... Gallimaufry Gallery!!!! If you're a Chicago dweller, or if you're visiting our fair city (we have the peeps from the Olympic Committee here this weekend deciding whether or not we'll be the hosts of the 2016 Olympics - Oprah is said to be helping entertain them. If that doesn't get them, WHAT WILL??), you can find the Gallimaufry Gallery at 4712 N Lincoln Ave in Chicago. Go check it out - they feature all hand made and fair trade products! Pretty cool shop!

Ok, don't forget to link me up to your fav. healthy recipe!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Husband: "Did you hear the news?! The Bears signed Cutler!"
Me: "What's Cutler? Did they all sign it?"


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Book Review - Internet Dating is not Like Ordering a Pizza by Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach's book, "Internet Dating is not Like Ordering a Pizza" is about how to create a successful online dating profile. The first few chapters were a little hard to get through for me, because I felt like the author was pandering to the lowest common denominator. Most of the early chapters were about why she felt it was necessary to write her book, and they each ended with a teaser: "So let's get started!" or "Now read on to see how you can fix it." or "And I'll show you how to do all that... step-by-step.". It was a little distracting, and felt a little more like a manual than a book.

As I read on, however, I started to really like Burbach's message. I was an English major in college, and while I clearly am not the best writer, I did learn how to use structure to give my writing (letters, blog posts, book reviews) shape. What I think I forget is that not everyone has that background, and thus could really use a refresher course. Also, although some of her advice seemed a little common sense (like "While you don't need to be too clever, charming, or poetic in your profile, you do need to sound like yourself."), I began to realize that many people DO need this advice. I REALLY liked the fact that she explained what she meant and then followed her advice with both good and bad examples. Actually, by reading her do's and don'ts, I started to critique some of my own writing and realized I could use some brush-ups myself on how to make my writing interesting to the reader.

I am happily and newly married, so I definitely wasn't the target audience for this book, but I would have to say that anyone who is currently looking into online dating, or isn't satisfied with their current results, should pick up a copy of Burbach's book. It really is like a cheat-sheet or instruction manual on how to create a compelling online profile. This book offers guidance and an outside perspective of what makes a successful profile. Outside perspective is invaluable when you're creating something so personal; it can be all too easy to overlook your own mistakes without guidance like Burbach's.

You can find this book at, Barnes and Noble, or from the publisher HERE

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Dance

Woo HOO!!! Hit 100 Followers today! :)

Sneak Preview

In addition to hosting private sales (like the one going on right now until FRIDAY), if you sign up to Be a BookWormz Boutique Fan on Facebook , you'll also be the first to see many of the new designs being introduced, BEFORE they hit the market! So.... if you fall in love with a certain design, you can just let me know, and I'll put it up as a special listing, just for you. :) Like this one:
Which hasn't been posted yet, but may have already found a new home!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Help by Katheryn Stockett - An Audiobook Review

For those of you who don't know - I absolutely ADORE Audible is a website where you can pay a monthly fee to have access to a huge selection of audio books. the places/times I use mine most often (always on my ipod, although you can use any mp3 player, or you can even download them and burn them onto cds!) include:

1. In the car - I drive a lot for my day job.

2. When working out - especially if it is a REALLY good story.

3. When cleaning the house - it makes the time fly by.

4. When cooking - if I don't have to pay too much attn to the recipe.

Ok, anyway, enough of the commercial. :) The book I most recently finished on audible was "The Help" by Katheryn Stockett. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Seriously, it was on par with "The Time Traveller's Wife" and "Water for Elephants". I feel that reviewing an audiobook will be a little different than a conventional book, because I can't refer back to specific passages. This is my first attempt, so hopefully it isn't a useless review. :) Alright, kids, buckle up.

"The Help" is about America's deep South - specifically, Mississippi - and the relationship between African American and white women in the early 1960's. It is a story that shows the courage, humor, ignorance and frustration prevalent on both sides of the racial divide of that time. It made me laugh aloud, and it made me cry. How often can we find a story that does both, and that keeps you hanging on, wishing the book would never end? The narrators in the audio version of "The Help" were breathtaking. Truly actors, they allowed you to FEEL the story, in the tradition of the great storytellers. You know that experience of sitting around a campfire when you were a little kid, and hanging on to every word of some fantastic tale? That's how this story unfolded.

Aside from the artistry of the story and the narration, "The Help" is an excellent reminder that all people are created equal. It manages to highlight the perspective of the underdog exceedingly well, which is a perspective that those of us who are lucky in life often forget. I'm very blessed to have parents who tried their best to teach me the importance of having and upholding your own convictions, and "The Help" is an excellent way to remind yourself of how ESSENTIAL it is to stand up for what you believe in, even if the consequences are sometimes unfavorable, to say the least. In this day of political correct-ness (is that a word?), where we often live in shades of gray, it is a reminder that often a black and white answer does exist to a right and wrong question.

I absolutely loved this book, and I'd highly encourage you to read it, or if you're anything like me, and strapped for time, why don't you try this as your first audio book? :) Have you read it? What did you think?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

BookWormz Going Retail!

Can't tell you where yet - but I'll spill the beans next week! Here is my first shipment - all prettied up for you! :)


I must admit I do love my Cooking Light magazine. I have found some AMAZING dishes, and last night, I just found another keeper. For those of you who get the magazine, the recipe is on page 138 of the March,2009 magazine. For those of you who don't - well - here ya go. Oh yeah, and this photo is theirs, not mine. Unfortunately I'm not that talented of a shutterbug.


1.5 lbs plum tomatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise

3 tblspns EVOO, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 quarts water

12 oz uncooked spaghetti

1/4 cup minced fresh basil

6 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Squeeze juice and seeds from tomato halves into a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl, reserving juices; discard seets. Finely chop tomatoes.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large non-stickk skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan: cook 30 seconds or just intil garlic begins to brown, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, reserved juices, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 15 minutes, or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally.

3. Bring 6 quarts water and remaining 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Add pasta to pot; stir. Cover; return water to a boil. Uncover and cook 8 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

4. Add hot pasta and reserved cooking water to tomato mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until sauce is thick and pasta is al dente, tossing to combine. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with basil; toss. Place 1 cup pasta mixture on each of 6 plates. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon of remaining oil; sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Calories 313
We actually changed it up a little - instead of the parm, we added little mozzerella balls, which we chopped into 4 pieces each, and about 1 minute before the dish was done. It added a lot of chewy deliciousness to the dish. Also, we didn't really follow the pasta cooking instructions. We just boiled water, threw in the pasta, and then strained it.
It was seriously one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had - my husband said if he had ordered this in a restaurant, he would have been thrilled.
Also, it took about 40 minutes from start to finish. Try it tonight! Do you have a favorite recipe? Link me up - I'm always looking for new ones! :)
UPDATE: EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Friday, March 27, 2009

Is this heaven???

I was just sitting there, reading through some comments on my blog, when I came across . As I'm reading through her fabulous ways to SAVE MONEY (yep, you read it right - all in one easy spot) - I see this: BooksFree
Like Netflix but for books. 20% off your first month at Use coupon code: CJ86

What?! Netflix, but for BOOKS? Excuse me - I may be hyperventilating a bit. Can't wait to bury myself in their virtual bookshelves. Have fun, fellow readers!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Will you be my fan?

*bats eyelashes at you* Hi lovely blog readers! I just started a fan page on Facebook - Will you be my fan? Just click HERE! Loves ya, and THANK YOU!

pst.... my fans will have EXCLUSIVE access to sales! yessssssssss!!!!

Contributing Photographic Editor

When asked how the pictures of my latest creation looked, my husband added this prop. What a nut. :) By the way, you can find the "Tropical Sensation BookWorm" in my 1000 Markets Shop!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Wish...

I was a better writer. I used to be decent (at least in my own little head), but I fell out of practice, and these days I find myself sounding like I just graduated 8th grade when I write. :) (Note excessive use of emoticons. Sorry - I really can't help it. It's an illness) I only mention this because I stumbled across this great blog,The Dangerous Pages Review , and I instantly fell in love with her writing style. Bonus - she likes the same books I do! Sigh... I totally have a (platonic) blogger crush.

Steal This Idea - of the day

Not sure where I got this idea - I think it was in a cookbook? Anyway - loved it, and thought I'd share it with you!

You know when you buy fresh herbs (or grow them in your garden for those of you who don't live in a shoebox like me), and you just know you're not going to use them all in time? Well, what I've started doing is chopping them into ready-to-use sizes, and then freezing about 1 tsp of the chopped herb into an ice cube! Then, when I need fresh herbs, all I do is throw an ice cube into whatever I'm cooking! This will make me feel a lot less guilty about spending $3 at the grocery store for sage that I'll only use a little of. :)

Mine happen to be heart shaped, b/c that we have an automatic ice maker, and those are the only ice trays I own! :) I bought them for a party once, and they've turned out to be very useful!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

*Jumps on Couch Like Tom Cruise*

I got a wholesale request today for between 500 and 1000 BookWormz!!!! Not sure if what they want is something I'm capable of, but working hard on finding out! Holy Cow!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dear Husband

I have to say, that husband of mine is SO FUNNY! I'm such a lucky girl. He makes me laugh all the time. Example:

Husband: Why do I find out more about you by reading your blog than by living with you?
Me: giggles and sheepishly grins with a shoulder shrug thrown in for good measure

He's also getting handier as time goes on. Not only did he forage for a new grill in the foreign land of Home Depot this weekend, but he also actually PUT THE GRILL TOGETHER! I don't know about you, but I find this very impressive.

Also he is strong and handsome. But he won't let me put his picture up (I think he is afraid of the legions of screaming tweens that are sure to stalk him if his picture goes public). So instead, here is our new grill which we have used every night since we got it. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New spotlight - a Tribute to my new last name!

Baby Shower Today!

I currently have two very good friends who are due in May with their first children. Both of these girls were in my wedding in October, and both were preggo during it! :) I just can't wait to meet their little dudes (yep, both boys!)! Today, I'm going to Cortney's shower. Her auntie is a professional chef, so I had a veeeery light breakfast in preparation for the feast! ;)

In honor of my two wonderful friends, I'd like to share one of my favorite videos. You've probably see it already, but I soooo love it. I love any funny videos, so please feel free to share yours! :)