Mozzarella Caprese With Spunk

Mozzarella Caprese is a perfect end of summer, transitioning into fall salad. Tomatoes are fabulous in August and September.

Before summer fully transitions into fall, get your good on with some fabulous tomatoes and other seasonal, straight from the farmer’s market ingredients in my Caprese recipe.

(Click below for recipe.)

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When my roommate’s father walked into my bedroom, his first words were, “Wow, this looks like all of your grandmother’s furniture.”

While that is not the case, almost all of my pieces are antiques. Hand-carved wood on my vanity table and on my bedside marble topped table, and handmade porcelain lamps with dancers on the posts, gold-leaf decor on the bases, and ruffled gold or tulle ribbon trimming all of the shades.

Ironically, the one piece of furniture I own that is actually from my grandmother is the most modern-looking: a single bed. My “real” bed is so much of a showpiece that I didn’t want to put it into an apartment bedroom. My “real” bed is hand-carved wood, intricate flowers on the headboard and baseboard, was made in 1870, and requires a professional/ special tools to put together. It is also high-maintenance, requiring a certain level of humidity in the room to avoid the wood from either cracking or getting damaged. Too much responsibility for now.

Last week while at my family’s lake house, I visited one of my favorite ladies in the world. Edna, looking glamorous at 92 years old, has been the only woman I trust when buying jewelry since I was about 10 years old.

A British woman who moved to the states for her husband (now deceased), Edna spent much of her life in a wealthy NJ suburb next to the town I grew up in, and somehow transplanted herself to upstate New York wine country and started an antiquing business.

Because of her age, she no longer acquires more inventory. This doesn’t matter, as she has the best collection in the world. I must be her only jewelry customer because when I visited, two rings I was eyeing two years ago had not yet sold. I bought one this time. Some things never lose their appeal.

I get at least one compliment every time I wear one of her pieces. These are statement pieces, and they are one-of-a-kind. You will not find what I’m wearing anywhere because no one makes these styles anymore.

I have no shame in owning pre-owned things. They are beautiful, unique, and I want to surround myself with things I’m attracted to.

The fact that my furniture and jewelry pieces are still usuable hundreds of years later is a testament to the handiwork and attention to detail put into them. Whether it’s furniture or jewelry, this shit is built to last.

No one else has what I have. I have extremely individual taste and am quite proud of it. Not my grandmother’s furniture—mine, very, very much mine.

Years of Engagement

ringWhen my much younger friend announced her engagement to a man she had been dating for less than two years, I was ecstatic but curious as to how they knew so soon.

She told me that they planned to be engaged “for a very long time,” and that the ring, for now, represented their commitment to each other and shared future. They were in no rush for a wedding in these rough economic times, but they would indeed get married at some point in the next few years.

They had been monogamous, traveled together, had suffered layoffs and crazy family and friend issues, and soon before he proposed, they even moved in together. How lovely, I thought. They are sure it’s going to work out, but they still want to wait. I’d always believed in a long commitment before marriage, but a long engagement seems romantic yet still practical.



Recently, I had my very first experience with theft, me being the thief.

I was called a boyfriend stealer once, but that’s different. Plus it was unjustified, as the girl who called me that dated everyone after me, not before me, (Wait, who stole? Oh, you can have my sloppy seconds, B—done with that), but when she found out her bf was going to my college, she probably wanted him to avoid me since the same guys were generally attracted to both of us…I guess.

I’ve never approved of stealing in any way, shape, or form. I’ve had friends who went through shoplifting phases in high school. I could never justify it. It’s wrong. Nor did I think it was thrilling, which I think was half the reason these girls who could afford things stole them instead. Or maybe they just felt entitled because that’s what they were taught by their parents who spoiled them. You’re just screwing someone else who is trying to make an honest living with that kind of selfish behavior. It’s tres not cool.

But I was at a street fair, and this guy had a table with those snap-cracker things that you throw at the ground and they explode. I asked him how much they were three times, and he was ignoring me. Nothing pisses me off more than when people ignore me (though I think 90% of people ignore me 90% of the time because I talk too much). I’m sure they were under $3, but if you ignore me, you pay the price. I just openly picked them up and dropped them into my purse. No being discreet here; I wanted his reaction. Nothing. I waited. Fine, then. I walked away.

Some exploded in my purse. Serves me right. You get what you (don’t) pay for.

Running Playlist #6

People often ask me for workout song suggestions. I think you constantly have to update your playlist, so I’ve decided to share a new playlist every month of what’s racing my laces at the moment. Here’s my sixth (old and new beats that pace right for the heat) installment:

Just Do It 6 2012

“Can’t Stop Me” ♦ Afrojack Shermanology
“Billie Jean” 2008 remix ♦ Michael Jackson feat. Kanye West
“Candyman” ♦ Chritstina Aguliera

“The Idea of You” ♦ DMB
“Want U Back” ♦ Cher Llyod
“Hit Em Up” ♦ Lil Wayne
“Run the World? (Girls)” ♦ Beyonce
“Paper Planes” 
“Tigers” ♦ Animal Collective
“Ur So Gay” ♦ Katy Perry
“Till It’s Over” ♦ Drake
“The Fighter” ♦ Gym Class Heroes

Click on the numbers below for my previous playlists: