When I started this blog last week, one of the questions a lot of people asked me was how often I planned to post. Apparently there’s a fine line between posting frequently enough that people stay interested and so frequently that people get sick of you. I’m hoping two days per week (+/-) is a happy medium, and on the off chance I can’t come up with two blog-worth recipes each week, I thought it would be fun to do a weekly “Friday Favorites” post where I can share any fun photos, ideas, or highlights from the week. Since a lot of what I’ve been doing the past few days involves my favorite holiday, however, I thought I should probably post this before we’re all over Valentines Day and moving on to shamrock cookies and green beer – or maybe just the upcoming three-day weekend. So, this week Friday is coming early here at Blueberries & Basil! If only that meant we got to sleep in tomorrow, too.
I’ve had these red and white Hershey’s kisses in my freezer since early December, when I used the first half of the bag to make these for a cookie exchange some girlfriends host each Christmas. Rather than tossing (or eating!) the leftovers, I thought they would make cute Valentines cookies, using pink sanding sugar in lieu of red and green. I think they turned out so cute, next Christmas I’m going to stock up on the kisses so that I have leftovers for the Fourth of July too – how patriotic would the red and white stripes be with blue sprinkles?
This past weekend I was visiting with my friend Heather while her two year old daughter Eleanor and my 3-1/2-year-old cousin Merrin played in Merrin’s play kitchen nearby. My sister stopped by to say hello and, having not seen Eleanor in awhile, said to Heather “she has the MOST AMAZING EYELASHES.” Merrin, not to be outdone, marched over to my sister, stuck her little face right in my sister’s face (Abby was sitting in a chair so they were eye to eye) and pointed directly to her own eyelashes with a look that said “excuse me?” Once Abby assured Merrin that her eyelashes were also very beautiful, Merr went back to her kitchen and happily poured us all some pretend tea. Point being, I guess we all want amazing eyelashes even from a young age. Tragically, I was not blessed with Eleanor’s lashes. A girlfriend at work recently got eyelash extensions, and even though I’ve had them before and they were torture on my sensitive eyes, hers now make me want them again. It’s hard enough for me to keep up with my nails, though, so I’m not sure how I would find the time (or $$$) for the constant fills lash extensions require. While in Portland this weekend I stopped by my favorite “beauty bar” in hopes of finding a new mascara so amazing I would no longer covet extensions. Blush has about 50 mascara choices, so I chatted with the salesgirl and she recommended the Lorac Pro. It lengthens, thickens, volumizes, etc. The brush has a little pointy tip so you can really get into the corners of your eyes and draw out those lashes. I still don’t have Eleanor’s lashes, or even lashes anyone is going to mistake for extensions, but for $23 I’m pretty happy with it. If anyone has any mascara (or lash extension) recommendations for me, I would love to hear them in the comments!
Anyone who lives in Seattle knows (or at least should know) about Glassybaby. These little hand-blown votives truly are one of my favorite things – I have way too many but can’t seem to get enough. I love switching out colors for the season or holiday. They make the perfect gift for birthdays, holidays, hostess gifts, or just because. My aunt Laurie gave me my very first Glassybaby (a set of three – so generous!) for my birthday in 2006, and now my collection has grown to…..let’s just say, a number too embarrassing to admit. Many I’ve received as gifts, or purchased as part of a fundraiser – Glassybaby is a wonderful company to support, so I don’t feel that bad. To date, Glassybaby has donated over $1.25 million to cancer research and other charities dedicated to healing – which means I should probably go buy a couple more this weekend!
I might have a manicure problem. Much like with sugar cookies, I can’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate a holiday without a thematic nail polish color. Today’s was “Lauren” from Julep, my favorite “green” mani/pedi salon in downtown Seattle. Julep is owned by a former Starbucks exec who wanted her salons to be another “third place” – did everyone already know this was the Starbucks concept? Because I only learned that when reading about Jane Park, Julep’s founder. We have home, we have work, and then we have somewhere to meet our girlfriends after work or at lunch, where they bring us tea and warm neck pillows, paint our nails, and let us watch reruns of Sex and The City. A fun fact about Jane Park – she has her law degree from Yale. Anyone who can take their JD and use it for something other than practicing law is obviously a guru of mine.
My very dear friend Lindsay celebrated her birthday this past Tuesday. Linds and I have been friends since college (which sadly means we’ve been friends for a long time now!) and one of my favorite memories of senior year is when she and I would walk to class together every morning, stopping at Starbucks on “The Ave” to get our identical double tall nonfat toffee nut lattes. We took turns paying for the drinks, and took our alternating payment schedule VERY seriously. These days, we fight over who “gets” to pay, instead – I guess that really means we’ve grown up. Linds and I live in different cities now, but on Tuesday afternoon I sat at Starbucks (really sat! with a “for here” mug!) and enjoyed a delicious toffee nut latte in her honor. Icing on the cake: Starbucks was sampling not one but TWO yummy samples. Happy Birthday Linds!
*A quick sidenote to our toffee nut latte tradition: it began because we had a class together called “Marx and Lenin” – not sure WHAT ever possessed me to sign up for that class. It might actually have been Linds. But needless to say, it was WAY over this business major’s head, and I didn’t last long before dropping out. I think that was the only class I ever dropped in all of undergrad or grad school, although I couldn’t swear to it. Linds stuck with Karl and Vladamir, though, and I’m pretty sure she ended up with the highest grade in the class. Meanwhile, I would be hard pressed to tell you one thing about Marx or Lenin – I had to google “Marx and Lenin” just to make sure it wasn’t spelled like John Lennon, and that is the only reason I knew his first name. Thank goodness I have Linds in case I’m ever in a position where I really need to know about the history of Communism in Russia and don’t have access to Wikipedia.
I hope everyone has fun plans tonight, hot date or otherwise, and that you all have a wonderful Presidents Day Weekend! Happy “Friday”!! XOXO