Friday Faves, New Year’s Edition

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My Christmas cards ran into a few obstacles this year, but I love these backup “happy new year” cards from Minted.

Happy first Friday of 2014!  I kind of fell off the blogging wagon (again) towards the end of the year (I’m blaming it on the holidays), but being better about blogging is one of my (many) resolutions for the new year.  I have lots of healthy recipes on my “to make” list for the month, and Santa brought me a new MacBook Air (!!!!!), so hopefully this is a resolution I’ll actually keep.  Others include:

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Eating More Fruits and Veggies – easy to do when it’s satsuma season!

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Reading MoreMindy’s book is a re-read, but so much funnier than I remembered. And so nice to read an actual book rather than a screen for a change (don’t worry, I have some more substantial reading on my list as well).

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Trying New Places – in this case, delicious cocktails at the hip new(ish) Capitol Hill bar Witness.

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OK, this isn’t a resolution, I just really love the new SmartWool socks my mom put in my stocking for Christmas (yes, I still have a stocking!).  I’m generally not a sock person (I could wear flip flops almost year-round), but these keep my feet so warm and toasty, it’s impossible not to become addicted.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and that the new year is off to a great start.  I’m looking forward to de-cluttering my apartment, hitting the gym with renewed vigor (despite the January crowds), and taking advantage of all the new beginnings this year has in store for me (I could definitely use a few).  Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014 for all of us!  If you have any book recommendations, recipe recommendations, or resolutions to share, I would love to hear them in the comments!

Friday Faves

Happy Friday, y’all! (Sorry, I’m watching last night’s Nashville finale as I type this). This week was pretty blah, due in large part to this nasty weather we’ve been having, along with all my shows ending.  But in an effort to get back into my blogging routine, I tried to scrounge up a few highlights:

Even though it was falling out by the end of the night, I’m still pretty proud of the self-styled bun I wore to my very dear friend Alison’s engagement soiree last weekend. Sadly this “selfie” is my only pic from the night – I left my phone in my clutch for the entire party, which is tragic because her mom and sis are my entertaining gurus and there were so many B&B-worthy photo ops that I missed! Luckily we’re only four months into what’s looking like a sixteen month engagement, so hopefully there will be plenty more opportunities.

I got take-out Thai for my grandparents the other day and these giant animal cookies were on display at the restaurant – it took a pretty huge amount of willpower not to buy one (or all four).   I’m not usually all that nostalgic, but frosted animal cookies remind me of my childhood (remember these?) – and these appear to be an even-more-delicious version.  I’m not sure the photo does them justice, but for purposes of scale please note they’re displayed on a very large cake platter.  YUM.

I had the good fortune to score a last-minute invite to a Husky event down in Portland on Tuesday night (thanks Krista!). There are few things I love more than a room full of purple and gold, with an open bar no less. I made some new Husky friends, listened as the coaches got us all pumped up for the coming season (100 days!!!), and even took a picture with Sark (which would have been cuter had we both not been looking at separate camera phones).  Can’t wait for August 31st!

I realize I might find this more exciting than the average person, but bulk herbs? OMG. I’m obsessed with the bulk foods aisle at my Met Market in Seattle, but New Seasons down in Portland really has some things figured out.  I cannot tell you how many half-used little bundles of herbs are sitting in my freezer right now, never to be used again (but I couldn’t bear to throw them away).  I needed six sprigs of thyme for a halibut recipe the other day, and what do you know – I only needed to buy six sprigs.  Also I think they cost like 25 cents.  It’s the little things, you know?

Maybe one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken – my adorable cousin/nephew (what does one call their cousin’s kids?) Oliver, and my grandpa waiting for breakfast the other morning.  Could they be any cuter?

So, that’s the best I could do – thanks to everyone who has been bugging me to get back into blogging.  It’s sad how easy it is to get out of a habit (the blog, the gym, drinking water, etc – ughhhhhhh good habits are so hard!!) but hopefully I’m now back on track.  I still have at least three more posts I need to get out – including halibut with six thyme sprigs:) And then we’ll be into June and hopefully I can stop complaining about the weather!  I hope everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day weekend planned – fingers crossed for sun!!

Inaugural Post

Hello and welcome to Blueberries & Basil! After playing around with the idea of starting a blog for the past year or so, I put it on my list of 2013 resolutions; only six weeks into the new year, here it is. Some of the many reasons I procrastinated doing this earlier: I needed a better camera, I needed a better kitchen for my “mise en place” cooking photos, I needed more material to write about. However, while watching Nashville last night (guilty pleasure), I heard the road-hardened guitar player give Hayden Panettiere’s character the sage advice “sometimes you have to stop talking about doing something, and actually do it.” If that could motivate Juliette Barnes to defy her record label and start singing the songs she really wanted to sing, maybe it could motivate me too.

So for the time being it might be just me and my iPhone camera, in my tiny kitchen with no marble countertops or natural light, but this morning a name popped into my head (two of my favorite things, and when I ran it by my professional-blog-reader cousin she told me it sounded like a Jo Malone perfume) and here we are. I think the blog will mainly have to do with cooking and baking – and entertaining, to the extent I entertain – but my hope is that it can be a forum for me to share lots of other fun things with you too (teaser for my next post: Valentine’s Brownies, two ways). So thanks so much for stopping by, and I can’t wait to get started!