Friday, February 25, 2011

Favors All Around

Graham and Maisie have been quite busy with their India travels. They started their trip in New Delhi, then visited Agra, Amirtsar, and Jaipur. They have seen the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple. All was great, until my brother lost his wallet in Jaipur. Apparently the wallet fell out of his bag, and he thought it was a lost cause. He canceled credit cards and gave up on his 200 U.S. dollars, but boy, that's a lot of Rupee. Apparently, $8.00 U.S. dollars can pay for a night in a nice hotel with hot running water, so $200.00 accounted for a good portion of his 2 and 1/2 month budget.

Luckily, a stranger found the wallet and went to an extraordinary efforts to find my brother, calling the DMV and eventually San Francisco Art Institute because of Graham's school ID. The school gave the man Graham's email address, and they were able to get in contact. The man said he had visited California and loved it and felt an obligation to a fellow traveler. He kept the wallet safe while Graham and Maisie took a train from Jalsamar back to Jaipur to pick it up. It cost them the better part of a day and a lot of panic, but thanks to the stranger, Graham has all of his important documents and money back, though he will give the stranger a reward as thanks.

Morning in Jalsamar.

Up next, the two will travel to Jodhpur. It's really nice to think that there are kind and considerate people out there who will go out of their way to help a stranger. We should all be inspired by such acts of kindness!

In other news, I'm getting some favors of my own. I ordered these adorable business cards for absolutely free from vistaprint.

All I paid was $5.67 in shipping fees! I'm sending them off to friends in other parts of the country to leave on bulletin boards, in coffee shops, or wherever random advertising is welcome. So far, I have friends who have agreed to help spread the word in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Seattle. Willing to take Lola and Zoe with you wherever you go? Let me know, and I'll happily send some your way.

In other favors news, I have reached 75% of my $100.00 fundraising goal for the Free to Breathe 5K on March 26th thanks to a few generous donors. If you want to help out, there's still time. All you do is click here to donate to my personal page. Remember, you can type in any amount, even $1.00! 100% of the proceeds benefit lung cancer research and education.

Well, it's a beautiful weekend here in Louisiana. I'm enjoying an open window and some handpicked flowers that Brendan picked for me on our earlier walk. I put them in a tiny Thursday's Cottage jelly jar that I am reusing. We received some of their Raspberry Jam as part of our care package from Brendan's parents, and boy was it delicious! This picture perfectly illustrates why I love to hang on to glass jars, there are so many wonderful ways to reuse them.
A chic, eco-friendly vase :)
Here's to favors, big and small and a beautiful, sunny weekend!
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Few Things That Make Me Smile

I've always been the type to appreciate the little things in life. Right now, my life is a bit stressful as I navigate my last semester of graduate school, but I try to remind myself to appreciate the small stuff and remain present in my life and with the the people in it. Here are a few "small things" that bring me great pleasure.

Wistful Tunes- In high school I fell in love with the music of Iron and Wine, and I can't get enough of their soothing, folk/bluesy sounds, so I was thrilled when I found out they were releasing a new album. itunes classifies the newest album Kiss Each Other Clean as "Indie Folk," which I suppose is as close as you can get to describing it. My favorite tracks are "Walking Far From Home," which is unlike anything I've heard this band do before, "Tree by the River" and "Godless Brother in Love," which remind me of some of the best work in albums Our Endless Numbered Days and In the Reins, and "Your Fake Name is Good Enough for Me," which has a jazzy/60s/70s pop sound. Do yourself a favor and check this band out. They haven't produced a bad album (and they have a lot of albums).
Kiss Each Other CleanOur Endless Numbered DaysIn the Reins

Romantic Scents- I don't know what it is about them, but I love candles. I'm a big fan of the Tyler Candle Company, and I love the sent "Kathina," which has a Lily of the Valley/Rosie smell. One thing I love about this company is the sample sets they sell, which are not only a great deal but also make a great gift idea. Where else can you get 16 candles for $35.00? I love the relaxing atmosphere created by candlelight.

Tempting Tastes- I've always been a lover of chocolate, and right now, these Dove Chocolate Hearts that my mom sent me for Valentine's are really doing the trick for me. The best part is that by now these things have to be on sale.

Delightful Reads- Last month, I read Lydia Davis' first collection Break it Down (1986) and was blown away. Davis has been called a "magician of self-consciousness," and I find that description quite fitting. What lovely, wonderful, beautiful stories with intriguing characters and lyrical language. I was thrilled that my brother bought me her Collected Stories for Christmas. My favorite story in the collection is called "The House Plans." I ached for these characters and felt uplifted and alive when reading these stories.
Break It Down: Stories

And finally, last but certainly not least on my list...

Good Deeds- It's always great karma to do something nice for the world. This year, I will be participating in my first ever 5K, benefiting "Free to Breathe," an organization that does fundraising for lung cancer research. 100% of the proceeds this organization takes in from the 5K go to research for a cure and education about lung cancer. This is a great cause, and my goal is to raise $100.00. I'm 25% of the way there, so if you care to contribute follow the link to my page here. You can type in any amount to donate. Even $1.00 helps! Of course, there are so many organizations out there that need volunteer time, donations of money or goods, or other help, so you can find a good deed to do anywhere you go. Isn't that a nice thought?

Here's to happiness, wherever and however you find it.
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring Fashion For Work & Play

Well, I've been very busy and productive as of late, submitting to journals and jobs, reading and writing, teaching and cooking and living. With this beautiful 70 degree, sunny weather upon us (here in Louisiana), I'm ready to embrace spring in full force. My favorite part about the arrival of warmer weather is always the cute outfits that come with it. Last night, the McNeese M.F.A. program hosted a party for visiting poet Gary Jackson, and it was the perfect opportunity to break out my favorite picks for spring. My style criteria is to look classic and cute on a grad student budget. To make my wardrobe cost effective, I try to find pieces that I can wear to work and on the weekends, and I do a lot of shopping at thrift stores and bargain stores. I would estimate that 50% of my wardrobe consists of previously owned fashion. Hey, it's recycling. Good for the earth, and my pocketbook.

So here's the basics, I love longer silky tops like this one from Target for $14.99. By itself, it's flirty, but with a long cardigan (like this one I've had forever from American Eagle), it's easily appropriate for work. If wearing these pieces to work, I would pair them with trousers from my go-to store for work pants. I found these Levi black jeggings for $12.99 at Marshall's, and the boots I've had for at least a year now, they come from Steve Madden, and I get compliments on them all the time.

I've had several good girl friends teach me the importance of  accessorizing. I like pulling together an outfit to be pretty simple, so I stick to jewelry, handbags, and hair stuff as my finishing touches. Right now I love colorful jewelry like these turquoise pieces that Brendan got me for Valentine's day. (He has good taste). Brendan says he found these at a local Antique Store. If you are willing to spend the time to search, many affordable treasures can be uncovered. All you need is a silver jewelry polishing cloth and they look like new!

Anyone who knows me can tell you I've always had a thing for bows. I picked up this headband for $4.99 at CVS over the summer. It turns out that pharmacies often have great hair accessories, and the best part is, they are quite cheap!

Finally, no outfit is complete without a bag. I splurged on this leather one by Sabina New York in college. My roommate at the time thought I was crazy, but four years later, I'm still in love with the big buttons, the pockets a plenty, and the perfect size of this brown bag. I got a famous poet to help me show it off. Two weeks ago, he read with Rita Dove, and now he's playing rock band with my friends and helping me model handbags in Lake Charles.

Alright, I only have one more tip, but it's tried and true. When I'm drinking red wine at a party, I bring along "Ecstasy" by Smashbox lip gloss. The color perfectly disguises your red wine lip stains. If you are a lip gloss addict like me, this gift set with 6 colors for $29.00 is a bargain that will not disappoint. It also makes a great gift. See lips below for proof.
Missy and Me

 Here's to spring style! Bring on the nice weather.
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Mother Love: PoemsMissing You, Metropolis: PoemsRock Band 3

Monday, February 14, 2011

Some LOVEly Ideas

Happy Valentine's day from all of us here at Lola & Zoe (well, the three of us!) I've been busy this past weekend, and I wanted to share some of my recent adventures. This past Saturday, I went to my very first Mardi Gras ball, the Krewe of Barataria Ball. There was a Nutcracker theme, so Brendan dressed up as a mouse, and I was a toy solider. Our host, Erica was a "zombie" toy solider. Good times, complete with a skit to introduce the Duke of the court (Erica's brother-in-law) and dancing well into the night ensued.

To create Brendan's cute mouse look, I used silver eyeliner by Sephora and Stila's blush in Electric Pink. 

My toy solider outfit was the result of plastic medallions, ribbon, and super glue. Unfortunately, the shirt got super glued to my finger, creating a very painful blister. The only good side to this was that I was finally able to use some of the bandaid's that Brendan's mom gave me for Christmas. I can't find an official website for this company, but mine are actually heart themed (just in time for Valentine's) and very adorable.

Last night, Brendan and I cooked this vegetarian feast. We tried for the first time, a vegetarian meat replacement product called Light Life in the Lemon Pepper Chicken variety. We both agreed that the texture was good and the flavor was quite similar to chicken. We added some spices and leftover bowtie pasta to the skillet as we cooked it, and it looked very pleasing to the eye.

 We served this with Beets (of course) and black eyed peas, plus a new favorite recipe of ours, the Kumquat Salad. What, may you ask, are kumquats? Why, they are these delightful little oranges that grow on some bushes here in Lake Charles. Brendan and I frequently take walks near and around my neighborhood, and lucky us, one of my neighbors has a orchard in his backyard full or different varieties of tangerines and mandarin oranges, and a kumquat bush in his front yard. We stuffed our pockets with these delightful little treats and the neighbor sent us home with a bag full of 20 plus oranges. Yippee! We wanted to put our kumquats to good use, so here is the salad we made. We brought this to a party a few weeks ago, and it was a hit with most people that tried it. 

Kumquat Salad
  • You will need to combine about 15 kumquats, sliced and seeded, sliced celery, sliced green onions, broccoli and cauliflower florets, shredded carrot, slice almonds, mixed baby greens, sliced avocado and the juice of a lemon slice and Parmesan cheese (if desired) into a large salad bowl.
  • For the dressing, combine 1/8 cup sugar, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, and pepper to taste.
  • Toss it all together and you have yourself a delicious salad! Serves 4. 

Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Deliciousness Factor: 4/5 stars. We love the refreshing and surprising taste of the kumquats and this hearty salad is filling with a pleasing texture. It's the perfect salad to bring to a party because it's very colorful and tasty, but also the perfect thing to serve alongside your next dinner. Take advantage of Kumquat season, and pick up some of these today!

Oh, one last update, I got Brendan this game Bananagrams for Valentine's day. This game, introduced to me by my friend, Allie ,will be absolutely loved by anyone who enjoys scrabble. We played a few weeks ago and had an absolute blast. Another reason it makes a great gift? You can spell out any message to the recipient, so this gift could even double as a card!

We enjoy your comments. Please let us know what you'd like to see more of as we continue to get Lola & Zoe off the ground.

Here's to a happy day of love for all!
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Friday, February 11, 2011

Little Time to Cute Valentines!

I've always loved Valentine's day. As a child, I relished sorting through my cards from classmates to see what card my "crush" had put into my Valentine's box. In those days, my love was unrequited. My crushes only picked me last for dodge ball, or poked me with the sharp end of a pencil, or asked me for the answers to homework and laughed at me when I exclaimed in horror "but that's cheating." But now I'm an adult, and I can have all the fun of fifth grade without the awkward parent chaperoned Valentine's party. And so, when I found these at Target, I squealed with delight and snatched them away from an unsuspecting little girl (just kidding-there were plenty to go around so I didn't have to).

 I was more than willing to pay the $2.99 price tag for 32 of these delightful Valentines, with STICKERS included. There were so many varieties (monkeys, monsters, princesses, sweet treats etc.) that making a choice was a more difficult than I'd like to admit. I settled on the mermaids because I loved the cute messages on the back like "Of all the fish in the sea, I'd pick you."

Still, I needed something to spruce up these Valentine's, so I headed to the candy aisle and purchased a bag of my favorite sweets. When I got home, I grabbed a pen and a roll of tape, and voila! You have yourself sweet Valentines in very little time:
A smart and sweet way to show your love for your friends.
Bring them to school, bring them to work, with Valentine's this easy and affordable, you can bring them everywhere.

But don't forget the elementary school rule and bring one for the "whole class." You don't want anyone to be crying in their bathroom when they get home...not that that's ever happened to me or anything.

Here's to sharing the love!

<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cheap, But Sweet Valentine's Meal Sans Meat

This year for Valentine's, Brendan and I are staying in, opting for a cozy and romantic date cooking at home. Valentine's falls on a Monday this year, so I think this idea is the perfect solution for couples who still want to acknowledge the day but are coming home from a busy day at work. And hey, Valentine's isn't just for couples. This meal makes 4 servings, so grab some friends and make a night of it. Brendan and I will be cooking something different for our Valentine's, but I want to share this idea ahead of time for those who are looking for ideas. This meal is cheap, delicious, and incredibly simple to make. It's so great that I wish I had thought of it, but full disclosure Brendan first made this dish for me, and Brendan's Dad first made it for him, so think of it as a family recipe. The only thing I came up with is the name. I call it...

Pleasey Cheesy Baked Mac n' Cheese 
This delightful dish requires few ingredients. You will need pasta. Though I couldn't find any, I think heart shaped pasta would add an adorable touch to this dish. You need cheese, and the good news is, you can buy whatever is on sale, or use what you have lying around. For ours we used Wisconsin Cheddar, Gouda, Edam, Shredded Mozzarella, and Shredded Parmesan. I serve it with a side of refrigerated sliced canned beets (if you want to go all out, grab a cookie cutter and do this) and Pacifico beer. Brendan has made me pretty obsessed with beets, which are healthy and tasty. The total cost of this meal (including beer) $19.50. That's less than $5.00 a person (for 4 people or 2 people with 2 servings of leftovers) with alcohol included. Can't beet that (haha). Now for the hard easy part:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Boil Pasta according to directions on package. 
  • Slice about 2.5 ounces of each whole will have about 8 ounces total. 
  • Spray a 1.5 quart (medium) baking dish with non-stick spray (we use Pam).
  • Strain pasta. 
  • Spoon pasta into baking dish filling it up about 1/4 of the way, top with 1/3 of your cheese (remember to add in some shredded cheese if you want to). Spoon in another layer of pasta, add another 1/3 of the cheese. Spoon in the last layer of pasta, add the rest of the cheese on top.
  • Put on the center oven rack and let bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. 
  • Let cool for 5 minutes, cut with a knife, serve with spatula and love! 
Pleasey Cheesy Baked Mac n' Cheese

Total Prep/Cook Time: 40 minutes 
Deliciousness Factor: 5/5 (we reserve this for the best of the best, but as Brendan points out "With that much cheese, how could it not be a 5?!) We love the crispy top, and the blended flavors of the five cheeses. The dish is nostalgic, bringing back childhood memories from when life was simple. Beer and cheese make an amazing combo...and serving it with beets? We couldn't be happier. 

Thank you Brendan's Dad, not only for making Brendan, but for making this amazing mac & cheese! It's almost hard to decide which one to love more...just kidding.

Oh, and before I forget, Graham and Maisie made it safely to India. Here is the view from their Hotel in New Delhi.

Here's to trying new things!

<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bon Voyage!

My brother Graham and his friend Maisie took off today for a 2 and a half month adventure to India. They flew from Houston to Chicago and are now on their non-stop 15 hour flight to New Delhi, where it is already tomorrow (almost 12 hours ahead of US central time zone). I'm sure they will be fighting some serious jet lag when they get there! They plan to visit 17 different places on this backpacking adventure for which they have spent the last two months preparing. As Graham informed me yesterday they are carrying with them "an entire pharmacy practically." My brother, an art major, and Maisie, a history major, both just graduated from college last semester. They want to explore a new place, take pictures, and see what they have been studying these past few years. I think they will have a wonderful time, and I'm very proud of them. And though I have my usual big sister concerns, I keep telling myself that India is probably just as safe as San Francisco where Graham has been living the past 4 years. Supposedly, we are using this system called Google Voice to communicate in his absence, which means I can text him and it shows up as an email (which he will be able to check with his phone when he can find wi-fi), and I can call and leave messages that he can listen to when he can find wi-fi. That makes me feel a little better about being continents apart. Anyway, I wanted to share because I'm sure that I will be mentioning Graham and his travels in the months to come. Please join me in wishing them a safe trip!
Maisie and Graham
Here's to taking the journey
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Love French Things: Fluffy French Toast and French Fiction, Oui, Oui!

This has been a very exciting weekend because my friend Tony is in town from New York City. Brendan and I have been showing him all things Lake Charles (The Porch, KD's, Toga Grill, Rutherford Beach, Luna's, and even the Casino). This morning, I wanted to create a delicious breakfast, and using the bread Brendan's parents sent us as a base, Brendan and I whipped up this simple but delightful Fluffy French Toast. We made the recipe up as we went. Here it is:
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine these ingredients: 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup milk (we used soy), 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon white sugar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 a tablespoon nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of grated orange peel. 
  • Whisk until smooth. 
  • Soak your slices of bread in the mixture. This yielded 7 slices for us, but the number of slices you get depends on the kind of bread you use. 
  • Turn the skillet on medium heat. We simply used Pam on the skillet. 
  • Put toast on skillet, turn it over when the bottom becomes a nice golden color. Wait for the other side to turn golden brown, and the toast is complete. 
  • Serve with powdered sugar, syrup, orange juice, and smiles! 
Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes
Deliciousness Factor: 4.5/5 stars (Tony says 5, Brendan says 4). This French toast is fluffy, tasty, and pleasing to the eye. We liked the orange and nutmeg flavors, and the gourmet farm bread gave our toast the perfect texture. I left the syrup off of my toast, this French toast alone has all the flavor that you need! Yummy!
For the perfect Sunday morning, you could pair this Fluffy French Toast with some delightful French Fiction. Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau, translated by Rosamond Lehman The Holy Terrors (Les Enfants Terribles)was a Christmas gift from my brother, and I just read it last month. The sentences are so spellbinding, it is hard to believe this is a translation. This book is a fast read at 184 pages, and that includes 20 delightful illustrations by the author himself. This story centers around a sick twist on a love story gone wrong. The main characters, orphans Elizabeth and Paul, are intriguing, and the book is as funny as it is tragic, a rare literary accomplishment. First published in 1929, this captivating novel wasn't available to English readers until Lehmann completed her translation in 1955. This version has been called a "masterpiece in the art of translation." Don't take my word for it (I've never even been to France). Make yourself some French toast and enjoy this magical French novel.

Before I leave you, here are some pictures from yesterday's Rutherford Beach adventure:
Tony and I

Love this guy! Me and Bren.

Here's to friends and all things French!

<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dry Winter Skin Beauty Secrets for Guys and Gals Alike

If you're anything like me, winter blues aren't the only problem that come with cold weather. I have problems with my skin...the cold outside gives me windburn and the heaters running inside make my skin dry. I found the perfect solution to my winter skin problems a few years ago, when a friend's mom told me about vitamin c creme, which actually heals sunburns overnight when you use it as a night creme. Well, windburn is actually like a sunburn, so if you get red checks like me, this is an easy, cost effective, and all natural solution. There are a lot of vitamin c cremes on the market, and even articles about how to make your own, but I've had luck with this version from Jason's cosmeticsVitamin E Creme (25,000IU) 4 oz which retails for only $14.99. The jar is 2 oz and will last you a long time, and you can use it year round because it's great for summer sun exposed skin too. It is also Paraben free and uses no animal by-products or animal testing. My friend's mom uses it every night as a moisturizer and night cream, and her skin looks great. As a bonus, this is also good as an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle creme. And there is a nice citrus smell, but guys can use it too.

My other winter skin secrets? Good, old fashioned Vaseline Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly, Baby 13 oz (Pack of 3)on my lips before bedtime and Lifeguard's Choice by Burt's Bees Burt's Bees Lifeguard's Choice Lip Balm, .15-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 4)during the day (which I also love in the summer). This winter, I invested in some expensive body lotion from Bliss Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter 8.5 fl oz (250 ml)and while I'm happy with the results, I don't think anyone needs to spend $28.00 on body lotion. To achieve similar results, try Jergen's overnight repair, Jergens Overnight Repair Lotion 16.8 oz.
which retails in drugstores for just $6.99.

My only other tips? Try to limit the amount of showers you take (though its hard when you need the steam to clear your sinuses), and make sure to moisturize when you first get out of the shower and your skin is still a bit damp, and right before you go to bed. And of course, drink lots of water. It keeps your skin hydrated and healthy.

Hope you enjoyed my healthy winter skin tips. Here's to kicking winter blues and winter skin.
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love Will Keep You Warm, and So Will This Easy, Vegetarian "No Boil" Baked Ziti

I know you're tired of hearing about it, but it's cold outside. Last night in Lake Charles, it was 29 degrees outside, and not counting a frozen pizza, my cupboards were basically bare. Brendan was teaching a leisure learning fiction class, and I wanted to put together a nice surprise for him to thank him for all the sweet things he does for me. I know it's a cliche to say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but it's also a saying that I find proves true, so I Google vegetarian recipes looking for something easy, delicious, and with limited ingredients. I found a version of this baked Ziti on my staple website for recipes, but I changed it up to make it even more delicious, and I'm sharing my recipe here. The best part about this is that it requires limited ingredients, making it pretty cost effective. I made it home from the grocery store with only four bags. I will include a grocery list here. The woman at the checkout informed me that my lips were purple from the cold, but nothing says I love you like a trek to Albertson's in 29 degrees, right? The other great thing about this recipe is you can eat leftovers for days. It makes about 12 servings. So without further ado, here it is. You will need:
  • 1 yellow onion, several cloves of fresh garlic 
  • 1 approx. 15oz box Ziti pasta 
  • 1 regular size (26oz) jar of to tomato sauce-I used Ragu Mama's Special Garden 
  • 1 jar of Salsa (I used Pace medium spice chunky)
  • 1 15oz container of Ricotta cheese (I used non-fat)
  • 1 bag of shredded mozzarella and 1 bag of shredded Parmesan
  • water, olive oil, coarse ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper
  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the yellow onion and mince the cloves of garlic. Cook on medium heat in olive oil in a skillet with a tablespoon of coarse black pepper. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the onions and garlic with the jar of pasta sauce, 1/2 the jar of salsa, the entire container of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1 and 1/2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper, a few more shakes of black pepper, and most of your unboiled box of Ziti. Stir it all around!
  4. Spoon the mixture evenly into a 13X9-inch baking dish (a large baking dish), cover with foil, and bake for 55 minutes. 
  5. Remove from oven, remove foil, top with mozzarella and Parmesan and bake another 5 minutes without the foil. 
  6. Let it sit a few minutes before serving and then dig in! 
Prep and cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Delicious Factor: 4.5/5 stars and tastes great leftover too. Brendan says it reminds him of a favorite meal from childhood, and I loved the cheesy texture and the spices from the salsa and crushed red pepper. Honestly though, it would have been worth it just to see Brendan's face when he realized we weren't eating frozen pizza for dinner. I served this with Merlot, but while at the store, I also bought a 6-pack of one of his favorite beers, which we're having tonight...with frozen pizza. Hey, I can't always be Wonder Woman.

I'm including a picture here. I also served this with my very own Stacy's Sweet Strawberry Salad (like that alliteration? Yeah, I've taken poetry classes), my staple to bring to dinner parties. I will share that recipe, but I feel that warrants a blog post all it's own, and right now, I have to promise great things in order to increase my readership.

Anyway, Brendan and I received another wonderful surprise. A "thesis semester" gift basket from his parents from Zingerman's. This huge package arrived at our door, it was a wooden crate filled with all sorts of delicious goodies. The best part of all, all of it minus the salami, is vegetarian! I can't wait to try the chocolate sourdough bread, the natural peanut butter and honey, the Vermont cheese, the brownies, the coffee cake, and the list goes on and on! I know that I'm already obsessed with the only two things I've tried yet, these vegetarian/vegan fruit gummies and these delicious macaroons.  I'm including a picture of what our gift looked like, in case anyone is thinking of sending a thoughtful present to someone for any reason (Valentines, birthday, whatever), this is a perfect idea. As for my cupboards, they are no longer bare!

 Here's to love keeping you warm!

<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

Oh, and I almost forgot. Zoe wants me to tell you that her and Lola love the packaging. This huge box is their new favorite thing.
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