Friday Musings 6.22.12: What will be, will be

A favorite song and one of my favorites - and always a needed reminder - to start your weekend.


Beauty of the Month Club

Hi friends!

Who doesn't love a _____ of the month club? I mean come on, getting a monthly delivery of insert item here (fruit, beer, chocolate...) is one of the best packages one can receive.

Let me introduce you to Birchbox.

Birchbox offers a beauty and lifestyle package of the month.  Each and every month you receive a box filled with trial-size beauty products from top-of-the-line classics along with emerging stars in the beauty world.

What do you think, would you love to get a box filled with beauty each month? Sounds like a fun gift for a girlfriend, bride-to-be (think shower gift!), mothers who need pampering, or yourself when you deserve a reward (which is always, right? :)


Something Sweet



2 sweet ideas to try.  (Tip: Use a dry-erase marker on the spoon if you don't want it to be permanent!)


Spring Treats

Finally spring produce is in full swing! I have been living up the glory of these seasonal goods lately, using fresh local foods in simple ways to fully appreciate the true beauty of each spring flavor.  Some favorites have been radishes dipped in beurre blanc, spring garlic and herbs roasted over a fire, crostini topped with homemade ricotta, sorrel, and honey, and herbed pasta with chervil and chive flowers.

Have you been loving the resurgence of spring produce as much as we have?


Friday Musings 6.15.12: International House Lust

Lately, S & L have been drooling over gorgeous homes on House Hunters International.  It has definitely been fueling our wanderlust!  Check out these beautiful international homes.  They are making us want to pack up and move immediately!

 Florence, Italy
 Halkidiki, Greece

 Dordogne, France
Providenciales, Turkes and Caicos

Check out other beautiful homes here.


Recipe: Rhubarb Syrup

With the newest crop of rhubarb showing its gorgeous pink stalks at the farmers market, I've been looking for the perfect use for it.  Rhubarb is so easily typecast into being paired with strawberries in a pie.  This recipe can break you free from the strawberry + rhubarb = pie formula! The lovely rhubarb syrup came together in a flash, and turned out to be the perfect base for a rhubarb mojito.  

Rhubarb Syrup
Adapted from Not Without Salt

12 oz chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Cool completely, and strain.

In addition to making a stellar cocktail, the syrup would be lovely mixed with soda water for a refreshing barbeque drink.  Use the reserved rhubarb to top ice cream, yogurt, or a spoon :)



Guest Post: Alex in China

Hey everyone!  This is our first ever guest post from our brother Alex!  He recently got back from China and sent over a few pictures he wanted to share with you.  He went with the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club: check them out singing on the Great Wall (he's in the bright turquoise tee in center)!


Bon Voyage!

After months of planning, packing and waiting, and after 1 unanticipated reschedule... It's finally here - our Mediterranean cruise!  SLR is off on vacation - Venice, Bologna, and Rome, then various stops in Italy, Greece, and Turkey on our cruise.  We have a few things for you while we're gone, but we will resume our regular posting as soon as we come back (with a super heavy dose of Europe pics!).

From the last time we were in the Mediterranean - this is Positano along the Amalfi coast, which we won't be going to this time, but we get to go back to that same clear blue!
^From our 2007 trip to Italy.

Miss you already,


Happy birthday(s)!

Happy birthday to the Rink men, our brother and dad.  We love you!


Weekday Eggs Benedict

It's really no secret that it's a toss up between breakfast and dessert for my favorite meals (yes, dessert is a meal).  I really love making dishes in both categories, especially anything involving baking, fun and easy egg dishes, or pancakes.

My favorite egg dish is Benedict style.  And once you master poaching eggs (with whatever method you use - try Smitten Kitchen's style, or Alton's for step-by-step), is as simple as putting the other parts in a frying pan.

This was breakfast this morning - a modified eggs benedict/florentine thing.  I don't really know what to call it - Weekday Eggs Benedict is the current frontrunner, since this version is hollandaise-free - that means one less step and a shorter start-to-plate time.  But if you go for the hollandaise, I commend your spirit and dedication to the art of egg dishes.

- Toast: Butter goes in the skillet on medium heat, make it nice 'n toasty on the first side, then flip.
- Egg: While toast is a'toastin, poach your egg using whatever style you fancy.
- Canadian bacon: Heat up some in another skillet while toast and egg are going.  Your toast is probably done by this point, so you can put it on a plate.
- Asparagus: I used leftover roasted asparagus from dinner the night before.  You can also simply fry some up in the same pan you did your toast in.

And stack!  So easy, but it still kind of feels like an accomplishment for how close it resembles the weekend brunch favorite.  It's simple and quick enough for a weekday morning.  And of course, it's ready for the variations.  Take out the meat or switch it out with real bacon, load up on the vegetables (how great does roasted red peppers and some sauteed spinach sound?), give it a shot.


Packing... again

Europe... take two.

We are reassembling our bags and revisiting the "packing room" in preparation for our second attempt at a European vacation.  This time with a bit warmer weather in mind!

Wish us luck!