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Fortune-Finds-2.9.16
I hope this Tuesday finds you well, friends. Here are some links getting me through the week. 

1. Our house is lacking in many areas, especially when it comes to greenery. I’d love to add some big potted plants throughout the place, and this guide is a great resource. (Cupcakes and Cashmere)
2. It’s been snowing here in Atlanta, and let me tell you, people lose their minds when it happens. This Weekend Update bit from a few years back when Atlanta had that terrible snowstorm is hilarious and spot on. Ah, my new homes. (Hulu)
3. I’ve got the travel itch bad. These 17 reasons to travel more aren’t helping. (Travel+Leisure)
4. I’m dragging Brian to see Zoolander 2 this weekend. He finds the character to be too idiotic, but isn’t that the point? This Vogue 73 Questions video isn’t any smarter. (YouTube)
5. For my birthday, I asked for a new Jawbone Up2 band (in Oat Spectrum). The one I had died, and was also quite a few models older. My new one just came in the mail today and I love it. I know Fitbits are quite a bit more popular, but I’ve always been partial to the style of Jawbone bands, now more than ever. (Jawbone)
6. It’s the Year of the Monkey, but what does your Chinese zodiac sign say about you? Here’s a quick look. (USA Today)
7. A very clever friend of mine started a new company for Power Toothpaste. It’s caffeinated toothpaste. How smart is that? You can learn more about it on their Indiegogo campaign here. (Power Toothpaste)
8. What are you Valentine’s Day plans? Brian and I are going to Waffle House and we couldn’t be more excited about it. He’s lucky I’m a cheap date. (Waffle House)

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Year of DragonBefore I let this special day escape me, I want to wish you all a very Happy Chinese New Year! If you haven’t yet had your lucky dumplings or longevity noodles, I hope you make a call to your local chinese-deliver spot soon, because the Year of the Monkey and the witty, lovable babies it supposedly produces are cause for great celebration. As my people say, 猴年吉祥 (hóunián jíxiáng)! Good luck this Monkey year!

P.S. This time of year, I like to give myself a second chance at my New Year’s resolutions, one of the many benefits of being Chinese. 

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Super Bowl Bingo 2016Hi, fellow Broncos fans! I’m back with my third annual Super Bowl Bingo cards, and hope you’ll use them to join me in a competitive game of commercial/football watching this Sunday – as we all cheer on Peyton Manning, of course. 

As always, these cards always take me a heck of a lot of time to make, but the fun they bring to even the least avid football fan (that would still be me) makes it all worth it. So if you’d like to make your viewing party a little more interesting, click here to download the free printable bingo cards and raise the stakes on Sunday night. 

To play: Print out the cards (20 total on 10 sheets), cut them out, share them amongst your friends and watch the Super Bowl. The game officially begins at kickoff with the “Free Space” box in the middle to help get you started. Mark a box each time you see the play, shot or commercial listed. The first person to mark off five in a row (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) wins!

If I made these right, a winner shouldn’t be crowned too early into the game. I’d love your feedback though, so please report back and let me know how your game of game-day bingo went. Best of luck to you! And please spread the word about these. They’re too fun not to share. 

P.S. Special thanks as always to Brian for handling the football mumbo jumbo. You’d think that after several years of making these, I’d start to have a clue, but that’s definitely not the case. 

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Bonjour, mes amis! I’m finally able to share the second and final video from our Italy-Paris honeymoon from back in August (August! – doesn’t that feel like a lifetime ago?).

Anyway, this was my third trip to Paris, Brian’s second, but our first time there together. It will certainly not be the last. While the focus of our honeymoon was Italy (10 nights, versus the finally 3 in Paris), the City of Love sure did upstage things. We’d both done all the main tourist attractions before, and yet the beauty, culture and all of the feels left us feeling like we could never get enough. This planet of ours is a big one with a lot of worthy places to visit, but if you told me I had to limit my travels to Paris and only Paris for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t be mad.

This video captures some of the highlights from our too-quick visit, including our first-and-also-not-last visit to Disneyland Paris (the Ratatouille ride is amazing and Brian talked about it for days). Would it be terribly American and uncultured of me to say that that was our favorite part? Because it kinda was. I have no idea when we’ll make our way back there, so until we do, this guy will have to tide us over. 

Music: “Paris” by Magic Man

Check our Honeymoon Part 1: Italy if you haven’t already. 

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White-Kitchen-Essentials

I thought this Friday would never come, and yet here we are. Thank goodness.

One of the perks of my job is that I get to work from home on Fridays. Atlanta traffic is no joke, and the teleworking culture is alive and well here. On Fridays, I get to sleep in a little later, fit in a late morning workout class in a neighboring town, all while maintaining productivity (for the most part) as I finish up the week’s work. The point of this little detail is that I thought I’d use today’s work-from-home status to share a little glimpse into our house, specifically our kitchen.

But before we get to that, I want to talk about some of my favorite appliances and tools that make the kitchen feel more like home. As you can see from the graphic above, I have a big thing for all things white. White kitchens are all the rage, but if you’re a diehard fan of the color (or lack of color) like me, you’ll know that finding accessories to match can be a challenge. Consider this my attempt to help you take some of the guesswork out of it. My white-on-white kitchen essentials include: 

  1. Vitamix 7500 Blender – Our (my) beloved white Vitamix was the wedding gift I was most excited about getting. After all, these things aren’t cheap and a top-of-the-line blender is one of those outrageous appliances you’d never in your right mind buy for yourself. While Brian would have so preferred if we hadn’t registered for it (he prefers cash), we made a deal that the wedding registry would be my one opportunity to get one, so best of luck to me. Thankfully, the gift gods were being kind and I got my wish. 
  2. Le Creuset 5½ Qt. French Oven – It makes absolutely no sense that I get as much joy as I do from a pot, but I do. Not only do I use it almost everyday, but it’s so pretty that I keep it in its dedicated spot on the stove at all times for all to see. It’s beautiful. 
  3. Keurig K450 2.0 – Our white Keurig is the appliance we get the most comments about, probably because it’s the most unusual and uncommon to see. Standard black Keurigs make me think of sad office break rooms. And while I myself don’t drink coffee or get much use out of ours, I sure do love looking at it. 
  4. Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel Silicone Tool Set – Hands down the best and prettiest kitchen tools available. Also sold in red and grey if that’s more your style. 
  5. Kitchenaid 7-cup Food Processor – No grown-up kitchen is complete without a food processor, and this Kitchenaid model is one I recommend. It does a great job, and as far as food processors go, is pretty easy on the eyes. I’ve owned this one for quite a few years now, well before my white-kitchen dreams were ever a thing. I’m happy this faithful old friend still fits in so nicely now. 
  6. Simplehuman Automatic Soap Pump – I picked up this soap dispenser on one of my always life-changing visits to the Container Store. My hands are always covered in one thing or another when I’m in the kitchen, so the convenience of a touchless soap pump really appealed to me. The fact that it came in white is what sold me on it.  
  7. Williams Sonoma Square Ceramic Canisters – These canisters are the newest additions to our counters. They were backordered for so long that it was a big surprise when they finally arrived at our door last week. They’re a bit on the bigger side, but because the ceramic matches so perfectly with our white subway tiles, the canisters blend in with the backsplash and don’t look cluttered. I couldn’t be happier with them!

Not pictured – our white Crate & Barrel Avondale kitchen table. It’s a classic and it extends too!

And with that, a snapshot of our actual kitchen below, where some of the above items are on display. 

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Banana Chocolate Breakfast Smoothies

We don’t normally keep chocolate milk in the house, so when I had some left over from making Monday’s chocolate soufflés, I knew I had to do something special with it. Chugging it was my first thought, but since I’m on this health kick, I decided I’d throw some potassium and fiber in the mix and make myself a nice breakfast drink. I blended the chocolate milk with a banana, oatmeal and some ice, and the results were really tasty. That’s pretty much all you need to know to copy this, but if you, like me, enjoy learning about the obvious, please follow along.

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