Sunday, October 23, 2016

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Antipasti Again for Lunch

I loved my Sunday lunch of antipasti or a simple cheese plate. This consists of sharp cheddar cheese, prosciutto, Harvest Wheat Toasteds crackers, and grape tomatoes. I definitely put my own spin on this Italian course.

In an attempt to keep the portions small, I loaded up a small salad plate. It filled me up. I know that this is not the healthiest meal, but I will balance snacking on these items by eating a salad for most meals this week. I enjoyed this meal without guilt.

I was inspired to make this meal by rereading the first two chapters of Fiona Ferris' book Thirty Chic Days: Practical Inspiration for a Beautiful Life. Her second chapter focuses upon food, but I feel like it was the first chapter on mindset that led me to ask myself, "What would I have for lunch if I was living in my dream Italian [or city] apartment?" My answer was antipasti from an outdoor market in a piazza [or from Di Bruno Bros. in Philadelphia]. I savored Fiona's wonderful book when it first came out, but just started to reread the entire book in order to draft a thorough review of it for the blog. (I have finished reading all the books on my fall reading list and you can expect the last two reviews to be published by the end of the month. Plus, I also have decided on six titles for my winter list. I even bought five of them and plan to borrow the final selection. So stay tuned!)

I have actually written about the antipasti lunch previously here. That meal in the spring was a more economical version when compared to this one, but I am still spending some nice summer and fall commission at the moment. Back then, that meal of mine was also inspired by Fiona, specifically a post on her blog how to be chic. It certainly helps to be reminded to create the life you want to live! Speaking of inspiration, the Barefoot Contessa made a much more sophisticated cheese board for dessert actually in her latest episode that aired at 10:30 this morning. If it's a good idea to Ina Garten, then it's a good idea for me.

I look forward to snacking on these foods with a glass of wine, and returning to Italy for a few bites, after work this week. ...and I might just have to entertain! An Italian friend can help me eat some. I can even switch it up a bit with a portion of parmesan and some of that sourdough bread stocked in my freezer from my last dinner party.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Barefoot Contessa

I simply adore Ina Garten, star of the TV show Barefoot Contessa on Food Network, which is is a 30-minute cooking show with an emphasis upon easy entertaining. In the latest This & That post on the blog The Simply Luxurious Life, I learned that her season premiere airs at 10:30 AM on Sunday. I hardly ever watch TV, so I thought that catching this episode was something different I could do during my weekend. The show far exceeded my expectations. It turned out to be Italian-themed!

This season of the show celebrates Ina's new cookbook Cooking for Jeffrey, which is to be released on October 25th. Jeffrey is her husband and they are such a cute couple. To my surprise, Ina prepares an Italian-themed birthday dinner party for Jeffrey in this episode. She made bruschetta, meatballs, polenta, and a salad along with a spritz. His birthday gift was a trip to Florence! I enjoyed watching the episode and might watch more of the season. Furthermore, I can see her recipes and tips inspiring my own cooking and entertaining.

The previous photos show my view from the sofa. I was recently given a gently used flat screen TV. I love this wonderful gift, particularly to hostess movie nights. I haven't done so yet, but it would be nice to do with the girls in the winter. Like I said, I rarely watch TV, so sometimes, it sits in the living room and other times, it is stored in my walk-in closet. Since it's not out all the time, I haven't dealt with all those unsightly cords. Oh well.

I walked to Target this morning for a flu shot. Because there was a delay at the pharmacy, I killed some time by shopping for two household items and spontaneously grabbing a tall cappuccino from the in-store Starbucks. By the time I was finished, the pharmacy was ready to help me. It was nice to sip my delicious Italian coffee while viewing the cooking show featuring an Italian meal. I love embracing a theme.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Using my New Phone

My phone died last Monday afternoon. From old age. Since I got it right before my 30th birthday trip to Paris, that means it was 2 1/2 years old. With major memory problems from the beginning, I never loved it, but I strive not to complain in general. 

On Tuesday evening, I visited my local T-Mobile store and selected a new one, probably the second cheapest one in the store instead of the most economical one this time. It is another Android, a Samsung Galaxy J7. I love it. And do you know why? Because it's functional. Unlike my former phone, it doesn't take long to do anything. I don't have to clear data from app storage on a regular basis nor immediately delete photos. My apps no longer constantly remind me that they need updating. The emails I draft are actually sent to the recipient. I can now scroll down my Instagram feed even if there's a video at the top. I get to have all the apps I want! Not that I want all that many. I have already redeemed three offers in the cash back app called ibotta. It's nice to have Yelp on my phone when I travel. (I hope to head to Philadelphia soon!) The memo app is a bit easier to use, which is fantastic for a list-maker like me. Plus, the images on Instagram and Pinterest look great. Since I do not know a lot about technology, I required the salesperson's assistance. He said this phone had a better camera than the cheapest phone. I like to travel light and use my phone as a camera so I don't have to bring yet another device on short trips. I need to order a case for my precious phone as soon as possible. I've been trying to look for a chic one online. My favorite so far is this white marble one.

My new phone on my desk. 
Goes with the black and white with metallic accents theme in that corner.

I am slowly setting it up. My (free) background which is white with a pale pink cherry blossom branch in the middle allows the apps to stand out. (Spring is my favorite season.) I have my home screen full of apps and organized as I like. I am actually only using one of the three pages. I have more when I click on Apps though. I decided against transferring my contacts. Always having done so over the years, I have so many people and businesses saved that I would never call. After asking people or consulting my paper address book or email folders, I am slowly entering in names and numbers now. If you know me in real life and have my number, feel free to call or text me so I enter the digits. I also hope to pay this phone off in like 5 payments over a short time rather than over 24 months as advertised. Winter is coming and I do not earn a lot of commission then. (I was unexpectedly poor during the spring last year too.)

You will also see with my upcoming fall capsule wardrobe post that upgrade is the name of my game lately. I am so happy with my new phone!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Hanging Out with Minnie

My parents have been out of town and for the past week, I have been helping my siblings watch the family dog Minnie while they are away. I had introduced you to this beagle/terrier mix here. I love dogs and have been enjoying my dogsitting shifts. We've had days of rain, so when the sun finally came out this afternoon, we immediately went outside.

Now, I think it's time for another walk to celebrate the sunshine.