17 Dec

I wore a similar outfit a few months ago: the same dress with the brooch attacked with red tights. It was a good transition to spring, but this one is perfect for early winter.

I love mustard yellow and this scarf was such a great purchase! I bought it in Salzburg, Austria.

coat

I think I looked like a 1920s detective that day! This hat is proving to be a staple of my wardrobe this year–I’ve worn it nearly every day for two weeks! And I like how touch I look in these photos, haha.

Dress: Old Navy
Cardigan: Gap
Tights: Gap
Oxfords: Payless? I don’t remember.
Coat: Gap
Scarf: H&M
Brooch: Given to me by my grandmother
Cloche: Urban Outfitters

My first anniversary

Joseph and I got married December 17, 2007; that means we recently celebrated our first anniversary!
We were married while he was in the midst of a deployment in Iraq, so he wasn’t present at the ceremony. I was excited we were getting married but at the same time a bit sad that he could be with me for another few months, so I tried to find a dress with similarities to a classic wedding dress that could still function as a normal dress. A friend pointed me in the direct of a dress Anthropologie was selling and it was perfect!


Joseph’s father and step-mother, me, my father, mother, and sister on my wedding day

For our first anniversary I decided wearing the dress again would be perfect. I will never not think of it as my “wedding dress,” but I’d love an opportunity to wear it again. This was the first time he was able to see me in the dress, and it made our day very special.

I love the subtle reminiscence to a wedding dress. I wore it with a strand of pearls I bought while I was in high school in Okinawa, Japan and shoes from Target that catch the light well and match perfectly.

Joseph dressed up as well!

Joseph made me a delicious six-course meal! He is a much better cook than I am, and everything from the presentation to the taste was beyond amazing. I took no pictures since it was night-time and flash would ruin the photos.

First course: Herbed Crepes with Smoked Salmon and Radishes, with a Light Lemon-Kissed Cream Cheese Filling with Dill and Chives.
Second course: Lobster Tail, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad with a Lemon-Shallot Dressing and Fresh Spinach Leaves Kissed With Sea Salt
Third course: Cast-Iron Seared Filet Mignon with Charred Onion Rings and Cucumbers, with a Slowly Reduced Balsamic-Burgundy Wine Sauce with Whole Shallots
Fourth course: Slow-Roasted and Caramelized Whole Plum Tomatoes With Coarse Sugar and Fresh Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Fifth course: Carrot-Garlic Puree and Celery Root-Garlic Puree
Sixth course: Tiramisu Affogato: A Deconstructed Tiramisu – Equal Parts of Coffee Ice Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream, with Italian Walnut-Almond Ladyfingers Coarsely Crumbled Over, Hot Espresso Poured On Top, and a Dollop of Homemade Whipped Cream, and Grazed with Freshly Grated Bittersweet Chocolate

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

Inspired by this post at the LiveJournal community “picturing_food”, I made a peppermint bark with both white and dark chocolate! I altered her recipe slightly and they were really very delicious!

Peppermint Bark

I used Lind 70% cocoa bars and Nestle Tollhouse white chocolate chips for the dark and white chocolates. Using a good quality dark chocolate morsels would be very easy as well! The original recipe used semi-sweet Ghirardelli chips instead of dark chocolate, but I prefer dark.

2 bars 3.5 oz (100mg) Lindt Excellence Intense Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 bag 12 oz (340 g) Nestle Toll House Premiere White Morsels
candy canes or peppermint candies (I used miniature candy canes because they chopped up easily)
1 ¼ tsp. peppermint or mint extract (approx.) for peppermint extract, you might not want as much
1 tsp. vegetable oil

Line a 8×8 inch baking sheet or pan with wax paper or aluminum foil. Melt chocolate on low heat in saucepan. When halfway melted, add ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract and ½ teaspoon vegetable oil. Stir thoroughly until melted. Immediately spread over prepared baking sheet. Let cool for one hour.

Meanwhile, crush candy. To do this, place them in a Ziplock bag and use a hammer, rolling pin, foot, or whatever you please to crush them! I normally use a hammer, but I made these late at night and didn’t want to disturb my new neighbors; after realizing I don’t have the strength to crush with a rolling pin, I had my husband walk on the bag!

Melt white chocolate in saucepan over low heat. When half-melted, add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract and ½ teaspoon vegetable oil, stirring thoroughly. As soon as chocolate is fully melted, spread evenly over cooled dark chocolate. Sprinkle crushed candy on the top and place in the refrigerator until cooled. Peal wax paper off the back of the candy and break in pieces and enjoy!

My peppermint bark is much thicker than the average–I’m sure a more traditional thinner bark could be used by cutting the recipe in thirds or halves, or spreading the chocolate on a larger baking sheet. My peppermint extract measurements are approximated–have fun with it! This is a very easy recipe and a sure crowd-pleaser.

Peppermint Bark

Bonus
Here is my Christmas tree and its twinkling lights!
Christmas tree
Every one of those presents is for my husband! He is completely spoiled :p

It still needs garland, but I did add a few nutcracker ornaments bought last week in Germany.
Nutcracker ornament

Bavaria, Germany

We just got back from our trip to Germany last night. We had a great time–it was a nice vacation and everything was so beautiful covered in snow!

Our itinerary:
Sunday, Dec 7 – Dachau Concentration Camp
Monday, Dec 8 – Neuschwanstein Castle
Tuesday, Dec 9 - Munich
Wednesday, Dec 10 – Linderhof Palace

Sunday, Dec 7:
I didn’t take many pictures of the concentration camp because it was just too upsetting and disturbing. I will only post one photo because I don’t to upset anyone; you can view the rest at my Flickr by clicking here.

Dachau Concentration Camp

Monday, Dec 8:
We made a quick stop at Wieskirche, which is a beautiful cathedral.

My husband Joseph and me. He looks so funny when he is squinting!


The inside; I always prefer light-colored cathedrals over darker ones. I love when there are lots of windows lighting it up!

Next we saw the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, which I’m sure you have all seen photos of before. Walt Disney himself loved the castle so much he had Cinderella’s castle modeled after it.

This is the photo you have probably seen:

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Neuschwanstein Castle
The very eccentric King Ludwig II began building in 1869, and only 1/3 of it was completed before his death 17 years later. Building has never completed, but we did see a tour of the 20 rooms. This castle was only lived in something like 172 days–what a waste!

Neuschwanstein Castle
It had running water (with flushing toilets and everything!), electricity, and even a telephone system. Photos were not allowed inside, but I can tell you it was just as beautiful and as elaborate as you could imagine.

Schneeballen
On the way to and from the hike to the castle, we ate Schneeballen, which are little delicious balls of fried cakes. We also drank Gluehwein, which is a hot red wine–it tasted like hot apple cider, except grape and alcoholic!

Bavaria, Germany
Of course I always find time for mini-portrait sessions!

Tuesday, Dec 9:

This day we travelled to Munich and enjoyed our time wandering the city.

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany
There was a huge Christmas market! Nutcrackers are my favorite.

Munich, Germany
Beret from Urban Outfitters and scarf from H&M

We stumbled upon the cathedral Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan. Of all the cathedrals I’ve seen in Europe, this is one of my favorites.
Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan
I love the rich golden color and simple design of the outside. It was so pretty against the bright sky. There was a small Christmas tree market set up in front that complimented it well.

Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan
Can you see the bits of gold decorating the dome? Besides that this cathedral was nearly completely white on the inside!

Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan

Wednesday, Dec 10:

We got to see another of King Ludgwig II’s palaces, which happened to be his favorite. He lived in this one the most, and it was the only one completed before his untimely death. It is my favorite as well!

Linderhof Palace
Linderhof Palace. Again, photographs were not allowed inside, but it was truly beautiful.

Linderhof Palace
Unfortunately the gardens were boarded up for winter! This is normally full of fountains and flowers and was inspired by the gardens of Versailles.

Bavaria, Germany
Joseph and me again. Snow is so beautiful! I had never seen snow like this before and I really love it.

Bavaria, Germany

That is my trench coat from Gap I bought a few weeks ago. It kept me very warm!

Bavaria, Germany

More photos at my Flickr.

Hats in Winter

Thanksgiving took all my cooking desires away, so I have no recipes to update with! It did however leave me full of Christmas spirit–my favorite time of year!

We decorated our Christmas tree, but it’s not quite finished yet. We are still searching for more ornaments and white or silver garland.
Christmas tree

baubles

Look at my beautiful new shirt from J. Crew and cloche from Urban Outfitters! More about them later. I’ve very into hats this year–can you tell?

I’ll be in Bavaria, Germany until December 10th, so I won’t be blogging for a while. When I come back there will be many pictures of travels, though!

Personally, I use GoogleReader to follow my favorite blogs, but BlogLovin’ is nice as well! I set up an account for my blog there this week.
bloglovin – in-the-wabe

also, for those who use LiveJournal: I made a syndicated feed there–add it to your friend’s page here!

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