Sunday, January 22, 2012

Seven Things Making Me Smile

So it has been quite a bit of time since the last Seven Things Making Me Smile installment. I feel like this is a very good way to start off the new year!

1. Jean over at Delightful Repast has an out of this world recipe for fruit scones over at her blog; I highly recommend it. I make no bones about not being the most enthusiastic cook/baker on the planet, but I have made the recipe three times in the last month! (Here's a photo of the ones I made this morning.) These scones are easy and delicious! (The standout ingredient is the fresh orange zest.) "Mmm, delicious, thank you!"©

2. After waiting for what seemed like forever, the second series of "Downton Abbey" is back on Masterpiece Classic ! Hooray!! It's so exciting to catch up with the Crawleys after a whole year of missing them. After watching the first episodes, I am really hoping that things will work out for my favorite couple from downstairs, Anna and Mr. Bates, and the evil Mrs. Bates (who can give O'Brien and Thomas a run for the money in the being nasty department) ends up being divorced/defeated/sent back to the gates of hell. The Dowager Countess continues to have the most fabulous one liners. Of course, I am still "shipping" Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Branson, while pouty Lady Edith can go suck an egg. Not forgetting all the great people downstairs: Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes, William, Daisy, and Mrs. Patmore. Love this show; it is definitely "appointment television"!

3. I heard recently that over the last 18 months, 18 new restaurants have opened in Kendall Square. My new favorite after work spot is Area Four. I highly recommend their take on both the Sazerac and the Dark & Stormy cocktails, the bacon & sea salt pretzel nuggets, the mac & cheese, and the meatball pizza. The ambiance is very chil-laxed and the waitstaff is young and friendly. Since going the first time back at the end of November, I have been there at least a half dozen times and keep bringing new people with me.

4. I suffer from dry, weak, and peeling finger nails; it's been a problem for me all my life. (The worst is when they rip right at the quick.) I have tried so many different kinds of strengtheners, polishes, and regimes to remedy this, but nothing has really worked all that well. I was at the beauty supply shop in Coolidge Corner, and the ladies there recommended Duri "Rejuvacote". I started using it about two weeks ago, and it is working brilliantly. I don't think that it is making my nails grow any faster, but they are certainly stronger than they have been.

5. The Banana Republic Cashmere Wrap. Best scarf ever!! If you don't have one already, you will have to wait until next fall to buy one because they are all sold out, but these puppies are SOOO worth the $98 investment (to be fair: I have purchased most of mine using BR Rewards and taking advantage of sales). I have them in a bunch of different colors (black, oatmeal, pink, gray, red) and wear one just about every day. They can both dress up and dress down an outfit and are great for work (especially for my office which gets freezing in the afternoon once the sun goes down).

6. I used to drink Oregon Chai all of the time, and I was recently reminded of how much I loved it. It actually is the perfect thing to have right before bedtime. I don't know if it is the warm milk or the ritual, but it has helped a bit with my insomnia issues, and anything that can do that is most welcome.

7. My local PBS station WGBH has a second channel (WGBX), and now on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights they are now exclusively running British programs. Mondays are "Ashes to Ashes", "Hustle", and "MI-5" ("Spooks"); Tuesdays are Masterpiece reruns ("Downton Abbey") while Wednesdays are "Larkrise to Candleford", "Doc Martin", and "Waking the Dead". I bet you are surprised I actually have any time to do anything OTHER than watch tv, right? (And it's great because they show the shows without edits and without commercials.)

So these are some of the things that are brightening my days of late. I am sure there will be more to add as the year progresses!

Please note: these are all my own opinions; I have not been compensated in any way for recommending any products, etc. etc. All images are from the sites referred to and linked.

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