Monday, October 31, 2011

It's not a blog without a Breton Stripe T-Shirt. But save yourself the $65.50, because this one is the best.

Come To My Window


I'll be home sooooooooooooooooooon.

Did I really just sing Melissa Etheridge? I hate myself sometimes. 

That said, I love the windowpane plaid that seems to be popping up all over the place. 

Madewell, $110

The Moment I Wake Up...

You might ask, why is Sarge posting an Aretha Franklin video first thing Monday morning?

Well if you have to ask, you clearly need reminding: this woman is one of our greatest NATIONAL TREASURES. Do we really live in a world where you need a reason to post a video of Aretha Franklin looking adorable and absolutely killing it? No, we do not.

You're welcome.

P.S. If you subscribed to Sarge in Charge on blogspot, please update your subscription to

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Recipes for People Who Can't Cook: Lemon Sesame Chicken

Let me be clear: I don't purport to be any sort of domestic expert.  Up until 2 years ago, I had never made anything more complicated than pasta and jarred sauce.  I don't own a food processor, a mixer,  or even a blender.  I have two knives.  Total.  For god's sake, I don't even own a SPATULA.  

There are a million great recipes out there, written by people who know far more than I ever will.  But I often find myself intimidated and overwhelmed wading through recipes filled with spices I don't have, using equipment I don't own, and requiring techniques I have never even heard of.  I will be sharing a few recipes that I guarantee even the most clueless, ill-equipped cook can handle.  Because that cook is me. Consider this America's Test Kitchen...For Dummies.   

When I visited my parents last weekend, my Mom made the most delicious lemon sesame chicken.  I was a bit skeptical when she told me that it was actually incredibly easy, but I gave it a try and it turns out she was right!

Lemon Sesame Chicken
Serves 4

Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sesame oil
Salt and Pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbsp. Peanut Oil
8 ounces (1 pkg) bean sprouts
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Notes:  The oil splatters all over the stovetop.  If you don't have peanut oil, vegetable oil is fine.  The sesame oil gave me some pause but it was only $4.50 for a bottle that will last forever. 

1. Turn oven to 350 degrees and put sesame seeds in pan to "toast" while cooking chicken.  I do not preheat oven so that the timing works well.  If you have thought ahead and already toasted the sesame seeds, good for you!
2. Combine lemon juice, sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp salt in cup or bowl. Set aside.
3.  Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
4.  Heat oil over high heat. Add chicken and cook 6-8 minutes turning once in skillet.  The pieces should have some golden color on the outside. Transfer to serving plate or pan.
5.  Spread bean sprouts over bottom of same skillet and cook for 2-3  minutes.  Stir until sprouts start to brown but remain crunchy.  Spoon sprouts over chicken.  Pour lemon juice mixture over sprouts.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I am waiting for the birthday boy to finish up his midterm exams so that I can take him to dinner (West Town Tavern, cannot wait).  Naturally, I took to the internet.  I stumbled upon the By Boe jewelry line and about lost it.  Now, when it comes to jewelry, I am not one for "delicate."  My taste could kindly be described as "dramatic" and not-so-kindly as "gaudy."  But I absolutely LOVE By Boe's stackable rings and stud earrings.  They are so simple and yet not something you see everyday-- and there's not a girl out there who wouldn't be happy to receive something from this collection. 
My faves, from top to bottom: 
Just one more!  How cute are the Alfabet Earrings?  I want a mismatched set with my initials.

Ladies Is Pimps Too

So why does Filson only make the Wool Packer Coat for men? Not cool, guys. Not cool.

Happy 28th Birthday To...

THIS sophisticated gent, also known as my boyfriend Matt. You may be one year older, but you are clearly still young at heart! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

What I Wish I Wore: Boston

My parents recently moved to Boston after living in Indianapolis for nearly 20 years.  Airfare Watchdog turned up an $80 round trip ticket and at that price I couldn't say no to a quick visit.  It was a gorgeous fall weekend and we headed to Cambridge to check out the Harvard campus and the Head of the Charles regatta (little known fact: I had a brief and unsuccessful crew career in high school).  I wish I wore: 
Alas, I actually wore my trusty old H & M poncho, slightly torn jeans (oops), and ancient Frye boots.  Close, right?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Porcine Prima Donna

Miss Piggy in a look by Prabal Gurung

“The strappy sandal seemed to work best to complement her hoofs” - Brian Atwood

“This style maven is living proof that confidence — and a whole lot of it — can get you everywhere” - Ariel Foxman, In Style (too true!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't Be Cruel

The Outnet, why must you taunt me day after day with those dreaded words, "Unfortunately, this product is no longer available." You know I cannot help but look! Take this down at once and put me out of my misery!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chartreuse and Grey

Chartreuse and Grey

It is an absolute certainty.  If I particularly despise a color/trend/style, I know that I am 100% guaranteed to fall head over heels in love with it within months.  Like in a romantic comedy, our initial loathing clearly signifies that we are meant to be.  This phenomenon has occurred with black jeans, harness boots, the color kelly green, and now, it has happened with chartreuse.

It all started when I developed a strange obsession with the CB2 Latitude dresser above.  I got so excited thinking about how it would solve my bedroom decorating woes that I couldn't even sleep (sadly, I am not exaggerating).  My dreams were crushed the next morning when the measuring tape revealed that the Latitude dresser demanded an extra foot of space that our bedroom simply could not provide.  But then, like clockwork, I started to see chartreuse everywhere.  And it hit me- some pops of chartreuse would be just the thing for my dull, flat grey and periwinkle blue color scheme.   

I am picturing slate gray walls, crisp white nightstands, a pillow or two in the Osborne & Little "Balyan" print, and a green Otomi wall hanging above the bed. If the Otomi gets too matchy-matchy (or, let's be real, too expensive), I think a panoramic black and white photo could have the same visual impact. 

What do you think? Will my love of chartreuse return to loathing when I see it day after day? Will the chartreuse and grey combination it scream "Fall 2011" in a few years?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Is Not Good

While I have achieved perfection on one shelf in my entire apartment, the rest of it could more accurately be described as "tragic." For example, our bedroom:

Check out those dingy white walls, Ikea "nightstands," ridiculously proportioned star, mushy pillows, and the single piece of art sitting forlornly in the corner (where it has rested for at least 6 months).

This is what decorators like to call a "vignette." In fact I am pretty sure I saw Emily Henderson use the ol' 4 paperbacks, 1 framed photo, and a tub of Carmex combo on Secrets From A Stylist just last week. It's a classic and with good reason.

Some sort of full coverage window treatment is a necessity as our bedroom windows look directly into the kitchen of the apartment next door, which is occupied by a rotating cast of 20 something guys, all of whom appear to be allergic to their shirts. Trust me, it is nowhere near as exciting as it sounds. Anyways, I appreciate the light and torso-blocking qualities of these curtains, but couldn't something less depressing do the job just as well?

The quatrefoil mirror is not so bad (copied directly from Young House Love) but that jewelry display is just a visual mess. Not to mention inefficient, as I inevitably spend 5 minutes every morning detangling a knot of necklaces.

Please don't forget how a generous sliver of our box spring is always on display because we have been too lazy to buy some sort of cover and/or convert the bed to a platform as was originally intended. Oh, and peep that perpetually rumpled rug!

I know. It's hopeless, Biscuit (Biscuit is my basset hound, if you haven't figured that out yet).

Since we will be living here for at least 1.5 more years, I have decided to do something about this mess once and for all. Step 1: Paint.

Belated Weekend Update

I went to Cincinnati for last weekend with high school friends. I foolishly left my camera behind but these phone pics pretty much sum up my time in the 'Nati: beers and affogato (gelato "drowned" in espresso, if you haven't had the pleasure I insist you try it at once) at the historic Findlay Market, french bulldogs, and more french bulldogs (Hey Arnold! Miss you buddy).

I Am Noticing A Pattern Here

I am absolutely powerless against the charms of a wood-heeled ankle boot.  Discovering this pattern made me think of the most recent episode of Modern Family. I haven't been watching lately but I happened to watch this week and Phil Dunphy killed me with this one:
I'll admit it, I'm turned on by powerful women. Michelle Obama, Oprah,
Condoleezza Rice, Serena... Williams... wait a minute.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What I Wore to Work

McTega Gold Chunk necklace
Velvet Nili top
J. Crew Dorrie Skirt - no longer available
Rachel Comey Mars bootie - lest you think I am rolling in dough, these were purchased at a 50% discount from a shoe store employee friend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Summer In Review

Abandoned ship in Castine, ME; Myrna II lobster boat; drinks on the dock; sunset at Harbor Ice Cream in Deer Isle, ME

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.; wedding in Cashiers, N.C.

Pimm's Cups; barbeque food fight; Stephanie Izard vs. Chris Pandel Quickfire Challenge; Stephanie's Ethiopian tartare (!)

I Have Achieved Perfection

On one shelf. In one room. Out of my entire house.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Dog Is Cuter Than Yours

Damn right, she's cuter than yours.

She could teach you, but she'd have to charge.*

*Just kidding, you cannot teach God-given good looks.