I love a good bed. A fresh, beautiful bed with nice clean and crisp sheets.
The funny thing is that although we have a great mattress (thank you college Q for buying a tempurpedic), we’ve always sort of used what we had for sheets. When we lived in Alaska, my mom got us amazing flannel sheets from Garnet Hill. These worked perfectly through the winter here, but when summer hit, Q requested lighter “more summery” sheets. Specifically, he wanted the American Apparel t-shirt sheets we bought for his first apartment in Georgia, which may I add had a double bed. So I made them work- stretching and pulling and stuffing until they sort-of-kind-of fit our queen bed.
And I was fine with our sheet situation. That is until we went to DC this past weekend. Our friends had the most heavenly, hotel-like guest bed with crisp white sheets and a great duvet. And when I returned, I decided I was sold and I wanted them. So I began the hunt. And BOY is it a hunt. I’ve never read so many different things about 600-count and 800-count and Egyptian cotton and organic cotton vs. percale (what IS percale??). And so I started marking things online and reading reviews.
Apparently THESE Land’s End percale sheets are the best. Although according to recent reviews, they aren’t as good quality as they used to be. Hmmm so do I risk it? I thought about it.
Then I wandered into Target for a shower curtain rod and took a slight detour into the sheet rows. And rows there were- 4 of them to be exact. After an hour of touching and stretching and reading reviews on my iPhone, I went with these ultrasoft cotton sheets. I washed them two times with fabric softener (which by the way, I had never used before), and last night we gave them a go. And I felt like I was in a HOTEL! I mean, I never want to see those ripped-twin-size-t-shirt sheets again!
The next big purchase is going to be a great duvet cover and some nice pillow shams to go with it. But we are holding off because we maybe/might be/probably will be buying a king sized bed within the next year and don’t want to pull the trigger on a great duvet until we know what size to get. (And just so you know- reviews point to THIS affordable one from LL Bean as being “the best duvet there is”).
PS If you are in the market for pillows- these are pretty great.
Are you a bed snob? Do you have great sheets and a fancy duvet? I feel like such an adult even talking about it!
This is one of my favorite last minute lunches and dinners. It comes together in less than 15 minutes and is SO filling (and vegetarian too!).
To be honest, this meal was developed out of necessity. I came home from our fabulous DC trip to a very limited fridge and decided to “wing it.” I always keep great bread in the freezer, so I took a couple slices out, popped them in the toaster and then lathered them with pesto before adding some mozzarella and broiling. For the mushrooms, all they need is a simple sauté and the egg is an easy 2-minute fry. Top with fresh arugula and voila.
Once you’ve made this for lunch a few times, you can start to time your cooking so you are balancing mushrooms on the stovetop, an egg frying and toast in the toaster oven all at one time. But if you aren’t good at multi-tasking, doing each task one at a time only takes 15 minutes anyways!
Mushroom Toast with Arugula and a Fried Egg
Serves 1 (to make it for 2 just add another egg)
- 2 pieces sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto (I use this recipe)
- 3 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup assorted mushrooms
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup arugula
- Place bread in toaster or toaster oven and toast until lightly browned, around 2-3 minutes. If using frozen bread, add another minute to toaster. Remove from toaster, slather with pesto and place equal amounts of mozzarella on each piece. Set toaster oven to broil and place bread underneath for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. If your toaster oven does not a broil option, toast for 2-3 minutes until cheese melted or use regular oven. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a nonstick pan on medium heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Once oil is glistening, add mushrooms, a pinch of salt and ground pepper. Saute for 4-6 minutes until mushrooms are cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, heat on high heat for at least 30 seconds and then add the rest of the olive oil. Make sure to coat the bottom of pan. Crack egg into pan. Let the egg sit and cook. It is done when the whites are cooked through and the edges begin to turn up.Remove pan from stove and set aside.
- For assembly: lay pesto/mozzarella toasts on a plate. Top with cooked mushrooms, fried egg and arugula. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper for taste. Eat!
DC could be one of my favorite cities in the US. I love the atmosphere, the people, the food, basically everything about it. Two of our best friends, Ali & Stu, live there and when we found out Q had a last minute 4-day weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to visit them.
We’ve been to DC together once before when Q was on R&R (a small break) from his first deployment. (Read about that trip here). During that trip we did all the fun touristy things – Lincoln Memorial, White House, etc. So for this trip, we focused on more local spots with a one-day outing to Mount Vernon (which was so interesting and totally worth going to).
And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without some serious grilling. We put the men to work grilling meat for dinner while we baked a crumb cake for dessert (this one is always a winner in my book). What a wonderful weekend with amazing friends!
2Amys: Best pizza I’ve had in a long time! Do not skip the burrata appetizer!)
Taqueria el Poblano: Amazing local spot with authentic Mexican and fab margaritas
Georgetown Cupcakes: Hands down my favorite cupcakes there are. These beat Sprinkles any day.
Georgetown: All the main chain stores you love (Restoration Hardware, J. Crew, Tory Burch) with some fun local boutiques thrown in.
Mount Vernon: Beautiful estate just outside of DC
White House: Obviously!
US Capitol: One of my favorite places to visit in DC. So many interesting facts and history.
Lincoln Memorial: We loved going for a walk in the early morning to beat the heat and the crowds.
This is on repeat at our house. With great fresh bread, some homemade pesto and homegrown tomatoes- you can’t go wrong. The easiest step by step process below:
1. Toast your bread. I am a big fan of Trader Joe’s sourdough. I usually buy a couple of loaves and store them in the freezer. A quick 4-minute toast defrosts and toasts the bread perfectly.
2. Add a good amount of pesto. We have basil plants galore in our garden, so I recently made this pesto, freezing 3/4 of it and keeping the rest in the fridge.
3. Add your mozzarella. Don’t be shy – the more the merrier.
4. Top with fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper.
5. Toast for 4 minutes (or until cheese melts). Top with a splash of good quality olive oil and fresh basil (preferably from your garden). I am a big fan of adding a little balsamic as well or even if I’m getting fancy, some balsamic reduction!
One of the things I love most about this meal is that 50% of it came from my little garden: from the tomatoes to the basil to the pesto!