Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  Hectic work and travel schedules left me dinner party-less for the last seven months.  Going from throwing a dinner every ten days a year ago to zilch left my life a bit lackluster.  To remedy this, I pulled together a handful of good friends and a healthy(ish) Mediterranean-inspired menu for my first dinner of 2014.  For decor, I envisioned blue and lemon yellow hues to stay on point with the food theme - but once I spotted the decadent purple and lavender floral selections at Whole Foods, everything changed.  To compliment the palette shift, I found a disposable black chalkboard runner, which ended up being a highlight of the dinner.  I placed a piece of chalk at each table setting, and let the guests run wild during the course of the meal.  From artistic masterpieces to naughtier content, the table was filled with memories from the evening by the time everyone left.  I can’t wait to repeat this new tradition at my next dinner party! 

II.  For better or worse, it’s wedding season again.  This means that you will be spending a significant amount of time skimming over (or creating) wedding registries.  If you’re anything like I am, you quickly pick the first item that looks interesting without putting much thought into the gift. Luckily, Bon Appetit recently published a short guide on the kitchen tools newlyweds actually need (and don’t need).  Whether you’re a bride-to-be or a guest, this article will both ease the process, and clue you in on what you need in your kitchen generally. 

III.  Searching for what to make this weekend for Father’s Day?  Look no further, I found the best recipe in the whole entire world: Green Onion Bacon Cheddar Pancakes.  Apparently that’s a thing.  If the key to a man’s heart is truly through his stomach, then you’ll be daddy’s favorite before he finishes his last bite.

IV.  One of my ex-boyfriends preferred big cake-like chocolate chip cookies.  Another wouldn’t eat anything but the ultra-thin chewy kind.  Both swore that only their mothers could create the particular favored feature.  Until now!  A bioengineering grad student at UCLA conducted a scientific study to explain exactly how to procure different chocolate chip cookie types. For example, for the gentleman who liked cake-cookies, I would have used more baking soda because the ingredient releases carbon dioxide when heated, which makes cookies puff up.  For Mr. Chewy, I would have substituted bread flour for all-purpose flour.  Genius!

V. Speaking of science (thank you for indulging me, yet again), what is string theory?  How does magnetic levitation work?  Can you explain the difference between general relativity and special relativity?  Don’t worry, I didn’t have a clue what any of this meant until I started studying the subject this year.  One of the most amazing resources I found is the MinutePhysics series, which takes huge topics and breaks them down using time-lapsed stick-figure drawings in around a minute.  I know that you peruse the internet at work every now and then, so why not carve out sixty-seconds between Shopbop and BuzzFeed to learn about the universe?  Trust me, it will blow your mind!

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt