Friday, March 29, 2013

Recipe: Mediterranean Salad

This is the salad that people actually request that I make -- I don't get requests for anything else from anyone (except from my husband and son) -- but it's really simple. There's no need to emulsify the dressing. If you're in a real hurry, you can even just toss everything together then serve (or serve after a a bit of time in the fridge while you do other things).

In honor of the new spring season, I'm sharing the recipe with everyone on the world wide web so you can make it and wow your friends and family during get-togethers. I think it's a great idea to allow the flavors to blend in the fridge for a bit, and an even better idea to marinate the red onion in the dressing while you prepare the rest of the veggies. That way, the acidity mellows out any bitterness in the onion.

I usually get my ingredients from the local Trader Joe's, which carries organic Persian cucumbers and organic Roma tomatoes in one-pound packages. Very convenient. By the way, Persian cucumbers have thicker skin and are smaller and crispier than regular cucumbers. These characteristics make them the perfect candidate for the lovely, tart dressing.

Note: You can easily give this salad an antipasto flavor by adding pepperoncinis, salami, and/or pepperoni slices. Maybe also some grated Parmesan. I've done that before and it tastes delicious. If you're making this for a party that includes a mix of vegetarians and omnivores, you can leave the cured meats on the side for those guests who want it. You can also leave the cheese on the side for any vegan or dairy-intolerants guests.

Mediterranean Salad
Serves 6-8

  • 1/2 cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar [I add an extra splash since I like my dressings very tart]
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 lb (5-6 pieces) Persian cucumbers, sliced in 1/4" rounds
  • 1 lb (5-6 pieces) Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz. Feta cheese [I use the Mediterranean feta from TJ's, extra herbs that way]
  • 1 4-oz. can sliced black olives, drained and rinsed


Whisk olive oil, vinegar, spices, and salt and pepper in a small bowl until blended. Slice onion and allow to marinate in the dressing while cutting the other vegetables. Add cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and cheese, and toss to coat evenly. Optional: Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend.


xo, Gladys

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More Fluevog Love: Spring 2013

My Ellie sportswear giveaway has ended, and the lucky winner was chosen via and has been notified. Thanks so much to everyone who entered! And don't forget that you can still get 20% off their super-stylish athletic wear for the rest of this month at! I'll have a more detailed review of their clothing in a bit. Short preview: Comfy! Durable! No muffin top! (Yes, please.)

Now on to the show ...

* * *

I managed to visit the Fluevog store on Melrose another two times since my last Fluevog post earlier this month. Why? Let me count the ways. The current Spring line is out of control. The colorways -- especially the aqua, turquoise, yellow, and pink -- have caused ripples of excitement to spread out from Vancouver, Canada, across the globe. :-) Hanging out at the store makes for a super-fun afternoon (especially when there's a Johnny Rockets right across the street where you can get some yummy milkshakes afterward).

And ... I had to pick up my (early) birthday shoes!!!

Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom: Liz in black/pink/white. Fluevog

While I took home my first choice, I have a running list of my top three that might change when I visit the store once again. They're waiting on a shipment of 7th Heaven Angel styles, including ... wait for it ... polka-dotted oxfords and ankle boots! Whuuuuut??

Here are the other styles that I was able to try on. (Much more detailed reviews on sizing, fit, and flatter-factor on the For the Love of Vogs blog here and here!)

Prepare: Guide in yellow. Fluevog | Amazon

Baroque: Caravaggio in pink. These look like presents. Fluevog | Amazon

Munster: Beth in black/white. Bonus shot of my kiddo trying to climb everything (grrr). Fluevog | Amazon

Integrity: Amie in neon orange. The color on the left shoe is true to life. Fluevog

Rule Low: Joni in pink. Fluevog | Amazon

Bellevue: Laura Evans in black/cream. Fluevog | Amazon

River: Loire in aqua/silver. Fluevog

Hope: Promise in navy/cream. Sorry about the weird colors here. Fluevog | Amazon

Espadrille: Martin in copper. These aren't available on the Fluevog website yet.
* * *

Before I left the store on my last visit, I finagled a flower-wheel photo with some of the awesome Melrose dealers. From left counterclockwise: Lenae is wearing her Prepare: Guides. Austyn is wearing his Twin Turbine: 1611 First Avenue boots. Kate (who helped me all three times I visited this month) is wearing her Living: Malcolm boots. And I'm wearing my Integrity: Amie flats. Thanks so much, guys!

xo, Gladys

Monday, March 25, 2013

Floral Blues

If you haven't yet, you can still enter my Ellie sportswear giveaway here. Contest ends one (1) minute before midnight (PST) tonight! I'll contact the winner by email shortly after.

Tank: Old Navy | Cardi: POL | Skirt: Handmade by me | Flats: Fluevog Amie (Integrity family)

This blog is loooong overdue for an outfit post. I haven't posted an outfit since early February! I think I fell into a rut during winter, where my daily uniform consisted of jeans, a top, a cardigan or jacket, socks, and sometimes nice shoes. Nothing worth documenting. But now it's really spring here, and over the weekend we decided to make another trip to L.A. to see my mom and to visit the Fluevog store once again (more on my visit in a later post).

I went tonal for this outfit. I picked out the skirt first since I wanted to wear something other than jeans when I tried on shoes, and this skirt looked very spring-y! I hadn't worn it since the summer/autumn I first made it, in 2011 (whoa). It was the first garment I made using a pattern, and the first time I made pleats and sewed on a zipper. I loved the way it turned out, but the only problem was that it was too loose on me. Well, I've gained a few pounds since then -- specifically since the holidays late last year when I fell into poor eating habits that I'm currently trying to conquer -- so it fit just fine over the weekend. (However much I like this skirt, I'm still planning to lose some of this gut over the summer once swimming season starts! Occasional running and dancing are in the stars, too. And I have to be more strict with the rice and sweets, especially root beer. Sigh. Sugar should be labeled with an addictive warning, no doubt about it.)

I wore the cardigan closed the rest of the day because the tank top showed too much bra strap. I don't think it's as attractive closed, except that the topstitching on the cardigan has a cool sailor-vibe that's accentuated when the buttons are closed up. Overall, I liked this outfit and had fun in it. The skirt sure looks great with lots of different Fluevogs! I'll post more on that later. :-)

xo, Gladys

Monday, March 18, 2013

GIVEAWAY [ENDED]: Win a Fitness Bra and Leggings from Ellie

***This giveaway has ended. The lucky winner was chosen via and has been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered!***

Spring is almost here and before you know it, it'll be summer! Time to work out outdoors. There's nothing like a new sports bra and pair of running/yoga pants to inspire you. Today I'm very pleased to announce a great giveaway, courtesy of Ellie, a new brand of fitness apparel.

Ellie offers high-quality, super-stylish clothing at half the cost of comparable athletic brands. I can personally attest that the fabric and craftsmanship are excellent, and I love that the clothes aren't made in sweatshops in export processing zones, but in the USA. Plus, the designs are truly fashionable.

Today, I'll be giving away the Under Your Spell Sports Bra in Small, and the Love Struck Leggings in Small. (Small sizing is standard US 4-6. Small measurements for the bra: 34" bust. Small measurements for the leggings: 26.5" waist and 37" hips. I would say these pieces run closer to US size 6 since the fabric stretches well.)

About Ellie

The company sells its own line of fitness apparel, ranging from XS - L sizes, exclusively through and offers its clothing two ways:

1) Via subscription to the Fit Fashionista Club.
Each month, Ellie offers 24 new tops and bottoms. If you're a member, you can choose two pieces -- any combo (a top and bottom, two tops, or two bottoms) -- for $49.95 per month. This is a fraction of what you'd pay from other athletic brands, especially if you choose two bottoms which run $50-65 apiece. You need to choose the items before the 7th of the month, or Ellie will ship a "surprise" box to you based on your preferences (size, color, length of pant, etc.). ** You can skip any month, as long as you change your preferences by the 7th. ** Also, it's FREE SHIPPING for all orders, exchanges, and returns.

2) As a non-member.
Pick and choose the items you'd like from what's available in that month's offerings, just like purchasing from any other online store.

Either way, you can save 20% through the month of March. If you decide to subscribe during the last 10 days of March, you can choose to pre-order from the April collection.

A Note about Petite Sizing

If you've been a regular reader of this blog, you've probably gathered that I am petite sizing. I'm short at 5'1". Ellie unfortunately does not currently offer petite sizes, although they are working on offering both plus and petite sizes as well. If you're petite, I'd recommend that, for the tops, you avoid the form-fitting strappy tanks as the straps aren't adjustable. For the bottoms, the capris and shorter lengths should work for shorter legs.

How to Enter the Giveaway

It's simple. Just go to, check out the March collection (you'll have to create a member sign-in), then leave a comment HERE on this blog post letting me know which item is your absolute favorite. Don't forget to leave an e-mail address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win. Giveaway will close March 25, 11:59 PST. Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via e-mail. Sorry, giveaway open only to U.S. readers. Good luck!

Not your size or not interested in entering the giveaway? Ellie is offering 20% off right now through this link.

xo, Gladys

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pattern Haul

A few weeks ago, I received an exciting package in the mail, full of the sewing patterns I bought from Butterick and McCall during their recent sale. I'm pretty sure I won't get to all of them anytime soon, but a girl can dream ... and be inspired. My new patterns include lovely retro styles, something to make for my little guy, and even yoga pants!

Speaking of activewear, I have something really exciting cooking up for the blog. If you wear a U.S. size Small* in tops and/or bottoms (not petite sizing), then I've got a GIVEAWAY you might like. :-) Come back early next week and I'll have the details.

Retro style and vintage

Classic pieces

For my son and all of his younger boy cousins

Some activewear -- an attempt to motivate myself for the coming warm seasons

xo, Gladys

* U.S. Small in tops: 34" bust; Small in bottoms: 26.5" waist and 37" hips.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fluevog Love: Spring 2013 on Melrose

Bellevue: Eleanor in two-tone pink

Over the weekend, I finally had the chance to drop by the Fluevog store on Melrose Avenue to try on the new Spring collection. Because I was there near the end of store hours, there weren't too many customers and I was able to try on quite a few styles -- mostly pumps, sandals, and ballet flats/loafers -- although there is a lot more that I didn't get to. Long story short, it is a spectacular lineup, even more wonderful than Fall (see 1 | 2 | 3), and I should have come in a lot sooner! Folks must have jumped on some of the styles, because my size is gone in at least a couple of my most-coveted colorways. My favorite colors this season? Aqua and pink. But there are also bright yellow, coral, orange, metals, florals, royal blue, and cheetah, among others. There's something for everyone!

(Click on the images to go to the or webpages.)

Presence: Imagine in aqua and turquoise

Hopeful: Assured in camel
(Teal colorway and black colorway here)

Integrity: Arabella in ivory and black

Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom: Liz in black, pink, and white
(Teal, white, and black colorway here)

This is only a partial list of the amazing shoes I tried on. If you'd like to check out the full review -- including the nitty-gritty details on sizing, fit, and wow factor -- click over to my post on For the Love of Vogs. And if you get a chance to visit a store and try the shoes on, I urge you to do it! You won't be sorry. :-)

xo, Gladys

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Matching Doctor Who Tees

Recently, I took advantage of a "random grab bag" sale (40% off) at TeeFury, my favorite place to get Doctor Who and other nerdy tees. I had no idea what I'd be getting, especially given the huge backlist they have, but I decided to get a shirt for my husband as well. While the tee I received had a pretty cool Futurama theme, my husband's tee turned out to be a match with one of the tees I already owned, the hilarious (and my favorite) Impersonate Doctor Who design. I'd figured there was a good chance one of us would be getting a Doctor Who shirt, but I love that he got this design in particular. :-D

Also, yesterday, I received this awesome license plate frame in the mail. It says, "MY OTHER CAR IS A TARDIS." My older sister, a fellow Whovian (Whovian = Doctor Who fan), said she got it for me as an early birthday present. She got one for herself, too, apparently. A lot of our interactions on Facebook involve sharing Doctor Who memes. I love it! The idea of having this license plate frame on my dinky old Toyota Corolla cracks me up! Thanks, older sis!

xo, Gladys

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dinosaur Birthday Party, Take 2

We threw another birthday party for my 5-year-old, although this time it was hosted at my mom's house for our extended family members. We used the same dinosaur theme, but the kiddo decided that, instead of the dinosaur hoodie from last week, he wanted to wear his new Superman shirt (on sale from GAP Kids) because he wanted something with a cape. My kind of guy. :-)

It was a little easier this second time around because my mom took care of the food while my husband took care of decorations and I took care of the kids' activities. Being a little older than last week's guests, the kids here spent most of their time decorating paper dinosaurs and playing games on smartphones, my child included. My nieces are really artistic and made some great-looking dinosaurs (I'm sorry I didn't take photos before they took them home).

For the cake, my brother and sister-in-law baked a couple dozen "green velvet" cupcakes with cream-cheese frosting. They were really delicious and looked amazing when he blew out his dinosaur candles. What a fun idea. There was ice cream to accompany the cupcakes, and one family actually brought a chocolate cake from a grocery store as a present, so we had plenty of sweets for the birthday. My son had so much fun.

Below are bonus photos of my gorgeous twin nephews. They're humongous at only 5.5 months old (one is 20 lbs already!). They're such troopers. They took a nap together in the portable crib in the midst of the loud party. It was so adorable. I can't wait until they start crawling and walking and talking. They're going to be a hoot, and I can tell they'll melt MANY more hearts than just their loving auntie's.

xo, Gladys

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Colors of Spring

pickled radishes | party balloons
Fluevog sandals (recently sold) | mandarin oranges from our CSA box

Lately I've been surrounded by spring colors -- a welcome reminder of the new season ahead.

xo, Gladys

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recipe: Pickled Radishes

Pickled pink! Takuan radishes

I recently pickled a bunch of radishes that were languishing in my fridge. We get a CSA farm box every week, and we had a run of radishes at the beginning of the year. I'm not fond of raw radishes in salads and whatnot, but I do like them pickled. I found an easy recipe to pickle radishes from one of the food blogs I follow, The Domestic Man. (It's so simple, I won't reproduce it here; just click through.) It's a recipe to make the Japanese dish takuan using daikon radishes, but I only had smaller, pink/purple-centered radishes on hand. It turned out pretty well, and that color is spectacular; I definitely didn't need to add turmeric for coloring at all (I didn't have any in my pantry, anyway). The only thing I would change is to decrease the salt by a quarter or so. I like my radishes more tart and sweet than salty. When I go to Japanese and Korean restaurants, I really enjoy eating the pickled appetizers that they sometimes serve before the main dish. This can be eaten as the side to an entree or as a snack. And it's pretty healthful as well. Enjoy!

xo, Gladys

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dinosaur Birthday Party

We had a fun party for my son's 5th birthday over the weekend. I scoured the Internets and particularly Pinterest to find some ideas for kids' activities. The three that we implemented were 1) decorating paper dinosaurs using empty paper towel rolls, 2) a dinosaur dig for these cool-looking dino skeletons, and 3) a dinosaur egg hunt (which was a cross between an Easter egg hunt and a scavenger hunt: each kid got a picture of the specific egg s/he was supposed to find). The last two ideas were found here.

The kids enjoyed themselves a lot, and the parents were great. The parents said they really liked all of the activities, which basically means we were on the same wavelength. :-) I think each of the activities struck a good balance between structured time and unstructured creativity, and it was easy to flow from the paper crafting to eating the buffet lunch, then to the egg hunt and dino dig, then to playing on the climber or hanging out at the sandbox with the beach shovels. This gave us time to defrost the ice cream cake a bit before singing happy birthday and blowing out candles.

Just a fraction of the decorations (sadly, I didn't have the presence of mind to take photos right before people started arriving.)

My husband took care of all the food and photography while I served as the point person for the guests and oversaw the activities. Some of the parents helped as we moved along from activity to activity, so it was fun for me as well since I could watch and laugh with them as the kids did their thing.

It was such a gorgeous day -- sunny and partly cloudy, warm, and with very little wind (the last of which is almost a miracle here) -- that at least half the party was set outdoors. If the weather had been inclement, we could have done all of the activities inside the house. I was really happy, however, that the kids were able to play on the new climber.

On the hunt

Action shot

More action

Taking stock of their egg treats

Digging for fossils

My husband did a fantastic job with the decorations both indoors and out, and it turned out perfectly.

Yummy ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery, although we did the dinosaur decorations ourselves since they don't have a dinosaur theme for their cakes.

You can see the cool dinosaur mouth on the arm of the kiddo's hoodie.

Two of my favorite ladies

This was the first time we threw such a structured birthday party. It was almost like throwing a baby shower. Usually our friends just come over and we chat and eat while the kids run around and go crazy over the toys and games in the house. Sometimes, like last year, there's a piƱata. But I did it differently this time because I also invited a couple of the kiddo's classmates, and I wanted to make sure there wasn't a lot of downtime for the "new" parents to get bored. It's hard to know how two different groups of friends will mix together. Since these two families were super-prompt to arrive (while our seasoned friends were over a half hour late and some of them more than that -- we're pretty casual as a group), I had the chance to talk with the moms while my husband talked with the dad that came, and he and I both really enjoyed our respective chats. These parents were also really helpful, and they were able to talk quite a bit with our family friends after they arrived. I'm glad that my son has made friends at school whose parents are great people, too.

xo, Gladys
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