Monthly Archives: August 2012

cocktail copycat: the ginger margarita


a few weeks ago i had dinner at the bar at potenza. they have delicious appetizers and filling pastas, but my favorite from my last visit was their ginger margarita. genius right? i love tequila, i love ginger, and lime just ties them together so perfectly.

one of the key ingredients in my ginger margarita is ginger syrup. you can buy this of course, but it’s also pretty easy to make. i loosely followed a recipe from joy the baker (love her!). by loosely followed i mean “oops, 6 cups of water? i only put in 2. hmm…” and things of that nature. (and this all before i even had my first ginger margarita! recipes aren’t my strong suit.) you can also use your ginger syrup to make the world’s yummiest ginger ale (just add lime juice and club soda and enjoy the heck out of it) and plenty of other yummy cocktails. 

so first let’s make this ginger syrup.

first you have to get some ginger. it took me forever to find the ginger in the grocery store. who knew it was kept with the lettuce and zucchini and things?  all along i was looking for it by the garlic, silly me.

i washed it off and then gave it a nice rough chop. most recipes say to use a blender or a food processor, but my blender can barely puree a banana, so a rough chop it is. you want to end up with about 2 cups of chopped ginger. 

throw your ginger, 2 cups of granulated sugar, and SIX cups of water (not two) into a big pot and bring to a boil. once it has a nice little rolling boil, reduce it to a simmer for a long long long time.

the recipe i used said 1-1.5 hours would be enough to reduce the 6 cups of water to 2 cups of silky syrup, but i’ll be darned if i simmered that delicious smelling elixir for 3 hours and it reduced by maybe a cup. (i see a lot of ginger syrup in my future).

after you’ve given up hope on reducing your ginger syrup, give it a nice strain and then let it cool. 

once your ginger syrup has cooled, you’re finally ready to make the long awaited ginger margarita. let the fun begin!

for the ginger margarita you will need tequila, domaine de canton ginger liqueur, orange curacao (or triple sec or cointreau, i just didn’t have either of those), ginger syrup, and limes. 

first, give the limes a good squeezing.

in a shaker, throw in a couple ice cubes (we use the tovolo king ice cube tray to make these enormous cubes which are perfect for not watering down your cocktail)

pour in your tequila

add your fancy homemade ginger syrup

plus orange curacao 

and the fancy-bottled domaine de canton

top off with lime juice and shake shake shake!

{{disclaimer: in my haste to enjoy my ginger margarita (i typically don’t wait 3.5 hours for a libation), i forgot to take a picture of me straining and pouring the ginger margarita into a glass. new blogger faux pas!}}

strain over ice and taste the delightfully tingly ginger margarita.

if you want to get really wild (and who doesn’t?) you can add some strawberries (i used about four medium sized strawberries) macerated with sugar into the mix and shake it (with an extra 1/2 oz of domaine de canton) and you’ll have a sweeter, pinker version. lovely! enjoy.

ginger margarita

1.5 oz tequila

2 oz ginger syrup

1/2 oz orange curacao

1/2 oz domaine de canton

1 oz lime

Pour all ingredients over ice into a shaker. Shake like crazy, strain over ice, and enjoy.

(for a strawberry ginger margarita, shake with macerated strawberries and increase domaine de canton to 1 oz)


jump start monday


mondays can be tough. hopefully this quote can inspire you to get started on a wonderful week!

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i do not work out. i consider my job to be somewhat of a workout (even the doctor said there was some validity to that!) and so i use that as an excuse as to why i don’t work out, but really, i just hate it. i have never really been a gym girl (boooooring, even with the tv’s attached to the elliptical) and i can’t stand running. the only thing i have ever really liked are fitness classes (kickboxing, zumba, etc) and yoga. alas, i can’t afford a gym membership– well i can afford it, but i have a pattern of signing up for a gym package, using it for 2 weeks and then letting it fall to the wayside. 

this past weekend as i was planning brunch with a friend, she mentioned she was going to yoga the morning of our brunch. um, can i join? so i signed up for a “new member” unlimited class week long pass and hoped for the best. saturday we did a 1.5 hour yoga class and it was a-maz-ing. i haven’t worked that hard (i.e. sweated that much) in a long time. reward: guilt free eggs benedict.

yesterday i was a little bit sore but mostly happy from my yoga day and signed up for a 5pm de-tox yoga. i didn’t totally realize that de-tox probably meant sweating to death until i was there and the teacher started cranking up the heaters. you do know it’s august in dc, right lady? anyway, after over an hour of sweating and down dogs (and a lot of child’s pose for me, if i’m being honest) i completed my second yoga escapade. 

today my arms and shoulders are so so sore, but i’m happy i went. i have a very busy work week but am hoping to try a few more classes before my week expires and then i will decide if i want to continue on with a pass. i’m thinking i will. 

what workouts do you guys like best? pilates? yoga? running? swimming? 

if you’re in the dc area, i strongly recommend trying out epic yoga in dupont circle. and thanks for hanging in there with me these last few weeks of posting sparingly, i’ve been working on a few projects for the blog, so stay tuned. 

have a wonderful, challenging, rewarding week.


jump start monday


mondays can be tough. hopefully this quote can inspire you to get started on a wonderful week!

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i saw this quote on a notebook while i was doing some serious antiquing in virginia this past weekend. i didn’t buy the notebook (surprising!) but i did snap a picture of the quote because i loved how it seemed to perfectly capture the day that i was having. not only did the quote ring through because i was having a fabulous day of searching through antique stores and collections of vintage and repurposed furniture, but it also serves as a nice reminder to notice the small things, the mundane things that maybe go unnoticed, but collectively make our lives a little bit lovelier. some of the small things that i appreciate are long phone calls with my uncle, random texts from old friends, discovering a delicious new cocktail, eating ice cream out of the carton, and the first sip of coffee in the morning.

what small things collectively make your life great? have a delightful week.



jump start monday


mondays can be tough. hopefully this quote can inspire you to get started on a wonderful week!


i happily had a very low key weekend. i did have to work a little bit, but the rest of the weekend was spent with some good quality alone time. jesse had a coaching session all weekend so i spent my mornings drinking coffee, watching movies, and reading blogs. sometimes it’s so nice to have some time to yourself to indulge in your guilty pleasures. 



photoshop knockoff


i don’t have photoshop and i’m not very computer savvy, but i’ve been playing around with opening photos from my computer with preview and then adding text over them. i’ve learned how to download new fonts to my computer, and voila, it’s like photoshop! “fauxtoshop” if you will.

iphone photo, instagram effects, font: channel.

iphone photo, instagram effects, font: sail.

photo by jesse, no effects, font: dutch & harley.

photo by jesse (he’s pretty impressive), no effects, font: book antiqua (from microsoft word).

so there you have it, my fake photoshop skills. do you have any fun photo editing tricks to share? do you have photoshop and do you love it? any favorite fonts to share?

thanks for stopping by and happy saturday!

wish list: coffee


hi, my name is k-lee, and i’m a coffee addict. actually, that’s not even true. i’m an espresso addict. which is probably worse, considering it’s more concentrated caffeine and i need about 3 shots to get my day started.

anyway, it’s an addiction that i am happily at terms with. i love waking up in the morning thinking about the delicious latte i’m about to sip. i love sipping an iced latte in the summertime reading my favorite blogs from the couch. i love reading a book or catching up with an old friend while drinking a latte at starbucks (i know, i know, but it’s on every corner in dc and the best coffee shops are not conveniently located to my caffeine addiction- also, have you ever had their pumpkin spice latte? divine.) i really love coffee ice cream (coffee coffee buzz buzz buzz from ben & jerry’s is the ultimate.) quite simply, lattes are my daily indulgence and i am very content with that.

recently i’ve been working on making a little workspace nook in my apartment. above my desk i have a corkboard with a big chunk of white space next to it where i was hoping to hang up a couple prints. since i like to work at my desk in the morning, i’m usually kept company by a big ol’ iced latte. i think that a coffee print (or two!) would be the perfect visual accessory for this blank space.

here are a couple prints that i really like.

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this print is by textured ink, an etsy shop. they have a bunch of really fun prints (kitchen related and otherwise) but i personally love this print because i use that type of espresso maker in my home and the colors are perfect for my space as well.

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kellie over at le zoe musings has created some lovely coffee prints for her etsy shop. this one is my favorite but she has lots of cute ones perfect for your kitchen or office. i can’t wait to hang this one up!

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pure perfection by madebygirl. lots of covet-worthy things over there including prints, jewelry, and clutches, but this is my favorite print. i’ve had this image pinned for six months now and can’t wait to hang it.

keeping with the coffee theme, i’ve also included a couple other coffee inspired pieces that have caught my eye. 

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i believe this mug is by marks & spencer but i can’t find it on their website. perhaps it’s a seasonal thing? it is, after all, only august (sigh).

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sweet anthropologie mug, you’re adorable. you never can have too many coffee mugs in my opinion.

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last but not least, i stumbled upon this cute coffee cup ring on pinterest and thought it would be a fun way to show  allegiance to a favorite morning stimulant. definitely a sweet little accessory.

do you have a favorite art print that hangs in your home? are you partial to espresso or can you get by on regular coffee? french press? whether it’s coffee, a latte, or something else, i hope you have many reasons to wake up and smile.


jump start monday


mondays can be tough. hopefully this quote can inspire you to get started on a wonderful week!

i can’t believe that it’s august already! where has the summer gone? i can’t say that i’m too sad about fall temperatures, but summer is always so fun and carefree that i will be a little bit sad to see it go.

another of my favorite things about summer is the time i get to spend with jesse; during the spring and fall he is so busy with the soccer season that i feel like we barely get to see each other during the week and then weekends are filled with tournaments and games. this past weekend we got a rare full weekend together and decided to take advantage and take off for the hills (literally!) and stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast in virginia’s shenandoah valley. jesse planned everything, from where we stayed at l’auberge provencale to the scenic drive we took on sunday. i just relaxed and relished the time we got to spend together. 

i think that there is something so special about when you know someone so well and are so comfortable in their company that you can simply be without conversation or activity. laying by the pool on saturday afternoon, luxuriating in our room’s claw foot bathtub (i took 3 baths in 15 hours), and driving in silence along peaceful country roads made me realize how thankful and lucky i am to have such wonderful love and companionship with jesse.  this weekend was truly a blessing and i am so happy to have shared it with someone i care about so much.