Monday, October 31, 2011

Mother Earth Monday - The Living Christmas Tree!

Image Source: Living Christmas
This is the tree we ordered!  Little needle drop-age and super pine-smelly!
Being the forward-looking person that I am, I celebrated Halloween this weekend and am already moving forward to other holiday plans today. (Virgo, much?!)

For this Mother Earth Monday, I thought I would share a WONDERFULLY earth-friendly company and idea with you all, The Living Christmas Tree.  This SoCal based company raises Christmas trees year round and allows you to rent a live tree for up to 5 weeks during the holiday season.  It doesn't cost much more than the tree you purchase at a tree lot (about $100 for rental and delivery of the tree) and with a little watering and TLC, you get to save a life (tree life) and help earth too!  And, I hope you read the word delivery in my above sentence, because we all know what a PAIN tying the tree to roof of the car can be.  That pain is eliminated with the Living Christmas Tree because little "elves" bring it right to your doorstep and teach you how to care for the tree while its in your home. How adorable, holiday-spirited, and helpful!

Additional awesomeness to the living Christmas tree:
  • The tree is alive, so the holiday scent of live pine fills your home all season!
  • Just as the elves drop the tree off, they pick it up! No pesky take down and drag out to worry about.
  • You have the option to "adopt" your tree and have your same tree delivered for the holiday season year in and year out!  Now THAT is a family tradition.
  • Taking family pictures with your tree is encouraged by the company = super fun!

The Living Christmas Tree Company in SoCal is still excepting orders, so if you are down with the idea, I would put my order in quick!  If you aren't a SoCal local, this website lists companies / farms by state that provide living Christmas trees!

Happy Halloween / Holidays!

xoxo,

L.A.

P.S. Starbucks is serving their Thanksgiving blend today (which isn't officially available until tomorrow).  If you love smoky, intense brews run get some today!  It's yummy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Series - Weekend Honey-Do! - How to Light a Pilot Light

Happy weekend, Lovelies! I have some super fun news this spooky night before Halloween, the one and only Mr. Arotin has requested to contribute to Love, L.A. once a week!

He will be posting weekly as he journeys through my never-ending honey-do list.  (Projects that truly need a man's touch.)

I learn new household maintenance information from Chris everyday.  A few recent examples include - how to properly light a grill, how to cook a steak evenly, how to unclog a sink, to name a few.

Given the recent temperature drop (not quite Noreaster storm conditions in Socal, but it has gotten chilly at night), today, Chris will begin his weekend series by teaching you all how to light a pilot light!

Thank you for reading and please show Chris your support!


Good Evening Ladies & Gents!  Yes, that is me with a lighter and a gas heater.  I am going to do my best not to melt my face as I light this puppy.  

Tools needed:
1)  Long lighter or matches
2)  Flashlight


The gas to your heater should be turned off for the summer.  Lots of landlords here in LA just keep them that way.  The pilot light can also go out by accident.  Either way, here is what you'll need to do to get it going again!

Step 1: Open the heater and look around in there!   

Once you have the heater open (there should be a small opening near the bottom to gain access) look for the way the gas is going into the heater.  In the far back you should see a red shut off valve.  Make sure this is open by turning it to the left (counter-clockwise).


Step 2: Find the pilot value.

This black nob is a pilot value.  Yours might have a red ignition button on it, or be a switch.  Mine is a button in itself, which is pushed down in the lighting process.

Step 3: Turn your thermostat to 80 and turn the ignition button to "on" or "pilot".

Step 4: Push down the ignition!
Depress the button, or the red ignite button (if your heater has a separate button)! Almost there!

Step 5: Follow the gas line to the pilot and light your lighter!

At the top end of this line (it will look like the line I am pointing to) is where you will actually hold the lighter or match.  Keep the ignition button down and the flame close to the pilot and it will catch.  Once you have it lit, keep the button down for a few more seconds.  If you let go too quickly, the pilot won't stay on. 

After a minute, the regulator in your heater will allow the whole thing to start up. You will be greeted with the terrible smells of a season's worth (or more!) of your cat or dog hair burning off.  I recommend opening the windows at this point!

Good Luck!  Leave me a comment if you have questions.

We hope next week is wonderful and if you haven't had the chance (or courage) to light your pilot light yet, now you can!  yay!

xoxo,

Lindsey and Chris

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Friday, I'm In Love...With...

Image Source: Glitter Guide
...these DIY shadow boxes turned necklace holders!
I have been looking for a pretty way to hang my pretty jewels!  Don't you just LOVE this idea?!


Image Source: A Beautiful Mess
...this DIY fabric candelier.  Tutorial here!

Isn't this adorbs?!  I have a blank wall in my bedroom and I'm thinking it might be fun to try to use this as some horizontal, wall decoration inspiration!


....Facercise!

I don't know about you, but I am totally down with preventing wrinkles without being injected with snake poison (I am sure to quite sure we are going to find out in 20 years that botox is the devil), having my face sliced open, or doing any other weird thing!  Check out this book!

Image Source: Google - unknown
...Halloween Costumes!

I definitely didn't give Chris and my costume away with this picture, right?! ;) Did you know that this is our first year dressing up together?!  I am so excited.  We may have learned a song to go with our costume?!?!!!! eeeeekkkkkk...so exciting!

What are your Halloween plans, lovelies?  Staying in all cozy with pumpkins, pizza and Hocus Pocus? (Why does that movie NEVER get old?!)  Dressing up and painting the town orange?!  Whatever you do, I hope its with those you love!

xoxox,

L.A.

P.S. This article is pretty cool!  7 ways to detox your home!
P.S.S I crossed the 100 postings line yesterday!  Thank you all for reading and supporting my little bloggy blog!  If you think any of your friends would enjoy a daily dose, please share with them! xoxo

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Ponderings - Inhale, Exhale

Image Source: http://marycorder.blogspot.com/
I've been so busy that I have forgotten to do this lately.  When I am anxious, busy, and stressed I often hold my breath, which is the worst possible thing you can do, right?!

Also, while in yoga this week, an instructor said something that I have been carrying around in my head that I thought I would share, "We can't wait for life to be easy, to be happy.  We all need to practice being happy when life is challenging."  Simple, profound.  My favorite sort of words.

Let's remember to breathe and be happy even when life is busy and challenging, deal?!

xoxo,

Lindsey

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Pumpkins = Happiness

Does anything make you feel better than pure, kid-like excitement?  
(Kinda like that seen in the face above?)  I didn't think so!  
So, for today's Feel Good post, I am going to share Chris and my most recent pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving and pumpkin decorating adventures.

Our local pumpkin patch had all kinds of pumpkins....some were strange...

...Some were little...

..some were flat.  There were many shades of orange!

Some of the pumpkins looked super similar!

They had these really fun pop up pictures!  Chris was a pirate.

Being the pumpkin lover I am, I was a pumpkin!

I found my pumpkin!!!!

Once we got our pumpkins home, it was time to set up for Halloween! 
(Isn't this sign sooo cute?!  Especially since my pet name for Chris is "grumpy"!)

Our pumpkins all happy on our bench.

The rest of the decor, pre-carving.

Carving starts....

...and continues!

 Pumpkin guts...ewwwww....

Final product  = a ghost and a polka dot!

The finale to our pumpkin party were pumpkin seeds for roasting and pumpkin insides which have been made into ravioli!

What do you think, lovelies?!  Do pumpkins make you feel oh-so-good?!  If you haven't done your carving just yet, this post last week covered some fun carving ideas!  This one describes ways to use every bit of your pumpkin!

I have an exciting new *weekend* series starting this weekend!  Check back to hear from my guest poster!

xoxo,

L.A.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mother Earth Money - Fun Eco Gift!

Image Source: Bambeco
I saw these Los Angeles artisan-made candle blocks on Bambeco today and just had to share!  The wood is FSC-certified Walnut.  Top one of these blocks with a vanilla-scented Soy candle and viola!, you have a perfect hostess or holiday gift.

Have you started thinking about your holiday gifts yet?!  Are you going to DIY, go Eco, or just buy something traditional?  I can't wait to hear!

xoxo,

L.A.

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Friday, I'm In Love....With...


Image Source: Crafty Nest
...pretty carved pumpkins!

Chris and I are carving our pumpkin patch pumpkins tonight (pictures from our trip to the patch next week) and I have decided against carving a silly face.  I will be doing a pretty design that will look fabulous all lit up!  What do you think lovelies?  Will you be ditching the traditional face for something a little more pretty this year?

Image Source: With Style and Grace
...Homemade Pumpkin Spice hostess gifts!
Isn't this just the most darling of darling ideas?!  Your gracious host would love you forever after you give them a topping for their granola, coffee, oatmeal....you name it!  How easy and thoughtful!!
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
Directions
In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Store in an airtight container/jar.

Image Source: Pinhole Press
...simple and nostalgic photo holiday cards.

Chris and I usually go with simple, classic, no-photo holiday cards.  I am thinking we may change it up this year, but I would like to keep the same simple feel.  These are so nostalgic and timeless looking to me.  I think it could be such a sweet addition to the holiday card package we are planning!

Happy, happy Friday! I think its pretty obvious that I am super pumped about all the holiday festivities coming up, no?! hehe.  I can't wait to spend time with Chris carving our pumpkins tonight.  We are going to do a little house sprucing this weekend as well and I hope I get time to bake something sweet.  Its the time of the year when I feel bad for every day that my home goes without the sweet smell of something fresh baked and delicious!

I hope you spend the weekend with those you love all snuggled up with fall weather!

xoxo,

Lindsey

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Potato, Rosemary, Goat Cheese Soup

Is there anything better than hearty, comfy, delicious potato soup in the fall? 
I found this recipe last week and Chris and I decided to make it one foggy fall night (the fog as been insane in LA recently!).

I was super excited that the recipe called for goat cheese (I recently discovered that I am slightly allergic to cow's dairy, but not goat!), but even more so that it called for rosemary.

And!  This recipe finally gave Chris and I the opportunity to make a cheesecloth satchel!
Its the little things in life that are truly exciting, no?! 

I let Chris handle the satchel rolling.

Cute, right?!

 
This recipe also gave me the opportunity to practice my roux-making skills.
Just keep stirring, stirring, stirring...(you will notice that the author of this recipe describes the importance of learning to make roux!).

Here is our satchel in our soup infusing it with flavor.

 
Final product = holy yummy and cozy!

Potato soup always hits my spot on a chilly fall night.  What about you?!  What is your favorite fall comfort food?

xoxo,

L.A.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Falling For Apples

Image Source: Unknown
Not only are apples super delicious, but they are also incredibly good for you.  We all know the old saying "an apple a day .....".  Guess what?!  There really is some merit to that!

I did a little research into all of the health benefits that apples have to offer and thought you would find the below list interesting.  The main benefits of apples come from the pectin stored in the cell walls of the fruit.

  • Apple pectin is super fibrous and aids in digestion.
  • The pectin is an antioxidant that has been shown to help lower cholesterol in the blood stream.
  • Pectin has also been shown to aid in the prevention of colon cancer, ulcers, gallstones, and diabetes!
  • Pectin is used in throat lozenges as a demulcent. (That is a polite way of saying it prevents that gross mucus film that covers your throat when you are sick or eat dairy when you are allergic to it!) Great info. for teachers, speakers, or performers!
  • Pectin is a natural remedy to nausea.

Do you know what I love most about all this new apple information?!  Its apple season!  I can find fresh, local apples everywhere.

Did you know all this awesome info. about apples?  Are you so excited?!

Check out this not so healthy but delicious great use for apples! YUM!!!

xoxox,

Lindsey

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Regift Gets a Makeover

My mom regifted this tray to me last Christmas (after her opposite of thoughtful ex-boss gave it to her for Christmas).  Lucky for me, I had been looking for a wooden tray, so I was stoked about my regift!

As usual, I have recently become a little bored with my plain ole wooden tray and decided to spice it up!


I didn't want to totally lose the wooden, rustic look of the tray, so I decided to add a pop of color to the bottom.

Mod Podge is like a gift from God for quick change projects like these.  Glue and sealer in one, for a low price?  Yes, please.  I picked up some Matte (I hate the shiny kind, it looks super gluey to me) Mod Podge and some pretty, green patterned paper from Michael's for my quick fix.


Using Mod Podge is so simple, it kinda seems like a crime.  DIY projects are supposed to be super messy and time consuming, right?!

I spread Mod Podge all over the bottom of my tray and placed the paper down. (Be careful and precise and with step because it sticks quickly and the paper will tear if it sets too long and you try to remove it!)


Then, I added a sealer coat to the top of the paper and let it dry for about an hour.

Isn't the pattern pretty?!


Done!  Wooden and rustic with a pop of color.  Exactly what I was hoping for. :)

Cost of supplies = less than $10 (if you already have a tray)
Time = 10 minutes of work time and 1 hour of dry time
Mess = a little glue on my fingers

Mod Podge is awesome!

What do you think, lovelies?  Do you like the tray change?  Do you swear by Mod Podge like I do?! 

xoxo,

L.A.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mother Earth Monday - Boo!-tiful Ways To Use Your Pumpkins

Image Source: Burts Farm
Chris and I are heading to our local pumpkin patch tonight to pick out our pumpkins for the season!  I am super excited.  We are going to carve them as our date night this Friday.

If you use the pumpkin correctly (carve, seeds, filling, etc.), its actually Earth-friendly since you aren't wasting food!  Also, obviously its even more Earth-friendly if you buy your pumpkins from a local farm.

Here are my Top 5 suggestions as to how you can use your pumpkin fully, not letting any part go to waste:
1) Decoration!  This one is a given.  Check out this pumpkin eye candy.  So pretty!
2) Carving! Another super fun given.  Isn't this cool?!
3) Seeds - YUM!  Here is my favorite recipe (I add a bit of cayenne and black pepper for kick).
4) Ravioli - fantastico!  Recipe here.
5) Pumpkin Pie. I die.  Perfect fall dessert or breakfast! (Yes, I said breakfast!)  Look at these mini pies!

Also, did you know you can use these to keep your pumpkin fresh?!  Pretty awesome, huh?!

Yay fall!  Yay pumpkins! Yay Earth!

xoxo,

L.A.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Friday, I'm In Love...With....


Image Source: My Dad!
 ...the fall sunrise.

My dad sent me this picture in a good morning email today.  It really warmed my heart. It makes me feel all warm and fall fuzzy and reminds me of home.

Image Source: A Beautiful Mess
...this DIY tutorial on how to transfer a picture to fabric!

Can we say personalized pillows?! Holla!  Or how about framing the fabric for a rustic look?

Image Source: Unknown

...weekend headscarfs and this picture in general.

I am so in love with the headscarf look these days.  (LA friends, don't judge me if you see me in one every day over the weekend for the foreseeable future.)


Image Source: 101 Cookbooks

....miso soup!!!

I discovered this super easy recipe for miso soup this week and it was soooo delicious (not to mention super healthy).  I am going to try adding Udon noodles next time!  I think this will be a fall / winter staple on the Arotin dinner menu.

Happy Friday, lovelies!  I am so glad the weekend is here.  I just completed my second week of training (its going very well!) at Exhale and am looking forward to a restful weekend.  Our local pumpkin patch opened, so I plan to have a fallapooluza day date with Chris on Saturday or Sunday and maybe carve pumpkins too!  Hopefully all of my fall thoughts and activities will make the indian summer we are experiencing in LA hit the road!

I hope you are enjoying the very best of fall (and football) wherever you are!

xoxox,

Lindsey