Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Conquering Holiday Season Stress

Image Source:
Lovelies, I don't know about you, but my holiday planning (and thus holiday stress) is in full swing right about now.  Gift buying, holiday party planning, outfit buying for holiday parties, house decoration, preparing for the in-laws coming into town...I could go on.  I am sure you could too! I really want to avoid a nervous breakdown like the woman in the picture above, don't you?!

I thought for today's feel good post, I would focus on 5 ways we can all get through the holiday season (which is supposed to be lovely, not stressful) with a little less anxiety!

1) Exercise

You all know what I am about to say, exercise alleviates stress.  Your endorphins pump, you get a chance to be alone during all the craziness.  That 30 minute run or hour long yoga class can be all you need to decompress or prepare to face your day. Exercise, just do it!

2) Do something festive that makes YOU happy

We all have our own favorite holiday activities.  Some people love seeing the new holiday flick,  listening to carols,shopping, baking, ice skating, parties, decorating etc. The point here is no two people have the same ideas about activities that must be done during the holiday season, so don't let your friends, husband, boyfriend, mother, brother, girlfriend or puppy dog dictate how you spend your holiday free time!  Make sure to do at least one activity for you!

3) Spend less, create more

A big stress for many people during this giving season, is the money involved in the giving part.  Here is a hint to make your shopping less stressful - spend less, create more.  There is no better time than the holidays to make handmade, thoughtful, heartfelt gifts.  Look here for ideas!  Show me a person that wouldn't appreciate a handmade gift, and I will delete this point.  You won't find one.  A $10 handmade cookie mix will be just as well received as Kate Spade earrings. (By the way, aren't these adorable?!).  Everyone gets what the holidays are about - the thought of giving not the price tag.

4) Get organized!

I think this one is pretty obvious, but you never know!  With gifts to by, food to cook, a house decorate and get prepared for guests, parties to go too, outfits to plan for said parties to go too, its easily to get overwhelmed.  Solution = make lists. Make lists upon lists upon lists.

If you aren't a list person, do whatever your method is for organization. But, I would highly suggest at least breaking down the categories: food, rooms to prepare, gifts to buy, etc.

Interesting Lindsey note: I actually plan my gift-giving by tearing out magazine pages, clippings etc. and then post-noting who the pages / gifts are for.  I have little stacks all over my desk of gift clippings!  I am very visual, so these help me when I am out and about shopping.  I can actually visualise who is getting the throw blanket, electronic holding cases, etc.  I also have a master gift list, so I don't forget people!

5) Navigate the Family Drama

No one wants to admit it, but we all know its true.  Holiday family gatherings = holiday family drama.  Maybe Aunt Maggie drinks to much whisky and then spits angsty comments to Uncle Rob about how she hates his wife.  Maybe Mom and Dad are still not over the big fight from 10 years ago and year after year, the subject comes up over turkey and gravy.  Maybe you and your sister can not seem to get past the fact that in 1991 you received Malibu barbie and she received regular barbie - why would parents do such a thing?! (we all know the comparison conversation this leads too).  Maybe your brother-in-law refuses to accept any new traditions you bring to the family table.

Point here, when the family comes in, the drama comes up.

I am no expert on family relationships, but I think this article might help you navigate many situations you may encounter.

Am I missing other stresses, lovelies?  What bugs you during the holidays?  How do you cope with the stress involved?  I'm so curious.

Have a lovely Wednesday!



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

I was fully prepared to make these Pumpkin Pie cupcakes for Thanksgiving this year until I heard the recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake on NPR while driving home from work last Wednesday.  The flavors seemed so delicious (and Chris's favorite dessert is cheesecake) that I just had to scrape the cupcake plan and try this recipe out.  I am SOOOOO glad I did.

I decided to use cinnamon graham crackers for my crust rather than regular = great decision!! Don't the crust ingredients look delicious in the processor?!

After the crust was made, it was time to start on the filling.  I remembered to take my cream cheese out of the fridge to let it soften before mixing it up (makes it so much easier!).

I think manhandling the pumpkin was my favorite part of this recipe.  Because pumpkin naturally has moisture and moisture doesn't help hold the cheesecake filling together, you de-moisturize the pumpkin before adding it to the mixing bowl. 

The first step in this process is to lay out a few layers of paper towels onto a cookie sheet.

 Then, you scrape out the pumpkin on the paper towels,

 and begin to pat out the moisture.

I was shocked at how full of moisture my pumpkin was!

Once the pumpkin and cream cheese and other ingredients were in the bowl, I manually (because I don't have the space for a big, awesome paddle mixer) mixed the cream cheese, pumpkin other ingredients together. The eggs came last.

This is my Spiced Pumpkin cheese cake!  It looked so pretty and Thanksgiving-like out on a plate because the crust is a dark brown and the inside is beautiful pumpkin orange.  Look here for a side view!

Here is the detailed recipe (adapted from NPR):

9 whole cinnamon graham crackers, broken into rough pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can of unsweetened pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!)
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

For the crust:
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Pulse crackers, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in food processor until crackers are finely ground, about 15 pulses. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl, drizzle with melted butter, and mix with rubber spatula until evenly moistened. Empty crumbs into 9-inch spring form pan and, using bottom of dry measuring cup, press crumbs firmly and evenly into pan bottom, keeping sides as clean as possible. Bake crust until fragrant and browned around edges, about 15 minutes. Let crust cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes. When cool, wrap outside of pan with two 18-inch square pieces heavy-duty aluminum foil and set spring form pan in roasting pan. Bring kettle of water too boil.

For the filling:
Whisk sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt in small bowl; set aside. Line baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels.  Spread pumpkin on paper towels in roughly even layer and pat puree with several layers of paper towels to wick away moisture.

In large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese until broken up and slightly softened.  Scrape down bowl, then beat in sugar mixture in 3 additions until combined, scraping down bowl after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix until combined, scrape down bowl. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated.  Add heavy cream and beat until combined,  Give one final stir at the end.

Being careful not to disturb basked crust, brunch inside of pan with melted butter.  pour filling into prepared pan and smooth top with rubber spatula. Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of spring form pan. Bake cake until center is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken, about 1 1/2 hours. Set roasting pan on wire rack then run pairing knife around cake.  Let cake cool in roasting pan until water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove spring form pan from water bath, discard foil, and set on wire rack; continue to let cool until barely warm, about 3 hours. Warp with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.


Monday, November 28, 2011

What I Learned This Weekend - Peace, Light, and Food

Happy Monday, lovelies!  I hope you all had a restful long weekend.  I know I did!  I spent my time cooking, playing with Chris, beginning to decorate for Christmas (I am all set except the tree which arrives on Saturday - I can't wait!), and watching movies!

So, the first thing I learned this long weekend is that wreaths don't have to be frilly to be meaningful.  I think the wreath on my front door has tons of meaning, beauty, and was super simple to make.  What do you think?!

 I also learned that winter light is simply breathtaking!

This picture was taken in the Exhale Spa studio.  The light came through the window and shone onto the carpet at about 3pm.  This image lasted only 1-2 minutes before it changed because of shadows.

What a nice reminder to enjoy winter light and exhale!

Much to my delight and surprise, I learned that pumpkin cheesecake is in fact MORE delicious than pumpkin pie!  Don't believe me?  I am posting the recipe tomorrow!  Get excited!

Lastly, I learned this weekend that herbs tied with a pretty bow can be quite the lovely hostess gift, or hostess gift garnishment.  Don't you think?!

Wishing you a lovely week full of holiday cheer!



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is a Solution To This Mess!

This is my jewelry box.  As you can see, its a mess.

I have been unreasonably attached this jewelry box since I was in high school.  It survived four years in the Tri Delta house, a cross country move to Los Angeles, and multiple apartment moves since then.

I have not only (very obviously) outgrown my childhood jewelry box, but it also has no place in my bedroom.

See how it randomly sits on the floor in the closet?  It's in the way of my KNOW that means I have a problem with it.

I am ranting about this jewelry box to you all because I am looking for solutions.  I think its time for me to part with it, but I need other options for my jewelry, perfume, etc.

What do you do?  Do you have a bigger, real piece of furniture jewelry box?  Do you have drawers dedicated to jewelry in your dresser?  How do you remember what you have if it is tucked away nice and neat?

Here are some out in the open options I like:

Knob and Handle Jewelry Holders
Standing Necklace and Bracelet Holders - where do I find those?
Hanging Frames as Jewelry Holders
Cutlery Tray Jewelry Holder

Help me, lovelies!  All I want for Christmas is my jewelry to be easily found, worn, and not sitting on my floor blocking my shoes!



Monday, November 21, 2011

What I Learned This Weekend - Root Veggies, Apples & Home Accessories

Happy Monday, lovelies!  I just finished my Christmas blend, there is a crispness to the air that tells me the holidays are really here, and its a short week = yippie!!  Aren't you excited, too?!

So, the first thing I learned this weekend is that root vegetables are numerous and very similar looking!  I starred at the pile of Horseradish root and a Rutabaga at Whole Foods for about 10 minutes this weekend until I finally figured out which was which!  (Don't make fun of me, but I also confused fennel and leek a few weeks back!  Whoops!)

We are making two small game hens with root vegetables as the center of our Thanksgiving feast this year, thus the need for Rutabaga.  Chris and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving just-the-two-of-us style, so making a whole Turkey seemed a little silly.  We will be using a version of this Tom Keller recipe to make our hens and veggies, in case you are curious.  Our menu also includes garlic smashed potatoes, a cranberry salad, and homemade dinner rolls (my first time trying to make them from scratch!).  I am most excited for the Pumpkin Pie cupcakes I'm making as dessert! (I think Chris is more excited for his apple pie).

The second thing I learned this weekend is that simply changing up the accessories in the rooms in your home can bring a whole new feeling and excitement to the room! Bonus, using accessories you already own  = spending little to no money!

Since I added my lovely pomegranate drawing to my bedroom, I have wanted to change up everything else sitting on my dresser.  I added our A (used to sit in the living room), a beautiful vase (wedding gift from a dear friend) filled with purple and red wild flowers (another living room piece), and moved around other existing dresser items, Viloa! I now have a new design and love for the space!

The final thing I learned this weekend is that apples really make me happy!

Since I have an apple pie on my Thanksgiving dessert list, I had to buy a ton of apples this weekend.  They add a bit of fall fun to my citrus bowl and also add a smile to my face. Win-win situation!

I hope you have a fantastic short week and I'm curious, what is on your Thanksgiving menu?!



Friday, November 18, 2011

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

Image Source:
 ...this plate to polish off my Christmas dinner table setting.

It's official.  I am in full holiday season mode....AND so is the rest of the world.  Here is my proof:  the tree and ice skating rink are up on the Santa Monica promenade, my very favorite easy listening  radio station has started playing Christmas music non-stop every night after 7pm, and my Living Christmas Tree will be delivered two weeks from Saturday.  YAY!

I am going with a traditional / playful setting this year.  Crisp, clean colors mixed with fun patterns.  What do you think?!

 ...these sunglasses!!!
I am currently coping with the fact that I have managed to lose my second pair of Ray Bans this year. :(  So, I decided that I would replace them with something cheaper, but totally stylin.  Isn't it amazing how its the $5 sunglasses that you manage to keep for 10 years.  Let's hope these beauties stay with me! (They were only $5!!)

...the perfect shade of nudish-pink, shimmery lipstick for the holiday party season.

Don't you think?!

Image Source:
...spiked holiday cocktails.

The annual holiday party date is set.  Invites are sent.  It's time to start planning the food.  Yippie!

What are your plans for the weekend, my lovelies?  Starting your holiday shopping?  Practicing your cooking skills for Thursday?  Packing for Thanksgiving travels?

Whatever you do, take time to relax and breathe in the sweet smell of holiday season air.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Let's Talk About Anxiety

I first saw this little comic over at one of favorite blogs ever, A Cup of Jo.  I found it soooo adorable and soooo true for many gals I know.

I don't know about you, but I am having a TON of anxiety lately.  I always have a little bit, but right now its just over-the-moon.  Maybe the holidays?  My Core Fusion teacher training? Work?  A new year approaching?  Who knows.  But, I figured that if I am fighting anxiety off with a big stick right now, maybe some of you lovelies are too?

Here are some anxiety remedies that I use, as well as some remedies I have researched:

Breathe.  As any yoga teacher will tell you, your breath is your life source.  Anytime you feel anxious, pause and focus on nothing but taking deep inhales, and deep exhales.  Focus on the sound of your breath and the motion of your chest and belly rising and falling as you breathe.  Taking the time to realize that I am breathing and thus, alive, is sometimes all my mind and body needs to calm down.

Take a bath. You can put essential oils like lavender and chamomile in the water, or ingredients as common as baking soda (just a little bit) and ginger.  The warm water relaxes the muscles and relieves tension.  This is GREAT to do before bedtime.

Eat onions, celery, and leeks.  They are high in potassium and folic acid.  When you are deficient in those nutrients, it causes anxiety. 

Eat, drink, or burn rosemary.  You can add the herb to your food, add about 2 tablespoons of the herb to boiling water and seep for tea, or even burn a few sprigs and inhale.

Move.  Noncompetitive exercise such as yoga, running, walking, hiking, swimming, etc. is a great way to clear the mind and focus on nothing but your breath (remember #1?!)

Make a list, check it twice.  This repetitive exercise can take your mind off of what is causing anxiety.  For people that have anxiety induced insomnia, lists are great to make before bedtime. Make your task list for the next day, check it twice, and go to sleep.  What else can you do?

Self Massage.  There are pressure points all over that body that reduce anxiety.  If you feel anxiety coming on take a moment to relax and massage these spots.  Tapping lightly in the middle of the sternum while breathing deeply also helps.

Do you do any of these remedies already?  Will you?  How do you overcome your anxiety?  What makes you anxious?  I'm curious!  Tell me I am not alone in my anxiety!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wedding Card Book

As of this weekend, I had been starring at a box of wedding & engagement cards for over 7 months.  I knew there was NO WAY I could throw these out or let them sit in a box, so I made them into our very own wedding card book!

To me, cards are kind of like art...beautiful, meaningful, but you often times just don't know where to display in your home.

After coming up with this theory (cards = art), I decided that I had two choices when displaying my wedding cards. 1) Make a huge, obnoxious, framed collage mess. 2) Make my card art visible and easy to access, but not in your face....a book!

I made our wedding card book in about 1 hour and am so happy with the outcome!

Supplies Needed: Wedding cards (or other cards that you want to save), Journal Kit, Pretty paper  (for the front and back cover of your book), Book Cloth, PVA Glue, Sponge brush, Scissors, Paper score tool 

I started by gluing each individual card to a page in the journal.  Note! When using PVA glue and gluing to thin paper, its important to start with the glue on the inside of the page and use a sponge brush to brush the glue around the whole surface. (That way there are no glue or air bubbles).  Another note, I left 3 pages at the front and back of the journal open before I glued my cards down.  I knew the very first and very last pages would be glued to the covers, but thought the additional pages would be a nice buffer should something go wrong.

All my cards glued into my book!

Once all the cards were glued down, I cut a piece of pretty paper to fit the front and back covers of the book, and glued the paper down (Same gluing method as with the cards.).  Note! You only need the paper to cover one side of the cover and then about an inch around the other side, since the very first and last pages of the book will cover the inside of the front of back covers.

After the paper set to the cover, I used a paper scoring tool to score the edges of the book cover so they would look nice and clean.  Then, I glued those edge flaps down. Note!  I made little trianges at the corners so that the edges would look nice and lay flat.  It was a little tricky.

Final front cover.

Both covers!

Then, I glued the covers to the front and back inside pages of the book.  This part was pretty interesting.  I wish I had hints as to how to perfectly align the covers, but I really just eye-balled it.

Both covers glued.  Time to bind!

After the covers were done, I cut the book binding cloth to fit the book. For me, this meant cutting enough cloth so that about two inches covered the front and back covers. (You may want more or less binding covering the front and back of your book, so just cut to your taste.)

All I did to seal the binding was use the PVA glue on the book binding cloth and very carefully place the cloth across the side of the book, binding it to the two covers. I then covered the book with about 10 super heavy books and let it dry overnight.

Our wedding card book!  Isn't it pretty?! 

I was really excited about the cover paper I found because its the exact same paper that we used on our wedding invites (which I also made!)  And!  Choosing brown for the book binding cloth really goes with our natural, vineyard theme.  I love that I can relive our wedding so easily through this beautiful book (that was so easy to make!)

What do you think, lovelies?  What did you do with your wedding cards?!  What will you do?



New Series! - What I Learned This Weekend - Bubble & Squeak For One

Lovelies, today I am starting a new Monday series - What I learned this weekend. 

I find that most Mondays I want to share something new and exciting that I learned / bought / made over the weekend, but then I post about Mother Earth.  I love the Earth, but I also like to change things up, so I decided that I will switch up my Monday series!  I hope you enjoy!

So, this weekend I learned that Bubble and Squeak for one is still fun!  What is bubble and squeak, you may be asking? 

Well, on Saturdays, Chris and I take our leftovers from the week (those that are at least semi-reasonable for breakfast anyway) and toss them in a pan, usually with a little oil and onion.  We then crack one egg for each person having breakfast on top of the leftover and delicious mess.  Its normally two eggs for us!  We cover the pan and let the egg cook and then serve up our bubble and squeak breakfast.  Its called bubble and squeak because if you stand by the pan and watch and listen as the food cooks, that's what the food does! It bubbles and it squeaks!

This Saturday, I was up super early for training and I had bubble and squeak for one while Chris slept.  My leftovers were the second half of a vegetable tostada from Lares that I couldn't finish last week, topped with one egg.  Its was fantastic.  I forget that enjoying breakfast and the morning alone can be quite peaceful sometimes.

Do you do bubble and squeak?  What do you call it?!  Will you start now?

Happy Monday!



Friday, November 11, 2011

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

Image Source:
 ...this quote for life and the weekend.

Lovelies, today is such an interesting (11.11.11) day, after an iteresting and busy week.

Take time today and this weekend to just breathe and be.  I know that's what I'll be doing. (Maybe a little cooking and crafting too!)



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Love Affair - Pinterest

Happy Thursday, lovelies!

Today, I thought I would let you in on a little secret......I am TOTALLY head over heels, madly in love with Pinterest.  I am sure many of you have been on the Pinterest train for months now (I know I have been!), but for those of you who don't know, Pinterest is an awesome online pin board where you can store all of your fabulous ideas.... from recipes, to home decor inspiration, to DIY projects.  You can search, catalogue and store everything!  Best. Idea. Ever.

I added a "follow me on pinterest" button to my blog today (the inspiration behind this post), so feel free to click the button and check out all my inspiration.  My current favorite inspiration board is the one dedicated to planning our anniversary vow renewal.

You know my favorite thing about Pinterest?  Rather than stalking people on Facebook (admit it, you do it too!), I can stalk craft projects! (I think there may be a Pinterest button that says something like that.)  It makes me feel way less lame and way more productive.  Now that's a win-win situation.

Happy pinning!



Image Sources (top to bottom, left to right)
2) unknown (blog no longer active)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Comfortable Love

Image Source: Offbeatbride
I read this article today on Off Beat Bride about what someone learned about marriage from their parents.  Its so sweet and made me feel so warm and cozy... like real, true, life-long marriage is possible - I had to share!

When Chris and I were engaged and we met happily married people, we always asked how they made it work.  We got all sorts of funny responses.  I think the top of the list for me was the advice to always have two residences (in case you get sick of each other and need to take a mini break for a week)!  Gotta love the honesty.

It makes me feel good and inspired to read about comfortable love.  What about you?!



P.S. Today is my 7 monthaversary!  Wowzers.  Time flies when you're a newlywed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Daydreaming

Image Source:

Image Source:

Image Source:
I've got Paris on mind.  It's bad.  It will be 5 years since my last visit as of 2012.  I don't think I can handle more than 5 years away from Paris.

And, since I am planning a french country themed vow renewal for Chris and I in April, its totally reasonable for me to have spent a few hours yesterday looking up flights, right?!. 

Sneak peak vow renewal inspiration here, here and here.  And, remember this?  Totally doing that too.

Okay, enough Paris torture for today.  Must get back to work to pay for this trip.



P.S. Any countries or cities that consistently call to your heart?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekend Honey-Do - Adjusting Your Water Temperature

Hello Ladies and Gents!

Adjusting the water coming into your home or apartment is very easy. If the water is set too hot, you could burn yourself at the sink or in the shower (like we do, prompting this post!), too cold and your water runs the risk of bacterial growth. Setting the correct temperature will provide safety from burns and bacteria, not to mention energy savings!
The magic minimum number is 130 degrees. If you are lucky to have the instructions for water heater, the book will show you where 130 degrees is on the tank. If you don’t have that, you can always test the water temperature at your sink. 
Get the water going to the hottest temperature possible and put in your kitchen thermometer that you would use when cooking meats. At the tap, the temperature should be 120 degrees; this will give you a tank temperature of 130 degrees.
Now that we know the desired temperature, let’s talk about how to adjust it! The picture below is what you are looking for on your water heater. It will be at the bottom and may be behind a metal plate if you don’t see it right away.
Image Source: unknown

As you can see from the picture here, this is an easy adjustment. Simply turn the dial up or down to adjust the temperature at the tank. Turning clockwise makes the tank hotter. When you are out on vacation, you can even turn the dial to ‘vacation’ or ‘cold’. Lowering the temperature even a little can bring energy savings, from 3% to 5% for every ten degrees!
Good luck everyone and please comment any questions you may have!

Mother Earth Monday - Time Change / Season Change LOVE!

Call me weird, but I love it when we "fall back".  I love the extra hour of sleep. I love winter light. I love the sun up bright and early to greet me as I start my day (my day starts at 6:00am!). I love coming home as the sun sets, lighting homey scented candles, and filling the air with the smell of comfort food on chilly fall & winter nights.

I captured the picture of the lemons on our dining room table on Sunday (late morning) and I can feel the winter light and crisp air when I look at it.

Falling back also officially signifies that the season has changed (YAY!).  Southern California has even been chilly the past few days, prompting me to break out my new-to-me, over-sized grandpa sweater.  I love cozy dressing in over-sized knits in the fall.  I also love to swipe shirts and sweaters from Chris's closet to snuggle in as I go about my day.

Thank you, Mother Earth, for giving us fall and winter.

Are you so excited about the crisp weather?  Any fall outfits that you have been dying to break out?!



P.S. Check out this post about green entertaining.
P.S.S. Chris was super busy this weekend, so he will be posting his honey-do post today!

Friday, November 4, 2011

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

Image Source:
....home grown green onions!

Did you know that you can have green onions growing in your house simply by using water and a glass cup?!  You know the rooty looking ends of the green onion?  Guess what, those really are roots!  If you put them root end down in a glass cup and fill the cup with water, the roots begin to grow almost instantly and you will have green onions that keep on giving!! What the what?!  No dirt = awesome, huh?!

Image Source:
..Martha's new book! EKKKKK!!!

Nearly 30 years after her first book, Entertaining, was released, Martha has released Martha's Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations.  Christmas is coming.  Guess what is at the TIP TOP of my wish list?! new bedroom art!

Our good friend (and Chris's groomsman), Sam Garcia, drew this pomegranate for me for my birthday!  I finally got around to framing it this week.  Per fung Shui, Pomegranates are good for the bedroom because they help fertility, and the color red brings passion.  I thought this was a nice combo in color and image.  I plan to accent our pale lavender (nearly gray) walls and white bedding and window dressing with a few other pops of red.  Possibly throw pillows and candles.  The bedroom is slowly coming together! Yippie!

Happy Friday and weekend, lovelies!

Stay tuned for Chris's second honey-do post this weekend!



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vanilla Sugar

One of my very favorite things about Saturday mornings is sharing coffee over breakfast and conversation with my one and only.  There is just something so wonderful about the sound of the whistling kettle and water sloshing over fresh ground coffee in a french press; and the first happy sip - what a way to start the weekend.  Don't you agree?

The only thing missing from this picture for me (until I discovered Vanilla Sugar) was the slight hint of vanilla flavor that I found in my weekday coffee from Starbucks, Coffee Bean, etc.  I live for that weekday morning vanilla happiness.

My weekend vanilla coffee woes were solved the day Chris and bought our scooter.  We purchased the Vino off an ADORABLE French / Swiss (what a combo, right?!) couple who kindly offered us espresso while we were filling out the purchasing papers.  I was immediately taken aback by the vanilla scent that filled the room when the wife opened a cabinet door to fetch sugar she had offered.  She walked over and handed us a little bowl of sugar with a vanilla bean in it.  Super excited about the vanilla possibility in front of me, I asked if that little bean had produced the scent.  She affirmed and also told me to taste the coffee with the sugar in it.  Vanilla-y Delicious.

My weekend coffee problem was solved.  Leave it to the French / Swiss to change my weekend coffee life!

Producing vanilla sugar is super easy and delicious.  It adds a subtle flavor of vanilla to anything you add sugar too - coffee, cakes, cookies, you name it.

Vanilla Sugar

1/2 cup organic or raw sugar (I think the organic or raw sugar takes on the flavor of the vanilla better)
1 vanilla bean or more if you wanna to get vanilla crazy!

Place your sugar in a serving bowl and add vanilla bean.  Done. (The longer the bean sits in the sugar, the more vanilla flavored your sugar will become.)

See how to make homemade vanilla extract here!

I am such a sucker for vanilla.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Puppy Time!

Image Source: A Cup of Jo
I read this post yesterday on one of my very favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo.  She describes the above Iphone app, Puppy Time, created by one of her friends.

You can read all the specifics about the app in her post, but basically, this app was created by a dude that wanted to cheer up his girlfriend (who has a very stressful job).  Super sweet, no?  He would compile pictures of cute puppies when she was having a rough day and send them to her periodically to make her smile.  Then, he decided this idea might be a great app!  Duh!!  Who doesn't LOVE cute puppies?!

Anyway, this seems pretty "feel good" to me, so I thought I would share!

Oh, oh and guess what?!  Kitten Time comes out next month....YESSSSS!