Thursday, December 22, 2011

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

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I love that it incorporates neighborhood / family bonding & recycling.

Smart + fun = awesome.

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...this dress.
OMG.  I have finally found my perfect dress for a black tie wedding I have coming up in June.  I already booked an appointed with my dress maker.  This dress party is getting started.  I am not sure if I will do black or red.  Decisions, decisions!! (At least they are fun ones!!) 

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....these flowers.
These bunches remind me of spring, happiness and our wedding!!

I can hardly believe that its nearly time to start planning our 1 year anniversary. 

Lovelies, its official.  My offer letter is signed, sealed, delivered.  My first class is today at 4pm.

 I am a Core Fusion teacher and I am SUPER EXCITED!!!!

With my teaching schedule, family in town, and festivities to partake in, I may or may not be posting between now and next Monday.  So, I wish you all a wonderful, cozy, yummy, very happy Christmas.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - EcoATM

This is the EcoATM located in the Westside Pavaillion in Westwood.

It is a super awesome machine that gives you cash for your old electronics. Awesome right? (Especially to a girl who left her Iphone 3 at the Apple Store when I upgraded because I didn't know I could get cash back!)

My super sweet huz, Chris, took these pictures for me when he deposited his phone into the machine last weekend.

It works like this:

You take your old phone to the machine and touch the screen to begin.  Follow directions!

Then, you place your phone in the little box for it to be scanned (the external part of the phone) for damage.

The machine will then ask you to plug your phone in to be internally scanned!

Then, you get your result!

Chris got $41 for his two year old, refurbished Iphone 3!  I think that's pretty amazing, right?!

Here is the EcoATM website!  Check to see if there is a location near you!  You know you want to make money and recycle. :)



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Avocado = Cheese

Today is the 10 weekaversary of my divorce from cheese; all dairy, actually.

I didn't foresee my relationship with cheese ending.  But, when I found out that I am allergic to dairy and by ceasing consumption I could end my coughing, super phlegmy, general heavy and tired feeling that dairy leaves me with, I realized that a break up was best for both of us.

I LOVE cheese, so the thought of leaving it behind was sad at first. The only thing that got me through the first rough nights was my discovery of avocado.

Living in California has brought avocado to the fore front of my attention.  I have grown accustom to the concept of adding avocado or guacamole to pretty much any dish when ordering out.  However, losing cheese (and my search for some sort of replacement) led me to realize that avocado can be eaten alone as a snack! Score!!  And, its delicious and super good for you! Double score!!

When I come home from work and need an afternoon snack, I now turn to 1/2 an avocado (topped with a little pepper) and crackers instead of cheese and crackers.  Avocado is chalk full of good omega fat and vegetarian protein.  It also has the perfect creamy consistancy to serve as a replacement to cheese. 

Want to know a secret?! Since I discovered that avocado = cheese, I don't even miss cheese!! 

Want to know another secret?  Since I have stopped eating dairy, I have lost 4 pounds!! (Most humans are allergic to dairy and don't even know it!  Its hard for our bodies to process, thus it aides in packing on the pounds!)

I thought I would share my secret with you today as I wave bye-bye to cheese and dairy for the 10th straight week!



P.S. I can still eat a little goat cheese now and then.  So, all is not lost for me at wine and cheese parties.  Thank god!!

P.P.S. I do cheat sometimes (a girl has to have a bite of pizza every one in a while), but I usually regret it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What I Learned This Weekend - Candles & Korean Spas

I normally learn more over the weekend than I did this past weekend. (Maybe I lacked in the learning department because I was insanely busy or maybe insanely excited that I am now a Core Fusion teacher!!!!)

Anyway, I did learn two new things!

First off, I learned that simple Mason jar candles are the perfect little addition to a holiday gift.

Chris and I got into candle making about this time last year.  Its super fun!  We save all the wax from candles that we burn and then melt it down to make more candles.  We mix and match shades and scents.  Its always a fun experiment.

My above candles turned out a dark pink (possibly from the mass amounts of red wax I had from holiday candles?!).  Thank goodness these little gifts are for girls! hehe.

If you are interested in candle making, check out this kit.  Its a good starter with easy to follow directions.  I think you will be surprised at how easy the process really is! 

Aren't they adorable little presents?!

Secondly, have any of you been to a Korean Spa?!  Holy moly!!

I went on Saturday and WHAT AN AMAZING experience!!!!

I had a body scrub and a massage and will most definitely be going back!

I have family coming in for the holidays this week, so I will be busy prepping for my guests!  I am also teaching my very first Core Fusion class on Thursday.  I love the excitement of the holidays and new adventures!

xoxo & Happy Monday!


Friday, December 16, 2011

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

Happy Friday, Lovelies!

I am so excited today because.... guess what?!  After today, I will officially be a Core Fusion teacher!  Woohooo!  (As long as all goes well with my mock class @ 2:30 PST - send positive thoughts my way!!)  Also, I am almost completely done with my holiday shopping (soooo refreshing!). 

I came across the blush above from Nars on A Cup of Jo and completely fell in love!  I am a firm believer that all a girl needs to leave the house is a little lip gloss and rosy cheeks.  Simple, classic, natural beauty.

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...these poof balls!

In Europe, poof balls are a very popular party game.  Its pretty simple and silly.  You just put the little balls into the tubes and designate someone to blow balls at people! 

I am thinking this might be my contribution to New Year's Eve celebrations!

...this quote.

This quote is my mantra for my mock class today!!!

How can I stumble if its part of my dance?!

I hope you all have a lovely, holiday-joy-filled weekend!  Stay warm and make memories with those you love!



P.S. Chris and I are doing 12 dates of Christmas this year!  So far we have had sushi, wine tasting with friends, tonight is a shopping and burger excursion, tomorrow is an oyster and martini date (one of our favorites!), and I think on Sunday we will have festive beers or coffee!  I found the idea here! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Coffee Bar

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I came across this image of an at-home coffee bar today and just had to share! 

I love the idea of having a designated spot for one of my very favorite drinks!  I know many people with alcohol bars, but no one with a coffee bar.

I feel a trend coming on!

Would you put a coffee bar in your house?!



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Dinner In a Little Space

That is my dining room. (This was taken before the holiday season, so its much more festive now).

It's little, but cozy and Christopher and I have shared so many special dinners and memories here that we can't help but love every square inch of it (there aren't many inches, hehe).

Our quaint and cozy dining room can pose problems when we try to host dinner parties.  We lack dining space with our seating-for-four round table and we lack space in general in the dining area. 

We hosted Thanksgiving last year and managed to squeeze six excited bodies around little roundy (that's my table's nickname, in case you were wondering).  This year, we are hosting Christmas dinner and are challenged to figure out a way to elegantly serve seven people.

I am very positive that little roundy won't do the job this year, so I am trying to think of other ways to serve my guests.

Possible Serving Ideas:
  • Move our desk into the dining room and use it as the table.  It's long and rectangular, however, I am not sure it will even fit!
  • Move our desk into the living room and move our living room furniture somewhere else in the house, for a living room Christmas dinner.  Our tree is in the living room, so that would be something pretty to look at while we eat.
  • Have an adult table (little roundy) and a kid table (coffee table).  Chris and I would sit at the kid table since we will be the youngest at dinner!  This idea seems to defeat the purpose of all dining and celebrating together, but hey! I'm trying over here.
  • Add a fold out table as an extension to little roundy.  I could get two matching table cloths and have an eclectic mix of tables for dinner.
Any other ideas?!  How do you solve your serving dilemma when you have multiple guests in town?!  I am not going to lie, I have pondered setting up Christmas dinner outside!  We live in SoCal, so if there was ever a place to have Christmas dinner outside, we live in it!

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!



Monday, December 12, 2011

What I Learned This Weekend - Flowers, Champagne, Pictures & Kitchen Cabinets

Happy Monday, lovelies!  I know its the end of the day and I am late with this post, but better late than never (especially on Mondays), right?!

This weekend was filled with two holiday parties, a holiday dinner celebration, sparkles, sparkles, wine and more sparkles.

I did manage to learn four new things this weekend in between the wine and sparkles.

First, flowers last longer when they are in a humid place.  (This is my theory, not a fact, mind you.)

See my roses above? Those are nine days old!!! Seriously?!  I was pondering how its possible that they lasted so long and then I realized that I placed them in the bathroom.  Is it possible that the humid air is giving them a longer life?! If you know the answer to this question, let me know (ahemmm Lauryl Lane).

Secondly, did you know that champagne is made from two red grapes and one white?  I would have never guessed! 

Speaking of champagne...what is your favorite champagne?!  Do you prefer champagne, sparking wine, blanc de blanc, rose?

Mine is Billiecart Salmon.  It doesn't leave that champagne-bad-breath or a hang over! Holla!

 Thirdly, I learned that being in front of the camera isn't soooooo bad. (Especially when you make AUTOMATIC friends with the photographer.) 

Side note: I had to have a few shots taken in order to pick out a picture for the Exhale website (my bio and picture are up on the site now, meaning that I am really going to be a Core Fusion teacher soooooooo soon!!!)

Anyway, I thought I would share the amazing work that Shannon Lee did for me.  She is too good to not share.

Lastly, this weekend I learned that kitchen cabinets can be a pretty place to hang your holiday cards!  A little ribbon, some paperclips - why not put them in a place where you can enjoy the beauty?!

I just LOVE when holiday cards start to come in.  I love the joy and beauty they bring to my home.  (And, let's be honest, I love that people remember Christopher and I during this oh so special season.)



Friday, December 9, 2011

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

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...white tattoos

Okay, so maybe I am 10 years behind on the white tattoo trend.  I don't care!  I have discovered you now, white tattoo, and since I came across the picture above, I can't get you off my mind!!

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..this dress.

I nearly dropped dead when I saw this picture.  It is everything I could ever ask for in a wedding dress.  Lace, satin, form fitting, with-sleeves.....eeeeekkkkk!!! I will find or have this made for a vow renew in the future.  Oh, yes I will! 

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...this quote.

Lovelies, the above quote sums up my life recently.  I feel like I am juggling 16 balls at once! I thought I would share this with you because I am sure I am not the only one feeling over worked and over whelmed right now.  When you feel chaos this holiday season (or in life, in general), think about this!  It's my new mantra!

What is on your agenda for the weekend?  Holiday parties?! Holiday decorating?  Baking? Or maybe you are a lucky one with some down time?!  Whatever it is that you are doing, I hope you take some time for you and to take a breath and relax! (Maybe, I should take my own advice?!  Inhale. Pause. Exhale.)



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Savasana Soundtrack

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Good morning, lovelies!  Guess what?!  I am so close to finishing my Core Fusion Teacher Training that I am now working on my savasana play list!  I don't know about you, but I LOVE savasana and am pumped to finally be at this section of class. 

Is there anything like the peace, calm, and gratitude you feel as you melt into the mat after a long and thoughtful practice?!

I thought I would share a few songs from my play list that you can maybe include in your home practice or cool down play list.

A Case of You - Joni Mitchell
Adele - Home Again
This I Know - Sam & Ruby
Back To You - John Mayer
All I Want Is You - Tristan Prettyman
Hello - Tristan Prettyman



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Key Ring

Image Source: Sunset Magazine

I pride myself on being a good (striving for GREAT) hostess during parties, but even more so when I have dear friends or family staying in my home.  Its my belief that the details make or break any experience, so I try to be as detailed oriented as possible when transforming our second bedroom (office / craft room) into a guest oasis.

I have always been on top of the obvious when it comes to the guest room, providing a covered glass of water, fresh flowers, a welcome note (I actually always give a small gift with a Santa Monica twist), map of the area, etc.  But, I am also always looking for new ways to make my guests feel even more welcome. 

When I saw the above guest key ring in a great article in this month's issue of Sunset Magazine, I just had to share it!  How adorable?!

When I am a guest in someone's home, my worst fear is losing their house key.  So, I am sure my guests feel the same.  How could you possible lose the keys when they are attached to this adorable ring?!

Do you have special ways that you welcome your guests? (I would love to provide guest robes and slippers, but I think Chris would have something to say about purchases like that!)


Monday, December 5, 2011

What I Learned This Weekend - Holidays are Pretty!

Happy Monday, lovelies! This is going to be a great week, I can feel it!!

This weekend I learned (remembered, really) just how beautiful the holiday season can be.  Not just esthetically, but also the meaningful stuff. 

I started my weekend adventures by snapping the shot above.  I decided to use ornaments to fill a vase for my holiday table centerpiece this year.  I love it!

We had our 3rd annual Silver Bells holiday party on Sunday.  This year, we switched it up by hosting the party at brunch rather than in the evening.  It was a nice change and a big success!

I love having all my very best friends come to mingle and exchange gifts. The chatter, food, fun and gleaming faces really makes my day (okay, my year!).

Since it was a brunch party, I decided to prepare a mimosa bar for our guests.  Easy for me, yummy for them.  Done and done.

I bought these stemless champagne flutes and these stemless wine glasses and have finally solved my lack-of-wine-and-champagne-glasses-at-parties woes.  (And for a super reasonable price!!  Double and!!! they are shipped in small and very well put together boxes that are perfect for storage between events.)

I made little tags to differentiate between juices and water for the mimosa bar.  I didn't know it was possible for bottles and ice to make a pretty picture!  I guess during the holiday season, it is!

This is our little living Christmas tree!! It was delivered Saturday! It is a Leyland Cyprus (we are still thinking about names for it).  Its a baby tree, standing about 5 feet tall, including the pot.  I have to water it every two days and it smells alive and devine!  I have already been talking to it and telling it how beautiful it is and how big and tall I know it will get as the years go on. I know talking to a tree sounds crazy, but this article might make me sound more sane!

My tree design this year consists of musical instruments, old music sheet ornaments, white balls and white and silver ribbon.  I was going for classic and musical.  Like my bow at the top?!  I made it in 10 minutes.  I was impressed myself! hahaha.  Last year, I tried to make a bow for 2 hours, got really mad, threw out the bow mess, and topped the tree with a silly bow tie looking thing. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday and super happy week!


P.S. Have you decorated your tree yet?!

Friday, December 2, 2011

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

 .....Thanksgiving leftover bubble and squeak for two.

The rutabagas were actually super delicious with eggs! apple pie waiting to be baked.

Guess what, this is the first apple pie I ever made! 

 ..festive table settings.

I reused my candle idea found on this post, but I filled the bottom of the glasses with citrus and squash this time!

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...Pottery Barn's gift of the day!

So, I realized during my online holiday shopping this week that Pottery Barn is doing this awesome promotion where every day they are discounting one potential gift!  Yesterday it was cozy throws, today is holiday pillow covers.  I love a good deal and this is a goooooooooood deal a day!

Lovelies, I am soooo excited for this weekend!  Our living Christmas tree is being delivered Saturday morning (by delivery elves! I hope they come dressed up like elves, that would make my day!!), our holiday party is Sunday afternoon, and I am nearly done with my Core Fusion Teacher Training! woooohoooo!  I am heading for a date night with Chris tonight for margaritas and to pick up a dress for holiday parties this year.  Check it out here.  I am so in love with the color and back, I could die.  Hopefully, I will get to a bedroom project involving these before my guests arrive on Sunday.  I will definitely take pics to show you!

What is on your agenda for the weekend?!