Monday, June 18, 2012

Campbell Family Pickles

When I was in Oklahoma last, I stumbled across this tupperware container in my sister's fridge.  I was a little perplexed when I opened it up to find these pickles sliced and swimming in red sauce.  Much to my surprise and delight, when I bit into one of the pickles I found a flavor even better than a normal pickle! Slightly sweet, slightly spicy and wrapped into the tang of a pickle - holy delicious!(I loveeee pickles, so you can imagine my excitement when I found a pickle even more delicious than normal!) 

My sister told me that these pickles were given to her by my Aunt Vanessa, but that the recipe is my Aunt Janet's.  So, rather than starting a family feud by giving this recipe a particular Campbell's name, I've decided to call this the Campbell Family Pickle recipe.

Ingredients:
1, 3 gallon jar of organic pickles, sliced
(you can also obviously make your own pickles in place of store bought pickles)
2 cups organic brown sugar
1/4 cup Tabasco sauce

Slice pickles into 1/2 inch pieces and remove 1/2 cup of pickle juice. Add the brown sugar and Tabasco sauce and stir.  Let the pickles marinate overnight, enjoy!

I like to eat mine with salt-free saltines (kinda an oxymoron, right?! ha!)

Happy Monday!

xoxox,

L.A.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Team Spirit






Image Source: My Blue Seven

The Oklahoma City Thunder didn't exist when I moved from Oklahoma to LA in 2007.  When I moved and would tell people out here that I was from the Tulsa area, most people would respond by telling me about how much they LOVED Arizona (Tulsa = Tuscon for people this far west.)  I would just laugh and say "me too," and go about my business.  I mean, it wasn't my job to give Californians a geography lesson, right?
In the past 2 years, my world has been turned upside down when telling people I am from Oklahoma because now I get a "How about those Thunder?!" Or, "Go OKC!"
Its been interesting to go from unknown to very known (given this highly visible OKC Thunder NBA season), but I have to admit, I love it!
Its fun to have Oklahoma put on the map, and if I know my Okies, the OKC Thunder are getting a the BEST support any professional sports team as ever seen.  Southern hospitality meets die-hard sports fans = every professional sports team's dream.
I saw this shirt on the My Blue Seven instagram feed and just had to share it!  I LOVE the 90s throw back statement mixed in with team spirit!
You know, I read that 48 of the 50 states are rooting for the Thunder?!  I bet you can guess which states aren't. hehehehe...Florida because they know they will lose and Washington because they are jealous!
Who are you rooting for?!  Isn't it refreshing to see a new team in the finals mix?!
Go Thunder!
xo,
L.A.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Year Blogaversary!

Image Source: Sugar Paper


Lovelies, I am SUPER excited today for many reasons. Most reasons I can't share (just yet!), but one I can!

I am so proud to announce that today is my blogaversary! One year ago today, I harnessed my passion to write and learn and decided to share my musings with the world. I am not a famous blogger by any means (yet!!!), but what I have learned this year through blogging can be summed up in the quote above.

Blogging has taught me to "live a colorful life". It has forced me to explore my creativity (partly out of necessity to blog about new and interesting things!), to live, to think, and to adventure outside my comfort zone.

I wouldn't change the more colorful version of me for the world.

Thank you, blog!



Image Source: The Bottom of the Ironing Basket


Hopefully on my two year blogaversary, I will be posting from the above location.  (You can see more of my daydreams / manifestations here!) Hehehehe...if not, I am sure I will still be happy with where I am.  Blogging has helped with that, too!

I would sooooo love if as a blogaversary present to me, you will share my blog with one person you know.  Maybe they will love it, maybe they will hate it, maybe it will inspire them to become more colorful too! 

xoxoxox,
L.A. (for 1 year and counting - woooohoooo!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

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

Image Source: Lancome

...this mascara primer.

Every day I become more obsessed with lovely Lancome.  I picked up this mascara primer while at a Lancome counter in Chicago last weekend and to say that my eye lash life is changed is a HUGE understatement.  I have very light (pretty much blonde) eyelashes and the texture is similar to my hair (most hair stylists refer to my hair texture as impossible to style), so you can imagine that making my eyelashes "pop" has been a life-long challenge. Not now! One coat of this and two coats of mascara....viola! I am pretty much Kim Kardashian in the eye lash department. 

I read a funny quote involving Kim this week. hehe.

 ...first signs of summer, evening champagne.

I love champagne.  I love champagne in the summer.  I love champagne in the summer at The Shangrila Hotel.  The end.



...the preparations for Dill-Pickle's arrival!

I saw these photos of Baby Dylan's room today and started to cry!  My little sister is 34 weeks and counting!  Dylan will be here sooooooo soon!!!  That means I will officially be Auntie Awesome soooo soooon!

I may or may not have already purchased this for Dylan (a little wow! you are a human in the world present) and this for my sister (a little wow! you worked so hard to bring a human into the world present).

Image Source: Indexed
...this new life diagram.

Isn't it so true?!

YAY!  Its Friday!

I hope you sweat a little, eat a little, play a little, and have fun with those you love this weekend!

If you are in LA, come sweat with me tomorrow @ Exhale @ 910am, 1130am, 1245pm (cardio!) or 4pm!

xoxoxoxo,
L.A.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Peonies at Night


Is there anything more beautiful than spring's first peonies?!  The colors, soft scent, beautiful bloom...swwwoooon.  After a photo shoot a few nights ago, I think the only thing that beats peony beauty, is night time peony beauty.  The colors set against a dark background are so vibrant.


Peonies at Night

Here is how I imagine peonies at night translated into a date night outfit.

I love finding styling inspiration from unusual places.

Happy Thursday, lovelies!

xoxoxox,

L.A.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Strawberry Cucumber Hefeweizen

Mr. A has officially blown my mind as it relates to his beer brewing skills.  We popped open a bottle of his most recent Strawberry Cucumber Hefeweizen on Sunday and this beer is by far his best yet.

So good, in fact, that I had to share how he did it.  I won't go into the nitty girtty of beer brewing, but you can find out how to brew here.  One basic tip I will give you (per Mr. A), beer brewing is more about sanitation than anything else. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN as you go.  Easy tip #2, we save Grolsch pop top bottles for his beer brewing to avoid the capping process. Its a pretty genius idea, if you ask me!

Mr. A decided to venture out a little with this brew by cooling his beer post-boil with cucumber water and by adding a strawberry malt extract before bottling the beer.

The cucumber water was made just by adding cucumbers to a gallon or so of water and letting it sit for a few hours before using.  The cucumber adds a nice flavor to the water and thus the beer (since beer is made mostly of water).  We bought our strawberry extract at Culver City Home Brew, but there are tons of other places to find malt extract online  and in beer shops in major cities.

You add the extract after the boil, during the bottling process.

These two simple additions (cucumber water + strawberry extract) added soooo much to the flavor of this beer.  The nose of the beer has NO beer scent at all, it smells 100% like delicious summer strawberries and cucumbers.  The taste is pretty strong for a Hef, but the back end finish is nice and smooth.

Have you tried to brew your own beer?  What kind? !

xoxoxox,

L.A.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Instagram in Illinois

Happy Tuesday and Happy Summer, lovelies!

I am back from a little hiatus and thought I would share some of my instagram travel photos with you!

Mr. A and I spent the week after Memorial Day in the great state of Illinois. It was so nice to see and spend time with both sides of our families. My Dad's side lives in Southern Ilinois (see above picture) and Chris's sister was married in Chicago.
We had a very warm welcome from my Dad and his awesome girlfriend, Joey, when we arrived in Clinton.  This little town has some serious charm, serious ties to Honest Abe, AND my family has serious history there too!  My great-grandma actually has a street named after her in Clinton, Marion Street!
I took Chris to Kickapoo Creek while we were down South.  My sister and I spent sooooo many hours in this creek as kids!
My dad (a modern Daniel Boone) was fearless in leading the wade through the Kickapoo.
Mr. A and I were so happy to be relaxing in the country.
We spent our evenings having delicious home made dinners and strolling the streets of  Clinton.  The buildings all have so much old charm.  When I look at the above picture, I think it could be from 1812 or 2012, don't you?!
We stumbled into my favorite local bar in Clinton, Snappers, one night and may or may not have drank HUGE beers and rocked out to the jukebox totally alone! hehehehe...
I think my favorite part of the whole trip may have been spending time with my Dad....
...and of course, eating his steadfast breakfast (aka cowboy breakfast) of biscuits and gravy, cheese eggs, and bacon!
I discovered that there is a Kickapoo Creek Winery very near Clinton and the Kickapoo Creek I spent summers playing on!  I am SOOOOOOOO going there the next time I am in Illinois.
Our last stop before heading to the city was visiting my grandparents.  My grandpa is a musician (Southern Gospel to be specific), so he and Mr. A got along famously!  The baby grand piano above was my great-grandma's 16th birthday present!
This picture is of my grandpa and Mr. A post jam session. :)  It makes my heart warm.
And then.....we headed to the city for a whirlwind wedding weekend for Nadine and James, my sister & brother in-laws!
All of the food all weekend long was fabulous! From the rehearsal dinner at The University Club, to the reception dinner at The Ivy Room. (I LOVE a wedding with good food, don't you?!)
The wonderful bride and groom (Mr. & Mrs. James Rich) leaving the ceremony site, Saint James Cathedral.


This picture says it all!

What a wonderful week Mr. A and I had, but we are soooooo happy to be back!  Stay tuned for posts this week!

xoxoxoxox,
L.A.

**Pictures taken by Mr. A, myself, and Sara Rich (Jame's sister, who is awesome!)