Tuesday, March 29, 2011

chocolate-covered strawberries

Photobucket Pretty strawberries from the Irvine Farmers' Market (before Chloe got kicked out) Photobucket Chloe volunteered to be the official taste tester Photobucket Dark chocolate kisses...Photobucket The finished product

I've been eyeing the chocolate-covered strawberries at Godiva all winter, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $3.50 for one strawberry. I have limits, even when it comes to chocolate-covered fruit. When Justin and I found a whole flat of strawberries for $6 at the Irvine Farmers' Market last Saturday, I knew that some of those gorgeous strawberries were destined to be bathed in dark chocolate. The flavor of these strawberries is just outstanding, so adding chocolate just made them amazing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a little reminder

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A preview of our laundry room.
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I can not do it all.

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling totally overwhelmed. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect in all aspects of my life--in my marriage, in my home, in my family, in my friendships, in my job...And I constantly let myself (and others) down and feel like a complete failure. Then I shut down.

When I saw this print from Jones Design Company, it just really spoke to me: I can not do it all. As much as that bothers me, it also comforts me. I can't do it all, so I'll just prioritize and do my best.

On a side note: I am terrible about putting things up on my walls--I get comments about the need to put things up every time someone visits our home! So, framing and hanging this artwork felt like a huge accomplishment!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

healthier meat lasagna

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At some point I decided that I wanted to make a lasagna, so I turned to Martha Stewart for a recipe. I tried her Healthier Meat Lasagna and it quickly became one of our favorite recipes (Justin claims that it's his second favorite dish that I make)! I use either turkey or chicken Italian sausage instead of the ground sirloin, and it turns out great. I also like to make assemble the lasagna ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two. This is so easy to make and so delicious!

What is your favorite thing to make for dinner?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

brown sugar scrub

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For some reason my lips have been ridiculously dry lately. Like, cracking and peeling. Not attractive, not to mention painful. I could tell that I needed some sort of treatment on my poor little lips, so I did a little bit of googling and came up with this brown sugar scrub:

1 part Aquaphor
2 parts brown sugar

I mixed them together to form a paste, and then I transferred it over into my empty MAC Paint Pot which just happened to be the perfect size.

My lips look and feel so much better!

Monday, March 21, 2011

hanging flower baskets

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Before
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After
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BegoniasPhotobucket
Our front door spruced up for Spring

Despite the rain that we are currently experiencing in Orange County, Spring has definitely been in the air lately. My cure for Spring Fever? Spending time outside working on making our patio look like people actually live here! A couple of years ago, my mom gave me these hanging flower baskets, and I decided to give them a little makeover and put them to use this year. I cleaned them up and coated them with some black spray paint. On our porch, they spend most of the day in shade, so I planted them with red, pink & white begonias. We'll see how they do!

I also planted some lavendar and remember this oregano plant from my kitchen post? Well, that's what I have in the big pot next to the lavendar in the photo above! Can you believe it? Does anyone have any good recipes that use oregano?

Friday, March 18, 2011

spinach & sausage frittata

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When I was growing up, my dad used to make pancakes on Saturday morning. I can't remember whether it was every Saturday, or just many Saturdays, but it was definitely something that would excite my sisters and me. While I no longer enjoy pancakes (possibly the result of a childhood overdose or an Atkins-induced fear of that many carbs or maybe a combination of both?), I like to make a special Saturday morning breakfast. Last weekend I was trying to use up what I had leftover in my fridge, and I ended up with this delicious frittata!

1/2 lb. sweet Italian chicken sausage
baby spinach (as much or as little as you like)
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1/4 c. lite shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat over to 425. Use olive oil cooking spray to coat your pie pan. Remove the casings from the sausage and cook in a skillet until no longer pink. Add the baby spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted. Scramble the eggs and the egg whites in a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Add the sausage-spinach mixture to the eggs and mix together. Pour the egg mixture into the pie pan, top with mozzarella cheese, and bake about 15-20 minutes until done.

I am really good at using really basic ingredients, and really bad about using herbs and spices despite having several fresh herb plants in my kitchen. I feel like this might have been good with some sage? What do you think?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

happy st. patrick's day!

Photobucket Image Credits: 1 2 3 4

I love St. Patrick's Day. Two years ago I was in Dublin for St. Patrick's Day, and I had so much fun! I can't believe that two years have already passed, and I can't believe how different my life is today. St. Patrick's Day in Dublin is definitely a must for your bucket list--even if you aren't Irish. Dublin is a beautiful city.

And since we're on the topic of the Irish, I wanted to share these Celtic Wedding Vows with you. I found them when Justin and I were trying to decide on our own vows. I really liked them, but we didn't end up using them--saying "meat" in our wedding vows didn't seem very romantic.

I vow you the first cut of my meat, the first sip of my wine,
from this day it shall only your name I cry out in the night
and into your eyes that I smile each morning;
I shall be a shield for you back as you are for mine,
no shall a grievous word be spoken about us,
for our marriage is sacred between us and no stranger shall hear my grievance.
Above and beyond this, I will cherish and honor you through this life
and into the next.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

little things

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If you're looking for a little pick-me-up that will make you smile on this Thursday, check out the tumblr little things. Isn't this such a great idea? I've been slowly reading through all of the posts and reflecting on all of those little things in life that make it so amazing. I love the first cup of coffee in the morning, sitting down in a clean room, the way my closet looks right after I put all of my clean laundry away, and Friday marathons of Rachel Zoe Project, Project Runway, or Top Chef.

What are the little things that make you happy?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

blueberry muffins

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I really hate throwing food away, so lately I've been trying to get more creative with our meals on the weekends by using what we have in our fridge/freezer/cupboards. I had a bunch of blueberries leftover from my morning smoothies, so I decided to make some blueberry muffins. I flipped through my handy dandy Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and tried out this recipe (it's a good one--there are no muffins left in our house).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

march/birthday wish list

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Wow! Where did February go? I can't believe that it's already March. Here's a list of things that have been catching my eye lately. This month, I'm all about glamour:

1. Medium Leather Carry-All Pouch in Tan (American Apparel $45)
The Glamourai brought this fabulous clutch to my attention, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I love how simple it is, and it's the perfect size for day or night. I hope they come out with more colors soon!
2. Acqua di Parma Colonia (Sephora $83)
I've been longing for a new scent lately--one that's a little fresher than what I typically wear (Miss Dior Cherie, Burberry or Michael Kors). Also, the pretty bottle is a plus as it will look so nice on my dresser!
3. Ikat Leopard Top (Ann Taylor $88)
I've been keeping my eye out for the perfect leopard print blouse, and for me, this is it! It's not a cheesy print, and it's a nice cut for me. I feel like this is a piece that my daughter will want to steal from my closet one day.
4. Voluspa Gardenia Candle (Candle Luxury $16)
I like light floral fragrances for the home, and I love burning candles. I'm thinking this might be the perfect "signature fragrance" for our home. Isn't the tin so pretty?
5. Small Faux Python Tray (Shop Furbish $50)
This is perfect to hold my collection of perfumes on our dresser. I'm kind of obsessed with all things python right now, and I'm not really sure where it started...
6. Leopard Earrings (Shop Furbish $18)
Apparently I am also obsessed with all things leopard. Aren't these so glamourous? I love them!