Friday, December 28, 2012

christmas in california

[Christmas morning: green chili egg cups]
[putting my new glass kettle to use]
[the third tree]
[hungry pups]
[hand made tamales]
[meyer lemon harvest]
[tuckered out]
This year we celebrated Christmas in Southern California. I was happy that the weather was cool and rainy leading up to (and following) Christmas day so that it really felt like winter (I was slightly concerned that we may be celebrating Christmas in 80+ degree weather). We had a nice party at Justin's cousin's house on Christmas Eve with all of the family. Then we had a quiet little Christmas morning just the two of us before heading over to Justin's parents' house where his mom taught me how to make tamales! We tried to make them "light" which didn't work out as well as we hoped, but now we just have a new culinary challenge to conquer...

My first Christmas in California was quite lovely although I missed my family tremendously. I hope that you all had an equally lovely Christmas surrounded by those you love.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

office inspiration

Our home office is currently a "junk collector." Don't know where to put that old light fixture from the dining area (yes, that's still lying around...)? Put it in the office for now. Where to keep old magazine issues? In stacks on the office floor, of course. Does everyone have a room like this? It is so disorganized, and if you know me at all, you know that this is weighing me down and driving me crazy. Like every room in my house, I would like our home office to be functional and beautiful, and 2013 is the year that this is going to happen!

So, while I work on cleaning the room out so that we can paint, here are some inspiration photos for the look and feel we're going for in our home office:
Source: Dos Family
Source: Pinterest - if you know the original source, please let me know so that I can link it immediately!
Source: Studio Sweet Studio | Sunken Treasure
Source: April and May
Source: Pinterest - again, if you know the original source, please let me know so that I can link it!
Source: Pinterest - still searching for the original source. Please let me know if you know!
Source: Lonny Magazine
So, here's what I'm thinking we need to pull this space together: lots of books, lots of art, a cozy chair, some industrial lighting and a plant or two (a ginkgo tree in the office is obviously happening).

Monday, December 24, 2012

family photos

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Well, hello there! I know it's been awhile. I just haven't been making time for the blog lately, but I'm ready to jump back in because I have missed this little outlet. 

This year we decided to have some professional family photos taken for our Christmas card. We hired Gipe Photography and they were just wonderful to work with! [Don't you just love their logo?] I am so pleased with how these photos turned out. If you're in the Southern California looking for a photographer, I would highly recommend that you give them a call! I believe that they are also open to traveling for weddings and other projects if you don't happen to live in Southern California.

I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

pumpkin glittering brunch

[ Boo ] 
[ the invitation ]
[ the food ]
[ the glittering ]
[ the ladies ]
[ the finished products ]
I have never really been able to get into Halloween and costumes and all of that as an adult, but I do get very into Fall. In lieu of a Halloween party, I hosted a little Pumpkin Glittering Brunch last weekend for a few girlfriends. I had so much fun creating the invitation (which I'm sure someday I will look back on and see only the flaws in design), planning the menu (Smoked Ham, Gruyere and Caramelized Onion Frittata, Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins, and Pumpkin French Toast Casserole), and then finally having everyone get together to eat, play with glitter, and enjoy each other's company!

Now I think it's time to start planning the next party: Gingerbread Houses, Cookie Exchange or Ornament Crafting? Hmm...

P.S. Glittered pumpkins would also make a great Thanksgiving centerpiece/decoration. Click here for instructions on making your own.

Friday, October 5, 2012

fall inspiration

Today really felt like fall. It was a little bit foggy all day, the temperatures have dropped significantly (there is even rain in the forecast for next week!), and some of the leaves have started turning. Now that it feels like fall, I am planning to decorate our house this weekend. On Sunday I will be decorating my house and baking some sort of pumpkin treat while watching You've Got Mail. These images (all from my Pinterest board, the most wonderful time of the year) are serving as my inspiration for the season--projects, recipes and decorating my home. And a couple of them indulge in my longing to be on the East Coast experiencing the full glory of Fall.

On a totally unrelated note, have you heard Adele's recording of the theme song for the new James Bond movie? I am loving it--if you haven't heard it yet, you can check it out here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

fall to do list

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

This is the time of year when I start to complain about living in Southern California and wish that our careers would suddenly take us to the East Coast. The past few weeks of triple digit weather has not helped to ease this sentiment at all. Today was the first day that it has actually felt like Fall in Orange County, and I couldn't have been happier. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the beginning of a cooling trend that will last until about March. I can't wait to start baking every pumpkin recipe that crosses my path, and I am feeling highly motivated to start tackling my fall to do list:

  1. Host a pumpkin glittering party. 
  2. Take some golf lessons.
  3. Paint the office. And get a bookshelf. 
  4. Visit the Griffith Observatory and have dinner in Los Feliz (my favorite neighborhood of LA).
  5. Visit the Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch. 
  6. Volunteer some time to do some precinct walking. I have definitely been feeling the need to be more active in the political process.
What's on your list of things to accomplish this season?

Monday, October 1, 2012

seattle pt. 2

[Pike Place Market]
[Post Alley]
[Gum Wall]
[Seattle Art Museum]
[Pioneer Square]
[feeding french fries to seagulls]
[Seattle Aquarium]
[Underground Tour]
[sunset in the Pacific Northwest]
[the cutest brunch spot in Queen Anne]
[smoked salmon benedict x2]
In case you're planning a trip to Seattle anytime soon, here is a comprehensive list of where we stayed, ate and played. We didn't rent a car while we were up there, opting to take advantage of the great public transportation available in the Seattle.

Stay: The Mediterranean Inn (booked through
Do: Safeco Field, Pike Place MarketSpace Needle, Seattle Free Walking Tours, Bill Speidel's Underground TourFirst and Pike Starbucks, Post Alley, Gum Wall, Seattle Art Museum, Waterfall Garden
Eat/Drink: Salumi (go here), Boat Street Cafe (and here), Kells (and here), Steelhead Diner, Zoka Coffee (and here!), PostPeso's, Caffe D'arte, Mighty-O Donut
Go: Central Link light rail, Seattle Monorail

Thursday, September 27, 2012

seattle pt. 1

[Safeco Field: home of the Seattle Mariners]
[The husband and I enjoying happy hour inside the stadium]
[Mariners vs. Red Sox]
[Space Needle]
[Downtown Seattle from the Space Needle. If you look closely to the right of the photo you can see the faint outline of Mt. Whitney]
[On top of the world]
[Salumi, recommended by Rebecca]
[Mole salami + fresh mozzarella + Pellegrino]
[Oregano salami + fresh mozzarella]
[Waterfall Park]
[Pike Market: home of Starbucks]
[A peek inside the original Starbucks]

Is anyone else shocked that it's already the end of September? We took this trip up to Seattle at the beginning of the month, and it feels like we have only been home for a few days. I usually try to plan out every little detail of our trips to make sure that we get to do everything that we want to do. This trip, I just never got around to planning out the details (I made our hotel reservation less than a week before we left), so I made a little list of things that we could do. I was experiencing high levels of stress in regards to our unplanned vacation, but things ended up working out very nicely (as they usually do). We enjoyed some much needed time together away from our day-to-day responsibilities (including Chloe). We caught a baseball game, walked around the city, and ate some amazing food. 

Seattle is a wonderful city. It reminds me a little bit of San Francisco, which I suppose makes sense since they are both major port cities on the West Coast that were built up around the same time. While we were up there, the leaves were just starting to change colors. It felt like the beginning of fall and made coming home to Orange County and triple digit temperatures somewhat difficult (okay, I complained to basically anyone who would listen to me for about a week...). 

Fall is my favorite time of year, and while there are many things that I love about living in Southern California, this time of year always makes me long to move to the East Coast for Fall and Winter. Maybe someday we'll win the lottery and can live on the West Coast for Spring and Summer and the East Coast for Fall and Winter. I mean, it does happen to people...