Monday, December 31, 2012

{2012} at a Glance

So 2012 was not my favorite year as bittersweet as it was, but it was definitely a year for growth. We moved downtown and left downtown, we got to take a few trips and visit dear family/friends in Boston, New York, Palm Springs and San Francisco, I chopped off and donated my hair, we celebrated our one year anniversary the same weekend I attended an old friend's funeral, a few close friends/family got married and moved to different countries and I worked my butt off at multiple jobs but finally got a foot in the door teaching!  This last month has been an absolute test of my sanity and but with all the bad things that have happened, it has been getting better and we are so excited to be welcoming in a New Year at just the right time.  Cheers to a new year and new beginnings!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stressed!!! but....Thankful?

Woah?!? First off, it has been way too long since my last post.  The reason being, life has been a bit crazy as of late.  Within the last month, I went from being the Showroom Coordinator/Production Manager at a fashion startup by day and server by night to being a long-term substitute in which you do  so much work for normal sub-pay.  However, I am so thankful for the random opportunity to be teaching again--seriously, this position literally came out of the blue and I am so thankful!!  On top of that, we moved early from our downtown studio to a cute little one bedroom craftsman and while we are much happier with our living situation, we are stressed about our old place being rented out (never trust big apartment buildings).  Also, my husband was laid off from his job and I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that in this still groaning economy--although there is a hope as "they" say it's getting better?  Let's just say it has been a crazy month full of heartache and celebration.  I promise this will be the only complaint post and the rest I will keep lighter and fun.  I truly am so thankful for some changes but praying for some relief.  

It rained last Wednesday-Monday (long-overdue in LA) and on Sunday afternoon while walking around in the rain, I saw this which gave me hope. 

Oh and look how adorable our new neighborhood is...fall in Southern California is possible!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Happy Wednesday! I know it has been awhile since my last post, but I have been working like crazy and have been out of town 3 weekends in a row (2 in San Francisco and 1 in Orange County to visit family and friends).  This last week, LA finally got the memo that summer is over and cooled down a bit (finally!!!).  So my husband and I hosted a little Autumn Party with some friends which consisted of homemade hot cider, pizza, seasonal beers, watching Hocus Pocus and pumpkin snicker doodles.  I am relatively new to baking, but every year I try a new pumpkin cookie and since snicker doodles are my favorite, I decided why not combine them.  I used the recipe below, but used half portions of everything as I do not own a beater and it is quite a workout.  The end result was quite delicious and you can enjoy them with a glass of milk, or with you favorite seasonal brew! 

Yield: about 3-4 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the coating:
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
Dash of Allspice

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whisk to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the pumpkin puree.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend.  Scoop the dough (about 2½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball.  Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart.  Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly.  Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Store in an airtight container.

Recipe via Annie's Eats

Monday, October 8, 2012

San Francisco

Hello! I know it has been awhile since my last post, but sometimes life just happens and you roll along with it.  Last week was the official start date of my internship-to-job transition and I am loving it so far, but it has kept me very busy!! Everyday after work, I go to work at the restaurant at night, let's just say that last week I worked over 50 hours within 5 days so when an opportunity came up last minute to go with my husband and our friends to the Bay area, I decided it was needed.  The boys were asked to lead worship and teach at a church in Mill Valley and they brought the ladies along.  It was so much fun combined with so much beauty!! Mill Valley is a gorgeous place where it feels like you are a million miles away from a big city even though it is a 10 minute drive to SF.  We met some great people, got to explore the city and the best was a little teaser for this weekend when my husband and I will be going back for our original planned SF vacation weekend!! Here is to hoping another work week of double jobs flys by! Cheers!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Saturday was the first day of fall and I had to work all day/evening.  Upon getting off, all I wanted to do was cook a good meal, stay in with the husband and watch a movie while relaxing in sweats and an over sized t-shirt.  I decided to welcome in the season by cooking a winter squash meal, but still wanted something light.  Spaghetti squash was the perfect happy medium!  It can be substituted for any pasta dish and was super easy to make (BONUS: It is full of vitamins, fiber and folic acid and is only 42 cal/serving and unlike pasta, you will not be on carb overload)!
In preparing the squash, you can boil it or cook it in the oven or the microwave.  I chose to oven-roast mine while I was prepping the side salad and cutting up everything I need for the sauce (oh and drinking some Red wine). Cut the squash lengthwise, remove the seeds and pulp, and season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and drizzled olive oil.  Preheat the oven to 350, and then roast it for 40 minutes.
Once the squash was done, I let it stand for a few minutes and prepared my sauce.  I sautéed thinly sliced garlic in about 1/4 cup EVOO for a few minutes on medium heat.  I then added sweet Golden tomatoes and let them blister in the mixture. After 3 minutes I added thinly sliced basil and Italian Seasonings and let the sauce simmer a bit more to release all of the flavors.  Once it was ready, I used a fork to scrape the "meat" of the squash out (it just shreds into long spaghetti-like noodles) and put it in a mixing bowl.  I then added the sauce and tossed it together with fresh diced Roma tomatoes (tomatoes are in full season right now), served it with a salad and topped it all with fresh grated Parmesan cheese!  So good and healthy!
I'm curious to know, have you made spaghetti squash before? If so, how do you like it best?!

Monday, September 24, 2012

For Fall

I am so thankful fall is officially here (according to the calendar anyways), but according to the temperature, summer is hanging out a bit longer.  Even though it is still 90 degrees outside, here is what I am looking forward to this season:

I want to go pick a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch 
(and no, a parking lot pumpkin patch does not count)

Dressing in layers with big scarves, cardigans, sweaters and boots. 

 Cooking pumpkin dishes whether sweet or savory like pumpkin soup and pumpkin snicker doodles!

This year, I REALLY want to drive away for a bit and go to an apple orchard and pick apples. So fun!

Fall Foilage (something we really don't get in LA)

And of course, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and chilly evening walks<3
It's going to be a great season!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Streetcar, I hope are voted in to come back downtown as it would be great for the growing community here.  Oh, and I had a great time at your party last night!
Dear Body, I know you have been working a lot this week and it was pretty exhausting, but why do you feel like you were hit by bus a bus?! You aren't even thirty yet, please get it together!
Dear Palm Springs, You were just the mini-relief I needed in order to function properly.
Dear LA Beer Week, So excited you're here and can't wait to partake in some festivities!
Dear Husband, I feel like we've been so busy lately, but thanks for being so great! And I cherish our days off to walk to coffee together and just relax!
Dear Santa Monica/Venice, After our visit last Friday, I thought I'd let you know I had a great time! You are 10 degrees cooler, smell like the ocean and are just darling.
Dear Traffic, I blame you on why we can't live out by the sea.
Dear Week, You just flew by! Sheesh!
Dear SF, It's been way too long!!! See you in a couple weeks, please have your best coffee, cocktails and cool weather waiting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Darling Magazine: Issue No. 1

A few months back, I had a couple of posts on Darling Magazine, an online magazine aimed to inspire and inform all while reinforcing the notion that as women, we are original, interesting and have a purpose, no matter what our strengths.  They put together a video for kickstarter in order to raise money to put the online magazine in print (posts seen here and here).  They met their goal and were able to move forward with their plans and after not too long, my print issue arrived in the mail.  I took some time to read it poolside and would encourage everyone to go online to order it.  Check out their website to see what it is all about for yourself and allow yourself to be encouraged and inspired.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Cat Power

Earlier this month, Cat Power released her latest album in over six years (ahhhh, I can't believe it's been that long since The Greatest, makes me feel so old!!).  Sun has a much different sound than her prior album as it's less piano and a bit melancholy at times but I like it, what can you expect after a break-up (Chan had been dating Giovani Ribisi for a few years).  Yesterday she released the video for "Cherokee" which she herself directed, not sure if I love it, but I do love the song and the video is interesting.  It is today's Tuesday Tune!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Palm Springs Getaway

Hello there! It's been quite awhile, for a few reasons... First off, I have some good news to share (as eluded to by the end of this post here).  My internship which I have been at since mid-July has turned into a job!!! I am so excited to be learning and working towards another career since teaching in CA right now is nearly impossible to achieve (particularly in LA). So I have been busy with that, working at the restaurant still and typical life duties of husband and home.  
On to the post at hand, this weekend I got to have a much needed getaway to Palm Springs for a dear friend's bachelorette party!! We stayed at the Riviera Resort which is a super cute hotel built in the late fifties and recently renovated with fun sixties pop-art style in mind.  It was soooo nice to chat and lounge in the pool without a care, go out for a fun girly dinner and then dance our hearts out to tunes like "Call Me Maybe."  Sunday was spent in the pool again and I even got to enjoy some reading. The trip home was equally as fun as I love driving on the 10 and seeing the windmills and of course, stopping by the Cabazon Dinosaurs.  Childhood nostalgia can always bring a big smile to my face. It was the perfect weekend away to refresh me for this week ahead!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Only in my Dreams

Lately I have been having these really intense dreams. Some of them good, others cause me anxiety, but I never know it is a dream until I wake up. I like this song a lot and I woke up with it in my head (plus the video is pretty silly and shot in Echo Park and Silver Lake) so it is today's Tuesday Tune!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Beach, I know we hadn't been close for a couple of years now, but I loved our reunion(s) last week. It was nice catching up.
Dear Fall, You are right around the corner and I am so excited for your visit!
Dear Immune System, Why must you succumb to whatever virus crosses your path. Stand up for us, someone has to!
Dear Money, They say you don't grow on trees, but I was kinda hoping you would be willing to make an exception. Please? For me? =)
Dear Future Furniture, Please refer to above for the reason you are not already here in our studio.
Dear Pop Physique, You are the best workout ever! Why are you so expensive?!?
Dear twenty-seven, I knew I had a good feeling about you and it looks like exciting changes are happening! I can't wait to share more when it is confirmed =)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

{Pin}spiration: Home Decorating

 This weekend, my husband and I officially decided we would be staying in our current place once our lease is up.  While I love looking for new places to live and imagining all the possibilities in a future space, moving is my worst nightmare and there is something comforting about knowing you will be somewhere for awhile.  We weren't planning on staying more than a year before so we have not really decorated or made this place our own so I cannot wait to do so! We want it to reflect our interests and personalities and feel like home so we want a minimalist-mid-century-bohemian style (yes, I know we are walking contradictions).  We love bright colors with classic yet comfortable pieces and we pretty much just want it to feel like the nineties when we're home.

We have this quilt: Gila Quilt via Anthropologie