Thursday, September 22, 2011

What can I say?

So, something not-so-awesome happened to me and my husband on Tuesday night. Our apartment got broken into. Luckily, we weren't home at the time and they only stole our laptop. But still, I feel so violated. Also, the police officer who came to take our report said that someone was likely watching us. Yeah. Way to scare the crap out of me.

The jerk of a person entered through our bedroom window and I guess he (she?) knew exactly what he was coming for because he didn't bother opening or looking at anything in there. He just mosied on into the living room, grabbed our laptop and headed out the front door leaving it unlocked for us when we got home. he left watches that were laying out. A video camera laid untouched. So odd.

Anyway, that laptop had a lot of blog goodness on it that I hadn't backed up. I had pictures stored for future posts. And guess what? They're gone! I'm so frustrated right now, I could cry. So, please bear with me as I get back in the swing of things. Don't desert me, k?

Oh, and I almost forgot the best part! The husband says we can get a dog now so I feel safe when I'm home alone! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Words

I used to have this quote hanging in my bathroom. 
It's probably one of my all time favorites.
How can you not love Audrey?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Caprese Sandwich

I am in love with caprese. Seriously in love. Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil. So simple, yet so delicious. In a quest to make it in sandwich form, I created this:

Caprese Sandwich
2 slices sourdough bread
Prepared pesto
Fresh mozzarella, sliced into medallions
Red ripe, juicy tomatoes, sliced
salt & pepper, to taste.

Lightly toast bread. Spread each slice with mayonnaise, then prepared pesto (I like the kind from Trader Joe's). Next, layer tomatoes, then mozzarella and a little salt and pepper on one of the slices of bread. Top it all off with the other slice and you're set for some caprese sandwich deliciousness. Because the bread is toasted, this will hold up pretty well until lunch time if you decide to make it in the a.m. and take it to go.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beading Class!

A friend and I bought a groupon on a whim a WHILE ago for a beading class. It was about to expire, so we figured we should probably make use of it!

We started off by picking out our beads. Let me tell you, there were about a million beads at this place. It's hard to tell from the picture below, but this place was like the Costco of bead stores. Indecision was not my friend that morning. I could have walked around for an hour picking out the perfect beads.

Once we made our selections, we headed into the class. I had no idea how much went into making a necklace!

After a short introduction to all things beading, we started working on our designs. My teacher kept making suggestions for my design. I think she didn't like it, which just cracks me up. I politely told her at least three times "yeah...I like it this way." Leave it to me to be the problem student.

Once we had our designs ready, we started stringing the beads on to our wire. Then, we attached the clasp and ring to each end and we were done! Ok, I'm realizing that that last sentence made it seem way easier than it actually was. There was more involved, I promise. I'm just not enough of an expert to describe (read: I can't exactly remember what we did)

And here are the finished projects! Mine is the pinkish one.
And how cute is my friend Nikki's mint and yellow necklace? Love it.

I had plans to take a picture of how cute it was with my work outfit...too bad I managed to break mine the first time I wore it! Gosh, I am such a klutz sometimes. At least I have the skills to fix it (and all the other pieces of jewelry I'm bound to break) now :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Wishlist

Although it still feels exactly like summer here in San Diego, I know that the calendar says September 16th and that means Fall is coming! Fall might be my favorite season. (But don't judge me if Winter, Spring or Summer come around and I start calling those my favorite seasons too...they all are special in different ways)

Anyway, I've been seeing so much fall goodness in magazines, on Pinterest and all around the blogosphere and I can't help but get excited for boots, sweaters, fall tv and all things pumpkin. Along with all of those, I have a few extra things on my wish/to-do/to buy list this Fall:

A Cable-Knit Throw
How cozy does that look? Don't you want to just snuggle up under it on the couch? I know I do. The one pictured above is from Pottery Barn and costs a whopping $79, but I think I found some looks for less, from here (IKEA )and here (QVC of all places)!

Something, anything with card catalog details
Ok, so something on a MUCH smaller scale because my slightly less than 700 square foot apartment can't even begin to handle that gorgeous beast, but you get what I mean. Maybe I'll try and make something using card catalog pulls, found here. What does this have to do with fall? Good question. I won't even go down that rabbit hole where it makes sense in my head. Just know that it does.

 Branches in a Vase
Don't those branches just make you feel all autumn-like? I want some sort of branches to replace the spring/summer flowers I have in the vase in my living room. I love the branches in the picture above- hopefully I can find something similar at Michael's.

The Perfect Pumpkin Muffins
Once upon a time I had the most amazing pumpkin muffin recipe at my fingertips. Now, it is no more. Sooooo....this fall will be my quest to find the perfect pumpkin muffin recipe. Get excited.

Butternut Squash Soup
Never made it. But I know I love it. This goodness needs to happen soon in my kitchen. Any recipes? 
Send 'em my way.

Roomy Boots
Dear husband, if you are reading this, I know you're asking yourself WHY I need another pair of boots. Well....let me start by saying that I didn't buy any new boots last fall or winter. Yeah, that's pretty much all I got. I just want them. I don't need them :) Basically, I want boots that are really wide around the calf. Apparently my calves are big for my shoe size because I always have trouble with my boots being too tight. Why can't I find boots that fit like this?:

Rice Pudding 
My coworker has seriously turned me on to rice pudding. I need to learn how to make it. So good. Definitely happening.

and last but certainly not least. What would fall be without....
Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Oh, Starbucks, how did you manage to make something so amazingly delicious? Now that I have my espresso machine at home, I must figure it out!  I've seen a few recipes floating around the internet, but none seem like quite what I'm looking for. Time to get in the kitchen and experiment!

What are you looking forward to for Fall?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freezer Burritos

Holy moly. Hold on to your socks.This is genius. 

Thanks to a great post over at shutterbean I made some amazing freezer burritos. They are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner and are super easy to make.

Here's how I made mine:

10 burrito sized tortillas
2 cans black beans
1 box of spanish/mexican rice mix
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (whatever you have is fine, I used colby jack)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp hot sauce (I like taco bell mild sauce :)
aluminum foil

Prepare rice as directed on package. Meanwhile, get yourself ready! Layer pieces of aluminum foil, alternating with one tortilla. This will make the process go much faster. Put the rest of your ingredients in bowls for easy access.

Once the rice is ready, fill up that tortilla with all little bit of each of your ingredients, then wrap it all up so it's closed on both ends. Wrap tightly in foil and freeze!

When you're ready to eat, take one (or two, if you're like my husband), unwrap from foil, wrap in damp paper towel and microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Wednesday Words

That Eleanor Roosevelt was one wise lady.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Espresso Can

It started with this:

I don't know when it started, but recently I've acquired the inability to throw away containers. Maybe it's my obsession with organization. Maybe it's the fact that I see potential in what others might call trash. Whatever it is, something deep down made me keep this empty container of Trader Joe's Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats. When I saved it, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.

But, of course, the day came and I needed that container. What ever would I have done if I had thrown it away like any normal person would have?? What exactly did I need it for? To store my espresso! Of course, I couldn't have an espresso container with a steel cut oats label, so this little can got a makeover. 

First, I peeled off the paper label. It came off surprisingly easy. 

Next, I selected some scrapbook paper to cover the canister. I measured it, and unfortunately it wouldn't wrap all the way around the can. So what's a girl to do? Use some chalkboard paint!

This time, I used the spray stuff. It's great for a super even finish. I took the canister and sprayed a small strip of paint down the side. No need to be exact, you just want to make sure you cover enough space to accommodate the gap in the paper.. I also gave the lid a couple of quick coats of paint.

Once dry, you're ready to affix the paper. I used glue dots, but you could also use a glue stick, a glue gun or whatever sort of adhesive you've got on hand. You don't need to use adhesive on the entire thing, just a little on the vertical edges is enough.

Now you can write! I decided to use a chalk ink pen (found at Michael's) since I'll be grabbing the canister often and don't want the chalk to rub off easily. 

And we're done. Cute, huh?

linking up to:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yup...another travel mug

As a thank you gift for making cupcakes for her ADORABLE son's first birthday, my friend gave me this travel mug from Starbucks:

It's a blank canvas for you to create your own collage. Love that!

Whenever I think collage, I think a collage of photos, so initially I thought I would just do that. But then, I had an idea. Why not just use some pretty scrapbook paper? So simple. So easy. I like that.

If you're like me, you may have an entire box of scrapbook paper waiting to be used. (side note: I think I've made about two complete scrapbooks in my life. Why do I have so much paper? Let's not go there.) If you're not like me, Michael's or your local hobby store should have a decent selection of pretty papers.

All you need to do is take the black paper out of the mug, then use it as a template to trace an outline on the back side of your paper.

Tip: If your paper has a pattern to it, keep that in mind when positioning your template. Instead of lining up the straight edge of the paper with the straight edge of the template, you may want position the template somewhere in the middle so that your pattern doesn't look like it's uneven on your mug.

Next, just cut it out and slide it back into the mug and replace the bottom piece to hold it all together.

You're done! Admire how cute your new mug is. Change it up next week if you want. Why? Because you can!

Want your own travel mug to decorate? Find it in your local Starbucks, or online here

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I spent the majority of today not thinking much about the fact that it was September 11th. That ten years ago today thousands of lives were lost and our country was under attack. Being on the West Coast and in high school when it all happened, I've always felt removed from it all. I didn't know anyone who died, who was there, or was affected at all. Perhaps I just wasn't mature enough to understand the gravity of all that had happened. And perhaps I've spent the past nine anniversaries of that monumental day continuing to avoid thinking about it.

Tonight, however, was different. My husband and I sat down and watched a documentary tonight that included actual footage from inside the towers. My heart ached watching it. My eyes filled with tears. I think tonight I finally got it. The weight of it all set in. Our country was attacked. Innocent lives were lost. The courage shown by those first responders was beyond words amazing. Wow. Just, wow.

I have no words that can accurately describe my gratitude for those who lost their lives trying to save others' that day. I don't express it nearly enough, but thank you to all of you who spend each day protecting our communities and our country.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And... I'm back

As you may or may not know, we had a major power outage yesterday in San Diego, so my technology was quite limited. I had great plan for a good post, but alas, my only technology was my iPhone (with like no battery left and the crappiest service ever since everyone and their mother was trying to use their mobile phones) and this:
Yup. A radio- a very old one at that. Thank goodness my in-laws were more prepared than my husband and I. (Rick & Gail-Thank you for taking care of us!)

Pretty sure this blackout made me realize just how unprepared we are for disaster.We DEFINITELY do not own a battery operated radio.  I don't even know where we keep our flashlights! I never ever have cash! I don't stock up on canned goods! And I ALWAYS let my gas tank get practically empty. Thank goodness I had gas yesterday, otherwise it would have been disastrous. It literally took me an hour and a half to go the 13 miles from my office to my in-laws house. I don't even want to think about how long it would have taken me to drive the 24 miles to my house.

The night itself wasn't too bad though. It can't be that bad when eating every last fudgsicle becomes an absolute necessity, right? And playing The Game of Life by the the glow of flashlights ain’t so bad either. I only wish the power would have stayed out a little longer so I could've stayed home from work :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Salsa Chicken

This is the easiest crockpot dinner EVER. I heard about this recipe and thought it was too good to be true. How can something so easy taste so good? But it did not disappoint.

Salsa Chicken
{serves 4}
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
16 oz. jar of your favorite salsa

Place salsa and chicken in crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken and serve as desired

I told you it was easy, huh? Now what do you do with said salsa chicken? Here are some ideas:
  • make tacos
  • make burritos
  • make a cheesy quesadillas
  • turn it into a bowl with rice, black beans and corn
  • serve it atop a deliciously healthy salad.
Bonus: this chicken is only 170 calories per serving!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Too beautiful not to share

How amazing is this dining room makeover from Perfectly Imperfect?

All the details are just amazing. And how much do you LOVE that coffered ceiling?

Sign Redo

I went shopping at Ross (what a surprise) and came across a wood sign. I loved the color. I loved the shape. I loved the $5.99 price tag.  But I didn't really love what it said. Well, it wasn't so much what it said, more that I just wasn't a huge fan of the font. It was okaaaaay, but just not exactly what I wanted. I still threw it in my cart though... I had plans.
See where I'm going with this? Yup. I made it a chalkboard sign. With a few coats of chalkboard paint, I turned  a sign I thought was so-so, into something I LOVE.
Now, I realize I'm not the first person to give something new life with chalkboard paint, but I really just can't get enough of the stuff. It can make just about anything a functional chalkboard and is such a quick project that anyone can tackle. I love the feel a chalkboard can bring to a space, and that what you write on it isn't permanent, so you can change it up as much as you like.
It turned out great, huh? I have it hanging in the hall near our bathroom, so it's one of the very first things I see in the morning.

Quick tip #1: You need to "season" your chalkboard before use. After the paint has thoroughly dried, rub the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk, then erase. If you don't, your chalkboard will forever (at least faintly) display whatever you first wrote on it. Trust me when I say this... I made many chalkboards for my wedding that I thought I could re-purpose post-wedding. Because I didn't prepare them correctly, I now have random signs that say "guest book", and "lemonade"...Lesson learned? Make sure you read the directions on the label of your paint.

Quick tip #2: If you want your chalkboard to display a saying that doesn't rub off as easily, try using chalk ink pens (you can find them at Michael's). They're not permanent, but they require a damp rag to wipe clean, so occasional bumps, or perhaps little hands won't mess up your work of art like they would traditional chalk.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

It's a Monday and I'm not at work, so you KNOW that it's going to be a good day. I slept in and didn't wake up to an alarm...glorious!

Around here, it's humid today with isolated thunderstorms...I kind of wish I was going to a barbecue and sipping on lemonade, but with a husband who works nights that needs to sleep all day, such is life.

What's a girl to do on labor day then? Go shopping! Thank you to all you people who work retail and are making my labor day shopping experience a possibility. I promise I'll be nice and smile extra big when you ring up my purchases :)

Whatever it is you're up to today, I hope it's fabulous.

I have some fun projects I'll be posting about this week, so get excited and check back soon!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Losing Some Weight

Considering I'm heading off for vacation in three weeks, I wish I meant actual weight off my body, but I don't.

What I did lose?! You can now find me at just Yup, we're getting all kinds of official around here. will still get you here, but go ahead and save yourself 8 letters and start using

Hope you're enjoying your long weekend!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall Cupcake Round Up

My mom is planning a fall themed party for some friends and came to me for cupcake ideas. Although I haven't baked any autumn cupcakes recently (besides some delicious pumpkin ones that I can no longer find the recipe to), I knew my trusty friends google and pinterest would provide plenty of inspiration. And disappoint they did not.

When I think autumn, I think apples. How cute are these apple cupcakes displayed in a crate?

Or these apple cuties make with red frosting, pretzels and sour green apple strips!

How about these bits of apple pie deliciousness?

Speaking of pie... pumpkin pie cupcakes anyone? Genius!

Apples? Cinamon roll? In cupcake form? Sign me up!

Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting? Yum!

Of course, now I really want a cupcake.

Have any recipes to share??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

From Inspiration to Reality: Jami's Bedroom

When my friend Jami told me she was gearing up to decorate her bedroom in her new place, I jumped all over it. She kindly agreed to let me create an inspiration/reality board of sorts based on some pictures and a few ideas she already had.

She is going for a black, white, yellow and gray color scheme in this bedroom. Can I tell you how much I love that color palette? It feels so fresh.

Here are a few of the inspiration pictures she sent over:

She’s obviously not afraid of some bold patterns- LOVE!

I love the script on this rug.
{source unknown}

Don't you just want to curl up on each of those beds and read a good book? 

 Based on her photos, this is what I created:

black yellow gray

click here for chevron rug from urban outfitters {click on any of the above thumbnails for product details}

She already picked out some black hemnes furniture from IKEA (which I also happen to have in my bedroom :). And she already has two nightstands that are just waiting to be painted a cheerful shade of yellow (so the ones shown in the board above are purely for show).

I think sticking with a white duvet and adding pops of color with accent pillows and perhaps a quilt is the way to go. That way, if you want to change up your color scheme in the future, you have a good, neutral base going on.

The gray chevron rug makes my heart pitter patter. I love the bold design it adds without being too overpowering to the room.

Above the bed, I thought it would be fun to mimic the script from the gorgeous rug in the inspiration pic, above. Three simple black frames can enclose some simple DIY art. Find a scripty font online (I like, type out some words (a favorite quote? Song lyrics?) in a word processing program, print it out and pop it in the frame. Easy!

Obviously, Jami has some great taste so I’m sure she’ll do fine all on her own, but I appreciate her letting me take a shot at it!

Have an inspiration picture you want to re-create in real life? Have a design dilemma? My VERY amateur self would love for you to let me attempt to help. Send me an email at! Maybe I’ll feature your question/design in an upcoming blog post.