All The Lovely Things: Forget Monday- Jazz Clubs, Wine, and Chocolate

Another weekend come and gone, and we’re staring ahead at another week. Fear not, dear friends, let’s think of nicer things instead.

During a quick drop in at Sephora to peruse their perfume section, I was introduced to a new line of perfume. It’s interesting, in a word. The perfumes are almost exact replicas of various scents: Beach Walk, By The Fireplace, At The Barber’s. They were absolutely incredible, the Beach Walk smelled like every summer day you spent at the waves, but I wasn’t quite sold until I smelled Jazz Club. It is the perfect blend of leather, cigars, and spice. Overall, it’s a far cry from my usual preference of floral and citrus notes, but it’s truly that mind blowing. Even now, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I am intoxicated by it.

replica

Replica, Jazz Club

As the days have gotten darker and colder, I’ve also found myself constantly thinking about chocolate shortbread. Random? Yes. Delicious? Oh hell yes.

Now, normally I would just jump on amazon and purchase whatever my heart desired, but apparently there are not a lot of outlets for this specific craving. I know, sad day. Instead, I think I’ll look forward to making these this upcoming weekend.

Look at these intense, buttery, crumbly bites.

chocolate-shortbread

Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

And what goes better with chocolate cookies than wine?

Nothing. The answer is nothing.

On a recent trip to Carlsbad for a staycation, I stumbled upon the Witch Creek Winery. Guys. Guys. GUYS. Can I just say that the most incredible friend date ever would be to have a wine tasting trip up in Julian just for the purpose of having their wine on my lips again?

Oh, what?  A little too intense? Oops, sorry.

witch-creek-winery

Witch Creek Winery

I totally stole this picture from their Yelp reviews. My picture was in no way as pretty, mostly because I had already drank most of my glass before I even thought to bring the camera out.

And finally, some easy music with which to start your week. Honestly, it’s the kind of music I imagine on a Friday night, but I’m not yet in the mindset to fully accept that it’s not the weekend still.

brett-bixby

Brett Bixby, Fireside

Read Moreby timeinmydayComments Off on All The Lovely Things: Forget Monday- Jazz Clubs, Wine, and Chocolate

All The Lovely Things: Thanksgiving Edition

If you couldn’t tell from my last post- November is the interim of the Fall to Winter scene. Fall is already over in my mind and I’m already dreaming of Christmas lights and cold nights, so Thanksgiving isn’t really a holiday I’ve ever put a lot of effort into. That said, there are a lot of gorgeous things surrounding a holiday that brings family and friends together, and it’s high time that to take a moment and appreciate it.

Our Thanksgivings has always focused on family and food, but there are some gorgeous decorations for those who take a little more time in setting the scene. This place setting is simple and beautiful, and provides a place to be privately thoughtful.

thanksgiving-decor
If you’re looking for something other than a traditional bottle of wine or flowers for the host gift, this hand towel is so frickin cute I can’t stand it.

pumpkin-pie-dish-towelPumpkin Pie Dishtowel

And because it’s not Thanksgiving without food…

It’s driving me mad that I can’t find a proper recipe (*cough* pictures) for a pastry wrapped baked brie with tart cherries. I could have sworn I originally found the recipe on one of my usual cooking sites, but after searching I think I actually just adapted it from a recipe on Dinner: A Love Story.

Sigh.

Okay.

Here’s a gorgeous picture of a fancy schmacy baked brie. It includes some ingredients that I may or may not have a hard time imagining in brie, but are likely stunning if you took the time to actually put it together. Also, look at the picture (ooooh).

brie-1Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, and Toasted Almonds

And here is the original recipe for a cherry galette. Ignore the home made pie crust (hahaha-nope) and just use some puff pastry. Then plop a wheel of brie in this bad boy and I promise all your hopes and dreams will come true. (I fully realize it is no longer the same recipe aside from the use of one specific ingredient, but bear with my line of thinking. [Some kind of] Pastry? Check. Tart Cherries? Check. Totally the same.) It is an amazing, gooey, delightful mess. Stunning and perfect for the increasingly chill fall weather.

brie-2Cherry Galette – Money in the Bank

Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

I’ve been meaning to post for weeks now, but a series of weddings, Halloween events, and other weekly distractions have definitely taken their toll. Until today, I’ve honestly just felt completely done- worn out and just wanting to do the bare minimum for a while.

Okay, I still feel that way a little bit.

Don’t get me wrong, everything that I’ve done over the past two months has been superbly wonderful- but all in quick succession was a little too much. Thankfully, things are finally quieting down… for a while.

While Thanksgiving and Glenn’s birthday is next week, both will be pretty muted since he’s on an ass kicking diet and isn’t feeling up to really celebrating either. So I have a solid 15 days of luxury and laziness before the Christmas season gets in full swing. I could wait until halfway through December, too, but we all know I’m not that kind of girl. So, until then- these are the things I’m planning on doing (as lazily as possible):

Watch the Gilmore Girls, “A Year in the Life”. I am ridiculously pumped for this. Glenn and I bonded over many things over the years, but the Gilmore Girls is definitely something of “ours.” We’ve re-watched the season every fall since we got married. It’s like a really weird, oddly specific thing that we both enjoy.

Cleaning my house. Because dear lord I have not had time to deep clean, and between the holiday decorations and the weekend trips it’s been in a pretty consistent state of disarray.

Um…

That’s all I got.

Yea, I’m not really good at not doing things.

Okay, you got me. I’m already in stage 2 of the Christmas Enjoyment Scale- “Planning and Purchasing”. This is, of course, of the obvious and universally known 5 point Christmas Enjoyment Scale (CES). I’ve already surpassed stage one, “Pinning,” and have gone on to blow out bank account buying presents and decorations. Poor Glenn.

Until December 1st, this is all just in good fun. I can peruse possible gifts and find little pieces for the home here and there to give it that warm, cozy winter feel (despite the fact that it’s still reaching 80 degrees outside), but nothing is mandatory in my mind just yet.

I can stop whenever I want to, I swear.

That said, be forewarned that most of my posts in the next month and a half will likely revolve around the holiday to some degree. I mean, what is life if not a celebration, right?

Halloween Movie Night

The weekend is finally upon us! I’m not sure about you all, but man this week was long. I’m in desperate need of a load of family time and relaxation. Thankfully, we don’t have any strict plans for our days off, so I’m going to soak up every moment with my favorite people. Jackson’s aunt is in town, so we’re going to have a lot of fun hanging out and celebrating the upcoming holiday while she’s here.

This Saturday, we’re planning on having a Halloween Movie Night. Since we have young children in the audience (and totally not because two of us are scaredy cats), we’re making the night family friendly. I’ve found that just a little bit of planning really makes small things like this that much more novel and memorable, so I’ve been thinking of little ways to make it more fun.

The Duds
Carters had a sale a few weeks ago in which I bought the kiddos some Halloween clothes (and their annual Christmas pj’s), so they will finally be able to show off their new threads. It’s all about the fashion, people.

Jackson will be wearing his aptly suited, “Jack” O’Latern shirt.

pumpkinJack O’Latern Shirt

While I will be wearing my similarly appropriate tee:

here-for-the-boos
Here for the Boos Tee

The Grub

I have been craving a caramel apple like no[boo]dy’s business*, but I can’t find them anywhere (seriously, where do you find these?). Thankfully, the all mighty Pinterest saves the day again.

This recipe for caramel apple nachos is a heck of a lot easier than melting and dunking a bunch of whole apples. Plus- heath bars and chocolate! Can’t go wrong.

caramel_apple_nachos-707x1024

Caramel Apple Nachos

For the grown ups in the group, I’m considering making this gorgeous Halloween sangria. We’re having a party coming up where I’ll be making a big batch of a spooky adult beverage, so it would be good planning (and not at all self serving) to try this out before then.

halloween-sangria-blood-red-sangria-with-frozen-grape-eyeballs-perfect-halloween-drink-for-a-party

Halloween Sangria

The Shows

I sent out a list of Halloween titles for the ladies of the family to choose from or let me know if they wanted another. I included one that I specifically wanted to watch, but left out another because I felt it was too kidish. Thankfully, Auntie O is as much as a child as I am and she called to let me know this other movie must be included.

So, in true 90’s kid Halloween fashion, we will be watching…

hocus-pocus

And, of course

halloweentown
In the end, this is definitely a low key night. But I get joy from little things, so I’m completely looking forward to introducing a little more of the season in an otherwise common activity. Hopefully as the babies get older, they get the same sense of magic that I love about this season.

*I’m sorry, I can’t help myself. It’s a curse, really.

Work Style the Lazy Way

As a new mom, I spent most of my first year in (maternity) jeans and comfy oversized shirts. Thankfully, my work is ridiculously casual, so I’m pretty sure exactly nobody noticed. I think this is in part because they’re a bunch of scientists, but it’s also probably because we’re literally a five minute walk away from the beach.

Regardless, as I emerged from the other end of the year, my jeans were getting increasingly faded and my shirts worn. I obviously needed to do something, but I was entirely too lazy to go out shopping. Because of my height, larger stomach, and thinner hips, it takes trying on 20 pairs of jeans to find one that works. However, it was starting to take a toll on my self-esteem, and I was starting to feel incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin.

Combine this with an ever increasingly mountain of dirty laundry, and this is when I started to get compliments. I know, it doesn’t make sense. In fact, for a solid few weeks I didn’t quite realize that I had stumbled on a loophole. But when I did, glorious day!

It all started after a weekend of running around and not having time to conquer the laundry building up in our garage. Instead, I threw on a dress I’ve had for years and ran out the door.

Everyone has a style that really suits their bodies. Mine is the sheath dress. I can’t tell you a time that I’ve put on this style and it looked bad. It’s damn near magic, especially to someone where so few articles of clothing are actually flattering on them.

Over the years, I came across a brand that is on the cheaper end and is insanely comfortable. I own three of them. It looks structured and businesslike, but is actually cotton and feels very similar to yoga pants.

I go to the playground in this dress, you guys.

old-navy-sheath-dressOld Navy Sleeveless Sheath Dresses

It doesn’t wrinkle if you forget to take it out of the dryer, it maintains its structure with little no extra care, and it looks legit.

Add a thick belt and a necklace or dollar store scarf (no joke) and you’re set.

Simple, quick. No need to rummage through your clean (or dirty, I’m not judging) laundry pile for a top and bottom that look good together. Plus, you’re washing one item instead of two. Double lazy points!

Then all you have to worry about are your shoes. I’ve found that people tend to view wedges as actual heels, which is extra lucky for me since they feel almost exactly like flats. Again, no issues at the playground, I can probably run in these if I really had to (though this is more due to me not running rather than the footwear).

Of course, wearing dresses does require shaving your legs (or not). But so far I feel the benefits of my effort in this one area far outweigh the efforts in what I used to have to do to get dressed. And I feel sexier, so win-win.

In part, this success comes from having a “uniform.” This topic has become very popular over the past couple of years, and for good reason. You find something that flatters you, you buy several of them, and you wear the same thing over and over. No need to think outside the norm for accessories or a bra that will work with that specific shirt, you’ve already got it down.

but-wait

I’ve been wearing a decent amount of makeup for years. It’s mostly nude or similar colors, but I’ve got the basics down (powder, eyeshadow, mascara). Just enough to brighten up my face but not too much that I feel like I’m in one of those child beauty pageants.

honey-boo-boo

But man, I put eyeliner on one day and BAM. Apparently that’s all I needed to go from looking like I did nothing to looking like I was done up. I’m not even joking- at least a dozen people complimented me in a few weeks’ time.

Easy enough- it took a few days practice but now I can put eyeliner on in a minute flat. I added that to my 5 minutes of doing makeup in the parking garage (I’m not willing to wake up earlier to miss traffic, so I finish getting ready after I’m past that), and I look like I actually put more than just minimal effort into getting ready.

BOOM.

Of course, everyone is different. And I’d say I envy the women who are willing to put more (or less) time in, but really- I’m doing what I’m doing because it’s what I’m most comfortable with. As should everyone else. But if you find yourself where I was, feeling blah but also unwilling to put in too much effort, try it out. You may be surprised by how easy it can be.

All The Lovely Things: Halloween Goodies

You guys, the most wonderful time of the year is so close I can taste it. Starbucks just released their cult-following pumpkin spice latte (blegh), Michaels has put out their Halloween decor, and Pier 1 just released their Halloween Collection (solely as a means to tease me I’m sure).

I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything extra this year, as Glenn complains yearly about the 10 boxes of Halloween items in our attic. But I am still dreaming about all of these.

spiderweb-server

Spiderweb Tiered Server

jack-olatern-tree

Carved Jack-o’-Lantern Tree

jack-olatern

Pre-Lit Jack-o’-Lantern

snowglobe

Jack-o’-Lantern Snowglobe

soap-dispenser

Pumpkin Soap Pump

PS: Damnit Williams-Sonoma, don’t you start me with too. I would straight up cry to receive this

Update: Sorry Glenn, I couldn’t help myself

Happily Ever After- Tootsie’s Paris Tea Bridal Shower

We recently celebrated my dear friend Tootsie’s impending wedding with a Paris themed bridal shower. Tootsie, knowing me all too well, asked for a very specific direction (Paris, Purple) and let me run with it. Over the course of several weeks I planned and re-planned, debating which details would work to make the day magical for her and fun for everyone included. I love her and I love planning parties, so this was pretty much my favorite past time for a while.

IMG_1243

In the end, the party went in a (very) loosely themed Paris tea direction. The bride to be had originally wanted to take tea, but when plans fell through I knew I had to implement as much as this theme into her direction as possible.
However, August in Southern California is really not conducive to tea drinking, and I couldn’t imagine trying to serve those poor ladies tea in 90 degree heat. Instead, I tried to implement other aspects that would give it that high tea feel with a French twist.
In lieu of tea I went with a champagne bar, which not only adds the fun of bubbly but customized bubbly. Like tea if tea were alcoholic, cold, and fizzy. This was especially popular with the ladies, despite its lack of tea-ness.
IMG_1696
Rather than the traditional scones and cucumber sandwiches, I served croissant sandwiches, bite-sized sweets, and strawberry and Nutella crepes on tiered tea trays. (The madeleines, despite  being made a la Costco since I am a planner and not a baker, were nonetheless my favorite treat of the bunch.)
IMG_5636
To decorate, I went with a black and white damask-eque design and put bright pops of purple to lighten it all up. The tiered tea trays (holding my delicious madeleines) were made from Dollar Store parts, spray painted, and glued together. I was especially pleased with how these came out, since I wasn’t quite sure I had used the right adhesive. Other items included rhinestones, sparkly Eiffel towers, and some hand written signs to give it a more personalized charm.
IMG_4572
IMG_6999
In the end, I was very pleased how everything came together. You never quite know how it will look until the day of, and thankfully it worked out well.

Processed with MOLDIV

The bride to be was greeted at the door with a black lacy sash and a dozen of her best friends. We ate and drank and talked for hours. One of the bridesmaids hosted two games which completely made the party. I wish I had gotten pictures, but I was laughing far too hard to care. From hanging panties to blushing toilet paper clad brides, everyone had a fantastically fun time.
Tootsie seemed to really enjoy herself, as did everyone else. After all the planning and decorating, it really just comes down to the people you surround yourself with. Everything else is just extra hidden pockets of beauty in this extraordinary life.

Processed with MOLDIV

All the Lovely Things: Giant Paper Flowers and Popsicles

Oh man, if I had the time to make this

PinkFlowers

DIY Giant Paper Flowers

Note to self- purchase Popsicle molds

img_4528

Peach-Melba Popsicles

Have you ever wondered about the history of margarine? Nope, me neither. But it turns out it’s pretty interesting. More than what you’d expect at least, I mean there aren’t any flying cows or anything but it’s still pretty cool.

missedinhistory-podcasts-wp-content-uploads-sites-99-2016-08-butter-margarine-p-600x350

Butter v. Margarine

How millenniums are changing travel. Beware, this may inspire wanderlust.

lead_large

How Millennials Are Changing Travel

Delicious Words

“when we broke the surface again the first thing I saw was the great bold strip of the Milky Way painted across the heavens, and it occurred to me that together the fish and the stars formed a complete system, coincident parts of some ancient and mysterious whole” – Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children