Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hand Knit Holiday

Most of you probably already know that I am a hopeless knitter. Christmastime only feeds my fiber addiction. 

Just thought I'd share a few things I've been working on. 

Don't worry... I've already spoiled the surprise for most all of these. Considering it is now Christmas Day and I am just getting around to posting these... it doesn't too much matter anymore.

Oops :)

chocolate and copper shrug

elf sweaters :)
baby ugg boots
last but not least... a crocheted cowl for me, by mom.
My favorite gift this year!


Whew! Considering that I started these just before Thanksgiving, I feel pretty accomplished. 

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all! 

Just a few sights around our Amarillo vacation this year. 

Hope you all are staying warm and safe :) 




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seasons Greetings!

Despite the fact that it's a little warmer here than I'm used to at this time of year... I am still enjoying all of the sights and sounds of Chrismas. Here are my favorites from this week.

A days worth of wrapping :)

Sweet Chloe under the tree. 

Del Mar is so festive this time of the year :)
Love sitting outside one of our favorite wine bars looking
at this happy little scene. 

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Hope your Wednesday is swell.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Current Events

1.) I got glasses.
Yes, my eyes are dilated.
Yes, I made that face on purpose.
No, I don't regret it.

2.) I finally found this cocktail! Worth $14? ... absolutely. 

3.) Chloe got a round of shots last weekend,
 and has been overly cuddly with her mom.
I had to take a picture... this will never happen again. 

4.) Two words: Scarf. Season. 

5.) Discovering more things to do in San Diego.
As always, a lovely adventure :) 

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Got it?

Good :) 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree!

The season is upon us... 



Christmas movies, hot chocolate, and warm blankets are currently underway! Here's to a joyous holiday season to us all!



Thanksgiving!

First of all, hope you all had a happy, happy Thanksgiving! We sure did over here. Spencer's family came to visit on Tuesday evening and stayed until Saturday. So as not to bore you with a ridiculously long post, here are the highlights.


Wednesday: Spencer worked until about 3PM, so I took them to see the sights, do a little shopping, and of course, have their first taste of In-N-Out Burger. Later that night, we met up with our friend Joe for dinner and drinks. 

Something was funny :) 
I love candid shots.


Thursday: Most of the day was spent cooking, and what was left of the day was spent in a food coma. Spencer did treat us to a big breakfast before our big Thanksgiving meal complete with turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, macaroni, rolls, and three kinds of pie (pumpkin, apple, and pecan). Yep, there were only 5 of us. No big deal. 

Caught ya lookin' :)
Spencer "helping"

Friday: We kicked off the day with a little Black Friday shopping, and had lunch at the Stone Brewery in Escondido. (Remember my post about the last time I went to the brewery? I stuck to a fizzy yellow wussie beer this time, thank you very much). We capped off the day with a hike along the coastline, and a fabulous Italian dinner. 

Lunch at Stone Brewery in Escondido, CA 
Spencer's family :)
Yeah, it's pretty where we live.
Love him! 
Right this way... don't mind if I do!
Spencer and his sister.
Watching the sunset through the pines. 


Saturday: We had a late brunch, and took them to see where Spencer works before heading back to the airport. Time went too fast!

Spencer and I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday on the sofa. Why is it that you always need a vacation from your vacation?

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lazy



We had a fabulous weekend being lazy. It rained, we saw a movie, went to dinner, and enjoyed a glass of pinot on the patio tonight. 

Can every weekend be like this? 

Here's to a great week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Downtown Date

Sweet way to spend a Saturday - dinner and a movie. Call me traditional, but still one of my favorite dates :) 

Awwee.. sweet moment :)

What are you guys up to this weekend?


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Liscence (Plates) to Drive

The Mazda needs a bath :)
 
It's official. 

Our cars are no longer registered in the great state of Texas. We are official drivers in Cali! Woo! 

It only took me a MONTH to complete this process. Spencer walked in and out on the same day with his car fully registered. I have been playing cat and mouse with the Department of Motor Vehicles this whole time. From smog check issues (a mandatory test in CA), to title issues, to downright waiting, it has been a process. Glad to be finished with that step! 

Now to pass the driving test. 

I'm pretty nervous about it. 

No need to lie. 

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Points of Pinterest: No Bake Star Crunch Cookies


It's a Pinterest-full day in this house. 

And I was craving chocolate. 

And I didn't want to wait.

I had the good fortune of having these ingredients already in my pantry. It was as if it was meant to be! These cookies remind me of the Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies. Only better. 



Is there really anything better than milk and cookies? Except of course a cookie milkshake? 

I didn't think so. 


Recipe: Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

Points of Pinterest: Owl be Home for Christmas



Pinterest strikes again. 

This felt owl was the perfect Sunday afternoon craft sesh.  Simple and sweet :) He will be perched in my Christmas tree later this year. 



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Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Truth About Green Smoothies

I recently purchased a blender. 

I wanted to make milkshakes smoothies.

Last week, we made a late night run to the grocery store. I picked up some fresh bananas and strawberries, some frozen peaches and bluberries, Greek yogurt, and a bag of spinach. 

PS- That last sentence looks like a game from Highlights magazine, "which of these don't belong?"

This morning, I decided to whip up a smoothie for breakfast using these colorful ingredients:

Strawberry, Banana, Blueberry, Peach Smoothie

However, once finished, it looked a little something like this:


Eeewww... it matches the table.

What happened to my gorgeous display of fruits and dairy to make it this murky, green, Riverbottom looking concoction?

The culprit.

You guessed it. Spinach. 

Why on earth would I ruin a perfectly delicious smoothie by putting something as misfit as spinach into my morning drink? 
I was curious.

"Green Smoothies" have been all the rage for quite sometime. I was sincerely curious about them because of the claim that they help lead to clearer skin, they're naturally good for you, and you can't taste the greens whatsoever. So, what's the truth about green smoothies? 

Considering this is the first time to ever have a.) made one, and b.) consume one, I can only speak for the fact that you can NOT in fact taste the spinach. At all. Whatsoever. 

The next time you feel like having an afternoon treat or an early morning breakfast smoothie, toss in some greens. Take my word for it, your smoothie will be just as delicious. And like you know, I NEVER joke about food. 

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Riverbottom Smoothie

4 strawberries, cored and diced
1 whole banana, peeled and chopped
Small handful of blueberries
Small handful of peach slices, chopped
1/2 c. strained Greek yogurt
Splash of milk
1 c. fresh spinach
2-3 Ice cubes (optional--especially if you are not using any frozen fruit)

Blend the first 6 ingredients until desired consistency. Add spinach and blend until smooth. Sip and enjoy :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Nutella Fro Yo

Raise your hand if you love Nutella. 

lkhdfjhwq idwioh ojkhdsf.

That was me typing with my feet because both hands were raised. 

If you feel similarly about peanut butter and ice cream, have I got a treat for you. 

Fresh out of my kitchen, and my newest obsession, Peanut Butter Nutella Fro Yo.
Oh. Yes. 

This was the sort of invention that develops from PMS necessity. Thanks to my old pal Pinterest, I had seen a super simple recipe for chocolate fruit dip, made by combining Nutella and Greek Yogurt. Since I pretty much can not make it through the day without a Fage or Chobani break, this was the perfect excuse opportunity to use Nutella in a recipe that doesn't involve just a spoon try something new. 

On Monday night, I whipped up some of this absolutely delicious fruit dip while Spencer and I enjoyed it with banana slices while watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey The Discovery Channel. I must have lofty ambitions, because I had a ton of the fruit dip left over. Never wanting to waste chocolate, I decided to put it in the freezer to save it for later. 

Tuesday night is when the magic happened. I pulled out that delicious yogurt concoction only to find that like a beautiful butterfly, my chocolatey goodness had morphed into a frozen custard type dessert that only needed a spoon and a pair of sweat pants to be enjoyed to its maximum potential. Done and done. 

After a little bit of experimenting, I found the absolute BEST possibly combination of ingredients to be Nutella, peanut butter, and Greek Yogurt. I have become mildly obsessed with this dessert to the point that Spencer kind of groans when he sees me reaching for the freezer handle. Since I could never deprive my readers of something so fabulous, I just had to share. Make this. Tonight. 



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Peanut Butter Nutella Fro Yo

1 cup plain Greek Yogurt (like Fage or Chobani)
2 heaping tablespoons Nutella
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter

Combine all three ingredients in freezer-safe container. Secure with lid and freeze for at least two hours. 

(The longer you freeze it the more like ice cream it becomes, and less like frozen custard. Also, be mindful of your freezer settings -- if it's too high, you'll have to wait even longer for it to thaw a bit... and no one wants that). 

I have found that I like it best when it's just under frozen and is thick and creamy and delicious. It's all about personal preference!

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Points of Pinterest: DIY Container Magnet

container magnets via afairlie on Pinterest


I am beginning a little series on the blog titled "Points of Pinterest'. If you have not yet discovered the time-wasting greatness known as Pinterest, then you are truly missing out! It is basically a virtual bulletin board that you can "pin" your favorite images from the web. I pin everything from recipes, to crafts, to clever quotes. 

My favorite thing to pin is DIY crafts. There are tons floating around Pinterest from so many clever individuals. In my craft closet (affectionately known as my "crap closet" by my darling boyfriend), I have at least 75% of the materials needed to re-create the DIY craftiness that I re-pin. This little series is designed to not only clean out my out-of-hand craft boards, but also my out-of-hand craft closet. 


I'm starting small with a simple, two-piece material project: container magnets. The idea is to use vintage tea, spice, or candy containers to hold pens and pencils for quick notes or grocery lists in the kitchen. Since I am constantly searching for a pen to mark off items on my handy dandy ALL OUT OF grocery pad (7$ at Urban Outfitters), this was a quick, ideal project. 

Like I mentioned, there are only two materials needed: a lovely tin container and magnets. I had some adhesive magnets already on hand, so my task was even simpler - just peeled the backing off and stuck the magnet to the back of the container. You could just as easily use hot glue or some other form of adhesive if your magnets do not have the sticky backing. 

And here is the finished product. The tin was one that I thrifted from Spencer. It contained tea bags in a delicious "cinnamon sunrise" flavor for hot tea. While deliciously warm and spicy, I am pretty sure those tea bags expired sometime in early 2002 so I felt no shame about tossing them and keeping the tin for myself. 



Besides it looks much cuter on my fridge than inside the pantry, don't you think? :)



And it just so happened to perfectly match my little magnet collection. Sigh. 
Fate.

Until next time!

A Week in Review

Another busy week on the west coast. Rather than filling your head with mundane nonsense, here's some pretty pictures from this past week :) 

A REAL meal! Since we moved here, we have pretty much been eating out every night. We were so pumped to be able to cook our first meal in the new place. I took the opportunity to try out some new recipes. We had Coca-Cola chicken, ranch roasted red potatoes, and Cesar salad. De-lish. The Coca-Cola chicken is an old recipe, but one that has always intrigued me. It has just three ingredients: a can of Coca-Cola, a cup of ketchup, and chicken breast. That's it! The sauce ends up tasting like a sweet BBQ sauce. It was outstanding - can't wait to try it again!



ANOTHER real meal! In my best efforts to try and re-use ingredients, the next night we had chicken fried rice with broccoli, peas, carrots, egg, and garlic. It was SO good and beat the heck out of any other fried rice we've had recently. 



Beautiful Weather. It has been a little cooler here lately, and feels more and more like fall! On Saturday, I rode along with Spencer to run a few errands. This was my view from the passenger's seat. Can't beat it!



A relaxing weekend. Thursday night, a new friend of ours took us out for dinner and drinks in our little area of San Diego. Friday night, Spencer and I went on a date to a little Italian food restaurant walking distance to our house. From it's appearance, it totally looked like one of those places that is featured on any hidden camera show, but we'd heard good things and decided to give it a try. It was actually very good, and we had a great time. We lounged around watching football for the rest of the day, and late Saturday night we went to see "Money Ball" with a friend. Sunday, I cleaned the house a little and did some DIY crafting, while Spencer played golf at the beautiful Torrey Pines Golf Course. He had to get signed up the day before in order to play on Sunday, and that's when I took this picture. You can see the ocean in the background :) 



I would imagine that the remainder of today will hold lots of doing nothing, and lots of DVR. Perfect top-off to the weekend :)


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's (almost) That Time...



Oh yes, people. In just a few short months, we will officially reach my most favorite time of year.

Christmas!

For as long as I can remember, I have absolutely loved the holidays! When I was a kiddo, it was all about church Christmas plays, presents under the tree, and waiting for Santa to come. Even now, I still feel that same magic about the season that I did when I was a little girl in a red and green gingham dress opening my Christmas bag from church on the car ride home, entirely too excited to even think about sleeping that night and thinking every bump in the night was a reindeer on the roof.

OK... I am waxing a little too nostalgic now... 

Anyway, each year I start preparing months in advance. I start flipping through magazines, surfing the net, strolling up and down the aisles of Target and Michaels, all searching for inspiration on what the trendiest fashion in decorating is that year. This year is no different. In fact, the only difference is that I've started a wee bit earlier than usual. 

Oops. 

Sue me, Thanksgiving fanatics.

Oh yes. Thanksgiving is lovely with its warm food, spiced fall drinks, and calorie-laden pies, but I tend to think of it this way: If Thanksgiving is pre-cursor to the holiday season, then it is sort of like the appetizer that leads you into the main course. Sure, everyone stuffs themselves full on Turkey Day, but the year isn't over yet. 

So, what is it all leading up to? 

Do I even have to tell you? 

The big, fat, chocolate covered, caramel coated, side of whipped cream, topped with toasted pecans and a pretty cherry on top dessert to end the holiday season known as... Christmas.

Now don't get me wrong I love Thanksgiving as much as the next person, and I gladly indulge in ALL of its offerings, but Christmas is really my season.

Getting a little off topic here, and a little too heavily involved with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, this year I am most exited to get  to decorate the new place! I have a never before used tree (bought for $20 last season at Lowe's... don't worry, it originally had an extra "0" at the end of that price... winning!) and lots of ideas for a very DIY Christmas.

I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens: Christmas Ideas magazine last weekend and eagerly began to thumb through it, dog-earing almost every page. There were so many ideas, and so many different avenues of inspiration that I am going to have a hard time choosing just one route to take. We may be in for an eclectic holiday, after all.

I could go vintage... woodsy and rustic... classic... cool and wintery... sparkly and glittery...
or I daresay, all of the above?




The last page I flipped to read this caption:


This is a bold-faced challenge to uber cheap frugal people like myself. Come on... I can totally throw a holiday party for under $150!

Anyone want to dare me? ;)

One thing is for sure. As the holiday season approaches, I will cut no corner with the decorating, baking, DIY crafting, and obsessive amount of Christmas music and movies that will be on replay throughout the house, probably beginning next week sometime. I mean really... what could be better?