Wednesday, February 29, 2012

hello, lover.

Meet my new vintage love. 

My "new" sewing machine, circa 1990-ish?

My fabulous friend and co-worker made relentless fun of me for my "toy" sewing machine, as she refers to it. See picture below in relation to a bottle of wine. 
It was all I had on hand to scale it by ;)

Tiny, right? 

Anyway, I have taken a recent interest in wanting to learn more about sewing. She just so happened to have this little Singer beauty on Craigslist. She took pity on me and immediately removed her listing, toting this mint condition (still in original box, with original styrofoam and plastic bag!) beauty into work today. A gift to me, she said, if I would get rid of the "toy".

Done and done.

I did a little research on my new sewing machine and found out it likely still in great condition. I haven't had an opportunity to play with it yet, but I can hardly wait :)

Happy Wednesday to me! Hope yours has been swell :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Adrienne Loves Ice Loves CoCo

You can believe the rumors. 
They're back for season 2.
I LOVE them. 
If you don't watch the show, you are seriously missing out. 

Also currently streaming...

What are some of your favorites? 
(guilty pleasure or not)

Monday, February 20, 2012

An Ode to the Slow Cooker

I know... it's too soon for another food-related post. 
I'm slipping back into my old ways. 
But I just can't help it. 
Spencer's Favorite: Beans and Bacon. 
Two years ago for Christmas, I received a slow cooker from my aunt. It was truly one of the best things I received that year. 
It's the small things.

Anyway, I made a few tasty recipes but didn't get a whole lot of use from it. Until now. 

Lately. Spencer and I have deemed Sundays as "Crock Pot Sundays". 
(Insert political correctness here: I don't actually have a Crock Pot. The brand of slow cooker I have is actually a Euro-Pro, but whatever. It's like calling a tissue a Kleenex, or like we do in Texas, a Dr. Pepper a "coke"). 

I am 5-1 with this thing. Had it not been for an unfortunate instance involving steaks and mustard, I'd be 6-0. 
I got a little ahead of myself.

Anyway, I must share with you all some of our recent favorites. These recipes are SO GOOD that I promise you will love them as much as we do. Without further ado...

1.) 3-Packet Roast (Hands down... this is our favorite).
2.) Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (Simply delicious.)
3.) Pork and Beans (Nothing special about this one... just soak the beans overnight and rinse them then next morning. Add them to your slow cooker along with enough water to cover them and then some. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. Serve with bacon and jalepeno cornbread - yum!)
4.) Turkey Carnitas (This one was given to me by a friend. It's got flavors of lime, onions, and peppers. I'm happy to share the recipe--just let me know!)
5.) Salsa Chicken (This is stupid delicious, by the way. Serve with warm corn tortillas or on top of a bed of rice.)

My love affair with my slow cooker continues. Anyone have any good recipes? I am always open to suggestion :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Lazy Sunday, Indeed

Considering it's only 10:45 AM on the west coast...

and I've already done all the grocery shopping for the week, got dinner in the Crock Pot, cleaned out the refrigerator, took out the trash, started/folded two loads of laundry, and cleaned the kitchen... 

I think it's time to put my feet up and enjoy the rest of my Sunday :)

Cheers to you all! Have a good one.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Eleven Madison Park Granola (Modified)

One all-time favorite breakfast.
I mean... right?
I am a huge fan of granola. 
I could put it on anything, the way some people can do with Tabasco sauce. 
(Disclaimer: I haven't tried it on pizza, that would just be gross.)

But for the most part, anything with granola is better. 

Spencer's mom shares the same love affair with granola as I do. She has given me a few recipes, and I have enjoyed them all, but this one I will share with you today really takes the cake. 
(YES, I've put granola on cake... don't judge!)

The beautiful thing about granola is that you can use literally whatever you have on hand. It's so versatile!

This is the (apparently) famous Eleven Madison Park Granola that folks have raved about. Of course, I modified it, because I modify everything. I'm annoying that way.

Here is what you need. 

  • 2-3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (you can go unsweetened... but why?)
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, any variety
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt (go easy on the salt - I find that if I used salted nuts, I don't even need it.)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries

  • (I know it looks like this is a ton of ingredients... it is. Don't let that dishearten you, you will have more than enough to make this recipe at least another 1-2 times.)

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. 

  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together the oats, coconut, mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, and salt. 

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the brown sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil until the sugar is just dissolved. 

  • Fold into the oat mixture, coating all of the dry ingredients as evenly as possible. Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 

  • Bake until dry and lightly golden, about 40 minutes, stirring the granola after 20 minutes to allow for even baking and drying. Remove from the oven and let cool. 

  • Once your granola has cooled, toss in your dried fruits and mix well.

  • Yields: One boat load.

  • This recipe makes a ton of granola. The good news is, once you've munched on it for a few days, you can simply pour it into a gallon size freezer bag and scoop out portions as you want them. Granola freezes exceptionally well. 

  • That's it! Nice and easy. 

  • And soooo good.

  • ----------

  • Some of my favorite ways to enjoy this recipe:

  • 1.) Sprinkled on top of plain, Greek yogurt and finished with a drizzle of honey (as in the first picture).

    2.) On top of a diced, juicy pear. Try this one. You will not be sorry. 

    3.) In a small bowl with a splash of milk. 

    4.) On top of a milkshake protein shake. (I said no judging!)

    5.) Bottled in Mason jars with the handwritten recipe tied around with twine as a lovely gift for any occasion. 

    6.) Sprinkled on top of apple rings topped with peanut butter. 

    7.) Half the dried fruit and replace with M&Ms or chocolate chips and add a cup of mini pretzels for a delicious trail mix. 

    8.) Add a handful to a fresh salad topped with apples (or pears) and feta (or blue cheese) and serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. 

    9.) Use it to add some crunch to a cinnamon baked apple. 

    10.) Coat a banana with chocolate (or peanut butter) and roll in granola. Freeze and eat. 

    and of course... 
    11.) All by its lonesome :) 

  • Enjoy! Please let me know if you try it. Seriously, it's awesome. 

  • Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    The Amazing Race

    OK, so seriously... this happened back in October. 

    I think. I can't really remember. 

    But, it was totally blog-worthy, so here goes!

    The Design Team

    My company put together an Amazing Race themed scavenger hunt. We all had an amazing time (forgive the pun), and can not wait to do it again!

    The whole race was a surprise to most all of us. Only one of the Principals and our Business Manager knew what was going on. For weeks, all we were told was that on one certain day we were to dress comfortably... and make sure our cell phones were fully charged. 


    When it was finally revealed to us one Thursday morning what exactly we were going to be doing, we were all a little hesitant and nervous about how this was going to go. Admittedly, I have never seen a single episode of The Amazing Race, but all I knew was that you were sent to a multitude of places on a live scavenger hunt across the world and that the prize is a large amount of money. 

    I'm in. 

    We started by having lunch in Old Town San Diego at a fabulous Mexican food restaurant. The margaritas were flowing, and I had all the liquid confidence in the world that I could do this. 

    Our crew.

    We drew numbers for our two teams. 

    Team #1: Jessica, Tara, Tina, Bailey

    Team #2: Lisa, Jen, Me
    The way the completely random teams shaped up was pretty ironic. Team #1 pretty much all works together, as do Lisa, Jen, and myself. The whole point of The RBN Amazing Race was to move us around and move outside the "inner circle". Fail. 

    We were given our first clues (not all the same) and we were off. The race took place all over downtown San Diego (from Old Town, to Little Italy, to the Gaslamp) - we covered a LOT of ground. By foot. Mostly. 

    Coming through!
    Along the way were posted several meerkats (it's sort of our thing... if you could't tell by the matching shirts). These were opportunities for extra points. We thought we had really racked up... don't worry. It was only the like FOUR that the other team missed. They had approximately 50. Double fail. 

    At one point in the race, we all met back up at a bowling alley for (more) beer and bowling. We had one more clue, leading us to our final destination which was Nobu, a sushi restaurant downtown. We celebrated the end of the race (it lasted about 8 hours) with sushi and more wine. 

    Let me preface this next part by saying, we didn't stand a chance. 

    Lisa and I did not know where the hell we were going, and pretty much every guess we made was incorrect. Not to mention the meerkats we accumulated, along with the clues along the way, were few and far between. However, in our own minds, we totally thought we owned the day... until we saw the stack of found clues / meerkats from the other team. Triple fail. 

    Sadly (and clearly) we lost, but our consolation prizes of manis/pedis were't too bad. 

    It was a fantastic day and one we all can't wait to do again!

    ello ve

    Get it? It's LOVE :)

    Happy Valentine's Day to all! 

    valentine cupcake from my favorite carpet reps :)

    We're having a quiet night at home... my favorite kind. We already exchanged Valentine gifts earlier in the week (too excited to wait). Spencer got me a gorgeous D&B wallet / checkbook cover to match the handbag he got me for Christmas, and I got him a couples massage for the both of us. 

    It's only mildly selfish... 

    Yeah, OK... I know... but I wanted in on the fun, too!

    It's only fair. 

    It's Tuesday, so that only means one other thing... 

    The Bachelor 
    (DVR'd, of course - we tend to run a day behind)

    Seriously... what is going on with his hair?

    Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week!

    Saturday, February 11, 2012


    Whew! Since I've been "absent" for the entire month of January, this is my first opportunity to wish you all a happy new year! Hope 2012 is off to a fabulous start for each of you :) 

    Things here are flying by. I absolutely cannot believe it is already February. 

    Believe me, I tried to make the holidays last as long as I possibly could... including waiting until nearly the end of January to take down all of the Christmas decorations. Truthfully, this was only because I was hot on the heels of winter with Valentine decorations in tow :) 

    Unfortunately, it's back to reality and back to work for both of us here. Things at work have been set to a steady flow of BUSY since I got back. That's a good thing, so certainly no complaints from me. In fact, I've become increasingly more comfortable with the ins and outs of my job and am now getting more opportunity at work. I attended my first ever grand opening/ribbon cutting a couple of weekends ago. The project was a salon, and one of the first projects I worked on while at the firm. We had a great time! The Aveda freebies didn't hurt, either ;)

    Even though work has been taking up the majority of my time, I've still found plenty of social opportunity along the way. Work hard, play hard :)

    Some coworkers and I are competing in a Project Runway inspired fashion show using interior finish materials from two sponsored local area reps. The concept is to create a custom-designed couture runway gown using the materials given to you by your assigned sponsor. We happen to have a laminate rep and a furniture rep as our sponsors. The finished piece must be representative of the theme, which is "Passport to International Haute Couture". Each of the contestants drew names of cities in which would inspire their overall piece. Our city is Stockholm, Sweden. I can't give away any more details, but all I can say is it's going to be fabulous... we hope. I can't sew, so let's just say there is a fair amount of hot glue desperately adhering most of our outfit together ;) 

    I've had a couple of happy hours with some fantastic new friends (wine and girl time is always on my priority list!) and had to say goodbye to a sweet friend (I'll miss you Allison--love on Texas for me!). We've also  been using the slow cooker a LOT (slow cooker Sundays!) and having fantastic results. One of these days, I will actually have the courage to leave it running while I'm at work. Anyone out there have any advice to help me get over my phobia?

    Aside from the obvious "get over it", that is.

    Other than that, I've been trying to make more time for crafting and baking. I love them both so. The weekends just never quite seem long enough for all of my big plans. 

    I will try and be better this month (and throughout the year) of updating so that I don't have to do any more of these fast and furious posts. Too much rambling about my boring little life in one setting :) 

    I'll leave you with a few visuals from the month of January. Enjoy!

    We saw Seinfeld at the Civic Theatre in January.

    Been trying to take some more time for myself lately.
    I have to say... I could really get used to these kinds of lazy afternoons.

    Spencer and I showing our best at the San Diego Automotive Museum.
    Frank Sinatra's car was on exhibit while we were there... so cool! 

    Salon freebies. Love.

    San Diego is truly a beautiful place!
    We are so lucky.