Tuesday, January 31, 2012


What a weekend!  Ok, yes it's almost Wednesday but things have been a little busy and by that I mean I spent last couple nights watching Downton Abbey instead of blogging, can you blame me?

Mac and I really did have a fantastic weekend though.  Saturday Mac gave me one of the best surprises I'd ever been given, that is since I was about six years old and my parents told my brother and I we were going to the grocery store and in stead took us to see The Little Mermaid...but that's a story for another time.  

Is it just me or do simple events sometimes make the best surprises? 

P.S. To answer your questions now, we're not engaged.  It was a much simpler event than that. 


Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Sunny Friday!

Darlings this is one of those times when I am so happy to be in Southern California...it is 78 degrees and sunny and it's supposed to hit 80 this weekend.  If you're looking for me this weekend I'll be in a bikini with a margarita in my hand.  

What are your plans for the weekend?

P.S. Check out this great lime sorbet margarita idea!

P.P.S. Photos of Mac's birthday to come next week. 

photo via

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy 33rd!

Happy Birthday to the man who goes to swap meets at 5:00 am, sings West Side Connection when he's driving, and secretly loves and quotes You've Got Mail.  

Mac Fleming as you pointed out yesterday if I had caught a later flight to Portland I never would have met you.  I wouldn't have gotten this chance to say thank you for being here and sharing your 33rd birthday with me.  

To the man who makes me laugh, makes me smile, and makes me (buys me) coffee, I love you! 

p.s. I don't know if you've noticed but today is Mac's birthday!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hosting A Successful Dinner Party

Last weekend we had our fun little dinner party and I have to say my hours of reading cook books and year and a half working in bakeries paid off!  We had such a great time and ate, and ate, and ate!  Here's how we did it. 

Our Menu:
  • Chicken in a pot
  • Pearl couscous with golden raisins
  • Mixed green salad with goat cheese and white wine dressing
  • Honey Spice Madelines
I winged the couscous and the salad but you can find the recipies for the rest in Around My French Table, one of my favorite cook books!  

Here's a photo tour of our evening. And a few notes on hosting a successful dinner party. 

If you're making madalines make them the night before or prep them before everything else.  They are best if the batter has time to rest...or if you're like me late getting ready for my own dinner party let them rest for 30 min in the freezer and hope that it's at least equal to 1 hour in the fridge.  Maybe it worked cuz they tasted great!

Next put together a cheese plate and open a bottle of wine so it can breath.  You never know when guests will show up early or something will wrong in the kitchen.  This way people have something to mingle over and munch on but not something that will fill them up before they eat the awesome dinner you're making!

Chose a dish that will let you visit with your guests.  Chicken in a pot is prepped before they show up (have fun trying to brown a whole chicken) and slow cooks in the oven for an hour.  This way you have time to chat and the happy smells coming from the oven will get everyone's gastric juices a flutter.  

Let them in on the action!  For this recipe you make a dough ring around the pot then place on the lid so the juices are sealed in as it bakes.  Tastes so good and you're guests also get to see part of the process.  

Holly wow, the house smelled so good when we cracked this baby open.  You may need a screw driver it's pretty well baked on there but everything inside was perfectly cooked.  Veggies still had a little crispness and we had about 40 cloves of garlic that we could spread on our bread they were so sweet and soft!

Bask in your own wonderfulness when it comes out looking just like the pictures, or even if it doesn't cuz hell, it'll still taste good! 

You don't have to be perfect.  Everyone thought it was just hilarious the way I chose to remove the chicken from the pot.  But it was so moist it would shred on a fork, crazy hot, and Mac didn't have big enough tongs.  Sometimes you need to improvise and now we'll never forget the "wooden spoon chicken." 

Have a good time!  There were no photos taken of the meal, I choose to see that as a good sign-too busy enjoying.  This is from the end of the night over the kitchen sink as the last dish was done being washed.  

I couldn't have done it with out my prep cook and dishwasher Mac going along behind cleaning up my tornado of a mess kitchen.  

Here's to great nights with friends and family!

P.S. Remember people wont know things did taste/end up the way you planned unless you tell them!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Nook

Does anyone else covet a home library or built in bookshelves?  We've had cold days here in California, finally, and it seems all I want to do is curl up with a book...especially in one of these spaces!  I spent most of Sunday wearing a baggy sweater curled up in one of Mac's office chairs with a book dreaming of a home library of my own, where I could hold up with my coffee (or glass of wine) look out at the fog and not move all day!  What's your dream library like?

p.s. How cool is the hidden hallway book wall?!

via, via, via, via

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What To Do With The Birthday Boy

Ok, so "birthday boy" might not be the right term considering Mac is about to turn 33 but I can't stop thinking of things I'd like to do for his birthday.  Mac is the kind of guy that likes to keep things low key, very low key.  So here are two low key trip ideas for him (that I would also enjoy) and a plan for a fun local evening.  

Beer Tasting Weekend In San Diego:

What guy could say "no" to a weekend of beer tasting, beach bike rides, and amazing food?  It seems like new breweries are popping up all over San Diego and Mac and I have been dying to try them, and San Diego is only about an hour and a half from his place.  Nothing like a birthday stay-cation to make things exciting! 

Cozy Weekend In San Francisco: 

Mac and I love San Francisco and you can't get much more relaxed than drinking clam chowder in a bread bowl at Boudin's and sitting at the Buena Vista Cafe sipping Irish Coffee's while watching the cable cars turn around.  Love the feel of the ocean air with the fog rolling in!

Local Night Out:
Most likely option is the most low key, a fun night staying in our area.  M.O.D burgers from 1321 Downtown Taproom, some of their great beers on tap, bowling, and drinks at the San Franciscan-a lounge that I'm pretty sure hasn't been changed since it was built in 1963! 

Whatever he chooses to do I'm sure he'll have a great time next week.  What have you guys done for fun birthdays?

P.S. Travelzoo has had some great deals for San Francisco and San Diego lately, check 'em out!

Irish Coffee and soup pictures are from our last great trip to San Francisco.  Beer, bowling, bikes, bridge, cable car,cocktails,burger

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Denim Dilemma

I'm looking for a new pair of jeans.  So many of mine are ripped, stained, or way too faded.  Last weeks grievance on jeans got me thinking even more about my closet so last night I pulled out all of my jeans (yes all of them from the last 7 years) and just looking at the range of sizes would make someone think that I had lost or gained 25 pounds, but no, they all fit.  It made me feel like I was taking crazy pills.  
Going shoping a few weeks ago and having one cut fit me in a size 4 and a different cut (but also made by the same brand) fit me in a size 9 quickly put an end to jean shopping for the day.  I just couldn't handle it.  Does anyone know why men's jeans run by inches where as most women's jean sizing runs between a variety of even and odd numbers?

Does anyone else have this issue, how many sizes does your closet hold and do you have a suggestion for great comfortable jeans that wont make me insane shopping?

photos via and via

Monday, January 16, 2012

You're Never Too Old...

You're never too old for a tire swing.  After weeks of lovely holiday parties my Uncle Carl hosted an after Christmas dinner.  The food was amazing, but the tire swing almost stole the show.  Mac, Rose, and I all had a great time with my niece...I didn't want to get off.  I guess sometimes you just have to put on your big girl pants and play!

Rose pulling Mac, clearly we're mature adults.


Taking turns

So much fun, hope you get time to have some fun this week!

Friday, January 13, 2012


First let me say "Happy Friday!!!!!" this week has gone by so fast and this is what it has made me grateful for:
  • Coffee!!!   I've been getting plenty of sleep but that first morning sip has been like heaven in a cup! 
  • Thank you technology for inventing video chats!  I came home Monday night planning to get every chore in the world accomplished and instead had a two and a half hour video chat with long lost Lauren.  Time well spent, nothing like a coffee date across the miles.
  • Love that when discussing who to invite over for dinner this weekend Mac's first words were "how about Frank and Sharon" (my aunt and uncle)  so grateful that everyone loves spending time together as a family!
  • So happy to have found that the nail place by my work does good $10.00 pedicures, $10.00!!!  And they only take about 30 minuets so my co-worker and I could go on a lunch break, so relaxing!
  • I think we can all agree that shopping for jeans is not always an easy/enjoyable task.  Easier for men given their jeans have actual measurements but ladies my closet ranges between 4 different sizes and they all fit, not ok.  Really I just want uniform sizing,  to be able to go into a  store and know that the size I select will not make me muffin top like a fresh baked snack!

Photo via

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Keeping It Clean

    Mac is big on keeping things clean, big.  Needless to say having me around every now and then makes him a little crazy, compile that with a shedding, drooling cat and he has his work cut out for him.  I've slowly been doing things to improve like throwing Splenda wrappers away and not leaving water bottles in every room (believe it or not this is a hard endeavor for me).  Shadow on the other hand has not done anything to help out.

    So Mac built Shadow this little house for his litter box.  Our friend Jessica came up with something similar using and old trunk and said it helped so much to avoid having kitty litter all over the house.  Maybe we're turning into those crazy cat people but I'm so impressed with how great this looks and I am so excited not to have kitty litter stuck to the bottom of my feet whenever I'm in Mac's office!

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012


    First, I would like to preface this post by saying I am not pregnant.  

    Do you ever have crazy cravings?  Every now and then I get the normal ones, cocolate, brownies, nutella, pizza, french fries but sometimes I get really weird ones.   This weekend's craving was a good example.  Our conversation about lunch went something like this:

    Mac: What do you want for lunch?
    Me: Sauerkraut.
    Mac: Joe Josts (hot dog sandwiches)?
    Me: Nope, just sauerkraut.
    Mac: From the jar?
    Me: Yup!

    Well...for some reason that idea didn't go over so well.  That of course made me want it even more, I even thought about sauerkraut at work today.  So guess what I had for dinner tonight.  Yep, I sat down with a jar of sauerkraut, a fork, and some mustard.  And baby let me tell you it was heaven!  There is nothing like satisfying a craving and something about the salty, vinegary goodness hit the spot.   

    Of course I also had a spoon of Nutella at work today. 

    What are your weird cravings?

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    My Reading List

    I read cook books like most people read novels.  When I get a new cookbook I will sit down for hours and read it oooo-ing and ahhhhh-ing and many times reading them out loud in the style of a dime store novel to Mac, who really could care less about a carmalized-apple-tarte-tatin-with-bourbon-maple-syrup...sweet. baby. jesus. but I do it anyways because I just have to share.  These recipes just sound too good not to announce them to whomever may be in the room. This is how I get my yayas, sitting in the middle of my living room, books around me, dreaming about these happy recipes.  Yes, this is my food porn.

    I'm not going to lie, the highlight of my week while being sick was checking the mail and finding that my Bon Appetit had arrived (mental happy dance). 

    And now all the food happiness has been enhanced because Mac and I are having our friends Nick and Abbey over for dinner this weekend.  Which to me means I finally get to try some of the recipes I've been ogling and share them with wonderful people.  Can't wait, who knows what I'll end up making!

    P.S. Thanks for all your sweet wishes, I feel so much better than I did last week.  I'm sure it was all the positive thoughts that helped!

    Friday, January 6, 2012


    It's an afternoon on Etsy finds! I just came across these and I am lusting after one.  Love the geometry, color combos, and simplicity.  Added to my mental wishlist.

    This belongs on my wrist, I'm pretty sure...

    And I wouldn't mind having this ring either

    Thursday, January 5, 2012


    Home sick with my tea.  I've been picking my favorites and I have come to love most varieties of Yogi tea. They always have a message on the tea bag and I had to share today's, "Compassion has no limit.  Kindness has no enemy."  A great thought to carry with you for the day!  

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Back In the Groove

    Hey, long time no see!  I well I'm back from my vacation time and trying to get back in the groove of things.  Why is it so hard?  Mac has started the year off with a bang, morning bike rides, fresh juices, tones of water, no alcohol...and I still have the cold I caught on vacation.  I'm telling myself once the cold is gone I'll be motivated too.  

    I will say having the forced down time combo of vacation time and a nasty cold has allowed me to organize my apartment, spend a lot of great time with the family, and focus on the best way to organize my time now that I'm back at work. 

    Goal for the year: make the most of my time-take time to relax while still staying productive.  Anyone have goals for the new year?
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