Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  We have a wonderfully chilly and foggy day here in Southern California, perfect to get all the little ones in a spooky mood.  We'll be staying in tonight, my brother and his wife are coming over to have dinner and pass out candy to the kids.  I love seeing their costumes and which are the most popular this year.  What are your plans?  Here's a few Halloween links that might come in handy tonight. 

Last minute costume ideas.
These 24 easy Halloween treats.
It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown download. 

And here's a little MJ to get you in the mood!  Have a great evening darlings whatever you do!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend Review

What a busy weekend!  Friday after work Mac and I put the finishing touches on our costumes and headed out to a great backyard Halloween party.  Saturday morning was time for a much needed workout, followed by lunch and a beer at Whole Foods.  Then it was off to carve pumpkins with my brother and his wife, eat dinner, and put on a spooky movie in the background.  From their house Mac and I went to our second Halloween party which featured a pretty awesome disco dancing roller skater, more costumes need to come with their own soundtrack.  

Sunday was our relaxed day.  Mac worked while I ran errands, hit the gym, then made apple cider doughnuts for the first time!  Recipe is coming next week.  That evening we had a great french dinner to celebrate our 3rd year of dating.  The food was divine but my stomach let me that know that it wasn't such a fan of all the butter. Even feeling sick, it still turned out to be a great anniversary and a wonderful weekend!  But boy after how busy we were it's kinda nice to be back in the office.  

How was your weekend?  I'm thinking safe thoughts for all you lovelies on the east coast!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Friday!

Friday is finally here, a few days before Halloween with so many possibilities for the weekend!  Mac and I are going to a party tonight and another tomorrow night.  I spent last night working on his Roman costume and I think it just might work.  Other than the parties we'll be carving pumpkins with friends and probably putting a few spooky movies on in the background!  

What are your weekend plans?  If you're in the mood for an old Halloween themed comedy check out Arsenic and Old Lace staring Cary Grant.  It's streaming on Netflix and is so much fun and perfect if you have little ones (or are not a fan of scary movies yourself). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Busy Bee

Sad to say that with after work errands, photo editing, and Halloween prep this week's recipe may be pushed to next week.  Buuuut get excited it's pumpkin eclairs with chocolate ganache and boy were they good! Tonight I'm making Mac's Halloween costume, we're going as Cleopatra and Mark Antony.  Wish me luck trying to make a Roman gladiator costume, if things go well I may just have time to get that recipe up.  What are you doing for Halloween, any good costume ideas?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekend Review

We may have had the perfect autumn weekend.  At least we went to some of my favorite places with my favorite people.  We all woke up Saturday morning at my parent's house to a fire in the fire place and beautiful fog rolling in through the pine trees.  My morning run in the crisp air full of the smell of fire places would have been enough to make the weekend a success but that was just the start of the day.  

We drove out to our favorite country pumpkin patch that had sadly undergone a few changes but we did still find some great pumpkins, took way too many pictures, and my niece got to go on the first hay ride that she can remember.  Then we wandered over to my second favorite spot the apple barn and fruit ranch where there was a wedding going on.  Autumn wedding, on the creek, taking pictures in the apple orchard...I died.  (I also tried to sneak some pictures but the photographers weren't having that.) We got to taste every kind of apple and took home a big bag and a whole lot of cider, don't you just love apple season?

After the foggy day out we stopped for nachos and beer at a cozy little place on the bay then went home to cozy up by the fire catch up and had a few pumpkin beers and a scotch and bourbon tasting.  

I was so happy to catch up with my family and old friends over the weekend and it was all topped of by a great antique street fair on Sunday.  Now the hard part, getting back to regular life in Southern California.  Don't you hate having to adjust after a weekend away?  How was your weekend anyone else get pumpkins?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Friday!

(last year in the corn maze)
We made it to Friday!  My days have been off all week.  Woke up and thought Wednesday was Thursday and thought today was Friday.  Don't you hate that feeling?  

Tonight we drive up to Cambria for a weekend in the pumpkin patch, fresh apples and cider, and spooky movies with cocktails. Can't wait to see some of my old friends and have a few days in the country!  What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

If It Takes 1 Minute Or Less...

"If it takes one minute or less, do it."  This is one piece of advice that really works especially when it comes to keeping your house tidy!  Putting away dishes, paying a bill, taking out the trash, if it takes a minute or less do it.  

Now I'm not known for being the most organized person, the inside of my closet is a disaster and please don't look in the trunk of my car...but this helps to keep the everyday clutter to a minimum.  

Give it a try and see if it makes a difference in your home, office, or life. I found the less little chores on my mind the less stress overall, especially if it'll help me to have a cute space like the one above don't you just love the orange and pink! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Victorian Halloween Party

 I came across this layout from Country Living and just had to share it.  When it comes to Halloween decorations I've always been drawn to Victorian decorations there's something creepy, beautiful, and playful about them.   Wouldn't you love to be invited to this party?

 The colors and layout on this table are delicious.  I love the dark orange against the natural wood, perfect table for a couple of witches. 

Look at those pumpkins and details on the costumes!  I feel like I'm stepping back in time.  What's your ideal Halloween party like?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nostalgic Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

I love getting really creative with recipes like last week's macarons but sometimes there is nothing so nice as a simple recipe done really well.  That is today's pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  

My mom never baked all that much but she would make pumpkin bread every fall.  I remember slicing it up fresh out of the oven so hot we would have to wrap a couple of napkins around it just to touch it then slathering it with nice cold cream cheese.  The combination was pure happiness.  

Having friends over this weekend I decided to share those nostalgic flavors in the shape of simple but delicious cupcakes. Not too sweet to overpower the taste of pumpkin, perfectly moist, and just the right amount of creaminess from the frosting.  

Recipe after the jump Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Spooky Friday

(One of the original Rosemary's Baby posters via)
We made it to Friday!  What are your plans for the weekend?  We're having friends over to my place tomorrow night for a spooky movie night!  I love getting together with friends who love creepy movies, I know I can't watch them on my own and manage to get any sleep at night.  

I'll be making vegetable soup with turkey meatballs,pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and we'll be tasting new pumpkin beers.  The movie plans are Rosemary's Baby and the original Haunting.  Have you seen either of them?  Hope you have a cozy autumn weekend too!

Here's the original trailer. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Autumn Rain

Today is our first day of autumn rain here in southern California!  It's so funny how many of my friends have called, texted, or posted on Facebook about the rain.  I guess we really miss the rain living here.  

This is the time of year when I am so thankful for the six months I got to live in London years ago and when I sincerely miss autumn days strolling the city.  But with the rain today I can imagine myself away...the leaves that look pasted to the sidewalk, cozy sweaters, and a warm cup of coffee in my hand.  

What are your rainy days like?  Wouldn't you love to be strolling somewhere in these adorable bow wellies?! They're on my dream list for this season.  

Any of you that are lucky enough to have changing leaves and autumn rain regularly enjoy it for me because today is just wonderful!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Macarons With Bourbon Maple Buttercream

  • A couple weeks ago I decided to combine a few of my favorite things: macarons, pumpkin pie, bourbon, and maple syrup. The result was autumn bliss, I ate a row.  

seriously encourage you to make some if you're a fan of macarons.  Friends ask me if macarons are hard to make, the answer, "no!"  They do take practice but I refuse to be intimidated by a cookie. The recipe below is pretty simple and if you give it a try I have the feeling by the second tray of macarons you'll have the hang of it.  Why pay $2.00 per macaron when you can make your own fresh ones at home?  Recipe after the jump. Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Caramel Apples And Manhattans

What a great weekend!  Not what we expected but fun all the same.  It turns out the Scottish games that my mom had planned the trip around were postponed and we didn't realize this until we got to the fair ground gates.  But we were able to salvage the weekend with great meals, beach walks, and caramel apples.  

There ended up being a craft fair instead of the games. Here my sister-in-law Rose and I found giant salted caramel apples which we decided to save until that evening.  I will say that baby hit the spot.  After a great dinner and maple Manhattans we decided to all go back to the hotel, made our own Manhattans, and ate slice after slice of the delicious caramel apple. 

Has anyone ever seen a bourbon caramel apple, cuz that might be next in the works.  Happy Monday dears, hope you had a great weekend too! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy October And Happy Friday!

I was so caught up with birthday fun I didn't get to welcome in my favorite month.  Happy October!!!

The air is finally starting to get chilly here in southern California this week and the stores are getting full of decorations! We're headed to Ventura this weekend to see the Scottish games with my family.  I love being able to celebrate our heritage and also hearing my mom's accent come out when she talks to people there. What are your plans for the weekend, anyone have pumpkins yet?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

27 Years Of Gratitude

My birthday was Monday, I got a hair cut on my lunch break, beautiful cards, and lots of phone calls.  That evening Mac and I got a drink on the pier, ate Carls Jr., and watched the first half an hour of Arsenic and Old Lace before we both started feeling sleepy.

I know, not a thrilling birthday but I loved all of it!  It made me so amazingly grateful for everything and everyone that I have. 

Parents who have now sent me five birthday cards and called me bright and early singing Las Mananitas, then later throughout the day to see how my hair cut went, and then again to see what kind of junk food I was having.  

Brothers, sisters (in law), aunts, uncles,cousins, and one fabulous niece.  I got birthday emails loaded with pictures of autumn themed cakes (I'll share some later, they're pretty amazing), champagne, phone calls, and I think I'm getting a home made card from the little one.  Made me grateful to have such a loving support network of a family. 

Friends, friends, friends! Not only did I get lovely calls, texts,blog posts, and emails (you're all too nice) but they were all so spot on and personal.  Even Facebook posts welcomed me into my favorite month, mentioned my love of autumn, crunchy leaves, and baked goods.  So fortunate to have loving friends who know me so well.  

Mac.  Since it was a Monday Mac was the only one I spent the evening with but he made it feel like my whole family was there. He got me three gifts all wrapped individually (I like opening things) and even picked out wrapping with autumn leaves and my favorite colors.  I count my lucky starts to have a guy to takes care of spiders for me, brings me my gym shoes when I leave them at home, and even goes into my house when I'm at work and he's in the neighborhood just to take out the my garbage.  I really do wonder sometimes how I was ever fortunate enough to find him.  So lucky to have so much love from him. 

There are those moments in life when you really do worry that you'll wake up and it's a dream.  And yes there are still stresses in life, it's not all sunshine and rainbows.  But I have to say for the stresses of being a "grown up" I couldn't be happier with what I've got.  Thank you all for 27 wonderful years!

photo via
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