Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Normal: Decorating your home for the holidays

Our little xmas tree

Not Normal: Spending a ridiculous amount of time and money decorating your 850 sq ft apartment for the holidays as soon as it is socially acceptable (the day after Thanksgiving).

I went a little overboard on the table...

Please notice the green stocking
for the dog we don't own yet....

I'll let you guess what category I fall into.

The wine needs it's own holiday cheer
...right?

My birthday was this Saturday.  I spent the day (by choice) decorating my mom's house and my apartment for the holidays.  And when we finished, we went to HomeGoods to pick up even more decorations.  It's like Christmas crack.  It was the best day ever.

How cute is this Santa with the
big feet?

Couldn't pass up these holiday canisters
(Especially bc I'm obsessed with canisters)

Can you find the three snowmen in this photo?

Because you have to have a snowman
for the bathroom counter.

Add some ornaments to the corkads
for extra Christmas cheer

Because we don't have enough already
I filled my vases with ornaments

Oh and we ended my celebration with post-Thanksgiving fondue at the Melting Pot.  And rolled out. 

Have you decorated for the holidays yet?
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Monday, November 29, 2010

iPad Obsessed

Some people are coy about what gifts they would like to recieve. I am not one of those people. Hubby has known that I want an iPad for my birthday since they came out last June. He said that we couldn't afford it. He said it wasn't going to happen.

But look at my new toy!!


Isn't he the best?  Seriously.  He's amazing.  So my undercover tech geek has popped back out and I've been obsessing over my new toy since I recieved it.  And it is so cool.  Some of my favorite apps?

PocketInformant, which will hopefully replace my paper planner.  It includes both a calendar which downloads straight from my Google Calendar and a to do list in the same format.


As much as I wanted to like iBooks, Kindle totally beats it out in terms of book selection.  But both are awesome for reading on the go.


Pandora.  A classic.  You know I love it.  And you know it's blasting holiday music everywhere I go for the next month.

Yoga HD.  Because there are some times when I'd rather practice in my living room than surrounded by tiny little flexible girls at the gym.  With this app you can not only do one of 15 pre-set practices, but you can make your own.


Food Network and Epicurious are equally awesome cooking apps, but Food Network gets the slight edge, as I already use their website and could instantly pull up my recipe box.  Both feature great displays that you can read the recipe off of as you cook, and really amazing features for grocery lists which make my day (I'm a list person...).












There are a ton of other ones that I'm just beginning to explore.  I'll try to do periodic updates of favorite new apps for my fellow enthusiasts.  Are there any other iPad lovers out there with app suggestions?  I'd love to hear them! Pin It

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shutterfly Holiday Cards

At a Thanksgiving celebration this weekend, I was seriously stressed out by my friend's fridge, which is already covered in holiday cards.  I know that I enjoy my holiday shopping and music earlier than most, but seriously people

Ok, let's not lie, I've been scoping the internet for fabulous cards for the last month or so.  I'm already a huge fan of Shutterfly's photo books (one of my original favorite things), and after perusing different photo websites, they definitely have my favorites.  Plus, I already upload all of my photos there for my photo books, so it's super easy.  Just drag and drop.

These two are my favorites.



I love love the black and white, which totally reminds me of our wedding, but the brown is adorable too.  I'd love any of your opinions!  You can see all of their holiday cards here.

So now all I have to do is take a seriously hot photo or two of Hubby and I with the new puppy to pop in there and we'll be good to go.  Have you finished your holiday cards yet?


Now all of us bloggers can get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly!  Click here to sign up!
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Camera Phone Gems, part deux

Since my last foray into my camera phone, my inspiration, Jessica (aka Hunduddle Hussy, aka one of my fav blogs), has begun to post her camera gems once a week.  Of course, I'm too much of a spaz right now to post on the right day, but I got inspirted.  Let's see what we've got...


Hubby has been out of town this week.  Being the totally sane person I am, decided to barricade myself into my bedroom at 3am.  Although any self respecting robber or gunman could probably get through in about 10 seconds.  Ok, so I'm a little paranoid...don't judge...



This is the view of the ocean from our rooftop pool deck.  Baller.  I'm going to pretend our apartment building is as nice as the condo next door too...



Oh the puppies.  Can't help but post the newest pictures.  Sigh.  One of you little balls of fur will be mine in a few short weeks.



My mom and I found this at HomeGoods to buy for the puppy, if we pick a girl.  I sent a pic to Hubby for his input.  His response?  "Not in this lifetime."




Confession.  I like to do my holiday shopping early.  Then wrap my gifts while listening to Christmas music.  In the middle of November



Want to know how I make hot chocolate?  Two packets of mix.  Half a cup of water.  Handful of marshmallows on top.  Booya.



And we'll finish off today's exercise with the obligitory cocktail shot.  Not sure why I decide to take photos of my drinks, but at least these are prettier than my usual redbull vodka.



So now it's your turn.  Let's see your camera phone gems.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ikea Shelves Antiquing Project

Let me start off by saying that I'm obsessed with Ikea.  Hubby and I bought these shelves from Ikea for $25 when we moved into our first aparment for kitchen storage. 

Not the best picture, but you get it.

We realized that our new kitchen doesn't have space for anything to hang them, so I started brainstorming other uses.  But I wasn't a huge fan of the light wood shelves for anywhere other than the kitchen.  So what's a girl to do?  Turn to her fellow blogs for inspiration of course!

I've seen plenty of blogs on re-finishing furniture or adding an antiqued look to craft projects.  Lo and behold, we also had leftover paint from touching up the walls in the old apartment, so this project was totally free.  That's my kind of crafting.

Ikea Shelves Antiquing Project

Materials
Old shelves
Sandpaper
Paint brushes
White paint
Colored paint
Newspaper (if you're ghetto and painting on an apartment balcony like me)

Sand down the old shelves on your itty-bitty balcony.


Paint the shelves with two coats of white paint.  Try not to get paint on the brand new bbq cover.  Oops.

Paint the shelves with two coats of colored paint (I used a light blue).  Let them dry up against the side of the balcony because there is no other room.  Oh, and cover them with a plastic bag if a rainstorm decides to screw up your crafting.


I decided to also paint the metal bar and hooks so the look was a little more cohesive.
Once completely dry, sand the edges and shelves so that the white and the wood show through.  Have your Hubby mount them back up on the wall for you.


Ta da!  Gorgeous "new" shelves, now fit for use outside of the kitchen (or garage, or wherever you had them before).  Stand by for my follow up tutorial for some fun ideas of what to put on those hooks.


Note for my fellow amateur crafters: Let's not lie, I've been working on this project for days.  It's not as easy as it looks, especially when you have a four by four patio to work on.  I thought about giving up about ten times...especially when it rained and I had to cover it with a trash can...but it turned out great and it was totally worth it in the end!
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Free Canvas For Reals?

There are a few pictures from our wedding that Hubby and I are obsessed with.  And once we moved into our new apartment with a fireplace, I knew that I wanted a huge print to hang above it.  But I definitely didn't want to pay the $150+ that it was going to cost.

So I heard about this free canvas deal from Canvas People on a few other blogs and decided to check it out.  Of course, they suckered me into upgrading to the 16x20, so it wasn't entirely free, but it was a lot cheaper than I found anywhere else.


Our gorgeous canvas came this weekend and is now hanging beautifully over my fireplace.  Sigh.  Loves it. Pin It

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fast Forward

Do you ever wish that life came with a fast forward button?  I know that we're supposed to live in the moment, but sometimes I wish that I could just hit fast forward and skip over a day or two.  The fast forward itch usually comes when there are big stresses that are on the horizon.  And there's no way for me to just relax and enjoy them. 

I'm looking forward to a long weekend.
I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.
I'm looking forward to my birthday.
I'm looking forward to decorating for Christmas.
I'm looking forward to the UCLA v USC football game.
I'm looking forward to getting our puppy.
I'm looking forward to the holidays.
I am not looking forward to tomorrow.


I wish I could fast forward to each of those, and then push pause.  So what do you say?  Can we skip to Thursday now?
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Monday, November 8, 2010

Happiness is a Warm Slice of Bread

I don't know about you guys, but I am a bread person.  I could live on bread.  Back in college, I used go to the grocery store exclusively for $0.99 french bread loaves, olive oil and brie.  Let's not lie, I'm still obsessed.


Nothing makes me happier than warm, fresh bread.  Which is why I couldn't help but be a little dissapointed when the bread maker wasn't purchased off of our registry. 


Oh, and have I mentioned that I have the best friends ever?  Apparently, the lovely ladies who spent ridiculous amounts of money and time on my wedding also decided to buy us a wedding gift.  Which arrived nine months late.

I am now the proud owner of a Cuisinart Bread Maker!!!


Isn't it beautiful?  I baked my first loaf of challah bread this weekend and it was gorgeous and delicious....


And we definitely didn't eat three quarters of it last night...oh wait...yea, I guess we didMmmmmmmmmm.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Favorite Grilled Salmon Recipe

If you haven't noticed, I tend to flock to recipes that are easy and cheap, but also full of flavor.  This one is pretty healthy as well (borrowed from Eating Well, with some small modifications).  And this is one of those recipes that I absolutely crave.

And if you're in So Cal right now, you know that it feels more like grilling season than fall with the 90+ degree temperatures, so break out that bbq and try it!

Grilled Lemon Salmon with Mustard & Herbs

2 lemons
3-5 tablespoons of assorted herbs
(you can use fresh herbs too, but I'm always too lazy)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pound center-cut salmon, skinned
Aluminum foil or foil bbq bag

Preheat grill to medium-high.


Lay two 9-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil on top of each other (or use one of the foil grill bags like I did). Slice lemons into thin slices.


Arrange lemon slices in layers in the center of the foil. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of herbs over the lemons.


With the side of a chef’s knife, mash garlic with salt to form a paste (or if you're lazy like me, use the pre-mashed garlic from Trader Joes). Transfer to a small dish and stir in mustard and approximately 2 tablespoons of herbs.  I always end up making a little extra of this so that I get plenty of flavor on there.

Cut the salmon into individual pieces.  Spread the mixture over both sides of the salmon. Place the salmon on top of the lemons and herbs.


Cover the salmon with the aluminum foil into a packet and place on the grill.  Cook until the salmon is opaque in the center, 18 to 24 minutes.  Pull it off the bbq, take the salmon off of the lemons and foil, and serve.


Yummmmm enjoy!
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Puppyface

In case you missed the memo, we're getting a puppy.  We moved so that we could get a puppy.  We're staying home over the holiday break so that we can spend time with the puppy.  This puppy isn't even born yet, and she's already taking over our world (in a good way...I think). 

This process has been in the works for ages.  A normal person would make the decision, then go to the pound and adopt the cutest puppy they find.  We are not normal people.
Hubby and I have both had breeder dogs that we've loved loved loved.  But, Hubby also had a bad experience with one dog and is now insistent on finding a reputable breeder and meeting the parent dogs before getting a puppy.  At least for the first one.
We drove up at the beginning of the summer to meet the dogs after months of drooling over their website.  A few months later, they informed us that they would likely have Christmas puppies, which is an ideal time for us to spend time getting used to the puppy before going back to work (maternity leave, if you will).  We put down a deposit on the puppy before she was even concieved.  Yep.  It's true.

So now, the puppy is finally born, so in eight weeks he or she will be ready to come home.  That's eight weeks to find a hiding spot for my shoes.  And purses.  And any soft wonderful thing on a bottom shelves that I love. 

So begins the countdown to the first big change in our relationship since we got married.  And then I can really start thinking about babies.  Just don't tell Hubby I said so.



Random Note: Work is crazy = I am crazy = Blogging happens infrequently. If I haven't responded to your following request, I'm sorry and I will soon. It'll pick up again. I swear.
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