Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas was as joyous and fun as always, and wow, it's already New Years Eve! Chris and I plan on spending a quiet night at home with a few close friends, champagne, and watching the ball drop on TV. Here's a re-cap from my Christmas eve:

[loads of presents under the tree]

[the table set-up]

[my DIY snowflake name place-cards]

[cute coasters that i bought from paper source last year]

[enjoying the festivities with my mom]

[my favorite present of all, courtesy of chris' grandmother: cupcake PJs!]

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sparkles And a Great Big Countdown

Christmas isn't quite here yet, but I'm already infatuated with the idea of New Years Eve. I can't help but fall in love with all that glitters about the holiday: the sparkly dresses, champagne, and the promise of a bright new year. I've compiled a list of some my (many) favorite New Years Eve dresses, even though I've already found one for myself here and can't wait to wear it with a pair of fun, bright flats and a tough black leather jacket to balance it out.

1. ModCloth "Striking Gold" Dress
2. Modcloth "Stylish Self Di-Sequin" Dress
3. Adrianna Papell Sequin Cap Sleeve Dress
4. U.O. "Cooperative Fireworks" Dress
5. Forever21 "Sequin Underlay Fit & Flare" Dress
6. Anthropologie "Polished Platinum" Dress
7. French Connection Sequin Minidress


Homemade biscotti dipped into freshly brewed coffee:

Rainy day in the canyon:

Pizzeria Mozza

Chris and I love to visit restaurants that pride themselves in great pizza, and Pizzeria Mozza was no exception. It was pretty rainy that day, and we stopped in on a whim. We were seated at the bar with a great view of the pizza making station and wood burning oven. I'm pretty sure this is the best seat in the house. I mean, really. Watching the dough being rolled out (by hand) was pretty magical in itself. I checked in on foursquare and we were able to get two free glasses of Prosecco, which was the perfect partner to our pizza. Ours was full of fennel sausage, panna (a very yummy cream-like cheese), red onions and scallions. Honestly, all of the pizzas sounded amazing and I can't wait to go back and try more soon (even with the prices being a little steep).

...and the dessert menu, which I was too stuffed to even think about ordering from:

Christmas Time at the Castle

The past week has been going by so quickly, and I have so much to share.

Chris' cousin and her baby were here visiting us last week. Among all the activities, it's safe to say that building the gingerbread house & buying/decorating our tree were among the highlights.

Opening up the box:

Adorable Amalia helping to build the house:

The finished product:

Decorations around the house/The tree:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Lennon

Today marks the 31st anniversary of John Lennon's death. Though I wasn't alive when it happened, I still feel a large amount of sadness. I grew up listening to The Beatles and at one point was actually obsessed. I had pictures of them everywhere, all over my walls. They were all I listened to. I went to London with my mom and dragged her around to all of the famous Beatles "spots" including Abbey Road, taking a train to Liverpool to see where they grew up, etc. etc. John has always been my favorite. I like his sense of humor, I like his songwriting, and I like him as a person. I purchased his solo box set when I was fifteen and it changed my life. This is my tribute to a wonderful songwriter and a great man. If he were still alive today, he would be 71.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hokise Trunk Show

TodayI stopped by a trunk show for the jewelry line Hokise at Tori Spelling's store (InvenTORI) that I frequent every so often. I have a friend who works there and I thought it would be fun to visit him and see the line. Upon arrival, I noticed the dessert table that was still being set up with Christmas-y decorated cookies, cake pops, and cupcakes (which were amazing). Inside, there was a table set up with hot cocoa, coffee and wine. My poor friend Anthony was swamped with customers, so Chris and I looked around(while we waited to say hi) at the candles, adorable coffee table books, plates, etc. and my favorite- the cheese honey, which I need to buy one of these days. I fell in love with this gorgeous 14k gold necklace by Hokise, which is definitely going on my Christmas wish list.

The desserts (made by

I love Tori. This is the third time I've met her and she's always been so nice. I also adore her kids. They are the cutest. Liam & Stella were running around the store each with pink and blue hair-clips in their hair. So precious.

Adorable wreath from Trader Joe's we put on our door when we got home:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

Growing up in LA, I've been going to Disneyland since I was a little girl, and I always have the best time. It remains to be a magical place to me even in my mid-to-late twenties. I went a few days ago with family, and it was a lovely warm day. We didn't have to wait in too many lines, and I had the best vanilla sundae ever.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lazy Sundays

Chris and I woke up this morning with the urge to make a Trader Joe's run. We used to love getting up every Sunday and making egg and bacon biscuits, but had been taking a break from them for a long time. These biscuits are definitely something to treat yourself to on a Sunday, but not every day. These are super cheap & easy to make and are the perfect indulgence. If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, you can still buy all the ingredients at your regular supermarket.

Sunday outfit:

Button-down, Cords in "Garland", Necklace: J. Crew
Leopard print flats: Target
Lipstick: Revlon "Love That Red"
*I'm on the shorter side, so finding pants that fit is a difficult task. I found this great pair of high-waisted corduroy pants at J. Crew for around $88 (but well worth the price). Since they're long on me, I just roll up the bottoms! Perfect to pair with one of their signature "Perfect Fit" button-down shirts and a simple necklace.
J. Crew cords (selected colors currently on sale for $79.50, normally $89.50):

Made with:

*Buttermilk biscuits(ours were ready-to-bake)
*Eggs (scrambled with pepperjack cheese)
*Applewood Smoked Bacon (we like to spread some maple syrup inside the biscuits for an added touch of sweetness)

Ringo, watching all the breakfast-making action from under the table

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

This Thanksgiving was probably the easiest and less stressful it's ever been. Normally Chris and I celebrate twice because of our two families. But this year we joined forces into one giant 23-person celebration including friends and close family. I still can't believe we even have leftovers.

My Thanksgiving outfit I threw together after finding this amazing sequin cupcake sweater. I knew I wanted to keep the outfit mostly black, since the sweater was so flashy.

Coat, Skirt, Tights: Forever 21
Sweater: Urban Outfitters
Bow flats: Target

I'm pretty impressed by the interactive table game I put together (inspired by an art kit I found at Paper Source) that I only spent $3 on. Each guest filled out a card where they listed the things they were most thankful for anonymously, and Chris' 9 year old cousin read them out loud while we all ate pie in the kitchen. I encouraged everyone's answers to be somewhat silly, and they definitely turned out to be. So much laughter ensued.

The table set up :

Close-up of my place cards:

The prettiest centerpiece (on our other table):

The appetizer spread:

...complete with two kinds of cheese and honey (my favorite part).

We actually had a first course which was butternut squash soup (not pictured) with bits of blue cheese and sage, and then this glorious salad (those croutons were homemade by Chris' grandmother). I loved the touch of pomegranate seeds.

Classic Italian family pasta course.

Some of the guests enjoying their owl place cards (Robin decided to turn hers into a necklace)

The long line of yummy food

The plate. Cannot get over the sausage stuffing, and my mom's amazing sweet potatoes.

Lots and lots of pies (Back to front: Two apple pies, Two pumpkin pies (one with walnuts), and my chocolate chess pie. Chris' grandmother made the apples & pumpkins and those chocolate truffles. Not pictured: Brownies.

The next day, the whole family decided to walk down the street to the tire swing.

For an early dinner, Chris and I took our friends to one of our favorite places, Umami Burger. I'm still drooling over my favorite on the menu: Truffle Burger. I would eat there every day if I could. But that would not be good for my health.

And finally, a reflection on the wall due to the sparkles on my sweater. Love how this turned out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving prep

The past few days have been filled with baking, crafting, and making lists. Yesterday I tried my hand at baking a green tomato pie, which actually isn't very Thanksgiving-themed, but we had all the ingredients in the kitchen and I thought it would be fun to try something new. I also went to Michaels and picked up glitter glue and foam owls to make for our DIY placecards. They're a little childish, but so cute, I just couldn't resist. I honestly don't have a lot of money right now because I lost my job, so I'm impressed that I was able to put together cute little place cards for around $6 total ($1.99 for the glitter glue and $3.99 for the owls). I also bought a stack of flashcards for a dinner table activity that I'll share later.

Adding the cubes of butter...

It actually was pretty tasty! I'm usually a sweet pie lover, not so much a savory. But it's definitely worth trying.

They're not finished yet. I was thinking of drawing little acorns on the back, or writing a Thanksgiving-themed phrase, so that everyone gets something different, but I'm starting to run out of that glue.