Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter Food

It's getting colder here in CA.  Of course, that means temps in the 60s instead of the 80s.  Whatever it is, I like it.  Our duvet feels warm and cozy now instead of oppressively oven-like.  With cooler temps comes comfort food.  Here's pho from our go-to pho place, Blossom.  We eat this on nights when we both have work to do and are too tired to go through the dinner ritual of prep, cleaning, etc.  It's really good and doesn't feel like we're eating junk food just for convenience.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Santa . . .

Barbara!  H and I had an "anniversary" this past weekend, so he surprised me with a trip to Santa Barbara!  It was a wonderful day.  He got me up, we hopped in the car, and . . . randomly spotted outlets directly off the highway half way there!  Excellent.  After about 2 hours of shopping, we scored a bunch of wares at really awesome, unexpected post-Thanksgiving deals.  I'm talking 50% off the entire store awesome.

We hopped back in the car and headed out to the coast.  So beautiful.  The drive to SB reminded us of Hawaii.  H planned for us to ride bikes along the beach.  We ended up renting a surrey because I kept squealing every time we saw one.  It was heavy but FUN!  H claimed he couldn't feel me peddling but I was, I so was!  We stopped for dinner at a restaurant looking out on the beach, toasted to our commemoration, and then headed back to the beach to see the waves.  It felt like a real holiday.

A perfect anniversary planned by my H. 

Us, moseying along the beach path.

Our little surrey: parked & waiting for us outside of the restaurant.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I always associated Black Friday with cold, rainy, wet, tired, cranky, determined people.  It's a little different in California, I guess.  It's sunny and bright, palm trees swaying in the breeze today.  Shopping on Black Friday doesn't seem so bad under these conditions.  Still, no thanks.  I'd rather pay full price than wake up at an ungodly hour like 3 am for a deal. 

And because I forgot to take pics of last night's Thanksgiving dinner (too busy proclaiming how loaded my plate was and then scarfing the whole thing down, still hungry), here's a pic of some pizza I made a few weeks ago.  It's yeast-free so I can make it any time without prep.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

We're in the thick of my favorite time of year.  I love Thanksgiving and the holiday season.  All that food, all that coziness.  Though I'm sad not to get to spend it with my family back east tomorrow, I'm thankful for so many blessings this year and always (and most recently, today).  Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Source:  pve design

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Kitsch

I love some seasonal decorations.  I think it's been genetically passed down through my mom, who has loved ornament-collecting for decades.  I loved her hobby as a kid!  So cozy.  Now that I'm married, I'm hoping to poach some pieces for my own tree.

I'm also adding to my own collection through legitimate means.  Here's a 1.5' snowman purchased this past weekend.  When H saw it, he had an incredulous look on his face and asked me if it was a gift for someone else.  Nope, sorry dear, this one's coming home with us!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Om Nom Nom

So, I've always LOVED potato chips and fries.  I can make a meal out of just those.  I often favor the fries over the hamburger.  I try not to have chips at home because I can eat a whole bag in one sitting, and that's just not good for you.  Anyway, you get the picture.

I discovered that making my own steak fries is super easy, tasty, and healthier than buying them.  And it allows me to get my potato fix at home, any time.  All you need to do is toss sliced potatoes with olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, and sometimes, minced garlic.  I pop them on the rack sitting atop my bake sheet.  Sometimes I slice them more thickly and they're more wedges than fries.  Up to you.

Bake at 425 degrees until they look done.  Crispy, yummy, and not at all oily.  Serve with ketchup and sour cream/chives on the side (to simulate baked potato goodness).  So good that H thought I had bought them somewhere!

Friday, November 19, 2010


After dinner at The Farm last night, what do I see but a huge line of Potterheads, waiting patiently for the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows. They were an orderly bunch, jauntily clad, and very polite.  It felt almost like Halloween.  A very well-behaved and bespectacled Halloween, involving long robes and stuffed game.  My favorite was Mad-Eye Moody (not pictured), who looked as ornery as the real thing.  

The Grove, of course, was decked out in the usual holiday trimmings.  Very cute. Very incongruous with the light sweater weather.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Green Christmas

No, I don't mean an environmentally-friendly Christmas, although that's good and important as well.  I mean, a warm, tropical, breezy, green Christmas.  Maybe it's because the radio station for my alarm suddenly switched to a 24-7 Christmas channel (even before Tgiving!), but the holiday is on my mind today.

My first choice will always be an East Coast (maybe New England) Christmas -- freshly fallen snow, twinkle lights, the smell of pine, shoppers bustling around.  But my second choice is a Hawaiian holiday ... H and I went for the first time earlier this year for our honeymoon and it was paradise.  We hope to go back in 2011, and I hope we can spend a few Christmases there (with family, of course) in the future . . .

Four Seasons at Maui -- our honeymoon hotel; highly recommend, no better place on Maui

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall Fun

I love fall festivals, autumn craft fairs, pumpkin-centric gatherings this time of year.  I can't seem to find any around these parts.  I think it has something to do with the fact that it never feels like anything but summer here.  H and I decided to manufacture some fall feeling by going back to Disneyland right before Halloween.  It was lots of fun, but not quite as "rustic" as I like my fall merriment to be.  Still on the hunt...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Built for Two

Back in early fall, H and I brought In-n-Out to the beach, rode the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier, and rented a tandem bike to ride up and down the coastline.  An awesome California day with my favorite tandem partner.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cotton Candy Sky

Taken last week right outside of our bedroom window.  Looks like a summer sky, doesn't it?  Wish it was a bit more orange-hued in honor of the season, but still pretty amazing.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Hey there, little guy

Spotted in Beverly Hills.  The cutest little mini you ever did see.  Out popped a regular, surprisingly-un-ironic man and his not-so-amused wife (not pictured).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

S(e)oul Food

I crave this -- chicken soup for the K soul.  Last month, my parents, H, and I went to this great restaurant near The Blue House that has served this soup to presidents for generations.  Last time I went, I got indigestion while eating after a guy slammed his spoon down and yelled at a waitress here.  This time, no such incident.  Just cozy fun with the people I love the most.  (Oh, and a HUGE line of Japanese tourists that we beat out by mere minutes!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Couldn't be more true . . .

This captures my sentiments exactly.
Source:  Nan Lawson

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Breakfast Foods

I took a page from Button's book over the weekend and made brunch.  Western omelet (sort of) and roasted potatoes, to be exact.  It was delicious.  I miss East Coast brunches.  Brunch just doesn't feel as cozy as it should when it's a blazing 85 degrees outside. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Art Show

H and I ventured out the other night to take in some art ... it was a family affair, to say the least.  We have an original, custom design from this very same artist, and we love it.  It was fun to see more of her work and to see if we could blend in among the hipsters.  We couldn't.  I think we're a little too yuppy/nerd-tastic for that crowd. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Decoupage Much?

Decoupaging is super easy and really rewarding.  I took an old Fage container (Costco-sized for maximum humongous-ness) and turned it into a cute and Parisian-looking pen holder for my bazillion pens.  Lovely!  Shout-out to awesome H for basically directing the op.

If you try this (which you should), make sure to add extra paper/layers over those spots where the original design may shine through.  By the time we were done, all traces of the container's former Fage identity were gone.  We also used some of the paper to accent Kraft wrapping paper for a gift, finished off with green/white baker's twine.

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