Friday, April 30, 2010

The Lights of the City

I don't know what it is about this picture of Christina Ricci I find so appealing. But I love it. It's so romantic and glamorous looking to me. The rich colors of the bright yellow moving taxi, with the blue of the night and the green of her dress are so beautiful. It really is a lovely photo.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, I will be baking up a storm for a dinner we're having tomorrow night with the boys family. I'm in charge of desserts. If they end up being as good as I think they will be I'll be posting some recipes for you next week.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All the colors of the rainbow

Driving home from LA going over the grapevine all the hills were covered in blankets of wild flowers. Yellow, Blue, Purple, Orange, and Green, It looked like magic, and I just couldn't get over all the beauty.

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An open letter for us poor renters

Dear Southern California,

Why oh why are your rental prices so insulting? I'm offended...
I'm really looking forward to our new relationship together but you're just crushing my dreams of a positive future for the both of us. Lets try to pick things up a bit shall we? I'd appreciate it.



Monday, April 26, 2010

You could call it interior decorating porn

The boy and I were in Los Angeles for the past few days trying to get our bearings and figure out a few things before we head down there permanently. Boy had job interview in Long Beach, boy got said job and starts 4 months before I thought moving would be in order. This put us on warp speed status and now everything is bananas trying to pull it all together. I'm a planner, I don't do "on a whim" very well.

However, while we were down there we did get to enjoy ourselves, there was lots of eating, drinking and being merry with friends old and new. We spent most of our time in Long Beach and Santa Monica. One of those nights in Santa Monica we had drinks at the Viceroy hotel and as soon as I walked in the door I gasped. Anyone who has any sense of decoration and style whatsoever can do nothing but admire it for its hip style, quality and beauty and if you like the color green (my favorite) or the green/black/white color combo you were in heaven.

Each room was different, the outside area with its trendy little cabanas, the drinks and the people watching were of epic standards. Save up cause it was expensive but I would highly recommend it, even if all you have time for is just a little walk around it's worth it, I promise.

The Lobby:The Bar:

Outside pool/bar/dining area:

Dining and such:

Amazing, and pure genius if you ask me. The Viceroy is also found in Palm Springs, Aspen, Miami, Maldives, Anguilla and soon Beverly Hills and each one is done differently.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cheddar Dill Scones

One of the lovely folks at the alzheimers home decided to share their terrible head cold with me and I feel just awful. I haven't left the couch for 2 days and I've never watched more HGTV in all my life.

Yesterday I somehow found the strength to peel myself off the couch and make scones. I was hungry and nothing else seemed remotely edible.

It didn't take much to make them (thank God) and though I couldn't taste much of them, the boy said they were delicious, and they certainly looked as much. I wanted to use some of the dill from my garden, it was getting a little out of hand and I had a big ol' block of cheese in the fridge so cheddar dill scones they became.

SO if you ever have a hankering for something that's savory, delicious and just doesn't take much effort, here's the recipe for you.

What you'll need:
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 lb cold, unsalted butter, diced
4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 lb extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, diced or grated
1 cup minced fresh dill
1 egg beaten with 1 tblspoon of water or milk for egg wash

What you do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Combine the 4 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

3. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.

4. Mix the eggs and heavy cream together quickly and add them to the flour and butter mixture. Combine until just blended.

5. Toss together the cheddar, dill and 1 tblspoon of flour and add them to the dough. Mix until they are almost incorporated.

6. Dump the dough onto a well floured surface and knead it for 1 minute until the cheddar and dill are well distributed.

7. Roll the dough into balls or roll it out to be 3/4 inch thick, cut into squares, and then in half to be triangles (go with the balls, it may not look as fancy but it tastes just the same).

8. Brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20-25 minutes, until the outside is starting to brown.

9. Make someone else clean up and enjoy your scones.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where's Waldo?

Many an hour I have spent with friends trying to figure out where all the good guys have gone. I can tell you right now it isn't at the bars. This leads to problems and frustrations for a lot of single girls, when the majority of single men that they meet are at the local watering hole. I'm a firm believer that most men that you meet at a bar are not the guys that you want to date, a lot of them are not there to find the love of their lives unfortunately. I know from experience...

So where does a girl go to meet good boyfriend material? The grocery store? The gym? The dog park? I mean seriously. Our main form of socialization in our twenties is the bar, precisely the place where you are not going to find a good guy, the guy that you'll want to spend your time with.

People are different in bars, we act different, we even look different. I didn't meet the boy in a bar, but who knows if we had been in the same bar at the same time if we would have even noticed each other or found the others personality attractive, especially after a few drinks...

Then, the other night, I was reading my book and came across this jem by Franz Wisner...

"The American bar scene just might be the most bizarre courting ritual of them all. You couldn't craft a worse situation to facilitate introductions and judge compatibility. Lord knows what future anthropologists will conclude in the centuries to follow. American bars are modeled after English pubs, as in public meeting places. Yet somehow we've let them evolve into private avoiding spaces. We demand bars that are pitch black so we can't see anyone, with glass rattling sound systems so we can't hear one another talk, plastered with plasma televisions so we don't have to focus on a fellow human. BlackBerrys and iPhones in hand to further isolate. We disguise ourselves in extra eyeliner and self tanner, borrowed skirts and knockoff watches, so that if someone does look at us, they will have no idea our normal appearance. We go in groups, huddling in corners to dissuade any nonmemeber of our tribe from venturing over and complaining to our friends that we "never meet anyone anymore." What's our solution to improve the situation? Ample doses of a liquid intoxicant to slow our brains, slur our speech, and fog our memories. Emboldened, we scour the joint to find another in our dimwitted state, someone with whom to share embellishments and distortions. Oh please, oh please, oh please, Please let me find someone in this bar whose judgement is as poor as my own."

Exactly Franz. Oh how wise.

So where do you meet someone if it isnt at the bar, somewhere we all frequent on a regular basis, and the main spot for trying to meet other singles?

Where did you meet your significant other?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

I had decided that it would be a good idea to maybe start a little vegetable garden at the Alzheimer's home to give the residents something to work on that could be their own. Last Thursday I gave the few that wanted to participate their own little plot of land, and they weeded them, and I tilled the dirt for them. I had asked the sons of one of the residents who are farmers if they could maybe donate a few plants to us to be able to get things started; and boy did they...

I walked in this morning to THREE HUNDRED tomato plants and about FIFTY pepper plants. The abundance of tomato plants makes the 50 peppers look like nothing, and it's still 50 plants! Needless to say I'll be busy for the next few days trying to find places for all of those tomatoes, we might be taken over. We practically have a farm at this point...

In other news, the lovely ladies from Arianna Belle and Karisa Tells All gave me an award! Thank you very much for flattering me with your gift and continued support! I look forward to reading your blogs every day. Very Sweet.

1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I'm passing the award on to these lovely blogs:
1. Happiness is...
2. A Lovely Evening
3. Beautiful Things to Share
4. Blah, Blah, Blahg
5. Chelsea Talks Smack
6. Frugal Luxuries
7. Good Mouse, Bad Mouse
8. Grace's Birdcage
9. Owl and Peacock
10. Addicted to Strangers
11. The Swede Records
12. Dandelion and Grey

Have a wonderful day

Monday, April 12, 2010

Into the woods we go

It's my birthday next month, I'll be 26. That sounds very grown up, 26...

The last few years in a row I celebrated the usual way, clubs, bars, fancy restaurants, sparkly mini-dresses and lots of good friends by my side. While I love me a good cocktail and a fancy dress this year I decided to do something a little different; a little more challenging.

I'm going on a 4 day backpacking trip through Lake Tahoe and roughing it the whole way. Just me, a close friend who knows the ropes, a tent, a map and a pack on my back. While I was originally avoiding the idea of it and kind of dreading the thought of being in the wilderness for 4 days straight I found out that the planned trip fell on my birthday weekend and decided to make it a personal challenge.

So I'm jumping in with gusto, learning all about how and what to pack, I went to REI today, bought a backpack and I've been scouring the internet (mainly ebay) looking for appropriately priced hiking boots and appropriate hiking gear.

The more I think about it, the more excited I get about it. It'll be something different for me (I love to hike but I'm not a roughing it in the woods kinda lady) and I'll bring in my 26th birthday with a challenge to myself, something I'm really looking forward to.

Friday, April 9, 2010

How does your garden grow?

I'm glad that I can say this; I've been busy lately, like the kind of busy that when I have a day where I don't have anything to do I gladly don't do anything at all. Coming from someone who has been jobless for a while that's a relief.

As soon as the sun came out, I was pulling weeds, tilling dirt, buying vegetables and planting just about everything I could get my hands on. It appears now that I have a full fledged vegetable and herb garden. Something I am very excited about.

Sweet Basil and Arugula seeds are just starting to sprout along with some dill...

More dill, rosemary, boxwood basil and thyme...

Roma tomatoes...

Zucchini, Crooked neck squash, watermelon, parsley and cherry tomatoes...

Onions, and Spearmint...

I can't wait to see all the things I can make from the garden I planted myself. Its a very satisfying feeling. I'm so very glad the sun has finally decided to come out for a while, and since there's been threats of rain on Sunday I better be outside as much as I can until then.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

packing up and shipping out

I'm feeling, well...overwhelmed today. I got admitted to graduate school (yay) in Southern California and I'll be moving there in the late summer/early fall for a doctorate program.

I'm really looking forward to all the changes that going somewhere new will bring but gathering up all of the things you have carted around for most of your adult life and dragging it all to an area you know NOTHING about it awfully scary.

I hate moving, I have to be honest about it. I like the idea of going somewhere new, but going down there, finding a place, packing up everything, moving out, driving down, moving in, unpacking and getting settled is just plain exhausting. Just thinking about it makes me tired. Not to mention how much hate the feeling of temporary and unsettled living, nothing says that like living out of boxes for a few weeks.

It's all of the unknown that comes with the moving process that I find exhausting. I don't know if I'll be going alone or with the boy (he'll go if he can find a job but in this economy and with how specific his career is it's not looking so great at this point in time), what things I will need for graduate school (is it different than college? Will I look like a complete idiot walking in with a backpack and a notebook?) and I know nothing, not a single thing about living in southern California...

Being 4th generation Californian I am perfectly aware of what life for southern Californians is like, I have many many friends down there, and I have visited a time or two but when it comes to living down there myself? I don't even know where to begin. I'm a Northern California girl through and through, flower wearing, Starbucks drinking, real pristine beach with no garbage cans or string bikinis attending, co-op, farmers market, hiking northern California girl. I have never had a burning desire to live down there, navigate through the labyrinth of freeways or sit in traffic for days, I've never wanted to "try the LA thing." I'd be perfectly satisfied living in the cultural microcosm that is the Bay Area for good. But alas fate has decided I'm off to school down south and so I will go, and willingly but not knowing what's out there, not knowing where to even start, and who's going with me and how I'll do this alone and starting over from scratch is awfully overwhelming. It's just a lot to take in.

Any advice on moving somewhere completely new? Somewhere you can't just go for the day to look for an apt but moving to a place where most of your searching is done through hearsay or online? I don't want to be one of those people who thinks they're moving to a great apt, in a great area only to drive right by when seeing the condition of the place/area and living in the Best Western til something better comes along (true story). Any help on long distance moving is greatly appreciated...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rain Rain Please for the Love of God, Go Away.

It has been in the mid seventies for the last two weeks, I pretty much didn't come inside the entire time; and then on Wednesday it started pouring again and it's not supposed to stop until tomorrow. It's like torture when you're given a glimpse into how lovely the weather can be after so many months of gray only to be sent right back in the house to hide out until the clouds move over again.

I'm so glad it's spring and when I see everything slowly coming back to life again it makes me very excited. I looked up the other day and all the sudden the trees have little green leaves, all my vegetable seeds are starting to sprout and the flowers are starting to peak out at me. Spring is beginning...finally.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ring around the rosey, pocket full of posey

So socks and heels...

I'm not sure I can pull this look off, I feel like I'm 6 again and on my way to church.

It feels so juvenile to me and I'm afraid I look like a little kid. But it looks so cute on all those models in the magazines...

Thoughts? Are you gonna take the sock/heel plunge?