Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bathtime Shenanigans

If you have dogs, you know about the aftermath of bathtime.  If you are not familiar, it looks a little something like this:

Notice the look on Petunia's face?  We call that the crazy eyes.

The dogs go nutso for approximately one hour post bath.  They shake off, they roll around, and mostly spend time attacking each other (also, destroying my freshly vacuumed house).  I tried to capture some of their greatest moments below.  As usual, Petunia is the star of the show.  That is because the only two speeds she has are spastic and sound asleep (and alright, I wouldn't have it any other way).

See, she finally tuckered out at the end.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner (Times 2)

I had the great fortune of winning the Versatile Blogger Award, given by the very lovely Jaimie at Everyday J.    She has a pretty fantastic blog herself, and if you are not familiar with her, you should definitely head on over and say hi.  Thank you so much Jaimie, for thinking of my blog.  




The OFFICIAL rules of the award are:
-Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
-Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.
-Give this award to up to 15 recently discovered bloggers.
-Contact those bloggers and tell them the exciting news!

Hmmmm, I feel like I am out of random things to share with you.  However, I am confident I can come up with something.  Here we go.


1) I use cookbooks as diaries.  Whenever I make a recipe, I write the date with a blurb about what is going on in our life at that point in time.  Some recipes have many, many entries on them.  It is always fun to go back and read what was going on in my life the last time I made a particular thing.  


2) A Where's Waldo car songs tape (that came with a box of cereal) taught me how to sing the alphabet backwards.  I am very good at it, if I do say so myself.  Speedy.


3) No matter how many people follow me on Twitter, I stay steady at 27-28 followers at all times.  I do not think I am a very good tweeter.  Maybe I am doing it wrong?


4) I think the tv programs My So Called LIfe and Freaks and Geeks were both cancelled way too soon.  If I am flipping through the stations and either of those shows is on, I turn to them immediately.  


5) I have mentioned before that I am very organized.  This goes beyond my closet and drawers and onto things like favorite items.  For example, I can't pick a favorite movie.  This is because I have to further organize things into my favorite comedy, my favorite movie I could watch over and over again, my favorite film noir.  And yes, they are all different.  I always freeze up when anyone asks me what my favorite anything is.  


6) The above rule does not apply to my favorite song of all time.  It is The Sunday's cover of Wild Horses, and it is beautiful.  


7) I think Deck The Halls must be my favorite tune of all time, because I constantly find myself making up lyrics to go to this tune, year-round, that have nothing at all to do with the holidays.  I get a lot of furrowed brows and head tilts from husband due to this.  


And now to pay this award forward.  I am constantly discovering new blogs that inspire me.     I love reading so many of them, and if I don't mention you this time, I still adore you, and your time will come.    


MM at About Anything
Jessica at  Jessica,Why Are You So Bossy
Colleen at Ordinary Tales
Lorena at Lorena's Every Day Wear
Grace at Haute Couture
Joanna at Drizzle of Sunshine


************************************************************
On a completely separate note, I won a blog giveaway, from Heather over at Heatherheartsfashion. The prize was this adorable necklace from Urban Outfitters.  I can't wait to mix it up with my wardrobe.  


She has a killer fashion blog that you should definitely check out.  Thank you again, Heather.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Cups



Nutella is one of my weaknesses in life. Anything Nutella. Especially crepes filled with bananas and Nutella. If only they were fat free. But I digress. I came across this recipe on Barbara Bakes a while ago, and bookmarked it as something I NEEDED to try. This past weekend was finally that weekend. Peanut butter and Nutella in a melty cookie. My idea of perfection.  I even bought a mini-muffin pan just for this recipe.



They were pretty easy to prepare (but leave 1 hour for the dough to chill in the fridge).  The end result was an ooey, gooey, sweet, and salty cookie.  I did use the turbinado sugar (which as optional in the recipe) on a few of the batches, and I do not recommend it.  It makes the cookies gritty.  Aside from that, everything else worked well.  This is definitely a recipe I will be making over and over again.  Enjoy!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Weekend, Everyone

She's got pathetic nailed.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Awkward and Awesome Thursday

I haven't done one of these in a very long time, and my life has been full of awkward and awesome lately. As always, inspired by Sydney over at The Daybook.  


Awkward:

  • I am currently studying for a test for a professional certification that I need for work.  I have been out of college for...ummm...twelve years.  That is twelve blissful years of no studying or fretting over studying or stressing over passing important tests.  I will be so glad when this is over.
  • Studying for this test brought me into the city for a couple of days for a prep class.  I live in suburbia, which means taking the train to and from the city.  Under normal circumstances, this is a perfectly uneventful experience.  Only when I was there, riots were planned.  The kind of riots that shut down the entire system in the city, and leave people stranded or in need of other forms of transportation.  Luckily, I made it onto one of the last trains to stop in the city.  Some of my co-workers were not so lucky (and that is one expensive cab ride).
  • While riding on the train, I was listening to my audiobook on my iPhone.  I had never done this before (I usually have an actual book to read).  The whole listening to the book part was fine.  The awkward part came when I realized I didn't know where to look, since my eyes weren't necessary for this activity.  Looking straight ahead meant staring at the person facing me.  Looking out the window was kinda making me sick.  I even considered putting on sunglasses so people couldn't tell where I was looking.
  • Have I ever mentioned how the seats on the train are cloth?  In other words, they are absorbent and sometimes often smell like urine.  
  • My w key will not work on my keyboard, unless I hit it really hard.  That means I have to keep going back over my posts and searching for missing w's and adding them in.  If you ever see a word either in a post or comment I leave on your blog that doesn't make sense, try adding a w.
  • Restaurant photos.  I keep trying to do blog posts that document places I am eating around the Bay Area and share them with you.  However, I never seem to take the right pictures, and the food never looks as good.  I see so many bloggers that do this well, and I can't get the hang of it.  Plus, I keep forgetting to take pictures before I take a bite.  Here is an example.   Would it be weird to bring my DSLR into the restaurant with me (instead of my camera phone)?

  • I belong to the Love and Envelopes Club (see awesome post below).  This means that once a month I send a birthday card to a complete stranger (I could probably end the awkward statement there).  Harriet took this month's card out of my purse, and started tearing open the envelope.  I hope the (lucky) recipient has a good sense of humor.  Or a dog.


Awesome:


  • After a long day spent at class in the city, I came home to these beautiful anniversary flowers

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recent Purchases...August

I know August is not quite finished yet, but I thought I would post some of my recent purchases so far.  As usual, I have a mixture of home decor and wardrobe additions that put a big smile on my face.  Drum roll please...


I have been stalking these shoes all summer, and then I found them on sale.  Score!  As you might know, I am a sucker for anything with a wedge (probably too much so).  I love how versatile and comfortable these are.  Perfect for work or weekend.

Seychelles Women's Greatest Hits Wedge Sandal

Our office is...a work in progress.  Yes, that is how we will refer to it, because the truth makes me want to cry.  You know that one room that you have in your house where all the crap that you don't know what to do with ends up?  Yep, that is our home office.  This is an attempt to add a little organization to my desk.  



A Wiser Workplace Desk Set


Yep, I jumped on the whole sparkly topcoat over  pretty nail polish bandwagon.  Love!

SEPHORA by OPI Flurry Up Top Coat

A second pair of Seychelles I scored at half price.  I really wanted a summery nude wedge, and these are just perfect.  I know, I know, enough with the wedges, Erin.

P.S.  They definitely look better on and in person.  Promise!

Seychelles Women's Purr Wedge Sandal

I had mentioned purchasing a bookcase I had been eyeing for a while now (and husband had to assemble).  Well, it is up, but far from complete.  It obviously needs books and decor, but for now, we'll call it a work in progress.

HEMNES Bookcase

I took a lunchtime trip to Anthro the other day, and I found these beautiful zinc letters.  I picked a G (for our last name), and knew immediately it would be one of the first additions to our new bookcase.  More to come...eventually.  You just can't rush these things.

Zinc Letters

I was in the city for work the other day, and there were a bunch of street vendors selling handmade hats with ears.  A bunch of us went downstairs and scooped them up.  I adore the colors and workmanship that went into this.  Husband isn't as thrilled:)  I am pretty confident that I can pull the eared hat off.

San Francisco Street Vendor

I am not sure if I have ever told you how much husband and I LOVE Halloween.  We are the people that go all out with fog machines and falling spiders and creepy sounds.  Sometimes, children only get halfway to our door and then decide to turn back.  We have a lot of fun during the holiday and add to our collection of decorations every year.  This is my latest find, and he is adorable.

Frankenstein & Candle

Which gives me an idea for a giveaway....coming soon.  I am not really sure how soon, but stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me

I have previously established that I love to laugh.  I am also a huge Chelsea Handler fan.  I watch Chelsea Lately on a pretty regular basis, and I have read almost all of her books.  When I saw her newest release, Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me, on audible.com, I downloaded it as quickly as I could.  (I am still waiting for Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang to become available on audio...you hear that audible.com?)

This book, unlike her previous three, was not penned by Chelsea herself.  Instead she had her nearest and dearest family and friends each write a chapter, recounting anecdotes of their times with her.  As it turns out, Chelsea is a liar.  Not the malicious kind.  The kind that likes to pull a good practical joke on those she holds dear, and she has a real take no prisoners attitude when she does it.  Plus, she is fabulous at it.  And it is all hilarious.

via

This book made me wish that Chelsea was a friend of mine.  Her antics get crazy (and dirty), yet somehow she still manages to weave intricate lies, convincing those around her that the insane is true.   She knows how to push people's buttons, and those that are the closest to her are the ones that get it the worst. At the same time, she is described by everyone as a loyal and generous friend, who would do anything for her loved ones.  It is easy to see why her shenanigans are tolerated


Overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  Some of the chapters were better written than others, but they were all entertaining.  Some just made me laugh harder than others (but please understand, they all made me laugh).  Next up, Something Borrowed.  I am already about a quarter of the way through, and it is some juicy stuff.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting


Confession:  I only really like greenish bananas.  I like for them to be a little bit sour.  Once they turn yellow and sweet, I am no longer interested.  In my opinion, there is only one thing to do with ripe bananas.  Bake.  I saved this recipe a while ago and figured that it was time to give it a whirl.  

The first thing you need to do is roast the pecans, which is actually very easy to do.  If you have never tried it before, these directions are very easy to follow.  I am going to be honest right now and say that this is not the easiest recipe I have ever made, but all of the steps are worth it in the end.  Plus, this recipe is from Cooking Light, so it is kinda-sorta healthy-ish.  

This is the before and after for roasting the bananas.


And the before and after for baking.


Since the frosting recipe calls for low-fat (and low-taste) cream cheese, the butter is so important, because it adds a much fuller flavor.  I want to put this on absolutely everything (and you will too).  Enjoy, and let me know if you make this.  I want to hear how it comes out. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sleeping on the Job


Sometimes, guarding a big basket of toys is tiring.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Missoni for Target

There have only been a few high-end "designer for Target" collections that I have been interested in.  None of them have ever made me decide that I want to stop off at Target BEFORE work and scoop up a whole bunch of stuff .  And then I saw this collection.  Truth be told, I am thinking about stopping by a few of them. 

I am not even really sure where to start, really.  There are housewares and outfits and luggage and even a bicycle.  In total, there are over 400 pieces.  I haven't seen the prices associated with these items, but since it is Target, I am sure it will be the most affordable Missoni I have ever seen.  If you want to check out the entire collection for yourself, here it is. 

Have you looked through the pieces?  Are you going to be shopping this collection?  What are your favorite items?



Monday, August 15, 2011

Do You Know What Today Is? (It's Our Anniversary)

Did I manage to work that song into your head (please, please, please know what I am talking about)?  Today, husband and I are celebrating 3 blissful years of marriage.  By celebrating, I mean I am in an all day class in the city that I couldn't get out of and won't be home until an unreasonable hour, but we'll make up for it this weekend.  

View from the Heavenly gondola

 Anyway, I thought I would share some pictures of the big day with you.  Let me start this post by saying that  it took husband and I a long time to decide here we wanted to get married.  I wanted the beach.  Husband wanted the mountains. We found the perfect compromise in a place that we escaped to on occasion, Lake Tahoe.

View of the Heavenly gondola

We eventually decided to get married at Edgewood, in Lake Tahoe.  It is a beautiful location, on the shore and alongside a golf course.  Mountains and beach at once.  Now that is what I call compromise!

Outside Edgewood

So we booked the North Room for August 15 and planned away.  It turned out to be one of the most amazing days of husband's and my life.  How could you not fall in love with a place that looks like this?



Here are some details from our ceremony.  Our colors were eggplant, lavender, and green.  Our ceremony was outside, above the shore of Lake Tahoe.  


Our reception room had a large glass wall that looked over the lake.  We had a chocolate fountain, a sand ceremony, and a funky cake.  We used pictures of our dogs for our table numbers.  Husband and the groomsmen wore shell-toe Adidas with their tuxes.  It was very "us."

The cake server didn't really look like that.  I blocked out our last name.  

This cake was our design. We wanted something a little on the unusual side.  Something that represented us.  The result was gorgeous and perfect.  It as also the absolute wrong colors.  Remember how I said our wedding colors were eggplant, green, and lavender?  I am not sure what happened here, but NOT EVEN CLOSE. Luckily, by the time I saw it, it as too late to even care.  So husband and I just went with it.  It was still delicious (and cool to look at).   


Here are more reception details (clockwise):  flowers, wedding favors, the sand ceremony display, and cookies that my mother-in-law made for our guests.  They are from family recipes, and were very special for us to have on the big day.  


This is husband's big debut on my blog (and to tell the truth, I am still not sure how I got him to agree to this)!!  


Obligatory wedding party picture.  One of my favs.


And we lived happily ever after:),.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

So Much Is Going On....

Over the past few days, life has become rather crazy.  First of all, I am off to a prep class for a few days this upcoming week,  for a professional certification I need.  I have to be in the city early in the morning (which is quite different than my usual commute).  I will still be posting, but I may not have the time to visit all of your blogs and comment like I always try to do.  I will catch up when the madness is over, promise.  I will be reading all of your comments (and looking forward to them to break of the monotony of my long days coming up).  Please, keep them coming:)


On another note, my sister-in-law gave birth to my beautiful niece Nola, after 28 long hours of labor.  She is officially my new hero.  I have never seen anyone that zen, while in that much pain.  I am already in love with the newest addition to our big family, as you can see below (if you follow me on Twitter, this is old news).  I heart baby noises.


One of our close friends rescued a kitten near Bodega Bay, that was near death, and nursed her back to health.  She was about 4 days old at the time.  Meet Miwok, eight weeks old.  Between Miwok and Nola, I am baby happy.  Look at that face!!!  I didn't want to put either of them down.


My first ever apartment in my college days had an avocado green stove.  It was both hideous and wonderful at the same time.  My mother-in-law had this electric fondue pot that she got as a wedding present to husband's father back in the day (in the same sort of avocado green).  She recently passed it on to us, and I feel so lucky.  The pot will continue to be loved.  It has so much character.  I can't wait to whip this bad boy out for company.


We had a huge harvest of San Marzano tomatoes, and decided it as time to make some spaghetti sauce.  This time we threw in some veal shanks, and it is turning out to be the best ever.  I will have to get around to sharing our recipe one day.


And finally, it was time to take a trip here


I have talked about how we needed this bookcase, and we husband is building it tonight, while I am blogging.  He is also getting a little help from our friends.

  
Can't you tell how eager they are to work?  

Is everyone having a lovely weekend?  I would love to hear what you have been up to.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stuff You Should Be Watching: Daily Grace

I am going to go ahead and start this post off by first mentioning that the attached video (and series itself) is NSFW.  Just wanted to put that out there before you had a little cubicle viewing party at your desk.  You know who you are.

I just discovered Daily Grace this weekend, and immediately sat through five episodes.  She is funny.  So very funny.  She creates a new vlog daily (Monday through Friday) and tackles such important topics as Sexy Friday, Commenting on Comments, and Teaching You Something Thursdays.  I am even going to embed the first episode of hers that I caught (and immediately hooked me in) below.  You ready to laugh?  Do you have your volume turned way down (I am talking to you, the one that disregarded my warning, and is watching at work anyway)?    Press play any time you are ready.  Annnnnnd....they're off!



*I am in no way affiliated.  I just like to laugh.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I'm Getting the Boot(s)

I know it is only August, but does that mean it is too early to start drooling over boots?  I blame this longing on the Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale back in July, when I just had to have these beauties.  I adore them (and what was their wonderful sale price), and I am looking forward to sporting them in a few short months.  Right now it is kind of hard to imagine boot weather, but things can change fast here in the Bay Area.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am a Floridian at heart (that is where I grew up), and I have never fully acclimated to the cooler temperatures we have here in the winter.  Boots are one of the small things I have to look forward to (have I ever told you how much I dislike it when it starts getting dark at 4:30 in the heart of winter?). So, I put together a little collection of boots I now have my eye on.  Apparently, I am very into laces and buckles this year.  Also, I am loving the peacock printed wellies.  Very unusual.  And the pink Hunters?  Are you kidding me.  I already have a purple aubergine pair, and think pink would make them less lonely:) Have you started checking out boots yet?  What do you have your eye on?




Also, I am playing with a new toy that I am just starting to understand (apparently, I tend to over-complicate things)  I made my boot collage using ShopStyle, and was able to make a clickable picture collage with a description pretty easily.  It doesn't quite have the homemade look of my usual Picnik collages, but maybe that is a good thing?  What do you guys think?  Easier to have everything available in one click (like above) or would you rather have a numbered collage with links are the bottom?  I might be playing with this for a while. It is certainly  keeping me busy right now.  


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pink Dog

When we first rescued my sweet Harriet, she didn't have any toys.  It was about a week before Christmas, and Santa Pug always brings a bag full of goodies.  Pink Dog was always meant for Harriet.  It was the first toy we presented to her, and she promptly ran off to another room and hid it.  

Eight months later, Pink Dog is a little bit worse for the wear.  She is missing a lot of stuffing, and has some long threads hanging off of her.  However, she is Hattie's best friend.  Sometimes I wake up and find pink dog in the bed with me.  Last night, they looked a little something like this.


 I really love my little dog.  My life is better for having her in it.  She reminds me how important the little thing in life are.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Barbecue Time...


One of the best parts of the summer is moving the kitchen outside and grilling.  Aside from everything tasting better (it is the fresh air), there are far fewer dishes to clean up.  No dirty pots and pans makes one happy Erin.  Yeah, it is the small things in life.


Husband loves to make ribs.  He has pretty much gotten it down to a science.  So I decided that we needed to make the rest from scratch too.  I grew up in the South, and was a huge fan of Sonny's  Barbecue Baked Beans.  To me, that was what baked beans were supposed to taste like.  The baked beans that all other baked beans would be judged by.  Well, we found a contender.   All thanks to Steven Raichlen and his How To Grill cookbook, and a little recipe called Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans.


There is some prep worked involved, but the good news is that you can freeze the leftovers and use them again (we have done it many times).  I know this is the second time I have recommended a recipe that has you cooking things in bacon fat, but it really does make everything taste...like it does in the restaurant.  Lots of love to all of my vegetarian readers.  You can easily omit the bacon, and use canola oil instead.     




The finished product looks just like this.  Serve with ribs (like I did above, but they didn't photograph so well) or chicken or veggie kabobs.  Another note, the recipe in the book says to use ketchup or barbecue sauce.  We use barbecue sauce only (no ketchup).  Just a matter of preference.  Enjoy!   


Friday, August 5, 2011

Bossypants

I love to laugh.  I also love reading autobiographies.  So when Tina Fey's new book Bossypants was released, I immediately added it to the top of my queue.   I was already a huge fan, so I knew the book would be life changing.  Plus, I had a credit that needed to be used.

The book is short and an easy read.  Of course, I actually listened to the audiobook version of this book, which I feel is significant because: a) Tina reads the book herself and b) the reading of the book was geared towards audio, and there were obvious tweaks to the story geared at people listening rather than reading.  If you are thinking about trying an audiobook, this is a great one to start with.  

Via

The book takes you from Tina's beginnings in college theater, through her time at SNL and 30 Rock.  She gives a lot of behind the scenes details that are very interesting if you have watched her shows.  She explains how she came to play Sara Palin on the famous SNL political skits, and what it was like meeting her in person.  Most importantly, she discusses how she balances her personal life as a wife and mother with her hectic work schedule.  She made me laugh pretty much the entire time.  

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I enjoy her sarcastic wit, and there is nothing I would change about the book at all.  In fact, I was kinda sad when it was over.  Next up, Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me.  I can't wait, because I just love her too!

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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