Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two Quick Things

1) I am guest posting over at That's What She Said today.  Stop on over and check it it out.  I tried to describe a bit of what my blog is about.  I came to the realization that it is about nothing and everything, in no particular order.  Thanks for sticking around.  

2) For non-Blogger users, please don't forget that Google Friend Connect will be going away on 3/1.  If you want to continue to follow my blog, I encourage you to do it via Bloglovin Facebook, or my RSS Feed.  I would really hate to lose any readers due to this change (I am not a big fan of changes)

I will add a third thing, just to contradict the title of this post.  Are you going to be participating in the #marphotoaday challenge on Instagram?  I think I might take a stab at it this time.  If you are going to give it a try, post your Instagram ID below so I can follow you.  I am @iluvpugz.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Things To Do In San Francisco: The Painted Ladies

One of the most famous neighborhoods in San Francisco is Alamo Square.  It is basically a large green park on a hill.  At the bottom of the hill is a series of colorful houses known as the Painted Ladies (more specifically, Postcard Row).  In the ten years I have lived here, I had never visited, until recently.  It is definitely worth dropping by for a few pictures if you are in the area.

My friend Kristen was driving, so I got to take this picture out of the window (and no other drivers were harmed).  She is an amazing parallel parker, which is a skill that comes in handy in the city.  Unfortunately, I was born without this gene.  

Note to self:  I should ask my friends if they want to appear on the blog occasionally, so I am not just mentioning random people.  You know, so you can put a name with the face.  Do you ask for people's permission before you include them on your blog?

You have arrived at your destination (says the navigation system).  

From this angle, there is a great view of the city (with the Transamerica Pyramid in the background). 

 Interesting fact (from Wikipedia):  In 2010, the first Painted Lady in 35 years was put up for sale, (with) the asking price of $3,999,999.  Yowza!

I am cracking up here because I am playing the intro to Full House on my phone.  Kristen wanted to see the homes in the credits.  Perhaps this made a person or two stare.

Just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, you can watch below.  You won't see the actual Painted Ladies until near the end, but the various hairstyles of  John Stamos throughout the life of the show makes it worth viewing.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

How to Snuggle

1) Find warm bulldog

2) Rest your chin on his belly

3) Stick out tongue

4) Make sure you are both snoring so loudly that you mom and dad wake up to take a picture.

Follow me on Instagram:  @iluvpugz

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birchbox vs. MyGlam: February

I started my monthly Birchbox subscription back in December.  I really enjoy receiving the little brown boxes and playing with all of the goodies inside.  I also enjoy reading all of your blogs and seeing the different thing you guys end up with. Recently, Elle over at ElleSees told me that there was a competing company called MyGlam which had some really cool monthly packages too.  Of course, I had to check it out (for the sake of blog research).  

My experience signing up for each of these monthly subscriptions was a bit different.  Both companies have you fill out a survey to determine what kind of products they will send you.  Also, they each cost $10 a month.  Birchbox let me order a box right away (in the next month that they shipped).  MyGlam made me wait a while.  I had to go on a waiting list.  Of course, this made me want to bag even more. I don't know if it is like that every month, or if once you are a member of MyGlam, you are a member.  Does anyone know?

So what did I get this month?

Inside the Birchbox:
Dermalogica: Microfoliant  OK, to be honest, I have used this product for years, and I swear by it as a gentle daily exfoliant.  
Eye Rock: Designer Liner
Jouer:  Luminizing Moisture Tint
Juice Beauty: Blemish Clearing Serum
Heart Shaped Nail File
Six free downloads from Green River Ordinance

Inside the MyGlam Bag:
Cute pink and black heart design bag
X Out: Shine Control
NYX:  Roll On Shimmer
Premier:  Dead Sea Cinderella Mask
NuMe:  Professional Styling Tools & Hair Extensions $100 gift card (if anyone wants this, let me know, and I will send you the code.).
Freeman:  Facial Mask Sachet in Goji Berry

Which do I like better?  Well neither package blew me away.  However, I am looking forward to seeing what will arrive in March.  I don't know how long I will keep both of these subscriptions up.  Hopefully, one of them will be a clear winner soon.

Do you subscribe to either of these companies?  Do you like one better than the other?  Are there more subscription services out there that I am not aware of?  I know about JulepMaven and the Umba Box.  Both services look like a lot of fun, and are on the list of things I might try one day (again, for the sake of blog research).  I look forward to reading your comments about these services.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tangerine Tango...How I Love Thee

As you may know, Pantone has declared Tangerine Tango to be the color of the year for 2012.  What does this mean for you?  Of course, you will be seeing it everywhere.  This has been exciting for me, because I really like the splashes of color I am seeing online and in stores..  I have noticed that I keep bookmarking things that I want to check out, which obviously means I need to do a blog post about it.  

So what do you think?   I am really in love with the "EAT CAKE FOR BREAKFAST" pouch and the velvet JCrew blazer.  Will there be new tangerine items popping up in your home this year?  What are your favorite pieces? 

Tangerine Tango

Vintage dress
$79 - urbanoutfitters.com

Striped dress
$198 - anthropologie.com

Anthropologie orange top
$128 - anthropologie.com

GAP tall top
$23 - gap.com

3 1 Phillip Lim silk top
$665 - mytheresa.com

Swing jacket
$198 - anthropologie.com

Hudson Jeans hudson skinny jeans
$148 - couturecandy.com

Banana republic
$45 - bananarepublic.gap.com

High heel shoes
$50 - modcloth.com

J.Crew patent leather heels
$218 - jcrew.com

Tory Burch t strap sandals
$195 - saksfifthavenue.com

Alexander wang bag
$825 - forwardforward.com

Tory burch handbag
$779 - mytheresa.com

Tory Burch patent leather handbag
$395 - net-a-porter.com

Kate spade jewelry

Tory Burch enamel earrings
$68 - nordstrom.com

Tory Burch leather jewelry
$95 - nordstrom.com

Kate Spade handcrafted jewelry
$78 - nordstrom.com

Wrap jewelry
$48 - anthropologie.com

J Crew velvet blazer

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chocolate Pots de Creme

Revisiting my trip the the Cliff House yesterday had me yearning for their wonderful pot de creme.  Naturally, I had to try to recreate this delicious dessert at home.  I went to my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and found a very basic version, which I was able to whip up quickly (but it still needed to set for 4 to 24 hours before eating).  If you don't have this cookbook I can't recommend it highly enough, especially if you are new to cooking.  The recipes are all very easy to follow, which is a real confidence builder.

easy peasy Ingredients:2c whipping cream6 ounces semisweet chocolate. coarsely chopped1/3 c sugar4 beaten egg yolks1 tsp vanilla                                                                                                      
How To:
In a heavy small saucepan combine the whipping cream, chocolate, and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat about 10 minutes or until mixture reaches a full boil and thickens. 

Gradually stir all of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks. 

Stir in vanilla.

 Pour chocolate mixture into 4 or 6 pots de creme cups or small dessert dishes. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

The waiting in the hardest part- Tom Petty
Are you singing now?

Enjoy!  As always, I would love to hear from you if you make this.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Things To Do In San Francisco: Cliff House

I was not born in the Bay Area.  I moved here a few years after I graduated college.  I have now lived here for a little over ten years, and am still impressed by all the beauty the area has to offer.  San Francisco is one of the most incredible cities in the world.  At any given time there is so much culture to explore and so many things to do.  This day, the things to do was lunch at the famous Cliff House, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  

 A beautiful day along Ocean Beach.

A really cool local house.  I would have loved to have seen the owner.  

The windmills in Golden Gate Park, from the Cliff House area.  I have some close-ups coming in a future post.

The Cliff House, from a short distance away.

Sutro Baths, the ruins of a 19th century swimming pool complex (next door to the Cliff House).  They were destroyed by a fire in 1966, but what remains can still be visited.  

I would love to have a planter this big.  I would just need a giant house to go along with it.  

The outside of the restaurant on a sunny February day.  

The interior, featuring panoramic views and a full bar with a highly recommended (by me) sangria.  

The food from top left: Caesar salad, cod, beet salad, scallops

Butterscotch Pot de crème for two.  Dessert is always my favorite part of any meal, and this was incredible.

Have you ever visited the Cliff House?  It is definitely a fun tourist attraction if you are in the area.  Very close to Golden Gate Park, which can itself keep you busy for days.   What are your favorite things to do in any big city close to you?  Do you visit the restaurants, shop, see the museums, or look for something a little more adventurous?  If you have been to San Francisco, I would love to hear about your favorite things to do/see. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Help

Have you ever read a book that you didn't want to end, because you loved the characters so much?  Like you were going to lose some of your best friends when it was over?  That was exactly how I felt when I read The Help.  I laughed.  I cried.  I got attached.  It was a really fun ride.

The novel centers around two African-American maids in Jackson, Mississippi, and the white women they work for.  One of the white women takes an interest in the way the maids are treated, and decides to write a book about their lives.  The story is told  from the point of view of three of the main characters, while many true events from the decade explode around them. There are delicate issues presented here, dealing with segregation and racism in the early 1960's.  There are also life changing friendships and some plot twist so engrossing that you will not be able to put the book down.  What was wrong with Celia Foote (incidentally, one of the best character names, EVER)?  What did Minny do to Hilly?  What happened to Constantine?  I needed to know, so I enthusiastically read on.

I would absolutely give this book 5 our of 5 stars.  It is one of the best stories I can remember reading in a long time.  I loved the fully developed, muti-dimensional characters, and like I said before, I grew attached to them.  Sometimes they were funny.  Other times, they broke my heart (knowing that this was based on how it really was in the 60's in the South). I loved that the ending didn't try to tie everything up in a happy little package.  Then there is the movie, which did stick pretty close to the book (and is definitely worth seeing).  Have you read this book?  I would love to hear your take on it.

Up next, The Happiness Project, recommended by Emma over at Gawgus-Things.  I have already started it, and I am loving every page.  I can already see it having a positive effect on my life.  I will be back with a review soon.

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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