Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I've Got A Porkie!

I mentioned a while back that husband surprised me with a Wisdom Panel DNA test for Harriet last Christmas.  We had talked about trying to find out what kind of a mixed breed she was before, if for no other reason than it would just be funny.  I was so excited when I received this.  I immediately ripped open the box and started the process.  Basically, I had to swab her cheeks and send in the samples.


Two short weeks later, we got our results.  


That's right.  My little girl is a Pugshire, or as I like to refer to her, a Porkie.  Somehow, this information made her just that much cuter.  I  looked up her "breed" and found that there were others out there (some that looked just like her).  We still can't believe that even when we adopt an adorable, scruffy mutt, she still turns out to be half pug.  


If you have a mixed breed dog, would you be interested in knowing what breeds he or she has inside?

*I am in no way affiliated.

Monday, January 30, 2012

iPhone Camera Extras

I got an email the other day from Tablet Hotels about some new iPhone gadgets on the market.  I was really excited by some of the add-ons they featured, and I thought it would be fun to share here.  I use my iPhone for blog pictures pretty regularly, and I love all of the advances that are being made to the camera.  

This is the Olloclip.  It features a fish-eye, macro, and wide-angle lens.  It comes with two interchangeable lenses and a micro-fiber bag to store it all in.  This retails for $70.  

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 This is a telephoto lens for your iPhone from Photojojo.  This baby will give your phone an 8x closer view, and comes with a case, a mini-tripod, and a cleaning cloth.  The best part is, this attachment is only $35.

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 If you are really serious about your iPhone photos, then the Lens Dial is for you.  At $249, it will give you a wide-angel, fish-eye, and telephoto lens, all in one.  
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The is The Dot iPhone Panorama Lens.  For $79, you can shoot 360 degree pictures, and it is video interactive.  This lens is awesomseauce!!  You can see samples here , where you can spin the video around and see everything.  
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When you are done taking pictures, the Shot Glass Lens Set might be for you (but only if you are 21 or over).  Comes ion Nikon or Cannon, so you can always get the perfect...shot (get it).  Could also be used as a tiny tiny planter or to sip your morning espresso.  Accurate down tot he last detail.
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So, what do you think?  Do you want your smart phone to become more than just a point and shoot camera?  Would you buy these accessories?  Do you use a separate point and shoot (or DSLR) camera for your pictures?

P.S.  I am in no way affiliated with any of these products.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hair Dryer Help!!!

Hey Everyone.  I have a quick post today, to ask you for some advice on picking out a new hair dryer.  My beloved T3 died a loud and rattling death yesterday, after 6 wonderful years of service.  I am not a happy camper, to say the least.  I was going to purchase a brand new T3, but I am reading mixed reviews.  


So I was hoping for a little help here.  What hair dryer do you recommend?  Anything you wouldn't recommend is helpful too.  If it helps, my hair is naturally pretty wavy, and I have a lot of it.  The T3 was great because it not only dried my hair quickly, but cut down on the frizz, big time.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Birchbox and Blog Awards

My January Birchbox has arrived.  I seem to receive mine about 5 years after all the other bloggers on the Blogosphere (maybe it is because I am in California).  You may have already seen this no less than twenty times on other blogs, but I'll go for it anyway, mostly because I am excited about my new loot:)  This is my January box.  



Inside:
Algenist: Firming and Lifting Cream
FIX Malibu:  Immaculate Complexion Smoothing Cream
Juicy Couture:  Juicy Couture Perfume
Zoya: Nail Polish in Kendal
'wichcraft:  Granola
Plus a Birchbox magnet (in case you forget)

I have been having a lot of fun with my December Birchbox.  I have discovered some fun new products that I have really enjoyed (like the Mythic Oil).  I am looking forward to playing with my new items (especially that fab nail polish color).   Are you still on the fence, or have you jumped on board the Birchbox train?

**********************************************************************************

On a completely separate note, the lovely lady who writes dreaming en francais bestowed the honor of Liebster Blog upon me.  I am very humbled and grateful.  She has a pretty terrific blog herself, so I encourage you to go check it out.


Liebster in German means dearest, beloved, or favorite, and it's for bloggers with under 200 followers.

The rules are: 
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you
3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog
4. Reveal your 5 blog picks
5. Let them know you chose them by leaving a comment on their blog

I have been discovering so many new blogs lately, it is going to be hard to choose just five.  Please know I love all of you!

Erin from Raising Kane....she makes me laugh...hard!  
Jax from Raviolis and Waterworks...she really explains it ALL via lists.
Emmy from Scarberian Fashion Lover...adorable kids and unique style (and, ok, I love the word Scarberian)
Mal from the Chic Geek....she has the most original ideas for topics
Michelle from twentynine...she has a great sense of humor about the world around her (plus she is planning her wedding, and I want to see how it turns out)

Thank you everyone, for reading my blog and your lovely comments.  They continue to make my day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shallot and Onion Straws

Suddenly, it got cold and rainy here in the Bay Area.  Of course, this left me craving something warm and comforting.  Husband and I decided to make burgers with onion and shallot straws.  We ground up a brisket (if you want a good homemade burger, I can't recommend grinding your own meat highly enough), fried up some bacon, and topped it off with some barbecue sauce (Kinder's is my favorite) and American cheese.  We added some shallot straws to the top and made some onion straws as a side dish.  If you are unfamiliar with straws, they really are just very thin onion rings.  This is the recipe we made up.

Ingredients:
onions or shallots
2 eggs 
2 tbsp water
self rising flour
salt
pepper
canola oil (for frying)

Here is the How:

Slice your onions or shallots uniformly thin.  


Optional step: Whisk together two eggs with 2 tbsp of water to make an egg wash.  Dip your onions or shallots into the egg wash.  We have found that dipping the onion, but not the shallot into the egg wash gives us the best results. 

Submerge the onions or shallots into flour, which you have seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.


Fry them until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes) at 375 degrees in canola oil (or oil of your choice).


Drain onto a paper-towel lined plate.  Cool slightly.  Serve on burger or as a side.


Do you ever order onion straws when you are out?  I would love to know if you try this recipe.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

This is Kind of Embarrassing

Do you have any embarrassing pictures?  I do.  I thought I would share one with you today.  You're welcome.  

Back when I was in high school (in the early 90's....gasp), Glamour Shots was the fun thing to do.  In a nutshell, they would do your hair and makeup and let you pick out "fun" outfits.  Then you would sit for a photo session.  They would clean up your pictures (read: Photoshop, before regular people had it) and charge you a ridiculous amount of money to purchase them.  

Naturally, one of my best friends and I saved up some money and made an appointment.  We were 17 years old, and $140 was a big deal.  We took some of our pictures together (I believe there was kind of a biker theme that involved bustiers and leather).  Then we got to pick our individual looks.  I choose a red dress and pearls (and some big hair, obviously).  It was 1993.  

I just looked up Glamour Shots to see if they are still around, and I was surprised to see that they are (even the location at the Sawgrass Mills Mall, where I had mine taken).  It does appear that have toned down the looks a little bit.  Now they ask you to bring your own outfits and take family portraits.  I guess you have to change with the times.  



Do you have a Glamour Shot (or other equally embarrassing pictures from your teenage years) that you would like to share?  I would love to see them (and I am pretty sure my readers would too).  If you do a post on yours, I will plug it over here.  Spread the love!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TV Obsession: Sons of Anarchy

Every once in a while, I will become slightly obsessed with a tv show.  It happened when I saw the first episode of Lost.  I was instantly taken in.  Husband and I caught it during the summer after the first season it was on.  One episode a night wasn't enough.  Before we knew it we had watched the entire first season in about a week and a half.  We never missed an episode during its entire run (although I did find the ending very unsatisfying, but that is another post).  I haven't felt that way about a tv show in a very long time.

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 Recently, I had a few people recommend Sons of Anarchy to me as a show I would like.  So husband and I decided to stream the first episode.  I am pretty sure we watched at least two more that night.  Before we knew it, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had watched all four seasons.  I don't know how it happened, but we couldn't watch them fast enough.  I found myself yelling at the tv at times.  I laughed. I threw things. I might have even cried a time or two.

via

If you are not familiar with the show, it is about a motorcycle club in the fictional town of Charming, CA (which I hear is actually modeled after Lodi, a central valley town not to far from the Bay Area).  The main character, Jax, has a newborn son, which makes him reconsider the direction of his life and his club (he is vice president).  Katey Sagal plays his mother, Gemma, who I can only describe as a nurturing badass.  If you want to read more about the premise, you can find details here.


This is the trailer from the pilot episode.  The show has a lot of everything geared toward mature audiences in it...sex, drugs, violence (and I mean a LOT of it).  So I am going to give my disclaimer that the trailer (and the show) is for mature audiences only.  

Are you a Sons of Anarchy fan too?  If you haven't seen it, did I tempt you?  If you do watch, who is your favorite character?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I Need...Now January 2012 Edition)

I know we just had Christmas, but that doesn't mean I haven't become enamored with some pretty awesome things.   I have a birthday coming up and some friend's birthday coming up too.  I really love need these new pieces.  What do you think about them?

I want this necklace for myself.  Plus, I have already decided that two of my best friends will receive this for their birthdays.  Best friends, if you are reading this, surprise!!

Couple Necklace Gold Disc Initials - Hammered Couple Initials Charm Necklace  $38

 One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a Griddler from my sister.  If I purchase the waffle maker attachment, I can get rid of a different appliance that I no longer need.  I do need to clean some stuff out, so this is a must buy.

Cuisinart GR-WAFP Griddler Waffle Plates  $38.99

I have my great aunt's hamsa necklace, and I love the concept (of being protected from the evil eye).  This also comes in black and silver (my favorite).  For the price, it would be a fantastic gift too.


Hamsa Friendship Bracelet  $13


I discovered this around Christmas, and I have been dying to try it out ever since.  It is supposed to keep your bath warmer four times longer and feel like you are wrapped in a blanket.  I am ready to test it out.  Has anyone given it a shot?

JELLYBATH TUB SOAK LAVENDER  $24

There is a pug involved.  Does this need more explanation?

Puggle Dog Tray   $10.95

I think this would make an amazing vase.

Polka Dot Milk Bottle  $11.95

Lavender skinny jean....why wouldn't I want these? (OK, maybe the price).

Current/Elliot the ankle skinny jeans  $198
Scented nail polish?  Yes, please!  (Comes in more colors on website.)  Honestly, I would probably choose the color by my favorite scent.  Has anyone tried these?



Scented Nail Polish Sunrise Collection   $14 each


 I am going through a peacock phase right now.  This belongs in my collection.
Amrita Singh Willa Bangle  $20 on sale 

OK, I probably can't afford these right now (but could not be more in love with the style).  I need a good knockoff.  Perhaps this or this .  What do you think?  Any other ideas?
Rag and Bone Newbury Boot   $495


My birthday is right around the corner.  My wish is for a Tiffany's charm bracelet that I can add charms to.  Charms that are specific to things in my life.  
Tiffany Round Clasping Link Bracelet  $575
What about you?  What are your favorite pieces?  What are you obsessing about right now?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

United Cakes of America: Boston Cream Pie

I first discovered this book at Barnes and Noble.  I loved the idea.  This book takes a state by state look at the cakes (and other sweets) each state is known for.  There is also some history given about the recipes, and how they relate to their states. Plus, it is written by Warren Brown, who hosts Sugar Rush on the Food Network.   I immediately looked it up on amazon, and ordered it right away (a girl has to save a few bucks when she can). 
Can be purchased here.  I am in no way affiliated.
 Boston cream pie is one of my favorite desserts, so I knew that is where I needed to start.  Unfortunately, what I didn't consider was 1) I didn't have the permission to reprint this recipe on my blog and 2) no one else had tried to do it either, so there wasn't another blog I could point my readers to for the recipe (believe me, I searched the heck out of the internet for it).  So, I am going to link you to a similar recipe here.   Sorry about that.  I haven't been in this situation before.  If you have, please let me know how you handled it.  



  



Happy Blogoversary to me!  (I get to celebrate all week, right?)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)


One year ago today, I hit the publish button on my very first post for Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies.  Named after three of my favorite things, I was looking for a fun, creative outlet to talk about the topics I was interested in.  I had no idea if anyone would actually read it.  Then I got my first comment, (it was from Chloe, someone I look up to in the blogging world *swoon*) and my readership started increasing every month.  I made new friends and discovered new blogs.  I went to a blogger meet-up, wrote some guest posts, and hosted a few giveaways.  It was a fun year.  

What do I hope to do with the blog in 2012?

1) I really want to take a photography class.  I want to learn how to take better pictures (especially since I tend to snap my photos at night without the presence of natural light).

2) I wouldn't mind learning how to use Photoshop Elements as well.  I try to play around with it on my own, and I am a complete disaster.  I currently use Picnik for my everyday needs, and although I like it, I am hoping to learn how to do more.

3) Some of my favorite posts are the ones that require audience participation.  I love hearing from you and reading your responses to the things I talk about.  There will definitely be more of this in the future.

4) A few Pinterest projects.  I bookmark so many things (you can find me here) for future use.  I want to actually try some of them.  I love a good idea.

5.  I would like to do the occasional outfit post.  This was always my goal from the start of the blog, but it just hasn't  happened yet.  I just don't know how to fit it into my day.  I am always running late in the morning, and by the time I get home I feel haggard.  My hats off to all of you amazing bloggers that snap a picture every day.  

6.  More of the same:  pictures of the dogs, recipes, book reviews, pictures from my life, garden updates, shopping, style, awkwards and awesomes, funny stuff I find on the web, and other assorted randomness.  I love to read and comment on your blogs.  I love reading your comments on mine.  As I said in #3, the reader interaction is one of my favorite parts of blogging.  This wouldn't be fun if it was a one-way conversation.  

One more thing.  That celebratory slice of Boston Cream Pie above?  That recipe will be coming your way tomorrow.  You will want to try this cake.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On Feeling Loved

I was out running errands last night, and husband was home with the pups.  He sent me this text to let me know just how much I was missed.  
Harriet and Petunia waiting at the front door.
This is where they remained until I returned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Elephant in the Room

Last year, I proclaimed my love for all things elephant.  Today, I am back with some brand new pieces that make my heart go pitter-patter.  I am really crushing on the earrings (but not so much the price).  Also, can we please discuss that Marc Jacobs clutch?  I am not going to say,"I die," here (although I kind of do).  

What are your favorite pieces?  Are you a fan of elephants?  Are you drawn to decorate with or wear any particular animal?


Elephants


Free People indian dress
$228 - freepeople.com

Graphic t shirt
$20 - urbanoutfitters.com

Urban outfitter
$12 - urbanoutfitters.com

Antique handbag
$995 - marcjacobs.com

Cara pave ring
$48 - bloomingdales.com

Earrings
$188 - anthropologie.com

Trina Turk longs jewelry
$150 - maxandchloe.com

Sterling silver jewelry
$125 - maxandchloe.com

Scarve
$88 - anthropologie.com

Grey hat
$20 - target.com

Elephant Pillow
houzz.com

Eve Chang Elephant Bookend
$40 - momastore.org

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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