Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Small Touches

I am extremly lucky that my sister will be doing all the graphic design work for my wedding and getting all the printing done at whole-sale cost.  Weddings need A LOT of paper and we will be saving so much money having my sister take care of all of this.

Now, I could be using those savings and putting them into an account to eventually buy a house, but let's face it.  I live in Santa Monica and it costs upwards of $700,000 to buy a one bedroom condo around here so a house is not in the cards right now.  And while I am not blowing all the savings I am lucky enough to have from my sister's design work I am...let's say...reinvesting it.

Reinvesting in "the little things".

I learned this approach from my mother (like most things I talk about on this blog, let's get real, she's a saint).  She never approaches a theme party or a gathering without going all in.  Her motto, if you are going to do it, do it right.  I prefer Ron Swanson's version, but it's the same concept.


So basically, I am going to "whole ass" this wedding.  I am going to invest in the details.  Take the design and the touches all the way.  

Want a preview?  You'll find this on your Save the Date...

Small, the boys aren't even going to notice it.  

But if I am going to do it, I am going to do it right.  The devil is in the details so get your magnifying glasses out...

 
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Got 2 Pickles, I Got 2 Pickles

My friend Heather (who needs her own blog...get on it woman) is amazing about finding great cooking blogs and recipe. One blog that I have been loving on lately is Smitten Kitchen.  Deb's recipes are always so, so delicious and she does thing cool thing where every post she links back to recipes from that day in her blog's history (all the way back to seven years ago).  Be careful though, you can get LOST in her blog.

I recently decided to make her Bread & Butter Pickles upon recommendation from Heather and I may never buy store-made pickles again.  They were surprisingly simple and absolutely delicious!!


Makes 4 cups of pickles, filling a 1-quart jar

Ingredients
1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick — “pickling” or kirby cucumbers work best here
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Diamond Kosher salt
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar (see note above)
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (if ground, use 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon celery seed



Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion and salt. Mix well. Cover the mixture with ice. Let stand at room temperature for two hours. In a pot, bring sugar, vinegar and spices to a boil. Drain cucumbers and onions. Add to vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. You can store the pickles in an airtight container for up to three weeks in the fridge. They will begin tasting pickled in just a couple hours.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Is it Worth it? Let me Work it...

So with the new job, I work from home a lot. And right now, that means working from the kitchen table. So I am slowly getting a little home office going in our guest bedroom. So far, this is all we got (I can't believe I am sharing this super sad office picture)...



Yup, that's all we are working with. I recently got the desk from target and love it, but the rest of the room needs some love.  I am thinking that a white and teal with accents of gold color scheme is what I want to work with and here are some items that have been catching my eye...

Defining the space with a rug is always a good first step.


Can we talk about this gold & acrylic Kate Spade desk set?


Can't have rings on the new desk, confetti coasters are too fun!


Call me crazy, but that middle row of pots, perfect for holding pens 
and other odds and ends .


Here is the real issue...I HATE DESK CHAIRS.  I literally can't look at the one at my desk for another second.  Any suggestions on alternatives? I would love you forever.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Surviving Multiple Weddings in a Row

Starting the last weekends in June, the FiancĂ© and I did the Wedding World Tour: 3 weddings, in three different states, in three consecutive weekends.  And let me tell you, in the age of Facebook and Instagram there was no way I could wear the same dress more than once.  

Here are my tips for dressing for multiple weddings without needing a second job:

1. Recycle Accessories: I wore the same purse and the same shoes to all three of the weddings pictured below and I bet you wouldn't have even notice if I didn't point it out to you.  I also have the same earrings in picture #1 and picture #2 again, no one noticed.  Save money buy investing in quality pieces that are timeless.  A little goes a long way.

2. Changing your Hair, Changes your Outfit: I made the conscious choice to wear my hair in very different ways to change up my look.  Wavy, curly, straight...half-up, down, bangs, no bangs.  Hair is a free accessory.

3. Save, Save, Save: And I don't mean money.  If you are like me, when you get a new dress or a new pair of shoes you want to wear them immediately.  But in this case, I didn't.  I saved that yellow dress from the annual Lilly Pulitzer sale for almost 6 months to wear to that first wedding.  And the maxi dress?  I found that in my closet and I hadn't worn it in almost a year (which is basically like it being new).  Find a deal, and hold on to it...it will pay off in the end.

4. Beg, Borrow, and Steal: That headband?  Borrowed it.  Curled hair in the third picture?  Made my sister do it.  Share closets.  Share talents.  Steal stuff from your sister.  





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taco Tuesday

Living in Los Angeles, there is no shortage of delicious Mexican food on almost every street corner.  From brick and mortar restaurants to shady food trucks (which really have the BEST tacos) it is hard to not want to go out for Taco Tuesday, well, every Tuesday.

But now that I have a wedding dress to eventually wear, I thought Taco Tuesdays for the foreseeable future where 100% out.  Enter the Flank Steak Taco...



Simple, healthy, and for those of us who dabble with Weight Watchers only 4 P+ a taco.

Ingredients

12 small corn tortillas
1 1/2 tsp salt (I only used 1 tsp because I don't love salt on my food...but to each her own)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
1 medium avocado
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
2 large red peppers
1 lb. flank steak
1/3 cup red onion
1/2 crumpled feta (I used low fat)
1/2 cup cilantro
2 limes

Directions

Heat grill to high. Stack tortillas and wrap in foil; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine salt, garlic, chili powder and cumin; set aside.

Core and seed red peppers; slice each into 6 rings and place in a large bowl. Trim scallions; halve widthwise and add to peppers. Drizzle vegetables with remaining 1 teaspoon oil; toss with 1 teaspoon spice mixture. Rub remaining spice mixture all over steak. 

Place foil packet of tortillas on top rack of grill; place steak, peppers, scallions and avocado on grill close to heat. Grill vegetables and avocado until charred, about 2 to 3 minutes per side; remove from grill and set aside. Grill steak, flipping once, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, for medium rare or longer to desired degree of doneness; remove from grill and let rest a few minutes before very thinly slicing against the grain.

To serve, cut each avocado half into 6 even pieces; mash one piece down center of each tortilla. Layer each with 1 pepper ring, 2 pieces scallion and about 1 ounce steak; garnish with onion, cheese and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce (optional). Yields 1 taco per serving.

Happy Taco Tuesday

Thursday, August 14, 2014

America Runs On...

Today I did a little investigating. I took a "walk"...you know to stretch my legs, to get the blood pumping, to negate the fact that I will sit in front of my computer for a few hours.  But I really went to confirm a myth. A myth bigger than the Lock Ness Monster, greater than Big Foot, and more mysterious than where exactly Jimmy Hoffa's body is....

The West Coast Dunkin Donuts


And I am happy to report that it does, in fact, exist...



Look at it in all it's French Vanilla Swirl Iced Coffee with skim milk glory. This east coast chic can't fucking wait...
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So, the original plan was to come back to Los Angeles on July 30th.  But, big stuff started to happen and my trip got extended.  What big stuff?


I officially took a new job.  It is with a heavy heart that I leave teaching, but it was the right time for me to make the move. And I could never leave education totally. 

In fact, now I get to impact even more kiddos as an Instructional Coach for a new literacy iPad app.  I will be working with kids and teachers in LA to bring technology into their reading instruction and I can't wait!

For now I am "working from home" which means "working from a different coffee shop every day until I make my home office functional".

Wish me luck!!

 

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