Monday, August 27, 2012

Baked Pears

This is so easy and so yummy.  All you need is...

  • 2 pears
  • 2 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • juice from half a lemon
  • lemon zest from half a lemon

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut pears in half and core them with a melon baller.  Put them cut side up in a baking pan.  I used a loaf pan because it was the perfect size for just 2 pears.  Melt butter and combine with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and pour over pears.  Sprinkle lemon zest on top.

Bake in oven uncovered for 25-30 minutes and then serve with vanilla bean ice cream :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Book Interrupted

Sorry sweet book about two women rekindling an old childhood friendship and all of their crazy adventures...Christian Grey has slipped into your slot. (pun intended)

I had a total impulse purchase moment at Costco the other day and ended up with the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy in my basket.  I immediately put down the book I was reading (which wasn't that hard to do anyway) and started 50 Shades, just to see what all this fuss is about ;)

It has my attention so far.  Not quite as shocking as some people are making it out to be.  I guess I'm not very sensitive to that kind of thing.  I mean, I'm not saying I would recommend this book to my grandma or anything but it's nothing I haven't heard before.

How's this for a set up?  All in all this was a very successful Costco run.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Living In Paradise

I have to remind myself sometimes that I live in a place that other people go to on vacations.  It's easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of everyday life and wish you could take a trip somewhere sunny and beautiful but then I realize I'm already there.


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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Frosty Paws

For those of us born and raised in southern California, extreme temperatures are not something well tolerated.  Basically we are total wimps.  I'm the first to admit it.  But in our defense, because the weather is supposed to be so mild here all of the time, we are ill equipped for things like heat waves and hail storms. These past 2 weeks (felt like months) have been extremely hot and humid.  I'm talking 90 at the beach.  Our houses at the beach do not have AC.  If you are unfortunate enough to have your bedroom upstairs, like us, you toss and turn all night with a fan blowing in your face.

Now Kyle and I are one thing, but my baby boy with all that fur.....well I had times where I thought he was going to die.  I seriously was checking to see if he was breathing.  Extreme? Yes.  Overprotective? Absolutely.  Cody is my first dog; I'm a little paranoid.

He just did this.  All day and all night. :(

But I discovered something that brightened his day, just a little.  Frosty Paws.  Doggie Ice Cream.  It's not too unhealthy for them and he LOVES it.  Bonus- shockingly it doesn't make him throw up, like basically everything else Cody eats besides his regular dog food.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Perfect Pics

PicMonkey, oh how I love you.  You make me and my nearest and dearest look absolutely flawless.  I have become obsessed with photo editing now that I discovered Pic Monkey and all of its "Photo Shop for Dummies" editing tools.  I'm sure I'm overdoing it.  My teeth are just a little too white and my skin a little too smooth but I can't help it; I'm a kid with a new toy.



Can you see the difference (besides the obvious crop)?  Our eyes were all red and glassy (because it was the end of the night and we had a little too much fun a.k.a. Jameson) so I brightened them.  I tried to whiten our teeth but that was over the top fake looking.

I airbrushed our skin which just kind of blurs it out but I think it makes it look softer.  My nose was a little red (again, the booze) and that always bothers me in pictures.

Another example-

I just joined LinkedIn and I needed a profile picture.  It can't hurt to look your best right?


After: Ok this one might be too much ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Attention anyone who's reading this.  All 5 of you ;)  I added a "Follow Me" button.  So go ahead, follow me :)

Bon Bons Update

If you don't know what I'm updating, here's a link to the first trial of making homemade Bon Bons from a few days ago.

Some tips I have picked up in this process:

1.  Wait until it's not so hot out!!!  It turns out that trying to make these when your house is 87 degrees is just stupid.

2.  Put the cookie sheet in the freezer before you start to keep everything nice and cold.

3.  Stick toothpicks into the ice cream balls for the process and then remove later.

4.  Don't dip!  Pour the chocolate over the ice cream.  I still have not mastered the perfect dipping chocolate but it's getting closer :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It Hurts So Good

Foam rolling or myofascial release is my new favorite thing.  It's cheaper and actually more relaxing (in the long term) than a massage.  It can also help reduce injuries and eliminate those annoying things like shin splints.  It releases that tight, stuck fascia (connective tissue) around your muscles.  It can hurt a little bit while you are doing it, especially certain muscles but it's so worth it.  You just get a foam roller like this:

And then get yourself into a routine.  I have read online that it is best to start slow (no longer than 15 mintues) in the beginning.  I have also read that it's best to start toward the middle of the body working out to the extremities.  Just roll up and down the muscle using your own body weight from one joint to the next.  Example- from the hips down the quads to the knees and back (one leg at a time or both together).  Stopping on those tight/painful areas and holding or rolling back and forth to release it.

Most of your time will be focused on those big muscles of the legs.  I also roll out the muscles on my back and on my sides under my arms.  I think you can pretty much do it anywhere if you feel like that muscle needs it.

Here are some pics to give you an idea:

 Also, don't forget the bottom of you feet.  Roll them out with a tennis ball or golf ball.

 **Warning: I'm not a doctor, duh, so please research this on your own or ask your doc before starting anything new :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beachy Bedroom

White and beige are so soothing and calming.  I don't know if these pictures quite capture the feel of this room but it's a great way to end your day.

My summer, light, chick-lit, read before I start the heavy Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series I want to read next. (I know I'm so behind everyone else in what they are reading) 

Sand and shells with white candles in hurricanes from Target.

I love this Pottery Barn clock.

Yup those are surfboards in the corner of our bedroom.  :(  We still have some storage problems even with our new bigger apartment.  We are in dire need of a garage.  Kyle is doing a really good job of trying to respect my need for our house to look good even though some things can be inconvenient, like storing his surfboards in the back of his truck.  I am trying my best to be flexible too :)

I really need some new lampshades.  I am thinking about something along this line.  Rustic, natural, beachy material.

Nailed It, haha

Trying to make homemade Bon Bons sounded like a great idea in this weather but it turns out dipping ice cream in chocolate is pretty much impossible in the biggest heat wave we've had in years, in a house with no AC.  I saw Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere do it and it just looked so easy.  Haha ya right.

That being said they were the best tasting thing EVER!  I will be trying again until I can get them to look as good as they taste :)

I used mint chocolate chip ice cream but any flavor would be good.  Scoop them out with a melon baller and put on a cookie sheet covered in waxed paper and back into the freezer.

1 1/2 cups of mini chocolate chips to 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening melted in a double boiler.  This was one of my major problems.  Melting chocolate is always a pain but if anyone out there has any advice, I need it bad.  I went slow and didn't over cook it and it worked for dipping about the first 2 ice cream balls and then it completely changed texture and hardened up in like 10 seconds.  What did I do?  Do I need more shortening to make it smoother?

To put this in perspective, here is a picture of the Cupcakes and Cashmere version next to mine :)

Hehe no contest, but at least they tasted good and I will keep trying :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Dining Room Chairs

My new chairs from Target came!  I'm so happy to finally have somewhere to sit for meals.  No more eating at the coffee table.  We can act like civilized grown ups :)  They were super easy to put together and I think they really add something to the room.  I could have gone with plain chairs, just in case, which is always my first instinct but it really pays off sometimes to go with the riskier choice.

This little bud vase was such a good find.  Clearance rack at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for $1.99.

And a picture of my fur baby because he's just so darn cute!!

And finally this is Kyle's "seriously Mara put the camera down and get in here and relax" face.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lemon Garlic Aioli

Super easy aioli dip for artichokes.  I just mixed together mayo, crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.  That was all I had on hand but some shallots or scallions would probably be good too :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Green Juice

The new juices at Starbucks are packaged just like Naked Juice although when you read the label, they are a lot healthier.  They taste really good and are not nearly as sugary.  I tasted about 5 while I was there and came home with the green one.  

They also claim to have a special pasteurization technique that involves pressure not heat so that it does not kill off the vitamins in the veggies :)

Wedding Gift

I know I'm bias but my hubby really is the best one out there :)

For our wedding he got me this Kate Spade "mrs" necklace that I now wear everyday.  It's tiny and feminine and exactly what I would have picked for myself if I had been able to choose.
Someone must have been looking at my Pinterest boards.  

Thanks mom if you had anything to do with my hubs being so insightful ;) 


It's so good, isn't it?  Such an easy and fresh tasting salad.
All you need for this bite-size version is:
  • cherry tomatoes, I cut in half so you don't have to chase them around your plate :)
  • ciliegine "cherry-size" fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • salt & peper
  • olive oil & balsamic vinegar

Sunday, August 5, 2012