Thursday, September 30, 2010

Love at Dusk


I am loving these beautiful images of my college friends. As we all know, dusk is the best light to capture amazing images, and these photographs are perfect. The bride is a wedding planner, and these pictures demonstrate her stunning creativity and attention to detail. How magical is the little fairy dress?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Ultimate Cream Puff

A few years ago, my cousin brought the big daddy of all cream puffs home for the holidays from LA. When I moved to Northern California, I was ecstatic to find that Beard Papa's was in my neighborhood. This Japanese sweets cafe has really made a culinary art out of cream puffs. They use real strawberries, cocoa, and vanilla beans for the custards, and don't spare any quality with their fresh and flaky pastries. Have you tried these amazing creations?

strawberry & chocolate

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Savoring Summer

Just when I was getting out my gloves and cozy scarves, we had the hottest weekend all summer. It was as if summer said "just kidding" after pulling a three month cold summer prank. California experienced a heat wave that made me sad about the " lost summer" that just came to a close. It was boiling hot, well over 100 degrees in some parts of the state, so we packed up and headed to the beach. Here are a few summer favorites that I am so thankful I got one last shot at experiencing before I welcome autumn with open arms.

clear skies

sand drawings and castles

fresh summer foods

late sunny nights

Monday, September 27, 2010

Around the World

On my antique and flea market trips, I am starting to notice that many vintage pieces are items I grew up with, and my latest find is the globe. Every autumn when school started, I pulled out my globe for my social studies class. I remember spinning it as fast as I could, closing my eyes, and putting my index finger on a country to make it stop. I would then ask my mother a thousand questions about the new country I "discovered" and promised to go there when I was older. At a flea market last weekend, I was so excited to find this slice of my childhood right in the middle of clothes and other clutter. I cleaned it up and it now has a home next to my old book collection. Admittedly, I did spin the globe for old times sake and it landed on India. Who knows, maybe this is how my next vacation location will be decided.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Food Friday: BBQ Chicken Pizza

I am Italian, so I initially thought that pizza without a tomato sauce was absurd. After much insistence by Jimmy, I finally agreed to try homemade BBQ chicken pizza. He substituted tomato sauce for BBQ and topped it with cilantro, onions and BBQ chicken. This pizza is better than I ever imagined and is the perfect twist on a traditional Italian staple.

What is your favorite type of pizza?

And Happy 30th to my beautiful and smart friend Anne!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where Credit is Due

my mom, 3rd grade

I am really excited to do this post because I know my mom reads this blog every day.

Think about this. You are close to your mother during the formative years of your life, literally depending on her for your very existence. Then when you move away as an adult, you rarely see each other. This is what happened to me. I live hours from my mom, and even though we talk on the phone every day, we don't see each other very often. I imagine this has happened to quite a few of you too. My mom was in town the last few days, and when I was at work, she cleaned my entire apartment and did my laundry. I can't tell you how much I appreciate these simple gestures. It made me realize how much I do need her in my life, and not just for the tangible benefits of her helping me. There really is nothing like a mother's love in your life and I am so thankful for her. I can't wait for her visit next week.

On another note, isn't it fun to look at the "grown ups" in our life and see them as kids? My mom was one cute little girl.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Change is in the Air

We can learn a lot about changing seasons. Kids head off to school, the weather turns brisk and coats come out of hibernation. All this forces the realization that nothing stays constant for very long. While some change is optional, other changes are necessary. Some change is easy and some is excruciatingly hard. But one thing remains consistent, change is inevitable.

How do you handle change? I've recently talked to a lot of individuals that constantly talk about changing who they are and whether or not this is possible. I am torn on this issue. I do believe that we are who we fundamental are, and expecting someone or something to change is impossible. But on the other hand, if you really want something, can you make a change? Can you re-work some of who you are for the better?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bits of Truth


I love the blog Bits of Truth. I am on here daily looking for perspective and inspiration.

Eat Sweets Every Day

I posted about Icing on the Cake the first week I started blogging, but I visited this charming and "sweet" boutique this weekend and just had to elaborate on my first post (see here). This unique corner bakery deliciously decorates their tabletops with pound cakes, carrot and banana breads, and even doggie treats! Cupcakes in every flavor (i.e. Neapolitan and pink lemonade) tower to the ceiling and icing comes in shot cups. The 1950s decor just adds to the Susie homemaker vibe of this perfect little shop and I am so glad it is in my neighborhood. When sweets taste this good, you can't help but eat them every day.

vintage decor

tower of sweetness

counter of goodness

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tea Time

I love quaint tea houses. They make me feel very sophisticated and English. This weekend I took my mother-in-law out for a birthday tea lunch. This particular tea house is especially charming because it sits in a one hundred year old building. If the walls could speak, I bet they would have a few interesting stories to tell. We enjoyed our own pots of tea, the frilly decor and delicious tea sandwiches. For a couple hours, I was transported back to a time my grandmother raved about. And now I realize why she enjoyed her era so much.

dress up hats

cucumber tea sandwich

pomegranate tea

Friday, September 17, 2010

Food Friday: Broccoli Cous Cous & Tilapia

When it comes to workweek meals, I have two requirements, healthy and fast. Luckily, Jimmy and I are big fish eaters which is easy and quick to prepare. This week, Jimmy whipped up peppered Tilapia in 20 minutes, and replaced our usual pasta with broccoli cous cous. Together, the meal covered our omega-3 and green requirements while leaving enough time watch the Bachelor Pad finale.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Product Push: Evening Moisturizer

I rarely push a product, but I just have to tell you about Keri Deep-Conditioning Overnight lotion. If you are anything like me, moisturizing is a key part of your evening routine. Immediately after I get out of the shower, I slather on lotion head to toe. What I love about this Keri lotion is that it deeply conditions my skin without being heavy or sticky. Moisturizer is meant to seep into the skin, and I have literally taken a second shower from sticky moisturizers that don't absorb.

Thank you to my wonderful mother for not just introducing me to this product, but for buying my first of many bottles! And thank you to my grandmother for teaching me the importance of moisturizing. I love you both!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Greasy Spoon

Hole-in-the-wall diners are often referred to as greasy spoons. In order to qualify as a legitimate greasy spoon, a diner must (1) look suspicious, (2) have advertisements painted on the windows, and (3) serve up massive portions of delicious breakfast items. When out of town, I always scope out these neighborhood diners and was thrilled when I found Jack's this weekend. I ordered my typical hash browns and buttermilk pancakes and was not disappointed. No matter how hard I try, I can never replicate these delicious greasy spoon staples, but I thoroughly enjoy them on my occasional Saturday morning trips.