Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What a Hoot

I'm a wee bit late to the owl obsession party...but I'm here and I LOVE anything with an owl on it...seriously. This little girl (teenager...I guess that's not exactly little....whatever?) came in to Lux the other day and had this vintage opal and bead and gold owl necklace (similar but much more interesting, to this one above). However, this one (the Revisited Decades necklace by Alekmie) from Free People is beautiful and I love it. Shucks....if only I had found this before Christmas. There's always my birthday (haha).

:: peace and love ::

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Charming Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Bobbi Brown is definitely one of my favorite cosmetics companies. I feel like I'm committing Aveda treason!!! (I still love Aveda tremendously....but I do think they could use some expansion in the make up front). When I was a young teenager I received the "Teenage Beauty" guide to makeup, and I might even say that it is what kept me from wanted to line my eyes with a Sharpie marker (and yes...unfortunately I have witnessed this treachery). I have more of her books now and am in desperate need of more products. Hard thing is we don't have a Bobbi Brown counter in our little town...must travel to Bobbi. Her video tutorials are wonderfully helpful, as are the artists with whom you can chat with online about any questions you might have. She always infuses a carefree, perfectly beautiful and delightfully natural approach to any look she creates and her pigments and shades are some of the most beautiful in the industry (in my opinion)........yeah.....here's to Bobbi love.

:: peace and love ::

Pizzelle Italian Waffle Cookies

*Cookies usually served flat (pic has them rolled)..you may do it either way.
Pizzelle or "snowflake" cookies are a traditional and beautiful Italian waffle cookie made with anise seeds (or anise extract). I had these years and years ago, a friend of mine and her family were Italian and made these in mass quantities. We would then eat them in mass quantaties, but hey...they are amazingly delicious!!! You do need a Pizzelle press to form these delightful little treats, but they are not hard to come by. I am going to be bringing this memory back to life for a tea party soon. Yep, that's right, a tea party. Why not right, if we can have cocktail parties, I am going to have a beautiful little tea party with cups and saucers, Aveda Tea, Pizzelle cookies and lavender scones (we might even throw a little cheese and crackers in there). Hope they turn out just like I remember, and I hope you will try them and enjoy them as much as I did the first time!
Italian Waffle Cookie Ingredients
6 eggs
1 cup butter melted
3 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oil of anise
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions for Pizzelle Italian Waffle Cookie. Beat eggs and add sugar gradually, blending well. Add cooled melted butter and flavorings, mixing well. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to egg mixture. The dough will be sticky. Get one rounded teaspoon of dough on each side of iron and close top. When it stops smoking, lift to look at them. They cook very quickly. Cool on plate and stack when completely cooled.

:: peace and love ::

Saturday, December 27, 2008

* Bear Bread - As Promised *

Here is the 'Bear Bread' recipe that is a tradition for Christmas in my house!!! It smells so yummy and sweet when it's done, hope you enjoy our chubby little bears!

:: Golden Teddy Bear Breads ::
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110)
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/3 cup warm milk (about 110)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
About 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

:: Directions ::
-In the large bowl of an electric mixer, add yeast to water; let stand about 5 minutes. Stir in butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, salt, and 5 eggs, then beat until combined. Stir in 3 cups of flour; beat on high speed until smooth and stretchy, about 6 minutes. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups flour. If using a dough hook, beat on high speed until dough pulls cleanly from bowl sides.
-To mix by hand, stir with a heavy spoon until flour is incorporated.
-Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. (Or child until doubled, 18 to 24 hours.)
-Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead to release air; add flour as required to prevent sticking. Cut dough in 4 equal pieces; cover until ready to shape.
-For each bear, divide dough quarter into these portions: 3 tablespoons for arms, 3 tablespoons for legs, 1/2 cup for body, about 1/4 cup for head, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons for ears, face features, and belly button.
-Follow pictures above as you shape a bear; each shaped piece should be about 1/2 inch thick.
-Roll arm and leg portions into 8-inch-long ropes. Shape into arcs on a greased 12-by 15-inch baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart at their centers. Press center 3 inches of arcs, then brush flattened portions with egg-milk mixture.
-Shape body dough into an oval 5 inches long, gently pulling top surface toward underside to make smooth. Place body on flattened part of arcs. Press and tuck bottom of trunk underneath arc to secure. If necessary, pull arms and legs to make each 2 1/2 inches long.
-Shape head into a ball, pulling top surface toward underside to make smooth. Press into a 2 1/2-inch-diameter circle. Press top 1/2 inch of body to flatten; brush with egg-milk mixture.
-Place head on pan so it overlaps flat part of body; press to seal.
-Shape 2/3 of remaining dough into 2 ears. Flatten 2 spots on top sides of head, about 1/4 inch in; brush with egg-milk mixture. Press ears in place.
-Roll remaining dough into 4 or 5 balls, 2 for eyes, 1 for belly button, 1 for nose, and 1 for snout, if desired. (Make nose and snout pieces slightly bigger.) With a finger, poke small holes in bear for dough pieces. Brush holes with egg-milk mixture. Place dough in holes. Loosely cover bear with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until puffy, 25 to 30 minutes.
-Shape dough for remaining bears; knead to release air before making body parts.
-When each bear is puffy, gently brush with egg-milk mixture. Bake in a 350 oven until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. If baking 2 bears at time in 1 oven, switch position of pans halfway through baking.
-Cool on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack. Serve warm or cool. If made ahead, wrap airtight and freeze up to 1 month. Makes 4 bear breads (3/4 pound each); each serves 2 to 3.
-Recipe makes four bear; each serves three. Egg-rich dough is perfumed with vanilla
-Brush flattened portions of arm and leg arcs with egg-milk mixture, then put oval body in place. -Egg and milk serve as glue to keep joints secure
-Press ears into flattened head spots, also brushed with egg. Next, copy face of bear at left or one on page 71. Bear looks skinny, but will grow chubby in the oven
Yum Yum...

:: peace and love ::

Christmas Delightful(ness)

Christmas was charming!! Started the morning at Wes and my house, we always have our own little Christmas!! Not trying to gloat, but I got some very beautiful Michael Kors flats (and I'm kind of in love with them...good job babes). Wes got totally outfitted this year (on his request) and looks so handsome in his new duds. Eventually we headed up to my parents house, greeted by my beautiful kitty Georgia and a warm fireplace (it was a very chilly morning--for the Central Coast mind you!). My momma made us the most delicious scramble, mimosas and coffee and we proceeded to open stockings and presents. The best part of the holidays is spending time with our families, and I'm so very thankful for that!! Hope everyone had a beautiful holiday!!!
On another happy note, we are very excited that our best friends will be adding to their beautiful family!!! Congrats L family, we couldn't be more excited to have another favorite baby to love!!!

:: peace and love ::

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Adoption Day : )

23 years ago today, my adoption became legal!!!! These two people (my mommy and daddy on the Russian River) and me found each other in this big world and we have been the 3 amigos ever since. I could go on for days, but I just wanted to say how truly blessed--lucky--grateful I feel to have them in my life. They are seriously the best parents anyone could EVER ask for, and the best friends anyone could have and I learn from them everyday!!
Thanks Mommy and Daddy....I love you more than you will ever know!

:: peace and love ::

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Gifting

I can't believe Christmas is almost here!!! I feel so happy to have been able to get together with two of my best friends this season for a little gift exchange and conversation. Ash got me the cutest little wine glass tags, I picked my favorite one, "charmer" to share with everyone; as well as a framed photo of my favorite baby and a subscription to InStyle!!! Danielle got and made me a delightful mixture of gifts. A subscription to Domino (one of my favorite magazines ever!), the most beautiful and charming little cards, a hand knit scarf which is so colorful and amazing and.........drumroll.........TRUFFLE SALT. If you read my blog you will know all about our little obsession with truffle salt. I seriously can't wait to use it on bread and butter and eggs (two things it's absolutely amazing on!!). Be a little bit jealous of my truffle salt..you know you want to!!

:: peace and love ::

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mmm cold day and warm tea

I love cold winter days...when the air is icy and the clouds are dark. So I curled up on the couch with the heater on, a hot cup of Aveda tea, my new Elle magazine and had some fun!!
Happy Sunday everyone!!!!

:: peace and love ::

*sidenote :: I made the Lavender Champagne on Friday for a girls night and it was seriously AMAZING. You must try, I am obsessed and have left over lavender syrup--I am tryint to decide what else I can do with it...any thoughts??

Christmas Fun

Saturday night we got together with our best friends to do a little Christmas dinner and gift exchange!! Ash and I made zucchini Penna (we needed more zucchini--but never the less it was delicious), salad and SLO Sourdough garlic bread. The dinner was amazing, but the company was better. We got to play with Parks (our favorite baby) before he went to bed, and ended the night with a (competitive) round of Wii fun. Wes and I are so very thankful to have good friends that we love and can celebrate the holidays with!! : )

:: peace and love ::

Did I Say I Wouldn't Make Wishlists Anymore??

I did say I didn't want it to be (( all )) a wish list......tehehe. I am loving studded booties right now (all booties really....lace up booties, closed toe booties, peep toe booties etc...) on top of loving these ones (beige beauties by BCBG girls--the dana bootie, and the black studded delights by Steve Madden--Marrvel Booties), I am head over heals in love with the Dior Christal Watch (the large version, silver with black stones and diamonds). Then there is this Melio clutch tote, sported frequently by Karla on her blog. It seems so versatile and easy, not to mention goes with everything!! Well, at least 3 of these 4 are attainable....maybe I'll stumble upon that watch?? I highly doubt that though.....

:: peace and love ::

Friday, December 19, 2008

Enjoy Your Christmas Cards

We all get wonderfully beautiful Christmas cards this time of year...all ours are currently up on our fridge, but I thought this was a super fun way to be able to enjoy them and admire them all season long with out crowding your refrigerator with papers, cards, magnets and grocery lists!!!
Happy Holidays everyone.........and especially happy Friday!!

:: peace and love ::

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Tree Hunting

My mom, dad, Wes and I all went Christmas tree hunting on Sunday. There is this great little tree farm that we have been going to for years (they have free hot apple cider)...perfect for a rainy day like Sunday was. We searched dang near that whole tree farm (like we do every year) and decided on this funny tall (and oddly skinny) blue fern. It was a little Charlie Brown, but something about it drew us to it, not to mention my mom always complains that the trees my dad and I pick are too tall, or too fat. This year we are all happy and the pretty blue needles and so different and beautiful (the last pic is our tree).
Happy Holidays everyone!!!

:: peace and love ::

Wes' Famous Chilli and Cornbread

Wes surprised me with a night off of cooking yesterday and made me vegetarian chili (he put hamburger in his)...how sweet. It was (and still is...we have lots of left overs) delicious!!! If you like it a little spicier (I know we do!) just add some tapatillo.
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can diced tomato's
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 white onion
1 green/red pepper
2 lbs hamburger (if you eat meat)
garlic salt
chili powder
**add water for desired consistency
**cook 1.5-2 hours
**do not drain water out of bean cans
**brown meat and saute onion and pepper, once done, add to bean mixture.
Cornbread ::
here is a delicious looking recipe for cornbread...Wes made his (gasp) out of a box....I'll have to post my mom's cornbread recipe (it's amazing!!!!). I have to say that Wes' whole meal turned out delightful and he was so sweet to cook all of it for me!!!!

Enjoy!!! Thanks honey!!!

:: peace and love ::

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Share Bear : )

I've noticed that my blog has turned into a wish list of sorts...this, while slightly entertaining I'm sure, is not really what I mean it to be. Wes and I got a new camera (since I dropped our old one...ooopsi), there for I will be sharing more of our lives and journeys and fun activities with all of you!! This being one of my favorite parts of looking at other people's blogs, getting that glimpse into their lives and activities!! I have some fun (and rainy) pictures from Christmas tree hunting that I will be sharing shortly, once I figure out how to get them from our camera to the comp. Also, something we do every year with my family is make 'bear bread' a very fun, delicious and sweet tradition that we have been doing since I can remember, I would love to share our fun pictures (and recipe) of this as well once we do it : )
Thanks for stopping by, I hope that I can create something inspiring for all of you who read my blog!!!

:: peace and love ::

** J'adore Cox & Cox **

How delightful!! These pictures make me want to snuggle up in a nice cozy (and perfectly decorated) little home and never leave!! I must be 'nesting' because all I can think about is housewares lately...I'm so in love with people's artfully decorated spaces, and find so much inspiration in the many different ways people organize things!! Cox & Cox is.....delightful, simple, chic and charming. My favorite piece has to be the chalkboard hanging peg rack, with the words above each peg naming each day of the week in French!!! Something you will learn about me is that I love anything French, I took the language in high school (and speak un peu francais now, a very embarrassingly little amount) nothing to hold a convo...but am dying to be fluent and travel there!!! To me, this little rack is so charmingly delightful. The towel ladder would be perfect in a bathroom and looks oh so pretty in white! Then there is the wooden cheese board.....how much do we love this one Danielle?? It is so perfectly sturdy and beautiful, obviously built for the serious cheese lovers (who me?).
If I had a garden (and I really wish I did), you would see this beautiful benchseat there....I can see it, in it's pretty duck egg blue paint, amongst the lavender, bunch grasses and succulents...all nestled in with a little garden table....(I've got to snap out of it.....I don't even have a front yard....).
Hope you enjoy Cox & Cox as much as I do! Thank you Decor8 for introducing me to them!!!

:: peace and love ::

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pretty Kitchen

Nigella offers these charming kitchen delights!!! Right now my kitchen is such a hodgepodge of...well...crap (sorry), it's true and I would seriously love to replace everything in there with beautifully coordinated and colorful ceramic and steel appliances and dishes. If you read my blog you already know which dishes I want, so to add to that selection, I want these pieces from Nigella in their powder blue color!!! So pretty don't you think!? To shop Nigella if you live in the USA go here. To check out their official site, go here. Enjoy!!
Happy Monday people....

:: peace and love ::