Monday, October 20, 2014

How to Enjoy Rain


Happy Monday everyone.

How was your weekend? I hope it was filled with lots of fun adventures. Even if you stayed home I hope you were able to relax, sit back and enjoy a wonderful October weekend. As for us, we went away for a few days. We met up with the in-laws, and enjoyed a full weekend filled with wine-tasting, beer-tasting, pet-cuddling, and sunshine! It was needed. I miss having pets, so cuddling with dogs and cats was incredible. There is so much love given by a pet, it is the {almost} best feeling ever.

This weekend was also the weekend I had no computer, hardly any cell reception and just one book on me. It was relief and pleasure not to be connected with anyone at all times. I unplugged and it felt phenomenal. If you have ever done this you know this feeling. It's just pure, refreshing, and perfect - at least for one long weekend.

Now that we are back home this week will be busy!!!! Paperwork needs to be sent in {then we just wait}, my favorite person's job interview is Wednesday, some early Halloween fun will be part of this week as well as us going to San Francisco to meet a friend of ours. Cannot wait. I am so glad his work schedule is steady now and he gets Sundays off. He always worked on weekends and it wasn't fun. I could never plan anything. Last week his work finally gave him the okay to get a more steady schedule which allows him to balance school, life and work at once. Also, rain is in the forecast. Rain!!! I don't even remember what rain feels like, let alone temperatures that make you feel like fall. This week is going to be exciting, busy, fun-filled and hopeful.

So, I am enjoying rain...or just the thought of it looking forward to some drops falling onto the car today!

Happy Monday! I am ready for this week, are you?!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wedding Update or How I Won't Share It All


Our special day was anything but traditional. We got engaged, we moved in, we lived together, we traveled together, and then we got married. No engagement party, no bridal shower, no registries, no bachelorette party, and no rehearsal dinner. Yes, none of that. Don't worry or frown for me though, I still want my bachelorette weekend, and I would love to have a shower...just post-wedding. Sound weird? I know, but think about it. We can talk about the whole day, the drama beforehand, talk about what we wore, what we ate, what I would have done differently, and what I would like to repeat again.

One major thing that prevented me from having my dream bachelorette weekend {I have it all planned out, sorta, kinda, ya know, just know that it is a weekend and know the location, everything else is then up to my girls working their magic} or a bridal shower is that none of my girlfriends live up north. They all live in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area, or even Arizona. It meant more to me to have them with me on my big day. Also, everything happened so quickly there was hardly any time to figure things out and organize parties. Maybe I will set a new trend. Post-bachelorette weekend/party, and post-bridal shower might be something new. I should Google this before I talk about it. I know. Anyways, we will have those traditional parties just in a very nontraditional way. 

Our day was almost perfect. The few days before didn't look or feel perfect {we got married in Napa, and there was a 6.0 earthquake shaking the old buildings a little up and down and left and right the weekend before our big day}. Also, my beloved mom, my best friend, could not attend and it not only broke her heart but also mine. Besides that, and the little drama about the city of beautiful Napa it was a perfect day: the alarm went off on time. Anything else would have been a disaster. The people we love and could make it in such a short notice to our wedding came in fashion, the sun wasn't scorching hot, our restaurant was still open {we switched to an a la carte lunch than a prearranged menu}, nobody fainted, and I felt like the cutest little princess walking hand in hand with her prince charming. 


A small wedding still meant there was going to be dessert. I wanted dessert. Yet, I did not want a cake because I knew it would be almost impossible to have one made in time, and since it was an intimate affair I just did not think a cake would be appropriate. If there is a big reception or something at some point I will make sure there is cake. There were a few more cupcakes added to the above selection, and we put them neatly on a cute, everyday-use, tier. Plus, yes, most of the cupcakes were gluten free and I could not have been happier with Kara's Cupcakes. If you are in the Northern California area I'd recommend you check them out. Every other place I tried up here just disappointed me greatly. 


What I was very particular about was the little tiny details. Despite arranging a simple and easy-going wedding day we still wanted to dress up {it is a wedding after all}, and have our guests arrive dressed up as well. I still wanted some decoration, a cake or cupcakes, and favors as a thank you note to our lovely guests for driving or flying up. Making my own favors, and adding a little personal touch to them was very important to me. Purple, polka dots, and monograms were a must. I just had to remind myself that our wedding was simple and that I should not overwhelm or overdo the whole thing.

Small, intimate or not, there was one thing I was VERY particular about. The Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. That was the only tradition we had at our wedding, and the speeches friends gave.  

Something Old - a purple ring I was given for the day {also, something borrowed}. It belonged to B's grandma and matched my vintage outfit and vineyard surroundings perfectly.
Something New - The dress I was wearing and the clutch I was using.
Something Borrowed - My best friend's M.'s bracelet that gave me some extra sparkle.
Something Blue - my toenails were painted in baby blue


Yes I am holding a Redbull can. Two girls were walking around giving away those cans and so we grabbed some. I don't like Redbull but felt like I wanted to try their new flavor. Now, if you were wondering...I'm walking alone here because right after this photo was taken I threw the bouquet to my friend {the only single girl at the wedding}. Of course she caught it.

We took our friends who stayed the entire weekend to our favorite Italian restaurant in Sacramento, and we explored Old Sacramento again. Plus, who doesn't want to get high on candy?!


Our day was special. It was also different.
I can't believe how fast time flies, it is already mid-October and it's crazy. We are still writing our Thank You cards, one at a time. Do we feel any different? Not really. He goes to work, attends school as well, and I cook, clean and organize things with our lives as much as even possible. I may have changed my name, and I may have two rings now on my ring finger but other than that nothing has changed. We are happy and loving each day {even when I hit a low day and don't feel like cheering}.

That was our day. 
I shared with you as much as I wanted to share. Plus, I can't smile so you won't even miss anything...photos with me in them are horrible. My mother-in-law caught a few cute ones apparently. My friends caught a few good ones, and also a few funny {or shall I say bad?} ones. In one I am about to burst into an ugly monster. See? You don't miss much. 

Happy mid-October!!!!

P.s.: my wedding dress came from Ruche, and I could not have been happier with it 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mexican Quinoa Dish Made Easy


If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw this photo a couple of weeks ago. Let me tell you one thing, this dish was delicious and made a fantastic leftover side dish the next day. Also, this dish was so easy to make.

Here's what you need:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapenos, minced {optional, I didn't use any}
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels {love my stash of frozen veggies}
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Here's what you do:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add garlic {and jalapeno}  and cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute.

Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat.
Let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through {it will look glossy}.
Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.

Serve immediately.

***

If you don't like cilantro then use parsley or nothing at all. I am not a huge fan of cilantro. Actually I hate it and still used it and didn't mind. I just had extra cilantro I didn't know how to use, ha!
But it's a really simple dish. Everything you need for this dish you probably already have at home. Plus, it's healthy and a nice alternative to rice or pasta or potatoes. My man even liked it, and he is not so into the super healthy stuff but he eats everything I make, burned or not. Next time I will try to add some meat as well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My love for Eggplant


Colors enhance our daily lives. I already share my love for gray and orange with you, so I thought I would continue this walk of color-love for this season. Eggplant, plum or dark purple are my second favorites for the fall. I love to see this color on nails. It makes fingers and hands look more sophisticated, and honestly speaking, any accessory added looks stunning when you see a spark of dark purple. 


New outfits are needed this month and while I cleaned my closet I learned that my favorite purple top just doesn't look perfect anymore. Needless to say I got rid of it. A new blouse or sweater in my favorite warm fall color is needed. Also, purple goes beautifully with orange. A touch of both makes for a perfect fall outfit.


Gosh, I love these colors. Perfect fall impressions making me all warm and fuzzy. Cannot wait to go out and find some pretty items for myself. Fall is definitely my favorite time when it comes to combining warm colors!

What are your favorite fall colors? Is eggplant or purple one of them?

images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Monday, October 13, 2014

That One Busy Weekend in October


This weekend was busy. Good busy, just to get it straight. It started on Wednesday when we went to a pumpkin patch in Sacramento. Luckily we chose to go on a hot weekday, so it wasn't crowded and we could literally enjoy the entire thing. On weekends it is always so packed and filled with screaming parents and kids...not as much fun. Don't get me wrong, if a weekend is the only time you can go then by all means. We were just fortunate to go on a Wednesday, get sunburned {it was 97 degrees after all}, and pick three cute pumpkins. 


This looks like we were kissing. We were not. We don't like PDA, so when I saw this shadow I had to take a photo of it. Too funny. This was on our hayride to the pumpkin patch where I almost fell off the thing, laughed a lot and was scared for my life...after all I am a big city girl - no wonder I freaked out. We ended up getting three pumpkins we have waiting at home for their turn to be carved and eaten. :)


On Friday right after school we drove south to Bakersfield and enjoyed some time with friends and family. It was nice to get away and be around familiar faces and just people for that matter. I spend most of my time at home by myself, and have occasional talks with a few turkeys or spiders I kill {haha} but that is about it. Getting away just for a couple of days was a blessing. Bakersfield isn't around the corner and the normal four hours turned into five long hours. We didn't hit much traffic but enough stupid drivers not knowing how to drive safely. Ridiculous. We made it in one piece back and forth, and I cannot wait to go back south soon again!!


We went to parts of Kern River...amazingly beautiful, and clear. Loved to walk around the water. My feet have not felt happier. Also, we played with dogs, had fun conversations, and a wonderful get-together!


You have seen this lady before. She used to be my roommate, but since my life changes we live in different parts of this wonderful state of California. Also, I wanted to eat the dog's ears. She's the cutest dog; at least she smile while I took out my scary October face.

 

I cannot smile. I look like a weird robot...but at least the reflection in the water was beyond gorgeous; hence me sharing this with you. Oh and I also brought my purse to the river. Good thing, I had space for multiple cell phones so no one would drop theirs...and I made sure nothing went into the water that did not belong there. :) 


Wish I could go back there next weekend. 

How was your weekend?
Any fun fall activities planned for the next few weeks?!

Going to wine tasting next weekend, and spend some time with family. Cannot wait. Besides, it is cooling down. Finally. FINALLY. I am so over those 90+ degrees.

Happy Monday!!

P.s. Linking up with Leeann over for her weekly Monday Morning Gossip linkup!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hello from Moi

This will sound weird to most but if you know me personally you know I have an eye for detail and style. I have passion and even love fashion. However, I am not photogenic nor do I like to pose. I just don't like it. Maybe once I find a nice way to stand, pose or look I might, so far I have not found one. My man should try helping me out with this. We should both practice shooting and posing until we get the hang of it. It always takes time. We shall see. Nonetheless, I found a few photos of myself and thought to share them with you. Why? Well, just so you see me, and know that it is really me writing this and that I am still around...and not just constantly sitting in my pajamas on the couch writing posts. 


See? I don't know how to pose. I even have to get help from Olaf. We went to a Halloween Store after our monthly massage and that is when I found Olaf. Could not resist but take his head and pose with him. After all, he is my favorite. Plus do you see my devilish smile? Yes, I was starting to feel creepy in that store...bahahahahaha! And yes, I was holding on to the No Parking Pole in Sacramento. Someone had to give that pole some love, you know.

This weekend I am looking forward to spending time with friends I haven't seen in almost two months. I miss having friends around. It can feel really lonely when the only people you know are your mailman {at least he says hello when he sees me}, your man, and the big, fat squirrel named George. So knowing I will see friends this weekend makes me incredibly happy and excited. 

Here's to a fantastic weekend!!!

xoxo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Mom's Frittata - the dish that always satisfies


Okay, granted, this photo may not serve its best service but trust me, we ate this thing and it was beyond delicious. It's not burned, just for the record. We had a little bit of leftovers so the next day we made breakfast out of this giant beauty.

What is Frittata?

It is an egg-based Italian dish similar to a quiche or omelette, and has plenty of ingredients in it. It is easy to make, and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love that it is so versatile and that you are not bound to just one way of doing it. I also sometimes call it egg cake. Yum!!!!

Here's what you need (for 6 servings):

- 2 lbs small red potatoes, sliced into medium thick slices
- 1 red bell pepper {I used a red, green and yellow mix}
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- grated parmesan cheese
- grated mozarella cheese
- 6 large eggs {the recipe called for 10, and I thought that was way too much}
- 1 cup of milk
-1/2 cup of yogurt
- 1 1/2 tsps salt
- black pepper
- parsley {or basil} to garnish

Here's what you do:

-preheat oven to 350°F
- grease a 9x13-inch, 3-quart baking dish with baking spray or olive oil or butter
- cut potatoes in slices
- place potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl and add 1 cup water. Cover and microwave for 5 to 7 min
- (You can steam them on the stove top instead of cooking in the microwave, if you prefer.)
- drain the potatoes
- spread half of them in the bottom of the prepared dish
- mix together the diced/sliced bell pepper, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese
- spread this mix over the potatoes
- whisk together the eggs, then add the milk, yogurt, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- season with salt and a generous quantity of black pepper, and stir again
- pour about half of this egg mixture over the potatoes
- lay the rest of the potatoes on top in neat overlapping rows
- pour the rest of the egg mixture over the potatoes, and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan 

- bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until the egg is puffed and golden around the edges & fully cooked
- sprinkle with chopped parsley or basil. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving


It was a great dish. We had leftovers and the next day, with sausage it was a perfect breakfast dish!!!

Enjoy it if you ever feel like making this one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Carlton of 2014

Do you remember watching the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Whether or not you watched the show there is one thing that stuck with all of us...The Carlton Dance! It is one of those dances that made you laugh, smile, question and maybe even cry at the same time. It's the funniest, weirdest and yet most memorable dance on TV ever. The show is long over, and all actors, especially Will Smith have moved on...but this week on Dancing With The Stars Alfonso danced The Carlton once again - and beautifully I have to say. 

I had to share this. I mean, come on. I grew up with this show. It made my week better, it made me laugh, it made me mad but most importantly it stuck with me throughout the years. James Avery was our TV dad for six years {I was so sad when he passed almost a year ago}. Crazy how long ago the show ended. Glad we were rooting for Alfonso to finally dance his dance again. Glad he did.
 


I had to re-watch a few YouTube videos of the show to see the "real" Carlton again. So much fun. Shows like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air don't really exist today. There are a few that are similar but lack the real fun and the real human aspect at times. Don't get me wrong. There are awesome shows out there, even more so spectacular films touching our hearts and souls, but times have changed and so have jokes, issues, and acting. Anyways, have fun watching this video and maybe even looking for the original dance online somewhere. If you are like me, you will laugh at this and remember the good old teenage days with the family Banks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Orange Makes Fall Pleasurable


Fall always makes me more relaxed. It reminds me to slow down and enjoy the little things nature has to offer. I love to drive slower {still driving speed limit though} but not going crazy. If I find a street that says 25 or maybe 30 I am a happy girl. Driving through the neighborhood and looking for decorated houses, colorful leaves and more are my favorite moments ever.
 

As you know I am getting rid of things this month and it has been a good challenge. Orange is not a color I have seen in my closet at all. I own a few reds {need to add one or two items}, a few greens, one yellow shirt, but definitely no orange. Granted, it is not the most flattering color on me. Yet, an earring or a soft orange sweater or shirt that I could combine with my favorite fall color gray would be fantastic. October just screams for this vibrant color, no?!

xoxo


images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Monday, October 6, 2014

Changes


Good morning everyone!
Hope your weekend was fantastic. Mine was, you know, very boring. I pretty much stayed home all weekend. My guy was working, I was fall cleaning {sorta}, stayed mostly in my comfy pink pj's, drank pumpkin cider, stretched to Pilates, watched TV and lost the remote control multiple times in the worst places ever. It was pretty unspectacular. Luckily, this upcoming weekend and next both will be different. Fingers crossed everything will work out as planned. 
While I had an entire weekend to myself I not only watched old school films, I also started changing up this old blog of mine. I managed to create a Facebook Page, got my own domain name {it should all smoothly redirect you all}, and I am slowly working on different looks. Things need to change. I started with my hair color {it's back to my natural darker side}, new morning and evening routines {Pilates in the morning, and yoga stretches before bedtime}, healthier meals so we are prepared for a colder winter time up here, and well, I am constantly working on this blog layout.

Changes are good. Changes are needed.
Changes shape us, even the most challenging ones. 

So, stay tuned while I figure things out and embrace every single change coming my way.

xoxo

P.s. Linking up with the lovely Leeann and Kimberlee for Monday Morning Gossip.

image via here

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