This week and last

Look at me, blogging for the 2nd week in a row!

I had a quick trip to Albuquerque last week and ate at my new favorite restaurant, Farm and Table.  It seems very Portland in a not-so-very Portland city.  They grow a large amount of the produce in a farm behind the restaurant.  But it was unclear where the chickens grew up.

The weekend was filled with tasty treats and wonderful house guests.  We tried putting mini reeses in toasted marshmallows.  The boys preferred this to nutella.  I still prefer nutella.

And of course we had to try the new ice cream sandwich shop that opened downtown.  Free ice cream sandwiches to celebrate their grand opening.

It was a bit overwhelming to decide between the 10+ cookie flavors and 10+ ice cream flavors.  But we managed ok :)

And now it’s off to another week in Albuquerque.  Although it will give me a chance to investigate the Essie Nail Polish machine at Oakland Airport.

Happy Monday!

Campfire goodness

I’ve raved about my nutella smores before.  Replace the chocolate bar with nutella and BAM, instant awesome.  Well, a few weeks ago, while helping break in some friends’ new fire pit, I discovered my new campfire favorite.

Marshmallow + nutella.  Just leave out the graham!  The marshmallow actually caves in a tiny bit after you remove it from the stick.  Add a little nutella and you have the best campfire dessert ever.  You’re welcome.

The littlest entrepreneuer

On Sunday, as we were walking home from Starbucks, this little girl perked up as we rounded the corner.  She was selling bracelets for $2 or $1 (slightly confusing, but I went with it).  She was spending the weekend at her Grandma’s and had made a TON of rainbow bracelets.  I guess I’ve grown a soft spot for entrepreneurs, having both married one and become one.  So I found a few I liked and asked Nick what he thought.  He looks at me and says, “well, will you wear it?”  The man had a point.  On one hand, I knew this handmade rainbow bracelet would not be making its way into my jewelry rotation.  On the other hand, this little girl had really poor market placement (VERY minimal foot traffic) and I didn’t want her to get discouraged.  And it was $1.  Obviously, I ended up with a bracelet.  And Nick had to pay, because I’d left my wallet at home :)   But serious kudos to this girl for being awesome on a Sunday morning.  I hope she sold out!

Is this thing on?

Since I last posted, I’ve been quite a busy lady!  Some highlights include:

A very quick trip to the UK for work.  Luckily, we were able to do a bit of sightseeing while in town.  Naturally, we headed to Oxford for our Harry Potter fix (I’m actually pretty sure I was the only fan in our group, but they didn’t have any other suggestions!)

Macaroons and a whirlwind tour of London on our last night.

Returned to the states to catch date night with Nick.  He bought us tickets to see Once.  And it was the happiest sad musical I’ve ever seen :)   Before the show, he treated me to Fino.  I’m still not sure if this is a tourist trap, but I love it.  They use handmade pasta and have this dessert that’s basically chocolate creme brule over pureed raspberries.  It’s called a chocolate Fino.  Whenever my sis is in town, we try and get one.  It’s too rich to eat by yourself, so we split it.  To ensure equal portions, we break the sugar crust directly down the center and each take half.

By the time my head hit the pillow, I had been up for a lot of hours.  And I didn’t even fall asleep during the show.

I spent the next day walking the track at Relay for Life and received lots of donations from awesome family and friends!  I’m always blown away by the generosity.  But then again, cancer DOES suck – as I’ve been reminded of all too much recently.

Here is Nick and I, raising awareness for colon cancer.  Get it?

We had friends in town for the 4th of July, ate lots of food (we totally made pretzels, don’t be jealous), and even had time to throw a little baby shower!  It was a Kate Spade themed shower and I was really proud of it….but apparently took ZERO pictures.  Epic fail on my part.

This past week/weekend was spent in SLO for a wedding.  We took the long way home, up HWY1.  Driving it on a Friday was actually kinda relaxing.  We made an impromptu stop to see the elephant seals (highly suggest it if you’re ever in the neighborhood) and snapped a few of the Bixby bridge – it’s a thing.

And what’s up now?

  • Patiently awaiting the items I ordered from Nordstrom for their anniversary sale – seriously the best sale out there.  But I’d buy toilet paper from Nordstrom if they sold it.  Best customer service out there.
  • I’m not entirely sure how I ended up watching it, but Ladies of London is awesome.  Awesome in a totally trashy, I-feel-kinda-guilty-but-not-really sort of way.  It’s like real housewives, but in London.  Good thing we don’t have the “good” cable.  I can only watch when I’m on travel for work.
  • Started listening to Nick’s podcasts a few weeks ago and I totally learned some things.  That, and I had a long drive and it felt like he was in the car with me.  But seriously, he’s dishing some good info!

Happy Monday!

Fun Finds

We photographed a wedding over the weekend and we loved the favors/decor.  Friends of bride and groom own an etsy shop where they sell air plants in painted pots.  Simple yet chic (and tough to kill!).  You can find them here!

Air Plants I also got turned on to these fun, handmade, porcelain plates by Corbe Company.  They started out through a kickstarter campaign are now producing their state plates!  I’m always glad to come from a state whose shape transfers well to kitchen ware (I’m talking Washington).

ShopHeader_Fifty

WA_web

I’m assuming you can’t buy the full 50 and make a gigantic united states – although that would be pretty amazing!  And I think Hawaii could be tough – I see that one getting displayed incorrectly from time to time :)

This week and last

Things are getting crazy around these parts!

Between a dinner with friends, a wedding shower, an impromptu visit with my cousin and a few photo shoots, it’s been busy!

I got to snuggle this little 1 month old last week!  She passed out in my arms.  And then I got super warm from her body heat!

I helped put on a little shower for a friend getting married in August.  I was also pretty impressed with what you can do with black craft paper and chalkboard pens.

My cousin came to town, so Nick and I headed to the city for a little ferry building brunch – blue bottle coffee and some random snacks.

And then I spent a couple hours with one of my favorite dancers.

2014-Tory-0115

2014-Tory-0266-2-XL After looking at all of her gorgeous pictures, I proceeded to attempt my *best* arabesque in the living room mirror.  I was highly disappointed – need to manage my expectations a bit :)

Last Thursday was family night at the Livermore Rodeo, yes, we live in a cowboy town.  Family night = free, so we go on family night.  In addition to roping cattle, they also have magic carpet rides – where someone rides on a carpet getting pulled by a horse, and wild cow milking – where they lasso a cow and then someone comes and gets the cow in a head lock while the other one milks it – no joke.  The evening was capped off by a performance from a pink, glittery, horse-riding, drill team!  You literally cannot make this stuff up.

Friday night we helped some friends break in their new fire pit.

The original plan was to try something we’d seen online.  Where you make a toasted marshmallow “shot glass” and fill it with kahlua.  It sounded awesome.  But in reality, the kahlua to mallow ratio was too high, and the alcohol ate through the bottom of the mallow – so it got a little messy.  Instead, I filled mine with nutella.  Now THAT was amazing.

And today I’m off to England for the week.  A quick-ish work trip followed by the busiest weekend of my life (no joke).  I’ve refrained from caffeine for most of my life, always figuring there would come a day when I’d need to channel its powers.  And I’m pretty sure this weekend will be the one.  Jet lag + relay for life + 2 weddings + tickets to a show.  Oopsy!  If a candle had 3 ends, I’d be burning all of them.  Wish me luck and happy Monday!

Amazon wouldn’t let me post a review of Nick’s book

How rude!  And it wasn’t even an “OMG, this is the best book ever and I love it so much!” kind of a review.  I thought it was quite helpful.

Title: I was a little Skeptical
Stars: 5

“I’m married to Nick and he has me edit his books before they go live. He’d been talking about this book for months and I really couldn’t wrap my head around a book that wasn’t about vampires, wizards, muggles or precocious children in dystopian futures. I basically read for fun (although I’m trying to be better) and I wasn’t exactly excited to edit the book. I was very pleasantly surprised to find a handful of resources I could use for my own business (photography) and stopped editing numerous times to research some of the sites mentioned.

It’s easy to skim if you’re looking for help in a particular area, and there are cute, short anecdotes Nick adds to the more popular resources. I even made a cameo. Bonus points for him! I also found it helpful that each resource specifies if it’s free and if not, how much it costs. I’m not at the point where I can pay much for for these extra services, so it was great to have an easy filter right away.

It’s good. You’ll use it.”

It’s free the rest of the week.  So you really don’t have anything to lose!

 

Zoodles!

Zucchini noodles = zoodles

We try and stay away from carbs and gluten (but we do indulge in pizza and cake from time to time as well).  The one thing I miss is pasta.  This was a STAPLE during college and my early years in California.

I had been eying a spiralizer (yes, that’s what it’s called) on Amazon, when a friend mentioned she had just purchased one!  She said I could try it out before committing to my own (she actually said I could come over after work and spiralize whenever I wanted).  So last Friday I headed to her house with 6 zucchinis!  The results were a HIT!  And I purchased my own the next day.  If you’d like to try it, the recipe is below.

Bacon, Pesto Zoodles (I made it for some friends and the 6 of us gobbled it up as a side dish)

6 Zucchinis (mine were roughly 6″ long)
Salt
2-3 Tbs Pesto (I used the kind from TJs)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
8 strips of bacon
3 green onions
2 cloves garlic

1.  Spiralize the zucchinis (this is super quick with the spiralizer I used and subsequently purchased)
2.  Toss with 2-3 Tbs of salt and place in a colander, let sit for 15-20 min
3.  After 15-20 minutes, rinse thoroughly with water and “wring it out” – pick it up and squeeze the water out.  I also cut them in half/quarters with kitchen shears.
4.  Prep your bacon – however you like.  You want it crispy.
5.  Add 2 Tbs bacon fat to a pan, and toss with the garlic, pesto and zoodles!
6.  Add the tomatoes, bacon and green onions at the very end.
7.  Toss and serve!  Someone suggested serving it cold as a salad – I think that would also be delicious!

FYI – The amount of zoodles is VERY deceiving.  I thought 3 was plenty for 6 of us, and then I thought 6 was WAY more than enough.  But after you salt and squeeze, it looks like much less.  So go big.

 

 

Italian Baked Eggs

On Sunday, Nick decided to go to 7AM yoga.  When he left, Mochi decided it was time to get up.  So much for sleeping in :)

I decided I wanted something tasty for breakfast and a friend had recently posted a picture of her Italian baked eggs.  I googled Italian baked eggs and paleo (I was trying to be healthy) and found this recipe.  I adapted it a little and it came out great (by adapted, I really mean, I added cheese – which makes it non-paleo, but whatever, I really like cheese)!  Nick said he could have had more.  It sounds like it takes a lot of time, but it was honestly pretty quick.  Try it out and see what you think!

Italian Baked Eggs, adapted from Against All Grain

Some sort of sausage (I used some leftover brats we had in the freezer – this worked really well and I was able to thinly slice the brats to layer in the ramekins)Tomato – around 2 romas is the right amount
Spinach – around 1 handful, chopped

1/4 coconut milk
1.5 tsp tomato sauce/paste (I had leftover pizza sauce)
1 tsp almond meal
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pizza seasoning (oregano works fine too)
Mozzarella cheese, ~1tsp/ramekin
4 eggs

1.  Spray 4 ramekins with something to keep things from sticking (I use olive oil)
2. Layer the sausage, tomatoes and spinach in the ramekin.  I filled mine about 1/2 way up.
3. Combine the coconut milk, tomato sauce, almond meal, salt and pizza seasoning.
4. Divide evenly into the 4 ramekins and add the mozzarella
5. Bake for 10-15 min at 350
6. Remove from the oven, increase temp to 400 degrees. Add one egg to each ramekin and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes – you want solid whites and gooey yolks :)
7. I sprinkled fresh basil on top of ours for a little color and flavor.  Yum!

Cherry Picking and Travel

Well, it’s already Wednesday.  I’m pretty pumped and looking forward to a long weekend.

It’s been an exciting week over here!  We booked some travel for the fall.  Heading to Barcelona and Lisbon!  Want to come?  Any suggestions?  (I’m totally serious, if you want to join us on part or all of the trip, we’re always happy to have company!).

Then we went on our yearly trek to Brentwood for some cherry picking.  It’s probably my favorite fruit to pick.  Eye level, no thorns.

It took us under an hour to pick 9.5lbs.  Then we gave away around 2 lbs…..and now it’s Wednesday and we don’t have very many left.  We don’t fell sick, so I guess 3lbs of cherries per person is ok.  Cherries are delicious.  If you’re interested, you better act fast.  Cherry season is like 3 weeks long – if you’re lucky.  We went to Bloomfield Farms in Brentwood – but there are other farms as well (Nunn Better was also good).  Take the fam.

And I can’t forget my fancy eggs.  I’ve been addicted to farm fresh/pasture raised chicken eggs since I got some from my co workers.  Unfortunately, my co worker retired and moved to Idaho (along with his chickens!) – unfortunate for me, fortunate for him.  I was sad.  Then Costco started carrying eggs from pastured chickens.  So I bought a container – same price as 24 regular organic, brown eggs.  But that’s ok.  They taste amazing (especially soft boiled) and it’s better for the environment.  I read an article the other day about global warming and kinda freaked out a little.  One of the suggestions for improving the state of global warming was to buy more local produce/food.  So basically, my $0.50 egg is actually reversing the effects of global warming.  You can thank me later :)

PS we still bought our normal 24 back and I carried both of the containers into the house at the same time.  As I’m walking into the house, I looked at Nick and said, “ha, I’m literally carrying all of my eggs in one basket.”  That’s funny stuff people.