Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Love is in the Air

I caught this moment on film last week....
Are they or aren't they?

PS - Doesn't this Chard look incredible? I got some in my CSA produce box last week! Unadulterated of course!

Little Boy Blue

I seriously could not even get BayLee's bed fluffed up for him and ready for his day of napping fast enough this morning. Once it touched the bed, he was on it kneading it like a ball of dough, once he got settled, this is what I get for fluffing it up for him...the ignore, back turned and blinders on! How's that for Thank You.
My Mom always said, "you haven't been ignored until you have been ignored by a cat".

Monday, March 30, 2009

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Feeling Crabby

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Girl and Her Dog

Mid 70's here today and yesterday and loving it.
I took these photos Thursday at lunch of my friend Wendy and her dog Daisy and I am thrilled with the way they came out. Daisy is usually scared of the camera, but with me being at a distance and her not knowing I was shooting, it all worked out. I love when people (and animals) don't know you are taking their photo, they are so natural and are just "in the moment". I don't know if you can see it, but in the photo where Wendy is kissing Daisy her eyes are closed, it is so sweet, I almost cried when I loaded these not knowing what I had really captured.

Thanks Wendy and Daisy for letting me shoot away the other day. Hope you don't mind me sharing with my readers.

The Bee's Knees

Spring has sprung and here is my first bee photo of the season...

Anyone ever wonder where the phrase "bee's knees" came from? Here is a little explanation from various sources on the Internet.

A bee's "corbiculae", or pollen-baskets, are located on itstibiae (mid-segments of its legs). The phrase "the bee's knees",meaning "the height of excellence", became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s.

Me + Avedano's = LOVE

We have a great local market by my house called Avedano's and I have to admit, I have been in there three times this week! It all started with the Panini's Tim and I had for lunch on Sunday. Everything is locally produced and simply amazing. They have rare and amazing produce right now like Sea Beans and Raw Garbanzo Beans. Customer service in this store is incredible and the people that work there are super cool and always willing to let you try things before you buy them. After trying raw garbanzos for the first time in the store I bought about a 1/2 pound of the beans, peeled them and used them in a pasta dish and it was simply fabulous.

My pasta dish contained, locally hand made cheese tortellini (from Avedano's), organic green garlic, organic asparagus and the raw garbanzo's - all tossed together with olive oil and topped with pecarino romano. Yummmm...I want some right now!

Check out Avedano's when you can, these are some busy and very inspiring ladies for sure and I love supporting them.

From the Avedano's website...

"Each of the owners brings a unique set of skills to the table. Tia, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Sociale in Presidio Heights, is the in-house butcher. In addition to trimming meats, she creates the rotating menu of seasonal prepared foods that are available for take-out. Melanie, who also works with Tia at Sociale, is responsible for procuring many of the hard-to-find products offered in the market. An entrepreneur and a former cook, Angela brings back of the house and management experience to the day-to-day operations of the business and also serves as the bookkeeper."

PS - Don't EVEN get me started about the grey salt carmels I got them for dessert and loved them so much I opened the wrappers back up an hour later and made sure to lick all of the sticky goodness off of them!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mascara Mayhem Part II

My quest continues for the perfect lash, I have decided to add a few new reviews to my mascara mayhem post from back in 2006 - here is the link, pretty funny post I reread it yesterday and had a giggle. I was funny back in those days, or at least I think I was.
Again, I will review the products from left to right and then reveal my favorite.

Cover Girl Volume Exact - Cover Girl does it again, with the same applicator as my beloved Lash Exact mascara, please...did the original inventor of this wand get an award or perhaps a Nobel Peace Prize for mellowing out the mascara mavens of the world that were in search of the best applicator? This formula works about the same as the lash exact which I love, I didn't see a real volume increase, my lashes were a little thicker, but no curl or lift. Still smudge proof, still a great price, but I prefer the Lash Exact, this one was a little too thick for my taste.

Bare Essentials Buxom Lash - Looks like someone took the applicator from Cover Girl and added some curves by cinching it a little in the middle. This slightly hourglass shaped wand is like a Lash Louis Leakey meaning it discovered the missing link! It made the connection between my lids and the tips of my lashes and along the way unearthed lashes that I didn't even know existed, some were hidden for decades because they were either too light in color or got clumped together with the others, not ever getting to be an individual until now. Suddenly they were all standing tall on the tips of my lids all fanned and curled waiting to be batted at someone - more often than not, that someone is me in the mirror (...how you doin'?). The curves on the brush really work and the no clump applicator is a bonus in my book. It also is free of the following junk: - Parabens- Sulfates- Synthetic Fragrances- Synthetic Dyes- Phthalates which I super love!

L'Oreal Bare Natural Mascara - I liked the thought of this 86% natural-origin ingredients. I also liked the tortoise shell like packaging separating itself from the other plain packages. I was so ready to love this mascara, but it did not perform as expected. It takes a while to dry and the brush is too spread apart for my bunched together lashes, therefore resulting in groups of lashes stuck together leaving me looking like Twiggy (eh hem, that is, only in the lash area). No clumps or chunks left behind and it is super light weight. I just don't have time to put this mascara on, finish getting ready while trying not to blink because of the wet factor and then have to go back and comb and separate afterwards. Not for this gal!

Too Faced Lash Injection - Bought a sample/travel size of this last year and LOVED it. I really thought this was it. It did my lashes right, evenly coated them and left them flexible and not too stiff like some of the others. Lifted and separated like a Wonderbra for your lashes. I quickly ran out of it and decided to get the regular size since it was a hit. When I tried it the next day, it wasn't the same. Something had happened. I like the brush in the smaller size. The larger wand looked the same, not sure what went awry, but this wasn't the same as what I had used before. I ended up using it but had to comb my lashes afterwards to keep them from caking together, think pound cake, not angel food cake. Back to the drawing board.

Bare Essentials Buxom Lash! Move over Lash Exact, there is a curvier wand in town! It is twice the price of the Lash Exact but well worth the splurge if you ask me. I am strictly a mascara and lip gloss gal so my cosmetic expenses are not too high compared to some other made up ladies. I keep my costs down by waxing my own brows and doing my own manicures and pedicures as well. I believe it is important to take time for yourself and take care of yourself, it means so much more I think than having someone else do it, although it is nice once in a blue moon.

I said it once and I will say it again, work what your Momma gave you and play it up. If you want your lashes the length of Lana's or the height of Hayworth's, you might just have to buy some and stick them on.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cookies and Quiche!

photo: Martha Stewart

I made these Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Apricots and White Chocolate yesterday from Martha Stewart and they were fabulous!
I didn't use butter, sometimes that makes them spread out too much, I used the Whole Foods Market 365 vegetable shortening instead and they came out great, chewy and not too cakey.

photo: Martha Stewart

For dinner I made this Asparagus Leek and Gruyere Quiche , again, from Martha. It was deeeeelish. I need a deeper pie pan though as the entire mixture did not fit in the pan. Next time I will have a ramekin ready for the extra. I altered this a little too and made it with less fat by swapping the half and half for nonfat milk. You could also use egg beaters in place of the eggs.

PS - Martha, if you are reading (I know you are right?), I am sorry that I alter your recipes, they are just to rich for me. Don't gasp too hard, but I have turned a lot of your recipes into vegan, yes vegan recipes. Thanks for providing the framework for me.

*Fabulous Find*

These headbands at Target!

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Super Love Cher

Just watched the biography of Cher on A&E (this wasn't the first time I had seen this). After watching I immediately went on to the Internet to see how much tickets are to her farewell tour. I would literally fly to Vegas after work, see the show, stay near the airport overnight and fly back the next day and go back to work if I could swing it. The last show is at the end of April and I want to see it so bad!
Funny story is that I have the Best of Cher CD in my car and last time Tim's parents were here his Dad wanted to listen to it!

While online, I found this and had to "Cher" it with you...
You know, EVERYONE has a theme song, you know, a tune that plays when you enter a room and want to make a statement? Mine is "Half Breed" by Cher. I will never tire of that song.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Date Night

Tuesday night Tim and I went on a date and it was incredible. We met in Berkeley and started our night out with dinner at the Sunrise Deli in Berkeley - falafel, schwarma, fattosh, hummus, tabouli and well, you get the point. From there we took a little walk down to Urban Outfitters to check out what they had, I got a new coffee cup for my office.

After stashing my new mug safely in the car, we went to have some ice cream and walked around the campus before the concert started.

The concert was AMAZING to say the least. We were both completely blown away. I wasn't sure if Tim was going to be into it since my love affair with Arabic music started about 15 years ago and is still going strong. The music generally starts with the eerie sound of violins and then tapers off a bit and percussion enters and the rest is like a tennis match of constant volleying between strings and flutes and percussion - a playful banter back and forth and then finally coming together and just blowing your mind. My favorite Arabic singer is Fairouz, she is known the world over and has the voice of an angel. There was a singer there from Lebanon that sounded just like her, it sort of freaked me out and made me tear up a bit as well. It was a great night. We both loved it and would see it again in a heartbeat.

Here is more information on the concert:

Celebrating the Golden Age of Arab Music Aswat (Voices)

Simon Shaheen, artistic director, oud, & violin Featuring Ibrahim Azzam, Sonia M'barek,Khalil Abonula, Rima Khcheich, and The Aswat Orchestra

The period from the 1920s to the 1950s was a golden age of song throughout the Arab world, when many of the region's greatest vocalists and composers reached unprecedented heights of artistry and stardom. Now Simon Shaheen, one of today's leading Arab composers and multi-instrumentalists, recreates this magical era with a multimedia experience of historical depth and lasting emotional impact, working with a traditional orchestra and some of the leading singers in the Arab world today, including Ibrahim Azzam of Palestine, Sonia M'barek of Tunisia, Khalil Abonula of Palestine, and Rima Khcheich of Lebanon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's day all the Irish give
Three cheers for the banner of Erin's isle
For her golden harp and shamrock green
And the maid that's a coming through the style

Monday, March 16, 2009

Manic Monday

In the spirit of St. Patricks Day...
If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
St. Patty's Day

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Week's Menu

OK, this post is for Angela - I am ALWAYS trying to plan meals like her, so here it is.
Thanks for the inspiration.

Monday - Yellow Veggie and Shrimp Curry with Jasmin Rice
Tuesday - date night, Concert at UC Berkeley - dinner TBD
Wednesday - Mixed Vegetable Soup with Biscuits
Thursday - Baked Chicken with Mixed Veggies (produce box night)
Friday - Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Sauteed Greens
Saturday - Salmon baked in parchment (with garlic and olive oil) with leek and carrot couscous

Let's see if I can stay on track this week.
I am hoping that by putting this out there, I will stick to it.

*Fabulous Find*

I have been looking at Fashion Magazines and all of the sandals for this summer are so cute! Many of them have been knocked off and are being sold at Target for under $25! No, they are not all leather and they may only last you one summer season, but if you want a few different styles for the price you would pay for one of the original styles, check em out.
PS - The yellow sandals above were in the March Vogue magazine, they were listed by the manufacturer, but after some research I found them with the Mossimo label on them. They come in many colors.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

*Fabulous Find*

I super love Sharpie pens and this one is top notch and fancy!
They are refillable and not too expensive at about $9.00.
Maybe one day I will have one in my pencil case.
You can find them at amazon.com for those of you who who can't live without one.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Random Acts of Art

Sometimes my work makes me a little crazy and I need to take time away from my desk to indulge myself with a random act of art. What can you make in a office you may ask...well, give me a stapler and a catalog or magazine and I can make you one of these in about 7 minutes. Just making this calmed me down pretty fast, just needed a creative break from my non-creative job.

I think these would look really cool hanging at different lengths over a craft party table.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My new favorite snack

I had to show you a photo of my new favorite snack!
So easy to make and cheaper than purchasing individual containers of yogurt PLUS less waste!
I enjoy the tartness of plain yogurt and like to sweeten it myself with honey so I can somewhat control the sugar content.
Let me break it down:

In a clean jelly jar add in the following order:

  • 1/2 Cup of Plain Yogurt (low fat, non-fat or whatever you want)
  • Drizzle of honey - as much or as little as you like, you do like honey don't you?
  • Small handful of frozen blueberries or fresh if they are in season and affordable
  • Enough yogurt to cover the berries - 1/4 cup or so
  • Few more berries on top, so you have a pleasant view when you open it at snack time.

The frozen berries will thaw by the time you eat this and will also help to keep it cold if you are out and about. The honey gets a little thick and sticks to the spoon but I super love it!


Monday, March 09, 2009

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
frilly fun

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Great Creative Space

I just saw these photos on the blog All Sorts and I love this space!
I love taking a sneak peak into other people's creative spaces.
This one is just fantastic. Check out the All Sorts blog, Jenny (the author) is a wonderfully talented creator of all things fun, she is an illustrator and red and blue lover!

Great Idea

While reading the blog "Lostfoot" today, I came across this post.
Ali is offering people who comment something she made for free. This secret item will be based on what she has learned about you from your blog.
I am super excited and being part Native American, I had to offer her a trade so I am going to make her something too!
Oh how fun it will be to get something in the mail from Scotland!
Thanks Ali, for your comments and this idea, I love it!

When Life Gives You Lemons

Yesterday, Tim and I went down to San Jose to hang out at Robin and Kenny's house. When we were there a couple weeks ago, I picked some lemons but left them behind. Yesterday it was our mission (mine and Robin's) to pick as many as we could and juice them and freeze the juice so it wouldn't go to waste. We picked 4 bags full...
and made 46 Cups of Lemon Juice! We did about 6 batches like the one below.

After our work was done, we measured and bagged the lemon juice and put it in the freezer to use throughout the year. I took home 12 cups to make lemonade, lemon cake, lemon muffins, lemon sorbet and whatever else lemon you can think of.

While us girls were working on juicing the guys went to the store and came back and started barbecuing for dinner. They made ribs, brisket and tri-tip all slow roasted throughout the afternoon. Kenny made homemade BBQ sauce which was killer. I baked a lemon yogurt cake for dessert. Friends (Kim and Gary) and neighbors (Andy and Laura) came over and we had a feast for dinner (by the way, there were veggies too!).
Check out the spread:

It was an awesome day! Thanks Robin and Kenny for your hospitality and to everyone else for your contributions to the wonderful dinner - Laura, great salad and Kim, the onion rings were fabulous!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spring Forward!

Don't forget to move your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed tonight as Daylight Savings Time starts at 2 AM tomorrow morning.
This is also a great time to change the batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors around the house. Make this a habit every time the time changes and you will always be protected.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

*Fabulous Find*

Just saw these in the At West End catalog and think they are super cute! I might have to get one for my coffee table!
Photo: At West End

Monday, March 02, 2009

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Color Blast

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Keeping House

I am not a neat freak at all, I don't obsess over the details around the house, as a matter of fact, I am a mess. I have piles of magazines everywhere, craft supplies usually on the kitchen table and enough stuff on my coffee table to entertain us for an entire weekend without getting up from the couch (remotes, books, magazines, bag of nuts, pen, paper, headphones, phone, cell phones, laptop and a candle and matches). I do like things clean, but they don't have to be organized or picked up, does that make sense? I would rather have a pair of clean shoes on the floor than a pair caked with mud on them on the floor. We don't wear shoes in the house, but that is a good example of what I am getting at.
There is one thing that I have to have nice and organized at all times and that is the cabinet where I keep my dishes and glassware. It has to be neat and clean and at the ready for impromptu entertaining - or just for me and Tim. Unlike some people, I don't have things I only use for guests and on holidays (except for my Christmas dishes which are in stoage during the off-season) I use all my stuff all the time. I have a silver plated serving dish I use at home for snacks in front of the television and antique painted metal trays I serve dinner on when we eat in the living room (more often that at the dinner table these days). I have a small collection of vintage Pyrex glass bowls that I use for everything from rising dough to washing produce in. In my eyes these are just material things that come into our lives and we can't leave with them when we go, so why not use them? Funny, I was just saying this same thing to a friend the other day when she mentioned losing things throughout life that she would like to have now. It has happened to all of us so my recommendation is, take photos of your favorite pieces (no matter their worth) and enjoy using them while you have them. The photos will help you not to forget them and may even bring back memories of what was served on or in them. I had to take a photo of my colorful latte bowls because one broke recently, one is chipped up pretty bad and one has a crack. Some day they won't be here anymore, but I love them, use them for everything and am enjoying them while I can in case they can't be replaced.

PS - Had to add a photo of the inside of my cabinet door, because it makes me happy!


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