Monday, December 26, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lemon Braided Bread

If you love baking bread and sweet lemony goodness like I do; you must try this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I made it for Christmas breakfast and we can't stop ooooing and ahhhing over it. Wish you could smell how fragrant this is while it bakes, it is amazing. I can't wait to make it again with the same filling minus the lemon curd add raspberry jam! Yaozaa!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cookbook Love

My cup runneth over when it comes to Cookbooks. Some of you have seen my cookbook cabinet - it is insane. I must clean it out in 2012 and get rid of what I am not using (maybe I will post the giveaways and share them with you all - good idea?).
Can one really have too many cookbooks though? In my mind, the answer is a resounding NO. I guess as long as I am still making things out of them, I can keep them. I got the following books for Christmas this year.
I am so excited to read them all and I will take them in word for word like novels, slowly pouring over every recipe, going through all the prep in my mind and imagining the finished product and how it tastes. Looks like I have my reading cut out for me. Time to get out the tape flags so I can mark what I want to make.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You Ever Have Those Days...

Where you just want to stay in bed?
I was not feeling well this morning for various reasons and didn't get to work until 11 AM.
Now that my flannel Holiday sheets are on my bed, I don't want to get out from between the covers. Here I am lapping it up. Do you have a holiday set up for your bed? Do you think its too much?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread House

We had a Gingerbread House party today at the end of the work day. People that have kids, brought them to the office and everyone got to make a gingerbread creation out of the houses that a couple of my coworkers so lovingly assembled ahead of time. Basically, we all got to do the past part which is decorate the houses!

I made a Gingerbread Church with its own Priest!

Check it out...

Manic Monday

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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Emily!

Happy Birthday Emily!
I have been thinking a lot lately about family and children and as much as it makes me sad that I am unable to have children, I am so glad that I got to be the semi-second Mom to you. Who would have ever thought that the one shot I had at parenting would have been to my very own sister at such a young age? Though the length of my parental duties was short, the friendship I have with you is eternal. I love you more than anything I know.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear PWBIMJ,

Dear Person Who Broke Into My Jeep,
Thanks for starting my Monday morning off on a positive note (when I was already running late).
Thanks for emptying out my entire glove box and throwing it all over my car.
Thanks for not taking anything, I don't keep anything worth stealing in there anyway...duh!
Maybe the alarm wasn't on, maybe the drivers side door was open, I don't know but you didn't break a window and I appreciate that.
One thing I just want to know...why do you have to throw all of the contents of my glove box all over the car, can't you just look through and put it back like you found it?
Also...I have a car that is hard (I hope) to hot wire so after trying I would appreciate you putting the seat back the way it was; I couldn't even reach the pedals...you must have been a big son of a buck. I noticed you checked yourself out in the drivers side vanity mirror too and left it down...classy. I hope you think you looked good violating my personal property jackass.

Manic Monday

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

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dinner Rolls

I made these dinner rolls today to go with the pea soup I had cooking in my crock pot and they did not disappoint. I tweaked the recipe a bit and used almond milk* (we are not milk people) and they were terrific! These rolls take a while with the two rises, but are so worth it. My house smelled of fresh baked bread and once I split one open I was in heaven. The rich yeasty scent and fluffy insides lapped up butter like a kitten to milk.

I love that we had these rolls with the soup and for dessert with jam. I cut the recipe in half because having 30 of these around our house would not be good for anyone. I highly recommend these and would make them again in a second. Maybe next time the full recipe with half used for cinnamon rolls. Gulp.
* Did you know you can replace regular milk with soy or almond without and issue? Rice milk is a different story though, been there, done that, won't do it again.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

*{Fabulous Find}*


Have you tried these yet?

If not, I suggest immediately running to the closest Whole Foods Market (or your favorite store that may be cool enough to carry these) and pick up a bag. Actually, you should probably buy two because once you open them they will be gone. Sweet, salty and a little bit of peppermint...oh mamma, these are amazing.

Pretzel Crisps score again with these amazing little holiday treats.

Also available in dark chocolate - both for a limited time only.

Why are you still sitting there reading this?

Monday, December 05, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Long Weekend Recap

It all began with baking…isn’t that how every good time starts?


I made a pumpkin spice cake (recipe here) on Tuesday night along with 4 pastry crusts for pies so everything was ready for when my Mom and Dad arrived as my Mom is the pie master. We picked them up at the airport on Wednesday late morning and had a nice lunch and moved the party to my house where the baking continued. My Mom made a pumpkin, a pecan and an apple pie while I prepped the insides of the pies, she rolled out the crusts and put them together. When the pies were done we headed downtown to check them in to their hotel and off to dinner at Villa Romano for one of the best pizzas in town.


Thursday morning I rose early so I could make some cream cheese brownies and the frosting for the pumpkin spice cake. Once everything was done it was time to get ready and head down to Robin and Kenny’s for Thanksgiving Dinner and what a nice dinner it was. Two kinds of turkey (one roasted, one smoked), a ham and ALL the sides you could ever ask for. There were about 15 of us and we all sat down to eat together which was really nice and is really hard to pull off, so bravo to the Garrison’s as I know it was a lot of hard work. After the meal, there was football to be watched, dishes to be rinsed and desserts to be prepped. Kenny went all out and made a cheesecake that not only had a toffee bottom, but had pecan pralines and chocolate ganache on top! We carefully laid out the desserts under the watchful eyes of all the kids and dug right in. This was one of the best Thanksgivings I have had in California. Both the food and the fellowship were top notch.

Friday morning, I had an appointment to get my haircut so we took it kind of slow in the morning. After my haircut we went and picked up Mom and Dad at their hotel and hung out in my neighborhood. We had lunch at Liberty CafĂ© (great turkey cobb salad) and then went to my house to watch the Red Wings and Bruins game we recorded from earlier in the day. We all walked down to Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack for dinner, which was delicious as always.


Saturday (Tim’s Birthday!) we got an early start and drove up to Sterling Winery in the very north of the Napa Valley and rode the gondola through the trees up to the winery. The view was exceptional, the fall colors on the floor of the valley were like an autumnal patchwork quilt full of burnt red, deep mustard and everything in between. After the wine tasting we went to St. Helena to walk the shops and have lunch at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. We made a stop at the Bike Shop after lunch and our friend Brain was working so it was a nice surprise to see him and in his element (surrounded by bikes). After fighting the traffic during the long ride home I was wiped out so we called it a day.

Sunday I needed to rest a bit. I got my nails done in the morning and ran errands in the afternoon. Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner. We had Tim’s Birthday Dinner at Wayfare Tavern (Tyler Florence’s restaurant). It was amazing to say the least. We are so lucky to live in the Bay Area, a food mecca. I swear every time my parents come to visit, we have a list of places we have to go and eat. This meal was one of the best I have had in a long time, from the hot popovers once we were seated and the handcrafted cocktails to the sweet ending to the meal. Top notch.

Mom and Dad flew home on Monday morning and I went back to work, ready to start another week. It was a such a nice visit and a great Thanksgiving. Hope you all had a great holiday weekend as well.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

German Flag Cake

I made this cake for my dear friend Erika and her husband David. David is in the military and they are moving to Germany as part of his service. We will miss them terribly. Since we met they have been in California, Guam, Italy, back to California and now Germany. They are globe trotters for sure and we wish them all the best in the world and really hope to visit them in Germany while they are there.
Let me preface these photos by saying...these are not stylized shots and they aint pretty. What I do love about them is the patiently waiting childrens hands in the photo before the cake was cut. Simple cake to make, you just have to be patient making three seperate layers of cake (unless you use a mix, which I did not) - I made a layer of each; basic yellow cake, red velvet and chocolate fudge. The yellow didn't rise to the occasion like the other layers, but it is home made and imperfections make it all the better if you ask me.
The chocolate frosting was the best I have ever made, simple and so delicious!
Here is the recipe...


  • 1.5 (3/4 Cup) sticks of Butter (softened)

  • 10 Tbls Evaporated Milk

  • 2 Tbls Vanilla

  • 1 Cup Unsweetend Cocoa Powder

  • 6 Cups Powdered Sugar

Sift sugar and cocoa together and set aside.
Beat sugar until fluffy and slowly add dry mixture alternating with milk until well blended. Add vanilla and beat together one more time.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Foo Fighters

If you are ever looking for a ROCKIN' concert experience, I highly recommend going to see the Foo Fighters. After being very spoiled a couple years ago and scoring tickets to see them in a High School Auditorium acoustically I didn't know if anything could top it. This didn't top it, but it was right up there for sure. Dave and the guys played for close to 3 hours without any significant breaks. The night was topped off with a 5 song encore that started with an acoustic session with just Dave and his guitar. For two old ladies, Wendy and I did pretty good and even made it to work the next day which was yesterday, I was so tired I couldn't post (ha ha!). Anyway, Dave Grohl, if you are reading this, and you must be right? Thanks for a great night and we love you! Keep the music coming and we will keep rockin.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Doors of Hydra

Organizing my photos from my trip to Hydra.
Love all the blue...I think we could all use a little more blue in our lives.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home

I'm home, I'm tired.
More later this week.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Athens Part 2

Yesterday was a great day in Athens, well at least the second half...I slept the first half. I think changing the travel arrangements, waiting anxiously to get to Athens, etc. wore me out.
We all met up for lunch at our hotel around 1:30 PM - Robin and Kenny both went to the Acropolis in the morning. After lunch and a quick nap we headed over to the New Acropolis Museum which was incredible. It just opened in 2009 and is amazing...I cannot believe how old the pieces are and the structure itself is pretty cool as well, basically emulating the Parthenon and when it gets dark, the reflection on the windows really gives you an idea of what it was like to see it back in the day. Kenny counted the columns of the Parthenon and the columns in the museum and put it all together, pretty cool. I highly recommend this museum to anyone traveling to Athens, it will blow your mind. At night, even after it is closed, you can see the statues on the glassed in 4th floor. After the museum (we were there for about 3 hours), it was dinner time so we went to a nice traditional restaurant with music and dancing. I can't get enough spinach pie so I ordered it yet again and had giant beans, saganaki (sp) and stuffed grape leaves. I am packing in all the Greek food I can before I leave, that is for sure.
Today we are headed to the Ancient Agora this morning and then the National Archeological Museum - both of these things are two highlights I missed on my last trip to Athens and I am super excited to check them out. Later this afternoon/evening we will all head to our hotel close to the airport as we have early morning flights and the hotel has a free airport shuttle. I need to head to the airport at 3 AM believe it or not, but I am not complaining, I am ready for my own bed and some Mexican food at this point. Maybe an update later before I head home.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Athens

We made it to Athens all safe and sound. We took a water taxi from Hydra across to the Peloponnese and had a driver waiting there for us in a fat Mercedes taxi that comfortably took us to Athens (about 2.5 hours). Our cab driver was the best, pointing out things and stopping mid way for coffee and spinach pie. When we entered Athens our driver told us that Thursday (the bad riot day) no one could get into Athens, so it was good we decided to come here when we did. Our hotel is very nice and situated in walking distance to the ancient sites, the New Acropolis Museum and the Plaka which is all you really need in Athens if you ask me. We have rooms with super soft beds, which is a nice change from the planks we all slept on at the house in Hydra. All was quiet here yesterday and everything is supposed to be mellow today as well so we are optimistic going into the weekend and are praying that Sunday is ok and we can get a cab to our hotel by the airport and our early morning flights on Monday are not disrupted. I slept in today and am just hanging out at the hotel until I feel like getting moving. Having been to the Acropolis before it is not a must see while I am here (although it feels like it should be). We can see it from the roof of our hotel, not the same, I know, but with limited time here and being pretty exhausted I am spending my time wisely and doing only what I want. From what I hear, Kenny took off early this morning to conquer the ancient sites and take photos - he is super excited as it is dream of his to see all of this. It is pretty overwhelming when you think about how old these things are, pretty darn cool. I would like to hit the New Acropolis museum next to our hotel before we leave and that is about all I have on my list before we head out. Maybe the Ancient Agora as well. We will see.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One More Update...

So, ferry strike is now for 48 more hours and we are unsure if we can even leave the island on Sunday so with that said and with the help of some very nice people here (one from Texas, but has lived here for 25 years) we are taking a water taxi across to the Peloponnese followed by the most expensive cab ride ever to our hotel in Athens. Hanging in Athens until flight time on Monday. Please pray that we are safe and can get home soon and our flights are still running on Monday. We may have to stay in the hotel the entire time in Athens but we are getting closer to getting home. Hopefully we will have internet access at the hotel.

Will report back when I can.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Few More Days

Well, strikes have extended 48 more hours so I am missing my flight out of here and we are unable to leave Hydra until at least Friday. We will see. Hoping to get a flight back to the states on Monday. Thank you to Wendy (for watching out for me), Mom (for calling Dr. Const, ha ha!) and Deb (for all of my travel). Most of all, Thank You God for forcing me to take a couple more days off, it is beautiful here and we are able to stay in the house since no new guests can arrive and we can't leave.
Love you all.

Amy...rigamarole.
Angela...Kalle Nita.
Tim...I love you!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

M.I.A. - sort of....

No internet at our house any longer, which has forced us to really check out.
Anyway, no Manic Monday post this week since I do not have one prepared.
On the island for one more day due to strikes of every kind so back to Athens on the 19th instead of the 18th. We will see what happens with my trip back home. I may have to stay here forever...
I will try and update when we get to Athens, but we may not stay there long due to lots of civil unrest. I have a feeling no Acropolis this time and I just hope I can get out and get some sandals. Priorites people... Ha!
Yassas.
XO.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Happy Birthday BayLee

You know what happens to couples that don't have kids?
They celebrate their pet's Birthday's.
Happy 6th BayLee - Jump for Joy!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Saturday, October 01, 2011

KIND Food Truck in SF!

Each month, KIND challenges its community to carry out a specific act of kindness (KINDING Mission) on the first Tuesday of the month. This month, KIND challenges residents of San Francisco to send a thoughtful note or email to a woman who has impacted their life.

If-and-only-if enough people sign up to complete this KINDING Mission (click here ->KINDING Mission), KIND pays it forward with a BIG KIND Act for a local community in need (similar to Groupon - but for good!). This month, KIND will team up with National Breast Cancer Foundation to hand deliver care packages to women undergoing radiation and chemotherapy at a local hospital, bringing them comfort and support during their courageous struggle.


Here are the details:

The KIND Food Truck will be parked on 333 Market Street between Front and Beale from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM and will also be parked at the San Francisco MOMA (Third Street between Howard and Mission) between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. At the truck we will provide thoughtful note cards that can in turn be filled out and given to a woman who inspires you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Manic Monday

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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Taste of Greece

The food fest weekend continued today with the Taste of Greece festival at the Annunciation Cathedral on Valencia Street. The Greeks are a lot like the Maltese, they love to eat and dance and today was full of both. Our friend the sun actually came out as well, which lead us to stay outside at the festival for almost 4 hours. The great part was...there was plenty of tables and chairs set up inside and outside for everyone who wanted to sit and enjoy the music and dancing.
The food was incredible, I didn't expect anything less. I had spanakopita, dolmades and roasted potatoes with ice cold Mythos. Tim had pastitsio and souvlaki.
We sat and basked in the warmth of the sunshine and enjoyed every bite. The live music was great as well as the dancing, there were troops of all ages, but I liked the kids the best. Everyone stopped what they were doing and gathered when the kids started dancing.
Here is a sneak peak...

After the dancing and people watching, it was time for dessert (Galaktoboureko, Baklava and Anise Biscotti) and coffee all followed by a bus ride home.

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