Because Halloween Deserves Two Posts

I'm not dressing up for Halloween tonight but I couldn't let the day pass without showing you my fave costume thus far.  My first year living in California, I decided to be a pot brownie.  Seemed appropriate...

What was your fave Halloween costume?

Weekend Snippets {vol. 15}

Happy Halloween lovelies!!!  I can't wait to see what you all did for Halloween (or are planning to do!).  I also can't wait to see kids roaming around in their crazy costumes.  I wish I lived in a place where I would get trick-or-treaters but I just don't think that will happen in my apartment building.

We spent the weekend in L.A. for Fanny and Nabil's wedding.  Fanny is French, which means all her super-cool French friends and family were there, too.  After a few glasses of wine, I started to feel like I was almost cool enough to be French.  I spent my time shaking like a crazy fool showin' off my sweet moves on the dance floor.  I tried to leave the picture-taking to the people getting paid but still couldn't resist snapping a few pics on the good ol' phone.

Nabil and Fanny had a digital photo booth at the wedding.  Photo booths at weddings are the best idea ever.  They can teach us so much about ourselves in such a short amount of time.  For example, I learned that I need to work on having more variety in my facial expressions.  The Boyfriend, on the other hand, is a photo booth pro.

We had a little L.A. celebrity siting, too.  James Marsden was staying at our hotel.  I wasn't really sure who he was until I looked him up.  You might know him - he was in 27 Dresses, Enchanted (yes, I totally saw that movie), X-Men, and probably some other stuff I don't remember.  The Boyfriend jokingly asked me Saturday morning to describe James Marsden to him in case we saw him hanging out in the lobby.  Like I said, we were joking.  We didn't actually expect to see him hanging out in the hotel lobby.  But when we went downstairs, guess who came walking by with a handful of Starbucks?  One of the receptionists leaned over and whispered to the other at almost the same time that I leaned over and whispered to The Boyfriend, that's him ... that's James Marsden!  That guy must leave a trail of whispers everywhere he goes.

The WB lot was just a block away from our hotel.  We tried to sneak on but it's surrounded by a giant ivy-covered wall with barbed electrical wire across the top.  Not worth it.  But I did manage to squeeze my arm through the gate and snap an awesome shot of the WB alley!

So what did y'all do this weekend?


Thursday Randoms

Hello everyone!  You may have noticed total radio silence on my end this week.  I've been spending most of my free time working on a little project.  It's coming along nicely so keep an eye out for a big announcement next week!

I have some fun randomness for you today.  First of all, in thinking about all the glorious things I love about Fall, I totally forgot about pomegranates!!  I adore this fruit.  It's kind of a workout to get all the seeds but it is well worth the effort.  Those edible little rubies are the perfect blend of sweet and tangy.

My friend Ali made homemade pumpkin fudge truffles this week.  Yes, you read that right.
Pumpkin fudge.
Also known as "a dream come true."

This guy is the most patient little bird I've ever met.  We went for a hike over the weekend then sat down for a picnic afterwards.  This little guy sat a few feet away just watching.  He never came to our table and never tried to swipe any crumbs.  As soon as we left, he made his move.  Lucky for him, I left a couple seeds from my trail mix under the bench.

Now that I think about it, these photos aren't so random after all - they all have something to do with food!!  Surprise surprise.


Fab Friday's Fancies | Think Pink

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, this week's Friday's Fancies theme is Think Pink.  When I saw this vintage dress on etsy last week, I fell in love and pinned it pronto.  I knew there'd be a need for it in my not-so-distant future and, lo and behold, just a few days later I found out the Think Pink theme.  Well, I had to use the dress for that!  I'm not too crazy about the pink bow belt so I'm replacing it with a modern leather bow.  Add in some Louboutins, sparkly earrings, and a classic black clutch and you've got the perfect cocktail/wedding/gallery opening/any special event outfit.

1. Vintage pink cocktail dress
2. Leather sash
3. Kate Spade clutch
4. La Fenice earrings
5. Christian Louboutin pumps

Happy Weekend!!!


Totally Rad!

Totally Rad just recently released their newest fun photog toy - Rad Lab.  Rad Lab allows you to retouch images much faster than running actions or doing random "stuff" in Photoshop (which I totally do when I'm stumped).  And now you can get a free 30-day trial to test it out for yourself.  I used it on the photo below (plus a whole bunch of others) to warm up the colors and make 'em pop just a little bit.  It was super easy and took just a couple minutes.  Basically, you scroll through the Stylets till you find the one you want and just click!  It's really that simple.  If you wanna get a little creative, you can combine multiple Stylets to create a specific recipe and apply it to multiple shots.  I created a recipe after editing the photo below then applied it to a number of the other outdoor shots for a consistent editing style.  

My only complaint is that, so far, a lot of the Stylets look awfully similar.  And for some reason, Boutwell Magic Glasses II doesn't seem to change anything in my photos.  That being said, I had to think hard about what the cons were with this product.  Generally speaking, Rad Lab is totally rad!



For this particular image, I used Oh Snap at 70% and Warm It Up, Kris at 60%.  I then ran My Four Hens Glimmer action and adjusted the various layers before flattening.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with final product.  If you have PhotoShop and want a quick and easy way to make your photos pop, I highly recommend downloading the Rad Lab trial and test driving it for yourself.


Booties & Piggies

I bought some new booties while I was in San Francisco.

I think Molly approves.

What a little fashionista.



Weekend Snippets {vol. 14}

Happy Monday everyone!  This weekend flew by far too quickly.  Can we just make Monday an official weekend day already?  I know everyone would be happy with this so what's the hold up?

I had to go into work at 9am on Saturday so I pretty much only had one day off.  But we made the most of it!  When I got to SF Saturday night, The Boyfriend had a beautiful pink and yellow bouquet of flowers waiting for me.  I went through a phase in college where I thought flowers were so overrated b/c they just die after a few days.  That was a very short-lived phase!  I love me some fresh flowers and nothing makes me smile faster than getting a thoughtful bouquet from The Boyfriend.
We then went out to a lovely dinner with my Law Ladies (aka my awesome female law school friends).  Seven of them ran the Nike Women's Marathon/Half Marathon yesterday so we had a nice "carb up" dinner in North Beach the night before the race.  Big plates of lobster ravioli, spaghetti with clams, mushroom tortellini ... nom nom nom ....  I was so caught up in our hilarious conversation that I didn't even think to take pictures of the food!

I spent most of Sunday morning with the windows open, birds singing outside, and a homemade latte in hand while editing photos.  It was nothing short of glorious.  We then headed out for a big celebration - The Boyfriend's great-uncle turned 90!!!  We were in charge of the balloons so got to I walk around SF like this:

This is only a small sampling of the massive bunch of balloons I was carrying.  PS - aren't those recycling bins lovely? :)
Despite having to work, it turned out to be a pretty lovely weekend.  Still, I'm looking forward to the next time I get two full days off (or three ... even better!).

How about you?  Did you all have a lovely weekend, too?

Oh, PS - Super big congrats to my beautiful friend Vic who accomplished her life goal of completing a marathon yesterday!!  You totally earned that Tiffany necklace, girl.


Jersey Shore

I think I killed a book last night.  Anyone else?

Happy Weekend!!!


Awkward & Awesome Thursday

-- For some reason, I can't always comment on blogs from my work comp.  I've been found out.
-- Molly doesn't workout with me anymore.  Instead, she sits under the futon and just watches me.  It's a little weird but also just a little bit cute.
-- I told my boss a cheesy joke today.  He did not appreciate it.  This is basically how it went down:

Me: Hey!  You wanna hear a joke?
Boss: Sure.
Me: What do you call a cow with no legs?  
Boss: What?
Me: Ground beef!
Boss: You should work on your level of sophistication.

-- A little girl at the grocery store almost crashed into me with her cart.  Right as I was about to give her the evil eye, she says, "Ooh, your hair is so pretty!!"  Girl knows her audience.
-- Chocolate chip cookies always make the day better.
-- All the new lovely faces popping up around here!  A few more followers have joined Big Mario Life recently so I just wanted to say, Welcome!!!  Can't wait to get to know you a little better. :)

Cookies!!!!  Nom nom nom...




I've been pinning lots of pretty pictures to Pinterest lately.  I just can't help myself.  Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest??

Via my Pinterest boards


Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato basil soup is my all-time favorite soup.  Any time the little cafe in my building has that as the soup du jour, I always get a bowl.  Well, I got a little tired of waiting for them to add it to the menu so I figured out how to make it myself.  Let me tell ya, this is a thousand times better than any tomato basil soup I've had in a restaurant!  And it's much healthier, too.  I didn't use any cream yet the final product was thick and smooth and all sorts of awesomeness.  If you try this recipe, you have to let me know what you think!

What You Need:
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion
2 carrots
1 red Italian pepper
6-7 large, vine-ripened tomatoes (I used 7, plus some little pear tomatoes I had in the fridge)
2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on your preference
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. tomato paste
10 or so basil leaves, chopped up
1 tsp. of sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

What To Do:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions and carrots.  Cook until tender, roughly 10-12 minutes.  (Note, if you chopped them into smaller pieces they'll cook faster.)
2. Add the garlic and Italian pepper and cook for another minute or two.  If you want the soup to be spicy, use two or three peppers instead of just one.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, and broth.  Stir, then add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bring the soup to a boil then let it simmer with the lid off for about half an hour.
5. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Serve and enjoy!!

Tip: I added a little dollop of low-fat sour cream to ours.  It was the perfect little touch without making the soup too heavy.  You can also try sprinkling some Parmesan or Reggiano cheese, too.



Weekend Snippets {vol. 13}

Happy Monday!  Did y'all have a good weekend?  We basically ate the weekend away.  It was awesome!  I made tomato basil soup for dinner Friday (I'll post the recipe tomorrow) and some grown-up grilled cheese.  The sandwich was basically goat cheese, asparagus, and roasted red peppers on grilled sourdough.  So yummy!  Then we had a pumpkin pancake breakfast not once, but twice.  Saturday and Sunday!  And, of course, I forgot to take a photo on Saturday.  No big deal.  I'll just take one Sunday, right?  Well I got about halfway through yesterday's breakfast before I remembered so this is the best I could do.  Don't worry, though.  I'm sure we'll be having those for breakfast again soon.  If you live near a Trader Joe's, I highly recommend the pumpkin pancake mix!

We caught a double feature Saturday night.  Moneyball and 50/50.  You guys.  I cried so many times during 50/50.  It was really good and very funny, but oh so heart wrenching.  Even The Boyfriend said, "I think I got a little choked up during that movie."  Moneyball was pretty good, too.  It took a while for me to get into it but I was totally there in the end.  And I ate a whole box of Sour Patch Kids for dinner.

Sunday had four highlights: more pumpkin pancakes, left over tomato soup, editing photos, and Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon.  Thank god the Cowboys had a bye week.  How could I ever choose between Jason Witten and Teresa Giudice??
What about you?  Did you have a great weekend?


Fab Friday's Fancies | Blazer Beauty

Finally this week is over.  Did it feel super long to anyone else??  This was like "the never-ending week" for me.  I'm sure part of that is because The Boyfriend and I haven't seen each other in two weeks.  I cannot wait for him to get here tonight!!  As usual, I'm already planning our meals.  What else is new?  I found pumpkin pancake mix at Trader Joe's this week so I'm planning a yummy pumpkin pancake breakfast tomorrow.  I also found pumpkin spice coffee!  It's not exactly the same as a Pumpkin Spice Latte but it's pretty delish.

This week's Friday's Fancies theme is Blazer Beauty.  But I have a confession to make.  I built this outfit around the shoes.  Yup.  It's true.  These shoes basically just need to be in my life.  This was the cheapest way to make that happen.  Don't tell the blazer she's not the star of the show.

Now, before you judge me for this outfit, let me explain my vision.  It's a doozy.  I know this outfit could potentially look a little ... um ... matronly so I want you to see it the way I see it in my head.  Picture the shirt with a couple buttons undone, the blazer open and the cuffs rolled up.  Add in loose, slightly messy waves a la Jessica Biel and you got a darn classy fall look.  I'm kinda in love.

1. Schoolboy blazer
2. Silk blouse
3. Boot cut jeans
4. Forever Darling necklace (don't you just love that name?)
5. Stacked heels
6. Jessica Biel

Happy Weekend!!!

PS - If you're interested in RSVP'ing for the SF/Bay Area blogger meet-up, just click on that nifty little button to the right (the one that says "SF Bloggers meet-up").  :)


RIP Steve Jobs

I'm an Apple girl to the core.  So when I saw the news about Steve Jobs, I actually got a little emotional.  His vision and creative genius changed the culture of how we use technology.  How many people had an mp3 player before iPods?  How many had touch screen phones before the iPhone?  RIP Steve Jobs.  The world has lost a brilliant man.


Nice to Meet You

Hello Bay Area Bloggers!!  We're planning a meet up and I really really really want you all to be there!  We're getting together November 5, 2011 in San Francisco.  If you wanna join us (you know you do!), just email Ana at mynewlywedlifeblog@gmail.com and she'll send you the evite.

Isn't San Francisco so purdy?

Don't ya wanna come and meet up with us?



Sneak Peak: Leslie & Brent

I learned a lot from photographing Leslie & Brent's wedding this past weekend.  And I realized there's a lot I still need to learn.  Nonetheless, I had so much fun and am so honored to capture their special day for them.

These two have been together for 7 years and are still so happy and in love.  There were so many personal details in the wedding - the lace on Leslie's dress came from her mother's wedding dress, the bracelet she wore was the one her mother wore to prom, the gloves belong to her 92-year old feisty grandmother.  I've known Leslie for over 11 years now and have never seen her so happy.  And I may or may not have teared up once or twice during the ceremony....

and because I liked it so much, I did a black and white of this pose too:

 There's a lot more.  A lot.  Hopefully I will have most of them ready by next week!



52 Weeks: Week 32

Week 32: Tropical Ginger




You guys, I think people of the blogiverse are the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful people in all the land.  The sweet and funny Erin of Popcorn, Pugs, and Peonies gave me the I Dig Your Blog Award.  I'm so touched that Erin thought of me.  If you don't know Erin yet, stop by and say hello.  You'll absolutely fall in love with her precious little puppies.  She has 3 - Petunia, Meatball, and Harriet.  Aren't those the just best puppy names?

So, the rules of the game:
Rule #1 - Thank the person who gave you the award.  Thank you Erin!!! :)
Rule #2 - Reveal three random facts about yourself.

Fact 1: I've read the Harry Potter series roughly seven times.  Each time a new book came out, I had to re-read the previous books in preparation.  Then, when the movies came out, I had to re-read the books before each movie.  Some books have been read more than others so I'm guessing seven would be the average.

Fact 2: When I was little (I would guess 1st or 2nd grade), I was obsessed with the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  I still remember what I wore when my mom took me to see it in the movie theatre.  When it came out on video (VHS for all you young'uns), I begged my mom to rent it for me then proceeded to watch it 27 times in one week.  I watched it before going to school, when I came home from school, while I was doing homework, yadda yadda yadda.  It was basically on repeat until I went to bed.  That's what I call dedication.

Fact 3: I permed my hair in elementary school.  Well, I didn't do it personally - my aunt did.  It was a disaster.  I looked like a brunette French poodle.  I wanted it all cut off immediately so ... that's exactly what my mom did!  Chopped it into a nice flattering mushroom shape complete with feathered bangs.  Of course, this was right before school portraits so I have an everlasting reminder of that gorgeous 'do.  And to make matters worse, I made it to our regional spelling bee competition that year and the San Antonio Express news published a little story about me.  Guess which photo they used...

Rule #3 - Pass the award on.  I recently passed on an award to seven lovely ladies so I'm going to pick a few new ones this time.  But don't worry - I love you all and will hopefully be passing on some love to each of you at some point very soon. :)

Annelise - box of crayons
Melissa Jo - Lady of the Flowers
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