High in Vitamin C

About a month ago, I was out shopping with my friend Jenny.  While in H&M* browsing adorable preppy sweaters, I turned to my right and that's when I saw it.  This lovely little orange bag.  So bright and spring-y.  Even though it was only 25 bucks, I somehow talked myself out of buying it.  But I couldn't stop thinking about that sweet little lady.  So last week, while out running errands, I went in and got her.  She's been by my side ever since.

*If you're ever in San Francisco and want to make a stop at H&M, I suggest the one on Post.  It's smaller than the store near Union Square but it's not nearly as crowded.


Fresh Pesto Sauce

As I mentioned yesterday, I made some nom-tastic pesto recently for lunch.  Pesto is such a simple yet flavorful sauce and it's super easy to whip up for any time so I wanted to share my recipe with you.  It makes enough for two pounds of pasta.  The pre-packaged pasta you get at the grocery store comes in one-pound boxes so, essentially, this will be enough for about two boxes.  Enjoy!

What You Need:
2 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs of parsley, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. pine nuts
3/4 to 1 c. olive oil (I don't like my pesto very oily so I use a little less than 3/4 c.)
1/2 grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (you can use regular Parmesan but, trust me, Reggiano is so much better!)
1/2 tsp. pepper

What You Do:
1. Combine all the ingredients in the blender for a few seconds.  If it's too dry and not blending well, add a bit more olive oil.

2. Push everything down with a rubber spatula then blend again for a few seconds more.  Continue doing this until all the ingredients are well-combined and the sauce is fairly thin but not liquified.  You want it to have a gel-like consistency.

3. Cook whatever pasta you're using according to the directions provided.  When you drain the pasta, reserve about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.

4. Return the pasta to the pot and add pesto.  If the pesto is too thick or not mixing well, add the reserved starchy pasta water a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.  Serve with a little grated Reggiano on top and enjoy!

Note: When I make this recipe, I usually freeze half of it to use another time.  One half-batch of sauce with one pound of pasta is enough for about 4 people.


Weekend Snippets

Happy Monday lovelies!  Did you all have a nice weekend?  Mine was busy busy busy but in the best way possible.  Lots of client meetings, photo editing, and down time with The Boyfriend.

We had such gorgeous weather on Friday, I couldn't help but put the top down to run errands around the city.  I also enjoyed one of the perks of working from home - freshly made lunch!  A little homemade pesto while editing photos?  Yes, please!

Saturday was filled with client consultations, a nap, and lots of play time with Molly.  Her new fave "toy" is a brown paper bag filled with hay.  It's the little things, I guess.

The Boyfriend spoiled me with a homemade latte (with shaved chocolate!) and freshly squeezed orange juice before I headed out to a wedding fair with one of my clients.  The fair was at the same venue as her wedding so I got to scope out the place for photo inspiration.  With the theatre's gorgeous Art Deco architecture and the awesome museum across the street, there was no shortage of inspiration.  As soon as I walked in, I started visualizing shots.  I can't wait for her wedding in August!



Lovely Living | Projects

It's been almost two months since I moved in with The Boyfriend and I'm finally starting to feel like I'm pretty much unpacked and settled in.  Now for the fun stuff ... decorating!  Overall, the apartment is in pretty good shape but there are a few things we've been wanting to change for a while now and were just waiting until I moved in.  We're trying to do it on a budget and DIY wherever we can but there are some things you just have to bite the bullet and splurge on, right?

One thing at the top of our list is a new kitchen table.  Given that we're pretty limited on space, the kitchen table doubles as my desk during the day.  I love the "French country" feel of this table and the extra shelf and drawer space would hold quite a few of my necessary office supplies.  It's a little pricey but considering it would actually serve the purpose of two pieces of furniture, we're thinking it might be worth it.

We also both love the look of upholstered headboards.  But, as gorgeous and classy as they are, I'm not willing to spend that much for such a simple item.  After checking out this DIY tutorial on Centsational Girl, I feel pretty confident this is something I can make myself.  So ... we decided to save on the headboard on live it up DIY-style!

I also have a few other DIY projects in mind.  I've been gathering differently-shaped glass jars for a while now specifically so I can paint them and make a pretty vase collection.  The only hard part to this project?  Deciding what color to make them!

And finally ... our gallery wall.  We have a sizable chunk of blank wall space in our hallway and I thought that'd be the perfect location for a gallery wall.  I kinda like the idea of mixing photos, prints, and other items to keep it more eclectic.  We have a few items to get it started but I have a feeling that this is something we'll probably add to over the years.

What about you?  Any big decorating projects on the horizon?


The State Capitol

While we were in Texas, I took The Boyfriend to Austin.  He had never been before (and I hadn't been since high school!) so I thought it'd make a nice day trip.  Being that The Boyfriend is such a big history lover, I knew I had to take him to the state Capitol.  I may be a bit partial, but I think Texas' Capitol is the most beautiful.  The detail in the architecture is just so stunning - I couldn't help but feel just a little bit of that ol' Texan pride while showing him around!

The desks in the Senate are original to the building.  Can you imagine all the booties that have been in those seats?

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.


Goat Dancing

We're still in Texas but I just wanted to pop in and let you know I danced with a goat.  Yep.  I'll have more of a recap when we finally get back to Cali but I just couldn't resist sharing these photos.  It started off innocently enough - just feeding animals at the petting zoo.  But then this goat wouldn't go away.  He just wanted to dance.



Awkward & Awesome Thursday

- When I left to run errands the other day, I noticed my oil was a little low in my car so I did what any independent woman would do - I whipped out the funnel and extra bottle of oil from my trunk and added some more.  Easy peasy, right?  Well, as I'm driving around, I start to smell exhaust fumes ... inside my car.  wth?  I was way overdue for a routine oil change anyway so I went to Midas (yay for coupons!).  I told them I just needed an oil change but explained the weird smell, too, just in case.  Not wanting to sound like an idiot, I also said, "I've added oil many times in the past with no problem at all.  I know how to to do the basic stuff."  Turns out I actually am an idiot.  As soon as they opened the hood of ol' Greta, they found the problem.  I forgot to put the oil cap back on!  So I was driving around with no cap, letting the oil slosh all over the engine, and when the engine would heat up, it burned off the oil.  Hence, the smell.  Now I have to get my engine steam cleaned or else the smell probably won't go away.  Which means my bonehead move is gonna cost me about 150 bucks.  Ouch.

- Last Saturday, we went to an engagement party.  The Boyfriend and I were goofing around, being silly, when his cousin snapped this photo and put it on Facebook with the caption "the engagement party"

I had a bit of wine and champagne and wasn't aware I was tagged in it.  That is, until I saw the 11 comments, 3 missed text messages, 13 emails, 2 voice messages, and 6 missed calls.  Apparently people thought we got engaged, despite the cheesy OMS* and the plastic water bottle in lieu of an actual ring...  Give us a little more credit people!!

- Just bought a plane ticket for a visit to NYC at the end of March!!  I'm SO super excited.  I'm absolutely in love with NYC and used to visit at least once a year.  Then law school happened and I haven't been back since March of 2008.  I got such a great deal using Southwest points, I just couldn't pass it up.  Can't wait to see my NYC friends and be inspired by the beautiful Big Apple!

- Leaving for Texas!!  I haven't seen my family since last April so I'm very excited to get home and spend a few days in the warm Texas sun.  The Boyfriend is also pumped - he's planning on buying a pair of "real" cowboy boots while we're there.  Don't ask me where he's gonna wear them in SF, though.  I'm sure he'll find the right occasion!

- Lightbox.  It's pretty awesome.  For all my fellow non-iPhoners who have serious Instagram envy, Lightbox is the closest thing I've found on droids.  I know, I know, I've heard they're creating Instagram for droid.  But so far no timeline has been announced so we have no idea when that's gonna happen.  In the mean time, Lightbox is the way to go.  It's a free app that offers a number of similar filters to Instagram, in addition to social networking features.  You can set your photos to post to Twitter and Facebook when you upload them to Lightbox and you can follow other Lightboxers such as Cali Vintage and The Sartorialist.  If you decide to join, come find me here!

A few from my Lightbox this week:
My latest snack obsession: greek yogurt with honey
A gentle touch speaks volumes.
Homemade chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine's Day
*OMS = Open Mouth Smile


Chicken Fajitas

We're heading off to Texas to visit family soon so naturally I have Tex-Mex on the brain.  It's pretty much all we eat while we're there.  (Well, that and BBQ of course.)  These chicken fajitas are quick and easy to make for dinner any day of the week and they're pretty healthy, too!  This recipe makes enough for about 6 good-sized tacos but it's also easy to double-up for a big group dinner.  Hope y'all enjoy 'em!

What You Need:
2 large chicken breasts
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus a little extra
1.5 tsp. cumin
1.5 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder*
1/2 tsp. garlic powder*
1/4 - 1/2 c. water
Flour or corn tortillas (I use flour for fajitas, corn for enchiladas)

What To Do:
1. Pour olive oil into large Ziploc bag and add in all the spices.
2. Slice the chicken breasts and add them to the seasonings bag.  Swish it around to fully coat the chicken, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. While the chicken is chillin' in the fridge, chop up the onion and bell peppers.  Sautee in olive oil until the onions start to become translucent.
4. Add the chicken from the bag (without the additional oil from the bag) and let the chicken cook for a couple minutes.
5. Add in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and cook until the juices evaporate.
6. Warm up the tortillas either directly over the fire (if using a gas-top stove) or in a skillet or frying pan.  Prepare tacos and garnish with whatever you like - guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc.  Make 'em your own and chow down Texas-style!!

*When I made these recently, I didn't have onion or garlic powder so I used Cajun seasoning.  Turned out just as delish so feel free to improvise!


Valentine's Love

I'm working on editing the photos from last weekend's anniversary session today.  Spend Valentine's Day looking at photos of a beautiful young couple in love?  Yes, please!  Here's a little glimpse for you, with a sweet love quote, of course.  Happy Valentine's Day!!



Etsy Love

So I know it's a little late to actually order any of these, what with Valentine's Day being tomorrow, but I just can't resist sharing these cute little cards with you.  Oh, Etsy, you never let me down!

1. These naughty little pancakes crack me up.

2. I wish I'd have found this card sooner!!  Emails from The Boyfriend have a special label in my gmail: FPE, which stands for Favorite Person Ever.  This card is so perfect!!

3. A bird with a mustache.  What more do you need?

4. This card sums it up perfectly.  And isn't this what love is really all about anyway?

5. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a sucker for puns.  So this card is, of course, otterly perfect.

6. Sometimes you need something cute and sweet but not too sappy.  This lovely little card manages to be all three.

Sidenote - does anyone else think of The Simpson's when they see a good Valentine's Day pun?  I choo-choo-choose you!


Fab Friday's Fancies | Red & Pink

Hello, hello, Lovlies!  Hope you've all had a great week!  Sadly, the Boyfriend and I were both hit with food poisoning this week.  Blech.  I'll spare you the details but I will tell you this much - it was not pretty.  And I will never look at red velvet cupcakes the same way again.

I'm feeling much better now and looking forward to the weekend.  I have a fun anniversary photo shoot schedule for tomorrow with Ana and her lovely hubby, plus an engagement party in Sonoma for The Boyfriend's cousin.  I'd say that's an appropriately love-filled weekend to lead us into Valentine's Day, which brings me to this week's Friday's Fancies theme: red & pink.  I've been craving pink skinnies for a while now.  And when I say craving, I mean it - as in, like a fat kid craves cake.  (Let's be honest, I crave cake like a fat kid craves cake, too.)  So when I saw these pretty pinkies at Old Navy for only $35, I had to make them the centerpiece for this week's outfit.  How perfectly Spring are these jeans??

1. Rock Star skinny jeans - $35.  'Nough said.
2. Double-breasted Schoolboy blazer - The navy blazer adds a little class and sophistication to the hot pink pants.
3. Ramparts bib necklace - gorgeous, dah'ling.
4. Emanating Rays boatneck tee - A nice base for the necklace to pop against.
5. Eddie ballet flats

Any big Valentine's Day plans for you this weekend?

Happy Weekend!!!


Bacon-Wrapped Cream Cheese Jalapenos

These peppers are a quick and easy little dish.  They were a perfect appetizer for Super Bowl Sunday but would be great at any party or get-together.  If you want to change it up a bit, feel free to add shredded cheddar cheese to the filling for an extra jolt of cheesiness.  You could also add garlic and/or onion powder to make the cream cheese more savory.

What You Need:
1 lb. of bacon, slices cut in half
12 jalapeno peppers
1 package of cream cheese

What To Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees then wash and dry the peppers.  Slice them in half and scoop out the seeds and white membranes.  The seeds and membranes hold the spicy goodness so if you're not into spicy food, be sure to scrape them thoroughly.

2. Fill the peppers with cream cheese and wrap a half-slice of bacon around each one.  I used a toothpick to hold them together while baking.

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or foil) and place a wire rack on top.  This helps the bacon fat drain as it cooks.  If you don't have wire racks, you can place the peppers directly onto the parchment paper.  The bacon will just be extra greasy (and maybe not as crisp).

4. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the bacon reaches your desired crispness.  I like mine extra-crispy so I left it in the full 30 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes then enjoy!



Weekend Snippets

We celebrated Molly's birthday yesterday with her favorite toy - dried apple on a stick.  She also got a few extra blueberries and some raisins after dinner.  She knows how to appreciate the simple things in life.

I may or may not have had a lot of food myself this weekend, too.  It started off with a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch on Friday.  Because I'm secretly a 5-year old.  Or Elvis Presley reincarnated.  Not sure which.

Then Saturday brought brunch with my law school homies and some lobster and truffle mac & cheese.  Nom nom nom nom nom...

And, of course, Super Bowl Sunday.  There was a lot of deliciousness amongst the football snacks.  My contribution?  Cream cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon.  I definitely wasn't the healthiest eater this weekend.  Oops.

How was you weekend?
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