Thursday, June 30, 2011

dream bathtubs

After long days are work there is nothing I want to do more than relax. And even though I don't take baths often, they definitely help me relax. But if I had any of these tubs I'd be taking baths everyday maybe even for hours. These tubs are great but the addition of a fireplace makes it even better!

Now I'm really craving a bath to wind down. And a glass of wine and some chocolate! :-)

Anyone else love bath tubs as much as I do? Or have any other bathroom must-haves?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Latest Obsessions(possibly addictions?!)

1. Sparkling Ice drinks! Yum! These are carbonated drinks that you can get in huge packs at Costco. They have no calories, carbs, sugars, or even sodium(weird huh?!) although they do have artificial sweeteners. And for a diet/no-calorie drink they are pretty darn good!
2. The Voice! Since the first day I have been hooked on this show! Finally a show based on pure vocal talent and not just looks! I'm so bummed that its over Wednesday night. I've been fighting the urge to buy each song on iTunes so hopefully a full CD will come out soon. However, I will admit I've been disappointed with Christina's stylists. They have not been picking many flattering things or hair styles and I can't keep blaming the camera angles either... Sorry Christina, still love you!
I'm not sure who I really really want to win. I think it will be between Dia and Vicci though in the end. But regardless of who wins, the final four will probably all have record deals by Thursday morning!

3. Nine West Braxton espadrilles. From the moment I saw these beauties in April I swooned over them so much that I finally convinced myself to buy them(also when my size came back in stock). I've worn them several times already and love them even more each time! I've gotten plenty of compliments and even though they are 5 inches my feet don't hurt after a few hours. YAY!  If you want them you may have to hunt unless you have bigger sized feet(check Nine West, Piperlime, and Nordstroms).
4. Have pale skin and need to wear high SPF sunscreen but hate the thick feeling? Then Anthelios 60 Ultra Light sunscreen is for you by La Roche-Posay. It is recommended for people with oily skin(that's me!) and it isn't heavy at all or give any shininess. I wear it under my make-up too.
5. A patient at my work has connections everywhere and luckily for us, he brings us in yummy treats like these Biscoff coffee cookies! They are sooooo good by themselves but even better when you dip them in coffee. The melt in your mouth and kind of taste like grown-up Teddy Grahams! If you get excited about a cup of coffee in the morning just wait until you try your cup of Joe with this Biscoff cookies!

How 'Bout Them Apples (Salad)?

Apples are one of my favorite snacks. They are so tasty and healthy so I love learning how to use them in different ways other than just slicing them. So here is one of my go-to apple snacks. It is really simple, not many ingredients, and perfect for summer too!

Apple Salad
2 apples either red or green (I prefer one of each)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
handful or two of coarsely chopped walnuts
handful of feta cheese

Chop the apples into matchstick slices. Throw them into a large bowl. Add walnuts, feta, and lemon juice. If you feel like having more lemon juice, like I often do, then go for it. See! That simple!

Not the best pictures but it tastes great!

This would be a great idea to take to a pot luck this summer. Soon I might try adding shredded carrots to see how that is. If you don't have walnuts then almonds should do fine. Also if you don't have lemon juice you can add lime juice but just go easy on it and add a little at a time, tasting as you go.

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

Monday, June 27, 2011

Recent Purchases

This weekend I had some success when it came to shopping. I didn't mean for it to be a "shopping weekend" but ya know sometimes it just turns out that way.

One of my shopping to-do's is to get some new plain t-shirts. I've worn the same plain shirts for over 3 years(I know it's sad). Finally I admitted to myself it is time to phase them out and replace them. Thank goodness for Target! They came to my rescue once again! I only bought 3 shirts but will most likely go back and get more later.
 Yup, super plain but they work and fit well!
Next at Target I decided to invest in some dry-shampoo. I've heard from many that it works wonders. Normally I just use baby powder but my powder smells kind of funny so I said what the heck and bought some. I've used it once and so far so good. Plus it smells better than the baby powder! Yay!
Next on a trip to South Coast Plaza to pick up some of mom's St. John knits she had altered. I had to go into Zara because they were having a massive sale! And I snatched up this shirt for $20. I really like the coral color and that the lines aren't perfectly straight.
**Update: I will need to exchange it for a smaller size as 
it is a tad bit too big around the arm holes**

Although it's not mine, I'm counting one last purchase as a victory in my book. My mom has been in desperate need of new shorts. She's at her goal weight from being on Weight Watchers but she was still wearing her shorts from before she lost the weight. We walked into Gap to browse and she tried on some shorts that weren't quite right then I pulled out a pair of shorts that she hadn't tried yet. She gave me a weird look and didn't want to try them but I insisted she at least try them. And they fit perfectly!! She was so shocked and I was(and still am) so excited for her, and me for picking them! She bought 3 pairs haha. 

So moms out there, sometimes it pays to listen to your daughters!

Next purchases I'm thinking of getting are a pair of Toms shoes and maybe a casual blazer.

Hawaiian Dreams

Lately I've been thinking about Hawaii a lot. And I mean A LOT! I'm seriously craving Hawaii so much right now I feel like I might burst. Yes, it's that bad...
Last August my family and boyfriend took a trip to Oahu for a family friend's wedding and we had the time of our lives. Yes, any time in Hawaii is amazing but this trip was the best.
 The brilliant turquoise water, amazing weather, gorgeous beaches! Waimea Bay is by far my favorite beach ever. I'd love to go back even for a few hours of floating in the water and resting on the sand! Sometimes I check a surf report app on my Iphone just to see what its like at Waimea; I'm not a surfer but I want to know the water temp and air temp.
And there is nothing like Matsumoto's shaved ice in Haleiwa, North Shore. Drooling now. Here are some more pictures from last year's trip!
sunset view from our hotel room at the Ilikai. 
It is a fabulous hotel! I highly recommend it!
view of the Hilton Hawaiian Village from our room
Aaron and I under the Waimea Falls
rainbow from our hotel room
Mai Tai cocktail hour at the wedding reception at the Royal Hawaiian
Bye bye Hawaii :-(
Sadly I don't know when I will be able to go back again mainly because Grad School is pretty pricey but I will keep dreaming of Hawaii and the beaches. 

What's your favorite vacation spot? Anyone going on any exciting trips this summer?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bday Dinner @ Jerry's Famous!

Everyone I know has at least one favorite restaurant that they get giddy-excited for when they go. For me that place is Jerry's Famous Deli, I'm salivating just thinking about it. I forget when my obsession with this place started but I know that it began over 10 years ago. The closest one to me is right by South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Performing Arts Center; there are also several others in the LA area. If you haven't been go NOW! It doesn't matter what kind of food you feel like eating because they have something for everyone. The food is almost on the pricey side but the portions are huge.... I mean HUGE so you get your moneys worth.

Somehow it has become a tradition to go there for my birthday dinner so last night my family and boyfriend went there to celebrate and it did not disappoint. I started the dinner off with the Blue Bikini martini which was delicious and made me want to go back to Hawaii...but when don't I want to?
My mom thinks it's funny that everything I have has some turquoise. Drink, phone cover, necklace.
What can I say? It's "my color."

For dinner I was feeling like pizza so I had the NYC White Pizza(though I almost ordered chocolate chip pancakes). Yummmm! I really want to make my own now. It had Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella, Oregano, and no tomato sauce. As usual, I piled on the red pepper flakes for some heat. It was very tasty and not heavy at all!
And what's a birthday celebration without dessert, right? We ordered a brownie sundae but who new it would be soooooo big!! I felt like I was on Man vs Food. No it wasn't that big but still! Thank goodness I had my dad and boyfriend there to help!
I would definitely recommend Jerry's to any one and can't wait to go again! Maybe I'll convince someone to go with me sooner so I don't have to wait until my next birthday. Any takers?!

What is your favorite restaurant?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Suit Up: Tribal Style

Suit Up: Tribal Style

It's finally officially summer and in my mind that means a couple things: pools, beaches, tanning, sunshine, and barbeques. All of which for me involve wearing a swim suit. Tribal suits have really been calling to me this season. I'm drawn to the colors and the laid back vibe the suits give off. The prints all intriguing because they aren't overpowering but are still interesting.

My favorites are the middle orange bandeau with the fringe and the top left top. I wish I could have found matching bottoms but it could easily be paired with a solid black, peach, or pink bottom.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Birthday Adventures

Yesterday was my 23rd birthday and it ended up being a fabulous day, as it should haha. I started the morning off by going to spin class at the gym to sweat up a storm and it was a success! 23 miles in an hour...ouch! The rest of the day consisted of a Starbucks birthday drink, a greasy slice of cheese pizza, 2 hours of sun worshiping at the pool, shopping spree with my man, and a birthday bonfire put on by my bff and boyfriend. It was a great day! Here are some of my gifties and pics of my b-day :-)
I've wanted one of these for a long time now. I really enjoy cooking and can't wait to use this a bunch this summer! If you have any good recipes that calls of an Immersion blender please let me know!
I fell in love with Lululemon(more on my obsession here) so my boyfriend spoiled me by taking me there bought me a tank top and running shorts!  The shorts were the same style as my last pair but a different color.
I was tempted to pick a jacket but I needed more workout clothes than a jacket. Even though a jacket would be a nice addition to my collection. *Sigh* Maybe someday...
 Sunset at Aliso Creek Beach from my birthday bonfire

It was a great day! Anyone else have a fabulous weekend?

Organic Oatmeal Choco-chip Cookies

This recipe I got from a Pilates client at my work. One day she came in with these amazing ginormous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and low and behold they were also made with organic ingredients! **Gasp!** Organic desserts have come a long way lately and I'm so happy about that. These were even a hit with my boyfriend who usually doesn't like organic foods(or just pretends he doesn't).

So the client is not only stinking rich, has an amazing body, but she can also bake some bomb cookies...some girls have all the luck! Thankfully she shared the recipe with us so now I can pass them on to you. The ingredients don't HAVE to be organic so improvise if needed.

1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted softened butter(not melted)
2 eggs
1/2 cup organic sugar(cane sugar), I used Turbinado Raw Sugar
1 cup organic light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Blend above ingredients, then add:
1 cup whole wheat(organic) flour
1/2 cup white flour
3 1/4 cups whole organic oats(not instant)
1 cup milk chocolate chips(semi sweet works as well)

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes depending on size of cookies on parchment paper covered sheets; I pulled them out at 14 but could have done it sooner. I used an ice cream scooper to measure them. Here are some of the tips that the client gave us: she tends to double the cookie size when scooping onto sheet and double the recipe. She slightly under bakes them so when the edges look done but center is still soft so they are moist and chewy. You can add nuts, shredded coconut or even chocolate drizzle on top before baking too.

Even though I didn't double the cookie size they perfect because portion control for me goes out the window with big cookies...I know my weaknesses.  Looking at the edges was a good tip because they are still moist in the center. Next time I might try oat flour for my mom who is gluten intolerant.

Linked up to: Tasty Tuesdays

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Weekend to Celebrate!!

There was a ton of things to celebrate this weekend. The most obvious is that it's Father's Day!! He has been so loving & supportive throughout my life and I could not be happier to have such a great dad. For my amazing dad I got a pretty sweet Grill Thermometer Fork from Sur La Table(his favorite shop!). My dad loves to cook and he is damn good at it so I figured a cooking toy would work perfectly, which it did! I also got him a "USC Dad" mug. He was very excited about that. Anything to show off where his only daughter will be going to school.

Another reason to celebrate is that today is not only Father's Day but it is also my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. I had a fun time looking through photos while trying to put this board together. It's interesting to see how they looked 40 years ago! Good looking back then and still are now, just more grey hair. I'm lucky to have parents that still love each other and have such good genes ;-)To celebrate we went to church this morning and later in the afternoon we went going back to church for a Jazz Vespers service. It's pretty much mini Jazz concert that Fr. Norm Freeman puts on with his Jazz buds Theo Saunders, Putter Smith, and Evan Stone. These cool cats are world renowned Jazz artists who have played with New York Philharmonic, SNL, and a bunch of other tours. They have played with famous people including Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, and Gladys Knight. A bunch of my parents' friends were there to celebrate and then we went to dinner at BJs Brewery! Yummmm!
And of course, my birthday is Monday :-)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Down by the Sea

June Gloom is in full force here in Southern California. Even though it's pretty cold in the morning and warm when the sun finally makes its appearance(if it does) during the day there is no excuse to not have a summery, beach inspired look. Beach and summer items for me a stripes, espadrilles, and woven clutches. And even though I'd love to wear shorts, right now I will have to settle for cropped jeans to stay warm.

I used to really shy away from anything with horizontal stripes until this past year. I'm learning that if done correctly you don't have to be a twig to make them look good on you. So I've paired the striped shirt with cropped jeans and sky high heels that I love(and actually own). The Nine West shoes are actually 5&1/2 inches but the platform is so high as well that your feet don't hurt after all day wearing them. The clutch adds another little pop of color that I love.
A good pair of aviators exudes 'cool' effortless style.  I have yet to find a pair that looks good on and that doesn't make me look sad by taking over my face. If anyone has suggestions for where to find a pair for people with small faces plllllease let me know!
I considered adding a flowy scarf but couldn't find the right one.