Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chairs

Our new living room chair arrived today...


I think he needs a friend. Maybe this guy from Urban Outfitters?


Excited to see that our house is finally coming together. :)

Full and Happy

This morning, my mom asked where we find our favorite restaurants. Usually, it's through friends or Yelp... But today's breakfast destination was a suggestion from American Way (that's the boring, complimentary America Airlines magazine that you read on long flights.) When I was traveling last month, I stumbled across a review of Shaky Alibi. Supposedly, they have the most amazing liege waffles ever...

Luckily, the restaurant is only three blocks from our house. And, with my parents in town, we had an excuse to go out for breakfast. We weren't disappointed!


The place reminded us all of a little European cafe. I fell in love with the decor - including the chandelier in the main dining room.


On our way home, we visited Heath Ceramics (I'm obsessed with this store.) The have the coolest mid-century pottery and a beautiful ceramic studio in back.


I bought this little guy:


I couldn't resist! He matches my kitchen.

In the afternoon (after walking around Rodeo Drive), we stopped by Sprinkles. As a self-proclaimed cupcake connoisseur, I want to tell the world that these are my favorite cupcakes of all time. So moist and delicious... and adorable! How can you not love them??



Yummers.

Finally, we ended the evening with a little birthday celebration (did I mention that my birthday is in 9 days?) at a German sausage restaurant in downtown LA: Wurstkuche. I made dorky birthday hats for all my friends to wear. I'm still surprised that they actually did.






The food was ingenious (in fact, I'm a little jealous that I didn't think of the restaurant idea first.) Such a simple menu: just different kinds of sausage, fries and beer (and boxed water?)



The dinning room is set up like a Munich beer garden - with long wooden tables and masses of people. We had to fight for seats all together... but we did it (and got lots of compliments on our hats, thank you very much.)


All in all, a good day - with the BEST food. I'm planning on sleeping full and happy tonight. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Parent Weekend

I love it when my family comes to visit. I don't get to see them all that often, so it's extra special when we get to spend a few sweet moments together.

My parents flew in from Portland tonight, and after a very quick tour of our extra-small apartment, they made themselves at home:


... and told me and Zach about this new game they're playing (Friends with Words?) on their phones. Example:


After a quick dinner of taco salad (made by yours truly), we decided to walk to The Grove (the ginormous outdoor mall by my house) to find some dessert. Instead, we ended up at the Farmer's Market drooling over these beauties...


... and looking for new juicing materials. (BTW, we juiced some kale, parsley, spinach, and cucumber together the other night. It tasted like plant. Never again.)


I love the Farmer's Market because fruits and veggies are always fresh and HUGE. Like, these brussel sprouts for example? Almost as big as my hand...


As a not-so-healthy alternative, we stopped by a next-door ice cream stand for chocolate dipped cones (my mom's so cute.)


For the evening's finale, we hit up The Grove's water fountain show (choreographed to "That's Amore.")


Such a fun night! Already looking forward to tomorrow... we've got waffles, sausage, and pie on the menu (although not together.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bachelorettes and Juice

This weekend, I got to celebrate the upcoming marriage of one of my best friends (Jana McCarthy) with an amazing bachelorette party.  In honor of the festivities, Jana's sister Erica found us a beautiful beach house in Newport - right on the bay. Could this view be any better?


Jana looked so pretty - and was such a good sport (even when we made her do some fairly embarrassing things.)


Bachelorette party activities are supposed to stay secret though... so that's all I'll say about the matter.

When I got home today, Zach and I headed to Whole Foods to purchase vegetables for our new juicing hobby. We walked away with: cucumbers, carrots, apples, kale, spinach, ginger, celery, mint, parsley, and lemon.

So, for dinner we had:


But it ultimately looked like this:


I must say, I was skeptical at first. But the juice actually tasted pretty good! (Even though the color was slightly unappetizing.) Zach and I are trying out new juice recipes for the rest of the week in an attempt to find some new options for our breakfast.

Don't judge us until you try it! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Brussel Sprouts

When I was younger, my dad went through a phase where he wanted to be a gourmet chef... and made us eat things like brussel sprouts. I hated it.

I avoided the dreaded brussel sprout for years.

Recently though, I've learned that these wild cabbages are really good for you. So, I bought some at Trader Joe's and tried re-acclimating my tastebuds. Success. They're Zach's new favorite vegetable to eat with dinner (and we eat them at least once a week.)


The recipe's easy: cut the sprouts in half; blanch them for 3 minutes; strain them and place them on a cookie sheet; add olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper to taste; bake at 350* for 15 minutes. See? Easy. 

Birthday party update: started making a doily garland to hang around the back patio as decoration.


(Thanks for sharing your impressive modeling skills with the world, Zach.)

Cupcake Hiatus

Zach has politely asked me to take a break from cupcake-baking for a little while. Since we got married, I've faithfully baked a new cupcake flavor (almost) every week. We've tried coconut...


...pina colada...


...oreo...


and mocha (to name a few.)


To be honest, I really don't eat many of the cupcakes I make. After sneaking tastes of batter throughout the entire process, I'm usually sugared out by the time they're actually finished. But, Zach says they tend to be rich and has requested a hiatus for a month or two.

Nonetheless, we're having a party tomorrow at work (celebrating our move from the 6th floor to the 8th floor - woo hoo!) and I'm supposed to bring a dessert. So, I pulled out old faithful... my absolute favorite cookie recipe of all time: Clementine's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe HERE.) They're pretty much perfect (without the cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts that the recipe suggests.)

I can't lie. I probably ate a pound of the cookie dough before it was even cooked. But, look how beautiful they are! (Oh, almost forgot. Subbed M&Ms for the chocolate chips.)


While the cookies were cooling, I worked on a craft project in preparation for my birthday party. I found cute instructions for hand-made party hats on "Oh Happy Day!" and thought I'd try them out.

They're not finished yet (still have to add the bling) but I think I'm off to a good start, no?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day Off

Normally, Monday's are the worst. But today I got to enjoy the day off.

So, I spent the day riding around on this beaut:


And enjoying the sunshine here:


Not too shabby.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Carmageddon

For the past two months, the LA Department of Transportation has been telling Angelinos to stay home on July 16-17 due to "Carmageddon."

Because of a freeway closure over the weekend, they were expecting traffic throughout the city to be "gridlocked..." So, everyone (according to a recent poll at my office) planned on camping out at home and watching movies all weekend.

Zach and I followed the rules on Friday night.

We walked to Freshii for dinner.


Not the best food we've ever had, but good (and healthy.)


Then, we counteracted the healthiness with these yummies (from World Market) while watching "Minority Report" (since Zach was appalled that I'd never seen it.)


On Saturday, after running some errands (which included picking up these:)


(... and this:)


... we decided to brave the traffic and head to Orange County for my friend Angi's birthday party at The Auld Irisher. Interestingly enough... the freeways were completely clear (why can't it be Carmageddon every weekend?)

We celebrated our good fortune (and her 26 years) with Guinness and Bangers & Champ.


Happy birthday Angi!


My husband can't seem to take a normal picture. 


Today we met up with Zach's friend Brad and his girlfriend Staci at Lemonade (one of my absolute favorite restaurants) for lunch.

But not before wandering around Whole Foods. How hot is my husband?


In other news, my birthday's in 22 days! If you're reading this Zach, I'd like a puppy. This one:


No?

Ok. I'll settle for this dress. Or, this one... Just some ideas.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Kitchen

I love the way the afternoon sun lights up my kitchen. 

That's all. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Urth

About once a month, I'm willing to fight the rush hour traffic around South Beverly... just to see my beautiful friend Jana McCarthy and have coffee at Urth Caffe.


Urth has THE MOST WONDERFUL coffee concoctions, including a honey-vanilla latte (which we normally get) and a delicious Spanish latte (which we tried tonight)...


... and the best foam art I've ever seen. (We decided that mine was a turkey?)


Now I get to work on the invitations for my mini birthday party. Made a stop at Paper Source today, and found these:

I love birthdays... 

One more day until the weekend!
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