7.25.2014

Friday 5

:::1:::
My mood, energy, and overall zest for life have been allllllllll over the friggen board lately. It's been incredibly obnoxious - and quite frankly exhausting. Myself is exhausting myself. I'm getting plenty of exercise and water, so I'm going to tweak a few other things and hopefully right this wrong as quickly as possible here.
   

 :::2:::
I know like every day is national something, but yesterday was national tequila day - which is my all time favorite. My "drink drink" is tequila on the rocks with a lotta lime. People are surprised when I order it, but it's so clean, light and doesn't come with a hangover the way white wine or sugar-y cocktails do. These are my favorites...

 Casamigos Tequila Blanco 100% Agave Blanco




 :::3:::
I've seen a lot of other bloggers talk about how excited they are for Fall and I am right there with you all. I cannot wait for the sounds of college football to fill my living room; starting lighting my favorite pumpkin candles; and start prepping for my first hosted Thanksgiving dinner BUT I'm refusing to let myself let the summer slip by without enjoying it.


:::4:::
It took me 4 months to buy this dang necklace and now I cant.stop. It literally goes with everything - instantly pulls together my outfit and always gets lots of compliments. I'm kind of annoyed I waited so long, and kind of bummed that I don't have like 6 different colors.

 
 
:::5:::
And while we are talking about products, have you switched over to the Meyer's line yet? Just do it. The hand soap (Geranium is my favorite flavor) is magical, the dish soap is better than anything I've ever used, and the counter top spray doesn't make you nervous that you are spraying straight up poison onto surface you are eating. The prices are pretty comparable to cleaning supplies (although I use these more so I'm refilling more quickly) but I think they do an all around way better job.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm ready for this weekend and fresh slate. 
Until Monday....
Good

7.24.2014

Work Wear



Work It Girl
 
I've been totally blanking on snapping my work-wear outfits, but I'm determined to get back in the habit. I love going back throughout the year and seeing what's being worn in my closet - and whats not.

It's funny because when I look back at all of the "work wear" posts from just this year, I see a defined pattern of what I wear week in and week out. I clearly know what I like - ankle pants, navy blue, and solid shirts, and patterned bottoms.

Anyways, here's last weeks round up. 

 
Monday
Cynthia Rowley dress, J.crew cardigan, Ivanka Trump heels, Kendra Scott necklace


Tuesday 
 
Loft top & skirt, TB wedges, Kendra Scott earrings


Wednesday
  
Jcrew top and pants, Loft necklace, Ivanka Trump heels

Thursday - worked from home
 
 old top, tj.maxx, loft jeans, ralph lauren sandals


Friday- worked from home 
  
Top from local shop, Loft shorts, TB sandals

7.22.2014

Cauliflower Pizza and it's actually good

I tried to make a cauliflower pizza crust about a year ago and it went ALL kinds of wrong. Not only was it a mess - and a time suck - it scared me away from using cauliflower all together.

Thankfully my girlfriend Kristin convinced me to try hers at the dinner party she hosted on Friday and I am now a believer.

And an addict.

Kristin used Paula Deen's recipe as a base, made some alterations, and came up with perfection. 

Fair warning - it's time consuming (a solid hour until dinner time), but it's so, so worth it for 100% guilt free pizza

The goods


 I found everything at Trader Joes 

1 head of cauliflower florets
Chicken sausage - I used 2 for the pizza
Pizza Sauce
1 egg
2 cups Shredded Cheese
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil spray
Crushed Garlic, Salt & Pepper, and Oregano

**This serves about 2-3 people as a main dish**


 Directions:

1. Blend florets until grainy and mashed 
 

2. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then spray the heck out of it. Then spray it again.
 

4. Microwave your cauliflower mash - with a splash or two of water - for 7 minutes 

5. Stick the hot cauliflower into the freezer to cool for 10 minutes. Once it's fully cooled, mix together 1 cup of cheese, 1 egg,  garlic, salt, pepper, and 3 full tablespoons of oregano
 
 6. Mix together and form a large square over the parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 15-20 until golden and crisped.
 

7. After it's crisped, add your toppings; tomato sauce, fresh basil, sliced chicken sausage, cheese, garlic, oregano (again), salt and pepper. Bake for another 15 minutes.


 Let it cool - cut in squares - and enjoy as many pieces as you damn well please. 

 


This dish won't disappoint - even cauliflower haters will enjoy. 

7.21.2014

Weekend Report

After having the past four weekends with visitors in and out, I was so excited to have a full weekend at home in LA. I got off of work early on Friday so I popped over to the mall to pick up a few new goodies.

I've been hating on my closet for it's lack of summer clothes, so I tried to snag a few summer dresses and tanks while I was shopping. 


I got this striped tank from J.crew, and then a black silk dress from Madewell and a cute pink Splendid dress from cusp. I have a few baby showers over the next few weeks so I think I should get some good wear.

My friend Kristin hosted a few couples for dinner and games on Friday so I went to her house early to help her set up.

 
She served quite the feast, but my favorite dish she whipped up was cauliflower pizza. I'm going to try and re-create her recipe and will share if I can succeed.


All of my friends - and sister-in-law - keep having baby boys, so we are giving all of them quite the education on girl talk.

 

After dinner we played a few hilarious rounds of Cards Against Humanity, and then decided to call it quite before midnight. We were all sipping on cinnamon-sugar vodka, and I'm pretty sure if any more of that and I woulda been hurtin' on Saturday morning. 

My driver was really sad the party was over.


Saturday I spent three hours purging and reorganizing my closet. I've been needing to do it for months, and I finally got the motivation to just get it done. I took two giant bags of things to Good Will and a few bags to the trash. It's wild how quickly I can accumulate such junk.
 
My determined to stop buying cheap crap, and start getting investment pieces that fit and make me feel good. I snagged this blouse on Friday too from J.Crew and finally bit the ever-trendy bullet and got the Kendra Scott Rayne necklace.


Joel and I never take advantage of living so close to the water, so after we parked near the restaurant, we walked about 11 blocks and caught the tail end of the sunset.

 


Our friends had reccomended Pono Burger the night before and we couldn't resist the sounds of draft beer, handmade fries, and burgers.


It's a super casual restauant, but everything was spectacular - and I loved the ambiance and the fact that we were basically eating dinner in a reclaimed barn.


The food was beyond delicious too.  I got the "posh" burger which had truffles, mushrooms, arugula, and gouda....I could eat it everyday I'm sure.

On Sunday I took Joel to the airport for a business trip and had the day to myself working out, getting laundry and errands done, and watching Father of the Bride. 

Just the exact weekend the doctor ordered. 
Sweet, simple things.


7.18.2014

Our Wedding Album

Before we had even gotten married, I saved a pin on Pintrest of Natalie's (Mint Love Social Club) wedding album. 

 

By the time I was ready to start making our book - a good year after the wedding - I started researching album options and got a quote from our photographer. Your typical, professional wedding album was going to cost us over a thousand dollars, easy, with a very strict picture limit.

I just couldn't stomach dropping a grand on our wedding album, so I decided to seriously think about using Blurb to do our book. Natalie's blog post was by far the most helpful resouce, but all of the reviews I read were positive, so I decided I'd give it a whirl.

We went with their biggest print book option, a 12x12, and ended up with about 90 pages of pictures. 
 
The book is really quite big even though the picture doesn't do it justice.

 The only "annoying" part of doing a wedding album this way was that it does take quite a bit of work. Blurb has you download a program so that you can custom your layout, and alter your pictures which is great - but painstaking. Plus, since it's custom you are picking out the layout, timeline of the pictures, and weeding through all of your wedding pictures.

The process took 3 solid weeks (probably 15 hours of work) but once I got the hang of Blurb's program, it got easier.

 Beyond that - I am even more impressed with the album than I thought I would be.

Some come look:


 

 


The album is big, but the quality of the pictures on the page is the best I've ever seen. I chose their ProLine matte paper, which is an added fee, but it makes it feel like a professional wedding album and not just a photobook.

I'm not sure if you can tell in this close up picture, but the material has an eggshell-y texture as well which ups the quality factor.


 Of course, on the back of the album I had to get one last use out of our logo.


The book ended up costing $120 dollars with shipping, and my mom and mother-in-law bought books too. That's another nice perk of using Blurb - super easy to print! 

I honestly couldn't have been happier with the end result, so if you have any questions about the process, I'd love to help.

7.17.2014

My View ::: Working from Home

With my current job, I'm working from home about 40% of the time, but after two years of working from home 100%, I've learned a few tricks on how to not completely lose your mind if you get the opportunity to do it.

And, most of the time, it really is an opportunity to work from home. Not only do you get to stay within the comfort of your own home, you can manage your house SO much better. Plus - I have found that working from home really reduces my work anxiety. There is much less urgency from day to day, and I definitely appreciate that perk.

But, there are some hard aspect to being home, alone, all day long. It takes a lot of self-motivation to stay on task and get things done - and sometimes the couch just looks way too comfortable. 

I found that the best way to feel productive as a person - and as an employee - working from my home I have to follow these "rules" 


Workout first thing
Being home and sitting all day can make me feel very unproductive and grungy. Getting a workout in before 9am makes all the difference in my day (even the days I go into the office). It gets my body energized to work and if I take a class - it's about as social as my day is gonna get.



Get Dressed
It's very easy to stay in those said workout clothes, but it does me no good. After my workout, I need to shower, slab a little make-up on, and put on something. I don't wear office clothes if I don't have any meetings, but putting something together helps. 


This is pretty much my work-from-home uniform.


No TV
Not even as background. It's too easy to sit down in front of it, and the presence of TV makes me feeling like I'm not at work - even though I'm on the clock. My mom shared this secret with me (and the get dressed tip) when she started having babies, and it works for me too. 


Sit at a desk or table
I don't like sitting in our guest room all day, so I normally set up shop at our dining room table. 

 

I like to have everything that I will need for the entire day there. Having my little work station set up in the morning and then put away at night also helps keep me on task. 


Pandora all day
I keep my Pandora going all day - because otherwise, it's just too damn quiet. Jason Mraz is my go-to station, but then after work, I like to switch it to Darius Rucker to have a glass of wine outside or prepare dinner to. 


Take outside breaks
Roscoe reaps the benefits of this one, but every two hours or so, I've gotta get out of the house.

 

 24 hours starts to feel very long if I'm trapped in our small condo all day, so lots of outside breaks help keep the day moving. We just go around the block but when I come back inside, I normally get a good 30-60 minute jolt of productivity. 


Set Timers
When I am really struggling to sit and work - which happens more than I wish it did - I will set timers for myself. I won't let myself stop working for 45 minutes, and then I'll get away from the computer and try and do something; walk the dog, run to CVS, fold clothes, water plants, whatever. It just breaks up the day, and I consider that time spent equal to the distractions that come up in an office - so it all breaks even

 
When you stop, really stop. 
When my day is done, I need all working materials out of my line of vision. My computer and work stuff need to be packed away so that I get my "home" back too. And then pour a drink. 




There are all pretty obvious - and easy to do tips, but when I break ANY of them, I can tell the difference in my mood, my work, and my week. Hope they help if you find yourself in the confines of your house all day.
What young inner city girls need to know, you should be strong, fierce, and occasionally ruthless on the INSIDE. Let the outside be a LADY you will get farther in life than knocked up at 16 or dropped out working for minimum wage.