Weekend Recap

This was the first weekend in a while that it was just Joel and I. 

Beyond one fun outing, we didn't do much.

Saturday morning, before a long hike, I finally broke out some pumpkin flavored goodies.

In my head, it's fall. 

Outside, it's about 90 degrees.

Our hike was freaking hot, but oh so beautiful.

After our workout, we drove up to Malibu Wines to celebrate the wonderful Laura's Golden Birthday. 

Malibu Wines is the perfect spot for a birthday party. Laura's husband had tons of wine, snacks, and carrot cake for us to nosh on while we took in the live music and caught up with friends.

And yes, I was the loon in boots while everyone else looked darling in their sun dresses. This Chicago girl needs to wise up! 


Oh, and we weren't the only one's celebrating a birthday there.

Kaley Cuoco and Ali Fedotowosky were sitting at the table next to us celebrating Amy Davidson's  birthday too.

8 Simple rules cast
 It was another solid celeb sighting!
We had so much fun spending our afternoon there. If it was just a wee bit closer, I'm pretty sure I'd spend every weekend here.

Sunday was spent at Church (yep, that habit is being reinstated in this house), football, laundry, and mimosa's. 

This is my most favorite season and I'm absolutely giddy with all the fun plans we have ahead of us.

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."  -anne of green gables


Friday's Five

Fall purchases are well underway and this J.Crew blouse is the latest addition to my closet. It was on mega sale, and is easily my new favorite go-to. I literally need about 20 of these light weight, easy, yet put together tops.

I really like the way it looks under a crew-neck sweater, too, a la Damsel in Dior.


Did you catch any of the new pilots that aired this on ABC this week?

My new favorite is Trophy Wife - and I have pretty much decided that I have a major girl crush on Malin Akerman.

I did catch (no pun intended) Back in the Game, and it's enjoyable, but I'm not sure if it has staying power.
Also, I haven't seen that actress since Model Behavior (Justin Timberlake....anyone!?!)


So I bought a Polar watch last week and so far, so good. I was really happy with it until  my cousins showed me their Fitbit.
The Polar watch is a heart rate monitor/watch that you wear during workouts. I really like seeing my heart rate and calorie burn, but it's only for workouts. The fitbit clip onto your bra and is more of an everyday tool. It's a pedometer,  but also shows burned calories for the entire day, not just for a workout.

I'm curious if the Fitbit would be more motivating in an everyday sense than the Polar watch....

Do you use either? Which do you prefer?

What are your thoughts on all of these glam sweatshirts? 

Old Navy
I think they're actually adorable, but I'm curious if it's a trend that will last.

And truth.
Have a great weekend!


Pretzel Chicken

For the last few years, I've been majorly anti-chicken, but I'm here to say that those tides have turned!

I'm officially a chicken convert!

This "Pretzel Chicken" is easy, crunchy, salty, sweet and delishhh.

Joel said during dinner that these would be the perfect picnic food (which, is semi-strange, because we don't really picnic) if they were served cold.

Either way, cold or hot, these bad boys will be chomped up quickly!

Here are the goods:

My recipe is based off of this Pintrest goodie. 

2 cups panko crumbs
2 cups pretzel crumbs*
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Dijon mustard 
1/3 cup honey 
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 + 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour,


1. Pre-heat oven to 400 and toast the bread crumbs over high heat until browned. Stir constantly (they take about 5 minutes)
2. Use a mallet/rolling pin to crush pretzels and then combine to roasted bread crumbs.

3. In a blender, pulse olive oil, mustard, honey, vinegar, water, brown sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Save half to dip chicken in before baking, and half to drizzle finished chicken.

 4. Pound chicken to flatten and create desired "strips"

5. Create your dipping stations. Chicken, flour, mustard, and pretzel mixture.

6. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

7. Enjoy!



I couldn't hold off decorating for fall anymore, so yesterday I dragged the "Halloween" box out of storage and ripped it open like a kid on Christmas.

Until, of course, I found the same five lame pieces of Halloween goodies that I've used for the last four years. 

Buzz. Kill.

Even though my collection is far from good - the lack thereof gives me a chance to stop, think about a few items I want, and buy with purpose

Kristin posted a "Fall Decor To-Do" list, so I'm borrowing her idea and doing the same. 

::: 1::: Craft!
DIY Halloween Wine Bottles.  Drop in glow sticks and they glow! 
These little cuties will be my first DIY in a long time. I'm collecting bottles (which ain't hard) and I'm going to try and follow these directions for six of these bad boys of my own!

Fill my hurricane candles with fall goodies
So pretty

Add a burlap runner to our couch table
tie burlap runner ends with cute ribbon 
Add fall touches to our front door wreath
Fall Berry Wreath --an easy DIY!
Invest in some fun fall signs
Fall sign 
Pumpkin. Candles. Everywhere.
Pumpkin Candles

I'm hoping that by next weekend I'll have made a good dent in this list and can show you what I come up with!

What touches do you add to your house to fall-sify?


Weekend Recap

We finally commenced our insanely fun, but insanely busy September.

On Friday - after Joel and I bought a second car!!! - my cousins Nick and Dre flew out from Chicago to spend the weekend with us.

Dre and I started with lunch at Coast and then we met up with more cousins for dinner at Mercato di Vetro in West Hollywood.


It was so nice to spend the entire weekend with family. There really isn't any friendship that can compare to family, and I'm so lucky to have the best cousins in the freaking world.

On Saturday morning we took Nick and Dre to climb Westridge - and then had breakfast and the best latte at Coral Tree Cafe in Brentwood.

Saturday night the four of us went for Sushi at Katsuya.

Katsuya is a really fun spot to visit while you are in LA. It's very scene-y and the food is delicious, but it can get really pricey.

Over the weekend - on Saturday, September 21st, our good friends Brent and Dawn had their baby boy Max Oliver. 

We couldn't have been more excited, and we were so honored that they invited us to the hospital on Sunday to meet their sweet baby boy.
Max was such a bundle of goodness, and I'm so excited to be able to watch him  grow up and witness Brent and Dawn become parents.

It was a weekend filled with love.

a much needed reminder this week.


Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Every week I like to have at least one vegetarian dinner and this one fit all of the criteria: fast, easy, filling, and yummy. 

I used this recipe from Pintrest but made some tweaks.


The Goods

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa I used 1.5 uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of Sriracha
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded ***7-8 work better
  •  ***Next time, I would add diced jalapeno's


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil. Wash the peppers, remove the top and de-seed.

 2. Cook Quinoa - use 1.5 cup quinoa to 3 cup water


3. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, sriracha, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, cumin, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper.


4. Spoon the filling each each bell pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm

I topped the peppers with extra cheese 5 minutes before they were ready to be pulled out!


We had extra filling that I saved for lunches for the next day. With this recipe, you could easily fill 7-8 peppers.


Friendship in my 20's

Friendship is very important in my life. 

Growing up, my parents always had a lot of friends. On the weekends we had babysitters both Friday and Saturday nights so my parents could go to dinners or be at parties.

 We were constantly hosting people at our house for dinners, graduations, and birthdays. Our summers were filled with neighborhood BBQs, block parties, and events.

 The door to our house was always open and someone was always coming in.
There is some truth in that.
My mom and dad are both very are good to their friends, and, in return, their friends are good to them. They are generous, thoughtful, loyal, and available.

After spending the weekend with my parents and their long time friends, I started to look at the relationships in my life.
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other <3
Right now, I'm trying to live the example that my parents set. "Never go to someones house empty handed, thank you notes are expected always, help people whenever you can, stay involved, and most importantly, show up."

As a newlywed, my friendships are being redefined. 

In Chicago, my best friends have always and will always be my best friends. We have unbreakable relationships, and no matter what, noting will change that bond. They will be my children's aunts and uncles, and vice versa.

People need people, people

Out here in California, it's different. I have made great friends - I've been blessed - but it's different.

There isn't as much loyalty and we are starting from a playing field without any history. It's not as easy, not as comfortable, and I struggle to fully open up, fully depend, and fully relax.

I've been struggling lately to understand and adapt to these different adult relationships, and it makes me yearn for my comfortable and full life back in Chicago.

I know that growing up - things change, and right now, I'm in the midst of learning what these adult relationships look like. 

People have families, husbands, jobs, babies, and lives, that need to be tended to. And sometimes, I find myself disconnected. 

Adult friendships are new to me and I'm trying to figure it out.
 so true
With that being said, I like being a good friend. I like making people feel thought of and special.

I want to live the way my parents did, and so it's up me to re-create that for myself and my family.

I always want to be known as someone who can be counted on, someone who is interested, and someone who is thoughtful. 

Life is short, and I sure as hell want to be remembered as a good friend.

Life Is Short White art, white, black