Talk About It: Are You a Shopaholic?

June 28, 2013

Since having to do most of the packing for our move my husband is now claiming that we have way too much stuff; on the flip side, I'm looking around our new house thinking of all the things I need to buy to make it a home. And yes, while our decent-sized closet isn't nearly big enough to house all my clothes and accessories, much less his, I can't help but plot about future shopping trips after baby Golden makes her debut in a few weeks.  That's right--I'm a bit of a shopaholic. I'm nothing like the character in a Sophie Kinsella novel, but oh, how I love to shop!

What about you? Do you consider yourself a shopaholic? And if so, what's your weakness? Do you whip out the plastic at the first hint of a shoe sale, or do home interiors make your heart flutter? I want to hear all about your shopping vices, girls!

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Happy Friday {and a $1 Deal at Old Navy}

June 28, 2013

It's hard to believe this is the last Friday in June; is it me or is 2013 just flying by?

This weekend is going to be a scorcher, so I've big plans to stay indoors in the comfort of my air conditioning. I may venture out for frozen yogurt and perhaps a trip to Old Navy for $1 flip flops (yep, one day only; flip flops for a buck!). I'm not a huge fan of flip flops but the dramatic change in climate and my slightly puffy pregnant feet are a good reason to stock up. Plus it's hard for me to resist a good deal. 

Whatever your plans this weekend, I hope it's excellent! God bless!

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Get Gorgeous with Vinegar

June 26, 2013

Besides making a great dressing for salads, keeping colored denim from fading, and making your coffee pot spotless, vinegar is an amazing beauty product and it's amazingly cheap. Here are ten reasons to keep a bottle in your beauty cabinet.

1. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts warm water to make an astringent for oily skin. Apply with a cotton ball, leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
2. Help make your mani last longer by soaking your fingertips in a solution of 2 teaspoons of vinegar and ½ cup water before you paint your nails.
3. For cleaner, shinier tresses, rinse hair with a small amount of vinegar (about 2 to 3 tablespoons).
4. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces of water (you can also mix in honey to sweeten it) and drink it to reap the benefits of all the minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.
5. Avoid unsightly deodorant stains on your clothes and stay fresh all day by splashing a bit of white vinegar on your underarms in the morning.
6. Got toenail fungus, athlete's foot, or just plain old stinky tootsies (no judgement)? Soak your feet once a day in a strong vinegar and water solution--like a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio.
7. Soak your hairbrush with a solution of 1 part distilled white vinegar and 2 parts hot water to clean and remove product buildup.
8. Whiten teeth and freshen breath by brushing with distilled white vinegar.
9. For soft, silky skin put 1 cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and fill the rest with warm water, spritz all over your body and leave on for 5-1o minutes. Rinse in the shower.
10. Relieve the painful blistering and peeling of a sunburn by applying apple cider vinegar directly to the burned areas.

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Bacon, Avocado & Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich

June 25, 2013

Simplicity is often the key when it comes to summertime meals; no one wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when there is sunshine to enjoy. This sandwich, which is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any meal in between, is quick and simple to make, leaving you lots of time to kick back and enjoy the rest of your day or evening. 

Bacon, Avocado & Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich
4 slices thick-cut bacon
4 slices wheat bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large avocado, skin and pit removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Cook bacon slices over medium heat until crispy. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.  Meanwhile, toast the four slices of bread and butter one side of each slice. Top the buttered side of the toast with a slice of bacon broken in half crosswise, a quarter of the sun-dried tomato, and a quarter of the sliced avocado. Season with salt and pepper and serve open-faced. 

photo by Angelica Golden 

Happy First Day of Summer

June 21, 2013

It's finally summer! Celebrate the warm weather and long, lazy days with these summertime musts.

What to Wear
Seems we wait all year to be able to shed our clothes, so why not strip down to a bathing suit with a fun, summery print like this Yellow Lemon Bandeau Bikini from Topshop. 

What to Eat
Summer just wouldn't be summer without juicy watermelon. For a light and refreshing summer meal try this Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze.

What to Drink:
The perfect margarita recipe is kind of essential for BBQs, picnics, and just relaxing by the pool. These Strawberry Basil Margaritas combine fragrant basil with sweet summer berries. 

Happy Friday

June 21, 2013

Thank. Goodness. It's. Friday! Our move to Phoenix has seemed neverending (hence the lack of posts this week), from all the prep like finding a place, getting packed, etc. to getting all of our wares into the new house and finding a place for everything and putting everything in its place (thanks to my mom and my lovely cousin Toni for helping with that). And, while there are still plenty of boxes to be unpacked, it's finally Friday and I'm taking a break from it all to do a little exploring. 

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

image via Pinterest

Happy Friday {and Farewell L.A.}

June 14, 2013

I apologize for the lack of posts this week. We're leaving L.A. for Phoenix tomorrow and I've been crazy busy packing and taking care of last minute details. And, I'll admit, spending a few moments every day to sort of mourn the fact that I'm leaving a city that I love so much. Here are five things I'm really going to miss:

5. The food! From brunch at Griddle Cafe on Sunset to dinners at MB Post in Manhattan Beach...and every other place in between that we either frequented or planned to try out but never got around to. 

4. Celebrity sightings. Okay, I'm not like a tourist or celeb stalker or anything, but who's really going to complain about seeing Shemar Moore jogging shirtless down 3rd Avenue? Not me!

3. The weather. Simply cannot be beat!

2. The beach.  Oh, the beach! How I'll miss that beautiful Pacific Ocean! 

1. Most of all I'll miss my family, and the friends who are like family. Thankfully, Phoenix is just a flight away!

Happy Friday! Here's wishing you a fabulous and restful weekend!

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10 Essentials for the Crafty Girl

June 11, 2013

Whether you make the occasional birthday card yourself or have an entire space dedicated to crafting (lucky you!), here are a few must-haves every crafty girl should have in her repertoire.

1. Beautiful ribbon is a must for everything from greeting cards to garland.  
2. Spray adhesive helps make glittering jars, vases, boxes, and anything else easier and faster.
3. A brush set with both flat and round brushes that isn't too expensive.
4. A cutting mat that self-heals so it lasts and lasts for endless crafting. 
5. Even the most un-crafty girl can benefit from a good glue gun.

6. A pretty place to store all your crafting wares. 
7. An assortment of glitter is a major must-have.
8. Colorful washi tape has so many uses, from making custom wrapping paper to scrapbooking.

9. For precise crafting an X-acto knife works better than scissors. 10. Scrapbook paper can be used in multiple ways, not just for scrapbooking. 

Scenes From a Baby Shower { and a New Obsession}

June 10, 2013

I have the most wonderful family! Last Sunday, while celebrating a couple of graduations, they decided that I absolutely should not leave California without a proper send-off. Yesterday they hosted a sweet, intimate gathering of family and a few of my very closest friends for a lovely baby shower (yep, they pulled it off in just seven days). It was a very special day and truly lifted my spirits before our move to Phoenix. 

In other news, have you tried this Organix Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Instant Repair? My gorgeous and talented friend Dana also happens to be my hairdresser, and whenever I leave her my blowout is flawless--glossy, silky, and bouncy. Not the case when I attempt an at-home blowout. But I tried this out for my baby shower and my strands stayed silky and frizz-free the entire day. A total lifesaver!

Movie Night Cookies

June 7, 2013

One of my favorite treats when I go to the movies is hot buttered popcorn with plain M'n'Ms sprinkled in. I found a salty/sweet cookie recipe that mixes traditional cookie ingredients with popcorn and chocolate-covered raisins, but I decided to omit the Raisinettes and use plain M'n'Ms to recreate my favorite movie snack. I highly recommend you make these for your next movie night!

Movie Night Cookies
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups plain M'n'Ms
3 cups buttered and salted popcorn

Preheat oven to 325°.  Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  In a separate large bowl, use a mixer to cream butter until it's fluffy.  Add both sugars and continue mixing until creamy and well combined. Add one of the eggs to the sugar/butter mixture, then add just the yolk of the second egg. Next, add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.  Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing well between each addition. Finally, stir in the M'n'Ms, then gently fold in the popcorn. Drop by the spoonful onto cookie sheet and bake for about 14-16 minutes. 

photos by Angelica Golden

Happy Friday

June 7, 2013

It's my last full weekend in California and I've got big plans to spend time with my very close-knit family. They've put together a cozy, last minute baby shower for me before I go and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and snapping as many pictures as I can to take with me to Phoenix. 

I hope your weekend is fantastic!

image via Pinterest

5 Favorite: Carrie Bradshaw Looks

June 6, 2013

Today marks the 15th anniversary of Sex and the City, one of my most favorite television shows. Like most fans of SATC, one of the main reasons I watched was to see what the ladies, namely Carrie Bradshaw, were wearing. Here, in no particular order, are five (of about three hundred) of my favorite Carrie Bradshaw looks from the series. 

The exposed bra makes this one of Carrie's most unforgettable looks. And it was styled so expertly with the head scarf and pumps.

 I loved the mix of stripes and florals. And her hair looked great too.

Remember when The Russian bought her this Oscar de la Renta? And by the way, I've always maintained that Carrie's hair was so good when she was with him--don't you agree?

This look was absolutely adorable. I can remember immediately looking for a colorful striped skirt after seeing this on the show (sadly, I was unsuccessful, though I did score a brilliant turquoise pleated number).

I would be remiss to leave out the gorgeous, frothy, enormous Versace Carrie donned in Paris when she was waiting for The Russian in their hotel room. Positively stunning!

There are of course countless other Carrie Bradshaw looks I love, but this post would be neverending if I included them all! Tell me, what is your favorite Carrie Bradshaw outfit?

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Sunshine and Laughter

June 5, 2013

Hello lovelies! I hope today your cups runneth over...

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Currently Drooling Over: Scalloped Edges

June 4, 2013

For a girly girl like me, pretty design details, like scalloped edges, make my heart go pitter-patter. Recently I've spotted sweet little scallops on everything from cake pans to lipgloss tubes. 

Scalloped-edged placeholders to add charm to a brunch or dinner table.
This lipgloss duo proves that a scallop print is everything.
Lovely stationary to let friends know you're thinking of them.
These pretty little pans bake up cakes that resemble flowers. They also make sweet little serving trays. 
Sweet ballet flats in a fun, summery color.
A thin bangle that has fat impact.
Neverending, overlapping scallops add interest and dimension to a simple white vase.
A scalloped bikini is a sweet-meets-sexy warm weather must-have! 
The cutest makeup case ever.

5 Ideas for a Fabulous Movie Night

June 3, 2013

Having a movie night at your place is a lot of fun, and it's a great way to play hostess with minimum effort (as opposed to hosting a dinner or cocktail party). Here are five low-maintenance tips to make your next movie night even more fabulous.  

Fun Fare
Popcorn and candy are musts for a good movie night, so stock up. I like to troll the food section at Cost Plus World Market for imported snacks as well as throwback candies, like Junior Mints and Sugar Babies. Another fun idea, build-your-own pizza; buy pre-made pizza dough, cut into individual servings, and let guests add their own toppings. 

Have a Theme
Make it a 007 night (a brilliant theme that works for both guys and girls), or gather up all your chick flicks for a girl's night (anything by Nancy Meyers is perfect). Decorations aren't necessary, but if you find some that fit your theme, go for it!

Make it Cozy
Spread pillows for comfy seating on the floor, and have blankets on hand so guests can get cozy. And rearrange the furniture a little, or pull in furniture from another room if necessary. Mattresses make great makeshift chaise lounges. 

Create a Movie Theater Atmosphere
Set a more theatrical ambiance with dimmed lighting. If you don't have light dimmers, simply light a few candles and spread them around the room.

Use a Projector
Instead of watching the movies on TV, project them on an empty wall. Even better, if weather permits, take the projector outside and play the movie on a white or light-colored, flat sheet (hang it on a clothesline or garage door) for movie night under the stars.
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