Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy Weekend!

The husband and I are off to San Clemente. A family member is away for the weekend and they have offered us their house. So we'll be relaxing and dining by the beach... a happy weekend indeed. Image Source here

Friday, January 29, 2010

Drooling over Aprons

Yesterday as I was perusing through my daily reads, I came across a post on Pamwares aprons over at Bliss. I Loooovvvee them. Pam's aprons are a work of art and I would be even more motivated to cook up something creative and special while donning one of these babies. Browse through these photos and her etsy site... you'll be craving one as well.



Thursday, January 28, 2010

I have a Cookie Fetish...

In the last 3 weeks I've made cookies 3 times. Chocolate Chip, then Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and yesterday: Sugar Cookies. I'm going to branch out to more exotic desserts soon, but right now I'm just trying to use what I have in the cupboards :)

Here's the recipe I got from Food Network Magazine for these wonderfully simple and delicious cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Beat in 2 egg yolks, 1 tspn vanilla, and 1 tspn orange zest.

In a seperate bowl, whisk 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tspn baking powder, and 1/4 tspn salt. Stir into butter mixture, then chill for 30 minutes.


Remove from fridge after 30 minutes. Roll tablespoons into bowls and flatten. Sprinkle with whatever you want: I chose red for Valentine's and the multi- colored sprinkles because they're my favorite.
Bake for 15- 20 minutes. I baked mine for 16- 17 minutes.
And then you have these! The dough is really good as well by the way ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weekend Mountain Wedding: Red Velvet and Taffeta

Truth be told, we were having so much fun dancing and talking with all of our guests that we forgot about the cake. That is, until we saw this little guy already digging into one of the red velvet cupcakes. So we scurried our fancy butts on over to the dessert table and started to cut the cake. We never planned on having a cake. We were content with the cupcakes, caramel apples, and cheesecake and just figured we'd feed each other half a cupcake. But on the morning of our wedding, our cupcake caterer surprised us with a mini cake for us to cut. Loved our vendors!

Mr. Espresso showing off as we try and cut the cake that had started to freeze from the weather :)Almost there...Seriously... cutting one tiny cake with two different hands is more difficult that you would think :)There we go...Wait... what's this face of Mr. Espresso's?Nevermind, I'm starting to look a little mischievous myselfWe had already talked pre- wedding that we wouldn't be smashing the cake in each other's faces. I understand that some people love it- but we decided on just going the "feeding nicely" route..until half the bite dropped down my dress that is.Oh the feeling of having smooshed red velvet between your boobs, in front of all your family and friends, and not being able to do one tiny thing about it...We laughed it off and kissed. I had red velvet all over my hands and didn't want to get my red hands on his shirt...But then I remembered that it was already in my dress, it was our Wedding Day, and I LOVE this man- Screw the Red Velvet stains- now we matched ;)Will you be feeding nicely or caking smashing on your wedding day?

Miss Something? Catch up Here:

Weekend Mountain Wedding: Dancing for Money... with Our Clothes On
Weekend Mountain Wedding: A Dance with My Papa
Weekend Mountain Wedding: And We Danced
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Cheers!
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Details, Details, and More Details
Weekend Mountain Wedding: an Abandoned House and an Open Field
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Bridge, Part 2
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Bridge, Part 1
Weekend Mountain Wedding: It's All Relative
Weekend Mountain Wedding: A Whole Lot of Love
Weekend Mountain Wedding: We Say I Do!!!
Weekend Mountain Wedding: A Walk Beneath the Pines
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Procession of Little Black Dresses
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Clock Strikes Two
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Dress Comes On
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Fancy Men at Dreamland
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Time to Get Beautified
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Morning Time
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Fancy vs. Not Fancy at the Rehearsal
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Day Before
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Proof That It Did In Fact Happen

All photos by the amazingly talented Sandra Salisbury

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Listening to...

The new cd by Corinne Bailey Rae titled, "The Sea." I have it on repeat in the background. Completely lovely.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Items in the Silver Pencils Etsy Shop!

I listed new items in my Silver Pencils Etsy shop over the weekend. I also ordered some business cards so I can finally start giving out cards and stop writing on scratch pieces of paper :)

Here's a glimpse at a few of the new items.

A smaller version of the luxe Bridal Champagne Brunch Derby in Ivory and Black

Derby in Black and White


Mama Needs a New Pair of Jeans

Image Source here

Yesterday I ran errands to 5 different stores, and when I hopped back in the car after the last stop, I realized I had a gigantic hole down the butt of my jeans... I have no idea if I went out like that or if it happened somewhere in the process. I instantly started laughing out loud... making me look more like a crazy person. Needless to say, I think it's time I invested in some new clothes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Friday!

Danny and I are going to a cooking class tonight- a gift we received for our Anniversary. What's on your menu this weekend?
Image source here

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Sense of the Spa at Home

I loooove going to get massages at the Spa. Having someone work out all the tension in my muscles for an hour while also listening to cds like, "Sounds of the Wind" or songs that sound like they're from "The Last Samurai," just relaxes me to my very core. And the bed/ table thing that I lie on always smells like lavender or eucalyptus. I can't get enough of it. So the other day when I was walking by Bath and Body, I decided to go in and purchase one of their pillow mists. And to my surprise- it was half off!

So now every night, and all for the price of $4, I go to sleep to the relaxing soft scent of eucalyptus... and it is oh so wonderful.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tasty and Healthy Snack

Have you tried these? I used to always eat Clif Bars during my hikes, but then I found these one day and haven't been able stop snacking on them! They are the Clif Kid Twisted Fruit Ropes. Each fruit rope is organic, contains no sugar/ high fructose corn syrup/ artificial sweetener, and is 100% fruit. And they're only 70 calories each which I this is a good snack calorie count.

They come in 6 different flavors: Mixed Berry, Sour Apple, Strawberry, Tropical Twist, Pineapple, and Grape. My two favorites are the Mixed Berry and Strawberry.

They can be hard to find. I've had my most luck at Henry's, Whole Foods, and Amazon.
Image Source here

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Puppy!!

Happy 3rd Birthday Maverick!

Every morning Maverick watches me in the kitchen... he brought the rug up onto the chair himself- can't be getting that bum of his dirty

And then he usually spends the rest of his day in high energy activities.

Like sleeping on tables...

Or in bushes
I love our dog

Cookies for Your Valentine

Over Christmas I made these tasty cookies from Martha Stewart's COOKIES cookbook called Grammy's Chocolate Cookies. The recipe calls for regular sanding sugar to roll them in but I took my Christmas sprinkles and used those instead. I think these cookies would be great for Valentine's Day as well- and they could be rolled in pinks, whites, and reds to go with the occassion. They actually have a set of Valentine color sprinkles in the dollar section at Target right now (although I think they're $2.50... still a good deal though).
So here's the recipe:
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch- process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Sanding Sugar for rolling


Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture; beat to combine. Form dough into a flattened disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Rolls each ball in sanding sugar. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 1.5 inches apart. Bake until set, 10- 12 minutes, rotaing halfway through. Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies from baking sheet to wire rack. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temp up to 1 week.

There they are on the right.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Packin' a Lunch

My husband once told me that his mom used to wake up every morning with his dad and make lunch for him before he left for work. And my response- if I didn't have a job and/or have to leave before you- I totally would do the same thing dear. And I totally believed in my heart that I would. It just seems like a nice thing to do for another person- especially when that person is the love of your life.

So... I've been working from home since December 1'st... and still no lunch. There were the holidays, my birthday, I was sick for a couple of weeks... the violins could go on forever. My husband never once asked me to make his lunch during this time either... I just felt a tiny twinge of guilt in my stomach when he woke up at 3:30am every morning (back when I was working he woke up between 9am- 10am... a lot easier to make lunch for him then) and I kept sleeping.

So today marked a new day. The alarm went off at 3:30am... and I got up, pulled a hooded sweatshirt over my zombie body, and did a penguin waddle to the kitchen.

Once the light hit my eyes and I got some coffee in me... I actually started to feel pretty awake. Check out the salad I made for him.

Chopped Serrano Chilies, Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, Pepito Seeds, Sliced Jalapenos, Pine Nuts, Chopped Cilantro, and Diced Yellow Bell P- and all on top of a bed of fresh spring salad and spinach leaves.I then proceeded to make a homemade vinaigrette. Dude... 3:30am is my time!

After he left, I did my devotions, had another cup of coffee, and decided to make some blueberry pancakes for breakfast.
Although they tasted good, the presentation on those weren't so good- so no pictures there :)
This is my goal. I'm going to keep waking up with Danny every morning at 3:30 to make his lunch. Heck- it's not even 7am and I've accomplished so much

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Product Review: Keurig Brewing System

For Christmas, my step dad surprised me with the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System. As a coffee snob who only drinks Starbucks coffee, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. But I have definitely fallen in love my Keurig. I always used to hate when I'd make too much coffee and then waste it. Since the Keurig only makes one cup at a time, no waste here. And it has required me to try different types of coffee too.

My favorites so far:

Emeril's Big Easy Bold Coffeeand Newman's Own Organic Special Blend, Extra Bold Coffee.And then for something different, I ordered Gloria Jean's Flavored Coffee Variety Box... includes such yummy treats at Mudslide, Butter Toffee, and Swiss Chocolate Almond Coffee.



The boxes run about $13.95 per box of 22 servings and the Special Edition Keurig Brewing system is about $129.95. They also have boxes offering hot chocolate and different tea types. I have a gigantic box of green teas. Overall, I think it's a great buy, it's quiet, and it came in really handy when we had a lot of guests over for Christmas. We were able to satisfy those who wanted coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc...

I recommend :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weekend Mountain Wedding: Dancing for Money... with Our Clothes On

We went back and forth on whether or not to have a Money Dance. We had taken out the garter and bouquet tosses, the mother/ son and father/ daughter dances... so why should we have a money dance? And would our relatives just look at us as just asking for money? And what if no one stood in line to dance with us? The questions went on forever.

After talking with Mama Espresso about it a few times she told us to go for it. We're young. We're broke. And it would give our guests all a chance to dance with us.

So the money dance was in. And we had SO MUCH FUN!

Background music:



Our fears of guests not standing in line were defeated. They were standing in every direction We danced with family members whom we normally would never have had the chance toWe danced in groups of 3Our guests donned beanies, overcoats, sweatshirts, mittens, anything to keep warm. And I love having pictures showing our fancy guests in spontaneous, unfancy garb. It's fun and different... and a testament of how wonderfully flexible our southern California guests were to the 38 degree weather :) Hardly anyone was at their seats...They were all standing in line and mingling around the heatersWe were congratulated constantly. Wished the best of luck. Given little nuggets of marital wisdom...as well as a little bit of money :)We danced with everyoneAnd one of my favorite parts of it all- getting dressed by my different partners. I had guests bring me jackets, sweaters, and even blankets for our dance!I'm normally not big on dancing...but I was having so much fun I could have danced all day.

I'm so incredibly glad we decided to do the money dance. We danced with almost all of our relatives... and most for the first time. Dancing with them also gave us quality time with each of our friends and family... something we may not have been able to have otherwise.

When Mr. Espresso and I were driving in the limo to our hotel later, we broke out the Money Dance stash and decided to count it. There was over $700!! We were in shock. Neither of us come from wealthy families. But everyone was so generous and willing to dance with us. It was a wonderful surprise and blessing. Yay for the Money Dance! :)

Miss Something? Catch up Here:

Weekend Mountain Wedding: A Dance with My Papa
Weekend Mountain Wedding: And We Danced
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Cheers!
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Details, Details, and More Details
Weekend Mountain Wedding: an Abandoned House and an Open Field
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Bridge, Part 2
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Bridge, Part 1
Weekend Mountain Wedding: It's All Relative
Weekend Mountain Wedding: A Whole Lot of Love
Weekend Mountain Wedding: We Say I Do!!!
Weekend Mountain Wedding: A Walk Beneath the Pines
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Procession of Little Black Dresses
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Clock Strikes Two
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Dress Comes On
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Fancy Men at Dreamland
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Time to Get Beautified
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Morning Time
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Fancy vs. Not Fancy at the Rehearsal
Weekend Mountain Wedding: The Day Before
Weekend Mountain Wedding: Proof That It Did In Fact Happen

All photos by the amazingly talented Sandra Salisbury

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