Friday, December 31, 2010

a little bit of sparkle.

So I am sitting here eating Have'a Chips procrastinating.  I'm making an amazing dinner tonight that isn't difficult, but requires a bit of time and effort and I'm just not in the mood yet to start cooking again.  (Even though I can't wait to start eating again!)  I thought I'd share a little sparkle with you just in case you need a last minute outfit for tonight (New Year's Eve!) and you live near a Bloomingdale's or Neiman's.  My pretty girlfriend Kim wore this the night of her and her husband's Boat Parade Party.  Although the boats were lovely to see, it was hard to notice anything else besides Kim, her beautiful smile, and that sequin top.  By far the best piece of sequin I've seen all season.  

Okay, off to cook now.  More on the scrumptious meal later... Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 20, 2010

what i'll be drinking.

The London Special.

photo and recipe via hip hip gin gin, a just discovered, amazing blog that reminded me i should be drinking more of this.

Even though Sparky and I will be enjoying a quiet lovely evening at home with the girlies two on New Year's Eve, I still plan on making it fun, festive, and fabulous.  We will be toasting the New Year at 9 pm (as it will be midnight in NYC) and I'll also be drinking my favorite champagne cocktail.  I first discovered this drink at Cafe R&D* when the adorable waitress suggested it as my girlfriend Becky and I were perusing their bubbly selection one afternoon.  I fell in love at first sip.  Unfortunately, our waitress never mentioned the name of the drink and I never asked.  I left not knowing what I was drinking!  I only knew that I'd been sipping a fabulous flute of subtly (flower) flavored champagne yumminess.  I'm pretty sure I called R&D to find out the name of the drink and whomever I talked to didn't have a clue about what I was talking!  It became my mission at restaurants to find my new love and yet, maybe I was asking the wrong people, no one knew my drink.  And people, it's not that complicated of a recipe!  Disappointed and desperate (yes, i sometimes get desperate over food/cocktails,) I threw a few ingredients together in an attempt to recreate this glass of yumminess.

Scrumptious Champagne Cocktail = Rose Flower Water + Sugar Cube + Champagne (This is also called La Vie en Rose, although I did not learn that until well after consuming many a flute. =)

Random find in the spice section of Gelson's

And while this version of making-do is in fact quite delicious, it just wasn't the perfection I was looking for.  Plus, I wanted to drink this OUT of the house, not just while I was building blocks with the two year old or coloring with the five year old.  Last October, I hit the proverbial jackpot at my good friend Kim's rehearsal dinner when the lovelies at The Ritz* knew what the hell I was talking about when I attempted to order my cocktail.  FINALLY.   So now I can enjoy it anytime I want, where ever I may be.  And you can too.  Cheers!

*I highly recommend the roast beef sandwich at R&D (the best you'll ever taste unless my mom makes you one) and if you feel like traveling back in time to a swanky club of the 50's visit The Ritz.  Both are in Newport Beach.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

first annual (tradition.)

In the midst of the regularly scheduled holiday rush-to-get-it-all-done-while-enjoying-ourselves-immensely-and-creating-lasting-memories-programming, the two year old and I took some time out today (a station break, if you will) to puddle jump and window shop.  The unplanned one on one time with Georgia was incredibly satisfying, relaxing, and fun.  The word decompress comes to mind.  These are the moments.  (Oh, and if you are in the mood for some puddles, I highly recommend these grown up wellies for proper jumping. =)

Friday, December 10, 2010

ruffle me up.

I considered calling this post "feeling (completely and totally) overwhelmed."  That said, it's most definitely time for a little distraction.  Ruffles always cheer me up. (A little femininity goes a long way, yes?)  You must twirl in them for proper effect.  

A few picks for me (and you, if you so desire...)

roaring ruffles dress (super cute with a belt!)

leather skirt (yes, please!)

And for the girlies...

And now back to the regularly scheduled holiday rush-to-get-it-all-done-all-while-enjoying-ourselves-immensely-and-creating-lasting-memories programming.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

a quote + how the five year old lives her life (take a lesson, mom.)

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

And I think by (paint),  he meant (fill in the blank.)  I'm just sayin'.

Friday, December 3, 2010

it's the little things (and sometimes it's not.)

"over the shoulder smolder holder"

This is not me.  This is pretty Kendi from Kendi Everyday, a really funny and fashionable style blog (just in case you aren't a Kendi stalker and didn't know.)  A few days ago, she chose my suggestion for the title of one of her posts and I have to tell you that it made my day.  I was probably as excited as the five year old was when that sneaky little elf Rocky finally showed up here yesterday afternoon.  (Side note, if your elf gets sick, or eaten by your dog, or simply lost in the rafters, a new one can be readily purchased at Barnes and Noble for a mere $29.95.  What.a.racket.)   In all honesty, I was more excited.  Maybe that makes me a dork (uh-huh,) but I choose to look at it differently.  It made me realize that I still have that little kid inside of me,  the one that can find excitement in the littlest of moments, the one that jumps up and down clapping her hands in joy (oh yes I did,) the one that giggles.  And that, my friends, is a very good thing.

Now on to bigger things... anyone notice her reflection GROWING in the mirror lately (or is that just ME?) Sometimes when I turn around to check myself out after getting dressed, I do a double take, and not in a good way.  Hello?  Whose behind is that???   (Thank goodness for these loving pants.)  

It's only the beginning of the eating season people!  This madness has got to stop. 

Really (Really!) Tasty Veggie Soup 
(aka diet soup, shhhhhhhhhh, if you don't tell anyone, no one will know.)
Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pound carrots, cut into bite size rounds
2 small onions, chopped
4 lg. stalks celery, sliced
2 (or 3 or 4 or 5) cloves garlic,
1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 pound (French) green beans, cut into thirds
2 large zucchini, cut into half moons
3 14.5 ounce) cans chopped Italian tomatoes in juice
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
a bunch of basil, chiffonade
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 bags (8 or 9 oz. each) baby spinach leaves
2 cans great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

Cover the bottom of a large pot with olive oil (a couple of tablespoons) and heat over medium.  Add carrots, onions, and celery.  Sauté for 10 minutes until veggies begin to soften, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and sauté for one more minute.  Stir in tomatoes with juice, cabbage, green beans, chicken broth, water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, bay leaf, and basil.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in zucchini and spinach and bring back to a boil.  Reduce to low, cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes until veggies are tender.  Stir in beans and heat through.

Cook's Notes
1. Eat this when not eating "party food" and maybe, just maybe, you will be able to fit in your jeans for the entirety of the season.  (This is primarily a "note to self.")
2.  For the girlies and Sparky and company, I add pasta and shredded cheese to the bowls before ladling in the soup.
3. Fabulous (of course) with a crusty sourdough bread smothered with butter.  ( <-----Defeats my purpose.) 
4.  A little swirl of Sriracha never hurt.
5.  Chunked avocado is surprisingly good piled on top of a big bowl.  Something about the juxtaposition of the hot soup with the cool creamy avocado...mmmmmmmm.  I wiill be having it this way for lunch today!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

APB on a missing elf.

Maybe you know an elf too?  Ours is named Rocky.  He comes every year on the morning of the first of December with a small gift (and every morning after until Christmas) to let the girlies know that Santa loves them, and well, that Santa is watching.  (Don't worry we instill the true reasons behind Christmas too.  Just not here.)   Weeeeeeeeeellll, it's the (early) morning of December 1st, and Mr. Elf is nowhere to be found.  He's not sitting on top of the mantle and he isn't in any of the holiday tubs full of our Christmas decorations either.  Sparky said he checked them all and I believe him.  Really, I do.  (The tubs are in the attic;  I can't get up there or you know I'd be ripping through those damn boxes RIGHT NOW at 2:37 am.)  Before we went to bed, Sparky said, "It's fine. Rocky's just going to be a little late this year.  The girls won't even notice.  I'll move the truck out tomorrow and you can get up in the attic.  No big deal."  And of course, he's right.  Because he's rational and unemotional and normal.  Completely unlike me.  

Here's the letter Rocky sent the girlies.  I just found it and apparently, he's British.  Who knew?  Happy December all.  Let the holiday fun begin.