Friday, March 30, 2012

Jalama Vacation


I'm so excited for our 3 day weekend surf trip! We packed up the Winnebago and left for Jalama Beach at 4:30AM (why do guys like to leave so early?). That means 3 whole days without wedding talk! Yippee! I never thought I would say that. haha -- it's nice to take a break once in a while.
See you Monday my dears.

Words Of Wisdom





Picture:1

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chewy Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Best Cookie Recipe Just Got Better!


I'm sure everyone has heard of the famous NestlĂ© Toll House cookies. They have the best all-American cookie recipe EVER. Until now...same recipe, but with a twist -- Skor bars and milk chocolate chips! Other cookies pale in comparison to these babies! 


Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3 Skor bars

1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

 

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Chop up 3 Skor bars into small chunks and stir into the cookie dough along with the milk chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or waxed paper.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


*Tip: make sure that each cookie dough ball is 1 tablespoon or smaller. These cookies need a bit of room when they bake!





Picture: 1

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Secrets To Finding Your Joie De Vivre

What makes you happy in life? I believe that each person finds happiness in a unique way. Here are some tips to finding your joie de vivre that I noted while reading Bonjour Happiness.

A beautiful exercise that we all should do...
When you come across things that make you smile -- those "Ahhh life is good moments", write them down. Make a list of the things that you like to savor. It's a fun little project that will remind you about the simple pleasures in life.
  • Love yourself, and others. Do everything in love
  • Take a bubble bath with rose oil
  • Treat simple things like treasures ex: serve your mineral water on a tray
  • Take the time to enjoy each bite of food -- notice the taste, texture and smell


  • Organize and simplify
  • Have breakfast on the porch
  • Wear lipstick
  • Take a walk and focus on fine details; the color of leaves, tiny blades of grass, and the smell of those jasmine flowers that are blooming nearby
  • Volunteer in your community; for your church, your neighborhood, your friends etc. Doing something nice for others will make you feel great too
  • Ride a bike


  • Sip a cup of coffee with cream while reading a good book or magazine
  • Enjoy fires in the fireplace
  • Snuggle up with your love and a cozy blanket
  • Shop at mom and pop stores or farmers markets
  • Practice good posture + being confident in yourself and your decisions = sexy
  • Grow your own fruits and vegetables in the summer time
  • Hand write your letters and save all the ones you receive


  • Cook with fresh ingredients
  • Display original art in your home
  • Teach, laugh and learn from children
  • Learn a foreign language...and use it
  • Take a class on a subject that interest you
  • Buy or pick fresh flowers for your home



  • Don't fight aging, welcome it. Aging is a beautiful process
  • Accept compliments instead of denying them, but remain humble while doing so
  • Wear French lingerie even if no one sees it
  • Take time-off for yourself
  • Get pampered once in awhile. "An empty well gives no water"


  • Travel
  • Practice your handwriting. Make it something to be proud of
  • Dress the part -- if your sweeping, wear a kerchief. If your cooking, wear an apron. If your gardening, wear a floppy hat and cute gloves. Become involved and excited about each event.
  • Tell others how much you appreciate them and love them
  • Find joy in everyday things. Focus on fine details within your daily routines. Find everything special and something to be thankful for.

Things to think about...
  
Joie de vivre is "Loving life, loving people loving to be alive, feeling alive. It's about smiling in your heart and being grateful for the things [and people] in your life: being in good health, being able to hear, to see, to walk etc." (P. 13)

Every day is a new beginning


I hope you are having a wonderful day my friends.

-Brittany






Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meyer Lemonade with Rosemary Sprigs


Yields: about 5 cups

Meyer Lemonade with Rosemary Sprigs
1/2 cup Meyer Lemon Juice
1 ½  cup Simple Syrup (recipe below)
4 cups Water
1 Sprig of fresh Rosemary for each glass
1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Add a few freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon rinds. Stir to combine and serve over ice.

Don’t go overboard with the rosemary, because it can quickly overpower the lemonade. It should give just the subtlest hint of rosemary to compliment the Meyer lemons. Throw in a few of the squeezed Meyer lemon rinds into the lemonade to give it extra flavor. Citrus fruits release an incredible flavored oil in their rinds after squeezing which will add a deeper lemon flavor.
Simple Syrup Recipe
Yields: about 3 cups.
2 cups Water
1 ½  cup Sugar
1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 seconds then take off the heat. Allow to cool then store in a sterile jar in the refrigerator.


Recipe adapted from: whiteonricecouple in sunset magazine

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Nice Morning For A Run

My sweet nanny baby (a.k.a. bug-ah-boo) and I went for a run through the back bay today. What a glorious morning. Here are a few pictures of the bay and things we saw along the way.






Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bear Flag Fish Co.

One of my favorite spots! The best seafood in town.

The Los Angeles Times calls it --
"A vision of seafood simplicity, the type that should exist along every waterfront but that rarely does. The Bear Flag Fish Co. in Newport Beach is a fish market that also serves a loyal crowd with fresh seafood, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, salads and more."
 
Dan and I LOVE their Ahi Poke and chips. You might just see us here after our sailing class on Saturdays or in the evenings after work. I can't get enough of this place! They bring in fresh fish daily and use local bread from the C'est Si Bon Bakery for grilled fish sandwiches and bowls of clam chowder. They also have fun drinks like Wild Poppy's, grapefruit ginger, plum licorice, vanilla peach, peppermint lemonade and young coconut water straight from the coconut! 




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vanilla Bean Peach Cake with Peach Soaking Syrup

Oh Yum.

  

Makes 10-inch bundt cake, serving 12 to 14
Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups diced fresh peaches

Syrup:
cup fresh peach puree, strained
cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

Method:
Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla bean. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream. (Add a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour.)

Scoop half of batter into pan and spread with spatula. Sprinkle with peaches. Scoop remaining half of batter on top of peaches. Smooth with spatula.
Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack. Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.

While cake is baking, make syrup. Combine peach puree, sugar, and orange juice in a small non reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Using a pastry brush, dab syrup generously all over surface of the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before reapplying. Let the cake cool completely.



Pictures:Week of Menus

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DIY: Votives

#1 Romantic Painted Votives


Use complimenting colors of a water based paint and muddle them around on the inside of a clear glass votive (be sure to water down the paint thin enough for the light to shine through). Let them dry and place a small candle inside.

These are so beautiful, but I would advise that you only use them outside...most paints are flammable once they're dry, despite being water based. But they should be safe to put on an outside table for your backyard parties!

 #2 Lavender Love
 Find a narrow glass and cut your lavender stems just below the rim of the glass. Tie with twine. The heat from the candle will help carry the smell of the lavender.


#3 Simple Thyme in Baby Masons
Tie some thyme to a baby mason jar with twine. Simple and sweet

Monday, March 19, 2012

Vodka Gummy Bears

This is funny... I am definitely going to try this at our next party!
Adults only -- Vodka Gummy Bears
Soak a bag of gummy bears in vodka for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. The Gummy Bears will absorb all the liquid! Serve at a party for a bit of fun!


My favorite gummy bears are by Albanese.
They have fantastic flavors like:
Granny Smith Apple
Watermelon
Wild Cherry
Lemon Meringue
Peach
Orange
Pineapple
Banana
Lime
Strawberry
Blue Raspberry
Grapefruit
Concord Grape
Might Mango



Photo:timeinc

Friday, March 16, 2012

Adorable Bikinis!

Oh! I want one for summer! These cute bikinis are handmade by Eva Elz of Amourouse -- an adorable shop specializing in creating fun, feminine bikinis and intimate apparel that is based in Holland. Aren't they the the cutest? Summer here I come!


A note from Eva,
I've been sewing for a little while now (my mother, is very experienced with sewing and fabric, she is the also a seamstress for our business) and I am very happy with what we do -- creating feminine and fun clothing for beachwear and intimate apparel. Our bow bandeau design is an original pattern; custom fit and fabric choices are unique to Amourouse Boutique. My inspiration often comes from my own imagination wishing to create something that's very handmade with artful, quality fabrics. And then there's little things that inspire me, like whales, colors, the snow, and music.
Much love, Eva

So Cute!











Pictures:Amourouse

Thursday, March 15, 2012

$5,000 Nail Polish! Say Whaaa?

This is hilarious... who has $5,000 to throw down on a bottle of nail polish?
Cracks me up.

"The polish, Red Carpet Manicure’s Amor 24, runs $5,000 per bottle!
 It contains over an ounce of gold dust was used to create the limited-edition polish." - Luuux

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bridesmaids Dresses

My Bridesmaids and I are going dress shopping next week! Here are some styles that we have been looking at. I'm liking the lacey vintage look. P.S. some of these dress are a bit high end, but I wanted to post them just to help you fellow Brides with style ideas.
Hope you like them ladies!

















Monday, March 12, 2012

Man To Run LA Marathon Barefoot For Keep A Breast Foundation

Hey Guys! My friend Casey Cochran is running the L.A. Marathon next week to raise money for the Keep A Breast Foundation (which is amazing in itself), but get this... he is running the whole thing BAREFOOT!
Way to go Casey! I am so stoked for you and your cause.

Check out his interview with KCAL 9. As well as this short clip on the Keep A Breast Non Toxic Revolution.


"Casey Cochran will be running the Marathon BAREFOOT in an effort to raise money for Keep a Breast Foundation's Outreach Center's rock climbing wall. As campaign director of Keep A Breast's Non Toxic Revolution, Casey is passionate about rock climbing and providing cancer survivors and recently diagnosed with an outlet to gain confidence and discover their inner strengths." -KCAL9



For more information on Casey and how you can donate
Click Here

A little about The Keep A Breast Foundation and the Non Toxic Revolution
The Keep A Breast Foundatiom is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Their mission is to help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through art events, educational programs and fundraising efforts, they seek to increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.

Non Toxic Revolution’s mission is to inform and educate people about toxic chemicals in our environment and food supply especially those linked to the initiation of breast cancer. Its aim is to focus on prevention as a means to maintaining long-term health and well-being. NTR also provides alternative choices so that young people everywhere can make smart changes.

Friday, March 9, 2012

DIY: Paper Book Covers

I really like the look of these craft paper book covers with white ink. So simple and clean.


How to make a book cover:

1. Place the paper horizontally on a flat work surface



2. Set your book on top of the paper. Center the book and use a pencil to mark the paper along the top and bottom edges of the book.


3. Remove the book from the paper and fold the top and bottom edges toward the center of the paper from the marked lines. Your book cover will now be the same height as your book.


4. Set the book, open, back on the paper, aligning it with the folds. Center the book and fold the left and right edges of the paper over the front and back covers of the book.

5. Check that the left edge of the paper reaches halfway across the inside front cover and that the right edge covers the same distance on the back cover when the book is closed. Trim the right and left edges of the paper if necessary.


6. Keep the left and right edges of the paper folded in on the front and back covers of the book.


7. Tape each fold in place at the top and bottom of the paper to form pockets for the front and back covers of the book. Use transparent cellophane tape and be sure not to tape the book itself.


8. Write the title of the book


Edited Directions: ehow 

Picture: Man + West

Thursday, March 8, 2012

DIY: Cute I Love You Card

Adorable!
Make it even more special by writing a love letter to your babycakes around the pop-up.
Have fun!


Picture:Duitang

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Dry Bar

Last weekend, Dan and I took some engagement photos! I thought it would be fun to get my hair done at The Dry Bar so I could look extra snazzy in our soon to be save-the-date photos.
I think I've found my go-to place for a hair pick me up! The Dry Bar is so great, beautiful, fun and I felt like a million bucks when I walked out. They even have complimentary cucumber water, coffee or mimosas to sip on while you sit in your white leather swivel chair. The place is gorgeous and the hair results are amazing!







 


Here are a couple of our engagement pictures!