Thursday, July 28, 2011

Four Square

Hola Everyone! Here's a few things in my life that are making me happy...aside from baby Morgie.

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{ Heart nail polish confetti}

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{Meowdy-Just opened in Los Feliz}

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{Rummaging through thrift stores that haven't been picked over}

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{Lilly Pulitzer for Barnum's Animal Crackers}

Aquari-Yum

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Anyone who knows me knows that I love the Central Coast and will do practically anything to extend my stay whenever I'm up there. So, while driving back down to LA, I convinced Morgan to take a little detour to Monterey. We had been planning a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for quite some time now, so this trip was perfect timing. They just re-opened their remarkable Open Sea exhibit that boasts a school of glittering sardines, tuna, mahi-mahi, barracuda and a stoic sunfish. Catch the Open Sea Feeding in the morning and you will not be disappointed. I swear it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. The 90 foot tank amplifies the grace and coordination of the sardines and it's like your watching Planet Earth in HD. AMAZING!

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Road Trippin'

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Bon voyage hunnies! I'm currently at LAX waiting for my flight to Chicago. I'm helping my sister move back to California from the corn fields of Illinois. We are traveling down Route 66 and stopping in St. Louis, Tulsa, Santa Fe and Palm Springs on the way back! I've packed all my floral maxis and my new gifted hat. I have posts lined up for Monday and Tuesday but look forward to some cross country photo lovin' when I get back!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Versailles Carnival

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*Photos curtsey of Cherry Blossom Girl

Leave it to the French to host a baroque inspired masquerade ball at Versailles. When I saw these photos from Cherry Blossom Girl, I almost fell out of my seat. The event was put on my So Versailles, a company that specializes in orchestrating unique events at Versailles. They wanted the event to be truly authentic so they made costumers and professional hair and makeup teams available to the lucky RSVPers. The event started at ten o'clock where the masked guests made their way up the lantern lit gardens. After passing the illuminated fountains, they proceeded to the terrace to view the fireworks at eleven. At twelve, they moved the ball inside where they partied till the sun came up a la Kristen Dunst in Marie Antoinette. What I wouldn't give to have been at this event! Oh to be young and in France!

Cottages and Hearts

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While in San Francisco, one of our biggest must-dos was exploring Chinatown. It's considered the largest Chinatown outside of Asia! Even though it spans just a couple blocks, you can easily spend a couple hours roaming their bountiful shops. I found these two guys in a store that sold home goods. They're loose leaf tea strainers for those single cups of tea you sometimes have to make late at night. You can bet I'll be a giddy girl the next time I make tea and look down to see a tiny house in my cup!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Bourgeoisie of the Musee Mecanique

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If you ever find yourself in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, you must do two things; Get a clam chowder bread bowl and pay homage to the Musee Mecanique. This working arcade is comprised of antique arcade games from the 30's and 40's and mechanically operated musical instruments. My favorite is the "Carnival" diorama. For 50 cents, you get to watch a miniature circus come to life with over 100 moving parts including a merry-go-round, acrobats, circus animals and a cotton candy stand!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Crown & Crumpet

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I'm back to the blogosphere this Monday morning and it feels oh so good! I spent a good part of last week in San Francisco doing all the touristy things I've never really done before. One of which was stopping in at Crown & Crumpet, a scrumptious little, British tea room in Ghirardelli Square. The decor is super girly and perfect for indulging. We dined on delicate homemade scones and crumpets with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd. We drank their Marie Antoinette tea which was a sweet blend of bergamot, blue mallow, and roses. And rightly so, is known for being the go-to tea when delighting in cake!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Harry Potter Day!

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Happy Harry Potter Day everyone! Here's Morgan and I as Dolores Umbridge and one of her many cat plates! I'm still reeling from last night's emotional midnight screening. It was such an amazing feeling to be amidst people who share the same love for a saga that's been 10 years in the making! We got home around 3 a.m. and I am currently running off of pure adrenaline. Can you believe they also had 3 a.m screenings? Those crazy young fans! Anyone have any other photos to share?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

City Flags

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I'm pretty sure everyone is familiar with the Star Spangled Banner. The 50 stars and the 13 stripes and all that jazz? But, did you also know that U.S cities have their own flags too? I didn't until recently and these cities have some pretty rocking flags! I mean, come on...FRESNO? FRESYES I say! If you want to take a look at America's top 150 city flags, just pop on over here!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe

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Ingredients:
5 liquid cups of smashed up strawberries (or olallieberries)
7 cups of granulated sugar
1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin

Tools:
Potato Masher
Jar Funnel
20 8 ounce (half pint) mason jars
3/8" Ribbon and cloth for toppers

Step 1: You should throw your mason jars and lids through a washing machine before you start or just wash them with soap and hot water. When finished, place the jars and lids in separate pots of water and set that to high heat. You basically want to boil the jars to get rid of any bacteria.

Step 2: After rinsing the strawberries with water, scoop out the leafy and white tops using a strawberry huller. You can always use a knife but you save more of the strawberry if you use a huller.

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Step 3: One cup at a time, mash the strawberries in a large bowl using a potato masher. The level of mashed-ness is totes up to you. You will eventually create 5 cups of this. Pour the contents into a 6-8 quart sauce pot. Stir in one box of Sure-Jell pectin and set heat to high.
You want to continue to stir the strawberries until it comes to a roaring boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when you stir).

Step 4: Stir in 7 cups of white sugar and bring back to a boil for 1 minute and then remove form heat. Skim off any foam that has collected on the top. This will ensure you get a clear, pretty jam! WARNING- The strawberry foam is amazing and tastes like taffy and is fun to eat off your finger!

Step 5: Remember those jars and lids that were set to a boil? Take the jars out using the jar lifter and immediately ladle the strawberries into them using a jam funnel. You want to fill it within 1/8 of an inch from the top. Note that this process is messy and you might get burned. Next, wipe the jar rims and threads using a cloth or paper towel. Using tongs, put the flat lid (that has also been boiled) over the jar and screw the bands on tightly. Once tight and still hot, put them back in the boiling water bath for another 10 minutes.

Step 6: After 10 minutes remove the jars and place them on a damp towel to try. After about 20 minutes or so, the lids should "Pop" and seal. If they do not pop, it didn't work and you will just have to refrigerate it. The ones that pop should be ready for the pantry!

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Step 7: As your jars are cooling, you can prep the toppers by getting fabric of your choice and cutting out circles. I used a tea cup saucer to trace my circles and a pair of pinking sheers to cut them out. I also used 3/8" ribbon and hot glued them to the rims once they cooled. Once finished, you should take some time to admire your hard work because they will be extremely cute, especially if you've never jammed before. When they're all dressed up, they look like little whirling dervishes!

Out in the Fields

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Spoiler Alert... A homemade jam tutorial is on deck for tomorrow's post!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hey, it's still Summer right?

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I could have sworn that Summer just started. Retailers are cutting my Summer high short this year by already stocking bits and pieces of their Fall collections. Anyway, since I'm sure we all have a couple beach weekends ahead of us, I put together my list of Summer essentials.



1. Hat - Love this hat so much I posted about it here. Got to get one soon!
2. Lobster -It's Tiffany & Co and 27,000 dollars but you get the brooch idea.
3. SPF - Hawaiian Tropic SPF 50. It pains me that my favorite sunscreen in the whole wide world is no longer sold in stores. Yes, we did order it in bulk.
4. Glasses - Classic look. Complements EVERYTHING and ANYTHING.
5. Dress -Short, fun and frilly summer dresses!
6. Lipstick -YSL's Rosy Coral. Pretty much my go to shade for this Summer.
7. Camera -Disposables are making a comeback. When you get the film back, you'll get that retro summer look.
8. Wedges -Always fun for those warmer days.
9. Aftersun -Ouchy, I'm red! Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel can calm that burn. You can also try putting aloe vera gel in ice trays and freezing them for an even more relieving treat.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Berry Pickin' Season

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*Photo courtesy of Karen Magazine

Happy Friday Everyone! This weekend, Morgan and I are heading North to one of our favorite spots in the whole wide world...thus far. Around this time, the Avila Barn features tractor rides out to the Olallieberry (yes, these are real berries with their own pedigree) and peach orchards to delight people's fruit picking pleasure! I have plans to turn my bounty into sugary jams and fruit tartlets.

Jewelry As Art

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So, I've sort of been sleeping on this DIY project for awhile now...I bought this upside-down heart mirror about a year ago at Ross and only got around to spray painting it last weekend. I discovered that the holes were perfect necklaces and earrings so now it's more like a jewelry display. Rather then storing your Jewelry in a box or in a drawer, outwardly displaying your jewelry is such a cute way to put more color and sparkle in your life don't you think?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hat Love

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Wanted. This hat has been spotted over at DesignLoveFest on two separate occasions and I need it now! What deepened this accessory obsession was when I saw a woman wearing this same hat in a majestic deep purple this past weekend at the Cinespia screening. When asked where she procured such a gem, she simply said "at a Moroccan hat shop in Paris." Don't you hate it when they say that? I was hoping to have one in my possession by the end of the three day weekend. After many failed attempts to find these hats online, I finally located them here and here. They fetch a pretty penny and some reviewers have said that the color tends to run when wet, but I must own one before the Summer's end! I must, I must!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bubble Series

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Our apartment tends to get a little warm during the Summer monthes so we always try to find reasons to go outside when the sun starts to set. Bubble blowing and a perfect pink sky are just a couple of those reasons!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Flamingo Stand Off

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Mondays are hard...Tuesday's are even harder if you're coming back to work after a long, three day weekend. So for now, I'll just say happy four day work week! Between bubble blowing, bowling, Burton viewing and beaching, Morgan and I were able to get an ample amount of practice in with our new 35mm f/1.8 Nikon lens. It's truly magical and I can't wait to take more portraits with it. Here we are playing around with Reynolds, our mounted plush flamingo that we adopted from the Renegade Craft Fair last year. Speaking of...if you're in L.A. the weekend of July 16th , I HIGHLY recommend going to this years Renegade. It's being held at the Los Angeles State Historic Park and you can even metro there if you're feeling a little green!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th Everyone!

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Here's a little dose of Americana for your Friday commutes out of town. These Wigwam Motels were built between 1930-1950s as a result of the newly built highway systems commissioned in 1929. Two of the three "villages" that remain standing can be found on Route 66. They're such a unique part of American history and an essential summer must. I think I'm going to try to convince my sister to say at the Holbrook, AZ village on our cross country road trip next month!