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Live Music Makes The World Go Round...

7.30.2013

 ^^^a boy & his catch^^^
 ^^^on top of the world!^^^
 ^^^getting his groove on^^^

This past Saturday was spent the way all weekends should be... with friends... outdoors in the sunshine... and listening to live music! If you are local to L.A. and a music lover, I encourage you to check out one (or all) of the summer gigs going on at the Getty this summer aka Saturdays Off the 405. The views are spectacular and when else will you have the chance to wander around the museum with the beverage of your choosing? I chose the beer (of course) and got acquainted with the new (for me) sounds of Geographer. An electronic-indie band, they reminded me of a more upbeat and playful Radiohead... and in case you are wondering, I mean that as a compliment, I like Radiohead! I have to admit, they have a very distinct sound and may not be for everyone, but for the chance to experience live music atop of a mountain with breathtaking views, I'll always be game. Thanks M for the invite... I sure am glad you're in the know about these things because I always seem to be clueless.

***Today I am thankful for friends that know what's up... lifesavers I tell you!***

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Easter...

7.26.2013

 ^^^best facial expression ever!^^^
 ^^^ some real egg hunting going on here^^^
 ^^^i also made everyone hard boiled eggs with their names on them^^^
 ^^^colorful egg shells^^^
 ^^^yes we had sparklers for easter^^^

Hi again, it's me... your favorite procrastinator! I'm sorry, I'm not sorry (well I kind of was when I was going by my old rules of only being able to post things in chronological order and so gems like these would never get their moment in the lime light but now I've made an exception to this and I call it Throwback Thursdays). Sometimes procrastination can be your (or my) secret weapon because its forces you (I mean me) to be extremely creative and really truly believe in what your doing... because how else are you going to make others believe in what you are doing too?! So Easter came and went... and four months later it's here on the blog for your delayed enjoyment. Celebrating this year with the girls made Easter so much more fun! Ever notice how all the holidays get heightened and feel extra special when there are kids involved? It's their sweet innocence and genuine excitement that does it for me. So of course, fueled by them (not that I need much encouraging anyways) I went to town! Easter this year included an extravagant egg hunt in the garden... complete with confetti filled eggs and homemade chocolate eggs (made by sissy-in-law J) with secret prizes (picked by hubs) in them. Luckily the weather was kind enough to be semi warm (and by warm I mean you didn't need a jacket) and not rainy for our egg hunt. Because how depressing would an egg hunt be if it was indoors in the living room? Not to mention the mess all that confetti would have made! So it was a true Easter miracle if I ever witnessed one myself. Here are a few more pictures of the girls doing their thing while I followed them around like a paparazzi. Then we stuffed our faces with our chocolaty treats, followed by a feast of feasts, an oreo crust cheesecake, and more chocolate. I also made everyone a hard boiled egg with their names on it and boy does our family look huge when laid out in eggs... we were too many to fit in an egg carton! Oh and there were sparklers too which I'm not sure if those are a British thing or just a Beale thing... will have to check and get back to you all on that one but feel free to adopt it anyways. It was a good Easter this year... a good one indeed!

***Today I am thankful I got to spend Easter with my huge British family... so much love!***

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Wash Room Essentials...

7.25.2013

 image via my pinterest

I think I began mentally decorating our L.A. apartment before we had even come back over the pond! I'm talking getting lost in daydreams with visions of our future nest-to-be and I didn't even know what or where we were actually going to end up. All I kept thinking to myself was "finally, lets bring these carefully curated pintrest boards of mine to life! Of course once we did finally get over, lack of finances, our stuff being delayed, hubs and his sensible self, and my easily overwhelmed brain all got in the way... until now. I'm a really big fan of making a house (or in this case apartment) feel like a home. I like adding personal touches with things that tell the story of hubs and I. A place where I can escape the world and hide in comfort, visually appealing and inspiring. Not to much to ask for right? So I've decided to tackle the bathroom first because it's the smallest room and I guess probably the easiest. I have a mild obsession with all things bamboo right now and have been drawn to a more Scandinavian, minimalist style. The image above is just breath taking for many reasons and while I would love to go all out, we are renting so it's forcing us (me) to be sensible. Here are a few wash room essentials I think will help recreate the calm and spa like vibe of the bathroom above.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

I'm also on this white kick... I want white everything! Lucky for us the apartment was already painted white and lucky for hubs, for the first time in my life (no joke) I don't have the urge to paint them... at all! Instead I'm embracing these white walls of ours and adding few touches of color here and there in the form of accessories. I'm also really loving very neutral and natural colors/textures such as wood, metals, and chunky knits. I'm also a huge fan scents (insert scented candles everywhere!) and an extra little bonus, a few sprigs of eucalyptus will have your wash room smelling lovely after a nice steamy shower... you are welcome! Hope you enjoyed this little post and I plan to keep sharing a few other ideas for the rest of our apartment. Check out my wash room pintrest board for more inspiration.

***Today I am thankful for our little nest... can't wait to start making her feel like a home***

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Missing My Baby...

7.24.2013

^^^that's bob & bonnie^^^
 ^^^the sugariest smoothies EVER!^^^
 ^^^can't help but smile when i see that ring on his finger^^^
^^^slice as big as my face^^^

So this is going to be a bit of a random one tonight... I feel happy that I'm actually awake enough to fill you guys in. It's been a whirlwind of a week... or weeks really. I've been busy and eagerly settling into my new job that unfortunately requires me to wake up early (and yes I consider 6am early!) and that in turn has left me kind of zombie like... thus lack of posting. In the spare time spent not sleeping, I was also squeezing in as much hubs time as humanly possible. Sadly hubs had to leave back to the UK this past weekend for reasons I can't and won't get into (I'm looking at you immigration!) and while I know it's only temporary, my heart still weeps. Visas are seriously ruining my life on and off it seems... and every time we think "this is it, no more being apart" some other obstacle gets thrown our way. Never did I think we'd be doing the long distance thing again after getting married... it was after all the reason we tied the knot! Well, not the only reason but it did play a heavy factor in it. I guess the good news is that we have proven through time and distance that hubs and I are unbreakable... though London did it's best to test us, I tell ya. So here we are again, trying to work out a skype schedule with the craziest of time differences and oh yea, jobs too! Reminds me of my NYC days when we used to stay up till silly o'clock hours talking and literally falling asleep on our laptops. Guess that's just the price you pay when the heart falls for someone with a seductive British accent hu? And the heart... oh it knows what it wants!

I know this may sound funny, but I don't really know what to do with myself when I have free time these days. Between being tired and sleepy, I also get very sad when I realize hubs is gone. I'll get home from work and see his bicycle in the hallway and instantly (and foolishly) my heart will skip a beat with excitement that he's home earlier than me from work (which never happens) and then just as quickly, my heart will sink as I remember that he's not here... and so that bicycle of his, well it hasn't moved in four days now. And I mean it will sink so far low that I fear I won't be able to pull it back up again which I can't afford right now with my job and all. So I quickly pull it back up and hold it close as I numb myself with Glee marathons. Not one of my proudest distractions but one that keeps me on the happier side at least and that's all I'm really asking for these days. Until my hubs comes back and we can resume our weekend adventures (two pictured above), please keep sending me the guiltiest of pleasures known to man in the form of cheesy tv series... I'm living for them right now! Also on my list of things I'm not so proud of right now but am justifying because my heart is slightly broken and so that's that include... eating ice cream, drinking beer, not doing laundry, eating the same meal for lunch AND dinner four days straight, succumbing to an online sale (sorry love!), indulging in weepy sad songs, and sleeping in the middle of the bed. And I'm not even doing that correctly! Nope, not sleeping in the middle sprawled out like a star fish, but curled up in the fetus position instead.

So the dates above (because that's what I had originally intended on focusing on) are from before he left (duh!) and they just make me smile so much. Whether we are out and about on an adventure of sorts, or just ordering a pizza in and enjoying beers while watching a movie, it's always fun times with that one, guaranteed! Another weekend date of ours included watching and singing along to old 90's music videos (I kid you not), reminiscing and talking about what certain songs meant to each of us at specific points in our young adolescent lives. It was perfect! No to mention how amazing it is that song lyrics just stayed stored in these brains of ours even long after we've forgotten about them. That's just the sort of thing we do, hubs and I... and so you can see why I miss him so much. But I know this isn't forever (though it feels like it sometimes thanks my over dramatic nature) and when he finally comes back to me, we'll (hopefully) never have to be apart again. And things work out the way they are supposed to anyways right? If I didn't have this job of mine right now, I might have gone back with him... and then you all would have to be dealing with my "I can't believe I'm back in the UK" rants and tweets. Though truth be told, I do miss it... but shh! I swear that country just loves to spite me... four consecutive hot and sunny weeks over in London town which I NEVER had the pleasure of experiencing while living there... and to add insult to injury, apparently there's been some huge electrical storms this week, a favorite of mine that always remind me of home and yea, never got any of those either. Oh well... what can you do right? Win some, lose some... my home is better than your home (j/k). Now excuse me while a slip in at least one episode of Glee tonight since it's already past my self imposed 12am bed time... but that's just what guilty pleasures are all about and there's always coffee for the morning woes.

****Today I am thankful for Skype, computers, and technology... did you know when hubs and I first started dating we used phone cards and landlines?!?***

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Recipe: Umami Ketchup

7.17.2013


It's no secret that I was excited about celebrating the Fourth of July in the actual States this year...  so it's no surprise (or at least it shouldn't have been if you know me) that I got a little carried away with this years festivities. Because everyone knows that America day means picnics on the beach/park with hot dogs, duh! And while I'm not crazy enough to tackle actually making hot dogs, I did ambitiously tackle the sauces that would go on them. I figured those would take my plain ol' store bought dogs to the next level... and they so did! I also reasoned that where there is a summer with actual heat and sun, lots of picnics will be happening and so these special sauces of min would not have been made in vain. I can justify just about anything! So first up I present to you my umami ketchup which I first encountered on a catch up date at Umami Burger with B, one of the four friends I have out here... six if you count Mara and Megan although technically we haven't actually met yet... but those are just minor details. Anyways, my taste buds were blown away and I instantly vowed I would make my own in the near future. The Fourth of July just seemed like the perfect opportunity to debut this most mouth watering ketchup of ketchups and it.was.magical!

Saveur Recipe, (which I adjusted slightly) makes about 2 cups

Ingredients
  • 28 oz. can dices plum tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. worcestershire
  • 2 tsp. oyster sauce
  • anchovy paste (I used this to calculate the amount)
Directions
  • Puree the tomatoes in a blender (I have a mini on which worked fine) and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, adding in the onions once hot. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes.
  • Add in the tomato puree, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, and salt. Let cook until think, about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Puree the now cooked tomato mixture in a blender (I had to do this in parts since my blender is the teeny personal sized ones!) and combine in a bowl once done.
  • Stir in the soy sauce, worcestershire, oyster sauce, and anchovy paste. Make sure to combine well.
  • Transfer into plastic squirt bottles (optional but so much fun!) and chill before using... enjoy!
***Today I am thankful those cute little plastic squirt bottles... I want to make all kinds of sauces now!***

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West Coast Art...

7.14.2013

sunglasses: urban outfitters (similar) | top: madewell | jeans: 7 for all mankind | platforms: jessica simpson | watch: grandpa's | rings: camden market | lipstick: mac (see sheer) | nails & toes: o.p.i (modern girl) & essie (pink parka)


graffiti by Risk | located: santa monica, l.a.

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A Lovely Week 7.12.13

7.13.2013

1. a congratulatory rose 2. more tall & skinnies 3. monsters university movie date night 4. home made iced lattes are the best 5. cycling around town with hubs 6. first day kind of outfit 7. picking thread colors 8. hiding my sleepy eyes behind massive sunnies 9. denim rainbow 10. runner's view after work 11. fellow nappers & commuters 12. hard at work 13. city view 14. love the smell of burning wood 15. swooning over guitars & banjos 16. he sat on my lap all.night.long! 17. this is thursday 18. sometimes i'm an angel 19. donuts make fridays even sweeter 20. that's so 90's gangsta!

>>>follow along all week long here!<<<

Awkward-
Me in the mornings... it's just so hard and unnatural... ugh! This was my first week at my new job aka waking up at the crack of dawn to catch a slightly unreliable bus each morning and man, was it killer! I guess it doesn't help that my body clock has been out of sync since I naturally tend to be a night owl aka I prefer to sleep in and the creative juices don't really start flowing till after 3pm anyways... and coffee... Me being nervous about rejoining the work force... I mean it's what I've been wanting for so long and that's probably the reason for all the anxiety and nerves... but the night before my first day, I couldn't sleep with all the butterflies swarming around in my tummy (and head) and just like the night before the first day of school, I barely slept but it was ok because the same nerves kept me going through day... until I finally crashed that night... still in my work outfit... Other than that, there was no other awkwardness this week... well aside from the minor flashback to my old attire from my middle school days thanks to festive Friday at work... yes it's true... I used to be gangsta in the 90's, dark lipstick and all... and all I can say is "what were you thinking letting me dress like that mom?!?"

Awesome-
Did I mention that I finally got a real job!!! This was my first week and I have to say it was pretty awesome (as well as a mixture of other emotions)... being part of a team... learning new things... having a routine... and probably the most important, getting to socialize with things other than my succulents... which I did buy one to have on my desk at work because I'm that employee that likes to really feel at home at work... other awesome things I already moved in include my personalized mug that my London bestie S made for me to hold all my creative tools... a drawer full of healthy snacks since I'm ALWAYS hungry... and an essentials cosmetic bag containing band aids, hand lotion, tampons, and lip gloss... I'm pretty sure I'll be bringing more stuff as the weeks go by but I wanted to ease in... not scare my new co-workers by bringing everything and the kitchen sink ya know! Oh and also pretty high on the list of awesomeness this week- sushi burgers (not pictured)... fire, out door bar b q, and a jam session that included a banjo (I know!) and me singing aloud (gasp!)... meeting the friendliest chihuahua ever (mine back home barks at EVERYTHING!)... daily Starbucks and no I'm not sorry... maple bacon donuts surprisingly delicious!).... and surviving my first work week which ended with a festive Friday theme of 90's gangsta as pictured above... I have a good feeling about this job!

***Today I am thankful for my job... I have job!!!***

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A Very British Fourth Of July...

7.12.2013

 ^^^home made chocolate chip cookies the size of your face!^^^
 ^^^the essentials^^^
 ^^^we are some classy ladies i tell you^^^

Keeping the Fourth of July spirit alive in conjunction with Throwback Thursdays, this week we remissness on last years celebrations because they were the last spent in London and also because evidently I never got a round to posting about it... whoops! We gathered at our choice of pub, the American Wives Club as we called ourselves, decked out to the fullest in all our proudest red, white, and blue and also with some hot dogs. Wait... but that's not what we had originally planned. What we had in mind was a yummy picnic in the park because why would you celebrate the Fourth of July in a British pup? Especially when bringing traditional American goodies like hot dogs, patriotic cookies, and a s'more concoction. But silly us for planning a picnic in the park in July... because why would it be sunny and not at all raining? After all we were in London so I guess we should have known better hu?

So that's how we found ourselves at this pub... that wasn't at all sympathetic about our situation and wouldn't allow us to eat our home brought food even though we promised to order more than our share of drinks to make up for it... which is how we ended up eating our hot dogs across the street from the pub in a gas station. We are the classiest of ladies and yes, that is a Burger King in the background too... so accidental and so fitting! So I guess we showed that pub (and England's weather) who was boss and that nothing was going to stop us from celebrating! And in case you were wondering, we did manage to sneak some bites of cookies and other goodies while drinking and foolishly waiting for the rain to "pass"... and in case you are wondering, no it never did.

We also passed the time playing that- name all of the states game, that could you believe we couldn't do between the four of us! Womp womp, big surprise... and we tried... but maybe it was all of the beer. Oh and yes, we also had an American flag with us that drew a lot of attention but sometimes when you are living in a foreign country, you have to do everything including owning a flag and sporting it at pubs to keep your inner spirit alive. Flag in the pub... don't care. This was also the first time we got to celebrate with K on her engagement (the only non wife in the wives club but we knew it would happen eventually!) and so nothing was going to stop us really... not the weather... not the crappy pub... nothing! Naturally we just had to take ring pictures appropriately placed on a stars and stripes napkin, of course. I have to admit, while I didn't necessarily miss spending another fourth in England, I sure did miss these ladies. Together, we kept the American spirit alive over there, don't ya know!

***Today I am thankful for these ladies... they understood what it was like to be a foreigner abroad and together we became our own little family***
 

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