10/30/2011

Sparkle-licious

I’m currently on the hunt for the perfect cocktail dress for my upcoming work holiday party… I think I may have found it.  The price tag is, well… less than perfect – BUT, maybe I could also wear it on NYE and then I wouldn’t feel as guilty?

What do you think??  I die every time I see it! 

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I think I have to have it.  Hubby won’t be able to say no once he sees me in it (or so I hope!)  Ha!

10/29/2011

Still Going !

My work week is still going… I just wanted to send a quick post into the blog world and then it’s off to the races (as they say)!  Here’s my jam packed plan for the day:

1) Get out of my jammies and try to look presentable

2) Make a quick stop over at Staples (this statement deserves a blog post of it’s own… )

3) Drive to Client X’s office and work work work!

4) Come home around 5 and head up to a friend’s house for BBQ, UFC and good times!

Also, I’m trying to take tomorrow off (probably won’t happen), but regardless I’m going to post a reallllllly cute blog about my recent trip to Disneyland.  Can’t wait!

For now, here’s a little mental image of what I’ll be doing today:

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Unfortunately, no pups allowed at my current place of employment… but boy was this fun Smile

Happy Saturday!

10/25/2011

Countdown

Well it’s already that time of year… My work “busy season” 1 of 2.  Everyone knows an accountant is extremely busy Jan-April every year like clockwork.  However, I’m a lucky gal and I also have a “pre-busy season” that lasts about a month from mid-Oct through the end of Nov.  I usually work anywhere from 70-80 hours during this month span, and boy does time fly!

I have learned to survive this work marathon using a number of tactics, one of which I will share with you today.  One word: Countdowns. 

I’m the first to admit, I’m Type A.  Dictionary.com defines “Type A” as: “A temperament marked by excessive competitiveness and ambition, an obsession with accomplishing tasks quickly, little time for self-reflection, and a strong need to control situations.”  Yeah…. I guess that sums me up in a nutshell – Although I’d like to think that there’s a lot more to me than just my Type A side!

Anyway, back to Countdowns… I survive this grueling work schedule with countdowns to various future events that I am looking forward to.  I am so blessed to have a lot of fun exciting stuff coming up that I thought I would share (in chronological order):

28 days: Client X files and my busy season winds down

30 days: Thanksgiving and my mom is in town to visit!

(me and momma on my wedding day!)

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45 days: Work Christmas party (which reminds me, I need to get a dress stat!)

51 days: Hubby Christmas party

58 days: 2 week Christmas vacation begins!

60 days: Christmas Eve!

61 days: Christmas Day

64 days: New York for 7 days for NYE!

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This is more than enough to get me through the next few weeks! 

What are you counting down towards?

10/22/2011

Healthy Comfort Food {Guest Blog}

Fall has nearly come and gone (although it’s difficult to see a change in seasons living in San Diego).  I miss the chilly evenings I experienced for so many years in Northern Cali – It may be difficult to believe, but mid-70’s weather does get old after a while!

Although it’s difficult to distinguish the difference between Summer and Fall when looking out the window, I still love to indulge with some delicious Fall dishes.  I’ll never forget the Thanksgiving soup I made a few years ago… I couldn’t help but share the recipe with you.  Turns out my best friend was already planning on making the soup, so I asked her to document!

Meet my best friend, Stacey Syverson: Owner of Sunshine Daydream Events and Event Planning Extraordinaire! 

 

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Healthy Comfort Food?

Yep. This perfect fall recipe satisfies that need for something warm and tasty- and for barely any calories at all! Brightly colored (naturally) foods are total super foods that are packed with all kinds of nutrients. You can’t get a more beautiful vibrant orange than this squash!

This recipe came from some home magazine and my lovely friend Lauren made it for Thanksgiving. It was love from there on out. I have since continued to recreate this magic cup of soup every fall and winter since. Try it and you’ll see why!

Here’s what you need:

squash

This is a monster butternut squash- you don’t need one this big but I found it at the local farmers’ market and I couldn’t resist!

Also:

ingredients

OH and this is my little helper! She eats anything I drop on the floor ;)

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To begin, I always peel, de-seed, and cut the squash first because that takes the longest and requires the most effort. You want the squash in ¾ inch pieces… Keep in mind the photos you see will represent a double batch since I had so much squash!

cut up squash

Then:

Heat oil in an 8 quart stockpot over medium high

Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or until onion is soft.

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Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. This is when your kitchen transforms into that yummy, cozy, I’m-cooking-something-delicious smell!

Add squash and broth and bring to boil.

veggies with broth

Now add the sage which I don’t like too finely chopped because it adds so much visually to the soup with all the color.

sage

broth with sage

This is a very important step- Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine Smile

wine glass

Then let the goods continue boiling for about 20 mins or until vegetables are tender.

Then you can turn off the heat and start transferring the vegetables and liquid into a blender. I use one of these babies. Yes, it may be circa 1970 or something like that but sometimes the oldies work the best!

blender

Blend until smooth.

soup and ladle

Then season with salt and pepper- which absolutely makes the dish.

soup in green bowl

So you’re eating something that tastes delicious but when you think about it, it’s pretty much all veggies! Yum! OH and you can freeze it small Ziploc bags and then you pull it out the day you want it, and by lunch it’s thawed!

Here’s the list of ingredients and measurements. Enjoy!

What you need:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾ inch pieces

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

¼ cup chopped fresh sage

10/16/2011

The Perfectly Imperfect Chef

Let me tell you a little bit about me…  I’m certainly no gourmet chef.  In fact, I’m not even close!  I have this way of taking the easiest recipe and somehow putting my own spin on it.  I may or may not have a history of forgetting steps altogether in recipes and not realizing it until I’m done cooking.  I’m also not all that patient when it comes to cutesy little details… but I will make my best attempt to replicate the recipes I trying!
I thought it would be fun to do weekly posts about my attempts at various recipes I find on the world wide web.  After walking you through the step-by-step recipes, I will share with you my “Lessons Learned”.  I’m sure most of you won’t need this advice, but hopefully you can learn from my failures (“mistakes”).  Maybe I’ll even become a better chef through this process!
That brings me to our first recipe – Funfetti Cookie Sandwiches (recipe brought to you by Baked Perfection.
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Funfetti.  (Hubby and I love Funfetti so much that it was our choice for our wedding cake – Don’t judge!)
Here’s a picture of the goal:
Funfetti Sandwich Cookies from Baked Perfection2
Here’s what you’ll need:
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Funfetti Sandwich Cookies
makes approximately 24 sandwich cookies
1 (18.25) package Funfetti Cake
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined.
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Drop teaspoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown. Move cookies to a cooling rack, cool completely before assembling.
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Frost bottom side of half the cookies (see frosting recipe below). Top with unfrosted cookie. Roll edges in assorted sprinkles.
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Very Vanilla Frosting
recipe by Baked Perfection
1 stick of butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Beat butter and vanilla until creamy.
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Add salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined.
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Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Yum, yum, YUM.  Okay folks, here’s the….
Lessons Learned
1.  When you drop the dough, make sure you use a generous amount of flour on your hands to roll the dough.
2.  When you drop the balls on the cookie sheet, make sure they are pretty tiny little balls.  These cookies are a lot cuter when they are bite sized.  (My batch was a little bit bigger than I would have liked).
3.  When you frost the inside of the cookies, use the frosting sparingly.  If you add too much frosting it will spill out the sizes when you smoosh the cookies together.
Happy Baking!

10/09/2011

Pull over!

I recently purchased my first “big girl” camera – a Canon Rebel T1i.  It’s seriously fun… but incredibly intimidating!  I like to think that photography is in my genes… My dad is a professional photographer and he’s amazingly talented.  Funny thing is, I didn’t realize how much “technical-know-how” there is with this camera!  My dad always made it look so easy!
I’ve purchased the Canon for Dummies book which has been helping me learn about my new toy.  My husband has also been incrediblely supportive with my excitement over this new adventure! 
This is so fun!  It’s giving us an excuse to get outside and truly enjoy nature!  I mean, I live in Southern California, so I can’t really complain…  We took a quick trip over to the Coast.. a grueling 3 mile road trip!  Here’s a few pics I snapped (ignore the amateur-ness):
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To top off the wonderful day we caught a BEE-A-U-TIFUL sunset after Church!  Hubby and I went on a really fun adventure as we RACED to catch the sunset... We kept pulling over at random stops along the Pacific Hwy trying to find the best photo worthy location.  We ended up at a private little beach spot - it was perfect!  I mean really, does it get any better than this?
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This whole “blogging” thing is fun!!

10/05/2011

Work in progress!

I’m still trying to figure out how this whole “blog” thing works… Hopefully I’ll get something up and running this weekend.  Until then, I leave you with a little hello from my favorite pup, Quigley!

 

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