Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lift Off!

This is it! We are off to Italy for 3 Weeks, returning mid-July. We will be posting some updates from the road on our travel blog so check us out! Here are some pictures from our last trip in 2007 for our 1 year anniversary.

The BEST gelato in Rome, period!

Only the best for the Italian military: uniforms designed by Valentino.

Again, the BEST I tell you!

Brian's infamous Master of the Obvious project.

Italian Nationality Day... or something.

The David!

Oh Gusto Leo... I heard you were under new management... please don't disappoint. We have waited 4 years for this delicious Agrodolce pizza.

Ciao for now friends! Arrivederci!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Italy! Where we left our hearts! Actually our hearts belong specifically to Firenze... Brian proposed to me on the Ponte Vecchio; a secret trip to visit that I was completely unaware of. It was such a precious moment; I was sobbing and he almost barfed.

The custom is for lovers to put a locket on the gate and to toss the key over the bridge into the Arno below. Brian had a special lock engraved with our initials (good planning dear!). Love forever locked in Florence.

Almost there... in the meantime I must pack... seriously.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Two more days until we take flight, one more day of work... it's all happening so fast and not fast enough?! Here are some images of when my sisters, Tera and Shay, came out to visit me around Easter (Pasqua). We took a few trips that week, this one to Venice. I loved traveling with those girls... even if they did make me crazy with all their "mischievous" excursions; at least we have some really good memories and hilarious stories!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Final Countdown: Three...

This is the final week before our trip to Italy! We are so excited, but so overwhelmed with last-minute to-do's. It's going to be a crazy few days... wish us luck as we prepare for departure! xoxo

{image from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence where I spent a semester abroad}

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful father, Art. A special man who holds a dear, dear place in my heart. I love you, Dadio!

Friday, June 17, 2011


In preparation for our trip (leaving 1 week from yesterday, WTF?!) I decided it was high-time to organize my "closet" (really a TV-cabinet-turned-armoire). I was unsure what treasures await me in the depths, but I needed to know what I already had (yes, outta sight, outta mind... I had forgotten) and what I still needed to get. Here is a before and after... the final project was not PERFECT, but it was WAY better than when I started! I still don't know how I manage to fit all my stuff in here.

We are headed down to my parent's house this weekend to drop off out kitty, Dodo. He will be vacationing in Bradley while we are away... I think he is worried about having to share his yummy canned food. My parents have a cat (really a cat-dog... the strangest feline I have ever met!) named Rudy that just shadows Dodo everywhere he goes. It's hilarious to watch them train around the house. I am hoping after 3 weeks they'll be best buds... we'll see.

{pic by my friend Natalia... Dodo ready to pounce on his toy... he'll use this same stealth move on Rudy, I imagine...}

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Summer

Check out the new summer issue of Sweet Paul! Great recipes, crafts, inspiration... a beautiful publication and feast for your eyes!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blackberry Peach Crumb Bars

I made these heavenly Blackberry Peach Crumb Bars for a summer gathering recently. I had a few fruit desserts to pick from, but settled on this recipe. I ended up adding white peach slices and it was delightful!

The fruit was ripe, beautiful and so sweet. My first inclination was to use nectarines, but the peaches just happen to look better at the market that day. I may try nectarines next time, but I really loved the peach version.

I love the way the dark blackberries look scattered over the juicy peach and silky white batter.

These made perfect little in-hand sweets; an alfresco must this summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Inspiring Blogosphere

I love wedding sites! This recent discovery is a lovely.

An awesome, inspiring healthy cooking site, My New Roots.

Love, LOVE this baked oatmeal idea! Perfect for a brunch gathering.

Do guys read blogs? Why is this a female dominated field? If you know a gentleman in need of daily inspiration, see Well-Groomed.

Hello to me? Well, HELLO FRIEND to you, too!

Say YES! to a classic goody; I'm adding to my daily favorites list.

image taken at my brother's house in Creston, CA

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy 5th Anniversary!

Five years ago today I married my best friend, my soulmate, my better half, my love, my heart. Seems like we were just kids when we met at 18, barely old enough to vote and away at our first year of college. I can honestly say that I grow more in love with my sweetheart everyday and look forward to spending a lifetime (God willing) together. Here are some memories and pictures of us 5 years ago:

*We had the wedding at my parent's home, the home in which I grew up. It was so special to have a beautiful place to get married that meant a lot to us.

*I cut Brian's hair the morning of the wedding; we were so busy up to that point! It was the only free moment we had!

*This is our song; not the one we danced to on our wedding day (although we both agree now we should have) but rather the one that we love.

*We laugh because we did not get to eat our cake. We tasted it as we fed eachother a bite, but that was all... we always talk about what we missed out on.

*This morning I made a version of the breakfast we ate poolside listening to the sounds of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole while on our honeymoon in Maui: french toast, POG, fresh fruit salad, french press coffee. The Plantation Inn was the best, most lovely place I have ever stayed and with an attached 4 star restaurant, Gerard's, breakfast was one of my favorite meals!

I love you, sweetheart. Happy Anniversary :) xoxo, me

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Win A Trip To Paris!

Ok, literally UNABLE to contain my excitement! The lovely Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day is hosting a contest to win a trip for 2 to the magical Paris (including hotel and airfare). Check out the number of ways to enter the contest and while you're there, follow this blog, add it to your favorites, bookmark the page, share on facebook... this is a must on my daily-reads list!

image via {oh happy day}

Bill Moyers

This was a really interesting interview I listened to yesterday with Bill Moyers on Democracy Now (my regular morning investigative news journal). He has a new book out, Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, which is an extension of his PBS show. I love hearing in-depth interviews with fascinating people, learning about who they are, where they come from, the experiences that make them who they are today. Plus, I just like the way Bill speaks and his perspective/emphasis on great journalism. This interview comes at a time when public broadcasting is in great fear of losing federal funding, leaving the public with nothing but empty corporate media... SAVE PUBLIC BROADCASTING!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Smoothie

I have been making this smoothie often; I love my new found coconut water and am trying to some up with clever ways of using it. It offers lots of potassium, calcium and replenishes electrolytes to leave you feeling hydrated. This is a great, refreshing breakfast on the go!

1/2 c. plain, organic yogurt (I used whole milk)
1/2 c. coconut water
1/2 c. frozen berries (fresh would be fine, but I like that the frozen makes the smoothie frosty)
3 tbls. unsweetened coconut flakes
1 banana
optional: Vital scoop or any other nutritional supplement

Just throw in the blender, pour and go!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pizza Party

Last weekend I attempted to make homemade pizza after craving a good, real Pizza Margherita and decided to use this recipe.

The dough was great, easy and came together well. I was gaining confidence...

I busted out my super cool (super new) pizza peel... a pro in the making.

My sauce turned out beautifully... this is a cinch.

Ready for the last layer of delicious mozzarella. I was beginning to feel like Mama Roma and about to take the pizza world by storm...

Everything went beautifully up until the last step... I knew I should have used cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking! Too late... totally stuck pizza, and now the fire alarm has started to sound, my cat is freaking out, but my sweetheart is faithful and continues taking pictures!

Ok, not the prettiest thing you've ever seen...

Add a few basil leaves to hide the malformations...

And voilĂ ! This pizza actually did taste pretty good, despite its appearance ;) After watching a few videos recommended by a friend, I made another pizza, this time using cornmeal to aide in the oven transfer and tossed the basil leaves with olive oil before adding them to the cooking process in the oven (as opposed to afterwards). Turned out great!