Sunday, January 29, 2012

a day at the dog park

the weather today was pretty great and seemed a great day to take boba to the doggie park so we loaded him up in the car, leash in tow and headed out to meet some new pups!

[i took this photo of our shadows by complete accident trying to catch boba playing but kinda like it]

[boba liked hanging around this gang of fellow black pups]

[this older scottie seemed to really like him]

[you can't see his face or hear his whine but he was upset we were leaving]

it was a very good day to be a pup at the dog park. boba loved it to say the least and felt it was his personal duty to greet each dog that came in and out with sniff checks and licks. it was pretty cute. he then spent the rest of the time running around with the other dogs like a wildman which was fine until T had to take off after him when we saw he was too interested in another dog pooping to notice he was about to get poop on his own nose. ick! don't worry, no pooping on the nose occurred...T made it in time, phew! but we did think it was probably a good time to call it a day. so we packed up and started to head home but not before i caught this hilarious photo of our pup...i think it says he had the best day. hope yours was too! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

sometimes it just takes a milkshake

on a day that i was feeling particularly ick T very sweetly brought me a milkshake to cheer me up. and while it didn't make my day turn around, i did feel better and it put a smile on my i guess that's really all it takes. for me anyway. happy wednesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

how i wake up most mornings...

true to most large pups, boba seems to have no idea how big he is and of course thinks he belongs...neh, was born to be on my lap. at a whopping 93 lbs! imagine how well that works...or doesn't. (it at least helps that he is so cute and can't wait to say good morning every day) so here's to good morning puppy. oh how i love you even when you feel you have to sit on my stomach. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

big tuna

yesterday T and i were so excited because we got to go to the soft opening of a new restaurant in town called big tuna. one of our friends is an owner so we got treated to drinks and food on the house! how cool huh? being the big fish eater i am, i love the idea of a new fish joint coming to the midwest especially one that gives the feel of a place on the coast so i was really hoping big tuna would be amazing and it SO did not disappoint...

one of my favorite things about going to the beach is the great seafood that sadly is not too common in the midwest. but big tuna was like some magic seafood fairy brought the coast to here! oh my gatos everything from the salmon to the tuna steaks to the hushpuppies (my closet favorite) was amazing. and the best surprise, their coconut shrimp rivals that from one of favorite fish places in florida! ahh, T and i were like two cats in fish heaven...we can't wait to become regulars (especially when the weather gets warm for happy hour margaronas)!  
hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2012

a little chili to ease the chill

brr it's been cold out this week! i always feel the best way to warm up on days or weeks like these are with a hot bowl of chili. but this chili has a twist to it as it's a flavorful southwest chicken chili. mmm...prepare to be full + here's the recipe!

here's what you'll need (not all items are pictured):

32 oz chicken broth

2-3 cans of navy beans

2 cans of chicken or 2 pre-cooked chicken breasts

3/4 cup leeks

1 yellow bell pepper chopped

1/2 medium onion chopped

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 teaspoon cumin

2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

shredded cheddar jack cheese (for garnish)

cilantro (for garnish)

1. once prep work is completed, in a large pot put evoo and onions on medium heat for one minute. then add in leeks and keep stirring mixture for 2 minutes so that browning does not occur. after two minutes add in bell pepper and saute for one minute so that all veggies are softened.
2. once all veggies are softened, add in broth, beans, spices and chicken. when mixture comes to boil put on low and let simmer for 20 minutes so that flavors infuse.
3. add cilantro and/or cheese as garnish for flavor and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

what i love

[homemade chocolate cake with peppermint buttercream]

so remember how i noted a couple of days ago how crazy warm the weather was? well mother nature must have heard me because a chilly gust of winter blew threw last night to make for a frigid day! bleck! to help brighten things up i thought i would start up a bi-monthly post of what i love. starting with that yummy cake up top that i made for christmas eve year after last. so here's to what else i love....

[freshly cut hydrangeas]

[wines with great labels that are reminiscent of old movie posters]

[woodsy/vintage wedding favors that act as sweet touches to the decor]

[sparkler candles and whipped icing]

[funny vintage cut-outs]

Sunday, January 15, 2012

well look what the wind blew in

yesterday i was pretty excited since my family was coming down to visit with my grandparents from out of town! i love getting to see my family and i was really thrilled to show them a little of my neck of the woods. we first had lunch at one of my favorite pasta shops victoria's for some of their homemade pasta dishes and local brews. we then walked next door to snack on sweet treats at crimson & whipped cream.

i love going here for treats because the suspense of what they will have baked that day is half the fun! that day we were treated to whoppie pies, oatmeal cream pies and ginger snaps...mmm. i'm especially a big fan of their freshly brewed iced teas served in mason jars. plus if you have time to hang out there they have loads of board games and a photo booth (my mom's personal favorite).

since the weather was uncommonly warm, we walked a bit around the campus touring the stadium and ending up at the library. the library is probably one of my favorite places on campus since it has such amazing architecture and landscaping (plus i spent the most time there while in college!). here is a snapshot from one of my favorite rooms in the library...

gorgeous right?! soon after my family had to head back home which felt all too soon and all i could do was think of more things i needed to show them! i suppose it will have to be saved for next time and the next time..and the next....

hoping your saturday was lovely as well!

Friday, January 13, 2012

a little take out to stay in

for so many reasons this has felt like the longest of weeks! T and i were so ready to relax and stay in tonight so for dinner we thought we would pick up some take out sushi and watch movies. i am a huge lover of sushi and i'm not talking california roll, i'm talking rolls with almost all raw fish. now you may think i'm bananas about this but really, i am beyond banana sandwich for fish; of any kind, cooked any way, or not for that matter! fortunately T shares my love of raw fish so there isn't much feuding except for who gets to have the last roll.

i especially love the amount of detail put into the presentation of the sushi; and each detail adds to the flavor. i mean, what's not to love! so here's to a night of fish, movies and hanging in with T and the pup. *sigh* i am loving it already... 

happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

messy dates

one of T and i's favorite foodie dates to have together also happens to be one of our messiest; what started as an impromptu date from an idea a friend gave me has turned into a tradition we've had ever since. if you couldn't tell from the photo, it's crab legs and gnocchi...mmm. it's always a fest of overindulgence with lots of wine, crab, and a veggie of some sort followed by watching our favorite tv shows. i think my favorite part of it is that it's usually spur of the moment and something that he and i have started together!

so it got me thinking....what's your favorite date idea?

Monday, January 9, 2012

baking party!

while still in the last stretch of winter break, i decided to have two of my sweet friends lindsey and laun over for baking and girl talk. i had been mulling over what we could bake and then came across this delicious looking muffin recipe, perfect for the chilly season...

[applesauce muffins with cinnamon streusel topping]

i have to say baking parties are one of my favorite ways to get together with my friends and it's great to try out new recipes. plus the pup loved all the extra attention from my girl friends :) can't wait to start out my day with these muffins and hot tea this week, yum!
(feel like making this on your own, let me know, i'm happy to share the recipe)

p.s. yes, i still have christmas decorations up...i've been slacking on putting them all away, eep! no judging!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

time to unwind

hey there! the past couple of days i've been feeling under the weather so i've had to stay home, rest and relax. (which for the record, i'm not very good at since i constantly think of things to do - especially craft projects!) to help relax and destress i treated myself to a diy spa soak with bath fizzies and lavendar salts; these are so easy to make and great as presents so i've included the how-to, enjoy!

bath fizzies -

here's what you'll need:
1/2 cup citric acid (comes in powder form and can be found at whole foods or natural grocer)
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
About 6 drops food coloring
10 to 15 drops essential oil (this will create the scent of the fizzies; i used pomegranate but you can use anything that smells yummy to you. the oil can also be found at whole foods or natural grocer)
2-ounce travel-size spray bottle
plastic pipette
silicone ice-cube tray
storage jars

1. stir citric acid, baking soda and cornstarch in a glass measuring cup.
2. pass mixture through a fine sieve or a flour sifter into a mixing bowl and stir in sugar.
3. fill spray bottle with water and add food coloring until the color is to your liking. spritz the mixture lightly (it should become damp but not fizzy) until you can pack mixture with your hands.
4. using pipette, add the essential oil, 1 drop at a time, until strength of scent is to your liking. using a spoon or your hands, mix ingredients until color is even throughout (mixture will begin to dry out; when this happens, spritz until packable again).
5. spoon into ice-cube tray, pressing firmly. let dry at room temperature overnight. pop out of tray gently and transfer to jars (mason jars work best)

lavendar salts -

here's what you'll need:
2-3 cups of epsom salt
dried floral (i prefer lavender or eucalyptus)

pour the epsom salt into a jar or container and add dried florals until the scent is to your liking, mixing throughly so the florals are spread out in the mixture. voila!

with a spoonful of salts and a couple of bath fizzies prepare to unwind!

happy saturday!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

the food experiment. round two!

tonight's experiment combines three of my favorites, pasta, spinach and lemon! i felt the start of the new year deserved something extra yummy and so i whipped up some stuffed mancotti (plus i took a couple of snapshots along the way)

i swear one bite and i feel as though i have gone to foodie heaven! it has the perfect hint of lemon mixed in with the spinach n goodies. this is only my second try at stuffed mancotti but i have to say it's not too bad and relatively easy! i'm thinking as i get more practice at it i may switch it up and +/- spices and whatnot.

happy experimenting! (if you want more details or the recipe, let me know, i'm happy to share)

Blogger template designed By The Sunday Studio.