Those Dog Days Of Summer

Are over.

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I think we can all agree that the Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. Wonder what is in store for fall….

On The Couch

Because after this

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And this

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Where else would I be?

Happy Labor Day weekend!

The Grass Is Sometimes Greener (On The Other Side of 30)

So far, being 30 has been downright swell. Things kicked off nicely with a night out in Little Italy, followed by a night out in La Jolla with too much beer and just enough pool, a birthday bash, and finally a trip to Mission Viejo for a Fantasy Football Draft.

Two days have passed since the weekend, and I’m still utterly exhausted. But content. And that can’t ever be bad.

I have some recipes to share, but today I just feel like posting some pictures from my birthday party. I had some amazing friends show up, and some even more amazing friends show up and help (I’m looking at you Adam, Scott, Trevor, Brynne and family!)

In case you can’t tell, there was a Roaring Twenties theme to the night. The music was swinging, the champagne was popping, and the ladies and gents were dressed to the nines. It was an incredibly fun evening (and early morning).

Who doesn’t love a good mustache?

So.Much.Food.

Cream puffs, drunken cherry brownies.

Chocolate cupcakes with espresso frosting. Amazing.

Pomegranite Champagne Punch (in addition to plenty of wine, beer and other mixed drinks)

These handsome gents TRANSFORMED my backyard. They strung the lights, rearranged furniture/pots/bbq and raked all the leaves. Amazing.

I wish men wore tuxes more often!

I think we need to bring fans back into fashion. They’re both pretty and useful!

Dark Red and Black Dahlias (in old wine bottles…something I have no shortage of) were placed all around the house and yard

It was an amazing evening, and I’m so happy to have such lovely friends. Unfortunately I only snapped photos of a tiny fraction of the people there, but everyone’s presence was appreciated! Champagne and photos don’t mix. Good life advice, I should say.

Are Women Inherently Less Funny Than Men?

I was honestly wondering that the other night, as I was sitting, watching and mostly laughing my way through an evening at the Comedy Store in La Jolla (good call Adam!). I say mostly, because there were two comediennes that night, that unfortunately, were not funny. In fact, they were painfully unfunny. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some funny ladies out there – Jane Lynch, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey come to mind fairly quickly. But more often then not, when I see something labeled “female comedy” it’s usually ends up being something along the lines of Chelsea Handler’s brand of comedy, which personally, I do not find humorous at all. Ladies – insinuating that you are a lazy, drunken, slut is not funny! It’s not empowering. It’s crude. Am I prude? Maybe. But I don’t care. I’m not advocating that women shut up, put on a dress and slave away in the kitchen all day. I’m just saying – lay off the slut talk. I’m aware that this is a complete double standard, because many of the jokes told by the men were along the same subject line and there I was laughing away hysterically… So there you go: I’m a hypocrite, I think women aren’t funny, and men rule!

Speaking of slaving away in the kitchen all day (segue!) – that is something I have not been doing lately. It’s summer and it’s hot and honestly, a big meal sounds horrible.  But, I am still a snack-monster, so here’s a little something I managed to whip up the other night that involved minimal effort and no heat. It also helped me clear out my refrigerator of some strawberries and a cucumber that were on the brink of being spoiled.

I present to you Strawberry and Cucumber Salsa!

Ingredients*

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup cucumber
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger (or 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger)
  • healthy handful of cilantro, chopped (probably about 1/4 cup)
  • black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. This is ridiculously easy – chop the strawberries, cucumber and red onion into small pieces. Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl, chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator, and serve with tortilla or pita chips.

* As usual, measurements are approximate. Feel free to play around with the proportions/work with what you have.

Anyway, try the salsa – it’s sweet and it pairs perfectly with the saltiness of tortilla chips. Also, definitely check out the Comedy Store. Wednesday and Thursday nights are local nights and there are definitely some genuine laughs to be found.

La Dolce Vita

So I’ve already told you I’ve put on a few lbs. these past few weeks. Now, let me show you how it happened.

Recently, some girlfriends and I spent an evening at La Villa in Little Italy. Let me preface this by saying, having the girlfriend of the chef as a dining companion is wonderful….and extremely dangerous.

We each started out with individual servings of two different appetizers.

striped jack crudo with cucumber, radish, sugar snap peas and lemon

foie gras with early grey poached stone fruit and a balsamic gelee

And then the three of us split 3 entrees.

lobster tortellini with sweet corn

short Ribs

pasta with spicy lamb sausage, peas, tomato, and mint

Everything was amazing. The standout dish was definitely the lobster tortellini. The sweet corn burst in your mouth, and the lobster was delicate and not too heavy. The foie gras appetizer was also amazing. Mostly because the chef gave each of us a portion that would easily be split between 4 people. I know, gluttonous. But you try to send back half of that specialty uneaten!

This is why I’m getting fat.

But it was worth it. I would highly recommend La Villa. We sat out on the patio, and it was the perfect relaxed setting for an evening filled with wine, great food, and the best company possible. All of the ingredients are fresh and whenever possible sourced from local farmers and fishermen. You can definitely taste the freshness.

I can’t wait to make a second trip.

Currently…

Listening

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Wearing

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Drinking

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Weekend Shenanigans

There really weren’t that many, but ain’t weekends grand?

I didn’t do anything ground-breaking, but I had a fantastic time. So what did I do?

I did some gardening.

The before….

The after…

I did some painting:

(Please ignore the GINORMOUS pile of laundry…)

I did some dancing with two of my favorite people:

I did some eating:

I just love these kinds of weekends.

Oh yah, I also saw the Avengers. Finally. The verdict? I LOVED IT!!!!

It’s A Sailor’s Life For Me

To everyone who wished me a swell time this weekend, please know the wishes were not in vain. I had an amazing time honing my inner-sailor. I really should play hooky more often!

On Friday my dad and my brother drove in from Arizona for the weekend so my dad could get some practice on the boat. Being the lovely and devoted daughter that I am, I was more than happy to join the crew. Adam didn’t put up much of a fight either. And thus, two days were spent sailing around the San Diego Bay. You could do worse.

San Diego Marina

handsome men

one of the old America's Cup ships cruising on by

downtown skyline as the marine layer rolled in

happy girl

a feathered friend on the dock

I can’t wait to go again in a few weeks. I think I’ve found my calling!

Yo Ho Ho

Playing hooky and going sailing today.

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No big deal.

Happy Friday!

It’s Getting Worse

Remember how the other day I was rambling on about how my electric tea kettle was the best thing to happen to me in a really long time? Well that hasn’t changed. I’ve used it a gazillion times since then and if it’s possible, I love it even more. So yeah, the old lady spirit is still strong with this one. In fact it’s getting worse/stronger.

Do you know what I’ve been spending my lunch/work breaks doing? Reading about gardening, foraging for succulents at the cove (who does that?!), and visiting nurseries/garden centers. I’ve barely glanced at twitter or Facebook this week.

Who am I?

Anyway, here are some of the potted fruits of my labor. Not anywhere close to done and i haven’t taken pictures of the cacti or irises, but you get the idea.

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On the non-old lady front, I’ve still been eating ridiculous amounts of food, drinking plenty of wine, and rocking out to Bowie.