Things I Like – Spring 2013 Edition

Well, it’s been quite the hot minute since I last wrote, hasn’t it? I thought I’d make it until May before inspiration struck again, but alas, here I am. And here are a few things that have been occupying my thoughts/time as of late:

Le Pen

Everything is better in color, right? These sleek, colorful pens are amazing. I’ve been filling up my calendar with them, writing shopping lists, and doodling with these pens for days now. And every day I like them a little more. Bonus points for not smudging – a MUST for lefties such a myself.

I purchased these recently from Amazon for $10. Not too bad.

The Milk Carton Kids

I absolutely cannot stop listening to these guys. Especially this song:

The Milk Carton Kids โ€“ No Hammer To Hold

The fact that they give a little shout out to Minnesota (in the snow….of course!) doesn’t hurt. But seriously, they are great. I’ve been listening to both of their albums constantly over the past few weeks. The harmony of the leads voices mixed with the gentle strumming of the guitars is in a word, mesmerizing. You need to purchase their albums and see them in concert immediately.

Romantics Anonymous

Don’t mind the English subtitles. This movie is too charming to miss out on because of a silly little language barrier. Briefly, it’s about a woman and man working in a Parisian chocolate factory. Expect plenty of beautiful shots of Paris, chocolate-making montages, and of course, romance. If you liked Chocolat or Amelie then this is a MUST. A glass of wine and a piece of chocolate while watching is highly encouraged.

Romantics Anonymous

I believe this is available on both Amazon Prime and Netflix, fyi.

(My roommate get’s credit for introducing me to this movie….so glad she found it!)

Acure Organics

Recently, I’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up my eating (think less greasy pizza, more veggies and lean proteins…on said pizza). And since I’m spending the time and money to make sure that what goes inside my body is organic and good for me, it seems only natural that the things that go on the outside should be the same. Enter Acure Organics.

I stumbled upon this line a few weeks ago at my favorite local health store, Pharmaca. This all-natural line of face and body products are free of artificial fragrances, parabens, sulfates, harmful preservatives and artificial colors. The company is family-owned and based in the US, and uses fair trade and certified organic ingredients. The most expensive product is about $30, with most products in the $10-20 range, making it very comparable to most drugstore brands (but so, so much better quality-wise). A little goes a long way with these products, and I can happily say that after about 3 weeks of using the cleanser, toner, anti-wrinkle complex and facial scrub that my face has never been smoother and healthy-looking. I recently purchased the moroccan argon stem cell shampoo and conditioner and the smell is out of this world amazing. My hair feels nice and shiny after just two washes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this line. You can find the products online and in health food stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods.

Spring

Spring! Ain’t I original? I always say that Autumn is my favorite season, but wouldn’t you know, every time April hits I get a serious hankering to be outside all day, every day? The sun is out, flowers are blooming, and the beach is calling my name. My years in Southern California (and Arizona before that) have warmed my cold-Minnesota blood and I am truly happiest when basking in the sun. Honestly, if I could be any animal it would be a lizard. Give me a hot rock to lay out on all day and I’d be a happy camper.

I only wishย  had a bigger yard so I could plant even more flowers, herbs and trees… which reminds me, has anyone successfully grown cilantro? My parsley, chives, basil, etc. are thriving but I cannot for the life of me keep cilantro alive for longer than a few weeks. Is there some secret that I’m missing???

**Please note: No one has offered me any sort of incentive to mention any of the above items. I just really, really like (LOVE) these things.

5 Lbs. Of Pretzels

That was my gift to Adam for Valentine’s Day. Well, that and some beer.

I’m a romantic.

Or not.

Yesterday turned out to be quite lovely. My girlfriend and I met up for Happy Hour. Our first stop was Costa Brava for Tapas and Sangria. At least that’s what we had planned. Turns out they weren’t doing happy hour because of the “holiday.” We were told this after ordering a pitcher of Sangria. Of course.

Not to be dissuaded, we made our way down to the Tap Room. No sangria on the menu? No problem.With the help of their friendly bartender we made our own.

Oh yes. That would be two glasses of red wine and shots of orange juice, cranberry juice and rum. They were delicious. And cheap (yay happy hour!)

We also ordered some “beer soakers.”

I think I could happily eat these every.single.day. They are sooooo good.

Of course, it was Valentine’s Day, so Adam made an appearance. We headed over to his house where Weston, Lauren’s boyfriend, joined us for a glass of wine, cheese and some sliced sausages.

Not to be outdone by my show of pretzels, Adam gave me a beautiful, custom arrangement of flowers.

Very sweet.

He also made dinner. All by his handsome-self.

Lobster tails, fresh bread, broiled asparagus and baked potatoes.

It was incredibly sweet and much appreciated.

It was a lovely night. A very lovely night.

 

I Just Ate A Thai Chili

On accident.

I then proceeded to down at least three glasses of water, a yogurt, an english muffin and anything else I could manage to get my hands on. Except for milk. I hate plain milk.

Do not eat thai chilis. Even if they are mixed with delicious, delicious orange peel shrimp.

Anywaaaaay, part from having my mouth on fire, things have been quite lovely round here. It’s rainy and cloudy and all I can think about is getting my pajamas on and cuddling up with my Kindle and a glass of tea or wine and relaxing for the rest of the evening. Bliss.

I have been cooking up a storm lately, and I’ll probably post about it tomorrow or Wednesday. I can’t be certain, I’m not psychic after all. In the meantime here are some random snapshots from the weekend.

Weekends are fun.

My only resolution this year: eat more fruit (and oatmeal?). So far so good.

Bacon and mushroom tarte @ Cafe Chloe

Moules frittes @ Cafe Chloe. Buttery deliciousness!

refreshing

Movie night with my two dudes.

Inexpesive flowers from Trader Joe's make me happy

Cheeeeeseburgers from Cass Street Bar and Grill are a good thing.

Now, on to tackle the rest of the week!

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. If you haven’t already – sign up now for the SoCal Blogger Meet-Up. Only 2 tickets left!

My Last Year As A 20-Something

And so it has begun. I have officially entered my last year as 20-something. Eeeep!

I can tell you already, I can already sense that I am not only much wiser, but am aging beyond gracefully ๐Ÿ˜‰

After an INSANE day at work, I wanted nothing more than to put on some jammies and sip on some Wine.

Flowers? Check.

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Birthday flowers

I wish I would’ve snapped a picture of the bouquet while they were still wrapped in brownย  paper and tied with a pretty pink ribbon. So pretty! Just so you know, flowers never fail to make me swoon.

Dinner made especially for me? Check.

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Roasted wild salmon, mushroom rice pilaf, grilled corn and bread for dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Fancy! And delicious! And I didn’t have to do a thing!

Birthday cupcake? Double check.

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Carrot cake and loads of buttercream

Yes, that is an empty bottle of wine on the table….

It was a good night.

Thank You Mr. Lincoln

Want to ensure your Sunday night isn’t it’s usual weepy affair? (Please tell me I’m not alone here!)

Easy! Get the to a grocery store, buy yourself a bouquet of flowers (Personally I go for the 3 bunches for $10 variety…picking only 1 bunch), light some candles, put on Whitney Houston’s greatest hits and voila!

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All or under 5 bucks. Thank you Mr. Lincoln! Monday won’t seem so bad. I promise.

P.S. don’t even bother hating on Whit. These ears will have none of it. NONE OF IT!

Spring is for Lovers…and Peonies

Growing up in the Land of 10,000 lakes, one sure sign of spring was the blossoming of the peonies in our back yard. To this day, it’s a tight race between Lily of the Valley (on the side of our neighbors yard) and the Peonies for my favorite flower.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Unfortunately, peonies do not grow in Southern California. I did spy them at the local flower shop in downtown La Jolla the other day, but at $8 a stem I think I’ll wait for a special ocassion…

Speaking of things I will not be purchasing soon…

Rawrrr!

Consider me obsessed. I swear I would wear them with EVERYTHING.

Somehow I don’t think I’ll be able to justify a pair of Lion paw Louboutins. These however? I’m working on it.

Pink! Sequins!

During college I worked at Ann Taylor (what up La Encantada!) and I must say, they really do have some great shoes. They are always well made and extremely comfortable. I think these would make a fine addition to my closet ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okay, enough virtual shopping. There is coffee to be made and house stuff to be done. (A certain pup is getting a bath today….)

What are you drooling over these days?