Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Weekend

Tracking Santa with Papa. Opening stocking presents. Snuggling in the new chair. Christmas dinner party with friends over. Lots and lots of pictures to come!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Merry Christmas to all of you!!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your families :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Nutcracker

I remember the first time I ever saw the Nutcracker at age 7. My parents, along with my best friend Chelsea and her mom all hopped into a limo and went to see the Nutcracker in Los Angeles. It was a magical night. I remember telling me dad "I'm going to be in the Nutcracker one day." Fast forward a year later, my parents moved my family up to San Luis Obispo, and not too long after I was enrolled in ballet classes at the Academy of Dance. They were holding Nutcracker auditions just a month after, and I eagerly signed up. I remember my dad saying "Now don't get your hopes up, but do your best." Imagine my excitement after auditioning for the first time ever for such a big production - that I got a part. I was a gingersnap. I must say the costumes were pretty hideous, but I wouldn't trade all that excitement for the world. I went on to do two more Nutcracker productions, and I loved them all.

This was the first time Riley has seen the Nutcracker. Maybe I'm crazy, but it was so hard for me to keep it together - all of those wonderful memories and sharing them with my baby girl who loves ballet - and for her to tell me that she wants to be in the Nutcracker too. I almost cried several times. I'm such a sap.

The last awesome thing about this Nutcracker? Riley's ballet teacher was the Sugar Plum Fairy. So magical. Riley was so excited!

I love Christmastime.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cooking with Pinterest

I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to food. And it's a little ridiculous. I'm talking over 300 pins. But I've actually taken the initiative to make some of these delicacies. Like the one I made tonight, Baked Monte Cristo sandwiches. They were SO easy and SO delicious! Seriously hit the spot.

I modified some ingredients to give it a more specialized taste.

Baked Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Recipe by Pepperidge Farm

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • 8 thin slices deli Black Forest ham (I used an organic brand that had no nitrates)
  • 4 slices deli Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces) (I used Gruyere Swiss - AMAZING)
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Pure maple syrup (I used Blackberry Preserves instead)

    1. Heat the oven to 400°F.  Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
    2. Sprinkle the flour on the work suface.  Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface.  Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square.  Cut into 4 (6-inch) squares.  Brush the edges of the pastries with the egg mixture.
    3. With a corner of 1 pastry facing you, place 2 slices ham and 1 slice cheese on the bottom half of the pastry.  Fold the pastry over the filling to form a triangle and press the edges to seal.  Crimp the edges with a fork.  Repeat with the remaining pastries.  Brush the pastries with the egg mixture.  Place the pastries onto a baking sheet.
    4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Sprinkle the pastries with the confectioners' sugar.  Serve with the maple syrup.
    5. Easy Substitution: For a savory twist, serve with Dijon-style mustard instead of the maple syrup.

They may not beat the ones at Disneyland's Blue Bayou recipe, but they are pretty amazing! I had attempted to do the latter, sadly they did not come out as good!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Christmas Spirit

I love Christmas time. I love baking all the holiday treats and getting into the spirit of Christmas. I love being around my family. Riley and I made sugar cookies tonight, she helped with the cookie cutters and did an awesome job! I baked them then frosted them. Totally delish! Definitely looking forward to cooking and baking some more yummy things!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


So these past few weeks have been super crazy. I had to take on this insainly large project for one of my jobs - and I swear it felt like it was never going to end! I finally finished it today, and let out a BIG sigh of relief. The holiday break was nice though, I really needed it! I'm currently obsessing over wearing a french braid into a side braid. It is so easy, and ends up looking very chic!

I got a BRAND NEW CAR this week! I'm so excited because it is completely under MY name and has all the super awesome features I wanted. I wrapped a TON of presents this past weekend after my little black "thursday" adventure. That pictures isn't even half of the presents that were wrapped! I made some new eco braid necklaces that I listed up in my Etsy shop. So cute and easy!

While I was shopping in a local health food store, I found this Bar Harbor clam chowder. I lived in Maine for almost two years, and whenever we had the chance my best friend and I would get Riley in her car seat and take a little road trip out to Bar Harbor. We had so much fun out there. My favorite memory is when I had just gotten back from visiting my parents in California and had snowed a lot by the time I got to Maine. Elisha and I went to Bar Harbor and she took pictures of us on the dock wearing our big snow jackets and furry hats. She took one of my all time favorite pictures of Riley and I. I love those memories that you cherish forever and go back to every time you look at that photo.