1.31.2014

Super Bowl Sunday Snacks



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Happy Friday everyone!

I don't know about you, but this week has gone by so slow! I'm so ready for the weekend (aren't I always)! We have a busy weekend planned. Meeting some friends for drinks tonight, and then all day tomorrow I'm shopping with one of my best friends for her wedding dress! It's going to be such a fun day, I can't wait! And of course, Sunday is the Super Bowl!

Although we've yet to decide what we're doing for the big game, I've rounded up a few of my favorite appetizer recipes so that I'm prepared. Super Bowl Sunday is always an indulgent day, I don't know what it is about football, but watching is usually paired with greasy comfort foods. But I'm all about enjoying my favorite things in moderation, so fine by me!

This year, I'll be rooting for Denver since the Niners won't be playing. And as usual, I'm pretty excited for the much anticipated Super Bowl commercials. I'm loving what I've seen so far, like this, Budweiser for the win! And I'm loving Anna Kendrick lately too, her Newcastle commercial is great!

Okay, back to the food. My sister always makes the most amazing Jalapeno Artichoke Dip for the Super Bowl, and I found this one on Pinterest that looks similar, so I thought I'd give it a try. I've been drooling ever since I found the recipe for those cheesy, bacon wrapped puff pastry twists! I mean, cheesy and bacon wrapped?! Does it get better? I will be making these! Then of course, you can't have a Super Bowl spread without some type of buffalo chicken appetizer, so I think my recipe for spicy buffalo chicken crescent rolls is perfect for game day! And potato skins are a crowd pleaser, you can't go wrong with the cheese, bacon and potato combo. Finally, a new recipe that sounds too good to pass up, bacon scallion hummus! Clearly there is a bacon theme happening. But, life is better with bacon.

If you were stumped on what to make for the game Sunday, I hope this recipe round-up provided some inspiration! I know any of these appetizers are sure to please! Links to original recipes above.

Have a great weekend! Go Broncos!

1.30.2014

High Marsh Loop Trail: Marin County

On Martin Luther King Jr., Day Andrew and I took advantage of the extra day off work and went for a hike in Marin County. We have a few Bay Area hiking books, and our goal is to start exploring more of the local trails, and utilize our weekends to go hiking and camping more frequently. 

We wanted to bring Louis with us, so we looked for trails that are dog friendly. Andrew had heard about Cataract Falls in Marin, and the High Marsh Trail in our book mentioned that as well, so we figured we'd go for it. Although we knew with the lack of rain, the falls wouldn't be too impressive, the trail allowed dogs and was about 6 miles, so off we went. 

Sadly, the falls were more like a drip, but it was still a nice, wooded hike. Although we both decided we prefer hikes with a summit or viewpoint. Maybe we'll try it again on a rainy year to get the full effect of Cataract Falls. 

Thirsty pup!
Tired pup...6 miles is just about his limit

After our hike, we were rewarded with spectacular views of the bay after a short walk from the parking lot. It was a beautiful, clear day, and the views really made us appreciate where we live. 


1.29.2014

Super Bowl Sunday: Buffalo Chicken Crescent Rolls



While I'm not as excited about the Super Bowl this year as I was last year, I can always get behind an afternoon spent with friends eating good food and watching football. And even though my beloved Forty Niners won't be playing on Sunday, it will be just as sweet watching Denver crush the Seahawks. 

Whether you're heading out to a party on Sunday or playing host, this is an quick and easy recipe for a tasty appetizer. And as far as I'm concerned, spicy buffalo sauce and watching football are a match made in heaven! 

I made this a few weeks ago and took it to our friends to watch one of the playoff games, and it was a huge hit! The flaky dough is a perfect compliment to the gooey, cheesy, buffalo chicken mixture. I'll definitely be making it again this Sunday. 


Ingredients:
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
2 boneless chicken breasts
5 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
5 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce (I added more for extra heat)
1/3 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 375*
First, cook your chicken breasts (I boiled mine). Once the chicken is cooked, shred or chop it into small cubes and set aside to cool. 
In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, cheese, hot sauce, and dressing. Mix thoroughly to coat chicken. 
Next, unroll and separate the Crescent Rolls. On a lined baking sheet, spoon a tablespoon of the chicken mixture on the wide end of each Crescent Roll, and roll them up. You might need to tuck in the edges to prevent the filling from spilling out the sides. Be sure to space evenly on the baking sheet to allow the rolls to expand while baking. 
Place in the 375* oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. 
Serve with carrot and celery sticks, and a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping.

Enjoy!


Let's go Denver!! 


1.27.2014

Phillip's Baby Shower: 1 Year Later

Good morning friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine went by too fast as usual. I drove up to the foothills Saturday morning for a hair appointment and to spend time with my sister and nephew

My sister and I were talking, and realized that one year ago, we spent the day celebrating her baby shower! I can't believe a year has already flown by since Phillip's baby shower. And here she is, planning his 1st birthday party already. 

Way back in May, when I participated in the Blog Everyday In May challenge with Jenni at Story of My Life, I did a post about throwing my sister's baby shower. Back then, I think I had maybe 10 blog readers, so many of you might not have seen it. So, I thought it would be fun to bring it out of the archives and back to life. 

It is one of my favorite posts to date. My excitement for becoming an aunt combined with my love for crafts, made hosting the baby shower for my sister so much fun. My Mom, Aunt and I worked so hard to make sure it was a perfect day for her, and she knew just how excited everyone was to meet her little peanut! 

Hopefully you enjoy this glimpse into my early blogging days, and maybe it will provide some inspiration for hosting a baby or bridal shower in the future!



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Originally posted May 2, 2013

Somehow, almost  7 weeks have already passed since my little nephew, Phillip was born. It seems like just yesterday that we were hanging out in the hospital, waiting for him to make his debut.

But let's back up a little bit. Way back in January, I threw a baby shower for my sister. It's something I have been meaning to post about, since it was in my pre-blogging days. When I first read that the prompt for day 2 would be "Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at" I wasn't sure what I should write about. But after giving it some thought, I decided writing about my attention to detail, creativity and planning abilities would be appropriate.

I would say I am a creative person. I love doing crafts, DIY projects, painting, planning events, you name it. I enjoy thinking about the details, the small things that will be meaningful to someone; whether it's a homemade gift, handwritten letter, or the small elements that personalize an event.

I think those little things can make the most impact. The baby shower I threw for my sister was no exception. All of the little things, when put together, made for a lovely baby shower to celebrate my sister and her first born.  

For the shower, I drew a ton of inspiration from Pinterest. It was fun trying to decide on a theme. Since my sister didn't know the sex of the baby, we knew it would have a gender neutral color scheme. We decided to go with a vintage motif, not necessarily a particular theme.

I used Etsy to create the invitations. I worked with Katie and we ended up with a really cute design that my sister loved. I definitely recommend Katiedid Designs if you're looking to order invitations. She was really nice, easy to work, with and fast! 


There were so many elements that I wanted to incorporate, but my main feature would be the popcorn table. This was a twist on the popular candy table that is often found at weddings and showers as a favor for guests. I was so excited with how this turned out, exactly as I pictured in my head.





Popcorn Table:
* Popcorn Flavors: Cake Batter, Cookies n' Cream, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I modified the recipes slightly, but you can find the recipes on my Party's and Events Pinterest board. It was A LOT of popcorn! We used an air popper but I think it was at least 3 hours of popping time.
* See my tutorial for making a torn fabric banner here
* Glass Jars to store popcorn with handmade labels for each flavor
* Favor Bags and Baby M sticker labels (I ordered the bags here)
* Scrabble Tile "Ready to Pop!"


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At baby showers, guests are often asked to bring a package of diapers to be entered into a special drawings. For Christine, we decided it would be fun to instead ask guests to bring a book to start Baby M's library. Almost everyone participated, needless to say Phillip now has an extensive library!






Start Baby M's Library:
* I used a vintage suitcase to display the books that everyone bought
* My cousin helped me with a chalkboard sign that we placed next to the suitcase and gift table.


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Since the gender of the baby would be a surprise, I wanted to play on that at the shower. I created a chalkboard ballot for guests to "Cast Their Vote." Another element was "Blue or Pink, what do you think?" I ordered half pink and half blue for the plates, napkins and straws. I asked people to stick with a color for the day, based on if they thought Baby M was a boy or a girl. (For the record, I knew she was having a boy all along)!


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Cast Your Vote:
* Chalkboard sign for guests to cast their vote
* "Blue or Pink, what do you think" using paper straws,  plates and napkins (straws ordered here).

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We wanted the table decoration to be simple and continue the vintage theme so we used Ball jars for vases and burlap as a table runner. I got an great tip from Katie Bower to use paint drop clothes as inexpensive table cloths. And we also borrowed white linen table clothes from my cousin for the popcorn, cake and food tables. There was a TV in the corner of the space we rented, so we hung a clothes line with onsies to distract the eye. We also borrowed tissue paper puffs from another friend and hung those in opposite corners of the room.











Flowers/ Decoration:
* My mom did the flowers, and used yellow and white carnations with greenery from her yard.
* I decorated the Ball jars with torn white fabric and burlap, and secured it with a cloth diaper pin.
* My cousin made an adorable diaper cake


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What's a party without food and drinks? My mom was in charge of the menu for the shower and she did not disappoint. Everyone was requesting recipes for the salads she served. Maybe she'll send me a copy and I can share them with you soon!




Cake/Food/Beverage:
* We served mimosas, wine, water and coffee
* The cake was purchased at a local bakery. I made the topper from BBQ skewers wrapped in jute twine, then I used leftover scraps from my fabric banner project to make a little cake topper!
* We served fruit salad, mini chicken salad croissant sandwiches, quinoa salad, green salad, and a cabbage salad.


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I know some people hate playing silly games and bridal and baby showers. But we wanted to do at least one or two while people ate their lunch. I think everyone had a great time, and no one had to smell melted candy in a diaper!

I made these using some cute scrapbook paper I had and printed them on card stock. 

Games:
* We played an attribute game I had recently played at another shower and thought was a fun change from Bingo. And we also played the Nursery Rhyme game at my sisters request.
* I had made wishes for baby cards for people to fill out as well. My sister said she loved reading those and wished everyone had filled one out. They are a special addition to Phillips Baby Book.
* For a prize, we gave away orchids in nice ceramic pots that we got at Trader Joes. Who doesn't love fresh flowers?


Whew! That was a long post! Anyone still reading?

Overall it was a great shower. I had such a fun time organizing everything and planning different ways to make it a special day for my sister. Everyone said they had a great time and loved the decorations. It was a lot of work, but so worth it! I think all of my attention to detail paid off, my sister had a wonderful day and baby Phillip was showered with so much love!

Maybe in another life I'll be an event planner. I can't imagine the time an energy it takes to plan big events on a regular basis, and juggling more than one event at a time! 

Do you have any tips for party planning?


1.25.2014

Happy Birthday Dad!


Dad,

I know technically I'm a day early, but seeing as you're usually a day behind on blog reading, I'm hoping you'll see this in your inbox first thing tomorrow morning!

You simply are the greatest Dad in the world! Thank you so much for always being so supportive, and instilling a sense of adventure and wonder in me early on. I am sad I won't get to celebrate with you this year, but it's only fitting that you and Mom are off on an adventure in the new Westy, and having a great time I'm sure. 

Happy Birthday, Dad! I'll be thinking of you all day. I know this will be a great year since you and Mom already have so many fun plans. Living it up in the retired life, as you should! I hope that I've made you proud, I always try to. Thanks for always being there, Christine and I are so lucky to have you as our Dad! 

Love you,
TWOB



1.24.2014

Lesson's Learned: Living With A Girl (Andrew's Perspective)!


I have a fun surprise for you today! Since I had so much fun writing the post earlier this week about things I've learned living with Andrew, I thought I should ask him to join the fun! He reluctantly agreed to write a little guest post about some of the things he's learned the past year living with me. 


“I kissed lived with a girl, and I liked it.
Things I learned living with a girl

CHEEEESSSSEEE!!!
The girl LOVES cheese!!! When you think you’ve cut, grated or melted enough…cut, grate or melt some more.

The Dish Delay
I do most of the dishes around here.  Occasionally when she offers to do them she will, IF she starts within the next 20 minutes.  Otherwise, she will just keep pushing it off.  Then it gets too late and I’ll end up washing them the next night. 


This brings me to my next Thing

Winding down
I like to get things done and slowly wind down for the rest of the evening.  For the most part Theresa does too.  Except for bedtime.  Almost every night, when its time to settle into bed, she has a sudden burst of energy she needs to get out.  This energy is release in the form of aggressive patting, squirming and laughter. 
{This makes me sound kinda crazy. I swear I'm not a total freak, just playful!}


Always carry snacks
Hanger sets in easily so it’s best to be prepared.
{So true. What can I say? I like to eat!}


Easily sidetracked
Whenever she has packing or cleaning to do she gets sidetracked easily.  She starts doing one thing, then sees something else that needs to be done, and switches tasks. So inevitably, it takes her twice as long to finish what she started. 


Looses Everything
She doesn't actually loose things and never find them, she just misplaces them temporarily.  Then we frantically have to search for said item. When we do eventually find it, its either right in front of her face or somewhere very bizarre.  I find myself thinking, “Why would anyone put chopsticks in the medicine cabinet?”  (This never really happened)
{I should probably work on this. I lose my wallet daily, only to find it in my purse}


Today is the official 1 year mark of living together, and we're both still smiling and in love, I'd say that's a good sign! Even though he has to put up with my ADD tendencies, cheese cravings, and temporary memory loss, he still seems to like me. So that's a plus! 

Hopefully ya'll like this post and the little glimpse it gave you into my quirky, silly side :) Happy Friday!!




1.23.2014

Outfit Collaboration: Weekend Wear





Kasey and I are back with another outfit collaboration for you all today! Since we were both so busy enjoying the holidays with our family, it's been a while since our last post. But I'm excited to be back with her, sharing our favorite weekend wear! The two of us pretty much text and gchat all day long, and 90% of the time we're talking about shopping, so it's only fitting that we do these outfit collaborations together. It would be bad for my bank account if we lived closer, I know we'd be shopping together every week!

As much as I love to dress up, when I'm running around the city on weekends, I just want to be comfortable. But of course, I still want to look like I at least made an effort to look cute. Since the weather is typically hit or miss in San Francisco, the majority of the time you'll find me wearing a scarf. It's the perfect way to stay warm, and accessorize at the same time. These black skinny jeans are my go-to, I'd be lying if I said I didn't wear them almost every.single.day. They're just SO comfortable, and I don't mind the slimming effect black has either ;) The hills of San Francisco are no joke, so I never get dressed to the nines and wear high heels on weekends. These booties have the perfect little heel, and I can walk for hours in them. If I'm not wearing these booties, then you can bet I have my riding boots on.

Booties, a simple tshirt, skinny jeans, and a fun scarf, is my weekend uniform. They're all my favorite, basic pieces, that can be mixed and matched to create a totally different look. It's the perfect outfit to take you from brunch and shopping with the girls, all the way through dinner and a movie with your sweetie.

What is your weekend uniform? Do you like to mix it up, or do you find yourself reaching for the same basic items again and again?

Be sure to head on over and see the lovely Kasey, she looks adorable as ever! PS...are you as obsessed with her new lipstick as I am? I think I'll be making a trip to Sephora asap!




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