Thursday, February 26, 2009

Backyard plans... one day...

How cool is this painted lace concrete? Our backyard right now is full of gravel bits and some pavers so Jeff and I would like to redo it some day. Jeff wants to pour concrete so it's level and doesn't require maintenance. I like the idea as long as it doesn't look like a parking lot, so I think something like this would help. Pretty!


Monday, February 23, 2009


Remember the tape that I was obsessed with and blogged about a few weeks ago? I got it in the mail shortly after and I use it a lot. It's gorgeous. Still sold out on the DWR website but Ginko Papers has the patterned version for sale. Sooo tempted... no! Bad Liv! *hand slap* via Creature Comforts...

Hooker Dream Escape

This Saturday we went to our friend Natalia's new show opening at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City. If you were at our wedding, you will likely remember our friend Natalia. She had pink hair at the wedding which left quite the impression on some of our guests. :) Here's a picture of her dancing next to my boss:

Her show was titled "Hooker Dream Escape" and it was so much fun. The paintings were amazing (again) and she hung a bunch of these acrylic laser cut chandeliers from the ceiling which were beautiful. I wish we had high ceilings, I'd be tempted to buy one. We met up with Jan and his buddy Dave at the show, and we went with our friend and Jeff's former professor Alex Gross (another amazing artist) and had a lovely little evening. Here are some pictures from the show:

This last one was my favorite. I'm a sucker for that mint green color and feather fascinators. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Greek stuffed peppers and friends

Last night we had Mandy and Seth over for dinner to catch up on life and their house-hunting adventures. I made these stuffed bell peppers that turned out pretty awesome if I do say so myself. They were super easy to make so I'm thinking they'll be a repeat performance.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try them:
5 large bell peppers
1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup crumbled feta (4 oz)
1/3 cup couscous (I used the whole wheat one, turned out great)
4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried oregano (from the garden of Ida Harn, if you can find it)
coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
lemon wedges, for serving

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Slice a thin layer off the bottom of the peppers to make them sit upright. Slice the tops off 1/4 inch below the stem and hollow out peppers. Coarsely chop the pepper tops and put in a bowl.

3) In the bowl mix the pepper tops, beans, feta, couscous, scallion WHITES, garlic, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

4) Stuff the peppers with the mix and place in a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Put a cup of water in the dutch oven, cover, and bake for 1 hour.

5) Sprinkle peppers with scallion greens and serve with lemon wedges and a greek salad and enjoy with your guests.

6) Make husband clean up kitchen.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

My next goals: Teaching Lily Mae to clean and exercise

She's got opposable thumbs and this cat can vacuum. If a cat can vacuum, Lily Mae can clean up her own puke.

After I teach her to pick up after herself, I'm getting her a treadmill to lose her chub. Jeffy has been running 8.34 miles several times a week and I walk about 0.12 miles a day, so with two very athletic parents, Lily Mae should follow in our footsteps.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The big apple

I'm back! After a wonderful fun-filled four days in New York City, I'm back in Southern California and happy to be home. Jeff picked me up from LAX last night and just about when we got home, it started pouring. The weekend was so serendipitous that my homecoming was fitting. Good weather until I was safely back at home tucked into my covers.

The trip started a little rocky, with Jen and I arriving at our respective airports to be told that my plane was delayed several hours due to wind, while Jen was boarding. We chose flights that got in around the same time so we could take a cab together to the hotel so this was a wrench. 10 minutes later, she texted me and told me her flight got delayed too! Sucky that we would both be late, but at least we'd still be together. Then, another 10 minutes later, we both were told our flights were back on track and we'd be leaving right then! We arrived within minutes of each other at JFK, just perfect.

That night was really windy in the city so we checked in and walked across the street to a fantastic light Italian restaurant (no pasta!! WHAT!?). Such a good meal, and a fun waiter, Rennie Coleman the fourth. Jen and I caught up over risotto balls and an arugula salad and wine, and then went back to the hotel. Our room was amazing, we even got fresh cookies every night with our turndown service!

The next day, Friday, we spent canvassing the lower east side and shopping like crazy. We went to a bunch of stores we both wanted to see, and a couple that Jen had to see for Levi's. One such showroom, Malet (I think?), was amazing. The space was divided up into genres and had a ton of vintage clothing and accessories. Lots of fashion designers go there and purchase pieces for inspiration for their new lines. Jen picked up some vintage cord shorts and really beautiful and simple Amish denim pieces. My jaw was on the ground the whole time because of the prices, but I guess that's the going rate for vintage fashion in high demand in the city.

On Saturday we went to the Musuem of Art and Design to see the indie craft documentary, Handmade Nation (and almost didn't make it! The musuem moved to a different location no one seemed to know about several months before so we wandered up and down the street it was supposed to be on according to my map book for awhile before the guard at the MoMA clued us in. We made it with one minute to spare.). It was an awesome and inspiring movie. We walked around Times Square after that and then headed over to SoHo to visit my favorite fabric store, Purl SoHo, before our dinner at Blue Ribbon Sushi. We were waiting for my friend Brooke, and her friends Nikki and Laquanda to arrive from New Jersey, so while we waited Jen got a manicure and we both got 10 minute neck and shoulder massages. They were much needed after all of that shopping bag lugging! Dinner was again fabulous (we didn't have a single bad meal in New York- amazing, because I'm a picky eater) and it was so good to see Brooke and Nikki again, and to meet Laquanda who was so sweet.

Sunday Jen and I went to the Brooklyn Flea Market over in DUMBO, and picked up some goodies. We both got really cool necklaces from this jewelry maker, and I got a vintage blouse that is so awesome for only $8. After the flea we went back to Manhattan, and walked through Central Park. It was freezing so we walked at a fast clip but stopped a few times to enjoy the scenery. I wish we got to see more of the park but maybe every time I go back I'll try to see a different section. We went to Little Italy that night for dinner and had amazing pasta. I got oriechette pasta with rapini and garlic and pesto which was heavenly. I'm going to try to remake it here.

My last day in NYC, Jen and I had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out for more shopping (!) in SoHo. There were so many stores that we got to check out that I keep seeing in magazines and blogs etc so it was fun to actually shop in them. Muji was my favorite. Lots of paper products and house things. :) With an hour to spare before I needed to leave for the airport, Jen and I popped in to Toy Tokyo so I could pick up a Be@rbrick souvenir for Jeff. He loves them so and I knew it would make him happy. He's been working so hard lately and he deserves a treat.

I'm so happy Jen invited me to tag along on her trip and that everything worked out. We had such a fun time and it was great getting to catch up with one of my best friends.

To see my slideshow of New York pics, click here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New York baby!

Miss me California... I love you, but I'd take freaking cold and sunny with possible snow flurries over pretty damn cold and wet anyday.

Monday, February 9, 2009

This makes me so happy I want to cry

You might think that's an exaggeration but it's so true. Practically all of the design blogs are posting this japanese masking tape because it is that rad. It's made in the most gorgeous colors and is slightly translucent. And they come in these great rolls of 10 colors (darks or pastels- I got the pastels natch) or a big pack of 20 smaller rolls of all the colors. I'm going to use this to death on my crafty projects and inspiration notebooks (I rip things that make me happy out of catalogs or magazines that I don't archive and I glue them into notebooks so I can flip through them later when I'm bored, seeking a new project, or blue. It's obsessive, I know.). I bought it for barely anything at all at Design Within Reach (finally! something cheap there!!) but I just looked online and it doesn't look like they carry it anymore. Sad! Hopefully it was so popular it sold out lickety split and they'll bring it back.


My Mate-of-Honor Matthew came to visit us this weekend to take a little break from the '408' and to see our new digs. We had an awesome weekend, even though Mother Nature dumped on us a bit. We went to the Starling Diner for breakfast one of the days because I wanted to try it out and it was a perfect example of Long Beach dining. Retro, charming, good service, and inexpensive but gourmet food. New favorite!
I had the eggs benjamin, poached eggs over smoked salmon and a bed of steamed spinach. It came with a lemon aioli which Jeff enjoyed (he copied me and got the same thing) but I shunned. I'm not big on mayonnaise-looking sauces. Plus it was perfect without.
We took Matthew to our favorite local sushi/thai restaurant Aki Bai Plu for dinner and took advantage of their free sake with two large beers deal. Oh yes we did.
I took Matt on a little driving tour of Long Beach (we would have been on bikes but it was raining- boo!) and we went to a few thrift stores on Retro Row. I kept finding Siamese cat items and swooning. If anyone has $700, buy me this:
These were unfortunately more in my price range. Don't worry though, I didn't get them. 

Happy birthday Seth!

We had a make-your-own pizza party this past Saturday to celebrate Seth's 27th birthday. We had a good turnout of around 15 people and had a lot of fun making pizzas, playing the Wii, and dodging the rain in the backyard. This is a pic of the pre-party crew:
We went a little nuts with the toppings. I made a pesto as a marinara alternative and we got that pizza dough from Trader Joe's because I forgot to make the pizza dough the night before. The TJs doughs are pretty great though.
Some people got crazy with their pizzas (I'm looking at you Jeff) but I went with the classics. Pesto, marinara, cheese, garlic, and italian sausage tofurkey. Mmmmm... For dessert Mandy made a chocolate walnut cake with raspberry filling that was sooooo good but I spaced and didn't get a picture. D'oh!
Jeff's Jesus fish pizza.:
Not that I should be too surprised, but Jan's pizzas seemed to be the favorite. I got him a salami log that lit his happy little face up.
You can see the pride in his eyes.
On Sunday after I dropped Matthew off at the airport, I got in a cleaning frenzy and had to rearrange the laundry room. I made it more of a pantry and Jeff moved all of the paints and nasty chemical cleaners to the garage.
We also moved the little butcher block table Brian and Gina left us out to the kitchen which kind of made us feel stupid for not having thought of it earlier. It's a great spot for it and gives us more much needed counter space. And now our garbage can is a little more incognito next to the washer. I'm pleased as punch with the new arrangement.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Suzy homemakers

Jeffy made me a delightful stir fry the other night. He went crazy with Japanese eggplant, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, onions and garlic with a spicy black pepper sauce. I'm really lucky he's so into eating healthfully, and likes lots of veggies. If it were left to me, most weeknights I would be eating pasta. We love this wok that Grandma Mac got us as a wedding gift. It's All-Clad and super heavy but is a perfect pan.

This week at work we celebrated a colleague's birthday so I brought in cupcakes in my handy-dandy cupcake carrier (thanks Elizabeth and Rik!). They were for my friend David, a thirty-something year old database programmer, and not an 8 year old girl as these cupcakes might have you believe. I like to tease him. Pink and lavender frosting with hearts on the top layer, and little black babies on the bottom. Because seriously, who doesn't love little black babies??

This is Lily Mae's #1 napping spot. And Jeff's #1 spot to trap her and pet her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I see into the fruture

Not to brag or anything, but one of the colors I chose for our wedding just so happens to have been named Pantone's color of 2009. Ah yes, mimosa. Love the color, the flower, and of course, the drink. And the name. The next special needs Siamese cat we adopt just might end up being named Mimosa. Jeff wants dogs named Kevin and Dennis. Sure, whatever.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm an essential vegetarian

I love this book! It was a wedding gift from our foodie friends Marlene and Herb Swanson and I keep coming back to it. It's huge (just under a thousand pages!!) and has not only a ton of recipes and variations on them, but cooking tips, the best ways prepare certain vegetables, full menus and really helpful illustrations. I've learned so much from it already, and know it will be a book I'll reference for as long as it holds together! This week I'm going to make the cavatelli with cannellini beans and spinach, and maybe the potato and leek soup. It's supposed to rain here later in the week so I'm going to be in a soup mood. Can't wait...