Monday, November 13, 2017


[spiked cider and pumpkin madeleines]

happy monday everyone! i thought i'd share a funny story from over the weekend. T and i were on a road trip with the pups when we made a pit stop to my favorite ham sandwich shop. i made a passing comment to the boys that i would share a bite of my sandwich with them before we went in...oh brother, i really should have rethought saying that out-loud. when we came back, there were a couple of drooling dogs hanging over my shoulder. to try to satiate them, i gave them each a bite before snacking on the sandwich. for the next several minutes of the drive, boba positioned himself to where he could stare longingly at me eating the sandwich while drooling, and, what looked like, daydreaming. think of middle school crush daydreaming with the music, soft lighting, and everything happening in slow motion. that, was boba. he could not have been more distraught when the sandwich was eaten. i'm near positive he was, and is in love with that sandwich (see below). 

[celebrating my grandma's 90th (above and below)]

[cozy dinners]

[boba and his love, ham sandwich]

[lunch back home]

[snoring pup]

Friday, November 10, 2017

awesome and awkward

[autumn picnics]

  • for those who are fans of matt bellassai's whine about it segment he had with buzzfeed, you'll want to give his most recent series a listen: to be honest. it is even more hilarious than whine about it. my personal favorites are: why teenagers are the worst, why malls are the worst, and why candy corn is the worst. it couldn't stop giggling at my desk while listening to it, and encourage anyone who needs a good laugh to give it a listen. 
  • i've recently started listening to whitney a's podcast, reality, reality. the basic gist is of her podcast is that she will dish on the weekly gossip from her favorite real housewives of _ (insert city) while sipping a themed cocktail. it has become my latest guilty pleasure as i've been caught multiple times saying "omg!", and "no she did not!" around co-workers at the copy machine who didn't see my earbuds. 
  • we are now one holiday down into holiday season, and not to sounds like everyone else, but this is my favorite time of the year! who else is getting excited for turkey day?

  • not long ago, i was busy working away at my desk on a project when i hit a mental roadblock. feeling stumped on how to remedy the roadblock, right at that moment, i heard a very audible, "whomp, whomp!". thinking i'd imagined it, i kept working until i heard the same sound again. "whomp, whomp!" then, a few minutes passed before i heard it again. it turned out my comically timed retort was none other than a bird hanging in a nearby tree. 
  • one night i was prepping veggies for dinner, but felt like having a little snack. so i decided to munch on some chips and salsa. after awhile, i stopped looking where i was reaching and nearly mixed up a whole jalapeno with a chip. thankfully, i caught my mistake before i bit down on the pepper, but it was a close call!

[cozy dinners with dear friends]

[celebrating new life coming for one of T's oldest and dearest friends]

[late night coffee]

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

grow your goods

this year marks our second year growing our garden goodies, and i have to say, i feel like i started to get the hang of it. last year felt like it was all trial and error, whereas this year i felt like i got to reap the rewards of my (very little) experience. overall, we stuck to similar plants, and introduced a few newbies to the group. 

the florals (not all pictured): knockout roses, mini roses which have now quadrupled in size (oh my!), rose of sharon, milkweed and lantanas aka all plants to help attract healthy pollinators like butterflies, and my personal favorite, the honeybee. 

herbs/veggies (not all pictured): citronella, lavender, mint, thyme, italian and greek oregano, sage, rosemary, garlic (purely as a companion plant for the sage, and not to eat), rosemary, lemon balm, scallions, parsley, chives, and basil. 

[my latest newbies: parsley and chives]

[l to r: lemon balm, scallions, and basil]

[checking for garden pests]

what i learned this year was to trust my gut when it comes to tending to our garden. i let my sage bloom for about a couple of weeks too long without trimming their flowers. because of this, it caused my sage to stop producing leaves and focus on reproducing. next year, i'll trust my intuition on keeping our plants healthy. 

my goals for adding in new plants next year would be to plant nasturtiums and marigolds to act as additional pollinators, and companion plants for our goods. now that this year's growing season is winding down, and i already can't wait to see what i can do next year!

Friday, November 3, 2017

semi-charmed life

with this year's halloween being on a tuesday, T and i thought we'd do something a little different to partake in the fun and got tickets to see third eye blind. that's right, my 90s, choker necklace, butterfly-clips, white-eyeliner, clogs, and tankini-wearing tween-self was screaming with glee at the chance to get to see one of my old faves. plus, with the holiday, there was bound to be some killer costumes which only added to the buzz of the night.

[drinks of choice: frosé and a golden one]

we initially snagged a spot front and center to see the band, but the crowd got a little too close for comfort. so, we hung out on the patio where we still had a killer view, but with a little more breathing room. i'm not one for being packed in too tight when it comes to large crowds at concerts - plus, under the outdoor heaters with a cocktail in hand, and a half moon shining above, it was pretty stellar. 

[my favorite costume of the night: a squirrel with his acorns]

my favorite songs (in general, and heard live) that night: the graduate, motorcycle drive-by, semi-charmed life, jumper, and blinded. side note, one of the amazing things that happened that night was the concert itself. the lead singer (stephan jenkins) lost his voice and nearly had to cancel the concert, but somehow got it back just in the nick of time. and they put on such a great show! definitely a halloween for the books. 

[hey, viking bartender!]

thanks for another great concert/night out jones assembly. can't wait until next time. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

life, according to my iphone

[b&b stays; remnants of a great fiesta]

happy almost halloween everyone! i hope you all had fun celebrating this past weekend. with the past two months being as jam packed as they were, T and i felt like going for a low-key celebration this year. instead of sporting our latest costume idea, we opted to hang in for a b-rate horror movie marathon with spiked cider, comfort foods, and cozy lounging. it was the perfect way to recharge while still partaking in the festivities. 

[comfort food eats]

[my merman; cloud city lounging]

[pup spooning; a sweet moment]

[lazy sundays]

[feeling sassy pre-dinner; story time]

[sweet treats; the best crabcakes ever]

[fiesta goodies]

[snuggly pups]

[cooling off; wine-ing down]

[tasty pairings; the best!]

[party boat; late night walks]

[dia de los muertos goodies; am lounging]

Friday, October 27, 2017

chocolat dinner eats

for this year's dinner party food recap, i thought i'd switch up my breakdown of the night and its courses. with all of our chocolate-themed recipes being new (to us) dishes, i thought it would be more fun to review the course, what it tasted like, and who's favorite course it was. what i loved was by the end of the dinner, without meaning to, every guest had picked a course as their personal favorite. so, none were left out! i couldn't have been happier about the recipes we found, and can't wait to bring some of these back in the future. 

hope you all enjoy, and happy friday!

first up, before the dinner began, we started with a round of aperitifs. after reading up on the idea behind the aperitif - to help stimulate the digestive system before a long meal - i thought it would be the perfect way to welcome our friends, and kick things off on the right foot. i was pleasantly surprised to find i am a big fan of the cocktail maison (our cocktail of choice). 

first course: cocoa-rubbed tuna steaks with cucumber, radishes, and arugula drizzled with a vanilla vinaigrette

taste: oddly enough, the cocoa-rubbed tuna paired beautifully with the vinaigrette. i was most nervous about this course since i wasn't sure the flavors would match well, but they did, and it was the perfect course to start with.

favorite course: candace

second course (sadly not pictured): ancho chile chocolate soup garnished with sliced avocado and tortilla chips

taste: so freaking delicious! it was probably the runniest soup i've ever made, let alone had, but holy cow was it filled with complex flavors. i drank it from my bowl because i had to have every last drop.

favorite course: candace, michael, alex, and i

third course: prawns and plantains in a chipotle cocoa sauce with rice

taste: spicy, full of flavor, and so incredibly tasty with the plantains. funny story, the recipe didn't call for plantains, but i decided to add them since i love any excuse to include plantains. i had no idea it would match so well. 

favorite course: daniel

fourth course aka the palate cleanser: passion fruit ice cream with cacao nibs served in chocolate bowls 

taste: i'd never had passion fruit ice cream, but have had passion fruit mousse...still, i wasn't sure what to expect from this ice cream. but, wow, it blew me away. it was the perfect way to refresh our taste buds between courses, and it paired amazingly well with the chocolate bowls (yes, i made edible bowls!) and cacao nibs. it will most definitely be a repeat ice cream flavor.

favorite course: larry, and i 

fifth course: roasted turkey with mole and asparagus (not pictured)

taste: truth be told, i was less focused on the turkey, and more focused on the mole. i think larry said it best when he said, "the turkey is just a vehicle for more mole". it was T and i's first try at mole and we took away two things. one, we have a HUGE respect for anyone who makes their own mole from scratch. and two, omg is it sooooooo unbelievably worth it to make your own mole because it is crazy good. 

favorite course: jana

sixth course: chocolate almond torte

taste: dense, rich, chocolate-y, and a perfect match with my freshly made whipped cream. a lovely finish to a lovely dinner. 

favorite course: T (yes, my non-dessert loving husband, loved the cake most. i couldn't believe it myself, but he said it was the best cake he has ever had)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

chocolat dinner party

this past weekend, T and i hosted our second annual themed dinner party. after having such a lovely experience with our first gathering, we couldn't have been more excited to host once again. our inspiration for this year's theme came from the movie chocolat. this meaning that our food would one, incorporate chocolate (in some fashion) into each course, and two, would be a combination of french and mayan cuisine (much like the main character's take on food in the movie). 

in order to find courses that fit our theme, i took to pinterest searching high and low until i stumbled onto recipes i felt would perfectly encapsulate what we were going for. i can't say it was easy, but oh my goodness, was it absolutely worth it!

[my date, and co-chef/host]

[mid-storytelling and jokes]

[the ladies]

our dress and overall theme was paris in the late 1950s/early 1960s. so all our guests dressed in their time-themed pieces, brought over some french wines for sharing, and were ready for a night to remember. 

[the gents]

not only did our courses taste delicious, but they paired amazingly well with the wines our friends brought. it couldn't have been more perfect of a pairing than if i planned it that way. 

[the classic themed dance party mid-dinner]

and while you can't tell from these photos, there was an intense storm brewing outside during the party. so intense, that at one point, we actually had to pause the dinner party, and head to our storm shelter to wait it out. we of course brought wine to keep us company, and had a good laugh about the whole experience. once the tornado had passed through, we pressed play on the party, and got back to feasting and sipping wines. 

it was such a magical night, and while i never expected top last year's fun, this one seamlessly blew it out of the water and then some. i couldn't have been more in love with the entire night, and truly love our friends who are always game for a good themed party ;)

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