Monday, January 16, 2012

Exciting Announcement:: We've MOVED...

We've moved...we've moved.  Head over to Hey Caryl's new home and see all the exciting changes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sweets: Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tuesday was my birthday and we went to this cute restaurant for dinner with the family.  Once we finished our entree, our server said...I hope you saved room for our homemade ice cream sandwiches.  The little mister and I looked at each other and said - OH YEA!

So for today's sweets installment - HOMEMADE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES.

I baked up my Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I undercooked them a little because I wanted them to be soft.  Put a little scoop of ice cream...added a little squish and then spinkled away.

These were mine.  DELISH!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Color Crush:: Orange

All of my friends know of my obsession with the color orange.  I have a pinterest board dedicated to the color.  There was even a theme with Christmas presents I received this year as orange fleece, orange gloves, orange scarf.

So you can just imagine my delight when Pantone decided to make the most amazing color around it's color of the year...TANGERINE TANGO.  I feel so ahead of the game...I was in love with it last year.

To me, this is a happy color, a fresh color, an energetic color, a vibrant color.  It's sticking around for a while.  I hope you're crushing on this color as much as I am.

Do you have a favorite color?  Every Wednesday is Color Crush Day.  Let me know some of your favorites and their might just be a little inspiration board just for you.

images: {row 1} balloon, kate spade, orange lights, oranges, trailer, flowers; {row 2} orange door, dress, farm, chair, bridge

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

City Crush:: Phoenix/Scottsdale

I love heading to Phoenix.  It's always fun to visit and I have a great excuse to make it over a few times a year with friends and family in the area.  It's also such a short trip from the Bay Area.  The one drawback with having family in a place that offers so many amazing need to sneak away for a few additional days so you can chill by the pool and drink one of those fruity frozen drinks.

Do you have a favorite spot when you're in town?  There are so many amazing places, I haven't even scratched the surface.

Without further ado...the latest CITY CRUSH.

Westin Kierland in Scottsdale is located near Kieland Commons - a great shopping locale with lots of unique shops and restaurants.  The pool at the Westin rocks's where my little mister really got the hang of swimming.

The Phoenician has some of the most spectaular views at the base of Camelback Mountain, not to mention it's golf course and the Center of Well Being.

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, is so family friendly with it's lazy river.

The Royal Palms Resort is a quiet boutique property to escape the hustle and bustle.

* If a day at the spa or a round of golf is up your problem.  You can find it at or near each of these properties.

Chelsea's Kitchen in Phoenix, has something for everyone.  My personal favorite is their Short Rib Tacos.

Joe's Real BBQ in downtown Gilbert is the best dang BBQ I've ever had.  Chicken, Ribs, Brisket and Mac-n-Cheese...oh my!  There is great outdoor seating as well.  Run off a bit of that BBQ and then grab some dessert.  Remember to pick up a bottle of their BBQ sauce.  We buy it by the case and give it to friends as gifts.

Le Grange Orange in the Arcadia neighborhood is always packed with people.  They serve up a great breakfast and connected is LGO Pizza.  This is a place for multi-taskers - you can do a little gifty shopping and get some yummy food.

I had the best Chilean Sea Bass for my birthday a couple of years ago at Eddie V's in Scottsdale.  Great service and great menu.

Fun Finds
Sugar Bowl Ice Cream is the place to go after dinner.  Located in Old Town Scottsdale - this is a landmark.

Looking for a candy mecca, Smeeks Candy in Phoenix is the place.  You can't leave without getting something.

E61 Bar @ Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert makes one of the best Lattes in a bowl.  Not to mention the food is great.  Looking for some authentic espresso - this is the place for you.

Things to Do
Holbert Trail @ South Mountain is a gorgeous hike that is good for the entire family.  This is the best trail for petroglyph views and has great scenery.

Want a taste of the Wild West, head to Goldfield Ghost Town located in Goldfield near Superstition Mountains.  And yes - this was really a town, a mining town back in the 1890's.

The Children's Museum of Phoenix is a place for young and old.

Feeling the need for some golf?  Arizona has so many golf courses, however Troon North in Scottsdale  is one of the best.

Did you miss last weeks CITY CRUSH?  Check it out here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Biscuits for Breakfast

I'm always looking for innovative ways to serve food - especially at the events that we create.  I came across this photo over at 100 Layer Cake and thought to myself...what a fun idea.  Showers, picnics, birthday parties, corporate events...the possibilities are endless.

Image via: 100 Layer Cake

Friday, January 6, 2012

Inspiration:: The Great Room

We have a "great room" in our house.  It's the family room and living room all rolled into one.  I'm wanting to do a little redecorating - SHOCKER!  My mood seems to be more of a shabby chic vibe with a modern twist.  This room doesn't get a lot of natural sunlight so I'm gravitating towards white with pops of color.

This little inspiration board include my current loves for the room.

What inspires me about these images:
1:: A white sofa with pops of color (image via)
2:: Striped wall would be so fun on the main wall in the room (image via)
3:: The zebra ottoman would be casual yet chic. (image via)
4:: Large mirror and Parsons desk would make the space look larger (image via)
5:: Gallery wall filled with family photos (image via)
6:: Windowed dutch door would bring in lots of light (image via)

Do you Pinterest?  Head over and check out my boards.  I'm always adding more and more inspiration.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sweets:: Just Embrace Them


I love sweets.  When I was visiting with my mom...I said to her - I really wish I didn't have such a sweet tooth.  Her response...Life would be so boring then.  SO TRUE MOM!

I've decided...I'm just going to embrace them...but in moderation.  I still do need to fit in my clothes. (haha)

As part of my 2012 Motto...She Decided to Start Living the Life She Imagined - I'll be trying a new recipe a week.  It might be something sweet, maybe something hearty, and hopefully something super yummy that the family will enjoy.

First up...Lowfat Pound Cake as seen on Bakers Royale's blog.  Doesn't it just look divine?  So here is the deal.  I'm going to post on Thursday mornings what I'm going to make.  And then Thursday night - I'm going to update the post with a picture of how mine turned out.

Low Fat Pound Cake  Bakers Royale Low Fat Pound Cake
image via: Bakers Royale

OK - so I thought I had a bundt pan - but I must have gotten rid of it when we moved.  So I improvised and used two loaf pans.  I was watching the time because I wasn't sure if the timing would be different - bundt vs. loaf oh and 2 different size loaf pans.  One loak took about 50 minutes and the other took 70 minutes as the recipe called for.  (It's all a learning process.)

The batter...was really good.  Of course I had to taste test that. :)

Without further was REALLY good and enjoyed by the family.  I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself.  (YAY me!)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My 2012 Motto

I'm sure that some of you will agree - we don't always live the life we imagined.  We get stuck just going through the motions.  Well - for me and as a family...we decided that we weren't going to do that.  I'll be posting through out the year, things that I've dreamed about and how they became reality.

What have you imagined for yourself?

image via:: RUE Magazine facebook page

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

City Crush :: San Francisco

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a fantastic new year.  I spent time in Arizona soaking up the warm sun with family and friends.  It was a nice change from the cold of the bay area and it was an amazing time.

I'm starting a new series - "City Crush."  I'm picking one city a week and will showcase places to stay, where to eat, things to do and some fun finds.  I thought this would be appropriate because I'm constantly searching for the best destinations for my client at my day job.

So without further ado...first up is San Francisco.  I know - super appropriate because this is not only where I live, but a very popular destination.  I would love to know your thoughts and if you have a city that you are thinking about visiting - let me know and i'll add it to the City Crush list.

City Crush :: San Francisco

Places to Stay
Hotel Vitale, sits along the Embarcadero across from the Bay
The Clift Hotel, located in the heart of Union Square
Fairmont San Francisco, a historic beauty that sits atop Nob Hill

Where to Go
The Ferry Building, with loads of restaurants and farmers market
Union Square, a mini shopping mecca
Golden Gate Bridge, for a bike ride or stroll

Where to Eat
Perbacco, Italian that is out of this world 
Presido Social Club, comfort food and cocktails with a twist
Gotts Roadside, for the best burgers and milkshakes

Can't Miss Fun Finds
Smitten Ice Cream, so many unique flavors that one scoop won't be enough
Miette, a bakery that you will want to have at least one of everything
Blue Bottle Coffee, amazing and authentic coffee

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