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Mixology: What to Drink & Dance-to for the Holidays

Right now I'm sitting on my couch, semi-coherently listening to Brazilian Girls and downing a nice Vodka (Diet) Coke, and I love blame the internet.

Let me begin with a little cautionary tale of how I ended up here. . .

It's almost the holidays and I'm engaged.
This can mean only one thing:

I'm exhausted.

Actually being engaged is pretty comparable to celebrating a big holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
For one, it's fun! It makes you inherently happier in the morning when you wake up, you find yourself smiling for no particular reason, you hum a few more tunes than usual.
You get dressed up! You have celebratory dinners, you get your engagement pictures taken, you commemorate things left and right.

You toast life more than you ever have before. You make fun decisions on things like outfits, and rentals, small-bites and the bigger ones too. Color schemes and china and

. . .

 I have absolutely no room left for the normal decisions in life. Like what to cook for Thanksgiving. Or the solutions to the varied conundrums that inevitably interfere with my Norman Rockwell holiday fantasies.

So when I saw this website on Design Crush that tells you what tasty adult beverage to serve up with specific tunes, I about died. Music = Yes. Drinking = Yes. ONE LESS DECISION TO MAKE?


P.S. Apparently Billy Joel is synonymous with Miller High Life beer. PRICELESS lol
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Happy Halloween!

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Daily Frivolity, The Color Bug

Thanks Hair Romance for this Awesomeness! This is not my hair!
 When you are turning 25 and getting married, you occasionally have one of those little freak out moments. Like, OMG, I'm an adult. Almost not a "young adult". When in the capital F did that happen?! Hopefully these moments are few and far between, and properly expressed in the privacy of your home. Or else you might get a few strange side-glances from the sales girl wondering why you are tearing up over trying on a super sequined mini dress (and it's because you are thinking HOLY S**T a day will come when I cannot wear this amazingess anymore without looking like a sad has-been showgirl)

If this happens just take a deep breath. Remember how happy you are. Remember how lucky you are. Remember that age is only a number. This will make you grin at yourself in the mirror in that same sparkly dress, in that same overpriced department store. The sales girl will now think you've really lost it, but whatevs she doesn't know you. She's probably still just a young adult. What does she know?

And if you can't remember all those great things about your life, and how far you've come in your 24 years on this earth, there's still hope for a little bit of happiness. And no its not a vodka tonic. Or I should say its not only a vodka tonic.

Buy Kevin Murphy's Color Bug. Indulge in the dip dyed, ombre hair look, temporarily. Because you're still young. Because you are hot. Because you f-ing can! (and if you can't I'm sure no one will be rude enough to tell you)
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Engagement Shoot Style

Steve Madden pumps

Steve Madden pumps   (see more platform heels)

Wouldn't these be cute with a nude lace shirt, and a peach chiffon skirt?
I hope so. . .since I might wear it for our engagement photos.
Does anyone else get stressed by having their picture taken?
I am like SO awkward in pictures. 
And if one more person tells me, "they last forever" I might throw up. A little. In my mouth.

P.S. I did the nails myself! Yay for a silver glitter french manicure. And crappy Iphone pictures :)
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First Flavors of Fall

Social media is starting to make me think, that perhaps it is an inherently female thing to love fall. I cannot count the number of women folk proclaiming their love for this loveliest of seasons all over the interweb.

 Like that silent internal clock that ticks away until one day BAM you're 30 and you can't think of anything but babies (or so I'm told) I think we ladies have another little timekeeper that starts sounding the alarm right around mid-September. It shouts excitedly in our ears "the holidays are coming!" and "it's snuggle time!" as the air chills and everything seems a little rosier.

Falling prey to such biological nudging, I couldn't help myself when I saw this awesome recipe for Light Mussel and Pumpkin Soup from Saveur. I made it and it was amazing!

See below for instructions. I combined it with this recipe from Emeril. Basically I followed the Saveur recipe with a few Emeril additions. I added the garlic from Emeril's recipe when sauteing the shallots. I used a cup of chicken broth instead of Saveur's suggested cup of water, and I added a splash of heavy cream at the end. The result was a yummy kind of chowder-esque concoction that reminded me of potato leek soup, with a seafood edge.  Oh p.s. I used a  Japanese Kabocha Squash per Saveur's suggestion.

Saveur Light Mussel & Pumpkin Soup

6 tbsp. butter
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1 lb. mussels, cleaned
3 cups dry white wine
3-4 lbs. of pumpkin, seeded, peeled, and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs parsley, chopped

1. Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a heavy-bottomed medium pot over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mussels, wine, and 1 cup water; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Strain mussels through a colander set over a medium bowl. Set broth aside. Remove mussels from their shells (discard any that don't open), and discard shells. Set mussels aside.
2. Melt remaining 4 tbsp. butter in same pot over medium heat. Add pumpkin, and cook, stirring often, until soft and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Add reserved mussel broth, and simmer until pumpkin is very soft and broth thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
3. Working in batches, purée pumpkin in a blender until smooth. Return purée to pot over medium-low heat, add mussels, season to taste with salt and pepper, and heat until warm (do not boil). Serve in warmed soup bowls, and garnish with parsley
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Little Gal, On the Go!

So, I'm like officially an adult. Weeks away from 25 and the owner of a brand spankin new Iphone 4!

Oh ya, and this. Have I shown you this?

Me=thankful. At least for the moment, until someone annoys me. Lol

Signing off, from a 3G cloud somewhere over Santa Barbara
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Grape & Goat Cheese Truffles

Does anyone else dream in cheese?

A sweet triple cream brie, silky soft, spread on a buttery cracker. The kind of melt-in-your-mouth goodness that can only be enhanced by the perfect glass of wine. A certain dimly lit ambiance that lulls you into a perfect indulgence laden euphoria. . .

Hmm. Is that just me? Well, now you know my creepy fromagerie fantasies. Don't judge.

Anyway when I'm looking to satisfy my cheesiest urges, I head over to a local restaurant called Roy. It hits every single point delineated above. It's got a cool 60's lounge vibe, a great price point, and is seriously delicious. Did I mention they sell awesome funky art that really breaks up the whole "Santa Barbara landscapes" monotony that we call an art scene up here? But I digress. . . most importantly it's where I discovered my newest love: grape & goat cheese truffles!

Now normally I would never take on the task of "I tasted this in a restaurant and shall use my uber skills to recreate it at home".

Believe me, I know I'm not that good. But something about these little bursts of sweet cheesy crunchy goodness gave me this motivational push to say "yes I can!"

So here you go, my at home version of Roy's grape & goat cheese truffles. They are seriously impressive, and seriously easy.

Which we all know is the best combination ever!

Adapted from What's Cooking America

1 1/2 pounds pistachio nuts, shelled, chopped rough (about 1 cup)*
8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
24 seedless red grapes,
stems removed and wiped clean
* Your favorite nuts (such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans) may be substituted for the pistachio nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. In blender or food processor, process nuts until finely chopped.
Put one 1/2 tablespoon of the goat cheese in the palm of one hand and in it roll a grape, shaping the mixture around the grape to coat. Repeat process with remaining grapes and chill on a sheet pan for 15 minutes.
Roll the cheese-coated grapes in the nut mixture to cover completely and chill for 30 minutes or until
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Let's Get Married!

So based on my lack of postings on the subject, you probably think I am one of those anti-bride type of brides. The too-cool-for-school, f-martha, style-me-ugly type of gal who just doesn't buy into the whole "i'm a princess welcome to world biatches" type of wedding day.

And there you'd be wrong.

You know that show Hoarders? That's like me, but instead of collecting piles and piles of crap and rodent excrement, I collect millions of wedding ideas. I hoard them in my mind, I obsess over them. Silk taffeta or silk satin for the bridesmaids dresses? Is champagne too close to ivory, is ivory different than diamond white? And like those many toothless hillbillies addicted to their stuff, I refuse to let things go.

"What bf, you don't like my idea to have trapeze artists wearing only body paint swing from the ceiling beams? HOW DARE YOU NOT LIKE MY CRAZY SUPER-GENIUS IDEA! Now we are DEFINITELY hiring them".

This is why I haven't shared the many awesome, beautiful and amazing wedding finds I've come across. I might not be able to stop myself. It'd be like a crazy train, you'd be both the passenger and the helpless maiden tied to the tracks. 

Today is an exception. I just had to share this wedding from Style Me Pretty Australia. It's like if a wedding did it with a rockstar and had a baby that wore Betsey Johnson. It so not me, but its so cool.

And for the record, I wouldn't call myself a Bridezilla. I'm more of a Captain Jean Luc Picard.

"Make it so".

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So Funny, So True.

Do you ever read a blog post and go "omg, it's like you read my mind?"

Well that's how I feel today about this post by Design Crush.
It's a problem I've been struggling with for years, apparently diagnosed as:
Chronic Bitchface. Hahaha. This made my day!

Purchase the print here.

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Art for a Petit Bebe

 I am not preggo. Not even close! wipes sweat from forehead. Whew, dodged that bullet for the moment.

No I'm not in the family way, I am more in the "constantly stalking 20x200" way. 
Despite that fact, I'm sure I'll get a call from my mom in an hour or so say "WHAT, are you PREGNANT?"
She is the type of person who reads the opening line of an article and then gets too excited to finish the rest.

And then I'll have to explain, "no Mom, I was just stalking this site 20x200. . ."
Which will open a can of worms because she won't know what 20x200 is.
There goes the rest of my afternoon.

Anyway I just found these great prints of baby animals by artist Sharon Montrose. I think they would look killer grouped together in a nursery or kids room. I love them because they are by nature sweet and age appropriate for kids but at the same time aren't overly cartoonish or cutesy. Also I love the crisp white background which I think adds to the sophistication of each piece and allows for easy inclusion in any sort of decor scheme.

Bonus for all those "my kid is a genius in training" moms out there the prints can serve an educational purpose to teach kids different animals. Because you know playing them Baby Einstein videos isn't enough.

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Friday Afternoon Haiku + O.M.G. Love

Damn, long week fo' sho'
Friday, you're my bestest friend
Sunday, you old bitch.

Please forgive if my haiku skills are lacking. (meaning you counted and its not truly a haiku but just the crazy ramblings of a person who was a literature major not a MATH major. Jeez who ever counts syllables anyway?)

Anyways here's to having a great weekend, and check out these amazing scarves from lemlem

Mm. basically, I want those pretty badly.
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It's Awesome, Because it's True.

Dave Hill, via Design Crush
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Becoming a Mrs.

In exactly one year I will become a Mrs.
This time a year from now I'll be downing my last few glasses of pure vodka wine, dancing the night away with my new husband and lamenting the fact that I only have a few moments left in my beautiful white dress.

A day worth commemorating a year before its even happened.
A couple of Chocolate Bliss cupcakes and a 
spliff of cheap champagne.
The only combination appropriate for this pseudo-celebration.
It's kind of like a teen romance. Where you celebrate your "one-month" anniversary.
Which looking back on you just laugh, but at the time you are so excited you can't not acknowledge it.

So cheers to being a Mrs.
Only 365 days to go.
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Sweet Summer Pie Recipe

Does anyone else think that the dessert you bake says something about the person you are? Chocolate cake: You're a classy classic. Espresso Ice Cream Cake: Probably a Starubucks addict (thats me!). Baking choices are quite obviously the window to a persons soul.

So, what dessert says: I am marrying into your family soon and I swear, I'm like, a really cool person. (please like me)

Last weekend we visited the bf's family and I was tasked with bringing dessert. I wanted there to be a taste of summer in every bite, something celebratory but without screaming "red, white and blue!"

So I made my very first key lime pie. And if I do say so myself--wow it was good. It was probably the fact that I check millions of reviews before choosing a recipe my baking skills. I think it won over the future in laws. At the very least it lulled them into a comfy after dinner food coma. Which is alright by me.

Find the recipe here. Make it. Its tangy-sweet goodness.
Oh yeah I made the graham cracker crust from this recipe. Its so good!
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Weekend Review: Santa Barbara Solstice

This weekend Santa Barbara enjoyed the first weekend of summer with its annual Solstice Parade.  With its man made and operated floats, extravagant costumes and a general "carnaval" type of feel the summer solstice is one of my favorite times in Santa Barbara. Dancers, drummers, and Capoiera performers headed down State Street in joyous celebration of the upcoming warm breezes and sunny skies. Happy Solstice everyone!