Just letting you all know, I have started a Twitter account. I still don't really get what the point is {aside from keeping up with Food Truck locations}, I have no idea how to use it nor why I decided to sign up... but there you go. I may figure this thing out eventually and start tweeting like a fiend... I'm thinking not likely. But, in the meantime, you can follow me in preparation for my launch into the social networking ether.

Project Adventure/Bake: Carmela Ice Cream

This post is kind of a dual Adventure-slash-bake project. I am an uber fan of Carmela Ice Cream here in Pasadena. And, I mean uber. In my dreams I have one of each flavor in my freezer at all times. Especially the Fleur De Sel flavor. Ohhh, man. Not only are they at a few farmer's markets in the LA area, they also have a brick-and-morter shop not too far from me.
One day, I received a notice that they were starting ice cream classes! ...Bestill my beating heart... I called up a friend and relayed the amazing news. Next thing we knew we were sitting in the shop's kitchen learning all about infusions. Too cool.
Our class was focused on creating Brown Butter Sage Ice Cream and Cranberry Orange Thyme Sorbet. Needless to say, the class was fun and informative. Carmela founders, Jessica and Zach are obviously very passionate and excited about what they are doing, and it's easy to get caught up in the many ice cream possibilities. 
As a side note: did you know that KitchenAid makes an ice cream maker attachment!?! Oh, that is so going on my wishlist.
Fun times were had by all and I know that I'm going back for more. 
Thanks Carmela for an awesome morning!

Mom's Garden: Winter Red

Snap! The Holidays are upon us. For such a seemingly cheerful time of year,
it sure does cause quite a ruckus, yes? {sigh} Roll with the punches, I suppose.
Southern California is seriously lucky for having such a long bloom season {I mean, it's 70 degrees in November! Sheesh!} - otherwise I wouldn't have this super awesome arrangement to show you. I snapped up this happy little party of flowers in about 5 minutes flat. Chartreuse and bright magenta-ish red is a crazy combo that just works. And, I thought it'd look great in my trophy vase by Yellow Owl Workshop.
Rose: David Austin 'Prospero'
Variagated leaves: Coleus 'Aureole' (Painted Nettle)

Project Adventure: Photoshoot

Just a sneak peek into a photo shoot I got to do with Obie recently... don't want to give away too much because some of the photos will probably end up as my Christmas card. {reality check: not really motivated to create my card from scratch this year} 
I got an email from my local Anthropologie about a fun event benefiting the Humane Society. Bring a toy and you get to take portraits of your pup! I said, it's for a good cause, why not!? {besides, the rate that Obie is growing, he might not fit inside the store much longer, ha ha ha} 
Photographers were the fabulous Kristina Michele and Kara Moreen of Mi & Mo Photography. Seeing how they had to deal with a new puppy model about every 15 minutes, they were super patient and gracious with all of the canine shenanigans going on around them. In hindsight, I should have taken Obie for a 10 mile walk before we did this... but, it turned out pretty awesome anyway.
If you want photos of your pet or need a wedding/event photog, look up Mi & Mo, they have a super clean style and are really nice chicas.
Thanks ladies!

Project Bake | Dog Biscuits

Yes, homemade dog biscuits! You knew it had to come sometime, right?
So, I'm not uber on top of everything that goes in my dog's mouth, but he does get digestive issues from time to time so I have to be a bit more aware of what he eats than a lot of dog owners. Some people have to be careful because of allergies and whatnot. I found out that a lot of dog treats & chews out there have glycerin in them {it's what makes the treat chewy}. Glycerin is not something a dogs stomach can digest and can often cause digestive problems... especially if the dog eats large chunks at a time.
I'm of the general opinion, since Obie probably gets enough processed and preservative-filled ingredients through various means {kibble, medication, plastic/rubber toys, etc.}, why compound it by giving him treats that are chalk full of the stuff? Especially since dog biscuits are so darn easy to make! If you have a pup and you like to know exactly what they are eating, a super simple way to start is with treats.

I came across a collection of recipes from a post on Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn that looked pretty easy to try. So, after choosing 2 that had similar ingredients {lets face it, it was lazy grocery shopping}, I went out and picked up the ingredients and a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter {which, in hindsight was waaay too big, but is now just an excuse for me to go get another, smaller one} and got to work.
{note that the recipes I used included ingredients to which some dogs may have allergies. There are lots of dog biscuit recipes out there, find the one that is right for your pet}
Have Fun!

Read more after the jump
Recipe #1: Best of Breed

The first recipe is from King Arthur Flour. According to their blog, this recipe was a big hit with the pooches. My dog will pretty much gobble down anything you put in front of him, but if yours is a picky eater, then you might want to try these.
recipe #1 here

When the peanut butter came out, Obie tried staring me down as if to say "Give me a taste of the peanut butter, you will"

Recipe #2: Gourmet
The second recipe was from Epicurious. This one doesn't have super good-for-dogs ingredients, so if your pup has a uber-sensitive belly or you are a serious stickler for everything-healthy-for-my-dog-isms, I wouldn't really recommend it. Oh, no... sugar! Ack... butter!? Corn meal, eek! But, I'm a sucker for the fact that the comments included those stating humans liked them too... and yes, I did taste them. I'm not about to start taking them to work as a snack, but they're not too shabby!
recipe #2 here

Accessorize | Jewelry: Organic Forms

If you know me at all, you know I have a slight {well, maybe more than slight} obsession with accessories. One is handbags, the other jewelry... and a few other things in between. I've decided to start yet another section to this blog about my serious obsession with accessories. I also keep a collection of cool stuff on my Pinterest boards - Lovely Jewels, Bag Obsessions, For Fab Feet

Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I am constantly being asked about my jewelry {pat, pat, hee hee}. I am a big fan of organic shapes or nature inspired jewelry. Give me a leaf, feather or antler and I'm there! And while I haven't discovered the ability to mold metal - yet - here are a few of my faves.

Jill Platner was a discovery when I first moved to New York. While I tend to like her older stuff better, her more grand, gallery pieces are amazing!

 I've seen Twigs & Heather around New York & Brooklyn for a few years now and I always make a beeline for their table. I don't know how I've never walked away with one of the maple seed or twig necklaces!

Made entrely out of reclaimed metals, Alkemie has a line of jewelry that is just purely delicious. They mix modern girlie pretty with tough rockstar heft that is just so much fun. I have a couple pieces from them and they are guaranteed to get attention!

There's also this great trend {that's been running for a little while now} utilizing geodes, minerals and crystals in their natural state. Such amazing colors and also quite the statement!

Monthly Obsession: Cruisers

There's something about late summer that gets me every year. When the air cools down, but the earth is still warm. Think, 6pm late August, Friday afternoon, ambient breeze, sun mid-horizon still warm on your face. It's like that time of day is meant for lounging, starting up the barbeque and having a beer.
Close your eyes, lift your face to the sun & take a deep slow breath. That's what summer is all about.

Now, I can virtually hear the moaning and see the eye-rolling that is happening while you look at these photos. Don't worry, I'm not going all Hipster and wax-poetic about how awesome fixed-gear bikes are and how bicycles should take back the roads, while wearing my plaid shirt, slip-on Keds and skinny jeans. No. This Monthly Obsession is about going slow and taking your time.
This is about cruisers. I'm not even going to bother teling you about the history, just imagine taking one out for a few hours. Don't forget about the bell!
Top photo from here
Delivery and Super Deluxe from Electra Bikes, Dutch Gazelle from The Dutch Bike Co., Chopper Cruiser from Chubby, Epitath bike by Autum, Heritage by Felt

Looking Up

A pleasant evening with a glass of wine. A beautiful weekend with friends. When can we do it again?

Sliding Doors

Alternate reality setting: My boardroom. 
Lording over my minions, gesturing wildly, and laughing maniacally while I tell stories of my Machiavellian plans. Don't mess with me. This is my version of The Power Suit.

1. Alexander McQueen Resort '12. 2. Pegasus Necklace, Stella & Dot, $198. 3. Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Razzle Dazzle, $18. 4. RibCage iPad Case, SwitchEasy, $34.99. 5. NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Vesuvio, $25. 6. James Nares "Go 2007", oil on paper.

Mom's Garden: Artichoke

I was talking with someone the other day and the topic of artichokes came up. I started waxing poetic about how awesomely wonderful artichokes are to eat, and not only that, they are great in flower arrangements! My friend looked at me and said, what a peculiar idea! She had never thought about what an artichoke really is. Most people think that it's a vegetable, but nope! It's a flower. A pretty great, perfectly beautiful flower, that is part of the thistle family. ...and! the bees can't get enough of them.
It just so happened that at the moment, Mom had an artichoke growing in the garden. Most of the flowers had gone way past eat-ability into full-fledged flower mode. So, I thought I'd share a couple photos. Hope your summer is going great!

Project 365: The End

So, the day came and went without much fanfare, but I've finally finished Project 365.
It may sound cliche, but it really seems like I started taking pictures only last month. How time does fly. I'm not really sure what I expected to get out of this project... if anything, it's pretty cool to go back through the photos. I am not kidding when I tell you I remember taking every. single. one. I may not recall every second of that day, or even the day it was taken, but I do remember pausing for those two seconds to take out my phone and snap a picture. Interesting how that works.

Curious to which iPhone apps were used throughout this project?

Monthly Obsession | Dog Toys

Leading up to and since the arrival of little Oberon {who, at 60 pounds, isn't so little anymore}, I've been keeping an eye out for fun/cool dog stuff and pinning it on Pinterest. It's so nutty how crazed people are about their dogs these days. I really don't understand the whole doggy outfit thing (except maybe a sweater when it's 10ΒΊ outside). But, I do understand the buying-of-dog-stuff frenzy that happens when you first bring home a little puppy. So, here's a small collection of the fun & useful doggy items that I've found recently. If you want to see more, check them out on my Gifts for the Pet Parent board.

Bone-shaped biscuit cutters, $8.99; Doggy play pool, $9.99; Seed Bombs: Pet Friendly Plants, $6; Silly Buddy bow tie, $40; Biodegradable Poop Bags, $9.95 for 100 bags;  Humunga Stache chew toy, $14.99; Braided Fisherman Collar, $22.

Mom's Garden: Sweet Pea (Lathyrus Odoratus)

Sweet peas! This is one flower I am uber fond of. Growing up, Mom always planted sweet pea seeds along a fence in our yard. This fence was about 80' long - resulting in sweet pea madness. My best friend and I would go out on a summer day and literally load dozens of giant coffee cans full of them. We would make fairy-princess crowns, necklaces and bracelets out of them. Some kids have lemonade stands; I had a sweet pea stand. We sold bunches of them for ridiculously cheap... like $2. We thought we were millionaires. Years later, I saw them at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York. They were selling bunches for $20. I stopped dead and my jaw was on the floor. Twenty dollars!? They are awesome flowers, but how could... how would anyone buy sweet peas for that much!? *shrug and shakes head in dismay*


These flowers smell so nicely {hence, the name} they will fill a room with fragrance. The only sad thing is {and probably why they are so expensive at markets} that they don't generally last a long time in a vase. In order to get more time out of them, change the water every day. And, if you can, trim a bit off the stems too. Happy Summer!


Monthly Obsession | Eden Rose Update

Just thought I'd share a couple more pics of the awesomely beautiful Eden Roses
that I *ahem* acquired *ahem*.
Obviously, these little suckers last a long time if you change the water every day and clip the stems a bit.
Happy Friday the 13th! Ooooohhhhhh, spooky! hee hee


Monthly Obsession | Eden Rose Climber (Pierre de Ronsard)

Oh, Eden Rose. How I love thee. Let me count the ways....
I have had an obsession with this rose for years now. I mean, I love this rose. You'd be seriously hard pressed to find me wearing any shade of pink, but when it comes to flowers, all bets are off. 
Mom and I first spotted this beauty, years ago, climbing up an amazing home overlooking the Pacific in Corona Del Mar, California. At the time, we didn't know what rose it was.

It is a beautiful, prolific climbing (but can also be trained as a shrub) rose that begins with creamy white buds, and as it opens, it changes color. The tips of the petals are a rich, saturated pink that look like they've been dipped in watercolor. As the flower opens, the petals become lighter and lighter and fade to the lightest blush pastel pink. They are super heavy and have tons of densely-packed petals.
We happened upon it again a few months later on a weekend visit to Filoli (pronounced fee-low-lee) near San Francisco. The tag deemed it an Eden Rose Climber (the French call it Pierre De Ronsard).
Developed by French flower grower Meilland in 1987 and is apparently, very resistant to fungus and bugs. The only drawbacks are it doesn't have much smell, needs a bit of shade and doesn't like to get wet. Other than that, in the right zone, these roses are supposed to be very easy to care for! It was also voted into the World Federation of Rose Society Roses Hall of Fame in 2006.
(Another completely amazing rose that I found this week is the Yves Piaget - it looks like the most amazing peony! You have to look it up)

Neither Mom nor I own this rose, so how I obtained the flowers in these photos will remain a secret. 
Suffice to say, it involved a bit of covert operations and a mostly absent neighbor who will never know what they're missing.


Project 365: Milestone Day 320!

I haven't really been talking about it much, but I've still been going strong with the Project 365 stuff. I do take a picture everyday, but I don't always post them on the same day... {guilty grin} Day 320 will be tomorrow - I can't believe that there's only 45 more days to this project. Seriously seems like I started it only a few weeks ago.
Anyone want to peruse my last year in pictures? See them here

Project Bake | Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'd like to start out saying this creation is in no way my idea. Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant idea, just not mine. I originally saw it floating around on Pinterest, and I pinned it, thinking 'hey, what a fun thing to do on a gloomy day!'. Then all of a sudden it exploded all over the blogosphere. 
The original idea is from Picky Palate (whose finished product looked better than mine, naturally).
So, one gloomy day later, I decided to give it a whirl. The original recipe called for making the cookies from scratch. Since I figured this is more of a novelty item (much like the Cherpumple disaster), I decided that in my first go-around I'd start with pre-made stuff. Lazy, I know.

It's super easy, going the pre-made route and only takes about 7 minutes to assemble. All you gotta do is lump dough on the top & bottom of the Oreo, and smush the sides together to make a solid ball. Yes, these suckers are HUGE. One note: don't let the dough get too soft, otherwise the cookies will turn out, like mine, flat with an Oreo lump in the middle. Make them and stick the pan back in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Then bake them in a pre-heated 350ΒΊ oven until golden brown. Also, if you want to make an amount for a large group of people, double your recipe. I got about 9 of these from 1 package of Nestle Toll House.
Eat them warm with ice cold milk. So totally decadent.


Say Hello...

I apologize for my lack of posting recently. I have a good reason! I have a new addition to my life - everyone, meet little Oberon. He arrived from the D.C. area last Friday and I've had my hands full ever since! He's literally like having a toddler - can't sleep through the night and can't keep anything out of his mouth. But, he's a snuggler and a total cutie-pie. Welcome to Cali, little Obie!