July 30, 2014

Maple Apple Crisp!

I always wanted to try something new to cook or bake. I came across a dessert recipe that just looked and sounded delicious; plus it was easy to do, so I gave it a try and was head over heels when I tried it.

Here's what you need:

5 apples {I used red, the ones I had at home, but granny smiths will add some tangy taste to the sweetness} - peeled, cored, and sliced
3/4 cup pure maple syrup {again, I used maple syrup I use for pancakes; nothing special}
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of rolled oats {I used regular oats}
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup of butter, softened

As a gluten free living girl I used gluten free all purpose flour, and gf oats {yes, oats have gluten in them}

Here's what you do:

- Preheat over to 375F
- Put apples in a 8x8-inch baking dish
- Add the syrup, so the apples are coated.
- In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients, and then cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Voila, enjoy your Maple Apple Crisp.


I used less sugar, and less syrup so the dish won't be as sweet with the red apples I had handy. If you absolutely love sweet stuff, then by all means, stick to this recipe. We enjoyed it very much, and I have to admit I even used some of it for breakfast because, well, Sunday mornings should be sweet!


July 29, 2014

I Love My Lips - Do You Love Yours?

For years I was told to lubricate my lips, and not let them dry up. Sunny or bitter cold days can dry up lips and make them look brittle. Girls should have beautiful, healthy lips and no sandpaper-lookalikes. Lip balms and lip gloss became my best friends. I felt girlie, beautiful and just fantastic. Then I had my moments, and even though my lips were taken care of they felt dry, gross, and even itchy. It was like someone put spicy jalapeno pepper all over my lips. Yuck. 

My lovely friend M. started working for and with Mary Kay last year. I went to a few meetings with her, as a supporter, and learned so much about skin care, including lips. It is true. We take care of our skin, wash it, lotion it up, and make it look pretty but we often forget our lips. We put lipstick on or gloss but don't clean them. They need to be cleaned and scrubbed, too. They are part of our skin as well, even though they look a little different. So I started learning more and more about lip care and balms. Some researchers say we shouldn't put balm on our lips or not as much, because most lip balms have alcohol in them. Thus, they dry the lips up and make us use more unnecessary balm. Others say, lips need to be hydrated because dry, brittle looking lips will crack and cause irritation, scars, and what not.

I believe in my own story. 
Scrubbing my lips once a week, sometimes twice, makes their natural color appear and I don't need lipstick anymore. Also, I do use lip balm and gloss. My friend M. may just explode reading this {I hope she doesn't - hahahaha, but I am sure she does}. I don't overuse it. I use it once or twice a day, that is it. Lip gloss just enhances their natural color, and is sparingly used. Plus, the more I hydrate myself the better my skin {including my lips} stays hydrated. Makes sense, doesn't it?!

Here are my favorite products for my lips:

My Sunday ritual...I love this product. My lips feel fantastic afterwards, so refreshed and new.

 These, among many lip balms are my favorites. The SPF one is a must during summer, or even during winter. Remember, the sun is out all the time even when you don't see or feel it. Anyways, there is a bunch of lip balms out there and these work best for me. I tried Blistex, and what not but these just work for my crunchy lips.

When I feel very girlie I add a little color to my already pink-red lips. I have a few lipsticks even though I don't like lipsticks that much {I prefer lip gloss}, but when I do I use the ones I tried on a gazillion times with my friend M. Here's a few of my favorites.

The left one is called Firecracker and is THE best selling product. Red doesn't work well with my skin tone and hair but this red works, especially when applied lightly. The one to the right is called Pink Passion. Love it. Both are great summer colors, and I just can't wait to dress up soon again and wear some cute lipstick to an already cuter outfit.

Do you like wearing lipstick?
My lips always feel sticky but I slowly got used to that "weird" feeling.

Any suggestions for me?!

Nivea images via here
Mary Kay images via here

July 28, 2014

Hot August Night in July!

When it gets too hot and too boring for us in Sacramento we often escape to Reno/Sparks. My favorite person's parents live there now {they moved from SoCal to the Reno area}, and it is a welcome change and an escape for us. This time we did not just relax at their new home and play with the dogs, we went to South Lake Tahoe to see the car show.

I am in love with old cars. I am also slightly obsessed with certain eras. I also believe I lived in the 1860s and 1920s, and 1940s. Call me crazy. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not. Either way, when I see old cars, old photos, and old clothes {not just the "vintage" ones you see in stores} I get this chill and excitement at the same time. I am just in love. So you can image my excitement to go to a car show; let alone Lake Tahoe where it is so much cooler. We had a blast. Got sunburned, and fell in love with certain cars. I was a sport walking around with super excitement even though I had only slept 1 1/2hrs the night before. I could not fall asleep due to my left hand being in super pain, and me going through some sort of crisis {don't even know why - I should be happy, but apparently I am very stressed}. I was a zombie but still enjoyed every single car we saw. 

I get very weak when I see Ford "A" Class from 1929 - Swoon!

We may go to the Hot August Night in Reno/Sparks next month, that is if we are in the area. Southern California is calling our names. We desperately need to go back. :)

What have you been up to all weekend long?


Linking up with Leeann for Monday Morning Gossip

July 26, 2014

Wedding Inspiration

I decided not to go into too much detail when it comes to my wedding. I know, you might want to hear it all and believe me I wish I could share it all, but for so many reasons I am trying to keep it as private as even possible. That does not mean I don't want to talk about it, or share a little bit about it. It would not be fun if I kept everything to myself, would it?!

My favorite person and I have both decided to keep it very small and very simple. Don't get me wrong. I am a girlie girl and would love a big wedding with flower girls, ring bearer, flowers, guests, candles, cute signs, lights, and decor. Absolutely, that is all me. My Pinterest is filled with creative ideas, and I would love to make most of it come true. Yet, we have both decided to keep it small and very simple, so I will mostly dream about my wedding fantasy. Do not feel bad for me. We have both agreed to do this that way. We want to save the money and spend it differently; probably towards a house. We both feel that even though a semi-elaborate wedding would be my dream it will be simply too much. He likes it small anyways, I don't want it huge, but I would have loved more people present. Yet, money always - no matter what - matters. It always does. 

Not having a huge wedding still allows me to be creative. I can still arrange signs, center pieces for tables, flowers, find a cute dress {I already found it}, shoes, hair styles, and what not. I can still work on all of that. Here's a few ideas I came across and think I can put to reality.I am excited. Plus, I think that is what a wedding should be...fun and exciting!

I want something unique. We have all seen the date engraved, and the names and what not. Something like that would be fantastic even for us. Also, the colorful shoes are a must. If not red than something else, should happen; as long as it is colorful and playful.

Simple. Easy, and most of all fun. It is just going to be just a few people and that is when details still count, if not count more. :) I am still figuring things out but we have agreed on an area other than Sacramento. Whether that will be in NorCal or SoCal will be a secret...maybe. :) We shall see. Stay tuned. I am sure I am going to spill a few beans here and there.


P.s. I don't know why my images cannot center when they should. You get the idea either way.

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July 24, 2014

Hold onto Dreams

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly."
  Langston Hughes


Blogging on a daily basis has always been helpful to me. It has helped me share my thoughts, my wishes and dreams, my life, my ideas, my frustrations, and many more things. Yet, there are times when I just don't know what to share. Call it a blockage or just an uninspired moment. Either way, I don't have that at the moment but I still feel at a loss. 
The quote represents exactly what I am feeling at the moment. Not just now, but this entire week. My dreams are still there, and I am trying to really hold onto them. Yet, I feel alone. I feel bored. I feel uninspired. Yes, I cook, and I kind of explore but there is so much more I would like to accomplish during the day. Having a steady job for once would be a grateful way to make myself feel needed and feel accomplished {not to mention the extra income}. I am so exhausted from looking, and applying, researching and all, and not getting anything in return. It is just a blah-week, and probably also a blah-month. I am driving myself crazy. Also, my favorite person doesn't like to see me this way. It pains him. He cannot do much to make me feel more myself - I just have to find that way out of my so-called crisis and learn how to fly; just like in the quote.   

Let's hope I find a way. 
Any suggestions on how to make me smile more?

Have a great weekend, my lovelies!!
image via tumblr

July 23, 2014

Simple Pesto Chicken Pasta!

I was bored the other day and didn't know what to do for dinner. So I looked into the fridge and cabinets to find food inspiration; and I did. I found pasta {gluten free of course}, two chicken breasts, spinach, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, half-and-half cream, pesto sauce, and cherry tomatoes. That was all I needed.

I washed, cut, and seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper only. Heated a frying pan, browned the chicken, and then added the dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and spinach to the chicken. I also added a little cream to it and let it simmer a little while. At the same time I brought water to a boil, added some salt, and put the pasta in according to package {you can use spaghetti, penne, fussili, or even farfalle - anything else may work too but to me these are the best sorts of pasta for this dish}. 

Once the chicken and veggies looked good I put them aside and continued with the pesto sauce.

I heated garlic and butter in a pan on medium, and then added a little cream to it. Added about five teaspoons of pesto sauce and combined it all. I also added more cream. All up to your own personal taste - it really depends on how much you like pesto. Some like it more, some don't. Once the pesto sauce is ready, keep it on low and slowly toss the chicken combo into the sauce. Drain the pasta once ready, and combine in all. Some people prefer the sauce over the pasta and not all together...it really is up to you. That is the beauty of this dish...it goes both ways.

Best thing about this dish? It was done in less than 30 minutes.
You can also add mushrooms, bacon, zucchini, or anything else you think would fit. I usually go with whatever I have in my fridge and think works best. It is such an easy dish. Add a glass of wine, or a green salad to it and your tummy will be full in minutes!


July 22, 2014

Kate Spade Love

Kate Spade Love

If you haven't heard I love Kate Spade. I am not the only one, I know.
There is this certain vibe to KS that I love. It is not only purely feminine, it is also girlie, playful, and just timeless beautiful. This combination makes it so splendid if you ask me. If you were wondering whether or not I owned something with the brand name Kate Spade on it, then yes, I do. I own and love three pairs of sunglasses {the pair above is actually exactly it, just mine is turquoise}, a pair of pink earrings, and a wallet. I am hoping to get either one bag I posted above, as well as the plates. I saw the plates at Nordstrom and fell in love. They are perfect for appetizers, or just finger food for when I do not feel like cooking. I will not a wedding registry {weird, I know} but instead will have a "list" with things we/I need in life. Ha! Kate Spade stuff will definitely be on that "list". I can already see my favorite person roll his eyes. Sorry honey. I need my girlie fix. 

I am so ready to go shopping now. Trouble is ahead...I can tell.


P.s. I might have taken advantage of Nordstrom and its Anniversary Sale and bought a few things. Early Christmas/Wedding gift I guess. :)

July 21, 2014

I Left My Heart in San Francisco ~ Again

Last week, on our day off, we decided to drive to San Francisco for a day. We ended up staying two days and stayed overnight with family. The main reason we wanted to do this was our rental car. Over 4th of July a lady literally drove backwards into our car {while we were already out and turning to leave the parking lot - she did not pay attention whatsoever and it was too late for us to react fast enough}, so we had to have our lovely car repaired. No dramatic damage but the total cost came up to $700; it's not just nothing. Anyways, so while our car was undergoing surgery we got a rental - a lovely brand stinking new Toyota Prius. Awesome mileage, and a brand new car...that just goes with San Francisco. No?

Since my favorite person had never been to SF before {a total shocker to me, since this is my absolutely favorite city in the US} I was more than just happy to visit the city with him. After all, I used to live there years ago and I just miss the big city feel. I am a big city girl there is no denying that - so naturally this trip made my month! I took my man for a loooooooong walk around the city. We parked the car, and then walked. I kept asking if he was okay and would love to take public transportation {he's not so much into PT but I will teach/show him over time that the one in SF is brilliant} - he always said he was okay. I could tell he wasn't used to walking up and down hills but kept going. Once we got back to our car we drove around to where we needed to go, so that gave our legs, feet, and hips a break. :)

While walking I tried to snap away a few photos here and there. I hate looking and acting like a tourist in any city. Granted I am not a tourist in this city but stopping and taking photos in the middle of a street automatically makes you look like one. 

We had a fabulous breakfast at Just For You Cafe. They even have wheat free pancakes available {yet, wheat free is not fully gluten free} but I stayed away and ordered eggs, bacon, potatoes, and two slices of gluten free bread. Needless to say I was in heaven!!!

Gluten free bakery and all kinds of goods? Yes, please!!!!

We also quickly stopped by Berkeley for lunch and then headed home. Unfortunately, we also had to return our lovely rental car that same day. Ten minutes after we arrived back home and stretched our legs we got a call saying the car woke up from surgery and was ready to be picked up. Boo. We were sad, but also happy to get a familiar car back. Rentals are great, and when insurance pays for it it's even better. Yet, the familiarity of your car will never be there.


This is my little gossip of today. Linking up with Leeann for Monday Morning Gossip. I had a blast in San Francisco. I finally felt like myself again. I am rejuvenated. Even though we walked a ton {literally, my legs were sore I have to admit that much} our little trip felt like heaven. We needed a break from hot and to us, boring, Sacramento. We needed cooler air, the ocean, and some things to explore. We got all that and I believe even my favorite person liked it. I might have scarred him though with all the walking, but it was a fabulous getaway. So glad we could stay with family as well - saved us a ton of money, and nerves! 

Happy Monday everyone!


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