Monday, September 28, 2009

Howdy from Texas!

While my blog may be silent for a few days, I can assure you that I'm building fodder for next week! I'm currently sitting in Lindsay's blogging office...aka, on her living room couch. We spent the morning treasure hunting, aka thrifting, and tonight we're leaving the kiddo with a babysitter and hitting the town with her handy husband.

I spent the weekend with my DC roommate and her gorgeous family. Her daughter and son are my brilliant godkids and we played, went out to eat, and cooked a blogworthy meal last night. I even snuck in lunch with my AXO Big Sis yesterday. It's been a full couple of days and I still have several here in Texas ahead of me. What a blast!

While it's only been a couple of days, I can confirm that my twang is indeed back in full effect. I'm loving this random vacation and hope that you've been able to spend time with old friends this summer, too!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hooked on Farmhouse Sinks

During the great kitchen remodel of 2007, I had one thing I really wanted but didn't get...a farmhouse sink.

When I was choosing appliances, flooring, cabinetry, and granite options, but my father recommended that I keep things simple as I DO live in a condo and one, we didn't want to over improve and two, didn't want to make things too personal so that if/when potential buyers stop by in the future, they weren't turned off by my preferences. I'm sure he was right, but every time I see a farmhouse sink, I shed a little tear... {Not really, I'm not THAT big of a spoil sport!}

Nowadays, there are so many different styles of farmhouse sinks...granite, stainless, and yes, even traditional cast iron. I love them all and think there is nothing more inviting and quaint. Someday, my friends, someday, I'll have my sink. But until then, I'll just enjoy some of these inspirations from different magazines and websites.

What do you think? Do you love them, too???
I'm adding this post to Julia's Hooked on Friday's blog carnival and Melissa's Beautiful Life. Please check them out!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Golfed with a Legend and I Didn't Know It!

On Friday, I had the privilege of golfing in the LA County Junior Golf Foundation's Annual Tournament, which is cosponsored by the LPGA. The fun part of the tournament is that every foursome gets to play with a junior and a LPGA pro. As a newer golfer (only two years under my belt), I don't know many famous golfers, other than Tiger, Phil, etc, you know, the ones that get all the major press coverage. As a result, our pro's name didn't ring any bells for me.

At the end of the gorgeous day of golf at the Pacific Palms Resort, I learned that our lovely LPGA pro, Sandra Palmer, an older woman with a great and consistent game, was the leading money winner on the tour (which she played on for 30 plus years), won 30 tournaments, at least, and is a hall of famer. CRAZY, HUH?! She was so humble and kind and was an encourager to our foursome and the junior...until the end of the day, in which she told me my putting was the worst. Hilarious! I didn't care, though, as it was true, but also because Friday was my BEST GOLF GAME EVER! It was thrilling to finally get rid of my weird kinks and just be able to play well.

Golf for me is a sport that I took up randomly because work asked me to do so. I'm not a natural athlete...I'm a dancer and waterskier, and that's about it. So for me to learn a new sport and not throw a temper tantrum at every tee box is huge...let alone to play well!

So, because it's blazing hot out still here in OC and Fall truly doesn't appear to be making herself known just yet, who wants to join me at the driving range?! I promise to be just as encouraging and kind as my new friend, the LPGA pro was!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Low Fat Version of Fast Food

Sometimes, a girl needs a cheeseburger. Sometimes, a girl needs to eat only a handful of calories for dinner because she's pigged out all day long. The solution?

One part bun:
One part cheese:
One part burger:
The BEST part about this fast food cheeseburger alternative? It's only 3 WW points, is filling, and REALLY does taste good! And people, let me tell you something...I'm no fan of garden burgers, etc, and I REALLY love cheeseburgers. So this endorsement is one you can trust!

Give it a try sometime, I'm sure you'll like it, too!

PS - those fab buns work GREAT for paninis, sandwiches, and other yummy lunch or dinner options!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beautiful Entertainment

This weekend, I had the opportunity to have some downtime. (Hallelujah!). I cleaned (before the house cleaner came today), worked out, went to church, had a blind date (who said I didn't look a day over 27!), and watched a movie and did some reading.

I don't know about you, but I love a little mind candy. I've always been a movie lover and voracious reader. I'm not sure if that's because I've always liked to check out of my daily life, if it's because I have a big imagination, or if I'm just easily entertained.

My obsession with NetFlix is going strong these days. I wasn't sure what the little red envelope contained on Friday, and I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it and saw I had The Soloist!

I'm seriously behind the 8 ball on this film and know that just about everyone already has seen it, but wow, I was blown away. What a BEAUTIFUL story about friendship, art, compassion, and empathy. Jamie Foxx was incredible in his role as a schizophrenic and homeless musical genius. He truly made me believe who he was playing. But Robert Downey, Jr, just MOVED me. Wow, I'm getting chills just thinking about the power of his acting. He was his character. I felt his pain, agony, and commitment to wanting to help his friend. If you haven't seen this film, I highly encourage you to go out and rent it ASAP. It's sad, intense, and uplifting. AND, while it's based on a true story, it's not expected.

I'm also about 75% through The Time Traveler's Wife and DOOOOOOD, this book is rocking my world. Why the heck didn't I read it until now. It's seriously one of the most clever and smart books I've ever read. I can't imagine how Audrey Niffenegger came up with the plot. And I'm totally baffled by the fact that this is her first published work. She's seriously an incredible talent. I'm LOVING the complicated, but incredibly passionate, relationship between the two main characters, Henry and Clare. There is innocence and sweetness, hot passion, complicated anger, and whimsy. And goodness gracious sakes alive (as my mom would say), this book is anything but predictable. If you're lame like me and haven't read the book yet, RUN out and get a copy ASAP!!! You won't regret it!

What do you think? Did you see The Soloist or read The Time Traveler's Wife? Love them, hate them? Let me know where you stand on both!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CONDO2CASTLE: Dressing Your Table

I bought my kitchen/dining room table for just over 200 bucks in 2002...that included four chairs and a bench. It's awesome, seats 8 people, and is an unusual big square. I like that it's different, seats many people, and fills my dining room perfectly.

But it doesn't exactly fit my style anymore...has that ever happened to you?

I thought about replacing the table and chairs, but then I decided that the big square table really was the perfect size for entertaining in my small condo. The fact that it seats so many really makes the dining room feel bigger. So then I realized that I just needed to repurpose it. Because the chairs and bench are farm-style, I decided to replace them with something else. But when I thought about how to change the table, I realized paint wasn't my only option!

In my ever present obsession with design magazines, etc, I came across pictures of elegant and eclectic kitchens/dining rooms. I noticed that many of the images I was drawn to included color and elegance through linens. Many of the photos below show small rooms, but the way the rooms were styled, you'd never know that they lack square footage! If you're in the same boat that I'm in, join me in using linens to turn your condo into a castle that you're proud to host dinner parties in! Changing your table doesn't mean replacing it, sometimes it just takes a few scraps of linen.

I love how the colors in these linens aren't too matchy matchy, but that they coordinate with the walls and artwork.
via BH&G

Speaking of matchy matchy, I'm slightly overwhelmed by the colors here, however, the quality of the fabrics are high end and bring a sense of glamour and elegance.
via BH&G

For the eclectic home, there are fabrics that can dramatically change the appearance, as well. I like how color breaks up the black and white color scheme and brings the outdoors in.
via Apartment Therapy

Ina Garten's amazing kitchen uses linens to make the table feel cozier. She uses mismatched chairs, some that are oversized, to make it feel less like a kitchen, and more like a place to sit around a while and enjoy her company. I really like that and may borrow her idea!
via House Beautiful

This home matches the gauzy burlap table linens to the window coverings. It adds a Tuscan feel, and along with the chandelier, can make any builder basic home turn into an Italian retreat.
via House Beautiful

I'm sharing this post over at Hooked on Fridays, Julia's super cool blog carnival or linky party or whatever you cool kids are calling them because...I'M HOOKED ON BEAUTIFUL TABLE LINENS!

PANTIES...There I've Caught Your Attention Now!

Some of you prefer old tshirts, some of you prefer soft cotton nighties, and some of you like to be risque!!! But 39 of you have one thing in like your sleepwear FREE!

Hey seriously, thanks to all 39 of you who entered my GIVEAWAY, but more importantly, thanks for taking the time to read my BLAH BLAH BLAHs and be a follower in one way or another. I really do appreciate it so much!

And now I'm about to shock someone! Angie from A Beachy Life, who says the first post NEVER wins was quite wrong today!!! Congrats woman, enjoy getting yourself a new nightie so you don't have to wear tshirts anymore!

Shoot me an email at with your address so I can mail you your gift card!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Cousin's Company was featured on The Tonight Show

My awesome cousin Carlee, and her talented hubby Bryan, have a business called LA Pool Guys. Early this summer, they got a call asking if they could have a "guest" pool cleaner come spend the day with them and have it covered on camera. They said sure, and Conan O'Brien showed up. Apparently, he spent the entire day with them, got into all sorts of hijinx, and last night a clip finally aired. If you didn't see it, I included the clip here. Enjoy!!!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dirty Dancing

I was in junior high when Dirty Dancing came out. As a dancer, who began at the age of 2 and never really stopped, I knew I HAD to see this movie. But, my conservative mother said she had to watch it first before I was allowed to see it. Then she CRUSHED me and wouldn't let me go see the PG-13 film. There was inappropriate content for 12 year old eyes, you see.

Well, I didn't see. I was so angry. So angry, that I did what any other rebelious older child would do. I befriended a latch key kid and saw it at her house the moment it came out on VHS! (Incidentally, that's how I first saw Pretty Woman - ha!).

Being the good Christian girl that I was, it wasn't long before I confessed my sin to my mother and was punished. To this day, I can't go very long without ratting myself out...I'd make a terrible spy!

The funny thing about me seeing Dirty Dancing at twelve years old was that I didn't understand at least half of the suggestive content. I knew it was romantic, but I just LOVED the dancing. So, in honor of Patrick Swayze's passing, and his inspiration as a dancer, I'm including the link for the world's MOST romantic dance number ever! RIP Johnny Castle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Bedroom is Girly

Not long ago, at a dinner party, my friend Matt made a comment about my bedroom being too girly for a guy...and I haven't forgotten this comment.

I know some of you have full decor/design control over your homes and some of you have metro-men who put their two/four/six cents in on everything. But I'm a single gal and I have to wonder if my house could turn off a potential suitor!

It's not like my bedroom is decorated in hot pink (although after seeing this pic, I wish it were!)...
Or that I have a chandelier and a canopy (although, I'm jonesing for both now!)...
Or that I have uber-delicate furniture all in light fabrics (although, this looks so clean and delicious that I'm thinking of replacing my reading chair)...
Or that I use my handbags as decor or have a bust to dress up my jewels in (although, now I NEED one)...
Or that I have gorgeous fabrics, shiny and blingy accessories, books and pretty artwork (oh, wait...I do).

What do you think? Does feminine decor and design offend manly men? Or do even the macho-ist of guys appreciate well designed homes? Should I stick with my gut or stop accessorizing with girly items? I'd honestly love your opinions!!! Help a girl out!!!


i Heart Faces Challenge - CONTEMPLATIVE ENTRY

I love everything about this image. I love how beautiful the lighting was that day. I love how easy/breezy the bride and groom were. I love the angle I captured. I love how perfect this wedding went for me as a second shooter (my first real wedding to shoot). I love the emotion on the groom's face.

I'm entering this image in the i Heart Faces Challenge this week in the contemplative category, because that's what this shot makes me think of! Jump on over to see the other entries when you get a chance!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Thoughts on Football Season

Having said that, TCU's season opener is today, so even though I won't be watching...GO HORNED FROGS. Dad, if you're reading this, please keep me posted about their progress. Kthnxbye.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hooked on Fascinators!

I LOVE fascinators. I love everything about them. They're whimsical, feminine, stylish, and SO British. My parents went to St. Andrews a couple of years ago and walked passed a wedding party where the "mums" were all wearing some type of feathery headband. Naturally, my mom being who she is, she stopped them to ask what they were wearing. When she found out they were called fascinators, she literally went out and bought two. Little does she know that when I get married someday, homegirl will be wearing one! HA!

Traditional and delightful.
Modern and delicious. I think I need this one.
I think I need this one, too.
Bridal beauty.

Chelsy Davy (Prince Harry's GF, for those of you who don't read Hello Magazine every morning like I do)
Fascinators at Royal Ascot. The Brits try to have the most outrageous hats and fascinators at this see and be seen event!
SJP at the British premier of SATC. PS - I DON'T love this one...
Can you see why I'm hooked? Aren't these totally adorable? I realize this post has been slightly out of the norm for me, but I'm totally hooked! Stop by Julia's blog, Hooked on Houses, for a Hooked on Fridays blog carnival to see what others are hooked on this week!



Well, I was feeling all sassy about the fact that I had 102 followers and I even said I was going to do a GIVEAWAY and guess what happened?! Somebody dropped off before I could make my announcement...aren't THEY going to kick themselves when they find out what I've decided to do???

So, I was in Denver this weekend when I decided to do a GIVEAWAY if/when I made it to 100, but I didn't know what to do. I figured I'd do one of MY favorite things and share it with all of you. I considered wine, but that would be too hard to ship, and frankly, not everyone loves the vino the way JJ does. I considered a photo session, but very few of my followers are actually So Cal residents. Then I thought, well shoot, I should just see what my next spam email is, and just buy something from there. SERIOUSLY.

And guess what, the very next spam email is one of my FAVORITE things. How perfect is that?!

Followers, and only followers, can enter here until next Wednesday, September 16, to win a $25 gift certificate to Victoria's Secret!!! All you have to do is comment about your favorite kind of jammies! You can get a second entry by tweeting or blogging this GIVEAWAY, too, then come back and comment once again! On Thursday, September 17, I'll announce the lucky winner.

Now, it will send me into fits of apoplexy if you don't leave an email address in your don't do that. You may share with friends who aren't followers, but they need to become followers in order to participate. That's the rule, folks. This is my way of saying thanks for stopping by my little slice of the internet!!!

And for the record, I'm a nightie kind of girl...I LOVE that super soft cotton that almost feels like velvet. Such a dreamy way to fall into, well, dreamland!

Okay folks, get cracking! I want to see who wears (or doesn't wear) what to bed! : ) Good luck!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Baby Toupees

Before my 2 1/2 year old niece was born, I found the silliest gift for my brother and SIL. But it was really more for a baby boy...and they had a girl. Fast forward a couple of years and now I DO have a nephew and that silly gift is PERFECT for him.

Baby Phoenix is a sooooooper mellow child. He's six months old and just likes to cuddle and smile all day long. When I was in Denver this weekend, I happened to store all my stuff in the playroom and I found the gift and new a photoshoot with the nephew was in store. He, being the good baby that he is, indulged me and let me snap a few funny pics.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...
baby in a rasta wig!

HOW FUN IS THAT?! If you haven't yet been over to, I highly encourage you to do so. They've got Donald Trump wigs, Lil Kim wigs, and more. How can you not love a company whose mission is to show that while parenting can be a great responsibility, it can also be a source of endless amusement?

In other news...I've reached my 100 followers milestone and will be announcing a fancy and frilly GIVEAWAY tomorrow!!! Hope you're as excited about it as I am! Come on back in the morning to see what you can win! WOO HOO!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Hello from Denver!

Still in Denver visiting the world's CUTEST niece and nephew (I'm sorry you're not related to them, too), but I thought I'd check in and say hello!  And guess what I noticed?  I'm 2 followers away from 100...which means, I need to plan a GIVEAWAY!!!  

That's right folks, when I hit 100, I'm going to host another giveaway that's only open to my faithful followers.  

Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed that we hit lucky number 100 soon!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

An Unintentionally Naughty Tweet

Yesterday, I totally tweeted something that came out all kinds of naughty...and I didn't realize it until I got responses from people like "oh really?" and "I almost deleted you for that one." It took me a moment to realize what I wrote and then I totally cracked up!

You see, I cheated on the old diet at lunch BIG TIME at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. It's SOOOOO delicious and Friday afternoon lunch outings there with coworkers has become a bit of a tradition. So, after a delicious and sinful cheeseburger, I wrote:

I had 5 Guys for lunch today and don't feel guilty about it one bit! Mmmmmm!

Um, ya. Hello, earth to JJ...that DOES sound really pervy! But that just began the fun because all sorts of twitter friends just started laying in to me.

If you're not on twitter, what are you waiting for? See how fun it can be???

Okay, I'm off to Denver now to see the precious niece and nephew and their darling bro, Dan, and SIL, Shan. Hope you all have a tremendous Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hooked on Chimneas!

It's Fall - sorta - which means it's time to finally be able to spend time outdoors without melting - sorta. For those of us on the West Coast, it may be a while before it's truly nice outside, but we've got the hint of cooler evenings!!! I love this time of year because it's still fun to sit outside with your friends at the end of the day, enjoy a good bbq, some lovely glasses of wine, and maybe even a nice fire for s'mores (my ABSOLUTE favorite treat!) or just a little romantic ambiance.

All that goes to say that I'm Hooked on Chimneas! My parents recently redid their outdoor kitchen and the whole area is dreamy. Sure their granite out there cost more than my entire kitchen remodel, but what I really love is the outdoor fireplace/chimnea!

If you've got the space in your yard, I highly recommend something like these...and if you have a few extra bucks, do the built-in outdoor fireplace. They improve the value of your home as they become and "outdoor room" and they're just a ton of fun for entertaining!

I'm sharing this post with Hooked on Fridays. Best sure to visit the other blogging divas to see what they're hooked on this week! Thanks to Julia for hosting such a wonderful blog carnival, once again!!!

Two New Posts on the Photoblog...Check Them Out!

Do me a favor and stop by Jen Johnson Photography today and check out a couple of family shoots I did this past weekend. It sure helps when you've got gorgeous subjects!!!

PS - yep, that gal on the right is Kara from Eli's Lids. If you haven't bought one of her precious kiddy hats, please go do that immediately. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Make Your Bras Last Longer...Yes, I'm Really Blogging About This!

ot long ago, I saw a clip on The Today Show or something like that about preserving unmentionables and extending their lives...and you know what? The solution is simple...organization. Apparently, those of us who throw our silky garments into the dryer and then again into a drawer are doing ourselves a disservice! In order to make your bras (and other underthings) last longer, always hang them dry, then place them in your drawers in an orderly fashion, allowing the cups to retain their shape!

Yes, this is totally silly and I might be oversharing just a wee bit by showing you MY unmentionables, but hey, it's a tip that works for me! To see other great tips and tricks, check out Works for Me Wednesday here! And hey, if you're thinking this post is totally ridiculous and it's freaking you least I didn't say the word PANTIES.