giving thanks

The past year has been rough to say the least but as Thanksgiving is nearing, I can't help but think of what I still have in my life. I have a loving brother, adorable nephew, supportive boyfriend, and the most amazing girl friends a girl could ask for. Thank you for your love and support, I love you!

It's easy to get bogged down with work, to-do lists, traffic, and whatever daily frustrations occur but it is nice that this holiday brings people together to focus on the good. We should always be on our best behavior and reminding ourselves of what we are thankful for but hey, we're all human!

I plan on cooking up a storm  in the next couple of days and on the menu so far: crab artichoke dip, baked sausage with apricot jam (a la Rachel Zoe's "The Rachel Zoe Project"), citrus cranberry sauce, stuff'n muffins, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, blackberry cobbler that I made here with vanilla ice cream...NOT to mention the other food items our guests will be bringing over! Needless to say if you do not hear from me in the next few days it is because I will be sleeping from my tryptophan induced food comma :)

Speaking of this wonderful day coming up...can you believe that Black Friday is starting on Thursday night?!! I will not be participating but for all those who will brave the cold for a good sale...good luck!

I love the idea of a rustic table runner. Who said you have to have flowers as a center piece? Try going au naturale, it adds a nice touch.

*image from cookincanuck

one of my favorite side dishes

here is another alternative to having a floral centerpiece

serve dinner in style with this le creuset trivet

this isn't edible...but how cute is this kielmead mistletoe necklace?!


lazy day

I'm mentally gearing up for Thanksgiving next week, my brother and I will be hosting dinner at the house and I'm nervous to play hostess. I've started planning out the courses and making my grocery list for this weekend. One of my oldest friends has volunteered to help me prepare tomorrow...bless her heart! So in order to make room in the fridge/freezer I made a homemade pizza, with herb dough, prosciutto, goat cheese, parmesan cheese...everything from Trader Joe's! I also pulled out this pear tart and I must say, it's quite tasty for being a prepacked treat! I feel that all this mental planning gives me an excuse to take the night off. I have a ton of holiday catalogs to flip through, gathering gift ideas for the ones I love (and maybe one or two for me).

I drizzled the dough with garlic infused olive oil, topped with with the cheeses and prosciutto once it was out of the oven (otherwise it gets crunchy) then added more parmesan cheese...delicious!

I wish they sold these in slices because I had a couple pieces...

All holiday catalogs nicely stacked on my nightstand, ready for me to flip through!


monkey business

I learned about monkey bread this year...why I didn't know about it sooner is beyond me. I love cinnamon rolls and these taste similar but you have the fun in peeling off pieces of dough. It was much easier to make than cinnamon rolls as well so that was a bonus for me. I also found a recipe for gorilla bread...it has a cream cheese filling!

3 cans buttermilk biscuits (the non-flaky kind)
1 cup sugar
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Open the cans and separate the biscuits, cut each biscuit into quarters. Next combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Toss in all the biscuit quarters in the cinnamon sugar mixture and toss around! Have fun with it!! Take a bundt pan and light spray with non-stick cooking spray and place all the sugar coated pieces in the bundt pan.

Next melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium high heat, make sure to watch and stir until the butter and brown sugar combine together. Once combined, pour it over the biscuit pieces...sugar...butter..drool...

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is nice deep brown. Remove and WAIT...being able to enjoy this ooey gooey goodness trumps being impatient and having a burnt tongue!

I enjoyed my monkey bread with some coffee and magazines, how will you enjoy yours?


hold me

As you walk into any store, you can see all the Christmas decorations, candy, and cards lining the aisles. They do know we have Thanksgiving to celebrate first right? I am not a big fan of getting Christmas started the day after Halloween but it has got me thinking of gift ideas. Last year I ran around last minute and I would like to prevent that from happening this time around. I've started browsing online stores and magazines to get inspiration for gifts and I found this cute site called Coolil. They have such feminine cases for your iPhone, iPad....an ode to vintage snap clutches. So incognito! :)


wild side

It is hard NOT to notice all the animal prints this season and I wasn't a big fan until recently. It has been incorporated more fashionably now than in the past...or perhaps I am just growing fond of it? I grabbed a giraffe printed sweater this past weekend and love it! I also like some of the printed shoes but I am not sure I am daring enough to pull them off :)

animal print
1. Michael Kors
2. Diane Von Furstenberg
3. JCrew
4. JCrew
5. Forever 21
6. Forever 21
7. Nordstrom
8. Elizabeth & James


arm candy

I usually carry a purse big enough to fit a water bottle, sunglasses, wallet, iPhone, and small pouch with essentials. Basically I have enough supplies to last me a day if I got stranded somewhere! I like to get rid of the baggage sometimes and switch to a clutch, it looks polished and dressy. I have sparkly clutches, small ones, simple ones, and lately I've really wanted an envelope style clutch. Here are some cute ones for the holidays.

1. Anthropologie
3. Zara
4. Forever21
6. TopShop


up in the air

I have a good reason why I was unable to post last Thursday, I was up in the air!! I was lucky enough to get in a Cessna plane and fly over part of San Diego :) I EVEN flew the plane!! It was such a great experience and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have seen Del Mar, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Mission Beach from such a cool vantage point!

 Montgomery Field

the plane I flew in

sooooo many buttons!

spectacular view of Downtown La Jolla