Monday, June 29, 2015

Favorite Summer Shoes

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erica for some Favorite Things.

Today is all about my favorite summer shoes!

I had a pair of silver glittery sandals that I loved, but when I was out shopping last weekend they broke...the nerve!  I wore these sandals all the time during the summer (ok, I live in California, so really all year), so I knew I needed to replace them.

I ordered a couple of possible replacements and these were my favorites.

I have only worn them twice so far, but they are really comfy and cute.  It didn't hurt that the name of brand was Naughty Monkey.

I cleaned out the shoe section of my closet a few weeks ago and got rid of all my heels that I hadn't worn in forever or were just not in good shape anymore.  I don't wear heels too often anymore, but these sandals are just the right height to be cute.

These shoes look pretty good with my many maxi dresses and I am pretty sure I could wear them all day to work without killing my fee.

Everyone needs a good pair of flip flops for a tropical vacation, so before my trip to Hawaii I ordered these beauties.  I ordered a pair for me, both my sisters, and my mom in our favorite colors to wear on our trip.  

My shoe selection really doesn't change that much with the seasons, and my go to shoes for a regular day are some sort of ballet flat.  Over the years I have had pretty much every color of flat, but these are the ones that are in my frequent rotation right now.  


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What's Up Wednesday Again!

I had fun doing this last month so I am linking up with What's Up Wednesday again.

What we're eating this week:  It has been quite warm this week so I am trying to eat foods that don't heat up the condo too much.  I made these tacos over the weekend and have been eating leftovers this week along with a really easy chicken salad that uses greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

What I'm reminiscing about: I am looking forward to the Lady Antebellum concert this weekend so I am reminiscing about the Brad Paisley concert I went to a couple of weeks ago with my sisters.

What I'm loving: I am loving that tomorrow I can officially reserve our wedding reception location.  We have picked a date and tomorrow will be one year until I get to marry the love of my life.  AKA my forever person!

What we've been up to: These past few weeks we have been kind of laying low and just doing things around the house.  In the last few months both my fiancee and I have started new positions at work so we are focusing our energies on learning and embracing our new work challenges.

What I'm dreading: I am dreading the heat of summer since we live on the second floor in a condo without air conditioning.  The fan is our best friend in the summer

What I'm working on: My fiancee and I have kind of come to the conclusion and given in to the fact that house prices are just going crazy again in our area so we going to have to wait out the market.  Any sort of house in a decent part of town in our area is running at least $600,000 and those are the fixer uppers.  With the fact in mind I am working on making our condo as clutter free and comfortable as possible since we are going to be here at least another year to 18 months unless something crazy happens.

What I'm excited about: Since we are planning to get married one year from tomorrow we are having a little preversary (made up word combining pre and anniversary) celebration.  We both love the Shrimp Kisses from McCormick & Schmick's but it is not the cheapest place to eat. We are working on saving money for the future so I have decided to try and make them at home.  Wish me luck!

What I'm watching/reading: Still working my way through all the seasons of Survivor on Hulu.  I have a few more seasons to go and I am open to suggestions as to what show I should watch next.  I am reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  I am not far enough into it to really give an opinion but I will let you know my final verdict.

What I'm listening to: Mostly whatever comes on my Pandora which is usually a mix of country and a random mix of 90s-00s pop music.  Everyone needs some Britney in their life every once in a while.

What I'm wearing: I am planning to wear my new romper to my sister's party on Saturday.  I managed to break my pair of silver sparkly sandals last weekend so I ordered 2 pairs from Nordstrom to try out.  They are both scheduled to arrive this week so if one of them fits I will probably pair them with my romper.

What I'm doing this weekend: What am I not doing this weekend? Friday night I am seeing another concert with my sister.  Saturday my fiancee and I are driving down to my parent's house and my sister is having a going away party.  She is headed off to medical school in a few weeks so she is having  little get together before she leaves.  We are spending the night at my parent's house for the night because on Sunday we are having a party for my grandpa's 90th birthday.  His actual birthday was Monday but you can't turn 90 without some kind of celebration.

What I am doing for the 4th of July:  I am a huge fan of fireworks so I am hoping to get to see some.  Last year we went downtown to see the fireworks but it was quite crowded and my fiancee is not too keen on going this year.  We will see if I can convince him to go.  We can always walk to the raised light rail station and see various shows from around the area.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Strawberry Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

Yes, I know that strawberry, chipotle and shrimp sound like a weird combination but the combination of the sweetness of the strawberry and the spiciness of the chipotle really go well together. The strawberry is used as part of a salsa and the chipotle is used in the shrimp marinade.

Strawberry Salsa

8 oz of strawberries cut into pieces
1/2 a small red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 jalapeƱos mostly seeded and chopped (completely seed it if you want less heat)
A dash of salt and pepper
The juice of one lime

Mix everything in a bowl or tupperware and the put in the refrigerator so the flavors can meld.

Shrimp & Marinade

1 pound of raw shrimp deveined and tails removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of 1 lime
The juice of 2 limes
A dash of salt and pepper
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons of the adobo liquid from a can of adobo peppers (use less if you want less heat)

Mix everything together in a bowl or tupperware and put in the refrigerator to marinate for about 30 minutes.

After the shrimp has finished marinating heat a cast iron pan or frying pan over medium high heat and cook the shrimp 1-2 minutes per side. While the shrimp is cooking get the rest of the taco ingredients ready.

Shredded cabbage (I am lazy and buy the already shredded kind)
Queso fresca (if you don't live in an area with a large Mexican population and can't find this you can use goat cheese but I won't be quite the same)
Corn tortillas

After the shrimp is cooked assemble the tacos and enjoy.  This makes 4 servings.

Why yes these tacos are quite delicious with a margarita!

Friday, June 19, 2015

New Season, New Decorations

I have had my spring decorations up in our condo since I took our Easter decorations down.  Spring is about to end so I figured it was time to move onto the next season.  Summer is really the hardest season to come up with decorations for.  The only holiday that occurs during the summer is the 4th of July so I decided to embrace some patriotic decorations for now and worry about the rest of the summer in a few weeks.

Some pretty towels to dress up my kitchen just a little.

A patriotic star to hang on my laundry room door.  Gotta love the Target dollar spot!

Rather than put away my "grass" I just added some red, white and blue garland and made it look like the stars were growing in my grass.  Don't mind everything around my wooden bowl.  My fiancee was sorting some paperwork on our table and I didn't want to mess up his sorting by moving the papers.

I love this garland and how festive it looks.  It is patriotic but could also just be used for a birthday or outdoor party too.  It is longer than all of my other garlands but it covers up our heater control (which we definitely don't need) so I like the way it make the wall look.

A few more Target dollar spot finds add a little patriotic spice to our bar.  I love fireworks so these make me smile.  Speaking of fireworks I am anxiously awaiting my next trip to Disneyland because there is a new 60th anniversary fireworks that have premiered since the last time I was there.  Come on August! Get here faster!

I didn't have the too many ideas a few weeks ago but don't worry now I have a few summer decoration ideas up my sleeve for when I take down my 4th of July decorations down!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Garden Update

Ok so maybe garden is a bit of an exaggeration for one pot of flowers but they are the closest thing to a garden I have.

Remember this little six pack of flowers my mother in law gave me a few months ago?

It is still alive and now looks like this:

We live in a condo so having an actual garden is out of the question but these little flowers will have to do until we move and have an actual yard.  I am quite impressed that I have managed to keep my plant alive for so long.  In case you haven't heard California is having a drought so all of the watering of this plant has been up to me!

I think now that I know I can keep one plant alive I might venture out and get a few more.  I would love to grow something I could eat but I will need to do a bit more research into what would actually grow well on a balcony.  With a few more plants I might actually be able to say I have a garden on my balcony.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

My First Stitch Fix

I have been hearing about Stitch Fix for a while and finally decided to give it a try.  In case you don't know the details of Stitch Fix:
  • You fill out a whole bunch of questions about your size and style and price range
  • They send you 5 pieces
  • You try it all on and decide what you want to keep
  • You keep what you want and send back what you don't want
  • Each shipment costs $20 but that $20 is applied to anything you end up keeping so effectively if you end up keeping something it really doesn't cost anything.
I filled out all my questions a few weeks ago and waited patiently for my package to arrive.  Another way they are able to send you things you might like is that you can give them a link to (or set one up specifically for Stitch Fix) your fashion/outfit Pintrest board.

The first thing in my box was this necklace with silver disks dangling from it.  I do have a penchant for statement necklaces so this was right up my ally.

I had recently purchased a statement necklace with gold disks so it was kind of funny that I got a silver one that was actually quite similar to the one I had just bought.  I liked this necklace and knew I would get quite a bit of wear out of it so I decided to keep this one.

The other thing I ended up keeping was this blouse.  

I wore this blouse to work on Friday (also known as the day of never ending meetings) and got lots of complements on it.  It is cut in way that would allow me to wear it without a sweater and have my bra show so I was happy about that.

You can't really tell from these pictures but the piping down the front and across the back is actually navy blue, not black, so I wore it with my charcoal grey pencil skirt.

I have been looking for a good blazer to wear to work so I mentioned that in one my answers to the questions in my profile.  You can't tell in the picture but the lining of this blazer is white with black polka dots.  I really liked the blazer they sent but it was just too small across the chest.  Oh well!  No reason to keep something that doesn't fit even if it is cute.

It is obvious from my Pintrest board that I like dresses so I got two dresses in my box.

This first dress was really cute but I needed it in a petite.  I am super short waisted and when I pulled the bodice of the dress up to put the orange strip where it belonged (at my natural waist) the dress fit perfectly. I can't magically overnight make my torso grow so this dress got sent back.

This last dress was the only thing in the box that I actually didn't like.  It was a wrap dress and in addition to being way to big in the waist I felt like it was just not flattering on me.

I have it tied as tightly as it will go and the waist is still enormous.  Even if this dress had fit it was going back!

I really enjoyed getting my first Stitch Fix box and am looking forward to my next one coming in July.  I will let you know how the next one goes!

When you sign up with Stitch Fix you are given a referral link to share with your friends and if they order a box you get a credit on your account.  If anyone is thinking of trying Stitch Fix out here is my referral LINK and if you are not wanting to try it out just enjoy the pictures to come.

Friday, June 12, 2015

New Favorite Breakfast

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a breakfast person.  It is not that I don't like breakfast foods.  It is more the fact that when I wake up food is not something I am interested in for at least an hour or two.

I have been hearing about overnight oats for months and last week I finally decided to try them.  I have no idea why it took me this long to try them because they are fantastic. I have actually been eating overnight oats mostly as part of my lunch at work but on the weekends they have been my go to breakfast.

I love that I throw them together the night (it literally takes 5 minutes at most) before and they are ready to grab as I head out the door to work.

Overnight Oats

1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
A good sized handful of berries or other fruit
A little bit of a sweetener if you want (sometimes I use 1/2 a tsp of agave)

Put all the ingredients together in a Tupperware or jar with a lid, give them a good stir and put the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight.

It only took a few days of seeing me eat this meal before I had peaked by fiancee's interest enough that he asked me to make him some too.  He eats his in the morning at home and adds a couple of scoops of chocolate protein powder and a splash of water.  This is something easy, cheap and filling that is working well in our busy lives.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What I am Reading

I have to admit that recently I have not been reading as much as I would like but I am looking forward to reading more this summer.

On my trip to Hawaii I had quite a bit of time to read on the plane (5 hours on the plane each way does that) and at the resort.  When I am on a plane or sitting by the beach I tend to read fluffy girly easy reads.  In Hawaii I read:

I have many books by both of these authors and enjoyed all three books.  Can't say any of them were the best thing these authors have written but they were good beach reads.

I had been reading The Lacuna before I went to Hawaii but I decided not to take it with me since my copy was hardcover and I didn't want to have to carry it.  I finished the book a few days ago and if you liked The Poisonwood Bible and like art history or Mexican/American history I would recommend this book.  The main character spends time living with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo which is a nice little mix of fact with fiction.

Next book on my to read list is The Goldfinch.  I have heard kind of mixed things about this book but I loved The Secret History by this author and the book was cheap at Costco so I decided to give it a shot.  I have only read the first few pages but I will let you know what I think of it when I finish.

Anyone have any suggestions of what I should read next?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Random Thoughts Because It Is Too Hot To Think

You know how a few weeks ago I was enjoying some nice pleasant weather in the 70s.  Yeah, that was a nice time.  That time seems to be over.  Saturday and Sunday the high was about 85 and Monday the high was 95.

We don't have air conditioning so needless to say I am spending my evening drinking cold water and sitting in my thinest pajamas waiting for the temperature to drop back to a comfortable level.  Best warm weather pajamas ever.  Don't be scared away by the price.  I bought these about 2 years ago (when I will admit I still had a discount at Nordstrom) and wear them pretty much all summer and they still look exactly the same as they did when I first bought them. If this pajama ever comes out in purple I will be the first one in line to pay full price for them.

Ironically, after talking about how much I enjoy board games on Friday, I ended up playing a new board game Friday night with my fiancee, my brother in laws, sister in law and mother in law.  If any of you have ever played Mafia you will love The Resistance.  Two people are spies and the rest of the players are the resistance.  You try to help your side win the missions and whichever group wins the most missions wins the game.

We played this game three times and not once did I get to be a spy!  My sister in law and I both ended up being resistance all three times.  I think this calls for a rematch!

We went to a birthday party for a cute little one year old this weekend.  I think this is just the beginning of a season in our lives where we will be attending many children's birthday party.  The party was at a park near our house and even though the weather was pretty warm there it was quite a fun little party.  I had lots of fun looking at all the baby boy clothes and ended up picking out this Mini Boden set (along with another I can't find a picture of) for the birthday boy.

Sunday my fiancee had to run some errands so I was home alone for most of the day.  I took the opportunity of being home without distractions to get some serious cleaning done.  I scrubbed down both my kitchen and my bathroom.  Not the most fun way to spend a hot day but it needed to be done.  I had grand plans to reorganize a few of my kitchen cabinets but that just didn't happen.  There is always next weekend!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Favorite Games

I was raised in a house that was big into board games and card games.  We had a whole cupboard in our hall growing up that was just used to store all of our board games.  We had all the normal 90's kids board games like Candyland, Shoots and Ladders and Clue as well as a few that most of my friends didn't have like Mystery Mansion and Chronology.

My dad's family were always big card game players so I always looked forward to going to visit them and playing cards for hours on end.  As an adult the game we play the most is called Hand and Foot.  A few people in my family are a bit competitive and try to cheat but it is all in good fun. Let me tell you this game is addicting.  My fiancee and I have so much fun playing it that we have taught most of his family how to play and they are addicted too.  Give me some snacks, something to drink and a few decks of cards and I am ready to play.  I am sure my kids will be able to play slapjack before they can talk.

My love of American history started young and I have fond memories of playing Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego? with my sisters and cousins.  My mom gave away my childhood version of my game while I was away at college but my wonderful sister found it on Ebay a few years ago and gave it to me for my sister.  Some of the questions are a bit outdated now but that doesn't stop me from breaking it out every once in a while to play with friends.

Another game that I love to torture people by making them play is Trivial Pursuit.  I have been making people play this game with me for years and one of my goals in life is to legitimately beat my dad at it.  He sometimes tries to cheat and let me win but mark my words someday I will actually win fair and square. Sometimes my family tries to get out of playing with me because my dad always wins but I can usually get them to play on Christmas since it is my birthday. Over the years I have had a few different versions of Trivial Pursuit but the classic version is still my favorite.

Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity (depending on who you are playing with) are always fun with a group of people and my fiancee is fond of Taboo.  I am slowly amassing a collection of board games and I can't wait until we have a house and I can host game nights.  I can just picture us on our patio in the summer drinking wine and playing games.  Here's hoping that vision comes true sometime soon!

I always love suggestions for new games to try!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wedding Dress Shopping

On Sunday I got to do what most girls dream of from a very early age.  Wedding dress shopping!

My mom, my dad, both my sisters, one of my best friends and my fiancee's mom joined me on my wedding dress adventure.  My other best friend was able to join us for much of the shopping via FaceTime so I was only missing one of my bridesmaids.  We went to Trudy's Bridal in Campbell first and since I knew my family and friends might get hungry I brought snacks and champaign.  Alcohol and snacks make any adventure better!

I tried on lots of pretty dresses (that I can't show you) at Trudy's and discovered that I am about half a size bigger than their smaller sample size and a whole bunch of sizes smaller than their larger sample size.  This meant I either had to be pinned and clipped to high heaven in the larger size or be a bit squeezed into the smaller size.  We started out trying the larger size but ended up just squeezing into the smaller one because it is really hard to get a good idea of the back of a dress when it is covered in clips.  A pretty back is important to me so I needed to be able to see it.

After we finished at Trudy's we went out to lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery.  I had never been there before but had heard good things.  The food was decent but our waiter was pretty much the worst waiter in the history of waiters.  He had only been there for 2 weeks and I don't think he is going to last very long.  We had plenty of time before we had to be at our second appointment so we just had to laugh at how bad the service was.

Next we went to David's Bridal.  I didn't have high expectations for David's since I had not heard the best things.  The service was not nearly as good as at Trudy's but there were some really pretty dresses that I tried on.  

On the request (and insistence) of my sisters and best friend I agreed to try on one big puffy dress and the bridal consultant found me the biggest, fluffiest dress she could find.  I can't post any of the other pictures we took that day (hi honey) but enjoy this picture of me drowning in tule.

This is how much tule I was surrounded in when I sat down on the floor.  I could barley get out of the dressing room door it was so much fluffiness.  I went into dress shopping knowing that I did not want a dress that made me look like a cupcake so I guess it was only fitting to humor everyone by trying on one dress that is exactly the opposite of what I was looking for.

I went in looking for something somewhat fitted or flowey without being puffy.  I didn't have any plans of hiding my butt and I have to be able to not feel like I have to pull the dress back up every 5 minutes. I have a few potential dresses and will keep thinking about them and looking at the pictures and let you know when I make a final decision!