Friday, March 22, 2013

Crescent Bacon-Cheese Tartlets

There are no words for how delicious these are!  Hurry up and go make them.  You'll be happy you did!!

Next time, we are totally doubling the recipe too!! :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weekend Getaway // LA: Venice, Santa Monica & Lancaster

Note: Journaling done Feb 24th when I returned home from my trip, adding pics and posting now!

I just got home from a great trip to visit my bestie and her family!  I started out late on Friday with a long drive down to Lancaster....
Hitting the road Friday night.

We stayed up late talking... and me playing with Honey, their adorable little chihuahua! :)
And yes, she knows how to work those camera angles! ;)

Next morning we set off to Venice to meet up with Evelyn and her friend Gary for brunch at 26 Beach Cafe.... make no mistake, we were sold on that one by the extensive variety of french toast options!
Gary did get this great pic of the three of us... thanks Gary! :)

And it proved to be a tough choice, but we were all happy with our selections!

Anne got the Lemon Ricotta French Toast with Blueberries:

I got the S'mores French Toast:

Graham cracker crusted, Nutella stuffed and topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.  Accompanied by a side of crispy, perfect bacon and a watermelon breeze (it was a watermelon mimosa!)

Evelyn got the Caprese Pasta Scramble, which somehow I do not have a photo of.... I'll have to add it back in if I can find one! :)   And Gary got the Pancetta & Egg Pasta Scramble (I think!):

All of which was enjoyed with these delicious Watermelon Mimosas:
Photo by Evelyn... and I think they called these a Watermelon Breeze?  It was fresh watermelon juice and champagne!

All of it was amazing!  We sat streetside, had great conversation and enjoyed the perfect weather for brunch :)

Thanks for the suggestion Evelyn... we loved our brunch and our time with you & Gary!! :)

Afterward, at Evelyn's recommendation, Annie and I headed a few blocks over to Abbot Kinney Boulevard to shop and explore... boy were we happy we did!  So many fun and unique shops and restaurants....

This one had hundreds of cake stands in beautiful colors:

We saw this handsome fella in a fun pet store... he reminded me of my little munchkin!

Found these fun tags at a cute paper store:
I bought a scarf:

Can you guess which one?!

Ate some fantastic gelato at N'ice Cream:

Very Berry and Salted Caramel... both delicious, but we both loved the Salted Caramel the most!

My favorite store looked like a magazine and smelled devine:

I can't wait to explore their website some more and order one of these candles!

I almost went back and got one of these fabulous boxes, but they were a little beyond what I was willing to spend, so I passed on them this time!

After a few hours exploring Abbot Kinney, we headed down to the Santa Monica Pier.... it took forever to find a parking spot!  But once we did, we explored the mall, did some shopping here and here, before we headed down to check out the beach.

It was a beautiful day!  We had fun listening to the street performers.... And we laughed at this "celebrity" who was cool enough to let people take pics with him :)

haha! :)

After a few more pics by the beach, we headed for our dinner reservation at Mercado.

I should note, we found this place on Yelp... just looking for something within a small radius of our parking spot that served Mexican food.  O.M.G. what a lucky find Mercado was!

Excuse the low level pictures, they truly do not do the food justice... it was AMAZING!!!  The best fresh guacamole, the grilled shrimp skewers, the cilantro lime rice, the fresh veggies, the grilled ginger soy steak skewers.... all amazing!  The blood orange margarita was a little off... way to much tequila, to the point you couldn't taste the blood orange.... but the food more than made up for it!

I will go back to eat there again!!

We wandered our way back on the Third Street Promenade and got back to Anne's house late -- so exhausted, but so much fun!

Sunday morning, we slept in, then hit a fun little antique store in downtown Lancaster, followed by Rae's Cup + Cake....  

Where we got these.......

Top Row, Left to Right: Strawberry Cheesecake, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Lemon Zing
Bottom Row, Left to Right: Cookies n' Cream, Chocolate Turtle, You Animal (funfetti!) 

So tasty!! :)  I even brought home some for Brian!

We also checked out the Five & Dime Candy Store... so cute and well decorated! 

Lots of fun candy choices too.

After some lunch, we headed to another Antique Store with Anne's girls and had some fun treasure hunting in this old barn converted to store.

I picked up a few fun goodies, of course. :)

Before I left, we checked out a nearby model home.... I wasn't a fan of the d├ęcor in this one, but it definitely had a lot of space (4,000+ sq. feet) and an interesting layout!

I drove home while the sun set and I can't wait to go back!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Card: Spring Sampler Thanks Big Time!

I love the sets of image only stamps.... so easy to mix and match with sentiment stamp sets.

This was a simple, yet labor intensive card since I colored all the stamps with my markers! I lined up six of the images on one clear block and used it to make my own patterned paper.

I think this is one of my favorite cards I've ever made!  Simple and cute :)

Have you tried making your own patterned paper with your stamps?  Link up if you have... I'd love to see!

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Stamps:  Spring Sampler, A Word for You, Happiest Birthday Wishes (stitched border around oval, retired)
Ink:  Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green, Island Indigo and Basic Black Markers
Cardstock:  Whisper White, Island Indigo, Gumball Green
Punches:  Decorative Label, Small Heart, Extra-Large Oval
Other:  Linen Thread, Basic Rhinestone Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals, Natural 7/16" Trim Ribbon

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thirty Three...

Note:  I wrote this on my birthday, just now adding a photo and publishing it for posterity! :)

What a crazy ride this last year has been in all ways imaginable!  I just wanted to capture the moment today as I celebrate my birthday, so here goes....

Today I am 33.

Today I am at work, still in awe that it has been over a year here already.

Today I ate lunch at my favorite Mexican place near work with three great women I work with. (We had tacos and 7-Layer dip.  I was serenaded to outside of the restaurant.  There *might* have been tap dancing involved!)

Today I got an awesome birthday crown in the mail from my brother and sister-in-law.  (It's pink and feathery... be jealous!)

Today I am getting phone calls and text messages from my family and friends. (And loving it!)

Today I heard the sweetest four year old say "Happy birthday Aunt Amanda, I love you!" and his baby sister say "I love you!" when I answered my phone this morning. (I adore my nephew and niece!) ♥

Today I am spoiled by my husband who made me steak, coconut shrimp, twice baked potatoes, steamed veggies and a chocolate chip cake, followed by a thoughtful card an announcement that my gift was my next iPhone when the contract comes up March 23rd. (But who is counting?!)

Today I am a lucky girl.  I have my health, the love of my life, a home we love, the cutest pets, amazing friends and the best family.

So 33 isn't so bad at all so far... looking forward to the year ahead of me for sure... :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Card: A Little Bit of Spring... Just for You

I'm not sure why this stamp set appealed to me so much, but I really just had to have it!  I'm so glad that I did :)

Aren't the bunnies cute?! I also used my favorite linen thread and some pop dots to add some dimension:

I used my Gnome Sweet Gnome set (retired) for the grass and added some stitching for detail.

Happy Monday!! :)

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Stamps: A Little Bit of Spring, Oh Whale! (hearts), Gnome Sweet Gnome (retired)
Ink:  Gumball Green, Primrose Petals, Tempting Turquoise, Sahara Sand, Basic Grey, Basic Black
Paper:  Whisper White, Gumball Green, Primrose Petals
Punches:  Heart of Hearts (retired), Modern Label, Word Window
Other:  Blender Pen, Linen Thread, Brushed Bronze Designer Buttons, Stampin' Dimensionals

Friday, March 8, 2013

In March I Will...

Picture taken at Santa Monica Pier February 23rd.

It's only a week into March... so not too late in posting what I'm working toward this month!

Workout - Just. MOVE. That's the goal again this month!
Blog - At least 10 posts and I work on a few more tweaks I want to make to the new design (fonts, pages, that sort of thing!)
Get Crafty - Those 4 pages for CT/Abby albums, finish Amy's quilt, keep up with Project Life, make Brian's birthday present.
Enjoy - Brian's birthday and Disneyland with the family!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

In February I Did...

And here is what I actually accomplished:

Workout - Just. MOVE. That's the goal this month!  Yes!  I did move this month... pic above is from my walk along the ocean with Brian on President's Day. :)
Blog - At least 10 posts between the two at a minimum! I will also merge my two blogs into one new, updated blog.  10 posts... not this month, but that's okay because I did get my blogs merged into one!
Get Crafty - Those 4 pages for CT/Abby albums, make 14 cards, finish Amy's quilt, make curtains, keep up with Project Life.  I made one layout for Creighton's baby book, ten cards, curtains for our loft and kept up with Project Life!
Clean - the office and guest bedroom. Done! :)
Enjoy - Some meyer lemons from my tree, my girl's crafty weekend, Valentine's Day, whatever fun thing we decide to do the weekend after Valentine's day, my trip to visit Annie the last weekend of the month, and my birthday!  All done with these too!! :)
Here's what I didn't plan on but ended up doing:

*Try at least one new recipe.  This was a carryover from last month, that didn't make the final list above, but got done anyway/ I'll share the recipe soon!
*Make a camera strap cover.  Was tired of my black strap and now I have a fun patterned one!  I'll be sharing this soon too.
Here's what I didn't get quite done (or even started) from my list:
*Blog at least 10 times. Most of my blogging time went to merging and updating... oh well!
*Complete 4 pages for my nephew's and niece's baby books. Just not enough hours in the weekend...
*Finish Amy's quilt.  Just need a few hours with my sewing machine in March.
*Make 14 cards.  Only made ten but that's good enough for me!
I'm really happy with all the things that I accomplished this month and I'm looking forward to what March brings!! :)


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