Candy Land

>> Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OK, I know Halloween is a month away but it's never too early to start planning your costume. This year I decided to get a jump start on my costume, so I'm not scrambling at the last minute to throw something together. In the past I would buy a ready-made costume from an online store or my local Halloween shop. This year, I wanted to have a little more fun with my costume and try out a creative, budget-friendly idea. When I got to thinking about who I could dress us as, the first person that came to mind was Katy Perry. This year has been a big year for the pop superstar with a chart-topping new album and an upcoming wedding to Russell Brand. I decided to commerate her success into my own homemade costume.

I'm planning on doing a costume from Katy's "California Gurls" music video. With so many creative outfits in one video, it was hard to choose. I decided to go with the candy button outfit, as it was the least risque and the most age appropriate. These are the supplies I'll be using to complete the costume:

  • White tube dress ($4.99 at The Closet)
  • Pink, yellow & blue plastic Easter eggs ($0.79 for 10 ct at Party City)
  • Jewel glue ($2.99 at Michael's or any craft store)
  • Long blue wig ($9.99- $16.99 on
  • White or nude platform Mary Jane's (already have a pair in my closet)
I will be using the jewel glue to attach halves of the Easter eggs in rows to the white tube dress. This will make it to look like old-fashioned candy buttons. I'm only going to do the front, so I am able to sit down without ruining the costume. For my makeup, I'll use blue glitter eyeshadow (you can find cheap at any drugstore), bright pink lipstick (already own M.A.C. Viva Glam Gaga) and a pair of false eyelashes that are in my makeup kit waiting to be used. I will probably go mystic tanning (no UV rays) the day before Halloween to get some color, so the white dress doesn't look pasty against my fair skin.

The great thing about this costume is that I have many of the items at home already and it should cost under $30! I'm super excited to see how the costume turns out, and I will be sure to post pictures of the final result. Now if I could only get my boyfriend to agree to dress up as Russell...


A picture says a thousand words

>> Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recently I received a promotion code in my e-mail for a free 8x8 hardcover photo book . This was sent to me by Shutterfly, a popular online photo storage and printing company. In the last couple years I've been far too lazy to take my memory card to an actual brick and mortar store, upload the photos and request prints. Instead I've opted for making photo albums online and printing only the pictures I choose. My prints are shipped to me and I never have to leave the house!

I put together my free book with photos of a trip Jon and I took to Disneyland and California's Adventure Park this summer. It was so fun to choose the different lay outs and placement of the photos. After an hour or so I was ready to place my order for the finished product. The only cost I paid was $8 for shipping and handling, and I received my book approximately two weeks later. I thought the promotion was a great idea to get patrons to try out the books, as the cost for each book starts out at $20 (not including shipping). The 8x8 book comes with 20 pages standard, but more pages can be added at an additional cost per page. I chose to leave two pages near the back blank so I could paste ticket stubs and other paper goods to commerate our visit. These books make great gift ideas and they're super simple to put together (even for the creatively-challenged, such as myself).

The finished product!


Grow little garden grow

>> Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This past March my boyfriend suffered a serious head injury doing what he loves best: surfing. Thankfully he had amazing doctors and his recovery has been more than excellent. I seriously thank my lucky stars everyday that he is still here with me.

While his beloved sport is now crossed off his list of what he can do (at least for a year anyway), he has had more than enough time on his hands to find some new hobbies. One of the first ones he decided on was gardening. We only have a small cement patio in the back of our townhouse, so I was interested in how he was going to build our garden. Jon quickly bought a couple "how-to" books and got to work building a compost bin and planter boxes for an "urban" garden. An urban garden is basically a garden grown without use of grass or land. On our patio we have several large buckets, planter boxes and pots. Together with our worm compost bin we were able to start an organic garden in an urban setting.
The beginning of the garden (June)
It has been a few months since the garden was started and there has definitely been rough patches along the way. San Diego had the coldest summer this year since 1933, so that definitely did not help our strawberries, cucumbers or tomatoes. Also, since the garden is organic, no toxic pesticides are used which leaves room for all the little garden creatures (aka caterpillars) to snack on whatever they please. Let me tell you, Jon wanted to go to war with these little guys until he finally found an organic solution to remedy them. I'm happy to report we used our first batch of romaine lettuce last night to make dinner, and it was a great feeling to know where the food we were eating came from.

While the garden hasn't produced everything we hoped it would, it has been nice to see my boyfriend so happy and full of life. I have really learned a lot about gardening just from listening to his everyday observations and trials with it. The garden has definitely been therapeutic in Jon's recovery and I'm glad he has found joy in something once again.There is always next spring/summer for our little garden and we will definitely hope for warmer weather. In the meantime we'll be testing out what we can grow in winter. Wish us luck!


Spinach plant
The garden now (September)
"How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence."  ~Benjamin Disraeli

"No two gardens are the same.  No two days are the same in one garden."  ~Hugh Johnson


The smell of a good book...

>> Monday, September 13, 2010

Anyone who knows me, can attest to the fact that I love reading. I'll read pretty much anything, but I really appreciate a good fiction novel. I love getting caught up in the adventure, mystery, love affair or whatever else the story may bring.

Currently I'm finishing up the last of Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy. The books have proven to be captivating, adventurous and enraging at times. Larsson uses his own experience as a journalist, writer and political activist to shape one of the main characters, Mikael Blomkvist. Many of the themes throughout the novels delve into women's rights, exploitation and scandal. There never seems to be a dull moment and when you think you've started to work out the ending, the story suddenly takes you completely off course.

Larsson wrote the trilogy in his spare time for pleasure and didn't consider the books for publication. It wasn't until his sudden death in 2004, that his partner brought the novels to light. It's noted that Larsson had almost completed a fourth novel and had notes for a fifth and sixth novel.

These crime novels have held a permanent place on the best-seller's list and with the Swedish version of the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo out for release, Hollywood has decided to venture into making the American version. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will be interpreted in film, however I'm not getting my hopes up too high. I always seem to enjoy the books much better than the films.

You can find each of these books at your local retail bookstore or on Amazon , which seems to be the most reasonably priced. Happy reading!


Pancake Love

>> Saturday, September 11, 2010

Since my boyfriend and I were headed to the baseball stadium to watch the Padres take on the Giants this afternoon, I thought pancakes would be a perfect start to our day. I found this delectable recipe in a recent Vegetarian Times magazine for White Pig Blueberry pancakes. Named for a bed and breakfast and animal sanctuary in Virginia, the innkeeper is an animal-rights activist, and this delicious recipe is 100% vegan.

Check out The White Pig here

Now, I know what you're thinking: how good can pancakes without cow's milk or eggs really be? I'm telling you, these are some of the best pancakes I've ever eaten. And that's saying a lot, as I consider myself somewhat of a pancake expert (you get that title when you makes boxed pancakes every Sunday for your whole family). All kidding aside, even my more cooking-inclined boyfriend told me these tasty little cakes were better than any breakfast diner he's ever had . He could be bias, but I think the heart shape may have made them just that much better. ♥ ♥ ♥

Make these light, fluffy pancakes for yourself, click here



>> Friday, September 10, 2010

OK blog world, here I am! 

I've been so impressed by several of my friends' blogs and finally decided it was time to commit to my own. I love reading everyone's great ideas, exciting adventures and stories, and this has pushed me into wanting my own space on the web. Some people have blogs specifically aimed at one topic or hobby. For me there is just too much to write about, so this space will be dedicated to my thoughts, ideas, favorite things and anything else I can put in print.

I've always loved writing and found it to be a great escape for me. When I was younger I would tell my dad I wanted to be a professional reader when I grew up. I later found out there was not much money to be made (if any at all) in reading professionally, so I decided writing was the next best thing. I always kept journals as a little girl and have now found it rather amusing to read my thoughts as a 6th grader. Let me tell you about the problems an 11-year-old girl has...OK, not many really, but at the time who I had a crush on was the most important thing. I took my love of writing into college and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism. I really felt at "home" among all the other aspiring writers and wanted to jump into a career doing what I loved best. While this hasn't panned out so far, I'm still optimistic that a perfect job opportunity will come along and I can spend the rest of my life writing and sharing with the world.

That's all for this post. I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos of me and my adorable little nephew, Christian. He is one of the great joys in my life!