>> Tuesday, October 26, 2010

'83 came on during a John Mayer iPhone shuffle sesh yesterday in my car and it immediately brought back memories of sophomore year in college. I remember listening to Room for Squares on repeat on my multi-disc CD player and never getting tired of it. I felt like I could relate to so many of those songs and I loved how it felt like the music was speaking to me. I've always loved John Mayer's music (regardless of all the tabloid BS written about him). Sure, he might not be an American Idol as a person, but his music is written from the heart.

I brought up this song because there is a verse that talks about him missing his brother, Ben who is 18 months younger than him. Coincidentally my boyfriend's name is Jon and is younger brother is Ben. I chalk it up to fate - I'm sure my boyfriend thinks I'm crazy, but I think it means something special. I always knew there was a reason I loved this song.


Cocktail Rings: Big & Bold

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lately I've been really into finding unique cocktail rings. For me, the bigger and brighter, the better! Since I consider myself part of the "Young, Fabulous & Broke" crowd, I'm always looking for a fun statement ring at a budget-friendly price.

So far in my search, Forever 21 has been my gold mine for finding rings I can afford. You can also find some great rings at online shops such as Etsy, where individuals sell their handmade and one-of-a-kind items. I like the rings to be larger than my ring-finger size, so I can wear them on my middle or forefinger. I get a thrill out of hunting for the perfect ring for an outfit and usually discover it will work well with many different items in my closet. Statement rings are also great for showing off an awesome manicure. Whatever piece you find, it will be sure to dazzle!



"Crushing It"

>> Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Friday everyone! I'm thankful we had Monday off for Columbus Day, so this week really seemed to fly by.

I wanted to share this inspiring book I'm currently reading called Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk.  I received a copy of the book at a seminar my company put on recently and have been reading it intermittently since. The title refers to the author's idea that anyone can take their passion and make money using social media networks (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogging, etc.). His main idea is that social media outlets help an individual build a personal brand. This book contains valuable information on how the Internet is changing people's everyday interactions with one another and how virtually anyone can use social media to start a business and expand their brand.

Vaynerchuk goes into great detail using his own successful company, Wine Library TV as an example. Basically, he took his knowledge and love of wine to YouTube and started stating his opinion to the public. Love him or hate him, people were tuning in and subscribing to his channel. From there, he built a platform for himself in the online business world and started making money talking about wine. Who wouldn't like getting paid for that?

As I've stated in a previous post, I would love to make a decent living as a writer. The author has a section discussing journalists and how they can use social media platforms to jump start their careers making considerably more money than what the usual poorly-paid journalist currently brings in. Of course this immediately sparked my attention and got me thinking how I can use the Internet to make my dream a reality.

I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a change in their life and who wants to make a living doing what they love most. I liked the fact that the book is a quick read and the concepts are easy to grasp. It was definitely written to appeal to the average Joe. You can pick this book up at or local retail bookstore such as Borders. Here's to "crushing it!"


Pumpkins Galore

>> Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall is my favorite season by far, and I would say October is my favorite month. I'm not sure if it's the seasons changing or the transitioning into the holiday months, but I love everything about fall. Living in San Diego it's hard to see the leaves change or even the temperature, but on occasion when the night air gets crisp and I have to pull on a sweatshirt, we get a little taste of fall.

This year I've been getting especially into the fall season. My house is now decked out in different pumpkin spice candles and other fall foliage. My boyfriend and I were just talking about how the pumpkin smell makes us crave pumpkin cheesecake, so I spent my day off on Monday making one. I'm proud to say it turned out great! You can check out the recipe for Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake here. I have almost a full can of pumpkin pie filling leftover, so I'm going to try another recipe from Libby's for
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. The recipe looks super delicious and easy to make.

Another favorite fall activity is going to Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center. I've always loved visiting the pumpkin farm each year in my hometown when I was younger, so when I moved to San Diego four years ago, I was happy to have discovered Bates. My boyfriend and I have made it a tradition to go each year since we met (which was coincidentally on Halloween), so this Saturday will be our yearly visit. I can't wait to pick out our pumpkins and carve them. And the best part is toasted pumpkin seeds when we're finished!



>> Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Photos by Samantha Prather
This is my adorable nephew, Christian Joseph, who is now 17 months old. My best friend, Samantha took this photo at the end of summer at my hometown fair. To my great surprise she forwarded this photo to me this morning and it seriously made my day! Just looking at his precious face fills my heart with joy. It amazes me how much he grows everytime I see him, and it also saddens me that I don't get to see him as often as I would like, as my family lives 9 hours away. I'm hoping my sister will get down here for a visit soon, so I can take him to the beach and the zoo and just spoil him rotten. I suppose that's my duty as an auntie anyway.

It's photos like these that make me so grateful to have my wonderful family and friends in my life. Now, when I start to get down about petty things in my life, I hope to look back on photos such as this one to remind me that there are amazing things still waiting to be accomplished and plenty of love to help me along the way.

Check out more of Samantha's amazing photos on her blog:


Goin' Bananas

>> Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I always feel bad for the over-ripened bananas that are constantly being thrown out around our place week after week. Although we send them off to the compost bin where the worms happily munch them away, I still don't like wasting food. This past Saturday I decided to save a pile of organic bananas that were past their prime. I found the following recipe for a delicious banana bread on :

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed over ripe bananas


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.                                                                                                                                         
Yield - 1 9x5 inch loaf pan

I adjusted the recipe a little bit with the following: 1 c. light brown sugar (what I had in my cabinet) and  4 med. mashed over ripe bananas. Also, depending on your oven the bread may not need to be baked as long as the directions indicate. I let mine go for 60 minutes and it was a little toasty around the edges, but the flavor was great. I think for the next batch I may add in some walnuts and raisins for more texture.