Monday, December 30, 2013

Oh What a Year!

I have never been more excited to see one year end and another begin! 

This year has taught be some wonderful life lessons. It has revealed to me those who are truly my friends. It has made me a stronger person and has demonstrated to me that grace and dignity always prevail. It has reminded me time and time again how incredibly grateful and thankful I am for the remarkable people I have the honor and privilege to have present in my life. 

I chose the words above with great care for to me they are not simply words, they are action and values. 

:: presence :: grace :: gratitude :: loyalty :: authenticity :: 

These are the values that define my character, my friends and my life. I know they're strong and powerful and that sometimes it may require more work for me to embody them, but I also know that when the day is done these qualities are who I really am and I am proud of that. 

I recently came upon the song, Nothing More by The Alternate Routes. It is a poignant song that seems befitting as this year draws to a close.

To be humble, to be kind.
It is the giving of the peace in your mind.
To a stranger, To a friend
To give in such a way that has no end.

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

To be bold, to be brave.
It is the thinking that the heart can still be saved
And the darkness can come quick
The Dangers in the Anger and the hanging on to it.

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

Tell me what it is that you see
A world that’s filled with endless possibilities?
Heroes don’t look they used to, they look like you do.

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

I wish you all a happy, safe and healthy 2014! 

With love, gratitude & kindness, 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu

My husband and I have a wonderful gentleman as our neighbor. A few years ago his wife passed away and ever since he's become part of our Thanksgiving family. He is a former Captain in the Navy and his presence over the past few years always adds a little extra warmth and depth to our Thanksgiving celebrations. Today I arrived home to find this package on our doorstep.

 A treasure from while he and his wife lived in Japan...

 Each one is individually and delicately wrapped...

Within the box is a set of five beautiful hand painted chopstick rests. I love that that they are still in their original box and that our sweet neighbor haa saved several sets of chopsticks with them for all of these years. I am so touched by this thoughtful gift, it is always so special to have him join us for Thanksgiving and I will always think of him and his lovely wife whenever I use them. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shockingly Yummy!

** I wrote this two weeks ago and forgot to post it! **

I am constantly trying to be the #bestwifey to my sweet husband and lately he has been a little under the weather so I thought I would attempt to make him some soup for dinner. He asked me to make chicken tortilla soup and since I am on this new adventure of learning to actually cook I decided this was the perfect opportunity for me to get in some practice. I also decided rather than looking for or using a recipe I was just going to wing it and get creative on my own. I'm not going to lie, I'm really proud of myself, it turned out quite well and best of all my husband loved it! 

 :: The Beginning ::

Again, this is all from my head so excuse the lack of proper measurements. The following made enough to feed approximately four people.


2 enormous chicken breasts
2 boxes or 3 cans of chicken stock
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 large jar of salsa
1 can of black beans
1 small can of tomato paste
1 large red pepper
1 large bunch of fresh basil
4-5 Serrano peppers
2 carrots
2 avocados
1 bag of frozen white corn 
1 medium block of Monterey Jack cheese
tortilla chips for garnish

:: The Base ::

I began by adding the a can of diced tomatoes and salsa and let it simmer over low heat. Meanwhile I had the chance to practice my knife skills as I finely chopped the entire red pepper, the Serrano peppers and most of fresh basil and then added them to the simmering mix. I allowed this to continue to simmer for about an hour and then simply dropped the whole chicken breasts into the mix. I covered the pot and let this cook over medium heat for about 40 minutes. 

:: Simmer Down ::

Once I was sure the chicken was most of the way cooked I removed the breasts and simply shredded them and then added them back into the pot. About an hour before my husband arrived home I added in the corn and black beans and just kept it all simmering on the stove. 

 :: Yummy ::

Once my husband was ready for dinner I garnished the soup with fresh avocado, cheese and crushed tortilla chips. I had no expectations for this little adventure but I'm happy to report that my husband and I both thought this was really flavorful and turned out well. Not to mention that I made this all while watching football so it truly made for a great Sunday!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Falling in love...

This Fall has been absolutely breathtaking, one of the most stunning that I can remember. The trees have changed colors and the leaves have begun to fall but in California most of our days have remained in at least the 70's. Because of the warm weather I have just not felt like wearing the darker typical shades of Fall. That was until I discovered Zoya's Pixie Dust Collection.  

:: Dahlia :: London :: Godiva :: Electra ::

This special edition textured nail polish is simply divine! My three favorite colors London, Godiva and Dahlia, are each as rich and decadent as they sound and they look incredible.*Electra is a discontinued color but I've been combining it with these and it sort of fits right in. I've been wearing them or a combination thereof for about two months straight now and I have never gotten so many compliments on nail colors. 

:: London & of course my trademark pink toes ::

This past week I created a color I've named Paved in Gold. It's a combination of layering London and Godiva. The Godiva brightens the already stunning London and adds just a touch of warmth. 

 :: Paved in Gold ::

One of my favorite things about this collection is that it is like super glue and lasts for a good two weeks! I wore Godiva for our entire trip to Hawaii and it stayed looking incredible even when being slathered in sunscreen, and going between the beach and the pool! 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

In the Box!

Some things are more difficult than others to organize.

:: One Hot Mess ::

For me I've always struggled to keep my bras, socks and hanky panky's well organized in a way that they can easily stay like that. When I designed my closet I didn't want to have drawers because I wanted to see my clothes! But, I did want to have daily items easily accessible and organized of course. I found these great crates at The Container Store and I have to say I am in love with how they keep me organized while also allowing me to easily access everything.

:: All Together Now ::

:: The Light & Bright Ones ::

:: On the Shelves ::

:: All Tucked Away ::

Whatever the project may it's always important to keep an open mind about the organization process and how things ultimately come together. It took me a while to figure out what would work best for me. A lot of times it comes down to just trying something, rearranging it, moving it or thinking a little outside of the box :) Or in this case thinking and keeping it in the box!


Monday, July 8, 2013


Some Happy Things
:: The Beverly Hills Hotel :: My Latte :: Curling Up with Kindle ::

I love having little reminders of moments, trips, people, memories and favorite things throughout my surroundings. They are what make our home, our living spaces and my life uniquely ours, and they make me incredibly happy!

On a recent trip to Color Me Mine with my little cousins I happened upon an enormous coffee mug that I knew would accommodate my double latte vice. And so, I decided to fashion my cup after one of my favorite places, knowing that it would hold my one of my favorite beverages and that typically I would be enjoying said drink whilst doing one of my favorite things.  

 I am so in love with my cup!

Signature pink stripes and green accents :)

The inaugural filling!

My seat at this very moment, surrounded by some of my favorite things! 



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tidying Up!

I may not be able to cook very well but I can clean like it's no body's business...I love to clean! Maybe it's my OCD, maybe it's that it's always been oddly calming for me, whatever the case may be I really love to not just make things clean but organized too!

All of my nail polish is in a drawer organized in stackable plastic bins by color...

 The funny thing is I don't really care what I'm cleaning, it's the act of taking something dirty or disorganized or both and being able to make it neat, tidy and fresh that makes me satisfied.

My "daily" drawer has all of my essentials...I used small mercury glass votives from Pottery Barn to separate and organize my hair ties, bobby pins and hair clips...

I washed my face the other evening, and happened to have been wearing make-up. You would think I would wear makeup far more often than I actually do, but typically I go sans makeup. I've been using Dermalogica's pre-clense for years to take off my makeup, and like any other evening I used it to wash my face. I finished washing my face and didn't bother to wipe the counter clean (I thought it was just water) and so I went to bed, only to awake to multiple dark stains on my pretty gray granite!!!

My pre-clense was the culprit but it made me realize that I also need to be careful with my Moroccan Oil as well...

Thanks to Pinterest and Google I quickly learned that the best way to remove an oil stain from granite is to make a pumice out of acetone and baking soda. I know this sounds crazy, but let me tell you it really works. I should know, because while attempting to clean the original stains I managed to stain my counter three more times. So let me just tell you, I've really put this one to the test.

My life savers!

Many tutorials advise against using nail polish remover as it may not be pure acetone. This one happens to be pretty pure and worked well for me. After allowing the mixture to sit it would sometimes look darker than before so I simply covered it in a pile of dry baking soda and allowed it sit and it pulled up the stain and whatever remained EVERY time. 

Hope this might help you too!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

To Love, Laughter and Friends...

Today I was surrounded by love. 
It was a quiet love, the type that is unspoken but simply present. There have been a few great men in my life and today it was an incredible gift to be surrounded by those who have always been there for me. After an early afternoon with family my GH (gay husband) and his BF joined me at our house for an evening of love, laughter and friendship. 

My GH, the third generation of some truly incredible gentlemen and gentle men...

A simple but sweet afternoon...


I have many loves in my life, these however are some of my greatest...

Nap time...

The greatest compliment a guest can pay me is to demonstrate that they feel at home in our home. I just love when people can relax enough to really enjoy themselves and I truly mean it when I say, "Please make yourself at home!"

I feel so privileged to have such incredible men in my life. My sweet, amazing actual husband joined our posse after work and my day became complete. I hope your day was also filled with love laughter and friends. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Afternoon of Fun

My "gay husband" produces events around the world for some really incredible clients. At a recent event with Anthropology they had the adorable activity of creating miniature succulent gardens that guests were able to create and then take home. If you follow me on Instagram you know I'm just about useless in the garden, but I've always thought succulents were cute, and I've always been drawn to their varying textures and colors. Not to mention my GH told me they are nearly indestructible. 

What we began with...

We've been talking about creating some miniature gardens of our own for several weeks now and just hadn't found the time. As time went on we decided this would be the perfect activity to surprise my mom with as she loves gardening and I knew this was something she's never done before! And so on an unassuming Tuesday, with what my mom thought was a BBQ dinner at our home my GH came and surprised her with this little project. 

First step, make sure you have good drainage...

Add soil nearly to the top...

Make sure to get the proper type of soil, a mixture made especially for cacti, succulents and desert plants will make your succulents happy little plants. 

Be creative and have fun as you plant your micro-garden!

 GH helps Mom to neatly pack her gravel...

Use the remaining gravel to fill in the gaps between your succulents.

Make sure to give your new garden a hydrated start...

The succulents will only require a few teaspoons of water a couple of times a week! Check the texture of the leaves to know if your plants are thirsty, they'll loose their firmness when they need water. 

My boy and I were great helpers throughout the process! 

 Hope you enjoy!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Onward & Upward!

It's been a while...a long while since I've posted anything of substance and there has been a very good reason as to why. My privacy and my family's privacy were violated. 

Obviously, I fully understand that when blogging any information one chooses to share should essentially be considered public. To this day I have no regrets about anything I've posted. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect or even consider that the content of my blog would be used against my family. What would have appeared, and what I am sure did appear as a typical and seemingly innocuous post was used as fodder against my family in an outrageous and totally inappropriate way. This malicious act was committed by a couple of very close family friends, and I'm truly disappointed in them.

My decision to take a brief break from blogging was an easy one, you simply do not hurt my family. The good news is that I've never lost faith in my blogging family. After giving this blog a lot of consideration over the past several months, I have made the decision to begin blogging again!


Because I have truly missed blogging and it is something important to me. 

I don't let people keep me from what I love and I am certainly not going to begin now. 

And, while I have always known that I was awful at keeping a journal I came to realize that this blog quickly became a beautiful way for me to chronicle my life, interests, travels, friends....

To my friends and family who have supported me, thank you! 

To my fellow bloggers, I am sincerely sorry if we've lost touch, I truly look forward to reconnecting! 

And so with love, gratitude and perspective, I look forward to what's next.