Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pining for Pinwheels

I saw this cookie recipe, realized I had all the necessary ingredients in my cupboards, and decided to make them for Thanksgiving. Sure, they are definitely more of a Christmas cookie (I intend to make a HUGE batch of them for my co-workers), but I just could not wait to see if I could make a pretty pinwheel. I love drop cookies and bar cookies because they don't need to be purty, per se, so I was stoked that these turned out so lovely. So easy and delicious and you could use any color food coloring to make them appropriate for the season!

It looked like blood :) I didn't use gel food coloring like the recipe suggested, but one itty bitty bottle of food coloring went a long way.

The roll. I used red and white sprinkles, but would love to use something a little more pearl-y next time.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gratitude, Part II

I love my family. Actually, I lovely love them. Even though I like to think I'm a grown-up, being graduated and working and all, it's amazing what being with my family can do. A friend put it perfectly: being at home humbles you. My five day holiday weekend was spent in Fresno and Fallbrook, and it was a blast. I am so thankful for my family, and for a beautiful Thanksgiving we shared eating, laughing, shopping and making new memories.

Try spending eight hours in a car with these folks.

Pretty table.

Happy 27th anniversary Mom and Dad!

I love you So-cal sunshine.

Goofs. This is why having sisters is a must.

My mom grew up in this house. Now her sister and her sister's fam live there!

Awk pics while Mags risks arrest to get the shot. Yeah Black Friday shopping!

Catching up with family friends at the Money Pit in San Marcos. Doesn't everyone want a burger and fries the day after Thanksgiving?

Snuggling with Pooks after we get back to Fresno.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gratitude, Part I

Can you believe that gratitude was described as a trend? During the last eight months, I have tried to express my thanks for recent happenings in my life, but I certainly wouldn't consider it trendy. Here's just a few of the things on my gratitude list:

My family
My friends: day one friends, high school friends, college friends, new Bay friends
My pups and fat cat
My lovely job
The little Corolla that takes me everywhere
BBM, Ping chat, Facebook: anything that keeps me connected
An amazing lib two blocks from my apartment
Jeff, my sweet landlord (thank you for taking a chance on me)
My teeny apartment
Baby watching with the sissies
Cheesy quotes
Being able to pay my bills, all by myself
Bubble baths
Learning something new every day
My roots
Baking, baking, baking
The Power of Positive Thinking

Can't wait to share more Thanksgiving pics!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shine On

Need to spice up the end of your week? Start with a sparkly bottle of nail polish. This cranberry color is called "Sparked," and makes me so excited for Thanksgiving.

Pick out a ridiculous card for someone you love. Folks, this is for my dad's birthday. Our fam has a thing for silly cards (especially if they involve animals), and I cannot wait to see my dad's reaction next week.

Drool over a necklace you know you'll be unable to resist if it goes on sale. Nerd alert: I first saw this in the WSJ, not the J. Crew catalog.

A little extra shine never hurts anybody.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Walnut Creek

I met up with my mom and sisters for a day of eating, shopping and catching up in Walnut Creek. It was sunny and beautiful but chilly, so I finally got to test out my first, legitimate winter jacket. Broadway Plaza gives the Stanford Shopping Center a run for its money, and they were starting to put out Christmas decorations. We aren't the most efficient shoppers (ahem, three trips to J. Crew), but we got a lot of our Christmas shopping done and didn't stop laughing the entire time. I cannot wait until we are together for Thanksgiving!

Delicious cookies at Boudin Bakery.

Maggie's bf joined us for a few hours.

Hmmm... rabbits are not very Christmas-y.

Cute dancing peppers on the El Charro menu.

World's biggest sombrero (or something like that).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Holidays

Now that Halloween is over, I am so excited to start decorating for Christmas. When I was home recently, my mom asked me what I envisioned my Christmas style to be... uhhhhh, anything sparkly? I have a great start thanks to my mom and some lovely family heirlooms, but I've been keeping my eye out for beauties to add to my Christmas collection.

Partridge in a pear tree via.
Bows via.
An advent calendar perfect for a cold morning via.
These orb-like ornaments via.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Minty Goodness

After I saw Martha Stewart in person last week (she is a real person), I was inspired to share my experience making a Minted Chocolate Cookie recipe. I thought I was going to use her recipe, but wanted to make the wafers myself. And it was a little easier. Basically, they're the non-trademarked version of almost everyone's favorite Girl Scout cookie. I actually made these when my mom and baby sis came to visit a couple weeks ago. I needed a cookie that could be made in steps and would freeze well. They were just what I was looking for!

Cornstarch everywhere.

The hardest part was cutting these babies just the right thickness.

Doused in butter and chocolate... delish!