Sunday, February 28, 2010

Packing my Bags

Valerie, 5:00am


I'd definitely consider myself a morning person and three days a week I get up at 4:30am to make it to the gym before work. After my yoga class, I shower and get ready at the gym so I pack a bag with my work clothes. If I have plans after work, I pack a separate bag for that. I carry my yoga mat and my enormous handbag as well. On this particular morning last week, my bags got a bit out of hand and Gabe said I looked like a Sherpa and had to take a picture. Once he told me what a Sherpa is, I could not stop laughing. I've attached a few pictures to compare.

The Sherpa are an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal, high in the Himalayas. Sherpas migrated from eastern Tibet to Nepal within the last 300–400 years. They are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sunset over Santa Monica

It's days like this when I'm so thankful for the weather in Southern California. I love living in Santa Monica and being able to walk to the beach. Gabe and I went for a sunset stroll yesterday and enjoyed watching the sun go down together. It was nice to take some time to appreciate our surroundings and savor the last minutes of sunlight for the day.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nail Craze

Essie Pink Parka

OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees

Essie Pound Cake

OPI Jade is the new Black

OPI Pink Flamenco
While I've always been a fan of having my toenails painted, I've rarely been into having nail polish on my fingernails. I did have a brief phase in high school when bright golds and purples were in style (I also had lipstick, scarves and eyeshadow to match my nails-yikes!) and I painted my nails for a few years, only to give it up again in college and thereafter. I've also always had a weird thing about nail salons and preferred to just do them myself at home. But over the past year, I've completely hopped on the bandwagon of all the fun new vamp/bright/fluorescent colors that seem to be one of the biggest trends lately. Some of my new favorites are shown here: Essie Pink Parka, OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees, Essie Pound Cake, OPI Jade is the new black, and OPI Pink Flamenco. What are your current favorites?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can't get enough of the Romper

Last summer I bought two rompers (one short and one long) and figured I'd wear them only for a brief season or two. But to my surprise, they're back and better than ever for Spring and Summer 2010. I'm particularly fond of this turquoise romper and while I would usually put tan or gold with this color, I loved the look of grey/platinum instead. I like the masculine details of the studs and buckles with the feminine romper.

Twelfth Street By Cynthia Vincent- Green Satin Romper $195 (Sale)
Diane von Furstenberg- Glam Sunglasses with Drop Temple Design $125
Rebecca Minkoff- Supernova Studded Rocker Crossbody $330
Forever 21- Wrapped Metal Cuff $5.80
Aldo Shoes- Racette $69.98 (Sale)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Go to Bed with the Chickens

Gabe loves the new bed.
He fell asleep within seconds of testing it out.

Gabe likes to joke with me about my early bedtime (it's lights out by 9pm), but he has a surprise coming his way when he realizes our new bed just moved my bedtime up by at least an hour. Pretty soon I'll be going to bed with the chickens (at sundown). The new bed arrived over the weekend and it was worth the wait. Gabe's back and hips are already feeling better (or so we'd like to believe). We're feeling comfortable and well-rested. The only drawback is that it's even harder to get out of it when our alarms go off in the morning.

Monday, February 22, 2010

THE Boots

H&M sweater, Nordstrom leggings, Modern Vintage boots

I've always liked the name of THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (as if it's the ONLY hotel to be considered). Well, that's exactly how I feel about these boots. To me, they are THE Boots and I have a feeling all my other boots will soon be forgotten. I had been eyeing these Modern Vintage boots for months but wasn't about to pay full price for them. Last week I found them on for an amazing price and couldn't resist! They're practically paying ME to wear these babies.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pizza Night

Trader Joe's wheat pizza dough

After cooking the crust, I put on the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.
The final product
Gabe's in charge of cutting the pizza.

As I've mentioned in my "Favorite Things" posting, I absolutely love Trader Joe's. Besides the hoards of people you have to deal with at most west LA locations, it's such a fun experience in grocery shopping. I'm always finding great new items that are better and cheaper than grocery store equivalents. One of the best things I've found from Trader Joe's is the pizza dough and I buy it more often than I should. I prefer the wheat dough, although the white is also good. Gabe loves pepperoni and while I'd prefer sausage and mushroom, this is one of the examples of "compromise" in our marriage. I've recently started cooking the crust before putting the sauce and toppings on, which makes it crispier and even more delicious.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Act like a "Grown-up"

photo by Raya Carlisle

As we all know, there's a huge difference in being an "adult" and being a "grown-up". While I've technically been an adult for 12 years, I seem to waffle back and forth between feeling like a grown-up and feeling like a kid. I often comment to Gabe about what makes me feel grown-up and he laughs at me and thinks I'm silly. Maybe some of you can relate. These are the things that make me feel like a grown-up:

-always having fresh (non-expired) milk and eggs in the refrigerator
-creating a budget for us and actually following it
-cooking entire dinners from scratch
-having dinner parties (even if that just means having Bunz, Kati and Sarah over for turkey chili and eating dinner on our coffee table)
-having a few (although very few) accessories that won't turn my skin green
-going to Target and only buying exactly what I had on my list (I've only done this once, but I was so proud of myself)
-having a washer/dryer in our apartment unit
-having a savings account
-being married
-understanding the importance of sunblock, vitamins, and getting enough sleep
-realizing that my parents know a lot more than I do and actually listening to them when they give me advice
-feeling comfortable with less (or no) makeup

What makes you feel like a grown-up?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Favorite Things

my niece, Kylee

Over the weekend, I contemplated what to write in the "about me" section of my blog. I always have a hard time with these things and I'm not sure why. I know all about myself, but putting it into writing seems difficult. So for now I decided to make a list of all my favorite things (in no particular order). As I've said before, I love making lists and I had a lot of fun making this one. What are some of your favorite things?

spending time with my husband
the library
my family
my niece, Kylee
my beach cruiser
nail polish
bad tv (I'm currently watching the Bachelor and loving it)
reading magazines (especially US Weekly)
the beach
visiting with friends
going out to dinner
Gisele (can I just be her?)
rice krispie treats
Trader Joe's
my crock pot
dry shampoo
egg nog
Easter candy (the enormous reece's pieces eggs are the BEST)
grocery shopping
experimenting with new recipes

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Best Valentine's Day Surprise

It was such a beautiful day yesterday and Gabe and I went for a Valentine's Day walk down to the park overlooking the beach in Santa Monica. As we were walking home from the park, we decided to take a different route and fortuitously stumbled upon the Sprinkles mobile truck! I had heard about this truck, but never actually encountered it and was starting to believe it was an urban legend. Well, I'm obviously now a believer and of course I had to buy a vanilla and a red velvet cupcake for myself (Gabe doesn't care for cake; he's on the "strictly pie" dessert plan). This was the best Valentine's Day surprise ever! I seriously couldn't believe my luck. Then we went home and I made this recipe for oreo kisses/truffles for the first time which were delicious! We cooked dinner together, ate lots of sweets, played gin rummy, and watched episodes of 30 Rock on DVD. It was the perfect Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Couples Yoga

Gabe and I try to do yoga together whenever he has a weekend off work and as today is Valentine's Day, it seemed a great way to start our morning. I've always wanted to take a couples yoga class and although we've never made it to one, it's fun to at least practice together at home on our own. Maybe one day I'll be able to convince Gabe to come with me to an actual class. In the meantime, our tiny living room will have to work. Happy Valentine's Day!

Mattress Shopping

Gabe and I tackled the much dreaded mattress shopping experience yesterday. We spent about two hours lying on almost every bed in the store. The activity both reaffirmed our suspicions that our current bed is terribly uncomfortable and also made us very sleepy (we can both fall asleep anywhere). I wondered what the salesman would do if he came back to check on us and found us asleep on one of his floor models. After all our hard work, we finally found a mattress that suited us and were chomping at the bit to get it home and sleep on it. However, the delivery date is a week away! Gabe could not get over this and talked about how disappointed he was for the rest of the day (poor Gabe doesn't get much sleep). At least we know it's on its way and we can cross that off the list (I love lists).