Santa Monica Getaway Weekend – Part 1

July has unofficially become our month of travel and this past weekend while in Santa Monica I got to reacquaint myself with someone very important; Me. You see, this year I’ve kind of lost sight of who I am and what it is I want from me and and it was kind of nice to spend some time just being me.

I did what I wanted, ate when I felt like it, listened to the radio too loud and pretty much fell in love with who I was and who I’d become.

Learn to be alone and to like it. [Because] there is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company.

-Mandy Hale

On my last day I happened upon Clint LaPointe and his band playing next to the Santa Monica Pier and after listened to a song I bought their CD. As I was listening to the CD in the car on the way back to LAX this song came on and I totally teared up; but in a good way. The title was Anthem (listen to it HERE) and it was the perfect way to end my weekend.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Renegade Craft Fair – San Francisco, CA

I’ve never been, so I really can’t say what it’ll be like but the Renegade Craft Fair at the Fort Mason Center Pavilion in San Francisco, CA this weekend (Sat., 7/19 & Sun., 7/20 from 11am – 6pm) look pretty sweet.

With over hundreds of craft booth, workshops, food, music and a FREE Photo booth it sounds like a great way to spend a few hours this weekend.

If anyone goes, let me know how it is.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Goodbye Maui, Hello Home!

And I’m back! While vacations are always great, there’s nothing like coming home to your own bed and a puppy who REALLY missed you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the adventure of traveling but my heart know that California will always be home.

I’m sure you want to see what we were up to and I promise we did more than just take food photos. In between breakfast, lunch and dinner we managed to take in the sights, do a little window shopping and thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

the Food: tropical fruits (strawberry papayas & dragonfruit), malasadas & shaved ice

the Sights: waterfalls, the Road to Hana & Dragon’s Teeth

And we can even clean up nice if we need to.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Vacation Update

Sorry for the radio silence!

The Husband and I were lucky enough to get invited to a wedding in Maui and between all the travel prep, house cleaning and the 4th of July Holiday I forgot to post that I was going to be out for a while.

Have no fear, I’ll be back next week with more travel pictures but here’s a little something to tide you over until then.

Yours Truly,

Mel




Estate Sale (Friday, 6/27 – Sunday, 6/29)

Happy Friday Everyone!

Here’s a little something to get you all excited for this weekend; an Estate Sale because come on, who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt?

It’s being held by Family Treasures Estate Sale Liquidators and it is going to be HERE and it will be going on today through Sunday, 6/29 from 9AM – 4PM.

According to the notice that I received this is what you can expect:

Huge Doll Collection: Betsy McCall, Globel, Madame Alexander, Disney, Royal Dalton, Cabbage Patch, Stieff Bear, Precious Moments, Kish, Wendy Lawton, McClory, Goodrau, handmade Russian dolls, Anderson Miniatures, Dresden collectibles, Vintage Half Doll pin cushions, Effanbees, American Girl and accessories, Antique porcelain doll heads, Alice in Wonderland collection.  Several limited edition dolls, signed and one of a kind dolls, 7 hutches full of dolls and collectibles, Doll furniture, rocking chairs, horse trike, doll clothes and accessories, ~40 Limoges trinket boxes, collectibles, household, garden decorations, patio furniture, outdoor rugs, electric BBQ, kitchen table and chairs, patio furniture, hutches, Rattan furniture, rubber made container, Franciscan glasses and dishers, Royal Anderson Flower of the Month, kitchen, costume jewelry, miniatures craft supplies, holiday, clothing, Alice in Wonderland collection and more!

Sounds like a good sale for anyone interested in dolls but you never know what you’ll find until you get there.

Yours Truly,

Mel



No-Bake Homemade Granola Bars

Recently I’ve been in a slump and I just haven’t felt like baking. I’ll get that itch, the one that says it’s time to get into the kitchen and make some magic. But then I’ll think about the dishes I’ll have to do and how warm the kitchen going to get with the oven on and instead I’ll head over to the TV and turn on So You Think You Can Dance.

Rest assured this Homemade Chewy Granola Bar recipe from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats is easy, low on the dishes and doesn’t require any baking; just a bit of knife work.

Since I wanted the use these granola bars as a substitute for my bowl of breakfast granola I added few thing (ok a lot of things; see the additions below) but I’m sure her recipe is just as tasty if you want to make it as it was written.First you’ll need to measure out  1/2 cup each of almonds & pecans and all of the your oats and dump them into your mixer.

Then you’ll want to pulse until they’re chopped but not until they’re powder; if you went that far it’s too much.

Next you’ll chop up the remaining almonds and pecans and then toss them in.

Now you’ll need to get to work measuring and chopping everything else. Here’s what I added next:

-3 Heaping Tbsp. Dried Cranberries

-1 Tsp.Sesame Seeds

-1/4 C. Dried Pineapples (chopped)

-6 Dried Prunes (chopped)

-6 Dried Apricots (chopped)

-6 Dried Dates (chopped)

-1 Tbsp. Mini Chocolate Chips

-1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds

-2 Tbsp. Flax Seeds

-2 Tsp. Wheat Germ

-2 Tbsp. Sunflower Seeds

-2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Seeds

-2 Tbsp. Pistachios

Next you’ll need to put a saucepan on the stove and once you’ve added your ingredients (I omitted the almond extract and instead of a dash I added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon) turn it to medium and stir until it’s melted.

Before we go any further let me just say that after the first batch I was feeling really confident and decided to switch out the coconut oil for peanut butter. BIG MISTAKE. The peanut butter didn’t hold the bars together like the oil did and honestly, I just didn’t like what the swap did to the texture or the taste. Stick with the coconut oil, it’s divine and even The Husband who hates all things coconut was a fan even after I told him what was in it.

Now the fun part. Mix it all together and then I used my spatula to press it into my plastic wrap lined 8 x 8 pan.

To cool then quicker you can toss them in the freezer and then cut them or the fridge works well too.

I’ve since eaten my way through two batches of these and the other day I grabbed a pre-packaged granola bar to snack on at the office and it just wasn’t the same. I missed the creamy, sweet & salty flavors of my own creations so it looks like another batch might be on the horizon for me.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Summer TV – Bomb Girls & The Paradise

While all my favorite shows are on hiatus for the Summer I’ve taken to exploring new one and Bomb Girls and The Paradise are two of my current favorites.

Once I started watching I was hooked and of course that’s when I find out both shows were cancelled after Season 2. Isn’t that just how it goes?

If you too are in a slump because you’re favorite shows are taking a break check these two out. The Paradise is billed as the “First Department Store” and it’s a love story/drama that is set in 1870s England. Similar to Downton Abbey, another BBC show, there’s drama between the upper and lower classes with a little bit of scandal thrown in for good measure.

Bomb Girls is about a group of women in the 1940′s who all have their own stories and secrets but are thrown together because they all work at a munitions factory building bombs for the Allied forces during WWII. They costumes and sets are incredible and it’s interesting to see the vast difference between society then and now.

Also on my watch list: Mr. Selfridge, Upstairs Downstairs, Boardwalk Empire, Northanger Abbey & Outlander. Sensing a theme yet?

Yours Truly,

Mel