Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Long Weekend

Things have been moving nonstop since the first of the month. With law school deadlines and interim exams approaching, it was nice to have a long weekend to relax, participate in a 5K charity run, and catch up on old projects. My boyfriend and I watched a few movies in bed on Sunday and shared this oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe (his favorite) with a few close friends on Monday evening.

love, julie

Monday, February 20, 2012

February Fabulousness

February has been the perfect opportunity to fulfill much of my long-overdue doses of inspiration! I want to start off with the most important day this month - today! No, not because it’s President’s Day and I get to enjoy the day off. Even more importantly, today is my baby's tenth birthday! That’s right. Ten years ago today our precious baby Carly was born. That little bundle of joy is even older than I was when she came into our lives! (Okay, she’s not always a bundle of joy, but tell me it’s hard not to smile back at that face!)

Another accomplishment made this month - the 5K! My sister, her boyfriend and I participated in a 5K race this weekend. I beat both of them finishing in 20 minutes! Participating in these kinds of races are a good way to donate to the community and a great motivation to exercise! Our new goal is to try to find ones to participate in every month. It’s easy to find them just by asking around in your community if you’re interested. 

Has everyone fallen into the Fro-Yo craze, or is it just me? Frozen yogurt has definitely become the latest sweet treat to eat. It seems that I’ve been having it all the time recently. I think I’m obsessed! They say it’s good for you, but frankly I just love the taste. It’s soft and delicious, and feels so much lighter than ice cream. And who doesn’t love self-serve?! My love began with the Costco classic swirl, but I also love my local Yodiggity Yogurt down the street, Tutti Frutti, and Yogurtland. Sadly, there is no Pinkberry where I live, but their tart is irresistible! 
Last weekend my friend and I enjoyed the night out together, and of course decided to end the night with some good ol’ frozen yogurt from Yogurtland. I’d say it was a success! If you haven’t jumped onto the Fro-Yo bandwagon yet, you’re missing out! 

I had to see what all the buzz was about, so I broke down and saw The Vow this weekend. The movie is definitely a disappointment. I’m not all that into sappy love stories anyway, but this movie still let me down. If you have not yet seen it, trust me that you’re not missing out on anything!

I don’t know the recipe to these delicious cranberry-walnut muffins, but I’m dying to get my hands on it! They’re my best friend’s mom’s specialty, and they are dee-lish! The perfect pick-me-up on a cold February day. 

love, jenny

Get Your Wellies On!

I’m in love with the new folding welly by Redfoot. They’re not clunky or cumbersome like regular rain boots and fold up into a small bag for convenient packing. It’s genius!

Redfoot also designs folding ballet slippers. Tao, a popular club in Las Vegas actually hands out folding flip-flops to guests who no longer can stand another minute in their stilettos. These ballet slippers are way cuter than the flip-flops and can pass as a stylish flat.

love, julie

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paint it Nude

Festive colors like bright red and gold sparkles may brighten your holiday season, but during the other 11 months these polishes seem brazen and unsuitable. Choose a polish with a simple elegance such as Marshmallow by Essie. This soft shade is perfectly understated, and looks ravishing with multiple bracelets.

love, julie

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Seven Layer Bars

I woke up this weekend to the sound of thunder and rain splattering against my bedroom window. It felt cold and empty, so I decided to make my all time favorite dessert, Seven Layer Bars (also known as Magic Bars). I first learned of this delicious dessert when my college roommate would bring a large batch back to school upon returning from break. They’re a mix between a cookie and a candy bar. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (I like Dryer's "Slow Churned" Vanilla Bean) makes the perfect combination.

I am a huge fan of coconut, especially on desserts. I guess that's what makes these bars so appealing.

Seven-Layer Bars

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 stick unsalted butter
9 graham crackers (5 ounces), crushed
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup Reese's peanut butter chips
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the pan with two overlapping pieces of foil or parchment paper (parchment paper works best), leaving overhang to act as handles for lifting the bars out of the pan. Spray with non-stick spray.

2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes just begin to brown, about 4 minutes. (Keep a close eye on it – coconut can go from slightly browned to burnt in a matter of seconds. You don't want it burned.) Set aside.

3. Melt the butter and combine with graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Toss with your fingers until the butter is evenly distributed. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

4. In order, sprinkle the walnuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, Reese's peanut butter chips, and coconut over the graham crumbs. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the entire dish.

5. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.

6.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 2 by 3-inch bars. Remove the bars from the pan using a spatula.

love, julie

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hearts of Union Square

I love San Francisco not only for its beauty and charm but also for its culture. “The city” - as I like to call it - fuses music, food, and art to create one of the most eccentric places in the world. More personal than the crowded parking lots surrounded by densely populated streets in Los Angeles, and more compact than the widespread San Diego, San Francisco has a personality all its own. The people here build friendships with their customers, support local businesses, and collectively organize social events. One of my favorite events is held right in Union Square where local artists gather together to show their artwork. These hearts are so magnificent and festive. It is fun walking through Union Square after a quick bite to eat and experiencing the talent of the city. I now know why Tony Bennett’s signature song was: “I left my heart in San Francisco.” 

love, julie

Friday, February 10, 2012

Be Mine

"If you look for it, I've got a sneaky actually is all around."

It's almost Valentine's Day! Have you been struck by Cupid’s bow?

Celebrate the Day of Love with these fabulous Valentine inspirations!

Nothing says “I love you” like a heart-shaped pizza! Find the recipe here.

Share a cup of love with your special someone. Don’t forget the heart-shaped marshmallows!

Prepare a cute lunch for someone special on Valentine’s Day. 

The best way to turn ordinary treats into tokens of love. Learn how to make these!

Popcornopolis’ featured flavor for February: Strawberries & Cream!

Turn an ordinary dinner extraordinary with these simple ideas.

What’s Valentine’s Day without the right attire? These are some of my favorite products that achieve the perfect Valentine’s Day look!

A long pink sweater can be thrown over an everyday outfit. 

I absolutely adore this belt from White and Black. It will add a punch of pizazz to any outfit, especially on Valentine’s Day!

These UGG's make a bold statement.

Shoes that think pink.

Litas are perfect for Valentine’s Day (or any day...!) Find them here.

I'll leave you with my favorite famous couple: Lucy and Desi

“Life with Desi is crazy and exciting, but our love is deep and changeless.”

love, jenny