Monday, September 26, 2011

heart happy recipe

the recipe for these cookies was given to my mom by a long-time family friend. for a somewhat unknown reason, they are called tree bark cookies, though the recipe title says briar rabbit cookies and really, they are just your standard molasses cookies. none-the-less, my brother and i have always loved them. they have just the right combination of chewy and soft textures with a melt in your mouth quality that goes unbeaten by any other cookie i have ever tasted.

enjoy <3


  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
what to do:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted margarine, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks - or if you are me, immediately put in your mouth and try not to burn your tongue too bad.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


well it is the end of the first week of school
it is the first weekend of fall
and it is the first time in a long time that e is sick

so this makes for an interesting combination.

school went well and was much less stressful than i had led myself to believe. made it to all classes on time, even took two buses to get to and from (if you know ucsc campus, you understand) and felt generally good about it. my two lit classes are both on a form of world exploration so i am looking forward to the material and the third class will be more of a hang-out/bonding time once a week. at least there are other transfer students in that class who are in the same position as i am.

as for the first weekend of fall, i am more than pleased that it is here, especially with my last few posts being centrally themed around the season. the only big bummer is that e somehow came down with the world's worst cold and is fevered and bed bound. poor guy! so i am sticking near and enjoying the cooler weather with multiple cups of tea, two new magazines, ample time on pinterest and a few blogs that i am obsessed with (vanessa jackman & from the block & could i have that - this last one is out of santa barbara and makes me miss my years there), and class readings.

first fall decor that i have brought into the house. i have to do it in small doses otherwise e might kill me.
breakfast from last wednesday at the Verve with my dearest b, who came to visit for a bit. 

books for class - all about arctic exploration and marco polo

breaking out the lipstick for fall <3

hope everyone enjoys the new season and their weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

color inspiration in nature

turning leaves in santa cruz/inside of a pinecone/single red leaf on a branch of green/flower from nursery/feather found on the trail

there is gorgeous color surrounding us and the more i pay attention, the more i fall in love with colors that are beyond my go-to neutrals of every shade of grey from black to white. i have been eyeballing bright reds and deep oranges - hoping to find things like a tomato red blazer at thrift stores, an orange nail polish and trying not to go buy a dozen pumpkins.

Monday, September 19, 2011

death by lemon bread

ladies and gentlemen, i will gladly lay down, give my last breath and go silently after eating this. trust me, it wont be a bad way to go.

dough round 1

lemon and orange zest filling

lemon cream cheese frosting
before going into the oven

finished product

by no means is this a quick or easy baking adventure, but it is well, well worth it!
Lemon Pull-Apart Bread from the Whimsical Cupcake

Sunday, September 18, 2011


well it is my last official weekend before school starts and so far i think it has gone very well :)
the sun is out today in full force as if refusing to let anyone believe that the season is turning. i took some shots of a tree that has decided to dress up for fall without holding back that i will post soon. in the mean time, here are some things that have occupied my mind lately.

emphasis on the "super" part of these (haha, b)! i love that trader joe's puts all their goodies above the more healthy food so that as you are reaching for your frozen veggies or whatnot, you can look up and snag a box of something chocolate. these beat out peanut m'n'm's any day!
i would love, love, love to have an official cake plate. the funkier the color the better, as anything else feels to fancy for the apartment. however, since this beauty is a shocking $70, i will hopefully opt for something much cheaper, hopefully from a thrift store.
this one from target at $15 is much better!

slightly heeled ankle boots with a western flair :)
lemon pull apart cake - my next baking adventure :)

the woozy bear, aka winnie, woozala, WOOZ! winnifred, the bear, in her natural state right at this very moment!

hope everyone had a lovely weekend!
also, has anyone else been listening to the giants games vs colorado? omg!!!!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

scholarly practice

i went to pick up a few of my books for a class yesterday at the literary guillotine (really love that name) and from the outside the place looked just like the bookstore from a portlandia episode...see below.
anyway, something about the cloudy morning, preparation for school and the desire to wear the corduroy, calvin klein blazer that i picked up at the 1/2 thrift store inspired a polished sort of look. some days just feel better like this.

blue, pinstriped, button-up + blazer + skinny jeans + leopard kitten heels + menswear watch = 
me yesterday

the whole morning also smelt like fall and that put me in a great mood, as did the fantastic woman at the book store and the fact that three novels came out below $50. all of them used, but all of them free of highlighter and scribbles so that i may deface them as i see fit throughout the quarter.

and here is the portlandia bit. enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

too much of a good thing...

earlier this summer during the trip my mom and i took to ashland, we relied heavily on breakfast as our main meal of the day. 2 of our 3 morning meals took place at morning glory (yum!) and the mom lady ordered their oatmeal pancakes both times (i ordered them the 2nd time after a heavy recommendation). to say the least, they completely rocked my world and after searching through many recipes, i finally found one that replicates the originals :)

recipe originally found here: oatmeal pancakes



  • 1 1/10 ounces all-purpose flour (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (i added a bit more for a stronger flavor)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray


  • 1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  • 2. Combine buttermilk, butter, and egg in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  • 3. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon about 2 1/2 tablespoons batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles; cook until bottoms are lightly browned.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

tuesday, dress, fun

yesterday was one of the remarkably rare and wonderful days when the "get shit done" and the "relax and have fun" moments sync perfectly. somehow we managed to not only get everything done on my mental to-do-list but we also were able to enjoy ourselves, not rush, visit a few lovely people and soak up the sun that has finally decided to grace us with its presence.

e had a random day off due to covering one of the upcoming weekend days for a coworker so we decided to start off the day right - with $1 banana pancakes at the harbor cafe on 7th (for any of you who have been here, you know how great it is! for anyone else, please come visit me on a tuesday and we will have banana pancakes until they have to roll us out the front door). then we headed to campus (!!!) so that next week when i start, i will have a vague idea of where my classes are located and how long it will take me to hike across the ginormous campus (lots of rehydrating and snacks are going to be in order, along with maybe a damp towelette to wipe my forehead when i pant my way into class). from there we stopped in at the casa blanca inn and bistro for a surprise hello for a dear friend, had lunch with another friend, spent a few hours at the beach, (finally) bought new shoes for e, then topped off the night by making dinner and watching scrubs on netflix.

to top it off, i felt extra fancy due to wearing a dress all day long! i have long been loving the t-shirt dress trend and have been eyeballing all of the options on but really can't justify purchasing anything over $20 (and that is pushing the dollar limit). however, in comes target, land of the reasonably priced and the almost identical items! so found this dress for a much less expensive price tag and am very, very happy! the stripes counteract all of the stereotypical effects of stripes and actually are very flattering. y'all should go buy this, now!

Monday, September 12, 2011

the jacket

well, after three days of clouds, rain and thunderstorms in the foothills, i was fully and gladly prepared for the fall weather to be here. yet when i woke up this morning in santa cruz, summer had decided to finally show up. i think living on the coast again and not experiencing a full summer like i have for so many years before, i am eager for the autumn to come even sooner than i usually am.

the fashion this fall has been heavy on the extra decor and the jackets that have been coming down the runways are no exception. usually i lean toward the basic and streamlined looks, especially if i have to wear a certain item many days in a row (navy peacoats and black jackets for example) and for a whole season. yet something about the adornments have caught my attention and i can't seem to stop wanting them for myself.

balmain/isabel marant/marc jacobs/moschino/matthew williamson/alice+olivia
balmain fallshow

 my version of the embellished jacket: white, which is still a neutral so i feel a bit more comfortable, but silk patches and gold beading pinned to it make it more than ordinary and the cut is fantastic!

a sweet thing

since we live in a smaller apartment now, smells permeate the entire place - room to room. so when we have been gone for a three day weekend the entire place needs to be aired out and filled with fresh aromas as soon as possible. open windows, burning candles, and fresh baked cookies always make it better.

one of the guys at e's bike shop is leaving after today and going to school. as a farewell goody, i baked some nutella-choco-chip cookies. recipe found on pinterest but originally posted here: nutella chocolate chip cookies

butter & sugar - always the best start to anything delicious

nutella batter

end result :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011


i cannot believe that it is september!
where did that come in?
there are a lot of upcoming things with this month: school starts, mama's birthday, a(nother) friend's wedding, a visit from my heartmate b, there are less than 25 games left in the giant's season...etc. not to mention that hopefully summer will finally arrive (at least that is what i have been told) to santa cruz. so while i wait for all of these wonderful things to come my way, here are a few things that i have truly been loving lately...

i am really loving the menswear inspired watch trend. it has a little more "oomph" to it and it is really nice to not have to dig for my phone when i want to know the time.

yummy, ripe berries have been abundant! in other food news, i am very much obsessed with blt's with fakin' bacon! have you had this? it's, i dare say, even better than using real bacon!

bill owens photography
this particular image is from his "suburbia" collection and e and i were introduced to his work when we recently visited the san jose museum of art. i think his work is brilliant!
*image taken from scrapbook

searching for (and emailing off to my mama) fall decor ideas. i absolutely love that fall marks the beginning of the holiday season as far as decorating goes. yes, i am one of those that also starts shopping for christmas presents many many months in advance.