Saturday, December 31, 2011

DIY Manzanita Centerpieces and Wood Table Numbers

Hello blog world. Its's been awhile since I've posted. We've been busy with the holidays and moving to our new house (also pictures of that to come). I've been meaning to post some of the DIY projects and details from our wedding . . . so here's the first!

Doing a wedding on a limited budget definitely had it's challenges, but we had fun getting creative and using the things we had access to. And what we had access to was a lake and forest (and lots of helpful friends). For our centerpieces we cut 35 manzanita branches from behind my house (free, except for the scars from traipsing through the forest), set them in flower pots from Lowes (less than $2 each) and held them in with concrete ($40ish). We found the tea light lanterns online for $2.75. The table numbers (the date of our wedding shown below) were made from wood from my in-law's firewood pile. We sliced them, drilled holes, twisted copper wire from Home Depot in them, and used a stencil and a sharpie to color in the numbers. Easy! And lastly we covered the top of the concrete with bark.

We are selling the manzanita pots for $15 each in case you're interested. They make great jewelry trees if you trim them a bit. I think we have 18 left. Local pick up only (or you pay shipping). The wood numbers are also for sale individually. Let me know if you're interested or if you have any questions on more of the specifics on our projects!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Biscotti

Here is a little twist on my usual chocolate biscotti recipe. (Oh! And in interesting biscotti news, I will be making my biggest batch of biscotti ever next month, when I'll make a couple hundred pieces and several flavors, for a co-workers fall-themed wedding. I can't wait!) Back to the main point . . . I had a bag of coconut shavings in the cupboard, so I googled "how to toast coconut" and it turned out to be quite simple!

Preheat oven to 350. Place coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Heat the flakes for a few minutes (I found that I needed to use a spatula to keep them rotating on the sheet). Let them cool.

After I toasted the coconut, I melted regular chocolate chips, and then dipped the biscotti in the chocolate . . . then in coconut. They are quite yummy if I do say so myself (especially with a non-sweet coffee!)

Let me know if you want the biscotti recipe and I'll send it your way!

Let the Fall Baking Begin!!

Wow, it's been way too long since I've blogged. I guess in the craziness of planing a wedding and working full time, blogging was something that got put on the back burner. Now that life is settling into a new normal, I'm just as excited about fall baking as I am about blogging again.

There will be lots of upcoming blogs from me about many of the details and do-it-yourself projects from our wedding. So stay tuned! But in the meantime, here was the kick-off to my fall baking. Mini pumpkin muffins with apple-pears. I think apple-pears (which is a cross between an apple and a pear) are only a thing of Central California. But they sure are tasty and they added the perfect flavor to these muffins.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Downtown Engagement Shoot

Better late than never . . . but as promised in an earlier post, here are a few of our engagement photos. These were all taken in downtown Whittier, CA several months ago. Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Fiance's The Best!

He surprised me this week with new seating for my fire pit. I love it!
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It's Been Awhile . . .

Sorry readers . . . life has been crazy busy lately and the fun things like blogging are the first that get left behind. So I'm going to quickly catch up on a few posts.

Here's the first. I haven't shown you any of my recent latte art, so here's one of the better ones from this week.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ready for Summer

This weekend I decided to rake my yard for the first time since I've lived in my house (2 years). It is now ready for many summer nights of fires and smores!


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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wedding Lesson #2: Have Good Friends

Ok, ok . . . here's a sneak peak of our engagement photos. We will post the rest after our save the dates are mailed , but I couldn't resist sharing at least one.

These were taken by our wonderful friend, Karley Mase. Check out his stuff at Having wonderful and talented friends has been incredibly helpful in the wedding planning process. We have friends helping with cooking, design, and pretty much everything!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wedding Lesson #1: Use what you have

Using what I have access to has already been the biggest money saver in planning our wedding. The price of wedding venues is through the roof . . . often costing more than the entire budget I have. They (whoever they are) say that a venue may be up to 50% of your budget. I say no, that I'd rather have it be 0% of my budget. So that's what we did.

I may not have a lot of things for a wedding, but I have a lake. One of the perks of being on staff at the camp where my fiance and I work, is that we have the option to have a wedding on the grounds. At $0, that was an easy decision for us. It's free, it's beautiful, it's our home and we get discounts on lodging for our guests. It's perfect.

Wedding on a Budget

To my faithful blog readers . . . .

I have decided to add another category to my blog over these next few months. With my wedding being 4 months away, I figured it would be fun to share my process of planning a DIY wedding with a budget of $5,500. I love the challenge of putting on a great event and figuring out the most efficient and budget friendly way to do it. I will be totally open about finances and ways that I'm saving (or losing) money. Hopefully you'll find my journey entertaining, inspiring and helpful.

I will probably keep some of my projects a secret and then post them after the wedding. At least some things need to be a surprise for our guests!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meet My Dance Company

Check it out! After 2 1/2 sad years of no dancing for me, I'm now not only dancing, but teaching. This is my dance company along with my co-director Charles (pictured center). We've been working with these high schoolers since October and have been teaching them hip hop, and some other dance stuff. Their big showcase, called Play it Loud is this Thursday. We can't wait to show them off!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hume Apparel Logo

With today's morning coconut cappuccino . . . I kind of ended up with the Hume Apparel logo. Kind of. I may try to work on that one ;-)
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Friday, April 15, 2011

The Corner Office

No, my job hasn't changed . . . but I did get to move offices, and now I am enjoying the only office here that has a view of the lake :-) I gotta say, it's nice to finally have an office with a window and a door. I feel like I'm moving up in the word. Key word: feel.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Pretty Places

This was quite the transition in climates over the last couple of days.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

14,531 Feet . . .

. . . that's how far I fell through the sky today. Never in a million years did I ever think I would go sky diving. But I decided to not pass up the opportunity, and I'm so glad I didn't! It was awesome. And I didn't even feel like I was falling. It was quite the experience. I would highly recommend it. And seeing the North Shore of Oahu from 3 miles above the ground was something I'll never forget.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Improving . . .

Here's a few of my recent coffee drinks. I think my latte art is getting better! At least it's beginning to be more consistent. I should probably start adding some other designs to my repertoire though. You don't want to see a hundred pictures of leaves from me. Anyone know how to make anything else?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ziplines and Tea

A couple of weekends ago, while in the Santa Cruz/Mt. Hermon area for my friends Dave and Keri's wedding . . . we spent a morning doing a zipline tour through the redwoods and then they took the wedding party and treated us to an afternoon of tea tasting and yummy food at Asana. It's this cool tea house and restaurant that has awesome loose leaf tea. We had such a fun time getting to know the rest of the wedding party and their significant others, and it was a great treat to spend time with Dave and Keri instead of just doing crazy wedding stuff.

The teas were so yummy and the food was just as tasty. My favorite of the teas that we tried was a white coconut tea. Had I had my wallet with me, I probably would of have bought some on the spot. If you're ever in Santa Cruz, you've got to check out this place.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cinnamon Honey Cappuccino

Today this home barista tried something new. This was my version of a cappuccino made with cinnamon and honey. The honey was placed in the bottom of the cup so that the espresso melted it. And the cinnamon was just on top . . . then I gave it all a little stir to get the nice swirly pattern. I think this one's a keeper!