November 29, 2012

Gift Giving: Moms

'Tis the season to be jolly, and give, and give, and give.
I love picking out gifts for the ones I love. Dare I say it's even more fun than shopping for myself?
Having never been a fan of gift cards & their impersonal nature, I'm the kinda gal who takes her time to pick out something special for my special someone. In my book, it really is the thought that counts.
The thing is, it's not always easy finding the perfect little trinket to give away on Christmas.
Department stores are slammed with thoughtless (not to mention, overpriced) gift options, and the good stuff is like buried treasure. You've got to take the time to look for it.
In case anyone needs help picking out a goodie or two for Mom, here are some of my old-faithful options.

Pandora charms are great because they're sophisticated yet simple. If your mom doesn't have a Pandora bracelet yet, get her one! Stock it up with a few little beads. They've got plenty to choose from.




I mentioned my issue with gift cards, and if there were an exception to that rule, it'd be Day Spa gift cards. BUT, don't just give mom a piece of plastic that she can redeem. Offer to take her there, and maybe even spend time with her! It'll be like giving a little gift to yourself, also. 


You DIY gurus should definitely consider making something unique for the old young lady. Moms love handcrafted gifts, that's why they keep all our artwork from kindergarten. Above is a simple little mason jar, filled with Epsom salt, topped with a tealight and decorated with hemp and a silver key. It's supposed to look like a candle sitting in snow, but frankly, it's just darn cute. Pinterest is flooded with simple tutorials on how to design and create little things like this, so check em out.

Say hello to Le Photo Cube
My mom like gadgets. Anything technology related she'll probably be interested. Like many of us, she also has an iPhone, and like many of us... she likes to take pictures with it. In fact, she likes to take pictures when nobody else wants to. I suppose she's a sucker for memorable moments. In any case, If your mom likes new smart toys, has an iPhone, and takes lots of pictures, take a look at the Photo Cube. It's as simple as it looks, and it's really a neat idea. Nobody prints portraits anymore because they're always taken on our phones, but if we had a device that printed directly from the phone, well, we may stumble into a printed picture revival, maybe. Being the traditional lady that she is, my mother still has physical photo albums, and they'll be nice to look through in 10-15 years. So, hey, maybe it's worth looking into.

If you've got any awesome gift ideas for Mom, please share. I'm always looking to spoil that woman (wink).



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November 27, 2012

Fish Tacos

I've had the most particular cravings lately.
Sunday, after my Thanksgiving hankerings were satisfied, I couldn't rest until having a Turkey Burger from my favorite spot.
Every bite was better than the last.
Then, just a few hours later, I wanted a rice & grilled chicken skillet bowl. I had the rice & chicken, but I didn't have the peppers, onions, seasonings & other goodies to jazz it up.
By the time Monday rolled around, I was already dreaming about fish Tacos. So, I headed straight to the farmers market after leaving the office, and snatched up everything I needed.

Ingredients:
Small flour tortillas
1 head of raw spinach
1 Bell pepper
1 Cucumber
1 Onion (whichever kind you prefer)
1 Small tomato
1 Lemon
2 Tilapia fillets
Dash of hot sauce
Garden fresh salsa (store bought, not pictured)
Questo (store bought, not pictured)

Okay, so I cheated on the salsa & queso, but I was too hungry to make everything from scratch, and I only needed a couple spoonfuls of each.

Once everything is chopped & measured, it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare the tacos.
I grilled the fish, but tilapia bakes up quickly & easily, and that's always another option. In my case, I wanted the peppers & onions lightly grilled, too, so I just threw them in once the fish was almost done.
The oven did come in handy for warming the tortillas & melting the queso.


Throw everything on the tortilla as you'd like & dig in!
Apparently white wine goes best with fish and complements its light & buttery texture. However, I like my wines more full-bodied, no matter the meal. Thankfully, I had a bottle of my favorite red handy, and in my opinion, it paired perfectly.

&& Happy face below (have I ever mentioned I'm terrible at taking pictures of myself?)





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November 14, 2012

Catching Up

Theses days, I've been quite the little homemaker. In my opinion, whipping up a meal in your kitchen is simpler than stepping out to a different restaurant everyday. I know what I like, and I know just how to make it to my satisfaction. So, lately, that's what I've been doing, and while it's been great, the suppressed foodie deep inside me has been begging for some attention.

This weekend, I gave in by checking out a new spot, Yard House, and an old favorite, Noche. I didn't lug the DSLR along, so I've only got a few iPhone snapshots, and I hardly even caught those since I was more than ready to dig in when the food arrived.

Yard House was on Friday night's agenda, along with a trip to see Cirque Du Soleil. Cirque is pretty strict when it comes to photography during the show, so I don't have any pictures from the spectacle, but it was wickedly amazing - as was the food!

Yard House Turkey Burger & Fries
Noche on Sunday was everything I've ever needed it to be, and more. And more...

Fresh Tacos from Noche

Grilled Chicken Skewers (Noche)

Sunday morning was spent at Passion City. Starting the week off right!

Collage representing the strides we've made in regards to freedom & civil rights




A short & sweet post for a (too) short & sweet weekend.


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