Sunday, January 14, 2018

happy sunday...

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

tuesday {truth}

..10 things about me..

1.) I'm a very sensitive person... I wear my heart on my sleeve. I dwell and over think on how and why people could be mean or hurt people. I need to talk about the problem till it's resolved and all worked out.

2.) I love to cook... Creating new meals for my friends and little ones is so much fun for me. Plus, I feel that spending time in the kitchen is also very relaxing for me. Trying new foods always brings a smile to my face.

3.) I'm a divorced woman... Someone said the perfect thing, I never came from divorce and even wanted a divorce, but life happens and you must pick yourself up and move on. Plus, I feel everything happens for a reason!   

4.) I'm not a huge drinker... When I do I love the cold bubbles of a beer. Weird... haha I know! I love it! 

5.) Organization makes me very happy... Having everything in its proper place is beyond thrilling. I know having kids changes that, but it's not impossible. My brother says, I should start an organizing company. Hmmm not a bad idea. Clutter makes me crazy!

6.) I don't color my hair... I used to color my hair blond, but after I had Taylor the thought of going back and forth to get it done was draining. Plus, Taylor was strawberry blond so I decided I want people to think she was mine... Just kidding. I loved her hair so I decided why not and try it. So Yup, I'm a real redhead!

7.) I've gotten botox... My mom got it for me when I turned 40. Yes, I'm over 40 now... Yikes! I love it and it really has helped me with my Southern Cal sun lines on my forehead! I could see the difference in only 2 weeks from the very 1st time I got it!!!! I felt so much more confident! Just saying... Go get it you'll love it!   

8.) I will always travel with my kids... My children have huge meaningful conversations with me about everything {i'm so lucky}. No joke everything... The one thing that I started hearing in our conversations is that they were so sad being left out or left behind in travel adventures. After hearing their pain... I made a decision to never ever travel without them. They are my first priority in life. 2018 is going to be a huge travel year for us... I look forward to showing my kids the world! 

9.) I do not drink diet coke... About 5 1/2 years ago I started hearing that diet coke can cause Cancer, seizures and much more! Well, that's all I need to hear. My father at the time was dying of Cancer so I cut it out cold turkey. I have no desire to drink it ever again. I've tasted it here and there... But it's so gross to me now. 

10.) I l o v e manicures and pedicures... It's my de-stresser. When I've had a long and hard day I love to get a them. No joke I could get one everyday if I could. Hey a girl can dream {huge smile}.

Monday, January 8, 2018

monday {menu}

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk Cake
Yields: 20 servings

Be sure to use mini chocolate chips in the cake batter. They will disperse and suspend best; larger chocolate chips will sink to the bottom of the pan. Fine grain caster sugar is recommended for the boiled frosting as it dissolves easily. You can usually find this in the baking aisle at the grocery store, but if you’re coming up empty handed, you can make a close approximation at home. Place regular granulated sugar in a food processor and blend until fine. 

Cake layers
6 cups cake flour, sifted
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I like peanut oil)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
8 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
12 ounces mini chocolate chips

Chocolate chip cookie dough filling
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup mini chips

Boiled milk frosting and chips d├ęcor 
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
2 cups/1 lb unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 cup regular sized semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Optional Sweet Cream Syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
Coat three 9-inch baking pans with vegetable shortening or flour-based baking spray (I like Baker’s Joy) and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. 
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Beat the butter, oil and granulated sugar together in a separate large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the flour and buttermilk alternately with the mixer on low speed; begin and end with the flour. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Gently fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed in the centers. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire cooling racks to cool completely. Level the tops of the cooled cakes with a large serrated knife or a cake leveler.

Optional: Make the sweet cream syrup. In a saucepan combine the sugar and cream. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is steaming but not boiling and the sugar is melted. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the vanilla. Use this syrup to brush the cake layers for extra moisture.

Make the filling: Beat the brown sugar and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Add cream a little at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency (you may not have to use all of the cream). Fold in chocolate chips. Place a cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Cover the layer with half of the cookie dough frosting and top with a second cake layer. Cover the second layer with the remaining frosting. Place the remaining cake layer on top.

Make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup of milk until smooth. Set over medium-high heat and let cook for 3 minutes, or until slightly hot. Whisk in remaining milk and salt. Whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of unset pudding (this can take up to 10 minutes). Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Place in the refrigerator until cool. When cool, mixture will be thick like custard.
In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one) beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. Beat in cooled flour mixture one tablespoon at a time on medium-high speed. When all the flour mixture is added beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Rub a little frosting between your fingers, if sugar granules remain, beat for 4 more minutes, or until granules cannot be detected with fingers. 

Decorate: Frost the entire cake with the milk frosting in an even layer; transfer leftover frosting to a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe swirls or stars around the top edge of the cake. Use regular-size chocolate chips to decorate the outside of the cake. Place chips in staggered lines around the outside edge, beginning at the top and working your way down. Decorate the top edge of the cake with the mini chips.

Serve cake slices at room temperature. Store the cake covered in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving

Sunday, January 7, 2018

happy sunday...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

lamp shade love

Recently I've become slightly "obsessed" with custom fabric lampshades... Pleated/gathered ones to be exact!  Everywhere I look I notice them. In master bedrooms and bathrooms,  on sconces, in hotels, pinterest, instagram and even in magazines.  So many places that I can't get them off my mind. Of course I had the most amazing lady up in Los Angles that could and would create beautiful lampshades for me. The moment you walked into her workroom you felt like you were blasted back in time. It was old and beyond dated. No joke you could barely walk in. You looked to the right and old lamps stared at you... You looked to the left and more lamps stared at you. As you looked up she had rows and rows of lampshade forms hanging. Crazy! She sat in the back of the workroom with purchase orders and receipts piled a mile high all around her. Didn't bother her at all. She would welcome you with open arms... Loved that! She was beyond talented and had a thriving business. Truthfully, I couldn't even tell you how my mom found her. No clue! Well... She retired and We have never found anyone like her again. Her quality and vision were beyond priceless. So I guess you all figured what I'm on the hunt for... A new custom lamp shade person. I might have found one... So keep your fingers crossed for me! 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

tuesday {truth}

So about 5 years ago a woman came into the rustic rooster store front and told me about a series of motivational CD's that I should listen to. I smiled graciously and said, Oh thank you so very much {did an internal laugh}... I definitely should get them. Thanks!  Then as she left I went back to what I was doing and completely forgot about those CD's... Until one weekend when my daughter had a soccer tournament... I was very botherd on my drive to the game and couldn't find peace. Then I found myself wondering into Barns and Noble during our break before the next game and asking the sales lady for the CD's. As I got into my car after the tournament I was eager to start listen to them. I did!  As I drove I concentrated on every word that the woman was saying. I was hoping for a miracle {wink}. A transformation within my mind and attitude... I wanted it right then and there! Man that was very tiering. So to be honest with you for about a week or so later I really tried to listen to the CD's in hope of a change within me. Then one day I noticed my kids took the CD out and put in something different. Hmmmm I wonder if it was a sign {haha}. So about 3 years went by and I completly forgot about the CDs. No joke It never crossed my mind again to listen to them. Then one day I noticed my sunglasses my ex husband bought me for mothers day were missing. I searched high and low in my car... Questioned my children and then tried one more space... The side pocket of my door. Nope... No sunglesses to be found. Except the CD's. Hmmm Was it a sign {wink}? Ok you guessed what I did next... Took the CD out of the case and started back again. I listened! But this time I really listened. I was intrigued. I understood. I could feel her words go through my body and settle in my brain. Obviously, I was craving change in my life {again} right at that moment. To be clear I had gone through so much change in my life that I wasn't looking for more change... I was looking for more of a personality and mind shift. I needed to think differently, accept, forgive, be positive in negative situations and love life to the fullest. Take time to love my surroundings and slow down.   Oh my gosh... I started my transformation that day. No joke it started... Was it a sign that my sunglasses from my past were stolen? I kind of believe that it was. New start... New beginning. I will never really know that answer, but what I do know is,  I had to look to find my sunglasses to find the CD which has brought me to a place in my life that I'm above and beyond loving. When we need something in life because pain has flooded us... We crave change and we seek out peace. Totally normal. I'm the first to say that I've gone through a very rough road... But I'm the first to say that I have made a choice to make my next chapter in my life amazing. If I sit and complain about everything where is it going to get me?! So the minute all my pain started was the minute I choose to make a better life for me and my little ones. Listen... This is so important, You all have a choice in life! So if you make a mistake... That was your choice no one else's! So moving on, I needed to think and act differently. Oh boy it was an interesting road... I'm still on that interesting {learning} road, but I love it!  It's funny because I now watch and listen to people more intensely. I observe my surroundings. I heard a little kid in Target the other day, say mommy I'm wearing a blue T-Shirt can I get a blue slurpie, so If I spill It won't show. Love this! I notice people on their cell phones in public places so much. No conversations with their loved ones. Nothing! I see birds and blue skies which fill me up with happiness... If someone does something to me, I sit back and say, hmmm I don't know what's going on in their lives so I'm going to back off and not take it personally. That moment really isn't about me at all... They are projecting their insecurities on me so they can feel better about themselves. I will admit that's so hard for me because I'm a very sensitive person and I want to help everyone. So it always cuts deep then I stand up and realize that it isn't about me!!! Shhh I do need a few moments to myself to vent and then I release the negativity! I'm thankful for my life now. I'm thankful for my job... I love where I'm going. Things are changing for me in so many ways... Doors are opening and I'm meeting new and exciting people I haven't even thought I would meet before and i'm going places and doing things I never thought I would go or do! Being thankful for what you have is so important. Realizing that you have more than other people can truly change your world. I've never once thought I wasn't blessed, but you start taking for granted things. Look where you sleep... Look at the food you eat... Look at your family... Once you stop and actually l o o k you will understand what I'm talking about. I was invited into this woman group coincidentally after I started listening to the CD's. OMG these woman were crazy smart and extremely successful... No joke I was beyond intimidated and scared to go. But I put my big girl pants on and said, hey you're amazing they invited you for a reason! Hands down that was the best group I have ever been too. I cried in my car when it was over. These woman knew me. Me... Little old me?!?! As one was just about to publish a  cookbook, another was getting ready to jetset to Europe for her high-powered job... Another was starting up a new business and then their was me. They knew little old designer me. The funny thing was all these woman had the same issues and we all connected with the number 3 and 4. Each one of us hit road blocks in our lives {marriage, work, children, life, love... etc} the same time as I did. Each one of us found peace. Right at that point I knew I was walking forward and not looking backwards. Someone once told me I was looking in the rearview mirror of life... Well, guess what that's completely untrue Looking forward is pretty bright... and I love my new sunglasses! Make a list... Start checking thing off and remember life knows how to handle those who make bad choices and those who make good ones. You don't have to prove to people what your worth... Be you and be the best that you can be.  Talk to people how you would want someone to talk to you! So basically the reason for my post today is... If your stuck in life... Sit and make a list. What do you want to do? When do you want to do? Why are you angry? Why are you not letting go? My list has a lot of cleaning and eliminating on it... Start fresh and new. I have a storage unit that was filed with stuff that reminded me of my past so I've cleansed it... and organized what I want to go forward with! This excites me so much. I feel happier when I eliminate... Call me crazy, but I feel like I go forward more smoothly. So right now you all would be so proud of me because of these steps forward and changes I've made. My courtyard is almost clean and my storage unit is almost organized. Haha I love it!  

Those 4 years were the longest 4 years of my life. Now I look back and say oh my gosh that went by so fast! I believe that's a very very good thing... {HUGE SMILE}!

For those of you who want to know what CD's I  listened to... Well,  Here it is {they're a series}...

Monday, January 1, 2018


Have you made your 2018 new years resolutions yet? I sure did! Of course I wrote down the usual {the general must}... 

1.) Organize {all drawers/closets in my house}
2.) Read more books {1st complete the ones on my nightstand}
3.) Take cooking classes {cook things I never thought I would or could cook}
4.) Be kind to all {smile and help others each day}
5.) Eat healthier {cut as many carbs out as I can}
6.) Save more money {stash as much away as I can}
7.) Travel more {go to places I've never been before}
8.) Try new things {do things I never thought I would do}
9.) Shower my kids with affection {kiss, hug and tell them I'm so thankful for them}
10.) Eliminate {cleanse of all unwanted things}
11.) Exercise {push myself harder}
12.) Journal {get it all out on paper... For me to visual see}

But this year I've added a few N E W things to my usual musts...

- Sign up for Meals on Wheels {already did}
- Sign up with my kids for Feed America

- Want to learn 
{you should always be knowledgeable and prepared in case of an emergency}

- I want to run a 1/2 marathon

- Pay my car off in 2 years

I hope you all have a fabulous new year!  Hello 2018... Lets do this! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

happy sunday...

Monday, November 27, 2017

monday {menu}

  • Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken Breasts
  • {recipe here}

  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 × 12-inch baking dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

happy sunday...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

happy thanksgiving

I know I say this often, but I truly am blessed and beyond thankful for what I have been given in my life. I count my blessings every night before I go to bed and say thank you! No joke I do this... I even journal when I wake up to give thanks. Its my way of closing out a possible rough day with my kids or even with my work and starting my day fresh and full with gratitude. Trust me when I say  I have definitely had my challenges and set backs in my life... Oh man If some of you only new. That's dinner and drinks one day {lol}. But I chose to go forward stronger and more positive in my life. We all have a choice and it's how we act on those choices. Break down the bad and take them as lessons. Yes, when the storm hits, it hurts so bad! But breath and realize God only gives us what we can handle and we are being taught something in that moment. Good old lessons! You need to start working on you. When you change... Everything else around you changes. Please don't think mistakes are bad and you shouldn't be around people who make them... You should definitely be around those people So you see what to do and what not to do. Remember this, Good things come to good people... So be good! I saw something cute on Instagram that was pretty fun...  It said, fill in the blank about "yourself"

I am___________________________!!! 

Fill in the blank over and over again till you have a smile from ear to ear. You'll feel and shine with so much happiness! I promise!  

H A P P Y 
from my 
little turkeys 
to yours! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

f a m i l y

When I look at this home it screams F A M I L Y to me. I can picture  someone  standing outside yelling... "Dinner's ready and whistling for the dog to come in as well." All the memories I had growing up... Well, my mom actually did a whistle five times with her hand {It was amazing... Now that I'm 42 I can finally do it}.We said our good byes and started running! Times were definitely different back then. Families were cherished, respect was high and kids were more free to play!  Unfortunately, times have changed... But guess what that doesn't mean you have to change with the times. Nope! I'll design the classics, teach my kids to say please and thank you and try my hardest to let my kids be kids. I met with a new design client the other day and we had the most fabulous conversation... I swear I feel people are placed in our lives for a reason. We can either accept things or ignore them... Well, time passed by so freely without a care in the world and our conversation was so meaningful. Once I got in my car I literally said wow, she's so right. Lessons are presented to us for a reason. I love that!  Do you feel people are placed in our lives for a reason... To teach us lessons and help us grow? Hmmmm Makes you think! What do you think? But, before I go, How amazing is this house... I love every inch of it. It's perfect in my eyes!!! I do think I was meant to live on the east coast. One day... I do believe {wink}!

Monday, November 20, 2017

monday {menu}

churros with chocolate espresso sauce

  • 250ml water
  • 100g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2T sugar
  • 125g bread flour 
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup castor sugar
  • 3t cinnamon
  • oil for frying
chocolate espresso sauce
  • 150g good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids
  • 125ml cream
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 60ml espresso
In a medium pot bring the water, butter, salt and two tablespoons of sugar to the boil.
Once boiling, add the flour and mix vigorously to make a roux. Set aside and allow to cool.
Beat 3 eggs and then add this to the roux and continue to beat. Use an electric mixer for this. You will now have a nice thick paste.
Heat the oil in the Breville Quick fry to 190C. You can drop a little batter in to test if it’s ready.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a big nozzle and carefully pipe long strips of batter directly into the oil, cutting off the ends with a knife when long enough. It will immediately start bubbling. Be careful not to over crowd the pan, and fry a maximum of 3 at a time. Turn the churros over when they are brown on the one side and continue to cook the other side until golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Mix the cinnamon and castor sugar together and toss the churros in this while they are still warm. Use tongs if necessary.
To make the sauce, put all the ingredients except the espresso in a double boiler and melt together. Once it is a nice glossy consistency, add the freshly made espresso, stir and serve.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

happy sunday...

Monday, November 6, 2017

monday {menu}

  • B A R E F O O T   C O N T E S S A
  • ..bolognese..

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1¼ cups dry red wine, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.
While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

happy sunday...

Saturday, November 4, 2017

saturday wishes

Let's make wish! Ok everyone close your eyes and count to t h r e e. They say,  if you think and dream it... It will come! I'm closing my eyes right now and putting my dreams out in the universe. How beautiful are all of these images. So romantic and classic if I do say so myself. What are your dreams? Have you put them out in  the universe! Try it! You never know what might happen {wink}. One, Two, Three... Make your Saturday wish!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

happy halloween

Monday, October 30, 2017

monday {menu}

S P O O K Y  B O O 

I N G R E D I E N T S  

box {1 lb 6.25 oz} Betty Crocker™ Supreme original brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box 
1 1/4
cups Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting {from 16-oz container}
large marshmallows 
Betty Crocker™ black decorating gel {from 0.68-oz tube}

  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F {325°F for dark or nonstick pan}. Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make brownies as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch square pan. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from pan by lifting foil; peel foil away. For brownies, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.
  • 2
    Heat frosting in microwavable bowl uncovered on High 30 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds, until frosting can be stirred smooth and fluid. If frosting becomes too firm while decorating, microwave 5 seconds; stir.
  • 3
    Top each brownie with 1 large marshmallow. Spoon 1 tablespoon frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Let stand until frosting is set, about 30 minutes. Use black gel to make eyes and mouths.

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