thumbprint necklace

I wanted to take some time and share something a bit more personal today.  If you've seen any of my outfits posts, you'll notice I'm wearing the same necklace in all of them.  I wear this same necklace almost every single day. Not only do I think its delicate and pretty, but there's a story behind it.

 The week my mom passed away, my family, along with some friends who essentially are family, visited the funeral home which was making the arrangements for the service.  After going over the program and what we wanted the service to be like, the director told us about a line of jewelry they do to commemorate your late loved one.  At first I was furious that he was trying to sell us something during this time of distress, but when he began describing what these pieces entail I knew I had to have one.

On the front is a replica of my mom's actual thumbprint.
 The back is engraved with "the baby loves the momma."  This is reversed from "the momma loves the baby," in which my mom used to say to me all the time.  It took a while for me to choose what I wanted the necklace to say--I didn't want it too emotional to the point of making me consistently sad, but rather something to make me smile and remember how special she was to me.
As you can see...I clearly forgot to get this cleaned before taking these photos...oops. I know my mom wouldn't approve of that!
[anthropologie shawl {borrowed from grace}, gap t-shirt, michael kors watch, bracelets: david yurman, cc skye, sunglasses purchased from a santa monica farmers market]
It should come as no surprise that I miss my mom every single day.  I love finding and having little things to celebrate her life and the amazing person she was.  And man did she love jewelry. And shoes. And basically everything I discuss on this blog. I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree--and I wouldn't have it any other way.


layering fever

[sweater, leather jacket, & faux fur vest c/o target, gifted skinny jeans {i can't remember the brand, it's canadian i believe}, wedge booties c/o buffalo exchange, michael kors rose gold watch, david yurman bracelet, brandy melville bow ring, hobo leather clutch, aviators purchased from santa monica farmers market]

People constantly lie about L.A. weather.  If anyone has ever told you it's 75 degrees all year, they are lying to you.  Most days are relatively warm, but at night the temperature is known to drop some 20 degrees (even in the middle of summer, and especially if you live near the water like I do). So I have learned to layer, layer, layer--especially this time of year when the weather is so unpredictable.

I wore this to a work event last week.  I love how comfortable, warm, and casual I was, yet the outfit still felt appropriate to wear to a function.  Comfort always wins in my book.  More importantly, all these layers concealed the mass amounts of food I consumed prior to said event...obviously, my priorities are in order.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Despite what I said above, it's actually about 80 degrees here this weekend so if you need me, I'll be at the beach. Don't worry, I'll take pictures.


perfect roast chicken

If you're looking to impress someone with your cooking skills, this recipe from Barefoot Contessa will do the trick. 

My roomates' friend Elizabeth, who I am now happy to call my friend as well, came over last night and made us this perfect roast chicken.  And by perfect, I do mean perfect in every sense of the word.  The chicken was juicy and tender, and the vegetables added a punch of flavor that was essentially indescribable.
image via my madison bistro
- 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
- salt and pepper
-1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
-1 lemon, halved
-1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
-2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
-1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
-4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
-1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
-olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 425.

2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken (full disclosure: we had no kitchen string in our house, so we had to use dental floss--don't worry, it wasn't the mint kind). Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme (removing the thyme from the sprigs), and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

3. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh (note: Elizabeth also suggests shaking the chicken's hand--if it cooperates, it's most likely done, if it's stiff then it needs more time). Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

I'm hoping to try it out on my own sometime soon...I'll be sure to report back because I can only imagine how that experience will go. But I am making it my mission to put this bad boy on my kitchen table one day in perfect condition. And my future children better love it, or else.

Bon appetit!


adventure in the kitchen

I absolutely love to cook, but I often tend to make the same things over and over (enchiladas, anyone?). But every now and then I really break out of my box and make something a little crazy, untraditional.  It's a rarity but it's always an adventure.  Last week my friend Jasmine and I made roasted grapes, thyme, and ricotta cheese on grilled flatbread.  It may have been the best combination ever.

I thought this was such a fun twist on bruschetta! This is the perfect thing to make when having friends over for wine and bad reality TV. Oh...you don't do that? Well, your loss.

Jasmine and I wanted this for our dinner, so she made a hearty salad to go with it.  I found the recipe here.  

- Grapes (use red seedless)
- Good rustic bread, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
- Olive oil
- Ricotta cheese
- Fresh Thyme


1. Preheat oven to 450. Spread grapes onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Lay thyme leaves over top. Toss all together gently with your hands. Place pan in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until grapes just begin to burst.  Keep an eye on them throughout--it's nice when some of the grapes remain in tact.

2. Meanwhile, heat a rill or grill pan to medium-high. Brush the bread with olive oil. Grill until nice and toasty.

3. Assemble the open-faced sandwiches: spread fresh ricotta over bread. Top with roasted grapes. Discard the thyme sprigs (while the thyme sprigs look pretty, it's a little impractical to serve the sandwiches with them...they don't taste so yummy).

Enjoy your new kitchen adventure!


playing pretend

[gap v-neck, target leather jacket, zara maxi skirt, booties c/o buffalo exchange, david yurman bracelet, michael kors watch, ring c/o jewels by the sea in san diego, polo ralph lauren glasses, opi nail polish in bubble bath] 

It may be January, but it felt like spring last week in Southern California. I picked up this coral maxi skirt from Zara last year and rush to put it on anytime the temperature rises above 70.  Luckily for me, that happens pretty frequently. So even though this is more of a spring/summer skirt, I decided to wear it in January anyway.

I know, I'm very rebellious.


the simple things

Sometimes you just have those difficult days. It could be for one big reason, or a reason you can't quite explain, or several little reasons piling up.  Regardless of why these days happen, the fact is they do happen. As unfortunate as they are, when I have those days I tend to find comfort in the small, simple things.

Things I should really find comfort in all the time. And learn to appreciate more.
pelican watching
la jolla, california
broken arrow, oklahoma
rocky, my hike-loving pup
crested butte, colorado
an organized closet
a home-cooked breakfast


out and about

I don't know about the rest of you, but for me this week has been dragging on and also somehow been crazy busy.  I'm unsure how that can happen, but apparently it can! I still have several things in the works to share but for now I wanted to provide some internet inspiration.

image via could i have that
It's Friday, and I think these cocktails are just what the doctor ordered for my friends and I. The recipe for these beautiful cocktails can be found here.
image via wit + delight
Speaking of friends, how fun is this picture? This reminds me of college when Oklahoma weather forced us to hide from tornadoes in bathtubs...granted, our attire wasn't quite like this (oh, the days of Nike shorts and North Face jackets)...
image via food coma
Okay, I'm going to be honest here and say that I am not much for the DIY craze that's currently sweeping the blog community.  I tend to be a little lazy and would rather someone more creative than myself make my jewelry, clothes, etc.  But this chalkboard cheese platter is a DIY I can get on-board with. Mostly because I love cheese. And labeling things. But mostly cheese.
image via cup of jo
This feature gives me the craving for both traveling and shoe shopping...at the same time, preferably. I also find it incredibly useful since I tend to have an over-packing problem, specifically because I just can't cut down the amount of shoes I bring with me on trips. I also love this post about plane picnics.
image via wit + delight
I fully intend to cook something of this caliber this weekend. Get in my belly, you delicious breakfast.

These cinemagraphs blow me away. All of these gorgeous moving photos are shot in Malibu, too!
Everyone have an amazing weekend!


coffee date

[alternative apparel shirt,h&m blazer,bdg jeans,nine west booties {last seen here},janie bryant mod bag,cc skye blossom ring, bracelets: lia sophia {gifted}, david yurman, michael kors rose gold watch, nail polish: opi merry midnight]

I wore this outfit to work last week and on a little lunchtime coffee date with my lovely roomate Lisa. When I asked her to snap some photos for me, she took so many great ones and we just had a blast with it! I love how comfortable and versatile this outfit is--it can take me from work to coffee to dinner with friends. There is such a great balance of comfort and chicness, which in my opinion is basically the greatest combo there is! I wear variations of this outfit often.

My wonderful boyfriend bought me this Michael Kors watch for Christmas! I was so excited--it's exactly what I'd wanted.

And if you're wondering where my coffee is from--it's a chai tea latte from Clementine.  This is one of my favorite spots for coffee and baked goods...seriously, their brownies are severely addicting.
Everyone take a minute to treat yourself and enjoy the week!


baked chicken (or beef) enchiladas

I could eat Mexican food every single day of my life.  It's easily my favorite type of food, and its simplicity makes Mexican my favorite kind to cook as well.  I've definitely made my fair share of queso and quesadillas, but these enchiladas are my favorite to make.  But I tend to use the largest tortillas I can get my hands on, so I guess you could classify these as burritos if you wanted to.  

Either way, they're delicious. 

Here's what you'll need to create your own:

1 pkg flour tortillas
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast or lean ground beef (I've made these both ways)
2 cans enchilada sauce (I prefer medium--it gives a nice little kick)
2 cans chopped green chiles
1 pkg shredded mexican-blend cheese
A few dollops sour cream

 Chop chicken into small cubes, trimming the fat, and place pieces into a non-stick skillet. For ground beef, just take the packaging off and put the meat immediately into a skillet.  Cook thoroughly on 350 degrees.  Once the meat is cooked through (about 10 minutes), turn the heat down to warm.
 Pour enchilada sauce over the cooked chicken or beef, stirring until all the pieces are coated.  Next add a few large dollops of sour cream, again stirring until the meat is coated.  Then add the green chiles (note: make sure you drain the juice out).  The amount you use depends on how much spice you like--the more chiles you add, the more spice the enchiladas will have.  You can omit them completely if you'd like, although I think they kick the flavor up a couple notches. Now sprinkle cheese on top of the mixture, stirring it in, and topping with more cheese.
 Keeping the concoction on warm, begin spreading sour cream on the tortillas.  This is also a good time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the baking pan.  You could use non-stick spray for this of course, or more sour cream if you love it like I do.
 Fill the tortillas with the meat, sauce, cheese, and chiles, and wrap up as tightly as possible.  This is where I usually open up the second can of enchilada sauce, and pour some over the enchiladas.  Top with cheese, and then more enchilada sauce and more cheese!
 Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (depending on how good your oven is).  Since everything is already cooked, this just seals in the flavor and melts the cheese.

Now comes the best part--eating them! These babies are incredibly filling and flavorful, and as much as I enjoy making them for my friends and family (I was able to cook these for my Momma a couple times), I enjoy eating them even more.