Winter Nostalgia

When we first decided to move to Virginia from California (and Texas before that) back in 2010, I couldn't have been more excited. For the first time in my life I was going to experience seasons. I was going to live in a place where the snow came to me (as opposed to a 2.5 hour drive to see the man-made stuff). I would wear sweaters, and scarves, and hats, and mittens. When I put on boots in December, I wouldn't sweat and I could finally purchase that gorgeous peacoat that I couldn't justify with our 70-degree SoCal Christmases. Shortly after our move I learned that I am, in fact, not a lover of all seasons. I have a particular issue with the one that lands between Fall and Spring. The snow never arrives at convenient times and that beautiful white blanket quickly turns into cold mud and ice causing all manner of road blocks and accidents (one time it took my coworker over 8 hours to drive the 15 miles home!). That said, since we have moved back to Texas (and now California), I find my nostalgia for seasons returning. It is November and I am sitting here in shorts typing this after staring at a wardrobe of beautiful sweaters, fun hats, cute mittens, and a plethora of scarves repeating my daily wish for at least a hint of winter (or Fall, I'll take Fall!) so I can bundle up in hats (like the white one in this post).
Joules Wellies

With the prediction of El Nino, I decided to get ahead of the mad rush to purchase rain boots and grab a pair of the fantastically adorable Joules Wellies. I bought them on Amazon, but you can find them on sale here.

Come on El Nino, bring us some rain - so I can wear my new Wellies - and toss in some of that cooler weather while you're at it! The warm Santa Ana winds are just not cutting it. Thanks in advance Mother Nature!

Sunday Mornings

Cranberry Orange Scones_Plated

Cranberry orange scones

Breakfast in our home usually consists of a bowl of cheerios, some yogurt, or toast with peanut butter washed down with a glass of O.J., a cup of coffee, or a serving of milk. On really awesome days, we might have a package of instant oatmeal or toss in some granola with the yogurt. Then it is out the door and off to work, the gym, or daycare. Monday through Friday maintains this same basic pattern and it works to get us all out the door on time usually with a smile and kiss to boot! Saturday mornings are a slightly more drawn out version of this same pattern, but the meals remain the same: yogurt, O.J., cereal, and milk....

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5 Things: September 17

5 Things_Intro Image_larger ONE: A/C You know those in-window a/c units? The ones that are designed to be used with windows that open / close vertically? I've always thought they were so unattractive and bulky; definitely not something I had any intention of using in my home. Well, the recent Texas-style weather we've been experiencing in SoCal has me singing a different tune. Our hot and humid master bedroom was the coolest place in the house so the hubby and I shared it with our furnace of a dog and our human torch son. Nobody got any sleep. So, when we stumbled into ownership of one of these ugly window a/c units I nearly hugged the beast. For the next few days, we moved it from the living room in the morning to the bedroom in the afternoon basking in the cool relief it provided. Talk about a fantastic night's sleep. It doesn't fit pefectly in our windows though, so a little jimmy-rigging on the part of the hubby led to this super classy get up. It may be ugly, but this is one happy mama (just don't show me the electric bill for the month!). Window AC TWO: ALMA MATER & A FANTASTIC SPEAKER On Tuesday, the hubby watched the little man in the evening so I could see Nolan Bushnell speak at my alma mater (Loyola Marymount University) as part of the Hilton Distinguished Entrepreneur Lecture Series. Nolan immediately connected to the audience with his humor, honesty, and story-telling. The father of the video game industry, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, and tech inventor, he had no shortage of interesting and inspiring stories of success and failure. The target audience of undergraduate entrepreneurship majors responded to his lecture with cheers and applause more akin to a sporting event; they were obviously impressed - and so was I. THREE: RAIN Self-explanatory. Of course, it would rain on the day the hubby and I had scheduled for moving a bunch of stuff to our new place, but I'll take it. We have one more big day of moving planned hoping for rain on all days except that one. Did anyone else notice how clear and fresh the air has been since the rain blew through? Cloudy & Rain FOUR: TASTE OF FALL The cool down of the last couple evenings gave us L.A. residents a taste of the fall to come. I couldn't be more excited! I love summer - the heat, the sun, the long days, the early rising of the sun - but, I am ready for butternut squash, chili, boots, scarves, sweaters, hot cocoa, and evenings curled up by the fire with a great book and a cup of hot tea.
Vanilla Soy Latte_Insta

This homemade latte screams fall and I can't wait to curl up with one soon.

FIVE: THE POOL The heat has brought a whole host of problems to the residents of SoCal and beyond, but looking at the positive side, a huge benefit of it has been the ability to jump in the pool and not be freezing despite less than ideal water temperatures. The little man has finally overcome the "pool phobia" he developed over the last year and is now happily jumping into the pool, climbing out, and repeating the process until I am blue covered in goose pimples. But his laugh and the way he holds on tight to my neck after jumping in to me, make every single freezing moment worth it. Pool with the Kids

5 Things: September 11

5 Things_Intro Image_larger This week has been brutally hot leading to sleepless nights and pounding headaches. But hidden in among the side affects of this Texas-style heat in SoCal were positive moments. ONE: COWS The cows. Anyone who knows us, or has read the last few posts, knows that my little man is in an intense cow phase right now. ...

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Jack Creek Farms

Kids Barn Not to be confused with the nearby winery, Jack Creek Cellars (which, if you're 21+, you should definitely check out), Jack Creek Farms is my little man's paradise. Major bonus points for it also being parent-friendly. In addition to his lifelong love of running, climbing, throwing, and kicking, the little man has a new addiction, well two actually: cows and big trucks....

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Wineries of Paso: Linne Calodo

Oak Pass Grape Vines Some wineries are all about the wine, some about price, others value prestige or exclusiveness, while yet others tout their extensive tasting list. There are boutique wineries with tasting by reservation only, large wineries catering to groups and wine novices. Whether you enjoy big crowds or intimate affairs, sophisticated venues or family-friendly farms, Paso Robles has something for everyone. It's inclusive air and lack of pretentiousness endears it to me all the more....

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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies I love carbs, especially when they come in the form of really good bread. You know, a fresh baked baguette with thinly sliced radishes, a smattering of butter, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Combine that with a glass of Sancerre and you have a little bite of Katie dessert heaven....

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Paso Robles 2015

Sunrise So Cal is not without its flaws. But summer in So Cal is a veritable buffet of activities. The times I have found myself saying, “there’s nothing to do” were really my way of saying, “I’m lazy and don’t’ feel like doing anything but don’t want to admit it so I’ll blame it on someone else.” I mean, where else can you go for a sunrise surf, hit the slopes by lunch, and be home for dinner, should you be so inclined? ...

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Strawberry Acai Bowl

Strawberry Acai Bowl 2 The other day I was at the store when I noticed strawberries on sale for $0.99 / lb! I wasn't sure that was a feasible price for quality goods so I spent a solid five minutes searching for the fatal flaw in each pack. With no blemishes uncovered, I added a box to my cart and then another and another and another. I love strawberries and so does my little man, but when I got home and tried to neatly stack my treasures in the fridge, I realized that four pounds might have been on the slightly excessive side....

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The Only Banana Bread Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Banana Bread Slices 2 You know that dish (or dishes) that takes you back to your childhood. I mean, the minute you see the recipe, get a whiff of its familiar scent, or take that first bite, you are instantly transported back to eight years old and life suddenly gets just a little bit simpler? I have several of these dishes, of course, but this banana bread is one of my favorites....

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