Thursday, September 30, 2010

Better late than never

Today marks one month since the hubs and I returned from our week long trip down the California coast. We have traveled a fair amount, mostly outside of the United States, but this trip was, hands down, the best vacation we've ever taken.

So often, when Americans vacation, we try to travel outside of the country. Cruises, the Carribean, Europe, Mexico- we're all trying to get out! The truth is, there's so much to see in our own backyard.

The hubs was gone all summer so I planned our 7 day trip down the "golden coast." Our adventure began in Sonoma, and continued down (via convertible woohoo!) to San Francisco, then Monterrey and Carmel. We spent 2-3 days in each place and saw the best of what they had to offer. Our trip was a perfect marriage of meticulously  planned activities, spontaneity and exploring the beaten path.

I could ramble on and on about all we did, but I will allow our photos to tell the story. Enjoy!




There you have it, in 31 photos, our California adventure.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Keep it in the closet

One thing I love about our house is the abundance of storage. Our 1936 sq ft 3 bedroom/2bathroom abode boasts: two walk in closets, four 8ft dormers, a large downstairs closet, a coat closet, a linen closet, a pantry, and two additional standard closets. Did I mention my 10ft x 10ft "nursery" off of our bedroom that is my dressing room? Remind me to show it to you someday! To sum it up, we have a lot of space to put stuff, and not enough stuff to fill it all!

We are in the process of finishing up the man room and starting the guestroom (the projects never end in this life of ours). The problem we encountered was that we had no place for our office supplies. We're not the type of people who need an office, but we do need a designated spot for my craft things, typical office supplies, and our printer. So the criteria for our office was that we didn't want it to take up a lot of space, but we wanted it to be functional and attractive.

After debating how to solve our dilemma, that brilliant hubs of mine suggested we turn one of the closets in the man room into our office!

And that's just what we did- allow me to show you:

Here is the before: Once we removed the double sliding doors, we had a blank slate. It had not been painted and still contained the clothes rod and shelving.

We knew we didn't want to spend a lot on this project and as luck would have it, we stumbled upon this bad boy on the side of the road. I knew it had to be ours. Have I told you how much I love rescuing furniture from the curb?

All the closet needed was a little bit paint, some cute shelving and accessories to become the perfect office for people who don't really need a full - fledged office. Here is the after:

Aren't those blue baskets cute? Two for a dollar at Dollar Tree!

As for the desk...a coat of white paint makes anything look good!

All in all, we spent approximately $70 on this project (this was the shelving, paint for desk, and hardware). We are so happy with the result and love that our office is functional, full of storage, and out of the way. Stay tuned for the rest of the man room reveal.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Third time's a charm...What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

It's Tuesday again and I'm taking another stab at What's Cookin' Good Lookin'. Last week was a complete failure but I've got a good feeling about this week. I'm an optimist, what can I say?

What's Cookin' Good Lookin' is my attempt at a blog recipe exchange. I get tired of making the same things over and over again, and am looking to my blog friends to help spice up my the kitchen. So please participate in this recipe exchange in return for some great recipes!

Here's how to join:

1) Must be a "This Life of Ours" follower to join

You can follow by clicking on the "follow" button over there ------>

2) Blog about what's for dinner in your house.

3) Scroll down to the bottom of this blog post and click on the link to enter.

4) Post your recipe and you're ready to go!

5) Every Thursday night I will make one of the entered recipes and blog about it.

***For extra super cool bonus points, put a link to What's Cookin' Good Lookin' in your blog post to help get more bloggers and recipes to join! Dinner's about to get a lot more fun!***

***If you try a recipe, leave a comment and let us know how it was***

 Here's what cooking at our house tonight: (ok this is a lie, I made it Saturday but it was so amazing I needed to share. Pardon the lack of pictures. This recipe has climbed to the hub's top 5 dish list)

Spinach Tortellini Bake

This is not my pic but it will look something like this, but much more creamy and less spinach
 Serves 4 (or 2 really hungry people- don't judge)
  • 1 lb cheese tortellini
  • 1 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 (or more if you're like me) garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free half and half
  • 1 bag of baby spinach (I use organic, not that it matters)
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or to your liking
  • crushed spicy red pepper (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the broiler.
  2.  Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta according to package.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat with the butter. Cook the garlic in the butter until aromatic, about 1 minute, then sprinkle the flour into the butter and cook for another minute while stirring. Allow to thicken
  4. Whisk the half and half into the mixture and add parmesan little by little. Stir until mixed and add red pepper if desired. Allow to thicken.
  5. Add spinach. Cook until wilted
  6. Once sauce is thickened and tastes to your liking, add the tortellini. Coat the tortellini in sauce and mix it all up.
  7. Transfer everything to a large casserole dish and sprinkle with additonal parmesan and pepper if desired.
  8. Place under the broiler to brown, about a minute.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Boys and their toys...

I had every intention of photographing and blogging about the manroom this evening, but it's still not done! I've showed you the DIY board and batton, told you about our IKEA trip to furnish the room, but we are moving slowly in finishing the room. It would've been done tonight but....

The hubs decided he needed a new car.

Guess where he is?

At the car dealership, buying one of these:

Yep, I'm not kidding. He was a man on a mission. We've traded in my lease, I'm taking his Cherokee, and he is getting a brand new Wrangler. Have I mentioned this will be his 4th wrangler?  He goes through cars like Tiger Woods goes through women.


I wonder what I can whip up that I "need"....I know just the thing.

                                                                             A girl can dream, right?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Third party in the bedroom?

The hubs and I have just made a huge change in our marriage. We've kicked the third party out of our bedroom.

No, not that kind of third party. Get your head out of the gutter!

The third party I'm referring to is the TV:

I've had a TV in my bedroom since I was a kid and can't fall asleep without it. After some talks with friends who brought up that the TV in the bedroom can be detrimental to a marriage, I did a little research. According to

"The experts agree you should only be doing two things in your bedroom: sleeping and having sex. Bills, kids, computers, TVs ... they're all kryptonite for healthy sleep and definitely for your sex life."

The website brings up a lot of other great points and and it's definitely a worthwhile read. So, I want to know, who has a TV in the bedroom? Do you ever consider removing it? Why or why not?

I'll tell you, I already love that it's gone for the sheer fact that our bedroom looks much more chic without a big metal box on the dresser (another excuse to shop for accessories- yeehaw!). Fess up, I want to know the details of all of your third parties!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

PB 2 good to be true?

Hi, My name is Trish and I'm addicted to peanut butter. Whether it's served with honey, bananas, jelly, or straight from the jar, I love peanut butter. The problem with this is that, like most delicious things, peanut butter is super fattening (but it's good fat, right?) which means I have to eat it in moderation. Well, I'm not a big fan of moderation...when it comes to well, anything. I'd like to introduce you to my new best friend:

PB2 is "peanut powder made from roasted peanuts that have been 75% defatted and ground into an aromatic and tasty powder"  that you mix with water to create creamy peanut better. It does not taste exactly like the real deal, but it is a fabulous substitute. If you are a peanut butter lover but also like to watch those calories I highly recommend you go out and get this product asap. Check out the nutritional info versus traditional peanut butter:
The Real Deal

How can you say no to this? Apparently, it also comes in a chocolate flavor now too which I have yet to try.

Has anyone else tried this product?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's Cookin' Good Lookin' (Take 2)

It's Tuesday again and I'm taking another stab at What's Cookin' Good Lookin'. Want to get some great, new, and delicious recipes to make during the week? Want to help me and hubs save money by not going out to dinner too dang much (please)? Well, look no further. Here's how to share your recipe:

1) Must be a "This Life of Ours" follower to join
You can follow by clicking on the "follow" button over there ------>
2) Blog about what's for dinner in your house.

3) Scroll down to the bottom of this blog post and click on the link to enter.

4) Post your recipe and you're ready to go!
5) Every Thursday night I will make one of the entered recipes and blog about it.

***For extra super cool bonus points, put a link to What's Cookin' Good Lookin' in your blog post to help get more bloggers and recipes to join! Dinner's about to get a lot more fun!***

Here's what cooking at our house tonight:

Easy Cottage Cheese, Crab Quiche

This is one of my favorite recipes to make during the week because it's delicious, healthy, light, and as easy as pie quiche to make. You can really vary what you put in the quiche (let me know if you have a good combo!) I love me some options!

Here's what you need to make it my way:
20 oz cottage cheese
3/4 cupish roasted red peppers chopped
3/4 cupish broccoli chopped
1/3 cupish grated cheese (I use cheddar)
1/3 cupish bread crumbs
4 eggs (2 whole, 2 whites)
1/2 cupish Louis Kemp imitation crab, chopped

To make quiche:
1. Preset oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all ingredients
3. Pour into 9inch pie pan
4. Bake for 45 minutes
5. Enjoy and serve with your choice of side (I like fruit or steamed veggies)

**tip- to catch any overflow, I always put the pie pan on a cookie sheet while it bakes**

That's what's on the menu for us tonight. How about you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's that time of the year....

Happy Monday everyone! As far as Mondays go, this was a good one. I had such a fun time at work with my students today- I'm starting to love them already. As always, check out Mingle Monday and Life of Meg! Such a fun idea.

Don't forget to submit a recipe tomorrow to What's Cookin' Good Lookin' and help make dinner more fun during the week!

Ok, shameless plugs are over and on to the good stuff.

Admittedly, I'm usually working for the weekend. Not this week. Why not you ask? Let me explain it to you with pictures...they do speak 1000 words, you know:




I love me some fall tv and have been waiting for months for some new, amazing singing scenes, hilarious comedy, and wondering if Michael and Holly will get back together. Week nights are about to get a whole lot busier!

Are you as pumped as I am?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No "lack" of love

We're back from our Ikea trip and I have lots to share. Some great news, other news...not so much. Today, I will stick with the great news:

I am in love.

I have fallen hard for the new shelving we purchased for our dining room. We've completely neglected this room since we moved into our house and it has just been a hodge podge of mismatched furniture, 70's hand me downs, empty walls, and no style. That is, up until today.

Our dining room is quite large and it needs a good amount of furniture to fill it up and give it some life. The problem with this? Furniture is expensive. I've been saving for the last two months for this baby and will hopefully purchase it next month when Pottery Barn has it's friend's and family sale. Oh, Sumner, you make my heart sing and it would be an injustice to eat our Thanksgiving feast on anything other than you.

Ok, back to shelving. We bought three 74" white "Lack" shelves yesterday and they were such a cinch to hang. It took the hubs and I less than 40 minutes to install them. Once they were installed, I did what I do best- shop! I "shopped" around my house and found lots of goodies to decorate the shelves. Gotta love a good deal! Though these pictures don't do the shelves justice, check out the final result:

Don't they just help fill the room without the need of furniture?

In addition to new shelving, we also added a new rug. I've always wanted a knotted jute rug and I'm so glad I convinced Paul that it was the right choice. It helps add texture to the room and brings out the bamboo roman shades.

Anyone else have any creative solutions to fill up a large space without using furniture? Do you think we need a piece of furniture under the shelves or are they substantial by themselves? I'd love to hear some of your ideas!


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