I am a reality junkie. I DVR like a mad person, and fast forward the commercials like a pro.
I didn't watch any of the previews for 9 by Design, but after reading a few things here and there on the web about this family, I decided to add them to my Bravo line-up.
I am obsessed with this show. I love watching design shows, but felt they all lacked in some way or another. This. show. completes. me.
Sure, I love the family-those kids are people I'd like to hang out with, and I think Courtney should be crowned the real housewife of New York. However, their creativity and design esthetic gives me the goose bumps, and tons of inspiration.
Within 10 minutes of watching the first episode I thought to myself, "I should stop watching this, and wait to watch it with the mister as he would love this show"....and then I watched all 3 recorded shows.
These are my "little" brothers. Yes, they're twins, and yes, they're even more good looking in person. Being twins, they're a lot alike in some aspects, different in others, however one thing that they both have is a huge heart.
Today is their birthday, and I hate that we can't be together. I would love nothing more than to take them to Chuck E Cheese, and to six flags.
I'm not kidding.
I love you guys--words cannot express how much I adore you two.
Our dear friend Jeff came over for a belated birthday dinner last night. We consider him part of our family, and always have great conversation.
The conversation came to a hault however, when dessert was served.
I made good 'ol Martha's Double Chocolate sea salt brownies. Good grief, these things are gooood. Not only did I put fleur de sel in the batter, I couldn't resist sprinkling some more on the top just before putting these babies in the oven. I'm glad I did.
We had them with vanilla bean ice cream, and topped it off with a homemade caramel sauce that the mister whipped up.
The mister, the dude, my pregnant belly and I headed out west for 8 days for a much needed get away.
We began our adventures in LA where we caught up on calories and time with old friends. There are things I really miss about that city. The accessibility being one of them. Every week, here in Kansas City, the mister drives out to meet a local farmer for Addison's milk. In Los Angeles, we can get it at my favorite grocery store. However, it will take you forever to fight the traffic to get it. The traffic is worse there than when I was living there. This has been confirmed by every single one of my friends. Before our trip, I entertained the thought of what it would be like to have our family live there. Now, not so much.
Another thing that I miss is the food. Apparently, people are eating carbs again. Two of the most happening spots are Mozza, and Terroni. Both menu's are jam packed with pizza and pasta, and getting a table is hard to do.
At Mozza, the mister and I had an insane burrata dish, a squash blossom pizza and the most ridiculous butterscotch pudding that came with rosemary pine nut cookies.
Terroni didn't disappoint with their Margherita mushroom pizza, and the salads were delish.
We were also treated to another fabulous meal by Jared's uncle Steve at BLD. I had a blonde moment, and didn't take any pictures, but I am still thinking about the sunflower seed crusted chicken with kale salad that I had.
Another great LA perk is the shopping. The mister had to be exhaling a sigh of relief that I'm preggers, because I would have gone bananas otherwise.
The best perk, however, is the beach. Our son thought so too--he repeatedly tried to crawl in the ocean going full speed, and could have won an academy award for lead dramatic actor when it was time to leave.
After LA, we headed to Monterey for a couple of days to introduce Addison to his namesake.
Even though LA has a ton to offer, it really lacks in the scenery department, and Northern California really makes up for that. The Wisteria was in full bloom, and it's amazing scent filled the air. Addison LOVED visiting the aquarium, and did NOT want to leave.
Next up, San Fransisco to visit more family. We were spoiled as the mister's aunt and uncle fed us meal after meal, and took us all over the city. A couple of highlights were walking around the Japanese Tea Garden, and an insane home cooked meal followed by a fresh fruit crepe that we are still talking about.
It's good to be back in KC, but I'm already missing all of the culture and fun things to do in California.
As soon as we got back, the mister said he was going to sign up for a frequent flyer rewards program.
My girl Amber has the coolest shop within the coolest shop in Kansas City. Hunh?
Yesterday I blogged about Hammerpress. I love you is the love child of Amber Hodgson-a creative genius that does hair like no other. Seriously. She is so passionate about everything she does, and puts her heart and soul into this business.
I love you is a 2 person high end "barber shop" if you will. Those 2 chairs are always filled, and you just can't help but be in a great mood when you're there. Not only will you walk out looking fab, but the product selection that Amber offers is off. the. charts. She does so much research, and has only the best of the best. You aren't going to find any Paul Mitchell Awapuhi shampoo here.
Here are some of the gems she has to offer:
I know lipstick. I am a junkie. These are phenomenal-sheers, mattes, glosses and amazing colors.
I don't mess around when it comes to tea, and Amber is always introducing me to the latest and greatest. The Bergamot by Steven Smith blows my socks off.
Amber's passion for fragrance is infectious. She actually met Yosh and created an amazing one of a kind perfume that was to die for. Not for sale unfortunately, but she has several in the shop that are delish. This shampoo has changed my hair. It smells divine, and is worth every penny.
I am NUTZ for this entire line (and so is my mister). The volumista spray REALLY does what it promises, and don't even get me started on the hair mask. Like butta.
Chocolate? In a salon? See, I told you she was the coolest. And these aren't just any chocolate bars. I inhaled the milk chocolate Jasmine, and teared up when we finished the dark pepper rose.
If you are ever in Kansas City, you HAVE to stroll down to I love you.
There are many things I miss about living in a bigger city-one of them being the shopping. I miss all of the one of a kind boutiques that sell unique items that aren't splashed across every page in a magazine. Kansas City has one of those amazing shops, and it's called Hammerpress.
I have mentioned this place several times before, and it is where I would do my Whoopie First Friday's. Here's a little more about Hammerpress:
"Started in 1994 by Brady Vest with one printing press and a cabinet of type, we have grown to a handful of lovely employees, several very heavy antique printing presses, and tons of type. We like to make beautiful things, we like beer, and we have undying affection for 80’s music and tacos."
I mean, don't you just want to spend all your free time with these people?
Need a place to write down your thoughts? Your grocery list? Do it in style with one of these fancy little notebooks.
Music Posters Galore. Cool music posters that is. You're not going to find any Kelly Clarkson. Thank God. This is my FAVE!! And I am the proud owner of this amazing postcard (thank you Brady). Many more to choose from, hard to send in the mail because you'll want to keep them.
Art posters for everyone. These happen to be the ones I would like to own. Getting married? You should really check out the amazing invites they do here. If you don't, you're lame. You haven't forgotten Mother's Day have you? The peeps at Hammerpress have your back-come get mamma a card here.
Calendars that you'll actually want to look at all of the time. Which means no missed appointments. Worth every penny.
This is just a handful of the items Hammerpress has to offer.
What's even more mind blowing is that there's ANOTHER amazing shop INSIDE Hammerpres that I will be featuring tomorrow. Kind of like one of those Russian Babushka Dolls--the fun never ends.
The mister is a self proclaimed candle snob. This all began when I worked for L'Artisan Parfumer. They make amazing candles (not to mention perfume), and ever since his first experience with one, there's no going back to Glade.
I too, am a snob. While all of the following are not cheap, you definitely get what you pay for. Many hours of burn time, and your home will smell intoxicating-not like a gas station bathroom.
Here are some of my favorites:
I am currently having a love affair with this candle by Astier de Villatte. Said to smell like a cedar filled library with old books, birch, and vetiver. My bestie now sells them at her fabulous shop. I cannot wait to try some of the others.
Voluspa makes fantastic candles, and I am a sucker for their packaging! My good friend Mel gave me the Alpine Snow for my birthday, and it was perfect for the winter months. Also a huge fan of the White Pepper Nectarine. Every Tocca candle makes me happy. Especially Stella and Cleopatra. They give off such a "bright" smell (pardon the pun), and the packaging is so sweet and girly. Mariage Freres are serious business. At $72 a pop, they are a splurge, but a make for a great gift. The' Blanc, and The' Rouge are my faves. Who doesn't love Diptyque? The Feu de Bois reminds me of a campfire. But in a good way, without bugs, smores with extra dark chocolate, and no humidity. My babies. I will be forever loyal to this line. It is so true when "they" say if you love what you sell it makes all the difference. I loved working for this line, and I sold many 0' candles. I have burned every single one of them, and there isn't one that I don't like. Right now we're burning Trefles a Quatre Fleurs , which has notes of grass, hay, and wild flowers. Perfect for spring, and no allergies. This was my first introduction to the high end candle. NARS Oran is amazing if you love tuberose, and gardenia. If you're more into the beachy scent Acapulco is for you.
While at Nordstrom today, I perused the Winter Kate Collection. I have really been wanting to see some of the pieces in person. Especially these two. I LOVE the white and grey feather print. LOVE. The green piece is adorable, but paled in comparison to the feathers.
I don't, however, think either of these lovelies need to be over $200 each. It's a bit much if you ask me. I'm all for spending a few extra bucks on pieces that will stay in your closet for a while--but these are a tad too trendy, I think.
Still, I would be happy as a clam to sport either of them.
It's no secret that I love to cook. What I REALLY love, is having something delish in the fridge that the mister and I can just nibble on-aside from cheese. Man, do I love cheese. The highlight of going to Whole Foods every Sunday is seeing if they have a new sample that I can try. And then I try and justify the $14 a pound price tag.
Okay, I'm getting carried away.
Every Spring/Summer you can pretty much find a huge bowl of this in the fridge, and today kicked off the tradition.
Israeli Cous Cous (prepare according to directions-then drain, and rinse under cold water).