Archive | July, 2011

Today…

29 Jul


Happy friday, friends! Have a wonderful weekend with your family and friends!

xoxo,
Carrie

dog days of summer

28 Jul

100+ Texas Heat.

Newspaper.

Finger paint.

Hands.

Feet.

Arms.

Legs.

Big sister.

Little brother.

Happiness beyond words.

Blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

xoxo,
Carrie

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

27 Jul

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

If you’ve never had a Salted Caramel Cupcake, you are missing out on a little bit of heaven.

Easy to make using boxed cake mix…but if you are an overachiever, you can certainly make your own cupcakes from scratch.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Hershey Caramel Sauce

1/2 t. Sea Salt

Heath Bars

1 box chocolate cake mix, bake cupcakes accordingly

salted caramel cupcakes

While your cupcakes are baking away, warm 1 cup caramel sauce.

Add 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt and stir. I promise…it’s gooooooood.

Add your caramel and sea salt to a ketchup bottle.

When your cupcakes are finished, using the tip of the bottle, insert into HOT cupcakes so the caramel sauce gets in the middle of the cupcake.

Allow the cupcakes to cool.

Using your favorite frosting and chopped Heath Bars, frost and garnish each cupcake. Then drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over each cupcake.

To. Die. For.

Spider Man agrees.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

xoxo,
Carrie

From the pages of Domino…

26 Jul

Bold. Bright. Strong.

Complete opposite of my design aesthetic.

Yet I love every element.

And, I am looking for something in this room to add to my home…any guesses??

xoxo,
Carrie

Pink Dreams

25 Jul

It is an understatement to say I {love} pink.

And this picture left me speechless…and that Black Lab needs some kisses.

I deserve a pink couch in my home one day….

For my babies…

Pink & Orange & Chevron…enough said.

Baby pink frig…maybe for Sweet P’s college apartment one day….

Camel cardi…with a punch of orange on the toes….

And because I need to remind myself daily…and so should you….


Happy Monday, friends!

xoxo,
Carrie

The Key to a Successful Design…

22 Jul

…is lighting.  It can make or break a room.

The right lighting adds dimension, character, and softens an entire room.

Not enough light leaves your room feeling drab and cold.

Although I love natural light, the right lighting makes me giddy.

Mix light with an amazing design element, and you have a marriage made in heaven.

My favorite lighting elements right now are classic, clean, and simple.

Enter West Elm:

Cluster Blub Pendant

West Elm

I absolutely LOVE these Glass Jar Pendants

west elm jar pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this Globe Pendant is my absolute favorite fixture on the market right now:

Happy friday, everyone!

Turn on some lights in your house!

xoxo,

Carrie

Did someone say Girls Weekend??

21 Jul

Oh yes we did…and this will accompany us by the pool…

Grapefruit Margaritas

Wedge of lime

2 teaspoons coarse margarita salt

14 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice, with pulp (about 3 medium grapefruits)

1 ounce lime juice

5 ounces reposado tequila

2 ounces triple sec

4 slices grapefruit or twists

1. Run a lime wedge halfway around the rims of four margarita glasses and dip into salt. Set aside.

2. Combine 7 ounces grapefruit juice, one-half ounce lime juice, 2 1/2 ounces tequila and 1 ounce triple sec in a cocktail shaker. Shake over ice until chilled. Strain into two ice-filled, salt-rimmed margarita glasses.

3. Garnish with a twist or slice of grapefruit. Repeat to make two more cocktails.

Each serving: 174 calories;

I can feel relaxation in my near future…

Angie & Cory…I am counting the days.

xoxo,
Carrie

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Gross.

20 Jul

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Gross.

Just keeping it real friends…keeping it real today.

I feel like I haven’t cooked a real meal for my family in over a month…we’ve been coming and going all summer long.

So I pulled out old recipes looking for something yummy and healthy.

Turkey meatloaf…faux mashed ‘tatos’…fresh stemmed broccoli…sounds good to me.

I won’t bother adding pictures to this recipe because…in complete honesty…

that turkey meatloaf was disgusting.

barf-o-rama. gag me with a pitchfork.

And the faux cauliflower garlic mashed ‘tatos’??

Turn away from the plate…and run as fast as you can.

I have never tasted something so disgusting in my life.

What a disappointment!!

I was so upset.

And in Blogland, we are always reading about wonderful events, gorgeous homes, delicious food…never any failures, bombs, or disasters.

Not here.  Real honesty, friends…and that’s keeping it real. :)

So…if you have any awesome (or complete failure) recipes you’d like to share to make up for my total disaster, link it up in the comments below.

And we will feature one next Wednesday.

How’s that sound?!?

Happy Wednesday, friends!

xoxo,

Carrie

Camp.

19 Jul

Camp.

I totally intended on posting this on Monday but to be honest….I am exhausted.

Back to back trips this month are finally catching up with me…but absolutely worth the exhaustion.

I spent the week with my daughter in East Texas at her very first youth camp.  She was anxious about going in the first place so I signed up as a cabin counselor, leaving Bubbie and Daddy at home with Bella for the week.

What an amazing blessing it was to be surrounded by such precious girls for a week.

Besides sleeping on a foam mattress and wood for a week…not washing my hair at all because really, what good would it have done being in 100 degree heat all week…eating my share of gravy at every meal, because gravy makes everything taste better…and missing my boys at home, I don’t know who at more fun…me or the girls.

Worship our first night at camp took everything in my power not to cry my eyes out…

The bond of silly socks…you can tell which is the ballerina in the bunch…

Have you ever ‘blobbed’ before?

My first zipline experience…totally AWESOME!  And the entire camp may or may not have heard my screams…just saying…

Lake time…

Our cabin of shoes lined up outside to dry….that were later mixed up and tied together by the 4th grade boys.  Hilarious for us parents…totally devastating for our girls.

Bonfire & smores….

And enjoying this…

I’m already looking forward to next year…and the next year…and the next…

And…I’m holding down the fort while Angie is busy getting ready for a pretty exciting event in her life…we can’t wait to share her news with you!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Carrie

Memory Lane Week 4:: Trip to Texas!

14 Jul

Memory Lane Week 4:: Trip to Texas!

Carrie is currently camping with her daughter.  I hope she is having a great time and can’t wait to hear all about it.  Since Carrie is not here to share her weekly Memory Lane recap…you get mine! :)

I traveled to Texas with my husband.  He was working in Texas so I joined him to take advantage of the free hotel and car rental.  It was a crazy last minute trip and I didn’t get much sleep but… so worth it because I got to spend time with my family in central Texas and also had lunch with Carrie in Houston.

Carrie and I chat everyday but I had not been able to see her pretty face in 15 months!!  The visit was pretty surreal!  15 months is way too long.  I didn’t realize how much I missed her until I saw her.   There’s nothing like hanging out and spending time with your best friends.  (Love you Carrie!)

I was also able to visit San Antonio and discovered an innovative shopping center called The Pearl Brewery Complex.

The Pearl Brewery Complex used to be an actual brewery that made beer. It was established in 1883 and later become Pabst in 1985. The brewery was closed in 2001 were it sat vacant until some geniuses decided to transform the historic brewery to an iconic culinary and cultural gathering place where you can eat, live, learn, work and play.

It’s urban revitalization it is finest.

Pearl is a place where you can attend a wedding in an elegant oval former stable… learn to bake brioche where bottling equipment used to be stored… luxuriate at a salon housed in a former garage… hunt for one-of-a-kind goods in one of an eclectic array of shops.

This one one of my favorite sights at The Pearl Brewery Complex.  Old tanks made into garden planters.

You know how I love above the ground planters!

If you are ever in San Antonio, Texas the The Pearl Brewery is a must see.  There are lots of great shops and the brewery connects with the famous San Antonio Riverwalk.  There are also great restaurants.  We ate at Osteria Il Sogno, and it was amazing!  Olive bread and Shrimp Risotto were tops!

So that’s my week.  I drove and traveled all over Texas and unfortunately didn’t get to take many pictures.  Texas is a unique place with lots of history so hopefully I can take more pictures next time :)


What’s For Dinner Wednesday:: Cooking with Coconut Oil

13 Jul

What’s For Dinner Wednesday::  Cooking with Coconut Oil

In an effort to be healthier, I am constantly exploring new foods and cooking methods.  I stumbled upon coconut milk earlier this year and then later ventured further into the coconut world with coconut oil.

Coconut oil is great for cooking because it has numerous health benefits.  I saute all my vegetables in it and even bake with it.  Coconut oil gives vegetables great flavor and I find myself using less salt and seasoning when I use it.

It’s not cheap but can last a long time. And good health is worth a few extra bucks.  It may be surprising to learn that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is actually good for you and provides a number of profound health benefits, such as:

• Improving your heart health.
• Boosting your thyroid.
• Increasing your metabolism.
• Promoting a lean body and weight loss if needed.
• Supporting your immune system.

Coconut oil even benefits your skin when applied topically and has been found to have anti-aging, regenerative effects.

I have been putting it on my skin at night as a moisturizer and it is the best facial product I have ever purchased.  And I’ve bought a LOT over my lifetime!!!  My skin looks hydrated and fresh every day.

Give it a try!  You deserve to treat yourself well!

(The coconut oil nutritional information sited above comes from several science journals and the Huffington Post.  To read more, check out Dr. Joseph Mercola’s article for the Huffington Post here.)

Why I quit my job…and a little about me

12 Jul

Why I quit my job…and a little about me

Last month Carrie and I started a new Category called LIFE.  We restructured our old posts and moved everything related to our lives in the LIFE category.  When I looked at the prior blog posts that were moved to LIFE…it was a big shock!  Carrie had been very open about sharing her life but I hardly ever spoke about myself and let others in.  So I’d like to share a little more about myself so you can know me better.

Very soon, Carrie and I will be making more changes to our blog.  One of those changes will include adding About Me pages for each of us…so if you keep reading below you will not only learn more about my life but also get a sneak peak at my future About Me page.  :)

Who is Angie?

Well that has changed recently. I used to be very ambitious and a workaholic.  I started my first company and bought my first house all before I was 30.  All on my own.

I used to take such pride in that.  I don’t so much now.  Over the years the long work hours and stress have taken their toll.  I’ve realized a little late that making money is important but doing something you enjoy and spending time with family and friends is even more important.

I can’t tell you the times I’ve missed important holidays or events because of my demanding work schedule.

Three years ago, I started questioning whether sitting behind a computer 12 hours a day and staring at financial reports was what life was really all about?  I finally took the plunge in April 2011 saying goodbye to Corporate America — and quit my job.

It was a big leap of faith but I knew there had to be something better for me out there.  I’d rather make less money, enjoy life AND do something I LOVE.  I started working straight out of high school and even worked while putting myself through college.  I haven’t been unemployed in almost 20 years – it should feel scary but it feels so liberating!

I want earn a living doing something creative and imaginative like writing, making art, restoring antiques and making furniture.  Even renovate our home.  I have no idea how I’ll make money at it but I’m not nervous.   I’m very excited about what the future may hold. I’m sure there will ups and downs but I finally have freedom!

Beside my questionable midlife crisis, what else is there to know about me?  The main thing is I love to travel.

I read this quote from Cher once about being poor.  “Going hungry never bothered me – it was having no clothes”.  That is how I feel about traveling.  I would give up my last dollar to travel above all else.

From a young child, I have wanted to see the world and so far I have done a pretty good job of it.  I even had the opportunity of living in Mexico with my husband and it was the most exhilarating time of my life.

New experiences, different cultures.  I hope to one day do something like that all over again.

My husband and I are newly weds and how I met him is a quite an interesting story.

The short version is that for 10 years our very best friends all knew each other but he and I never met or even heard of each other.  Then one day, we all happened to all collide one evening by accident.

It was kismet we actually finally met.

Later we analyzed historical events like our mutual friend’s weddings and it turned out, I had missed the events he attended and he missed the one’s I attended.  It is rather perplexing how things orchestrated and we always missed meeting each other.  Maybe there was a reason for us not discovering each other earlier.  Timing is always everything.

Sometimes I feel like the only woman in the world that ever felt this way…but I actually never had a burning desire to get married.  I loved being single and had such a happy fulfilled life.  They always say you find that perfect someone “when you aren’t looking”.  That is exactly what happened to me. I wasn’t looking and then along he came.

From there on out we did everything backwards.  It seemed perfect to us but to everyone else it was not only backwards but… strange.

So here is how it played out.  Met and fell in love.  Moved to Mexico.

Lived together.  (“Lived in sin” as my mother-in-law likes to refer to that period).  Moved and lived several other places together including Texas and California.  Eloped and got married two years ago.

They say you live and learn and boy I have.  I wish I’d married years ago!   I love being married.  Perhaps I had a lot of growing up to do before?   I am so glad I finally opened myself up to the idea of marriage.

What else about me? My husband and I are from Austin, Texas but have lived in Los Angeles the last couple years and have two dogs (Havanese), Oscar and Arnold, who are the loves of our life.

We love our little furry children and can’t imagine life without them.  I know I’m a biased little momma but I cant help thinking they are the cutest, smartest and sweetest dogs on the planet.

I hope you will enjoy sharing my journey and the start of my new life.  I am very fortunate to write for TwoFriendsTwoCities with my amazing partner and friend… Carrie.   Carrie and I started TwoFriendsTwoCities in August 2010 and it has been such a rewarding experience sharing ideas, projects and our lives…and along the way meeting so many amazing people.

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