Tuesday, March 29, 2011


by Steph

In celebration of the 70 degree weather we are soon to be enjoying, I decided it's time to shop for a swimsuit - which happens to be the most impossible task on the planet. That is, impossible when you're looking for a one piece.

Here's what I like about one pieces:
  • don't have to worry about my boobs escaping any itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini
  • less things to tie (and less things that have a chance of untying)
  • they're MODEST! Which is, afterall, my goal.

Here's what I do not like:
  • they're expensive. Evidently making an entire swimsuit out of one piece of material is much much much more work than making a two piece.
  • they're hiding. No one sells them. It's like they're undesirable. Not everyone wants to show off their bellies!!!
  • going to the bathroom in them can be a bit of a nightmare. But when I was 8, I managed to solve that problem quickly. Hahaha...eww.
  • the word "tummy flattening" in the title of the swimsuit. Are women really that gullible? Honey, if you squish it in somewhere, it'll bulge out somewhere else. That's life. And gravity. And physics.
  • the only ones out there are for middle aged mom's who need the tummy flattening. No offense, but I'm not quite there yet...
  • blindingly white stomach that will never see the sun. But as my husband pointed out, if I wear a one piece, no one will ever see my stomach except him and he says its ok since I'm blindingly white all over right now and his eyes have adjusted.

After some searching, I found the one I want at J. Crew (the first one below). I also found the jackpot! They have lots of cute stuff but warning... it's definitely an investment and I'm going to have to do some serious convincing of myself (and my husband) that a swimsuit is worth $90.

Click here to view their collection of one pieces, unless you're not like me. Then feel free to shop any and everywhere because any and everywhere sells 2 pieces.

{Note: I'm not being paid to advertise J. Crew and if you find a place with cheaper swimsuits (one piece of course), let me know!!!}

Monday, March 28, 2011


by Steph

Can it be true?!?! I'm just going to ignore the current 39 degrees and the ominous rain returning on Saturday and focus on the 77 degrees on Thursday!!! *Sigh... Summer please come soon. I will probably complain about the sweltering heat but it will be so much more bearable if I can wear my new sandals.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Felt, flowers and feathers

by Steph

My sister is getting married in like 6 weeks and I'm supposed to have a yellow flowery feathery thingy to wear in my hair (each bridesmaid has a different color). I scanned a few on Etsy but had a picture in my mind of what I wanted and didn't feel like paying $45 for something that was similar.

{Enter: my super unskilled craftsy alter ego that thinks it can accomplish anything}

I bought some feathers and felt at Joanne's and attempted my project last night. Here's the final result:

The other 2 flowers are actually leftovers from my own wedding 6 months ago. I had fake flowers for centerpieces because I didn't want to bother with a florist. They're now scattered all over our apartment even though yellow isn't really a part of our decor... So I decided to put them to good use and voila: I was able to use 2 out of 2,897. Just kidding. Oh my do I like exaggerating.

For the felt flower, I cut a circle out of felt and then starting at the outside, I cut a spiral all the way to the center. Then again, starting with the outside I started rolling the felt up until it looked like that. If I was going to be some cool artsy craftsy blogger, I'd have better pictures of each step so you'd know what the heck I'm talking about. But I don't and I'm not and I've come to terms with that so you should too.

Also, don't attack me for the awful photo. I took it with my phone because we still don't have internet and hey, phone pictures are better than no pictures right?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


by Steph

It's Wednesday. Not Friday.

I woke up in a cold sweat at 5:15 am from a nightmare I don't remember. I think it involved zombies, Mexican drug lords and showing up to school in a swimsuit while it was pouring rain. {No more pistachio ice cream right before bed.} After 5 minutes of laying in a paralyzing terror, my alarm went off at 5:20 and semi-woke my husband.

I told him I had a nightmare and I was scared.

He hugged me and fell asleep like that.

I relaxed and fell asleep like that. For almost an hour.

His alarm went off at 6:15 am (which is the time that I'm usually leaving) and I woke up gasping in a panic that I was late. To be honest, no one really cares how late I show up to work. Really... no one cares. But I still had this terrorized feeling when I jumped out of bed.

As a result: I didn't wear my rainboots today because I was in a blurred hurry and when I got to work I stepped in a big puddle.

My shoe and my sock got wet. Not a good feeling at 7 in the morning.

Oh and my husband just called to say that his meeting at work was moved to tomorrow so he's heading home to curl up on the sofa and watch Pride & Prejudice and eat ice cream without me.

Okay he's not really going to do that but that's totally what I would do if I was on my way home.

It's Wednesday.

Can it be Friday yet?

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Birthday Outfit for Sarah Jane

by Steph

Today is my ex-roommate's birthday. She was my roommate in college and then for 2 years afterward. The first thing I knew about Sarah was that she had a lot of shoes. I LOVED living with her for a few reasons: she was always pretty joyful (even when I wasn't), she had simple style (classic pieces I could borrow), we wore the same size shoes and shared a love for all things musical and Disney. I can't begin to name the events that come to mind when I think of those 6 years I spent living with her so I decided to do what I do best as a birthday present - pick out an outfit for her. Hopefully she reads this... she said she reads my blog... Sarah you better read this!!!

Here's my outfits for Sarah - depending on how dressy she feels like being. The neutral shoes balance the multicolored shirts and Sarah... if you do read this, pick the shirt you like best and I'll send it as a late birthday present. Unless you hate them both. Then no birthday present for you. :) Love you lady!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


by Steph

I've been a fan of LC since she was LC on Laguna Beach. I watched her on the Hills for awhile but I couldn't stand the other characters so I quit. But then she launched her line for Kohl's and I was a fan all over again. She is the epitome of So Cal, easy, breezy, beachy girl. Everything is frilly and flowery and so feminine. AND it's super affordable especially because Kohl's is always having sales. Here's a few of my favorites from her new collection that was just launched.


LC by reinersm54 featuring a trench coat

I realize now this makes me look like I'm obsessed with her. Okay, maybe I am. But only with her style! I absolutely adore it and it just has my own style written all over it. Classic pieces, effortless looks, just... So Cal. :)

{Now I realize I live in Nor Cal now, but I will ALWAYS be a So Cal girl at heart.}

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rainy Days

by Steph

I'm desperate for summer to be here. Sadly, it's been raining for the past week and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon.

I decided to put together a rainy day outfit in hopes of lightening my outlook on this weather. It helped a little. Something you have to know about my style... I'm not fancy. I'd love to dress up for work everyday, but the truth is I live in jeans and Rainbow flip flops during the summer, knee high flat boots during the winter. I love just being casual and comfortable and that doesn't usually include high heels. Granted, there are days I do feel like being fancy and dressed up and I bust out those 5-inch shoes but on cold, wet days nothing is better than warm, dry, happy feet.

Monday, March 14, 2011

So Ladylike

by Steph

Growing up, my mom would often correct certain habits insisting that they weren't "ladylike". I'd always think of the Aristocats when the girl cat says she has to go first because "She's a lady, that's why!" Apparently my thoughts of being a lady were different from my mother's.... but one part of being a lady that I ADORE is the dressing up. Frills and lace and heels and make-up and jewelry and jewelry and jewelry. In this day and age, ladylike-ness isn't common but if you want to at least look the part, here are a few tops that would pair nicely with jeans and heels and jewelry, jewelry, jewelry.


Ladylike by reinersm54 featuring a cami top

{UPDATE: I just realized that the list of clothes isn't the same order as they're shown... not sure what to do with it but if you really like something - you'll find it.}

Hot and Spicy

by Steph

I'm down to the last few items in my fridge that we currently buy from the store that could easily be homemade. Saturday, I had a breakthrough with one of the more daunting ones: the salsa.

Blame my husband. He used to think Taco Bell was good Mexican food but since he married into my half Mexican family, he's become a Mexican food snob. His salsa has to be un-chunky, hot and spicy. It can't have too much tomato-y or cilantro-y taste in it either. Plus it can't be too onion-y. Basically, all he wants is something that will taste good while it burns his taste buds right off.

So I attempted to make it from scratch. After my hard work of chopping onions, tomato, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno, I got the courage up to offer him a sample.


He looked so hopeful since everything else I've made from scratch has ended up just as good or better than whatever is store bought.

He lovingly tried to save my pride and ego, but the damage was done. I'm a real live half Mexican who can't make salsa. BUT I'm also a stubborn white girl and I wasn't going to let the salsa win.

{Enter: the GRILLED jalapeno}

I text'd my cousin to see if she had any pearls of wisdom about salsa. "All I know", she wrote "is that you grill the serrano (pepper), peel it and chop it up into the salsa. It adds flavor."

"Okay..." I thought. I had already added peppers. Raw, but they were still peppers. But I trust her so I decided to give it a try. What she failed to tell me was that when you grill peppers, you inadvertently create pepper spray with the smoke coming out of the pan. My poor husband and I were wheezing, coughing and sneezing and hours later I could still feel the burn of the peppers in my chest. But SUCCESS!!! I added the grilled peppers (I didn't skin them - just chopped them up to mush) to the salsa and to the surprise of my husband, it was BETTER than the one he has so ardently clung to for the past 6 months. He immediately grabbed the bag of chips and plopped on the sofa for snack time. And I breathed a sigh of relief. And then gagged and coughed from the pepper spray I had inhaled earlier.

I'm notorious for adding pinches and pinches without really measuring so I can't say the recipe below is exactly what I used. I do know that these are the ingredients and I'm fairly sure about the measurements. If you try the recipe and its horrible, blame my husband.

2-3 small tomatoes
1/4 onion
1 garlic clove
a few cilantro sprigs
5 grilled jalapenos (like I said, he likes it HOT and SPICY - you might add 1-2 for a medium hot taste)
{At this point, I would chop all the above ingredients in a cool Tupperware chopper whirrer thingy to get that salsa texture. If you like chunky salsa, then just chop everything with a good ol' knife and mix together.}
1/2 tsp. salt (??? I can't remember what I added... add to taste?)
1/2 tsp. pepper (same as the salt... add to taste)
1/4 tsp. sugar
juice from 1/2 lime

That's from a real live Mexican loved by her real life white boy husband. Enjoy.

By the way, if you want to attempt homemade chips also, cut corn tortillas into four pieces and throw into a pan of hot oil. Let them sizzle for a few minutes until they turn golden and the sides start curling and then flip them. Once they're done, put them on a paper towel and add salt. You'll probably need to cook a few before you get the right timing for a perfect chip. I made a bunch last weekend and they were yummy but I decided to take the lazy route this week and get some store bought chips... Yes. Sometimes I can be lazy!!! Don't judge me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What exactly is "romp"?

by Steph

romp (rmp)
intr.v. romped, romp·ing, romps
   1. To play or frolic boisterously.
   2. To run or advance in a rapid or easy manner.
   3. Slang To win a race or game easily.
     a. Lively, merry play; frolic.
     b. Lively or frolicsome play that encompasses lovemaking. (Love making??? I guess that's where "romp in the sack" comes from. Eww.)
   2. One, especially a girl, that sports and frolics. (Enter: me. Minus the sports. And generally I don't frolic because people will look at me weird.)
   3. A rapid or easy pace.
   4. Slang An easy win.

Not long ago, I posted about the perfect romper and how wonderful it is for summer. Well wouldn't you know that Forever 21 must have an insider who happened upon my blog and thought "Yes! What a perfect idea!" and they've now included an ENTIRE COLLECTION of rompers! I'm ecstatic and also would like to thank all the little people as I shoot my way to fashion buyer extraordinare.

Oh my... bold faced lie. Forever 21 does not read my blog. And I doubt very highly that they waited until a few weeks ago to decide that rompers would be in this summer. BUT they are in this summer so I'd like to think that I had a little something to do with that. (Read: absolutely nothing to do with it.) Here's a few favorites from their romping collection:

Click here to pick your own favorite!

A very important date

by Steph

Last Saturday my older sister got engaged. It was perfect. It fit them perfectly. They're perfect. As part of my responsibility as younger sister and secretary of the family, I've been given the glorious task of wedding coordinator! Now I know... there are a bagillion million wedding sites out there and I'm not even going to attempt being as cool or inspiring or creative as they are. BUT I will share with you an inspiration board for her wedding and the ideas that inspired her wedding theme...

Keep in mind that I'm new to blogging and inspiration boards so don't judge me too harshly...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Not Pioneering

by Steph

Well I've been m.i.a. for a few reasons. First of all, I discovered Pioneer Woman. Her Black Heels to Tractor Wheels story basically sucked up all my idle time over the last week so no blogs to be written when there's a juicy romance about a city girl and a country boy. Secondly, I have been leaving work early for a number of reasons and no internet at home means no blog posts at home. I'm working on a solution but if this "working" is anything like what I do at work, let's just say it doesn't look good.

But head over to P-dub's site and read her story - that should keep you distracted for a week or so...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lemons in my life

by Steph

I've been getting all Betty Crocker lately... I'm trying to buy less processed foods and make things from scratch because a) it's cheaper b) it's better for you and c) you'll feel triumphant when you make marinara sauce from scratch that your husband decides is much better than the stuff in a jar.

On that note, Brian's mom has been cleaning out his grandpa's house in preparation for selling it. His grandpa had a lemon tree, a pink grapefruit tree and a yellow grapefruit tree so we went over there about a week ago and picked 2 large bags of lemons and one of pink grapefruits. Since his mom is also trying to clean out his grandpa's house, we inherited a juicer, a welder (don't ask - it was Brian's choice), cool vintage Coke bottles, some candles, cups, a serving dish, lots of spices and dressings and possibly a really cool tea set (waiting to hear if his aunt wants to hang on to it).

Now armed with my new juicer and a ton of lemons, I set to work making some lemonade.

Best. Thing. Ever.

We happen to like it super tart so for every cup of lemon juice, we added 2 cups of water and sugared it to taste. We melted a cup of sugar in a cup of water and then slowly added it to the lemonade mix. It was amazing.

The next thing on the list is to figure out how to make real life flour tortillas. I've tried twice now and they've turned out like pita bread. Too thick (no matter how thin I roll them) and not as fatty as the restaurant ones. That's right. I said fatty. I want like real Mexican tortillas. I've heard that you have to use lard or shortening so I'm going to attempt them again with the fatty stuff and hopefully I'll be successful...