Monthly Archive: December 2014

Weekly Pins & Tweets

Some things that are inspiring me this week…

IMG_3537Awards season is in full swing..

1. I love these type of articles. It’s never too early to get advice.

2. I definitely want to make this Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate this week!

3. LA’s best budget-friendly massage spots

4. Interesting read where the writer lived her life according to Pinterest

5. I love a good holiday cocktail

Watching: Homeland – I’m so excited for the series finale today!

Reading: A House in the Sky – I’m currently devouring this book about a girl traveling around the world

Listening: Ed Sheeran “Thinking Out Loud” – I can’t stop listening to this song, it’s so sweet!

 

Two Ingredient Nutella Hot Chocolate

Since I’m always cooking for one, I sometimes have an onslaught of ingredients I need to get rid of before they spoil. Lately, my solution for getting rid of milk is to make hot chocolate. I saw this easy Two Ingredient Nutella Hot Chocolate and knew I had to try it. Plus, I was pleased to already have all the ingredients in my pantry!

This recipe couldn’t have been easier. You just heat the milk in the pan and whisk in the nutella until blended. I didn’t even measure the nutella, since it’s so difficult to spoon. If you estimate, it still turns out great! I added some marshmallow bits and boom, amazing nutella hot chocolate!

My Must-See Holiday Films

Every holiday season I dip into my inventory of films to watch all my favorite holiday classics (or at least classics to me!). Here’s a look at my must-see’s for the holidays:

1. Christmas Vacation – Every year my family makes time to watch Christmas Vacation together. We’ve graduated from watching the film on a VHS tape recorded from TV to a Blu-Ray this year! We know all the great lines and look forward to watching it together every year :)

2. Home Alone – I’m watching this as I type this! Definitely a classic and one of the cleverest of the holiday films. Plus, I love a good plain cheese pizza!

3. The Santa Clause – Another one of those clever holiday classics. Tim Allen’s transformation from grumpy businessman to Santa Clause is a holiday tale not to be missed!

4. The Holiday – Who doesn’t love a good holiday romantic comedy? I remember seriously considering trying a home exchange when I saw this film (first, I need to get a home though). Aside from the cute story, I love that the film has scenes in Los Angeles and Cameron Diaz’s beautiful winter style.

5. Elf – Need I say more? Another great holiday film with so many quotable lines. “Codeword is ‘Santa’s got a brand new bag'”

Honorable mentions:

  • Anastasia – My mom took me to see this film on Christmas Eve one year, so I always associate it with the holidays.
  • Babes in Toyland – I’ve been trying to find this one on DVD for years. A TV holiday movie with young Keanu Reeves and Drew Barrymore is corny in the best way!
  • Edward Scissorhands – For some reason it’s always on TV during the holidays. And snow is a big part of the plot!
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Who doesn’t love Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
  • Jingle All The Way – For some reason hearing Arnold say “Those are MY cookies!!” is the best!
  • Love Actually – I remember sneaking into the theater to see this when I was in high school. Nowadays, it’s the perfect holiday film for a girls night, complete with wine of course!

Weekly Pins & Tweets

Some things that are inspiring me this week…

IMG_3498Cool underground view at the JHRTS holiday party

1. 17 Styling Tips & Tricks for Petite Women

2. Great tips: 7 tips for writing cold emails to prospective employers

3. This Christmas wreath vegetable platter is too cute!

4. Tips for making the holiday season work for your job search

5. Some great lunch ideas

Watching: Obvious Child – I’ve heard so many great things about Jenny Slate’s performance, I was super excited that the film finally came on video. Definitely a must see!

Reading: Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment issue – My favorite issue of the year – I love heard all the stories from strong women leaders and getting advice.

Listening: I also saw Begin Again this weekend and have been listening to the soundtrack non-stop. Such an inspiring film!

Good Eats at Cascabel

I was super excited when I first heard that Cascabel was coming to Toluca Lake. I feel like the Burbank/Toluca Lake area never gets many trendy restaurants. I knew that I had to try this place ASAP. The cuisine is a unique spin on Latin flavors by former Top Chef contestant Alex Eusebio. Myself and my friend stopped by on a Friday night for some drinks and tapas, which definitely didn’t disappoint.

IMG_3445

We started off with the smoked bacon guacamole which is amazing. I think anything with bacon has to be good. Who would’ve thought to put it in guacamole? The chips were also noteworthy, I believe they were almost pita chips, definitely homemade. For drinks I got “The Mule” while my friend got a spicy drink called “Fuego Verde.” Both drinks were equally satisfying.

IMG_3447

IMG_3448

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started off with some recommendations from Yelp by getting the Hanger Steak Tacos and the Brussel Sprouts. I can’t recommend both enough, the steak was so juicy and the brussels sprouts were full of flavor. My only complaint was our order of the Hamachi Tiradito. The order was very small and I felt that the portion didn’t validate the price. Otherwise, it was very good as was all the food!

IMG_3449

We had another friend join us later, so we ordered the Roasted Cauliflower, which had a unique flavor due to the cinnamon salt. Overall, I loved Cascabel and will definitely be back. I already want to go again this week for drinks and guacamole!

IMG_3441

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was going to a holiday party this weekend and I didn’t want to arrive empty handed. I decided to try a recently pinned recipe: Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. These were super easy to make and were the right combination of both salty and sweet.

I was very proud of myself since it was my first time browning butter and I didn’t burn it! That was the most difficult part of the recipe. Otherwise, it was a quick recipe with no complicated directions. Plus, it was fun to crush the pretzels :)

IMG_3457IMG_3459

The only con to this recipe is that the pretzel is a little surprising at first. You’re biting into the cookie expecting it to be chocolate chip, but there is a pretzel which is crunchy. They grew on me though, and, by the second day, I had eaten too many! Overall, I recommend this recipe :)

Weekly Pins & Tweets

Some things that are inspiring me this week…

IMG_3455Some acrobats I saw at Runyon Canyon this weekend

1. A piece on how the cast members of Christmas Vacation have fared

2. 16 reasons why travel is good for you

3. You should never marry a girl until you travel with her

4. I’m going to make these Funfetti Cookies this week

5. Some Joan Didion quotes in honor of her birthday

Watching: Wild – I loved the book and was super excited about the film. Reese Witherspoon does an amazing job as the main character.

Reading: Captivated by You – I loved the first three Crossfire books, but the fourth sadly is not as strong.

Listening: “Hero” by Family of the Year – Boyhood keeps getting more and more awards recognition — I love this song from the soundtrack.

Tomorrow’s Lunch: Spicy Thai Noodles

Lately, I’ve been trying to be more pro-active about bring my lunch to work. Not only does it save me money by not having to buy from our commissary or eat out, but I get to try some new recipes while I’m at it. This week, I decided to try a Spicy Thai Noodles Recipe that I pinned awhile back. The description said it was the “Best Pinterest recipe I’ve tried so far!”

IMG_3436

These noodles did not disappoint! They tasted restaurant quality and reminded me of the meals I had in Asia. A few modifications, I only added a few pinches of the crushed red pepper (I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy) and I added some frozen vegetables, it’s easier for me than cutting up all the toppings it listed (I don’t have a food processor either).

To save time, I prepared the sauce while the noodles were boiling. It doesn’t specify in the recipe, but I recommend not adding the soy sauce and honey directly to the oil. I started adding it and it steamed and crackled. So, whisk the honey and soy sauce separately, then add in the oil. I didn’t have the tools to sift out the crushed red pepper flakes, so that might have been the issue as well.

I can’t wait to eat this for my lunch tomorrow! The recipe made a large batch, so I will be able to knock out a few meals with this one. While the blogger recommends eating them cold, I will probably heat them up. I definitely recommend this one!

 

Thanksgiving

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? I went to Florida to visit my sister and see her new baby. It was great because my parents were there with the dogs as well. It was a nice to get out of Los Angeles for a few days and just relax.

Some of my favorite moments…

IMG_3382Braving the holiday airport craziness for the first time

IMG_3389Traditional family dishes set at the Thanksgiving table

IMG_3418Holding my new niece Amelia

IMG_3399Cuddling with these two all weekend

IMG_3406Playing with this one the whole time

Wow! I can’t believe November is over and tomorrow is already December. Only a few more weeks until my South America trip and the new year. Time is flying by!