Whole 30 & About Fifty-Million Other Things

HI YALL! Can you believe October is almost over?? I figured I should squeeze in a post before the month comes to a close. I’ve been meaning to write up my Dutch Baby recipe for you all to enjoy, but that has somehow moved to the blogging backburner. Maybe tomorrow, after all it is another day!

In other news, I am on day 4 of the Whole 30 challenge and so far it isn’t much of a challenge. Sometimes I have dreams about cookies or cheesy pizza, but I always wake up right before I take that first bite. You go, subconscious! I am making it my personal mission over the net 30 days to bring to you…or the internet…or whoever, really, meals that are not only appealing to the taste buds, but also the eyeballs. I can only cringe when perusing the whole 30 hashtag on Instagram. Sorry MzFit_Momma or whoever, but your “plated” Jenny-O turkey slices and banana protein balls look like shit. and they don’t make this healthy lifestyle look appealing at all. I get not everyone is talented in the kitchen, or works a part time job, or has an iPhone 5-6, or even a camera….but come on. You take a selfie with your fake eyelashes on and matching PiNK gym attire, why not make what you’re putting into your body look as put together as what you are putting on it. I know this is sounding kind of ranty, but if i have to read one more basic ground turkey Pinterest recipe I am going to freak.

End rant.

And so the mission. I will be posting the occasional photo on my Instagram of meals, dishes, original recipes etc. If you would like the recipe, send me a DM or email and I will send it straight to you. I have been Facebook messaging recipes to a good friend and have found it a bit easier than photographing the process, editing said photos, and writing up a post. It’s something I enjoy doing, but since new cat Nancy knocked my camera off the kitchen table, I’m going for quality over quantity.

In other news, we got a new cat. She is fat and fluffy and black. Sid is her name and cuddling/peeing on piles of clothes is her game.

In other other news:

-I’ve been getting back into running.

-I haven’t washed my hair in two weeks.

-My friend Lauren and i are taking on Thanksgiving this year.

-Lauren also recently got engaged, so I am taking on her Thanksgiving week wedding shower!

-I really, REALLY, REALLY want to go the Texas Style Council 2015 conference. All of my favorite bloggers will be there and it’s CAMP THEME. Nuf said.

-Autumn is making me fall in love with Pittsburgh all over again.

-I’m also ready for this crazy winter. Bring on the snow.

-I’ve become quite good at dating.. and I also eat a lot of dates thanks to Lara Bars.

-My Whole 30 is made possible by my Whole Foods discounts and the lack of alcoholic friends in Pittsburgh.

That’s all for now! Sorry MzFit_Mommas of the internetz. I don’t mean to be a bitch. I’m a virgo– can’t help it.

Life Lately | September Musings

Life has been quite the whirlwind since my last blog post. So many things have happened, including but not limited to: starting a new job, getting a haircut, becoming a cat lady, turning 26, etc. Those are all pretty big life moments if you ask me.

The radio silence is coming to an end. As we move into a new season, I sense a re-birth of blogging coming along. Also, the new job leaves me with 20 extra hours a week to mess around in the kitchen, take photos, go on dates (!), and really just time tot throw a pursuing other passions. I have been filling my notebook with content, so hopefully, for you all, that means more blog posts aka pie and recipes and photos of my hair. Until then, here is a look at the current picture.
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Not going to… Apologize for my lack of presence on the internet. As you may be able to infer from the introductory blurb, I was busy and then I had all this free time to, honestly, not spend on blogging. Instead I went kayaking, visited museums, went on hikes, started learning Hebrew, and yeah, maybe I watched an entire series or two on Netflix..

Listening to… Pandora is playing Band or Horses, which is a pretty accurate representation of my momentary musical tastes. Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, and The Lumineers consume my internet radio speakers. Last week I almost overdosed on Neil young in honor of the Harvest Moon. As real bonafide baking weather approaches I feel myself going back to the late greats of vintage country: Waylon, Willie, and the Boys + Patsy, Dolly, and Loretta. Oh yeah, Gene Autry, too.

Loving… Allow me to introduce you to my sister’s new kitten, little miss Nancy. While she technically belongs to my sister, her heart kinda sorta belongs to me. She sleeps with me every night, takes naps on my lap, and de-pots all of my succulents. Maybe it’s because I feed her every morning, or because I let her lick my face, but I consider her my little fur baby. I still love my smelly, old Gypsy, but Nance has very quickly changed my opinion on cats altogether. Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Eating… So my new job is in the bakery at Whole Foods. It’s pretty great- the people, the culture, the 20% discount. Since living up north, I’ve really let my granola flag fly, but not I can eat organic on a budget. My current obsessions are garden frittatas, General Tso tofu, and all beets everything. Oh yeah, Siggi’s Icelandic style yogurt is my jam. i eat it everyday and will never go Greek again. I bought myself another cast iron skillet for my birthday. It appears that I am starting a #52weeksoffrittatas with the frequency in which I make them. Also, two words for you: DUTCH BABY. Expect a blog post soon. Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Thinking about… Buying a ukulele to become a youtube sensation, going back to grad school to pursue the degree I should have gone for, forgoing the graduate degree and just getting my ESL cert, moving to a foreign country to teach English, where/when my next move will be. Each year on my birthday I set my New Year resolution. Last year’s was getting the hell outta dodge (Denton|Texas). This year I am dedicating to pursuing what I really want whether it be school, living in a different city, being a full time creative/baker. I’ve also been doing a lot more writing, my comical upbringing being the topic of intrigue. Everything is still a jumble in my head. That’s why I call it the thinking process. And who says I have to choose just one!

Planning… A trip to Texas! My good friend is getting married in October, so down south I will go! I am trying to figure out how to not so evenly divide my time between the DFW and San Antonio. Things that go along with trips include plane tickets. I need to get on that..

Anticipating… The arrival of fall. This past weekend showed signs of an early arrival. The temperatures staying in the 50s for the majority of the weekend. Instead of taking advantage of the perfect hiking weather, I spent the day on Lauren’s couch napping and binging on Gilmore Girls and Thai food. Which brings me to my next bullet point of anticipation *Gilmore Girls October 1st!

Wearing… Entirely too much flannel for the late summer, birkenstocks, and my usual all black everything. My wardrobe has also seen a resurgence of denim since jeans have now become a work staple. I won’t even begin to tell you about my new pair of clogs…Hipster Heidi of the Alps called. She want’s her wardrobe back but she aint gonna get it!

Spending… Money on farmers market flowers. Last week I bought a $7 bouquet that was so big I needed both arms to manage it on the short walk home. I felt like I was hugging a tree! See also, Siggi’s yogurt. I am about to purchase a case of that stuff!

Being thankful for… There are so many things on this list. I’ve been very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life, near and far. I love that I have animals to keep me warm as the mercury drops. I have a sister to laugh with. I have flowers to weave into something pretty. I have family planning trips. I have freedom to be doing what I want. So many, many things. These are just a drop in the bucket.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Stay tuned, y’all!

XOXO

Small Space, Dream Space | Styling with Chairish

A few weeks ago I was approached via my blog by a company called Chairish to do some  e-styling. Of course after browsing their online catalog, I was totally down for any sort of collaboration! In case you didn’t know, Chairish (what an adorable, punny play on words!) is an online consignment for vintage furniture. Their site allows for individuals to buy and sell pre-loved decor to one another. Go ahead and visit their website! If you’re anything like me, have a mop handy- I drooled over a Chesterfield sofa and multiple Persian rugs…

For this e-styling venture, I was sent a selection of vintage bar stools and asked to create and style my perfect home bar. My brain automatically thought of two things: 1. Tiffany of Offbeat & Inspired’s cozy DIY cafe corner, and 2. Chicago’s Longman & Eagle’s dining and bar spaces. I absolutely love reclaimed wood combined with, say, vintage glassware and an old rug. Before I could take these ideas and run with them, I had to choose a bar stool. I felt like Tamra from The Real Housewives of OC when she was shopping for a wedding dress. First you have to choose the dress, then you plan your wedding around it. In my case, I had to design a space around a single piece of furniture! I chose a pair of Mid-Century wicker bar stools.

my choice

My ideal bar space is not just for sloshing and slanging drinks all night with friends, family, and cats. I wanted to design a space where I could sit and enjoy my morning coffee or arrange fresh farmers market flowers on a cloudy afternoon. Where mixology meets productivity. I wanted it to be multipurpose space. Add in some elements of Americana and muted yet classic colors, and you will have my dreamy space, which is only a figment of mine and my blog’s imagination at the moment. styling idea 1

I went to brands I knew and brands I love: West Elm, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel,  and Restoration Hardware, to complete the big picture. (For more details, see the end of this post.) I am finally at the point in my life where my personal style has been nailed down. No more purple accent walls and Eiffel Tower posters of the college years. These days I lean more toward natural tones, fibers, and textures and a color palette some call boring. I guess living folk would be the trendy way of describing it.

For the most part, I tried to keep with the common Mid-Century theme. I love the smooth contours seen in most pieces of the time period. I also wanted a palette of mainly primary colors. nothing too flashy. Something I wanted to add but did not have a space was a hanging kitchen herb garden for a wall or window. I loved putting fresh herbs in my drinks, so this is necessary and also adds to the natural vibe I wanted to create. Moscow mules are also the beverage I am currently crushing on. Check out this recipe I found for a blueberry mule here! How good would that be with a few sprigs of basil or rosemary added?

 

Can I just say how grateful I am that I was approached to do this post? Styling is one of those new found passions that manifested from a love of food, vintage, decor, and photography of the mentioned subjects. Thanks for the opportunity Chairish!

 

Cheers!

Vintage Americana

Blog Almost Everyday in May

I am feeling up for the challenge, especially after this last week of WordPress activity. It feels really good to be posting regularly again!

 

Time to blog everyday in May, except for the weekends because a girl needs her weekends!

 

XOXO

 

From Texas to Pittsburgh: Cheers to New Beginnings

I created the Casa Y Cocina blog in 2013 while still residing in Denton, Texas. It has since then sufficed as a creative outlet and medium for sharing original recipes, home and DIY projects, some of my fashion choices, and the undertakings of me and my friends. Shortly after turning 25, I quit my day job, packed my dog and all of my belongings into a u-haul (don’t worry, Gypsy rode shotgun), and moved to Pennsylvania with the help of my twin brother.

November marked the beginning of a 4 month sabbatical. Those four months have been the most beautiful. Moving to a place where you know very few people is tough, but with the help of my good friends Chase & Lauren, my roommate/little sister, her boyfriend and his family, the transition has been more than smooth. Not only did my sister and I get to experience our fist white Christmas, and real winter for that matter, but I also took a position at a local bakery. I have the pleasure of getting to do what I love 40 hours a week and then some.

The above may sound like I finally have it all figured out. How I wish that were true! Though I have taken a few steps in the right direction, I am still far off from being exactly where I want to be. Fortunately I have the above mentioned people as a compass. They really keep me on track, especially my sister.

My journey thus far can easily be summed up by a few Peter, Bjorn and John lyrics:

I laugh more often now.

I cry more often now.

I am more me.

3 cheers

Three cheers to new beginnings!

Life Lately

I could begin this post by apologizing for being the worst blogger ever, but I’m not because, sometimes, life just gets in the way. And, life is something I have really been enjoying as of late.

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The past few weeks, or I suppose this past month, have been full of lovely moments that have quickly morphed into even lovelier memories.

Last weekend I saw The National perform. The front row experience surpassed any Dallas concert I have ever been to. Matt Berninger’s baritone bravado made me swoon all night. I have been listening to copious amounts of The National ever since. Goes well with dreary weather and red wine, don’t you think? Fortunately, my playlists do not reflect my current mood/ state of mind. Instead of brooding, I have been doing a whole lot of planning. I am going to Pittsburgh in 3 days, and am so looking forward to new sights and sounds, old friends, and the small chance of snow on Thursday.

I primarily spent this weekend doing Texan things. Well, maybe more so things people outside of Texas think Texans do all the time. These things included but were not limited to: drinking beer, eating bbq, and riding horses. ImageImageImageImageImage

Maybe I am just trying to get the Texan out of my system before going up north, though I don’t think this is possible. You can’t take the Texas out of the girl, and I will always have a mad love for Shiner Ruby Redbird & Cheer, tacos, and our big blue skies.

 

Passion Project with Kristiane Webb Photography

When my friend Kristiane asked if she could feature me on her blog’s new Passion Project series, I was more than thrilled!  Earlier this month, I got to spend a Saturday morning with this lovely and very talented lady. We talked about the old Denton days while I rolled out pie dough and she took photographs. I even sent her home with the final product- my very first, all from scratch, chocolate buttermilk pie!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from our time together with you all. You can see and read more out my interview here. Enjoy!

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Please check Kristiane’s website! If you are looking for a photographer in the DFW area, I highly recommend this lady!

Thank you for the wonderful time!

XOXOXO

Over the Weekend: Holi-Birthdays!

This weekend was super spectacular! Not only did I get to enjoy three days off of work, but I also got to celebrate 25 years of living! While my actual birthday is today, the majority of celebration happened over the last 4 days!Image

Friday night I discovered my new favorite hobbie! B-I-N-G-O! I have a new theory about bingo, you only win if you have a catheter or oxygen tank or if you are a million years old. Image

The funniest part of bingo was the guy walking around yelling ‘angry balls!’. This guy loved our group and even urged us to come back the next night for FREE BEER and more bingo! Image

On Saturday, my lovely and very talented friend Kristiane came to my house and photographed me  for her blog. She is currently working on a Passion Project. I was just so happy to be her subject for post #2. I even baked her a pie!Image

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Later that day, Elizabeth and I ventured to Garland to see Kate in her new part time job at the Generator Coffee Shop! The place was beautiful. A dream, really! It makes me so happy knowing that Lindsey made her dream come true by becoming the owner of this amazing space! I am kicking myself for not accepting the cook position she offered me! Even Kate looks so cute in her little apron! ImageImage

Elizabeth and I ventured around Garland’s seemingly ghost townish square. I bought a Pyrex pie plate, feed bag apron, and green glass insulator at a neighboring antique store. The ladies were so nice! I could have seriously talked to them about baking for hours! ImageImageImage

Sunday and Labor Day were exactly what they should have been: relaxing and full of pie. My friend Jessica wowed us all with a homemade brisket that could easily put any and all of the BBQ joints in town to shame! She marinated it in PBR! It was a hispter brisket!

After such a good day and perfect weekend, 25 is not scaring me as much. Actually, I am very excited to see where the next year will take me! Travel, growing my blog, and being even more adventurous in the kitchen are at the top of the list!

I’ve achieved more than I ever thought I could in the last year! And there is still so much more I have yet to do! Even all of my birthday wishes came true!

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I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend! It was most definitely one for the books. Now it’s time to celebrate just a little more!

Friday Favorites 8.30

Finally August is coming to an end. September kicks off with my birthday! As excited as I am to turn a quarter of a century, the upcoming birthday has been quite the stress inducer this week. I am realizing that I am nowhere close to where I thought I’d be, and, I am nowhere close to where I want to be. I plan to spend the next year working diligently to reach these goals. The future excites me! I just need to keep an open mind and not let my creativity stifle. One of my favorites, I always look to this quote for inspiration:

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Looks like Sylvia Plath and I had more in common than an affinity for ovens.

Speaking of ovens, I have started the process of baking my first pie from the Hoosier Mama cookbook!Image

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

XOXOXO

Texas Style Council: Part 1

It’s been a little over a week since I attended the Texas Style Council in Austin, a conference solely for women bloggers, business owners, and creative types alike. Not only did I get to mix, mingle, even shake it on the dance floor with some of my favorite bloggers/internet crushes, but I got to network, make new friends, and build upon those already semi-established internet friendships. Now we are friends in real life!

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I attended several workshops and discussions over the course of the weekend. It was pretty much like blogging school, except social media (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) were encouraged during class time. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement! Here are a few recaps from the weekend:

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Life Blogging 101 by Jenni of Story of My Life

Jenni is and was a total ray of sunshine the entire weekend. For the most part, her presentation focused on making your blog successful by remaining true to your own voice. You do not have to fall into a certain niche. There are several components to a successful blog: an identifiable aesthetic, quality over quantity when it comes to posts, a unique voice, relatability or the willingness to open up to your readers and share the details- even the not-so perfect ones, and embracing your audience. I am sure I am forgetting a few other things she mentioned… Oh yeah, she gave us all super cute knuckle rings!

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Self Photography 101 by Elizabeth of Delighfully Tacky

I recently started following Elizabeth’s blog. As fellow part-time introvert, full-time big hair enthusiast, I had to attend her workshop! Plus, she was speaking about self photography, more commonly known as THE SELFIE! (Taking selfies are one of my favorite hobbies!) Elizabeth mainly focused on the use of natural light and a tripod and photo composition. She also touched base on some of the more technical details like ISOs, aperture, shutter speeds, and manual vs. auto settings. As an owner of a new old DSLR camera, that part of the presentation was particularly helpful. Good thing I am usually home around the golden hour, the best time to photograph!

Freelancing 101 by Tolly of Austin Eavesdropper

When I think of freelancing, I normally think of journalism or writing of some sort. For some reason my mind used to not encompass event planning, graphic design, or other skill sets into the term. Tolly’s blog started out as a side project focusing on the wild yet sometimes eclectic ATX nightlife. By way of her love for the city and collaboration, she was able to grow her audience.

When it comes to freelancing, sometimes you have to offer your services for free, especially when first starting out, and use your blog as a portfolio. It should be an adequate representation of your work and capabilities. It wasn’t until 2 years after the fact when Tolly got her first paying freelancing gig. Her advice: be patient and don’t quit your day job right away!

Big Impact PR on a Micro-Budget by Lisa, co-owner of Newton O’Neill Communications

What makes your brand newsworthy, or, at the least worthy of other people’s time and attention? Lisa gave her tips of the trade on how to make a big splash into the infinite depths of the internet. She also focused on how to accomplish such a feat on a budget slim to none. For the most part it all boils down to knowing your media markets, trends and patterns in the industry, and knowing your readers/users. As a blogger, you should not be afraid to ask for feedback. Also, persistence is key- attend & present at conferences, network, make contacts, and try to always be on the cutting edge! The blogosphere, hosted by the past faced and ever changing world wide web, is constantly in motion! I’ve got to try my best to keep up the pace!

After a day of attending back to back workshops and constant human interaction, I had to skip the last session and retreat to the hotel bar. Decompression time was much needed before prom! That, too, is a whole different post!

Decompression

The above covers only my Saturday at the conference! In an effort not to bore your with lots of information and for the sake of not dragging this post out, I will catch you up more tomorrow!