Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend Festivites!

I hope you all had a great Easter Weekend!
 Floral Tank from Forever 21 - $9.80
Cream Skirt from Target (circa 2005) - probably about $20
Brown Wedges from Target clearance - $8
Statement necklace from Forever 21 - $7.80
A very reasonable outfit at a grand total of less than: $46!
 
Gabby's Family Party on Saturday

I made two desserts for my family's party on Saturday.

The first was a Nutella Mousse Carrot Patch. I specifically searched "dirt" desserts - just so I could make tiny carrot toppers! The original recipe is for a layered dirt cup, but as long as there is Nutella, cream cheese, and cool whip involved - I figured it would be hard to mess it up.  I doubled the recipe so that I could use it both days.

Orange Mike and Ike's for the carrots
Edible Easter Grass for the tops
Stab a hole in the wider end with a fork
Gently work the Easter grass into the hole and trim the excess
I'll be honest and admit that this wasn't easy.  I had 28 carrots total (the contents of 2 boxes) and it probably took me at least an hour... but hey, it's fun and cute, so totes worth it, right?
 
I only got one package of Oreos - which wasn't quite enough for doubling the recipe. If I'd had enough, I would have started with an Oreo layer on the bottom as well.
The second dessert was a two layer coconut cake!

I wasn't too excited about any of the recipes I found so I just kind of combined ideas.  I ended up buying a vanilla cake mix and substituted coconut milk for water. I was super nervous because I've never had success with a layered cake... but it actually turned out really good!
For the frosting, I used a can of vanilla and mixed in the thick creamy part of the leftover coconut milk.  And then covered the whole thing with sweetened flaked vanilla.  It ended up being a subtle coconut flavor, but I really liked it!
The finishing touch was dark chocolate bunny with a festive ribbon tied around his neck!
My grandpa believing that the entire cake was for him
It's an Easter pup!

Donny's Family Party on Sunday

I brought two sides and two desserts to Donny's parent's house on Sunday.

I've seen caprese skewers before, so I don't have a specific link as inspiration...but it's a pretty basic (and delicious) concept.

Of course, it had to be Easter themed, so I used bunny and egg cupcake toppers as the skewers.
Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers recently re-posted the link to her Arugula, feta and watermelon salad and it looked so light and fresh I was excited to contribute that dish as well. I forgot to get a photo at the time, but I did remember to snap a quick picture on my phone before I dug in to the leftovers today.
I used the second half of the decadent Nutella mixture for Sunday. This time I layered the mixture with the crushed oreos in empty baby food jars. I found small wooden garden crates in the Dollar Bin at Target which were the perfect "tray" to display the cups.
I was super excited when these Rice Krispy Treat Eggs actually worked! I was concerned that they wouldn't come out easily so I greased the socks off of these eggs (note: you actually can use too much butter/Pam... so in the future I will cut back on the greasing...they did end up a little slimier than what I'd hoped)
I also wanted to give a little something to the ladies and saw this idea on Pinterest too. Nail polish in coordinating Easter eggs!
And now to finish the post - here's lot's of pictures of my adorable 4 month old niece, Poppy! She loved watching the hockey game with Uncle Donny
She's an Easter Pop!
Playing with grandpa's stuffed animal, "Oddy Boy" from when he was a baby.  That bear is over 60 years old!
Happy Easter my friends! Thanks with staying with me through such a long post!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Good Friday and Cheap Easter Decor!

Happy Good Friday! He is risen! I hope you're all looking forward to a fun, resurrection weekend!

I love decorating for the Holidays and try to do at least a little something for each of them.

Growing up in a Conservative Christian church - a lot of my friends didn't really "do" the Easter Bunny or egg hunt thing.  But my parents were always really good about finding the balance.  "Easter isn't about eggs or the Easter Bunny, but isn't it fun to pretend?" was what I grew up hearing.  So church was always central, but we still got Easter baskets and searched for dozen of brightly colored hard boiled (yeah, we're legit like that) eggs throughout the yard. Thanks mom and dad!

All that to say - I deeply value the real meaning of Easter, but am also totally at peace in my heart about cutesy bunny rabbit figurines and plastic pastely eggs!

I got the idea for this garland from Pinterest.  So easy! All pastic eggs have little holes in the top and bottom so just pop it open, string bakers twine through the top and bottom, close it and repeat.  Done.
I got a case of 100 eggs from Big Lots for $4.99.  In fact - all of the Easter decorations you see below cost less than $20 all together!

I've got some festive Easter desserts up my sleeve as well so be sure to check back on Monday to see how successful I may... or may not have been!

What are your plans for Easter? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gabby Rose Wears...

I love fashion, but I don't have time most mornings to put together a stylish, well-accesorized "outfit."  Although I would consider myself more of a morning person than a night owl...most days I still only manage to give myself about 45 minutes to read my Bible, shower, dress, pack lunches and be at work by 8 AM.

I wouldn't blame anyone else for picking out a pair of pants and a top and calling it a day, But for me, that does actually pose a slight problem.

Here's why: I actually have tons of clothes, tons & tons of accessories and tons & tons & TONS of shoes.
Like seriously - a TON. We not-jokingly-at-all call our spare bedroom "Gabby's walk-in closet."
I love shopping. It's one of my oldest past times. I even love shopping for other people. (In another life I think I'd make a great personal shopper). And I don't want to brag per say...but I'm also kind of a pro at finding good deals. With the exception of my running shoes and a couple other pairs of "sensible shoes" pretty much every other article of clothing/shoe/accessory I own cost me somewhere in the $15-$30 range.

Therefore, in an effort to be more purposeful about taking advantage of my closet, I'm going to work on planning outfits before bed, and maybe, maybe, waking up a few minutes earlier.

Here's what I wore to work today:
Red chiffon tee from Nordstrom Rack - $10.99
Drapey Crop pant from Old Navy - $25
Steve Madden Sandals via TJ Maxx - $16.99
Both Necklaces from Forever 21 - $4.95 each
Outfit Total: $63
Each piece is very comfortable and keeps me cool on this lovely 80 degree  So Cal Spring day. I was a little worried the pants might look like pajamas, but the cinching at the bottom helps with that (I think?) I also purposely paired it with two necklaces to "dress it up" a bit.

Questions: How much time do you spend getting ready in the morning?
Do you prefer to own fewer "quality" pieces? Or lot's of inexpensive items?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Paper Flower Tutorial

If everyone's okay with this, I'm going to start doing some tutorials on here for the various crafts and DIY's I make. (My most popular blog posting still remains the Travel Themed Party I threw for my friend Stephanie) Crafting is probably my next biggest hobby after running, and I find myself crafting even more these days with all my extra non-running free time.

This is actually a project I did for work, but am definitely planning on using for future parties and gift wrapping.

The Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial
It's actually incredibly simple and goes pretty fast.  I made about 30 flowers of varying sizes in about 2 hours.

What you'll need:
Lot's of tissue paper
Pencil
Scissors
Stapler (ideally one with a long reach)

1. Stack your tissue paper at least 8 layers thick.  More than 8 is ideal - but 8 will work.  Most of mine were between 10 and 12 layers. Make sure you cut the stack of paper to a square (roughly) This will give you a rounder flower (vs. an oblong flower)

2. Staple the stack in the middle and free draw a round flower shape with petals

3. Cut out the flower shape

4. Fluff each layer one at a time.  I found that squeezing and scrunching each layer as I went made it stay better and look "fluffier"

5. When you get to the bottom layer - you're done! Just fluff a bit more until you're happy with it.

Easy-peasy right?
There are a ton of things you can do with these little (or big) guys. We used them for bulletin boards, but I love the idea of the flower as the bow on a gift too!
Via Lia Griffith: Handcraft Your Life
 Try it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Palm Springs Planning

There isn't a lot of running happening over here in Gabby Rose Runs Land. Physical Therapy is plugging along.  My hip is getting better... but it's not completely healed.

In the meantime, here's something completely unrelated...

I know a lot of people are getting ready to head to Indio for Coachella pretty soon.  I'm not really into that whole "festival" scene - but I do love me some Palm Springs desert vacationing.  We're actually going to Indio for a week in May and being the Type-A over-planner that I am, I'm already scheduling our trip and planning out what we'll be eating/doing/shopping/seeing etc.
If you've never been to Palm Springs I'd highly recommend taking a trip.  If you're living in the Los Angeles area - it's a great weekend destination. It's about an 1.5 hour drive, and if you don't mind the heat (everything is air conditioned) there are some great deals to be had in the summer months.
We got a suh-weet deal at the Hyatt Regency in July last year
My husband and I both grew up vacationing in Palm Springs, and next month will be our third trip there together.
Dinner at Lulu in 2011 (pre blog)
Marilyn Statue last July
My grandparents gifted us a week using their timeshare points so we're staying at the WorldMark Indio with some friends.
We're definitely planning on tons of relaxation time at the pool (can you say, Lazy River??)!
Reading by the pool with clear skies, warm breezes and gorgeous mountains.... ahhhh
But because we're staying for 4 nights and I can't handle vegging all the time, here are some of our plans for the week.

Starting with the drive in...

Finally stopping at the Cabazon Dinosaurs
This is one of those places I've always seen and known about, but never actually stopped at and went to, ya know?

I'd also like to try a date shake from Hadley's. Another place we always see... but the timing never seems to be right.
Since we're staying in Indio, which is about 30 minutes past Palm Springs, we'll spend most of out time out there and then just make a couple day trips back out to actual Palm Springs.

I'm all about fun brunching (it's the Angeleno in me I suppose) and I've read lot's of good things about Cheeky's. A flight of specialty bacon? Watermelon agua fresca? Um, yes please.

Since we'll be spending the day in Palm Springs, I'd also love to check out some antique shops I've read about: Sunny Dunes, Dazzles and Victoria's Attic to name a few.
I've also never experienced the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which is definitely pretty "touristy" but I'm okay with that.
One of the most random things we'll be doing brings out the total kid in me... We're going to Wet 'n' Wild Water Park!!
 I know, I know... we're adults without children, but hey, we're trying to find fun outdoors-but-try-not-to-die-of-heat-exhaustion types of adventures :)

I'm sure we'll end up spending a ton of time at the pool and just hanging out in the condo - but do you have any suggestions of other places/things to check out?  We're always looking for more ideas!