April Round Up (and a little bit of March)

ay, okay, this is actually more like a March and April round up. With all of my traveling the past few months, I’ve been a little behind on some of my posts. But May is a new month and you can’t change the past can you?

In March I went out to Connecticut to shower my best friend before her wedding at the end of this month. It was beautiful. Besides being able to be around for her beautiful bridal shower, I also was able to be home for my cousin’s 30th birthday and for my sister’s new puppy’s first weekend home. I love being able to go home and be a part of such special occasions even though I live so far away. My cousin was my first friend. We are five weeks apart and were dressed alike and raised alike our whole lives. We went to summer camp together every summer, did gymnastics together for years, and even ended up being college roommates. Being able to ring in her dirty thirty with her was fabulous!

April was a little different than March. I was able to spend much more time outdoors and do some of my favorite summer activities. Well currently I am finishing up a weekend away in Vegas, but more on that later.  We had a BBQ at our friends new house, spent a Saturday in the Flower Fields in Carlsbad and had Easter Brunch on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I loved being able to be outside, and my skin needed the prep before this weekend in the desert sun. Keep an eye out for a post in the next few weeks about the Carlsbad Flower Fields and also a summer bucket list as we head into my favorite time of year. 

Hot Sausage Pasta

There are a few staples that are at all of my family’s gatherings. One thing is stuffed hot cherry peppers. I just can’t do it! I don’t know, maybe I’m being too hard on my self but my cousin makes them perfect every time and mine just don’t taste the same.

Well one part of making stuffed hot cherry peppers is marinating the peppers in olive oil. Well now that I have tried to make the peppers a few times, I have a pretty good amount of olive oil that has been soaking in hot peppers for a few months. YUM!

So because I hate to waste anything, especially food, I have been finding recipes that I could use the hot oil. Pizza is a big one. Amazing! But then I thought it would be just as good in pasta with hot sausage. So yep, the hot oil at least has been good for something.

So what you have to do to make the hot oil is buy a jar of hot cherry peppers and drain the marinade that comes with them. Then you fill the jar up with olive oil, salt and pepper and I add a few hot pepper flakes because I like spice. Then you let it sit in the refrigerator. For a long time. Like a month a long time. The olive oil will coagulate, but I think it’s fine. (I mean I don’t actually know if that’s ok, but hey, I’m not dead.)

Then you eat the peppers (obvi) or just toss them if they are too spicy for your liking. I put the actual peppers on homemade pizza and that was amazing. Spicy peppers with spicy oil, a little bit of cheese and pizza dough! Perfection.

Check out the recipe below for what I did with the hot oil to make this perfect pasta.

4-6 Tablespoons of hot oil (see above for directions)
1 lb linguine
2 hot Italian sausage links
2 cups of arugula
Red pepper, black pepper and salt to taste

  1. Boil pasta per directions on the box.
  2. Heat saucepan to medium high temperature. While pan is heating up, remove the sausage from the casing and discard the casing. Add the sausage to the hot pan and cook thoroughly, chopping sausage into small sizes.
  3. Once sausage is cooked all the way through add hot oil and red pepper flakes to taste.
  4. Drain pasta and add to sauce pan, lowering the heat to medium. Mix pasta in with oil.
  5. Allow flavors to cook together for 5 minutes.
  6. Add arugula, mix and enjoy. 

Whale Watching off the Newport Beach Coast

Summer is just around the corner and my favorite part of summer is being able to be out on the water. Now I’m not a big beach girl. All that sand, getting everywhere, I’m not a fan. But a boat. A boat I can do. My best friend has a boat that we usually bring out onto the lake and go tubing. Or sometimes we will take the ferry over to Catalina and spend the day in the sun. Either way, on a boat, or on an island, I am a happy girl.

Back in March we took advantage of the annual migration of the California Grey Whales and took a whale watching tour out of Newport Beach, CA. Best. Day. Ever. We saw sea lions, and a pod of dolphins and best of all, we followed a group of five grey whales up the coast. It was absolutely amazing.

We were so lucky to pull out of Newport Harbor and right away catch a glimpse of a spout from a whale in the distance. The boat started following along and slowly four more whales popped up in different areas around the boat. It was incredible.

The two and a half hours out on the water were so wonderful that I would recommend it to anyone visiting Orange County. I love that we did our whale watching out of Newport Beach because the Balboa Peninsula is so cute, has such a great pier, and the cutest “fun zone.” Mid-December through mid-April are supposed to be the best time of year to see the whales migrating along the coast but there are opportunities all year to see the am

azing creatures.

 

Spring Home Decor

Hellooo Friday! Who is excited for the weekend. Well spring has sprung in most of the country, and especially here in So Cal. I was able to spend a day last week down in beautiful San Diego touring a cruise ship, and I spent the beautiful drive home to Orange County in awe of the beautiful poppy fields that line the freeway. This weekend we are being super So Cal kids and heading back down to SD with a few friends to visit the flower fields in Carlsbad. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I am super excited.


At the start of each season I bring out new decorations or run to the store to do a little make over on the house. Last month I had my eyes peeled. I already have a lot of neutrals that can really be used all year round, but I wanted a little brightness to our living area. This peach color is one of my favorites right now and I knew I wanted it splattered around the house this season. So I found some pillows, pulled out a few blankets and picked up a few fresh flowers.

Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers are the easiest ways to bring life to a space. I am obsessed with these orchids that Chris picked up for me for Valentine’s Day. I am shocked that they are still kicking. I notoriously have a black thumb so I am so proud that these are still bright and alive. (True life they may be fake and Chris could be lying to me just to keep me happy. I once killed two Christmas trees in one year.)

Lighter textiles

Pack up those heavy blankets and pull out the light stuff. Fabrics like cottons are light and  beathable which I love for the spring and summer. Some of my favorite memories growing up were at one of my girlfriend’s house where they always set the AC at like 58. I swear. And we would bundle up in blankets and watch movies all summer long. Now my cheap ass barely turns the AC to 72 but it doesn’t stop me from having cuddly blankets close.

 

Earth tones

Okay, you’re right, I have these all year round but I love me some wood tones, green leaves and natural fabrics. I love this map Chris made me for Christmas this year. The handmade art is amazing and I love that it is on the two by fours.

Bright Pillows and Blanket

Details like pillows and blankets are so easy to switch out season after season to recreate your space. Whether you are reusing holiday decor or getting the newest trend, like my metalic pillows that I am still using since Christmas, this is such a small detail that adds so much character to a space.

Fresh scents

Uhg CANDLES! I am obsessed with candles. There is at least one candle burning at all times in my house. Whether it’s scented or just simple tea lights. I love them and this Tullips candle by Yankee Candle is my favorite this season.

Favorite Spring Recipes

Happy second day of spring! All I have been thinking about is flowers, hiking, kayaking and yummy summer food. These past few weeks have been super busy but I finally see a light at the end of the long tunnel. I feel like we have been going non stop since before the Christmas season and spring is going to be a time to veg and relax… well a little bit.

This past weekend we finally got to get out of the house and be outdoors. Saturday night we spent at Disneyland where they are right in the middle of featuring the Main Street Electrical Parade. If you live local, go check it out before it’s gone this June. It was a big throw back to my childhood. I remember seeing it in Disney World when I was a kid, and seeing the same parade, and floats as an adult was really cool and definitely gave me a whole other appreciation for this piece of Disney magic.

Sunday morning we woke up early and headed down to Newport Beach to do a little whale watching. More on that later but the being out on the water was definitely what the doctor ordered. And we even got to hang out with some grey whales and dolphins.

Now that spring is here, I’ve been craving lighter meals. There’s something about the nice weather that makes me want to eat lighter and healthier. So today I put together a list of my favorite food I have featured on my blog that remind me of summer. Enjoy! 

Cabbage, Spinach, Mozzarella Salad  Chicken Picatta

Grilled Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Mediterranean Spaghetti

Homemade Bruschetta 

This weekend I’m working both days, but Sunday morning we are doing something that I have been looking forward to for a long time. Hints: we will be on the water and it involves an extremely oversized animal. Keep an eye out on Instastory to see what we are up to.