Author: Josie

Bourbon Plum Butter

When we moved to California, we were lucky to find the perfect little starter house for us.  It came with a plum tree, or as I came to learn, a pluot tree.  These lovely little fruits are in season right now, so naturally, this last week’s menu has been saturated with pluot recipes.  I whipped up a pluot and sweet cherry torte for a pot luck, muddled up a few in some drinks, and finally used the remainder of our bounty in a breakfast butter.  The butter is slow cooked to create a beautiful deep red color.  It would be a perfect addition to your next brunch served on toasted crostinis with goat cheese.  Enjoy! -Josie Ingredients: Roughly 1lb. of pluots 1/2 c sugar 1/2 c water 1/4 t cardamom 1/4 t cinnamon 1 oz bourbon Method: Pit pluots and cut into 1 inch pieces leaving the skin on.  Place into a medium, non-reactive saucepan.  Add sugar and water to pan with fruit.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until fruit is very …

Gems of the Pacific Northwest

One of the really incredible things about living in Sacramento is how close you are to so many different climates and scenery.  Within roughly two hours you can be at the beach, the mountains, a forest, or the desert if you so desire.  If you hop on a plane, you can be in Washington in the same amount of time.  And I must say, it is one hundred percent worth it. Josh and I went up to the Olympic National Park for this birthday weekend, and it was spectacular.  It helped that the area was experiencing relief from the ever present rain that weekend.  The sun was out and the weather was absolutely perfect.  We decided to rent a car and take a little road trip around the perimeter of the park so we could see a good portion of it on our short weekend trip.  We made a few stops along the way, which I am eager to share with you. Stop #1: Port Angeles I love being around water.  On it, in it, …

Texas-Style Guacamole

As previously stated, my husband and I love to cook.  One of our favorite dishes to bring to gatherings is a super easy and very tasty bowl of guacamole.  We started our quest to make a delicious guac after having some of the best at San Antonio restaurant, Zinc.  (You should have the Zinc burger, too.)  After throwing together a few batches, we came up with our own version of classic guacamole.  The important thing to remember about this recipe is that you can make any changes you want.  The amounts are relative to your tastes, so have fun creating something unique to you! Josh & Josie’s Guac What to make it with: 2 Avocados, smashed 1 Roma tomato, diced 1/2 Small red onion, diced 1 Garlic clove, minced 1 Small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 1 Serrano pepper, minced 2 Limes 1 Orange Kosher salt to taste What to do: Peel and mash avocados roughly in a large mixing bowl with a fork.  We like to leave our guac a little chunky, but the consistency …

Grace Over Guilt | Looking At Wellness Differently

Do not eat that girl scout cookie.   Don’t do it. Stop. Ugh…you have absolutely no willpower.  Unbelievable…. While slightly humorous, so goes the inner self-deprecating dialogue that attempts to guilt me into making healthier choices for myself.  I ask myself what negative self-talk has ever actually done for me.  Nothing, except make me feel worse. I have recently started to follow a blog by Robin Long called The Balanced Life.  Robin creates online pilates programs for busy women and is passionate about finding a balance with health and fitness.  Her belief is that guilt doesn’t work as a long-term motivator, and she reminds her followers to choose grace over guilt. It can be extremely difficult to change your way of thinking when it comes to how you see and talk to yourself.  I know this from personal experience.  However, after a particularly difficult week working with young adolescents facing suicidal thoughts and actions, I am realizing just how important it is to take care of yourself physically and, maybe especially, mentally.  These children shared their stories …

Paris Restaurant Guide

  Oh Paris…  You were wonderful.  Beautiful views, spectacular architecture, and absolutely incredible food.  It should be, right?  I mean, Julia Child wouldn’t have totally changed the focus of her life after having your sole meunière if it wasn’t something truly scrumptious.  Traveling to Paris and watching Julie & Julia on the plane ride home had me itching to come back and offer up a few eateries for you to try on your next trip. Le Mary Céleste Located in the Marais district of Pairs, this little gem should not be overlooked.  Especially if you like oysters.  I don’t even like oysters, and I could’ve eaten the entire half dozen we ordered.  They were fantastic!  Cold and flavored perfectly with a slightly spicy citrus sauce…  Don’t stop there, though.  The tapas style menu allows you to sample as many delectable dishes as you choose.  While the menu changes daily, I definitely recommend getting the braised beef if it is available.  Braised for 24 hours, you aren’t going to find a more tender, deliciously seasoned beef …

V-Day Card Roundup

Sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect card.  There have been countless times I’ve stood in a store and hated absolutely every card in sight.  Here are a few of my favorite Valentines Day cards from some of my favorite artists/stationery companies. “Sending You A Boatload Of Love” – Rifle Paper Co. “All Yours” – Red Cap Cards “So Happy To Have You In My Life” – Ferme A Papier “I’m So Lucky I Found You” – Hello!Lucky

36 Hours in Your Home: “Staycation” Essentials

Text conversation with a friend: Her: Hey, would you be interested in seeing La La Land with me tonight? Me: Oh man, yes I would but we are in San Diego… Her: [Crying emojis] Bummer. What days of the month are you typically home? Me: Tuesdays haha Her: So Tuesdays you guys are home and you go to your jobs on those days? Otherwise you’re in Texas, Chicago, SD, or Bangladesh? Ok, so maybe my husband and I go places a lot (Bangladesh is a stretch)…  It’s true.  With our families living in different states and our love of seeing new places, we travel all the time.  In fact, we were supposed to be going to Florida over our long weekend, but plans changed.  I have to say, though, that staying home has its advantages.  No delayed flights, mediocre airport food, time changes, or jet lag. Staying home can also be the perfect time to focus on yourself and get in a few things you enjoy before starting the work week again.  I love taking weekends …

Packing Light for the Chronic Over-Packer

  AHHHH!!!  I’m going to Europe again!  In case you weren’t fully able to interpret the capital letters at the start of this post, I am extremely excited.  I can’t wait to experience new places with my favorite person. My husband and I plan to visit a few different cities in Spain and then spend a couple days in Paris.  Our trip is scheduled for February, and we plan to take only one backpack a piece.  Packing is definitely going to be a challenge as we will need to make differing winter climates and limited space work together. Let me take you back a few years before traveling (by plane) was really a thing that I did on the regular.  Let me take you back to a time before my husband.  I was a chronic over-packer.  When my family would go on road trips, I would pack multiple suitcases for a week long trip.  And these suitcases were not small.  I had this idea that essentially everything I owned needed to come with me on …

Longing for Warmer Weather: Free Desktop Background

They lied.  Those people who told me it never rains in California lied.  This week in Sacramento has been one dreary stretch of days.  Yes, yes… I know it is needed, and that I shouldn’t complain about the life giving waters, but when you’re solar powered like me, consecutive days with no sun really gets you down. Thankfully today seems to have brought back my beloved yellow friend, and I want to celebrate by offering up the pattern I made to cheer me up during the last couple dark days.  Hope you enjoy! Download Warmer Weather desktop background here.

Becoming Jane: Why You Should Add Portraits of People You Don’t Know to Your Home

I want to be Jane Austen.  Ok, not really because she actually had a challenging life.  However, I wouldn’t mind living in one of her books.  Anyone else out there feel the same way?  So since I can’t physically insert myself into her writings, I will settle for creating spaces that remind me of that time. If you’ve ever been in my home, you will know that I like old things.  Any time period, really.  I liked how a friend of mine described my style to someone.  She said, “It’s like you smushed Anthropologie and an antique store together.”  Pretty accurate.  In my quest to put a little more of the 1800s in my life, I have now decided I need to scour antique stores and estate sales for portraits of people I don’t know to display on my walls.  And maybe some fruit.  Because, look how cool… And I’m off to see what I can find with some parting advice from Jane herself: “Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh …