Sunday, June 26, 2011

CooCoo for Coconuts!

I purchased adorable cookie cutters on my recent trip to Florida and decided to make delicious Coconut Sugar Cookies with them.  Wow, I'm impressed with this recipe!  The cookies are delicious and are the perfect summer treat.  It helps that they look like they came straight from the Caribbean!  I found the recipe online and added my own twist by adding coconut flavoring to the batter and icing.

- 1 c. butter
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
- 4 1/2 c. sifted flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. sour cream
- 1 c. flaked or shredded coconut

- 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring
- 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
- 3 1/2 tbsp. milk

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together. Chill in refridgerator for 15 minutes.  Roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutter or make out in balls and press down. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Once cookies are cool, spread icing on top with sprinnkles.  Enjoy!

Be sure to join me for DebbieDoo's Newbie Blog Party today!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nautical Bargains

I got home earlier this week from a great getaway to Florida to spend time with family.  I'll be sure to post pictures from the trip soon.  But first, I want to share with you some incredible bargains I found perfect for any gal's summer wardrobe.  I have an upcoming event to attend and wanted something new to wear.  I tend to pick up shoes and clothing along and along and will wear them for years.  This sometimes leads to me dressing a bit outdated, so I'm trying to be more stylish while still on a limited  budget. 

The following pairs of espadrilles are from Payless....yes, you heard right, Payless Shoes!  They are running their BOGO promo (Buy One, Get One Half Off), and the shoes were on sale!  I purchased one pair for $11 and the other pair for $5.  What are you waiting for?  Hop in the car and head on over to Payless!

So, I made a quick stop (not really quick, I stood in line for 30 minutes to check out) to H&M.  They have really trendy clothes for cheap.  I picked up this adorable white and navy dress for $34.50.  The dress even has pockets!

Because the event I'll be attending is in the evening, I've decided my patent red pumps will coordinate perfectly.  But if I want to dress down the outfit, I can wear one of the two espadrilles I just bought!

What do you think of the outfit?  I'm still trying to decide how to accessorize it.  What do you suggest for accessories? 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Headed to Florida!

Hi fellow beach lovers....I'm headed to Florida for several days to spend time with the girls in my family.  My mom and sister are flying from DFW and I'll be flying in from San Francisco.  I can't wait!  I'll be sure to post some pics of our time together.  In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful week!

Me, my grandmother and Cathy at New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

My sister and I at New Smyrna Beach, Florida on the 4th of July....yippee!!!

Me and my pretty grandmother at one of our favorite seafood dives...Boston's Seafood!

My mom and I in Monterey!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tropical Thursday Recognizes World Oceans Day

These photos were taken this past February while snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.  World Oceans Day is a celebration of ocean conservation.  I have such a love with the sea and all its creatures.  Please join me in remembering to take care of one of our most amazing natural wonders.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

CooCoo for Coconuts!

I can't take the credit for finding this recipe since my mom forwarded it to me, but I can certainly share it with all of you!  It's a delicious recipe for Coconut Pound Cake and extremely easy to make.  I hope you can find the time to make this goodie!

Serves 12 to 16
*Recipe from Southern Lady Magazine

Ingredients for Cake
2 cups (4 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
6 eggs
1 (7-ounce) package of flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring

Ingredients for Icing
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
Flaked coconut (for topping)

1. Grease and flour a  Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter and 2 cups sugar for 7 minutes in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup flour and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add coconut with remaining 1 cup of flour. Mix well. Add vanilla and coconut flavoring. Spoon batter into pan; smooth the top. Tap the pan on the counter to get out any air pockets. Bake in the bottom third of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
3. For Icing: Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut flavoring, and milk.
4. Loosen the side of the cake with a table knife and then turn out onto a cooling rack with waxed paper. Pierce the top of the cake all over with a fork. Cool completely on wire rack. Spoon icing over the top of the cake and sprinkle flaked coconut. Serve at room temperature.  Cake freezes well. Wrap in platic wrap and place the entire cake in a large freezer bag.

Please join me at A Beach Cottage for her Linky Party!

Friday, June 3, 2011


I start a new job on Monday (yippee!), so Mr. H and I decided to spend my last week of "freedom" by visiting a few towns around us.   Carmel-by-the-Sea (aka Carmel) has been at the top of my list to visit, so we made the 2.5 hour drive south of Monterey Bay to this adorable seaside town.  If you ever visit California, Carmel should be on your list of things to's AMAZING!  It has fantastic shops, yummy cafes, beautiful art galleries, and quaint cottages.  And here's an interesting fact...Clint Eastwood (yes, the actor) was the mayor of Carmel from 1986-1988 and he still owns the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant in town.     

I couldn't get over how beautiful the flowers were all over town.  So many different colors.

Love, love, love this window display.  It screams ocean!!

I was in search of fried oysters and we found them and a lot more at Flaherty's Oyster Bar.  Mr. H ordered crab tacos and I had delicious clam chowder soup with my friend oysters.   

We collect ornaments from every city we visit.  To represent Carmel, we selected an ornament with a cottage on the front because there are so many cottages in town.  The cottage pictured above is called The Tuck Box and is painted on the ornament we purchased.  The Tuck Box is a popular tea room in town.

Another view of The Tuck Box built by Hugh Comstock in 1927.  Hugh built several cottages in town refered to as the Comstock Fairy Tale Cottages.

It was suggested to Mr. H to visit Galante Vineyards & Winery for a wine tasting.  It's a cute lil' tasting room with a western sure to check it out. 

Before moving to San Francisco, we lived in Houston...home of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (aka "the rodeo).  The rodeo is a big deal and hosts two weeks of concerts, bull riding contests, livestock shows, and a wine competition.  Galante Vineyards just won many awards for their wines in March at the rodeo...way to go!

I love this chair and it was comfy too!  Takes me back to my Texas roots...

Another adorable storefront called The Cottage of Sweets.  Any store that sells only sugar is my kind of place!

The designer-builder of The Tuck Box, Hugh Comstock, built several other fairy-tale cottages in Carmel.  This lil' cutie called "Hansel" was built by Hugh to house and showcase his wife's hobby of making "Otsy-Totsy" dolls. He built a sister property called "Gretel".

Beautiful beach!

Such beautiful white sand.

A Comstock Cottage inspired home!

Check out the beautiful turquoise water...almost looks like a Caribbean island, not California!

After visiting Carmel, we decided to drive a bit further along the PCH.  There are so many places to stop along the highway and walk down to the beach.  So we did just that! 


Walking along this beach feels as though you're on the movie set of "The Beach" with Leo DiCaprio...totally isolated, relaxing and beautiful.

Don't let the sun and blue water fool was barely 60 degrees out there!

We took the famous 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach back home.  He's the start of our journey. 

The famous "Lone Tree".

You really can't appreciate how large this mansion seriously looks like a hotel in person!!

"Excuse me, sir, would you happen to have a sunflower seed to share with me?"
That's it for our Carmel-by-the-Sea adventure and I can't wait to head back!  If you've ever visited this lil' town, I'd love to hear your advice on other sights I should see/do.