Saturday, April 30, 2011

summertime sangria.

Sangria is a summertime staple in our home and I have a feeling we'll be making a big 'ol pitcher of it this weekend. It's a light, happy and refreshing drink can be enjoyed all day long. Here's our go-to recipe. 

simple summertime sangria
1 bottle of a fruity red or white wine 
(I usually buy Saludas Red from Fresh & Easy for $2.99)
4 cups of Diet 7-Up or Ginger Ale (or just pour to taste)
1 orange, cut in slices & squeezed
1 lemon, cut in slices & squeezed
2 limes, cut in slices & squeezed
Splash of orange juice or lemonade
1-2 tablespoons of Triple Sec (optional)
1 small can of pinneapple (optional)
Fresh berries of your choice (optional) 

Chill the pitcher to let the flavors blend (ideally for at least a few hours or overnight).
Serve over ice & enjoy!

This is our authentic sangria set that we bought during a 
Schramm Family trip in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in April 2008.

have a sunny weekend

Friday, April 29, 2011

feeling traditional.

When we had the brick columns built for the white picket fence in our front yard (seen here), we decided to carry the brick look into the backyard by turning the ugly, metal poles holding up our back porch into traditional brick columns (Danny loves all my fun ideas). 

The bases have been built for a while, so we decided to tackle yet another home improvement project and get the columns finished. Danny built, I painted, Hunter watched and we love the end result.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

our favorite kitchen tools.

Wedding registry almost ended our engagement.

A girlfriend who'd been through the process warned me and suggested I take my mom, mother-in-law or a girlfriend, but no - I just knew registering was going to be such a fun step in our engagement process. I envisioned a champagne brunch followed by an afternoon scanning items, choosing stemware and talking about all the future dinner parties we'd host with our wedding china.

WRONG. Men. Hate. Shopping. Especially a practical man like Danny.

The man didn't even want to register... "we don't need anything." To which I'd reply, "yes we do, and we need to upgrade from your wonderful college gear." "Fine." Once I finally got him to agree to register I thought the battle was over. Little did I know it had just started.

Him, "why on earth would we register for that item at Pottery Barn when I know I can get something similar for a third of the price at Costco?" "Because Danny, you can't register at Costco." Or, "can I register for a watch or a new laptop because I actually want those things."


The worst part was I picked the most gorgeous spring day to register. On our way to the mall, we passed oodles of young couples beach cruising, day drinking and enjoying the sun. He was not pleased. The day ended with me in tears and him sitting on the bench outside Crate & Barrel. How romantic!

A year and a half later my husband has finally admitted - multiple times - that he's so glad we registered and all our new stuff is actually really nice. The divine sheets... the plush towels... but mostly all of the kitchen tools we regularly use and LOVE and never would have had. These items aren't sexy but once you start cooking a lot, they really get your excited. Who knew.

All your brides-to-be out there, I know the wine decanter looks pretty, but consider adding some of these not so sexy items to you list. You'll quickly see what you actually use. And p.s. - I hope your registry experience is better than mine.

some of our favorites

{oxo salad chopper and bowl}
d is obsessed with this thing. fantastic for chopped salads & shredding lettuce.

tip: wash & spin lettuce, save in the bowl in the fridge so it's clean & ready to go!

use for everything! mixing, serving, storing - they're so versatile. plus, unlike some other mixing bowls we had, they're dishwasher safe - huge bonus. They weren't on my list - non-dishwasher safe ones were - but Grandma Peggy insisted on these. I'm so glad she did!

Fantastic for everything from clipping herbs to cutting up your meat.

{good knives}
Be sure to get at least a few really good knives. They make your life a lot easier. This is a good thing for the boys to research and pick out.

I love that this pops together and lays flat. Great space saver in the cabinets. Also, I highly suggest getting a tiny "berry" colander - we use it for everything.

what are some of your must-have kitchen tools? what am i missing?
comment below and let me know. i'd love to hear!

easter lilly.

We kept our Easter Sunday tradition alive this year with sushi and backgammon. We opted for the homemade variety this year followed by a couple rounds of backgammon. We both walked away winners which made for a peaceful night in the Ting household.

Earlier in the day, I weeded my flower beds while D installed a new stereo system in his Mini. I was beyond thrilled to see one of my lilly bulbs actually bloomed! I'm so proud. I planted both Daylilies and Stargazer Lily bulbs... if I get a Stargazer I'll be pretty excited. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

my iMovie debut.

I love taking photos and videos. I love capturing moments (especially since my husband's memory is sub-par). 

But let's be real, what do you ever really do with video clips? It's hardly "footage" but rather bunches of 20-second or 1-minute clips from various events and happenings. Sadly for me, these clips seem to live (and die) in the depths of my computer's hard drive rarely to be watched again.

Well, I decided to give film editing a whirl and I'm already pretty obsessed. I opened iMovie (didn't even know this was on my Mac), watched an online tutorial and was determined to create a watchable Coachella '11 video. I'm pretty excited with the results and can't wait to go back and start creating these little movies for past and future events. An added bonus is being able to add your own music - which is huge me for me - since a song can take me right back to a time and place. 

So without further adieu... my iMovie video debut!

{ideally, watch in fullscreen and with the sound on}

songs used in the video :: cut copy "lights & music" + scissor sisters "i don't feel like dancin'" + empire of the sun "walking on a dream"
all performed live at coachella '11.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a toast.

The news broke on Saturday night that one of my good friends from college, Sarah (more commonly referred to as Tone), is engaged! BK popped the question in NYC and she said yes!

Congratulations Tone & Brian!
Such an exciting time.
We wish you nothing but the best!

Monday, April 25, 2011

home is where coachella is.

I was talking to someone about Coachella and what makes it so special. It's a truly liberated environment. It's a place that doesn’t care about what you look like, what you do for a living or how much money you make. A place that doesn’t care where you’re from or what your life story is, what mistakes you’ve made or what achievements you might brag about. It’s an environment where creativity and individuality are fiercely celebrated. Unlike our society where everyone watches, afraid to step out, Coachella is a place where doers are celebrated. Where the journey is the destination.

A place where life is lived in the moment, the way it was meant to be lived.

This year was extra special. We were forced to deal with a series of thunderstorms, but in the end our rainbow was extra bright. Friends from Australia, New York, Washington DC, Santa Monica, Orange County and Phoenix met in Indio for the best few days ever. Everything was perfect. A list of the shows we saw here.

{we rode beach cruisers to and from the festival this year. so much fun}

{nothing beats the feeling you get when you first walk in... as colby says, "we're home."}

{indian springs golf course... the perfect backdrop for our annual desert photos}

{two right turns to the polo fields}

{friday's "bold & bright" tradition lives on}

{kicking things off with a dance}

{the most bittersweet yet best time of day}

{a spontaneous "heads will roll" remix, girls-only dance party}

{peace, love and the sahara tent}

{dj dancin' dan on the decks}

{hamster wheel to power the dj}

{lights & music in the mohave tent}

{finally complete. jake arrives with a grand entrance and a running jump hug from ting}

{we miss you, shmizz. there's a big hole on the right we needed you to fill}

{the coachella main stage and all it's glory}

{one of danny's favorites}

{enjoying some shade on 100+ degree afternoon}

{pete and colbs watching the sky writer's message come to life}


{the tings after a run to two door cinema club}

{one of our few pit stops at the Do Lab this year. sadly, it's just not the same anymore}

{a neon tribe}

{i loved the silver trees. they moved and swayed very slowly}

{ollie's flair}

{part of the sky writer's message}

{eh... a taylor swift concert? nope, yelle (she rocked it!)}

{celebratory cracking of the glowsticks... and glow wands. a smash hit this year}

{ollie and mumford & sons on the main stage}

{friday... time to cruise}

{sahara dance tent}

{awesome remote controlled sharks cruising around near the dance tent}

{empire of the sun dance party at the outdoor theater. ting really felt the beat.}

{jenny's delicious breakfast concoction. champagne, strawberries and lemonade}

{liz & ollie}

{the five boys do nas and damien marley from the main stage beer garden}

{sweet, sweet sunday}

{the five girls... nyc, oc, la, phx & dc}

{the man with the red balloon tattooed on his neck. instant friends}

{front and center in the sahara}

{the most beautiful sunset}

{i spy with my little eye a red balloon}

{new to coachella this year. the oasis dance dome}

{blue out takes on oasis}

{things got a little wonky at The National... in the best way possible. blurry but fab photo}

{annual sunday sunset tradition... dancing barefoot in the grass}

{"this is the only way to see a show" - jenny "sponge" farrell}

{jenny's view for the national's sunset show}

{feeling the love}

{the coachella ten aka "all of my people" - the presets}

{handmade flower crown twins on sunday}

{i can't even imagine the insane rush the performers must get. look at that crowd!}

{these photos and more in this slideshow}

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

...and there are still more photos from where these came from.