Whatever FLOATS Your Boat

Ice cream floats are a beautiful thing. Nostalgic, versatile, DELICIOUS: you just really can’t go wrong with the float. So grab a mason jar and paper straw and get creative! Here’s a few of my favorite float ideas:

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Dark Chocolate Bourbon Floats via How Sweet It Is

mimosa
Mimosa Float via Peanut Butter and Dill Pickles

apple pie
 Apple Pie Float via How Does She?
candy cane
 Candy Cane Float via Spicy Ice Cream
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 Creamsicle Float via 1 Big Bite
mango-ginger-floats
 Mango Ginger Float via Snails View
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 Sparkling Citrus Floats via Ciera Design
shooters
 Root Beer Float Shooters via Somewhere Splendid
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 Floating Fruit Cobblers via Better Recipes
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Fall Floral Inspiration

Fall is among us and I couldn’t be more excited to finally see a few leaves change color! I started looking for fall floral arrangement ideas online and realized that there are very few that don’t look like they belong in a window display at Kirkland’s. But here are some exceptions that really stood out. Happy floraling!

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milk glass

Amy-Osaba-7

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19440008$!400x

amaryllis-english-manor-wedding-01

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6359478709_030c8d01b4_z 6359488977_d5ff8bed36

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A Most Unusual Hike

The most surprising hike I’ve ever been on took place a few weeks ago when I happened to have an extra day off work. Don’t three day weekends give you an extra burst of energy to go out and do something productive or something new?? Well, that’s what they do for me. I could use a few more 3 day weekends in my life.

As I was Googling interesting places to go in this crazy city, I stumbled across this little baby: Murphy Ranch Trail.

The hike begins at Rustic Canyon, which is part of Topanga State Park in Santa Monica.

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It starts off like any other hike you might take in the mountains.

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A gorgeous view, wildflowers, a few weird looking bugs and lizards.

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You walk about 15 minutes along a path lined by a chain-link fence.

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THEN- there’s a gap in the fence. Take the gap, take the gap!

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As you veer left through this gap in the fence and stray away from the main path, you come across, what seems to be, an endless, cement stairwell that leads down into the canyon.

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The stairwell takes you down an almost 200 ft. descent into the desolate, Murphy Ranch. (The DEscent is NOTHING compared to the AScent, let me tell ya…)

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What is Murphy Ranch, you ask? OH..well…that’s where things get spooky.

I’m just going to let hikespeak.com explain it to you….they do SUCH a nice job. And I tend to ramble:

“In the 1930s Nazi sympathizers built a refuge in the Pacific Palisades. Herr Schmidt, Winona and Norman Stephens, and their followers occupied a self-contained stronghold in what is now Rustic Canyon between Sullivan Ridge and Will Rodgers State Park. Murphy Ranch was designed to serve as a hold out for fans of the Third Reich waiting for America to fall to the Nazis. Instead, the ranch was raided by U.S. authorities and closed in 1941. The abandoned buildings were transformed into an artists’ colony in the 60s and 70s, but were abandoned after the Mandeville Canyon Fire in 1978. Today the grounds of Murphy Ranch are uninhabited, dilapidated, covered in graffiti, and open to hikers. While much of the history is lost, several structures remain, along with long cement staircases that still link Murphy Ranch to Sullivan Ridge Fire Road, providing a 3.85-mile hike with 325 feet of elevation gain.”

Crazy, right?? Here’s where you start to see some graffiti action. Until…

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BAM! It hits you in the face.

The first building you come across used to house a diesel generator and fuel tank. You’re free to wander inside…although I was hesitant. Even in broad daylight it just felt like I was in the middle of terrible horror movie and someone was yelling at me from the other side of the screen…”WHY WOULD YOU GET CLOSE TO THAT? RUN AWAY, STUPID! RUN. AWAY.”

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Once you pass that building, you come across one more dilapidated shed.

Apparently these crazy Nazis had commissioned famed African-American architect Paul Williams  to build a four-story mansion within the canyon, but those plans were never executed.

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It’s amazing to me how much of this eerie piece of history was just left there. Not cleaned up and wiped away by the government or Parks Department. It’s just sitting there, rotting away. Which I guess is pretty symbolic in a way. To be able to see the literal destruction of  such a misguided and terrible mindset.

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There are literally still old vehicles there, rolled over and rusting. image

So if you don’t vomit at the thought of climbing down over 500 stairs (and then back up!), you need to take this hike. It’s mind blowing and you come out of it thinking you might have just had a psychedelic, Nazi nightmare. But it’s totally worth exploring every step!

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xoxo

~Alex

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Yellow Hammer Design Shop

Couldn’t be happier with my latest random purchase from Yellow Hammer Design Shop!

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I was looking for a unique set of low ball glasses and stumbled across these hand crafted beauties.comeandgetit4

The matte gold lettering is subtle and modern.

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They were even shipped with this adorable gray and white tray!

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Make sure to check out Yellow Hammer Design Shop; beautiful, simple designs that a Texas girl can really appreciate. COME AND TAKE IT, ya’ll!

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Breakfast Soup

OK, the fact that I haven’t posted in MONTHS and feel the sudden urge to post about this particular subject probably says something about me. Not sure what that something is. Maybe thaaaat…when I get hung up on a food craving, I can think of nothing else…? Maybe that’s it.

This particular craving: Soup. I wanted soup when I went to bed last night and then woke up wanting the exact same thing. But soup in the morning? Breakfast soup? Holy smokes…does that magical sounding menu item actually exist? Well, not on any online-menu I could find that delivers to my apartment. Cause God knows I’m not about to leave my big comfy couch right now. Sooo I just ended up waiting a couple hours and ordering LUNCH soup, not breakfast soup. Spicy Shrimp soup, to be exact. It’s on its way now.

While I’m waiting for the soup delivery, (which actually means my awesome boyfriend running out and picking it up for me) Google and I have found some ACTUAL BREAKFAST SOUP RECIPES. Yes. They exist. Drumroll please.

Apple Spice Breakfast Soup

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Chilled Blueberry Soup

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Congee (Chinese Breakfast Soup)

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 Bacon-and-Egg Soup

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Mexican Poached Eggs (Mexi B-fast Soup)

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Finnish Fruit Soup

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If you were wondering, I used the word “soup” fifteen times in this post. Make that sixteen. World record? I think it just might be.

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Closet Office

I just moved into a new apartment! What what?! Nice and spacious but with some very interesting nooks and crannies. Looks like I’m going to be turning a mini closet into an office. Time for some tiny, closet office inspiration!

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Pardon My Vlog

Just a lil’ update. Ahem…

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Wild

I recently just finished reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. If your a twenty-something year old female who’s been feeling a little lackluster, I definitely recommend giving it a read. It’s both inspiring and a bit soul crushing at the same time. Cheryl Strayed writes about her summer hiking solo through the Pacific Crest Trail (a trail that runs along the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Washington State) in efforts to cope with her mothers death and her failed marriage. She was 26 years old when she started her hike. Hiking the ENTIRE California coast, BY HERSELF, at the age of 26 with NO PRIOR HIKING EXPERIENCE. Insane? Yes. Completely motivating? Yes.truly want to just pack up a giant backpack and take off right now. Seriously. BUT, alas, a hike like this takes an extremely large amount of planning, gear, and knowledge that I have not begun to scratch the surface of. And of course I start Googling hiking gear and get lost in a fanciful world of completely impractical camp gadgets and garb. So let me dream a bit and plan my fairytale hiking experience. Thanks.

“Wanting to leave is enough.”  - Cheryl Strayed

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I hate packing with every fiber of my being. That is why I’m posting this. Procrastination via obnoxious, Texas pride blog postin’. Tejas and all of it’s calorie-packing goodness awaits me in less than 12 hours. Yee-freakin-haw ya’ll.

Texas Texas Yeehaw!

Wood Texas Pendant Necklace

Texas My Texas

Bone Barn Lettering by Jeff Rogers

Texas Flag

Lone Star State

robb walshs texas barbecue brisket

BBQ Sandwich

Texas Sheetcake TEXAS Sheet Cake

Texas Sheetcake

Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla

Whataburger

What A Burger

Embroidered Texas Pillow

brisket tacos recipe, Dallas style

Brisket Tacos

Texas Margaritas

Texas Margaritas

gosh i need this.. well the outline... so soon!

Tx tattoos

<3

My heart lives in Awesome Austin Embroidery

Texas Map - Mustard Yellow Vintage colorful illustrated map of Texas - 1960s picture map - Fun Retro Colors

1960′s Mustard Texas Map

texas, our texas

Vintage Varsity Sweatshirt

Please Send Queso Poster by Simon Walker

queso flameado

The Homesick Texan’s Queso Flameado

Retro Cowboy Throw Rug


Texas My Texas

Love Letters & Cookies for Breakfast

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Cookies? For breakfast? Ca-OOOoookie Crisp! HA…no, not quite. I’m not talking about the awesomely gross 90′s cereal. But while were on the subject, let’s take a minute and relish my childhood a bit, shall we?

Ahhhh, simpler times when no one really cared about childhood obesity. OK…back on track! Cookies. For breakfast. I”m talking these delicious, oatmeal breakfast cookies that are actually pre-tty dog-gone healthy. Now these aren’t decadent, dessert cookies. I see them more as little, baked oatmeal bites. They’re super simple to whip up and very flexible depending on what you happen to have on hand. It took me only two days to finish off the whole batch!

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Yesterday I had one of those ”I HAVE to be productive for a change” days. After spending entirely too long on Pinterst (I’m sure you have NO idea what that feels like… ;-) ), I swore that I would attempt to actually MAKE two items on my pin boards rather than spend the day clicking, liking, and commenting on a thousand more clever ideas. Thus, the bfast cookies were conquered.

I used the recipe from Wisebread.com and made just  a few changes but the recipe it awesome as is.  I used half dried cherries, half raisins, threw in some sliced almonds, added a tbs. of ground flax seed and doubled the Splenda amount. I loved the addition of dried cherries. They gave them the perfect amount of tartness!

Here’s Wisebread.com’s recipe for Breakfast Cookies.

Ingredients:

3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup skim milk ( I used almond milk)
1/2 cup raisins (or any other dried fruit you want to add)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp Splenda , sugar or other sweetener

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl really well. Let this mixture stand for at least 5 minutes to let the oats become good and hydrated. Heap the dough by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool.
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The perfect grab-and-go breakfast! Or afternoon snack. Or…dinner. Let’s remember, I finished the entire batch in TWO days.

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For my next pin board project I absolutely did not look for the simplest craft on the face of the planet. And I definitely didn’t make sure that there were pictures of a 7 year old child making it. And I might just be lying about the past two statements.
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Yes, it’s simple. Yes, it requires only two materials. But I really think the end product comes out looking pretty awesome. All you need it scrap pieces of yarn and pipe cleaners. I wish I had more yarn colors for this project, but I’m a once-a-year knitter. So…yeah…and it actually is a bit time consuming; a good project to do while you’re lying in bed, watching 30 Rock. Ok, maybe that’s just how I do ANY project.
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I got the idea here at BloesemKids. And yes I know, the child pictured on that blog is doing a much better job at this craft than I am. Don’t rub it in.
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Check it out. Try it out. Super Fun and super easy!
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The best thing about this project is that the imperfections just add character. Let it unravel a bit, make your “e” a little crooked, spill your coffee on it a few times. Have a ball, imperfectionists! (ok, that word doesn’t exist, but it should.)

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