Friday, August 31, 2012

A Place I Live: Eating Between Slices

Earlier this month I found out that August is National Sandwich Month. Being that I love sandwiches I decided to share two of my favorite places to go for a good bite to eat and two new places. Where's your favorite place for a sandwich?

6010 Ball Road
Buena Park, CA 90620

This place is more than just a bagel shop. They have breakfast sandwiches with egg and ham served on your choice of bagel, different cream cheeses, muffins, house coffee and freshly squeezed juice. What I love ordering for lunch is the turkey sandwich on their crispy roll. The sandwich is filled with turkey, tomato, red onion, cheese and  topped with jalapenos, which I usually skip. The roll is what makes this sandwich so great. Picture a French roll with a delicious flaky top.
You really can’t go wrong with what you try here. The selection of bagels is great and the service is fast and friendly. The earlier you arrive, the larger selection there will be. And if you are a fan of New York style bagels, this one’s for you.

2175 W. Orange Ave
Anaheim, CA 92804

Since the 1960s Cortina’s has been a staple restaurant in West Anaheim. Very few times can you enter the restaurant and find it empty. They have good pizza, a fantastic antipasto salad and one of my favorite tiramisu desserts. They have such great food all around that sometimes I forget all about their fantastic sandwiches.
I usually order the turkey breast sandwich, which includes tomatoes, lettuce, onions and mayo on a French roll. The French roll is pretty tasty and loaded with fresh ingredients, but what really does it for me is the shredded lettuce. Jeremy’s favorite is the Cortina’s Special which includes a handful of Italian favorites like salami, capicolla, mortadella and provolone cheese also on a French roll.
Order wisely! The 6 inch is huge!

Gypsy Den
211 W Center St Promenade
Anaheim, CA 92805

I have to admit that I had never been to the Gypsy Den before they opened in Anaheim. We made it over to the brand spankin’ new restaurant on their third day of business and loved it so much that we came back two days later.
I had the Waldorf chicken salad sandwich which is served on a nice and buttery croissant with huge chunks of chicken and halves of grapes in just the right amount of mayo. The menu did say that there would be chunks of apple in the mix but I didn’t taste any. I was still very pleased with my sandwich.

I am a big fan of sweet potato so I had to try their sweet potato salad which was pretty tasty. I can also recommend the Mediterranean appetizer and their crème brulee. They also serve some craft beers and wine. My sister recently came to the Gypsy Den for breakfast and really enjoyed it so I will be trying their breakfast soon. Oh and did I mention that their wait staff is super friendly and great at making a recommendation?
Bruxie: Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches

292 North Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866
Yes, yes and yes. I want to try every single item on the menu. Why it took me so long to find this Mecca of sandwiches I don’t know. All of Bruxie’s sandwiches are served on Belgium style waffles. I’m sure you are thinking these are only sweet waffle sandwiches – nope! They do serve delicious sounding sweet sandwiches like a PB&J but they also serve meat sandwiches and they are so good.
Here’s what we tried: I had the waffle and fried chicken sandwich which has a honey glaze to it. It is served with coleslaw in the sandwich, but since I’m not a big fan of slaw, I opted for none. I did add the Vermont maple syrup to my meal for the full experience. Trust when I say that waffle cut fries dipped in maple syrup is serious business. Jeremy tried their special which was a Carolina BBQ pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw. It was served with sauce on the side too so you could get as messy as you wanted. I had a bite and it was pretty good. My brother in law joined us and tried the turkey club sandwich which was packed with cold cuts and veggies including avocado.
The boys shared "Irish Nachos," waffle cut fries topped with a homemade cheese sauce, sour cream, chives and pieces of bacon. To wash it all down we had their artisan made sodas: vanilla cream, root beer and cherry cola. My favorite was the root beer. Sadly we were too full to try their frozen custard, but don’t worry, we will.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Wood Magnet Fruit Basket (closed)

It's our birthday and we’ll give something away if we want to!
Today we celebrate our 1st year anniversary on Etsy and are celebrating with a giveaway! Lots of ways to win so let’s get started.
The winner will receive a Wood Magnet Fruit Basket that will include a strawberry, orange, apple, grape and lemon. The magnets are made from reclaimed Ficus branches that were cut, sanded and painted by hand. The strong rare earth magnets will hold your favorite photos, drawings or to do list. 
Inspiration: When I think of fruit magnets I think back to my grandmother’s refrigerator. Her fridge was always overloaded with magnets from vacation destinations, magnetic frames holding childhood photos, even ones depicting a garden. No matter what else was on the front of the fridge there was always fruit magnets. I searched through different cuts of branches to find those that best represented the fruit magnets from my childhood. Bright paint helped bring them to life!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Place I Live: A Wagon Ride and Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Lately Jeremy and I have been talking about our dream of one day owning and running an organic farm. We’ve discussed the types of animals that would live in the barn, the food we’d grow and how our dogs would really love running around lots of land. So we decided to spend last Sunday visiting a functioning organic farm.

We drove the thirty minutes or so to get to Tanaka Farm in Irvine without much traffic (if you aren’t from around here just know it’s something worth noting). The farm is family run by Farmer Tanaka who is a third generation farmer with 100 years of family farming experience. Driving onto the 30 acre farm we caught a glimpse of the produce stand, fields and tractor wagons. I was pretty excited for the tractor wagon ride.

Being that it is the end of summer we took the one hour watermelon tour which includes a wagon ride tour of the farm and a watermelon to take home. One of the first things we were taught is the difference between fruits and vegetables. Fruit have seeds inside while veggies don’t. Our tour guide pointed out that most of what we call veggies are actually fruits like cucumbers, avocados and of course tomatoes.

Since all of what is farmed is organic, it is safe to eat right when it is picked. That’s good stuff since we got to taste a total of 10 fruits and vegetables on our tour. First were carrots, cherry tomatoes and green beans; all very delicious. We ate super sweet corn which was everyone’s favorite tasting of the day.

Aside from seeing where these yummy veggies and fruits were being grown we saw the nursery and green house were their seedlings are kept for a few weeks before being planted in the fields. There were fruit trees up on a hill that included apples, oranges, bananas and some stone fruits like plum and apricot.

Our final destination on the farm was one of their tour amphitheatres – a tent with hay in the shade to sit on. Our tour guide cut up fresh yellow squash, zucchini and cucumber which were all crisp and delicious. Next we had Saticoy which I had never had before. It pretty much looks like a cantaloupe but is much sweeter. I’m not a big fan of cantaloupe but I did like the Saticoy very much.

Our last two tastings were the messiest yet the best! Don’t worry we got wipes to clean up after. First up was red watermelon which was very tasty. Watermelon is one of my favorite things to eat so I did help myself to two slices. After we got to try yellow watermelon which is another fruit I had never had. From the outside the watermelon looks pretty much the same as a red watermelon but once cut up the inside is bright yellow, almost the same color as a ripe pineapple. It is sweeter than a red watermelon but tastes a little bit like pumpkin. Sounds a little weird, right? But it was good!

After wandering through the watermelon fields we got to pick our watermelon to take home. Our tour guide let us in on a little secret – if you take the watermelon and slice it in half and then stick them in the freezer, the next day you will pretty much have the best shaved ice ever. I cannot wait to try this, because I do love watermelon and a good slushee.

As the tour came to an end we passed some cottonwood trees. Those are planted to attract natural polleners to the fields. Our tour guide also let us know about the Pumpkin Tours which start up in October which include awesome festivities like a pumpkin cannon, corn maze, petting zoo and more yummy veggies for the pickin’. There will also be a pumpkin contest. Don’t worry, I already gave my pumpkins a pep talk letting them know they will be entered, so they better make me proud!

Our last stop was the produce stand which offered freshly baked bread, sweet breads, strawberry jelly made at the farm and of course fruits and veggies. Tanaka Farms is also part of the Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) and had their small boxes for sale. The CSA program delivers fresh produce from the farm to you via delivery or drop off locations.

Oh, and if you visit, be sure to go hungry! The fruit and veggie tastings were one of the best snacks we’ve had in a while.

Tanaka Farms
5380 University Dr
Irvine, CA 92612

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bon Voyage with my Honey!

After the big day is over there is nothing like a vacation. I'm so glad that vintage style bathing suits are back in style for lounging by the pool or braving the waves. My grandma wears a vintage suit while in Varadero Beach, Cuba on her honeymoon. Jeremy and I adventured in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Where did you enjoy your honeymoon?

We really hope you've enjoyed our Vintage Wedding Week!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Celebration

I have to confess that I do not remember my reception as vividly as I wish I did and am thankful for all of the photos our family took. It wasn’t that I over did it with the champagne, it was more of being overwhelmed by so many people celebrating Jeremy and my union. I remember delicious food, the blooper of starting the champagne toast when the champagne hadn’t been served yet, being too busy to eat pie until the party was winding down somewhere around midnight and a lot of dancing.
We kept it simple with our decorations; white tent, paper lanterns and flower arrangements made by my other grandmother with fern leaves and dahlias. We bought vintage plates and candle holders and glued them together to make simple, yet elegant cake plates for the pies we served instead of wedding cake.
What I do remember about the reception vividly is planning it. The moments of clarity at 2 in the morning when a DIY project starts to make sense or the hours spent searching for vendors. To think that just two years ago there were so little resources for vintage wedding planning. Even TheKnot has a vintage wedding section now.
I especially love all of the unique center pieces being used these days; things from stacks of books, tree branches, succulents to goldfish! Green Wedding Shoes has some pretty neat vintage wedding photos to check out.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Maids

I’m of the opinion that long gone are the days of ugly bridesmaid dresses. Who really wants to make the ladies standing up with you look awkward or feel uncomfortable, right? Wedding photos last forever, and so can a beautiful dress. After experiencing the engagement party, bridal shower and bachelorette party these ladies deserve to look great too. Check out this really cute 1960s inspired bridesmaid luncheon photoshoot at 100 Layer Cake.

Pink Pillbox Hat by Modern Poetry; 1950s Pink Choker by Rock This Vintage; 1970s Pink Dress by Fat Rabbit 1

1950s Green Dress by Circa 1955 Vintage; Floral Veil Headband by Gem's Vintage Gem; 1950s Green and Cream Faux Pearl Choker by The Sunshine Grove

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Other Half

My grandfather sure looked handsome in his all white suit but let’s face it, grooms today bring their own style. I don’t mean the funk of the 1970’s ruffles either. I’ve seen colorful socks, fun boutonnieres and playing up the vintage with skinny ties, bowties and cufflinks. Hey, they have to look good for their bride, right?

And don't forget about the groom's gift! I tried to find some history behind groom and bride gifts given on the wedding day but much was about dowries. I think the groom and bride gift should be small, a token to celebrate the new begining. This was actually one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning. Jeremy always carries a guitar pick in his wallet so I wanted to get him a pick with our initials and wedding date engraved. He loved it! He gifted me a silver bracelet engraved with his name, my name and our dogs names to symbolize our new family. It was perfect.

Groom's Gifts

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Blushing Bride

I grew up looking at photos of one of the most beautiful wedding dresses I have ever seen. The early 1960s stark white dress has short sleeves to accommodate any summer bride, a high elegant collar, fitted through the waist with a princess skirt that ends in a short train. This wedding dress belongs to my maternal grandmother who wore it in 1961 when she married my grandfather.
My grandmother was lucky to have a wedding dress, let alone one so fashionable. My grandparents married in communist Cuba where the luxury of a wedding dress was not very common. She explained that when you were set to marry you had to register with the government and only the lucky were given fabric to have a dress made. She describes the fabric as matte sateen.
Hiring a seamstress to make the dress for her, she drew inspiration from the trends of the time. She remembers the high collar being very popular and told me how after school was out she and her friends would turn up their collars to be fashionable.
After marrying on July 8, 1961 she lent out her dress to countless girls who weren’t as lucky as she was to win the lottery of wedding fabric. My grandmother kept a record of all the girls who borrowed her dress so that she could get it back because there was always another girl who couldn’t wait to wear it next on their own wedding day.
Unfortunately it was one of the many family heirlooms left behind when my grandparents sought refuge in the US. She isn’t sure what became of her dress but does know that the dress was loved and cherished by many happy and fashionable brides.

Vintage Wedding Dresses for the Modern Bride

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vintage Wedding Week

Back in 2010 I was a June bride. It was a convenient time of year with school having finished and the weather in Maine was just perfect. Jeremy and I had a vision for our Maine wedding; a big white tent, paper lanterns, lobster bake and a canoe filled with libations. We were looking to have a more casual celebration where we could wear flip flops during our first dance after being barefoot at our lake ceremony.
Thinking back we probably didn’t include as much vintage in our wedding as we would now. For our reception we used vintage plates and candle holders to make cake stands for the variety of pies we served. We used a vintage metal frame as a chalkboard with instructions for our guests to fill out our guest book. Aside from my dress, most of what I wore to accessorize was vintage too.
Truth be told, it was while searching for wedding accessories that I first found out about Etsy and where I made many of my purchases. I wore a vintage pearl necklace with a rhinestone brooch closure, a feather fascinator with a vintage rhinestone brooch in my hair and rhinestone brooches on my dress. I sewed my own clutch from a pattern purchased on Etsy and added a - you guessed it – rhinestone brooch. Although they weren’t vintage, I purchased my bridesmaid’s gifts and groom’s gift on Etsy and even had a white dress to change into that was custom made.
With the addition of the Etsy wedding registry and FleaMarket Style Magazine announcing the launch of their wedding edition early 2013 it is exciting to know that brides-to-be have so many resources for designing a vintage style wedding.
This week I’m going to share some family photos and some of my favorite Etsy finds for Vintage wedding dresses, bridesmaids, reception decor and the honeymoon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Place I Live: Milking It Good

When Jeremy and I were first dating cows somehow came up. I made the comment that I really liked brown and white cows because they give you chocolate milk. If I am the city mouse, my husband is most definitely the country mouse. Apparently my delivery was completely straight-faced because he thought I was being serious and corrected me, telling me that milk cows give regular milk no matter what the color. My response: belly aching laughter.

Here’s the thing, I think cows are really cute. When we visited the OC fair I shared that I had never milked a cow and would love to. Jeremy has milked a cow before, and in fact he came home just last week with a bottle filled with fresh cow’s milk. He was trying to find a place to buy rabbit manure for our garden and found Rancho Del Rio, also the Anaheim Equestrian Center. He shared with Cheryl, one of the instructors there, that I would love to visit the Ranch and especially milk their cow.
Cheryl teaching us how to milk Buttercup
I never knew that there was a ranch in Anaheim and I think it is safe to say that most don’t. Rancho Del Rio sits next to the Santa Ana River and is hidden by car dealerships, the Phoenix Club and a freeway. They have stables for boarding horses, offer horseback riding lessons and have several arenas for training. They also have a turkey, a llama named Angel, chickens, roosters, a couple rabbits and a pig. Best of all they offer fieldtrips for school kids and have an education program called Fun withHorses.
As we arrived Cheryl was leading the Buckaroo program where kids get to milk cows, brush horses and learn to saddle them. I have to admit that I was a bit jealous that they were going to be eating ice cream made from milk they had collected the day before. We were up for quite a challenge since the group of kids had milked a gallon.
After washing our hands we were introduced to Buttercup, a beautiful tan and white cow with big brown eyes. Cheryl explained how to milk her by massaging her utter, pushing the milk down to her teat and then squeezing. Instead of milking into a bucket like I’ve always known milking to be done, we milked straight into a bottle. Cheryl explained that this is the old world way of milking to eliminate spilling the bucket or having flies get into the milk. It looked easy enough, but I have to admit I wasn’t the best at milking. I think I was a bit afraid to squeeze hard – I didn’t want to hurt Buttercup! Jeremy was the best at the milking, followed by my mom and then my sister Stacie who also joined us.
After this great experience we were even rewarded with getting to drink the fresh whole milk Buttercup gave us. In case you’re wondering, it was nowhere near a gallon of milk.