I made these yummy espresso biscuits Christmas Eve. We served them with vanilla bean ice cream. Instead of using ground espresso beans (which I did not have) I scored some decaf instant coffee from my neighbor, JGR, and that seemed to do the trick. Thanks again Martha.

Makes 16

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.with two racks spaced evenly apart. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together flour, cocoa, and espresso beans; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, scraping down sides of bowl twice.

Roll 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough between the palms of your hand to form a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining batter, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Using a dinner fork, press tines into dough, and gently press into biscuit shape. Bake biscuits just until firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Happy Christmas!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas day with your family and friends. I am so grateful for our Savior, his life, his example and his love. I hope we can all be more like Him in this coming year, more loving, forgiving and selfless. Happy Christmas!



The mosquitoes munching on my arm and some gnarly gas woke me up. It is 2:22 am and I want to be a-sleeping.


Movie Night

Last night we went to the premier of The Kite Runner with Anna and Zane (thanks for the tickets guys!). I have yet to read the book, but Anna and Zane thought the movie stayed pretty true to the story. We really enjoyed the film. The soundtrack was beautiful, and the scenery was really amazing. We figured the film was not shot in Afghanistan, where the story takes place. It turns out they shot all the scenes of "Afghanistan" in Kashgar, China. I was reading a little more about the the young actors in the movie and the controversy surrounding the book and the making of the film. Read more here.


You Will Need This

Via swissmiss, a "cheat sheet" for that someone you are buying for. You can download and print these files for boys and girls from her blog. Btw, love, love, love, her blog.

Chinese Finger/Foot Trap

All ye of an ample calf will appreciate this tale. My mom was a really good sport about clothes shopping with me and my sister when we were in high school and sometimes we could convince her to take us to the Haight-Ashbury to shop {thanks mom for rifling through all those dirty racks of clothes and helping us find cute things}. After going in and out of thrift and vintage shops we stopped at this really nice shoe store, where I saw these outrageous boots that I just had to try on. If I recall they were blue snakeskin with some yellow, an updated cowboy boot style with a zipper. So I put the thing on, with a bit of effort to get the zipper up over my ample calf, and decide they were far too expensive {I knew that from the get go, and so did the shoe sales person}. So when the time to take the lovely boot off came I was having trouble getting the zipper to go back down my ample calf. Long story short, someone had to go in the back to fetch the needle nose pliers and release me from the trap I had unwittingly stuck my foot in. I recall being really embarrassed and my foot was all sweaty, but I concluded that this must happen frequently enough for the store to have a set of pliers on hand, and that made me feel a little better. Anyhow, this is not something new, but I remember vividly when J.Crew started making their boots with extended calf sizes. Thanks J.Crew.

Death to Blueprint

Maybe you have not heard yet, but they are killing Blueprint, at least as a magazine you can subscribe to and receive on a bimonthly basis. Sigh. I am SO sad. I really love this magazine. At least their blog Bluelines will still be up and running. Waaah!

{PS Did you see how they totally copied my umbrella post. That's right ladies and gentlemen, finger firmly on the pulse}


Umbrella, ella, ella

I would not mind someone stuffing this in my stocking.

{Via J.crew}

Mike is taking the GMAT this Thursday. I am already really proud of him. He has been getting up early to study before work and he has been really boring in the evenings because he has been studying after work too. Good luck Mike, I know you will do well!


Today I Finished...

the Honolulu Marathon! Anna and I have been training for months and it feels so good to have accomplished our goal. We spent the night in Honolulu on Saturday and woke up at 3 am to take the bus to the start of the race. Look how happy we were this morning, completely oblivious to the aches and pains that were ahead of us.

It was pouring rain before the race started, and since we had not thought to get ponchos we used garbage bags to cover ourselves. I managed to keep my feet dry while we waited for the race to begin, and the rain to stop {which it did, for about 30 minutes}. Almost immediately after we crossed the start line it began to rain SO HARD! Our feet were soaked in seconds. So for the entire race our shoes were water logged. By the end of the marathon I had enormous blisters on the soles of my feet, and it looked like my feet had been pickled, gross.

We came home, took a nap and now I am hobbling around the house, happy that I don't have to run tomorrow.

Thanks Mike and Zane for being so supportive throughout our training, thanks for sacrificing your Saturday mornings to bring us water for our long runs, and thanks for sleeping on the floor last night and giving me and Anna the bed. Thanks Anna for being my running partner, and sticking with me for such a long time. Good job!


Short Story

I have never been really burned by an eBay seller, but I have had some minor upsets and disappointments. Then again you can't really be burned if you are not willing to spend too much money on eBay. Today I was listening to the pod cast, KQED: The Writers' Block, and one of the segments was by Kenneth Walton, author of Fake: Forgery, Lies, and eBay. If you have an extra 20 minutes listen to how this guy made a money ripping people off on eBay, by selling, "art, fine and otherwise" . After listening to the segment my interest was peaked and I found out more about his story here.



after this bag. I was just saying to Mike the other day I am ready to have a nice grownup bag, no more of this canvas book bag nonsense, bring on maturity and responsibility. This is the leather incarnation of just what I had in mind, and it looks 1000 times better broken in and in person. Thanks Katelin for introducing me to this site, and your gorgeous bag.

{say hello to Catherine}


Christmas Ornaments

We decided our first Christmas together that we would get ornaments for each other every year {I know another revolutionary idea brought to you by Bille}. So last year I wanted to get something that commemorated our trip to Europe, a Eiffel Tower, the London Bridge, a small Polish flag something. However, true to form we waited until the last minute to vocalize this great idea and ended up getting ornaments that bore no relevance to our first year as a married couple. Don't get me wrong, I love the ornament Mike bought/made for me, and the story behind it is really heart warming. This year I am thinking of something Hawaii themed {please not Santa in an aloha shirt, yech} or some sort of camera related bauble.

{cameras via Sundance catalog}


What Kind of Kitchen are You?

Found this quiz via Abby Goes Design Scouting. Sometimes I have a hard time with quizzes like this, well I always have a hard time with quizzes like this. I look all the options and think, yes that applies, yes that does too, yes so does that one... which makes the decisions difficult and I sort of second guess the end result {I know these things are not hard and fast, but why do I have to be so indecisive?}. Whatever. These are the kitchens I liked best from my kitchen style which is, Perfect Form :

You love to entertain, and shoot for a restaurant experience every time you sit down with guests. You need a kitchen to blend serious equipment with candlelight and fine china. Ample islands topped with glossy, tough stone and faux-stone surfaces, dark wood and vintage furnishings make the switch easily from day to night. Take a moment from planning dinner for eight and get inspired by these kitchens.


Happy Thanksgiving

We've sort of ruined the fun of the Thanksgiving feast, as today we will attend out third turkey dinner. Oh well, bring on the stuffing! Hope everyone has a relaxing and pleasant day.


Books on Tape

I don't have a long commute to work everyday {which is when I would listen to books on tape if I did} but we do have lots of time consuming dishes to do around here. To make the work enjoyable I listen to my iPod, really revolutionary I know. I like it when you can get a book read by the author, I feel like you are getting the real story exactly how he/she intended the book to be read. Right now I am listening to David Sedaris', Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim for about the third time, so funny.


Ready for a Closeup

Mike got two new lenses for the camera last week, two zoom lenses. He has been taking some nice pictures, here are a few I really like.


Sugar High, Sugar Low

Well, I did some more investigating on the Snow Ice stuff {I know I am the only one interested in it, you don't have to tell me that} and by investigating I most certainly mean that I hitched a ride with Mike into Honolulu last Thursday as he was going to Home Depot, and made him go into China Town so we could get some more Hula Boba treats. And this is what I found out from the girl behind the counter: snow ice is powdered soy. Yup, that's all she said, but I did get a close look at the stuff before she put it on the machine to shave/powder it and it looks like a circular block of frozen milk, it must be lightly sweetened soy milk. Whatever, I loved it again and got one for me and one for Mike so I did not have to share. I got some snacks at down to earth before we drove to Honolulu and eating those and the snow ice made me sugar sick for the rest of the day, bleh.


More weekend pictures

Check out the lady with the purple hair, I love Eastern Europeans.

Shave Ice and Better?

This week our friends from out of town have been visiting, and the fun thing about having guests in Hawaii (or anywhere I guess) is that you get to do all the touristy stuff you did when you first got to Hawaii. So, this weekend we went to Pearl Harbor, China town and Waikiki. While we were in China town we looked in a few shops had lunch and most importantly discovered a new dessert. We had snow ice at Hula Boba, and it was AMAZING!!! The consistency is sort of like snow, we think it is made from frozen milk that is crushed into a powder and then sweet condensed milk is drizzled over it and you choose a fruit topping. I got passion fruit, but they had mango, kiwi, pineapple, peach and a bunch of other flavors. I love shave ice but this was 100 times better. I tried to find out if there are other snow ice places on Oahu, closer to the North Shore but no luck. I did find out that snow ice hails from Taiwan, so if you are in Taiwan any time soon, or Houston Texas (there is a shop there that sells them) have a go, snow ice is deeeelicious!

-- from hawaii - (?)

-- from hawaii - (?)


Paint by Number

I heart makeup. I really do. I used a really old gift card at Sephora a ways back and got this nifty little set. I have never been one to spend a lot of money on mascara, but when I run out of this I would be willing to pay the $18 dollars to get some more.

My heart...

is all a flutter for this dress. I think this is such a flattering fit, right under the bust line with a sash, sigh.

{via Anthropologie}



Here are some really amusing and beautiful pictures form Corey Arnold .

Aloha, Hawaii

We bought our tickets back to California last night, we are flying back January 10th. Mike was the one who did the purchasing of the tickets which was good because when I really think about leaving here for good I get this clamping feeling in my throat and chest. Sad, sad, sad.



So, we get a little bored around here sometimes with all the white walls, white shelves etc., but since this in not our place we can't really do much to it, and we don't feel like spending out hard earned cash on painted walls we will be leaving in a few months. However a shelf was passed on to us and we decided to paint it with what we had in the garage, and since I have been inspired by yellow and pink via Martha and Domino, we did this...

It sort of makes me think of a guava, or a womb. Whatever, it is cheery and bright and all our magazines are going on it. The bedroom is from the 2006 July/August issue of Domino, the whole interior of the house is white, pink and yellow. When I have time I will scan some pages so you can all see how fresh and mouthwatering it is.


Halloween party

So, we had our Halloween party on Saturday, and it was so much fun! All I really wanted was an excuse to decorate the house and play fun games and watch a spooky movie. We bobbed for apples, I told people's fortunes with Tarot cards {which was really ridiculous}, Mike had us play a game of eating gross foods, we played Halloween charades, and watched Sleepy Hollow. Mike made the back room up into a photo studio and took a portrait of everyone at the party {and a million of the Hannamans}, great idea Mike. Here are some pictures from the night.