Oven Baked Carrots

Are you needing a side dish or vegetable dish for this coming Easter dinner? Well I have a fool proof recipe anyone can make that tastes delicious and really fancy! 

I’m going to make this recipe sound impossibly easy, because, it is. 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Take about 6-8 carrots (depending on size) and give them a good rinse. Don’t worry about peeling them as long as they’re clean, you’re fine. Cut them in relatively equal lengths for even baking. Toss them in olive oil until they are all lightly coated and spread on a baking sheet. Give a generous shaking of spices of choice. I chose cracked black pepper, coarse sea salt, some garlic powder and dried thyme. Easy as that. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. Check at 35 minutes in case your oven runs hot. 

 Serve immediately. Serves approx. 4 


it’s a party, a cookie party

Sugar cookies are taking over and I don’t mind one bit!

Lately I have been filling my evenings with binge watching Netflix shows (Friends and Gilmore Girls, what more could I need) and more importantly making dozens upon dozens of sugar cookies. Baby shower, work parties and even a movie premier are the inspiration behind these 4 pictured above. It has been a lot of fun and most definitely a new found hobby. I love offering cookies as gifts, who doesn’t love cookies?

I bought the sugar cookie tutorial from the incredible and wonderfully hilarious Alison Faulkner over at The Alison Show 

If you wanna be an amateur cookie artist like myself, I highly suggest heading over to her cookie party and buying the super entertaining and helpful course HERE. 4 months ago I couldn’t even consider using royal icing, and now it’s my favorite.

family makes my heart go BOOM

I had some of my family in town for over a week! It was exhausting but so fun! They stayed with us in our 798 sq ft apartment. We miss them already but we’re a little excited to be sleeping in our own bed. 

Oakland Zoo


Mothers and daughters seeing the new Cinderella. Highly recommend its genuine and beautifully done.

 Marianne’s Ice Cream in Santa Cruz (try all the flavors you want, but get the 10/20, it’s life changing).

 Did you know that the Redwoods is a nickname for the Sequoia tree? Oh that’s common knowledge? Well, I learned something that day we went to the Muirwoods. It was such a peaceful place.

Santa Cruz- Twin Lakes State Beach and Walton Lighthouse

 I hope they come again soon! There is so much to explore and not enough time or energy (and let’s be honest, money) to do it all in one trip.

a morning by the bay

We decided last minute Saturday morning to drive into San Francisco to do a little early birthday celebrating. It’s my birthday. I make everyone celebrate for at least a week. I may be just a little selfish. 

For breakfast we went to the wonderfully delicious restaurant The Grove in the financial district. It was my first time and it was the relaxed and urban vibe I love. My husband got major brownie points for knowing that. I ordered eggs benedict for the first time and I am a major fan. That Hollandaise sauce is still dancing in my dreams.

I highly recommend trying out this spot. And fortunately they have multiple locations around the city.

After walking around and enjoying the sites and beautiful weather we decided to venture over to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (yeah I know, I know, we did just eat a huge breakfast). It is worth the hype!  Just make sure if you go-get there early for the best selection.

Until next time EssEff.

Here is to turning 27

DIY kitchen table makeover

This Saturday on a whim I decided to redo our kitchen table. With our new living space (think VERY small) we don’t have a ton of space for a table so we have been using this tiny one that we had in our garage in our previous home. I forgot to get a before picture but just trust me, it was nothing to brag about. It was an ugly brown laminate type wood grain.


   These are the supplies I used. The best part about it was, I didn’t have to buy anything for this project. Yes, I could have used a better sealer, and eventually I will, but for now this Polyurethane will work with a few coats.


I sprayed it all a glossy white with 2 coats. Originally I was going to just keep it like this, but that’s boring and I don’t do boring, unless you look at my wardrobe, that needs a major upgrade.


I taped off the table to add a little something something. I decided on this pattern because it was simple and didn’t need any measuring. I’m telling you, even the laziest of lazy people could pull this project off in no time (and I am as lazy as they come).


Paint as many coats as you feel you need! For my table I used Americana brand acrylic paint in the beautiful color Mulberry (3 coats). I am just trying to be trendy and go with the Pantone color of the year 2015 (which is Marsala FYI).


cool right?


Then I found gold spray paint. GOLD PEOPLE! I had to use it. I taped it off and sprayed the leafs. Or is it leaves? I think it’s leafs.


Seal it with your sealer of choice. You can use any kind of wax, polyurethane or whatever you fancy. I used a matte poly, but like I mentioned before I used what I had. Next time I will make sure to use a glossy top coat, like painting your nails, nice and shiny. Who doesn’t love shiny things?


Let it dry completely, bring it inside, and VOILA! Enjoy. If you end up trying it, let me know in the comments below!


What do you think? Too non-traditional? What style have you brought into your home?

thanks for humoring me by reading this post!

a morning at the market

One of my absolute favorite things about making this move to the East Bay Area is the cute and laid back vibe of Downtown. In fact, the whole town is wonderfully mellow and pleasant 😉

It definitely adds a little excitement that we have a potential american idol 2015 contestant living here and she still performs on the weekends at the farmers market. She is adorable.

We have delicious local fruits and vegetables and exotic cheeses and fresh seafood available every week. Not to mention delicious smelling baked goods and kettle corn. Mmmmmm yum!






IMG_8881 IMG_8883

We love getting an ice cream cone as we walk around taking in all the new tourists and wonderful sounds of smooth jazz and acoustic performances at either end of the street. The fresh cut flowers tease me every week with beautiful vibrant colors and unique mixed bouquets. I usually end up bringing home one or two bunches. I mean, why not?



I am so blessed.


with added flavors





First you’ll wanna make sure you have some frozen bananas on hand. You will then take anywhere from 18-24 half-inch slices of frozen bananas (the amount of bananas you use will depend on the size of bananas you start with) and blend in a food processor. Now, I had to use the only food processor I had on hand, which is a mini one that we got 7 years ago as a wedding present. I believe it holds 1.5 cups. Which, in fact, works perfect for 2 servings. I have to share with my husband after all 🙂

After slightly blending (about 20-30 seconds) add your extra ingredients.

Tonight I made two variations:

The first mix was banana and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. I could have made it a lot less fattening by using PB2 or almond butter or whatever else but I used just used regular pb because I love it and I am adult and can do whatever I want!

I dropped in the peanut butter and blended for another 30 seconds or so until it was all blended together. Finally, I scooped it into a glass ramekin and stuck it in the freezer to set up just a tad longer.

For the second mix I had my trusty frozen bananas and then I added some chocolate coconut flavor topping. Mmmmm can we say HOLY DELICIOUSNESS! This combination was fantastic. I then followed the same steps as above and then I waited. And waited. And waited.

Once out of the freezer I let it sit out for a minute and then added some chopped walnuts to each dish. I thought it would add a great texture. And maybe that’s all I had on hand.
Obviously you can add any ingredients that your heart desires.

We are going to go watch the last episode of Parenthood and cry over it with our wonderful (relatively) healthy dessert!