Wine Country

Karl and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary (together 10, married 1.5) – wow! We decided to commemorate the occasion by taking a little drive out to San Diego’s wine country in Temecula. We were blown away by the expanse of the region; this is truly wine country!

A scrumptious lunch of seafood stew at Ponte Winery got our day off to a tasty start. Raising a glass of their equally fantastic wine, we celebrated the amazing life we have built together and the anticipation to celebrating many, many more.

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After lunch we hopped from winery to winery; sipping our way through the region’s finest. When we could sip no more, we headed to the Longshadow Ranch Winery, where communing with the horses served as a wonderful end to this lovely day.

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Chocolate Ambassador Gina

Our amazing local chocolatier, Eclipse Chocolat, recently created a Willy Wonka-esque competition to award one lucky winner a lifetime supply of chocolate! They hid platinum tickets inside eight of their delectable chocolate bars, and I was lucky (it was fate)  enough to come away with one!

The competition between myself and my seven competitors went down last weekend. It was two hours of grueling chocolatey challenges: speed wrapping (with precision) chocolate bars, blind folded identification of flavored sea salts using our sense of smell, naming chocolate/candy themed song titles, taste identifying rare flavors infused into truffles, speed arranging a packed box of truffles, and the final trivia portion.

Round by round, I blazed my way through the competition…until the end when I was crowned the victor, and given my new title: Chocolate Ambassador! I will now be feasting on a case of chocolate each month for the next twenty years! No one could have been more passionate about a competition such as this. I trained hard (ate lots of chocolate) and came to win. Good thing too; twenty years of chocolate might finally be able to sate my chocolaty cravings.

-Gina (Chocolate Ambassador)

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Eclipse Chocolate owner, Will Gustwiller, shown above

The port holes shown in the photos above are windows into their chocolate making facility. Delish!

Snowboarding Trip 2013

Karl has a great group of childhood buddies that he’s kept into adulthood. Growing up in sunny Florida, who would have thought these guys would have developed such an affinity for winter sports. Perhaps there’s only so many flamingo lined beaches a guy can take. Nevertheless, each year around this time, the itch develops and they pack up their snowboards and board a plane for a new snowy destination. So far their travels have included Utah, Colorado, Montana, Northern California & Canada. This year, like all others, I wish them lots of mountain fun! (I just noticed that all of the photos I chose have them sitting – that’s my kind of snowboarding!) -Gina

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Remove blank paragraphs from WordPress Content with CSS

Here’s a quick and easy little fix to a common problem. The WordPress Content Editor, while great, tends to add <p> tags where you don’t want them to be. For instance, if I wanted to add an HTML comment (like <!–Start event div–>) WordPress is going to wrap that comment in a paragraph tag, which can mess with your layout. There are ways to run filters on the the_content() function, but for a quick and painless way to do it that doesn’t require PHP, simply add this CSS pseudo-class to your style.css file:

p:empty { display: none }

This simply looks for any <p> tag that has no content in it, and sets its display to none. Of course, this may not work for every occasion, but for most uses it ought to do.

Note: Naturally, for Internet Explorer, this only works with version 9 and above. It works with all major browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera) otherwise.

For more on the :empty pseudo-class, click here

~Karl

3 Day Juice Cleanse

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Prompted by our desire to “reset” our bodies after a particularly indulgent holiday season, Karl and I embarked on a 3 day juice cleanse (our first). What an adventure. And by “adventure” I mean “difficult & distressing.” Luckily, each of our daily 6 juices were very tasty. Let me also preface this post by saying that Karl and I really enjoy food. We love to whip up new meals at home and dine at the myriad of tasty choices here in San Diego. So this cleanse could prove particularly difficult for us, or as it turns out, for me.

DAY 1 – We started off strong with a super sweet fruit juice concoction this morning. Delish! As Karl and I swigged our juices we made a pack to not talk about food for the next 3 days, which I would subsequently break many times. The rest of the day hummed along without a hitch. Easy peasy! Our last juice of the day was at 7pm, which was super difficult for me since I am an avid evening snacker. Marathons of X Files helped to distract me from the hunger pains during those evening hours. It was at this point that Karl officially took the role of my motivator for the next 3 days.

DAY 2 – We started to get pretty hungry around 11am. The realization of how emotionally tied I am to food also started to set in for me; I think Karl fared a bit better in this regard.  I am starting to panic a little. My “insides” feel a bit ravaged, but I guess it’s just expelling those evil toxins.

DAY 3 – While Karl is handling this cleanse with grace and dignity, I am very ready for it to be over. I am not experiencing new creative ideas or a euphoric state. But rather growing intestinal discomfort and a strong hunch that this might no longer being doing my body good. But alas, we must push on.

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REFLECTION – Overall I don’t think I’ll be doing another 3 day juice cleanse. One of the benefits I was hoping to achieve during this process was for my “naughty” cravings to be diminished after these 3 days of purity. But I found that the complete abstinence of solid food was driving me further and further into a binge eating state of mind. My original plans did not consist of 3 days of juicing only to then freak out over a plate of pizza/alfredo/chicken nugget bliss (Which, luckily, did not happen. But almost did.)

This cleanse also made me realize that Karl and I do actually eat very healthfully and that because of this our bodies are not in need of such a dramatic “cleanse.” I only tend to post photos of the indulgent things that we eat, but what I don’t post about are the 90% of our meals which are rather healthy. In this vain, we will continue to eat organic, local produce, fish, quinoa, etc. While also indulging occasionally on some tasty tacos, amazing cheese or luscious dessert. Balance and moderation will continue to shape our dietary choices.

-Gina

Sweet Tooth No More (well, at least less so)

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While perusing my food themed Pinterest page today I was taken aback by the lack of variety in my pins. More specifically, that if the food in question does not fall under the category of a dessert, then it might as well not exist to me. Now I know my apparently insatiable appetite for sweets has become legendary, but I really do eat fairly well most of the time – I swear. So I’ve got a plan. To help break me of my many, many holiday indulgences, Karl and I will be embarking on a 3 day veggie/fruit juice cleanse. It will be our first, so our nerves are high. I fear I’ll experience the cartoon moment where our sweet dog Sadie might appear to me as a giant, juicy turkey leg. But fingers crossed we will emerge unscathed and quite refreshed. Stay tuned next Friday for the story of how it all went down!

-Gina

Photo credits on my Pinterest page

Holiday Treats

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We had a fantastic holiday season filled with way too many treats! Our holiday inspired dessert also took home the trophy at our Supper Society’s last dinner of the year. We made everyone an individual 3 layer chocolate cake with a peppermint glaze and fresh currants. It was washed down with a Baileys espresso with a peppermint rim. Delish! Though it’s time to dust off the juicer and pack away the stand mixer, I sure will miss the plates and plates of sugary delights (including my peppermint bark fudge brownies, lower left).

Wishing you all a wonderful new year!

Anatomy of a Workspace // Gina


Karl captured this dramatic photo of me working yesterday and I thought I’d break down some of the highlights of my work space.

1 / Sprinkles Cupcake Cup – Holds pens & markers while keeping the thought of cupcakes never too far away  2 / Thymes Frasier Fir Candle – It’s like working in a pine forest  3 / Vintage Turquoise Desk – I like even my most basic furniture to be artful and inspiring  4 / Rescue Pup from Baja Dog Rescue – Sadie subs in as a blanket during these “chilly” San Diego days  5 / Julie West Prints – Bottom line, I can’t get enough  6 / Herman Miller Mirra Chair – Allows me to sit for 8 hours without physical duress