love letters, 2013




Just a few little notes to the people and things that make me l-o-v-e life…feel free to leave your own little love note below (I want to hear what makes you guys all warm and fuzzy). Happy Valentine’s Day!! xo


To “my people”: You are the best girls (and guys) I know. Thank you each for bringing something unbelievably special to my life. You’re there for me when I’m a stress-case, put up with me when I sing obnoxiously off-key at the top of my lungs, happily oblige when I make you taste-test countless desserts for this blog (OK–you probably don’t hate that part), and always, always build me up. Thank you for making me a better me.


To my family: I love you for your constant support, for telling me what I need to hear (like, “No, Alyssa, that is correct. You won’t pay your loans off for another 10 years.”), for believing in me in the times when I hardly do, for laughing at my really corny jokes and for always making home feel like home.


To my sometimes-crazy job: I’m really happy I have you. You’re challenging, exciting and sometimes stressful, but I’m constantly left thinking it’s just a little bit magical that I have the privilege to go into work and do what I love every day. See ya in a few hours.


To Smartfood popcorn: I really (like, really) love you. Thanks for always being there for me in my time of need–like when I’ve had one drink too many or a tough day a work. You’re a special kind of delicious (and like I tell everyone, you’re better crushed).


To Alias, the best show on television: Did you catch me the first time? No? OK, I’ll say it again–you’re the best show on television. Or I guess I should say were, considering you’re not on anymore, but trust me when I tell you our weekly Netflix dates are going to continue on through 2013. Things are about to get real saucy, Sydney Bristow.


To you, the best readers ever: It still pretty hard for me to believe that anyone besides my mom and a few close friends read this blog, but I’m constantly overwhelmed by the amount of support I get from each and every one of you. You are the sweetest, most thoughtful and amazing women I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Thank you for making this so fun xo

love lessons from the best of the 90′s (and beyond)

Sometimes the best love lessons are right in front of your eyes–or, in this case, on your television. Whether you find yourself saddled with a moody poetry writer, tasked with snagging the cutest guy at school or considering ahem, jumping ship, I’m convinced we can learn all we need to know about relationships from 90′s entertainment (and a bit beyond). Here’s a simple (and OK–sometimes sarcastic and sassy) breakdown:



It’s like, totally OK to love your step brother: If Clueless taught us anything, it’s this: that cute guy you have your eye on? He’s probably gay. But no worries, because as it turns out, your adorable, slightly boyish step-brother-but-not-really-step-brother is like, totally is crushing on you. Pass up on love just because some silly law says it so not OK? AS IF!




Don’t play dumb, just be a bitch: Forget faking dumb at algebra to get a guy’s attention–being a bitch is really where it’s at**. In girl world, it’s all about putting your Aaron Samuels in his place. Tell him his hair looks sexy pushed back, then go hook up with his teammate in the projection room above the auditorium. If it’s a Wednesday, make sure you wear pink. Before you know it, guys within a three mile radius will be clamoring for your attention. Four for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco.





Hint–nobody likes a train wreck: Having one glass of wine too many and getting giggly with your guy? Cute. Popping pills and passing out in an alleyway in Tijuana? I’m going to go with not cute. The damsel in distress act gets really old, really quick, so get your stuff together girlfriend. Even Coop eventually lost Ryan Atwood (it took like, a zillion seasons, but it happened). I mean, the guy comes from Chino–it’s hard to scare him away. Word to the wise: harness your crazy, ASAP.





Get the heck out of your comfort zone: As Titanic proves, the love of your life (or at least the love of your cruise) may be laying right outside the border of your comfort zone. Dance on a table, spit like a man and don’t write anybody off–you never know, a “steerage rat” maybe actually turn out to be your prince charming. Any guy who says he’d jump if you jump is a keeper. Just please, at least share the couch equally when you cuddle up–there was room for two on that damn door.




Sometimes, it’s OK to hate the one you love: Yes, I said it. It’s OK–normal even. But remember: there’s a difference between like and love. I like my Sketchers, but I love my Prada backpack. Prada backpack-style relationships have a certain ebb and flow…there will be fights and moments where you really just can’t stand each other, and other magical times where things will fall together perfectly. Hate his cooking, hate how he never wears socks, hate eight, nine, even ten things about him. But don’t hate eleven. Hit eleven, and you’re screwed.





Sometimes, all it takes is a little mascara: Take it from Laney Boggs–a little makeup can go a long way. It’s not so much about making yourself look pretty enough for a guy, it’s more about making yourself feel pretty. So what if it takes you a few coats of mascara and a fresh blow-out to feel up-to-snuff? You’ll walk down those plush carpeted stairs feeling like a babe (to the tune of Kiss Me, naturally) and take his breath away.





It’s OK to be the nerd: Or the quiet one, or the virgin, or the worry wart or the dork. Just be you. Nothing is less attractive than someone who screams “trying too hard” and an authentic Josie Grossie will win out over a Phony Phoebe any day. It really is true what they say–there’s a Mr. Coulson out there for everybody. Just uh, make sure he’s not really your teacher. Outside of Never Been Kissed and Pretty Little Liars, that’s pretty illegal.





Be with your Bee Eff Eff: It all boils down to this–at the end of the day, just be with your BFF. It doesn’t matter if it starts out as a Friends With Benefits situation or a full-blown pedal-to-the-metal love affair. What matters is this: you can laugh, cry, yell, argue, celebrate and commiserate together. You have just as much fun making a blanket fort as you doing taking in a ball game or heading out for a fancy dinner. He knows you suck at all forms of Xbox and doesn’t care. You know he only pretends to give a crap if coral or red lipstick match your outfit better. Turns out, guys and girls can be besties–they just usually happen to be sleeping together.



**Obviously, I know being a bitch isn’t where it’s at!

a little valentine’s day sugar



If there’s ever a time for a little sugar, it’s Valentine’s Day. I had an idea as to how I wanted these babies to turn out, but truth be told, I totally messed up these cookies–twice. The first time, the batter was so watery, it could never be a cookie. The second time–well let’s just say there was a fire alarm involved (yeah, it was an off day). But you know what they say, after a few recipes tweaks, third time’s a charm! I plan on handing these out to spread a little love this Valentine’s Day.




You’ll need:


  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, unsalted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 5 cups of flour




Cream together the butter and the sugar until smooth, but don’t over mix. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again on low. Add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated, for no longer than 30 seconds.





Put the dough on a tray, sandwiched between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out flat (or, if you’re like me and can’t seem to find your rolling pin, sandwich between two trays and lay on it with your body weight). Put in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.





Cut out cookie shapes using the cutters of your choice (naturally, I chose hearts for the occasion). Make sure you give the cookies room on the sheet–they will spread a little bit!




For the frosting:


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons half and half
  • red and pink food coloring (optional)




Dye the frosting a variety of pinks and red, and go crazy! I did a few different designs, added some sprinkles and sparkles (naturally) and generally went all out.





Wrap them up in red cellophane and hand out to all of your Valentines! If you need, you can store them in an air tight container for up to five days.




notes on love

I’ve always had a love for beautiful words, ever since I was little–I suppose on some level it’s why I became a writer. John Steinbeck has always been one of my favorites and I’ve devoured almost every one of his novels with fervor.


I stumbled upon this lovely letter from Steinbeck to his son Thom at just the perfect time. It was in response to a letter Thom wrote his father about a girl he believed he had fallen in love with. It was so perfectly written that I felt like I just had to share it eventually–enjoy it below!

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



letter source here



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