Sunday, February 27, 2011


It was a very hairy weekend at the Burke-Engler house. For quite some time now, I've been due for a haircut ... a process I never enjoy. Every time it's time for a snip, I hem and haw over what route to go. Should I cut it all off? Just take care of the dead ends? Layer it or go for something blunt? I Google pictures of every possible cut, but inevitably I go with something pretty much the same as before. In fact, the most drastic thing I've done to my hair in the past ten or so years, is let it go back from platinum blonde to my natural darker color. Well that and then this:

Anyways, my very first plan for this weekend's hair appointment was to go for the same-old-same-old. Then I saw this photo of Heidi Klum, and in a fit of bravery, printed it out and put it in my purse. Haunted by the memories of sparkly hair clips holding back my awkward-length bangs when I grew them out in the fifth grade, I was unsure if I would actually ever pull it out.

.But with my man cheering me on from the sidelines while he read his In Touch Weekly, I felt the courage and I went for it. And voila! Here is the result:

I love it! Hooray for going out of my box. And in other hairy news. Someone went from this:

To this (cue dreamboat photo treatment):

Terry, you'll be glad to know your son still listens to your advice. Though I must say, while I spent Oscars' night admiring the dresses, Derek spent Oscar night nostalgically admiring the facial hair.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

7/30 aka Now do you believe I live in my sweatpants?

Pants: Gap, Denim shirt: Herve Bernard at Marshalls, Grey Shirt: Banana Republic, Cardigan: Polo by Ralph Lauren at Marshalls, Shoes: Steve Madden, Necklaces: don't remember!

Happy Friday my friends! As you can see, I'm still in the first third of my outfit postings, while my compadres in this process are in their final leg. If there was any denying that my work-from-home job keeps me in thoroughly un-internet-worthy clothes, you better believe it now. Luckily I have a boyfriend who prefers the no-makeup ponytail me, and when I do get gussied up, it makes it all the more fun.

And now, the weekend is here, and I'm finally going to be home, dressed, and have the time to snap some shots. So except more to come! I also have some fun recipes and projects coming next week so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here's some posts that caught my eye this week.

Wouldn't this or this dress be fun to change into for your wedding reception? Or wear the whole time if you want a short dress! And both under $70.

This fish dinner we made this week was melt-in-your-mouth good.

If I'm good, can I please have this kitchen when I grow up?

Oh yum!

Are you looking forward to the Oscars this weekend? I am! This was my favorite Oscar dress growing up, though I think if I went, I'd want to wear something like this or even this.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Well if it says anything about my Vegas vacation, it's almost the next weekend, and I'm just getting around to posting this last weekend. It was a whirlwind to say the least.

Here's a few highlights ...

First sights of Vegas, lots of flashing lights! (That's me holding up my high-rollin' $5 chips)

Doing the classic tourist poses at the buffet.

I may live in Cali, but I never tire of palm trees.

Derek showing off our hotel, the MGM Grand.

The look on my face every time I thought I was going to lose some money, ghostly white (I didn't whew!)

Fabulous food and whimsical decor at Serendipity 3.

Derek evoking his inner jungle king at the lion habitat at MGM.

Ready for a night on the town.

The luxurious pool at Caesar's Palace.

Vegas calls for getting dressed up! And you may notice, I'm not in my 30 for 30. Don't hate me, please! I'm actually swapping out a few of my picks I haven't worn yet for these new items - more on that to come. I think that's totally illegal but the weather has been particularly nutty as has my travel schedule and sacrifices must be made. More on new 30 for 30 pieces and outfits this week!

And I leave you with this important bit of advice ... Live long and prosper

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

L-O-V-E love

Betcha thought I became a blackjack professional and stayed in Vegas, didn't ya? Well, I thought about it, but in the end, I thought the buffets would get to be too much for my waist line. So instead I'm home, I'm catching up on life and working on getting my vacation pictures uploaded while having way too much fun with Picasa/Picnik (see below). I have a crazy week ahead so posting might be light, but I promise to soon catch up on my outfit posts and share some DIYs I have in store!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

Derek and I are off to Vegas, baby! It's my very first time so send a little luck that the (minimal) amount I'll be gambling will turn into some big bucks! Meanwhile, some links to keep you busy.

Derek and I always talk about having a chicken coop for eggs someday. This would be my dream one.

Check out what we had for dinner this week, here, here and here.

I'm in love with this explorer room for a little boy.

Killer bridesmaids dresses.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Play date

How killer would any of these bunks have been for a childhood sleepover? I could have packed a couple dozen of my friends in one of these for some serious games of MASH, Dream Phone, and crush gossip.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6/30 aka U.S.A. is A-OK!

Shirt: Old Navy, Skirt: Tommy Hilfiger from Marshalls, Shoes: Kohls, Belt: thrifted, Hairbows: Claire's

After spending the weekend in D.C., I was feeling ultra patriotic - especially so when I came home from 30 degree weather to sunny and 80 San Diego, ah how I love travelling from sea to shining sea.

So I donned my most red, white, and blue 30 for 30 duds and went national anthem caroling 'round the neighborhood. Or at least I thought about it. I was too nervous after Christina's disaster a few weeks back.

P.S. Please excuse the close-up of my hobbit feet. If you ever were a ballet dancer in pointe shoes, you understand.

Little bits of love

Did you have a happy Valentine's Day? Derek and I celebrated pretty low-key since I was just getting back from a trip. I received some lovely flowers, a box of chocolate, and pretty hair accessories from Claire's which are awesome and equally hilarious when I picture Derek waiting in line there behind a bunch of teeny-boppers.

I took a cue from these stickers and put little notes in all the places I know Derek visits everyday. He's very routined. Here are a few:

An orange and banana a day!

Standard lunch is a peanut butter sandwhich ...

And some Internet time to check

The man always gets some ice for his water bottle.

And makes sure to hit a few practice putts (in the house).

Then we cooked a yummy pasta dinner with Pinor Noir ...

And finished off the night with my surprise St. Louis gooey butter cake - complete with heart shaped powdered sugar.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I spent the weekend totally inspired and in awe in Washington D.C. where I toured some of the monuments that represent the heroism of our country's history and spent time with 11,000 living heroes who are working to end the educational inequity that exists between children in low-income and high-income communities today.

If you have a moment, please check out one of the highlights of the weekend for me, listening to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speak about that work that needs to be done in our nation's schools. More video highlights of Teach For America's 20th Anniversary Summit including a performance by our board member and supporter, John Legend (woo!) can be found here.

Arne Duncan from TFA 20th Anniversary Summit on Vimeo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Friday!

I'm in Washington D.C. for the weekend having a marvelous time and loving this city but missing two things in this picture ... the sun and this guy.

I'll be back on Monday sharing my travels and the Valentine's ideas I've been plotting!

In the meantime, have a marvelous weekend and check out some of my favorite recipes as of late here, here, and here.

See ya later!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

4/30 aka just call me Denim Dan

In case you were wondering, my fashion inspiration for outfit number four ...

Small steps

As a DIY and design lover, it's sometimes rather difficult to me feel satisfied living in an apartment. I can't paint the walls, can't change out the cabinets, can't update the bathroom hardware, and can't otherwise make any large, destructive moves that will significantly alter the place without incurring a large fine when we move out.

So I try to find other ways to make small changes in the apartment that make it feel like home, without damaging the "goods."

Since the apartment came with cheap-o-la towel bars, similar to those you find in a motel, one update we made was to swap it out for these two "D" and "T" hooks I found at Micheals in the $1 section. I cut out some scrapbook paper and Modge Podged it on, and Derek removed the old towel bar and put these up to be replaced before we move out. For $2, it's a great update that makes our home feel a little more personalized.

Are you an apartment-dweller? Any tips for making it feel like home?

P.S. Getting on a plane to D.C. for the next few days! Hooray!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

California dreamin'

A few weeks ago, Derek and I took a bike ride around one of our favorite places in San Diego - Coronado. If you've never been to our little corner of the world, Coronado is a gorgeous island right off the city of San Diego with a stunning beach, famous resort, and the home of a large Navy SEAL base.

But what I love best about Coronado are the houses -- breath-taking beach mansions at every turn. On our latest trip a snatched a photo at this beauty, and I have to say I'm ready to move in.

Here's a few things I would do with the interior ...