J.Puccinelli

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

the sometimes valley girl

In Good Eats, Los Angeles, mr. and mrs. pooch on August 31, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Take the 405 to the 101, to the 134…in 0.2 miles exit on your left. I don’t need my gps to get here anymore, some things are just second nature now, getting here is like making my eggs in the morning, I don’t measure seasonings, I just go.  This particular day I drove the entire way: windows down, soaking up the 80 degree weather, and singing my heart out to the same Florence + The Machine song on repeat…

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You cant carry it with you if you want to survive

As I pulled onto A.P’s folks’ street, I turned my music down, parked the car and absorbed the good feeling I always get when I’m in the valley…all of a sudden I can’t hear the freeway anymore, the streets are lined with deeply rooted trees, the houses look like homes, warm, inviting, comforting.

Within seconds of stepping through his parents red door I’m greeted with the smell of a freshly baked chocolate cake, hugs, laughter, and before I can sit down I have at least two dogs vying for my attention.

Feels like home


Photos from the evening

Food was amazing… there is nothing like a home cooked meal.

Kona, their rescued Rotweiler was making the sweetest faces in a valiant effort to sample some steak.

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Chocolate Cake and a glass of milk for dessert? Don’t mind if I do!

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Love their backyard, we played with the pups for awhile…A.P can get them to all howl at the same time!

Joey & Yogi

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My favorite moment of the night: Kona who is 115+ lbs channels his inner lap dog and climbs onto A.P’s dad’s lap!

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

~j.ayers

jazzed!

In budget, for the home, friendship on August 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Simple things this week that have caused an influx of laughter, smiles, and general glee!

Sunday evening impromptu dinner with friends

(hint: Big Lots is a great place to buy any kind of glasses, I got this 16 piece set for $10)

(hint: No party is complete without flowers. Spice up a table setting with fresh flowers from Trader Joes, $2.99 a bouquet)

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Partaking in America’s favorite past time …for the first time

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A new nail polish color!

(hint: Purchase your nail polish from Bed Bath & Beyond and use the 20% off coupons – saves you at least $1.60! )

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Trader Joes lunch runs with one of my faves

(hint: Grab a piece of fruit, large bottle of water, and noodle bowl for a $2.60 lunch)

~ j.ayers

just the pink spoon…

In fashion, Good Eats, Los Angeles on August 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm

You know when you go to Baskin Robbins and you find a flavor that sounds and looks good but you still aren’t sold on making the full commitment so they ever so graciously allow you to try the ice cream using that tiny pink spoon…

Well, here is my pink spoon to you – just a few little samples.

Lime green Vans are to your feet as blonde hair is to your head…you just have more fun.

A watch can give you insight on a persons priorities in an instant…I almost always wear one because my days are packed tight and I can’t stand being late.

Funnel cake, the iconic ferris wheel, sand, ocean and street vendors = Sundays at the Santa Monica Pier.

Laughter, bare feet, good friends, hot dogs, sand and a sunset make for the perfect beach bonfire.

marshmallows too..

“Whoa! Are those perpetrators?!”

Homemade cupcakes – frosted or unfrosted – batter or baked – I can’t get enough.

A very fashionable friend of mine once told me “You should never wear clean chuck taylors, chucks should tell a story”

~ j.ayers

“As You Wish”

In budget, Los Angeles, mr. and mrs. pooch on August 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm

It doesn’t take much to make me happy, so when my super cool roomie emailed me two weeks ago about this “food truck, movie, outdoor thing” I was buying my ticket within the hour.

One blanket, two tickets and $20 bucks later A.P and I strolled into Outdoor Cinema Food Fest.

5 things that made this night great:

1. Free coffee for everyone  – let me rephrase that…free delicious coffee for everyone.

2.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house because the screen is MASSIVE – not to mention we managed to get a spot front and center.

3. Hawaiian, Burger, Korean, Cupcake, French Fries, Ice Cream, Pizza, Salad Food Trucks…literally something for every palate.

4. Now Showing: The Princess Bride

5. Concessions are $1

One thing we learned quickly was that the trucks can and will run out of food. I mean it’s obvious considering there were 1000+ hungry people in attendance and only so many of these mobile eateries.  Vivid visions of slow roasted beef, pork and chicken, marinated in island sauce lured us to the Hawaiian BBQ truck almost instantaneously. 5 minutes later a guy hops out of the truck and with an indifferent glance at the line, posts a handwritten sign: “OUT OF FOOD”  snapping us back to reality and sending us on a hunt for the next best thing.

No worries, we marched over to the Slice Truck and after about 15 minutes in line (which was no big deal because we could still watch the movie) our order was in:  2 slices of Cheese, 2 slices of Pepperoni.  The wait was about 30 so we grabbed some candy from the concession, water, a coke and proceeded to cheer, laugh and boo with the crowd while we waited. Did I mention we only spent $20 the entire evening?

Oh Em Geeeeee! Delicious, gooey, warm, cheesy, with a little NYC swag…the pizza hit the spot.

Every time I watch The Princess Bride I remember why EVERYONE loves it, action, adventure, comedy, love….and come on what girl doesn’t love it when a guy is cooperative and wonderful and just says “as you wish” and really means “I love you and I would cross the 7 seas, endure the pit of despair, fight oversized rodents, out smart kings, and let you sit on the blanket and stay warm while I wait in line all over again to pick up the pizza for us.”

~ j.ayers

The Accidental Antiquing

In budget, for the home, Good Eats, Los Angeles, mr. and mrs. pooch on August 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

There is something magical, addictive, and absolutely euphoric about California sunshine. Summer 2010 however, has been straight up stingy with the sun – until yesterday. I’m talking blue skies galore, a warm breeze and sun, sun, sunshine!  The best part about a warm day is a warm night, which in my eyes is cause for an evening out. Confession- I may or may not have used it as an excuse to rock these super cute black dress shorts I’ve been dying to wear but couldn’t for fear of getting frost bite. I digress…so A.P and I headed over to Culver City’s main street where al fresco dining, live music, and prime people watching/eavesdropping take place.

My turn to choose – i pick Akasha – a fabulous restaurant wrapping around the corners of Culver & Watseka with a commanding metal door, long list of  what I assume to be spectacular wines, a menu with dishes composed of locally grown produce and of course the whole “we’re trying to look like we aren’t trying” ambiance to top things off…I adore this place.

After absolutely terrorizing a plate of sweet potato fries (paired with Vegenaise/paprika sauce – delish) we proceed to abandon all attempts at conversation and dive into our entrees. For me: A simple Fig Salad with blue cheese crumbles, walnuts, arugula, light vinaigrette…For A.P:  Flat Iron Steak, parmesan crusted potatoes and a rainbow chard.  (I plan to do a post just on Akasha one day with photos and all of that jazz.)

Because A.P and I managed to eat so quickly (haha) we had some time to walk around main street. We made it about five doors down before we were stopped by little girls screaming: “50 cents! Books are just 50 cents! Come and get them!”  I looked up and realized we were in front of a second hand store – Jackpot.  I tell A.P I’m looking for “really cool hard cover books” for my room. With my vague description in mind the two of us embarked on a quest to find the coolest, oldest, most unique books EVER…

Soon we are sitting cross legged on the floor, passing books back and forth, laughing at the titles, gawking at the print dates, relishing in the feel of the old pages between our fingers, and trying our best to narrow down my increasing stack of selections.

“But what about this one I like the yellow cover – it pops..”

“Yeah, but this one, this one has an awesome title (The Power of Positive Thinking)”

“Oooh! Read the note in this one – it’s signed 1924.”

As I am finalizing my purchase one of those live music bands I told you about earlier, proceeds to come into the thrift shop, not to browse but to take their show on the road; playing their instruments and singing their hearts out as if no one is watching. I grin from ear to ear and cheer them on as they march around harmonizing about the girl in a purple dress next to me. Is this for real?

An hour has passed since we first stopped in. We leave with spirits high, a paper bag of our finds in tow and a receipt for 10 books equaling what would’ve been the cost of one brand new.  As we walk back to the car I can’t help but smile and instantly recall having the same feeling leaving the library as a kid – holding more books than I could hardly manage, bursting at the seams with anticipation, talking a mile a minute about which book I would read first…if I could just get to the car. ; )

~ j.ayers

Oh the places you will go….

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Sometimes you just want to Be in the places you Were.

party waiting to happen

In inspiration on August 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm


Two years ago I graduated from college. One year ago I unintentionally moved to Los Angeles. One month ago I finally made the step into the highly awaited realm of adulthood. When I say highly awaited, I’m. Not. Kidding.
I’ve been imagining living on my own for years- scouring magazines for inspiration, collecting tear pages of how i would decorate my pied e terre in Boston, plotting to steal my parents perfectly aged brass bed from England as a finishing touch to my renovated craftsman condo in Atlanta!  And oh how many times did I daydream of the fabulous flea market finds I would use to outfit my brick-walled loft in Austin…decorating aside, I’ve been this just…(sigh) party waiting to happen – if you will. Living day by day knowing that as soon as I could stand on my own two feet – oh man – everything else would just fall into place.
So we fast forward  to now. Suddenly I’m in LA, eyes wide, fingers trembling with anxiousness and my heart pulsating with sheer excitement. I have arrived.
After a lot of urging, nudging, and not-so-subtle hints to start a blog, here it is : cereal and wine – the one of a kind adventures, unexpected blessings, triumphs and mishaps of a young lady who is in heaven with a bowl of $5 cereal for dinner yet calls her mom just to brag about the $3 wine she had for dessert…
~ j.ayers

finally opening the door

In inspiration on August 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

And it starts…