A Sweet Saint Paddy’s Day

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One of my many favorite things about holidays is the number of desserts that are made in celebration, and this Saint Patrick’s Day was no different.  The weekend before Saint Patrick’s Day, since the holiday fell on a Monday this year, my house was filled with Saint Patrick’s Day treats.  Even though I’m not Irish by blood, being a student at the University of Notre Dame makes this day extra special.  We got into the Irish spirit making some themed cupcakes and shamrock cookies, and they tasted as delicious as they looked.  It was definitely a very sweet weekend.  What did you do to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?  And for some other simple and delicious recipes check out some of these websites:

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/shamrock-cookies

http://www.lovefromtheoven.com/2011/03/03/green-velvet-cake-st-pattys-day-baking/

And for the more adventurous:

http://bakingbites.com/2014/03/mini-st-patricks-day-ombre-cakes/

What are some of your favorite Saint Patty’s Day recipes?

Image The cookie cutters I used to make shamrock cookies.

The finished productsImage

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Vanilla cupcakes with green frosting and festive sprinkles. 

L.A. Hiker Chick

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The view of Los Angeles from behind the Hollywood Sign.

I went home to Los Angeles last week for spring break and I stayed busy going to the beach, eating at delicious cafes, and taking a day trip to Santa Barbara.  Needless to say, it was a great way to stay busy.  But one of my favorite things to do in LA when I’m home is to go hiking.  Many people don’t associate Los Angeles with hiking, but it has some really beautiful trails.  There are trails for all kinds of hikers, from beginners to experienced hikers.  One my favorite hike is the Hollywood Hills Hike because it’s not too challenging and on a clear day it has amazing views of Los Angeles, from Downtown to the ocean.  I had some friends stay with us over break, so of course we took them on this hike and the we lucked out with perfect weather, clear skies, and amazing views. The Hollywood Hills Hike can be lengthened by starting and ending at the Griffith Observatory, or for a shorter hike you can start at Sunset Ranch Stables. Another popular hike in the Beverly Hills/Hollywood area, especially for occasional celebrity sightings, is Runyon canyon, which is a very mild hike and 3 miles round trip.  But if you’re ever in the Los Angeles area, I definitely recommend exploring some trails! Here are some other helpful sites for finding trails in the Los Angeles area, so check them out:

http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blog/hiking-los-angeles-las-best-trails

http://www.hikespeak.com/los-angeles/best-hikes-in-la/

http://modernhiker.com/la-hiking/

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My sisters Kjerstin (left) and Kari (right) and I made it to the top of the hill.

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The view on the other side of the hill, facing north, including Burbank down below and the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.

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Of course we couldn’t leave without a hiking selfie with Kjerstin (L), Kari (R), and my friend Kirstin (front center)