Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Glimpse of Heaven

I am certain there are bits of Glory in the moments right before the sun drops below the horizon.

I firmly believe the beauty of sunsets is magnified a hundred times when coupled with the sound of waves breaking.

It is decidedly one of the greatest things about living in Los Angeles.

For a few minutes everyone on the beach stops and watches the sun steadily sink. Once the last bit of fiery orange disappears, everyone turns to gather their things and brush off sandy legs.

Then it's back to reality.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Milestone

I was out of town for a busy wedding holiday weekend, so after work I begrudgingly pulled out the Core Synergistic dvd for my first workout in 4 days. To say I wasn't looking forward to it was a major understatement.

After doing 3 or 4 push-up "stations"--on my knees, of course--I decided to throw caution to the wind. I got up on my toes...and did 10 normal-person push-ups!

I know it sounds super lame, but I honestly can't remember doing regular push-ups before. Hooray for me :D (If I did, it was high school...but even then it's really hazy, so I'm thinking not so much.)

Now, off to prep for my fantasy football draft! I know what you're thinking...and I agree. Clueless. But, it's a fun way to do something with the Boy Man Boy Man. Plus, on the off off chance one of us win (well, more likely for him) we'll be $90 richer!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Love Books!

I have read several dozen books the last six months. I don't even remember most of them. I usually read at least a book a week, sometimes three. It largely depends on the book. I've gone through my personal library (again) and usually have a book or two checked out from the library. I've read plenty of fiction, but some of the most poignant have been non-fiction.

**Please don't remind me that with all of this time to read I could have easily read through the Word...maybe twice. I lament the fact for both of us. My main excuse is that I like to read my Life Application with all the footnotes application...that I don't always get with my tiny Bible, which is much more portable.**

Anyway, I think there are few that are worth noting.

#1. The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns. READ THIS BOOK. IT'LL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I am not saying that lightly. The minute I finished the book, I literally got online and sponsored another World Vision child. I now get to help little Flavio from the Dominican Republic as well as continue to support Elaste in Rwanda. I'm not saying that to point out how great I am. I could not have NOT sponsored another child. That's just what this book does. It forces you to act. Rich Stearns is the current president of World Vision and I truly believe his story and experience could be any of ours if we actually followed God's lead. Nearly every day, as I walk past a wide spectrum of God's children--of whom I usually can't get past the stench, profanity, or uppity business suit--I am reminded of this book and how it re-shaped my entire world view. Do I fail at answering God's nudges or in some cases obvious urgings? Daily. I'm a giant scaredy cat. Going out of my bubble is really, really hard for me. Just riding the subway can often push me past my comfort zone. READ THIS BOOK. IT'LL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

#2. Raising Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson. This book has been around about a decade now but it had been on my reading to-do list for ages. No, I have no children, I'm not married, nor am I expecting. I don't even have a nephew. But we need good men in this world. How does a boy become a man? And what roles must each parent play in shaping who these little people will become? For me, this book is also a must read. We are living in a dangerous time when the very definition of a marriage and family is subjective and highly contested. From the structure of our education system to the fact that men are often seen as optional on-the-verge-of-irrelevant (or even detrimental), unnecessary from conception to college graduation. This book does not sugar coat topics and you may disagree with aspects of it but it will absolutely make you think (or re-think) about how you want to go about raising up your children. Totally worth it.
**Raising Up Girls by Dr. Dobson was recently released in hardcover, I believe.**

There are more books to comment on, but I'll leave you with an excerpt of a quote in the book I'm reading right now. Can you guess who wrote this? And who the subject of the book may be?

The people of the world still share...hope. The peoples of the world, despite differences in racial and ethnic origin, have very much in common. They want the dignity of having some control over their individual destiny. They want to work at the craft or trade of their own choosing and to be fairly rewarded. They want to raise their families in peace without harming anyone or suffering harm themselves. Government exists for their convenience, not the other way around. If they are incapable, as some would have us believe, of self-government, then where among them do we find any who are capable of governing others?

It makes me giddy :D

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Do you Thread?

Today turned out to be quite a girly day, at least by my standards.

I hit the mall in search of some shoes and accessories to go with a new dress I'm wearing to a wedding next weekend. Malls are exhausting. Then again, it was the third one I'd been to in three days. And I don't shop. Like, ever.

While there, I stopped by S.H.A.P.E.S Brow Bar because my eyebrows were in dire straits. I have only had my brows professionally shaped once before, a la wax. So when I noticed last weekend that this shop did threading, I was intrigued. I'd been hearing great things about it lately and thought I'd give it a shot. I read that this technique was more efficient, more hygienic since they use cotton thread, less painful and had fewer after-effects than waxing. And it was usually cheaper.

Well, it was definitely cheaper. It was 10 bucks plus tip.

But holy cow, I was not prepared for the pain. It wasn't a searing pain you get with waxing or pulling off a band aid but at least with those it's one and done. With the threading (and I'm still not exactly sure how it works) they grab each hair or a group of hairs and yank over and over and over. It feels like something in between a bunch of tiny needles and the poking of a fine-toothed comb. Weird, huh?

However, I was pleased with the results and more than pleased with the price. The only downside to this particular place was that it's first come, first serve so the wait was about an hour.


I LOVELOVELOVE Fresh's Brown Sugar Body Polish from Sephora. I do not love the price tag. $38 for 7oz and (a freaking) $65 for a 14oz tub. Solution? Get someone to buy it for you. Or, make your own!

I've done this several ways, but tonight I didn't want to fuss and just made the most basic paste. Just mix enough olive oil with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar (for one serving) in a small container that can travel with you into the shower. After I wash as normal, I slather the scrub all over my body, careful not to fall on my now-slippery shower floor. It's heavenly. After patting myself dry and dressing, I notice that my skin is not greasy at all, just nice and luscious. Try it! **Other nice additions: lemon juice, vanilla extract, essential oils, oatmeal, etc.***

Oddly, there is more girlishness is on the docket for tomorrow:

-Church and lunch with a girl friend (mmm, hello Senor Fish...they have the absolute best scallop and shrimp burrito known to man)
-cashing in the boyfriend's birthday gift and getting a massage!
-catching some of the Emmy's (I totally forgot about the 4pm live showing when I scheduled the stinkin' massage...)
-picking up the boy (man?) at the airport!

I could get used to this :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Twenty-Six in Twenty-Six, Part I

Since beginning the downward slide to thirty about a month ago (and fifty, if we're being truthful), I decided that I should make a list of things I'd like to do. I think it's a combination of a wish list, bucket list, and needs-to-happen list. Some things may never come to fruition and others are important for my well-being. And the rest? Well, they're just plain fun.

1)Write a letter to the Editor-I want to assert my opinion on a topic that interests me in a truly public forum. Basically, I just want to thoughtfully comment on something that I believe in and actually have to put my name on it. It's so easy to go through life never really speaking up or speaking out because we never have to take a stand for anything if we don't feel like it. Living in this country has yet to require that sort of boldness, something that I know that I take for granted.

2)Pay off debt-I don't have as much consumer debt as the average American (which I heard today was at its lowest level in years at $5,000, which is attributed to the Recession/Depression), but I just haven't quite buckled down enough to eliminate it. Plus, part of it is a personal loan from my parents since I "bought" their car. Well, it's been more like borrowed so far and I'd like to remedy that ASAP. Or, ASAIHMM: As soon as I have more money :)
Full disclosure: It will take several years for me to pay off my student loans. But I's gotsta start somewheres!

3)Learn to Shoot a Gun-Preferably at a firing range and not in South Central. It's a skill I've wanted to have for a long time. I'd hate to find myself in some terrifying situation one day and wish I'd made the effort to figure out what's what. Especially since I'm not very good at Duck Hunt.

4)Complete P90x-I'm 5.5 weeks into it, and for the most part it's still going well!! I am starting to see some muscles bulge in the triceps area and less bulge in other areas. I still can't do a pull-up, though.

5)Attend a Political Function or Rally-I may have a chance this fall with all of the election stuff happening. It's all just so exciting!!! And, I grew up going to political things. Hello, Straw Poll. I remember you bored me. Oh, and my parents even "chauffeured" a future presidential candidate when he was campaigning in the area for something. I recall being bored then, too.

6)Renew CPR Certification-I took the first half of an EMT course my senior year of high school
as an elective one semester because I'm super cool. Part of the class was to become certified. Since it is only good for two years, I am WAY over due. Plus, I just think it's one of those things a person should be up-to-date on.

7)Run a Race-I've never actually signed up and run an event before. Not even a 5k.
I don't think the Fun Run in elementary school counts. I'm not too fond of the idea of paying to run. It just seems silly. I'd rather pay for fun, not side aches.

8)Create a Budget...And Stick to It-I suppose this corresponds with Number 2, but I have about five budget templates saved in various places and have had read numerous books and articles about them, yet I've never actually fill them out. I probably could have completed this task in the time it took to write this post.

9)Leave the Country-But come back! The last time I left the country was 2004 (Italy and 4 hours wandering London) and I think it's time I venture into the world again. Even if I have to drive the 3-5 hours to Tijuana to do accomplish this goal. (Not gonna lie...driving south of San Diego makes me a little nervous.)

10)Take a Class-I have no idea what this will look like. Cake Decorating at Michael's? Hip-hop Dancing at the Y? Beginner's Italian? Sewing for Idiots? Culinary school? I'm actually considering all of these. Well, maybe not the hip-hop class but I have a friend who did it!

I'm sort of exhausted just looking at what's listed above and I have no idea what to add. I still need sixteen more. Make that fifteen. I just added another one.

11)Read through the Entire Bible Within the Year-How many times have I started this task and read Genesis, thinking I'd finally accomplish this goal, only to quit and try again...starting at Genesis? I have lost count. But I came across a website that has an (ambitious) plan that I may check out. For now, I'm trying to catch up on our church-wide plan and finish the second half of 2 the end of the month.

I think an honorary item on this list should be to review the correct usage of commas, ellipses and parentheses...or not.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

From the bowels...

This is what my kitchen sink looks like right now...

...which is connected by a wall to.... tiny bathroom sink...which looks like this right now...AFTER THE USE OF DRANO.

I came home yesterday to the sound of my kitchen sink gurgling. It drained and purged a few times, but thought some Drano would work after I got home tonight. (I use a drain catcher thingy--no garbage disposal--so I'm not sure what the deal is.) Last night I brushed my teeth over the tub and this morning I used the bath faucet to rinse my cereal bowl.

Hopefully my unreliable building manager will call a real plumber and not try to fix it himself, all the while mucking up my floor and kitchen with who knows what.

As you can tell, I'm not a really big fan. I've lived here since...March? maybe and I still only have 3 of my four stove knobs. And no spare set of keys. Oh, and his "remodeling" skills have made it literally impossible to close my closet thanks to several inches of old paint. Hello, lead. You may be my new bff. Oh and when I gave him my rent check for August, he asked my why I turn on my air conditioning nearly every night. First of all...What? Secondly, creeper anyone? Thirdly, this building is ridiculously old and hot--it's summer--and I only have a tiny window unit in the bedroom. Living on the first floor, in an old building, in a less-than-stellar-but-fine-most-of-the-time area, there's no way I'll sleep at night with the windows open. So please don't admit to monitoring me. It makes my skin crawl.

Whew, I actually didn't mean to vent. I'm really not angry at all. Not even feeling that whiny. I think the best word to describe me tonight is just weary. Weary, but rather content, seems to be where I am lately. Almost like a nice, long nap will totally perk me up. :0)

All I can say is that I can't wait for what I'm sure will be a super fun Saturday filled with monitoring a plumber, trying not cringe at all the potential icky-ness.

Big Gulps, eh? Alright! Well, see ya later!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shaky, dead, sore and lovin' it

Due to an overwhelming response to my P90X pooost, I figured I should probably follow up.

Just kidding about the overwhelming part.

But Leah asked how it was going and I aim to please my only reader!

(Psst, check out her blog. She's an entertaining writer/wife/mama/recorder of funny husband convos!)

I am into my third week of my new workout regimen. Day 16 to be exact. I don't think I've ever been so physically exhausted. Granted, I feel MUCH better now than I did during the first week.

By day three, I could not straighten my left elbow without the assistance of my right hand. It was like this for a good 3-5 days.

I probably face-planted at least a handful of times during the first few workouts. Thankfully I was already close to the floor in crazy push-up and yoga positions. My arms are weak :(

I decided after that first week to switch from the Classic version to the Lean version. The difference is a bigger focus on cardio/core rather than Hulking up. But don't think that I wimped out, because the Lean program is still tough. Plus, if you need to have worked up a major sweat in order to feel like you really exercised hard (because shaky, dead, sore muscles just aren't enough), then you won't be dissapointed.

I'm still pretty psyched about doing this. I can't remember the last time I worked out 6 days a week for an hour or so each time. I'm starting to feel a difference in my endurance, strength and flexibility, so win-win-win!

Stay tuned--I'll let you know if I am ever able to do a pull-up :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Biting the Bullet

I have been wanting to join a gym for months and months. But they are so expensive!! Especially near where I live. Since money is a little more than tight, I haven't been able justify the expense. Not only are there monthly dues but the start-up fee is staggering. But with my sister's wedding coming up this fall, I knew I wanted to get back into a regular workout routine that will kick my butt and lessen the likelihood of lunch lady arms. Nobody wants lunch lady arms.

So, I did it.

I ordered P90X.

And it's now in my possession.

I've seen the infomercial dozens of times and it looks pretty sweet. It's not cheap, but the total cost is about that of a gym's start-up fee. Plus, I don't have to schlep myself to the gym.

I even bought a pull-up bar, which is currently more of a goal item since I can't heft myself up at the moment. But I figure if nothing else, I can do abs with it :)

It is a 90 day program, which plan to start on Monday. This gives me time to do the whole program plus about 2 additional weeks that I'll use as a cushion in case I need to make up some dates before the big day November 5.

Wish me luck!

Friday, June 25, 2010

On My Mind

Psalm 40:1-5

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

What an encouragement! I often envision that I am stuck way down deep in some gooey, muddy pit and cannot possibly crawl out on my own accord. But by grace He's there, ready to lift me out. Trusting in what God has planned for me can be so difficult at times. But knowing that He has planned "wonders" for my life--"too many to declare"--brings much comfort. But thankfully David provides words for those of us who are often too impatient to wait on God in verse 17b:
You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, DO NOT DELAY!!
(All emphasis, caps and exclamation points are mine.)

It seems kind of silly at the moment, as if God is unaware of our pleading and desperate cries. But I'll take it because it's often the way feel.

Just keepin' it real.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Jam

Don't you love when God answers your plea prayer almost instantly? That totally happened today. I've been wrestling with some things and today after I dipped into Pity Party Land, I was ready to be at peace. The only problem is that peace doesn't usually come easily for me. Dithering back and forth between trying to work everything out in my head and throwing my hands up and giving it to the Lord, I hopped in the car. After all, a girl still has things to do. I cranked up the only Christian radio station available, immediately feeling energized.

After listening to a string of old-school songs (I still love Jars oh so much!), I was hoping to hear a particular song that has become my most recent jam. Yep, I rock out in my car to worship songs. Anyway, I told God, "This is it. I'm almost to my destination. I really, really, really need to hear this song and I only have time for one more song." As soon as I finished my demanding request, the next song started playing. I was happily shocked. God is so faithful!

You've probably heard this song quite a bit lately if you listen to CCM. Here's the song--it's not really a video, just a graphic with the music underneath.

Anyway, hope you have a song right now that makes you bounce in your seat and bang on your steering wheel in praise of Jesus! :)

PS- If I used the word dither incorrectly above, it's only because once a word gets in my head, I have a hard time shaking it. I'm not ashamed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Catch up time

Since it has been a month since I last posted--because I often don't care to make the time, if I'm being honest--I figured I'll write a post just highlighting what the heck has been keeping me away. And I'm not just not writing blog posts. I'm not reading them either, as my Google Reader currently has 401 unread items. If you saw the pile of receipts, bills and papers on my bedroom floor, you'd realize that I'm pretty okay with loose ends and unfinished business and leaving this until "later." Okay, maybe I shouldn't advertise that about myself. Any hooter, here's a quick rundown of what's been happenin':

-I went home in April and saw this little booger.

She snuggled down for about 45 seconds to watch the baseball game on TV. Atta girl.

Looks like she's enjoying herself, but do you notice the white-knuckled death grip?

-Can you guess where we went on a whim one weekend in May?

Okay, so that was pretty easy. We'd never been to San Diego, even though it's only two hours away. We hit up Sea World (total rip-off, btw, since Disneyworld is about the same price but with loads more to see and do), checked out the beach and saw a Dodgers/Padres game. We never go anywhere unexpectedly, so it was a refreshing change of scenery.

-I am frequently reminded how many weirdos are in LA. Example numero uno: I was driving home from work/the Metro station where my car was parked and was stopped at a light. I looked in my review mirror and couldn't believe what I saw. Some dude was playing his trumpet! The driver of the car, who was alone, was practicing in his car. Good grief. And people are worried about talking on a cell phone? How about a guy with a large instrument obstructing his view?!

-I recently made Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls for the second time and I can honestly say I have never had a better sweet in my life. And that's saying something. If you love buttery, sugary, cinnamony goodness and have little regard for a jiggle in your middle, please make these soon. Saturday would work, too. A word to the wise, though. Halving the recipe will still yield about 30 average sized rolls. You've been warned. Oh and another word. I used a half & half/1% milk mixture for the dough and straight half & half instead of milk for the icing and ohmygosh. So good. So so good. Oh, one more thing. Sorry. I do this a lot. I used vanilla extract for the icing instead of maple flavoring and coffee. Actually, I sort of winged the icing, but made sure to add the melted butter (which I'd never heard of before), which made a huge difference, I think.

I think I'll end on a delicious note before I write any more run-on sentences.

Until next time...

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Yikes, it's been over a month. So much for keeping up with this thing. Does it count that I constantly think of things that may make for decent content and even put it on my ever-growing, rarely-finishing to-do list?

There I go with the hyphens again.
I have been incredibly busy these last several weeks so I'll use that as my excuse. I moved (again) and even traveled back home one very short weekend. Oh, and I didn't get Internet set up until last week so that didn't help.

On the docket for upcoming posts:

1. (Mis)Adventures riding Metro
2. Book reviews -- I read a LOT thanks to number 1 (not that number one)
3. Recap of trip home
4. Fun times moving
5. Good ol' politics
6. ... I can't remember. I'll have to check my list. Now, if only I could find it...

For now, friend, I'll leave you with this:

I love Trader Joe's. LOVE. And you need to buy these. Now. Seriously. Go do it. You can't possibly be disappointed. They are ready to go (well, defrost them first) and they are super cheap. And easy. And delectable.

Just sayin'.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What are you?

There's been this thing about what we eat floating around online for a while. Basically the point is "God took great care in preparing just the perfect foods for us in creation" and "You are what you eat." If nothing else, it's interesting. I like interesting. Plus, I like knowing what my food can do FOR me instead of TO me. :)

If I am what I ate for dinner, I'm sweet and marshmallowy and doused in milk. (Know what I had?)

(I borrowed the graphics from MommyLife)

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% calcium. If you don't have enough calcium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (mo dern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Research shows onions clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. Garlic also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm soooo LA

Okay, I'm not. At all. But you'll see what I mean in a second.

The "sanctuary" at my church is set up a little differently than most churches I've attended. We are all seated in sort of a semi-circle, where you can pretty much see everyone in the church.

As we were singing the opening songs today, I was looking around to see who was there. And lo and behold, I spotted them.

Who, you may ask?


They were at my church. Well, Nick, Kevin and Kevin's wife. I was pretty giddy at my sighting and I could not tell you a single song of theirs. I had heard they were Christians which is cool, but was even more psyched that they were at church. Weird, Christians in church. I know.

But the best part? No one paid them any mind. No announcements, no whispers, nothing. They were able to sing/pray/listen and then leave like normal people.

I guess it's sort of an LA thing, though. Celebrities are often seen out and about and most are usually left alone. Like yesterday, for example.

My friend and I were at one of the outdoor malls and she said she saw Jason Lee walk by. I wasn't sure so we followed him and his kid into H&M. Hey, I had to get a good look! Turns out, it was in fact him. (P.S. He is actually quite attractive when he doesn't look like Earl from My Name is Earl. He also looks like he could be David Arquette's brother.)

Anyway, aside from our tiny stalk-fest, there was no crowd, no pointing, nothing. He was free to bicker with his wife in the aisles of H&M and no one cared.

I think that's one of my favorite things about LA. While it's certainly a superficial town and fame-seekers flock here, by and large most celebrities are given an opportunity do normal things most of the time.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vegas Baby!

Last weekend we met up with my dad and brother in Vegas. We didn't get out of LA until about 8:30pm on Friday so we didn't pull into town until after midnight. Thank you Vegas LA. It's always crazy heading east out of LA.

I was all ready for bed when we arrived, but somehow we ended up driving around and wandering around the Aria, just to check it out. No, we did not stay there. We were finally able to go to bed at 3am or so. You can imagine my joy when I woke up at 7.

We grabbed breakfast at the casino. Note to self: never go to a buffet when it changes from breakfast to "brunch"...unless you want Chinese food and fried chicken and do not want pancakes or cereal.

The main attraction for the weekend was a Cubs-White Sox exhibition game.

Normally the Cubs do their spring training in Phoenix, but who wants to spend a long weekend there? (I do not love the desert, but if there are bright lights and the chance to win some money, I can make an exception.)

Here's my dad and brother and I:

It was COLD. Like, wearing a winter coat would not have been out of line. It was probably in the 50s but the wind was unreal. I think I had peanut shell remnants blow into my eyes every five minutes. For about 5 hours. (We were there REALLY early :) )

The Cubs were up right away but then down for most the game, which combined with the cold made it not the most pleasant. However, they rallied for a very exciting comeback and WON! I was pumped. I think it was the first time I've been in attendance when the Cubs have won, so I was even happier than I normally would be.

He was wearing his W shirt, but it was too cold to take off the jacket and show it off. And I forgot to tell him.

We went to the Hoover Dam Sunday afternoon, but do not have any pictures. My camera is dead and Chris' iPhone was about to die, so I had to buy a disposable camera. Did you catch that? A disposable camera. It's been about 10 years since I've used one and didn't realize until we were driving back to LA that I never "charged" the flash for any of the indoor pics. So I'm pretty sure I'll have very dark pictures from there. Oh well.

It was so nice to see my dad and brother, donate some money to the city of Las Vegas and just hang out. Now, if only my dad would have smuggled THIS into his luggage...

See? She even has her own hat!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have had "write post" on my to-do list every day for the last week and a half. I think I've decided that I'm more of a list-maker than a list-checker-offer.

I even jotted down a few outlines for some posts I was considering. Whilst at work, even. I'm still considering them, but they may not be as relevant or of interest anymore--to you or me. The topics are pretty random.

Like my love/hate relationship with the Metro.

Or how I'm ready to call off this whole give-something-up thing.

Or that I had my butt kicked a couple weekends ago by a bunch of ramp-jumping three year-olds on snowboards.

Or that this girl had a BIRTHDAY a couple weeks ago.

Are you kidding? THIS is my piece of cake? Where's the frosting??

Who knows, maybe I will post about them after all. We'll see if I ever get around to it. By the time I do it'll be Easter. Or the Fourth of July.

It's the thought that counts, right?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fatso Tuesday and Other Randomness

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. That means tonight we will probably finish off the last of this birthday cake I made for my friends.

It looks very simple but my, my is it tasty. It is my version of Cheesecake Factory's Linda's Fudge Cake. I love ganache. Oh and please disregard my unsteady piping. Letter are hard! I love doing the little flower doo dads, though.

I start my job tomorrow. Finally. It took them ages to give me a start date. I've been spending today doing some odds and ends that I doubt I'll have time for in the near future. I did my taxes and only need to print and e-file----hello refund!

I also went the grocery store. I think this is my favorite chore of all. I could wander the aisles for hours if left to my own devices. But there is one grocery-related thing that is even better than that: saving loads of money.

We shop at a grocer that has "member rewards." I feel like most large cities/chains have these. Basically, if you sign up with the store you are privy to in-store discounts and coupons. On top of all that, you earn "points" each time you shop, which ultimately turns into money. At the end of each quarter are given special corresponding coupons.

Today, after scouring the weekly ad and the pantry, I came up with a modest list. I know I'll always be adding a few items once I get there based on unannounced sales and availability, especially produce. By the time the cashier had finished ringing up the 30 items, the total was $81.21. This was before any member pricing or coupons were figured. After my store card and coupons were scanned, the total dropped to $19.41. I did not pay full price on anything today and still walked out with bread, milk, fresh and canned produce, pasta, soup, steak, chicken, cheese and hummus.

I can't help but feel a bit smug as I leave the store. Thank you, Ralphs. I think I love you.

Well, the dishwasher is running, and I have laundry going. I am about to head to the kitchen to throw dinner in the crock pot. I'm going to try a new mac and cheese recipe. I'll post it if it turns out. There will be heavy cream, so I doubt it'll be a complete failure.

Happy Pancake Day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

This is It (Not a movie review)

Four days. Not bad. I'm rather proud, actually. But don't expect this to be a pattern because I just may fall off the face of the earth. Again. It's been known to happen.

Easter is April 4, I believe. Which means Ash Wednesday is February 17. Which means in exactly 8 and a half days at this time I will probably be cranky. In 13 days, the gloves will probably come off. Day 39 will be, well, I'm sorry world. I cannot and will not be held accountable for my actions.

Let me explain. This year for Lent I will be giving up SWEETS. I will not be the only person foregoing dessert. But it is still a huge, major, massive, stinkin' deal for me. I'm already lamenting my surefire demise. It will kill me. Okay, maybe not, but it's still how I feel.

Here are 3 reasons as to why this is a big deal:

1. I have never participated in Lent. For whatever reason, it was never observed in my family or church growing up. I knew of the Fish Fridays in school and that my friends were supposedly giving things up, but it was never highlighted in my life.
2. This girl has gots to have her dessert. I have a really bad habit of needing something sweet to top off meal or an evening. Isn't there scientific research that proves chocolate does a body good?
3. I love to bake. I spend a LOT of time online perusing recipes, bookmarking and scribbling down ones I'd love to try. (For cooking, I use recipes for ideas. I rarely cook from a recipe. However, baking is a whole other world. Measurements are generally recommended and not "to taste," as in cooking.) It's sad that I know the last treat I will concoct before Lent begins are the oh-my-gosh-are-they-yummy Blackout Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache (a la Cheesecake factory's Linda's Fudge Cake) for my good friend's birthday on Saturday.

So while the above reasons will make it difficult, here are the reasons I'm doing it, in no particular order:

1. Spring Cleaning. I have never really been a participant in New Year's Resolutions but do go through seasons where I am really determined to accomplish something. Last spring/summer it was running. I was half-way done with my half-marathon training when I was sidelined by injury and, well, life. I had never run so much or so well! I am looking to kick-start my wellness again and figured that giving up so many calories something that I really enjoy would be a great start. And if I could lose a couple pounds without really trying? Bonus!
2. Quiet Time. I am looking forward to using that time to get into the Word more during times I'd normally be looking for recipes or whipping up batches of goodies. It's something I've always struggled with, and although cooking/baking does not take priority, I just like the idea that I'm freeing up more time so I will have even fewer excuses.
3. Competition. I'm really competitive. With others, with myself, with the computer in online boggle... I hate to lose and hate when I don't follow through with what I say. Still waiting to run that half-marathon... This is something that will be incredibly difficult yet totally achievable if I stay the course. So far only the Boy knows of this plan (actually, was this his idea?) but now I'm letting the world you three know, too.

We're still figuring out the rules: What counts as sweets? Just confections and candy-type things? How about honey on toast? Or sugar in tea or coffee? Frozen yogurt/sorbet? It's fruit, you know.

But the most major question of all: Do margaritas count as sweets? I shudder to think...

P.S. I have a margarita recipe that is amazing, no mixer involved. It's been called The Truth Serum before. Just sayin'.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Oh Gorsh

Okay, I am officially terrible at keeping this blog up and running. It has been 7 months, more or less, since I last posted and my oh my have things changed.

I am back in the land of sun, stars and fake boobs tans. And sushi. Oh, and hiking in shorts and tank tops.

However, it nearly killed me leaving this almost one-year old behind, though. (I may or may not attempt to smell the Burts Bees Baby wash while at Target...)

Who doesn't love avocados? If you don't, please don't tell me.

Thankfully there is Skype, although due to the nature of mobile children, it usually turns into a session of my sister holding the webcam and following Riley around like those zoo cams you see online. We watch her lick her reflection in the mirror, pick fuzz out of the carpet and generally practice all of her new and ever changing skills.

Let's see, in an attempt to not recap the mundane details of the last 7 months, I'll highlight this past week.

I am waiting for my job to start up, so I have had some time on my hands. I have:
-watched several episodes of I Love Lucy
-hiked with a friend twice
-been a 'reporter' for a friend at one movie premiere red carpet (Dear John)
-saw one Kirstie Alley hiking at the trail head of a park
-eaten 3 bowls of Frosted Flakes (in 36 hours)
-practiced self control yesterday and did not spend $300 at Costco (only $21.76...some was the Frosted Flakes)
-viewed and bookmarked about 8,329 recipes
...and more things you could care less about.

Maybe I'll stop back in another seven months or so? One day this blog will be a priority. Maybe. :)