Friday, March 30, 2012

teardrop camper...

after our big post holiday road trip, jarad and i started making plans for our next adventure.  we want to go to northern idaho and mt. rushmore and do it all in an RV.  we had originally thought to rent one to see how we would like it, but after doing some research and watching a lot of shows on custom RV's, we fell in love with the idea of a "teardrop camper".

i was not to familiar with these, but they are cute, compact and most importantly practical.  it is big enough to sleep two people (and hopefully a dog eventually), has a hatch back kitchenette and would hitch to jarad's truck.  you can buy them new, used, restored or even make them yourself.  ideally, we would like to buy a used one and modify it for our needs and comfort.

these teardrop trailers became popular after world war II and were originally constructed from materials found at surplus markets, sometimes even jeep wheels from sunken ships or wings from world war II bomber planes.  we are looking at purchasing one in the next couple of months so that it can be ready for our next trip in july.  we will keep you posted on what we find!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

sprinkle cake pops...

jarad's favorite cake is funfetti, but i just made it recently for a bbq.  i wanted to make a special birthday treat for him, so i made a homemade version of funfetti cake pops.

cake truffle ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup yellow cake mix
1/2 unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
3-4 tb. milk
2 tb. colored sprinkles

truffle coating:

12 oz white chocolate
2 tb. yellow cake mix

how to:

with a hand mixer beat together butter and sugar until creamy.  then add cake mix, flour, salt and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  start with 3 tb. of milk and combine until mixture is the consistency of dough.  then add sprinkles in by hand.

roll dough into one inch balls and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet or flat dish (should make approximately 2 dozen balls).  place in fridge to cool for at least a 1/2 hour, before coating.

once balls have chilled, you are ready to coat them.  melt white chocolate (i did it in the microwave, it took 2 minutes) and add your 2 tb. of cake mix and combine.  dip balls into coating and place on wax paper, give them a good dusting of sprinkles and allow to cool in fridge again. 

i found some cute plastic tooth picks to serve them with, but you could also put them on popsicle sticks or without anything (just as a truffle).  enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

happy birthday sunshine!!!

happy birthday to one of my most favorite make my world brighter and my heart smile.  i love you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

quote of the week...

"there is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved"
~george sand

palm springs

Sunday, March 25, 2012

2 year "no albie" anniversary...

two years ago today i had surgery to remove a parotid tumor on the right side of my face located in my salivary gland. in a nutshell...i got a cat scratch on my face from our dirty office cat.  while watching it heal, my mom noticed a bump by my ear.  i went to my normal doctor and his first diagnosis was that i had "cat scratch fever".  he put me on antibiotics and told me to come back for a check up in a few weeks.  when i came back, the bump had not changed in size, so he suggested i visit and ear, nose and throat doctor.

the ear, nose and throat doctor said she believed i had a cluster of cysts by my ear, but she would not be able to tell for certain until i had an MRI and biopsy.  i had my MRI and the results showed that i had a unique tumor about the size of a walnut inside of my salivary gland.  the doctor told me there was a chance (although unlikely) that it could be cancer, and that the biopsy would determine that.  she also proceeded to tell me that i would have to get the tumor removed and i would have a 8-9 inch scar down my ear and neck, and a good chance of paralysis on my face.  this was devastating news to me.

it was at this point that i realized i am a consumer, and i refused to settle for anything less than the best doctor and results.  my family and i did a lot of research and seeked several other opinions, and finally agreed on the best doctor to do my surgery.   my surgery went fantastically and my recovery was easy.  it is two years later and i have had no side effects and hardly a scar to speak of.

to make my situation more personal and less scary, i named my tumor "albie".  i got the name from an evil character on the HBO TV show "big love."  i don't know how long albie had been with me, and there is always a chance that he could eventually come back, but i am thankful that i came out healthy on the other side.  this story will always be a part of me and i will be celebrating by going out to my favorite italian restaurant for dinner.  this also happened to be the place i ate at the night before my surgery.

happy 2 year anniversay was fun and i wish you the best, but i don't miss you.  thank you for making me a stronger person.

Friday, March 23, 2012

you know it is spring when...

you know it is spring when daffodils start popping up in your local stores.  trader joes has them for sale for about $5.00 during winter, but as soon as spring hits, they are just a little over a dollar for a beautiful bunch of ten stalks.

when you buy them they are not in water and the flowers are closed.  as soon as you put them in a vase they open up to big beautiful yellow flowers.  they make any room more cheerful and are a nice reminder of spring.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

crock pot oatmeal...

i've been wanting to make a breakfast dish in the crock pot for a while i am trying a steel cut oatmeal recipe.


2 cups steel cut oats
2 cups water
2 cups apple juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
1 medium apple peeled cut into small pieces

how to:

throw all ingredients into a greased crock pot and turn on low heat before bed...wake up to a hearty breakfast.  you can top oatmeal with butter, cream, maple syrup, fruit, dried fruit or nuts...enjoy!

***this oatmeal had great taste, but did not take the anticipated 8 hours of cooking time.  in fact, it took about half the time (i only know, because i am an insomniac and checked on it in the middle of the night).  if your crock pot has a timer on it, you could prep this the night before and have the timer go on 4 hours before eating***

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

rodeo, texas style...

a couple of weeks ago, jarad and i went to houston, texas to visit his parents.  we tried to coordinate our trip so we could also go to rodeo while we were there.  i have never been to texas, but what they say is true "everything is big in texas."

we arrived in a big rain and thunder storm that lasted all weekend long.  being a california native, we don't get to experience big thunder and lightening storms, so i thought it was exciting.  we had a great weekend hanging out with family, shopping, eating and going to rodeo.  i didn't know what to expect when we went to rodeo, and i didn't know if the storm would affect it.  but it is all indoors or under large tents, with the exception of the carnival rides. 

there are three large tents that house all of the local food vendors, you can get delcious bbq or a variety of fried goodies (jarad was disappointed to not find fried butter), but we did get fried oreos, cheesecake and twinkies.

jarad eating fried cheesecake

the actual rodeo is inside of the convention center, as well as the shopping vendors, animals and concert.  we started with the food tents and made our way into see the shopping and animals.  unfortunately due to the rain and obama being in town, the shuttle ride to the rodeo took much longer than normal, and we missed the rodeo part of rodeo (thank godness for the tv's on the shuttle bus, we got to see the rodeo events).  we got to see baby chicks being hatched, newborn pigs, sheep and cows, and they had the best petting zoo.

i could have spent hours with the animals, but every night there is a concert at rodeo (we saw reba mcentire).  i thought that the lineup would be mostly country music, but bonnie (jarad's mom) has seen all kinds of bands including; black eyed peas and los lonely boys.  this year they had enrique inglesias, kid rock and train. 

aside from rodeo, we also got to visit with his grandma and auntie.  we found this cool toy (scooter) in his parents garage that jarad had fun riding in the house, and when the storm cleared we took turns riding it around the neighborhood, while the other one was on a bike.

we had such a great time in texas, and i can not wait to go back! 


Sunday, March 18, 2012

love is...

you can find this comic strip daily in the los angeles times newspaper in the business section.  it is a sweet cartoon by an artist named "kim", that depicts a display of "love".  i have been collecting these for years now and cut them out of the paper everyday at work and tape them in my calendar.  some of my favorite ones are...

"love is...when all is right in the world"
"love is...the key to a fulfilling relationship"
"love is...going the extra mile, together"

Friday, March 16, 2012

garden...25 weeks

here is our garden box, it looks much emptier than last week.

jarad pulled out all of the broccoli and gave 1/2 of it to a co-worker and the other 1/2 to my parents (i don't think planted it, but just cooked it up).  i was sad to see it in bags on our doorstep, waiting for its new home.

i am super excited for the artichokes that seem to be getting larger...

and i can not remember what we planted in the herb box, but the only recognizable herb in there is the dill.  our basil is behind, but just starting to come through the soil in the big box as well.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

people that make me laugh...

in a perfect world, i wish i could make one tv show with 6 of my favorite characters.  they are nothing alike, but the one thing they do have in common is that they make me laugh!  here are my top six funniest tv characters...

buster from "arrested development"

cam from "modern family"

karl pelkington from "the ricky gervais show" and "an idiot abroad"

sheldon from "big bang theory"

stuart "stewie" from mad tv

ms. swan from mad tv

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

happy birthday dee!!!

dee is one of my best friends from college, and i want to wish him a very happy birthday!

happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
happy birthday deaunta
happy birthday to you

this is your year!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

quote of the week...

"please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space."
~dr. jill bolte taylor

spot welders

Saturday, March 10, 2012

new earrings...

since i took the wire wrapping class a couple of months ago, i have been practicing and making jewelry like crazy.  i've mostly been making earrings, but i have also done some necklaces as well. i try to give them away as quickly as i make them.  i've been experimenting with new beads and here are a few of my newest creations...

Friday, March 9, 2012

ice cream truck...

one of the many reasons i love our house/neighborhood so much is the weekly visits we get from the ice cream man (at least during summer or warm weather), it seems so nostalgic. the weekend that jarad and i planted our garden box, the music from the truck was teasing me...i could hear the ice cream man for over an hour, but couldn't place where he was.  he finally drove down our street, and stopped half way down, which happened to be a couple of doors up from our house.  i went over and browsed the menu on the side of his truck.  he has the usual ice cream sammys, ice cream in a cup, popsicles, and 50/50 bars.

 he wears an indiana jones style leather hat, does the monkey dance (swinging his arms above his head back and forth) to the music while driving his truck and is overall a little unusual.  his music is the obnoxious tune of (do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro, can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow, can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier, do your ears hang low).  i don't know why i know those lyrics, i am guessing it must have been all my years as a brownie/girl scout.  when he drives down the street he sings:

sha na na na
sha na na na
hey hey hey
good ice cream...

i've come to realize that the ice cream trucks are similar to the pavlov/dog experiment that i learned about in my psychology classes.   pavlov would ring a bell and immediately feed the dogs.  eventually the dogs would start to salivate when they heard the bell, because they associated it with food.  when i hear the music from the truck, i want ice cream.  i love sweets, but ice cream is not my usual "go to" to cure a sweet tooth.  but i love how we have our own ice cream man and it is something that just makes me happy and smile. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

garden box...24 weeks

i didn't write about our garden last week, so you will get to see how big everything has gotten in two weeks. 

the broccoli raab has exploded!  we have cooked with it a few times, but it is growing so large, jarad wants to remove it and give it away to a new home.  we are thinking of replacing it with more lettuce, since that is also doing well and we eat a lot of salads.  the broccoli raab has lots of crowns coming in and even one of them is starting to flower.

the snap peas are looking very healthy and large, although we don't have any pea pods yet.

we were going to kill back the squash because the leaves seem to be all dried up, but last week this new guy popped up.  it seems to be doing okay as long as you give it extra water.

and the herb box is starting to grow recognizable herbs, i am very excited about the dill.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

quote of the week...

"the cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, or the sea."
~isak dinesea

long beach aquarium

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

sinful cinnamon rolls...

bacon makes everything better...right?  here is a makeover to your ordinary store bought cinnamon rolls.


 1 package pre-cooked bacon
 1 package cinnamon rolls

how to:

start by popping open your package of cinnamon rolls and unwrapping them into a long strip of dough.

lay a strip of bacon on the dough and roll back up.

they should look like this once you add the bacon.

cook rolls as instructed on package and add icing.  i crisped up a few extra pieces of bacon and chopped them to add on top.