May 31, 2009

dear nicholas sparks,

Seriously man. Can you not write a happy ending into one of your stories?! Does everyone have to die? Oh sure, you give us an hour of happiness, allow us to dream that a wonderful "happily ever after" lies ahead for Garret and Theresa, Noah and Allie, or Paul and Adrian. And then in that last half hour or so, you rip the carpet right out from under us! Garret drowns, Allie has dementia and can't even remember her one true love [save for five minutes every three days], and Paul is swept away by a mudslide! What do you have against people living happily together after finding the one person they're meant to be with?! Bitter much??

For real. It's called therapy. Look into it. Until you manage to write a happy ending into one of your stories, this little reader [and movie watcher] is boycotting!

Not that you'll care since you have millions of other devotees world wide. But just so you know. We? Are not cool with each other.


PS: I don't care how "beautiful" everyone thinks your movies are. Your movies make me cry so hard I forget what exactly is supposed to be beautiful about them. They don't make me feel thankful for what I have. They make feel desperate and clingy; my husband doesn't appreciate my hanging on him and crying every time he leaves the room after we watch one of your movies. It lasts for three days. I'd get sick of me too!


I'm making progress so quickly I'm shocked! We made a run to Home Depot yesterday and bought paint and primer for the TV stand. I also found some adhesive paper that I love! I was just browsing eBay looking for ideas. I knew that once I saw it, I'd know that it was it.

Well, this cane weave paper was exactly what I was looking for! The minute I saw it, I knew my hunt was over. The caning mimics our entry way table for a nice cohesive feeling. ... I haven't shown you the pictures of the entryway table yet have I?

The TV stand is all primed and painted, and now I'm just waiting for the paper to get here. I can't wait!

In the meantime, I found the perfect chair to go in Jason's gaming area. It's definitely a common household purchase [at least on The Nest], but I've loved it ever since it came out, and it's finally down to a reasonable price.

The Dolce Lounge Chair from Target. It's running $140, which isn't too bad on its own, but then they are also offering 15% off items over $125, plus free shipping, plus I got an extra $5 off for using my eBates! So I paid $121 after taxes and discounts. I think all in all I saved around $60! It's going to look so amazing next to our CPWM room divider.

The next things on my list: build a computer desk [oh yes, build], paint Jason's gaming table to match the rest of the furniture [will post pictures of that in another post], replace the knobs on said table. I feel like now that I've got the ball rolling, things are being completed [or planned] quickly and easily.

We're off to Home Depot again today so I can price out desk materials and buy paint stripper for the dinning room table! Wait until you see my craptacular paint job from the first try.

May 29, 2009

10% off & nothing to buy

I hate wasting money. I hate wasting coupons even more! So when sent me a 10% off coupon, I thought for sure I could find at least one thing to spend it on.


The thing I hate about 10% off coupons is they feel so cheap. I mean, if I decide to buy something that costs around $25, I'm only saving $2.50 and that doesn't even cover the taxes once I get to the checkout page! The only time they're really worth while is when you're making a big(ger) purchase and you can at least make it count. I did find a couple things I thought were pretty, but that was it. They were pretty and if I wanted to talk myself into it, I could buy them. But I just don't work that way.

From top left: South Beach Cherry Red Table Lamps $100 for a set of two; Aqua Amphora Vase Leaf Sconce $30 each; Wild Orchid 24-inch Aqua Floor Pillow $20 each; Under the Sea Pillows $20 each [and a very nice substitute for the Williams Sonoma pillows going for about $80 each]. I really would have jumped on these because they're so freaking cute. But of course, I envision them sitting on two perfectly positioned Adirondack chairs with a small table between them... and we just don't have that yet.

However, I was able to cross two more things off of my home completion list [and this was the list I was trying to adhere to while searching on to be a good girl]! I bought our new jersey-knit sheets for our bed, and baskets for under our coffee table. They've both already shipped--love it when Target does that! I won't post pictures of the baskets now; I'll wait until they're in position.

I'm thinking my next area of focus needs to be the kitchen--it's the only list that hasn't had anything crossed off yet. Well, except for the computer room... or the miscellaneous list...

May 27, 2009


For the Memorial Day weekend, we drove down to see my family in San Diego. It was just as most of our other trips, some visits, some dinners, the only difference being the large BBQ my dad and his girlfriend threw on Sunday night. We took my youngest sister Alyssa with us, and by the end of the night, all was falling languidly into routine.

That is, until Alyssa handed me Twilight.

From 10:30 am Monday morning until 1:10 pm this Wednesday, nothing has existed outside of the series. Yes. All. Four. Books. Demolished in just 50 hours. If I was a vampire, I'd have all of history read by now!

I know from other readers, and from the very feeling I have, that the movie will pale in comparison to the books [no pun intended]. I almost don't even want to watch it [but, c'mon, Robert Pattinson all smoldering? Not going to miss that one].

I felt so ridiculous buying the third book in the series [the one Alyssa didn't have, that I bought before racing to her house to pick up the fourth] since I feel well over the age of the target audience. But since my sister assures me all her friends' parents are also reading them, I think I'm in the clear.

What a thing to write about for my 100th post!

May 21, 2009

face lift

What is it about a new home that brings out the craftiness in you? I'm itching to start new DIY home decor projects, but my inner good-little-housewife tells me I should unpack before I start hauling out the big guns.

On my list of DIY projects: buying some candles and DIY-ing seasonal wraps [which I'll also put in my etsy shop] for our entry way cut out...

...some white sand to fill up my vase, which is looking kind of puny and sad...

...and all of my furniture repainting [some pieces were scuffed a little in the move and need some additional TLC]. But in the meantime, I was able to update some of our decor and cross a few things of my Home Completion list. Our new pillows from Cost Plus World Market sure did add a nice punch of color!

They came vacuumed packed, which I thought was really cool--talk about a space saver! Just cut 'em open and fluff 'em up!

We also found this gorgeous room divider for our abnormally long living room [30% off when we bought it, but now I think it's going for 50% off--doesn't it figure?]. Now it separates our sitting area from Jason's gaming area. I love it--it matches so perfectly with our coffee table and end table! Please don't mind the mess behind it. I was so excited to take the pictures I didn't think about--ahem!--straightening up first.

We've since hung pictures as well; most of which I took down because my living room looked real cluttered real fast. I'm now going to hang the bulk of them in the hallway as it allows for a more even spread.

Next thing on the list: making that metal and glass TV stand match with the rest of the furniture! I already have a plan of attack in mind for it thanks to my dear girls over on The Nest:

Paint the metal legs a nice tobacco brown to match with the rest of our furniture. Then, because it's a safe bet that paint will either not stick to the glass, or look bad once finished, I'm thinking about wallpapering the glass shelves instead! I've been scouting out [reasonably priced] linen or seagrass textured wallpapers as I think they will complement the dark brown rather nicely. If worse comes to worse and I can't find what I'm looking for, I can always fall back on poor man's wallpaper: contact paper!

If anyone else has some other good ideas for making it match, please share them!

May 19, 2009

out with the old, in with the new [house]

Jumping backwards, here's moving day[s].

I channeled my inner CSI for the big move, which took us all day Thursday, all day Friday, and until about noon on Saturday. Hubbs and I did the clean-up on Sunday, and mercifully, that only took us an hour.

We were so excited to see the inside of our house for the first time! Here's just a couple of shots. We're both loving our entry way, and just bought a table to sit against one of the walls [more on that later].

We've got a nice big dinning area.

Our bedroom has dual closets, which is a nice change from just "our sides" of a single closet.

This is one of my favorite rooms in the whole house--a storage room with floor to ceiling shelves. Jason has been teasing me that this should be my closet.

I sustained only a few injuries from the move: two broken nails, and this huge bruise.

And of course, being a true California girl, I ended up moving in flip flops! It was truly so hot [102 degrees F], that wearing closed toe shoes was almost unbearable.

We really do love our new house. It's bigger, the garage has kept our car about 20 degrees cooler than it's been all year, and I swear the house was built with sound proof materials. I can't hear a peep from outside.

We've given up some of the prettier aesthetics, like modern appliances, brand new cabinets, and pretty light fixtures, but I feel the less tangible things we're getting are so much better. We're now in a safe neighborhood where I'm not afraid to walk late at night. We've got ceiling fans instead of pretty lights, but they're so much more practical. Our cabinets are a little scratched, and the stove is old, but our kitchen is so bright and big, I have plenty of room for our dinning room set. Oh, and I've been running our air conditioner all day, and we don't have to pay a penny. So no more 85 degrees inside my house!

Oh, and the new table we bought for our entry way?

On clearance for $40 at Bed Bath & Beyond. They're fast becoming my new best friend.

May 18, 2009

happy birthday to me...

Today I am 25.

Over the weekend the Hubbs and I celebrated with my mom and step-dad at a lovely Hawaiian fusion restaurant in Palm Springs. It was my first "grown-up" birthday.

Our destination was Roy's, a restaurant specializing in Hawaiian-Japanese fusion cuisine.

It was a very warm breezy evening, making it feel like we were actually on a tropical island.

Me: Pink palm tree dress by California Concepts, straw clutch (actually a make-up bag) from Avon, wedge heels by Timberland (not shown).

Hubbs: Linen palm frond shirt by Tommy Bahama, jeans from Anchor Blue, black shoes by Steve Madden (not shown).

My birthday drink, Roy's Island Mai Tai: "A sweet blend of Cruzan White Rum, fresh pineapple, triple sec and Myers Dark Rum for a flavor only found at Roy’s."

Our meal was delicious. Words cannot describe the absolute creative genius of this restaurant and its chef. If you have a Roy's near you, you must visit! To begin we ordered Crunchy Lobster Potstickers. Oh. So. Good. Mom and Jason shared a platter of Spicy Tuna sushi rolls; she and my step-dad also tried the Kobe Beef sushi rolls and said they were delectable as well.

For our main courses, Mom had Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish--a very delicate white fish in a rich marinade. Dennis had the Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi [I didn't try it as I'm horribly allergic to tree nuts]. Hubbs had Hawaiian Blackened Island Ahi--good, but I'm weird about raw [or semi-raw] fish. And the birthday girl stuck with a light spring time dish. The Maui Wowie Shrimp Salad: "Capers, Sweet Onions, Crumbled Feta Cheese & Caper Lime Vinaigrette." It also had fresh chunks of avocado in it.

Their desserts were just as wonderful as their main courses. Hubbs had the Molten Hot Chocolate Soufflé, but of course he dug into it before I could even get a snapshot. I again chose a lighter option and went with "Anakalia's Passion," an orange and lemon cake dusted with green tea. It was so good!

But the highlight of the evening was when they brought out this beautiful cream puff for me. There was no calling the restaurant to attention, no butchered rendition of happy birthday from a bunch of strangers. It was quiet, intimate, and beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes.

And of course by the end of the meal I was feeling pretty good from my Mai Tai, and just had to snap this shot of me playing around in the bathroom.

And, without trying to sound horribly conceited, I look good with wavy hair.

Edited: This morning I woke up to four things that made my heart do a little dance.
- My husband came running down the hall to pick me up and spin me around as soon as I opened the bedroom door. His words? "Happy birthday gorgeous! You look a whole year younger!"

- I had two new James Patterson books waiting for me on the couch from him. Sail and 7th Heaven. [Of course, the first thing I noticed was they were aqua and red!] I can't wait to devour them!

- He had pictures printed out of the DVDs I'll be receiving from Amazon: Six Days, Seven Nights; Beetlejuice; Jurassic Park III; and Kissing Jessica Stein. All four for less than $25. Can he bargain shop or what?!

- My inbox held this juicy little surprise for me:

Which worked out perfectly since I was headed their way to purchase something anyways. I chose to go with the Vanilla Cupcake Bubbles and Body Wash.

Apparently I'm looking pretty good for 25!

May 14, 2009

moving day

Did you know Blogger has an auto-post option? It does! As I'm writing this blog, it's only Tuesday. Hubbs is at work and I'm killing time [getting ready to take a bath with my new summery potions]. But by the time you read this, we'll be hauling stuff back and forth to our new house!!

I thought I'd sit down and type out my hopes and ideas for the next instalment of our life here in the desert. These projects will bring me as close as humanly possible to completing our home [I say "as close as" because our tastes are always developing and there's always something we're adding or giving away].

Master bedroom:
- Build and upholster DIY headboard
- Paint dressers [yes, the new ones--I'll touch on that in another post]
- New sheets

- Strip and repaint kitchen table
- Paint wall unit
- Replace mismatched dishes with matching ones [definitely going with white after I saw this beautiful kitchen, from The Adventures of Elizabeth--don't you love the jute drapes?]

Living room:

- Have couch cushions re-stuffed with foam [they're feather down right now, and a royal pain in the rear to keep fluffed]
- Buy new throw pillows [have my eye on these gorgeous ones from World Market--plus I have a 10% off coupon to spend before mid-June]

- Buy slipcovers for couches
- Find replacement for TV stand [it's glass and I'm terrified the TV is going to break it]

- Buy new desk
- Buy new office chair
- Buy a papasan chair [or double papasan chair!] for Netflix viewing
- Repaint book cases

Home gym:
- Buy Bowflex for Hubbs [he's been wanting one for almost a year now]
- Hang flat screen so I have something to watch will walking on the treadmill

- Buy metal tubs for laundry room storage [like this gorgeous picture from decorology]

- Buy baskets for under coffee table storage
- Replace frames that I ruined in my first attempt at refurbishing by spray painting

May 12, 2009

summer, ready.

Cucumber melon body wash from Rite Aid: $3

Cucumber melon
body spray from Bath & Body Works: $12

body spray from B&BW: $10.50

body spray from B&BW: $0 [buy 2 get 1 free]

"Need a Margarita?" body wash from B&BW [new!]: $15

Extra one for mom [buy 1 get 1 half off]: $7.50

Smelling like a tropical summer paradise in the desert: Priceless

May 10, 2009

i may not know art

...but I know what I like! Is my little sister an artist or what? This is one of two paintings she's done for me.

I'm such a rotten sister though, this has been sitting [unframed, unhung] for about three years now! Today while we were in Palm Springs we swung by Michael's looking for baskets [mistake--so expensive] and Hubbs reminded me we needed a frame for it. I chose this pretty tobacco brown color to play up those bright colors.

Bonus: the 16x20 was only $20, and we got a coupon for 40% the next time we're in there. We'll be buying a large frame for one of our wedding portraits!

This is the other she [Brittany] made for me. This one has hung proudly in all our homes--it's just on the ground now in anticipation of the move. It's an image of two dancers. The gray mass is a man holding his partner as she leans back. She did it honor of my years of dancing.

I'm hoping she can paint me a few more this summer. I'm also going to start trying to talk her into selling them on etsy. She's about to start graduate school and needs all the extra pocket money she can get! ;0)

May 8, 2009

our new home!

We got our new address yesterday for our house on base! I'm so excited--we move in next Thursday! I changed our address with the post office just this morning, so hopefully everything will be rerouted by the time we're out of the old place. This weekend we plan on running to Palm Springs to grab a few things [I have a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon], and drop off a few things [we have about six boxes of clothes and stuff for Goodwill]. I'm also hoping to run by the new house again because when we saw it yesterday, I only managed to get four pictures of it. The cleaning people were there and I felt kind of odd about peeking in. Can you imagine? Me putting the camera right up to the window and snapping away as the cleaning and repair crew are doing their inspections! Ha!

"Houston: we have grass." [Yay!]

All my grown-up life I wanted a screen door--now I have one!

The garage is one of the coolest features so far. One of the cons of living here in the apartment is the lack of storage space. The garage is built with that issue specifically in mind! The car goes in the little alcove and the rest is all storage space!

In related news, Hubbs was called to the instructor's desk the other day during class. He wanted to verify that Hubbs was requesting duty at our current base. When he said yes, his instructor asked if there was any specific reason. Hubbs told him: we just got a house on base, we like the area, our family is near by, and we're ready to settle down for a bit. The instructor's response? "Okay. That shouldn't be an issue." [?!] Do I dare hold onto that statement in hopes that we get to stay?

May 7, 2009

5 pounds

Before I get into the post, I want to share with you two things. First, this video Stephanie shot while at Disneyland. We took Grace on the the Storybook Land Boats since it was both a kid and adult friendly ride. Ever wonder what I sound like? This video has a sound bite of me actually speaking! For the record, the one gasping so much is Stephanie, not me! ;0)

Second, my outfit from our trip down to Palm Springs. My head got horribly sunburned from the above trip and now my scalp is peeling. Ick! So I had to design an entire outfit--fit for a lot of walking--around my straw fedora. I also wanted to stick with light colors because the desert is getting hot!

Straw fedora from Anchor Blue, blue tank top by Back Stage, tan jeans from JC Penny, flip flops by Collin Stuart, necklace by Cookie Lee, straw tote by Coach.

Moving on, my friend Katie just started up her own blog. She's still getting her blogging legs, but stop on by and check it out. She plans to chronicle her search for Mr. Right and a new figure. Speaking of which, she and I are both trying to keep each other accountable on our eating and exercising habits. My main goal is toning up. Weight loss would be a bonus, but what I need to do is just get myself back in shape. Okay, let's be honest: as vain and stupid as it sounds, I really would love to lose about five pounds, since it will bring me back down to my best weight.

Yesterday I did my most thorough workout yet. I did a 40-minute walk and a 15-minute exercise video. I'm finding that it's easier for me to keep track of my progress by using a spread sheet. I weigh in weekly [and have gained 1 pound since I started actively doing this, frown] but as Hubbs says, I'm not going to see results right away since I'm already a small person.

I've also taken a cue from Jitterbug and have been trying to cut my eating off at 8:00 pm. This is much harder than it sounds especially because we just found out that Hubbs is going to be in the night class for his next course of school . He won't get out until 7:00--which means dinner has to be on the table when he gets home in order for me to make my deadline! I'm hoping I'll also be able to tack on another walk after dinner to help burn off the meal.

It's going to be a challenge, but I've already jumped one major hurdle. I've cut a big chunk of sweets out of my diet; I only eat sweets that I bake here at home. So, one hurdle down... how many to go??

May 6, 2009

foody business

Welcome back--hopefully you're joining me from Circa 1952. I have no idea how Google works when you buy a new domain name. So if you're all here, I apologize for the rash of notes I sent. I'm pretty type-A, in case you haven't already figured that out.

I decided to go ahead and change the name of my blog to something a little more all-encompassing. This little name comes from a comment Hubbs made a few months ago. Our favorite thing to do is be absolute dorks with one another. If I tried to explain some of our antics I'd come off sounding half baked and you'd all be ready to commit me to a loony bin, so I won't even try.

On one such occasion, he looked at me and said, "We're not two peas in a pod--we're two nuts in a shell!"

Corny? Absolutely. But accurate? You have no idea...

Anyways, on with the blog! I'm so sad that Real Simple Magazine [which is the equivalent of Redbook in my little world] discontinued their "Fake It, Don't Make It" section. It gave wonderful ideas on how to make complicated recipes simple. One of my favorites was a woman who's son loved ice cream cakes on his birthday. Rather than pay the outlandish prices for an ice cream parlor one, she layered ice cream sandwiches, whipped cream, and his favorite candy together. Voila! Instant ice cream cake!

Another one I absolutely loved was this [like my trying-to-be-fancy photo?]:

Chocolate pastry rolls. Take Pillsbury Crescent rolls, chocolate chips [I prefer dark chocolate, because I think they offer better flavoring], roll them up together, and bake. If you knew how to make icing, you could probably drizzle some of that on there as well. This is one of Jason's favorite desserts now--he always makes sure I pick up Crescent Rolls and chocolate chips when I go grocery shopping.

And if Real Simple had a section for creative geniuses--well, I wouldn't submit anything because let's face it, most of my "amazing creations" come by pure accident. But in any event, genius or not, I wanted to share my own version of a "faked" dessert.

Lemon Bar Cookies
¾ cups granulated sugar
¾ cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour [if using self rising, omit baking soda and salt]
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
Lemon curd, desired amount [lemon curd is usually in the specialty food section, jam section, or I found mine at Cost Plus World Market]
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In large bowl beat sugars, butter, vanilla, and egg with electric mixer on medium speed [or mix with a spoon]. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Dough will be stiff.
3. Spray cookie sheet with light coating of cooking spray. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto sheet about 2 inches apart.
4. Using flour to coat your thumb, press down into center of each cookie to create a “valley” in the dough.
5. Bake 8-10 minutes until light brown [centers will be soft]. Let cool 1 to 2 minutes. Using a small spoon [or teaspoon] place desired amount of lemon curd in the “valleys” your thumb created. Use spoon to smooth in circular motions.
6. Gently remove and place on platter. *Top with powdered sugar if desired.
*The dough already makes these cookies rather sweet, so taste before powdering.

Oh these are so yummy! I took a dough recipe for chocolate chip cookies, topped them with lemon curd, and I swear to you they taste just like a lemon bar [which I happen to luvre]! I reserved some of the dough because I had no idea a.) how these would turn out or b.) if we'd like them; I didn't want 50 cookies laying around that no one was going to eat.

And before we part ways, I have to show you this as well.

Yes I know--why am I showing you an apple? Because this apple is over six weeks old! We bought it at Costco when we visited my family back in March. It's been residing in my Debbie Meyers Green Bags. When I saw them at the back of the fridge I was immediately grossed out by the idea of picking up the bag of apples and ending up with fermented apple cider. When they didn't liquefy on contact, I took one out, used my handy dandy apple slicer to open it up, and was shocked to find it without any discoloration! Then I figured it would at least taste rotten. No. Way. Juicy, crisp, just like day one. Since I bought these bags last year [and they're each reusable up to ten times] I'd say they've more than paid for themselves--three times over.

Oh! Side note: many of you e-mailed asking about Alana and baby Hunter--I'm happy to report mom and baby are doing amazing! This shot came to me courtesy of Layne back in North Carolina. Isn't he cute?!