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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Discovered Treasures: Vintage Necklace

B & I love to browse antique stores. We love anything one-of-a-kind, handmade, vintage or sentimental. We were out a few years ago looking at pocket watches to add to B's collection. Yes, pocket watches. A man in this day and age can never have too many pocket watches. And then we saw this necklace. We found it in an antique store in Seal Beach, CA. I'm not sure how old it is, where it came from or what style it is. But look at those sweet little flowers! The owner told me they were hand painted.

Then I tried to be reasonable and remembered that I didn't need the necklace. So we left the store.
Days later I still wanted it. But I went back and the necklace was gone. This is the problem with antique stores. The precious items are there and then gone. There is no extra stock in the back.
And then my heart was broken. There was an emptiness in my life that could only be filled by this masterpiece. The masterpiece I would have to buy an outfit to go with.
But the emptiness didn't last long. It was the end of November and B just couldn't keep it a secret. He had gone back to the store and purchased my trinket as a Christmas present! And the empty space was filled and the world realigned and I cheered and ooh'd and aah'd.
You should know that B cannot keep his presents a surprise. This works for me as I think I received several "Christmas" presents that year...starting in October. You see, he buys something for me and then gets so excited he just has to give it to me. Its very sweet.
If anyone knows anything about this style or how old it might be I would love to hear your comments!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A trip to the market

I can't tell you how much I adore the Asian market nearby. Regardless of my half-Japanese heritage I am still constantly introduced to new products. And the prices are incredible. I mean it, I have to resist buying all their garlic. A store by me carries a head for 75 cents. This place carries a 5 lb bag of whole, peeled garlic cloves for $2.99. But do I need 5 lbs of garlic? Please keep me from buying all this garlic. My fiance will thank you. Anyone who sits near me will thank you.

The next step of course is finding out what to do with these products.
For instance, what do I do with this young garlic? Can I use the greens like onions? Can you tell I like garlic?
Aren't these peppers gorgeous?

Here my fiance (B) is making his selections. Each of these plastic containers is filled with items made by the fantastic cooks on premises. However, I am wary of this area. I had some amazing kim chee. I also had a bit of B's dish which had some kind of pepper in a sauce that can only be described as fermented fish. Fermented. Slimy. Fish.

And then there are the chicken feet. B loves braised chicken feet. Its a Chinese thing.

Now who can tell me what are in these packages? Keep in mind we are in an Asian store.....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Meet Ginger

Her full name is Gingerbread as she was a Christmas present from my dad to my mom.

I believe you are in my seat Ginger.

This looks means, You and your new toy are bugging me.

Its hard being a dog.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Getting to know me....

Getting to know all about me! This song will now be stuck in the back of my head all day.

My name is Dawn and I was born in southern California where I still reside.

A former restaurant manager about to marry an amazing cook I spend a great deal of time eating, or thinking about eating, or planning what we will eat next. Then I wonder why my clothes are shrinking.

I will someday own a home that will include our library. Since its always good to be prepared I started purchasing books faster than I am able to read them. This is a sickness I know and I must stop. And I will as soon as I fill the shelves of my library...the one that exists in the house of my dreams.

Wedding planning is in full effect, love is in the air, breast cancer is a battle fought and won and the future looks brighter than ever.

Why spontaeous clapping? Its something I do. I clap when I get excited, when I hear good news, when a great song comes on the radio and when I read a great book or blog. I clap when a fantastic meal hits the table. I clap in the car when I think about how lucky I am.

Its very odd and I try not to clap too much in public as it startles people. Mostly its just a tiny clap not a big applause. You really should try it sometime, its hard to clap and not smile.

So, hear I am. I want to remember every moment. So I thought I'd start this blog. I'll be blogging about the places we go, the things we do, the food we eat and my experience with breast cancer.

Besides, if rambling to the great interwebs relieves my patient fiance of any listening duties... well, then you may be the reason he survives our marriage.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Its Nose Hair Appreciation Day!

Today's post is brought to you by one Very Large Sneeze. Thank you Very Large Sneeze. When you stopped by today I remembered a solemn vow I made to myself in late 2007.

Early that year I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. It was a very big deal and life-changing to say the least. But if I started to tell it from start to finish you would still be reading this next year. So I'll tell you bits that come to mind, as they arrive.. sometimes in violent sneezes.

Now something that the doctor doesn't cover during the pre-chemo talks are the random and less dramatic side effects. They did tell me that I would lose my hair. What I want to know is how chemo and your body decide which area will lose the hair?

No my friends, don't think you lose the hair everywhere. Its one of the great unjustices of chemo/cancer but that is a different story for a different day.

Nobody said to me "Hey Dawn, did you know that all your nose hairs will fall out and you will lose the ability to go anywhere without a tissue in you hand?"

I want you all to take a moment to appreciate your nose hairs. THANK YOU NOSE HAIRS! I vowed to always appreciate you and I have been negligent in doing so. Forgive me.

Those of you shaking your head have clearly always had your nose hairs. Those of you nodding emphatically must have lost them a time or two. Mine were gone for months. That meant months of a runny nose. Not your typical, I-have-a-cold type of runny. We are talking about the type of runny that occurs when even the normal amount of moisture required to have a working nostril just falls onto your upper lip. The type of runny that forced me to stick pieces of tampon up my nose. (This was done in the privacy of my own home, of course) Lets not even think about the fact those nose hairs also act as filters. Does this mean that smell is really particles of ________ heading straight down my throat?

I atually gave up on wearing lipstick for a while. There just wasn't any point in reapplying every time I wiped my nose.

And now, in memory of a time gone by and in hopes of a future filled with nose hairs, I stand before you. My lipstick is on and my head bowed in silent appreciation.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My new toy

In keeping with the idea of appreciating all the little things, living in the moment and other mushiness in general, I found I lacked a very useful tool. After all, I want to start this whole blogging thing off right.

After much searching around and internet education I bought......... a camera!
I've been wanting one for so long.

It came in the mail and I opened it like a kid on Christmas morning. It is so beautiful! My new toy is so nice that it takes clear pictures even though I don't know what I'm doing.

So here are 2 of my fantastic photos from that first day.
Photographers, please shield your eyes.
Yes, I realize I have the flash on. But really, I've never had a camera with settings before.
This was my breakfast. Don't tell anyone.
And then it started to rain. So I waited and waited and then I took this.

Now all I have to do is figure out what these buttons and switches do. And what all these numbers mean. And why that little dot is flashing. And what aperture and composition and color and clarity and carat mean. Wait a minute, I'm pretty sure some of those words don't belong in that sentence. But I should know about those too.

See what you have to look forward to when you read this blog?! Fantastic, breathtaking photos of my nutritious breakfast! What, no applause?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Restaurants Indulged In...

Are you looking for a particular restaurant? Are you heading to an area and looking for suggestions? Well, let me help you.

Below you'll find the restaurants and markets separated by area and then in alphabetical order. Some of the links will have both excursions and dining in the same post...just scan down and you'll find pictures and descriptions of the food we likely inhaled.


Scoop's (Ice cream)



If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at

Recipes we love


Bacon-wrapped Dates
Dawniver's Creamed Corn
Leftover-Cheese Biscuits
Proscuitto, Manchego & Strawberry Crostini
Pumpkin Corn Bread


Almond Orange Bites

Banana Muffins with Brown Sugar Topping

Chocolate Chip Bars

Chocolately Chocolate and Mint Chip Cookies

Chocolate-covered Cherry Cookies

Cranberry Orange Chews

Easy Peasy Macaroons

Lemon Bars Deluxe

Lime Bars

Marbelous Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Glaze

Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon & Strawberry Ice Cream

Pumpkin Caramel Bars with Bacon

Pumpkin Pecan Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

Revel Bars

Rum Balls

Salted Butterscotch Shortbread Bars

Spritz Cookies
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