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Friday, July 30, 2010

27 weeks and counting...


Excuse the sun flare over my face. Usually my halo is in just the right place but it must have gotten askew while I was out doing all my good deeds.

Or maybe that's what people mean when they say you have a pregnancy glow.


Just a quick post as we are in the midst of our fun-filled vacation with our niece and nephew. We made plans over a year ago to have them out here and include a trip to Disneyland. Both of them were so young when they went to Disneyland before they don't remember it. It is going to be an exciting day!

Boy do kids have a lot of energy. A lot. From the moment they got off the plane it was non-stop.

Maybe I should rethink this whole Peanut thing.

Ha! I kid, I kid.

We spent the day exhausting them at the beach and then came home and made dinner. I'll tell you more about it later but they are great kids. The trick is in letting them just run themselves ragged so they crash out later.


I'm blogging right now because they just put themselves to bed.

You read that right. They put themselves to bed.

We watched Ratatouille and then they brushed their teeth and I went to use the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom their light was off. I'm sure Jordyn (who is 11) took charge and decided she and her brother (who is 7) should go to bed. B said after they brushed their teeth they just hopped into bed, told him they didn't need anything and he turned off the light. We haven't heard a peep from them.

Incredible, no?

Maybe I should send Peanut to live with them and have him returned to me after they get him in a bedtime routine.

Wish us luck navigating Disneyland today!

~giggle~ I just realized that B is asleep in the chair beside me. I guess the kids weren't the only ones worn out from the festivities.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bacon + Chocolate = Love


Alternative titles:

Chocolate + Bacon = Love Handles

Chocolate + Bacon = Water Retention and Cellulite


Chocolate + Bacon = Poor Fetal Nutrition

Chocolate + Bacon = Bliss


Do you remember last year when I discovered chocolate covered bacon? If you don't please click here for a quick refresher.

Well plain chocolate covered bacon is soooo last year. Apparently.


When I saw this on the menu I really couldn't resist. B wasn't so sure but he jumped right in with me.

Repeat after me:

Chocolate Covered Oreos Wrapped In Bacon.


Oh you heard me. Everyone's had a chocolate covered oreo. I hope you've had one. If not, please shut off your computer immediately and head to the grocery store. Buy yourself some chocolate covered oreos.

I'll wait.

Basically you just take that chocolate covered oreo and wrap some super-crispy non-greasy bacon around it.


It's sweet and a bit salty.

Just like me. :)

Seriously good eats.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We have a lot to learn

The first time we went into Babies R Us to register we walked around in circles a few times, laughed nervously and then left. We didn't even use the fun little scan gun.

Did you know there are no less that 125,079 different strollers and car seats?


This time I knew better and I came prepared. I asked friends and family about strollers. I did internet research. I poked and prodded them individually. I had it narrowed down to a few options for B to choose from.

I got a kick out of watching him closing and attempting to open them again. A few days before I had closed one and couldn't figure out how to open it again. I had to find a sales person who pointed to a little safety latch. B doesn't need to know about that.


Standing there we realized we had no idea how to put these car seats in the car. Actually, we remembered we need a car to put the seat in. My previous job came with a company car and now we're sharing B's truck. It's been really easy but I can't see us all piling in the Tacoma.

We'll add that to the list of preparations. Why is it that the list seems to be growing instead of being checked off? It really is the best never-ending list ever though.

I still can't believe we're going to be taking care of another human being. A helpless little thing that will rely on us for his well being.

Just in time we'll be taking a crash course in child responsibility. B's niece and nephew will be flying in tomorrow morning and staying through the weekend. Big plans this weekend and we are so excited!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm a great-aunt


I can hardly believe it. Meet the newest edition to our family! This is my nephew's son and he is not quite 2 weeks old.


4 generations!

I love newborn legs. They're skinny and weird and always tucked under their little bodies. I think it's funny when they stretch out their little legs and their knees are just lines of wrinkles.


He weighs around 6 1/2 pounds and feels like a little bundle of warm air.


My niece thinks that she is his favorite. I disagree.


His older brother is just learning to walk and it quite unsure about this new transition. The walking and the new baby.


93 days until my due date. 93 days-ish and I'll be holding one of my own.

Mmmm, can't wait for that new baby smell :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

13 little piglets


I think we can agree that there is a certain cuteness when it comes to all baby animals.

Oh but these 13 little piglets were so adorable I almost stole one and took it home.


They were so tiny. They were so soft.


I went to lean over to touch one but my stomach got in the way.

I stuck my hand thru the bottom slat and ran it down the back of this tiny pink piglet.

It was like touching silk. The little piglet actually turned and back up against my hand to be pet some more. Then it sat it's little butt down and leaned it. So completely like a dog wanting to be pet, it just cracked me up.


Look at this sleeping babe.

Then I got berated by the piglet keeper. Don't touch the piglets!

In my defense I made sure to read all the signs before touching. On the inside of the pin it said not to pick the piglets up and on the outside it said to wash your hands after touching animals.


Apparently these little ones are only 4 days old! In a few weeks people will be able to pet them.


It was so worth it. Watching these piglets run around and pile on top of each other and rub against the poles was just too adorable.


I love the markings on this one. Nice pants!


Tell me you don't want to climb in there with them.


That poor mama. 13 at a time. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Head over to the Orange County Fair if you'd like to visit them in Centennial Farm!

Anyone have a piglet they want to give me?

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm back!


I haven't exactly been gone but I haven't been here. I found that not being in an office during the day means that I haven't been on the computer. Actually, all my days have been jumbled. I have never not had a job before and it seems my days are either flying by in errands or just floating with no recollection of any major activity.

You know, I always thought that if I had the time I would run around and do all kinds of fun activities. I've realized that what I really want is for B and I to both be able to play...and with more money, of course. Now I'm determined to get out and do something and check things off the list I have constantly going. You know the list. It's the when I have a chance I will...

Do I have a point? No, not really. As you can see in the photos I've been busy eating turkey legs!


I believe that I'll be back to my regular posting schedule (or pretty close to) and I'll be catching up on your blogs too!

I feel out of touch. I hope you haven't all moved and changed identities!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Z Gallerie.


Have you ever been to Z Gallerie before? If not, I'm going to take you on a little tour and it will be a treat. I must warn you though that you must be able to filter when you look at these pictures. I always have to remember to filter when I walk thru the store.

Z Gallerie is set up like a showroom and retail space all wrapped in one. Around each display you will see available items and in each room or section of the store there will be several displays.


You just have to learn to take in each little section piece by piece. It's not as overwhelming as the pictures appear.

I love it. I walk thru and just feel the inspiration soaking in. I want things that would never fit into my normal style just because everything seems so set the perfect backdrop for the living space you never knew you wanted.


Z Gallerie has a certain knack for making unexpected and often downright odd things look like they belong. For instance, who would expect a stuffed alligator to be an accent for a bed?


I wandered today just trying to figure out what it is that I love so much about this place. What exactly is the Z Gallerie style?

I'm not sure I have answers but I have picked out some common threads.


White solid ceramics, lots of sparkle and bling, both very dark and very light solid paterned furniture and pops of the chosen accent color. They love texture and the stacking and layering of objects in a space.

Z Gallerie mixes modern, traditional, quirky, odd, vintage, overstated and understated pieces with what appears to be very little effort.

Did anyone notice the white ceramic moose head in the background? They also have horses and deer if you'd like to stick with the theme. :)


I think the layering of the different chandeliers and lamps within the space is just perfection. You know how I love for things to mesh well without the symmetrical matching look.


I love the plush chairs here that really offset the sleek glass table.


The rich, deep colors in this sitting area are lovely. This picture shows you what I mean about the displays.

From here you can see a sitting area or living room, bedroom and dining area. Somehow they all blend and flow.


I adore this modern take on a chandelier. Love it. Want it. Need it. Have no where to put it. I love the various crystals and the dreamy, wintery look. Of course, if you saw my wedding this won't surprise you.

Z Gallerie loves chandeliers and you can find anything from this one to a ship made out of crystals. Yes, I said a ship... like a pirates ship.


I was immediately drawn to this table which makes me laugh because if I take it piece by piece its really not my style. I always seem to forget this in Z Gallerie.


Tell me it wouldn't be fun to dine at this table though.


This is a fun mesh of glammed up ocean motif. The beach which generally makes me think of very relaxed decor takes on a new look.


This is just a great look at the impact of different texture. I also love that although it seems the design world is going more towards white that there is plenty of color out there still. All those orange accents in the back just waiting to get picked up.


I see this little meditation area on a bedroom wall, a nook in a living space or in an outdoor atrium. Their signature layering of objects and textures and the saturation of a color shines thru.

They also have an entire area dedicated to framed and ready to hang art work. I have my eye on this piece which would be perfect in the space above my bed, as well as a whole host of birch/aspen pictures that I would love to have in our place.

Even if Z Gallerie isn't your style it's packed with conversation pieces and inspiration to change things up a bit.

What stores do you love to look thru?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dawn: 0; Food: 1


Ever have a day where nothing works out in the kitchen? One of the days where you feel like you are working against the food instead of with it?

It all started with these strawberries. We bought them at the farmer's market only to realize that nearly all of them were over-ripe and needed to be used immediately.

So I decided to make some strawberry ice cream. We'll get back to the ice cream later.


We made oven fries for dinner and forgot to spray the pan/foil before baking.

This resulted in every.single.fry. having to be peeled off (some in pieces) individually.

Also, I pulled out the tray with a knit potholder. I'm not sure why I did this. My thumb popped thru and I now have a blister. I did manage to save the pan of fries from plummeting to the floor. My thumb is currently throbbing.

Mental note: buy some burn cream as I burn myself often.


These were actually not a failure because B made them and they tasted heavenly. Blue cheese burgers with sweet onion marmalade (that my mom & I made) on top of some fantastic buns.

Wait, there are no buns. We didn't have buns, or lettuce, or tomato.

B had his burger on an English muffin and I had mine on a sandwich thin.

These burgers are 1/3 of a pound (I know, B makes big burgers) and the sandwich thin practically disintegrated as I ate it. Sandwich thins are not made for juicy man-burgers.


The real failure starts with dessert. I decided to make the strawberry ice cream and thought I might be able to introduce basil. It's a good pairing, I promise.

I heated the cream and custard with basil, strained and then added minced basil as it froze.

Let me tell you what is wrong with this ice cream.

1. You absolutely cannot taste the basil. At all. So weird.

2. Too much strawberry. I know this sounds odd but too much strawberry results in too little sugar and cream. It means that the ice cream was more tart then I like. B likes it and it really isn't bad- it's just not quite right.

So we have tart strawberry ice cream with unknown green flecks.


I thought maybe I could just make a chocolate sauce to use on my ice cream. I wanted to add a sweetness to the dish because I like my ice cream sweeter than B does. I couldn't taste the basil anyway and really one can't have too much chocolate around the house.

My original recipe yeilds 3 cups of chocolate sauce and since I didn't need 3 cups I thought I might just cut it in half and then send some to my parents. So I started with the base which involves sugar, water and some corn syrup. I used half the amount of what the recipe called for. I let it boil for 5 minutes.

Then I started whisking in my cocoa powder. I dropped the whisk... actually it sort of bizarrely lept out of my hand splattering the kitchen with chocolate molten lava. Do you know how hot boiled sugar concoctions get? I felt quite triumphant when I was able to report to B that I did not burn myself during the explosion.

After clean-up and regaining my composure and a few unsurprised looks from B, I finished mixing in the cocoa.

I did this while holding an ice cube in my right hand. My hand got tired and I leaned it on the skillet sitting on the stove. The stove wasn't hot but the oven was and the cast iron skillet just soaked up the heat. Add a burn to my wrist to the list.

It was then I remembered that I should have halved the cocoa powder. The result?

The result is slightly bitter chocolate sauce. I'm calling it cocoa sauce. This is not a good thing as I'm sure you've at some point tried cocoa powder or bakers chocolate. I mean, I'm not about to waste it but kinda bitter sauce on kinda tart ice cream just doesn't work.

As I was removing it from the heat I felt a stinging in the center of my palm. I'm not sure how but a drop molten lava bitter chocolate must have hurled itself at my open hand.

Add burn to palm to the list.

In the end everything worked out. The fries were fine and the burgers were fantastic. The ice cream is perfect for B and I love it with just a little bit of strawberry preserves as a topping. The chocolate sauce will be blended with some vanilla ice cream and maybe a bit of malt.

Most the evening consisted of B shaking his head and me giggling uncontrollably. We still managed to end up fat and happy.

Ever have one of those days in the kitchen?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Little Ice World


Yesterday was a super hot July day.

I think I might be melting. I want a break from the heat.

I do believe last week was overcast and dreary and I just wanted the sun.


I got more than I bargained for.

It seemed like the everything was melting when I happened upon this little world of ice.


I'm fascinated with ice. Ice and snow.

It must be because of my Southern California upbringing and limited exposure to both.


So I sat and studied this ice world.

Who can't spare a few summer moments to dedicate to imagination?
I'm pretty sure that's what summer moments are for.


I watched the crystals catch light as they slowly melted in the heat. They sparkle and shine.

All these prisms inviting me in to cool down.


I held them in my hand and waited as the chill spread thru my fingers.

I wished I could shrink down and climb around them.

This magical little ice paradise appearing on such a hot, sticky day.


It's amazing what can be found on the inside of a forgotten tupperware in your freezer.
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