Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Online Link Love Book

I am positively obsessed with all of Sophia Blackall's Missed Connection Prints. But I think this one is my favorite.

This recipe for skittles vodka looks like it would be a ton of fun to make (and drink).

I dream about going to Amsterdam to visit the Anne Frank house. But since that isn't going to happen anytime soon this virtual tour of the Secret Annex really captives me.

McSweeney's List: My Personal Netflix Recommendation Categories (We get similar suggestions).

I bought one of these beautiful camera bags for women for my new camera gear. I love it. No one would guess I'm toting around expensive equipment.

How to Make an Instagram Wall.

Are you a sucker for cute animals too? The emergency cute stuff twitter feed makes me smile every time!

10 Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Children (this made me so nostalgic, and I used to want to name my child Topanga).

I enjoyed this article from Vogue about Taylor Swift that really shows a mature side to her (and not just a young adult writing country/pop love songs).

This video clip from It's a Brad, Brad World is fabulous. Participating in a Les Miserables flash mob is totally on my bucket list now.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Weekend at the Dog Park

This weekend was that weekend that can sometimes be boring. It is the weekend where it has been a week since payday, and it is another week until we get paid, and all we can really afford to do is buy some groceries and pay a few bills. But we really didn't want to sit inside the house all weekend like potatoes, so I had the bright idea to grab our books, and go grab some sunshine at the park. The dog park that is.

We haven't been to the Dog Park for a long time because we lost our own furbaby a few months ago. So I knew it would be somewhat sad because it was a reminder that we no longer had our Sarah, but we had always had so much fun in the past, playing/watching the dogs, and talking to the fellow dog lovers. So I thought it might still be fun.

I have to say we didn't get a lot of reading done once we got there because we were way too busy playing with the pooches. But we had a ball. We were even able to reminisce happily about times we had with Sarah the the park. Like how we would play silly little games with her, hiding behind a tree or a log when she wasn't looking, and then the look of pride that would come over her face when she found us. Or how she acted like the police dog at the park, breaking up any fights that the dogs would get into.

Boy oh boy, we do miss her. But we are not so overwhelmingly sad anymore, and we can talk happy times and smile, and not want to cry.  And we decided in a few months, when I'm steadily working we will get a rescue dog, because we are ready to have that companionship in our lives again. It is time.

And I can't lie, I couldn't be more excited.

Song of the Day: Some Hearts by Carrie Underwood

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Recipe Every Month of 2012: Coca Cola Cupcakes with Coca Cola Frosting

Sorry I've been missing in action lately, I've actually been recovering. Today is the one week anniversary of my going into a bronchitis induced coughing fit, fainting, and falling head first into our coffee table. Which lead to gashing my head open, lots of blood, and 30 internal and external stitches in my forehead (I spent a week looking like Frankenstein, and now that the stitches are out, it looks like someone slashed my forehead ). If you can't tell, I've been having loads of fun since my graduation! Naa, its been a rough week, but I'm still enjoying not having any homework or classes.

I decided to use the downtime to do a little baking. Yesterday, I made Coca Cola Cupcakes with Coca Cola Frosting. They were really good! But they didn't taste like Coca Cola, which I was expecting. But the coca cola gave them a really rich flavor. So I would definitely make these again.

I also wanted to note that I actually cleaned up after myself, after this little baking adventure. In the past, somehow despite my best intentions, Adam would always end up cleaning up our kitchen after I DESTROYED it (he is the best husband). Then one night we were watching the episode of Modern Family where Cam made a huge kitchen mess, and promised to clean up after himself, but he avoided it all day, and then Mitchell is left to do it. After that episode, I turned to Adam and said,"I'm your Cam, aren't I?" So this time, I made a point to clean up before Adam got home from work, and he was oh so proud.

Song of the Day: L.A. Song by Beth Hart

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Graduation Celebration

Monday night at ten o'clock, I had officially finished all my classes and earned my master's degree. And by Monday night at 10:30, I was sitting at The Cheesecake Factory having drinks and cheesecake with my friend Albert in celebration. Albert is my friend in the way only someone you have shared two and a half years of group presentations, last minute papers, and internship woes can be.

This last class we had to take was pretty insufferable. It was a class that most people in the counseling program take in the very beginning, but because of how our particular program progressed we had it at the very end. So we were in there with a bunch of wide-eyed, excited newbies (God Bless Them We Were Once Just Like Them) to the program, and we were the oldies suffering with massive senioritis. And to top it off, the class was only offered in Pasadena, which is an hour and a half drive through downtown L.A. traffic.

Albert and I carpooled together every week, and we manged to get lost every week. Don't ask how, I still can't figure it out. It wasn't that complicated. On the first night of this class, we saw a Cheesecake Factory while driving around and we almost skipped class completely and went out to eat. But we decided to be good little children and go to class, but we made a promise that on our last night of class, we would go there to celebrate.

I'm so glad that we kept that promise. Because we had a blast reminiscing, taking tequila shots, drinking pineapple mojitos, and eating the best cheesecake ever! (And we did the sweet thing and brought home dinner to our respective spouses). Although I think the alcohol was a bad idea, considering I already had a killer cough, and the next day I was diagnosed with bronchitis. So yeah, I spent all day yesterday on the couch watching redbox movies.

In fact, I'm so sick that when I picked Adam up from work yesterday he told me, "I looked pale like a potato...". I had no clue what that really meant, but it sounded offensive. So I pouted for a hot second, and then said, "It's not really nice to tell me I look like a potato." He was confused, "What are you talking about?" We finally figured out he had told me, "You look pale, like you don't feel well." LOL. Funny misunderstanding.

I still can't believe I have my Master's Degree. I'm so proud of myself, but at the same time it just doesn't feel real! Now I just have to get out there and put it to use. Which is the truly scary part!

Song of the Day:  How Lucky We Are by Meiko

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wetsuits, Waves, and Sun in La Jolla, California

When Mike was here, he and Adam went to La Jolla to do a little ocean kayaking. I am so jealous looking back at the pictures they took, and listening to the stories from their day that I couldn't be there (I was at home writing a paper. Boo.).  They had a blast. Plus, they looked so cute in their wetsuits and life jackets!

Apparently, the surf was unusually high that day, and it took them quite a long time to get out to the calm seas (and many, many, many flip overs of course). But after fighting the surf (and the urge to give up), they got to explore some beautiful caverns and see a lot of wildlife (Don't you just love the pictures of the seals?).

And I have to say Adam took some gorgeous photos. I'd like to give myself a little credit for his newly acquired photog skills! Since I'm always making him retake pictures of me at different angles and zoom settings because I'm so picky about how pictures look that I am in! My apprentice has learned a lot. Or he was already pretty good on his own....

Song of the Day: Sittin at a Bar by Rehab

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Three Recent Reads

1. Fairy Tale Interrupted By Rosemarie Terenzio
I was really thrown off by the title of this book when I first came across it.  I had no clue what it was about. I thought maybe it was a fictional love story.  But then I read the bio, and found it was written by the personal assistant and friend of JFK Jr and his wife Carolyn, and covered the five years before their tragic deaths in a plane crash. This book is not scandalous at all, nothing in it could become tabloid fodder, and it does not read like a book from someone who is trying to cash in on their relationship with a celebrity. This is just a story of what it was like to be best friends and an employee of a man and wife who just happened to be American Royalty. I loved reading about the stress that went into planning their secret Georgia wedding, and I cried when she wrote about finding out she had lost her two best friends in a plane crash. Plus, I'm kind of obsessed with the cover photo of JFK Jr, Carolyn, and their dog Friday. Beautiful just beautiful. 

 2. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
I have read several books by Joshilyn Jackson, and because I love her style oh so much, I pre-ordered this book months before it came out. Which was a really bad idea, because amazon does not charge you for a pre-order until a book actually is available. And since I have the memory span of a fly,  and our bank account occasionally gets as low as 10 cents, I am really lucky this book did not bounce our bank account when it released. This book is a mystery about a household of women who find the bones of a baby buried under a tree in their yard. I realize that sounds incredibly morbid, but it is not really that morbid I promise! What I love most about this book is it is not just a mystery, it really dives deep into the thoughts and the lives of the three, Southern, women characters involved (the author even writes some from the perspective of a stroke victim).  It is just a really touching novel and a interesting mystery that is not answered to the very end. 

3. A Tree Grows Brooklyn by Betty Smith
 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is of course, a classic. Although I had heard of this book, and I had seen it sitting on my mother's bookshelf, I had no clue what it was about. A few weeks ago, I was browsing audio books on iTunes, so I could find something to listen to on my way to work, to keep L.A. traffic from stealing my soul. Not only did it keep traffic from stealing my soul, it kept me entertained too! I fell in love with the detailed descriptions of Brooklyn life in the 1910's, and I related to Francey Nolan's conflicting feelings of love & shame toward her father. In a way, I think I would have liked to have been Francey Nolan. This book is just the perfect mixture of sadness and hopefulness.  

Song of the Day: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wine Tasting in Temecula Valley

Adam's friend from high school, Mike, came into town last week to spend a little time with us and take in the sights, of course. Mike really wanted to go Wine Tasting, and that is on my California Bucket List, so we piled into the car and drove down to Temecula (which is Southern California's Wine Country).

I've drank some wine in the past, but honestly I knew absolutely nothing about wine before going. So I was a little intimidated at the first winery, when picking wines to taste. At first, I was jumping around randomly from wine to wine. But soon I learned that you are supposed to go from the whites, to the reds, to the desert wines. And along the way I learned my personal tastes. I prefer white wines to red wines, and just like with food, I love the DESSERT wines!

We went to four wineries (Callaway, Churon, Weins, and Leoness). I felt A-OK after visits to the first two wineries, but after the third I felt a little "floaty" and the floor seemed uneven. And by the time we left the fourth, I was ready to nap all the way home. But no naps for me, because we grabbed some delicious dinner at this authentic Italian restaurant, Francesco's. I died over their Lobster Ravioli. In fact, I'm surprised I didn't lick the plate.

Wine Country was so Beautiful! Now I just want to go back during the growing season to see the grapes on the vine.

Song of the Day:  Pictures of You by The Cure