Saturday, December 11, 2010

December's Us Photo

Taken on my 27th birthday at lunch with our family. It was so nice having Rick's parents in town to spend the weekend with us :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November's Us Photo

Us taking a little break from our black Friday shopping extravaganza. Poor Rick, he'd been up since midnight when I dropped him off at Target to wait in line (he really wanted a new tv and we knew he'd have to get there early to snag it).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

I've heard such great things about the pioneer woman's recipes, especially her cinnamon rolls, so I thought I'd give it a try. I've been craving them for a while and just haven't made my way to cinnabon yet. I was really hoping that these would do the trick and I'm happy to report that they did. I know it seems like an awful lot of steps and a lot of work just to make these...and yes, I was pretty exhausted by the time I was done but I think that has more to do with my big ol' baby bump and not so much the recipe (honestly it doesn't take much to make me tired these days). If you've never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before I'd highly recommend this recipe. It was my first time too and I was totally pleased with the final product. It made a ton and although I couldn't justify eating more than one (since I saw the amount of sugar and butter that go into these things) it was great to send Rick off to work with the rest-- they were a hit!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Velvety Pumpkin Soup with blue cheese and bacon

It's finally starting to feel like fall in San Diego, and I couldn't be happier as it only encourages my slight obsession with all things pumpkin (especially pumpkin spice lattes, yum!). I found this recipe online and was a little unsure. I've never had a pumpkin soup before but after reading the reviews I thought "why not?!". I followed the recipe almost exactly, except I subbed green onions for shallots and I used brown sugar instead of molasses. Overall we enjoyed the soup very much. I will say it was a little different at first and it took me a couple of spoonfuls before deciding just how much I liked it. We ate it with flaky pillsbury layers biscuits which I'd say is a must! Soo tasty and we ate it again the next night for dinner as well which I'd say makes it safe to say it was good :)


  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese


  1. Stir together the pumpkin, chicken stock, half-and-half, shallot, molasses, butter, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large stockpot over low heat; simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until crispy; remove to paper towels to drain, then cool and crumble.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with bacon and blue cheese.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 420 | Total Fat: 31.9g | Cholesterol: 61mg

Sunday, October 31, 2010

49. Bake cookies for dh to take to work 3x

I love baking. There is just something about being in the kitchen that I find so relaxing. And honestly nothing means more to me than making something with love and having people enjoy it and say how yummy it is. I took advantage of Halloween and used it as an excuse to get in the kitchen and make all sorts of yummy treats for my hubby to take to work to share with his co-workers. I admit I cheated a little bit by using two packages of Pillsbury holiday cookies, but the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and candy corn bark I made myself completely from scratch. It was a fun, yet exhausting time in the kitchen as I baked for about 4.5 hours. Not an easy task when you barely have the energy for two hour outings :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October's Us Photo

From this past weekend at Oktoberfest. It's a tradition of ours to go every year, eat a brat with all the fixings and walk and check out all the vendors. Such fun!

Friday, October 1, 2010

September's Us Photo

From our date at Birch aquarium :) And looking at this I've realized just how dirty dh's hat is. I think I need to find that guy and stick him in the

Friday, September 24, 2010

Birch Aquarium and Squire's Cafe

So earlier this week Rick and I had a much needed date. Lately our dates have consisted on lounging at home, going out to eat at our favorite restaurants or doing a little shopping. Truthfully I haven't had a whole lot of energy or desire for much else. But we finally decided to get our lazy butts out of the house and go on a date that would count for my blog. I honestly hadn't even realized just how long it'd been since we did one of these!

So we decided to head out to the Birch Aquarium and to lunch. Typically when we have tried a new restaurant for this blog I've gone online and done a little research before hand. I just can't help it, it's in my nature. Well this time we decided to just go with the flow. We headed to La Jolla for the aquarium and decided to just find some random little place along the way. Rick noticed Squire's Cafe and we thought we'd give it a try. It was overcast and slightly cool so we decided to skip the little patio and eat inside. The menu consisted of lots of yummy sandwiches, most of them named after local cities in San Diego (I love when places do that!). I ordered up the Del Mar, which was a crabcake sandwich on sourdough (LOVE sourdough), while Rick ordered a turkey veggie wrap. The food was pretty tasty and hit the spot, and the sample of the oatmeal cookie that we snuck was so yummy! All in all it was a nice little lunch. Not necessarily something I'd drive to just to eat because it is a good drive from home, but if I lived in the area I could see myself eating their regularly.

Then we were off to the aquarium. I've been before as a kid, growing up here it's just one of those things you do-- usually on a school field trip. But Rick hadn't been yet. I'd say it's a pretty popular little tourist spot too considering it's in La Jolla and has amazing views of the ocean. And as far as tourist attractions goes the price is more than reasonable. We looked at all of the different tanks, my favorites being the seahorses (so cute) and the jellyfish (the way they look is just amazing). We even took some time to rest our feet and watch everything in the big tank. I don't have much to compare it to, as the only other aquarium type thing I've been to are at Sea World, but we had a fun time and enjoyed it and definitely plan to go back in the future.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Amish White Bread

I've never made bread before, but it's always something I've wanted to do. I found this recipe a while back (on and thought it'd be a good one to try for my very first time. It didn't seem very complicated and didn't require a bread machine. I'd been holding on to it for a while, waiting for the perfect moment to make it. Yeah, for whatever reason I thought it'd be a good idea to bake it in the middle of the afternoon on a hot summer day. LOL.

All in all it was a fairly easy recipe and really didn't take a crazy amount of effort. The majority of time was spent waiting for the yeast to foam, and then waiting for the dough to rise. Rick even got in on the fun and helped me to knead the bread. I enjoyed a small piece straight from the oven with a little butter, and made plenty of sandwiches for Rick. The recipe made two loaves and I was able to freeze the second one and give it to my parents a few weeks later. They both really enjoyed it as well :)


  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 168 | Total Fat: 2.9g | Cholesterol: 0mg

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

#79 Join a bookclub

This is something I've wanted to do for a long, long time. Ideally I'd make my own bookclub group with some of my close friends. Unfortunately not all of my friends here in San Diego share my absolute love of reading, and those that do are busy with school, life, and other commitments.

I had started hearing a lot of good things about as a means of finding other people who share your interests. So I went on and found a book club that appealed to me. It had a lot of different meetings to meet everyone's schedules. The books that were chosen were varied so you were bound to find something that interested you. And best of all it was just for women. I had signed up for two prior meetups with this book club over the last several months, but they just never worked out with my schedule. Now that I'm no longer working though I decided to go for it.

I signed up for a day time meeting to discuss "A Wrinkle in Time" at a local restaurant. I had never read the book, and while it wasn't my most favorite read ever it was good. The easy part was done. The part that took a whole lot of effort was stepping outside my comfort zone to go to a restaurant and meet a bunch of strangers to have lunch and discuss this book. Even while getting ready I dealt with the strange mix of excitement and nerves. It was tempting to not go. But that would have been the easy thing to do. However, life isn't all about easy and sometimes you really do just have to force yourself to try new things, to meet new people, and to do things that make you feel a little uncomfortable. In my mind these truly are the experiences that help us to grow.

Overall the meeting went well. I got there a few minutes early and chatted with a few of the girls while we waited for the others to be seated. For me that was probably the best part as far as conversation went. Once we were seated it was actually a bit overwhelming. They had never met as a group at that restaurant and normally most places provide them with a secluded area for the meeting. Not at this place. It was crowded with the brunch rush and we were right smack dab in the middle of it. By nature I'm not a loud person so I kind of just took a step back, tried to enjoy my food (which didn't taste as good as I'd hoped, and was late to come out), and mostly listened in on the discussion.

Would I attend another meetup? Absolutely. The "daytime" book doesn't really appeal to me so I'll probably sit out that meeting. But I do plan on attending again very soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

July's "us" photo

I would have posted this sooner (like in July) but I was pretty nervous. I gotta admit, I'm still nervous. But we are taking this blessing a day at a time and enjoying every moment of it that we can.

This was taken on July 2 and baby was just shy of 6 weeks at the time. I honestly can't think of a better "us" photo than this...

Friday, July 16, 2010

60. Buy a bedroom set!!!

It took us a bit to finally get it, but we LOVE it! Especially since we saved for it so that we could pay cash-- so worth it though. Rick got a great deal on the bed, mattress, and dresser. Totally worth the wait! Now to finish decorating the bedroom...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

52. Match 50% of my current savings and put it into savings

Rick and I have been in a bit of a savings kick lately. Especially with the fact that I won't be working much longer we've been trying more than ever to really get that nice cushion built up in our emergency fund. My last few paychecks I've managed to put any extra money after bills into savings, and Rick has also set up an automatic allotment from his paycheck to go into our savings. Because of these efforts we've not only matched what was in our there, but have exceeded that goal :)

I've always gotten that "high" from shopping, but who knew I could get it from saving too???

Monday, July 5, 2010

June's "Us" photo

Late again. I know I've been slacking on my blog, but I have a pretty good reason :) Hopefully I'll get back on track here soon.

For now this is June's "Us" photo from Rick's best friend's wedding which was on June 18th. We were so honored to be a part of Cy's special day. And Rick's best man speech was so touching. I'm so thankful he has such a close friend in Cy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

#43 Learn to shoot dh's pistol

I'm not a huge fan of guns and have never really been around them all that much. Dh on the other hand has been around them for years. He was a sniper in the military and now carries a pistol for his new job. He's also expressed that guns are not dangerous, it's people not having the proper knowledge and respect for a weapon that makes them so dangerous. We've both been wanting me to learn how to shoot his pistol for some time, but it's just always fallen on the back burner.
Well we took advantage of our Texas vacation and dude ranch experience to get that training in. Dh and I (along with his parents) headed to a shooting range where dh gave his mom and I some instruction on it. I was pretty nervous, with all these worst case scenarios going through my head. With a little help from Rick I was soon ready to shoot. His pistol has a large grip, and with my tiny hands that wasn't the best combination, at least where my comfort was concerned. But surprisingly I did incredibly well. We shot from 25 yards and I managed to get most of my shots all within the "bulls eye". It was the best feeling, especially knowing how impressed and proud Rick was with me. I still may not be the most comfortable around guns, but who knew I was a natural shot?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Late but worth the wait-May's Us photo

Totally worth being late since this photo was taken while we were on our awesome Texas vacation. This pic is from our overnight stay in San Antonio on Memorial Day and is from the little riverboat tour. Such fun!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

#45 Go Fishing with Dh

My husband loves the outdoors. He works outside, loves hiking, camping, fishing, etc. So it made sense to me to buy him a fishing permit and a gift card to an outdoors store for our first wedding anniversary (they are paper after all!). It honestly was one of the best gifts I've ever given him because I got to see him enjoy something he's so passionate about. He spent an evening earlier in the week getting all his fishing stuff ready and Friday afternoon we went out to our favorite spot so he could fish.

We knew going into it he probably wouldn't catch anything. It was in the middle of the afternoon, which hubby says is not the best time to fish. And he didn't research what kind of fish were at the lake so he didn't have the ideal bait. It was more of an introduction to fishing for me. He showed me the bait he had, explained it to me, and told me stories of fishing trips he's had in TX.

I know that this will be the first of many fishing trips we have. I'm not sure that I'll ever bring myself to fish. I'd just feel too bad for the fishies :( but I can appreciate that it's something that Rick enjoys, and I'll be perfectly happy to take a book along and just relax in the sun with my wonderful hubby.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sesame Noodles

I'm a big noodle fan. Noodles are seriously comfort food for me, and I love them so much I can even eat them with just butter and salt (yum!). I was looking for a good asian style noodle recipe the other day and found this one (on my fave website The reviews seemed good so I was excited to give it a try.

I couldn't find safflower oil so I used vegetable oil. I reduced both the vegetable oil and the sugar to half (3 tablespoons each). I skipped the toasted sesame seeds as I couldn't find those either and added teriyaki chicken to make it a complete meal. Yum yum!


  • 1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a serving bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, place a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Pour sauce over linguine, and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 371 | Total Fat: 14.8g | Cholesterol: 0mg

Friday, April 30, 2010

#32 Get a Bike

My husband is amazing for so many reasons. One of the coolest things about him is just how supportive and understanding he is of me. He has been one of my biggest fans through this whole blog adventure I'm on and is always excited to help me work on it. Our one year wedding anniversary is tomorrow and I was lucky enough to come home and find a pretty pink cruiser with a big pink ribbon on it for me! He knew I'd been wanting a bike for a while, but I just hadn't made it a priority.

We went to one of our favorite outdoor spots to enjoy a day in the sun. It's been years since I've ridden a bike. Like probably elementary school. I know the expression "It's like riding a bike" is pretty popular but I'm not sure just how accurate it is. I didn't forget how to ride, I was just pretty rusty. Which is probably an understatement. I attempted to ride around the parking lot a bit and finally found some balance. So off I went towards the track around the lake. I was off to a pretty good start until Rick got a little too close and this other guy came up behind me on his bike. I got nervous, which caused me to panic. I tried to stop, but didn't think about using the brake. Instead I tried to plant my feet on the ground. I guess my bike didn't get the memo because it continued to keep moving until I hit the dirt and crashed with my nice, new shiny bike. I have to admit, it hurt, both my body and my pride. My initial reaction was to cry and go home and call it a day, but I put on that brave face I know so well and sucked it up. It's really the only way to deal with anything that life gives you, yes it hurt, yes I was scared to get back on and fall down again, but I'm not going to let fear stop me from living and enjoying life. All you can do is get back up and try to enjoy the ride.

And I did. We finished the whole track for a total of 6 miles. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

# 34 Yoga once a week for a month

So originally I had planned to go to a yoga class to accomplish this task, but things just didn't work out that way for me. I used to attend yoga regularly (like twice a week) at my old gym before I got my current job. Well since then I've recently moved and switched gyms. The hours really don't fit with my schedule, and frankly I'm just not that comfortable at my new gym.

So I started looking into yoga dvds, and an online friend mentioned a great yoga for fertility dvd. After reading the reviews on amazon I decided to go ahead and order it. I've really, really enjoyed this dvd. Of course nothing can beat a real life yoga session. It's always nice to have an instructor there to help guide you and to make sure you're doing the poses correctly, but this dvd is really fabulous for someone who already knows a bit of yoga. I think for a beginner it may be a little overwhelming, just because of how fast you transition between poses. The dvd includes some great sections on breathing and visualization as well.

Yoga is beneficial for so many reasons. I definitely have felt more centered and balanced since I've started making this a part of my weekly routine again, and I hope in the future I can make the time for myself to do this twice a week.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

#37 Take a Self Defense Class

The timing of me taking this class couldn't have been any better considering April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Rick found out about this rape prevention/self defense seminar through a co-worker who takes Krav Maga. Knowing that I was looking for a self defense class to take for my project he signed me right up.

The course was a 3.5 hour course and was filled with women of all ages. It was sold out and there was about 30-40 women there. There was a bit of lecture time by a police officer where I learned that 1 in 3 women is a victim of sexual assault. I had no idea that the rates were that high. One of the biggest things that attackers have said is that the women do not fight back. For someone who does fight back the chances of survival are obviously much, much higher. Another really important point I learned was just how important it is to trust our instinct. We all know this right? But I've never heard it from this perspective before-- Animals trust their instinct completely. If they feel threatened they attack. As humans we are the only species to rationalize things. Instead of acting on instinct we make excuses and try to rationalize someone's behavior.

There's only so much you can be taught in 3 hours, but the instructors gave us all the basic tools to be able to protect our self from an attacker. We had to buddy up and practice all of the combatives (which included hammer hits, kicks, gouges, etc.). We also had scenarios that we had to act out with the instructors. The first scenario was using our "bad dog voice" (think of the way you'd discipline your dog... you wouldn't say it with a smile-- you'd be assertive). This was actually a bit tough for me, anyone who knows me knows that I don't have a "bad dog voice" Dodger and Cali totally know that too. But I tried and I did it. The second scenario we actually had to put everything together and fight off an attack from one of the instructors who was in a padded suit. It was intense. Especially since someone in the class had been a victim of sexual assault. The raw emotion was overwhelming and my heart broke for her. Everyone felt that...there were many who were crying with her. But the staff and all of the participants were incredibly supportive and we all celebrated with her as she finished her turn.

Overall it was an absolutely amazing experience. I was really, really nervous about attending. Especially since I went by myself. But I had a great time and I am soo soo glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to do this. Even though my hand is starting to swell and feels achy I can't wait to show Rick what I learned. I would highly suggest that all women take the time to attend something like this. The information is invaluable and it's one of the best things you can do for yourself. I think this will be a yearly thing for me.

Balsamic Baked Tilapia

Tilapia is probably my favorite fish. It's very versatile and isn't overly fishy. And although I love eating it (especially when Rick grills it with lemon and Tony Chachere's) I've never cooked it on my own. I was a little intimidated but this recipe really was very, very simple. I ended up using four filets instead of 2, but I didn't have to change any of the other ingredients to make up for that change. I also didn't serve it over greens, instead I decided to serve it with some yummy balsamic butter asparagus and brown rice. It was sooo delicious ( lick the plate good!) and Rick said he even liked it better than the way he cooks tilapia!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 (8 ounce) fillets tilapia fillets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and red pepper in the oil until onion is tender and golden, and peppers are slightly soft, about 10 minutes. Stir balsamic vinegar into the vegetables; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Rub tilapia filets with 2 teaspoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place fillets in a small baking dish, and top with the balsamic onion mixture. Sprinkle fish evenly with blue cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until fish flakes easily. Serve atop salad greens.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 329 | Total Fat: 17.3g | Cholesterol: 67mg

Friday, April 16, 2010

#100- Encourage Someone Else to Start the Project

So a couple weeks ago I mentioned to my friend some things I was planning on doing for my blog. She was curious and asked what blog and so I told her all about my 101 in 1001 list and how I've been keeping track of my journey on this blog.

She was inspired by the idea and started getting some ideas for her own list. I then emailed her my link to check out and she decided that this was something she really wanted to do. I'm so glad that I've inspired someone else to do this. It's really been a very fun, fulfilling project. It's been so cool to step out of my comfort zone, and to try new things. I've also really enjoyed being able to share my journey with my husband. He's so supportive of all this, and always willing to go along on my adventures with me.

I really hope my friend loves this project as much as I do :) and I look forward to cheering her on to reach her goals.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April's "Us" photo

Taken this past Saturday at the happiest place on earth (aka Disneyland)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

#30 Read TCOYF

Also known as "Taking Charge of Your Fertility". This should seriously be mandatory reading for all women. It's not just a book to help you increase the odds of getting pregnant, but really a book to help you understand what is happening with you body every month. There is so much mystery behind our cycles and the changes that happen, and a lot of it causes girls to be confused, to feel "dirty" or misunderstood. But this book explains it all.

It's a large book and looks intimidating. But it's actually very easy to read. The author writes in a way that makes it clear, she gives examples, and even adds a touch of humor. It's also one of those books that you can come back to without feeling utterly lost or confused. I read the book off and on over a few weeks, but once I committed myself to reading it I had it finished within two days.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I've never made any type of "bread" from scratch before. But I've "seen" a lot of friends make this via their facebook updates, and I also saw some new fiber one muffins that were this flavor. So of course I had to reference my favorite website for recipes (, I looked through all the possible ones, read all the reviews and found the perfect recipe.

Obviously it's a little more time consuming making something like this from scratch versus opening up a mix, but it was so worth the effort. And in reality the thing that took the longest was waiting for the bananas I bought to ripen up enough. Figures that when I want them to turn brown and gross they take there sweet time. Even though I bought bananas over a week ago and they were already yellow! Geesh!

I did make some minor modifications to make it somewhat healthier. I used butter instead of shortening, and miracle whip instead of mayo. I was hesitant to use the walnuts since I'm not a big nut person, but at the suggestion of a friend I chopped them up very fine in the food processor (she said the nuts are necessary to keep the bread moist). The final product is incredibly delicious, extremely moist, and sweet without being overly sweet.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Stir in the mayonnaise and bananas. Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Blend the flour mixture into the banana mixture; stir just enough to evenly combine. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 to 75 minutes. Cool loaf in the pan for 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Amount Per Serving (original recipe) Calories: 327 | Total Fat: 14.6g | Cholesterol: 22mg

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A day off of work

lead to a fun afternoon with my hubby and a wonderful way to celebrate our 10 month wedding anniversary. We also decided to take advantage of that time together on a work day to do activities that would count towards my blog (and for Rick's Spanish class --he has to do 3 cultural activities.) I love opportunities to knock out multiple things at once.

I'm a big fan of Bobby Flay and I love his throwdown show on food network. So when I heard a commercial on the radio for Mama Testa's I was sold. Apparently Bobby Flay challenged the owner to a fish taco throwdown. I never saw that episode, so I don't know the outcome--but still Bobby Flay was there :) So we made it our mission to find it, took the risk of parking in a McDonald's parking lot as there were no open spaces and made our way inside. I gotta say we weren't overly impressed. The website gave the feel of a restaurant, while the place was more like a taco shop. I struggled with that and feel that Mama Testa's may have some sort of identity crisis going on. The chalk board menu was really hard to read and neither Rick or I could find the fish tacos. Darn it! That was the whole reason we went. So Rick had some carne asada tacos, and I had this dish that had rolled tacos swimming in a bowl of broth. It was good, but nothing to write home about. We left there filling full, but not satisfied. We haven't had much luck as of yet trying new restaurants for the project but I'm hoping that will change.

After that we made our way to San Diego Mission de Alcala. It is the first and oldest of the CA missions. And even though we do mission projects in the 4th grade out here I had never been (I had a different mission for my project though). You enter the ground through the gift shop where they ask for a suggested donation. It's a very fair price to pay for a couple of hours enjoyment. It was so much fun walking around the grounds with Rick. He read the guide and summarized all the important things for me. Then we walked and admired the architecture, the beauty, and the history that the missions played in CA and Catholicism (really even in Christianity). When I see a piece of history like that I just can't help being overwhelmed. I think it's such a cool and humbling feeling.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

#67 Volunteer with an Organization

This weekend Rick and I donated a few hours as part of Disney's Give a Day Get a Day Program. There were tons of volunteer opportunities to choose from and initially I was hoping for something really cool like helping to build homes with habitat for humanity. It is after all in the commercial you see on tv and gives a sort of "glamorous" image to volunteering. But instead we spent our day helping to prepare the grounds for the annual rodeo in April.

The people that normally prepare for the rodeo are all volunteers. They don't get paid for any of the work they do there, which is a lot! Their main goal as a group is to give back to the youth of the community. They use those grounds for various things and all of the money they make goes to picking up the costs for new band supplies, FFA supplies, and sports for the local schools.

It was a rainy, yucky day out so they had to find projects for us to do that were mostly inside or at least sheltered from the rain. Rick and I hosed of and cleaned fluorescent light covers, cleaned out cabinets and scrubbed garbage cans. It was pretty thankless work. But sometimes that honestly is the most important. It's a good feeling to know you're making a difference, no matter how big or small the impact.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

#40 Get Acupuncture

I hate needles. The thought of them really freaks me out. But the thought of ever having to go through what Rick and I went through in January scares me more than anything. So after hearing so many wonderful things about acupuncture, I decided to look into a place that focused on woman's issues and fertility. Using one of my favorite websites ( I found Chang acupuncture. They had some great reviews, and their website was filled with tons of info and encouragement. So after calling our insurance to find out if we had acupuncture benefits I called and booked my consultation appointment. During that initial phone call I spoke to Julie Chang, who is the owner of the office. She was friendly and answered every single one of my questions. I then printed and filled out all 15 pages of the new patient packet! Talk about thorough!

So yesterday was the big day. My new patient appointment was 1.5 hours long. My acupuncturist, Eric, talked with me for a long time about my medical issues, history, and cycles. He also went over diet and suggested some modifications to help increase fertility and to control my endometriosis (cutting back on dairy, and red meat, and avoiding raw "cold" food). He also checked my tongue and pressed on a few spots, then it was time to start the acupuncture session.

I was pretty freaked out. It was weird to lay on table like I would for a facial, but knowing that instead of a massage I would be poked like a pin cushion. With Eric's suggestion I kept my eyes closed ;) It actually didn't hurt that bad. I could barely feel the needles, it sort of felt like a small pinch. There were two times that it did hurt a bit, but it wasn't bad, just uncomfortable. Once the needles were all in place he placed a heat lamp over my tummy and left me to relax for about 20 minutes. I could feel sensations like tingling and heaviness, it was an odd yet relaxing combo.

All in all it was an interesting experience. I'll be going back every other week for a while, and once my insurance kicks in I may try to go weekly. Keeping my fingers crossed that we see some good results from this.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

#51 Buy a Couple's Devotional

Buying a couple's devotional has been something that Rick and I have been meaning to do for a while. Our faith is such a huge part of our lives. I know that Rick's faith was something that really attracted me to him. Even though we aren't the same religion we are both Christian and have found a way to embrace each others churches. Our core beliefs and values are very much the same so it makes it pretty easy.

For me as a Catholic Lent is very important and something that I've observed all my life. With Rick being Nazarene it isn't observed in the same way, but his pastor was very encouraging with her church to take part in it. So we made the commitment to each other and to God to buy and read a couple's devotional. We started last night and will continue to read this every night until Easter and hopefully even after that.

There were so many devotionals to choose from in the Christian bookstore. Actually there were so many books in general. I couldn't help but get distracted with my huge love for books. I found so many that caught my eye that we signed up for their coupons so that I can go back and do some serious shopping.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February's Us Photo

Taken Valentine's Day at Downtown Disney. After church Rick surprised me with early dinner reservations at the Rainforest Cafe, then we saw the movie Valentine's Day. It was a beautiful day out and an ideal way to spend time with my very own Valentine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spreading the Valentine's Day Love

I spent yesterday afternoon baking up some sweet treats for Rick to take to work to share with his co-workers. I decided to make some cookies, as well as some chocolate covered pretzels. The best sweet treat (my personal favorite) are my home made thin mint cookies. They taste just like the girl scout cookies. So much so that I was a little worried that they would think they were! I went to a few different stores trying to find Valentine's day sprinkles, just so that there would be no doubt they were home made. Unfortunately I couldn't find any :( So it was Rick's duty to make sure everyone knew that I made them. hehe...

I called him this morning when I woke up at 8:30 to see how they went over. He said they were all gone. I love it. It's the best feeling when people appreciate things like that. I can't wait til the next time I send him off to work with goodies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The awesomeness that is Harry Potter


It's a bittersweet feeling to be done with this amazing series of books. I regret taking so long to finally give into them. I really was afraid that there was so much hype about them that it would never be able to live up to my expectations. I was so wrong.

I loved it all from the very first book. Although as most people said, it did get even better as it went on. I'm actually not sure how to even rate these books on goodreads. The first 5 were great, but not exactly worthy of 5 stars, the last two were though-- and the series as a whole was just awesome. I don't even really have the words to describe it.

I was really happy with how everything played out in Deathly Hallows. There were a lot of moments that really tore at my heart, and if I hadn't had my fill of snottyness from being sick I totally would have been crying like a baby. I've always loved Dumbledore's character and wasn't sure what type of role he'd have in DH, I'm so glad that we really got to know him in this book. And yay for Snape! He might even be my favorite character now. I constantly went back and forth wondering if he was good or bad. I was so worried after HBP that he really was bad, but I had that teeny tiny bit of hope still.

I was very satisfied with the ending, and I did cry when Harry was talking to his son Albus. I *loved* that his middle name was Severus and the story he told him. ....sigh....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Peppered Shrimp Alfredo

After nearly 3 weeks and only making 1 real meal for Rick I decided last night I was ready to take a baby step to getting back on track. I decided to cook dinner. I did this as much for Rick as I did for myself, because everyone who knows me knows... I LOVE FOOD.

I made peppered shrimp alfredo from It wasn't necessarily the healthiest meal. But I did make some modifications that probably helped some (I didn't use butter, but sauteed veggies in EVOO, and used half and half instead of cream, also used whole wheat pasta). In addition to those healthy changes I also left out the mushrooms because ours went bad and used frozen shrimp that was already seasoned--just pop those suckers in the oven and add to pasta when everything is done. Lastly DO NOT use the amount of cayenne pepper in the recipe! It is waaaaaay too much. Trust me on this. I like spicy food a lot, and I knew going into it that 1 tsp of cayenne pepper was absurd. I used a little less than half and it was still pretty spicy. We enjoyed it like that, but I'd highly suggest erring on the side of caution and using less.


  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter together with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper, and mushroom; cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the shrimp, and cook until firm and pink, then pour in Alfredo sauce, Romano cheese, and cream; bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir drained pasta into the sauce, and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Nutritional Information (according to actual recipe)

Amount Per Serving Calories: 981 | Total Fat: 68.9g | Cholesterol: 305mg

Monday, February 1, 2010


January just wasn't my month. I had so much going on that just about everything was put on the back burner, including my project. Rick and I experienced the joy of finding out we were pregnant, only to be devastated a week later when our angel baby went back to God. The process was not only hard physically, but emotionally as well. We're still working on healing. Our faith helps a lot (as well as the support of our family and friends) but it's still a very trying process, filled with ups and downs much like a roller coaster. Then last week I caught some sort of bug and was basically out of commission for 5 days. I went to the dr. and was told that this was pretty normal after a miscarriage since my immune system is already weakened. I've been on antibiotics since friday (since I developed an infection) and still don't feel 100% better yet. Sooo yeah, pretty much nothing was accomplished in January :( I don't even have an "us" photo for the month. But I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

I did finally finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix though. It was probably my least favorite of the series thanks to Dolores Umbridge (who I think is just the worst "bad guy" ever!!! hem...hem)

Keeping my fingers crossed that February (and the rest of 2010) is much better to my hubby and me :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Still reading

I've had A LOT going on lately, both good and bad. Unfortunately the blogging fell a tad bit behind as a result. I have continued reading the Harry Potter series though. I started and finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban shortly after the start of the new year. It was so good that I literally finished it and picked up the very next book (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) right after. Even though that book was pretty big I finished it in a week!

I am loving this series! Although I wish I would have given in to it years ago I do think it's pretty cool that the only wait I have between books is because of myself. I don't actually have to wait for the book to come out or anything like that. And a nice bonus has been watching each movie with my dh after I finish the book ;)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I blame it on my age...

and the fact that I'm getting old. I forgot to post December's "us" picture. So here it is, a little late but still. And in honor of me getting older and being forgetful this pic is from my 26th Birthday :)