Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Rest of The Best Of 2008

I didn't quite complete my review of 2008. I stopped just short of going on and on about our June wedding. Don't worry-you are saved. I am going to do a quick review of the year in this post!
June July Coldplay from the 4th row. Enough said. August/September In August, I turned 29 years old. In September, we went kayaking. Pretty boring months. October New Kids on the Block! November/December Christmas! And there it is. 2008. 2008 is also the end of my 20's. I was thinking how different each decade of my life has been. When you are 0-9, you go from a newborn to a sassy elementary school kid. From 10-19, you go from an annoying 4th grader to know it all college freshman! 20-29, you are a drunken college student, to college graduate to married lady! What an incredible transition I have seen in my 20's. As I think back to past New Year's celebrations, I remember banging pots and pans at my friend Adrienne's apartment in Long Beach and then passing out (alcohol induced) on the couch shortly thereafter. I was a spry 21 year old. Now at the end of my 20's, I am married and will barely make it to midnight without taking a short nap around 9:00 p.m. to keep me awake long enough to watch the ball drop. 2009 should be an exciting year. Why? Because I plan to make it exciting!! Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2008 closes with a bang and 2009 brings you much success, happiness and laughter.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm giving up

I need a massive detox after all of the junk food I have had over the past week. I really thought I could resist the cookies, cake, candy, etc. during the holidays but I was kidding myself. I'm sure I am one of millions of people who decide to start over on January 1st. It is a complete cliche but so be it. So I'm giving things up as of January 1st. A little bit at a time so I don't feel deprived and nothing I haven't given up before. Years back, I was able to stop drinking soda for 2.5 years. I was never a huge soda drinker so I thought it would be fairly easy to give it up and I was right. Until I met a certain someone :cough Chris cough:. Chris loves him some soda. It was hard to resist. I gave in and became a soda drinker. No good. Especially since my body does not react well to caffeine and I know how bad soda (diet too) is for a person's body. Soda is out the window on 1/1/09. I also gave up drinking Starbucks for about 9 months. I don't drink it very often but I don't need to drink it is all. Gift card or not. I'm saying no. My husband has said in this new year, he is going to try more types of food. While I wish I could follow in these footsteps, I'm not sure I can. I have this unreasonable fear of trying new foods. I am the world's pickiest eater. My dad said it best once. I told him I could never be a vegetarian because I love steak too much. He said, "No, you could never be a vegetarian because you hate vegetables." Good point, dad. Well played. I did take one step towards getting over my fear of new foods. I ordered chicken tortilla soup at On The Border the other day. I was expecting the same soup that you get at Chili's that is incredibly tasty. Instead, I got a soup filled with rice, tomatoes and pieces of chicken. I rejected it until Chris peer pressured me into eating it. I managed to eat a few spoon fulls and drum roll please....I didn't die! Miracle of miracles. Maybe 2009 will see me trying some new foods as well. But not fish. Fish is smelly. And the ocean is a dirty, dirty place.

I Survived!

My two posts earlier were written from our ipod touch in the jury duty waiting room. I was there from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. My name never got called. I played with the ipod until the battery ran out, read a book, moved from seat to seat trying to avoid the following people: 1. Annoying loud laughers/talkers/flirters (gross) 2. Young man who bounces his leg 100 times a minute, shaking my seat and breaking my concentration from reading I finally moved out into the hallway only to get the announcement that we were dismissed!!! Thank the Lord. Aside from that good news, I found out that my brother in law's basketball team broke their 7 game losing streak and embraced victory today. AND I used the $5 I found in my car to buy 3 Lottery Scratchers and won $20 from one of them. I have 2 lottery tickets for Wednesday night and I am thinking I am bound to be a millionaire based on my luck today. 2008 is ending in a good note!

still waiting. I feel trapped. Who knows how long this will last. Save me.

Sitting in the jury waiting room. Thank goodness for wifi and the iPod touch

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Civic Duty

A few weeks ago, I received the dreaded jury duty notice in the mail. And of course, my reporting date is on the 29th which is during my much anticipated 2 week vacation. I called Saturday morning to see if I would even have to report and of course, I have to. At 8 a.m. on Monday OF MY VACATION. The good news is that I am totally losing my voice. It should be gone by Monday morning, especially if I start screaming my lungs out for no reason tomorrow night. That should do it, right? Hmm come to think about it, I really just need to know how to listen to be on a jury. Maybe I should tell them about my lack of hearing in my left ear. What? WHAT? WHAT??? WHAT?????

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008 in Photos

Christmas 2008 is over but it was fun while it lasted!
The tree at my dad's house
The gingerbread tree we made this year. In the past, we decorated a gingerbread house but man, that thing would never stay together. A tree is much easier. We got carried away with the frosting...
It ended up on Chris' face! We are a silly couple of people.
Some wine named after yours truely
The dinner table all set. We had so much food and even more dessert.
My dad got all of us Palin 2012 shirts. Hilarious.
Diana loved her Minnie Mouse doll
First Christmas as husband and wife Chris' frosting face. Note: Red frosting does stain skin. Chris with his Stewie stocking Christmas morning. We opened our stockings (which were our gifts to each other) alone in our bedroom at his parents house. It was nice to have that moment together. His special edition Dark Knight dvd with case that is bound to be in the junk closet someday Posing with my Christmas Eve pajamas that my mom gives me every year. So exciting! It made the strangeness of not being with her for the first time ever a bit easier to handle. And the the clock strikes midnight and it is December 26. You drive home, unpack your gifts, play with some things, upload your pictures, laugh at the memories and move onto another day. Another day that includes shopping with money and gift cards your received!!! WooHoo!!!

Chocolate Covered Cake Balls

My brother in law makes these amazing Oreo Balls at Christmas time and I came across a recipe for cake balls so I thought I would give them a try. They were fairly easy to make but of course, when you melt and dip anything in chocolate, it can be messy.
Make the cake as usual and let cool completely. Crumble the cake into a mixing bowl and mix with a can of frosting. I used vanilla frosting and chocolate cake. NOTE: I used an entire can of frosting but found that was too much. 3/4 would most likely be enough.
I put the balls in the freezer to speed along the process but that really didn't help. I blamed this on the amount of frosting I used. They just didn't seem to get hard. I melted the white chocolate chips in the microwave and rolled each ball around in it using a spoon. I scooped them out and placed them on wax paper to dry.
I had some chocolate chips left over so I melted those and drizzled them on top. The white chocolate cooled pretty fast.
I placed each ball in a paper cupcake holder and carried them to my dad's house for Christmas in my cupcake carrier! They were quite tasty.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Eric Cartman says "Merry Christmas!!!" I hope all of my readers are off of their computers, spending the day with family and friends. Enjoy the love, eat good food and laugh lots. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lackluster Housewife of Sacramento County

Being off of work for the next 12 days means that I need to keep myself busy. Well, two days into my vacation and I feel like I am working harder than I have to at my day job. Since I was baking so much for Christmas, I was having to do dishes, wipe down counters, sweep the floor, put things away, etc, etc. It is too much. I do not enjoy housework. I hate deep cleaning. I hate all cleaning. I would rather not to do it at all. But since I am home all day while my husband is at work, I feel it is my duty to make the apartment look presentable at the end of the day. But it sucks. I don't want to do anymore dishes....ever. I may never bake or cook again. I made Chris english muffin pizzas tonight and did it as lazy as possible. I basically put them together while they were sitting in the toaster oven. No extra plates needed. There is a bowl that I used for making cake balls tonight sitting in the sink soaking. I may leave it there until I get back home on Friday. I really do not want to clean it. Two days of being a housewife and I am over it. So sad.

The Story of Au Bob

Gather around kiddies. Grab your blanket, some hot cocoa and get comfortable. Today's story is called "The Story of Au Bob." Once upon a time there was a little girl named Diana. This little girl had her family members wrapped around her finger. Aside from being adorable, she was funny, nice and a joy to be around. Her parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle constantly talked about her, played with her and awaited the day that she could talk back. One of those family members, Aunt Michelle, was such a proud Aunt. She loved having a niece and it seemed that her niece loved Aunt Michelle. But Aunt Michelle was itching for Diana to say her name. Not likely since Michelle is quite long for a small child to say. Especially one that was just starting to talk. When Diana started to talk, she was especially good at saying words that started with "B." Boy, bath, bye, ball. She loved B words. One day, Grandma V introduced the word Bob into Diana's vocabulary. She said it with such perfection. Aunt Michelle thought, hmmmm I wonder if I can be named Bob. That way Diana can have a name to call me. She says mom and dad. And since I am the all important Aunt, I want a name too. Michelle asked her sister, Diana's mom, if she could be called Aunt Bob. Angela thought it was a cute idea, although her husband wasn't so sure. Neither was Grandma V. They thought it was confusing. But Michelle pleaded her case. "When I babysit Diana, she has no name to call me. What if she needs me for something? She needs a name to call me. I shall be called, Aunt Bob!" Michelle proclaimed. Angela began to teach Diana how to say Aunt Bob. By showing her my picture and saying that Aunt Michelle is Aunt Bob, the name was sure to stick. And it did. The first time Michelle heard her new name, she was in Rite-Aid with Grandma V. Angela called her and said "LISTEN!". The next thing she heard was Diana saying "Ahhhhh Bob." It almost had Aunt Michelle in tears. She had a name! Because Diana could not say Aunt, and because Ahhhh Bob is cuter, the written name for Michelle became Au Bob. The name has stuck and been used over and over again. Once Diana became completely used to the name, she refused to acknowledge any other name for Michelle. If someone said "Michelle", Diana sternly told them "no, Au Bob." Today, there is no greater joy in Michelle's life than to hear Diana call out for Au Bob. "Who do you want to sit with?" "Au Bob." "Who do you want to walk with?" "Au Bob." "Who is getting married in June?" "Au Bob and Uncle Tiss." Michelle realizes that some day Au Bob will fade away. Diana will not longer want to call her by the beloved nickname. But until that day, Michelle will be forever greatful of the time she was Au Bob. And it is a memory that they can share forever. The End.

Year in Review: April and May

April and May were very exciting months for me. The wedding was just two months away, invites were out, and the parties were starting!
My bachelorette party in April My bridal shower in MayYes, my sister actually put Au Bob on the cake. My mom also turned the big 6-0 in May and my sister turned 32. I hope they don't mind me revealing how old....I mean, young they are. :) The first part of this year seems like so long ago! June will deserve a post of its very own for obvious reasons.

Monday, December 22, 2008

365 Ways to Live Cheap

If you are reading this post after clicking over from The Simple Dollar website, can you please comment on how you found this blog on that site? I am really curious. I have looked throughout that site and find no link to my blog! Thanks!!! While shopping at Barnes and Noble the other day, I came across this book. I try to live as frugally as possible but I don't always succeed. After college graduation I moved back home with my mom, got a job, purchased a car and loved spending money. I didn't own a credit card and because my mom was awesome and only asked me to pay one household bill, I had a lot of freedom to shop, shop, shop! That all ended when I moved out on my own. With bills and rent, gas and groceries, I realized that Saturday trips to Target and trips to the mall were out. I just didn't have the extra money to do that very often if at all. In 3 years, I have trained myself not to buy a lot. If I do make that fun trip to Target and overspend, I feel guilty. Especially when I buy stuff that I don't need. Since our wedding, we have combined checking accounts. I thought it would be a horrible idea but it has worked out very well. We also combined our cell phone accounts and have discovered that some of our bills are lower each month. Sure, I married my husband's debt but we have a financial plan to pay those off. All of that being said (sorry, I am wordy), I still want to find ways to cut back on spending. This book has 365 tips on how to live cheap. Some are not directly related to swiping your credit card but can save you money in the long run if you take care of yourself. My favorite section of the book is the one titled "Cheap Tactics for Love and Marriage." 265. Don't spend to impress 266. Give gifts of sincerity 267. Plan a romantic free date (Not free of romance, free of money!) 268. Take walks together 269. Write love notes My plan over the next week of my vacation is to look through the book and try to find the ideas that apply to us. I really want to make a difference in the amount of money we spend in 2009. We plan to make '09 the last year we live in this apartment so saving as much money as we can is very, very important. How do you live cheap? Any tips??

My Family as Cookies

The whole gang!
Brother In Law, Matt (wearing his SCC shirt, of course!)
Diana with her long blonde hair
Angela, my sister
Chris
Me (I ran out of white frosting)
My mom (Grandma V)
My dad (Grandpa D)

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispy Treats

If you are looking for an easy treat to make to bring to a Christmas or New Years party, consider making Chocolate Covered Rick Krispy Treats.
Make rice krispy treats as directed on the box. Let cool a few minutes but not too long.
Roll semi-cooled treats into small balls. Your hands will get very sticky!
I melted chocolate chips in the microwave and tossed in the balls one by one. I used tongs to make sure the entire ball was coated in chocolate and to take the ball out of the bowl.
I placed the balls on wax paper and added some color with red and green sprinkles.
I was not sure if the chocolate would set on its own so I placed a few of the balls into the freezer for a few minutes. After I took them out and allowed them to rest, the chocolate was set and the rice krispies defrosted back to the normal texture. If you love chocolate and love rice krispy treats, these are an easy and fast treat to make for your party!

Twas the weekend before Christmas....

We started our weekend off by decorating cookies at my sister's house Friday night. This has been a yearly tradition for a couple of years now. I look forward to it every year until I am reminded that we are actually under the rule of a cookie decorating slave driver. "Keep frosting those cookies, slaves!!!"
Chris takes decorating very seriously.
Diana did such a great job frosting and decorating. She added lots of sprinkles and lots of chocolate chips to each cookie. It is amazing to watch because the past two years, she just sat and watched us. This year, she was able to participate in the hard labor....err, I mean fun.
The finished products. After the decorating was done, we bundled up and took a trip down to Candy Cane Lane to see the houses decorated for Christmas
Saturday:
I woke up, still sick, on Saturday morning ready to hit the streets of San Francisco. We didn't do as much as planned (no ice skating) but we did have a good time walking around, fighting the crowds and of course, seeing Phantom!
In Union Square. My hair looks so RED!
I didn't get a good picture of the dress that I wore to the show, so here it is on the hanger. It was very comfortable and quite pretty!
And then the weekend was over. But for me, my vacation from work (two weeks!) is just starting. The countdown to Christmas begins!