Monday, November 30, 2009

There is no "leave him alone"

Sometimes I wonder if people in this country understand what the job of the media is. They report news. It isn't always news that 100% of people care about. Some people could care less about politics so they don't want to see massive coverage about the President and legislation. Some people could care less about sports so watching football highlights would be boring. Some people could care less about celebrities and think news outlets should only focus on the "important" topics. But news is news. 1. a report of a recent event; intelligence; information: By this definition, any event is news. Michael Jackson dying? News. President being elected? News. A cat stuck in a tree? News. Tiger Woods crashing his car and then not talking to the police about what happened causing the insane media in this country to speculate for 4 days? NEWS. The media is CRAZY. This is what the media does best. They speculate and dig and guess and talk about an event until something else comes along. And yes, this is a news event. Reports are that Elin beat homeboy with a golf club. That is a story people!!!! He is a huge personality in this day and age and the media IS going to report it. You really think the media, the American media, would just shy away from this and say "we are going to leave this story alone. It is a private matter." REALLY????? No. It is a story. A news story. Tiger Woods is famous. He is a public figure. And when a public figure crashes into a fire hydrant, his wife runs out of the house with a golf club and he is taken to the hospital at 2:30 a.m., people are going to talk. The media is going to report the incident. The world will speculate.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

TV and Real Life

"Do you respect wood?"
This was the line mentioned several times during the season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has become a favorite in our house. We watched this episode Sunday night and found that line hilarious.
Then our new furniture came Wednesday night and as I was sitting on our new couch, my husband was wandering around while talking on the phone. He was opening and closing the drawers on our buffet and closed one of the doors on it with his knee.
"Do you respect wood?"
When we sat down to eat at our new (wood) pub table, he put his glass on the table without a coaster or placemat.
"Do you respect wood?"
Respect wood, people.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dessert, Dessert, Dinner

I baked a couple of items to bring to Thanksgiving this year and boy, were they yummy!! Brownie Candy Bites I found this recipe on my cyber-friends blog, Heather Drive. Heather, if you don't mind, I'm just going to copy and paste your instructions! Ingredients: - 1 box brownie mix - eggs, water, and vegetable oil (in the amounts listed on your brownie package) - 25-30 mini Reeses cups, frozen, then unwrapped - 1 Box Reynolds 2-inch aluminum foil mini cups for muffins Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place approximately 30 foil liners on baking sheet (I used a mini cupcake baking pan) 2. Combine brownie mix, eggs, water and oil. Stir with spoon until well blended. (about 50 strokes) 3. Fill each liner with 1-2 tablespoons of batter. You want them to be about 3/4 of the way full. 4. Push a peanut butter cup into the center of each "brownie cupcake." (I also used cut up York Peppermint Patties) 5. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. 6. Cool 5-10 minutes in pan and then move to cooling rack to cool completely. These bites went very fast at Thanksgiving dinner. I made 24 and when dessert started, I think they were all gone within 10 minutes.
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The second item I made was geared towards non-chocolate lovers. I don't understand those types of people but I know they are out there. Sadly, I think I threw away the recipe for this pumpkin cake but it took a lot of eggs, a lot of sugar and a lot of oil. And some pumpkin. The recipe was in the special edition magazine called 100 Best Cookies: Love on a sheetpan. I highly recommend getting this magazine!!!
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And lastly, dinner!!! I went through a set of recipe cards for the slow cooker and found this wonderful soup. I was excited when I realized it is the same soup that my boss has made for work functions several times. 1 lb ground beef 1 onion chopped 16 oz cans of tomatoes, ranch style beans, whole kernel corn, kidney beans, black beans (undrained) Picante Sauce tortilla chips sour cream shredded cheese **I also added a whole pack of taco seasoning once everything was in the crock pot. This added a nice seasoned taste to the soup** 1. Brown meat and onions; drain 2. Combine all beans, tomatoes and picante with the meat and onions in the slow cooker 3. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours (ours was ready in 4) 4. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese on the top
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You can get 6-8 servings out of this recipe so enjoy leftovers the next day!! Or make it for a large group and watch the smiles!

Sense of Humor Required

This is funny. Please don't be offended.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why I am Thankful

I'm thankful for my husband. When pouring himself a glass of Gatorade, he gave me his cup even though there was only a bit left in the bottom. He brings laughter into my life every single day. He kisses me goodbye every morning and hugs me as soon as he walks in the door in the evening. He loves my family and supports and encourages me with all that I do. He is pretty awesome and I love him more everyday. I'm thankful for my family. My sister, brother in law, nieces, mom and dad are incredible. I love that we are so close. I love that my mom and dad are people that I can turn to for support and guidance. I love that I have a sister who is my best friend, a brother in law that fits into our family so well and two adorable nieces who I love more and more everyday. The other day, I joined my sister and the girls at a craft fair. While waiting for my sister to put Amy in her sling, Diana and I stood in the parking lot cuddling to keep warm. Diana said to me "I love you Au Bob." My heart swelled. Such a sweet little girl she is. I am thankful for my in-laws who have raised an incredible man (my husband, duh). Having their support, encouragement and love means the world to me. I feel welcomed into their home, which I feel is my home too. I am thankful for my job. Teenagers are not easy and most of the time are very challenging but I know that I make a difference in the lives of these students. I get so much joy out of my job and I really think that I am good at what I do. Oh and also, I get vacation time at Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays which is always great since breaks from dealing with those teenagers is necessary!! I am thankful for our home. It may have holes in the walls and our wood floors may continue to sit in their boxes but it is home. I look forward to making this our sanctuary, a place where our families can visit comfortably, a place where our future children will play hide and go seek and rest their heads at night. I am thankful for the opportunity we had to purchase this home as I realize not everyone is capable of that in their lives. I am thankful for my health. 2009 has been a challenging year for me because it was the 5 year anniversary of losing 50 pounds. 50 pounds that I have since gained back. But I have one body and one life and I need to start taking care of that body. It is my temple and I intend on treating it that way. I hope everyone finds things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Times are tough. Life isn't always easy but there are always things to be thankful for. Celebrate them not just today, but tomorrow and always.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Productive on Vacation: Day 2 and 3

Tuesday wasn't as productive as Monday but I'm pacing myself. I woke up at 9:00 and took my time getting my day started. I finally got out of the house and made my way downtown to a fun little store I had been hoping to visit. It is a locally owned cake/baking supply store. So many fun baking supplies, sprinkles, cake pans, and more. The prices were also very reasonable which made me happy. I had to get some mini baking cups for some fun Thanksgiving treats I had planned to make....more on that later. I came home, ate lunch and made my way to visit my best friend and her two sons. We had a nice visit and I even got to hold her little boy which made me very happy. As the sun set, I drove 10 minutes over to the local community center to watch Diana's ballet class. Watching her enjoy ballet brings a smile to my face. My sister and dad were also there to give Diana support and share in her joy. ________________________________________________________________ Wednesday was much more productive. I woke up early, ate breakfast and stretched my muscles. I was going for a run! With my iphone tucked away in my Nike + running pants, I ran/walked for 32 minutes. The weather was crisp and cool which is my favorite running weather. When I got home, I was so motivated to be active that I mowed the lawn in our backyard. I had never mowed a lawn in my life but I did it and with a smile on my face. It feels so good to accomplish something that some may consider a "man's job." After the lawn was cut, I started baking. I will be creating another blog post later this week to show the finished products with recipes. After the treats were cooled and stored for Thanksgiving, I hooked up the Wii and played some Wii Fit and Wii Play for a bit. I'm now watching "Doubt" on dvr, waiting for my husband to come home and anticipating the arrival of 10 pieces of furniture this evening. Oh yes. We will have couches and chairs and a pub table and night stands and a real dresser. Again, pictures to come later!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Well said.....

Being Productive on Vacation: Day 1

Although I consider my vacation to have begun at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, I guess it officially started Monday morning when my husband left to go to work and I stayed in bed. But I didn't stay in bed for long. It is so easy to laze around while home alone but I didn't want to look back on this week and think how I didn't get anything done. So I am determined to make this week as busy and fun as possible.
I woke up this morning at 7:30 and ate breakfast. I decided that I was going to take a walk and google mapped how far it was down to the local CVS store. 2 miles. I strapped on my running shoes, got my earphones and I was on my way. One hour and ten minutes later, I was back at home. The weather was great (cool and breezy) so I didn't break too much of a sweat but I was still proud that I managed to walk 4 miles!
I sat down at the kitchen table and looked out to our backyard. The grass was full of leaves and loose grass from when Chris mowed it a couple weekends ago. Determined to not be lazy, I grabbed the rake and the correct garbage can and got to work. Just minutes into the raking I realized why people hire folks to take care of their yard. It was hard work! The wind was blowing my piles of leaves and grass all over the place but I managed to fill up an entire garbage.
I came inside and received an email request from my husband to find a lift top coffee table for our loft area. I searched around the internet, emailed him some links, got the approval and ordered it. What a productive day already!
After a shower, I put dinner in the crock pot and headed out to Staples to buy a ledger so I can keep track of our monthly expenses and bills. We are still transitioning old apartment bills with new house bills and I need one place to record what is due at the end of the month. I also stopped by Home Depot (ick) to see about getting a bag for our mower. No luck. I have to call the manufacturer.
Driving home, I decided this would be a good time to visit the local small gym and see about a membership. The manager showed me around then gave me the pricing list. It is a little bit more than I would like to pay for a small, no amenities gym but looking down at my thighs, I didn't need more convincing. I'm going back tomorrow to join.
I played around on the internet some more and made a call to the IRS to see if our first time home buyers tax credit paperwork had been received. I was told that while it was received, it will most likely be until February or March that we see a check. For those of you wanting to amend your 2008 taxes thinking you will get the check faster, don't do it. If we would have just claimed the house purchase on our 2009 taxes, I'm sure we would have had the money faster.
And now, I'm just waiting for my husband to get home from work so we can catch up on the day, eat dinner and snuggle on the couch. Tomorrow is another day and I already have a to do list!

Walk it out!

Since I have all week off of work, I am determined to jump start my physical activity again. Since we don't have a gym membership and I can't find my 30 Day Shred dvd, I am going to go take a 4 mile walk. Yes, 4 miles. After not exercising at all for the past 2-3 months, which is just horrible.
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reality Show Recap

Warning! There are spoilers ahead so if you have not watched these shows, save this post until later! The Biggest Loser: I'm glad Rebecca is gone. I hated her stupid jumping-clappy happy dance she did whenever she got good news. It annoyed me. But she does look incredible! Although I question her choice in boyfriends now that she has a smokin' body. Daniel, really? can do better. Top Chef: I'm pretty happy with the Top Four even though it was pretty predictable. Michael turned up the dial on his cockiness this week. "I make that food on my day off." Congrats, D-bag. Good for you. I had a feeling Eli would be eliminated. While he is a good chef, he was clearly at the bottom of a very talented group. I hope Jen can step up her game in the finale because I would love for her to do well but I think it will be the Brothers and Kevin, which I would be ok with. They have been consisently strong throughout the show and Kevin has such a different style so it will balance things out. Project Runway: Alright, so I'm dressed in Levi's jeans from Kohls, a shirt from Old Navy, a black jacket from Wal-mart and shoes from Payless so I might not be the authority on fashion but I did not like Irina's collection. I hated all the black and it just seemed like a bunch of leggings, boots and sweaters. Boring. Althea's didn't impress me either. Carol Hannah had great designs, wonderful colors and overall, had the most "wearable" pieces but she was still 3rd place. I wasn't surprised that Irina won because she had been doing very well the past 4-5 weeks. She either won or was in the top so it was very obvious that they would crown her once Carol Hannah left the runway. I read online that Season 7 is coming back in January and that makes me very happy. I LOVE Project Runway and I'm so happy that I won't have to wait long to watch another season! Survivor: Hey Galu! When you go into the merge with double the number of tribe members as the other tribe, don't be stupid and vote one of your own off. This is Survivor 101. Actually, in Survivor history, this happens more often than not. People get cocky and think they can just vote one person off and not have it swing the momentum of the entire game but it does! Galu has watched 3 of their tribemembers walk down the path to Ponderosa while Foa Foa sits and smiles. I love blindsides. LOVE. Last night was even more awesome than last weeks vote. Now Galu has their back against the wall and I can't wait to see what happens! Edited to add: I care 0% that Orpah is ending her show. She is worshipped way too much in my opinion. Ok so I have officially shown you that I am a tv addict! Until next week, Michelle Out!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cement Floors Are In, right?

We just got word that four of the windows in our house need to be taken out so that the flashing around the windows can be replaced. Which means that we won't be able to install our wood floors until the windows are fixed. So we will continue to have lovely cement floors until we get word that laying down the wood flooring is safe. Our furniture should be arriving in the next week. Our beautiful new furniture will sit atop ugly cement floors for the time being. I hope all of this is fixed and we can lay down our floors before Christmas Eve since I am very excited to host at our house but I'm not sure I want to host if we have to stare at those ugly cement floors on an otherwise lovely day. Oh and there is a problem with the felt padding in the roof that needs to be fixed too. Thanks, Roof Inspector, for finding that problem 2 months ago! You rock SUCK.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Random Pictures

I've been blog silent for almost a week so I thought I would resurface with two pictures.
This will be in my 90" kitchen nook tomorrow evening. I can't wait to stare at it.
I love Christina's new haircut. How can I get this haircut and keep the ends of my hair so straight? My hair tends to flip and I don't want to spend an hour straightening it in the morning.
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Clench and Grind

I just got back from the dentist to find out that my gums aren't doing so hot. In fact, I was told they seemed to be getting worse since my last appointment in May. I was asked if I clenched my jaw or grinded my teeth which I didn't have the answer to right away but upon further thought, I realized that I do wake up sometimes with a very stiff jaw. In order to not do massive damage to my teeth and gums, it was recommended that I wear one of these at night.... I get to go back next week to get impressions taken AND get the hole in my #19 tooth filled. What a fun couple of Tuesdays!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Filling the Family Room

After unsuccessfully searching for a sectional to go in our family room, we decided on a lovely sofa and loveseat combo.
This is our family room.... house 087 The sofa will go on the back wall, the light tan wall...

And the loveseat will go on the dark brown wall...

We really love the colors of the set and the fact that it can sit 5 people. Together with our pub table that can sit 4 people, there is plenty of seating space when we have people over for fight night!
The next time you see this furniture, hopefully it will be on top of very pretty hardwood floors.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Homeowner

Weekends aren't what they used to be.... After going to bed at 1:00 a.m. to watch SNL, I woke up at 9:00 so we could drive 30 minutes to Ashley Furniture to confirm the color of the sofa and loveseat that we want to go in our living room. We were there for 15 minutes before getting back in the car to go home. On the way, we stopped to get gas for the lawnmower since our backyard was quickly becoming a tower of green grass. I started painting the upstairs guest bathroom and didn't stop until I ran out of the paint. While washing the brushes and rollers in the kitchen sink, I watched my husband mow the lawn in the backyard. Then he stopped as there were some technical difficulties with the mower. User error. Once that was fixed, the mowing started again. Chris left to drive back up to our apartment (we spent two hours cleaning yesterday) so he could get our old couch to give back to its rightful owner, my mom. I enjoyed some down time while watching last weeks episode of Gossip Girl on the "computer" aka 45" inch screen. Our friends Mayra and Sean came by to check out the house and I heard all about her 11th year class reunion the night before. After they left, I put on my shoes and went to Ace Hardware to grab a plunger (master bath toilet had been clogged all week, too lazy/forgetful to get a plunger during the week), a rake and some grout cleaner. Oh and I grabbed a Cherry Coke. Got home and started raking the leaves and the loose grass in the backyard. The lawnmower didn't have a bag attached for some reason so we have lots and lots of loose grass. Finally, it was 5:30 p.m. and I decided to sit down, blog, watch the news and consider making pasta for dinner while admiring the flowers that I cut from our backyard. Relaxing weekends are a thing of the past. I'm already planning on finishing up the paint job in both bathrooms next weekend as well as hopefully setting up our furniture and picking out area rugs for the family room and living room. I can't believe next weekend will be Mid-November already! Where has time gone?

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Major Award

I blogged way back in March about my mom being honored with the title of Administrator of the Year for the entire state of California. Tonight is the awards banquet where she will receive her award! She was so kind and purchased the tickets for our family to attend as well as several of her coworkers. I am really looking forward to being there to support my amazing mother and getting to hang out with my family as well. I will have my camera on hand and hope to take some fabulous pictures of the evening. My mom works so hard and I think she deserves to win this award every single year. Congrats, Mom! You are a wonderful mom and an amazing principal. I am very proud of you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

House Tour: Kitchen

Welcome to the first house tour! Today, I will be showing off our kitchen because it is the only room in the house that is set up!
This is what the kitchen looked like Saturday night after we were done moving everything into the house....
And here it is now....
My friend Kim came over tonight so I cleared out all of the boxes (thank goodness for closets!) even though we have yet to unpack a lot of them. We ordered furniture for our living room as well as the pub table and buffet for the kitchen! As of now, we still have cement floors because we are waiting to get the window leaking situation fixed before we install our hardwood floors. Stay tuned!

My New Mantra

"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Big Gulp

No, I'm not talking about the large soda at 7-11. I'm talking about what I did when I saw the picture below in an email from my husband..... That, my friends, is the wall above our front door. The home builders are there today trying to discover the source of the water leakage. Thank goodness they are going to patch this back up and paint it for us but that only makes me feel a little bit better. Why?
And according to my brother-in-law, who is there to let them in and out of the house, this isn't the only hole.