Saturday, April 28, 2012

I am here

Pier 39 San Francisco. On my way to Alcatraz at 10:30!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baked Chicken Taquitos

I love chicken. I love making it and I love eating it. When I tell my husband that I'm going to make dinner, he often says "chicken?" Yes. The answer is almost always yes, chicken. I've tried to expand what I can do with chicken but I was running out of ideas. I had some that needed to be cooked on Monday so I threw it in the crockpot with salsa and went to the gym. While there, I thought about what I could make that would be different and new to us.

Baked Chicken Taquitos! I realized how easy this would be to make but I looked around the internet for confirmation and set out to make them Tuesday night. I left the chicken in the crockpot for about 4 hours so it shredded up nicely.


 When I was ready to make the taquitos, I gathered all of the ingredients. I like to keep it simple and the chicken was already pretty filled with flavor from the salsa so I didn't do much to it. I added some enchilada sauce and a spoonful of this garlic spread that is meant for bread that I found at Safeway. Also, cheese. Don't forget the cheese.


All mixed up and ready to roll...literally!

I put the chicken mixture on the tortilla and rolled it up. I keep my tortillas in the fridge so they don't spoil so I did have to microwave them for a few seconds so they didn't break while rolling.

Also, these are kind of large. I used soft taco sized tortillas but I would suggest using smaller tortillas for more of a taquito look. I put foil on a cookie sheet and sprayed with cooking spray. The recipe I saw mentioned putting kosher salt on the top so I did that and sprayed with a bit of cooking spray as well.

Put into a 425 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes for maximum crunchiness.

Serve with sour cream and salsa and don't forget to take a picture of it and post it on Instagram. 
Very important.

My husband got home later than I did so he reheated them and proclaimed "These are the best things you have ever made" which made me both happy and sad because I rolled chicken into a tortilla and baked them. I'm no chef. Not even a cook. Simple dinners are for me so I'm making them again tonight.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Whatevers

-I have the location of my Saturday getaway all set. I just need to buy a ticket to my destination. It is a place that I have seen from a distance (and close up) for many, many years but have never visited. It is a shame really since I have a bit of a strange obsession with similar places. I can't wait to go!

-I got up this morning to go for a run. I didn't work out yesterday because my left leg was bothering me. Turns out if I don't spend 15 minutes stretching after a workout, I ache all over the next day. Oh did I say the next day? I meant the next minute. I got home from my run (run/walk but more running than walking) and instantly felt the pain shooting through my legs and hips. I'm only 32 years old!! How can this be happening?

-I'm 17 days into my 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge. I confess that I ate two cupcakes last Saturday and a root beer float and a small piece of chocolate cake on Sunday. I felt heavy and gross. I'm still candy free though which is a HUGE accomplishment. I'd like to see how long I can do this. Perhaps all the way until we go to Hawaii in June? Maybe I can just limit myself to those treats on weekends. I have a serious binge problem.

-I am so busy at work. Wednesdays are the worst days because I have only 1 hour and 10 minutes at my desk before leaving for the rest of the day. I only have 1 more Wednesday like this and I am STOKED. I need to get out of the fast lane before I punch a panda.*

-If you have HBO, I highly recommend watching the new show "Girls." It is awesome. Like a Sex and the City with younger leads (they play women in their early 20's). It is raunchier and funnier than SATC. I watched the second episode twice last night and found it just as funny the second time around. My husband watched it with me (ok, I forced him to watch it) and he also found it funny. Like the lead said at the end of the episode in response to a doctor telling her that she couldn't be paid enough to be 24 again..."well, I'm not being paid at all." Amen. Aside from the exercise soreness, being in my early 30's is awesome.


-It is warm and rainy outside. I don't know if I made the right outfit choice today. Skinny jeans, boots, short sleeved blouse and a light jacket. If my feet get hot, I'm screwed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday trumps Saturday

As much as I went on and on about how awesome Saturday was, I was wrong. Sunday won the weekend.

We had my family over for dinner. The electricity went out. We hung out in the backyard and played "baseball" with Diana while Amy rode a scooter around. We laughed. We howled in fact. Chris and Matt (my sisters husband) acted like future Hall of Famers by throwing the ball back and forth as if they were actually tagging out a baserunner at home plate. I took pictures. My dad, when he heard an owl "hoooing", asked if it was me making that noise. Funny guy.

It was pretty damn awesome. So sorry Saturday. You were great but nothing beats time with family.

My mom and my dad. I love my parents. They are the best.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pacifica and Half Moon Bay

True story: I almost cried twice while enjoying my escape from my normal life. Tears of joy nearly fell down my face.

It was just me, surfers and a few Earth Day volunteers on Pacifica State Beach at 9:00 a.m. Oh, and the fog. Lots of fog but not enough to put a damper on the start of my day.


At 9:30, it was time to hit the road. I drove about 8 minutes before seeing major eye candy down below. I've seen beaches in Maui, Kona, Honolulu, Italy, Southern California among others. But this beach....this beach was breathtaking. It is Montara State Beach. There are a few Montara State Beaches but this is the first one when going South on 1. The parking lot is on the left. I walked down about 100 steps after admiring the views from above, kicked off my shoes, grabbed my camera and walked close to the water. The cold splash of ocean water on my feet made me jump. I felt alive and happy. I was captivated by the view.







I walked back up the stairs (huffing and puffing fo' real), got back in the car and drove to The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. The fog was still pretty low so my pictures aren't as clear as I would have liked but this hotel is gorgeous. There is a free parking lot for coastal access but the first thing I did was use the bathroom because I had to pee real bad. You're welcome.


Yes, I took pictures of the bathroom. They were real nice.

No paper towels here. 

On a day where I planned to sit on multiple beaches, I wore a dress. My goal was to look nice (mainly for The Ritz) but be warm. If it got too hot (never did for me) I could remove my leggings and be happy in my dress. I also changed my shoes at one point. I'm so fancy. I've almost got a case of boob necklace here. 
Cardigan, necklace and dress: Forever 21
Leggings: Old Navy
Shoes and purse: Target

Once I finally left the bathroom, I walked onto the trail towards the beach. The hotel/resort area is pretty small but gorgeous.







I was getting hungry and had a place back towards Pacifica picked out for lunch so I left the hotel. On my way out, I passed by the Valet Parking lot and saw several Ferrari's. My husband is in love with Ferrari so I whipped out my camera and snapped some photos for him. In hindsight, I should have walked over and asked if I could get my picture taken with one of them. Wife of the Year!

I drove through Main St. Half Moon Bay (cute) and onto my destination for lunch, Miramar Beach Restaurant. This is right on the water. Amazing views and the food was good too. Turning left to get back on Northbound 1 would have taken FOR-EV-ER if I wouldn't have caught a lucky break but I recommend this restaurant. Very nice.


I made one last stop in Pacifica at Pacificakes for two cupcakes. I know, I broke my 21 Day No Junk Food thingy. I paid for it too. I felt so heavy! Good cupcakes though!! Go there.

I didn't mean for this to be so wordy. Basically, it was an awesome, incredible, perfect day. I want to do it again tomorrow and the next day. Taking a day just for me, by myself was just what I needed. I'm already planning on escaping again next Saturday! Where? Who knows!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Embracing What I Have

As I approach turning :gulp: 33 this summer, I've had a feeling of acceptance wash over me. Accepting where I am in life, accepting who I am and my role as a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, etc.

For women, I think it can be hardest to accept our bodies. That is something I see many females struggling with and for good reason. The pesky media pushing the ideal image on us and the constant weight loss pressure that I fully admit to feeding into over and over again.

I look at a picture of myself from the wrong angle and think "UGH I hate my nose/profile." I look down and see my stomach protruding out and think how I should try harder to get rid of it. I feel my thighs touch. My hips are wider than I'd like them to be. My calves are muscular and kind of manish. And don't even get me started on my thighs and butt.

These are things that make me who I am. I have the build of my mother and father and their mother and father. I'm not wispy and never will be. I'm trying harder to get the figure I am comfortable with but it is a slow process. And that nose? My nose isn't going anywhere. I'm not going to get surgery because it would change my entire face. The face that is my mom and dad combined, the face that makes people think me and my older sister are twins. The face that my husband fell in love with. I just need to accept me for me. I am who I am for better or worse.

The sooner we can look in the mirror and have our first thought be "Wow, I look awesome despite any "flaws" that society may think I have" is when women get powerful! How many men spend time picking apart their physical imperfections? Let's spend less time focusing on what makes us weak, inferior, imperfect and more time thinking about what makes us strong, superior and special.

Because we should all love who we are as individuals no matter what our noses look like.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Day Trip

The weather is finally warming up here in Northern California! I've heard it is hot in other parts of the country already but we had a late winter storm season so I'm happy to break out the flip flops and dresses and enjoy the feeling of the sun on my face.

I've been wanting to plan a day trip for a while now and since my husband is working this Saturday, I think this is the perfect excuse to drive away to see a beautiful place.

My requirements are:
1. The ocean must be visible
2. Under 2.5 hours
3. Someplace I have never been (at least in my memory)
4. Drive through new places to get there
5. Ability to break my 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge! I know, I know. I'm weak but I'm using this as a mini-vacay and I do plan on extending this 21 Day Challenge at least 4 weeks so indulging in a cupcake or ice cream during my getaway gets the stamp of approval from me. Go ahead....call me a cheater or a failure.

I already have the place in mind and will report back with details on Sunday. Here is a photo of my location. Jealous? I LOVE California.


Half Moon Bay Photos
This photo is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pink

If someone would have bet me $100 that I would someday have pink streaks throughout my hair, they would have been $100 richer.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

21 Days

I did this 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge back in October and after eating my body weight in Easter candy, I decided to give it another go.

Before you look at this and scream "Impossible!!!!!" consider the source. I eat a candy bar a day. That's the truth. The ugly truth but you can see why I'm doing this. A candy bar a day is a gross habit especially when you want to lose weight.

My goal is to retrain my brain and get myself used to saying NO. So far so good. I've lost 2 pounds since weighing myself last Wednesday. My dessert at night is popcorn and I do have a soda every couple of days to get something sweet in my body. It hasn't been as challenging as I thought it would be....but I'm only 6 days in!

*I made one exception to the list: peanut butter. I still eat that on my toast in the morning.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Crazy Cat Lady: Take 1,239






Everyday, I am more in love with her sweet kitty face. Even if she does wake me up at 4 in the morning. :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pink Hair, If I Dare

photo credit: here and here
Thoughts? I've got a fever and the only prescription is more pink hair. 

The photo on the left to show what it would look like with my dark hair and the photo on the right to show that I would want the streaks from crown to tip. Probably not as thick as her highlights though. I saw a girl at the Ferry Building last weekend that had exactly what I wanted and I was super tempted to ask if I could take a picture of her hair but she didn't seem approachable. 

Am I crazy? What is going on with me? I'm so vanilla and now I'm going straight up PINK!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A toe in the water before jumping back in

For a while, a lot of my posts on this blog were focused on my infertility issues. After 4 failed medicated IUI's last year, we took a break. I don't think I really intended the break to be this long but it was much needed. We went on vacation, we recovered emotionally from the disappointment and before we knew it, summer was over, my busy work schedule started and here it is April of 2012 already.

I'll be 33 years old this year. It doesn't really seem possible. I feel younger with the mind of someone older and wiser. 33 isn't old at all but it sounds older. It sounds more mature. It sounds like an age where I should have more. It is also getting close to that medical term "AMA" which is Advanced Maternal Age. In the Infertility world, being 35 and older changes some things and while I am still two years and four months away from 35, we've been trying to get pregnant for 3 years. In those terms, 35 doesn't seem so far away.

This site tells me that IVF for someone under the age of 34 costs: $12,250- $14,690 depending on certain "extras" you can chose. For the over 35 crowd the cost goes up to $13,910-$16,690.

But we aren't quite there yet. We hadn't had a conversation about what our next step was. Life was moving along nicely and there was something terrifying about this subject after our 4 failed cycles. A few nights ago I summoned the courage to say those magic words "what are we going to do about this baby thing?" Classy, right? We decided to give it another go this summer after we get back from Hawaii.

Having already done 4 IUI's, I'm not sure how many we have left. There is some point that spending money on something that doesn't work is a kind of a "waste" and that money could be used to go towards IVF. Our 4 IUI's have cost about $2150 and if we do two more with more expensive medication, that is about another $1500. Still way below what IVF costs but less effective.

It hasn't really sunk in yet that we'll be back in that world. The world where I walked up three flights of stairs to the doctors office, lay on a table and have what is normally an intimate moment between a man and a woman become nothing more than a 7 minute procedure with a doctor. What should be 2 weeks of hope and joy and possibility has been turned into stress and despair and disappointment based on the past. And while everyone says "Think positive! Attitude is everything!" past failures make that the most difficult thing I have ever done.

So we forge ahead and hope for the best because that is all we can do. These are the cards we were dealt. It is time to jump back in and play.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Third time's a charm?

Two years in a row, I have attended the local fair where my photographs have been displayed for judging. I put my work out there to be judged and viewed by the masses. And two years in a row, I have walked away with nothing. The competition was stiff. There was some great photos entered into the fair. Some. I still contend that a terrible picture of a couple at a wedding, just standing there smiling was less than stellar and didn't deserve even a pink ribbon.

Once again, I am putting my photographs into the hands of these judges (who are they, by the way? I'd like to know) and keeping my fingers crossed that when I attend the fair and walk through the photography exhibit, I see a ribbon on one of my 5 pictures.

Here they are:

IMG_1655

IMG_7181

IMG_2944

IMG_2736

I can't find the 5th picture on my home computer so it must be on my flash drive. I know these pictures aren't spectacular but I especially love the photo of the Lincoln Memorial. It is fun to have pictures that I have taken on display for people to see and even if I don't win a ribbon, it is fun just to be nominated. Or not. Whatever.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Uncle


When we met in July of 2004, he was just Chris. A son and a brother. A loyal friend. Hilarious. He was a guy that a mutual friend wanted me to meet because he knew we would hit it off. And we did. Obviously.

A few months later, my sister told me she was pregnant with her first child. Diana was born June 2005. Chris was my boyfriend and while he thought it was cool that my sister was having a kid and I was first time Aunt, it had little impact on him.

In June 2008 when we got married, he was official (as if he was going anywhere prior to that). Uncle Chris. He didn't know it would happen. He just was dating a girl who had a sister who had a kid. 

He didn't know that he would be an Uncle. Two times an Uncle. I heard him refer to Diana as "his niece" a while back and it made me teary eyed. It might not have been the first time he said that but it was the first time I heard it. And my heart was happy.

If you know me, you know that I love my nieces. They are my light in the dark. I am blessed to be their Aunt and it is a role that I take very seriously. And Chris is quite the Uncle. He teases them and flips them and brings out a laugh from the depths of their bellies that no one else can summon. He knows their past and he will know their future. He tries to act like it isn't a big deal to be Uncle Chris but I know he loves it. I love him as Uncle Chris.

He didn't know he would gain two nieces when he knocked on the front door to pick me up for our first date on July 31, 2004. I didn't know I would be going out with my future nieces future Uncle. 

He is an amazing husband.
He is an awesome person.
And as an Uncle. Well, he just can't be beat.

Look at that face.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nothing Sweeter

“I sustain myself with the love of family.”
― Maya Angelou



“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu


The simple act of large hands wrapped around small hands can bring any person to their knees. Life doesn't get better than this.



"A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double."
- Toni Morrison



 A Perfect Day.