Saturday, July 31, 2010

Complete 180

Ever since I was a kid, I looooved shopping for cars. My parents seemed to purchase a new one every 3 years or so, and I just thought it was neat to test drive all the newest models. There was a time I reallllly wanted them to get a mini-van (those sliding doors were soooo cool!), but they never gave into my dream of being a mini-van kid. Instead, mom drove an SUV, which was still cool, but it didn't have those sliding doors or a 3rd row seat ,sigh.

My first few cars were trucks. Hand me downs ( if you could call a 5 year old truck with 3,000 miles on it a hand-me-down) from my grandpa. He loved the ol Ford ranger trucks, and both my sis and I inherited a few of them over the years. Grandpa has given me 3 Ford Rangers in my lifetime. All white. He liked white, and he liked Ford.

When I finally reached what I thought to be grown-up status, you know, college graduate, married..that whole bit, I wanted a NEW car. I wanted a Brie more trucks. I really liked the Audi A4's at the time, but they were out of my price range. My husband at the time had a 96 Jetta which I thought was pretty nice, so I went out looking at the new Jetta's one day and lo and behold, I was driving a brand-spankin new one a few days later. Then it broke. Like, shut down, dead stop in the middle of the street shut down. Baby had to be towed with only 200 miles on her. The concensus? The transmission went out. Yes, with 200 miles on it. The reason they gave me? I drove it TOO HARD. WTF?!

After a couple week long battle, and no new transmission, I got a NEW NEW Jetta. I did not want the 1st one back. No way, uh-uh. If it could break with 200 miles on it, then it was a lemon in my eyes. I guess VW finally agreed and replaced my baby.

That first meeting with VW soured me to my little Jetta for quite some time. Add to it being responsible for the car payments after he left me a few months later and being on my own for the first time in my entire life, I hated the car.. It was everything I wanted to leave behind inthe past, but I couldn't. I had to be responsible, find a job, a home and make those payments..And I did it..I was freaked out that my NEW NEW one would be a lemon too, and break down on me, but she didn't. She's been dependable as all get out, aside from some minor details which I think just come with age ( knock on wood). I've sworn all along that I hate VW and never wanted another, but I have recently come around 180 and realized my little Jetta has been great! I have owned this car longer than any other car, ever. It's still zippy and cute..and she has been a trusty companion.

The conversation of a new car has come up recently. It's about time my wheels get upgraded. The question is, what do I want? With no kids in the picture, I can still get away with a sedan..but if we plan ahead to the future with hopes of kids in mind, I tend to lean towards an SUV with a 3rd row seat.

Decisions, decisions. I'm stuck between the GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse or Tahoe, and now a sportwagen, VW made....You're probably thinking station wagon???Really? But the VW Jetta and Passat sportwagens look awesome in black with black tinted windows and powdercoated black or dark grey wheels. I saw one yesterday and thought to myself, I'd roll those wheels. Even more appealing, they have a TDI version which Nick says diesels typically last longer & get better mileage per gallon. I'm Sold!
So, this girl did a complete 180 and decided that Volkswagen has been good to me, and I might just be a repeat customer.

Lookin forward to some test drives soon.

Mini-Memory Game

I recently gave new life to our bathroom vanity drawers with the help of pretty wrapping paper from Border's (purchased for $1.99 a sheet with a gift card, yay!). I cut out the paper to fit the drawers, but needed ModPodge to seal it. It only took a few weeks for me to get to Michael's crafts to buy some, but before I did, I wanted to research what type of Mod Podge to use. A quick google search for Mod Podge and I ran across this website, Mod Podge Rocks. What an awesome website with soooo many ideas..I found a link to a minature memory game made by Dandee designs, and decided that it would be the perfect stocking stuffer for a few little ones in our lives. Not to mention, I'd have another reason to buy Mod Podge other than to seal our drawers.
Supplies for the mini-memory game:
ModPodge Gloss Finish
sponge brush
6 colors of solid color scrapbooking paper ( I used scraps)
patterned scrapbook paper ( again, I used scraps)
1.5" diameter wooden discs ( 12 needed per game)
1" circle punch

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Toxic Weeding

I'm a quiet person. I keep to myself.

This may sometimes be misread as me being uninterested in friendship, or even worse, bitchy or stuck up, but I promise, I am neither. Just quiet.

I've had this knack for attracting friends who are outspoken, whether their speak be fact or fiction. I thought for a while these people "balanced" me out, but in reality I was wrong. People who spoke for me or tried to tell me they knew better, were toxic to my life.

Since cutting ties with a few people in my life I have heard everything from "her husband made her do it", to " She's just jealous I have X and she does not".

These statements are so far from the truth..The reality of it is, I finally grew some cahones and decided what I need out of a friendship, and the people who didn't fit the bill were weeded out.

A true friend doesn't make you feel bad about yourself, or criticize every decision you make. They may speak up once in awhile, but they certainly don't bring you down. They don't have to insist what a good friend they are, and all the things they have done for you like it's a game we're keeping score at.

I just came to the realization one day that it was MY choice who to associate with, and no one else's...if someone is constantly dragging me down with negativity, I don't have to associate with them. I am how I am, they are how they are, and unfortunately, I am not willing to put forth effort to maintain a toxic relationship.

What irks me to no end, is how some people thrive on gossip, and hearsay, and rumors, and it's just not my style. I've kept to myself and weathered out some rumors and some gossip, and I am sure some people are wondering WTF happened, but it's nothing big really....I just decided that I need positive people in my life who don't constantly question every single move I make in this thing called life and the pursuit of happiness with my family. If I lose friends over decisions I make, and gossip about those decisions, then I guess they weren't really friends for the long haul anyway.

My garden now grows pretty again.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cherry affair

I have a love of cherries. My love even got me as far as a pottery barn duvet with a cherry print during my single days. How did I fall in love with them?


688 Bianco.

That was my address during Senior year of college.

There were FIVE of us girls living there together. Love them all to this very day.

We had a big house. We had huge closets. We had a washer/dryer. We had an outside fridge. We had a big screen TV ( thanks to the AGR fraternity boys who needed to "store" it somewhere). We had comfy couches and a wonderful location, just a mile from the Grad,which is where we frequently got our boogie on.

We had cherries.

The cherry tree out back was our favorite thing.
Sara & brie "cherry picking from the roof"1999
We'd climb the tree, climb the roof, shake it, swirl it...whatever we could do to get cherries. We pitted them till our hands were dyed purple, if people didn't know better they may think we had some weird disease. We ate them. Lots of them. So many in fact, we made ourselves sick a time or two.

When we moved out, I missed that tree.

Fast forward about 5 years, and I met NZ. One day we're in the backyard and what do I see?
TWO cherry trees. In his yard. It was love at first sight. I climed that tree, picked, pitted and dyed my hands again. Even if the boyfriend decided not to keep me, I thought I might just have to sneak into his yard when he is gone to swipe some cherries! Thankfully, he kept me, and I moved in, so I was no longer stealing cherries. They were MINE again.

Then we moved. Cherry trees don't grow well in Southern CA.

Now days, I get my cherries at VONS, in a cute little clamshell container, which says that they were grown in Washington. Is it too much to ask for my old Davis cherries? $4 a container, and it's hit or miss whether they are any good or not.

I sure do miss homegrown cherries.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Daisy Love

Please keep the Merrick family in your thoughts as their 5 year old daughter faces a recurring Wilms tumor. If the last name sounds familar to Southern Californians, it's because the Merrick family is deeply rooted in the surf culture. Britt runs REALITY church, and his father Al is a world famous surfboard shaper based out of Santa Barbara. I know they have faith, and people praying for them, but a dose of good fortune could sure do a lot for them.

Beware, the video will get tears going, so have a box of tissues ready. Daisy Love is a brave little lady and I hope that she beats the odds. She has way too much life to live ahead of her.

The family has a website called Pray for Daisy and are currently looking for specialists in treatment of Wilms tumors. If anyone has direct contact with a specialist in this type of cancer, please email the family through their website.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DIY blog header

Thanks to Retromummy for posting a link to a DIY blog header tutorial courtesy of a Foothill Home Companion. With just a half hour of editing and selecting photos, I have a brand new header I made myself. With the weather so unbearable today, I am staying in and doing project after project..

To quote a friend, "it's Africa hot" here today. We went from 70's last week to 100 degrees with humidity. Before all of you non-Californians jump down my throat and tell me that I "don't know hot", oh believe me, I do..and in the past, when we lived in the Valley of Northern California, I was no stranger to it being 110 degrees out at 5 pm...but, we moved to Southern California to escape the heat, and live in our idea of paradise. If we wanted stifling hot weather, we'd live in the midwest where we could afford a hell of a lot bigger house, but then we'd have to deal with the climate changes..and neither of us are a fan of anything other than sunny skies and 70's. Call me spoiled, I'll agree.

So, I'm housebound with projects as my hubby slaves away on a new gate ( see previous post). I've got a great sewing project to start, and will post it if it is a success. It requires a zipper, and I hate zippers, so we'll see where it takes me. Success or garbage bin? Hopefully success. Here's a link to where my inspiration for today's project came from (among many other projects). The blog is called Prudent baby.. There are so many awesome ideas and tutorials.Check it out.

Post by post

Earlier this year our fence fell down between our house and the neighbors..NZ removed all 100+ feet of it so he could "do it right" and make one that can weather 40MPH winds. The previous owner of our home thought he was a handy-man, but he was sadly mistaken...and he built a fence with no ground to stand on. Literally. Thanks to NZ and our neighbor ( not the one who lives on the other side fo the fence) this was a 3 day project, and even I stepped it up and helped set the metal posts and pour concrete with NZ one day. Which means, I fulfilled my outdoor duties in the dirt for a good year now. If you've been following my blog over the past year and a half, you know, I am not a fan of dirt.

This weekend he's building a gate, which we didn't have before, so then when we pour concrete for the patio out back, we will also pour down the sideyard all the way to the street so we can utilize some extra driveway space and move our trash cans out to the sideyard instead of the garage.

It's really coming along, and becoming our idea of what our home should be...I feel lucky that I married a man that knows how to do "man things" and does them well. He's no stranger to a hammer and nails and can fix just about anything..It doesn't hurt that he's a real good looker to boot.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

here's your sign

I love it.
It singlehandedly explains without words what I feel like these days.
As Foxworthy says,
"Here's your sign"..
What's most important is that it doesn't say "Dead End" or "Wrong Way"...but simply, "Detour"..even if it is a wild goose chase.
See, I can be positive.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Give a man a fish..

..and if it's NZ, he'll make Ceviche!
Nick and his pop played hooky from work one day last week and went fishing off the coast of Santa Barbara. One of the benefits of living where we do is definitely the proximity to the ocean, and the freshest fish, ever.

They brought home a bag of fish, and instead of doing fish & chips, NZ opted to make a super healthy (all raw ingredients) Ceviche, and it was to die for. Marinated in citrus juice, the juice "cooks" the fish..It's a wonderful appetizer, or if you're like us, throw in a bag of tortilla chips ( or homemade chips, will post those later) and make it a meal!

Nick's Ceviche
3-4 c. raw white ocean fish. Cut into small pieces, about the size of a dice.
2 c. chopped tomatoes ( same size as the fish)
1/2 c. diced white onion. Keep the pieces the size of an eraser head or smaller.
3 garlic cloves cut into small pieces. You want these to give flavor but not have big pieces in any one bite.
2 medium jalapenos. Same size pieces as the onion.
1/4 bushel of cilantro, finely chopped.
8-10 Lemons & limes
Add everything to a mixing bowl. Add citrus juice until it coats everything in the bowl. You don't want to have the ingredients swimming in the juice, but you also don't want them to be dry. Nick uses lemon and lime in his. 4 limes to every one lemon seems to be a good mix.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

365 days ago

365 days ago, one of my childhood friends relived the nightmare that I had gone through just a month and a half earlier. We reconnected through facebook, and she has been one of the people that I know will forever "get me" and the crazy thoughts that go through one's head after the loss of their baby.

Today I received a photo of the flower she was planting in memory of her daughter, and after a little playing on my Picnik photo editing site , this is what I came up with.

Little Esmay, I sure wish I would have gotten to meet you. If you were anything like your mother, you have a heart of gold and a contagious smile. Please be good up there, and I sure hope you and Denise are up there having fun together.

To the Sanchez family, I can not thank you enough for the continued support & love. Although I wish this never happened to either one of us, I am thankful that we have been able to be there for each other in a world which keeps on moving forward even when we feel like we're not.

Happy 1st Birthday Esmay!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Guilty Pleasure

Love love love this show. NZ ordered the complete first season for us, and we have been watching an episode or two per night. It's based on a Madison Ave Advertising agency in the early 60's..where men ran the show, and women were, well...there to serve the men. Times have definitely changed since then, but I find the show riveting ( yes, I said riveting)..Has anyone else seen it?

I wish more of our friends were into it, I could totally see a "Mad Men" themed party with men drinking scotch and women looking divine in their Jackie O. style dresses...

So, who watches? What do you think of the show? Love it or hate it?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Uhm, no.

After my workout this morning, I decided to poke around at Ross for some super cheap sports bras (They occasionally carry the Champion brand like Target does, but for $7.99 each instead of $16!). I scored a sports bra, and a few wife beater tanks for dirt cheap...and since I was on a roll, I walked through the housewares section and looked to see if they had anything I just couldn't live without.

A bit later, I wind up in shoes, and in order to try them on, I must put down my handful of items. It was at that moment that I realized I was about to buy something for my dead baby. Holy Crap, Batman..WTF?! I don't even remember picking it up, but I had a cute little coat rack shaped like flipflops for a girls' room (see photo above).

The coat rack is totally something I would have purchased had I seen it before Denise was born last year. I had her room "surfer chic" style, and still plan on any future daughter's using the same theme...However, I decided that it probably be best that I leave the baby shopping to a time when I am actually expecting a baby..

So, I thought to myself for a minute..Do I really want to buy this with no baby in sight?

Uhm, no.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Watch out, Hasselbeck

I was joking with my husband that this photo of me from my brother-in-law's wedding looks like I am a news anchor-woman or talk show host. Elisabeth Hasselbeck better behave herself on the View or I might be taking her spot. Scary thing is, I might just be more conservative than she is, and that's hard to do! Maybe Meridith Viera is ready to retire from "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" I'd fill that spot if someone threw the opportunity my way.

What do you think? Anchorwoman? My signature sign off could be ala Ron Burgandy..."Stay Classy, San Diego."