Thursday, November 30, 2006

thinking about Christmas shopping....

You know, last year we were SO organized with the shopping. I guess it was because we were in the midst of the wedding hoopla, and that was pretty damn micromanaged with its multiple spreadsheets and checklists. So Christmas got thrown right in the mix.

But of course, I can't find the damn file of last year's gift list. This is amazing to me, because I keep EVERYTHING. I think I even backed up all of the wedding spreadsheets and files on CD and threw it into the wedding memorabilia box. Shut up - yes, we have a WEDDING BOX. Ha!

The kid has a specific list, so that'll be really simple:

* a video iPod
*
Vans shoes
* anything from
Hollister
* clothes and shoes from
Sidecca

I'm thinking, if we've got anyone else on the list, I'm going
Martha Stewart on their asses. I hope folks will like the homemade cookies and candy I'll be experimenting on them with. And I hope it doesn't all land in the trash. I'm a good cook, I swear!

Need a great gift list template? Click here. It's the one we used last year!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

yummy, yummy dinner.

I really love to cook. I hate to clean, but cooking is damn fun. I'd love to find somewhere to take some cooking lessons (aside from Sur Le Table , Williams Sonoma, Dream Dinners, or a full-on culinary school), but so far I haven't made that jump yet.

However, I discovered Rachael Ray's magazine....as annoying as I find her, I've got to admit that she has some really cool recipes. Tonight's dinner was a little slice of Hawaii on a plate, and here's the recipe:
"Huli Huli" Chicken

FOUR SERVINGS

Prep Time: 15 min (plus resting)

Cook Time: 40 min


One 4-pound chicken, cut in half
Salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled
One 1 1/2-inch piece ginger, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons frozen pineapple juice concentrate


1. Loosen the skin of the chicken breast and season underneath it with salt. Season the exterior of the chicken with more salt. Let the chicken rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Line a broiler pan with foil and preheat the broiler.


2. Using a food processor, pulse the garlic and ginger until finely chopped. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, broth, rice-wine vinegar and pineapple juice concentrate and process until well combined. Strain the marinade into a bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Discard the pulp.


3. Blot the excess salt and moisture from the chicken and place the halves skin side down on the broiler pan. Broil, turning the chicken with tongs every 5 minutes for the first 20 minutes, until the raw surfaces have cooked. Continue to cook, turning and basting with the marinade every 5 minutes, until well browned, 20 minutes longer; cover loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve.
Serve with some green beans or broccoli and steamed white rice (I cooked mine with chicken broth and it was oh so fabulous) and voila!

I'm a lard ass.

Damn! I just realized that it's been a solid month since I've set foot in the gym OR in yoga class. Eek.

And with the holidays looming over us for real...I'm in trouble. I can't help but think, though, "maybe I won't HAVE to worry about it pretty soon." [wink wink, nudge nudge]

I'm keeping this short because I have snacks to eat and recipes to peruse.




What?

Oh, and one more thing - here's another card design for you to peruse. Imagine it mounted on a nice, thick white card and tied with pretty white satin ribbon between the photo and the stripes. Aren't they an adorable little family??




Tuesday, November 28, 2006

i'm off today.

Not in the fun, "no work" kind of off - the weird, "I don't know what's wrong with me" off.

I picked up a mint brownie at Starbucks. I ate about 4 bites, plucked the candy off the top, and tossed the rest.

My fabulous new mascara....isn't. And the yummy smelling perfume I bought....isn't so yummy on me.

I just feel blah. Ick. Bleh.

I don't want to go shopping.

I didn't even log on to the Knot until noon!

Why?

I'm going to go home and put my wedding dress and tiara on.

Monday, November 27, 2006

boring, boring weekend

Amazingly enough, I saw no movies this weekend! Other than watching snippets of various movies on cable (classics such as "The Wedding Singer", "Big Daddy", "Mr. Deeds", and everyone's all-time favorite, "Titanic"), it was nothing but errands and cleaning. Boooooo!! But I'm proud to say that we now have fun Christmas lights up, an organized garage, and other fun Christmas decor inside the house too. Yay!

I spent lots of time at Michael's. My nerdy, crafty side is thrilled. My practical, checkbook-balancing side is PISSED. Coupon or not, that was a spending spree I didn't need. Not to mention, I finally cashed in a Sephora gift certificate and ended up spending more money. I better look fabulous after all this new makeup.



I did manage to score on a cool bag of free samples. If you do any shopping on Sephora.com between now and the next couple of weeks, use coupon code "CIRQUE" at checkout.



Um, and if you don't like the free gift, I'll take it. :)



I also spent some time trying to come up with some more card designs.



I'm going to get to SAHM status, dammit!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

gobble, gobble!

Turkey Day was fun. After the craziness of baking turkey cupcakes:


plus the potatoes and mac & cheese (I'm still on the hunt for a good recipe - it wasn't as fab as I'd have liked), it was on to two separate sets of Thanksgiving festivities!


Hope your day of thanks was as fun and family-filled as ours.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

there goes my shot at fame and glory.

It just occurred to me that it's been way more than a week since I had my preliminary phone interview with the Knot/Travel+Leisure. Damn!

Knot Jen posted on the Nest, looking for destination wedding brides to talk about planning a DW, budgeting, etc. So, because I'm an AW, I replied and sent a couple of photos from our wedding. A couple of days later, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email asking for a brief interview to discuss more specifics.

I had that interview on October 30th, on my way home from work. And darn it, I was supposed to have heard after a week.....ish.

Damn near a month later, I hear nothing! Nothing, I tell you! Poop. They picked some other heffa's wedding. Well, ours wasn't really anything unique, I guess. But dammit, it was OURS, and I wanted to see that shit in print!!!

[running off to scotch-tape wedding pictures in Bride magazine]

Ahhhhhh......pretty.

turkey day. in two days.

So I find myself in the position of having to find recipes for three things: cupcakes (that's just a question of narrowing it down!), au gratin potatoes (which I've made before, and now I have to find that recipe again) and baked mac & cheese. There's also the option of picking up some fabulous cream puffs. Somehow, though, that seems a little less personal and fun. I might just save that for another occasion.


I went to a family gathering on Sunday evening and my cousin (again, I'm Filipino; therefore, I have oodles of cousins) said "Dude, you know what would KILL it on Thanksgiving? If you made macaroni & cheese!" I used to make blue-box mac & cheese for this cousin when we were little - and I got him HOOKED :) So just for him....I'm on the hunt for a great recipe that DOESN'T involve powdered neon orange cheese.

And, this is totally random:

I'm going to throw something else into the mix that is my crazy life. I've talked about starting up a business for ages - doing custom invites and cards and things. I even have a partner! So I'm working on an ad to throw on craigslist, and I think I might even create a separate blog, just for the business. I hope I can find all of the photos I took of the cards and invites I've done over the last couple of years! Here's the cards I made for my bridal party (yes, snarkies, I DID "Will You Be" CARDS!):


And here's an invitation I did for a BBQ:

I have a few ideas for a business name....but I'm taking suggestions! I'm stupidly excited about this idea. Like, crazy stupid, and twirling around with fairy dust in one hand and ribbon wands in the other. I know you can picture it.








Sunday, November 19, 2006

snacks, cars, and parades, oh my!

Whew, what a weekend. And it ain't over yet.

The hub and I spent yesterday afternoon at Dodger Stadium in beautiful downtown L.A. He'd gotten an invitation to
Taste of Lexus and managed to score the last two spots for us. Three things:

* Free food
* All the Fiji water (and soda, lemonade, iced tea, coffee, etc.) we could drink
* Test driving all the new Lexus models without any stupid sales pitches to endure

It was quite fabulous. Not to mention that I spent a good chunk of time in the Dermologica-sponsored:


I got a 10-minute chair massage (which I needed more than I realized), a skin analysis (in an attempt to figure out why my forehead looks like a damn constellation these days), and two fistfuls of free samples. I sparkly puffy pink heart free stuff. And then I managed to find the hub to test-drive some fun cars. I've never been a huge Lexus fan, but wow, that LS460 was quite a sweet ride, indeed.

So although I'd stuffed myself with really tasty tidbits (crab cakes, mini vegetable wellington, 3-cheese tortellini, meat on a stick with various dipping sauces), I talked the hub into making our way towards Union Station to find Philippe's. I'd discovered the home of the original French-dipped sandwich over summer vacation with the kid and her BFF, and tortured the hub with a cell phone photo of my fabulous sandwich. I figured, since we were in the area, it was time for him to experience the fabulous beefy goodness for himself, and wash it down with their yummy lemonade. I think he was quite pleased - especially as he managed to catch the tail end of the big game. Not the USC one, but the other one, and because I don't really give a crap, I don't remember who was playing. I was far too engrossed in my sandwich. In fact, as we were crossing the street from the parking lot on our way into the joint, I did the 'jump 'n' clap'.

Me: Aren't you excited for our French dip?
Him: Um, no. [patting me on the head] I don't get excited about food, babe, but it's fun when YOU do. [doing a faux jump 'n clap] I think we need to go to SPRINKLES to make the experience complete!
Me: OMG, really?!?
Him: No, I was just kidding.

This morning, we got to church (yes, heffas, I go to church) really late. With not a single parking spot in sight. The hub turns to me and goes "wanna go get breakfast instead?" Um, duh. So we head towards Pasadena after I tell him that Il Fornaio does breakfast that sounds really yummy.

What ELSE is happening in Pasadena today?

THE DOO-DAH PARADE.

We eat. We walk along Colorado and stop in a few shops (of course, Paper Source was among the spots I just had to visit), and when the parade starts, we stand our happy asses in the 95-degree sun-soaked morning and watch it.

My normally uber-conservative husband found it fascinating. Like, he couldn't tear himself away till it was over. I sweated my ass off, but endured the whole freaking thing. And freaky it was:

And how was YOUR weekend??

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jumping on the blogwagon....

Okay, so I'm finally going to give this a try. All my friends are doing it! And inexplicably, I woke up at 2:30 this morning and thought, why not? So I weighed the pros and cons of starting my own blog:

Pros

I think it looks fun as hell.
We all know that I'm an attention whore.
I love to write. My mommy says I'm good at it.
It'll give me a reason to take more pictures (as if I needed one). Okay, at least this way I'll actually DO something with said photographs.
Since I'm too lazy to keep a journal, this'll do.

Cons

We all know that I'm an attention whore.
It'll give me a reason to take more pictures.

[looking] Hey......! All right, seriously:

My life isn't that interesting.
I'M not that interesting.
No one will want to read it unless I force 'em to.
It'll create a whole new internet obsession, and everyone and their mother knows that's the last thing I need.

My uncle (okay, technically he was my second cousin, but we're Filipino. Any human with a deep voice and a wee-wee gets called "uncle") passed away two weeks ago, on Halloween. He'd been battling advanced lung cancer for a little over a year, and had lived a healthy life as a non-smoker. Anyway, in the programs handed out at his funeral mass, there was a page printed with text from his online journal. He'd been writing it since the first inkling of trouble, and his family found it on his computer after he died. And I found it incredibly, beautifully, and sadly touching to read how he was feeling, in his own words.

So there you have it. Inspired by Uncle Jimmy, I shall now take up precious space on the worldwide web that should probably go to something or someone more deserving, but eff it. I'm takin' it.

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