wan-na find something?

Monday, June 29, 2020

getting back into the beauty routine, sorta

COVID has really done a number on our beauty routines.  although i've gotta say, while i really miss waking up with pretty lashes, it's been pretty nice being able to rub my eyes and sleep on my face and not worry about tangled lashes or melting them off while standing over the barbecue.

okay, i just re-read that sentence and even i have to admit how ridiculous it sounded.  heh.

anyway, while nail salons have now reopened, i'm still not willing to take that chance.  it's just really not worth the risk.  and so when the old lady said that her BFF rock-ell had bought some gel polish and a LED/UV lamp and was really happy with the results, i got her to send me the links to what she got and placed my own amazon order.  i was pretty excited to get started and cracked it all open as soon as it was delivered.

i filed my natural nails and cleaned up my cuticles before starting with the gel polish process.  first a base coat, then three coats of color and topped off with a shiny topcoat.  it's definitely not perfect, but it's good enough for me.

i did my toes too, but you don't need to look at pictures of my feet.

hair salons have reopened too, and both of my girls were dying for a haircut.  while the old lady is actually more reluctant than i am to revisit those parts of our normal lives, she felt confident enough that her regular stylist would take all of the precautions and use all of the proper safety measures.  so she scheduled appointments for both her and her sister, and they were both really excited when the day finally came.

the bean's hair is beautiful.  thick, long, curly.  the old lady said that her stylist specialized in curly hair and would be able to do what she called "ghost layers" so that she would still have those luscious locks but thin them out a little so that it would be more manageable.  she's not super cooperative these days about pictures, but here's the "before":

and the "after."  it was blown out and styled and gorgeous, although we all knew that the moment she washed it, it would take on a whole other look.  i just wondered how short it would end up once those curls took hold again.

i got them to take at least one picture together, although the old lady wasn't 100% happy with her end result.  i thought they both looked fantastic, but you know when you don't love your hair nothing will convince you otherwise.

they were standing in the driveway when i took this, so the height difference is a little deceptive.  although the bean actually IS taller than her sister, she doesn't really tower over her like it looks in this photo.  in fact, she's taller than both of us now.  sheesh.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

heading out for father's day

father's day 2020 was a little different from mother's day 2020.  for some reason, the governor decided somewhere in between that it was safe to open restaurants and shops and things...even though we're now number one in the country when it comes to COVID cases. winning!

the hub really wanted to go out for a nice family meal though, and while we couldn't snag a dinner reservation at his restaurant of choice - fleming's in pasadena - we did grab one for a late lunch.  it was at an odd enough time that we were able to request seating outside on the patio, which i much preferred to sitting inside an enclosed restaurant with other patrons.

there were lots of social distancing guidelines in place, like a QR code to scan for digital menus and markers placed outside at least 6 feet apart for parties to wait for their tables.  hand sanitizer was available at the front desk, and directional arrows were placed on the floor to direct what traffic there might have been.  the hosts and hostesses were all wearing masks and all servers wore face shields and disposable gloves.  i suppose it was about as safe as it was gonna get.

i didn't take a lot of pictures, because i was just trying to relax and have a good time with the hub and the kids.  and i have to admit, it was nice to share a meal with our little family somewhere other than the back yard.  the hub and i both opted for the father's day special prix-fixe meal, which included salad, main entree and dessert.  i only took a picture of the entree because it was fabulous - a bone-in ribeye steak served alongside a perfectly cooked lobster tail.

outside, i managed to get the girls to stop and pose with the hub for a quick masked photo.

back at home, we presented him with some fun cards and the one present we could think of that he would like.  he's notoriously difficult to buy for, although he's always grateful for anything he receives and usually discourages us to get him anything at all.  he'd mentioned a few weeks ago that he wanted the backpack-style yeti cooler, and so i'd latched onto that tidbit of info and filed it away for later use.  the bean had drawn him this funny mask out of a piece of styrofoam she'd fished out of one of the boxes in the garage, and he loved it:

he liked all of the cards - one from me, one from the bean, one from the old lady and her special friend, and one from the dogs.  heh.

and as expected, he loved the yeti.

i realized that it had been quite awhile since we'd taken a picture together, so i cornered him as he was enjoying a cigar poolside.

funny thing...even though it was father's day, he'd gone that morning to pick up a curbside order for something i've wanted for a long, long time.  check out MY father's day present!

while he headed off to the lounge for one of his semi-regular visits to check up on things and make sure all is well, i plugged that bad boy in and got it all set up.  i downloaded the app, named him R2 and hit the button to start him on his trial run around the house.  cocoa was...a little apprehensive about the newest member of the household.

she and teddy seemed to have switched personalities - while she's usually full of bluster and bravado, something about R2 didn't sit well with her and she avoided him at all costs.  teddy, on the other hand, who's usually a pretty big scaredy cat, was super curious about the new robot and stayed nearby for the duration of that trial run.

i wonder how they'll feel when D2 arrives.  D2, of course, is R2's robot mopping sister who's on backorder and is scheduled to join the household any day now.

that's gonna be fuuuuuuun!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple

the bean is constantly showing us recipe ideas for snacks and treats and things she comes across on youtube.  most of the time, i'm shaking my head because they're usually pretty outlandish or incredibly unhealthy or simply just too much for me to comprehend.  but then she showed me a video of a rainbow crepe cake that she really liked, and while i pretended it was way too complicated, i made a mental shopping list of the ingredients and picked them up at the grocery store.  i felt bad saying no to everything she showed us, and while i knew this cake would be time consuming it was totally doable.

being on summer break, she's been sleeping in every morning - which gave me the perfect opportunity to mix up the batter and stick it in the fridge to chill per the instructions.  and then we got distracted with cleaning and organizing and unpacking boxes and all that fun stuff during the day.  so it wasn't until after 8:00 that night that i finally found the time to start working on cooking those crepes.  the first step was dividing the batter evenly into six bowls so that i could add the colors of the rainbow to them.  and it was while i was pouring it all out and picking out the food dyes from my collection that she figured out what i was doing.  the smile on her face was totally worth all of the effort i knew i was about to put in.

mixing up the colored batter didn't take too long at all, and then i was ready to start cooking.

i preheated the pan on the stove and then poured in the first crepe using the red batter.

now, while i've made crepes before i've only ever used a gadget specifically made for crepe making.  i wanted to make them the traditional way on the stove, and while there was definitely a learning curve it only took the first couple of crepes for me to get it right.  each color yielded four crepes, and while it did end up taking a good amount of time to get through it all, i used the cooking time to walk around the kitchen trying to up my step count for the day.  by the time i was done, it was pretty late.  but look how fun!

i ended up placing the stacks of crepes into a ziplock and putting them into the fridge to assemble the next day.  i'd decided to take the easy way out and had bought a tub of cool whip to spread between the crepes, and even got to bust out the cake decorating lazy susan that my mom gave me ages ago that i'd never had the chance to use.  with the bean's help it didn't take too long before we were already halfway done:

and then the old lady suggested that we do a time lapse video, which would probably have been even better had we thought of it when we started this project.  better late than never though, right?

voila!  all done!  the old lady and i wanted to top it with sprinkles, but the bean nixed that idea.  and since this cake was really for her anyway, we went with whatever she said.

and she, of course, got the first slice.

i was pretty excited at how pretty it was when i sliced into it.  and the bean said it was really good, which i was pleased to hear.

guess i can cross another item off of the ol' cooking bucket list now!

Monday, June 22, 2020

relearning the joy of cooking

we finally have a fully functioning kitchen again!

so like i mentioned last week, the stove was the final piece of the puzzle.  turns out that there's only one company in all of southern california that's authorized to install wolf ranges. and of course, by the time we were ready for it to be gently eased into its new home, their availability was pretty tight.  we had to wait a full week after making the phone call before they finally made their way to the house.  it was worth the wait though, because it fit perfectly:

by the way, yes - that is indeed a pot filler mounted above the stove.  it's amaaaaaaaazing.

our microwave is pretty cool too - we picked out a drawer style that's mounted in the island, and we're really digging it so far.

the other fun feature in the island is in the countertop - the hub picked out these fun pop-up outlets that remind me of the ashtrays in old cars.  luckily he understood what i meant, but the bean just kind of looked at me like i was crazy.  sigh.

i love that i can use my instant pots on the island now and not have to worry about any damage to the cabinets when it's time to release the steam after cooking.

anyway, i think i was still kind of in shock once the stove was installed, because it took a whole day before i finally felt like i was ready to break that bad boy in.  the old lady and i had already talked about what we wanted to make first with it weeks ago, and we'd settled on chrissy tiegen's spicy miso carbonara.  not to mention, it gave us a chance to test out that pot filler.

we decided to make an old favorite to go with the pasta - some lemon chicken.  and while i was at it, i figured i might as well make something special for the hub since he couldn't have any of that pasta and threw in a batch of keto chocolate chip cookies.

the next evening, the bean and i decided to bust out the air fryer to make a batch of s'mores.  we'd bought all of the goodies and put them away in the pantry that i'm so excited to be organizing:

seriously - i'm addicted to those oxo pop-up containers.  i want to put everything in them.  and label them accordingly.

so we assembled those s'mores and put them into the air fryer to toast the marshmallows:

it only took a few minutes before they were puffed up and perfect.  actually, we agreed that maybe the jumbo sized marshmallows might have been a little much.  they ended up bigger than the graham crackers...which, actually, is not a problem.

we topped them with pieces of chocolate and a second graham cracker, and it was SO GOOD.

ah, it's so good to be able to cook and bake properly again.  i didn't realize how much i would miss it, but despite my extreme level of laziness doing take-out every day really did get pretty old after awhile.  and i'm excited to make new recipes i've bookmarked over the last few months.  of course, i want to make some bread and so far there's no bread flour or yeast to be found anywhere near me.

that's okay.  i've got nothing but time.

Friday, June 19, 2020

phase 2 has begun!

almost all of the construction in the first phase of operation remodel house of wan is complete.  i'd share pictures, except that as soon as it was done we packed up and moved out of our rooms, so we've got boxes of stuff everywhere and it's just not pretty yet.  the crew returned on monday and started on phase 2, which is much smaller than phase 1.  the carpet will come out and be replaced with the same floor in the rest of the house.  the bean's room will be painted and the closet will have new rods and shelves, and her bathroom is getting a whole new look.  when we finally got all of her stuff out of there i vacuumed all the dust bunnies and crap up - you know, because it totally makes sense to clean before a planned demo.  heh.  that's, of course, the hub's idea - definitely not mine.

and then i spent some time looking around wistfully at the room that hasn't been this empty since we moved into this house when she was two years old.  sigh.

it was fun to find this my little pony sticker left over from when she was about six and in the throes of a huge MLP obsession.

her bathroom is going to get a nice fresh look, too.  here's what it's looked like for the last ten years (and this is after we'd already removed the hideous towers o'cabinets that were on either end of the countertop):

our room looked so big when it was emptied out.  we're going to have the closet built out along that (currently) brown wall, which is actually where it originally was before the previous owners made a walk-in closet in the bathroom.

this bathroom is going to get a whole new look, too.

i never really stopped to think about how hideous this bathroom was before, to be honest.  but man...it's really ugly.  the shower is going to be moved to the other side of the vanity, making room for a little room with a door that the toilet will be housed in.

this was the closet, which gets ripped out to make way for a fantastic new shower.

in the hall, we're going to have the linen closets refaced and repainted.

the next morning, the dogs were super bummed to be locked out of what we'd all called home for the last three months.

after three days of early morning jackhammering and pounding and hammering, lots of things have already changed.  they started by taking out the old, smelly carpet:

and to make things easier for everyone, the plywood barrier in the hallway went back up.

back when we first moved in, she and brother wan had spent some time in her room drawing pictures and writing funny messages on the wall where it would be covered up.  even though she was so little at the time, she remembers doing it and was hoping to see their handiwork after the wainscoting was ripped out.  alas, the copious amounts of liquid nails that had been used during the installation meant that most of the paint also came off during the removal process.  bummer.

in our room, they've already started building that closet.

our bathroom already looks so different.  the closet is all gone, and we have a better idea of what the shower is going to look like.

i'm not quite sure why there's a hole that runs the length of the shower in that wall, but i'm sure there's a good reason for it.

and on the other side, the shower and toilet have come out and the framing is in place for the little room where the new toilet will go.

next week they start the drywall and by the middle of the week they'll be ready for the tile to be installed.  then there's electrical, plumbing, and we still have to figure out how we want to configure our new closet.  and then we need to finalize lighting and where to put outlets and paint colors and holy crap i'm just excited for it all to be over and done with because making all of those decisions is so overwhelming which is a total first world problem but yeah.

on the plus side, i've got a full kitchen again!  the oven was installed a couple of days ago and we're so excited...that thing sat in the garage covered with blankets for the last two years and now it's finally in its new home.

i still can't believe this used to be a bedroom.  heh.  SO weird!

living that VIP life

our trip to universal studios deserved its own post because we splurged on the VIP treatment, which was really fun.  the VIP tour guide at d...