Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wishful Wednesdays : I wish I could re-live Easter of 1987

This week's Wishful Wednesday's topic is:

'I Wish' . . . I could re-live one Easter memory from my childhood, and it would be the Easter that I got my Fisher Price "Puffalump".

To get in on Kelsey's "wishful Wednesday" click the button below:




I love this weeks topic! Every year around this time I reminisce about our Easter from 1987. Holidays back then seemed better. Holidays in general as a child seemed better. We spent our Easter Sunday at Waters restaurant in Irvine, now, recently closed due to the deterioration of the building and the slowing in the economy. It was once a beautiful restaurant on a lake in the Woodbridge community where I recollect spending many Easter's, a wedding reception and late afternoon dinners with my Grandparents. On this particular Easter, we were all together: both Grandma's, Aunt's, Uncle's and Cousin's. I remember this particular holiday more so than other's because my sister, cousin Ashley and I all received our Fisher Price "puffalumps". I remember getting this soft, squishy, cold-to-the-skin, stuffed animal very vividly. I would hug it so tightly, swing my mousy by her tail in the air and sleep with her nightly. I had this stuffed animal until it was tainted with stains and finally when I reached my teenage years I said good-bye. I don't remember much more about this particular holiday besides walking on the beams around the perimeter of the restaurant, hugging my toy in complete and udder joy upon receiving it, taking our family photos and talking to my Aunt Andy. Ah. . . to be five-years-old again!


Our Family Photo: I love my Dad's body language. It cracks me up. When I showed Jim this picture for the first time he was dying saying that my Dad looks very Hugh Hefner-esque.

My sister Lindsay (4), Cousin Ashley (3) and Me (5).

OH! How I miss thee Mousy Puffalump!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Blog is Carbon Neutral

Make your blog carbon neutral. . . for free!

Visit: The Carbon Neutral Website to register your blog and to read more on their project!



“My blog is carbon neutral” is an initiative, originally started in Germany by the “Make it Green” programme, that has the goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. We plant a tree for your blog and thereby neutralise your blog’s carbon footprint for the next 50 years! Everyone can make a small contribution to the environment. Every tree counts!

carbon neutral offers and shopping with <span class=

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Planned Ahead

If your like me this week you're probably planning your Easter festivities. Our family will be attending church on Saturday evening and then brunch will be held at our house. This is the third year we have hosted Easter dinner for my family and soon we will be able to mix it up a bit since my sister and her hubby finally closed escrow on their first home. We all have a lot to be thankful for this Easter and hope that you get to spend the day with your loved ones.

I am in planning mode, I want this Easter to be a little bit more special than ones before (praying that our plumbing doesn't decide to act up for the third year in a row), I already have Payton's and my nephew and nieces baskets ready, and dinner planned out. Below is what I *think we will be having. I cannot wait!! I have my coupon's clipped and shopping lists made, now it's time to hit the stores!


We will be having a honey baked ham, a family friend is ordering this for me since she works at the corporate office. Ham is always so easy and it gives great leftovers for our fav spilt pea soup! We will also be roasting a small turkey breast since a friend does not eat pork.

Ina Garten's roasted asparagus bundles look so adorable wrapped up! Perfect for individual portions and they won't roll all over the plate.

I am tossing around ideas for my Easter table. My dining room is already decorated with my usual decorations and now with some additional items that my Grandma made that my Mom passed down to me this weekend. Since my dining room will not fit all of us I will be setting up a few tables in my living room so we can all sit together. I think I may do something like the picture above for the center and then individual clay pots with name tags, candy, and probably a cupcake.
My family loves scalloped or Au gratin potatoes. When we were growing up we ate them frequently especially with the ease of Betty Crocker's boxed version. This year I am going to try this recipe from the food network for their version of a scalloped potato recipe with creme fraiche.
While browsing this months issue of Cooking Light, I stumbled upon this recipe for fresh coconut cake. I am debating baking these as cupcakes instead of a cake. I have my sister's voice creeping over my shoulder saying, "I hate coconut" so I will probably bake her fav luscious lemon cupcakes to go alongside this cake.


I love this monkey bread recipe. I love getting together with my knot and bumpie friends because Dani always bakes this rich, gooey, loaf of happiness. Go Here to get the recipe.


What are your Easter traditions?!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The only thing I fear is fear itself.

One week from today I return to work. I have dreaded this day since I went out on maternity leave on November 25th. I have hysterically cried, sat here with grief and wished for something short of a miracle that would keep me from returning. I have taken out my frustrations on the hubs, which I regret, I just know that I will never get this time ever again. Days where PJ's never get taken off, the hair and make-up not done for days, The Today Show right as I wake-up and continuing into the 10 o'clock hour to tune into Kathy Lee and Hoda. Right as the clock strikes 11 when the tune to Deal or No Deal comes on I know it's time to start my day. Even if I sit here all day, where my rear has left an indention on our couch, I am okay because it's been a great day with my baby. I am mortified to return, I have sunk back into the depression that haunted me in late 2008 and have tried to work these issues out in my head but unfortunately, I haven't been able to. The shower has become my place to think, cry and silently scream. I am envious of all the mother's that don't have to work. I ask myself why everyday but I know I have to in order to provide for my baby and to keep this roof over our heads. I have to enjoy this last week, I cannot let my fears overtake me!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wishful Wednesdays : I wish I could afford "this" handbag

This week's Wishful Wednesday topic is:
'I wish' .... I could afford this ______ handbag without putting a dent in my pocketbook!

If you wish to get in on the action click on the button below:



A year ago I could probably tell you immediately what bag I had my eye on but like I keep posting, my priorities have immensely changed. I cannot even fathom spending more than ten dollars on myself. The last handbag I purchased for myself was when I became General Manager two years ago, it was a huge deal for me. Then the last handbag I received was from a friend who was getting married, I helped her out with her invites and her day of coordination so she thanked me with a gorgeous black leather coach tote. However, if I had a few extra hundred dollars to blow I would pick something like the following handbags:

MARC BY MARC JACOBS Bow Wow Wow Leola Leather Hobo

PRICE: $498.00

Michael Kors 'Skorpios - Large' Hobo
$1,095.00

Gucci "Hysteria"
$750.00

Marc Jacobs "Blake"
$1,050.00

This is the handbag I purchased two years ago. I love it. Every time I look at it, it reminds how hard I have worked. Kinda silly to some, but I don't drop hundreds of dollars on bags like loose pocket change.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Giveaway Winner


The giveaway winner is: Mrs. J! E-mail me at lepetitekupkak@yahoo.com so I can send your information to AndersRuff for your free custom design!

Winner was determined using random.org



Monday, March 22, 2010

computer + sunglasses = cannot live without

This weeks "Top 2 Tuesday" topic is: Top 2 things you cannot live without

I am going to go the route Taylor over at "the undomestic momma" did and get the obvious outta the way: water, food, family, God, and health. To get in on the action click the link below.


Two things I could not live without are. . .

1. My Mac Book. I am an addict. I am admitting I have a problem. I can spend all day on my computer. Jim would love it if I was computer illiterate just so I would look up when he is talking. It is one of the best gifts anyone has ever given me. How many hours do you spend on your computer a day?

2. I CANNOT live without sunglasses. If I leave the house and I do not have mine I will freak out, my eyes are so sensitive and I get major headaches if I go into the sun without them. The one designer item I love are sunglasses, I have had this problem since I was seventeen. Back then I could treat myself to several pairs a year but now I purchase one pair a year, but the ones posted I purchased last year on the day sweet little P was conceived (sorry TMI) so I will stick with these for a little bit. Even though I did find a cute Gucci pair my priorities have changed slightly so until these babies have a major scratch I'll be rocking them.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lack of Commitment

A few weeks ago I started going back to church. I have never really been one to consistently attend, but I have always wanted to make the commitment to attend each week. To back-up a little, when I lived at home my parents started attending again up in Running Springs, we would go to church functions, service and my Dad helped with their new location and so on. Well, when my Dad had to take on a second job on the weekends a few years back the church and a few select members turned their back on my Dad. With that being said the church left a sour taste in my mouth because I had always presumed that the church would stand by you in a time of need. My family was suffering because we never saw him, he was overworked and to top it off my Mom was recovering from Breast Cancer. Needless to say, my parents stopped attending that given church.
When Payton was born we were asked by our extended family if she was going to baptized. I knew in my heart she had to be even if I am not. I wouldn't be able to deal with my decision of not getting her baptized if something were ever to happen to her. Jim and I started talking about what church, what denomination and what our beliefs were. We decided on a church neither of us had attended but I had wanted to for years. The denomination of Presbyterian was chosen because my parents were married Presbyterian and since I am not baptized I thought it was the best decision. A few days after our decision I made a call to the church to organize P's baptism, Anne, whom I had spoken to asked if we were members and if we had planned on attending. I felt a little awkward when she asked me this but I wanted to make the arrangements for her baptism in April anyway. The hard part for me was actually making the commitment to attending. It took me until three weeks ago to start attending their contemporary service on Saturday evenings. On my first visit I took Payton with me and I mingled, introduced myself and sat in the back of the sanctuary just in case she was getting fussy. This was the perfect service to go to for my first visit, talking about the remembrance of Chelsea King and immediately I thought of her and my Grandmother. When the band starting singing their first songs I was in tears, completely moved while I yearned for my lost one. That evening I made the commitment to attend every week.

Last evenings service really moved me. It was about doubt and the fear of letting God into your life. The entire time I felt like the Pastor was talking directly to me. I have been doubtful my entire life, always asking hundreds of questions to God why he let's certain events happen to people with catastrophes, death, hatred, etc. Towards the end of the service the band sang a song, and then played a video from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit called, "A Thousand Questions". I was even more moved. Tears flowed from my eyes and I sat there answering my own question, one that I was afraid of for so long. I want to make the commitment to the church and become a member. I want to know more, I want to have faith and I want to grow. To become a member I will have to attend six-weeks of study and then at the end the elders vote to accept you into the church. They present the new members at any service and since I am not baptized this will be done at that time as well. I could not be any happier with my decision of finally making the commitment to God and to the church.

Below is the video they played last night. With my background in poetry the spoken word they portray literally moved me and I just had to share. Some of you might have already seen this but here it is anyway.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Flab-Flab, Go Away {Friday's}

Well, I changed the name and day of my weigh-in's. I realized last week that I was supposed to be weighing in on Friday's for Jillian's program so here we are two days later. I have been doing really well in regards to what I am eating. I no longer crave carbs, which is huge because at one point in my life I could solely live off of them. I have also cut out real butter, which is another huge feat in itself because I love butter like Paula Deen love's bacon. I even went shopping for me the other day and braved myself to take a chance to try on jeans. I got a size 11 on, which was great, but I couldn't button them up. I wasn't upset, just happy that this number wasn't a size 16. It also means that with an additional ten pounds I will be in my pre-preggo jeans. I attempted putting on my size 28 Hudson's but my thighs are still a little big, but with hope and a lot of hard work I plan on getting back into these in the next month. I have reached a point where the saying, "it took nine months to get your body where it is, so don't expect miracles overnight" finally sunk in. FINALLY. I also think that seeing the previews for Kendra's new season turned on a light bulb. I will probably write about the show after seeing it Sunday night, but I have a feeling that what Kendra experiences in that episode is how I am feeling.

Okay, this weeks numbers:

Weight: 162 : down one pound from last week. Total weight loss: 8 pounds
BMI: 26.15 : down slightly from last week (26.22)
Next week I will have measurements to start tracking.

and. . . for your viewing pleasure of my flab, here are two pictures. The first one is of me on Christmas Day, seven days after I gave birth. The second was taken today. There is clearly a huge difference, but still a whole lotta work ahead!

excuse my messy EVERYTHING! I got out of the shower to a screaming baby and thought I'd snap a few pics while she was content watching cartoons.

Three Months

Dear P-

Today you are three months old and it marks our last few weeks together before I go back to work. I am experiencing a whirlwind of emotions about my return on April 5th but I trust that it is the best decision for the three of us. I love waking up in the morning to make you a bottle to return to you giving me the most radiant gummy smile, legs kicking a mile a minute and sweet coo’s as I pick you up. I love our days together and it makes me extremely sad to think we will never have this time again. I am comforted that you will be with Grandma, Aunt Kathy and Daddy while I’m working but I will be wondering what you are doing the entire time we are away from one another. With each passing day I love seeing your personality change, a little bit more chubs in the cheeks and you’re barely there blonde hair coming in. I cannot get enough of you, you are honestly the best thing I have ever done. As we move forward, I will not look back, rather, anticipate what is to come and cherish all the memories we will make.

What you’ve been up to this past month:

  • · You are sleeping anywhere from 8-12 hours a night. Still in our bed but we are phasing you into your crib. Again, thank you for being such a good sleeper!
  • · You got your ears pierced and everyone that sees them has an opinion. But Mommy doesn’t care!
  • · You are long enough for your six-month clothing.
  • · Transitioning into size two diapers.
  • · You are teething. Yay for mommy and daddy! We bought Highlands teething tabs and they have helped cut your edginess. Thank golly, mommy’s nerves were almost caput after Monday.
  • · You went to Disneyland, the Wild Animal Park and the Zoo all for the first time. You were amazing on all three occasions.
  • · You giggled for the first time a few weeks ago but today you giggled for me two times and three times for daddy.
  • · You are “talking” like crazy. I love watching your mouth and nose as you get your sounds out. It cracks me up and I could literally watch this all day long.
  • · You found your hands a few weeks ago and some days I think you love them more than me! Two days ago you started looking at your feet so hopefully we get into the feet/mouth stage soon!

xoxo-

Mommy

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

AndersRuff: Custom Graphic Design Giveaway!

I am announcing my first official giveaway! I am very excited about this and I know you will be too!

These days, we spend so much on invites, stationary, and announcements that it is nice to have sweet ladies like Maureen and Adria from AndersRuff that provide a great custom designed product that is reasonable, thoughtful and better yet fits in your budget! I stumbled upon their site while looking for Payton's baptism invites (for those invited you're getting a preview!) I ordered them around 10 PM and by 9 AM the following morning I had my proof's in my inbox. The best part about it is that you pay for the design and you can take your file to your favorite printer or print them from the comfort of your own home. I do have to add that they also offer custom printing as well.

Why spend $3.75 that some sites sell one card for when you can visit AndersRuff for $15!






THIS IS A GIVEAWAY SO HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: One lucky reader will win a $15 gift certificate to AndersRuff!

How To Enter:

You may do any/all of these: (post a separate comment for each entry)

  • Go browse AndersRuff etsy store here and leave a comment what your fav design is. (1 entry)
  • Follow their blog and tell me you are a follower (1 entry)
  • Become a follower of my blog (or tell me you already are) (2 entries)
  • Vote for me on top mommy blogs (1 entry)
  • Winner will be chosen using random.org.
  • Contest ends 3/23/2010.


* I was not compensated for this giveaway. I purchased my design and loved their service and product and wanted to share with all my lovely readers!

Bracelet Giveaway!

Visit: The Undomestic Momma's blog for this fabulous Stella and Dot Giveaway!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lottery Winner = Bakery Owner = Life Long Dream Accomplished

Remember if you wish to get in on the action of "Wishful Wednesdays" visit The Seattle Smiths blog to link up! This week’s topic is:

'I wish’ . . . I could win the lottery REAL soon, and I would hope to own a bakery of my own.

**The real question is would you

1.) Quit your job/career

2.) Continue working

This is such an easy question for me. I have never really been a lottery player, I think it’s silly to waste money but the past few weeks I have been purchasing $2 in quick picks, just to try my luck. The reason behind this is that I wish I could win the lottery to fulfill my dream of owing my own bakery. I have dreamt of this since I was a child. It makes me giddy thinking about the idea. I have my entire retail store designed in my head; all I need is the funding. With this being said, I will obviously continue working. I couldn’t picture myself ever not working. I am a workaholic. Even while being out on maternity leave (going on 4 months now) I have been working from home, making it to bi-weekly meetings and taking phone calls like no other. The lottery would change that slightly, because I would be working for myself. No more BS of answering to the higher authority or making other’s successful when I deserve to be equally successful. I guess my current job is just preparing me for owning a business of my own. Ahh. . . A girl can dream.

· If I *If I were to win the lottery, I would not lavishly spend. I am not that kind of person. I guess I went through a phase of wanting designer things, but now I dream of other things. Things that are more important in life (again, this is just me!)

** One other thing that I would spend a pretty penny on is on another house, still in Poway, just in a nicer neighborhood. My 1959 starter house was perfect for the two of us, but now with P and the increase of cupcake stuff I need a separate room for all my goodies.

Okay, I have rambled, yet again. I guess I am just in dreamland about potentially owning my own business. Hopefully by the time I am 32 I will figure it all out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Classically Tart Lemon Bars



I typically post desserts on my cupcake blog but I figured I would post my go-to recipe for gooey classic lemon bars here for all my lovely readers. I love shortbread, I could literally bask on a sheet of buttery sugar dough and die a happy, happy woman. So pair a good shortbread with tart ripe lemons and we're in business for an
amazingly quick and sinful treat!

Lemon Bars

Recipe Courtesy of: Paula Deen

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 sticks butter , at room temperature, plus more for greasing

Filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan.

Make the crust by combining the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners' sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired, when the bars are done.

Artichoke & Red Pepper Frittata

Are you looking for a light dinner or a Sunday brunch idea? This recipe would perfect for either! I made it tonight and it was super quick and it satisfied my hubby after gardening for four hours today. I paired the frittata with a salad of: baby romaine greens, Parmesan cheese, diced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. Give it a try!

ARTICHOKE AND RED PEPPER FRITTATA

recipe courtesy of: Jillian Michael's

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pepper(s), red, bell, diced
  • 2 teaspoon oil, olive, extra virgin, divided
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, red, crushed
  • 4 large egg(s)
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) artichoke hearts, frozen, thawed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup(s) cheese, Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.

Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in artichoke hearts, Parmesan, oregano, salt, pepper and the bell pepper mixture.

Set a rack about 4 inches from the heat source; preheat the broiler.

Brush the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil; heat over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and tilt to distribute evenly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the bottom is light golden, lifting the edges to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the pan under the broiler and cook until the top is set, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Slide the frittata onto a platter and cut into wedges.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Friday!

Payton and I were a little bored today, well, maybe I was a little bit more bored than she was! I decided to take a few pictures of P to celebrate her being 12-weeks old today. My, oh my is time flying by! Her three month pictures and update will come in a few days when she is technically three months!

Have a great weekend everyone!



I think I will be seeing more of this facial expression in the future as she gets older. I think she is saying, "c'mon mom, really? You are embarrassing me showing my chubs like this!"

Weigh-In Wednesday {Friday}

Oops! I am a little late this week. I have been all over the place, Monday/Tuesday I took an all-day "botanically correct" gum paste flower class, Wednesday we went to Disneyland and yesterday I was up in Big Bear at my parents and visiting a friend for lunch. What this means is that life got in the way of me heading to the gym. I could have gone last night but I hadn't really seen Jim so we decided to cuddle up on the couch to catch up on our DVR while little P slept away. My numbers are not amazing this week, but I am lifting my head high with the anticipation of marching into next week ready to shed more pounds.

Weigh-In:

Weight: 163 : this number is the same. It's better than gaining weight, right?
BMI: 26.22 : down slightly from last week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wishful Wednesdays : I wish I could wear my dress for a fourth time!

Starting today I will have two different posts for Wednesdays; "Wishful Wednesdays" brought to you by The Seattle Smiths and my "Weigh-in Wednesdays". If you wish to get in on the action of "Wishful Wednesdays" click on the image below.


This weeks topic is:

'I wish' .... I could wear/could have worn ______ dress on my wedding day!

I wish I could wear my dress just one more time! I was lucky enough to have worn mine three times; putting that dress on my body brings back all the emotions and memories of that day. I loved my dress, it was what I wanted and more. I think if I were to get married today I would still go for my dress but would have tried on different styles just for fun. I love the mermaid look and Kenneth Pool has a dress I like but I will always love mine for it's intricate beading, enormous scalloped train and the amazing comfort! The designer was Jasmine bridal and it was under $1,000 for an ivory Italian satin ball gown with a sweetheart neckline.

Below are a few of my favorite pictures of my gown! Wishing I could go back and do it all over again!




This was my second trash the dress photo shoot one year after we got married in 2008.

My all-time fav picture of this dress. The photographer and I were not trying to achieve an angelic look but it was so blustery that the scarf I was holding combined with the back light gave the most amazing shot. Love it.
This was my first trash the dress shoot where I literally trashed it in the ocean. Nothing a dry cleaner can't fix!
Our wedding day, June 30, 2007

My hair/make-up
Of course there are more details to my attire that day like my perfect accessories, my Stuart Weitzman peep toe pumps and my custom Chargers garter.

Oh, how I wish I could relive this day all over again (and be that skinny again!).