Thursday, March 29, 2012

thursday 13 {link-up party}

how is it already thursday? i swear the weeks are just flying by and once the weekend arrives it's monday again. i am linking up with aunie sauce

Aunie Sauce

13 things you are thankful for.

  1. my husband who puts up with me unconditionally and knows when i've had a rough day and sends me straight out of the house to have "me" time. even though this time is usually involves grocery shopping i am not a stress case while doing so. 
  2. my two adorable and healthy children. it's funny how a few years ago i said i never wanted children and now two kids later i cannot believe that statement ever came out of my mouth. 
  3. spring weather. i love how fresh everything is. i dread the summer months, but hopefully we won't have to be in a house without a/c and then my thoughts on summer might change. 
  4. my mom. i know she has to be sick of me calling her a bazillion times a day. this goes for my dad and sister too. 
  5. cadbury eggs. i have all our easter candy hidden up above in brayden's room. but today i am going to target to buy more mini cadbury eggs to make creme brulee. did you know that the center of a cadbury egg is fondant? i just learned that. 
  6. for my friends and the support they given us over the past nine months. 
  7. for butter. could you imagine life without it? well, maybe you can, i cannot. 
  8. trader joes frozen oatmeal, paired with a teaspoon of brown sugar, toasted almonds and dried maine blueberries. it makes my mornings that much better. 
  9. upholestry cleaner. it makes cleaning a leaky diaper accident off my couch so much easier. 
  10. the internet. i think this is self-explanatory. 
  11. life lessons that my parents instilled in my sister and i growing up. i am also thankful for my old soul. 
  12. my grandma visiting me in a dream this morning. i heard her voice calling me and then woke-up. 
  13. starbucks double shots with nonfat milk & chick fil a unsweetened iced tea. my day thanks you. 

a letter To Brayden - 5 Months

  you are one month away from being a part of our family for half of a year. we cannot imagine life without you. if you didn't cry when in the car we might forget you some days just because you are so quiet...well, that is unless you are talking to your panda on the play mat or licking the toy on your jumpy to death. you are definitely in teething mode, i have never seen so much drool. we have been calling you a "walker" after the walking dead because when you're hungry you reach your hands out and start shaking, it's quite comical. your eyes light up when you see me, daddy is still quite jealous about this, i am just fine with it. you are finally getting used to tummy time since having your surgery and have progressed really well considering you were out of commission for three weeks. you are getting the army crawl movements down, knees are getting under you and your chest far off the ground. i am thinking teeth and crawling are in our near future! you have been a complete joy and i love watching how strong and big you have become over the past two months.

  • 15 pounds 1 ounce - this is from our home scale we're sure the doctor scale will show something different next month. but we're still on the up and up! 
  • size two diapers - these are very tight! size three's are on the horizon. 
  • 6 month clothing, some 9 month. 
  • rice cereal with the addition of butternut squash and carrots have been introduced. 
  • your hair is getting more blonde by the day. you have a natural faux hawk like your cousin. 
  • you are loving your jumperoo but you love it most when positioned by the window. we like to think you're reflecting on your day while hanging out there. 
  • you love sticking your tongue out. we're not sure if after your surgery if there is something along your inner lip but that tongue of yours is always sticking out. 

  • you and sissy have inherited my "look". 

  • sister-isms - you adore your sister. she calls you her best friend. she loves to find your pacifier, she loves saying good morning, gives you kisses, tickles you and copies everything i say to make you laugh. it melts my heart. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

my second 5k {hot chocolate 15k/5k san diego}

this past weekend i made a last minute decision to run the hot chocolate 5k in san diego. i had been debating the race since my knee injury and just when i thought i would just be cheering on my girlfriends  jim pretty much encouraged me into doing it. i was driving and told him to text janelle to see what time i needed to pick her up. the next morning was freezing and we were due for rain so i planned accordingly.  what i didn't realize was that the pants i chose wouldn't stick to me until i started to sweat, it was 45 degrees so it was going to take some time. as janelle and i were walking from our parking lot to the race location my pants were literally falling off. i was totally in for it. we needed to meet tessa and her mom but with the sea of runners we couldn't find them. the race started and we were back in the 'e' corral, meaning alongside all the runners that chose the slowest running time. we slowly made our way up the starting line hill, jogging and dodging all the non-runners. after about five minutes i lost janelle because of the non-runners. i couldn't get past them. when i finally found a hole i just kept at my jogging pace and felt great. this course was more challenging than chelsea's run. there was a major hill after a bridge and that's when i decided to save my energy and knees for the last mile. i was sitting right around a twelve minute mile, and when i hit the mile two marker the board said it was 28:36 but we were in the last pack crossing the starting line about four minutes after the start. i knew i was making better time than the first 5k. my ipod gave me the song i needed, "good feeling" by flo rida. i increased my jog to run and took in the sights. i was inspired my a mother and teenage daughter running together, they slowed down at one point and held hands. i had a moment watching this. i want to be able to do this with my kids so i started to run even faster. i looked out into the distance at the coronado bridge and ran even faster. the song inspiring me, "got adrenaline, never giving in, giving up's not an option gotta get it in". the song ended and i went back to it again. i do this even when i run at home. this song for whatever reason just helps me focus. i saw the finish line and i ran. this was my fastest mile and when i stopped i felt amazing. janelle was on her phone with tessa trying to see where they were. we all regrouped and took some photos and got in line for our reward of chocolate! ghirardelli was the sponsor of the race, it was an amazing reward even though eating the thick, warm chocolate was hard to stomach so i took most of mine home for payton. 

this was tessa's starting point and we were even further back. 

right after. 

about to get our chocolate. 

our goodie box filled with: half of a banana, pretzel rod, quarter of an apple, a marshmallow, rice krispie treat, a cup of hot cocoa (this was delish) and a cup of warm chocolate fondue. they were also handing out squares of chocolate. i love their dark chocolate and i tried the dark chocolate sea salt soiree, amazing! drooling thinking about it. 

we sat around eating our chocolate and talking about the run as we listened to liquid blue. this band is amazing, no joke. my aunt and uncle have them at their end-of-summer parties, cannot wait for this august! if you want an invite let me know. ha ha. 

i improved my time by around 7-8 minutes. my first 5k, the one where i ate it i finished at 43 minutes. this one i finished around 35 minutes. i won't know my official race time because i crashed the race but based on janelle's time and her handy dandy phone we're pretty sure it was right around there. 

now we're planning the next one in a few weeks and looking as far as october for this race. are you a walking dead fan? check to see if this race comes to a town near you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

monday phone dump

i'm late, i'm late. . .busy morning for us this morning so i am posting late. i started the collage last night but then the rain made me super tired and we tucked in earlier than normal. i hope you all had a great weekend! our saturday was busy, busy but yesterday was chill and we took a family nap for 3+ hours. can't complain there! here's my weekend recap via photos. 

i am linking up with what makes savanah smile

starting from top right to left. 

* everyone always thinks i am crafty but my sister is way craftier. i took a pic of her dining room table but what i should've taken a pic of was her front door wreath. ten yards of burlap made for a gorgeous easter wreath paired with some cute pier 1 carrots. i asked her to make me one. maybe she will give us a tutorial...linds? will ya?! 

* after saying i wasn't running the hot chocolate 5k for the past week i decided saturday evening at 10 pm that i would run with my girlfriends. jim pretty much encouraged me. remember my knees hurting like hell? well, they held up, i felt great and beat my last time by almost eight minutes. more on the 5k later this week. 

* on saturday jim ran his first 5k to support his friend and co-worker, JB. his daughter, ava, has pretty much beat autism, her story is amazing. team ava was represented on our local news channel. i got a text from jim saying they were going to be on the news so i ran to get the remote with frosting covered fingers just in time to hit record. payton loved seeing her dada on tv. 

* birthday twinsies, niece makayla and payton playing at my youngest niece, maddie's fifth birthday party. payton truly admires makayla. i think you can see that from this picture. i cannot believe my maddie-mo is going to be five on the 31st, the past five years have flown by.

* after last week and my post on zero pairs of jeans fitting we all went to the mall and i bought a pair that finally fit. a size down, getting me to size 8 at gap, normally i am a size 6 there so i am getting there! after trying on a blouse at nordies i did not purchase it because we were heading to the rack. after no such luck there i was just about to pass the exit for the mall and jim said to go back and buy the blouse & cardi since i deserved a new outfit. i love the colors. hard to tell in the pic. i remembered when we got home from the party to snap a pic. 

* maddie is a lover of scooby doo. so for her birthday she requested a scooby cake. this was my first attempt at a bigger cake in a while. my new frosting technique has really helped me. i will share that one soon too! 

how was your weekend? i cannot believe this is the last week of march. insane! did you enter my giveaway? winner is being announced today! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

safari time

yesterday we headed to the san diego zoo's safari park with my parents. it was their first visit, which just blows my mind considering they've been open for 43 years. the weather was amazing, about 80, which in my book is just way too hot. in a few months i will be wishing for 80 degree weather but for now my pasty legs aren't ready for the warm weather. anyhow, here is my picture overload. hope everyone is having a great week so far! 

the three lions basking in the gorgeous weather. 

pay and her papa ready to take to africa tram

meet bentley. we met him while viewing the lions and then we rode the tram together. he liked looking at the animals. 

my happy boy watching the animals. 

and, i saved my fav for last. she kills me. 

second thing of the day, happy birthday grandma! you are in my thoughts today. 
third, have you entered my urban walls giveaway yet?! go do so now. pretty please. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

it's a weekly thang {weigh-in wednesday}

so i realized that i never posted last week. no biggie, you didn't miss much. i went up 0.6 oz, which honestly is nothing in the grand scheme of things and it was my first gain. this week i have dealt with more battles, not with my weight but with my body. a few weeks ago i jogged that 5k and was supposed to be doing another one this sunday but last thursday when i went to go run at the gym my knees put a halt to the 5k. i still managed to run for twenty minutes that night paired with my leg workout. i could barely walk on friday while out with the family. saturday morning i slept through my 5 am alarm for spin so i headed out to the gym to run instead. i made it three minutes and i was almost balling. intense pain. i laid low for sunday even though i wanted to go to spin. monday i was limping like an old lady but managed to make it to spin and i made it through the entire sixty minutes plus another leg workout. after thirty i could feel the pain coming back so i backed off the resistance. my knees felt better yesterday but i am very weary of running. maybe it was too soon or maybe my knees are just healing from my bad fall. who knows. i think it's just an f-you sign from my body letting me i will be thirty in three months. sorry body you will not win this battle. i am strong and will kick you in the. . .

my starting weight: 170 
today's weight: 151
total weight loss for week one: 6 pounds
total weight loss for week two: 3 pounds
total weight loss for week three: 1 pound
total weight loss for week four: 1 pound
total weight loss for week five: 3 pounds 
total weight loss for week six: 0 pounds 
total weight loss for week seven: 2 pounds
total weight loss for week eight: 1 pound
total weight loss for week nine: +.6 ounces 
total weight loss for week ten: 2.6 pounds

total weight loss: 19 pounds  
pounds away from goal #1: 3
pounds away from goal #2: 13

like i said on monday not one single pair of jeans i own fit and that's roughly twenty pair. sickening. my skin is still saggy, i swear the second kid...however, when i woke-up yesterday morning i could finally see the skin below my belly button tightening up. nine months on, nine months off, right? i am fully confident that by my birthday (three months & one day from today) that i will fit into my designer jeans and if they do by that date jim has agreed that i deserve to purchase a new pair as my final reward. it's the little things. now let's pray my body continues to cooperate as i continue to kick ass over the next three months because the last three months have been pretty easy... 

i never do this but last night the hubbs and i actually snuck away together, alone, since my parents are here. i tried a few dresses on and took a pic because i am still not loving myself in a dress. my knees are beat up from the fall and i am in need of a tan, badly. anyhow, what are your thoughts? the dress is one size too big, i get that. but other than that, thoughts? what shoes would you wear? sandals, flats? 

what spring looks are you loving?

happy wednesday! 

housewives recap - holy slime batman! {rhoc}

heather:  egh. a million dollars, if the restaurant fails after two years, who cares!? i wish that was my problem. six investors? i agree with vicki, run for the hills woman. hi. my name is heather, i am bored and just want to spend my husbands money. who the heck are those other women and what do their husbands do? 

gretchen: you want to follow after christina or pink? they can sing, er, they have talent girlfriend. please stop licking your lips like ll cool j. what the heck was up with your bedazzled 'team slade' tank? it would have been hilarious to have watched her extensions go up in flames, is that sick of me!? 

tamra: pretty quiet this episode. taking implants out? i just want to know what this looks like for future reference. 

vicki: hearing about brianna breaks my heart. i could not imagine myself in her position. knowing that her doctor says it's the worst he's seen just makes my jaw drop. i guess that explains her weight gain. 

alexis: holy nose slim. okay, totally justifiable on why you went under the knife. what and the heck was she wearing to her post-op? michael jackson died. move away. i think she should've had her nose slightly slimmed. 

did you see my urban walls giveaway below? make sure to enter! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

urban walls {giveaway}

when danielle of urban walls contacted me i was so excited to share this with my readers. urban walls is owned and operated by danielle and her husband; they make gorgeous and unique vinyl decals. i started purchasing vinyl decals when i was preggo with payton. when my sister moved into her house a few years back i had purchased my nieces decals to go over their beds. i am not saying i am a know-it-all when it comes to vinyl but i can tell you when i see quality. the previous sellers i purchased from have nothing on urban walls, in terms of quality, price and unique designs. i was blown away just by the directions list, and that says a lot. i could not wait to get the vinyl chalk to-do list up onto my walls. i had been searching for a unique picture/board to place on this wall since moving back into our house last summer and when i saw the chalk board options in their shop i knew it just had to be. i have my eye on several other designs for when we move into a bigger house. here are a few of my favs:

irish soda bread {tuesdays with dorie}

this is my first tuesdays with dorie recipe and link-up. i could not have asked for a better recipe to start off with because irish soda bread has been on the top of my to-make list for quite sometime. like i said in my previous post we have had some rainy weather so on saturday after hitting the gym i came home and whipped this bread up within five minutes. the oven warmed our house and the aroma was amazing as the bread baked away.  i love my soda bread with currants and sanded with sparkly sugar. it just made me all giddy inside when it came out of the oven. i let the bread stand for about twenty minutes and then I cut a wedge for the three of us to share and oh-m-gee was it good! it hit the spot and made me excited about the rest of our st. patty's day fare. 

want to join in on the fun? head on over to tuesdays with dorie. you can find the recipe on one of the hosts blogs my culinary mission or chocolate moosey. or, you can pick-up the book, baking with julia

Monday, March 19, 2012

monday phone dump

what a weekend! southern california got slammed with a winter storm that started on friday and we shouldn't see it depart until tonight. i love it though, we baked all day saturday and sunday we started our spring cleaning. how was your weekend? here's our recap with photos:

i am linking up with what makes savanah smile

from left to right.

* after we spent all morning cleaning we decided to reward ourselves with a lamb and falafel döner from the kebab shop. if you're in the san diego area it's a must try.

* i was cleaning out all the kids clothes so i decided to see how my progress was coming along with all my old jeans. i can fit into three pair but with major love handles. it just boggles my mind how at gap a size 30 falls off, meaning i need a 28. all my old jeans are 28's and a few 29's and with some my ass stops them from going up. gah. oh well. by my birthday i should be there, if not sooner. three months and counting.

* going through the garage looking for our house improvement folder i found an envelope with pictures from these photo shoots here and here. i cried when i saw my grandma and i. i miss her so much.

* saturday our oven was cranking out the goods: green velvet cupcakes for an 18th birthday, irish soda bread (deets on that tomorrow when i link up with tuesdays with dorie) and some banana choco-chip muffins.

* part of the spring cleaning involved moving both couches and cleaning under our area rug, baseboards,  etc. we had a sweet dance party going on and payton played with her shadow.

* payton's kid plate at the kebab shop. insane. we ended up buying additional flatbread on our way out to make jim's lunch for today.

* before the storm hit the kids and i got to the park fairly early. i wanted to make sure payton had a good amount of time to exert engery before being indoors all weekend.

* oh, and that sweet little boy turned five months yesterday. hopefully it won't take me two weeks to take his picture and get his post up like it has the past four months. bad mommy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

sir, let me check your. . .

okay, i know this is a family blog but i just have to talk about this past wednesday's south park episode. the hubby is a mister know-every-episode kind of guy, i watch because they are usually funny. neither of us had actually seen an episode in awhile so last night we caught up on the dvr. we were dying laughing over the tsa (toilet safety administration) because it was like they modeled them after every philly airport employee. today we just kept interjecting into any conversation, "shhhiitttt". get to the 4:08 mark and you'll know what i am talking about. i know i am child. it was a good laugh and exactly what we needed.

to know how dorky we are, we all have a character that best represents us with our friends trav and suz. hubby is "jimmaayyy" and we always die laughing because jim got his braces at twenty-two, while on a trip to magic mountain suz blurted out, "don't your teeth have to be somewhat straight for an invisiline?!" then "jimmaayyy's" character was born on south park. trav is the "they took aarrrr jobs" guy. suz is shelly. and me? hmmm.. welcome to raisins. i know we're weird.

here are a few of the funnier clips from the episode.

are you or your hubby south park fans? simpsons? family guy? mine def is. i mean his 30th was a simpsons theme.

dc chicken salad {corner bakery copycat recipe}

one of my favorite places to go for lunch used to be corner bakery. but now the idea of taking two kids in tow for lunch seems more like a chore. plus, i am trying to improve on eating out for lunch so often. my go-to corner combo was always the dc chicken salad and a  cup of broccoli cheddar soup. my fav chicken salad will always be my mom's recipe but on occasion i love to make my version of corner bakery's dc chicken salad or ina garten's contessa chicken salad.  do you have a go-to recipe? if so, i would love to know how you make yours!

dc chicken salad 

here's what you need: 

1 rotisserie chicken - chopped
1/3 small red onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 granny smith apple, chopped
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 miracle whip
1 TB sour cream 

here's how:

in a bowl combine onion, celery, apple, currants and almonds

next add in miracle whip, sour cream and chicken. mix until well combined. place in the refrigerator or use immediately.

i made open-faced sandwiches on slightly toasted squaw bread with lettuce and tomato.

and enjoy!

it's a rainy saturday afternoon here in san diego, i have irish soda bread in the oven, look for that recipe on tuesday when i link-up with tuesdays with dorie. i have two dozen cupcakes to make for an order and then it's time to relax and enjoy the fam on this st. patty's day. i hope you all have a great st. pat's and i'll see ya on monday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

my baking cupboard & a few of my favorite things

i often get questions about baking and the tools i use. i have a plethora of gadgets and for whatever reason i never seem to have enough room and we have a good amount of kitchen storage. i thought i would dedicate a post to show you what i mainly use for my cupcake orders.

cupcake liners  
like my pp have stated i have an addiction to pretty papers. i have one half of a cabinet that house these. i always look on etsy because i find that my vendor is way cheaper than my local cake shop, weird, i know. plus, when you order online they tend to send you little extras like fun sprinkles. tip: look after a holiday has passed at craft stores for discounted cupcake liners. i always do this for the major holidays because they usually roll out the same design the following year.  

 this goes three rows deep. sick addiction. 

just like the liners always look after a holiday on the clearance rack. i just scored some really cute white and pink hearts for a $1. these work great for cake pops too. i usually pick-up sprinkles based on the order but like you can see below i have a pretty good stock. the drawer next to this one has more sprinkles/candies: sixlets, hearts, etc. that make for great cupcake adornments. 

Pastry Tips
when i first started baking cupcakes i was given the entire wilton decorating caddy. this is a great gift for any starting baker. i used to get so frustrated using the small 1M tip to frost cupcakes, it would take me forever and my hand would throb. i moved on and purchased the ateco set from williams sonoma. most cake shops sell the tips individually. my go-to tips are the french star, round and closed star. 
if i use fondant to cover a cake which is rare i only use fondarific. it is flavored so for all of you nay sayers about crappy tasting fondant you have never tasted fondarific. you could just eat an entire tub. you can also roll out a thin layer of this and place it in between cake layers for an added punch of flavor. my faves are the buttercream and chocolate. when i use fondant for cupcake i just use plain 'ole fondant from wilton. it tastes like crap but nobody eats the cupcake toppers anyhow, if you do...don't! 

coloring pens
if you own a set of wilton coloring markers throw them in the trash. sometimes it is so easy to just use your 40% off coupon but they are watery and when placed on chocolate, think cake balls, it balls up and does not flow. the americolor set is the only set you will ever need. at $19.99 it is well worth the investment, you can thank me later. 

cricut machine 
now, i had this lovely machine tucked away in my garage for over a year and never used it. i am so mad at myself for never taking it out. it's amazeballs. i also use regular cookie cutters for designs but this machine is seriously a great invention. on the plus side, you can use it just like the other cricut machines for paper crafts with the switch of the blade housing. 
 cupcake tin
i am fortunate enough to have a pretty good sized oven. when i first started getting cupcake orders i was using my 12 cupcake tin, taking me forever. when i got my first order of 100+ i went to restaurant depot with my old kitchen manager and purchased two 24-cavity cupcake tins. its a time saver and it keeps things moving fast. 
gel paste
again, if you own any wilton gel pastes throw them away. the colors do not represent the colors on the lid and they taste funky. go to your local cake supply store and purchase americolor gel pastes. they offer every color of the rainbow and will make coloring frosting a lifesaver. for $1.99 each you cannot go wrong, again, trust me. 

cake pedestals
invest in a few good cake plates. it will turn your dessert tables into a masterpiece. if you can't dig out the funds for a gorg rosanna cake pedestal head to homegoods you can score really nice cake plates for around $9 each. this is another one of my addictions. it's my mom and grandma's fault. i am rounding out at just about twenty cake stands. 

rectangular / square plates were purchased at crate & barrel. this is amira from shades of gray's dessert table i did. 

that's all i can think of for right now. i hope someone got something from this post! :)