Thursday, December 19, 2013

Horrible, awful, no-good, very-bad week

In the last five days, my baby got the flu, one of my tenants flooded their apartment, my husband has been taking his finals for his first semester of law school (ie he's been mostly gone/stressed), I had to miss the Christmas Concert that I've been rehearsing for for 6 weeks, I got the flu and spent two days on the bathroom floor, another tenant flooded their apartment, my baby burned himself on his neck and ear and cheek and had to be rushed to medical help (and my heart broke into a million pieces), another tenant showed up at my door demanding to be let out of their lease and have their deposit and rent refunded immediately because she saw a cockroach, and now my husband has the flu and I just spent half an hour trying to change burn bandages on an 11 month old.

Now, I'm not saying my life is awful. I'm just saying its been one hell of a week.

Friday, November 1, 2013

4 years






















I met my husband four years ago today. He is still the most interesting person I know.

Happy Meet-aversary Husband! You can stay.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

If this is a blog about blogging has this blog been incepted?

I miss blogging. I still don't really have time for it (MY CHILD NEVER NAPS) but I wish I did. On the rare occasion that he does nap I find myself trying to do my actual job -  the one that lets me live rent free in a beach community in San Diego, the one that is supporting my family through my husband's education, the one that allows me to work and stay home full time with my child - THAT job. It comes first.

*le sigh*

And for me, blogging isn't a job anyway. It's just a fun thing. Sometimes a therapeutic thing. Something that keeps me from checking facebook 67 times a day just so that I can feel like have contact with the outside world.

It's that the funny thing about being a stay at home mom? You don't get bored, but you do feel isolated? I wonder if it goes away when your kids get older? TIME will tell and time alone.

But back to blogging. I read other blogs sometimes, and I think - THIS is why I have a hobby-blog and not a job-blog - because I am not specialized. I have no special skill like decorating or fashion or fitness or food or design or photography or crafting or sewing or budgeting. I am a generalist, I have always been a generalist. And who wants to read a blog about "general" things?

I guess Joanna is an "everything" kind of blogger, but... she's JOANNA... She practically INVENTED blogging... Plus she lives in New York City! When I lived in the City, my life was blog-worthy-ish too! I am not Joanna.

But I really like blogging! The discovery and sharing of cool things and new ideas is really fun and inspiring and makes me feel like my new mini-van and ponytail lifestyle isn't a complete white wash.

I have skills (don't I?), I have personality (sometimes!), I have something to share (I think). But WHAT? What is my unique-me-thing? Everything that I do, someone else seems to do better, blog about it, and with cuter pictures.

Is this current state of affairs your concern? Nope. Are you going to provide some piercing insight that will be the answer to this on-going question? Probably not. Do I feel better having written this? Yes. Yes I do.

And that's why I'm still here... Sometimes... When the kid naps... and my other work is done.

Yeah, you're right. I don't have time for this.
 








ps. Are inception jokes still funny? 'Cause I still laugh at them.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The power we already possess

This article is one of the best reflections on the Ordain Women movement that I've read, and I've been researching this a lot lately.

It is an in-depth look the most important facets of this issue. It presents some insightful commentary on a major issue facing the Church and, I believe, the world. The way we view the roles and powers of men and women are evolving, and a lot of the perspectives articulated in that article resonated with me.

I include it here for my own future access and reference - but if you find yourself an interested party, by all means, have a read.

Cassler, V.H.; "Ruby Slippers on Her Feet: Reflections on the OrdainWomen Website;" SquareTwo, Vol. 6 No.1 (Spring 2013)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sometimes, I tumbl

Because I don't know where the time goes and sometimes tumblr is faster than blogger, I also have a tumblr which I find myself using more often:

Here it is.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Venissimo!





You know what's awesome about San Diego? Venissimo Cheese.

Good morning!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not enough

“I read because one life isn’t enough, and in the page of a book I can be anybody.”
R. Peck

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Milo & Mommy

He kinda looks like me.

On the fries, always ask for animal style
























In-N-Out. It's a California institution.

You can have it all

I feel rusty at this blogging thing. I'm trying to write out what is on my mind, but I feel like it comes out whiny instead of clever and a little funny. Come to think of it, a lot of things feel rusty.

It's actually kind of a running joke in my family... When I try to be funny no one thinks I'm joking and they take me seriously. Oh well, the best jokes are the ones you have to explain.

*sigh* I feel like I'm having to re-assess my entire paradigm lately. Where I was once a single person unit - quick moving, agile, mobile, like a sea-doo - I am now a three-person unit that moves at the pace of a manatee pulling a cruise ship into port.

Now, let's be clear. Milo-the-fluid-factory-that-is-the-center-of-my-universe is a chubby life-form of PURE JOY. So I don't mind the inevitable rustiness that comes from giving so much of yourself to grow and birth and care for a child. The process is so demanding that it causes permanent physical changes down to your bones. And yet, to make him safe, I would give so much more.

I don't regret one bit of my life, but sometimes I stagger at the degree of change I've experienced in the last 5 years.

July 2008, 25 years old, I had just graduated with my MBA, moved to NYC and started my job with Time Warner. My life was town-cars, high heels, nice dinners and late nights. I loved my life.

July 2013, 30 years old, 3 years married, 6 mo-old baby, managing apartments in San Diego where my husband is about to start law school. My life is my neighbor's mariachi music, canvas tennis shoes, baby-spit up and street-tacos on the beach. I still love my life.

What is my point exactly? You can have it all, you just can't have it all at once.

We'll always have Venice
























Did I really visit Venice? I seems like a long time ago. My younger brother is adventuring in Europe right now. I guess he is 10 years younger. Has it been that long? The pictures in my mind are fuzzy, but I remember the feel of Venice pretty clearly.

I always said that if this responsible-adult thing didn't work out for me I'd move to Venice and write the Great-American Novel... It's still an option I consider when the height of the dish pile exceeds the edge of the sink.

ps. Have you seen The Tourist? What a dashing little dose of escapism and dreamy outfits. I don't think it reviewed very well but its a personal favorite od mine.

Wrap it up

I love cute wrapping ideas!

And I feel like a sad little failure when my life goes rushrushrushrush and I wrap a cute gift in something that I already had around the house, in the car, on my way to the baby/bridal shower.... I mean... I've never... done... that. Shoot.

Anyhow, I have adopted a new life/wrapping philosophy that goes something like this: If you always have brown packing paper and washi tape on hand you will never have to find a way to wrap kitchen utensils in a plastic target bag again! And I was happy with this life philosophy.

AND THEN little miss Melanie of You Are My Fave has me completely rethinking this whole target plastic bags thing:
















Her full tutorial on this rad little fused plastic bag envelope is here.

p.s. Have you also seen this idea bouncing around pinterest lately? You wrap a cook book in a kitchen towel for a bridal shower. I can think of 6 more variations of this idea that I can't wait to try.

My list

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.
—  Susan Sontag 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chevron Peplum

I used to deplore peplum tops/dresses/skirts. And neon. But I've shifted with the fashion trend bandwagon and I LOVE this outfit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mason jars were always awesome, but they just got better...

A friend recently posted this list of 25 things Mormon girls love. It gave me a good chuckle, because its mostly true. But it got me thinking about how much I really do love mason jars, and then I stumble upon this little gem:

















It creates a separate compartment within the mason jar. Mind blown. So many problems just got solved. Order yours here.


Martha Stewart's Modeling Career

Did you know that before Martha was Martha, she did modeling gigs to put herself through college?


























Also two more articles on the best Martha take-away for female professionals, and how Martha became Martha.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Remember how we moved to San Diego

It happened rather suddenly.

There I was, with a 3 1/2 month old baby, stewing in my own anxiety over how I was going to put my husband through law school without having to be away from the squishy little fluid factory that had become the center of my universe.

Knowing that the best cure for anxiety is action, I did what any sane person would do... I started applying for jobs on Craigslist... Yes, really.

You see, I know of exactly 4 women who have had children and put their husbands through grad school without the use of childcare. They have various skill sets, which don't really match with mine. But they proved that it can be done, therefore I set about making it happen.

Craigslist may be man's most useful invention. It clearly has fire and the wheel beat by a landslide, although in my opinion it's neck and neck with Diet Dr Pepper.

I applied on Friday, I got a call on Monday, I interviewed on Wednesday and they asked if I could start immediately. I said, "Cam you give me a week?" 

So in a flurry of boxes and newspaper we moved to San Diego on one week's notice, 3 months earlier than we were planning to. 

That was just over a month ago and I still don't think I've caught my breath. I'm really done moving for awhile. Really really.

But now we live in San Diego with a pretty sweet gig and four or five times a week we eat our meals on the beach.

Dishes are even worse... Nope, laundry is worse.

Sometimes I think, "You know, I really don't have time to blog. I have real life stuff to do, like laundry." 

So I leave off blogging for awhile... And then I remember... Laundry is boring... So I start blogging again. Because blogging makes life more fun and keeps me from watching 7 episodes of The Office back to back. (Netflix is both a blessing and a curse.)

So today is that day when I return to the virtual to make my reality just a little more  worth blogging about.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

THE cake

I've started calling it THE cake, like, its such a big deal that it doesn't need an introduction. THE king of pop, THE beatles, THE president, THE cake.

Make it, take one bite, and I'll be your hero forever.

THE end.






















THE cake

For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder* (don't skip this!)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
For the frosting:
  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks)
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

How to get it done...
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring. Also prepare the strips of towel to wrap around the pans, like so.
  2. For the cake:
  3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  4. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  5. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Frost cake with Chocolate Frosting.
  8. For the Chocolate Frosting:
  9. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  10. Melt butter and pour into bowl with cocoa powder. Whisk together until well-combined.
  11. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  12. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
  13. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. I think I ended up with one extra tablespoon of sugar.
*A quick note about the espresso powder: You can find it at your regular grocery store, sometimes in the spice section, sometimes over by the coffee. It is such a small amount in this recipe that it doesn't have the flavor of espresso at all, it just provides the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the chocolate.



Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Breakfast Smoothie

Pineapple, mango, spinach, kale, strawberries, water and ice. Blend into oblivion...

It tastes better than it looks.





Fashionably good


Me and the Little One

I spend all of my time with this handsome thing. He can't even talk and he's the most interesting person I know.

Happy 3 months Little One! Thanks for being resilient through my learning curve. We might just make it through this thing.

Did I mention I love you more than life itself?







Breakfast

Strawberries and Nutella on twelve grain toast. Nomnomnom.

#everythingisbetterwithddp



Dinner

Spicy honey chicken, mango, red onion and avocado on romaine with homemade honey citrus vinaigrette.

Delicious, healthy, happy.

#everythingisbetterwithddp