Friday, November 30, 2012

FRIDAY - Phew, I made it...

 Dear This Week... You sucked. Work sucked. I felt crappy. The dog was hurt and then was a pain in the butt all week. My BF is grumpy.  
 

Dear Friday.... Seriously, so happy you are here.  It's been a rough week all around.  I'm very ready for the weekend.

Dear Blog Swaps... You were really the one bright spot of my week!  I got 2 swap packages and can't wait to blog about them. 
 
Dear Readers... Thanks for hanging in there! I promise to return to more regular (and less whiny) posting next week. 



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Fancies!  This cheered me up a bit. :-) 

Per Alison: Have you ever been shopping with a friend when they point out a top which is "totally you"? For Friday, November 30th, you'll have your chance to channel you into an outfit. Dress yourself = express yourself!!


I am big on layering and have a cardigan handy almost all of the time.  I just love the casual/comfy look of this outfit and it is totally something I would wear.

Caual Tea







I hope everyone has a great weekend 
and hopefully I'll be feeling more like myself next week. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Disney Style!

(Throwback Thursday is a way to document pre-blogging life.)


These e-cards basically tell my Disney story...

1) I think there might be something wrong with a person if they hate DIsney.
2) I'd prefer to be at Disney rather than work, any day.
3) I don't even know any Nickelodeon stuff. 
4) And yes, I do love Disney as much as (if not more than) your average child. 
So what?  

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I've taken so many trips to Disneyland, I honestly can't even begin to count them. 
It's one of the advantages of living in So Cal.  
Almost every time we had out of state visitors when I was a kid, particularly my mom's side of the family, that's where we went.  The happiest place on earth!  
It's a family thing.  

Anyhow, here are some pics from before my blogging days, of various trips to both DisneyLAND and DisneyWORLD over the years.    
(Prepare for a photo overload!! It wasn't easy to cut any out! )

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This one is a classic.  Splash mountain splash camera!  
This is from 2003.  
My little brother in the front, he's 21 now.  ;-) 



This was a trip I took about 5 years ago (with my mom & 2 aunts) when my cousin was doing an internship at WDW.  See that Mt. Everest in the background?  That's where she worked while she was there.  The best roller coaster in all of the parks!



On the left of this collage is the 5 of us (plus a totally awesome and willing participant riding next to my mom) sleeping on Expedition Everest after our 12th time riding it that day.  hehehe   
Then us getting ready to ride it AGAIN! and me with my "baby" cousin. 



More of us on that particular trip.... group shots in front of Disney landmarks.


 An earlier DisneyWorld trip with just one aunt...lots of ME at Epcot!  :-)  (I LOVE Epcot.)



This is from a trip when my aunt was in SoCal visiting.  We like visors. 


Same trip, in front of the Haunted Mansion.  YIKES!  ;-)

Do you guys remember that year when Disney was letting everyone visit the parks FREE on their birthday?  Well, I took full advantage.   I forced convinced my MIL to go on her birthday (in January) and we had a BLAST!  She is not a big Disney fan but it was a really fun day, and I think I swayed her toward the Disney point of view.


I also talked my Dad into coming down from San Francisco so we could go on HIS birthday (in March).  This was a really fun trip, too.  I got him a birthday pin so every park employee wished him a happy day, and he was so genuinely happy and thankful, it was adorable.  (Still in my visor stage.)



And...a few other randoms that make me smile.  
We never get tired of the "no dancing" signs on the rides. ;-)



OK, I better stop with FB/MySpace reminiscing before you all fall asleep.  ;-)  
DISNEY!  I love it!  That is all.  :-) 

(If any of you are ever in SoCal and going to Disneyland, I'm a great tour guide! haha)

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Sometime in the not too far future, I am hoping to turn Throwback Thursdays into a link up, with the lovely ERICA of Mi Todo.  She is in the process of moving to another country right now (!!) so it might be a few weeks more before we get anything figured out.  
But, if you're interested, leave a comment so I can try to remember to let you know once I know more.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Coming Soon....

Hey guys... 
and welcome to new people from Mish and Kelly!

I had a weekend review planned but before I could get to it last night one of our dogs got himself hurt and I spent the time I was going to blog at the Animal ER.  :-(   

We're still not exactly sure what happened but I heard him whining and soon discovered a pretty nasty torn/ripped wound on his chest.  He ended up having to get some staples to close it up.  He was pretty drugged up and sad looking when we got home.  
Poor baby. I was so sad for him.  :-(  

This is an older pic from an elbow surgery... but I suspect we will see this same sad "WTF is going on?" face once he comes out of his drug haze.

  It seems like he slept well, and my MIL is home with him today.  It was a very superficial wound (even though it looked gory), so he should be back to "normal" in a few days.


Anyhow, I'll get something together and blab about my weekend tomorrow probably.   
I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and a nice looooooong weekend!

Friday, November 23, 2012

We Gave Thanks

Hello, friends!

And welcome to my new friends from Mish Lovin Life and Messy.Dirty.Hair!

So, I'm still kind of on vacation, which (apparently) also includes blogging the past few days.  Work was really hectic this week (even for only 3 days) and I didn't get time to prep any posts. 
Anyhow, I'm stealing most of this post...from myself. (I wrote a pre-Turkey Day post on my food blog.)  My plans for the holiday turned out pretty close to reality. We ate a ton yesterday and will be having leftovers all weekend! :-)

I decided to try a couple of new recipes, along with all the old (delicious) standards.  

One of the Pinterest finds I definitely wanted to try were these cranberry and brie cups.  There are only 4 ingredients in this one, and they look so yummy.  I love cheese and fruit, and warm brie... mmmmmm.  I don't think you can go wrong with warm brie. (These were a BIG hit and I should have made more than i did!)



One of my favorites every year is green bean casserole.  I literally just make it from the recipe on the container of French's Onions, and, actually, I haven't even looked at the recipe since I was a kid.  I just know what goes in it.  I like it to be on the drier side, with lots of crunchy onions. (It turned out perfect, and we never have enough of it.  Maybe next year I'll remember to make more!)

Every year we always have POUNDS of mashed potatoes (and gravy).  My BF and his brother are usually in charge of that.  We make them do the mashing.  (Correct, they mashed 15 lbs of potatoes!)

Another of my favorites (one of my very favorite foods actually) are the sweet potatoes.  This year, though, I really want to try this sweet potato dish I saw on Pinterest.  Roasted grape, goat cheese and honey stuffed sweet potatoes....umm, yes please!!  
(DONE, and excellent!  Next time I might try a different cheese, but the roasted grapes?? TO.DIE.FOR. We actually had quite a few extra grapes and ate them pre-dinner with some Havarti cheese we had in the fridge. OMG.)



We'll definitely have a turkey, but once in a while we also have ham.   Now, as I may have mentioned (haha), I'm no chef, or even much of a cook. The sauce for the ham comes from my Nana. It's just a small jar of grape jelly mixed equally with mustard. It might sound strange, but TRUST ME, it's sooo good!   What I've done in the past is buy a precooked (but not flavored) ham, lay a bunch of slices out on a baking sheet, cover them in the sauce, and bake for a few minutes, just to warm the meat and caramelize the sauce a bit. (No ham this year, but I'm planning to do this ham for Christmas dinner!)

And of course, DESSERT!  I have never made a pie... maybe next year.  But I will buy one, or three. Pecan pie (my fave), pumpkin is always good, and the BF likes apple. 
(Actually... my BF and his mom did the shopping and we had a cheesecake!? Weirdos. It was still delicious, but I need my pumpkin pie!!) 

I hope everyone had a great meal, with great family/friends, and is enjoying a long weekend...Like I am!!  
Four day weekends don't happen very often in my world so I am trying to take full advantage of it!  
See you guys Monday!!   
(Or maybe Sunday for Confessions, if I can get my act together!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Me, Myself, & I

Hola, amigas! 
 
I've seen this link up around since I started reading a lot of the lifestyle blogs, and finally got my stuff together in time to participate this month. :-)
In particular I've seen it on Jenna's blog, so happy to link up with her and the other lovely hosts.
It's just a way to find out a few random facts about each other!
 
 

What are your top 5 favorite movies to watch during the Holidays?
My favorite is probably A Christmas Story.  "You'll shoot your eye out!" (My boyfriend hates it.)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a close second. 
I like some of the oldies... Miracle on 34th Street (the original) is a cute one.
I think Elf is hilarious and touching at the same time. 
My boyfriend likes Bad Santa, and I admit, it's funny.  ;-)

It’s the month of giving thanks, what are you most thankful for?
I'm thankful for...Our house, and these crazy dogs who share it with us.


I'm thankful for...My family and the fun places we go.

 
And, I'm thankful for this guy...of course. :-)


 
If there was a quote or verse to describe your life, what would it be?
 



Who in your family are you most like?
Hmm.  That might be something that someone else could answer better, but I think I'm a lot like both of my parents, in different ways.  Actually, I think my brother is, too.  So maybe my brother!  ;-)

What is your favorite drink order at Starbucks?
In "winter" (no such thing here) I love the Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but I do want to try the caramel brulee latte this year!!  For the other +/- 9 months of the year I almost always order: Venti ICED tuxedo, with 2 pumps dark and 4 pumps white chocolate, and light ice, and no whipped cream.   :-) 

Valitar!

I don't think I mentioned in my Yellowstone post, but I was born in Cody, Wyoming.  
I spent the first 5 years of my life living on this dude ranch.


Due (I suspect) to being around dozens of horses from a young age, and then having a horse for a few years again after we moved to California, I've always loved them. 
I imagine if we'd stayed in Wyoming I might have a little boy like this by now.  :-)


 
When we visited the ranch this summer, the horse barn might have been my favorite part. The horses are so calm and serene, and a few came over to say hi to us.
Oh, and they are so soft.  I forgot how soft they are.  And how good they smell.  :-)




The point is, I like horses. 
So when I saw billboards around town for Valitar, I was intrigued.
My BF and I drove by one of the billboards together last week and we realized we were both interested, so we looked up some info online and settled on a night to check it out.

  I read the "story" of Valitar on their website (which is not very specific), but intentionally didn't watch any of the videos.  So I wasn't exactly sure of what we might see on Saturday night. 




That evening, we headed up the coast to Del Mar to attend the big event!  No photography was allowed as it might distract the horses, so all of these pics are courtesy of Valitar/Equustria Development, Inc. 
Saturday was only the second public performance (EVER!) of this show.  Kind of exciting!
This is what the tent looks like.  I've been driving past it twice a day for weeks on my way to/from work.


Some contortion starts off the show.

 

Once the horses join the show, it's kind of mesmerizing.




These guys were doing all kinds of stunt riding, racing around the arena. 
There was also some trampoline acrobats and 2 guys on rugged skateboards. 
Pretty crazy!


I really liked the trick riding, where the guys were jumping on and off of the horse, riding backwards, STANDING up on the horses backs!!



This was my boyfriends favorite acrobat... the rope lady. :-)
(There may be some more techniocal term for that...?)



We both thought this guy was really impressive. He did a lot of the stunt riding and was entertaining and engaging.

 This woman had 9 beautiful white horses running and dancing around in sync, with no harnesses/leads or anything.


Probably the most thrilling stunt of the night. 
He went underneath and back to the top while the horse was galloping around the arena. Yikes!
(Also, I loved this horse. Light mane, caramel colored with a few darker spots.  I wanted to pet him!!)




I really don't have anything negative that comes to mind about the show itself.  I was kind of expecting maybe a few more "WHOA! OMG!" moments.  But it is more about the beauty and grace of the horses (and the humans!), and relationship between them. 
Don't get me wrong, the guy going under the horse? The people standing on the horses backs and dancing? The guy being pulled by the horse on the mountainskateboard onto a ramp?  Those were all crazy, but the overall feel of the show is more "zen" than "cRaZy".  And I liked it that way. 

I didn't love the 2 people near me who kept whistling, that ear piercing,  sports game kind of whistle.  They mention no pictures because of the DISTRACTION it could be to the horses.  Not only do I think those whistles could have been, too...but they hurt my ears! Plus, one of them, a guy behind me, was also talking through most of the show. Not quietly.

Besides that the entire experience was extremely pleasant.  
All of the ticket takers and ushers were nice and helpful. 
The parking was easy (though a bit of a rip off at $9). 
The food & drinks in the concession tent were expensive (which is to be expected) but there was a pretty decent variety of snack type items to choose from.  We had an iced mocha and a piece of cake before the show. :-)
 The merchandise area didn't have a ton of options, but there were definitely a few cute shirts I liked.  I ended up buying a long sleeve t-shirt, but in large because no XL available (I've now determined it is going to be extremely tight, but wearable).  And it was $45.   Ouch.  I don't think there was anything under $30 besides the printed program.  (Of course, I still bought one, cuz I'm a sucker for a souvenir.)

I saw on their website that Valitar will begin touring to other cities soon.  If any of this sounds interesting to you, I suggest checking it out!  It was really fun and a great way to spend and evening with my boyfriend.  I think it's a great show to see for a date, or for a family night out! 


 
Disclaimer: I was provided 2 tickets to see Valitar, but all opinions are my own. 
They did not ask me to provide a positive review or to fall in love with the caramel horse. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Rewind!


Here we are. Monday again.  Luckily, it's kind of like Wednesday this week! ;-)
This is gonna have to be quick as I was feeling crappy last night, so didn't take time to prep my post!


Friday...

I bought a couple more frames at Goodwill!  
I am planning to attack the map wall project over the 4 day weekend.  haha  Wish me luck!

I also bought this wooden carved cake plate thing....?
 It's kind of funky & big...but I like it!  I'll figure out somewhere to put it eventually.  
(BF is not a big fan so...going to need to be creative. I called and texted a pic from the Goodwill but he didn't answer so...too bad!)




Saturday... 
 - My BF got up WAY TOO EARLY and went dirtbike riding.
- My MIL arrived for her Thanksgiving week off. 
(I know we did not get the whole week off when I was in school!)

- I did some tidying up of the house, a bit of laundry, all that fun stuff... to the background accompaniment of Mary Poppins.  :-)

- Saturday night we went to the horse show, Valitar! (Post coming!)  It was a good time.


Sunday...

Nothing too exciting.  We switched our dryer door!  It's been opening "the wrong way" for the past year, since we bought it.  So that was actually kind of exciting.  haha 
(Oh, home ownership.)

A bit more laundry, sweeping etc with Mamma Mia in the background.  :-)

Started feeling kind of crappy toward the afternoon.  So I kind of lazed around while my boyfriend made some salsa to stock up the fridge.  Heaven forbid he ever has less than 12 condiments to choose from. ;-)

All grilled and ready to blend up salsa ingredients!



I'll be working from home tomorrow and then one more day in the office... and THEN?  
FOUR DAYS OFF!  Woo hoo! 


Linking up my weekend with these lovely ladies!







Thursday, November 15, 2012

Letters & Fancies (TGIF!)


Hi friends, happy Friday!! 

Before I jump into my letters, 
I wanted to let you know I can be found somewhere else in the blogosphere today!

 I'm visiting over at Across The Pond today, with the fabulous Megan
She is one my daily read, and one of the first "lifestyle" blogs I ever got hooked on  
(which led me to all of <---THIS--->!!).  
I really wish I lived in Europe so we could have a blate!
Maybe when she gets back to the States. :-)
She is one genuinely funny and sweet lady. 

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If you are visiting from Megan's place, HELLO!  
Welcome!  Stick around for a bit. :-) 
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Dear Beautiful Horses... I'm coming to see you!  Apparently you are not only beautiful, but also talented.  I'm excited to find out exactly what that means on Saturday night, at Valitar!

Dear Ocotillo Desert... No crashing allowed for my boyfriend tomorrow, please.  He has to be back in time for Valitar. Plus, I've already been through enough of that crap, right?

Dear Pinterest... I am coming for you this weekend to decide what to eat/make/buy for Thanksgiving.  I'm sure there will be an overwhelming number of ideas, so I should probably narrow it down before I start. ;-)

Dear Christmas Decorating... I'm making some plans for you. OK, the ornament tree might be a bit advanced but I could definitely do the ornaments in the glass jar, and maybe the wine bottles.  Wonder if Gunney would sit still long enough for me to snap a pic like that!  :-)



Dear Readers... I've jumped to 100(+) this week.  Thank you all!  Assuming a lot of you came from my sponsorships recently, we can pretty much agree we will get along , since we read the same blogs. duh.  ; -)

Dear Boyfriend... I'm looking forward to our dinner and a (horse) show date Saturday night. It's been a while since we've done something new. yay! :-)


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Today's Fancies topic was inspired by all the yummy treats that are available in the fall. 
I think I skipped this week in the summer but I know I thought about doing "orange creamsicle 50/50 bars".   :-)

From Alison:   
Winter may not begin until December, but it feels like fall with each passing day. Let's serve up our must-have autumn treats before the season passes on Friday, November 16th. Whether its a snack or a drink, you can have lots of fun with this one!


Plaid Skirt






Can you guess what autumn treat I chose??  Yep, Pumpkin Spice Latte.  :-)    
I love them.  
I was thinking candy apple, or maybe candy corn?  But when I saw this outfit it just jumped out as PSL!  Even a touch of green, like a Starbucks cup!  
The boots are beautiful!  Unfortunately they are $300. 





 I hope you are all having a great Friday and have some fun plans for the weekend!