Sunday, May 31, 2009

Conquering the Coffee

I made an espresso all by myself this morning without any help from Don. Even though I had casually observed Don several times make the coffee with his Aeropress coffee contraption, I still couldn't figure it out and ruined two cups before I finally went to the computer and found a step by step demo on Youtube: How did we ever survive without the internet? True there are other sources of information, but none that are awake this early on a Sunday morning!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Right Spot

He fell asleep like this.

Sushi Night Pictorial

Needed to get out of the house a couple of weeks ago and decided on Sumo Sushi. Don and Nathan had been there before for lunch and the lunch specials are amazing. Dinner time is a little different story. Aside from a little grumbling about overspending, we had a good time.

At night time, the place has totally different atmosphere than the day. The room is dimly lit with black lighting which made my white shirt look really cool. Fun!

This was by far the best thing we ordered. Fresh Roll with Eel and LOTS of Avocado. It was beautiful and delicious!

Oysters on the half shell. I did not partake in this menu item, but it was pretty enough to take a picture of.

Back to the car and happy from Saki. Why am I the only one smiling? Is it because I just scolded Don for ordering too much food and going over our budget?

What's the best way to finish off sushi night? How about heating up a blackberry pie made with 100% marionberries. Uh, I think this is one for the FAIL Blog.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vacation & Goals

I've been having a lovely three day weekend with my sister. Much more enjoyable than when she was here last year over Labor Day weekend and we had a heat emergency. Couldn't do anything outside! This time, I think we've found a good balance between activity and relaxation. Feels like the way a three day weekend should feel like, family outings, fun and down time. We've been enjoying catching up, creating new recipes, exploring hiking/walking opportunities, a movie at the Arclight (Terminator IV) and yesterday, a really nice afternoon at the beach just north of Malibu near Zuma Beach. We picniced, layed out in the sun, and did a nice little hike to the cliff top with a gorgeous ocean view where we spotted dolphins, seals, and even a cute friendly neighborhood squirrel that some other tourists nicknamed "Rocky."

Today, we're winding down our weekend with some productivity: Kristy working on her Resume while I do some chores and errands to get ready for the week. It's been a refreshing weekend and I'm feeling a bit inspired to change up my routine a bit when I get back to everyday life. Now that Don is getting into his job more, I have a lot more "me time" and I'm starting to think about how I want to invest that time. Of course one of my big goals coming up is a half marathon with my sister-in-law so part of that time will be spent focused on training.

Also, the simplest image of a girl reading a book on the beach yesterday sparked my appetite and interest to get more into reading. So I'm thinking about setting a goal to read 25 books in a year. That's about two a month which I think I could do. If anybody has any good suggestions on what to read I'm open to them. For the most part I like to read for entertainment so I'm drawn to fiction. I also love period pieces, books that incorporate lots of natural elements such as environment and weather, and books centered on strong female characters.

Finally, I plan to get back more into blogging. I want to continue to become better with my finances and the Cheapskate Blog has really helped me to keep on track.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Schedules & Phones & Stuff

Don has a schedule! And it's really not so bad. They have two shifts, an 8:30 to 5:00 and a noon to close which they alternate every other day. One weekday off a week plus every other Sunday. I'm sure I will miss him on the weekends but at least I am seeing him more on the weeknights than I thought I would be. And a day off in the middle of the week might be a nice change too.

He seems to be happy so far with his choice although a bit frustrated that the dealership is taking their sweet time with getting him set up with computer access, etc. Kind of prevents him from being able to start the sales process which sucks since that's what he gets paid for! But he has made use of his time by getting familiar with the cars and stock. Still a little mind numbing though with long hours not really being able to fully dig into the process yet.

He did finally get a login and password yesterday so was able to at least get limited access to websites and stuff. Discovered their security restrictions were so tight he couldn't even access gmail. Since Don lost his company paid cell phone with Revchem, we've been putting off the purchase of a new plan and phone until finances were more settled. Had been planning to wait awhile since starting this new job has been quite expensive already. It's cost us about $500 so far in new wardrobe and special licensing requirements ouch. Well, not being able to instant message my husband during the day was the last straw. We are going ahead with the cell phone purchase although Don has done his research and figured out how to get what he needs for virtually the same amount as we are paying for a landline now. He found a great phone that is Skype compatible. He'll buy a data plan only for about $37 a month and skip the phone service. Then he'll use Skype as his phone service which is only about $3 a month plus $60 annual fee for the phone number. We're cancelling the landline and I got a new battery and wall charger for my prepaid phone. So, to all of my friends who have complained for so long, I will finally be carrying my cell phone on a regular basis, although to keep my minutes down I'll also try to rely on instant messenger and skype to keep in touch with family and friends for longer conversations. Anybody who needs my cell phone number, shoot me an email.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 1

It is Day 1 of Don's new job at Volkswagon which means lots of changes. It will be an adjustment from working from home, to being unemployed, to working long hours with a long commute; an adjustment for him and for me. I have complete faith in him to take this job by storm and get everything he possibly can from it. And I'm happy for the people who will get to have him guide them through the car buying process. I'm also a little afraid of the unknown not knowing what kind of changes we'll have to make adjusting to our new lifestyles. I asked a friend how she copes with her partner working long hours, and she said they make it work by making the most of the time they do have together. In some ways she said it's kind of like being newlyweds and rediscovering each other all over again. I'm looking forward to that part. I hope Don is having fun test driving everything that VW has to offer.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Nutter Butter

This is my new nickname for Cordy who apparently got into our pantry and ate an entire ziploc bag full of macademia nuts. She paid for it dearly and has been looking green and miserable for the last 24 hours. Finally ate her breakfast last night around dinner time. Picking up the yard has been interesting. Any squirrel traveling through our back yard at the moment will think they have hit the jackpot.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

31 Years of Don

Don said himself that he was completely unimpressed by the idea of turning 31. It seems like the most insignificant birthday he's had to date. Your twenties are pretty exciting, all of the momentum gaining up toward the big 30. Then it finally culminates, and guess what you just keep ticking away and continue to get older. Birthdays after you turn 30 I think just don't have the same significance anymore.
Additionally, I had also made a big blunder and mixed up my instant messaging conversations earlier in the week so I accidentally disclosed to Don all of the birthday presents he was getting thinking I was chatting with Jeremy, so I ruined the one surprise/excitement factor that there was to look forward to. So needless today, Don didn't have any specific feelings/excitement/inclinations toward how he wanted to spend his 31st Birthday.
His priorities were pretty much what they are every other day which may be a reflection of aging. He just wanted to spend time with friends, enjoy some good food, and appreciate being thought of. So two days before the party I came up with the brilliant idea of having an appetizer party and put out a quick evite. We knew it was last minute so weren't expecting a big crowd, but just about everyone from the main crew made it and we had a really nice time. It was a very busy morning for me as I recently undertook the task of training for a half marathon with my sister in law so in addition to grocery shopping, food prep, and cleaning, I also had to squeeze in a 6 mile run. But it all worked out and we got to enjoy a really lovely evening with some great friends and phenomenal food. Appetizer party, by the way... Huge hit! We all ate too much to be sure, but it won't stop us from doing it again.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of our lovely spread.

Top: Mango Salsa, Guacamole, Traditional Salsa
Bottom: Pizza Bites, Grapes, Cracked Black Pepper Crackers, Prosciutto

Salsa Sampler

Triple Cream Baked Brie & Cranberries in a sourdough Bread Bowl

Sliders with Shallot Dijon Relish and Smoked Grilled Jalapeno Poppers wrapped in Turkey Bacon

I don't think Don and I will every make a regular burger again. The sliders were just too delicious and great for a party atmosphere!

Food brings people together. Here is a symbol of friendship if I've ever seen one. All of our rings hang out together while we get into the food prep.