truth

I sit here, trying to write a poetic entry about all the things I have done in the last 30 years.  I am grasping for the words of the many accomplishments in an attempt to convince myself that I am ok with turning thirty, which happens to be in two days.   I had high hopes of creating a list of things I have done, instead of dwelling on the things on most people’s “30 things to do before you’re thirty” list.  Instead, I have written and deleted more paragraphs that I can keep count of.

Quite simply, I have not been honest with myself, and therefore have no hope at trying to write a post I am not committed to.  Sure, I have done some things that many people dream of:  I have gotten married; I have traveled internationally; I have taken risks in life; I have learned when to play it safe; I have been challenged many times (some I have won, some I have lost); I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  Somehow I am still left with a feeling that I have forgotten something.

Can it be that I have spent so much time trying to accomplish the things I was suppose to that I have forgotten to do the things I wanted to?  Have I been so busy living my life for other people that I forgot to live my life for me?

I guess the best way of answering the question that everyone seems to ask is this:

I am indifferent about turning 30, but I am not ok to continue being such an extreme people pleaser.  I need to start making decisions that are true for me, and to start speaking up with I feel the need.

Maybe I’ll start working on that once I’m thirty.  That, and I need to re-introduce myself to the gym.

Mummy Door

With Halloween only days away, I decided to try a DIY decoration which has been floating around Pinterest.com for the last few weeks.  The basic idea is fairly simple:

  1. Wrap door in Crepe Paper.
  2. Add eyes (I used some super fun giant googly eyes)
  3. Enjoy!

Here’s a pictorial explanation of what I did.  I really like how it came out, and I hope the kids enjoy it Halloween night as well.  I bought all my supplies from Amazon.com.  It was wonderful being able to use my prime account to get these here in a quick 2 days seeing as I waited until last-minute to decide I wanted to do this project.

Not pictured although used: clear tape.

I used the following items:  brown craft paper, masking tape, clear tape,  scissors, 4 rolls of crepe paper, giant googly eyes and a ladder.

Cut two rolls into strips the width of your door.

Cut two rolls into strips the width of your door.

Cover your door with brown (or white) paper.  This is to hide whatever color door you have from showing through.

Cover your door with brown (or white) paper. This is to hide whatever color door you have from showing through.

Be sure to cut an opening for your lock and door knob!

Be sure to cut an opening for your lock and door knob!

Begin taping the strips, using the masking tape, from the top of your door.

Begin taping the strips, using the masking tape, from the top of your door. be creative with how you place your strips!

Determine where you want your eyes.

Determine where you want your eyes.

Continue taping the strips to the entire door.

Continue taping the strips to the entire door.

With the remaining two rolls, cover the strips you have already taped up.  Use the clear tape so the tape does not show on the final product. Again, be creative in your placement.

With the remaining two rolls, cover the strips you have already taped up. Use the clear tape so the tape does not show on the final product. Again, be creative in your placement.

Add the giant googly eyes and any final details you would like.

Add the giant googly eyes and any final details you would like.

I "sealed" the ended with masking tape to make sure all my strips held in place.  Here's a before & after.

I “sealed” the ended with masking tape to make sure all my strips held in place. Here’s a before & after.

 

Here's my final product in the day!

Here’s my final product in the day!

Here's my final product!

Here’s my final product at night!

Next, I’m off to find a dog safe treat to give our trick-or-treaters who are joined by their furry friends.

I hope all of you who celebrate the day have a safe & happy Halloween!

City by the Bay

Recently my husband and I recently spent a fantastic week in San Francisco, with a side trip to Monterey, visiting with two amazing people.  I won’t bore you with the details, but below are a few of my favorite shots from the week.  Here’s a quick list of some of our adventures:

  • Ghirardeli Chocolate & Wine festival
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Restaurant 1833 (I highly recommend this dinner experience, the atmosphere was incredible, the food was delicious, I really can’t say enough.  Check it out here:  Restaurant 1833)
  • Redwood Room with table service (This was quite the experience; something I was lucky enough to be a part of.)
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • Japanese Tea Garden
  • Walt Disney Museum (yes, there’s a museum and yes, I went.)
  • Misc touristy stuff

Rest assured, we made a ton of wonderful memories.  Feel free to click on the photos for a larger image.  Enjoy!

Ghirardelli Fest

Signs

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Yes please!

Yes, please!

Golden Gate Bridge

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I really found this interesting.  All this furniture is fixed to the building in a way that it looks like it is in the process of an escape.

I really found this interesting. All this furniture is in the process of their grand escape.

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Interesting fact:  Although these houses appear in the opening credits of Full House, the house in which the tanner Family "lived" is found several blocks away.

Interesting fact: Although these houses appear in the opening credits of Full House, the house in which the Tanner family “lived” is found several blocks away and now has a tree planted in front of the main window.

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I could have stayed in the garden all day.  It is such a peaceful place.

I could have stayed in the garden all day. It was such a peaceful place.

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This is a small part of the menu at 1833.  A member of our party had the whole chicken, it was well worth the wait!

This is a small part of the menu at 1833. A member of our party had the whole chicken, it was well worth the hour wait!  Plus, we passed the time in true foodie fashion – many small plates and various specialty drinks!

 

Captain Phillips

When previews first started rolling out for the blockbuster Captain Phillips I was intrigued.  Although I do remember the many news reports and video footage that seemed to dominate the airwaves, my memories of the events from April 2009 are a bit fuzzy.  I hate to admit that following this piece of worldwide news was not high on my list of priorities.

So here I am, four years later, faced with the decision to see this movie about the heroic captain’s journey.  Until I read the now infamous New York Post article, dated October 13, 2013. For those that have not read the article, here’s a brief overview.  According to the crew, as told to the New York Post, the movie is a grave exaggeration of the events that truly happened.  It is claimed that the Captain Phillips not only ignored repeated warnings of Somali pirate attacks, but he arrogantly ignored Somali pirates as their boats came dangerously close to the Maersk, as well as purposefully sailed closer to shore than he should have.  Many of the crew filed suit shortly after their safe return, two of which have already settled and others that go to trial this December.  Their suit alleges a purposeful disregard for their safety on the part of Captain Phillips.

With my curiosity piqued, I further researched recent articles concerning the movie and Captain Phillips.  I came across an article from the Boston Globe, dated October 8, 2013.  This article appears to be written based on a recent interview Captain Phillips had with the offices of Vermont Public Radio.  In this interview, Phillips vaguely discussed the incident and also talks about his lack emotional distress following the ordeal and what it was like to watch the movie twice.  Phillips talks about his lack of emotional response, stating that the ordeal did not have a great effect on him.

While I am not an expert, nor do I personally know Captain Phillips, I find it hard to believe that after everything he went through (being taken hostage, being held at gunpoint, spending days not knowing if it would be your last , etc.), Phillips was able to watch the movie twice without any emotional response.

Unless of course, the crew members are speaking a bit of truth.  I am torn on watching this movie.  While I believe Tom Hanks has done a wonderful job with the role, I do not feel right supporting a story that may be so misguided.

So have any of you seen the movie?  Do you plan on seeing it, or has this new controversy changed your opinion on going?

New York Post Article

Boston Globe Article

Dinner Adventures

With an endless to-do list, I decided to dust off my Crock Pot and put dinner together early a few days ago.  After wasting my morning diligently researching on pinterest, I came across a pin that seemed right up my alley: Bacon-Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken.  I must say, I was really impressed!  With the combination of the apples along with the BBQ sauce, not only did the house smell delicious all day, but it tasted just as I had hoped.

You can find the recipe on my pinterest page here:

Yum!

 First, create the yummy sauce.  I used four large Gala apples, and that seemed to be plenty.Make the sauce!

Wrap up the chicken in bacon.  Place in prepped crock pot (I used Pam).

    Wrap it up!

 Cover the chicken in the BBQ-Apple mixture.

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Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  I checked mine around 7 hours and I think it was slightly overdone.  Next time I make it, I will check it at 6 hours.

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To go along with dinner, I made a salad and baked some yummy cornbread.  The cornbread was so easy, and really good.  Here’s all you need to do:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F
  • Mix together two boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix, two eggs and one can of creamed corn.
  • Spread mixture in a greased pan. (I used an 8×8 with some Pam)
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes. (This depends on your pan size.  After 30ish minutes, check the bread and adjust your time accordingly.)

Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of the final meal or the cornbread.  It smelled so good, once my hubby came home I was simply too distracted to take a picture.  I couldn’t wait to plate our dinner and dig in.  Overall, I would make this again.  With the sweetness of the apples, I will cut back on the brown sugar, but that is the only significant change I plan on making.

It’s been too long!

I cannot believe a month has gone by since my last post!  This has flown by and I can’t wait to catch you all up.  I have had such a blast these last few weeks I don’t even know where to begin.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Trip to San Francisco with my husband to visit two very close friends.
  • Started taking a photography class.
  • HUGE strides have been made with the house (both with work we are having done and things I needed to do around the house.
  • We are partially moved in. (woohoo!)
  • I’m still pinterest obsessed and I’m working on putting together a pin-board for you all to see what I’ve been up to.

My most recent change involves a purchase I made.  After some debate on the decision, I bought a Vitamix (www.vitamix.com).  Thanks to a great friend and a fieldtrip to her local Costco, I am the proud new owner of “Vicky”, a Vitamix 6300 (www.vitamix.com).  I am in love.

In the last two days Vicky and I have made three smoothies, two soups and a pumpkin pie ice cream (yum!).  I look forward to seeing what else we can come up with.  I am really enjoying cooking and having dinner ready for my husband when he comes home.  Thankfully, he is willing to support my experimentation and will eat anything I make at least once.

Here’s the recipes for those who have their own version of Vicky.

Bacon Cheddar Potato Soup: I thought this was a little bland, but also just realized I forgot to add the rosemary, so that may be why.

 

Bacon Cheddar Potato Soup

Fall Freeze (Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream) : I omitted the cream cheese, used a little more milk, and made my own pumpkin pie spice mix.

Tortilla Soup: I added cooked chicken breast at the end.

Smoothies:  I was always fairly pretty consistent with my smoothies, although now with Vicky I will be able to expand into new combinations.   I can’t wait!