Thursday, March 24, 2011

Liebster Love, Pass It On

I checked my email last night before I went off to slumber and to my surprise my friend Sacha (from June - Bug and Beila - Bot and Popi Too! 2011) informs me she has so graciously bestowed unto me a super awesome blog award ...

You know, the older you get the less opportunities you get to recieve awards, so I wasn't sure if I should give some sort of speech for this momentus occasion thanking everyone that makes it possible for me to blog...then I realized I might need to take it down a notch, so instead I will thank Sacha!  She is this super awesome person I met a couple of years ago in our church small group.  She is refreshing to be around and very down to earth.   She is by no means a cookie cut version of those around her...she is original and dances to the beat of her own drum and thats what I admire most about her. She has 3 b-e-a-utiful daughters and one thing I immediately noticed about Sacha is how much she loves her family.  You should totally check out her blog. 

Part of the liebster award is that it is given by small bloggers (less than 300 followers), and then in turn you give it to 2-5 small blogs(less than 300 followers) that you read. you link back to your awarder and awardee and in turn makes a big chain of blogs you could follow that you might have never read. kinda fun, huh?

My first Liebster goes to The Desperate House Mommy.  She barely has less than 300 hundred followers, so by the rules I am able to nominate her.  She blogs about her kids, funny moments that happen, etc.  I love the way she blogs...it makes you feel like you're chatting with a girlfriend finding the humor in everyday occurances.  The first blog of hers I came accross was Dear Lady Gaga....  (when she arrived at some awards show in an EGG) and it made me laugh.  I don't know her personally, but her info says she's a former teacher so I have to give her mad props yo.  Toughest job there is: Motherhood... Second toughest: Teacher.  Surpringly both are under paid.  What gives???  I digress...her blog is a fun read :)


Another blog I just love is ...A Good Life.  I can't award it since she is just too popular and exceeds the 300 limit, but it really is a good blog.  I liked her originally because our sons are practically the same age, so everthing she was going through I was too.  She also takes great photos and is always so friendly with tips.  She took this one photo of her son licking the handle of a shopping cart and I have been hooked ever since...wordlessish-wednesday-not-mom-of-year.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

May I have a little cheese with that Wine?

I'm not much of a drinker...whether I'm drinking or not, I end up in the same place...in bed asleep.  Just with liquor, I get there quicker.   I also married a man that has never tasted a drop of alcohol his entire life, so drinking alone feels a bit pathetic after awhile...you know?  Like I'm a raging alcoholic, I don't care if the company I keep is drinking or not, I'm going to drink!  Although, a glass of wine every now and then does take the edge off a stressful day. One of my favorite things to do is peruse the wine aisles and find one I might want to try.  If nothing catches my eye, I'll grab ol' faithful - Martini & Rossi Asti.  It's everything a girly girl would like in a sparkling wine - light, bubbly, and sweet.  I'll have to give a shout out to my friend Casey since this was our cheap wine of choice when we were roommates...what??  Don't Judge~  Well, it wasn't THAT cheap...about $15...we could have done some $4.99 Reunites wine, LOL. 

I ventured down the aisle titled "Wines Made Locally."  I was unaware just how many winery's we actually had.  Honestly, the wines that catch my eye the most are the ones with the cutest/funniest labels.  So, for me I do judge some books by their cover, but this particular one had my brothers name on it and it won a red wine award, so I snagged it.  StableRidge Vineyards - Jeremiah's Red.   I loved it! It was light and not too sweet.  I by no means have a refined pallet or a vast knowledge of all things WINE.  I just tell ya what I like :) 


Now to solidify my mother of the year award, I'm going to post a few March photo's of my kid in this blog about liquor. Don't worry, I don't take him out like this, we were in our backyard :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Life's a Garden, Dig It" - Joe Dirt

I have this dream that one day I'll have me this HUGE garden in my backyard to grow a whole mess of fruits and vegetables.  My husband was sweet enough to start a smaller version for me this week :)  We planted things like rosemary, thyme, cilantro, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers...just the things we normally eat. 



While I was out, I took a few more pictures of the scenery around the 'ol abode. 


I like how on our super old aka vintage thermostat, there are 3 temperature descriptions: Zero, Freeze, and Ideal.  Luckily, that day we were having Ideal weather :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cooking with Mom: Lesson #1 - Gimbap

I have this fear my mom will NEVER teach me how to make all her great Korean cuisine.  I think I have made it pretty clear how much I love food, but Korean food is #1 in my heart.  I can't even narrow it down to one specific dish.  You know those people that say they do not like Chinese food?  I always follow up that statement with, "You don't like ANY Chinese dish??  So you just dislike ALL Chinese food? I don't believe it."  I am the opposite, I love ALL Korean food...well, I haven't tried anything I didn't like thus far. 

Oh, I also don't like when people say they don't like sushi, but the only sushi they tried came from their local Chinese buffet.  Most of the time Chinese buffet sushi is EWH.  It's been sitting there for awhile and the rice is soggy with no flavor.  I digress...

So, I thought to begin my Korean culinary training with my mom I should start off with something basic - Gimbap (gim = seaweed  bap = rice).  My Korean is abysmal, but I know my food. LOL.  First I had to figure out how to get my mom to teach me.  It really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I just called her  up and asked her a few questions about gimbap which peaked her interest enough to ask me why I was asking so I told her I had bought all the stuff and planned on attempting it at home this weekend.  She then told me to come over and we would make them together.  Sweet

To be completely honest with you, I didn't think it was going to be THAT difficult...and I was kind of right.  It was TIME CONSUMING.  It is more prep work than anything. Let's begin.

Now keep in mind there are many different ingredients you can use for gimbap.  Some have even put cheese in it!  (My husband would totally be grossed out right now.) I have even had it with SPAM.  Don't knock spam people. It is the delicious processed meat we're all ashamed to like.  Here are the foods we used.  We made 1/2 with crab meat and 1/2 with bulgogi (Korean marinated beef).  BTW, burdock root is a crisp slender root with a slight sweet flavor.  The pickled radish is sweet as well.  On a side note, I have a friend that told me gimbap with just crab meat instead of bulgogi is considered "cheap gimbap" lol - it made me laugh. 

















   First, we start off with steaming some rice.  You have to make sure the rice does not come out wet or soggy.  Once the rice is done, you will add some white rice vinegar and some toasted sesame seeds.  For about 2 cups of cooked rice, maybe about 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar.  You really just add to taste...little less, little more.  Spread the rice evenly over seaweed sheet. 
 
 

You will also need to prepare all the delicious goodies on the inside.  The sweet pickled radish, burdock root, and crab meat just needs to be sliced into strips out of the package.  Carrots, you will need to shred julienne style and throw those in a frying pan with some cooking oil and salt  and saute for a few minutes.  Cook until they are semi soft with a slight bite to them.  Spinach, you will boil a pot of water.  Once the water is fully boiling, you will add the spinach for about a minute...just enough time for them to wilt down. Rinse with cold water.  After you drain the spinach, you will mix in some sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and a little bit of sugar (1/2 a tsp for one bunch of spinach).  For the fried eggs, mix 4 eggs, a little salt and pepper and fry into a flat sheet, then cut into strips.  Fish cakes (yes, I know this doesn't sound good, but it is) you will cut into strips and fry those up as well (very little oil) until they are golden brown.  Fry these slowly.  


One trick is to put the julienne cut carrots in between 2 long strips of radish and burdock to keep them in place.  My mom made the first batch and then I made the second.  This is when I learned it was not as simple as my mom made it look all these years. 


See how you don't see the spinach and carrots very well?  In the words of my mother, "It doesn't look pretty."  Food needs to be pleasing to the eye first.  My first few rolls of gimbap did not look as colorful as they should be.  I tried again and overcompensated and made them way too thick.  I could barely roll them shut!  Around the end of the "session" I got the hang of it.  Oh yeah, after you roll it, you rub a little bit of sesame oil on the outside.





Hamulnee (g-ma) feeding Christian.  He would not stay out of the kitchen. 
He crawled in there about a dozen times just staring @ the food like he had
never been fed before.  See the rice stuck to his face.  That's my classy kid.


Good News: My cousin and her husband in Japan are safe.  They were not in the area of the tsunami. We should keep those in Japan in our prayers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Time to give myself a serious pep talk - Weight Loss Journey to 30

It's been 67 days and I have (only) lost 8.2 lbs.  That is about 1.1 lbs a week.  I know I should be happy with any weight loss, but I have secretly been beating myself up that I have only lost 8 lbs.  If I were to go off the average healthy weight loss of 2 lbs per week, I should have lost closer to 18 lbs by now. I only have myself to blame, therefore it is time to give myself a pep talk!  I can spend the rest of this blog crying about the hurtles I have faced in the last 2 months (blizzard, pulled calf muscle, lack of time), but what is that going to solve?  Facts are facts people and frankly I need to do less eating and more "working on my fitness" (in the great words of Fergie). The amount of food I ingest has decreased, but not what I am ingesting (i.e. pizza, rice @ dinner, SWEETS!) 

Honestly, I would like to lose at least 1/2 by Christian's 1st birthday.  I plan on scheduling our first family photos and I would like to feel less FRUMPY

Cristal,
It is time to step it up.  You have been coasting on your weight loss journey to 30 and before you know it YOU WILL BE 30.  You have 22 weeks left - that is 155 days before your 30th birthday.  Surely you will be able to make it to you ideal weight! 

You're doing great attending Zumba and spin, but you promised yourself you would work out at least 4 days a week and you haven't been meeting that goal.  You also need to cut out rice @ dinner and no more fattening takeout and sweets! 

Life is too short to remain unhappy about your weight.  It is time to get this under control and move on with your life. 

Post back March 30th with better results.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Moto-Photo Weekend ~ Flea Market & Whole Foods

I realize that it is Tuesday and typical weekend summaries are done on Mondays, but my child woke up Monday morning a different baby...he woke up as what I would assume to be his alter ego. The mother of Dr. Jekyll just met Mr. Hyde.  He somehow developed new almost terrible two's behavior sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning - tantrums, crying hysterically when I took something away, refusal to eat...and I am praying to God that this is due to teething and not a foreshadowing of my near future.  You know that feeling you get when someone has done something shockingly foul to you and the first thing you say is, "Oh no you didn't!"  with that extra bit of sass? 

Once again, I digress...here is my Moto Photo weekend...

Our first plan free Saturday, we decided to check out the flea market.  On a list of top 5 favorite activies my husband enjoys, going to the flea market would be on that list.  I don't collect anything, so when I go it is purely for my husbands sake.  Lets just say we will eventually have to purchase a bigger house to accomodate for his second hand treasures if that gives you a clue how deep his love for collectibles goes.  I took advantage of the moment and took a few shots of some  in's and oddities.  It's actually a pretty nice flea market.   I don't know how many flea markets provide a live band for their patrons. 


 Christian took to the live music and people rather well.  He always just stares at everyone with his mouth open. 


Here are a few things that caught my eye.  My Buddy - wherever I go, heeeee goes...my buddy, my buddy, Battery powered bartender - great toy for all children, "The Ideal" Bed & Douche Slipper - uhhhhh...., and a Armadillo purse - fierce and fashionable - I think it really makes a statement





Sunday, we took a trip Whole Foods.  If I could buy all my groceries at Whole Foods, well I would be broke.  If you ever want a nice cut of meat or bigger selection of fruits and vegetables...or granola, vegan, gluten-free or other hippie lovin' foods, it's the place to go.

Don't you love how clueless he looks in the first picture? In the third photo he is reaching for some whey protein powder...trying to bulk up for the laaaaay-deeees.  We let him touch all the fruits and vegetables...the cantaloupe freaked him out and he almost started crying, all the rest he tried to take a bite out of so we had to stop handing him fruit. 
 


I don't know why I buy him graphic t-shirts because he always has a bib on (due to his excessive drooling). He's wearing a Bruce Lee t-shirt and some converse...let's just say all the hippie ladies loved him.  One lady even said, "Oh, you want to come home with me cutie." That always creeps me out, so I smiled and walked away slowly.

So I have this addiction to Chip'ins.  I first came across them at Walgreens and recently have seen them at Wal-Mart.  It is basically compressed popcorn.  The calorie and fat is far less than regular potato chips, but when you eat the whole bag in one sitting it really doesn't mean much does it?  Anyways...moving along before I think about how sad that moment was when I looked down and to my suprise they were all gone - yes me...all me.



By the time we got home, he was all tuckered out. 


"Moto-Photo" - Photo's taken on my MOTOrola Droid 2 :) just fyi.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

D-Day...Delivery Day that is

Last weekend, some friends and I threw our friend Casey a baby shower.  Her and her husband have 2 boys and this will make their first girl.   Like most first time pregancies, Casey is getting anxious about D-Day...Delivery day that is and she has every right to be!  It's the most unpredictable experience known to (WO)man.  You can talk to 100 women and every one will have a different story to tell you.  For instance, our friend Jill had an easy breezy delivery...bing bang boom 3 pushes and it was over.  My friend from work had THE WORST labor experience I had ever heard.  Everything from delivering almost a month early, being in labor for days, and then having to feel everything due to the epidural wearing off.  She is still a little bitter and it's been 3 years if that tells you anything.  It doesn't matter how many stories you hear, your story will be completely different.  It all depends on you and your baby.  The only advice I can give her for that day is to try to take it all in because before you know it, it's over.  I felt like the whole experience went by so quickly...I didn't want to leave the hospital.  I just wanted to pack up all the super awesome nurses and take them home with me.  I'm so excited for Casey to experience all that is motherhood from the absolute very beginning.  The funny thing is I was scared about D-day my whole pregnancy, but that morning when my water broke a calm came over me and I was just ready...ready to meet my son (omg, I'm about to get emotional).  Take a breath!



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Son & his Butt Paste

For whatever reason, my son has been oddly attached to his tube of butt paste.  For the past 3 days he seeks it out if I've left it on the floor or on the changing table and then holds onto it.  At first I thought maybe he was trying to tell me something..."mom my butt itches...why don't you do something about that"  so I checked his bottom, but rash free...he just likes his tube of butt paste!
Let me clarify, he likes both brands - Butt Paste Diaper Rash Creme and Desitin Diaper Creme.  Today the Desitin won.  He literally will hold on to it while using only one hand to play with his toys. 

I pray this does not become a weird "security blanket"  How odd would that look if my kid just carried around butt paste wherever he went.  *sigh*
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