Friday, June 27, 2008

The night we slept on the beach...oh and my birthday!

A bit late, but yes! Seeing as my birthday day fell on a Tuesday this year, I got to spend an entire week celebrating. Not that birthdays are ALL about gifts, but my friends are the greatest!
  • Emmy Fro got me a great lavender mask, an appletini fizzy bubble bath, and some delicious smelling lotion from Vicky's.

  • Boss Lady really surprised me with a gift certificate to Exhale Spa in Santa Monica.

  • Jota got me a new i-pizzle, complete with arm band for the gym. He also got me a condom for my phone. Hopefully it will have a longer life than the last one.

  • Byn sent me quite possibly the cutest assortment of gifts I've ever received. A cupcake cookbook, a grillz lollipop, grow my own birthday cake, and the cutest little photo album ever!

  • Liz hooked me up with a nice rolling pin. Random you might say, but she remembered hearing me say that I usually use a bottle of wine when rolling out my pizza crust. She also gave me a great baking cookbook.

  • Jota's parents sent me beautiful flowers to the office. I loved them!

So yes, my friends are the bestest friends in the entire world. Each one of them totally picked out a part of my personality and ran with it. I truly appreciate each and every one of them.  The friends, not the presents.  Gosh, I'm not that bratty.  

The best part of my birthday was Saturday, when we raced cars, putt putted, and rock climbed our way through Mulligan's Family Fun Center in Torrance. It was incredibly hot, but absolutely the most fun I've had in ages!

On the way home, we stopped by Drew and Liz's for a dip in the pool and some margaritas. And some pina coladas, yum. And some beers. We jetted home in time to shower, and meet Annie and Kevin out for some more beers and fun at Hinano. Jota and I left soon after midnight, stopped by Nick's Market to grab a road beer for the walk to Townhouse, but unfortunately never made it. We did however make it to the beach, only to fall asleep on a towel until about 4:00 in the morning. Oops.

What's in your fridge?

A week or so ago, Miss Katelin posted a "What's in your trunk?" blog. Well, my trunk is pretty boring. Puppy gate from puppy sitting. Box of plastic water bottles that need to be recycled. And that's it. My fridge though, that's interesting. So without further ado...

  • Some eggy whites, and real eggys too.  Plain eggy whites creep me out, so I need a yolk or two in there.
  • Earth Balance - Vegan butter.  An accidental buy at Trader Joe's but I'm kind of into it.  
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Butter - For Jota, he's not too sure about the vegan butter.  
  • Half and Half for the coffee
  • Brita Filter, because while I will swim in Venice water, I certainly won't drink it.  
  • Heart's Desire Meatless Chicken Strips.  I'm afraid to try them.  
  • Edamame hummus from Whole Foods.  So good.  
  • That white tub is my cheese tub.  Shredded cheese, gouda cheese, string cheese.  I heart all cheese.  Except swiss.  Nasty.  
  • Champagne Liz brought over from her and Drew's engagement pizza party.  Congrats!
  • West Soy Unsweetened Vanilla Soymilk is amazing in my smoothies.  
  • Bud.  Wise.  Er.  The king of beers.  
  • Club Soda for VD's nasty vodka beverages.  Yes,  she also keeps her own bottle of Seagram's in the liquor cabinet. 
  • Spicy Hot V8 that Ben left after making red beers the other week.  
  • Jolt Cola.  Free from kickball.  Unfortunately, no one will drink it. 
So what's in your fridge?  Or junk drawer?  

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Feature...Baking!

As you will read in my birthday post (coming up once I add some photos), Liz and Byn both gave me some great baking cookbooks. I plan to try one recipe per week, posting my photos, critiques, and of course mistakes here. Of course I won't post the actual recipe, but I'll let you know the titles in case you'd like to play along.

So better get to band practice! Or maybe I can bake on the day you have soccer, and you can have band practice the next day? That way you can take some yummies for the boys. Then we can call you The Cupcakes, or The Cupcake Effect...or something like that.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jotas Go Green

These past few weeks, I've had mini heart attacks every time I spied the prices at the Arco station on Pico and 4th, the cheapest gas station in Santa Monica. Their gas is $4.55/gallon. It's $4.79 at the place on Santa Monica and Lincoln. Seeing as I'm bopping around town in a Ford Escape that barely gets 13 miles/gallon, this is becoming a bit of an issue with my wallet. This time last year, I was spending $40 each visit to the pump, twice a month. That's $80 a month on gas, and let's add an additional $20 to make a round $100. Not too shabby. Of course it helps that my office is five miles from home and I pretty much refuse to drive anywhere on the weekends.

Flash forward a year, and thanks to, I can see my petrol spending is now up to $150 a month. Combine that with an increase in the price of flour, fruit, veggies, and pretty much everything beside fish, because fishies don't eat grains, making them more affordable, however there's that whole high in mercury problem, so you shouldn't eat it more than once a week, and hello, my three percent raise in January is doing nothing to cover these increases, and who cares about the ten percent bonus at the end of the year, because that shit is not helping me now. Thank God for rent control.

So in a effort to save some green (meaning money and the environment), Jota and I spent some time this weekend discussing the little changes we can make. Taking a cue from little miss Ashley, here's our plan:

  • Biking everywhere we can on weekends. My little wheels were all over town on Saturday. Helping the Barker's move, going to chill on Main St. Note to self, even though legs are the motor, it might be best to not bike while completely and totally sloshed. Accidents do happen.
  • Buy Jota a basket for his bike so we can run more household errands.
  • Reusable grocery bags. We have two from Albertson's, however we rarely use them. We do at least re-use the paper bags to collect our recycling in.
  • Smaller, more frequent grocery trips. I'll admit it, we waste food. I'll forget that we have squash or berries, and I find them all moldy in the fridge when I go to unpack the new groceries. We're going to try shopping for one meal at a time, and stock all the essential staples.
  • Farmer's Market! We need to start going to the Venice Market as well as visiting local shops like Winward Farms.
  • Stop buying non-recyclable plastic. Bolthouse Farms, I heart your carrot juice, but you're out.
  • Use biodegradable soaps. I already have these for the dishwasher (bad, but we don't run it everyday), I need to look into dish and body soap.
  • Eat vege. This will be a toughie. I grew up on a cattle farm, and love me some beef. And bacon. And chicken. I am going to try and find other protein options to supplement our diet.

We shall see how this goes!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Secret Admirer?

Yesterday evening I decided to bike up to Main Street and get a mani pedi before meeting all of our friends out for the night.  It was just a tad chilly, the sun was shining, an absolutely perfect solo jaunt on little Miss Betsy (that's my bike's name.)  Walking out of the nail salon, I decided that I needed to move my bike closer to the bar area of Main Street, a couple blocks down.  In my basket, I found this...

Hi my name is Will and you rode by me today and I thought you looked so beautiful that I wanted to introduce myself...But you went into a shop before I could make a fool of myself.  I don't know how to convince you to call me, so I will leave it up to chance. can flip the coin to see if you should call...If not just know someone noticed the "light" around you!

So I'm thinking, really?  The only person I remember making eye contact with before walking inside was a father out for ice cream with his little girl and wife.  If he wasn't in the immediate area where I parked, how far did he follow me for, and how did I not notice that I was being followed?  

All creepiness aside, that little note was quite the confidence builder.  I would have called if it weren't for the coin business.  Yes, he left a quarter in the note.  I wonder if he knows he just paid for a third of a load of laundry?  

Da obviously found the notion romantic or at least intriguing enough to text the fellow, "My friend is taken, however I have a light of my own."

His response, "Not surprised!  Love is always worth risking something for though!  lucky guy...I hope it is awesome for her...Good thoughts and thanks for writing to tell me."

Dude does not even realize the hotness of Da that he just missed out on.  

Yes, I was on the booze last night.  No, I did not blackout.  I did however, have a rough time getting started on the bike ride home.  Maybe I did need that burrito.  

Monday, June 09, 2008

Baking my Little Heart Out

When Jota and I first moved to Santa Monica, we only had each other. Seriously, we had no friends. Until we got Linus McDuff of course. Then we were constantly bombarded by crazy dog ladies, but that's another post all in itself.

Being an avid soccer player, Jota set out to find some local pick up games and teams. This is where he met his first friend, Nick Barker. Nick invited us over to his apartment for a BBQ on Memorial Day weekend in 2005, and the rest is history. Soon we were gallivanting around town with Nick and Emily, and more friends to follow.

On the nights Jota played soccer, I found myself with nothing to do. See, unfortunately, Emily worked nights at the hospital. Totally awesome when I didn't have to be in the office until 1:00pm. We'd spend many a morning watching reruns of Dawson's Creek and eating chocolate chip pancakes. However, it totally sucked in terms of watching shitty reality tv and Desperate Housewives.

To pass time, I resorted to baking. First it was always my oatmeal chocolate chip pecan cookies. Then homemade Milanos, coconut kisses, applesauce muffins, etc. While Jota appreciated the baking, it was the men at the office who really loved the goodies. Before long, our CEO was asking, "Doesn't your boyfriend have a soccer game this week?"

When I started in a new division last year, the baking began to slack off. Pretty soon, it was only for birthdays. And then only the people I liked.

Last week, I had an epiphany. Jota and the boys have band practice once a week. I should start baking again! And baking I did. Em's baby shower is coming up in July, so I needed to test a recipe. This recipe is amazing. Red velvet cake seriously creeps me out, and I still love it. While mine may not be as perfectly pretty, I still think they're pretty damn cute.
Em, I better get some excited kicks from Doo!

Friday, June 06, 2008


Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but seriously one of the best weekends in a while. Friday night I dashed out of work to see Sex and the City with the girls. Everyone came dressed as their favorite character, which ended up being super cute. I had this great plan to wear a black backless dress with heels and a blue wig (you know, because Samantha wore a pink one when she had cancer...), but unfortunately I was stuck way late at work for stupid reasons. So I was all bitter, and nearly in tears (hello crazy), but it's ok because the dress I wore to work looked just like the dress Carrie wore in the book reading scene. Only less puffy around the neck.

Saturday morning Jota and I lazed around in bed with the Duff until 11 or so. Later in the morning we took off on our bikes, and headed to the Promenade for some shopping. Jota got some new sunglasses, and I found a super cute navy eyelet dress that was 50% off! Afterward, Barker met up with us for lunch at Barney's, where we got a super primo spot on the front of the patio. I seriously could have sat there all day. That is until a pigeon flew into the side of my head. Little fucker. That night we went out with Da and Kel for Laura's birthday. Sports Harbour is usually not my kind of bar, but when you're knocking back the Shirley Temples, nothing is more exciting than games! Played some Pop-a-Shot, watched some shuffle board, and almost got around to pinball, but ran out of quarters.

Sunday morning was a repeat of Saturday. Slept in late. Woke up without a debilitating hangover. Amazing. Ended up biking over to the marina to go to Kinkos for work. Work on a Sunday? Yes, because some people I work with obviously have a problem with time management. Whatevs. Luckily, DSW was nearby, and I found the yellow shoes I've been yearning for, at 40% off! Seriously, the bargain gods were totally on my side this weekend. Once we got home, I decided to give Duff his summer do. He's clipped super short, with a puffy tail, ears, and feet. Kind of like a circus lion from old cartoons.

Euro 2008 starts tomorrow? Or did it already start this week? Jota, help me out on this one. Either way, we're watching soccer and eating waffles starting at 9am tomorrow morning. I'd like to play some croquet by the beach in the evening. Hint, hint.

PS, I really intended to post this the other day, so obviously I'm way late on this weekend recap bullshizz.