With the temperature firmly in the 90’s or above the beginning of this week and warm temperatures for the rest, I am craving a beautiful cool vacation, and South Lake Tahoe is an amazing location. Here is where I wish I could be right about now.
I love the blogging community, but sometimes it can seem like that cool clique in high school that was just out of my social strata. I considered myself a nerd, and always craved acceptance into such a group, and to actually feel comfortable being with those people. Blogging gives me the same anxieties. I want to connect with other bloggers, share jokes, comments, giveaways and weekly posts, but feel disconnected from the the blogs I read. I have my real life friends who blog that I can do this with, but I feel so little and insignificant when I see a cool blog with hundreds of followers that all leave comments regularly. Dude, comments = love in my book, so show some, right?!
Of course I was instantly drawn to Life of Meg when I noticed a comment left by a random blogger on Michelle‘s blog this week, mentioning this “Mingle Monday” post. Being the cyber stalker I am, I cruised by the blog this trend originated at, and was hooked. You want more followers? Yes! You want to connect with them? Hell, yes! You want to find cool blogs to follow in turn? Sign me up! I followed Meg, joined the mingle party, and checked out a bunch of new blogs that have already made it to my browser bookmarks tab. I don’t know if I was a little too late to gain any new blog followers, it being Tuesday evening, but I gave myself more reading material and inspiration via my new favorite blogs, and hopefully new bloggy friends to connect with 🙂
The end of summer is a wonderful time not only for the weather, and the fact that my favorite season is arriving, but also because of the bountiful crop of late summer vegetables that is ready to eat! The weather as of late hasn’t felt much like fall, (hello upper 90s!) so I had to add this recipe while it still feels like summer 🙂
The family I nanny for has a garden planted by the landlord, who happened to go on a trip and left his big beautiful zucchini plants to fend for themselves. A quick wander through the giant leaves, and I found myself a specimen of supreme proportions that begged me to take it home and make it into something delicious. I obliged! I found this wonderful zucchini bread recipe, but wasn’t feeling super adventurous so I omitted all the far eastern nuances and kept it simple. My final product was so good! Billy and I really enjoyed the moist, rich bread this recipe makes, so I hope you get a chance to check it out! If you are feeling frisky, add the curry powder, walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest and crystallized ginger and tell me how it goes!
From Michelle, who found it on Adrienne’s blog, who in turn found it on Rebekah’s blog Life with the Edwards. I love anything having to do with marriage and my hubby Billy, so I couldn’t pass this up! Also, what else am I going to do, be productive with my Monday?
1. When is your “engagement” anniversary?
March 29, 2006. He arranged for us to be pulled on stage at the Matchbook Romance concert at the Fillmore in San Francisco, where he proposed to me 🙂
2. When is your “marriage” anniversary?
August 4, 2007. We were married in South Lake Tahoe, on the beach with 50 of our closest friends and family.
3. How long have you known your spouse?
7 years. We met the summer I graduated from high school, at the YMCA where we worked as summer day camp leaders 🙂
4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
Almost 2 years. I was dying to get married though. I knew I was going to marry him a few months after meeting him, well before we started dating, and told my family this fact. They shook their heads and said “are you even dating Billy?” to which I replied, “Nope, I have the rest of my life to date Billy, but I am going to marry that man.”
5. Where did you meet your spouse for the first time?
South Valley Family YMCA 🙂
6. What is your spouse’s full name?
Guillermo Antonio Hernandez, Jr. It’s a mouthful, that’s why he just goes by Billy haha
7. Do you have any children?
No “real” babies, but we have 2 fur babies
8. How many? Boys/Girls
1 boy, 1 girl. Hemi and Rush. Both are beautiful black cats with yellow green eyes.
9. Do you have any house pets?
haha yes, see above. We would also love to add an English Bulldog to the brood!
10. Do you own a house or rent?
Rent 😦 I am desperate to buy a house, however economic times are difficult, even with the housing market being as low as it is.
11. Do you live in the country/town/city?
City! San Jose is huge, and mainly a sprawling residential sort of place, but is definitely a city.
12. What is one of your favorite activities to do together?
Cuddle, chat, watch movies and recorded TV. We also love watching MMA together. We seriously enjoy each others company, and can hang out for hours doing lots, or very little, and be quite content. I’m hoping to add bike/run together, as Billy just got a new bike, and has pledged to ride with me while I run, but it has yet to happen.
13. Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas! Both are so different it’s tough to choose between the two!
14. When did you first kiss?
April 2004, late at night, when Billy walked me to my car. It was a long in the making moment, and was very sweet. I love the way his kisses taste, it was the most amazing first kiss I had ever had.
15. What church do you attend?
When we go, Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, CA. We rarely get there now, with us both working both weekend days.
16. Is this the church you were married in?
No, we got married in God’s cathedral of Lake Tahoe, on the beach.
17. What town is current address at?
18. Do you work or stay home?
WORK! I work 2 jobs, 7 days a week. Thankfully my Monday-Friday job starts at 2 or 3pm, so I have my mornings to myself. Saturday and Sundays are incredibly busy at the salon.
19. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We stayed in South Lake Tahoe, it was a much-needed and restful vacation after wedding planning.
20. What was the funniest gift you gave while dating?
A collage I made using magazine clippings that said things like “hot” and had some pretty random pictures. It’s still hanging in the closet of his childhood bedroom at his parents house.
21. How long have you been together?
6 years as of May 23, 2010
22. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
10 months. I had a lot of maturing to do before I was able to fully appreciate the amazingly unique and wonderful gentleman Billy is.
23. Who asked who out?
I did!! Billy gave me as much space as I needed to grow and come to the “right time” for us to be together, so it took me fumbling my words and getting self-conscious while saying “I don’t want to date anyone else, I only want to be with you, I love you!” for us to be official.
24. How old are each of you?
25 and 27. We will turn 26 and 28 in December and October respectively.
25. Where do each of you go to school?
I went to Leigh and he went to Lincoln high schools, and we both went to De Anza for community college. I later went on to Fremont Beauty College.
26. Which situation is hardest on you as a couple?
Gaming!! It is our biggest struggle as a couple. He was raised with video games, his whole family playing together, and I was not. Whether on the computer or a gaming system, he plays something every day, for at least an hour. It’s his favorite way to decompress and relax, whereas I prefer reading, and I get very jealous of the time he devotes to his online or imaginary world. Our major fights have been over gaming, but we have compromised a lot and come to a middle ground where he gets to play, and I get the attention I want from him.
27. Did you go to the same school?
Not until community college, and we knew each other before I started at De Anza.
28. Are you from the same town?
Yes, however Billy was born in Florida and moved to San Jose when he was 7.
29. Who is smarter?
We are both very intelligent, but we have our areas of expertise. I wouldn’t tell you how to fix a car, or give you any helpful advice on anything technological, like Billy can, but then again he wouldn’t be able to do your hair, or give you random facts like Google, like I can.
30. Who is more sensitive?
Oh, most definitely me!! Billy is a sweetheart though, and while being manly, he can embrace his sensitive side.
31. Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Hmm, it really varies! We probably eat most frequently at Rock Bottom Brewery, BJs, or Cheesecake Factory, but we like to try new restaurants all the time.
32. Where is the farthest you two have traveled as a couple?
Las Vegas, NV. Twice 🙂
33. Who has the craziest exes?
me me me me, oh pick me!
34. Who has the worse temper?
I do, or at least I express it far more frequently than Billy does. He gets angry in traffic, and over injustices at work, but not much else. I have regular meltdowns and tantrums.
35. Who does the cooking?
That would be me. Billy’s idea of cooking is microwaving a frozen meal components, or picking up to go food 🙂 Every once in a great while though, he has been known to break down and actually cook!
36. Who is more social?
Definitely me, I am a social butterfly. Billy is content to sit back and observe while I make new friends and start conversations. We both have moments of doing just the opposite, and that’s always interesting.
37. Who is the neat-freak?
Probably me. Neither of us consider ourselves “neat-freaks” but he is much more prone to piling and not putting things away than I am. We both get to points where everything much be picked up before we can relax, I just get there first. We are surface cleaners, so don’t expect a cloroxed house without any dust, as long as we can’t see the mess, we are happy.
38. Who is more stubborn?
Depends on the situation. I am open-minded to changing my opinions with rational and justifiable conversation and arguments, whereas Billy becomes more ingrained in what he believes. I become set in my ways otherwise, so probably me.
39. Who hogs the bed?
haha depends on who you ask!! Billy will say I do, and I in turn say he does!!
40. Who wakes up earlier?
I do. I am incapable of not setting an alarm, even on days I have off. Billy will sleep as late as I let him, while I have to be up and doing something, anything, to feel like I’m not sleeping my day away.
41. Where was your first date?
No idea!! We hung out so much in the 10 months prior to officially dating that it’s tough to pin point any “first date”.
42. Who had more boyfriends/girlfriends?
Hello, my name is Adrian, and I was a serial dater. Also call me boy crazy. I win, hands down haha
43. Do you get flowers often?
Rarely, if ever. I think I made the mistake of casually mentioning that flowers die and therefore not a good gift soon after meeting Billy, and he took that to heart 🙂 I can count on 1 hand the times I have received flowers in the 7 years we have known each other 🙂 That’s OK, we both suffer from outdoor allergies, and can become quite miserable with flowers in the house.
44. How do you spend the holidays?
We split time between our families. We always do 2 Thanksgiving dinners on the same day, and Christmas Eve we make the rounds from my family’s party to his family’s house for a sleepover. Christmas morning we have brunch with his family, and then spend the afternoon and evening together.
45. Who is more jealous?
Neither one of us is very jealous. We are super secure in our relationship, so we are rarely bothered by the opposite sex being interested…Billy always points out when I have been checked out, to which I am always oblivious.
46. How long did it take to get serious?
Once we were official, we were serious. There was never any “defining the relationship talk” or “are we or are we not exclusive” once we were together. I told my family a few months after meeting Billy that I was going to marry him.
47. Who eats more?
I eat more frequently, and usually somewhat healthier, while Billy will eat maybe twice a day and larger portions than I would.
48. Who does the laundry?
We usually split it up, but I find myself doing it more often, because I have more daily free time than Billy. You should hear the sarcasm and the blame we throw back and forth when neither of us wants to do it!
49. Who is better with the computer?
Billy, because he will take the time to research and is very interested in technology, whereas I couldn’t care less, and I want the easiest way to do something, which usually involves telling Billy to do it for me 🙂
50. Leave a piece of advice for other couples:
Learn to fight well! Apologize and take responsibility when it is required, and never leave a fight to fester, just get through it, as hard as that may be, so you can come out the other side stronger together.
Also, laugh together often. Never leave the house without a hug and kiss, and always find ways to show you appreciate your spouse, in a way that they can understand (I would hate being given a video game as appreciation, but Billy would probably tear up!)
Remember than men want love through respect, whereas women want love through affection, use this accordingly.
1. In the story of my life the actor who would play me would be:
I would like to say Kate Hudson, because she has the enthusiasm and energy I think I possess, and is just super cute,
or Kirsten Dunst, because she has a winsome attitude, a sweet disposition and quirky sense of self I believe I also have,
or Scarlett Johannson, because she exudes sexiness and has similar big old lips.
But in all honesty, it would probably be Hilary Duff, because we look so much alike.
Whoever is chosen would have to be able to play a hyperactive, enthusiastic, hard-loving, fast-talking, ever-smiling, nerdy hairstylist nanny 🙂
2. If I could change one thing about the world it would be:
People would show unlimited kindness to one another. This would transcend so many barriers and issues. It can be applied to religion, traffic jams, helping the poor, holding elevators, letting someone with 1 item go ahead of another with 15 at the grocery store, etc.
I bought cute clothes as a gift for Bryn, who is turning 13 tomorrow! I also ate at Taqueria Tlaquepaque, a very yummy Mexican restaurant I had never eaten at. It was a happy food dance inducing experience.
4. My favorite comfort food is:
Chocolate chip cookies. The Nestle Tollhouse recipe, with my secret ingredient added in. It’s just a package of instant vanilla pudding mix added to the dry ingredients, but it makes all the difference!
5. My new favorite blog find is:
6. If I could meet any blog friend (who I haven’t met yet) in real life, I’d choose to meet:
Lindsay of Fooditude, she has so many yummy recipes and food ideas, I would love to pick her kitchen minded brain. Being Brazen, I want to know a South African with her sense of style and love of pretty things 🙂 Heather of Dooce, she has the most humorous way of looking at life, even the simplest things she writes about make me laugh! Josh of Josh’s Garage would be the best trainer ever, and I know I could fully reach my health and fitness potential with his guidance. I know it’s weird, but I totally feel like I know these people through their blogs, so meeting them in real life would be very cool.
7. My favorite breakfast food is:
Crepes!! One of my favorite restaurants is Sweet Peas in Los Gatos, and they have the most amazing crepes. I love both savory and sweet crepes, so this is good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Recently I got to hang out with my friend Jenn. She is a clever girl and unintentionally funny in a sarcastic and irrelevant way. Our conversation of course came around to her smoking hot body, and how she has recently lost a little weight. I asked her how she did it, to which Jenn replies “I don’t eat anymore.” Dead pan, as if that makes perfect sense and should easily answer my inquiry. Of course I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, and continued to pry. “But really, you can’t just not eat, you have to eat, so how does that work?” I asked. “It’s easy, I just stop eating” she casually replied. “But how do you stop eating?” I entreated. “It’s easy, I just put the fork down” she said.
I was cracking up at this point, knowing she was only half serious and it wasn’t something to worry about. It made me wish I had that kind of self-control, to just put the fork down and stop eating! Life would be a whole lot simpler if I could stop eating. If that were the case, I wouldn’t be banned from making chocolate chip cookies (my diet kryptonite) or cupcakes on a daily basis, because I would be content to just have one, and save the rest. Instead, I will eat a whole batch of cookies, and 6 cupcakes before I get full, and you better believe I am thinking about whatever is left over, obsessing really, until I end up finishing the rest! No. self. control. This is why Billy says I am not allowed to bake unless I have a predetermined agenda for it, so nothing stays in the house and is all pawned off on someone else, and not left to tempt me!
I picked up a flat of peaches from Costco recently and got busy enjoying them, however I found it difficult to get through the amount of peaches I brought home before they went bad. Ripe peaches are amazing. So aromatic, juicy and sweet, but they only stay perfectly ripe for so long. Soon their skin begins to pucker and loosen, and there are more noticeable blemishes marring their rosy flesh. I had 3 big peaches just begging to be used up before they went bad, so I scrambled for a dessert recipe that would do these California girls justice. I found this recipe and substituted 3 fresh peaches for the canned peaches it calls for. It was super simple, and tastes delicious! I was a bit skeptical when it came out of the oven, it looked a bit mushy, but wow it tasted great. Billy went back for seconds, which isn’t something he normally does with non chocolate peanut butter desserts.
OK friends, here is the horrible food diary I have kept this week inspired by Lindsay of Fooditude. It kept me in check for the most part, but I probably could have picked an easier week to try to stay “good”! I don’t suggest trying to stay away from freshly baked chocolate chip cookies when you are about to start your period, but Billy helped by cleaning out my stash (the first one!), and I gave a good portion of the batch away. It was pretty nerve-wracking to think, ‘oh man, people are going to know what I actually eat in a week, and see my humongous sweet tooth for the terror it really is”, but here it is anyway…
My daily calorie allowance should be 1317 to lose weight. I ran 3 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so my intake can be up to 400 calories higher than days I don’t run, but I still like to keep it close to my normal allowance. I think I do better the beginning of the week, whereas the closer to the weekend I get, the worse I eat!
Breakfast: 2 scrambled egg whites with 1 piece of oat nut toast with Better n’ peanut butter, and 1/2 cup strawberries, 205 calories
Morning snack: 2 homemade (sooo delicious) chocolate chip cookies, 220 calories
Lunch: Bagel thin with left over chicken breast and laughing cow cheese wedge, 1 cup steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese, 365 calories
Afternoon snack: 10 green grapes, 30 calories
Dinner: Homemade mac and cheese, homemade chocolate chip cookie, 570 calories
Monday total calories: 1390
Breakfast: carb balance whole wheat tortilla with 3 scrambled egg whites, light sour cream, salsa and oven roasted turkey breast, 338 calories
Lunch: 2 slices double fiber bread with laughing cow cheese wedge and oven roasted turkey breast sandwich, 235 calories
Afternoon snack: small slice of berry pie, 250 calories
Dinner: Jack Daniels pulled chicken on 1 slice of country buttermilk bread, 220 calories
Dessert: homemade chocolate chip cookie (last one of the batch!!) 110 calories
Tuesday calorie total: 1153
Breakfast: 1 slice double fiber bread with better n’ peanut butter, 3 scrambled egg whites, 1/2 cup strawberries, 207 calories
Morning snack: Detour lower sugar creamy peanut butter protein bar, 170 calories
Lunch: 2 slices wheat bread, 1 tbl jiff organic peanut butter, 1 tbl sugar free raspberry jam, 305 calories
Afternoon snack: 1 cup strawberries, 1 Detour peanut caramel protein bar (amazingly good!), 247 calories
Dinner: Safeway deli Tuscan chicken sandwich, 445 calories
Wednesday calorie total: 1374
Breakfast: Toast with better n’ peanut butter, 1/2 cup strawberries, 2 scrambled eggs, 191 calories
Morning snack: Detour protein bar, 170 calories
Lunch: Subway 6 inch turkey sandwich, 280 calories
Afternoon snack: 1/4 cup nut and fruit trail mix, 150 calories
Dinner: Sarah’s homemade pasta with tomato cream sauce, 370 calories
Dessert: 2 small pieces Claim Jumper chocolate silk pie, 410 calories
Thursday calorie total: 1571 calories
No breakfast or morning snack, the time got away from me after my run
Lunch: leftover pasta with tomato cream sauce, 370 calories
Afternoon snack: 2 sandwich cookies, Detour protein bar, 280 calories
Dinner: McDonald’s chicken nuggets (6), French fries, diet coke, 510 calories
After concert meal: 1/2 order Denny’s bananas foster French toast, 1/2 chocolate shake, 652 calories
Friday Calorie Total: 1811 calories
Breakfast: Jimmy Dean breakfast croissant sandwich, 420 calories
Snack: Detour protein bar, 170 calories
Dinner: Il Fornaio for Michelle’s birthday dinner, 1 piece of bread, 2 pieces of bruschetta, cannelloni al Forno, strawberry cupcake with chocolate frosting, 1078 calories (yikes!!)
Saturday calorie total: 1678 calories
Breakfast: Jimmy Dean breakfast croissant sandwich, 420 calories
Lunch: better n’ peanut butter and sugar-free jam sandwich, 200 calories
Afternoon snack: 1 slice spice cake a client brought in for me, 58 calories
Dinner: 6 homemade chocolate chip cookies (tee hee), 1 glass of fat-free milk, 750 calories
Sunday calorie total: 1438 calories
I don’t normally do an outfit of the day post, but I have liked many I have seen, so I decided to give it a try when Michelle demanded pictures of an outfit I described on Twitter. This is my first foray into “modeling” an outfit, so please bear with me. Billy was kind enough to indulge my need to be photographed, and stepped in to fill the role of photographer.
I bought this chambray dress at Target. It’s super comfortable, easy to wear, and it has pockets!! The brown woven belt and the gold earrings are also from Target. The leopard print ballet flats are from Forever 21, the bangles are Gap, the locket is vintage. Don’t laugh at me!
The last photo looks like I’m holding light in the palms of my hands…so not intentional, but cool nonetheless. Also, look at those guns! can you tell I’ve been lifting weights haha “which way to the beach?”
Steampunk is a pretty new concept to myself, but has been around since the 1980’s or so when Science Fiction got really into time travel, and imaging a Victorian era that was much more technologically advanced. I suggest a nice Google search to enlighten you, which is what I did 🙂 Steampunk is based on a Victorian perspective of fashion, inventions, culture, architectural style and so on. I think the fashion itself is so fascinating!! A few of the girls at my salon did hair and makeup for a photo shoot for Steampunk emporium awhile back, and that is how I came across this whole genre of…life!