Wooooaaaaahhhh. So the last time I blogged was about a year ago! SOOO much has happened since then, most recently being that now I'm MARRIED! My boyfriend of six years and I finally tied the knot. We just got back from a crazy wedding weekend in St. George, Utah. We had so many family and friends show up. We consider ourselves lucky to know so many wonderful people and have so much support on this occasion. I love him sooo much and am so excited to grow old with him. We're going to have so much fun together. He put a little video together with a bunch of pictures from our wedding. We still have to wait about 6 weeks to get pictures back from our photographer, Bladh Photography. I can't wait to see what she got from the 1st part of our wedding. She was great. Well, I hope you enjoy the video!!!
I have two older sisters and a mom. I've decided this is why I didn't really learn how to cook very well growing up. I can bake (I'm assuming my sugar cravings and my far distance to the nearest bakery forced me to learn), but I'm very limited on what I can cook. I've decided to list a few kitchen favorites that have aided in me becoming the next Bakerella (I can dream can't I?).
Egg Perfect Timer
This has revolutionized my egg boiling skills (they were pretty much non-existent before this little dandy. Evidence here and here). I got mine at William Sonoma (I might have bought one for my mom as well).
Cuisinart Rice Cooker/Steamer
This little guy has been a staple in my single life. Its so easy to use, and requires little "cooking" ability. I usually throw rice in, and steam vegetables, shrimp gyoza's or add chicken...done and done. Its easy to put away due to its retractable cord. I LOVE RETRACTABLE CORDS.
The Cuisinart Griddler
I just got this for Christmas, and I. Love. It. I had been trying not to buy this for myself (I have to leave something to register for when I get married right? I am getting married someday, right?) but my mom....uh, I mean Santa beat me to the punch. I've been eating with this thing the last couple of days and I highly recommend it. I made panini's, pancakes, grilled chicken, grilled fish, and fried eggs. Its great, has detachable plates that are easy to clean and dish washable (I HATE washing dishes so anything "dishwasher safe" is a bonus). The plates have a flat side and grilled side. I also found that you can buy waffle iron plates (maybe I'll register for those?). I want them.
These are the main kitchen items that make my life easier. Dare I ask what items you can't live without? A girl can keep wishing can't she?
I've always loved a good documentary or foreign film. I tend to see them in theater by myself due to lack of interest from friends. So you can tell I was uber excited when Manda J. said she was interested in seeing a few documentaries (she is recently converting over). I think we're going to make "Documentary Night" a new thing. The first that was on the list was : Food Inc. (currently on Netflix and Amazon Prime instant watch)
Its a very unflattering and eye opening movie on how involved the government is in America's food industry. And how its cheaper to buy a bag of chips than it is to dozen eggs or another form of "real food." American's are obese but we're aiding this by "growing" our food with chemicals, steroids, etc. therefore increasing production rate and decreasing cost. Its pretty messed up. I will no longer be purchasing #Tyson products. And I will continue to grow my own food with whatever space I have.
We haven't decided what we'll watch next, but I decided to list a couple of my recent favorites:
4 wonderful years ago my cute, little brother went into the MTC (Mission Training Center) to begin his mission service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My whole family was there and it was a very exciting and emotional day. The trip itself had been a bit of an adventure. I came out early to Utah to spend the Christmas Holiday with my family before my brother left for 2 years of church work. This particular trip I drove out. Back then I was driving my first car, a champagne colored 2001 Honda Civic Ex, 4-door sedan. I liked my car. It was my first official car (only mine with only me to pay for it), up until then I had only used the cars my parents had provided that I shared in college with my sisters.
I'll be walking again in memory of my dear sista-from-another-mista, Ms. Emeline Te'o. This will be our 5th year walking and 3 years since her passing. It doesn't seem like its been that long. Time is a weird thing. I miss her. We get together every year (or twice a year for the UT family that does that walk) to remember her and do what we can to help those through research donations so they don't have to go through the same thing. Em was only 25 years when she left us, 25. I remember visiting her for the last time in the hospital. She had been in and out of the hospital before but had always came out and I didn't really think it was that serious till that last visit. I remember calling Hana afterwards (she was living in AZ then) and just being blown away. I'd never seen her like that before. I bough her a dumb little piggy bank that she could paint and travel Connect 4. Uncle and cousin were there visiting her also, watching a movie with her. I sat there and let her win at Connect 4. She was on a liquid diet at that time. She keep telling me how we were going to eat it up when she got out. I agreed to take her wherever she wanted to go. I really thought she would get out. I'm not sure why I'm recalling this now. I use to be afraid to die. I'm not anymore. I know I'll be greeted by so many people I've lost in this life. Its going to be a happy reunion. I can wait for that reunion (I have my goal set to at least reach 100 yrs) but am not afraid for it to come. I'm just so greatful for life and greateful to be able to have made the most out of it. Em might has died young, but I know she didn't die without living. She may have been limited in the things she could do but that didn't stop her. I remember her complaining about not being about to go to the beach one day to play volleyball with her friends. She ended up saying "screw it" and went anyways. She was a little firecracker. Ha. I loved that about her. It might have made her sick, but she didn't want to miss out on anything.
There are two walks for Lupus in my area annually. I walk in LA with my team (Troop ET) and volunteer for the walk in Orange County. I love doing both but have had the opportunity to meet lots of really great people thorough volunteering for the OC walk. I feel like in a way its been a "therapy session" of sorts.
So its the Holidays. I figure I'm due for my "monthly" blog post so I'm going to list a few a of favorite holiday things:
Snow (its become a novelty since I've moved to So Cal)
Cold weather (once again, the move makes me miss cold weather)
Coats/scarfs/beanies/gloves, etc. (So Cal...I want to wear them out of necessity, not just winter trend lol)
Christmas lights (putting them up and looking at others - by bike or car)
Temple Square (its tradition to go there at least once a year. Love it. Not only is it beautiful but helps me feel the real spirit of Christmas even better).
Presents (I love buying gifts-its ridiculous-especially for those babies! I just can't help myself)
Christmas Carols (Silent Night, Holy Night...sweet reminders of my Saviors birth).
SPARKLES (confetti/sparkly nails, sequins, shimmer, silver, gold, I. Love. All. Of. It)
Christmas Parties (work, church, ugly sweater, but especially white elephant friend get-togethers)
Holiday baking (peanut brittle & cookies galore-plus, baking is easier with last years Christmas present from my parents, a stand up mixer)
Decorations (buying them, putting them up, etc. --just don't ask what happened this year with mine)
The 1st Presidency's Christmas Devotional .I love feeling the Spirit of Christmas and refocusing myself of Christ and trying to be more like him in remembering others who need help and service. Overall I like how around the holidays people are more charitable and selfless, worldwide. There's always some sort of story that the Prophet shares that makes me think of what else I can do for others, and how I can "forget myself and go to work." I love my Savior and I love the way His gospel makes me feel, especially when I can do things for others. Its nice to feel humbled and remember how I good I really have it and to think of so many ways that I can help others. Oh, you can catch this year's devotion here.
"Sub-For Santa." I can remember as kid one of my favorite Christmas memories are "adopting" a family for Christmas. I wan't able to contribute financially to this family, but I do remember putting food items in a open-top cardboard box that was covered in wrapping paper. I didn't ever know who the family was, but I know that they were in need of assistance and we would put together a Christmas dinner for them and drop it off anonymously on their door step. I loved that. It was so much fun to sneak our truck up to the house, ring the door bell and run. I like the anonymous part too. If was fun being able to somehow help someone else out without them feeling obligated to return something back. We started adopting a family as friends also. We did it last year and are doing it again this year. We picked an organization that helps families out whom have been victims of physical abuse. We got to pick the family we adopted this year, a single mother with 4 kids, all under the age of 8. She left her abusive husband and is now getting assistance from the Child Abuse Prevention Center. I honestly have more than I need. I'm the opposite of simplistic (remember last year when I decided that "Live Simply" should be my motto...well that was a fail). Its good to be reminded that people really do have needs and that $20 set of Stila glitter nail polish really doesn't matter when you could so do much more with that amount.
Last but not least....Family time. I seriously can't get enough of the kidlets. My family is crazy and I feel like we all act like we're kids when we're together, but I love it...especially the acting like I'm 5...lol
Whew. Anyways, point being there are so many things that I love about this holiday, and I only listed a few, but I hope we all remember to be a little more charitable and giving this year as we set our sights on our Savior, his birth and the wonderful gifts He's given us and REMEMBER how blessed we really are.
I can't seem to get this song out of my head today. Perhaps it has to do with the crisp in the air. Does it feel like fall to anyone else? I love seasons (and yes, So Cal has seasons, they're just not as drastic as other states...oh, and we really NEVER get snow, but its close by). I'm getting excited for sweaters, opaque tights, jackets and falling leaves. What do you like about fall?