Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 In A Recap

The year 2007 is on the verge of ending and boy was it a busy and amazing year! So many great things happened this year that I am not sure that 2008 can top it! The Lord had blessed us so much. David and I started out the year in the middle of all our wedding planning. It was crunch time to get everything done. All the final details were coming together. We did our engagement pictures, then the bridal shower and bachelor/bachlorette parties. After a year of planning, on April 21st we got married and what a beautiful day it was. All of my family came out from Indiana and from England. I saw my grandma who I hadn't seen in probably 6 years. I saw my aunt and uncle who I hadn't seen since I was 2. I didn't even remember them. The day was so much better than I could have ever anticipated!

After the wedding, we promptly hopped on a plane and went on our honeymoon to Kauai, Hi for 5 days and then 3 days in Honolulu. It is one of the most beautiful places that I have been to on this earth! It was relaxing, fun, adventurous and we had some amazing food as well! We enjoyed it so much that we are planning on going back in July with some friends of ours.

The summer was a blur with me moving into David's apartment and unpacking. We got our precious kitty Cali in May. With all of the adjustments and settling in the summer went by so quickly. We ended the summer with David's birthday. He turned 27 this year and is getting closer and closer to 30.

We ended the year on a great note. Melissa & Troy had their baby Jackson, in November. He is our first nephew and boy is he cute and so adorable especially when he smiles. It's so hard not to spoil him with clothes and other gifts. It was our first Christmas being married and we were busy with parties and other Christmas events.

Looking back the year went by so quickly. I am sure that 2008 will be go by just as fast and be memorable as well. We are going to Miami and then celebrating our first anniversary a couple of months later. We are planning a short trip to Santa Barbara for the weekend to celebrate. We aren't doing anything extravagant, so we can save our vacation hours for our trip to Hawaii in July. We are also thinking about spending next Christmas with my family in England. My parents gave us a gift certificate for American Airlines for Christmas. I am thinking they gave it to us as we initially had told them we didn't think we would be able to go due to how expensive it is. After getting the gift card, we have talked it over and I think we are going ahead and go for it! Right now is the perfect timing, as we don't have any kids and both of us are making good money. My grandma is doing ok health wise except for the flu she has right now. We really don't know how much longer she is going to be with us. Hopefully many years, but you really never know. So, it looks like we will be spending next Christmas in England!

I am definitely looking forward to 2008! Well we will soon be off to our friends the A's place to ring in the new year. Goodbye 2007! Hello 2008!

Bring On The Warmth!

Lately, it has been really cold for Southern California. The other day when I got up for work it was about 31 degrees! Too cold!
We got our electricity bill the other day and we were shocked at how much it was. It was around $130.00, which is what we normally pay during peak summer months, while running the air conditioning all day long. I started keeping track of how often the heat comes on and it is about once every hour! Our apartments were built in the mid 70's and I really think they weren't built very well. We are loosing a lot of heat through our windows and the huge sliding glass door in our bedroom. I really dislike the sliding glass door because I can feel the cold coming through the window while laying in bed. Since it has been even colder, I have been sleeping with the down comforter we have along with 3 other blankets on my side! Now you would think that because I grew up in the Midwest that I would be able to handle the cold weather but no! Its amazing how quickly you become climatized and I am always cold! When I go outside, I wear my thick pea coat, gloves and my scarf. I am dressed as if I was really in the windy city of Chicago!

I keep trying to think of ways we can keep it warmer in our apartment. I know this is tacky but the other night, we put a sheet in between the blinds and sliding glass door! Sad thing is that it only helps a little bit. I think I might just have to suck it up and be cold for awhile or cough up the moula to run the heat more. I think I am leaning towards the warmer idea. Now if I can only convince David!

On a side note, we only have a week and half till we get to go on vacation! I am starting to get excited about going to Miami. I think it is finally starting to sink in that we are going. With some of the Christmas cash I got as presents, we bought myself a new camera for the trip. It's nothing too special, just something small that I can fit in my purse and take snapshots of people. I think I am most excited about the size because my old camera is a monster compared to the new one! Another thing I am excited about for our trip, is that I checked the weather forecast and for next Wednesday when we fly in, it is supposed to be 78 degrees! Wohoo! I'll get to defrost in Miami!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Charlie the Coyote

I have been reading about Charlie for awhile now as he has been growing up. I found out about Charlie from another blog that I read called: Brood and was hooked the first second I saw it. Everyday, I look froward to my daily dose of Charlie. Well today, when I saw the picture of him, I was amazed by his cuteness. I knew I had to tell everyone about him. So, take a look and I am sure he will capture your attention as well!

Click here for: The Daily Coyote

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

Christmas day turned out better than I expected. David and I woke up at around 9 and opened our presents for each other. I really enjoyed spending the time together, just the two of us. He got me some cute sweaters, boots, and a professional flat iron which I have wanted for awhile but didn't want to spend the money on myself. I got him an ornament, a sweater and the Looney Tunes dvd collection that he wanted.

Here is the kitties getting their toys

It's a little blurry but this is of Cali with only a few of all the mice they got.

We then headed over to Troy and Melissa's for breakfast. The rest of the family came over as well to open presents. Everyone was very generous and I was really excited, when David's brother Noah gave us a gift card to our favorite Sushi place Ooka. I can't wait to use it! After all the presents were unwrapped, we had dinner at David's parents place. I brought garlic mashed potatoes, which were very yummy. So all in all it was a pretty good Christmas.

Here is baby Jackson in his Santa outfit that we bought him!

I went back to work today and luckily the day went by pretty quickly. After I got off, we went and saw the movie, National Treasure: Book of Secrets. It was really good and they left it open for another movie. We also saw the preview for the movie, Chronicles of Narina: Prince Caspian. I have read every book from the series, so I can't wait to see it when it comes out!

We met our friends Tim and Casey for dinner at Killarney's here in Riverside. My favorite thing to order off their menu is their potato soup! So good and a great price as well.

Well there is only two more days of the work week left and then it is the weekend. I need a day to just relax, as we have been on the go everyday for awhile. Hopefully it will come quickly!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Not So Traditional

Just a little bit of an update. At work today we had lunch at around 11. Towards the end of lunch the president got up and gave a little speech about how everyone has done a great job this year. He finished it up with telling us we could go home to spend the rest of the day with our families. I am really thankful to be part of a great company as they do so much for their employees.

I got home a little after 12 and finished working on a craft/Christmas present. I then finished up the last of the wrapping when David brought home even more presents which needed to be wrapped! Pretty much I spent the afternoon wrapping gifts. At around 6 we picked up In-N-Out as it was one of the only places open. We took it back to David's grandparents house, ate and watched a little bit of tv. We went by CVS pharmacy on the way back to pick up some eggs for tomorrow. I couldn't believe how busy the place was. I was really surprised and saddened to see that they will be open tomorrow on Christmas day.

But, I am currently sitting next to the Christmas tree and it looks beautiful. I have two presents left to wrap. In a second, we are going to walk over to Troy & Melissa's place to watch, Christmas Vacation. Its turning out to be a pretty good Christmas Eve even if its not what I had wished for.

Christmas Eve

So here I am on Christmas Eve at work. I really wish I wasn't working today. I don't feel motivated to do anything. David has today and the day after Christmas off as well. It would have been nice to be able to spend the extra time with him. One nice thing though was the drive to work. There was no traffic and I got here so quickly.

We also did a Secret Santa gift exchange and the office manager got my name. She goes all out for her person each year, so I got a huge gift basket full of Bath and Body stuff. I was extremely surprised and thankfully at her generosity. For my person, I had no clue what to buy her. On her slip, she put she liked jewelry and earrings. I don't know her very well so I was a little nervous buying jewelry as it is item that people have so many likes and dislikes. I ended up getting her a pair of earrings and I thought they were very pretty. I really wanted her to like her gift and I think she did from her reaction. I got my two co-workers that I share our room with, a gift bag with British candy that I bought from Cost Plus World Market. I love that store! I figured they probably had never had them before and it would be a cute gift.

My work is also doing a lunch for all of us so that is very nice of them. Last year they left us leave an hour early. I wish it was a half day though. I am sure they day is going to drag on forever!

For this evening, we don't have any plans. The hubby's family still hasn't decided what they want to do. I do know we aren't going down to our friends place in the OC. I was bummed to hear that. I told David, I still wanted to go to church this evening. I know our church does not have an Christmas Eve service so I don't know where we would go. Growing up my family always used to go to the midnight service and it was always so beautiful. I definitely miss those memories.

I need to consistently remind myself when I get frustrated that I am currently at work or that the Christmas plans aren't going as I would like, that we are extremely blessed by the Lord. He has provided David and I both with jobs that pay our bills, great friends, an amazing church and we live in a country where we aren't persecuted for our faith. It's so easy to get discouraged, but I need to take this time to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I do

Congratulations to two special couples that we know! About 2 weeks ago, our friends Erik and Joleen got engaged at California Adventure. They are planning their wedding for August. The second couple, Joey and Kirsty got married this past weekend at our church and then had their reception at the Lake Norconian Club. They used our wedding photographer Marlin Munoz and it was great to see him and his wife Marlene at the wedding. From the photos I have seen on Marlin's blog their pictures are going to amazing!

We are definitely are at the point in our lives where it seems like all our friends are already married or are getting married in the future. We have been going to lots of weddings lately.

Here is a picture of the newly engaged couple with David and I at Joey and Kirsty's wedding last weekend. I stole this off Joleen's myspace! :)

In two weeks, we will be heading out to Miami for Tim and Patty's wedding. I am really looking forward to the trip. I haven't taken any vacation time since our honeymoon and I really need a break. Also, I have never been to Miami or even Florida. I have gotten semi close to that area as I have been to Georgia and Alabama but thats still a way off. What is also pretty awesome is there are quite a few people from our church heading back to the wedding as well. It will definitely be a fun trip! I have been researching stuff for us to do and there is so much. One thing, on the top of my list is to go to a good cuban resturant as I have never tried it before and you can't pick a better place to try it for the first time. The other thing I want to do is go to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. It is supposed to be the Hearst Castle of the east.

I am sure most of the people that read my blog have never been to Miami but if you have, I would love to hear about what not miss or any recommendations!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One week left to go!


So I am finally putting up a picture of our Christmas tree. It only took me almost 3weeks to do so! I was really excited to get our tree this year, since it is our first Christmas being married. I think it looks a little bit of a boy tree though because most of the ornaments are David's thus there are trucks or boy ornaments. I don't have many ornaments, as all mine from growing up are still at my parent's house in Indiana. My mom said she would mail them to me and they are supposed to arrive on Friday. Hopefully, they actually arrive that day as it would be quite sad if they only got here the day before Christmas.

Celebrating Christmas wise, we don't have any real plans yet. David requested waffles for breakfast. We will probably then open our presents for each other and then head over to his parents place for the rest of the day. We have been invited to spend Christmas Eve with our friends that live in the OC. I really like going down there as the food is always delicious and the company great. We then all go together to the Christmas Eve service which my family always did when I was little. Hopefully we will be able to go down there again this year.

I spoke with my mom on Sunday and they had received 9 inches of snow! She had just finished shoveling the driveway. Her snowblower clonked out on her half way thru and she had to finish it by hand. When she told me this I remembered that I love the snow to visit but not live in it!

I have most of my shopping done and only have a couple of little things I need to get. I have been slowly working on wrapping all the presents, so I wouldn't have 5 hours of wrapping to do on Christmas Eve. At my work though, we are doing a Secret Santa gift exchange and I have no clue what to get the person I picked! I will probably be buying her present last minute! Anyways, there are only 7 days left till Christmas. It sure has gone by quickly!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do you need a snowday?


It really hasn't felt like Christmas for me this year. Every year, I always feel like something is missing and its the snow! We had some rain last Friday and you can see the snow on the nearby mountains. I suggested to David that right before Christmas that we go up there so I can get my snow fix. Hopefully we won't be too busy so we can. Till then, I found this cute website while reading the blog: How About Orange, where you can make your own snowflakes. Check it out!

Do you need a snowday?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tacky Sweater Party

We had an awesome turnout on Friday for our tacky sweater party. I was really surprised at how many people dressed up and how amazingly horrible the sweaters were! It was so much fun, as we had a contest for the tackiest sweater, went caroling, played SingStar and watched Snowball Express. I actually fell asleep during the movie as I was dead tired from all the cooking I did and preparation for the party but I had a great time!

Here are all of us girls with our sweaters!

David and I with our sweaters. David went all out with the snow pants and santa hat!

Even Jackson got dressed up for the party!

Matt and Joleen who won the contest for Tackiest Sweater

The spread of food:

As for food I made deviled eggs, spinach and artichoke dip, crossaints stuffed with chicken, green onion and cream cheese, bruschetta, phyllo turnovers filled with ricotta and shrimp and wassail. I would normally post each recipe but that would be so much work and I don't feel like it. So, I figured I would let you know how the recipe turned out and what substitutions I made and the link.

Deviled Eggs- well I didn't really follow a recipe. I tasted it as I went. I threw in more if needed. But basically I used mayo, little bit of butter, goulden's mustard, little bit of white vinegar and paprika. I had never used the white vinegar and I think it really added that little something that was missing when I had made them in the past.

Spinach and Artichoke dip: This was a great recipe! The only thing that I noticed is that I would add more cheese. Basically the recipe says use this much cheese and if you want to add more do so. Well I would at least double it. I didn't think it came out creamy enough but I had lots of compliments though. It's probably just personal perference on how creamy you like it.

Crossaints stuffed with cream cheese, green onion and chicken: I was told how to make this from my mother in law so there is no recipe online to link to but I will write this one out for you.

2 chicken breasts
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of chopped green onion
2 packages of crossaints (8 per roll)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil 2 frozen chicken breasts for 12 min on high. Once cooked, shred or chop into small pieces. In small bowl combine chicken with one 8 oz package of cream cheese and blend together. Add about a 1/2 a cup of chopped green onion. On a greased baking sheet place a teaspoon of the chicken mixture on the large end of the crossaint. Roll crossaint up like normal and tuck the ends under the bottom. Bake for 10 min. or till golden brown.

Bruschetta: I really liked how this came out. Next time I might use a little bit less onion and I did add garlic like the reviews said. I will definitely make this one again!

Phyllo Turnovers Filled With Ricotta and Shrimp: I got rave reviews on this one but man they were a lot of work! I didn't know what I was getting my self into as I had never worked with Phyllo dough before and it is very time consuming. I tried them and I loved the filling but the dough not so much as it was very flaky. Knowing how long it takes I might try wonton wrapers next time and see how they taste.

Theres no recipe to link on this one so here are the ingrediants and directions.

2 guarts of apple juice
1 can of frozen pineapple concentrate
1 can of frozen orange concentrate
10 cloves
4 sticks of cinnamon

Combine all ingrediants in either a crock pot or in large saucepan over the stove. If using crockpot, let it cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. If over the stove, cook covered on medium low heat for 2 to 3 hours.



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