Thursday, January 31, 2008

What? February?

I can't believe that tomorrow is the first of February. Where is the time going? Is life on fast forward? Can we please slow it down, pretty please! Maybe its just that we are enjoying life to its fullest. We have been so busy going on trips and socializing with friends and enjoying being married. The next couple of weeks, are again jam packed. We are going to San Diego for Valentines Day. David did the Name Your Price on Priceline and we are going to stay at the Hilton San Diego Resort for an awesome price. I am looking forward to it and I hope we have some nice weather while we are down there. One thing on the list of things to do, is go to the mexican restaurant, El Indio that we went to the last time we were in San Diego. They have the best chips and salsa ever and I really mean it! Too bad it is so far away, but it does make those trips to San Diego that much more special!

The weekend after that, David is starting back up doing film work again. It was nice that he had a break from it the last couple of months and we had our weekends to spend together. Last year, the auto races that he was filming, were all pretty local. There were a couple of times that he had to go to Havasu, but it looks like this year though, they will be going farther away. Thus, David will be gone more. The first shoot is in Phoenix and they are flying him out there which is a first for him. Rumor is that some of the races during the summer might be even further. There are times that I don't like him being gone so much on the weekends, but it pays for the fun extra stuff that we get to do. Like going to Hawaii this summer and then London for Christmas. This time that he is gone, I have made plans to spend some time with my friend Kristy, whom I don't get to see nearly enough. I am looking forward to spending some girl time with her, going out to lunch and shopping. Who doens't like shopping?! :)

Edit: I am a horrible friend, because I failed to mention that I am having lunch tomorrow with the fabolous MZBrandy and Jenn, which are probably my most faithful readers. Please forgive me?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Are We Wine Snobs Now?

This last weekend, we were so very busy hanging out and spending time with friends. On Saturday, we went with Rachel and Scott down to Temecula for some wine tasting. Neither, David and I are big wine people, but for some weird reason we want to like wine. We figured that by going wine tasting, we could get a sample of each one and hopefully find a couple that we liked and then slowly get used to the taste. I have heard that liking wine is an acquired taste and most people don't like it right away. Anyways, we went to two wineries, Maurice Car'rie Vineyard and Winery and then over to La Cereza Winery and Gallery.

Here is Rachel telling me which ones she thinks I would like

David and Scott

I tried several different types of wine. The ones I liked the most, where more of the sweet white wines. I definitely have a long way to go, before I like some of the red ones. I am sure we will go again and I would love to go sometime toward the end of spring because it is so beautiful down there at that time of the year.

While we were at La Cereza, I saw some paintings that I really liked by the artist, Jami Tobey. I would have loved to have bought one, but they were way out of our price range. Maybe someday!

Source: Jami Tobey

We spent Friday night and Sunday with Tim and Casey at Disneyland. We ate dinner on Friday at the Story Teller's Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel. We all got the corn chowder and it was sooo good and not a bad price either for Disneyland. Then after dinner as we were entering California Adventure, the gate attendant who was an older feller said, "Hi Robyn" and then, "And you must be Batman", to David. Haha, I have never had anyone say that before.

Casey and I

On Sunday, we got poured on so we sat in front of the fire in the Grand Californian for awhile

I love Disneyland, but I can get tired of it and right now is one of those times. David could go every day but not I. After 3 times in one week, I think we might take a break for a little bit!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweat Deals on Yummy Food

I always love going to restaurants that I haven't been to before. On Thursday, we got the chance to go to another sushi restaurant, here in Riverside. We headed over to Akina up in Orangecrest, with Tim and Casey. David had bought a $25 gift certificate, for $5 from I am sure your thinking, how is that possible! Well, basically it just works. I don't know how, but it does. Normally, there are certain restrictions, like you can only use the certificate from Sunday through Thursday. Also, you have to spend a minimum amount on your food. I say check it out their website and see for yourself!

So we ordered our typical rolls, that we normally get and when they came out the pieces were so large! I could barely fit it in my mouth. It was extremely good! I really liked how their Shrimp Tempura roll has asparagus in it. It gave the roll and extra little something. I think this might be our new place for sushi. I love Ooka as the decor is more modern and hip and the quality of the fish is great. Akina is an older restaurant and the sushi bar is a little bit of a tight squeeze but the sushi just as good as Ooka. But you can't beat the price when you use the gift certificates from All this talk about sushi has got me craving it again!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There's a New Chef in this Kitchen

Yesterday day night, I had the rare treat of having the hubby cook dinner for me! We had planned to go get sushi, but last minute David decided we should just eat in. After cleaning the apartment, just the thought of cooking dinner made me feel tired. When David offered to cook dinner, I was a little surprised as this doesn't happen very often in our house. Even though I didn't want to cook, I was still reluctant to hand over the use of MY kitchen to someone else! I retreated to the dinning room, where I blogged about our last day in Miami. Every couple of minutes though, I kept finding myself back in the kitchen trying to give him tips! I finally had to tell myself that he would do a great job and would not burn down the apartment! Well, it turns out he is a darn good cook! He made tortellini with chicken in this amazing sauce made from wine and heavy cream. He even used fresh herbs and garlic. He also added Salami. I don't even think I would have thought of that. So very good! Maybe I just need to retire completely from cooking! I don't think I could ever do that though. Cooking has definitely become my creative outlet. Anyways, he is definitely going to be cooking more often though!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sigh - The last day in Miami

Finally, I am blogging the last day of our Miami trip! My goal was to blog one entry each day. Well a week and half later I am only now finishing it up. I have cooked a lot this week and we have been busy socializing so I haven't had time to finish it.

Anyways, how about if I get on with it and tell you about our last day. We went to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which I had been looking forward to the entire trip. I was a little disappointed, because you can't take pictures inside the house. Sorry folks, all you get to see is the gardens. It was pretty amazing though, as there were ceilings imported from Italy and furniture from France. Most of which were from several centuries ago. I have never been to Europe before, but this is what I have always envisioned it would look like. Here are some photos of the outside of the building and the gardens.

When we were done, we headed off to the beach and watched the sunset. No pictures as my camera battery died! :( After, that we met up with friends, at the Cuban restaurant La Carretta. Our food was really good and we ended the evening with some Cafe con leche. Now I am not normally a coffee person, but I tried some of David's and it was so good. It was light, creamy and sweet. After trying his, I had to get one for myself.

So thats the end of our trip. We really enjoyed ourselves and would love to go back someday. I do wish we could have just relaxed a bit more, but we will just have to save that for Hawaii in July!

Busy Bees

I always love 3 day weekends and there definitely aren't enough of them during the year! We didn't have any set plans for the weekend which was a refreshing change. I did some shopping with Rachel on Saturday and got some cute shirts from Old Navy. On Sunday after church, we spent the day with friends at Disneyland. We ate lunch at ESPN Zone so the guys could watch the football game. I got the Chicken Tortilla soup and I did not like it at all! After lunch we stopped by the Jazz Kitchen Express and picked up some Beignets for a sweet snack which were delicious! I think they are my new thing to get whenever we go down there.

On Monday, David had to work so I went shopping with Casey. We headed over to Ontario Mills, but I didn't really find any good deals on clothes. We were almost done for day when we stopped by Cost Plus World Market, when I found Goose Island Root Beer, which I love! Several years ago, when David came back to Indiana with me, we found this root beer. We looked all over for it here in Ca but found nothing. On several occasions, I have bought it back in my suit case or had my parents bring it back for us. It has always been a real treat to have it. So as you can see I was excited to find it! Overall, it was a good weekend!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Day 3 in Miami

I would say that I had the most fun this day out of any of the others. We
started the day out by going to the Everglades Alligator Farm. We saw alligators, crocodiles, and snakes. We also went on the air boat ride which was amazing! It was so smooth and felt like we were skimming the water. The driver did a couple of 360 degree turns which was such an adrenaline rush!

We got a little bit wet!

Now, when we went to the snake show, David volunteered me to hold one of the snakes. That's just like my husband to do something like that. On our honeymoon, he volunteered me to get up and dance at the luau in front of everyone. Anyways, back to the snakes. They don't normally scare me and the only time they really make me nervous is if I see them slithering across the ground. So when David volunteered me, I figured I might hold a small snake, until the guy told me to stand with my back to him. As soon as he said that, I knew he was going to be pulling out a huge snake. Before I knew it, he had wrapped a very large Green Burmese Python around my neck! I think I handled it pretty well!

After, touring the alligator farm we headed over to Cracker Barrel for lunch. It was so good like always! Then we drove down to the Florida Keys, but it was late and the sun was starting to set. It felt like we were racing the sun to get as far as we could before it was gone. It was almost as if there was something pulling us to the end.

David and Kate

We stopped in Marathon, at the Island Fish Company for some of the best Key Lime Pie. It was so light and creamy and a perfect way to end to day!

It was a long drive back to Miami, about and hour and half away, but well worth it though!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hand over the moolah

Spending large sums of money sucks when its not on something fun! The hubby called me earlier today, to let me know that he had to take the car down to America's tires. One of the tires was flat and it turns out also, all the tires need to be replaced. Now we get to add that to list of things to do! Boooo! I can't believe they already need to be done, when we have only had the car a little over a year. I had to remind myself, that David drives a lot for work! If I remember correctly, within the year. we have had the car, we have put over 40,000 miles on it. Geez, that's a lot! Oh well, our safety is much important than having fun, so you gotta do what you gotta do!

"Getting money is like digging with a needle; spending it is like water soaking into sand."
Japanese Proverb

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day 2 in Miami

Friday was the day of Tim & Patty's wedding, so we were quite busy. Before leaving on the trip, I did a lot of research on places to visit and also for good restaurants. We knew, we wanted to find a authentic Cuban place because there is no better place to get Cuban food than in Miami. Thanks to the wonderful nesties from the Miami board, on, as they recommended the Cuban restaurant Versailles. We headed over there for lunch and had a great meal! The girls were right on about the restaurant!

The fried Yucca was really good, especially with the garlic cilantro sauce. Yummm!

David and I both got the Chicken Versailles: chicken marinated in mojo sauce and served with a lemon butter sauce, Moros rice and Fried Plantains

After, lunch we headed next door to their bakery. I got a mango moose that was amazing. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture! We all changed into our snazzy wedding clothes and headed over to the wedding which was at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. They had so many great touches and the one I loved the most was that Patty and her dad walked into the Star Wars theme song!

The sparklers farwell was super cute as well

Hopefully, tomorrow I will have time to blog the last two days of the trip!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cup of tea anyone?

I absolutley loved the book, "The Tea Rose" Jennifer Donnelly, from the moment I read the first page, till the very end! I brought it on our trip to Miami and I kept sneaking in time to read this book, as I couldn't put in down. I even read in the car, which I don't normally do because I can get car sick if I read too long.

Anyways, I should probably tell you what its about shouldn't I? The book starts out set in East London, in the late 19th century and is about a young women Fiona and her journey through a life of many trials and tribulations. There is romance, murder, greed, and joy. I cried so many times through out this book! I loved the many details, from the descriptions of emotions to the historical details of London. I don't want to give away to many details, as I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I definitely recommend reading it though. Donnelley, is bringing out another book this month called the, "The Winter Rose", which I am looking forward to reading as well!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Day 1 in Miami

Our trip started on Wednesday, with us practically flying the entire day, with multiple stops, Phoenix and Orlando and 3 hour time change. It was a lot!

David and Matt with their beer on the plane!

Sarah and the kids Issac and Kate watching a movie

We got into Miami quite late so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and went straight to bed. Thursday, was our first full day in Miami. We headed on down to Miami beach and went to the Art Deco district, which runs along the ocean. It was really awesome to see how they have preserved the original buildings and history in that area.

We ate at a great restaurant called Medi. I got the grilled salmon and couscous salad.

After lunch, we headed down to the water. I loved how the lifeguard towers were painted all different colors, not your plain white you have here in CA.

Then we were off to Tim & Patty's rehearsal and dinner. They had some great Cuban sandwiches for us. After, the dinner we headed back up to Fort Lauderdale and picked Troy and Melissa up from the airport. They were hungry, so we headed on down to Cracker Barrel for a yummy breakfast/dinner! Oh, how wish they had them here in California!

David was very excited for Cracker Barrel

1 day done, 3 more to go!

Click Here for Day 2

I <3 Sushi


I saw this shirt on Shirt.Woot and thought it was super cute! Unfortunatly now I am craving sushi! Maybe David and I can go and get some tonight for dinner.

We're Back!


Well, we are back from Miami! We flew back yesterday and and after a long plane flight, we got in around 4:30. We had a great trip and I will definitely be blogging about it, but it will be in installments. I did just want to touch on some differences that I noticed between here and Florida. First off, I never once was asked to see my id when making a credit card purchase, which means if they were stolen anyone could have used it. I even used David's card once by accident thinking it was mine and they didn't even look at the name. If they had they would have noticed I'm not a guy and the card was not mine! Checking your id is one thing that I am very glad they do out here. I also noticed, that none of the bathrooms I entered, ever had the paper seat covers! Boy am I glad that we have those here. They drive slow out there as well, which is probably safer but when your used to how they drive here it can be annoying. Spanish was the primary language in many places. I figured since we have a very large Hispanic population here and you hear Spanish spoken a lot that Florida would be similar. I was surprised on several occasions there was no one to speak English to us. It did make for some fun when we were trying to figure out what we even ordering to eat! Lastly, everyone was extremely nice. There was none of the rudeness or ignoring of people that you get here. Oh gosh, I almost forgot, in the hotel we were staying at, it had no blankets or comforters on the bed. They only had three sheets on them and that's it. We asked for blankets and they looked at us like we were nuts! I was cold the first night, but they were finally able to scrounge up some blankets for us the next night. Overall, it was a great trip and hopefully I will get some pictures up soon!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ready to go!

Well, we are all packed and ready to go! I have been on the go since I got off work. I had to run errands and then come home and clean, do some laundry and then pack. I wish I had finished sooner, so I could have gotten more zzz's but what can you do. We have to be up at 5 tomorrow morning! Ugh! I am so not looking forward that. Our flight leaves out of Ontario at 7:40 and we get into Ft. Lauderdale at 6:00 pm. It will be a long day of flying but well worth it! Well I'm off to bed!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pink Snowball Coconut Cupcakes


These came very good! I loved the raspberry cream filling along with the coconut. The cupcake part came out a little more dense than I normally like my cupcakes. I think a lot of that is personally preference. The cupcakes had great flavor though. I saw a recipe for fluffy cupcakes, so I am thinking about maybe next time making that recipe and adding the vanilla, almond, and coconut from this recipe to it. Also, I definitely recommend having a kitchen aid mixer to make these as the cupcake mixture needs to mix for awhile. But overall, everyone has really liked them. They look so pretty too. They would be perfect for a wedding shower or baby shower!

Pink Snowball Coconut Cupcakes
Source: Craft.Quirky.Fun
Yield: 2 dozen
Weight Watchers Points: 8.5 points per cupcake

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp of pure almond extract
3 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup of buttermilk (I used yogurt as a substitute)
14 ounces of sweetened, shredded coconut
Red food coloring

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half the dry mixture to the batter and then the yogurt. Add remaining dry mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops golden brown. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then place of cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

Filling & Frosting

Pastry bag with tip (you can use a plastic baggy and cut a hole in the corner)
2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, cut in half or 1 (16-ounce) container fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped (used frozen but let them defrost first)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of powdered sugar

Coarsely mash raspberries in a medium bowl with fork. Beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the raspberries into the whipped cream.

Fill the pastry bag with the filling mix. Puncture the cupcake and squeeze a little bit of the filling into the middle. Frost the cupcakes tops with the remaining filling.

Place 1 drop of red food coloring into a bowl of the remaining coconut. Mix well until you have an even coating of color. Sprinkle cupcakes with the remaining coconut.



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