Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tahoe Pix

Here we go! My first Wordless Wednesday post! Completely and totally wordle--  dammit.

99. make snow cones out of snow

Last week, over part of spring break I went on a little mini retreat with my friend D. That's what we called it anyhow. Basically we drove to Tahoe and hung out in a woodsy cabin for a couple of days. We hiked about in the snow, played nickel slots at one of the casinos, and snuggled up on the couches with drinkiepies and cable TV. It was awesome. I feel kind of bad for not inviting all of you because I probably totally could have-- check out the "cabin" where we unexpectedly stayed.

That's D, waaay over by the sink.

And there I am by the window.

And that's just the living room area. We felt kind of like we had paid for a crappy motel room and by some clerical error had been put in a fancypants hotel penthouse. There was, like, a whole SUITE of rooms we didn't even use. Seriously, YOU SHOULD HAVE COME!

To be honest it was actually kind of spooky at night.

And there was this fake barking dog thing set up to frighten away bears that scared the bejeezus out of me.

Anyhow, one of the things I really wanted to do in Tahoe was number 99 on my life list-- make snow cones out of snow. When I was making my list I knew that I wanted to include big extravagant goals, but also smaller, more doable items. Like, I didn't want to make a list and then have it just SIT THERE while I felt sad about the fact that I wasn't going to accomplish number 69 (get henna painted in India) or number 51 (step onto the field at the LA Coliseum) anytime soon. So I added lots of littler listy items because I knew I would enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that came along with coercing someone to make me a dirty martini or spending a day lazing around in bed.

The point of all this being: Snow Cones! I made them! Out of snow! I put that on the list as kind of a throwback reference to when I was a kid and we used to eat snow with chocolate syrup on it as a wintry treat.

So! D and I went to the grocery store and bought some Hawaiian Punch. Real snow cone syrup was too hard to obtain on such short notice and I decided Hawaiian Punch would do the trick because it is (a) very sweet and (b) not juice.

I collected the snow.

Yes, I scraped off the layers with obvious bits of dirt (no, I didn't use Yellow Snow, why do people keep asking me that?).

Then we went inside and used mini paper cups. Because you have to eat snow cones out of paper (that's part of the fun-- the race to eat it all before it soaks through).

Time to add the Hawaiian Punch. This got me very!!! excited!!!

Oh yum yum.

So there ya have it, Snow Cones. Out of snow. Mighty Girl challenged life listers to accomplish three of their goals this month and I did it! Okay, so I didn't HAVE A BABY like one of her other readers but whatever, pshhh, overachiever. I'm choosing to revel in my own success. So there. BOOYAH!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dollar $tore Challenge

I participated in the Dollar $tore Challenge brought to us by Miss and Kat. It was a simple enough concept to interest me-- Go to your local dollar store, spend twenty bucks, mail a package to somebody, and in return you'll get a package! Win-win! I was assigned the darling Magda who told me she loves crafts, baking, and the color purple. I headed over to Daiso which is this fantastic Japanese Variety Store where most things are priced at $1.50 and you can buy all kids of adorable things like mini cookie cutters and bento boxes and other cutesy wee little treasures. You can read about the awesome package of magic I sent her right here.

And a week or so ago I received a parcel of surprises in the mail from Ally!

I think she did her homework.

I got a whole bunch of stuff....
Pretty bag, scented candles, and eyemask.

Sewing kit and manicure set! I actually used the sewing kit the very day I recieved it, after I overzealously cut the tags off my new dress and had to stich a seam back up.

Pretty pens and binder clips, multi-opening photo frame. What to put in it, I wonder?

Shower smooshes, hair clippies, sockiepoos, and a puzzle book. Also, there was a york peppermint flavored chapstick that didn't make it into the photo session because I didn't realize it was there until I was breaking the box apart for the recycle bin.

Yay for fun packages! I would love to do something like this again, especially if it means I get to go back to Daiso.

These Boots are Made for Failing

Oh man I almost don't want to tell this story, but in the interest of fully partially disclosing everything, here goes.

A couple months ago I ordered these boots. Here is a photo of them! The right one, anyhow.

And here is the other side.

So I got these boots from Timberland at a deeply discounted price which was awesome but it also meant I had to order them without being able to try them on first. From their description, I thought they would be perfect for tromping around chilly, oft rain-soaked San Francisco.

They arrived a couple weeks later and I pulled out the mess of tissue stuffing and cardboard bits and tried them on. My heart sank. The boots were REALLY snug! Too tight, I thought. But I couldn't exchange them without a big headachey hassle so I decided to just break them in and deal with it, maybe they would stretch a bit.

So I wore them out and about and got used to them and even enjoyed them. They still felt a little too tight and rigid on the tops of my feet but I liked how they looked and I figured they had to break in at some point.

And then just a few days ago I was putting the boots on for an outing. As I held one open and angled my foot, I noticed something seemingly ripped on the inside of my boot. Oh no! Had I already wrecked my new boots? I reached inside.

Guess what I found inside my boots?


I've been wearing my boots for approximately A MONTH with the cardboard inserts STILL INSIDE.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lab Coat

I said maybe I would go buy a new lab coat today and lookee here I actually did it! Now perhaps you are wondering why I would go out and spend money on a new lab coat when I already have a perfectly adequate one?

Allow me introduce you to my alter-ego, Nurse Dowdy McFrumpleton.

You see I bought this coat about three years ago when I was taking my prerequisite anatomy class at LA City College in preparation for nursing school. We were dissecting (*gulp* EARMUFFS BOWIE) cats and therefore had to wear lab coats. So I bought this one cheaply and unenthusiastically. And I thought it would be fine for this year but recently I've been feeling rather BLAH in it.

Blah, hi, I guess I'll be your nurse or whatever.

Functionally it is fine I suppose and it fits all the requirements of a lab coat-- that it be white and shaped like a coat. But the fabric is thin and flimsy the sleeves are that weird mid-wrist length, and it is way too long and ballooney. Bah! Humbug!

I have been gearing up for Spring quarter and feeling like maybe I needed to revamp myself a little. And so today I went to the medical uniform store and purchased not one, but TWO new lab coats.

The fist one I couldn't resist because of the cute flowery pocket details.
Hello, I'll be your nurse today!

The second one was the one I was even more excited about because it has short little sleeves. This is a valuable feature based on the tremendous number of times I must wash my hands while working at the hospital. Since it is so short and short sleeved I think of it as more a nod to the traditional lab coat, but in a much more wearable, movable, makes me want to put on accessories and pose kind of way.

Hi there!!! I'm your nurse!!!!

Happy Happy Thoughts!

Okay, Melissa and Swistle, I'll play your game. It would be easy for me to write a complainy post about how school is starting up again for the new quarter and I'm not ready yet and I'm nervous and how I got a parking ticket and I had trouble sleeping last night. No siree, I'm certainly not going to mention any of that! So. Happy thoughts. Here they are. HAPPY!

Today I woke up after only a few hours of sleep, feeling icky so I called in sick for clinical. I hate calling in sick. I don't know if it has more to do with the general vibe of where I used to work or just my own personal anxiety but I HATE it and I feel like I'm supposed to have a list of my symptoms ready and I feel like the person will be able to tell if I'm not really sick or that I'll SOUND like I'm not really sick even if I am. BUT today when I called and said simply "I don't think I can come in today, I am not feeling well" my preceptor was actually relieved because her day was going to be crazed and busy and so she happily rescheduled me. So the point here is that I got an unexpected day off today with zero guilty feelings about it! Happy!

Maybe I will go buy a new lab coat today.

I went grocery shopping yesterday. There is food in the fridge and cupboards for the first time in many moons.

I am getting my box of farm fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to my door tomorrow.

I ordered my books for this quarter. And I bought one of them from because it was actually about half the price it would have been on Amazon. I bought the rest on Amazon because they weren't cheaper on Half. Fascinating, I know, but it was nice to get a goodish deal.

I also ordered these tiny measuring spoons! Because they are so cute! I mean, uh, because I obviously need them for cooking.

Yesterday somebody told me they thought I would make a good mom someday. That made me smile because I love kids and I hope it's true.

Yesterday I ran on the treadmill and then swam in the pool for a little bit. It was incredibly refreshing.

Maybe I will run on the treadmill again today.


Easter candy!

I get to see my family this weekend. Including adorable small children.

I'm happy with my life list progress and excited to continue it.

I'm happy with my dating life and excited to continue it.

I got this duvet cover a few weeks ago and I really like it. I also bought new green jersey knit sheets which are pretty and cozy.

Bowie sleeps at the foot of my bed almost every night.

The leftover Thai food I am eating for lunch is delicious.

I am 2/3 done with the school year. Well, I've completed two out of the three quarters. I'm probably going to do clinicals this summer but I won't have classes. It's crazy-- I'm graduating in one year and three months!

I have fun things planned for next two weekends and for bits of summer as well.

Two of my plants are thriving, which is two more than I thought I would be able to keep alive.

I couldn't sleep very well last night so hopefully that means I will totally conk out tonight.

My apartment is clean right now, for the most part. I did a whirlwind tidy up over the weekend to prepare for this week. And now I have the day off so I will probably start a new Salvation Army box and weed some things out.

I'm thinking about possibly buying something new-- either a fancy camera or a LAPPY. It probably won't be until the summer, but the thought is still nice.

I'm going to Blogher! Is it too early to start deciding which shoes to bring?

My niece's birthday is coming up. I love birthdays.

My nieces text me from my sister's phone sometimes. It is awesome because I don't always know who it is right away. Like, I'll think it's my sister until she says something like "I'm playing outside."

I've been getting out and enjoying San Francisco a lot more than I used to. And I continue to be surprised and delighted by how much I like living here.

I got a package in the mail which included a picture frame with four different openings of different sizes. I think it will be fun to decide on and print photos to fit in the spaces.

I had a great spring break. I THINK I'm nicely rested and ready to start this next quarter.

Okay, I think I'll stop now. I took longer than the alotted 5 minutes but time limits tend to psych me out so that's probably for the best. And wouldja look at that? I'm totally high on life now. So! Your turn! Want to play? Happy thoughts all around! HAPPY!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Custard Pies Rule

Really, the whole point of adding #5 on my life list was to satisfy my craving for custard pie. I had a teeny tiny bite of one about a year and a half ago and since then I've had an unwavering ravenous desire for them. So I pledged to find the perfect one. I'm not sure what I've decided fits under the definition of "perfect" yet (best taste? best taste + best price? in the city? the state? THE WORLD?), but I'm figuring that I'll know it when I taste it.

It's really been a nice excuse exercise. Sunday morning, ho hum whatever shall I do? Well I am still looking for the perfect custard pie, perhaps I best head over to a dim sum bakery and try my luck!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Girl Talk: Doin Mah Hurr

It seems that whenever I get my hair cut I ask for bangs. And, well, they leave a little something to be desired.

Not sure why my fist is clenched like that.

So! This, fast, easy, go-to hairstyle came about out of necessity and has become my nearly everyday look.

First, part hair down the middle or the side or whatevs you normally do. Then make a second part on one side and pull and twist back that section of hair like so:

Then, pin it with two bobby pins criss crossed.
Make sure to have a nice vacant look in your eyes.

Next, make another part on the other side of your head and do the same pull back and twist thing.

Pin it up with two bobby pins criss crossed.

Annnnnnd done!
An aesthetically pleasing configuration of hair that humans go nuts over!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fudge: Attempt 2

This post has been sitting in my drafts file for ages. I kept meaning to post it-- like when it could have started with "yesterday" or "last week" but now it has to start with "Uh. Sometime in the last couple months...."

Uh. Sometime in the last couple months I had a lovely mellow day. I ran some errands, did some homework, hung out at home, nothing special. And then at around 9 pm I realized GAH! GAHHHH! I am supposed to bring a food item to school tomorrow for my nutrition class potluck! And it has to be something that has cultural significance or was a family favorite. GAH! Why oh why didn't I remember this until 9 pm?

I toyed with the idea of zipping over to Safeway and picking up some pre-made potato salad which would have actually been appropriate because I'm, ya know, "American" (see also: Lazy).
BUT one of my life list goals is to recreate my grandmother's fudge recipe and I decided that it would be a good time to work on that. Also, fudge is pretty quick and easy to make and I read very carefully on the Nutrition syllabus and it did NOT say that our potluck items had to be healthful.

So I took a late night trip to the grocery store for the ingredients.

And then I got started. With lots and lots of sugar.

This time I used the recipe on the back of the Marshmallow fluff which goes like this:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cups (1.5 sticks) butter
1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk
1.5 pkg (12 squares) baking chocolate
1 jar (7 oz) Marshmallow creme
1 tsp vanilla

But the grocery store only had 12 oz cans of evaporated milk and what the hell else am I going to do with evaporated milk? So I ended up just doubling the recipe and starting with SIX CUPS OF SUGAR. I added the milk and butter and brought it to a boil. Apparently I was also supposed to have a candy thermometer to make sure that it reached 234 degrees?

After it boiled, I added the baking chocolate squares and the marshmallow goo.

And when it was all mixed up, I poured it into a pan. And then another. And then another because holy moly doubling the recipe made a LOT of fudge!

And I brought it to school for Nutrition Potluck Day and everybody seemed to like it. Plus, I had a nice mushy story to tell about my grandmother and how I think the fudge recipe is an important piece of my family legacy, etc etc.

Delicious. Not QUITE her recipe but getting closer. I remember the chocolate being less chocolatey even though I seem to remember her using chocolate chips. And I don't think it was mushy at all-- like it was hard when you bit into it but then all melty in your mouth.

Next time:
Maybe I'll try a recipe that uses some brown sugar.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hiking: A Post in which I Annoy Some Cows

I went hiking a couple weeks ago! Have you ever been to Point Reyes? Neither had I!

We went to a trailhead entitled Bull Point Hike, which I laughed at because it sounded vaguely dirty. And then we wondered if we were going the wrong way.

Because, seriously? This is the trail?


Well, okay then. Let's go!

Hiking through a cow pasture is a lot like HIKING THROUGH A COW PASTURE. There was manure and flies. And there were cows who did not seem entirely too thrilled that we were invading their privacy. And mud puddles.

And this snake in the grass lurking like some kind of snake in the grass.

And a pile of driftwood?


But there was also the very pretty seashore that of course I didn't photograph and some lovely wildflowers. And lots of baby cows! I did get several pictures of them because Awwww!

And then afterwards we went out for burgers.

My Spa-Like Bathroom

Okay! My bathroom is officially the latest of my rooms to endure the zen organizing project. I let it get pretty bad before I tackled it and I was at the point where I was almost ready to throw in the metaphorical towel altogether. But forged ahead and I think it came out rather nice. And spa-like.

Towels all over the floor, products and hair implements left hither and thither, glass shelfy thing standing in the corner to dry after I spilled a vanilla vodka and coke on it and then rinsed it off in the shower.

Lovely new purple bathmat and cleverly disguised cat carrier with magazines fanned out on top. This was the best solution I could come up with for the cat carrier because I need to keep it in the bathroom for two reasons: 1) I have nowhere else to put it and 2) I shove Bowie in it sometimes when he's being a pill and that's usually in the middle of the night and I could not possibly entertain the idea of getting the cat carrier out from some hidden location.

Counter, Before:

Gah. Stuff everywhere.

Clutter scraped off, organized, and put away. Glass shelfy thing back in its rightful place. New soap dispenser. New jars for hairbands (top shelf, green and brown stripes) and cotton balls (bottom shelf, pink).

Potty Area, Before:

New basketty thing from Ross for kitty litter storage. Cat box emptied. Magazines moved and replaced with decorative candle. Other stuff moved under the sink. Undersink area decluttered and organized.

Stupid Shower Thingy Before:

New shower thingy! Kind of insanely expensive at $39 from Bed Bath & Beyond but I decided to go for it because the package made all kinds of semi-raunchy-sounding "stays where you put it!" "won't slide off!" promises.

Tower thingy before:
Disorganized and clutterful.

Tower, After:
Organized and sporting a new (nonscary) oil incense burner! Also note the new towel holder. This was actually a dishrack that I picked up at TJ Maxx but I thought it would be perfect for towels and washcloths.