Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rocket Man!

This weekend Gavin had a tournament in Vegas.

In our down time we decided to launch a rocket:

It was a fun adventure.  We made one mistake and forgot to buy wadding.  No problem.  We made some using baking soda, water and toilet paper.  And the big surprise?  It worked!

If you've never built a model rocket, I highly recommend it.  If you can convince your entire family to come along, even better!

Juice Days and Veggie Days

This week was a rough week for food.  But we managed both!  Sometimes life makes it quite difficult, but I was proud of our effort.

Because of schedules, appointments, and life in general, making juice was not really an option.  I found it much more difficult to drink store bought juices all day.  Most are way too sweet to be a decent meal and even tomato juice has too much salt.

Wednesday I had my first opps at breakfast when I forgot what day it was, but I made it up by having a veggie breakfast on Thursday.

I have no great photos of my food this week, but I have this instead.

I didn't order a designated vegetarian entree, but for some reason was really proud of the sticker on my potato taco from Taco Mesa:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lucia Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

New month, new book club book!

This month's book was Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani.

The book is a frame story primarily about the life of a young Italian self proclaimed 'career woman'.  More clever readers can probably guess her name.  It follows her life through two engagements, the birth and death of a niece, being left at the alter and ultimately living her entire life never living anywhere other than her childhood bedroom which has now been renovated into a small apartment in the building her father once owned.

Sometimes I feel like books should come with a warning sticker regarding certain content.  I guess my current life place makes me overly sensitive to particular scenes and situations. When they come up in movies or TV shows, I just change the channel.  However since I already committed to reading this book I was stuck and survived.

This marks my fifth month in book club.  I've been lucky to have not had to miss any meetings yet and I've successfully completed all of the books.  I am really enjoying book club as a way to get together with people in my neighborhood and exchange ideas with people very different than myself.  It's a great group of women and they have been incredibly warm and welcoming.  In a few months I'm hosting! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Juice Monday, Edition 1

As I mentioned, we are switching to a weekly juice day.  Monday.

This week, my goal was to move away from juice 'recipes' with the idea that we have a general idea of what kind of juice we like (and hate) so we should be able to put together some decent juices.

Nice bowl of fruit, but not even half the fruits and veggies for today!

We had gone on a little hike in San Juan Capistrano and brought home a few super tart oranges so we juiced those first.  I thought it was great, although it was too sour for Gavin!

Hawaiian sunrise is the pretty juice we keep making for breakfast.  Same thing today, except we used our tart orange juice instead and didn't use as many oranges as we normally would.
Hawaiian Sunrise, even the waste is pretty!
First Juice Monday juices!

Our second juice of the day was pure carrot juice.  We used about a pound and a half of carrots.  Have I mentioned that I love carrots?

I <3 u, carrots
Third juice was a homemade recipe.  I've insisted it would be a good idea to juice iceberg lettuce.  So we did!  Half a head of lettuce, spinach, cucumber and apples.  Very green juice.  It wasn't bad, although it did separate and looked awful until shaken.

We find green juices a bit difficult, so we bought one to steal the idea:  Green Machine for dinner!

No better way to end a juice day so far than Strawberry banana, one package of strawberries, one banana.

Today was challenging because it was so cold.  It's hard to drink cold juice all day when it's cold.  When I was drinking the carrot juice, all I could think about was the warm delicious carrot and orange soup we often make.  I imagine it may be a tad bit easier at room temperature, but I never realized just how comforting warm food is!

Monday, January 16, 2012

o hai!

This is kitty Photobomb!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Juice Diaries: Half day 3

So the second half of day 2 was... more difficult.

I found myself feeling absent minded and disoriented at work, not to mention irritable in general.  Two of our juices yesterday were quite... awful.  The first was a green juice that had lots of kale.  I don't like Kale, I don't care of if it's a miracle food.  The second had tomato, red peppers, yellow peppers, and some other random veggies in it.  The recipe suggested adding hot sauce.  I'm glad we didn't.

When I got home, we were both in quite a mood.  At one point Gavin stopped me, looked me in the eyes, and earnestly said, 'Let's just eat 1 cracker.'  I laughed.  As if I was going to break a juice face for a freaking cracker!  You must be joking me.  We both had headaches and a craving for almost anything solid.  Our last juice was good: kiwi and blueberries, but so tart it almost burned to drink it!  Maybe some things were not intended to be concentrated?  

Instead of giving in, we escaped into the imaginary worlds of Elder Scrolls and survived the rest of the day stealing food and force feeding it to my character.  :)

This morning, the juice was fine.  Plain Orange.  Some of the oranges weren't quite ripe and so the juice was a little tart, but otherwise good.  Today is an important day at our house, so we decided to take lunch off and had a light sushi lunch in celebration.  Tonight we have some other green type juice that I'm really not looking forward too, but we have a nice desert strawberry banana juice.

I can see the general idea of the diet: lots of fruit and veggies.  It is a severe violation of my 'moderation is best' rule.  I've suggested to Gavin maybe trying one day a week of juice instead of groups of days.  Apparently this would offend most of the juice fanatics, but I think I'm okay with that.

As far as cooking in general, we're working on ideas to reintroduce a routine and joy to eating at home again.  So far it looks like we are planning on 'Juice Mondays' and the reintroduction of 'Veggie Wednesdays.'

So I'm lifting my juice glass high to a year a new year of cooking adventures, including but thank god not limited to drinking juice!    

Monday, January 9, 2012

Juice Diaries: Halfway into Day 2

Day 2.

When I woke up, I was quite excited about our morning juice.  Gavin made the same breakfast juice as yesterday: Hawaiian Sunrise.  It's tasty and pretty!

Hawaiian Sunrise
      Grapefruit, peeled – 24 oz. = 2 very large
      Pineapple, with most rind removed – 16 oz. = 2 inch slice
      Orange, peeled – 24 oz. = 6 medium

It was perfect and I sat pleasantly drinking it.  That was the last positive thought I've had about juice since.

First, "Green Machine" leaked all over my lunch box.  It was also suppose to be my 9 am snack.  It was awful and I had to bargain with myself to finish it, which I eventually did, just a few minutes ago, and just in time for the next juice of the day: zipper.  I don't remember exactly what's in this juice, but I can tell you for sure it has ginger in it.  It's not bad it's just oddly... unidentifiable which is particularly mystifying since I just made it myself yesterday.  The color is a bit odd as well.

Incredibly, this photo just doesn't do the color justice...

So... there's my update!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Thanks to Christmas we all had some new toys!

Gavin saw this game at Target a few weeks ago and got a child like twinkle in his eye.  It's a fun cooperative game and we had a great time with it.

We tried playing A Game of Thrones when we went to Palm Springs last week, but it was WAY too complicated to learn in a hotel room after a glass of wine!

The ping pong set up was a gift from my parents and it's fantastic!  Second best use of a kitchen island.

Gucci got stuffed shrimp.

Penny got an entire Farm of animals from Lisa and Chris.  Can we say spoiled?  Our animals aren't sure they aren't a bed.  If they are all together, I can almost guarantee an animal will be asleep atop them.

We can always use a few fun distractions around the house!  Thank you Christmas.

The Juice Diaries

Gavin got a juicer for Christmas.  He watched a movie and was set on the benefits of juice.

Enter Juice Diet.

Today was day 1.

I apologize in advance for the pictures.  My camera, like me, was out of batteries.

This is all of the required fruits and veggies for two days.  TWO.
One 'meal'
Juice Master himself
Breakfast juice cast offs

Lunch castoffs

Final Product: Breakfast
The rest of our meals for the day

Gavin's conclusion was that it was a lot harder than he was anticipating.  It was exactly as hard as I was anticipating!  Fruit is expensive.  And our kitchen looked a bit like a food fight had happened.  For me, as soon as I can't have something, I want it three times as much.  It was so bad that even the food in Skyrim looked tasty!

The juice is satisfying, so it's not that I was hungry exactly.  More that I wanted to eat things!  My favorite juice, not surprisingly, was strawberry banana.  My least favorite was something involved parsley, kale, ginger and carrots.

I'll try to post some of the recipes, but I have to convince Gavin to give them up first!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Give in, give up, or give back?

So I'm in a rut.  I didn't make it, I didn't chose to be put in it, but here I am and I think the only choice left is what to do about it.

And I want out.  So I need to do things.  I have some plans to try some classes, read some books, paint some paintings, watch some movies, but I think one of the best ways out is giving back.  So I'm on a hunt for a charity that needs a volunteer.

I have some restrictions, like I work full time.  But I also have a lot of positive attributes.  I'm a licensed civil engineer, I'm a hard worker, I can make an excel sheet like no body's business, and I don't mind picking up dog poop if that's what needs done.  So if you know of some place I might fit in, please pass the information along.