Friday, August 19, 2011


I put this on my facebook, but I had to share it with blogger friends as well. I knew your Friday wouldn't be complete without it.

While out and about in town yesterday with my mom, we spotted Alf.

I don't think I need to say much more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I'm a sucker for a great handbag. I'm not a purse girl. I'm not fascinated by purses, and I couldn't care less over big names. I think I've owned a total of 4 actual woman purses that weren't made by me. I love designing my own bags (which usually don't turn out looking THAT great), but I love choosing materials, function, etc.
So this design house is fun. At 1154 Lill you can buy from their own stock or you can create your own custom bag (that would be me, saying "Yes, yes, yes!"). Reality is, they're way out of my price range, but it's still fun to play with the application on their site.
You choose a bag style (and there are so many to choose from) and the fabric (which on some styles can be 2 or 3 different fabrics for different parts).

My favorite style of bag is the Roxy, which looks like it would hold plenty of stuff (along with a book), and still be cute.
And no, this is not a sponsored post in any way. I just loved their stuff. A friend posted their link on facebook today and I told her she was evil woman for showing me this website.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Running (?)

It has been a bad year for running. At least for me. I keep up on blogs and I read about everyone's runs, and I think to myself, "oh yeah. running. fun." I could run four days one week, and nothing the next, and just when I think I'm back in it, then I'm not. Too many excuses is mostly what it's about.

But here's the funny thing. Last week we had a group visiting - from my parents' home church. One of the parents in the group knew I ran a half marathon last January and asked if she could go on some runs with me. This was great motivation for me, because if I tell her "Yeah, let's meet outside in the parking lot at 6am" then I actually, you know, have to be there. And run. It was a great run - really slow (much slower than I thought we were going), but it was great to be pushed just because I was running along with someone else. I didn't want to quit!

I thought it was great and was planning a couple more runs with her during the week. Then I had an accident.

I was outlining some letters for the group to paint on our front compound wall. I was on the top step of a stepstool when its front feet sunk down into the dirt, lurching the stepstool forward, and I fell back. I fell right on my butt. I immediately started crying, it hurt so bad, and the woman who was out there swore that I fell on top of their aluminum water bottles.

My back/butt still hurts. Every day I've tested it out by a little jog across the parking lot, but running sends a shock in that spot every time a foot falls. So, of course, just as I was thinking that I really, really could get my heart back into running, this happens. When I CAN'T run, that's when I really want to. Bah!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Czech it out

I found this fun website, that shows pictures of famous people hanging out with other famous people. While some of them are really obvious and not that interesting (Stephen Colbert and Kristen Wiig), yet there are some really fun pictures, such as these:
Website: Awesome People Hanging Out Together

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

It's Peanut Butter Week! 

A friend recently posted on facebook pictures of peanut butter cupcakes. Why, I don't mind if I do! Her easy recipe just called for adding a 1/2 cup of peanut butter to a yellow cake mix - EASY! She also added half a cup of peanut butter to a chocolate frosting she made from scratch.

But let me tell you now that we had about 10 cans of frosting leftover from a visiting group, and if I can do things the easy way, I will. I could have added a 1/2 cup of frosting to the canned chocolate frosting, but I decided not to.
I'm not a big fan of peanut butter and chocolate together (don't start with me, I've heard it all), so I also frosted some with vanilla frosting.

Anna said you could also drop a Hershey kiss into each cupcake. But in my mind, a drop of jelly in the middle, topped with vanilla frosting... that sounds delicious.

Anna has just started her own Etsy shop, so you should check her out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Time

It's peanut butter week!

In my last post I talked about my favorite peanut butter. Yum.

The true destiny of peanut butter is to be paired in eternal bliss with jelly. Or jam. Or preserves. Whatever floats your boat. My manfriend asked "okay, but what's your favorite jelly?". Well, Manfriend, I haven't found a favorite yet. This is mostly because all store bought jelly is incredibly sweet. I need to learn to make my own. However, my favorite flavor is strawberry, with marionberry coming in a close second.
So today I will expound on the heavenly pairing of peanut butter and jelly. I'm a big fan. I ate it fairly often as a kid and even asked for a PB & J sandwich whenever my grandma made roast. As a teenager my favorite thing to eat was peanut butter and jelly on sourdough - a double decker. If you've never made a double decker, let me inform you: three pieces of bread, peanut butter and jelly in between all slices. Yum city. This is success:
Apparently I made my love for PB & J well known because I received this shirt a few years ago from a friend.
 Note: I am not the man pictured above.
Everybody knows about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And you've probably had peanut butter and jelly toast. And I wouldn't put it past anybody to have made peanut butter and jelly on a bagel. 

But what about other executions? Let me recount some for you. 

**When I was living in South Korea I couldn't find decent bread. I ate peanut butter and jelly saltine sandwiches. I'm not kidding. Little saltine sandwiches, painstakingly put together. Still yum. 
**Peanut butter and jelly on plain pita chips. Yummers.
**Peanut butter and jelly taquitos. At home, I made them in flour tortillas. Here at the daycare, Cande (our cook), makes homemade corn tortillas and then fills them with PB & J. 
**Peanut butter and jelly on a spoon. Who needs bread?

And my favorite...... 
**Peanut butter and jelly ice cream. I ain't kiddin'. My mom always shops at Grocery Outlets which very often stock discontinued items. One day she picked up four pints of Ben and Jerry's: vanilla ice cream swirled with peanut butter and strawberry jelly. After those pints were gone I began to make my own and have even asked for a specialty mixed Blizzard at Dairy Queen. 

I dare you to try it. Vanilla ice cream, top with a spoon of peanut butter and a spoon of jelly. Mix, or eat little by little.

Any other suggestions? I am open to any and all recommendations involving peanut butter and jelly.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My favorite peanut butter

I think everyone has a favorite peanut butter. I know what mine is. I haven't eaten it in a while, but it lives on in my dreams until one day I float back to the Pacific Northwest (less than two weeks) and prance into the local grocery store and purchase this peanut butter. It will be a glorious day.

Although I, like many other young American children (I am not young anymore), have mostly eaten Skippy or some other famous brand for most of my life, I eventually found my way to Adams. I love Adams. Although I should state at this point that I do not eat any nuts in whole form, I do love me some peanut butter. I can't stand the texture of any kind of nut, so I abhor crunchy peanut butter. However, even though Adams creamy is a little more texture-y than most big name brands, I love it all the same. And it has less sugar and none of that added stupidity.

One day two years ago, while I was absentmindedly picking up groceries at my local WinCo, I picked up my Adams peanut butter. I liked the creamy kind that you still had to stir (because the oils separate). I liked this kind. I picked it up and went on my way.

I got home and found out that I had picked up the creamy, stir, UNSALTED kind. PURE PEANUTS. Creamy, yes, but no salt. NO SALT? I tasted it and confirmed that it was quite strange. However, being as frugal and practical as I am, I decided I had to eat it anyway before I bought a new jar.
And guess what? I fell in love. It took a little while, like any kind of falling in love does. I had to consider my options and figure out what was best for me. But I did it. I fell head over heels for the unsalted Adams, creamy, stir kind of peanut butter. It's a mouthful, but it's worth it.

Monday, August 8, 2011


It is not recommended to fall on your butt, off a stepstool, while you attempt to work on lettering on a large outside wall. You will hurt. Very badly. Lesson learned.

I think it's going to be peanut butter week on my blog. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tourin' the South Part 8

(Last summer my mom and I went on a road trip through the South. I wrote this recap on a different blog last year. I thought I'd write it up again, add photos, and share the trip with new readers. Enjoy!) 

Day 15 - Tuesday, July 13th - Kodak, TN to Nashville, TN
I can't believe we made it this far in the trip without Mom stopping at a thrift store, but you knew it was going to happen some time, and Kodak is where it happened. We started off our day with a trip to the thrift store. It was right across the street from our hotel, so she couldn't miss it.

We drove up to Clinton, TN, north of Knoxville to visit the Museum of Appalachia, a work of heart from a local man who began to compile artifacts, treasures, and stories of the people and neighbors in his community. The museum itself would have been enough - it was jam packed with all sorts of information, but it included a barn, various outbuildings (cabins, sheds, church, school), and pastures. And peacocks. It was a very informative and interesting stop. At one house, on the porch, there was a guitar player who we talked with and played and sang some gospel songs for us. We began talking, and I talked about how I wanted to learn the banjo, and he mentioned that he teaches banjo and has lessons online. Nice guy.
We drove on, after our visit, to our hotel in Nashville, and the Cracker Barrel.

Day 16 - Wednesday, July 14th - Nashville, TN
Our last day!! We headed over to the Hermitage - Andrew Jackson's home, which has been carefully preserved. In fact, you hear so many stories of old plantation houses being sold to different families in the first half of the twentieth century, but a preservation society actually bought Andrew Jackson's house in the late 19th century! We had a tour of the home, the grounds, and the outbuildings. It really was a warm day in Nashville.
One more stop before the airport - we made it back to Franklin to the Daily Dish to once again have their delicious food. I had to have the Greek salad again, and it was just as good as the first time. After stuffing ourselves, we hopped in the car, got gas, and headed to the airport, ready to fly back to San Diego.
A business sign in Tennessee - "Closed Sundays, Thank you Jesus"

The end!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tourin' the South Part 7

(Last summer my mom and I went on a road trip through the South. I wrote this recap on a different blog last year. I thought I'd write it up again, add photos, and share the trip with new readers. Enjoy!)

Day 13 - Sunday, July 11th - Asheville, NC
I really wanted to see the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was coneniently celebrating its 75th anniversary. As part of FDR's work corps program, the Blue Ridge Parkway was built as a scenic route through Virginia and North Carolina's sections of the Appalachian mountains. It is a really nice drive - windy, slow, scenic. We also stopped at the Folk Art Center, which was really neat - a celebration of Art from the Appalachias. There we saw a guy out front with an interesting instrument that looked like a little harp or autoharp, but was played with a bow.

But, we got our fill of that, and went and got lunch. Later on we ventured down the parkway to the "Cradle of Forestry" center, to catch a bluegrass concert. It was a nice, comfortable, down home sort of thing - you could tell most of the people were local - only about 100 in the crowd. It was a nice way to relax, until it started raining. On the way home we drove through downtown Asheville, just to look around, and tried to drive to see Biltmore Castle, but at 55 dollars a pop, I think we decided it wasn't worth it. 55 dollars to see a house! No thanks. That's almost as much as Disneyland!
Day 14 - Monday, July 12th - Asheville, NC to Kodak, TN
We woke up to a rainy morning in Asheville, and hit the road to head over the Smoky Mountains to Tennessee. We stopped at a few little places along the way - a shop to buy some snacks, a homemade museum to look around, a store in the Cherokee Indian Reservation, and so forth. It was sort of a gloomy morning, but it made those Smoky Mountain extra smoky, and it was a beautiful drive anyway.
As we headed into Tennessee, we got into Pigeon Forge and consumer mania took over as the whole main street is just packed with tourists. Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood and as many kinds of musical dinner theater establishments as you can think of. We walked around a little bit. I found a craft store, of course, and a jewelry store. We got some candy. We headed back up the road to find our hotel - through the insane amount of traffic in Pigeon Forge. Wow!
That night we had a wonderful dinner at the Chop House, a steak house right there. It was really, really good.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tourin' the South Part 6

(Last summer my mom and I went on a road trip through the South. I wrote this recap on a different blog last year. I thought I'd write it up again, add photos, and share the trip with new readers. Enjoy!) 

Day 11 - Friday, July 9th - Savannah, GA to Charleston, SC
We still had some tickets to go see the Savannah history museum, so we set off for that in the morning. It was nice... small, but nice. I'm sure my mom would also like to point out that I forgot my sandals at the hotel, so we went back for those before heading out of town. It was another hot day (skip that part!!) but we got to Charleston, checked into our hotel (which was crummy and not worth mentioning), and headed to downtown Charleston. It was nice to see Savannah and Charleston back to back to see the similarities and differences. Charleston seems a much more hodge podge city, and so we were glad to take a carriage ride around to get the lay of the land.

The carriage ride was entertaining - our guide did a good job of casually showing us around, but giving good information. Unfortunately, we found that because you're being led by a slow horse, the carriages have to take different routes around town and so you don't really see all of it. BUT, like I said - our guide was good, and our horse, Kevin, had a funny personality. It was good.
We walked around Charleston a bit, down by Battery Park, and it was nice evening for checking out the homes in the area. I was mostly amazed at these OLD, OLD homes surrounded by palm trees!! Something new to me.
Day 12 - Saturday, July 10th - Charleston, SC to Asheville, NC
We woke up, ready to leave Charleston behind, but we didn't travel far - we headed to Boone Hall Plantation, which we really enjoyed. The plantation is hundreds of years old, and supplied most of the brick that was used to build Charleston. In fact, the brick making was such a profitable business for them that they made the slave cabins of the house workers out of brick, and they are still standing! They were built from 1790-1810. That was really amazing, to stand in original slave cabins.
The best part of that visit was the presentation by Joe, about the Gullah culture, the African American culture that sprang up in that area as a result of learning English, and combining African traditions with American ways of life. It was entertaining, fun, and informative.

We drove from Boone Hall all the way to Asheville, NC. We were going to stay somewhere south of there, but decided to just go for it. They call the Charleston area the "low country", and once you get up into the Appalachias, it becomes the "high country". Makes sense, doesn't it? The weather cooled off, and the skies got cloudier, and the green hills were wonderful to see :) We settled down in Asheville for the night.
 To the bat cave!

By the way - Happy birthday to my bestie, Stephanie! She's hangin' chill (I hope) in Baltimore as we speak. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tourin' the South Part 5

(Last summer my mom and I went on a road trip through the South. I wrote this recap on a different blog last year. I thought I'd write it up again, add photos, and share the trip with new readers. Enjoy!)

Day 10 - Thursday, July 8th - Savannah, GA
As I stated before, Savannah was absolutely gorgeous. A wonderful downtown that has been preserved (or restored) and is in wonderful shape. It's a cute town for walking around, lots of history, wonderful stories. I think I said a few times "I think I could live there".
 Nevermind that it was 100 degrees on the day that we were there. We'll skip that part.
I apologize if old homes aren't your thing, but I could look at them for hours.

We took a trolley tour around the historical district, which was informative and a nice way to see the town. The city is split into sort of quadrants with a square (park) in the middle of each area. For lunch we were told time and again to go to Mrs. Wilke's Boarding House for her family style meal, and we stood outside for an hour and 15 minutes (remember - we are skipping the part about the heat), and finally sat down to a delicious meal of fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, lima beans, creamed corn, greens, macaroni and cheese, macaroni salad and more that I can't even remember what else. Ohhh it was good. So that was a highlight :)
 I apologize for the lighting - the restaurant is in a daylight basement and the overhead lighting was dim.
We went over to the river and took a riverboat cruise, but I'll be honest and say that the Savannah riverfront is... not very exciting. We were pretty exhausted so we rested a while in the AC at the hotel, and then got some ice cream at the marketplace.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tourin' the South Part 4

(Last summer my mom and I went on a road trip through the South. I wrote this recap on a different blog last year. I thought I'd write it up again, add photos, and share the trip with new readers. Enjoy!)

Day 8 - Tuesday, July 6th - Monroeville, AL to Auburn, AL
What a day! We woke up early to get to the City courthouse in Monroeville, site of the historical museum and gift shop. Whew. What a time for both of us. Harper Lee grew up in this town, her father was a lawyer, and if you know the story of To Kill a Mockingbird, you know the story is about a lawyer fighting for justice in a small Alabama town. While her story is made up of composite sketches of characters, it's all based around her own small town experiences. Harper Lee grew up around the courthouse, her father being a lawyer, and when they made the movie of To Kill a Mockingbird, the set designer came to Monroeville and went back to Hollywood and duplicated the courthouse almost exactly. It was a real moment to stand in that courtroom. Don't worry - I have my kleenex handy for whenever I think about it. This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first printing of the book.
(By the way - I met a really nice lady in the gift shop who was from around there, who said, upon finding out that we were from so far away, "Well I wish I would've known y'all were comin', I would've had my house ready!").

In the afternoon we made it to Tuskegee, Alabama (which I continue to have difficulty saying), and the Tuskegee Institute - the university that Booker T. Washington started. I was mostly taken with George Washington Carver. I had never really known anything about him, but as a scientist and naturalist, he continued to experiment and teach his entire life. That night we stayed in Auburn, Alabama.

Day 9 - Wednesday, July 7th - Auburn, AL to Savannah, GA
We skedaddled out of town, on our way to Georgia. We were beginning to think we kinda liked Alabama- we were there so long! Our next stop was Plains, Georgia, home of Jimmy Carter. We visited his old school, which they've turned into a little museum. What a breath of fresh air Jimmy Carter is! A homegrown boy from tiny little Plains, Georgia, who goes on to become President of the United States, and when he retires: moves right back to Plains! He and his wife live right there in town, and he still teaches Sunday School at their church. My kinda guy.
The Carter compound, right next to the main road. Those are security buildings.

We continued on through Georgia and made it to Savannah! What a gorgeous city. So beautiful, so well kept. In fact, Savannah was (and is) so beautiful, that Sherman decided to spare it during the Civil War. I learned during fifth grade social studies this year that during the Civil War they used the "total war" tactic - basically destroying what they came across, so having a whole city spared was quite uncommon. Sherman then gave Savannah as a Christmas present to President Lincoln :) Lincoln should have been overjoyed because Savannah is gorgeous.
And hot. Incredibly hot. But we'll talk about that tomorrow. We settled in at our great hotel right in downtown Savannah, on the river, excited about the next day.