June 30, 2009

Weekend: At A Glance

I think this weekend at The Cabin can be summed up best in a few pictures.

Good Food:

Good Drinks:

Good Friends:

Good Times:

Oh and by the way...

You all know how much I (don't) love Ed Hardy, and Sarah was kind enough to grab me a cup to drink out of all weekend.

Such insightful advice, Ed Hardy. hahahahahahaha

June 25, 2009

Summer Reading List

Heading to The Treehouse for a weekend of reading and relaxing. I've got a ton of magazines in tow and of course a few choice selections from my stack of Summer Reading books.

Best Food Writing 2008 by Holly Hughes
Things I Learned About My Dad (In Therapy) by Heather Armstrong
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Testimony by Anita Shreve
The Likeness by Tana French
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberger

Can't wait for the relaxing to begin!

June 22, 2009

Best Summer Ever!

So about 2 days into our most recent vacation, Garrett and I declared that this summer was going to be the Best Summer Ever! I’m sure that’s not a surprising declaration while you are on the front side of a 10 day island vacation; however, we have been working to keep that attitude alive even back here in Sacramento. (Though there were definitely a few days of vacation hangover when we got back from Maui-- we aren’t superhuman, yo.) It probably sounds kind of ridiculous that we have already decided this is the Best Summer Ever, since summer technically just started yesterday, but it’s more of an attitude that we have decided to adopt this year, rather than a specific event.

We got to talking one night about all of our summer memories as kids and how much fun that used to be. The last days of school, sunshine, playing all day, swimming, hot nights, barbecue’s with family – just those random things that as a kid make everything seem right in the world. Since it’s been a long time since we have felt that kind of unadulterated bliss, this summer we decided to make a conscious decision to try and savor everything summer related -- in short, trying to make every day fun. And trust me, this will be no small feat, seeing as my hatred of the heat is right up there with my hatred of Black Widows, Ed Hardy, and People who say “Expresso”.

But even though the heat here in Sacramento can get unbearable, there are lots of fantastic things about summer. For example, I absolutely love waking up in the morning when it’s already light and beautiful outside. It’s almost an invitation to wake up, and I find myself being even more of an early riser during these months. Also, we are lucky that where we work offers generous vacation time so we are taking advantage of being able to have a mid-week day off here and there to enjoy ourselves, or taking a long weekend to visit with friends and family.

Next weekend we are heading to Calaveras with all my cousins to The Treehouse and there is NEVER a dull moment there. I can't wait to sit on the balcony of the cabin and go into magazine trance with some Apricot Ale from Snowshoe. Then for Fourth of July we are off to Monterey for Moto GP, but the Best Summer Ever is not only about traveling. Mainly we are just want to participate in summer. I know that sounds silly, but instead of letting the time pass us by and bitching about the heat for 3 months, we are going to go out and create that blissful summer feeling as much as possible.

So with that being said, the following is The Official Best Summer Ever To-Do List

Go on a picnic
Have friends over to BBQ even though our yard isn’t in perfect shape. (Who cares? They aren’t coming over for the landscaping!)
Plan a few “No Cook” menus
Have ice cream for dinner at Gunther’s Yum!
See a mid week matinee to beat the heat
Finish planting my garden and watch it grow
Wear more skirts
Head out to a You-Pick Berry Farm and Make Jam
Wear all of my fun dresses to work
Spend as much time as possible in a bathing suit
Take some fun hikes (Maybe revisit Feather Falls)
Make Mint Juleps and watch The Great Gatsby
Just Sit and Read

Speaking of reading, one of the most relaxing parts of Maui was just how much reading I was able to do and, honestly, I’m so much happier when I am reading. I just love pouring through a new book, getting to know a new story, meeting new characters. But the funny part is that Garrett loves when I'm tearing through books just about as much as I do. Since he is a much more auditory person, he doesn’t read as much as I do, but is constantly asking me to tell him what’s going on in my books. I mean, down to the detail. You could ask him a fairly detailed question about the plot line of New Moon and he’d probably give you a pretty accurate answer without ever having flipped a page, which I think is pretty hysterical. He certainly has his preferences – he’s not quite as interested in some of the fluffier books I read - but beyond that he’s always game to hear a story. Actually the other night I was laughing out loud while reading one of the essays in David Sedaris’ newest paperback When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and I ended up spending the next hour reading outloud to him while we were both rolling around in fits of giggles. It was a beautiful night and it was relaxing and fun to just sit there and read together. Even though it was probably the most sickeningly yuppie thing we have done in a long time – it was also such a blast.

I’m looking forward to many more of those nights to come!

June 17, 2009


My own To-Do lists have been curiously suffering this week but I found the time to come up with these:

Things I love that make me an absolute walking cliche:

Good Coffee

Farmer's Markets


Organic Food

David Sedaris

Whole Foods

Indie Music

Public Radio

Facebook (duh!)

Hating People Who Wear Ed Hardy

Things most people get all hot over about which I only get lukewarm:

Banana Splits

Fancy Cell Phones That Do Tricks

Chowder Type Soup

Brad Pitt


Jodi Piccoult Books

Facebook Games




Robert Pattinson

Wes Anderson Movies

Harry Potter

MAC Makeup

Things I pretty much hate with a fiery passion:

Pizza with Chicken On It

Gwen Stefani's Wardrobe On Any Given Day


The Taste Of Toothpaste

Ed Hardy (...so awful it deserves another mention)

Fruit Vinaigrettes


Chain Restaurants



The Idea That "Dressing Like a French Woman" Is Somehow Extra Chic

Shiny Collared Shirts With Any Kind Of Bird/Phoenix Imagery


Styled Facial Hair



The Following Words: most, mung bean, puss, incentivize, scamper, panties, or nautious when what they really mean to say is nauseated (Yes, there's a difference)

The Entire Lohan Family

...What about you. Tell me about your lists!

June 15, 2009

Not That You Asked....

...but I am still living out of my suitcase from Maui.

I know.

My ability to adapt in favor of laziness even amazes me sometimes. So yeah, did not get a whole lot done this weekend. I actually started feeling a little under the weather on Saturday night and it seemed to get progressively worse as Sunday wore on. I managed to sleep away most of the afternoon, but I did eek out next week's menu which, depending on how I end up feeling, may be a little ambitious.

The chili is based on this recipe except I add squash, zucchini, and extra peppers. It is full of veggies but has the spicy delicious flavor you expect from chili.

The Orzo Stuffed Peppers are a Giada recipe. The way she insists on pronouncing everything in her darling little Italian accent sort of drives me nuts, but her recipes usually turn out well.

Everything else pretty is pretty much recipe-less I guess and more of an experiment (like the homemade refried beans...yeah, I have no idea how those will turn out. We'll see!.) Sorry I'm sort of a lack of inspiration this week, but hey, at least you don't have to be my guinea pig like Garrett does.


June 11, 2009

Food for Thought

I am so excited I am to finally see this movie!

Check out the trailer:

It's opens July 3rd at The Crest and I can't tell you how important I think these issues are. I promise not to get up on a soapbox here, but seriously, the food industry is so much more complicated than it appears to be and I don't think the average American even thinks about where their food comes from or how it is made when they walk into the grocery store. And if they do, half they time the labels on things and "nutrients" being infused into foods become so confusing that it is hard to tell heads from tails when it comes to what is "Good For You."

If you are interested, I absolutely love this article by Michael Pollan, which is actually an excerpt from his book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, which is quite possibly one of the best books I've read in the past couple of years.

(Certainly not in a smutty, beach read kind of way, but you know -- eye opening.) A quick warning -- the article is pretty long (but so worth it -- Go read it, I'll wait.)


Anyway, he also wrote a significantly shorter article called Six Rules for Eating Wisely that is equally as interesting, if not quite so time consuming. (Ha! I tell you after I make you read a 12 page article...do you hate me?)

Both have really influenced my opinions over the past couple of years when it comes to the food Garrett and I eat. I'm not saying that I am perfect or that Pollan, for that matter, has all the answers -- I mean, obviously if I was doing everything right I'm sure I would certainly look much different (and truth be told, probably wouldn't be eating this Twix right now...haha...True confession...DAMN working in an office environment!)

But it's about starting somewhere.

It's about baby steps.

And when you add those all up in the end, I feel like those efforts and those concerns will be much more influential on my long term good health than a smaller dress size.

And honestly -- the long term -- that's really what we're all really hungry for, right?

June 09, 2009

What's For Dinner?

I know, I know -- you were expecting some fabulous Maui pictures. And I promise that I will recap The Great Maui Adventure this week, but this morning I had two overflowing suitcases and an empty fridge staring me down and that took priority over going through vacation photos. Is there anything more depressing than an empty fridge post-vacation? We had coffee but no cream. Cereal but no milk. ARGH! It was a rough morning. Though not as rough as tomorrow will be when I have to wake up at 5am....which, btw, is 2am Maui-time. Hoo boy! Wish me luck.

Anyway, I did some menu planning today before shopping,as I do pretty much every week, and I thought I would start posting some of my lists just in case you were looking for some menu inspiration. I know I get quite a bit of mine on-line, so I think I might start doing it regularly.

How it works at my house is I usually post some sort of fridge inventory that looks something like this:

Nothing fancy, obviously, just handwritten....And if I am really lucky I actually do a whole menu. This week's looks like this:

Monday -- Airplane Food (eek!)

Tuesday -- Bisquick Chicken (straight from the side of the box though this recipe is pretty identica. I add garlic powder too.)
Israeli Cous Cous and Frozen Veggies (I pretty much abhor frozen veggies but the Freezer needs a little clean out)

Wednesday -- Veggie Steamer with Kielbasa (This meal pretty much makes itself and we will certainly be zonked on Wednesday night being that it's our first day back at work) We chop up carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower and steam them with Turkey keilbasa on the top. The serve with a dipping sauce of soy and asian chili paste. Sounds weird, I promise it is DELIGHTFUL! And easy, which is key.

Thursday -- Grilled Vegetable Tostadas (I'm adding Chayote Squash too because I love it and it was on sale. Score!)

Friday -- Hamburgers and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday -- Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans

Sunday -- Teriyaki Wings (This is my mama's recipe and it is so simple that if I told you, you would laugh. So it's now my mama's SECRET recipe!)

So....What's for Dinner at your house this week?

June 04, 2009

The Sun Will Come Out....Tomorrow

So much to tell but it has been a long day and, again, I can barely keep my eyes open. In the past couple of days we have done the Road to Hana, I have (sort of) conquered my fear of snorkeling and subsequent sea-sickness, and we have come up with a top ten list of things that would make you totally embarrassed if you were travelling with us. Including the fact that when people say "Mahalo" to us, we put on our best Paula Deen impersonation and say "Ma-HAY-lo, Y'all" just because it makes us giggle.

We are having the best time and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Tomorrow is another day.

June 01, 2009

You had me at Aloha...

It's been a fantastic few days in this little piece of Paradise. We spend our mornings drinking coffee and listening to the waves crash and our evenings sipping cocktails and listening the waves crash, and I can't think of a better way to bookend the day.

Speaking of bookends and reading, I've poured through two memoirs since being here and I can't think of anything more decadent than boatloads of spare time to read and nap and write when the inspiration hits. We've grilled up some fantastic meals (YUM! Chinese Chicken Salad), and honestly, we have yet to venture out of our lanai to dine. We plan to hit up the Maui farmer's market later this week to find some other local ingredients to experiment with, but don't you worry we're also planning to grub on some sushi (Sansei, Sarah, for sure!), some lava flows at the Hula Grill (Hi Gina!), and of course some HULA PIE (Kelly and Gee, we may even call you when we sit down)...so we will certainly get around to eating out on of these days.

Yesterday was by far the fullest day of adventure we've had and we crawled into bed last night absolutely exhausted from a day full of sun, sand, snorkeling, exploring, and a late evening swim. It was one of those nights where you lay down feeling salty and sunkissed and even though you can't stop smiling, you also CAN'T. KEEP. EYES. OPEN. ANY. LONGER---ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

We got up early for snorkel practice in the pool and a swim right here on Sugar Beach, and then in the afternoon hit up a little cove near Makena beach to put our snorkeling skills to the test. Being a scuba diver, Garrett didn't really have his skills in question, but since I had been flailing in the condo pool earlier that morning trying to figure out how to morph into a dirty mouth breather (haha), I was definitely looking for an opportunity to prove myself. As soon as we picked a spot to jump in, a sea turtle came over to greet us, and we dove in to see what other mysteries lurked below the surface.

In a few words, it was beautiful. And Garrett assured me that was nothing compared to what we will continue to see.

Since my skills increased slightly, I definitely felt ready for our trip to Molokini later this week. After swimming in the cove for a while we headed up to the lava rock surrounding it and busted out the picnic lunch that we had packed. With the waves crashing around us we grubbed on sandwiches and soaked up the sun while enjoying all the beautiful scenery.

Of course, leaving a few moments to ham it up for the camera. Trust me, I know, face masks are a GREAT look for me. haha

We headed back that afternoon to barbecue and relax by the pool and honestly, we could not have had a better day. As I drifted off to sleep last night to the sounds of the ocean, I thought to myself, "I can't believe we get to get up and do it all over again tomorrow."


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