Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From Outer Space

Lately, I've been playing around with my new camera trying to get some interesting shots of even more interesting plants. I've had difficulties getting the focus just right and sometimes the sun isn't in my favor, but the following photos turned out pretty good and are fine examples of some very unique plant species. I wish I knew the names of these plants, but I'll have to ask Steve. You might be able to click on the photos for larger versions if you're interested. Actually, comment if you try it and it lets you. Thanks and enjoy!


Taken from our patio - a bloom coming up out of a shiny succulent plant. To me, it kind of looks like a little flower child with multiple buds as hands, yearning for a hug.


Taken at Cal Poly in the cactus garden near the Education Building - This is possibly the strangest cactus I have ever seen, and it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Food as Art

The only way Steve will eat a vegetable is if it is raw and in a salad...so we eat lots of salads. Salads are one my favorite things to make because all of the colors are so beautiful, and the finished piece is not only appetizing to the eye, but delicious and healthy. Common ingredients in our salads are spinach, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper (any color), cucumber, kidney beans, and although not pictured here, avocado, pine nuts or walnuts, chicken, and occasionally fresh pear, apple, or strawberry slices, and sometimes boiled eggs. My favorite salad dressing is Kraft Roasted Red Pepper with Parmesan Italian dressing, but we usually go for any variety of balsamic vinagrette or italian. YUM!!!!

Food as Art

The only way Steve will eat a vegetable is if it is raw and in a salad...so we eat lots of salads. Salads are one my favorite things to make because all of the colors are so beautiful, and the finished piece is not only appetizing to the eye, but delicious and healthy. Common ingredients in our salads are spinach, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper (any color), cucumber, kidney beans, and although not pictured here, avocado, pine nuts or walnuts, chicken, and occasionally fresh pear, apple, or strawberry slices, and sometimes boiled eggs. My favorite salad dressing is Kraft Roasted Red Pepper with Parmesan Italian dressing, but we usually go for any variety of balsamic vinagrette or italian. YUM!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Never Knew Love Like This

I love music that captures a very simple emotion by stringing clever and lovely words together, and then drapes those words over a piano. Lucky for me, I no longer listen to Snow Patrol thinking, "dang I wish I had that kind of love." Instead, it stirs up familiar butterflies, and I like to think they wrote this song about us.

You cool your bed-warm hands down on the broken radiator
And when you lay them freezing on me, I mumble, "can you wake me later?"
But I don't really want you to stop
And you know it, so it doesn't stop you
You run your hands from my neck to my chest

Crack the shutters open wide
I want to bathe you in the light of day
And just watch you as the rays tangle up around your face and body
I could sit for hours finding new ways to be awed each minute
Cause the daylight seems to want you just as much as I want you

It's been minutes it's been days
It's been all I will remember
Happy lost in your hair
And the cold side of the pillow

Your hills and valleys
Are mapped by my intrepid fingers
And in a naked slumber
I'll dream all this again

-Snow Patrol

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sweet like Sugar

Steve and I celebrated a very simple Valentines day, but it was special nonetheless. We slept in, and I woke up to a sweet card from Steve and lots of kissies. We had coffee and hopped on the cruisers downtown. We spent about an hour watching this guy get a DUI in front of Native Bar at NOON! He had to do the whole sobriety test and we got to see all the action. I hope his Valentine wasn't at home waiting for him. For lunch we enjoyed the sunshine and shared a burrito on the patio at Chino's and then headed to Cowboy Cookie for a special treat. We capped off the night with our favorite Pizza, wine, and a movie and cuddled up in blankets and pillows on the living room floor. Absolute Heaven.

Origami Hearts to symbolize our second Valentines day together

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tiny Caker Baker

For Christmas, Helya gave me a Cupcake cookbook with recipes so lovely, I had a hard time refraining from ripping out the pages and framing them in my living room. Choosing which cupcake to bake first was even more difficult. I narrowed it down to two based on the ingredients I already had on hand and went to work. 

I spent an entire Sunday afternoon mixing, sifting, stirring, and frosting. I usually don't enjoy baking because accuracy is key to successful results. I am the worst when it comes to precise measurements and ingredients. But I wanted to take a stab at these delightful treats because I knew it would be worth it in the end. However, my biggest initial mistake was deciding to half the recipes. I didn't really know what to do with 48 cupcakes, so I thought 24 would be more manageable and I could just half every ingredient and it would still be accurate. You tell me what's worse: too many cupcakes or dividing 1 and 5/8ths by 2? In hindsight I would have been much better off with cupcakes coming out of my wazoo. Fractions belong in hell. Well, with Steve's help, I managed to convert all of my ingredients into weird amounts like 13/15ths of a tablespoon or somewhere between 3/4 and 7/8ths of a cup. I think that may have had something to do with the outcome because in my opinion, they weren't sweet enough and were a bit dry. On the other hand, Steve ate about 20 of them all on his own so they must have been alright. 

The best part about all of this is that I tried something new and I didn't fail. I've never baked 100% from scratch, so it was an accomplishment and something I will definitely try again. Tiny cakes on deck:  Dark chocolate molten lava :)





Mocha Chocolate with chocolate whip frosting and cocoa powder


Banana Pecan with butter cream frosting

Tiny Caker Baker

For Christmas, Helya gave me a Cupcake cookbook with recipes so lovely, I had a hard time refraining from ripping out the pages and framing them in my living room. Choosing which cupcake to bake first was even more difficult. I narrowed it down to two based on the ingredients I already had on hand and went to work. 

I spent an entire Sunday afternoon mixing, sifting, stirring, and frosting. I usually don't enjoy baking because accuracy is key to successful results. I am the worst when it comes to precise measurements and ingredients. But I wanted to take a stab at these delightful treats because I knew it would be worth it in the end. However, my biggest initial mistake was deciding to half the recipes. I didn't really know what to do with 48 cupcakes, so I thought 24 would be more manageable and I could just half every ingredient and it would still be accurate. You tell me what's worse: too many cupcakes or dividing 1 and 5/8ths by 2? In hindsight I would have been much better off with cupcakes coming out of my wazoo. Fractions belong in hell. Well, with Steve's help, I managed to convert all of my ingredients into weird amounts like 13/15ths of a tablespoon or somewhere between 3/4 and 7/8ths of a cup. I think that may have had something to do with the outcome because in my opinion, they weren't sweet enough and were a bit dry. On the other hand, Steve ate about 20 of them all on his own so they must have been alright. 

The best part about all of this is that I tried something new and I didn't fail. I've never baked 100% from scratch, so it was an accomplishment and something I will definitely try again. Tiny cakes on deck:  Dark chocolate molten lava :)


Mocha Chocolate with chocolate whip frosting and cocoa powder


Banana Pecan with butter cream frosting

Monday, February 09, 2009

Yes, I Took Those Photos Myself

Remember this photo project? Finally, I got around to posting a picture of our latest work of art. You guys voted on the best photos to hang, but I think I went a little crazy and decided to frame most all of them. I'm hoping that after a little practice with my new Canon Rebel XS, I'll be able to print out some more of my own photographs and adorn every wall in our apartment. :)


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