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Monday, January 30, 2012

Imperial Beach Love

When I first told people that I was living in Imperial Beach, I got the look of "why in the world would you want to live there?" from most people.

So yeah, it's close to Mexico... so close that you can see it from the pier and maybe a really tall person could see it from my balcony. Yeah, it is a ways south and most "hip" places to visit are about a 20 minute drive. And it doesn't have the awesome nightlife of the Gaslamp Quarter.

But here are the things I love:

The pier is a half block walk from my front door. It has spectacular sunset views and is a nice place to walk along and take a break from life.
The Tin Fish restaurant at the end of the pier has some amazing fish tacos, well worth the quarter mile pier walk.
I have a front row seat from my balcony to all the holiday fireworks shows.
I can walk from my house to the beach... no driving, parking searching required.
There is a surf spot right there, immediately loved that.
Every Friday there is a Farmer's Market with fresh, organic fruit and veggies as well as local vendors.
The people here are really friendly.

So for all the naysayers around, come down and experience IB. It's not what you think.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

color POP!!

A few weeks ago, I enrolled in an online photography class given by one of my favorite bloggers and instagrammers Christina from Little Fashion Diary. I've always had an interest in photography, but with work committments I've never been able to take an actual class and despite having numerous books on the subject I've always felt that my photos were somewhat... blah. This class has been amazing so far! With weekly photo "homework" projects, it's really helped me to "see" differently and inspired me to take more pictures. Last weeks lesson was on color and balance.

Here's my photo submission:

I was even recognized as a class standout for it! Yay. We'll wait and see what happens with this weeks landscape photo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

mmm... goodness

While I indulge my peruse my blogroll every morning, I'm always stumbling across things that look delicious and would love to make. The problem is that most of the time I don't have all the ingredients and is more often the case, I don't have all the necessary kitchen gadgets to make them. But, oh do I dream that one day I will have the ingredients or they won't be too difficult to find and the gadgets won't be outrageously expensive.

HALLELUJAH! Yesterday was the day! Maybe it's because it was a holiday and I didn't have to work. Maybe because the weather was gloomy and I wanted some cheering up. More likely it's because the recipe looked uh-ma-zing and I already had 90% of what I needed. I was going to the store anyway so I picked up the few remaining items, those being red food coloring, marshmallow fluff, and powdered sugar.

I got the recipe here for Red Velvet Thumbprints with Marshmallow Frosting. Then I went to work in the kitchen and voila!




I have to admit that they're not as red as I wanted. Too much food coloring? Too much mini chocolate chips? eh... can't taste food coloring and who doesn't want more chocolate anyways?? They were delish. I must bring the rest to work tomorrow so I don't get fat on them all by my lonesome.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mmm... dinner last night

While perusing Pinterest at work... apparently where most of my creative juices flow from, due to my boredom... I came across this recipe. I needed a dinner idea and this seemed like the perfect weeknight meal. Simple, quick and (at least by the picture) delicious.

Off to the store I went during my lunch break and grabbed all the ingredients. I had about half the stuff at home already but needed some more veggies along with penne and the cheese. I love cheese... I'm usually just too lazy and cheap to not buy the prepackaged shredded ones. Well, pecorino romano doesn't come prepackaged and shredded so I picked up a wedge and a grater too.

Pecorino romano sounded familiar but I couldn't remember off the top of my head where I've tasted this before... probably some Italian restaurant. So, upon arriving home I immediatly unpack the cheese and cut myself a little bit. OMG! It's amazing. I've had it before but don't remember where and now don't care because I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing right then and there. I calmed myself down, managed to keep myself from only eating one more piece and went to Michaels for some more craft stuff I needed before it got too late. I would go to Michaels every day if I could! I'm addicted... and convinced that with all the coupons you get you never have to pay full price for anything.

Well, that done I'm finally home and cooking. I followed the recipe mostly... eyeballed 8oz of penne *in retrospect for two people and leftovers, I should have made the whole box* and added in mushroom too. I wanted to add asparagus as well but the store didn't have any. Oh well, next time. I also added a little red wine I had wasting away on my counter and just a little of the pasta water for some sauce. I could see adding a little tomato paste if you want it to be saucier but this is meant to be a light pasta dish.

This was the result:


It was soooo good. I made garlic bread to go with it and even went back for seconds! Definitely adding this to the weeknight dinner arsenal.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

let the eating begin!

San Diego Restaurant Week January 15-20!

Are you excited? Cause I am. This is going to be my first one and I'm drooling just looking over the lists of places to eat and the items they are showcasing.

This is how it works:
Most restaurants have a set menu and price. Some even offer lunch settings. Sadly, I can't break away long enough to try these, so it'll be the dinner options for me. Most are either $30 or $40 a person. Off the bat that seems a lot, but when you look at the menus and consider what you are a getting, an apetizer course, main course and dessert at some of the premier restaurants around town, it's really not that much. Just the entree will run you that high of a price tag on any other night, so really this is a steal.

Here's a couple places on my list so far. (While $30-$40 is still cheaper than a regular dining out experience, my wallet and waistline can't handle more than a couple of these eat out nights in one week).

1. Choice of First/Appetizers Course
3. Choice of Third/Dessert Course
Island Cheesecake or No Ka Oi (Fresh macadamia nut ice cream pie in a chocolate cookie crust, topped with Belgian bittersweet hot chocolate sauce and macadamia nuts) or Macadamia Nut Creme Brulee

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

get your elbows ready

It's coming on February 5th. The much anticipated Jason Wu for Target line. And while I do say "much anticipated" I had no idea about this until I a Glamour feature on my tumblr feed this morning. I may not be much of a fashionista, but remember no. 3 on my resolution list? Creat a more versatile wardrobe. I think this fits well in that category. And while I do love fashion, I do not have the budget to support all those high-end gorgeous buys. Seriously, those people on instagram who make the popular page by posting pics of their Chanel/Burberry/Tiffany's gift bags? Where do you get all that? How do you or your friends afford all of that? So much for the economic crisis. Apparently there are throngs of young people living it up and I've missed the memo on how this could be me. Oh well, I would still be happy with a score from this affordable line.

The dress will retail for $40 and the gorgeous bag for $50. I wonder if I can take off from work to stand in line?

goal for the week!

Put up some pictures!

I have a small obsession with picture frames... I love them. I especially love the collage ones. The problem is that while I love picture frames and I love taking pictures, I am very bad at the follow through of actually printing pictures and putting them in the frames.

I also have all this wonderful artwork from my last deployment that is still rolled up and needs to be framed and hung somewhere. Every night I stare at my bare walls and think, hmmm... I should put some pictures up. Then what happens? I get distracted by something on the tv or I just end up laying on the couch again.

At the very least this week, I'm going to print out some pictures and get them in the frames so that I can stop staring at my blank, ugly brown walls.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

So I'm only three days late... I decided that it's a new year which is always the perfect time for new beginnings. While I love my tumblr feed, I just wasn't feeling it for posting... so now we are here! Same concept though, just a chronicle of my daily meanderings. I'm hoping that this time I'll be more focused and timely on the posts though. Add that to the resolutions list!

Speaking of that. Here they are:

1. Get on a more consistent workout schedule
2. Eat out less and expand my lacking culinary skills
3. Create a more versatile wardrobe
4. Become a thrift shopping connoisseur
5. Enroll in a master's program
6. Journal everyday
7. Brave the cold, kelpy San Diego surf
8. Visit Las Vegas
9. Limit eating out at work to once a week max
10. Get back to reading more

The theme of this is that I want to lead a more focused, healthy life and stop slacking. Those awesome paychecks aren't going to last forever and it's never too early to start planning for the next adventure of my life.