Monday, January 31, 2011

Things my husband finds funny

One of the first things that attracted me to my husband was his laugh. We both have this incredibly loud sharp laugh that we just can't control when we find something funny. When we worked together in the restaurant where we met, we often got in trouble for laughing so loud that customers in the dinning room could  here us.

The other night I was making myself sexy (a.k.a showering and shaving my legs) and when I stepped out of the shower I heard him in the other room laughing. I listened to him laughing for a minute and since I am a good wife I immediately thought, "I've got to get this on video or people won't believe how loud his laugh is". So that is exactly what I did.

Keep in mind that my husband is alone in the bedroom and he doesn't know  that I've got the video camera on until I walk into the room. I will caution you though, the video that my husband is watching contains foul language and an inappropriate conversation topic...hence the name of this post, Things my husband finds funny. Enjoy!

I could I not fall in love with him?

Thank you to Carl's friend Brian for making the little video that gave Carl such joy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Santa Barbara

Although Carl and I were not able to make the trip home to North Carolina for the holidays, we were able to enjoy a few days in beautiful Santa Barbara between Christmas and New Years. 

Our plan had been to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) but we were detoured onto the curviest, narrowest road we have ever been on because a rock slide closed a portion of the PCH. The drive, which should have taken less than 2 hours took almost 4! Thankfully we weren't in hurry and enjoyed the quiet drive and the view. 

We stayed in a cute hotel across from Sterns Wharf, the oldest working wharf in California. We took dozens of photo's over our 3 day vacation and here are some of our favorites. 

There is nothing like feeling warm sand between  your toes and the sun on your face in winter!

I couldn't get over how green this rock moss was, I don't think the photo does the color justice. 

We ate breakfast each morning at this cute cafe, it was delicious! Carl ordered the same thing each morning while I tired something different each day. 

My co-worker told me about this great place, so we took a short drive through the mountains to Solvang.

Yummy pastries and a cup of coffee helped warm us up since the wind was chilling in Solvang. Before heading back to Santa Barbara we stopped at Chumash Casino. It was the first time Carl and I have ever gone to a casino and although we didn't win anything, it was fun. 

Carl took this picture on our last day there and he loves it. I, on the other hand, can see the huge chunk of gray hair that has taken over the front portion of my hair and don't think it's flattering. I'll discuss my pre-mature graying another time though. 

We ate at some really amazing restaurants while there and enjoyed our time off together. We made it home in time to get off the roads and out of the Rose Bowl traffic that had begun to encroach upon the area. We hope that this will be one of many trips we get to take together and look forward to where and what our next California adventure brings us. 

Short blog title = I have internet again!

Can you believe it? Neither can I! I'm  trying to type as fast as I can just in case this Internet connection decides to crap out again.

I am literally sitting on the edge of my seat because I'm so excited!

I don't know what to do first...respond to all my e-mails, read the hundreds of blogs I'm backed up on, thank everyone for their incredible comments on my long blog titles, write a blog post with substance...

While the Internet was down I kept a notebook of all the idea's for what I wanted to write. Now I have the daunting task of trying to pick which one to write first. It's going to be hard to decide!

But before I write anything I need to say a HUGE thank you to a few people...

Thank you to Shannon from A Southern Belle with Northern Roots who was inspired by my long blog title posts and wrote "The Power of Words" and challenged her readers to tell her a story in 15 words or less!

Thank you to Maggie from From Monarchs to Ladybugs who passed on a Stylish Blogger Award to me!

And Thank you to everyone who left such awesome comments on my long blog titles. Your comments helped keep me motivated to write even with out Internet.

I'm going to go read some of my favorite blogs right now, but I'll be back in a few hours to share some of the hilarity that has been my life with out Internet!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Truth About Credit Cards- Part 1

I have decided that the best metaphor for credit cards are shovels. Stay with me and I'll explain.

You are standing around one day digging a hole with  your hands (let's just pretend you're planting flowers). It may take awhile to finish digging the hole, but  at the end of the day you'll be proud of the hard work you put in and knowing that you did it all by yourself.

Then one day the mail man comes and drops off a little envelope. In that little envelope there is a note from a shovel company and it says, "You are doing so good that we'd like to help you". And you think, yes, a little help would be great.

A few days later a shiny new shovel arrives. You don't really need to dig any more holes right now but you figure, heck, I have this shovel I might as well dig a hole. So you dig a few holes and fill them in with new flowers.

A few months later you decide to dig a bigger hole, maybe to  plant a tree, and you decide you need a bigger shovel. So the shovel company says, "Of course, you've been great at digging holes, here is a bigger and better shovel". You get the new shovel and plant your tree.

A few years later you have more shovels than you know what to do with. You have holes all over your yard and you're not sure how or what to fill them in with. So you go to the shovel company and say, "Excuse me Dear Shovel Company, it looks like I have dug too many holes and I need a little help filling them back in, can you  help me?". And the shovel company looks at you in your weak state and says, "No sir, we help dig holes not fill them in"

And that is why a shovel is a good metaphor for credit cards...all they do is dig holes.

Seriously though, when you think of it in metaphor terms like that, would you ever really dig a hole with no plan on how to fill it back in?

But then again, I know sh*t happens that we all can't plan for and that's how credit card companies get to screw  with you. They plan 20 steps ahead of us and know our moves before we do sometimes.

I am hoping that 2011 will be the year of financial freedom for us. Money can be a very sensitive topic for many people and I understand that.  I'm hoping to bring a little comic relief to the topic to help us achieve our goal, so bare with me as I rant and rave and hopefully come out victorious in the credit card mine field.

How I burned my face with toothpaste...and other random things that have happened since I've had no Internet

I still do not have Internet at my house. I have hijacked a friends computer for the last several hours and I am trying to cram as much blog reading and writing in as humanly possible within a few hours. I am almost tempted to wear a diaper so that I don't have to interrupt my Internet session with mindless trips to the bathroom. Just kidding...or am I?

Anyway. I have so much to tell you and so little time, so please excuse the randomness of this post. Here we go...

You read the title correctly, I burned my face with toothpaste. In an attempt to shrink a mountain sized pimple on my chin I decided to use the old home remedy of putting a dab of toothpaste on it. I put a dab on the pimple and covered it with a Band-aid because I didn't want to get toothpaste on my pillow case. My husband then proceeded to "poke" my bandaid which made the toothpaste spread out and ooze out the side of the my dab went from the size of a pencil eraser to the size of a nickel. I go to sleep. I wake up. I take the bandaid off and wash off the toothpaste only to find a quarter sized red mark on my chin (the red spot is 10x's more noticeable than the original pimple). I continue to get ready and noticed that the red spot didn't go away so I examined it a little closer. Upon closer inspection I realized that the giant red mark is a burn (like a sun burn). I figured it would go away quickly, but here I am 6 days later and my red spot continues to peel like a sun burn. Why did this happen? Because I am an idiot and used Whitening Toothpaste instead of just plain old toothpaste. So in the future if you see a new warning label on whitening toothpaste that says, "Not for use on face" or "Do not put on face" you can thank me for that.

On Thursday night I went to my bowling league. Two of my teammates got into a verbal argument which resulted in a third teammate quitting the team. I am waiting for next Thursday to find out if I even have a bowling team left.

After bowling I came home to find my husband eating tater tots and gravy. An hour later we heard a popping sound coming from the kitchen, like water dripping or something like that. So I get up to go to the kitchen and that's when my husband decides to tell me that the handle to the over door broke. He also then tells me that it's not just the handle, the door actually came off too.  As I lean down to examine the oven door I notice something blue on the stove. Guess what it was? It was the frigin' gas burner that he left on!!!!!! That popping sound we heard was the gravy remnants being burned to a crisp in the bottom of the pan which he left on the stove over a burner that was still on!!!!!!

Carl and I went 14 days without dining out at a restaurant! I have cooked almost every night for the last 2 weeks and we have saved  A LOT of money. This is the only resolution I have actually stuck to so far.   We treated ourselves last night to a pizza which we split with another couple so dinner only cost us $6.00!

And finally, because I haven't had Internet, I haven't been able to read any of the blogs that I follow. I have tried reading them on my phone, but it's so small that I can't really enjoy them...or leave comments. I spent the first few hours of today's borrowed Internet session going through over 400 blog posts listed in my Google Reader. (Do you use Google Reader? If not, how do you get blog updates?) Of the 400 posts, one in particular stood out to me. The title caught my attention immediately. The title was:  Poop: The Hard Truth and it was written by Bonnie from The Fragile X Files. Bonnie writes a blog dedicated to her children and her life as she raises twin boys who have Fragile X. She writes with such brutal honesty and it inspires me to be a better teacher of students with disabilities. I wonder if her boys teacher reads her blog? I think if my students parents wrote a blog I would read it. Bonnie makes my job seem simple...after a long 8-hour day with my 10 kiddo's (soon to be 12) I can come home and read her blog and I am reminded that my job is nothing in comparison to what it must be like to be the parent of a student with special needs. She gives me an inside perspective into what my students parents must deal with and feel on a daily basis....the good, the bad, and the shitty (literally).  If you have a minute, try to stop by her blog and read a few of her posts, I'm sure you'll find her writing as enjoyable as I do.

I am going to sign off on this post for now and go back to my non-internet home for awhile. I have a great Santa Barbara trip to share with you but that will have to wait since the pictures are on my home computer. I can check my e-mail from my phone so if you'd like to leave me a comment that would really make my day!

Good Night!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Morning Revelations

I did not prepare my lunch to bring to school today so it looks like the diet coke, milky way bar diet shall resume.

My pre-Christmas fat pants have become my post Christmas tight pants.

It is raining which means no playground time for my kiddo's today which also equals crazy time inside the classroom for me.

Thankfully, after long breaks the kids are usually good on's Tuesdays when they realize they have to come to school again that they get wild.

Today is Day 1 of Week 1 of the 15 weeks until Spring Break!

I will survive, I will survive, I will survive....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Restaurant Reviews Coming Soon

It's no secret that Carl and I enjoy a nice dinner out. Since moving to California we have begun to explore the local restaurants in our area and have had a variety of experiences. Some great, some good, and some really, really bad.

Thanks to a recently discovered on-line  banking feature which breaks down our spending per month by category we realized that in the last year we have spent way too much money on going out to eat. This has brought us to a mutual resolution for the coming year of cutting back on dinners out. We hope that this will result in 2 things:

#1- Save a bunch of money...I mean a lot of go on a vacation kind of money, or be able to fly home and see our family next Christmas kind of money.

#2- Appreciate and enjoy the times and places that we do get to dine at. We are creatures of habit and once we find a place we like it's hard to deviate from it. However, we are surrounded by tons of restaurants that we haven't even glanced at yet and are literally minutes from the house.

We have now budgeted $100 per month for dinning out. That may sound like a lot, but if you only knew how much we were spending then you'd understand how much we'll be saving. Now, $100 can  break down into many ways, 4- $25 dinners, 3- $33 dinners, 2- $50 dinner, or one giant $100 dinner. I don't think Carl and I have ever spent close to $100 on a single meal, so I doubt the last option will ever happen.

As part of this resolution I have also decided to add a Restaurant Review feature to my blog. I haven't worked out all the details yet but it'll be pretty simple...I'll gush about the food, service, atmosphere, and cost or anything else that I feel is pertinent to our experience. I know there are a few readers who are also local Southern California gals but non-locals might have a restaurant that I blog about in your area too. For example, I am pretty sure the first restaurant that we are going to treat ourselves to will be the Granville Cafe located on San Fernando Boulevard in Burbank and according to their website they are planning to open locations across the country in the future.

And rest assured, if we come across a restaurant that is bad I will be sure to let my true feelings be known. I am always disappointed when a restaurant experience falls short. I will say that good service is always a key factor in the experience...we have had dinning experiences saved  that should have been failures simply because the service was fantastic. Unfortunately, bad service will always trump great food.

I look forward to sharing this new feature with you, I hope you'll join me. Oh- and if you have any suggestions for restaurants that we  should check out let me know!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Breaking my first resolution

Yup, my only New Years Resolution was to NOT make resolutions but I have already decided to break it.

I just spent some quality alone time with myself at the laundromat and it got me thinking about numerous things that I would to like to change, improve upon, or stop doing this year. So without further adieu- because  I know the suspense is killing you, here are my 2011 Resolutions. I will warn you that they are very random.

  1. Go 30 days the without wearing the same outfit twice. I find myself washing the same clothes over and over again each trip to the laundromat, but my closet is still  full of clean  clothes that I haven't touched. 
  2. Loose 10 pounds. I know I am slender, but upon getting on the scale this morning (naked so that clothes weight didn't interfere) I found that the number reflecting back at me has started to slowly creep north. The last time this started happening I found myself at 170lbs and not knowing how I got there. 
  3. Cook dinner 5 nights a week. Eating cheese, chips, and salsa does not constitute cooking. 
  4. Try 1 new recipe per week. 
  5. Bring my lunch to work each day. I can no longer rationalize a Cup-O-Noodles, a Milky-way bar, and a diet coke (all from the vending machine) as lunch. 
  6. Use recycled/ reusable bags at the grocery store. At the local grocery store you earn 5 points for every bag you bring  in to the, I can fit way more into cloth bags than into flimsy plastic ones. Oh, and it''s better for the environment. 
  7. Shop the sales flyer's and clip coupons more. I use to be OCD about this but I have fallen off the wagon and lost the "joy" of shopping. There is nothing better than the feeling of looking at the bottom of your receipt and it says, "You saved $80", it becomes a game to  see how much you can save each time. (Side note: I don't buy items just because I have a coupon, I only get what I need or know I will use).
  8. Wash the dishes every night before I get comfy on the couch. Also, if  my husband does the dishes and says that he is "letting the pans soak", I will get up and wash them myself because ultimately the same pan will be in the sink filled with yuck water 3 days later and I'll have to wash it anyway. You know what I mean ladies?
  9. Shave my legs at least once a week. Sexy right? 
  10. Read 1 book a month (or more). 
  11. Pay down our credit cards so that we are using less than 25% of our available credit. (I will be writing a money/ credit card related post soon)
  12. Save enough $ by July in order to purchase Christmas Airline tickets for December. 
  13. Write more blog posts. 
  14. Read and comment on other blogs more frequently. 
Okay, I think that sums it up for now.

This is what happens when I do laundry, I think and ponder and make long exaggerated mental lists. I wish I had a laptop that I could bring with me to the laundromat...I'll add that to my wish list for my birthday. It'll be listed right under, World Peace, Free College, and other things that will never happen anytime soon! 

A Year Ago Today...January 1st

We hit the road bright and early on January 1st at 8 AM. We had actually gotten on the road at almost exactly 8 AM every morning of our journey. It always surprised us how few people were also on the road. Throughout our entire trip it seemed at times that  we were the only people in sight.

See what I mean? Not another car insight. 

By mid-morning we started getting a little stir crazy in the car. We started playing the "what if" game. Like asking questions such as, "what if a space ship dropped out of the sky in front of us?", "what if we saw a dead body on the side of the road?", "what if we saw a hitch hiker all the way out here?". It was a good way  to pass the time. Then we asked, "what if a wild horse started running along side the car?". Since we had a bag of animal crackers we went ahead and acted out our last 'what if' question. 

And before we knew it we came upon our last state welcome sign...the most important sign of them all. 

What a beautiful sight. 

In case you didn't hear me in the video, I said that we shared the driving 80/20...but it was really more like 90/10.

Shortly after crossing into California we saw signs for an inspection station that said EVERYONE MUST STOP. We started to get a little nervous, not because we had anything we shouldn't have but because our backseat was so full that we thought for sure that they would make us empty the contents out or give us a ticket for an obstructed view. Thankfully neither of those happened...they just asked if we had any fruit, nuts, or plants in the car. Strange! The lady did kinda glance in the back and waved us on when she saw all of our crap in the back.

That was the last video and photo's we took of our trip. The last hour of our drive took us through Los Angeles with major traffic. The freeway was packed but everyone still drove at 70+ miles per hour. It also happened to be the Rose Bowl so traffic was even heavier than normal. 

We exited the freeway at noon and pulled into our friends place shorty thereafter. We made excellent time and were really proud of ourselves. I had always wanted to drive across the country and now we had. Check that one off my bucket list. 

Thank you for following along on our Westward journey. It was a pleasure to write and remember our trip. It is hard to believe that we have been in California for a year now. We hope that next year here will be as exciting and as fun as our first.