Thursday, June 30, 2011

The J & J Breakdown

+ J and I started dating the summer of 2007, right after my senior year of high school. But we had actually known each other for some time before. I believe we first met the summer of 2005 while we were both working at the same out door pool. It was actually the pool (we were both lifeguards) that brought us together in 2007.
+ We are both from Colorado and actually share the same hometown. We cherish the change in weather there, enjoy both the snow and the sun, get to spend quality time with both our families easily and love our vacations home.
+ We had only been together 2 short months before I moved away for school to San Diego. We spent a year of long distance dating, flying back and forth, talking on the phone/iChat, missing each other like crazy. J would fly out for weekends to visit me in the dorms and we'd spend hours taking goofy PhotoBooth pictures while loving the time together. After the first year was done, J moved to San Diego with me and we've loved having an apartment together.
+ J loves diet pepsi and I love cupcakes. (Or maybe it's the other way around?) We swear we're the same person sometimes and it didn't take long for us to realize how special our love was.
+ We both love country music, in fact, our first date was country line dancing at a bar back home. J says he stole my heart with his sweet dance moves, I sometimes agree :-) The pictures above were taken at the Rascal Flatts concert and the Jason Aldean concert.
+ We also both love adventure and sport. Whether it's kayaking in the ocean in La Jolla, climbing Mt. Cowels in San Diego, waterskiing on a lake in Colorado, skiing the Rocky Mountains or playing tennis at home we love being outdoors together.
+ There are things about us that you'd never guess. Like that J can make a mean quesadilla or buffalo chicken pizza (while wearing my apron, sorry babe!) or that I'd pick up a frog around a campfire. We're a one of a kind couple, that's for sure.
+ We love being goofy together and we're actually more silly than we are serious on a daily basis. We love playing jokes on each other, like that one time I gave J only ONE shoe for Christmas. But when all is said and done, we love each other with our whole hearts.
+ Speaking of love, in July 2010 we added to our little family with our fur baby Ollie. He has completed our little life and we both love him to pieces. It's been quite a bonding experience trying to raise a little guy into a loyal and well behaved pup but I'd say we did a good job.
+ J and I took our first big vacation in January 2011 to Oahu, HI and it was a trip of a lifetime. We'd taken smaller trips before, like to San Clemente, Phoenix and obviously back to CO but this Hawaii vacation was by far the best vacation week ever.
+ When J and I first started realizing that this relationship was going to be for the long haul, J decided it was perfect timing for him to apply to the master's program at SDSU and think about moving to San Diego with me. Well three years later, this past May, we both graduated from SDSU. It was a huge day for both of us individually as well as for our relationship and the accomplishments we've had together along the way.
+ We are a competitive couple who loves to win, keep each other on our toes, and push each other to be better people. I couldn't have asked for a better boyfriend, best friend, or soul mate. He motivates me, supports me, loves me, cherishes me, laughs with me, grows with me and is everything I could have wanted.

I love you J. Happy [almost] Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It is Love... 4 Years in the Making

This Friday, the first of July, marks a special day on my calendar, in my life, and in my amazing relationship with J. It is our four year dating anniversary and I can't wait to spend some quality time together and celebrate the life we are building together, the love that we share and the memories we've made along the way. In honor of our special day I thought it would be appropriate to look back on the years and our past anniversaries.

Back for the summer from my freshman year at SDSU.
Celebrating at the La Fondue.
Our first year in SD together.
Celebrating again with fondue at the Melting Pot.
And yes, I had short hair at one point.
Spending a fun weekend in CO at the lake with our friends.
Celebrating with hot dogs and beers and fireworks.

Stay tuned for a fun post in the new few days about my relationship with J. Our first date, our favorite activities, and some quirky facts (probably no one will care about) that I love about US!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Week In Phone Pics

This past week J bought me my new phone, a T-Mobile MyTouch, as a combination graduation and anniversary gift. The camera on it is so much better than on my crappy blackberry and since it was empty I've been trying to fill it up with pictures. And lucky for you, I've decided to show you some of said pictures.

I know there are many people around here that do "weekly photo updates" and have places to link up to but quite frankly, I don't remember specifically who hosts them, what days they post, or where to find them. (If you do know, please tell me so I can link up with them and participate.)

But for now, here was my week/weekend...

+ The first picture ever taken with my phone. The lovely view of Costco on the way home from the phone store.

+ All dressed up and ready for my interview for a student assistant position at an Orthopedic surgeon's office. Fingers crossed I hear back from them soon.

+ Saw someone driving with an animal carrier on top of their car. On closer inspection I realized there was a rabbit inside the crate. I personally thought it was mean to strap the bunny on top of the car like that.

+ Peanut butter and honey sandwiches may be delicious but they are a hot, sticky mess if you make them with toast. Picture the peanut butter melting, combining with honey and being literally everywhere.

+ Caterpillar on the fence by my parking spot one afternoon. Isn't it absolutely amazing that there are things like that in nature with that much intricate detail?

+ Ollie with his friends Layla and Nitro at the park. We've been spending a lot of time up there lately now that the evenings are staying so nice out.

+ What a cutie wearing my free SDSU baseball hat. He just stood there with it on his big head.

+ Last night Marley and Me was playing on tv and obviously I had to watch it even though I've seen it before. I hadn't seen it since we got our fur baby so it made it that much more special. He even watched the tv at times and cuddled with me when I cried at the ending.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blueberry Picnic Cake

I'm here again with another fabulous and summery baked good. There seems to be an endless schedule of BBQs, pool parties and beach days this time of year and this treat would surely please everyone who tastes it. Plus, berries are in season right now and it's hard to pass up a good deal at the grocery store.

This ladies and gents is the
Blueberry Picnic Cake

(for 13 x 9in pan)
4 eggs
2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup milk
2 pints fresh blueberries, washed and dried
(recipe can be cut in half for 8 x 8in pan)

To prepare, heat oven to 350 degrees and grease pan. Wash blueberries and allow to dry. Separate egg whites from yolks.

Beat egg whites until stiff in medium sized bowl. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar until blended. Keep this mixture separate until needed in later step.

In separate large bowl cream butter until fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Gradually add 1 and 1/2 cups sugar. Add egg yolks and beat until light and creamy. Add 2 and 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and milk. Fold in beaten egg whites from before.

Toss clean blueberries in 1/2 cup flour to coat completely. (This keeps them from all falling to the bottom of the pan when cooking.) Fold berries into batter and pour into pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on top of batter.

Bake 50-60 minutes until cake pulls away from sides.
Allow to cool, cut and enjoy!

I cut the recipe in half when I was making it but the instructions are for the full recipe. For example, I only added 1/4 cup sugar to the egg whites where the directions say 1/2 cup. (I hope that didn't confuse anyone, sorry.) Also, I had to show you my fabulous hand mixer that I use for all my baking because frankly, I think the retractable chord is the coolest thing ever! If I can't have one of these big mixers then I'll settle for the cool chord of this one. The only bad thing is that it freaks Ollie out when I use it, oops.

Are you baking anything with the seasons berries yet?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Fruit Tart

Want to make an easy and delicious treat perfect for summer time BBQs, nights sitting on the porch or even a weekend breakfast? Look no further....
A perfect fruit tart.

All you need is a box of pie crust mix, like the one from Betty Crocker, and fruit of some sort. I've used both green and red apples before and both are perfect for this tart. I'd also suggest stone fruits like peaches. You don't use a pan for this recipe so I would advise against fruit that is too limp/juicy but honestly, I'd give anything a shot because it's such an easy recipe.
If you're using this type of pie crust you'll only be using half of the mix because it technically makes two crusts and you only need one. Mix crust according to the box. Slice your fruit into thin slices/pieces. For these apples I coated them in a mix of cinnamon and sugar until coated well (about a teaspoon cin and a tablespoon sug).
Roughly roll out your ball of crust until approximately 1/4 inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet with the fruit in center of the crust leaving 1-2 inches on the edges. Dot with about a tablespoon of softened butter and fold crust around the edges of the fruit. There's no need to be exact with this, it gives it a homemade feel if you aren't perfect anyways.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove and enjoy!
Possible final touches can include: serving warm with vanilla ice cream, topping with whipped cream, sprinkling with brown sugar or drizzling with honey. Honestly though it's delicious enough to eat just like it is though.

What are you baking these summer days?

Monday, June 13, 2011

O-Dog Goes To OB

J was out of town for this past weekend so I decided to spend some more quality time with my pup while I wasn't working. On Saturday afternoon we headed to Ocean Beach.
We'd never taken him to this dog beach before but after being there I know we're definitely going back. The beach is situated right where the San Diego River exits into the ocean (I know there's probably a technical term for that but I don't know it) which made for water with no waves perfect for pup swimming. Ollie likes jumping over the waves but never actually swims when we take him to the other beaches and this time he was quite the water dog.
He was obsessed with trying to get the pieces of seaweed from out of the water. He'd bob for them off the bottom and didn't realize that some of them were too deep until after his whole head was submerged. The pieces also made for great throw toys, who needs a tennis ball when you've got seaweed :-)
He ran and ran, up and down the river, in and out of the water and we both had a blast. He is the funniest swimmer (video to come in a few days) and it was great to see him finally do it.
We hung out on the grass near the parking lot for a little while to dry off and drink some water before getting in the car and heading home. Thankfully he never sat down in the sand so we avoided bringing home a sand castle which is always a plus with a fluffy dog.
OB is definitely my favorite dog beach now and I think we're going to go back next weekend to show J Ollie's swimming skills. I love spending time with my O-dog, he's definitely a girls best friend :-)

Have you done anything new lately you'd like to share?
*photos may be clicked to enlarge*

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Creations- Photo Inspiration

It all started with this plant, this photo. When my family was in town for graduation we spent an afternoon in Balboa Park here in San Diego which included a walk through the Botanical Building. It was an amazing place and I could have taken pictures of everything in there because it was all so beautiful. However, if you know me even a little bit then you'd know I have a very OCD, organized, symmetrical fascination so this flower was perfect. Seriously? Sets of 2s, then 4s.... this flower is my dream flower.

Well this photo turned into this sketch....
And with a little bit of color.....
Quickly turned into this...

Click to enlarge photos
Here's to a week filled with inspiration.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Creations- New Sketchbook

My younger sister has always been "the artist" of the family. I've been crafty my whole life but that has rarely included drawing and painting type activities. While I was home her newest activity was water coloring and I thought, "Hey, that's something I might be able to do too."

An extra Altoids tin, some watercolor paints and a little bit of magnetic strip and I had my own set of paints. You know the tiny plastic paint tubs, the ones that come in a row all connected? We cut them apart, attached a magnet to the bottoms and filled them with paint. I use the lid to mix colors and the clean up is simple. (My sister's the genius who came up with the tin, I'm not taking credit for it.) All I needed was a few paintbrushes, a cup of water and a sketchbook to create in.
So I went out and got a mixed media sketch book and have been doodling and painting ever since. I always thought that to be an artist you had to be good at drawing people or animals or scenes.... none of which I could ever accomplish without the use of stick figures and excessive squinting of your eyes to make it appear decent.
However, I've already changed my opinion completely. It's been freeing, soothing and fabulous to create whatever I feel like; whatever inspires me. Whether it's Type A detailed patterns or free-flowing curves I plan on spending a good amount of time this summer filling up my book and possibly adding more colors to my tin.
For now it's back to my current page and my paintbrush amidst my loads of laundry for the afternoon. I can't wait to show you more of what I've been up to lately.
Have a fabulous and creative Monday!

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Happens With No Furniture

I realize that this is a few weeks delayed but I thought it's better late than never, right? So J and I recently purchased new living room furniture and we absolutely love it. When we moved in together we used whatever our parents could spare from their houses so we were a little mismatched and a little outdated.

When we went to the furniture store they unfortunately told us it would be about a month for our new stuff to be in because of stocking issues. It was fine with us since we needed to get rid of the current items first. Well about a week before it was supposed to be delivered we listed everything on Craigslist.

As fortune would have it our old furniture sold the next day, was gone the following day, and our new furniture was a week late. That meant that we had no furniture for way too long, had to live on an air mattress and beach chairs, and often got a little bored inventive.

This is a product of our lack of furniture....

Disclaimer: No O-dogs, girlfriends, or boyfriends were injured during the making of this video ;-)


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