Lindsey’s Wedding Shower

Last Sunday was Lindsey’s wedding shower. Four of us helped to throw it. She has an old style theme going on in her wedding so there were lots of mason jars.

Wedding shower table settings

There was a bag and a half of kisses in each of those jars… let’s just say I made sure people took them home so I wasn’t tempted to eat them all!

The party favors were a big hit. Everyone ate one before they left… and I may or may not have taken, like, 8 home… Oreo is irresistible though!!!

Bride and Groom Cake Pops

The big day is coming up in early January, and I know the happy couple are really excited.

L & J

I’ll post more pictures from the wedding! We’re getting our hair and make up professionally done so I’m looking forward to some really good pictures!

Is anyone else in the midst of wedding celebrations?

Halloween Fun!

This Halloween is the first Halloween I didn’t dress up in years (unless you count throwing on a Batman cape for school), and I’m not gonna lie… it was nice. Every year I’d have to think up costumes, spend a bunch of money, and complete a bunch of DIY stuff for it. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and the costumes were awesome, but it was tiring too. This Halloween I ended up making a pumpkin pie from scratch with Ban instead. I used a recipe from the Food Network and it turned out pretty great!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Pumpkin Pie

from Food Network

1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 3 pounds) – I just used a small pumpkin and added in 3/4 c brown sugar

canola oil

CRUST

2 c all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 c unsalted butter (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

FILLING

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz)

1/2 c whipping cream

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp molasses

2 tbsp canola oil

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

3 large eggs

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut the pumpkin in half and clean out the seeds and stringy parts.

3. Place the two halves on a baking sheet skin up, and spread canola oil on the skin of the pumpkin

4. Place the pumpkin halves into the oven for about 1 hour (until the meat of it is tender)

5. While the pumpkin is baking, prepare the crust by combining the flour, salt, and butter with a fork until crumbly.

6. Stir in water until the mixture is moist (about 4 to 6 tbsp)

7. Divide the dough in half (putting one half in the refrigerator to use later), and place it on floured wax paper. Roll it out to 12 inches round and then place it in a pie dish. Stab the dough with a fork all over and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.

8. Take the pumpkin halves out of the oven. Place foil on top of the pie crust and weigh it down by pie weights or dry beans. Then, place it in the oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

9. While the crust is baking, peel the skin off of the pumpkin halves and place the pumpkin meat in a food processor or blender and puree it. Then combine the pureed pumpkin with molasses, cinnamon, ginger, canola oil, salt, eggs, condensed milk, cream, and corn starch (add in 3/4 c brown sugar if you don’t use the pumpkins labeled for pies).

10. When the crust is done baking, pour the mixture from step 9 into the pie crust and bake until the middle is set (about 1 hour).  Cool for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin

The pie part was ridiculously tasty! Which was to be expected since it was rated as a 5 star recipe. The crust was a different story though. It was super thin and hard and not tasty at all…. so I would recommend using a different crust recipe. Maybe a 5 star one! Overall though, it was a good experience making a pumpkin pie completely from scratch.

Oh, and did I mention that Ban, Aiko, Matt, and I all carved pumpkins about a week prior to Halloween? I forgot how much work carving pumpkins is!

Pumpkin carving for Halloween!

From left to right: Ban, me, Matt, Aiko

 

Do you dress up every Halloween??

 

San Francisco, California Day 2 10/19

Day 2 in San Francisco was race day! We got up bright eyed and bushy tailed-haha let’s not kid ourselves, I hate mornings! Aiko and I posed for a pic right before we lined up for the race though. Did I mention the race started at 6:30 freaking AM???!!! What world are we living in?!

Aiko and I at the Nike Women's Half Marathon

There were cheerleaders and music and people cheering at every half mile to a mile! It was one of the most amazing, well covered races I have ever experienced! Continue reading

San Francisco, California Day 1 10/18

Last weekend my bestie, her bf, my bf, and I all took a trip up North to San Francisco so that Aiko and I could run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with my other bestie, Maggie, and our friend Mary. We chose this race because you get a Tiffany’s necklace! Who doesn’t want one of those??? I have only been there once when I was like, 2 years old so it was pretty exciting for me. Also, Ban has never flown before, so it was great to see his excitement and enthusiasm for the sights he saw when we were thousands of feet in the air. Here are some of the experiences we had:

Ban’s picture for his first plane ride that he really seemed to enjoy!

Ban's first airplane ride Continue reading

Meet Digit!

Digit the kitten!< --more--!>

Welcome to what, or should I say who, has been keeping me busy! Sorry I haven’t been on in a while, it’s been craziness with teaching and all! This sweet little girl hasn’t been helping me either, but that’s okay! Esteban’s parents found her in their backyard and he decided to keep her. We are co-parenting kind of, as in she lives with him and I visit as much as possible because I am obsessed with how cute she is and because I love animals. Duh. (please forgive the run on sentences!) She’s about 3 to 4 weeks old the vet thinks, and full of fleas but we love her anyway! She has 8 claws on each front paw so she’s poly dactyl! So cool! Esteban named her Digit because she has so many claws.

Digit the kitten!

I was so overwhelmed buying all of the supplies for her as I am a dog person and have never owned a cat before (my dad’s allergic). That, along with figuring out how to actually take care of a cat was a lot to take in on one day. Luckily, cats are way easier to manage than dogs, and since she doesn’t live with m,e Esteban got stuck doing most of the work (like using a cotton swab to make her pee, cleaning up poop, and bathing her – although sometimes I help bathe her too).

Digit at Vet

I still have a list of things to get her though. Here are a few:

1. Scratching Post

2. Cat carrier – with soft sides so she’s more comfy

3. step in litter box (we’re just using a plastic tub right now)

4. More toys!

5. Collar (preferably pink with rhinestones, but Esteban’s not liking the rhinestone idea….lame)

6. Leash – because like any responsible pet owner, I want to be that weird neighbor who takes their cat on walks

Digit Baby Bottle

 

As you can see, since she is only 3 to 4 weeks old we had to feed her with a bottle for a few days. It made for very cute pictures! And no new kitten adoption is complete without a Simba(Lion King) pose… she melts my heart!

Digit in the Lion King pose

 

As I said, I’m a dog person, but this kitten sure is growing on me!!

Food Update

My posts have been few and far between lately, sorry! I’ve been working 24/7 and just haven’t had the time or desire to make food for the blog or post. I’ve been eating out A LOT! So I thought I’d share some of the foods I’ve been indulging in.

I hit up the Acai Bowl locations around my house quite a lot! My favorite is called Ants on a Log. If you have never had an Acai bowl before you are definitely missing out!

Ants on a log acai bowl

I also tried a plainer bowl with just fruit and honey and granola.

Fruits and granola in an Acai bowl

I did make one thing during the past weeks: oatmeal pumpkin pancakes. They were okay, but nothing worth sharing.

Pancakes made out of oatmeal and pumpkin

I also went to Sizzler and my boyfriend and I shared an ice cream with crushed cookies and chocolate.

Ice cream with cookies and chocolate on top

Last, but not least, I went to a place called Zero Degrees Italian Ice. I got the passion fruit virgin mojito. It was so good I drank it in a minute! I love the cute jar too!

Passion Fruit Mojito at Zero Degrees Italian Ice

And this awesome saying was on the wall….

phrase on the wall at Zero Degrees Italian Ice

Have you tried an Acai Bowl before?

Whole Wheat Apple Waffles

A few years ago I begged for a waffle iron. I was going to make waffles everyday. I had good intentions, but barely ever used the thing. I finally dusted it off this last weekend and decided to make apple waffles. I am a huge fan of apples in desserts and breakfast foods (pancakes, waffles, etc.). These waffles were ridiculously delicious! I feel like I’ve been missing out my entire life!!

whole wheat apple waffles

Whole Wheat Apple Waffles

Adapted from Food Network

Ingredients:

3 tbs butter

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tbs sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

1 apple peeled and chopped

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in the microwave.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl

3. Beat the eggs and milk together in another bowl

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and add in the melted butter.

5. Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated and then fold in the apple chunks.

6. Heat the waffle iron and spray it with butter or brush it with butter. Then fill up the squares with the waffle mix, making sure not to overfill them. Cook the waffle until golden brown.

My first waffle was a tester since I haven’t used the iron in years and the first one usually comes out badly. I also heated my syrup and added whipped cream on top! Enjoy!

apples folded into whole wheat waffles

What is your favorite waffle mix in?

Fitness Friday 9/19

This week has been miserably hot so getting my fitness on was hard (motivation was lacking). My classroom has no A/C so I come home every day completely drenched in sweat (yeah, very attractive). I started getting a rash on my stomach it was getting so bad, but luckily it’s gone now. We Socalians aren’t used to 95 degree weather. Anyway, you can see the weather effects in my mile splits.

Sunday the 14th at Peters Canyon (dirt), I ran with the bestie Aiko for 50 minutes (I forgot to start my watch at one point so it only says 48 minutes here — good thing I had a running buddy!). There were a few  hills so my shins were kind of angry the next day, but it was nice to run somewhere different for a change.

Mile splits for my run on September 14th

Monday the 15th in suburbia (mainly grass), I was pretty sore from the hills at Peters Canyon so my times were kinda crummy. I probably should start running more hills since the ones in San Fran are gargantuum!!

Mile splits for my run on September 15th

Tuesday the 16th I did this Tabata workout. When I take a break from running after the half marathon I think I’ll start doing more Tabatas.

Wednesday the 17th in suburbia (mainly grass), I was completely drained. It was in the mid to high 90s all week and was dead tired and felt almost sick from it. I ran in the heat anyway and the results ain’t pretty!

Mile splits for my run on September 17th

Friday the 19th in suburbia (mainly grass), I had a pretty good run in nice 78 degree weather! I felt energized for once — probably because I was playing my memories from high school running over and over in my head. It really pumped me up… if you were an athlete, I’m sure you understand about having your “glory days.”

Mile splits from my run on September 19th

Do you ever reflect back on your “glory days” of athleticism or are you currently in them?

 

Please note that I am *not* a trainer or fitness expert, this is just a workout based on my own knowledge and experience that has personally worked for me. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness routine.

Nutrition Wednesday: Fiber

Fiber is advertised on so many whole grain food boxes it’s not even funny. Here some fiber, there some fiber, everywhere there seems to be fiber. It’s even found in veggies and fruits. So, what’s so special about fiber, beyond the fact that they always seem to be targeting older people to consume it? Continue reading

Fitness Friday 9/12

So this post is a day late again, I know, but here it is! My Achilles still hurts when I walk sometimes but I’ve been surviving my runs now! Running has literally been saving me from all of the stress I feel from work. I was super stressed out Wednesday and halfway through my run I already felt 100 times better. Exercise is seriously your best friend when you are stressed out. Well here was my week:

Sunday the 7th in suburbia (mainly grass), I ran 40 minutes with the bestie Aiko. It was nice to have a running buddy again.

Half marathon training on September 7th
Continue reading