Friday, September 30, 2011

A few of my favorite things

1.  I have a chihuaha.  And a 16 year golden retriever (And yes, I would put Jack (the chihuaha) in a purse and carry him around if he was that kind of dog.)  But, like most people end up realizing about their kids, he's not THAT kind of dog. He's wildly independent and does his own thing.  Which, really, makes him even better.
2.  Biomega shampoo.  Yeah, I do spend way too much on shampoo to make my hair smell like flowers.  Fortunately, my hairdresser is also my friend, and I get it at cost. 
3.  Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap.  Makes my shower heaven.  HEAVEN.  No joke.
4.  Alba Botanica Cocoa Butter hand and body lotion.  Hi Summer. 
5.  Watts Beauty Argan Gold pure Argan oil.  Bye bye wrinkles.  I think.
6.  Toms of Maine Long Lasting aluminum-free deoderant in fresh apricot.  Because who doesnt want to smell like fresh apricots?
7.  Schiff Melatonin Ultra.  We all need sleep.  Right??
8.  Paul Mitchell extra body firm finishing spray.  Because my dumb hair just wont do what I ask on its own.
9.  Clean sheets.  I change them every 3 days....because clean sheets are just yummy!  (Someone that may or may not read this blog is probably laughing right now)!
10.  Piping hot stronger than hell coffee. Trader Joes can rock this.  So can Starbucks.
11.  Parmesan cheese.  What isnt better if you add this?  Really?
12.  One certain baby, that makes me want to kiss her over and over and over.
13.  A brand new roll of really good toilet paper (above mentioned person who may or may not read this blog is probably dying of laughter right now)
14.  An amazing gel manicure that lasts for days.
15.  A good book that can monopolize my life for hours.
16.  A great podcast.  "Joy the Baker"...check her out
17.  Levis.  Why do any other jeans exist?
18.  Amy's frozen meals.  Because convenience should still be yummy.
19.  Yoga in any shape or form.  Stretch your body, girls!
20.  Good friends.  I am sooooo blessed to have them everywhere!
Tell me your favorite things!  Please!  I really really want to add to my list!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkins with Brown Butter Glaze and Candied Walnuts. Right?!

Truth.  These pumpkin muffins are more like a dessert and they are sinful.  Literally.  Not too sweet, just buttery and spicy enough.  You might eat them until you feel sick.  I did. 
For Muffins:
Preheat oven to 350.
Get a couple of cupcake pans out and line them with the cutest wrappers you can find.  Mine were polka dots!  Cream together 2/3 cup butter, and 2 2/3 cups sugar until fluffy.  Stir in 4 eggs, 2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin (or 1 can), and 2/3 cup water.  Then mix in 3 1/3 cups flour, 2 teaspons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cloves.  Taste and add more spiciness if needed.  Stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.  Spoon into pan and bake about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Brown Butter Icing:
Melt 4 Tablespoons Butter in a small saucepan until brown.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, and strain out any burnt pieces (you may not have any.  This means, like me, you rock:)  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk.  If sauce needed loosing up, add another tablespoon milk.  Mix well.

Candied Walnuts:
Melt about 1/2 cup sugar until brown.  Toss in about 20 walnut halves and coat them.  Remove them and place on foil to cool.

Ice your cupcakes, and stick one walnut piece on top.  Plate them on something pretty and your friends will be unbelievably impressed.  Trust me. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Taking the next step

There is a boy.  He's important to me.  And I am important to him.  We have known each other awhile.  We dated last year, for about a month, then he dumped me.  Then we dated again, and I dumped him.  We both had relationships with other people.  We re-connected again as friends at the tail end of his last relationship.  We have played with the idea of an "us" for the last few months.  Now suddenly, he tells me he is in.  Ready.  Whew. 
This is scary!  When you know someone this well, and feel a connection in so many ways, there is no casual dating!  Its all or nothing.  And now I am scared.  Not sure I can do it.  Not ready to ruin the friendship, not ready to give him up, not ready to take the next step.
Decisions, decisions.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Brunch

Tamales part dos

I throw some cotija cheese in with the masa, btw.  You can find it in the cheese dept of your grocery store.
Now for the wrapping...
Lay out a square of about 1/4 inch thick masa in the middle of your corm husk, then spoon in a hefty tablespoon of innards along the center.  Bring the two edges of the corn husk together, to close the masa around the innards.

Fold the bottom of corn husk up to cover tamale and then role from left to right.

You will now lay another corn husk down at the exposed end and fold it up, and roll again.
Fill a large pot with about 1 inch or so of water, put in a steamer pot and stack your tamales in.  Steam for about an hour, constantly adding more water as needed.  Presto.  Enjoy!
P.S.  This is my mom demonstrating here.  Her tamale wrapping skills are far superior to mine.  Hi Mom!

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Saturday, September 3, 2011


Ok, so I am not going to finish the tamales post just yet.  I made about a million of them last weekend and I need a break.  So stay tuned.  I also am going to make homemade soap tomorrow and will write a blog post about this as well, with pics.  But today I just feel like rambling on about a topic that is pretty major when it comes to dating.  Neediness.

The absolute worst quality you could possibly have when dating.  When you are needy, you wear it like a perfume, and everyone can smell it.  I believe it is the single biggest reason that relationships in the intial stages don't work out. 

Exhibit A:  A man that I used to date, about 2 years ago.  Relationship lasted about 3 months, and honestly, it should have ended way before that.  Anyway, I would have been friends with him....except that he would text, email and facebook message me constantly.  Like 10 texts to my 1.  Finally I told him that if we were to be friends he needed to back way off...and he did.  I would hear from him every couple of months and that was cool.  Then out of nowhere (I guess when I actually responded to him 2 times in a row), he called me.  I talked to him for about 20 minutes, and he made some vaguely innapropriate sexual comments, told me I was beautiful about 10 times, and had information on me that I did not tell him about...obviously he was snooping around somehow.  Needless to say, I have gone back to ignoring his attempts to contact me.  Yes, this is an extreme case, and this guy is actually a bit of a stalker, but in all honesty, I know he's harmless.  Just needy as hell.

Exhibit B:  This just happened the other night.  I went out for a first date with a new man I had met online.  We had drinks, and spent about 2 hours having a really great conversation.  He paid.  I have learned that this is a HUGE indication of someone's interest in me, btw.  If a guy can't even pick up the tab for a cup of coffee...he's just NOT that into you.  Remember this.  Anyway, we exchanged numbers, agreed to go out was all good.  Then...before I even got home, I had received two texts from him.  In all honesty, it was a turn-off.  Will probably see him again, but bumped my interest level down a notch.

I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, and I have done it wrong so many times myself, but when you first meet someone, no matter how much you like them, you really have to back off.    If you appear even a little needy when you first meet someone, they will look to the future (at least I do!) and see having to shake off a completely annoying, emotionally attached person.  And most of us REALLY don't want to do this.

And here's the other thing about neediness.  You just can't fake your way through it.  No matter how many games you play, how much time you let elapse before returning a phone call, no matter how many times you are "busy" when someone wants to hang out, its obvious when you are faking.

So here's the solution:
  Live your life, and make it a good one.  Don't depend on anyone else, ever, to make your life what you want it to be.  Cultivate hobbies.  Make good friends.  Try something new.  Read more.  Get more exercise.  Learn how to cook.  Take your kids more places.  Travel.  Becoming interesting and independent.  This is the real way to not be needy.  Because when you really truly aren't needy....well that's obvious too.