Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apple Picking in Julian, California

Over the weekend, we went apple picking with some friends at Calico Ranch Orchard in Julian, CA. Julian is a cute little town in the mountains and is the home of several apple orchards. I was very excited to drag my Fall boots out of the closet. Yahoo weather said that the high temp for the day was going to be 70, but it was definitely 82 degrees. I had to lose my scarf!

Trying to get on Duke's shoulders. Haha!

I. Can't. Reeeeeach!

The product of our apple picking. Yummy applesauce!!!!!

Here's the recipe for the applesauce I made. It was so easy and delicious. There is no Fall season here in California, but it sure smelled like it in our house while this was cooking all day!

Riding Lesson #11

Yesterday, I had my weekly riding lesson. It's been hard for Duke to get photos because it is starting to get darker earlier, and I want Duke to be able to come to my lessons when he gets off of work.

I am very excited to move back to NC, but I will definitely miss riding at the barn. It has been a great fit for me. Artie has given me confidence over the jumps, and my instructor is super awesome. I know that I still have problems with my equitation over the jumps, but I have no fear of jumping, and I have no trouble jumping a course.

This is huge for me.

My work schedule is going to be weird for awhile (when we move back home), and I am really hoping to get back into lessons ASAP as long as we have the funds.

Here are a couple of pics from last night:

I love Artie.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

One Minute Cookie

I've been seeing these "one minute" cookies all over the place. So, it made me curious....

Duke has duty today, so I've had the house to myself. When Duke is on duty, he is gone for over 24 hours, and it can make a gal surf the 'net. A lot. So, what better time than to make a one minute cookie....

Here's the deal:

Find the cutest little cup, mug, or ramekin that you have in the house. Even a small plate will do, but you'll have to mix the ingredients before you put them on the plate.

Soften 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave.

Mix in 1 tablespoon of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix it until it all becomes creamy and a bit fluffy.

Add in 3 drops of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Add 1 egg yolk

Now add 1/4 cup of flour (or use whole wheat flour instead, I did). But I'm extra nutty like that.

Finally, add 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips to the dough and stir it all up.

Now stick it in the microwave for 40 to 60 seconds. Mine was in a small custard cup, so I had a thicker cookie, therefore, had to cook it longer (1 minute). Be forewarned that the cookie will not look crispy and golden like it would in the oven. This is for a soft cookie.

Here's mine:

It was the perfect size for a sneaky little snack. It was certainly not the best cookie I'd ever had, but it satisfied my sweet tooth.

And. Duke. Will. Never. Know. Mwahahahahaaaaaaaaa.....

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Point Loma, California

Today, we went to Point Loma to see the lighthouse, Cabrillo National Monument, and the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

It was beautiful and amazing.

Here's the view of San Diego from Point Loma.
Amazing, right? See the Clipper (ship).
Point Loma lighthouse
Inside the lighthouse.
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery


That's how I feel right now. Me and Duke are heading home in less than one month. Yes, it's exciting. But it is also making me sad. I love it here. And I am stressed. Life is stressful. I am 24 years old. Why is it so hard for me to figure out what I want to do for my career? And is your career even really as important as everyone makes it out to be? Yes, I obviously know having a good job is important. I have habits. Horseback riding is really flipping expensive. So I need a good job to do the things I love, right?

Can someone please hire me as their personal butler? Because I swear, keeping a house is the only thing I am good at.

Well, that's not true. I'm a darn good vet assistant. But, that is not what I want to do forever. Picking up heavy dogs all day. Seeing animals sick and hurt. Getting bit and scratched. It takes a toll on a person. I'd like the work at the zoo, but isn't that basically the same thing? Ugh.

This is one of those nights where I feel lonely. Duke has his friends over and they are having "dude talk." My neighbors are antisocial. And I need some girl time. Guess I'll hug my dog. Ha. And watch Aladdin.

I feel like someone should just tell me what to do with my life. And I'll do it. Whatever it is. I just want to know what I'm supposed to do.

Whiny and dramatic post over. Sorry about that.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cheesy Potato Snacks with Bacon

Duke was working out in the garage last night, so I knew we would have a late dinner.

Well, this girl got hungry. So I made a snack. Duke loved them.

What you need:

1 large red potato (per person, so I used 2)
shredded cheddar cheese
crumbled bacon slices or bacon bits
salt and pepper (to taste)
100% canola oil spray
aluminum foil
bowl of cold water

How to make:

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Peel the potatoes that you will use (or don't because red potato skins are tasty!). Cut the potato into about 1/4 inch thick slices. Stick 'em in a bowl of cold water until the oven is heated.

Now, spray the baking sheet generously with the canola oil spray. Stick the slices of potatoes on the sheet (make sure they are not overlapping) and spray them generously with the canola oil as well. Bake for about 10 or 15 minutes and flip them over. Bake for about another 10 minutes or until both sides are starting to turn a yummy golden color. Pull the potatoes out of the oven. Add a bit of salt and pepper to each slice, then top with cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Delicious!

Hollywood & Burbank, California

Ok. Here is comes. The most exciting news of all. Me, Duke, my friend and her husband all went to the Ellen Degeneres Show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ellen is such an inspirational person and I have been watching her show for years. I was SO, SO, SOOOO excited to get to watch her show in Burbank. Whoa. I still can't believe we went. Such an amazing experience. We stopped at Hollywood on the way. Traffic was horrendous in Hollywood. We were all pretty stressed out and just ready to see Ellen! Here are some pics:

Warner Bros. Studio. So cool.
Our giveaways from the show. LOVE New Girl!
EEEEEEK!!!!! So excited at this point.
Is this really happening!!!???
Hollywood Blvd of course.
Walk of Fame.
Chinese Theater

La Jolla, California

I have been having trouble with Blogger whenever I try to add pics from my phone with the Blogger App, and then go to the computer to type it up. It makes the spacing crazy, the pictures get out of order, and it won't let me add text between pictures or text at the end. It's a little annoying. Vent over.

I had a very good friend, K, and her husband come and visit us over the weekend. K is so cool to be around, so I knew we would have a blast. The weekend surpassed any amazing hopes I had. We did so many fun things, including going to La Jolla. We have wanted to go to La Jolla since we moved here. It's so close to us, that I don't know why we waited so long. La Jolla is very close to San Diego and it is a beautiful and hilly seaside community. Apparently, there are usually lots of seals on the beach, but we only saw about six.

I have to add that there is a story to the photo of Duke playing the xylophone. We had been walking barefoot on the beach, and we walked up the coast to the park so Duke could put on his sneakers. He sat down on a bench next to this lady and she asked if he wanted to lay her xylophone. Of course he said yes! Haha.

Stuff like this happens to Duke all the time. He is very social and seems to attract very social people. It's absolutely hilarious to me.

What's New?

What is new besides the fact that I've been a slacker of a blogger? Here it is. I've been really busy, but now I've had a chance to breathe. Here's a quick update of some things that have been happening lately.

I bought this vintage blanket for our couch! I love, love, love the colors. Took our couch from bleh to cute!
We discovered the most amazing Mexican restaurant. You will know I'm not kidding because I was already digging in before this pic.
Here's a cool mural inside the restaurant. We LOVE Mexican food.
Breena went to visit with her boyfriend, Chester. They're in love.
Duke bought me this new cookbook. Has SO many great recipes. Can't wait to try some.
I bought some new clothes for the first time since we've been out here. I was SO excited. The shorts were $45 and I got them on sale for $10! Thanks for looking! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Riding Lesson #7

Hey ya'll!!!! (In case you were wondering, I'm practicing for my move back to NC). That's right, ya'll.

Just thought I'd give ya'll an update on my lesson that was last night. This was lesson number seven. I have six more to go before we leave.

I am starting to get emotional about leaving. A few nights ago, Duke and I were sitting on the couch and I just started with the waterworks. One of my parents' sweet kitties had to be put to sleep last week after sixteen years, so I was already emotional from the loss of him. We were on the couch and I just started crying because I am going to miss Artie (my super special lesson horse) so much when we leave. I get super attached to all the horses that I have ever's just a problem for me.

I also got emotional before we left the San Diego Zoo. I know. Crazy, right? But, it's probably the last time we'll ever be at the San Diego Zoo! Duke says that when we leave Cali to drive back to NC, I'll probably cry all the way to Arizona. Haha. He's probably right.

Well, I had a great lesson on Artie last night. He is such a good boy.

I am super grateful that I have been able to take lessons out here. Duke has been super supportive of my (expensive!) habit. He goes to my lessons every week, takes photos, videos, gives me water so I don't pass out, and then he always buys us food on the way home. I married such a good guy. <3

Monday, September 10, 2012

Buying Organic

So, I have been trying to eat healthy. Or healthier. Duke lost about 80 lbs on his last deployment overseas, and has kept most of the weight off. We do not eat out very often, and I try to cook most of our meals at the house. It's hard to find meals that are healthy and taste as good as the real thing. Usually, we eat really healthy for breakfast and lunch, and then I just sort of make whatever I want to make for dinner. But, we almost always have veggies as sides.

These last few weeks, I have stopped drinking sodas. For the most part. I looove root beer, and I was drinking one or two cans everyday. It was getting out of control. So, I started buying the small cans of soda, and I'll have one every few days.

Now, sweet tea is another problem. But, I will never cut out sweet tea. I have been drinking a lot more water and milk though.

Last week, I was very excited when I purchased organic eggs at the grocery store. I don't know what made me do it, but I did. I found that they had much thicker shells---and heck, they look so much better with their cute little brown shells. But it got me thinking. What should I really buy organic? So I found this article. The article goes into detail as to why you should buy each item organic. Here's the scoop.


Things to buy organic:

Strawberries (or any berry for that matter, and apples)
Yard pesticides
All-purpose home cleaners
Water bottles
Food storage containers
Tomato sauce
Mattresses and Carpet Padding (what!?)

Five Things You Don't Have to Buy Organic:

Frozen food in plastic bags

Of course, eggs would be on the not to buy list. Because I bought them. Ok, ok, I fell for the cute brown eggs instead of the white ones with the super thin shells. But, the shells are thicker. And they're brown. And they taste better---I think.

I hope this list was helpful.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rose Bowl Flea Market

Today we went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, California! Eeek! I have been wanting to go ever since I moved here in April. Our time here in California is running out very soon, so Duke and I decided not to wait until next month to go. I was very excited.

All in all, it was fun. It was so hot today in Pasadena. It made me super thankful that we have been able to live on the coast all this time where there is always a nice, cool breeze.

To compare the Rose Bowl to other flea markets, there are definitely better ones to go to. Like the Long Beach Antique Market. Overall, I would say that the Rose Bowl has more clothing than anything. There's also a ton of junk. And not the good kind. Long Beach has way more antiques. And that's basically what I am all about when I go flea marketing....errr...whatever it's called.

Here it is. What you can't see are the HUGE mountains all around it. So cool.

Four lemonades, one taco, and a lot of walking later, here are my goodies. Two pieces of vintage Pyrex and a vintage mod enamel Dutch oven. Love. Duke put the handle back on, but I forgot to take an "after" photo.
Here is the new home for this guy.
And this guy. And I'm super proud of Duke for trucking through hours of junking and feeding me lemonade. Thanks for reading. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Oh, delicious kabobs. This was our dinner last night. I'm still thinking about it. My husband is still talking about it. Our friends raved about it. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

P.S. Sorry about the poor quality photos. I was too excited about eating. The photo on the recipe page looks much better. :D