Thursday, June 30, 2011

Favorite Magazines

It seems like just yesterday that I was eagerly checking the mail for the latest copy of Seventeen or Teen Vogue. For some reason, even admitting that I love the following two magazines makes me feel like an old woman. Not that "old women" are their target audience, but I still feel like I should be reading Seventeen and not magazines for the Martha Stewart crowd. Apparently I'm a grown up now and would rather read about food and cleaning than boys and clothes.

Honestly though, I'm pretty sure I've always been a Real Simple/Whole Living girl at heart. I was never really into hair or makeup and although I wanted to dress and look like the girls in Seventeen, I never came close. In fact, my favorite part of the teen magazines were the "most embarrassing moments" sections that readers contributed to each month. I never contributed a story, but I'm sure I could have made it into an issue or two. To add to my teenage coolness factor, I'm pretty sure I also had a subscription to Architectural Digest. Maybe it's not such a surprise that I didn't date much (or at all) during high school.

Luckily, I've snagged a cute boy and can can enjoy cooking, cleaning, and living my old lady lifestyle without shame. My mom purchased a Real Simple subscription for me a while ago and I love all the recipes, cleaning tips, craft ideas and other fun articles. She also introduced me to Whole Living. She gave me a copy to read on a plane ride last month and I read the copy at the airport and picked up another issue before I got on the plane. I just signed up for for a subscription today for only $10 for 10 issues. I just checked the going rate for Real Simple and it's only $24 for 12 issues. Both are such a bargain!

P.S. Seventeen is currently going for $15 for 30 issues! So feel free to indulge in that if you'd like ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sonoma County Balloon Classic

Jake and I woke up ridiculously early on Saturday morning to attend the Sonoma County Balloon Classic. We left at 4:45 so that we wouldn't miss the 6:30 launch.

This was actually my second time to attend the festival. I went several years ago when I was staying with Jake's grandma in Santa Rosa while doing an internship. She met us at the festival this year.

There was heavy fog in Windsor where the festival was taking place so the launch time was delayed. Fortunately, the fog had cleared enough by around 7:00 so a couple of balloons took off.

Unfortunately, the wind started to pick up and the rest of the balloons were unable to launch.

We had a fun time walking around and looking at all the grounded balloons though!

This fish balloon was my favorite. It was called 'Sushi'.
It was pretty chilly out so we warmed up by staying near the balloons that had to fire up every few minutes in order to stay inflated.

I'm already excited for next year's event. I'd love to attend the big balloon festival in Albuquerque, NM one day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cobbstock 2011

Last Saturday we attended an all day concert event up on the mountain. It was held at Jellystone Park and I must say, I'm not really a "camper", but this place is so cute and so much fun that I would actually consider staying a night. Outside. In a tent. Maybe 2 nights since they have showers.

Jake's dad and step mom are in the band that headlined the event. It was so much fun watching them perform.

Jake's step mom is the one singing and his dad is the one to her right, playing bass.

We had a great time and are already excited for Cobbstock 2012!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Green Cleaning

I made my own cleaning supplies! I've been meaning to do this for a while, but just got around to it yesterday. I'm so glad I finally did. So easy to do, super cheap, and your house doesn't smell like harmful chemicals!

Here are some recipes in case you want to make your own:

Furniture polish:

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice

Glass cleaner:

1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water

All purpose cleaner:

1 tsp Borax
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup hot water

Toilet cleaner (not pictured)

1 cup of vinegar in the toilet with a sprinkle of baking soda. Let it soak while you clean the rest of the bathroom and then scrub.

I'm really pleased with the results. FYI about the glass cleaner looks really streaky when first applied and then wiped off, but once it dries it looks great!

I also hung my clothes outside for the first time! This was much more time consuming than I had expected, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

In other green news, we picked up our latest CSA box the other day:

This week's bounty included green beans, lettuce, broccoli, chard, carrots, raspberries and onions.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cat Claw Meets Dog Eye

It's been a rough week. A really rough week. On Tuesday morning I was taking a shower and Jake came in and asked if I'd noticed anything weird about Zulu's eye. I had just seen her a few minutes earlier and all was fine. I got out of the shower and took one look at her and told Jake to take her to the vet. He took her, but the local vet was unable to really assess the situation so the referred us to an animal eye specialist in Santa Rosa. We took her that afternoon, but the vet wasn't able to see too well into the eye either. She gave us 3 different eye drops and 3 oral medications to give Zulu and told us to return on Thursday. She suspected she would need to do surgery at this time, but told us there was a chance the eye would heal itself and not need an operation.

On the way home I realized how Zu's injury happened. Right before I got in the shower that morning I noticed that Zu had the cat in a corner. I tried to pick up the cat to move her, but she was already on the run. She slipped out of my hands and her back paws went into the air. Zulu's face was in the wrong place at the wrong time and one of the claws caught her eye :(

We took extra good care of Zu over the next day and a half and then returned to the eye specialist on Thursday. Luckily the vet thought she'd improved a lot and did not think surgery was necessary at that time! However, she told us that after 3 weeks, she'd be able to see all the way to the eye lens. If the lens is scratched, then it will have to be removed and she'll be unable to see out of that eye. She has another appointment on Monday and we hope to get another positive report.

The poor thing just looks so pitiful and our hearts break for her. She is making me a nervous wreck too. Any time she walks around I'm so paranoid that she's going to run into something. I semi baby proofed the living room so that I had a little less to worry about, but there are plenty of things she could still run into. I'm also super paranoid that the cat is going to swat at her face if she gets too close. She doesn't have front claws, but even just a swat to the face could permanently injure her eye.

I'll be so glad when she is healed completely and we can breathe for a second. She's been such a trooper and I wish I could take her pain and discomfort away. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I really wish I could trade places with her.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Very Own Clothesline

No, I'm not designing clothes now, I'm hanging them out to dry!! Well, to be honest, I have not actually used the clothesline yet. It's been raining for several days now and hanging your clothes outside in the rain kinda defeats the purpose.

Jake built this for me while I was in Texas and I was so excited to find my surprise. I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm crazy for being so excited about this, especially since I hate doing laundry and all, but I think it's going to turn my laundry frown upside down.

Yes, it will require additional work, but just think of the energy I'll save! PG&E keeps threatening to come install a smart meter at our house so I'm going to do everything I can to reduce the amount of money they take from us each month. Smart meter or not, I'm pretty sure they're robbing us. How else do you explain energy bills for the same amount or more during months when neither the air conditioner or heater have been turned on? I'm also convinced that smart meters cause cancer. I'm not sure if this has definitely been proven, but I'm scared to have one on our house. I've also heard that they typically result in higher energy bills. And can someone please explain why they intend to charge HIGHER rates to people that use LESS energy? I guess it makes sense from a business standpoint, but I find it highly unethical.

Ugh, enough about PG&E...I have a new clothesline!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Zulu's Hippo

My mom purchased this toy for Zulu when I was in Texas.

It's her new favorite thing.

I'm not sure why it never occurred to me that she'd love a soft toy like this. She's always running off with dish towels and socks to chew on so this is a perfect compromise! Not to mention, she looks absolutely adorable toting this little guy around.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Brassfield Winery

Last week I was able to tag along with Jake when he went to do some finishing touches on one of his jobs. I walked around the winery and snapped a few pictures while he worked.

This place is so hidden, but it's so beautiful and definitely worth a visit. I'm sure they have great wine, but I was more interested in the landscape.

Friday, June 3, 2011

CSA Week 3

I realize it's a bit odd that I show off a picture of vegetables each week. It would be even more odd if I took a picture of everything I purchase at the grocery store each week (though you would probably be amazed at how much food only 2 people can consume). But the CSA is so much cooler than the grocery store! Everything is always so beautiful and I get so excited each week when I go to pick up my box (from a bookstore of all places). Besides, I know my mom appreciates pictures of beautiful fruit and veggies and this blog mostly caters to her anyway, so here you go, mom...enjoy!

This week's box included peaches, beets, melon, asparagus, kale and radishes.

Speaking of beautiful food, doesn't this blackened tuna steak on mango salsa/relish look awesome?

Well it was AWFUL! I severely undercooked the fish and we ended up throwing it in the microwave. Big mistake. Do NOT ever microwave fish. This is what I get for straying from vegan cooking.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This is what my mom looks like...

when I travel half way across the country for an unannounced visit!

I totally surprised my parents last week when I arrived in Texas. I had the trip planned for 2 months and it was so hard to not tell them, especially on my b-day and Mother's Day.

I arrived on Thursday and left on Monday, but I was originally scheduled to arrive on Wednesday. Due to bad weather at DFW in the days prior to my arrival, my flight was canceled so I arrived a day late :(

Everything else went just as planned though. My sister pick me up from the airport and drove us home. She went inside and I had Jake call my mom to ask her if the package he'd sent had arrived. She told him she'd just been outside and hadn't seen anything, but he convinced her to go outside and check anyway. As soon as she walked outside I jumped out of the car. It was a priceless moment that I'm sure neither of us will ever forget.

My time in Texas was filled with fun events, but I didn't take any pictures at all. I'll be returning in July though so I'll try to take some then.