Monday, March 29, 2010

Beautiful Day for a Wedding

Oh my, I love weddings. Always make me teary eyed. Fill me with this wonderful feeling that love is so special and precious. Annnd definitely makes me want to plan one of my own!!!
I drove to California, my home, for my cousin's wedding. The last of my 4 boy cousins to get married, and my brother is getting married next month! I'm his Best Woman :) I'm the baby of the family (and the only girl), and now everyone has married in age succession, and I'm the last one left! I cannot wait.
Me & my Aussie boyfriend, David // My brother Michael, and his fiance Kristen

Since being on the blogs, I've found some lovely DIY wedding blogs (though no, I'm not engaged yet), and I'm verrry inclined to pursue that when I plan my own! I've decided I don't want a cookie cutter wedding. I guess it'd be a lot of work, but it makes it so personal and cute!
Some things I've always thought about for my wedding, since I was a kid, have changed. For instance, I used to picture a church ceremony, but now I definitely want it outside. It's a prettier scene :) I've decided that my wedding colors will be purple & teal, pastels probably. My boyfriend said "Ok....but can I wear my Liverpool tie?" hahaha. NO, you're marrying me, not a football club! And Red doesn't belong in the color scheme. He said he'd marry the club if he could...ohhhh boys.
One of the most handsome things is a man dressed all dapper, putting on a tie.

I cannot wait to plan the rest of my life with this guy! My Aussie :)
Oh, and we also had fun with the disposable camera on the table, taking pictures on the digicam through the viewfinder on the disposable!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Food, Glorious Food!

Mmm... cooking new foods. I've made some Moroccan tasty treats in the last week or two!

Moroccan Lamb Tagine
a sweet stew with lamb, pistachios, golden raisins, and garbanzo beans. Yum! and healthy too.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound lamb stew meat
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp honey
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro leaves

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add onion, salt, pepper, and cumin; saute 4 minutes. Add garlic, saute 1 minute. Add lamb, saute 4 minutes, brown on all sides. Stir in tomato paste and honey, stir for 30 seconds. Add broth, raisins, and chickpeas; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 50 minutes or until lamb in tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with pistachios and cilantro.

I served this stew with Potato Carrot Pancakes
Just grate about two carrots and one large potato (I used Yukon Gold), mix them together with a bit of egg to bind (I poured in a tiny bit of egg beaters), and one chopped green onion, salt, pepper... Whatever. I just browned in the pan with cooking spray to be healthier, but if you want to fry em up, go ahead! mm. Oh, and served with sour cream and applesauce is definitely the way to go :)

Sorry, I don't have my own pictures of these next recipes but they are so simple and tasty you should try anyway! This is Weight Watchers, actually. Here is their little picture.
Moroccan-spiced Pork Chops
4 pork chops
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dry rub the chops, marinate for awhile, grill em up! 
and serve with...

Apricot Cous Cous
10 oz. dry cous cous
2 cups chicken broth
1 can apricots, chopped
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Boil up the cous cous in a pot, then fold in apricots and cilantro. That's all there is to it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Maiiil Tiiiime!!

"Here's the mail it never fails, it makes me wanna wag my tail, when it comes I wanna wail: MAAAAAIL!!!!" -- Blue's Clues!

I love love getting mail! I very rarely receive anything besides bills and Victoria's Secret catalogs... so whenever I get a personal letter or a package, I'm in hog heaven!!

Would anyone be interested in a mail exchange with each other? Either a just small cute note, or a small craft too?! I'd love to swap! Email me if you're interested or leave me a comment with your email!

I won the "If You Never Did, You Should..." contest awhile back for my post and photos about the wonders and majesty of underwater life while Scuba Diving! (click to see my scuba diving photos!)
I got a lovely red box with my name on it -- so exciting! Inside was an Anchor t-shirt from Jodi's line called "Pirate Bath" as well as a copy of her favorite book (and one of mine too) "Pride and Prejudice," a silver locket ring, and the coolest part: a Fisheye camera! I'm very excited to buy some film and use it!!
p.s. the note says "I love your photos!!" even though it looks like "I love you" haha!

Then, I participated in a mail exchange hosted by Caroline at Coeur de La, and received this sweet package from a certain Melissa, who I wish had left her blog address or something similar! I might have to just write her a thank you note in the mail.

In this package was a few of her favorite things: her favorite chocolate (70% dark -- it's DIVINEly dark!), her favorite recipe (Taco Soup), and her favorite craft to make: an adorable Hawaiian print makeup bag! I thought that it was so sweet of her to send me this nice little clutch bag. PLUS everything was tied up with this polka dot ribbon -- one of my favorite things!!
Finally, I won a giveaway hosted by The Drifter and the Gypsy. The prize was from Jackie Bos, who sent over some of her arts & crafts! It was packaged sweetly with red/white twine.
She included an illustrated book "I Heart the Arctic" with cute drawings of eskimos and snowy animals. Her illustrations are abstract and colorful.. and I really like the reversible handmade heart ornaments!
Thank you to everyone for your lovely packages! I loved them, and truly appreciated it... Snail Mail is the best, and makes me smile!! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Got the Sun in the Mornin'

I haven't written a post in so long! I just started a new job and am SO happy. I'm already in love with it! I am teaching Special Ed students, K-5. I have a pretty great class. It is going to be both very challenging and really rewarding!! PLUS, I got paid to watch "The Little Mermaid" the other day! SAY WHAA?!?!

I drove to Portland, Oregon this weekend, just a short overnight trip. One of my best girlfriends came to interview for grad school, so I met up with her and we had a little sleepover in her hotel room!

We went to dinner at Pok Pok for dinner, but it had a crazy 90 minute wait, so we went across the street to the Whiskey Soda Lounge (same company, same menu) and we had their AMAAAAZINGLY DELICIOUS "Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings" So so so good. Seriously, the best wings ever. Sweet and Sticky (and I got them not spicy at all, but you can get them spicy).

My friend got a spicy Bamboo salad. and we got fancy asian cocktails! She had hot orange tea (soo alcoholic), and I got a "Zig Zag Wanderer" which had coconut milk, pineapple drinking vinegar, and other yummy and alcoholic stuff!!
Then we headed to the very popular Portland City Grill for more cocktails. This place is 30 stories high, and overlooks the city lights. So pretty! also, SO crowded. It took ages to find a table, but our bartender girl was very nice. and there's not much better than $5 Pomegranate Margaritas and $5 Cranberry Mojitos!
When we woke up, we ate breakfast in bed and watched Marley & Me in our pjs! Then we got ready to go to the Saturday Market!
It was a gorrrgeous day! So sunny and Spring! Blossom trees in bloom everywhere. Perfect sundress weather!

Random elephants in the middle of nowhere. and Chinatown? I'm not sure.

There were so many blossoms near the water, where the Saturday Market was. It was really fun too, so many cute things I wanted to buy! Lots of lovely hand-blown glass, some paper-maiche tulip lamps, and beautiful beautiful peacock feather vintage-esque fascinators!!!
Portland was lovely, Spring is lovely, and pink blossoms are lovely!!!