Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hawaii Update: Manoa Falls Hike

Last Saturday we did the Manoa Falls hike.  We almost didn't go because of the weather but I was in need of an adventure so we went anyways.  Here are some pictures:

Just one of the many random chickens that wander the island. 

The hike takes you through the rainforest.  It tends to rain here because it's a rainforest but on the particular day we went, it was a pretty rainy day for most of the island. 

We walked past some really strange but cool plants. 

Me in all my wannabe gangster glory.  Or...more like my husbands shorts because my own don't fit.  The umbrella was so worth it but made me look like a total nube and tourist. 

The hike takes you to a really tall waterfall.  It's pretty but also kind of wimpy looking. 

The glorious mud we had to hike through.  It was especially muddy because of the rain we were getting that day, but I doubt it ever really dries up unless there is an extended dry spell.  Very slippery and there were too many people unprepared for it and wearing shoes and flip flops with  no traction. 

A little on the dark side but I still like this picture.  You can't tell but he was so soaked.  He had the waterproof bag, I didn't, so I got the umbrella.  Poor hubby.

Another picture of the waterfall from a different angle. 

A random door. 

Another really weird plant. 

The heart rock.

Gorgeous trees.

And of course, just as we were finishing the hike, the sun came out and the rain stopped. 

Random notes: 

There were a lot of pretty draping vines with flowers growing on them.  Gorgeous but impossible for our camera to photograph. 

The internet makes it sound like the easiest hike ever and claims it's only a mile.  I tend to disagree with that but it wasn't strenuous either. 

The waterfall is wimpy but the hike is gorgeous and doesn't take too much time so totally worth doing on your next visit. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Don't Believe

Just because I can and because it might give you some insight into my quirky self, here is a list of 25 things I don't believe in.

I don't believe in:

processed foods, except for the couple dozen different items I can't seem to stop eating.  One day I will be stronger.  Processed foods will not win!!!!

hashtagging on Facebook. #keepittotwitter #itdoesn'tmakeyoucool #amievendoingthisright

diet soda.

trends.  I like beautiful, fun, delicious, amazing things.  If it happens to be trendy as well, then so be it.  But cool doesn't mean trendy.  And being trendy doesn't automatically mean your cool.

reading the same book twice.  Doesn't mean I haven't or wont ever do so, but there are too many books and life is too short for me to read the same book twice.

eating hotdogs for breakfast.  There are many foods I either have or would eat for breakfast if it came down to it, but hotdogs are not included in that list.  Sick!

reading a book just because everybody else is.  Too many people have wasted too much time reading too many lame books because the book made it to the top of some random list that month.

donuts without holes.  Unless it's a donut hole.

stick shifts.

eating cake and/or ice cream for breakfast.  It's one thing to sneak a spoonful, another to straight out eat it, and only it, for breakfast.  (Speaking of which, in college, instead of putting sugar in my cereal, if I had leftover vanilla ice cream, I would put a small scoopful of that in the cereal instead.  So delicious.)

sitcoms.  I know!  I am such a looser.

leggings on their own.  They are NOT the same thing as pants.

iTunes.  It's the only thing keeping me away from Apple products.

idolizing celebrities.  They just end up letting you down.  People need to look elsewhere for their heroes.

juicing diets/fasts.

video games.  They have their place and time but overall I despise them.  They are ruining society.

over extravagant holidays.

tanning unless its very natural and you are wearing sunscreen.  Beauty is not worth cancer.  And often fake tanning or over tanning doesn't even equal beauty.  Just the color orange.

men getting away with not taking care of their feet just because they are men.  If you have dry feet, lotion them.  It won't make you any less of a man.  Promise!

socks and sandals worn together.

super cheap bras and skipping professional fittings.  Sizing is important and often wrong if you try to figure it out on your own.

long movies.  I don't have many favorite movies that are more than two hours long.  No Lord of the Rings marathons for me, thank you very much (poor hubby).

long board games.  Obviously I have an attention issue or something.  So no Life, Monopoly, Risk, etc., for me.

driving slower than the speed limit.  Has to be against the law somewhere.  If not, it should be.

Old Navy flip flops though my hubby does happen to own a pair.  Another random thought:  I personally do not find men attractive in flip flops.

And that folks is my list.  It changes all the time though as I experience and learn new things so please don't hold this list against me for any reason.  If somehow I offended you, just blow it off and tell yourself I am crazy (but still awesome).

If anybody feels like commenting with a list of things they don't believe in, even if it goes against everything I just wrote, feel free to.  I would love to read it.  But please note that this list is purposefully absent of any serious and very personal topics, such as politics and religion, so please keep it that way.  Thank you! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I'm Growing Up

My philosophy in life regarding bed making was always that it was a waste of time.  People spent precious time on something that was just going to be undone within the same day.  But that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate and enjoy going into a hotel room and seeing a bed nicely made just for me.  But as a day to day chore, no way, not for me.

But the hubby was always throwing out comments regarding bed making.  "Oh, it was so nice to go to bed tonight in a bed that had been made."  Or, even better,  "how are we going to teach our kids to make their beds if we never do?"  You get the gist.  (Trust me when I say that I have plenty of witty remarks for him regarding this subject but I will abstain from publishing them here. You can thank me later hubby!)

Well one day, I may have randomly decided to make the bed.  And then the next day I did it again.  And I just kept doing it, every day after.  It did kind of look nice, it didn't really take that long, and the hubby was very vocal about his appreciation.  Why not keep doing it?

It's been roughly a week since I have started and I have yet to miss a day.  And that is huge people.  HUGE!  I am at present undoing years of beliefs and behavior.  Just ask my mom, my roommates, my hubby.  Probably no one can remember a time I have made a bed two days in a row, let alone everyday for a week.  And you know what?  I have been enjoying it.  The bedroom feels more organized and looks more neat and I don't have to untangle the bedding at night when I want to sleep.  It's great.

I may now be feeling some guilt regarding my previous behavior*.  I may feel bad for my mom because I refused to make the bed and she had to live with it.  For my roommates who had to share a small room with me and that unmade bed.  I am so sorry!  I hope it didn't throw you off your groove too much.

But on the other hand,  this chore never was, and never will be for me, a necessity.  It's certainly not a chore related to hygiene or cleanliness.  It's not a must, like the dishes, the laundry, and cleaning the bathroom.  It's just a nice little blessing in life.  I can easily see myself reverting back to my old philosophy as soon at the baby arrives.  For survival reasons.  So it will be interesting to see what happens.  Will my kids learn to make their beds?

Oh, and I was thinking about posting a picture but to be perfectly honest, when you have rarely done something in your life,  there is a major learning curve involved once you start.  I doubt my bed really looks as nice as I think it does.  I have a lot to learn regarding bed making.  A LOT to learn.  But how do you learn something like that?

*Really, I don't have too much guilt.  I made have had a little trick to prevent a super messy bed.  One I developed later in my teenage years.  A trick that no longer worked once I was sharing the bed with someone else who had different sleeping methods then me.  I always liked sleeping with tons of bedding.  It was warm and comfortable.  But what I started doing was sleeping on top of a bunch of the bedding for comfort, and underneath a few of my favorite and warmest blankets and quilts.  This method not only kept me warm and uber comfortable, but it meant only a blanket or two was sort of out of place come morning time.  My bed wasn't quite the mess it became when I got married and had to start sleeping underneath all the blankets and sheets.  I actually quite miss sleeping like that but with marriage comes change.  Sometimes you just have to grow up!  Kind of a bummer but whatever. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Recent Recipes

Here are just a few recipes that we have enjoyed the past few weeks:

I wanted shrimp pasta one night so I used this Sexy Shrimp Scampi recipe as a base for shrimp pasta.  Along with the butter, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, I added a fair amount of Italian seasoning to the shrimp.  After baking it, I poured the shrimp into already cooked linguine pasta, added some more butter to give it a bit more sauce, and squeezed some fresh lemon juice over it.  You can also add a bit of chicken stock to it.  With just a bit of Tabasco sauce, it's perfect.  It's a very light pasta so if you like heavy sauces and strong flavors, this might not be for you.  But I promise it's worth a shot.  It doesn't hurt that it's a super fast meal to whip up.

The perfect side dish for the shrimp pasta is asparagus.  I have been trying to find the perfect way to cook asparagus.  There are so many recipes out there for vegetables these days and its hard to sift through all of them to find the one just perfect for you.  I have found that for asparagus, besides having them drenched in melted cheese (a favorite as a kid), I really prefer recipes that allow its flavor to shine.  Lately I have just been cutting off the hard ends, putting them in a baking dish, covering them with a bit of EVOO and salt and pepper, then adding some freshly minced garlic.  I bake it at 425 degrees for about 15 mins and its perfect.  Obviously though, this isn't one of those recipes that you use to trick a vegetable hater into eating the vegetable, which I swear half of those on Pinterest claim to do.  It doesn't make my husband like the asparagus any more than usual but really the only time he has happily eating asparagus is when it was fried, and though that's delicious, it kind of negates the health benefits.

Because of our kitchen situation at the moment, I have been making a lot of Mexicanish dishes.  (Yes, I am well aware that Mexicanish is not a real word so please stop stressing about it.)  One day, after a not so great lunch that left me annoyed, I saw a recipe that Taste and Tell had just posted.  It was for beef and bean smothered burritos and as simple as that sounds, I knew I had to make it for dinner that night.  So glad I did! The beef and bean burritos were good, but what really made them great was the green chili sauce.  It was easy to make but so yummy.  We were happy to have lots of leftover sauce to use over the course of the week.  The sauce is flavorful but not spicy so perfect for people that don't do spicy.  We topped our burritos with lots of vegetables and they ended up being the perfect meal.  It was probably the first time I happily ate a burrito as leftovers.  Yum!

Another success was a pasta dish I made Sunday night.  I ran into a recipe for a homemade tomato-based pasta sauce with chipotle on SNACK THE PLANET.  I wanted to try this recipe for a few reasons.  The recipe used lots of vegetables, the pictures looked delicious, and it allowed me to use a few ingredients I already had on hand that would otherwise have gone to waste.  Upon taking a bite of the finished product, I realized it partially solved another problem for me.  When I make pasta dishes I usually just take canned sauces and add additional ingredients to doctor it up.  I prefer canned sauces that are very basic and don't have additional sugar added in.  The problem is that the brand I fell in love with just happens to cost a lot and isn't something I could purchase all the time.  I have dabbled in making sauces from scratch and have had some success but nothing that I have been super excited about.  This recipe changed that.  The hubby and I loved this sauce.  LOVED it.  We ate it over organic gemelli pasta (I'll admit I had to look at the package to get the name of the pasta.  No way I knew that off the top of my head.) and it was delicious, especially as leftovers.  I made a few changes but nothing major (no mushrooms for me).  So glad I found this recipe.  I can't wait to make it again.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Picture Update

Roughly 26 weeks pregnant.  This may not be the best looking dress on me but it sure is one of the most  comfortable things I have to wear at the moment. 

I love all the dogs people bring to the beach.  These two were so cute. 

This meal was way more yummy than it looks.  I can't wait to make it again.  Recipe coming shortly. 

27 weeks prego.  My belly is finally getting to the uncomfortable stage.  This is my I don't want my back burnt again but I want to hang out at the beach outfit.  I originally thought those shorts were a huge waste to buy because they are super short, even to run in. But they are soo comfortable to wear at the beach, especially with that belly, so no regrets now.  

  If you don't have a diving board, a ladder is the next best thing. 

Another evening walk.  Love those!  And it's certainly a great workout. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Few Good Recipes From Around the Web

Just a few recipes from around the web that we (or in some cases, just me) have enjoyed recently:
1.  Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole: from Blabbering Thoughts The hubby and I really enjoyed this.  Because I lack most spices right now (can't wait until they arrive), I used fresh garlic with the potatoes instead of using garlic powder, and I used cayenne red pepper instead of paprika.  I also used white onions in addition to the green onions which gave it a little extra something.  I will be making this again very soon. 

2. Southwestern Black Bean Salad: from Snack The Planet.  I made this to go with tortilla chips the night we had hamburgers.  It was delicious, especially as leftovers.  I used can corn, white onion, and subbed the chili powder for cayenne red pepper.  I don't think the spice was necessarily needed.  It would have been just as good with more lime.  So yummy and so easy to make. 

3. Shredded Brussels Sprouts: from  I didn't shred the sprouts, just halved them.  I skipped the pine nuts because I lacked them and because of personal preference.  This dish was so delicious.  It has to be my favorite Brussels sprouts recipe of all time.  I originally picked it because of the ingredients I happened to have on hand and because it doesn't call for the use of balsamic vinegar, which many Brussels sprouts recipes do.  So glad I gave it a try.  I didn't miss the balsamic vinegar at all, in fact, I preferred its absence.  And no, I did not make all 2 lbs of the dish, though I did have that many sprouts on hand. I thought it would be too much for just one person but this dish did make great leftovers so I probably should have just gone ahead with the full recipe.  

I think I am finally understanding the bacon obsession people have.  BACON!!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Few New Pictures

One of my only mirror belly pictures.  Jon bought me that bathing suit when we were dating (almost 5 years ago).  It happens to be the only bathing suit I own that keeps me decently modest at the beach right now.  Best purchase ever.  Good thing we got married and hes the babies daddy. 

Delicious snow cones.  Best part was when we got to the vanilla ice cream on the bottom. Yum! 

Jon mentioned once that he noticed flowers will randomly pop up and then disappear here, almost day by day.  I had no idea what he meant until one day this big flower just appeared in front of our condo. 

Just a random picture of the beach I like to hang out at.  Taking a break from that though because I am apparently really awful at applying sunscreen on my too white, now red, back.  Gotta wait until Jon is around to apply it for me. 

Just a random picture of Jon that I happen to really like despite the not perfect quality. 

Picture from my first time seeing the beach at night.  Only took me a few weeks. 

A gorgeous flower by the temple. 

The view from the temple. 

A random Brazilian food truck.  Jon's new favorite thing!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Griffith Observatory

Right before we left California we went down to LA to visit family.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law took us to the Griffith Observatory.  It is an extremely crowded place (just beware) but that is because there is so much to do there.  You can visit for the great view of LA (so many wedding pictures being done), the planetarium show, the exhibits, or to hike the surrounding trails.  We just went for the view and the exhibits.  I have learned in recent years that I am not much of a museum person, but despite that and my pregnancy induced laziness, it was still really fun.  I recommend visiting the next time you are in LA.  Now for a few pictures: