Saturday, July 31, 2010

Food Memories

So, I thought of my wonderful grandma twice this week (well more than twice, but twice while eating) and it got me thinking of Food Memories at least I know for my family we have a lot... hmmm might be the reason for my expanding waist line? lol. Food brings us comforting memories that couldn't be recreated other wise.


When it comes to Grandma and Papa's the food memories could just keep flying out-if you have even seen her pantry you know why!The two things that prompted this blog were Grams Chinese Chicken Salad and her full proof way of removing grease from pans ;).



For anyone who doesn't have the recipe here it is, in Grandma's own handwriting (which is special enough in itself).
And because I am lazy, to shred the cabbage I used my mini chopper-which runs in our family too (the mini chopper not the laziness LOL).
Here is is yummy goodness that brings me back to my grandma's house.
A closer look at the goodness;chicken,almonds (my favorite part), cabbage,top ramen noodles & I used sunflower seeds.
I couldn't resist! Yummy , and yes that is me with no makeup and my p.j's and almost noon today-I was in the mood for a relaxing day :).
What also, reminds me of Grams every time- is sticking a fabric softener sheet in a greasy pan, let it sit for a bit and wa la comes of like nobodies business.P.s I share this trick with anyone who will listen (even with some ladies once in line for a movie they were talking about how to get tough grease off pans- and I shared this tid bit).

Grandma- (ugh I knew I was going to be a blubbering mess typing this) You are amazing there are so many things that remind me how much of a wonderful person you are which we ALL look up to. Squeezy cheese, your oven fried chicken, your thanksgiving stuffing, the turkey cooker are all things that instantly turn my mind to you- I don't know any other grandma who stock piles her pantry with at least one favorite thing for each grand child. I miss you tremendously, but please know I think about you and pop's all the time and with every bone in my body I KNOW we have the best grandparents ever-I love you!

Heather- So much reminds me of you too- Ok really our Taco Bell runs, I think they would be scared when they saw us pull up because we would order everything from the right side of the menu (and a few from the left too). Chilis to go, Red Robin to go lol Your cheesy potatoes , queso dip! You are another one of my role models, you are the perfect older sister-caring, but sometimes pushy (when you need to be), you showed me how to have fun and be responsible, to put family first and always be there for each other. You always tell it like it is , but you will always follow it up with a hug. I laugh and love with no other as much as I do with you- and when Shmo Shmo is in the mix world watch out! At least I know no matter how old we get...we will always be 16 together lol LOVE you!

Mom- Christmas cookies,bacon fried rice,chicken tacos all remind me of you.Thank you for always being there not only to put food on the table for us , but for everything.When it was just the 4 of us I think we had the time of our lives,although the situation was created out of some hard times it created a bond for us that was indestructible.I miss yo so much and appreciate all the calls and notes letting me know that your thinking of me. I love you so much and still appreciate everything you sacrificed to make us happy. You raised some great kids, because you are an amazing mother and person (your grand kids will/have the best grandma in the world too)!

Sorry, I wasn't trying to make this blog so mushy, but I wanted you three ladies to know how much I love and miss you guys xoxo...Damn food memories lol

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Outrageous Commitment ... Fussing, Fighting and managing mess in your relationship.


Ok,so this picture has nothing to do with this post, but I just started using Photo Bucket (thanks to my honey buns) and it makes blogging/posting pictures soooo much easier.Plus, you can do fun stuff with your photos too, for FREE!

Back to the post -Last night was the last session of Outrageous Commitment at Bayside ;(, I'm kinda sad about it. Well last night was all about how to fight fair in your marriage/relationship.

So here we go: FYI, from Dr. Ronn an imperfect marriage is the only one available-because you picked an imperfect mate, and so did they. You just need to trust in each other to be willing to do something imperfectly , but with the perfect intention.

Conflict is good it means you have an intimate relationship where there are issues that are important to both of you, but there is just two different ideas on how to solve it.
Problems are bad, that is when conflicts didn't get managed.

Dr. Ronn described 3 common mess management styles-it is up to you to understand which kind of fighter you and your mate are.

Style #1 Dramatic Debaters
This persons number 1 desire is to come out the declared winner-they have lots of words, steel trap memory, very analytical,logical,decisive. They will wear you out with words; they will criticize you, flip the story (so the finger points at you) and accuse.
Not prone to crying, but building their case. They will use manipulation to try and win the argument.
WHY they do this- their great fear is loss of control. They try to just shut it down, and in their favor.
What they NEED to do- we need to speak the truth and love. but we need to also, listen and speak in love. Trying to expose faults or wrongs-even if it is the truth , your hitting the bulls eye but it's hitting your mates heart. Your mate might still cook you breakfast and still take care of the kids, but will become increasingly disconnected from the heart, self and affection (and maybe give it to someone else). You may say what's on your mind once (not rottenly) and then shut up.

Style #2 Silent Stuffers
This person has issues/concerns, but tries to avoid conflict and debate. There is a fear to say it because they don't want to upset their mate . They instead would rather have their mate figure it out-If you love me then you should know, I should not have to say it. They won't share what hurt them, angered them or what they want.Their fear is their mate might get mad, they might get lonely or they will be told how emotional or ridiculous they are.
WHY they do this- Their fear of feeling inadequate.
What they NEED to do-They need to open up their mouths and speak. If we speak truth and love to each other than we grow up-become emotionally mature. They want peace, but it's almost at any expense, we can't grow where we are if we don't talk about where we are. Then you might sacrifice the peace your looking for-if you stuff and stuff and stuff you will become enraged. Their need is to speak bold,it might not feel good but it does good-people might not want to hear it but they need to.

Style #3 Cautious Campaigner
This person uses words, but they are vague, non specific, tip toe around the issue. They feel if they get to the meat of the issue, they won't get your approval.They feel if they never get specific, then they won't say something you don't like. They also, don't want to lose your visual/verbal affection.Like a campaigner they try and avoid controversial topics-they get their self esteem/approval from the relationship.
WHY they do this-Fear of loss of approval.
What they NEED to do-For the sake of the relationship they have to say things your mate might not approve of.

So, once you determine what style you are (and what you can do to improve your conflict style)here are some starting places to get that improvement moving (it's progression not all at once).

DO attack the problem and not the person.When you attack the issues you are doing it as partners (working together) when you attack each other you are opponents.

Explain your feelings, but don't express it all over the place. Just because you feel something you don't HAVE to let it out-there is no license to act out your anger or all of your emotions. Not everything on your mind needs to be expressed (Dr. Ronn used the example of a couple in therapy, where the husband told his wife he was disgusted and repulsed by her-did he feel it , yes-was it true, yes-did he need to share it-NO!

Move to a resolution. Even if you have to stop an argument half way through if it's going no where.

Inform your mate without trying to transform them.

and lastly(which I don't think a lot of people do-b/c honestly, I never thought of it),
Set policy and procedure for fighting.Should talk about what's off limits (like cussing). Dr. Ronn gave examples from him and his wife. His wife said that if she has been crying through the argument that he should come over to hold her, even if she tries to pull away. He wanted her to recognize that whenever he stops talking (and just grunts) that means his feelings are hurt and she needs to stop and tell him how much he means to her.

Alrighty, so next class-parenting...he he just kidding not jumping to that yet.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bon Voyage Uncle Tom

This weekend we went to a going away party for Greg's uncle, Tom. They are moving to Florida after living in San Francisco 22 years. Needless to say we had a great weekend and even better tour guides.


Greg, Me, Uncle Tom, Uncle Jack



Before we left me and my cute lil helper made going away cupcakes, Florida Style!


After baking the cupcakes and they cool, my new favorite yum factor is adding a filling inside.This is The Easy Vanilla Bean Cupcake Filling- I got the recipe from one of my favorite magazines The Mixing Bowl.Here is the recipe...

1 3.4 ounce box french vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbs. vanilla bean paste (I haven't been able to find this so I just use vanilla extract)

(1)prepare pudding according to package directions, but instead of 2 cups milk, use the 1 cup milk and 1 cup whipping cream.Add vanilla paste and mix well.
(2)Chill for at least 20 minutes before using as filling for cupcake.

I put in a pastry bag and squeeze in the middle of the cupcake until it pops out the top.


My Decoration ideas came from my newest favorite baking book "What's New, Cupcake?"









The whole messy family (working on the perfect part, but at least they tasted yummy).

Hello San Fran!

Not a bad view for just a hour and a half drive.



Our other favorite tour guide auntie Vickie!Love her.



We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant in China Town.


walking around, window shopping...being tourists.


On our way to Coit Tower. The cars are parked at a 90 degree angle, steep , very steep. Coit tower was built as a memorial for the Fire Department, it's supposed to resemble the top of a fire hose.


Once, we got up there it was a beautiful view. And... I saw the neatest thing a self cleaning bathroom- here's the user info.



Views around town.




Ok, had to take a picture of Tommy's-it reminded me of my dad and it's one of the things I remember from our family trip YEARS ago.


Yummy Hot Cocoa, it was nice being in a climate cold enough to want a warm drink. We ate at this neat diner-Al's. A ll of the Waitresses are like 70 and older- we met the oldest working waitress in United States, she is 81 and the sweetest thing ever. When we left she gave us hugs and kisses on the cheek (leaving a hint of her red lipstick).

We will miss you Uncle Tom, but can't wait to visit you and the sandy beaches.

PART 2: Outrageous Commitment

Now that I can breathe (my interview is over, yeah great experience...we will see) I can catch you up on what has been going on in our neck of the woods. As you know Wednesday came and passed, and as a result of Outrageous Commitment class I have 6 pages of notes on how to not just think about the impossible when it it comes to relationships, but how to do something about it.

I love what Dr. Ronn said about women- we should not apologize for wanting to share our emotions or needing that reassurance of our love, that is how God made us. And ultimately, our goal is to imitate the kind of love he gives to us. Men, it's important to know that even if you shower us with words one day, telling us in nouns, verbs and adjectives how deep your love is for expires at midnight and we need it again :).

So our Action plan for both women to men and men to women in becoming bilingual in love...

Women to Man:

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit,but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others. (These Actions aren't for giving up what's our best interests, but to think of ours and his).

1. What you desire him to do consistently, you must applaud him consistently.
Now, I know what your thinking -why should I have to applaud him for taking out the trash or mowing those are things he should be doing. But think about it don't you liked being thanked on how nicely you cooked that dinner or how sparkling the toilet is ?

Side note: I have been trying to do this a lot more lately, and I am actually loving it-he deserves to hear what a great job he is doing in everything, it makes me STOP and instead of thinking about what I need in that moment and share with him what I appreciate.
P.S I think that since I have been aware of this rule and what I need to do for him, I have noticed him applauding things I do...

Men have a much better change in response when you point out what he is doing RIGHT. ;) Applaud those baby steps, and eventually they will become man steps.

Scenario Dr. Ronn used is:
Husband comes home and you ask about his day.
Husband: I am good, work was good.

Wife: DON'T say -what that is all you got ? please share some details so I feel like I am a part of your world (lol ok exaggeration)

DO say-Thank you I love it when you share how you are, I am glad that you had a great day and that's important to me.

Then he will want to do the DAZZLE factor. Husband(thinking to himself):What she thinks I am a good communicator I thought I sucked at it? well if she thought that was good watch this...

When you tell your man how wonderful he is, he will show you wonderful.

2. How to Communicate Effectively-First, get to the bottom line. Then add the details.

The why- Guys won't likely go to your world of ideas if they don't know where it's headed. They want to be prepared so that at the end they can be ready and good at if you need their advice or opinion. Also, if you tell them the main point up front they will be more likely to listen (is this going to be a happy or sad story,do I need to shut up or talk,will I have to do something at the end) instead of thinking.

Dr. Ronn says if you don't know what the headline is DON'T process it with him! Spend some time with Jesus and a legal pad and then go to him with "We don't spend enough time together. "
3.Give him time to process his emotions (and understand yours).

Dr. Ronn described men at Dial up- processing one thing at a time. Women are like DSL-All over the place.
Men do not start processing your words until you have stopped talking, where as women process while talking. If you make the man answer you right there before processing-it will be something he can do immediate, like telling you he doesn't understand or argue about how you said something. It will end up an argument about the argument instead of the issue.

Instead after you talk to him say, after you process I would like to hear your opinion, I am looking forward to what you have to say and I appreciate when you have time to share.

Man to Women

1. First, put it into words. Let her know what she means to you! don't just show it, say it-go that extra mile.

Man might say why do I need to tell her I am sorry for not listening , if now I fixed the problem and when were talking I'm looking at her -she needs to hear it!
Why do I need to tell her that I am choosing to come home to her because I love and appreciate her instead of just coming home-she needs to hear it!

Ears need to HEAR before she can SEE the action.
Using your words is not an obligation, but an opportunity to increase intimacy and a long life together.

2. (Like this one) Listen without advising, instructing or providing solutions unless she asks for it. Men think that it's weird that we would want to talk to them even if we don't need input-they jump into the role of wanting to tend/help/fix. But we think your our man and you care how we feel and we JUST sometimes need your interest and concern in our life.

3.Initiate physical affection that doesn't have to lead to sex. Again, this is where man goes into action of tender/keeper-we got the equipment and we know the process, let's get started.
Women sees it as passion- you don't get the body fully if you haven't been receptive to the rest of it (our mind, input or company). If you want that special Friday night, you need to start on Monday- showing her all of her parts matter!

Wow, ok so as you can tell Wednesday was pretty fantastic - it really has given me a fresh perspective on Greg and mines relationship. It still amazes me how you can continue to fall in love with someone...but it happens.

Next week-How to solve conflicts/problems!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our Christmas Vacation

So this weekend we were able to redeem our
Christmas present to each other, a trip to
Lake Tahoe. It was really Pretty and
most of the time we ate
(even went to a buffet), but all the calories
were worth it we had a blast!

Best part: Sitting at the beach watching
the sunset go down with Kellie Pickler
singing in the back ground
(her and Rascal Flatts were playing in concert there)
, one of those perfect moments!

Hiking at Echo lake!

All gussied up for dinner, I lost $30 at the penny slots so upset :), guess who was staying at our hotel? Snoop Dog-Forshizzle lol.

So we decided it would be fun to go on a Gondola ride (in the right hand corner of the fountain) pretty view up almost 10, 000 ft -no problem.

Going up!

and up!

So cool at like 9000 ft. there is an observation deck
with an AMAZING view and a lil cafe-
we shared a mixed berry smoothie, YUM!

Back on the Gondola, and our next stop is a little further up and we decided to have lunch at this neat bar -b-q joint there.

Heath-I had to take a picture of the
bar b for you and J.D lol!

Really yummy hickory smoked turkey sandwich!

So then, we take a ski lift the rest of the way to the top
of the mountain...again no problem Right?

So Far so good.

Until the wind picked up, we started to shake and it stopped with a jolt...In all actuality everything was safe and sound, but I was freaking out!

I guess the view was worth it, but...

I was ready to descend!