Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If you like Kate Gosselin - Don't read this post

I'm a big fan of 'Dancing With The Stars'. 


I'm not a big fan of Kate Gosselin.


Seriously... WHY is she even on this show? Why is she on ANY show?! I used to be a fan of 'Jon & Kate Plus 8'... back when Jon was still working a desk job and Kate still worked at the hospital on Saturdays... my how things have changed since then. It's pathetic, and it's sad. Even though Jon is looking a little less than stellar these days, I still like him more than Kate. 


I think a prime example of Kate's awfulness can best be witnessed on this past Monday's DWTS. Tony Dovolani (her 'partner') has always been known as this 'great guy'. He's super kind, happy, and so supportive of his partners... and has been this way for many seasons.


So when Tony basically 'quits' because of Kate... um... yeah... something MUST be up. That's so unlike Tony - and the drama that unfolded... well... that's so Kate: always demeaning, always condescending, and always playing the 'victim'. 

And to find out that she's STILL on the show for another week... bleck... I instantly feel sick to my stomach. 

Can anyone honestly give me a good reason to 'like' that woman?


Personally, I find her as revolting as that stupid hair cut she donned.
(and don't get me started on how much her extensions cost!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Best Thing I Ever Ate - Ice Cream

Have you seen that show on the Food Network called 'Best Thing I Ever Ate'? If you haven't, then basically all this show does, is have different 'foodies' on there that talk about their favorite things to eat. They have different 'categories' for each episode, and some times I like it, sometimes I don't. I guess it just depends on what their eating... and who's eating it. (some of those people really bug me)

Anyway, if I were to do an episode on ice cream, I would have more than one flavor. I can't help it. I love many different ones. An old standby is Mint Chocolate Chip from Baskin Robbins. I tell you, I haven't found a better one. I LOVE the 'flecks' of chocolate vs the 'chunks' that some other brands use. Ask Bob... if it has chunks, I won't eat it. 

Well, I just happened to stumble upon a new flavor at Baskin Robbins that I completely adore. It takes me back to when I was first married and living in Connecticut. There's a restaurant/ice cream chain that is really popular back there - Friendly's. Anyway, in stores you can buy Friendly's Watermelon Roll. It was heavenly. A watermelon and lemon (? I think...) sherbet that was shaped like a slice of watermelon, and it had little chocolate 'seeds' on the inside. I thought I had discovered and tasted some magical food from the gods... it really was that good. 

So, imagine my delight when Bob brought home 'Watermelon Ice' from Baskin Robbins. (Unfortunately, he had made the detrimental mistake of only bringing himself a scoop of that  wonderful goodness, but fortunately we were able to work through it and now we have an 'understanding'). This watermelon sherbet comes complete with the chocolate seeds, and makes me super happy when it enters my mouth. 



So what are you waiting for? 
GO GET SOME!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Butterflies Batman - this is harder than I thought!

So I was going for this:


And I ended up with this:




And I settled with this:




Yeah... this was WAY harder than I thought it would be.

A friend of mine is the best 'thrower of parties' EVER and for her daughter's 3rd birthday she wants to do a 'Mad Hatter Tea Party' complete with super cool cupcakes. (yes, I'm wildly jealous as I cannot for the life of me think of what I'm going to do for Claire's party and it's only a couple of weeks away...) So to prepare for her party, she decided to turn it into a 'Moms Night Out' event with some of our mom friends. I actually love that kind of stuff so we decided to gather all our cupcake decorating tools and have a 'practice night' before the real event. So I went to Barnes & Noble and found this super cool cupcake book and in it, was the directions for these Monarch Butterflies. They made it sound SO easy - just melt some chocolate in ziplock bags, add some tape on the corner to reinforce the bag, snip a small hole, and then 'outline' your butterflies. (you can see the pattern I was trying to 'trace' in the background of my photos). So just to be on the safe side, I decided to give it a try today, before we have the 'practice night', which again is before the real 'event'.

Yeah... SO HARD! First, the melting of the chocolate is tricky. The first time I didn't melt it enough, the second time the bag was so hot it kind of burned my hands, but it hardened quickly.... totally stressed me out. 

I guess it's back to the drawing board. Or maybe I can find an easier animal... 



Friday, March 26, 2010

"This is STRAIGHT UP Goldilocks & the 3 Bears"

That's what I told Bob after I tasted my dakjuk 
(which is a Korean chicken & rice porridge). 

Since I had a bit more time today I thought that I'd try and make the '2 hour porridge' that I didn't make last night. The recipe is super simple, it just takes time. Although there were a few things that confused me. For instance, I'm not quite sure what I was supposed to do with the chicken. I mean, you cook the chicken in the pot, add the rice an hour and half later, and then you take the chicken out right before you serve it. The recipe also talks about 2 'dipping sauces', but it doesn't actually say what it's for... so I'm assuming it's for the chicken... but do you put the chicken in the porridge? Or just eat it separate.

I need play by play directions... otherwise... I just get confused.

As for the dish itself, it tasted pretty good. I like how thick it was, and it's definitely something I'd want to eat when I'm sick. It's comfort food at its best. I added a big handful of spinach (I actually love cooked spinach) and I thought that was a nice touch.

But I gotta keep it real. I don't know how 'food bloggers' do it. I mean, I can barely follow a recipe, let alone remember to take photos... and photos that actually look awesome! I'm sure it doesn't help that I have ugly kitchen counters, and horrible lighting that makes all things look yellow. So that's why you're not seeing a picture of my porridge.

Next week I'm making some cupcakes with a girlfriend, so that should be fun. Maybe I should switch to baking... I can do that when the lighting is better... yeah... that's it.

Oh, and if you want to try and make the chicken and rice porridge, HERE'S where you can find the recipe.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Change is a comin'

... and no, this is NOT some political post...


... but rather, it's about me...


(are you still reading? or did I just lose everyone?)



Lately, I've been totally jealous inspired by my friend Bree's blog. I've known her as this amazing photographer, but little did I know that she's an amazing baker as well! So you mix those things together and you get one cool chick with crazy mad skills. And honestly... I want to be just like her. 

But if I'm being realistic and honest with myself... well... that's one goal that is just too lofty to achieve. I rarely cook, occasionally bake (I'm actually kind of scared of ovens), and I have no clue how to use Photoshop (or even the 'manual' setting on my camera). So instead of wallowing in self-pity over the fact that I'm not nearly as cool, I'm opting to go for the status of 'mediocre'. 

I'm actually not kidding. I mean, if expectations are 'low' to begin with, then chances are I can come out looking half-way decent! Brilliant plan if you ask me. 

So to start off, this is what I made for dinner:


Yeah. That's right. There's nothing there. I ate it all, and didn't think of taking a photo until after I was done. (but at least I took a photo... which I think technically puts me one step ahead of being mediocre...) I wanted to make this chicken porridge I saw online from a Korean cook/blogger (yes, I'm still on my Korean kick) but I was too hungry to wait the full 2 hours required to make it. So instead, I took the liberty of substituting this for that, here and there, and I ended up with something that was kind of similar to 'war won ton soup' that would get at a Chinese restaurant (except there were no won tons, shrimp, water chestnuts, pork and I added egg). 

Here's the recipe:

A carton of chicken stock (I think it said it was around 4 cups)
Daikon radish (got this at Raley's, so you don't need a Asian Grocery store to find it)
Green Onion (I think they're also called scallions)
Minute rice (don't laugh)
Spinach (just a bag of it from the salad aisle)
3 eggs (but that was too many, so maybe 2?)
Rotisserie Chicken

I put the chicken stock in a large pot. I can't remember if I added water to it. I think maybe I did. Maybe 2 cups? I honestly can't remember. I took about 1/3 of the daikon radish (I had a pretty big one), peeled it with a vegetable peeler, and then cut it into thin slices (I cut then cut them in half so they weren't too big.) I took 1 green onion and cut it diagonally into thin slices and threw that, with the daikon into the chicken stock. I brought it to a boil, and threw in a big handful of spinach and added a few turns of my sea salt grinder.  Then I took the eggs, and beat them in a bowl. I read that you're supposed to 'turn' the egg in, or something like that, and I had NO CLUE what that meant. So I just slowly poured it in back and forth (it started to look like egg flower soup). I also read that you should let it sit for 10 seconds so the egg cooks in the broth before stirring. I let it sit for longer because I was afraid that it would be runny (um... yeah... no need to worry about that. Once I finally did stir it, I found a freakishly huge omelette sitting in the bottom of my pot, so I had to break it it up  - hence why I said use less egg). 

I had started the minute rice first, so it was done by the time I was ready for it. I put some in the bottom of a bowl, and then shredded some of the rotisserie chicken and added that to the rice. Then I added the 'soup' mixture on top of the rice/chicken. 

And wonders of wonders, it actually tasted good!

Even Bob liked it  (and Claire too). So now I have something super easy to make that sounds really weird, but tastes pretty decent (it is on the salty side... but I like salt). 

So that's going to be my new 'change'. My new 'challenge' so to speak. I'm going to try to cook/bake more, and just hope for mediocre results. Maybe just going through the motions will make me better. Or maybe I'll find that I actually enjoy it. Or maybe I'll fail miserably. 

But what ever happens, what ever the results, I'll be sure to document it. Just be prepared for mediocre photographs... as I said before. I don't know how to use Photoshop. 




Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Haiku



like small glass slippers
they'll take her on adventures
will she meet a prince?


* I took the liberty of using [they'll] as a single syllable  - so don't hate me all you hard core Kaiku-ers out there

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring is HERE!



and with it....


comes lots of little things...


that I find particularly gross.

*sigh* 

I guess this is just preparing me for when we get our son. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The first step, is admitting you have a problem...

Addiction. To be honest, I never understood it. I've never had a 'vice' or a 'dependancy' on something where I felt the need to do it everyday (well.. eating food ... but that's not the same, right?). 

But sadly, I can no longer say that I'm free of that perspective. I now know what it's like to be under the control of something else. To have the feeling, no... craving... of wanting more - needing more. When I start, I can't stop. I think to myself, 'this is the last time, after this, no more.' But I find that I grow anxious when I know it'll end, and I'm already rationalizing why I'll do another. It's all I'll think about - my last thought before I go to sleep, the first image when I awake. It's effecting my sleep habits, and emotionally, I'm all over the place. 

If you know me, you wouldn't suspect it. If you saw where I lived, it's the last thing that would cross your mind. Even now, as ashamed I am for how much time I've wasted, I still have the desire. But I know if I allow myself even 5 minutes, I'll be hooked... and I won't be able to stop. It really does have that much control over me. 

I'm sure you're wondering what it is I'm talking about. And I'm going to warn you now that the rest of this post might be hard for some of you to read. And if you choose not to, I completely understand. I just hope as I share my burden with you, that you'll still try and think of me as the person you always knew, and not think of me differently. 

What I'm talking about - my obsession that I can't quit - has a few different names. If you're familiar with any one of them, you'll know it instantly. 

It's been referred to as BOF, BBF and even simply, F4. 

And yes... it's a Korean Drama

Korean Dramas are CAH - RAZY. There's no other way to explain them. It's kind of like a cross between Gossip Girl and Telemundo (but minus the sex - there are ZERO 'adult situations' in Korean Dramas - or at least the ones I've seen) BOF/BBF stands for 'Boys Over Flowers' (or Boys Before Flowers) which still to this day, I have no idea what that has to do with the drama itself. BOF is a drama that mostly takes place at Shin Hwa Highschool - a school that was created for the rich and elite living in Seoul, Korea. It supports the top 1% of the wealthiest families in Seoul, and is almost impossible to get into if you aren't already. They don't welcome outsiders and all the kids there worship F4 (Flower 4 - for they are more beautiful that flowers) which is lead by the heir to the Shinhwa corporation (Joon Pyo), and consists of Ji Hoo, Bin Woo, and Yi Jung. Add to the mix, Jan Di, a poor 'commoner' who is not afraid of the F4 and becomes intertwined in their world. 

After watching all 25 episodes, I found the following to be true:
  • Feminine hair cuts on boys aren't that bad. (okay, maybe they still are)
  • Who says wearing silk ascots, or 3 piece suits to school isn't stylish?
  • It's definitely okay to punch someone in the face (even your friends) but if you get punched, you can't hit back.
  • Scream out in anguish a lot. It's good to get the emotions out.
  • If someone has 'wronged' you and it majorly affects your life, don't say anything or ask for help, just bear it quietly.
  • A manly trait is to have a 24 inch waist.
But seriously - the writers of Korean Dramas.... I don't know WHERE they come up with these things. The stuff that 'Jan Di' goes through... it's out of control... and no one can do 'cliff hangers' like they do. 

And just so you have a little visual: 



From Left to Right:
Woo Bin - a son of a mobster
Yi Jung - pottery maker/playa/Kenny G wannabe
Joon Pyo: heir to the Shin Hwa Group (I heart Joon Pyo!)
Jan Di: heroine extraordinaire/maker of annoying facial expressions
Ji Hoo: melancholy/violin & piano player/wearer of solid white

During each episode I think I snickered, laughed and cried. The first episodes are good - they set up the story, but around episode 10 or so (I can't quite remember there's 25 in all) it gets REALLY good... and then then the last 7 or 8, they just FLEW by because I couldn't watch it fast enough. They really pack a ton of info into each episode, so if you skip one, you miss out on a ton that can be important in an episode down the road. 

And while I loved, love, LOVED, Boys Over Flowers... another one achieved to suck me in. 

SHINING INHERITANCE


From Left to Right:

Joon Sae: LOVE HIM, LOVE HIM, LOVE HIM
Seung - Mi: beautiful - but... um... just watch and find out...
Eun - Sung - Heroine & all around great person
Hwan:  Eh, not my favorite, but liked him more towards the end. 

I don't want to give away too much because it's a MUST SEE. The writing is REALLY good in this one. Better than BOF, and I think it would appeal to more viewers. So if you're just going to check out one,  see this one (and even a certain spouse of the male kind that lives in my home with me likes this one  - but he shall remain nameless)

So go to: http://www.dramafever.com  
and in the search box enter 'Shining Inheritance' or 'Boys Over Flowers' and they'll take you to the entire series. It comes complete with subtitles, and the occasional 20 second commercial (and just so you know, it'll probably be the same commercial every time, and they'll pop up at the weirdest times also)

So there you go. That's my vice. My drug. My poison. 
And I love every. single. minute.

Although when I explained the story line of BOF to my sister and my LOVE of F4 our conversation went a little like this:

Her: And... didn't you say they're all supposed to be in highschool?
Me: Yeah... but the girl is like 19 and a '2nd year' and F4 is a couple of years older than her... so I'm thinking their schooling is different...
Her: So... basically it's like 'Saved By The Bell' but older?

Yeah... um... no.

Don't disrespect F4... don't disrespect them.
Or I might have to come over to your house, and put a red card in your locker.
(if you see the series, you'll understand what I'm talking about)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

i need to say this quietly...

... in case the girl 'hears' me and I jinx it...


... but we gave Potty Training another try...


... and it's going (dare I say it) great!


... she actually pooped 3 times today...


... and TOLD ME that she had to go first!


... this is HUGE...


... do you remember what happened last time

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's OFFICIAL!

Our 'Wait' has officially begun!

Today in the mail I got a letter stating that we're officially in the Waiting Child Program and it included notarized copies of our homestudy. It's SOOOOO nice to have all that paper work done...

... it just means that we get to start the next pile. Yep... I have to download some more forms and send off a copy of our homestudy to get some sort of 'approval' to adopt Internationally. I'm not actually sure what this next phase is... but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Anyway, this is a big milestone. Just brings us one more step closer to meeting our son.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh man... wrong AGAIN!

Okay... I think I finally got it right this time.

Just found out that our Homestudy should be notarized ANY day now.... like... it may have already happened, or it'll be tomorrow (that's how 'any' I'm taking about!).  And once that happens, it'll be sent to Oregon, and then we're 'officially' waiting. (we'll also receive 3 copies of the homestudy but I don't think anyone really cares about that... am I right?)

I also found out that currently, there are about 25 'homestudy ready' families in the Waiting Child Program. Approximately half of them are requesting 'girls only', and the others are open to either gender. (we're requesting a boy) Turns out that alot of 'minor conditions' that we're open to, are now 'requirements' for parents in the 'regular' program to be open to... so I'm thinking that's going to cause our wait time to increase (as we were hoping for those 'conditions' to be our 'best case scenario').

Another thing that was clarified, is that when a referral comes through the WCP (Waiting Child Program), the director will pull all the 'homestudy ready' families that are open to what ever 'conditions' the child has. If there are a lot of them, then more than likely, they'll go by how long they've been waiting. (but that's not a hard and fast rule) If you get a call from the director, then you have been the ONLY family that has been contacted. Once you review the file, and accept, there are a few little forms and papers that you have to fill out, and then the referral will be an official 'match'. The 'committee' that I was talking about before only happens with the children that have been 'photolisted' (like the little boy that I had 'found' a few weeks ago).

Anyway, that might sound like a lot of 'blah... blah... blah...', but it actually gives me a little bit of encouragement in our process. Progress is being made, and it'll be fun to see what happens.
 
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