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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Super Yummy Chili!

I dazzled my love with this recipe. It doesn't get much easier than this! Get out your Crock Pot and start cooking!

1-lb hot italian sausage (or ground beef/ground turkey/shredded chicken if you prefer)
30oz Tomato Sauce
15oz Crushed Tomatoes
14.5 oz Mexican Style Diced Tomatoes
15oz Kidney Beans
15oz Pinto Beans
15oz Black Beans
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2tsp Cumin
2 tsp chili powder

1.  Remove Sausage from casing and cook over medium heat

2. Add Tomato Sauce, Crushed Tomatoes, Mexican Style Tomatoes to crock pot
3. Open each can of beans, one at a time. Drain and rinse.
4. After you rinse each type of bean, pour them into the crock pot

4.) Add the chopped Onion to the crock pot.
5.) Throw in your spices and give it a good stir

6.) Turn the crock pot on low and let it simmer for about 4-5 hours. If you're in a time crunch you could always put it on high and that should reduce the cooking time by a couple hours
7.) And what is chili without corn bread? You have to go with the classic Jiffy Brand in the blue box. I think one box is a whopping 49 cents. Tasty and cheap.
8.)Garnish your chili with extra onions, sour cream and/or cheddar cheese if desired

How to Train your Dragon

Jared has talked about getting a Bearded Dragon for as long as I can remember. This place happens to be right next to our Starbucks:
We generally grab a cup of coffee then wander over to petco to say hello to the kitty cats that are up for adoption. When Jared and I started dating I had a very firm "no reptiles" rule. Over the last 10 months, I have studied and looked at these baby bearded dragons. I have even grown somewhat fond of them *gasp*.

Jared finally bought his baby dragon, Pandora, and she is happily adjusting to her new home in Jamul. I was even brave enough to hold her. She is really mellow and just sits in your hand. For those germophobes out there, I washed my hands before and after with soap and scalding hot water. No samenila for this one!
I'm not saying I was totally calm the first time I held her but I think I did ok. I just prayed the whole time that she would just sit there and not decide to scurry up my arm.  Please ignore the stupid look on my face.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Pics

Here's just a few more pictures of my newest nephew :)

Sporting his Chargers hat...

Baby Love

The time has finally come... my little nephew has arrived!

Tyler James William King
4/22/2010 @ 12:59pm
7lbs 2oz, 19 inches

I decided to get to the hospital at the crack of dawn as early as possible to avoid the near miss I had with the birth of my niece, Peyton. This time I strolled a cross the parking lot and calmly walked down the hall to their room.

Katie had just gotten the epidural when I got there so she was starting to feel pretty good. Good thing too because a little later I noticed these on the monitor: (and these were the small ones. all of the others were off the chart)

There was a large group of us hanging out in the waiting room and most of us ladies gradually moved to the hallway when we knew Katie was pushing. Nurses were rushing in and out of the room which sparked a tinsy amount of concern. Didn't help when we overheard the nurse asking for a vacuum then the doctor asking the nurse page Dr. So nd So for a C-Section. uhhh WHAT?!? If ever there was a time to have the hearing like a dog, it was then.

About 10 minutes later mom my came walking down the hallway (in tears) to tell us he was here. Apparently we were concerned for nothing. Katie was amazing. Pushed for 5 minutes and he was here. I am just so in love with this little guy!

I think Jared is
pretty smitten too...

And it didn't take long for TJ to find his sweet spot on auntie... as does every other baby.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Biggest Winner Challenge Final Weigh-In

The numbers are in and our team ranked 13th out of 30 teams. "Weapons of Mass Reduction" worked extremely hard and I am so proud of each of my team members! As a team we lost a total of 64 pounds. Amazing!

I have to be honest, my personal weight loss was way less than I had hoped. Only about 5 pounds in the 6 weeks. Disappointment stinks. I worked hard and ate well but my body is taking its sweet time to lose this last little bit.

Since I started working out and eating right, I have lost over 30lbs and I am down 3 pant sizes. I am very proud of my accomplishments and I am looking forward to shedding that last 15lbs. Now if my body would just hop on board...


I would like to know whose bright idea it was to make one way streets. These are the enemy of directionally challenged people. Namely, me. I've never driven downtown much and yesterday I remember why.

I joined Jared and his family at the Lyceum Theater to watch his cousin, Casey, in "The Wiz". I had to leave from the show and go directly to work so I didn't have my trusty navigator Jared with me. His directions were simple... " make a right on 4th and a Left on Gst. That will take you to the 94". Honestly, directions can't get easier than that. Unless you are me.

Feeling confident that could get to work ontime, I left the parking garage, made a right onto what I thought was 4th and eased on down the road. I passed E st. Thinking I was moving through the alphabet, I was expecting F to be next and G after than. What I saw next was Broadway (first red flag), then another street. I continued on for a couple more blocks and was greeted with C st (second red flag) then B st.. At this point I knew I was lost and there was a good chance I would never get out of downtown.

I made a left, hoping I would run into a street that would look familiar. I did. Yay! Unfortunately that street took me to the 5 so I had yet another dilema. 5 North or 5 South? I figured if I went North I would be able to find atleast one other freeway I was familiar with but if I went South, I had a 95% chance of ending up in Tijuana.

I called work to inform them I would be quite a bit later than expected. When I begged for directions talked to Nick , he asked me where I was. I told him and he simply says "5 NORTH?!Wow, you're way off.". Thanks buddy. Longer story a touch shorter... I made it to the 8 then 125 and eventually got to work.

Jared says I am no longer allowed to drive to or from downtown without him.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Last July Jared took me to his favorite Chinese Food place, Mandarin House. His rule was that I eat my food with chopsticks. If you remember, I had a little bit of difficulty getting the hang of this skill.

Since then he has let me off the hook on the whole chopstick thing. We went there last week and I decided to give it a try again. I did it! I even ate rice with them. Jared said he had to take a picture of me for proof because no one would believe I was able to do it.

View From the Top

Yesterday my dear friend, Ashley, and I braved a hike up Mt Woodson. Those of us that live in Ramona or have been to Ramona via Hwy 67 pass that lovely mountain on a weekly basis (if not more).

It isn't an easy climb. There's a paved road that goes all the way to the top and it by no means is flat or just slightly up hill. There are quite a few spots that are steep and it is definitely a challenge.

I was on the lookout for snakes but thankfully I didn't see any. Although seeing one of those slithering menances would have definitely gotten me to the top even faster. We made it to the top in 45 minutes. Not too shabby for two ladies that are trying to get into shape and haven't hiked that mountain in a LONG time.

Once we got to the top we collapsed sat on a log for a breather. Maybe 2-3 minutes after we sat down, a man came walking up the path (barely out of breath) and touches a nearby yellow pole. He looks at us sitting there and asks "Did you touch the yellow pole? You haven't officially made it to the top unless you touch the pole". Are you KIDDING me? After a minute or so I got the strength to stand up and touch the pole. I touched it twice... once for me and once for Ash. Stupid tradition!

It was a great hike and I definitely want to do it again. Especially after my brother says " I made it up in 21 minutes". Grrrr! And I was so proud of my 45. I will get you big brother! I am getting in better shape and you are getting older.

Here's Ash and I at the bottom before we started.. Looking fresh.

View from the top looking towards lakeside area

Us at the top looking not so fresh and a bit more sweaty.

Please ignore the fact that we look absolutely hideous in these pictures. Well, I do anyway..

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Again? Really?...

Some of you may remember my blog from last year about Bees in my apartment.

I killed about 10 of them yesterday. Thankfully none of them showed their ugly little bee faces today!

I. Hate. Bees!!!

They freak me out. Plain and simple. I know what you're thinking " they are just bees". Yeah but I have had bad exoeriences with bees.

When I was younger a bee landed on my shoulder so Brian took my doll and whacked the bee off my shoulder. At another time during my childhood, I was at a friends birthday party and I stepped on one and got a stinger in my foot. Felt great. I know it doesn't sound like much but for a kid it can be traumatizing.

Thankfully my apartment manager called the maintenance guy right away and I haven't seen any bees today. Lets hope that continues to be true.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sleepless in Ramona

My sister in law, Katie, is about ready to pop and I just can't stand the wait! My newest little nephew will be here any day. I feel like she is a ticking time bomb and for whatever reason, so do I. Why? She is not my wife or daughter. I am simply one of the (many) aunties to be.

I work nights so sleeping during the day is essential. I've found over the last few days that I wake up just about every hour or hour and a half completely startled and grabbing for my phone. I am terrified I will miss the phone call or text message. I do not want to miss or nearly miss his birth like I did with Peyton. This makes for a very long night at work.

I basically pace the floor at work because scared she will go into labor while I am here and I won't be able to leave. Is it wrong that I feel like the 911 callers should just be put on hold so I can rush to Pomerado Hospital and greet my little monkey?

Please hurry up little man, auntie (and mommy) is tired.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Last Thursday Jared and I went to the Carlsbad Strawberry Fields. Oh Yum!

We decided to buy the most ginormous bucket offered and fill it to the brim (and then some) with wonderful, fresh, sweet, juicy strawberries. Seriously folks, best strawberries you will ever taste!

I'm new to this whole strawberry picking thing so I wasn't sure if I should dive over step over the row of strawberries to get to the the other good looking ones in the next row (before the little girl in that row got there first) or walk to the end and move up to the entrance of the new row.

I decided to just step over the row. Being graceful as I am, I stepped over and the moment my foot touched the dirt on the other side, it went out from under me. I stumbled backwards and half slid down the row of strawberries behind me. Trying not to destroy the plant competely, I put my hand down to catch myself. What I also caught was an overly ripe and slightly dying strawberry.. with my hand. Squish. So gross. As if that wasn't enough, my foot slipped out of my flip flop and squished a nice juicy strawberry that was minding its own business on the ground.
Eh oh well. Jared had our strawberry bucket safey in his hands so none of ours were damaged by this process. It was a beautiful day and I am definitely going back to get more strawberries. Anyone want to tag along?

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Lately I have been feeling like I am stuck in the middle. I don't even know what I am stuck in the middle of. I guess I am just in a different place in life and I don't really know what to do about it. Maybe nothing? Maybe something? I feel like everyone around me is at one end of the spectrum or the other and here I sit, smack dab in the middle.

On one end I have my single friends. They aren't dating anyone and aren't really looking. On the other end I have my married (and a few engaged) friends and family.. most of them with kids. I honestly don't really know anyone in the "dating" stage of life. Don't get me wrong, I am most definitely enjoying the "dating" stage of my life. I just don't like the feeling of not relating to the people in those other stages of life.

Then there's church. I love the church Jared and I go to. But I don't feel connected there either. I would love to get involved in a weekly bible study. Problem is that most of them are on nights that I work. Most of them are geared towards married/engaged couples and others are geared towards single women. Again.. I don't fit into any of those categories. Why not a group for dating couples? We need help figuring out life too!

Ugh. What's a girl to do?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Miracle Baby

I wonder how many of you panicked when you read the title and saw the ultra sound picture :). Chill out peeps, its not me! Good grief. I am pretty sure my mom is going to show up at my door in 30 seconds and beat me for that little start.

This little one belongs to my friends Tom and Desiree. I met Tom at Vanguard University. When he started dating Des, she came to Vanguard to visit and stayed in my dorm room. We clicked immediately. So, a couple years later when she decided to move to Orange County, we became roommates. She was an incredible roommate and we had sooooo much fun together!
Fast foward to 2004 when her and Tom got married. They moved to Bakersfield and planned on starting a family a couple years later. But things didn't going according to their plans.

It is funny how our plans are not always God's plans. He does things or allows things that we may not ever understand. Getting pregnant has not come easy for my dear friends. In fact, at times it seems that there has been more heartbreak than joy. Despite all they have faced, their faith has stayed strong and they have continued to press on. This is their third IVF implant. Desiree is 6 weeks along and everything looks great.

Yesterday Jared and I were able to meet up with them in Carlsbad for lunch. They were dying to meet Jared. They have seen me face plenty of heartbreak and they are overjoyed that God has blessed me with such an incredible man. We had a great time chatting and sharing memories.

I am so excited for my friends. I don't even know if "excited" is even the right word. I have to admit though, there is about 1% of me that is still a little nervous. I am praying that this baby holds on to its mommy. I don't want to see my friends face another loss. They are really amazing people and will be fantastic parents.

So my dear friends and readers, please please please PLEASE pray for Tom, Desiree and baby Vigo. Pray this baby sticks, that it grows perfectly and that we see this little ones face sometime in November or December. Pray hard people!

Congratulations Tom and Desiree! I love you both so much!