Friday, February 27, 2009

California Dreamin' Part 2

Pelican Hill resort is located just across the highway from Crystal Cove State Park, a place so rich in history of the area, both with the "Cove-ites" who called it home and the film making industry. Check out the link if you have time. The historic district is especially interesting. Here you can see a few of the cabins that make up a small portion of the historic area of the park.

Many of the cove-ites built their cabins out of the flotsam and jetsam that washed ashore from local shipwrecks. Much of the vegetation planted near the beach is left over from movie makers - they'd come in, create the necessary landscape for their film and when they wrapped, they left their jungles behind.
For more reading about Crystal Cove Cottages, read Karen Steen's book by the same title.

The rocks that dotted the beaches of Crystal Cove were so interesting - I've never seen rocks teeming with life and layers. They added to the beauty of these unique beaches.

One of the most fascinating things about the rocks on the beach were the tide pools carved out by the surf. The walls were dotted with anemones, the floor crawling with tiny crabs and other creepies. We could have watched these living aquariums for hours.

I wanted to touch the feathery anemones but was afraid they were poisonous or more prickly than they looked!

This was one of my favorite days in southern California. Just walking along with Ken, enjoying the sights and sounds of the beach. I forget how much I love the ocean until I get there again. Probably a good thing being land-locked in central Indiana.

More soon . . .

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

California Dreamin' Part 1

Ken and I just got back from a business trip. Every year his company rewards their best customers with an extravagant, all expenses paid trip. And as Mrs. Management, I get to tag along.

This years location was beautiful, southern California at a brand new resort touted as the crown jewel of Irvine county (according to the LA Times), and they ain't kidding. Pelican Hill Resort is indeed a jewel, nestled in the hills between Newport and Laguna's beaches.

Ours was one of the first groups to stay there since they opened last November. The place is gorgeous. From the moment we arrived on the property we were treated like royalty and for a bunch of roofers, that ain't bad.

Patrick escorted us to our private villa and immediately apologized for the smallness of the room. We got the funny porter. And this is just the bedroom:

The suite was so luxurious - beautifully designed and decorated with an attention to detail I've seen in very few places.

It wasn't hard to just sit back and enjoy the room but it was a business trip and there was work to be done. Turns out my job was to enjoy some of California's fine wine and gourmet dining at the Pelican Grill. It was a lovely evening. Ken and I walked hand in hand back to our room where we fell asleep under the glow of a crackling fire.
California. Good.
Part two . . .

Friday, February 20, 2009

pistachio cake

Ashley made a special cake for her dad's birthday. It was de-lish! Dense and moist.
Recipe below.


1 box (18.25 ounces) White Cake Mix
1 Package (3.4 ounces) instant Pistachio Pudding Mix
3 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 can (12 ounces) Lemon/Lime Soda (such as 7 Up)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9"round cake pans with non stick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil and soda on medium-high for 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl after 2 minutes. Equally divide batter between prepared cake pans. Bake @ 350 for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool layers in pans for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Turn layers out on to rack and cool completely.
1 Package (3.4 ounces) Instant Pistachio Pudding mix
1 1/2 cups Milk1 Container ( 8 ounces) Frozen Whipped Topping thawed
1/2 Cup Pistachio Nuts Chopped for Garnish
In a large bowl, beat pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Fold in whipped topping.
Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and frost top with 1 cup of frosting. Place remaining layer on top and frost top and sides. Garnish with chopped nuts. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Store in refrigerator. 16 Servings
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tagged in a photo meme

tagged by Cami. tagging mom, russ, susan and nansi.
5th folder in my picture file, 5th photo:

it's a baby photo album i created for my cousin's new little baby last year. super cute. super fun.
a few more pictures are here.

seeing this makes me wonder if i ever told the mom and dad the left side of the page was designed perfectly for a portrait style 4x6 photo. hmmm. . .

Thursday, February 19, 2009

leaving on a jet plane

first of all let me apologize, faithful reader, for skipping out on this here blog. i could make excuses but i'm a firm believer you make time for the things that are important to you. i just wasn't making the time, being bed ridden and all. oops, did that excuse slip out?

i have been at deaths door! (not really, but doesn't it sound all dramatic?) actually, i had a bit of the croup. seriously. i called my mom and told her to get me in a steamy shower right away. isn't that what you do when your kids get croup? i cannot remember when i was this sick! then, in the middle of the tuberculosis outbreak, my back went out so bad i ended up in the emergency room. i'm not even kidding.

but i'm fine now! perfectly. and i'm getting ready for a trip to southern california. ken and i leave on saturday on a business reward trip. last year we went to marco island, florida where i proceeded to eat my weight in shrimp, or was that drink my weight in gin? since i can't remember it was probably the latter. good times. this year we're headed west to a brand new resort in the long beach area. it's not far from los angeles and with the oscars on sunday i'm thinking the resort where we're staying is exactly the sort of place a movie star would go - world class, private villas, golf and several restaurants with top-rated chefs. it would make my day to see someone famous. i'll be the one by the pool, in the floppy hat and glasses, drinking the cosmo. ken says people will think me the star. (wasn't that sweet?)

i don't know if i'm taking a laptop yet so blogging from the road may be difficult but i promise a full report next week upon our return.

today we're celebrating ken's 46th birthday. the day started with a cracker barrell birthday breakfast and a trip to lowe's. then ken spent a few hours in his man cave and now he's snacking a little in the lay-z-boy before we head out to dinner and ashley's getting a cake in the oven. sounds like a good day to me. happy birthday, babe. and many more.

Monday, February 9, 2009

love is in the air

or i've been sniffing too much adhesive. the latter is a pretty safe bet. i've been crafting again!

i was commissioned today for valentine's day cards. valentine's day. what is that? is that when st. peter drove the snakes out of ireland? no, wait, that's st. patty's day. i think i much prefer the pinching and beer holiday to valentine's day. all that sappy love shit. but the crafting? that i do like. here's a sneak peek at what i have so far. titillating, no?

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

girl-child's new digs

here are a few before and after shots from what used to be my guest room. with our guests gone girl-child quickly took over the space and made it her own. she worked like a fool for three days. but it turned out great and she's thrilled. and the first thing she said was, and i quote, "I'm never fuckin' moving!" :) (sorry, mom!)
she tore down the black ticking wallpaper. see the optical illusion? it was making us dizzy. the old curtains came down, and new paint went up.
this is what the room looked like when her dad left for work yesterday.
and this is what he saw when he got home last night. he was uber impressed.
i wanted to wait for daylight for the best pictures but by the time i got to her room today she'd already whirled through like a tornado to get ready for a job interview.
she took those two prints off the wall in my living room and made herself a headboard. with new window treatments, bedding and a rug she'll be set. cool, no?
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

knit happens

since i felted girl-child's very favorite pair of socks (i know!) i had no choice but to get another pair on the needles but quick! these little lovelies are trekking yarn in colorway 126. you'd think they'd come up with a better name for this wonderful stripey deliciousness! (thanks cam) any suggestions?

there was some worry they wouldn't fit but i was gently prodded to keep knitting. how could i not keep knitting with a new surprise waiting around the next row? i'm a big fan of the self-striping yarn. until i get to the second sock, that is, and drive myself MAD trying to get the damn things to match! i'm determined this time. insanity ensues.

and i'm also sworn never to wash hand-knits in the machine again. sorry, roo.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

now this is something to blog about

and brag about!

meet Timothy. ROTC's newest young officer at Arizona State. and my nephew. ROCKING the sailor's uniform, tags and all. hell yes.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009


no blog fodder here. just a few pictures of my day.
last sunday's paper on the chessboard.
the lovely flowers i bought myself at trader joe's.
love me some tj's.
i'll be back soon. promise.
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