Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Guess what... My Mother Is The Best!

So guess what, yea you guessed it, because you read the title, but I'm still going to say it...


I know everyone says it, but I am so blessed to have this woman as my mother, I honestly think she is the best!
She has always been there for me, and she has given up so much for me.
She cares for everyone, she has reached out to my friends in many ways. 
She has always supported Michael and I's relationship, even when she was disappointed or didn't approve of choices we made when we were young, she still stood by us and always encouraged us through God.
She has been dealt some pretty tough shit through her life, and even though it hasn't all gone over smoothly, she has survived, and came out even stronger in her life and in her faith,
and it just amazes me.

She blesses us with her marvelous cooking skills, and even when funds are low, she still finds a way to come visit when she can.
She is the only mother I know of that comes over for sleepovers. Where we talk, watch movies, sometimes drink and paint our nails. Sometimes going out shopping together.
For her birthday I took her out and we got her nose pierced.

This woman has raised me, and been my mother, but yet has also turned out to be one of my best friends.

As family, of course we get tired of each other, have fights or get snippy at each other.
but all things considering, she is the most incredible woman I've ever met and I'm so blessed to be her child.

Happy mothers day to all the mothers out there, but most of all, to my Mom. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Easter We Welcomed Ruby Etta Robbe to the Family and a quick update to follow

Almost a whole month of no blogging.
So much to say, so little enthusiasm.

Ugh I'm just so tired and I've been working on so much, blogging has not been coming easily this month.
So I'm going to sum it all up in a nutshell of a post.

Lets start at a week before Easter.
I had been longing for a companion such as a cat or maybe even a dog (even though I'm a cat person) and I thought I would check up on craigslist to see what I could find, honestly, there was a lot to find.
Cats, dogs, bunnys, even some reptiles. With lots of rehoming fee's and numbers to call or text instead of outright saying them. So Sunday we made some calls, and I had the sudden urge to go check puppy shops. I thought maybe it would fulfill my puppy need, but we only found two after an afternoon of driving around. But damn, the puppy's were in the thousands. All things considering I could find many on craigslist for half the price.
But with our financials, and upcoming trips, I knew we couldn't afford anything anywhere close to all of this. So I was about to give up when I decided to check a different county region.
I happened to pick Inland Empire, and even though I was avoiding ALL chihuahuas, I saw a picture that fought my eye, of a little chihuahua/pom mix puppy with not much info.
BUT the listing was the first listing I saw to say "make us an offer" so we got in contact and made them an offer and they took it.

Two days later, we went and picked her up, and that is how we came to own
Ruby Etta Robbe

She's a 4.2lbs Ball of spazy fire, with super soft pom fur.

Less then a week later we went and visited my mom for easter.


 For sure a memorable easter.
My mother and one of my aunts live together at the moment, and my aunt has a Pomeranian and my mom has a cat. They get along just fine, but the dog doesn't want to play with the cat, and the cat always wants to play, so when we brought the puppy in, of course the puppy wanted to play with everyone. The cat was weary and skittish at first, but after 10-20 minutes of Ruby going after her wanting to play, kitty got into it and for at least an hour they were chasing each other all over the house, honestly the cat was chasing Ruby more. It was so adorable!

I am so thankful they all get along since when we go on vacation my mother will be taking care of Ruby for us. Would have sucked if the cat or pom had a problem with Ruby.


As for other news, I've been getting ready for our Montana trip in 20 days, especially since we have had a new development. Leah (one of Michael's sisters) will be coming back with us for a week. Super exciting stuff! So I've been working on squaring stuff away on that end, including getting some new summer clothes, essentials and things I happened upon :p

So this last weekend we went out and grabbed some stuff, and while we were out we decided to grab lunch in downtown Disney since it wasn't actually in the park. Very thankful that parking was free. We didn't really know what to expect since we had never been. We ate at Earl of Sandwich, which was good, although the two hot sandwiches we got were very measly. But it was for sure a good day out.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sidecar Doughnuts and Pie-Not Pie's: The Ultimate Pastry Experience.

Have you ever had a Maple Bacon Doughnut or an Australian Meat Pie, that was so good, you went back 3 times in 8 days to get more? lol well I sure hadn't until this last week.
A few miles away from us, are two little shops, side by side. One sells gourmet doughnuts and the other sells Australian style Savory Pies and baked goods. Both unique and very special in their own way. While Sidecar Doughnuts is a bit more expensive then your usual doughnut shops, Pie-Not's pies are probably one of the cheapest lunch's you can get around, (Unless you would rather have processed food from a fast food joint). So all in all its a pretty inexpensive lunch. 
We have yet to try Sidecar's Savory Breakfast doughnuts because we haven't made it there in the mornings yet, but I can tell you, we are definitely looking forward grabbing ourselves some soon :)

Sidecar is apparently also know for its Coffee, especially their Stumptown Cold brew Coffee.
Personally its not my thing, but then again I had it straight up, and I'm not 100% certain on if thats how you are supposed to have it :p

Pie-nots has more then just pie's, and plenty of options, for those who want something sweet, or even those who are vegetarian. Everything is extremely flaky and quite addicting. 
So if you're in the area, and you want a quick delicious lunch with a sweet delight after. I would 100% suggest you head on over to Sidecar and Pie-Not's on 17th St in Costa Mesa

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Crossroads Trading Co.

My Crossroads Trading Co Experience 

The weekend before this last weekend I wanted to check out some used clothing stores, and so far we had only seen one other one in the area other then Goodwill. Once we looked up used clothes on Google, that was a different story altogether. As there were many options in the area to try out, one particular store stood out to me, and we thought we would go check the place out before it closed (since it was close to evening time)

The place was Crossroads Trading Co. and it was beautiful! 
Similar to Plato's Closet, but better, they take in lightly worn, name brand clothing, and sell it at ridiculously low prices.
The place location-wise, isn't bad, the two I've been to are in nice affluent areas. The inside does remind me a little more of goodwill and less like plato's, Considering the concrete floor and plain walls, with clothes lining it. I did think it was nice that they had good dressing rooms, not like how goodwill usually only has 2.

If you don't mind second hand clothing, and are looking for nice stuff I would definitely suggest this place. My hauls would have been way bigger if I was a normal size, considering all the racks and racks of cool clothes. They have so many cool stuff for great prices. I can't even fully express how awesome this place is!
If you are in the Southern Cali area, and are plus size, they don't have a great variety, but they do have a rack of plus clothes (although small), the Costa Mesa location has a bit more then the Irvine one.

This is my hauls from visiting Crossroads Trading Co in Costa Mesa
and Irvine.

Now can you understand why this is the coolest place! and we have 2 locations near us.
pretty stoked!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Umami/ Milk & Honey/ Sephora/ Ikea and Neon Pants!

Sunday March 16th, was an interesting day. 
It was a day we had originally planned to stay inside and get stuff done around the house... and, well... that didn't happen :p

A friend had sent us an Umami Gift Card and we were really in the mood for Umami, and I figured afterwards we could maybe go to a couple other places.

So I put on my new neon pants I just got from Crossroads Trading Co, and we headed out to our favorite burger joint down the road :) Of course, as per usual, it was amazing! 

and afterwards we grabbed a Lavender Latte from Milk & Honey.

I wanted to head to Sephora and Ikea once we were done, had some little things I wanted to pick up at Sephora, and it was my first purchase (sadly the main thing I got we had to take back because it turns out it wasn't exactly what I was looking for) but yay, first Sephora purchase! 

At Ikea, we really had to rush, since they were about to close in 20 minutes. I wanted to get picture frames, so we had a specific agenda. They're not all the best of quality, specifically the cheap ones, but for the price, they are a pretty great quality vs. dollar store frames or something :p and with all the things we need to hang around the house, we really can't afford more expensive ones. So for about $50 we got 9 frames, including a poster frame and the rest are bigger then 8x10's. So in my eyes, a great deal. 
That whole night once we got home I started working on our living room wall collage and the collage in our hallway.

I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but it was a long, great day, filled with little treats, and good eats, and wonderful fresh feelings.
It was a good little shopping day :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Downtown Orange and Paris in a cup

This last weekend was filled with shopping, something I hadn't really done in a long time and was much needed!

I'm not going to dig into our finances, but let's just say we came into a little extra money recently, and if you knew me, you would know that I try to be smart with our money, to save, and make sure we put it towards our future priorities and bills and such. But I'm also a shopper, I need that fix every once and a while, and shopping online just doesn't cut it.

So I was really thankful that I was able to get out last week and do a little shopping.

This post is of Saturday March 15th.

I've been craving to go antiquing lately, and so far in California, I haven't found a lot of vintage/antique shops around, just one here and there, but not like in Michigan where you have towns everywhere chalked full of antiques.
so I was doing research friday night, to figure out where we might be able to go. and found a cluster of red dots (on Google maps) over in Orange.
Looking further into it, it looked like this little area had a ton of antique shops.
So we decided to take the day out and explore the area.
Once there, we found out it was actually Downtown Orange, and I must say, it is officially the cutest town I've seen out here in California, other then the palm trees, it reminded me so much of home. The reason being apparently orange is one of the only places in California that hasn't torn down its early 19th century buildings. They have kept and restored a lot of the old buildings (which a lot of Michigan is, that's why I love it) and so it has that beautiful small town charm that comes with it. 
and oh boy was the place bustling. There was people everywhere, we found it very difficult to find a parking spot. But as we were driving around, I noticed the town was absolutely FULL of antique shops.
Michael and I agreed that we would love to live there, we even started looking at the prices of places in the area, maybe in the future *crosses fingers* 

Once we did find a parking spot, and checked out a couple stores, I did find something I wasn't too fond of.
Apparently people in California really do their research before selling because almost EVERYTHING was super expensive. I'm not stupid, of course I expect that a lot at antique stores, but never have I been to such big antique stores, and figured i would be better off on Etsy :p
Now I did say "almost" everything, one of the first shops had some antique sheet music for a great price and I just fell in love with some of them, they were perfect for the house (framing)
and I did hit the jackpot at the last store we stopped at.
One of the sellers was selling a set of purple glassware, 4 cups, 4 appetizer plates, and 4 dinner plates, in perfect condition, everything for $35. Not only is that a fantastic price, but the dish ware was stunning! There was no way I could give that up.

So I did get some really good steals, and by that time it was 2:30pm and we hadn't had lunch or much of a breakfast, so we were staved, and we figured we were probably done for the day (since we wanted to stop by crossroads before they closed) There was so much more to explore, we really only hit 3 big antique stores in this town that has at least 6-8 of them. So its a safe thing to say, we will definitely be back to Orange! and I'm very much looking forward to it :)

Our next thought was to take our box (they put our glassware and other things in a nice box for us) back to the car and then find a place to eat, but as we were would around the block back to our car, we passed a little place called Paris in a Cup, and people outside were sipping tea in china cups. 

the place looked so quaint, I just had to check it out first, considering they also had macarons :p
Once inside, we noticed a back room, that looked like a french shabby-chic tea party.
As it turns out, the place is a france-inspired tea restaurant, that usually only accepts reservations unless someone cancels last minute, and stops seating at 3:00.
And guess what, it was 2:40, and they had a table open.
it was like a sign from God!
Of course we accepted it and the nice gentleman at the front of the house, stored our box in the back for us :)

I've never been to a place quite like it. Everyone drinking hot tea with teacups and teapots. Cute little sandwiches and desserts on tiered platters, scones and baked potato soup in little glass tea cups.
The whole places was gold with black and white accents. Ornate mirrors and chairs, and little chandeliers. Of course it was a little gimmicky, but it was a delightful experience.

The big thing was the tea, not I'm not a tea person, so I opted for the french vanilla lemonade, which honestly, was better then I expected, and I'll be sure to try and make it at home.

But Michael had gotten ginger peach black tea, and it was the best tea I'd ever had, I kinda took over his cup after I decided to also try the rose apple tea, and didn't care as much for it.
But the texture was so much better then hot flavored water (which is what I call tea). Very sad that they were out of the ginger peach when we tried to buy a box :\ 

It was an interesting experience, and fantastic day!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Friday the 14th - Part 2: Chapter One in Santa Ana

Friday March 14th - Part 2:
Chapter One.

After work I thought it would be nice to try out the gypsy den in santa ana, because Michael had only been to the one here in Costa Mesa, and the one in Santa Ana is a bit different (atmospherically).
But once parked a block away, we walked past an interesting restaurant called Chapter One, they claimed to "now open" but from what I saw on their website, it sounds like they have been there for a year or two.
The place was super busy, and the menu looked fantastic, so we decided since we have eaten at the Gypsy Den before, we might as well try Chapter One while we're here.

It was about 8:30-9 o-clock when we went in and got seated.
The place was really dark, thankfully we got seated in the least crowded area of the place (so it was less noisy) and near a window so there was a bit more light coming through the window from the street lamps. Helped with taking pictures :p

Instead of ordering an appetizer, we tried their special soup of the day (although we didn't get it until half way through our main course because the waitress forgot we ordered it, lol )

So technically our two main courses came first.

  • Beef Culotte
    • The premier cut from the cap of the sirloin. Bacon-wrapped, dredged in ground coffee beans & cocoa, served on Dijon mashed potatoes with a red wine demi-glace 

And -
  • Lamb & Gnocchi
    • Homemade potato gnocchi, lamb ragout, heirloom carrots, gremolata, feta cheese, curried granola, fried kale

I actually expected to like the beef coulette more, since it wasn't until recently that I started trying and liking more lamb dishes (after a really bad first experience). But I must say, I was super in love with the lamb gnocchi. There were a lot of different textures and flavors going on. You had crunchy and soft, savory and sweet, wet and dry, but they all mixed very well and worked out to make a stunningly delicious plate of food! First time trying Kale too, and even though it was a little weird, it worked well with the dish.
This dish was absolutely amazing and it even makes my mouth water just typing this up.

The beef coulette was good as well, but not as good, looking back what stands out the most was the fact that half the meat on the dish was very tough, a couple bits i had to really really work to chew, and thats one of the reasons i don't really like steak, but love filet mignon :p Also the flavors, although good, seemed to clash a little, but not so much that you couldn't enjoy it, the dijon mashed potatoes were an interesting though, and the wine sauce was very flavorful.
At the time, I remember enjoying it, just not as much as the lamb gnocchi.

The soup I got was the special, it was a sausage sweet potato and kale soup.
Since it wasn't really clear, I was actually expecting a creamy soup, and a slightly different kind of sausage, silly me :p
The soup was good though, it seemed very fresh, and the flavor was nice, but my problems lie in the fact that the sweet potato didn't stand out, I almost expected it to be a sweet and savory kind of thing, and it seemed to be only a savory thing. Also (this probably is completely my fault) I don't do well with spices, and the sausage seemed to be of the very seasoned kind, and with it already being a savory soup, it was a bit overwhelming.
even still, that's me really critiquing it, it was enjoyable. Just not what we were expecting.

Last is dessert. we decided to also go with the special, which was a white chocolate rum bread pudding, with a scoop a vanilla ice cream and spiced sauce.
We initially were going to go with something else, but we chose this because we have had some pretty good bread pudding before and figured we would try something of the regular menu next time we hopped on in.
Sadly, we were both disappointed.
It so happened to have pecans all throughout it, and it threw the texture off for the both of us. Honestly, it wasn't anything special, it didn't stand out and it was probably the most disappointing dish of the night. As the waiter was taking out plate, asked how it was, and I just commented on how we didn't care for the nuts.
He chuckled and made a remark on how he would go tell the chef RIGHT AWAY, which I'm sure he meant as a joke (my husband says) but the inflections of his voice spoke otherwise, almost like he thought I was entitled for having a negative opinion, when he is the one that asked me how it was....
idk I'm sure I'm making it more then it is, but it really put me off.

Here is the thing I find interesting, by the time we left, it was 10:45 and on the way out there was rope and a bouncer set up to card everyone.
Which makes me wonder if since he was carding everyone at the entrance, would I have even been carded if asked for a drink since I was already inside? Just wondered :p

All in all it was an interesting place, that we both agreed we would like to go back and try some other dishes sometime. I would suggest you check it out, because it was an otherwise enjoyable experience.