Thursday, January 26, 2006


Last night was girls night out. Erica, Izzy and I went to Panache, a cute little restaurant downtown off 17th street. This is the second time we have done this and I am realizing it's a good thing for me to do. My schedule/routine is so busy and just keeps circling round and round without much diversion, so getting out and doing something that has nothing to with work, home, Paul or Gigi is refreshing. Not that I don't love all those things but stepping back gives me a break and renews my perspective on things.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Weekend Update

This weekend we settled some of our vacation plans, namely we booked a trip to Disney World at the end of February. Obviously this is a completely Gigi oriented trip and we hope she is going to have a really great time. We also booked a week at the beach to share with my parents.

This is Gigi watching Paul singing karaoke, really not good for my migrane type headaches I have had for the past week. Hopefully Gigi will get her singing voice from me and not from my monotone husband. Although it's hard to slight him, she was having a really good time watching him sing to her.

On Sunday we celebrated Izzy's birthday at the Latin American Folk Institute in Mt. Rainer. It was nice to see Izzy, Scott and Marina, plus our friends Tula and Craig with their kids and Erica.

Gigi had an especially good time because she got to see her buddy Azalea, who was also celebrating her birthday!

Happy Birthday Azalea!!!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Robot for Venus

Well about a year ago I decided that it was time to hire a cleaning person to help keep our house in order. I was going back to work full time and keeping up with the house seemed impossible. Well it is, but the hubby won't give his blessing to hire someone. He keeps saying he'll "do more", but really he can't even close the flatware drawer all the way when he gets a spoon out for himself. Or the cabinet where the cereal is kept. Is this Venus vs Mars thing or what!? :)

Anyway, my mom really helped me out this Christmas by giving us a Roomba. This thing is so cool, I've been wanting one for a while now but they are a little pricey, especially if you want the deluxe model. She got us the base model and I have to say it does everything I need it to. At first the hubby was a bit dubious but now he really likes it too. I put it on today to work the first floor and about twenty minutes later I go up to get some tea and there he is entranced watching it, I don't think he gets the point that you put it on to do the work so you can go do something else more fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Big Girl Bed

I don't know who is more excited about this, Gigi or Paul and I. We have been eyeing this "Big Girl Bed" from Ikea for months. Each time we went to ikea, Gigi insisted on climbing in this bed to check it out. We decided about a month and a half ago to take the plunge and get it. But at that time it was out of stock. We have been checking the web page every few days and finally Friday it was back in stock. We went to Ikea and picked it up. First we had to figure out how to get the crib apart and now it's up for sale so if you know anybody in need a crib let me know. Then we put the bed together. Ms. G was quite excited. Last night bedtime went well, she told me she was ready to go get in her big girl bed and we went up and she got in and went to sleep. Naptime today was a bigger challenge since she can just get out. After a few tries and firm words she decided to take the nap.

We also had a play date today. Andrew came over and checked out all of Gigi's toys. Gigi and Andrew are about a week apart in age and his mom and I work together. They are also in the same day care and have known each other since about three months of age. They had a great time playing together.

Cake in the Crock Pot

I have a new "baking" obsession. It's making cake in the crock pot. Oh, I can make a cake in the oven just fine and actually faster, but this whole concept intrigues me. It started New Year's Eve. I found a recipe for for hot fudge sundae cake that you make in the crock pot and it was quite good. Strange but good. You mix up the batter then pour very watery chocolate sauce over it and let it cook then cool. What you get is cake that you scoop out of the crock pot, with thick chocolate sauce underneath that you spoon on top.

Here is the recipe.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake (Crockpot)
Serving Size : 6

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 Cup sugar

1. Spray inside of 2 - 3 1/2 quart crock with cooking spray. Mix flour,sugar, 2 TBS cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Stir in milk,oil and vanilla until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly in slowcooker. 2. Mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl. Stir in hot water until smooth. Pour evenly over batter in crock. 3. Cover and cook on high 2 - 2 1/2 hours oruntil toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Turn off crock. Let cake stand uncovered 30 - 40 minutes* to cool slightly before serving. 4. Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes.Spoon sauce over top.
Shared for Jamie's 2000Holiday Swap byFaithNchls.Brought to you by Grassroots Recipes Mastercook Collections and JamieRahm

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 405 Calories; 12g Fat (26.2%calories from fat); 5g Protein; 72g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3mgCholesterol; 365mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat; 3 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : *If you let the cake cool in the crock before serving it, the sauce under the cake will thicken to a good consistency. If you eat it sooner, the sauce will be thinner, but still delicious. (Special Touch: Add 1/3 cup halved maraschino cherries in with the nuts.)

After that I started looking for other recipes and came across the next one. It is more like regular cake but still very creamy inside.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Gooey Triple Chocolate Cake - Crock pot
Serving Size : 12
18 1/4 ounces Chocolate Cake mix -- 1 box
16 ounces Sour Cream
1 1/3 Ounces chocolate pudding mix -- 1 box Instant style
6 ounces Chocolate chips
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 each eggs
1 Cup Water

Spray crock pot with non stick spray. Mix all ingredients until smooth and pour into crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. let cool for about an hour. loosen edges and invert to transfer to cake plate.

Per Serving: 487 Calories; 34g Fat (59.9%calories from fat); 6g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 79mgCholesterol; 407mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 61/2 Fat; 3 Other Carbohydrates.

Both are very good although I am working on a version of the first one that has eggs in it. I think it will add to the cake part.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mistaken Identity

So I am out at Panera picking up my lunch. Calculating what has less calories to compliment my half a Frontega Chicken Panini, the greek salad or the french onion soup. The soup is my first guess, but it's got a chunk of bread and huge gooey peice of cheese on top, yet the salad has dressing...Anyway I get up to place my order and I notice that the girl taking my order is wearing a bracelet identical to mine. This my current favorite, I wear it everyday.

So I say hey we are wearing the same bracelet and hold up my arm for her to see. And then I ask her if she got hers from QVC, also my current favorite place to shop. This is the funny/ stupid part, She looks at me and say no she got it from Tiffany's for her 16th birthday! Then, shocked, I reply, oh I must have the knock off, who knew! :).

So of course don't I look stupid. I go back the office and get online and find the bracelet at Tiffany's to see what it is made of and how much it costs. Well it is made of sterling silver just like mine, but it goes for a whopping $175.00. Well now I am not feeling so stupid, I paid less than half that. Although I am not thrilled about wearing a copy cat design.

Btw, I made the wrong choice and got the salad with twice as many calories as the soup.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

love, Love, LOVE this stuff!

I am a products girl, I love trying out all kinds of haircare, skin care and makeup. Some stuff lives up to it's promise and other stuff doesn't. Some things work for some and not for others. My current new fave os Ojon. This stuff is so fabulous. I've been eyeing it for a few months now and finally decided to give it a try. I can't say how much I love this stuff, it truly lives up to it's promise.

First there is the hydrating shampoo and conditioner, this stuff alone will change the feel and condition of your hair. If you have thin limp hair also try the thickenen spray for styling. There is a deep conditioning product also. I have this but have not had time to put it to the test. Or even felt the need since the other stuff is working so well. I'll try it this weekend.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Top Places to Live

A friend of mine sent me this cool link to help analyze your top 24 places to live in the US. It's pretty cool. Here is my list. Funny, I was talking about moving to Portland earlier this year...

Portland, Oregon City of Roses
Eugene, Oregon
Salisbury, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland
Charleston, West Virginia
Santa Barbara, California
Corvallis, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Frederick, Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Santa Cruz, California
Ventura, California
Medford, Oregon
Honolulu, Hawaii
Milwaukie, Oregon
Little Rock, Arkansas
Providence, Rhode Island
Palo Alto, California
Boston, Massachusetts
Hartford, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Sacramento, California
Astoria, Oregon

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Victor Vito

A true Laurie Berkner fan. Click on the play button below...


If that doesn't work try Movie1.wmv