Throwback Wednesday?

I have another post planned for Thursday so today I am doing a little throwback Wednesday post.

I just happened to catch the video for Duran Duran’s “the Reflex” this morning through my Facebook feed. This was THE band for me during my adolescent years. That important time from 13-17 when your music interest in explored and you find your music taste (I think it happens for kids these days at a much younger age). Anyway, I watched the video this morning and it brought back some pretty fun memories for me.

When this video premiered on MTv back in 1984 it was a big event. MTv used to have “world premiere” videos that they would schedule and it used to be a pretty big deal for music fans. I actually had a “the Reflex” video premiere party…with friends I invited over. And we had strawberries and “champagne” (sparkling apple cider since we were all of 14 years old) which was the band’s favorite snack. Looking back on that now I think it was probably just what they said to seem interesting. It was the 80’s though so maybe they did snack on strawberries and champagne. I am freaking serious. I was an obsessed fan. Even back then I was trying to throw themed parties! And I remember us all screaming about the video and talking about it for so long after the premiere. “Did you see how cute John was at that one point” “My favorite part was ______”  and so on.

As a mom now,  the thing I think about when I remember this night is that my parents were really awesome for letting me do this. For letting 5 screaming girls takeover the house for the time period  (I can’t remember how long people came over for) and for buying strawberries and sparkling apple juice just so I could have something like that at the party. I don’t know if I ever told them how much I appreciate that they let me do this party. They must have thought I was crazy obsessed…but they still let me do it. I was kind of an asshole to my parents for years when they didn’t deserve it.

Also!  I use to write fan fiction about Duran Duran. Cringe worthy fan fiction that I am embarrassed to even admit to these days. And I let friends read it!

Good times.

As happy as I am that we didn’t have cell phones and Facebook back then I wish I had been better about documenting my memories. I love when a song or smell takes me back to a certain memory but for the times when I don’t have those triggers it would be fun to look back at my life then. I lost an important box filled with old notes and letters and tokens of my life and it still upsets me to this day when I remember that those items are gone. This is why I always tell Alex she can keep the important childhood/teenage memory stuff with me because I will always keep an eye on it for her. I want her to have her memories later on when she feels like re-visiting them:)


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on the menu: Thanksgiving week

I’m late with this. I blame the cold war. Or at least the 4 paragraph paper I’ve been working on about the cold war.

Sunday: Kale and soyrizo tacos (see last week’s menu)

Monday: Rice and broccoli salad with honey mustard + chicken + salad (see last week’s menu)

Tuesday: Stir fry vegetables + chicken + my newest Trader Joe find: Japanese Style Fried Rice

Wednesday: Cheesy Kale Sweet Potato tart + salad

Thursday: Thanksgiving feast!! Which we’ll also eat Friday, Saturday and possibly Sunday:) We’re doing roasted chicken/field roast (for Nate) + apple cranberry salad + roasted brussels sprouts with shallots + dressing (I’m only making half this recipe) +mashed potatoes.  I always make a lot so that we can eat on it for numerous days and I don’t have to cook;)


Happy eating!



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Friday favorites

A few things from the interwebs that caught my attention this week:

I love this artist’s work

An interesting article about what happens when you die alone

Good information

I loved her list and enjoyed listening to a few that I haven’t heard before. I’ll get to the others soon.

These had me cracking up at my desk today. Some of them are so spot on.


Have a good weekend!


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TBT: Nicola and Alex

This past weekend I went to a baby shower for my daughter’s friend Nicola. It was a bit unreal going to a baby shower for one of Alex’s closest friends. I can’t imagine Alex having a baby. I’m definitely not ready for a grandchild. Nate and I just stopped talking about having one ourselves 2 years ago so I definitely can’t imagine Alex pregnant. She’s still my baby! Even if she can legally drink in less than a month! IMG_7075 These two though. They have been through so much together. So many ups and downs through the years but they’ve stuck it out. For us, Nicola is like a second daughter . She’s accompanied us on numerous vacations, slept over more times than I can count, been to family functions. Even my dad sees Nicola as another granddaughter.

My kid. Such a goofball.IMG_7077

Seeing them this weekend brought back so many memories of the girls when they were younger.I miss those years. They grow up so fast…one moment they are 14 & wearing braces and the next they are having babies and drinking in bars. It’s enough to make a person feel old…

Look at those baby faces.


Despite their many problems over the years I am so glad that they are still friends. I know they love each other even when they act as if they don’t. Like any relationship there are always going to be issues that you have to overcome.IMG_0871IMG_2499 I hope they always have affection for each other and I hope they always realize how important their friendship is. How important all friends are.  I’ve never been one to throw friends over for a boyfriend and I hope they remember that as they move through life.



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Failure at this NaBloPoMo thing…

well…I missed two days for a total of three for this month. i suck at this blogging every day thing! Right now I am suppose to be studying. I have three more papers due within the next 3.5 weeks. I have a 99% in my class right now and I don’t want to ruin it by dropping the ball this close to the end of the semester. But friends…I am tired. Of reading. Of writing. Of researching. I am looking forward to a few weeks break between next semester.

What I have been doing is binge watching a couple of shows. Luther and Jane the Virgin. I am obsessed about both.

If you haven’t watched either stop what your doing and watch them both!

Anything you are binge watching lately?



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on the menu: 11/14/15-11/20/15

This week’s menu:

Mini Vegetarian Pot Pies (from last week…I didn’t get to them until tonight) + salad

One Pot Creamy Lentils (also from last week…Nate and I had lots of other leftovers so I didn’t cook a couple of nights) + green beans

Thai Chicken Zucchini Noodles with spicy peanut sauce (I’ll be substituting Tofu in Nate’s portion)

Pork Enchilada Lasagna-making us each one so that we have leftovers so I can not cook one evening (substituting a different protein for Nate’s lasagna)

Kale soyrizo tacos + cilantro lime rice + grilled zucchini

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with honey mustard dressing (I’m actually going to be substituting rice since we both are sensitive to quinoa and it’s upsets both our stomachs)  + chicken(fake chicken for Nate)

I also got a few things for stir fry in case I don’t have time for something more complicated. I love how it gets lots of vegetables in us:)

Have a wonderful week!


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I had another blog post planned today but then this devastating and heartbreaking event happened and I’ve been reading and watching the news and the blog post was forgotten. My thoughts are with everyone in Paris and the families of all the victims. It’s a sad world we all live in. 




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TBT: Oahu trip 2006

My friend Courtney recently took her oldest daughter to Maui for a mother-daughter trip. This was their first time on a vacation of this magnitude. Courtney, like me, didn’t have money for vacations when her oldest was younger. A big vacation for Alex and I was driving to Marine World in Vallejo for the day. And I only pulled that off once. When you don’t know if you can make rent or food costs for the rest of the month, vacations are not high on your priority list. Simply existing was hard enough sometimes. Seeing photos from Courtney’s vacation really made me happy for her though. It was proof that we both made it through those tough years. Her photos also took me back to when Alex and I went to Hawaii, just about 9 years ago, on our first (and only) big vacation together. Just the two of us.ray3sea9

It was only for 5 days. And it was only to Oahu. But it was still one of my proudest moments as a mother ever. I was actually making a big tropical vacation happen for my daughter and I. Of course, much of this was possible because of Nathan. Because he worked for an airline part time and so our flights were discounted. As was the hotel through his airline discount. I saved the spending money though. I planned fun activities for us. She both swam with manta rays and dolphins on this trip. It ended up being one of the best trips of our life and the worst.

Best=Vacation with my girl. Swimming with rays. Swimming with dolphins. Warm beaches and water. Beautiful scenery. Pina Coladas for lunch;)

Worst= Lice. Jellyfish stings. Torrential rain that would flood the streets every night.

The difference between day and night on this trip was so crazy. We would have such a great day exploring the island and shopping. Going to theme parks and the aquarium. For me, cocktails at lunch.. Alex made a friend that she met up with numerous days and they would play for hours on the beach. And then night would come and it would be like we were on the vacation from hell. Rain + rain + rain and then more rain. Every night we were there. Alex was stung by a jellyfish on our second day and it wasn’t until that night that the pain really started acting up.IMG_3869

And then the lice.

Alex had spent the 3-4 days before this trip at her dad’s house and I just picked her up on the way to the airport. At the end of our first day on the island, while we were headed back from dinner, I happen to see something in Alex’s hair. I thought it was sand that she had missed when she showered. If ONLY it had been sand that she had missed in her shower…Alex’s head was crawling with lice. She had apparently gotten it from a friend before we left town. She had spent the night at their house the day before we left and because our traveling was done late at night I hadn’t noticed it. Until our first night in Oahu. This was before I had a cell phone. Or a tablet. This was discovered during a rain storm as we made our way back to the hotel. If you’ve ever tried to find lice shampoo (it’s triple the price on an island btw), in torrential rain, in a tourist town then you know what I was up against. The only break we got was that Alex had just had 12 inches of hair cut off a couple of weeks prior to this. If I’d had to deal with waist length hair and lice I probably would have lost it. I lost it anyway. Every morning and night was spent cleaning her hair with RID shampoo and combing as much lice out as I could. By the time we got back to California I also had it. Our nights were also filled with doing laundry. All our clothes from that day and our pajamas. We didn’t use anything but the sheet on the beds in the hotel. The comforters and extra pillows were folded and put to the side. So every day we had new sheets and I washed our clothes each night. We still couldn’t get rid of them. We took them back home with us. It was a nightmare.lulu's1

Surprisingly though this didn’t take away from our fun during the day. We went site seeing. I took Alex to this park on our first day there. She did the ray encounter and swam with dolphins.We did the Pearl Harbor tour on the second day and spent the afternoon at the beach. We shopped in the Waikiki International Market (which I’ve now found out is closed) and had lunch (and a pina colada for me) at Duke’s. She got to play with Anna (a friend she met that was visiting from Canada). We saw a neat Hawaiian dance at the park.We took the bus around looking at the views of the ocean. It was a great vacation. During the daytime…oahu8oahu12

All these years later I’ve come to see this trip as a great story to tell though. The best and worst vacation ever. The good parts of each day were always followed by a rough night. We always did family vacations after this, not on purpose, it just happened that way. I had married Nate and this trip was kind of a last hurrah for Alex and I. We were no longer just a family of two we were now a family of three.

I’m grateful that I have these memories with my daughter:)IMG_4059




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List 45: 10 year anniversary trip: Day 1

IMG_5016This trip was years in the making. I’ve been talking about swimming with whale sharks for  as long as I can remember. I always thought it was out of our price range to make this happen but I was also under the impression, for years, that you could only swim with them in Belize. Then I discovered that you can also swim with them off of Cancun. THAT we could make happen. First though I had to convince Nate to do the trip. He’s not a good traveler. Scratch that. He’s actually a great traveler but he has a LOT of anxiety leading up to a trip. Even a small local trip. He worries about things that I don’t even think about…like how we’re going to talk to people in the country we’re going to if we don’t speak the language fluently, what he’s going to eat, how much stuff is going to cost. I never worry about that type of stuff. It’s just not in my nature. My worry manifests itself in other ways. I talked and talked and talked about whale sharks though and finally I beat him down and he agreed. The only downside to seeing and swimming with these amazing creatures is that you have to go to Mexico in the dead of summer. The whale shark season is only from June through September. The best time is July and August. July and August…in Mexico. Here is where my anxiety kicks in…LOL. But we scheduled it for August. I only had to last 4.5 months after we booked…

Our day started at 2:15am. We had to be able to get up, get ready, and be in  San Jose by 4:30 am. We also had to drop the car off to long term parking. It could not have gone smoother. We flew from San Jose to Phx and then on to Cancun, Mexico. I had some anxiety about how to get from the airport to the ferry (only because I was unclear about where it was…not knowing where a location exactly is one of my anxieties…Nathan…not at all) but a shuttle was easy to find. The ferry ride to Isla Mujeres was easy, finding our apartment was easy. It was a perfect travel day and we had a wonderfully low key first evening. Our first impression of Isla Mujeres was positive. It’s small. There were quite a few tourist but many of the people there during the day come over from Cancun so by early evening many people have left leaving only those of us that are staying on the island. We loved our apartment (we went through Homeaway) and we took a quick walk around he city center side of the island (the island is only 4.5 miles long and a mile across). My only mistake was not bringing my list of places to eat with me from the apartment so we ate at a place that I hadn’t checked out first. It ended up being okay but we made sure to eat from the list the rest of the time. I got a margarita (that was just okay but it was still appreciated) but it did feel great to finally be on the island after hours of travel. And it was fun to people watch from our little table on the patio. Just based on our first experience on the island we knew this was going to be an a amazing trip. The laid back feeling and small town feel was right in line with what we were looking for. It only got more amazing too. I’ll post about our second day on the island soon:)




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