Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Happy Happy!

Today we celebrated my birthday, my brother's birthday, and my boyfriend's birthday by eating dinner at my parent's house with my Nanny and my brother's girlfriend. We ate Vera Cruz tomatoes and baked potato and applesauce, with carrot cake for dessert! So yummy.

So now I am 23! I still feel the same. And my little brother is 20! He is all grown up. I'm sorry, buddy, but I still see you as a little boy who needs bossing. I'll try to work on that. ^_~

My parents just bought a 3D TV and we watched a 3D movie on it with our funny 3D glasses. It was really cool! Now we are home and relaxing before bed.

I have had such a great day. Nick woke me up by making waffles with chocolate chips, and then making me study for my last final (that part wasn't so great). I took my final (I think I did well!) and then came back for a few hours that I just spent with Nick. Then I drove to Olive Garden to have a luncheon given by the Board of Trustees for the teachers at the school I work at. It was just lovely, and really thoughtful of them to do. The director of the school stood up and said really nice things about all of us, and handed us cards with a bonus in them! He said that all the children love me and that the parents and even the teachers stop in to tell him that they like the way I teach. That was really, really nice to hear and I appreciate them so much! I really love my job. Also amazing is the Christmas presents that the parents give the teachers! I have received two armfuls of presents! Starbucks cards, candles, a beautiful Christmas mug, cookies, chocolates, candies, a little purse, a leather paper holder, a beautiful bookmark, numerous lovely cards, and so much more. There are really wonderful people at this school. ^_^

Here's to a great year! It's off to a great start.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


My uncle was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.

This has affected our whole family and we are all consumed by worry for him and his family. There is such a feeling of helplessness, because all we can do is learn about this disease and support him.

And yet life continues on. Nick and I are nearly finished with this fall semester, and as soon as this next week of finals is finished I will be a senior! Finally. Work continues, and the children are all very excited for the holidays, ready for vacation. We are preparing for a family vacation: my family and Nick will be going to Barbados! My brother has joined a new band and performed a few nights ago, and he is looking to further his musical career by investigating music colleges. My parents are remodeling the house and just bought a new TV--a 3D one this time! We are all also doing our Christmas shopping and looking forward to spending time with our family. I will be spending this Christmas with my family instead of Nick's because of Steve's diagnosis.

We are all so busy in our lives, but sometimes life seems to pause. And we continue to worry.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Big test on Wednesday! I attended a 3 hour study session this morning, and then studied for another three hours this afternoon. Whew!

We went and saw Dracula by the Sac Ballet last night! It was fabulous, definitely something worth seeing again.

We are re-watching Burn Notice. I lurve Michael Westen!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Clair is Nick's little sister. She recently told me that I have mentioned her only three or four times in my blogging history. I need to remedy this.


Clair. Clair. Clair. Clair. ClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClairClair

*gasps for air*


. . .



Have fun in Hawaii, Clair! I can't wait to hear alllllll about it! ^_^



Also Also:


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back in the Swing

We are now five weeks into the fall semester of college, and six weeks into teaching computers at the elementary school.

I'm kind of tired.

But in a good way!

Work is fun. Today I taught 3rd graders the entire left hand homerow for typing, showed 4th graders how to make a pie chart with M&M's (that they got to EAT after, whee!) and 7/8th graders how to do the basics of html. The only problem is I don't have as much time as I would like to spend on my lesson plans as I would like, because . . .

Yeah, school. It's kind of homework-y. The last two or three weeks each Sunday has been like 7 hours of homework. In a ROW. That is a lot of homework. Plus, ya'know, trying to actually spend time with my boyfriend (who is still wonderful) and my family (who are also busy) and Nick's family (Hi Clair!) and I am just BUSY.

(Notice I am up at nearly 1am on a school night just so I could have some goof off time. Normal hours rebellion, ahoy! Also, zzzzzz.)

Um. What else. Taekwondo is good! Mostly. And I did a cardio class! And got really sweaty. Um, I need to clean my fish tank. I need to clean my apartment. The list of things I need to do is kind of long, so let's just skip that and I'll say I'm totally going shopping tomorrow morning, because Kohl's gave me a $10 off coupon and I need work clothes! Yay, shopping!

I'm off for bed.


Thursday, August 4, 2011


Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a town not too far away, I took TaeKwonDo classes with my brother and my dad and we all made 3rd degree black belt. Yay!

I stopped TaeKwonDo three or four years ago and got lazy and out of shape. Booo!

Then I missed it too much (especially kicking people) so I signed back up at a local school! Yaaaaay!

(I've taken a few weeks of classes so far and each class I get better endurance and improve but I am still nowhere near the level I used to be. But the people are super nice and I'm having a great time! Yaaay!)

(Also, my muscles hurt a lot after each class. Owie.)

Kauai Days 8-10

Sooooo . . . I kind of suck at updating lately, and now I can't even remember everything we did for the last days in Kauai. Oops.

At some point over the last few days, we:

1) Hiked the Kalalau Trail on the Napali coast from Ke'e Beach to Hanakapi'ai Beach, two miles each way. It was pretty much either going up or going down the entire time, but it brought us to a beautiful (if unswimmable) beach and beautiful views. On the way back I saw a wedding happening on the beach! Very pretty.

2) Beach time! We went to Poipu Beach again and swam in the gorgeous water--I miss how warm it was! and sunbathed with a very specific pattern. Step one: Apply sunscreen. Step two: Lay out for 5-10 minutes a side and then retreat to shade. Step three: Apply sunscreen and wait until it is absorbed. Repeat.

3) Luau! We saw the Kalamaku luau at the Kilohana plantation, which has dancing and fire dancing and delicious buffet food and free drinks, that tells about one family's voyage from Tahiti to Kauai. That was pretty cool too. :)

3) On our last day, Saturday morning, we got all of our things together and made sure the room was clean, and drove back to Lihue and ate our last lunch in Kauai. :( I had a delicious seared ahi taco! So yummy.

4) Flew back! We made our way through the super hot airport (lack of breezes=lots of sweating). We got on our plane (yay for air conditioning!) and flew back! Andra and I sat together and ended up moving back where Clay was as there were empty seats, and we were closer to everyone. We arrived in San Jose and Drew's mom picked us up, we said good-bye to Aly and Zach, and then we drove back! She dropped me off at home and I was so happy to see Nick again. ^_^

So! Overall, it was an incredible experience, and Kauai is beyond gorgeous. I can't wait to go back! Hopefully next time with Nick. ^_^

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kauai Day Seven, Tuesday

Kauai Day Seven, Tuesday

We planned on driving up to the North Shore of Kauai, a near two-hour trip each way, and meant to leave by ten.

Yeaaaah. We left at nearly noon.

The drive up was beautiful, as is everything in Kauai, and we saw lots of little towns and resorts and beautiful beaches and the most beautiful mountain ranges ever. By the time we arrived it was one o'clock and lunch was sounding good. Instead of getting lunch we decided to hike first, snorkel, and then eat. We set off in search of the trailhead.

Yeaaaah. We found where the trailhead was supposed to be, two miles down a one-lane road, and there was a house, a friendly dog, and it was sectioned off. We decided to hike a trail we'd seen on the road off to the side instead, called Okoleani at the base of He'emanu Mountain, which means manta-ray. The thing about mountains? That I conveniently forgot? Is that they go up. We hiked for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours up, which sucked, but was really pretty, and then we ran into a local who is something of a guide, and she showed us some neat plants such as awapuhi, which softens hair. She also told us that the trail goes for about five hours to a scenic overlook. We decided to turn back. The hike down was not nearly as long but it was difficult, and we slid a few times in the steep mud.

Finally we made it! We were down, and alive, and we were covered in mud which we washed off in a convenient stream. Yay!

We then headed to Anini Beach to snorkel, which I didn't do because I was tired and hot, so I decided to hike back fifteen minutes down the road to a public restroom because I don't do the whole “Bladder Bay” thing. Andra picked me up on my walk back. They snorkeled and I swam for a few minutes to cool off in the very shallow sandy waters, and then lay on my towel in the shade.

For dinner we ate at Hanalei town and I had Hanalei Gourmet fish sandwich and the others ate at Bubba's Burgers, which is apparently famous because celebrities have eaten there. Mine was delicious!

We drove home and enjoyed the beautiful views again, and then Clay and I went in the jacuzzi and then we came back and I went to bed and read for awhile before falling asleep.

Kauai Day Six, Monday

Kauai Day Six, Monday

This morning I woke up about 8:30 and made some chocolate macadamia nut coffee, which then was left in the pot for awhile because I decided to go to the gym along with Drew. My usual workout is some weight training and mostly treadmill and the stair machine, but Drew suggested some weights and new workouts and some killer crunches. I was too tired to run after!

Breakfast was half an everything bagel with scrambled egg on top, mmm! And the neglected coffee. ^_^ Andra and Drew went off to Costco while the rest of us had a lazy morning, reading and dozing and getting ready. Once they came back we decided that today we wanted to snorkel today!

We headed to Lawai beach and rented snorkel gear for $5 a day from Boss Frog's and then got in the water! It was very rocky and it was easier to swim through the shallow water than to walk with flippers. Right away we saw tons of beautiful fish! I recognized those moor fish, parrots, angelfish, and most definitely the two sea turtles that we found! Or rather, Andra and I found one farther out (he hid under a coral cave but then came up and bobbed about getting air!) and then the others found one right by the shore! We got scraped up by the rocks in about one foot of water at times, and have a few cuts but ohmigosh it was soo close and cool! The waves were pretty strong and were knocking us around and we had to be careful not to get knocked into the turtle! He was just chowing down on the food on the rocks, ignoring us. We got out after a while and rinsed off, then decided we were all starving and needed pizza.

We drove to a Pizzetta restaurant and had freshly made calzones and pasta! I had a Hawaiian calzone, delicious. Then we drove back and relaxed. I went to load more photos in the lobby and now am back in the room eating popcorn and watching the movie Mario. Good times. ^_-

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kauai Day Five, Sunday

Kauai Day Five, Sunday

I spent an hour wandering the beach and cliffs with my camera and then tried to upload them at the lobby. We had a slow morning but eventually decided to go to Nawiliwili Beach back in Lihue, where we swam in the crescent strip beach for a while but mainly stayed in the shade. We are waaay too afraid of the sun now! (Probably a good thing).

For an early dinner we went to Duke's Canoe Club which was right on the beach. There were two singers playing guitars and serenading us throughout dinner, the main singer had a really amazing voice. We sat way in the back by a pond with koi fish and had calamari appetizers, and I had a delicious mahi mahi sandwich. The most amazing part of dinner, however, were the lava flow drinks! We had multiple people back in California telling us how amazing they were, and they were not wrong. It was basically a pina colada with strawberry syrup/sauce added, deeeelicious!

We then decided to be super classy and go to WalMart to look for some cheap movies. We also lucked out and found some rashguard shirts (tight spandex-y shirts for surfing that have UV 50 protection) because we are so afraid of the sun!

We made it home and decided to watch Hellraiser, which was . . . interesting. And kind of gory. Andra and Drew made popcorn and we snacked on it until the movie was finished, at which point I was about asleep because of a Benadryl I took to relieve the itching from my sunburn.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kauai Photos, Again

Photobucket uploads photos ridiculously slow, but I have about two hundred (half or so) loaded here! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kauai Day Four, Saturday

Kauai Day Four, Saturday

Woke up at nearly eight, made vanilla macadamia nut coffee (had chocolate macadamia nut yesterday) and then went with Drew to work out in the resort's gym. Ran a mile and did a little bit of leg workouts and then realized my shirt was chafing my burn too badly to continue. Came back, drank coffee, ate half a bagel, called Troy and remembered today is my Nanny's 90th birthday! Yaaay!

We all decided to go to Koke'e State Park and drive Waimea Canyon, which is the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific Coast”. Speaking as someone who has hiked the Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon is way too green and the temperature is way too cool. ^_- We all pile in our two rental cars (after another intensive sunblocking expedition of layers of sunblock, clothes, sweater [even though it was a bit too warm for a sweater], and packed our backpacks with food bars and water and towels in case we went swimming) and drove to Waimea, which took nearly half an hour. Beautiful drive!

While on the drive with my friend and Clay in our car, I called to wish Nanny a happy birthday. Troy had told me that as a surprise, they were picking up two of Nanny's best friends and taking them to dinner and then to a Cirque de Symphony performance. I talked with Nanny and wished her a happy birthday, and talked with mom and dad for a while. Dad told me that he and mom stayed a night where we were headed when they honeymooned by hiking the Na Pali coast!

We started the drive up the canyon. It was incredibly beautiful, but hard to take pictures of because there is so much lush vegetation that it blocks the view half the time! Luckily during our hike we had some great views. After over ten miles of winding roads, we pulled over at the Koke'e State Park trailhead and began hiking down to a waterfall. We suspect it was nearly two miles each way, it took about an hour to go down, some of which was nice and easy, some very steep and slippery! The views along the way were incredible, especially on this one big rocky area where the canyon just opened up before us. There were some switchbacks and steep parts after that, but we finally made it down to two waterfalls, an upper and a lower one. We spent some time there, and Allie even swam (I reapplied sunscreen to the few spots available to be burned) and ate a yogurt bar and drank some water.) Then we went to the lower waterfall which was just gorgeous and took some more pictures. We finally decided to head back, feeling the heat and feeling kind of hungry and thirsty. And MY GOD. Are these people ever in shape. It took us about 45 minutes to get back to the top, and the whole time I was sweating and panting and dripping and gasping and at the back of the pack. Allie was hopping around like a mountain goat, and the guys have such long legs they were making big strides, and Andra is just in great shape. I lugged along behind them, wishing I would take off my sweater but afraid to give the sun another chance. FINALLY we made it to the top! Whew!

We drove back the way we came and stopped in a small town for Jo Jo's Shaved Ice. I had a tropical paradise, which had guava, passion fruit, and some other flavor, plus macadamia-nut ice cream at the bottom. Delicious! I loved the ice cream so much! Then we decided we were too hungry to wait for dinner at a restaurant, and walked to a small taco hole-in-the-wall. This food? So amazingly good. I had seared wasabi ahi taco with cabbage and a wasabi aioli sauce on a homemade tortilla with some mild salsa and some homemade tortilla chips. The taco was big and stuffed, there was a lot of ahi that was so deliciously rare, and we all just fell in love with our food. A definite must whenever in Kauai!

One bad point to today: I discovered BLISTERS on my chest from the sunburn! Very small, clear blisters on the reddest parts! I am so upset, I hate that I damaged my skin so badly. I am NEVER going to go without sunscreen again. Ever. This is just way too painful and way too scary to deal with. The bright side is most of the sunburns are not as painful today, just a few around the edges of my bikini. Gah.

So we came back from Waimea, taking a quick detour to find where the blowhole spout is (right by us) and found a great deal on snorkeling equipment (Boss Frog's, must go back) and realized we were right by Poipu Beach, which is supposed to have great snorkeling. Unfortunately we were too darn tired to explore any of that today.

Now we are back in the resort. Allie, Zach, and Clay are at Shipwreck Beach boogie-boarding, though it is nearly dark and they should be back soon. Andra and Drew just drove to rent a movie for tonight, and I am sitting here by myself after a shower and reapplying medicated Aloe Vera all over. Yay!

As soon as my friend and Drew come back I'm off to the main area to connect to wifi and to upload these last few days posts and put the pictures up! . . . they are home now and could not find the movie place but did buy some pasta to make for dinner!

We are having a wonderful time, sunburns aside, and I am just in love with how beautiful Kauai is. The only thing that would make this vacation even better is if Nick was here. Then it would be perfect.

Kauai Day Three, Friday

Kauai Day Three, Friday

The next morning was full of pain. We had debated going on a hike today (a SHADY hike) to stay out of the sun and the beach to let our sunburns heal.


We hurt too much to move. They had worsened over the night to the point where moving and sitting and even touching them hurt badly.

So we stayed in, putting on more aloe vera, eating, and sitting on the balcony. I woke up two hours before everyone again and spent the time reading Emma on the balcony and then dozing. There was no rain but it was kind of chilly so I ended up dozing with a beach towel over me on the lounge chair. We had bagels, fruit, and some poppyseed muffins for breakfast, and the others also had egg, ham, and cheese sandwiches.

My friend and Drew ran out to go to the store again and came back with aloe vera with lidocaine and tea tree oil. I took another Alleve and then a Benadryl to see if it would help with inflammation, but it mostly made me sleepy, so I tried to read in bed for a while and ended up falling asleep for two or three hours.

After my nap I put the lidocaine aloe vera on, which felt pretty darn amazing, yay! It didn't deal with all the pain however, so boo. And it doesn't last long, double boo.

Zach and Allie had left on a walk that morning and spent the day at the beach (they were not burned as badly as the rest of us) and we all stayed in until five or so when we decided to go on a hike at Poipu Beach by tide pools and blowholes, according to a book the concierge loaned us.

And thus began the most intensive hiking preparation ever seen.

Two layers of thick sunblock! Bathing suits just in case we wanted to swim after the sun went down! Workout capri's and a t-shirt, plus a 3/4 sweater! my friend and Drew had hats on, and Clay put a t-shirt over his head! We packed two backpacks with three different sunblocks, some snacks, water, a hiking book, our phones, and my big camera! We drove a mile or so to the Poipu Beach, and started walking around where the book said to go, and realized that it was just a beach area and not a hike at all.

We looked super cool in our intense sun-blocking outfits when surrounded by people in their swimwear, let me tell you.

We walked along the tide pools and saw some fish and crabs and lava rock, very pretty. We saw some sea turtles by the rocks on our hike, they were so cute! We found Zach and Allie, and Zach decided to walk back like they had came and Allie decided to swim in a little area where a ton of people were swimming. The ironic part was that beach had at least six signs saying “Do not Swim!” “Danger—Strong Current!” but there were so many people swimming and using boogie boards! We weren't comfortable leaving her so we stayed in the shade and watched her, feeling like bodyguards or something in our outfits. I called Nick and said goodnight. I miss him.

After her swim we started walking back to our car, and found a shop that rented boogie boards for $20 for a week! Great deal! They rented three and then were so excited that after driving home Drew, Clay, Allie, and Zach went out and boogie boarded at Shipwreck Beach. (In front of the Hyatt, the beach where we burned so badly the first day.) my friend and I sat on the couch at the resort and hoped they wouldn't die, it was sprinkling and the waves were intense and it was nearly dark.

They survived! And came back and we made a pizza from Costco at like 8:20 pm and then watched some crazy surfers on TV and sat around and talked and got tired.

Drew and Zach had been sleeping on the couch pull-out, but they are so tall their feet hung off, so Allie and I switched with them for the night and slept on the couch pull-out. I had taken another Benadryl that night and slept very well.

And now it is morning on the fourth day and I am on the balcony watching the waves and seeing the overcast skies and . . . wow, that was a really loud and big wave. Eeek! . . . and being misted on a little bit. It is after eight and I am thinking it is breakfast time.


Kauai Day Two Thursday

Kauai Day Two Thursday

So this morning I woke up at six and watched the sun rise. Drew and Zach woke up around seven, so I was excited to go back inside and talk to real people! Then about fifteen minutes later Allie woke up. my friend and my friend's brother were still asleep, so we decided to go get breakfast. We drove a few miles to a small foods store, Living Foods. It was so expensive we didn't buy a thing! A pineapple was nearly seven dollars, a box of Kashi cereal nearly nine. Ridiculous. So we went back and my friend's brother was up and he made us all breakfast sandwiches of eggs and ham and cheese, delicious! We ate it with green grapes out on the balcony and fresh coffee that Zach made. Yummy!

My friend had been at the gym and she came back while we were eating. We decided to go find the beach in front of the Hyatt, which was supposed to be amazing. We went got dressed and sunscreened and started on the trail to the right, and went about five or so minutes before we realized it was in the opposite direction! We went hiking back and continued along for nearly ten minutes before we hit sandy beach, and kept going until we made it to this amazing area with fine sand and great waves. We lay down our towels and backpacks. It was about eleven o'clock.

The big waves coming in were irresistible and we all made our way down to the water, letting the waves slam into us and knock us around. my friend and I stayed for maybe twenty minutes and then went up to lay down on our towels in the sun, but the guys were in the water for hours. Allie joined us (she'd run to the Hyatt to see about a salon thing) and went into the water as well. my friend and I kept sunbathing, watching our friends, and just talking. It was lots of fun!

Unfortunately we stayed out for over three hours with minimal sunblock applications. By the time we all decided to head back to our suite, I was noticeably pink on my chest. After the ten minute hike, other people were finding pink spots. A few hours later and we were all looking like lobsters, excepting Allie, whose Mexican heritage helped her just brown. (Grrrr.) I was red everywhere. Everywhere! It hurt sooo badly.

My friend's brother had decided to stay at the beach longer while we went back, and ran to Costco to stock our kitchen. He didn't reapply sunscreen either. (For the record, we all feel reaaaally stupid.) At Costco we spent nearly $200 on groceries and I bought more sunscreen and some aloe vera, which felt amazing on the pain. I also looked for sunglasses to replace mine which had broken the first day at the beach, but there were none.

The rest of the night was dedicated to us talking about how stupid we were, realizing that sunburns hurt like no other, and trying not to move. Also to taking pain medication, because OW.

We also medicated with mai tai's at the resort's $1 mai tai and free appetizer event from 5:30-6:30, where they had a buffet style of caulifower, broccoli, carrots and celery and a yummy dip, two different fried things with either crab or chicken, and the yummy drinks.

Then we went back to our suite and complained the whole night about sunburns and how we are all extremely stupid.

LESSON LEARNED: if you are white, put on a ton of sunblock and then put on more. And for the love of aloe vera, don't stay out in the sun for more than an hour your first day! Owwww!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Photos of Day One and Day Two

Link to my Photobucket account: here!

Kauai Day One!

On June 21st around 10:30 pm I arrived at my friend's where I would be spending the night so her mom could drive us and her brother my friend's brother to the airport at San Jose, a three hour drive from where we would begin. I was expecting my friend to be asleep because of our early start that next morning, but she and her mom was awake and eating Chinese salad, so we all stayed up chatting and preparing until nearly 1:00 a.m.

Our alarms went off at 2:00 a.m.

After dragging myself out of their comfy guest bedroom where my friend and I had slept that night, we got all of our things together and were in the car before 3:00 a.m. driving sleepily to San Jose. I was completely wiped and fell asleep on the side of the car, the headrest in front of me, and my friend's leg multiple times, and when I next awoke, it was 5:00 and we were nearing the airport. my friend's mom dropped us off and we said our goodbye's before heading inside with our (heavy!) bags on our (tired!) feet. It was a bit of a struggle to get our bags checked, mainly because there was no correctly marked lines or directions and the airport lady running around would says something that confused us and then run off again. But we did it eventually! Then we went through the longest security line ever! It was like standing in line at Space Mountain at Disneyland. We finally made it through and then we were in the airport terminals. We were also hungry.

So we went to Starbucks and I had a white mocha and a cranberry scone, and my friend and her brother got croissants and a breakfast sandwich. Yummy! We chugged our drinks because it was time for us to get in line to board at that time, on the smallest big plane I've ever been on. It held maybe 80 people and had the teeeniest seats ever! my friend and I sat together and my friend's brother a few seats in front of us. We departed by 7:20 a.m. and arrived a little over an hour later in LA. my friend dozed that whole flight and the waiting time before our next flight, but I wasn't able to sleep on that flight.

The next flight we took a shuttle (loooong ride!) across the airport to the proper terminal to get to our gate, which was either 43 or 48. We weren't sure because the screen had bad pixels. We thought it was 43. Our flight was meant to depart at 9:50. my friend fell asleep in the chair, I called Mom, Nick, Dad, and my aunt Terry who lives by LA, and then suddenly my friend's brother says, “It's 9:50 and we haven't been called yet. I'm gonna go check it out.” Oblivious to the meaning of that sentence, I nod and he disappears, leaving me with a sleeping friend and some bags.

A few minutes later he jogs back and tells us to hurry, wake up, we're at the wrong gate and they are boarding NOW. We grab our stuff and book it to gate 48 and board the plane.

This flight we did not have seats next to each other, which was very disappointing. We were going to trade with people but no one was able to, so my friend was at the front, my friend's brother in the middle, and I in the very last row by the window, next to a family of four plus a cousin. It was a loooong flight. The kids across from me were quiet which I was thankful for, but not talking to anybody for five plus hours kind of sucked. my friend stopped by once and I got up once to use the bathroom and go say hi back, but as soon as I headed down the plane the seatbelt sign turned on and I got back down, and it was too difficult to get back out to attempt it again. I read Emma by Jane Austen and slept that flight away.

Finally we landed in Kauai! It was 12:56 p.m. Hawaiian time (three hours earlier than California) and we deplaned, got our bags, and started sweltering in the humidity. It was about 75 degrees in Kauai but the humidity made it feel like we were swimming through the air, definitely hot the dry heat we were used to around Sacramento.

We took a shuttle to the Hertz car rental place, where my friend (awesome my friend, who planned this whole damn thing) had rented us a Nissan Vesta AND where they got a surprise $150 discount on the underage driver thing because the guy had a coupon he gave us! Yay!

Then we drove off to Poipu, a resort area on the South side of the island, using my friend's brother's phone for a GPS. We didn't get lost, but it did take a while because all the drivers here are apparently sloooow! We were distracted, however, by the gorgeous lush plants and scenery and the amazing hills and cliffs. We drove through the resort area until we made it to our beautiful resort, and parked and trekked inside in our sticky airplane clothes, where we were greeted with “Mahalo!” and given leis and told some of the resort's events and checked in. We then grabbed our bags and walked five or ten minutes to our building, and took the elevator to the third floor to our room.

Our ocean-front room.

In Kauai.


The ocean in front of me as I type this is not an ocean you can wade in. It hits up against a rock bank/cliff and makes some impressive smashes, and is beautiful to see. The entire suite we have is gorgeous. It had a living room, a dining room, a full kitchen, a master bedroom with a king bed and a master bathroom with a huge tub and a huge shower, a smaller bedroom with a Queen bed, a smaller bathroom but still a large shower, and a few closets. And it had a balcony, which has a table and four chairs, a smaller side table, and a lounge chair that I am sitting on at 6:11 a.m. and typing this down in Open Office to hopefully transfer to my blog later today with some photos.

Anyhoo, after arriving yesterday we were sooo hungry because the long flight didn't feed you unless you paid $10 for a salad or sandwich, and since we had some trail mix bars it wasn't necessary. We decided to go down to the grill at the resort, and my friend and I had a delicious fresh fish sandwich with fries and my friend's brother had a burger. We were right by this huuuge pool that had lots of people swimming and lounging around. It was a pleasant spot.

There was also an incident.

A bird incident.

While we were eating, my friend noticed “the cutest baby birds ever!” flocking around us hoping for some crumbs. I decided to feed them some even though my friend warned they would all come around and pester me for more. I tossed them a few crumbs and started to eat a french fry. I took a bite and had another bite to go when one of the small birds decided I wasn't sharing enough.

It flew at me, beating its wings in my face and hooking its claw around my lip for purchase as it tried to eat the french fry that I was eating. I screamed and flung my hand up at the bird, and it flew away, leaving me a panting pile of panic and the other two dying of laughter. The long and short of it is I do not in fact, now have bird rabies, and that I will never in my whole entire life feed birds again. (Later today I would find a placard by the main room that says "DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS". Oops).

Another odd thing happened during our dinner. I started getting really dizzy. I'm not sure why, if it was the lack of sleep, the two flights and possibly altitude sickness, or the humidity, but we came back to our room and all decided to lay down. I called Nick and talked for a while, still feeling like I was on a boat rocking back and forth even though I was laying down. We hung up and I decided to nap for a while. I fell asleep around 4 or 4:30.

I woke up after my friend and my friend's brother went to get groceries, after the rest of our party arrived (Drew, his brother Zach, and his girlfriend Allie) and after they had made and eaten a pizza and were chatting around the dining room table. It was after midnight.

I stumbled out, said hi, and stumbled to the bathroom to take out my horribly goopy and glued in contacts. Then I walked back out and redid my hi, sitting down and chatting for a while as well. Within the hour we were all back in bed, though I was afraid sleeping would be impossible now after a day of napping and six straight hours of sleep.

My friend and her brother took the master bedroom, Allie and I took the Queen bedroom, and Drew and Zach slept on the pull-out couch. Allie dropped off right away and it took me about two hours to get anywhere near sleep. I kept starting to doze off and then jerking awake. It was hard to sleep without Nick. I still woke up every two hours or so, but I managed to stay asleep until just before six. The rooms were humid (we had the window open to hear the ocean and it was looooud, it also rained sporadically and loudly through the whole night) and I was hot and not tired anymore. So, in the dark of the room, I grabbed my laptop and snuck through the living room where Drew and Zach were sleeping, opened the slider as quietly as possible, and sat down to write everything that happened yesterday, while watching the sunrise. (It's beautiful, by the way). It has been raining with sprinkles and outright downpours since I've been out here, but it is cooler and the mist is welcome. The ocean is crashing into the rocks and those (evil) small birds are chirping. I think I'm the only one awake right now, so I'll stay out here for a while longer and perhaps doze a bit more.

On the balcony with an ocean-view in Kauai.


(Pictures have been taken, but with a really good camera, and they are too large to even upload to Photobucket quickly. Wifi is only available in the main room unfortunately, and my battery is running out. I'll get them up as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here is a dark and stormy looking picture of the view off our balcony!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Craaaaazy Girl

"Crazy Girl" by the Eli Young Band is adorable. Just throwing that out there. (It's a country song, don't listen to it dad!)

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On Saturday I broke down my 20 gallon freshwater aquarium and moved it to our apartment. That . . . was fun. Yeah. Just about seven whole hours of fun. Whee! (Tips for moving aquariums may follow in the future, but right off: 5 gallon Home Depot buckets with lids are awesome, don't use styrofoam because they leak all over your trunk and your jeans and are super hard to carry, move as much of your cycled water as possible, at least 50%, and once you're all done setting it up test your water again because the new water will not be the same pH. Oh, and if you are a crazy girl like me and decide to change the substrate at the same time, wash it ahead of time and leave some of your old gravel in a nylon hose in the new tank so that your bacteria from the old gravel keep the aquarium's chemistry levels from bouncing all over and getting new tank syndrome. It seems to be working so far!)

We also purchased six ghost shrimp and two mystery snails, and they are adorable. My corycat is SO much happier with the new sand substrate instead of harsh gravel, and my killifish is killing me with his possibly being sick but then being perfectly fine and MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY, DAMMIT. Oh, and if he is sick then I can't treat him with my malachite green because apparently it is bad for invertebrates and snails. AWESOMENESS.

I am totally obsessed with my tank again, yay! I want more tanks, including a super awesomely expensive saltwater, not yay!

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The private school I work at as the computer teacher/after-school teacher has their graduation tomorrow, and a field day on Wednesday where the staff and parents play the kids in a softball game and have a bbq! Should be fun!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I . . . have run out of things to talk about. My brain is going a mile a minute about tanks and aquarium plants and getting gourami and how I want angels but need a taller tank but I've had angels before but they've died after a year or so and waaaaaaah. If only money wasn't an issue! (Sob!)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh yeah! Kauai! I go to Kauai on the 22nd until the 2nd, with Andra! Yaaaay!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5k Race for the Cure

The Saturday morning before Mother's Day was a strange morning in our apartment, as we were both up at five to get ready for our first 5k! I imagine I looked like a zombie as I cooked ouregg sandwiches, especially since my good friend Cassie spent the night and we stayed up until 2:30 talking! (It was worth it. I hadn't seen Cassie in nearly a year, and we had a lot to catch up on.)

A little after six, our friends Andra and Drew knocked on the door, and our whole running party was assembled! We were a very tired lot, yet very excited. After months of training and sweating and nerves, the morning had finally arrived! We were clad in our (Champion) wear, had laced up our shoes (Asics for me, Pumas for Nick), stuck our time chips on our shoelaces, smoothed a band-aid over that stubborn blister on my foot, and packed snacks.

We were ready.

(Cassie and I before the race)

We packed ourselves into two cars and drove the five minutes to the race, had an easy time parking, and then walked five or more minutes to the huge crowds milling around on the blacktop, drawn by the loudspeakers. We were momentarily distracted by the huge lines of Port-a-potties, and had to test them out. (Tiny bladders do not fare well while running full.) We found the right place for the timed runners, squished ourselves between about 25,000 people (record turnout, most in 15 years for this race, yay!) and . . . waited.

We listened to 107.9 The End radio people who were there on a podium, heard some sniffly stories and some lady got a medal for something-or-other (I would have paid attention, but I was anxious to ruuuuuun) and then they told us it would be starting soon!

(Also, we were distracted by all of the awesome group signs that people were holding up. "Save the ta-ta's", "Bazoombas" and . . . um. I forgot. But they were funny.)

Aaand then we were off! They had the 7 minute milers up at the starting line and the rest of the pack kind of . . . ambled/jogged over the line, but once we passed it we were able to go to the side and kind of run around people. Andra and Drew were very fast and went ahead, and we saw them looping around the road at one point and waved and called out but they were concentrating too hard. (Andra actually placed in our age division, I am soooo proud of her!) Cassie and Nick and I were just trying to complete the race in under 33 minutes, which we totally aced. ^_~

The walkers in the race were on the other side of the road and waited about 20 minutes after we started running. It was so exhilarating being surrounded by other people, everyone who was supporting a cause and cheering each other on, that honestly the first two miles kind of flew by. There were water and aide stations at every mile and cheerleaders and radio stations set up playing music around nearly every corner. The race organizers had closed down some major roads for this race so we were running through Sacramento on the roads! It was so cool. I was doing my best to keep Cassie motivated and distract myself, and Nick was being his studly silent self.

As I said, the first two miles were pretty easy, which is keeping with my limited running experience. The first half mile is usually the most difficult for me, but once I warm up I can do a mile pretty easily. The excitement of the race meant I had gone more than two miles before I started to realize I was feeling it, and by the end of the race we were all going, "SERIOUSLY? ANOTHER TURN? Where is that stinking finish line?)

Cassie and Nick and I stuck together until the very end, when Nick sped up for the finish, and Cassie got a little tired at the end and just barely stopped to walk when I saw that dang-gum finish line and she immediately started running again, we both did, running faster than we had yet, and we totally flew across that finish line, which was lined with a cheering crowd and an announcer telling us we had beat 33 minutes! Nick was there waiting for us, and Andra and Drew were smushed up against the gate at the line cheering us on. There were tables of water as we walked out of the finish line area, and a whole huge area full of fresh fruits and drinks and snacks for the runners for free. I had a banana and some juice and a few crackers, and they were delicious.

We all panted in a circle for a little bit (okay, Andra and Drew had caught their breath by then) and bemoaned our sweatiness, before agreeing to go back to the car to grab our wallets so we could buy some awesome souvenirs at the expo.

Well, the expo was awesome and had lots of cool free stuff, including coffee and some awesome bags that I will use for shopping, but no actual things that we wanted to buy. Oh well.

After wandering around the expo for forty-five minutes or so, we walked back to the cars, and hugged Andra and Drew good-bye as they drove back to Davis. Cassie, Nick, and I piled into the car and drove back to our apartment, where I proceeded to insist upon sweaty post-run pictures. You are welcome.

Unofficial Team SexyLegs

Our new Race for the Cure t-shirts!

Nick and I. This guy is probably the only reason I was able to run this 5k, because without him doing the training with me I would have given up and eaten too much chocolate more times than I did. Thanks, honey.

So that's it. Our first 5k.

Let it be known that after this run we were all a gibbering mess, high off our run, and all babbling how much we wanted to do another run right away because they are so awesome and we are going to be so sexy this summer after running so much!

We . . . are all apparently crazy people, because we all still want to do another 5k. And then maybe a 10k. And wouldn't it be awesome if someday we could do a half-marathon? We passed one just the other day. And how many people can do a full marathon? Wouldn't that be an accomplishment? (So crazy. And yet . . . )

This race was inspired by a random thought, pushed to fruition via lots of motivation talk and spending-lots-on-cute-running-clothes incentives and threats from my awesome boyfriend, and has actually changed the way I think about running. It is actually sometimes . . . kind of . . . fun.

Feliz dia de las madres

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! This year I learned that while our mother's day is on Sunday, the Mexican dia de las madres was actually on Tuesday. I had no idea!

For this year's Mother's Day, Nick and I drove up to my parent's and had brunch at the town's elementary school, where mother's eat for free and the rest of us were only a dollar! It is put on by a community club and has pancakes, eggs, sausages, orange juice, and coffee, and the drinks and things were fetched by little boy scouts. It was fun!

After brunch we hung out with my parents at their house. Troy was still in . . . Ireland, I think?( He bounced around from Italy to Ireland to England to Germany in just a few days, it got confusing. But he comes home tonight! In like . . . 20 minutes his flight comes in!!!) That was nice, I don't spend as much time with my parents as I'd like to anymore.

Then we went to my Nanny's apartment and stayed for a while to talk and wish her a Happy Mother's Day. She recently got new hearing aides and it is noticeably easier to talk with her!

And then we were off to Nick's aunt's house where all his family was gathering for a Mother's Day dinner feast, full of yumminess and delicious 6 month old baby cousin giggles.

We left early because we both had homework due the next day.

It was a great Mother's Day. (Though I must admit, planning holidays now for two families can be haaaard. But worth it.) ^_^

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Personal Record

As I have been devouring new blogs about marathon runners, a new lingo has emerged in my lexicon! (Can you tell I'm taking a language course?)

One of them is PR, for Personal Record, usually in conjunction with super awesome running that you are proud of and display for everyone to see and admire. (I have to remind myself when I'm reading these blogs that yes, they are awesome, but no, I cannot do that [yet. yet? yet.] because I am just beginning.)

However, today I sacked up and ran 3.1 miles (5k) on the treadmill in the gym, and I did that in 30 minutes, which totally makes that my PR for a 5k that is not a real race.

Yay, me!

Things to Remember for Future Use When Running:

1. Download some new damn songs for your ipod so you aren't suddenly hearing a ballad when you want Shakira or Paramore or Avril Lavigne or someone that makes you want to run.

2. Anyone can run a mile! ANYONE. Which means when you only have 1 mile left? You have no excuse not to finish. Even if you've already done 2 miles.

3. Same with half a mile. If that Anybody can do it, I can too. And faster, even.

4. Don't forget the towel, because man, I get sweaty. Ugh.

5. I totally ran 5k in 30 minutes, and I am going to beat that time!

Race is in T-minus 6 days. Eek!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

To train rhymes with pain and yes, they are synonymous today

I don't even know if my title makes sense, I am so groggy from allergies and exhaustion that I'm not thinking straight.

Point the first: Nick and I biked 7 miles, walk/jogged another 4 or so with a coworker, and then biked 7 miles back. I was impressed because we have five minute biking miles now! But oh, how my calves were burning. And now I am typing this lying in bed with my knees and calves throbbing and my lower back aching. Lovely.

Point the second: Allergies: Kicking. My. Butt. The last few days, I have taken Sudafed and Benadryl and eye allergy drops to combat the itching and the sneezing and the runny nose and the congestion. Ugh.

Point the third: Race for the Cure 5k is next Saturday! We picked up our shirts and numbers and time chips today, and I'm getting very excited for it!

Point the fourth: the last few days I did not train at all. I kind of wish we had another month so I could work on speed instead of just getting to the point where 3 miles is possible!

Point the fifth: I'm reading marathon bloggers like a crazy addict. These people talk about 20 mile runs like it is nothing, man, and I am just in awe. AWE.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Flowers for my Patio

Today my parents came down and we went flower shopping! We started and ending at Home Depot, and in the middle went to a lovely family-owned flower nursery, where we bought nearly all the flowers. At Home Depot we bought pots and potting soil.

The tricky part was finding beautiful plants that will thrive in shade, because our patio is mostly shaded. We totally succeeded.

Here is my $5 hanging pot that we planted with a red and purple fuschia in the center, surrounding it with red begonias and white alyssum. It will look so beautiful when they are all blooming!

Here is some clivia, in a Home Depot Malaysian pot. I LOVE the colors and the thick leaves! There are a few sweet basil plants surrounding it, and an alyssum.

Here is the clivia close up!

This is a type of lantern flower that will grow 4-12 feet! (If it survives my not-so-green thumb!)

A close up of the lantern flower!

Aren't they beautiful? I can't wait to see them all when they've settled in!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ow. This is dedication, ya'll. Also me being dumb.

I ran 1.5 miles home from school today, clutching my cell phone and car keys, at 7:30 p.m. In my ballet flats.

I will give you a moment to picture that.

I had some reasons for doing so: 1) laziness, because if I didn't run now I'd have to do it later when I was tired, 2) laziness, because if I ran home then I would leave the car for Nick to drive home after his class and I wouldn't have to pick him up an hour later, and 3) an intense desire to be awesome and run 1.5 miles just like that.

And I did. Yay!

Present-time Katie would like to borrow somebody's time machine in order to go back and smack Past-Katie around for jogging without stretching and without proper supportive shoes, because her knees hurt now.


Citrus and Peanut Asian Pasta

Tonight's quick, random, thrown-together-at-eight-thirty-with-whatever-ingredients-I-had-on-hand dinner was freaking delicious. So I am sharing. You're welcome.


1/3 C peanut butter (real peanut butter please, not that crap mixed with palm oil and sugar)
1/2-1 C fresh squeezed orange (I used 1 1/2 oranges for juice and then peeled the rest and arranged the slices on top of the noodles after it was cooked, YUM)
1/4 C soy sauce
1 garlic clove, diced
1 Tbsp sugar
1 drizzle honey
1 big squeeze Sriracha (a spicy Asian sauce, you can sub any spicy thing you want: Chipotle seasoning, red pepper flakes . . . )
2 + long carrots, grated
1/2 + C of frozen peas (or fresh, or snap peas, or any veggies)
Ginger if you remember it, I didn't but it would probably go very well
Roasted, unsalted peanuts to top (I love peanuts and used probably 1/3 C in the sauce)
Linguini for two or however many you have!

Boil salted water and add linguini, cook until done. While this is boiling, mix the peanut butter, orange, and soy sauce in the wok and let it heat for a few minutes, until the warmed peanut butter incorporates into the sauce. Then add everything else as you chop it! Let simmer as long or as little as you like. Drain the pasta, put it in a bowl, top with big spoonfuls of carrots and peas and peanuts and deeelicious sauce over it all, drop some fresh orange slices in the mix, and enjoy!

This was delicious and really, really quick. Nick even said "You have to make this again" which is a good compliment from my gourmet-loving boy! He suggested using rice noodles instead of linguini next time, which I may or may not do.

Adding more vegetables would just make this better. Adding more peanut butter or more honey would be very, very delicious. And considering I was craving Panda Express yesterday, I think this was a pretty healthy was of satisfying that craving!


Monday, April 4, 2011


So. My first 5k is on May 7th. That gives me (and Nick, who will henceforth be part of "me", mostly because I am a self-centered blogger [redundant!]) just over a month to get into shape.

(And by "shape" I actually mean "ability to jog 3.1 miles without collapsing into a sweaty disgusting heap at the end.")

Prior to even knowing about the Race for the Cure, Nick and I had randomly decided to get into shape and started jogging on the treadmill and working out at our tiny apartment gym a few nights a week. We both can run about a mile and a half without dying. Much.

Enter Katie finding out about this race and registering, all within 24 hours, and suddenly we're both like, "Uh-oh. We actually have to DOUBLE our endurance. Crap!"

Friday we biked 16 miles, and actually felt pretty good after, aside from a sore bottom or two from sitting on uncomfortable bike seats!

Saturday we jogged 1.5 miles outside on the American River Bike Trail, and walked back home.

Sunday we biked 12 leisurely miles with Nick's family (lovely afternoon!)

Monday I biked 6 miles and stair climbed 1 mile, plus weight training. (Stupid treadmill-hogger guy was being a treadmill hog, so we didn't get any treadmill time. Grr.)

And tomorrow morning I juuuust might wake up early enough to go for a jog in the gym before I have to leave for work. Knowing me, however, I will set my alarm, wake up slowly, kill the alarm, and decide that working out is overrated and I could totally run 5k right now, blahblahzzzzzzzzzzzzcakes.

We will see.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Race for the Cure--I just registered for my first 5k!

On May 7th I will be running (at 7:30 a.m., can you believe it?) in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! I am so excited right now!

You know how a while back I was all chatty about a 500 miles in 365 days thingy? And how I haven't talked about that much? Well, I am still doing it, but only recently started to actually jog and be more serious about it. I had checked that blog and noticed a lot of runners were starting to participate in races! And I remembered how last year I saw one of my friends participate in the Race for the Cure, and how I thought that was a wonderful activity and a great cause, especially since my grandma was a breast cancer survivor. So I searched around and saw that it was actually happening soon near me! It was perfect!

I mentioned it to Nick, and said that I wanted to do it. He was really supportive and said he would as well! ^_^

I invited all my friends to come with me, and so far Andra and Cassie have expressed serious interest and will probably register soon. I hope more will join us but even if they don't, it is going to rock!

Delicious Eggless Whole-Wheat Waffles! My new breakfast favorite that doesn't make me feel like I am indulging!

Ingredients for Healthy and Delicious Eggless Whole Wheat Waffles

  • 1/2+ C oats
  • 1 1/2 + cup whole wheat (the 1/2 cup may be white flour if preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 4-5 Tbsp applesauce
  • 1 cup sour milk (milk with 1Tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1+Tbsp water as needed to thin mixture as preferred
  • Handful chocolate chips
Mix it all together the classic Katie way, which is to say, adding and substituting until you are happy with what you've got! Add more applesauce if needed, pour in more water or milk if it's too thick, play around with how many oats you want--it will still end up delicious!

PS The more chocolate chips the better!

PPS This makes a healthy, filling, still-fluffy and delicious waffle! We don't even use butter and syrup on top of our waffles anymore, but if you wanted to omit the chocolate chips I am SURE that adding diced apples in the waffles would be delicious, or putting berries and real maple syrup on top would be just as perfect!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So much cheesy goodness = Going to be running for hours at the gym

I baked a homemade pizza tonight, with a freshly made sauce and a dough with thyme and yumminess. Then I made some instant tapioca which is delicioso. At dinnertime I ate one slice. I felt pretty good. Like I didn't need more.

Flash forward to like an hour later, and I've eaten a quarter of the pizza and feel fit to burst. As soon as the super full feeling goes away I'm going to the gym and running it all off. Ugh.

I've actually been super good lately and lost some weight (don't know how much, I'm avoiding my scale) and eating really well. For some reason today though pizza sounded so good I couldn't resist, and who can eat just one piece, really? (I did, a week ago, and supplemented it with a salad. Which is probably why I was craving cheesy goodness today.)


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Updates in Real Life

I am on Spring Break! Huzzah! I am quite relieved, because for the week prior I was kind of losing my mind. I had four midterms for my five classes, and they flattened me a little bit. I don't know how I did on them all yet, so cross your fingers for me! I will say that taking Child Development as a major means my midterms are quite a bit easier, and less stressful, than when I was doing nursing pre-reqs. Microbiology was not my friend.

(Though I still have not re-started biting my nails since I took that class. Nothing like a healthy dose of paranoia about microorganisms and a year-long tummy-ache to let your nails grow like they are supposed to!)

So school is officially half-way through. It has gone by quickly, but I'm a bit anxious about the next half, because I have a LOT of projects that will be worked on and turned in by the end. (Papers. So many research papers. Holy cow. Apparently in Universities they actually expect you to WORK! Who knew?)

I'm sitting on our freebie couch, listening and watching Nick play Minecraft (square legomen! Aaagh!) (He says there is actually programming in it. Plus, he can blow things up with TNT, so WIN) and we just got back from dinner at Mikuni's sushi with his parents. It was absolutely delicious!

I'm still working on losing weight, and will post more on that later, but don't want to jinx myself. So shhhhhh!

It's raining here, and snowing where our parents live. Dad is back from Italy, he came home last Sunday, and mom comes home tomorrow! I very much look forward to seeing them both together and hearing all about Italy, (and getting my SOUVENIRS, yippee!) and Nick and I plan to go up Tuesday night to see them. Troy is traveling to Munich right now, as I type, on an overnight train. He is also on spring break, and I expect him to have lots and lots of fun! (Safe fun, Troy.)

Mmm, what else?

Working at the private school is going really well. I like teaching, and just found some free tutorials to help me out with Dreamweaver and programming at my university that I hope to take. Pretty awesome! I like the freebies that Universities give you. (Since you're paying a ton of money anyways.)

Nick has some pretty exciting news about the direction that he wants to take his career, but I won't post that until at least Tuesday night, because I am keeping it a secret from my parents. (Hint: it involves engineering.) (Teeheeheee!)

I really, really want a Starbucks. Something hot--like a peppermint white mocha, a caramel macchiato, a latte. Something warm! (My toes are cold. I think from therein springs my hot drink craving. If Nick were closer I would put my toes on his stomach to warm them up.)

And we ordered curtains! Red pretty curtains from JCPenney's, ordered like two weeks ago, supposed to come in 4-7 days, and reportedly shipped just a few days ago. FAIL, Penney's. Whenever they arrive, though, I am looking forward to seeing how they look! I also really would like to get some plants for our little patio and for inside, so I will kidnap mom and go shopping with her soon. ^_^


Thursday, March 3, 2011


I am staying at my parents house to take care of the dogs, cats, and my poor old fish tank which is covered in algae.

I am staying by myself.

I am staying here without my boyfriend.

I am staying with my boys, Io and Oz, who will cover all of my clothes with black kitty fur.

I am staying here AT NIGHT WHICH IS SCARY. Good thing I have four animals who will warn me of danger by probably hiding under my bed.

(Okay, not true. The dogs would bark a lot too.)

I miss Nick.

Elizabeth R

I'm watching Elizabeth R, a BBC miniseries about Queen Elizabeth, the last of the Tudors.

SEEKRIT CONFESSION! I LOVE movies, TV shows, and books about royalty. It doesn't matter what kind of royalty or what country, though I am partial to the great drama of the Tudor line.

Anyhoo, Queen Elizabeth just nearly died from the smallpox and her counselors are trying to force her to marry. Gotta run!

So Faaaar Away

My brother is in Italy and today my parents flew to Italy as well. They will spend two days in Venice before joining Troy in Florence.

While I stay here. Watching the dogs.

I had so better get some awesome souvenirs.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I don't think there is much of a way to summarize how awesome my boyfriend is, because he deserves more than a quick post about his awesomeness. Regardless, here it is. (Warning: the follow may contain mushy-heart-love talk.)

We tease each other a lot about being lucky--saying, "Oh, I don't know, maybe if you're lucky you'll get ..." (a back rub, a movie, dinner) and I always say, "Oh, I'm lucky. I got you!" If I actually stop to think about it, though--man, I am lucky.

I have a boyfriend who loves to cook, who is neat and (bugs me about not being so) clean, who even when I say not to buy me expensive caramel apples goes on the website weeks before Valentine's Day to order some, because he says he has learned not to listen to me at certain times. When the specialty caramel apples were sold out, he made me homemade caramel apples. They were delicious.

He watches chick flicks when I want to and I hardly ever watch Godzilla or zombie movies anymore for him. He puts up with my woe-is-me attitude whenever I am sick or my tummy feels funny (which is not nearly as often, huzzah!) and tolerates my grumpiness without being grumpy back. (A miracle in and of itself, honestly. I can be pretty damn grumpy.) He makes jokes about my messy tendencies instead of throwing my clothes in my face or refusing to rinse my bowls. He does the dishes because for some reason washing dishes makes me really grumpy--though I clean the bathroom without any pause. (I'm not entirely awful.)

On Valentine's Day he is especially sweet, asking if I'm sure I don't want flowers, or candy, or a book from Borders. He makes me homemade pumpkin ravioli with a butter, balsamic vinegar, and sage sauce the night before Valentine's Day because today we were both so busy with school we didn't have time together. He made me caramel apples--insisting I buy three different kinds of apple to find my favorite, and making caramel for the first time--doing a wonderfully fabulous and delicious job of it, too.

He buys me wonderful gifts that totally surprise me--my bamboo hearts, my specialty caramel apples, taking me up to the cabin in the snow, and my jewelery.

I made him a card. It was done in my computer class, it has two little bees with hearts and swirls around them and it says Bee Mine.

And he is.

I'm lucky like that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Florence from America


I have not abandoned my blog. I am just . . . busy. Apparently college professors like to give homework. Who knew?

I'm also quite swamped with preparing for my computer classes, grading papers, figuring out how to assign a 5 page APA style research paper for my 7th/8th graders, and updating the school's website, using Dreamweaver, a program I am learning on the fly.

In between I attempt to spend some time with mi novio fabuloso, and sometimes even have a bit of a social life. Not as much as I'd like, but some! ^_^

In between that in between, I spend time with my parents and my nanny and my cats!

Oh, and I'm trying to exercise. And lose weight. Speaking, I should go make myself some dinner. I'm debating salad or soba noodles, or just throwing them both together for a soba salad. Hmm.

The actual important thing here is:



He will be gone for the whole semester. He is taking classes Monday-Thursday and then exploring Italy with his friends. After the semester he and his buddy are traveling around Europe, staying in hostels for another month or so.

I miss him.

So I started a blog.

Florence from America

The name stems from the fact that I am, quite literally, writing about Florence from my cushy seat in California. I take the Skype chats, the emails, the facebook posts, the pictures, and toss them together on the blog. You can also find it on my blogroll to the right.

I update it pretty much everyday.

So yes. Check it out!

And perhaps call me and make me exercise. I find that being yelled at helps with the motivation.


Monday, January 31, 2011


Here's the man of the hour!

Meet Nick.

He just made me homemade meatballs with spaghetti. He deserves this blog post. (Truthfully he deserves a trip to Italy or somethin' cuz I have just been a BEAR to live with lately.)

I love you, sweetie!
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Monday, January 24, 2011

First Day of School

Short version, for I am tired and likely to misspell thingz:

Monday! Today! Four classes!

Biked three miles this morning getting to and from class, had a quick lunch!

Walked back, had class, walked home! Miles walked? Three!

Had snack. (Sliced tomatoes sprinkled with herbs and eaten with day-old sourdough baguette. Mmm.)

Nick drove me to my last class (three hours long!) and then picked me up.

Teachers so far: One Taiwanese, One Filipino, (both with English as a second language), and one Caucasian. All female.

I made lemon chicken with onion, red and green peppers, and Nick made sushi rice.

Then I ate TWO pumpkin cookies with icing that Vicky and I made yesterday! (TWO! Cookies are bad for being healthy!)

At some point tonight I have to do Day 4 of the 30 Day Shred.

Wish me luck!

Psssst . . .

Pssst! Come here--but shh! Don't let me hear you! You never know what your body will do when it realizes you're happy with your weight loss to date.

Because I am still 153! I was all prepared for disappointment of going back up in case my weight was just fluctuating, and it didn't! Still 153!

I'm celebrating with the same breakfast I've had for like, five days--yogurt with low-fat granola. Good thing I love yogurt!

This is totally a nonsense post. Ode to well.




PPPPS I lurve my boyfriend. ^_^

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Daily Shred Day 3

Today is day 3 of doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.

I still find myself yelling at her about halfway through. I'm not yelling nice things.

Then I feel guilty.

Until my sore muscles remind me that she totally deserved it.

PS I LOST A POUND! (Or possibly three pounds. I will share some numbers but shh, promise not to tell anybody!)

*January 1st I weighed 154

*The next day I mysteriously weighed 156

*I thought it was just a random weight change and would go back down again.


*I slowly, over the month, worked my way from 156 to 155 to 154 and today is the second time I've hit 153, yay!

PPS: Portion control and exercise. Who knew?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sharing is Caring, and I Care a Lot!

. . . which is why I am sharing this with you:


That is the sound I am making whenever I move, due to doing Level 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred workout video yesterday. I thought you should know.

Carry on!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aaaaallways look on the bright side of life! (Dee dum, dee dum da dum dee dum)

I am cold.

Also, full.

With a side of whiny.

So I am taking this opportunity to complain about it.

Let it be noted I have no real reason to be so whiny. It is nearly 70 degrees in my apartment; I just had homemade chicken pot pie and fresh blueberries in cream for dessert; it has been a good day--and yet I am moping about.

I did not exercise today. I'm disappointed about that.

Instead I went to the grocery store. I received my textbooks for my classes that start soon while still in my jammies. I cleaned!

. . . totally think that the grocery store was the most important part of today. We had NO food left! I stocked up on yogurt and granola, veggies, apples, and wished desperately for tofu to go on sale. (Darn stuff is about as expensive as chicken! Hmph.) (I'm not really that cheap. We still have tofu, I just wanted it to be on sale so I could justify buying more cuz I like it.) (Note to self: find coupons for tofu.)

On the bright side, I ate really well today! One of my biggest problems in controlling my weight is that I have huge portions. Well, today I had oatmeal for breakfast, packed full of raisins (and brown sugar) and drizzled with milk, then a single bowl of miso soup for lunch (wow. I just NOW realized I forgot the wakame seaweed! No wonder it looked different! Way to be observant, Self.) And for dinner I had one serving of chicken pot pie, and then blueberries for dessert.

Now if I could just motivate myself to exercise! Gaaah. Somebody please pick me up and deposit me on the treadmill! (I almost ran today. I was dressed to go to the gym and then realized my ipod wasn't charged, YES, IT IS THAT IMPORTANT.)

The days that I go to work I am invariably more motivated to exercise. There's nothing like realizing that you CAN'T go to the gym that day to make you reeeaally want to (at least until you get home and collapse--then you're fine on the couch.)

On the bright side--I am moving pretty constantly at work, so yay! Shoo, calories, shoo.

In summary? Am whiny, silly girl, who had a good day today and decided to start to blog when she was cold. Tomorrow will be a good day as well. ^_-

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 2 of Move It 2011 Challenge

This week I did:

8 miles! and 240 minutes!

The challenge to move it 500 miles and 125 hours this year, broken down in statistics, means I need to do 2 miles and half an hour five days per week for fifty weeks. The time spent on miles can count for minutes.

In that respect I totally didn't do well these last two weeks.

BUT I'm looking at this from the perspective that I'm essentially coming off a year or so in Couchland and working my way up to it.

I'm doing the Couch to 5k workout (when I force myself out of Couchland, that is!) It starts off really easy (my favorite part!) of doing 90 seconds walking, 60 seconds running, for twenty minutes! (I did that on the elliptical and then moved over to the treadmill for 5 minutes running, 5 minutes walking for twenty minutes. That was all meee!)

I'm hoping this week I'll do even better.

If I keep it up, I'm totally rewarding myself with running shoes!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Addicted to the Internet

I need to limit my internet time, methinks.

I spend way too much time on here and not enough with Nick.

He's sighing right now because he's grumpy at me for going online.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Move It 2011 Challenge--Week 1!

This year I joined the group "Move it 2011", where the challenge is to run/walk/bike/move 500 miles or 125 hours in 2011. 

It sounds pretty scary, considering I've spent the last three years being darn sedentary. But I used to do TaeKwonDo classes three to five times a week, and cardio twice a week. I was in damn good shape! I want that again. 

So, I joined this group, for both miles and minutes. There's no prize if you win or consequence if you don't--it's just a group of about 150 people trying to be active through 2011. Your prize is looking and feeling good. 

So! My first week is done! Let's see . . . 

Week 1 Move It 2011 Challenge! 

Miles: 6 (combo of biking and walking)

Minutes: 90 (exercising in front of the TV) 

Goals for next week: get to my little gym and use it! Go on the treadmill and start to jog! Improve my number of miles and time! 

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Boyfriend's Foot Is On My Shoulder Like a Silent Stinky Angel

He really is a sad thing when he isn't feeling well, which is why I'm allowing it. I would like to note, however, that he is only about two days behind me in the same cold, and he's getting much more sympathy than I received. Poor thing. 

Oh, there's so much that's happened, and so much that has stayed the same. Let's see. Nick and I both are now 22, which is exciting but kind of a letdown after turning 21 and being allowed to drink. What are we allowed to do at 22 that we couldn't do before? Say we're a year older, I suppose. 

Presents! Presents happened, they were lovely. We had birthdays and then Christmas, and now I can't think of anything else that we either need or want. (Lies. There's always more want.) Our kitchen is not wonderfully full of all kinds of gadgets. Which is good for us, but bad for my waistline. 

We spent hours opening these presents. It was fabulous!

Santa wrote my cousin Adam a letter, complete with sparkly snowflakes and a Rudolph. Santa likes sparkles. Katie likes sparkles. ^_-

It was a good Christmas. We returned via the sardinemobile and were happy to be home . . . and then promptly fell sick with a cold, which returns me to my poor sick boyfriend and his feet. 

We both felt kind of icky and so stayed home for New Years Eve. 

(TANGENT: Have you seen that How I Met Your Mother episode where the group of friends goes out to a club and they explain the differences between singles and couples? About how singles move around and get drinks and talk, but couples are so exhausted by the very act of leaving the house that they find a seat and stay there? That's now Nick and I are. We are a couple of old fogies living in 22-year-old bodies.)

(TANGENTY TANGENT: Barney's quote from HIMYM "When I'm sick I just stop being sick and be awesome instead. True story.") (I love that guy.) 

ANYWAYS, SO, Nick and I stayed in and made spinach mushroom cheese ravioli's with our new kitchen aid and the new ravioli maker and they were DELICIOUS and then I made peach bellini's (frozen peaches, champagne, peach liquor, YUM) and then we watched Star Wars IV and smooched at midnight. 

Time for the requisite New Year's Resolution List

1) I will complete 500 miles this year! And do 30 minutes of exercise a day!

2) My mom and I will lose 2lbs a month (minimum) until we reach our goal weights! We will then maintain them. Yay!

3) Clean, clean, clean. Do not let apartment get explody again. 

4) Spend more time with boyfriend and less time on computer. 

5) Be happy and healthy and not let my stomach take over like it did for awhile there

PS: My boyfriend's resolution this year was to kiss me more. I think I'm gonna like 2011. ^_^