Monday, June 27, 2011

What a Crabby Father's Day.

So, Although this is over a week belated, I have been meaning to share pics from Father's Day Fish Fest 2011.
We have a Father's Day tradition which is to make little old Donny more crab (and sometimes lobster) than his patriarchal heart could ever dream of and indulge him with the treats of the sea. And even though we do the exact same thing every... single... year (for over ten years), we have the same problem every... single... year: How much crab should we buy? You'd think that we'd have a component as simple and vital to the success of the meal like that figured out long ago, but this is just simply not the case. Instead, my mom, Kaitlin and I find ourselves standing in front of the Crab Man at Costco arguing over whether the conservative 6 lb. range is enough or the more excessive 10 lbs. is appropriate.

Somehow, I seemed convince mom to go with the theory that more is more and in regards to our one crab splurge a year, there should be no careful consideration involved. More.
Though I have always been somehow involved of the preparation of the food, this year mom said Kaitlin and I were old enough to take on the responsibility of handling the crab. But just because I'm old enough to make the crab DOES NOT mean I'm mature enough not to take the opportunity to play with the food. Don't my claws look so real?

And here is the man of the hour. Doesn't he just look so filled with fatherly satisfaction? Other must haves of the meal include sourdough bread rolls, beer and KFC cole slaw. He's just as happy as a... crab? Come on... If you thought I was going to pass up that joke opportunity you must be new to this blog. Welcome.

Well, it turns out that 10 lbs. of crab is ridiculously too much for 4 people and at the end of the meal we had about 6.5 lbs. leftover. My bad. But do not fear for Crab Soup is here! The next day after I came home from work, it was all about lady team effort once again as Kaitlin, mom and I made a delicious and (somewhat) nutritious crab bisque.

Taken over by the excitement of our pending meal (and by the fact that I was wearing my mom's amazing red house dress she has literally had since I was born) I felt the urge to dance. First it came slow with a little shake in my hips and the tap of my spoon, but soon the spirit of the dance had taken over me and I could not be tamed.

The crab dance had started in our heads, our hearts and our feet.

A haiku:

Sometimes crabs are bad
Simmer, simmer feet and soup
Crab Dance your ass off

The soup ended up not being very good.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Much Needed Friday.

Oy. What a week. I know I've been a little slower than usual when it comes to the blogging, but that isn't for lack of trying. This has got to be the 5th or 6th attempted post this week (fingers crossed that this one comes to fruition).

I've mentioned on here how swamped I have been with work, but I don't think I've really explained how. Well, like I mentioned before, I am so lucky to have an awesome job this summer at Studio Suzan, a small collectible jewelry store over in Costa Mesa. I lucked out majorly due to the fact that they're office manager and all around keeps-everything-together-like-glue-angel-lady-extroardinaire, Martha, is about 8 and a half months pregnant and is going on maternity leave any day now, really. So, I am currently being trained (fast fast fast before her water breaks) as her replacement (replacement, by the way is such an overstatement, because I will never be as amazing as Martha is) for the next 6 weeks.

I'm already learning so much and I am finding out how much I love having a job and being a productive worker bee, but working 4 days a week 9-5 while the majority of your friends frolic in the summer sun (or lack thereof) can be a bit of a buzz kill. And because all of my days are taken up with work, all friends and family time gets pushed to my nights. So this week, like last, I had quite the marathon of birthday parties, sleepovers, father's day celebrations (pictures of that broo-haha are still coming) and anything and everything wonderful. And as much as I had a blast doing literally every single thing on my schedule this week, it is now Friday afternoon at 8:25 sitting in my bed listening to James Taylor and I am poopled (I meant to type pooped, but I think I like the typo version better. Poopled. New word).

Julia fun fact: If I'm in a crummy mood, usually (99.999% of the time) it's because I'm tired or hungry. I'm like a baby that way. And unless you give me sleep or food, it is near impossible to get me out of that mood. I'm like a brat that way. BUT! Subtly turn on James Taylor and my mood will take a 180 guaranteed. I'm like my mom that way.

So, even though I feel like I have been doing this waaay too much lately and kind of using the fact that I'm being an actually productive and contributing person as a blogger's cop-out, I am going to once again just post pictures from my phone. Because they are what is making me happy right now. And when I am on my lunch break at work and I wonder what everyone in the real world is doing at that very moment, the pictures on my phone (and angry birds) are what I turn to.

Here we see dear Kaitlin giving me a loving sendoff on Tuesday on my way to work. She, about to go on a walk with Kaytee Drake, insisted that we document this moment of, in her words "you being smart and going to work and me being a lazy loser"-- a recreation of a similar picture we took together way back when I was on my way to school in 7th grade and she was at home, sick.

Here is the original.
Notable changes: Different house, my neck is significantly beefier and Kaitlin's hair is adorably shorter.
Although, it is evident that Kaitlin still loves brightly colored shorts.

Hey! That's me in the front left sitting with some of my favorite people at Kelly's birthday! Oh, what a lovely evening that was. Cheeseburgers and laughter and glowing eyes. What more could a girl ask for on her birthday? A miniature pony perhaps....

I got to hang out with one of my oldest and dearest friends last night, Dana, and after a failed attempt at yoga class, we hit up I-town's (Irvine, obvi) best sushi. I can't recall the name of the place, but it was amamamazzizizizzinnnnggggg. Dana is seen here testing the waters with a mountain of lobster atop a delicious tuna roll.

There isn't a much to say about this picture.

The rose bush in our front yard is on fire right now. There are literally about 10 roses blooming right now. The little things.

So, while father Don is away on his manly man golfing trip in Nebraska, my mom decided to indulge her need for speed and the wind in her face by renting a convertible for the day. Just for fun. That's why I love my mom. Her spontaneity is truly inspiring.

I'm not much of a convertible gal. I don't know. They just kind of bug me.

Ah, Friday. I love you so much.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I like pop music.

Sometimes I get insecure about my taste in music.
Sometimes I get made fun of when my iPod is on.

I don't really jive with the indy/underground bands of my art school peers and I own way too many turtlenecks to be able to fit into the raunchy, bump and grind vibe of the top 10 in itunes. So, I typically find myself somewhere in between the 80's, 90's and Today.

If singing along to a cheesy pop and knowing every. word. is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I can't help the fact that I'm convinced no band will ever match the swag that Hall and Oates invented in the 80's. Or the fact that listening Talking Heads makes me so confused in best possible way. Or how every time I want to get my haircut, I seriously consider a Jerry Curl just to be one degree closer to Lionel Richie.

Enter: Phil Collins Pandora. All my favorite music. All the time. When Martha, my very pregnant, spanish accented supervisor at work started playing this station on her iPhone as I fumbled to bead 20 Baby Beaded Bone Bracelets during my first week, I knew we'd get along.

Even as I type this blog post, the station blares in the background and I couldn't be happier.

Recently Played Tunes Include:
Foreigner: Waiting (for a girl like you)
Don Henley: The Boys of Summer (Building the Perfect Beast)
Todo: Africa
Phil Collins: In the Air Tonight (Live)
Bryan Adams: Heaven

I mean, come on. Seriously? I rest my case.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Don't Know if I've Made Myself Clear...

...but I freaking love my Oreos. They are simultaneously crispy and creamy. The fact that they are black and white mean that they match with any outfit. They fill emotional voids that healthy behavior like talking things out can't. And they are BFF's with my favorite beverage ever: milk.

What could be better?

I'll tell you. Eating homemade Oreos with three of your favorite people ever.

My beautiful sister Kaitlin has many strengths. In the past, cooking has not been one of them. One time she burnt water. True story. But RECENTLY, my little lamb has been cooking up a storm! This weekend, there was the amazing greek pasta and then tonight she whipped these bad boys up!!! WHO ARE YOU!?!

I am so thrilled to be sitting on the couch right now wedged in between Kaitlin to my left and Taryn and Tracy on my right. It's funny to me that the older we get and the farther apart we live, the closer I feel to them. They make me so so so happy.

MMM-mmmm. De-lish. I only break-out the Bermuda Sweatshirt for big occasions and these Oreos deserved VIP treatment all da way to ma belly.

Oh. And then my mom spit up all of her milk on the counter because we made her laugh. Ahhh, Linda. I love you so much. But not just because of the fact that you let me laugh at you.

It's painful how much I love this summer already.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your Mercies are New Every Morning

Psalm 121: 1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills--
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord.
The Maker of Heaven and earth.

thanks, mom.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm soooooo tiiiiiiired.

Working 9 to 5 is no joke, kids.

My friends already call me Grandma (due to my senior like party habits and my AARP sponsored wardrobe) but is it possible that I'm becoming even more of an old lady this summer?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Painting the Town Fried Rice

As if you weren't sick enough already of hearing about my weekend, believe it or not, IT GOT BETTER. (I promise, this will be the last time I talk about one weekend in such detail on this blog, but I've got to fill you in on all the awesomeness that I experienced today-- this time it will be much shorter. Pinky swear).

Church this morning was awesome. The sermon was about stewardship and saving/spending wisely. Sat there and listened to it in my new dress that I bought on Friday with Lauren. Remember? The one that I didn't need. CONVICTED.

Then I went to lunch with Kaitlin, Casey and Taryn at Wahoo's. It's scary how much I love their shrimp enchiladas and doubly scary how quickly I ate two of them.

Taryn, a glutton for punishment, then spent a couple hours helping me re-organize my room and make it so beautiful. I finally feel comfortable enough to spend more than 5 minutes at a time in here. Successfulness abounds.

Then I got to spend a few hours catching up with one of my favorite people in the whole entire world, Sara McCutchan. It was cut short only due to the fact that I had to start getting ready to go out to dinner at Benihana to celebrate Lauren Wess' big 1-9!!!!!

I can't wait to eat more. I can already smell the fried rice. Goodness me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What a Great Day.

Boy, Oh boy is this going to be a long post. Do you ever have those days where you look back and think "How is it possible that all of this amazingness happened in one day?!" Well, if you haven't, I'm sorry. But perhaps use this blog post as a template so that you, too, will be able to sit on your couch at 11:38PM and gleefully recall the wonder's of the last 24 hours of your life. So, put your big girl panties on, strap on your seat belts and prepare to read about one of the most awesomely perfect days in a while. It involves food, coffee drinks, people I love and multiple outfit changes.

Ok. Let's back up real fast and let me explain to you the week I've had.
Reader's Digest version: Got home from school on Sunday... Spent Monday and Tuesday moving into my house and seeing people I've missed very much... Started work at the amazing Studio Suzan on Wednesday... Came home feeling very overwhelmed and out of sorts... Got to spend time with two great friends (Kelly O'Connor and Maggie Magner) who were able to distract me from my sorrows with chocolate chip cookies and Gypsy Weddings... Went to work on Thursday... Went to work on Friday... Still feeling mostly overwhelmed and out of sorts... Went to dinner on Friday night with the fam... Got a surprise call from the beautiful Lauren Wess (finally home from University of Oregon)... Spent the rest of Friday night with said Lauren spending money on clothes I don't need, drinking sugary coffee drinks (Grande Caramel Macchiatto, Pleeeease) and a cup full of cinnamon sugar pretzel bites. Yum.

Alright. That brings us to this morning. Lauren and I were graciously invited by Kaitlin to join her and Kaytee Drake to explore the Mart Mix and the new SoCo district with them. "SoCo say what?" Well, let me explain this to you you; SoCo (short for Southern Costa Mesa) is an old furniture mall recently transformed into a farmer's market and local vendor marketplace located off the 405. Within the SoCo area, a venue called the Mart Mix is home to dozens of Orange County's local vendors. Am I making any sense at all? If you see me in person, I could probably explain it better.

Well, one of the Mart Mix's vendors is Portola Coffee Lab. Portola is home to only the most high tech coffee you will ever drink. We started off there to grab something warm and holy cow, these people take their coffee seriously. The man behind the counter wearing a science lab coat explained to me that their espresso comes from a machine called "The Slayer" and said that "By the look of you, you'd probably enjoy our mocha made with our homemade ganache." BINGO. He was right.
It. was. so. good.
Kaitlin and Lauren both got Latte's and I think the smiles on their faces convey their mutual satisfaction with their drinks.

Kaytee got some sort of pink tea. She too looks pleased.

Caffeine low on the plush couches of the Mart Mix.

We then explored some more of the vendors in the Mart (everything from clothing, stationary and paper goods, bridal accessories) and Kaitlin showed us to my favorite-- Macalistaire 1850-- a vintage store with some awesome finds. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a sucker for vintage stores. I justify just about any purchase in shopping situations already, but when it comes to vintage, there is no controlling the beast.

I was in hog heaven.

Come on now. This dress was literally 1 of 76 things that I wanted to buy, but stopped myself from going through with it. Partly because I was being responsible, but mostly because I didn't have the cash on me. Curses.
After being pulled away from the most beautiful collection of costume vintage costume jewelry at Macalistaire 1850 (If you're listening, Ivory Bangle, I'm coming back for you), we made our way outside to the farmer's market/food truck area that takes place on Saturday mornings. Look at how happy I already am-- and it's only like 11:00AM at this point!

This is SoCo.

Foooooood truuuuuuucksssss.....

Ok, if you've been living under a rock for the past 5 years and have missed the whole memo about food making a huge comeback, let me break this down for you:
"Foodies"- People of any generation who have a deep interest in the food they eat including where it came from, how it is prepared, the culture of food etc.
"Slow Foods Movement"- promotes an alternative to fast food and seeks to preserve traditional and regional cuisine through encouraging plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem (thank you, wikipedia)
"Food Trucks"- The love child of those two ideas, food trucks are forming their own cult like sub-culture following of foodies and supporters of the slow foods movement. They set up shop in parking lots and sell delicious gourmet food to-go.

Behold: the Beef and Bleu. I can't for the life of me remember what food truck this wonderfulness came off of, but lets break this down. Garlicky french fries topped with BBQ steak, Bleu cheese and a spicy sauce? You had me at "Hello."

Jujie happy.

We took our delicious delights over to some picnic tables that were set up by this lovely band, The Originalites, playing live their new single "Can't Rewind." They're on iTunes. Check it out. They were pretty good. And pretty cool.

Kaytee having her way with a chicken sandy while lead singer of the Originalites gets his groove on.

We laughed at Kaitlin's face in this picture for a solid 5 minutes. And that concluded the Morning portion of our day.
We got rid of Kaitlin and Kaytee so Lauren and I could head over the OCC race track to join our Alma Mater, OCMCHS (R.I.P.) on the Relay for Life. Half fundraiser, half reunion we walked around the track and chatted with old class mates for a couple hours to work off those french fries. So much fun to see my favorite Middle College gals, Haylie, Sam and Lauren. Can you believe it's already been a year since graduation? And made evident by this picture, yes, I am 6 months along and I couldn't be happier to be expecting a healthy baby girl in the fall. Big shout of to the wind for helping me out on that one.

Went home, took a nap, a woke up to this amazing meal prepared by my talented sister and mother! I think the recipe was called something like "Greek Pasta" and it contained, chicken, spinach, feta, kalamata olives and pine nuts. So good!

THEN, as if the day could get any better, I got to finish the night off by hanging out with Kelly and Megan at Alta while enjoying a fatty piece of chocolate cake!

At this little catch-up sesh, it was revealed that dear Megan Spicer is follower of this very blog. What!? Who knew?! This is too good to be true!!!!!!
Well, for those of you still reading, in case you lost count, that's 3 amazing meals, 2 coffee drinks, 9 people I love, and 4 outfit changes (including the pj's I'm in right now) ALL IN ONE DAY! I still don't quite believe it myself. Good thing I've got the pictures to prove it in case I wake up tomorrow and realize it was all just some summer dream.

I'm going to bed now. Sleep tight, little lambs. I hope your day was as fulfilling as mine was.

Disclaimer: If after reading this post, you are concerned for the well being of my blood-sugar, do not fret, for I have a master plan. Coming home from school, I gave myself a week grace period to give into whatever craving my little, OC food starved heart desired. On Monday morning, June 13th, my diet will go back to it's regularly scheduled programming of being a moderately healthy eater and frequent gym go-er. That's it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let's go to Sicily we can stay at this hotel and just slide. swim. repeat. slide. swim. repeat. all. day. long.

Meet you at the airport in 10?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Best Part of Moving:

Yesterday was spent mostly unpacking the 21 boxes of random junk that I have accumulated throughout the years. One of the perks of moving so much is that I don't have a lot of "stuff" in my room because I'm going through everything about once every two years. Well yesterday was the big clean and while I know about most of the stuff in my room, I was also able to experience one of my favorite moments multiple times throughout the day. I like to call this moment the "Cardboard Box Surprise" or CBS for short. The CBS is that amazing feeling you get when you open a box or unwrap some tissue paper and the joy of remembering something that was once forgotten surfaces in an audible "Ohhhh-- Awesome!"
I decided to take pictures of my favorite finds and share them on here because as I always say "It never really happened unless I blogged it."

Random Loot:

I am very specific about my office supplies and these Sharpie Accent Highlighters are the only brand I accept. So, to open a box and find 6 of them in mint condition? And in such amazing colors!?!? Boy, was I thrilled.

This wallet is obviously amazing. Found it one day cleaning out the high school room at church. Took it. Is that stealing? Maybe? No. It's totally not, because it had been there for like a year. And in case you were wondering, there was no money inside (dang it). Besides all of that, I like to call it my payment for working-- I mean, going to the high school group for 4 years. Weiner wallet-- I love ya.

Anyone who knows me, would not categorize me as much of an athlete. They are correct. BUT! I did play soccer for one year... I wanna say in like 3rd grade? ....hmm....Anyway, somehow I got on an amazing team with girls who had played their whole lives and....actually cared. I was miserable. I hated every game, dreaded every practice and was by far the worst on the team-- wait, no. There was one girl who was worse, but I think she may have had a mental handi-cap. Whatever. So, because we were so good, we always freaking won our games which meant the season kept going and going and going. Finally, we got the the district playoffs and won the whole enchilada! And I was sooo happy because that nightmare was finally over-- until I learned that we then moved on to the county playoffs. WHAT!? No freaking way. So my mom let me quit. But I still got this sick trophy!

Significant Scratch:

Apparently, I was supposed to give this to Francesca Nestande for her birthday in 2005 and never really followed through... oops. Lilikoi, here I come!

Oh what up, free monayzzz. Looks like I'm taking this $10 and going cray-cray at t.j.maxx, baby.

Vintage Fashions:

I'm not much of an antiques gal, and much as the same as with babies, I feel like when I touch them, they will break, so I try to avoid anything with a description that includes the word "fragile." But these hot little pumps were my grandma's until she decided she couldn't pull them off anymore. Come to mama, baby. I don't really know where on earth I can wear them considering I'm not really a "Take me out tonight; I'll wear my best rhinestones" kinda gal, but they are fun to look at in my closet next to my crocs.

This purse was my great grandmothers and is so so cool. It's in awesome condition and even has a few of her things inside. There's an old mirror wrapped up in this waxy tissue paper, and an a really awesome vintage ad from the at least the 40s. I don't want to use it and wreck it, but it's such a shame it's been sitting in a box for so long, so I think I'm going to make a shadow box to display it and all of its contents. Craft on.

This is one of 4 hats of my great grandmothers that we had in a cool hat box (that I think may have been hers too). It's hard to tell in the picture, but it's a little pill box hat that's covered in bright blue and white feathers. I remember playing dress-up with it as a kid, but I think I love it even more now.

Even with a little water damage this 8x10 of Kaitlin and me upside down on the stairs of our very first home makes me sooo happy. I don't really know what I'm doing with my hand, but from what I've heard, I was a bit of a spazzy kid and I think this represents that well.

Once again: spaz. This one is all about the styling of my outfit from the awesome "Hey, Mon" t-shirt, my sear-sucker elastic shorts and my fashion forward hand make-up. Also, a little fact for you: on the back of this picture says, it says "Celebrating Jesus' Half Birthday." I guess VBS was a little desperate for games that year.

Oh, Donald. This picture of you in your formative schooling years never gets old. Favorite things about this: 1. The adorable gap between your teeth and 2. The fact that you still have the exact same haircut. Hey- if it ain't broken, don't fix it. Eh, eh? Am I right?

I finished all my boxes yesterday, so unfortunately there will be no more CBS-ing going on. So until next time (and there will be a next time), all of the cardboard box surprises will have to involve some sort of baked good from a local cupcake shop.