Happy Halloween

Candy shaped as Halloween Pumpkin on rustic Wood

Happy Halloween!  I just bought candy for the trick or treaters last night because it’s really not safe in our house.  Chris and I both ate candy until we had belly aches.  Minky ate something weird outside so he joined the belly ache party.  My favorite part of Halloween is the super cute really little kids who come out early with their little pumpkin buckets.  I want to give them all the candy!

1. What’s scarier than a haunted house?  The McKamey Manor…nobody has ever completed it!

2. Need some last minute ideas for treats for your Halloween party?  Try these sugar skull cake pops.

3. Keep your pets safe!  Remember chocolate (and glow sticks and decorations) are quite enticing to your dog, but are no safe.

4. I have always wanted to make a Halloween cocktail with dry ice.

5. Celebrities seem to put more thought into their Halloween costumes than they do for outfits for award shows.

Be safe and have fun!!!

California Dreamin’

Huntington Beach Pier Surfer

It’s time to stop dreaming and start living.  I have been talking about moving back to California ever since we moved to Virginia ten years ago.  Well…the time has finally come!  In just a few short weeks our house is getting packed up and the three of us (me, my husband and our cat) are making the one way trip.  I admit that I’m nervous whether or not this is the right decision or if the idea of  living in California again is better than the reality…but I need to give it a shot.  If it doesn’t work out, we will just move again and try somewhere else.

Change sometimes paralyzes me so I am trying not to think about all the “what if’s” of things that could go wrong and make me regret this decision.  Instead I am going to live in the present and enjoy.

Katie Queen of Tennessee

This is the perfect song and video for when you need a pick me up.  It is just full of pure joy.  Life has been a bit stressful lately so I turn on this song or video and it instantly relaxes me.

Katie Queen of Tennessee by The Apache Relay is a simple song about a boy who likes a girl.  The video is a dance team from a dance school in Nashville and takes place in Vince Gill’s barn.  Enjoy!

 

Sexy Halloween Costumes

I have not dressed up for Halloween in a long time, but when I did, I went for the cute look rather than the sexy look.

50′s girl in college (with really bad hair leftover from the 80′s)

50's costume

Little Red Riding Hood

little red-2

I find it amusing that Halloween is a time to dress “sexy”.  Look on any costume web site for “sexy” anything and it can be found.  It is even a category of its own on costume web sites where for adults there are choices for Men’s Costumes, Women’s Costumes, Plus Size Costumes and Sexy Costumes.  What if you are plus size and want to be sexy instead of dressing like Mr. Potato Head?

Back in my teen years all the girls wanted to the French Maid or maybe a sexy witch, but that was the extent of the sexy costumes.  Now any costume you think of can be made sexy (except for Mr. Potato Head)…even things that are not usually considered sexy.  Want to be a bumble bee?  Why not a sexy bumble bee instead?  Nurse, cat, sailor, lumberjack, you name it, you can get the sexy version.  Even Olive Oyl…although I do not really recommend it.

I also don’t recommend going as a hobo if you want to be sexy or cute, but this was fun when I was a kid.

hobo costume

By the way, who even really uses the word “sexy” anymore beside describing Halloween costumes?

Are you dressing up?  What is your costume this year?

The Simple Things

The world is really a messed up place right now.

Ebola.  ISIS.  School shootings.

If we think too much about it life can get overwhelming.  We need to stop and think each day about the simple things in life that we are thankful for and make us happy.

I stress a lot about saving money, but yesterday this was put into perspective.  I was at the doctor’s office in the waiting room (waiting for my primary care doctor who is always running one hour behind, even at 8:30am) and a young man at the counter was uncomfortable when he was told he had a $10 co-pay and owed $10 from the last visit.  He asked if he had to pay today and when the receptionist said yes, he hesitantly handed over a bank card and told her he wasn’t sure how much money was in his checking account.  This made me step back and realize I am lucky that I do not need to worry about paying for my medical bills.

Here are some simple things that make me happy right now:

1. Today is Friday which means it’s pizza and cocktail night with my husband.

2. To make it an even better Friday, the Dodgers are playing game 1 of the playoffs tonite.

3. Even though I have a horrendous drive to and from work each day, it is very pretty this time of year with views of the changing leaves, the Potomac river, Georgetown and the Washington DC monuments.

4. This picture that I printed and framed for my family room.  Love the red umbrella.

Eiffel tower view from the street of Paris

What simple things make you happy today?

5 Food Trends that Should Die

Food trends come and go.  Here are five food trends I hope go the way of the pet rock very soon.

hamburger witih egg

1. Kale – Coating it in butter or oil to break down the texture (think kale chips), which most people do, really ruins the point of eating kale.

2. Quinoa – Does anyone really like quinoa?  Most people don’t even know how to pronounce it correctly.  I’ll stick with brown rice, thank you.

3. Egg on top – I like eggs, but not on top of anything.  I don’t even like watching someone else eat something, like a burger, with an egg put on top of it. It’s just wrong.

4. Small plates – I want a reasonable sized plate of food in a restaurant…not 6 or 8 “small plates” that add up to costing fortune.  Plus, how do you know how many plates to order and they tend to come out of the kitchen at random times.

5. Bacon with everything – I like bacon, but since I gave up eating mammals and birds I don’t want bacon thrown in everything because now I sound picky asking restaurants to “hold the bacon”.  Even when I was eating bacon, I still did not want it on my donut or mixed with ice cream.

What did I miss?

Open Water

What is it like to be driven in a boat for two hours 40 miles off the coast of Australia into open water and be told to jump in?  For me, terrifying!  I always freak out a little when I get in the water off a boat to snorkel.  When we snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef (years ago on our honeymoon) the first thing I saw when I got into the water and my finally got my breathing relaxed was a reef shark.  Yikes!  I looked all around and couldn’t see anybody else because we went with a small boat of only about 6 people and they had all already swam off in different directions.  I think the shark was as scared as I was though and swam away to hide from me.

My snorkel man had no problem though.
snokel man
A few years before this trip a couple was left behind by a dive boat and the story inspired the movie Open Water.  Luckily this was still fresh in everyone’s mind and there were multiple counts of people before boats would leave so I am here to tell you about our trip rather than you hearing about it in a movie.

Restaurant Quality Guacamole

Add avocado to any food and it is called “California style”.  I may have grown up in southern California, but I never really liked avocados or guacamole…until I had the guacamole at a restaurant called Rosa Mexicano in Washington, DC.

I started making guacamole at home using Rosa Mexicano’s recipe and it is just as good as in the restaurant! I get annoyed when I see recipes that are supposed to be from a restaurant, but then do not turn out anything like the restaurant version.  To make it even more authentic, and how it is prepared in the restaurant, use a molcajete.

guacamole

Store bought chips do not do this guacamole justice.  Make homemade chips by cutting up corn tortillas into wedges, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with a little salt and then bake until crispy.

This guacamole pairs perfectly with The Perfect Margarita.

Springing Forward

Spring is my favorite season.  I love watching the trees and flowers bloom and come back to life after the winter.  I find it amazing that they do this year after year.

The cherry blossoms are particularly beautiful in this area.  I have been to the cherry blossom festival in Washington DC, however there are plenty of trees right by my house that are stunning without needing to fight the festival crowds.

cherry blossoms

Each fall I think about planting bulbs that will bloom in the spring and I finally did it this past fall.  I planted close to 100 bulbs of varying types that bloom at different times to give me “color all season long”.

tulips

The bulbs needed the ground to be frozen for 4 to 6 weeks.  Check!  No problem there.  My only other possible obstacle is the deer.  My husband is convinced the deer already dug up the bulbs and ate them.  I don’t believe this though.  Some of the bulbs were labeled “deer resistant” and some were not.  I think the deer are going to be kind to me and I am confident my yard is going to have an explosion of color this spring.

What is your favorite thing about spring?

The Winter Blues

When is this winter going to be over? It’s been long and cold with much more snow and ice than normal. Every week there seems to be something…ice, snow, extreme cold…maybe some of each. I tend to go into a funk in the winter, but something about the calendar turning from February to March gives me a spring in my step thinking winter is almost over.

Instead I woke up to this today.

photo

Winter is supposed to come “in like a lion and out like a lamb”, but this is no lamb.

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