Celebrating 11 Years of Best Buddy Birthdays!

Today is my best friend Amie’s birthday, her 26th birthday. Of course I got to thinking of our past birthdays… since we were 15 Amie and I have spent every birthday possible together. Her move to Washington D.C. for college left a few gaps but otherwise, year after year, we were by each other’s side—I’ve yet to miss one of hers. Could you ask for a better friend than that? I just put this little photo montage of our birthdays together to remember how special this friendship truly is. Happy birthday, Amie Belle, and here’s to many many more!

High School Senior, Breanna, Menifee

I have yet to have a session that I have loved so many of the final photos! I won’t even tell you how many I ended up giving Breanna because it was just too many but I just couldn’t keep them to myself! We did a two day session with two times to sunsets! Thanks Breanna for your beautiful smile and even your fake one! Congratulations on graduation, excited for where God takes you from here! (I seriously ended each sentence with an exclamation point… but I am seriously excited about this one!)!!

3rd Annual Hotluck

Have you ever been to a hotluck? Have you ever heard of one? 3 years ago, Andy was watching the Food Network and heard about hotlucks on the show Unwrapped. It was just three weeks before our birthdays and he told me right away we needed to have a hotluck birthday party. Basically, it’s a potluck but everyone only brings spicy food, which is my favorite food. It’s really fun to see the range of spiciness too! I was rating all of them, but mostly everyone got 1 or 2 out of 5, basically, I wasn’t the best judge as my spicy levels are very different from my friends and family! We also play a game, we call it spicy roulette. Everyone is dealt a cup of some type of food (this year was chili, last year was jambalaya). Only 1 cup has an extra kick of heat. Andy started with increasing drops of Dave’s Gourmet Insanity hot sauce then brought out the big guns with Dave’s Ghost Pepper sauce. The player gets the choice of staying in or bailing on the heat. I only lasted to the final three and got out of there after my first deal of Ghost Pepper sauce! Here’s just a glimpse into the party with a little video at the end of the post!

Left: Dragon’s Breath Chili made by my mom.
Right: Chili Verde made by my hubby.

Left: Oh My Slaw’d made by my friend Brittany.
Middle: H-Row Spicy Asian Meatballs made by my friend Eric.
Right: Buffalo Chicken Dip made by my friend Amie.

Shrimp brought from the Boiling Crab in LA, with the XXX spice, by my friend Lindsey.

Even my friend Lauren, who does not eat spicy food, found something to eat (with lots of sour cream)!

The Spicy Roulette competition begins!

The final two!

Left, Anthony, received a jar of Tat’s Window Maker sauce for second place. Right, Matt, the winner, received a jar of Tat’s 6 Feet Under sauce.

Time for cake… don’t worry it wasn’t spicy. It was Andy’s favorite: German Chocolate Cake. My sister did make cayenne infused peanut butter cookies though!

The bestest friends a girl could ask for!!

Star Tours 2.0

Finally! Finally, after three months since its opening day, I took a ride into the futuristic lands of Star Wars with Star Tours.

I loved it! I was never a devoted fan to the original though so I am not the best person to look to for a full review/comparison of the ride. It’s definitely a good time and that’s the point of the ride, isn’t it?

Before I share my photos from the trip, I just wanted to let all of you know about this awesome iPhone/Android app that will help you keep track of which destinations you made it to as there are over 50 scenarios for your trip. The app can be found here:

Download Disney World iOS App | Download Disneyland iOS App

Download Disney World Android App | Download Disneyland Android App

But if you don’t have an iPhone or Droid, or don’t care to download it, you can track your progress online here. And here’s a quick run through of the various destinations and variations:

The rebel spy beginning will begin with one of these characters

  • Darth Vader
  • Scan droid

First planet stop you can visit

  • Hoth (Empire Strikes Back battle)
  • Kashyyyk
  • Tatooine (Pod racing scene)

You will receive a hologram message from

  • Princess Leia
  • Yoda
  • Admiral Ackbar

Second planet stop you can visit

  •  Naboo (Phantom Menace battle)
  • Coruscant (Clone wars battle)
  • Geonosis (Death Star battle)

The above info was accumulated from this post from Star Tours Live.

And finally, I just wanted to share a few photos from the entrance to the queue and then a little fun photo with my friend Amie in our very cool 3D glasses.

25 Wishes

I turn 25 in one week from today. In a totally unselfish act of kindness for all my friends and family, here’s a list of 25 things I am wishing for my birthday. I did this for all of you. You are so very welcome.

1. C.O. Bigelow Ultra Mentha Lip Shine

2. A roll of kraft paper for Christmas gifts

3. Dave’s Insanity hot sauce

4. Freshly Bakes Chocoloate Chip Cookies (still warm from baking)

5. David Crowder Band to remain a band forever

…but I’ll settle for their new Oh For Joy album

6. A potted succulent plant

7. A Shelf Made from Wooden Pallets

8. Curtains for our bedroom window

9. Lion King on DVD

10. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

11. Photo ledge with some large matted frames

12. Seinfeld discs

13. Car Charger for the iPhone

Got it! Thanks Mom!

14. A Coffee Table for our living room

15. Tiny Leaf Necklace Silver

16. Homemade by Andy Seafood Dinner on my actual birthday

17. A Red Cardigan

18. A Bathroom Door

19. [Another] Tour of the Walt Disney Studios

20. Jon Courson’s Thru-the-Bible Teaching

21. iPhone 4S

22. Macbook Pro

23. A Pirate Ship for My Disney Guest Room

24. Dinner at Club 33

25. Trip to Paris Disneyland

Note: This is obviously unrealistic… I wanted to make that clear for all those who may be taking this seriously. But thanks for reading!

Too Fat, Too Furious Food Trucks

Were you watching The Great Food Truck Race? My husband is nothing short of obsessed with the show. So when my friend Brittany posted on Facebook about a food truck meet up in Fullerton, we had to go! Getting there and seeing all those trucks and massive lines was rather overwhelming so here’s a quick glimpse into what we had that night so that if you go to the next one, you’ll know where to stop (and where not to)!

But first, a photo of our drive to Fullerton…

And now onto the food!

The Lime Truck

Our first stop had to be the Lime Truck (winners of Season 2 of The Great Food Truck Race)…. we ordered the carnitas nachos which were quite delicious and they also served some lemonade (not just any lemonade, it was special, I just don’t remember the name as it was a few weeks ago—I’m not the quickest blogger!). You can’t really not go to the Lime Truck, especially since they won the Food Truck race!

EDIT: The lemonade was actually limeade! Thanks, Andy, for commenting with that info!

Whimsical Wieners

I really am guessing at the name of this truck, but I think that’s what it says on the side of their truck in this photo! Really, I will get better at this! Anyway, this is definitely one of my favorite hot dogs ever (sorry, Jerry, I still love you)! It has avocado! It has bacon! It is a sure winner in my book! And it was only $5!

EDIT: Thanks again Andy, for reminding me the name of the truck was Dogzilla. Maybe they will see this post and want to change their name to the one I made up! Maybe….

Slapfish

I don’t get seafood at home (hopefully for my birthday!!) so I had to stop by the seafood truck. Amie and I were dying to try a Lobsticle. It just sounded cool. So we shared one. See their promo photo next to our real life Lobsticle… it was rather sad. And it was $6… definitely not one I would go for again. Matt got the edamame though and that was so delicious! Definitely recommend those!

Dos Chinos

Andy had looked up the trucks ahead of time and wanted to stop by Dos Chinos—latin asian cusine. The tacos were pretty good, but I would pass on them next time to try some of the other trucks. Andy spoils me at home with super delicious tacos from carnitas to shredded beef to chicken, so these weren’t too special.

Chomp Chomp Nation

Brittany and Eric went to Chomp Chomp Nation and it was another favorite of the night. They ordered the steak and shrimp satay with a peanut sauce and rice. They also got an iced tea with lychies in it. That was pretty interesting and a little surprising!

Lee’s Philly

Again, I do not get to eat seafood very often so I take full advantage when it’s available! So yes, I got a shrimp taco from a Philly cheesesteak truck! And let me say, it was so delicious! Again, another top favorite of the night! And it was spicy! I can eat some pretty spicy food without wincing, but this was pretty bad! Not to say that I didn’t like it, but just a word of warning!

Louks, Greek Gourmet

We had to finish the night with some dessert but since the bakery truck had already sold out we settled for some Nutella goodness from Louks Greek Gourmet. This is definitely one to share! Read: do not order yourself one, and your husband one, while your best friend already ordered one. Plus, at $4, it’s a great goodie to round out the night and share with friends.

All in all, I definitely want to go back again! As soon as we have another open Friday night we will be there! Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Plus, the night sparked an idea for an upcoming event that is already in the works… Andy is coordinating a food truck v. BBQ competition teams that will be held in April at the Ontario convention center, I’ll definitely post more about that later!

Find more info on the Too Fat, Too Furious food truck meets up here.

The Vintage Marketplace

On September 10, the girls and I (plus little Eli) went down to visit the Vintage Marketplace in Rainbow/Fallbrook. I had first heard of it on the blog, Huckleberry Prairie, and had it saved on my calendar since she went in June. It was so fun walking around all the little shops, there was so much more little knick knacks than I was expecting! I thought there would be primarily larger pieces of furniture and decor but I think there were more items that could fit in the palm of your hand… like jewelry, buttons, dominos, scrabble tiles, etc.

We wandered through all the shops just window shopping. Then once we went through the whole market, we went back to make our purchases. I bought a large white wooden frame that I plan to use in a future project and a set of Golden Books from the 1950s and 60s. Total, I spent $22. I was so excited! Jess bought a old window frame that had been made into a chalkboard.

Enjoy our photos of the day… in total we spent an hour there, but next time I plan to take more time to fully explore each shop. It was a perfect Saturday morning.

These next few photos are from the Touched by Time shop. It’s where we ended up buying all our items! She also sells at Granny’s Attic in Temecula.

Thanks Jamie for taking a photo of us with our treasures!

The next Vintage Marketplace is December 2-3 from 9am-4pm. Hope to see you there!

Reminiscing San Francisco 2007

As our wedding anniversary gets closer, I start to reminisce about the past and occasions that I promised myself never to forget. One such occasion would be the trip my best girlfriends and I took a month before Andy and I got married in August 2007. It was one of my favorite trips I have ever been on. It was a time in life before marriages, babies, graduations, conflicts, careers, and moves across the country. A time where we were just six women who were looking forward to living our lives without a care in the world. And the laughter, the gut wrenching, cracking up til you’re crying laughter. I will always remember this trip so fondly and whenever I think of San Francisco, I think of these girls and these friendships that I cherish so much.

P.S. I don’t have these photos on my computer so these are linked from Myspace. Holla back at that!!

Mental Photographs

I love to take photos of everything I do in life. My camera is something I like to keep with me at all times as if it was another appendage. But what about those moments in life where you can’t have a camera? Or your husband highly suggests you to put it away so you don’t carelessly loose it while speeding down the mountain on an alpine slide? Well, these moments require a mental photograph. I am so very bad at these but in reality, mental photographs force me to live life in its fullest reality, rather than behind the lens. If I just snap a photo, I feel like I just took my memory and I can review it later rather than enjoy it right then. When the camera goes away I force myself to remember the moments right as they happen…

While in Colorado on Sunday….

I remember climbing into the alpine slide with Lauren sitting beside me, about to race me down the hill. I remember being the only person wearing a skirt that day, with my husband’s jacket wrapped around my legs so I wouldn’t inadvertently flash anyone while going down the slide. I remember, right after take off, Lauren screaming that there’s a chipmunk on her slide, twice. I remember the tall wildflowers leaning onto the track creating a wall of greenery surrounding us. I remember getting off the slide as it started to gently sprinkle. Then I remember finding out the gondolas were closed due to the impending storm and lightning. I remember hearing we only had to wait 3 minutes for the bus to come. I remember hearing the thunder right above us. I remember seeing the lightning reflecting off my friends’ faces. And I remember Kellen saving my camera in his backpack as the rain started to pour. I remember hiding my face against Andy’s chest as the storm poured down around us, as Debbie ran out into the rain, arms open wide, yelling how wonderful it all was. I remember that bus being more than 3 minutes. I remember the driver not being able to see out the front windows, just pure white from the fog. And I remember taking my flip flops off to run to the car, feeling the soaked asphalt and rain slapping down around me.

But of course after all these mental photographs, the real camera gets to come back out again, giving one solid hard copy of a memory, the result from running through the storm: