Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday: Second Edition

Alright, it's been a month since I did my last WIWW. So I thought I'd give it another whirl.
Excuse the lame faces and posing. 
I don't think I got my fierce on.
I'll be spending the next month watching ANTM to get some tips.

Wednesday.
Work. Lunch with Wends & Kidlets. Work. Gym. Survivor night with Dad.
White Top with Ribbon: Ann Taylor Loft
Black Cardi: Target
Black Cami: Costco
Sparkly Studs: Forever21
Teensy Diamond Necklace: Tiffany & Co
Black Boots: Kohl's


And...sometimes a girl needs that special accessory that will really spice up an outfit.


And give her a little street cred.
It's hard out there.
Thanks to Davis for hookin a sista up! 



Thursday
Braved the storm of the century. Shopped at HomeGoods. 
Questionable professionalism of short tunic over leggings.
Won't be doing that again.
Tunic: H&M (5th Ave, NYC)
Leggings: Old Navy
Boots: Old Navy
Earrings: Nordstrom
Necklace: Tiffany & Co (gift from my sister)
Friday.
Work. Sister dinner with Steigers and my sis.
Stripey Cardi: Forever21
Orange Shirt: Target
Orange Cami: Costco
Skinnies: Old Navy
Brown Boots: Kohl's
Spectrolite Earrings: Helsinki, Finland open air market
Anchor Necklace: Tiffany & Co, birthday gift from my parents.
Saturday.
CEF Training with Ellen. Shopping. Cleaning and Wii & Tea.
Bootcuts: Old Navy
Black Tee: Old Navy
Pink Cami: Costco
Northface Jacket: Nordstrom. Half Yearly Sale.
Opal Earrings: No Clue. They were in my jewelry box.
Pink Pashmina: Christmas Gift from my aunt.
Ugly Running Shoes: Ross
Sunday.
Hope Church. Hope Kids. Nap. Prayer. Chipotle. Elm St. to Grand Ave. Johnson's. Home.
Bootcuts: Old Navy
Brown Cowl Neck: Forever21
Brown Cami: Costco
Cream Cardi: Target
Jack Purcell's: Zappos
Teal & Purple Earrings: Nordstrom
"Hot Air Balloon" Necklace: Forever21. Not really hot air balloons. Just multi colored beads. But that's what my sister said it reminds her of.

Featured LMAO (Last Minute Add On) Accessory:

Bird: Hope Kids Craft Supplies
#putabirdonit
#alsohelpswithstreetcred

Monday.
 Work. A few lunch break errands. That's it.
Black V-Neck Sweater: Forever21
Red Cami: Costco
Skinnies: Old Navy
Blue & Red Heart Earrings: Little Pretties by Cara
Jangly Necklace: American Eagle. Jangles to the same tune as the jangles in Wont Turn Back by Needtobreathe. Favorite feature.
Floral Ballet Flats: Target

Tuesday.
Work. Return impulse buys to HomeGoods. Car nap. Back to work. Home.
Black Blazer: Old Navy
Gray Tee: Ann Taylor Loft
Black Cami: Costco
Black Skinnies: Kohl's
Earrings: Hawaii - gift from the sis.
Yellow Ribbon & Pearl Necklace: TwillyPop
Gray Vans: Van's Store. Gift from the sis.


Totally fun. 
Still a ton of work.
And makes me run late every day.
Haha!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wii & Tea

The other day, I sent out an email to a couple of friends:


One, because having a Wii night was long overdue, and two, I needed a reason to make this:

So, I set up shop.

First, the Wii:

And of course, the Tea.

The girls arrived, and we started out with Tea and Eclair Cake.

I loved seeing the mug that each girl picked.
They totally matched their style.



And then it was time to bust a few moves.

We kicked off the night with Gold's Gym Dance Workout - which by the way is choreographed by my Zumba teacher. It's like we were in Zumba class while playing.

The game came with a sweatband.
I require that someone wears it at all times when we play.
House rules.

Another house rule?
Soft feet.
Third floor living doesn't really mesh well with dance workout games.



I think the eight of us burned off the equivalent of a marshmallow.
It lets you know.
It's a big deal when you burn a whole chicken nugget.
But just one nugget.
Between four people.
No ranch dressing or anything.


There was a lot more tea.
Some cow racing.
Duck hunt.
We Cheer 2.
And a little more Gold's Gym Dance Workout.
I think we ended up burning enough for two nuggets.
But probably not enough for a piece of eclair cake. 


Monday, March 28, 2011

Chocolate Eclair Cake


You know when your cousins have a grandma, but it's not your grandma?
It's like, kinda weird. 
At least to me.
Anyway, my cousins have a grandma.
And at her grandson aka my cousin's request, she made this amazingly delicious cake.
Chocolate Eclair Cake!

Good news!
It's a no bake cake. 
Or maybe that is bad. I like using my oven.
It heats my house.
Because I don't.
I'm cheap like that.

Although I did use my stovetop for this recipe.
So that counts.

Anyway, it was my cousin's birthday, and he wanted Chocolate Eclair Cake.
TO. DIE. FOR.

I knew I needed the recipe.
And I also needed an excuse to MAKE the recipe.
Good news. 
I found one.
More on that tomorrow. 

But for now.
Chocolate Eclair Cake.


Step 1: Gather Your Gear.
Step 2: Layer the bottom of a 9x13 dish with Graham Crackers
Step 3: Whip up Instant Vanilla Pudding. And Milk.
Step 4: Fold in Cool Whip.  *Side note: I love when recipes tell me to fold things in. We had to take "Foods" in 6th grade - which is essentially cooking, and Ms Mitsuda taught us how to fold. We learned with blueberries. In muffins. It's not that crazy of a concept. But my mind was blown. 
Step 5: Pour half of the pudding mixture over graham crackers
Step 6: Smooth out pudding mixture, and start melting your chocolate. I used the double boiler method. And it's a good thing I started at this point. It kind of took a while since I didn't chop the chocolate into smaller pieces.
Step 7: Layer second layer of graham crackers (is that redundant?)
Step 8: Pour remaining pudding mixture over graham crackers.
Step 9: Smooth. Like a criminal.
Step 10: Layer final graham cracker layer (seriously, can I say layer twice?)
Step 11: Add Vanilla and Corn Syrup to Chocolate Mixture.
Step 12: This is where I kinda goofed. I took the chocolate off the boiler. And added the powdered sugar. Everything got stiff and not gooey. I couldn't mix the sugar with the chocolate. Hot mess. Only not hot.
Step 13: Return chocolate to double boiler, mixing in powdered sugar. Skip this step if you are smart and keep chocolate on the boiler!
Step 14: Mix until shiny again!
Step 15: Pour well mixed, shiny, and gooey chocolate over top layer of graham crackers.
Step 16: Using a greased offset spatula (patting myself on the back for thinking to do that) spread chocolate mixture until smooth. Go fast. It firms up quickly and wont be spreadable.
Step 17: Take a few pictures of your gorgeous creation and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.

Totally yum!



Here is the formal recipe:


Choclate Eclair Dessert
2 - Packages Instant Vanilla or French Vanilla Pudding
3 - Cups Milk
1 - 9 oz carton Cool Whip
Line 9x13" pan with whole graham crackers.
Mix pudding with milk and add or fold in cool whip.
Spread 1/2 of mixture over graham crackers.
Cover with another layer of graham crackers.
Cover with remainder of the pudding mixture.
On top of all this put a final layer of whole graham crackers.
Top with chocolate icing.
Chocolate Icing
2 - Squares Baker Unsweetened Chocolate
3 - Tbsp Margarine (I used butter, and had to use two additional Tbsp)
2 - Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 - Tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups - Confectioners Sugar
Melt chocolate, margarine together and add corn syrup and vanilla.
Beat in confectioners sugar and then spread immediately over final layer of
 graham crackers.
Refrigerate at least 4 - 5 hours.
Better tasting if made the day before serving.

Courtesy of Grandma (not mine) Lee


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Blessings: Insta Photo Edition


Sunrise. On my way to the Clover. Late. Sorry about that guys.

Trike Parking Only.

Apparently, Hope Kids don't do shoes. Every single kid took theirs off.

Hot Chicks in the classroom next door.
I took Ashy to see them. But she found something else more interesting.


Not Sporks. Formula and Baby Items for Mercy House Kenya.
Ashlyn had not one, but two trikes at church. KK had to help her get them both home.

Chipotle Sunday. At Chipotle. This is a first. But awesome.

Cycletopolis at Elm St.
Boys moved couches. I drove the bike from Elm to Grand. Without a helmet. Please don't tell my dad.


<Photobucket

Friday, March 25, 2011

Put A Bird On It Giveaway Winner

First off, thanks to everybody for entering! And for the retweets! Woo!
The giveaway was very fun to host, and I wish I could give all of you a little birds nest.

There were 17 entries in the contest (woo hoo) - which gave you a 5.88% chance of winning.
Not to shabby!

I used the Random Number Generator - and here is the result:


Which means
..
....
..........
...............
......................
..........................
...............................




My dear friend EMILY!!!
I actually still call her EMJ.
She is working on her own nesting, since she is currently pregnant with what may be the best dressed little girl in the world.
Arriving in July! 
Head on over to her little corner of the internet, and say hello, or tell her congrats!

Emily - the birds will be hand delivered to you on Sunday - unless I see you sooner!!! Love ya, and CONGRATULATIONS! :) 

Thanks again to everyone who entered!!!
I have another giveaway up my sleeve in a few weeks. 
You wont want to miss it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Skiger Thaigers

Say What?

Jamie, Ellen, and Cindy have a new new place.
Yep.

Two "news". After a few moldy biscuits walls - they moved out of their "old new" place, and into a "new new place."

And right around the corner is a Thai restaurant that a few of us have been lurking for the past couple of months.

We just never had the chance to go.

So when the Skigers invited me out for Thai - and to check out their new digs, you know I was game.

Best part - the Thai restaurant is called "Thaiger Thai" - how cute is that?

RAWR.

Thaiger Thai is quite possibly the smallest restaurant I have ever seen.
I don't think it was designed for the dine in experience, particularly for a group - however it was still fabulous.



The walls were painted PURPLE, RED, and YELLOW.

LOVED the bright colors.

The lady at the counter was super friendly, and fantastic.

We agreed to each order a dish - family style - and it went as follows:

Cindy: Mango Papaya Salad
Ellen: Pad Thai
Jamie: Pad See Ew
Angela: Red Curry
Laura: Pineapple Fried Rice
Kim: Pumpkin Curry


SO much good food. 


Oh, but we didn't stop there. Cindy got the table our favorite Tom Yom Kar Gai soup, and Laura got an order of Chicken Satay to share.

And Ellen ordered a few Thai Iced Teas.

I think this is a recipe for delicious!


Afterwards, we got to check out their new mold free place.

Laundry room.
Open kitchen. 
Window over the sink.
Visitor parking.
Gated garage.
Mold free.                    (did I already say that?)


Say it with me: UPGRAAAAADE!

Another perk? The Skigers walked. Thaiger Thai is only a few blocks away from the new new place. 

Definite perk. 

Then Laura and I made them spend the rest of the night watching dog videos on YouTube. Totally not weird right?

I mean, watch this, and tell me Denver is not the funniest guilty dog you have ever seen (and totally deserving of the penalty box):



And pure cuteness? Two Corgis on a treadmill (look out for #3 in the background.



And we didn't make them watch this one, but I'm adding it for kicks.



If you don't watch Corgi videos on a regular basis, you should probably start. You are missing out!

Today is the Last Day to Enter My Cute Little Giveaway - you have til 5:00pm PDT!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WOOF-Less Wednesday

In honor of the torrential rain California is experiencing...
 An oldie, but a goodie.

What, your dog doesn't wear a rain coat?

PS It totally doesn't do anything. She comes home soaked anyway.
PPS Have you entered my giveaway? There's still time!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

GIVEAWAY: A Bird on the Blog is Worth Two in the Nest



This past weekend I did some serious shopping.
It was pouring rain. I picked up my sister, and a coffee, and an almond croissant from my new favorite coffee shop, Kaffeehaus. And we headed to Burlingame. It is starting to become a routine. Weather included.

She picked up her favorite coffee at The Produce Stand.

Yes, we can't get coffee at the same place. #CoffeeSnobs

And then we stormed the doors of Anthropologie when it opened for the day.

I may have gotten some latte bowls.

And this adorable mug.



And maybe this cute sweater.



And then back in San Mateo, we hit up a cute little boutique, nestled between our favorite yogurt shop and local toy store.

As we were checking out my sister called me to come over and see the cutest display. Two colorful birds in a little wire nest. They were called Tweets. They were like little twitter birds, come to life!

We started laughing because they also had little tags, reading "I LOVE YOU" and "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" and "Best Friends".

My sister and I saw the Best Friends one and immediately thought of our mom:

One day, our mom insisted she had her own Twitter account.

When I called her bluff, I asked what her username was - to which she replied, confidently, "Twitter."

Right. My mom is claiming to be @twitter.

Ellen and Cindy, who's mom is our mom's BFF - have named their mom @twitter2.

They are peas in a pod. Or birds in a nest. Kinda like these guys.



So - speaking of Twitter...

Yesterday, on the first day of {SPRING} Twitter became 5 years old!

Who knew it had been around since 2006?!? Not I.

Although, I saw a link where you can look up your own twitter birthday - mine is December 26, 2007. I have had a Twitter for over three years? Again, who knew?

I love me some Twitter.

#ilovemesomehashtags

I ended up picking up a blue pair of Tweet-Birds for myself. I had really wanted to mix and match colors - but the shop owner wouldn't let me. As I was walking out, I thought, why don't I buy a second set in another color - and then give away one nest!

So I hooked myself up with two sets of blue and yellow birds. One for me. one for you.

I wasn't sure when I would give them away - but since we are celebrating Twitter and all (You are celebrating right? You were out late last night at Twitter's birthday party? You missed curfew? Bummer.) - I thought, why not now?

In this case, the early late bird gets the worm!

Happy {Belated} Birthday Twitter!

And who doesn't like birds? I mean birds make everything cute. Right?



err...right.

Would you like your own set of birds?


(teacup and party hats not included) 

All you need to do is leave a comment. And you are entered! Contest is open to twitterers and non-twitterers alike! These guys are CUTE!

You can get a second entry by tweeting (or retweeting) about this giveaway - just leave me a comment saying that you did so!

That is it!

Enter before 5pm PDT on Thursday - and I will announce the #WINNER on Friday morning!


#nowgoputabirdonit

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturdays are for Housekeeping

Well...at least sometimes they are.

I try and get the stuff done that I slack on during the week.

Dishes.
Laundry.
Vacuuming.
Grocery Shopping.
Blog Pimping.

You may have noticed a few new fancies on the bloggie blog!

I now have links on the right - so that you can connect with the Cuppa! (twitter, email, rss)


I made a few tweaks to my button - if you have grabbed it before, you may want to grab the new code. Or if you haven't grabbed it yet, please do!

I also have ADORABLE headers for my sidebar.

Many, many, many thanks to Becky from Adopt Africa Designs - who did my original header and button design and graciously sent me the flowers to make the buttons and headers!

She even is offering the flowers as a free download - and an included tutorial for how to add the sidebar icons! (Which I totally followed - and as you can see, SUCCESS!)


Anyway, she has done some REALLY cute blog header designs, and I recommend you check her out! 

And I'm just telling you this because I truly think so, and appreciate what she has done for this blog!

Thanks Becky!

And now I'll get back to actual housekeeping...

922GXWHRG3R6

Friday, March 18, 2011

Let's Take a Field Trip to Keep Up With the Johnsons

Hey Readers! Totally excited to let you know that I'm over at Keeping Up With the Johnsons today. 

Jessica has been telling the story of what God has been doing in and through Hope Church of San Mateo, and graciously allowed me to write a guest post about how the Lord used Hope last weekend. 


 
Make your way over there and check it out.
It's okay if you left your permission slip at home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SerendipiTEA

Earlier this week I was at my parents on my lunch break. 
Standard occurrence. 

It was cold and rainy, so I raided my their tea stash. 

I found a pot of cuppa Gold.

Pineapple Waikiki Tea. 

I love pineapple.

I love tea.

I definitely think my mom was holding out on me.

Hiding the good stuff.

Anyway, put some water in her Hot Shot 
(what you don't have one? get one. you're welcome)

And soon I was sipping paradise itself.


How cute is that. 
HI Tea. High Tea.

It totally tickled my fancy when I saw that.

I was so happy to discover these little treasures.

The tea.

The cute name.

As I sipped my tea a bit more, I realized the mug I had grabbed from the cabinet was one my mom picked out when we visited Serendipity3 last May.


I think it was a bit of double SerendipiTEA finding the amazing pineapple tea, and being reminded of that by the mug it was in. 

LOVE.

But honestly, happening on something pleasant unexpectedly is always more than just chance.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  
James 1:17
Like these amazing views I have experienced this week.

Sunrise

Sunset

The heavens declare the glory of God,  
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1


Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:16

No chance. No happenstance.
In His book, it is all written.

I'll take that over serendipity any day.