Well, I seemed to think I had a semi-interesting or relevant blog to write. Instead, I've been staring at the screen for 10 minutes trying to remember what it was I had to say. Or thought I had to say.
So, I guess I'll just backtrack a bit. My 30th birthday was on Sunday (the 6th). It was a nice day, but almost didn't turn out that way. My sister-in-law ended up coming down with this horrible, miserable cold (maybe even flu) and my brother was afraid he was getting it, too. Well, he was the one that was to cook my birthday dinner. And my mom needed to go to the store to get ingredients for my birthday cake, but wasn't sure she'd have time. So, already off to a bad start. And totally reminded me of why I hate celebrating my birthday. Miraculously, though, my family managed to pull it together and make my day enjoyable.
I requested homemade lasagna with BEEF in it (hey, it's my birthday, I'm worth a splurge!). I don't really like cake, so I requested a cheesecake. The kind with the sour cream layer on the top!!! MMMMM!!! Once again, it's my birthday, I can splurge. I also asked for my favorite salad from a local restaurant that I really adore. It's just a simple green anti-pasto salad with beets, smoked salami, pepperoni, black olives, and pepperoncini. But, the real treat is their vinaigrette. It's super secret. I've tried replicating it before and for the life of me I can't! When my mom was a teenager, she worked as the "salad girl" at this restaurant. Even then, she was not privy to the ingredients in the dressing. Someone would come in overnight to make it, so it was ready for her when she came in during the afternoon to prep salad. Anyway, it is so delicious. They sell it by the quart/pint, so we got an extra quart of it for salads for the remainder of the week/month. Too awesome!
I also remembered to go to Starbucks and get my free birthday drink. Since it was about 6pm when I went to get it, I got a decaf skinny vanilla latte. I gotta say, my Starbucks has been out of the Tazo Vanilla Rooibos tea for a long time. Even in San Diego, I was unable to get my ultimate favorite drink, which is the Vanilla Rooibos tea latte. 6 times in a row, at a few different Starbuck's I have been unable to get this wonderful concoction. Disappointing? In every single possible way.
My parents gave me money for a haircut (what I asked for), but my stylist down here (who is a wonderful friend of my family) gave me my haircut as a birthday present. She did a fabulous job. Not since my other friend, back in MAY, cut it have I been as happy with my hair. She took her time, listened to what I had to say about my current cut and expected from my newest one, and the result was wonderful! I posted this pic on Facebook and the next day one of my friends commented that her pre-school aged daughter saw my picture on her feed and she said, "Mama, I didn't know you were friends with Tink! (Tinkerbell)" Seriously, that was so adorable and such a unique compliment, it made my day! And I knew the haircut was the right way to go.
I've been cooking and re-arranging/cleaning my "new" kitchen lately. Since California finally pulled its head out of it's own rectum, kitchen cooks are able to produce artisan "cottage" foods for sale to the public. There is a little farmer's market here once a month where I would love to be able to sell some goods. I'm planning on checking it out this weekend (it's the second Saturday every month). Even if it isn't such a great venue, and knowing this region there's a strong possibility that it isn't- also it's fairly new so it's building itself up- I'd still like to be able to produce goods for sale in the kitchen. You're subject to health inspections, though, so you've got to be maintaining a pretty darn clean & efficient kitchen, which I'm sad to say has not occurred here for some time. Probably not since I left the first time around. My family are not known for their housekeeping skills, I'm sad to say. How I managed to be so clean, organized, meticulous, and efficient is really beyond my understanding. So, that's going to be a work in progress and a medium-term goal.
I sorta start school on Monday. Ugh. The college I just came from doesn't start until the very end of January, so I feel like I'm losing two solid, valuable weeks of rest by having to start in mid-January at this school (my old/new school!). I'm waitlisted for a stats class, and am number 14 on that list, so we'll see if I get in. I also enrolled in a Photoshop class, but really am not all that interested in it. I know I should be so I can improve my blog, which is something I plan to do for a long time, but even with my simple Picasa, I hate editing photos. A lot. A lot a lot. So, trying to learn a program that may actually need me to think about it a lot does not sound like a good time. So, we'll see if I stick with it.
No news on the job front. That potential job is still jammed squarely in the potential category. So, the hunt for something in the meantime continues. My DSS Certificate is jammed up in the bureaucracy of the college, so while I've completed all the requirements and it's pending, I don't have the thing in my hands yet.
I really need to get back into an exercise routine, but I'm faced with something I didn't have to worry about previously: lack of space. At my apartment previously and in the house I just moved out of, there was plenty of room to do at-home exercises. Maybe not a full-on step aerobics routine, but enough to do some moves in place (crunches, push-ups, Wii Dance). Here, I don't have that space at all. So, I'm not really sure what to do. I can't go for outdoor walks because I get shin splints from walking on sidewalks. Yes, I even have really good shoes... I just get them due to the surface rigidity. Another hazard will be the heat. Not a problem now, but come March it will be. The summers here get hot, starting at about April/May. I mean like... 118* outside in the shade hot. You trip and fall on the sidewalk and get 2nd degree burns. The news cooks an egg on the sidewalk every year to show how it is outside. Essentially, I'd die working out in the nature. Literally die. Plus, this place is soooooooooo dusty (gee, it is a desert) and pollen-y and air polluted that deep breathing the outside air would send my allergies into a frenzy and probably send me to the ER with an asthma attack. So.......... what do I do? I seriously don't know. I gotta think about that one.
At least now that the holidays are over, I can start going back to eating somewhat healthy. It's going to be a transition to healthy eating since I'm not in charge of grocery shopping (he who has the grocery money gets to buy the groceries- and I don't have ANY money) and I'm trying to teach my family good, healthy eating habits and simple choices to make with ingredients to make things "better" or "healthier". I figure I've put on a few pounds since the holidays, but I'd really like to NOT put any more on... and go the opposite on that and lose more... so it's going to be a huge challenge while I adjust and figure things out. I know it can be done. I just hope it can be done fairly quickly before doing too much damage.
Leading by example. I roasted a chicken for dinner and while that was doing it's thing, roasted some veggies and prepared a salad. The ideal dinner plate: 1/4 lean meat, 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 starchy something (in this case more vegetables).