Memorial Day Weekend

Mj:  Do you want to help me bake the cake? 
CC: Uh...No.  Not really.
Mj:  Why not? 
CC:  Because I don't really like baking.
Mj:  C'mon, I need your help.  It'll be fun.  We can spend time together.  
CC:  You know you don't need my help and I'm right here.  We're already spending time together. 

Samoa Bundt Cake.  A Giant Girl Scout Cookie
So Mj was in one of his baking moods.  This time it was all about the Samoa Bundt Cake and I ended up helping him out.  Sometimes it's really hard for me to say no to him.  He did Batter 2, the icing and everything else.  He put me in charge of Batter 1 but he watched every move I made.  I was a glorified assistant and I just followed his instructions so I absolutely can take no credit for the deliciousness of this cake.  Not only does it look like the Girl Scout cookie it tastes like it too.  Its perfectly moist and the coconut gives it this amazing crunch.   
Condensed Milk turned Caramel
We did discover something truly amazing.  Did you know that when boiled condensed milk turns into Caramel?  It's like magic.  He put the can in a pot and boiled it for four hours and when he opened it up it had magically transformed into Caramel.  Who knew?  Well if you didn't know now you know.  If you want to make this cake and I think that you do, you can find the Samoa Bundt Cake recipe here.

Our own Bar B Q
  Saturday morning I did an exercise video.  Then, I did a little shopping and we went to a Bar B Q.  Gymnastics was on!  I got to watch the Secret Classic-the official first step to the Olympic Games which is coming up soon.  Sunday morning I woke up and went to the gym and spent most of the rest of the day relaxing.  I love it when I can go to the gym in the morning while I am energetic instead of having to drag myself in after a long day of work.  Monday morning I woke up and went to the gym for another 1 hour sweat session.  Later on, Mj fired up the grill and we enjoyed the sunshine outside and ate sliders, hot dogs and beans while listening to music.  We had time to watch two movies and I squeezed in a load of laundry.  All in all this was a pretty fantastic three day weekend.


From the archives:  Oct 2007
I hung out with my best and oldest friend on Wednesday.  I don't mean old as in age but oldest as in I've known her since 8th grade.  We did gymnastics and cheer leading in high school together.  We were neighbors and she used to pick me up every day from school our Senior year in high school and we explored the night life of Tijuana together in college.  She's moved away and come back and them moved away again but we have always stayed in touch.  That's not something I can say about too many friends in my life.  She came to visit in 2009 and the last time I saw her was my wedding two years ago in 2010 and even then I didn't really get to see her, see her what with the whirlwind that day was.  

I got off work a little early so I could spend a few extra hours with her.   We met at the mall of course.  Shopping is our thing.  Then we went to dinner and she came over to see our new house, eat some dessert and see Mj.  She actually met him before I did and if it weren't for her we wouldn't have even met.  She gave me the best gift ever the day she met him while they were both in Arizona and told him "Hey, you need to meet my friend."  She's that friend that you can meet up with to go shopping at Walmart or invite over to watch old 80's movies in your pajamas.  That friend that you can talk for hours on end with about nothing and have no secrets from.  I've never had very many friends and even of the ones I have had in my life she's the only one who I have that kind of relationship with.  I feel like she's one of my sisters.   Chances are I won't see her for about three more years because now that she's finishing up her Army adventure she's moving to Alaska.  Yep.  Never a dull moment with her.  And wouldn't you know it I forgot to take a picture?  I was so mad when I realized that.  It was a really nice visit and it was so good to see her.  It's a bummer that we don't get to see each other more often but I'm so glad to have a friend like her in my life. 

New Car

Audi A4
We have a new car in the family.  Not mine of course.  I'm sticking with my fully paid for no nonsense 07 Honda Civic.  Mj has been enjoying no car payments for the last two years but it was finally time to take the leap and trade in his eight year old Murano.  There are SUV's with way worse gas mileage; it actually wasn't all that bad but the new car has even better gas mileage and that's mainly what he was after.   Why do you have to get such an expensive car? I asked.  Don't you like anything else?  His answer was no.  Well, then he's gonna have to pay for it.  My stomach dropped  when I found out what his car payment would be.  I told him he better pay off this car and then drive it until the wheels fall off, put them back on and then drive it some more.  The car doesn't even have an actual key.  It's this square thing that you sort of plug in.  And you better not lose them.  A replacement is about $400 bucks.  Audi's retain their value and may even appreciate which is something you don't find on too many cars.  He would have been fine with a pre-owned one but it's impossible to find a 1-2 year old used Audi.  They just don't exist.  I guess nobody ever sells them that soon.  It's his first new car and he loves it so I'm happy for him.

I didn't even know for sure if he was going to buy it on Thursday.  He sure didn't take me along.  He took his friend who knows how to negotiate and got a good deal.  The car came from a different dealership so I did get to go with him to pick it up on Saturday morning.  I definitely don't ever need a car like that because I probably couldn't ever figure out how to use it.  You can actually talk to this car and it talks back.  I was so confused listening to the salesman go over all of the features with him that I just started tuning it out.  I will probably never drive it anyways.  I'm too scared.

Award winner
  No, Mj doesn't just run around town in Army fatigues for the hell of it.  Right after that we had to go to an award ceremony so that he could receive a military award.  He's switched over to a new unit and his old unit awarded him a medal for his service with them.  He has a Raspberry beret (yes, like the one in the Prince song) that goes with it but I didn't get a pic of him in it.  I love a man in a uniform and I am very proud of him.

May Days

Birthday season officially starts for our family in March with my Mom's Birthday.  April is my Dad's Birthday (along with mine) then it really picks up in May with Mj's Birthday, my sister's Birthday and Mother's Day all within a week of each other.  I'm usually on a shopping frenzy in April for myself and then my car registration is due in May so it's usually a pretty heavy load on the budget. It's basically like Christmas in May.

Red Velvet, Lemon and Chocolate w/Chocolate Chips
Mj's B Day was 2 weeks ago on May 2nd and he didn't want for much.  He never does.  Last year I pushed it because it was a milestone birthday but this year I let him be.  It was a Wednesday, he had tons of homework to do and he had a Vegas trip with his buddies that coming weekend.  His actual birthday was pretty much business as usual.  Work and the gym.  I came home and gave him his presents and we ate Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches for dinner.  He didn't even want me to make him a cake.  Probably because I suck at baking and if there is any good cake to be made he's better off doing it himself.  I got him some delicious bundtini's from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  They come in full bundt cake size, medium size bundlets and then the little bundtini's.  They are so moist and delicious.  I ate one even though I wanted more and the remaining five were all his.
The pretty mama's
Sunday we all met up at my sister's house to celebrate her Birthday and Mother's Day.   My sister sort of gets a raw deal in a way because her Birthday is May 9th so it's either on or around Mother's Day and especially now that she is a mother we pretty much have to lump her Birthday into one celebration with Mother's Day on the weekend.  We had a good time.  We went out to an early dinner at a place of her choice to eat then we had cake and ice cream back at her house.  Next up is Father's Day in June then my little sis's Birthday is in August.
Burgers & Beer!!!!
This has absolutely nothing to do with Birthday's or family holidays but last  Friday Mj and I went on another Groupon Burger date.  This time it was La Jolla Brew House.  It's kind of a dive but the staff there is so friendly and have you noticed that some of the best food often comes out of dive's?  We had 1/2 lb Burgers, Fries, Beer and a dessert to split all for $18.  Can't beat that.  Gosh I love Groupon!  That burger was so big I could barely figure out a way to get my mouth around it even after it was cut in half.  It was a perfect way to relax and stuff my face after a long and exhausting work week.

When My Husband is Away

I'm not one of those women who has never spent a night away from her husband.  Mj was gone for eleven months in 2008 (now that was awful) and he did a ton of traveling in 2011.  I actually consider myself lucky if he has to go somewhere and it's for a month or less because it's nothing compared to 11 months.  Back when I still watched it there was a couple on Real Housewives of Orange County who claimed to have never spent a night apart and even refused to go on any overnight trips without the other and I thought that was ridiculous.  If it's a trust issue then that seriously needs to be addressed.  I think that couple is divorced now.  Just because you are married doesn't mean that you should be joined at the hip.  Everyone needs their own space even if it's just spending a day or evening with your friends.  Even if you think you don't chances are that you actually do.  Codependency is not healthy and absence can make the heart grow fonder.  If  it's Europe, Hawaii or something big I want that trip to be with Mj and if he thinks he's going somewhere like that without me he's got another think coming.  He and his friends do long weekend biking or Vegas trips.  I miss him and I might get a little jealous about being left behind, but I think it's great to see him get out and have fun with his friends.  He wants the same thing for me.  In fact he wishes I would! I hardly ever go anywhere overnight and the one time that I did he said how cool it was having the house to himself.  I know he loves me and doesn't want me to go away forever so there is no point getting my feelings hurt about it. 

This time he was gone for a week.  I love him to pieces but there are some perks when he's gone. 
  • I get to park in the middle of our two car garage and have plenty of room to get in and out on all sides.  My backing up skills are questionable and having that extra space means I don't have to worry about knocking my side view mirror off or backing over the lawn.
  • The house is neat as a pin.  There isn't random stuff laying about everywhere I look.  There are no clothes on the floor, shoes strewn about or dishes piled up in the kitchen to stress me out.    
  • I don't have to cook or feel bad about not cooking. I can eat whatever I want for dinner and not have to answer to anyone.  
  • I get way more much needed sleep! I've been in bed by 10:00 pm every work night he's been gone because I'm not trying to stay up longer then I should waiting for him to go to bed.
  • I'm willing to spend the night at my mom's.  I stayed there Saturday night and got in some good quality family time.  I do go to Mom's house without him but it's really hard for me to stay the night when I know he's at home. 
The downside:
  • I have to push the trash bin out onto the street and sometimes water the plants. 
  • If there are any technical difficulties with the TV or my computer I'm on my own.   Usually, I just whine to him that my computer or the TV is not doing such and such and then he'll fix it for me.
  • If there is a spider I'm forced to kill it myself, trap it under a cup (yes, I really did this one time) or live in fear.  He is the designated spider killer due to phobias which are beyond my control.   
  • I don't have my cuddle bear to watch TV with and sleep with.   
  • I come home to an empty lonely house and I don't get to see his smiling face at the end of a long and tiring work day.  We don't do much of anything on weeknights but I love it that we are together.
  • I MISS HIM!!!!! He energizes me and lifts my spirits.  Life just isn't the same without him around and I'm always glad to have him back.
Just because we enjoy time apart doesn't mean we don't love each other.  I could totally just be saying this because we had no choice in the matter which kind of forced me to get used to the idea of him being gone, but I do think it can be a good thing to have that feeling of missing your partner now and then.  I wouldn't choose it, but it does reinforce just how much I love him and makes me appreciate him that much more when he gets back.

White Skinnies

April was my Birthday month and with it came lots of Birthday coupons from places like The Limited, Express, Macy's, Victoria's Secret, DSW and Anthropology.  Pretty much all my favorite stores.  Along with the Birthday and shopping coupons galore came a sense of entitlement which caused me to spend money.  I tell myself, it's my Birthday, I deserve it.  So yeah, I've been doing a lot of shopping this month...and if I'm being honest it's kinda been more like all year so far.   It's like a disease or temporary insanity.  To my credit I did not use the Anthropology or Victoria's Secret coupon.  I can't and shouldn't use them all but I did quite a bit of damage.   I did the math and I'm a little embarrassed to admit it but I've spent about $650 bucks so far this year but if I didn't have it to spend then I wouldn't have because I don't do credit card debt.  These stores know what they are doing.  What a sucker I am.

One coupon in particular from Macy's had me interested.  $10 off anything...even the designer brands you love.  It's been a while since I bought a pair of designer jeans and I have been wanting a pair of white skinny jeans so I marched over to Impulse "just to look."  Famous last words.  The Joe's Jeans skinnies are $169 freaking dollars.  Why on earth does a pair of jeans have to be so expensive and why on earth would I even consider spending that kind of hard earned money on it?  Because when you put them on they mold to your figure like a glove and look awesome.  That's why.  I also gave Jessica Simpson's white skinnies a chance.  They were $54 but it just wasn't the same.   I shoulda never tried on the Joe's but I did and therefore could not walk out of Macy's without them.  You see, I was MEANT to have them.
Photo Source
A measly $10.00 off is a drop in the bucket but it was better then nothing.  As the saleslady rang up my jeans she says you would probably do much better off with the friends and family 25% off coupon.  A 25% off coupon that can be used on designer duds?  She scans it and the price goes down by $42 and I the jeans only cost $136 with tax.  It's still mind blowing to me that I might say the word ONLY in reference to spending over $100 bucks on a pair of jeans but there it is.  I've spent up to $150 before.  I only spent $18.99 on the tan skinny jeans I bought the month before so I guess it averages out.  That's what I'm telling myself anyways.  I've officially lost my mind but these jeans last forever, look great and they are worth it.  I'm worth it right?  Like I said, I was MEANT to have them.

What is the most you will spend or have spent on a pair of jeans?