Thursday, April 21, 2011

yummies for my tummy

It's no secret that I love Trader Joe's.  LOVE TJs.  How could you not?  But these are a few of my favorite things as of late (all new products!):

Yuzu is this delicious Asian citrus - not quite lemon, not quite orange, not quite grapefruit.  A taste all its own!  This yummy box contains 10 packets of yuzu juice mixed with honey and sugar.  Add a packet to either hot or cold water and you get a delicious citrus-y sweet beverage!  I love that it's not syrupy since it's just juice so adding water doesn't require much, if any, mixing.  And you can add as much or as little water depending on how sweet you want it to be.  (In fact, my cashier told me that she doesn't even add water at all because she loves hers super sweet!) 

Marvelous Malted Milk Ball Cookies?  Yes please!  I saw these babies on the new shelf and grabbed them immediately.  My favorite Trader Joe's has been doing a 'send a worker around with free samples' deal and while I was poking at frozen shrimp, a girl carrying around 3 tubs gave me a free sample.  YUM.  I'm a sucker for chocolate chip cookies and the addition of malted milk balls adds another bit of depth and dimension.  This is more of a crunchy cookie rather than soft, if you were curious.  Get some!

I don't have a pic of this since it's currently in the fridge, but I found Carmelized Onion Dip in the refrigerated section.  My aforementioned cashier told me she ate half the container without realizing it and only stopped because she ran out of chips!  Although she said I should reconsider my purchase (jokingly, of course), I found the dip totally delicious as a snack last night with Trader Joe's ruffled thicker cut potato chips (with sea salt).

Get some goodies today!  Your belly will thank you :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

smile, i'm thinking of you

Of course, I meant to write sooner than a week after my birthday but things have been so busy!  Work was unbelievably hectic last week so I was stressed out to the max - what a way to celebrate my birthday AND not good for my alopecia.  My scalp felt like it was on fire for a few days and hair shed was awful, ugh.  Thankfully, a nice weekend calmed me down and the work got done so it was a real relief.  

I had a nice birthday, but it wasn't all that eventful.  I spent the actual day watching my Bulls beat the Celtics and relaxed.  On Friday night, Matt, Daf, Josh and I went to dinner in Downtown Disney and then spent about an hour in Disneyland - we kicked butt on Buzz Lightyear about 3 times, haha, and then rode on Pirates of the Caribbean for the last ride of the night.  Although the cast member at City Hall wasn't the most enthused when I got my birthday pin, he did offer me 3 other pins for my fellow celebrators to commemorate celebrating with me!  I can't wait until the summer festivities start up and we'll all have more free time so we can go for longer, fuller days.  For end of the night birthday treats, Daf bought me a birthday caramel apple AND we shared a Rocky Road Dazzler from Haagen Dazs, which I've always wanted to try.  Yummy!  

Matt and I spent a quiet Saturday visiting one of his card shops and doing some light shopping at the Beverly Center.  (I wanted to check out a cute pair of ballet flats - success!)  We intended to go to Benihana's for dinner, but time got away from us and it got too late so we ended up having Taco Bell instead.  Oops.  Hopefully we'll get to go soon, I've been craving me some Benihana yumminess.  On Sunday, we enjoyed part of the Bulls vs. Magic game (yet another Bulls victory), went to Lake Elsinore for a baseball game, and after getting Portillo's for dinner, came back to watch the Lakers vs. Thunder game (a lovely LOSS for the Lakers).  Awesome day.

I had received some lovely cards and goodies for my birthday, but I wanted to take pics to share.  I've been so busy at home that I haven't had the chance to go and do that yet.  Today we actually had the April babies birthday cake at work and it turned out to be a fairly delicious white cake with whipped cream and strawberries.  Bummer that I got an end piece though so I didn't have as many strawberries that I would've liked, oops, but it was still tasty anyway.  You know that Seinfeld episode where Elaine's work has a million cakes for every celebration?  Yeah, we're kinda like that.  I was beginning to have cake withdrawals from us not having anything to celebrate lately.  

Anyway, I meant to share these pictures wayyy long ago but of course, that was when I was side-tracked thanks to feeling down and out.  So I'll share them now!  Since I was pretty bummed back then, one day I came home from work and found this card in my mailbox:

Matt's so silly.  But it still made me smile and cheered me up, especially because the card came in a package that included Melon O's...Mmm...I had said that Melon O's were my favorite (besides Peachie O's, of course) so Matt had to send me some when he found them!  It was nice to know that even if/when we're apart, he was still thinking about me and trying to cheer me up :)

Easter is just around the corner and we're actually getting Good Friday off this year so I can't wait for a long weekend.  Things are still busy but not as terribly crazy as they were last week, so I'm thankful for that.  I love all things Easter - the decor, the candy, the cuteness.  PEEPS, Cadbury mini eggs, and Matt's favorite Cadbury creme eggs.  Matt and I kept our tradition of making each other Easter baskets every year - check them out:

How cute are these, right?  Walgreens has the best Easter stuff sometimes, I swear.  Are you ready for Easter, too?  If not, you better hop to it (sorry for the pun)!

This weekend will be busy, but I'll see about getting another post up soon with the birthday stuff.  I've still been working on my knitting here and there, but I hope to get on a better schedule with the crafty things soon.  After I get home from work, settle in and cook/eat, it's always late before I know it.  Where does the time go?  I have no idea.  But I better find out so I can keep crafting and posting! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

hello again

It's been more than a month since I last wrote, and it really sucks that I've been gone so long so I promise not to do that again, ok?  Things have not gone as planned, or even as I would've thought, since the Bar was over.  I had such big dreams, looking forward to all the things that I could do again--crafts, cleaning, reading, relaxing...But then a whole slew of bad news happened both during and right after the Bar, and on top of it all, I've been battling through a bout of sudden alopecia!  I've never experienced this before, and dealing with the rapid hair loss and confusion has been pretty scary.  Even though it's not life threatening at all, it's still been hard on my self esteem to deal and understand how or why this is happening to me and hoping to recover soon.  Thankfully, my bloodwork came back mostly normal, so it's definitely nothing serious.  However, it sucks to know that most likely, the extreme stress, lack of sleep, and bad nutrition over the past few months have contributed to my sudden and extreme hair loss.  There's really nothing to prepare you for watching your hair shed continuously and so suddenly.  As much as you don't want to stress more about it, you still can't help it.  Alopecia's a jerk that way.  You don't know how much hair you're going to lose, whether you'll go bald, whether you'll re-grow hair, or whether it'll happen again (and how many times again) months, years down the line.

For now, I'm trying to stay positive.  Although I can obviously tell how much hair I've lost and I notice how thin it all is when I look in the mirror, for now, people can't really tell I don't think.  I have some wigs on hand just in case and shedding had lessened this week--less stress or maybe there's less hair on my head to shed, haha, I'm not sure.  Well, until work got super swamped and I've been a little overwhelmed since yesterday, so now my scalp feels like it's on fire again and I've shed more than I'd like today.  This definitely proves to me that the hair loss is related to my stress levels.  Now I need to relax!  

But, I have enjoyed doing more cooking and trying to eat healthier during the past few weeks.  I've been making a lot of tasty meals and trying to eat lots of fruits and veggies, so my tummy is definitely happy.  I've learned that what's important is not to sweat the small stuff and just enjoy life!  It was totally not worth it to get caught up in a lot of that dumb stuff before if I knew it could cause my body to shut down like this.  Realizing this has made me a lot happier and I try to keep this mindset day in, day out.  I'm hoping (and hopeful) that once my body balances itself out, my hair will start growing back and I'll be back to normal.  Even now, I see little growths of hair here and there, although not consistently yet and definitely not all over.  Lesson learned that we all really need to take better care of ourselves, ok? 

There are some fun things to look forward to, including the fact that tomorrow is actually my birthday!  I've been so busy and caught up in things that I almost forgot, can you believe, haha.  I'm looking forward to a relaxing night--my Chicago Bulls are taking on the Boston Celtics at the United Center so I'm looking forward to watching that game on TNT.  Most of my nights lately have been spent watching basketball games (it's almost playoff time!) and just lying around watching Nick at Nite.  Love it!  I've also been practicing and teaching myself more how to knit--the other night, I finally taught myself the magic loop method in knitting and I am IN LOVE.  It makes everything so much easier.  I have so many awesome patterns that I can't wait to work through.  Right now, I'm working on a knitted monkey pattern from the fabulous Rebecca Danger of  I have a bunch of her knitted monsters patterns that I can't wait to tackle, too!  I miss being crafty and I miss Etsy, but I hope knitting will tide me over for now and help me unwind every night.  Hopefully I'll be back to my old self before I know it and I can get my Etsy shop going again in a few months.  That's the plan for now.  But I just want to fill my life full of knitted monsters and friends at this point!  I'll document my progress and share it with you as I go along :)

As for any other birthday celebrations, Matt will return this weekend so we'll figure something out to do.  There was some talk about dropping by Disneyland on Friday night with Josh and Daf for dinner and hanging out, so that might happen.  I like my birthday celebrations really low key so I'm not wanting or expecting anything big.  The following weekend, we'll be going to an art show that Matt's mom is in, and Easter weekend, I'm dying for a trip to San Diego to see our San Diego Zoo friends!  There have been a bunch of babies born in the recent weeks, including a baby girl giraffe and two baby boy tiger cubs, that I'd like to see.  The Zoo is also celebrating Play Days during the month of April, where there are a lot of animal interactions and fun things happening.  Matt and I both happen to have Good Friday off, so it'd be a great weekend to get away.  Especially when the next 2 weeks or so are super busy at work.  Fun stuff!

My tummy is rumbly now so it means it's time for food!  But it feels good to be back in the blog world...definitely more fun and happy blog posts to come in the near future :)  There are just too many adventures out there to be had!