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3.30.2010

Day 12

PIZZA & TREAT NIGHT

After we devoured our pizza, I conducted a sweet treat experiment and asked the kids the age old question, "What would you do for a Klondike Bar?" The answers...








Happy faces.

What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

This is me. 18 days before 30. Blogging for a Klondike Bar.

Random Sunshine:
My kids are my random sunshine's. Everyday.

Gratitude:
"Who can turn the world on with her smile?" I'm so very blessed to have spent 29 years {and counting} with my Grammie. I must have done something good to have fallen from that tree.

Let the 30 Before 30 countdown continue!

Day 11

Since I squeezed in two parts on Day 9, Day 10 was filled with needed rest, VIP, and sunshine. Which brings us to Day 11...

GIRLS NIGHT OUT

Teach 'em early.

I'm sure it's not the kind of girls night out you would expect to hear about on a big girl's birthday countdown. There were no limousines, male strippers, shots of tequila, or feather boas.... at least this time. Instead, there were cartoons, mini manicures, and tiny burrito's. This was my little girl's night out...

E thoroughly enjoyed her manicure.

A is just thrilled. You can see it in her eyes.

So pretty! They each got two flowers painted on ~ with rhinestone centers for sparkle!

Dinner @ Macayo's. Their choice made mama happy!

This is me [and my little ladies]. 19 days before 30. Pretty, tired and full.

Holy guacamole! Only 20 days left! I'm so excited, I'm so excited... 30 Before 30 continues manana with Day 12. Sometimes I impress myself with what I can accomplish.

Random Sunshine:
Ricky Martin came out of the closet today. Tomorrow the world will be round.

Gratitude:
I'm always so impressed with how well mannered, polite, and respectful my kids are, especially in public. There have been several times when I've had strangers come over to our table at restaurants and compliment me on how well behaved and adorable they are. Today, I'm thankful that I set a good example at a young age and that they follow suit. Way to go ME!

3.29.2010

Measuring Up to Martha

It happened Day 8 of my 30 Before 30 countdown. N & I almost made it out of Bookman's, but at last second, I decided to check out the cookbooks. That's where I found it. The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes for Every Day. And the idea found me: Missi & Martha. Sort of like Julie & Julia, but not as French and therefore, probably not as complicated.

It may take me weeks before this is organized, but the goal is to make this as simple as possible, which may defeat the purpose of Martha Stewart. I'm pretty sure the woman makes even the most complicated tasks look incredibly simple on purpose; even time spent in the slammer looked like a walk in the park, but having been referred to as Martha by friends and family, the project seems fitting. I have no idea how Julie Powell organized her project with Julia Child's giant cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I'll do my best and like all other things, I'll be doing this my way, loosely based on the idea of one great Julie Powell.

Martha includes chapters dedicated to Butters, Beverages, and Wedding Cakes. I'm not sure under what heading a wedding cake is considered a recipe "for every day" and I'm pretty sure the average American doesn't eat grilled butterflied squabs with mustard on a regular basis either. This being said, it's obvious there are recipes, whole chapters even, that I will skip.

I'm sure you're wondering what I'm going to do with those meaty chapters, aren't you? There's good news, my carnivorous friends! I'm not bothered by purchasing, preparing, or serving chicken or beef, squab or pheasant because Karl Marx taught us "to each his own" and The Beatles taught us to "let it be". I just so happen to choose a plant-based diet; or rather, it chose me. However, for this project, I will not be omitting the meat. I will prepare all entrees presented in the book and I will give myself the option of sampling. It's only an option and I will return to my veggie friendly habits as soon as the project is over. I'm sure Julie Powell ate some less than pleasant things throughout her similar stint and so will I. However, due to a bet placed almost three years ago {that I'm determined to win just to prove The Captain twice wrong - yes, twice}, this project will not commence until July 1, 2010. This gives me plenty of time to arrange and organize.

Life is too complicated to not be orderly. ~ Martha Stewart, Harper's Bazaar.

Unlike Julie Powell, I don't have a desk job, a cat, or a husband to take out the trash and put the lobsters in the pot for me. No, I have a business to run, three kids who need daily bathing, homework assistance, and regular ol' mac n' cheese, and since I already take out the trash, I guess I'll be putting the lobsters in on my own too. Just FYI: I hold no promises for recipes that include live lobsters. Chances are, if I bring home a live lobster the kids will be forced to a Showers Only law for a very long time. What's the life span of a lobster in bath water anyway?

Being a single parent already makes for a pretty heaping plateful, so I can guarantee you that this project won't happen every night, but I'll do my best to make it happen at least twice a week. "Never a dull moment" isn't something we just say around here and this project is only adding to the excitement that is my so-called life. And because I have a life; I have a business, family, friends, three kids, two dogs, and a geriatric fish, I am giving myself eighteen months to complete 199 entree recipes {recipes were selected based on number of servings; obviously I don't need to be preparing dinner for 30 as some of the recipes yield}.

For each entree selected, I intend to prepare one side dish or one salad recipe, and on occasion, a hors d'oeuvers and/or a dessert. Or maybe I'll just make three desserts in one day... we'll see. There is no purpose, no limits, no expectations, and Hollywood isn't knocking down my door, which is perfectly fine by me. I like things simple. For this adventure, it's just me, Martha and a kitchen overflowing with pots and promises.

And it's a good thing.

Case of the Mondays

Do I have to do Monday? Seriously? Seriously.

So there wasn't any learned dance routines and I didn't win the lottery, but it was a beautiful weekend.

The recap:
I spent Friday with N in her version of Disneyland, pretended to be Tinkerbell at Trapeze U on Saturday morning and then ended the day with H, VIP, and RCPM at The Marquee Theater, and yesterday, VIP and I enjoyed a beautiful day of absolutely nothing. I hope your weekend was just as awesome!

And among the many things to look forward to this week, Thursday marks the beginning of April! Eeeek! Time does fly when you're having fun!

Speaking of flying, I'm still reeling from my trapeze experience {for which, I received a diploma} or maybe my sore abs and arms are just a good reminder of it all. Regardless, I've already decided that I'm going to run away and join the circus; it's my new calling in life or maybe I'll just return to Trapeze U in the near future, perhaps next time with E.

I know I previously mentioned a new project for after I turn 30, but I think I'll touch on that in a new post later. For now...

Wishing you a fulfilling week full of music, giggles, and sunshine. Cheers!

3.28.2010

Day 9, Part II

RCPM


Sure, I've seen Roger a million times, but I love him so much that he made the birthday countdown. Must be lurve. Set list included all of my favorites; Easy, Beautiful Disaster, Americano, Maybe We Should Fall in Love, Wanted, Green & Dumb, and Down Together and then some, including new song Empty Highway.

Pre-show dinner @ Rula Bula with H & B

An unexpected first ~ walking over the Mill Avenue Bridge. We are singing Chariots of Fire.

Just two City Girls out for a Honky Tonk Union with Roger.

This is me {& VIP}. 21 days before 30. @ The Marquee Theater

Highly impressed with my Casio.

Random Sunshine:
The trapeze made my abs so sore, it hurts to laugh, but I still do it anyway.

Gratitude:
That adorable blond in the above photos. She's an amazing bestie and RCPM partner ~ thank goodness! ~ I am so lucky to be able to call her friend. I lurve you, H!

Since I managed to check off two items on the birthday countdown, I took Sunday off. The 30 Before 30 madness continues on Monday!

Day 9, Part I

TRAPEZE ARTISTRY


I'm not exactly sure what happened, but one day I decided that flying 30 feet through the air with only a net below me and a pulley system for support was a great idea.

Actually, it was...

Way up there, eh?

Of course it wouldn't be the circus without a tiny ladder.






This is me. 21 days before 30. Moonlighting as Tinkerbell.




This is VIP. 48 days after our first hello. Trooper.


Random Sunshine:
I caught me some new freckles.

Gratitude:
Big thank you to the N & S family for crossing the street and supporting, laughing, and documenting this adventure. You guys are the best! And a huge thank you to the Trapeze U team for such a great experience ~ I will be back!

30 Before 30 continued later that day with Day 9, Part II. Stay tuned!

3.26.2010

Day 8

A LATTE BOOKS

I can't remember the last time I spent an evening in a bookstore without a purpose. I adore not having an agenda. I adore the smell of books. I adore the happy endings, the truths, and simpleness one story can tell. I adore being swept away into the lives of characters and fictional worlds. I adore reading, I always have.

Mrs. T-to-Be: worlds greatest mom, inspiring educator, fabulous hostess, and avid reader is one of my best friends. To receive a book recommendation from this woman is incredibly special. She gets so excited about literature that her whole entire being sparkles. I lurve it.

Tonight, I met N at her favorite bookstore for a latte {my very first chai ~ very tasty!} and a lot of books. I walked out of Bookmans with four selections; one of which is the inspiration for my next project {more on that later} and one was my sought out recommendation from N. The way I see it, book recommendations are like shared secrets and I can't wait to know what she knows.

This is me. 22 days before 30. Book and a latte.

N's shared secret, The Giver.

Missi & Martha. A clue.

Random Sunshine:
Apparently Deadheads did not die with Jerry Garcia. Rock on.

Gratitude:
I'm so glad my parents weren't hippies. Melissa isn't my favorite name ever, it's actually quite ordinary, but it's much better than Rainbow Freebird.

Let the 30 Before 30 countdown continue!

Obsession

This is a t-shirt I found at Threadless. I lurve it a little. I wear a size M and my address is 2541... If anyone wants to purchase and send this to me, I am definitely not opposed.

Happy Friday!

TGIF

Hello Friday, I missed you.

If you've been keeping up with my daily circus via blog posts, then you know this week that I kicked the Starbucks habit and learned to make my own green tea lattes, floated a few root beers, and made some sushi...

What you didn't know is that the sushi didn't agree with me and I spent the ten hours immediately following 12:30am over the toilet vomiting. Trooper I am, I still opened up shop, but I doubt I'll be eating any sushi in the near future {don't be sad, Mrs. T-to-Be, I can order the salad at Blue Wasabi!}.

Tonight, the birthday madness continues with a bookstore date {I promise to not get too crazy now} and an unscheduled latte. Tomorrow I have a date to fly like Tinkerbell with VIP at Trapeze U, followed by a date with mom and antiques, and then - what Heather and I have been waiting for for weeks - a date with Roger! Clyne that is. Wahoo!

I have no idea what Sunday holds for me. Maybe nothing, maybe something little, or maybe I'll get VIP to learn the Slumdog Millionaire Jai Ho dance with me and we'll post it to YouTube. Ha! And there's your reason to check back on Monday.

May your weekend be everything you want it to be. Cheers!

3.25.2010

Day 7

There was a sudden change of plans for what was originally intended to be Sister Night. Major boo, but like I said before, Flexible is my middle name, so I'll roll with it. Many cupcake wishes and congratulations to the sister half of Sister Night and her husband {aka my little brother} who recently purchased a lovely brand spankin' new home in Gilbert. May your home be filled to the ceiling with life, love, and laughter always. In lieu of Sister Night, may I present...

BEE NIGHT

Not this kind of bee...

Ta da! After what was a less than pleasant morning {see TGIF blog posted manana}, I needed to get out with my BEE and relax. While my feet were massaged and made over for sandals, we chatted and it was exactly what I needed and then some.

This is me. 23 days before 30. Relaxing.

This kind of BEE! Say Cheese!

And it resulted with sparkly purple toes. Yay!

Now I understand that at least one of you is going to be disappointed that we didn't book an appointment for your infamous feet treats, but please keep in mind that this was last minute and late at night and that it, in no way, reflects the opposite of I lurve you, because I do. I lurve you, SG!

You'll have to forgive the photos, I left my Casio at home and we used our phones. Regardless...

Random Sunshine:
I was watching Curious George this morning and, as usual, he was causing all sorts of headaches for the Man in the Yellow Hat. Why doesn't that guy just get rid of the monkey? Seriously. It's not like someone is forcing him to keep the damn monkey or giving him a million dollars to humanize a primate! With this, I reason that the Man in the Yellow Hat not only needs a name, but a new hobby.

Gratitude:
Massage Chairs. 'Nuff said.

30 Before 30 continues manana with día ocho!

Day 6

SUSHI

Look what I made!

Almost everyone has a little of this and a little of that when it comes to genetic make-up, unless you're a pure bred. From my mother's side, I am Scottish and Irish; from my father's side I am German and English {I think}. However, the largest chunk of my heritage background hails from Japan. You wouldn't know it by looking at me or by seeing photos of my parents, who could pass for Jimmy Smits and Reba McEntire, but it's there. An entire 25%. 1/4. One whole leg.

I'm very proud of that leg.

Me & the woman responsible for my left leg. 1984.

What I remember most about growing up is spending time at my grandparents. My mom's parents took us out for ice cream and fancy dinners at Piccadilly's {hey, at 9 years old when you eat cafeteria style, that's fancy; mom only makes one option}, they never said no to us, and we spent the night - a lot. I adored waking up at their house because this was the only time you saw Pap-Paw's crazy good comb over without hairspray and Mam-Maw made the world's best scrambled eggs and toast. She later taught me the secret. {Betcha didn't know he had a comb over, now did ya?!}.

My dad's parents had a great backyard with a clothesline and a big covered patio where we could jump rope. Grandma had a tomato garden and there was a mail slot in the front door; Grandpa would let us drop stuff in it and then pretend to be excited about getting coloring book pages, leaves, and bugs. Grandma would make sure Nick and I had the germs scalded off of us by giving us the kind of hot showers that left your skin beat red and she'd make us the worlds biggest breakfast. There was nothing greater than Grandma's pan fried bacon. We would eat Sunday dinners at their house frequently and because there was always cooking happening at her house, she made sure that I was in the kitchen with her, learning stuff. Stuff like sushi.

Since she passed away when I was nine and my dad's family scattered about the country, I hadn't given much thought to making my own sushi before. This and no one was around to school me in Sushi 101. I'd made hand rolls once a few years ago, but still preferred to "go out" for sushi. For this project, I opted for a simple inside out California roll. I picked up a bamboo mat, ingredients, and watched several How To videos on YouTube. Even VIP joined in on the action - it was Mexico meets Japan and it was HILARIOUS, but I'm not allowed to post that video per request.

Although it wasn't difficult, I think I still prefer to "go out" for sushi, but that's because I like options and I prefer sashimi.

This is me. 24 days before 30. Putting my ninja skills to work.

I did it! I'm very excited. In case you couldn't tell.

Itadakimasu!

Random Sunshine:
This man makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. I don't deserve this.

Gratitude:
So incredibly thankful for having CSB in my life. He gave me a camera for Christmas in 2007, but what I didn't realize at the time was that this gift was ultimately giving me the beautiful gift of a trillion priceless moments captured through the lens of a little pink Casio. Thank you, Captain. xo

30 Before 30 continues manana with Day 7!

To my short and sweet Grandma,
Although our time together was brief, you brought an accent, happy memories, and a full plate to my life. It's because of you, I have a left leg to stand on. I miss you everyday.
xxoo

*Side Note: The woman responsible for my left leg passed away 20 years ago the day this post was published. She was brave in her fight against so many cancers, but quickly lost the battle. At nine years old, I had no idea what that meant. Today, at 29, it means I missed so much. If you haven't found a cancer research project to donate time or funds to, I encourage you to do so today and look forward to a lifetime of tomorrows with your grandchildren.


3.23.2010

Day 5

PIZZA, TREAT, & GAME NIGHT


At several points, during this whole 30 Before 30 project, there will be times when it's not super glittery, extraordinary, or over the top fantastic as I am responsible for three other beings half the week that expect a hot meal, clean laundry, bedtime stories, homework assistance, and refills in the Touch n' Brush. Therefore, any ideas I have about running with the bulls or cliff diving will have to take back burner until the next birthday to-do list when they're a little more self sufficient. It's a good thing that I only ever promised myself a little sparkle everyday, fully aware that some days would have more than others.

Tonight, VIP came over and surprised the kids just by being here. We picked up Buono's pizza, got a math lesson using coins, and made root beer floats. We were supposed to play Scrabble Jr, but the kids had different ideas and by the time everyone settled down, it was bedtime. Hey, we still have routine it's a school night! And that was that.

The girls enjoyed their Root Beer Floats. R denied the paparazzi.

VIP & I. We're sippin'.

This is me. 25 days before 30. Root beer floatin'.

Random Sunshine:
Listening ears are golden ears.

Gratitude:
Sunshine. It rained all day... again. More pissed than blue, I didn't see the rain coming and therefore, didn't put the tarp over my love seat outback. It'll dry, right?

30 Before 30
continues manana with Day 6...