Will never ever forget this day. On this day God spoke to me and 4 guardian angels in the flesh came to help me off my knees. I will be forever thankful to these mystery souls. Merry Christmas Everyone! May your Christmas be bright and glowing..
Will never ever forget this day. On this day God spoke to me and 4 guardian angels in the flesh came to help me off my knees. I will be forever thankful to these mystery souls. Merry Christmas Everyone! May your Christmas be bright and glowing..
The New Year reminds me of my childhood days playing hide and seek.. the times when I was not able to find a good enough hiding place, its as if the New Year shouts as it’s done counting… “Ready Or Not, Here I Come!!” throwing me in a complete frenzy…
I’m so overwhelmed as 2010 rolls to an end in the next 10 days… I feel like my heart is flooded and going to spill over from the kind of love I’ve been getting from some very special souls in my life. They are the ones who have bent over backwards for me in good times and bad. Not only have they been there for me, but they have allowed me to also reciprocate in return by giving me the opportunity of being there for them….
To me friendship is not perfection… or about showing up that one time of the year to wish Happy Birthday. Sure it doesn’t hurt to remember someone’s birthday without needing a Facebook prompt. But it’s more about knowing WHEN to be there…When someone is silently calling out for help and counting on you to be around when they need you the most or just to experience their happy special moments with you. When someone can do that for you, suddenly the fact that they are millions of miles away and on another continent doesn’t even matter because you can feel them beating right inside your heart. That feeling just makes me soar because there’s not much closer you can get to a person than that.
Sometimes its a matter of accepting help from a friend even when you didn’t know you needed it. Getting and giving the chance to share, love, pour your heart out and evolve is what makes a friendship blossom. No friendship is perfect and there are times when egos, ugly altercations, drama and little things can get in the way. But true friends are the ones that can look past all that and embrace the fact that you’re standing right there at this very moment, imperfections and all, finding some way to contribute to their life. Whether its just listening, advising, laughing, maybe even just being a silent spectator… it does SOMETHING to you..you suddenly don’t feel alone anymore and you have purpose and meaning added to your life again…
I have nothing but the deepest utmost respect and love for those who have made their presence felt in my life.. Thank you is just not enough to describe the gratitude and happiness I feel. I know I have had my moments of throwing bullshit around (we’re all guilty of that one time or another…) But at the same time, the people who have put up with it and rided out my tough times with me… It feels good to be accepted for exactly who I am, bullshit and all. They have cared enough and been bold enough to tell me to quit it, focus on the things I should be and have put me back on the right track.. They took the effort and were not afraid to make things messy in order to make it right. They’re the kind of gems you wished to have known your whole life (or glad that you do.)
I feel like I am an artist’s canvas, a work in progress… everyday changing, worked upon and being added to, As my new year’s resolution for 2011, I’ve decided to stop getting worked up about those who have chosen to walk out of my life and focus on the ones who have chosen to be in it. I pray to God that those who have acted as my guardian angels this past year don’t disappear from my life again.. This year was ugly, difficult, exciting, and beautiful… It just keeps getting better.. I couldn’t have gotten to this place without you angels..here’s to a new year full of promise and wonder! A chance to shine and become a better person and learn some more from life’s lessons.. This is me officially “Reaching out to embrace whatever may come…”
It’s been really really hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year. Usually I’m all over that even before December. But with all the stress of waiting for Gojira to come here, Christmas honestly seems depressing. But he did mention something that made sense to me. He said it’s meant to be this way. You see I’m embracing the Catholic faith. and I’m not yet converted. All that will happen once he gets here so he can walk me through it. So really it makes sense that I’m not having a proper Christmas to celebrate with him this year. Because next year I’ll be converted by then so it makes sense that my first Christmas is once I’m properly converted and have the freedom to celebrate with my own house to decorate and what not. So yeah it made sense to me and that sort of cheered me up.. But I guess the next best thing is to sit and think about the things that i love about Christmas and dream about how it will be for me next year..
It’s an art to decorate your house perfectly for Christmas. I think this photo captures exactly what I’m talking about. A little hint of Christmas everywhere is the idea if you ask me. Everything should be glowing and happy. Can’t wait to have my very own Christmas tree. And I’m glad that with green movement efforts you can now buy Christmas trees which are growing in containers so you don’t actually have to kill them to put them inside your home. Some places are also renting out trees where you give them back to the nurseries after Christmas is over. I liked both those ideas which allow a fresh Christmas tree in your house without hurting it or affecting the environment.
Decorations must include paper snowflakes. Such a simple thing to make and how pretty they look hung up or put against a window. Christmas crafts will be a must around the holiday season to help decorate the house :)
I’ve never ever kissed anyone under mistletoe before.. I was reading online that you’re supposed to kiss for as many seconds as there are berries on the mistletoe. or as many kisses as there are berries lol. cute idea.. and I will make sure I get my mistletoe kiss next Christmas.. Gojira pucker up ;)
Knitted wear comes flying out of the closet around the holiday season. It just makes it more cozier to be wrapped up from head to toe in your warmest clothing. sweaters, scarfs, sweater dresses, its all good.. Though I should specify that i’ll pass on the gaudy Christmas sweaters. hah. but then I wouldn’t mind a one of those Christmas sweatshirts that light up :P
Boots and Uggs. I swear by next winter season I will be the owner of a nice pair of leather boots and a knitted pair of Uggs. yes Uggs are a fashion controversy but I think the knitted ones are so cute. Considering the kind of quality materials used in making them I’m sure I’ll stay warm and cozy all winter.
flannel pajama pants!! These are the exact ones I got this year. and they are just so comfy and adorable looking.. They’ve got pockets in the back and satin lining on the waistband… I live in them when I’m at home… (go to target if u want them too!)
There are a couple of movies that I just have to watch every Christmas. Elf being one of them. How can you not love Elf? it gets better every time I watch it. Another good one is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, a classic Dr. Suess story. Both the animated and Jim Carrey versions are cute. I also get all soft and glowy inside when I watch The Polar Express. Especially the theme song “Believe” melts my heart. The story has such a beautiful concept you can take away. Home Alone is also another good Christmas movie. I’m a big sucker for Christmas romance movies too..
Gingerbread house. Never made one and yes I’m dying to test out my house making skills. I’m going to make one next year. and I’ve got some really cool ideas lined up.. upside down ice cream cones with light green icing for christmas trees, marshmallow snowmen, coconut shavings to make it look like its snowed, of course plenty of frosting to glue the house together and to make icicles hanging down from the roof. I know I’ll have a really cool gingerbread house..
Christmas Cookies. They are so delicious and I love when the whole house smells of freshly baked cookies. Just like the gingerbread house, it’s fun to come up with all sorts of different frosting colors, delicious sprinkles and other things to decorate the cookies with. And of course you can’t miss out leaving some cookies and milk for Santa!!! :D
hot steaming drinks with a little dash of sweet strong liqueur added to them.. The other day I had amaretto for the first time.. and that was so yummy.. and then I also had amaretto flavored coffee.. these sort of drinks make me feel Christmasy, warm and fuzzy inside.. Bailey’s and other cream based liquer’s also taste good in these hot coffee/cocoa sort of drinks.
California does not have snow but I still love the idea of sledding around Christmas time.. when I was in NY with all the snow we got dumped on, the holiday season was not complete until I went sledding till our butts were too sore and cold to sled anymore. We used to venture out to the golf clubs in our neighborhood which would let us use their steep slopes to sled down.. as it was during the winter, golfing wasn’t something that people could do, so why not sledding! Was always interesting to see the different colors and styles of sleds out there.. When I was growing up I had this bright shocking pink one that used to hurt your eyes when you looked at it. lol! You also can’t forget making snow angels, forts, and snowmen.
Christmas lights. People simply go all out to decorate their houses around Christmas and it looks so magical. I also like the lights that the cities and businesses put up around the holidays. It looks so bright and festive you can’t help but have a twinkle in your eye when you see it all displayed so nicely. My mom told me of a neighborhood nearby where they go all out and every single house is decorated to the fullest. I’ll definitely take pictures and put them up when I go see!
a cool video of someone’s sound and light display for Christmas… must’ve taken them months to pull off something like that.. amazing..
Christmas Shopping. The sales and bargains are fantastic. Its a great time to shop and spend some good hard earned dough on yourself and loved ones.
With today’s day and age being stuck on the Internet and a fast paced lifestyle, it’s nice to come back around to the lost art of letter writing, greeting card – snail mail sending around Christmas time. There is nothing more personal than someone taking the time out of their day to write you a letter by hand. That too around Christmas getting a bunch of cards in the mail, It’s fun to hang them up in a chain around the fireplace or just prop them up on a coffee table. All of them together make a decoration in itself.
think thats enough daydreaming for now… what are your favorite christmas things? hmmmm…. sigh… this light is turned off..
I feel like a menopausal 40+ woman the way my mood swings are lifting me as high as the sky and then crashing me back down..Feel like I’m on Oceanic flight blah blah blah just swerving up and down and all around… its just insane… i can’t wait for this whole visa ordeal to be over…the stress is putting me over the top but i try my hardest to feel composed and calm about everything. I have this deep rich feeling that everything is going to be fine.. but I’m human and it is natural to think about all the fearful “What if’s” that could make things go wrong.. I started crying again on the way in to work.. i guess the weather was crying with me because it was drizzling and gloomy and what not.. but u know i was crying happy tears.. i was thinking of the moment when Gojira lands at LAX airport and gets through border customs and immigration and he finally gets to the baggage area and sighs with relief that all inquiries and interrogation is all finally over… i’m a shy person u could say.. but i know when i get him in my arms im going to scream my head off and just pounce on top of him.. im also relieved because my dad is filing his financial support papers so that he can declare that my gojira will not be a liability on the government once he is here. that basically helps our case A LOT. i have to file one anyways but if my dad who has more secure assets also files for him it will be really really good.. im honestly proud of the way Gojira is handling the stress and pressure.. its obvious he must be smoking like a chimney during this time..and though it concerns me.. i know its better than losing it mentally.. he’s strong and he’s handled worse pressure than this.. so i know he’s going to get through this like a cake walk though he is quite worried..
i know that the best thing to do when your stressed antsy and nervous… is to keep busy… so ive been doing a really good job of that.. during my tahiti trip i took the chance to learn how to crochet… now i’ve crocheted in the past but it’s never come out nice.. i never learned how to turn on the next row properly and so it would always turn out uneven and narrowing instead of keeping consistent.. so since we were all just lazing around at the hotel i took the chance to get her guidance so she could correct me when i was going wrong.. and sooner than i knew it i started correcting myself and understanding how its supposed to be done. so then last weekend i got this idea that since dad is leaving this weekend for india i will send scarfs for all my family there with him. theres 6 of them.. and im in the middle of the third one so ive been crocheting away like crazy for the past couple of nights as soon as i get home from work.. today and tomorrow being friday and saturday i will really have to catch up… it was convenient that michaels was having a sale so I got a lot of pretty colors.. I also went online and watched a video that taught me how to put a fringe on each end of the scarf… i swear i could sell my scarfs they look that good. even my grandmom and mom were kind of eying them :P i will make them one too when im finished with these…believe it or not.. right now with all the stress i have there is nothing i am craving more than a good ol’ cigarette. i feel like hopping into a store and just buying that nice fat pack of smokes and the alarmingly bright neon lighter to slip into my pocket.. but ive come too far to turn around on that path again.. so im doing what i did to fight my initial cravings when i first quit: eating lots of chocolate.. it’s worse cuz dad bought this huge bag of truffles and our whole family’s been scarfing them down all week.. they’re so addictive but i restrain myself to just one every night before i go to bed.. but work is a different story.. everyday cuz of the holiday season someone’s either bringing in cake, cookies, pie, chocolates… so that is hard to resist. but i try to balance it out by skipping breakfast and eating a really small lunch.. yeah yeah i may gain a few pounds because of it.. but once i get these scarfs finished.. (dad’s leaving sunday so they’ll all have to be finished by saturday night…. i’ll be jumping right back on that treadmill and getting refocused about my body and keeping fit.. im proud of myself.. ive managed to be healthy toned and fit.. i dont think ive ever been in this shape before.. so if i take a lil chocolate break.. i deserve it.. its not the end of the world.. chocolate does not make u gain 500 pounds overnight if you have it within reason.. :P hmmmm.. i guess this is it.. this light is turned off..
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
(For urgent needs; Pray for 3 consecutive days or 3 hours straight.)
Holy Spirit, You who make me see everything and showed me the way to reach my ideals, You who gave me the divine gift to forgive and forget the wrong that is done to me and You who are in all instances of my life with me, I want to thank You for everything and confirm once more that I never want to be separated from You no matter how great the material desire may be. I want to be with You and my loved ones in Your perpetual glory. Amen. In Jesus Christ, your Son’s name, I ask that you grant me (*state your request here*)
Well I noticed that I haven’t done a cooking post in some time on my blog. After reading someone’s post of plans to put up recipes of gulab jamun and upside down pineapple cake I thought I would also put up a new food post. I also noticed that I haven’t yet written about one of the most successful desserts I made this summer. I made it at least 4 times because it was so popular with my family. This past summer our plum tree gave us about a dozen plums a day. As you can imagine, we were up to our ears in plums and had no idea what to do with so many of them. So I decided to do some recipe hunting online for a tasty recipe to help in using up some of those plums. I was honestly skeptical of trying out a plum cake. I’m not what you call a major fan of the plum. But I thought there has to be something out there that would be tasty and include plums. That’s when I came across this recipe on the Joy Of Baking website. For the most part when I do my recipe hunting online, I’m drawn to foodnetwork.com or recipeland.com. But I wasn’t having any luck with those websites.
This recipe asked for Italian prune plums but I have no idea what the hell kind of plums grow in our backyard. Here are some pictures of them if anyone can recognize what kind they are… (yes, i took these pics :P)
Anywho, using the plums I had, this recipe turned out perfectly.
Plum Coffee Cake
1 1/4 cup (175 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) flavorless oil (safflower, corn, or canola)
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk plain yogurt
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest (the outer orange skin (rind) of the orange)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
7 – 8 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted (can also use 4 – 5 red plums)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Butter and flour pan. (Though the recipe asks for an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan, I used approximately a 7 x 7 aluminum square pan which was about 4 inches deep.) I would recommend any sort of brownie pan that you have at home.
In a large bowl, stir or whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. I used a coffee grinder to grind the almonds down to a fine almond powder for the recipe. In another large bowl, stir or whisk together the oil, yogurt, orange juice and zest, egg, and vanilla extract. You can use a hand held cheese grater to delicately get the zest off the orange. Just make sure while doing so not to go too deep. It should just be the zest of the top most surface otherwise the zest will make your cake bitter. Stir in the sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. (I stirred it well since I always get paranoid that I didn’t mix in the ingredients well enough.) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and evenly arrange the halved plums on top of the batter, flesh side facing up. The recipe says 4 to 5 halved and pitted plums. I just cut and placed them until the top was mostly filled. I usually ended up putting 9 to 11 halves on top so it wouldn’t be too loaded with fruit. I prefer a nice ratio of cake along with my fruit. As it cooks the halved plums tend to rise with the cake batter so make sure u have them pushed down in the batter enough yet the flesh side is not covered by any batter. The recipe asks that after you arrange the plums on top of the batter to sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar. I didn’t measure the brown sugar. I just randomly sprinkled all over the top of the cake till I felt it was enough. I also sprinkled the top of the cake with slivered almonds to give it a nice look and fresh taste since the batter already has ground almond meal in it. Here are some pics of my Plum Coffee Cake before putting it into bake.
Bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Check out the pics of my finished cake below :)
as you can see though I let it brown nicely on the top it is nice soft and delicate on the inside. Enjoy people! this light is turned off..
yes the old fashioned customary ritual of proposing… well you might be wondering why i’m picking out an engagement ring since i’m the chic. well it so happens that once Gojira comes to the US we will have a court marriage and then we will have a proper wedding ceremony in Goa a year from now. Since we want
to wear rings while waiting till the actual wedding ceremony in Goa we decided to get each other engagement rings. Also the traditional wedding ceremony in Goa is going to have yellow gold rings and both of us prefer wearing white gold. So our engagement rings are going to be white gold, we will follow the tradition of wearing the yellow gold rings for the ceremony and then switch back to our white gold rings once its done. When I asked him what he wanted, Gojira requested a regular plain wedding band with no embellishments, carvings or diamonds. I was initially quite upset hearing that since I wanted to get him something that was stunning. Why should it always be that girls get pampered and have all the fun? Why cant a woman for once get her man some bling! But he insisted that he wanted a classic plain wedding band.
As I started hunting for the perfect wedding band I initially was preferential to Tiffany. Cmon who doesn’t love Tiffany with their little blue boxes and their prestige? But as i researched further I found that they really didn’t have much to offer. Most of their decent collection was in platinum or yellow gold and they didn’t have thicker mm’s besides 3 or 4mm. Now you would think what’s wrong with Platinum? Platinum is supposed to be the best right? Well yeah it is but it does have its drawbacks. First of all it is a softer metal so it needs to be replaced more often as it wears down quickly. It can’t stand the wear and tear of regular use. It also gets scratched and knicked easily. So in about a year or 2 it’s not going to look as nice than compared to a white or yellow gold ring. I told Gojira to go to a jeweler in his area and try on rings to see what mm he would want for his wedding band. mm is how wide the ring would be. I didn’t want it to be too thin otherwise it would look cheap and girly. Guys generally look nicer with thicker rings since they have larger manlier fingers. For Gojira’s finger he would need a 5mm. Tiffany’s site had only 3 or 4mm’s.
As I continued with my search for the perfect wedding band I realized there were plenty more aspects I will have to settle on such as fit, finish, and dome before I select a wedding band for Gojira. From the research I did, I came across classic and comfort fit. Classic means the ring is flat on the inside and Comfort means its rounded on the inside. Comfort fit allows a snug yet comfortable fit for the person wearing it. It seems that the current market is being dominated by comfort fit jewelry. Finish is the outside look the ring which can be matte, or polished. Polished is a shiny mirror like look to the metal. Matte is a soft non shiny look to the ring (think steel). Dome refers to how flat or rounded the outside of the ring is. These images will give u a better idea of the aspects I came across in my research. As you can see I really shook the jewelry industry inside out in terms of wedding bands!! :P
After realizing all these aspects I started looking through online jewelry galleries only to find that the market was filled to the brim with low grade silver, 10k and 14k gold jewelry …There was nothing classy and ritzy to appease my tastes and feel like I was buying something as important as a wedding ring. Maybe I’m with my nose up in the air but cmon!! I was getting more and more disappointed by the day as I wasn’t finding anything that I wanted. not quality wise or worth wise. By worth I mean when I finally would find a wedding band that was to my liking and preference it was available at the the price that I earn in a week. :\ I don’t want my fiance having a wedding band worth junk. I mean for regular occasions everyone loves wearing junk jewelry (me included.) But when it comes to a wedding band I want WOW. I wasn’t even looking at wedding bands that were below a grand. Just as I was about to give in on the online jewelry market and try looking for a wedding band in an actual boutique I remembered a site I used to visit when I wanted to find photos and information about creative jewelry and fashion concepts. I visited this site a lot when I had to write SEO articles on jewellery and fashion. This site is amazing. check it out if you have some time. It’s called http://www.trendhunter.com
I visited that site and immediately fell in love with the fingerprint wedding bands. It’s a custom made ring which you can order and they send you a fingerprint impression kit. You send them your fingerprint and they include your actual fingerprint as part of the wedding band design! According to your preference you can choose to have the fingerprint impression show on the outside of the band or on the inside. As I started honing in on the fingerprint wedding ring market I realized they were only a few making them in the US with 1 business in particular dominating a majority of the market. With Gojira’s visa petition approved and a couple more weeks till his interview is on a roll, I didn’t have much time to work with. I wrote a dozen emails from one fingerprint jeweler to another asking them for quotes, prices, and specifications regarding the ring I had in mind. I wasn’t really pleased considering I wasn’t getting responses quick enough especially from those who were the best in the business.
Finally one jeweller came through and not only contacted me but took the time to answer all of my millions of questions concerning the aspects I had in mind and any other concerns I had. She must have written to me twice and thrice in just one day. And let me tell you her quality was just gorgeous. This is what I came across in her gallery and I immediately fell in love.
Since Gojira wanted a normal wedding band I decided to order his with my fingerprint on the inside of the wedding band. I’m so excited that his wedding band will be one of a kind. With my fingerprint on the inside as if im holding his hand and a piece of me is always with him! It makes me so emotional to think I am able and capable to pick out and buy a wedding band for him that he will wear for the rest of his life. It will be something special to be passed down as a family heirloom to our future family generations. I’ve never had the opportunity to experience picking out a wedding band and I’m truly awed and grateful to have experienced this beautiful moment.
I just paid the deposit for the ring yesterday so the fingerprint impression kit is in the mail. I’m so excited and can’t wait to receive it!! Now till the ring comes I’m going to focus on gathering Gojira’s paperwork and filling everything out so that the interview goes smoothly. Keep your fingers crossed everyone and please pray for us :) This light is turned off..
Soo guessss whaaaaa!!!!! i got my notice of action for the petition I filed for Gojira’s fiance visa and it was approved!!!! I’m so so so so so so happy :D I mean can’t even begin to explain the level of happiness I’m feeling right now. not to mention relief that 2 steps are now out of the way and now just 1 big step left.. just the personal interview at the embassy… and then he’s allllll mine :) I’m really curious to know how long the next process will take. I give it a few weeks to all come into play. A month doesn’t seem so long anymore and I’m really really excited. I mean I came down with the flu yesterday and it just doesn’t drag me down because I’m in so much bliss about this good news. My blog has really been such a strong emotional support for me during the ups and downs of this process bcuz of all those checking in on me..i just wanted to let u all know how grateful i am for that.. now just one last step before all is as it should be… <3 this light is turned off..
note: I am however really annoyed that my mother felt it was her right to open my letter and let me know that it was approved. I filed that petition and I should have been the one to open it.. just makes me livid thinking about this and other instances such as my college acceptance letter which other people opened before I got to. I will remember this and make sure my children get the joy of opening their own important mail. i’m 27 for god’s sake. stop opening my f’in mail. :| but i washappy that it was good news so i didnt voice my unhappiness to her about that. sigh i cant waaaait till gojira is here…