Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And Your Friends They Sing Along and They Love You

Here are two more recipes from stuff I made for Nae's going away dinner. I thought the satay was the best I've had at home ever and the peanut sauce (I think it was Simply Thai or Simply Asia brand) was the closest to restaurant quality I've had out of a jar. The salad was also a big hit and I should have made double what I did. Everyone one loved the fresh wonton wrappers in the salad. I had added slivered almonds to the salad, but I don't know if I just didn't get any or what, but they didn't add anything to it so you can leave them out.

Chicken Satay (from Good Things Catered) (I also did steak satay and this marinade worked for that, too)

3 large chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise 1 - 1 1/2 inch wide
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/8 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
2 green onions, white and light green portions sliced

-In large bowl, combine soy sauce, oil, lime, curry, brown sugar, cilantro and green onion and and stir to combine.
-Add chicken pieces and toss to cover completely.
-Cover bowl and place in fridge for 1-2 hours. (Mine marinated for about 3-4 hours I think)
-Remove chicken from fridge, line baking sheet with foil, top with cooling rack, and turn broiler on low. (We barbecued ours)
-Weave chicken strips through bamboo skewers and place on cooling rack-topped baking sheet. (Once again, we barbecued ours so just place on grill medium to high heat until meat is cooked through)
-Place in middle of oven and broil until tops begin to brown slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
-Remove from oven, flip chicken over and place back in to cook.
-Broil on low until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
-Remove, let cool for 3 minutes, and serve with Thai peanut sauce.

Won Ton Salad (From Hot Off the Garlic Press)

3 T rice vinegar

1/2 t pepper

1 t salt

1 T sesame seeds (omitted because I didn't buy any)

2 T sugar

1/4 C oil (I used olive because I assumed that's what she meant by oil)


Green Onion (omitted because our meal already had tons of green onions in the other dishes and I find lots of people tend to pick them out and leave them to the side in salads when they are raw)

Won Ton Wrappers

(I threw in some cherry tomatoes because we had a ton)

Prepare a bowl-full of the lettuce{s} of your choice. Add some green onion sliced diagonally. Take a small stack of wonton wrappers and slice them into small sections. Fry them until golden and drain on paper towels. Mix the vinegar, pepper, salt, sesame seeds, sugar, and oil and toss it all together just before serving.

Monday, March 29, 2010

You Taste so Sweet for Only Me

When I planned last night's menu, this lemon cake wasn't even on it, but the recipe caught my eye when I realized I had all the ingredients already here at the house so I decided, "Why not?" This was a really delicious cake and I got a ton of compliments on it. Mine looked no where near as nice as the one pictured above, but I just cut it in the kitchen and served it so no one ever knew how plain it looked. The other yummy part about this cake is that the top of the cake hardened a little bit and formed a really crunchy sugary top that stayed crunchy even under the frosting. Here is the recipe from Good Things Catered, my comments will be in parenthesis.

Luscious Lemon Party Cake

Cake -
2 1/2 c. cake flour (I used Trader Joe's white whole wheat fiber which made the cake a little heavy, but also added lots of fiber per serving and still wasn't as "chewy" as typical whole wheat flour)
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp meringue powder (Didn't use because I didn't have)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 extra large organic lemons, washed thoroughly then zested and juiced separately (I used 3 small organic Meyer lemons from our tree)
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 egg whites, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp)

Icing -
4 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp meringue powder (Didn't use because I didn't have)
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 extra large lemon, juiced (I only had small Meyer lemons so I juiced 2 of them to start with and then ended up adding the juice from a third one)

Additional lemon for decorating (Didn't do but only because I'm not the best cake decorator yet)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two cake pans. ( I only used 1 9 inch cake pan)
-In bowl of electric mixer sift and add flour, sugar, baking powder, meringue powder, salt, and zest of one lemon.
-Stir with mixer to combine, about 30 seconds.
-Add milk, oil, juice from two lemons, beaten egg whites and extract.
-Beat on medium to combine thoroughly, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.
-Remove from mixer and stir with silicone spatula to thoroughly combine (making sure there is no flour mixture left unincorporated at the bottom of the bowl.
-Fill prepared pans 2/3 of the way full and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (about 25-28 mins for 8 inch pans) (Mine took closer to about 35 minutes in a 9 inch pan)
-Remove from oven, let cool 15 minutes in pan and then turn onto wire racks to cool completely.
-Meanwhile, in the bowl of stand mixer, combine shortening, butter, and half of extract and lemon juice, stiring on low until relatively combined.
-In a separate bowl, combine sugar, meringue powder and salt, then add to mixer while still on.
-Stir, scraping down sides of bowl, until thoroughly combined, adding more lemon juice as needed.
(Add water if needed to reach desired texture.)
-Once cakes are completely cool, even out tops of cakes if needed.
-On cut side of one cake, spread generous amount of icing.
-Place cut side of other cake down onto filling and finish icing cake.
-Decorate with additional lemon and icing as desired.

All-in-all I'd say this was the perfect spring cake and would make a great dessert for Easter. I'm already trying to figure out how I can transport this cake in the car for 6 hours so that I can take one down to my Grandma when we go to visit her next week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dana

So I got a little manic today and decided to make chicken and steak satay, cold asian noodle salad, won ton salad, a lemon cake from scratch with homemade lemon buttercream frosting, and Malva pudding which is a traditional South Africa dessert in honor of Nae's last dinner at home. Luckily we had 12 people here to eat it all!

I also made these really yummy Pacific Rim turkey burgers with ginger mayo last night. I have been on a cooking bender this weekend.

I didn't get pictures of any of it because my camera is still broken and should be sent off tomorrow to get fixed and my Dad's camera had a flat battery, but I will be posting the recipes and pictures from the sites where I got the recipes from over the next few days.

In other news, this really did turn out to be the weekend of wildlife. Last night, we had 4 great horned owls flying around and calling to each other from the trees out front. We also, sadly, have found 2 huge (like the size of labradors) sea otters washed dead on our beach this week and have had to call the Monterey Bay Aquarium to come take a look at them. Then just this morning I walked down the back steps and saw what I thought was another gopher head that Sparticus had left as a treat for us, but what turned out to be a little Mexican free-tailed bat. The good news was that he was still alive so I found a big sturdy stick and got him to use it as a perch and then put him in one of our big planters. Mom couldn't get a hold of animal control so I did a quick Google search and found a bat conservation group who had a representative in our area and called her. She asked if I could put the bat in a box and bring it to her. So there Mom and I were at 10:30 this morning, in the Audi driving to Corralitos,to drop off a bat perched in a Vans shoe box! We'll know with in a few days if he's sick with rabies or if he might have just accidentally hit the wall trying to get up in to our eaves last night. If he's ok, we'll get him back and will put him in our bat box to sleep in through the day and as the free-tailed bat is a colony dweller, hopefully he will bring his other bat friends to live in the bat box with him!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oh, I'd Slither Across the Floor and I'd Slip Under the Door

Yesterday, Mom spotted whales from our kitchen window. We live about a half mile above the beach, but there they were...two whales spouting far out in the Bay. We got the binoculars out and Mom was even able to see one surface for a moment. I saw its side flash as the sun hit upon its back. We decided to run down to the beach and see if we could get a better look at them.

Mom ran ahead because even though she has stubby legs like Nae and I, she is somehow able to make them fly. Out on to the bluffs she ran, through a field of lupines that smelled like sweet jasmine tea as they were crushed beneath our feet, with me a minute or two behind her. She was already out at the point as I came up the path through the eucalyptus trees. I was watching the path as I walked because there were a bunch of rhino-like beetles scurrying in front of me. I was nearly to the point, when in mid-step I spotted a snake peaking out from the brush! I jumped over it and moved as far out on to the point as I could. I did a little yelp of "snake" in midair and Mom couldn't believe that she must have walked passed it without even noticing. We scanned the Bay up and down for a few minutes before Mom eventually spotted the whales and we saw the great bursts of water shooting out from their blow holes twice, but our minds were completely focused on that snake and how we were going to get passed it to get home. Mom and I weighed the pros and cons of going first (Maybe it will strike at whoever passes first?) versus going second (Maybe the first person passing it will piss it off so that it strikes at the person coming next?) before Mom told me that I could go first. I took a few steps closer to the snake, took a couple deep breaths, and leaped over it. Mom started freaking out "Oh Gawd D, now it's doing the tongue thing!" She was psyching herself up to run passed, but every time it would flick it's tongue she'd chicken out. Finally, she ran and jumped over it, screaming as she went and I nearly peed myself laughing at her.

When we got back to the house, we went out back to tell Dad all about what he had missed. I then went to check on something and Mom started watering some plants, when all of a sudden I heard her shriek, "Oh yuck, she's got something!" I went out back and, sure enough, there was one of my sister's cats, Sparticus, with a very large and very dead gopher in her mouth. She proceeded to carry her kill under our back outside stairs and devour the gopher in a matter of minutes. Too bad we think she caught it in the heather fields across the street and not in our yard, where a gopher or mole has been wreaking havoc for the last two weeks!

After not seeing any wild animals besides birds for weeks, yesterday was certainly a lucky day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

But a Night Like This is Begging to Pull Me Apart

I should have been at Brand New in Sydney last night. After all, that was my Christmas present from Boyfriend, the one I got teary eyed over because I was so excited. Instead, I went to bed wearing my Brand New t-shirt in California....ugh!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just a Day, Just an Ordinary Day

Sorry for the lack of posts for the last week. I've been working, but not as much as I should be and working out, but not as much as I should be, either. I haven't tried any new recipes or seen anything really exciting, and even if I had, my camera has decided to stop working for no reason at all so I couldn't take pictures of any of it anyway. I've been getting tan, laying out next to the pool and by helping Dad build a platform in which we are going to build a big 12 by 8 greenhouse on (that's how I've been getting most of my exercise lately, that and earth moving to make sure the soil was all level). I got an HIV and Syphilis test last week as part of my medical check up for my visa back to Australia (fun! <----sarcasm. What is it about those types of tests that just make you feel dirty/guilty by association for even having to take them?). I was supposed to go up to San Francisco this weekend to hang out with Bun and her sisters, but now don't think I'm going. Nae leaves for 2 months in South Africa on Tuesday and I'm as excited as if it was me who was going! We are staying in San Francisco on Monday night at the condo and are taking her to the airport super early Tuesday morning and then Tuesday afternoon we might catch a baseball game, the Giants taking on the Cubs, since the stadium is so close by. I'm really missing Boyfriend, but we talk daily over email or on the phone so that helps. I'm also helping one of his cousins, who is travelling outside of Australia for the first time, plan her trip to California for this August so that has been really fun! So yeah, not too much going on around here. Fingers crossed that something exciting happens so I have stuff to write about again!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Owl in the Tree Says, "Who, Who, Who."

Since we've moved to Santa Cruz, there have been 3 great horned owls that hunt at night up and down our road. My Mom especially loves them so she and my Dad jumped at the chance to go to an Owl Class put on by the local community college. Saturday was the big day of the class so Friday I made these owl cupcakes that I had seen on Annie's Eats:

Her's were a bit more fancy because she piped frosting on the the eyebrows and made little wispy feathers around the face, but I thought mine turned out well for my first try.

Here's what you will need:

1 box of chocolate cake mix
Eggs, Water, and Oil per the recipe
1 container of chocolate frosting
1 bag of Oreo cookies
1 "to share" bag of MnMs
Jumbo muffin baking ups
Cupcake pan
Toothpick to dab frosting on back of Oreo's with

Here's what you need to do (follow Annie's instructions for more step by step guide and some really nice pictures):

Bake the cupcakes according to the recipe on the box.

Let them cool completely.

Frost cupcakes.

Split Oreos using a butter knife so that all frosting ends up on one half of the Oreo. Make enough frosted halves so that you have two per cupcake.

On the side of the Oreos that don't have frosting, cut in to thirds to create owl eyebrows.

Use toothpick to apply a small dab of frosting on to MnMs on the side that says MnMs. Press MnMs on to Oreos that have frosting left on them.

Frost the back of the Oreos and place on to center of cupcakes.

Frost the bottom backsides of the Oreo thirds you are using for the eyebrows and apply them (facing opposite directions, pointy side out) above the eyes.

Place a yellow MnM, centered, below the eyes to form the beak.

If you are good at piping frosting, pipe frosting on to eyebrows and create wispy lines around the face that look like feathers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm Walkin On Sunshine

I've walked about 25 miles this week...that's 5 miles every day so far or 10,000 steps a day. It's a lot of work and I'm normally out with my Dad about 2 hours each day walking all over the place. Whether I am in Australia or Santa Cruz, I live in two really beautiful places, but sometimes even that is not enough to motivate me to get out there and get moving. For those days my Dad and I chant this mantra: "I don't have to like it, I just have to do it." And sometimes I am motivated to get out the door but then hate every single one of those 10,000 steps I have to take and for those times Dad and I chant: "Every step I take is making my ass look better" (seriously and we probably say this chant at least 3 times per walk). When I think about it in those terms, it makes me feel a little better. I am noticing some changes in my body and I've lost about 7 pounds so far so that is helping to keep me motivated, as well.

Here are some pictures I took from our walk on Thursday:



Hundreds of these crab shells have washed up on the beach over the past two weeks.

A whole sand dollar, one of the first I've seen this year.

You can't really tell the scale on this picture, but this clam shell is as big as the palm of my hand and super heavy.

Super low tide on the beach (the best time to walk it so it doesn't feel like you are walking 5 miles in wet cement!)


One of the few crab carcasses that have washed up whole.

Dad likes to collect all the broken sand dollars and use them as frisbees to throw out over the water.

Super, super low tide

I tried to get down to eye level with all the shore birds, but in doing so I spooked them so here are the birds flying away from me instead.

Lupines in the campground.

I know this one is kindof blurry, but I thought it was cool because it shows the whole field behind it

Some kind of cool red grass.

Interesting driftwood...I have a thing for driftwood.

Crab shell and the tiniest sand dollar I have ever seen- it's about the size of a nickel.

California poppies

I don't know what these are, but they are neat.

Wildflowers in the campground

I would hate to fall on this guy...ouch!

More lupines

Ornamental cherry tree I think

My ring and the sand dollar next to each other for scale.

I think these are Rock Roses? I just like how they look like tissue paper when they start to fade.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Lemon Song

My sister, Nae, is leaving on a Girls' Weekend to San Francisco tonight with D.C. and the Camp Counselor so I decided to make them these Lemon Burst Cookies that I had seen on Brown Eyed Baker for the road. I'm always interested in trying recipes that call for lemons in them since I've got a whole, huge tree in the backyard that is always full of ripe fruit that tend to go to waste .

I made a few little tweaks to the recipe (and over did one batch of them), but so far during our pretrip taste test, everyone loved them! The best part is these were super easy to whip up!

Here's what you need:

1 package lemon cake mix (I don't think they have this in Australia, but you could probably use a white cake mix and add more lemon juice and limoncello to it to get a similar flavor) (I haven't tried it with the white cake mix so don't hold me to it turning out perfectly, but I plan to experiment with it when I get back)

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Zest of 2 lemons

2.5 Tablespoons lemon juice (I'd use about 1/3 of a cup if you are using white cake mix)

1 teaspoon of limoncello (I'd use a tablespoon if you are using white cake mix)

1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

Here's what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Make sure you either grease your cookie sheets or line them with baking paper because these cookies tend to stick.

2. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract until well blended.

3. Once your confectioner’s sugar is in a bowl, drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in confectioner’s sugar until lightly coated and place on baking sheet.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

(Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why Should I Care if I Have to Cut My Hair?

Ummmm, so not a whole lot is going on around here beside me working and working out, and that is why I am posting about my latest haircut. My apologies if this bores you to tears!

So this past weekend I got my haircut. It had been getting really long lately. I don't think I've ever had it so long, and if I have, it was back in Kindergarten. But I've got really thick hair (you can be jealous, but I think it's a pain) and I'm not a girly girl so I don't know how to style it and it was starting to look kindof "blah" in my opinion. I thought I'd get it thinned out and take an inch or two off and get some texture put in to the bottom of it....

What I came out with was the haircut I got in the 1st or 2nd grade when I originally chopped my long hair off. It's this bob-ish thing that doesn't even hit my shoulders. It's a well done cut technically, but not at all what I asked for. It's funny because I think the lady just gave me, my Mom and Nae all a slightly different version of the same haircut. Everyone else seems to like it and thinks it suits me but I'm not feeling it at all. I think I look like a soccer mom. It's like I got the ring on my finger, now all I need is to pop a few out kids and get myself a minivan and I'll be set. I don't think it suits my style or personality.

Oh's only hair and it'll grow back, but from now on I'm only letting the Hairdresser touch it (even if I have to wait over 6 months to see her) and bringing in a picture of what I want!

The Sound of Animals Fighting

Have you guys been watching that new show, based on the 1980s movie, Parenthood? It's been on twice now and I love it.

The episode last night had me rolling from the first 5 minutes because in it the main character, Adam, hears a noise as he is laying in bed and jumps up in his underwear to fight this possum. I swear, this has been my life for the last two weeks! I'll be laying in bed reading when all of a sudden I'll hear the trash can lids thunk. So I race upstairs in my underwear or pajamas with a jacket quickly thrown over them, grab a flashlight and some rotting lemons that we always have in our fruit bowl, and head out on to our balcony where I then begin my assault on the raccoons that are scrounging in our or our neighbor's trash cans. They aren't even phased by the light or me making hissing noises at them and they really only leave when the lemons get super close to them. I realize that I am/probably look like a crazy person doing this, but I guess that's why it's a good thing we live in a fairly remote spot-there isn't too much traffic driving by at night to see my outside in all my glory fighting the raccoons!

If you haven't checked out Parenthood, I'd recommend it. It's got the mom from the Gilmore Girls (this would be a reason Boyfriend would be hesitant to watch it so if you don't like GG, disregard the fact that she's on the show) and Peter Krause who was on Six Feet Under and a ton of other people that you have seen on other shows. It's set in Berkeley and is all about this big family's dynamics. It's like Brothers and Sisters with a lot less gushy stuff. It's a good show for guys and girls both, I think.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I've Got You to Thank for This

Now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

This is the second of my giveaways to celebrate Little D Down Under's first blogiversary! The other one is running concurrently with this one so make sure you check it out, too.

Once again, because I am currently in California waiting for my visa back to Australia and back to my fiance, I've decided to do a Santa Cruz theme for the giveaways.

Here are the items you could win:

Another super soft and really cool shirt from Jesse and Nine Red! This one has an image of the Walton Lighthouse, which is located in the Santa Cruz Harbor, on it. It is a Small (unisex) and is the perfect shirt to pair with some cute jeans and some thongs or Vans for a morning at the Farmers' Market or for walking along West Cliff and watching the surfers and sea lions.

Be sure to check out Jesse's Santa Cruz Specials Blog, as well, any time you are headed out for food or drinks in Santa Cruz because he's got all the local deals right there in one spot for you and it's a super easy site to use!

Image via Mackenzies Chocolates.

You will also win two chocolate banana slugs- one peanut butter filled milk chocolate one and another unfilled one that looks just like the picture above. Banana slugs are native to the area and they are also the mascot for U.C. Santa Cruz. How fun is it that they get to yell "Go Slugs!" during their games?? It always made me laugh to hear my sister and her UCSC Girls' Water Polo teammates yell it at halftime.

The third thing you will win is a bar of Dr. Bronner's Certified Fair Trade, Hemp Peppermint Pure Castille Soap made with Organic Oils because Santa Cruz locals are all about fair trade and organic stuff.

How to Enter: (Please leave one comment per entry and be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win.)

1. Tell me what your favorite post from the blog has been this year and why. (You must do this one before any other entries)

2. Visit Nine Red and tell me what your favorite item is.

3. Become a follower of Little D Down Under.

4. Tweet or post a link to the giveaway on your Twitter/Facebook and leave me a comment with a link to it.

Edited to Add: There is now a 5th way to enter: become a follower of Nine Red's Blog

This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Australia. A winner will be picked on March 17, 2010 at 11:59 PM Pacific time. The winner will have 3 days to respond before another winner will be chosen.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

Thanx for Staying

Now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday marks the 1 year anniversary of this blog. I can't believe I've stuck it out a whole year already! I was never the type of girl who was good at keeping a journal so it has been surprising to me how much I have come to enjoy sharing on here. My friends sometimes ask, "Who reads this thing? Why do you have a blog?" and I really did just start it as a way to keep family and friends back home up to date on what I was doing in Australia and as a record for myself of all the fun times I've had because I have an atrocious memory and would probably forget some of it otherwise.

Since starting the blog, I've made some blogging friends and gained a few readers and I wanted to do something to show my appreciation for you guys so I'm doing two giveaways. Because I am still in California waiting for my De Facto Spouse Visa to be granted, I figured I'd have the theme of the giveaways be Santa Cruz.

With that in mind here is what you can win in giveaway number 1:

I love supporting local artists so I love the whole idea of Etsy. After doing a quick search on Etsy for "Santa Cruz" I came across Nine Red's shop. Jesse makes some really cool shirts that I feel really reflect our area. Not only do his shirts have cool designs, they are also incredibly soft. When I received them in the mail, I contemplated calling the giveaway off and just keeping the shirts for myself! This shirt also comes in red and pink so head on over to his shop to check them out for yourself. I have one shirt in teal, size Medium (unisex) to give away.

Also, if you are a local or plan on travelling to the area, Jesse runs a great blog about all the different bar and restaurant specials that are on in Santa Cruz, too. The site is really easy to use and lets you specify what day of the week you are looking to eat out on and what type of food you'd like to have and then quickly brings up all specials that fit your requirements. As someone on a tight budget, I will definitely be using his site to plan my next night out! Santa Cruz Specials

Along with the shirt you will also win 2 banana slug shaped chocolates from Mackenzies Chocolates. One slug is chocolate and filled with peanut butter and the other is all dark chocolate. The banana slug is the mascot for UC Santa Cruz and real banana slugs can be found living in the redwood forests around here!

Image via

Finally, you will also win a bar of Ginger Almond Oatmeal soap from Trader Joe's because I think TJ's exemplifies the California lifestyle, I love it, and my sister works there!

Rules to Enter the Giveaway (Please leave a separate comment for each and make sure you provide me with your email address so I can contact you if you win.)

1. For the first entry you must tell me what your favorite post from this blog has been this year and why.

2. For an extra entry visit the Nine Red Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

3. For another additional entry, become a follower of Little D Down Under.

4. Finally, for a third additional entry Tweet (or put up a Facebook link) about this giveaway and send me the link of your tweet.

Edited to Add: There is now one additional way to enter: become a follower of Nine Red's blog

This contest is open to the U.S. and Australia and will close on March 17 at 11:59 Pacific Time. After the winner is picked, they will have 3 days to respond before a new winner will be picked.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hey Now, Hey Now, Don't Dream It's Over...

Hey now, hey now, when the world comes in
They come, they come, to build a wall between us
We know they won't win...

Towards the end of Boyfriend's trip, we could not get away from this song. Every store we went in to or every time we got in the car, it seems like we heard a version of this song, which is fine because Crowded House is an iconic Australia band and we both love this song. I've come to think of it as "our" song.

Have I mentioned the fact that not everyone is excited about our engagement? It is a small faction and they are very vocal. There might be others who aren't excited by it (I'm not sure if this is true or not), but at least if those people exist they have chosen to accept it quietly and have publicly congratulated us. At 26 and 27 and nearly 5 years together, it's difficult for us to all of a sudden be finding out that there are people who don't support our relationship.

We have been told that these people don't see the "spark" between us. I guess I can see how they might not see it because Boyfriend and I aren't the type of couple to be hanging off of each other in public or kissing a lot (but then again Boyfriend used to think holding hands was too much PDA) and it's just not something either one of us is comfortable doing. When we are together and alone at our house, it's a different story; we are very affectionate. I feel the spark and I asked Boyfriend to be sure that he felt it, too, and he said he totally did. There are only two people in our relationship and we are both happy so I think that is all anyone needs to worry about. We have made a commitment to each other and I hope that eventually the doubters will see they were wrong.

Here is the original and PS 22 covering Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Last Night I Dreamt You Called from Costa Rica Part 4

As I was checking my blog tracking stuff this morning I noticed that someone had come to the blog after doing a google search for the term "Quacklepuss" For those of you who haven't read all the way back in the blog or have just forgotten, Team Quacklepuss was the name of the high school surf team I was on. I could also see that two people had spent some time looking at my original Costa Rica Trip post and I was thinking "Oh man, how embarassing, one of the boys has found it and read about which ones we used to think were cute and oh man, I called some of them little bitches, shit!" Well anyway, an hour or so later I got a comment on the 3rd posting about the trip saying that my version of how things all went down was pretty funny and that I was pretty naive to what had happened and to write back and the person would fill me in on how it really went down. So I said I'd be fine with being stood corrected and just got a response from one of the boys who left to have their own little Costa Rican adventure so I thought I'd post it on the main page again so that everyone would know his version of the story and not just mine.

Here is the background info on the surf team:

And then the first 3 posts about our Costa Rica Trip:

And here is what the guy had to say about how it really went down:

hahah well running off was thrilling, and created the exact Costa Rican experience I was looking for. The main point I want to stress is that the tension started when Mr. G wouldn't let us have a beer, even though perfectly legal..I was 18. I had heard that Mr. G overheard that stuff, and was suspicious of our nighttime endeavors, but this was all speculation. The main point i want to make is that when they searched our cabana..all they found was an EMPTY bug tucked inside the mattress, that looked like it was 15 yrs old...obviously not ours, but this was all Mr. G needed to flip out. He accused us of planning to smuggle shitty C.R. herb back to the US, which is proposterous considering the quality we can get at home. So that night he took me on a walk and gave me an ultimatum. His exact words, I will never forget them MR. G - "You can come back with us but all your stuff has to stay in Costa Rica, all you can bring on the plane is your tshirt, sandals, and boardshorts...all of your other belongings must stay in C.R. I will let you sell them to the locals if you like. Otherwise you'll have to figure it out..." and he left it open. I immmediately objected, becasue i had over $2000 worth of stuff with me, and PLENTY of cash...I told him he was nuts, and there is no proof of anything. Mr. G - "the empty bag is my proof!" he would make a great cop! hahaha. Anyways, we had the time of our life...spent a week and a half on the Carribean Coast, surfed 20ft Salsa Brava, and became locals at the reggae bar. PS we were ducking in and out of stores/bars when Mr. G and everyone cane searching for us in Tamarindo...we caught up with a few of our buddies who hadnt gone rogue, and got a good laugh. His irrationality and quick temper brought all this upon the trip and team. Yeah I may not have been an angel, but the choice I had to make was an easy one...Leave my shit in C.R. and give in to Mr. G... never..I had all the respect in the world for the man until he gave me that ultimatum. We were forced to leave...and delightfully obliged...So many good waves to surf in that country! How could you just surf three breaks in front of the compound! Playa Negra was less than 30 miles away and perfect! Anyways, these are just a few thoughts hahaha time of my life!

Anyway, so there you have it.

Super embarassed that this is how I was recontacted by an old surf teammate, but glad he had a good attitude about it and could laugh about it all. (Sorry about the psuedonym by the way.) I can't believe it's been over 8 years since we were there! That trip was one of the best times of my life, too, and still ranks in my top two places I've ever been to along with Kenya.

New Happy Birthday Song

I had a really nice birthday last night. We went out for the best Thai food (Sabieng's) and then we had some really great cupcakes and ice cream for dessert. The Camp Counselor wrote me a really nice card and Mom and Dad surprised me with more presents! I got to talk to Boyfriend for a few minutes, too. His birthday present unfortunately didn't make it here yesterday, but no worries now I can celebrate my birthday for the 4th time when it does (1st-the day I was originally going back to Australia 2nd-my Aussie birthday 3rd-my American birthday 4th-whenever Boyfriend's gift gets here)!

I was reflecting on the year that I've had yesterday and it was a pretty good year: I officially graduated from college, I started the blog, I moved in to my own house, Boyfriend moved in with me, I became an unofficial aunt to Baby Lo, some good friends got married-Croc and the Teacher, some other friends had a baby I've still yet to see-the Soccer Player and the Hairdresser, some other friends found out they are expecting-Turk and Stylez, I got a Christmas job at the Cookie Company, I got to road trip through Northern California and Oregon with Boyfriend, I got to spend at least 4 months of it with my family, and I got engaged. Not a bad year at all!

I did nearly cry though yesterday when I realized that it had been 5 whole years since I had turned 21