LA Bites

Does dinner-time ever creep up on you? And, the last thing you want to do is make dinner? Or even go out to dinner? A few evenings ago Scott and I had that experience. 

For the past year I've been trying to find places (of quality) that will deliver. It's shocking how few places out here do. But upon relentless searching (and my strong will to not make dinner, or leave the house) I found quite possibly the most amazing little company, LAbite.

How it works: Most restaurants have carry-out, which it good and all - if you're willing to go pick it up. It was obvious neither Scott nor I was going anywhere. On LAbite website you choose your desired restaurant, order what you wish through the online menu, and within an hour your order is delivered. How the magic happens... LAbite calls in the order as if it were a pick up, LAbite then picks up the carry-out and delivers it to your front door. Awesomeness! 

When we move, to where ever our next stop may be, I sure hope that city has something to the equivalent of LAbite.


S'mores, L.A. Redneck Style

What do you do when you're craving a s'more, but don't have a campsite/fire pit readily accessible? Use what you have!
All necessary ingredients.
A skewer for the marshmellow, and a flame.
Yep, that's the stove we're using to get the marshmellows just right.
A mouth-watering s'more.
Using our stove toasting may seem a bit ridiculous, I agree, but the end product was amazing!


Goodyear Blimp

It's not every day you pass this while you're driving along the 405.
The Goodyear Blimp!

Taking a photo from a vehicle moving at 70 miles per hour, with a cell phone, doesn't give the best quality picture. But, let me assure you, this thing is massive!


A Day at the Beach

Sunday was the perfect day to hit the beach. We decided Drake would enjoy the beach as much as we would. We were correct. Drake had a BLAST at Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach.
Drake couldn't wait to get in the water; he's ready for the floaty toy to be tossed in the water.
Drake made some new friends.
Jumping the gun before Scott throws the floaty.
Waiting so patiently.
Good boy! 
(Possibly one of my favorite photos.)
Bringing in his big catch.
Just to compare - Drake has some big paws!
When it was time to pack up and go home Drake was just like a little kid. It was obvious Drake didn't want to get out of the ocean, much less leave the beach.  Talk about a great afternoon!


Happy 7th Birthday!!

To one very special nephew - HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY!!!
We hope your day was everything you wished for!

Uncle Scott and Aunt Desiree


Cheesecake to the Rescue

Scott and I agreed this very well may be the longest week. Ever. Each day seemed to drag on, and the weekend had been ever elusive (TGIF!).

After some contemplation on what to do to lift our weekday woes, we decided to walk over to The Cheesecake Factory - which is conveniently located less than a half a mile from our place. We each picked a slice and indulged in a sugar-fest. 
Red velvet cheesecake to relieve the weekday woes.

The best part, there's still half a slice to dig into tonight! 


A Summer Must Read!

As I page through my summer book list, every now and again I come across a book that I just have to share.

I just finished reading one of the best pieces of fiction I've read in a long time. According to NPR.org "This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mocking Bird... If you read only one book... let this be it." And I couldn't agree more!
The Help takes the reader to Mississippi, 1962, where help was the norm in white households. From what it was like to be the help, to what it was like to be white and want to change the way society viewed help, the book paints a picture of how different times were, and how real the problems were during the Jim Crow era.

I want to go on and on about this book, but it'd be so hard to without giving away so much of the story. It's an amazing read, and near impossible to put down once the first page is turned.

The book has been made into a movie. I'm not sure of the release date, but when the movie is released it is safe to say I'll be purchasing a ticket.

Should you read this fantastic piece of literature, let me know what you think!


When Rush Hour Rocks

On very rare occasion it's actually nice to travel in the city during rush hour. That rare occasion is when traveling the opposite direction as everyone else!

This was my lucky occasion.
Whizzing by at all that traffic.
I didn't see a single car for blocks! 
(This picture doesn't accurately portray how bad the traffic actually is/was.)
I reached my destination in record time.

What are the chances I'll get this lucky anytime soon?... Slim to none. 


Summer Buzz Cut

It's warming up, and that means time to get a hair cut! However, the hair cut isn't for Scott, and it certainly isn't for me. It's for Pan Face (aka Seala)!

Being a long-hair cat, Seala is difficult to groom. Most of that is due to the fact that she isn't much of a fan of being brushed. So, her long hair gets matty and clumpy. When that happens, it's time for her buzz cut.

Here's my little Pan Face pre hair cut.
A little ball of hair and attitude.

And, here's Pan Face post hair cut.
She wasn't really into a photo shoot, hence the blurriness. 
The groomers call this style of cut a lion cut. The hair on her paws, face and tail are left long.
Trying to keep her little body warm. 

In a couple of months the hair will have grown back. Then, we'll do it all over again.
Poor Pan Face :) 


For Dad

It may be a day late, but it's never too late to let your dad know how much you love them!

To the man who showed me what hard work and determination means, what it means to never give up, even when you don't think you can go on anymore, what it means to be honest and fair, and how important it is to have family...
I hope you had a fabulous Father's Day!
Love you lots!!



Drake - our over-sized Chocolate Lab, undersized horse - is most likely the largest in our complex. Lucky for us, and Drake, one of our neighbors has an American Bulldog, Sloan. The K-9s play so well together. One of my favorite playtime moments is when the two get going on tug-of-war.

Going after the frisbee.
A stand off.
In the end, Drake came out triumphant. With a jaw like Sloan's, Drake doesn't always come out on top.

With so many other little dogs in our complex, it's great Drake has a buddy to play "big" with.


June Gloom

I guess I got it all wrong when I thought everyone in the country experienced the whole "April showers bring May flowers" business in the spring.

Apparently, not so much on the West Coast. This spring was great, 75 and sunny every day. Then, June hit. Ugh. My least favorite month out here. "June Gloom" isn't just a crazy coast saying. It's true to the word. It's like clock-work. June 1 comes, and the sun hides well past noon, and the temperatures often linger between 65-68 degrees. No thank you. I'll take sunny and 95 (I'll even take humidity) over that
any day.
On my way to work. Makes for a chilly day in the pool.

A typical June day.
(photo courtesy of jeanhudson.com)

Did I mention the "rain?" Let's get something straight, the "rain" out here isn't really rain. It's more like an annoying drizzle that manages to get everything wet, ruin a perfectly good hair-do, and make the streets slick from all the oil  that has built up during the months when precipitation is non-existent. But this isn't the kind of "rain" you can appreciate; there are no good thunderstorms, and no huge drops to let hit your tongue.

Oh, June Gloom, let's hurry up and get you done and over with. Bring on July!


A Stop in Omaha

On our whirlwind journey back to the Midwest, we made our way up to Omaha to spend some time with my side of the family.

Growing up, most weekends were spent in Omaha (it is the closest major city to my hometown). A particular favorite area in the city is the Old Market. If you've never ventured to Omaha, this part of town is adorable; cobblestone streets are lines with cute little boutiques and one-of-a-kind restaurants.
The Old Market.

During our short stay we grabbed lunch and then headed to my favorite spot in the Old Market - the old Ice Cream Shoppe! 

Lunch with my parents at Upstream Brewery.
They have a DELICIOUS in-house raspberry beer!

At the Ice Cream Shoppe.
The nephews checking out the ice cream makers.

Ahh, Omaha, talk about a wave of nostalgia. I think someone may have a teensy weensy touch of home sickness... :) 


It's Nice to Have Family

Our weekend in KC was PACKED! Not only did we have the most amazing BBQ E-V-E-R (see blog post below), we also managed to snap some family photos.

The whole gang.

Cutest. Nephews. Ever.

Brothers and sisters.

Just the two of us.

And, a favorite quote I've picked up from Scott's side: It's nice to have family :)


A Little Taste of Heaven

Scott and I were fortunate to travel back to the Midwest this past weekend. Albeit a very short trip, we managed to pack a lot in, and see so many friends and family.

Of all the places to go, and things to do, we made sure we hit up our favorite BBQ joint, Oklahoma Joe's! We have yet to find any place in Southern California that holds a candle to Okie Joe's, or KC BBQ for that matter. 

Just the sight of the place makes me smile :) . 

Upon walking in the front doors we were greeted with the many trophies that adorn the foyer. Each won from different BBQ contests.

Also greeting us at the door was the wonderous smell of the slow smoked awesomeness lying just ahead of us. My stomach is growling now, just thinking of it.

We promptly got in the oh-so infamous line to place our orders. Lucky for us, we arrived early enough, we were able to forego the usually crazy long line.

Being the non-red meat-eater that I am, it's sometimes a challenge for me to find something that I'll eat.  Most BBQ places offer the usual of brisket, ribs and pulled pork. But not here! They have the most amazing Turkey Z-man! Talk about a delicious stack of slow smoked turkey breast, adorned with the mouth-watering Okie Joe's BBQ sauce, topped with a couple of tantalizing onion rings. And, of course we split the gigantic heap of the best seasoned french fries to ever exist!

A little taste of heaven on earth!! Enough to make us want to move back to KC as soon as possible :) .


Sunshine Saturday

For awhile now Scott and I have been looking for a way to give back, volunteer, do something bigger than ourselves. We each have mentored through the YouthFriends program, but we wanted to do something together.

Each Sunday in our church bulletin I read about Sunshine Saturdays. A group of people who prepare food each Saturday, enough to feed at least 150 people, and dish up plates and pass them out to those looking for a meal.

I finally acted on the impulse to check this group out.

This past Saturday Scott  and I joined up with about 25 others and we prepared taco plates. Enough to serve 180 individuals.

The assembly line
The meals ready to be served

Before the meal, we asked those who were about to eat to say a prayer. At least six people raised their hands to give thanks. It was a truly blessed moment. And, so amazing to see how grateful the people were.

What an experience for us. Scott and I will be participating in Sunshine Saturdays as often as we can.


A Blast From the Past

A couple of years ago, while Scott was training on the East Coast, I would spend evenings with my soon-to-be sister and brother-in-law. Their two boys, Nick and Ethan kept me entertained, and re-introduced me to the wonder of Super Mario Kart for the Wii. Talk about a blast from the past!

After wanting the game for myself, a few nights ago Scott and I finally picked it up. We dusted off the Wii and have been happily playing a childhood favorite each night after dinner. I wasn't looking at the game store, but I wonder if the classic Mario Brothers is available for the Wii???

When you come to visit us in LA :) we'd be more than happy to oblige in a Mario Kart challenge.


"Cheap" gas

I saw this on my way to work. Compared to what the price was a few weeks ago I consider this "cheap."

What are you paying at the pump?