Monday, April 6, 2009

2009 Calendar Wrap-Up Part I: Every Page

As promised in my previous post, I will be sharing all of the pages in my 2009 calendar, and will go into detail about some of them. For this first post, I would simply like to post the front cover and each of the 12 months for you to see. As I mentioned before, many of the pages were incomplete when I first posted them, so I want to make sure I get them all on here! Enjoy!

Front Cover













Sunday, April 5, 2009

Long Time, No Scrap!

It's been a long time since I've posted about my progress on Ryan's calendar (see here & here for the first 9 pages). I have finally, 3+ months late, "finished" the calendar. I would like to work on it a teeny bit more, but honestly, I may never get to it, because Ryan now has it! Finally!

10. April, Trip to San Francisco

I went cricut-happy with this one. Dannelle has the wonderful cricut machine, so I was able to make the tags, the swirly thing, and the city skyline with the machine. I definitely did not have a plan in mind when I started this one. I kind of just started organizing things, and it kind of worked out. This is actually his favorite page... (so maybe he'll be in favor of me getting my very own cricut)

11. February, Formals etc

This one started with a really pretty piece of paper I had. It had blue, purple, green, yellow-ish slash beige, etc. I started putting the pictures together, and realized that almost the entire background paper would be covered up. Oops. I didn't want to completely cover it, so I ended up changing the background to a plain black piece of cardstock.

12. September, Stanford Football

I can't wait to go into detail about this page. It took me FOREVER to do, because of the background, because I made it by hand. I really like it, probably because I know how much time went into this page (overall, probably 12 hours? Something ridiculous, maybe even more). I also love the colors (!) and the pictures. And I really like how it isn't super "Stanford-y" which I wanted to stay away from, because I had another Stanford football page in the 2007 calendar I made for him. And it just so happens that the page from 2007 was super cute, and I didn't want to try to compete with it!

Thanks everyone for your patience (as if you really cared, haha)! I had such a great time making the calendar, but I am definitely ready to start working on my own scrapbook.

Next up: I'll provide pictures of every single page from the calendar. The reason for this is that many of the pages were unfinished when I first showed you. Especially the lyrics. And by the way, the lyrics on each page were the most difficult part. It is very tough to find small letters in all different colors that can be used for this!

I will then end this calendar series by posting 3 or 4 additional posts, and I'll focus on some of the details of the calendar. I'm going to try to post some other non-scrapbooking posts too, so I won't bore you all too much!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Recipe #10: Fusilli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Artichokes and Sausage

And goat cheese toast! I didn't think all of that would fit in the title.

This meal is probably one of my favorites! Both recipes can be found on (compliments of Giada de Laurentiis). We've probably made this 7 or 8 times.

First the goat cheese toasts. These are super easy to make. In fact, you don't really need to "make" much! Start out with one of those skinny french baguettes. Cut them up into pieces, maybe about 1/2 inch wide or so. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on each piece, and put them in the oven for about 15 mins at 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, make the goat cheese mixture to go on top! You need 8 oz of goat cheese and 4 oz of cream cheese (or whatever you have, but approximately 2:1, goat cheese to cream cheese). We buy the goat cheese with herbs in it already, but feel free to buy anything. Mix together the cream cheese and goat cheese, and really, add any herbs that you like. I forget what the recipe calls for, but we always add thyme, chives, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Yum!

Once the bread is done in the oven, simply spread the goat cheese mixture on top of each one.

So easy! And you're done.

Now the main course: Fusilli pasta with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and sausage. For those of you who, for some reason, hate fusilli pasta (Alex....), you can substitute whatever pasta you like! I actually first found this recipe online, but she has the exact same one in one of her cookbooks, except she uses penne instead. But lucky me: fusilli is my absolute favorite!

Ok, so the ingredients:
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in the oil (you need the oil for the sausage)
2 (8oz) packs of frozen artichoke hearts
1 lb hot italian sausage
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2+ cloves of garlic
1/3 cup fresh basil
1 lb fusilli pasta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Take 2 tablespoons of the "sun-dried tomato oil" and heat it up in a large pan. Place the sausage into the pan, and cook until it's completely done (about 8 minutes). Transfer the sausage to a plate, but leave the oil in the pan.

So, I didn't take the best pictures, which can be seen by the one above. Haha, you probably didn't really want to see that plate of meat, but too bad =)

In the same pan (with the oil), put in the 2 cloves of chopped-up garlic (or more) and the frozen artichoke hearts. Mix them around in the oil, and leave them in there for a few minutes. Next, pour in the chicken broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir occasionally and let simmer for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate the parmesan cheese and cut the mozzarella cheese into little cubes. Oh also, start cooking the pasta! I accidentally started it too late last night, so the above mixture was simmering for twice as long as it should have. I'm not sure it did anything, except maybe make it so that there was less sauce available for all that pasta!

Once the pasta is done, drain the water, but do not rinse. Put the pasta, sausage, parmesan cheese and basil into the same pan as the rest of the stuff. Let it all heat up, and then throw in the mozzarella cheese.

Keep it on the heat until everything is melted and heated through. Enjoy!

Picture from the first time I made this dish. It looks like I forgot about the basil, oops!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fools FAIL

Just want to say, that I officially FAIL at april fools! My post below was, in fact, my attempt at a joke! Well, kind of! Ryan did NOT buy a house (and if he did, I really hope it wouldn't be that condo thing that I posted pictures of...) and I am NOT moving down there this June. But who knows what the future will hold?
I think I should have posted pictures like this, to make it more "jokey":

[source - actually in Bako]

[source - not in Bako]

So I failed...but I tried! Sorry for being too believable! hopefully you can all forgive!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I knew this was coming...

I just didn't think it would be so soon! Well, you may recall the first time Ryan and I went house hunting. A couple of weeks ago, Ryan's friend, who will be starting full time at Chevron at the end of May, came to visit Bako to look at houses. The weekend before he came, Ryan and I decided to check out some of the places he was looking at. He really did his research, and if we thought the first houses we looked at were a good deal, these ones were even better!! Seriously...I can't even describe how insanely "cheap" these places were.

Well, the one we completely LOVED is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. I took a few pictures. It's hard to get a really good idea of what it looks like, because unlike the houses we looked at the first time around, this one was not set-up and furnished.

This is probably my favorite part...the master "suite" with a fireplace!

So, as you can see, when we went to visit the house, they were working on it. Fixing it up a bit, to make it look much nicer! One of the reasons I loooved this place is because it has 2 fireplaces!

You can see the kitchen area in the picture above. It really is quite large! Why I didn't take a picture of it, I have no idea. Sometimes I do dumb things (or don't do smart things).

So there you have it, the house Ryan and I looked at about a month ago. And why am I showing you this? Well, because we're buying it!!!

Or should I say, Ryan's buying it. The cost is SOOO great, that it just doesn't make sense for me to contribute to the down payment (for various reasons). AND, the mortgage payment is actually LOWER than what he's paying now for his apartment (well, when you take into account the tax incentives). He's been approved for the loan!! As long as the home passes the inspection (and there really shouldn't be any was built in 2005), it's ours (his)!

So now what? Well, I'm still in school, so it doesn't make sense for me to move down there right now. Plus, it will take a little while for Ryan to get settled in (he has until the beginning of June to get out of his apartment, so the timing actually works out pretty well). So my to move down there in the beginning of July. Yep. I didn't think it would happen so soon, but the opportunity came up, and it just makes sense for me to go down there.

I have been thinking about this for the past couple of weeks, and have just recently decided that it is worth it for me to go down. My main concern was school. After June, I'll only have 1 more quarter, so I definitely want to finish. Well, it just so happens that by taking a class (my project class) this quarter instead of in the fall, I can get away with taking my last two classes online. I already know one of the classes I'm taking in the fall, and I've already talked to the professor about it (I took a class from him last quarter, and he's really understanding about it all).

The other thing job. I haven't quite figured that one out yet. I know that at least a couple of you who read this have done a bit in the job searching arena, so any advice is greatly appreciated!

I'm seriously really excited to be able to do this! I've been wanting a change, and so it's my chance to do something I wouldn't normally do, and see how it all works out. I feel like I've been "playing it safe" and I want to see what else is out there. So for once, I really don't know how this is all going to turn out, but it's something I feel like I have to do for myself, and I really hope it works out for the better =)