Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cozy Crochet

Growing up in Southern California with the warm and perfect weather year-round has been wonderful! I just love it there. It has been a little bit of a shock living in this chilly weather up here in Washington, but I must admit that its kinda nice being able to bundle up.

I've been here a few weeks now and it has snowed twice and the other days its been consistently in the 30's-40's....sometimes low 50's. This week's forcast is 30's though. So last week I looked online for some free crochet patterns for a cowl scarf to make. I found one that I thought would be fun to wear, and so I got the supplies and got started.

I spent a few hours working on it, and trying to refresh my memory on how to crochet since its been forever since I'd last made anything. I've made a couple beenies, scarves, and afghans in the past but the stitches were basic and I didn't add too much too them. This time the stitches were still pretty simple, but I learned how to make button holes! It was actually easier than I thought it would be, but I'm still happy I could do it! :) So now my lil neck will be cozy and warm this week with the cooler weather rolling in...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chef Jody's FIRST Thanksgiving Dinner

This Thanksgiving was a day of learning for me...because I learned how to cook the Thanksgiving dinner! It was my first time! Yay, it was fun! Well, except when I had to put my hand inside the turkey's body...I gagged and nearly threw-up! I just couldn't do it. So my step-dad took over the gutting process for me. Once the turkey was all cleaned out, it was ready to be buttered and seasoned. I stepped back in and continued the job, and then off to the oven it went. Next, it was time to chop some celery and onions for the stuffing (we didn't stuff the turkey). I chopped the celery, mom did the onions. It was fun cooking with mom this Thanksgiving :) and learning how to do it all.
Mom actually finished making the stuffing, while I started boiling some eggs. I did my traditional devilled eggs :) That's the one dish that I always brought to Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa Hyde's house each year. Sure do miss them, and especially missed them today! Once the eggs were done, I moved on to peeling, washing, chopping, boiling, and mashing the potatoes. Yummy! That's my favorite part of this meal! :) (I'm a total meat and potatoes kinda girl!)
After all that was done, it was nice to have some time to take a break. And about an hour later, the turkey was done! It looked and smelled so was hard to keep our hands off it. I did have to do a taste test though, I was the cook! lol :) It was soooo good!!
Ray took over and started carving the turkey...that's the man's job anyway :) All my work was done by this point. Mom also made a jello salad, and Ray-Ray made his famous sweet potatoes. Oh, and I made some fun turkey cupcakes too (the night before)! Whew...once all the prep work was done, it was time to eat! The table was set beautifully, the food was all set out and ready to go...Thanksgiving dinner was ready to get in my belly!

We have so much to be thankful for, don't we?!! I'm very thankful that I was able to spend this Thanksgiving in Washington with my mom and step-dad. Its been a long time since I've been able to spend a holiday with my mom. And to be able to spend the morning cooking with her was so great.

Annie and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the first snow...

I've been in Washington for one week now exactly...and today we had our first snowfall of the season!Moving out of Southern California and up to Eastern Washington made me a little nervous...because of the weather and season differences. I'm used to sunshine and warm weather year-round. Now I have to get used to real seasons, including snow! I've never lived with snow before. It is fun to visit for a day or weekends in the mountains, but I don't know what its like to live with it day in and day out for a whole season. So I'm sure it will take some getting used to.I have to admit that the snowfall today was kind of exciting! I had checked the weather forcast early this morning and it said snow would hit late morning. Sure enough, when I peered out the window in the afternoon flakes were drifting down and the ground was white. My mom and I quickly got on our shoes, put our lil doggies in their sweaters and snow coats, and went outside. We took some pictures of our lil ones in the snow...Annie had been in snow before, but it was lil "baby's" (still unnamed) first time. They were shivering and their little paws were frozen when we brought them back inside. But it was fun for us! LOL :) It was chilly outside, but fun to be out there enjoying the first fall. It was definitely a beautiful site to see!
I think I'll get used to having seasons, and will probably really enjoy it! Its just a little adjustment from sunny Southern CA! :) But...NEW ADVENTURES, right!?! Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow! (as long as I don't have to do the shoveling! lol)

The Christmas Card

If you haven't already seen it, you MUST watch the movie "The Christmas Card". It's my favorite movie!

I have watched "The Christmas Card" more times than I can count! It is so cute! It takes place in Nevada City, CA and is a love story during the Christmas season. Definitely a must see! Since my move up to WA was going to be a road trip, we decided to take a detour and drive to Nevada City! We ate at the cute cafe that's in the movie, ordered the "chicken salad sandwich on rye, with crispy curly fries,and hot chocolate with marshmallows" just like they do in the movie. It was fun! I also went to the City Hall and asked about how to get to a few locations around town that the movie was filmed at. Super fun! I do think they need to have a map ready for people like us who do things like this. They said they've had others ask for the locations throughout the last 5 years, you'd think they'd be better prepared. The cafe we ate at had a little notebook for us to sign and write in since we were there because of the movie. They're smart! :) Anyway, I would love to go back again when I have more time to explore the city more. We only spent a couple hours there, definitely not enough time to do everything. Next time, I'm going for a whole weekend! :) Anyway, stop surfing the net and go watch this movie!! :) And go visit Nevada City, CA!!

The BIG Move

It's amazing how much stuff one person can accumulate in a couple years time. I admit, though, that I do have a shopping addiction. However, my addiction lies with shopping at thrift stores, yard sales, swap meets, and flea markets. So its not like I spend lots of money...I'm pretty thrifty. So when I decorate and change my mind a few months later, I can redecorate without spending a fortune. So yes, needless to say that with that mindset I do have LOTS of stuff!

When it came time for packing up my house I was in dread mode. I felt a little overwhelmed, so I decided I needed to try to simplify a little and get rid of some stuff. So I had two yard sales, about a month apart from each other. From the two sales I made a total of $2200. I was pretty excited, that money really helped pay some bills. Pretty much everything I put out sold. There was only a small pile left for the thrift store to come pick up on the afternoon of the last sale day. BUT...I still had a lot of stuff that I kept! So the packing began...

I have truly been blessed with some amazing friends! A number of them gave me boxes for moving (which totally helped me save some money from having to buy them), they helped out at my yard sales, helped me pack up some boxes, and helped on moving day! There were about thirteen of us total on moving day, some at the house and some at the storage unit. How awesome is that!! Thank you, to all of you who helped guys rock!!

The day before moving day, Ray-Ray (my step-dad) had arrived. He drove his truck down from WA to load up and move me up north. That evening we started to load up our cars with all the stuff that I was going to be taking with me. His truck, my SUV, and my mom's car were loaded to the gills. We managed to fit all my 'necessities' in :) Everything else was going to be put in the storage unit in CA...because I plan on moving back eventually.

Moving day was a cold & wet one! The rain held off for most of the day, which was great! We were able to get the moving truck filled with all my stuff and over to the storage unit before it started raining. About halfway through the unload at the unit it started pouring rain! The rain quickly turned into a lightning, thunder, and hail storm! It was exciting and frustrating at the same time. The boxes were getting wet, making the cardboard flimsy...and as they were getting stacked up in the unit they were already starting to collapse a bit. Oh dear, that has really worried me. I'm so hoping that when I go to get all my stuff one day, that all my stuff isn't broken! Things were muddy and wet and well it plain stressed me out. But, there's nothing I can do about it now. I just have to hope for the best and let it go. I'm just super happy that all my stuff fit in an 11x15 unit!

We were all pretty excited when the unload of the truck and load of the unit was finished and the door was able to close. There were only five of us left at the very end (me, mom, Ray-Ray, Josh and Dana)...thanks to Josh and Dana for staying till it was finished. But seriously, thanks to all my friends who gave up their afternoon to help me! And thanks to my parents for all their hard work, travels, and moola! I couldn't have done it without all of you!! I had such a great time with everyone, even though it was a tiring day. I love you all!

So that was pretty much the move in a nutshell. The next day we drove off and headed to WA. We had a couple detours we took to see some stuff, so it took us three days to get home, instead of two. We had a good time. And now I'm living in WA, am still unpacking my stuff...and am looking forward to the holidays with my mom, Ray-Ray, Kae, Troy, Emily and my nephew baby Parker (who I have yet to meet) :)

Here are some fun pictures from moving day...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Girlfriend Goodbye

I have some of the BEST girlfriends in the world!!! I was invited to a girl night at my friend Nicole's apartment the week before I moved. We were going to watch my favorite movie, The Christmas Card. When I arrived, we made quesadillas with chips & salsa and sat around and talked for awhile...then put the movie on. Of course the movie was GREAT! :) After the movie finished, the girls gathered around and handed me a hat box full of little gifts and sweet cards. I couldn't believe it. They are so sweet! I was sooo NOT expecting this. They gave me little items that reminded them of me. There were some cupcake baking items, gift cards to starbucks and mcdonalds, pictures framed of me with them, items for making jewelry, a necklace, some earrings, a cute cupcake makeup bag, a cupcake squeeky toy for my lil Annie, and sweet notes. They made me cry! I just love these girls so much and am so sad to move away from them. God has truly blessed me with their friendships! Thank you to all you amazing girls for making my farewell a super special and memorable one. I will (and already do) miss you!! Love you all sooo sooo much!!

you girls so very much!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Chapter...New Adventure

It's been nearly a week since my big move....

A couple months ago I started packing up my house. I was laid off from my job back in January and haven't been able to find any work since. Then the house I was living in was being put up for sale by the owners. So I began packing, knowing it was only a matter of time before the house would sell.

After lots of packing, an exorbitant amount of boxes, and a tired body from all the work, moving day arrived. The house went into escrow and it was time to move on. So with the help of my amazing friends and parents, I put most of my stuff into storage, packed up my step-dad's truck along with my car, and made the big move to WASHINGTON!

My whole life has been lived in Southern California, so this move to Eastern Washington is huge for me. I have mixed feelings about was very hard to leave. But I know its what needs to happen right now, and good things are ahead.

I arrived in WA last Wednesday night, late, and have been settling in slowly. I have moved into my parents basement, which is a furnished 1 bedroom apartment. It's super cozy! I'm still in the process of unpacking boxes, but I'm taking my time. I feel like all I've been doing lately is packing...I'm kinda over it. LOL :) It'll get done, hopefully, by the end of the week.

So far so good here in WA. The weather hasn't been too cold, which is good since I'm used to sunny CA. The first day was high 20°s, but today was 50°. I'm nervous for the snow to come, not sure how I will like living with it. Hopefully I'll adjust quickly. It has been fun wearing sweaters, coats, hats, and scarves...gotta love all the fun winter accessories! :)

So I've started a new chapter of my life up here in Washington, and am looking forward to new adventures it will bring. God has been so good to me...He's provided for me every step of the way. I get down sometimes because life hasn't always turned out how I had planned...but God's plans always turn out better than mine. :) He is leading me down a new path where I'm sure lots of exciting things will happen. I'm looking forward to this chapter unfolding, with new stories, adventures, and plain'ol life to happen. Be on the lookout for new posts on this new adventure in WA! :)

PS...please pray that I can find a good job up here soon!! :)
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