Sunday, June 19, 2011

Road Trip day 2

Today was ever so slightly more eventful than yesterday...
We got an early start around 8 ish...stopping at starbucks in Missoula for breakfast..
Then we drove on and on and on stopping at various rest stops, including Costco (I love their food court)
We stopped at the Little Bighorn national monument with a veterans cemetery and some bloody US history..Custer's Last stand with the Native Americans..lots of graves..eerie battlegrounds..your typical awesome American style history attraction...US National Park
We passed a place in MT that said "pull over next exit to see grizzlies" ..didnt look so legit....we also passed a place off the freeway that had an oldschool shawshank redemption style prison with stone walls and lookout towers...

The weather here is pretty bogus. Pouring rain in Billings..or was it Bozeman.its all the same.
Cloudy and rainy the whole way just like Seattle only they have had flooding here. No outdoor pool action or bbq fire pit for me which is what I was really looking forward to..oh well at least the booze is copious here, however no one I am with is in the mood to imbibe after being behind the wheel all day...

We finally made it to our little Blue Gables mini cabins hotel (think KOA with a more personal touch), where the sweetest lady runs the front desk along with a giant stuffed buffalo head and cockatiel named Van Gogh or something artsy...then it finally hit me..I am in Wyoming! The interior of the motel...how do I say..is very Wyoming...log cabin with framed photos of verious antlered animals, quilts with livestock/wildlife on them, curtians with owl, bears, deer, etc. on them....along with all of the 1960's charm in the bathroom (think green flowered linoleum..)..I feel a little weird plugging my macbook and iphone into their outlets here I dont want to burn it down.
To sum it up, here is what I wrote to my friend Christy on Facebook chat:

the liquor store here is called "Yay liquor!" and its a drive through. And the customer in line with me responded "We have all the fun things in Wyoming. Booze, hunting, fishing, and if you fart within 15 feet of your horse you can blame it on him..and dont drink and drive you might spill your drink" when I told him that all of the Washington state liquor stores are state regulated...

all there is is a main street with no stop lights, a mural that says "buffalo: not just a one horse town", a banner over the main street that says "RODEO"..a bartender that uses the word "crik" instead of creek, and a waitress who I asked for a pint glass from and says "I dont know what that is but we have beer glasses that are chilled" ...on top of that the "saloon" here has tons of taxidermy, real oil lamps on the table, and when I asked the bartender if I could buy a glass with a bison on it she said "yeah they are $8.50" and I asked if they could accidentally just happen to fall into my purse and she said " I didn't see anything"....I love this place.

Oh and I ate some Buffalo for dinner IN Buffalo!

Road Trip Day 1

The first day on our journey to Colorado began with Jeff and I having breakfast at Lil Johns in Bellevue before my dad and Kris met up with us to pick me up. Lil Johns is a classic Diner/Lounge that probably hasn’t changed much since the 60’s when it first opened. It is your typical greasy spoon with standard diner fare, and booze in the lounge. Loading up on your standard diner breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, and hasbrown and two white russians, I was ready to go. I also lost $10 on pulltabs trying to win a free breakfast.

After several pit stops and playlists, the first attraction worth really mentioning was the 50.000 silver dollar bar in a random place off I-90 in Montana, before Missoula. This place was completely ridiculous and everything you’d expect out of a roadside gift shop. There is a diner, a coffee/ice cream stop, a large bar with 50,000 (less or more I am not sure) silver dollars on the wall, and last but not least a giant gift shop filled to the brim with crap that is most likely all 100% made in China but labeled MONTANA and complete cheese. We are talking: Jesus pictures on pieces of tree logs, dream catchers, porecelain native americal dolls, crappy jewelry, trucker hats with bears and wolves on them, barware, toys, magnets, cats and owls made from rabbit fur, I could go on and on. I purchased some post cards, a “50,000 silver dollar bar” shot glass, 2 magnets (one with a buffalo, one with a deer) that said “Montana” on them, and get this: a lucky rabbits foot. A real one. I haven’t seen those since I was a kid. Hot pink. The only thing I wish was that we had more time to stay and enjoy some ice cream (Even though it was pouring like in Seattle), or have some food and drinks at the bar. I am sure there would have been some interesting characters in there for sure.

Overall my impression of Montana so far is this: Trees. Lots of trees. Hills, mountains, rolling hills/plains. Old farmhouses. Cool rocks. But overall a whole lot of nothing. The trip over in the car once we got somewhat out of Idaho and into Montana was pretty beautiful. The part of Montana we are in now (Helena-ish) reminds me of Cle-elum. Pretty much everything outside of the mountainous areas and after Snoqualmie pass so far reminds me of cle-elum or eastern WA. I guess I am ignorant having grown up in the Seattle area my whole life..

We stopped for the night at a generic chian motel in Missoula. I wasn’t aware that Missoula was a college town, but we ended up having dinner at a college bar/pub called the Iron Horse Pub, which had a decent selection of local seasonal taps and amazing food. I couldn’t decide what to get on the menu but I settled on a buffalo chicken salad which wwas quite delightful but GINORMOUS so I couldn’t even get close to finishing it after stuffing my face. Kris and my dad ordered some delicious ice cream that was pink and made out of those pink frosted mother’s cookies with the sprinkes on them. The ice cream even tasted like those cookies. I think it was made in the house because It was something I have never seen before and probably never see again. Back at the hotel it was 20 minutes on the treadmill, some work on the computer, shower, and sleep on the pull out couch for 6 hours or so before getting up and ready for another day of car (about 500 miles to Buffalo, WY). It is fathers day today (Sunday) . We had breakfast at Starbucks in Missoula where I had a delicious hot coconut mocha (thanks to the craptastical weather that is just like in WA) and a turkey bacon sandwich for breakfast. We are going to be stopping at the Little Bighorn monument next. I have spent most of the morning working on an excel project to e-mail to my instructor to wrap up my accounting class, listening to Bob Marley, and eating beef Jerky. So far it has been a success, but my ass is going numb and I need hit up the next rest stop!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Feeling Out of Sorts

Oh my how the year is flying by. The last time I promised myself I would update it was to post the remainder of photos I took in February and the things that I did. Well here it is, middle of June and 4 months later. Spring quarter is ending in 2 days and I am getting ready for finals. Then I will be on my way to Colorado to explore. I think a nice break away from the ordinary is in store.






Thursday, February 24, 2011

Indoor forts!!


This looks so cozy and perfect!! Jeff and I love childhood nostalgia and we spend a lot of time lounging around the living room. The weather outside is cold and dreary. Why not build a fort?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup



I emerge from the depths of embalming chemistry homework to bring you the recipe for one of Jeff's favorite dishes of mine as well as tonight's dinner. Crockpot series #2!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup...

Tonight's soup contains the remnants of an unfortunate victim of the rotisserie. Thanks to him we have enjoyed chicken for 3 nights in a row. I will include my original recipe but know you can substitute chicken left overs of any sort for this soup.

Ingredients:

Crock pot

-4 cooked chicken tenderloins
-4 cups chicken broth (I use imagine organic free range to offset the QFC fryer chicken)
-2 celery stalks, sliced for soup
-1 clove of minced garlic
-2 cubed roma tomatoes
-half a chopped white or sweet onion (I prefer hawaiian or mayan sweets)
-chopped cilantro to taste
-1/2 boullion cube or to taste
-dash of cumin and cayenne pepper to taste
-garlic pepper seasoning
-1 tsp-tbsp olive oil

toppings: chopped green onions, pepper jack cheese shreds, sour cream, and thinly sliced tortilla strips and/or tortilla chips.

All ingredients except toppings go in the crock pot on high for a few hours. Since the chicken is all cooked, what really matters is that the veggies in the soup are soft. Usually this means the onions have turned clear. The soup always tastes better the next day after all the flavors have developed.

Additionally, you can add one can of drained black beans, or a sliced seeded green chili pepper.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Melancholy

I feel like it is hard to be overjoyed with content on this hallmark holiday, when you know that at this precise time last year you were relaxing on a beautiful Maui beach and sipping on mai tai's, putting the finishing touches on your wedding day. Sigh!!! However, today was surprisingly better than I thought it was going to be. It's what you make it, right?

My bff Christina and I went to our Sociology of death and dying class today. I had a treat for her and one of my other professors wrapped up in the finest of gift wraps, the sex ads from the stranger (a local seattle alternative paper). I got Christy some chocolate covered fortune cookies, which were divine. We made it through class and I found out I got 99% on my midterm with one extra credit point for an answer the instructor threw out because most people got it wrong. Score! One of my other classmates also supplied cookies and brownies. Upon delivery of my teacher's gift, in the commons area, there was a photo booth set up with free pictures. I was feeling pretty gross today because I hadn't showered and just threw a hat on, but I figured what the hell, and took some pictures anyway. It was more fun than I had expected!!


After school we decided to head to Daniel Smith in Bellevue for some art supplies for our Restorative Art class. I always feel a little intimidated going to these places because I am not quite the artist I wish I was. However, the people there were super down to earth and nice. I got some tools for sculpting for my wax head and hopefully for my enlarged feature, if I ever figure out what that is going to be. I felt really inspired after going there and I like having a supply store that close, just in case.


Next on our agenda was an impromptu trip to Uwajimaya, since we were in the area. Any excuse to spend money and peruse shelves of randomness. I am getting my tax refund tomorrow too so whatever. I spend less than I thought I was going to when I dropped off my basket at the register. Sweet!!


(Items: coconut water tetra pak, seaweed snacks, apple milk tea, hard fizzing cola candies, kobe beef burgers (for under $4!!), Apple flavored green tea, Strawberries and champagne flavored green tea, organic loose leaf green tea, apple flavored soda in a cool clear can, pina colada flavored fortune cookies, fried tofu.)


I didn't buy these but aren't they sweet?

When I got home, my husband had snuck this in for me at lunch time. I was surprised because we had both agreed valentine's day was lame, and since our anniversary was 3 days away we had no plans or gifts. I got flowers and the cutest cat card (he knows I lose my shit over anything with cats on it).




As I write this, it is pouring down rain outside and still very dark and gloomy here in Redmond. I am in dire need of a vacation. Why does Hawaii have to be so impossibly expensive for my spring break? I am thinking southern California, disneyland, beaches... that may suffice. One day, I will move close by the ocean where it is warm and sunny. For now I will have to get to studying.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Cove



Last night I finally got around to watching the movie "The Cove". It is streaming instantly on Netflix right now. It is an Academy Award winning documentary about a cove in Japan that is the world's largest supplier of dolphins to places like Sea World and "ride with the dolphins" places. It shows how inhumanely these intelligent creatures are tormented and murdered. The dolphins that do not get purchased by these entertainment venues are netted into a very secret cove and murdered with whaling harpoons. The documentary crew snuck in and filmed what takes place there. It is horrifying. The thing about documentaries, is they are worse than horror. Horror is a genre that you know you can turn off your lights at night and go to bed and you are safe. This is happening right now. It also went into the consumption of dolphin meat and how much mercury is contained in their tissue. Also, there is not much of a demand for dolphin meat so sometimes it is labeled as something else, like a more expensive fish or whale. I encourage anyone who has any interest in the humane treatment of animals, the environment, and their health to watch this. But be forewarned, it is extremely sad.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chef City Grill


The culinary program at my school runs a cafe from Tues-Thurs, for lunch. It is all ran by students - the chefs and the servers are all students, and the proceeds of your meal go to the program. It is even in a cute little restaurant setting on the campus. Every time you go they give you bread with oil and vinegar, and linens. The entrees are pretty decent size and a fair price for what you get and what you are supporting. I have had a variety of entrees here and been happy with them. The servers usually mess the bill up by adding extra items you didn't order, but they are students figuring it all out. Today I had the vegetarian black bean burger, with cilantro creme fraiche. It was not as good as other items I have ordered there before (their cobb salad, lamb burger, and club sandwich are excellent). I have never thought of mashing up some black beans in the food processor before and forming them into a patty to grill. It was satisfying. I am trying to ease up on the meat consumption so now I have an idea of how I can make this myself and spruce it up a bit. It was a little bland but I am thinking with the right seasonings it would be pretty good :) I am looking forward to visiting again throughout the quarter. Usually my cohort in the program ends up going out to lunch together a few times per quarter. I am sure they love a huge table full of mortuary science students talking shop.

Trader Joe's Whore


Whenever I go to Trader Joe's I feel like I've stepped into the cold stone "Gotta have it" zone. I have to look at every single item. I love the packaging. I know where everything is. I know when an item is "gnu". If something is new and looks good and is packaged cute, I must try it. I love their wine department. I love the food sampling station. I don't like their pet food or fresh fruit (except bananas) or bread so much. I have that place almost figured out. I don't know what I would do if I lived far away from my love, TJ.

Today as I was coming home from the library with my friend Christy, she needed to make a quick stop. I figured I might as well pick up dinner, but I wasn't sure what. I went down every aisle. Why? I don't know. I got a few of the must-have old classics (mandarin orange chicken, frozen microwave brown rice) and a few new tempations...frozen mango puree packets for smoothies, whole wheat vegetable lasagna, cajun chicken alfredo (this looks awesome), fresh chopped frozen basil cubes, and last but for sure not least...their new coffee + chocolate. Now I realize I spent $20 on Kona coffee not even a week ago, but it is valentine's day and I can plow through coffee pretty quickly on my school schedule. No sugar added coffee mixed with cocoa..I am sold. As I peeled back the foil seal and gave it a whiff, I knew I had to brew some (at 6:30 pm on a Thursday - oh well). It smell's like angel farts.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fiesta Bowl!!!!

Last night I was not sure what to make for dinner but sho' as hell did not feel like dragging my ass to the store. I had a bunch of random stuff in my fridge/pantry that would love to be used so in my usual fashion I thew it all together in my crock pot. Jeff and I both agreed that it came out pretty amazing so I will share it...


First offf..I gathered up:
A sweet onion(chopped)
Green onions 3-4 bunches (chopped)
1/3 packet taco seasoning
garlic pepper
crushed red pepper
minced garlic
olive oil
frozen chicken tenderloins
organic black beans (canned)
cheddar cheese
1 can cheese soup/nacho cheese
salsa
olives


I fried up the chicken tenderloins in a pan with some garlic and olive oil after defrosting them.


Then in the crock pot I layered the Sweet onion (I cut it in big chunks), chicken, beans, salsa, and taco mix, and seasonings (garlic pepper and crp in my case - you can use whatever you like..salt, pepper).


Then I proceeded to mound on the nacho cheese can contents, green onions, olives, and then topped it off with cheddar cheese mix.


Close the lid and cook for a few hours until it is nice and bubbly and the onions on the bottom are no longer crunchy.


It will look something like this and smell reallllly good..

Mix it up really well and serve in bowls over brown rice with tortilla chips/strips and a dollop of sour cream!!! Yay!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

LUSH haul


As I mentioned, I dropped some cash at LUSH last weekend. I was wanting to do a youtube video reviewing my items, but I have been on and off with coughing fits and I don't know how to edit yet!! So I decided I will write about the products here individually instead.

First, there is Godiva. It is one of LUSH's solid shampoo bars, and it smells amazing. It smells like jasmine and gardenias and just tropical flowers in full bloom. I love their solid shampoo bars because they last forever and they are great for traveling. You can buy two solid shampoo bars and get a free travel tin, or if you just buy it alone I think it is like $3. It also can go in a carry on and it doesn't count towards your liquids! It leaves your hair smelling great too. Also another plus if you're missing Hawaii like I am!!

Next up is their limited edition Valentine's shower gel/shampoo, "It's raining men". This is a liquid version of their soap "Honey, I washed the kids" (another favorite of mine for years). It is a mix of honey and tropical flowers as well. It is awesome in the shower gel. I wish it was not limited edition (like Snow Fairy, another limited edition favorite of mine). It also lathers really well with a pouf. I have tried it as shampoo and it is also nice but I prefer lathering up with the shampoo bar.

I also splurged and bought their light pink colour supplement. This is a lightweight "supplement" that looks to me like a foundation in a little glass jar, but it is very versatile. It's main ingredient is rose water so it smells like roses. I have very sensitive skin and do not like liquid cosmetics. I have been using bare minerals for years, but it is a little too dry right now, and my skin is looking less than dewy. This supplement can be used a few different ways. You can mix it with foundation or sunscreen, mix it with charlotte island tint (as I will review next), use it as a concealer, or as a plain foundation or a base underneath powder foundation. You can apply it with your fingers, a brush, or a sponge. I have tried it as a concealer and underneath full coverage bare minerals, and this morning I mixed it with my foundation. I have been happy with the results with all three methods!! I also haven't had any breakouts yet, but it's only been a few days. Usually I have creasing or greasy face/grease bang but I havent' felt greasy or itchy! So I think this is a winner, and I hope they continue to stock it. Definitely worth the money (under $20).

Finally, I bought Charlotte Island, which is what they deem a "Body tint". It is like a self tanner for really pasty white Seattle people (year round!!). It is definitely for fair skin, but it is buildable. It washes off after every use (which I love), and doesn't streak. It smells like chocolate and bananas. You can also use it on your face and mix it with the colour supplement. I usually am scared of self tanners, because they stink, they are orange and streaky, don't wash off, and I don't know what I am staining my skin and my clothes with. I am so happy LUSH came out with their own version, so I can feel a little bit more exotic even though I am bundled up under tights, hoodies, and scarves!

Does anyone have $474,900 for me??

Gwen Stefani's grandparents house, the "Sunday morning" house, is for sale in the OC. I would probably give up my first born child to own this house.






I can just picture a big 1960's tinsel christmas tree in the living room.

via

Monday, February 7, 2011

I love this sad song

"I believe looks get you further in this world"


So I have a sick, strange addiction to this show on TLC, "Toddlers and Tiaras". It is a circus. It is all about these crazy obsessed southern moms that are usually overweight and look like gorillas, but used to be "pageant queens" in their day. Now they have their own spawn to torment with their demands, and clueless husbands who don't realize how much money their wives spend on the whole deal. Sometimes though, the husbands are just as involved and that's even crazier! I can't take my eyes off this train wreck. I have 5 episodes to watch on my DVR, while I should be studying for my sociology of death and dying mid-term. I just can't imagine what mom says this is what their kid wants when they are throwing a tantrum - giving them spray tans, false eyelashes, flippers (a fake row of perfect, white teeth), hair falls, even acrylic nails. They seriously look like mini vegas showgirls. Sometimes they just look like plain old hookers. I love America!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Channelling Hawaii


Today at Trader Joes I bought a pineapple and some kona coffee. I had to look on youtube to figure out how to cut a pineapple. I learned that if you put it in the fridge upside down for 30 minutes before serving, it lets the juices run from the bottom where they have settled, back up to the top. I have been wanting to try their 100% kona coffee for awhile, so I finally decided to splurge today and just buy it. It has been almost a year since we got married in Hawaii and I am not sure when I will be back. TJ's price isn't bad either at &19.99 for 100%. Now I can pretend like I am in Hawaii (not even close). I am pining ( get it? ) for some tropical beaches but I am stuck in Redmond as far as the eye can see.

i hate the mall.

Sometimes it is a necessary evil. I have been wanting to go to LUSH for some time and buy a pair of TOMS. I ended up with a bag full of goodies from LUSH, my TOMS, and a skort from express..yes I bought a skort. What a terrible word!! It reminds me of something I would have worn in the '90's in elementary school. I was drawn to the print at first for this reason, but then when I noticed that it was a skort when I took it to the dressing room, I was giddy with excitement. The toms are cute too. They have animals printed on the inside, and I like how the toes look like the toe box of pointe shoes. Another thing that is cool about toms is that they give a pair of shoes to kids that need them for every pair purchased.


Also, how cute is this backpack? Look at that print!!


Unfortunately I do not have $55 to waste on an ugly '90's backpack. My husband pointed out a fanny pack in the men's section. Seriously.



toms shorts backpack

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hello!!


Hello and happy friday!!! My name is Randi and I have been wanting to start a blog for quite a long time but have always felt overwhelmed. There are just so many blogs out there covering so many different interests. I've just decided to make a blog with the approach of a medium to log what flows through my mind as well as happenings in my daily life. I also feel nostalgic for the past quite often, even for times that I wasn't around for quite yet...I'll probably blog about those too. I am trying to fulfill my new years resolution of "live in the now!!" a la Wayne's World, so hopefully this blog will be therapeutic for me. I am currently enrolled almost double full time credits in funeral services, so I have a lot of thoughts on life and figuring it all out the best that I can.
Thanks for reading :)