Friday, February 27, 2009


I haven't posted a picture of my sweet little niece in a while. Mary sent me this one today so I thought I would share it..... Isn't she so adorable!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chocolate Melting Cake

I am not sure if I wrote about this in my post about the Girlfriends Cruise. Can't believe I would forget about it, actually! This was the best chocolate dessert EVERRRRR! I haven't been too into chocolate lately so I didn't order this the first night on the boat. I had a little taste of Christina's and WOW! Then I had to have this every night thereafter in the dining room. On the last night, someone at our table asked the waiter for the recipe.... I thought I would share it with you all here.....


12 oz. Dark Chocolate
1 1/2 cups butter (3 cubes)
10 eggs (at room temperature)
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour

Melt the chocolate and the butter together. Combine the eggs and sugar and whisk for a few minutes. Add flour. Add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate. Pour the mix into 10 greased ramekin dishes. Bake directly in the oven at 400 degrees for 14 minutes. Dust powdered sugar on top and serve along with vanilla ice cream. Serves 10.

I can't tell you how incredibly awesome this is. As you can see from the ingredients, it is definitely not fat-free or low-calorie. However, it is worth the indulgence every now and then.... Try it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Girlfriends Cruise 2009

I survived the Girlfriends Cruise!! Not only did I survive it, but I had an awesome time! I didn't really take a whole lot of pictures. I decided to just take my point and shoot and was really glad I did. It was kind of liberating actually to not feel obligated to take pictures of every single thing. That being said there are a LOT of pictures in this post....

DAY 1: We flew out at 6 am from the Eureka airport. I am definitely not a morning person so it was a little tough to get up at 3:00 to get ready. However, I was pretty excited so that helped a lot. We got to San Diego around 11 am.

When we arrived at our hotel, they told us it was too early to check in so we went for a walk. We were staying in the Old Town area of San Diego so we checked things out. We found a mexican restaurant/bar and grabbed a quick beverage before heading to lunch. Clint had arranged for us to have lunch at Bareback Grill in San Diego. He sells his Eel River Organic Beef there so we had to check it out. He even bought our lunch... thanks Clint! The burgers were AWESOME! Probably the best burger I have ever had. They also have these really great fries that come with this totally yummy wasabi-mayo dipping sauce. If any of you get to San Diego, check it out!

After lunch we took a walk out to see the beach. Some nice person walking by offered to take our picture....

Joy, Julie, Denise, Kelly, Christina, and me... The sun was out but it wasn't all that warm.

DAY 2: The next day we had breakfast at the hotel and headed to the cruise ship dock. We got there a little early and thought we'd have to wait. They have these cool pedi-cabs that you can send your luggage in on... for a few bucks. Once we got our luggage sent thru, we were able to go thru the check-in process to get on the ship.

Here is the ship from the street.... it is so huge!

We got checked-in but had to wait about an hour to get on board. We finally were able to board the ship around noon. We were greeted by lots of waiters with drinks for us. All of the 39 "Girlfriends" had matching bright green t-shirts that said "Girlfriends just wanna have fun." We got lots of comments and questions about the shirts.

We had some lunch but we couldn't get into our cabins until around 1:30. Christina and I shared a cabin. Once we got our luggage delivered to our cabins, we unpacked and then headed to the "Spa Carnival" for a tour. They had plenty of specials going on and, of course, encouraged people to book a treatment. Christina and I each booked a massage for 6 pm. It was a nice and relaxing way to start out our cruise!

We went to dinner in the Inspiration Dining Room at 8:15 that night. We had a really fun group of "girlfriends" at our table. When we got back to our cabin that night, our room steward had left us this cute little towel animal...

DAY 3: We woke up to an announcement that we wouldn't be able to get into our scheduled port of Catalina Island because of the weather. The port had been closed due to the rough seas. Carnival decided to reschedule our "Day at Sea" from the last day to this day. They had some activities planned to keep us all entertained.

Because of the rough seas, there was lots of movement on the boat. I had been taking motion sickness pills the whole time, just in case. And I am so glad I did.... we were told that the ocean had 20 foot swells that day... and I believe it. It was rockin'! I did okay until we went upstairs to play bingo in one of the showrooms. It happened to be at the front of the boat, which apparently is the worst place to be in weather like that. I made it through the bingo game but had to go lay down after that for awhile. Then I felt better... that was the day of two naps!

That evening was formal night on the ship. It was fun to get all dressed up. First, we went to a cocktail party hosted by the captain. This guy, Funship Freddie, came up behind me at one point....
Here's part of our group at the cocktail party.... Jamie, Kristi, Denise, Christina, and I...

Christina and I having a lemon daiquiri... YUM!

Our mini group of 12... Christina's family and me!

After dinner we went to a comedy show which was pretty good. I liked that there were different shows that we could pick from.

DAY 4: Catalina Island... finally!! We had to take a tender boat over from the ship to the island. The weather was okay... not too warm, but not raining when we got there.
The ship from the island....

Looking down the street with lots of little shops....

Christina and I walked up and down the street shopping a little bit. It was getting cold so we found a bar to grab a drink to hopefully warm up. We went into Del Sol because it was one of the stores that Carnival recommends. All the stuff in the store changes color when it gets out in the sunlight. They were having a drawing right when we walked in so we signed up. Guess what? I won the drawing!! I got a whole bunch of stuff including two t-shirts (one for me and one for Andy), a tote bag, hat, hairclips, nail polish, key chain, etc. I was pretty excited because I don't usually win things like that!

We met up with some of the other ladies to grab some fish tacos for lunch. It was starting to rain so we decided to head back to the ship. We got in line to get on the tender boat. It was kind of long because everyone wanted to get out the rain. The line was starting to move a little when this older lady tripped and fell right in front of Christina and I. It was horrible. She couldn't get up, but luckily we were right in front of the lifeguard station so they called for help. Once we got on the tender boat, we kept smelling nail polish. We both looked in our bags and Christina saw that her new nail polish had broken and went all over her new shirts from Del Sol. We got off the tender boat before it left port and headed back to Del Sol. They were so nice and gave her all new nail polish and shirts. After that we finally headed back to the ship. Then we took a nap... naps were one of my favorite part of the cruise!

That night Carnival hosted a private cocktail party for the "Girlfriends" as a way of apologizing for changing our original itinerary (and missing Cabo). I really don't think Carnival had any idea that the Girlfriends could drink so much!
After the cocktail party, we went went to a Comedy Hypnosis show, which I wasn't too crazy about. I don't really believe in hypnosis anyway. Then it was onto the Karaoke bar.... and no, I didn't get up and sing.

DAY 5: Ensenada, Mexico! We got off the boat about 10:00 that day. The group I was with really likes Tequila and thought it would be a good way to start of getting to Mexico. Notice I am behind the camera... Tequila and I don't get along very well!

We took a short bus ride into town, where we got on another bus to take a tour out to the blowhole (La Bufadora) and the flea market.

Here's La Bufadora.... it wasn't blowing too much when we were there.

Our group...

After an interesting experience of shopping at the flea market (all I bought was a yellow John Deere hat for J.T.) and the best fish taco I have ever had, we headed back into downtown Ensenada to do a little more shopping. Christina and I went in a few shops and each bought a couple things. We both bought silver and citrine (sp?) pendants. After about an hour we met up with our group, and got on the bus to go back to the ship. It was a great day, especially because the sun was out!!

Once we were back on the boat we grabbed a drink and took a few pictures from the boat looking out towards Ensenada...
The flag...

Our group at the front of the boat...

Then came the crazy idea to get (fake) tattoos.... several of us decided it would be a fun thing to do on our last night on the ship.

After changing our clothes, we headed to the dining room for our last dinner.... Here's the people we shared a table with during the cruise...

Jamie and Staci

Lindsey, Brooke, and Sandy

Jen and Monica

Joy and Carrie

and Christina and I....

it was Joy's 35th birthday that day so of course we celebrated....

and Lori's was coming up in a few days so we celebrated hers too...

This cruise was such a great experience. I really appreciate that Christina invited me and that her whole family made me part of everything! I am ready to go again, but the next Girlfriends Cruise isn't until 2011. Andy says it's his turn to go with me....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


On Monday, I had to take a few photos of the kids at JT's preschool for a TV commercial that we are having done for our big fundraiser next month. I thought I would post a few of JT and his buddies here....

Aren't they cute!

It's a balancing act

When I was in college, I thought it was tough balancing everything. Now I realize that it really wasn't. However, I can't really imagine trying to go to college now... with a family and a full-time job. I don't see how people do it and not go totally insane. I have such a huge amount of respect and admiration for those that can do that.

Two of my friends, Renae and Joy, each have a full time job and a family, and are going to school right now to get their Masters Degrees. All I can say is WOW, you girls are awesome!! I don't know how you do it.... I really admire your strength!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bowling party!

On Sunday afternoon we went to a bowling party for Connor's 5th birthday. The kids had such a good time. It sure was a good thing that they had the bumper pads in the gutters, though!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


It was a crazy day yesterday! Abigail had her first basketball game at noon. Her team is made up of 3rd and 4th graders. She said she had a great time playing and that's what counts...

In the afternoon we had a 90th birthday party for my Grandpa John. We held it in Ferndale in the old Giacomini home where he was born. It is now owned by his brother and sister-in-law, Don and Elsie. The party had a great turn-out. After Grandpa blew out the candles, we did a photo with him and the three great-grandchildren, Abigail, Michela, and J.T. Look at Michela's smile!
Michela got passed around quite a bit, but didn't seem to mind at all. Here she is outside with cousin Tiffany...

Last night we had a great dinner with the four of us, my parents, Mary, Jeff, Michela, Tiffany and her husband Dennis. Lots of good food, wine, etc. Can't beat that!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thought for the day

Never undertake anything for which you would not have the courage to ask the blessings of heaven.
-George Christian Lichtenberg

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Wanna know what I did today? Even if you don't, I will tell you!

1. Took Abigail and J.T. to school.

2. Went to Eureka. Had to go to the County Recorder's Office first. It's located in the top floor of the courthouse. Let me just say that there is NO parking anywhere nearby. It took me longer to walk from where I parked than it took me to take care of business at the Recorder's Office.

3. Went to Target for a few necessary things..... $85 later, I left! :(

4. Met Sara at Los Bagels for some hang-out time and a very yummy bagel. It was a toasted multi-grain bagel with goat cheese spread, olives, capers, tomato slices and Larrupin Mustard Sauce. So good!

5. Headed back home to get some other stuff done.

6. Went for a 3 mile walk. Let me just say that I love my iPod Touch.... Can't take a walk without it!

7. Took my truck in for an oil change, which was way overdue. Andy picked me up and we did some errands around town. I got my truck back a little later.

8. Ran up to Christina's house so she could help me decide between a brown dress and a black dress for the cruise's formal night.

9. Visited my mom at her office for a few minutes.

10. Picked up Abigail from Excel, the after-school program.

11. Came home and started dinner.... at this point we are having Brown Sugar Glazed Grilled Salmon, pasta with tomatoes and garlic, veggies and fruit. Better get back to work on dinner...

What did you do today?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 things about me

I just wrote this on my Facebook page so I thought I would share it here too... (keep in mind these are meant to be random facts!)

1. I can't leave the house with my bed unmade.

2. I love sushi... yes, even the raw kind.

3. I am getting ready to go on my first ever cruise in less than two weeks.

4. Even though we raise beef, I always order cheese enchiladas at a mexican restaurant.

5. I have never been out of the country except for our honeymoon to Cancun.

6. We had a Category 5 Hurricane on our honeymoon and had to come home early.

7. There were over 500 people at our wedding.

8. I love photography and have turned it into a small business.

9. I have a bachelors degree in Ag Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

10. I finished college in 4 years!

11. I used to hate beer, and now I really like it (especially brewery beer).

12. My favorite kind of beer is Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat.

13. I think being an Auntie is so awesome... much more than I anticipated.

14. I love to read, but don't always have the time.

15. I just read the book "The Shack" and think it's the most powerful book I've ever read.

16. Designer jeans and Coach purses are a weakness for me.... even I if I don't "need" them.

17. I used to hate the color pink (before I had a baby girl) and now I love it!

18. I was depressed about turning 30 a few years ago...

19. I am very happy with the person that I have become.

20. I used to hate my red, curly hair but now I love it.

21. I have never done anything chemical to my hair.

22. I almost quit college for a guy at home... wow, what a mistake that would've been!

23. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if I don't understand it.

24. My first car was a VW Rabbit.

25. I love reading everyone's "25 things about me."

I challenge all you blog readers to do your "25 Random Things About Me."

Monday, February 2, 2009


As of today, we've had Shasta for one year! We got her last year on Superbowl Sunday....

Look how much she's grown!

She and Andy had a hard time getting to know each other, but now they are great buddies! She is really turning into a great work dog too!