Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Finally Home!

We just got back from Washington D.C. What a great time we had there for the last 5 days. I am exhausted.... so I will upload pictures and regale the story of the trip that became an adventure, with layovers, private planes and no sleep. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My First Award!

I got my first award, I am so excited. My friend at Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys gave it to me.
She has a great blog and is a great person. I had not posted in a little while and she was asking if all was well. Well it made my day that she was concerned. That is truly the spirit of Christmas. Thanks Denise!

Christmas Decor Pictures

Here are the pictures as promised. Yes there are 7 trees that got decorated, I was responsible for 6 of them. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

I'm still here...

I know I have not posted in a while, life has been busy, busy, busy.
We finally got most of our christmas shopping done all today. The mall was a bad idea, but we found a parking spot right away and didn't have to wait long in any of the lines. I need to go to Target on Monday morning for a few last minute things. I still need to get some long underwear for our trip to Washington D.C. the day after christmas. I understand that there will be no snow and it will be in the 40's when we are there. But I, alas a California girl, will still be freezing. I am cold now, with the cold we have been having here. Well I guess I will just have to survive.
We hosted my school holiday party last night and it was great! We must have had 50 people comming and going starting at 3 in the afternoon. The social comittee, which includes me, made several kinds of pasta with meatballs, marinara, garlic and oil, and a cream (butter)sauce that I made with capers, garlic and lemon. We also had garlic bread and a great ceasar salad with dressing made from scratch. All the other teachers brought either appetizers or desserts, it was fantastic. One of the administrarive assistants brought her karoke machine and a great time was had by all. Someone asked me if I would host the party next year and my husband and I will more than likely do so.
I wish I had pictures, but I was so busy running around makeing sure everyone was happy I did not take any. Maybe someone else did and I can post some later.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Decor Day

Today is (still, I am not finished, just having some lunch) Christmas decoration day. Usually we have everything up the day after Thanksgiving. Somehow that did not happen this year. So today, after I got to spend a few hours at the salon. I had my hair color enhanced and blown out, had a eyebrow and lip maintenance and got my hands dipped in wax. The wax on the hands was WONDERFUL! It smelled like yummy fruit and felt even better. I think may have to do that every time I go to get hair maintenance.

We always decorate our whole house for the holidays. We have ended up with 7 trees altogether. Two big ones, one in the pub (the entrance area to our house) and one in the den. There are also 5 other trees in varying sizes and incarnations. I am working on fluffing the trees now, then I will start the decorating of the trees. I have to get back to work or else I will never finish. Plus, the decor must be done this weekend. We are hosting my faculty holiday party on the 19th. All the teachers will be here after we wrap up the last day of school before our 3 week holiday vacation. But, no pressure! Really it's not we love to entertain.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weigh in Sunday

I am happy to say that I reached the 70 pounds lost goal. I was thrilled when I went to weigh in this morning. I have to say its been a good journey. I am glad I am on the downhill side. I have 30 more pounds to reach my final goal of losing 100 pounds. I would say that I will reach my goal by March of 2009. I hope to encourage some people with my success. I know how hard it is to lose weight. I feel great and have lots of energy and no more stomach troubles.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Thanksgiving day was great. We had great food and a good time with our family. We went to my mother in law's house, my mom joined us as well. We ate, sat around talking and enjoyed each other.
This morning we went to Circuit City and got our new phones from the Verizon store inside the store. We had the best salesmen and he got us in and out with 3 new phones in no time at all. I was tempted to buy a 32 inch flat panel HD Samsung TV....but, it was only a thought. My husband went to work for a couple of hours for basketball practice, my oldest son went to the L. A. auto show, and my youngest is next door playing poker with the neighbor kids. I will pick up the house some, do some laundry and get some sewing in.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My house is flooding...

Well only part of my den is flooded. We had this problem when we had the "el nino" rain about 4 years ago. The problem is that the den used to be a garage a million years ago and the people that owned the house before us added so much to the house that the garage became living space. I love the 3400 square feet of our house all on one floor the best, but..... The den floods when we get really heavy rains. My husband put a sump pump out there a few years ago, and it has been working great. Today however, while I was out and only the boys were home, nobody bothered to check on the pump, in case the gutters were clogged with leaves and such. So the pump couldn't pump fast enough and the den flooded. So now my plans for tonight have changed, I was going to go to a basketball game, but since I can trust none of my children to check on the pump I will stay and do it myself. My dear husband has to work late tonight, so the burden does not fall on him. His turn was during the rain last night. I have spent the last hour and a half, sucking out the water with our carpet cleaner. I have to say it works quite well at sucking water from the rug. I filled the dirty water container on it already once, dumped it out then filled about a quarter more of it. I am tired of the noise and will go back later and vacuum some more. Now it is dinner time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wow, it's early

I am waiting for my eldest to get ready for lacrosse practice. The alarm rang at 4:40 this morning. It is very early... So I figured this would be a good time to enter a blog thing. A blog entry, yeah that is what it's called. He goes to high school 20 miles(each way) from our house, so we have several car pools going. I have to drive him to the local Ralph's grocery store so he join his carpool. In January, they will be leaving for practice by 5:20 a.m. everyday. I hope he decides that he can drive himself all the way to school by then. He does have his license and drives, but this early in the morning, I am a little uneasy. I have to learn to let him do it for himself. Got to go now....more later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Night

Today is the worst day for work. We only have today, Tuesday and half a day on Wednesday. The kids are crazy for the great Thanksgiving vacation. Normally we do a "feast". All of the second grade classes send out notices to the parents asking them to bring in a dish from their culture or a favorite dish of the students' and we lay out about 40 feet worth of tables and have ourselves a spread. At first, it seems there will not be enough food, but it all comes out like crazy once the feast gets started. We have so much food that we feed all 100 kids, the assorted parents that stay, the younger siblings, all the second grade teachers AND all the other teachers that come by to "look". We even have left over food. Unfortunately, this year we have been extra busy, and we have two new second grade magnet teachers, we did not want to overwhelm them. We like them and we want them to stay.... But the gig is on for next year. We have already discussed it, we will also include the 3rd grade magnet classes. We are all in the same general area, class wise. For this year we will just bring in special cookies for desert after lunch. Maybe something turkey or cornucopia shaped. The kids will love the extra sugar...And the best part is that they get to go home early. YEAH!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Purse Decision

I was at the mall yesterday and there happens to be a new Coach store that opened. I checked out the two purses that I was debating and found that the aubergine one I really wanted is not so nice in person. So the debate has ended and I will be getting the black one that I had been pondering.

Weigh in ...

I was quite happy when I went to my meeting this morning. I am down another 3 pounds for a grand total of 68.6 pounds. Only 31.4 more to go. I realized that the weeks that I eat all my points, I seem to do better at losing the weight. I was sort of sad before my meeting because I felt I ate a lot last week. What I did do was eat my maximum points for almost everyday of the week. I also ate more vegetables this last week. I guess my body does not like to starve. I asked my husband about this and he said our bodies don't know when our next meal will be if we don't feed it, so it goes into conservation mode. So this week I will try to eat all my points everyday.

I still have not decided about the purse. I am now leaning towards the black one....or maybe the aubergine one. What a lame thing to be debating. I will just decide. There are more important things to worry about than a new purse. Like going to the mall to buy new undergarments because the ones I have now are too big and I look like they have to be slung up with a crane. I will post later about the search for new bras.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baseball is over...

Today was #2 son's last fall ball game. He did well, he pitched a couple of innings, batted some and walked once. It's sort of sad. We have been going for about 2 months every Saturday and Sunday spending a couple of hours at the park with some good baseball. I will miss it. Now he will be starting practice at school for basketball.
Number 1 son is playing Lacrosse and since it is out of season, he is on a club team. The beauty of this club team is that it is made up only of the kids from his school and they all are on the regular school team. So they get to work together all year long. Last Sunday we spent a beautiful day in the town of Thousand Oaks for some good lacrosse action. He is one of the goalies on the varsity team. He is getting good at blocking those shots. I am proud of them both.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weigh in Sunday

I was finally able to weigh in at our meeting. It has been a whole 2 weeks. That is torture. So I am down another 3 pounds. I am happy, although the weight loss is slowing down a bit. I am still losing. I only have 34.4 pounds to go!! Yeah!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coach Purse Debate

I am having a dilemma, I am going to reward myself for my weight loss with a new purse. I don't ever normally carry a real purse, I carry my totes for my daily purse needs. But, as an adult, I can't take a tote with roses and skulls to a sit down, dress up dinner. I have to do this at least 3 times a year with my husbands work. Then there are his staff dinners, that are a little bit more than tote material. I make my own totes so I really don't need a purse. I have been working my behind off (literally) at this weight riddance, and I would like a non-food reward. I have two that I am interested in. The first on is the black one, it's called the Soho, the second one that I really like, well I really like them both, but both is not an option, is the Zoe in aubergine color (burgundy for the rest of us). They are both almost exactly the same size. The black one is considerably less expensive. But I really love the burgundy one. I can't decide!! Cast your vote and let me know which you prefer. Leave me a comment.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finally a picture...

So I finally added a picture to my blog of myself. For so long I was so heavy that all the pictures of me were awful. This year when they took the pictures of the kids, they also take pictures of the teachers for our ID card and such. this year my picture came out pretty well. I got the pictures back and did not recognize the person in the picture. I just about cried... I know lame, huh? I have not looked decent in ages. The big picture is of me and the preschool teacher on the last day of school this year in June 2008. The other picture is of me on picture day September 2007. I have to say I do look different.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dinner and Dentists

I have a huge fear of dentist. I used to wait until the very last minute, when my teeth were about to fall out of my head to go see one. I finally met one that I love, Dr. Chris. He is awesome, we talk about all sorts of things. He is kind (as far as torture of the gums goes), patient and above all a very good dentist especially for my children. It it however impossible to get an appointment with him. He is Mr. popularity. He is worth the wait, he got me to floss on a daily basis. Now I don't have bleeding gum attacks every time he works on me. Enough grossness.

I put on some chicken in the crock for dinner tomorrow, it was great the last time I made it and every one loved it, even the neighbor boy.

I am working on some new totes for the holiday boutique at my son's school. Hope to get the last 10 I have cut out finished.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Week

Today I slept in. WOOOHOOO!! There was no Weight Watchers meeting today because they had a corporate meeting. I got up, made breakfast for the family and went to the store. I am attempting the roast in the crock pot again as I type. I have it on for 10 hours on low this time. I am sure it will turn out great.
I am sure everyone has heard that Linen and Things is going out of business, well we went shopping there this morning and most of the items were only 20% off. I bought some towels, items for the new bathroom, two travel mugs for coffee, an ice bucket, a meat thermometer, and a new comforter set for our huge California king sized bed. I was not impressed with the sale.
Today I am going to get some sewing done because this Wednesday is the boutique at my younger son's school and I always get a table to sell my wares. I don't make much money, but it keeps me in fabric and yarn. hehehe.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bad Crock Pot Meal!

What's up with that!!! Have you ever heard of a bad meal in the crock pot? Well I made one today. I tried to take a shortcut to making my pulled beef sandwich meat, but sadly, ended up with a 3 pound piece of boiled leather. I did the usual with the condiments, 1 package of onion soup mix, one cup ketchup, one half cup brown sugar and one quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. EXCEPT that instead of 8 hours on low, I used 4 hours on high. So there you have it.... I can't even cut it up for my dogs its so tough. I wasted that nice pot roast for nothing. Well I guess you live and learn.
Moral of this story..... Plan ahead and don't rush the pot roast.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dishwasher Death & Halloween

So my entire childhood we had no mechanical dishwasher at my parents house.  When I got married, I became the dishwasher.  This continued for the first 12 years of our marriage.  We move into our new house almost 5 years ago and FINALLY the house has a dishwasher.  The amazement never ceased, what fun it was to load dirty dishes into this lovely door in my cabinets, put in a magic soap pack and low and behold clean dishes!  I was ecstatically happy in the kitchen for the last few years because i did not have to wash a sink-full of dirty dishes.   That happiness came to a screeching halt last Friday, on Halloween to be exact.  My husband loaded the last of the stray glasses from the night before and loaded the magic soap pack and started the washer.   I walked into the kitchen to fix my daily cup of coffee(2 teaspoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of fat free half and half)  and what do I smell?   The stench of burning stuff mechanical insides.  I opened the door to the washer and there was not a drop of water coming out of the thing.  So I turned it off before it burned my house down and left for work.  
I called my husband and told him the bad news and he could not believe it.  He told me to leave it off and he would check it after work.  
We were having a Halloween party that night and when I got home from work, I had to take out all the disgusting dishes that had not only spent the entire day inside, they had spent the entire night too.  Well needless to say they were ripe!  I started with the glasses and the other top shelf stuff and proceeded to hand wash them.  I carefully laid them out on my counter on a bath towel.  I don't even own a dish drainer! Well I finally finished all the rest of the dishes started on the pasta with meatballs, thank God for Smart and Final meatballs.  I made the garlic bread from scratch, well I melted the butter with garlic, spread it on the rolls, added Parmesan cheese and broiled them to toasty goodness.   My friend brought bagged Caesar salad, my other friend got the sodas.  All the teenagers had a great time, the adults had a great time and all was well with Halloween.

I finally called the home warranty company this afternoon and the nice lady helped me and I should be getting a call from the contractor tomorrow.  I am tired of dishpan hands and wet aprons.  

P.S.  these are NOT my dishes, but I have been feeling like they are!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weigh in

I went to my awesome meeting and weighed in and I am down another pound. Total to date is 62.8 pounds, since April 27, 2008. I feel great.

Also today I sold my first apron on my etsy site. So I had a great day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weigh in Sunday

Every Sunday, I go to my weight watchers meeting and weigh in.  Today was no different.  I was quite excited to have lost another few pounds.  Since starting the journey to better health and wellness I have lost a total of 61.8 pounds.  I started on April 27, 2008.  I would say that I am doing well.   I love the way I can eat what i want in moderation and still lose weight.  I never feel deprived.  I now eat lots of veggies instead of junk.  I can still have my ice cream and goodies I like.  For me its been a great experience.  I got my new id for work the other and hardly recognized the woman in the picture.  I still don't see myself as thinner.  I guess it will take a while to get used to.  

On another note, my oldest son drove himself to lacrosse practice today.  I am quite worried about him driving alone.  He recently got his license and had been driving with us since last Christmas.  Still I worry.  He is supposed to call us before he leaves the school where they practice to let us know he is coming home.  I will wait for the call.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Enchilada Casserole

Finally, the enchilada casserole recipe is here.... The recipe is great, the posting on the blog remains to be seen.....

For Enchilada sauce

1 package dried California chilies (I find these to be mild in heat most of the time)
I use half of an 8 oz package, or sometimes I make it all, just adjust the water, until the
consistency is like that of a thin ketchup, but not watery. This sauce freezes well.

4 cups water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt to taste

1. Place the 4 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. While the water is boiling, remove the stems and as much of the seeds as possible.
3. Place the chilies in the water and after the water boils, turn the heat to low and simmer
for 25 minutes. Leave in the pan until the chilies cool off.
4. Place the chilies in a blender and add the soaking water, almost to the top of the blender. Leave room for the blending.
5. Blend on a medium speed until all the chilies are blended.
6. Add the peeled garlic, blend to incorporate.
7. Add salt to taste, blend again.

If the sauce is too thick, a good thickness is like a thin ketchup, some body, but not watery add more water, until the blender is full. Taste and adjust seasoning. I like my sauce garlicky.

Now for the most important step, strain the sauce in a sieve or small-holed strainer. Do not use a colander unless the holes are tiny. You do not want to eat the seeds or the plastic-like skin of the chilies.

If the sauce is still too thick, add more water. You can always add water when you heat it up for making the enchiladas or the casserole.

Enchilada Casserole

Traditionally, enchiladas are complicated. I used to make them the old Mexican tía (aunt) way. I even used canned salsa, until I horrified the aforementioned tía and she taught me how to make my own sauce. I used to dip the tortillas in oil, then in sauce, then stuff them then roll them. Not any more, this is much easier, less fat and tastes the same.

20 regular sized corn tortillas
1 pound of shredded Monterey jack cheese, I have on hand always, jack, mozzarella, cheddar, and 3-cheese blend. Therefore, you can use whatever. If you want authentic use, get some
Mexican cheese that crumbles easily, like ranchero or cotija cheese.
1-pound chicken breasts
3 tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 large onion chopped
Ground pepper to taste
13 x 9 baking dish, glass or a small throwaway aluminum one

First, boil the chicken breast as if you were making chicken soup. Or I put them in a soup pot with water, an onion, some garlic, some salt and some oregano. I let it boil then simmer until the breasts are done. Then I save the broth to use later.
Shred the chicken into small bite size pieces, do not chop it, the texture is better shredded.

Chop the onions and tomatoes and crush the garlic. Sauté in a pan with some olive oil spray until soft, add the shredded chicken and some of the broth so that the chicken soaks up the flavors of the onion and tomatoes. Add seasoning to taste, pepper and salt if needed.

In a small saucepan or skillet, put the enchilada sauce on a low simmer, keep sauce on a simmer and add water and sauce as needed to coat tortillas.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place the ingredients in an assembly line. Tortillas, enchilada sauce, baking dish, chicken cheese
Now you are ready to assemble.

I put 6 tortillas in a gallon zipper bag and microwave until they are soft. Then I put them in the sauce one at a time, I let them drain a little, then put them in bottom of the pan, continue until the bottom of the pan has one layer of tortillas. Next, add a layer of the chicken, next a layer of cheese, finally another layer of sauce soaked tortillas. Continue until you run out of chicken. I normally get 2 to 3 layers, depending on how thick I layered the chicken. Two layers are good. Then top the last layer of chicken with a final layer of tortillas and some cheese. Put in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 -25 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I just joined this new online group called Twittermoms, it's great, I have had so much fun looking at all the great profiles of all the other busy moms just like me. Check them out, you wont be sorry.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cute Flash Drives

I found this website while looking at other sites. And as with all that is good, I had to post it here. Mimobot has all kinds of great memory sticks. I love monkeys, and have them in my classroom all over the place. I just love this memory stick. You can order it from 1 to 8 gigs. If you dont like the monkey they have star wars themed ones and others too. I then went to another link from this site and found some great toys from an Italian designer. Tokidoki has some "super cute anime sort of lots of stuff" check it out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer is ending....

Well we have had a very busy summer. Today was the first day I was finally able to sit and finish a sewing project. I completed a beautiful apron for a friend. I will be making more as time permits seeing as how I went to my classroom today to start the back to school shuffle.... It really was not bad. I got a new computer and a new toy. The new toy is the best thing since sliced bread. It is called and elmo and when used with a projector one does not need to make a transparency EVER again. I will post a picture of it tomorrow along with class decor progress..

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Time wasting...

I stumbled upon some fun things to do from other blogs, here is one of them. That's our big dog Bruno. You can upload an image and turn it into something fun.
Been working hard at spring cleaning, almost done with the master closet and then it's on to the sewing room.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shopping at IKEA

Shopping at IKEA is always an adventure, lots and lots of good things that I need or must have. We were on a mission.

We needed new shelves for the den and my eldest needs a wardrobe for his new room. We found a wardrobe that he liked and continued on the search for the shelves. We found the shelves in the self serve area along as some lavender tea lights, ocean scented tea lights, a wooden kitchen utensil set (less than a dollar), and some dishtowels for .49 each.
Finally we went to pick up the wardrobe and it weighed 160 pounds and was too tall to fit in my van. So we paid for our shelves and other goodies and I got my son lunch from the Swedish cafeteria.
He had the meatballs and mashed potatoes plate and I had a great shrimp Louie salad. We also picked up some frozen meatballs, sauce mix and that great lingonberry sauce for dinner another day.

While we were eating these 3 retired ladies sat next to us with a HUGE tray of fresh cinnamon rolls that were giant, at least 6 inches across and 3 inches tall. They offered one to us and my son took one and said it was great.
We had some good conversation with the ladies and then went on our merry business.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Great Fabrics

This scrap bundle is from

These beatuiful daisies are from

This gorgeous collection is from as well.

These beautiful flowers are from too.

These great Eric Morris prints are also from .

These next three sets are from

This last collection is from

More Great ETSY Shops

I have found some beautiful fabric at some great shops on etsy. One that i bought some great fabric is I will post pictures of the great fabrics later. Then I found another place I had to buy fabric from I love them both. What can I say... I love fabric.

I guess I can't add pictures. I will make a new post.

Summer School

So teaching summer (bummer school, as my kids are now calling it) is going well.

We are in the middle of a bedroom and den remodel and all I want to do is sew. Well soon enough. Hopefully this weekend we will be finished and I will be able to sew....

Today I will be making an IKEA run, looking for some shelves for the new den and a wardrobe for my son's new room. I will see how that goes.

I have been surfing some other blogs, (to waste time, since my son is not yet done with his last class) .

There are some interesting folks out there. How can there be that much time when one has nothing to do but post blog entries? I barely have time about once a month or so. I find it interesting to read about other's lives.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Super ETSY shop

I just came across a great shop on It's
I just love it. It is full of beautiful paper goods. I will be purchasing some items from her for my own etsy shop, I just love the graphics and designs the shop uses. Visit it and fall in love with their items, like I did too. I

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weight Ridding Journey

Ridding because losing means you might find it again. So ridding is the word. Weigh in was great this morning. I am down 18.8 pounds. It's been an interesting journey so far. I am learning about the different things that I can do to satisfy my food needs. different recipes and stuff. Have been getting reacquainted with veggies and fruit. It's been nice....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Shopping Downtown

I had a rare chance to shop downtown yesterday. I had a doctors appointment early in the morning and then I headed to Maple St in Los Angeles. It was great, I got there early, parked and walked for 3 hours up and down looking and some buying... I will post pictures...

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Items On Etsy

I finally posted new items in my etsy store.

Check them out, more will be added in the next couple of days...