Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taunted & Irritated at Costco

I went to Costco last week and while I was grabbing a cart I checked out the new items. Of course I wanted half of them! I got really excited when I saw they had the Magic Bullet. It looks like such a fun appliance (if you can call it that) and I'm surprised I don't have it already. I keep telling myself I need to start blending drinks but haven't yet. But of course, just after I decided that $34.99 was a reasonable price, I remembered that I can't buy it. This realization was frustrating and irritated me for a couple minutes. I hadn't felt restricted by my resolution before that day but standing in front of Costco looking at all of the shiny toy teasers, I didn't want to worry about searching thru Craigslist or thrift stores. The frustration dissipated quickly and I decided the Magic Bullet wasn't essential but I realized it was the first of many times I would feel that way in 2012.

So I left with just a couple items. I've been eating Coach's Oats oatmeal everyday for over a year and I love it. It isn't like regular oatmeal, it has a different consistency similar to Cream of Wheat. I was hooked after the first time I tried it. If they don't sell it at your local Costco or markets, you can buy it online. I highly recommend it, it is really tasty and so good for you. I also purchased Late July tortilla chips and 180 Almond Pops. Both are vegan and both are addictive!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Food, Family & Fire King

I've found a new love for cookware....especially Fire King brown glass. My grandmother gave me two cooking dishes a couple years ago and it started my obsession! At the time, I reluctantly took them home and had no plans to use either; I didn't want to take them out of the cupboard because I hated the color. They sat unused until I found another piece at one of my favorite thrift stores last year. By having three pieces, it meant I had a collection....I love adding to collections. This spurred my quest to search for more.

Fire King glassware has been around since the 1940's and is made by Anchor Hocking Co. which was established in 1905. I never see advertisements for their products but it's a huge company and their glassware is everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if you had some Anchor Hocking dishes in your kitchen. Fire King used to me made in several different colors with cute names like 'Forget Me Not' and 'Anniversary Pink' but now it only comes in clear glass.

I have been using my pieces a lot lately to cook vegetables for dinner. Carrots and Brussels sprouts are my favorites but you can make a number of vegetables with the recipe below. I like to throw heaps of several veggies in at the same time so I can eat them over several days. Below is the recipe and a play by play..

Preheat oven at 400*
Cut up vegetables in small pieces
(Brussels sprouts in half, broccoli or cauliflowers in quarters, baby carrots don't have to be cut)
Place vegetables in the dish and pour olive oil on them until completely coated
(oil can vary based on the amount of veggies, I like a little extra to make them crispy)
Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste, lemon zest is good too
Cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 15

My grandma passed away on January 11th and I miss her so much. Dinda was so generous and amazing, the center of my family and a mentor for many on how to love and care for others. The Fire King glass was just one of the millions of things she gave me that was hers and I am so grateful I have them. She will be in my heart and I will remember her daily in the many things I do to be like her. Here are some pictures of her from the last two years.

Taken March 21, 2010

She loved In n Out and would treat herself after every chemo treatment.

Taken April 8, 2011

My last photo with Dinda - September 20, 1925 to January 11, 2012. <3

Taken December 22, 2011

Taken c 1987 - Forest Home

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Berlin / Fingerprints

This place is great and a hidden, hip treasure. They have some of my favorite things in one beautifully, renovated building. There are two parts to the experience: eats and entertainment.

Berlin is the coffee shop connected to the record store and created by the owners of Portfolio Coffeehouse.

They serve coffee, loose leaf tea, healthy breakfast and lunch items and sweets. A local pastry makes the vegan desserts and they run out all the time. Every once in a while, I call when leaving work to see if they still have any cupcakes. Tonight they hadn't run out, sooooo I got one. It was really tasty!

I wanted to plan my 30th birthday here this past October just because I love this table so much. I decided against having a party but I do think this place could host some amazing events once they get their beer/wine license. The communal table is beautiful and the succulents melt my heart. When the weather is agreeable, they open the sliding doors on the left. The urban setting, a cup of tea, a good book and music via headphones can make for a great afternoon. It's a mix of New York, Seattle, a little bit of Paris and one of the many reasons why I love Long Beach.

The cafe leads to the book store in the back.

My beautiful and intelligent friend Leah & her boobs are part of a photography exhibit.

The bookstore has new and used books. Check out the brick in the back, I love it. 

Here are a couple of my favorites that I saw while searching for new reads.

And then there's this jewel about releasing your potential and energy with the help of dragons and pearls..... I'm sorry Rebecca, I don't think I am ready to catch it.

Fingerprints was a staple in Belmont Shores on 2nd Street for years but moved to its new location last year. It is a music store that sells new and used CDs, records, DVDs and local products like clothing and jewelry. They also have shows in-house. Their website has a picture of the Foo Fighters playing in the store! Every time I go into the music section, I like to think the giddy excitement I feel is similar to how teens in the 80's felt when searching for something new. I always walk in hoping to find something that will make me love music more and find a new artist that can articulate what I feel. There is so much music to discover, it can easily take hours to cover the many racks. Lately I have been really into collecting records. I don't have a record player but plan to get one soon.

So here are the things I came away with, totaling $17.93:
Finally got this book!

This was only $.50, I had to eventhough I know how it ends.

And a record.

I confirmed with the cashier that the books and record were all used. He gave me the heads up to make it easier in the future:
Green price tags - New
Yellow price tags - Used   
Orange price tags - Sale Item
How clever!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The first of the year!

Since this is my first post, I feel as if I am writing to myself but I guess in a way I am. Considering I don't have any followers (yet), I will use this to help hold me accountable.
In 2010, I began to cut things out of my life that I felt I didn't need, including television, coffee, alcohol and meat. When I tell people this, they think I am depriving myself but it has been the best thing I have done physically and mentally. Last year I expanded on my meat free regimen and turned to a vegan diet which has also been a great experience. I guess I say all of these to lead up to why I started a blog.
I already love to clothes and antique shop. I have two growing glass collections, one being milk glass. I am obsessed! It's so exciting every time I find a scalloped candy dish or hob nob bowl. I hope to find more like these throughout the year.

For 2012, I have decided to remove something other than food from my life and go in a different direction.  This year, I will buy only used clothing and home goods. I love vintage clothes and antique shopping so in a way, it allows me to indulge in these activities. I can't say I am a vegan because I am an activist, it is for my own personal health and well being. The same goes for this coming year of used goods, it is not to make a point or stand up to corporations, it is more of a challenge that I have set for myself. This means no more shoes from Nordstrom, cheap tanks or scarfs from Forever 21, workout gear from my favorite websites, crisp business suits for the office or anything from Anthropologie (I think I'm going to be sick!) I'm not starting from scratch, I already have a closet full of clothes and entirely too many shoes but this girl loves new stuff! So in a way, by blogging it means there's no turning back.....Cheers to 2012, a year of posh parsimony!