Wednesday, March 31, 2010

10 Things You May Not Know...

...about me.  Okay, I got this off the LPM blog.  Beth Moore got it from an airline magazine and thought it was a neat idea.  I have to say that I agree.

I'll give my answers, but I sincerely hope that you will share yours with me, too!  What better way to get to know my already great friends?  So, here goes:

1. I once had a blurb printed about me in Women's Health Magazine.  It was several years ago and this is probably the first time many of you are finding out about it...
2. I have a mixed ethnicity that includes American, Native American, Dutch, German, Nicaraguan, Mayan, and Italian, although I most identify with American culture based on my upbringing.
3. My favorite movie is The Labyrinth with David Bowie.  As a kid I watched it a million times.  I even have the soundtrack.
4. My mood and the seasons dictate my taste in clothing, accessories, and home decor.  I can be athletic, trendy, contemporary, classic, formal, casual, plain, bold, feminine, boyish, and everything in between.
5. I don't make the bed every day.
6. I can't stand black licorice, anise, fennel, or anything else that tastes or smells like black licorice.  Makes me gag just thinking about it.
7. Even though I'm a great student I doubt my talents and abilities ALL THE TIME.  I struggle to believe I could teach anyone anything or be an expert at something.
8. I used to play pick-up basketball games with a bunch of guys in college and would surprise newcomers with my outside shot.
9. I love of scarves and hats.  They're pretty much my favorite accessories ever.
10. I heart paper, pens, and lists, like colored index cards and colored pens.  Dunno why...just always liked them.

Okay, so that's my off-the-cuff list.  There's much more I could add, and maybe I will in the future.  But now...NOW you need to share your lists.  What are some things I might not know about you?  Leave me a comment list.  I can't wait to hear from you!  Oh, and Seth, you should do this post, too. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tacos Azteca--The Original

We had the pleasure of spending time with some friends of ours who have a mutual love for good food.  It happened to come up in conversation that none of us had found a great, authentic Mexican taqueria in our city.  I realized that we've sort of half-heartedly looked in the years we've been here.

That won't cut it anymore.

With that thought weighing on my mind, I decided to press on and do some research.  I did what any modern girl would do: I googled taquerias on the iPhone.

Within minutes I found several reviews for a little place called Tacos Azteca (the original--not to be confused with the place on Colorado bearing the same moniker).  Tonight, I convinced Seth to go with me and try it out.

We ordered carne asada, pastor, and carnitas tacos--with everything.  Our bebidas included a Mandarin Jarrito and an Horchata. Total damage?  $11.55 for two large drinks and 6 tacos.  Awesome!  (And the drinks were the most expensive at $2.00 and $1.75, respectively.)

The tacos were flavorful and the service was quick.  I enjoyed the pastor tacos the best, but I look forward to trying the chicken in the future.

I think we just found a nice little gem of a place.  We already have plans to return to sample their burritos and combo meals.  They serve tortas, quesadillas, burritos, tacos (including fish), and even offer delivery for orders of $25 and up and catering for special events.  Sweet!

So, if you're interested in visiting Tacos Azteca, here are the deets you should know:

-they accept Visa and MasterCard
-street parking is the only parking available
-don't keep the salsa for more than 10 days, and even then only in the refrigerator (random...but they actually have a sign stating this next to their window because the salsa is ALL NATURAL)
-don't expect a five star dining experience, but do expect yummy and authentic grub
-tacos with everything on it mean your choice of meat, chopped onion and cilantro with a decently spicy salsa, a wedge of lime and sliced radishes on the side

I hope you try it out...if you're in the area, of course.  If you do, let me know what you think.  In the meantime, we'll keep searching for other little holes-in-the walls.  And let us know if there's one you would recommend, too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Evan Vang

I want to introduce you to the newest addition to our "extended" family.  He was born on 3-25 at 8 lbs. 14 oz.  (He was two weeks late.)

Congratulations, Vang Family!!!

Yep, that's perfect for our Photo Friday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Nope, not talking about the home.  I'm talking about me.  Time to clear out the muck and get out of the doldrums (inactivity, that is).  Winter hibernation is over--especially in Southern California--and it's time to get out!

Albeit, before spring had actually sprung, last Friday I had the pleasure of getting out in the sunshine with a couple friends for a walk.  It was lovely.  I guess I hadn't realized how ready I was to get back outdoors after all of the rain and cold.  Again, of course, this is SoCal, so it never really got that bad.  However, read the old post on rain indoors and I think you'll understand that it was a rough season for US.

So now, I am eager to get out to the beach, go on hikes, bust out the bikes, and just get out.  I hope to see you out there, too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Friday-Philippe's

Just another night out on the town.  You can still get a cheap coffee and great food at this LA establishment.  If you're ever in the area, it's a great place to go for comfort food and pie.  We were introduced to this place by a nice young man we know, aged 82!  (Thanks, Paul!)  If you want to go there, click here to view their website.

  My, my...we look sultry when we're eating, don't we???

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I love coffee!  I was RAISED on coffee.  No joke.  Ever heard of Mexican Coffee?  (No, not the alcoholic version...)

In the Hispanic culture, parents will warm milk and add a lot of sugar and a little coffee to it for their children.  In my case, my dad gently warmed milk in a saucepan, added a small spoonful of instant coffee, and then stirred in a couple teaspoons of regular sugar before pouring it into a Mickey Mouse mug for me to drink.  It made me feel like a BIG kid to have my own coffee with my parents.  You may agree or disagree with this practice, but it's what I grew up with.

My taste and love for coffee has grown over the years.  I started off loving super-sugary concoctions from places like Starbucks.  You know, things like a White Chocolate Mocha with extra Whipped Cream or a Caramel Macchiato.  Nowadays, I savor simple cups of Italian Roast brew with skim or 1% milk--no sugar added!  I even enjoy Cappuccinos and Lattes sans sweetener.  Yum!

My latest love affair with coffee:  Decaf Italian Roast.

If you're anything like me, you like a smooth, flavorful, dark roast coffee but you don't like being kept up at night due to caffeine anytime after 4pm.  The answer is the whole bean, decaffeinated Italian Roast from Trader Joe's.  This unassuming can of bliss is usually stocked on the bottom shelf of their coffee section with a glaring orange lid to signal that this will not give you a caffeine buzz (if that's what you're fiending for)--which I am NOT.  For me, this is a perfect union: dark roast, zero caf.

So, try it.  I'm savoring a cup as I type.  Good stuff.  Now, to return to my library book reading.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Library Love

I enjoy reading.  My local library is great and I visit it often.  In fact, I plan to go later today.  I can check out travel books, cookbooks, novels, informational texts, and just about anything else my heart desires.  And I have.

I have memories of trips to the library with my mom when I was very young.  I participated in the reading logs for stickers and the like.  We would often check out 10-12 books and I couldn't wait to race home and read them all.  I often did.  Within hours of being home.  As soon as we'd walk in the door I would settle on the couch and begin delving into the pages of these new, temporary treasures of mine.

So, if you haven't been to your local library in awhile, or you just plain don't know where your library is, look it up and go.  Bust out your dusty library card and borrow to your little heart's content.  Best part is it's free.

And in this economy, who doesn't love some free recreation?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Photo Friday is ORANGE Friday!

Spring Training is well under way and, as such, it is time to honor the team we love:  the San Francisco Giants.  Here are a few pics from our many years as Giants fans together.

Seth posing with our dear Lou Seal.

One game, three balls.  One hit me during BP, Seth caught one, and an employee gave me another one.  It was a good game.

Couldn't ask for a more beautiful skyline, Coke bottle and all.

With my love at our home park.  AT & T Park definitely has a piece of our hearts.

When Bonds hit #700, we were there.  Absolutely beautiful.

It was a crazy-fun atmosphere.  Talk about being electric!

A match made in heaven.

Here's to many more years in black and orange with my main man.

May 2010 be our year.  GO GIANTS!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vancouver 2010

So my better half keeps nicely nudging me to blog more often, so I thought it would be a good time start.  With the Winter Olympics finally over, I thought I would write a few words on these latest winter games.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy the Olympics, even though it may take me a few days to fully get into the spirit and pageantry of the games.  There's something about rooting for your country in competitive sports that can not be matched in the NBA, MLB, or NFL.  Don't get me wrong, I love those leagues and have a great time following my teams in those leagues, but it doesn't generate that same passion that I get when rooting for the stars and stripes to beat, well, the WORLD in everything from Skeleton to Curling.

Yes, I said Curling...

...which I still do not understand at all, but I definitely want the USA to be the best at it.  And believe you me, I was rooting like heck for their stone and their sweeper dudes to do whatever it is they are supposed to do to win.  Unfortunately it didn't work out so well for our Curling team this go 'round.  But here's kudos to the two athletes that I found myself rooting the most for:  Mr. Apollo Anton Ono (you are the man!) and Ryan Miller.

I don't know what it is, but Ono is to speed skating what Jerry Rice was to football:  a cool, calm confidence.  In my opinion no one looked cooler, more talented, or more confident on the football field than Jerry Rice.  He excelled as the best wide receiver of all time and looked good doing it.  That's how I felt about Apollo.  The guy just flat out flies on the ice and looks good doing it, too.  He's just plain cool, no other way to describe him.

Then there's Ryan Miller, the USA men's hockey team goalie.  This guy was an absolute stud!!!  Not only did he shut down some of the best hockey players in the world, but the guy has to be like 120lbs soaking wet.  When he was interviewed after games, he was humble, respectful, and looked like he left everything out on the ice for his country.  It is a shame the USA didn't get the Gold and especially Miller.  No shame in giving up a winning goal to the best hockey player (Crosby) in the world right now.

So there you have it.  My first of hopefully many more blogs to come.  I hope you enjoyed this impromptu, off the cuff blog.  You're welcome honey!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fruit of the Spirit

I'm currently in the 6th week of a 10 week women's bible study on the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23:

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The first several weeks focused on
-how we have to be right with the Lord,
-how we need to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit,
-what true love really is,
-the experience of real joy in any circumstance,
-what peace really means (it's so much more than calm),
-and now we are learning about patience.

Without exaggeration, each week has been perfectly timed to coincide with feelings, emotions, and circumstances I've been going through.  This week is no different.

You remember my posting called Trust Walk a few weeks ago?  Well, all of the issues that led me to write that post still remain unresolved.  Right now, I want to take control and just be done with things.  I don't want to continue to wait.  I'm the kind of person that can spot a problem and can come up with ways to solve it.  Right now, though, I have to be patient, wait, and simply trust.  Yes, I said simply trust.

Isn't it funny how trust doesn't require that much from us, yet experience teaches us to make it one of the most difficult things to do and give?  Kids trust so easily--they trust you to feed them, clothe them, provide for them, keep them safe, keep them healthy, keep them alive.  And what have we really done to earn that trust besides love them and do our best?  Yet, God loves us even more and provides even more for us, and our best pales in comparison to His worst.  And we find it so difficult to trust Him...with anything, let alone everything.  This must be why the Word tells us to come to Him as little children.

Suffice it to say I continue to learn.  I learn more and more each day and I intend to keep on learning until my time is up.  Some of that learning requires stripping apart my ingrained habits and flawed beliefs in order to rebuild with a sound foundation.  That's what I'm doing now.

I place my elpis* hope in Jesus.  Here's to developing patience!

*Elpis is the Greek word for hope meaning "desire of some good with expectation of obtaining it" (from Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore).