Home Sweet Sarah

3Q14 books

I really thought I’d blow it out of the water this quarter and read a ton of books, but alas, I read three. I’m hoping for a solid fourth quarter to round out the year and finish with a bang. We’ll see.

Here’s what I read this month:

12th Of Never, by James Patterson
This is your typical Jimmy P. I don’t have anything to say about it except that you can rip my James Pattersons from my cold dead hands.

Mr. Maybe, by Jane Green
This started out pretty solid, in a cute Bridget Jones’s Diary kind of way, but then the main character just pulled some stupid BS and I spent the last half rage-reading. I am all for the flighty single gal in the city kind of book, but I need a little self-awareness from my main character. Just a smidge.

The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer
This books starts out with a group of six teenagers who meet one summer at an arts camp. From their first meeting, the story jumps forward about 40 years, where we get a glimpse into where they are now, and then we spend the rest of time filling in the blanks for each person—how they got where they are in life, who they married, etc. I really liked the writing (it reminded me of Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld), but there’s basically no plot at all. I don’t really have a problem with that, if the writing is good, which it was in this book. HOWEVER, the mainest of the main characters never seemed to grow up, which, as she got to be 30, 40, etc., reaaaaaally started to wear on me. I just don’t find it endearing when a grown-ass lady acts like a teenager. Still, I would recommend, just be prepared to sum it up thusly: It’s…interesting.

What are you reading? Anything good? I keep starting books only to have to return them to the library because I haven’t read quickly enough. It’s very effective.


School lunches

‘Tis the season everyone posting pictures of their kids’ lunches (is this what the Internet is now? Not even what I had for lunch, but what my kid had? It would be sad if I didn’t enjoy it.)

We try to pack LG a lunch similar to what she’d eat at home, but have learned that some things don’t translate. Crab tacos, for example, LG will eat at home, but won’t eat at school, which was fun to find out when we picked her up and noticed leaked crab juice all over her lunch bag. (THANKS FOR NOT JUST THROWING THAT AWAY, TEACHERS.)

Because I refuse to buy kid-specific food, we’re at the mercy of what we have in the fridge at any given time.

Here are some favorites:

Sandwiches (if we have lunch meat; if we don’t, we’ll cook up an egg and voila: egg sandwich)
Tortilla roll-ups (if we have lunch meat; cream cheese is also a plus if we’ve got that)
Cold eggs (hard-boiled eggs)
Carrot sticks
Pasta (with or without sauce)
Rice (better at school than at home, where I have to clean up the mess)
Beans (just plain old beans, any kind)

And here are some things we’ve tried that do not work:

Crab tacos!
Any kind of seafood, actually
Anything resembling salad

While LG is pretty into vegetables at home, she won’t eat a ton of veggies at school, minus the carrot sticks. Sometimes I can talk her into a snap pea or a green bean, but it depends on her mood. And of course not a week goes by that one of us doesn’t say, “Let’s just make her a peanut butter and je---UGH NEVER MIND.”

I'm always looking for new ideas---what do your kids take for lunch?

Filed under: Food & Wine, LG 1 Comment

Please, have a seat and look at slides of my summer vacation(s), Part IV

This is the last installment of look at all the places I went this summer. We took an impromptu trip to Santa Cruz a few weeks ago. Neither of us are very big beach people, but we wanted to beat the heat and the best place to do that is at the coast. The trip can be summed up such: Eat, drink, read magazines, eat some more, drink some more, play in the pool, go home. It was a good trip.

How cute.


I once had a bloody mary with to-order filet mignon as a garnish. It's kind of hard to beat that. Oh, you put a green bean in your bloody mary? A hunk of beef jerky? MEH. This bacon-wrapped prawn, though, was tops.

Sand in all the places.

Seriously, sand everywhere.


Bathtime in the pool!

LG dug her "new bed!"

And then we all went to bed at 9pm watching 20/20. We really know how to vacation.

Filed under: Chris, LG, Travel 1 Comment

Things I don’t have time for

My hair
I can't be bothered to do my hair most days. On wash days, I let it air-dry and embrace the wavy or put it in a bun or a braid or a braid-bun. On non-wash days I bust out my hot rollers from ye olde days of yore. On special occasions (job interviews, etc.) I might be compelled to use the flat iron, but usually? NOTHANKS. I do think, though, that most people are either hair people or makeup people. I am a makeup person. It's not like I won't go out without makeup on, but I much prefer makeup to hair. If my face is made-up, is anyone really noticing the hair? No.

Anything on Bravo that's not Real Housewives
Now, I have been known to watch some Million Dollar Listing LA or some Princesses: Long Island (really just Housewives-In-Training, when you think about it), but by and large, ain't nobody got time for the Singles Project or Jersey Belle or any of that shit. (I have heard that Game of Crowns was amazing, but alas, I didn't watch it.)

Tweezing my eyebrows
Are we sensing a theme here with the hair avoidance? But you know, I went through a long period of obsessively over-tweezing my eyebrows and now that that's broken, it's like, I don't have time to go get them waxed on the regular and no one is that close to my face to ever notice an errant eyebrow hair, so FUCK IT. (I still keep up with the unibrow situation because PLEASE.)

Washing my yoga mat
I have had my yoga mat for over 10 years and I've washed it once. Have you ever washed a yoga mat? It's a pain in the ass. Plus, I feel like if I am just getting it gross each time I use it and then going home and taking a shower, what's the point? It's all my own filth. Meh. (I guess I could also add to the Things I Don't Have Time For list: Buy a new yoga mat. Ten years is a long time, but at this point I'm kind of attached to it.)

What do you not have time for?


Please, have a seat and look at slides of my summer vacation(s), Part III

My aunt and grandma coordinated some professional pictures to be taken of the entire family when we were in Hawaii in May/Jun. Here are a few favorites (I would like every picture of me ever to be Photoshopped, please and thank you.)

More here.


Filed under: Chris, Family, LG, Travel No Comments

If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything

All summer I've struggled with finding the time to workout. This happens to me once a year and always for a different reason--odd work schedules, the weather, what have you--and I've just come to accept it at this point. I remember this happening when I went back to work after LG; daylight savings time had ended, so it was getting dark earlier and I just couldn't make working out work with my schedule. I know I wrote a blog post about it and maybe I mentioned in that post, but around that time, I was talking Holly, all, "Will I ever workout again?", etc. and Holly was like, this is just the season your life is in right now, so don't stress about it, things will change and you'll be in a new season. Ebb, flow, etc. And guess what? She was right. The season did change and I actually ran a half marathon a year later, so I'd say I found the time to workout.

This summer, though. July was a particularly pitiful month for me, workout-wise. I think I worked out maybe 10 times, total. I logged about 20 miles, which is, again, pitiful. The good news is that I mostly didn't workout because I was off doing fun things, like going to Vegas and stuff, so it's not like it was all business. Still, being one of those obnoxious people who needs to workout to be happy, that did not make me super happy. Also, I sit for a good portion of my day and if I sit too long, I get a literal pain in my ass and walking around helps with that. So, I decided that August would be better. I would workout "more." Ultimately, I worked out 20 days and logged 45 miles. I didn't break any records, but it felt nice to decide to do something and then make it happen. Hot weather and busy schedules be dammed.

The point is, if you decide to do something, you can do it. But the point is also to enjoy your life where it is right now because shit changes all the time. Babies are only babies for a second and your friend only turns 30 once, so have fun and try harder next month. Enjoy the season you're in right now.

Speaking of which, September is notoriously the hottest month of the year in California and our A/C is broken, so while the rest of the nation is off enjoying their seasons, I'll be over here sweating ballz.


Please, have a seat and look at slides of my summer vacation(s), Part II

In July, we went to Vegas to celebrate my friend Kim's 30th birthday. It was a great time, but just about one day too short. I needed an extra day to lounge by the pool/drink cocktails/people watch/all the other stuff Vegas is ripe for.

Here are a few pictures from the trip. Thanks for turning 30, Kim!

I now use this 20oz. cup at work to keep six-packs of bee---- water in. (Mojitos were more fun.)

It was perfect Vegas weather. Hot and cloudy.

This was the view from Kim's room at the Cosmopolitan. Our view was...Not so pretty. I mean, I dig a parking lot as much as the next person, but, ya know.

I really channeled LG here with the HIGH PONY! Give me a HIGH PONY!

(Sigh. Can we go back to Vegas? Quick, someone have a birthday and invite me.)

Filed under: Chris, Travel 2 Comments

Summer food

I mentioned a few posts back what I've been cooking recently and I thought I would post the pictures and add a little commentary. Without further ado, here's what we've been making and eating this summer.

Potato crust quiche
This is some kind of quiche situation that Chris makes with a potato crust. If you're interested, I can get more information about it and report back. Let me know. I just really hate grating and then dealing with grated potatoes, so I wait until that part is done before I handle the egg/filling part. Anyway, this is great for breakfasts for the week.

Enchiladas! I sometimes roll the tortillas, I sometimes stack the tortillas. You really can't go wrong. (These broccoli never got cooked, no matter how we tried to cook them...Roast, steam, boil, the remained practically raw each time. It was the strangest thing.)

Zucchini boats
I haven't made zucchini boats as much as I'd like this summer, but it's always a favorite.

Garbanzo chicken
This garbanzo chicken is one of my most favorite and easy recipes ever. I think I've linked to it before, but it's worth repeating.

And on Tuesday, we taco.

Big Salad
Big Salad.

Sausage/pepper/onion sandwiches
There's a German bakery in walking distance from my office, which has become a weekly problem.

Double lettuce Asian turkey wraps
Asian lettuce wraps. They key is doubling the lettuce, which reduces the mess. (Key word: Reduces. They're still a goddamn mess.)

That's what we've been cooking as of late. What have you got going on in your kitchen? (I was looking at archives from my blog and found a shepherd's pie with butternut squash topping. That sounds so delightfully autumn. Too bad September is the hottest month in N. California.

Filed under: Food & Wine 1 Comment

Please, have a seat and look at slides of my summer vacation(s), Part I

My webmaster (Chris's cousin) (happy belated birthday, Brant!) updated my Flickr plugin so now I can post pictures to this here blog again. I thought I'd go ahead and post the pictures from our summer vacations here, in case you couldn't be arsed (as my friend Hillary would say) to click the links in my other post. I often cannot be arsed to click the links in posts, so, you know.

First up, Oregon! We traveled on Oregon on the 4th of July for a family reunion/anniversary/birthday celebration with Chris's extended family. When I say "birthday," Chris was included in there too, as his birthday is on the 5th. Guess how his birthday went down. Here, I'll tell you. We woke up, LG said she'd pooped, so Chris got up with her and I sat around in bed on my phone and then when I got on Facebook, it informed me that it was Chris's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! YOU GET TO CLEAN POOP! (I am such an asshole. Sorry, Chris.)

Happy birthday! Let's go on a 4-wheeling ride! Please don't accidentally on purpose throw me off.

LG's first 4-wheeling ride.



After I apologized for being an asshole, I went on a run by myself! The selflessness just continues!

The brothers!

Cousins (middle left in the picture above is this one's dad.)

Oregon sunset. C'est fini.


The tomatoes are here!

A month ago I was texting Elizabeth, so confounded as to why my tomato plants hadn't produced.

I planted late, but not that late.

It's been cooler, but not that much cooler.

I haven't been watering as much, but I've still been watering.

Well. It's safe to say the tomatoes are here.

But that's not all...

This weekend I picked three giant bowls full of tomatoes and then I washed and cooked/prepared almost all of them. I could. Not. Stop. The second I sat back down on the couch, I got another idea for something tomato-ish and so I just kept on cooking. Cooked until I had all but four tomatoes left. One of which I saved (three went to work to pawn off on others.)

Here are just a few things I made...

Oven-dried tomatoes (h/t EBJ for the recipe rec.) (This was maybe 1/12 of the final amount. These were chef's snacks.)

Bruschetta and salsa (no recipes; just winged it)

And then I made three bags of peeled, diced tomatoes (froze), one gallon bag of marinara sauce (not an entire gallon, just enough for a gallon-sized bag), and enchilada sauce.

Until next weekend, tomatoes.

Filed under: Food & Wine 1 Comment