Wordless Wednesday: A Visit to Ostrich Land USA.

If you're driving up/down the central coast of California, stop by Ostrich Land USA.

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A Year Ago Today.

A year ago today I was coming off of a three-day, bowel-cleansing bender. I was waking up early and making an exciting-slash-nervous drive into Santa Barbara. I was sitting in a waiting room with Eric, my mom, and sister. I was getting needles jabbed into my arms, pulling up dopey-looking grippy socks, and cracking jokes with people wearing scrubs. I was getting wheeled down long hallways and looking around at Dr. Frankenstein-looking medical equipment. I was trying to look alive as my mom and sister snapped drugged-out photos of me, laying on a stretcher, wearing a crown that read "Chili Peppers."

Today is ONE WHOLE YEAR since I had my big surgery.

You know, the one where I had my butt-guts pulled through my stomach and PART OF MY BOWEL WAS REMOVED.

It's hard for me to believe it's already been so long because I can still clearly remember my excitement at the thought of being "healthy." In fact, as crazy as it sounds, I STILL get excited when I think about my surgery! Not only was it the best decision I've ever made, it was such a positive experience for me. I loved- LOVED- my hospital stay. I still remember several of my nurses names and faces. Which makes me think, it's strange how brains holds tighter to some memories over others- for some reason, my brain tells me that I'm, like, best friends with these nurses. They were just so thoughtful and friendly, and I think because of the nature of the situation, their helpfulness was magnified that much more. (I guess getting catheterized multiple times or having post surgery tar-poops wiped from your butt by a team of complete strangers will do that to you.)

If you had asked me a year ago what my health would be like today, I think I would've probably had a different answer from how things actually turned out. I think both Eric and I were counting on my surgery to be the miracle drug for all of my ailments and that we would start churning out the kids in no time. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan. And while I could go on and on about how unfair life is, or how painful and torturous (and sometimes rude) people can be when endlessly bragging (or better yet, complaining) about their kids/ pregnancies, or what it's like to have to endure another Mother's Day as a non-mom, I'll save that rant for another day. I mean, everyone has something to complain about, right...?

I sent Thank You cards to all of my doctors, as well as the hospital staff yesterday. My doctors have selflessly gone beyond their obligatory scope of work and I'm SO grateful for all they've done for me. And while I'm sure they don't exactly sit around, feeling unappreciated, I sent the cards anyway because it's nice to be reminded.

Since my surgery- and recovery- I feel like I've gained my life back. I'll still never be 100% because an asshole named endometriosis ruined that forever, but I feel much healthier than I have in the past several years. Longer than I can remember.

Things are looking up, my friends.

Another perk, I never gained any of my pre-surgery weight back. Win-win. #HumbleBrag

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Odds and Ends Related to Food.

I have three important food-related things that need to be shared with you.

1. Do you like California Pizza Kitchen?

Of course you do, who doesn't.

Last night, while Eric and I were looking over a CPK menu, our very polite and well-informed server notified us that the Tricolore Salad will be discontinued starting this Tuesday, July 23.

And I was like "WHAAAAAAAT???"

And he was like "I know. Our manager just told us this morning. Lots of people are going to complain."

And I was like "Yeah, I'm one of them. I'll have the Tricolore Salad, STAT. And bread with butter please. Make that STAT too. I'm having a Tricolore anxiety attack."

For those who have never tried it, the Tricolore Salad is a combination of mixed greens and tomato, tossed in balsamic dressing, topped with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, served on top of thin-crust pizza. It's like a healthy pizza. But better, because it doesn't leave you with grease-chin afterward.

So if you like California Pizza Kitchen, or pizzas, or salads, or trying new foods, or taking my advice, GO TO CPK TODAY OR TOMORROW. Get your fill of the Tricolore Salad while you can. It's going away after tomorrow. Foreverrrrrrr.

CPK BIGWIGS: If you happen to be reading this, please reconsider. You're making a huge mistake.

Also, while you're there, you might as well get the chocolate souffle cake. I mean, I don't even like chocolate and I can't refuse this thing. For reals.

2. Do you like madeleines?

You should because they're buttery rich and ordering them makes you sound sophisticated.

I usually tend to buy them at The Coffee Bean because that just happens to be where I most often see them. But every time I fall for this checkout-line-impulse-buy, I can't help but recognize that I'm getting totally ripped off. Now I can't remember the exact price, but I want to say it's like $2 for a pack of three.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I just discovered a tub of these French fancies at Vons the other day:
14 madeleine's for $5.


Now, I'm no math wizard, but I'm pretty sure that's a way better deal.

You better believe I bought them because it's the smart shopper thing to do.

And it could also be because the label included something about "100% butter."


3. Peaches & Cottage Cheese

Have you ever had real peaches with cottage cheese? As in, fresh peaches?

Actually, now that I'm looking at this, maybe I was eating a nectarine...?

I had it for breakfast this morning and it was kind of gross.

Who knew there was such a big difference between fresh peaches/ cottage cheese, and canned peaches/ cottage cheese?

Heavy syrup for the win.

That's better.

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National Tequila Day.

With National Tequila Day just around the corner, I felt it was key that we all have a really solid margarita recipe on hand. You know, because it's important.

First things first, throw out those crappy, premade, sugary-sweet margarita mixes. They suck.

Then, follow the directions below.


(Recipe found on Chow.com)


8 cups cold water
1 liter 100% agave tequila, chilled
2 (12 oz) cans frozen limeade, thawed in refrigerator
1/2 cup frozen concentrate orange juice, thawed in refrigerator
1/4 cup lime juice


Lime wedges


1. Throw all of the ingredients into a pitcher. Mix. Refrigerate.

2. Rub a lime wedge along the rim of your glass. Dip rim in a shallow dish of salt. We used Kosher because it's chunkier and looked more legit.

3. Serve margarita over ice.

National Tequila Day is Wednesday, July 24th.

Like you didn't know.

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Sangria Castaneda.

Do you like sangria?

Me too!

Next time you're at World Market, grab this stuff. It's la caca

That's how you say "the shit" in Spain.

According to the World Market website, the pricing may vary. But I'll tell you we only paid $4.99 for this beauty and it was worth every penny. Maybe even more.

If you're going to try this drink, prepare it the night before by adding a ton of sliced fruit and letting it sit in the fridge overnight. That makes it extra Spanishy.

We used peach, apple, pear, and orange.

Make sure to invite your friends over and brag about that one time you went to Spain when you were in college.

That's what I do. 


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Engagement Shoot: Photography by Melissa Bergen

Several weeks ago, Eric and I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with our friend-slash-wedding photographer, Melissa Bergen.

Since this was the first time that Eric and I had taken legit photos, we were both pretty nervous about how the day was going to go. Neither of us really knew how to "make love to the camera" (Remember when Tootie said that on The Facts of Life?) and we were both sure that we did NOT want staged, fakey, prom-like poses. You know the kind I'm talking about. Borrrrring.

We knew how we wanted our photos to look- aged and candid with a touch of American Gothic and Flowers in the Attic- and Melissa made it happen.

The day ended up going by so fast and we had such a great time, we were actually bummed when it was over! Melissa has this super calm way about her and she got straight to business without us even knowing. Not once were we posed or asked to do something cheesy or generic.

She got so many great shots, we had a hard time narrowing down our selections.

Here are a few of our favorites...

We LOVE our photos and can't wait to see what she does on our big day!

If you're looking for a photographer- she does all types of shoots- in the greater LA area, I'd highly recommend contacting Melissa. She's affordable, super easy to work with, and takes great photos!

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Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Salad

I first tried this dish when Eric and I went to our wedding menu tasting. It was so good! We immediately fell in love with it and knew we had to have it again.

But since it was offered as an "upgrade" option at our wedding venue, we nixed it. Sorry, wedding guests.

A few weeks later, I decided to attempt to replicate the recipe at home. The dish seemed pretty simple and didn't involve that many ingredients.

This is what we came up with.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Salad


Balsamic vinaigrette
Sliced apple (We used Fuji because that's all I'm willing to buy)
Candied walnuts
Mixed greens
Olive oil
Fresh Parmesan cheese
Salt / pepper to taste


1. Rinse and trim asparagus as usual. Wrap bunches of two or three stalks with a strip of prosciutto.

Set into your baking dish. Once all of the asparagus is wrapped, top with a light drizzle of olive oil and salt / pepper. Bake at 400F (204C) for approximately 20 minutes.

Note: We used thick-stalk asparagus. If you're using the thinner type, maybe cook four in each bunch and check the cooking time starting at 8 minutes.

2. In a small pot, heat balsamic on medium-high heat. Since it's going to be reduced, you'll want to start off with about four times as much as you think you'll actually need.

Bring it to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. I followed this recipe to make mine. Once it's done, set aside. It will thicken a lot more as it cools.

3. For each serving, start with a nest of mixed greens and top with as much, or as little, of the following items that you like: sliced apples, candied walnuts, and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Drizzle the reduced balsamic over the top. Finish with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

4. Eat it all and feel smug for being so fit and fancy.

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Irrational Fears: Underwear

I have an irrational fear that something is going to happen when I'm at work, or somewhere else in public, and everyone will see my underwear. This fear haunts me every time I wear a skirt or dress.

I think about it when I'm getting out of the car: What if I accidentally flash someone??

I think about it when it's windy: What if the wind blows my skirt up??

I think about it when I'm exiting the ladies room: What if my skirt accidentally gets tucked into the back of my underwear*??

I think about it when I get up from my desk: What if it's stuck in a crinkle position and doesn't fall to its full length when I get up??

I think about it when I'm going to be in a crowded area: What if someone walks briskly past me and their purse/ bag/ dog accidentally catches onto my skirt and rips it off??

Like this. Only not as rich or Kardashian'y.

It's stupid. I'm not even sure why I care so much about people seeing my underwear, but I've always been concerned about it. When I was a kid, I used to wear pants under all of my dresses. What a weirdo, right? Maybe it's because of my refined upbringing- ladies don't show their underwear, you know. Maybe it's because I like to pretend that if no one sees my pancake-batter, blubber-butt, it doesn't exist. Maybe it's because I think the image of my TJ Maxx granny panties will be permanently branded into everyone's retina. Whatever it is, I'm still not down with it.

So, if you happen to see someone in a skirt/ dress being really fucking crazy for no good reason, it's probably just me losing my shit over a gust of wind.

*This actually happened to me a few months ago. Thank GOD, I was wearing leggings.

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