Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Hashbrown Cake

I spent the day at my parents' house today because I had to go get a minor issue on our car fixed. Someone in our apartment building accidentally scratched the side when backing out, so my dad and I drove to the garage at 9 in the morning. Long story short, the car wasn't fixed today, but it wasn't a waste of a day because I also had plans to clean up the stuff that I didn't take with me when I got married and moved out. It was a lot of hard work because the bulk of the day was spent moving furniture and organizing things that weren't even mine! It's a good thing I actually LOVE organizing! And, of course, I got to spend the day with my parents but mainly my mom who was in the rooms with me organizing as well. 

My arms and legs are beyond achy at this point from moving a bookcase a few times along with a dresser and desk. They have that "I carried too much weight" feeling inside them, but I know after a night of rest, I should be okay. Considering the exhaustion, I'm going to write a quite "Throwback Thursday" post for tonight.

Back in 2004, a bunch of us at church were talking about how cake is not always really exciting, but if the cake were made out of something like hashbrowns, there'd be smiles on our faces! My friend Teresa (I call her "Tough" because she, my cousin Danielle, and I used to be "Rough, Tough, and Dough") decided to actually surprise us one day with hashbrown cakes! They were for our birthdays (belated and early), and Danielle and I were extremely excited about it! Teresa even popped candles in those delicious McD's patties of goodness.

Since then, I have grown to really like cake as long as it has some sort of chocolate in it (ex. vanilla cake with chocolate frosting or chocolate cake or chocolate mousse), but there's something extra special about the one that my friend made for me. I will always remember the deliciousness fondly!

And no, we didn't eat all of those hashbrowns in one sitting!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Childhood Wish Kinda Fulfilled

Last Thursday, my parents, Howard, and I went out at night to get a few important things done. My car decided it was time to turn on its "Check Engine" light. It has done it in the past when it rained or snowed, but it never stayed on completely. I was actually asked to sub that day, but I'm glad I said no because I didn't feel comfortable driving the car. It felt as if I were pushing it a little when I stepped on the gas. After taking it to Sears with my dad, we decided to take it to a mechanic in Queens who has taken care of our cars in the past. It worked out because my parents needed to stop by my brother's place to take care of his fish while he and my sister-in-law were on vacation in Japan and Hong Kong.

When we entered their condo, I saw that they had two of the things I made for them on their fridge! The two fish in the fish bowl was made for their wedding a little over a year ago (click here for that post). I knew just how much my brother loved fish, so I knew exactly what card to make when they got married. 

I made the 3-D car for them this past Christmas and just stuck a printed out Amazon gift card rolled up in the middle. I saw the idea on A Paper Journey and pinned it to Pinterest because I loved the idea of just doing the mirror image of the cut and making something 3-D. The car that looks exactly like the Little Tikes car that we both admired as kids but never had was cut from the B is for Boy cartridge. Just like the author of the blog that was my inspiration, I too loved the Lite cartridge because of that cut! 

A few months before Christmas, my brother had sent out an email that had a list that was on BuzzFeed or some other site like that showcasing toys that came out when we were kids, and that was on the list. He commented to my mom that we never got it even though he wanted it so much, so I immediately knew I would eventually use this cut for him! It's things like this that make crafting extra fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day the Disney Way

Since my mom is enjoying her Easter break this week, we were able to run some errands together today. One of the stops that was a requirement in my eyes was the Disney Store because of their Earth Day promotion. Since there were a lot of people at the counter, we browsed a little. Well, let's be honest. I would've browsed even if the store was bare! And why wouldn't I when they have such adorable merchandise like this Buzz Lightyear iPhone case! The wings pop out and pop back in. I love how it doesn't exactly SCREAM Disney the same way a case with Mickey and Minnie would (not that I'm against those!), but it's only recognizable if you know the colors of Buzz. I'm sure most people would be able to tell what it is, but I still appreciate how it's still a bit abstract.

The cartoon Mickey and Minnie tumblers were on sale for $4.99, and I did consider getting one since I'm still holding on to some credit on a Disney gift card. But I decided not to mainly because the new Winnie the Pooh line of tumblers is also extremely adorable and maybe it would make more sense to add one of those to my collection when that drops in price. I wouldn't feel entirely guilty about it considering the two that I do have at home are just one color and I got them from students. I find that I drink a LOT more water when I use a tumbler because of the fact that the straw helps me sip and I don't worry about it getting knocked over.

The Winnie the Pooh mugs were also on clearance for $5.99. The little added piece to the handle makes them really cute though I feel that you'd have to be extra careful with it. 

I don't buy plushies because they take up space and my penguin Huey and my Build-a-Bear teddy bear Howie Wary Bear (both from hubs when we were dating/engaged) would get jealous, haha. On a typical trip to the Disney Store, I usually bypass this section and don't even give it a second look, but my mom took a peek and I noticed the bears! I think it'll be fun for our kiddies to have plushies that actually look more realistic. Not to say that there won't be an Oswald or Steamboat Mickey in their collection too ...

Well, the reason why we were at the store can be seen in that plastic bin on the floor behind the counter. For Earth Day, the Disney Store was offering an excellent trade: 5 plastic bags for a new reusable bag! Last year, there was a choice and that's how I got my Brave bag and my mom got the Cars one. This year, they just had the Bears one, but I was fine with that. Howard and I are looking forward to adding that movie to our collection.

When we finally got the counter and finished trading Vinylmation, I asked the manager a question knowing that it was a long shot. I explained to her her that I had told my friend in Wisconsin about the promotion but she didn't have a store near her, so I was wondering if I could get another. The manager who Howard and I have long conversations with about Vinylmation and Disney World said that it was fine as long as I had another set of 5 plastic bags, which I did! Yay!

I'm really excited that I was able to get an extra for my DIS friend Sarah. We got to know each other via Disboards and connected not only over our love for Disney but because we were both in education. Then we ended up being able to meet in WDW because we were there at the same time during our April break in 2010. We were in Disney World again the same time in 2012, and we randomly met up once more as she and her dad saw Howard and me on Toy Story Midway Mania while they were waiting to board! Sarah is also the one who really got me to see Animal Kingdom in a whole new light and was the one who got me interested in Disneynature in the first place, so I'm super happy to have been able to get one for her. I had messaged her a few days ago to let her know about it since I knew she was bummed having to return from her recent trip. I thought it was going to cheer her up, but she said she didn't have a store close by. 

She has definitely sent some pixie dust my way by getting the "Just Engaged" buttons I wanted so much from the parks, so I'm ecstatic that I too can send some her way!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Up Next? Butternut Squash!

Zucchini, asparagus, baby carrots, and green beans ... what was next on the list to be roasted? Butternut squash! 

I cheated with this in that I bought a bag of already cubed butternut squash from Target using a veggie coupon. I like that the Target mobile coupons make it so that I can try new items because I don't know that I would've wanted to pay full price for this veggie when I was trying it for the first time. All I did was toss it with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and then stuck it in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. I think it could have actually used a little bit more salt since it does have a sweet taste to it, but there wasn't a need for it. I'm not like the Top Chef judges who are totally against underseasoned food. If the food tastes like the food it is, I think, "Well, that is how God made it!" Haha. Though I didn't like it as much as I like zucchini and Brussels sprouts, it was definitely a tasty alternative to the other vegetables we've had in the past.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Risen ... YES!

Today was a great day. How great? SO great that after I got home from church, ate dinner, and took a shower, I went to bed and promptly fell asleep after Howard and I talked about what happened throughout the day. I'm awake now because when Howard climbed in bed and made sure I had enough blanket on me, I figured I should get up to dry my hair so that I could sleep better. With that being said, there's obviously no way I'm going to write a recap of Easter so that'll just have to wait until tomorrow!

The one thing I did want to share though was something that really made an impact on me. Our senior pastor said that one of the Easter traditions was how he would say, "He is risen" and the congregation would reply, "He is risen indeed!" He wanted to update it a little so when he said, "He is risen," he had all of us make a hand motion and say, "YES!!!" As we did it a few times as a big group with a mixture of those from the Chinese and English congregation, I just thought that it was a great reminder that we are to be THRILLED and JOYOUS that Jesus Christ was victorious over the grave and is alive! I know it's not like we forget what Easter means, but I admit that sometimes I forget how AMAZING it is and that we should be jumping up and down in excitement. Pretty awesome!