Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review: Last year's NYE resolutions.

Last year I took some time to think about some changes I wanted to make in my life in 2010 .
So, I wrote them down on this blog and I made most of them a reality.
This is exactly why I love this holiday!
Check it out!

2009/2010's New Year Resolution Review.....
1.) I have decided that I'm over this recession so I will no longer be participating. Thanks, it's been educational and interesting but I'm going to go ahead and move on with my life now.
I will have to say that I did a pretty good job living 2010 with this mind frame. Although my bank account is far from being in any sort of real comfort zone yet, the last thing I'm doing is dwelling on it.....
2.) The dentist. I need to go....I'm absolutely appalled at myself. I won't even say how many years it has been because my mother reads this blog so I'll just say it's been awhile. For the record, I have never had a cavity however, I have a sick feeling that that stat has changed.
Done! It was scary but I'm so happy I went......I feel safe now and can share how long it had been. 6 years!!! Ahhhhhh......However, I'm still cavity free and my dentist told me I have beautiful gums :-)
3.) Blue Cheese dressing....you will now be joining "Nutella" and "Tim Tams" on the Cansler-Barberis "Banned Foods in the House" list. Sorry....I'll miss you.
I can honestly say that I do not think I had one drop of Blue Cheese Dressing in 2010. Although now that I'm writing this it sounds really good.
4.) Excedrin.....again, nuff said.
Okay....still battling this one. I'll stop taking the stuff for a month or so but then get sucked back in thanks to my sinus headaches. Anyway, I'll be trying this again in 2011.
5.) Make more money than '09.....after looking at my "year to date" pay stub, this shouldn't be too much of a challenge.
Well I did..... But like I imagined it would have been hard to make less.
6.) More green veggies, more green juice, more yoga, more surfing....What's a New Year's Resolution list without a mention of diet and exercise. I live a pretty healthy and balanced lifestyle but there are always room for improvement.
Thanks to my Breville Juicer this was very easy to achieve.
7.) Stamp the passport. I've done this for 6 years straight now and I don't plan on stopping. Where to next?? Plans are already in the making....... Carlos and I will be making a cross country trip to Florida in the fall and then we are hoping to end up in a surf filled Banana Republic for a few weeks after that. Can't wait!
Okay so this didn't exactly happen....However, I might live in one of the only places in the country where you can fly for 14 hours and still not cross any borders. BUT, I did "see" Mexico from across the street when I was in Nogales, AZ and I was a stones throw away from the Bahamas when I was eating Gazpacho in Miami. Anyway, we'll try this one again in '11.
8.) Figure out how to spell and grammar check on Blogspot.
Spell check: Yes
Grammar: not yet
Any advice?
9.) Close Escrow.....it's been a LONG time coming.
Done! Finally......It's been great not being a homeowner for the first time in 9 years!
10.) Smile, Breath and Relax.....sounds simple right? This has actually been a huge challenge for me all my life and it's time to change that.
This one sort of goes with  #1. I think I came a long way this year with this.
So, Not bad huh? I think writing them down on this blog really made me aware of some changes I wanted to make this year. Not the worst idea.....
I should do the same for 2011. I'll get back to you with that.
Aloha!

Monday, December 27, 2010

I Love...

The cute stackable vases my sister bought me from West Elm.

The vanilla frosted Devil's Food cupcakes I made and couldn't keep my hands off of all week!

The beautiful handmade silver earrings that Carlos secretly bought me for Christmas while we were in Arizona....

Enjoying simple meals again....

Getting text messages from my sister stuck in a blizzard in New York City while I'm staring at this the day after Christmas....
Aloha



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Wondering what I made for Christmas dinner this year???
It's always been some what of a tradition of mine to make something inspired by the Southwest or Mexico on either Christmas Eve or Christmas. I'm not sure why? Maybe it's because this type of cuisine usually contains the vibrant colors of the holiday season ( or maybe it's just because I'm from California? Dunno?)
Anyway
I thought about it for awhile and decided I wanted a rich and spicy Tortilla Soup!
So while Carlos was busy performing surgery on our surfboard quiver......
I was drinking wine and googling "Vegetarian Tortilla Soup" until I came across Heidi Swanson's ( 101 Cookbooks ) version and I had to look no further.... {Click HERE for recipe}.
This was amazing! I followed the recipe to a T but I added about 1/4 cup of goat cheese to the blender as suggested. I also used vegetable broth instead of water.
We LOVED this!
And guess what? It was even better for lunch today!
Oh yum!!

We spent the rest of Christmas night watching Taj play with all of his presents.
Until we all passed out from exhaustion :-)
Hope you all had a good one too!
Aloha!

Best of 2010 part: 2

Alrightly now....
Continuing on with the "Best of 2010"!

Best Moments.......
Heading off to California for my Dad's 70th Birthday Party
And being able to spend time with my sister there as well......

Whole Foods FINALLY opening on Maui! I waited 11 YEARS for this! COUNT 'EM!
E.L.E.V.E.N!!!!

Picking up the kids.....
Sorry, probably seems pretty materialistic but I really really wanted them and I'll have them forever.

Heading back to Arizona for a week to show Carlos the beautiful southwest

My first sunset ever over the Gulf of Mexico on Siesta Key, Florida.

Collecting seashells on Sanibel Island. A bucket list dream finally achieved.....

Discovering the incredible southern city of Charleston, South Carolina.

And of course, the mysterious city of Savannah, Georgia as well.

That peaceful day on Tybee Island, Georgia.

The best Thanksgiving I've ever had in Hana.....

And last but hardly least..... 
Celebrating four amazing, patient, beautiful, challenging, and exciting years now with this guy.
 I love him with all my heart.

So...
What's next?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hawaiian Cranberry-Passion Fruit Sauce

Maybe you recall my Thanksgiving post where I mentioned the fabulous cranberry sauce my friend Carla made?
If not, no problem for I'm going to dedicate this holiday post to it now....
When we were in Hana we picked several lilikoi ( passion fruit ) to bring with us back to the west side of Maui. Instead of eating them all at once I decided to take the seeds and pulp and spoon them into ice cube trays for later use. When I came across a bag of cranberries the other day at Whole Foods it reminded me that I needed to try and recreate the decadent lilikoi-cranberry sauce that I couldn't keep my hands off of on Thanksgiving night.
So, my friend Carla didn't give me an exact recipe but she told me she used cranberries, sugar, orange juice and lilikoi. Seemed simple enough? So here's my stab at it......

Hawaiian Cranberry and Passion fruit Sauce
vegan
3 cups of cranberries ( fresh or frozen ) I used fresh
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice ( I used a Hawaiian Orange ) 
1/2 cup of water
6 Tbs passion fruit pulp with seeds
1/2 tsp orange zest
Bring water, O.J. and sugar to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add cranberries, passion fruit, and orange zest and bring to a boil again. Cranberries will start to pop and break their skins. After this happens, remove from heat and mash with a potato masher. Cool and store in fridge.
That was really easy!

And soooooo good!!

So for lunch today, I used this sauce for a rather Christmas looking wrap.
large flour tortilla
Granny Smith apples thinly sliced
chopped walnuts
chevre
mixed greens
cranberry-passion fruit sauce
press like a panini
Mmmmmmmmmm
Mele Kalikimaka!


Wishful...

All I want for Christmas is....
for the VOG to go away!
That's supposed to be the island of Lanai in the background. Unfortunately it's covered in a veil of volcanic ash ( aka: Sulfur Dioxide). Fun stuff!
Anyway, It sort of put a major damper on my morning stand-up paddle for I am extremely sensitive to this crap. We've had an unusual number of voggy days this December and as a result I have had an annoying cough for about 3 weeks now. Nice.
So
I might or might not have come home disgruntled and had one of these for breakfast.....Remember my post about Balance in December? Well, this is part of that 20%.....
What?
I mean, I just saying.....


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kidding!

Alright Alright so I lied!
I did get a Christmas tree after all....
Thanks Mom!
xo xo


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Love.....

My most favorite perfume ever. Smells just like Hawaii.....

Homemade "Salsa Fresca".
 Remindes me of my college years in San Diego.

My collection of hair picks from different islands in the South Pacific.

My latest DIY project.....I painted Carlos's old dingy chair to match my surfboard. Is that weird?
The new dress I have no place to wear on Maui....
NYE on the beach maybe??
Aloha!