Monthly Archives: September 2014

Still Alive!

I’m still alive! I’ve been a super bad blogger lately. School and work have been sucking away my soul for the past few weeks. I just didn’t have time to blog on top of doing everything else. I can’t remember if I mentioned it before but I’m going to school for a vocational program. It certifies me to become a mental health rehabilitation specialist so I can work for the VA when I graduate. I’m also doing an internship and it’s pretty cool. I don’t think I’m allowed to say the site because of all the rules. Yesterday was my last day at work. I tried to do school, internship, and work but it just didn’t work out very well. I found myself lacking sleep all the time and drinking coffee and energy boosts like crazy. In the end, for my own sanity I had to quit my job. It’s bittersweet and I’m still bummed because I miss all my residents. I’ll definitely try my best to visit them and bring them goodies. My best friend sent some frog jam and blackberry jam so I’ll be baking up a storm of thumb print cookies. Frog stands for fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger. There’s no actual frog in it or else I wouldn’t touch it! 🙂 I don’t think I’ll ever finish my Catalina posts but whatever. It’s just too much work to upload all the pictures again. I’ve been on a super lazy kick. In other news, I’m learning a lot in class. Never quit. Treat people like people. Know yourself and own it. Be authentic. More awesomeness to come.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Omaha, Nebraska trip!

I want to finish my Catalina posts but somehow my pictures got deleted from my photo account so I have to upload everything all over again. I’m too lazy for that at the moment so I’ll go ahead with my Nebraska post. About two weeks ago I went to visit my best friend in Omaha, Nebraska. It was my first flight by myself and it was weird. I flew out of John Wayne airport (probably the nicest and smallest I’ve seen so far). The pilot that flew me from OC to Denver was awesome. I had a great flight. The pilot that flew me from Denver to Omaha, not so much. The plane kept shaking and I seriously thought we were going to crash. That and my ears kept popping and in the end, my right ear was fine but my left ear wouldn’t go back to normal which irritated me. The flight back was fine. The pilots weren’t horrible but they were okay. The first one was the best. When we landed in Denver, I didn’t feel a thing. No bump or skid. He was a pro.
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That’s the best friend and I sitting in her truck outside of Wenninghoff’s. It’s a indoor farmers market in Omaha. It was pretty neat to see all the veggies they grow there. The tomatoes were huge! We bought raspberry cider, honey, zucchinis, green beans, and some corn.
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This is a small corn field we drove past on the fwy.
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Mr Cigar ice cream from Ted & Wallys. It taste like mocha with chocolate chips and possibly tobacco. It was pretty tasty.
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Dinner that my best friend and her hubby made. Her hubby grilled the steak and corn and she made bacon wrapped scallops and stir fried zucchini. It was freakin delicious!
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After our steak dinner we baked for her hubby and his friends. We made mini banana chocolate chip muffins, mini pumpkin cream cheese muffins, white chocolate blueberry cookies, and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.
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The goodies before they were cooked.
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Goodies to take back home. I got some jerky from the meat market (Nebraska jerky is excellent!) and some honey and jam for my mom and sister.
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The sign outside the meat market! 🙂 They had everything in there. All sorts of bacon, jerky, ribs, pork chops, chicken, duck, alligator, scallops, shrimp, steak, and etc.
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My fruit bowl from Wheatfield’s.
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My best friend made us french toast with berries, whipped cream, and cinnamon for breakfast. It was freakin delicious!! 🙂
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They have his and hers steaks. How freakin awesome is that?! I totally want one now that I’m writing about it. The meat and corn definitely taste more fresh.
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The guest bedroom where I slept 🙂
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My best friend inside Wenninghoff’s.
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Kiko the poker. She got really excited when I first met her. She pawed me in the ribs and gave me a good size bruise.
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New York strip with fries and arugula salad from Upstream Brewery. It was my first meal in Nebraska after they picked me up from the airport.
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Humugo tomatoes!
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Two lane fwys with no traffic. Completely unheard of in California..or at least where I live.
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Best friends breakfast from Wheatfield’s.

Overall it was a great trip! I’m really glad I went even though in the beginning I was a bit hesitant. Nebraska is so much more quiet and laid back then California. It was definitely a breath of fresh air. I will most likely go back for another trip but I’m not sure when that will happen. I’m not down to go during snow season! I’m still thinking about the steak, bacon wrapped scallops, and jerky. The jerky is delicious. My mom loves the honey too. I’ve been making peanut butter and honey sandwiches with wheat bread. It’s delish! The midwest isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Except for the tornadoes. I’m not down for that either! Toodles.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

FSP: Operation Bright – Airmen at Offutt AFB

I’m taking a break from my Catalina Island posts and writing about my baking project with my best friend. One of my best friends from college married an airmen and moved to Nebraska. She asked me to visit her and at first I was a bit hesitate because we’re both SoCal girls. You can totally tell just by looking at us. It was a fun visit. I actually miss Nebraska (Yes Kara, you got me. It really wasn’t that bad lol). Both of us are bakers so I knew we would definitely do some baking. Before I went to visit her we talked about possibly doing a baking project for the airmen there. We ended up baking mini pumpkin cream cheese muffins, mini banana chocolate chip muffins, white chocolate blueberry cookies, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We packed them into gallon size ziploc bags or plastic boxes and sent them to work with her hubby. Hopefully that brought a smile to the faces of all the airmen.
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One of my friends once told me I was biased against other branches of the military because the big bro is a marine. As you can see, that’s not true. I love all branches. AND I bake for all branches. Actually…I bake for anyone who wants to eat. I think we did a pretty awesome job if I do say so myself. I didn’t get a picture of the banana muffins because I was either too tired or too busy mixing away. We went on base and went to the PX. Since I’ve never been in one it was a bit awkward. There were people just staring but I just assumed they were as curious about me as I was of them. Definitely a different atmosphere then Pendleton where everyone keeps staring. They did have some really good sales. And I made away like a bandit. I got a new sweater that says Offutt Air Force Base. I think my USMC sweater will be fighting for closet space.

If I get the chance to go back I think I’ll be doing a cooking project next. Enchiladas? haha 🙂 Toodles!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Catalina Island Part 5 – Avalon Scenic Drive

Catalina Island has a ton of tours of the island. I think at least three to four of those tours are on retro looking buses without windows. Perfect for picture taking. The Avalon Scenic Drive is a tour of the west end of the island and cost $15 per person. We were comped for the tour because we couldn’t do the water activities. The tour was alright. Our driver was this old lady and she definitely put in her two cents. The scenery was pretty but her driving was kinda scary. She would tell us we could take pictures and she’d stop but she didn’t stop. The roads up those mountains are real narrow mind you. There were multiple times where I thought we wouldn’t make it to the bottom. I took some nice pictures of the bay and the water on the west end. The East End tour still stands as my favorite. I apologize if this post doesn’t make any sense. I got back from Nebraska yesterday and I got sick. I’ve been asleep all day and just woke up about 45 minutes ago.
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All the tours meet at tour plaza and line up under a sign. This is the scenic sign.
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Avalon bay
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That’s the road for cars going both ways. It was super tight especially since we were in a bus.
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Palm trees from Pasadena! 🙂
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Cool sign towards the end of the tour
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One of the many houses she showed us. We learned a lot about the island’s history and Mr Wrigley.
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Descano Beach! 🙂 It’s a private beach where you can drink booze and it’s legal.

Next up is the East End Tour. It was my favorite activity on Catalina.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Catalina Island Part 4 – Bluewater Avalon

When we first arrived on Catalina, it was super humid and gross. We went to our room to wash up and change and were starving by that time! We walked along Crescent Ave and found the Bluewater Avalon and thought the menu looked pretty good. They make stiff drinks too. What a great way to start a vacation 🙂
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I ordered the Avalon iced tea. Somehow I missed the description below the name. Iced tea just sounded so great at the time. It turns out this drink has rum, vodka, gin, AND tequila. Oh and a splash of lemon iced tea. So I was pretty tipsy all throughout dinner. My sister ordered this strawberry drink. I think it’s called a strawberry splash or something. It was super weak and kind of tasted like a cross between vodka and water. Apparently I’m the one who orders the stiff drinks every time we’re out at dinner.
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We got lots of bread and I ordered the jumbo prawn linguini. It was delish! 🙂 I LOVE shrimp. Shrimp, scallops, and lobster are my deal.
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My sister ordered the seafood paella. It came with shrimp, scallops, calms, and mussels. She said it was alright.
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This is me super intoxicated (in case you can’t tell) right after we walked out of the restaurant.
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This is Catalina at night. It’s so beautiful. Catalina really doesn’t have nightlife unless you go bar hopping. We wanted to try Luau Larry’s but there were SOOOO many people in there. El Galleon was packed too. I guess I’ll just have to try them another time. Overall, the food was okay. Nothing all that special. We got to sit by the water so that was a plus. The service is decent and we didn’t have to wait to be seated. And they make stiff drinks. Next up is the Avalon Scenic Drive Tour.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Catalina Island Part 3 – The Pavilion Hotel

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During our vacay to Catalina Island, we stayed at the Pavilion Hotel. It really depends on what’s within your budget. My sister and I saved up for this trip for months. We really wanted a nice hotel since we were on vacay and didn’t want to deal with dirty rooms and such. We got a room with two queen size beds. They’re so effing comfortable! I fell in love the first time I laid down on the bed. We got the summer package which included the room, ferry tickets, glass bottom boat tour, mini golf or movie, 1 hour kayak rental, golf cart rental, complimentary wine and cheese, and complimentary breakfast every morning. Altogether the package was about $976 including tax. We stayed there for three days and two nights. While it is real pricy, the service was excellent. The girls that work the front desk (Athena and Joy) were amazing. The housekeepers were also really sweet. When we first arrived, we were in our room changing and getting ready to explore. The housekeepers came by and gave us each a bottle of VOSS water, some ice, and some chocolate. The chocolate was delicious. They also returned the next day and did a turn down service and gave us more water, ice, and chocolate. Talk about awesome service! Since we didn’t get to do our kayak rental, they comped us for the Avalon scenic drive tour.
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This doubled as the sink area and coffee area. There was a mini coffee maker with regular blend and decaf as well as TAZO tea bags. They gave us half and half and a bunch of different flavored creamers. To the right side is the bathroom and to the left is the closet. The cabinets below the sink hold a mini fridge, microwave, and safe. There were q-tips, hand soap, shampoo, body soap, conditioner, and lotion on the counter.
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There was a plasma along with a lamp and chair next to it. Then there was a desk and chair under the tv. Pretty sweet. Somehow, because I was intoxicated the first night I watched A Walk To Remember and I wouldn’t let my sister change the channel…lol
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The most comfortable beds EVER!
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The bathroom! It was real cute and a lot bigger than I thought it’d be.
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This is the patio area near the front desk. On the right side there’s a library there. That’s where breakfast is served every morning and that’s where the wine and cheese hour is. People usually sit at the tables outside for breakfast. Their complimentary breakfast consists of bread, jams, peanut butter, nutella, hard boiled eggs, ham, salami, bagels, fruit, cereal, yogurt, granola, tea, coffee, expresso, orange juice, pomegranate juice, and apple juice.
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There are a bunch of lounge chairs to sunbath or just relax. They’re located on the first floor. Originally our room was supposed to be on the first floor of the hotel but because a lot of people couldn’t get on the ferry, they cancelled their reservations and we got a complimentary upgrade. AWESOME! 🙂 I was super bummed we didn’t get to do any of the water sports since that’s what we wanted to do there but overall it was a fun trip. I definitely think we got what we paid for. I highly recommend this hotel. The customer service is excellent. Next up, the Bluewater Avalon.
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This is me standing by the Big Olaf’s ice cream shop. I was still intoxicated and had no idea why my sister kept trying to get me to drink water. Good times!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina