Thursday, July 30, 2009

Farwell to Santa Barbara

With my work I do a lot of traveling. I should say did since I got back yesterday from my last client assignment before I move up north. It is one of my favorite clients and places to go. Doesn't hurt that I work with a good friend and we hang out and have fun after work. I only realized too late that I had not taken any pictures so here are the 3 pictures I took from my BlackBerry while we were there.

Driving down Cabrillo Blvd to the hotel. (Not pictured: the complementary wine and cheese and newspapers for reading from 5pm-7pm)

A lady making fresh tortillas at La Super Rica off of Milpas Street. The tacos are famous and were even featured on The Food Network.
Inside of the lighthouse at Rusty's Pizza. A fun pizza and beer place and you can sit outside and stare at the ocean and people watch.

View from the outside of Rusty's pizza. A pitcher of beer was only $1 more than two beers. It just made sense. (Not featured are the usual places we hang out. Those being The Sandbar and Santa Barbar Brewing Co. Go to the back of the brewing company and it is a huge bar with pool tables and tv's full of sports.)


Friday, July 17, 2009

Someone is moving...

Me silly. Why?


I have lived in Southern California my whole life and really feel that I need to live somewhere else to 1) find a new place that I love and want to live or 2) find out that I really did like living Southern California and can now appreciate it. I could move up there and hate it, but at least I would know that instead of just wondering “What if?” (I don’t think I will hate it up there, FYI). The point is I am taking a risk and willing to see either way.

I am an accountant (gasp!). Yes, I hear all the time, “But you are so friendly” “you are so fun to be around” “you don’t look like an accountant” but folks, it is true. I am a nerdy numbers girl. I got into accounting because I wanted to make a decent living and also because I wanted to work for a professional football team. Yes, you heard me correctly. I even called and talked with a team a year ago and about 4 months ago. Although they are not hiring in the position I want I did get some ideas as to what steps I still need to take in order to make me the best person for the job. At my current job I was not getting the experience I needed and so I had to make the difficult decision to leave a secure job and take a leap of faith. Part of me moving up to Northern California is to have the time I need to study and pass the CPA (something I haven’t even started studying for). Also, it is recommended that I know non-profit accounting, which I have never dealt with so I am going to take a class and try to volunteer to get some experience and knowledge under my belt.

I have great friends up there that are encouraging and will be a positive influence on the future me. I feel that I have a lot of growing and changing to do and want to have good people around me helping to guide me in the right direction. I am moving in with a good friend who has been a shoulder to lean on and a sidekick on my crazy adventures.

I am also taking time to enjoy life. Going to Paris really taught me a hard lesson. I always wanted a job that afforded me time to go to spinning classes after work, be able to go to a book club on Wednesday evenings, take a fun class at the local junior college. Well with my job that was not possible due to the amount of hours and out of town clients I had. So along with my studying I am going to be taking a gardening class and starting my very first vegetable garden. I have been reading tons of blogs and reading lots of books about it am so excited to start. If you are interested some of my favorite gardening blogs are Skippy's Vegetable Garden, Adventures in my Urban Garden, The Cheap Vegetable Gardener, and Gardening Without Skills.

So needless to say I am so excited for this new change in my life. As soon as I made the decision I had such peace about it and felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. As for my family, they will be a quick plane ride away or a road trip south. They have been amazingly supportive and are so excited to see me making these great decisions in my life. As I have always said, “You will know when you know” and I can say I do.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Don't be jealous of my bread


So ever since I got back from Paris I have made fresh bread everyday. Now while it is not (yet) up to par with the French baguettes it is still quite tasty. I have been using the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoë Francois. I highly suggest buying the book. I also made brioche for my office and am glad I invested in a brioche pan. Fresh bread...just another thing in the world of Plain Jane.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who thought I would ever want to garden?

(image source: www.happynews.com)

Let me explain. I grew up with a mother who as a punishment would make my sisters and I go out into the garden, in 100 degree weather mind you, and weed. Not just weed, but weed in a large backyard that was NEVER taken care of and had dirt as hard as rocks. I would get dirty, sweaty, foxtails in my shoes, and come back with a sore back. Punishment was a nice way of saying what we did. So needless to say whenever I think of gardening I think "count me out!" Why would I purposefully choose to punish myself as an adult? Well parents do what they think is best which is not always right. My eldest sister has grown to actually love gardening and has become a certified Master Gardener. My middle sister and I have still held on to that self-evident truth that the garden is bad...well, that is until recently. I really enjoy eating healthily because I feel it tastes better and it makes me feel better. I took a little trip up to San Lusi Obispo with one of my sisters where we walked around and ate at people's houses where their salads were straight from the garden. WHAT?! I had a salad with broccoli in it and actually liked it! (Broccoli was the one vegetable I hated.) The more research I did and the more I thought about it I realized that I would love to have a vegetable/fruit/herb/flower garden of my own. It takes a lot of work and you can't just take off time when you want because your plants are depending on you, but the reward outweighs the bad and I think it is worth it to me.

Not only would I be making a healthier choice for my diet in reducing the amount of chemicals I take in from my food, but I would also be adding to a better ozone layer as I would be harvesting plants that put oxygen back into the air and try to cut down on the growing CO2 in our ozone which is speeding up global warming. Just think, if everyone out there had their own garden of even herb plants in their home how much better our air quality would be and how we would actually be slowing down global warming?