Disneyland Getaway

I love Disneyland, the thrills of the rides, the delicious food, the excitement of discovering something new, watching the parades and the fireworks show! 
  
Jabi and I were in LA over the weekend for his cousin’s wedding and since we could not resist we added a couple of days onto our trip to go to Disneyland! We may be nearing 30, we may not have small children yet, but it doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy being big kids!



When we visit Disneyland we try to eat at the park as much as we can. I feel like some of the surrounding chain restaurants are just not good. Sorry to IHOP and Denny’s – but never again! I don’t know what it is, but the water is gross and the food just tastes so bad! It’s surprising because we figure they would want to attract Disneyland clients, but maybe they feel like there are plenty of people looking to save by eating outside the park that they will eat there regardless of the quality of food. Ugh, I always feel sick afterwards! Since then on, Jabi and I just eat at the park. The food can be pricey but usually it’s always delicious and worth it!

This most recent trip we had breakfast at the Carnation Café located on Main Street! The food was so good! I had a good old fashion breakfast of eggs, sausage, potatoes and a biscuit. Jabi ordered the apple granola pancakes! It tasted AMAZING, like warm apple pie!


Some never fails treats we must indulge in are the pineapple dole whip which you can find outside the Tiki Room in Adventure Land and the Ice cream sundaes at the Ghirardelli shoppe in California Adventure! We usually share, so we don't feel guilty of gluttony :/


We meant to have lunch at the New Orleans Café but they were renovating and so we were left making are way back to the Carnation Café for lunch too! Jabi tried the Green Chile Cheeseburger (It had a green chile and a fried egg on it) and I went with the old-fashioned cheeseburger. He said it was good but I didn’t try it. I loved the seasoning on the fries and let me not forget the side made famous by Snookie...the fried pickles!




We also went to Goofy’s Kitchen for breakfast the day after. It’s a buffet breakfast, all you can eat of course, $39 per adult which includes tax and tip. Totally worth it! Let me tell you right now…those egg benedicts are amazeballs! I had three! They have really good breakfast and brunch dishes, along with an omelet bar, cereal bar, salad bar and dessert bar! Goofy’s Kitchen breakfast is great it you have children and you want to get some photo opportunities with some of the Disney characters. The characters on duty that morning make their way around all the tables and you get to interact with them for a few minutes. Sorry I have no pictures of my food, I was too busy eating.

I never leave home without a few staple treats! The Minnie Mouse chocolate chip cookies are thee best! Especially if you like to guiltily eat raw cookie dough (I know it’s bad for you, but I don’t care!), these cookies taste very similar to raw cookie dough but it’s cooked so you don’t have to worry about any traces of E.Coli. Ha! Another treat I never leave without are a couple bags of popcorn, more specifically the cheddar popcorn and chocolate caramel popcorn! Hello! 




Recipe: Tuna Casserole


Every woman and man should know how to make one good casserole dish that they know their family will enjoy for time to come!

I want to share a recipe for a tuna casserole dish I grew up eating. My mom didn’t make it often but when she did, it was sooo good! Now that I’m out of my parents’ house and I have to rely on my own devices for feeding myself (not completely true, Jabi cooks too) I crave my moms’ cooking more than I ever expected to. In particular, I crave this dish, because a) I love pasta and b) I love cheese. He he he! Not everyone is a fan of tuna. For example, my brother-in-law, he hates tuna! So my sister substitutes canned tuna for canned chicken! I tasted it and it worked just as good.

I introduced this dish to Jabi years ago when we were still dating and thankfully he really enjoyed it. Now when I get around to making it, he gobbles it up, and especially enjoys it the next day for leftovers. He loves to add parmesan cheese at the end. Which is optional for those who want to give that a go.


You will need the following Ingredients:
1 lb. Rigatoni Pasta 

6 oz. of spinach fettuccine (half of a 12 oz. bag) 

4 cans Tuna (packed in water or oil doesn’t matter) 

2 1/2 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese 

3 c. Shredded Pepper Jack cheese 

7 hardboiled eggs, sliced 

½ cup to ¾ cup Mayonnaise, low fat or regular (the quantity depends on how much you like) 

Salt to add to boiling water for cooking pasta 



Instructions: 

1) Bring large pot of water to rolling boil add a dash of salt to flavor the pasta. Add rigatoni pasta and cook to al dente, different brands of pasta have different cook times. The brand of spinach fettuccine that I use cooks quickly (about 3min) so once the rigatoni has 3 min left on the clock I add the spinach fettuccini to the same pot.

2) In a medium saucepan bring separate water to a boil and boil eggs for about 12minutes. 


3) In the meantime, start shredding all the cheese. Also, open and drain the tuna (I use a mesh strainer and a fork to press as much water as I can out). Once you have drained your tuna, place into a bowl and mix in the mayonnaise. (My mom used to just mix the mayo in at the end with all the other ingredients, but I prefer to mix the mayo with the tuna before adding it to the whole dish. This way there isn’t dry tuna bits in the casserole).

4) Once the pasta and eggs are done, drain all the liquid, don’t run the pasta under cold water to cool – I find this removes some of the salt from the boiling process. Just transfer pasta into a large baking dish. Leave it there and start peeling the shells from the eggs. Then slice your eggs.


5) Returning to the pasta, add the tuna-mayo mix, eggs, all the cheese (leave just a little to sprinkle at the top before placing into the oven) and mix with your hands. I find using my hands is the easiest way to make sure its mixed good, make sure your hands are clean, of course, and take off all your rings. 
 


6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 min, or until the cheese is melted and some of the pasta on the top has crisped up! Enjoy!



Products I Love: Longchamp Le Pliage



Okay, okay! Let me just admit now that in the beginning when I saw a couple of my friends with this bag, I looked at the bag with disapproval and said, "Why did you spend so much money on a nylon bag?!” They tried to defend their bag, clutching it like it was a poor defenseless kitten. 

Time went by and I was on the market for a new bag. I needed to find a bag that was multifunctional. It had to be larger in size without being too heavy, something that I could use when traveling, it could possibly double-up as a beach bag, and still serve as a day to day bag.


Surprise, surprise, the bag that kept popping up in my search was the Longchamp Le Pliage large tote bag. (I purchased the bag from Nordstrom at the retail price of $145.00)


After further review, it came to my knowledge that the bag was made out of quality nylon canvas and was incredibly sturdy and light! It was so roomy and one of the best bags to use when traveling for sure. It ended up serving every need that I wanted it for. It made for a great carry-on bag when flying, I could use it at the beach and not worry about sand clean up and if it got wet it dried incredibly fast, it’s a great bag that can fold and I can pack as an extra bag without having to forfeit precious luggage space. I love to use the bag when shopping because I can always tuck purchases into the bag and still have room to spare.

A nice feature that the bag has is the cowhide trim that gives it a more luxurious feel. The way the leather is sewn inward (I don’t think I’m describing that correctly but reference the picture -->) for the shoulder straps, it helps to prevent the straps from fraying. Which I absolutely love! You don't even want to know how many times shoulder straps from other brand bags have frayed for me in the past!

The ONLY complaint I have about this bag is that it only has one small slip-in pocket on the inside, big enough for a cellphone. When I do use this bag as an everyday bag I find that my belongings get lost inside the bag. It’s an easy fix, if I just purchase a bag organizer to slip into the bag, but that only means I have to buy something additional for the bag.

All in all, the bag is great! I, however, did have to suck it up when I confronted my friends that I teased about owning the bag in the first place. They were more than satisfied to see me admit how wrong I was about the bag but I couldn’t help but laugh at their “Ah ha!” faces when they saw me holding the bag.          

*This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. 



Random Truth Moments


This is a conversation I was having with my girl pal yesterday. My response (in the blue background) surprised me in a funny way and I couldn't help but share.



Marriage and Money

I’d like to share how Jabi and I handle our finances now that we’re married.  I’m not a financial expert in any way, but so far, this works for us. If anything was to change in the future then of course we would re-evaluate our plan.
 
Currently Jabi and I both work full time jobs and we each make comparable salaries.


We have ‘our’ money and then we have ‘our own’ money.
  
We have our joint checking and savings account and then we have our own personal accounts.

Anything that is related to the house we share equally, for instance the mortgage, utility bills, groceries, toiletries, household goods (i.e., light bulbs, cleaning products, etc.) We calculate the approximate monthly charges and divide that between us. So each pay period, a designated portion of our pay check is directly deposited into our joint checking account, and the remaining balance gets deposited into our own personal checking accounts.

We use our joint savings account for very specific things/goals; it’s saving for a purpose! Most recently we used the joint savings account to save for wedding expenses. Now that the wedding is over, we are considering using it as a savings for our next vacation or for the kitchen remodel that we’ve been considering. The money we use to build the savings account comes from our own money. If there is no deadline, the amount we deposit or when we deposit it (bi-weekly or monthly) is up to the individual. If there is a deadline, then we need to establish the cost and the money needed from each to accomplish the goal.

With our own money we are responsible for our own expenses like our cell-phone bill, personal credit cards, oil-changes to our own vehicles, or clothes. Basically, we use our own money for whatever we want without the guilt of taking away from the others’ hard earned cash. There are obvious things, that as a woman I enjoy like pedicures and salon haircuts, but I would feel wrong spending my husbands money for my personal luxuries.

We don't combine all our money because it would feel weird if I had to ask “permission” to buy something or to have to explain why I bought something and vice versa. I’m his wife not his mother, he doesn’t have to ask me permission to use money. Don’t get me wrong, for huge purchases we would consult each other but I don’t feel it right that, as adults, we have to ask permission to use money that we've earned. C’mon now!

I don’t want you want to get the impression that we're strict with the way we handle money. It just makes sense for a couple who have similar salaries to share equally in the expenses of the home. If one of us is ever in need then we would help. For example, out of habit, Jabi was always a saver and I was always a bit more of a spender (nothing crazy!) but it meant that Jabi always had more money than I did. Months prior to the wedding I found my credit card balance was steadily climbing. I was paying wedding expenses in cash and everything else I needed, that normally I would have paid with my ‘own money,’ I was using my credit card. Since last December I have been on recovery mode and because Jabi sees how ‘tight’ I am with money lately he has offered to help me pay down my credit card. At first, I felt guilty accepting his help because it wasn’t like he was the one charging things to the card but he insists on helping. If it was the other way around and he needed help getting back on track, I would do the same.    

Now, if things were different and one person made a considerable amount more than the other, then I would expect that person would contribute slightly more based on an equal percentage. For example, if his pay check is $1700 and mine is $1200, if we each contribute 40% then his contribution is more but still fair based on each respective income.

Then there is the question of what if only one of us worked? Well, that is a whole other story and I will have to save that for a later time!


One pill out, one pill in.


Once I mentioned to my Obstetrician that I was trying to have a baby, she made sure to remind me to take my folic acid.

Folic acid: it helps pre and during pregnancy. I’m not trying to get caught up in the specifics because it can be a mouthful.

My older sister recommended I take Trader Joes’ brand for prenatal pills. She felt they were easier on the stomach for those who are more sensitive. It contains all the folic acid I need in a trusty daily pill.

I have been taking them (not religiously everyday, I know, I need to though) and the only complaint I have is how big they are! Other than that I have noticed my skin has maintained minimal breakouts, especially since the birth control pill helped in that department, so this pill is a great alternative. Also, my hair has grown faster than normal, which I’m happy about because when I was planning my wedding – I lost so much hair!


Ask and I shall tell


It’s not a secret, Jabi and I are trying to conceive.

Typically after marriage the most asked question is, “When are you having kids?”

Honestly, I’m not going to lie about it. We want children, especially after being a couple for ten years and seeing our friends and family have children. The human desire of having our own children has grown in our hearts.

So when people ask, my answer is “We aren’t doing anything to prevent it. No pressure, when it happens it happens. It’s all up to God.”

We were married October 19th and at the end of that month, I had finished my last cycle of birth control pills. To date I have been off birth control for about four months.

I feel like I have gone through my withdrawal of birth control having felt, super irritable, emotional, etc. I have been keeping track of my period with a period tracker app, which predicts ovulation, my fertile days, and when my next cycle should begin. Surprisingly, it pretty accurate. Some women can feel when they ovulate, I definitely can, especially now that I’m not on the pill, I don’t have the effects of the pill masking any cramps. Anyways, so the tracker is a good aid to have to keep me on course.

It’s funny, because when I start to hear myself talking about period trackers and ovulation, I feel like I’m putting effort into “trying to have a baby.” Then I feel worried that it will hurt my chances of conceiving because I’m thinking about it too much. Ugh, then I just feel silly.

Either way, at the moment, as far as I know, I’m not pregnant, yet.