28
March
2015
0

Life

Ahhhh the backyard looks so good!
I’ve been a little slow-moving this week due to coming down with hay fever. I woke up on the first day of Spring with itchy/watery eyes, runny nose, and lots of sneezing. Aside from that, I am pleased to annouce that the backyard is finally done! I’ll have a full reveal post on Monday!

I also tried my very first week of Blue Apron! For $59.95/week you get all the fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep to create three delicious meals enough to serve two people. It’s great for someone like me who a lot of times gets home from work too tired to think about what to make for dinner and will resort to eating out. This service allows us both to get in the kitchen and make a meal without really having to think about it. It’s affordable, easy, and we get to try something new each week.

Here are the yummy meals I made this week:
Cooked my first #blueapron meal tonight: Corned Beef-Spiced Flank Steaks with Braised Cabbage & Buttered Red Potatoes. Super yummy! Tonight's #blueapron meal: Turkey Chili with Avocado & Cheddar Cheese. I don't like avocado, and I forgot to put the cheddar cheese in the fridge; instead I used a shredded jack mix. My final #blueapron meal this week: Tom Yum-Style Shrimp & Noodles with Gai Lan & Thai Basil. Loving this service! I get my second delivery tomorrow!

  • Corned Beef-Spiced Flank Steaks with Braised Cabbage & Buttered Red Potatoes – I’ve never cooked cabbage before, so this was a yummy new experience. I had to be careful about not overcooking the flank steaks too much, but they turned out great. For my first meal on this plan it was really easy tasted great!
  • Turkey Chili with Avocado & Cheddar Cheese – We put the whole jalapeño in, and boy it was SPICY! Had to add a few spoonfuls of sour cream to cool it off. I accidentally forgot to put the cheddar cheese in the fridge when the delivery arrived, so my cheese went bad; instead I used a shredded jack mix I had on hand in the fridge. I don’t like avocado, so I didn’t have any on mine but my sister and Joshua put it on theirs. It was really yummy, just next time we won’t put in as much jalapeño.
  • Tom Yum-Style Shrimp & Noodles with Gai Lan & Thai Basil – I’ve never made a dish like this before, especially with so many ingredients I’ve never heard of, but now after making with the help of this service I’m confident I could make it again with a trip to my local international market. It had just the right kick to it, and it make three heaping servings.

Today my next delivery shows up, so I’m looking forward to planning out my meals this week!

Work

CGA
I launched a site this week! I’ve been managing the redesign of CGA for quite some time now, and Thursday evening the site FINALLY went live! I’m so pleased with how it turned out!

Aside from the launch, I’ve began working on the design for their annual conference site. Every year they have a different theme, so we have to design a splash page and site design. I should have the splash page up in a week or two followed by the full design in May.

Blog

I made a lot of progress this week! I began importing over posts from here to The Lovely Geek and organizing them as well as installing the Bones theme, setting up the rest of my pages, and configuring my menu. Since I’ve been working on designs at work it has put me in design mode for this site, so I’m excited to move into that phase.

22
March
2015
1

Life

Last Friday my mom and I took a one night trip to Santa Cruz. We got to see my sister perform in her choir concert at UCSC, and after the concert we went out for dinner with her and her friend. We stayed overnight at the Dream Inn, a hotel right by the beach. It was a nice little one-night getaway!

Hello, Santa Cruz.

Sunday night/Monday morning Joshua and I woke up around 3:30am to what turned out to be gun shots. Joshua went outside to investigate and by the time I came out the house up the street caught on fire. This video footage was taken from our driveway.

Later on we found out there was a domestic dispute that turned into a shoot-out and house fire. It was definitely a bit scary to have this kind of stuff happening in our neighborhood, that’s for sure!

Despite Monday’s crazy shenanigans, we didn’t let that set the tone for the week. On Tuesday I got to take Joshua and his parents to see Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles. It was awesome! We had a lot of fun – it felt like being at a Beatles concert!

Excited to be here with @joshua300td and his parents! #TheBeatles #Fab4 #LetItBe #RainTribute #AbbeyRoad

Work

We finally heard back from Property Management on our plans for painting and removing the carpet from the office. The good news is our paint colors were approved, so we can start painting right away! The bad news is we can’t tear out the carpet ourselves. Anything with the floor has to be done by their vendor, not ours, which means it will be pricey.

Blog

I began to work on content for The Lovely Geek, but that’s about it. My goal for this week is to get all my content in, minus the blog posts I will exporting out from here.

17
March
2015
1

The backyard is looking awesome thanks to my father and brother in-law. We’re so close to being done! Here’s what’s been happening so far:

Clean and Clear

They yanked everything out, weed eated, mowed, and sprayed roundup to give it a good base to start.

Backyard - Day 1

Backyard - Day 1

Backyard - Day 1

Backyard - Day 1

Laying the Amendment

They brought in soil amendment and let that sit for a couple days.

New Soil in the Backyard

New Soil in the Backyard

New Soil in the Backyard

Tilling the Soil

Soil was tilled and prepped for irrigation.

Tilled Soil

And here’s a pic of the area where the planter boxes used to be:

Tilled Soil

Leveled and Plant-Ready

After the soil was tilled, the irrigation was installed and then the dirt was leveled out. You’d never know we have a fully functional sprinkler system underneath all that dirt!

Leveled and Plant-Ready

Leveled and Plant-Ready

Plants and Edging

We picked out our plants which included some herbs for a small herb garden, Pink Lady Indian Hawthorn, Loropetlum Chinense Fire Dance, Pink Rockrose, and Agapanthus Queen Anne Blue Lily of the Nile (both backyard and front). All of the plants we chose were considered ‘water wise’ which is awesome given the drought shenanigans we’re experiencing in California.

Picking Out Our Plants

Putting in the Plants and Edging

Putting in the Plants and Edging

I’m especially excited for my herb garden. I’ll have rosemary, cilantro, parsely, and mint leaves to start. Once I get better at keeping plants alive and expand my culinary skills I might consider adding more.

Putting in the Plants and Edging

14
March
2015
1

Life

Lots of progress happened on the backyard this week! Everything got pulled out, the dirt got tilled and now we have irrigation! Here’s a sneak peek:

New Soil in the Backyard

In other news, I’ve decided to give Blue Apron a try since I’ve been seeing posts about it all over the blogosphere. This particular post on The Nesting Place was what sold me because I could totally relate.

In case you’re wondering, Blue Apron is a service that sends all the ingredients for healthy, fresh meals portioned and ready to go; all you have to do is cook and eat! I’m hoping that this will help me enjoy cooking more since it does the hard part for me and gets me to try something new. I get my first delivery on Saturday – I’m excited!

Work

Couple of tight deadlines had me working a few late nights at the office this week. We presented our research findings for one our projects on Wednesday, and although we missed the mark on a couple of things we gained some great insight about the project. I’m really happy with the changes our process is going through because I feel it is going to up the quality of our work a ton.

Blog

Progress this week on The Lovely Geek hasn’t changed much since last week. All I’ve managed to do is login to update plugins. I really need to get back to working on that if I want to launch in May.

As for this current blog, I’m trying not to let the distraction of a new blog in the works take away from this one. Doing these weekly reviews have definitely helped so I don’t become too quiet.

12
March
2015
0

In an effort to pretty up some of my white storage containers in my office, I came up with a quick and easy solution that involved using some of my barely-used supplies from my art school days.

DIY Striped Box

Supplies needed:

  • File box (mine is from Target)
  • Artist tape
  • Small flathead
  • Xacto knife

Black & White Striped File Box

1. Remove handles with a small flathead.

Black & White Striped File Box

2. Start taping. To make the stripes even, I used the width of the tape as my guide. Use the Xacto knife to cut out the tape around the handles.

Black & White Striped File Box

3. Finish taping and put the handles back on. Fast, fun, and easy!

Black & White Striped File Box