Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Group Recipe Project: Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa

Hola chicas! (if there is a chico out there hello to you too!) It's time for a new adventure!

But first...
Recap of last week's lovely recipe, the Apple Dumplings:
I made a few adjustments, I bought premade dough (gasp!) because I've been a sewing diva lately & needed to save time. I bought the "even flakier" dough from Whole Foods & it did not disappoint! I made them mini because, well, it's me. I also used walnuts instead of almonds. Chris had 5!! The dab of homemade whipped cream was the PERFECT touch!
We loved them.
{2 out of 2 Happy Spikers}

I discovered this lovely recipe that I've chosen for our next group recipe!

Do you know why Quinoa is so fabulous for you? It's yummy and super duper healthy. See here for some lovely Quinoa facts.

Let's give ourselves 2 weeks for this one, hopefully you be able to try it!
Good luck! I hope it's yummy!

Also, I just tried this recipe tonight that I L.O.V.E.D.
Compliments of my girl Barefoot Contessa.
Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

Oh, and sad day for Mari. The buyer who bid on my lovely pillows backed out!
So, back on the market are these pretty little pillows. BRAND NEW.
18x18- set of 3. I paid $70 for them, but I'll sell them for the best offer.
Email your offers to:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Christopher turned 28!
He is adorably sexy with the gray hairs popping up on his head and his cute lawyer outfits.
(skinny ties & Ted Baker slacks, say what?!)
I think he is so very handsome.

This boy celebrated his big day at the..... office! (insert sad "aww" here) He was so swamped he couldn't even take a lunch break :( He has already billed 195hrs this month (and has two days left). For those of you who aren't familiar with how lawyers bill their hours, it's not actually how many hours he is in the office, it's only the time he spent on the projects/assignments/cases--so he was in the office for MUCH more than 195hrs... :(
After he got off work we went to dinner in LA & saw a late movie--low key & relaxed, just how he wanted it to be. My big plans of having a swanky dinner in Beverly Hills had to be canceled because he got off work too late. It's hard to spoil someone when they can't ever plan anything. He is such a hard worker, I just hope he enjoyed his day.

His family came down on Saturday, along with our good friends Trevor & Shelby to celebrate with us! Lindsay's boo, Curtis, had a birthday this week too! So we also celebrated his. Here are some pics from that night. Our waiter fed Chris his dessert, it was awkward & therefore hilarious. We always love having family over, and miss living close to them!
Chris has had quite a BIG year! He graduated Law School, passed the California Bar Exam, started a new job, moved to a new city, lost 30 lbs, and has been an amazing husband throughout it all. He is excelling quickly at his firm, learning a lot and becoming quite the working professional :) He is still his quirky self, still the best breakfast cook in the house, and takes the world's longest showers. He is doing his best to juggle everything he has going on, and I think he is doing a great job! He may be an old man now, but I still think he is exciting & fun as ever!
And despite his lack of water conservation, I am proud to call him mine!

Happy Birthday Big Boy!
I love you!

*still a boy at heart, even if you are OLD now!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Brave Sister

My older sister Lauren is a mother to 3 beautiful & bright kids.
She is a supportive wife. She is an athlete. She is a spiritual woman.
She is a fun & understanding sibling. She is unique.
She is amazing.
I love her so.

Recently this 29yr old has been going through some really rough times. I think about her a lot, and my heart breaks for her. I know she is strong. I know she will overcome & tackle yet another mountain. But she is still my sister, so I still worry about her.

Lauren was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (aka RA). An auto-immune disease that is quite similar to Fibromyalgia. (sorry if Im spelling these wrong). She just posted on her blog about it (for those of you who read her blog I'm sure she would love to hear from you! Leave her a comment!)--but I am including part of her post below (it's really long) because I think she can explain her story better. I just wanted to share it with the people I love- I like to know what my family/friends are going through--and this is what my sister is going through...

Dec 18th- the day after my 29th birthday I was at the gym when my wrist started hurting really bad. I am some what of an over achiever at the gym- so I just assumed I had pushed myself too hard during some of my lifts or whatever. So I rested my wrist, for a week. And it just got worse, like a LOT worse. Well, now its the morning of Christmas Eve, and my sweet husband calls me, to tell me, he has made a few calls & got me in to an orthopedic surgeon that DAY! He didn't want to wait one more minute- I was bit embarrassed but agreed to go. To be honest I was a little bugged that Patrick was so worried about me. You see, I always joke that Patrick treats me like I am made of glass. He is always SO concerned about me when I am sick or hurting. It can even come off as extreme at times, like when I am pregnant!! But I guess truthfully I am grateful he takes such good care of me, because heaven knows, I wouldn't do it for myself! I always think its NEVER a big deal (even when it is) if it has to do with myself. Probably because I don't want to be a wimp.

Anyway, that doctors appointment was the first of many. We did x-rays and my medical history, and the doctor noticed symptoms consistent with something called Rheumatoid Arthritis. That prompted MRI's, blood tests, and more Xrays. I came back positive for Rheumatoid Factor- a major indicator that I did indeed have RA. I was referred to a Rheumatologist. Then started even more tests. Blood tests, xrays, sonograms, MRI's, and detailed physical examinations of my joints. Finally in March I was diagnosed with RA. And I have begun the process of finding treatments that might work for me.

Now, I have just told the medical side of the story- unfortunately there is more. And I feel like I am finally just going to tell it all in one place! After my Christmas eve appointment to which I heard that I might have RA. I didn't believe the doctor. AT ALL. Arthritis?? me? I am a healthy 29 year old! It just didn't fit in my brain. And i had never heard of rheumatoid arthritis- so I dismissed it, knowing nothing else about it. But weird things started happening really soon after.

The pain in my wrist started "spreading" to my other wrist. And it increased, for no reason at all. I started hurting in my hands, and in my fingers. in like EVERY bone in my wrist, hand, and all of my fingers on both sides. And the pain would throb up into my forearms too. It was miserable! I started not being able to use my hands at all. To get myself dressed, to hold my baby, to pull the blankets up and over me at night, not even to hold a simple paper back book! It was so painful!
We went back to the doc, and he did more tests, and gave me medicine. So we waited for results, and tried the medicine-and it didn't work AT ALL. It was very discouraging. And the pain increased! and spread some more. Now my elbows hurt, and my shoulders, and my lower back and my hips! It was so weird!!! I started not being able to move in the mornings. I was so stiff, and mostly so so SORE. Fairly soon the pain was in my feet and ankles. Again it felt like it was in EVERY BONE in my foot, and toes, and ankles. Both sides. It felt almost like my wrists, hands and fingers- now it was just in my feet, toes, and ankles as well!! I stopped being able to walk smoothly, and put weight on my feet at all. And then my spine started.... and it started to hurt between EVERY joint all the way from the base of my skull down through my lower spine. I couldn't move.

Up until then I had kept a fairly good "we are going to figure this out" attitude, but about then I cracked. I am ashamed to say it- but I did. I just started crying so hard. It had been about 6 weeks since that day at the gym! ONLY 6 WEEKS!!! I had gone from running, lifting, and just plain living my life to not being able to move, use my hands, walk, or even get myself dressed alone in only 6 weeks. I was in CONSTANT pain....The pain was so intense. And I was exhausted. I mean, I have been tired before but this was like serious FATIGUE!

I lost my appetite and I had tried different medicines, none had worked, one even caused an allergic reaction as if I NEEDED any more stress at that point. :( I wasn't sleeping well because of the pain. And I wasn't getting out of bed much all day because of the pain. It was taking over everything. I was feeling so hollow- like all of my fire and spunk had gone right out the window, not that I wanted to give up, more like that I had no more fight left in me to stay strong. :(
We still didn't have any answers. From what I knew of RA, it didn't typically come on this fast, and in everything I had read, it didn't seem to be SO wide spread. I was wrong. Apparently in some cases it can be both of those things. These cases sometimes prove to be more severe/aggressive RA than others. I am hoping I am one of the exceptions...

The numbness and tingling in my legs, feet, and in my wrists and hands started in late Feb. and is still a problem. I have lots of times when I am not only dealing with pain, but loss of feeling too. It kind of feels like you have smacked your funny bone as hard as you can, and now have some one step on it while it hurts with all of their weight! It adds a whole different sensation to the pain.
I am still having problems with the pain. It is still in my entire body- most intense in my wrists, hands and fingers- also in my ankles, feet, and toes- and in my spine. The numbness is increasing too. I have been told I can do no physical activity, except in a pool. I am to stay off my feet as much as I can at home. Its kind of slow going but I am holding out hope that it will get better soon.

I am doing my best to stay positive. Some days I do OK. Others I need to work at it a little better. Truth be told- I am starting to forget what it feels like to not hurt all the time. How sad is that?

So sad right? :( She has been trying to be a mama to those 3 kids and do the best she can to be there for Patrick during all of this. I don't know how she does it. I know a few people struggling with similar things, and after reading this long list of symptoms and how exhausting it can be I feel so helpless! I want to fix people! I want to help them in some way! But I guess all (we) I can do is be there and help emotionally-keep them smiling.

I love you L0. Hang in there sis.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Group Recipe Project

I think it would be fantastic and so much fun if someone, anyone {of you} would join me in the occasional recipe endeavor.

Ahem, in other words...

I post a recipe that I've never tried {and that you've never tried} and set a date that we must make it by {within that week}--and everyone report back via comment on their experience!

I realize I could be utterly alone on this endeavor...and that's alright. Some of the recipes may not be your style, but you should definitely still try them. What harm can it do? Give you a little experience? Help you try something new? Calories? Meh-it's not like you'll be making these things daily, just occasionally. :)

Are you with or without me?

I sure hope you're with {even if it's silently, however I would love for it not to be--I fear I may need a support group on this one!}

Are you afraid? It's okay, I am a little afraid too.
Are you excited? I AM!

Okay so without further ado, I present our 1st recipe...

Apple Dumplings
I chose these because, well, they looked delicious. I see them for dessert this summer out on my patio or maybe for a warm Saturday morning breakfast. Mmmm. I hope they're as good as they look!
For the complete recipe & photos, see this fabulous site:
design sponge

Let's set the due date or 'Make By Date' for next Monday March 29th!

I'd like to be a home owner..& Pillow covers for Sale

Renting is difficult on the "creative" side--you can't rip out, re-do, or upgrade. As I see that we have no $ for a down payment and that we will be renting for eternity I can only dream of what I'd do to a home if I had one.

In my dreams....

On that note, I just purchased 3 of these pillows in 18x18--they don't match my walls, they are a deep gold color--AND SO CUTE! But I cannot use them, for my walls are pale yellow.
Does anyone want to purchase them from me? I haven't even used them, they are BRAND NEW!
I bought them for $70--
I will sell them for the BEST OFFER. Send me your bids by comment or email: I'd love to sell them so I can use that $ towards pillows that I can actually use, that...ya know, match my house :)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

You deserve a shout..

Marvelous March Birthdays!
(I didn't forget! hooray!)

Going in birth date order...

Camilla Kay--March 2nd
Cami & I have been friends since we were 12yrs old! She just turned 24! Her sis & my bro got hitched & we met--a friendship formed & many visits back 'n forth from her house in Seattle to mine in UT, a trip to hawaii, letters & emails, being aunties together and being college roomies...HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAMI!

Courtneylicious--March 5th
(recently pronounced prego!) is my sister in law (aka SIL...way easier to write) & just turned 24 also! I met Court before I even met Chris! We instantly bonded on our love for shopping, fashion, and all things creative. Court is generous with her talents, time, and whatever else she can give. She is always making me laugh with her texts & emails! Chris & I both feel very lucky to have her in our lives. Happy Birthday Court~ we love you!

Justin--March 16th
My sister Crystal's oldest son turned 7! He has a tender heart, constantly grinning & laughing, always shares & plays well, talks sweetly & gives lots of loves--but he is also a rambunctious little boy, a comedian, and a great brother. WE LOVE YOU JUSTIN!

Kaylee--March 16th
Little Miss Kaylee is such a doll! She is my brother Josh's daughter. We don't get to see her nearly enough! She just turned 5 & is so smart! She loves to get her hair done & always looks absolutely adorable. She is sure to be a heart breaker with that brain & beauty combo! WE LOVE YOU KAYLEE!

MAMA CARVER--March 18th
My fantastic mother turned 57 today! She is by far the most incredible woman I know! She is so genuine and so humble. She would give everything she had to anyone if they needed it. A spiritual giant, a domestic goddess (sews like a dream, cooks, and can clean anything)--she is always positive & happy. I love laughing with her & I love our friendship. I'm also lucky she is such a fan of my husband, she really admires him and that means the world to me. She is a foxy mama with a whole bunch of people who love & admire her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOTHER DEAREST!

Racheal--March 18th
I can't ever forget Racheals bday because it always fell on my moms! She & I have gone from being really close friends (sleepovers every weekend during grade school) to barely seeing each other...but we've managed to stay friends throughout the years--and I am SO happy about that! I admire Rach so much, she is BRILLIANT (it's sort of gross how smart she is actually..) and she is talented. Happy 24th Rach!*I didn't have pics of her so I stole these off FB--she always has the most awesome pics!

And of COURSE I couldn't forget THIS guy...but his bday hasn't come quite yet...

Chris is coming up on the big 28yrs!!!!! He is getting better looking, smarter, and more fun by the minute. I can honestly say each day I love him more than I did the day before. I am constantly raving about him...and I'm sure I will on his bday so I'll just leave it until then!

If I forgot you that means I don't have your bday in my calendar so EMAIL ME your bday so I can:
a) apologize for missing it - b)not miss it again


Keeping Busy

Although I'm only mobile 50% of the day, I have been doing my best to stay busy (and not go crazy). I have been sewing a lot. My friends up in UT are so nice, they modeled the things I've been sewing for me last weekend (when it was FREEZING out). I am so lucky to have such sweet & generous friends. You can see more of the shoot HERE and I started selling a few of them HERE. I am mostly trying to get ready for the Beehive Bazaar the first weekend in May. I don't want to rush myself too much so I am trying to start sewing now so I am ready & not stressed out two weeks before.
Here is a group shot of my friends from left to right:

Jessica, Britney, Lauren, & Taylor
I am really lucky they are not only nice, but beautiful :) A few of them have been so "worried" about the photos---pah-lease! They are GORGEOUS. Crazy girls.I've also sewn a bunch of headbands, some really cute maternity clothes for Courtney, and am learning how to make patterns! I'm happy to be keeping busy but think I may be pushing myself too fast/hard. My feet kept me up all night last night (and in turn kept my poor hardworking husband up as well). I haven't had a bad night like that since week was awful. I have to remind myself that even though I can walk & drive a little now--I shouldn't be doing it a lot. Boo! Anyway Chris is working like a crazy man, he got up early for work & won't be home until at least 10pm tonight, same as yesterday. He then informed me he will "most likely have to work all weekend". I am SO grateful he has a job in this economy, but I still totally miss his cute face being around.

Ps. I have to find a job in a month, if anyone knows of anything in the Newport Beach area give me a shout!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Cute Brother!

I have four, FANTASTIC-Ahhhmazing-Hilarious brothers....
My brother Ammon was on morning news shows all over the country this week giving tips on how to achieve Oscar Winning Looks- he is so adorable!! I think he did such a great job! Yay Amms!

Link: How to Get Oscar Winning Locks with Ammon Carver

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 49: Need Vs. Want

Day 49:
Received Notice on our door that our water will be SHUT OFF tomorrow if we do not pay our bill....Bill? What bill!? Effffff... $300+ dollars later I decided it was time for a cookie, as all I could think about was all of the things I would have rather spent that money on..
(note to self: when moving into a new place, check that ALL utilities have been transferred into your name)

My feetsies are lookin' better, still disgusting I know, but better!
haha my toes look chunky
I have my next Dr. apt in two weeks, I certainly hope to get a good report. My toes are so very stiff, they hurt so much when I try to move them (which I must do 5x daily). I also have to rub the incisions so the scar tissue does not get sucky Holy H...painful.
Lucky for me: walking has become easier & so has driving!
The end is near, I can feel it!

Currently drinking: Sparkling Lemonade. Lorina is fabulous brand.
I bought 10 bottles over the past 2 weeks.

Today I made these fun hair things..

Lately I..
NEED: A job
WANT: a job that enables me to go home & visit this summer, spend time with the Spiker's in April & when they come down to Newport, visit Josh & Jen in June (to see that baby!), go to NYC (still have that ticket from Fashion Week waiting to be used).....Ya, I am the ideal employee, hire me & let me request a bunch of time off. Thanks.

WANT: Shoes. Ironically enough, I only have one pair I can even fit into (thank you, fat swollen feet). I keep dreaming about all of the different sandals I want to buy. I guess it's good for my wallet that I can't fit into any new shoes...I guess...
NEED: To elevate my feet more often...but I resent that couch so much right now

WANT: to go to Bora Bora..
NEED: to stop stressing Chris out with my "vacation" ideas that will most likely bankrupt us..

WANT: to eat all of the cookies in our cupboard & sparkling lemonade in the fridge..
NEED: to start doing crunches, eating way less pasta, and drink more water...I am beginning to get a "gut"...bleh.

WANT: to go to the gym, do an hour of cardio & feel exhausted from an intense workout
NEED: to focus on what I can control--worry about the other stuff when it's time.

WANT: Yonka PHYTO-BAIN Invigorating Bath
NEED: Sleep

WANT: Pedicure, Facial
NEED: " "

WANT: Chris to hang up his clothes
NEED: " "

WANT: Chris to come home early & hang out with me on the couch & make me laugh
NEED: To keep supporting him, that workaholic (oh how the tables have turned!)