Tales of a [temporarily] one armed girl

Again, sorry for the lack of posts. Along with countless other tasks, typing isn’t the easiest thing to do one-handed. I’m finding that many “simple” tasks, aren’t as simple as they once seemed. Sweeping the floor, hanging laundry, washing my hand(s)… just to name a few seemingly impossible ones. I do have to say, however, that my boyfriend has really stepped up. As I sit here, he is hanging a load of laundry after just finishing scrubbing some dishes. He has even stripped the bed and plans to wash all the sheets and towels in the house. All jokes of him pushing me down the mountain aside, he is a saint. He barely even complained when I asked him to trim and file my nails last night. Ladies, I got me a good one.

Later today we’re going to sit down and make a grocery list together. Since he’s doing most of the cooking in the coming weeks, I want him to play a part in the menu planning and shopping experience too. He’s pretty used to manning the grill, but the crock pot and the oven will be a new adventure. Stay tuned for some yummy meals to read about this week.

Now, a little motivation for any of you ladies who have been in my position before, or may be in the future- Although my man was more than willing to chop off my nails, he didn’t understand the need for a curve and by God, why am I so particular? I would show him what I thought were obvious areas for filing, and his eye just wouldn’t see it. So, I am a knee manicurist now! And these pictures weren’t easy to get either, so you’d better appreciate them! (Hehe)


Hold clippers between knees, position finger nail perfectly, and squeeze!



Hold between knees, and file away!


And for anyone who thinks I’m lying about the laundry, some proof:





Anniversary Weekend in Big Bear

Sorry it’s been a few days since I last posted. It was our anniversary and we got out of the city and away from technology.

Our weekend in Big Bear started out wonderfully. We rented a one bedroom cabin on the lake with a full kitchen, jacuzzi tub, and wood burning fireplace. It was just what we needed for a romantic weekend away to celebrate our 6 year anniversary. On Saturday morning, we woke up around 6am and dropped the pup off with a sitter so we could hit the slopes. It was my first time snowboarding but I was excited! I got signed up for a morning lesson and my guy went off for two hours on his own.

In our lesson, we learned how to stand up, do a “falling leaf” -coasting down the hill back and forth from left to right, and stop the board. Unfortunately, right after my lesson ended I broke my left wrist trying to show off my new moves. After hitting up the first aid station and urgent care, it was determined my wrist was broken and that I would “probably” need surgery. We spent the rest of the night in front of the fire, and soaking in our jacuzzi tub. Although I was prescribed Vicodin, we decided to drink a couple of beers (and a bottle of Champagne that Dave surprised me with instead!) I felt pretty good. Our anniversary was not ruined.

Upon arriving back in LA yesterday, we hit up an ER in Santa Monica and met with an orthopedic surgeon who opened me up and inserted pins, plates, and transplant bone fragments. He said it was shattered in about 4 places. Way to go, Sarah!

Needless to say, I didn’t snap many pictures with my broken wrist, but here are a few. The rest of the beauty is saved internally and I’ll take more pictures next time. Yes, I’ll try again! It was really fun!







Chinese New Year [memories]

With Chinese New Year fast approaching- February 10 to be exact- I find myself remembering my time in Dalian. Did I mention we used to live in the Liaoning province in Northeast China? It was quite an adventure, but my favorite part was celebrating Chinese New Year. It was truly something spectacular, and a thing that will never be matched.

We lived on the 19th floor of an apartment building that overlooked the city and a ton of New Years celebrations. In case you were wondering about the height at which a firework goes off, it’s about 19 stories up. Yes, we had a front row seat for fireworks on a nightly basis for the entire month of celebrations. Although the celebration is technically only a week long, people have extended the holiday (much like we Americans have with Christmas) to last about a month. This month, fireworks can be heard at all hours of the day and night and people decorate their doors with red and gold new years posters and good luck knots. Red lanterns and bright lights are hung throughout the city, there’s tons of delicious food, and people travel to be with family. On the eve of the new year, people burn money (don’t worry, it’s fake) for their ancestors in an effort to show their gratitude and love. The best (or worst) part is that there isn’t any regulation for selling and purchasing fireworks which means anyone can buy them and set them off. Obviously, we bought some and set them off ourselves.

This year, we’re at least going to eat some Chinese food and try to see some sort of celebration. Chinatown LA here we come.




























How to prep and eat a prickly pear

Have you ever seen a prickly pear cactus? It’s one of the most peculiar things. It’s pricks look so rough, but it’s yellow spring flowers are so inviting. Imagine my excitement when I learned you could actually eat these things! Our neighbor has a prickly pear cactus that grows into our backyard and I didn’t think he’d mind if we plucked a few for tasting. After some advice on how to go about prepping one of these suckers, I finally got a taste of the sweet nectar.




First, you’ve got to pick a prickly pear that looks good to you. These guys can get pretty battered and you want to choose one with little to no scarring or bruises. It should also be brightly colored. After you find one that’s to your liking, grab some kitchen tongs (to protect you from the pricks) and twist the pear while pulling it from the cactus.



Next you’ll want to cover them with cold water. This will help you remove the pricks while washing them. As soon as you starting running water over them, you’ll see pricks in the water. Take your tongs and roll the fruit around, removing them as best you can. You can even rub them with the tongs to get more off. Once the majority of them are removed, you can carefully pick them up and pluck any small ones that might have “stuck” round. (Hehe)

From here, you’ll want to chop off the ends and slice the skin for easier peeling. Un-peel the fruit from the thick skin carefully,the fruit inside is fragile. We sliced ours and served it with goat cheese, pistachios, and homemade cranberry flax crackers. They were good and sweet.

*Note, I’ve been told you can eat the seeds, but I found them too hard, so I discarded them in a napkin.










All purpose [no chemical] cleaner

Here’s a special treat for you, and one that’s super easy to copy. Spring is fast approaching and we actually took on the task of spring cleaning early this year. Tossed  some clothes into the giveaway pile, brushed the dog (which is quite the task in itself- all you double coated dog parents know what I mean), and tightened all the loose screws on the dining room chairs (I mean how do they get loose in the first place?) Now that the house is free of Christmas decorations and clutter, it’s time for me to start making everything sparkle again.

Steering clear of mainstream chemical solutions, I opted to make my own natural all-purpose clean this year. And now, I’m glad I did. It’s super easy, smells yummy, and saves me money at the store. Not to mention is also decreases our carbon footprint by using items we already had on hand- orange peels!






All you need is:

1 jar (size is your choice)

Enough oranges (or other citrus of your choosing- limes would be fun too!) whose peels will fill the jar

A sharp knife

And white distilled vinegar

All you need to do is:

Cut the peels off the oranges

Stuff them into the jar until it is full

Top the jar off with vinegar

Let sit for 7-10 days

Strain and clean!

*Vinegar is a great all purpose cleaner that you can use on your counter tops, stovetop, refrigerator shelves, doorknobs, shower heads and faucets, shower walls, or even your hands if you’ve been chopping something smelly.

We just got a juicer for Christmas and are addicted to juicing, but I was sad to see so much pulp and skin get thrown away. We decided to use these peels for their yummy scent and make flax fiber crackers with the left over pulp. Don’t worry, that post is coming soon! Stay tuned!

In the mean time, you’ll find me cleaning! And enjoying my deliciously fresh orange juice!

Twilight stroll

Twilight is my favorite time of night. I love how the sky says “pay attention to me” by muting all other colors around it and forcing you to look up. We like to take evening strolls to the shore to watch the sunset and see cloud formations. Something about the bright swirls over the Pacific that really intrigue me.

We’re about 6 blocks from the cliffs and some of the most beautiful views Los Angeles has to offer. I often wonder if the rest of the county knows about this spot the locals call South Shores- a neighborhood in San Pedro sandwiched between Palos Verdes and the Port of LA. It offers breathtaking views of Catalina Island that you can’t get anywhere else in LA, trust me we’ve looked. It’s a quiet neighborhood where you can usually find kids walking home from soccer practice and couples walking their dogs (that’s us!) Sometimes there are even peacocks that hang in the gardens and call back and forth to each other. We’re lucky to have found this place.



We see some great sunsets from these cliffs. On nights we don’t make it out there, I can still see pink streaks in the sky from the kitchen window and I slap my forehead and say, “we missed it!” It’s a big perk of living on the west coast and one we’re still getting used to.








Graying gracefully

It was January 2012 when I decided to cut off 15 inches of artificially brown hair. I guess that’s not entirely true. I had been going back and forth with the idea for a while before then. It all started when I was day dreaming out loud to a friend of mine who said I’d look “hot” if I had gray hair. That sparked an idea, but could I do it?


My long, dark, high-maintenance hair

I gave myself a while to figure out if it was really something I’d like to do. I read blogs and talked to hair dressers about going gray, and the overwhelming majority made it look like a dreadful process. Some simply stopped dying their hair, letting it grow down in a not-quite-ombre pattern. One woman even said the only thing she’d hate worse than just growing it out, would be to chop it all off.

Coming from me- a woman who only had one short hairstyle her whole life due to a classroom lice outbreak- cutting it off seemed like an impossible choice. I just couldn’t imagine what I would look like without all my hair. Fortunately for me, the stars aligned- not only were pixie haircuts making a huge comeback, but gray hair was making a splash! Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Kelly Osbourne, Kate Moss, and Pink were actually DYING their hair gray! Others like Katie Holmes, Roseanne Barr, and Jamie Lee Curtis were embracing their natural gray streaks.

I had been dying my hair since I was 13 years old. It started as something fun, but soon became a chore. At the very end, I was dying my hair every 3 weeks or risking a skunk stripe. I took turns between getting my hair professionally colored and doing it myself in my bathroom. The six dollar boxes were more appealing than the arm and leg they charged at the salon, and with my situation sometimes were the only option. I suffered many bathroom rug and t-shirt casualties and even stained a porcelain sink in my endeavors.

For me, not having to deal with this chore any longer was a huge part of my decision. Other factors included my health- it can’t possibly be healthy to coat your scalp with chemicals every three weeks, and my confidence. WARNING: THIS IS WHERE I START TO PREACH. I think the beauty industry, and therefore society, puts way too much pressure on girls and women to look a certain way. Why are we only beautiful if we have long, straight, perfectly golden hair? And by golden, I don’t just mean blond- have you ever noticed that all hair dyes have a gold tint to them if not red? You can immediately tell women who dye their hair from women who don’t because the “life” in their color is so artificially obvious. My morning routine consisted of so many steps I didn’t even resemble myself at the end. All I was really doing when I blow dried, straightened, curled, and dyed my hair was torture it.

Needless to say I took the plunge. I chopped it all off in a short pixie and stopped dying it. It took me about 7 months to be completely dye free. My cut completely disguised the growing out process and made it seem gradual. I am mostly brown in the back, with a very salty crown and sideburns. This cut helped me to embrace every silver strand as it became visible.


Mar 2012


Apr 2012


May 2012


June 2012


July 2012

I couldn’t wait any longer to see my gray in all it’s glory! Don’t worry, I told my hairdresser to go this short:


July 2012


Aug 2012


Sept 2012


Dec 2012

I love the way it’s growing out.  And, I get more compliments on my hair now than I EVER got when it was long. Women compliment not only my hair, but also my bravery. It seems we’re all a little scared to try something new. Before I cut my hair, I was nervous and afraid, not I can confidently say- IT’S JUST HAIR! IT WILL GROW BACK!

And, FYI- guys actually think it’s pretty awesome! I get lots of compliments from men. Usually they say something like, “Wow, you’re hair is awesome.” Or “Is that natural? I wish mine would do that!” One guy even told me I look like a “badass chick.” Yea!