Saturday, December 7, 2013

Spam Bots

What the what does this even say?

Please prove that you are not a robot? Now you are just mocking me. Prove that you can read this or else you are a robot.

I can never leave my witty comments on friends' blogs due to these government ploys. Seriously. I had a professor who wrote down all of the spambots she ever got because she was convinced they were secret government code or something.

We're on to you, big brother.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Coconut Curry

I really love thai food but had a hard time finding any thai recipes that tasted good when made at home. I finally found a pad thai recipe I loved in the Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. That book is full of all sorts of amazing recipes and I use it all the time. Another gem I found there: coconut curry.

This is a great meal because most the main ingredients come from canned or jarred ingredients (curry paste, coconut milk) meaning I can make it anytime I want. I just throw in whatever veggies are in my fridge, and sometimes chicken if I feel like going all out, and then bang. 30 minutes later I have really awesome curry.

Here's the recipe as The Steamy Kitchen makes it but with my additions and edits also.

Coconut Curry
Ingredients (feeds 4):

  • 4 oz thai red curry paste
  • 4 cups coconut milk, divided
  • 1 TBS fish sauce (I used 1/2 TBS because I think 1 full TBS makes it fishy)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn (I've never used this)
  • 6 oz chicken breast, cut into cubes (I omit this most the time and just make veggie curry)
  • One 8 oz can of sliced bamboo shoots (I'll leave this out about 50 percent of the time)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil (I omit this most the time)
  • My addition: whatever veggies I have on hand, lightly steamed
    • Veggies included in the above photo: carrots, yam, broccoli, asparagus, small potatoes

  1. Cook some rice in a rice cooker.
  2. Add the curry paste to a medium pot and turn the heat to medium-low. As the pot heats up, the curry paste will begin to fry. release its oils and become fragrant. It's best to keep the heat fairly low as you are doing this - otherwise the curry paste can burn.
  3. When the paste is fragrant pour in half of the coconut milk and turn the heat to high. Whisk until the curry paste has dissolved into the coconut milk. Pour in the remaining coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and kaffir lime leaves. Bring the curry to a gentle boil and then add the chicken, bamboo shoots, and red onion. Let simmer for 5 minutes to cook the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked add in the other steamed veggies. Turn off the heat and add basil.
  4. Serve over steamed rice.

The Side Eye

This just in: the side eye is my new favorite thing of late and I try to use it/drop it into conversation whenever possible.

Urban dictionary defines side eye as, "A facial expression expressing one's criticism, disapproval, animosity, or scorn of varying levels of intensity towards another person. Defined by one person looking at the other out of the corner of their eye(s) with a scowl, as their head is turned in a different direction. Often an invitation for a fight or confrontation of some sort. "

Exhibit A:

Embrace it. Adopt it. Own it. It's the best.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That Baby Shower Weekend

I threw my friend a baby shower over the weekend which is something I love/hate to do. I stress out because Pintrest is the ruiner of all real-life expectations and sets impossible standards. So the planning makes me a bit nutty but then once it all comes together and is beautiful and everyone has a great time -- well that I love. And then I forget how stressful it was and I offer to throw more! more! more! showers.

And then Andrew rolls over and dies from disgust. Poor guy.

Photos for your viewing pleasure. I forgot to take any pictures once it was completely set up because people were arriving so imagine this with the juice cartons off the table and straws in the glasses.

I couldn't find a table cloth big enough so I bought a 16' drop cloth, cut it and painted it with fabric paint.

Those pumpkins were hallowed out and housed minestrone and butternut squash soup. When you don't own proper serving ware you get creative.

The menu {with links}: minestrone soup, butternut squash soup, homemade bread, honey butter, pumpkin bars, and texas sheet cake.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gnome Sweet Gnome

For awhile there, back before my job became insane, I got a little crafty. And when one is crafty there is nothing to do except make gnome paraphernalia.
See, when Andrew and I were just married we went to Color Me Mine and he painted a gnome and I painted a bowl and we named the Gnome Richard and we threw away the bowl when we moved. Richard has been with us ever since. The guardian of our abode, if you will. But Richard was just kind of standing there and people were confused so I decided he needed something to tie his presence to our home.
A door mat.
So I made a GNOME SWEET GNOME doormat and now all my neighbors ask if I collect gnomes and offer to give me their discarded lawn gnomes. I politely decline.
Here's a step-by-step so you can run out and make your own customized doormat. Don't scoff, this is totally catching on.
Supplies: 3" Stencils ($4), tape, a doormat ($7-15), spray paint ($5), paper grocery sacks

Step 1: Tape your stencils together so the words are nice and neat.

Step 2: Tape the word to your doormat, tape paper around the word so as to prevent excess spray paint/halo effect.

Step 4: Spray the paint thoroughly, keeping the can perpendicular to the stencil. Let it dry for a few minutes and then pull the lettering off.

Step 5: If you are doing repeat words then spray those at the same time. Saves time. See below for an example.

Step 5: Wait a day and do the middle word so the top and bottom word can dry. The next day I used a 4" stencil for the middle word to make the SWEET pop! Then I covered all the mat with paper and sprayed.


Then I put it outside my front door and let the neighbors talk about that crazy gnome family. As it should be.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

PR... What's that?

This may be really PR nerdy of me but something GREAT happened at my job today and I wanted to share. I get a lot of questions about what exactly I do. I work in public relations and probably 50% of my job is media relations which means that I call/email/stalk reporters and see if they are interested in writing about my client/product/news.

Recently I sent a pitch to – one of the biggest women’s websites in the world with 18 million readers – to see if they wanted to write about my product, GoToMyPC.

Below is my pitch and the article. Please notice how the author basically used my pitch word for word. That may seem like plagiarism but in the PR world that makes you feel like this:

My Pitch:

Hi Mary,

Blah blah blah, would you like to cover GoToMyPC?

· GoToMyPC- You're in a VC funding meeting and you realize you've forgotten your presentation. It's on your home PC, not your laptop. Holy crap. What do you do now? If you're a smart entrepreneur, you use GoToMyPC and instantly access any application or file on your Mac or PC from your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and Android device.


Sunday, July 21, 2013


A month ago Andrew and I went to Caye Ambergris, Belize and I thought it was about time to document our trip. Ever since our camera was stolen I have been a horrible photographer and I curse that thief on the reg. So, not as many photos as I would like, but enough to remember that we were there.

A few fun facts about Belize/Caye Ambergris.

  • It's in the Caribbean so it is gorgeous. Blue waters, hot hot heat, humidity, very tropical. You know, paradise kind of stuff.
  • Everyone is Belize speaks English (it is the national language) and then Spanish and Creole is also spoken by some.
  • Belize is super cheap and everyone takes US dollars! 2 Belizian dollars = 1 US dollar. Score.
  • Belize, to me, had the feel of a third-world New Orleans. Just like in the south the people are friendly, the food is AMAZING (we were there for lobster season and I had a two pound lobster, two nights in a row for $30 USD! A trip highlight for me.), and everything is pretty chill.

We were there 5 days. The first two days were gorgeous and we walked around the town, swam a bit, and went to a Mayan Ruins (pics below). Then the rain came. I'm talking a monsoon. 40 MPH winds, 8 inches of rain in 48 hours, docks blown over kind of storm. It was pretty cool to watch but kind of a bummer on our beach vacation. Our last day there it cleared up enough for us to scuba dive (the reason we went in the first place). 

Scuba diving was amazing. I jumped in and below me was about 15 huge nurse sharks! I freaked out even though we were forewarned that they were there and very friendly. The dive master kept telling me to decend but I refused until Andrew got in the water too so we could go down together. I wasn't going into shark infested waters by myself. The nurse sharks followed us around like dogs as we swam through the reefs. It was kind of eerie but really cool. Another trip highlight.

Day 1: taking the water taxi to the island. 

The view from our hotel room at Corona Del Mar.

Day 2: Back to the mainland for a boat ride into the jungle to visit some Mayan ruins.


On top of another ruin, whose name I forget.

 Day 3: A storm is a brewing.

Day 5: The island clearing up a bit after the storm.

Enjoying a nice chocolate milkshake.

The one and only shot of me and my boo. Glad the picture turned out so nice. It would be sad if the only photo we got together was fuzzy and grainy and whatnot.

One a scale of 1 to 10 - if you're poor(ish) and looking for a tropical paradise vacation getaway, Belize is awesome and totally recommended. Just maybe avoid the rainy season (June - November).

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's a Girl! Baby Shower

My sister-in-law, Saki, is having a baby girl in a month so on Sunday we threw her a shower. Little baby girl Tera is coming so of course we had to give her a proper welcoming party. Have you ever seen the blog Oh Happy Day? Well it is my downfall because it made me want to throw a pinterest-worthy DIY shower which took TONS of work but it was a lot of fun.

With a little help from Martha and her great Japanese lantern collection and some streamers, the place looked like the pink Carebear threw up on it. Exactly as I had hoped.

My mom and Saki are very crafty. They made these lids for the mason jars. We served raspberry Italian sodas in them with pink paper straws... can you tell the theme was pink?

This was for the game. We played baby relay where you get in teams of four and do a sippy cup chug, baby food eating contest, binkie spitting contest, and a adult diaper fashion show. It was hysterical - especially when my mom starting chanting "chug, chug, chug!" causing her teammate laugh and snort all her water.

 And then there was so much food. My uncle is a chef and teaches at a culinary school. I got to go cook with him at the school for hours to make all the amazing food. I loved that part.


One month and counting then I'll be an aunt of 5!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Half Marathon

A bunch of women from my church and I ran a half marathon yesterday in Alameda. I was so impressed with these women. Amongst them we had a woman who finished within the first 100 people (out of 2,000), one woman who had a baby 4 months ago and ran a 1:30:00 race, a mama who has a 2-month-old who ran a 2:04:00 race, and then other mamas of toddlers who also killed it. There was a trainer amongst us who ran like the wind, a long-term marathoner who kicked butt, and then there was me.

For me this was a couch-to-half-marathon type of thing. Before this I had never run more than 4 miles and that was only once before in my life and it was not a pleasant experience. I believe there were tears. So this was pretty huge for me. A friend of mine sent out an email trying to rally people to sign up to run it together. I decided on a whim to do it and once I paid the $75 race fee, I was committed.

I had trained to run a 10 minute mile, but wasn't used to running in the heat (SF is always chilly) so I slowed down a bit for the race. Miles 10-13 were particularly brutal and hot. I was really happy with how I did and insanely impressed with my friends who ran the race as well. I do think this was my first and last half marathon, though I think I'll keep up running and sign up for some 10ks.

Here's my time - I ran a 2:25:48 race.

This was me breathing properly for the first time in more than 2 hours.

Now, one day afterward I still feel pretty good. The thing that hurts the worst are my sunburnt shoulders. Dang that sun and heat.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


...for Big Sur. We went this weekend and went camping and it was wonderful and beautiful and I fell slightly in love with the place.

Enough in love that I wished we had camped there 3 nights instead of 2. That is saying something since I am not really a fan of sleeping bags.

And then we saw elephant seals!! Cherry on top!

And then we went to LA. And I was less impressed. I've never been a huge fan of the LA area but I always think that I am missing something because so many people loooooooove LA. And then I go again and... meh. Especially when compared to Big Sur. Though some parts are kind of nice.

It was such a nice weekend.

Stanley's Words of Wisdom

When life gets hard and you're feeling trapped, sleep it off. And if you happen to roll over in your sleep and fall off your crate ...err... bed, just look around accusingly, stretch it out, hop back on, and continue sleeping. Sleep solves everything. I recommend a good 15 hours a day. It works for me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just a few things...

1. I hate day light savings time. I haven't done my hair or make up once this week. I look like a hot mess at work. I feel like I have jet lag all the time. Annnnnnnd I wore my shirt inside out today until about 10am when my coworker noticed. Not cool, US government. Not cool.

2. Well, maybe I shouldn't blame it all on DLS because last week I accidentally wore my tennis shoes to work. My hot pink tennis shoes with my bright red pants. Then the next day I left my lap top at home and had to run back and get it-1.5 hours later I was back at work and ready to roll. Then the following day I left my delicious lunch on my kitchen counter. So maybe it's me.

3. Kids. Been on my mind lately because a lot of my friends are either preggers, just had their first, or second (what?!?!) child. And can I just say that while I love mommy blogs and read them on the daily, it is like the best form of birth control. Having a todler looks ROUGH. That is all I can say.

4.Andrew and I just booked tickets to Belize! I am thrilled to go scuba diving, visit Mayan ruins, and was extra excited when I discovered we would be back only 3 days before my close friend's wedding. That means I will be tan in the photos! Shallow, I know, but I live in San Francisco where it is sweater season 12 months of the year.

5. Stanley has a new BFF and her name is Harper. The cuteness of it all is overwhelming.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Super Bowl Weekend

I know nothing about pro-football, but I love a good party. At work we got in the Super Bowl spirit with a little pre-game celebration. I was asked to be in charge of the game portion of the party. I decided we would do a trivia contest.

Since I literally know nothing about the 49ers or the Ravens, I spent a lot of time googling and came up with a pretty great Super Bowl/49ers/pop culture trivia game. PR people can get pretty competitive, especially when the prize is packs of gum.

I thought I would share the questions with you, just for fun. Grab your husband/boyfriend/roommate/co-worker and see who wins. Let me know how you do! (Answers are below, underneath the photo of us with our 49ers eye patch thingies.)

1.       When was Janet Jackson's infamous super bowl "wardrobe malfunction"?

2.       How many times have the 49ers been to the Super Bowl? 3, 4, 5, or 6?

3.       How many BILLION chicken wings will Americans consume during the Super Bowl this year? 1, 2, or 3 Billion?

4.       What American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress will perform at halftime show this year

5.       How many tweets, on average, were sent per second during the final three minutes of last year’s in Super Bowl? 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000?

6.       What is the name of the 49ers mascot? Sourdough Sam, Prospector Pete, or Golden Gary

7.       What is the name of the Raven’s mascot? Moe, Joe, or Poe?

8.       Which popular singing group performed LIVE at the 2011 super bowl and got slammed by critics?

9.       Approximately how much will a 30-second commercial cost this year? 3.8 mill, 4.8 mill, or 5.8 mill?

10.   When was the last time the 49ers went to the Super Bowl?

11.   How many Super Bowls have the Raven played in? 1, 2, or 3?

12.   Who is the 49ers starting quarterback this year?

13.   What team does Manti T’eo play for?

14.   What is the name of Baltimore’s professional baseball team?

15.   How many Super Bowls have been held in New Orleans? 5, 8, or 10?

16.   BONUS QUESTION (in case of a tie): After a 4 year hiatus, what song will Justin Timberlake perform at a pre-game concert Saturday night?


A1. 2004 Super Bowl
A2. 5
A3. 1.23 billion chicken wings
A4. Beyoncé
A5. 10,000 tweets
A6. Sourdough Sam
A7. Poe
A8. Black Eyed Peas
A9. $3,800,000
A10. 1994
A11. 1
A12. Colin Kaepernick
A13. Notre Dame
A14. Baltimore Orioles
A15. 10
A16. Suit and Tie
Ok, how'd you do?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our 5 Things

I got tagged on Instagram for the 5 Things You Don't Know About Me (thanks Lauren!) but then I saw that my friend Tara posted hers on her blog. Genius!

And she did hers and her husbands so of course I had to jump on that! But, sorry Tara, I am one upping you because I am including 5 things you don't know about Stanley too!

1. I know this infuriates real mothers, but I think having a dog is totally comparable to having kids. I'll let you know if I change my mind when I have babies, but I'm pretty sure Stanley will always be my first born

2. I am horrible at small talk and avoid it at all costs (including hiding in supermarket isles)

3. I am an anti-hoarder and often throw things away without remembering doing it. Bills, money, and clothes have all been fished out of the trash

4. I'm allergic to walnuts and pecans but no other nut (that I'm aware of)

5. I was named Darby (my middle name) after the movie Darby O'Gill and the Little People

1. His least favorite thing is clipping his nails. He HATES how it feels. To him it's like nails on a chalkboard

2. Andrew had two bagels for lunch every day during his last 2 years of college

3. No one but me will ever know this, but Andrew could be a butt model. Seriously.

4. He's so allergic to tree nuts that we keep an epipen shot in the house. I, however, have no idea where it is located at the moment and will be super helpful in an emergency situation

 5. He owns approximately 10 shirts, including his work shirts


1. Stanley is a very proper and deliberate eater. If I give him olives with a pit, he will eat all the meat off the olive, suck it clean, and leave the pit on the floor

2. He doesn't like bread. If you give him a piece he'll leave it untouched

3. His favorite thing is licking my legs right after I put on lotion

4. He puts his ears flat against his head and prances around when he's excited to see you which is every time you leave for more than 5 seconds and come back

5. He is terrified of joggers

Monday, January 28, 2013

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

I am not exactly sure how to write a food blog. I guess it is a little late for that since this blog is 2 years old and pretty much 90% dedicated to food posts. But, moral of the story-I don't know how talk about these cookies.

I could tell you they are the prefect texture-- not cakey, yet moist, light and airy yet very substantial. And I could tell you that the See's mints in these cookies push them right on to my regular cookie cooking rotation list. (I know you have one too.) I could tell you all those things but that is kind of boring.

So instead of talking about that let me tell you about my weekend. I made cookies Saturday morning and took them to a baby shower where they were consumed.

Whew. Not boring at all. Glad I switched tactics.

But seriously, you need them in your life. Well, I do. I won't project my obsessions on to you.

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces bittersweet (mine was 90% but I didn't use dark chocolate cocoa powder {see below}) chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate mint patties, chopped (mine was See's)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (preferably dark chocolate cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  1. In a large bowl, melt butter, bittersweet chocolate and 1 cup of chocolate chips. I do this in the microwave, beginning with 30 second increments and stirring until totally melted. Set aside and let cool completely.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, add sugar and eggs, beating on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in vanilla extract and melted chocolate/butter, beating for another 1-2 minutes until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the whisk or beater attachment, then remove it and stir in the dry ingredients with a large spatula until thoroughly dispersed by just combined. Fold in remaining chocolate chips and mint pieces. Cover the cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper or a silpat on an ungreased baking sheet. Wet your hands with water then begin to roll the dough into 1-inch balls, placing them about 2 inches apart. Do this quickly and if you are doing the cookies in batches, refrigerate the dough in between rounds. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove and let cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Remove and place on a cookie rack to cool completely.