My dog Max

My dog Max

Have you ever been ungrateful for a special gift in your life, but then learned to love it more than you thought possible? That kind of happened to me.

When this adorable, crazy, hyper Jack Russell Terrier first wandered into my front yard I honestly couldn’t wait to get rid of him. Now I would hate to lose him and I think he’s pretty found of me too. He won’t go to our bedroom for bedtime without me. So, as I write this he’s looking at me with sleepy eyes, wagging his tail. He’s probably wondering if I’m almost wrapping things up. In fact, that’s a usual occurrence for him.

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My mom, Colleen O’Brien

mmom and me

As a woman and as a feminist, I feel it is important for me to recognize women in my own life. I’ll also be doing posts on women in history who inspire me once a month as well.

Colleen Anne O’Brien

Born Colleen Anne Carpenter

Today she had a childhood friend over for breakfast, along with one of her sisters and her mom (my grandma, of course.) After breakfast my mom and her friend were recalling making mudpies in their backyards as kids, swimming on hot days and learning how to make doll clothes. It was nice to hear about those times and think about the little girl she used to be. Every one used to be little once- even moms!

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I love love

I love love. I love to love love. That’s a little saying my sisters and I used to say a lot when we were younger. My oldest sister Katie picked it up from the high school leader at church. It’s always stuck with me.

Over the weekend I noticed Mary Lambert’s new video for “She Keeps Me Warm” was recently released. I’m such a sap for cute stuff and anything romantic, so of course it made me tear up. It’s a meet-cute love story based on her personal experiences. The song was made from the hook she wrote for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” which she performed with the duo at the VMAs.

Love is a beautiful thing. When two people care about each other enough to put the other person’s needs first and be willing to get hurt, I think that’s a pretty sweet thing. As long as both people are of similar age, or if not then at least both over 18, I don’t have a problem with them falling in love.

I also recommend checking out her other songs. She has a beautiful voice and good song writing skills. My favorites are Body Love and I’d Be Your Wife.

Working together, seperately on Dia de los Muertos

Boyfriend and I at Dia de los Muertos

Two weeks ago my university hosted its 18th annual Dia de los Muertos event. It was amazing to be a part of it and hear the experiences of other people at a the big cultural event.

Last week I wrote about the event for ASInside, a blog with my school. Here it is! It would mean a lot to me if you would check it out.

One of the most fun things about the event that I didn’t mention in the blog post for ASInside was that my boyfriend was also there taking photos and videos for the school newspaper as a freelancer.

We got to work on a few stories together last spring when we first started dating. He was the multimedia editor and I was the news editor and we teamed up on a few feature stories.

For the first time the boyfriend and I were working separately, but hung out together. Yeah, if it were more of a newsy story that could be a conflict of interest, but not in this case. Besides, it’s not like we shared quotes or photos. It was all good fun!

Here is the boyfriend’s awesome video “CPP Dia de los Muertos 2012” hosted on YouTube.

Taco night brings people together

Who doesn’t love tacos? Not only do they taste good, but I have found that where there are tacos there is good conversation and a community atmosphere. Just think about the last time you ate tacos and what you were doing at that time. It most likely was awesome.

Tacos in my family are about fiestas and familia. We may be white, but we live in Southern California and therefore have learned how to cook some awesome Mexican food. I had to have my sister and friends help me out, but I’m slowly learning too.

Last night I had a few friends over for fish and chicken tacos with some sides of pinto beans, Spanish rice, sweet corn cake, guacamole and salsa. Everything was more or less homemade and it was all really delicious! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the tacos, but they did look great. For the fish tacos and watermelon salsa, I used this Food Network magazine recipe.

Guacamole before it was mixed up

Watermelon salsa

In strange and unexpected tun of events, the watermelon salsa ended up locked in the garage. I had put it in the garage refrigerator and when people started coming over, the garage door wouldn’t open with the remote. There is no side door, so my aunt had to call a repair person to come fix it. We got the salsa out once everyone was done with their tacos, but before dessert.

Jamiaca smells and looks pretty

I got these jamaica flowers at Baja Ranch on Tuesday, but later read online that jamaica tea drink has a tendency to stain things. I don’t want to risk staining the kitchen counters, so I just kept this as a decoration. I bought a 24-pack of Pacifico beer when I went to the store with my sister in the morning and a 1 liter bottle of Coke in the afternoon when my boyfriend and I went back for  fish since I forgot to defrost what we had. It’s a good thing I got the Coke because no one ended up drinking beer.

the promising looking brownies

There were a few changes in the dessert menu, but it all worked out in the end. My sister made brownies, but they accidentally got burned, even though she put them in for the time the recipe called for. My best friend was going to bring homemade soy vanilla ice cream, but her sister accidentally knocked the bowl over, spilling it out. Instead, my friend brought over honey flavored frozen yogurt that was sweet and light. To put on the frozen yogurt, we cut up mangos, plums, bananas and pecans to give everyone choices. The sweet corn cake was a real hit in the dessert and side department.

Tacos and good friends are two of my favorite things and even though little things I had planned for the night didn’t work out, I’m so glad the dinner all worked out.