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We never had dessert in my house growing up, so I never really had much of a sweet tooth.  Lately though, I’ve been  jonesing for something sweet after dinner.  I don’t have the appetite for something big; just a taste of something to quell the craving.

My husband has been bringing home dark chocolate bars lately, and I’ll have a square or two just to calm the urge for something sweet.  Some of them have been bitter, some a little waxy…but I think I’ve found one that is just right.  It’s sweet, a tad bit salty, and sigh…just what I need to scratch that sweet craving itch.  That scratch comes in the form of the Lindt Excellence “A Touch of Sea Salt” Dark Chocolate Bar.  Smooth and delicious dark chocolate seasoned with fleur de del sea salt crystals…Get it!

Sometimes I’m a little slow to jump on ideas I think are fantastic.  I’m not exactly sure why that is…  I like to do my research, mull things over again and again, weigh my options, comparison shop…and then where does that leave me?  Months down the line without pulling the trigger.  Thus is the story of my idea to join a CSA Farm, Community Sponsored Agriculture.

I was first inspired by our friends, John & Liz who told us all about the amazing fruits and veggies they had delivered weekly from a local organic farm.  I had never heard of a CSA, but thought that getting organic  produce direct from the grower sounded great!  I’ve long been a fan of shopping at Farmers Markets to support local farmers and find flavorful, in season produce, and this way I go direct to the farm!  I did  research online at localharvest.org to find out if there were any CSA’s in Orange County, found a farm I was interested in and then… sat on my hands.

Then I read my friend Sarah’s blog OC2Seattle. ( If you haven’t read it – it’s a must she is very witty and loves food as much as I do.)  Sarah had all of these great things to say about how the produce was so much more flavorful than conventionally grown produce you find in supermarkets.  It is true… those tomatoes from Pavilions taste like paper compared to the succulent heirloom varieties you find at your farmers market…and still I waited.

I’m not sure what happened on Saturday, maybe it was the beautiful warm day, extra time on my hands, or the need to get out of my rut, but I decided I would take little A on a drive to San Juan Capistrano to visit South Coast Farms.  I wanted to check out the merchandise before I committed to the rest of the seasons bushels of produce.

Sometimes organic produce can look a little sad…but I was delighted to see vibrant red Chandler strawberries, lush green chard, a few varieties of apples and more.

Succulent Organic Strawberries

It was all so beautiful!  I was inspired – I had to join!  I purchased 3 pints of strawberries, 2 or 3 cucumbers, 3 stalks of rhubarb, and a huge bunch of red swiss chard.  The bill came out to about $20 which isn’t cheap…but the strawberries are some of the best I have ever tasted, they lack that mealy white core and are juicy all the way through.

I’ve chosen to pick up my bushel direct from the farm because it was so refreshing to get out of Newport Beach.  I’m slated to pick up my 1st allotment next week.  Maybe this experience will get me to waste less time before saying yes…

I always look at reviews for products on websites, somehow I don’t find myself writing them very often.  I’ll write reviews on Yelp, but somehow just don’t write product reviews.  Now that I have little A, and find myself giving advice to friends on products for babies I figured that now was a good time to start.  Here is my 1st product review for a product called Dapple.

Originally submitted at Diapers.com

Dapple Dish Liquid  – 17 oz.

Dapple® Dish Liquid features award-winning green technology to target milk residue and baking soda to combat odor.

Features:
-Rinses fast
-Rinses fast
-Natural-based ingredients
-Pht…

Love this product!

By Blissfulmommy from Newport Beach, CA on 4/28/2010
5out of 5

Pros: Efficient, Easy to Use, Powerful

Best Uses: Cleaning

Describe Yourself: Meticulous Cleaner

Rinses easily & quickly – does not leave residue. The product has a pleasant smell. Perfect if you don’t want to have dish soap bubbles lingering in your baby bottles or in baby’s mouth.

(legalese)

I came across this post I had been writing just 2 days before giving birth to our little one (1 day before checking in to the hospital) and just had to laugh…

“Our baby is a week past her due date.  My ankles are cankles,  ( a lovely calve ankle hybrid where one cannot discern where the ankle ends and the calve begins), I have pregnancy carpal tunnel, and my patience is wearing thin.  I have been getting text messages daily asking me where the baby is…I could probably formulate some perfectly inappropriate answers.”

Little A was worth the 9+ months wait, but in the last month I was definitely over being pregnant – and it didn’t help that she was a week late.  I have a feeling she would have hung around in the womb longer if labor hadn’t been induced.

So much has happened in the last months and I’ve been itching to get back to writing again.  Stay posted – three months of writing backlog are going to be unleashed!!

I meant to publish this a few weeks back, but the holidays got the best of me.

My husband had a “milestone birthday” this year and to celebrate it I suggested a weekend centered around one of his favorite pastimes – golf.  Seeing that I would be in my final trimester of pregnancy during this time I suggested going to Palm Desert for his birthday (an hour & a half drive) and inviting family & friends to play some golf and enjoy the desert.

We decided to do something we had never done before – we rented a house via the website VRBO.com.  VRBO is short for Vacation Rental By Owner.  I had suggested the website to a friend who subsequently  rented a house in Carmel for our wedding via the website, and the experience had been a huge success…so I figured, why not?!

The house we rented in La Quinta was amazing! Located right on a driving range of a PGA West course it was every golf aficionado’s dream.  The added benefit for those not golfng (like yours truly) were that the pool and kitchen were an entertainers dream.  I would definitely rent this particular property again and use VRBO.

There were some pros and cons to renting a vacation house:

Pros:

  • Privacy
  • A central place for all of your guests to congregate
  • No need to go out for meals or entertainment
  • Great if you have small children
  • Some properties allow pets without extra charge (no boarding fees = savings!)

Cons:

  • Putting a deposit down far in advance
  • Final payment due 45  days before arrival
  • You never know what small appliances will be there or what the condition of linens, kitchen items etc. are before you get there (we were pleasantly surprised!)
  • You take a leap of faith relying only on pictures and reviews before signing on the dotted line

We have often talked about buying a vacation house, but this is such a great option and we can head to a different locale every time!

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