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Side Note No.1

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This is my first side note for September. I’m not expecting many, and I could have just added this to my brownie post earlier, but I wanted this to be separate. It’s  sort of a way for me to let you all know what’s going with me and what to expect for the future if everything goes according to plan.


First off, it’s apple season Sept-Nov. Because the summer has been quite a hot one in the next two weeks I will be trekking out to Yukiapa (by Riverside County, CA) for some apples and apple cider donuts. If you care to check, last year I met a friend, a cat named Tom, whom I want to visit this year again.


My September itinerary is as follows:

  1. Snow line Orchards (for Donuts) – Sept. 21,22
  2. Riley’s Apple Farm – Sept. 21-22
  3. Making Apple Pie and Apple Butter for some Pork Chops (week of Sept. 22-28)
  4. Disneyland! – Sept. 28 (If all goes according to plan)

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On A Side Note

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Stuff has gone down in the last few months (well, more like last two months really). Not to go into details, let’s just say that a lot has changed in my life, and rather quickly. First off, work has me running around back and fourth, and although I’m flattered that I’m getting so much work, I’m also a little (a lot) bummed out that I won’t be getting much of a summer break. I’m scared I’ll be too burned out when LAUSD starts back up and I’ll be working 100% full capacity.


School is almost over (for the summer). I have one more class this coming Tuesday, and then I have a break for about three weeks before my next class. I know that my horrid oral exams are also coming up and I have not cracked a book to study due to personal reasons, and that alone is enough to keep me up at night. 

Due to the lack of time, and overall hot weather later, I haven’t been cooking, and instead relying on going out, or making quick pasta with canned sauce for sustenance. Long story short, I will be attempting cooking sometime this weekend, I hope, and perhaps you’ll see a lasagna, or ribs, or some sort of stew in your future. 


Till then!

The Crisis

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Okay, so this was my day.

I got off work and ran some errands (and in the process got a killer new split-end leave-in treatment), then went home and discovered my doctor’s appt was not covered under insurance so I stayed on the phone with Aetna for 35 minutes fixing that mistake. Afterwards, I worked out, and made some nice jalepeno popper chicken (recipe tomorrow), and decided to be really awesome and clean my fish tank. A simple water change. Cause I’m so wonderful.


I’m not wonderful. Somehow in the process of doing a simple 30% water change I introduced a deadly and swift enemy. This enemy is still unknown, and sadly there were four casualties. My lovely and sweet cardinal tetras (photo below is not aquarium… cause sadly I barely have any fish in there) died. Within 30 minutes of the water change. At least the death was quick and painless (I hope).



I digress. Luckily, my ottos survived and the water is more or less clean. I went to my local sea/fresh water pet store and they double checked my water levels… and it was all good. All clear. I just have to say, I’ve never felt so helpless than being away from my ottos in those 45 minutes I was away. Simply awful.

When I got home I had a bunch of solutions to my problem, even one that was on the back burner for a while (my plants), and advice on how to proceed. I decided to share with you all, all those fishie lovers out there, that if this happens to you- don’t panic, and follow these rules, if the following applies to you.

Comments if I’m wrong on anything, etc are welcome. I want to know if I’m wrong so I never kill another fish again. Thanks 🙂

Here are my aquarium specs, before the tragedy happened:

  • 5.5 gal freshwater
  • 3 ottos
  • 4 cardinals
  • live plants
  • gravel, not sand
  • 3 years old
  • heater, filter, and aerator in operation
  1. I cleaned and moved around the gravel and noticed when the fish died that little white worms were in the water- and I thought “on no! they got my fish! Bastaaaards”.
  2. Don’t think #1
  3. The wormy things are planeria, and are harmless. If anything they break down the gravel bacteria. (see, it’s still a mystery of what killed my fish).
  4. Check your water for nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia.
  5. Check the pH level.
  6. Check if your temp is too high or too low (the shock of the change usually kills all fish unless the tank is over 30 gal- then the change is less noticeable and is mildly irritating to fishies).
  7. Add a poly-filter to your filter medium (this will help remove ANY additional toxins, irritants, bacteria that’s not good,etc in ONE week).

Cut this baby to size to fit into your filter.

  1. Toss poly-filter in a week and note it’s color. whatever the color that’s what the problem was.
  2. Add in SeaChem Stability (or similar) every other day in half doses for about 3-4 days for the good bacteria in it.
  3. Feed fish every other day
  4. Don’t MESS with the tank anymore for AT LEAST a week


I have live plans in my aquarium, and for a while they flourished. So did my algae. That’s why I got the ottos. Then, they started to die out, like the leaves would slowly disintegrate, one by one. I used Excel 3 times a week (to regulate the algae problem).

Apparently, my water was too clean (oddly, cause I do water changes about once every 3 months) and therefore the plants were starving. How strange! But basically, I had no nutrients in the water; in order for photosynthesis to occur in a tank, the plants need potassium, iron, and small traces of phosphate and nitrate (according to the aquarium dude- he’s worked there for like 8 years). And I had none!

I quickly picked up SeaChem Flourish which has all the different chemicals in varying levels to support plant growth.


So lessons learned. Several of them. And although I’m going to miss my three year old carindals I’m excited at the prospect of maybe getting some new fish, aside from tetras (should my tank survive this mystery attack).

Thanks for hanging in there in this “lesson of the day” sort of post. But seriously, I was bawling, I take fish seriously. This was traumatic, and now I’ve got a plan. And when there’s a plan there’s bound to be success.

Wish me luck!

What I’ve Been Up To Thanksgiving Week

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In my last post I promised a better turn around time for posting and that I was better after… the dark day.

In any case, I am better, slightly. Therefore, since it’s the middle of the week (and payday for fancy ingredients is tomorrow) I think I should at least show you all my crafty and cooking goals to show I’m not a complete couch potato.

First, I need to redo Boyfriend’s mom’s blanket. The crocheting took a bad turn when I realized it was turning into a type of trapezoid shape. It used to happen a lot with me and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, until I spoke with a brilliant and dear friend of mine earlier today, and found out you actually need to chain 1 at the end of starting a new row. WHO KNEW!

That’s a lot of yarn to make into balls.



On top of remaking 6 hours worth of present (I’m very, very bitter about the whole thing, obviously), I’m going to be remodeling my apartment. We got new owners that are very professional and although I’ll be bug sprayed next Thursday (meaning, taking everything I own out of the bathroom and kitchen cabinets and dumping them on my living room in one heap) the whole “new beginning” has inspired me to start over. Start fresh, and better myself, and my living space.

For one, I’ll be getting a sewing machine! Either my friend’s or from amazon; it’s a lovely addition to my apartment either way.

I’ll also be redoing my bedroom. I’ve got colors and a bit of a theme I’m working on right no and everything is coming together nicely. The wall color will finally be changed, and my bedding has just arrived from Macy’s making everything come together. Speaking of bedroom remodels, I’ll be working on my very own latch hook rug for the bedroom in the matching colors to compliment the walls and my bed (idea taken from abeautifulmess blog).

Lastly, I wanted to introduce my new Samsonite!

I got it on amazon and I couldn’t be happier! It’s perfect in every way. And I decide what to use it for, although I’m leaning towards my crafts and possibly my sewing needles and buttons, while my fabrics could be stored in the same brown train luggage they rest in today.

I just can’t stop coming up with ideas on how to fill this bad boy with items I probably don’t need.


What’s To Come

You can look forward to at least three different dessert recipes in the next week, as well as another rib recipe (haven’t decided which), closer to Christmas.

Aside from the crafting I’ll be putting up,  I have a reading list a mile long, and a few of the books that I consider rave worthy (at least so far) so I’ll make sure my opinion will be up on those as well, along with many others, out in Web-Space.

Top Rave-Worthy Books I’ll be discussing:



**I appreciate your patience with me and sticking around!


A Slow Start to the Holiday Season

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I’m not sure where to begin. But I suppose so people don’t think that I’ve disappeared I had to write a little something. Recently there has been a family emergency that I have had to step up and take care of. Not only for my sake, but for the sake of my mom. Honestly, I haven’t had the strength to do much of anything, including crocheting Boyfriend’s mom’s Christmas blanket (which is about 1/3 of the way done). I have cooked, and sadly, all those lovely apples that I picked  were wasted. I couldn’t bring myself to bake or care about anything under the circumstances.

Slowly, I’m getting back on my feet. I managed to make some ragu this weekend, as well as some ill-fated stuffed mushrooms (I’m sure I forgot to add…flavor? because they were sad little things), and as we speak/ write/ read I’m attempting to make Ranch Roasted Potatoes.

I’m any case, my slow progress is nonetheless, progress. And I promise a  steady turn around of recipes to come for the holiday season. Not to mention a bunch of crafts and home inspirations for the lovely months to come.