Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wedding gifts

The wedding is in less than two weeks! I’m so excited! We have been getting gifts in the mail like crazy so we are having a friend of ours watch the dog and check the mail and house sit for us while we are gone. It really has been crazy getting ready to go; cleaning, and laundry and packing and planning. Wow I’m ready for vacation to start!

Grant left this morning to go pick up Sammy in Oklahoma from her mom’s place. I can’t wait to see her. It’s been a month. Normally it will be two months between but because of the wedding and her mom having to change the last visit for a month late we get her two months in a row for visitation.

I love that some of the gifts we have gotten so far are for Sammy. That way she can be part of it too. We really wanted it to be more about a family coming together rather than a couple coming together. I know she is only two but she will still feel like she is part of the process.

One of the gifts we got is one of my favorites. It is a marriage prayer candle. I’ve seen then before and my parents have one. I was looking for one for my friend that got married last month but couldn’t like one that I liked. Then my mom’s best friend sent us one for our wedding and I love it! Its just one of those things you can have around the house to remind you that people are praying for your family and that people love you. It’s not something I will personally burn but it will be nice to have around as a reminder of those people praying for us and as a reminder of our love. I def recommend every couple get one for their wedding.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


These last few days have been INSANE! we leave next Thursday for Oregon for the wedding and we are trying to get everything done that needs to be done before the weekend so I don't have a ton of things that need to be done while Grant is gone to pick up Sammy for visitation. But I am so excited I can't wait for next Thursday!

Today I got to go pick up my dress and i got my hair done so I'm already to go expect needing to be in Oregon. Anyways this might be the last post for a few days till we get to Oregon and stuff starts to slow down a little until next week when we are running around like our heads are cut off setting up for the wedding.

On another note I am so glad for bubble baths! Without them I am sure m y back would be in such bad shape with knots and such. I highly recommend getting your bath tub all set up like an oasis at least once a week to de-stress. One of my favorite things is listening to my water fountain. I am one of those weird people that love rain so listening to something like rain helps me relax. Plus the water fountain makes it sound like I am somewhere other than my own home. Anyways hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore

I don’t know what it is about pasta but I love it, anything that has pasta! Italian food is my all time favorite cuisine, no doubt about it. It is just such an easy thing to make and there are so many different things you can do with pasta. Plus you have to admit that it is the most fun food to eat because you get to slurp it.

Last night I made chicken cacciatore. I don’t know what it is but I always get satisfaction from getting all the ingredients out on the counter and watching them turn into an amazing dish. Plus it’s a simple dish, and since I’m teaching Grant how to cook it was a good dish to start to start with. This is how I make it (since there are several different versions of make it).

What you’ll need:
4 chicken breast
1 large onion
2 garlic gloves
1 1lb can of tomatoes
1 8oz tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
½ tsp celery seed

What you do:

Brown the chicken in a large skillet. (I cut the chicken into strips so it cooks faster and is easier to distribute if there are more than 4 people) Remove the chicken from the pan and cook the onion (cut into ¼ inch slices) and garlic (minced) till onion is tender and a little brown.

Combine the can of tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices over onions and garlic. Then add the browned chicken. Let it simmer till chicken is cooked all the way through. Lastly serve over any type of pasta you like best (my favorite is angle hair because of the slurping but we only had penne in the house when I made it) and enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Family Picnic

I love weekends, anything that gives us family time especially since we don’t get it that often. Where we live is kinds right outside San Diego. It’s like 20 min from every, the beach, the mountains, the desert, and the city. I love it. This last weekend was perfect weather too. Not hot but sunny with a little breeze. Grant decided it was time to go for a Sunday picnic up the mountain a little in one of the little parks.

I don’t know what it is about being outside but I love it. It is so open and I love looking at the scenery around me. When I was in school I use to take pictures of my favorite sceneries and put them up in my dorm room. (It made it feel a little bit bigger)

Anyways, family picnics I would say are one of my favorite outside activities. Depending on where you go it can be like camping for the afternoon. Plus if you go to the park you can play with your kids on the swings and stuff.

Last time we had a picnic was awhile ago. I saw another family that had one of those picnic backpacks that has everything you need in it already, including glasses and utensils. All you have to do is pack your food in it and go.

When we got home I looked into getting one but life got a little busy and I forgot about it until yesterday.

I found this great one that is perfect and thought I would share it with everyone. Now the next family picnic we go on all we will have to do is put the food in the backpack and go! I’m so excited!

Friday, June 5, 2009


So Grant gets home last night and is in a really bad mood. I asked him what was wrong and he informs me that his Master Sargent is making him go to Sargents course up in palm springs. Well that wouldn't be that bad expect its going to be right after our wedding and he will be gone for 2 months! Talk about disappointing. Oh well guess its time to start getting use to military life. He said he was going to try to see if he could get it pushed back a few months so it doesn't interfere with visitation with my step daughter. But I'm not holding my breath, and his ex keeps telling him that if he has to miss a visitation for some reason that he doesnt get to reschedual it he just looses that time with his daughter, it doesnt matter if its a military reason or what. And her current husband is also in the military so she should understand! She is also making us change one of the visitations because she is having a baby which whatever its sammy's little sibling an we dont mind changing something if its what is best for sammy but to make us change our schedual and then not allow for us needing to change something such a messed up move! I so wish we had the money to do something about that. Anyways, just wanted to vent about the last nights frustrations. Thanks for listening.

On to better news the wedding is in a few weeks and I can't wait for it to be over. My mom, bless her heart, i swear has thought of every little detail possible that may need some sort of planning, even things that dont need planing she will call me and have at least 15 min conversation about it. The other day she called freaking out because the person she was going to get the flowers from fell through and i needed to help find someone else, well she called like 20 min later because she kept getting a wrong number from someone so i told her to call that person back and tell them it was a wrong number and to get to right number. Then the next day she called saying she got the flowers. I know its going to be an amazing day and I really can't wait for it! I mean i really dont want to wait anymore!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stir Fry

Last night I made stir fry for dinner. That has to be one of my husbands favorite meal. We are both Chinese food buffs and love to find new things to make or new ways of making the things we know we like. There are so many different types of stir fry that people can make. Plus it is so easy to make. Our favorite has a sweet and sour sauce that makes it that much better than a regular stir fry sauce. Here is what i normally do to make stir fry....

Chop of 4 chicken breast to bite size pieces. You can use fresh veggies or get a bag of frozen stir fry mixed veggies. I normally get the frozen bag because this bag has bamboo shoots into and its hard to find that to put them in fresh. You will also need a jar of Kikkoman sweet and sour sauce.

You don't have to use a wok but I recommend using one. Esp if you want to full Chinese food experience. I got one of those wok packs that come with everything you need to make Chinese food. Even bowls if you want to make some egg drop soup (which by the way is amazing).

Get the wok nice and hot and fry up the chicken and once it is all cooked add the veggies and put the lid of your wok to steam them. If you are using a frozen bag you might want to drain out the liquid before adding the sauce or its going to be very watery.

While you are cooking the stir fry make some rice. It is easier to make minute rice rather than cooking rice for 30 min but you can do that too. I use min rice because it is faster and I can make it while I'm cooking the chicken.

Things you can add to your stir fry. Pineapple, chopped peppers (green, yellow or red), onions, broccoli, carrots, bamboo shoots, sugar snap peas, baby cob corn, water chestnuts, mushrooms and many many more veggies!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Kitchen

I don’t know about you but for me the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in my home. I love to cook! There is just something about creating things in the kitchen that is relaxing and calming. I can focus on something else for the time being. One of my favorite things is when we go out to eat and we really like a new dish I go home and try to make to it and see how it turns out. Sometimes its better other times they defiantly don’t tell you everything in it on the menu because something is missing. Although cooking is great you have to make sure you have the right tools to be able to do the things you want to do. It is finding those basic kitchen tools that are good quality that can sometimes be more frustrating than anything. You think you got something that is last but a month or so down the road either it broke or the knives you got are dull after minimal use.

I guess I would say one of the most important kitchen tools I have are my kitchen knives. I use them everyday for one thing or another. Finding that right set can sometimes be frustrating and expensive. Some of the problems I’ve had was the set was on sale and looked great I got it home and the knives were to dull. So I got a different set and the handle broke the third time I used the knife. I finally found a knife set that was good quality and wouldn’t break my bank. Most sets out there that are the good quality that we all want cost so much that you have to sit back and question is it really worth the investment especially if I can find one that is just as good for half the price.

Anyways the point is that the kitchen is a great room to start with when you are creating your home. Get the tools that you need to be able to be the chef of your home. Your kitchen could be just a place you go to warm up your left over’s after a night out for dinner or your kitchen could be its own restaurant in your home, that great place to go and get whatever type of food you desire at the moment. So get your Favorite cookbook out and go to your kitchen and make it a chefs kitchen.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Part of being in America is living life in a certain pace. Life is fast and if you don’t sit down for a min to smell the roses then you are going to miss what is going on. These last few months have been the craziest I’ve ever had! Working while planning a wedding as well as having multiple court dates to get increased visitation as well as get a schedule for the visitation so it would be easier to plan for visitation. Through all of this I have realized how important it is to have that oasis. Either you can make your whole home your oasis or if you work from home or are a stay at home mom and you are in the home most of the day make sure you are creating at least one place in your home that can be your oasis.

The word Oasis means a fertile ground in desert where the level of underground water rises to or near ground level, and where plants grow and travelers can replenish water supplies. Or a place or period that gives relief from a troubling or chaotic situation. There are many definitions oasis but what does it mean to you.

Right now my favorite place for relaxing after a stressful or busy day is on the porch. I get a good book and burl up in my chair and drift off to a new world in my book. If you have a porch or balcony or any place outside I would recommend getting a hammock chair. They are amazing when you just need a place to sit and relax. I am one of those people that loves to just curl up with a book at any chance I can get. My hammock chair is one of my favorite places to do that. Porch chairs are nice but there is nothing quick like relaxing in my hammock chair. At the end of the day I get a drink and go on the porch and read a book or watch the sky as the sun sets. We have a canyon right next to our home and watching the trees and bushes for animals is a great way to sit and relax.

Another one of my favorite things to do to relax is to take a nice hot bath at the end of the day or sit in the hot tub. I don’t know about anyone else but I love the sound of water and water falls. That’s why I got a water fountain. When I’m working around the house or sitting in the hot tub or taking a bath to relax I turn on the fountain and the sound takes me away on a vacation to jungle or forest. The water fountain I got is a fire and water fountain, so when I have it on and I’m trying to relax, like in the bath tub or in the hot tub or just trying to have a romantic evening, its nice to be able to have the candle light to set a tone for the atmosphere as well as have the water fall sound to focus on to take you on your mini vacation.

Well I guess that’s it for now. There are many ways to create an oasis in your own home and maybe I’ll talk more about them another time but for now those are my oasises. I hope you all enjoy creating your own oasis and can take some time for yourself in this busy life.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New to blogger

My name is Kari Tau soon to be Weddle. Next month I am getting married to the most amazing man, named Grant, and getting the most beautiful step daughter, named Sammy. My soon to be husband is in the military and has been for the last 5 years and just re enlisted for the next 4 years. For the next 4 years we are stationed down in San Diego California. I've been here for the last 5 years. I came down here for school and during my senior year met my soon to be husband. I went to school for my BA in psychology so that I would be able to work with kids and youth.

The main goal of my blog is to be able to share my experiences of building my home and have people share with me their experiences of building their own homes. It doesn't take much to have a house, but I've learned though not only my own experience but by watching those around me, including my mom, that turning a house into a home takes hard work. A house is just a house until you make it your own and build the kind of environment that will make your house your home. I want to share my experiences while i am making my house into a home for my family, and I hope that people will share with me their own experiences.

I am also writing this blog to share the tips that I learn for building your home, inside and out. Your home isn't just your house, it's also the surrounding yard (and garden if you have one). For me, both are equally important when building your home, especially if you have children or are planning on having children. Grant and I hope to build our home and lives around and for our children. We want them to be able to have a safe living environment to learn and grown up in. We hope people will feel the same way we do about building their homes, and will share with us their experiences, lessons, and tips they have learned over the years.