Please think positive thoughts!

Magellan is at the vet’s office now, under observation before his lumpectomy.


He’s had a big lump in his neck for a while. He had a week of banana flavored antibiotics but that didn’t fix it (though he took his doses like a champ!) and, unfortunately, the thing kept growing. If we left it, eventually it would have interfered with his eating habits, and then what would he do all day?

So back to the vet where we scheduled his lumpectomy. We did pass on the biopsy to save a couple hundred dollars. The lump has to come out no matter what it is.

So if you have a few minutes today, think some positive thoughts towards my little pet while he gets put under anesthesia.

If all goes well, he’ll be home this afternoon!


Beachy weekend, but no sand

This was a super busy weekend, and we did a TON of stuff Friday and Saturday – starting out with a really fun game night party Friday night (I rocked Taboo, not gonna lie), then I worked all day on Saturday, hit the gym and then to a birthday dinner/drinks which was also really fun. And though I didn’t get home until 1:30AM I wasn’t tired! This means I’m not old yet! Celebrate ­čÖé

Sunday Funday was the best, though, with brunch  out with friends at Sugar Shack, one of my favorite places to eat breakfast in OC.

Main Street in HB

Courtesy of Surf City USA. No car show this weekend, but I've heard that Surf City Nights are really fun, especially in October around Halloween.

I highly recommend going, waiting for a table on the front patio facing Main Street, and spend your time leisurely eating pancakes and people-watching. We saw many cute dogs, a very sad sign for a lost bunny rabbit, and stopped for gelatto.

Definitely a win.

And since the front was so crowded, we got seated a little early by taking a table on the back patio, which is shaded and has a really cool mural wall. It’s also quieter back there without all the people walking past.

All their food is really good and regular breakfast food, so it’s good if you’re not looking for anything exotic. Just eggs, pancakes and hash browns here.

Sugar Shack

Sugar Shack back patio Via

I also really like the macadamia nut pancakes next door at No Ka Oi, and actually was daydreaming about those pancakes while we waited for Sugar Shack, but had already kind of committed to the restaurant. Next time, though. Next time.

A local adventure: Zip lining

I went zip lining!

For those of you who know me in person, yes, this is old news, but I just rediscovered the photos so it’s kind of new news.

I am really afraid of heights. And so is my sister. But together we thought this would be a really good idea. Luckily we were right.

There’s a zip lining place inside Irvine Regional Park, which is not actually in Irvine. It’s in Orange. Neither of us ever would have guessed this place existed, but she found it on a Groupon so we got a group together and went on a weekend.

Can't you tell we're jazzed? So ready to take on the zip line.

The couple leaving the ziplining station ahead of us looked intact and happy, and the perky high schooler explaining the rules said it was totally safe. Who are we to question an upbeat 17-year-old? (Just kidding – I’m sure she was well-educated in the dangers and CPR and first aid and all that jazz.)

I don’t think this is normally open to the public because I couldn’t find it on the website for the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, but I did learn that the place is run by the Boy Scouts.

I also don’t know how high up it was — a wealth of information here, I know — so I’m going to guess about 50 feet? Keep in mind that my sense of distance is about as good as my sense of time.

We all had to wear helmets and tightly strap on the harness, and then we were free to jump off a ledge and hope we didn’t get stuck hanging in the middle of the chasm.

My sister is a PRO. She ran and jumped like nobody’s business. Apparently that’s because she’d read that if you don’t have enough momentum, you end up suspended in the middle of the line and you’d have to hand-pull yourself to the edge. Either way, I was super proud of her for going for it like that.

Photo belongs to RubySongbird


Me, on the other hand…

I had some trouble with the first take-off, but after that I jumped off like it was no thang (don’t make fun, that sucker was higher than it looks!).

There’s video evidence of this but I’m a little embarrassed to share it. No matter how cute you think it is.

Zip lining was really, really fun. And kind of feels like riding the swings at Disneyland – you have something a nice metal chain to hold onto, and there’s only minimal danger of flinging out of your harness and dying. Plus you get to feel like you’re flying, a little bit. Good times.

If you get a chance to do this, it’s a good beginner’s route to a longer zip line elsewhere. Kind of takes the fear edge off.


Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center
2 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

photo belongs to RubySongbird

Here's the entrance. Pretty welcoming, yes?

Just like Thanksgiving dinner

In my winter-long quest to find vegetables other than zucchini that might take place as the standby vegetable, I pulled out this recipe from Thanksgiving.

A few years back I made the standard Campbell’s soup mushroom and green bean casserole. It was delicious but not quite healthy and people really seemed to like it..

But this year I wanted to try NOT to add to my family’s high blood pressure and cholesterol, so I found a much better recipe that actually turned out tastier than the canned soup version! And in this one, there’s only one canned ingredient – French fried onions.

You cook green beans on the stove or boil them in water. In a separate pan, saute sliced mushrooms in a little oil and add seasoning (I used garlic salt and Italian herb mix). When you’re ready to eat, combine the two and sprinkle some French fried onions on top!

Voila! And there you have a really yummy veggie side dish that is not zucchini.

Only a couple sad green beans remained at the end of this meal.


As you can see, we had other food too. Really, really good fish and the quick cooking risotto!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Here at RubySongbird, we love a good celebration.

Big welcome to all the water-dragon babies coming into this world and wishing everyone a happy and successful 2012!

Clearly this year of the dragon means more House Targaryen in Game of Thrones! And I will FINALLY finish the last book. For sure, this time. Because my other books are starting to feel neglected.

Lunar New Year!