Thursday, January 12, 2012


A lot has been written about Lego Friends. I just think not enough good stuff has been said about them. It should be noted that I have bought a set of one of these Lego as a mom of 2 girls and as a Lego collector. But with that being said, I haven't opened it yet because we are currently enjoying our Harbor and Fishing boat.
BUT I don't like the things that are being said about the new sets. I don't like them being written off as sexist, stereotypical or stupid. Because LEGOs are not stupid. Although, if you'd like to worry that allowing your son (or daughter) to play with certain Lego sets will make them think that they can only grow up to be Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Construction workers or Ninjas... well, that's your prerogative as a parent.
However, I'd like to applaud Lego on their new set designs. I like them for several reasons. First of all, I like the marketing. I love the buzz that is being created is BIG. Maybe it's because of the internet; maybe it's because they are so different that what's been since recently, but either way... Bravo, Lego. Ya see, Lego has been making "girl" Lego sets for almost 20 years. One of their first sets was this lovely set from 1994:
Picture courtesy of

Now, come on! Talk about sexist... we have baby cradle, and blankets and bottles... uh... where's Dad? Why is there a BLANKET in there? The Belville theme had TONS of pink Legos and princesses and doll-house types of sets. Seriously, how was this supposed to fit into the TOWN collection? Where were the walls? Where were the building pieces? Hmmm.
I was looking at the Lego website where I came across this comment (February 13, 2010!!!) on a Belville set:
I'm dissapointed in how lego makes girls sets so rubbish
My daughter never plays with it and she hates it, she would like a set with normal girl minifigs and castles but there is only stuff for boys, Please lego improve on your sets, i would really want you to message me back to know that you are reading this because i would like more girls sets!!
Or (March 30, 2010):
The only down side is at a per brick price of over 19 cents it's expensive!
And repeated several times (this was on February 1, 2009):
Hoping Lego will make more building sets for girls..not just playsets.
Now, we have purple cars that rival red cars. We have this house:

(Image from

Which reminds me a lot of this set:

(Image from

And guess what? They're all Legos! Which means you can mix and interchange them. Which means that the girl who loves polly pocket can now take a second look at Legos and perhaps, just perhaps be introduced to the other themes as well. Because it's not what Legos look like... it's how you PLAY with them. It's allowing a child's imagination to use different tools and shapes and colors to create his or her own design and reality. Because the these new Lego sets aren't just playsets... they are building blocks which are marketed for girls. And hopefully stepping stones to introduce more children to Legos.
But hey, if you're not interested. That's fine... That means there's more for me and my family.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My favorite kind of food: FREE Food

I love food. I like all kinds of food. I do prefer some over others. I mean, why eat mustard greens when I can have strawberries? (Not that I don't like mustard greens; there is a time and a place for everything.)
Although, I would have to say my absolute favorite food: Free Food. Free edible food. Free good edible food. Okay, I'm getting hungry.
Good thing I was given coupons to try the Private Selections appetizers and desserts. Private Selections is the store brand (awwww... Love the store brands!) of Kroger's family of grocery stores. Here in Southern California we call it Ralphs. I've always been a fan of Ralph's store brands because they don't scrimp on quality. The are usually more expensive though, so I was stoked to try them for FREE!
Unfortunately, Ralphs is not into this whole "free" business because they have to make money somehow. I found this out when I bought extra veggies and shrimp tempura from their Private Selections brand. I had 3 free coupons for pizza, an appetizer and a dessert. The cashier gave me the pizza and dessert for free, but not the appetizer. The appetizer was $5.99 and she only took off $2.79. ARRRRRGH! This is why I DON'T SHOP AT RALPHS!!!!
But hey, at least the food was good. Let's take my shrimp tempura. Just look at it. It is one of those times where you cook it and it looks exactly as how the box pictured it.

And it was delicious! I had some Trader Joe's Gyoza Dipping sauce and well, there's a reason that I didn't get the pictures posted of the food after it was cooked. Yum yum!
Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent and received coupons to try some of these product for free.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I did it!

I passed my exam. I'm an official Professional Engineer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's been a month...

Vi is 10 weeks old, so that would be 2 months, BUT it's been a month since I took the dreaded PE exam. PE: Professional Engineer, or Painful Exam. Anyway, it's actually been 7 months since I first took it; you see, there are three parts to this exam. On Friday (it's always on a Friday,) there is what's called the 8 hour general exam. An 8 hour test. Uh-hu. Now in most of the US, passing this is enough to receive your license. But not in California. California has those things called earthquakes, and even though I'm never going to design a building, wouldn't it be nice to know that the streets aren't going get flooded after an earthquake because the person who designed the sewer/stormwater system designed it for earthquakes too?
So, then on Saturday there is the seismic exam in the morning (2.5 hours) and a survey test in the afternoon (another 2.5 hours). Yes, for some reason thousands of people volunteer (and pay lots of money!) to take this test. And here are the passing rates:
It's amazing! We torture ourselves and the passing rate FOR EACH TEST is one out of three. (or one out of two if we're lucky.) The general exam has a lot of general questions, like stuff we haven't seen since college. Then the seismic and survey tests are on structures and geometry, respectively. And for those of us engineers who practice water engineering, both of those tests are pretty difficult. The saying goes that the survey test is the easiest followed by the 8-hour and the seismic.
The main problem with these test is that they are multiple choice. It is EXTREMELY unlikely for someone to pass out of shear luck, but it does happen. For the rest of us we wrestle with the phrase: choose the best answer. That's right, don't choose the right answer, or the correct answer, just "the best". It's a math/science test that's subjective. It's so incredibly difficult, hence the low passing rates mentioned above.
I found out in January that I pass both the seismic and the 8 hour, so I only had to take the survey test last month. Unfortunately, I still had to pay the entire test fee. (*2*7*5*DOLLARS!!!)
I'll find out in July if I can start putting the letters "PE" after my name. After all, I will have the license to do so.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My weekend: Test and Shopping.

This past weekend, I took the PE Exam (survey portion) for the second time. I'm not sure how I feel about it... I get my results in 3 months. We'll see how I feel about it then.
The big highlight of my weekend, other than spending it with my two girls, was having my wonderful husband take me to Baby Celebration. Wow. Talk about a winning weekend.

I must have entered at least 25 giveaways and drawings. (and I haven't even checked my email yet to see if I won any!) First, I got free tickets from DillyDally, from whom I purchase an adorable apron/smock for Jo. And speaking of, Jo had a GREAT time with the disney radio folks. (Hmmm... do I since another Disney fan?)

But, my favorite (and one of the last booths) that I visited was I met Eric, the husband of one of the owners of the site. (I'm presuming her name is Jana.) And they were giving away the very same aden + anais winter wraps that they have available to buy, er, steal, today. (I love aden + anais, even if you don't have kids. Serriously.) Anyway, is celebrating their 1 year anniversary. And I got to say congratulations! Babysteals is having a birthday celebration, and we're all invited:

So go, have fun, and I'll post later about the perils of professional licensing registrations.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Totally unrealated to water and winning (Sort of)

So, my husband sent this to me today, and it just tickled me so, I have to share. Enjoy!

Sure. Everyone talks about saving money and fiscal responsibility and all that, but nobody really talks about how hard it is, or how expensive it can end up being. I mean, when I was just starting out, my business professor told us all that one of the best things we could do to ensure our financial stability into the future was to have only one credit card, and then freeze it into a big block of ice. That way, anytime we wanted to make a big-ticket purchase, we'd be forced to contemplate it while we worked at getting the credit card unfrozen. "Mark my words," he said. "Most of the time, you won't even get halfway to it before you realize that you don't really need what you were thinking about buying."
Well, that made sense to me. The only problem was that I didn't have a refrigerator. So I had to go out and buy one, and damn if those things aren't expensive. So I was really happy I hadn't frozen my credit card yet and used it to buy this really awesome fridge/freezer combo with the ice cube dispenser in the door. I didn't really need the ice cube dispenser in the door, but I figured that if I was going to have my credit card in a block of ice, I wouldn't have much room left in the freezer for ice trays. So it made sense.
But then I didn't have anywhere to put the freezer. It was too big for the room I was renting. So I needed to buy a house. So I went to the bank and got my mom to co-sign on this awesome loan that didn't even need any money down and would have really low payments for like two years. And I knew that I'd be working by then and would be making good money, so that didn't worry me at all.
Then I needed something to transport my freezer in. I would have just rented a truck, but I figured that, you know, I'd be needing a car to get around and look for jobs and stuff. I thought about buying a used truck, but then I was like, you know, I don't want to buy someone else's problem. So I bought this biatchin' F-150 and got a pretty good rate from the dealer and didn't have to put anything down, either. They were really cool.
So I put my freezer in the truck and drove it to my townhouse and then realized I needed electricity to make a block of ice but they were mean at the electric company and wanted like a two month deposit and I didn't have any money, so I had to use my credit card again for that and thank God it wasn't frozen yet.
Then I needed a bucket to make a block of ice in, so I got in my truck and went to Target, and while I was there I figured, you know, I should probably buy some other things a house needs like cleaning supplies and food and toilet paper and towels and an XBox 360 and a few games. And boy, I don't know how I'd have bought all that stuff if I'd already frozen my credit card, but I guess someone was looking out for me.
So I took all my new stuff home and took it inside and poured water in the bucket and put the credit card in the water and put it all in the freezer and it was frozen solid by the next morning. And then a few days later I was out of food. And I went to get my credit card but it was frozen, and damn if I couldn't get it out of that block of ice. And I waited a while like the professor had said but it didn't make me want food any less. Heck, I wanted it more. And I got the block of ice out and took it out to the walk and picked it up over my head and threw it down on the sidewalk, but it just chipped a little so I tried again and this time it landed on my foot and I broke it. My foot, I mean. And I got taken to the hospital in the ambulance with my block of ice and it finally melted which was good because holy Christ hospitals are expensive. And by the time I got home I was realizing that this whole financial planning thing really sucks, because now my credit card is maxed and my bucket is cracked and I can't drive my truck because my foot's broken and how am I supposed to find a job?
Maybe I'll buy a computer and get that Quicken software. I heard it helps you track spending and stuff. Maybe that's what I need.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

You can wash, but be careful

I just read this lovely post by Cars for Girls: How to Hand Wash Your. Allow me to say that I love this blog, and they host some really nice giveaways. (Hmm... I wonder how I found out about them?!?)
Anywho, I was quite disappointed when I read the post about washing your car, and it mentioned NOTHING ABOUT WATER CONSERVATION! Now, being in California, where all things are shiny, beautiful, and no less, splashy, I strongly believe in a clean car. And what better way to get a little sun yerself (and save some $$$) than to wash your own car? Well, that's fine and all, if you don't live in an HOA. Our HOA now has a $500 fine (yes, five hundred dollars) for anyone who washes their own car.
Here's the reasoning: Soap is actually not all that clean, at least, not once it's in water. Do you want to drink a half palmolive/water cocktail? No. Okay... The soap gets rinsed off of your car and goes straight into the storm drain, which goes straight into the Ocean. Now, I'm quite certain that if I don't like the dish soap cocktail, most of the swimmers and marine life at the beach won't like it either.
So, what's a girl to do? Not wash her car? Be doomed to spend $20 every month @ Wash 'N Detail R Us? Nope, there is salvation for homeowners: wash your car on or next to your lawn so that the water will get soaked up by the ground before running off into the gutters. The grass seems to tolerate the soapy muck. Up to a point.