Friday, February 23, 2007

Boys! As easy as A, B, C, D, E, F, G!

Boys! As easy as A, B, C, D, E, F, G!

Alright boys and girls, it’s Monday morning and it’s time to blog. The funny thing is I’m at a loss for words. I know, hard to believe, but true. I was tapping my foot channeling my creative energy when my boss suggested, “Write about something interesting.” Interesting? As profound a suggestion that is, I am still sitting on this leather chairs waiting for something to come to me. Aha! Gifts for boys! Such a struggle for some ya know? Not for me! Read on for pearls of wisdom!

A- Car:
(Not in the budget for all the bargain hunters who read my blog? We’ll get to ya’all in just a momento)! Men love cars…..some guy told me once that cars to men are like scrapbooks to women….so they love them. And, if you’re a sugar momma, black AmEx card carrying success then by all means….Vroom Vroom!

As in Pacifico beers! By the way did you know that beers go exceptionally well with chocolate chip cookies? Yeah their like cheese to wine. Just ask my friend Will. Will got his appendix taken out this past week. Ouch! I know, so what better to console him than a prescription from Dr. Irvina for chocolate chip cookies and Pacifico beer? Now some girls I know refrain from this kind of stuff because they think it looks too girly. Of course, if you’re going to wrap it with hot pink flowers and violet organza ribbon he’s gonna be less than excited to show his roommates. BUT! If you put it in a natural basket, use earthy raffia for the ribbon then he’s going to be totally stoked. Check out the pictures below and thank me with a Watermelon Daiquiri later. .…

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These come with some precautions....remember the “Ahhhhhhh! So cute” factor? When you’re making crafts? The same goes for anything you bake or cook. If you’re going to make a baked good a gift it ought to look like a perfect 10 and be lip lickin’ scrumptious! Now, it doesn’t have to be difficult to do that though. Honestly, I’m not a big cupcake baker myself, but I know a pretty cute girl that is, Patty! She is this totally cute New York gal who is at the height of easy entertaining and simple recipes check out her website at . Try her recipe for apple cake. Yummy! Also if you’re looking for some more great cupcakes you can never go wrong with Sprinkle’s Cupcakes (or as my girlfriends call them, “crack”)

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D-eep tissue massage:
My boss…okay…the guy may be the connoisseur of women, the cream of the crop at great conversation and have impeccable taste in leather sofa sets, but when it comes to taking a chill pill the guy is in need of some serious 911 help from Chica Irvina. So, a gift certificate for a massage at the local spa made quite the splash for his birthday. He said he was going to use it the same day!

E-ndless kisses:
Write out a cute little gift certificate on your computer for “Endless kisses.” A very big smile….100% Guaranteed!
NOTE: Not to be used on friends, co-workers or family members (unless of course you are under the age of two.)

F-lourless Chocolate Cake:
WARNING: If you’re going to serve this to anyone (guy or girl) be prepared for a marriage proposal on the spot! No joke, my girlfriends give me the eyes after I make this recipe at girls nights. Guys just tend to blurt out “I love you” over and over again as he devours it in one sitting at the dining room sets. So again…Bake with caution: Here is the recipe: Bake’r up girls!

1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
4 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate
4 ½ oz cacao chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease one 10 inch round cake pan and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the water, salt and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside.
Either in the top half of a double boiler or in a microwave oven melt the bittersweet chocolate and cacoa. Pour the chocolate into the bowl of an electric mixer.
Cut the butter into pieces and beat the butter into the chocolate, 1 piece at a time. Beat in the hot sugar-water. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Have a pan larger than the cake pan ready, put the cake pan in the larger pan and fill the pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
Bake cake in the water bath at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 45 minutes. The center will still look wet. Chill cake overnight in the pan or serve warm. To reheat put each slice in the microwave for 25 seconds. Add some vanilla ice cream for yummyness!
G-adgets: As in watches….pretty, pricey and perfect! You know where to go, the mall, the boutique. Wind it and wrap it!

Alright my lady friends I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog!
Until we meet again, keep sweet, smiley and shoppin’ at


Friday, February 16, 2007

Do what you love!

Valentine’s Day was this past Wednesday. Being a 24 year old chica I have a diverse amount of friends who are newly married, going strong for 50 years, single and even (cue lighting) divorced. The funny thing to me is how much single gals talk about being single. I think I have heard every strategy about how to find love the quickest, dump it the nicest, test it’s authenticity, the mushy perfect endings and how to shape your prized perfect love into happily ever after. Dreadfully, after listening I get the gruesome question of, “Why aren’t you seeing anyone?” Being a pretty content single senorita for quite sometime, I pondered the question, “Why am I so content being single?” A thought came to me last night while I sat on our leather sofa in our living room, “Do what you love.” It’s a motto I try to live my life by. However, if that statement rang true I would have to say that,

1.) I love to drive through bumpy dirt roads

2.) I love to bathe in a shower that changes from scalding hot to ice cold ever 10 seconds

3.) I love doing work and not getting paid for it

4.) I love getting a whiff of dog feces every 3 miles

That’s pretty much what this past weekend was like in El Nino Mexico. I went with my church to build a home in this little community of people who lost their homes right after the storms of El Nino. They have tried to build their own shelter for themselves with scraps of plywood and old garage doors. I would guess the question of whether to go with the cherry wood or mahogany bedroom set for their master bedroom hasn’t recently crossed their minds. The question of whether they are loved or not probably sits with the latter of the two.

It was my fourth trip down there. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something has kept pushing me to sign up and go. For a long time I didn’t know why, but I found it on this trip. On top of an 8 foot ladder while I was painting the white trim on the pink house we built. I saw a God’s eye view of the dirt hills of El Nino. All of the homes that have been built over the past few years in the community were in front of me. A palette of homes in light blue, lime green, fuschia pink, royal blue, purple and mint green were spread out among the dusty hill. I thought to myself, “What if not even one of these little homes was ever built?” What if the voices that so loudly say, “going down there allows the Mexican government not to take care of their own people” and that “the Mexicans take advantage of charity and will learn to live off of it.” What if all of the volunteers that traveled down here had listened to those voices and not come? How much worse would the conditions in this community be? The only thing I could think of that would turn off those voices in someones head is the sake of “doing what you love.” No matter how stupid, ridiculous or out right wrong it looks to another person. “Do what you love.”

Yeah, so according to my girlfriends if you’re a women and not married by the time you’re 30, you’ve done something wrong. But, I beg to disagree. My challenge for all of the single, unique and beautiful women I know out there is “Do what you love and you will always have love.” Don’t bother with worrying about where your hottie husband is in the world and what precise time he is going to find you. “Do what you love”, is the name of the game. Love all the people you can a long the way. Whether it takes you to Mexico to build a home for some strangers or down the street to buy a turkey, avocado, extra Dijon mustard (hold the mayo) on a wheat baguette sandwich for yourself. If you don’t have a significant other in your life, that probably means the love you have to give is so great that it needs to be spread out before you give it all to a husband and your 2.5 kids . As it is said, “For where your treasure is there your heart will be.” Hugs, kisses and a big smile!

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Happy Valentines Day 2007!

It seems like lately every one tells me, "You're too hard on yourself Irvina." Well ya know what, I dont' think that's too bad because I get some pretty cute, creative stuff as the result. Check out this cute Valentine's card I made this year. When I make something I know it's not done until it has hit the "Ahhhhhh!" factor. You know you look at it and say, "Ahhhhhhhhhhh! So cute." Well this one shot right off the charts!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hillary for President!

On January 20th 1993, my little sister and I ditched school. Our age: 9 and 10 years old. Our accomplice: Our joy riding, cookie baking, mother. The crime: Watching President Clinton’s inauguration into the white house. It definitely wasn’t the hookie day to Disneyland that kids dream about, but I was still stoked to wear my pink pajamas all day and sit on our navy blue sofa with the cute little birds on it. At that time anything was better than long division. Even if it meant watching the man who had monopolized our television for the past 4 months at the effect of us missing our favorite TV show, Full House. I realize now that sitting on that couch I learned something more valuable than the oath a president says when he takes office. I learned that my mother, the woman I look up to cares about who runs her country and thus so should I. As I grew up I found that politics and world hunger was not the topic of discussion at the dining room table for many of my girl friends families. Breast implant, make-up, boyfriends and celebrities took the place. The result in recent years has been a society of women who only feel as powerful as their looks. Women who don’t have strong role models don’t become strong leaders who care about their country and making a difference in it. Now, more than ever, America needs a women president. A woman who would send the message that a woman can lead with strength, leadership and compassion. The unique leadership abilities of all women are needed and would make a more optimized society if they were tapped into. If America does not elect a women president, women will continue to look towards the women that are in the spot light (predominantly celebrities) who are only as valuable as their physical appearance.

Take the increase of breast implants into consideration. The American Society for Aesthetics Plastic Surgery reports that nearly 330, 000 women underwent breast surgeries in 2004, more than triple the total since 1997. That is more than an 800 percent increase since 1992. Half of the women I know from school, work and even church have breast implants. I remember being 15 and sitting with my friends who would discuss the idea of breast implants with their mom’s. One of my friends mom’s told her, “I wish you could be happy the way you are. But, if you’re not then why don’t you get on the internet and do some research into finding a good plastic surgeon.” Another friend’s mom said, “You can get the procedure done when you are able to take the money out of your trust fund when you’re eighteen.” Women are born with an innate ability to discernment and sensitivity. The focus is no longer on the strengths women are born with. Instead its on making the women the most beautiful she can be.

Young women develop who they are by the messages society sends them of what is acceptable. American society is very distinct on what is and isn’t approved of. The only women who are predominantly in the spot light are celebrities. Britney Spears is given attention for her shocking (nearly there) wardrobe, Cameron Diaz makes headlines for losing a boyfriend, Tyra Banks makes the news when she gains a couple of pounds. The underlying message is you must always look your best, keep your man and be skinny otherwise we’ll just make fun of you and lump you into the “Loser” category. A study done at the University of Calgary on teenagers with celebrity idols found that a ghastly 60 percent of participants admitted that a celebrity idol had a profound influence on their attitudes and personal values, including their work ethic and views on morality. And nearly half said that their idol inspired them to pursue activities including acting, sports, becoming a vegetarian or using drugs. For thousands of years women have had the talent of creativity and nurturing. When strong messages are relayed that a women can only be as creative as the fashion trends allow it depletes the God given uniqueness she has been given. A women who stands apart from the trends and states that being different is okay is needed.
My little niece is 10 years old. She just visited state capital of California on a field trip. They were looking at a long hall of portraits of all of the passed Governors of California. When my sister told her, “Maybe one day you’ll be Governor sweetie.” My niece replied, “I can’t I’m not a boy.” All of our passed Governors have been men. “What you see really is what you get.” Young girls can’t be expected to think big if the example is not set for them. I’m not saying that it’s Britney Spears job to be a role model, but somebody needs to step up and do it.
Right now I work as a blogger. I can type this blog up from an office, school, Starbucks, my sisters den or sitting on my mom’s Queen bedroom set. I like to think I live a pretty charmed life. At a time where technology and health are at it’s peak. I feel well equipped to accomplish whatever my heart desires. It pains me to think about the women who were never taught that skin is just the wrapping paper to the real present inside.