Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coming out of the "curl closet"

The time has arrived. I am ready to really let you all in on a big secret. 

I have naturally unruly, crazy, afro curly hair. If you saw me in person  you would never know this fact. Purely because I never wear my hair curly. In fact, if you have seen it "curly", theres a pretty good possibility that those are fake curls. Like this? 

Yeah, my hair doesn't naturally do that. Those curls were performed by me flat ironing my hair...and then making the curls...with the flat iron. Its a two step process and it takes about 1 hour. I tell you these things because I am trying to get you to understand just how crazy my hair is. Let me start from the beginning... 

Here is my Father. 

This isn't the best picture of his curls but I couldn't find one that really captured his true "white mans afro". I am told that in High school he even sometimes placed a "pick" in the back of his head, secured by the curls. So, naturally I was doomed to have "great" locks. 

When I was a baby I was actually pretty bald for a good portion of my babe life. I had a good dome, but it was pretty bare. Which was fine. I had huge eyes, so you could just be distracted by those. 

When my hair eventually did grow in, it had a mind of its own. It was blonde, almost white and it was big.  I remember telling my Mom when I was really small, "Mommy, I have puffy hair."

My dear Mother tried everything she could to make me feel pretty by putting bows and clips in my hair to keep me looking cute, but this usually just ended up with me screaming my head off because she couldn't get a comb through the mess. Every morning when it was time to brush Catherine's hair, it was a HUGE deal. I would sit between my Mothers legs and scream my head off because no matter how much detangler she used, it was never a pleasant experience. Somehow we got me through a somewhat cute childhood stage. And look, sometimes it even turned out in something less than a mess. 

And then...just like every dear 10 year old girl, I went through this very awkward stage. You know what stage I am talking about. The one where your teeth are too big for your mouth and your body is doing weird things. It was pre-puberty, and it was BRUTAL. Whenever I see girls going through this awkward phase its almost like my sensitive heart and feelings go out to them. I completely remember this stage. And for your entertainment, heres a picture of it. 

I told you it was bad. My hair doesn't look too bad here, the curl actually isn't too wild, but I can only imagine how long we combed that broom before it got to that point. 

When I was about 14, I discovered the flat iron. It was a turning point in my appearance. I remember thinking that all I had to do was just run this clamp thing through my hair and it TAKES AWAY the frizz! It was glorious. It had officially happened. I had become a slave to my hair appliances. And, so it began.

I styled my hair straight for the next 10 years. I blow dried, and then flat ironed my hair for hours. And to make matters worse, I was always friends with the girls who would get right out of the shower and let their hair naturally dry into a perfect silky straight style. I think I spent most of my teenage years coveting my BFF's hair. You know how people have shoe and clothing envy? I had hair envy. It's weird, I know. After all this time, I should probably see a therapist about it. 

When I went to Hong Kong to visit Peyton, I was naive and thought that my flat iron would work in an international plug. Yes, there were sparks, and a burning smell. The asian plug had blown up my flat iron. I remember skyping my Mom crying, telling her that I had no way of fixing my hair in this crazy country. "Asian people don't straighten their hair. They wouldn't have flat irons for sale anywhere." After I went on an adventure in an international city in search of one, I finally paid close to $100 for an international approved plug so that I could look my best while on my asian vacation. It was a mess. 

Even on our honeymoon I straightened it. If It wasn't straight as a board it was pulled back tight, with a headband secured.

Yesterday I bought a diffuser at the hair store, some mousse, relaxing cream, and perused some blogs on the best way to style curly hair. You see, there is a process. You have to section out 6 parts of your head and then place product and diffuse it until it is all over dry. It is important to distribute the product throughout all your curls. I hadn't worn my hair natural curly for about 10 years,  so I was even a little curious to see just how curly my hair truly was after all these years. After my hair was applied with pounds of product and dried on a low heat setting, I yelled out to Peyton "Well honey, its pretty big!" I will never forget opening up the door to show my husband my natural hair. I will also never forget his words. "I love it. It looks great!" I almost cried. I sat on the couch and ran my hands on my curls and thought to myself, "I need to do this more often. This is who I am." We already know that our poor children are going to be cursed with my curly hair, but I also know that from a very young age I will be encouraging them to love their curls. I may not be in love with my hair. It will take time getting used to having my hair big as opposed to flat, but I think it will be rewarding after all this time, finally showing people who I really am on the outside. 

And lets be could be worse. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Huntington botanical Gardens

On Saturday Peyton surprised me with a day date. He told me the whole week to leave a few hours open on Saturday so he could take me somewhere. I kept guessing the whole week on where we would be headed. I thought he was taking me golfing, I thought we were going to Universal Studios, I thought maybe it would be a hike...I had no idea. So on Saturday he said "Our date will be outside, but will not be physical." So...that took hiking and golfing out of the list...When we were driving to the date he even faked like he was taking different exits! That silly man. We ended at our destination, the Huntington library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino! It was on my bucket list. I hadn't been there since I was a little girl and I wanted to go back. I was so excited to be there because everything was in bloom for spring! There were a million people but it was such a beautiful day! 

If you have never been to this place, I definitely recommend it. The grounds are pretty big and you could explore for hours. They have a japanese garden, complete with Zen garden and bonsai trees, even a bridge with koi fish. 

They also have a fun desert area where there are millions of cactus! It was incredible. I felt like I was in a dream, or walking in Arizona. 

They also had a rose garden and the library buildings that had famous art and sculptures but we forgot to take pictures of that. Seriously we could have spent 3 more hours there and still not have seen all of it. 

We ended the day sitting on a beautiful lawn in the sun and had a really great talk. It was the perfect spring Saturday and I am so glad that I have a Husband who thinks of fun things for us to do. 
But seriously... I still want to go golfing. 

Domestic Goddess thanks to the World Wide Web

Time flies, you know that? Feels like just yesterday I was rambling on my blog about not being able to be domestic. Remember this post?

I was so stressed that I would not be able to feed my new family of two. I would have nightmares about living off canned peaches and feeding Mr. Buhler hamburger helper. I am here to update you. I know that you have sat here since then, everyday wondering how I am doing in the kitchen. I know you are worried that I have mistaken sugar for salt, or that I have somewhat scorched the bottom of my Calphalon non-stick pan. I am here to tell you, I have not. (Actually, I am a total liar. This did, in fact happen when I didn't realize that the water had all been evaporated while steaming broccoli. Don't worry. My Husband googled how to remove the burnt crust, and proceeded to boil water with baking soda off and on for 3 days. Good as new! Thanks hun.)

Other than that little "less than perfect" dinner, I have really become quite the cook. I have even been called the term, "domestic goddess." Yes. It was by me. I called myself a domestic goddess, but thats besides the point! I like to peruse the website "Pinterest" and find out things that look interesting to try. Mr. Buhler always comes home wondering what new concoction I have found on that website. "But honey, I know what I am doing, I saw it on Pinterest!" has been uttered just a few times within our household. I also like to find recipes from blogs and I really love my mormon girl cookbooks. "Our Best Bites" & "The Lion House" Cookbooks. (Side point: there are more recipes than just for jello and funeral potatoes in those cookbooks. My favorites are for baby shower slush, and tuna noodle casserole. Just kidding, this is turning into a bad mormon stereotype... Im sorry.)

Here are some of my favorite recipes as of lately.

cliantro chicken tacos
The quick pesto for the chicken in this recipe is so amazing. You could even eat just the chicken and it is delicious. So easy!

Browned butter gnocchi with broccoli
It is so yum! I have recently just tried cooking gnocchi and it is really good even just tossed with a pre-made pesto sauce. (I half this recipe if I am making it just for Peyton and I.)

Hummus crusted chicken
I love this recipe because it is foolproof and also easy to tweak to your liking. I like trying new hummus flavors as well. Seriously foolproof and super yummy.

Baked Chicken Fajitas
This is such a great website. I have liked almost all of the recipes I have tried from them. This one is really easy and packed with lots of flavor. Great for leftovers, as well!

Sweet & spicy bacon chicken
I love this one! Definitely has great flavors going on. Sweet and spicy. Plus, everything tastes better when its wrapped in bacon.  Which brings me to my next recipe..

bacon wrapped green beans
Mr. Buhler and I made these to accompany our steak dinner and I think I ate more of these than the steak. Which Peyton was happy about because he got to eat my meat. With brown sugar and minced garlic drizzled over them..they are so good!

peanut butter bars (Takes like Reeses!)
These are addicting and so unhealthy, which means they are DELICIOUS! I made a pan of them for the teachers at my school and I had people interrupting my class to see if I could pass along the recipe.

Oreo pudding choclate poke cake
I like the concept of this recipe, its very versatile with all the different varieties you could try. Fortunately, this one is so good that I haven't tried to switch it up.

Chicken & veggie skewers
This is a great meal for during the summer. Good on a grill but worked fine with our grill pan, also. I liked how the vegetables and the meat were in one dish. I think I added fresh fruit to the side and it was the perfect summer meal.

I am so thankful for the internet and how it helps me to brach out and try different recipes. I am also a very visual learner so the step by step pictures help me, a lot! I seriously don't know how people cooked for their families before the internet. Did everyone just have a family cookbook? What are some of your favorite recipes? Let me know if you try any of my favorites listed here! :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Story of Ben & Ken

I have been very blessed to become a new Aunt this past year. In May, I married Peyton and I got 4 adorable nieces and 4 cute nephews. Right before my wedding my Sister Colleen announced that she was pregnant. It was such great news and we couldn't have been happier.

About a month after she found out she was pregnant, Colleen went to the doctor and heard two heartbeats. She was having twins! They then discovered that they were going to be two little boys. We couldn't wait to welcome them into the Family. This was the first offspring in the Card clan and it was such unexpected joy! 

Around 27 weeks Colleen went to the Doctor for her glucose test and got some more unexpected news. She was in labor! She was rushed to the hospital and was given medicine through an IV to make her stop having contractions. Those buns were not ready to come out of the oven yet! They even had her lay slightly upside down to make sure the babies didn't get any ideas. Silly, boys. 

About 3 days later, I was in San Diego on vacation when I got the news that Colleen was going to have the babies via C-section. ( It was labor day, by the way. Coincidence?)  She was still 27 weeks along but they had numerous Doctors in the delivery room to make sure the little ones were in good hands. We were all waiting anxiously by our phones to hear the news. 

And then...I received the happiest pictures in the world. They were here! And they were perfect. 

Benjamin Ryu Herr 
2 pounds 2 oz. 13 in. long
September 2nd, 2012

Kenneth James Herr 
2 pounds. 12 in. long
September 2nd, 2012

Yes, they are Ben & Ken. (I can promise you that you will not forget their names now). 

I couldn't believe my eyes. They were so teeny tiny! My sister just had twins. 

My favorite part of the whole experience was Colleen calling me a few hours after surgery (still pretty drugged up) and she yelled "Cat, I did it! I DID IT!!! And there is two of them!!!" I couldn't help but smile.  

Those first few days were very rough. The boys were so premature that their lungs were underdeveloped and they needed a lot of attention. Ken received some blood transfusions and they were both on breathing monitors, feeding tubes and oxygen. Ken also had to spend some time in the tanning bed because he had some jaundice. It seemed like every day something was wrong and at one point we thought Ken would have to get surgery but he was a fighter and the hole in his lungs closed up with some extra steroids.

Each day they were getting bigger and stronger. I loved receiving the newest pictures of them opening their eyes, licking their lips, crying like kittens, and moving their feet for the first time. 

I loved seeing my Sister get to hold them for the first time. They finally got to hold Ben after 2 weeks of holding his hand, and after 4 weeks they got to hold Ken. I couldn't imagine not being able to hold my baby for a month after they were born. 

My sister and Brother-in Law were so strong! They impressed me each day with their strength and love for each other and their boys. 

They got to wear hats and finally get to put clothes on after almost 2 months. This was a big thing for my sister Colleen. (If you don't know her, she has a whole room that is dedicated to her clothes) 

The smallest things were huge improvements. Things people take for granted were huge obstacles for these two little ones. Like their Father who is in the Army these boys were fighters. 

On the 15th of November the Doctor gave them the go ahead to take the boys home. Along with  Monitors, feeding tubes, oxygen tanks and steroid enhanced formula they were ready to go sleep in their own nursery.  

For Christmas my Parents joined Colleen and Lance in Georgia while I enjoyed my first Christmas with the Buhlers. On Christmas day my parents called and surprised me with a plane ticket to finally go meet the boys. I was crying so hard to finally be able to hold them.

I loved spending a week with them. Feeding them, holding them, giving them kisses and talking to them. Every day is an improvement and recently Ken got taken off his oxygen tube and is breathing all on his own! It is so fun to see them getting bigger and bigger every day and knowing that they are developing. Today they both weigh almost 12 pounds. We have been double blessed by these two munchkins. I hope they always know how much their Aunt Cat loves them! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Meet your next favorite book

I love to read. There is something refreshing about starting a new book and getting lost in other peoples "lives." When I was little, to stop me from getting out of my crib, my Mom would throw dozens of books in there and tell me to not get out of bed. And I didn't. I sat in that crib for hours reading the same books over and over. Ferdinand the bull? Done. Dr. Seuss? Finished. I think my mother regretted this little procedure after probably the 3rd month of me getting little to no sleep. It was also around this time that my family gave me the nickname "bookworm". 

To this day, I still find myself reading 3 or 4 books at a time, going to the library about every week, and constantly spending time on finding the newest fad in literature.
 I guess reading is a rather healthy addiction. I pride myself on this hobby. There are worse things I could enjoy doing, like say, eating ding dongs in the bathtub or playing online poker. I have NEVER eaten a chocolate treat in the tub, so I think we are OK... 

Here I present to you the top books I have read as of lately... 

Shanghai Girls 
By Lisa See 

I could NOT put this book down. After my Mom finished it in 48 hours and stayed up until 2am reading it, I thought it would be worth a shot. 
I was not disappointed! It follows the life of two sisters Pearl and May in Shanghai during the 1930s. Life is good for the both of them until their Father sells them to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides. This is the story of their adventure of coming to America and getting to know the way of Hollywood life. 

Which brings me to my next book ALSO by the same Author. 

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
 by Lisa See

Another winner of a book, it is similar to "Shanghai girls" in a sense that they are both taken place in China. This novel goes into detail about Chinese culture and a secret language called Nu Shu that is created by the Chinese women to communicate in secret. The best way I can describe this custom is like female "pen pals". They send messages to each other and become BFF as they go through life discussing arranged marriages, motherhood and the shared agony of the customary food binding. (Which includes lots of detail...I was so fascinated by this procedure!) 

Still Alice by Lisa Genova 

Found this through a recommendation on (Seriously, get an account) Alice is a Wife,  Mother and Harvard Professor. Its a progression through her loss of memory and her journey through early-onset Alzheimer's. Slowly her life unravels as she loses her ability to follow a conversation or recall information she heard just moments before. It really makes you remember to not take your memories for granted! 

In-N-Out Burger by Stacy Perman 

If you know anything about me, you know that I love In-N-Out. So when I saw this book at the library I was so excited to get the back story about how this became such a huge phenomenon with loyal fans. The story was well written, and didn't feel choppy or historical. It gave insider information on the family owned business and made me love In-N-out burger even more than before. If your from California, you should definitely check it out! 

Beauty Junkies: Inside our $15 Billion obsession with cosmetic surgery 
By Alex Kuczynski 

I have always had a fascination with plastic surgery. I admit that I watched Dr. 90210 back in the day, and always found it so captivating that someone would botch their face on purpose. This book highlights on why this is such an American fad and why we are so increasingly desperate to never age. Kuczynski goes behind the scenes to New York and Los Angeles to discover the self-transformations and the addictions to look perfect. After reading this I had the thought that a psychiatrist visit should be included in all cosmetic procedures. 

The Five Love Languages 
by Gary Chapman 

I don't know how I lived 22 years without reading this book. After reading it, I immediately wanted to recommend it to everyone I saw, including the guy taking my order at Carls Jr. 
Dr. Gary Chapman has a theory that there are 5 key basic love languages. Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, act of service, and physical touch. Everyone feels love differently, and some people can identify with more than one. This has helped me so much in my marriage with Peyton. I know what his love languages are, and he knows mine. Its so helpful to remind each other of how we feel love and how we can speak it. Definitely worth reading, even if you don't have a significant other, because showing love to your family and friends count as well! 

Other books I have read recently and recommend are 
  • The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
  • Seriously...I'm kidding by Ellen Degeneres 
  • The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond 
  • Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult 
  • The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine
  • One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus 
Join and add me. I'd love to hear your book recommendations. 

What should I read next ?? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

5 months hiatus OVER

Do married people just abandon their ramblings and get new lives? I am so sorry I have deserted the blogosphere. If you missed me, I apologize.

Heres to new beginnings. And oh HEY, heres my first blog post as a MRS....Not that it'll be much different.

Let me update you on my new life. 
Nothing has changed much, besides getting a new last name, a new roommate, moving 20 minutes away, attending a new church, (Ward) sharing a bed and bathroom with a boy, and discovering my new role as a wife and significant other. That's not too much change for one person, right? Nah.

I married Peyton B. Buhler on May 19th, 2012. It was a lovely day and standing next to my new hubs I had a perma smile. See?

It was great. We loved our wedding. The whole day was smooth and carefree. Besides me falling down the stairs at the reception and the awkward first dance...
(Seriously, no one tells you that having 250 people watch you twirl around a dance floor is going to be that nerve wracking. Seriously. Why don't they tell you that?)

But hopefully we fooled you, and by the pictures it looks like were having a great time. In reality, I was whispering to Peyton something like, "If you step on my dress, I swear, I will make sure this is the last smile you ever produce." 

Such a happy day!!!

The day after our wedding we headed to the luxurious island of Fiji. We spent a week in paradise and I never wanted to leave. We laid on the beach, climbed up to waterfall, and had some...great food! ;)

After we left Fiji, kicking and screaming, we arrived at our next destination Rotorua, New Zealand.

We got to tour some thermal activity, soak in some natural springs, and see some local tourist destinations. New Zealand is very different than Fiji. (Duh) The weather alone was a shock. I was freezing the whole time we were in New Zealand. I think I developed a permanent icicle running down my nose. So sexy. 

Our next destination was Queenstown New Zealand. This place is legit, referred to as the "Adventure capital of the World". There was a lot of buggy jumping, mountain biking and paragliding going on. For everyone but the Buhlers... 
We aren't really a couple that takes huge life risks, but we DID try our hand at Luging. I felt very content with that level of extreme. The scariest part of luging was seeing myself in that awful helmet. It was not cute.

Shortly after we were home we had the opportunity to attend Peytons family reunion in Nauvoo. It was so neat to see all the church history sites and to do a session in the Nauvoo temple. It is really beautiful. I loved spending time with my new nieces and nephews as well.

Since then we have loved adjusting to married life. Which included unpacking and setting up our little home, to eating vast amounts of popcorn and doing boring newlywed activities like sleeping in and watching too much Downton Abbey. Its been an amazing 12 weeks and I'm so happy to be married to this amazing lad.