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Being the peanut butter freak I am, I used peanut butter M&M’s. Also, I omitted the chocolate chips and added an extra bag of M&M’s. Yummy!

M&M Cookies

8 oz unsalted butter, cool
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spoon and sweep)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups plain M&Ms
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Dough requires chilling, so don’t preheat oven.

Combine the cool butter and shortening in mixer. Beat until creamy. Add both sugars and continue beating on high for two minutes, scraping bowl. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Continue beating for another minute or until fluffy.

Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add this mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until mixed. Stir in the M&Ms and chocolate chips. Chill batter for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart and bake for 12-14 minutes (mine took 9 minutes on Covection Bake). Let cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

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Mangrove Kayaking

I have really been neglecting my blog lately and I sincerely apologize. A lot has been keeping me preoccupied with us having less than two months left in Okinawa. I have a whole checklist of things to do and see before we get booted back to America. One thing that has been at the top of my list for a while was to take advantage of the eco-tourism up North and go sea kayaking. Take note, I typed “was” at the top of my list. That’s because several weekends ago we finally ventured back up to Higashi with the only purpose being to go sea kayaking on the Gesashi River. There’s a great, little school up there who offers all sorts of eco-tourism packages, see below for contact information and directions. We went on the shortest course which was kayaking along the mangrove forrest for 30 minutes. This plan it costs 3000 yen per person. I highly recommend going with someone who speaks some Japanese so you can take full advantage of the tour, as English is limited. Our short trip up the river was nice and relaxing but it would have been good to learn a little along the way.

I also have to give an update on my friend, Kinjo-San, as many of you have been asking if I’ve been visiting him. If you don’t know who I’m referring to, see my previous blog post here. Kinjo-San is not who you would typically picture from America, hanging out in the same spots; he travels all over the island on his motorbike and could show up anywhere when you least expect him! On our drive back home from our kayaking trip on a busy highway we passed the silhouette of someone on a motorbike piled high with stuff. It was on the very far edge of the road and was so dark but I could barely make out the flowers sticking off the top of his helmet. It was Kinjo! Of course I would have loved to flag him down but as luck would have it there was a median and no where to turn around. Probably better that way; he seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere, maybe to his golden castle?

Front and Rear View From the Kayak

Yanbaru Nature School

0980-43-2571

http://www.gesashi.com

info@gesashi.com

If coming from the West side of the island take H58 to Nago and use Route 14 to cross over to H329. On the East side of the island take H329 North past Camp Schwab. Continue North on H331 after Camp Schwab. Follow the signs on H331 through Nago, you will start to notice the swampy mangroves on you right hand side and shortly after you will enter Higashi. Turn right directly after crossing the Gesashi River bridge. Go about one “American block” off of H331 and Yanbaru Nature School is on the left. Watch for a large garage filled with kayaks, the school is on the second floor of this building.

Earth Goddess

A little over a week ago I did a long awaited modeling session with photographer friends Anya and Jyll. It was Anya’s idea to do an Earth Goddess theme, needless to say I was in at the word Earth. I worked for the first time with makeup artist Kimberly of Glamour Eyes and she was great, I can’t wait to work with her again!

The shoot turned out great despite the cold, rainy weather. There was one point where they were directing me to point my foot one way and it just wouldn’t work because it was twitching from being so cold. Good thing you can’t tell in the pics…

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Jyll's Photography

Jyll's Photography

It seems like only yesterday the New Year was turning 2000 and everyone thought our world was going to end because all the computers would crash. I remember spending that New Years Eve with my best friends at the time, Whitney and Christina; we were only freshman in high school. I cannot believe that night was 10 years ago! A whole decade ago! Where does the time go?

I truly believe that 2010 is going to be a year for changes, for all of us if we allow them. For example, Seth and I will get to move back to the states this year after spending a long 4 years in Japan. That’s going to be a huge change, reverse culture shock I am sure! Aside from a huge move, 2010 is also going to be the year I finally learn to love myself; my resolution is to learn who myself really is and in turn learn to love that person. I really feel like 2010 is going to be a great year if we embrace our changes; after-all change is a good thing.

I have to admit I’m not one to often watch Oprah yet alone read her magazine but a few months back as I was standing in the checkout line at the PX the huge words “Who Are You Meant to Be?” on the cover of the her O magazine really struck me. So I bought it and took the quiz inside “Who am I supposed to be?” To say the least I was a bit flabbergasted by how accurate the results were. I figured no better time to share this than with my New Years post about letting 2010 be the year for changes. Right below the photo is the quiz link to take it online and then my personal results. Take the quiz for yourself to learn what you’re striving to be; it will give you advice on positives and negatives based off of your personality results. Honestly this is some great stuff!

http://www.oprah.com/survey/omagazine/20091001-omag-meant-to-be-quiz

YOUR SCORES

Many people have two or three strong striving styles, and they can all be important in leading you to the person you are meant to be. If you have a few “highest” scores, read each matching description, and see what rings most true.

Striving to help: 13

Striving to be recognized: 13

Striving to be creative: 13

Striving to be spontaneous: 16

Striving to be knowledgeable: 15

Striving to be secure: 8

Striving to be in control: 11

YOU ARE STRIVING TO BE SPONTANEOUS

You are an adventurer: Action-oriented, curious, outgoing, and often technically gifted, you live for new experiences. You are drawn to risk-taking and aren’t afraid to fail. Generally restless, you tend to job-hop or choose a field that offers constant novelty. If you had to name your favorite place, it might be the center of attention—you’re a born entertainer, and can easily adapt to any audience. While you collect many acquaintances, you’re less likely to develop deep, committed relationships.

What to watch out for: When you can’t satisfy your thirst for variety and excitement, you may see yourself as trapped, which can lead to impulsive and self-destructive behavior—drinking, drugs, breaking off relationships, ditching financial responsibilities. Try to find value in some traditions; if you learn to appreciate repetitive experiences, you won’t always feel the urge to bust free. And when a new opportunity thrills you, keep in mind that just because it sounds exciting, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Looking ahead: Life will have meaning for you as long as you feel stimulated. That might mean chasing twisters, exploring the polar ice caps, getting a degree in dance therapy, or becoming an astronaut. It might also mean reading new books, attending workshops, or letting yourself get swept up in an intoxicating romance. As a risk-lover with a lot of energy, you’re a natural entrepreneur. You’ll be happiest if you change jobs every so often and travel extensively. Movement is what keeps you going.


So Proud!

My blog has officially made it over 1000 views and I only created it not even four months ago. Now shouldn’t all you stalkers be leaving me some comment love? I’m just teasing. Thanks for viewing, I hope you’re enjoying what you see and I hope you keep coming back for more. You could always subscribe (to the left) and receive email updates anytime I post.

I love you all!

Erin