Hubby's birthday & getting immigration started again.

It was F.B.'s birthday yesterday. It's the 2nd birthday he's spent in the USA. We went to a Chinese Buffet near Franklin Mill's Mall for lunch.

 Hubby wearing his Nintendo t-shirt I got him for his birthday.

 Yay! Starting to look more like Fall!

Another birthday gift. 42 mini bags of Herr's Potato Chips. (I believe 4 bags were missing already when this picture was taken, lol.)

Birthday brownies. With chocolate coffee buttercream icing. Sugar High!

September 28th, I contacted our immigration lawyers again. It will be time to remove the conditional status from F.B.'s permanent resident card soon. Last August I asked how much it would cost to rehire the firm and was quoted $1,200. So that's what we saved towards. I also know it will cost $590 to file the form with immigration.

When I heard a reply back a week ago I was told the cost to rehire the firm was now $1,950. Wow... $750 dollars more than we were expecting. I really love our immigration lawyers and they did an amazing job last time, but that price jump definitely made me feel a bit sick in the stomach. So, I found the email where I was quoted the $1,200 and forwarded it just to ask why the fee's had increased so much. I wasn't really expecting much, just an explanation. But thankfully, (and this is why they are great lawyers!) They changed the paperwork to reflect the $1,200 we were quoted last year. (Save your old emails!)

In mid November our lawyer will begin all the paperwork. Immigration will not allow the forms to be submitted early. It has to be submitted 90 days before F.B.'s permanent resident card expires or else immigration could reject everything. Rules... rules....

We've also had to collect paperwork that proves our marriage is valid and that we live together. Some of the paperwork I've gathered is:
  • Federal & State Tax copies filed jointly.
  • Bank statement copies with both of our names
  • Copy of our lease for our apartment in both our names
  • Copy of insurance declaration in both our names
  • Copies of our driver licenses showing our current address.
  • Photos with family.
  • Letters from Family/Friends
Speaking of that... you wouldn't think collecting letters from family & friends with a short statement saying how long they've known you & your spouse, how they've interacted with you & that your marriage appears to be valid, etc; would be that difficult to get... but it was like pulling teeth. Literally. I let so many of our friends and family know 3-4 months in advance that we would need these letters and still they've trickled in... I'm grateful for the ones who have written us letters, but we definitely expected a lot more support and a lot more letters... but enough about that.... blah. Rant over...

Anyway that's where we stand right now with immigration. In mid November our lawyers will prepare the paperwork and by December 5th, 2012 the form should be filed with immigration and then fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly so the conditional status will be removed from F.B.'s resident card. (Ugh... he will also have to get a new driver's license in March because that expires when his resident cards expires). I just can't wait until we are finished with immigration!

(I know he will have to renew his resident card every 10 years or so, but that won't be as bad compared to all the rules and paperwork over the past 3 years!)

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 


A week with Instagram photos.

Some photos that I've uploaded to Instagram during the past week.

 (My username on Instagram: tunaynamahal82). :-)

 My adorable little pumpkin. I love Fall. ♥

My cute new Crocs leopard flats. They are causing me blisters though... thank God for band aids. :-(

Melting Pumpkin Crunch from Krazy Candle, I love this scent so much! (*Krazy Candle is no longer open*)

My new favorite coffee, Starbucks Sumatra. I love rich BOLD coffee's. Especially brewed in my bright green french press! 

It took me 30 years, but I've finally tried a bagel with lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese. Yummy, so good! (Onion bagel).

It was good, but the original Pumpkin Spice Latte's are way better. If you're curious and want to try it, click here.

My husband's birthday is tomorrow. So we will be off to the Chinese Buffet for lunch and I have some gifts for him. I have a few days off work and today is a holiday, yay! Thanks Columbus! The weather is getting chilly and it definitely feels more like fall now. I can't wait to go to the park and get some pictures of the leaves changing color soon.


Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This is not my recipe, but one I've used for quite a few years already and love. I just baked two fresh loaves today. Yummy!

NOTE: I have altered the spices in the original recipe. I like my version better because you taste the spices more than what the original recipe recommends. (Recipe source is here). This recipe makes 2 loaves of Pumpkin Bread. You can freeze one or give it to a friend. :-)

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of Mccormick Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Grease and flour two large bread pans.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, canola oil, and water. Beat at medium spread until well combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, or until well combined.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the two bread pans.
  7. Bake at 350º F. for 1 hour 15 minutes
  8. Allow the bread to cool for 30 minutes before removing the loaves from each pan.

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Pet Rats and Rat Food.

*As of 2017, I currently feed my pet rats Oxbow Regal Rat. 

Since 2007, I have mainly used Nutro Natural Lite dog food for my rats base diet. It had all natural ingredients and the fat and protein contents were low. When I first started feeding them Nutro, the protein was around 15-18% and the fat 7-8% over the years.

Fast Forward to 2012. Nutro has decided to change all of their foods to a 'New and Improved'formula. The fat is still 7% but the Protein is now 23%! Which is really too high for adult rats. I'm very disappointed, as I've been using Nutro Natural Lite for almost 5 years. All of their other formulas the fat and protein contents are just too high.

(Pet rats should have no more than 8% fat and their protein should really be no more than 20% in a base food. Less is better, 5% fat and around 15-18% protein is ideal). 

Sooo... the search for a new food begins. I've fed Harlan Teklad lab blocks in the past. They are just hard to buy in big quantities because the brand mostly sells to labs or rescues. You can buy Harlan Teklad lab blocks on MRR or The Rat Shop
(Lab Blocks are the most nutritionally complete diet to feed pet rats). 

Harlan does sell their product under the name 'Native Earth' on Pet Food Direct. (*As of 2017 petfooddirect was sold to, & they've discontinued Native Earth. A 40lb bag of Native Earth 4018 (4018 is equivalent to Harlan Teklad 2018), only costs $20. I've also heard of Oxbow Regal Rat. Which is supposed to be almost as good as lab blocks. 

There are also two more dog foods I was considering: Natural Balance Reduced Calorie dog food. (Very similar ingredients to Nutro Natural Lite, but the protein is 18% the fat is 8%) And a food one of my rat blogging friends recommended: Solid Gold Holistique Blendz. Another all natural dog food. With 6% fat and 18% protein.

There are also mixes you can feed like Suebee's diet, but I myself don't like those so much for their staple diet, because the rats can pick & choose what they want to eat out of the mix.

For now I've just decided to go back to ordering the 40lb bag of Native Earth (Harlan Teklad) lab blocks. Eventually, I may try either Natural Balance or Solid Gold. I was thinking about it though... and spending $14 on a 5lb bag of Nutro Natural every month, compared to the 40lb bag of Native Earth for $20, does save me some money. *As of 2017 petfooddirect was sold to, & they've discontinued Native Earth.

Of course remember, you should try to incorporate fresh vegetables and fruit into your pet rats diet. And it's always best to check the Forbidden Food List before feeding any new food to your rats.  

Another tip for new rat owners: That bag of "rat" food from the small animal aisle at the pet store; (Petco, Pet Smart, etc), is usually no good for rats at all. Foods like Kaytee pellets, contain alfalfa which is hard for rats to digest. And other bagged mixes contain dried corn (may cause cancer) and other fattening nuts, etc; that rats should not have as a staple diet. The foods mentioned above are much better choices for the health of your pet rats. 

Check out my blog article about pet rats: Why Rats?!?

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend for their low prices. That or Ebay!  

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Krazy Candle Fall Giveaway!

*Krazy Candle is no longer open* 

The contest is over now! Winner has been announced below! 

Congratulations kjpugs!

I've blogged before about Krazy Candle! My friend Brittney makes and sells homemade all natural soy tarts (for warmers), and all natural soy candles!

I've ordered three times from Krazy Candle already! I've tried a bunch of different scents and I haven't had one I didn't like yet. My two very favorite scents are Pumpkin Crunch & Lilac Mist. (Lilac Mist reminds me of the Yankee Candle scent, Calla Lily). Pumpkin Crunch smells so good! I always think someone has been baking when I walk through my living room. It has a cinnamon pumpkin muffin kind of smell. I love it!

I told Brittney, I would like to have a Krazy Candle giveaway here on my blog! So, I am giving away 4 Pumpkin Crunch soy tarts and one 2 oz. tart of Lilac mist! (If you don't have a warmer already, Krazy Candle has a variety of warmers!)

All you have to do to enter the giveway is fill out the Rafflecopter form below! It is mandatory that you leave a blog comment: (What is your favorite thing about Fall?) & follow the Krazy Candle Facebook page to qualify for the giveaway! (You can also earn extra entries by following me or Krazy Candle on Twitter & Tweeting about the giveaway!) Good Luck!

NOTE: (If you don't follow the 2 mandatory rules above- your contest entries will be deleted. I've had a few people enter that did not complete the mandatory 'leave a comment' rule. Anyone can comment, you don't have to be registered on Blogger! Thanks!)

USA & Canada Entries Only! Thanks!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway    
*The prize package was purchased by myself from Krazy Candle*


Curry: 2010 - Sept 2012

When I woke up this morning, I found Curry had passed away in his favorite spot in the cage. It must have been sometime in the middle of the night. I feel bad, because I had a bad day yesterday so I went to bed right away after coming home from work, instead of greeting all the rats like I normally do... so I didn't get to even say goodbye to him. We adopted him from Star's Rat Rescue of South Dakota in April 2011, along with his brother Aspen. Curry was around 2 1/2 years old. He passed away from old age, though he was starting to get degenerative osteoarthritis, and his back legs were not working like they used too. :-( Curry was featured in an article in my work's newsletter along with his brother back in April.

On top of finding Curry this morning... Templeton had a sprain and the swelling had gotten worse, his little back foot looked like a rubber glove it was so swollen. My vet wasn't in so the nurse gave me a number for a 24 hour emergency vet- only the rat doctor wasn't there today & they referred me back to my own vet! So I called our vet again and the nurse tried contacting another vet (which their doctor that treats rats wasn't in either- weekends are so bad!), so eventually she just told me to come over and the doctor that was there would see Templeton, even though she doesn't normally treat rats, (though she did mention she has had them as pets before).

She gave Templeton a anti-inflammatory steroid injection and some Baytril antibiotics to take home. So hopefully the swelling will go down now. That's the same treatment- Lily had before for an extremely swollen sprained foot and it worked. If it doesn't get better he will have to go back to the vet Mon or Tues.

ETA (9/14/12): Templeton is doing just fine! The swelling in his foot was down by the next day and he moved back into the big cage with his brother's on Thursday. :-) 

My Templeton

So Excited! Pre-ordered the new Kindle Fire HD!

So excited! I've been following the news very closely about the release of a newer bigger Kindle Fire from I've owned the original Kindle Fire since it came out on it's release date in 2011. I love it, I use it every day, on the train commuting, at home in bed, etc. (Here's my blog entry on the original Kindle Fire).

This afternoon was's press release to talk about the new products. (I was following along on Twitter for all the updates!) They are releasing 3 different new Kindle Fires. Kindle Fire HD 7" & 8.9". Plus a Kindle Fire HD 4G. Kindle Fire HD 8.9" also comes in either 16GB or 32GB storage. (I ordered the 16GB). They are available for pre-order on and will be released November 20th, 2012. I will be selling my original Kindle Fire once my new one arrives. :-)

Some of the new features: (This was taken from Amazon's website.)
  • 1920x1200 HD display with polarizing filter and anti-glare technology for rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle
  • Exclusive Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers for crisp, booming sound without distortion
  • High performance 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core for fast and fluid performance
  • Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for 40% faster downloads and streaming
  • Over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, HBO GO, Pandora, and Angry Birds
  • Integrated support for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and more, as well as Exchange calendar, contacts, and email
  • Free Skype video calls with front-facing HD camera
  • Free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content 

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Photos from my Birthday Weekend/Week!

Photos from my birthday weekend/week. (The big 3-0). These are all Instagram & cell phone photos.

Birthday card from my co-workers. They know me so well. ;-) 

Table set for my brother & cousin Jessica for dinner this past Sunday. I made homemade bacon cheeseburger stromboli!
You can buy these- near the ice cream cakes at the supermarket now! So good!

Hmmm... beer, wine, malt beverage, vodka. No room for food! Lol! Party time! Dinner & drinks!

The Hello Kitty soap is a birthday gift from my cousin's 2 year old daughter, Kayleigh. :)

Very early birthday breakfast at the Eagle Diner with hubby. (6am!) Cheese omelette, scrapple, hash browns & toast. So yummy! 

Pumpkin Spice Latte- was released on my birthday (9/4) this year! Whoo! 

The family cat sat on the box & smushed the flowers on the cake my parents brought over lol. It's a delicious Hesh's Bakery Chocolate Chip Cake! 

THE BEST birthday gift ever! From my parents.Yonanas Machine! It whips banana's into a creamy soft serve ice cream texture. I just had some... I'm addicted. I need more banana's, lol. 
Strawberry Banana Yonana's! Seriously, so good!

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