Friday, December 31, 2010

December got away from me...

Heck, the whole of 2010 did!  What a busy year!  The past few weeks have been busy with getting ready to start a new adventure for 2011, hosting a cookie exchange party, attending a holiday party for work, a visit from my parents, our niece born on December 21st, time spent at the hospital with my sister + new niece, lots of time with friends and family, time spent playing with my nephew, last minute Christmas shopping, traveling to do 99% of that, renovation of the laundryroom is now in full swing and, on top of all that, I'm trying really hard not to go crazy! 

More on all of that soon.  Promise. :)  As a random side note, I actually have over 65 posts in draft form.  Most just waiting for pictures.  Scary, but true.  I think I'll be resolving to fix that problem in 2011!

In the meantime, here's our Christmas card for this year, which made it into the mail extremely late (sorry everyone... they will be there soon, promise!!)

Better late than never though, right?!  Anyway, happy new year everyone!!  :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


AM happy.
WANT to have more hours in the day.
HAVE the best husband!
WISH that I could have a more creative career.
HATE cat fur all over the couch this time of the year.  I swear I find a new whole cat everday in shed fur!
FEAR the last day I can have an eggnog chai latte at Starbucks this month.
HEAR the dog and cat snoring.
SEARCH for missing socks too often.
WONDER where the heck do they vanish to??  Seriously.
REGRET nothing.
LOVE my life.
ACHE for my husband.  Wait that sounds... well... I miss him.  He's gone for work a lot now...
ALWAYS take on way more than I can handle and love it!
USUALLY do not have enough patience.
AM NOT perfect and I like it that way.
DANCE when no one is looking or everyone is drunk!
SING in the shower and the car.
NEVER imagined my life would take me to this point ten years ago.
RARELY get sick.
CRY when I get angry or frustrated.
AM NOT ALWAYS awake before 10 am... I'm not a morning person.
LOSE the cords and battery chargers to my camera far too often.
AM CONFUSED BY ummm.... not much.  I don't let that state of mind persist for very long!
NEED to spend more time with my husband.
SHOULD workout more.
LAUGH every day.
DREAM that my life will continue to grow and flourish... I'm a lucky girl!

Saw this "quiz" on a scrapbook layout by Amy LeJeune in the new Scrapbooking Everyday Memories by CK.  Love the concept!!  Now just to make it into my own layout.  Thanks for the inspiration Amy!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This Busy Life....

I could quote poetic.... "when it rains it pours"... but I won't do that! :)

Things were hectic in the last couple of weeks.   To say the least.  So rather than talk about that right now.... I'm just going to pick up and move forward for the moment -- I'll come back to the rest of that later!  Some random thoughts....

*I ♥ Eggnog Chai Lattes.  This is a new favorite addiction this year!  Between that and the Cranberry Bliss Bars....
*I want to run or go back to spin class.   Like yesterday. I'm just fighting my lengthy to-do list to make time for it.  Well that and....
*Sleep.  Which I love and need more of.

So, I took almost no photos of all the fun time I spent with my nephew over the Thanksgiving holiday week while we were in Sacramento.  Which is kind of a bummer.  But in my defense it's hard to remember to take photos when you are running in circles chasing a 2.5 yr old and playing.  But I did manage to take this one with my cell phone.  Which I love.  LOVE.

We were watching Mickey Mouse Playhouse.  They were going to Mars and he was totally getting it.  He's such a smarty pants.  I'm also loving our newly discovered conversations about all things boy.   Including his binoculars from Uncle Brian.  Which, by the way, is the most hilarious word to hear him say!  I will definitely be capturing that on video in a few weeks at Christmas.  :)

So there's my random mind download for the moment... I'm back and I hope I will be posting more frequently.  I hope!  I have way too many draft posts waiting for photos!! :)

Oh and I'm way behind on reading the blogs I follow, but I'm catching up on that too!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Laundry Room Inspiration

Been looking around.....  and found some fabulous laundry rooms!!

Been looking a lot actually.... and it would seem that there are several things I keep returning to....
  • Front loading appliances
  • White cabinets
  • A vintage laundry sign of some variety
  • Black & White photos and/or kitchsy laundry-esque art, including a fun clock like #1 above
  • A counter (totally on the dream list falling in the category of someday... way down the line! Would be amazing to have a counter like #14.... it's an ironing board counter!!)
And yesterday we went looking at tile for the floor.  It wasn't too hard for us to agree that we both liked natural stone.  I went in wanting a versallies pattern, but came out wanting a venetian pattern.  Mostly because of the scale for the room.  The versallies pattern's biggest tile is 16" x 24" and in a room that is roughly 8' x 7' with a 5' x 2' cutout area for cabinets, it would be too big for the room.  sigh. 

But the venetian pattern is perfect for that scale of room.  Here's a photo of what the pattern looks like:
Image via here.

It's a 12" x 12" tile, the smaller sizes are the same tile cut in half or quarters.  We really liked it in dusk travertine.  It was tumbled.  And gorgeous.  Much like the photo above.  And $14-20 a square foot.  Now, if we lived in a custom house or in a different area and we were in our forever house?  We would totally do that option.  But we do not and we do not want to overbuild for our neighborhood or overspend for our unplanned laundry room renovation.

We loved the tumbled, hand polished look, but have decided not to go that route this time.... it makes it more expensive!

So instead we will be getting:
A natural stone...
Darker in color...
With natural veining and/or some interesting details. 
We have settled on a choice... I think. :) I'll be back to share a peek at it soon.  (And it doesn't cost $14.95 a square foot either!!)

I also really liked these blog posts I found as I searched for ideas.... go check them out too:
Got an inspiring laundry room you think I should see?! I'm still on the hunt... :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm still alive...

Picture I took at Pariaso Winery, Soledad, California, July 2010.

Just been crazy busy working!  I'll be back here this week and get this place updated!!

In the meantime... just a quick poll.  What's your favorite holiday Starbucks treat(s)?!  Me?  I'm partial this year to my grande Chai Eggnog Latte and my continuing addition, the Cranberry Bliss Bar.  Both reasons to workout and/or run more.  Lots more! :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 21 to 30: Finishing up!

What a crazy month so far! Just taking a break to finish up this challenge.   So here goes....

Picture of Yourself
Here is a recent photo of my sister and I at her baby shower a few weeks ago:

I chopped off almost five inches mere hours after this picture was taken too!
Favorite City
I must say, though I've been to a lot of great cities, I'm partial to San Francisco. :)

Favorite Vacation
This is actually a really hard question - we've had so many great vacations!  One of my favorites was our trip to Vermont:

Something You've Learned
hmmmmm..... I've learned lots of things in my life.  Reminded yesterday of the day I learned that I believe in love at first sight nine years ago:

Put your iPod on Shuffle, first ten songs:
Currently, I have 1,875 songs that would take 5 days to play continuously.  Yikes!  Here it is on shuffle... not bad.  A little old, a little new... some country, some pop, some rock.  Pretty typical!
1.   If it Makes You Happy ~ Sheryl Crow
2.   Nearness of You ~ Chris Botti
3.   Jump Around ~ House of Pain
4.   Good Enough ~ Evanescence
5.   Dani California ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers
6.   Already Gone ~ Kelly Clarkson
7.   Are You Ready ~ Creed
8.   Cold Day in July ~ Dixie Chicks
9.   All the Right Moves ~ One Republic
10.  Then ~ Brad Paisley

Picture of my family
Taken on my 30th birthday by my Dad earlier this year... breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen. :)

We have three of them... Scarlet, Darby and Nala.  Up first, our puppy Scarlet!

And the kitties.... Darby the troublemaker:

Good thing she's pretty. :)  And, of course, the gray one... Nala:

She's an old lady now, so she sleeps a lot. :)

Something that stresses me out
The usual suspects.  Work and the house being torn apart!  :)

Three wishes
Three in one... a long, happy life with my husband!  Yep that's my three.... long life... happy life.... both with Brian. :) 

And last but not least.....

A picture
I seem to take a lot of flower pictures.  Here's one from Hershey Gardens I took back in May.

That's all I have for today!  Hope you enjoy your weekend. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 11 to 20: Trying to catch up!

I don't follow instructions well.... or have a lot of time apparently! ;)   Continuing to catch back up on this.... one big piece at a time!!

Favorite TV Shows
My top 5 right this minute?  In no particular order...
1.  Grey's Anatomy
2.  Glee
3.  Survivor
4.  Amazing Race
5.  Real Housewives of __________.... ALL of them ;) lol!
What I believe
I believe everything happens for a reason.  Even if you don't know what it is!  I also believe that I am a lucky girl. :)

I've talked a lot about this.... still working on my 30 by 30 challenge.  I'm in the home stretch.... I'll do a little update soon.  I have two months left and I think I'm going to work!! :)

A Picture I Love
I found this one by accident looking for pictures of when we installed our hardwood floors.  Cute Scarlet as a puppy!
You can't tell from the picture, but she was only 8 pounds and would fit entirely in the palm of your hand!!  Love this picture!! :)
Bible Verse
I'm not one to talk religion much, publically or privately.  I am pretty private about my beliefs and I believe in the freedom of people to choose whatever they want to believe in!  That said, I'd have to choose this:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  ~ Corinthians 13:4-7
Dream House
Toothpicks... Lots and lots of toothpicks. I jest. I put that just for Megan. Cause when I think of a dream house, I think of house plans and I go right back to 7th grade and toothpick houses. It made a strong impression... and I hope Megan wasn't taking a drink of anything when she read that. I don't want her to choke on her coffee or anything! ;)  And yes Megan, I still hope to uncover the plans for the casa de toothpicks.  I have a good idea where it may be and a plan to recover it! I'll keep you posted! ;)

What was the question?  Oh yes.  Dream house.  I love our house we live in now... my dream would be to pick it up and move it onto ten acres somewhere in the mountains outside Sacramento. :)

Something I'm looking forward to
My niece!!  I'm really getting anxious about it.... will she wait until her due date or make an early appearance like her big brother?  I cannot WAIT to meet this little one!! :)

Something I regret
I don't live my life with regrets, so I have to say I have no regrets!! :)

Something I miss
My husband!  This whole working away from home thing stinks.  I miss him LOTS when he has to work away from home, but I am grateful for the fact that he's still working.   I look forward to the day that he's working ten minutes from home and he's gone when I get home from work cause he's training for his next bike race! :)

Last but not least for this marathon post..... I don't have many nicknames.  I don't go by Mandy or anything!  I do answer to "A" and sign e-mails that way many times... it's faster!  The cute nephew calls me Amana.  Those "d" sounds are still tough for him. ;)  The husband calls me lots of things... hehe ;).... but most of the time it's Sweetie.  My dad calls me Little Sprout.  Other than that, I don't have any other nicknames that I know of!

Not lots of pics this time... so thanks for reading! ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First things first... Must. Have. Hot. Water.

When we started undertaking this project last week... it was first an operation of stop the damage.  Lots of space heaters, ripping stuff out and major inconvenience.  (No one likes a cold shower!!)  And 100% of the work fell on Brian's shoulders... the only plumbing I would do is calling a plumber!! ;)

To step back in time, here's what the room looked like many moons ago before we installed the hardwood with the original linoleum floor:

Not the best photo angle, but it's a square room.  A small one that's hard to get a picture of with all that stuff in the way! :)

And this is what it looked like right after we installed our hardwood floors (over the existing linoleum):

To the left side is the pantry....

Look at those Costco stashes!  Wouldn't be complete without Brian's ketchup!! :)  And in the background? Construction of the hardwood floors in process.

And here's what the hallway looked like....

It was sad to lose the laundry room portion of the floor to water damage.  Brian worked fast to pull out the floor in the laundry room and the damaged part of the adjoining hallway.   Now it looks like this.

Fabulous right?! :)

There is still more linoleum to rip out in the laundry room, but it is going to wait until we are ready to replace the floor.

Last weekend, Brian worked hard to reinsulate the garage side of the wall, put in a new platform, new drain pan (no future water damage we hope!) and a new water heater.  Thanks to some help from our neighbor Felipe to lift the new one into place.

Originally, we were going to go with a tankless water heater, but after further research we discovered this...

Tankless = ENDLESS hot water.
Tank + recirculating pump = INSTANT hot water.
You just need to choose which way you want to go.  Brian wanted instant.  I preferred the tankless due to the energy efficiency.  What can I say, I'm sorta turning into a tree hugger.  Not an extreme one, but if we can go green in anyway, I'm game.

Other issue?  I learned quickly about BTU's per hour.  Our current used 31,000.  The tankless?  135,000. Or something like that.  Bottom line is the demand when the tankless is operating for gas is so high that you actually would need to increase the gas line size coming into your house.  Which requires a professional plumber and more time.

Ultimately, we passed on the tankless for the tank + recirculating pump in the interest of instant hot water for Brian.  He didn't want to wait for hot water to reach the faucet.  Even if it was only a 30 second wait...   I deferred on this one for the inconvenience that would have been having to install the tankless for a professional.  It would have meant more time with no hot water.  And a little bit more money.  I did, however, convince Brian to get the energy star rated gas tank.  A little higher BTU than the similar non-energy star version and about $100 more, but more efficient and environmentally friendly.

All told, Brian only encountered three problems.  First was difficulty manuevering the new tank into the enclosure -- the pipes were too low & had to be replaced.  Second was getting it to fit into the enclosure -- the existing gas valve stuck out too far hitting the tank and needed to be replaced.  The second was the more annoying because it caused another trip to Home Depot (which was closed at time of discovery) and thus another day without hot water.  The third was most annoying because it caused another day of delay for another trip to Home Depot -- the water pipes going into/out of the tank were the wrong size.

Here it is installed!

But now the new tank is in and working perfectly.  Some sort of pipe issue for Brian to solve, but we have hot water, so I'm good. :)  Onto clean up, drywall replacement, painting, tile, hallway floor replacement and new washer/dryer.... it's going to be a long process!

So have you ever had to replace a water heater?  Did you go with the new tankless water heaters?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Abby's Baby Quilt: Finished!!

I'm so happy with how this quilt came together and turned out.  So simple and so cute!! :)
It started with this pile of fabric:

So first step was to pull it all out, including the easy to follow instructions that came with it, and start cutting the fabric.

My tools of choice?  A self-healing mat, grid ruler, rotary cutter, iron + ironing board and my Brother sewing machine.

Iron first, measure twice & cut carefully is the motto I live by!

The scrap pile after cutting the squares out:
Scraps free to anyone who wants them... just leave a comment! ;)

I won't bore you with the exciting process of sewing together squares...... I'll just cut straight to the chase on this one!

After this, I added the lavendar chenille border......

And then I made a quilty sandwich consisting of the top, backing fabric (sage+cream flannel stripe) and two layers of cotton batting.  Once stitched together and turned inside out, I stitched my small 6" long opening shut by hand and tied the blankie with lavendar yarn!  And here it is....

And here's a semi-blurry pic of my sister unwrapping it at her baby shower last weekend!

Now I just need to make one for Abby's big brother Creighton...

He definitely needs a snuggly little blankie too! :)  I have a plan.... and the fabric.... and this next one I'll show more how-to since it will be my pattern.  Like the pattern I used for Abby's quilt?  You can get your own kit at JoAnns!

Friday, October 29, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 8, 9 & 10: Catching up!!

Hmmmm.... so many things to catch up on now that last week and this week are over with!!  Catching up with this, here's a place I have traveled to:

Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo taken October 2003.

And hope to return to sooner rather than later!

In thinking about this, looking for a picture of my friends is hard!!  There are so many friends I don't want to leave out.... :|

So rather than hurt anyone's feelings by my scattered thoughts leaving them out.... I'll put the obvious choice on here.... these two:

The ones I see the most frequently! :)

And finally, something I am afraid of.... hmmmm....
Top of the list is definitely spiders.  I'm not so afraid that I can't kill them though!! :)   I'll spare you any nightmarish photos of those creepy things!

Been working on catching up around the house this week.  Brian got the hot water working Tuesday night (yay!) and this weekend is all about cleaning & purging stuff in the house.  After all the upheaval of stuff in the house, I'm actually looking forward to the spring fall cleaning!!

And I'll be back tomorrow with the photos of Abby's finished baby quilt!! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Day 7: Favorite Movies & A Surprise Renovation...

I have a good excuse for being MIA the last few days.... two of them actually!  First, is a huge project at work that I was working on Sunday and Monday... all in preparation for going live to the public Monday evening.  I'm pretty proud of how it turned out -- check it out:  City of Soledad

Brand new, top to bottom -- new design, new site map, new photos, new content.  So proud of it and happy that I was able to have such a big role in the creation & launching of the new site!  And no sooner did that get finished on Monday night... and I collapsed into bed early.... I woke up to the sounds of saws and hammers in my house at 4:30 am.  Huh?  What on earth is Brian doing now?!  I thought he was just up early to go for a run??

Yep.... it was enough commotion that I actually got up (I am not a morning person!) to see what the fuss was only to find my husband ripping our floor out in the laundry room.  This is not in plans for the house... this is a shocking surprise!  Why????  Because overnight our water heater died.  And started leaking water out of the bottom of the tank. 

Now granted, the tank lives in the garage on a platform that sits next to the door in the laundry room, so the water should have only spilled into the garage.  Unfortunately for us, it ran off the back of the platform, hit the drywall on the wall behind the tank and spilled down beneath the platform where it puddled.  It then ran along the bottom of the wall beneath the backside of the platform which also happens to be the wall inside the laundry room. 

The water seeped through the drywall then under, into and, in some places, on top of the engineered wood floors (aka pergo) all over the laundry room.  The floor was making squishy noises when you walk on it.  Bye, bye laundry room floors.  Once engineered wood floors get wet with that amount of water there is no saving them.  The wood warps and the floor buckles. :(

That wet spot?  The concrete foundation. :(

So we've had to buy a new water heater, file a claim for water damage on the home owner's insurance  for the floors/walls and we have a good month of weekend home improvement projects ahead of us to fix it.  We were planning on a lawn in the backyard or recarpeting/painting the master bedroom next.  Guess those are going to have to wait!  I'm also looking inspiration for paint color options for our brand spankin new laundry room.... I have the tile somewhat picked out in my head, but I really want to make sure we get this right.  Once it goes back together, I'm definitely not planning on touching it again!!  I'll be back with updates of the remodeling process as we work through it the next couple of weeks.... so stay tuned on that one.

Finally, continuing with Katie's 30 Day Blog Challenge (that I'm falling behind on!), here are a few of my favorite movies...

All-time Favorite: Dances with Wolves
Chick Flick: Pretty Woman
Tearjearker: Notebook
Romantic Comedy: 50 First Dates
Action: Bourne Trilogy
Documentary: Super Size Me

So.... busy few days for me.... Got any laundry room ideas for me?  What are your favorite movies?  Looking forward to hearing what you have to say! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 5 & 6: Siblings & Happiness

Back again with the next two days of the 30 day challenge... my siblings and a picture of something that makes me happy!

So I'm the oldest of three.  The middle child?  My brother Tom, aka Tommy and/or Tommy Boy.

Ah Tommy Boy.... he makes me laugh.   My partner in most crime as a child.  The breaker of my left arm the first time (it's a funny story actually!).  I miss him now that he lives even farther away from us now... on the east coast far away.  Pennsylvania.  It's a long flight. :|

The youngest?  The wild child?  My sister Katie, aka Kate or CT's Momma. 

What can I say?  We are sisters.  We fight, we love each other.  As much as we have in common, we are total opposites.  Oh how we used to argue when we were little.... I chalk it up to our five year age difference!  She makes a killer mocha and is momma to my favorite nephew... and soon-to-be-here niece Abigail.  Wish so much that we lived closer.  Someday. :)

And picture that makes me happy?  Easy choice:

This series of photos from my sister's wedding last year are among my most favorite pictures.  We were taking a sibling photo and Creighton ran up to us with the biggest smile on his face, put his hand on Katie's dress, looked up to smile at all of us, then turned around to pose for the camera with us.  Absolutely adorable. :)

I must say though that the close second to that photo is this one:

The hubby and the puppy.  We were having breakfast outdoors in March near Big Sur (cold!)... Scar was not enjoying the chilly air at all!!

That's all I have for today.  Hope you are out enjoying your weekend!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

When it all comes down to one day...

Every once in a while, do you get that feeling.... everything is due today?  Everything is happening today?  Everything is due in the next week?  I find it stressful when that happens sometimes... but not this time.  It has been a crazy couple of months and it all comes down to today and the next week.  Then I can take a day or two off to breathe again!  So what's up today?  Well actually, this week and next week?  Are you ready?! :)

Today, I'm the featured artist on Ideas for Scrapbookers.  Jump on over there to see my Kid Friendly Mini Album I made for my favorite little man... the nephew!

Today is the October Flamingo Five over on Flamingo Scraps.  I love this new feature and it has been a lot of work to pull together behind the scenes, but I *love* how it's turning out!  Go check out my Words of the Wise Mini Album and what everyone else did with the five items!

While you are there, make sure you enter in our Wednesday giveaways this month -- one lucky winner will get a Teresa Collins stamp machine one of the Wednesdays in October -- don't miss out.  There are lots of other great prizes too, so make sure you are following that blog!!

Next week, one of my big projects at work is going live.... I'll be sure to share about that next week.  I also have a baby shower for my sister next week on Saturday the 23rd that I'm getting ready for.  Lots of stuff to get ready over the next week and Abby's quilt to finish!  I'll be back with a progress report and the finished product next week. 

And a few other things I haven't had the chance to share yet:

And this week, I was a featured artist on Webster's Pages!!  I ♥ their products (especially bloomers!).  Here are two of my layouts from my gallery on their site:

Product details over on Flamingo Scraps.

Product details over on Flamingo Scraps.

I think that will do it for today.... It's been a busy month, but super productive!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 3 & 4: First Love & My Parents

While I continue along in my creative, party planning, buried-in-work-week.... I'm continuing along with this challenge!

First love could have so many meanings... seriously!   I'm going to go with the first answer that popped into my head.  My parents!  I have no doubt they were my first love. :) 

What can I say?  They are the best.  I'm a lucky girl! :)  My Dad is a construction inspector and my Mom is a retired Kindergarten teacher.  Dad's a big movie, train & history buff who loves to joke around.  My Mom?  She loves her crossword & suduko puzzles.  And is an excellent home chef. :)  Dad taught me how to play softball, to color inside the lines with my crayons, the best ways to study and reminds me to relax, enjoy life & laugh most everytime I talk to him.  Mom taught me how to bake, how to relate to people, to be creative and how to drive (Dad couldn't take the pressure!).  All that and so much more.  I love the relationship Brian has with them too -- they all hit it off instantly when they met for the first time at a UC Davis basketball game almost nine years ago.  I'm definitely a lucky girl.  :)

Today and tomorrow are going to be a little crazy!! I'll be back tomorrow to share several things I've been working on this week. Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Abby's Baby Quilt: Getting Started

So I've made a few baby quilts over the last year or so.  Four to be exact.  Two contemporary blankies, two patchwork quilts.  The patchwork quilts turned out super cute.   I don't have pics of them... what was I thinking?! :)

My sister loved the ones the patchwork ones I made and asked me to make her one for Abby and, hopefully, one for Creighton.  I was way ahead of her, because I already had all the fabric and a plan!  So here is what it will be made out of:

Please ignore the wrinkly fabric... it's been sitting quite a while in the closet!

It was a kit I bought on sale at JoAnn's... mostly because it was irresistably ADORABLE.  It's vintage, girly, lavendar.  I love it!  And I have exactly two weeks to finish it.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 1 & 2: Introducing....

So lately, I've been wanting to pay more attention to my blog.  Serious attention.  Seeing as how I am behind the scenes and writing for Flamingo Scraps daily, I just feel like I neglect over here.  And I don't want to do that.  I started this blog several years ago to help document our lives and document my thoughts on being married to an endurance athlete.  Now I document to help my capture memories for pretty much the same reason and I find it helps me keep track of things that I've made, things I've done, places we've gone and generally records the memories I want to scrapbook later.

So when I ran across this challenge today over on Katie's Journey, I figured why not?  I'll give it whirl.  I love guided journaling.  I think it reminds me of high school peer counseling and having to journal everyday. :) 

So here goes nothing.... join in and play along if you'd like!

15 Facts...
  1. I'm slightly addicted to reality tv.  I have lots of gratitude for the inventor of DVR who allowed my reality tv addiction to thrive and flourish!
  2. I am completely addicted to crafts.  Walking into a yarn or fabric or scrapbooking shop is dangerous.  Proof?  The 6 balls of yarn I bought last weekend when I went into the yarn store... :)
  3. I love to bake, love to cook, but don't.  I think I hate all the dishes more than I love to pursue the baking and cooking.
  4. I love chili, but can't eat it anymore.  It's a byproduct of the aging process I think.  The last two attempts at eating have resulted in illness.   I wish I knew why.  Best google answer?  Chili allergy... specifically to cumin.  Seriously.  But then I can eat all the same spices in other things.  Just something about that combo.... strange but true.
  5. I'm a klutz.... I've broken my arm twice.  Same arm.  I've had numerous bumps and bruises over the years.  Most recent was stream fishing.  It was back in July and my knee is finally almost back to normal!  You can still see the scar healing.  Good times!
  6. I ♥ making lists.  It's the type-A part of me.  I usually have a few going and a few more in my head on most days.  The husband doesn't like all the planning ahead for the house.  But it's all planned.... just waiting for his next surprise visit to Home Depot! ;)
  7. I cry when I get really mad.  It's involuntary and I really hate it.  I think it's frustration boiling over.  People mistake it for sadness or hurt (when it's neither), which then makes me more mad and I cry more.   
  8. I love my life.  Seriously.  Great jobs, amazing husband, comfy house, cutest doggie, lazy cats, my family, my friends, where we live (most days)... life is definitely good.  I have bad days, but mostly good ones.
  9. I want to get my masters degree.  I'm much closer to this than I was two years ago.  At least I have it narrowed down to two options.  Now I just need to find some $$.... any one know how to grow a money tree?
  10. I want to travel more.  The only thing that stops me is work and money.  If we won the lottery, I'd totally travel the world for a year.... maybe longer. :)
  11. I used to hate fish.  It's grown on me.  As long as it's not too fishy, I actually eat it.  I even order fish for dinner for the first time a few weeks ago.  Salmon.  It was tasty. :)
  12. I have a love/hate relationship with tomatos.  I'm not a huge ketchup fan, but have to have it on my fries.  I hate meatloaf because of the ketchup.  I love tomatos cooked (sauces, pizza, etc), but not on my salad or in my sandwich.  I still have no answer why, but I do ponder that thought often.
  13. I married a ketchup lover.  I just think that's funny in comparison.  He would drink ketchup if he wasn't busy drowning his food in it.  :) 
  14. I'm a homebody.  About all I can stand is two weekends in row where I'm not home.  Which might present a problem with that whole travel around the world plan. :)
  15. I want to be a better photographer.  It's on the list for next year!  Probably take a class or something.
Oh yeah... and while I'm thinking of photography..... a recent picture of me.... hmmmm.... Item no. 16:  I hate my picture being taken.  But here's one from today anyway:

And the blog name?  When I first started this blog it was to learn how to blog so I could help Brian with his blog.  I initially wanted to talk about the other side of what he does... the support crew to an endurance athlete.  I never quite got there, but the title was something I just came up with on the fly when google asked me for a title.  And "So I Married a Triathlete" it was.  Been with me ever since.  Maybe someday I'll change it but for now it stays.  :) 

So please tell me something I don't know about you... I'm curious!! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weekend Getaway: San Francisco 2010

This weekend we went to San Francisco to celebrate our 5th anniversary and we had a great time!  I absolutely ♥ SF!  I love visiting a few times a year, but it's really much more fun to stay for the weekend.  Hold on... this is a long post today!

There was a lot going on this weekend in the City... Fleet Week, a Giants game, a Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park and the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk (seriously, I did a double take when we came across the signs by accident!). All of these things resulted in super pricey hotel rooms in the City.  So we stayed at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame Friday and Saturday nights -- $150 per night less than City hotels, gorgeous hotel and so close!!

Apparently, I was all about food pics on Saturday... so I apologize in advance!  My goal is not to make you hungry.  Promise. :)

We started off Saturday morning with breakfast at Stillwater Cafe, the Hyatt Regency's restaurant.  It was so tasty...  Brian had Salmon Benedict and I had Sticky Bun French Toast.

Yum.  Might have to try and make my own sticky bun french toast.  There's something novel about slicing a sticky bun in half and making french toast out of it!  The first of three excellent meals today!

After breakfast we drove into the City and went to the de Young Museum to see Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay.  I have to say my favorites were:
Henri Rousseau, The Snake Charmer

Paul Signac, Women at the Well

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night Over the Rhone

Once we were done there, Brian suggested visiting the California Academy of Sciences.  But we couldn't leave without stopping for this photo op!

How could we resist?!  Anyway... where was I... oh yes... to the Academy of Sciences. 

Evolution exhibit... ginourmous!!

Cool display about dog breeds.  Of course, had to take this picture for my Dad and brother. :)

We saw Claude the Albino Crocodile in the Swamp.

The first of many photo attempts throughout the day.... mostly trying to get Brian to smile and my eyes to be open.  Good times. :)

 An indoor living Rainforest, complete with trees, bugs, frogs, snakes (yuck) and lots of butterflies!

And of course, we ate lunch at the Academy Café.  What did we eat?   Let's see...

Brian got the Irish Beef Stew, Spring Rolls and Corn on the Cob. 

I had the Turkey Sandwich, root beer and... Schaeffer Berger Chocolat Pot de Creme... which I shared with Brian.  Like a good wife. Ha!  As if I had a choice... or needed to eat it all. 

All the food was organic and totally tasty.  So far, two for two on meal choices for the day!

Before leaving we made sure to check out this:

The living roof.  So cool!

When we finished at the museum, we headed over to Pier 39.  Wandered in and out of the stores on Jefferson Street and watched some street performers.   This group of break dancers was really entertaining and they were so talented!

 This guy ended up doing a flip over these two guys - Brian caught it mid-air.  So awesome!

Also learned something new about Brian after 9 years together.  He used to perform break dancing when he was a kid at school  How cute... totally wish there was a home movie or pics of that! :)  Also wished we had a spare couple thousand to buy one of these.  Seriously.  I want one in our dining room!

We finished off the day in the City by going to dinner at Butterfly.  All I have to say is wow.  It was delicious!!  More food.... are you ready?!

We started off dinner by sharing a bowl of Carmelized Maui Onion Soup.... which apparently I forgot to photograph... oops! ;)  Let me just say... Yum. I wanted to lick the bowl. The restaurant was too nice for that!! ;)

For my main course I ordered the Macadamia & Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon:

Sour Cream Whipped Potatoes, Shiimenji Mushroom Jus de Veau, Buttered Haricot Verts and Carrots, Port & Thyme Demi Glace.

Melt in your mouth!!

As if that wasn't good enough... I hate to admit it but Brian ordered something even better than my dinner... the Crab & Mascarpone Stuffed Crispy Chicken Breast:
Sweet Summer Corn and Shrimp Ragout, Arugula Salad, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Lobster and Orange Reduction 

Wow.. it was amazing!  Little side story... In between the soup and our main courses, Brian was staring at other people's food.  It's a common restaurant occurance actually!  So he was particularly interested in this one woman's dish and stopped our waitress to ask what it was.  Lucky him... it was what he had ordered!! ;) LOL

For dessert we had the Vanilla Crème Brulée. mmmmmmm..... so good.  Loved it!!

It lasted a matter of minutes... and we restrained ourselves from licking this dish clean too!

It was a great end to the day!

On Sunday we grabbed a quick breakfast and hit the road home... stopping at Ikea on the way!  Always a fun time. :)  We left with a few small things for the house and.... Scarlet. 

Yep, she got a Krocodil.  hahaha!!  She's in love with it. :)

We had so much fun!!  I love it when we have the chance to getaway for the weekend!!  Thanks for reading to the very end.  I appreciate it. :)

Do you have any favorites in San Francisco? 


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