Friday, July 30, 2010

Warning... cuteness in this post...

My favorite pic of my nephew from my sister's wedding:
Published on examiner.com on July 30, 2010.
Probably soon to be printed and hung on my sister's wall as soon as she sees it!
Of course, I had to pair the cuteness with one of my favorites quotes of all time.  I ♥ Dr. Suess!

And then there's this that greets me on my cell phone from time to time:

Oh how I miss that face!!
This face is the second face that greets me every morning when I wake up (Brian's is usually first!):
(and yes, promptly falls back asleep under the covers with her head on my pillow!)
And every day when I get home from work:

And don't even get me started on all the other cute things I see everyday... like the husband... I'll spare y'all that pic + sappy stuff... and keep it for myself! ;)  What faces do you love to see everyday?!

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Recipe #14: Snickerdoodle Blondies

They are every bit as tasty as they sound.  Not a replacement for my favorite cookie ever, but a good quick substitute when I want the snickerdoodle fix without all the waiting and work!

Image Credit: Baking Bites
You can find the delicious recipe right here.  Yum.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Brian's Last 24 Hour Race?

So I thought I married a triathlete.....and it has turned out he is an endurance athlete. :)  We've been in a little training/racing break around here for the past year and half, give or take.  Brian's work assignments changed up and he was feeling a little burned out which led him to take a break from serious racing.  The occasional race here and there, but nothing as major as a 24-Hour Solo mountain bike race or an Ironman

So this weekend, we went to Cobb, California for the Boggs 24. Yep, he jumped right in a raced a 24-Hour Solo mountain bike race with very little training. Well, the training I'm used to seeing him put in anyway. If you know Brian, you're with me shrugging your shoulders and saying "typical." :)

So here's Brian right before the race started.  It was 11 am and already in the 90's outside!  HOT!

Heading out on first lap:

The dog had fun:
Until the heat got to her!
Then all she wanted to do was snooze in the shade. :)
Here is out pit this time around.... we pack a lot lighter than in races past. And yes, that's Scarlet's chair! :)

And a crash at 9:00ish ended Brian's race.  I didn't find out about said crash until the next morning when I noticed him limping around the campsite.  Typical!  He never tells me the stuff I can tease him about until he can't hide any more.  Didn't help him that his friend Mike called him out on the crash to me as he rode by our pit area! ;) Love it (and thanks Mike!)


It was a good race and I'm glad that he is able to do what he loves from time-to-time.  I'm still not convinced that his age has anything to do with it... as he is claiming right now.  He's still just as tough as he's always been.  And ten years is a LONG time to race and train competitively!  Eventually your body needs a break right?!  And yes, he finally uttered words I thought I would never hear.... "I think this is my last 24 Hour Race."  I don't know what to think about that!  I'm writing it down, just in case he changes his mind.  I can show this to him to remind him! ;)

All-in-all it was fun.  My parents visited all day Saturday which was great.  I'm happy to feel like we've finally hit a good groove with the whole racing thing.  I know what he needs, we work well as a team and it's easier than it used to be.  Of course, now he's ready to move onto something else now that we have this figured out!! TYPICAL!!

Oh and did I mention Scarlet met her new boyfriend?  Mr. Clark Kent.  And he's a local.  Isn't he handsome?!  They make such a cute couple! :) haha
Scarlet is wearing purple and has her back to the camera. ;)

Wish we had gotten some better pics but it was 10 pm at night and they were getting loud and rowdy.  Scar was playing coy, shy and hard to get... she had Clark barking!!  (You show him girlfriend!!) ;)

All-in-all a fun weekend that I'm still trying to recover from.  Already looking forward to the next weekend.  I ♥ summer!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Daily Routines

So in case you didn't see my Facebook update, chat with me in the last week or see the Flamingo Scraps blog post (thanks girls!!)... I'm now on the Creative Team for Gone Scrapbooking and we are published weekly in the Examiner Scrapbooking column!!  I am still so excited!! 

So my first layout was published today... yay!!

Journaling: It all starts with a morning protein shake and this view from the driveway heading out to work. Google... g-mail, reader, blogger, news... Everyday. Furry cuteness waiting for playtime. And I usually get to end the day seeing this face I love so much! I am definitely a lucky girl!
Full product list here.

I was inspired by a website I see everytime time I open an internet browser everyday... google of course!  :) I got some great feedback from my friend Heather that helped me finish this one.  Thanks Heather!!   If you are interested there is a weekly publication call posted every Monday, one for paper layouts and one for digital layouts.  This week's call is for birthday layouts and last week was for 4th of July. 

I'm having fun getting to know the other eight girls.  If you want to be inspired... just click on their names below.  You definitely won't be disappointed!!

Jackie Anderson
Karen Garbicek
Ashley Hamm
Tanisha Long
Beth Moore
Kathleen Summers
Keandra Perkins-Willis
Pat Yahner

Rest of the summer is starting to fill up with fun stuff.... just hoping we can pack it all in on the weekends.... :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hershey

Day two of my trip to Pennsylvania took me to a place where I swear I gained 5 pounds just entering town! :)  Mmmmm.... Hershey.  I can't wait to go back!!! I'm glad my brother and sister-in-law have now moved here.  What's not to love about a town that has these for light fixtures?

And roads named Cocoa and Chocolate?!  We started our day in Hershey with a visit to Hershey Gardens


In a word? Gorgeous!  And of course, I took a ton of pictures.  Here are just few of my favorites I took at the gardens....

See full size photos in my album here.

And my favorite flower picture:
I loved the perfect spiral in the middle.  Isn't it cool?!

After wandering around Hershey Gardens, we ate lunch and headed over to the Hershey Story.  We took a class at the Chocolate Labs....
Aren't the hats awesome?! lol

Where we learned how to taste chocolate and made our own candy bars:

My brother couldn't control himself and ate his upon walking out of the chocolate lab when he knew we were going to do this next....
Chocolate tasting.  He got his own tray.  Amy and I shared one.  And to quote my brother "he was going to earn his stomach ache!"  It was soooooo tasty.  I could seriously live on nothing but the Java region chocolate in liquid form.  Like drinking caramel vanilla chocolate.  Heavenly.  I know exactly where I will be heading after arriving at my brother's house next time I go visit!! :)

The rest of the Hershey Story is a big museum about how Hershey's chocolate came to be.  Really nice museum:
The picture is really blurry, but you can see some of the cool displays like the 12 foot crystal lamp!

After Hershey Story, we headed over to Chocolate World... the "sweetest place on Earth."  There was a LOT of chocolate there!!  We taunted my poor husband with pics like this:

This is just one small corner of the store!!! yikes!!!! :)

And then I bought some yummy stuff to send home to him.

I look definitely look forward to going back to Hershey and seeing some of the stuff I missed including Hershey Park and ZooAmerica.  Up next in my trip recap will be the Battlefield Tour -- Gettysburg, Valley Forge and Brandywine!

If you missed my first day, you can read about it here.

Thanks for hanging in for all the pics!! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Recipe #13: Reese's Peanut Butter Brownies

Photo credit and recipe here: FabBites.

You must make these.  ASAP.  They are sooooo YUMMY!!  I got no pictures of the ones I made... we ate them too fast!!!  Instead of a brownie mix, I just used a basic cocoa brownie mix from my favorite old school cookbook:
Go get this cookbook you don't have it.  It's awesome. You'll thank me for this one too.  :)

Just make sure you have some milk.  And that you have time to put in an extra hour at the gym too!

Compiling my pictures from Hershey... hoping to post them this week!  Thanks for all the love and feedback on my first day in Philadelphia.  Have a great week everyone!! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

I ♥ Philly!

First I have to say it feels like it took me forever to get this posted!!  Okay, now that I've got that out of my system....

I've been home from my long vacation in Pennsylvania visiting my brother Tom and sister-in-law Amy for a couple of weeks now (okay, more like a month... but it seems like yesterday!).  As I expected, I had a great time!!!  Because I was gone for so long and took over a 1,000 pictures, I thought it would be better to break up my travels a little bit by posting one little bit at a time over the next week or two.  So here goes nothing...

I arrived in Philadelphia at 7 am after a redeye flight from California.  Three hours of sleep on a plane is not a great thing!  Kinda random story about the flight there.  I woke up about an hour from landing to see panicking flight attendants giving oxygen to a passenger three rows in front of me.  She started throwing up.  It didn't look too good.  I wasn't surprised that they asked everyone to stay seated once we landed to get the paramedics to her.  The paramedics got delayed so they ended up getting everyone off the plane.   I felt bad for her and hope she's okay! 

Once I finally got off the plane and headed out of the airport, my brother picked me up and we headed into Philly for breakfast and all the touristy stuff in the historic part of town.  I couldn't wait!! 

We ate breakfast at Sabrina's Cafe, thanks to a recommendation from Tom & Amy's friend Jason.  So good! (Thanks Jason!!)

Tom's Sawyer "Lon Con" Cakes (don't ask, I have no clue why the name?!).  Pumpkin pancakes with lemon cake topping, white chocolate chips, strawberry-mint butter, strawberries, blueberries and strawberry-orange syrup.  Random combo, but extremely tasty!

I opted for Caramelized Challah French Toast with maple syrup and a side of bacon.  So tasty!!

After the fantastic food (not a crumb left on either plate!), we headed over to Independence Hall and the surrounding area.  I could go on and on about how amazing it was to be here!  So I'll spare you all the words and show you the pictures of all that we saw that day....

Independence Hall.  The Liberty Bell is in the building to the right. 

The US Mint doesn't allow photos inside, so this was the outside. The security guard standing just off camera to the left was hilarious and had us laughing! :)

The grave of Ben Franklin.  We couldn't figure out why people toss coins on it??  Anyone??

The cemetary that has Ben Franklin's grave.  It's across the street from Independence Hall.  All the gravestones were seriously decaying but it is a beautiful park. (I should mention this is not the first time I have visited and photographed a cemetary while on vacation.  On the east coast... odd habit? Anyone else a cemetary tourist like me?!)

The Liberty Bell!  The museum is so beautiful with all the natural daylight.  Best part of the display of the Bell is that you are about 2 feet away from it and the only thing behind it is a two story plexiglass wall overlooking Independence Hall.

Cheesesteak for lunch.... more on the food in a separate post soon.  It was YUMMY and had Cheez Whiz.  Yes, I broke down and ate the stuff.... I paid for it later too! :)

We walked to get our lunch and saw these beautiful streets on our way back and forth to Independence Hall.

Washington Square.... would you believe that this park is actually a mass grave from the Revolutionary War?

The memorial for the park -- the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

National Portrait Gallery at Philadelphia.

Inside of the Gallery... hundreds of original portraits by Charles Peale.  He painted all the men he saw as important political figures in the Revolution.  He was actually the first artist to paint George Washington.


Our touristy trip ended with a tour of Independence Hall.  The Tour Guide was sarcastic and ruled over the noisy fieldtrip kids with an iron fist.  No joke!  It was awesome.... We had a good laugh at his "if you don't zip it, I'll end this tour right now" speech!

Meeting room of the Continental Congress (original furniture and layout!).  I got chills... it's really amazing to stand in that room.

Directly opposite the meeting room is this room - the original Supreme Court!

And finally, my first scrapbook layout for the trip album:

More info on the Flamingo Scraps blog.

This was just my first day in Philadelphia, we came back to see the landmarks in downtown. Rocky... the stairs... the Love sculpture and City Hall!

Thanks for hanging in for this long post. I'll try to make the next ones shorter! I'll be back soon with posts about Hershey, DC and all the places in-between. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Enjoying Summer

How can you not enjoy the summer with blue skies like this in the middle of the day?  Cool ocean breezes.....  Okay, they are really daily gale force winds, but I like to convince myself they are breezes! :)  So far I've been enjoying a lazy summer with Brian on the weekends and everything else has been hectic and frantic during the week!

So far we haven't gotten outdoors as much as we'd like, but we've managed to see this:
Me encanta Buzz Lightyear en espaƱol!!

We also managed to make it back to the theater the next weekend to see this:
Of course, I ♥ed the books more, but the movies have been excellent!

We've enjoyed going to the Farmer's Market here in town.  The nectarines and plums have been delicious!
I even managed to make my first ever batch of strawberry jam from those strawberries and successfully can it! :)

And here are a few things I've made so far this summer:
A button tree I plan to display at Christmas.

And a digi layout for the nephew's album.

What's in store for the rest of our summer?  LOTS of exciting stuff!!  Back soon to share some really exciting stuff and I'm almost ready to post a few things about my trip to Pennsylvania.  Hope you are enjoying your summer so far! :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July... and 7 things....

Happy 4th of July!  I celebrated by hanging out at home with Brian, making my first ever batch of jam (strawberry - yum!) and we're probably going to go by the neighbors house in a little while to say hi.  Hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend!

So last week, Heather tagged me on her blog. Heather and I have been friends for years thanks to our scrappin' addictions -- both digi and paper.  We're part of a small crowd Heather and I... most people seem to do one or another! Go check out her blog if you get a chance - I enjoy reading about her adventures in raising her kids and seeing her beautiful work. :)

“This award is to recognize good design, writing, photos, etc.; to network amongst other bloggers; inspire content ideas, etc.

Conditions of the award stipulate that I need to share seven things about myself and then pass on this award to other wonderful bloggers.”

So here are my seven things:

1.  I'm a Pieces who hates water.  Odd right?  I don't like being in water, near water or really even drinking water.  I drink water because I have to.  And I'm a terrible swimmer.  That said, I do love taking showers and I usually take two a day.  One before leaving to go to work, one before bed.

2.  If I won the lottery, I'd pay off the mortgage, finish our house and travel the world.  Not necessarily in that order.

3. I'm a homebody.  Nothing better than no plans and a weekend at home!  But that rarely happens.  Usually there is something planned.  Even if we are at home!

4. I want to move back to the Sacramento area, but I wish we could pick up our entire house and move it with us.  And our neighbors.  And our jobs.  Not possible. sigh.

5.  I have a major sweet tooth and I struggle some days to control it!  In my life, I best had it under control in college.... go figure.  When your eating habits are supposed to be at their worst.

6.  I've done most crafts you can think of.  Only a few remain that I have not.... candle making and soap making are actually the only ones that come to mind.

7. As much as I love to travel, I still have not travelled internationally.  I don't even have my passport!  Brian and I need to rectify this situation soon I think! :)

Those are my 7 things!   Now I’m tagging:

1. Anna
2. Megan
3. Nancy (I think this means you're double tagged now!)
4. Kiersten
5. Julie ;)
6. Nati
And really, anyone who is reading this.... please consider yourself tagged!  I'd love to read a few random things about everyone!

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