Friday, August 19, 2011

Dining in

If you keep up on my blog, you already know how obsessed with good food I am. Since I went gluten free almost 2 years ago, finding and making some of my favorite foods has been a challenge, but has not held me back. Today was a nice day, and I didn't have much planned after my acupuncture appointment. I spent some time down on 4th street having lunch, looking in shops, and resisting the clip board people. (people with clipboards, want you to donate money or petition.... HATE.) I ended up in one of my favorite Italian specialty food/deli/bakery shops: The Pasta Shop I ended up buying some beautiful prosciutto. I was looking at the pasta and felt sad that I couldnt just buy fresh pasta. Then I saw it.... WHAT!!!??? Yes, my friends, they actually make fresh gluten free pasta. I also bought some almond cookies that are also gluten free. So, I knew dinner was going to be fabulous.

I picked up some heirloom tomatoes, sweet onions, Parmesan cheese, and cantaloupe on the way home. So excited to cook.

I ended up roasting the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil until oh so tender. Then, I made an alfredo sauce with butter, olive oil, half and half, and cheese (shhh.... this part isnt low cal..). I put the veggies in the food processor with chopped basil. (smells so good) Then, I pour the red veggie mix into the alfredo sauce and cooked with a splash of white wine. I also crisped some prosciutto to put on top. Also, our favorite tuscon melon with prosciutto.

I told you, I refuse to let gluten get in the way of eating like this every now and then. ahhhh!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family reunion time

Hey friends and family! I get on my blog the other day and saw I have finally hit 5000 views!!!! I thought, "ok, I need to post again", so here we are.

Here we are in July and in some ways time is in slow motion, and in other ways, it seems to be going so fast. One exciting thing that happened this month is this big family reunion we had for my dad's 60th bday. It has been a while since we have all been together, and it was so wonderful to have all the siblings all together. All grown up.

We all went to Tilden park and had a BBQ/picnic for my dad. It was wonderful. Here are some pictures!

This is my dad RIGHT before he realized Matt was standing next to him. It was a WONDERFUL surprise!"WHAT!!!?"Adam playing "patty cake" with Mia. Priceless....

Then, all week I got to see my brother and his adorable family, Vanessa, Mattie, Jacob, and Mia. We went to Roaring camp and rode the train through the redwoods.

We went to the boardwalk and rode roller coasters!Matt's family on the ride together!!

Overall, it was a week full of fun, laughs, and family. We need to do this more often.

Now, my house is so quiet...filled with sounds of pugs snoring and people's court and price is right.... But thats ok with me too. I am thankful for my family. They are each so special and amazing in their own way. I am thankful for my husband, who continues to fill my life with laughter and happiness.

Happy 5000 views to me! Keep reading! (and commenting!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Hello friends and family!

Lately I have really become obsessed with plants. I am proud that I have somehow managed to keep someplants alive for a year and a half. (record!) My thumb is as far away from the color green as humanly possible. Lately though, my thumb is telling me it wants to change. As you guys know, I started my veggies from seeds during my 30 day challenge. Well, yesterday was "graduation day", where I took them and put them in bigger pots, and took them on a field trip to the outside. I have 4 beautiful pea plants, 2 gorgeous zucchini plants, and some onions, lettuce, and tomatoes (still have some growing to do.) These are the peas.


Its funny how attached i feel to them. I am so proud I grew these all myself from seed. Im sad to send them outside now where there are scary things like bugs! But, I know they need room to grow, and more sun than I can provide inside. Sniff sniff. Its like my child moving away to college... hahahaha (pathetic?)

So, in effort to try and make a happy permanent home for these babies, I have been cleaning out the mess that is the back yard. Oh man, how the plants took over out there, and its like my nightmare. I got an estimate from a company to clean it up, and NO THANKS 1,400 dollars to weed my back yard. BS. SO, I am trying to do it and I am becoming so overwhelmed. I work and work till my hands hurt and I cant bend over, and it STILL is a mess! This is the "pile" AFTER 7 yard waste bags full.....

Im trying to take it one thing at a time, but gee wiz. I think this season my veggies will be planted in pots back there. I wont give up, I filled 10 LARGE yard waste bags, and 2 trashcans- today. By myself ... (pride sniff...) I know tomorrow I will be hurting, but what can you do?

Part of my job today was to take this huge pile of weeds that my KIND brother pulled for me, and bag them. The problem is I HATE BUGS. So, here I am, raking these weeds from this huge pile and all these bugs are jumping out. I SWEAR I saw a worm (thought it was a snake) that was 9 INCHES long. (Scream) I also hate spiders, weird beetles, and anything creepy looking. I have to pump myself up (I am strong, I am strong..) just to bend over to pick up this stuff. I swear if there was someone hiding in the bushes video taping me, they would post a viral video named: "crazy lady afraid of weeds".

Anyways, I enjoyed the sunshine, and just cant wait till it is cleaned up back there so I can plant things and enjoy it out there. Meanwhile... where is the Tylenol? Enjoy the picts of the pretty parts of the yard.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time with family

Hello friends and blog followers. I have been really missing blogging daily, so I thought I would write a new entry today. What have I been up to? Well, pretty much the same thing, but last week was wonderful because I got to spend so much time with my family!! My parents came over from Utah with my younger brother, John. I grandparents came up from New Mexico (?), my aunt and uncle from Colorado, and other members who live in Ca, came from here there and everywhere to the bay area to celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday!This is a pict of all the "ladies" at the party. I dont have one with everyone.....

I had such a wonderful time visiting with my parents while they stayed here for a few nights. They brought their pugs, Nick and Jack too. We mostly just hung out and visited, but we also went out to eat and went on walks. We took all FOUR pugs to the big dog park, and I was so proud of Mango for not killing anyone. ;) She proved to be a happy dog park lover (Also, salami helps.) This is an old picture of all four pugs!

My mom and I got our toes done, went shopping, and lunch! I wish I had more days like that! I love her so much, and just love spending time with her. Adam also loves her- hes always teasing and joking with her! My dad and I got to go out and walk around 4th street. I took him to the stained glass shop, which he LOVED!

My brother I spent the most time with, and I just really miss him. Hes so interesting and different, which I like. He also did some work in the yard, took the trash out, and cleaned my kitchen after dinner. I called him my "man servant". I paid him in burritos. hahaha

Now that they are gone, my house is so quiet. I can only hear 2 pugs snoring. I look forward to their next visit!

The birthday party went well. I was in charge of decorating, (my mom helped too!) which went really well! I think my grandpa really enjoyed seeing us all. We sat around telling jokes and memories involving him. Funny! I decorated tables with blown up pictures of him and his kids! I also made a picture poster for everyone to sign.

Today- Im off to the dentist, dinner with Rachel, and the last meditation class. Im down 6.2 pounds, (total of 29 since i went gluten free) and feeling pretty good.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 30!!!

Holy cow, I made it! 30 days ago I was in a pretty bad place. Emotionally and mentally I was really struggling. I started this challenge as a way for me to try and focus on the good stuff in life, and I really feel like in the past 30 days I have really grown and changed. In forcing myself to do something interesting everyday, or at least think about something interesting everyday, I actually feel happier. Now, I know my life problems aren't "fixed", and I am still going to have good and bad days, but I know I can get through it.

I have so many wonderful things in my life. Sometimes its hard to look on the good side when the "bad" stuff seems to take over in my heart. I think everyone will agree with me on this one. I have really enjoyed exploring what I already have, and new things that I can be grateful for. My family, my amazing husband, my friends, my pugs, my life, music, nature, knitting, crafts, walking, peace, and food are just things I can always look to for happiness.

Thank you all for reading my blog for the past 30 days. I promise I wont disappear, but blogging everyday is actually pretty hard!!! Spring is here and I have this wonderful life to live!!!!

My seeds have grown (some of them!), and so have I. Hugs to you all!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 29

Keeping it short and light tonight.

Today was just an average day, and since I have pretty much used most of the obvious things to write about the past 28 days, I had to dig deep. I looked for something, any small little thing that made me smile today.....

I get home and look out the windows and see the amazing lights of the city. At night the lights twinkle, kind of like they are moving, or like they are a giant Christmas tree. I absolutely LOVE where I live. We are so blessed to live here, where everyday I can look out my window and see the ocean, and the amazing city of San Francisco, and the golden gate. I am in awe of the beauty, and at night these twinkling lights are calming. Also, the house next door still has its Christmas tree up, and still turns on their lights EVERY NIGHT. Adam and I chuckle, and make little bets when we think this tree is coming down, but, here we are, almost APRIL, and I can look outside and see this.....


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 27-28

Ok, I am behind a day here, so I am going to say two things that make me happy!

One: I briefly explained on facebook about this, but left some details out. I went to Home Depot to get some dirt. I had 4 huge bags in my cart, and the stupid wheel broke. I was struggling to push this broken cart to my car when an employee saw me and ran over to help. He was so nice. He told me "You cant always be superwoman, sometimes you need help". What wise and wonderful words from this young man. I was brought almost to tears thinking about him on the way home- How NICE he was, and he didnt need to be. How many people do I come in contact with that I am that nice? I was so happy about it, i called his supervisor and told him.

My friend Tabitha is right. She said today : People are so quick to share when something pissed them off, even something minor, but few share when something pleases them.. especially when it is minor. Very true. I spread the kindness, and in turn, i felt GOOD inside. So, go spread some kindness! I would love to hear what you did!

OK, number 2: I am thankful for.... SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow! Spring is here and I feel GREAT about it! The sun is out, the air is warm, and I spend every chance I could out in it today. I planted plants, I pulled weeds, I transplanted plants. How wonderful it feels! This past Winter was so dark for me, and now I feel a new breeze of fresh life, and feel so alive! There is still more to do in the yard, but- here are some picts of some happy plants that made my home their home today. Enjoy- and Go outside!! (except for my special friends who still live in the cold... im so sorry..)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 26

Ill post day 26 (yesterday) now, and today's later tonight.Almost done!!! And, Mango is a little upset that her post only got TWO comments..... So, keep the comments coming! For Mango's sake. ;)

Day 26: The seahorse

Yesterday started out rough. ROUGH. By noon I had already gotten myself so upset and thrown a tantrum or two. "Why cant I be this way" "Why cant I be that way" "Why isnt anything going the way I WANT". Well. I think we all have days like this, no? I was just so worked up about things in life I can not control. It gets so frustrating sometimes to want something so bad, and have no control whatsoever over it being that way.

I decided to stop throwing a pity party for one, and do something that will soothe me. So, I turned to knitting. No only knitting, but knitting a special gift for someone.

Theres something healing about giving isnt there? I can not post pictures because her surprise will be ruined ( I know your all wanting it to be you....) But, its very special, and I cant wait for her to get it. Amazing how that helped me. Then, Monday night is meditation night! I was getting dressed and saw a necklace in my drawer that my mom made for me. I beautiful seahorse. I put it on. Again, a gift given, happiness.

So, at meditation night the leader was talking about various Buddhist beliefs, which are found in many religions, which I found to be very true. (lets not turn this into a religious debate ya'll)
Point 1: Life is constantly changing.
Point 2: There is suffering in life. Well, duh. I have suffering in my life too.
Point 3: The cause of this suffering is our "attachment". Which, in listening to his talk, basically I got that we grasp so hard to the way we think our life SHOULD be, and suffer because... we cant control it. Thats life.

Thats exactly what I have been struggling with lately. I struggle because I see parts of my life "not fitting" with how I think things should be. I "suffer" (throw tantrums) because I cant just accept life for what it is, constantly changing and unpredictable.

Interestingly enough, I remembered being in a native American gift shop the other day, and I was reminded that many ancient cultures attributed special meanings to animals. I remember that I saw a seahorse in there. I got home last night and looked up the special meaning of the seahorse. This is what I found: They are known to be a symbol of patience and contentment. "Being content to be who they are". They are also known to be stubborn. In turbulent water they are known to wrap their tails on something to hold on. This is said to be a reminder to: be persistent in our goals, but be mindful that we are not too inflexible or stubborn in our achieving them.

May I be like this seahorse. Content with my life now, but persistent and mindful in reaching my goals....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 25

Day 25

Adam has been nervous that I would get through all 30 days and not have a Mango day... SO here it is.

Mango was born August 15, 2002, two days before we got married. She was born in Placerville Ca. It was a few months after we got married that I felt the itch to have our family grow again- We knew we eventually wanted 2 pugs, but I think Adam thought that we should wait... BUT... I was looking around online and found a breeder. I knew we wanted a black girl this time so I had to call around. It wasnt as easy as it sounds. Black pugs are harder to find.

Adam came home from work and I said that we should "just go see this pug"... We took Lucy, and drove up. We were told that she had 2 black girls. One was 6 weeks, and the other was 10. We showed up and she had both pugs out for us. When Lucy walked in, the older pug ran up and started smelling and jumping on her! I was more into the 6 week one at first, just because it was so small. Once I held Mango though (she was the 10 week one) I fell in love. I had to have her! Eventually I convinced Adam, and we took her home.

We met her mom, who was black, and super crazy looking. Her dad was VERY friendly, and now we see she got a little from both parents! She was a calm puppy. She was never really into playing with toys or chewing on things like lucy was, BUT she was very into Lucy. Lucy on the other hand, was very... put out. Now, they love each other of course, but Lucy enjoyed being an only child too.

We discovered after about a year that she has a thyroid disorder, and some anxiety issues. We treat them with medication, and just like people, all dogs are just different. I couldnt imagine loving another pug as much as Lucy, but I do, we do. She has such a strong, sweet, sensitive, personality. Sometimes she can be difficult, and crazy, but that is just one part of her amazing personality. She is SO full of love!

Every morning we wake up to what we call the "mango show". This is when she decides its time to wake up and really turns up the cute for us. She rolls around, climbs on our chest, licks our ears and snuggles in our necks. Its the cutest thing ever! We cant help but to wake up with a smile. She loves going on walks, eating, and laying on our laps! She is going to be 9 this year, and shes still our little black baby pug who has stole our hearts forever.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 24

Day 24- New Craft Day!

I have always seen these pictures of needle felted animals, and loved them. I thought they would be crazy hard, so I never tried. SO I watched some youtube videos, made some purchases, borrowed some items... and BAM. I have little birds. These made me so happy today. I need to figure out how to make little wire feet for them, but that will be another day. Also, in these pictures they look very "hairy" so I think I will give them a trim. In person you dont notice.
Enjoy! I made these out of pre-spun wool named "roving". I used little tiny needles to poke at it until I sculpted these shapes.

Cute huh!?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 23

One more week to go!

Today's post will be short because I am very tired. Tonight I am thankful for date nights! Ive had the same companion on these dates for the past almost 13 years now, and they never get old. I look forward to every single one of them! Our first date was so long ago, that neither of us really remember what we did. I know the first place we went together was Denny's. The first movie we saw together was The Truman Show. We first held hands on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Our first kiss was on my parents couch (I'm sure you love hearing that mom and dad!) But every date since then has been wonderful because we just have so much fun together. We always find something to laugh at. Our first time at Dennys we laughed at the weird drunk people making fools of themselves. We also both commented about how a certain parking garage was... likely to be the setting for multiple sexual assaults.

Tonight we laughed at the crazy ladies sitting next to us in the theatre were like "drunk secretaries". We also laughed when a teen thought Adam was his dad (who was CLEARLY not... when we saw what his dad really looked like...) We are always laughing and enjoying each other.
Whether its a weekend in Vegas, a ride on the SF cable cars, a movie, dinner, trips to shows, museums, the beach, a walk in the park, or a night watching the Daily Show with the pugs, I love every date with my husband, because I just love my husband!!! I look forward to thousands and thousands more with him!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 22

Day 22

Today I woke up to a super rainy day. Rain was everywhere, and flooding was happening all over the bay area. It was cold, dreary, and unpleasant. I went to acupuncture. I stepped in a puddle on the way. I came home, lit a fire, brewed some hot tea, and enjoyed my peace. Oh how I love my peace. The rain hitting the windows, a pug on my lap, a hot fire. I also did some meditation, and 40 minutes of Yoga. I truly enjoyed my peace today.

Heres a picture of Lucy, also enjoying her peace.

What gives you peace?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 20-21

Yeah, I know I am a slacker, but Im going to say two things today!

Yesterday I went on a long walk at Pt. Isabel state park. It wasn't raining, so I wanted to get some exercise in before the rain started again (which, it did) So, I went to the park, got a nice hot cappuccino, and walked. I have been trying to be "present" and "mindful" in my activities (thanks to my meditation classes) and I just really enjoyed nature. I have been to this park MANY times before, but, like most places, I dont look around much. I am so much "inside my head"... i miss out. I rarely stop to smell the roses..... So i did.

I saw the most wonderful plants, simple, but truly beautiful if you looked close enough. There were these wonderful yellow bush time flower plants that smelled wonderful! When I got to the main point (right on the water overlooking the GG bridge), i stopped, closed my eyes and just enjoyed the moment. I felt the ground under my feet, the wind in my hair, and the salty smell of the ocean. I am thankful for nature. Its amazing how just being outside and breathing the air calms me down and brings a smile to my face.

Day 21:
On the TV right now comes on this broadcast of the Les Miserables 25th anniversary show (i think 25..?) I love this!! So, on Sunday I spent the afternoon knitting and watching this. It has been a while since I heard the music, and just was brought to tears over and over again. I am so amazed by the beauty and power of music! There are just so many uplifting, strong, and powerful songs out there. Sometimes music goes where words alone can not. Here is a clip of the song that really got me deep! Go listen to a song that touches you!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 19

Day 19:

Short and simple.

Today I am thankful for... today. This is not just a cop out entry today- I am just thankful to be here and be alive. Such little things, I take for granted. Life is an amazing thing.

Heard a nice quote tonight:
Life is not just happening around you, life is happening through you. We are all alive and living our lives now.

What happens tomorrow we may not be able to control, and what happened yesterday we can not change. Take a breath and know your alive.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 18

Day 18

Today I spent the day doing one of my original and most favorite hobbies- knitting. I love knitting. Although I feel like I've been in a bit of a "funk" with it lately, its my all time favorite. Its the one I am best at. So heres my knitting story.

(below: a beaded shawl I just made for my mama!)

I got the itch to start knitting right before my brother's second child (Jacob) was born. I really wanted to knit him a hat. I guess this was about 8 years ago?I knew nothing about knitting, but knew Adams mom, Sandy, knew how to do it. One day when we were there visiting she gave me my first lesson. I remember being so clumsy and awkward. She said I picked it up pretty easily (right Sandy?), but I felt like a fool with these long metal sticks. I went home and was obsessed. I had so many mistakes I had to rip out and start over SO many times.

I went to a yarn shop in Davis, where I was a college student, and got my first skein of brown wool, and some wood needles, which I liked way better. They were nice to me and welcomed me to the world of knitting.

Not too much later I found myself with my husband of a year, and our 2 pug babies, all living in Blacksburg Virginia. Adam worked, but I didnt have a job. No job, no friends, and nothing to do but learn to knit. Thats exactly what I did. I knit all the time. I read books on knitting when I got confused. I remember having the internet, but I dont remember using it in my knitting skills. youtube would have been HELPFUL....

The first winter in Blacksburg was dreadful to say the LEAST. We lived in this little (TINY), cold, old house on South Main street. I was snowed in, and alone most of the time (except for the MICE.. and the pugs) I knit and knit. I wasnt very good at it, but I was determined. I remember making several dog sweaters.

The only knitting supply store I knew of was Michael's, so I was stuck with crappy yarn, and didnt even know it. I remember the day I discovered Mosaic. Adam and I went in and were greeted by Gina, the owner. At the time it was a small shop in the front of her mothers clothing store. I little old Chinese lady was also in there, knitting. I remember she was making noice about how BIG some of these needles were and how "ridiculous" a size 15 is. I picked a yarn up, called "Splash" (made my crystal palace), and Gina said "so your a hokie!?". I had no CLUE what a "hokie" was. I soon learned that red and orange were the colors of a very popular football team there. (pssh football...) I bought it.

I was a frequent customer there although I couldnt afford it, when finally a year or two later I found myself working there. I knew very little at the time, but learned very quickly. Virginia, the little old Chinese lady who worked there, took me under her wind and taught me everything I know. Well, all the basics at least. I worked there for 5 years. This became a second home to me. I was there through so many changes, so many customers, and so many other employees. I became good friends with the owner, Gina, who moved the store next door to a large location. I taught classes, helped customers, and learned a hell of a lot about yarn.

Now, Im back in Ca, and have my own little yarn room. I sometimes consider myself more of a yarn collector than a knitter! haha

I have made most things, but know there is still always more and more to learn. This hobby is more than a hobby to me. For those of you out there who are crazy knitters like me, you know what I am talking about. There is just something beautiful and magical about the process of creating. Something wonderful about seeing something you created on your mother, your husband, your nephews,your grandma, and your own feet. I know knitting is a life long friend that I have made. I knit because I am happy. I knit because I'm bored. I knit because I need to make a gift, I knit in sadness and tragedy. I knit because I love it.