April 29, 2010

House Husbands, FTW!

So I'm just going to throw this out there -- I kind of love having a house husband and I highly recommend everyone get one.  It's kind of life changing. 

All sexist kidding aside though, it is absolutely ASTOUNDING how much less chaotic our lives our have been since Garrett stopped working two weeks ago.  (You know, except for when I royally screwed things up.)  But even when I was screwing things up -- I had support!  And Garrett has kindly made himself available for whatever I need.  And made my lunch (today was burgers and caramelized onions!)  And ran errands I have been dreading, and oh my stars you all, it has seriously been so darn nice.  

One of the things I have been trying to be especially conscious of during this transition is expressing my gratitude for all the things Garrett has been doing around the house.  I was lucky growing up and my mom stayed home.  I was spoiled, really.  But I so clearly remember her often saying it was a thankless job and people definitely used to question what my mom did all day since she didn't work. (HA!)  Boy did that used to burn her up because, as she would clarify -- it wasn't that she didn't work, it was that she didn't work outside the home.  And I'll tell you if I learned one thing, I learned real quick that there was a difference between the two, and I best realize that staying home was a job!  

And years later I love her to pieces for being so excellent at it!

So one of the consequences of my upbringing is that I'm very aware of the value of domestic tasks.  So I have tried to really have gratitude each day that while I have been in the office, Garrett has been busting tail at home.  And he has!  I mean of course he has done some relaxing too.  I think he has been through like 5 Audio books, but I know I've told you before that he likes to listen to those while he cleans, so you can bet our house looks spic and span because of it.  

But he has done so many other things too -- things that languish on our "If we had but time and energy" to do list?  I know you know this list.  You have this list, I'm sure of it.  Things like totally cleaning out and reorganizing our freezer (swoon!).  Organizing the garage (ick!).  Dealing with our yards (Achoo!).  Doing our endless stack of dishes (since we don't have a dishwasher).  Tackling the mass amounts of laundry that resulted from vacations, and guests, and life - OH MY!  You see all of these things would probably still be on the list if he would have been at work too.  We would probably be trying to figure out a way to split up those tasks so they could all get done and because of that it feels hugely decadent that I haven't done a load of laundry, or washed a dish in...well, weeks. And you guys, we don't even have kids!  So my mind is seriously boggling over how to juggle being two working parents, plus life, plus (OMG!) kids.  Hat tip to all of you who do that because the past few weeks have really underscored to me how much energy that really must take! 

And seriously, speaking of energy, my mom had like crazy, freak energy when I was growing up!  I mean she really Ran our household (and I'm sure at times it felt like a never ending hamster wheel).  She taught me alot.  And it's made me realize that the idea of keeping a house today is such a lost art!  Where's Mad Men when I need it?!?  And I'm don't mean to be Judgy McJudgerpants about it -- there's a million different reasons we don't all "keep house" and we don't need to get into here, and of course we all choose what's best for our own families so it's not my intention to offend anyone or make anyone feel bad as if there was a right way to live life.  But I know for me, having these couple weeks with Garrett staying home have really highlighted the huge value in having a life without much chaos.  It feels like a luxury.  And now that I have seen what things could be like (insert dramatic voice here) I don't know how I will ever adjust if we go back to how it was! 

But you know, it's been a learning experience.  Whether, in the future, we are able to stay afloat with only one of us working, or whether we choose jobs that have more work from home flexibility (Dooce is on that, right?), or whether we both go back to work and end up juggling our multiple priorities as best we can, I know I will savor the imprint that this time in my life has made on me.  And I hope to hold it close like a compass in the future when I'm trying to decide which direction to go. 

April 28, 2010

Things, Life, Whatnot...

So most of the time if people find out that I have a blog they scrunch up their nose and ask me -- What on Earth do I write about on a blog? And I usually answer one of two ways:

1. God only knows.
2. Reading, Cooking, and Life.

So in the spirit of Number Two, (Did the 12 year old boy inside of you just laugh a little? Ok good then you should stick around) here are a few updates with respect to those topics.


Currently Reading: The Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
I’m about 2/3 through this and I really like this so far even though a good amount of the characters are annoying to me. A testament to Moore’s writing skills? Probably. There is one part of the book where someone is described as being the annoying type of person who never laughs at things but instead just says “Oh that’s funny.” And as soon as I read that I just thought I TOTALLY KNOW THAT PERSON! And it is stuck in my head now. I love the description here. I kept hearing about this book and was sort of uninterested, but then Elizabeth’s Review  sort of tipped the scale, so I reserved it at the library. So far, so good.

Recently Finished: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
So I should probably say that I recently finished a stint renting this book, not actually finished reading it. It was overdue at the library and even though it was so good – it wasn’t willing-to-pay-25 cents per day good, so I had to return it. I will probably put myself back at the bottom of the reservation list again though because Safran Foer has such a great voice and the book really felt like him thinking out loud and not at all like a preachy, vegetarian manifesto.

Recently Scrapped: Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I can not capitalize HATE enough to fully communicate my feelings about this book. I just Did. Not. Get. It. And almost 200 pages in I just had to tell myself that life is too short! But I hate doing that! What was this book about? How did it get so popular? Did you read it? UGH, all of that time I will just never get back.

Next up in the Queue Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
You guys, I just need a little fluff.  I need a book that is the equivalent of a nice big stick of soft pink cotton candy washed down with an ice pink lemonade.  I really hate the term chick-lit -- I prefer to call it hot-pink lit -- but I'm not gonna lie, I needs me some, STAT!   


So yes I have been doing A LOT of cooking lately. Man cooking relaxes me like nothing else does. I wish getting on the treadmill and running eleventy billion miles while eating only lettuce relaxed me like cooking does because then I can assure you my ass would have an entirely different shape, but something about coming home after work and chopping and sautéing and smelling and tasting is like the exact recipe for lowering my blood pressure after a long day at work. Speaking of long, do not go back and edit that last sentence - hello! run-on.  But I love everything about cooking – even the meal planning and grocery list making and kitchen organizing aspect of it – though I still can't get myself to love the shopping part always.

Here are a few winners I’ve made lately:

Mediterranean Orzo Salad --  There are tons of great additions and modifications for this recipe and they are all fab!

Wheat berry Salad -- Crunchy, yummy staple to have in the fridge.

North African Meatballs --  This was so freaking delish people…and I had majorly low expectations and they were all EXCEEDED! In fact, I don’t even know why I ended up making this because I was so uninterested in the recipe, but boy am I glad I did!

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats --  I know this recipe has been around the internet so many times that you are probably rolling your eyes right now and thinking this is nothing new, but if you have yet to make these rice crispy treats, I am promising you THEY WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. And I rarely make promises, yo.  The browning of the butter and the salt really do make a difference – like in an eat the entire pan in one sitting kind of way. We are addicted STILL at our house, even though I made my first batch like months ago. It’s the Go-To dessert of choice.


Ah, life.

Despite the rice crispy recipe I just posted, Garrett and I have really been making a conscious effort around here to eat better and exercise more. And we were kicking ass and taking names until a few weeks ago when there was all sorts of falling and wagons and such – you know the drill. Then we had talked ourselves into getting right back on it and then BAM! – Trip to Seattle – and I don’t need to remind you how that went, do I? So we are trying to get back to snacking on fruit and veggies instead of on whatever is within arm’s reach, trying to get back to the gym instead of spending our evenings in front of the tube, but man lately my life feels a bit like a bad reality TV pilot where six figures from Greek Mythology are picked to live in a house and work together in New Jersey T shirt shop to see what happens when people stop being nice and start getting real. And FOR REAL, I am totally Sisyphus and my ass is his god damn boulder although obviously with much less GTLing. (OH MY GOD, GTL has a wikipedia page.  Kill me now.)  Somebody call The Situation, because yo, I have got one going on in my house.  So yeah, it doesn’t make for great blog fodder – but really everything is good.

Life, is good.

And in the end, I guess that’s what I try to write about as often as possible on this blog.

April 27, 2010

How to Be Highly Ineffective

You guys!  Ooooh you guys! I am usually so organized!   

Really, organization is one of my favorite things.  I have so many systems in my life and my house that for the most part my life runs fairly seamlessly.  But sometimes I can be so dependant on those systems, that if I am doing something that doesn't involve a system, my brain totally wigs out!  Like I basically fail at ad-libbing life!

I can be seriously forgetful sometimes and I will fully admit that it is not my best quality.  I often forget things Garrett has said the day prior and entire conversations that we have.  And it's not just conversations -- sometimes I get in the shower and start shampooing only to think to myself, "Did I already do this?"  Granted, that's before coffee...but you get what I'm saying. Every once in a while though, Garrett will say to me with frustration (and rightfully so), "Holly, next time can you try harder to remember?"  But hell if I have any idea on where to start with that one. 


You guys, am I getting Alzheimer's in my 30s or am I just totally living unconsciously???


So usually I rationalize this behavior because it is just silly, tedious things.  I run to the store for two things, and come home with twenty but forget the two items I actually ran down there for (though obvs for big shops I make lists -- organized by section, mind you!)  or I do stupid things like decide to get gas on the way home after work and then promptly get into my car and drive home without stopping at any of the 10 gas stations I pass on the way and then pull into my driveway and see the little light go on.  Ugh. 

But I do have a calendar so I'm not a total heathen.  If something is important I write it down in a few different places, and I am proud to say I rarely (if ever) completely blow it and miss something I have committed to.   Really I don't.  You are probably finding this hard to believe now that I have basically confessed to walking into a room and forgetting why I am there, but I promise you I'm not a total screw up.  But the issue then becomes -- am I as prepared as I had meant to be for this thing I have (luckily) showed up for, and the answer, sadly, is not always in the way that I would like to be.  And this flaw of mine is starting to take its toll.

Take today for example.  Today I walked into work feeling like it was just any other day, only to open up my calendar and see that tonight is the night I have committed myself to helping cook dinner at St. John's Shelter.  I've told you before that I do this, and I love it although it is a big production what with the grocery shopping, preparing, and serving.  It takes some time is what I'm saying.  But you guys, I almost forgot about this!!!  And do you know what kind of anxiety it induces when you accidentally forget you are sort of HOSTING A DINNER FOR 120 PEOPLE IN A FEW HOURS AND YOU HAVEN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT THE MENU?  AND YOU ARE STUCK AT WORK. 

(Just remembering that gave me heart palpitations.)

So, instead of having an enjoyable lunch break (which was desperately needed since the word rough does not even begin to describe my work day today) I called the Chef and St. John's for some inspiration, went to Costco and bought dinner supplies, drove them all the way back to my house, grabbed a change of clothes more suited to cooking and serving, cancelled on my gym class tonight that I was totally looking forward to, talked Garrett into meeting me after work with the perishables so I could skip out on work as late as possible and still get there by 4:30 (Yes, I have to take off work early to do this.  No I had not asked my boss if that was ok.  Yes I'm sure she was thrilled.) and then headed back to work. 

Sigh.  This was not relaxing. 

And you know what the sad part is.  I totally KNEW I was going to forget this when I signed up for it.  I knew this was a hectic time for me, but volunteered anyway.  I knew that I would write this on my home calendar and then promptly ignore it.  And because I knew I was going to forget, as a last resort I put it on my work calendar, because Lotus Notes absolutely tells me where to go and what to do 8 hours a day 5 days a week, and I wish I were kidding about that.  But seriously...thank god I did that!  But that was a little too close for comfort.  Like I really could have screwed this up and these people who were counting on me would have had a totally different experience.  And I would have had no excuses.

Ugh.  I just hate that feeling.  

I almost really effed some stuff up today and I feel bad about it.  I don't want to be someone who goes through life so unconscious that I make these kinds of screw-ups, but I also have a lot of stuff I want to do and find myself taking things on, and multi-tasking in a way that is not productive sometimes.   But slowing down and "trying harder to remember" are just things that don't come naturally.  But  I need to get this under control.  It's probably no surprise that while writing this I checked my email (because yes I compulsively multi-task even though I hate) but what is surprising is that I found a notice from my Library that a book I put on hold a while back is ready for pick up -- Steven Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I actually reserved it for Garrett because I found it really helpful for me about a decade ago -- but I'm starting to think maybe it's me who needs to give it a second look.  The Universe has a funny way of bringing us exactly what we need when we need it, I think.  I'm just thinking it's just too bad it didn't show up with dinner for 120!

But I guess I probably deserve to be on my own for that one. 

April 23, 2010

Weekend To Do List

Weekend To Do

I think that my 21 year old self would roll her eyes at this list, but the 31 year old me feels happy as a clam that these are the items I get to check off my list.  (Yes, I do make lists for my leisure time.  Are you surprised by this?  I didn't think so.) 

The weather looks to be bright and beautiful and with family in town I thought it might be fun to do a little barbecue action.  Zesty chicken, corn salad with fresh avocados and maybe some grilled veggies.  I may even make some sangria since I have a signature recipe that has laid dormant for almost a year now! 

The magazines are because I got a little overzealous in the airport last week, and the banana cream pie is because the recipe has been calling to me ever since I read it in last month's Everyday with Rachael Ray and this weekend I may finally have time to bake.  I'm not the world's best baker but I like to try, so we'll see how it turns out.  I have a few chores here and there, but for the most part this weekend is going to be for connecting and recharging. 

Happy Friday, folks! 

What's on YOUR weekend To Do List?

April 21, 2010

How We Ate Our Way Through Seattle, and other sordid details...

So I guess I should probably tell you about Seattle, eh?

(That's 4 days of Canadian influence right there for you.)

Well for starters -- the light in that town is beautiful. Well, actually everything is beautiful.  Yards full of weeds seem more beautiful when that purple hazed light shines all over everything dewy.  It was amazing, and there were times when I looked over at Garrett and said, "Am I really seeing this?"  and truly meant every bewildered word.  

Seattle collage

We ran the gamut of weather while we were there -- sunny and cool, damp and dewy, sunny and warm, and then also - my personal favorite - Sky Unfurling Wrath.  That felt the most stereotypical, but I hear it's not always like that.
Did you know it rains here?

But do you know what the weird thing was?  I didn't see a single umbrella the entire time we were there.  Weird, right? Seattle peeps -- how do you stay dry with no umbrellas?  It's a mystery.

Anyway, when we arrived on Friday we headed over to Lunchbox Laboratory in Ballard for some burgers and let me just tell you, they are not messing around.  We ate part of this for lunch and then the leftovers for dinner since it was that epic and huge! 

Lunch of Champions - Truffle Burger + Tots  YUM!

Of course 2 meals from one restaurant threw off my already overflowing spreadsheet of restaurants to visit, so I have to acknowledge that we failed miserably at getting through 47 restaurants in 4 days, but fret not we gave it our best effort at eating our way through town just as promised.

Saturday we hit up Pike Place - Crab Sandwiches, Mac and Cheese, Seared Scallop Chowder, Donuts - OH MY! -  (More like Oh Mylanta! ay yay yay.)

Pike Place

 And then for some reason (food coma, perhaps?) we ended up back at home watching a huge marathon of Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel.  I am usually firmly against sitting and staring at the television when I'm on vacation, but our condo was so cute (and well, really, so is Bear Grylls) so I just kind of went with it. We stayed in and explored Capitol Hill that night (which is so cute, I'm kind of in love!) and had dinner at a local Pizza place which was just perfect.

The condo living room

On Sunday we decided to take it easy.  After sleeping late, we met Maggie and Phillip for Dim Sum in the International District -- and as someone who has never had a Dim Sum experience before, I will DEFINITELY be partaking again!  Man there was just so! much! stuff!  I wish I could have shut my pie-hole for just a second and sampled every single thing, but as it turns out I was being kind of a blabbermouth so I only kind of know what I like for next time.  I'm so game to experiment though -- it was scrumptious!  Also, can I tell you how nice it is to see a familiar face?  After a few days of planning and scheming and executing, it was so nice to just sit down and chit chat with great people and relax for a minute!  I'm soooo incredibly glad we got to see them. 

Afterward (totally stuffed!) we hopped on the ferry over to Bainbridge Island (ok we might have had some Ice Cream while we there).  It was a beautiful day and the sun was out and if you can believe it I got a crazy sunburn!  

Making waves

We spent another evening in Capitol Hill -- this time having a simple dinner at Broadway Grill.  It was a GORGEOUS night and their patio had been calling to me pretty much since the first night we arrived so we finally sat down and enjoyed some stiff cocktails and grub.  A walk over to Cal Anderson Park afterward was just what the doctor ordered and we (and the rest of the neighborhood) continued to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.  

Monday came a bit too quick and it was time to hit the road, but not before seeing and lunching with Jessica, who I used to work with.  Another familiar face was fabulous and she took Garrett and I to have basically the best meatball sliders I've ever had in my life at Palomino.  Hands down. 

Kerry Park has spectacular views

When it came time to head home both Garrett and I were sad to say goodbye.  We had a great time, saw beautiful sights, met up with fun friends, and stayed in an adorable condo in a cute neighborhood.  I really couldn't have asked for a better vacation!  But with that same zeal, I also  couldn't decline those peanuts on the flight home quick enough!  It's nice to be back home and back to eating like a normal person, but Seattle definitely left a great impression.

If you're interested, the rest of our pics are over here.

April 15, 2010

Following His Bliss

Well it appears there are all sorts of things going on today...
Today I wrote a check to the State of California.  Joy.  
*I sure hope they spend it well but I'm not going to hold my breath.  grumblegrumblegrumble

Today is the one year anniversary of Garrett and me shacking up
*I know what you are thinking -- Tax Day?Really?  Obvs, we know how to infuse the romance up in here -- we're bringing tax day sexy back.  Justin Timberlake told me so.    

And also Today -- Garrett quit his job.
*Eek! Typing that was exhilarating and scary all at the same time. 

It's a new chapter, folks.  

I mentioned back in September that Garrett would be losing his job sometime in the near future.  His department was being centralized to our company's Denver office and his job was going with it.  Things changed rapidly in those next few months and all of a sudden the job he signed up for was looking very different from the job he was doing 5 days per week.  Honestly, I want to tell you all the emotions I have about what happened with this job and what I think about the direction his department is going (trust me I could write a novel), but you will have to forgive me for staying mum because as you may or may not remember, Garrett and I (up until today) worked for the same company.  You can probably read between the lines though, you guys are smart like that. 

The fact of the matter is, my opinions aside, Garrett was starting to feel physically affected by the things going on at work.  The taxing nature of his job and his anxiety about the future was getting to him in a way that really scared me.  I began to understand first hand, how there are people out there who have heart attacks from stress -- and there was absolutely nothing about this particular job that was worth that type of personal sacrifice.  His health was not worth a silly paycheck.  But when we started talking seriously about making a decision that would potentially render him jobless, the big-time soul searching began, because a man without a job in this country (in this economy especially) is a really tough place to be.  

So we started asking some questions: 
What if Garrett quit his job?
What if we had to live on less money?
What if he had time to pursue something that he was more passionate about?
What would that mean for the quality of our life?

And the answers to those questions really revealed a great disparity between the two of us at first.  I value pursuit of my passions almost above anything else.  I live in the moment a lot.  I think about what I enjoy. What makes me feel invigorated is my compass.  Sure I think about what I want to accomplish but I also ask myself often - What makes me inspired?  And when it came to Garrett, he was just not on that same page.  He was always on this (very difficult) quest to be "Successful", which was a thought that wasn't fully defined in his mind just yet, but he knew he wasn't there.  And all of our conversations really led to me to think the generalized blanket statement that I'm about to say and that is:  I'm not sure we raise and encourage the men in our society to really be in touch with their passions.  And I really think that is A TRAGEDY.   

Garrett graduated college with honors, got a degree in a "respectable subject" (Economics), and planned to get out in the career world and get a decent job, to be able to provide for the family he hoped to have one day.  I mean that was really as far as he thought it through.  That was the kind of successful male archetype that he had come to value -- and I don't really blame him.  But it has taken almost 5 years of these types of negative career experiences for him to realize that his own value is not defined by his job or his paycheck.  His value is defined by the person he is when he wakes up in the morning, the person he chooses to be when he has a friend in need, the person he chooses to be in each and every moment of his day.

But this is like an Epiphany of Epic Proportions to him at age 28. 

(As an aside -- I'm so glad he realized this at age 28 and not age 48!!!!)

So today Garrett decided that he wanted to choose his sanity over a paycheck.  He chose to prioritize figuring out what makes him tick, to discover some of his passions, to figure out what it is that he really wants, not what he thinks he is supposed to want.  We are lucky enough to not have a mortgage, to not have children yet.  We are lucky right now in this awful economy to have the luxury of being flexible, and today Garrett chose to harness that into a turning point that I am convinced is going to change his life. Re-evaluating what is really important to him.  Dreaming big about his future.  And most importantly, prioritizing his Very Best Life.  After months of thinking about it, I know for him that this decision was one of the toughest he has ever made.  There will be questions from friends and family.  There will be raised eyebrows for people who may have chosen a different path.  There will be scary times and times of doubt in our future, I am sure.  But it is that important.   

It reminds me of a term paper I had to write in high school about Joseph Campbell and The Hero Journey.  I hated that paper and it subsequently ruined the Star Wars trilogy for me forever, I think.  But the one thing that has totally redeemed Joseph Campbell for me after all these years is this quote: "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."  And I'm so glad that today Garrett let go of that life that he had planned.  For what it's worth -- even though I am going to miss our silly conversations while getting ready in the morning, his Rihanna impersonations during our commute, and the fact that the office feels a little bit emptier this afternoon -- I'm absolutely dying to meet the life that is waiting for us, whatever that may be. 

April 13, 2010

Phoning It In For The Sake Of My Laundry

So tonight I could sit down and blog, or I could get my laundry done, and return some long overdue emails, and pack like an adult since we will be on a plane in slightly more than two days (and in this rainy weather I swear that's how long it is going to take my jeans to air dry so I better get to washing unless I want to resort to the dryer and look like a flood warning is in full effect the entire time I'm in Seattle.)

Anyway, since I obviously have like 900 things to do before this trip -- which technically is a trip for Garrett's Birthday (even though his actual birthday is not until May) -- I thought I would post a few snapshots of the first birthday trip we ever took together up to Humboldt County way back when we were just babies in love.  I think I may have washed my face and brushed my teeth first thing every morning on that trip.  Ok, I probably wasn't that crazy, but when I look at these pictures I just remember how excitedly new everything felt!

We spent a day driving up the coast, checked in to the World's Cutest Cabin and then spent a few days eating crazy-hot hot wings, drinking Lost Coast brew (if you see their Tangerine Wheat beer -- drink it immediately!), and meandering up and down North Coast beaches hand in hand being super sappy.  Did you just barf a little?  I know, that was pretty sickening, but it was quite blissful actually.  And I have the same hopes for this birthday vacation!  

Created with flickr slideshow.


April 12, 2010

Passion Pit, Peroxide Yarmulkes, and Pictures

Is it just me or have any of you all looked at your calendar lately and said to yourself "Where the hell has April gone?"  My god, I looked at my calendar last night wondering about the next time I would have a moment of down time all to myself and had to actually flip it to the month of May.  Sigh...Weren't we just talking about New Year's Resolutions? 

This isn't a bad thing though, I swear.  In fact even though this week is going to fly by, it is full of Super!  Fun!  Things!  Including a Wednesday night show in Davis to see Passion Pit (yay!) and then on Friday, we are Seattle Bound!  I may even end up doing laundry somewhere in there too otherwise Seattle better get ready to see my in my wrinkled best.  I figure this will be acceptable though because if people look at me funny I will just say I'm making a pilgramage to the capital of grunge!  Although this time around I will wear much less plaid than I did in the 90s.  And of course I'll be sure to make sure my lipstick doesn't make me look like I've been sucking on a tailpipe.  You've got to draw the line somewhere you know.


And among all of the touristy things I plan to do I assure you that I most certainly do plan to fight fellow tourists at Kerry Park for pictures of that view.  Hell, I may even wear a fanny pack and a camera around my neck while I'm at it -- what of it?

(Excuse me while I take a minute to stop laughing my ass off because I am having a gay old time visualizing myself in an awful plaid shirt, wrinkly jeans, and Dr. Martens, while I also strap on a fanny pack and sling a camera around my neck.  This trip is going to be awesome!  Maybe I will just do some laundry.  There's a thought. )

Anyway -- digression, apparently is my middle name!  So we will be there for a long weekend and I have made a spreadsheet of all the places I want to go because I am a giant nerd like that and have come to realize that instead of 4 days, we need about 40. People, there are 47 restaurants on my list.  FORTY SEVEN.  Not sure how to reconcile that just yet, but I can tell you this much -- I told Garrett he needs to pack layers and his appetite! The weather looks to be pretty nice and of course we will get to visit some fabulous people, so I basically can't wait for that! GOD I CAN'T WAIT FOR THAT. 

The only downer is that I anticipate taking about 970 billion pictures, and I sort of hate my haircut right now.  I wish I could say my hairdresser is to blame, but actually she is the most adorable thing on the planet and gave the exact cut that I asked for -- I just um...well...don't love it.  So yeah there's that.  But I keep trying to remind myself that this haircut is not that bad.  After all it is nothing like the time I went to see my old hairdresser in Los Angeles for a cut and I walked out with a peroxide yarmulke.  A YARMULKE OF PEROXIDE....let that sink in for a minute.  My lesson after that incident was if a hairdresser ever says that you should go a little bit "avante garde" turn and run the other direction.    

So yeah, this hair is not that bad.  It's short and has bangs.  Big whoop, there is no peroxide and no yarmulke, so I will live.  But it probably means that I will take plenty of pictures of the adorable looking patio that we will have outside of the condo that we are staying in instead of me!  Whatever.  We'll see what happens.   I mean if all else fails and I run out things to photograph, I will just start taking pictures of meals we eat because you know there will be no shortage of opportunities there. 

April 08, 2010

Life To Do List


I want to live a juicy life that is full of love.
I want to feel connected to those around me in a way that is authentic.
I want to acquire information and not things.
I want to work hard, but not just for the money.
I want to choose how I spend my time wisely.
I want to live with intention.
I want to feel confident in the way I express myself.
I want to embrace frugality.
I want to be kind.
I want to feel passion from the moment I wake up in the morning until the moment my head hits the pillow at night.
I want to be held.
I want to feel full of dreams.
I want to feel open to the opportunities the universe presents.
I want to consistently choose happiness.

April 06, 2010

Tuesday is the hardest day...

Tuesday is the hardest day of the week, I'm convinced. 

Monday -- while definitely a shock to the system after a long weekend has an element of renewal to it.  It's a new week! And I find the entire week full of possibilities to be a little exciting.  Granted sometimes I find that exciting through squinty tired eyes, but it's still exciting!

Wednesday -- yes, it's humpday, and I know people argue that this is the hardest day, but to me this is like hitting the summit -- you are halfway there!  Celebrate!  So I don't find Wednesday unmanagable...besides, Wednesday has it's perks.  Dude, I know that is hella old but it still makes me laugh. 

Thursday -- I have two words for you:  Baby Friday.  Sure Thursday can be a slog, but you are so close to Friday you can taste it.  The anticipation is insane, the weekend is so close!

And Friday -- if you don't love the release of Friday, I think you may be a robot.  Friday is the gateway to the weekend, and although I am more inclined these days to go home and unwind with a glass of wine on my couch rather than heading out to get EXTREME, I still love a good Friday night and it is the absolute highlight of my week. 

Saturday -- Bliss.

Sunday -- Errands and more Bliss.

So what the hell does Tuesday have going for it?  Nothing, I tell you!  Nothing!

And now, in case you need something to laugh about today too because it's a long ass Tuesday with no light at the end of the tunnel I give you this: (apropos of absolutely nothing)


Happy Tuesday Peeps!

April 05, 2010

Coffee Is My Religion


Well that was a quick Easter weekend, wasn't it? 

I don't have any stories of bunnies or baskets (well maybe I do have one story about a basket) but I did have a fabulous time!  We headed up to Chico to visit my aunts and cousins and if there is one thing you should know about my family, it is that we always have a great time together.  Although I was raised going to church, as an adult I am not very religious.  Our family holidays almost always end up as religious events though, because boy do we get a little ceremonious (even holy) about our food!

For Easter this means Eggs Benedict.

And you can bet every member of my family, no matter where they were celebrating this year was either eating it or thinking about it.  I'd show you a photo, except that is how quickly the bennys went -- I didn't even time to snap a single shot before all the deliciousness was gone!  This year was the first year I actually made the eggs benedict instead of sitting at the table salivating and waiting for it to be served and it was kind of great!  It sort of felt like a rite of passage -- we used my grandma's recipe for hollandaise sauce and I poached my first eggs EVER, and I'm surprised that it all turned out pretty great.  (I'm sure it had to do with my mad kitchen dancing skillz, yo!)  But it made me think -- what other seemingly difficult recipes I have avoided making just because I thought for sure I'd screw them up?  I'm actually kind of inspired to get in the kitchen!

After breakfast we went over to my aunts' warehouse (they own a coffee distribution and service company) and seriously, Garrett and I were like kids in a candy store!  (In case you have forgotten, we met working at Peet's Coffee & Tea, so we are coffee ENTHUSIASTS!)  We played with the espresso machines, sampled the chocolate, the syrups, the espresso, and the chai -- and I think Garrett rekindled his love for making espresso drinks. 

The Foam Whisperer

Of course every time Garrett or Amy made a drink we would all have to sample the yumminess, so by the end of the day we were all feeling pretty amped, if you know what I mean.  Amy told us all about her recent coffee buying trip down to Nicaragua, and we were all ears! 

The family tasting

All in all it was a super fun outing and so nice to spend time with family.  I'm trying to be really conscious lately of how lucky I am that I have family living close by, because who knows, it may not always be like that.  It's fun to get away for the day, have some laughs, and be home in time for some trashy reality tv and some quality time with my current book in bed! 

But let me assure you, I am already ready for another weekend!  
Hope you had a wonderful weekend wherever you were and whatever you ate!

April 02, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

Avila Beach

Today I am grateful to break my silence. 
Because even though I've been at a loss for words, my heart and head have been full of them.

Today I am grateful that I have a partner in life. 
A partner in crime if I'm being honest, and sometimes in life you just need an accomplice.

Today I am grateful that I have a choice.
Even if it sometimes it feels overwhelming to be at a crossroads.

Today I am grateful for a wonderful, fun, and supportive family.
Although we are scattered all over the state, the way we communicate always brings a smile to my face.

Today I am grateful for friends who appreciate my particular brand of crazy.
Even when I don't see them enough, their thoughts and notes lift me up when I feel down.

Today I am grateful for my health and my body's abilities.
My lack of kickboxing skill reminds me that I'm lucky just to be healthy enough to go to the gym.

Today I am grateful that it is Friday. 
Because empirical testing has proved that a weekend can cure almost anything.


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