Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookies, cookies and more cookies!!!

I just spent 10 hours in the kitchen making cookies for the big cookie exchange at work on Wednesday. Ordinarly I would be pretty ticked off for having to spend such an enormous amount of time making cookies, but I actually really enjoyed myself today. There is something about baking during the holidays that gives me such a cozy, happy feeling. It was the perfect day to do it to, it was rainy and gray outside. I had some music on and the Christmas tree lights twinkling and my wonderful boyfriend wrapping presents and telling me how delicious my cookies looked :).

I made White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread cookies. I chose this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens website and, well I guess ignorance truly is bliss because if I had known the complications involved in getting shortbread dough right, I might have opted for a different recipe.

But now that I have my feet kicked up and being rubbed by the wonderful boyfriend, I am happy I got to learn how to make shortbread today.

Enjoy the Pics. I wish I could send some through the internet to you!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We need a little christmas...

Joe and I are completely in the Christmas spirit and enjoying our little decorated apartment. One of our many self-taken photos...this time in front of our front door decorated with our new Christmas wreath.
The baby Tree.
Our mantle, decorated with the free garland from the Christmas Tree Farm.
The grand entrance.
Yummy vanilla pine candles.
Christmas Anpanman...He Dances. Thanks to the Long Family!
Joe's favorite cherry chocolate hershey kisses.
My favorite peppermint hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Inspired by friends....

Joe and I had a wonderful time at home in San Diego for Thanksgiving and got lots of family and friend time in.

On Saturday night at Niki and Ryan's fabulous new home, my friend Amber gave me a copy of Ray La Montagne's new album "Gossip in the Grain." It's funny how such a small little gesture of kindness can create such inspiration...I am in love with this guy and am feeling so content to be swooning to all of his music as we speak. Thank you Amber!

Here are some of my favorites.

Monday, November 24, 2008

you've gotta LEAF a little :)

I am totally inspired by all the different shapes, sizes and colors of fall leaves right now and itching to create some leaf are a few ideas I have found....
Thank you Martha Stewart for the ideas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

i heart fall part duex...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

i heart fall...

I love the fall, changing leaves, crisp, cool weather, BASKETBALL season, yummy soups, thanksgiving, cozy sweaters, candles...the list goes on!

What are your favorite things about fall?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Odd Squad hits it out of the park again!

Have you all had the pleasure of meeting one of my oldest and favorite friends in the world--The Odd Squad??? Well if you haven't, let me tell you, you are definitely missing out!!! I have known this girl ever since elementary school when she asked me one day on the play ground, "Sarah, are you a multi-millionaire?" (She saw my mom on a note pad advertised as a multi million dollar producer--heck judging by the designer clothes I was wearing back then, it would've been easy to mistake me for a multi-millionaire I suppose).

Anyways, shortly after that we became basketball budies, and actually I credit my family with part of Audie's upbringing, what would she have done without the Farber Family Pantry...after all, the only thing to eat at the Ford Ranch was old vitamin C tablets. We sure did mold her into an upstanding citizen, although I credit Tom and Kristina with all of Audie's wild and crazy and just plain silly side.

This blog is dedicated to the Odd Squad not only because she is one of the coolest friends-people you will ever meet--but because she sent me the coolest little present last week.

Drum roll please...........................

Tah Dah

Haha, isn't it very own "I am so Blogging this" Pin!!! I love it and I have been wearing it 24/7 ever since I got it, even to bed!!!

Thank you Audie, you rock and I love you!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nothing Like Old Friends

Joe and I have been blessed with tons of visitors this past month and the last in the long list were Niki and Ryan. Niki and I have been friends since middle school and have gone through lots of life together! This weekend was the first time we got to hang out with our handsome and funny significant others. They are actually still here :)...I know what kind of host am I!?! ...but we are just relaxing and watching some football after a full weekend and waiting to make yummy homemade pizzas all together. Here are some pics from our weekend together...I hope they tempt you to come visit too!!!! We love having company!!!

Ryan as a "Mainstream Vampire" and Niki as a "Fang Banger"--You've gotta watch True Blood on HBO to get it.

Joe and I decided to sport some funky wigs. Joe chose the mullet, trashy look and I went for the wild and crazy green go go bob.

Our delicious Pumpkin cake dessert.

The four of us kicking off our day in Napa at V. Sattui. Bring on the wine!

Niki with the Gamay Rouge.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Setting some goals...

Maybe one of the reasons I am feeling a bit stuck is because I have not actually articulated any goals lately. So I want to get some out there...

1) Look into how to become a teacher for fitness classes. I love to workout and as I get older it seems more and more difficult to find the time to dedicate to working out. If I could teach a class, I would not only get to work out, I would get paid to do it!

2) Pick up studying Japanese again--I think I will start with one day a week. At the moment I think anything more than that is unrealistic.

3) Learn more about HTML and computer languages for building websites.

4) Take MORE pictures.

Oh and by the way, today's song of the day : Ruby>Robots>Ruby by Yonder Mountain String Band is a fun one! And I don't know the band that well, but they might be a fun one to look into if you are looking for some new music.

Have a good Monday people!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

finding inspiration

I follow some pretty amazing bloggers in the blogosphere and am regularly inspired by the words that they post.

Yesterday, I was reading one of my fellow bloggers list of things that she wants to do each day and I thought, what a great idea!

So I am going to take her lead and create my own list. It will start of small, but it may grow in the future. For now I just have two things, but the list will grow. I want to start with the two that follow because although I never studied language or even english with any intensity, I am in love with written words. I want to begin discovering more ways that people have expressed themselves in words.

-read a poem: Today ee cummings
if strangers meet
if strangers meet
life begins-
not poor not rich
(only aware)
kind neither
nor cruel
(only complete)
i not not you
not possible;
only truthful
if strangers(who
deep our most are

(and so to dark)

-listen to a new song: Today: Ray Lamontagne: Crazy Dreamers.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

saturday morning scatter brainedness

i really do love my life right now. i am blessed to share each day with my very best friend, i live in a beautiful little spot near the ocean and i work at one of the best university's in the nation, if not the entire world.

so i feel guilty and ungrateful when I say that I still feel like there is something missing. When I look back and try to reflect on my life, I realize that this feeling seems to have began the year after I graduated from college.

I went straight to grad. school, just a month or two after I graduated to get my Master's in Teaching. I entered with high hopes of finding my calling and I dreamed of inspiring students to make the most of their educations and their own unique talents. As they year carried on however, I began to see just how difficult teaching and reaching out and connecting with students could be. And for one of the first times in my life, I felt defeated without a clear cut idea of how to overcome this sense of defeat.

In the past in school or on the basketball court, I had always just worked harder in order to get past any short comings or obstacles that temporarily blocked my way. And for the most part, I had had success. But teaching for me was a whole different beast.

By the end of the year I was a bit discouraged and burned out and found that I just really didn't love teaching. While my classmates were busy interviewing for jobs, I was planning a move back to San Diego to recover and then a big backpacking trip to Europe with several good friends. And so began my more or less vagabond lifestyle.

I spent about 6 months substitute teaching and coaching basketball in San Diego and then skipped the country for 3months of absolute freedom backpacking through Europe. When I returned I got a temp job and worked another 6 months at a construction company in San Diego before taking off for Japan to teach English. After the company I went to teach with went bankrupt, I headed back to the states and moved up to the bay area to be close to my boyfriend who I love very much and who I had been dating for 10 months long distance and could not stand to be so far away from any longer.

And that pretty much brings me to where I am now, living in the bay area, working at a small Book/Journal Publisher at Stanford. It sounds kind of glamorous, doesn't it? Working in the publishing industry at a prestigious place like Stanford. I guess it is some days in some ways, but the truth of it for me lately, is that I have an administrative job and I am just plain tired of having an admin. job. I spend most of my days working on our Subscription Database, and Book Database. I process different bills incurred by printing books, editorial services, marketing services. I receive subscription requests for our two quarterly journals and process those. I import subscriptions we receive via email onto our subscription database. I am in constant communication with different finance departments on campus to insure that all of our expenses and revenues are processed properly. I prepare deposit reports for checks that we receive for books, subscriptions, advertisements, permissions etc. I track and report our monthly credit card revenue. I pay our 4 book distributors their monthly commissions and prepare various reports showing their monthly sales. I prepare updated mailing lists that I send to our mailing houses before the publication and shipment of each new issue. I prepare a Subscription Statistic Report that tracks where our subscriptions are coming from so we can figure out how to better market our journals. I work closely with the Office of Development to ensure that all of our donors are correctly comped for our publications. I calculate and process royalties for our authors. I communicate with Accounts Payable departments at various Bookstores like Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon etc to ensure correct payments for the many invoices that we create and send out.

My days are generally full and on my lunch break I usually head over to the Stanford Gym to lift weights. However, I know in my heart that this is not the kind of work that I want to do. Lately, I have been wishing that I had gone to school for something else or not jumped into grad school so quickly. Lately, I have been feeling a bit discouraged because although I know it is not too late to try something new, I don't know where to start.

I have so many self imposed barriers lurking in my mind right now. Right now, I don't feel as though I have any skill to really offer the world. I am envious of the people who have a skill or talent or knowledge to offer the world and although I know I am young, I feel tired of feeling as though I don't have a skill to offer the world.

I feel stuck between harsh realities and dreams. I follow all these wonderful bloggers who seem to be doing things that they are passionate about, photography, writing etc and I want to do what these people do, yet I feel limited and unable, either financially or because I manage to convince myself that I am not talented enough.

I am tired of feeling this way in my life. I am tired of feeling unsure and timid and as though I am holding back for fear of other's opinion and approval. I am tired of feeling like the young and unexperienced one.

Has anyone else ever felt the way that I do? Does it get better as you get older? Do you ever become more sure?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Visitors all the way from Japan

Kiyomi and Mitsui on the cable car from Taylor and Hyde to Union Square.

Kiyomi thoroughly enjoying her hamburger at Burgermeister.

Mitsui putting on all the toppings.

Joseph chowing down.

Kiyomi's homemade taco at our Monday night Mexican fiesta!

Mitsui sportin the burrito!

Joe and I had the pleasure of hosting two wonderful women from Japan this past weekend. We are definitely becoming quite the host masters this is what we have /have had on tap...

September 30-31: Josh and Beth from Orange County
October 11-14: Kiyomi and Mitsui from Japan
October 19: Joe's Mom and Sister
October 24 & 25: My Mom and Dad
October 31-November 3: Niki and Ryan from San Diego

I have to admit that as we were preparing for the month, the number of visitors that we had lined up seemed extremely daunting. I am definitely someone who needs her down time and alone time. But much to my surprise, I have been loving playing host and hostess with Joe!

I think it really helps that Joe is so wonderful with people and genuinely loves having company and showing people a good time. When I am alone, I get so stressed out about making sure that everything goes perfectly, but with Joe by my side I just feel so much more relaxed. I love that he loves entertaining!

So, we had a blast with Kiyomi and Mitsui--two high school music teachers from Japan. We showed them around the city and ate lots of yummy food. It was a blast getting to share our culture and getting to hear their thoughts and see their reactions to everything we did and saw.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I vote for longer weekends!!!

We fished off the Pacifica Pier. Joe caught 2 crabs!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

blending of water and sky

One of the things I love most about the ocean is that it changes everyday, every hour actually. Living near the ocean has given me the opportunity to see the changes whenever I walk out to my car. Although I am usually tired and sad to be leaving the comfort of my apartment each morning on my way to work, I do love getting to see the ocean. It's like I have my very own museum exhibit awaiting outside my front door and each morning there is a different painting to marvel at.

Yesterday when Joe and I got home from running some errands I couldn't tell where the water ended and the sky began. The ocean was a steely gray color that usually is the color of the sky on a foggy day in Pacifica. The sky was a bit overcast where we were standing, but out on the horizon there was a section just beyond the cloud cover where I am sure the sun was shining and the sky was blue. It created this awesome blending of the water and sky.