Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I can't think of anything better than...

....a house full of family, friends and food! We hosted the F4L holiday gathering at my parent's house this year and I had lots of help with the food prep! Thanks family!

Michael, Donna and I with our pots of home made chili.

The San Diego F4Lies.

F4L, H4L and K4L.

Mr. Ford and Mr. Moore made a guest appearance! We were so happy to have them even though Audie, Christina, Tiff and Rana couldn't be with us!

Friends and family all in one place!!! I can't think of a better ending to a wonderful week at home!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Michael and Donna arrive!

My cousin and his girlfriend arrived in town the day after Christmas from the East Coast. Jess and I welcomed them with a big night out in Pacific Beach dancing the night away. Whew, it's been a while since I've done that but we had a blast! We slept in until about 10:30 the next morning and then scrounged up the energy to hike to the top of Iron Mountain with my parents.

Iron Mountain!

Me, Michael, Donna, Mom and Dad.

Couldn't resist getting a jump picture in at the top!

The perfect end to a big hiking day - lounging in front of the TV watching Planet Earth. I was just eating up the lovely family time!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all....

...and to all a good night :).

Hoping you too got lots of time in with your fam :).

and lots of wii bowling in to work off that turkey dinner!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh San Diego Christmas...

Day #3

My Mom, Dad and I took a little walk around beautiful Torrey Pines this afternoon--one of my Dad's favorite spots in all of San Diego. Not bad for December eh?

Just jumping around. Photo credit to the Mom - good job Mom, good jumping Dad.

oh the mom and me.

The parents - my mom was kicking our butts on the trail today--let's hope I get some of those genes! Way to go lady!

Merry Christmas from San Diego!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Scenes from...

San Diego Day #2

A fire, a twinkling tree and a movie :).

A few of the SD F4Lies. We miss our Boise contingency!

Is he not the cutest little man you've ever seen?

Diego otra vez.

a cuppa chai

oh starbucks marketing.

The lovely grandparents.

My grandma and her treasure chest. She has some pretty neat stuff and some pretty neat stories behind all the stuff.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

San Diego Day #1

I don't think I could possibly ask for a better first day in my Sweet home San Diego.

I think I have been in go-go gadget mode for, I don't know, the past 6 months or so. As a result, I have been seriously craving a day of nothingness for a few weeks now and thank gawd almighty, I got just that today.

Started the day off with one of my favorite runs, my bottoms up High Valley Run. Yup that's right, a run to the bottom of High Valley and back up again and it felt great. Post run - the yoga mom and I got our om on together along with a few of her yogi friends at the gym.

And then, THEN....I got to melt into the couch and watch 2 whole movies (yes, Melinda, I did it and I only got up two times!) with my mom and sister. For a girl who rarely sits still for 15 minutes at a time, it felt glorious!

My fav. of the day was most definitely UP - such a sweet and soulful movie that you just must see if you haven't yet. I simply loved Ellie's "Big Adventure" book and especially the sweet note to her loving hubby at the end. It said, "Thanks for the Adventure - now go have a new one." Such a sweet reminder that when one adventure ends, no matter how amazing it was, as long as you are alive, there are still more to be had. Oh brother, was I a blubbering mess at this point :).

And to finish the day up, I just got home from a BBQ (yes we BBQ in December in San Diego :)) with the family of one of my sister's very good friends. I walked in the door and was handed a very full glass of Champagne and a very full plate of food, now if that's not hospitality, I don't know what is. Good times, good people and lots of laughs.

Can't wait for San Diego Day #2.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The perfect start....

Oh 2 weeks of vacation - you couldn't come soon enough, but, you're here!!! And yes, I am crazy and at the office on a Sunday morning, but I just have a few loose ends that I want to tie up so I can fully relax over the break.

So I know I should be working and not wasting time blogging but I just had to get a little blog in, because, it's been a lovely first couple of days of break despite the work part today and I'm going to burst if I don't share a little bit about it.

Friday was a complete whirlwind, about 30 hours of work and only 8 hours to do it in - scratch that make it 6 hours, because our director took us out for a TWO HOUR lunch which was lovely, but is also the reason that I am here in the office today (working really hard as you can tell :)).

And well, apparently there is no rest for the weary because, Friday night I raced home for the famous Latke Party being hosted by my lovely second family. In the words of Kat, it was "epic." About 30 people filing through the house, noshing on Melinda's incredible home made latkes and Barry's famous home made apple sauce. There's something pretty darn magical about a house full of people eating delicious homemade food and I have to say I feel pretty lucky to have been part of the latke event on Friday night.

I got a little teary eyed thinking about how lovely it was yesterday morning as I woke up. I don't know how I got lucky enough to have this family come into my life, one day there will be a very in depth blog about just what an amazing family they are and how they have taken me in as one of their own, and how I just think it's one of the neatest little things in this big world. And then I got even more teary thinking about how welcoming and open they are to my friends and the way they just kind of make everyone in their lives feel like family. I love that the world of my second family and the world of my bay area friends got to come together on Friday night, such a warm fuzzy feeling.

And what I am about to write, I probably shouldn't, because it's maybe a little to0 private for this public blog, but gosh darn it, this is my blog and so I just have to get in a little snippet about yesterday. I'll keep it short and sweet - I got to spend a lovely day with an awesome guy out in nature, eating some delicious food and, well, it was lovely and that's all I will say about that for right now.

So despite the fact that I am in the office this morning and lacking sleep, I have to say my heart is full, I've got a big vanilla chai by my side and it's been a pretty darn good first few days of break.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Highlights

I'm pooped, yes pooped---but what a fun filled weekend, here are the highlights....

1) Wine Room with the co-workers on Friday night---what an adorable little place. Big comfy chairs and roaring fire places.

2) Lots of yoga.

3) Kat and Erik's lovely holiday party.

The core crew after the family and co-workers left :).

4) Peppermint bark.

5) Good friends at holiday parties.

6) Morning run at the dish.

7) Awesome one stop shopping at Cost Plus.

8) Great work on defense at basketball practice today.

9) Chocolate, covered pretzels, LOTS of Chocolate covered Pretzels.

10) Adorable boxes from Cost Plus to put pretzels in.

11) LATKAHS!!! whoa that's a lot of oil! If you're coming to the Latkah party, get ready to clog your arteries!

12) Goma Mochi :)

13) New Ribbon!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

just another loverly weekend...

Is it already Sunday night? Holy moly, time flies when you're havin' fun! I vote for LONGER weekends please!!

There were a few highlights this weekend, and here they are in no particular order...

1) Bball chat with my high school basketball coach - I love that we are still in touch and that I still get to experience his inspiration even if it is over the phone!

2) Omnivore's Dilemma book talk/gossip/chocolate covered pretzel making party with the lovely Kat, Lindsey and Laura. It's so fun reading a book with a group of people and getting to share your thoughts and ideas afterwards - I recommend it! Oh and the chocolate covered pretzel part isn't half bad either!

Lindsey showing us the woman in the chocolate covered pretzel blob - you know kind of like trying to figure out what clouds look like :).

Kat showing us how to do a Tim Tam slam. Add this to your life to do list people - it's awesome (and fairly easy to cross off!)

3) Local honey taste test - the neighbor's brought over honey made by their very own bees!

4) Talisman concert at Stanford with Nick - oh my goodness, what a lovely show! I could have just melted away in the a Capella harmonies of this group. I am so inspired by a capella music and the amazing things that human voices can create without any embellishment.

Have a listen here : Amazing Grace

5) Post show Spicy Mayan hot chocolate and Coupa's lovely foam designs.

6) 1st official half marathon training run with Mia and Nick.

7) Basketball Practice - Don't tell the girls this, but I am quickly falling in love with their little 8th grade adolescent sweet selves. I don't mean to sound like a creep here, I just so love sharing basketball with young woman who are eager to learn it and to work to become better at it, because, well, you see, for me, basketball is so much more than a sport - it's kind of like a mirror of life of sorts---and well quite frankly, the way you play games is often the way you play life and there is something about helping young women find their way through life and sport that just yanks on my heart strings. Basketball has been such a big part of my personal development and confidence building and it positively warms my heart to see young woman working to become stronger and more confident on the court and then in life. We had an especially productive practice today and my heart just started dancing when one young lady asked if I would stay a few minutes after practice to help her with her shot. I love girls that go above and beyond.

7) Yummy asian rainbow salad.

Salad Dressing fixins.The colorful veggies.

Happy start of a new week everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kat Elfed us....

This video absolutely made my day yesterday...

Check it out on

Kat's Blog

....where it's snowing!!

She does the cutest things I tell ya!

Monday, November 30, 2009

i live to be inspired :)

I think that if you asked me what my ultimate # 1 simple pleasure in all of the world was, my answer would be...being inspired. I am an absolute junkie when it comes to seeking out the feeling I get when I hear a good idea, a beautiful song, an uplifting quote, see a friend's photographic/artistic take on the world, a couple in love, almost anything created by mother nature....the list goes on and on.

I try my best to be on "inspiration alert" every day, and I can't imagine living without my inspiration radar - it makes tough days so much easier and good days even better. What amazes me most is just how much inspiration exists everywhere, all around you, when you make even the slightest effort to open your eyes to it.

So anyways, what got me started on this inspiration rant is the speaker that we had in design class tonight. Her name was Brenda Laurel, she is the chair of the Grad Program in Design at the California College of the Arts. What I loved most about her was that she was this gutsy, passionate, honest woman, who said it like it was and didn't feel the need to apologize for anything. Here were a few of my fav. quotes from the class...

"Reality is too small for human imagination."

"If your heart isn't in it - you'll never be any good at it."

"Engage with the world." (She told a great story to go along with this quote - Engaging with the world is what she wants her students to do. She talked about how when she took over the Design Program, it had devolved into a program where students were writing theses about what it felt like to be japanese and gay and how she saw this as the student turning inward instead of turning outward to engage with the world, and how this struggle with identity that the student was writing about was something that we'd all have to think about all our life and that we don't get to get a Master's Degree for. Very interesting perspective! Love it, I love hearing from successful people that confidence, identity etc are life long projects--good reminder about the importance of getting outside of our self centeredness every now and then to help make the world around us a better place).

"An MFA is the next MBA."

"Jobs of the future are the jobs that can't be digitized - the ones that require creative thinking."

Sweet Potatoe Soup Recipe

Lisa, this one goes out to you!

Here is the link to the Sunset Magazine (of course :)) recipe that we used.

We doubled it and ended up using about 5 cans of chicken broth to get the consistency just right.

Happy Sweet Potato Soup Making!

Delicious Sweet Potato Soup

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Scenes from Thanksgiving weekend...

I am so very thankful for a wonderful place to call home and an amazing family to go home to for the holidays. Here are a few shots from the weekend...

Our first stop off the plane...El Indio...maybe the best Mexican Taco shop in the city, gotta love San Diego and the authentic Mexican food.

My mom prepared a fun cooking project that the whole fam got to do together. Omlettes in a baggie---I was skeptical at first, but they turned out great!


The cooks, minus our potato masher.

My lovely grandparents.

My dinner plate.

My fav. new soup recipe - Sweet Potato Soup with Prosciutto Crisps!

Just love the colors here, and look closely at the dip bowl - adorable!

Saturday brunch with the F4L-San Diego girls.

Our lovely brunch - quiche, cinammon rolls, muffins, fruit and mimosas!

The cutest F4L kid around!

Oh and of course I couldn't leave town without at least one jump pic!