Monday, June 29, 2009

the only thing better than summer picnics....

SUMMER BBQs ;). With grilled zuchinni,corn, squash, red onions, peppers, portobello mushroom sandwiches and mini mint ice cream sandwiches for dessert!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

aren't summer picnics peachy?

It's been a hot summer weekend in the bay area this weekend; perfect for sunsetty picnics in the park with big sandwiches, white wine, chocolate brownies, kids and dogs running around, students strumming their guitars, bbqers and no need for jackets until the wee hours of the morning! wahoo!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

oh my obsession with food pix...

Here is one of last night's dinner, Yummy lime, wasabi dressing for a tuna salad with avocado, green onions, red onions and toasted sesame seeds...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

crying while riding the bike...really?

It was a bike day at the gym today, trying to be nice to my body and give my knees a rest every now and then. Most days, riding the stationary bike makes me kind of grouchy, it's just not the same as a run, but when I am reading a good book, I just dive into the book and the hour on the bike flies by :).

So I am definitely reading a good book right now (Eat, Pray, Love), yes, it is so good that it had me in tears on the bike today. Oh brother, what a big dork am I?!? There are about a million and one passages that I have marked so far, but here is the one that made me cry today...


1) Life's metaphors are God's instructions.
2)You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
3) The day is ending. It's time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4) Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God's response. Let go, and watch the stars come out--on the outside and on the inside.
5) With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
6) With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF and let him go.
7) Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
8) Watch the heat of day pass into the cool night. Let go.
9) When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It's safe. Let go.
10) When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.

Are you crying yet too?

Oh my goodness, if I could only capture the emotion running through me as I read this.

In the past week, I have had so much running through my head about letting go and moving on and finally beginning to feel okay with doing so and then to read this passage amidst all this thought, I just couldn't contain myself. The tears were definitely tears of joy, I know there are bound to be a few more tears of sadness, but for the first time in the past 5 months, I have begun to feel ready to move forward and to just let go and it is such a freeing feeling. Don't get me wrong, it's not as if all the sadness has magically evaporated into thin air, but I sense progress.

I have survived the past 5 months and I am beginning to really believe that I am going to be just fine.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I love my Dad.

Haha, this is my crazy dad with his chocolate birthday cake in Newport. He's just like a big kid isn't he?! I love that about him!

My dad is maybe the craziest, most passionate about anything he's passionate about kind of guy. Seriously, look out, if he's on a roll, he'll talk to you about whatever it is he's passionate about at that moment, and let me warn you, it won't be in a calm manner. We're talking standing up, hands flailing, red in the face, raised voice and I gotta say, although there have been times this has driven me crazy, I love his passion more than anything.

He's a Fox News, Meet the Press, Rush Limbaugh junkie. He can't sit still, works out twice a day even in his 50s, makes obnoxious drum and beat box noises with his fingers and mouth in the car, at the dinner table, oi vei, you name it, but in the end he has this infectious energy that just makes you love him and being around him (most of the time :)). He's the King of all dorks, and proud of it (if you stop by eastvale, you'll frequently catch him in crocs and socks!) and I love him with all my heart.

Okay, now onto the sappy stuff....

I may have written this in your card, Dad, but in case you don't already know, you are the person that I turn to with all of my most important life decisions. Throughout my life so far, whether it was the start of a new school year, deciding what classes to take, deciding what college to go to, deciding whether or not to keep playing basketball year after year, deciding whether or not to go to grad school, trying to figure out what to do with my life post graduation, you have always been the first person I think to turn to when I am looking for some sound life advice. You are my life compass and there isn't anyone in this world that I enjoy talking about life choices with more than you.

Whether I want to talk about something really simple or something new and exciting - you have this way of making me feel like I am the most important and interesting person in the world. You always take a genuine interest in whatever I am telling you and ask me questions that show me that you are really hearing what I am saying. I can't tell you how helpful our conversations at the dinner table or over the phone have been, nor can I thank you enough for always taking the time to talk to me about whatever is on my mind.

I'm not sure if you'll remember this or not, but one of my fondest memories with you was the night before I started 6th grade. I remember sleeping upstairs on the couch in the living room that night because I was feeling a little anxious. And I remember you came out to sit with me before I fell asleep and I told you that I was a little nervous, and you gave me this great pep talk about how the best years of my life were about to come and how although getting older also meant starting to get more serious about school, it would also mean tons of new fun experiences. I remember going to bed that night feeling inspired and excited instead of scared and nervous.

This was not the first or last time that I came to you with some form of fear or trepidation in my heart and by sitting with me, talking with me, sharing some experience with me, you helped to erase that fear, replacing it with inspiration and hope for all that lies ahead.

And I think when it comes down to it, it's no wonder at all, that you have filled me with hope and inspiration countless times in my life, because that is just the kind of man that you are - a hopeful one.

You look at the world and see endless opportunity and possibility, and I count my lucky stars that I get to have that example in my life every day.

I love you Dad, Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

cucumber water, sean penn, progressive dinners, a love ly brunch and a father's day bbq....

This weekend was simply delightful! So many highlights, I don't even know where to start! Friday night, Lindsey, Kat and I got together at Lindsey's new place to make spring rolls, drink cucumber water, exchange clothing and just relax after a busy week.

Saturday night we headed up to the city and spent the night in Laura's beautiful victorian house. We did a progressive dinner in the Marina area; had some yummy Italian appetizers, sushi and then crepes for dessert. Oh and guess what?!? We saw Sean Penn hanging out at a bar on Union!

On Sunday morning we made a beautiful brunch complete with french toast, sausage, fruit galore, home made whip cream and mimosas!

Got home on Sunday, went for a run and then joined my second family for a yummy rib bbq!

Here are some highlight pics.

Thanks Kat, Lindsey and Laura for such a fun weekend!

Cucumber water and all!

Choppin some veggies.
Rollin em.
Spring Rolls in Lindsey's new backyard!
Strawberry Shortcake for Dessert.

The Clothing Exchange! I scored some cute new tops!
Getting ready for our SF Progressive Dinner.

Laura and Sarah at our first stop.Lindsey and Kat- making waiters nervous!

Our first stop, Italy: Fried Zucchini!
To Japan: Show Me The Money, Hot Mamas, and Marina Angels.
Mmmmmm Hot Chocolate.

To France: Nutella Crepes for dessert.

The next morning....
A morning walk in Pacific Heights. The Golden Gate was right behind us.
Lindsey's fruit platter art work.
Warming the french toast!
Isn't this a pretty table setting. I loved it!
A mimosa toast to the summer solstice!
Making Brunch in Laura's kitchen. Kat is our cutting board model :).

Whew I'm exhausted!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

True love...

Happy 60th Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!

Can you believe that? 60 years of marriage?! I hope I live that long :).

When I think of true love, I always think of my grandma and grandpa. I think these two have found their soul mates in each other and even after 60 years of marriage they seem to be just as in love as they were the day they met.

I remember hanging out and talking with my grandparents one day a few years ago and my grandpa started telling me what a wonderful woman my Grandmother was and how lucky he was to have her and I had to do everything I could to fight back the tears from gushing out. I know that my Grandma feels the same way about my Grandpa. She takes such good care of him and I think it is incredibly sweet. She wrote to me a few weeks ago and said that after 60 years she still loves my grandfather very much and they never tire of sharing their time together even now.

In the past few months, I have been struggling with thoughts about whether true love and happy endings really do exist and I have to say that more than once, thinking of the love that my grandparents share has given me faith, that yes, true love AND happy endings do in fact exist.

In a recent letter my grandmother wrote to me, she reminded me that I will find someone who will "knock my socks off." ( I love her wording :). An that it will come gradually, when I least expect it. No rush, no "drums & bugles," just a deep respect and appreciation of each other and, of course, love.

Although right now I am more focusing on being okay on my own, I'd be lying if I told you that I can't wait for the day when I do find that guy that "knocks my socks off." And when I do, I hope that we are lucky enough to share the love that my grandparents have for 60 years!

Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa. I love you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drumroll please..

I had the most wonderful start to my day today. I got to work and was getting settled and stopped by my blog to take a look to see if there were any new postings and I had a comment from one of my new blog buddies. She said in her comment that I won and that I should check her blog to see what I won. When I got to her blog, she had given me a Kreativ Blogger award and I was so touched, I started tearing up.

As Lisa said however, this award does not come for free. It comes with a task. List 5 blogs you love and 5 things you love, so it's my turn...

#1 - I have to say that meeting Lisa through the blogosphere has been kind of like being re-connected with an old friend. She has a beautiful family and you can just tell through her writing that she is a joyful and genuine soul. Check her out here...
Blake Bunch

#2 - This next blogger is truly an old friend who I have re-connected with recently. We went to college together, hung out maybe once or twice in a group, went about our lives for the past 5 years and then met up for coffee a couple months ago and have been able to spend more time together recently since we live about 5 minutes away. I'm still getting to know Kat, but I think she has this really wonderful giving, gentle and creative personality. Check her out here...
Dancing Kitchen

#3 - Pioneer Woman
I love this woman's spirit and she has some awesome posts about cooking and photography. She explains her recipes step by step and uses pictures to show how she makes something.

#4 - Have Joy
This is a blog by a girl who I was in a Chorus Group (that her mom created) with when I was a little girl. She has been through a tough divorce recently, but still manages to, as she says on her blog, find beauty even in the painful times. Love this attitude!

#5 - Persisting Stars
I don't know this woman at all and stumbled on her blog sometime last year and immediately felt she was a part of my "circle." She is an amazing photographer and writer.

Okay and now onto 5 things that I love...

1) Mornings. Yes, call me crazy, but I love mornings. There is something so peaceful about the quiet, calm of the morning, the way that the sun shines and feeling like you have the world to yourself while everyone else is sleeping.

2) Big colorful mugs full of the sweet, yummy goodness of Chai Tea.

3) Waking up on a Saturday morning and heading out the door for a run instead of going to work.

4) Blogging, I am addicted.

5) Long, hot showers that wash away the craziness of the day.

Okay there you go folks! Lisa- thanks for the opportunity to share some of my fav. blogs and things I love.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Roasted Shrimp & Couscous

Here is the delicious recipe...


olive oil

2 cups couscous
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
freshly ground black pepper

about 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined (can be easily adjusted depending on how may you are cooking for)

1 cup minced scallions
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cucumber, unpeeled and diced
1/2 cup small diced red onion
3/4 good feta cheese, large diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tbsp salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the couscous, stir quickly, remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper. Pour over the couscous and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don't overcook!

Add the shrimp to the couscous and then add the scallions, dill, cucumber, onion, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temp. for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend (optional). If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings.

And voila...yummy yumminess!


(Thanks to the wonderful Barefoot Contessa!)

Monday, June 15, 2009


A little dill, some scallions, red onion and cucumber.


Shrimp in a lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper sauce.

Mix it all up, add a little feta cheese and....Ittadakemasu!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vino Locale...

Lovely little White Flight! What a nice ending to a very hectic Saturday.

Lovely little wine bar/restaurant.

Lovely little purple flowers.

Lovely little 1950's advertisement.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bringing back Simple Pleasures...

Boy was I out of touch with all the simple pleasures in my life this past week. I can't believe that it's already Friday, I suppose the good thing about work being crazy busy is that it goes by super fast, even when it gives you stress stomach aches, sleepless nights and icky tension head aches...boy do I sound like debbie downer right now.

I really struggled with staying grounded this week. I felt panicky and anxious and well to be blatantly honest, in the big scheme of things, my job just isn't that important and it's definitely not worth getting all worked up over. One day when I die, there will probably be things on my "To Do" list, and you know what, when that happens, the rest of life on Earth is just to keep on going. Here's to remembering that this next week.

So back to the point of this post, the simple pleasures I enjoyed this past week, it's funny how writing them down makes me feel better;

1) Monday Picnic Lunch with Lindsey. It's so nice to have her so close by at work!

2) Tuesday Night Yoga Class. I am becoming more and more addicted.

3) Understanding friends :). Thursday night, Lindsey and I were supposed to see a play. I ended up getting a little sick and not being able to make it. I felt so bad, but Lindsey was completely understanding and even walked over to my office to lend me Eat, Pray, Love (which I LOVE so far) so I could stay home and read and drink OJ and get better.

4) Deeeelish Lemon Blueberry Cake for Pam's bday at the office.

5) Lunch workouts with Jen. She finally got back from business trips in NYC and we got to work out together again this week. I love our lunch workout sessions.

6) Phone call with Mr. Frost, he always makes me feel better.

7) Okay this is a silly one - so I apologize in advance --- Making eye contact with this tall, dark, handsome, smart boy at work. I know, I know how cheezy....I mean it was just eye contact, but what can I say, I'm a girl, and despite the heart break of the past few months, I'm still a hopeless romantic. I think he is a visiting scholar, so I will likely never see him again-- yup, I am right, just googled him ( I know, I know, I am a stalker), he's a harvard boy--bummer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're Famous!

Kat and I made the Sunset website!

Check out her blog to get a link to the photos.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

San Francisco is one big Museum...

What a beautiful day in the city! I was prepped for cold weather, but was pleasantly surprised with sunny, blue skies. Perfect day for some yummy Mexican food and a walking tour of the murals in the mission. Megan and I felt like we were in another country!

We started the day here @ La Taqueria on 25th Mission---yummy burritos and carnitas! It was packed!

Megan on Balmy Lane, a little alleyway full of murals on painted on garage doors of Victorian Homes. This one is called the 5 colors of corn.

Balmy Alley Mural.

Ralph Maradiaga Mini Park - 24th Street between Bryant and York.
Ralph Maradiaga Mini Park - 24th Street between Bryant and York.

Ralph Maradiaga Mini Park - 24th Street between Bryant and York.

Ralph Maradiaga Mini Park - 24th Street between Bryant and York.

St. Peter's church, 24th & Florida Streets.

St. Peter's church, 24th & Florida Streets.

"Leyenda Azteca" - Alabama Street at 24th Street.

Cesar Chavez Elementary School - 825 Shotwell St. between 22nd and 23rd streets.