Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh the treasures you can find in your own backyard!

Today may very well have been my favorite Sunday in a long time :). It's my second post of the day, I know I am crazy, but I had a lovely little afternoon outing that I just had to share.

So recently I started making 8 week goals for myself (thanks to inspiration from Christina), I think I have written about this in another post. But anyways, I had on my last group of 8 week goals to read more about gardening and plants because I just want to learn more about gardening and plants so that one day I can have my very own garden - mini orchard. But I found that I just couldn't get myself to sit down and read a book about gardening or even a Sunset magazine article on it for that matter. Recently through a Stanford Staffers email, I heard about a local nursery called Reynold's Nursery and it has been on my list of places to go see, so today I thought, hey, what better way to learn about plants and gardening then to visit a nursery?!? I wasn't expecting anything great, grand or wonderful, but boy did this place knock my socks off! They had EVERYTHING from packets of seeds for everything under the sun, to planted herbs, vegetables, fruit trees, japanese maples, ginko biloba trees etc etc etc. I am a few years away from being able to have the garden-mini-orchard that I dream of having, but boy was it fun to browse through the Nursery and think up the infinite possibilities! I think I took about a million and one pics, here are a few...

The lovely nursery.

Part of the wall of seeds!!! ooooh fall pumpkins and squash!

Tons and tons of Japanese Maples, my new favorite trees! I will have to have at least one of these one day.

Ooooh and peaches too!

And apples!! This is a multi-grafted tree, the six different branches are each a different type of apple! How do you like them cool is that!

I'll have to have some figs too!

And lots of fun pots to put everything in!

And maybe some pretty garden decorations like this...

or this...

and I'll need some peppers.

some parsely...

some basil...

and then of course we'll need some hydrangeas...

some begonias...and a few zinnias!

I didn't get to post the ginko biloba trees I want, or the lemon, orange, lime, thyme....the list goes on and on.


a restful, relaxing weekend! My body and soul have been craving this and I am just going to soak it up for the remainder of my lazy Sunday.

Today has just been a blissful day of sweet nothingness...oh it has been beautiful, a little morning yoga, a little morning spin and then NO WHERE and NOTHING to rush off to!!! So nice and relaxing!!! For the first time in weeks, I got to just come home, take a leisurely shower and not rush off to anything :). I did get to take Rosie on a little Starbucks date, which I have been wanting to do for a couple weeks and she was in heaven with her double chocolate frapuccino and extra whip, while I was in heaven with my vanilla chai :). I love that girl!

Yesterday was a very relaxing day too. A bunch of co-workers and friends got together out in Oakdale, Ca at Jen's horse ranch for a big summer BBQ. Although it was about an hour and a half drive, I had great company and the drive was actually really soothing and relaxing. Jen prepared a FEAST for us; tri tip, brisket, ribs, chicken, salad, fresh summer fruit and choclate cake! And Berta provided the water balloons which made for an awesome water balloon fight which left me happily soaking wet (it was flippin hot out there!). Tons of fun! I feel so lucky to have such fun loving and generous co-workers!

The BBQ spread!

Hanging out with the horses.

A massage train in the shade!

The boys filling up the kids water balloons for the big water balloon fun!

Marshall feeding Sunny.

The Munchkin and I...I'm pretty sure she nailed me with this water balloon seconds after this picture was taken.

Our hostest with the mostest and me.

Jen and I jumping for joy after a successful summer bbq!

I hope everyone reading had a lovely, somewhat lazy summer weekend too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thank you Dr. Retail Therapy :)

Who knew a pair of shoes could bring so much joy ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mini break downs :)

So my emotional gas tank definitely hit empty this weekend. Anyone who knows me well knows that I tend to "burn the candle at both ends" as my dad used to always tell me. I tend to have big problems just sitting around and doing nothing and go and go and go until I finally at some point collapse into one big heap of frazzled, grumpy, teariness. You'd think by now, I would have a better understanding of how to avoid the big collapse, but I just don't seem to be very good at learning how to slow down. I do okay for the first few days post collapse, but give me a week or so and I am right back to filling my every moment with something. It's not that I don't looooove relaxing, it's just that, life always seems to present some opportunity that I just can't pass up! I honestly don't know that I'll ever completely get over this...I think I just love and am too excited about all that life has to offer to ever be able to REALLY kick this tendency for more than a few days.

So anyways July and August have been bussssssy months, from Chicago to Vegas, to tons of changes at work, to joining a couple of new running groups, hosting a college friend and just living and breathing on my own (which I have to say is a lot harder when you're single than when you get to come home to someone every night--coupledom (word stolen from Kat :)) is just an all around more efficient lifestyle in my mind) I have just been running from one thing to the next for about a month and a half now and well, this weekend, I just buckled a bit.

I was just feeling run-down grumpy and emotional because, yes I am PMSing...sorry if that is TMI, but at least I admit it!

So although I said YES, YES, YES when my sister asked if it would be okay to fly up for the weekend, the truth is that my body and soul were craving some "me" time (yes I am a selfish girl sometimes...but I can't help it, my "me" time is the way I recharge!). And so I have to confess, I wasn't the best hostess around this weekend. Luckily I have a saint of a sister :). Yes, we had a bit of a fight while she was here, and yes unfortunately we both cried and yes we both woke up a bit emotionally drained this morning...hence the need for the mental health afternoon today ( Thank goodness I have an incredible boss, who completely understood and told me to get out of the office and refresh myself!!).

But since, this is my blog and I like to use it to focus on the good, I'll give you the highlights of our time together....

1) Being silly brushing our teeth!!

1) Sunday morning Yoga and Spin! My sister was a champ!
2) Chai tea at Cafe Barrones.
3) Taking pics with the tower.

4) Nordstrom Shopping stop

5) Delicious home made mushroom cream sauce and carmelized onions over chicken.

This smelled and tasted incredible and it was so easssssy!

6) Making pouty lips...mine are pretty pathetic and actually kind of embarassing---but Jess's rock and so since I don't know how to chop myself, I am taking one for the team on this!

6) Mental health afternoon lunch at the CHEESE shop :)

7) More retail therapy at the Gap and Nordstrom's rack

Oh and yes, the retail therpay was just the trick! I am sure after a good night's rest, I'll be right back in the saddle tomorrow morning in my cute new shoes :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

You know what I just did????

I took a nice, long nap!!! And boy did it feel glorious!!! Man, I think it's been about 6 months since I last took a nap and today after a coffee date with a friend, I came home, laid down and my body just melted into my bed and it was a beautiful thing! The sister's flight was delayed a bit, so up until I go out to pick her up, I plan on doing a whole lotta nothing and I am so excited for it :). July and August have been busy months and it was so nice to have nothing on the calendar today!

Ooooh but on a side note, here are a few random photos I wanted to share...

Presidential M&M's from my new boss ;)

The Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches Jen and I made for the Office Potluck yesterday.

Shot # 2

Oh heirloom tomatoes, I love you and your colors. Yes I took this picture at the grocery store, and yes I am crazy.

My favorite trees that are currently in bloom. I wish I knew what they were called.

The office potluck spread on Friday, complete with yummy egg salad tea sandwiches, eggplant parmesean, spaghetti and meatballs, empanadas, watermelon, 4 layer chocolate cake and pie!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Runner's High....

I definitely believe in them...Runner's Highs that is...

Just got back from a run, not just any run tonight, nope, tonight was one of those, I'm going so hard I feel like I am going to throw up, I don't have those that often any more....back in college, I had that feeling almost every day at basketball practice, but these days, although I can still be a bit competitive when I hit the road, for the most part, I run to relax and don't worry so much about my pace anymore.

I recently started running with a really great local running group and there are a couple of fast ones in the group. I don't know what got into me today, but somewhere along my drive to meet up with the group, I decided I wanted to push it tonight. So I told one of the fast guys this and asked if he would pace me and WHEW did he pace me! I'm still a little shaky from the run, but I survived, even kept up my end of the conversation in between gasps for air and call me crazy, a glutton for punishment even, but as I sit here - a bit exhausted from my run -- I have to say that the way my body feels post hard run is one of my favorite feelings in the world. And I'm pretty sure that the crazy lovey dovey feelings I'm having towards running right now are a direct result of tonight's runner's high. Yes, I'm crazy, I know :).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh old friends :)

In addition to all the birthday-housewarming celebrations of the weekend, I got to see 2 old friends this weekend! One of my basketball teammates from high school has family in the are so she, her husband and her son were up to visit and I got to meet up with them for breakfast on Saturday morning! It was great catching up with Meredith, she is a cancer survivor an just an all around amazing person! The last time I saw her she was at the tail end of her chemo treatments and now she is healthy and loving life and it's so refreshing to be in the presence of someone who appreciates life as much as she does! She and her husband bought a house from my mom in San Diego and they are practically planting an entire farm in their backyard. They entertained me with stories of planting and trying to grow everything from lemons to avocados to corn to pomegranates to tomatoes to apples to limes and even papaya and passion fruit! I can't wait to visit them one day and eat a meal from their backyard! And I can't wait until the day I can start planting my own garden and orchard!!!!

On Sunday, Lindsey and I met up with Lisa in the city to go to the free Stern Grove Ballet Concert. Lisa is my very first friend from college! I was super homesick my first semester of college and I remember crying and pouring my heart out to Lisa and feeling absolutely comforted and at home with her. She is an amazing person who exudes energy, creativity, passion for life and love! She just returned to the US after 10 months of helping to lead a college travel abroad program through Asia with the college that we attended together. Yeah, she's pretty much amazing, helping to lead a group of I don't know, 20 college students through Japan, China, India, Mongolia, the Himalayas etc! Lisa and I lived together for 3 years in college, and she was like a sister to me. I unfortunately was a big butt head our senior year, and as a result our college friendship kind of ended on a sour note. And so, I was so grateful that Lisa contacted me and even came to stay with me for a couple of days. I am amazed by her big heart and was so thankful to have the opportunity to talk, catch up and have a second chance at a friendship with this wonderful girl.

Here are a few shots from our weekend...

Sunday Picnic at the Fort Mason Community Garden. We got turned away at Stern Grove, by the time we arrived, they hit capacity! Our plan B was just delightful though! This community garden is full of individually owned and maintained plots. It's a wonderful respite from the concrete of the city and so popular to get into that there is a 4 year waiting list for a plot.

Beeeautiful flowers at the garden.

Lisa and I at Stanford.

Lisa is the MASTER at jump photos and my inspiration in taking jump photos. She had a great spread in the latest issue of our alumni magazine with photos of the college students she travelled with jumping all over Asia---you know like in front of the Taj Majal and in the Himalayas and cool stuff like that.

Our yummy thai food dinner last night, tofu yellow curry and beef and spinach in a deelish peanut sauce.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lots of celebrating going on :)

Celebrations have been popping out all over the place this weekend, and you know what that means? LOTS of CHOCOLATE, chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes, deeeelishiously divine hot chocolate and strawberry and CHOCLATE ice cream! Beware, you might gain 10 lbs just by reading this blog! Happy Birthday Rosie and Erik and Happy Housewarming to Kat & Erik (check out Kat's human furniture modeling photos here. :))

Rosie's half red velvet, half chocolate birthday cake with cream cheese frosting...

Kara's cupcakes just for Rosie...oooh this one was Velvet Chocolate...

Hot chocolate after Rosie's bday dinner...

Erik's mini cupcakes...
The ice cream we mashed our mini cupcakes up in...Great idea Erik!

Oh and there were lots of presents tooo!

Can you see the silverware? It's plastic, but it looks like the real deal!! Thought it would be useful for Kat & Erik's first few days :).