Wednesday, September 30, 2009

inspired by a friendship star :)

So Lindsey, Kat and Laura...this one goes out to you :). Thanks for the lovely Thai dinner and Operation October inspiration Tuesday night :). Here are my Operation October (and November) goals....I can't wait to hear yours!!!

1) Make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or pumpkin bread.
2) See UP/Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs.
3) Bargain shop for some new fall boots.
4) Organize the mound of letters/cards in my room.
5) Submit a recipe to Sunset Mag.
6) Send Emi a package.
7) Read "Love it, Don't Leave it."
8) Read up on YOGA retreats.
9) Revisit my Life to Do list
**Add Run on the Inca Trail @ Macchu Picchu
10) Make a list answering the question -- What is your dream job?
11) Try 2 new soup recipes.
12) Paint something.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Songs of the day...

Loving these today!

Gloriana- Wild at Heart :)

Love and Theft- Runaway

Sunday, September 27, 2009

F4L in the bay area!

So, yes, my high school girlfriends and I are big dorks and we have a name for our group, we call ourselves the stands for Friends for Life. We came up with the acronym during our senior year of high school and we've used it so much in our friendship videos (yes, we have a number of friendship videos featuring us being our dorky selves) talking about our group with others, that even our families and other close college friends, work friends etc refer to us as the F4L. In recent years we have started branch offs, ie---H4L - F4L husbands and K4L - F4L kids...oh the dorkiness is never ending with us!

In any case I never cease to be amazed by the friendship that we share and it's always such a treat when I get to spend time with any one of these girls!

This weekend Amber flew up to the bay area and I got to spend two lovely days with her, an old friend from elementary and middle school and a couple of her college friends. It was a gorgeous weekend of Friendship as Amber kept calling it, and as is always the case when I'm in the presence of another F4L there was lots of fun stuff going on...breakfast at Borrones, Filoli, wine @Cask in San Carlos, dinnner and MORE wine at Town with Katie's fam in San Carlos, breakfast at Hobbee's, a mini Stanford tour and even MORE wine at Fogarty...and I even managed to sneak some yoga in there! Here is a little sneak peak into our weekend...

Amber and I at Filoli. Interesting tidbit...Filoli is a made up word, it is the combination of the builder's 3 life philosophies...FIght for a just cause, LOve your fellow man and LIve a good life. Beautiful house and beautiful gardens and we even got to see an area where the San Andreas fault runs...yikes!

Oh cheese, I love you! This aged gouda with some tomatoe chutney at the Cask was deeelish!

Refreshing Pinot Grigio on a warm afternoon at the Cask.

Dinner at Town in San Carlos with Katie's family. I haven't seen them in 14 years! I loved my heirloom tomato salad with mozarella and the yummy Chateau St. Michel riesling that Mr. Paul chose! Katie and Miss Patty's fillet mignon sliders were awesome too!

The road to was gorgeous!! Can't wait for an excuse to get back out there! Beautiful trees, beautiful views, so refreshing!

My Pinot Noir....the only red I tasted...I think I am converting to a white wine girl --- loved the Chardonnay!

At the winery with beautiful views of the bay behind us! Fogarty winery was founded by Dr. Thomas Fogarty, a world renowned Stanford cardiovascular surgeon and inventor. Check out the website for some photos,

We were about 2000 feet above sea level and the views were gorgeous. I could see Hoover Tower from where we were standing!

It was so fun having you Amber! Come back soon!

On an unrelated note, I also got to have Yom Kippur Dinner with the second family tonight which was absolutely lovely We had beef brisket, potatoes, sugar glazed carrots and challah. I love getting to share Jewish holidays with these guys, although I am being a bit of a wimp and skipping out on the day of fasting tomorrow :). I can't believe I forgot pics of the brisket, carrots and potatoes...oi vei!

The Yom Kippur table.

Kiddish cups.

Isn't this challah beautiful?!

And one more random pic just because I love it's falliness...

Squash and gourds galore! Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quote of the day :)

Life's too short to wear boring underwear :).

S.H.I.T. - So Happy it's Thursday!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Year and lots of simple pleasures...

No, I'm not going crazy and yes I know that we are a good 4 months (is that all?!) away from January 1st, 2010 but this weekend I got a little glimpse into the celebration of the Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah. Shanna Tova (I hope I said that correctly)! My second fam invited me to join in the festivities, and I've gotta say I am loving being included in all the Jewish holidays and getting to learn the significance behind each one and getting to learn all about the traditions firsthand from a Jewish family. I have been interested in learning more about Judaism for a long time as my father came from a Jewish family, but it hasn't been until this year that I have really had an opportunity to and I am just relishing it and soaking up every bit that I can.

Now I am not going to lie, the services were LONG, VERY LONG, but I have to say that despite my butt falling asleep a couple of times during the service, the entire experience was a really important one for me and well worth it in the end.

During the Jewish high holiday of Rosh Hashannah it is believed that God writes what is destined to happen in the upcoming year; who will live, who will die etc etc etc. God bases his writing upon people's behavior. And while in the end everyone must die, it is possible to lessen the severity of death by being a good person.

Interesting idea isn't it? It sure as heck was motivating me to be more aware of my actions as I was sitting and listening and it was also a wonderful and much needed reminder that in a world full of sadness and hurt, kindness is the most important.

The service was full of ritual, prayer, torah reading, singing etc etc. While a lot of it was done in Hebrew, which sounded beautiful, I of course couldn't understand a lick. Lucky for me the copies of the Machzor (the book they read from during Rosh hashanah) had english translations so I could follow along with the stories and prayers. And I have to say that a lot of it was truly touching, I was even moved to tears a few times! There was one prayer in particular the machzor that was so beautiful that it made me cry, I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head and can't find it on google yet, but I will, and when I do, I'll post it!

The other part of the sermon that got me teary was the Rabbi's sermon. He gave a beautiful sermon about Resilience and Rejuvenation that was so appropriate given the events of the past year. The rabbi defined resilience as the ability to adjust to a new reality, often a reality that you have not necessarily chosen for yourself. He talked about 8 different ways to cultivate greater resilience, but these were the 3 that really stuck out for me; 1) reaching out to others 2) finding a place to rejuvenate ( There was an interesting side story from the Machzor about a man who goes to a city called Beresheet to restore his spirits. The rabbi emphasized the importance of everyone finding a place to rejuvenate their spirits during difficult times and at the end of the story the Rabbi asked us, Where is your Beresheet? Good question to think about, I think :).) and 3) practicing gratitude.

In my own life in the past year, these 3 things have been absolutely critical in my work to continue moving on and finding joy and purpose in life.

I have been so fortunate to find a wonderful group of girlfriends nearby, a loving and nurturing place to call home and an ability to recognize the many simple pleasures in my everyday life that remind me of just how good I have it, even if life isn't always all fairy taley and perfect.

Okay, so I've rambled on and on long enough now about Rosh Hashannah.

Besides the Jewish New Year, there were lots of other lovely things going on this weekend, here are some of the highlights :)....

Women's Vball: Stanford v. USF. Stanford won, and it was a really exciting game!

Trader Joe's carries Saffron!! Yay! Oh the possibilities!

Beautiful view of kites flying over the bay from Pac. Heights.

Erica, Melissa and I in the city.

Mmmmm....french toast and chai at Jovino's.

Beautiful sunflowers from Melissa :). What a sweet end to the weekend don't you think?!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I really should get a life :)

I am just addicted to posting....I think I need to go to Bloggers Anonymous.

Check out this friendship star! Great photo Kat and Erik!

And here is what I made for dinner tonight. Stuffed Peppers...

A little ground turkey, tomatoe, brown rice, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, red peppers and voila!

And was I the only one crying today when Juan Martin del Potro won the US Open today? Something about great sports moments that just get to me.

And Patrick Swayzee, so sad!

On a happier note, so excited for Monday Night Football...did I already say that I love fall?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mexicanish Chicken Salad

I'm in a food rut again!

But I busted out of it a little bit tonight thanks to Trader Joe's and Sunset :).

I decided to make a Mexicanish Chicken Salad, which I have to admit didn't sound that exciting at first, but then I decided to use these two things and they definitely made for a more exciting Chicken salad!

Kat and I made this Chicken Rub back at the Sunset Weekend in June and I have forgotten to use it until tonight. It was really good! Thank you Sunset!

I was doing some weekly shopping at Trader Joe's today and was in the market for some corn. I had a normal can of corn in my cart, until I saw this! It added a greet sweet, savory and spicy kick to the salad! Thank you TJ's!

With the flavors of the chicken + Sunset chicken rub and the TJ's salsa, some spinach, arugula, radicchio, avocado, olives, tomato, black beans, cheddar cheese and slices of tortilla that I brushed with some EVOO and crisped up in the ended up being like a mini mexican fiesta on a plate!

Crafterday and a Bruschetta Off

Kat, Lindsey, Laura and I declared yesterday CRAFTERDAY! (Credit to Kat for the name :)). We each packed up a craft project we had been wanting to do and spent the day at Kat and Erik's sewing, beading and painting. My insides have been yearning for a day like this, we literally got to just sit and chat and craft for an entire afternoon, it was wonderful, and I can't think of better company to craft it up with! We spent nearly 12 hours together and I loved every moment of it! Thanks for a wonderful day girls!

Kat has this adorable Scrabble decoration on her table and she created a word appropriate for today!

We kicked off the day with some Mimosas in Mason Jars! I love mason jars :).

Laura sewing and Lindsey painting.

Lindsey's beautiful blending!

My doodle painting.

Relaxing on a blanket on the front lawn after a couple hours of crafting and having some girl talk.

And THEN, we had worked up a big appetite so we had a BRUSCHETTA OFF! That's right, each of the girls created a different kind of Bruschetta and the boys got to be the judges :).

Unfortunately, my camera decided he wanted to run out of batteries at the beginning of the competition, so I don't have pix, but check out Kat's blog for some.

Lindsey's date and toasted almond bruschetta! Yummmmmy!

Lindsey also made a roasted bell pepper bruschetta.

Kat made an award winning salmon, cream cheese, cucumber and dill bruschetta.

Laura made a Blue Cheese and Honey Bruschetta and a Tomato, Corn and Baba Ganoush bruschetta!

Aren't these girls creative? I love it?!

I kept it kind of traditional and went with feta cheese, tomato and avocado.

So much fun and soooo delicious!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Germania and Windy Hill

It's only 10 am Saturday morning and there are already lots of weekend highlights I couldn't wait to share.

Went to a fun German restaurant in San Jose last night for a birthday party. Lots of fun people, lots of good food and lots of good beer!

Laura and I shared the Jaegershnitzel with Spatzel...haha, just typing german words makes me laugh! It was a breaded pork cutlet in a wine mushroom sauce with german noodles.

The birthday girl had LOTS of MEAT!!!! She's a photographer and so I didn't even have to ask for her to pose her food for me!! Good Company!!

And at the end of the night, this was the evidence that we had a rockin' time!

Then crazy me, I woke up at about 6:30 this morning to meet a couple of running buddies at Windy Hill for a trail run. I told them I was up for about 6 miles, but we ended up doing about 9 and it didn't even feel like it because I was so distracted by the beauty on the trail. I am so thankful that they introduced me to this place and I can't believe that it has been just 15 minutes away from me since I have been living here! We did a pretty steep 3 mile incline to get to the top of Windy Hill, I was gasping for air as they continued to cruise along, but boy the view at the top sure was worth the struggle! We had awesome views all around of the bay are and even got a great lightning show from the lightning storm that passed over us to the East last night. There was a thick cloud cover so we couldn't see the coast today, but we were above the clouds and it was gorgeous they way the clouds blanketed the valley below us. I am going to have to hike up soon so I can get some pictures, words just don't do it justice. The guys were so encouraging as I struggled up the hill which was really sweet and after we reached the peak we did about a 6 mile descent through Ham's Gulch and had lots of fun winding through the was just beautiful...I forgot how much I love trail running! We ran into a couple local running groups and even one local ultra marathon training group and I was also reminded of how much I love the camaraderie that exists among runners.

My shoes are now coated in a beautiful layer of dirt and dust, my socks have stains that may not come out and it took a little scrubbing to get the dirt off my feet, ankles and calves this morning, but a little dirt never hurt, right?!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

home SWEET home

I don't know how else to start except to say that
i LOVE my FAMILY and

It seems like every time I go home these days, things just get better and better....San Diego gets more beautiful, the fam and I get along better and better and it never ceases to amaze me what fun new memories my friends and I get to create together.

This trip home was for some reason an especially exceptional case of all of the above. Stars were aligning on all fronts all the way up to Southwest paying for my whole flight and then some since I volunteered to take a later flight when they announced that my 2pm flight was overbooked.

Everything just seemed to fall in place so perfectly this weekend, karma definitely was in my favor this weekend! I can hardly wait to find some opportunities to pay it forward this week.

Here were some of the highlights;

1) Ocean Kayaking with Adventure Guide Blair, Maria, Amber, Curran and Mr. T! Blair worked as a kayaking tour guide in La Jolla this summer and so she arranged for a bunch of us to go out together Sunday Morning. It was gorgeous, the water was like bath water and since we went out early, we felt like we had the whole ocean to ourselves. We went through the leopard shark nursery, saw tons of Garibaldi, went through a couple of the caves, saw tons of swimmers in the La Jolla Ocean swim lane (isn't that so cool that La Jolla has a swim lane for the ocean swimmers?!). I didn't bring my camera out on the water for fear that it would get wet and man did I miss out on some awesome photo opps. The water was so clear we could see straight to the bottom near the caves. And the caves and coves were just gorgeous!

Blair and I at the Kayak Shop.

2) Breakfast at a Cody's in La Jolla with the girls and a couple of the H4L:).

My mushroom, spinach and cheese omelette....yum!

3) A lovely walk along a cliff trail where Amber now RUNS in La Jolla. By the way, I fell head over heels in love with La Jolla this weekend, I now know where I want to move to if I get to move back to SD one day. I better start looking for a higher paying job!

My future street...hahah.

4) A run up La Jolla Shores Drive to UCSD, one of my favorite roads in San Diego. Gorgeous views of the ocean!

5) Sushi dinner at Akai Hana - the Fam's all time fav. neighborhood sushi restaurant.

Bummer it's blurry...Dad, send me one of yours!

Spicy, Sweet, Crunchy roll!

I love these women!

My sister being silly.

6) Yoga with my mom :)

7) Shopping with my mom and sister :).

8) Sitting down with my grandparents to start recording some of their life story. My cousin, sister and I have been trying to get started on this project for a while now. My cousin mailed some questions to my grandparents and so this weekend my grandma, grandpa and I sat down and I used the Flip Video camera that my uncle gave me to record some of their answers to the questions. They both have such rich stories to share and so we just made a small dent in the project, but at least we finally got started!

9) Labor Day BBQ/Swim Party with family friends.

10) A visit with Diego - the first K4l! Is he not one of the cutest kids you've ever seen? Look at that triple threat position - he's got bball in his blood! My mom got him the basketball and a bball jersey and shorts for his birthday and I'm pretty sure with the genes he got from hi mom and dad he is going to be some type of pro athlete.

11) Late night talk around the kitchen table with Blair, Mom and Dad - just like the old days!

11) Morning High Valley Run.

12) Cruising with my dad in his new TT. He's always wanted a sports car and he finally got to get one a few months ago and he loves going fast in it!

13) Point Loma Seafood lunch with my Dad after I decided to take a later flight. My dad is in love with their Sloppy Squid Sandwhich and he looks for any excuse to get to Point Loma Seafood to indulge in one!

14) Scoring a Southwest Travel Voucher!

I could not be more blessed to have such a loving, giving and all around FUN family and group of friends. Thank you for making the weekend so wonderful!