Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lame post

Ugh. I don't know what my problem is, but I am completely blah this week. I am sleeping like a rock, eating well, working out, and yet I can't shake my funk. I'm wondering if it's some sort of five-day hangover from DH's company party on Saturday.

Dear lord, I can't party. I shouldn't even try anymore. Tequila=the devil.

The party was outside at a hotel right on Mission Bay. Great sunset but I was freezing! The dress code was rather vague (cruise wear?) so I pulled this out of the closet with a cute pair of flat, strappy sandals. Rest assured, I'm not 8' tall like the model, so it was the perfect floor length on me.

Anywho, back to the blahs. I just can't seem to settle down. I've tried drinking my extra sleepytime tea and lighting candles but it just isn't doing it for me. If my week were a song, it would be Grapevine Fires by Death Cab:

Lovely and maybe a little lonely. Heck, if we're going to be honest on the internets, it's pretty damn good. Just not the first thing you'd grab off a shelf.

Anywho, tried finding some new music tonight for my 8k race this weekend. Meh. The best I could find was Ghost Town by Shiny Toy Guns:

Any other suggestions for either peppy music or a way to beat the blues?

Le sigh. Over and out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire.

James McAvoy. Helllloooo.

DH worked all day today (it being 10pm and he's still not home). I caught up on my netflix queue and by coincidence, watched two movies starring Mr. McAvoy; Atonement and Becoming Jane.

OMG, I boo-hooed all afternoon.

And Jamesy is perilously close to taking JRM's place on my Top Five. But only if he's wearing period dress. Yes, that will do very nicely.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Top Five

DH spent last night out with the boys. So I had time to find eye-candy pictures of my "list."

You know the list. You watched the Friends episode.

In no particular order (once you're on the list, that's all you need):

Trent Reznor
Johnny Depp
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Gerard Butler
Clive Owen

Wow. Did it just get hot in here? Looking over this list, I think I might have a type - older, dark, dangerous. JRM's pretty much the only one who I would cast as "pretty." I think it's the blue eyes.

Anywho, we're off to DH's company party tonight. The invitation says "resort wear." I have no idea what that means. Here's to shopping in my closet!

Anthropologie, $48

Just kidding.
Old Navy $14.50
(Seriously oversized, though. I got the medium and could have gone small. Elliott sure as heck isn't a small.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I left my heart in San Francisco...

Alternate title: Saying "Ta ta!" to the ta-tas.

Friday night DH and I went to a birthday party at Wine Vault on India Street. It's next to our favorite British pub, Shakespeare's, but doesn't look like much from the outside so we'd never popped in. Well, color me shocked at how cute it was inside, and the EXCELLENT food. The 25-year aged sherry ice cream sundae is going to stick with me a loooong time. The host of the evening, N (the mountain goat from our Joshua Tree climbing trip), was a gracious host, and his wifey A was surprised he had put together such a fun group of folks. We ended the night at Shakespeare's but DH and I ducked out early.

So DH and woke up extra early on Saturday morning to take our 6am Virgin America flight to San Francisco. (If you haven't taken a VA flight, do. It's a great airline, the planes are comfy, the AVOD is top-notch, and the prices aren't bad. As a Gold member of United's mileage program, it says a lot that I take VA whenever I get the chance!)

We landed in SF and headed to the Ferry Building farmer's market. OMG - FOODIE HEAVEN. It was the greatest farmer's market I've ever seen. Dozens and dozens of organic produce farms, artisanal cheesemakers, free-range and organic eggs and meats, patissiers. HEAVEN. We picked up an amazing cherry pastry (a running theme, you shall come to see), and people watched. Odd observation: There are a *lot* of wiener dogs. Or as DH calls them "sausage dogs." Without exaggeration, we saw 20+ this weekend.

Anywho, we walked along the Embarcadero to Pier 39 where we saw the famous bachelors:
DH was mesmerized. Couldn't tear him away!

At Fisherman's Wharf we decided to rent bikes from Blazing Saddles and cycle across the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito. Oh my goodness. Elliott hadn't ridden a bike since high school. That was...quite a while ago. By the following, you can see we made it:
GG way away in the background.

We hadn't checked in to the hotel, so we carried our stuff in backpacks all day, in case you're wondering what's on my back. (Banana houndstooth swing jacket, summer 2008)
The ride across the bridge was really scary. DH and I are both afraid of heights (I know, we both rock climb. *shrug*) and were actually glad that the bridge was completely fogged in. We couldn't see more than a foot over the edge of the bridge! Phew!
After a few navigational errors, we made it to the other side. Sausalito was adorable but I kept thinking "One good earthquake and the entire town'll slide into the ocean." We picked up sandwiches from the Sausalito Bakery and Cafe (word: they are HUGE. Make sure to split one.) and took the ferry back over to SF. Also, make sure you get a seat on the right side of the ferry for AMAZING views of SF.

We cycled back to Blazing Saddles and then walked over towards Ghiradelli Square and stopped at the Buena Vista for drinks. (The Buena Vista brought irish coffees to America but it was so hot that DH and I just ordered a couple of pints.)After an hour wait (really!) we took the cable car to Union Square for a little shopping before checking in to the Hilton.

Here's where we say good bye to the ta-tas. DH and I figured out where all of my body fat has gone - my boobs are shrinking! I'm down a full band size and TWO cup sizes. As you can tell from the pictures, I've got large ta-tas and it's shaking me to the core that I'm losing one of my favorite things about myself. I mean, I'm still busty just not "OMG what a pair of knockers!" DH is also upset. "I don't like this game." - DH (HA!)

After a quick shower and change of clothes, DH and I walked from Union Square to North Beach (SF's "Little Italy") via Chinatown. Chinatown was amazing. I loved all of the little shops and the signs in Chinese. We settled down in a little Italian place. It was meh - I can't even remember the name. What was delicious, however, were the AMAZING cherry pastries we picked up at the Italian bakery, Mara's, across the street. I'm a total whore for good, flaky pastry.

After a lie-in Sunday morning, DH and I headed up to Nob Hill to Honey Honey for brunch/crepes. It's a little out of the way, but totally worth it.

This picture doesn't convey how frighteningly steep is this hill. Nob Hill, indeed!
After yummy crepes, we headed to Golden Gate park. We walked around for a couple of hours, seeing tons of folks bicycling and rollerblading. (They close the park roads to cars on Sundays.) It was really uncomfortably hot, and we were carrying our backpacks again, so we then headed to Haight-Ashbury.

We took refuge from H-A's hippies, hipsters, and pot dealers (scary, but true) in Magnolia. Magnolia makes amazing English-style cask beer. It was very refreshing after feeling like we were going to melt in the sun. (Thank goodness for SPF 70!)

We decided to pub crawl our way back to North Beach and therefore stopped at Rogue Ale's Public House. Rogue makes one of my favorite beers - Dead Guy. Should you see it on tap, YOU MUST GET IT.

With a quick stop (again) at Mara's for more cherry flaps, we then headed out to the airport. 36 hours isn't enough time to see everything in SF but it was enough time to have one hell of a weekend!

Lessons learned:
*Put sunscreen on the back of your hands if you are biking. Ouch!
*Put sunscreen very far down your neck and back if you are wearing a backpack - it will pull your collar down. Ouch!
*Take very comfy shoes - SF is uphill, no matter where you want to go.
*The cable car is fun, especially if you get to hang off the side.
*However, make sure to keep your knees close if you are hanging off the side of the car. One good whack is all it takes to ruin a weekend.
*You can eat massive amounts of pastry, drink beer, and still lose weight if you are walking uphill everywhere and biking 10 miles, mostly uphill.
*Union Square has dangerous amounts of excellent shopping.
*Don't stay out until 11:30pm when you have to get up at 4am - it ruins your ability to party on a Saturday night.
*Or we might be really old.

That's all for now kittens. Ta ta!

Friday, April 17, 2009

See you Monday...

Gone to San Francisco with DH.

Coffee, Tea or Me?

So let's talk about tea. I don't really drink sodas or coffee, so I'm a I am a tea *fanatic*. I lived in Ireland and there's nothing more comforting than a "cuppa."

I try to keep my caffeine down, however, so I only drink one cup of black tea a day and drink two or three more mugs of decaf green or herbal tea.

My favorite brand is Good Earth, makers of the tastiest chai you will ever drink. Seriously. It beats Starbucks hands-down, even if it's black without milk or sugar.

So Good Earth went on sale for <$2/box. Yeah, it's normally $6 a box.

I stocked up.

(This is my home stock. I have an entire cabinet full at work. Let's just say I'm known as the tea girl, walking around with my big ol' mug.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Faff giveaway

I won Flamingos and Flip Flops' giveaway recently and received the nicest package from her this week.

Lots of Vera stationary, including the lime and navy letter set that I'm SO excited about. (Navy and green is my favorite color combo EVER.) The adorable lab post its are going with me to the office because I refuse to use the yellow ones from the supply room. I mean, really, where's the fun in that??

The chandelier cards are from English Tea Paperie (I covered up my last name) and they are so cute, I don't want to open the packages! (Just kidding, Chloe. I'm sending my first enclosure in a package this week to my English MIL in your honor.)

I especially love the tissue holder made of brightly printed cotton twill in the upper left-hand corner. I'm very much an "everything has its place" sort of gal so I gladly popped this into my handbag. I like it so much, I'm considering buying a couple others for my work bag, the cars, my gym bag, etc. The seller, trixareforkids, has tons of patterns including Lilly!

So thank you, FaFF, I loved the present!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

On working out...

...I have to give myself a couple of props. I've done Jillian's Shred for 7 of the last 8 days (with one day off when I pulled my hamstring).

I feel fantastic.

I have more energy, my running is easier than ever, and I'm sleeping like a bebe. Jillian's mean and I love it. When she says "I want you to feel like you're going to die," I do. I do, Jillian, I do.

So what do you do when you're doing so well on your health kick??


Coconut cupcakes with dulce de leche cream cheese icing
They're so purdy!

This is me in my cutie-patutie apron that I won from Cupcakes Takes the Cake. DH thinks I'm adorable in it. At the risk of sounding conceited, I think I am pretty dang cute. I give all credit to Carolyn's Kitchen for the amazing apron. Cheers to them!
I've got some serious double-chin going on but my Jillian arms are looking pretty good.

And yes, that is the full extent of my kitchen. Told you it was small. Anywho, for those interested in all things cupcake, here's the recipe I used:


* 3/4 cup of room temperature butter (I used Simple Earth)
* 1 1/4 cup of sugar
* 3 eggs, room temperature
* 1 cup of canned coconut milk
* 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
* 2 1/4 cups of flour
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1 teaspoon of baking powder
* 1/2 cup of sweetened desiccated coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In another add 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Alternate the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Don't overbeat.

4. Fold in the coconut then bake for 18 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a minute or two in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Delicious warm and even better the next day!

For the icing I made a simple cream cheese frosting and added 1/3 c. dulce de leche. It's very sweet so I think I'd probably try to add in some lemon to keep the sugar rush down.

You know you're a middle-aged yuppie when...

...you spend $170 on a trashcan and are unbelievably excited about it. See...it has a compartment for recycling already in it! It even closes itself softly!simplehuman can at The Container Store

We went to the CS in order to organize our horrible pantry, seen here:
Our kitchen is tiny. Tiny. So this is pretty much our only storage. And I could NEVER FIND ANYTHING.Can you find the spinach penne in there? Neither could I.

A couple hundred dollars, an hour of DH's time being all handy-like, and we now have this:
Ahhh <-- Sound of Elliott singing like angels. I. LOVE. IT.
We lost a little depth because the pull-out shelves weren't deep enough. That's no problem - I'm using the extra space to keep boxes of stuff we don't use often like cornstarch and powdered sugar.

Now we need to build-in some storage racks in the lowest and highest spaces. Yay!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kate Spade totes

The Kate Spade store opening totes were originally $155 then marked down to $78. For a limited time they're an additional 50% off with free ground shipping. For $39 you should pick up a couple. I like these:


San Diego - the alligator pear is a nickname for avocados

Nashville, my country home

White Plains. Don't care for the town but the tote's delightful!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bergdorf Blondes giveaway

Shasta at Bergdorf Blondes is giving away a Clarisonic brush system for her 300th post. Wowza! If you haven't been reading her blog, you should definitely start. Her daily outfit pictures have made me get my butt in gear and learn to accessorize! I mean, the woman combines Hermes and Forever21 in ways that blows me hea' off!


Does this remind anyone else of something? DH and I were in hysterics at the Container Store.

I mean, really...what was the designer thinking?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Today I did an oopsie on my treadmill run. (Padres season has started and I didn't want to run between the 8000 fans who clog up downtown on game days.) Anywho, I kicked arse - the run was easy-peasy. I jumped off the treadmill feeling like a million bucks as a dude pushed his way on. (We have a very crowded gym from 6-7pm.) It was at that point I realized "OH NO - I ran 5 KILOMETERS not MILES! ARGH!" No wonder it was easy. Bah! Tomorrow I'm going to do 8 miles to make it up.

So I'm finally wearing my smallest clothes in my closet and down a size or two depending on the brand. Yay! Even DH has said my shape has changed. HOWEVER...I've hit a big, fat weight plateau in spite of the fact that I've lost about 5% body fat. (Take that number with a grain of salt - that's what my scale told me.) Anywho, the numbers aren't dropping, folks. I know I said "I don't care how much I weigh, it's all about how my clothes fit!" This was a lie. I want lower numbers!

I did Jillian's 30 day Shred tonight as a way to kick up my metabolism. Because the blogging world ranted and raved about how hard it is, I only did Level 1. It was a good workout but it didn't kill me. My hand weights were too light, I think. Since I normally do my free weight work with 15 lbs at the gym, I think I need 10 pounders for Jillian. Level 2 tomorrow!

So I'm also thinking about joining Weight Watchers. I read about folks like Preppy Engineer and GRITS doing so well on the plan, I feel like it would put me in the right direction. Can I ask a stupid question, though? I don't understand what the heck is a "point." How do they calculate it? Calories and fat? Calories alone? Fiber content? A combination of the above? How do they calculate your "points" for the day? Is it based on how much you currently weigh or how much you want to lose? I know they'll probably answer all of this on the first day but I like to know what I'm getting myself into! I eat a pretty healthy diet as is (except for last night's PMS binge on peanut butter and graham crackers), so I guess I'm eating too much. Bah!

I think that's all for now. Elliott, out.

Were I ever to become a mother...

...I would want a daughter just like this:

Gah...baby rabies!!

Found via Cookie.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dear Elliott,

You are allowed a day off from the gym. You are allowed to not run the minute you get home. You are allowed a rest day. Despite what your heart is telling you, namely, that you will spontaneously blow up like a balloon if you don't run, it won't happen (immediately).

Be proud that your body can do what you tell it to. Listen to it when it says "I'm tired. Please give me a break. I ran an 8k yesterday and then went to the climbing gym for 2.5 hours. I would like to rest. Thank you, the management."

PS - But don't listen to your stomach that really wants cupcakes. Eat an apple, please.

Much love,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hello lovely...

Totally coveting this organic bamboo dress, $95 from ECONICA on Etsy:

The organic cotton fleece coat is adorable too, $195
All of Econica's clothing can be custom made to your size if you provide your measurements. Or you can select from their size chart - it goes up to size 16/18.

Also digging the following from Mrs Gibson's Atelier, which happens to be the name of my 10th grade science teacher. Just in case you wanted to know that.

Sterling Silver champagne crystal pearl and antique glass Button Charm Bracelet, $120
Handmade vintage Union Jack quilt, $280
Good weekend so far.

Saturday morning we went hiking with a big group of friends through Cottonwood(?) canyon to see a "waterfall." Quotations are needed because the "waterfall" was about three feet high. Seems you need rain to have the water pressure necessary for falls. One of the hikers brought her dog, Bruce, and he was adorable. He kept running up the sides of the canyon, higher and higher until he flipped down.

Anywho, we had a picnic at the "waterfall" so DH and I brought sandwiches from Bread on Market (OMG - BEST. BREAD. EVER.) including my favorite, the turkey special with no mayo or mustard and extra cranberries. Our hike leader, K, brought a whole lotta wine including the Black Box. I know, I know, boxed wine is normally terrible but Black Box is actually quite good and is the perfect size/packaging for camping and hiking. At $20/box, I suggest you check it out for your next party or wine-on-the-go needs.

Saturday night we headed to Cafe Chloe with C and J. As I can't get away from their perfect moules frites, I decided to hit up the Belgian beers. The Duchesse de Bourgogne was really fruity and delicious - and only 6% alcohol. I was actually reminded of a cider, to tell the truth. After dinner we went to Cask Room for some drinky poos. Dh was brilliant while at the bar. I wanted a 10-year tawny port but they were out. They did, however, have a DELICIOUS Delaforce 1986 Colheita porto. DH managed to convince the manager to sell us the rest of their last bottle (about half full) for $30. Yeah, '86 Delaforce is normally $25 a pour. Go DH!

We finished the night watching a Top Gear special. (Party animals, I know.) Do you or your hubbies know about Top Gear? It's a hilarious car show from Britain. I don't really care about cars but the chemistry between the three presenters is great. I can't imbed a video (damn you, YouTube!) but I really recommend them.

That's all for now. I think DH and I are going to go to the climbing gym. Ta-ta!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Signs of Spring

Our meyer lemon and mexican lime trees have finally flowered! Yeah! In about five months we should be able to mix our own fresh margeritas! (Which was the point of the whole exercise.) Who knew lemon blossoms were pink?!
The limes are doing really really well. I anticipate some key lime pie too!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Carolyn's Kitchen - oo la la

I won! Again! Big thanks to Cupcakes Takes the Cake for the Carolyn's Kitchen

cupcake apron
and matching gloves!

I can now live out my June Cleaver fantasies of baking sweet treats for my loved ones while looking love-eh-ly. ;)

In all seriousness, I have been lusting after a Carolyn's Kitchen apron since I saw them in a magazine. So cute and so retro - they make me smile just browsing through. Definitely check out the other available. Here are some favorites (besides the cupcake apron which I *heart*!):

Dorothy apron $39.95

Sweetheart apron $42
Wildcat apron $39.95

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My husband

Ok, the first thing you have to know about tonight is that I'm an insanely competitive person. Monica Geller has nothing on me. DH thinks this is funny and cute, mostly because he's better at *everything* than me. Scrabble...rock climbing...home repairs...cooking... I could go on forever.

Sooo...anywho, we went for our first "couples" run tonight down the embarcadero. I've been running 5x a week for three months. He eats cookies by the dozen. I was excited because I was finally going to do something better than him.

Look at those eyes. Those are "I'm going to kick his ass but be nice about it" eyes.
Turns out my darling boy has the cardio capacity of a Budweiser clydesdale. He runs fast. He has to take walk breaks while I plod along at a steady pace but he's probably running a 9 minute mile, or less, when he's actually running.

Our evening went like this: Elliott jogs along at her normal 11 minute mile pace. DH sprints past for a couple hundred yards. DH walks until Elliott jogs up to him at which point he sprints ahead again. *whispers* Truth be told, it kinda burned my cookies to see him take off every time I caught up.

It also did not help that we took a "fitness" trail. You know the ones - the stations every couple yards where you do pushups and pull up and dips and stuff. Well, of course we had to stop so that DH could do pullups while I hung like a stuffed chicken. ;) Actually, he pushed me up so that I would complete one pull up. That was very sweet.

I know I'm complaining but I AM actually super proud of my boy. He got out of the house and worked out which is all I'm asking. GO DH! He said that he wouldn't do it every night but he wouldn't mind running with me once a week. If I can keep my competetive streak in check, I bet we'd be awesome together!

And the aftermath. Yes, I'm a sweaty, sweaty girl. Shush. Also, DH and I have the biggest foreheads ever. Should we ever have munchkins, you know they'll be lightbulb heads like us.
And this is just a pretty picture of my fleurs. Because I like pink. And I like fleurs.