Thursday, June 30, 2011

thursday's treasury - independence day

hope everyone has a great 4th of july weekend!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

what's cookin' wednesday - mediterranean chicken salad

this is one of my quickest, easiest, and tastiest salads...

just saute some chicken in olive oil.  add artichoke, kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes.  i season with a little trader joe's 21 seasoning salute. place mixture on top of spring mix and top with crumbled feta cheese.  so easy and so tasty!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

janet's birthday weekend

like i mentioned in my 5K update yesterday, my good friend janet came to visit this past weekend.  it was a fun-filled weekend of beach towns, botanical gardens, baby showers, shopping and sea world!

the first day we enjoyed a tasty lunch at the lotus cafe in encinitas.  then we walked around the pretty little beach town and checked out some of the cute boutiques.  next we hit up the botanical garden.  it's one of our favorite places to spend time and it was a perfect day for it.  finally, we ended that day's activities with dinner at pizza port.  yum!
the beautiful birthday girl!

i don't know why my pants are glowing!

one of the many interesting sculptures on display

love this alice in wonderland chair!  saraya wasn't quite sure what to think.

coolest treehouse ever...

the next day was janet's actual birthday.  we started the day with a delicious breakfast from naked cafe followed by a leisurely drive down to coast to sea world!  it was so much fun!  janet got a birthday pin to wear.  we missed taking a picture with shamu by 5 minutes.  but we did manage to catch this polar bear before he went to lunch.

if you haven't seen the sea lion show, i totally recommend it.  i like it better than the shamu or dolphin show.  clyde and seymour are the stars and there's a little otter whose antics are too cute.  the trainers are pretty funny too.  janet got some great shots of some of the action.

saraya loved the interactive dolphin area, tidepool and the aquarium.  she squealed with delight when a dolphin swam right up to us for pats.  and she was a little angry that she couldn't keep holding the sea star. i guess my explanation that it couldn't breathe outside of the water fell on deaf ears.  but mama made it up to her by taking her to see some turtles.  she loved standing on the ledge and watching the turtles eat and swim.  we also saw a giant porcupine and a miniature horse.  it was pretty cool.

then we ended the evening with some birthday cupcakes from one of my favorite spots, cupcake love.

saturday morning we headed up to LA to attend a baby shower for one of janet's friends from chicago.  we ate brunch at a cute little spot that was half restaurant, half flower shop.  the coolest gift was this diaper tower.  there was a fun game involving pictures of celebrity babies and guessing all of their names.  janet and i actually won!  the prize was a delicious bar of salted caramel chocolate.  and after brunch we stopped in the fashion district for a little shopping.  unfortunately, sassypants didn't let mama make it to the jewelry supply shops but janet found lots of good buys.  and we saw some really cute mini turtles and baby bunnies!  i almost got a bunny but decided it would probably be better if i didn't.

saturday evening we stayed in and called it a night a little earlier because sunday morning was the diabetes 5K.  it started at 630 down by the convention center so we had to leave a little earlier.  afterwards we met up with saraya's uncle fabian at the hash house.  that place is incredible and it's nice to splurge there every once in awhile... after all that, we needed a nap!  throw in a little more afternoon shopping and some bread-baking and that was pretty much as full a weekend as i could make it!

he loves me...
he loves me not

we're so glad janet could come for a visit!  hope you had a very happy birthday weekend!

Monday, June 27, 2011

5K update

well, i am inching along towards my goal.  of course i failed to seriously consider things like sickness, family emergencies, etc. when i came up with the semi-lofty plan to complete 12 5Ks in a year.  in early april, pandi and i got the stomach flu and couldn't participate in the carlsbad 5000 but we had already picked up our race packets so we made that one up on our own.  and later in april i ran my first race alone.

at the beginning of may, i completed the breath of hope 5K for lung cancer.  it was an honor to be able to support my dear friend denise.  along with her lovely husband and son as well as some good friends, we celebrated denise's triumph over lung cancer.  it was wonderful to see her so full of joy and pride that day.  sadly, denise contracted chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a result of smoking and lung cancer.  there is no cure for COPD and on june 7th, denise passed away.  the world lost an amazing woman that day but i know she's in heaven instructing the angels on how to cook the perfect italian feast and watching over us.

and then at the end of may, i was scheduled to participate in the vista strawberry festival 5K.  my whole family was actually signed up for this one.  my brother and i planned on running it while the rest of the family leisurely pushed the stroller along and we were going to all meet up at the end and enjoy the strawberry festival.  when my dad got sick we had to miss that one but my brother and i were able to squeeze our own in while we were at my parents' house.

yesterday, we participated in the american diabetes association 5K in downtown san diego.  and by we i mean, the pandi and i were joined by my good friend janet!  she was visiting us for her birthday weekend.  don't worry, we did fun birthday stuff too but she was actually happy to be able to join us for the walk.
it was a beautiful morning, perfect for a stroll along the water.  and since it was at 630 in the morning, we were able to get into the hash house for breakfast with hardly a wait!  we went through balboa park on the way home and then took naps and showers before rounding out the day with a little shopping.  i love getting an early start to the day because it feels like you get so much more done during the day!

so that makes 10 down, 2 to go.  i think i can, i think i can...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

tiny bubbles

i bought invested in a little battery-operated bubble gun and it's been one of our favorite new toys this summer...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

what i wore wednesday - summer solstice

i don't have a specific reason why but when i woke up yesterday morning, i just had a feeling it was going to be a fantastic day.  nothing particularly spectacular happened.  pandi still hasn't taken her first solo steps or sprouted more than 3 teeth.  in fact, she was being quite rowdy and headbutted me so hard my tooth cut my bottom lip.  there weren't any cool letters or packages waiting for me.  and the house still isn't as clean as i'd like it to be.  but i still feel like it was a great day.  maybe it's because i got to wear a new outfit i picked out as a birthday gift from anthropologie.  it just screamed SUMMER at me, and while screaming is generally a turnoff, this time it just worked... excuse the cell phone photo though, it's all i had!
dress, cardi, and belt: Anthropologie
sunglasses: Target
wedges: Old Navy

so it's no secret that a good outfit can make your whole day brighter.  i found this to be even more true when i was pregnant.  there were times when i felt huge and bloated but a cute (and comfy!) outfit and a little make-up went a long way towards improving my mood.  one of my biggest sources of inspiration has been style blogs.  you may remember my little 30 for 30 experiment (kendi is actually doing a summer challenge right now).  i am also a fan of jessica quirk at what i wore.  i just love that she sews a lot of her own dresses and that many of them are from vintage patterns.  like this...
What I Wore, Jessica Quirk, WhatIWore, Vintage Sewing Pattern, Vintage Simplicity pattern, home made, self made, sewing, What I Wore Today, Outfit of the Day, personal style blog, fashion blog, tumblr fashion blog, how to wear vintage
and this...
What I Wore, WhatIWore, Jessica Quirk, Homemade, Sewing, Do it Yourself, Simplicity 2444, fashion tumblr to follow
right now she is having a giveaway on her site for her soon to be released book.  go check it out!

and i hope everyone's longest day of the year was a good day!

what's cookin' wednesday - PW's spicy pasta salad

many of you know that i am a big fan of the pioneer woman's photography and cooking (and giveaways, even though i've never won one). last week she posted a recipe for a spicy pasta salad featuring smoked gouda (which i prefer to pronounce goo-duh, NOT gowda ronnie!) and i thought it looked like a perfect dish to make myself. i was planning on following it to the tee but when i got to henry's, i got distracted by smoked gouda (goo-duh) with BACON in it! and instead of making my own spicy dressing completely from scratch, i decided to take a bit of a shortcut with a very special mayo. so here are my main ingredients...
see my special mayo?  it's a chipotle lemonaise and it is delicious!  i also used heirloom tomatoes instead of regular (i.e. boring) grape tomatoes, and some casarecce pasta simply because that's what i had in the pantry.  and here's the beautiful finished product...
but you know what the best part is?  the best part is when i tweeted pioneer woman herself to tell her how awesome of an addition bacon is to her salad, she replied that bacon sounded heavenly and that she would definitely add it next time... and then SHE FOLLOWED ME!  a celebrity with almost 200,000 followers, who only follows a few hundred people herself is following yours truly!  and i owe it all to bacon...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

tuesday's treasury - summer 2011

happy first day of summer!  in honor of today's summer solstice, please check out my summer lovin' treasury.  unfortunately, the widget creator is out of sorts so i can't make any pretty thumbnails for you today but just go check it out on etsy anyhow!

Monday, June 20, 2011

happiest place on earth

i'm 33 years old!  to celebrate, i decided to pay a visit to the happiest place on earth.  i haven't been to disneyland in over 20 years and i thought this would be a great occasion to introduce miss saraya to the wonderful world of disney.

my birthday fell on the sunday of a drill weekend so i decided to take monday off.  we went to the park with one of my favorite families.  monday happened to be miss alyssa's 11th birthday and it was a surprise present.  i almost spilled the beans earlier in the weekend but managed to keep the secret!  since anything goes with a 1 year old, i went into the visit prepared for the possibility that it would be a short day.  saraya sassypants was quite the trooper!

maybe it was because she knew it was a special occasion, or perhaps she felt the overwhelming joy radiating from the park.  either way, saraya lasted 10 hours!  she rode peter pan, the teacups, winnie the pooh, pirates of the caribbean, haunted mansion, and monsters inc.  she loved them all!  her little mouth was agape at all of the colors and sounds and she was too busy pointing and clapping to be scared.  there was a little girl about 4 years old behind us on the pirates ride who was NOT happy to be there.  she kept telling her dad he took her on the wrong ride and she needed it to be over in 5 minutes.  meanwhile, saraya was clapping at the cannons splashing the water and squealing with laughter at the tipsy jack sparrow.  we also watched the disney jr. stage show and ate at a couple of the restaurants.  at lunch i had fried green tomato sandwich and it was fantastic!  i also got to ride the tower of terror and screamin' rollercoaster so the pandi didn't have all the fun.  i wanted to take her on small world and to see the toy story and little mermaid shows but it was pretty crowded so i guess we'll have to save it for another trip!
love her long lashes! the back of her hat has her name sewn in and she got a "first visit" badge too!

excitedly waiting in line

getting very sleepy...
and, she's out!  until next time...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

father's day 2011

happy father's day to my wonderful husband and to my own dad that i love very much.  it's been a few years since my grandfathers have passed but today is their day too...

"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." -- Unknown