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Weekend Festivities and a Non-Update

13 Jun

Wednesday already and no blog posts this week! This is mostly because I was patiently waiting for our doctor’s appointment yesterday to go over the ultrasound results from last week (who would have every thunk that I actually LIKED going to the doctor). However, I got a call around mid-morning saying my appointment had to be rescheduled since their computers were down and the doctor had a patient in labor. I can only hope that I too get that kind of treatment if I go into labor in the middle of the day! We had to end up rescheduling for tomorrow morning, so I should have a full update by weeks end. Overall, we think the ultrasound went fine, but then again those techs aren’t really supposed to tell you anything anyways. Hopefully the little one gets a clean bill of health as far as they can tell tomorrow!

In lieu of an ultrasound update, here are some fun pictures from our weekend in San Luis Obispo for my sister’s graduation!

It started off with some silliness and fake mustaches obtained at a new local flip flop shop (the PERFECT store for SLO!):

The weather the whole weekend was gorgeous, albeit a little windy on graduation day. This ended up being a good thing because it definitely cut into the heat of the morning and afternoon. Those graduation ceremonies can get lengthy!!

The graduation girl and her roommate:

Ceremony (a little blurry, but you get the picture):

During the ceremony, I totally thought I felt the baby move. We were right in front of the speakers which were quite loud, so I thought maybe that had something to do with it. It felt like a weird drumming on the inside (not the bubbles or butterfly wings it has often been described as). In any case, I noted it, but didn’t get too excited about it.  Update: Since then, I have felt it EVEN MORE, so I’M SURE it is the baby. It’s sort of a weird feeling and I swear it is happening all the time (does this baby sleep??).  I guess I’m going to have to get used to it! Definitely makes things more real and starts bringing up the “how I’m going to parent this baby” anxiety!

Here’s a couple pics of The Hubs and I. I borrowed the dress from one of my besties. SO SO NICE to have had friends pregnant just before me so I can borrow their clothes!

We still need to perfect the hands on belly shot! This looks sorta silly!

The weekend was lots of fun, but somewhat bittersweet. We’ve been traveling to SLO regularly for the last 12 years since The Hubs, my sister, and I  have all been going to school there. Now we really have no reason to go back except for leisure. This must have been what my dad experienced back in the day. It took him 20+ years to get back to SLO regularly when we started going to school there  (we’d go every once and awhile as kids to Poly Royal, aka Open House) . Then he was able to see two daughters graduate from his alma mater! Hopefully we can be so lucky!

Maybe this will entice the little one (hopefully a nice auntie will bring it back!):


Here I Am!!

16 May

Wow! Has it been almost 4 months since my last post??? I can’t believe it!

Things have been so crazy busy with life and work that blogging sorta slipped by the way side. I will say that I have at least a few posts in draft form that are pretty much done, so I hope to be posting on a more regular basis when I can.

Here’s what you’ve missed (which hasn’t been much, but that doesn’t make it insignificant!):

The Hubs and I went to Vegas the last weekend in January. It was our big trip to see Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley! I’m proud to say that I made it through both flights with less anxiety than I’ve had in the past, although I must admit I had to take 1 Xanax on the return flight home.

We really had a great time! We had friends who were also in Vegas that weekend so we hung out with them some of the time as well. We stayed at the Mirage, which was my first time. I really liked it and think it will be my Vegas hotel of choice from now on! It is really nice without feeling stuffy and there are lots of great options for food right there. It was all decked out for Chinese New Year which made the lobby area really beautiful!

We did some walking down the strip…

And hanging out…

Our first big outing was to see Garth Brooks. Garth was absolutely positively amazing. TOTALLY work the $250 / person tickets. It was just him and his guitar. He sounded just like a record. The Hubs and I kept turning to each other commenting on how awesome it was the entire time! We vowed that if there were ever an artist like Garth that is someone we truly LOVE, we WILL spend the extra money and get good tickets. It was so worth it! We could’t take pictures, but I snuck a quick one so you get the gist of what we saw (minus Garth!).

The next day, our friends wanted to go see the Pawn Stars shop. I had never seen the show, but figured I could at least say I’d been there. The line to get in was super long, but once inside there was a lot of cool stuff to look at.

We went to the Minus 5 Bar which was a cool experience! We took some really cute pictures in our parkas and taking shots off of a ski, but I was too lazy and forgot to purchase them online!

The Brad Paisley concert was Saturday night at Mandalay Bay – all the way on the other side of the strip. It took us FOREVER to walk there and the monorail was NOT convenient either. We finally made it there in time to see The Band Perry (who was just ok live) and Scotty McCreery (who was pretty good) open.  Brad Paisley put on a great show (although our standards were set crazy high from the Garth concert the night before). He definitely was worth it though! His concert reminded me of a Keith Urban concert, which I always think is a fun concert to attend. We really enjoyed hearing all of our favorite songs, including “Then”, our first dance song!

The last day brought about a little more excitement… While walking from the elevators toward the lobby at 7:30am, I saw this blond girl in a mini dress with white slippers walking (well more like stumbling) toward the elevator bay with a guy. I looked at the girl and said to The Hubs under my breath, “Was that Paris Hilton??”. The girl must of heard me because the next thing I know she turned around and says to me, “Yes it is!”. I was so excited to have a celebrity encounter, even if it was only a split second!

We SO enjoyed our Vegas trip and hoped to go back really soon (especially to see and hang out by the Mirage pool when it was actually full), but we had another big event happen in our lives just a few weeks later:

Holy crap! Can you believe it? We’re pregnant! I’ve got a whole bunch of drafts to finish up our TTC story and then the start of our pregnancy story.

So stay tuned (unless of course pregnancy stuff makes you cringe or sad… I can totally relate and totally understand!).

Weekend Surprises

17 Oct

This weekend was full of surprises for The Hubs’s 30th birthday which is coming up on Wednesday. I was so proud of myself that I was able to keep all the activities I planned for the weekend a secret, since I usually have an extremely big mouth.

I decided that I wouldn’t tell him anything and then give him clues along the way. I also tried to mislead him a bit in hopes that it would lead him off course making the surprise even more exciting!

We started off by heading south to Gilroy to stop at the outlets for The Hubs to get some new jeans. I wasn’t too worried about him knowing we were going south since there are SO many places that we could head from that direction – L.A., San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Barbara. While at the outlets, I ended up getting myself some fun things as well.

A new Coach purse and wallet in my favorite colors and perfect for fall!

And my first Le Creuset Dutch Oven in Carribbean blue! I can’t wait to use it to make some fun one pot meals!

I gave The Hubs his first clue which was a California Sea Otter. At first he had NO IDEA what it meant, even though I thought it was pretty obvious. Finally after a little bit of leading him along the right path he guessed Monterey. We stopped at our hotel, checked into our room and then I gave him his second clue for our next activity. This one was a wine glass, so it was fairly easy for him to figure out we were going wine tasting.

We headed to Cannery Row so that we could enjoy the Monterey Bay and do some wine tasting at one of the many tasting rooms there. Although we thought the weather might be cold and gloomy in ended up being a gorgeous day!

We stopped at the Bargetto and Schied Tasting Room and enjoyed quite a few delicious wines. We ended up buying a red wine at each.

We also bought a couple of fun ornaments. We love buying unique ornaments at the places we visit. We’ve been trying to accumulate our own ornaments since a lot of the ones on our tree belong to our parents!  I chose a Starfish Santa, while The Hubs picked a Coca Cola bottle cap. He LOVES his Coke!

Next on the agenda was dinner reservations at Monterey Fish House. I had never been here before, but it came with good recommendations. We got there a bit early and there was already a line out the door waiting to be seated! I was so glad I made a reservation, as we were able to sit right down. I forgot to take pictures of our meals, but I had oak grilled salmon, while The Hubs had oak grilled swordfish. Both were delicious and we were extremely full by the end of the meal!

I was so excited because it was almost time for the main event. The Hubs was excited too as he had some ideas in his head and wanted to see if he was right. I gave him the last clue.

He looked at the clue and said “Seinfeld?”.

I smiled excitedly and said “So you know what we are doing???””

“Seeing Jerry Seinfeld stand up on a boat.” – I had sorta lead him along a boat route thinking maybe we were going to do a cruise or something. Ended up not being such a good idea since he seemed pretty exciting about the boat…

“Well, yes, but not on a boat!! Are you so excited??”

He replied… “Sure!”

“Isn’t it great that you get to see him live for the first time???”

“Well, I’ve already seen him.”

Cue Jen’s Ego deflating… (I should have watch Oprah’s Lifeclass earlier in the week to learn more about defeating the ego so I could have avoided getting upset. More on that later this week…)

“Oh…. I didn’t realize.” I replied. Then proceeded to get upset that the surprise was a big let down.

The Hubs said it wasn’t, but I could still see that he expected something different after I built up the surprise so much.

We went to the show, which was at the Golden State Theater. It provided an awesome ambiance for the show. We ended up laughing the whole time! Seinfeld was hilarious and the show obviously wasn’t the same as the one The Hubs had seen years before, but in the end I still felt a little bad. I kept thinking about all the things I should have done instead. Maybe I should have gotten him Garth Brooks tickets since he’s never seen him and it’s on his bucket list. I should have saved the money and done that instead. I should have known that he had already seen Seinfeld, of course… Nothing like the ego to kick me repeatedly in my own butt while I’m down!

I know I probably overreacted, but I really wanted to do something BIG for his 30th birthday and since he’d already done this activity before, it wasn’t exactly the reaction I expected.

After the show we went to get sundaes at Ghirardelli, which was yummy deliciousness. Then we headed back to the hotel for the night.

Although things didn’t turn out exactly as planned, I think I would still consider the weekend a success. We had a great time shopping, wine tasting, enjoying the show and each others company. I need to remember that we have the rest of our lives to experience fun and exciting things together and I can try to pull off a different big surprise hopefully in the coming years!

Have you ever tried to pull off a big surprise that didn’t turn out as expected?

Happy Friday!

14 Oct

I’m so excited it’s Friday!

I have a fun surprise weekend planned for The Hubs! I’ll fill you in on everything Monday, but here are a few clues about where we are going and what we are doing! 🙂

Image Source: Here

Image Source: Here

Image Source: Flickr

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Exploring New (To Us) Places in the Bay

4 Apr

I’ve been feeling a little disconnected lately…disconnected from The Hubs, my friends, my family, myself. Not sure what the reason behind it is, but I’m hoping it will soon pass.

In any case, although I’ve felt this disconnection internally, you’d never know it from hearing about the different places The Hubs and I have been exploring, all with Teresa and Elliott.

Here’s a rundown of some of the places we’ve hit up recently…

Residual Sugar – new wine bar in downtown Walnut Creek

Here was a nice relaxing loungy atmosphere where we were able to sip on wine and enjoy a wine and cheese platter. My favorite part was that I was able to try a whole flight of Portuguese wines that weren’t ports. It was a true hommage to my ancestry.

Funny note – After we ordered our flights, the waiter took away our wine menus. At first I was a bit annoyed. How dare he take our wine menu away when we were only getting a few sips of wine! Obviously he knew more than me because this is what we got….

Three full glasses each!

The Counter – custom built burger place in Walnut Creek

T and E had already been to one of these restaurants before, but it was The Hubs and I first time. It was fun to be able to pick every aspect of your burger including special sauce. It was pretty tasty.

My only pet peeve was that our french fries and sweet potatoe fries came as an appetizer and NOT with our hamburger. Weird right?? Teresa’s pet peeve – That a hamburger costs MORE without the bun! What???

Farmers Market Bistro – new restaurant in Oak-town

Last Thursday, we headed out to Oakland to try out this super cool lunch truck that specializes in making hamburgers with locally sustainable products. The owner parks his truck outside of a bar allowing patrons to get a hamburger and a drink easily. Being that last Thursday was a BEAUTIFUL day in the neighborhood, when we got up to order our burgers, there was only enough meat to make one hamburger. Not good when there are four of you in a party! (We plan on trying to hit up the lunch truck again soon and hopefully earlier so we don’t miss out again!)

So we ventured to Farmers Market Bistro for dinner instead . T and E had actually eaten there the night before, but they liked it so much that they wanted to try it again. Being that it was Thursday, the place wasn’t that busy (aka – were treated like royalty).

We got this amazing dish with mussels and a hefeweizen based sauce that was absolutely DELICIOUS when sopped up with some crusty bread slices. We didn’t even order this, but was given it as complements of the chef.

Everyone but me ordered hamburgers since that was the original intent of the evening. Everyone was pretty happy with their fare. The salad especially had a really tasty dressing on it. I opted for a pulled pork sandwich, which was also very flavorful with a bit of spice on crusty bread.

The meal concluded with a creme brule with star anaise. Super fancy and yummy. I seriously felt like a judge on Top Chef! 🙂

 The Crucible – a non-profile art studio in Oakland

I found out about this place in the most unusual way. Sarah lost her phone in the parking lot of the ski resort a couple of weeks back and a person who works at The Crucible picked it up. When Sarah went to retrieve it, she said the place looked cool and was having a free open house this weekend.

Since T and E had already known about this place, they were up for exploring.

Let me say, this place was HUGE. There was all sorts of cool art work on display  and demonstrations related to the different classes you can take there. They even offer fire dancing classes although we didn’t catch any of their performances.

My favorite art exhibits were enameling, glass blowing and neon lights. I think I most loved that you not only learned about the art but about the science behind it in some cases. I think I would like to take a class here sometime, but they are pretty pricey.

They also had lots of fun jewelery on display. I especially like this piece from Littlebird Love.

Image Source: Littlebird Love Etsy

There was also some glass bees that I thought were super cute and reminded me of my friends over at Weddingbee, but unfortunately I didn’t get a picture. I so wish I would have! They were intricately made little bees on a stick!

We had a great time exploring these new places and I hope some of you Bay Area readers can try some of these places out too! 🙂

Hiking with the Pup

28 Jan

Last weekend, The Hubs and I thought it would be a good idea to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. The Hubs had done some research and really wanted to go on a hike in Big Sur at Pieffer State Beach to see some amazing waterfalls. However, he also sorta wanted to include The Pup on our little outing. After a little more research, it was decided that dogs were not allowed at these beaches in Big Sur because of the the endangered snowy while plover (whatever the heck that is!).

I then remembered that our friend Teresa had just posted a blog about a hike they went on with their dog up in Marin. So we decided to head up to beautiful and dog friendly Marin to take The Pup on his first hike around Phoenix Lake.

Phoenix Lake is located in the small town of Ross at the Mt. Tam Watershed.

We attempted to park in the small parking lot that was at the entrace to the park, but it was SO crowded, with additional cars just parked waiting for the next open spot. We decided to park outside the park about a mile or so on the street. This allowed us to get a closer look at the beautiful tree-lined street with HUGE houses on it that led up to the park.

We’re not the best hikers, so we basically just walked in about 1.5 hrs in and then back (since our car was parked in a 3 hr spot). It was really nice to enjoy the peace and quiet and just be among nature.

The scenery was awesome. There was moss on almost every tree and a little stream that ran alongside the trail.

The Pup was SO excited about this new adventure. He would keep pulling on the leash and sniffing everywhere we went (even on the way back!). His tongue was hanging out so far and he was excitedly breathing the entire time!

He was very well behaved though and met some nice pup friends along the way. We did cross paths with a tiny little pug who was very rambunctious for being so little. Rusty was afraid of him (scaredy cat!) and criss-crossed his leash around my leg causing a bruise I just noticed yesterday! (Some watch dog!)

One of the best parts of going on the hike…  This is what happened when we got home.

We had a great time on our little adventure and decided we needed to take spontaneous day or weekend trips more often.

So in the true spirit of this idea and because after the week I had I NEEDED a get away, I decided yesterday (which is SO not like me) that we would be going to the happiest (and one of our favorite) place in America this weekend. . . San Luis Obsipo! We won’t be taking The Pup on this trip though, he’ll be babysat by Grandpa and Uncle Michael!

Hope you all have as fun of a weekend as I hope we have! 🙂

Lookin’ for a Quick Getaway

19 Jan

The Hubs and I are not ones to take elaborate vacation (although it is a goal to getaway more in 2011).

In addition to my severe fear of flying, I’m a saver. A saver of both money and vacation which are both necessities if one want to get away for awhile. (As a sidenote…can anyone guess what I’m saving for?? Maybe for someone who isn’t even a twinkle in my eye yet?? hehe 🙂 )

This has led me on a search for more weekend getaways that are close to home (within a few hours drive), but won’t break the bank. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area which has so many beautiful places to see (and many of which we haven’t explored), but since many of these spots are still “touristy”, hotel prices are never cheap.

Some areas I’ve thought of going…

Close to Home

Good ol’ San Fran -Can you believe this Bay Area native has never walked or even driven across the Golden Gate Bridge? I think it’s high time that The Hubs and I make it to that part of the city which is NOT BART accessible!

Sonoma – A little less pretentious (and expensive) than Napa, but with all benefits of wine, food and a cute downtown.

Downtown Sonoma, Napa, United States
This travel blog photo’s source is TravelPod page: Napa and Sonoma County

Big Sur – The Hubs just mentioned going to Big Sur, so I’m thinking we may go out there for a day trip this weekend (The weather is supposed to be AWESOME!). Big Sur is a beautiful place where you can just get away from it all. There are excellent hiking trails to see amazing waterfalls.

A Little Further Away

Avila Beach – The Hubs and I both went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, so this would be sort of like being in our old stompin’ grounds, but a little more adult. We could then go into SLO to hang out and visit my sister who now goes to school there.

Tahoe -I still really want to go snowboarding this winter (although I hate driving in the snow). I’d really like to stay and play at Squaw Valley USA, as it looks like there is SO much fun stuff to do right at the resort without having to leave. Too bad it’s expensive though…

Any locals out there know of some fun fairly local destinations that aren’t too expensive? Know of any hotels that are nice, but reasonably priced? This girl needs a getaway!

Image Sources: ladybugbkt, Bryan_TDestination360, Aparajith