Monday, January 23, 2012


i had an extended weekend this weekend, but not for good reason. i left work at lunch on thursday due to a killer headache, and it has been reoccurring off and on since. i had a junior league event on thursday night, which i ended up skipping unfortunately. i even took friday off to rest and relax - my head hurt so badly. (i think it has to do with my vision, but i'm not really sure.) luckily on saturday, i felt up to volunteering for junior league, and i'm glad i did.

basically, i spent the day making kid sushi (gummy worms or swedish fish + rice krispie treats + fruit rollups) with a bunch of kids at grail family services. the junior league hosted an "around the world" arts and crafts-type event. i didn't get any pictures, but thankfully i did find a perfect tutorial on mommyknows if you'd like to check it out. and, i found some great pictures on her site as well...

[pictures from mommyknows]
it is such a creative activity for kids!

saturday night, nicholas took me out for drinks before dinner. after watching so many episodes of mad men, i wanted something a little stronger than wine, haha! we finally ventured over to single barrel in downtown san jose. after courtney blogged about it awhile back, i've been wanting to go. it was perfect. we had a few cocktails - that the bartender chose for us based on us answering a few questions about out taste and preferences...

mine: well, i like dirty martinis, gin and tonic, vodka, not too sweet, something mad men-esque, smooth
his: whiskey. - hah!

the inside of this speakeasy type bar is very dark and quite and not too busy. although there is usually a line outside, they keep the crowd sparse inside for the ambiance. i drank a pegu club cocktail and a basil gimlet - both were delicious. i definitely want to go back sometime soon!

sunday was a big fat failure. i failed at this DIY (the seams ripped when i tried to stuff my pillow in) and nick watched the 49ers fail. i tried a new recipe that turned out to be just nasty. and, my headache came back. (it wasn't from the cocktails - i swear!) oh well. saturday more than made up for it!

hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

mama is gorgeous.

my old neighbor from when we were young just posted this picture of my family on facebook. i am the two and a half year old wonder woman, and my older brother, allen, is superman. my grandma, mimi, is on the left. i am guessing this is when my mom was bringing my little brother, austin, home for the first time. he was born on october 26, 1988 - so the halloween costumes make sense.

doesn't my mom look beautiful?! wow, i hope when i have a baby one day, i'll look as good on the way home as my mom did!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

speak easy.

i blame mad men for being behind on my bachelor episodes. (and, working out - i just (re)joined the gym and have been going after work this week.) but, i finally watched it last night and i have to say i am loving that they are filming up in my neck of the woods. as much as i miss texas from time to time, i live in a gorgeous area... with lots of fun things to do. granted, i don't think i'll be skiing down a hill in the city anytime soon. but, i do want to try the speakeasy that ben and lindzi went to - bourbon and branch. my friend alyssa told me about it a few months ago and i've been meaning to go.

if you didn't see the show, you have to have a password to get into this 1920's style speakeasy - that was actually a real speakeasy back in the day. the background on this place is so interesting...

"Between 1923-1933, there wasn't a single raid at this Jones Street speakeasy by Prohibition Agents. The story goes that one needed to knock on the Cigar Shop door and provide a password just to gain entry. Once inside the shop, if a particular brand of cigar was requested, then that would cause a floor trap door to open. Visitors would then be escorted downstairs by a cigar salesman to the basement of JJ Russell's where the most notorious barkeeps of the day held court, treating their guests to the finest bootlegged contraband shipped to the San Francisco coast from Vancouver. 

Still in effect today, the speakeasy featured five secret exit tunnels with one of those specifically designated as a Ladies Exit, the most obscure. These exit tunnels allowed for a quick underground getaway from the basement speakeasy all the way up to Geary Street, further up at Jones Street, and two exits to O'Farrell Street. The Ladies Exit granted safe passage all the way to Leavenworth Street, a full block away. The Speakeasy also sported an elaborate brass warning bell system connected to the main lever located behind the counter of the Cigar Shop upstairs."

and of course, there are house rules.

how fun!

[image and quote from here]

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

mad men...

i'm still obsessing over mad men! i'm almost through season 2. i cannot get enough of the fashion! mimi, my grandma, bought me this green dress from shabby apple for christmas, but it was a little too big.

unfortunately, when i went to exchange it, they were sold out of every other size. i was so thrilled, however, to find this gorgeous navy dress in my size and i can't wait to get it!

now, i just need a cigarette - or ten! - and an old-fashioned to complete my mad men look. (isn't it insane how much they smoke on that show!?) i'm not sure where i'll wear it to yet...

i could wear it to work, but just last week our VP of HR announced that we are relaxing the dress code. basically, everyday is like casual friday. jeans for everyone! (except when you have a presentation or a meeting with a customer or supplier, etc.) so, i'd be a little over dressed now if i wore it on a regular work day.

... will somebody please host a mad men party? maybe for the premiere of season 5, on march 25th?!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

hiking + wine tasting + loaded questions.

what a great weekend! on saturday, nick and i joined our work friends hannah, eric, and blake, and blake's wife courtney for a hike and wine tasting. we met at their apartment and drove about 20 minutes to castle rock state park. the hike was around 6 or 7 miles and the views were amazing. oh, and the weather was just perfect. we were all pinching ourselves because it is mid-january and gorgeous outside.

one of the coolest things was watching the rock climbers! after my adventure rock climbing last month, i have a new respect for rock climbers. it takes quite a big of strength... and quite a bit of courage. at castle rock state park, there are boulders that are low to the ground, but have the perfect shapes or grips i guess for practicing tough moves without the concern of falling too far (aka bouldering). there were probably 50 rock climbers out there doing there thing - very cool to watch.

after our hike, we decided to treat ourselves after the hard workout, so we went wine tasting at savannah-chanelle winery, where blake and courtney are members. it was just a few minutes away from where we hiked so it worked out perfectly. the wine was delicious, and they had these mustards your could snack on with crackers. i bought a jar of their aioli garlic mustard - yum!

we were having some great laughs, so the 6 of us didn't want to end the night there. we stopped my our house to pick up some board games, then trader joe's for more wine and food - then ended the night playing loaded questions (one of my favorite games ever!) and having too much fun back at blake and courtney's!

talk about my dream weekend. 
hope everyone has a great week!

ps. someone got a group shot on their camera - so when i can get my hands on that i'll post it!

Monday, January 9, 2012


i've been really good about my 2012 goals so far. (just forget that it's only the second week in january!) after work last thursday, nicholas and i ordered thai food to-go from a local restaurant and used our wedding china when we got home. it is so pretty and made me want to use it even more! i think we are going to try to use our wedding china every month on the 5th (the day of the month we got married!) so, no matter if i pick up thai food or i make a nice homemade dinner or omelets on a saturday morning, we'll use the china. we didn't get all the china we registered for for our wedding, but my mother-in-law has been so thoughtful in helping us complete our set by getting us a few pieces each christmas! we're only 1 salad plate and 4 cups and saucers short now!

junior league is starting up again this week after having been on break for the holidays. i'm excited to go the meeting and see everyone!

oh, i know i may be way behind the times, but i got netflix for nick for christmas. lately, we've been watching Mad Men, and i'm hooked! it is so easy to watch 3 episodes in a row - there goes three hours. i probably shouldn't say that over the weekend we watched 11 episodes!! at 47 minutes each, you do the math. i kind of wished that it was rainy or really cold outside so i wouldn't feel so guilty for watching tv so long. it was fun snuggling on the couch regardless.

now i have to choose between Mad Men and the Bachelor!! decisions, decisions...

well, hope everyone has a great week!

PS. happy birthday to my sweet friend Justine. wish i could be there to celebrate again.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 in review.

in january, we welcomed 2011 with a TCU rose bowl win & our first visitors in california - dave, justine, and krista! taking full advantage of our new year in a new state we drove across the golden gate bridge, enjoyed lover's point in monterey, and went hiking in muir woods. we were living in our little apartment in los gatos, and i loved sunday mornings in LG.

in february, i revealed that i used to be blonde. we enjoyed a warm day at the beach in half moon bay, i spent my first valentine's day with my husband, and i professed my love for hiking! we were featured in a wedding magazine, and nick started traveling a lot with his new position at work.

nick and i celebrated six months of marriage in march! i won the march madness tournament at work,  went wine tasting during barrel weekend in wine country, and changed my hairstyle a bit! oh, and it rained A LOT and i debuted our very special wedding video!

when i turned 25 in april, nick whisked me off to san diego to celebrate, and i loved it! while there, we went to the beach, saw a gorgeous sunset in la jolla and went to the zoo. my co-workers decorated my desk at work, and we kepy busy working hard and playing hard. (not to mentioned i dressed up like a spice girl and sang "wannabe" in front of senior staff!) i may have been a little obsessed with the royal wedding, but who wasn't?! and believe it or not, we did more hiking!

in may, we explored pescadero, celebrated cinco de mayo at work, went up to seattle for our neice/goddaughter's baptism and flew to dallas for a night to surprise justine and dave at their engagement happy hour!

june was so much fun!  the sun finally came out in san jose, so we went wine tasting! and we were lucky enough to spend a week in barbados with our great friends - justine, dave, lauren and joshua. it was such an awesome vacation! and june was also when we celebrated national doughnut day. :)


we celebrated the fourth of july in sausalito with a picnic on the bay and fireworks. then, we flew down to south padre island, texas to visit my family. we drove down the beach, went fishing and ate a lot of fresh seafood. the last weekend of july, nick and i went to a cable-car bar-hopping 80s themed party in san francisco. haha, you have to check out some of the pictures on that post!

in august, i totally slacked on blogging, but with good reason - we moved into a new house in san jose! i was busy packing and unpacking. nick's brother CJ married his long time girlfriend janelle in portland, and i helped with the flowers for the wedding! the whooooolllee mead family was there - and it was great to see everyone again!

september was a busy month! we celebrated a YEAR of marriage with dinner and cake. (seriously time flies!) i am so lucky to have married such an amazing man! if the first year is the hardest, then we are going to have one amazing marriage. :) i also went to georgia for a girls weekend with a twist - allison had a baby! i joined junior league and started decorating our new house!

in october, we flew to nick's hometown, omaha, to celebrate his mom's 60th birthday. it was a TOTAL surprise and everyone had so much fun. while we were there, we cheered on the huskers and were throughly entertained by our niece and nephew. we finished a little craigslist entertainment center DIY, and i showed off our furnished living room. i joined and became addicted to pinterest. and dressed up for halloween parties - cleopatra by day and mary poppins by night! (nick and i won the best couples' costumes award at my junior league social!)

in november, i dressed up like a flapper for a junior league fundraiser. and, i found out that i passed an exam i had studied hard for. i watched edward and bella on the big screen opening night of breaking dawn (which is my second most popular post per blogger stats - here is the most popular!) thanksgiving was spent in vacaville with my aunt and uncle. nick and i took some pretty pics at a vineyard and could not wait for december to put up our christmas tree and exchange ornaments!

in the last month of the year, i decided to be super adventurous! i went indoor skydiving, rock climbing, snorkeling, ziplining, and even played eggnog flip-cup (yuk). i celebrated an early christmas with my family on a caribbean cruise to mexico, grand cayman, and jamaica. when i got back in town, i made some christmas goodies, enjoyed christmas lights and goofed around at work (just a little). nicholas and i spent christmas eve (& weekend) back in vacaville (same family/place as thanksgiving). and, on new year's eve, nicholas turned 27, ate cinnamon rolls and opened LOTS of presents. we said goodbye to 2011 with a delicious meal at left bank and a looonng kiss at midnight.

2011 was such a fun year! 

even though i didn't blog much about it, i would call 2011 the year of happy hours, new friends and few responsibilities! :) it was our first year of marriage, and we were able to live it up. we explored and travelled and slept in as late as we wanted to (on the weekends, of course). 

i am so excited for what 2012 is going to bring, especially with such great family, friends, and of course, my husband to share it with.

(reviews of 2009 and 2010)