January 31, 2011


Lately, I've had some encouragement (meaning: poking, prodding, etc) to turn these musings into a "real" blog featuring my current music, movie, food and fashion favorites. I'm going to try, but sometimes I wonder if people even read this old thing. Thus, the blog facelift. A new template for a new year, and a new year for new pursuits!

So far I've only failed one of my New Year's resolutions and that is to attempt a new culinary feat made entirely from scratch. This means I'll have to do two in February to catch up. This month I read My Life in France by Julia Child, so I should have plenty of inspiration! I really enjoyed this book for a few reasons: firstly, it brought a smile to my face to read about how much that girl loved butter (you're not the first one, Paula Deen). Secondly, I was really struck by how much time they spent around the table; a three hour dinner was not uncommon. How great is that? It's a completely different idea to someone like me who is used to dinners being about thirty minutes, tops (and that's probably including prep time).

So, any ideas for what I should make this month?

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January 17, 2011


This last Thursday through early Monday morning, my mom and I were able to fly to Chicago for Grandma Cleo's funeral. It was quite a change for this California girl to hear the pilot say, "We're on our final descent into Chicago, where the temperature is currently seventeen degrees." As Mom and I met up with Uncle Rob and collected our suitcases from baggage claim at Midway, I promptly changed from sandals into my cute boots I bought from work, pulled my orange wool EMU hat snug as far down on my face as possible and stepped bravely out the door. The bravery quickly hopped on the next plane back to California as I realized that this was no joke! The three of us stood on the sidewalk waiting for my grandparents, and I jumped up and down to keep warm as they pulled up to the curb. I slid into the back seat and exclaimed, "I didn't know God allowed it to be this cold!" My grandparents loved that line and fit it into countless conversations over the weekend. I don't mind, though- I'm funny, what can I say...
It was nice seeing extended family and celebrating Grandma Cleo's life. Everyone had good words and it was nice to hear stories about her that I hadn't heard before. We stopped by her home after the funeral and went inside for one last time. To our surprise, there were piles of photo albums and miscellaneous pictures scattered in two of the otherwise empty rooms. I found an album with lots of my baby pictures (naked in a bowl- no, you can't see it), and pictures of my mom when she was little- it was like finding lost treasure to me, especially when I know Grandma Cleo loved all those photos (she is is in the center of the photo below, taken in 1934.)

Saturday night, Mom and I stayed at the Raffaello Hotel and it was fantastic. We had an extended check-out so we were able to have the room until four the next afternoon. We spent the first hour or so exploring the hotel a bit, then settled in watching HGTV and planning the next day. After a really wonderful night's sleep, I went down to the fitness center and ran a fast mile on the treadmill while watching the snow fall around Chicago's pretty buildings. A little while later, we ventured out into the snow (after chatting with the most hilarious Russian doorman) to the Cheesecake Factory and had fun people-watching while devouring the most delicious piece of cheesecake I've ever eaten. We shopped and enjoyed the city, and before we knew it- poof!- hours had flown by and it was time to head back to California.

We waved goodbye to Chicago and hello to Santa Barbara without looking back. We're such California girls.

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January 9, 2011


This year is doing nowhere near what I planned it would. We're nine days in and already it's a flurry of unexpected activity.

Today is our first anniversary. We spent a little time talking about that day a year ago and how it's gone so fast yet at times it feels like we've been married forever. It's a really nice feeling. He left this afternoon for a two-week training and I miss him. He kissed me and told me to keep a stiff upper lip, so now I'm looking on the bright side and plan on enjoying having the bed all to myself this week.

It's a bittersweet feeling to be celebrating our life together while this week my family has experienced a loss. My Grandma Cleo (my mom's paternal grandmother) passed away yesterday. She was ninety years old this last March, and for her birthday my mom, sisters, uncle, grandparents and I went to Illinois to surprise her. I won't forget the look on her face as we all filed into her room- priceless! I showed her pictures of Parker and Gus and listened to her talk to everyone as we visited. She was a wonderful woman.

My mom and I are flying to Chicago this weekend for her funeral. I had originally taken the days off this weekend to go visit Parker in Sacramento, but I am thankful to have this time to
go be with my family. We're staying in a hotel with Grandpa, Grandma, and the rest of the family in Manteno for Thursday and Friday night, but for our last night in Chicago I booked my mom and I a room at the Raffaello Hotel and Sunday I plan on walking around a little bit and maybe find a nice restaurant, cold weather be darned.

Today I won my first real luxury handbag steal on eBay. I won't tell you how much it was- it's still more than I'm willing to admit- but it is SO cute and it is- gasp!- Prada. Mmm mmm good.

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January 4, 2011


Today was a day of technology! To celebrate our impending anniversary, we decided to really leave the nest and- dun dun dun!- start our own family plan on Verizon. We splurged on two Droids and they are awesome!
Before Christmas, I had bought two other technological wonders for my man, knowing how much he loves relaxing and listening to music on his days off: the Livio Internet Radio which features

Pandora and NPR, and an iHome clock radio.

In separate news, I bought a pair of Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent sandals and they are so cute!

Parker out.