Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It's been a busy, busy week. But tons-o-fun.

On Tuesday, Ryan, Scott, Kevin, Dani and I loaded up in the Civic and went to Taco Bell. Then off to Oakland to see Sufjan Stevens. Taco Bell was amazing. And, news alert, they have two new sauces (!). Sufjan was on speed.

Kevin excited for the new sauces!
When we got home I stayed up late to watch Glee. It was awesome.

On Wednesday I had my last softball game of the season. Since many people didn't show up, I was placed at second base. It turned sour when a lefty hit a line drive straight to my leg. It hurt and I was over it! I now have a painful and uber ugly bruise on my leg.

yikes!
On Thursday I gave blood for the first time. I had to wait awhile since the center was busy. But the giving blood part was much easier than I expected. It didn't hurt, didn't feel weird, and I didn't have any negative reactions. When I got back to work, I felt a bit light headed for a few minutes. But some apple juice and crackers cleared that up. I am excited to find out my blood type and donate again in January!

Friday was our work party. It basically meant I was way too excited to be functional at all. A lot of people dressed up, so it was fun. We had a costume contest and I am proud to say I was one of the winners with my home-crafted flight attendant costume! I also came with luggage, oxygen mask, seat belt and drink cart. I think the latter items are what sealed the deal.


Then Friday we were off to Sacramento! We stopped at Brie's house first. Ryan finally got to see her place and meet Cougs! Then we went to see A Touch of Grass and the Hot Tar Roofers (Pictures will come later once I get some from Brie!). The show was great, and here is a clip of one of my favs.



Then yesterday we were off to Tudi and Kathleen's for their annual Halloween party. It was fun to see them again, and they are always gracious hosts. Here is our costume for 2010- Doug and Patty.


Today we are chill-laxing and will be headed to Ryan's folks for dinner and passing out candy. I am excited to see all the kids in their costumes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blood will be drawn!

If you don't all know Brie- she's one of my bestest buds, and all-around the coolest girl you'd know.  And she has the cutest cat. Ever.



She's worked at Blood Source for over two years, and has been talking to me about donating blood ever since.  But, I had never taken the plunge.

 But, fear not!  This Thursday I am going to be driving to my local blood donation center for my first ever blood donation!  I am scared, but excited!

A few of my coworkers are going to drive me, in the off chance that I get light-headed.  I'm just hoping that  my iron levels are ok, and that everything else checks out so I can donate.

Till then, I am drinking water galore and charging my iPod so I can zone out.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

it's fall!

My favorite time of the year is between October and December.  I love fall.  I love my birthday.  I love Christmas.  It's the time of the year I get to see my family, buy presents, be festive, the list goes on.

The weather here has been strange, and it finally cooled down this weekend.  And it rained.  I love rain.  And I love a good rainy weekend.  On Saturday Ryan and I ran all over town picking up things for our Halloween costumes.  We are going to Tudi and Kathleen's for their always-awesome Halloween party.  Our last year costume of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar was awesome- this year isn't going to be anywhere as good, but I'm still going to give it my all.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar Halloween Costume

I can't wait to have kids so I can put together their costumes too.  I think that would be my dream job- creating Halloween costumes.

We also decided to add to the fun and pick up our pumpkins.  We went to a local pumpkin patch.  But, when we entered and saw that a decent sized pumpkin was $20- we left.  What a rip off!  So we ended up picking up 2 for $12 at Whole Foods.  Later that night we watched the Giant's game and carved away.  We also received a face time call from Bill and Andrew, as they were carving their pumpkins!




We also made pumpkin seeds.


And here is the finished product.


Yep, that is Doug and Patty.  And Riley really liked them.


We finished off the evening with our annual showing of Hocus Pocus, then went to bed.  This morning we made Rhonda's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins.

I spent the rest of the day cleaning, and working on our costumes.  This coming week is packed-full-o-fun.  Scott's in town, Sufjan concert with my soul mate and the guys, softball, work Halloween party, Scott's gig in Sac (hopefully with Brie in tow), T&K's party, and Halloween night at the in-laws.  Yikes. Coffee will be needed for sure!  Peace!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

whoa.

Have you seen Rocky Horror Picture Show?  We watched it last night to prep for the upcoming Glee episode. And when I say we, I mean me, since Ryan fell asleep within 20 minutes.

Anyway.  When it was over, I wasn't sure what had just happened.  I love a good musical, but this was wacky.

But, then I saw the Glee sneak peak on you tube, and it looks fantastic!



I can't wait to see the rest of their takes on the songs!  And I can't get over how much they all look like the characters from the movie!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happiness for Two

I love scouring Anthropologie.  While I can't afford half their goods, I love their housewares items and fun assortment of books.  It is here where I first discovered the Penguin Classics.  But, I order them at Amazon.com, because who pays full price for books?  Here are the books that live in our home:



So when I was at Anthropologie a few weeks back, I was browsing the books, and taking pictures of books that I wanted to get from amazon.com.  I found a book called, "Happiness for two".  It had two cherries on it, and looked interesting.



Upon further inspection I found it was basically a "self help book" with mantras to help find more joy together in your relationship.

Now let's back up.  More joy?  Your probably thinking, "holy cow, it has only been a year and you two are already having issues!?!?"  Nope.  Happy to say that is not the case.  After almost 10 wonderful years, we are going strong.  But, it doesn't hurt to do routine maintenance every once and awhile.  One of my favorite parts in our wedding ceremony was about how a relationship is alive, ever-changing, and needs nurturing.  So for $13 bucks, I bought us some nurture.

When the book arrived in the mail, we thought it would be sweet to read a chapter out loud to each other before we go to bed.  And I am happy to say it has been nice.  It is a good way to relax for a minute before we get to bed.  The chapters aren't long- only about a page and a half, and are fairly repetitive in the content- but they get the point across.

The only thing we don't like is the overuse of the word "lover".  We hate that word.  Right up there with casserole.  But, it adds humor as we are reading, which I think is fun.

Since the book was written by a female, and chapters include titles like "Assume more responsibility at home", "Bring flowers home", and "Remember important dates"- Ryan believes it is slightly one sided.  I have to respectfully disagree : )

So check the book out.  It puts positive thought and ideas in your head, sparks good conversation, and is full of love(r).

_____

In the interest of love, check out this beautiful wedding.

And, watch this video.  I cried when I saw it.


Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm awesome.

A few weeks ago I was at work, and I received a call from an Unknown number.  Since I am a chronic screener, I let it go to voicemail.  A few seconds later I had a message from Chad.  I don't know a Chad.  What was more peculiar was that he called to tell me that I was awesome.

I was at work, and proceeded to slightly freak out.  I took my phone to whomever would listen to me and told them how I didn't know a Chad, and listen to this crazy message.  I swore if he called again I was going to change my number.

When I got home, I went on the same rant to Ryan about creep-o Chad.

The next morning, I received a call, this time from a woman.  She told me I was awesome.  And, finished off by saying someone paid to have them call and tell me I was awesome, from awesomeness reminders.com.  Once I hung up the phone, I ran into our room to wake up Ryan.

I told him to turn on his computer, and search for the website so we could see what it was all about.  He opened his browser, searched for "Awesomeness Reminders" in his toolbar, and was provided the results.

Lo and behold the first result was the correct website, and the link was purple.  Meaning, Ryan had been there before.  I then attacked him with pillows.  I thought he did it as a joke.  He claims it was "better than flowers".  I still think I am right.  Although, it was sweet.

I then asked him how much he spent.  When he told me he paid $20, I about flipped out again.  I also told him- when in doubt, go flowers : )

So, for the next three weeks I will be receiving calls to tell me I am awesome.  It was fun for a few days, uplifting even.  Now, I have to say it is kind of getting redundant- so they go straight to voicemail.

So for a price tag of $40 (the rates have gone up!) you can hire someone to tell someone else they are awesome.  Or, my sister said she'd do it for half the price.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why I love Trader Joe's

Today is my day off- thank you Mr. Columbus!  We are having some of Ryan's awesome co-workers over tonight, so I spent the morning running around to get supplies for our Mordoff-Taco-Night!  Yum.

Last time we had them over we made margaritas.  Now, I make pretty awesome margaritas- I'm not going to lie.  I get it from my dad, he makes the world's best margaritas.  But, I didn't want to be slaving away at my blender all night.  So when we were at TJ's a few months back, I grudgingly picked up a on-the-rocks margarita mix.




It turned out to be wonderful.  And a crowd pleaser.  We had gone back a few weeks later to pick up more, and it was no longer there.  However, today when I was picking up my other items, there it was, next to the  Blood Mary mix!  I grabbed 4.

Our go to meal for when we haven't planned out dinner is gnocchi and pesto.  In fact, if you come over to our place for dinner, you will most likely be eating this meal.  It's easy, and tastes so good. We ate this so much in Italy, and now are obsessed.  TJ's had the best gnocchi (only $1.99) and pesto.  So every time we go grocery shopping we pick up a few.  Today I was surprised to find whole wheat gnocchi!  I almost screamed when I spotted it!



We always try and eat whole wheat whenever we can, so having it in our gnocchi is going to make it that much better.  Well, jury's still out as if it will taste good.  But I am banking on yes.

So there you have it, today was grand due to whole wheat gnocchi.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Day 12 | Madrid to Toronto to San Francisco

After 12 lovely days, it was time to say adios to Spain.  Our flight didn't leave until lunch time, so we weren't rushed in the morning.  Ryan was determined to take the metro all the way to the airport to save the 40/50 euro cab ride.  I was on board, as long as he asked the front desk how to get there (Ryan doesn't always like to ask...)  He did, knew the route, and we were on our way.

Instead of having to switch the metro three times, we took a train, then one metro ride.  Besides having to lift our overly-heavy bags up and down stairs a few times, it went pretty smoothly. Soon enough we were in the Air Canada line, ready to go.

When we were in Italy, they checked you in based on your flight.  So if your flight left at 11am, they wouldn't let you check in until 10am. I hated this, because we are chronic early arrivers to the airport.  Ok, I shouldn't say "we", I insist, and Ryan follows suite.  But, Spain was great and let us check in right when we got there.  After making it through security and passport control, we were able to relax.

We hadn't eaten breakfast, and we had a few euros we needed to spend, so we picked up some food.  We both had seen the drink, Cacaolat, and wanted to try it.  We never got around to it, so we were excited to see that the airport had it in stock.



It was yummy, basically chocolate milk.

The rest of the day was flying.  We had an updated plane this time, so we each had personal TVs that worked.  It was nice because I was able to watch a few movies I had wanted to see (Sex and the City 2, and Letters to Juliet).

We landed a bit late in Toronto, so we had to book it to the gate.  We really didn't have much time to spare once we got there, so we were very happy that we didn't have to hang in Toronto to catch a later flight.

Ryan's parents were waiting for us at SFO, then dropped us off at home.  We came home to a cat that wouldn't stop meowing (it wasn't cute- but very annoying).  And a bag full of Food Should Taste Good chips from Taylor!

We enjoyed our trip to Spain so much- and we can't thank Norma and Roth enough for inviting us to their wedding.  Now that we've checked Spain off our list, we are ready for our next world adventure- any suggestions?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Day 11 | Madrid September 5

Today was our last full day in Madrid, so we took it pretty easy. We were super excited for our leisurely day in the city. Once we were dressed, fed, and out the door we took the oh-so-easy metro to The Rastro for Madrid's weekly flea market. I had been looking forward to this day all week. My idea of a good time is having coffee and browsing any consignment/flea market/thrift store I can find. I love having some things in our house that aren't straight out of a catalog. I'm not sure if Ryan was as excited for this mornings activities- but he has had 10 years to learn to deal with my love for a good deal. So I think he was fine.



We couldn't believe how huge the flea market was. It extended up and down many streets. This area was also home to many antique stores, so many just put a few items on a towel out front of their shops. This flea market also was home to many, many pirated copies of movies and video games.




I was really hoping to take some sort of trinket home. However, I found it very difficult to find out the price of things, and bargain. I was not about to hold out my money and have them take what it was worth. Plus, the few things that I would have loved, that did have price tags, were more than I was hoping to spend. Amazed, and slightly bummed that I found nothing to buy, we were on our way.

As we were leaving we saw a large area of people with binders, writing down numbers and taking inventory of each others binders. It looked like these people were trading Magic/Pokemon type cards. It was funny to see so many people trying to find the cards to their sets.


Following the flea market, we headed back to our hotel area to grab some lunch. Ryan loved his meal at Pans and Co. when we went in Barcelona and wanted to get one last sandwich before we left, so we calmed his craving, and had that for lunch. It was yummy- we wished they had them in CA.

Once we were stuffed, we jumped back on the metro, and headed for Retiro Park. This is Madrid's main park. Our plan was to rent bicycles, but we had to walk a few blocks before we were at the rental store. Here's what we saw:






We found the bike rental place, and were on our way. These bikes weren't nearly as nice as the ones we rode in Barcelona, but they did the job, so we were good. Our plan of attack was to ride around the perimeter, then hit the center area.


pond/pool for ducks and other birds.

community garden


love a good roundabout



This said Museo del Prado- we decided it was the old Prado Museum.
We then pulled our bikes over, and sat in the shade for a bit.



We then made it to the center, that has a lake/pond that you can take paddle boats out in. We were going to rent a boat, but it was so hot, and the thought of sitting in the sun didn't sound fun at that moment.




locking our bikes so we can wander





We needed to cool down, so we scrounged up some change, and bought a scoop of gelato. We sat on the grass to eat it, but then I started to get itchy, so we took it on the road.



Following the gelato, Ryan was parched, so we went on a search for water. We kept finding spigots, but no water. Ryan wasn't happy.

no soap.
After awhile, we found one, and he was recharged.

We then found a botanical garden, within the park. So we parked our bikes and wandered around. The gardens had hedges, complete with windows.



As we walked further into the garden, we found a family of peacocks, and a cat. This was pure entertainment for a good 20 minutes.





Once we were done peacock/cat watching, we rode our bikes back to the shop, returned them, and head back to the hotel.

Since it was our last day, I had a bit of shopping to do. I wanted to pick up a paella pan so I could make the dish when we got back. Plus, I thought it would be cooler to say I got the pan in Spain, then from amazon.com or something. I also picked up a stove-top espresso maker for Ryan. After I came back to the hotel with more stuff, we got a head start of packing. We needed to make sure everything fit, and that all of the tiles and pottery I bought would be protected.

Once our bags were packed, we got changed, and head out for our last dinner in Madrid/Spain. Ryan really wanted paella, which we hadn't had since Barcelona. We also wanted to head to the historic neighborhood for our meal. We found a great street, but after looking at many menus, couldn't find anywhere that made paella. We guessed it was more of a Barcelona thing. We finally found a place that had it as their special, so we parked outside, ordered a bottle of wine and paella to share.






After a while our paella arrived, and we were surprised to see crawdad/shrimp in the rice. We realized the paella was "mixed"so it included chicken, beef, and much to our demise, shrimp.



Yuck. We thought , no biggie, we'll eat around it. But no can do. The damn tentacles and tails were breaking off and mixing into everything. And do you see its eyes???? Plus, since we were outside, it was dark and hard to see what we were eating. So, our last meal in Spain was a big fat disappointment, but funny to say the least. The wine was good, so we were happy!

After dinner we wandered home. I was excited to see this store:


Which sold priest goods:



I always wondered where they bought this stuff.

After 11 days, we were beat. I wish I could say we stayed up late, hit up discotech, drank sangria till the wee hours of the morning- but we did not. We were pooped. So, to bed we went.
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