There Went Peter Cotton Tail

Uh, what happened? It’s already TUESDAY night? I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that the days after a holiday are always a time to play catch up. But it was worth it. I had such a lovely weekend. Here are some photos…

Nothing says spring, or Easter, like tulips!

I may have borrowed Tino's ears

Don't you just want to squeeze his little cheeks?!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Where I Brag About My Neighborhood Once Again

I know I’m a lucky gal. Extremely lucky, for that matter. Just about every single morning I wake up to the sound of seagulls. All I have to do is open a window and I can feel the ocean breeze waft in. And the ocean? I can see it from the front of my house. The beach is mere steps away.

Hate me yet?

It’s okay. But please take solace in the fact that I NEVER take for granted the beautiful surroundings I call home.

I think I take this same picture every single week. But I can’t help it, because every time my dog and I go for a walk (daily) I am blown away by the view.

If you live in San Diego, you probably know where this is (the Shack is a big giveaway). It’s not only my neighborhood, but it’s also the best beach in the area (totally biased). It’s a surfing paradise, yes, but the rocky terrain creates a unique beach experience. There’s a reason why it’s such a popular spot for engagement/family/wedding/you-name-it photo shoots.

Another reason why I love it? The sense of community. This is surprising in such a large city. But my neighbors really are the best. I already posted about our “neighborhood garden” (I have since met the green thumbs and they are wonderful!). And this week I finally snapped a picture of one of my favorite weekend treats:

Another kind neighbor! A cooler full of these tasty and refreshing drinks  can be found on the sidewalk. I’ve happened upon these during the week AND the weekend. And I’m not going to lie, as I make my way back to the house after an hour or so in the sun, it’s the perfect cap to my little trek. Kind neighbors indeed! (Also, smart marketing?)

And now, off to enjoy another walk before work. Hope you all are enjoying the week as much as I am!

Heaven?

Paint n Vineyard

Lately, my only experience with painting or drawing is limited to “Draw Something” on my phone. My mother is an extremely talented artist (she shows her paintings in a gallery in Az!), and my sister has always been an amazing artist as well. Me? Not so much. I stuck to music when looking for some sort of artistic outlet. So I was more than a little skeptical walking into a girl’s night of painting and wine. Okay, only sort of skeptical. Promise me wine and I’ll show up smiling.

The lovely ladies Olivia, Tammy, Kelsey, and Stephanie organized an amazing night at Paint n Vineyard for about 20 So Cal bloggers. The setup is as follows: you show up and are given a canvas, paint brushes, apron, all the paint you need and an approximately 2-hour lesson where one of their instructors walks you through step-by-step how to recreate a painting. The best part? You are encouraged to bring as little or as much (not too much- you want to be able to actually paint!) wine as you’d like to enjoy during the evening.

my palette

As I mentioned before, I was beyond skeptical that I could recreate the picture that was intended for us. But, to my chagrin….I did! Obviously this was due to Jeff our instructor who was patient, charming and obviously very talented.

I went from this…

to this…

and finally this!

In addition to having a GREAT experience painting, we were lucky enough to be treated to a tasting of 12 Signs Wine. It was amazing! Marie walked us through the different wines, the different signs and why they went together. I may have purchased a few bottles for my own collection that night… You should definitely check it out – apart from the website, her wine is served and sold at several restaurants and bars around San Diego, including my favorite wine bar Finch’s in La Jolla!

It was a great night, and I really am considering going back with a few girlfriends in the future. It certainly doesn’t replace actual art lessons, but I did pick up a few tips about lighting, brush strokes, and hey- I had a heck of a time. I imagine it’s the same sort of vibe as a group cooking class. It doesn’t hurt that these ladies are so fun to spend time with! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting everyone a few times now, and I can say with 100% certainty that theyare the real deal- funny, friendly and talented in many, many ways.

Special thanks to Karina for taking some AMAZING photos… Check out her blog and website – not only does it have several great pictures of the evening, but she is a fantastic photographer (as well as a hilarious lady!).

And last but not least, ACTION SHOT!

Yes, I know I need a haircut and some root touch-up… one of these days I’ll get around to it. One day…

I Told You So

Putting the Fat in Fat Tuesday? You bet I did!

Apart from the cookies, let’s just say I did some good work at Taco Tuesday. I made my way through two bowls of chips and salsa, shrimp and cochinita street tacos, and a TJ dog (that would be a hot dog, wrapped in bacon, and covered with jalapenos, salsa and other goodies. It’s insane).

I was sporting a serious taco/chip belly. Thank goodness for the $2 tecates to wash everything down!

If you should ever find yourself in downtown San Diego anytime soon, do yourself a favor and hit up La Puerta for some serious tacos and margarita action. I hadn’t been there in quite a while, and I’m so glad it was in the cards last night. It does get pretty busy, but lucky for us the downtown Mardi Gras festivities seemed to clear the place out. Fine by me!

How have I never noticed the bar code on Tecate cans before? Clearly my friend Mike is in shock too! (I told him to look like " here...ha!)

Ah yes, it was Mardi Gras. We (my friends and companions for the evening – Mike, Stephanie and Karl) didn’t go to the Mardi Gras party in the Gaslamp. Instead we made our way over to the Hard Rock Hotel to see Built to Spill in concert.

It was so much fun! Built to Spill has been around for a while, and honestly, I haven’t really listened to them in a while, but man did they put on a show last night! They might be a little older (aren’t we all?) but they didn’t skip a beat. It was pretty crowded but I somehow managed to run into two of my brothers friends, both of whom I had met 2 years ago. Always fun to run into a familiar face! (Hi Zack and Ryan!)

Oh yah, there was also this:

That would be a dog in a motorized mini-car jamming out to LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I Know It.” With a light show. Loved it.

It was a very good night. I even came home with a party favor from the Hard Rock Hotel bar. Okay, maybe not. During the concert I finished my drink and decided that I didn’t want to lose my spot by disposing of it at the bar. So in the purse it went. I had intended to drop it off after the concert, but, well, you know how it ended.

Go Chargers?

Some Weekend Eats and a Vow

If you know me even just a little bit, you know I LOVE to eat. Be it home-cooked or at a restaurant, I can shovel down some serious grub.

Here are a few of things I enjoyed this weekend….

On Saturday night, Adam and I enjoyed a quiet night of dinner, dessert and a movie.

From left to right: 1 - Broiled tilapia with lemon and herbs, sauteed vegetables, steamed rice, and bread. 2 - chocolate mousse (used this recipe)

Mental note: make more fish! It was a nice change of pace from the burgers and pizza I’ve been stuffing my face with. It was also nice to have a night in. The night before was spent imbibing in a few too many cocktails and something called Carne Asada Mac and Cheese.

Sunday night we made our way over to the Joint for Tapas and Sushi.

From left to right: 1 - mixed olives 2 - shrimp and grits 3 - filet mignon kebabs

Oh my word – what a fantastic place! Apart from the service, which was a little on the slow side, the food was absolutely fantastic. They also have a great (and cheap!) craft beer selection. We will definitely be coming back for more tapas AND sushi. (We tried the “fiery roll” – nice and fresh and very satisfying)

So, onto my Vow. I realized whilst out to dinner on Sunday that I take WAY too many pictures of food. I came to the realization that I’d much rather stare into the eyes of my beau/friends then take pictures. It’s also annoying. Therefore, unless it’s some sort of spectacular dinner/treat/occasion, I think I’m going to lay off the snapshots and keep the phone/camera in my purse and my attention on what counts – the people around me.

Also, I’m going to try to eat a little healthier for the next two weeks (my jeans are getting a little snug) so you won’t be missing out on anything exciting. Unless of course you think grilled chicken and steamed vegetables is exciting…I really hope you don’t.

Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend? Anyone eat anything special? (I might be laying off the pics, but doesn’t mean I can’t live through others!)

 

 

This Must End

I have lost all sense of control.

Prepkitchen Burger with Remoulade, Mahone, Heirloom Tomato, Bacon & Fried Egg

Veggies? Fruit? Unless they’re on a burger or slathered in butter they have had no part in my life right now.

Diet starts tomorrow?

 

5 Lbs. Of Pretzels

That was my gift to Adam for Valentine’s Day. Well, that and some beer.

I’m a romantic.

Or not.

Yesterday turned out to be quite lovely. My girlfriend and I met up for Happy Hour. Our first stop was Costa Brava for Tapas and Sangria. At least that’s what we had planned. Turns out they weren’t doing happy hour because of the “holiday.” We were told this after ordering a pitcher of Sangria. Of course.

Not to be dissuaded, we made our way down to the Tap Room. No sangria on the menu? No problem.With the help of their friendly bartender we made our own.

Oh yes. That would be two glasses of red wine and shots of orange juice, cranberry juice and rum. They were delicious. And cheap (yay happy hour!)

We also ordered some “beer soakers.”

I think I could happily eat these every.single.day. They are sooooo good.

Of course, it was Valentine’s Day, so Adam made an appearance. We headed over to his house where Weston, Lauren’s boyfriend, joined us for a glass of wine, cheese and some sliced sausages.

Not to be outdone by my show of pretzels, Adam gave me a beautiful, custom arrangement of flowers.

Very sweet.

He also made dinner. All by his handsome-self.

Lobster tails, fresh bread, broiled asparagus and baked potatoes.

It was incredibly sweet and much appreciated.

It was a lovely night. A very lovely night.

 

Love Is In the Air

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Once again, mine was  invariably centered around food. It’s a modern miracle that I don’t weigh 200 lbs, because I eat like it’s going out of style.

When we weren’t eating, Adam and I did make it to the movie theater to see The Grey. Think: Liam Neeson stranded inthe  Alaskan wilderness while being chased by wolves. I’m so serious. I’m also surprised how much I enjoyed it. Then again, I had a nice little stash of miniature wine bottles in my purse. (What?!)

From the top, clockwise: Quick snapshot from my Saturday run, purse filled with adult beverages for the movie theater, the most delicious bacon cheeseburger and garlic parm fries from the Spot in La Jolla

Don’t worry, most of the wine was left untouched. I’m not that bad.

And even though Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I feel like we adequately celebrated yesterday. We dined on pulled pork tacos, a massive amount of guacamole, an easy-peasy dessert that even I couldn’t screw up, and finished Season 1 of the Walking Dead.

Nothing says romance like zombies.

From top left, clockwise: breakfast bagel, homemade guacamole, valentine's day inspired desert, pulled pork tacos

In other news, I was extremely saddened to hear about the passing of Whitney Houston this weekend. I’m sure you’ve read and heard all about it ad nauseam, but I feel like she’s deserves some space in my little online world. She was an amazing singer and I hope that continues to be recognized. I was a child in the 80’s and her music was a big part of it. In the small amount of time since her death I’ve seen several posts/comments to the effect that it’s a shame people are making such a big deal about her death while American soldiers die every day. I’m sorry, but that assertion bothers me. I understand that it’s frustrating that we live in a world where the Kardashians or kids from Jersey Shore are celebrities. Celebrities that garner headlines and make national news, no less. But Whitney Houston shouldn’t be lumped together with those people. She was one of the most successful recording artists of all time and she had talent. Real talent. That’s something we should embrace and I’m not ashamed to say that I was sad to hear about her death. (Confession: my friend Mike started this line of thought today and it’s got me all fired up!)

No doubt you’ve heard this song hundreds of times, but take another listen. What makes this song so incredible to me is the first 30 seconds or so. It’s a Capella. No instrumental backing, no auto-tuning, just her voice. And it’s an amazing voice.

Lastly, I want to make sure I’m not giving the impression that I’m not sympathetic or not interested in stories about our soldiers. My brother and my cousin are both U.S. Marines and I could not be prouder of both of them – especially my cousin who is currently deployed.

Phew!

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, remember – all that candy in the grocery store will be on sale come Wednesday 🙂

Unplugged And Recharged

Recharged is the perfect word to describe how I feel. Which is quite the turn from a few days ago (fever, chills, sniffles, etc). Sometimes it feels nice to go “off the grid” for a few days. So that’s exactly what I did. Internet, Facebook, email were all put on the back-burner. Instead, once I was feeling better I enjoyed some long runs along the coast (my new app is so very helpful), catching up on all the books I have been reading, but haven’t finished, and had some great chats with some great friends.

In a word, it was bliss.

I mentioned last week that I attended the SoCal Blogger MeetUp in La Jolla and I promised pictures. But honestly, my camera pictures were not that great.

I blame the Ginger Mojitos I was enjoying.

Terrible pictures aside, I would like to give some attention to one of the sponsors in particular – Orange & Park. They were extremely generous, and donated several of their prints to the event. I was lucky enough to come home with this one:

Image via Orange & Park

I am beyond thrilled with it! I had noticed their prints at the Tap Room, a bar in Pacific Beach, that my boyfriend and I go to often, and I had always loved them. I had even done a search for their prints, but to no avail. So winning was a special treat, although now that I know how makes them I will be a repeat customer – I think I might have to get their California print to go along with my San Diego Beach Town print. You should definitely check out their website, they have wonderful prints and stationary that go beyond California.

I also walked away with this lovely bracelet from Pura Vida Bracelets.

I’ve worn it several times with and without other bracelets, and it’s already become one of my favorite accessories.

All in all, it was a wonderful event. I met so many accomplished, smart, and funny women.  It was very inspiring AND encouraging. There are some women out there making it happen! I met attorneys, women running their own businesses, authors, teachers, etc. It was amazing. I only wish I had the chance to speak with more of them. Thankfully, there’s next time.

And before I sign off a quick word on the Super Bowl.

Admission: I could have cared less who won. In the end I suppose I would have preferred to see the Patriots win. But only because I dislike Eli Manning so much. (Don’t ask, I can’t explain). So the actual outcome was not that important to me. There was the usual eating and drinking, vodka slushee machine, and commercial/Puppy Bowl viewing.

That’s right. I said vodka slushee machine.

From top left, clockwise: Lauren and her traveling bar, baked brie, slushee machine, bacon wrapped jalapenos

It’s nice to know that as we get older, my friends refuse to grow up. Which is fine by me.

Cold and Flu Season

It may have gotten me this week, but I’m not down for the count quite yet. This past weekend was so freakin’ lovely! Some highlights include a birthday celebration for two friends involving insane amounts of Korean BBQ, the SoCal Blogger Meetup on Saturday and of course, Super Bowl Sunday.

I definitely want to post pictures/discuss all and will hopefully get to it tomorrow. For now, I’m getting back into bed with some green tea and my Kindle…(pity party for 1 baby!)

In the meantime, check out these lovely posts by the organizers/awesome-ladies of the SoCal Blogger Meetup:

Stephanie @ Mrs. Stephanie T

Tammy @ Lemons, Avocados, and the Bay

Olivia @ Olivia.Dee

Kai @All Kinds of Complicated

Kelsey @ Eat, Drink, Be a Tourist

Hollie @ Hollie Takes Notes