Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Couch Calamity

As I mentioned, we went to IKEA like three times in four days this week. After finding the couch, going back to get it but realizing we need to figure some things out first, we finally went back to get the couch. Erik's friend Andrew has a big van that he let us borrow to go over to IKEA. The couch fit perfectly, which was awesome!!
NEW couch!!
We got the couch home and our friend Greg, helped Erik get the old couches out of the apartment. We loaded everything into the van and went to Salvation Army to donate the couches. Well guess what. Salvation Army wouldn't take them. They are pretty old couches and have some defects so they wouldn't take them! Since they re-sell everything, they ask that everything is in good condition. It was pretty upsetting to hear that we couldn't donate the couches because I hate throwing things out like this. Salvation Army said we should just bring them to the dump, but the dump was closed.

Now, we were stuck with our old couches, in our friends van, with no where to bring them!!! Defeated, we parked the van at Andrew's house and walked down the street for some pizza. While we waited for the pizza, Erik googled the times of the dump. Guess what - the freaking dump was open!!!

We bolted from the pizza place and ran back to the van to get to the dump. We drove up and....SUCCESS!!! The dump was open and we were able to get rid of them. WHEW!!

Thank goodness we got rid of them otherwise, we would be storing them in our friends garage or something crazy and having to worry about them next weekend. Now, we are able to enjoy our new couch on our last weekend of vacation!!

Vacation Friday

On Friday, Erik and I took a road trip north. First, we went back to IKEA to look at the desk and the couch again. We realized that we had to figure out a)how to dispose of our old couch and b)how we were going to get this new desk and couch to SF. Ugh! The next time we buy furniture we are only going to ask two questions a)when will it be delivered and b)when will you be picking up the old furniture. haha!

Afterwards, we headed north to Healdsburg. I really wanted to go to the tasting room of our new favorite winery, Edmeades! On our way up, we first stopped in Santa Rosa for lunch. Then, went up to taste some wine!

 Edmeades is in the same location as Murphy-Goode, which we have been to in the past.
 We tasted both Edmeades and Murphy-Goode wine in the same tasting room. We started with the Murphy-Goode wines and when we got to their Zinfandel, we moved over to Edmeades Zinfandel, then finished the rest of the wines on the list.
 We found Edmeades Zinfandel when we went to the Taste of Mendocino earlier this year. We never had an affinity for Zinfandels or knew much about them. But, this wine changed everything. It is so delicious!
 We learned a lot about the winery and the vineyards. Edmeades is produced in Mendocino at single vineyards. So, for example, 2007 Zinfandel from Perli Vineyards is from one group of vines in this area. Some wines you might drink have different grapes from many different vineyards. Edmeades is unique because the grapes come from single vineyards. This also only allows the winery to produce a small amount of wine each year. Some of our favorite wines are only made for 200-400 cases per year. When you think of a huge winery like Mondavi, who makes thousands of cases per year, Edmeades is pretty unique.
 Currently the only wine in wide distribution is the 2009 Zinfandel. This wine is very good but 2007 is really THE best year we have tasted so far. You can really only buy other years besides 2009, at the winery or through their website. Therefore, I made a bold move & joined the wine club. We will get 3 bottles, four times a year. I am so excited!!
We left the winery with two bottles of 2007 Perli Vineyards and 2007 Shamrock Vineyard. We purchased the bottles for 50% off! Now that we are members, when we return, we can taste for free and get a discount on any wines purchased that day.
After the wine, we headed back to Bear Republic (we went there in July 2010 too!) Erik tried a few different beers that they brew themselves. Then, we headed home. Erik and I talked about how although we live pretty close to wine country, it's not truly a day trip. Someone always has to drive up (1 - 1.5 hrs) and home, which means someone can't have a great time drinking.

Although it's not THAT far away, it's far enough away to make a night of it. While it would make the trip much more expensive, it might be worth it to get a hotel room for the night so that everyone can enjoy their time. Especially in Healdsburg, where you can walk to so many great wineries and restaurants!

Great end to the week!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Vacation Thursday

On Thursday, Evie and I went on a 2.5 mile hike of Corona Heights. It's a park nearby that you can hike to the top of a pretty big hill. The city has built steps around the hill to make it easier to get up to the trails. It was a beautiful day for a hike!

Later in the day, I drove out to Dublin, CA to meet up with Tiffany. I just recently found out that my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, On The Border, is much closer than the one we drove to a few years ago. All this week, we have been on a food bender so why not close it out with a big bowl of cheese, salsa, chips, and Corona!

After dinner, we saw a movie - The Descendants. 
Here's the overview:

From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning SIDEWAYS, set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

It was a pretty good movie and was really a film about a struggling family. It is currently nominated for a few Golden Globe awards. I think you can probably wait for the DVD of this one though.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vacation Wednesday

Well, on Wednesday, we got our butts in gear. Trying to work off all of this holiday food is going to be HARD!

I got the new Garmin 405 watch to help track my pace. I have no clue how to use it and even when I thought I figured it out, I didn't.

(Sample photo. I did not run 8:12 miles!)

Erik used his slackline which is really hard to use. During my gymnastics days, the beam was solid, stayed in one place, and that was hard to walk on. This thing is a wiggly, tight rope, to walk on. Here is a picture of how you use a slackline. I'll have to get a pic of Erik using it.

We got a bunch of errands done yesterday including bringing Evie to the vet. She has these small, weird bumps on her that little like little whitehead pimples. The vet examined her and extracted what was in these things. She said that they are small cyts, forming on her scarred skin - from when she had very bad Mange, before we adopted her. Poor Thing :-( There is nothing we can do but they don't seem to bother her very much. And, it's definitely not cancer, which is good.

In other news, we want Evie to lose 5lbs. The vet said she is not heavy, but she could afford to lose a few pounds. So, we are going to reduce her food amount and see how that goes. She was very good at the vet though - no shaking like last time!!

Last night, we went down to San Jose to the Sharks/Canucks game. The Sharks lost in overtime but it was a good game.

I took this with my iPhone and used Instagram. Doesn't it look like we are at a game from the 70's?!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vacation Tuesday

Tuesday was a productive day, since there were no Kardashians on tv! I cleaned and did all of the laundry, and there was a ton of it.

Erik had a fun project yesterday of fixing his surfboard. He opted to do this....on our apartment roof. This way, he had room to spread out and not bother anyone with the smell of the epoxy.

 View from our roof

We also made the trek over to IKEA to check out a new desk for Erik and a potential new couch. We measured the room, measured the couch, and I think we found a couch!
This probably means we have to make another trek over there to buy the couch and the desk but it will be worth it. Actually, we stopped in the Ikea "Restaurant" before shopping and got something to eat. I couldn't believe the options and the prices! Good selection & prices. Eating before tackling IKEA is the way to go!

We finished the night by meeting up with Betsy & Greg for burgers and $2 beers at Acme Burgerhaus

This week is awesome!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Vacation Monday

Erik and I are on vacation alllll week. Monday, we slept in and it was awesome. What is even more awesome, is that Evie loves to sleep in, too. Unless she REALLY has to go the bathroom, she will sleep until we finally wake up.

Erik went surfing and I glued my butt to the couch. I watched a few episodes of Kourtney & Kim Take NYC. I just get sucked in watching these girls and can't stop!! Evie was cuddled with me on the couch, I had my iPad, and a marathon on TV. That is what vacation is all about!!

Finally, we got up and took a long walk. This is the week to get back into the swing of working out & give Evie some good exercise, too.

We also went down to Target. I love going to Target the day after Christmas because all of the decorations and wrapping is 50% off! I stocked up on wrapping paper and spent about $5 for three rolls!

To end the day, we had lobster for dinner. We just could not eat them on Christmas Day. We also rounded out the night by watching Horrible Bosses. This movie was ok. Good cast though!

Holiday Hallmark Movies

I watched a bunch of Lifetime & Hallmark movies this holiday season. I know they are cheesy but I love them! Here are two more that I watched & haven't seen before.

Farewell Mr. Kringle

Annabelle (Christine Taylor), a widowed journalist, begrudgingly accepts an assignment on Kris Kringle, a Santa Claus impersonator who lives in a small, Christmas-themed town.  To her surprise, Anna is enchanted by Kris and the townspeople who love him.  As her involvement with the town grows, Anna is able to put the past behind her and open herself up to love again.

Cheese Factor - 3 out of 5 slices (5 being uber-cheesy)
Are all of these holiday movies about finding love? Yes. I liked seeing Christine Taylor in a movie and thought she made this movie a tiny bit more realistic than usual. Plus, it was a cute story about Kris Kringle and why he was so special to the town. 

Annie Claus is Coming to Town

This year, Santa’s daughter (Maria Thayer) takes her first trip away from the North Pole during the Christmas season hoping to find adventure and love in sunny California. While Santa watches his daughter through a magic snow globe, Annie arrives in L.A. and becomes friends with the owner of Candy Cane Inn, Lucy (Vivica A. Fox), and her daughter, Mia (Nay Nay Kirby). She also quickly lands a job at Wonderland Toys. Wonderland Toys’ owner, Ted (Sam Page) is struggling to stay in business selling old-fashioned toys in a digital world. Annie soon realizes that she wants Ted’s business to thrive because she has feelings for this Christmas traditionalist.

Annie also knows that when she finds her true love, she and her mate will move back to the North Pole to take over the family business. But Santa isn’t the only one watching Annie through the looking glass. So is a senior Santa Elf who himself wants to inherit the Ho Ho Ho of Holidays, so much so that he hires a Hollywood actor to feign affection for Annie. Although Annie temporarily falls for the imposter, she realizes there is something about Ted that is unforgettable. Will Annie’s choice make her Christmas -- and everyone else’s -- merry and bright?

Cheese Factor - 5 out of 5 slices (5 being uber-cheesy)
Annie Claus was over-the-top. Cheese was ooooozing out of her pores. Different story line that I haven't seen before with Annie Claus coming to LA. She was, of course, coming to find love. She was just too much. I wouldn't watch this one again. 

Funny though - a guy in this film, was in Take Me Home Tonight! haha

Also - I never realized Vivica A. Fox was the Hallmork Holiday Movie queen. She was in Annie Claus AND Goodbye Mr. Kringle!
Well, the holiday movies are officially over. Let's see if any new ones come out next year! Keep an eye out for my favorites:

A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride

A Recipe for a Perfect Christmas

Holiday Switch 

Are there any movies out there that you love that I need to make sure I see next year??

Christmas 2011

 On Christmas morning, we woke up & opened our presents! We got an awesome new Keurig coffee machine! I have been wanting one for so long. I hate making coffee in the AM. This is a funny photo because Erik loves the coffee process and will roast his own beans AND use a French Press. No thank you - that is too much work! I joke and say that I am the Jetsons and he is the Flinstones because he likes to do things the old school way. I was happy to enjoy my Dunkin Donuts K-Cup yesterday AM!
 We got some wonderful gifts yesterday. Erik got me an....iPad!!!! Woohooo! It's so wonderful. I used it right away to look at my recipe for the spinach dip.
 My big gifts were an awesome Garmin watch, new sneakers, an Amazon gift card, and a KINDLE!!!

Erik got a pizza stone, a music making machine that he wanted, a new hockey bag, and a toy remote helicopter. haha! He also got a gift card to shape his surfboard, a slack line, and some computer parts.

We were far from our families but we were able to give wonderful gifts to one another. We were able to FaceTime with our iPad with everyone, too. So, we got to "be" with them yesterday!
 Now, onto the food. As you know, we were planning on making a TON of food. Yes, we were insane to think we could eat all of that. We started with yummy CHEESE!

 We moved onto Spinach Dip and crackers. Yum. I used this recipe but omitted the artichokes

 Next up, Erik made tuna tartare. This was SO delicious!! We bought too much tuna though. However, we were able to freeze it to have it for dinner later this week. Grilled Tuna - yum!
 Evie, of course, waiting for hers to drop.

 This is just tuna, one avocado, a bit of red onion, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. We served it with fresh baked bread that Erik made!
 We had WINE and home brew!
 Check out my little wine glass slipper. It looked like a Santa Stocking!
 We had crab, red pepper, cheese stuffed mushrooms.

 We moved onto crab stuffed shrimp and green beans with shallots. We stopped here, well except for dessert. We had lobsters to eat for dinner, too. We were just too stuffed, so we decided to save them for dinner this week.
 For dessert, Erik made Egg Nog ice cream.
I made banana cream pie. You will notice that the crust is quite a mess here because it was a pre-made crust that broke but it tasted wonderful! haha

We watched two movies yesterday. First up - Limitless with Robert DeNiro & Bradley Cooper. This movie was pretty good - action packed and held my attention. However, I don't what this movie was really about. You know how movies have their true, underlying meaning. I haven't thought about this one enough to think about what was really going on. 

Next, we watched Take Me Home Tonight. A Pseudo 80's movie. This one had some funny moments. I love Ana Faris and the "friend named Barry" was probably the funniest in the movie. I wouldn't recommend this one. It was like Empire Records meets American Pie.

Well, we had a really great Christmas. It is so great when the three of us get to be home, together. It really is a blast to be together and enjoy the day.