Monday, April 29, 2013

Hello from Michigan

Hello from Michigan. It was a long day and I am so ready for bed despite it only being 5:30PT. I didn't sleep that well because I'm sure I was worried about not getting up in time. It was also warm. We definitely need a fan in our room at night.

I was up before 6 and Erik dropped me at Bart for 6:30. It's about an hour train ride to SFO and it was so easy. If we didn't have to drop Evie off at camp before we travel, we would totally take Bart every time. It was only $9 from Berkeley, too!

My flight was 4 hours but I watched a movie and read some magazines. Also, we had no one in the middle seat which is a huge score! The movie today was Parental Guidance and was soooo predictable and annoying but cute towards the end. Bette and Billy are legends and have great chemistry. I wasn't feeling the same about Marisa Tomei and that guy from "That Thing You Do."

I got picked up at the airport and came over to the hotel. I went to the hotel gym to shake off sitting for 4+ hours today. Room service and "Love It or List It" on HGTV rounds out the evening. Erik is taking care of Miss Evie tonight and then tomorrow, bringing her to camp so we all get a vacation for two days. Then, we will be reunited on Thursday night. Yahooooooooo!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Wrap Up

This morning, it was so hard to get up for all of us. I think we finally go up around 9am, which is late for me and Evie. We lounged around the house and then went over to the park. This weekend, we also got some other little things done like organize the cabinets. 

Don't mind the two boxes of ramen. That is part of our emergency kit. hahaha

Figured out a way to house all of these one off granola/energy bars, single snacks of stuff so that made me happy!

I got flowers and planted in my flower box. 

We made watermelon and mint juice. We have mint in the garden so we put that in there and it was SO good!

 In the garden, we are starting to see some strawberries.....

 And tomatoes....All thanks to Erik's green thumb!

I saw this hilarious image on  Pinterest and just had to share .It's so true!!

Well, I'm off to the great state of Michigan for the week and Erik is manning the fort. We all know how much I love travelling for work but this time, I actually don't mind that much. I have some pals at our other office that I'm going to see and no clients to see so that's nice!

Tilden Park

Today was so sunny and warm. We are absolutely loving the weather out here. Today, we all went to Tilden Park and walked around a different area of the park. This park is HUGE so it's going to take us awhile to explore! Today, we parked at the Brazillian Room and walked from there. 

 Evie literally leapt out of the car to get into the grass. She was so happy!
Hello, Mr. Tilden

 We went on a legit hike today. We were on trails and had to climb around tree roots to get where we were going. 

 We took the Selby Trail to get over to Lake Anza. We found a great way to get to a secluded part of the lake so Evie could go in and swim around!
 Evie LOVED being in the water. This lake is definitely a swimmable lake so I'm wondering if maybe I will get her a life jacket, wade in there with her, and get her to swim around .She gets so scared when she can't touch the ground. Check her out.

We had an uphill hike back to the car. It was hot and we were sweating! It was good though. Of course, Evie was bounding up ahead of us. We are so happy she is back to normal after her leg surgery last year.

We had to take advantage of the green grass and trees in the park...

Evie and her Dad chillin in the grass
Soooo happy, wet, and tired. Wearing Evie out makes us so happy, you have no idea!

Oh hey, Chicken!

Something hilarious happened to us yesterday while I was out walking Evie. We were taking our normal neighborhood stroll and she was sniffing under a big bush. She suddenly moved quickly so I thought a cat must be under there or something. The next thing I see is this big chicken squawking and flying out from under the bush!!

Someones pet chicken must have gotten loose! We hear chickens squawking at a nearby house pretty often so we know they are around our area.We just stood there watching this chicken walk off. It was too funny!

Besides meeting a chicken yesterday, we also ran some errands and went to a friends birthday party in SF. I made these DELICIOUS raspberry bars to bring to the party. They were a huge hit. I had some ingredients left over so I also made two little ramekins full of the raspberry crumble, too.

SO GOOD. Here's the recipe -

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 to 12 ounces good raspberry jam, such as Hero
2/3 cup good granola without dried fruit
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.

Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out on a board. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Spread with the jam, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Mix the granola into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cool completely and cut into 9 or 12 bars. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday Blahs

Today, I didn't feel that great. I was so tired and didn't feel well. I worked from home for awhile and then got in bed for a long nap. We were just talking at work about how when you go, go, go, your body finds a way to say, "Ok time for a break." I think that was today. Erik was off today and he had a busy day in his room, garden, etc.

For dinner, we ordered pizza from a local spot, "Bobby G's". We got the "NY Style" pizza but sadly, it wasn't very NYC like. Blah. I miss Papa's Pizza in CT!!

We watched a funny movie tonight --This is 40.

Some parts were funny and we were like oh haha, that is just like real life. Some parts were sort of sad though.

Well, here's hoping the rest of the weekend is better than today was!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Berkeley Bowl West & Pt Isabel

On Thursday after work, Evie and I ran some errands and went for a walk. We stopped at Berkeley Bowl West for dinner ingredients. They have the BEST produce prices .We are talking $1.89 for a carton of strawberries and $2 for a big thing of baby tomatoes. 
This BB location is much nicer than the original one that we went to a few weeks ago. It's so neat, clean, and has tons of parking. 

After BBW, we went up to Point Isabel. We went for a walk along the water and it was great. After such a stressful week, it was fun just running around with Evie. 

Evie met a puppy that was so cute and ready to play. She looked to be a cattle dog-type dog. She was running and jumping around. Evie had a blast. The owner told us their dog was deaf! 

After the park, we stopped at Costco and then went home for dinner. I can handle Costco on a Thursday night for sure. A weekend? No way. TGIF!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Zombie Thursday

its friday fuck this shit just kidding its thursday

As I mentioned, this has been a long week. I have felt like a total zombie on Thursdays the past few weeks. I feel I am getting the hang of my new account though so that's good. I still feel like Elle Woods BEFORE she realizes that the defendant is lying about getting a perm and taking a shower but it's starting to come together.

Go to 3:00 to see what I mean.........

Today, I had to go out to Pleasanton again but I came home afterwards. It is SO nice to sit here in peace and quiet with Evie next to me.

So happy we are staying in today and this weekend to relax!

Blue Agave Club

These past three days have been jam packed until 9pm every night. I woke up today feeling like a total zombie and had to drive out to Pleasanton again for a 9am meeting. Wah.

On Wednesday night, we had our Client in town from New Jersey so we went to dinner with her in Pleasanton. We went to the Blue Agave Club for Mexican and it was delicious! Check out all of this outdoor seating!

We sat outside which was great because it was in the high 60's and nice to be outside. We started with chips and three different types of salsa which was so good.

For dinner, I had the:

Enjococado 100-Year Old Family Recipe! 
Boneless breast of chicken drenched in a sour cream-based 
sauce with roasted guajillo chiles, special herbs and garnished 
with almonds. Served with rice & fried black beans.

It was delicious!! Dinner was great but I didn't get home until around 9pm. I was so tired. Thankfully, Erik takes care of Evie when I'm away like that so I don't have to worry about her.

Ready to do NOTHING tonight!


I have a new favorite show....Splash. Have you seen it? It's like Dancing with the Stars but in Diving. I have to say, some of these divers are VERY good for being non-athletes and non-divers!

 My favorite is former Charles in Charge star, Nicole Eggert.

She is a Mom of two and was so nervous in the beginning of the show. She just keeps getting more and more confident and is doing so well. Check out her dive from last night!

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was on the show, too. He was great. Did you know he is 7-2" and is considered the best basketball player of ALL time since he has the record for the highest number of points scored EVER.

It's a motivating & inspirational show!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Comal in the Sun

Tuesday was SO nice out. It was HOT in the morning--in the 70's. I walked Evie in a tshirt and was fine! After work, we went to her local fave park - Ohlone Park- to run and roll around. She is so funny the way runs around and dive bombs the grass to roll around. We were out for over an hour doing just that. We also went into the dog park for a quick walk through.

The funnies thing that happened was when she was sniffing the grass and a tiny little Chihuahua came up to Evie. He was so little and wanted to sniff her butt so he literally put his paws on her backside and put his face in her butt. hahah. She barely noticed!

On Tuesday night, our friend Andrea came over to see our place and we also went out to dinner in downtown Berkeley. We went to Comal, a mexican restaurant.

They have a great outdoor patio that we sat on for dinner.

We shared chips, salsa, guac, and I had the mushroom quesadillas for dinner. Everything was delish. It was great to see her and love that we see her more that we live over here. She is right down the road in Oakland - so close!

Good Tuesday!

Tribune Tavern

On Monday, we had a co-worker in town so we went to dinner with her at a new restaurant in Oakland called Tribune Tavern . It is right near our office so it was easy to get to.

Tribune Tavern is a new restaurant and is in the Oakland Tribune newspaper building. Here is a little history about the location
A century ago, the Oakland Tribune used the tower’s ground floor as its “local room” —where reporters from different departments worked side by side and shared tips on the news of the day. It was a gathering spot for the great minds of Oakland, and a place where headlines were made. The Tribune Tavern will carry on that tradition—as a place for people to mingle over happy hour drinks, lunch meetings, or dinner—with authentic, nourishing comfort food that’s affordable enough for everyone to enjoy, and a bar stocked with the best locally-made beer and wine.

The restaurant built some outdoor seating on the sidewalk of this restaurant. This part of Oakland really has some crazy characters hanging around. The restaurant has security outside to keep people from bothering the diners. However......

I was sitting facing the sidewalk and I see this guy hanging out near the trash can. He's smiling and looking around. As he comes away from the trash can, he comes towards us and I can tell he's going to be a doozy. This young, white guy has his jeans around his knees, tighty whitey underwear proudly showing and comes up to our table. He is stood there, SALUTED us, and mumbled something and then said, "At your service!" all while smiling.

We were dying laughing. He was so freaking funny and totally harmless but the security guard moved him along. Too funny.

For dinner, we shared a kale salad, arugula salad, grilled asparagus, and I had the local rock cod with butter beans and broccolini. Everything was very good! It's nice to have a good spot so close to work.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baby Showers and Tilden Park

We had such a great Sunday today. First, we went to our friend Jenn & Andie's baby shower with our friend Andrea. They have an awesome house in the Oakland Hill's and a gorgeous deck & backyard. It was warm and sunny out and we just chilled out on the deck. They had a great spread of food and got a ton of gifts. We are so excited for Baby to come in May!!

After the shower, we came home and Evie & I drove up to Tilden Park. Tilden Park is like the Golden Gate Park of Berkeley. It is a HUGE. We had to drive up a super windy road to get to the park and in the process, passed the Lawerence Hall of Science, The Tilden Golf Course, a Botanical Garden and more. Once in Tilden Park, we found a lake, a merry go round, and a steam train. Cannot wait to check these all out!!
First up, we found Lake Anza. This is a real, live, swimming hole. It is a big lake with a beach and people were laying on the sand and swimming in the water. We were shocked to find this! haha. Evie jumped in the water in a private area to cool off. It was in the 80's today!

We wandered into the park and I quickly realized I had to pay attention to where we were going in order to get back to the car. I had NO cell service and if we got lost, we were going to be LOST. 

 We saw TONS of picnic areas, trails, and places to roam around. 
 We came home and Evie promptly got a bath. After all of that, we both laid on the couch together. I am so thankful that Evie is such a cuddle bug. She absolutely loves to cuddle with you on the couch and love on you.

We then made dinner - more grilling out! We hung outside while we cooked BBQ chicken and corn on the cob. Deeeelish!

In other news, my house project is the bathroom and it is definitely coming along. I got the cutest shower curtain that even Erik approves's brown with cream colored dots.

My project this weekend was staining a wood shelf for the bathroom. This shelf has been hanging around for awhile and rather than give to Goodwill, I decided to make some changes to it and keep it. We now have some extra hooks in the bathroom and a place to put your watch before taking a shower!

We had a great weekend. A good balance of getting stuff done and having fun. Sometimes the weekends tip too far in one of those directions and then you feel that that you either didn't have enough or had too much fun This was a perfectly balanced weekend for us though. 

Here's to a less stressful, balanced week.........
I Want You To Have A Good Week!

Biking Saturday

Saturday was a day of getting stuff done AND having fun which always means a good day. We got some little odds and ends completed including hanging some picture frames, hanging up a pots & pans holder in the kitchen, did all of the laundry, changed the sheets, brought Evie to the park, and cleaned out the closet. Whew.

After all of that was done, we hopped on our bikes and went down to 4th Street for lunch. We went to Cafe M for lunch and sat outside. It was a great little place!

We then stopped at a little book store and then headed home. We live only 1.5 miles away from 4th St so it was an easy ride but I haven't been on my bike in a looooonnnnng time! We came home and hopped on the couch to rest with Evie.

For dinner, we walked up to Jupiter pizza.

We don't think the pizza here is that great but they have a great beer selection. Plus, we are able to walk in and get a table right away which is always nice.

After pizza, we stopped by the $1 ice cream cone place for a cone and then walked home.

We love, love, love living just 10 min from downtown. We can easily walk or bike to a ton of other places. The weather has been so awesome here, too. 70's and sunny. No fog.